From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Extraordinarily Ordinary

I’m fascinated by newspaper headlines. It’s odd, I know. But I actually think they provide insight into our culture and the times in which we live. In particular, I’m amazed at the proliferation of words like “shocking”, “scandalous”, “explosive” or “sensational”. Everything, it seems, is ‘breaking news’, which we must simply must read. And I get it; newspapers get paid when people read the news. But it speaks to something deeper that the tactics employed (and which presumably work) to make this happen are to titillate and sensationalise. The ordinary reporting of the facts is no longer enough (if it ever was); we need a side of scandal and sensationalism. The tragic result, however, of engorging ourselves on a diet of the extraordinary is that we no longer have an appetite for the ordinary. And Christians are certainly not immune. This is why I was so encouraged recently by an article...
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A Powerful Witness

Sometimes I wonder how I can possibly make known the love and reality of Jesus to others. I mean, what is the best way to share the good news of Jesus with those in our circles of influence? How can we show them that Jesus really is the Son of God and that he really does love them? How can we plug them into this reality? Because the truth is that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not some fairy-tale, it is a real, historical event. It is an event that changed everything. And we at BPCC want people to know this and come to understand that they can be reconciled to their Creator and Heavenly Father.  One way that we can point others to this reality is actually by the way that we love one another in the church! Jesus taught this in the Gospel of John: ‘A...
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Reflections on Youth Camp

Last weekend was our annual Youth Camp- we were up at Caloundra with 70 youth and leaders from our church and other Reformed churches around SEQ. We had an awesome time, with heaps of fun, inspiring messages, and great worship. Our activities included Tribal games, a beach afternoon, glowstick night games, and plenty of time to connect and spend time together. There were a lot of highlights from camp (we’ll be sharing photos with you soon!), but what stood out to me the most was how naturally the youth from all the churches bonded together- for most of the weekend virtually every group of people I saw had youth from multiple churches! I’m sure that the friendships made here will remain and grow through the Assemblies we also run with those churches.  We had some great teaching on Psalm 19 over the weekend- KJ Tromp from Nerang church spoke on Friday...
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A note from Pastor John

In our Worship Service coming Sunday morning, a significant event will take place for both Pastor Adam, and our church family. Adam will be formally ordained into the ministry of Word and Sacrament. This formal classification is how our denomination describes ministers who have completed theological studies and passed relevant denominational exams. Having met all of these requirements, Adam will be ordained, and takes a major step into his forthcoming role as Senior Pastor once I retire from formal ministry in due course. This Sunday also brings us to the end of our current sermon series The Essentials—Getting to the Heart of Christianity. In this five-part series we studied the five slogans that defined the sixteenth century Reformation of the Christian Church. The Reformation impacted the whole of Christendom and this year marks the 500th year since a monk by the name of Martin Luther unintentionally, sparked this history making movement....
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Faith in Every Season

We will always have seasons in our lives. Whether it’s weather related, or life related, we all go through seasons. Throughout these seasons, we can experience many different situations and emotions. Sometimes these seasons require us to draw into our faith more deeply than at other times.  It is easy when life is going well to be unshaken in our faith. But when times are tough and hard to navigate, that is when our faith can be shaky. We can say that we have faith in Christ. But the question remains, what do you do with this faith? We need to put our faith into action. Hebrews 11:1 says, “now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  In the Bible, Peter’s faith was tested when he was walking on the water to Jesus. Matthew 14:29-31 says, “Then Peter got down out of...
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The Two Most Important Lessons for Dads

There are some experiences in life for which nothing can adequately prepare you. You think you are ready for it, you think you know what you are doing, then whatever it is actually happens and you realise, with disturbing clarity, you aren’t as prepared as you thought you were, and you know less than you thought you knew.    Surely near the top of the list for this kind of experience is becoming a parent. There is very little that can prepare you for the rush of emotions, the weight of responsibility, and the sheer thrill of having a precious child entrusted to you by God.   Earlier this year Molly and I had our first child, our son Knox. It has been an experience like no other. He has brought another dimension of love and joy to our family, and he has pushed me to ask questions of myself that...
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Luther and His Fight for Christian Liberty

We have been speaking a lot about the Reformation and people like Martin Luther over the last couple of weeks. And rightly so, because this year marks 500 years since that famous moment Luther nailed his 95 theses (the theses challenged the then catholic theology and set the reformation into motion). I have had the privilege of studying Reformation history at Bible College during this semester as well! And one of the beautiful things I’ve enjoyed about Martin Luther is his concern for Christian liberty or freedom. You see, the people in that day lived during a time of great anxiety. It was a time of crisis. There were agricultural failures and food shortages, the infamous ‘plague’ was spreading and people found themselves in very uncertain times. They became fearful and pessimistic! In fact, nearing the end of the 1400’s (Martin Luther nailed his theses in 1517) a poet named Jean...
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A New Commandment

I was recently reading through the Gospel of John. Although the gospels are familiar to me, especially the passage I was studying, God showed me something I hadn’t noticed before. It was not long before Jesus would go to the cross. He was with His disciples; in fact, he had just finished washing their feet, something extraordinary in itself. And Jesus said to them “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). As I reflected on the words, I began to wonder why Jesus would say this was a ‘new’ commandment. Surely God’s people knew they were to love one another. The 10 Commandments clearly speak of loving God and loving others. So, what was so ‘new’ about this love? I think the answer...
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These are a few of my favourite hymns…

Hi Church, I love music! I want to share with you some of my favourite hymns and worship songs. Did you see what I did with the title? I cheekily changed the lyrics of the well-known song ‘Favourite Things’ from the movie The Sound of Music. Music is powerful, it is beautiful, it is moving, it is a gift. Music has the ability to change moods, create atmospheres and most importantly worship God. When worshiping God, we not only bless Him we also strengthen our resolve in Him! Hymns (and Christian songs) help us to see who God is and what He has done for us. Further, they are a weapon or a tool in our process of becoming more like Jesus. About music, John Piper says “there are two weapons we have that we have to fight Satan with; the Word of God and song. I beseech you, give heed...
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Who knows you—really?

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) At one level it seems like an easy question to answer: Who knows me? The answer is probably lots of people! Family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances—even our hairdressers, mechanics, and baristas. But the question, and its answer, take on a new dimension of meaning and importance when we add one small word to the end: Who knows me—really? Who knows me warts and all? Who knows me inside and out? Who do I have no secrets from? Who am I totally open and honest with­? The passages from James and 1 John above challenge us to have people in our lives who really know...
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What is the Gospel?

I was asked recently by one of our young people to explain the message of the gospel. They wanted to know how you might describe the good news of Jesus to someone in 30 seconds or so.  This is also something that has been coming up in group discussions lately. I mean, it’s certainly an important question. How do we explain the central message of our faith in a simple and quick way– a message which Paul considered ‘as of first importance’ (1 Corinthians 15:3)? For starters, the term ‘gospel’ literally means good news. It is a translation of the original Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion), which means 'good' (εὐ) 'message or proclamation' (αγγέλιον).  So, what is this good news about? There is so much that can be said; so much about God’s love and grace to us as people who have, and sadly, still do rebel against him.How could one explain...
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Are we a Spirit-filled Church?

  In the sermon last Sunday (‘The Spirit of God’), I asked the question: “How do you know if a church is Spirit-filled?” The answer provided was: Does that church glorify Jesus (John 16:14)? Does that church testify to Jesus (John 15:26)? This answer was given to reflect and summarise the essence and the heart of the Spirit’s work among us today. J.I. Packer describes the main work of the Spirit in this way: “The distinctive, constant, basic ministry of the Holy Spirit under the new covenant is… to mediate Christ’s presence to believers—that is, to give them such knowledge of his presence with them as their Saviour, Lord, and God...” (J.I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit, pp.47, 49) We must have this basic theological building block in place, otherwise we go awry. And with this basic building block in place, we are better positioned to expand the answer...
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Who is the Holy Spirit?

On Sunday we kick-off a new sermon series on the Holy Spirit: ‘Like a Rushing Wind: Knowing & Understanding the Holy Spirit’. As we started to plan and discuss this series in the office, my creative brain kicked into gear. I immediately started to think about what graphics we could use to accompany the series, and about the different imagery applied to the Holy Spirit in the Bible. I first thought about the imagery of wind, fire, and smoke as described in Acts 2:2-4a: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit…”. I was also reminded of the dove imagery we read about in the story of Noah and...
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Twisted: ‘I can do all things’

‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4:13) Philippians 4:13 is a beautiful and a famous verse. I actually think it was one of the very first verses I could recall from memory. I think the reason it is so popular is because it just seems so empowering: ‘I can do ALL things.’  Now, I don’t doubt that Paul meant for it be an encouragement, but to what end is he encouraging the Philippian church? What are the ‘all things’ Paul is referring to? Should I use this verse to encourage myself when trying to lift a heavy weight at the gym? Is it right for someone to recite this verse before they make a bet at the horse races? What exactly are the ‘all things’, and how can we apply this wonderful verse to our lives? It gives me such joy when I hear of believers...
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Embracing Community

If Jesus came to earth to make things clean, simple and easy for his people, he certainly didn’t do a good job of it. I mean, we know from the Bible and from history that his followers in the early church faced some pretty significant challenges. Leaders had to be assigned to take care of some of the overwhelming needs of the early church (Acts 6:1-6), Paul had to talk to some believers through all hours of the night because of time constraints (Acts 20:7), and we know that one of his disciples was even boiled alive! In fact, Jesus made it clear that he didn’t come to make things easy for his people. He said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me…” (Matthew 16:24). So why am I saying all of this? Well, I think self-denial in the Christian...
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The Christmas Star

Did you know that today marks 185 days until Christmas? It might seem a little premature, but I am going to ask you all to flip (or swipe) your diaries to December 2nd and mark: BPCC Carols! Again, we have the wonderful opportunity to bless the local community and share the gospel message. As we say each year, the Carols event is an effort of the whole Church. It is always encouraging to see how God uses the combined efforts of His people to make these things possible. We can all pray. Plus, we can serve in the area God has gifted us. We were so grateful for the generous donations and sponsorship towards Carols last year. Once again, we will have opportunities for you to sponsor and/or donate. If you would like to know more about this prior to our first appeal, don’t hesitate to contact me. The Carols theme...
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Our God Does Not Change

A few weeks ago, we had the annual GEMS and Cadets camp out at Samford. We had a great weekend with around 50 boys and girls enjoying the outdoors together. The Bible teaching over the weekend was focused on our awesome Creator God. We learnt about God’s awesome power, creativity and wisdom that He has displayed in creation for all to see (Rom. 1:20). In fact, we were extremely blessed to have one of the Dads bring along a powerful telescope through which we could observe more of God’s spectacular creation as displayed in the heavens. It was amazing to gaze upon the stars and planets like Jupiter and Saturn. The magnitude of the night sky and the reality that God created it was truly humbling. Whilst looking through the telescope, I was reminded of one of my favourite Bible verses, from James 1:17:Every good and perfect gift is from above,...
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Living a life of faith in the world

Living a life of faith in the world isn’t always easy.  The world is broken, in many forms. You only have to turn on the television, or listen to the radio news to get a picture of the world we live in. There are many reasons to lose hope and our faith. In the past few weeks, we have seen many heartbreaking situations unfold. All around the world, every day people are being caught up in situations that were out of their control. Not only have lives been lost, but many have been left with permanent scars, whether physical or emotional. In times of sadness and confusion, it’s easy to lose sight of Jesus. James 4:8 tells us to “come near to God and He will come near to you.” By submitting ourselves to God, we feel closer to Him. What a great comfort it is, to know that He is...
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How do you keep air in your spiritual tyres?

How do you keep air in your spiritual tyres? I quite often ask people that, especially people in ministry leadership. How do you keep your spiritual batteries charged so that your witness for Jesus shines brightly? As we enter a new month, let me ask you this same question: What do you do to stay close to the truth that you are a forgiven, heaven bound son or daughter of the Living God? If you answer: “I attend church on Sunday (or most Sundays),” I’m thinking you’re not as pumped up or shining as brightly as you could be. I know that from personal experiences. I know that because the time-starved pressured lives most of us live, causes us to move through life far too fast! Here’s a question for you Dads: Do you attend your kids’ sports events and school plays? And Mums: Are the challenges of motherhood, work and...
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What to Say When You Welcome Someone

Last month I wrote a blog post titled “Welcome One Another”. Reflecting on Romans 15:17, I encouraged us to step out on a Sunday and move beyond our usual social groups in order to welcome the guests and new people in our midst. And it is my hope and prayer that some of us have made a conscious effort in the last few weeks to do just that; to look out for new people among us and to make them feel welcome. I’d like to take it a step further this week and offer some practical help as to how we can actually do that. I believe that what stops many of us from walking across the room to greet or welcome someone is simply that we’re not sure know what to say or what to do (at least this is true in my experience). So, to that end, I’d like...
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