One Life. What’s it all about?

YOLO! This acronym was popularised by the Canadian rapper, Drake, through his 2011 song ‘The Motto’. The letters stand for the phrase “you only live once” and imply that one should enjoy life, even if that means taking risks and making mistakes. The philosophy that all we have is one life so we should aim to make the most of it is not new one, at different times throughout history people have advocated living for the moment. Classically the idea was expressed by the Latin phrase “carpe diem” penned by the poet Horace who lived between 85 – 8 BC.

While you are having fun YOLO can seem quite an attractive philosophy, but at some point the pursuit of happiness can start to seem hollow or life can become tough for some reason. It is at those times that we may begin to wonder “what’s it all about?” The Catholic thinker, writer and apologist G.K. Chesterton in his book ‘What’s Wrong with the World’ wrote “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

Followers of Jesus believe that there is more to life than our brief human existence and that true purpose and meaning is found by following him. Many people have heard about Christian belief but have never really explored it for themselves which is why starting in October we are running the ‘Christianity Explored’ course which aims to help us understand the claims of Jesus though the window of Mark’s gospel. You are welcome to join us on Wednesday or Thursday evenings (whichever suit you best) for coffee and cake at 7:45pm in Life Church Centre. We will watch a short video presented by Rico Tice and then discuss what we have just seen. If you would like to join us then please contact

This blog post featured in the October 2013 edition of Hook Focus

Exploring Mark

QI fact: Mark’s Greek nickname was Colobodactolus which means ‘stubby fingered’! Hardly the most flattering of names for the writer of a gospel, but then Mark is not the most obvious author of such an account. Although he spent time with Jesus he was not one of the apostolic band and any references to Mark himself in the gospels are cryptic and elusive. He does appear again later in the New Testament but only ever as a ‘number two’; first as an assistant to Barnabas, then Paul and Barnabas together and finally to Peter. It was from spending time with Peter that he gathered together the material for his account of the Good News about Jesus.

Mark captures Peter’s sense of action and adventure by emphasising what Jesus did more than what he said, prioritising miracles over parables and discourses. Unlike most modern biographies, a third of the book concentrates on the last week of Jesus’ life. The snappy, news bulletin style appeals to 21st century people used to sound-bites and tweets, making this a refreshing way to encounter Jesus. In this book Mark exposes us to the manifestation of the Kingdom of God. He also depicts Peter’s weaknesses rather than his strengths pointing to a concern to ensure we focus on the person and work of Jesus.

During October and November we will be ‘Exploring Mark’ on Sunday mornings to complement Exploring Christianity’ midweek. If you have never read a gospel from beginning to end in one sitting I encourage you to read Mark this coming week. It will take you between 30-45minutes and will give you a broad overview of Jesus’ life that will open your eyes again to the things he did and said.

My prayer over the next two months is that however long you have been following Jesus you will find your walk revitalised as together we take a fresh look at him through the eyes of Mark.

This blog post featured in the October 2013 edition of Lifelines

Catch the Flame

As we come to the end of our InsideOut equipping sessions, our prayer is that you are inspired and ready for the Catch the Flame events at the end of May. The complete programme looks like this:

  • Friday 25th May – Events during the day in Hook and Rotherwick Schools
  • Saturday 26th May – Family Fun Day from 2:00 pm  – 5:00 pm in Hartletts Park
  • Sunday 27th May – Sunday Celebration from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm in Hartletts Park
  • Wednesday 6th – Saturday 9th June – Catch the Flame Kids Club 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at Life Church Centre

All these events are designed to help us build towards sharing Jesus with people in our community and with this in mind, we shall be launching a 7 week programme called Christianity Explored on Thursday 31st May. This is similar in style to Alpha but is based upon Mark’s Gospel and is designed to help people encounter the real Jesus as found in the gospels.

These programmes all need volunteers! Whether it is to paint faces, serve cream teas, mingle with visitors, cook meals; there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to become involved. In fact your involvement is vital to help ensure that this outreach programme goes with a bang! Please speak to David Gibbons to sign up to help, above all please pray that we will see people respond to the good news over the coming months.

This blog post featured in the May 2012 edition of Lifelines