From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

The most repeated command in the Bible

Last weekend we kicked off our Term 4 sermon series, ‘Faith in a Secular World: Daniel 1–6’. I hope and pray it was instructive and inspiring for you to learn from Daniel’s example about how we can live and thrive in a secular world like ours. I know personally it was good for my heart, soul and mind to be reminded of the truth that in spite of present appearances, God is in control. And, we see this reassuring truth not only in the book of Daniel but throughout the entire Bible. One example is in Isaiah 41:10 where God says: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Or in Luke 12:32 where Jesus says: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's...
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Just One More...

Everyone at Kidz church knows term 3 is my favourite term of the whole year. Why? Because we pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! I just love that we get to be part of this amazing mercy project that impacts so many lives. Many of the children who receive these boxes may be forgotten by the world, but each and every one of them is precious to our God. I recently read and shared a Samaritan’s Purse article on Facebook entitled “Just One More”. It spoke of a lady who, with the help of her church had packed 110 shoeboxes, a nice even amount. On the day the boxes were to be sent off on the next stage of their journey, she discovered she had enough to pack just one more box, and so she did. They finished up with 111 boxes. This idea of ‘just one more’ stuck with her....
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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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A note from Church Council

Dear Church Family, Recently we sent out a survey in order to provide you with an avenue to give feedback and in order that we might continue to grow and be more effective in fulfilling our mission: ‘To make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ’. Over the last few weeks, Church Council have been collating the results and organising them into a workable format. This process is well underway, and so I wanted to give you an update on our progress. I am very pleased to report that the survey was filled with positive feedback and overwhelmingly demonstrated a great passion for Jesus and for his church at BPCC. In particular, the positive areas highlighted by the survey included: biblically faithful teaching and a great team of pastors; a strong sense of belonging to the church family; a deep appreciation of the outreach into our community; a wonderful children’s ministry; a...
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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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Pondering the Plebiscite

It is an issue that has seemingly divided the nation—and one that is not going away any time soon. Should the Marriage Act (1961) be revised to include same-sex couples? In more recent times the debate has centred on whether a plebiscite (a national poll) should be held on the issue. Some are opposed to a plebiscite because they claim the debate will engender hatred and abuse towards gay and lesbian Australians. Others say it will cost too much. Some, like former High Court Justice Michael Kirby, oppose a plebiscite simply on the grounds that national polls rarely come back in the affirmative. On the other hand, advocates for a plebiscite argue that such a momentous change to the definition of marriage should be put to the people, rather than being decided within Parliament. In any case, whether the plebiscite goes ahead or not, one thing is for sure, the social,...
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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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Jesus, The Beatles, and Rest

In 1968 The Beatles released a self-titled album that eventually came to be known as ‘The White Album’. On this influential album is a song titled: “I’m So Tired.” Though it was recorded almost 50 years ago, it could easily have been written about us today: I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink; I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink; I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink. I'm so tired I don't know what to do; I'm so tired my mind is set on you; I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do. You'd say I'm putting you on; But it's no joke, it's doing me harm. You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain; You know it's three weeks, I'm going insane You know I'd give you everything I've got; For a little peace of mind...
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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

In the New Testament a man named Zacchaeus had a surprise dinner guest. One day, as Jesus was walking by and the crowds gathered around, Zacchaeus climbed a tree to get a better view. He presumed Jesus would just pass him by, but Jesus had so much more planned for Zacchaeus. Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly....
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Has God got your attention?

Last Sunday we explored the story of Moses’ life-changing encounter with God at the burning bush in the wilderness of Horeb (Exodus 3:1–10). After 40 years of exile in Midian, God captured Moses’ attention with a strange and inexplicable sight—a bush that burned but did not burn up. Perhaps this extremely significant encounter got you thinking: Does God still reveal Himself to us in this kind of eye-catching way today? Now, on one level the answer is obviously no, because “…in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Heb. 1:2). Jesus Christ is God’s enfleshed, final Word to humanity. And what a Word He is; a Word full of grace and truth (John 1:14). And yet, at another level, there is little doubt that God still uses metaphorical ‘burning bushes’ to capture our attention and turn us aside. Think about what the burning bush actually was. It...
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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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Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life?

Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy your life? This is the question that Michael Wittmer asks and, I believe, persuasively answers in his excellent book, "Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life?". If we're honest, this is probably a question that many of us have wondered privately, but never articulated publicly. Perhaps we think it's blasphemous to wonder if following Jesus will really lead us into the best that life has to offer? And yet if we don't really wrestle with this question we may go through life with the damaging, and often imperceptible, assumption that following Jesus means we miss out on the good things in life. For this reason and more, I believe "Becoming Worldly Saints" is worthy of your time and attention. So, in the hope that you may be sufficiently intrigued (or provoked) to go out & read it, let me...
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'Pure Joy'

James 1:2-6 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faithproduces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be matureand complete, not lacking anything.If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. When we chase after God, expect Satan to try and get in our way. The harder we chase, the harder he’ll try to throw us off course, confuse us and distract us. Satan would love nothing more than to stop our pursuit of God. In James one, we’re told to consider these trials “pure joy.” They remind us that what we are doing with our lives–our pursuit–matters. It’s not just a hobby or a game. So, as...
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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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Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

Any time the topic of spiritual warfare is raised—as it was last Sunday in the sermon on Ephesians 6:10-13—good and plentiful questions are sure to follow. One question that often comes up is: Can a Christian be demon-possessed?    Now, at one level, this question is relatively simple to answer. If by “demon-possessed” we mean that a Christian is so controlled by Satan they are unable to worship God, obey Him, or control their behaviour, then the answer is clearly ‘no’. Scripture is gloriously clear about the radical change that occurs when someone becomes a child of God. In short, believers are indwelt by God’s Spirit (John 14:17; 1 Cor. 6:19-20), they are united with Christ (Eph. 1:3-10; 2 Cor. 5:17), all of which ultimately means they are “rescued… from the dominion of darkness and brought… into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:13). Or, in the words of...
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Operation Christmas Child

 For a number of years now, BPCC has partaken in ‘Operation Christmas Child’; a project organised and run by Samaritan’s Purse. Operation Christmas Child uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. And this year BPCC is very excited to be part of it again! At Kidz Church in Term 3 we will be busy sorting and making items for the boxes. We will be writing letters and taking photos to include in our boxes. And at the end of the term all of the items will be packed into shoeboxes to be sent overseas to children who may have never received a gift before. This project provides us with an amazing opportunity to not only promote mercy in our own families, but also to demonstrate God’s great love for all of His creation. There are lots of ways you can...
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Give Thanks

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe” (Psalm 107:1-2)   How do we approach life, work, and family? Are we genuinely grateful for what we have? Or are we always thinking the grass is greener somewhere else?    In Psalm 107, the psalmist encourages us to be thankful; to come before God with a thankful heart for all we have and for all that God has done for us and is continuing to do.   In recent days I’m sure we have all heard about the effects of the heavy rainfall and flooding that has ravaged the east coast all the way down to Tasmania. But in the midst of the devastation there have also been encouraging reports of people’s generosity and willingness to help others.   The...
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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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Serve like Jesus

“To make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ for the good of our community and the glory of God” At BPCC, I have the privilege of leading the Creative Team. As a Creative Team, we have the pleasure to be a part of using creative arts to make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ. It is always a wonderful blessing to see how God uses songs, video clips, dramatic readings, and a myriad of other creative means to edify His people and to glorify Himself. In our current sermon series through the book of Ephesians, we are being reminded that as the church of Jesus Christ we are not all the same – but we are united in Jesus! And because we are different, we each have different gifts that have been given to us for building up the body of Christ (Eph. 4:16). So, I ask each of us: What are you good at? Where does a need exist? Are you serving His church in...
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