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Bishop Blake Reflects Upon God’s Goodness in Thanksgiving Message

As we enter into the Holiday Season, Bishop Blake reminds us that “it’s appropriate to give thanks” to God for all He’s done.

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, Bishop Charles E. Blake, in his sermon on Sunday, reflected upon some of the ways God has blessed His people, and inspired the congregation to join him in giving thanks. With grace and humility, he first thanked the congregation for all they’ve meant to him, his family, and the life of the church. “God bringing us together has enabled us to accomplish what we have together. Every corner of this world of ours has been touched by our coming together for the glory of God,” he said.

Entitled, “To Whom and For What Are You Thankful?” the sermon reminded us of the recent story of a young man who ran onto West Angeles’ property, fired a gunshot, then was supernaturally stricken to the ground and rendered unconscious for 30-40 minutes. After paramedics examined him, they found no bullet wound or other injury, and he was taken into custody, unaware of what had happened to him. Miraculously, no churchgoers were hurt.

“Who ever heard of a man about to do damage [being] knocked unconscious by the power of God?” Bishop said. “That was a great thing”.

“Every week ought to be Thanksgiving Week,” he added, “because the believer, more than anyone else, knows just how good the Lord has been to him or her.”

 

Some of our favorite quotes from Sunday’s sermon:

“It’s appropriate to give thanks. There just might be someone here who feels that they’ve got nothing to be thankful for, and nobody to thank.”

“You may not be where you’d like to be, but at least you’re not where you once were.”

“Every day above the ground is a good day.”

“Where there is life, there’s hope.”

“Focusing on the good, focusing on the positive, is physically and mentally uplifting and healthy. It’s motivating and it’s energizing.”

“If you’ve risen even an inch above your lowest level, then you’ve got something to thank God for.”

“God is good. Progress is being made.”

“You’ve got something to be thankful for because God made the universe just for you.” – Bishop Charles E. Blake

“To be thankful is to be conscious of a benefit received.”

“Have you ever had an itch that you could not reach, and you had to ask someone to scratch your back? When you thank a person, you scratch the itch they cannot reach.”

“We have established the fact that everybody has a reason to be thankful: are there any thankful people in the house today?”

“We came into this world naked, a little ugly, and helpless. Everything we are, everything we have, somebody gave it to us.”

“Stop saying, ‘Folk make me sick!’ Stop saying, ‘I’m tired of people!’ The person who annoys you most just might be the very person you’re gonna need in a crunch.”

“Most of the things that people have done for you were not done because you were so beautiful. They were not done because you were so valuable or intelligent, but rather because of the kindness that resides in the human spirit.”

“You’re wrapped up in cars, wrapped up in clothes, wrapped up in nonessential things, wrapped up in what people are doing on television. But listen: don’t get wrapped up in that. Realize that you need to be wrapped up in, and be thankful to, Almighty God!”

“’The earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness; the world and those that dwell therein; for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.’ You’ve got something to be thankful for because God made the universe just for you.”

“Acts 17:21 says, ‘In him we live; in him we move; in him we have our being.’ You can’t make it without Him.”

“Here’s a PhD. Here’s a billionaire. Here’s a president. Here’s a king – but God walked by all of them… and He picked me out. If you’re glad that the Lord picked you out, come on and give God praise!”

“We ought to give thanks to God. We ought to give praise to God. He’s displeased when we’re ungrateful. He’s displeased when we fail to recognize our obligation unto God. This is why worship is so important. This is why prayer is so important.”

“God wants our praise, not because of what it does for Him, but because of what it does for us and the climate it internally creates for our lives.”

“All you have to do is look around you and see that there’s a God.”

“Only God can create us like He created us.”

“When you thank Him, you focus on the positive, and not on the negative. It lifts your spirit and your soul.”

“When you thank Him, you increase your faith…You open the door for miracles, and the door for blessings.”

“It’s time to give thanks unto the Lord.”

Scriptural references:
Psalm 126:1, Psalm 107:1 & 8, Romans 1:18, Psalm 121:2 , Psalm 8:3, Psalm 126:3, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 100:4, Jeremiah 9:24, Acts 17:21.

Please join us for Thanksgiving service at West Angeles, on November 27 at 10a.m.  

3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Call (323) 733-8300 for more information.

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Bishop Blake addresses viral video from Holy Convocation

The 107th Holy Convocation took place last week in St. Louis, Missouri, and what a blessing of an event it was.

Unfortunately, some controversy arose from the event, specifically with a set of speakers who uttered inappropriate remarks and offensive terms in reference to human sexuality. The video has since gone viral.

At Sunday’s service, Bishop Blake, Presiding Bishop over the Church of God in Christ, addressed those remarks and apologized on behalf of COGIC.

Listen to Bishop Blake’s response to the remarks below:

And here is Bishop’s message transcribed:

“On Saturday evening, November the 8th, one of our more than 15 speakers used terms and spoke in a way that was offensive and inappropriate. Though he alone was responsible for the nature and tone of his remarks, it was on my watch that this took place. Even though I was not present at the service on that night, as Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God in Christ, I apologize for what seemed to be a harsh, [non-compassionate], disrespectful spirit on the part of that speaker.

“I also apologize to Andrew Caldwell, a young seeker for the Lord who came forth and made statements on that night regarding his change of heart and his purpose in life. His testimony literally went viral and it has brought upon him criticism and sardonicism. We extend our love and our prayers and our support to that young man as he seeks to know God and to serve God.

“We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do. And we do not in any way compromise our Biblical position against same sex unions, or in favor on the biblical teaching on matters of sexual conduct. But at the same time, we expect that our Clergy and Liety will be civil and considerate as they speak to men and women regarding issues related to our Christian faith. We love all people. Regardless of their faith or their moral standard. And when we fail to express ourselves with love and humility, we contradict the witness that we would strive to have to have to the world.

“The Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against, and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual orientation or their sexual stance. Such actions violate entirely the Christian’s obligation to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy. God will judge us all. If you have a love for God and if you love Gods word you are welcome to West Angeles Church and you are welcome to the Church of God in Christ. Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 and Verse 13 says; let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. God will bring every work into judgement including every secret thing whether good or evil. Let the Church say Amen.”

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Inspirational Quotes From Dr. Myles Munroe

This week, we celebrate the life and contributions of beloved pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe with a list of some of our favorite quotes.

World-renowned pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe was founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship in the Bahamas and CEO and Chairman of the Board of the International Third World Leaders Association. As president of the International Leadership Training Institute, he traveled the world training leaders in business, government, education, sports, media, and religion.

Dr. Munroe was the author of 69 books. Some of his best-selling titles include: Becoming a Leader, The Principles and Power of Vision, The Pursuit of Purpose, Understanding Your Potential, Rediscovering the Kingdom, Waiting and Dating, The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage, and God’s Big Idea, among others. Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, The Burden Of Freedom, revolutionized how many viewed the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean.

Dr. Munroe was born in poverty in Nassau, Bahamas in 1954; one of eleven children. In 1978 Dr. Monroe received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education, and Theology degree from Oral Roberts University, and in 1980, a Master’s degree in administration from the University of Tulsa. He has also received several honorary doctorate degrees, and served as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at ORU.

Notably, in 1998, Dr. Munroe was awarded an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – by Queen Elizabeth II for services to religion.

Below, we celebrate his contribution to the spiritual life of mankind with a list of some of our favorite quotes:

ON LEADERSHIP

“The Creator caused to be inherent in each created entity – including the apex of his creation, mankind – everything it needs to fulfill its original purpose. The original purpose for mankind, defined and established by the Creator, was to “rule (have dominion) over all the earth.” Since the word ‘dominion’ in this case means to reign and rule, the Creator wired ALL human beings with the capacity and natural ability to lead.”

“Leadership is not about control but service. It’s not about power but empowerment. It’s not about manipulation but inspiration.”

“People generally fall into one of three groups: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority, who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of fact or a creature of circumstance. He either puts color into his environment, or, like a chameleon, takes color from his environment.”

“Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”

“Kingdom citizenship is a spiritual reality, but it is also a mentality. As believers, we already have the Spirit of God, but we need to learn the mind and the heart of God.”

ON PURPOSE

“Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

“Purpose is when you know and understand what you were born to accomplish. Vision is when you see it in your mind and begin to imagine it.”

“Circumstances and crises are God’s tools to move you into your purpose and the maximizing of your potential.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams”.

“By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. The more refined your gift, the more in demand you will be.”

“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU.”

ON POTENTIAL

“Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.”

“Don’t ever make the mistake of telling God that you have nothing to offer. That simply is not true. God does not create any junk.”

“You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.”

“The more faithful we are with our stewardship, the more resources God will entrust to us. That is a biblical principle.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems: be led by your dreams”   – Dr. Myles Munroe

ON DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS

“Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels – the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality.”

“The time you are most prepared for dating is when you don’t need anyone to complete you, fulfill you, or instill in you a sense of worth or purpose.”

“Being open to correction means making ourselves vulnerable, and many people are not willing to do that.”

“Friendship is not a gift, but is the result of hard work.”

ON MARRIAGE

“Marriage is the most important decision a person will make, next to his decision to follow Christ.”

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is a life.”

“God did not create woman from man’s head, that he should command her, nor from his feet, that she should be his slave, but rather from his side, that she should be near his heart.”

“The adversary’s global attack on marriage is actually an attack on society itself, and ultimately an attack on God, the creator and manufacturer of society and marriage. The adversary knows that if he can destroy marriage he can destroy families; if he can destroy families he can destroy society; and if he can destroy society he can destroy humanity.”

ON LIFE

“Life is not measured by duration but by donation.”

“We are not to be so concerned about who approves or disapproves of us, but remember that God’s approval is what counts. Those whom God approves are approved indeed.”

“Proverbs 25:28 says, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ In other words, if we do not control our own lives from the inside, somebody else will control them from the outside.”

“I’m washed, I’m forgiven, I’m whole, and I’m healed. I’m cleansed and I’m glory bound. I am only a sojourner on the earth. I am but a pilgrim on this planet, on my way to perfection, and I don’t need anybody to tell me who I am, because I know who I am. I am a child of the King, a son (or daughter) of God, born again through Jesus Christ, bought with the price of His blood. I am a new creation, totally new, thoroughly loved and completely accepted as a child of my Father, precious in His sight.”

 

Dr. Munroe perished with his wife and seven others in a private plane crash on  November 9, 2014.  West Angeles Church of God In Christ mourns his loss; he will be missed around the world.

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107th Holy Convocation…Final Days Photos.

The 107th Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ came to an end on Sunday. It was a glorious event!

Below are more photos from the Holy Convocation, held in St. Louis, Missouri.

These photos, taken by our very own West Angeles photographers, are meant to capture the power, intensity, and beauty that accompany the Holy Convocation. Click the photos to enlarge.

Enjoy!

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A multicultural US Colorguard matches in a parade

West Angeles Thanks Our Veterans

Today we honor and give thanks to our Veterans, who marched into danger so that we may have peace:

Thank you for defending our right to worship (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution).

Thank you for fighting to preserve our God-given right to be free (Galatians 5:1).

Thank you for protecting our ability to live in His purpose (Jeremiah 1:5).

Thank you for enduring tribulation on our behalf (Acts 14:22).

Thank you for fighting to keep us safe from harm (Psalm 27:3).

Thank you for guarding our right to live without oppression (Zechariah 7:10).

Thank you for envisioning a day where there is no war, and your work is peace (Isaiah 60:17).

Thank you for moving us closer to manifesting God’s Kingdom on earth (Matthew 6:10).

Thank you for risking your life in order to save ours (1 John 3:16).

West Angeles honors our men and women of the armed forces, who live and die for a better America. 

HAVE A SAFE AND BLESSED VETERAN’S DAY!

Kenneth Bae at press conference, with head shaved during his imprisonment in North Korea

Christians Released From North Korean Prison

The remaining two of three Americans who were recently imprisoned by the North Korean government arrived back on American soil on Saturday.

Jeffrey E. Fowle, Kenneth Bae, and Matthew Miller were all unexpectedly released after serving time in government labor camps on separate incidents, convicted of committing “anti-government activities” against the  North Korean government. President Obama dispatched National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper Jr. to negotiate for the latter two prisoners’ release. A third man, Jeffrey E. Fowle, was released in October with the help of Swedish officials.

Mr. Bae, 46, a Christian missionary from Washington state, had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after he was convicted on charges of espionage and “anti-state” activities. He was accused of using a Christian evangelical youth organization to preach against the North Korean government and to topple the regime. Officials said he was planning a “religious coup d’état.”

Mr. Miller, 24, a native of Bakersfield, CA, had been sentenced to six years of hard labor by North Korea’s Supreme Court. He was convicted of “hostile acts” after he’d torn up his visa and passport upon entering North Korea seven months ago. The charge was “unruly behavior;” however, it may have been suspected by the Pyongyang government that Miller was breaking the law intentionally in order to report on conditions at one of the country’s prison camps.

Mr. Fowle, 56, an Ohio municipal worker, entered North Korea on a tourist visa and was arrested after he left his Bible in a restroom. The act is considered by the government as proselytizing, which is a crime there.

Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller were released on November 8. Mr. Fowle was released on October 21.

Mr. Bae thanked the Obama administration and everyone who prayed for him and his family while he was detained.

“I just want to say thank you all for supporting me and lifting me up…I’m standing strong because of you”.

Many thanks to The Guardian, The New York Times, NBC News, The Washington Post, KOIN6, and USA Today .

Photo by Ted S. Warren, AP

 

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107th Holy Convocation…In Photos

Below are photos from the 107th Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ, held in St. Louis, Missouri.

These photos, taken by our very own West Angeles photographers, are meant to capture the power, intensity, and beauty that accompany the Holy Convocation. Click the photos to enlarge.

Enjoy!

 

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#1More4Lauren

Sports often serve as the platform in which society rallies behind one of its own.

For instance, the recent ALS Ice Bucket Challenge phenomenon was kickstarted by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, whose ALS diagnosis effectively put an end to his baseball career, but also served as the catalyst for a worldwide trend that reached heights rarely seen.

And while “#1More4Lauren” isn’t nearly approaching the expansive reach of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it is a positive and uplifting story about a young woman, Lauren Hill, aiming to make the most of the time she has on this earth.

According to doctors, that time is short…

Read Hill’s inspirational story here.

It’s a story of faith, as Lauren continues the quest to achieve her dreams despite her illness. And in recent weeks, Bishop Blake and others that have delivered the message, just as Bishop Darrell Hines, have expressed the importance of realizing God’s plan for you and pursuing that plan. And though the plan might not always make sense to us, it’s the plan that’s been prescribed to us by a perfect God. Our job is to execute the plan to the best of our ability.