Monday Missive – April 8th, 2013

Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave back with you and I must tell you that I’ve had a very full and exciting week,  climaxing in the fourth birthday of my youngest daughter, Francesca, last Saturday! :-)

Francesca with Imogen on her 4th birthday! (click for full size)

Francesca turns four! (click for full-size)

Having been blessed with four children, I’ve been through the whole turning 4 experience a few times now, and yet the wondrous joy of it all still confronts me afresh.

I remember when Veronica was that age and how she told me one night that she thought she’d grown up enough and was quite happy to stop where she was. I thought it was a great idea too at the time.

For better for for worse though it never works like that. Time like an ever-rolling stream presses forward and there’s no going back. Even so, every time a new child joins us we get the opportunity to relive the wonders of childhood all over again through them! :-)

Zerocostwebsite.net

It’s not nearly as exciting, but we did give birth to a new website this week too!

Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback and suggestions regarding the homepage video for the site. In accordance with your advice, we’re sticking with the smaller video option. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about , just visit the site: www.zerocostwebsite.net.

The idea behind the site (in case you can’t guess) is that we build a website for you at zero cost. Naturally you have to pay for a domain name and for a hosting package, but the nuts and bolts construction of the site will be done by us at no charge.

My vision is that this process will eventually result in a lot more people joining our online community at www.fighting-fathers.com. That’s the hope.  Even so, you are welcome to take up the offer whether you intend to join our online community or not. Take note though that this offer is for personal sites only and naturally we will not build hate sites, porn sites, etc. Got it? Great! Go and claim your free site!

We do also have a system in place for building business sites with no up-front cost but you’ll need to contact me directly if you want to find out more about that.

Heading to Syria!

The other big news for me is that the Syria trip is back on!

I can’t share the exact dates or details at this stage but I will say that it’s all scheduled to take place within the next month!

The proposed program involves spending time with the ‘Mussalaha’ (‘reconciliation’) teams on the ground in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria. We’ll also be visiting Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps and meeting with church and community leaders both in Damascus and in Beirut.

Fighting Father Denning is planning on coming with me and will document the visit on video.  We’ll be keeping you up to date through this missive and other email contact as we go (depending on Internet access of course).

I’m delighted to add that the visiting delegation is going to be led by Maread Maguire (who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her reconciliation work in Northern Ireland). She’s a personal hero of mine and a woman I have always wanted to meet. :-)

I give thanks to God that we’ve been invited to be a part of this exciting mission and I ask you to support us with your prayers – both for our safety and that we might make a meaningful contribution to the cause of peace for the suffering people of Syria.

The Amazing Boot Camp Video!

There’s no sermon video for you this week (as I didn’t preach last Sunday) but I’ve got something far more exciting for you – Denning’s 3-minute documentary video of our first ‘Fighting Fathers’ Warrior Weekend’.

The only thing that concerns me with this video is that Denning has used a musical backing track that we don’t have copyright to. If anyone knows how we can pay someone the appropriate copyright fee (if we need to) I’d be grateful for the advice. Either way, enjoy the video and I hope it inspires you to join us for the next camp!

[imaioVideo v=1]

If you can’t view this video, click here.

I will NOT fight for Queen and Country

In conclusion today, let me point you to another inspiring video – this one of a short speech given to the ‘Oxford Union’ by Ben Griffin – a former SAS soldier and now a spokesman for ‘Veterans for Peace’. His topic is I will not fight for Queen and Country!

The video is on the Fighting Fathers’ Member Site but you don’t need to be a member to access this one. Even so, while you’re there, why not sign up and keep the work of the Fighting Fathers going. It’s only $10/month.

I’ll see you next week.

Until then, I remain …

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Monday Missive – March 25th, 2013

Hi Fighter,

It’s Father Dave back with you – a little worn and weary after our explosive Boot Camp weekend at Binacrombi – but feeling very much alive! :-)

It was a magnificent experience!

I don’t want to get too carried away but I could eulogize on the joys of the weekend for a few missives if I allowed myself:

  • the workouts
  • the relationships
  • the wonderful catering
  • the beauty of the environment

All added up to a weekend that everybody who participated deeply appreciated.

And it wasn’t just us hardened pugs who benefited. We had about a dozen children, including a number of pre-schoolers.  Indeed, I was planning on sharing one of my favourite snaps from the weekend which pictured three of our young girls proudly showing off the ‘fairy castle’ that they’d constructed for their dolls out of stones on the property!:-)

Unfortunately that pic is on Ange’s phone which she seems to have misplaced, so you’ll have to wait until she recovers her phone before you can see that exciting image.

In the meantime, here are some other excellent shots:

Below is our Boot Camp leader, Mick Richards (right) with Fighting Father Mungo. Mick is one of the most professional trainers I’ve ever met and is certainly the least pretentious!

Mungo (left) with Mick Richards

click to see the full-size image

We didn’t see a lot of Mick strolling about and looking relaxed like that. He was normally standing over us with a stop-watch or throwing a medicine ball at us!

Below is a pic of Mick with big Trent in the Binacrombi Wrestling Cage, doing an intensive punching and fitness workout!

Mick Richards takes Trent on a pads workout

click the pic to see the image full-size

I’ll tell you how Mick structured out Saturday so that you have an idea of how the Boot Camp training works:

  • Session 1 was a 45-minute intensive workout on the punching bags and weights equipment.
  • Session 2 was a one-hour run across Binacrombi’s hills and valleys in the heat of the day.

We then broke for lunch (exhausted).

  • Session three was 45 minutes of hill running, where we had to do our best to sprint 250 meters up a steep hill, jog back down, and then do some intensive upper-body exercises before shooting straight up the hill again. I don’t remember 45 minutes every lasting so long! 
  • The last session involved one-on-one work with Mick in the wrestling cage, alternating with sparring in the boxing ring. This lasted until everybody collapsed in a screaming heap and then gradually crawled back to the dining room for some sustenance. 

My account probably isn’t enthusing anybody to join us for the next camp but, in truth, everybody who came enjoyed it so much that they determined to bring friends next time! :-)

Mick said at the beginning that his job was to help us each ‘find our engines’ and, in truth, we all found them!

One of the personal highlights for me was having Dimitri Patsouris as my guest on the camp. I made my professional boxing debut with Dimitri (then ‘Jimmy Pat‘) back in 1996!

What is so special about this is that Dimitri didn’t have a lot of love for me at the time of our fight in ’96. Indeed, he didn’t want to shake my hand after the fight!  But since that time Dimitri has become a man of faith and has developed into an enormously big-hearted human being! :-)

The weekend climaxed for me with doing three rounds with Dimitri, who hasn’t lost any of his skills. The disheartening factor for me was that he’s now more than 30 kilograms heavier than me, and packs one helluva right hand! 

Dimitri Patsouris lines me up for a big right!

click the pic to see it full-size

I wish I’d taken some group shots of all of us together. Unfortunately I was in the middle of it all the whole time, so didn’t really get a chance! Fighting Father Denning though had an injured foot and spent a lot of time videoing the weekend. He should have a watchable version for us real soon!

In the meantime, here’s a pic of our boy, Sol Egberime, sparring with one of the hardest workers on the weekend – Nadine, whom I believe was German women’s welterweight champion.

Sol Egberime and Nadine

click the pic to see it full-size

Our next Boot Camp is scheduled for May 10th to 12th. Let me know ASAP if you’d like to join us! I can pretty much guarantee that we can help you find your engine! :-)

ZeroCostWebsite.net

There’s no sermon video this week as I wasn’t preaching.

We did have a wonderful time of prayer and worship at the Boot Camp, with Fighting Fathers Caine and Geoff doing the leading and preaching, respectively, and me presiding at the Eucharist. Even so, there’s no video.

What I do have for you this week is a new website that Fighting Father Jim and I have been working on for a while.

It’s not fully completed yet but it’s in the BETA testing phase. In other words, it’s good enough for me to show to my mates – that is, YOU:-)

The purpose of the site is pretty straightforward. We’re trying to build zero-cost websites for good people like yourself and we’re hoping that it’s going to be productive and viable.  We need your feedback though before we go any further.

Could you do me a favour please and check out zerocostwebsite.net?

The offer of the free site on there is genuine and if you’d like to sign up for one you can. Either way, could you please also check out my alternative homepage for the site which you’ll find here.

When you compare the two pages you’ll see that one uses full-screen video and one uses a normal framed video.

I personally like the full-screen version as I feel it helps me to relate to the viewer better. Jim finds the full-screen version intimidating and thinks it will turn people away.  What do you think?  Both Jim and I would sincerely value your opinion.

OK, it’s time for me to get some sleep, fighter. I’ll see you next week!

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.

Your brother in the Good Fight,

Dave
www.fatherdave.org
www.fighting-fathers.com
www.israelandpalestine.org
www.how2changetheworld.com

P.S. Last week I mentioned the death of my dear friend, Grace Reppion. If you’d like to join us for the funeral, we’ll begin at Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill this Wednesday morning at 10am.

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four