From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

Creation Questions

Every now and then my kids ask me a question that I don't have an answer for... ok, so if I'm being honest it's probably more often than 'every now and then' A while back, one of my boys began asking me all sorts of questions like "Were dinosaurs real? Is the earth really billions of years old? Did the ice age really happen?" They were big questions, hard questions, and my son very much wanted to know the answers. He had been having discussions with his mates at school about God and evolution and the big bang and dinosaurs and my son was trying to work out where and how the Bible's account fitted in with it all. My boy loves science and facts and numbers, as do his friends, and so he needed intelligent answers, wise answers, answers that made sense to him and that he could tell his...
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PRACTICAL CHALLENGE to love one another…

I read the children’s book ‘The Very Cranky Bear’ to my kids recently. It is a simple story of a ‘plain but thoughtful sheep’ who figures out that the cranky bear, who features in the story, just wants to sleep. The sheep looks past herself and her partialities to recognize the needs of the bear. Why on earth am I sharing this with you? Like it did with my children, it provides an opportunity to talk about being humble and putting the needs of others before my own. We read about Christ’s example of humility in Philippians. ‘So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being in the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others...
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August 2015

creationministryHere we go into August already! 2015 is moving forward quickly… Let me bring to our attention a few things we’re working toward as a church family. First – Information Presentation with Creation Ministries International. CMI provide real-world answers to the most-asked questions in the area of Creation/evolution. CMI’s mission is to support the effective proclamation of the Gospel by providing credible answers that affirm the reliability of the Bible, in particular its Genesis history. There’s been growing interest within our community to hear more about creation vs evolution, and how our biblical world and life view can interact with the evolutionary presuppositions so readily accepted today. The date for this presentation is Wednesday 19 August, 7.00PM here in our church. Please invite your friends who have questions about creation vs evolution. For further information, please feel free to ask me personally. Second – Update of Attenders and Members contact details....
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Reasonable Faith and Unreasonable Grace

Currently, the Bible Reading Plan I am working my way through ( has me reading, among other things, the book of Acts. As I have read the story of how the early church spread throughout the world, one particular word has stood out to me. Perhaps it has something to do with my ‘Type A’personality (see logical and organised; or, according to my wife Molly: fussy), but it is the word “reasoned”. Over and over again, Luke (the author of Acts) tells us that the Apostle Paul, in his missionary endeavours, would “reason”with people regarding the faith. He “reasoned with them from the Scriptures”(Acts 17:17). He “reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks”(18:4). He “entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God”(19:8). He “took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus”(19:9)....
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The Value of a Different Environment

Have you ever noticed how a dog’s behavior changes when you take them into a different environment? What happens? Well, they come alive! They explore, they get excited, and they sniff everything! It’s like you’ve offered them a new dog house with an all you can eat-buffet or something. They love it. Now, I would like to propose that essentially the same thing happens when students come to one of our annual youth camps… Before you pick up your phone to tell John and Adam that I’ve gone crazy, hear me out. I definitely don’t mean to say that your child starts to sniff trees and chase after cats. No, my point is that young people seem to come alive and open up when they get away from school and home for a few days. There’s nothing quite like it. Community is formed, friendships are strengthened and tears are always shed...
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Who is the captain of your soul?

Hello church family! I’ve recently been challenged between my will and God’s will. So I want to ask you as well… who is the captain of your soul? In life there are many decisions and sacrifices we have to make ranging from small daily things to life-changing choices. In the couple of seconds before you decide your answer, who’s interests influence you the most? I find that often times I am more concerned with how it will benefit me, or be advantageous for my life and sometimes those close to me. But how highly do I regard the whispers of the Holy Spirit? Even if it isn’t in line with my desires, do I still follow Jesus? Do I still submit to His plans and what will glorify Him the most even if it could mean hardships or difficulty? I visualize this as being on a boat, travelling along a river...
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Same-Sex Marriage: Astonishing Mercy and Shocking Normalisation

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalise same-sex marriage. A few days later on ABC radio, I listened to an 11 year old girl interviewed about ‘same-sex marriage,’ where she explained she had two Mums and she wanted them to be allowed to marry. What does Jesus say to us about this? Here’s how John Piper answers that question as he responds to the Supreme Court decision: Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy. His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6–9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation, sensual jubilation, or fruitful procreation. For those who have forsaken God’s path...
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Who are you, and where do you belong?

Who are you, and where do you belong? Everyone has a name, and a place to belong. These answers aren’t always simple, and in some situations complicated. In general everyone can answer this. Everyone has a surname, a family name. Within a family, everyone has a role and place to belong. Each member has a title; mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, and the list can go on. Apart from a family, you could belong to an organisation, or a club. The Church (in a global sense) is also a family. We are all children of God. To define it even more, Bray Park Community Church is a family. Here at BPCC there are various places where you can belong. I may be biased, but the Creative Team is one great place to belong to. Here you will find like-minded people, who encourage and care for one-another. This is just one...
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Kidz Church this term

As we near the end of another school term (wow, where did that one go??) I find myself once again thinking about how time just seems to fly by. I know as a parent with school aged kids, having the year broken up into weeks, terms and semesters, life just seems to move along so quickly. The end of a term is a good place to stop and reflect. This term at Kidz church, we’ve spent time each week going back over what was learnt and discussed the previous week. And we’ve been encouraging children to commit scripture passages to heart.Psalm 119 v 11 says “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” It’s our prayer that what our kids learn and experience of God at Kidz church goes deep into their hearts, and that it will stay with them their whole life....
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The Principle of the Path

I want to promote a book that I have found very insightful and easy to read, easy to understand, and leads me say it’s “one of the best books I’ve read!” This book explains the key to living successfully! It is called The Principle of the Path, by Andy Stanley. This book explains how to get from where you are in life, to where you want to be in life. Here’s what one person says about this book: “If you’re ready to break the bad habits, bad behaviours, and bad decisions that have been leading you into trouble, you need Andy Stanley’s The Principle of the Path.” Consider the following: Why is it that smart people with admirable life goals often end up far from where they intended to be? Why is it that so many people start out with a clear mental picture of where they want to be relationally,...
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Priceless High Tea

Ladies you’re invited to ‘Priceless High Tea’ On Saturday 20th of June from 3-5pm, BPCC will be hosting a High Tea in support of ‘Priceless Life Centre.’ During the course of the afternoon there will be the opportunity to meet with friends, learn about Priceless Life Centre, peruse and purchase gifts/goods from speciality stores, and of course, enjoy the delicious High Tea. Tickets are $10 each, with all ticket sales (and profits from speciality stores) going towards supporting Priceless Life Centre. Priceless Life Centre offers hope for those experiencing an unexpected pregnancy. They also provide quality values-based education programs. They are committed to ensuring women and men have access to accurate information and the support they require to make real and informed choices when experiencing unexpected pregnancy. During the afternoon we will also hear stories about the practical ways in which Priceless Life Centre has changed the lives of many. Personally, I am excited...
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Come and Die

“Come and die.” Not exactly the most enticing words in any situation, let alone as an invitation to follow someone. We’d probably prefer, “Come and I will help you reach your potential,” or, “Come and I will make your wildest dreams come true”. Yet, when Jesus called the crowds to follow him he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). It is, in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” As we have studied the second half of the Gospel of Mark together over the last few weeks, I have been struck by the prominence of this truth. Over and over again, Jesus makes it abundantly clear that to follow him means to follow him to the cross. It means to die to yourself, and come alive...
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Outreach Opportunities

According to a report by the Australian DEWHA on National Waste, approximately 8 to 10 billion dollars of food is wasted each year in commercial and residential waste. That’s around four million tons of food that ends up as landfill. I know a lot of this would come from Supermarkets but the average household also experiences some wastage. Check your cupboard or refrigerator and tell if this is not so. One simple solution is to buy to a menu. This is just one of the things people learn as they share in a group discussion as part of a CAP Money Course. For three years now I have been running CAP Money Courses and many people have been blessed by adopting the ideas they have learned. Ann and I have been living to our budget using CAP Money principles and are pleased with the control we now have over our finances....
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‘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 I learnt from my time at Tamworth

As part of my studies at Brisbane School of Theology (BST), I was recently involved in a ‘mission trip’ to Tamworth in regional NSW, where we supported one of the local Anglican churches for 9 days. It was an incredible experience and one that helped me to understand other church traditions, foster strong relationships with fellow students, and also to grow in my own experience of Christ. There is so much that I could share but one night in particular stands out to me. This particular morning I had shared my testimony at the Church we were supporting and one of the locals (his name was Mark) approached me afterwards and invited me over for dinner. What really struck me was Mark’s sincerity! He really meant what he said and also offered to help me out with food or anything I might need during the week. Later that day he texted...
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Be Rich

Our current Church wide Sermon Series “Be Rich. Do More. Give More.” is receiving positive feedback for which I am very thankful. Talking about money is a delicate challenge… people are easily offended (or embarrassed). To preach on money for four consecutive weeks is also a challenge! But necessary. Jesus taught more about money than any other subject! That’s hard to believe isn’t it? Yet it is true. Faith and finance cannot be separated. In my study time this week, I came across this pithy truth: People who are good at being rich, pre-decide how they will use their money. How true! Let me remind all members that Sunday 29th March following the AM Service we will hold our Annual General Meeting. In preparation, you can obtain a copy of our audited financial report for 2014, and a copy of our proposed budget for 2015 from the Connections Centre – alternatively,...
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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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Dear Church Family

As we come to the end of the first month of this new year, I wonder how many of us have already given up on the New Year’s Resolutions we intended to pursue? Let me encourage you to stay the course! Each new day is a new beginning. Talking about beginnings, next Sunday (1 February) we are beginning our term one Church Wide Sermon Series called “Who We Are – finding your place at BPCC.” I’m excited about this series because it aims at the heart of Jesus’ instruction to us who love him and have him directing our lives. We who love Jesus are called ‘his body,’ ‘his church.’ And, you have often heard me and many others say: “The church is the hope of the world.” Therefore, the most fundamental question any church must answer is: “Why do we exist?” This series will dive deep into Scripture to answer...
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From the Community Care team

Welcome to another year from the Community Care team. I went to Google to find verses from the Bible that talked about helping the poor and needy and had so many to choose from both the Old and New Testament. I have quoted just a few to remind us that we have a God given responsibility to be generous when it comes to helping people in need. 1 John 3:17-18 “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” Proverbs 19:17 “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.” Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to...
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