It seems like forever since I last touched base with my friends
and supporters. I'm just completing five weeks of long-service
leave, and have been splitting my time pretty evenly between
labouring away at Binacrombi retreat site - deep in the Australian
bush - and promoting my book.
It's quite a jarring experience to lose the weekly rhythm
of worship, meetings, fight training & endless phone calls,
but I can't really pretend I've missed it all (especially the
phone calls). I've greatly enjoyed getting my hands dirty and
blistered - chopping wood and hauling around heavy machinery.
OK, I'm a strange person, but you knew that.
And I must mention my return yesterday from Binacrombi. After
leaving the blessed environs of kangaroos and wombats in the
morning, we drove all the way back to inner-city Sydney, only
to be greeted by a brawl taking place on our doorstep. Well,
I suppose it was our Youth Centre's doorstep really, but
we're located directly across the street from one another.
One of the girls had apparently called one of the boys a 'mother-somethin'
and the boy had ... well ... questioned the moral integrity
of the girl. She then hit him, and dared him to hit her back
and ... well ... he did. Next thing the girl's father was here
with his shirt off, shaping up to the boys - threatening and
carrying on. Someone let fly a kick and ... welcome back to
Congratulations to our youth workers Tony and Mitch for the
way they handled that one. By the time I jumped in, Mitch had
a good hold on the father and Tony had all but dispersed the
boys. Still, it did make me wish that I'd stayed in the bush
just a little bit longer.
"How's 'Sex, the Ring & the Eucharist' going,
Dave?" I hear you ask. Well ... slowly but steadily
is the answer. Unfortunately I haven't sold 1000's of copies
of the book yet, but I have sold a couple of hundred, and it
all makes a difference.
What has been very encouraging has been the reviews I've been
getting. Fancy getting a full-page review in one of Sydney's
two biggest newspapers! If you'd like to take a look at it now,
you can see it in its original layout (complete with colour pic!)
by clicking here. Thanks
again to my favourite sports writer, Jeff Wells.
In addition to the Daily Telegraph, I've been interviewed
by two newspapers and three radio stations thus far. Indeed,
the book is apparently proving quite a hit in Darwin (one part
of Australia that I don't ever expect to get to) where TOP
FM have asked for more copies to give away to their listeners.
Most gratifying of all has been the response I've been getting
from you guys - my friends and supporters. In truth, my most prized
comment on the book thus far was made by my buddy Greg 'the
Widow-Maker' Lytton - fighter, trainer and all round nice
guy. He says, "It's good to see priests are human too."
If I have a single goal in publishing the book, apart from
raising funds for our work, it is that I might bring the church
community and the fight community just a little bit closer
together. Who knows? At this rate I might even get Widow-Maker
into church one day! (but I won't hold my breath).
And we are still doing a big Amazon book buy-up
In the meantime, if you haven't read the book, how's about getting
a copy of the pdf version now. It's still AUD $9.95 (about US$7).
I'll complete the reformatting of the book in the next week or
so, and the price will go up to $19.95. Registered owners will
get a free upgrade. If you'd like to grab a copy, click here.
And before I let you go today, I want to ask for your prayers
for two dear friends of mine.
One is Jacob Reid, a wonderful 7-year-old boy whose
cancer problem is just getting increasingly bad at present. Pray
for him, for my best buddy Scott (his dad) and for his mum, Sandy.
The other mate of mine who needs your prayers at the moment
is my friend Morde Vanunu.
There may be some reading this who don't know Morde's story
- how he was working in the manufacture of nuclear weapons in
a hidden plant in the Negev desert in Israel, until he felt the
call of God upon him to blow the whistle on his government and
tell the world the truth about what was going on.
It is possible that some of you have never heard of how he
was kidnapped from Italy, smuggled back to Israel in the base
of a cargo ship, tried in secret, and sentenced to 18 years in
prison (spending the first 11 and a half years in solitary confinement)!
Well, Morde, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize
every year since he has been in prison, is due for release this
coming April 21st, but (surprise, surprise) apparently the Israeli
government is having second thoughts about releasing him!
I guess they are nervous about having Morde roaming around proclaiming
to everybody that Israel has more weapons of mass destruction
than the rest of the Middle East put together!
To those who'd like to know more about Morde, SBS radio
(the Australian government multi-cultural station) recently put
together a short documentary on him. You can download the entire
piece as an MP3 sound file by right-clicking here
and chosing 'save target as'. It's 4.7 mb, but I highly
If you can't manage the download, I'd encourage you to read my
recent 'Rave about Morde', and/or to download
my collection of his "Letters from Solitary" (nb.
scroll to bottom of this page).
Even if you don't download anything, please pray for the man.
He is a faithful soul and a dear friend.
I commit you all to God's tender care till next we speak.
Yours in the Good Fight,