From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team


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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Hey church family!These past few weeks I’ve just been celebrating! I’m blessed to have some of my closest friends all turn 21. Within 3 months of each other. And today (24th August) my family and I are celebrating my mother’s birthday. However, all of this ‘celebration’ has lead me to contemplate cycling to university and catching up for ‘water’ instead of coffee as my money is slowly running out. Nevertheless, this ‘celebration’ season has really made me think about our eternal celebration. It’s so exciting to go to birthday parties or weddings, enjoying everyone’s company, and just having a ball! Plus the great food! But this is just a glimpse of what it will be like when our days here on earth are done and we open our eyes, amazed and satisfied as we stare at the face of Jesus. It will be a continuous feast. A party that never ends....
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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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Middle East Reformed Fellowship UPDATE ABOUT IRAQ

This week I received the following email which is asking us to pray. Daily there is fresh Middle East news: from Iraq, Syria, Israel, Palestine and other Arab and Muslim lands – more violence and more deaths! Ramadan, the annual Muslim lunar month of fasting, was in July. Arab news reporters observed that it has been the worst Ramadan in centuries – calamities impacted more lives than ever. For the first time in centuries, an Islamic Caliphate was re-established by Sunni militants who seized parts of Iraq and Syria. They come from every continent and region of the world. A longstanding dream has dawned – an Islamic state, strictly run by Qur’anic teachings and religious edicts (Fatwas) patterned on their prophet Mohammed’s 14-century old Arabic desert words and deeds. Christians, other minorities and women have become the main victims. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Christian families of central and northern Iraq...
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Why We Don’t Lose Heart

By John Piper Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16) Paul can’t see the way he used to (and there were no glasses). He can’t hear the way he used to (and there were no hearing aids). He doesn’t recover from beatings the way he used to (and there were no antibiotics). His strength, walking from town to town, doesn’t hold up the way it used to. He sees the wrinkles in his face and neck. His memory is not as good. And he admits that this is a threat to his faith and joy and courage. But he doesn’t lose heart. Why? He doesn’t lose heart because his inner man is being renewed. How? The renewing of his heart comes from something very strange: it comes from looking at what he can’t see.We look not to the things...
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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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Growth Groups

connectAt BPCC we want to do our Christian walk together, we believe each one of us is on a journey, where we are being called to continually CONNECT with God and with people, TO GROW in our relationship with Christ, TO SERVE God with the gifts and abilities he has given us, and TO GO into our circles of influence and share the Gospel of Christ to those who don’t yet know him. Today I want to talk to you about Growth Groups, you will have heard a bit about them lately. We believe that Growth Groups are a great way to journey together, on our Christian walk. Growth Groups provide a place where you make real friendships with other believers, and grow in your relationship with Christ.   Growth Groups provide a place where you can study God’s word and be challenged to dig deeper and apply what you have...
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Stories of Grace

Have you heard the acronym based on the word GRACE, “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense”? Most of us have experienced God’s Grace as a result of someone sharing the Gospel message with us. For me it was my Sunday school teacher and the speaker at a youth camp. As I look back on my life many other people have guided me on my spiritual journey. Commencing Sunday 13the July Pastors John, Adam and Jack DeVries will be taking us through a new series titled “GENESIS, stories of GRACE”. The office has produced an attractive card which you can use to invite someone to join you in attending church (they are available from the Connections Centre) and listening to the GRACE stories in the series. Please remember that the same sermon is being preached at AM as well as PM services, so if you have a family or sporting commitment during the...
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Take our trials to God

Facing trials and challenges are unwelcomed realities all of us experience! Nor do we like having to exercise patience – well, that’s how it is for me. I don’t like waiting!Carla and I are waiting for our new grandchild… we’ve waited now for seven whole days! That’s right, our Natalie was due to give birth to her and Josh’s first baby a week ago. I’m told Sunday will be the day labour will be ‘brought on.’ Why do I have to wait! Grrr… You know how it goes. Of course there are worse things one has to be patient about. Like healing from illness. Even completing studies for some people is very challenging. Or having to wait for the job market to pick up. Or waiting for that promotion at work. Relationship challenges. Annoying neighbours. Barking dogs. Aphids on your plants. Let’s face it, there are so many things in life...
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Care Team News

Pine Rivers Churches Care Network Our church has been part of the Pine Rivers Churches Care Network since its inception and I have been representing us at their monthly meetings. Because I am one of the original members I was asked to speak on behalf of the group and participate in the unveiling of the plaque. The furniture shed is an extension of the emergency food relief that the churches provide. Storing furniture was a real problem so after fund raising in recent years and with community donations we were able to build the shed on land provided by the Petrie Anglican church. When you have surplus furniture in reasonable condition, please let me know and we will use it to assist families in need. Alternatively, when you hear of a family in need, check out the shed. We might be able to assist you. Freezer Meals As a church we...
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Three Things

1) I’m looking forward to our first Christianity Explained session scheduled for coming Tuesday (3 June), 7.30PM my study, Church Admin buildiing. Christianity Explained is a six week course where the basics of the Christian faith are explained by working through the gospel of Mark. Here’s what the back page of the course manual says: Today, many people are ignorant of even the basic facts of the Christian faith. Many people think they have made a ‘decision for Christ’ but do not really understand what faith is. Their greatest need is to have it simply and clearly explained… Christianity Explained gets away from the quick one-off presentation of the gospel which has characterised much of our evangelistic efforts in the past. Based on six studies in the Gospel of Mark, this manual is a tried and tested tool for evangelism. It presents the challenge of Jesus in a way which is...
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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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Help your kids grow to become disciples of Jesus Christ

Last Thursday night we celebrated and honoured our mums at our annual mother daughter night at GEMS. We enjoyed a night of pampering, yummy treats and we were entertained by our very talented GEMS and some brave mums in our Talent show. This years focus on mothers night, was all about spending time and being present with our girls, but this principle extends further than mothers and daughters, it extends to dads and their sons, and grandparents and aunts, uncles and mentors too. Our culture today is telling our kids, that what parents and other significant people have to say is not as important as our kids peers, and the Media. Look at any girls magazine, no where amongst its pages will you find mention of mum or dad. Our children's teenage years are not a time for us to stand back and let culture take over. It can be a...
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What to Write on Mother’s Day?

I asked myself ‘what to write on Mother’s Day’? If you’re like me you may not even get a chance to read this blurb because your mothering duties leave little time for the luxury of reading something that isn’t a home reader, school information letter or bedtime story! I am therefore going to use the opportunity to encourage you and, God willing, help us recognise how God wants us to bring up the children we’ve been blessed with. We were reminded in last week’s message that raising children is more than ‘raising nice kids’ it’s about raising up young people that know and love Jesus! How do we do that? I will share with you some practical ways I believe we can raise children who will, by the Grace of God, know and love Jesus. Admittedly I am in the early stages of mothering my children are 6, 4 and 2....
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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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2 [Look] to Jesus, the founder and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2) To be crucified was a gruesome affair. Heavy nails pounded through some of the most sensitive parts of the human body; the slow, painful process of suffocation. It was not uncommon for blood, vomit and even urine to pool at the foot of these deadly instruments. A word – excruciating - was invented just to describe the horror of crucifixion. And it was this fate of crucifixion which God the Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ endured. And endured is precisely the right word. Upon that awful tree Jesus did not ‘unplug’ from consciousness as some have suggested, nor did he only ‘appear’ to be suffering. He felt every stabbing...
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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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When you’re going through tough times

We all go through times of trial! Some even seem to go through more than others – why is that? I don’t know the answer, but I sure do admire those who face their trials and struggles with grace and confidence that God is with them despite their lot. I really admire them! As you may know, I’ve recently had to have a heart pacemaker inserted to fix my long term atrial fibrillation (AF) issue. I’ve had four previous surgical procedures for AF, but they’ve not proved successful. You can imagine that I had high hopes my pacemaker would fix me? It hasn’t yet… I need to undergo another ablation in about six weeks time. I have been assured by my cardiologist that this will fix me. Experiencing trials teaches us many things. One of those is empathy with those who go through tough times – whether health, emotional or relational...
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We are called to be salt and light in this dark world

“But if he knew it wasn’t allowed, then why did he do it?” Just one of the many questions my kids asked about John Short and his decision to share the gospel in North Korea. “Why didn’t he just go to a country where it was safe to tell people about God?” Honest question from the mouths of small children, probably echoing the thoughts of many adults. Such questions led to many discussions in our house. Discussions about hearing God’s voice and following God’s will and doing what you know is right even if it’s risky, in John Short’s case, life threatening. Big questions, challenging answers. And as is usually the case when trying to explain things to children you have to simplify it, break it down, examine what you’re saying and in the process you tend to discover what you really believe. So what’s holding us back? What stops us...
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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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