Monday Missive – March18th, 2013

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Hi Fighter,

I hope you’re having a good week. This last week for me has been one of great highs and lows (and not much in between).

One of the highs was tonight! Ange and I had the opportunity to go and hear an address from Ed Bearss – one of the world’s greatest historians on the American Civil War. He is a living legend in his field and turns 90 this year!

Those who remember Ken Burns’ documentary series on the US Civil War will remember Ed. Those who have taken one of Ed’s battlefield tours will never forget him!  :-)

My whole family had the privilege of doing a tour of the Gettysburg Battlefield with Ed back in 2001. Unfortunately, while we were re-tracing the progress of a battle through some thick grass, my eldest daughter, Veronica (who was only 11 at the time), walked on to a hornet’s nest!

The result was very painful for her and for me as well as I ran to her and picked her up and then just stood there, getting stung myself, as I  couldn’t think what else to do until Ange yelled at me “get off the hornets’ nest!”  

I got some time with Ed after his talk tonight and asked him, “do you remember a young girl who you gave a ‘Courage Under Fire’ award to for her bravery when attacked by hornets back in 2001?”  His response was “Like it was yesterday!”

The Legendary Ed Bearss
The Legendary Ed Bearss (click to see the pic at full-size)

Fight Night Wrap-up

Our fight night last Friday was an event of both highs and lows.

The lows started the day before when Reza’s opponent pulled out! Then we arrived at the venue and found that Kath’s opponent had weighed in too light and her fight couldn’t go ahead either! That left only Ash and Caine.

Ash put in a great performance. He’s only 17 and it was his first stoush! Caine, on the other hand, didn’t do as well as we’d hoped!

Caine’s opponent was an old student of mine. He is the only student I’ve ever had to ask to leave the club! It was many years ago, and suffice it to say that he’s not known for his self-control. Nothing had changed. There were lots of shots to the kidneys and the back of the head. At one point Caine was wrestled to the ground and at another he was almost pushed through the ropes and out of the ring!

The experience broke Caine’s concentration and he lost his will to fight. He stayed in there like a good soldier and saw the fight to its conclusion, but it left a bad taste in our mouths.

As St Paul says, “We get knocked down but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9), and I’m trusting that this will ultimately be a growth experience for our brother. Even so, I’d sooner that none of us had to venture into the darker side of boxing.

Trinity Gym Fight Team of March 14
Left to Right: Reza, Kath, Mungo, Caine (in front), Sol, Eric, me & Ash

Partying with Jesus

My sermon this week focuses on the scandalous party-behavior of Jesus, and I hope I communicate the controversial nature of Jesus’ actions clearly enough!

The passage is John 12:1-11, where we read of a young woman who throws herself all over Jesus – perfuming his feet and wiping his feet with her hair!

The fact that Jesus lets this sort of thing go on in public should offend most conservative Christians. It certainly offended the religious leaders of His day, as did Jesus’ drinking and the general company he kept!

I hope I do the passage justice. You’ll find the written version here if you prefer to read it.

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If you can’t view the video, click here.

Farewell to an old friend

The most painful low for me this week has been the death of a dear old friend – Grace Reppion.

Grace was a mother to many in our parish family. She was a saintly woman with a great sense of humor. Each year at around this time she would tell me that she’d decided to give up sex for Lent as a part of her spiritual discipline! 

I found this lovely pic of Grace with dear Father Elias, taken back in 2009. Her funeral will be held at Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill on Wednesday week (March 27) at 10 am.

Grace Reppion with Father Elias in 2009
Grace Reppion with Father Elias in 2009

OK, I’d better get to bed! It’s gone 4am and there’s much to do tomorrow/today.

I’m busy preparing the final details for the Boot Camp this coming weekend. I should have lots of pics for you next week of us training and swimming and riding go-carts etc. There are still a few spots left if you’re keen to join us but please let me know right away.

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called

Your brother in the Good Fight,


P.S. I should mention too that Denning and I have decided NOT to go to Syria next month.  We are no less committed to the people of Syria or to the work of peacemaking, but the original program we were hoping to be a part of is not taking place now. Hopefully we’ll get our chance later in the year. Thank you very much for your prayers and advice.

About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

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1 thought on “Monday Missive – March18th, 2013”

  1. Father Dave,

    I absolutely LOVE this sermon and in my own personal ways have related extremely to this for many reasons. Thank you for preaching a fabulous sermon. I will say that I used to sell Chanel cosmetics and parfume and toiletries. Being a woman and of knowledge in this area I know how expensive, how meaningfull such parfum can be through the marketing I worked in and in the understanding of your explanations. “Confidence Can liberate us” More like Mary and less like Judas. Father Dave I hardly ever here women as an example to be followed. Thank you for putting so many things into perspective in this teaching thank you abundantly.

    Adriana in Tucson, Arizona (USA)

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