Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake preached in his January 25 sermon about what it takes to be blessed.
Bishop Blake’s Sunday sermon was inspired by the story in Genesis 32 of Jacob, who had been troubled by his own thoughts of purpose and destiny. In the passage, Jacob, who was alone in the night, found himself wrestling persistently with a theophany – a physical manifestation of God – until he received a blessing from God.
Bishop Blake cited several other instances from the Bible where God’s will was performed within the lives of those who sought Him in solitude.
“Jesus the Christ spent time alone with God the Father,” Bishop Blake said. “Moses was alone on the mountain when God gave him the Pentateuch and the 10 Commandments. John was alone on the Isle of Patmos when he received the Revelation from Jesus Christ. Developing one’s relationship with God requires some time alone. Concentrating, meditating, artistic endeavors, writing, studying, requires periods of quietness. [It] requires some time alone with just you and God.”
“Some of man’s greatest accomplishments grow out of the time that somebody spent alone.”
“There are some things that God will do best in your life when He gets you alone with Him.”
“Sometimes so many other voices are speaking that you can’t even hear the voice of almighty God, so spend some time with God alone.”
“[Jacob’s] name was a reflection of his nature…and he needed an extreme makeover!”
“You need this word to come alive on the inside. You need it to speak directly to you.”
“Someone here’s saying, ‘I believe the Word of God. I believe that Jesus is the son of God, that He died for me and rose again. I believe it. But somehow, I need it to become significant in my life today.'”
“Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
“Is there anybody in here who feels that God has to have something else in store for you?”
“If you pray, God will show up.”
“Child of you can hold God to His Word. Whatever God says, God is bound to do.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
“God, your Word says thus and so, and I’m not going to let You go until You perform Your Word in my life!”
“When God enters into covenant with us, God will stand by the covenant. He’ll not leave us alone, but He’ll perform His Covenant in our lives.”
“You can take hold of God by taking hold of the Word of God.”
“Arm you spiritual arsenal and stock up in the Word of God.”
“Be confident that what He has promised – God will perform it!”
“You’ve got to fight because there’s something in you that’s fighting against God’s plan for your life.”
“God, I know I need you, and I know I can’t live without you!”
“Your spiritual man has to struggle against the flesh in order to overcome the flesh.”
“We’ve got to wrestle with ourselves. We have to be humble.”
“Bless my soul, bless my soul, bless my soul!”
“If you’re gonna deal with God, you’ve got to be determined; you’ve got to be focused.”
“You’re wrestling for your life, for your salvation, for your spiritual survival.”
“Are there any thirsty people in the house today?”
“God, if I have you, I have everything I need.”
“Many things you are entitled to; child of God, you’re going to lose them if you don’t take hold of them.”
“The spirit man is strengthened by the struggle.”
“We struggle for everything else: why not struggle for God?”
“Present your body a living sacrifice…that’s what God wants.”
“If you’re diligent…the Lord will cause your enemies who wrestled against you to be defeated.”
“I’m going to hold on in Faith; I’m going to trust you until you bring a miracle!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 32:22-28, Philippians 1:6, Hosea 12:3, Luke 1:45, Romans 4:25, Rom8:11, Romans 12:1, John5:4.
It’s been over a year since West Angeles has hosted one of its favorite visiting pastors, Reverend Harold Woodson. He graced the pulpit this Sunday in a message inspired by 1 Chronicles 29:3:
3 “Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver.”
Reverend Woodson began his relationship with Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and West Angeles Church of God In Christ over 45 years ago. In a look back to the 1960s, he reminded the saints of the church’s humble beginnings, and of the power they’ve summoned in the past to overcome and triumph over the many obstacles they’ve faced, even in building the great edifice of the cathedral on a plot of land where only a revival tent formerly stood.
“The greatest leader that I’ve known in the church of Jesus Christ is your Bishop, Charles E. Blake,” said Reverend Woodson. “He praised Bishop Blake’s consistency as a man of God, and his adherence to the Word of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
He also remembered the first time he heard the musical ministry of Pastor Andrae Crouch in 1967.
“We heard a sound that white people had not heard in gospel music,” Reverend Woodson said. “He never sleeps; He never slumbers’; ‘The blood will never lose its power. Through it all, I learned to trust in God’… [The music transcended] the lines of Black and white and gender. We will never be the same because of it.”
Reverend Woodson reminded West Angeles of its power as a congregation and as a people to persevere, and to remember to pave the way for others in the future.
Some of our favorite quotes from his sermon include:
“According to the Jewish calendar, 2015 is the year of breakthrough…moreover, you and I are to declare that this is the year of our breakthrough!”
“We must be prepared to answer the call of God for whatever, wherever, and however He wants us to follow.”
“We are going to see the greatest year in the history of this church”.
“It is a mindset. I, on purpose, set my attention to the things of God.”
“If I set my affection on God’s house, God has no choice but to set his affections on my house. Anybody here need a miracle in your house?”
“It doesn’t matter what kind of plans the devil has made, God will turn that thing around for you.”
“Do you remember where God brought you from?”
“How does your house look today compared to how it was 20 years ago? Has God been good to you?”
“My grandmother lived in a house that was never painted…You would call my grandmother ‘poor.’ But my grandmother was actually rich…We forget how good God’s been to us. We forget that if it wasn’t for the Lord on our side, what would we do? Where would we be?”
“In the beginning of this year, a bunch of you need to be reminded that everything you have is not yours…The reality is everything you have belongs to God.”
“God says, ‘I want you to learn to slide your hand into the glove of covenant with me.'”
“You don’t make 100 percent of your money. You make 90 percent so you can tithe the first fruits!”
“What does it mean for God to give you a breakthrough? What does it mean for God to turn things around in such a way that you cannot deny [Him]?”
“How can I forget what He’s done for me? How can I forget how He set me free? Some of you God has delivered from stuff you didn’t even know you had!”
“Has anybody here been blessed?”
“Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, I can help you. There was a fall in the garden, and the world’s been messed up ever since.”
“God sent His only begotten Son. The blood will never lose its power. It’s as real to you today as it’s ever been.”
“Some of you have got high in society; some of you have gotten rich; some of you have been blessed. Have you forgotten where God brought you out of?”
“When you remember where God brought you from, God will show you how to go the rest of the way.”
“Do you understand that God can make people who don’t even like you, bless you?”
“I hope to God the day never comes when you just hear ‘I have a dream’ and not think about it. Somebody paved the way.”
“Your Momma paved the way, your Daddy paved the way, your Granddaddy paved the way…Now, God wants you to pave the way for somebody else.”
The Official Celebration of Life Ceremony for beloved gospel music legend Andraé Crouch is scheduled to take place Tuesday, January 21 and Wednesday January 22 in the West Angeles Cathedral, located at 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Home-going celebrations for the Architect of Gospel Music are as follows:
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Public viewing: 2-5 p.m.
Special Celebration Concert: 7 p.m.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Funeral service: 11 a.m.
We are pleased to announce that each service will be streamed LIVE on Westa. TV
Crouch family requests:
In lieu of flowers, please send tax-deductible donations to:
Andraé Crouch Memorial Fund, c/o New Christ Memorial Church, 13333 Vaughn, Pacoima, CA 91340
Cards and letters may be sent to:
New Christ Memorial Church, 13333 Vaughn, Pacoima, CA 91340, Attn.: Mauri Jones
Service seating arrangements are being coordinated through the Crouch family.
The Brotherhood Organization Breakfast
Date: Sat January 17, 2015
Where: West Angeles Church Crystal Room
Price: $12 (Tickets Available At The Brotherhood Table in The Lobby
WOMEN ARE INVITED.
Pastor Andraé Crouch, known as the father of modern gospel music, has gone to be with the Lord on Thursday, Jan. 8.
The 72-year-old singer, producer and composer had been hospitalized since Jan. 3 at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in the Los Angeles area after suffering a heart attack, says USA today.
In a 2011 interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, Pastor Crouch talked about the power of great gospel songs to transcend the divide between religious and secular music.
“I think that some people still think that the formula other than gospel still is not strong enough to get that crossover appeal to people enough that they would play it all the time or non-church people would accept it, but I disagree. I think that if something’s really good and it touches that part of their heart that has been untouched or maybe it has been touched, but they never wanted to admit it, I think that when they get back to that, I think that we are still in a place that people enjoy it the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed.
“And I think that when we like songs in gospel and it hits that part of the soul or the mind that brings back familiarity to the person or to the listeners, I think we zero in on something that will always be needed.”
Elvis Presley recorded Crouch’s “I’ve Got Confidence” for his 1972 gospel album He Touched Me, and Paul Simon recorded his “Jesus Is the Answer” on 1974’s Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’.
Crouch also became the go-to vocal arranger for Los Angeles recording sessions that needed a gospel sound, working not only with Michael Jackson and Madonna but also Elton John, Quincy Jones, The Commodores, Diana Ross and Ringo Starr.
Pastor Crouch was a San Francisco native that grew up in the Church of in Christ and formed his first group by the age of 14. Crouch brought a contemporary pop and R&B melodic sensibility to gospel, making him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences in the 1960s.
Pastor Crouch went on to win seven Grammys, receive an Academy Award nod for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple and finally was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.
Reaction to the passing of Pastor Andraé Crouch was swift and mournful.
Just got a call..the architect of gospel music, Andre Crouch…has passed.
— Kirk Franklin (@kirkfranklin) January 9, 2015
The Legacy….The original Psalmist..Andre @andraecrouch You’re FOREVER LOVED.
— Byron Cage (@RealByronCage) January 9, 2015
May Pastor Andraé Crouch rest in peace as the pioneer for Gospel Music singing and shouting in the heavens. His legacy will continue to live on.
For the first Sunday sermon of 2015, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake calls on us to renew our commitment to God. The Church of God In Christ theme for 2015 is inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:
Christ’s extreme sacrifice calls for our extreme commitment.
“Individuals who’ve made extreme sacrifices, extreme commitments, and radical departures have transformed the world,” said Bishop in his sermon, giving examples of men as varied as Osama Bin Laden and Bill Gates as illustrations. “Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated because of his commitment to freedom and justice. Bishop CH Mason, because of his stance on war, came under scrutiny of the FBI. The Apostle Paul, radical servant of the Lord, ultimately was executed because of his commitment to Christ. God depends on us to Love and serve Him, and to do His will…God needs someone who will live for Him in Jesus’ name.”
Some of our favorite quotes from Sunday’s sermon:
“When God gives an assignment, He also gives the ability.”
“It’s not the package – it’s the medicine in the package.”
“If you don’t know Jesus, you’re spiritually dead.”
“A spiritually dead person is unresponsive to God.”
“Jesus articulated that greater love when He died for the sins of humanity.”
“Jesus was very man and very God.”
“How many of you know that the Lord is worth our praise?”
“There’s a promotion on the other side of your commitment: make a commitment unto the Kingdom of God” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
“It’s not you: it’s the God that’s in you.”
“God gives you the strength to endure.”
“That trial is working for you; that person that hates you is working for you.”
“What you see is temporary. Look at what you don’t see!”
“The Holy Ghost shows up to let you know that God is going to take care of you.”
“Jesus Christ not only died for us, He’s alive and well and in the room right now.”
“We need some radical servants in the church today!”
“God wants us to seek the righteousness of God.”
“Since He died for me and made the ultimate sacrifice, the least I can do is live Holy and live righteously.”
“God is love.”
“I love Him because he loved me first”.”
“Every day, we ought to serve God a little bit better.”
“God gets rid of folk who are lukewarm.”
“If you’re gonna be around me in 2015, be glad in the Lord: and rejoice!”
“The fire that you’re going through is going to set you free!”
“Raise your hand and say, ‘Since you died for me, I’ll live for you’! Say, ‘Yes!'”
“In 2015, say, ‘Yes, Lord…in my home; on my job, in my life: Yes, Lord, I will do Your will!'”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; 2 Corinthians 11:16; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Romans 8:6 Ephesians 2:1; John 15:13; Philippians 2:10-11; 1 Timothy 1:15; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 6:33; Revelation 2; Philippians 3:14; Revelation 3:14-16.
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