A New Year Plan From Bishop Charles E. Blake

2 Kings 13:17-19

New King James Version (NKJV)

17 And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”

Some will say that Joash did what he was supposed to do…and he did.  But if you analyze the text, you’ll see that Joash’s heart wasn’t right.   Joash was not like Saul and he was not like Moses who illustrated the implications of our obedience and of our acts before the Lord. The difference is that Joash really obeyed God but we should examine his attitude.  The bible says in 2 Chronicles 25:2 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.

We can look at the people of God today and see that their heart is not in it.  “Half singing, half praying, half worshiping, half participating, half giving, half..HALF. Their heart is not in it.  Because when your heart is in it—it shows up on the outside,” says Bishop. The best thing for us to do as people of the Lord is to work on our heart and work on our attitude…there are people who can see beyond that false smile and those false actions.

In Matthew 22, Jesus spoke of a parable of a wedding banquet.  He spoke and told the story of how a king (like the kingdom of heaven) had invited the people to come to his dinner in Matthew 22:5 the text says, they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise:

 So as the New  Year begins look at what our Bishop graciously identifies for us to live by.  Follow these invaluable steps to truly “Smite Out Your Destiny.”

1.       Smite the Blow of Salvation

  • Proverbs 14:12 KJ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.
  • Isaiah 57:20 KJ  But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

2.       Smite the Blow of Obedience

  • Deuteronomy 11:27-28 (KJV) 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known
  • Isaiah 1:19 (KJV) If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land
  • 2 John 1:6 (KJV)And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it

 

3.       Smite the Blow of Love

  •  “Love the lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your might. If you walk in love, you walk in God,” says Bishop Blake.

 

4.       Smite the Blow of Righteousness

  • Matthew 6:33 (KJV) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you Walk in the righteous because sin is the reproach of people
  •   “God wants folks who will strike the blow of righteousness,” says Bishop Blake.

 

5.       Smite the Blow of Service

  • “Perform your assignments well so God can promote you to another level,” says Bishop.
  •  Nothing you do is unimportant or insignificant…like sweeping the floor.  Martin Luther King said, “sweep the floor like Michael Angelo painted.”  Cry out to the Lord and tell him that you’ll serve Him JUST because you love him.

 

6.       Write Priorities

  • “If you want go higher in commitment, in faith, and in love… write priorities and stick to them,”  says Bishop.

7.       Smite the Blow of Daring Faith

  •  Believe God anyhow! Trust him no matter what you have to go through and get ready for your miracle. Bishop  says, “No mountain too high, no valley too low. GET READY! Get ready to overcome…get ready for miracles…get ready to go higher because of your daring faith.”

8.       The Blow of Unrestrained Praise

  • “This is yet the beginning of the year, but we praise God for December.”  Bishop Says, “You have not seen you’re best days yet…you have not seen your best miracles yet!”

 

Thank God for giving us a “destiny moment—a window of opportunity.” Strike the blows above and you will have a fail safe way of navigating 2013!

When Christmas Collides with Tragedy—Connecticut Shootings

 

Dark clouds  encased the sky, wind thrashed about, and rain fell  during a moment-of-silence memorial in Newtown, Conn. this Friday morning, December 21st. The weather acted as a mirror reflecting the turmoil of families affected by the killings.  Officials scheduled the event to recognize victims of the massacre that began at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14, when gunman Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook elementary and launched a shooting spree at the school, taking 26 lives, including 20 children, and then his own.

Tents and plastic were used to protect the stuffed animals, candles, notes and pictures that mourners have set up in the town. Flags in Newtown, Conn., which encompasses the village of Sandy Hook, are flying at half-staff.  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake released a statement:

We were devastated to hear the news about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT.  This town has been rated as one of the top safe places to live.  26 people were murdered by a gunman, who was 24 years old and fired his guns more than 100 times; 20 children and 7 adults died.

Two of these incidents have happened on the average every 10 years since 1900 but since the beginning of 2000, there have been 26 of these mass killings.  Something is wrong.  We certainly need to pray for our world, and pray for our society.  I support every effort, every movement to reduce the proliferation of firearms.

We pray that Congress will understand that although there are things such as human rights and rights to defend one self, something is wrong in our society.  I strongly advocate universal background checks for all seeking to purchase a firearm, and an assault weapon’s ban to proclaim peace and safety.

Join us in prayer for the families  whose Christmas collides with tragedy. In a blink of an eye anything can happen.

 

 

How to Save Your Bank Account During Christmas!

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1. Start a Christmas Savings Account

Enjoy the beauty of Christmas without the pressure to go into debt by saving a little toward the holiday throughout the year.  If you didn’t have a savings this year, then start now for next year.  If you need some help, some credit unions and banks offer Christmas Savings Accounts that let you decide on an amount to contribute during the months of January to October.  In November you’ll get a check to cover all your holiday expenses and gift giving.  Imagine, putting away $50 a month beginning in January would mean next November you’d have a check for $500 – A great step toward a stress-free Christmas.

2. Be Intentional

As you’re preparing to give, take a moment to refocus on the reason for your giving. Focus more on showing your appreciation for the person, and resist the urge to think that the best gifts always have a large price tag. Be intentional in your giving by thinking about those you’d like to bless. Honor them with gifts that express their uniqueness and what you know about them and you’re on your way to being a master giver.

3. Have a Plan

In most things a little planning goes a long way and giving is no different.  Taking the time to make your list, research items online and prepare a budget before you head to the mall can help you save both time and money, so don’t skip this step.

4. Pay Cash

It’s much easier to overspend with credit because you don’t see the money leaving your hands.  When you’re purchasing with cash you’ll make better decisions because we innately have more of an emotional experience when our hard-earned cash leaves our hands.  So leave the credit cards at home and then you’ll know when the cash is gone, you’re finished shopping.

5. Limit your Shopping to One Day

Once you’ve completed steps 1 – 4, all that’s left is to go shopping.  Consider planning to devote one day to completing all your shopping.  This way you’ll avoid impulse buying.  Multiple trips to stores increase the likelihood that you’ll find more reasons to bust the budget.  With steps 1 – 4 in place, step 5 should be a breeze

 

Written and Illustrated by G. Sharp

Give the Gift of “Ministry on the Go”

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What better gift to give  this Holiday Season then to share the almighty and luminescent, Living Word of God.  Introduce your loved ones and friends to West Angeles’ Shop.WestA.TV where you can have access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ from anywhere in the world!

Loneliness During the Holidays

The holiday season is a time of giving, cherishing time with family and friends–the epitome of hope and joy.  But let us remember that while we are enjoying the fruits of the holiday’s there are some who smile while inside they are hurting–because to them, the holiday season is synonymous with the passing of loved ones, lost relationships, or dark childhood memories. Loneliness is the only prison where we sentence ourselves and voluntarily carry out that punishment.  It’s a difficult place when we position ourselves to sit in areas of desolate solitude with the responsibility of nurturing ourselves—hoping the holiday season will end with haste.

If you are wrestling with the seeming insoluble virus of loneliness, know that there is a cure. And the cure isn’t some mystery that only can be obtained by in-depth counseling or seminary…but it involves a willingness to be guided down a path towards a healthy and wholesome you.Loneliness is cured by a bold desire to reclaim your life despite your circumstance, to acknowledge that God is right beside you despite your individual situation or what others may tell you.
Remember that God is right there to pick you up and mount up as wings on eagles, where you will run and not be weary you will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

 Deuteronomy 4:31 (New International Version)
31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath
1 Samuel 12:22 (New International Version)
22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.

Psalm 27:10 (New International Version)

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.

Psalm 31:7 (New International Version)

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
for you saw my affliction
and knew the anguish of my soul.

Psalm 46:1 (New International Version)

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 55:22 (New International Version)

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 112:4 (New International Version)

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous

Psalm 147:3 (New International Version)

3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

Candlelight Service

The candlelight service here at West Angeles is a tradition that Bishop Blake affectionately calls his favorite Holiday service. With the only light coming from a single candle held by Bishop Blake, this presentation illuminates the massive meaning behind, “so let your light shine” in Matthew 5:16 in the North Campus Sanctuary.

Here are a few videos from past Candlelight Services
2009

2010