Subject for ezine:
Partners in the Good Fight
Father Dave's Partner's Ezine
in the Good Fight
one man dreams, it is just a dream, but when we all dream together,
is the beginning of a new reality.
Dom Helder Camara
It seems as if 2011 only just began and already the Yuletide Season is upon us! I guess that means a lot of extra shopping for most of us. For me, strangely, it has meant a lot of extra fighting!
In October I had the privilege of competing for the Gold Medal in boxing at the Australian Masters Games in
Adelaide. The first round of that bout is this month's video. It was my first 'official' fight in fifteen years, and I enjoyed the experience very much!
As you probably know, I followed that up with a 60-round box-a-thon, where (thanks to your wonderful support) we raised almost $3,500 for our Youth Centre! This was a magnificent result.
Six days later I was back in the ring again, this time competing at the ABL National Titles, again in the 'Masters' division. And this time I won the gold medal!
I think my success this time was almost entirely due to my excellent corner team (pictured above). It was an especially great privilege to have heavyweight champ, Solomon Haumono, in my corner at that event, and I'm hoping to return the favour next week when he fights the big New Zealander - Junior Pati - in Brisbane.
In truth, I didn't feel that the ABL event was one of my best performances (even though I won) and yet something really mind-blowing happened after the fight that I must tell you about. People threw money into the ring!
If you're a long-time boxing fan you may be familiar with this practice. It's called a 'shower' and it was a traditional way in which fight fans would show appreciation of a particular boxing match by tossing coins into the ring for the fighters. In truth though, I haven't seen a 'shower' in more than 10 years, and I certainly never expected to see one at an event I was participating in!
My corner team and I got down on our hands and knees and put all the coins in our bucket. The Church Wardens counted up the proceeds the next day - almost $500 worth of coins! It was a heavy bucket!
I learnt something very important from this bizarre experience.
As I said, it wasn't the best performance I had ever put in, so I don't think these good people were throwing money simply because it was an amazingly entertaining bout, just as I don't think the unexpectedly generous response we received for the box-a-thon came because the '60-round' concept was so captivating.
In both cases, as I realised after the events, the love and goodwill of the community had been there for us all along. These people were just waiting for the right opportunity through which to demonstrate their affection!
Sometimes there's a lot more support for us out there than we realise! That's an important lesson to take to heart, especially if you (like me) sometimes feel isolated and alone? Sometimes we have more people on our team than we realise - people who pray for us and want to support us, but who need an appropriate avenue for showing us how much they care.
Of course I can't promise that every section of society is as generous as the boxing community, and I appreciate that there aren't many neighbourhoods around where everyone is as gracious and good-hearted as they are in Dulwich Hill. Even so, I know that the Lord is capable of taking care of us wherever we are, and that life can be full of wonderful surprises!
click the pics to see the full-size images
This Month's Freebie: Virtual Stocking Fillers
In the ongoing battle against the mind-numbing consumerism that characterises the Yuletide season, we've put together a virtual stocking full of family-friendly gift ideas that won't cost you a red cent!
Click here or click the pic of Santa's elf on the right to be taken to the virtual stocking page, where you can download a variety of Christmas stories in eBook format.
Print them out and read them to your kids
Snuggle up with your Kindle and enjoy them yourself
Pass them on to friends by email as virtual Christmas gifts
Indeed, the beauty of this stocking-full of Christmas eGoodies is that they can all be re-gifted, either in their current form or one book at a time! Email them to friends, add them to your site, surprise your partner by installing them on her iPhone while she has her back turned! Be creative!
Hopefully you'll find something here for that aunt who has everything BUT a well-stocked eBook library, and you'll save you a few dollars that you can redirect to those who really need it this Christmas.
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled in front of him, and he will separate them from each other as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32)
Talking about 'judgement' has become rather unfashionable in religious circles nowadays, and the idea that God will one day judge the nations probably sounds rather archaic to the 21st century western ear. Ironically, of course, when it comes to NATO and the world's superpowers, judging the nations of the world has never been so popular!.
From a Biblical point of view, God's judgement of the world is not only inevitable but desirable, and desirable because God's judgement is based on an entirely different standard to that used by the superpowers.
The real surprise in Jesus' depiction of this judgement, as mapped out in this passage in Matthew 25, is that nobody seems to be able to work out exactly what God's standard is! One thing that is clear though is that God's basis for discriminating between people seems as far removed from traditional religious categories as it is from our familiar political ones!
Confused? It may help to try reading the written version of this sermon here or your can download the MP3 from the member site (and leave your feedback) here. Alternatively, just click the play button below to listen now.
This is the pimped version of my gold-medal fight at the Australian Masters Games in Adelaide.
In truth, I'm still not sure what the term 'pimped' really means, but Fighting Father Denning said he was determined to seriously pimp out the video, and this is the result. If you're more of a boxing purist, you might prefer the non-pimped version (click here). That version is longer as it includes all three rounds, but is far less entertaining.
Either way, this was my first official fight in 15 years, and while I lost the bout I truly enjoyed the experience. Marty Lawrence was a great opponent, and the journey that took me to Adelaide was as important as the destination itself. The journey involved running 10 km/day over three months and losing 9kg, and so attaining a fitness level such that I was able to complete the 60-round box-a-thon last weekend with relative ease.
I'm feeling now that the Good Lord must want me back in the ring for a time, and while I'm not quite sure where this is all going to lead, I've got a feeling that I'm going to be doing a fair bit of fighting over the next 12 months. We'll see. Personally, I'll be happy if my future efforts match my performance in Adelaide.
That's plenty from me for today. I'll be in contact again with a card by the 25th, if not before. If you are going to be in our area, we'd love to have you join us in person this Christmas. Our Christmas Day Eucharist is at 9am, with carols on our front lawn on Christmas Eve at 7pm.
Between now and then I wish you wisdom and strength as you try to navigate the difficult days of pre-Christmas madness ahead. If you have young children like me it is a difficult balancing act. Along with trying to balance your finances, you have to deal with the moral struggle, where you try to maintain your integrity and not give in to the commercialism that has completely overtaken the celebration of Christ's birth, but at the same time you don't want to unnecessarily disappoint your children either.
If you've found a solid formula for dealing with this dilemma please do share your wisdom on the forum. I, for one, would be most grateful.
May the Lord bless and strengthen you until next we meet.