From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Helping the Needy

The other day I read this quote from Mother Teresa, “We, the willing, led by the unknown, are doing the im-possible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do any-thing with nothing”.

While this may have been true for Mother Teresa, I see our situation as very different. We have the willing, people like you and I, who led hopefully by the Holy Spirit, sometimes try to do the impossible, but most peo-ple we help are very grateful and we have a vast array of support.

There are so many opportunities for people who are willing to reach out and help the needy in our community. Let me list a few examples.

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It depends on my motivation…

I remember reading about a workshop leader who asked a business man if he would be willing to walk across a narrow beam hypothetically resting on the floor in exchange for $50. ‘Sure’ he said. ‘Would you walk across the same beam if it was suspended between two forty-story buildings?’ The man said, ‘Absolutely not!’ Having seemingly made his point, the workshop leader continued by posing another question. ‘Supposing I were standing on one of the same two buildings holding one of your children over the edge and told you I would drop your kid if you didn’t walk across the beam. Now what would you do?’ Pondering the question, the business mans asked, ‘Which kid do you have?’

I tell you this story to make the following point – there are times when we may have similar feelings about our family and friends. Most times it is easy to love family and friends… but those other times can be really, really hard! Yet, that is exactly what God calls us to do – to bring love, joy, and peace to our families and circles of influence, even our enemies!

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Is your Christ too small?

If you ever get to the place where Jesus Christ isn’t enough . . . if you ever get to the place where you think that you can advance beyond Christ . . . then you haven’t met the Christ of the Bible.

Jesus said that “all Scripture testifies of me.” Everything in the Old Testament points to Him. And it doesn’t make sense apart from Him. But that’s not all.

He came not only as the fullness of the Godhead, and not only as the new Adam, and not only as the new Israel. But He came to reconcile a fallen universe back to Himself.

And how did He do it?

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Term 4 2012

School term four starts again next week. As we head into the last quarter of 2012 we have some exciting things happening at church during this time. Let me mention four:

Wednesday Ministry Nights

Starting this coming Wednesday 10 October, we’re offering four classes.

1. Divorce Recovery – facilitated by myself and Carla. This seven session course aims to give participants an understanding of the divorce experience, provide a safe place to process grief and loss and develop skills and courage to rebuild.

2. CAP Money – facilitated by Pastor Jim and his team, this three session course teaches skills to set up and stick to a workable budget.

3. Come Alive – taught by Alan Hermann, this five session study on Personal Spiritual Growth covers topics including spiritual dryness, personal devotion, silence and solitude, meditation and inner contentment.

4. Life Shapes – facilitated by Pastor Wayne for eight sessions where you gain understanding of yourself, your relationship to Christ and to one another.

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Carla and I have just returned from our four-week caravan tour through part of Queensland. We sure do live in a beautiful State – we spent nearly three weeks in the bush (away from shopping centres & traffic lights – I loved that!), then the last week and a bit on the coast (right amongst shopping centres & traffic lights – Carla loved that!). We’ve come back refreshed and recharged!

It is good to be back with family and loved ones. I usually do a lot of reflecting when I’m away from the busyness of ministry, and that’s exactly what I did this time too. I really appreciate these times of quiet, as it has allowed me to reflect on the preciousness of a loving family and church community.  I’ve been reminded of the gift we as Christ-followers have in our relationship with him – and I think that’s been heightened for me because I observed some very lonely people on our travels.  I tried to converse with one such man who lived in a dilapidated old caravan covered in weeds  and resting on bricks. The old man rebuffed my friendly approach which I took as an indication of his loneliness and probably some emotional baggage. This made me sad. There are a lot of lonely people in our communities… and I’ve been convicted to be more proactive in reaching out to folk with Christ-like love. I hope this conviction stays… because it’s all part of being salt and light for Jesus in our hurting world . Please, think about this – and join me in smiling more, helping more, and living life to the full more!

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Helping Others

I want to thank those of you who remember to bring in food for the Community Cupboard. We have been able to bless on average five families each week. You might wonder what we give to people! Sandwich spreads, things for school lunches, breakfast cereals, pasta and pasta sauces, baked beans and spaghetti, tuna, tinned vegetables, sugar, long life milk, tea, coffee. We buy mince or sausages to add to each parcel. We also provide toilet rolls, washing soap, shampoo, and tooth paste when we have them.

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Jesus loves me

Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so –but sometimes I forget, and sometimes I doubt ...  and Some don’t know.

Jesus loves me… God does not only tell us that he loves us, but he also showed us His love by placing the wrath that was to fall on us because of our rebellious nature, on His son.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that HE loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9).

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There are Some Things Worth Finishing

Just over eight years ago Tiiu, the girls and I immigrated to Australia. We bought across with us as much stuff as we possibly could and were excited about unpacking all our boxes when they arrived. We thought when other immigrants came over to visit they would say, “Wayne and Tiiu are so organised they have no unpacked boxes sitting in the garage” We have unpacked boxes in our garage trust me.

We have a huge folder on our computer full of pictures. We dream of having these put in albums and arranged by year on display. We have a collection of unfinished projects. There are some books and exercise equipment too. Things started but left unfinished. Do you finish everything you start? I imagine not. And to be honest, some things are not worth finishing.

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Big, bold and a little bit challenging.

I want to ask you a question.

Chances are it is going to be a convicting one. It was for me when I asked myself this same question earlier this year. It caused me to take stock and evaluate a number of things in my life. It caused me to change the way I pray and it created a big shift in the way that I relate to God.

The question arose when a few months ago I was listening to a sermon podcast on Acts 4 and the early church by Andy Stanley. Andy is a well known and well respected preacher and in this sermon he asks his listeners an incredibly insightful question. It is a question that I want to ask you today and it is this: If God answered all the prayers you have prayed this past week what difference would they have made in the world?

Very simple but very convicting. Let me ask that again: If God answered all the prayers you have prayed this past week what difference would they have made in the world?

For most of us, as a result of the prayers that we pray, our own lives and the lives of our families would probably be very different. We probably would have an abundance of safety and travelling mercies and maybe even more money. But beyond our own circle and our own lives would our prayers have made any impact? Could our prayers have been bigger? Bolder? Focused more on others? More fervent to see people far from God come to know and love Him?

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Find Your Rest

God set out the boundaries of the covenant relationship he had with the Israelites by giving them the Ten Commandments. God said to his people, “These are the top ten things to do and not to do.” Included in these laws are commands not to murder, steal, or commit adultery. Thousands of years later, we still take these commandments seriously. Even though we have been saved by grace, we see the benefits of living according to the Ten Commandments.

Nobody thinks murder is a great idea, nor stealing, nor committing adultery. But among the Ten Commandments is a certain one that has become too easy to forget. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. EXODUS 20:8–10

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Learn to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs

Learn to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs… This is a phrase I read last week in a daily devotional I often use in my quiet time with God. Learn to doubt your doubts and believe your beliefs. This is wise advice! Let me share with you what I read: Can a believer in Jesus who has occasional doubts about matters of faith ever be effective in serving the Lord? Some people think that mature and growing Christians never question their beliefs. But just as we have experiences that can build our faith, we can also have experiences that cause us to temporarily doubt. The disciple Thomas had initial doubts about reports of Jesus’ resurrection. He said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, . . . I will not believe” (John 20:25). Christ did not rebuke Thomas but showed him the evidence he asked for....
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The Greatest Commandment

A month ago I went to Hillsong conference. At the time I was looking forward to the big hype, the music and a bit of great teaching and yes the days were just that; jam packed! It was all amazing; with some powerful messages, but for me the highlight of the conference wasn’t actually in all those sessions. For me, it was when I took time out from it all, laid on the grass in the Sydney sun, and just sat their praying to God. That is what I found the most rewarding.

We are often so caught up in the happenings of our own world we sometimes forget to take a break, to smell the roses. We can also forget to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37). Isn’t this the greatest commandment according to Jesus?

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BPCC Church Council report

Well doesn’t time fly, here we are in one of our coldest (and wettest) winters and before long we will be feeling the heat again. It has been like that at Church Council too. Life is busy and we go from one celebration, challenge and blessing to the next. God has been good to us and we are thankful for many things. Our Church team (staff and volunteers) continue to work hard and we see the blessings in the fruit. BPCC is a vibrant growing Church ministering to many.

Church Council continue to oversee the many ministry areas and we are particularly thankful for strong Children and Youth ministries. Small Groups are changing and many members are taking the opportunity to join the Wednesday night special interest groups. The Care team continue to be a witness and comfort to many people in the Church and the community who are sick or doing it tough. Our Pastors and Worship team lead us in inspiring and Biblical praise and worship.

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All About Relationships

I remember being at the shops when I was very pregnant with Luke and having a pushy shop assistant ask me over and over the sex of my baby. We had found out we were having a boy but hadn’t told anyone. She just kept saying “But you can tell me, go on, go on, I know you’re just dying to tell me.” What I felt like saying was “I haven’t told my own mother, why would I tell you!?”

You see it’s all about relationships. I didn’t have any sort of relationship with that shop assistant. Why would I feel comfortable sharing something so very important to me, with her? We know that as adults we are far more likely to listen to advice/correction/wisdom(!) from those close to us, those we respect, those we are doing life with, than from someone we don’t really know that well.

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Testing our Spiritual Growth

It was just before the July school holidays when Tiiu and I received Kezia and Tiana’s ‘Student Progress Report’ for semester one and then followed much discussion around the grades. We do open these reports with one eye shut hoping our incentives have paid off; of course we like to get feedback on the progress they are making and encourage them to set some new goals. But something much harder to test and so much more important is how our girls are growing in godly character, their love for Jesus Christ and others.

“If you want a good litmus test of your spiritual growth, simply examine the nature and quality of your relationships with others. Are you more loving, more compassionate, more patient, more understanding, more caring, more giving, more forgiving than you were a year ago?” (Invitation to a Journey: M. Robert Mulholland Jr.)

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Hillsong 2012

Last week I had the privilege of attending Hillsong Conference 2012 in Sydney. I went as part of a group of around 70 students from Genesis Christian College as well as about 20 people from BPCC. This year was my fourth time attending the conference so I knew what was coming; passionate worship, powerful teaching, helpful elective sessions and way too much McDonalds.

However the thing that never ceases to amaze me about Hillsong Conference is the amazing spirit of unity amongst the people in attendance. For those of you that don’t know, Hillsong Conference is a gathering of roughly 20,000 believers (mostly) who all represent hundreds of different churches and many different denominations and ministries. In fact, during one of the morning rallies, Hillsong Lead Pastor Joel A’Bell, shared with us the different denominations that were present at the conference; Catholic to Charismatic, Baptist to Brethren, Salvation Army to Seventh Day Adventist, Presbyterian to Pentecostal.

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Life is a gift

Coming Sunday is my first time back in the pulpit since my recent heart surgery… and I am so thankful to say I’m feeling great! God’s grace continues to extend His lend to me of life on earth. Have you ever thought of your life being lent to you for a time? In Job 8:9 we read: Our days on earth are but a shadow. And in James 4:14 You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

 Life is a gift lent to us by God for a time. The choices we make in life determine to a great extent how our life unfolds. I’m intending to speak about this in my message on Sunday AM – I’ve titled my sermon: Take Initiative. I’m really looking forward to worshipping God with you and sharing God’s Truth on how we can best do this life He lends us all!

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Hello church family, do you know God wants us to grow up;

Ephesians 4:7-16 (Message Bible)
“…Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift…He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.”
”No prolonged infancies among us, please. We'll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”

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Meet Together

Hi WELCOME TO CHURCH!! It is good for us to be together and to encourage one another.

Hebrews 10 - 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Next term we will be running another ALPHA course, it starts Wednesday 18 July. The Alpha course is an opportunity for anyone to explore the Christian faith, grow as a new Christian or brush up on the basics. I ask you firstly to pray for those in your circle of influence; family, friends and work mates. And secondly to invite those God places on your heart to the Alpha course.

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Inspire Youth

I have been at Bray Park now for exactly five years, and I think it's amazing how much the church has grown and expanded since I first stepped through the front door. During one of my first sermons, I heard Proverbs 29:18, "where there is no vision, thepeople perish". It is so true! God is a light to our path (Psalm 119:105) and we need to take what we currently see and prayerfully move forward, where God is directing and leading us.

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