Instagram: Capturing Your Christian Walk

:::click click goes the camera:::

Capturing life’s moment day by day has progressively become a billion dollar app that we call Instagram.  In the Instagram world, you will typically see your friends showing pictures of quotes they love, foods they’ve cooked, eating at their favorite restaurants, or just things they’ve seen along on their everyday walk. Instagram has given the ability to have fun with your photos with cool altering depth effects or resolutions for all of your pictures. But if could captured your life through photos…would they tell a life of love and holiness?  Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. Deuteronomy 4:23

:::click click goes the camera:::

We cannot forget that God is the master photographer, architect, and developer over our life.  As a parishoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3 NIV

So we ask you this question, If God was to Instagram your life, what pictures would He take of your Christian walk with Him? Would it be filled with collages of you witnessing to others, using your gifts God has given you, and studying His word? Or would he take a pictures of you falling back into your old ways, pictures of distortion because of the confusion in your life, gossiping to friends or would most of your pictures just be a blur?

Share your thoughts…if God summed up your life in a photo album, what would He find? :::click click goes the camera:::

What to do When Your Soul Refuses to be Comforted

When the devil reminds us of our past, we should be mindful that God is often trying to teach us how to have faith and how to survive. In this sermon, Bishop Charles E. Blake gives us the example of a mother eagle teaching her baby how to fly. Sometimes the mother eagle will drop the baby from her grasp and then swoop down at the last minute as the baby falls. Just as the eagle saves her offspring moments before he hits the earth, God looks out for us in the same way. The comfort comes in knowing that God will never leave us, nor forsake us in our time of need.

Download Bishop Charles E. Blake’s full sermon for only $4.99

What do you do when your soul refuses to be comforted? Are there bible verses that you refer to when you are feeling anxious or depressed? Share them them below!

Memorial Day: A Time for Reverence

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Roman 12:15

At cemeteries and monuments across the nation,  small flags flutter by military graves-makers for those who fought valiantly for a cause they believed in. Although Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives, we are encouraged to be mindful of the soldiers who have returned as shadows battling addictions brought on by what they have seen or done. Involvement in such things is against one’s nature and against the teachings of the Lord. Imagine the moral and emotional battle taken place in the minds of our brave soliders. They are not in a position to question, only to obey those in charge with the hope and belief that liberty and justice is being served. They walk among us, hurting and forever changed.

People who gave their lives in service to our country are the reason for Memorial Day–even as we look forward to cookouts, beach towels strewn on lawns and laughing children. Memorial Day is a time to enjoy our lives protected by those who have fought and still fight honorably. We cherish the lives of the “Home of the Brave.”

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Contending for the Faith

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 1:3

There is a very popular quote that states, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” In the sermon, “Contending For The Faith,” Pastor Michael Stevens talks about the body of Christ standing firm on what we believe. He warns us about turning our backs on the faith and against our Lord and Savior. There are many times that trials and unforeseen struggles hit us on our path to righteousness and our faith is tested. This sermon will encourage you to turn to your faith and to believe God for His Word and His works. He has reveled himself to you once and He will do it again, but what we believe must not falter due to the circumstances. The circumstances will always change but our God will remain the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

The Presiding Bishop’s Absentee Ballot Initiative

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:1-5

As we approach voting day, we would like to make all Saints of God aware of Presiding Bishop Blake’s Absentee Ballot Initiative – An Episcopalian Call to Political Responsibility.  Bishop Blake encourages us to take voting seriously and considers it a call of duty, as we are both Christians and American citizens.  The Bible informs us that we must submit to the authority of appointed leaders.  Therefore, we must be participants of those laws that are implemented, considering it a believer’s duty to participate in the judicial system.

Bishop Blake strives to accomplish these four things in his initiative:

  1. Educate churches and pastors on the importance for biblically faithful voters to vote their biblical values.
  2. Partner with pastors and churches to encourage members to participate in the election process.
  3. Develop and promote a strategic Absentee Ballot and Action Plan to encourage absentee voting as needed in respective states, incorporating strategies at the national, jurisdictional, district and local levels throughout the Church of God in Christ within respective communities.
  4. Develop an administrative toolkit for the Presiding Bishop Absentee Ballot Initiative including moving “Souls to the Polls.”

Absentee Voting is voting on a ballot by mail or picking up a ballot for someone who is unable to go to the polls themselves.  You must request an absentee ballot to your Supervisor of Elections.  To help in this endeavor, Bishop is urging us to create steering committees within our neighborhoods, considering the three objectives of this initiative: registration, education, and mobilization.  Recruit volunteers to help spread the word and objective by passing out materials and making people aware of the initiative.  Also, we should create activities for churches and pastors that push the objective and prescribed guidelines of this initiative.

In an effort to get as many “Souls to the Polls” as possible, Bishop Blake urges us to consider this plan of action as a tool to encourage the Saints to vote this coming election: Focus on the areas of registration, education and mobilization.  Understand voting in your particular state, making sure that each person that wishes to participate in the absentee ballot is registered to vote.  Prepare a calendar of events leading up to the election with volunteers and congregants of the Church of God in Christ.  Meet and encourage collaboration with local board of electors and state’s election officials.  Plan deadlines and remind people of key dates and providing directions to polling locations.  Develop a database of zip codes tracking the progress in your area to submit to this initiative.  Share information by having discussions about politics from a biblical perspective.  Evaluate past elections and past terms of political office to decipher what worked and what did not work.  Lastly, thank everyone that participated and celebrate all your dynamic efforts.

Church of God in Christ does not push any individual to vote for any particular candidate.  We only encourage each member of the body of Christ to make sure that they cast their vote based off their belief and faith in God’s word.

How To Be Happy

Bishop Charles Blake, Westangeleschurch.org

“I can do all things through Christs that strengthens me.” Phillipians 4:13, NKJV

In the sermon, “How to be Happy,” Bishop Blake poses the question, “Have you ever had something in your life that was so amazing and caused you such happiness that it outweighed all the bad things going on in your life?” He likens this to Jesus being in our lives. The key to being happy is Jesus. His great and awesome love for us should outweigh the struggles in our lives because He is bigger. His will is the only blue print for your life and no force is able to knock you off the plan or the purpose that He has for your life, and that plan was designed for you to have a prosperous and abundant life. Therefore, you can not lose. Concentrate on the power of your Savior. Recognize that God is in control and He is on your side. He is able and willing to turn every circumstance in your life around. Everyday that Jesus is in control, you can be happy because He will hold true to every promise He’s made to take care of you.
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by faith

The Same God

When facing difficulties in your life, ask yourself this question: Is there anything too hard for God?

In the sermon, “The Same God,” Bishop Blake reminds us that the same God that raised Jesus from the dead is the same God that will pull us out of our hard places. The ultimate miracle of God was raising Jesus from the dead, which is the most final conclusion to life. This teaches us that finality lies within the palms of our Lord. This is the place where we must place our burdens and rest in the knowledge that our God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore.

21st Annual Prayer Conference

Prayer Breakfast

21st Annual Prayer Breakfast and Conference

Join West Angeles Prayer Ministry for the 21st Annual Prayer Conference and Breakfast! In the North Campus Sanctuary We have a dynamic word from Bishop Bobby Henderson on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, Bishop Donald Hilliard on Friday, July 13, 2012. On Saturday, July 14th in the West Angeles Crystal Room, you are in for a treat from our very own Director of Prayer Ministry, Evangelist Yvonne Gibson-Johnson along with the ministry of Dr. Wanda Davis.

Last but certainly not least, Pastor Lawrence Powell will be bringing the word on Sunday, July 15th in the Cathedral both 8:00AM and 11:00AM services followed by the 7:00PM service in the North Campus Sanctuary.

 

For those of you who will be flying in, West Angeles as a number of rooms blocked off:

The Westin Los Angeles Airport ($89/night)

5400 W. Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90045

(310) 417-4531

 

Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport ($99/night)

6101 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, California 90045

(310) 642-1111

 

Tickets are available for purchase now! Get yours today! 323-733-8300 Ext. 2330.

One of Them Today

Before accepting Jesus, do you remember a time when you thought about how weird, how seemingly irrational, or incomprehensible this Christian faith appeared to be? Bishop Gideon Thompson of Jubilee Christian Church gives an inspiring message through poetry on accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Download today for the full message.

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Once you purchase you’ll be presented with a code.  When you do…enter it below and enjoy an inspiring message from Bishop Gideon Thompson of Jubilee Christian Church.

Summer Enrichment Program

Extended summer break can cause many students to forget lessons learned from previous semesters. West Angeles would like to help bridge that gap with its Summer Enrichment Program, geared toward middle school and high school students. This program focuses on math, writing and science, refreshing student’s memories of what they’ve already learned and providing an advantage for upcoming classes. High school seniors can also get a head start filling out college applications. The program is fun, affordable and beneficial. The price includes classes, field trips and seminars for parents. If you have any further questions about the Summer Enrichment Program, call Deacon John Wilson at 323-733-8000 extension 2628.

Click here for the 2012 Summer Registration Packages