From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Easter’s Forgotten Little Brother: Ascension Day

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. Luke 24:50-53 As followers of Jesus, we rightly celebrate, with great gusto, the Christian holy days of Easter (his death and resurrection) and Christmas (his incarnation). We sing (sometimes kitschy) songs (‘Aussie Jingle Bells’ anyone?), we exchange gifts, we go on holidays, and we trundle off to church. And the importance of these days is quite obvious to us. Without Christmas, God would remain distant, and without the Easter days, we would remain in our sin. But there is another holy day worthy of our celebration and reflection. It is a day we are not overly familiar with,...
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Help your kids grow to become disciples of Jesus Christ

Last Thursday night we celebrated and honoured our mums at our annual mother daughter night at GEMS. We enjoyed a night of pampering, yummy treats and we were entertained by our very talented GEMS and some brave mums in our Talent show. This years focus on mothers night, was all about spending time and being present with our girls, but this principle extends further than mothers and daughters, it extends to dads and their sons, and grandparents and aunts, uncles and mentors too. Our culture today is telling our kids, that what parents and other significant people have to say is not as important as our kids peers, and the Media. Look at any girls magazine, no where amongst its pages will you find mention of mum or dad. Our children's teenage years are not a time for us to stand back and let culture take over. It can be a...
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What to Write on Mother’s Day?

I asked myself ‘what to write on Mother’s Day’? If you’re like me you may not even get a chance to read this blurb because your mothering duties leave little time for the luxury of reading something that isn’t a home reader, school information letter or bedtime story! I am therefore going to use the opportunity to encourage you and, God willing, help us recognise how God wants us to bring up the children we’ve been blessed with. We were reminded in last week’s message that raising children is more than ‘raising nice kids’ it’s about raising up young people that know and love Jesus! How do we do that? I will share with you some practical ways I believe we can raise children who will, by the Grace of God, know and love Jesus. Admittedly I am in the early stages of mothering my children are 6, 4 and 2....
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The cross is not enough. Now before you reach for your torch and pitchfork, hear me out. On its own, without the resurrection, the cross would not just seem to be foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18-26), it would be foolishness! The death of Jesus would not be salvation, it would be martyrdom. The Apostle Paul said it best: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain… your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:14 & 17). Indeed, if Jesus was not raised, then the events of Good Friday are simply one unmitigated and tragic disaster. However, if an empty cross led to a full tomb and three days later an empty tomb to a resurrected life then there is indeed reason for preaching, a basis for faith and freedom from sin! You see, the cross...
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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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Maybe you’ve heard this criticism before. Maybe someone has aimed it at you. The accusation underlying this statement is that the Christian faith is for the weak-minded, the weak-willed, or the ill-informed. It is for those who aren’t strong enough to navigate the treacherous waters of life on their own. They are weak. They need help. They need someone to lean on.In our culture, to admit you are weak and in need, is perhaps one of the most awfully embarrassing admissions to make. Ours is a culture that values strength and independence. We recount stories of people who through their own will-power overcame great odds to achieve success. Disney movies teach us that if we just believe in ourselves enough we can do anything. In a cultural climate like this, the real sin is not pride, but weakness. So the gospel of a crucified Saviour dying for weak sinners is one...
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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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We are called to be salt and light in this dark world

“But if he knew it wasn’t allowed, then why did he do it?” Just one of the many questions my kids asked about John Short and his decision to share the gospel in North Korea. “Why didn’t he just go to a country where it was safe to tell people about God?” Honest question from the mouths of small children, probably echoing the thoughts of many adults. Such questions led to many discussions in our house. Discussions about hearing God’s voice and following God’s will and doing what you know is right even if it’s risky, in John Short’s case, life threatening. Big questions, challenging answers. And as is usually the case when trying to explain things to children you have to simplify it, break it down, examine what you’re saying and in the process you tend to discover what you really believe. So what’s holding us back? What stops us...
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A Meaningful Life

I recently saw an interview with AFL Player of the Century and Brisbane Lions premiership coach, Leigh Matthews. For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Leigh Matthews is AFL royalty. Not only was he crowned ‘Player of the Century’, but he also won 8 premierships (4 as a player, 4 as coach), 8 best & fairest medals, is a multiple All-Australian representative and won the Coleman medal for the most goals in a season in 1975. It’s fair to say Leigh has been very successful in the sport of AFL. During the interview Leigh was asked, “What is the most meaningful thing you have done in your life?” Leigh paused, smiled and then replied, “Well, I have spent most of my life involved in a game so I’m not sure... I guess we have entertained a lot of people so that is something.” I was struck by Leigh’s comments. This...
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Care Team News

ADOPT A GRANNY What an interesting response we received to the concept of “adopting a granny”. Several people have offered to be involved. There is room for others if you would like to be part of this ministry.What surprised me were the families who would love to have grand-parents for their children. Now we are looking for people who would be willing to adopt a family. It has been suggested people in their 60’s or older could consider this. I know I was 53 when I became a grandpar-ent and 6 years later I had a grandson at school. Children whose family have come from overseas do not have grandparents who can be there for them on special occasions. If you would like to consider becoming a grandparent to one of these families please contact me or one of the care team members. We will look for suitable matching once we...
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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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GEMS 2014

Last Thursday night saw our first GEMS meeting for 2014, we had over 30 girls attend from grades 1 - 7. We had a great night getting to know the new girls and catching up with the GEMS from Last Year. Some of you may not know this, but the name GEMS actually stands for ‘Girls Everywhere Meeting their Saviour’. So GEMS is essentially about; sharing the Gospel with young girls, it’s our prayer we can teach and encourage them towards a personal relationship with Christ. Every year all of our clubs around Australia work through a theme which forms the focus of our teaching throughout the year. This year our theme is It’s God’s…... Handle with Care. We are very enthusiastic about helping our GEMS discover not only that everything belongs to God (including their lives), but also teaching them how we are to be good stewards with what God...
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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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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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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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And shall call his name 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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Knowing God's Word

This week at Worship Team rehearsal we had our usual devotion time during which I shared with the Team a specific scripture that has often helped me in times of stress. We then had a time where each person shared their favourite bible verse(s). It was so encouraging to hear from others how scripture is used in their life. Not just in times of need, but in times of celebration, for direction, for motivation, for peace! It reminded me the importance of truly knowing scripture. Gods word actually tells us to know scripture, you're probably aware of this commandment God gives us; "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be...
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I Forgot God

Well, not literally. I mean I didn’t leave Him behind anywhere or have a sudden onset of amnesia, forgetting His name. I mean that I forgot what He was like. I forgot His character. I forgot Him. In this past week, my Bible reading plan has led me into Deuteronomy. What struck me as I read through the first few chapters was the way in which Moses goes over, in great detail, the record of God’s interactions with Israel. He recounts God’s faithfulness to Israel, all the way through their journey in the wilderness and now in leading them to the edge of the Promised Land. As they stand on the cusp of the land flowing with milk and honey, God peculiarly and insistently commands Israel to “Remember and don’t forget!” (Deut. 5:15; 6:12; 8:2, 11; 9:7). You see, God knew the challenges that awaited His people in a land of...
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Do not be anxious about anything

Hello church! How amazing to think that each week our church runs four services: AM Church, Kidz Church, Café Church and PM Church. Although we might not physically be in the same place at the same time, we are all one big church family. I do not write this to boast, but I write this with great excitement! That God has so richly blessed us over the years. For the past seven weeks I’ve been travelling through Europe with my family. It was such a good time to spend time together, seeing the magnificent world! But I am so glad to be back, and back to my church family! Last week I was reading Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and...
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