All posts by JamesHip

NZ Baptist Missionary Society

Sunday Service

  • 11 June 2017
  • Pastor Martin Campbell (from Belfast)
  • Missions


  • Born & raised during The Troubles
  • Moved to London, to work in an oncology unit.
  • Met Joyce in Glasgow.
  • Married 1993.
  • Alasdair born 1996.
  • Moved to Afghanistan 1997.
  • Moved to NZ 2007.
  • Moved to Afghanistan 2010.
  • Moved to NZ 2013.
  • Strangely at home in an airport.
  • Missionary kids have a 3rd culture.  They fit into a lot of places, but never really feel at home anywhere.

Eastwest College

  • Established 1966
  • Gordonton

Trees as models:

  • Christian diversity: One trunk with a broad spectrum.
  • Christian churches: Mutual support with other trees
  • Holding up the fruit bearer: The supports aren’t bearing fruit, but they are necessary to enable the fruit bearing trees.  Supporters enable missionaries.
  • Growing in hard places: A tree can establish, even in rock.  Like Afghanistan.  Needs patience, perseverance; weather the winder.

Isaiah 25:4 & Hosea 14:4-8

Mark 4

  • The parable of the mustard seed.

Jonah 4

  • Mission is the awakening of the conscience
  • And the conscience informed by the Holy Spirit.
  • It is not right for us Christians to be angry about our lack of covering (our government leaving our Christian Heritage) when there is a world that needs the gospel.

Jonah’s understanding of God

  • …is focused on his own (or his people’s) prosperity – a conflict with God was inevitable.
  • …a sense of righteousness superior to God’s righteousness – a conflict with God was inevitable.

Don’t make our children the centre of our universe

  • Make God the centre.
  • Our true legacy should be to model this to our children.
  • Else, they will not know True North. They will think they are the centre of the universe.



3 Pillars: Pentecost

Sunday Service

  • 4 June 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • Three Pillars (significant events in the life of a Christian)
  • Pillar 1: Transfiguration
  • Pillar 2: Ascension
  • Pillar 3: Pentecost

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2

  • The people came running: there was a spectacle
  • The wind came from heaven
  • The flames came from a single source and landed separately on them

Top 9 things about Pentecost

9. Pentecost Sunday occurs 50 days after Easter

8. The Bible records the Pentecost in Acts 2

7. Pentecost comes 10 days after the ascension of Jesus Christ

6. Pentecost is also known as “The Birthday of the Church”

5. Pentecost fulfils Jesus promise to send the “counsellor” & “spirit of truth” in in John 16:5-15

4. Pentecost launches the large-scale spreading of the gospel after Jesus ascension: some 3,000 people were baptised

3. In Western churches, Pentecost is usually represented with the colour red, which symbolises the Holy Spirit.

2. Jews also celebrate Pentecost, but not for the same reason. The celebration observes God giving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai 50 days after the Exodus.

  1. Pentecost is celebrated by us today!

(Some) Characteristics of the Holy Spirit (as demonstrated at Pentecost)

  • Rowdy
  • Surprising
  • A bit out of control
  • Powerful
  • Supernatural
  • Effective
  • Cross cultural
  • Transforming
  • Personal and collective



Church like this (result of Pentecost):

  • Devoted to learning (putting it into practice)
  • Sharing meals (intimate and restorative)
  • A sense of awe (observing God at work)
  • Miraculous signs and wonders (participating in His will)
  • Met & fellowshipped together (spend time, do stuff, be accountable)
  • Shared everything (e.g. kids clothing exchange)
  • Shared with those in need (more to come)
  • Worshipped together (collective prayer is powerful)
  • Met in homes (be a rebel: go against our current societal norms; be daring and vulnerable)
  • Great joy and generosity
  • Praised God
  • Enjoyed good will of the people
  • The Lord added to those who were being saved (otherwise, what is the point?)


Accepting the Competent Leader Award

My fellow toastmasters, it is with true gratitude that I accept this award today.

As you know, Toastmasters is a unique organisation, which, for over 90 years, has been teaching people how to give speeches and how to lead meetings.

For those who may not know, Toastmasters achieves this goal by providing a supportive environment for members to give their speeches, and to have their speeches evaluated.  In turn, all other roles during a meeting are also evaluated.  It is this environment of mutual support that enables a club to develop and grow its members.

This award recognizes that I have worked through the Competent Leadership manual.  This manual consists of 10 projects, where a variety of roles are required to be performed and evaluated.

  1. Project 1 tested my Listening Skills, by requiring me to complete basic roles necessary for the successful running of a normal club meeting.
  2. Project 2 tested my Critical Thinking, by requiring me to be able to evaluate other roles.
  3. Project 3 tested my ability to give Feedback.
  4. Project 4 tested my Time Management skills, by successfully completing a Timer role and a significant other role within a meeting, on time.
  5. Project 5 tested my ability to Plan and Implement significant roles.
  6. Project 6 tested my ability to Organize and Delegate by requiring me to help to organize a special club event.
  7. Project 7 tested my Facilitation skills, by requiring me to perform a couple of vital roles in the club meeting.
  8. Project 8 tested my Motivation, by requiring me to perform roles to assist others.
  9. Project 9 tested my Mentoring skills. I especially wish to thank my mentee, Molino Garcia, for allowing me to mentor him.  It was a privilege to be allowed to speak into another member’s life.
  10. Project 10 tested my Team Building skills, by requiring me to give back to the club.

Having now achieved this award, I have the following recommendations for others wishing to achieve it.

  1. If at all possible, you should attempt to get onto the Executive Team. This will afford you opportunities to complete certain roles.
  2. However, even if you are not on the Executive Team, you can volunteer to assist them. In this way, I was able to perform the role of Web Master, even though I wasn’t the Vice President of Public Relations.
  3. There are four competitions during the year: International Speech, Humorous Speech, Table Topics and Speech Evaluations. You should volunteer to be the convenor of one of these competitions.  This role alone will fulfil the entire Project #6.
  4. If you are only one signature away from completing a project, then ask the Vice President Education to assign you that role in the coming month. You are not imposing.  The VP Ed delights in knowing that you are interested in advancing your record.  It is impossible for the Exec Team to know in advance which roles you wish to pursue at any particular time.
  5. And lastly, of course, for every role you fulfil in your club meeting, check your manual to see whether you can get it signed off. Then find somebody to sign it off for you.

Toastmasters is a bit like university, as opposed to school.  You are provided the manual, but it is up to you to proactively manage your own project completion record.  Nobody is going to chase you up to complete your manual.  This is your prerogative.

What comes next?  After the Competent Leader award, comes the Advance Leader Bronze.  In order to achieve this level, one must:

  1. Have fulfilled an Executive Team role for a minimum of 6 months; and
  2. Completed 2 educational speeches of 10 minutes each.

The final person I wish to give heart-felt thanks to, is Warren Christie for shoulder-tapping me to join as a Charter Member of this club in July 2015.  Warren had to convince me that I needed the club, and the club needed me.  I am grateful that he persevered.

We took only 3 months to get up to the 20 members necessary, so that we were able to charter as a fully-fledged club in October 2015.

It has been said that this club is unique, in that our members are motivated to provoke one another to higher levels of achievement.  With a weekly meeting, we are able to fulfil many more roles than most other clubs more quickly.

This award recognizes that I was motivated by others here to achieve.  I am grateful to this club for the opportunities afforded me, and I hope I am an adequate role model to follow.

I have had a few outside opportunities to put into practice, the skills learned here.  I can attest that these skills work, and are appreciated by the outside world.  Personally, I have noticed family occasions in the past were lacking, because nobody was prepared to say a few words.  People do appreciate when somebody has bothered to put some words together to mark a special occasion.

Once again, thank you fellow Toastmasters.  It is a privilege to be presented this award.  I gratefully accept it.

Mr Toastmaster.

MCBC Toastmasters Club Election Results 2017

Fellow Toastmasters of the MCBC Club.

Congratulations to the new Executive Team voted yesterday.  These people will take over leadership of the club from 1 July, after a month of transition.

Role Existing New
President James Hippolite Ruth Malo
Vice President – Education Jane Crosbie Jane Crosbie
Vice President – Memberships Barry Shaw Amit Sharma
Vice President – Public Relations Ruth Malo Melanie Alican
Secretary Warren Christie Barry Shaw
Treasurer Barry Shaw Manju Malik
Sargent-At-Arms Molino Garcia Patrick Mariner
Immediate Past President Warren Christie James Hippolite

Thank you to all who put their hands up (including those who were not chosen this time).  Your 1-minute, impromptu campaign speeches were most informative and instructive!  I look forward to following Ruth’s leadership and seeing what the next 12 months has in store for us as a club.

We are well on our track to achieving all 10 goals of the Distinguished Club Programme.

Goals to Achieve Goal To Date Status
Education (A maximum of 6 will count toward DCP credit.)
1 Competent Communicator (CC) awards 2 2  Achieved
2 More Competent Communicator (CC) awards 2 4  Achieved
3 Advanced Communicator (ACB, ACS, ACG) awards 1 1  Achieved
4 More Advanced Communicator (ACB, ACS, ACG) awards 1 0 1 AC needed
5 Leadership Awards (CL, ALB, ALS) or Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award 1 1  Achieved
6 More CL, ALB, ALS, or DTM award 1 1  Achieved
7 New members 4 4  Achieved
8 More new members 4 3 1 New Member needed
9 Club officers trained June-August 4 6  Achieved
Club officers trained December-February 4 5
10 Membership-renewal dues on time Y 2  Achieved

In praise of Fiona Hippolite

Fellow Toastmasters

It is my pleasure today to address you about somebody I greatly admire: my wife.  Although to some extent, it is oddly self-serving to speak in praise of one’s own spouse publicly.  After all, the Bible calls us “One Flesh” meaning we are a singular unit.  But praise is something Fiona usually finds difficult to accept, as part of her Scottish heritage, and I know I don’t do it often enough, so this is as good an opportunity to do it as it gets.

Fiona possesses four qualities I wish to share with you.  Some may be known, some may be new to you.

First is her determination to be excellent.  This determination manifests in many ways.  One manifestation is, she has managed to home-school 3 children to academic excellence.  Fiona had to overcome many obstacles in her pursuit of excellence in this field.  Some of the obstacles included:

  1. Lifting her eyes beyond what was considered normal. At the time, home-schooling was not considered a viable alternative to mainstream education, like it is now.  Fiona had to face down challenges from some well-meaning family members, church friends and mother support groups.
  2. Another obstacle was navigating the maze of bureaucracy to even be able to apply for exemption from the Education Act which compels all New Zealand children to be required to attend school. This was an interesting chapter of our lives.  The Application for Exemption requires parents to promise to provide a level of education “at least equal to the average publicly available.”  As it turns out, this wasn’t difficult for her to achieve.
  3. A final obstacle to overcome was determining, from the entire spectrum of Curricula available to us, which particular curriculum she would adopt. From Child-Centred-Learning at one end of the spectrum, right through to Classroom-At-Home, Fiona picked-and-chose those elements which she felt the children would benefit from, would be interested in, and were in alignment with our values.

A second manifestation of Fiona’s quality of Excellence, is her early choice of career.  When I met Fiona, she was a Quality Manager of a large IT company.  This was a highly responsible position.  Her professional mantra of “process of continual improvement” became engrained into a large part of her personality.

A second quality Fiona demonstrates is Generosity.  Fiona is generous in giving of her time, her talents and her finances.  I’ve benefitted greatly from this quality.  But not only is Fiona generous to her family, she is also generous to others.  She has contributed greatly to Christian mission.  She spent 6 months in Southern Africa in 1997, assisting with two Christian conferences, the African Evangelical Alliance first conference in South Africa and GCOWE, the Global Consultation on World Evangelisation.  Fiona was learning to be a new mother of a 7-week-old baby, when we arrived in South Africa.  That she was willing to also give of her time to these two Christian conferences is a testament to her multi-tasking ability!

Fiona has also given and continues to contribute to Shepherds Arms, an orphanage in The Philippines.

A third quality which Fiona possesses is Integrity.  As a personal observation, Fiona demonstrates integrity in that her professional and private lives are wholly integrated.  What you see is truly what you get with her.  There is no hypocrisy in her.  In fact, she would be the first to freely admit, she is usually unable to “play politics” in order to “just get along.”

A fourth quality which Fiona possesses, and the final one I wish to discuss today, is her dedication to Service.  Fiona models this Toastmaster value constantly.  Two examples are:

  1. Fiona has been a budget advisor with Agape Budget Advisory Service. This entailed completing their course to qualify, and then making herself available to mentor clients.  Some clients were easier to deal with than others.  Some people want to be helped, others don’t.  Throughout, Fiona had to maintain a detached professionalism, but I know the personal toll it took upon her to see some clients choose to reject sound advice.
  2. Fiona helped establish a Charitable Trust for the purpose of administering a Christian Health Centre. The Capital Care Health Trust in Wellington would never have been established and operating since 1994, without Fiona’s determination and hard work.  Capital Care Health Centre originally started as a pregnancy counselling service and then began providing General Practice services since 1997.  The Centre is a community-based, affordable, pro-life health centre.

In conclusion, the Toastmasters values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence resonate strongly with Fiona’s own personal values of Excellence, Generosity, Integrity and Service.    Just as the Toastmaster values handily may be abbreviated to an acronym of RISE, Fiona’s values E-G-I-S sound like the word aegis, meaning “the protection, backing, or support of a particular person.”  I believe I could have no better person in my corner, to face life’s challenges with, than Fiona.

I am pleased to be able to recommend to you, my friend and life-time spouse, Fiona Hippolite.


Pillar 1 of 3: Transfiguration

Sunday Service

  • 21 May 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall
  • New Series: Three Pillars (significant events in the life of a Christian)
  • Pillar 1: The Transfiguration


  • I’m turning 49 on the 23rd of this month
  • Pastor Arnie turns 50 in a couple of months.

Matthew 17:1-9

  • The true glory of Jesus
  • But, the disciples were admonished to keep it quiet.
  • Why?
  • To give them time to process it properly?
  • Christianity allows for reasonable questions.

Jesus Answered Questions

  1. Is Jesus God? – Yes
  2. Does Jesus make the old testament irrelevant? – No
  3. Is Jesus what was prophesised? – Yes
  4. Can I trust Jesus? – Yes (it’s called Faith because it involves Trust)
  5. Is Jesus different to everything that has been (and is to come)? – Yes
  6. What does Jesus require of me?
    1. Listen to Him
    2. Obey Him
  7. How do I feel about Jesus?
    1. The disciples were terrified by this event. That was not Jesus’ intent.
    2. John 1:14 – The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the gory of the one and only son, who came from the father, full of grace and truth.
  8. Does God care? – Yes
    1. Matthew 17:7 – And Jesus came and touched them, and said, ‘Arise, and be not afraid.’


What do I have? Part 3

Sunday Service

  • 7 May 2017
  • Pastor Al Hall

What do I have?

  1. Gifts
  2. Resources e.g. Time
  3. Praise

What is Praise?

  • To praise God is to call attention to his glory!
  • To praise God is to point out how awesome he is! (South Auckland Translation)

How to Praise God:

  • Where: Everywhere
  • What: Every act and attribute of God
  • With: Everything you’ve got
  • Who: Everything that breathes

But, God doesn’t make us praise Him.  So, what happens when we don’t praise Him?

We fail in our “duty” to praise God when:

  • We withhold from God’s glory, that which belongs to Him.
  • We shut our eyes to the signs of his presence.
  • We become forgetful of his mercies.
  • We become unthankful for his kindness.

Praise stops us becoming ungrateful, unthankful, spoilt brats.

Psalm 103

  1. Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
  2. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfied your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s…
  3. The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
  4. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding who obey his word.
  5. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
  6. Praise the Lord, all his works everything in his dominion.
  7. Praise the Lord, my soul!

We must earnestly cultivate the spirit and habit of praise

  • By lifting my soul from its slothfulness and sluggishness
  • By fixing my heart upon God.
  • By meditating on his works and ways. Look at a sunset: It’s part science & part art.
  • By recounting his benefits.
  • By dwelling upon his amazing gift of Jesus.

What can you give praise to God for?