Superman, Star Wars, The Great Escape, and the Sound of the Music; these four movies were a major part of my childhood as every Easter, Christmas, or bank holiday it would be these movies which were shown on TV and I would watch them again and again, much to the annoyance of my family. It was through these movies that my passion for cinema was born and when I started earning my own money as a teenager I got my first VCR and started amassing a pretty large collection of movies. Then when I got my first full time job my passion for movies really took off as each week when I got paid I would be straight down the shops to snap up the bargains, often adding five videos to my collection at a time. It wasn’t just the collecting of movies I loved as there were the posters, books, and movie magazines as well as the technology which back then cost a small fortune. Continue reading
Back in the 80s, when I was a lot younger, the Rubik’s Cube was the big craze, and I remember it well how trying to solve the cube would frustrate me. I could get one side with no problems, some times two sides and I think I did three sides once but as a child I never managed to solve this puzzle, always not wanting to mess up the sides I had completed whilst trying to work out how to sort out the next one.
Jump forwards 30 years and I decided to tackle the Rubik’s Cube again, well cheat as the one I got came with a solution Continue reading
Not far from where I live there is a pub called The Angels and at the entrance to one of the car-parks is a sign which says “The Angels – Food served all day”. I must have walked past that sign hundreds of times and never paid any attention to it until the other morning when for no reason it grabbed my attention and made me smile. Now this isn’t the reason why it made me smile but whilst writing this blog post I thought to myself what a wonderful name and slogan it would make for a facility providing food for the homeless.
Getting back on point here is what came across my mind when that sign made me smile and inspired this blog post, “Thank God for his all day nourishment”. It was simply those four words “Food served all day” which made me smile, which made me grateful, which made me start to sing because 24/7 we not only have God on tap through the power of prayer but he gave us the Bible Continue reading
As I sit here at my computer, on the shelf next to my monitor, is a collection of Bibles; there is the Good News Bible I had as a child, the NIV Bible I got as a, there is a New Century version Youth Bible the pastor and his wife gave me for my 21st birthday and there is also the Handbook to the Bible which I received for having perfect attendance at Sunday School one year. Considering I spent over 20 years not going to church it amazes me that I still have these Bibles, and they are not the only ones as there are others scattered around in cupboards and on book shelves. But the Bible I use most often is a small NLT version which I bought more than a decade ago when I briefly returned to church. It is now looking a bit battered with the faux leather covering worn away in places but it is the one which has all my highlighted scriptures and notes in and it fits perfectly in my jacket pocket when I walk to church. Continue reading
Do you ever have one of those days where you just feel great sadness for the way the World is going and that sadness feels like your soul is under a physical attack. This happened to me whilst I was preparing to launch the Slanting-N and it helped to spur me on to start this blog. It started on a Wednesday as I walked home from a trip to town and there was a group of teenage girls walking near me on their way to school and every other word they said was a swear word and I just wanted to turn around to them and say something but I didn’t. Instead I wondered whether they spoke like that at home and whether schools had changed so much that swearing had become common place in the classroom. Don’t get me wrong as I remember acting big and swearing when I was a teenager but this felt different, this sadly flowed in such a natural way that I imagine that they might struggle to hold a conversation without swearing.
When I felt God was calling me to start the Slanting-N I initially laughed but I also had a look around the internet at what other Christian bloggers were writing about, and there are a lot of Christian bloggers, Hallelujah. But I noticed three things: Firstly the sites which appeared at the top of search results were unsurprisingly often big ministry sites where lots of people worked on them. Secondly that many Christian blogs were written by women with it feeling for every one Christian blog I found written by a man I would find a dozen written by a wife, a mother who were often home-schooling as well: please no one be offended as it is only an observation based on what came back in the search results and those blogs are excellent, speaking to an audience who might not read other Christian blogs.
I failed English when I was at school, yes sounds utterly stupid seeing I am a Brit but when I took my GCSE exams all those years ago I got a D in both English Literature and English Language. It makes me smile to think that God has taken something which I was never really any good at, some would say that I’m still not, and made it a crucial part of my living. And yes I still make plenty of grammar and spelling mistakes whilst some times my use of words is a little basic, but somehow I have gone from someone who didn’t like to write to someone who writes pretty much every day of their life not just as a job but as a passion. Continue reading
Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?
Don’t worry I am not going to break out in to song even though I love the Carpenters’ “Close to You”. Nope but Why is the focus of this blog post and in particular why is my reconnection with my Christian faith and my returning to trusting God this time is the real thing. The answer is as follows:
In my testimony I mentioned that I spent the first 22-ish years of my life going to church, being involved in church and also as a teenager Christian youth work. I can remember giving my life to Christ at a church concert when the altar call came and I remember my baptismal service when I was teen. The thing is that looking back on my life during those years going to church and being a Christian is just what I did, mostly on Sundays but sometimes in the evenings when there was a church thing going on that I was involved in. It wasn’t so much a choice as it was what I was brought up doing and when I got to the age where if I wanted to stop I could have I carried on because I had friends at church. The thing is that back then I never really had that day to day relationship with God, in truth whilst I have forgotten much of my teenage years I doubt that I prayed daily and certainly wasn’t an ambassador for God in my everyday life. And whilst I could point to this or that as to why I never had that deep rooted faith it comes down to me and is why I ended up dropping out of church. Continue reading
Before I start I need to say that this is not an advice article, this is purely my story when it comes to debt and if you are here because you have debt I urge you to seek professional help from charities and organisations who have experts in dealing with debt. At the same time if you are feeling that there is no way out from this financial mess and you need someone to talk to please call the Samaritans. Having survived being over £50,000 in debt trust me there is hope but the best thing you can do is to ask for help.
Some say the Bible is irrelevant but for me it is not only the word of God but it is full of wisdom such as 1 Timothy 6:10 which for me one of the most spot on verses in the Bible especially when it mentions “many griefs”. I know because having foolishly put myself in debt I have suffered those “many griefs” which wanting wealth caused. And trust me it was foolishly because whilst there are many reasons people end up in debt, sometimes not of their own causing, I ended up in debt because I got addicted to gambling; yes I was a gambling addict, a fool’s game for the foolish.
But as I say, God can take the bad times, the mistakes and the things which once you might have felt defined you as a failure and use them for good. As such I have realised some things and learned some things through having gone through debt myself which I am going to share with you. Continue reading
What follows is my encounter with gambling addiction and if you are dealing with gambling addiction I urge you to seek professional help who can give you solid advice. In the UK there is the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) as well as GamCare (http://www.gamcare.org.uk/) and in the USA there is the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) as well as their website https://www.ncpgambling.org/.
My name is Andy and I am a gambling addict. I say that not because I still gamble, I stopped playing the lottery in 2017 and haven’t put a coin in a slot machine in well over a decade, but because I know there is a side to my personality that easily gets addicted to things. I know that because I am also a former smoker who having not had a cigarette since 2014 now from previous failed attempts to quit that it would only take one cigarette to cause me to start again. As such, all it might take is placing one bit of lose change in a slot machine and I know that I could easily end up addicted again. Continue reading