God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Archive for December 8th, 2006

Denzel Washington and Jesus

Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

Conversation on the BBC just now between Denzel (I’m promoting Deja Vu) Washington and Jonathan Ross.

Conversation on the BBC just now between Denzel (I’m promoting Deja Vu) Washington and Jonathan Ross. Ho ho.

Jonathan: Say you could look back in time at anyone, or anything in recent history… who would it be?

Denzel: (pauses to stroke chin) JESUS!

Jonathan: … (Jonathan is speechless; a rare moment)

Denzel: And I’d say – ‘when are you coming?’

Jonathan: I’d go back and see The Sex Pistols at the 100 Club. Not as noble as yours admittedly, but more of a thumping beat.

Posted in Spiritual is everything | Leave a Comment »

All hail the new girl

Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

I help out at a small laid-back youth club, which meets once or twice a week. We’ve been around the ten-member mark for a long time now, and although no-one seems intent on leaving, we rarely have any new joiners either.

I was fairly surpised then, when last night, a new girl strode confidently towards me and introduced herself. She’d been invited by one of the group’s stalwarts (who hadn’t actually expected her to come), and she was coming from somewhere completely off my radar. I don’t know if she buys in to the same ideas about God and faith that I and some of the group do, but that wasn’t what last night was about. What was really exciting was the way in which, almost effortlessly, she blended into the group as if she’d been coming all year. By the end of the evening, she was genuinely part of us – and so something had taken place which I didn’t know was possible – instant belonging. If you came along next week, I guarantee you wouldn’t be able to pick new girl out of the crowd.

There’s two sides to that. She’s a real extrovert, very friendly, and prepared to take social risks – which means she was happy to dive head first into a group and see what happened. But the group accepted her – that’s the other side of the coin, and the far more exciting one for me. We’ve been slogging away with ten kids or less for a year now, despite pressures from all sides to somehow manufacture growth, and we’ve never had more than ten. But when kid number 11 turned up, the group was absolutely ready for her. It offered genuine community, and absorbed her wholeheartedly. I’m so proud of them.

So many of us in youth work have to cope with unrealistic expectations of growth as a matter of course. But what good is numerical growth if your young people don’t know, like or gel with one another? You just end up with a roomful of people who’ve turned up to see a show, and then go home. Surely we should be aiming to create a group which interacts on more than just a superficial level; where all the members care for one another, and the group, and feel like they genuinely belong? Jesus worked with 12 young men, for three years, and at the end of it had a group so strong that it persuaded half the world to join. Perhaps we should pay more attention to His model.

New girl is great, by the way. She made a great impression, which lifted the group. And incidentally, she has the kind of sticky personality that could act as a quick catalyst for further growth. Which is great – so long as we don’t lose that precious sense of community. Until last night, I had no idea just how genuine it was.

Posted in Youth Ministry | 3 Comments »

Good news on Project CS

Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

Ok – very excited – have finally got clearance from the people who pull the strings to start work on my next movie script (for non-regular visitors: I’m a screenwriter, but not a wildly successful one as yet), after I’d been led to believe that it was dead work. Someone else announced a movie with a very similar plot, and it looked like I was going to have to abandon work on my script. Which, considering that I’d invested a couple of months of work in it already, was not good news.

However, have submitted a vastly revised version of the same idea, with the same characters (meaning a lot of my work still has some kind of value), and both the producer and my manager have given it the thumbs up. Now begins the long journey of actually making the script appear out of thin air… I’ll keep this blog posted as to how I get on.

Oh, and about the title of the post – sorry to be cryptic, but as it’s a high-concept movie, if I post the title, I’m going to be pretty much giving away the plot. Which says quite a lot about the state of Hollywood right now. So it’s ‘Project CS’ for now.

Posted in Movies | Leave a Comment »

I need a Wii!

Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

It’s a sad day – the first time in recent memory that Nintendo have launched a new games console, and I have nowhere near enough disposable income to buy one. This is what happens when you have children, people: it’s much harder to justify acting like a kid when you have one of your own.

The Nintendo Wii (which is unfortunate because in England, it means pee-pee) looks like the most innovative games console release since the days of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. There’s a semi-traditional controller, but there’s also the motion-sensitive ‘nunchuk’, which you’ve probably seen, which adds a whole new dimension. You can swish a virtual tennis racket, or even use the two-sided controller as a pair of boxing gloves. There are plenty of videos on youtube illustrating it better than I can explain.

Anyway, even if I had the money, you can’t actually get hold of a console in the UK right now. My good friend Baz queued up from early in the morning at his local superstore, and he was one of only 17 people who got lucky – everyone else went home disappointed. It’s not even like I can ask Santa – this is an anonymous blog after all.

For now on, I shall have to look on at Baz and others, and try not to get too jealous. Curse you Nintendo, for being so brilliant.

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Reducing your world to a word

Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

I thought I’d find the little blogging game below easy. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t exactly Ultimate Su Doku – but when you’ve only got one word to sum up some pretty big concepts, something quite interesting happens. Your brain is forced to cut to the chase. What is the one word which sums up my mother, for instance? I said ‘tea’ because she drinks enough of it to keep Tetley in business single-handed. And since a teacup is a fairly ever-present fixture in her hand, I guess you could say that it’s key to her character. Without playing the game however, I never would have defined her in that way (Mum, if you’re reading this, you’re more than a tea drinker by the way). But if an actor was going to play her in a movie, the teacup would be their first and most important prop.

There were far more searching questions in there – which I didn’t think I’d find an answer for. How would I describe my life? Give me ten sentences, and I couldn’t begin to sum it up. Give me a single word however, and somehow I was able to arrive at something which did. Same goes for where I want to be in 10 years, or indeed, the answer to the very open question, ‘yourself?’ Forced to arrive at one, key word which cuts right to the heart of who I am, I find I’m able to grasp on to something that feels true.

What an interesting exercise that has proved to be. So even if you haven’t been tagged, I suggest you copy the questions for yourself, and work through your own answers. If you want to – why not post them as comments on this blog post? I look forward to learning more about you – but I guarantee that just as I have, you’ll actually learn far more about yourself.

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Posted by Martin on December 8, 2006

I’ve been tagged by new mum Amanda – I have to answer all of the following questions about myself in one word. I thought, as a writer, this would be easy… as it turns out, not so…

(incidentally, there is no number 11, and no number 28. I do not know why, but it may be deeply significant)

1. Yourself: Ebullient
2. Your girlfriend/boyfriend: AnonyMrs
3. Your hair?: Tintin
4. Your mother?: Tea
5. Your Father?: Beer
6. Your Favorite Item: iPod
7. Your dream last night: Lateness
8. Your Favorite drink: Mochaccino
9. Your Dream Car: TT
10. The Room You Are In: Train
12. Your fear: Wasps
13. What you want to be in 10 years: Humble
14. Who you hung out with last night?: Teenagers
15. What You’re Not?: Sensible
16. Muffins: Chubbymakers
17: One of Your Wish List Items: Subwoofer
18: Time: Late
19: The Last Thing You Did: Burp
20. What You Are Wearing: Leather…
21. Your Favorite Weather: Snow
22. Your Favorite Book: Gruffalo
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Bacon
24. Your Life: Hurtling
25. Your Mood: Hyper
26. Your body: Muffinated
27. Who are you thinking about right now? Britney
29. What are you doing at the moment?: Dreaming
30. Your summer: Forgotten
31. Best part of your life: Family

Phew – got there in the end. Next up for the ordeal: I tag my blogging pals Chris Curtis and Pip Wilson. Enjoy it chaps!

Posted in Blogroll, General | 3 Comments »