Bishop Blake Delivers Word on Love, Marriage

The West Angeles Church of God In Christ congregation was both entertained and enlightened by Bishop Blake’s lively, spirit-filled sermon on love and marriage titled, “Invite Jesus To Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage.” This entire sermon and more is available HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

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Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake delivered a wonderful sermon titled, “Invite Jesus To Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage,” a poignant lesson on love and marriage inspired by John 2:1-2. In the scripture, Jesus and his disciples were invited to a very special wedding, best known for the first of Jesus’s signs and miracles. However, “In the early days of the Christian church,” Bishop said, “many false and heretical teachers arose attempting to indoctrinate the church. One of the false doctrines that was taught was the assertion that marriage was adverse to the life of the Holy Spirit, adverse to the work of the church, and adverse to the will of God.”

Bishop Blake continues by saying that even today, many devalue the power and importance of marriage, preferring cohabitation, same-sex involvement, and raising children in single-parent homes.

Bishop also includes statistics which reveal the important balance created by marriage between a man and a woman, and the value provided to human development when children are raised by both parents within its confines.

“The traditional wedding ceremony says that marriage is an honorable estate Instituted of God,” Bishop preached, “signifying unto us a mystical union that’s between Christ and His church.”

Bishop Blake’s message was also a “sermon-within-a-sermon”; taking a humorous turn with his essay called, “Before You Fall In Love.”

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Marriage is commended by St. Paul to be honorable among all men, and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly, or lightly; but reverently discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God.”

“Even today, there are many who would depreciate the value and the importance of marriage.”

“I read a little while ago about ‘stage of life’ marriages: you marry one person for the first stage of your life and another person for the second stage… and so on.”

“It is undeniable, irrefutable, that human progress would have been radically retarded if God had not instituted marriage.”

“Nothing in creation was sufficient for Adam except Eve.”

“In taking woman out of man, God implied that woman was a part of man.”

“Whatever man did to womankind, he did to himself. If he abased and disrespected them, then he disrespected himself.”

“Anybody who knows anything about biology knows that the male and female bodies join together to constitute the reproductive unit.”

“One of the great and destructive challenges of our day is that so many children are being raised by one parent only. They need the parental couple to love them and to provide for them, and to model life for them.”

“God devised marriage. God ordained marriage. Marriage is a life-long, loving, committed relationship between a man and a woman.”- Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“God gave man a sexual nature, and God’s Word declares that the only context for sexual involvement is within the boundaries of marriage.”

“If we are so bold to feel that somebody ought to be sexually abstinent…how much more should we obey the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, Creator of the ends of the earth when He lays out the rules for our behavior?”

“A mother has no doubt of whether she’s the mother of the child or not. She knows that that’s her child. But a man needs some assurance as to whether he’s the father of not.”

“We desire exclusivity. The integrity of the family is essential for economic well-being.”

“Multiple families and divorce can devastate any wealth that a couple has accumulated.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘It’s cheaper to keep her!’”

“Marriage not only involves individuals, but it also involves their families.”

“When two individuals are backed by two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, and when parents and grandparents have married for life… the likelihood of generational, economic wealth and well-being skyrockets.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The children of single parents or children from broken homes face economic and emotional deprivation, and a variety of disadvantages.”

“When you marry somebody, you not only bring them into your family, but you bring their mom, their dad, their brothers and their sisters, and their grandparents into your family also.”

“Before you look for a wife, look at yourself. Do you have yourself together? Are you sane? Are you economically sound?”

“Do you have qualities of life and pursuits and dreams that you can share to enhance somebody else’s life?”

“Make sure that you love the Lord. ‘There are ways that seem right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.’
Be careful in your selection of a mate.”

“Some people are more careful about choosing their clothes, about choosing their apartment, choosing their car, than they are about choosing a marital mate.”

“I believe in marriage at first sight –  I also believe in taking a second look!”

“Wisdom and love need to drink form the same cup.”

Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church. – Ephesians 5:25

“I’m going to tell you how to prevent an unhappy marriage and how to prevent a divorce; and the way you do it is to marry the right person in the first place!”

“Her hair may be long and black…it’s a weave! Her teeth may be beautiful and white…they’re false! Her shape is out of sight…her hips are latex!”

“I know he came by in a fine car, but he stole that car. He’s hiding it, trying to keep it from being repossessed! He says he works days and at night he’s working on his master’s degree. He’s lying. He’s a drug pusher! ‘Oh, he has such big muscles!’ He should. He works out every day in jail!”

“Before you fall in love, put priority on spiritual and emotional excellence, not just on physical and erotic attractiveness.”

“The best way to tell what a person will do is to look at what a person has done.”

“Before you fall in love, make sure that person is available!”

“When two people love the Lord, who committed to the way of God, who believe the Word of God, and who believe in Christian principles, living, and raising their family, they’ve got a marriage that’s going to work and be Blessed.”

“Having a mutual commitment to Jesus Christ is a key area of compatibility in marriage.”

“Ephesians 5:25 says, ‘Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church’…The husband and wife have got to love one another like Jesus loved the church.”

“There are some who’ve said that it’s the role of the husband to love, and it’s the role of the wife to submit, but I would say that both the husband and the wife must love and submit… The bible says in 1 Peter 5:5, ‘All of you must submit to one another.'”

“Is there anybody in here glad that Jesus loved you?”

“No matter how you’ve lived; no matter what you’ve done; no matter who you’ve hurt, God loves you today!”

“Jesus can change your life!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 2:1, Genesis 2:18, Hebrews 13:4, Proverbs 14:12,  Amos 3:3, 2 Corinthians 6:14, Proverbs 3:5-6,   1 Peter 5:5-6, John 15:7, John 15:4-5 , John 15:13, Ephesians 5:25-27.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

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COGIC Signs 3-Year Agreement to Keep Holy Convocation in St. Louis

Memphis, TN (July 20, 2015) The Church of God in Christ has signed a new three-year agreement that will keep its largest convention in St. Louis, MO, through 2019.

The oldest African American Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), has decided to keep its largest annual convention, the Holy Convocation, in the city St. Louis, MO. The convention, which has exceeded over 30,000 attendees yearly since coming to St. Louis in 2010, has brought nearly $150 million to the regional economy over the past five years.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “The Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation is returning to St. Louis, Missouri, and the delegates and leaders of our denomination are excited. St. Louis has been the new home for our largest convention for five years now, and the hospitality that we have received while here has been great.”

Keith Kershaw, COGIC Director for the Office of Convention Planning says, “We have chosen to return to St. Louis through 2019 because we like St. Louis and from every indication, the city likes that we are a part of its convention schedule. As one of the largest, if not the largest convention (i.e. 2010-2013), St. Louis fits our needs and has proven to be a great match.”

The 2015 Holy Convocation is sure to have an overflow attendance. Special guest speakers recently announced include Bishop T.D. Jakes and Bishop Paul S. Morton.

About the Church of God in Christ:

The Church of God in Christ is the fourth largest Protestant religious denomination and the largest African American Pentecostal church in the United States, with churches in 63 countries worldwide and an estimated membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Church of God in Christ PR

[email protected]

www.cogic.org

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SERMON: Bishop Blake Delivers The Word on Love and Marriage

The West Angeles Church of God In Christ congregation was both entertained and enlightened by Bishop Blake’s lively, spirit-filled sermon on love and marriage titled, “Invite Jesus To Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage.” This entire sermon and more is available HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. _____ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake delivered a […]

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One Day Men’s Retreat

The Brotherhood is pleased to present a One Day Men’s Retreat, Friday July 10th at the North Campus. You will be blessed by anointed worship and the profound insight of Dr. Kenneth Hammonds, followed by a time of fellowship in the beautiful Crystal Room.

Save the date!

The Brotherhood would also like to invite you to their monthly breakfast, Saturday, July 18th. Don’t miss this opportunity to fellowship, share and learn with your Brothers in Christ! If you are a man at West Angeles, you are part of The Brotherhood!!!

Flyer Verbiage:
The Brotherhood Organization Presents A
One Day Men’s Retreat
Friday, July 10th at 7:00PM
North Campus Sanctuary

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Bubbles For Books

The Young Adult and Collegiate Ministries are hosting their annual ‘Bubbles 4 Books’ Car Wash at the 30th Street Parking Lot on July 20th from 8am – 1pm. Come on and get your car CLEANED!! The cost for cars is $10:00 and SUVS are $15.00.

President Barack Obama delivers a eulogy for the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney, at the TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., June 26, 2015. Obama called Pinckney, a state senator and pastor, a public servant of extraordinary empathy and devotion to the poor, who “embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

President Defines Meaning of Black Church in Rev. Pinckney Eulogy

President Barack Obama extolled the accomplishments and amazing life of Reverend and Democratic Senator Clementa Pinckney, the miracle of God’s Grace, and the true meaning of the African American Church during the eulogy he delivered in honor of Rev. Pinckney on June 26. The Reverend was slain, along with eight members of his congregation as they prayed and studied the Bible, in Charleston, South Carolina’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on the evening of June 17.

The President began his remarks at the memorial service by “giving all praise and honor to God,” then quoted a passage from the New Testament:

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. – Hebrews 11:13

President Obama eloquently described Rev. Pinckney as a model American citizen who came from a long line of Christian pastors, who exemplified Christian service, resilience, empathy, and fortitude, and who was beloved by his family and fellow U.S. senators.

The President went on to describe the African American church as representative of the true soul of America’s foundation, calling it “A sacred place…Not just for blacks, not just for Christians, but for every American who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this country; a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all.”

Racism, apathy, injustice, the Confederate flag, and gun violence were also included in the eulogy. The President ended by singing the hymn, “Amazing Grace,” accompanied by the thousands of memorial service attendees.

Highlights from this service follow:

“To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief. Our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church. The church is and always has been the center of African-American life, a place to call our own in a too often hostile world, a sanctuary from so many hardships.”

“Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety; praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout ‘Hallelujah!’ Rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad; bunkers for the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement.”

“[Black Churches] have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart, and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church.”

“That’s what the black church means. Our beating heart. The place where our dignity as a people is inviolate. When there’s no better example of this tradition than Mother Emanuel, a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because its founder sought to end slavery, only to rise up again, a Phoenix from these ashes.”

“When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, services happened here anyway, in defiance of unjust laws. When there was a righteous movement to dismantle Jim Crow, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached from its pulpit, and marches began from its steps.”

“A sacred place…Not just for blacks, not just for Christians, but for every American who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this country; a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all…That’s what the black church means” – President Barack H. Obama

“We do not know whether the killer of Reverend Pinckney and eight others knew all of this history. But he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act. It was an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches… as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress. An act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination; violence and suspicion. An act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin.”

“Oh, but God works in mysterious ways. God has different ideas.”

“He didn’t know he was being used by God. Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group — the light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.”

“…I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace. The grace of the families who lost loved ones. The grace that Reverend Pinckney would preach about in his sermons. The grace described in one of my favorite hymnals — the one we all know: ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found; was blind but now I see.’”

“We don’t earn grace. We’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it. But God gives it to us anyway. And we choose how to receive it. It’s our decision how to honor it.”

“For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present…Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty, or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without prospects for a job or for a career.”

“Maybe we now realize the way racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal.”

 “History can’t be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past” – President Barack H. Obama

“By recognizing our common humanity by treating every child as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born, and to do what’s necessary to make opportunity real for every American — by doing that, we express God’s grace.”

“Reverend Pinckney once said, ‘Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history — we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history. What is true in the South is true for America.’”

“ …Justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other; that my liberty depends on you being free, too. That history can’t be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past; how to break the cycle. A roadway toward a better world…the path of grace involves an open mind but, more importantly, an open heart.”

“If we can find that grace, anything is possible. If we can tap that grace, everything can change.”

“Clementa Pinckney found that grace. Cynthia Hurd found that grace. Susie Jackson found that grace. Ethel Lance found that grace. DePayne Middleton-Doctor found that grace. Tywanza Sanders found that grace. Daniel L. Simmons, Sr. found that grace. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton found that grace. Myra Thompson found that grace.”

“Through the example of their lives, they’ve now passed it on to us. May we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift, as long as our lives endure. May grace now lead them home. May God continue to shed His grace on the United States of America.”

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FOOTNOTES

John Newton, William Cowper. “Amazing Grace” from Olney Hymns.  England, 1779; page 53.

Eulogy transcript, courtesy, Whitehouse.gov (accessed 6/29/2015). https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/06/26/remarks-president-eulogy-honorable-reverend-clementa-pinckney

See the entire service below; video, courtesy, C-Span.