From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

What is of first importance this Christmas season?

Holidays, Christmas trees and men in red suits with white beards. It’s Christmas time and we’re all full swing into this festive season with THE day fast approaching (as I write this it’s only 9 days away)! I love Christmas! But we have to admit that it can be a very demanding season. And if you’re anything like me, you need to set priorities quick-smart or you’ll leave the important things in life to chance. I need priorities if I am ever going to make time for the meaningful things in life. But what should we prioritise this Christmas...? What is of first importance during this festive season? There are certainly plenty of options to choose from, but I propose we look at what is of first importance to Jesus. In fact, Revelation 2:1-7 gives us an insight into what’s most important to him. In this passage, Jesus is addressing his...
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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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Joy!

This Sunday is an important day in the life of our church… It’s our 2015 Community Carols! Each year we have a theme for our Carols event, and this year the theme and focus is ‘Joy’. This is a particularly appropriate theme because in the Gospel of Luke we are told that the coming of Jesus Christ to earth is all about joy!   Luke 2:8-12 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a...
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Serving the Community this Christmas

It’s good to be back. It is 6 weeks since having the tumour removed from my brain. There have been no side effects and the doctors are happy with the results. They plan to keep an eye on me for the next few years. I have appreciated so much the prayer support, cards and best wishes from many of you, my church family. It makes me wonder how people get on who do not know the Lord or are not part of a church family. Thank you. Christmas is only 32 days away and I need to put together a team to help with the Combined Churches Care Network hamper and toy distribution. This will take place on Wednesday 16th December and Thursday the 17th.The Uniting Church at Kallangur is the venue where this all takes place. Do you want to be part of one of the teams? Wednesday from 7.00am...
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Stop, Pause, and Reflect

Considering the rate at which the month of November is disappearing, I think it is safe to say that we are officially in the end-of-year busy season. In no time at all 2015 will be done and dusted, lost in a haze of Christmas lights, car park rage, and hot summer days. Crazy, I know. If you are like me, in the midst of this end-of-year craziness, you too experience the temptation to simply hurtle ahead, carried forward by a combination of caffeine and what your calendar tells you is next. If you are like me you are more fixated on what is coming up than what has been. If you are like me, you rarely take time to stop, pause, and reflect. And this, I think, is to our detriment. One of the repeated refrains of the Old Testament, particularly the book of Deuteronomy, is to “Remember what the Lord...
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Wisdom for Wealth

“Money, get away, Get a good job with more pay and you're O.K. Money, it's a gas, Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash New car, caviar, four star daydream, Think I'll buy me a football team” —“Money” by Pink Floyd “Greed… is idolatry”—Colossians 3:5 “There is great gain in godliness with contentment”—1 Timothy 6:6 Money has, without a doubt, a peculiar and particular hold upon the human heart. The well-known adage— “How much money is enough? Just a little bit more”—is, unfortunately, all too true. Now, of course, money is not inherently evil. It is the idolatrous desire for money and what it represents that Paul tells us is evil in 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils…” Not money itself, but the love of money. Unfortunately for us the love of money is a common, perhaps universal,...
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Wisdom for Gender

It seems like an obvious truth: God made us male and female. One human race, differentiated into two different, but complementary genders. It seems simple, and neat. But in the hard realities of life in a broken world, it is anything but. Increasingly so we are confronted by fluidity and intricacy within the cultural conception of gender. The somewhat recent “transformation” of athlete and reality star Bruce Jenner into Vanity Fair model Caitlyn Jenner brought the issue to the forefront of our collective mind. In reality, however, this is not just an issue in the hills of Hollywood but also in the suburbs of Australia. Indeed, if we are to engage wisely and winsomely in this area we must go some way towards understanding phenomenons such as gender dysphoria, intersex, and transgenderism. To be sure, these phenomenons are undeniably complex and present us with a labyrinth of pastoral, theological, and ethical...
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Wisdom for Abortion

The issue of abortion is profoundly complex. Its implications are far-reaching; invading realms as diverse as science, biology, theology, psychology, politics, and ethics. But more pointedly, abortion is complex because it is personal. It affects the lives of any number of individuals in deeply profound ways. And, more importantly, because it is an issue that gets at the very heart of what it means to be human, it is an issue that God cares deeply about. And thus, one that we must care deeply about. Because this issue is particularly intricate in its implications and effects, we have decided to post links to a number of different articles from Eternal Perspective Ministries—the ministry of Randy Alcorn—rather than write one simple blog. Randy Alcorn has written extensively about abortion and its attendant issues, and has much wisdom to teach us. So, can we urge you to take the time to read the...
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Christians Should Enjoy Life More Than Anyone Else!

What if I told you that you should be enjoying life more than at least 4.8 billion people in the world? Where did I get that number from? Well, a quick Google search showed me that there are at least 4.8 billion non-Christians alive today. So, basically, I’m saying that you should be enjoying life more than 4.8 billion non-Christians around the globe… Now, you might be thinking that I need a reality check, I mean, what about Brad Pitt? He’s got it all, hasn’t he? Wouldn’t all of that fame and wealth bring him more enjoyment than an average Joe attending a local church? Well, if we didn’t have the Bible, we might think that it does. But in God’s mind, the enjoyment of life is not found in anything that can be found ‘under the sun’:

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Wisdom for How to Vote

This blog post is written by Dr. John Dickson. John is the Senior Minister of St. Andrews Roseville, near Sydney. He is also a founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity and lectures at Macquarie and Sydney Universities. The post originally appeared on John’s blog (www.johndickson.org) and is used here with permission. - - - I am the true ‘swinging voter’. In the numerous elections of my life (beginning with the Federal election of July 1987), my personal votes have been fairly evenly split between Labor and The Liberal, or Coalition, parties. In what follows, then, I have no agenda. The last thing on my mind is to influence which party you vote for. I do, however, want to insist that people who identify themselves as Christian should vote in a way that is informed by their faith, whatever decision they finally make. While Christianity is not party political, it...
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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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Wisdom for the Refugee Crisis

Wisdom for the Refugee Crisis

The plight of asylum seekers and refugees is one of the most polarising issues of our day. On the one hand, there are those who argue we should open wide our borders and our communities to the displaced and the fleeing. On the other hand, there are those who argue we must slam the borders shut in order to preserve our culture and our way of life. And there is seemingly very little middle ground. Media outlets portray the situation in a certain light depending on their political leanings, social media engagement is often little more than ideological propaganda, and organised rallies descend into violent shouting matches. Even the labels we use—asylum seekers or illegal immigrants—leave little room for nuance, and give a window into our feelings on the matter.

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Wisdom for Same-Sex Marriage

What is marriage? This is, perhaps, the million-dollar question in our modern, Western culture. The shape and form of marriage, more than any other issue, has dominated the metaphorical news-feed of popular conscience. At the heart of this fixation is the desire to redefine marriage as not simply a male-female union, but as a male-male, or female-female union. 

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God is Always Faithful

In the middle of a problem, it is easy to lose sight of God’s faithfulness and His goodness. We often find ourselves focusing on our problems when we’re in them and forgetting everything else. But God has a purpose in the struggle and He is faithful, no matter what. The book of Joshua opens with its main character, Joshua, in a tough situation. After Moses’ death, God decided to put Joshua in charge of ALL of the Israelites that Moses had been leading on the journey to the Promised Land. To say that a huge role of leadership was suddenly given to Joshua would be an understatement! But Joshua was faithful throughout the rest of his journey leading God’s people to the Promised Land because He knew that, no matter what, God is faithful. Joshua was able to maintain his focus on God because he REMEMBERED that God is faithful. In...
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Wisdom for Life

The conviction that lies at the heart of our current sermons series—Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World—is the simple fact that we all need wisdom. Wisdom, of course, is the right use of knowledge. It is the proper application of God’s truth to every area of our lives. And we need this. We need wisdom if we are to navigate the complexities of life in this broken world.  It is painfully obvious that this world is broken, and it is full of complex, broken situations. On a daily basis we are confronted with issues and problems where a wise and proper response is not always intuitive. For instance, what should we make of the push to redefine marriage? How should we respond to the pressing issue of the refugee crisis? How are we to engage in politics? What about issues surrounding gender? How can we be wise when it comes to...
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Operation Christmas Child

vietnamDear church familyIt is always such an honour to be part of the Operation Christmas Child ministry project. Every year, I am so encouraged by the generosity of our church family and the enthusiasm of our Kidz church kids and leaders. It is looking like this year BPCC will be sending close to 300 boxes! On behalf of everyone involved can I say THANKYOU! Most of the children receiving these shoeboxes will have never received a gift before and so the joy and hope and love it brings is like no other. Samaritan’s Purse recently published a story featuring a little girl in Vietnam and her experience of receiving her shoebox gift. When Ngo Thi Binh, a student in Year 4 at the Le Dinh Chinh School in Vietnam received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift she exclaimed, “Since I was a baby, I haven’t got gifts from anyone." "It is...
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Words, Words

Words are powerful. Some linger in the back of our minds, others bring a smile to our face. Some words we wish we would have said, and others we wish we didn’t. A chat with a close friend warms our hearts, even though miles may separate us. Yet over the years, we have somehow grown to accept the current reality of friendship as it is expressed today—a reality that will likely remain for sometime. Texts, emails, Facebook messages, and the occasional phone calls are our primary modes of communication these days, and I've accepted that. I might even go so far to say that, most days, I am used to it. But while I may have accepted it, that doesn't mean at times I wish things were different; that we lived closer, that we saw each other more often, that we weren't so busy. Sometimes we only have a few words...
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Well Done

It all started with a dream or vision that we could or should do something. This is what Ineke Beukema told me. She had seen the need for fresh water in a catalogue produced by the CRCA World Development and Relief. She shared the idea with her KYB group and the rest is history. To see the hall full of clothes and the Junior Kids Church room full of nick-knacks. What we needed now were the people who wanted a bargain. There were plenty of bargains and slowly but surely people started to arrive. Most of our members came for coffee and left with something they could not resist. The end result was that just over $2000.00 was raised from selling clothing and odds and ends. The left over clothing and goods were donated to Neighbours Aid OP shop at Lawnton. Bennie Prange who volunteers at the store collected the goods...
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Happy Fathers Day

This weekend we celebrate Dads. In our household that usually involves some sort of meal of pancakes and strawberries, and a lot of sweet cards and messages and things made at school or bought from the craft stall. All but one of our kids love strawberries, they get that from their Dad. In fact, when I look at my kids I can often see their Dad in them, especially as they are growing older. I can see my husband's kind heart, his sense of humour and fun, his gentleness, love of music, intelligence......and it makes me happy and proud. So I guess in many ways my children mirror their father. If you get to know my kids, then you also get to know a little of what their father is like. My husband however isn't perfect, neither is my Dad and neither is yours. In fact, maybe your Dad was or...
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Dear Church Family

It is good to have Adam back home from his Compassion Insight Trip to the US and Haiti. His trip was subsidised by Compassion Australia, a mission committed to ‘releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.’ Adam’s travel itinerary included attending the Global Leadership Summit in Chicago, and then a week in Haiti. For those interested in knowing more of the experiences and places visited, you can read his report of the trip and his experiences on our web site, or collect a paper copy from the Connections Centre. Pastor Michael and Nola Thurlow, and their four children will be with us at the end of the month. I am so excited about this! Having Michael and his family join our church family will be such a blessing. Michael will bring a wealth of ministry experience as we continue to grow and expand our ministry influence in our church and community....
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  • Wisdom for Gender +

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  • Hearing the Voice of God +

    I’m sometimes a little sceptical when I hear someone claim Read More
  • Talking With Kids +

    Have you organised times where you sit together as a Read More
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    Are we living in the last days? I have been Read More
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