Bren McLean


Jesus Builds His Church

by on Oct.27, 2012, under Personal


(Jesus) “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it..”

Matthew 16:18

God, through Jesus, is building His church and we have a role to play. God’s unfolding plan for mankind is known as salvation history and it has eternal consequences.

We are bit players in God’s perfect ‘play’. I’m IN. Are YOU?

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:8





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by on Oct.24, 2012, under Personal

I’ve been listening to film scores a lot lately and am really enjoying the rich texture and dynamics that an orchestra offers. Most composers have now augmented their sound by using loops, samplers and sequencers.

You can’t beat the real thing, but advances in technology (instrument and recording) does make most things easier and cheaper.


Here goes, my personal TOP 10 favourite film composers (in alphabetical order):

Craig Armstrong eg. In Time, Love Actually

John Carpenter eg. Escape From NY, Halloween

Danny Elfman eg. Men In Black, Simpsons, Spiderman

Jerry Goldsmith eg. Alien, Star Trek

James Horner eg. Apollo 13, Avatar, Titanic

James Newton Howard eg. Fugitive, Sixth Sense

Howard Shore eg. Lord Of The Rings

Alan Silvestri eg. Back To The Future, Forrest Gump

John Williams eg. ET, Indiana Jones, Jaws, Raiders Star Wars, Superman (anything Spielberg)

Hans Zimmer eg. Gladiator, Pirates of the Carribean


Now, it’s your turn. Who have I missed and why?

And according to The Telgraph (UK), here’s the TOP 100 movie soundtracks:



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by on Oct.10, 2012, under Personal


God is relational and He wants to be in an intimate relationship with us. Just ponder that thought for a moment…

The Lord of all creation, the Creator of heaven and earth, and everything in it, really WANTS to be active in our lives. Our Father, God is drawing us to Himself, by His Spirit. How do we respond?

As Christians, we need to immerse ourselves in the Word. Just as our bodies require a balanced diet, our souls too need the nourishment that is found in God’s Word. Daily communication with God in prayer and meditation is essential for a healthy spiritual life. Who of us would say to a spouse, “I love you”, but only talk to them once a week, or less!? Crazy, right?

Your mind is like a giant sponge. It takes things in without discrimination and shapes what you think and believe. Every day we are bombarded with unhelpful words and images, that distract us from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Can I encourage you to make time with God a priority. Take advantage of resources that are out there and relish the time that you can spend with your heavenly Father.

For example, our friends at CEP have published a resource called REAP JOURNAL. REAP is a daily bible reading program, that is available in adult, youth and kids versions.


As you dig deeper into the Word of God, may you be enriched and transformed into the likeness of Christ.



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by on Oct.09, 2012, under Personal


What inspires your creativity? What are you listening to? What are you reading? What are you watching, for inspiration as an artist as well as for personal enjoyment?

Creatives particularly can benefit from a regular diet of high quality art. When was the last time you bought an album? Saw a concert or show? Went to a gallery?

Below is a list of albums that I have enjoyed (to varying degrees) recently:

COLDPLAY – Xylo Myloto


FLYING COLORS – Flying Colors

GUNGOR – A Creation Liturgy

HILLSONG – Cornerstone



MERCY ME – Hurt & The Healer

MUSE – The 2nd Law

NEAL MORSE – Lifeline



Thank God for eBay!

As you can see, there is a variety of artists and genres there. There’s even some older prog rock stuff that I am loving!

The challenge is to feed your creative mind and to search wider than your ‘usual suspects’. It’s well worth it!



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LES MISERABLES – live singing

by on Sep.28, 2012, under Personal


The latest adaptation of Victor Hugo’s stage musical, Les Miserables hits the screens at the end of the year. Directed by Tom Hooper, it stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Sacha Baron Cohen.


What makes this version extraordinary is the singing is being recorded live. Actors in a musical usually mime to a pre-recorded track, but for authenticity the creators have decided to do it this way:


This follows a trend for bands to record live albums with little or no over dubbing. Will we see this risky practice continue? What will it do to production values? Time will tell…

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by on Sep.09, 2012, under Personal

It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go”.

Jim Rohn

We live in an unpredictable world. There is only so much that we can physically control.

So, with God’s help, change what you can and accept what you can’t.

ie. When the wind blows, SET A BETTER SAIL

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Living in an iWorld

by on Sep.06, 2012, under Church Life, Personal, Worship

We live in a broken world. Since the fall, individuals and society as a whole have suffered the effects and consequences of original sin (Genesis 3).

Dale Keuhne describes this situation in his recent book, Sex and the iWorld.

Earlier this year, Kuehne was in Australia and we were fortunate enough to have him at spch one weekend. Click here for the link. He brings wonderful insight into the world in which we live!

Kuehne contrasts the ‘tWorld’, in which traditional morality reigned and recent innovations would have been inconceivable.

With the post-Enlightenment ‘iWorld’, in which these innovations are promoted because the perceived immediate needs of the individual are paramount.

Both fall short of the ‘rWorld‘, the larger web of healthy and nourishing social relationships that provides the context for a biblical understanding of individual sexuality.

For more information on Kuehne and his views on society, check out his blog, Signpostings and the Public Christianity site.

Essentially, there is ‘good news’ for the total depravity that we find ourselves in. God is sovereign and by His grace He sent His one and only Son to pay for our sins (John 3:16).

Jesus is the hope for humanity for those who believe.


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by on Aug.31, 2012, under Church Life, Personal

Work Life Balance signpost

Do you ‘work to live’, or ‘live to work’?

The Bible says in a number of instances that we ‘live to work’:

  1. Genesis 2:15 – God says WORK the ground
  2. Exodus 20:8-11 – The concept of the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. It means that we work on the other 6 days
  3. Proverbs 31:10-31 – a good wife works to provide for the family and so she is able to give to the poor
  4. Jesus and most of the disciples had a job

We are “blessed to be a blessing”. In other words, everything that we have is given by God’s grace and sovereignty. Christian’s are to be stewards of what is His and so called to be generous with our time, talents and treasures (money). There is enough resources (financial and natural) in the world, to care for everybody in the world.

How do we balance all of the responsibilities that we have?

The problem is we allow too many things into our life. Technology and tools that are aimed to make life easier, end up consuming more of our time (how much time do you spend on social media? Email?). It takes much wisdom and skill to ‘keep all of the balls in the air’. Pray that the Spirit would guide and inform you when it comes to such important decisions.

John Gray (Senior Minister at spch) encourages all staff to take time out to “smell the roses”. Here’s just a couple of things that can help us to make time to recharge:

  1. Daily time with God – bible reading, journaling, praying
  2. Protect your days off – do something that refuels you
  3. Good friends – spend time with close friends who energise you

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What about a holiday?

Of course we should take holidays. It is biblical to take a break, or a sabbatical, but we should never really take too long from serving God and His people. This is an extension of the sabbath concept. We are to work hard, then rest so that we are re-energised for ministry.

What about retirement?

We will all retire one day, but again, Christian’s are called to remain engaged in the mission of their local church.

God rested (Genesis 2:2); Jesus rested (Mark 1:35-38); will you?


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Hello world!

by on Aug.12, 2012, under Personal

This is my first blog post. Why did it take so long?

Well, I use to contribute to the staff blog that church hosted on the web page. The web page was due for a much needed makeover and the staff blog was one of the things to go. Staff were then encouraged to setup their own personal blog.


I would love you to join in on the conversation, by leaving your comments. I will read them all and reply as time permits.


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