Category Archives: Activism

Toastmasters Speech #4

Project 4 – How to say it


  1. Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
    1. Write for the ear
      1. Short words
      2. Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  1. Be specific
  2. Vivid words
  1. Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
    1. Incorporate rhetorical devices
      1. Simile
      2. Metaphor
  • Alliteration
  1. Triads
  1. Use words economically
  1. Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar.
    1. Watch for jargon.
    2. Say it correctly
      1. Subject/verb agreement
      2. Misplaced modifiers
  • Misused pronouns

Working Title 1: What to do in the case of an emergency.

Working Title 2: In case of emergency, break glass.

Working Title 3: Break Glass!

Honorifics Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters & Guests, greetings!
Joke I was at a work Christmas party once.   I was drinking alcohol. Some of my work mates were shocked. They sidled up to me and breathlessly enquired, “James, I didn’t think you drank alcohol?” I dead-panned my response, “It’s not that I don’t drink alcohol. It’s just that I don’t pay for alcohol.”
Link Did you know that you demonstrate your true nature when faced with a crisis situation? In my case, at that time, I used to be cheeky and cheap. I believe I’ve matured since then.
Introduction Have you ever wondered what you would do if faced with a bomb threat? I never did, until it happened to me. It happened like this.

I was visiting Indonesia in July 2001. Remember, that was just 2 months before the attack on the World Trade Centre. I was on a two-week mission, to donate a PC to a Bible College and set up their computer network. While I was living on the premises, the local Muslims phoned in a bomb threat.   I suppose that the neighbours were fairly upset about the presence of a Christian College, despite it being there for over 20 years. Not a shining example of tolerance, was it?

I realised that I had only 3 options available to me:

·         Fight

·         Flight

·         Faith

1st Point By fight, I don’t me turning on the neighbours. What I mean is reacting to the situation in my own strength: going on a hunt to find the threatened bomb. Indeed, there were staff and students doing just that: out of their rooms, looking shocked, worried and concerned.

Imagine yourself in this situation.   It would be natural, as a Christian minority in a Muslim majority country, to be absolutely overcome with fear.   It would be like Jews in Nazi Germany.

I realised that my nice, safe, little country of New Zealand had not prepared me for this level of intimidation.   Despite the pressure I felt, something else in me rejected this option.

2nd Point The second option available to me was the Flight response. I could have left the Bible College and gone to stay in a nice, safe hotel, until my actual flight home. This would have meant rejecting the hospitality of my hosts. It might even have meant leaving behind my meagre possessions (I had brought at least a suitcase of clothes).

This could have been a perfectly reasonable course of action. It is no shame to escape a helpless situation. As Demosthenes said,

“Better to retreat and marshal your forces than to waste a glorious death in sure defeat.”

I realised at this point that there was no way to know for sure whether a bomb actually existed. If it did, there was no way to know for sure where it was in the school. And finally, if it went off, there was no way to know for sure how large would be the blast.

For all these reason, I chose the 3rd option.

3rd Point I decided to have faith in God.   If I died, I died. In the apostle Paul’s inspired letter to the Philippians, he writes “To live is [gain]; To die is gain.” Living, I get to enjoy time with friends and family.   Dying, I get to enjoy eternity with my Lord.

I chose not to live in fear.

I chose not to live with fear.

I chose to live without fear.

I chose to go to bed!

I didn’t feel particularly brave doing this act. I wasn’t deliberately setting out to set an example, or be some great hero, or even to obey my Lord. I was just tired, and wanted to go to bed. My upbringing had not prepared me to deal with this situation, so I was choosing to ignore it.

In the end, it was the right decision. There was no bomb. The threat was merely meant to instil terror.

Message Subsequent to September 11, the world has changed. We are more aware that there are physical forces who despise our way of life. We are more cautious.

But my hope is this: That when faced with the decision whether to fight the situation, or fly from it or exercise faith in the face of it, that I and you would choose to exercise faith more often.

This doesn’t mean refusing to fight injustice. As John Wesley said,

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

This doesn’t mean ignoring every threat.

It does mean, weighing my options and trying to determine, what would Jesus do?

Conclusion I entitled today’s speech “Break Glass”. This was a reference to those fire switches besides the doors at public venues which state, “In case of emergency, break glass.” This is so that you can get to the switch and activate it. This is so that you can sound the alarm, and alert people to a serious situation. This is so that they may flee the fire.

But the glass is there for a reason.   It is there to protect the switch against being used casually or accidently. Because there are people who just want to watch the world run around in circles in a panic. It amuses them.

You and I have the opportunity to be that glass. In a world without faith, that only has the fight or flight response left, we get to show them a third way. We get to intercede on their behalf. We get to determine what’s a real fire and what’s an imagined fire.

Summary In summary, the lesson I want you to take away from my experience with the bomb threat is this simple: in order to determine whether a perceived threat is real or imagined, you have to read the BIBLE:

·         Beginners’s

·         Instructions

·         Before

·         Leaving

·         Earth

Thank you, Mr. Toastmaster.


What are the Fatal Flaws in Evolution?

  • Natural Selection
    • Natural Selection can’t actually generate anything new; it can only operate on whatever is existing.  And it can only operate to remove what is existing.
  • Genetics
  • All modern scientific evidence points to the decay of an original good design; if you like, good information getting worse.
    • Origin of Life
      • Many evolutionists claim that the Origin of Life is not part of Evolution, but come on: they believe that all living things came from a single cell which in turn came from a primordial soup, but notably absent from any rock anywhere is any trace of a primordial soup.
      • Fossil Record
        • Existence of a fossil by itself is actually proof that something happened very, very fast.  We also know therefore that the rocks the fossils are formed in, must have been formed quickly as well.
        • Geologic Column
          • What we see points to catastrophic processes in the past.  It fits exactly with the account, in Genesis, of Noah’s flood which destroyed the whole earth.
          • Radiometric Dating
            • If the whole Earth was pure Carbon 14, it could only last about a billion years before it’s all gone and we couldn’t detect it.  And yet, we repeatedly find Carbon 14 in objects which are claimed to be millions and even billions of years old, including diamond.
            • Cosmology
              • Stephen Chew, Obama’s Energy Minister, says, “We know nearly everything we need to know about the universe except for some small details: What is dark energy and what is dark matter?”  That’s 96% of the stuff of the universe we know nothing about!
              • Ethics
                • Now there are some moral implications there.  If a Creator made us, He owns us and has a right to make the rules for us.  But if things make themselves, then, there’s no right and wrong.  We’re really just bags of rearranged pond scum.  So, what is murder?  It’s really just one bag of chemicals impacting another bag of chemicals.
                • There’s another reason why an Evolutionist will hold onto their belief system, even when all the fatal flaws are revealed, and that is because if Evolution isn’t true, it strongly points them in a different direction.

Indonesia Mission Trip July 2001

I found these old hand-written notes of mine in a big tidy-up.  I thought I’d share them before I disposed of them.

Tues 17 July 2001

06:00 Woke up in Jakarta.  Watched “Rocky 2” on TV.
08:00 Had breakfast @ hotel
09:30 Were picked up from hotel by “Alex”
11:45 Flight from Jakarta to Solo.
Had Sate lunch in car & bought monitor for US$125.
Sam paid for everything, even the postage from the hotel.
16:00 Arrived @ the School.
Immediately, Augusta, James and me set up the new PC.  The hub’s going to be tricky.  Will deal to it later.

Must help Augusta with library tomorrow first, before he leaves on Friday.

18:00 Dinner with the Family, consisted of rice, fish, water cress, some Chile sauces, brown sugar cakes, iced tea, red bean buns, oranges & a rice soup.  Delicious!  Dinner is served promptly at 6pm.

Sam treats his servants very well, compared to South Africa, I told him.  Sam posed me a very tricky question: Alex wanted to give him a 22-carat gold right with Topaz.  Same wanted to know what I thought!  I asked him what he would like me to think.  In the end, he accepted, but told Alex bluntly that Sam is probably going to give it away.

20:50 Spent some time on-line, but couldn’t get web browsing to work.  I’m writing give myself something to do, to stay awake.

Wed 18 July 2001

A good day’s work.  Spent the morning with Augusta down @ the library, installing my library database & customising it for their use: adding a Students & Lecturer module so that borrowers can be viewed, selected by combo-box.

Each day is a culinary delight.  Authentic Indonesian cuisine 3x a day.  They are filling me up, no problems.

Sam tried to have me on about snake meat today, but Carol can’t lie.

Thu 19 July 2001

On the reverse of this sheet is the address of Paula Tyas in Solo.  Apparently it’s a main road, and easy to find.  Will go to visit her soon.

Got the server connected, but had to move it back into the main office space, out of Carol’s office.  Now her PC won’t connect, although it is making the hub light come on.  All other PCs are now sharing a server data folder & each other’s printers.

Actually managed to surf on-line tonight, and successfully connected to my emails.  Still can’t download though, which is a real blow, given the financial constraints of the telephone call.

Had problems sleeping last night, in that a mosquito got into my room.  Eventually ended up with a pillow over my head.

Finished reading a good book, I Talked with Spirits.  Am still reading Your Work Matters to God.

Managed to have a hot shower tonight.  It really is very pleasant here & very cheap to live.  If I could work here, I would live like a king.  Sam & Carol have already asked if I’m interested in Kalimantan.  I’ve said I’d like to see a job description.  I even offered to write one from Carol’s spoken word.

Got my 1st roll of film back & into a folder.  Wrote captions, too.

Friday 20 July 2001

Bought several things from Solo:




Pepsi Cola can



2 outfits for the boys (1xshirt, trousers & sandals each)



Matrix CD



2 x Babylon 5 CD



MS Visio (for home)



MS Office (for the STTT)



Dune CD



20m RJ45 LAN cable






Fixed the cable: was a fleck of dust on one of the pins on the head of the cable.  James re-strung it for me.

Missed morning prayers again (05:30).  Went to eventing prayers instead.  Dragged James along as my interpreter (19:00 – 21:00).

No time to email this evening: Watched Part 1 (of 4) of Dune instead.

I’ve got Rp.333,000 left of my original Rp.1,200,000.  Am tossing up whether to buy VCD player vs. DVD player vs. VCD+MPEG3.


  • Christine how to Mail Merge (Advanced)
  • Yehezkiel how to load Lotus & save as Excel.
  • Suhendar how to log in successfully to new LAN.
  • Carol how to view message size in Outlook.
  • Sam how to switch between laptop & external monitor.
  • Augusta (yesterday, he’s gone today) how to fix laptop stuck key.
  • James how to ping the server.

Augusta: nick-name is Utha.

Saturday 21 July 2001

Have just got back to my room to discover it’s sprung a leak.  This unseasonably wet weather has broken through my ceiling.  The time is 22:30, too late to bother the Family, so I’ll just make do with the spare bed.  The reason I’m so late to bed, is because I’ve been enjoying my Babylon 5: In the Beginning VCD.

This afternoon, spent the whole afternoon at the house of James, watching the rest of Dune on his large screen TV.  I prefer the solitude and control of a PC, myself.

Spent the morning with Carol, helping her to create her first ever Job Description, for the position of a Computer Trainer in Kalimantan.  She will use the template for more vacancies, too.  We soon realised that the position does not allow for a family to live there.  Pity, another opportunity bites the dust.  Lord, I have faith You have the perfect marriage of my skills, gifts & abilities with more opportunities like this one, here @ the School.

Amen.  I’m not disappointed.  A bit relieved, really.  I can continue focussing on Mana (Information Systems Limited – my own company) for another year.

Sunday 22 July 2001

Nice, slow start to the day.  Went to church @ 11:00am at the home of a Southern Baptist Missionary couple.  Of course, it was in Indonesian, but James again interpreted for me.  His boy Christopher is disruptive.  Glad my boys aren’t that bad.  This couple, the Masons, are shortly returning State-side on furlough.  Met their replacements: a 30-year veteran missionary in Indonesia, who has never gone native, apparently.

After lunch, I got a ride into Solo and got dropped off at YAKKUM Central Office.  (I had previously visited the Surakarta Office.)  Met Paula Tyas.  She took me to her village.  She took me to her village.  She showed me around (and I suspect showed me off).  I gave Rp.100,000 to their church.  I didn’t buy a Rp.200,000 chair!  The 1-hour trip took 2 hours to return, because their van is not as powerful as Sam’s.  But, we sang many Christian & non-Christian tunes to while away our time.

Upon my return, I discovered that someone had phoned in a bomb threat!  That was interesting, but we just carried on.  I’m glad my family are not here.

I watched Babylon 5: A Call to Arms on VCD.  I’ve never seen this one before!  I’m so happy to have it.

Good night, my love (22:07 Indonesian, 3:07am NZT).

Monday 23 July 2001

Straight after breakfast, drove back into Solo for a spot of shopping.  (First of all, got up for prayers @ 5:30am.)  Bought external modem so that can now move e-Vectra into Carol’s office, and she doesn’t lose her emails.  Picked up 20m cable for Sam’s office.  Will wire that up somehow tomorrow.  Have asked for the price of a PCMCIA LAN card for Sam’s laptop.

Went back to Mata Hari for more VCA’s, but couldn’t see anything I liked.  Think I cought a cold from the car’s air conditioning, blowing down on my forehead.  Tried to have a sleep after lunch.  Managed to sleep in the car on the way back to School.

Watched my Matrix VCD.  Nothing much else left to do.  Everything’s in place.  Sill no-one around the office for me to help.  Gotta remember to wear trousers around the office, to help maintain the professional image.

I just took a good look at myself in the mirror, and I’m getting fatter, not thinner, being here.  No exercise.  Not good.  Will fast tomorrow.

Bought post-cards in town.  Came home and wrote one for each member of my family.

Bought a CD with Exchange Server 2000, but unfortunately, it requires Windows 2000 Server, which it didn’t come with.  So, I cannot enable internal email and auto-dialup and automatic internet email forwarding and proxy server to enable all PCs (including Sams laptop) to browse the web through Carol’s new external V.90, 56kb modem.  I was looking forward to doing all that, but perhaps it is not meant to be.  After all, the “Amazing Networking” CD on cost Rp17,500 (NZ$4.00!).

Tues 24 July 2001

Skipped prayers & breakfast.  Helped Carol with various, small computer-related problems.  Started new database for Suhendar Ong, to receipt Students fees.  Over-sought (over-saw?) installation of new cable from the hub to Sam’s office.  Went to Solo.  Bought MS Windows 2000 Server.  Bought more VCD’s.

Came back.  Watched Star Gate.

Emailed Russell, Steve & Fiona.

Paula rang again.  Will try to see her again.  Thursday @ 10:00am @ YAKKUM Office.

Fasted lunch.  I’m still fat.

Wed 25 Jul

Sam went away.  7 hours East.  Ministry.  I was sad to see him go.

Email from my wife cheered me up.

Completed data entry & 1 report for Suhendar’s DB.  Will need to train him on it tomorrow, and adjust the report for the pre-printed line-form paper, when it arrives.

Visited Ambon Children’s Refuge.  Met Jimmy.  He told me his testimony.  Very powerful.  Watched his sister get murdered.  Jesus prevented him from attempting to take revenge.


  • “SG” with Carol.
  • “Analyze This” by myself in the office.
  • “Unbreakable” until mid-night

I have decided that since I have finished all my pre-set work, I am therefore on holiday.

Thu 26 Jul

Work up late for breakfast (not to mention, prayers @ 5:30).

I was going to help Christine with some computer questions she had, but instead I took the opportunity to catch a ride into Solo, with Betty & Nocke.  They went to pay the rent on the 3 children’s homes.  I went to see Paula Tyas for the last time at YAKKUM.  She said we couldn’t go to see Rusdiyanto because the situation over in Kartasura was too dangerous for her.

So, I helped a few people with a few computer problems.  I really could make a huge profit and live like a king in this country with my training, skills & knowledge.  Lord, what is your plan for me?

Had lunch, visited another Ambon Children’s home, then back to the School.  Another lunch awaited me.  James was back (he had gone with Sam, but wasn’t needed, so got sent back).

I wrote some more for Suhendar’s DB.  Had a shower.  Had dinner, this time with Carol (first time together at a meal today, unusual).  After dinner, I watched some VCDs with James:

  • Enemy of the State (review)
  • The Waterboy (view)

Fri 27 July

Woke @ 6:30am.  Missed prayer meeting, but in time for breakfast this time.  Worked a little bit in the office.  Decided didn’t have enough time to complete Suhendar’s database.  James came and took me to the gardens next door.  Paid Rp2,000 each (US$0.20 = NZ$0.50).  it was worth about that much.  Not much to see nor do.  It’s a picnic spot, with some really grotty chldren’s swings and stuff.  They were emptying the pool, which looked unhygienic anyway.

Went back to my room to read.  Some more Bible.  Nearly finished my textbook, too.  Will finish it tonight.  Had lunch.  After lunch, had a nap.  Woke up at 3pm.  Jimmy was here to take me to the waterfall, as arranged 2 days ago.  The walk down took me past a line of trees, from which monkeys were freely roaming onto human habitats.  I didn’t realise, it cost Jimmy Rp3,000 x 4 people.  He wouldn’t let me pay him back.  He said he wanted to bless me.  The four people were me, Jimmy, Wawan (the bus driver from yesterday) and Sam (Nocke’s youngest son).  It was a big trek back up the stairs after my swim.

Helped Carol with some more computer, then it was dinner time.  I said grace.  “Puji Tuhan, Terimah kesih okuna mekanan.  Amen.”

After dinner, James came around one last time, to watch “The X-Men” on VCD.  He had a special limited edition.  Extra scenes.  Glad I’ve seen it.  Glad I didn’t go to the movies.  Wrote & sent email.

Good night.

Current Thoughts on Schooling


  • After 14 years, Tane decided to try schooling out.
  • He went in at year 11, NCEA1, to a decile 8 or 9 school.


  • He attained over 25% of NCEA1 (at least 22 out of 80 credits).
  • He completed his bit-part in the school musical.
  • He got cyber-bullied.


  • I’m 80% certain he will choose to come back to homeschooling next year.


  • He’s not failing the school system.
  • The school system is failing him.

The Green Thing

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In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own

grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

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The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn’t have the green thing back

in my day.  "The clerk responded, "That’s our problem today.  Your generation did

not care enough to save our environment."
He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day!!

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Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled,

so it could use the same bottles over and over.  So they really were recycled.


But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day!!

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We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office

building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower

machine every time we had to go two blocks.

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But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.!!

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Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-

away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning

up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-

me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

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But that young upstart is right; we didn’t have the green thing

back in our day!!

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Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the

TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen

the size of a whole wall.


In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have

electric machines to do everything for us.

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When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old

newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

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Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn.

We used a push mower that ran on human power. 

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We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to

run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

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But he’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then!!

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We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic

bottle every time we had a drink of water.


We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the

razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because

the blade got dull.

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But we didn’t have the green thing back then…No not us!!

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Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus to work.

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Kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms

into a 24-hour taxi service.

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We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets

to power a dozen appliances. 

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And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed

from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find

the nearest pizza joint.

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But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just

because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

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Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in

conservation from a ‘green-minded’  young person.

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The Green Thing….Really!….What do these young people know of the "Green Thing!"
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So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

– Galatians 6:9-10

METTLE Monthly Newsletter Volume 5 Issue 12


Volume 5 Issue 12

December 2010

Hippolite Musings 

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In December, I:

  1. Finished rehearsals for Christmas Production;
  2. Attended Johnsonville Christmas Parade; watched Hamish march with St Johns (Aimee was at tap rehearsals);
  3. Attended Telecom Christmas Party at TSB Arena (see photos left);
  4. Attended Squash Club BBQ;
  5. Attended Angela Goodall’s Dance Academy end of year performance of Wonderland;  watched Aimee as a tapping blue caterpillar and Tane as a tapping Card Guard (photos and DVD available for viewing);
  6. Attended Elim One Service for Volunteers;
  7. Attended my first CAB (Change Approval Board) meeting; got my Change Request approved; implemented my final production change for the year;
  8. Gave dramatic performance as King Nebuchadnezzar in Elim production of It’s Cool in the Furnace;
  9. Immediately after the production, shaved off my beard;
  10. Attended Grenada Village Christmas Carols;
  11. Sent Christmas cards and newsletter;
  12. Had a Voice Test for a possible professional dramatic presentation (subsequently not awarded);
  13. Attended KBK (Kids Bible Klub) end of year performance; watched Aimee in a dramatic play;
  14. Attended final Dot Net User Group meeting; went out for final Geek Dinner afterwards;
  15. Attended final Squash Committee meeting re: current building crisis;
  16. Final Align leaders meeting;
  17. Took the kids to a movie; watched Voyage of the Dawn Treader;
  18. Finished work early; took an extra week’s holiday;
  19. Prepared house for painting; cleaned the house for guests; tidied up gardens (correction: Fiona and in-laws tidied up the garden; I took the trailer to the tip);
  20. Took all three kids to the orthodontist;
  21. Pickup in-laws from airport;
  22. Farewelled Daryl Burling from Microsoft;
  23. Distributed chocolate almonds to homes in Taita;
  24. Attended another BBQ; Christmas Eve party at Alan’s;
  25. hosted Align Christmas Service;
  26. Christmas BBQ at Tansley’s; and
  27. Commenced stripping, sanding; priming and painting the house.


World Outreach



  • MOZAMBIQUE:  Please pray for Kotie & Rina Smit, WO missionaries based in Nacala, northern Mozambique.  They have been attacked and robbed of cash, computers, mobile phones, cameras, and other personal effects, by a band of 6 thieves. Kotie now has a broken arm, cuts and some bruising resulting from the attack.  They tried to slash him with pangas (a machete like tool) several times. Rina said the hand of the Lord was on them as Kotie could easily have been killed. She said they had a real sense of God’s protection throughout the whole incident and didn’t sense any fear. Praise the Lord!  One encouraging aspect in all this is that when the local Mozambiquan community learnt of the robbery and assault, family after family visited the Smits to apologize, to pray and encourage them,. Some came from far away villages.  This really blessed the Smits who had often wondered what effect they and their ministry was having in the region. Kotie & Rina are now in Sth Africa getting medical attention. Kotie is experiencing pain and his arm cannot be put in plaster until the wounds are healed.  Please keep them both in prayer as they recover from this terrible and traumatic time.
  • IVORY COAST.  Janvier & Claudine Yokoinele writes: “The country is going through a situation which only prayer can sort out. After this month’s Presidential elections, the country finds itself in a dangerous situation with the two main candidates claiming to have won. One (the incumbent) is officially recognized by the constitutional council and courts, while the other is self proclaimed and supported by the international community. Only through prayer can this national dilemma be solved.  Civil war could easily result.  All schools have been closed for more than a week and people have been told to stay at home. There is a strict night curfew which will remain in place for at least another week.”  The situation is critical. Please pray for the Ivory Coast.
  • NTH ASIA. Please uphold a WO team living and ministering among an unreached people group in N-W Asia. A potential security issue has arisen that could jeopardize the team’s visas and the means for them to carrying on. Pray that all team members will be safe & protected by the Holy Spirit.   
  • BANGLADESH. Bruce Hills, WOI Leadership Development Director, is ministering at a national conference in Bangladesh this week and would appreciate prayer. Bangladesh is a nation that the WOI leadership want to dedicate more time, personnel and resources to in the training & equipping of leadership and church planters. Pray that Bruce will not only enjoy God’s hand of blessing on him during this time, but also that he will have some divine appointments along the way that will play a key part in helping WOI’s future strategy planning for this spiritually needy land.
  • INDONESIA. Sam & Carol Soukotta, along with staff & students at Tawangmangu Bible College (TBC) are now waiting official word from the Central Java government about reducing the gov’ts asking price for buying the leasehold land on which the TBC campus is located. After a recent meeting with the governor, he said that he was impressed with the “professional way” in which TBC was approaching the whole issue.  Sam Soukotta writes, “So for now we continue to pray and believe the Lord will intervene, through ‘our good example’.  It pays to be in the ‘good books’ of the government!”  Please pray that the land purchase price will be reduced to the present 30% deposit that has already been paid. 
  • David Elliott would appreciate prayer for himself and the multi-national team he is leading to the Living Waters base in West Kalimantan, Indonesia this week. Daily the team will be involved in practical work relating to the ongoing building projects, and in the evenings ministering to the 400+ children that are living on the LW base. Please pray for the team’s travel protections and good health during this 2 week period, and that they will be a huge blessing to all they come in contact with. 


  • INDIA. Jess Le Bleu is full of praise to the Lord and wants to thank all who persevered in prayer with her for the India visa that she needed in order for her to go and minister in Bihar province. Jess and companion Michelle, fly into India this week.  Praise the Lord!

John Elliott

Why I Am A Climate Realist

BREAKING: Hottest year ever claims based on fake data

You hear it trotted out so often it’s tiresome, but for those who still believe the climate scientists who claim 2010 is "the hottest year ever", here’s a wake-up call: the data is fake. (another perspective here)

It’s a similar stunt I pinged New Zealand’s NIWA for a year ago. It seems anyone with access to a cereal packet is licensed to be a UN endorsed climate scientist these days.

You cannot extrapolate temperatures on a global level from areas where there are no accurate temp readings for hundreds of kilometres. It’s guess work, not science.

And just to pre-empt any timewasting by Ken Perrott, who has consistently tried to defend NIWA, may I remind Ken he has offered no coherent explanation for his flawed logic exposed here:

Meanwhile, some good news.

Air Con Climategate 2010 edition has finally gone on sale in NZ bookshops after we arranged for the US files to be printed locally in Wellington.

Whitcoulls and Paperplus are the best places to try first.

Posted by iwishart on December 15,

Why I Am A Creationist



Adam and His Kin

The Lost History of Their Lives and Times


Ruth Beechick

Dr. Ruth Beechick is author or editor of more than 100 manuals, workbooks and other items for Bible learning, as well as several books on education topics.  She is a former teacher and professor of education, and is known for her talent in making complex topics clear and understandable.  Adam and His Kin continues in that tradition.


Mott Media, Fenton Michigan,


Softcover, 176 pages


Journey Through the World’s Forgotten Years

History doesn’t have to be drab.  This book is entertaining, informative and remarkably easy to read.  Though not a novel, it weaves into one continuous story information from many sources – including linguistics, archeology, astronomy and other sciences; the Bible and other history; and ancient traditions and religions.  It is neatly arranged within the timeline as given in the Bible  This excursion through an almost forgotten world provides startling insights on many old questions.

  • HAVE history textbooks told us the truth?
  • HOW did mankind learn language?
  • WHERE did the skills of civilization begin?
  • WHY do ancient writings refer to a year of 360 days?
  • WHAT actual events lie behind the mythologies of the world?
  • WHO kept alive the memory of the distant past?



  1. The Beginning of Time
  2. In the Garden
  3. The Punishment
  4. Adam’s Children
  5. Cain
  6. Writing in the Stars
  7. The Preachers
  8. Noah
  9. The Year of 1656
  10. The Great Flood
  11. The Calendar Puzzle
  12. Starting Up the New World
  13. Trouble at Ararat
  14. Land of the Two Rivers
  15. The Tower of Bel
  16. Aftermath
  17. Gods and Goddesses
  18. The Death of Noah
  19. Abram


A. Writers of Genesis

B. Genesis 1:1 to 11:27a

C. Study Projects

D. Annotated Bibliography


This book builds upon the work of Dr. Henry Morris’ The Genesis Record, which in my opinion is the best commentary ever on Genesis.

It is achingly simple to understand.  You could read it to your pre-teen children and they would get it.  We did.

It successfully achieves its purpose.  The preface explains the author’s decision to write a narrative because “secular history books do not balk at guessing.”  I like that.

When starting with the Bible as your yardstick, the various histories of the world make sense.  Mankind is not evolving.  We are devolving.  We originally were created in the image of God.  Everything since then has been entropy – an increase of chaos, or a decrease of order.


Why I Am Pro Maori

Get a Grip, People

Again with the foreshore and seabed.  I usually like what the ACT Party have to say about personal responsibility and small government, but when it comes to Maori, they haven’t got a clue.

The original Foreshore and Seabed Act was racist because it specifically prevented Maori from exercising the rights of any other citizen of NZ, to have their property rights tested in a court of law.

The replacement Act has to address that imbalance.  This means some Tribes may be able to prove Customary Entitlement.  This means some land will be cut off from the public estate.  Big deal.  (White) private land owners have been doing that (and profiting from it) for years.

To assume that all Maori will immediately snap up prime real estate and sell it to overseas interests, or worse yet, lock it up for spiritual reasons, is blatant scare-mongering.

Stop bashing Maori, ACT.


How to… 

Engage the Culture

I’ve Been Thinking

Fiona and I have resigned from three committees each.  2011 will be our Sabbatical year.  Our responsibilities were:

  • Secretary, Northern Racquets Squash Club
  • Secretary, Grenada Village Residents Association
  • Treasurer, Wellington Home Education Network
  • Membership Secretary, Wellington Home Education Network
  • Budget Advisor, Agape Budgeting Service
  • Librarian, Wellington Home Education Network

We will be focussing on our missionary activity at Align Church Taita.  Specifically, we have voiced an interest in and willingness to head up family ministries there.  We already got a Kids Bible Club and Go Girls team running.  2011 we have been asked to put on a pre-marriage/relationships course.  This will be followed later in the year by a marriage course.


Great Scientists…

…Who Believed the Bible

James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)

What could be more different than magnetism, electricity, and light? Yet, in the nineteenth century, James Clerk Maxwell showed that these phenomena were simply different manifestations of the same fundamental laws. He described all these, as well as radio waves, radar, and radiant heat, by a unique and elegant system of equations.

Friday Fax


Dear Colleague,

You have another day to donate to the Friday Fax and receive a deduction on your 2010 US taxes. Go to and please give as much as you can.
We report today on a recent victory of poor countries over rich ones on the question of homosexuality.
We also report on how one abstinence program is saving lives.
Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse

Countries Reject “Sexual Orientation” Language in Treaty with Europe

By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.
BRUSSELS, December 30 (C-FAM) Developing nations recently slapped down attempts by the European Union to add “sexual orientation” to an existing treaty.
Seventy-nine countries from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific islands sent a letter to the European Parliament that is notable for its strong demand that the EU stop pushing its homosexual agenda on developing countries.  

Supporters Say Truly Comprehensive Sex-Ed Gets Results

By Amanda Pawloski and Samantha Singson
NEW YORK, December 30 (C-FAM) Nothing gets the debate burning hotter at the UN than one over sex education for children.
Last Fall conservative UN delegations angrily protested a report claiming for children a new right to “comprehensive sexuality education.”   

Train a Child



  • Finished third year tap lessons with Commendation for Consistent Effort.  Was an impressive White Queen’s Card Guard in Wonderland.  We all hated the costume, but that’s show business.
  • Demonstrated his prowess at several BBQ by cheerfully being volunteered by his Dad to do the cooking.
  • Finally completed his (much awaiting, long overdue and completely easy just tedious) maths workbook, thus finally earning him Dad’s hand-me-down HTC Touch (Windows 6.1) cellphone.  He’s happy.


  • Proudly led St John Cadets in Johnsonville Santa Parade march.
  • I have commenced reading Lord of the Rings to him.  I have accepted his dyslexia unfairly prevents him from earning the right to watch the movies (a prerequisite I placed on Tane).  We are enjoying the journey together.  We finished The Hobbit last month.
  • Has happily accepted Tane’s hand-me-down Pantech 210C cellphone.


  • Was a competent and very cute blue caterpillar in Wonderland.
  • Is demonstrating responsibility by looking after a friend’s guinea pigs and budgerigar while they are away on holiday.
  • Is having to wear a plate to correct her teeth at present.  This is preventative, to avoid braces later.  So far, she hasn’t been very diligent and has had to have the plate reset twice.  The plate is a source of some fascination at Align Church among the kids.  I can see that their parents are not able to afford good dental treatment.  I see how the poverty cycle can be hard to escape.  It is a source of concern to me.

Why I Am Pro-Israel


Weekly Review: December 26, 2010

Dear Friend of Jerusalem,

Here are the latest headlines from the One Jerusalem Blog:

  • Christmas in the Palestinian Authority – A Latma Christmas Carol
  • Islamic War Against Jews, Christians, .. In Holy Land:  Nina Shea has published a troubling, enlightening, and timely essay on the Islamic war against the religions that make this season holy for most of the world. Shea writes:These figures in the Christmas story represent the principal monotheistic religions of…
  • "Israeli War Crimes" in Seattle:  A Seattle bus company has allowed an anti-Israel group to advertise anti-Israel propaganda on Seattle City buses.  A local Seattle media outlet has a poll asking for your vote.  Vote NO!…

Sincerely, The One Jerusalem Team


Husband Learns Love Is More Than Words

For the first 15 years of my marriage, I was a terrible husband. Diane held down a full-time job, became my secretary, mothered our daughters, and waited on me hand and foot without ever demanding that I lift a finger to help. I loved my wife very much, but I hadn’t yet learned how to show my love. I had a lesson to learn, and God used a vacuum cleaner to teach it.

I learned many things about vacuuming one day. First, I learned that our cat was terrified of vacuum cleaners. That kept me entertained for about an hour.

As I vacuumed in one direction, a stripe would appear. Going the opposite direction would create a stripe of a different shade. Entranced, I striped the whole room. Then I went crossways, creating a checkerboard pattern. I got so carried away that I dusted the furniture and straightened the entire house.

I was once again embedded in the easy chair, working on my crossword puzzle, when Diane came home. She struggled through the door with a bag of groceries under each arm, kicked the door shut with one foot, and then took in the house with an expert glance. Her mouth dropped open. Slowly the bags slipped from her grasp and dropped to the floor. "Who did this?" she asked.

"I did," I said. Without warning, she attacked. Diving on me before I could get out of the chair, she smothered me with kisses and hugs, showering gratitude on me for helping her. The kisses grew more passionate. We broke the chair. It was wonderful!

The vacuum cleaner taught me an important lesson that day. Love is expressed with more than just words.

—Ken Davis, Lighten Up! Great Stories from One of America’s Favorite Storytellers (Zondervan, 2000), pp. 123-124

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.






Robotics Fundraiser (Sausage Sizzle)

Noel Leemings, Porirua



Sunday Service

Wellington Elim

Sam Soukotta


Back to Work

Telecom, Grand Arcade


14-17 Jan

Missions for Africa

Hippolite House

Ross Campbell


Church in the Community

Stokes Valley Pool

Align Church


Sunday Morning Service

Wellington Elim

Bruce Corcoran


Church in the Community


Align Church


Church in the Community

Avalon Park

Align Church

10-14 Jul-2011

PDC 10



Bible Reading 

You can look up 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 Monthly Collaborative Blog (MCB) is our primary means of communication.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this MCB, 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.
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