A new beginning…

Finding my feet in living for Jesus.

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

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!

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

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!

Posted in Christmas, current affairs, media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »

2009… the best year yet.

Posted by lauraoli on January 15, 2010

Lots of things happened in 2009.

  • Barack Obama became the first black president of the US.
  • Man Utd won the Premier League for the third successive year (woop!).
  • The King of Pop, Michael Jackson died.
  • I managed to pass third year of medicine without completely falling apart.

But for me, 2009 will be forever memorable for one reason that outshines all of these.

2009 was the year I came to know Jesus, asked for His forgiveness and started my new life living for Him.

I’ve started this blog so that I can keep a record of my spiritual path as I continue in my new life. I’m hoping that I can write down things that affect me, things that I learn, problems I might be having or just whatever might be on my mind. I’ve no idea how it’s going to go, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!

Posted in random, testimony | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »