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Date for ezine: June 16, 2003
Subject for ezine: The Good Fight, no.10

Father Dave's newsletter no.10

The Good Fight
The Good Fight
June 16, 2003   Fathers Dave's Monthly Newsletter
The view from my corner

Hi Friends,

Well, it's been a tough month! We've had chaos and struggles aplenty over the last few weeks. I've been fighting in the ring, encountering unexpected opposition within the community, and am struggling to maintain morale amongst the troops on staff.

But first things first. Most of you will remember that I sent out a special prayer request letter a couple of weeks ago concerning two of our boys who were being severely threatened by some local criminals. Sadly the matter is still not resolved.

Of the two boys that were threatened (one receiving a bullet through his kitchen window) only one of them turned up to court that week as a witness for the prosecution. Consequently the case was deferred until all the relevant witnesses could be found! And so the problem continues...

The mum of one of the boys under threat tried to resolve matters by paying a visit to the mother of the guy who is on trial. This was a gutsy thing to do and Andy, my brother and our senior Youth Worker, met with this lady and was quite impressed. Her desire was to have her son drop the case against the other boy. We do not agree with this course of action, but her reasoning was not based solely on the self-preservation of her family. She said to Andy "we need to get that boy back into church, not back into gaol".

It is ironic that we have the boy's former Sunday School teacher as part of our congregation! And I don't doubt doubt that this mum's compassion I is quite genuine. Personally I feel that the prison chapel is just the place for him, but perhaps I'm growing cynical.

As to my fight, I've been unable to walk far without the aid of a stick for the last couple of days. I received some heavy blows this time, but I gave a few too. I enjoyed the stoush immensely, even though, as my friend Kon says "the older I get, the faster I was".

More importantly, our three boys who fought last Saturday night did very well, even though (astonishingly) they didn't record a win between them! This was particularly remarkable when you consider that one of our lads knocked his opponent down twice in his three rounds. I don't know how the judges managed to score that fight, but boxing is a strange game.

On the church front, would you do me a favour and pray for our staff please. Pressures are high and we're only frail human beings. A number of us have shown signs of coming close to breaking point lately. There's no need to go into any further detail than that, just keep us in your prayers. You can click here to see a picture of our church staff in the case that will help you pray more meaningfully.

And yes, the opposition from our latest unknown antagonists continues. We finally cleaned all the paint off the front door of the church where someone had thrown a bucket of white paint all over it. Then, two nights later, somebody emptied another bucket over it! We're not going to bother having it scrapped back and cleaned this time - not if it's just going to happpen again a few days later.

As my old rector used to say: 'if you're not getting shot at, you're not in the front line'. In as much as I hate this sort of turmoil, it's good to know that we must be giving the devil a hard time.


What's new on the site

Unbelievably, the site is continuing to progress. I was excited to get 22,525 hits in March. Then we nearly doubled that in April with 44,154 hits. In June the site received 72,636. Remarkable!

Analysing the statistics, I note that the largest single download (in terms of volume) was accounted for by the 40 or so people who downloaded the high quality audio version of my sermon on Genesis 22. Plenty of people seem to be listening to this. Mind you, no one has yet contacted me to tell me that they actually found it helpful!

Most exciting of all, this month I've finally got the shop seriously open for business! Please wander in and have browse around. You'll find that there's a few software items on the shelf, with plenty more to come. Let me know what you think - improvements that can be made in layout, other items I should have for sale, etc. I'm very open to suggestions.

I'm hoping of course that eventually the shop might generate enough income to make a significant difference to the ministry. All in good time I trust.

One suggestion you don't need to make is about the need for the electronic transfer of files after someone pays for a piece of software. I hope to have that operating by next month.

The other exciting thing to report this month is that there's a competition going, with free software as the prize!!!!

Look to the sidebar on the right for details.


Computer Tip #9 - ZipInstaller

Just when I should be advertising a piece of my own software, I'm going to recommend to you a piece of freeware called 'ZipInstaller'.

Most Windows software programmes now come complete with an installation (or 'setup') routine. Some smaller programmes (like some of those that are on sale in my shop) do not have any built-in installation routine.

Some applications don't need to be elaborately installed because they don't add any files to your system folders and they don't make any changes to your registry. This is a great when it comes to uninstalling the programme. You just delete it without worrying about the various files it might have spread through your system.

Such programmes though can be a bit annoying if you want to use them regularly. You'll probably want to install the programme somewhere in the 'Program Files' folder on the C: drive, and you'll probably want shortcuts in your start menu and possibly on your desktop as well. This is not difficult to accomplisyh, but it is all time-consuming.

This is where 'ZipInstaller' comes into play. It installs applications that don't have their own installation routine, and it does so directly from their zip file!

Find the zip file, choose a target directory, and you can choose where you want your shortcuts to go, all via a graphical interface. Zipinstaller even creates an 'uninstall' routine!

Zipinstaller is freeware, and it's author, Nir Sofer, says that it can be distributed any way we like, so long as it's for personal use and so long as it's free. Click here here to grab your free copy.

Sermon of the month

Yes, it's Trinity Sunday again, and it's time to take out and dust off everybody's favourite doctrine once again!

If you've read the Athanasian Creed you know the score: 'the Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the whole thing incomprehensible'!

Well, I don't know if I made it any more comprehensible, but I did have a go at it.

Click here to join me in some meaty theological reflection!

Fight Tip No.9 - Focus on your performance

There was a great lesson was learnt by my guys who participated in last Saturday night's fighting - don't be overly concerned about what judges say.

My three boxers all lost last weekend, even they fought beautifully! I thought two out of three won, but the judges saw it differently, and I don't pretend to be unbiased.

The point is this: the decision made on a fight is something which is never under your control, and it should not ultimately affect your own evaluation of your performance.

The outcome of a fight depends on a number of variables. How good is your opponent? How good was he tonight? How were the judges feeling? Had any of them just had a marital squabble? Did the referee miss anything? Did your opponent get in any genuinely 'lucky shots'? Did you get any?

The point is that none of these things are under your control. The only thing that you control in the ring is you, and that's gotta be your goal. You do your best. You maintain control. You leave the rest in the hands of God and the judges.

Who's that in the picture? My opponent from last Saturday night - Zac 'the Warrior' Taumafi. My body aches just looking at him. Click the pic though if you want an enlargement.

Competition No.1

Since you've gone to the trouble of subscribing to my newsletter, I'm going to thank you by giving you a free copy of 'Fighting Fathers' Cookie Cruncher'.

Cookie Cruncher helps you stay on top of the 'Cookies'(ie. small files) that different web sites leave on your computer. Friendly sites leave cookies so that they can remember your name and make your browsing experience more pleasurable. Less friendly sites use cookies to track your preferences and target you for advertising.

Internet Explorer will give you the option to delete ALL your cookies. Cookie Cruncher lets you look at them first and then decide which ones you want to get rid of.

I've got the Cruncher selling for $9.95, which is cheap already, but I'm offering it to you for nothing. All you've got to do is ... (sorry, this info is for newsletter subscribers only).