What is Palm Sunday?

What exactly is Palm Sunday? Why do we celebrate it? What are we celebrating?

Well, here’s a brief history…

At the time of Jesus, the Roman Empire was in control of Jerusalem. The enslaved people looked to a new king or hardened warrior to liberate them, but God had other plans. He blessed the people of Jerusalem with the King of all kings, their Savior and Ultimate Redeemer.

The gospels record the arrival of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey, while the crowds spread their cloaks and palm branches on the street and shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David” and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” to honor him as their long-awaited Messiah and King.

Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter, where we remember the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Matthew 21:1-11 recounts Jesus triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

21 Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Join West Angeles this Sunday, March 29, as we celebrate Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Jesus’ death and his Resurrection!

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Join Us for the Brotherhood Breakfast on Saturday!

The  West Angeles Brotherhood Organization wishes to invite all men and women to our monthly breakfast gathering (every third Saturday), which will take place this Saturday, March 21,  2015 at 8;30 a.m. in the Crystal Room.

This month, we will feature our own West Angeles CDC Executive Director Tunua Thrash- Intook, who will speak on “The awesome benefits provided by  your own Community Development Corporation.”

Come out and be blessed.

$12 tickets are available at the door.

Overcome Negative Circumstances And Negative Emotions – Bishop Charles E. Blake

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SERMON: Pastor Michael A. Stevens remembers “The Late, Great Church”

“Who left among you remembers the temple in its former glory?  And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?” Haggai 2:3

Twenty years ago, Dr. Michael A. Stevens was a young pastor, fresh out of divinity school, with his own small congregation, when he first heard the Word delivered by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake at the famous Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, CA.

“I remember Bishop told the Lord, ‘If you can do this for Robert Schuller, can’t you do something through me?’”

Now, as he stood on the pulpit at the beautiful West Angeles Cathedral in Los Angeles, ready to deliver a sermon of his own before Bishop Blake’s congregation of thousands, Pastor Stevens expressed feelings of humility and thankfulness for the experience, one, he says, he doesn’t take lightly.

“West Angeles, I just want to thank you on behalf of every church not only in black America, but in pentecostal America, Spirit-filled America, ecumenical America…I don’t know if there’s a church in the world [that has  the  global impact of] West Angeles.”

Pastor Stevens’ March 8 sermon, titled, “The Late, Great Church,” reminds us of the responsibility we all have to become active participants in the body of Christ, and for sustaining the legacy of the Christian church. He thanked Bishop Blake for the many years of “impeccable, integrity-filled, outstanding leadership,”  and he also thanked the congregation for sharing Bishop Blake with the rest of the world.

“West Angeles, you allow your pastor to lead the world,” Pastor Stevens said. “He is the face of Pentecostalism. The world owes a debt to you [Bishop Blake], and the West Angeles family.”

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“In his book, Courageous Leadership, Bill Hybels says, ‘The church is the hope of the world, and its success lies within the hands of capable leaders. I believe that the church is still today the bedrock of inspiration, of influence and of community impact; in fact, it is the seat of moral and ethical social preservation.”

“Whether it’s Ferguson, Missouri or Orlando, Florida, or anywhere in between, the church represents those who perhaps have no representation.”

“I love the church!”

“I know that we are often viewed in the media and in entertainment…as a place that is suspect; a place of shame, maybe even a place of scrutiny. We’ve been victimized as being intolerant or insignificant; maybe unimportant.”

“It won’t be the government, it won’t be the statehouse, it won’t even be our institutions of educational learning, but it will be the local church that is the hope of the world/” – Bill Hybels

“It never ceases to amaze me; the joy and laughter that preachers have when they come together as brothers.”

“I had this horrible dream…that there were groups of curious and inquiring people who were touring this very strange and very unusual facility…These structures were in major cities and in small towns alike. It was a horrible dream…These new museums of this generation used to be called: ‘the local church.’”

“The things we take for granted – coming to church on Sunday morning and praising the Lord and worshiping God -opening our Bibles and having Bible study, even sometimes on our jobs.”

“Today, the church is full of challenges, both outside and inside,”

“Christian persecution is worldwide…We feel persecuted when we’re not invited to the birthday party. We feel persecution when the preacher preaches 10-15 minutes too long…But Christians are being beheaded all over the world!”

“There’s the ongoing agenda of acceptance and tolerance from those in the LGBT community; the same-sex marriages and transgender campaigns are taking our country by storm.”

“When will the church draw a line in the sand?”

“I want to talk about the glory of the church; the glory and the power and the presence of God.”

“The church must be reminded it is not the master nor the servant of the state; but rather, it is the conscience of the state.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There are churches all over America right now…full of consumerism conveniences and cafeteria plans: ‘Give me a little of this and give me a little of that…I don’t want that doctrine…I’ll take some singing and I’ll take some shouting and we’ll speak in tongues and blow bubbles all day – but I don’t want no theology!’”

“We are non-committed, non-communal, non-covenant.”

“We hunger for the next TV reality show, but do we hunger for the Word?”

“God will shake a nation…God stirs within. God sets in order.”

“God, will you shake some people this morning?”

“Sometimes God shakes your life up. Sometimes it’s in our finances. Sometimes it’s in our physical health…Sometimes it’s a husband who won’t do right. Sometimes God shakes your faith, but there’s a reason and a purpose.”

“God did it in the days of Elijah, He did it in the days of Haggai. ‘Why,’ the writer of Hebrews says, ‘would God not do it now?’”

“I’m asking God to bring back the ‘wow factor.’ Bring back the awe of the church.” – Pastor Michael A. Stevens

“I know you can worship at home with the DVD, you can worship at home online, but there’s nothing quite like worshiping in the House of God!”

“Thank God for the church because it’s the only place I can go and ‘get my praise on’…Only in the church can I express my gratitude for all that God has done for me!”

“We are a spirited people! We are an emotional, sensational, ‘Give-God-the-best-glory’ type of people!”

“What you do unto God, God will bless.”

“You don’t have to worry when your time comes…No demon, no witch, no warlock, no one, can hinder or stop the miracle of God”.

“I want us to get back to work as a people. There has to be something…that God has given you…to do for the local church.”

“Let’s go back and find community with one another. Can we get back to loving one another? Can we get back to forgiving one another?”

“Can we forgive and forebear one another as Christ has forgiven us?”

“The true test of Christian maturity is not just your speaking in tongues and your shoutin’ and dancin’…but it’s your love for the bride…and the church is the bride of Christ.”

___

Pastor Michael A. Stevens founded University City COGIC (formerly Full Gospel Fellowship) in Charlotte, NC in 1994. The church started with two members. In 14 years, it has grown to over 1,500 members. Dr. Stevens currently serves as General Overseer of Covenant Churches and Ministries International. He also serves on both the Executive Board of the General Council of Pastors and Elders and the Foreign Missions/Middle East Region for the International Department of Evangelism for the Church of God in Christ. He is married to his college sweetheart, Pastor Sharon Stevens, and together they have three children: Michael Anthony Jr., Matthew Courtlin, and Charisma Lindsey.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Haggai 2:1-9, Judges2:10, Psalm137:4-6, Hebrews 12, Psalm 33:8, Acts5, Haggai 1:14, 1 Corinthians 15:58, 2 Peter 3:1, Psalm 33:1, John 9:4, Philippians 2:12, 2Thessalonians 3:12.

DID YOU KNOW? 

You can pay your tithes and offerings online at WestA.org!  Click HERE to make your donation now.

 

 

I’m Getting It All Back – Bishop Brandon Porter

This message speaks diligently to the fact of how people will criticize you before knowing your struggle.

 

 

Spring Forward!!!

Spring Forward!!! Don’t Forget To Set Your Clocks Forward By 1 Hour. Daylight Savings Time Begins March 8th, 2015 at 2 am and It Ends November 1, 2015 at 2 am.

One Night Revival with Evangelist Sandra Riley

West Angeles Church of God in Christ invites you to a One Night Revival with Evangelist Sandra Riley to pray for the future of West Angeles.

Date: March 15, 2015

Time:  7 p.m.

Where: 3045 Crenshaw Bl, Los Angeles, CA, 90016

Evangelist Sandra Riley Bio

 

Sermon: Bishop Blake Tackles Overcoming Negative Circumstances, Emotions

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches on overcoming negativity in his first sermon of March.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s First Sunday sermon for March 2015 was inspired by Psalm 18, which is titled, “God the Sovereign Savior.” David spoke the words of the Psalm to the Lord on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all of his enemies. David had been pursued by Saul, who’d called for David’s death many times.

“Certain things made David afraid. He mentions fear; he mentions sorrow; he mentions distress,” said Bishop Blake. “But one thing about Brother David,” Bishop went on to say, “is that even though he faced these negative emotions, he was under- girded with some firm convictions about God.”

Bishop Blake cited the uplifting principles of verses 1-3, which he used as the outline for his sermon, among other passages.

Bishop preceded his sermon with a moment of remembrance for Assistant Pastor Emeritus Marion Green, who passed away on February 23, 2015.

“Our hearts are heavy. Our hearts are a little bit broken. Someone who has been a fixture around West Angeles, a constant, consistent image, presence and blessing, has gone on to higher ground, on to a better place. [Elder Green] was such an excellent, excellent leader in the life of our church, who was with us almost from the beginning. Always ready to serve; always loving; always kind…A great and wonderful man of God. We’re going to miss him so very, very much.”

Highlights from Bishop’s sermon follow:

“One of the most important abilities a person can have is the ability to endure and rise above negative circumstances and emotions.”

“It was Samuel Lover who said, ‘Circumstances are the rulers of the weak, but they are the instruments of the strong.’”

“Napoleon said, ‘Circumstances? I make circumstances!’”

“The same circumstances that will destroy and devastate one person will make and develop another person.”

“Arnold Toynbee said, ‘Great civilizations are not born in circumstances where everything is nice or where everything is beautiful; but rather, in environments that are unusually difficult.’”

“It’s not your circumstance, t’s how you respond to your circumstances, that is the important thing.”

“Some people don’t need a reason to hate you. They just find out that somebody else hates you, and they’re gonna hate you, too! Does anybody know anything about haters?”

“Don’t be surprised when people hate you. Just be glad when you find some folk that love you.”

“If you live, you’re going to have enemies.”

“When you’re in the midst of wickedness all around you, it begins to drain your spirit and drain your enthusiasm for righteousness – if you’re not careful.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“People are afraid today. They’re afraid about their marriage. They’re afraid about holding onto their job…They’re afraid for their children…and then there are some folk that are afraid, and they don’t know what they’re afraid about!”

“If I can get you depressed, I can defeat you.”

“Austin O’Malley said, ‘Sorrow, like rain, makes roses and mud.’ That same sorrow, if you allow God to use it, can create a rose garden in the middle of your mud.”

“One thing about Brother David is that even though he faced these negative emotions, he was under-girded with some firm convictions about God!”

“If you know God, you ought to be able to overcome negative emotions better than some folk who don’t know God.”

“Whenever you see those words ‘OH LORD’… that’s a tetragrammaton to replace the word ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’…that let’s you know the name of our God.”

“Nothing else defines God but God Himself!”

“God spoke out of a bush that was burning, but not consumed.”

“God doesn’t need any fuel to burn!”

“God can send fire, and He needs no fuel for the fire to burn…If our world could do that, then nations could stay at home, and not be out somewhere trying to take somebody else’s oil!”

“God speaks to the things that be not as though they were…and if God wants to create something out of nothing, God can do it. And if God wants to bring life out of death, then God can do it. And Jesus proved that when He died on the cross; nails in His hands, nails in His feet, but on the third day morning He got up!”

“With God, nothing is impossible! Does anybody know God? Does anybody trust God? I’m gonna rely on GOD! Clap your hands! Give praise!”

“When you have a God like that, you’ll stop telling your God about your problems, and start telling your problems about your God!”

“God loves you with an everlasting Love.”

“God wants you to love Him; and if you love Him, He’ll work it out for you”.

“The psalmist says, ‘I’m going to overcome my negative circumstances; I’m going overcome my negative emotions by loving the Lord.’”

“My love for God will cause me to hold onto God, no matter what else happens in my life.”

“If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overwhelmed by worry. If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overcome by fear.”

“Neighbor, put it down…Cast all your burden on Him, because He loves you. He’ll take care of you”.

“God is courteous…He will not come in until you call Him. If you call Him, He’ll hear your prayer.”

“Does anybody know He’s an on time God?”

“Are there any over-comers in the house? Let all the over-comers give God a cheer!”

“I’m not gonna let fear destroy me; I’m not gonna let negative circumstances drag me down… I’m not gonna let the world take my salvation; steal my joy… I shall be saved!”

“Child of God, don’t throw in the towel; Child of God, don’t give up. Your best days are still ahead…Tell your neighbor, ‘Keep going! Hold on! Halleluiah!’ ”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Psalm 18:1-4 ,“Proverbs 18:14, Psalm 46:1-2; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:28, Matthew 22:37, John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 40:31, Job 1:13-22, 2:8-9, 23:10.

 

It’s All About Love…Part 1

Love. We sing about it. We make movies about Love. Writers devote entire careers to it. History tells us that some men have even fought wars over it, while others seem determined to destroy it.

The world has even set aside one whole day in February each year in honor of love. The shops become filled with all things red, pink and heart-shaped, as we turn to thoughts of romance, candle-lit dinners…or of another dreaded evening spent alone.

Now that the last of the candy hearts, scented candles and silk rose petals are in storage, (only replaced by pastel eggs and chocolate bunnies), are we finding ourselves any closer to love, or is today just another day?

The truth is, God designed us with love, for love, to love. But before we talk about what love is, we’d better define what it isn’t.

1. Love isn’t seasonal. Love isn’t “here today, gone tomorrow.” Love, like God, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). You either love, or you don’t.

2. Love cannot be bought or sold. In Matthew 6:24 (NIV), Jesus tells his disciples that “you cannot serve both God and money.” And if God is love (1 John 4:8), money has no bearing on love either!

3. Society can’t define it. Celebrity, fashion trends, race, social standing, educational achievement, country of origin, political party, skin tone, sports team, zodiac sign’ none of things that our society seems to hold in high regard can actually decide, define or dictate what love is.

4. It isn’t something you do “on the way past.” You can’t “fall out of love” if you’ve ever truly loved at all. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Love is actually the thing that keeps you present and in the game (Ephesians 4:2).

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) says:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Verse eight goes on to say that love never fails. Why? Because love transcends all things. If you’re looking for love, know that above all, love is a way of life.

 

Look for PART II of our series on Love on. http://WWW.WESTA.ORG