From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

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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Rev. Barry Allen

This weekend we welcome into our AM Church pulpit, my long-time friend and colleague Rev. Barry Allen. Barry and his wife Sue have been part of our church family since Barry retired as the Snr Pastor of Pine Rivers Uniting Church. Barry also teaches Church History on our Wednesday Ministry Night. I’m sure you will be blessed as he explains God’s Word as he continues our current sermon series The Story.

Barry is also involved in Kairos—Prison Ministry, in Arthur Gorrie Prison. He told me a team of men will be going into Wolston Correctional Centre to lead a short Bible course each day from 2-6 July, to be followed up with fortnightly visits to support and encourage the 24 participants in their ongoing journey with the Lord. The main aim of Kairos is to introduce the person and work of Jesus Christ and encourage men to both accept God’s forgiveness and begin to forgive those who have hurt them by following the example of Christ. Please pray for these men and this ministry. At the Connection Centre, is a prayer list which I’d like you to place your first name on – this will be taken into the prison and hung around the prison conference room as a tangible expression of God’s love.

For more information please speak to Barry: 0428 154 124 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Giving my Best

I was listening to 96.5 this week and one of the presenters was talking about giving your best and achieving optimum results. They said the only way to do that is by putting in time and hard work.

  • an Olympic contestant achieves results through gruelling training…
  • you lose weight by taking time to exercise and eat well…
  • you will give a great work presentation by spending time to prepare and practise you will have a tidy house if you take time to clean and organise it

You get the idea!?

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Opportunities to Help

Let me try to share the excitement I felt when representing our church at the monthly meeting of the” PineRivers Care Network Meeting” this week. Eight Churches were represented plus the Intake and Response worker from Pine Rivers Neighbourhood centre, two homeless intervention workers and a representative from Men’s shed.

As a network each church is rostered for Emergency Food distribution. Our day is Wednesday. In April the network helped 488 families, all of whom live in our district. Our food comes from your donations which many of you bring in on a Sunday. Thank You for your support. We top up the cupboard by purchasing needed items each week.

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Rules are Necessary

In our AM Church service we continue our overview of God’s involvement [The Story] with humankind from creation to the present day as we’re reminded of the purpose and relevance of the Ten Commandments. I know that many people struggle with the concept of a God who has rules and regulations which He says are to be obeyed. But rules are necessary! Think about it… every day we get in a car and drive to work or school, or wherever… we follow countless rules and we’re all very thankful other road users are too! No one says: “Surely, road rules are not necessary.” Following road rules is not a recipe for ruining our trips in a car, they’re given to us to ensure we get to our destination safely. Think of God’s Ten Command-ments as our road rules for life to ensure we get to our eternal destiny safely. The Story#5 – New Commandments and a New Covenant.

In our Kidz Church Service they too will focus on God’s Ten Commandments as their teaching program follows the same themes as AM Church. You are welcome to join them for worship – I assure you, you will be blessed as you see a packed Youth Shed of children bring worship to God.

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He Will Give You The Energy

We rejoice with Pioneer Community Church (church plant we are supporting) in Mackay as their new Pastor Renier Van Der Klashorst led the service for the first time on the 29th of April. Please continue to support them in your prayer time and today you have the opportunity to give through the second offering towards the gospel work being done through the Mackay church

Colin Inglis attends our church and he is passionate about mission work in Thailand. Colin will be heading to Thailand in August this year and would like to take a team along with him for around 2 weeks, the cost is approximately $1,500 and there will be opportunity to do ministry with other Christians, help Thai students and Thais in need. Colin says if you have faith in Christ, a heart for people and a valid passport then this is a great opportunity to put your faith into action and make a difference. Please contact him on 0414 388 134 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will hear more in the near future.

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The Bible is not about you!

I am guessing that a lot of you grew up thinking about the Bible the way I did. I am guessing that a lot of you went to Sunday School or Catechism and learnt about the Bible the way I did. I learnt, whether implicitly or explicitly, that the Bible is God’s instruction manual; filled with rules to keep and examples to follow. If you had of asked me, I could have told you all about the stories in the Bible; Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath and Daniel in the lion’s den. I could have told you that we should obey God like Noah did, trust God like David did and be daring and brave like Daniel was. But now I realise that, while all of these lessons may be true and good, they actually miss the point of what the Bible is all about.

You see, it is entirely possible to read and study the Bible, to memorize parts of the Bible while missing the very point of the Bible! In other words, it is possible to read the stories and miss the Story. This is what happened to two of Jesus disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24.

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Term 2

Term 2 for 2012 starts! Isn’t it amazing how fast time goes? Let me remind you to register for our Wednesday Ministry Night classes starting 2 May. The five classes being offered include: Love & Respect (relationships); CAP Money (budgeting); Pro-Faith (for teens); Church History; & The Course of Your Life (Christian living).

As a church we have a number of ministries extending love and help to the less privileged living in under resourced places – Eg. Burma – New Life Orphanage; Solomon Islands – Bethesda Mission; India – our adopted village Perumalpatti. As well as those, we also support Compassion in their vision to release children from poverty. This Sunday morning in AM Church we have the opportunity to hear more about their ministry – we have the privilege of meeting Andrew Murray (Compassion’s relations manager) and Miss Michelle Tolentino from the Philippines who is a graduate of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program. I know you will be blessed and encouraged in hearing Michelle’s story of God’s love and power. Today’s second offering will be for Compassion – please use this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those so desperately needing out help.

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Talking With Kids

Little kids continually amaze me – and I mean in a good way! They seem to be like little sponges soaking up everything that is going on around them. They seem to be able to repeat things you’ve said, even after you’ve forgotten saying them. They echo things they’ve heard on tv and just seem to learn new things all the time. My almost 3yr old daughter has discovered the fun of counting and you can often hear her playing in her room or looking through a book saying “1, 2, 3, 4, 5….” and the last number comes out in a triumphant shout! My almost 2yr old niece has learnt that if you say ‘please’, wonderful things happen. Or in her case it comes out as ‘peas’!

I’ve often had conversations with other Mums who wrestle with how to talk to their little ones about the truths of God. “I mean, how much are they understanding anyway?” they say. “And the Easter story is kind of tricky to explain to a little one”. Well yes it is, but once again I think most of us have been amazed at how much little ones are capable of taking in. And not only taking in, but accepting and believing. Yes, we need to keep the message simple, but let’s be honest with our kids and tell it how it is. Jesus had to die on the cross, but he came alive again, so that we can be friends with God. And say it often!

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The Sacrifice

What is your favourite time of the year? Is it the season Spring? Or Autumn? Maybe Christmas when you take holidays? One of my favourite times of the year is right now – Easter. The time we remember the sacrifice Jesus made to pay for the sin that wrecks lives and breaks hearts. My sin has been atoned (paid) for by the only One who has ever lived a perfect life. Jesus’ death on the cross has paid for my sin.

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Palm Sunday

Every now and again I run out of any logic or wisdom, then I go and see MY counsellor. The last time I went I told her that I would love to increase the peace in our home. She asked me whether I’m talking about Peace or “Absence of War”, which made me realise that there is a difference. She told me that a “lack of War” is not going to happen while I have two teenage sons in the house. I wanted to say to her: “Thanks! I didn’t come here to hear that there is no hope!” - She explained to me that it is apparently quite normal for teenagers, who are growing towards independence, to declare war at times.

So, does that mean that there is no hope?! Can we have peace even though we may have differences of opinions with the ones we love? Can Peace and Joy exist in the presence of difficult circumstances?

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Today Jesus entered Jerusalem, not as a King on the back of a horse declaring War, but humbly on a donkey to bring peace, as foretold in Zechariah 9:

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Gems & Cadets

We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what is happening at GEMS and Cadets here at BPCC.2012 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for these ministries, with many great activities planned. Each year GEMS and Cadets around Australia work through a theme, this year the theme is ‘Get Wisdom” and is based on the book of Proverbs, so this year we will study the book of Proverbs helping these kids to realise that God’s wisdom is so much better than the wisdom of the world. It has been really encouraging to see the kids really digging into the word of God.

GEMS and Cadets around the country also support a mission each year. This year we will be focusing on raising money for the Bethesda Disability Centre in the SolomonIslands. As part of the mission focus for 2011/12 the kids will learn more about people with disabilities andlife in the Solomon Islands. We plan to have fundraising events throughout the year and would love for youto support these events as our goal is to help the centre to set up their own egg farm so that they can become self funded.

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Why I Love the Church

There were times when I used to dread going to Church... My parents would wake me up early (okay it was usually around 8am which, in my defence, when you are a teenager feels more like 4am) and I would have to brush my hair (God forbid) and put on some ‘nice’ clothes (something with a collar) and then sit though the singing and the long prayers. Of course, I am being overly dramatic but there was a time for me when Church wasnot a chance to connect with God and His people but more of a weekly appointment that I had to keep.

Thankfully, God is gracious and over the years my view of Church changed dramatically! Instead of attending just to say that I had, I started to look forward to going to Church, I looked forward to hearing the Bible taught, I looked forward to seeing people prayed for and I looked forward to spending time with other believers. The gospel changed my heart and moved me towards seeing Church not as a service to attend but as a family to belong to and a place to serve God and others. My motivation for coming to Church changed from what I could get out of it, to what I could bring and give and contribute.

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Do you have faith?

Do you have faith?

Have you ever been out of your comfort zone? Last year I took one of the biggest ‘leaps’ of my life, twice in fact! I went on the Canyon Swing cliff jump. Imagine standing a ledge, 150m above a rocky shallow river… then you take a step. Your heart is racing, palms clammy, and the thought of death might have crossed your mind. When you take that step, you freefall then swing on one of the biggest swings you’ve ever been on. It is refreshing, all those fears are gone, and you wondered why you ever feared.

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he [Jesus] said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matt 14:28-30.

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Four Sunday Church Services

I was in a very interesting discussion recently about including Kidz Church Services when we promote our weekly Sunday services. The rationale was that Kidz Church is a fully functioning worship service where the participants (children, leaders & parents who attend) are involved in corporate (ie: all together) worship, prayer, Bible reading, message, giving, and serving! So... I had a agree, our Kidz Church congregation is a worship service and we'll acknowledge it as such! And on their behalf, I invite you to join them one Sunday morning to experience the energy and excitement 60+ children worshipping God creates!

Talking about church services, our current AM Church and Café Church sermon series called God Quest, is being very well received – thank you for the positive feedback. Each week we upload the audio message, and Life Group questions pertaining to the sermon onto our web, and in a few weeks' time the video recording of the whole series will be uploaded for access too.

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