A new beginning…

Finding my feet in living for Jesus.

Doctor Oliver.

Posted by lauraoli on May 25, 2012

This week I have had a manic time. I finished my finals last Friday, I returned to Preston from  Brighton on Monday, I went to Glasgow on Wednesday and then yesterday I was in Blackpool in the morning and waiting for my finals results in the afternoon. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous about my results, but the crazily busy week beforehand helped me from focussing on them for too long!

God has been completely amazing over the past few months, I have had many people at church praying for me, and although I have been working hard and feeling stressed, there is no way I could have got through the exams without Him.  The verse of exam time for me is always Phillipians 4:6-7; ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’  I have most definitely felt God’s peace over the last few months.

In my quiet time on Wednesday evening, I read this; ‘Now, therefore, you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.’ (Ephesians 2:19). This was a brilliant reminder for me that although my results that were coming on Thursday were incredibly important, and whatever happened would shape my life for the next few years to come, that in the end, I have been adopted in to God’s family, and the end result, no matter what is eternity with Him. I have been saved from my life of sin and transgressions by God’s grace, and have been given life in Christ Jesus. That is way more important than those results! This knowledge doesn’t stop me caring about my results, and doesn’t (entirely) stop me worrying, but it does give me a great perspective on what they mean.

The results came through yesterday. I passed.

I am now, officially, a doctor.

Thank you Lord.

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Sunday’s Coming

Posted by lauraoli on April 7, 2012

This short film uses scenes from the film ‘The Passion of the Christ’ to make a powerful video.

Thank you Jesus, that Sunday is coming.

 

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Do you believe in mum?

Posted by lauraoli on April 6, 2012

This was shown in church today. It made me chuckle, so I thought I’d share it here!

 

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Thursday Thoughts

Posted by lauraoli on April 5, 2012

It’s been 4 months since I last posted a blog entry. I’ve been quite busy… I’m going to take a leaf out of a friends book and write a compilation of random thoughts.

  1. I have now (successfully) made it through the first half of medical finals, and have the second half in a months time. Thank God that I passed the first half! Now my focus is on Him as I try to be organised with revision, and to keep calm as the exams get ever closer.
  2. I have a job to go to in August – I’m moving back home, and starting working in Blackpool Vic hospital. I am SO excited about this, especially with the prospect of being able to be more involved with All Saints.
  3. On the flip side to this, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I am really sad about the prospect of moving away from Brighton. I know there are exciting times ahead, but I don’t like change!
  4. This final year malarkey is fairly heavy on the old workload. A friend commented the other day that between last August and this May, we will have had a total of one week off. Ouch.
  5. This week a whole bunch of people from church went to New Word Alive. I was very disappointed to not be able to go with them, but it did mean that I got to hang out with the ‘left behind crew’, which was a really good opportunity to spend time with people I don’t often see much.
  6. I went to my last ever student CMF conference in February. As ever, it was a wonderful time of bible teaching, fellowship and encouragement. My take-home message was that in life, my role as a Christian beats all other identities I may have. So God is always the most important thing.
  7. I met 4 other students that will be working in the north west next year on the CMF conference, and THREE of them will also be working in Blackpool hospital. There are only 36 new doctors starting. What an encouragement to have other Christians to work alongside whilst we are all getting our feet as new doctors!
  8. 2 years ago today I watched ‘The Passion of the Christ’ with a friends, then blogged about it. Since then, that blog post has been far away the most read on this site, with a total individual views to date of almost 6,000. I can’t believe that everyone that read it is a Christian, but it just shows that the story of Jesus, and the Passion He showed at the end of his life is a story people can’t quite turn away from. There’s something in it. Because it’s gloriously true. I haven’t watched that film since then, and I think I may take the time out this weekend to watch it again.
  9. I am here, in Brighton this Easter for the first time in a few years. I am very excited about being able to go to BH (my church) on Sunday to celebrate, and spend the time with lots of lovely friends!
  10. Last Easter I posted a blog about the fact Brighton were hosting its own outdoor Passion Play. I was disappointed then that I couldn’t go. Well, it was such a success last year that it’s happening again! If anyone local fancies it – come down to the seafront for 2pm on Easter Day. I will be there!

I think that’s enough of my random wittering.

This holiday weekend I hope you can take the time to look into the life of Jesus, and see what an amazing sacrifice He made so that you may have a relationship with Him.

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

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I love Brighton

Posted by lauraoli on January 7, 2012

6 years ago when I was applying for medical schools, I wanted to be reasonably close to home (Lancashire). So on first try, I applied to Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham universities. It wasn’t to be, however, and I didn’t get the grades to get in to any of those places.
Second time round, I had to apply to places that would accept applicants who had retaken some/ all of their A-levels. This meant I wasn’t able to choose universities geographically, and I applied to Peninsula (Exeter), East Anglia, Sheffield and Brighton & Sussex.
Brighton was where I ended up. I wasn’t very happy about this, it’s a good 7 hour train journey/ 5 hour car journey home – not so easy to pop home for the weekend. I was fairly miserable for the first term, but as I got to know people and the city, I settled in.

Over the years I have come to LOVE Brighton. It will always hold a special place for me, since it was here that I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. Not only that, but it’s a fantastic place to live, and I will be very sad to leave  in summer, when (hopefully!) I will start my job in Lancashire. I don’t know what the future holds though, maybe I’ll be back here someday!

This video started to appear on my facebook feed yesterday, as more and more people saw it, commented on it and posted it for others to see. It is a fantastic representation of Brighton. The person who shot this is a very talented 13 year old boy.

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The Queen’s Speech

Posted by lauraoli on December 28, 2011

 

(Picture courtesy of James)

In our household it is traditional on Christmas afternoon to go for a walk. This means that the Queen’s Speech is almost always missed. However, this year, due to us being slightly slower than normal, we watched the speech just as we were getting ready to leave the house. BBC and Sky both reported it as ‘Queen’s message focuses on family’, but failed to mention the most important part – the gospel message that made up the last couple of minutes. It reads like this:

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

It’s so wonderful that the Queen used the opportunity she has to speak to so many all at once to tell people of the good news of Jesus Christ, even missionary friends in Madagascar listened to the speech on the BBC World Service radio!

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Bethlehemian Rhapsody

Posted by lauraoli on December 18, 2011

Part of this video was played in our Carol Service this morning. I just found the full version, and it’s completely brilliant. Some very talented people put this together!!!

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder?

Posted by lauraoli on November 17, 2011

It has been about 3 and a 1/2 months since I last wrote a blog entry… the longest time I have gone in between posts since I started ‘A New Beginning’ almost 2 years ago.

It’s not a case of me wanting to stop blogging, it’s more of a case of life getting in the way! Medical finals (part 1) are coming up in January, and things have been very busy. After being in nice, (relatively) lazy 4th year, 5th year has hit hard, with long days, regular assessments and lots of work to do.

Trying to keep Jesus at the centre of everything I am doing is proving to be quite a challenge, and I am currently struggling somewhat with the stress of impending exams. I have been feeling quite distant in my relationship with God, and although I know He is ever-present and never-changing, the absence I feel is making me miss the security, love, comfort and peace I have in Jesus. In this case, although absence isn’t making the heart grow finder exactly, it is making me want to be closer to Jesus.

I’m not sure any of you actually noticed my absence (I don’t know exactly who reads this?!), but I am going to try and blog more regularly again!

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My chains fell off

Posted by lauraoli on July 23, 2011

Here’s another song for you. This is awesome – it’s a really old hymn (It was written in 1738), and we have recently started singing it at church. Timeless lyrics about an unchanging, loving God. Love it 🙂

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Saviors blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain—
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Fathers throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adams helpless race:
Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and natures night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine;
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

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All I have is Christ

Posted by lauraoli on May 18, 2011

This song was taught to us when at New Word Alive a month or so ago.

It has become the soundtrack to my life at the moment – the lyrics are so incredibly powerful, and every time I am stressed or worried about the dissertation I am currently frantically trying to complete, I listen to this to remind me of the insignificance of my work.

Hallelujah, all I have is Christ,

Hallelujah, Jesus is my life.

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