From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Kidz Church this term

As we near the end of another school term (wow, where did that one go??) I find myself once again thinking about how time just seems to fly by. I know as a parent with school aged kids, having the year broken up into weeks, terms and semesters, life just seems to move along so quickly. The end of a term is a good place to stop and reflect. This term at Kidz church, we’ve spent time each week going back over what was learnt and discussed the previous week. And we’ve been encouraging children to commit scripture passages to heart.Psalm 119 v 11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” It’s our prayer that what our kids learn and experience of God at Kidz church goes deep into their hearts, and that it will stay with them their whole life....
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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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Priceless High Tea

Ladies you’re invited to ‘Priceless High Tea’ On Saturday 20th of June from 3-5pm, BPCC will be hosting a High Tea in support of ‘Priceless Life Centre.’ During the course of the afternoon there will be the opportunity to meet with friends, learn about Priceless Life Centre, peruse and purchase gifts/goods from speciality stores, and of course, enjoy the delicious High Tea. Tickets are $10 each, with all ticket sales (and profits from speciality stores) going towards supporting Priceless Life Centre. Priceless Life Centre offers hope for those experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. They also provide quality values-based education programs. They are committed to ensuring women and men have access to accurate information and the support they require to make real and informed choices when experiencing unexpected pregnancy. During the afternoon we will also hear stories about the practical ways in which Priceless Life Centre has changed the lives of many. Personally, I am excited...
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Come and Die

“Come and die.” Not exactly the most enticing words in any situation, let alone as an invitation to follow someone. We’d probably prefer, “Come and I will help you reach your potential,” or, “Come and I will make your wildest dreams come true”. Yet, when Jesus called the crowds to follow him he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). It is, in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” As we have studied the second half of the Gospel of Mark together over the last few weeks, I have been struck by the prominence of this truth. Over and over again, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that to follow him means to follow him to the cross. It means to die to yourself, and come alive...
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Outreach Opportunities

According to a report by the Australian DEWHA on National Waste, approximately 8 to 10 billion dollars of food is wasted each year in commercial and residential waste. That’s around four million tons of food that ends up as landfill. I know a lot of this would come from Supermarkets but the average household also experiences some wastage. Check your cupboard or refrigerator and tell if this is not so. One simple solution is to buy to a menu. This is just one of the things people learn as they share in a group discussion as part of a CAP Money Course. For three years now I have been running CAP Money Courses and many people have been blessed by adopting the ideas they have learned. Ann and I have been living to our budget using CAP Money principles and are pleased with the control we now have over our finances....
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‘God is love’ or ‘Love is god’?

At the moment I am reading a book called, “The Skeletons in God’s Closet” by Joshua Ryan Butler. In short, the book explores three tough topics raised by Scripture, namely, hell, judgment, and holy war. Butler contends that many people think of these issues as “skeletons in God’s closet,” issues that if looked at closely would reveal a cruel, vindictive tyrant rather than a good and loving God. It is an outstanding book that has once again solidified my faith in the beauty, and justice, and goodness of God, even as he is revealed in and through hell, judgment, and holy war. This week I came across a section called “A Love to Change the World” that I want to share with you. Butler writes about a friend of his named Ian, who had rejected Christianity because in his words, “I have come to believe not that God is love, but...
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What I learnt from my time at Tamworth

As part of my studies at Brisbane School of Theology (BST), I was recently involved in a ‘mission trip’ to Tamworth in regional NSW, where we supported one of the local Anglican churches for 9 days. It was an incredible experience and one that helped me to understand other church traditions, foster strong relationships with fellow students, and also to grow in my own experience of Christ. There is so much that I could share but one night in particular stands out to me. This particular morning I had shared my testimony at the Church we were supporting and one of the locals (his name was Mark) approached me afterwards and invited me over for dinner. What really struck me was Mark’s sincerity! He really meant what he said and also offered to help me out with food or anything I might need during the week. Later that day he texted...
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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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What about tithing?

As we dig into 1 Timothy 6:17-19, and explore what it means to be generous in our current sermon series ‘Be Rich,’ maybe some of you are wondering about tithing? Maybe you are wondering how tithing fits in, or even whether tithing is expected of God’s people today? The word ‘tithe’ literally means a ‘tenth part.’ In the Old Testament, God required his people to give a tithe, that is, 10% of their grain (Lev. 27:30), and of their “herds and flocks, every tenth animal” (Lev. 27:32), to support the work of God’s institution, the Temple. As such, the tithe was an important feature in how the Israelites worshiped God, and, in fact, in Malachi 3:8-10, the Israelites are said to be robbing God for failing to tithe! But what about the New Testament? Is this still the case? Is 10% still required and expected? Or has Jesus clarified how we...
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Who We Are: Finding Your Place at BPCC

Do you believe it is your responsibility to help make BPCC a healthy church? Do you believe it is your responsibility to do more than just attend BPCC, but also to belong and to contribute? If you are a Christian, we believe that it is! Jesus commands all of us to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). Peter says we are to use our gifts to serve others (1 Pet. 4:10). Paul tells us to speak the truth in love so that we will become mature (Eph. 4:13-15). Indeed, the consistent witness of the New Testament is that it is our collective responsibility to build BPCC into a fruitful, faithful, and loving church. What a joy! What a responsibility! And so, this Sunday we launch into a new 5-week sermon series titled ‘Who We Are: Finding Your Place at BPCC’. The heart behind this series is a desire to see everyone who calls...
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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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From the Community Care team

Welcome to another year from the Community Care team. I went to Google to find verses from the Bible that talked about helping the poor and needy and had so many to choose from both the Old and New Testament. I have quoted just a few to remind us that we have a God given responsibility to be generous when it comes to helping people in need. 1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to...
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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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The Destructive Force of Christmas

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 The word “destroy” is not one we usually associate with Christmas. Unless, of course, we are reading Dr. Seuss’ classic book, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, or we are once again faced with some sort of family meltdown. But generally it does not fit in our visions of the quaint nativity scene, or our mountains of presents stock-piled under the Christmas tree.However, in 1 John 3:8, the Apostle John says “destruction” is precisely the reason for Christmas! He tells us that the reason Jesus appeared, or came, or incarnated, was to destroy the works of the devil. Now, restrain your mind from running straight to visions of outlandish demonic possession. The “works of the devil” are far more subversive, and comprehensive than just overt supernatural phenomena (though they are not less than that)....
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The Gift

“Jesus is the greatest gift at Christmas. You won’t find Him underneath the Christmas tree. ‘Cause most of all us sinners need a saviour. Come see the greatest Christmas gift, look to Jesus Christ and live, Jesus is the greatest gift that there will ever be” (words our Kids Choir sang from the song “Greatest Christmas Gift” by Colin Buchanan). I can’t believe Carols 2014 is over! I am so thankful we shared the message that Jesus is the greatest gift and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who was involved! To put on an event like Carols takes a team of people, and many different tasks. So whether you were involved in decorating, baking, singing, setting-up, cooking, greeting, or in any other way, let me say, thank you! Every single person involved was important and made Carols 2014 the success it was. Most of...
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Phillip Hughes and the Enemy of Death

In this past week, death, like an unwelcome reptilian guest, once again reared its monstrous head, with the tragic passing of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes. In the wake of this horrific tragedy, the profound sadness that has invaded public consciousness has only been matched by a pervasive sense of disbelief. It shouldn’t happen like this. Cricket is a game. Phillip was only 25 years old, about to celebrate his 26th birthday. Young, healthy men don’t die playing a game. Yet it happened. And in disbelief, we mourn. And underneath our grief, we realise that death might not be as distant as we believe it to be. On Tuesday night I was asked to pray for my indoor cricket team. An occurrence as surprising as it was solemn (and a great privilege). Confronted with the unavoidable reality of death, we cannot help but be confronted by our weakness and limitation. We might...
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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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Does God care about the starving?

In this week’s sermon, as we continue our series through the Gospel of Mark, we encounter one of the most important and well-known of Jesus’ miracles; the feeding of the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44). In this story, we read how Jesus and the disciples, along with a crowd of around 15,000 people are in an isolated place, with no McDonalds nearby, and darkness quickly descending. The disciple’s panic, begging Jesus to dismiss the crowd, seemingly overcome by the thought of spending all their savings on a big seaside dinner party. Jesus, however, comes to the rescue, producing a plentiful feast from the leftovers of lunch, multiplying two fish and five loaves of bread into a banquet for thousands. Indeed, crisis averted, grumbling bellies quieted, and appetites satisfied. But maybe as you ponder this story and look around at the rampant starvation and malnutrition in our world, you wonder if God sees, or...
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Reflections on (almost) one year of marriage

On Sunday 30th of November, Molly and I will have been husband and wife for 1 year. That is 365 days since we stood on the platform at BPCC, held hands, exchanged vows, kissed one another, and entered into a binding covenant before God and our friends and family. And as I reflect on the days since that wonderful day, I feel incredibly grateful and incredibly determined.I feel incredibly grateful to God for the gift of marriage. The Bible says something very interesting about marriage: “Let marriage be held in honour by all” (Hebrews 13:4). Now, parenthood is a wonderful thing, and friendship is a wonderful thing, but the Bible does not say, “Let parenthood or friendship be held in honour by all.” This honourific position is reserved for marriage. Why? The end of the Bible answers our question. You see, the Bible begins with a wedding (Genesis 2); God gives...
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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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