From Our Team

John Hoogenhout

Words of thought from our Church Team

John joined BPCC in 1996 as Senior Pastor. Originally from Tasmania, John came into ministry from a career in small business and studied at the Reformed Theological College of Geelong. John is the primary preaching pastor at BPCC and is a gifted communicator with a passion for the Word of God. John is responsible for leading BPCC and has a deep desire to see the kingdom of God advance in the Pine Rivers community and beyond. John and his wife Carla have 4 adult children and 5 grandchildren. In his spare time John enjoys wood turning and travelling in his caravan.

Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.

This week, Carla and I became grandparents for the eighth time! Amazing. We are blessed – and so, so thankful! I’m reminded of two Scriptures concerning children. Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. (Ps.127:3) Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged. (Pr.17:6) As a grandfather, and father, I have been reflecting on the ‘position’ or ‘responsibility’ and ‘privilege’ of being a grandfather/father. It’s huge! It’s serious. And it’s awesome! So when the following 12 points came my way via a weekly blog I subscribe to focused on parenting, I took special notice… and I’d like to share this with especially Dads and Granddads. It is written specifically with daughters and granddaughters in mind. These points are written by a Dad on the birthday of his daughter – he penned 12 honours that God bestows on Dads. 1.The world is a dangerous place, and a daddy is commissioned...
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Dear Church Family

It is good to have Adam back home from his Compassion Insight Trip to the US and Haiti. His trip was subsidised by Compassion Australia, a mission committed to ‘releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.’ Adam’s travel itinerary included attending the Global Leadership Summit in Chicago, and then a week in Haiti. For those interested in knowing more of the experiences and places visited, you can read his report of the trip and his experiences on our web site, or collect a paper copy from the Connections Centre. Pastor Michael and Nola Thurlow, and their four children will be with us at the end of the month. I am so excited about this! Having Michael and his family join our church family will be such a blessing. Michael will bring a wealth of ministry experience as we continue to grow and expand our ministry influence in our church and community....
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August 2015

creationministryHere we go into August already! 2015 is moving forward quickly… Let me bring to our attention a few things we’re working toward as a church family. First – Information Presentation with Creation Ministries International. CMI provide real-world answers to the most-asked questions in the area of Creation/evolution. CMI’s mission is to support the effective proclamation of the Gospel by providing credible answers that affirm the reliability of the Bible, in particular its Genesis history. There’s been growing interest within our community to hear more about creation vs evolution, and how our biblical world and life view can interact with the evolutionary presuppositions so readily accepted today. The date for this presentation is Wednesday 19 August, 7.00PM here in our church. Please invite your friends who have questions about creation vs evolution. For further information, please feel free to ask me personally. Second – Update of Attenders and Members contact details....
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Same-Sex Marriage: Astonishing Mercy and Shocking Normalisation

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalise same-sex marriage. A few days later on ABC radio, I listened to an 11 year old girl interviewed about ‘same-sex marriage,’ where she explained she had two Mums and she wanted them to be allowed to marry. What does Jesus say to us about this? Here’s how John Piper answers that question as he responds to the Supreme Court decision: Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy. His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6–9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation, sensual jubilation, or fruitful procreation. For those who have forsaken God’s path...
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The Principle of the Path

I want to promote a book that I have found very insightful and easy to read, easy to understand, and leads me say it’s “one of the best books I’ve read!” This book explains the key to living successfully! It is called The Principle of the Path, by Andy Stanley. This book explains how to get from where you are in life, to where you want to be in life. Here’s what one person says about this book: “If you’re ready to break the bad habits, bad behaviours, and bad decisions that have been leading you into trouble, you need Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path.” Consider the following: Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up far from where they intended to be? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear mental picture of where they want to be relationally,...
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Be Rich

Our current Church wide Sermon Series “Be Rich. Do More. Give More.” is receiving positive feedback for which I am very thankful. Talking about money is a delicate challenge… people are easily offended (or embarrassed). To preach on money for four consecutive weeks is also a challenge! But necessary. Jesus taught more about money than any other subject! That’s hard to believe isn’t it? Yet it is true. Faith and finance cannot be separated. In my study time this week, I came across this pithy truth: People who are good at being rich, pre-decide how they will use their money. How true! Let me remind all members that Sunday 29th March following the AM Service we will hold our Annual General Meeting. In preparation, you can obtain a copy of our audited financial report for 2014, and a copy of our proposed budget for 2015 from the Connections Centre – alternatively,...
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Dear Church Family

As we come to the end of the first month of this new year, I wonder how many of us have already given up on the New Year’s Resolutions we intended to pursue? Let me encourage you to stay the course! Each new day is a new beginning. Talking about beginnings, next Sunday (1 February) we are beginning our term one Church Wide Sermon Series called “Who We Are – finding your place at BPCC.” I’m excited about this series because it aims at the heart of Jesus’ instruction to us who love him and have him directing our lives. We who love Jesus are called ‘his body,’ ‘his church.’ And, you have often heard me and many others say: “The church is the hope of the world.” Therefore, the most fundamental question any church must answer is: “Why do we exist?” This series will dive deep into Scripture to answer...
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The Root of Ingratitude

Most days I read a short devotion from a very well respected theologian who doesn’t just know the Bible well, but loves Jesus and his church with all his heart. John Piper has stirred my heart and thoughts as I’ve anticipated this Christmas season with my loved ones.Let me share John Piper’s insights. The Root of Ingratitude By John Piper Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)When gratitude springs up in the human heart toward God, he is magnified as the wealthy source of our blessing. He is acknowledged as giver and benefactor and therefore as glorious.But when gratitude does not spring up in our hearts at God's great goodness to us, it probably means that we don't want to pay him a compliment; we don't want...
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Immanuel

Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, it was announced by the OT prophet Isaiah. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Is.7:14) That’s an interesting name don’t you think? Immanuel is Jesus’ other name. In Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth, he uses the name Jesus. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”… “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will...
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Live our faith actively

Let me share some snippets of advice that are impacting me at the moment. Crucial Conversations I attended a two day professional development leadership conference last week, and I was again reminded of how important communication is if you want to enjoy emotionally healthy families, friendships, workplaces and churches. Communication! Conversation. Many years ago the importance of this came home to me when a preacher said; “The hardest part about telling the truth in conversation is the last 10%.” You and I know this is so true don’t we? The hardest part of telling the truth, is the last 10%. It was this same point the seminar stressed about honest, healthy conversation. The speaker used an interesting phrase; “crucial conversations.” Let me encourage us all to reflect on this, and ask if there are “crucial conversations” we need to have in our circles to get things back on track and working...
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Why We Don’t Lose Heart

By John Piper Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16) Paul can’t see the way he used to (and there were no glasses). He can’t hear the way he used to (and there were no hearing aids). He doesn’t recover from beatings the way he used to (and there were no antibiotics). His strength, walking from town to town, doesn’t hold up the way it used to. He sees the wrinkles in his face and neck. His memory is not as good. And he admits that this is a threat to his faith and joy and courage. But he doesn’t lose heart. Why? He doesn’t lose heart because his inner man is being renewed. How? The renewing of his heart comes from something very strange: it comes from looking at what he can’t see.We look not to the things...
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Take our trials to God

Facing trials and challenges are unwelcomed realities all of us experience! Nor do we like having to exercise patience – well, that’s how it is for me. I don’t like waiting!Carla and I are waiting for our new grandchild… we’ve waited now for seven whole days! That’s right, our Natalie was due to give birth to her and Josh’s first baby a week ago. I’m told Sunday will be the day labour will be ‘brought on.’ Why do I have to wait! Grrr… You know how it goes. Of course there are worse things one has to be patient about. Like healing from illness. Even completing studies for some people is very challenging. Or having to wait for the job market to pick up. Or waiting for that promotion at work. Relationship challenges. Annoying neighbours. Barking dogs. Aphids on your plants. Let’s face it, there are so many things in life...
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Three Things

1) I’m looking forward to our first Christianity Explained session scheduled for coming Tuesday (3 June), 7.30PM my study, Church Admin buildiing. Christianity Explained is a six week course where the basics of the Christian faith are explained by working through the gospel of Mark. Here’s what the back page of the course manual says: Today, many people are ignorant of even the basic facts of the Christian faith. Many people think they have made a ‘decision for Christ’ but do not really understand what faith is. Their greatest need is to have it simply and clearly explained… Christianity Explained gets away from the quick one-off presentation of the gospel which has characterised much of our evangelistic efforts in the past. Based on six studies in the Gospel of Mark, this manual is a tried and tested tool for evangelism. It presents the challenge of Jesus in a way which is...
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GOOD FRIDAY

2 [Look] to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) To be crucified was a gruesome affair. Heavy nails pounded through some of the most sensitive parts of the human body; the slow, painful process of suffocation. It was not uncommon for blood, vomit and even urine to pool at the foot of these deadly instruments. A word – excruciating - was invented just to describe the horror of crucifixion. And it was this fate of crucifixion which God the Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ endured. And endured is precisely the right word. Upon that awful tree Jesus did not ‘unplug’ from consciousness as some have suggested, nor did he only ‘appear’ to be suffering. He felt every stabbing...
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When you’re going through tough times

We all go through times of trial! Some even seem to go through more than others – why is that? I don’t know the answer, but I sure do admire those who face their trials and struggles with grace and confidence that God is with them despite their lot. I really admire them! As you may know, I’ve recently had to have a heart pacemaker inserted to fix my long term atrial fibrillation (AF) issue. I’ve had four previous surgical procedures for AF, but they’ve not proved successful. You can imagine that I had high hopes my pacemaker would fix me? It hasn’t yet… I need to undergo another ablation in about six weeks time. I have been assured by my cardiologist that this will fix me. Experiencing trials teaches us many things. One of those is empathy with those who go through tough times – whether health, emotional or relational...
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Set Free

Next Sunday we start our new church wide sermon series where we’ll be unpacking one of the greatest chapters in the whole Bible – Romans 8. We’re calling this series Set Free. Romans 8 is a treasure trove of life-changing truth. It begins with ‘no con-demnation’ and ends with ‘no separation.’ Nowhere else in the Bible do we find anything to match the power and beauty of this remarkable chapter. In fact, some have described this one chapter as the ‘Mt. Everest’ of Scrip-ture. As we scale this magnificent Scriptural peak together, we will discover how it beckons us into true freedom: The freedom of life in the Spirit, victory over sin, adoption into God’s family, endurance through present sufferings and in all things, freedom to praise God for His unfathomable love revealed to us in Christ Jesus. Indeed, in this 4 week series we will see that because of Jesus...
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Growth Groups mushroomed this week!

Growth Groups mushroomed this week! A stack of people decided to join a Growth Group for the next five weeks as we continue our new series: God’s Mission, Our Mission. I’m so encouraged by this because when groups of people get together to study God’s word and pray for one another, then life change happens. And, as relationships grow in these settings, then the fruit of belonging and caring heightens. Then the influence and impact of the Church spreads. This brings glory to God and extends His kingdom. Today’s message is the second in this new series and focuses on worship. In our Growth Group booklet accompanying this series, it says: All human beings worship. Whether religious or irreligious, we have all identified something or someone that we believe is worthy of our time, money and the meditations of our heart. But we were made to worship only one thing: our...
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GROWTH GROUPS: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL DO IN 2014

We live in a society more commitment-averse then ever before. People are choosing to remain single for longer, while having children is delayed or even rejected all together. Not so long ago it was commonplace for an employee to spend their entire career with the one company. Now people change jobs every few years. Today commitment is something to be avoided, not celebrated. Unfortunately, this attitude has found its way into the church, especially in the West, with many people happy to sit on the sidelines and never commit. In other words, many people are happy to believe, but would rather not belong. Many people are happy to receive, but don’t want to give; to be served, but not to serve. The result being, church has become more a place to attend, than a people to belong too. But is this really what God desires for His church? Not at all!...
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GOD’S MISSION, OUR MISSION

Next Sunday (2nd February) we will launch into our church-wide sermon series “GOD’S MISSION, OUR MISSION.” I am really excited about this series and I am praying that it will help clarify the vision and direction of BPCC and that it will spur all of us on to contin-ue the mission that God has called us to – to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Why I’m so keen for this series is because not only will we be looking at where we believe God is leading BPCC, but we will also be encouraging everyone to join a Growth Group! Growth Groups are smaller gatherings during the week where you will have the opportunity for fellowship, care, accountability and Bible study. There will be Growth Group booklets available at the Connections Centre which have further information about the sermons, discussion questions, and recommended reading. Make sure you grab one! This year we...
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This time of year is known as Advent

Christmas is only days away… and this time of year is known as Advent. The four weeks leading into Christmas is traditionally a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus the Saviour – the Son of God, who came from heaven to fulfil the restoration process of our forever after lives with our Creator God and Father. I love this time of year. Many of us will take advantage of family dinners and get-togethers with friends, and holidays. For Carla and I, we will be heading off for a two week camping holiday with ALL our grown kids, their spouses and our grandkids – 15 of us! And I’ve just heard, there’s another grandchild on the way – arrives in June!Carla and I want to take this opportunity to wish our church family a wonderful Christmas. Celebrating the birth of our Saviour is such a privilege –...
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