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Date for ezine: September 29, 2003
Subject for ezine: The Good Fight, no.12

Father Dave's Newsletter No.12

The Good Fight
The Good Fight
September 29, 2003   Fathers Dave's Monthly Newsletter
The view from my corner

Hi Friends,

Well, here I am at the end of one of the toughest weeks I've had in many, many years. I know it's been a tough one for me. Not only has my good sense been telling me that it's time to slow down, but my body actually gave out on me. Yep. Last week I collapsed. This has only happened to me once before, about 13 years ago, on the night my first marriage ended. It's a humbling thing when you're brought face to face with your own humanity like this. My body just didn't want to go on. Luckily I managed to grab hold of somebody as I was going down, and so avoided hitting my head on the pavement, and with the help of some kindly persons from a local country pub, I was eventually able to regain my equilibrium. It was scary though.

The pressure has been coming mainly from our Binacrombi campsite - normally a place of relaxation and peace. Unfortunately our relationship with the caretaker soured somewhat. There's no need to go into the grimy details, but suffice it to say that it's a story of drugs, theft, lies, threats, and that it even involved one of our cabins burning down. The story ended dramatically on Monday night with the former caretaker being forcefully escorted from the premises by the police while screaming "I'll see you in hell Dave" at the top of his voice. And to add to the imagery, lightning was flashing in the background and the wind was howling! It would have made a good B-Grade movie.

The climax of this tragedy is past, but the hard part for me now is having the energy to follow through with tying up the loose ends. I've attended court (and have an AVO to protect me for the next three years). I've now got to move the old stuff out, move new caretakers in, and try to make a fresh start. If anyone out there is feeling a sudden call to come and take up campsite management while I recuperate, just say the word.

And before leaving you, can I ask you all to pray for my friends Carol & Jay, who lost their young daughter Bethany this week to sudden illness. It's been a hard week.

God bless, Dave

What's new on the site

If the news from the 'life' front is struggle and pain this month, the news from the site is uniformly encouraging.

We scored over a quarter of a million hits on the site in the first two weeks this month! According to my stats, that means at least 5000 new visitors tramping thier way around the site - many of whom were heading to the 'SMW Rave Page'.

In case you missed it, I was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday (Review Section, p.27) along with my new friend Dr Lyn Adams-Gow, as part of an investigation into 'Get Rich Quick' Guru, Roy McDonald.

If you're wondering how I (or Dr Adams-Gow for that matter) ever became entangled with Mr McDonald, I'd encourage you to read the articles in the Rave section. They are being added to and updated all the time. I'll also post up a copy of the Herald article, as soon as I'm able to.

I do believe that this Rave has accomplished some considerable good for a considerable number of people. It would appear that has been at the centre of the dispute between the SMW organisation and its many dissatisfied customers - some of whom seem to have lost their entire livelihoods to the organisation. Thankfully now though many are having their monies refunded. Click here for the full story.

The other 'big' news' from the site of course was the publication of my US Civil War eBook Collection. I am still mighty proud of this, and would like every person on this mailing list (there's 126 of you at present) to have a copy - at least of the central work, "I followed Armistead until I saw him fall".

Click here to download this short but notable book. If you don't like it, well, thanks for taking a look anyway. If you would like access to all the chapters, the cost is $5, but if you really can't afford $5 at the moment, just email me and tell me the 'password number' that came with your book. I really don't want to deny this book to any of you.

Note that the book will be downloaded in 'zip' archive format. If you don't have an 'unzipping' utility already, you can download a free copy of 'Instant Unzip' by clicking here.


Computer Tip #11 - Character Counter

Just a quick speel this time about a piece of software that has recently become my new best friend - 'Character Counter'.

To be quite honest with you, this is a piece of software that I purchased the rights to, but frankly thought that I'd never have any use for myself. I couldn't have been more mistaken.

I've spent a little bit of time lately having a go at making submissions to Search Engines. If you don't know what this is about, it needn't concern you, but it involves filling in a lot of web-based forms, and these forms keep asking you to enter a description of your site that is 'no longer than 150 characters', or 'no more than 30 words', or '300 characters max.' etc.

Friends, have you got any idea how tedious it is, filling out a form box and then trying to count all the characters and spaces you've just entered? By the end of the first form, you've had a gutful!

Enter Character Counter. It's simple. It's small. It's quick. Cut and Paste your text and 'voila' - a read-out on characters, words, spaces, etc. It's $5. Check it out here.

Sermon of the month

As a special treat this month we have our first sermon from a 'guest preacher'.

Yes, the guest preacher is my better half, Ange, who recently delivered a blist- ering sermon on the text of Ephesians 5:20 - "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything."

This seemed like a particularly appropriate text to reflect upon this month, and Ange is just the girl to lead us in the reflection.

Click here to go there now.

Sexy Guest Preacher!

This month's sexy guest preacher! (click the pic for the full-size version)

Fight Tip No.11
Never let them know you're hurting

Mohammed Ali was the expert at this. He'd taunt his opponent, pull silly faces, make dismissive gestures. At no time were his antics more pronounced than when he was really in trouble.

'That didn't hurt' he'd say, as Joe Frazier caught him with a left hook that rattled his brain. 'Is that the best you can do?' he'd say to George Foreman, as he tried to suck in the pain from the shot he'd just taken.

The Art of War is the art of subterfuge, taught Sun Tzu. "Always mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy" taught Stonewall Jackson. The goal of the cunning warrior is to make his opponent think that he is weak where he is strong. Likewise, the clever warrior makes his opponent think that he is strong at the point where he may be helpless.

It may appear at first glance that deliberately misleading people is an odd way for a person of integrity to be- have. Not so in this case. For the goal of the dec- eption is simply to hide your own pain and weakness from those who should not be privy to it.

There is a popular stance that suggests that every one should try to be entirely open about how they are feeling towards everyone else. This sort of honesty is often just irresponsibility.

As a father, there are times when I need to put on a 'strong face' for the sake of my children, despite how I may be feeling. As a pastor of a church, there are likewise times when I need to recognise my symbolic role as a pillar for others to lean on. This is not to say that it's always approrpriate to 'put up a front'. It all depends upon the nature of the battle, and your role in it.

In the ring though the maxim always holds true: 'never let them know you're hurting'.