Subject for ezine:
Partners in the Good Fight
Father Dave's Partner's Ezine
Partners in the Fight
When one man dreams, it is just a dream, but when we all dream together, it is the beginning of a new reality.
Dom Helder Camara
Well ... it's that time of year again!
Festive garlands are starting to spread their way across our shopping centres like a tinselly red and green virus, signalling that the time is fast approaching when we are going to have to dig deep into our pockets to give the retail sector the income boost that they've been yearning for as we approach the end of another year!
I must confess that the first thing that comes to me when this realisation strikes is the number of things I intended to achieve this year that I haven't achieved! Wasn't I going to publish the second edition of my book this year? Wasn't that gym supposed to be built by now at Binacrombi? Didn't I plan to have fighting-fathers.com far more advanced by now?
The stupidity of this mentality is not only that it detracts from recognising the wonderful things that we have achieved, but also that it caters to the workaholic in me - the neurotic obsessive side of me that believes that the only way to achieve my mission in life is to put in more hours and work harder.
Even renowned atheist Bertram Russell felt that one good thing religion had given the world was the concept of a 'Sabbath' - an understanding that there was more to life than work, and that a full life required taking regular time out for rest and recreation. The problem is that many of us who are trying to be faithful don't take the concept seriously at all!
Jesus did. I often think of that scene where the woman pours expensive ointment all over Jesus' feet and the disciples object, "this perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor!", and I know that that's exactly the response I would have made too. There were more useful things that could have been done with a gift like that! It seemed so extravagant, so wasteful! But Jesus tells His boys to leave the woman alone, and that she's done a beautiful thing (Luke 7).
I'm not suggesting that Jesus lived a 'balanced' life. Nobody would call the life of Jesus, nor that of the disciples, 'balanced'. Even so, Jesus certainly knew how to party. In fact, He developed a reputation amongst His peers as a glutton and a drunkard! (Matthew 11:19) Perhaps that's a dimension of Christ-likeness that more of us should aspire to?
This Month's Leonidas Award
This is an award I used to present occasionally to my fighters. Leonidas, you might remember was the leader of the 300 Spartans took a stand at Thermopylae and held off the Persian army for six days - an army Herodotus numbered at more than half a million. The Leonidas award therefore goes to those who show courage and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds.
This month's recipient of the Leonidas award is a long-term member of the Order of the Fighting Fathers - Tanya Bosch, O.F.F. - who this week won the UCI Track Cycling World Masters Championship.
Tanya has made cycling her life, has her own 'Onya Bike' coaching business, and is regularly called upon for her expert opinion on all matters cycling (such as in this Woman's Day article).
Tanya describes this victory as the fulfilment of a life-long dream. The runners-up pictured below are Marian Renshaw and Deborah Visentin.
You can access Tanya directly on Fighting-Fathers.com via this link. Hit the mail icon to leave your congratulatory message.
We've had plenty of activity on the forum in the last week, though not all of it has been equally appreciated. Indeed, one member has had her membership revoked. We do our best to maintain our forum as a place for respectful dialogue. Please do your best to support it by posting your thoughts (and if you haven't registered yet, the VIP code 1861).
If you've checked the Fighting Fathers calendar lately, you might have noticed Holy Trinity's Armistice Day event, coming up on Sunday November 9th. It's a night of war-time poetry accompanied by sacred choral music - a true Fighting Fathers event! Full details here.
Also on the Fighting Fathers calendar is a one-man musical extravaganza being staged by Fighting Father Denning Blackadder on Friday November 7th. Denning is the creative force behind Mordechai - a unique musical force named after our brother in chains, Morde Vanunu (nuclear whistle-blower and peace activist). The concert is free and the details are here.
And while we're on the subject of Morde Vanunu, it was his birthday last week. If you haven't sent him birthday greetings yet, send them .
Another Sermonic Showdown
Here's another sermonic showdown between Father Elias and myself.
Our texts, once again, are taken from the latter chapters of the Gospel according to St Matthew, and that's about where the similarities between the two sermons end!
As always, we welcome your feedback in the 'sermon' section of the forum.
Render to Caesar what is Caesar's (Father Elias)
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his talk. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?"
But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:15-21)
A Parable of Banqueting and Brutality (Father Dave)
And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.'
But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
"But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen." (Matthew 22:1-14)
And before I let you go today, I've got one more award-winning athlete who deserves some credit.
Damon Alley-Tovio is the guy on the left - a powerful asset to the mighty Newtown Jets Rugby League team, who recently competed against Wentorthville in a historic football final, where so much extra time had to be given in order to break the tied scores that it became the longest Rugby League final in history!
Damo earned a well-deserved NSW Cup Grand Final medal for his performance, but is pictured here handing it over to Anthony Rowan - a young man who, despite his disability, managed to make it to every home game played by the Jets this year. Damo thought Anthony deserved the medal more than he did!
I'm ready to see Damo take the vows and get the Fighting Fathers Tatt now (to add to his collection). He embodies the spirit of the Fighting Fathers - a hard bastard with a soft heart.
And in closing, let me thank you for all your feedback on the beta version of the new www.fatherdave.org. I appreciate that it's slow-loading, doesn't work yet on all browsers, and has a (damn) Yankee hymn as the background music, so I'm taking all that into account as I make my improvements. If you haven't seen it yet, click here and do let me know what you think.
OK. That's enough from me for this week.
May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.