From Our Team

John Hoogenhout

Words of thought from our Church Team

John joined BPCC in 1996 as Senior Pastor. Originally from Tasmania, John came into ministry from a career in small business and studied at the Reformed Theological College of Geelong. John is the primary preaching pastor at BPCC and is a gifted communicator with a passion for the Word of God. John is responsible for leading BPCC and has a deep desire to see the kingdom of God advance in the Pine Rivers community and beyond. John and his wife Carla have 4 adult children and 5 grandchildren. In his spare time John enjoys wood turning and travelling in his caravan.

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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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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Easter demonstrates God’s love for you personally.

The weeks leading into Easter are known as Lent, and many followers of Jesus use this time to intentionally self-examine their lives. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom.5:8) The following short meditation from Max Lucado helps us focus on ways Jesus’ death and resurrection has given us new life. Saturated in Love Where God’s love is there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. (1Jn.4:18) We fear rejection, so we follow the crowd.  We fear not fitting in, so we take the drugs.  For fear of standing out, we wear what everyone else wears.  For fear of blending in, we wear what no one else wears.  For fear of sleeping alone, we sleep with anyone.  For fear of not being loved, we search for love in all the wrong places.  But God flushes those...
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Looking Forward to Term Two

Welcome to the new month of April, in which we remember and celebrate Easter. Easter is the most significant event in the Christian faith! It is also the event Jesus told his followers to remember and celebrate (cf. Luke 22:14-20). Special services will be held Good Friday 9.00AM and Easter Sunday 9.00AM followed by our Easter on the Lawn celebration to which we invite our community. Invitation cards are available from the Connection Centre for you to share with friends and neighbours. Please take advantage of this opportunity to promote God’s love for His world this Easter.   We also come to the end of Term One for our schools. Can you believe how quickly time moves along? As we gear up for Term Two, a number of exciting Wednesday Night Growth Courses are planned. In this News Letter you will find further information. Please use the relevant courses to invite...
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Ups and Downs

Life has its ‘ups’ & ‘downs’! We all know that because we all experience them. Many of you know I’ve just gone through a personal time of physical and health challenges that involved numerous medical appointments and procedures. Thankfully I’m now back at work and coping better. This period has reminded me of our complete dependence on God’s grace. This period also reminded me of knowing what to do with our grievances and challenges when we go through ‘down’ times? Answer: … pour out your hearts to God. (Ps.62:4). I love the honesty of this answer that we read in Scripture! God invites us to pour out our hearts to him when we experience difficult times.       5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;          my hope comes from him.       6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;          he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.       7 My...
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2017 has started!

2017 has started! Many of our church family have been able to enjoy holidays, and families are getting ready for the new school year. Ministries are also gearing up to start. WANTED: An urgent request has been made from one of our members for blankets, sheets, towels, clothes, footwear, toiletries, kitchen items, to be sent to an orphanage in Liberia, housing 300 orphans due to the Ebola outbreak in recent years. A container is being packed and sent to Liberia next week – so we only have coming Sunday 15 & Monday 16 to collect these goods. Please drop them off at the church (office or church hall). BIBLE READING: If you were in church last Sunday, you heard my invitation for us as a church to be more intentional about being Christian difference-makers (witnesses for Jesus) in 2017. I’ve been touched by the positive comments and agreement many of you...
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Are you ready for November 2016?

Two things affect me when I ask myself that question; challenges and responsibilities. By challenges I mean those things that come out of the blue and we have to deal with them as best we can. They often take time, resources and energy that depletes our effectiveness for those things we want to do, or, be the person we want to be. By responsibilities I mean those ‘things’ we know we are responsible for, and expected of us. And sometimes we don’t meet these responsibilities as well as we could or should. This takes more wind out of our sales. Challenges and responsibilities. How can you and I avoid letting these two things steal our joy as we enter the crazy busy period leading into Christmas and the New Year? Here’s how I’m finding hope, energy and passion for this final stretch of 2016! I’m being reminded of my uniqueness –...
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Connect, Grow, Serve, Go...

are four words we use to describe the way we grow as disciples of Jesus here at BPCC – all summarised in our church booklet Who We Are – available at our Church Connection Centre. One of the ways we as a church ‘Go’ into the world with God’s love, is through our involvement and support of the New Life Orphanage in Myanmar. New Life Orphanage supports, cares and educates 170 orphans. Each year several from our church family here go to visit and take part in various teaching, and building projects. I had the opportunity to visit the orphanage a few years ago, and it was a defining moment for me – I was so impacted by the love and commitment of those who serve there. I ‘felt’ the impact of the words we read in James 1:27. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:...
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As we enter the final three months of 2016

As we enter the final three months of 2016, I get excited about what’s coming up in the life of our church. Next Sunday we start a new 6-part series “Faith in a Secular World.” We will learn how we can live our Christian life in our secular environment. Growth Group guides and family Bible reading plans are being prepared for this series – we will have them available next Sunday. If you’d like to join a Growth Group for this series, please register your interest at the Connections Centre, or online at www.bpcc.com.au    Next month we will also celebrate 25 years as a church in Bray Park! Sunday 13 November has been set for this special celebration – please mark it in your calendar. On that day will see some interesting pictures and hear some wonderful stories of what’s happened over the years for BPCC!   I am pleased...
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How to be good steward of your influence

You will often hear me say something about ‘being a difference maker for Jesus in our circles of influence.’ We all have circles of influence: home, work, school, friends. Well, in a weekly devotional I subscribe to from Rick Warren (Saddleback Church), he addressed this very point – and stated it very well. I want to share it with you:- Everything you have is a gift from God – your health, your life, your salvation, your freedom, your friends, your family, your opportunities. God expects you to make the most of the things he gives you. The word for that in the Bible is called “stewardship.” Stewardship is the Old English word for “management.” And just as you manage your time and your money, you also manage your influence. God expects you to use your influence to help other people. What is influence? The Cambridge Dictionary defines influence as, “the power...
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Connect Course

We hope you are blessed and encouraged as you worship with us this weekend. All of us are on a journey in life and I believe we’re created to do this journey according to God’s purpose as God’s family. BPCC is about making and growing disciples of Jesus Christ. How we reach this is clarified in the steps: Connect, Grow, Serve, Go. Connectto God and one another Growin grace and Christ-likeness ServeGod by meeting the needs of others Goand be a difference maker for God in the world and our circles of influence If you are new and would like to know more about BPCC or if you are ready to take the next steps to becoming a member of BPCC, we invite you to join us on Wednesday 14th September, 7:30pm. Come along to meet others, talk to BPCC leaders, and hear an introduction to the life and vision of...
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The Importance of Gauges

We may take gauges for granted, but when they tell us something is wrong, we know it is important to take notice and address whatever we are being warned of. For example, if you ignore the message of an empty fuel tank in your car… you’ll end up walking! A number of years ago I was reminded how important ‘personal gauges’ are too. Gauges that reveal my heart for God, or my heart for my family, or my heart for people… The truth and importance of this was explained in a powerful book written by Kevin Harney. Kevin was a guest preacher here back in March, and led a seminar on sharing our Christian faith. Kevin’s book impacted me deeply on how valuable it is to regularly read my personal gauges on a whole raft of real-life areas: Faith; Prayer; Marriage; Family; Social/Fun; Sabbath; Work; Personal Development; Inner-Circle; Kingdom Passion; Time...
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Christ-likeness…

Christians are called to be witnesses of Christ. Our lives are to reflect his character. Reminds me of this story: A kindergarten teacher told everyone in her class to draw a picture of what was important to them. In the back of the room, Oscar began to labour over his drawing. Everybody else finished and handed in their picture but he didn’t. He was still drawing. The teacher graciously walked back and put her arm around Oscar’s shoulder and said: ‘Oscar, what are you drawing?’ He didn’t look up, he just kept on working feverishly at his picture. He said, ‘God.’ ‘But Oscar,’ she said gently, ‘no one knows what God looks like.’ He answered, ‘They will when I’m done.’ I love this story! ‘They will when I’m done!’ What is the picture of your life? Does it reflect Jesus? Are his characteristics reflected in your life? Do you – do...
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The Bible's Guarantee

Did you know the Bible guarantees Christians everything necessary to meet all the battles of life? This is a huge claim! Let’s consider some battles you and I may (will) face in our lifetime: Cancer. Death of a loved one. Financial pressure. Divorce. Family breakdown. Retrenchment. Disability. Unrealised dreams. These are just a few of the challenges and battles ordinary people face in their ordinary day-to-day lives. Yet, the Bible guarantees those who place their faith, hope and trust in the work and person of Jesus Christ, they receive from God everything necessary to meet these trials. Let me say it again: This is a huge claim!  Our Sunday sermons during these school holidays are where we dig deep into this biblical claim. We are working through Pauls teaching to believers in Ephesians 6 where he encourages them to stand firm in the Lord:-  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty...
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I have a question

I have a question: How confident are you in the Christian claim that salvation is assured when you place your faith and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us it is true – cf. John 1:12; 14:6; Romans 5:1; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-0; Titus 3:5. But sometimes we doubt this biblical truth don’t we? Well, in my devotional reading this week, I read the following post from John Piper that helps convince me it is true. The Faith That Magnifies GraceI do not nullify the grace of God. (Galatians 2:21)When I lost my footing as a little boy in the undertow at the beach, I felt as if I were going to be dragged to the middle of the ocean in an instant. It was a terrifying thing. I tried to get my bearings and figure out which way was up. But I couldn’t get my feet...
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Spiritually Dry Times

Coming Sunday I’m preaching in the AM service, and I intend to speak about our spiritually dry times in life – I’m sure you’ve experienced them. I have. And I know those times can last a long time. Maybe you’re in one of these spiritually dry times now and God seems very distant from you? When I’m feeling a little flat in my relationship with Jesus, my mind pops up Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28 - Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I find this promise of Jesus both comforting, and surprising. Surprising because my tendency is to reproach myself for feeling distanced from Jesus. I recall those times I’ve admitted to others I feel distanced from God – only to have them reply sternly: Well guess who moved?—implying it is me. Though that may be true, it...
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The importance of detail

Welcome to 2016 – a new year, and new beginning. As I’ve said at this time of year for many, many years now I love new beginnings! Fresh starts inspire me to try something new, or do something different. So, I’m eagerly awaiting what God will do in and through us as a church this year. In this News Letter you’ll find loads of information on our ministries, programs and Growth Groups that are all about to start again. Sunday 31 January we launch into a four-week sermon series on the OT book of Amos – The Lion Roars. This is a great opportunity to join a Growth Group where questions relating to the sermons are tackled and friendships formed. Let me encourage you to be part of a four-week Growth Group? Speak to Pastor Michael (he’ll be at the Connections Centre after our service), or register online www.bpcc.com.au or contact...
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Love and Respect

Slowly but surely our church family are returning from Christmas and New Year holidays. Carla and I have returned from our annual camping trip with all our adult children and grandchildren. We had a fantastic time! We relaxed, recharged, and we’re now looking forward to all that God will do in and through us all in the new year ahead. One of our church ministries Carla and I are passionate about, is Love & Respect. Over the years, we’re facilitated this Marriage Relationship Seminar for well over 100 couples and the overwhelming feedback has been positive and encouraging. Starting this coming Tuesday for six consecutive weeks, we’ll be leading another Love & Respect Growth Group. We invite you to join us – simply register at the Connections Centre, or by emailing me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the church office 3882 1989. Love & RespectStarts: Tuesday 19 JanuaryTime: 7.30 to 9.00PMVenue: Church...
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Laying Bricks or Building Cathedrals.

How good is it being part of a servant hearted, ministry minded community? That’s really a rhetorical question – of course it is good! It’s really good! I grew up hearing phrases like, “attitude determines outcome,” “get on the solution side of problems,” “make a positive difference.” I thank God for that wise upbringing I experienced as a child. When I look around our church community I see many, many people who live and serve reflecting those actions in their lives. Today we want to acknowledge those people, thank those people and honour them. Many years ago (at least 25 years ago) I read the following story: Laying Bricks or Building Cathedrals. Christopher Wren, who designed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London (one of the world’s most beautiful buildings), wrote about the reactions of construction workers who were asked what they were doing. Those workers who were bored and tired responded by...
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Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.

This week, Carla and I became grandparents for the eighth time! Amazing. We are blessed – and so, so thankful! I’m reminded of two Scriptures concerning children. Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord. (Ps.127:3) Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged. (Pr.17:6) As a grandfather, and father, I have been reflecting on the ‘position’ or ‘responsibility’ and ‘privilege’ of being a grandfather/father. It’s huge! It’s serious. And it’s awesome! So when the following 12 points came my way via a weekly blog I subscribe to focused on parenting, I took special notice… and I’d like to share this with especially Dads and Granddads. It is written specifically with daughters and granddaughters in mind. These points are written by a Dad on the birthday of his daughter – he penned 12 honours that God bestows on Dads. 1.The world is a dangerous place, and a daddy is commissioned...
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