From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

In addition to preaching, Adam leads the Young Adults ministry as well as providing oversight for the Student and Children’s ministries. When not at church Adam can found enjoying a good book & a good coffee with his wife, working towards completing his Masters of Divinity or supporting any Queensland sporting team.

‘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 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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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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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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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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How Can I Grow?

If you have been around BPCC for even a short amount of time this year, chances are you have heard talk about ‘Growth Groups.’ Growth Groups are an integral part of what it means to belong to BPCC, because it is primarily in Growth Groups where we fulfil our calling to grow in Christ-likeness and in community. You see, as believers we both need and are commanded to have brothers and sisters in our lives who can speak God’s truth to us, exhort us, encourage us and spur us on towards love and good deeds (Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24; Rom. 12:10; Gal. 5:13). Due to its size and nature, a weekend worship service can be a difficult setting to form deep friendships where you can be challenged or encouraged by others who know you well and want God’s best for you. So, we have found the best place to live out the...
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THE BLESSED LIFE

Our collective conscience has been viciously assaulted and violently awoken in the last couple of weeks as news of the atrocities committed in Iraq by IS (Islamic State) filters through our various screens. The devastation and suffering is, quite simply, unfathomable. I don’t know about you but I struggle to even imagine what it would be like to be exiled from my home and country under the threat of death, simply for following Jesus. However, this is now reality for thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters from Iraq. So, what can we do? No, what should we do? Of course, and this is far from trite Christian-speak, we must pray. I have heard and read pleas for God to pour out his wrath upon IS; and certainly one day God will pour out his justice upon sin and evil (2 Thess. 1:5-12), but in this time of God’s patience (2...
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Why Do We Sing?

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16) First of all, let me begin by apologizing to anyone who has ever stood within a 1-metre radius of my exceptionally eager yet woefully out-of-tune singing voice. I take seriously God’s command to “make a joyful noise” (Psalm 98:4), yet I fear that I major on the “noise” side of things. All apologies aside, have you ever considered why we sing in church? There are not too many places or groups in the world where corporate singing is a regular exercise. So what is it with Christian’s and the weekly exercise regime for their vocal chords? In Colossians 3:16, Paul gives us a number of reasons why we sing. Firstly, we sing because that’s how the gospel is...
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Jesus, Porky Pig, and You

I recently watched a YouTube video of Bob Bergen, the voice behind the distinctive stutter of Looney Tunes’ character Porky Pig (Th-th-th-th-th-at’s all folks!). In the clip Mr Bergen explains the complicated process behind Porky’s famous stutter and how someone might go about replicating it. However, as he progresses through the explanation the impossibility of such a task becomes obvious. In fact, Mr Bergen finishes his explanation by saying: “And nobody can do that and that’s why I have job security!” In other words, Mr Bergen knows that no one else can reproduce the stutter like he can, and so he is, as the voice of Porky Pig, irreplaceable. As I thought about that line, it reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything...
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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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EASTER SUNDAY

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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CHRISTIANITY IS (MOST DEFINITELY) A CRUTCH

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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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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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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BPCC MEN: World War 2, High-School and Motorbikes

As I write this, it is the morning after our BPCC MEN gathering (which was on Wednesday night), and what a great night it was! We had amazing gourmet burgers and great coffee (thanks Phil, Geoff & Men & Mates guys), excellent live music (thanks Pieter, Dave and Craig) and we heard the stories of men from all different stages of life (thanks Ben, Troy, Gunther and Jack). As I listened to each of the guys share their story I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 145:4 where it says “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” This was really the heartbeat of the night as both young and old shared testimonies of the goodness of God, through all of the ups and downs of life. We heard stories about World War 2 resistance efforts, life-changing moments in high school, motorcycle accidents and the...
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I thought you were supposed to be a Christian?

Maybe someone has said that to you before: "I thought you were supposed to be a Christian?" Maybe you have thought that about someone else before. Either way, it is a very common accusation levelled at Christians; that their lives do not line up with their beliefs, or simply, that they are hypocrites. In fact, a recent Australian study (http://olivetreemedia.com.au/the-apologetics-series.aspx) revealed that the number 2 "blockage" for people to come to Church was because of alleged hypocrisy amongst church leaders and people in the pews. Hypocrisy is a legitimate concern for those outside the church and in our schools and workplaces. Luckily, it was also a legitimate concern for Jesus. Jesus had some harsh words for those who indulged in hypocrisy. In Matthew 6 Jesus condemns the way the Pharisees pray ostentatiously in public and make a big scene of their giving and fasting. Jesus calls them hypocrites, which actually means...
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Heaven or Earth?

As I was studying for our current PM sermon series through the book of Colossians recently (“Jesus + Nothing = Everything”), I re-discovered an earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting and life-changing truth. This little but powerful truth is so simple, yet it is also so easily forgotten. And because it is so easily forgotten I believe it is the reason that so many of us struggle to make sense of our walk with Jesus and the accompanying joys and responsibilities.

The truth I am talking about is simply this: as a redeemed Christ-follower you and I are no longer citizens of earth but we are right now citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20; Eph.2:9; Col. 3:3). Simple huh? But so profound and practical! Let me explain.

When you and I are born into this world we are naturally citizens of earth. We are born in sin as part of a race that has rebelled against its Creator (Psalm 51). Our sinful physical birth means that we are spiritually dead. This is why Jesus says to Nicodemus “you must be born again!” (John 3:3). Now I am quite certain that Jesus did not intend for Nicodemus to climb back into his mother but rather he meant ‘spiritual’ re-birth.

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Books, Nerds and Jesus.

I have a confession to make. This isn’t going to be easy, but here goes…

I love to read.

I love to buy books, collect books and I even like the smell of books.

In fact, one of my favourite things to do is wander through a bookstore, scoping out my next literary conquest. Then, when I have a bit of spare time, I love to find a quiet place to be on my own and read. That is my happy place.

There I said it. I have outed myself as a nerd and a bibliophile.

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