God is my Director

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

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Baby GimD no.2

Posted by Martin on June 27, 2007

A bit of news – Mrs Director is pregnant with our second child – due, would you believe it, on Christmas Day! Obviously I’ve known for a while, but now we’ve had the ‘safety’ scan, I’m proud to announce  the news to the world. Obviously I’m very excited, and hoping that he/she will follow in my footsteps as an anonymous blogger. Would post a scan pic, but frankly the one they gave us was rubbish – it looks like a still from the first Batman film – you can hardly make anything out.

Thanks go out obviously to God for giving us a lovely bouncing foetus. We shall look forward to Christmas with great anticipation, and I shall now make all sorts of hollow threats about naming him Jesus if he’s born a boy on the actual day. If it’s a girl I shall call her Donkey.

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Wedding poem

Posted by Martin on February 17, 2007

My sister got married today, to a fabulous guy who I will now call my brother.  They asked me to write and perform a poem for them, which is actually much more difficult than you might think.

I wrote a poem for my own wedding, but that was easy – I just had to write my own feelings for the woman I loved, and put them into verse. Here I had to imagine myself simultaneously as both and neither of them! I’ll post it here just in case anyone’s interested – don’t worry though – I have no illusions about my ability!!!

[The form, if you’re interested, is an adapted sonnet (but with too many beats – it’s not real iambic pentameter). The trick is to read the first two words on one beat – the rest of it should work naturally.]

A Cord of Three Strands

All that was before you has faded to grey
Brilliant colours light everything since you
All of my life has led up to this day –
This cord of three strands, we’re now woven into.
Face to face, with hand touching hand,
Our worlds now collide in spectacular fashion
In this holy moment together we stand,
Choosing each other in friendship and passion.
Love of my life, we unite and begin
Magnificent vision, resplendent and glorious;
God-ordained match, outside and within
My quest for a soul mate now ends here victorious.
Tied by His hands through the words we have spoken,
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Posted in Family, Spiritual is everything | 2 Comments »


Posted by Martin on January 21, 2007

So Santa came late, but eventually, he did arrive. At last, there is a beautiful white box sitting underneath my television, and its name is Wii. Which is still ridiculous, but who cares when it makes video gaming this fantastic?

The most incredible thing about the Nintendo Wii is not the motion sensitive controls, the brilliant multiplayer games or even the GameCube compatibility. The most incredible thing about the Wii is the fact that my wife likes it. For ten years, she’s been repeatedly telling me to grow up and leave my gaming passion behind. Now, after a quick game of tennis and a boxing match in which I learned something scary and new about her, she’s a convert.

Playing the Wii is in danger of murdering my ability to hit deadlines. I have also been posting notably less often on my beloved blog (sorry about that). I can also no longer be bothered to spend time with my son. Joke, obviously – although I may be getting him into video games at an appallingly young age…

My big recommendation with this is to my fellow youth workers – if your budget allows, you have GOT to get one of these! It’s such a hoot in multiplayer, and I reckon it will go down a storm in a youth club setting – four people can play at once, but it’s also almost as much fun to watch them at it as it is to have a go yourself.

And also – if you don’t like working out, you should seriously try this thing. My arms are aching! Advertisment ends.

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Luke, I am your father…

Posted by Martin on December 18, 2006

A great fear has seized me. I think it grabs hold of every relatively new parent at some stage, and it may be a phenomena which particularly affects fathers.
I’m worried about what father I’m going to be, and how that might affect the sort of man my son grows up to be. I’m worried specifically, that something I might do wrong now and in the formative years to come might radically send him off course. I mean for instance, what kind of folks were Mr and Mrs Hitler snr? Do you think they pushed their son towards fascist dictatorship as a decent career ambition? What were the Husseins like around baby Saddam? For all we know, they could have been a pair of charmers and the toast of the Baghdad dinner-dance scene in the 1940s, yet their son didn’t turn out too well.
Here’s what sparked me off: I was reading the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, and I came across a series of stories involving King David – widely regarded as one of the great men in Jewish history. I don’t know how hands on he was as a parent, but the fact is that some of his kids didn’t turn out all that well. First, Amnon, his son, was so consumed with lust for his own sister – Tamar – that he raped her, and she ended up living destitute and broken in a tower somewhere. And then there’s the small matter of Absolom, another son, who first hunted down and killed his brother Amnon for the attack on Tamar, and then went on to try to grab his father’s throne and power. Great kids!
Now David is a bit of a role model of mine. He’s not only a great leader and a truly Godly man; he’s also a creative, and a prolific writer. So if HIS kids can turn out like that, what hope have the rest of us got?

I’m only speculating, but I suppose with all his other kingly duties, David didn’t have time to be a hands-on father. He was a great role model for his kids, but perhaps they didn’t see enough of him day-to-day for that to rub off on them. If there’s a grain of hope for us then, it’s also a lesson – spend time with your kids, and let them see a good model of adulthood in the way you live your life around them. Even if I’ve got David wrong, it’s still a pretty good principle for fatherhood.

Posted in Family, Spiritual is everything | 2 Comments »

Sing and sign – oh, go on

Posted by Martin on November 30, 2006

Sitting here with my 14-month-old son, who can’t speak, but can communicate. He only knows three words – ‘Mumma’, ‘Dadda’, and something approaching ‘banana’ – but he knows a lot more sign language. That’s right – real BSL sign language.

He’s not deaf though. He’s learned, and continues to learn, through this now-fairly well-known innovation called baby signing. If you’ve seen the movie Meet the Fockers, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. Children learn to connect words to their meanings, and then to the relevant hand sign. ‘Milk’ is a squeezing action for instance; ‘no’ is a dismissive swipe of the hand.

For the last six months, my wife has been taking him along to baby signing classes, run by a franchised business called ‘Sing and sign’. It’s kind of like the earliest kind of school you can possibly send a child to. She sits in a circle with a bunch of other mums and babies, and they sing songs which use the signs. Now I have to admit, sceptical doesn’t cover how I felt about it. It sounded frankly ridiculous, and certainly for the first few months it appeared to be going completely over my son’s head. Which, considering his age, is acceptable.

But now, things have changed. Among lots of other things, he can tell me when he needs food, drink, a nappy change or a sleep. He can tell me if he’s in pain, and show me where that pain is coming from. All those things that frustrate babies into regular bursts of tears because they can’t communicate. But he can communicate, so he doesn’t get frustrated, or upset. It’s brilliant.

I sit watching a DVD of a typical sing and sign class, most evenings. He’s addicted to it, and has even worked out how the DVD player operates in a desperate attempt to watch it even more. My brain is melting from the repetition, but he positively thrives on it.

[Visit www.singandsign.com for more info and to learn their ‘signs of the week’. Go on, you know you want to.]

Posted in Family | 3 Comments »

Argh – it’s a big needle

Posted by Martin on November 1, 2006

Haven’t posted for 24 hours or so due to being in shock. I took my son for his one year injections (including the allegedly ‘controversial’ MMR jab) yesterday, and realised an important thing: the needle went into him, but it hurt me more. He cried for about ten seconds after they pumped his leg full of these little viral strains, but then was easily distracted by a teddy bear on a roller skate (which admittedly, was pretty cool). But I wanted to punch the nurse in the face – she’d just stuck something big and sharp into my boy. I hadn’t expected that reaction.

I’m beginning to think that living through parenthood could be a physical picture that God gives us of his own feelings for and experiences of us, as his children. When we get hurt, we tend to wallow a little in our own feelings – but perhaps we should spare a thought for our heavenly dad; the guy sitting behind us. He’s thinking, man that’s a big needle – I hate it when they stick it into my boy (or girl).

It seems to me that all the things I feel for my son, must be the same feelings (times a million) that God feels for me as his child. It’s pretty cool to be loved that much.

Posted in Family, Spiritual is everything | 2 Comments »

HappyLand, the obsession continues…

Posted by Martin on October 26, 2006

Bought the HappyLand playmat for my boy yesterday, so that he has somewhere to park his tractor. Now this is a thin excuse I know, but it looked so cool, AND it folds in half, so you can carry your suit around in it too.

Unfortunately it doesn’t come with all this built up plastic stuff, but soon it will. Note in the picture, the little HappyLand church! Buying this stuff for my son has now become an evangelistic ministry. No need to tithe anymore!

Posted in Family | 2 Comments »

Oh happy day

Posted by Martin on October 23, 2006

HappyLand farm setThis is not my child. But it is my (son’s) brand new Early Learning Centre HappyLand  farm playset. And it’s my favourite thing of the year so far.

The main reason one chooses fatherhood of course is because once your child reaches about age four, there are some really cool toys to play with. I am particularly anticipating the great days of lego, and of Star Wars figures. But it seemed so far away – after all, my boy is only one.

Well, the nightmarish wait to play with some good toys is over. HappyLand is suitable for babies aged 18months +, but mine’s a genius so I’m letting him play with it now. He doesen’t really understand – he just keeps trying to insert the little hen in a hole in the farm roof – but after he went to bed, I played with it properly on his behalf.

And the best news of all – there’s a whole massive HappyLand range! Now I can pass on my obsessive compulsive collector nature to my son.

HappyLand: join the revolution at http://www.elc.co.uk/BrandProducts.php?brand_id=290

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Man + baby = freak

Posted by Martin on October 21, 2006

Just been out for the morning with my one-year-old son, giving my wife a very well-earned lie-in for the first time in weeks. We had great fun – went for a coffee (he likes to wave to people and eat fruit), did a bit of DIY shopping etc. Pretty standard stuff, but I was struck by the reactions of people around us. I’ll admit, I don’t spend enough time alone with him, but I’d never picked up that people now think that a man and baby out together look strange.

Some people were definitely wondering if it was my alloted time slot, dished out by a judge somewhere, but most were just looking at us like we were aliens. Especially when I started talking to him. Is that weird? Talking to your baby? I know he’s not exactly versed in Shakespeare, but he understands some stuff, and he’s only going to learn more if he hears it, right?

Well apparently that’s a minority opinion. As I walked around the supermarket, asking my son if we had enough milk, a woman gave me a stare that said ‘I’m going to call social services’. Clearly I didn’t expect him to know how stocked our refrigerator is – it was just interaction.

Together with the general astonishment I saw in the high street at man + baby, this little incident has really made me realise how attitudes to family are sadly changing. That may be so, but I’ll keep on behaving like a freak, thankyou very much.

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