METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 38



Volume 4 Issue 38

Monday 28 September 2009

Hippolite Musings 

Thought for the Day


I have another apology to make.  In Issue 35, I made a disparaging remark about Psychotropic drugs.  It was only half-serious on my behalf, sort of intended flippantly, but I realise now it came across as very harsh.  I actually have NO strong feelings about that particular topic at all.  For me, it was merely an interesting thought experiment.  Anyway, I realise that my ramblings have cause some to feel uncomfortable.  That is deeply regretted.

On a positive note, I have something good to report about public education.





Hi Folks

Some friends at work have come up with a theory. They reckon asthma and allergies are related to the blooming of the kowhai tree. So I checked it out on the Internet and found that kowhai contain alkaloids, a toxic substance.

I reckon that they may be right. The New Zealand variant of asthma may well be a reaction to a toxic substance, namely the alkaloids in kowhai perhaps being distributed in kowhai pollen.

I wonder if it is possible that the high nitrogen content of these alkaloids might contribute to breathing problems. One of the habits of nitrogen is to replace oxygen in the air – perhaps this has the same affect in humans.

What are your thoughts?

James, would this be of interest for your blog as a discussion topic?


James says:

I’ve heard it said that “scientists/doctors” these days are calling/treating a lot of allergies like they were asthma.  The cynic might say this is so they can prescribe and sell you a treatment like Symbacort.  But as I’m not being cynical anymore, I won’t say that.  Allergies appear to be related to the over-sterile lifestyle we inflict upon our kids.  Maybe a part of the solution is to let them get moderately dirty so they can build up their immunities, and climb more (kowhai) trees?


Sue Bradford has resigned from Parliament

I was asked to comment on this news item.  (It seems that no matter what I do, my “friends” are determined to give me ample opportunity to get myself into trouble.)

At first, I was ambivalent.  On the one hand, of course I’m glad that a seriously misguided individual is removed from the reins of power.  But on the other hand, it’s no where near as satisfying as when Helen (Ding Dong) Clark was booted (the witch is dead) out.  When an evil person gets to leave on her own terms leaves a sour taste in the mouth.  The fact that she’s leaving over sour grapes at not being selected for co-leadership of her party is slightly sweet to me.

But now, I’m not so sure.  According to David Farrer’s analysis over on his KiwiBlog, he sees with the removal of Sue, there will be a rise in the popularity of the Green party.  This is not a good thing.  They are all loons to begin with.  Just getting rid of one of the chief loons, doesn’t make the rest of the party any less loony.


I have friend, Nick Wang

You may have heard of him.  He’s the China-born New Zealander who started the Chinese language newspaper in Wellington.  Apparently the Chinese government doesn’t like some of the things Nick has said about them because now he can’t obtain a visa to visit his elderly and dying parents.

I’m not sure what can be done about this situation; I just thought it sounds stink.

AT the very least, let’s pray that Nick gets to visit his family soon.  If anybody has any bright ideas what else might be done, please let me know.

ON a completely different note: don’t miss your opportunity to attend this year’s Capital Prayer Breakfast.  I see it as our annual opportunity to re-establish God into our halls of power, after their many and varied attempts to remove Him.  Details below.  Send me a personal email if you’re not sure of the procedure to get yourself included in the official guest list.



news from …. SAM & CAROL SOUKOTTA

founder & director:  Mt Hope Foundation

Trust this email finds you well and rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord.

This month is Ramahdan where the majority of muslims fast between sunrise and sundown, each day for a month. The Christians in this country and worldwide, for that matter, pray much during this time that they will know the truth  … some have.  Their 2 final BIG celebration days are next Monday & Tuesday.  Tawangmangu will be crowded with people on those 2 days.

We began our new bible school year on September 1 and it will continue until June 8 2010 with a 1 month break in Dec/Jan.  There are 90 bible students all in all.

We just said good-bye yesterday and last week to 3 of our 4 children and their families who were visiting us for 3 weeks.  It was such a lovely time together.  We have 4 grandchildren who were all here with their parents.  Our youngest, Jeffrey, who lives in Japan was not able to come.  The children went horse riding and the adults – fishing, swimming and visited the malls in Solo and Jogja cities.  Our daughter-in-law came over before the others, to begin a sewing business at Mt Hope so as to acquire funds for the work there.  It’s our vision to make Mt Hope self-supporting.  The bakery there is bringing in finance that provides food and clothing for the children.  The building program continues at Mt Hope …and in fact we have a team of university students from the engineering department of a Singapore university coming in December with supplies to help build. It is part of the university program to help build for the poor, which they have done in a number of countries. We have left it over to our Kiwi builder to decide what building they will be building!  They got connected to Mt Hope via the internet. God has His ways of meeting our needs!  We stand amazed.

We are in our dry season here and have to water the plants and grounds every day.  Fortunately, being positioned on a mountain we have plenty of water flowing down.  Our water is piped in from a mountain spring.  This season is great for getting ones clothes dry.  Often during the rainy season … Nov – May, our clothes hang for days, especially the students’ clothes as they wash by hand and so the clothes are not wrung out as dry as ours.  The staff and ourselves have washing machines.

Our family photo (minus Jeffrey).  Sam, far left, Marissa with baby Ariel (husband Richard behind).  The 2 little boys in front are Marissa and Richards sons – Ethan & Elijah.  Next Carol, daughter Sheryl, son Ronn & wife Rochelle with little Eden in front.

With love from
Sam & Carol

K-House News


  • Iran Tests New Nuclear TechnologySeptember 22, 2009
    Iran says it has built a new generation of centrifuges for enriching uranium, and is testing them. BBC
  • Forecasts for Asian Growth RaisedSeptember 22, 2009
    The economies of China and India are set to grow by more than previously thought in 2009, according to the Asian Development Bank. BBC
  • China Could Undermine US Military Power in PacificSeptember 22, 2009
    China’s increasingly advanced weaponry could undermine US military power in the Pacific, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday. Gates echoed US intelligence guidelines that warned of Beijing’s military modernization, US naval carriers and air bases in the Pacific faced new threats from China. Breitbart
  • Europe Edges Out North America as Richest RegionSeptember 22, 2009
    The economic and financial crisis of the past 18 months has transformed the global map of the world’s wealthiest people, with Europe nudging out North America as the richest region, according to Boston Consulting Group. Wall Street Journal
  • ‘See You At The Pole’ to Mark 20th YearSeptember 22, 2009
    Around two million students across the nation and overseas are expected to gather at their schools’ flag poles Wednesday to ask God to bring moral and spiritual awakening to their campuses and countries. This year’s "See You At The Pole" event will mark 20 years since the student-initiated and student-led movement started in the Ft. Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas, in 1990. Christian Post

Promise Keepers

In This Issue

Why I’m An AGW Critic

No ice on Greenland. Has it happened before?

Evolutionists claim that Greenland was once ice free, which has some implications in the current debate about climate change.  Read this semi-technical article: Southern Greenland—warm and ice free!

Sunday Service

Praise & Worship

  • · With the full worship team!
  • · Blah

Things You Need to Know (Live!)

  • · By Duncan Brown (due to technical difficulties, the video was not available)
  • · School of Supernatural, put into practice @ Breakthrough Prayer on Tuesday @ 6pm
  • · Worldwide day of prayer 4 Jerusalem 4th October
  • · Capital Prayer Breakfast 15 October


  • · Elaine Scott and friends (Operation Friendship?) hosted 70 people (kiwis and overseas visitors) over 3 days
  • · Christian Cowan won second in swimming at Special Olympics
  • · Singing teacher Sally came to hear the product of her work (Duncan)
  • · Birthdays: 5 and 65
  • · New people: Dave and Catherine from Calgary, Canada & Colorado, USA
  • · New baby: Anna Elizabeth born two weeks ago


  • · Tithes and offerings (plastic giving is available at the back)
  • · Meet and greet time: you’ve just been shown who are the new people, now go and say “Gidday”
  • · Song: In Christ Alone, sung by the entire worship team


  • · By Fernando Villalobos (via the Internet)
  • · From Bolivia
  • · More technical difficulties has interrupted/aborted this attempt

Sermon 2

  • · Becoming a follower of Jesus (as opposed to being a Christian)
  • · By Mike Knott

What’s the difference?

  • · A Christian: A done deal; it is finished; I am saved. This is true, but it is not all.
  • · A Follower: A continuing act; a process; I am working out my salvation (not through obligation, [like the Mormons – Ed.], but through gratitude).

Getting baptised

  • · Such an important step.
  • · Let’s remember that God has released us into a new level

Fernando Villalobos

  • · Talking about the Bolivian revival
  • · Bolivia was 90% Catholic
  • · Late 1971, God decided to pour His Holy Spirit over my country
  • · Nobody was looking for it; nobody was preparing for it; God just decided to act.
  • · It was like an explosion
  • · God began to change the atmosphere first.
  • · La Paz – the city, all the people, their hearts began to change
  • · Not through preachers, not through churches, but on the streets

Prevailing attitudes

  • · We just wanted to have fun, play football, we weren’t looking for this Jesus
  • · We were hearing about the Soviets, who said that God was the invention of Man
  • · So we thought, yes, the Americans invented Jesus so they could control us
  • · But, we really wanted to know the truth
  • · So, we went to a church to see what it was all about

An acquaintance stood to speak

  • · Fernando recognized the friend as a former drug dealer
  • · This impacted him greatly
  • · (we got cut off)

Why I Am A Creationist

The social networking revolution!

Did you know that CMI is on Facebook and Twitter? Join our growing community of fans and get the latest news, articles, events, and videos from CMI. We would like to see our Twitter and Facebook pages add over 10,000 fans and followers. Creation Ministries International is asking you, our faithful supporters, to help us in a grassroots effort to invite and recommend our Facebook fanpage (hyperlink to|) to as many people as you can find!

There are millions of Christians out there who know nothing of CMI’s ministry and while we speak at well over 1,000 churches and conferences each year as well as provide information to hundreds of thousands more at our supporters can collectively reach so many more people whom we would otherwise miss.

Our goal is to increase our Facebook reach from its current total of 883 fans to 10,000 by the end of 2009. While there are many ways to do this we want to share the most simple and straight-forward way.

  1. Become a fan of our Facebook Page.
  2. Click the “Suggest to Friends” link located underneath the profile image.
  3. Select all of your friends and family from the list that pops up (or as many people as you’d like) and click “Send Invitations” when you are finished. It’s that simple!

We also invite you to “follow” us on Twitter as well by going to If you don’t have an account, sign up and see what all the buzz is about!

More positives for Voyage

A very successful Christian film producer in Canada, who has just completed a film on the life of the Apostle Paul (with enough pre-orders to make it a smash hit already) saw CMI’s Darwin film The Voyage that Shook the World, and said, “This is the best pre-evangelizing tool I can imagine.”

In a confirmation of this view, a retired minister told one of our speakers in Australia how he had caught up with a childhood friend who had also just retired from his respected academic post as a professor of geology, and who declared himself as a firm atheist. They went together to see the Voyage, and afterwards the geologist said, “Well, I guess I’m no longer an atheist, I would have to class myself as an agnostic now.” The minister continues to follow up with this man who was formerly unshakeable, but is now open.

This stunning documentary is now available on DVD.  Click here to be among the first to receive a copy of The Voyage that Shook the World.

Writing with the ink of an extinct squid

Amazing fossil finds keep coming from a layer of clay in England that is supposed to be 150 million years old. One astonishing recent find from that site is the ink sac from a fossil squid—so beautifully preserved that when reconstituted, it could be used to draw and write. For the whole story, see Fossil squid ink that still writes.

Train a child

Our website recently featured a method of spending quality time with young ones and teaching them the truth of the Bible at the same time. See Biblical worldview project for parents and grandparents.

Creation evangelism leads to conversion

Daniel H. says that he was “ … an unbeliever who mocked the Christian faith during my schooling years” and that his lack of faith was attributable to his public education. Reached via a creation presentation and materials, he now employs the same method to reach others. Read Knowing Christ through creation evangelism.

Suicidal atheist converts to Christ

Even more dramatic is the story of a former atheist who found himself suicidal when he realized the implications of atheism, which logically destroys all meaning and purpose in our existence. Thankfully he has now found purpose and meaning. He said “Your ministry truly saved my life.”  Read his compelling story here.

Dutch Christians hungry for answers

The Dutch version of CMI’s Creation Answers Book sold out of its first printing in weeks. This was translated (with only modest assistance from CMI) and published by our friends in the Netherlands, the all-volunteer group Mediagroep in Genesis. In Holland, there is a Christian booksales list which encompasses all Christian books from very liberal to very conservative, and this book has been in the top ten list for two months running.

Your support helps keep our translations coordination work alive, which resulted in 23 language subtitles (for PAL version) available as options on our Darwin film DVD.

Friday Fax
(UN Watch)

UN Official Oversteps Mandate to Back “Gay Pride” Event in Serbia

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The head of the United Nations (UN) mission in Serbia recently promoted a highly controversial homosexual rights demonstration in Belgrade against public opposition and beyond his mandate to work “closely with national governments” to “advocate the interests and mandates of the UN.” UN Resident Coordinator William Infante backed a “gay pride” parade scheduled for September 20th, an event that Serbs have rejected since the last time it was orchestrated in 2001. According to the Associated Press (AP), the organizers canceled the march rather than accept the government’s offer of an alternative route, which was a response to concerns about its ability to provide adequate security due to rising public opposition to the event.  

Dominican Republic Passes Complete Abortion Ban

By Samantha Singson

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) Last week, lawmakers in the Dominican Republic gave their final approval to a pro-life constitutional change despite fierce criticism and pressure from UN agencies and abortion advocates to defeat the measure.  The Dominican Republic’s National Assembly easily ratified a revision of Article 30 in a vote of 128 in favour with 32 opposed. The article now states that "the right to life is inviolable from conception until death."  

Train a Child

I received this positive report of public education

[Our son] has a registered alternative school under his management in Te Ora Hou.  It has its own principal, and qualified staff plus about 20 secondary students who’ve been excluded from schools for mostly all the wrong reasons – bad behaviour etc etc. [Our son] is up with the play on alternative education and could tell you of some wonderful innovative initiatives in NZ which are really making a difference.

One of the best initiatives is 24/7 which entails secondary schools entering into partnerships with Christian organisations and churches to employ youth workers who have a high profile in the life of the schools. I spoke to one principal, not a Christian, who said she has increased her number of employed 24/7 youth workers from 3 to 4 this year and they are worth every cent.

One of the best examples of a school as a family and community hub is Victory Primary in Nelson. [James says: coincidentally, that’s one of my old schools!] I’m using it as a model for community ministries when I present at the Baptist community ministries conference next week, as it operates by all the best principles for educating the whole needs of the child within the context of the family and community.

Some of our most influential ‘kingdom building’ young people when we were at Papanui Baptist, were those who attended state schools.  The key was their family’s culture of involvement as Christians in their community, the openness to robust discussions and the young people’s understanding that God can operate in spite of some of the negatives in the systems.  It’s primarily the influence of the home and parenting which shapes the thinking – as you well know.  [Our daughter]’s 2 girls are now aged 12 and 14, having had all their schooling through state schools in Melbourne. They are spiritually savvy, have an intelligent faith, can relate to a diverse group of people, are proactive in living and sharing their faith, and they are benefitting from good schooling. Again their main shaping influences are the discussions and exposure to God at work in people’s lives mainly through their family and home.

Some of the poorest quality education I’ve seen has been in small Christian schools, where the worldview is too narrow and they seem to have no real understanding of how to teach and equip children to be effective and influential Christians in our society.

My suggestion, for what it’s worth is that from time to time you bring something positive about home schooling and also about other forms of schooling.  Anyone reading your blog will know what you’re against but we don’t really know what you are for in education.  Your current tendency to bag everything as bad may tend to sound as if you have superior judgement and insights on all things educational?  Your also putting a guilt thing on parents who have their kids in schools.  Parents need all the help and support they can get, and most make what they think are the best decisions for their kids’ education.  The key issue is that parents should be the ‘first teachers’ of their children, modelling Jesus to the best of their ability. If they do this well, their children will shape up well and enjoy the best of their schooling and the best their parents can give to shape their attitudes, characters, values, and ability to make a good difference in people’s lives.  Schools are not all bad and peddling evil.  There are many great teachers, excellent curriculum material (and some dodgy stuff) and highly supportive environments.

James says:

I acknowledge there may be some great schools in the world.  I acknowledge there may even be some great teachers in the world.  It amuses me greatly that every other parent I speak to will tell me their story of woe about school, until they find out I home-school.  Then they change the conversation to either back-track and defend their choices and/or attack my choice.  So yes, I have something to say on the matter.

For example, let me answer some frequently asked questions:

  1. Do you have to be a teacher to home-school?
    No.  You merely have to promise to provide an educational standard “at least as good as” the State provides.
  2. Does this mean “at least as good as” the worst school?
    No.  You must be able to prove you intend providing something somewhere around average.  In reality, you can get a 6 hour school day done in around 15 minutes when you eliminate all the distractions of 30 other kids in the room.
  3. How do you start?
    Contrary to NZ custom, you don’t actually have to put your kids into school at age 5.  The law actually states age 6.  So, you must apply for an exemption from the Education Act by that age.
  4. Do you have to follow the NZ Curriculum Framework?
    No.  There is a whole spectrum of curricula from which to choose.  You can go from something like ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) which is structured very similar to school at home; all the way to Radical Unschoolers, whom believe true education takes place any place else other than a classroom.
  5. How are education standards at home ensured?
    The Ministry used to send the Education Review Office to homeschoolers within the first three years of application for the first exemption.  The current government has acknowledged the reality that homeschooling standards are higher than the prevailing norm, and ceased all ERO reviews of homeschoolers from now on.

Why I Am Pro-Israel

Dear Friend of Jerusalem,

Here are the latest headlines from the One Jerusalem Blog:

Sincerely, The One Jerusalem Team

Media Watch

You wouldn’t want to live in America

Why are we the naked ape?

Matt Says:

According to this article, nothing in evolution explains why, if humans are the descendents of simians, that we have lost the body hair of simian creatures. Another flaw in evolutionary theory.

James Says:

Right on, brudda!



Cartoonist: Larry Thomas, 1997

(Click to expand)


  1. Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
  2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
  3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
  4. Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!
  5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
  6. That’s Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
  7. Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ . that will bring on a ‘whatever’).
  8. Whatever: Is a woman’s way of saying stuff– YOU!
  9. Don’t worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to # 3.

Events Schedule

In this section, I highlight dates, times and venues of events either I am presenting at, or of interest to METTLE.  I’m available for bookings.

Date Event Venue James Talk?
29-Sep-09 Presentation: Creation: Why I Believe Jeannie’s Life Group Y
29-Sep-09 A concert with Jaime Thietten St. Anne’s Parish Hall, Emmet St, Newtown N
30-Sep-09 –
Elim National Conference Auckland Elim N
07-Oct-09 Euthanasia and Human Dignity: Are You Concerned? Johnsonville Community Hall N
10-Oct-09 Quiz Fundraiser for Missions Wellington Elim N
15-Oct-09 Capital Prayer Breakfast Parliament N
Machol Pacifica 2009 – Israeli Dancing Wellington Performing Arts Centre N
20-Oct-09 Leaders/Partners Meeting Wellington Elim N
25-Oct-09 Guest Speaker: Clinton & Jan Kelleher Wellington Elim N
30-31 October 2009 Ancient Paths II Wellington Elim N

Book Review


Bible Reading 

Week to 4 October 2009

  1. Job 40:6 – 42:17
  2. Matthew 1:1 – 4:25
  3. Matthew 5:1 – 6:34
  4. Matthew 7:1 – 9:17
  5. Matthew 9:18 – 11:30
  6. Matthew 12:1 – 13:30
  7. Matthew 13:31 – 15:28

Week to 11 October 2009

  1. Matthew 15:29 – 18:14
  2. Matthew 18:15 – 20:34
  3. Matthew 21:1 – 22:46
  4. Matthew 23:1 – 24:51
  5. Matthew 25:1 – 26:56
  6. Matthew 26:57 – 28:20
  7. James 1:1 – 3:12

Don’t forget you can look up these references for yourselves at:

End Notes

  • METTLE is an acronym for Men’s Evangelical Team Together for Learning Experiences. We are primarily Christian businessmen from Wellington, who meet occasionally in the CBD to encourage each other in our daily walk with Jesus. This Weekly Collaborative Blog (WCB) is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this WCB, you are welcome to forward them along. Similarly, if your circumstances are such that membership in this distribution list is no longer relevant, then hit reply and type UNSUBSCRIBE to have it removed.
  • If you choose to respond to any item raised in this WCB, please indicate clearly which items you wish to remain Private, as any correspondence may be considered Public and could be published.
  • If this fortnight’s newsletter has been of benefit to you, why not drop a line and say so.  Or better yet, visit the TVORNZ website to read past issues and add a comment!
  • Published by The Voice of Reason, New Zealand, copyright © 2009

One thought on “METTLE Weekly Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 38”

  1. Hi James, I couldn\’t have put it any better regarding Sue Bradford\’s retirement from Parliament. Even though she left voluntarily because she didn\’t get the co-leaders position, it is good riddance all the same. The nation certainly don\’t need a person like that in Parliament. Yay!!!!!!


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