Community Church Blog

7th June 2018

Experience in Worship

I wanted to share what I experienced and saw during church on June 3rd. During one of the worship song the words "Unfailing love" leapt out I heard God say my love never fails you. I closed my eyes and was standing on the shoreline looking at the sea, I then saw Jesus running towards me, then a mighty wave rushing at me, I couldn't move the wave crashed over me, I felt the force of Gods love, rushing through me, covering me, felt the weight of his glory could barely stand , it felt incredible, felt such freedom, I let out such a scream as wave after wave after wave came crashing over me.
It was an amazing encounter with the Father.

Someone prayed for me during this time and she saw an 'exchange taking place between me and my Father, it's a completely unfair exchange because of his incredible grace. As I just be me and worship him He exchanges all He has with me....His victory, His healing, His goodness all His incredible promises.

We are heirs to the throne. As we receive all of this goodness from Him he then commissions us to be who he made us to be."

I believe and understand that only through total Surrender, total trust in God will he begin that exchange and share a deeper intimacy with us.

Aileen Lewis

Maureen Hopkins

Posted by Maureen Hopkins

7th February 2018

Teflon Man

This testimony starts back in February 2017, when I had some prophetic pictures drawn for me by three School of Ministry students at Bethel.
One picture was of me having a cloak of many colours like Joseph and the artist saw me as a noble knight of integrity. I had been going through a period of self doubt, unsure of my future and had lost my compassionate heart. All the pictures spoke to me and over the next few days many people prophesied over me. These impacted me and combined with the teaching at Bethel and a Sozo (I had been sceptical of having one but would thoroughly recommend it), I experienced a new level/relationship with Jesus and it is awesome.

Fast track to early June, I heard God tell me to be like Teflon - I thought, “what on earth is that about?”

A few days later an incident occurred at work and I challenged a management decision. I thought this had been resolved through discussions, but I went to work one day and was suddenly being accused of being prejudiced and that possible race-hate investigations would be started. For a few days I was in shock and felt betrayed, but I knew I had to continue praising, worshipping through this situation. At times it was a real battle. The “Teflon” word then made sense; that I shouldn’t let the accusations stick to me and get me down. I had to make a decision whether to walk away from the situation or stay: I knew my place was to stay and fight with integrity. I drew from my well of experience and the Lord to overcome this situation. The investigation kept dragging on and due to processes within the organisation, it was not resolved until November, when higher management threw it out of the window, saying there was absolutely no foundation to the accusations. I had been vindicated, Praise the Lord.

The Sunday after the decision had been made, someone had a picture of me with a coat of many colours, confirming what had been prophesied over me back in Feb.

Praising Jesus conquers the mountains!

Maureen Hopkins

Posted by Maureen Hopkins

5th June 2016

Worship part four

This is the fourth of a mini series of blogs we've produced on 'worship.'  You can read the other three here as we explored Who we worship, Why we worship and last time, How we worship. 

Today, we want to ask the quesiton 'How do we worship God (part II)?'

'Every posture in worship says something of both the worshipper and the One being gloried in.’ Matt Redman continues in his book ‘Facedown’ saying ‘The raising of hands tells of a soul stretched out high in praise and the worth of the One being exalted. Joyful dancing interprets a grateful heart and points in adoration to the source of that joy. When it comes to expressing our worship, what we do on the outside is a key reflection of what’s taking place on the inside [and] facedown worship is the overflow of a heart humbled and amazed by the glory of God. Facedown worship always begins as a posture of the heart. When a soul is so captivated by the Almighty, to bend low in true and total surrender seems the only appropriate response.

Part of worshipping God is of course singing and using our voice, like we explored in the last worship blog, however how we worship God is both a posture of our heart and of our body.

Have you ever paused in a worship time and asked yourself what on earth it is you’re doing? It’s healthy to reflect on how you approach and honour the King of Kings - are you developing and growing in your worship? Is your worship more passionate than last year? Has it waned?

The Psalms alone give us nine different expressions of worship; let's explore them here:

Our Voice

1. Speaking – Psalm 34:1 says “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.”
2. Shouting – Psalm 27:6 says “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.”
3. Singing – Psalm 47:6 says “Sing praises to God, sing praises to our King, sing praises.”

Our Posture

1. Bowing – Psalm 95:6 says “Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
2. Standing – Psalm 119:120 says “My flesh trembles in fear of You; I stand in awe of Your laws.”
3. Dancing – Psalm 149:3 says “Let them praise His name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.”

Our Hands

1. Playing Instruments – Psalm 33:2-3 says “Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten stringed lyre. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
2. Clapping – Psalm 47:1 says “Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”
3. Lifting Hands – Psalm 63:4 says “I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.”

The way we communicate every day with one another has been researched and shows that only 7% of our communication is actually verbal, with 55% of what we communicate being done so through our body language. The same is true of our communcation to and of God. Whilst we are to be guided and helped by excellent worship songs, we shouldn't allow lyrics and words alone to define our worship.

When there is a breadth and depth to our worship, we honour God, lift Him up and make much of Him.

We have often heard it say at church, ‘dont worry about the person next you - bring your worship to God’ - and this is so true. God is so pleased to receive your individual expression of worship, and God is so worthy of it that giving our full self is the only appropraite thing to do.

In everyday life we stand up to honour people, when a wedding proposal is made it is often done on one knee, dancing is a part of culture expressing celebration and many other emotions too, we clap to show appreciation and enthusiasm, and we lift our arms in shouts of joy and exubernace. These motions of the body are normal and they are often spontaneous. However I wonder why they are sometime foreign to our worship?

Be encourgaed, be advenurous, bring honour to Jesus in worship - in song, in prayer, but also in body. Let it be the norm for us at CCBS, that our worship is expressed in ways that are more than words.

The core issue here is not one of instruction, but rather the truth is that we are people who are created to worship, and God who first loved us has done much for us! Our response; indeed my response to His much, is to give much of ouselves.

‘Every posture in worship says something of both the worshipper and the One being gloried in.’ Let it be true of me.

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7th April 2016

Worship part three

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song (Psalm 95:2)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4)
I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the LORD (Psalm 116:17)

Worshipping God should always start with thankgiving. If God is who He says He is, then He is altogether higher, greater and stronger than anything in this world and altogether our Saviour and provider. Thanksgiving allows our immediate focus to be on Him, even when we are anxious and concerned about life's circumstances.The Bible asks us in everything start our prayers to God with thanksgiving (phillippians 4:6). Thanksgiving reminds our very soul of all that God is, and all that He has done.

What a great place to start your day? What a great way to face any situation - 'God you have done so much and I will remind myself of these things!' This is fundamentally right and appropriate but as ever, we also benefit from this as faith rises within us as we utter the words of 'thank you God!' By comaprison many social commentators bemoan how rude people can be in modern life. In particular they despair about how people neglect to be grateful – specifically that they fail to say thank you. Author Lynn Truss says that ‘saying thank you is way of positionng ourselves in humility. It brings with it recognition that we need help, that we can’t do life on our own, and it demonstrates a grateful heart.'

So what does thanksgiving look like? It could be keeping a ‘thankful list’ of things large and small, so you armed and ready with your thanks. It could be seeking out testimonies and stories of what God is doing, and indeed sharing you’re own journey of who you see God to be, an how he has provided for you and those around you. Maybe bring thankfulness into all aspects of life - the office, the car, the dinner table, your worship. Paul Manwaring one of the leaders at Bethel Church, California often says that starting meetings with good news and with thanks is culture shaping. He did this here in the UK as a prison Govener before moving to the USA, and the shift in perspective of the whole team was significant.

Wouldnt it be great if we were known as people who oozed with gratitiude and thankfullness?

Reflecting also on Psalm 100:4, which says that thanksgiving leads us into His presence, I am reminded that if we want to draw closer to God, we need to start with thanksgiving. Let's be ready with our lips and hearts to express thankfullness straight away when we come before God!

If our worship is strongly flavoured with thanksgiving and honour of His name, we will have a very healthy worship diet! There are of course many other aspects of sung worship, ways, means, and how we can worship but in this next season can I challenge you to be ready to give thanks, and to praise His name? Come ready on Sunday mornings to thank Him and start everyday by coming into His presence with thanks.

In our modern day culture of convenince, express service, and a ‘me’ focus, let us take the time to worship with thankfulness and a renewed focus on the Name that is above all others. Let’s not allow the ‘great I’ to take precedent over the ‘great I AM’

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Maureen Hopkins
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