A new beginning…

Finding my feet in living for Jesus.

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Easter Sunday at St. Paul’s….

Posted by lauraoli on April 24, 2011

Today is Easter Sunday, the most important celebration in the Christian calendar. I have now been a Christian for around 2 years, and for those years I have always been able to go to ‘my’ church for Easter service; an evangelical church with a band, modern songs, a big, young congregation and a Jesus-centered message. However, this year I have come home for the holiday, and since my parents are church-goers at important occasions, we went to the local town parish church for this mornings service.

I was really not very pleased about this, and had not been looking forward to it at all. I dread the long, sung prayers, the sermons that don’t seem to mention Jesus and the lack of numbers in the congregation. However, I was firmly put in my place this morning, when we arrived 10 minutes before the start of the service to find the place absolutely packed, with around 400 people crammed into the church. We had to make do with some chairs put right at the back of the church – better than those people who arrived a bit later than us, who ended up sitting in the entrance porch! We did have our fair-share of sung prayers, but much less than normal, and thankfully, the vicar did a really good sermon. He aimed it at the children in the audience, which meant his puppets came out, (which always instantly winds my dad up!) but managed to address the adults in the congregation as well.

His message was really gospel centred, with 3 main points:

  • Joy! Today we celebrate the empty tomb.
  • The end of fear of death. We have certain hope in the resurrection and eternal life in the presence of Jesus.
  • Sharing our faith with others. He challenged us to tell people when back in our day to day lives next week that we believe.

I have been well and truly challenged, and humbled in my attitude that this church wasn’t as good as ‘my’ church. Today, thanks to that parish vicar, 400 people heard the gospel message, and the wonderful news Easter brings because of his message.

So, to all of you, whoever you are, Happy Easter!!! I hope you have had the opportunity to hear the wonderful news of the gospel today, and can celebrate with joy the truth that the empty tomb brings.

Posted in church, cross, family, resurrection, sermons | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The hope of the resurrection

Posted by lauraoli on January 29, 2011

Yesterday was my Grandma’s funeral. She was a wonderful, kind-hearted, loving lady who I will miss very much.

I read a passage from 1 Thessalonians during the service, and I found so much comfort and hope in it that I thought I would share it here.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:9-10

And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died, so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Then we will be with the Lord forever.

So encourage each other with these words; God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.

It is such an encouraging passage. Reminding us that death is not the end, but through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can look forward to spending eternity with him in heaven.

I will miss my Grandma a lot. But I have the certain hope of an eternal future, together with her, in heaven with the Lord Jesus. Reminding myself of that will be such an encouragement in those moments when I miss her the most.

Posted in family, Jesus Christ, resurrection | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New year, new job… for dad.

Posted by lauraoli on January 18, 2010

So, last year, my dad fell foul to the old chestnut, the Economic Recession (capital letters required), and lost his job at a private school where he had taught at for the last 29 years. The establishment treated him pretty badly, and he was gutted when it all came to an end in summer. By the grace of God he got a temporary teaching contract at another local school, for the autumn term, but he finished at Christmas and was officially unemployed.

At his old place, he was doing loads of extra work with PR, the website and the alumni as well as his teaching, and not really getting appreciated for it. Since he finished his 1 term contract in December, I’ve really been praying that God would provide something for him that would use his talents and where he would be appreciated for what he can do.  And so the school he’d been at for a term came up trumps, and created a whole new post, especially for him. He is now ‘Development Manager’, and able to really get himself stuck in doing the stuff he’s good at, as well as doing a bit of teaching.

God really has provided. This job couldn’t be better for him and his self-esteem, and it utilises all those God-given talents he has that weren’t appreciated in his old job. I am so thankful for this opportunity for him!

”This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

1 John 5:14


Posted in family, God, grace, prayer | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »