About Father Dave

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

The calm before the storm

Sheikh Noor visits us at Holy Trinity
Our wonderful bush-dance fundraiser for the 'House of Welcome'
Discovering some unusual wildlife at Binacrombi
#BringthemHere
Alex scores another big win 🙂
dinner after the G20 inter-faith seminar in Canberra
Father's Day dinner at Circular Quay
My darling adult girls - Imogen and Veronica - at Imo's 21st
Imogen and Rami at Imo's 21st
Ange turns 47

Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave back with you after another prolonged period of silence. I haven’t been hibernating through the winter (as attractive a proposition as that would have been). I’ve been doing the usual – preaching, praying, training, fighting and celebrating – and I’ve been preparing for a series of big events. It’s time to share some of those with you and invite you to get involved.

Four things are looming large on my horizon at the moment, and I need your prayers and support in all of them.

  1. Warrior Weekend – October 5 to 7

Firstly, we’ve got another Warrior Weekend coming up on October 5 to 7. As ever, we combine intense physical training with sessions of monastic prayer and meditation every three hours. The three-hour pattern goes back to St Benedict (of the Benedictine Rule) who believed that you could only go for three hours without getting yourself into trouble. That’s particularly true when you’re racing around the bush, running, boxing, and plunging into icy-cold water.

If that description doesn’t entice you, click here to watch the 1.5 min documentary video that was made of our last camp, and then download the application form here, print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back.

  1. Boxers for Peace return to Syria

Our sisters and brothers in Syria need all the prayer and support they can get at the moment. They could probably also benefit from having a good boxing promotion staged in the capital! Let’s see if we can’t give them all three!

The plan is to put on a boxing show in Damascus in late November or early December. I already have a local opponent lined up and I’ll fill you in on the details when it’s all confirmed. I need at least four other fighters to come with me. Are you in?

If you can box and if you want to make a difference, let me know ASAP. We’ll put on a great show, and we’ll distribute funds and medicines wherever we go.

  1. I’m returning to the ring

I’m planning to have another fight in mid-November. This one will be in Sydney, and I already have an opponent lined up. Other details are being finalised now. As soon as everything is confirmed, I’ll let you know. I’m hoping to get maximum support for this one as everything we raise will be helping Boxers for Peace get to Syria. Whatever we have left over, we’ll take with us and distribute in Syria.

Sermon Time – sex and the Bible

I’ve come under a lot of criticism in recent years for not echoing the traditional teachings of the church when it comes to human sexuality. It’s the Protestant in me, always wanting to ground my values in the Scriptures rather than in church tradition, and the truth is that the Scriptures themselves are very ambiguous about sex. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Song of Songs.

OK, Fighter. I mentioned up the top that there have been four things I’ve been preoccupied with of late. The fourth is the relaunching of www.fighting-fathers.com!

A few of us have been chipping away at this for some months now and we’re almost ready for a formal launch. Fighting-Fathers.com has had a face-life. In fact, it has evolved as a whole new platform and we have it in BETA testing mode at the moment.

You may have noticed that the big social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) have been deleting millions of accounts lately that they have earmarked as ‘fake news’. A number of my friends have lost their personal accounts.

It would appear that if you’re offering perspectives that could be considered pro-Russian or pro-Iranian, there’s a good chance you’re going to have your account deleted. In other words, the days of free speech on the Internet are coming to an end.

One of the few things we can do about this is to set up independent social networks where people can still express dissident opinions without risk of censure. I’m keen to establish www.fighting-fathers.com as one such network. Let me know if you’d like to be a part of the BETA testing group and I’ll get you the details.

That’s all for now, fighter. Keep me in your prayers as I do you.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

 

 

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Dangerous Days

Fran turns 8 and gets a trampoline
Soren turns 16 and enjoys dinner with the family 🙂
I travel to Mashad in Iran to speak at the New Horizons conference
Catching up with Miko Peled in Mashad
At the Imam Reza Mosque with Rabbi Weiss
I have an awesome boxing experience in Mashad
Visiting the spinal injury unit at the hospital for Iran-Iraq war vets
Visiting an orphanage for Hazara kids whose dads have been killed in Syria
Visiting churches in Urmia (in North-West Iran)
A weekend retreat of prayer and fasting at Binacrombi
The awesome foursome attend the Premier's Iftar dinner
And we get to meet the Premier 🙂
Catching up with my Malaysian mate, Adrian, on his first visit to Oz
Organising a church bush-dance to support the 'House of Welcome'
Protesting six years of arbitrary detention for Julian (and meeting John Pilger)

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Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave, after another prolonged period of silence. So many things have happened since I last communicated with you. Most obviously, I spent a week in Iran, and that was an intense and wonderful experience.

I must confess that I wasn’t really looking forward to that trip at all. I’d been invited to speak at a conference about Palestine, and I thought it was important to have a Christian speaker at the event. Even so, I didn’t expect to enjoy myself, but thought that it would be a light schedule and that the week away would give me time to finish work on my book. I was wrong on all counts!

I did enjoy myself! That was in part due to the number of old friends I caught up with over the week. Miko Peled was there – a man for whom I have an enormous love and respect. Paul Larudee was there, Alison Weir, and others known world-wide for their Palestinian activism. Some of the world’s most famous whistle-blowers were there too – people like Peter Van Buren and Dr Phil Giraldi! Indeed, the only ones missing were Assange, Snowden, and my old mate, Morde Vanunu. It was all a wonderful surprise, though my biggest surprise (predictably) happened in the boxing ring!

In the lead up to the conference I had written to the organisers and said that I was available to box if that could help the cause. I received what I thought was a rather curt response, along the lines that they had fifty other delegates to worry about and that this was not a priority. I gave it no further thought. Even so, when I turned up at the hotel in Mashad, not having slept for two days and completely worn out, I was told “Your boxing match is tomorrow.” I asked, “Is this a serious fight?” The response was, “we don’t know. It’s been organised by the Ministry of Sport”

The result was the most unique boxing experience I’ve ever had (and that’s really saying something)! Indeed, I expect that it will be the only fight I ever have where my opponent meets me at centre ring with a bouquet of flowers! The aftermath of the fight was even more colourful, with the dozen or so boxing officials lining up to give me a long-stemmed rose each and a kiss on each cheek!

In addition to the fight, the other surprise I received on arrival in Mashad was the news that there was a film crew there to make a documentary about me! This led me away from the conference for a significant block of time, but meant I was able to visit places I would never otherwise have seen, such as the spinal-injury unit of a hospital for Iran-Iraq war veterans, and an orphanage for Hazara refugees whose dads had recently died, fighting in Syria.

As the conference drew to a close and I thought I was finally going to get some rest, someone dropped some papers in front of me on the dinner-table (as they did on the table of every delegate). It was an itinerary for the following day, which in my case meant being in the lobby at 6 am for a flight across the country, followed by a three-hour drive. I was going to Urmia, in the north-west of Iran, near the borders of both Turkey and Azerbaijan. I was initially horrified. Suffice it to say though that my 24 hours in Urmia, addressing students at the University and visiting one of the largest churches in the city, was one of the highlights of my trip!

And so I returned to Sydney, exhausted, but with a feeling of deep gratitude towards my friends in Iran, along with a renewed passion to continue the fight for the beleaguered people of Palestine.

Palestine had been the focus of the conference and of my talks, and, along with the other delegates, I had watched the brutal murder of so many unarmed protesters in Gaza while our conference took place. At one level it seemed almost sacrilegious to be making fine speeches while these people were bleeding. At the same time though, it reminded me that the only weapon we can bring to this fight is the truth, and I have to believe that the truth will ultimately set the Palestinian people free. If you’d like to hear my contribution on the errors of Christian Zionism, you’ll find it here.

Of course, there has been plenty to keep me busy at home too – prayer and boxing-training weekends at Binacrombi, multiple wonderful Iftar dinners during Ramadan, and protests to mark six years of arbitrary detention for our brother, Julian Assange. It’s all been very painful and very stressful and yet all very wonderful at the same time. We live in dangerous days, and yet there are plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Sermon Time – encountering the Ethiopian Eunuch

The English-speaking church has become very focused on issues of gender and sexuality in recent days. Some would say that we’ve always been obsessed with sex. Certainly in Australia the recent debates over same-sex marriage have brought discussions about sexuality to the top of the church’s agenda.

In the context of this debate, it surprises me that Bible-centred Christians make so little reference to that strangely gender-non-specific character who appears in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts – the Ethiopian eunuch.

The Eunuch is a key character in the story of the early church because his conversion marks the point at which we moved beyond being an all-white, all Jewish homogeneous community! This guy is not only not-white and not-Jewish but his sexual issues should have excluded him from the temple community altogether. Even so, he was enthusiastically embraced by the church. Click below to hear my thoughts, or click here if you’d like the written version.


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I feel as if I’ve already crammed enough into 2018 and yet there is so much that lies ahead. Indeed, two really significant things are happening here in the next week. You are invited to both.

The first is an inter-faith event happening next Friday – June 29th – where Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill is hosting Sheikh Dr Nour Kabbani as he travels across Australia on his Caravan of Peace.

Sheikh Kabbani will be signing the Charter of Compassion with us, along with other representative faith and community leaders in Dulwich Hill. If you’ve never read the charter, you’ll find a copy of it here. For details of the event, click the poster below.

Dulwich Hill signs the Charter of Compassion

Dulwich Hill signs the Charter of Compassion

The other wonderful event happens the following day – June 30th – where we’ll be holding a bush-dance to raise money for the House of Welcome – a place where asylum-seekers and refugees find welcome, shelter and empowerment, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, nationality or religion.

You can find out more about this wonderful event (and book tickets) here.

I’ll leave you in peace now and hope to see you next week. Hopefully, I’ll be contacting you again shortly after that with details of another Boxers for Peace tour of Syria. We are just waiting for a final confirmation of the dates.

Much to do, much to pray for, much to celebrate.

Yours in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.boxersforpeace.com
www.warriorweekends.com

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Recovery Time

Dave & Dimitri - setting the record straight
fighting for the men of Manus
it was a great team effort
my multi-award-winning girl!
with David Frossard of ‘The Fragrance Foundation’.
back to the bush 🙂
introducing Stephen Sizer to the bush and to Fighting Father Terry
taking Stephen running around the bay
Three amigos back together again
with Imogen, doing our Good Friday chores
Imogen appears in a Women's Weekly cookbook!
Happy Easter!

Hi Fighter,

I’m finally resurfacing after a few very intense weeks. Specifically, over the last four weeks I’ve:

  1. Boxed my old nemesis, Dimitry Patsouris
  2. Helped raise some funds for the men of Manus Island
  3. Overseen the Australian tour of human-rights activist, Rev. Stephen Sizer
  4. Celebrated Easter

All of the above have been worthwhile and exciting but they’ve left me a little exhausted. Indeed, towards the end of this post I’ll be making an appeal for more help. If you want to avoid hearing me beg, stop reading a few paragraphs short of the end. 😉

In terms of the fight/fundraiser, it was quite a surreal event. It was a great team effort and we did raise a significant amount for the detainees on Manus Island and Nauru. Even so, they were the weirdest rounds of boxing I’ve ever experienced.

After it was all over, it took me some time to work out why the boxing felt so odd. Then I realised – I’m used to performing in front of hard-core boxing fans, many of whom are drunk. This time we had a crowd of church people and humanitarians, all of whom were very quiet and respectful. Gone were the screams of “rip his head off”, and similar words of encouragement. Instead, a deathly silence descended upon the ring when Dimitri and I started our stoush! I wasn’t sure how to respond! We’re going to have to give this some serious thought before we do it again (though do it again, we will). 🙂

I’m posting the video that Denning made of the fight below. I’d appreciate it if you’d share it around, either by directing your friends to this page or by directly sharing the YouTube link. The aim is two-fold: firstly, I’m hoping that the video will help generate more funds for Gifts for Manus and Nauru. The men on Manus Island, and the men, women and children of Nauru most surely need more support. Secondly though, I’m hoping that the video might catch the eye of a few boxing promoters.

I expect that this will be my last year as a professional fighter, so I want to give it my best shot. As you’ll see in the video, I’m in great shape at the moment. Even so, I’m already Australia’s oldest pro fighter of all time and I don’t expect that I’ll be able to keep going forever. I’d really like to do some significant fundraising with my fists while I still can. I’ll accept any reasonable offer.

So, if you want to challenge me or if you want to organise a challenge for me, I’m ready. I’m pursuing one possibility at the moment for a fight in Eastern Ghouta (in Syria) but that may be a few months away. I’m ready to rumble now. You just need a good cause and some cash to make it happen. Contact me.

The other key event that I’ve been involved in lately is the tour of Rev. Dr. Stephen Sizer around Australia. Stephen, like me, is an Anglican Priest. Also like me, he has a passion for building bridges between faith communities, and for seeing a just peace prevail in Israel/Palestine. Unlike me, he’s written several books on these subjects and has completed a doctoral thesis on the history of Christian Zionism!

I first met Stephen in Iran in 2014, and we’ve been talking about having him come to Australia ever since. This year it finally happened, and it was worth the wait. The only downside was that we only covered the east coast of Australia (Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne) though he had invitations to both Adelaide and Perth.

If you missed hearing Stephen while he was in Oz, all is not lost. There’s plenty of video evidence of his visit:

Stephen’s main focus was the way certain elements in the church have contributed to the oppression of the Palestinian people through the propagation of Christian Zionism. If you don’t know anything about Christian Zionism, the above links are a good starting point. If you’re all too familiar with this aberration on the Gospel as it’s taken over your town, you might consider inviting Stephen to come and pay you a visit. You’ll find him through his web pages – www.stephensizer.com and www.peacemakers.ngo.

Sermon time

It’s always a challenge, coming up with a new sermon for Easter Sunday. Along with Christmas, it’s a day where you don’t have a lot of choice about the Bible readings or the theme. This Easter I really struggled to come up with a fresh angle on the text. I had plenty of thoughts about our community though and what we were going through, so I just started writing about us. Strangely, the message of Easter hope just seemed to rise right out of my reflections on the community!

This is a dangerous way to write a sermon, and I don’t recommend it to budding preachers. Even so, I had more than one person say to me afterwards that it’s the best sermon they’ve ever heard me give! That’s why I thought I’d share it today. 

Retreat time

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

Having been racing around for the last month, I’m heading into the wilderness for a few days. I’d like you to join me.

Dates: April 20th to 22nd
Aim: To find a lonely space where we can pray and reflect
Location: Binacrombi bush retreat (where mobile phones do not work)

You are probably familiar with my ‘Warrior Weekends’ programme, where we head out to Binacrombi for a weekend of intense physical training. My idea this time is to attempt something altogether different – a weekend of prayer and fasting.

My proposal is that we follow the Benedictine pattern of meeting five times for prayer on the Saturday – at 6 am, 9 am, noon, 3 pm and 6 pm. Further, I suggest we keep eating to a minimum until after our final prayer session of the day, after which we have a huge BBQ feast.

If that sounds too intense, be assured that you don’t have to fast, and you don’t have to pray either. You can spend the weekend swimming in the billabong, walking and looking at the stars if you prefer. I’d still like to have you with me.

The cost for the weekend is $200 for the rich, $100 for the poor and free for the destitute, and you decide which category you fall into. Let me know if you’re interested.

Help!

And before I let you go, let me make my plea for help. I really do need a few more Fighting Fathers to help me share the load. If I could pay for a strong team of assistants, I would. At the moment that’s not an option, so I’m accepting all volunteers and those who need minimal remuneration.

At the moment, I’m in particular need of a webmaster – someone who can help me oversee my websites and keep them running smoothly. Coding ability in HTML and PHP would be a big advantage but is not essential.

If I find the right person, they can help me restart the member site at www.fighting-fathers.com and this in turn could generate some income that could then help renumerate the webmaster. Even so, you have to be willing to start out working for peanuts. If that sounds attractive, contact me. If that’s not you, say a prayer for me.

Till next we meet, I remain …

your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Fighting for the Men of Manus

G’day Fighter,

If you’ve been wondering why I’ve published so few blog posts lately, I’ve been flat out putting together two big events, both of which I want to invite you too now.

The Fighting for the Men of Manus fundraiser is overdue. The men of Manus Island have been treated so shamefully by this country, and every day we sit on our hands and allow the abuse to continue adds to our shame.

A large part of what we hope to accomplish on Sunday is to raise awareness. We will have representatives of the major asylum-seeker and refugee-support agencies with us. These people will speak to us about their work and tell us how we can support them as they support the men on Manus, and the men, women and children on Nauru. We’ll also be streaming some of the video interviews we did with the men of Manus when I was in the detention centre with them last November.

We also intend to raise money – lots of it. Hopefully our costs on the day will be covered by sponsors, allowing us to forward 100% of what is collected to Gifts for Manus and Nauru, who supply detainees with emergency food, water, and other vital supplies, including phone credit!

Some may think that phone credit is hardly a necessity but, for the men of Manus, it is their lifeline to the outside world. Not only has it allowed them to make their situation known, but it has also put them back in contact with their families.

I met one man there who had been targeted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and so had left his pregnant wife with her father while he searched for a safer home. He reached Australia, hoping this might be the beginning of a new life for his family. Instead it was the beginning of an indefinite prison term on a remote island. His son is four years old now and they have never met. They connect through Skype.

Of course, I can’t mention this event without talking about my stoush with my old nemesis – Dimitri ‘the Dominator’ Patsouris!

I first met this man inside the ring 22 years ago, when he was known as Jimmy ‘the Devil’ Pat. It was my debut as a professional boxer, and it was certainly the roughest stoush I had ever had at that stage. You can see the last round here.

In truth, I was lucky to get away with a draw, and I was in no mood for a rematch at the time. Now though, 22 years later …

I must make clear though that this is NOT an official boxing match. There are lots of reasons for that, the most obvious of which is that it will cost us at least $1,000 to have the event formally sanctioned, and I really don’t want any of the proceeds going to anybody apart from our friends on Manus and Nauru!

So, officially, this is a friendly four-round sparring session between two old pugs – no referee, no judges, and no decision (except for the decision you guys make). I don’t even have a ringside doctor organised (though if you are a doctor and you’d like to come, I’d by happy to give you a ringside seat).

I don’t expect anything to go wrong or for anyone to get seriously hurt, but given that Dimitri and I both went on to win state and national titles after our initial clash, we’ve both got a point to make. 😉

Sunday, March 11th, beginning at 12 noon (main event scheduled for 1pm)
Holy Trinity Community Centre, 2 Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill

And for those who can’t make it, the event will be live-streamed through Facebook Live. You’ll be able to watch the whole thing from your computer or mobile phone through the church’s Facebook page, and we will have a donate link on the page. We expect to start streaming at around 12.30

And if you’d like to download the poster for the event and help share the love, you’ll find it here.

Sermon Time

My sermon today is on Jesus’ clearing of the temple as recorded in John 2:14-16. It’s perhaps the only time in the Gospels that we see Jesus really angry!

I confess that I don’t feel very comfortable with the angry Jesus. I prefer gentle Jesus, meek and mild. The Jesus who wields a whip and screams at people is not the Jesus I talk about to my children before saying nightly prayers. At the same time though, is a Jesus who doesn’t get angry about what’s happening on Manus Island a Jesus worth praying to at all?

With all that’s going on, on Manus, in Syria, and in so many places around our word, we need to rediscover the hostility of Jesus towards all forms of corruption and exploitation.

(for the written version of this sermon, click here)

The second invitation I want to offer you today regards the Australian tour of Reverend Doctor Stephen Sizer.

Stephen is an Anglican cleric from London and a long-time friend of mine. More importantly, he’s an outstanding human-rights activist who shares my passion for reconciliation with the Muslim world.

Stephen is most well known for his support for Palestinian people suffering under the Israeli occupation. More specifically, he’s a renowned opponent of Christian Zionism, which tends to condone all actions taken by the government of Israel, believing this to be a Biblical mandate!

Whether you know a little or a lot about Israel/Palestine, Stephen is definitely working hearing. He’ll be speaking in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne this month, and I’d encourage you to make the effort to hear him if you can. If you’re in Sydney, put aside Sunday, March 18th.

  • 9.15 am – preaching at Holy Trinity, Dulwich Hill
    (Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill)
  • 2.00 pm – a pubic seminar on “Israel, the Church and the Bible”
    (2 Herbert Street, Dulwich Hill)
  • 5.30 pm – Balmain Uniting Church “Voices from Palestine and Israel”
    344 Darling Street, Balmain

If you want the rest of Stephen’s itinerary, just contact me, and if you’d like to download the poster for the Sydney visit, click here.

That’s more than enough from me today. Keep me in your prayers, as I do you.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

 

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

The men of Manus Island

Welcome to Manus Island
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
The men of Manus
Our church in solidarity with the men of Manus
Our boxing club in solidarity with the men of Manus

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Hi Fighter,

A lot has happened since my last post. Most notably, I’ve been to Manus Island, and have visited the asylum-seekers being detained there by the Australian government.

You may have already seen the TV coverage we received on Lateline or watched he video on the Getup website. I’ve debriefed our experience in a sermon (featured below), and I refer you to that for the details of our trip. What I’d like to do first though is to talk a little about why we went to Manus and what has resulted from it.

I confess that I knew very little about the goings-on on Manus Island until very recently. I knew the Australian government was shipping asylum-seekers there for processing (as with the island of Nauru), and I had heard talk of abuse and violence and even death! Even so, it seemed impossible to find out exactly what was going on as the Australian government seemed to have placed a media blackout over the entire area!

This is what initially concerned me – that I couldn’t get answers to my questions. What was going on there? What was the Australian government doing to these men? How was the church responding to these allegations of violence and abuse – both the church in this country and the church on Manus Island?

I started ringing around and asking church people what they knew. Nobody seemed to know anything, so I put out a Twitter tweet to some of my more notorious clergy friends – Father Bob Maguire, Father Rod Bower, and Pastor Jarrod McKenna – and asked them whether we should try to charter a plane and get out there to see what was going on. The result was that within a week, Pastor Jarrod and I were boarding a plane for Papua New Guinea, hoping to successfully make our way from Port Moresby to Manus Island, and from Manus to the detention centre.

In truth, we would never have boarded that plane if it weren’t for the good people of Getup! Those guys sponsored and organised our trip, and they stuck with us every second of the way – even communicating with us via text messages as we floated around in a dingy in the middle of the night, desperately trying to find the right beach to land on while avoiding the local navy (who were based on the adjoining beach)!

It was a massive effort from a wonderful team of people – some based in Oz and others on the ground in Manus – and I am deeply grateful to them all. I only pray that we were able to achieve something on Manus that will contribute to the long-term good of these detained men.

What we discovered in that decommissioned detention centre was quite remarkable and (for me) quite unexpected. I had expected to find men suffering, and I did find that, but I found something else there too. I found community! The detainees we met on Manus Island were a close knit community – a band of brothers who had learnt to live and work together and to depend on each other.

The men had a clear leadership system with strong democratic accountability (demonstrated through regular camp-wide meetings). They had a centralised healthcare system, with all the men pooling medications that were then distributed as needed. The mentally ill were being looked after on a rostered basis (with different men walking them around the compound). The engineers used their skills to build wells and to maintain the electrical supply (where possible). In short, they had developed a highly functional society, which explained why they were refusing to be broken up and shifted to new facilities. Why would they abandon their brothers, who they knew they could trust, for promises made by the Australian government, who they knew they couldn’t trust?

Within a couple of days of our visit these men were forcibly moved, and bussed to new facilities that weren’t ready for them. The result was that hundreds ended up sleeping by the roadside, with their clothing and provisions having been left behind. Since then things have only got worse. At time of writing, many of the men have apparently been without fresh water for two days. Others are suffering from various medical conditions. And what has the Australian government done about this? Last week they blocked Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from sending doctors into Manus to attend to the sick! This week they voted ‘no’ to an offer from the New Zealand government to give two hundred of these men immediate refuge!

These developments frankly leave me dumbfounded! I thought us Aussies were supposed to be the good guys. I thought it was only evil regimes run by unscrupulous dictators that deliberately tortured and killed people. I was wrong.

So, what did our team achieve by going to Manus Island?

I believe we were able to bring some spiritual and emotional comfort to the men – letting them know that they are not alone, and that not everybody in our country is against them! I hope we have also helped to bring something of the truth of their situation back to the Australian people.  As I say, there seemed to be something of a media blackout on the entire situation, and how could we know how to respond if we didn’t know what was going on? Now that we know, what do we do? Well … somehow, we have to find a way of bringing human values back into the Australian political process.

It is not uniformly bad news in that regard. The decision to refuse New Zealand’s offer to give refuge to some of these men was only lost by one vote, and I think that’s probably pretty indicative of where things stand. Indeed, I received an encouraging mention in Anthony Albanese MP’s speech in support of New Zealand’s proposal (which you can watch here or read here), and that did remind me that our Parliament is not completely made up of thugs.

I’m personally convinced that the majority of Australian people – politicians included – do believe in giving a fair go to those who come to our shores seeking protection. The problem is that we are a (largely) silent majority, and it’s time we spoke out!

It’s time that the church spoke out too. I appreciate that some church leaders on Manus feel they need to keep quiet. That’s because they are busy sneaking food and medicine to the men, and don’t want to draw attention to what they are doing. There’s no such excuse for the church in this country. We should be unequivocal in our concern for welfare of the men, and in our condemnation of our government for abandoning them.

Sermon Time

It seemed serendipitous to me that the Gospel reading scheduled for the Sunday after my return from Manus was Matthew 25:31-46, where Jesus depicts the final judgement, and shares those memorable words:

“I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink … I was in prison, and you came to visit me. … whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35-36,40)

Having just visited Jesus in prison, how could I not take this opportunity to talk about it. If you’d prefer the written version of this address, you’ll find it here.

.
Let me close today with the usual seasonal invitation:

  • If you’re free on Christmas Eve, join us for carols on our front lawn (7 pm).
  • We’d love to have you join us for church on Christmas Day (9.15 am)
  • And if you don’t have anyone to enjoy Christmas lunch with, we have room at our table (from midday)

I’ll be back again soon with a more formal Christmas greeting. Until then, I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Fit to Box

speaking at Al Quds Day in Melbourne
enduring the Binacrombi billabong for 4.5 mins (nb. the freezer burn)
celebrating with the kids
'Mr Jones' Egberime still training the kids at our gym
with Sheikh Jehad Ishmael and the boys
a day away with my darling daughter, Imogen
my brother, Andy, turns 50! 🙂
the new Muhammadi Welfare Association development at Granville
with Denning and Syed Shoaib Naqvi
Veronica and I meet the 'Ice Man' - Wim Hof
with the team from Lock In TV
at the Syria vs. Australia World Cup qualifier

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Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave, and I must confess to feeling somewhat exhausted as I write to you today. It’s been an overwhelming month:

  • I’ve been trying to recover from my brain haemorrhage.
  • We’ve had much turmoil in the community (and perhaps in the church, most especially) over our government’s postal vote on same-sex marriage
  • Syria lost the World Cup qualifier match to Australia
  • One of my old friends has just taken his own life

Thankfully, not all of these struggles has ended badly. Indeed, as regards my recovery from the brain injury, my progress has been nothing short of miraculous. Last week I fronted up to the doctor’s office armed with the results of both and MRI and a CT scan. This was the same doctor who had told me a few weeks earlier that my boxing days were over. This time, after looking at the results and shaking his head, he ticked ‘fit to box’ on the appropriate form.

I give thanks to God for healing my brain so that I can fight again. I’ve been feeling rather lost over the last month, wondering how else I can raise money. As I often say, I can only do two things well – preach and fight – and I can’t see anyone handing over big dollars to hear me preach. Anyway, those concerns are behind me for the moment, though the painful thing is that both the fights I had scheduled were cancelled during my recovery period.

When the injury happened, I’d been in training for a big show-down with Dave Birchell. This naturally had to be called off. I had another fight though lined up with Mark Bouris in late November at a PCYC fundraiser event. Unfortunately, Mr Bouris was rematched. I did ask them to hold off on rematching him and to expect a miracle. For some reason the organisers followed common sense instead. And so, I find myself ‘fit to box’ but, once again, without an opponent. Even so, I’m sure the Lord has healed me for a reason, so something (or someone) will no doubt appear soon and make the way forwards clear.

As to the same-sex marriage debate this country has been enduring, I feel it has been a despicable process. I have seen so much pain caused by this postal vote! It has brought the worst out of a lot of people – reinforcing prejudices and eliciting violence and vilification from both sides. It truly was a gutless decision of our government to encourage this process.

As you may know, I was urged once again to publish my views on the subject of same-sex marriage. The result was an article that appeared on news.com.au that has generated no end of hate mail, phone calls, lost friendships, and enough social media banter to fill a decent-sized book. The process culminated for me when I received a call from a man claiming to have been sexually abused by a priest. He was so angry about my Archbishop’s support for the ‘no’ vote that he said he just needed to scream at someone. He knew I wasn’t to blame but apparently nobody else would take his call.

Another distressing dimension of this process for me has been the damage done to my relations with the Muslim community. I had two inter-faith events planned for this month where my Muslim friends withdrew due to the views expressed in my article. One woman even said that her Sheikh now refused to enter our church building! That hurt.

I’m know that doesn’t represent all my Muslim friends. Indeed, I’ve had others affirm their love and respect for me, even though we disagree on this issue.

Sermon Time

Perhaps my sermon today reflects a bit too much of my hurt referred to above. Certainly, the text of Matthew 21:28-31 did tap right into the issues I was struggling with, though the connection may not be immediately obvious. It’s a parable Jesus tells about two brothers – one who is pious and obedient and the other who is rebellious and disobedient, or so they appear to be. First impressions can be deceiving, and maybe we need to be cautious in passing judgement on either of the brothers too quickly.

Back to the Bush

When the going gets tough, I get going, and my favourite place to go when I’m feeling under pressure is our bush camp – Binacrombi. Can you join me there this coming weekend?

I’m sorry for the short notice but this event has been a difficult one to organise. The camp was originally designed to be an interfaith project, bringing together Christian and Muslim kids in an integrated training environment. Unfortunately, as indicated above, many have pulled out, though some friends from the Australian Muslim Youth Association are now trying to see if they can get a new group involved! Either way, the camp will go ahead, but there is currently plenty of room for extra participants.

Just give me a call on 1800 620 706 if you’d like to join us. All the details are on the Facebook page as well as on the poster (which can be downloaded here).

That’s enough from me today. I’ve got plenty more I’d like to share but, in truth, I’d rather do it over a beer at Binacrombi. Of course, if our Muslim friends do join us, I’ll happily forgo the beer and substitute coffee. Either way, I’d love to have you with us if you can make it.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

My Fight is Cancelled

Alone and Dangerous

It will still be a great show, but my fight won’t be happening

Yes, it was going to be the fight of my life but, no, it’s not going to happen. To cut a long story short, I took a big hit last Friday and suffered a minor brain haemorrhage. Hopefully, it’s not the end of my fight career but it certainly is the end of this fight.

For those who want the long story …

I did some sparring with an old mate last Friday. I won’t mention his name, but I will say that he did hold a world title and that he is a little bigger and a little younger than me. I probably should have been wearing a head-gear.

He caught me with a big hook to the side of my head while I was on the ropes. Everything went black for a moment, but only for a moment. I stayed on my feet, finished the round, and I think I did two more rounds after that. I felt OK. Indeed, I felt pretty pleased with myself, figuring that if I could handle a shot like that I could handle anything my upcoming opponent was going to throw at me. I drove myself safely home, but have no memory of what I did after that until I woke the next day.

None of this is too unusual. I’ve been out on my feet before (though not for a long time) and I’m not the first person to suffer a bit of memory loss. Even so, I didn’t feel quite right, and that showed itself when I tried to get back into the ring the following day. I couldn’t perform. I was in pain in my head and I just wasn’t functioning properly. I figured I was just having a bad day and thought I’d try again the next day. The next day I was worse. Within 30 seconds I was on the ground. I stopped and took counsel from a wise mate (Anton) who recognised that I’d been concussed. The next day I booked myself in for a scan.

When I did the scan, I expected to head straight home afterwards but the doctors made me wait. I was eventually called into the back room where they sat me down and told me that I had a haemorrhage and needed to get to hospital immediately. I said I wasn’t going anywhere until after I’d got my little girl home from school. They agreed, saying that since I’d taken the hit four days earlier, I was probably going to be fine anyway.

The medics at the hospital were great. I’m very privileged to live in a country where teams of experts gather around to help you when you’re down. I don’t take any of that for granted. In the end, the doctors agreed to discharge me that evening, providing that I monitor myself carefully, get more scans, and report back to them.

I’m hoping that this is only a temporary set-back. When a skier breaks her leg that doesn’t mean she’s never going to ski again. You get over the injury and you head back to the slopes. Hopefully, it will work for me like that too. Indeed, I’ve already got another fight lined up for November, and I hope I’ll be good for that. Even so, if this is the end of my fight career, I’ll come to terms with that too.

One thing is very clear to me – that I owe a big debt of gratitude to those who supported me in preparing for this fight, and most of all I want to thank the guy who was going to be my opponent – Dave Birchell.

I know Dave only took the fight because he wanted to help me raise money for Syria. He was the first person I called when I got the scan results. I was a bit teary when I called him, and I think he got a bit teary too. He thanked me for getting the scan, saying “If you hadn’t done this and something had happened to you in the ring, I never could have lived with myself”.  Thanks brother. You’re a top bloke and a great mate.

There is, in fact, a long list of people I need to thank, including my trainers, the boys at the gym, my family, church, close friends, and the promoter of the August 25 event, John. Instead of going off at me for losing him money, his response, when I told him that I was out because the scan had discovered a haemorrhage was “Praise God”.

As I say, I hope that this is not the end of my fight career. In truth, I think I still have my best fights left in me. Even so, I suspect all fighters think that, and if my time has indeed come, I will come to terms with that. It will be difficult though, as the fighting is so deeply tied in with our social justice work, with the inter-faith work, with Syria, …

Keep me in your prayers please. Pray for a full recovery, and pray that if my boxing days are over that God will show me other ways to raise funds and raise awareness. In truth, I can’t imagine a life without boxing. Part of me had always hoped that I’d depart this world from the ring. Even so, this experience has made it very clear to me that even if it’s great to die doing what you love, it’s not good for the people you care about.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

Please follow and like us:

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

The Fight of my life

A night with the stars at Sydney's Syrian Film Festival
Another great Warrior's Weekend at Binacrombi
Cold Therapy in the Binacrombi billabong
Sparring in the Binacrombi ring
Building bridges with boxing gloves
in the Binacrombi chapel
a great finish to a great Warrior's Weekend
Congratulations Nooroa and Setailta
Al Quds Day outside Victoria State Library
Al Quds Day outside Victoria State Library
A new Islamic centre being built in Badgery's Creek
A new Islamic centre being built in Badgery's Creek

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Hi Fighter,

Once again it’s been far too long since we last communicated in this way, and indeed, I’ve taken five weeks of long-service leave since then.

My goals in taking that leave were three:

  1. To move things forward at Binacrombi bush camp.
  2. To finish the book I’ve been working on – “Christians and Muslims can be friends”
  3. To get myself fit and ready for the next fight.

I’m happy to report a degree of success on all fronts.

Certainly, Binacrombi has never been functioning so well. Indeed, the initial vision of Binacrombi as Australia’s leading adventure site for young people looks less and less like a dream and more like reality. Moreover, Bina continues to prove itself as a place of healing and renewal.

We held a fantastic Warriors Weekend up there last month (as evidenced in some of the pics above). The camp brought together some of our team from Dulwich Hill with members of the Muhammadi Welfare Association of Penrith – a wonderful group of Pakistani Muslim Australians.

The camp concluded with a traditional Pakistani BBQ, courtesy of our guests. We had one old Australian bushman with us who had never been near Pakistani food before in his life. “Best tucker I’ve ever tasted!”, I heard him say!

As regards the book, I have indeed finished a draft of the first part, and am really hoping to have it all published before the end of the year.

I still haven’t come up with a better title than “Christians and Muslims can be friends”, though I appreciate the alternative suggestions that have been offered, I figure that at least with the current title, it’s obvious what the book is about.

In terms of completing the book, I’d really appreciate help in two areas:

Firstly, I’m looking for people who will read and critique what I have written. I’m happy to share the existing seven chapters with anyone who is willing to read through them, check for typos, and tell me where I can make improvements. Just send me an email if you’re interested.

Secondly, my plan for the second half of the book is that it be a compilation of interviews with various Muslim religious and community leaders. I’ve already done a number of these interviews but I need a few more. If you have any suggestions (and, ideally, contact details) for appropriate persons I might interview, let me know.

Keep in mind that my primary target audience for the book is Christian people like myself. I’m therefore looking for persons that the average white, Australian Christian would recognise as authentic representatives of the Islamic community.

As to getting ready for a fight, things started going in reverse for me! Rather than getting fitter during my leave, I developed a rotator-cuff injury that just won’t go away, then I fell down a flight of stairs at Binacrombi and did myself some damage, and then I almost got wiped out by a truck while doing a late nigh run!  I think the Good Lord was trying to keep me humble.

Having said that, I am happy to report that the big fight has finally been confirmed. I’m scheduled to fight Dave Birchell at Husrtville Entertainment Centre on the evening of Friday, August 25th!

It will be the fight of my life – no doubt about it. Dave was a member of the Australian Olympic team, and has subsequently been undefeated as a professional. With me now at 55, he is also twelve years younger than me, so, on paper, I don’t have a hope! Even so, I’m counting on my good cardio-vascular fitness (which has never been better) and perhaps a bit of help from above. 😉

In truth, if this fight goes badly for me, it will probably be my last. If, on the other hand, I do well, I can see a clear path from Hurstville Entertainment Centre to The Citadel in Aleppo. I appreciate that the connection will not be obvious to many people, but in my mind that’s what the fight it really all about. I’m still hoping to be back in Syria before the end of the year, and I really believe that the best contribution I can make there will come through boxing.

If we can stage some high-profile boxing matches in Aleppo, we can get the eyes of the Western media on Syria, and if we can get the real Syria screened into the living-rooms of average Australians (and Americans and Europeans) then we can start to erode the myths that are fuelling the violence.

If you’re having trouble following my logic, I apologise. Hopefully all will become clear as the lies that make for war are systematically exposed by groups like WikiLeaks, and as the truth gradually emerges. Ether way, I believe Boxers for Peace has a role to play.

Dave v Dave (Dave Birchell vs Father Dave)

Anyway, I’ll be back to you soon with ticketing details for the big event, and will appreciate any and all support. Hopefully we’ll raise plenty of funds on the night too that can be forwarded to places in Syria where they’re needed the most. Whatever the outcome, I’ve never had a better reason to get beaten up. 😉

Sermon Time

In keeping with the ‘Christians and Muslims can be friends’ theme, I thought that today I’d include my recent sermon on the doctrine of the Trinity.

That might seem like odd logic since, at a dogmatic level, the doctrine of the Trinity is the most obvious point of division between Christians and Muslims (as it is between Christians and Mormons, Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others).

I’ve found though that one of the difficulties my Muslim friends have with Christian doctrine is that they simply can’t make sense of the Trinity. In truth, I’m not sure how many Christians understand what it’s about either. At any rate, I wrote a letter to my friend, Sheikh Mansour, trying to explain to hm why Christians believe in the Trinity, and this sermon is basically a recitation of that letter.

I trust Mansour won’t mind. I’m planning on including it as an appendix to the book too. Let me know if you find it helpful. If you’d prefer the written version, you can find it here.

Before signing off today, I want to raise one other issue that is very important to me.

Over the years, a small band of faithful supporters have helped keep the online work of Fighting Fathers Ministries going through their financial support. Those persons are the subscribers to the Fighting Fathers Member site.

Some of you have been subscribing at a rate of $10/month for many years now. Some contribute more. A number have dropped off, but some of you have been with me from the beginning! I know who you are and I pray for each of you by name regularly. Financially speaking, this work could not have survived without you, and at a personal level, your willingness to stand with me in this fight has been a source of constant encouragement.

Having said that, I am conscious that membership of the Fighting Fathers Member site is no longer offering value for money, and I don’t feel good about this. The site is badly out of date and has technical problems that cannot be easily solved, so I am looking at re-thinking the whole member-site concept. The question is ‘what form should a new member site take?’

I am going to contact each of my current subscribers personally to ask this same question, but I want to raise it here openly first – both to current financial subscribers and to all supporters of Fighting Fathers Ministries. What sort of subscription-based online site would be useful to you in your work and ministry?

I am limited, of course, in what I can offer, but I do want to offer something substantive to subscribers:

  • a regular online video-chat?
  • access to special online content (books, sermons, etc.)
  • individually designed physical and spiritual fitness programs?

These are a few ideas that spring to mind, but I really want to hear from you. How can I best support you as you serve God and people in need? Send me an email. Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

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About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Time to retreat!

Baptisms on Easter Day! 🙂
With Fran at the Easter Show
with my beloved Veronica 🙂
Soren turns 15
Celebrating my birthday with my brothers 🙂
Get well, Danny!
showing off our church to Syed Shoaib Naqvi
with Luke Cornish at his 'Road to Damascus' exhibition
Hands Off Syria!
Pick on someone your own size! 😉
The match that has got to happen!
Cooling off in an ice-bath at the Wim Hof seminar in Melbourne
with the amazing Wim Hof!

Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave, writing to you from the middle of the Australian bush! No, I’m not retreating from the Good Fight but I am retreating from the Big Smoke for a while.

I am on long-service leave, and will be spending most of my weekends up to the end of May at Binacrombi – our remote prayer-space, dirt-bike farm and boxing-training facility.

I’m hoping that these five weeks will be a rejuvenating time, though they are not a holiday. I’ve got three goals I want to achieve over my time away from the parish:

  1. Get Binacrombi functioning on a renewed basis
  2. Finish the book I’m working on – “Christians and Muslims can be friends”
  3. Get fully fit for my next fight.

As for the fight, I don’t have a date fixed yet, but I’ll be letting you know as soon as something is confirmed.

As for the book, I won’t say more about that here either, except that I’ll be looking for your help to spread it around once I get it published. In the meantime, you might like to help me come up with a better title.

As for Binacrombi, do you have a weekend spare before the end of May when you can come and join me?

I’m planning another Warrior Weekend for May 19 to 21 (and I’ll say more on that below) but I’d be happy to see you on any of the other weekends too. If I’m left here by myself, with only the kangaroos to keep me company, I may get a bit jumpy! 😉

OK … It’s not really the lack of company that I’m concerned about, but I am looking for good people who will help run weekends out here. Binacrombi has developed enormously over the last few years under the tireless and dedicated management of Fighting Father Tez. Even so, Tez is not as young as he used to be, and it’s time for a few more of us to step up and give him a hand.

Perhaps you’ve always seen yourself as a farm-manager or as a fighting monk, or perhaps you’d just like to help develop the ministry of the Fighting Fathers? Here is your opportunity! Join me down here at some point in the next month and we’ll train you in the ways of Binacrombi. You might then consider coming back once every couple of months, to be an ongoing part of the team.

In truth, even if you only want to come and help me pray for Syria in the chapel here, I’d be very glad to see you. Call me or email me and let me know when you’d like to come. All my details are on www.fatherdave.org (the non-mobile version). Mind you, the obvious weekend to join us is May 19 to 21 – the date of our next …

Warrior Weekend

Yes, it’s happening again. From Friday evening (May 19) to Sunday afternoon (May 21) we will be giving you another opportunity to Train like a Trojan and Pray like a Monk at our remote bush training facility, Binacrombi.

The workouts will be fitness-focused and won’t be restricted to boxing training. Even so, you’ll get plenty of chances to show your prowess in the ring if you so desire, so bring your gloves and your mouthguard.

The prayer sessions are not compulsory, of course (and neither are the workouts), but those who are willing will meet for prayer and meditation according to the traditional Benedictine schedule – at 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm and 6pm. There will be separate prayer spaces allocated for Christian and for Muslim prayers.

We already have some young people from the Muhammadi Welfare Association joining us for the camp, and I’m hoping that our friends from Fighting for Autism will  join us too. These camps not only offer participants great personal benefits in terms of physical and spiritual fitness but are also wonderful opportunities for social integration. 🙂

The prices for the weekend have not changed:

  • $200 for the rich
  • $100 for the poor
  • Free for the destitute

These fees cover accommodation, training, and all meals (excluding the BYO Saturday night BBQ). If you feel you fit into the ‘destitute’ category, let me know and we will organise sponsorship for you.

The flyer for this camp is here. Right-click and choose ‘save target as’ to download it.  The flyer includes a form that you can sign and forward to me.

Sermon of the month

Easter is the time of year when Christians remember how God confronts evil in our world. It was therefore an extraordinary time for Donald Trump to drop the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ on Afghanistan, and yet that happened on Good Friday (Australian time)!

This seems to be the only way the powerful in our world know how to deal with evil. They drops bombs on it and hope it will go away. In this case, the Mother of all Bombs was dropped on (what is perceived to be) the Mother of all Evils (Al Qaeda). The result was that 36 people died, which was apparently considered a success.

It is the unambiguous teaching of the New Testament that evil cannot ultimately be stopped by other forms of evil. The Easter story tells us about a God who confronts evil in a different way altogether – through suffering and death and resurrection!


(forgive me for the poor quality of this video. The written version of this sermon is here)

Becoming the Ice-Man

Before I let you go today, I want to explain the picture that appears at the top – the one of me and a group of men in an ice-bath!

Yes, it was ice! Perhaps you didn’t look too closely at the pic and thought I was enjoying a relaxing session in the pool with my mates. Take a closer look and you’ll see that the water was thick with ice-cubes. It wasn’t relaxing! 🙁

The reason for this bizarre behaviour is that I’m doing a ten-week course put together by a bizarre man, Wim Hof, otherwise known as the Ice Man! There’s a picture of me and Wim up the top too. 🙂

The ice-man has been able to perform some amazing physical feats, considered impossible before Wim did them. He climbed Mount Everest in his swimsuit and  broke the world record for swimming under the ice. He then ran a marathon through the Sahara Desert without taking any water! And he’s a couple of years older then me!

Wim’s training method combines breathing techniques with stretching and ‘cold therapy’, which means cold showers and ice-baths, and by the time I make my next blog post, I should have reached the end of his 10-week course. I want to share my progress with you.

I’m hoping that Wim’s techniques will give me an edge in the boxing ring, and at my age I need every edge I can get. And if you do decide to join me on the camp, be aware that I’ll be integrating some cold therapy into our training routine (though, of course, it is not compulsory for anybody except me).

That’s plenty for today. I’ll hope to see you at the camp. 🙂

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.holytrinity.org.au
www.binacrombi.com.au
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.prayersforsyria.com
www.dulwichhillgym.com
www.warriorweekends.com

Please follow and like us:

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four