God is my Director

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

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

To blog, or not to blog

Posted by Martin on December 7, 2007

Ok, so life has been somewhat crazy in recent months, and so – having left this inactive, I have a choice. I stand, if you will, at a crossroads: do I keep going (i.e. start blogging regularly again), or shut this blog down?

I’m fairly secure, so please feel free to be honest in your answer. Please reply below, or send me an email: godismydirector@gmail.com.

I’ll either post the result… or shut this thing down, in a couple of weeks then!

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Cayenne Pepper cures my sore throat

Posted by Martin on August 14, 2007

I have to be very careful with this, thanks to the litigious culture we now live in, so let me make clear I am NOT RECOMMENDING THE FOLLOWING as a cure for sore throats. I’m sure if you try it, you’ll have some awful accident. So don’t sue me, okay?

Now I’ve got that out of the way – I’ve been suffering for the past few days with a really chronic sore throat – the sort that makes you wonder if you accidentally gargled with some broken glass. It was horrifically painful (although admittedly, I am a big wuss), and I could barely sleep or even swallow. After a few days of plenty of drugs and no improvement, I seriously began to wonder (because I’m a big wuss) if I was going to need my tonsils removed. In desperation, I turned to everyone’s secret best friend, Mr Google, and searched for other cures to sore throats. I found one, which turned up in a few different places, which suggested gargling with 1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (the really hot stuff you put in Chilli) mixed in with a cup of hot water. Like a fool, I tried it, and it only succeeded in burning my mouth.

Now, the website (which was dedicated to road-testing old wives’ remedies) stated that you had to persist with the ‘treatment’ several times, and at 15-minute intervals. My throat was killing me, and so I did. Four treatments later, the pain had drastically reduced; four more after that, I was able to swallow without much discomfort at all.

So thankyou Mr Google, and thankyou Mr Cayenne, for inventing your fine pepper. But remember: don’t try this at home.

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Back again

Posted by Martin on August 14, 2007

Just returned from a very relaxing two week holiday, so massive thanks to my good friend Jill Rowe for insisting I take a proper summer break this year.

It’ll be a slow few months now… just got to talk to some youth workers at Soul Survivor, hop on a plane to America again, finish two screenplays, sign off a book, host two youth ministry conferences and then settle down for a relaxing Christmas of turkey, presents and helping my wife through labour.

There’s nothing like having a slow pace of life. I should live in the countryside really.

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Warning: porn

Posted by Martin on July 11, 2007

Free Online Dating

This blog has been classified PG, apparently, according to this site. It’s been determined as so because of two mentions of ‘porn’ and one of the word ‘stab’. Just click the link above to find out the rating for your blog.

Ht to Marko. Now please, someone tell me what ‘Ht’ stands for.

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Closing on 10,000 hits…

Posted by Martin on July 2, 2007

I am excited – honest – today could well be the day (if, as I write, 70 more people visit GimD today) that I finally perforate the 10,000 hits barrier. This will place this site in an elite league including Google, the BBC and Microsoft, all of which have had more than 10,000 people visit their sites.

So come back soon – and bring a friend!

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I’m sorry…

Posted by Martin on June 21, 2007

I’ve not been posting again. England won the Test Series 3-0, and I barely passed comment.

And more importantly, have just had the most incredible trip around the States. Will fill you in soon, I promise.

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Coming to America

Posted by Martin on May 17, 2007

Oh yes, I get to go and visit my buddy in California next month! Expect plenty of semi-acerbic observations on American culture….

I’m going for a week on business, and it’ll  be a two-centre thing. First half I’ll be with my aforementioned friend, second half I’ll be going to Chicago where I know absolutely no-one. My travelling companion and I will be seeking out adventure however we can find it, which will probably involve some degree of wind.

Top of our list of things to try to do there is attend a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Anyone got any spare tickets for Saturday 16th June? Always worth a punt…

Anyway, tremendously excited, and looking forward to spending time in my second favourite country in the world.

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Mmm… coffee

Posted by Martin on May 2, 2007

An exchange that took place outside my local branch of Starbucks (well, one of my five local branches) this morning, as I stepped outside with a Venti Wet Skinny Mocha with an extra shot in my hand…

Homeless person (looking at my cup): Excuse me… do you have any spare change?

Tubby Christian holding Venti Wet Skinny Mocha with an extra shot: Er… no.

I wasn’t lying – I had spent all my change (over £3) on the aforementioned drink. Though it tastes strangely bitter this morning. 

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Talkin’ bout my resolutions

Posted by Martin on April 23, 2007

You may remember that I made a special effort this year with new year’s resolutions. Not because I’m a member of some weird religious sect which practices them, but because they worked pretty well in 2006. Here’s a semi-encouraging update…

    Give up alcohol (later revised to – for a year)

This was the least serious resolution, and yet it’s the one I’ve kept to best, and I might add, most easily. I haven’t had a drop since December 31st, which should mean I’m healthier, fitter, less tired and more fertile. I wish I felt it.

    Finish reading through the Bible

Am on schedule, and loving it. Read about Hezekiah this morning: dude.

    Write three screenplays in 2007

This has not gone very well. I’ve written two books, but that was not the aim. I’ve had the all-clear to start writing screenplay number one, but there’s a lot of writing to be done now before the end of the year. As a revised target, I definitely need to have finished two screenplays by October, when I make my annual visit to the town with the big sign (not Milton Keynes).

    Become a blood donor

Ok, this is the one I actually feel guilty about. Please keep reminding me to do it. I’m a loser if I fail this one.

    Lose a stone in 2007

In order, I might add, to follow up the two stone I lost in 2006. If I did that however, I’d be doing so to cover up my failure. Haven’t yet lost a thing. Not an ounce. Thing with being anonymous is, I can’t get you to shout ‘hey fatty’ if you see me on the street. Still, feel free to do it virtually.

Hmm, that doesn’t feel very positive. It’d be good to know that there are some other failures out there. Still, plenty of time to turn it around. Will update you again soon.

Posted in General, Spiritual is everything | 1 Comment »

Give and take

Posted by Martin on April 20, 2007

Noticed at Victoria station this morning: two groups of people, one handing out free samples of Trident chewing gum, the other collecting money for a Parkinsons disease charity. Everyone went to one, then went out of their way to walk past the other. Can you guess which was which?

Incidentally, I took the free gum.

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Britney’s head

Posted by Martin on February 20, 2007

Britney's head, in hairier timesSo Britney Spears has shaved her head, added some new tattoos and just stopped short of lopping off one of her own arms in what is clearly one of the biggest cries for attention this celeb-obsessed age has seen.

Reactions have ranged from shock to amusement, but I really hope that the majority of Christians are reacting in neither of these ways. Britney has clearly lost her way – no-one is going to argue with that – but she is a child of God and He loves her so much – no matter what she does. I hope that the Christian community reflects that love in the ways in which we talk (particularly to young people) about the ubiquitous Ms Spears in the coming days and weeks.

I’d also dare to suggest that we should be praying for Britney right now. Not only just she have a Christian heritage which might really help her to find direction right now, but I’d dare to speculate that a downward emotional spiral like the one she appears to be on can often end in a grave place. Hope things get better soon for you, Britney…

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Robbed!

Posted by Martin on January 19, 2007

I understand that I am by no means alone in this, but I’ve been the recent victim of online card fraud. There some smirking criminal type somewhere in this country watching the Sony LCD television which was purchased using my card a couple of weeks ago. It’s all rather ironic – my wife would never let me buy a TV that good…

Anyway, my bank have credited the money (over £1000, all in) back to me, but I do feel a little violated by the whole experience. I have no idea how someone was able to hack my card details – I tend to be very cautious online – and from speaking to friends this week it appears that this crime seems to be happening more and more often. No joke – in a room of six people, every one of us had been stung by fraudsters.

I wonder where this is going. If card fraud and identity theft continue to rise, surely the point is going to come where the banks (or there insurance companies) will simply stop paying out. I’d certainly feel a LOT sicker now if I’d simply bought a TV for a thief somewhere. It’s not like he’d even invite me round to watch the football on it.

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Life after lager

Posted by Martin on January 17, 2007

So far, so good. I’ve managed to last seventeen days on the wagon since my New Year Resolution-fest, and all seems to be going well. The one thing I do miss is a nice, cool relaxing beer at the end of a stressful day, so last night, I tried something which I never thought I’d have to resort to: alcohol-free lager. I know there have been a lot of jokes about the stuff over the years, but I thought to myself, surely it can’t be THAT bad…

Well, it turns out that those jokes were made for a reason. One sip was bearable; a second mirrored the sensation of accidentally drinking paint stripper. Which, incidentally, is slightly preferable to a whole bottle of this stuff. Ah well, it was a nice idea. Guess I’ll be back on the diet cokes next time.

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Resolute again

Posted by Martin on January 5, 2007

The first of January came and went, and I’m pretty happy with the results of my last round of resolutions. 2006 was the first year I’d really tried to make them work, and as a result I’m now much lighter and entirely more biblically literate. I ended up losing a shade under my target of two stone, and got all the way to 2 Kings in the Bible, meaning I’m exactly halfway through.

This year, rather than calling them New Year’s Resolutions (and thus setting myself up to fail), I’ve drawn up a list of 2007 targets. They are as follows:

  • Finish reading the Bible
  • Become a blood donor (despite needle phobia)
  • Write three complete screenplays AND have them signed off by my manager
  • Lose one more stone in weight (and then frankly, you’ll want my number)
  • Er… give up drinking alcohol

Yeah… I know that last one is a bit ridiculous, but I just wanted to see if it was possible. You see, I’ve been a fairly serious drinker (as in little and often) since the age of 18, and so ten years on, I want to see if it’s something I enjoy or need. I’ve found that when I drink even a glass of wine or beer, my manner changes and my ability to stay alert rapidly deteriorates. So I’m not preaching – just seeing if it’s something that I can do without.

The real killer on that list is the screenplays. It takes me four months of solid work to take a script from idea to completion, so there’ll be no letup. Having been out to LA in October and set up all these smokin’ contacts though, I now have to do the hard work of putting full scripts in their hands. So three is the magic number, and I’m praying that will be enough to see my first one sell.

Posted in General, Movies, Spiritual is everything | Leave a Comment »

I have returned!

Posted by Martin on January 3, 2007

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR! So, how have you been? I have returned from my self-imposed technological holiday, and will endeavour to return to the proflific posting of recent weeks.

While I was away, we learned: England are beyond terrible at cricket, Russell T Davies is even more of an evangelistic atheist than I’d given him credit for (see Big Bang scene in Dr Who Christmas special for details),  and in 2007 I have even less money than I had in 2006.

It’s good to be back.

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by Martin on December 23, 2006

This is the last opportunity I’ll have to post for a while – so a very merry Christmas to you, wherever you are. Take a moment to look at my Christmas message below, or browse a bit around the site as a lot of it isn’t time sensitive. Alternatively, come back soon! Hope you have a great few days – Gim.D

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Attack of the sprouts

Posted by Martin on December 20, 2006

Looking for a pointless but fun Christmas flash game? Look no further –

Click here for ‘Attack of the sprouts’.

My top score so far is 850…

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Random on Friday – 15/12

Posted by Martin on December 15, 2006

Here begineth a new series, to be continued every Friday, of the strange things I’ve noticed in the week, but haven’t found space or justification or time to post about. They will appear in no particular order, and you must feel free to add your own – either by posting a comment or emailing a contender to me at godismydirector@gmail.com

This week I noticed…

In the video for the now distantly-infamous single ‘Boom Boom’ by the Outhere Brothers, the two rappers dance about in front of cartoons wearing basketball vests. One says ‘Illinois’, the other says ‘Michigan.’ By apparent coincidence, these are the two States that have so far been used as a basis for albums by the majestic Sufjan Stevens, as part of his ‘States project’ – an attempt to create one album for each of the 50 US States.
(noticed on MTV Europe’s The Vault while at the gym)

Chelsea have drawn Porto in the quarter finals of football’s European Champions League, after also drawing arch enemies Barcelona in the last round. Considering this is coach Jose Mourinho’s previous club – the one at which he became famous – would it be so ridiculous to suggest that God is a football fan (not that American Throwball rubbish), and regularly rigs draws to create the most exciting matchups?
(noticed on the BBC Sport website this morning)

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Talkin’ bout a resolution

Posted by Martin on December 13, 2006

Planning to make any New Year’s resolutions come January 1st? Giving up smoking? Committing to become a community volunteer? No longer going to read The Guardian?

I used to think resolutions were a waste of time – once the fireworks have fizzled out and sobriety has returned, we very rarely stick to the promise. This year however, I’ve made a pretty good fist of things. I made two New Year’s resolutions on 1st Jan 2006, and with a bit of work, I could well keep them both… well, sort of.

The first resolution seemed the most daunting – lose two stone in weight by December 31st. Thanks to a couple of all-you-can-eat trips across the Atlantic, my body was beginning to resemble Mr Stay Puft from Ghostbusters. I think I realised that I had hit that point where there were only two ways to go – become a fat bloke for the rest of time, or buy some smaller pants and get on a treadmill.

The second resolution seemed infinitely more possible – read through the Bible in one year. That’s just four pages a day – especially easy when you’ve been given a lovely (floral-themed) Bible-in-a-year book for Christmas.

Well, resolution no.1 has fared the best. As I write, I’m a tantalising 3lbs short of my target, with around two weeks to go. Unfortunately, there’s a fairly calorific religious festival between now and then which might scupper me. But even 3lbs short is about 4st better than I was expecting.

Resolution no.2 had to lower it’s ambitions halfway through the year. As anyone who’s ever tried to use dated readings will know, the biggest demotivator is finding out you’ve fallen ten days behind, and since you haven’t time to catch up, you throw in the towel instead. Well, my boss is a wiser man than I, and suggested that I revise my aim to ‘read the Bible in two years’. Since then I’ve been on track  – and am now just 12 readings away from the halfway point, with a few more days than that left.

So despite my failure to so far achieve the final aims, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m now on the lookout for a new resolution to try out in 2007, because it’s a good thing to have aims for your year. I feel like 2006 was actually a year in which I quantifiably achieved something.

Suggestions on a comment postcard please – or let me know how you got on with your 2006 resolutions.

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The ‘Hey Fatty’ plate

Posted by Martin on December 11, 2006

Just read this brilliant story on Techopolis – a Ukranian scientist has invented a talking plate which tells you off if you overload it with food. Put one too many burger on there and it’ll shout phrases such as ‘stop right there!’ or ‘where’s your willpower?’ It’s called the Smart Plate, although the more gluttonous among us may not agree that it’s all that smart.

And even if you do try to get around the plate’s sensor by loading up on high-fat foods that don’t weigh much, such as those cardboard McDonald’s fries, the same inventor has invented a ‘Smart Belt’ which measures when you’re starting to put on weight. Bathroom scales are so last-century.

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Britney’s underpants

Posted by Martin on December 11, 2006

Alright, alright, I know I said I wouldn’t post any more – but I just HAD to reveal this: at least seven people have found this blog by typing ‘Britney Spears’ Underpants’ into search engines. Personally, I find that funny. Oh – and kind of ironic, considering the whole getting-out-of-the-car episode.

Right – honestly now – no more posts on Britney Spears, exposed rude bits or otherwise.

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Tagged

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 »

Tornado hits London

Posted by Martin on December 7, 2006

So my city – London – has just been hit by a small tornado, which I don’t think has happened in my lifetime. Sad to hear that six people have been hurt – some quite badly – my thoughts and prayers are with them for a speedy recovery.

Just been looking at some photos – houses have had their roofs ripped off, trees have been upended – not the sort of thing we’re used to here. One shred of encouragement, at least as far as I was concerned, was to see the rapid response from the Salvation Army (see pic) – an organisation which consistently offers a shining example of faith in action. They’re just so good at meeting people’s needs, caring for them and showing love. I wish that image was what first came into the average person’s head when they heard the word ‘Christian.’

I realise that if you live somewhere where natural disasters often strike, then perhaps you don’t get shocked by a small tornado that hurts a single-figure number of people. But here in London, it just isn’t the norm – and I think those people will be shaking their heads in disbelief. There’s a strange feeling here right now.

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Other GIMD’s: Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas

Posted by Martin on December 4, 2006

Part one of an occasional series…

I greatly enjoyed Dave Gorman’s breakthrough television series, Are You Dave Gorman? where he travelled the country, and occasionally, the globe, looking for people who shared his name. I thought it might be interesting to do the same thing with my cyberspace name, Gim.D, especially as it doesn’t sound that much like a real name, and I need companionship to make me feel better about it.

Anyway, first up is the ‘Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas’, which appears to be some kind of secular Girl Guiding organisation in cowboy country. This is their creed  (reproduced here in pink for reasons of faithfulness):

Girls are we who try to be,
the very best in all life’s aspects.
Our goals are unlimited.
Our failures are few.
We uphold this truth,
to thine own self be true.

I think it gets a lot better when it starts to rhyme. And that line: ‘our goals are unlimited, our failures are few’ really makes me think of the England football team, although with them it’s reversed. Seriously though – it seems like a great initiative, reaching out to underpriviliged young girls in Dallas. They claim to have worked with nearly 32,000 girls in 2005, which I think is impressive, although I find their claim that 99.3% of girls inc girls are ‘pregancy-free’ slightly chilling…

Anyway, sisters, I embrace you for being fellow bearers of the GIMD mantle. Who’s next? 

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This blog is getting bigger

Posted by Martin on December 1, 2006

I had a record number of visitors yesterday, and that number has been smashed again today. 

So all I can say is, thanks for visiting! I promise to post, if you promise to come back. Deal anyone?

Posted in General | 6 Comments »