A new beginning…

Finding my feet in living for Jesus.

Archive for the ‘Jesus Christ’ Category

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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Posted in Brighton, Christianity, CMF, films, Jesus Christ, medicine, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in grace, Jesus Christ, media, music, random | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good Friday?

Posted by lauraoli on April 22, 2011

Easter is the most important event in the Christian faith. This morning, in church, the preacher commented about the fact that today is called ‘Good Friday’. Why is today ‘good’, when today is the day we remember Jesus’ death? Surely that’s a bad thing? Christians say he was the Son of God, why on earth would we call the day we remember the Son of God dying ‘good’?

The reason that it is ‘good’ is because of what that death means. Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, one without blemish, and yet he took our punishment and wrath from God by dying, in our place so that we may look forward to everlasting life with him. The bible says, in Romans 6:23, that ‘the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.‘ It is the greatest gift that anyone can ever receive; eternal life in the presence of our loving, saviour God and through no action of our own. That is why today is ‘good’!

A year ago I posted about watching the film ‘The Passion of the Christ’ with a friend. It was amazing to see the words written in the bible come to life on screen. This year on Brighton seafront on Easter Sunday is a Passion Play (4pm, West Pier). If you happen to be in Brighton this weekend – go and see for yourself what Jesus endured for you.

http://www.passionofchrist.co.uk/

Posted in cross, crucifixion, Jesus Christ, media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From the Depths of Hell to the Heights of Glory

Posted by lauraoli on February 23, 2011

A friend recommended this book (Taming the Tiger by Tony Anthony) a few weeks ago, saying that it held an extraordinary story of a man coming to know Christ whilst in prison in Cyprus. I was intrigued, and so bought it. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down.

The first few chapters recall Tony Anthony’s early childhood, of being sent to China from England to live with his Grandparents at the age of four. His grandfather was a Kung-fu champion, a Shaolin monk, and a direct descendant of the Soo family kung-fu dynasty. Once in China, Tony was trained by his grandfather in the ways of kung-fu, not only in the physical aspects of it, but also in the mental and spiritual side, learning to focus his ‘Ch’i’ and to rely on the ‘god inside of him’. This training set him up to be World Champion 3 times, before becoming a bodyguard to some of the world’s most powerful people. Whilst in his role as a bodyguard, his fiancée died and he started to commit crime. He was eventually caught and sent to Nicosia prison on the island of Cyprus for a total of 3 years. It was whilst incarcerated, that a man by the name of Michael Wright began to visit Tony, and simply spend time chatting about day to day life. After many visits Tony eventually asked Michael why he bothered to visit him, and he explained about Jesus and how much He loved Tony and wanted to be in a relationship with him. Soon after this, Tony confessed his sins to God, and received His forgiveness. The rest of his time he was in prison he spent learning more about God and telling the other inmates about Him. He soon started a regular bible study for those other inmates who had become Christians, and as a consequence of this had to serve extra time in prison. The book continues to tell his life story up until the present day, living in England, married with children and leading the Avanti Ministries Evangelical organisation.

The book really is an incredible picture of how God can work in lives of those people who seem to be the furthest from him. The story of the time Tony spent in Nicosia prison is simply awe-inspiring, and it’s incredible to see the difference Jesus made in the life of the author. It also shows the love of the missionary, Michael, as a great example of how we should live our lives, trying to reach those who don’t yet know about Jesus.

This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed, and was greatly inspired by, and would recommend it to anyone, Christian or not. The early part of the book documenting Tony’s time in China, being trained in the art of kung-fu is particularly fascinating. However, the greatest part of the book, for me, was the amazing story of how God reaches those who need Him the most by ways we just would not think possible.

Posted in books, grace, Jesus Christ, mission, testimony | 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 »

He’s on His way!

Posted by lauraoli on December 14, 2010

This was posted on the BBC news website today. This poster is being put on 2010 bus shelters across the country, and is designed to spread the word of the real meaning of Christmas by using a familiar image given a new twist.

It’s very clever – Christmas should start with Christ… that’s what it’s all about after all.

Posted in Christmas, current affairs, Jesus Christ, random | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are you ready?

Posted by lauraoli on November 29, 2010

So in the last couple of weeks I’ve heard 3 sermons at two different churches, and each one has been on Jesus’ second coming. As a Christian, I believe that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for the world’s sin, he rose again 3 days later and he will come again to judge the world. We don’t know when he will return, but we can be sure that it will happen. When it does happen, those that know and love Jesus will rise with him to Heaven to spend eternity with him.

It definitely hasn’t already happened – the bible is very clear that when it happens there we won’t miss it and there will be no doubt, (1 Thessalonians 4:16 ‘For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God’) and in fact warns against those who try to deceive us. (Matthew 24:4-6 ‘Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah’ and will deceive many’).

In yesterday’s service, we had our Advent celebration. Advent is the time of the year when we look forward to Christmas and to Jesus’ birth, but we should be looking forward to Jesus’ return every day. What if Jesus comes back before tonight – are you ready? Are you a ‘son of the day’ or a ‘son of the night’?

Yesterday’s evening sermon was based on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. These are the major points.

  1. No warning: We don’t know when Jesus is going to turn up. There will be no adverts, no build up, no warning. The bible compares it to ‘a thief in the night’.
  2. No escape: It will be like the start of labour pains in a pregnant woman, from which there is no relief. No-one on Earth will be able to avoid judgment.

These two things are the same for everyone, whether you belong to Christ’s body or not. The last 3 points are for those of us who believe in Christ and are known by him; ‘sons of the day’:

  1. No surprises: We should be expecting Jesus’ return, and we should be ready.
  2. No sleepiness: Non-Christians are ‘asleep’ to the fact Jesus will return. We shouldn’t fall away from him, and we should be ‘awake’ to his return at all times.
  3. No condemnation: It’s the BEST DAY when Jesus will return – it’s when we will receive the free gift of salvation and go to spend eternity together with him.

So I end this post with a challenge – are you in, or are you out? There is no third option; no ‘I might believe later’, or ‘I’ll look into it when I’m older’, or ‘I’m not sure there is a God’. There is no middle ground. You need to make a decision; you need to choose to be a ‘son of the day’ or a ‘son of the night’. You can’t abstain from this choice. If you don’t choose to be in, then you choose to be out.

If you’re in, then are you ready?

Posted in church, Jesus Christ, sermons | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Jesus. The most Passionate man to have ever lived.

Posted by lauraoli on April 2, 2010

Last night, Maundy Thursday, my friend (prettylittlewilderness) and I watched the Mel Gibson film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. The film is starts in the Garden of Gethsemane and covers the arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with a nod at his resurrection. It is one of the most gruesome, horrifying and brutal films I’ve ever seen. Reading the story of the Passion in the bible doesn’t really convey the horror of the flogging and crucifixion. When it was written, the people that would have read the account of Jesus’ last days would have understood the full meaning of these terms. Now, however, they are words that are spoken about so much, in relation to Jesus, that we become desensitised to them.

It is very easy to say ‘isn’t it great, Jesus died for me’. But to see the reality of that statement really hits home. What he went through, for me, is just horrendous. It was my sin that put him up there. It was for my sin that he went through what he did. He could have stopped what was happening at any time. But he didn’t, because of his incredible love for me. It’s simply awesome.

Everyone should watch that film. I challenge anyone who doubts that Jesus actually died to watch it and say that he just passed out then woke up, completely healed a couple days later. Or that he was just a moral teacher – no man would go through something like that voluntarily without knowing what the outcome would be. It puts it all into perspective. Jesus’ death wasn’t glorious. It was terrifically awful. But what happened next, his resurrection, changes everything. He beat death. So it was worth it. But it came at a terrible price.

Posted in cross, crucifixion, films, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »