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
It's good to be back with you, alive and kicking, after having spent so much of the last month in hospital and on my back, battling kidney infections and other maladies that almost knocked me out of the ring permanently!
It was a whole new experience for me - enduring levels of physical pain I hadn't encountered before and getting through the mental anguish of a paracetamol overdose that one of the nursing staff accidentally administered. That was a trip I never want to experience again.
Even so, I fully appreciate that my difficulties have been minuscule when seen in comparison with the battles that so many of us are fighting worldwide. This was strongly brought home to me by one member of our online community who wrote to me to ask, "is the situation as bad as Sorcha claims here in Palestine? Are those people being starved to death?"
The commentator he was referring to was Sorcha Faal and her article on the systematic annihilation of the Palestinian people can be found here. My answer of course was, 'yes, it really is that bad, though everyone in the West (and the media in particular) seems to be trying to look the other way!'
In truth, there is a holocaust going on in Palestine at the moment, with countless Gazans now suffering from chronic malnutrition that is a direct result of the Israeli blockade.
A 46-page report from the International Committee of the Red Cross, released this month, concluded that the heavy restrictions on all major sectors of Gaza's economy, compounded by a cost of living increase of at least 40 per cent, is causing "progressive deterioration in food security for up to 70 per cent of Gaza's population" (more details here).
Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza, saying, “By function of this blockade, 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights for months. This is in direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law. It must end now.”
The High Commissioner further called for the Israeli authorities to facilitate the urgent passage of essential humanitarian goods, including food, medical supplies, and fuel, to immediately allow the restoration of electricity, water and other essential services, and to lift movement restrictions preventing the passage of civilians for medical, educational and religious purposes. “Decisive steps must be taken to preserve the dignity and basic welfare of the civilian population, more than half of which are children,” she added.
In truth, the situation in Gaza is one that cries out to Heaven for redress. Something has to be done and I simply hate the thought of watching another Christmas go by with the Christian world singing songs of peace and goodwill to all while Gaza quietly rots. Of course I appreciate that for most of us it's hard to know what to do in order to make a difference, but perhaps we can begin with prayer.
Pray for the people of Gaza this Christmas season. Pray, speak out where you can, talk to your political representatives and send letters. Do what you can, but don't forget to pray for the people of Gaza this Christmas.
As all who know me well would have guessed, I didn't spend all that time on my back in hospital just staring at the ceiling. Indeed, one of the positives to my involuntary time-out was the opportunity to really focus on finishing the update to my personal site: www.fatherdave.org
I'm very proud of my new site, but I must tell you that I couldn't have done it without the help of all you guys who helped me with the beta testing, and special thanks must go to my mate from the other side of Australia, James Hannagan.
James optimised code for me, made the homepage compatible with browsers other than Microsoft's Internet Explorer and tweaked all sorts of things under the bonnet that I'll never understand. You can see other examples of this man's brilliance on www.nuclearpoweredgames.com
I'd really appreciate your feedback on the site if you haven't given it to me already. Let me know:
Have we successfully fixed all the bugs or is the site not working for you?
Do you think the new site achieves my aims - sharing the message and drawing sponsors.
For indeed, I haven't just redesigned the whole thing to make it look more pretty. I've dropped a large amount of material and refocused the site on two things:
Giving visitors quick and easy access to the articles and sermons.
Giving potential sponsors information about our work and good reasons for supporting us.
I guess I'm also attempting to use the site to make fight training appear a little less politically incorrect, at least in the context in which we use it, and I'm also hoping that my multimedia presentation might help humanise the image of the church.
So I suppose I've got high hopes for the site, and if you're willing to help me promote it I'd be deeply grateful. So please tell a friend, flock it, digg it or give it a thumbs up in stumbleupon. I've added buttons to the main page to help make this easy. It all starts here.
Dan has linked us to a video of a riot between Christian clergy of different denominations taking place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It's hard to see exactly what they are fighting about. Perhaps one of our members could add some creative subtitles?
Jarey has discovered two new green fuel solutions. The first is a portable nuclear reactor that can be buried in your back yard and will power all your energy needs for five years! The second is a Chinese mushroom that turns plant waste into biofuel!
Alfamax has started a raging discussion over the current worldwide economic crisis. What is at the heart of the problem - bad political decisions, unscrupulous big business, or just plain old human greed? Contribute your thoughts to this pool of communal wisdom.
And Brother Andy and the team have extended our discussion, our understanding and quite possibly our confusion over the Meaning of Meaning. Indeed, as this post now includes 47 posts and has had over 2,300 views, I'm thinking there might be sufficient interest for me to run my 'Meaning of Meaning' course as an online discussion group in 2009. Interested?
So please continue to add your wisdom to the mix, and remember that if you haven't joined the forum yet, remember that you'll need VIP code '1861' to do so.
Password Manager is a handy utility for anyone who has trouble remembering their passwords. Amongst other thing it:
Saves usernames, password and their URL's
Encrypts the main file to keep your passwords private
Allows you to add an unlimited passwords and usernames
And included in the zip file is a free copy of 'Password Generator' in case you (like everyone else) have trouble making up random passwords that are truly random. All members (both paid and free) can download the software from the 'Members Benefits' section of www.fighting-fathers.com.
Yet 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.
Call No Man 'Father' (Father Dave)
Jesus said, "You must not be called 'Teacher,' because you are all equal and have only one Teacher. And you must not call anyone here on earth 'Father,' because you have only the one Father in heaven. Nor should you be called 'Leader,' because your one and only leader is the Messiah. The greatest one among you must be your servant." (Matthew 23:8-11)
It still amazes me that the church chose to call its clerics 'Father' when Jesus said so plainly, "Call no man 'Father'", and I can appreciate why a number of faithful souls in our online community stringently avoid using the term when addressing me. So how do I deal with this very clear and straightforward prohibition of Scripture? Click here for the written version or turn your speakers up and hit the play button.
The story of the Foolish Young Girls (Father Elias)
Jesus said, "At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps.
The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep. "It was already midnight when the cry rang out, 'Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!' The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, 'Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.' 'No, indeed,' the wise ones answered, 'there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.' So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed. "Later the others arrived. 'Sir, sir! Let us in!' they cried out. 'Certainly not! I don't know you,' the bridegroom answered." And Jesus concluded, "Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13)
Isn't the Gospel supposed to be about charity? There doesn't seem to be a lot of it on display in this passage! Is Jesus really comparing Himself to this harsh bridegroom who forgets the names and faces of his wedding guests? Hit the play button to hear Father Elias' response.
The Truth the West does not want to hear!
This brief documentary has to be one of the most disturbing yet encouraging pieces of film I've ever seen!
It's the work of one courageous former soldier of the Israeli Defense Forces who decided that it was time to come clean about what really goes on in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Most of the former soldiers interviewed now live in the US and look back with regret on what they did.
Even so, I couldn't watch this footage without wondering why these people have not subsequently been charged as war criminals. Moreover, after watching this footage I could not help but wonder how it is that so many in the West manage to deny what is really happening in Palestine when even the perpetrators are coming forward and confessing the truth! This is a must-see!
Father Dave gets beaten up for Charity
And just to end this ezine on a slightly lighter note, I thought I'd include one of the videos I've uploaded to my YouTube account
Indeed, it's by far the most popular of my YouTube videos. Its my charity stoush with Anthony Mundine, the current World Super-Middleweight Champ.
It was a few years ago now, but I've been friends with Choc and even moreso with his manger, Khoder, ever since. Both are men I deeply respect.
I really hope you enjoy this video, and if you do, I hope you'll consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. You can view my channel it by clicking here, where you'll find that I've already uploaded 13 videos, mainly of TV news clips and documentaries that have been made of our work, but you'll also find a few fights in case that's more to your liking.
At this stage I've got at least another dozen media clips to upload, and I'll be publishing them gradually over the next few months. If you subscribe to my channel through a free YouTube account you'll be notified whenever I upload a new video.
OK, now I know this has been a long ezine but before I let you go I want to say a few words about my planned trip to the USA, scheduled for early next year.
My hope is that I'll be attending a conference in San Francisco towards the end of February '09. The conference is aimed at showing not-for-profit companies like mine how to get corporate sponsorship for their work - a topic that interests me greatly.
At any rate, I still need to do my sums to make sure I can get there, but if I do, I certainly want to make the most of my trip by spending another week after the conference has concluded, visiting friends and subscribers.
My natural inclination will be to scurry over the the East coast for that week and scour a few Civil War battle sites while I'm there, but I might even be willing to sacrifice that joy if it means meeting up in person with a few more of my online partners in the Good Fight.
So if you are one of the American members of our online community, do let me know if you'd like to meet up next year, particularly if you live in San Francisco. And keep in mind that I may well be able to do take on some preaching and speaking engagements while I'm there.
May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.