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Mother Ruth Mason Lewis, Daughter Of COGIC Founder, Dies at Age 95

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The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) mourns the passing of Mother Ruth Mason Lewis, the daughter of COGIC founder Bishop Charles Harrison Mason.

Mother Ruth Mason Lewis has died at the age of 95. The last remaining daughter of COGIC founder Bishop Charles H. Mason, Mother Mason Lewis transitioned to Glory early Saturday morning, November 28, 2015.

Born on September 16, 1920, Mother Mason Lewis was the youngest of six children, born to Bishop Charles Harrison and Lelia Washington Mason.

“Mother Ruth Mason Lewis was a treasure to the Church of God in Christ. Her legacy as an incredible woman in the church will always be honored and remembered.”

~Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

In 1948, Ruth Mason married Robert S. Lewis, Jr., owner of the R.S. Lewis & Sons Funeral Home in Memphis, TN. Robert and Ruth were married 64 years and had two children.

The funeral services will be Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 10 a.m at the Pentecostal Temple COGIC, 229 South Danny Thomas Blvd., Memphis, TN where Bishop Charles Harrison Mason Patterson, Sr. is pastor. Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. will deliver the eulogy.

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the World and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in over 70 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 Million adherents.

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SERMON: Bishop Blake Reminds us to Have Faith

41 And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and the two fish He divided among them all – Mark 6:41 

For his Sunday, November 15 sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake taught us a lesson in faith and trust in God, turning to Mark 6 and the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitudes as his inspiration. After witnessing the miracles Jesus performed, even his disciples still “had trust issues,” preached Bishop. But he went on to say, “To doubt God is to doubt God’s power. To doubt God is to doubt God’s promises”.

Bishop Blake, who had just returned from what he described as “the greatest Convocation in COGIC history,” opened his sermon with a prayer for the congregation:

“Lord, somebody needs You to change things. They need You to change things in their home. They need You to change things in that hospital room. They need You to change things on their job. Somebody needs You to change things in their finances, in their economic situation. Father, reaching out our arms toward You, if You withdraw yourself from us, where, oh where, shall we go? Let this be a day of miracles, a day of blessing, a day deliverance, in the name of Jesus. Thank God, Amen.”

The entire sermon titled, “Remember the Fish and the Loaves (Remember the Fish and the Bread),” can be found HERE, on WESTA Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“The Bible describes 37 of Jesus’ miracles.”

“The disciples had trust issues. They were charged with being forgetful, thick-skulled, hard-hearted…They did not remember two specific miracles that Jesus had performed by the power of Almighty God.”

“The Bible screams out to the disciples, and it screams out to us, ‘Remember the loaves, remember the fish. Think about the loaves. Think about the fish.’”

“If Jesus was to carry on His work, he would need disciples who trusted Him, who had faith in him.”

“Every person is discontent when another person deems them untrustworthy.”

“If a person cannot trust you, if they cannot believe that you will keep your commitments to them, they will not be confident in keeping their commitments to you.”

“What if you no longer trusted your employer to provide you with a check at the end of your work period? What if you no longer trusted the caretaker who watches over your infant child while you are at work? What if you no longer trusted your wife, your husband, your doctor or your best friend? Life would be miserable if not impossible without trust.”

“This is what the Lord says to the church today. Give people something that will nourish their lives.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The best indicator for what a person will do is what a person has done.”

“Love should also be considered in whether or not you can trust somebody.”

“Much of what we need to learn about trust can be learned from these two miracles.”

“Jesus said to the disciples, ‘You give them something to eat.’ This is what the Lord says to the church today. Give people something that will nourish their souls and nourish their spirits. Give them something that will nourish their lives”

“Child of God, if you came in here hungry for a Blessing, if you came in here looking for a miracle, the Lord Jesus said, ‘I will not send you away fasting!’”

“Everybody ate. Everybody was filled.”

“Worry never helps. Worry never accomplishes anything. Worry incapacitates you…Worry makes life miserable but does not produce anything…God knows what you need, so don’t worry.”

“Stop being afraid! Stop being concerned about your success. God will provide everything that you need and everything that you desire.”

“God is the same in the Old Testament. He’s the same in the New Testament when He raised Jesus from the dead.” -Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“It’s your job to obey. It is your job is to trust. God is all-powerful…and God is in Love with you.”

“To doubt God is to doubt God’s power. To doubt God is to doubt God’s love. To doubt God is to doubt God’s wisdom. To doubt God is to doubt God’s promises.”

“God is the same God as He was in the Old Testament; He’s the same God in the New Testament when He raised Jesus from the dead; He’s the same God right now! In the name of Jesus! Halleluiah!”

“The disciples had trouble catching this. They did not know how to chill. They just didn’t get it.”

“Some people are that way. Every time they get a chance to doubt, they doubt.”

“If God did it once, God can do it again!”

“God loves to work with inadequate resources…in fact, God can work with nothing.”

“James Cleveland said, ‘When there’s no food on the table, get your knife, get your fork, and sit down at the table. Say the Blessing, because the God I serve is able!”

“The disciples didn’t know how to chill. They just didn’t get it!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“God loves His children and will meet their needs.”

“God can transcend the natural order anytime He wants to. God is a supernatural God. God is a God of miracles.”

“If God can’t do it, it can’t be done.”

“What’s impossible with men is possible with God.”

“Child of God, I don’t know you’re need. I don’t know your predicament. But I know God is able to fix it!

“Neighbor, you’ve got to go back to the source. Go back and get your healing. Go back and get your Blessing. Go back and get your miracle. Every day, you’ve got to go back to Jesus.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Mark 6:30-56; Mark 8:1-9, 14; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:36; 1 Corinthians 1:27, Ephesians 3:20-21, John 15:3-5; Matthew 5-7; Mark 11:24; John 14:6.

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DID YOU MISS THE HOLY CONVOCATION? The 108th HOLY CONVOCATION is now available on DVD. Recapture highlights of the 2015 Holy Convocation in this memorable collection of all the weeks sermons. Click HERE to order.

Practical Christian wisdom: when God speaks, obey Him.

Elder Richard Brooks Shares Practical Christian Wisdom

In this edition of “The Elders’ Corner,” Elder Richard Brooks shares pearls of wisdom on purpose, understanding enemies, and allowing God to use our lives to Bless others.

Every strong faith, culture or society makes room for the impartation of wisdom from its Elders, and the Church of God in Christ is no exception. The Bible provides us with such wisdom, and the Elders of the church are among those who teach and pass on that wisdom to others.

Elder Richard L. Brooks was raised in the church, and has been infused with Biblical wisdom and COGIC tradition through his grandmother, through YPWW (COGIC’s Youth Training Union), and through Prayer & Bible Band, the oldest organized auxiliary in the Church of God in Christ. A quiet, humble man, Elder Brooks has always had a fascination with education and Christianity, and is always seeking words of wisdom in the Bible.

He now passes on generations of tradition and wisdom through his Sunday School classes, during New Members’ Orientation, and as Program Coordinator of West Angeles’ School of Practical Christian Living.

In this edition of The Elders’ Corner, we’re blessed to have Elder Richard L. Brooks share some pearls of wisdom with us.

ON PURPOSE

“A lot of people talk about having an experience with God, but they don’t have any experience because they don’t listen. They know what they want to do and they go after that…That’s the biggest mistake we make. We are taught to make that mistake.”

“You’d be surprised at how many people have no idea what they are called to do. And it’s simply because they have not sought the Lord.”

“We ask our children from the time they’re little, what do you want to be? What are you going to be when you get grown? We tell our children to decide what they want to be. We don’t teach our children to seek the Lord. We don’t do that…we do not do that.”

“Children…they don’t know what they’re capable of…only God knows.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea. A good idea, anybody can do it. But a God idea…only the person God gives it to can do it, because He only gives you a part of it at a time.”

“God will say, ‘Do this,’ and you do it, then it comes to a standstill. You can’t go further because you don’t know what to do. Then sometimes you say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll try to do this over here’ – but it don’t work. God does not give you the whole program.”

ON OBEYING GOD

“The Lord is ‘hinkty!’ If He tells you something, and you don’t appreciate it enough to get up and write it down, He’ll let you forget it, and all you’ll have is the knowledge that ‘The Lord told me something…and I can’t remember what it was!’ You know that it’s something that you need, because every now and then, way down the line, you’ll hear it again.”

“God is telling you, ‘When I give you something, write it down!’ When He said (in Habakkuk 2:2), ‘Write the vision; make it plain, so that those who read it may run…,’ the Lord’s not in the business of telling us things just so we can forget it. God has something He is trying to tell us.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“You have to stay in harmony with what God’s doing, because if you get out of harmony with what He’s doing, He’ll quit, and you’ve got nothing, because it all came from Him.”

“It’s important that we remember what the Lord tells us because God knows that the devil is waiting…just waiting…”

ON ENEMIES

“You’ll run into people who look at your success, and they’ll think it’s you, and they don’t realize it’s God. They want to tap into it. ‘Oh, I want to do that.’ But you can’t give them what you’ve got because it was given to you.”

“You’d be surprised at the enemies you’ll make while you’re busy working, trying to do what the Lord says. But somebody over there is plotting, setting you up to stab you in the back. It puts you in a position where you’re totally dependent on God.”

“When you get involved with the work of the Lord…you’re not going to be happy a lot of times. Folk will make you unhappy. They’re gonna see to it that you’re unhappy, because they’re unhappy. You’ve got to be able to throw that off and keep on going.”

ON HEAVEN

“People think when they get to Heaven, they’re gonna see the Holy Ghost. No, you ain’t gonna see the Holy Ghost…It’s a Spirit.”

“When Jesus said ‘I’m going to prepare a place for you’ – He said ‘a place,’ but it’s a body…’In my Father’s House there are many a mansions’… John said, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth coming down out of heaven.’ God don’t need Earth. He’s Spirit. Earth is natural. Christ is telling us…the people who need earth will have a body.”

“Paul talks about, ‘The mortal must put on the immortal’ bodies. You won’t be floatin’ around, eatin’ milk and honey!”

“Peter said, ‘Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and new earth wherein righteousness dwelleth.’ There’s something coming, but God doesn’t tell us. Paul said, ‘I saw it, but I can’t tell you. He won’t let me tell you.”

“Nothing that we can imagine approaches what God has prepared for them that love Him. It’s beyond our human imagination. If people are already jumping off bridges and taking poison trying to get there, imagine if we had an idea of what it would be like!”

“There are people who just want to end it all. But they don’t realize, you don’t end nothing. You’re gonna live forever. It’s where you’re gonna live that’s the thing.”

ON LIVING A CHRISTIAN LIFE

“Most of us don’t read the Bible because we don’t understand it. We read Psalms, but the Psalms don’t tell us a lot of things.”

“We’ve got to learn that just because we’re saved, we’re speaking in tongues, we love the Lord and so forth, it does not mean that we know what we need to do. We don’t know.”

“Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“Our will is not God’s Will. What we want to do 99.9% of the time is different than from what God wants us to do. Now, God will show us and tell us, and our reaction? ‘Ooooo, that’s going to hurt. I don’t know if I can do that!’”

“When you get in His Will, that’s when your life takes off. This is why Jesus said, ‘I do always those things to please My Father.’ It’s not our will, it’s God’s Will.”

“If you want the Lord to lead you, find out from Him what He wants you to do and you’ll be way up the line.”

“We must ask, ‘What does God want me to be? What does it take for me to be what the Lord wants me to be? How am I supposed to live and be a Christian?’ Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do. That’s Practical Christian Living.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 16:10-12, Isaiah 55:6-7, Habakkuk 2:2, John 8:29, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 21:1-2; John 14:1-4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 15:53; John 5:30.

Elder Richard Brooks is Program Coordinator for West Angeles’ Christian Education Department and its School of Practical Christian Living. A product of the Church of God in Christ, Elder Brooks acknowledged his call to ministry in 1953, preaching his first sermon that same year at Lockett Temple COGIC in Detroit, MI. He was ordained in 1967, and has served in various capacities within the Church of God in Christ, including District President of the Young People’s Willing Workers Department (YPWW), Pastor, and Sunday School Teacher, which he continues to do to this day. Elder Brooks encourages believers to practice Biblical concepts through daily application of its principles. He continues to direct, guide and serve the people of God through preaching, teaching, and living the Word.
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DO YOU WANT TO LEAD A ORE ENRICHED LIFE FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE? THE SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING (PCL) offers classes such as Integration of Faith, Community and Service, What Am I Called Of God To Do and more. Learn to be the best Christian you can be by applying biblical principles and practices to your everyday life. Join us for the next session! For more information call (323) 733-8300, Extension 2366.

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#PrayForParis, #PrayForTheWorld

On Friday, November 13, the city of Paris, France endured its worst case of lost lives since World War II. Suicide bombing, mass shootings and hostage events took place across the city, in what has been labeled a terrorist attack and credited to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL or ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). At least 129 people are confirmed dead and hundreds of others were injured.

In addition to the Paris attacks, 43 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a suicide bombing in Beirut, an attack also thought to be carried out by ISIS.

It’s been a difficult week and year for the world, as violence for the sake of violence, and violence that is religiously-charged, runs rampant. With that said, West Angeles Church of God in Christ asks for your prayers for those affected by the Paris and Beirut attacks, and other atrocities that have taken place in Nigeria, Jordan, Lebanon and other areas of the world in 2015.

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108th CONVOCATION: Bishop Blake Officiates the Lord’s Day Worship Celebration

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. gave a compelling, inspirational sermon to bless the saints in attendance for The Lord’s Day Worship Celebration.

Second Assistant Presiding Bishop Jerry W. Macklin led the Sunday morning Convocation program at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO, on the final day of the 108th Annual COGIC Convocation on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Bishop Macklin declared, “Everything the devil has planned, God cancelled it right now!”

After the Affirmation of Faith and Scripture readings of the day were presented by COGIC General Board members, International Supervisor of Women Mother Willie Mae Rivers gave a wonderful greeting and recap of the week’s Convocation events. General Secretary Bishop J.H. Lyles presented the announcements for the Holy Communion Celebration and other remaining events later that evening, and for the General Assembly session scheduled for Monday, November 9.

Sunday’s musical selections included the C.H. Mason Memorial Choir’s powerful rendition of “What A Mighty God We Serve” led by Psalmist Sharon Jackson, the Sermonic selection, “My Help,” delivered with grace and elegance by operatic soprano Lady Audrey Dubois Harris, and the mighty COGIC anthem, sung by the Choir and the entire Convocation delegation, accompanied by the blowing of the shofar.

Bishop P.A. Brooks, First Vice President of the Church of God In Christ, gave a wonderful, insightful introduction and biography of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.:

“Spiritual and political crises,” Bishop Brooks began, “have functioned to produce new leadership for a given generation. During such periods, God raises up leaders to be sources of inspiration and witness…God anoints someone to be the voice of conscience for the voiceless, the widows, and the orphans…Thus, it is, in the strictest sense of the word, ‘a Calling,’ one that requires exceptional integrity, courage, and a wisdom that comes from above. In our time, we, the members of the Church of God In Christ, recognize and appreciate that God has raised up, from among us, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, a leader that the times demand.”

Presiding Bishop Blake presented awards, acknowledgements, and praises for every leader in the denomination, as well as Bishops and Ministers from other denominations who were in attendance. He shared with the delegation, “A battle is going on in this place today. The devil and all of his allies are joining together to try to stop you from receiving the Blessing that the Lord has in store for you, to stop you from receiving your miracle, to stop you from getting your healing…But I proclaim that you shall have victory over the enemy. This I going to be a time of healing! A time of Blessing! Clap your hands and give praise for what God is going to do in your life! Give Him Praise!”

Selections from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “God Has Your Back” follow:

”Isn’t it strange how when something we really depend on disappears, it almost seems that God Himself has disappeared?”

“At every point along the way, God gave the people a visible symbol of His presence, of His favor.”

“When God chooses a provision for His people or for an individual, it is, in a very special way, just what they need.”

“We don’t know what’s best for us. We need to learn how to allow God to lead, and let God do the choosing for us. The best prayer we can pray is, ‘Lord, Thy will be done.’ Any way You Bless me, I’ll be satisfied.”

“Some of us become filled with doubt and apprehension when God moves on us. We wonder, ‘Has God moved because I’ve committed some kind of sin? Has God moved because He’s angry? Am I being punished because of something I’ve done in the past?’ God has not moved because He’s angry. He’s not moved to punish you. God is a creative God. God is a God of infinite wisdom. There are times when God will do new things just because He’s God.”

“The greater the level to which He’s going to carry you, the greater the trial that the Lord is going to carry you through, to get you to that level He has in mind for you.”

“The further you intend to shoot the arrow, the more pressure you put on the bow” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“The Lord knows our capacity. He knows how much we can bear. When God stretches us back …and back, and back, then releases us, we go further than we’ve ever been able to go.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘You can bear it! You can take it!’”

“Sometimes God moves because we’re too manifestation-focused. We’ve got to learn to have faith in God and trust in God, even when there is no manifestation.”

“He’s God everywhere, and He’s God at all times.”

“When you see no signs of God’s presence, that sometimes means He’s nearer than He’s ever been before” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Is there anybody in here who sometimes wished they had somebody to watch their back?”

“If our enemies knew our past, they would use our past to destroy our future. God works behind us. He’s straightening it out in the name of Jesus.”

“This is my Bible. It is the Word of God. I am what it says I am. I’ve got what it says I’ve got. I can do what it says I can do. And my Bible says, ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me!’”

“God also goes behind us to show us some of the good things that He’s done for us in the past.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I can do it in the name of Jesus!’”

“Sometimes what we’re reaching for is the very thing we don’t need. God will snatch it away, that He might give us something better.”

“Sometimes our plans conflict with the plans of God” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Hold on until morning time!”

“Jesus humbled Himself. He humbled Himself unto death. Now God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that’s above every name. When you humble yourself and obey God, God will take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.”

“Neighbor, you may have to go through it, but I see you coming out in victory!”

“Don’t cry. If you cry, that’s a sign of unbelief!”

“When God moves behind you, keep on obeying the Word of God. Keep living holy, hold on unto the Lord!”

“Go forward! God does not want us to stop, just because our circumstances change. Things may change, but hold on to God.”

“As Bishop Jakes said, ‘It may be rough, but just keep on walking. It may be tough, but just keep on walking!”

“When God moves behind you, your past cannot destroy your future” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“’I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll, I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul. But I heard the voice of my Savior, telling me still to fight on, He promised, oh, He promised, never to leave me, never to leave me alone’ [1]. Tell two people, ‘Never, never alone! God has your back!”

“Your God is fighting for you!”

“God has your back! God is all around you! God will take care of you! It’s alright!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 14:15-21, 12:37, 13:20; Isaiah 52:12, 43:19; Job 23:3, Micah 7:19, Psalm 34:19, 2 Timothy 3:12, Psalm 30:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 54:17, Deuteronomy 28:2-3, Psalm 23:6.

[1] Hymn, “Never Alone”, Anonymous/Unknown, pub.1892. Copyright, public domain.

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SERMON: Bishop T.D. Jakes on the Pain of Recovery

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, ‘Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

On Friday evening, November 6, 2015, Evangelist Joyce Rodgers led the saints in rousing praise, welcoming Bishop T.D. Jakes to the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation, and sharing with the saints that this is the most wonderful time of the year for God to do something supernatural, something miraculous.

“If you believe ‘big’ is coming to your house,” shouted Evangelist Rodgers, “just scream, ‘Big!’ If you believe your children are about to do something big, just scream, ‘Big!’ The acronym BIG stands for ‘Believe In God.’ If you believe in God, scream ‘It’s already done!’”

Also on hand were Nate Miles, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Eli Lilly and Company, who thanked COGIC for years of partnership in helping the needy worldwide. He presented a check for $50,000 from the company toward those initiatives.

Prior to Bishop Jakes’ sermon, Superintendent Michiah James Young, Sr. preached the opening Word inspired by Genesis 32: 24. He gave a miraculous praise report about His mother who had heart attack last year, resulting in surgery. He and his family prayed for her before the surgery, and were subsequently told by the surgeon, “I don’t know what happened, whatever you did, but it worked. The [heart] damage we saw wasn’t there when we went in!”

Present to perform the sermonic selection was Minister Melonie Daniels-Walker, who sang a beautiful rendition of “There’s Something About That Name.”

Bishop T. D. Jakes also gave a miraculous testimony about recovering from back surgery, intense pain, and paralysis in the same week he was to speak to the delegation at the COGIC Convocation. But God explained his pain, telling him, “The enemy is trying to shut you down, because I’m going to send you to St. Louis to tell my servants that everything that the devil held up, everything that’s been under attack…without fail, you will recover all!”

The Friday evening Holy Convocation service was broadcast live on The Word Network, sending the services around the world.

Highlights from Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon, “The Pain Of Recovery”, follow:

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, “Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.”

“There’s too much Holy Ghost in here not to bind the devil in this place tonight!”

“If you have no sense of destiny, you have no sense of God.”

“When all Hell is raging, God has a plan. And if you know that plan and walk in that plan, you don’t have to worry about what people say. You don’t have to worry about the winds blowing or the storms coming because if God be for you…Somebody shout, ‘Amen!’”

“I have learned that the attacks that come against you are indicative of the fact that you have an appointment with destiny.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do.”

“It’s going to cost you something to win this fight.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

“The more anointed, the more gifted, the more you are a child of destiny, the more you will be attacked privately for what God wants to do in your life.”

“The more God uses you publicly, the more the enemy will attack you privately, because he knows that you’re headed somewhere.”

“It’s one thing to fight your enemy when you’re fresh, but it’s another thing to fight him when you’re tired.”

“Isn’t it funny how you can be mighty in one area and vulnerable in another?”

”Is there anybody in here who’s been knocked to their knees?”

”It is possible to be a public success and still come home and be a private failure.”

“Somewhere, before you get your credentials, you’ve got to go through some smoke. I wish I had some ‘smoky folks’ in here, folk who had been through some fires, some tests, some trials!”

“The same people who fought with him are now ready to fight against him, because when people get hurt, they love to hurt others.”

“I want to talk to some people who have gone through something that shocked you. Knocked the wind out of you…and you wondered how you were going to make it through this.”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight. He had a Promise from God that he would get the victory, but not without a fight. Not without pain.”

“The devil doesn’t want you to praise Him. He doesn’t want you to believe Him…Hell is nervous and demons are trembling, but open your mouth and say, ‘I’m going to get it back!’”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight”Bishop T.D. Jakes

“You will recover all; that means your money, that means your house, that means your focus, that means your dignity! You shall recover ALL!”

“Your glory is coming back. Your anointing is coming back. Your church is coming back. Your faith is coming back. Everything that the devil has been attacking is coming back, and the Lord wanted you to hear it!”

“The devil is fighting against you, but recover it! The house is divided, but recover it! Wake up! Recover all!”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘Neighbor, excuse me; you go ahead and be cute, but I’ve got to give God some praise! I’ve got a devil to fight!”

“I’ve gone from survival to success, but I’m coming back. I may not see it I may not feel it but I want the devil to know I’m going to get it back…TONIGHT! Somebody shout ‘Yeah!”

“Lose yourself in the Holy Ghost and give God praise!”

“Take it!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES -1 Samuel 30:1-8.

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Ministerial and business visionary, entrepreneurial trailblazer, altruistic philanthropist, and spiritual shepherd to millions around the globe, Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes, Sr., founded Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, his first pastorate, in 1979.  He now pastors The Potter’s House, a multiracial, nondenominational church with 50-plus active outreach ministries, which has grown to more than 30,000 members. The Potter’s House as a nonprofit organization has produced four major national conferences – The Pastors’ and Leadership Conference, ManPower, Woman, Thou Art Loosed (WTAL), and MegaFest. Bishop Jakes is also the founder of TDJ Enterprises through which he employs his other aptitudes as author, songwriter, filmmaker and playwright. Bishop Jakes lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with his wife Serita and their five children. 

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SERMON: Bishop Paul Morton Opens the 108th Holy Convocation

Bishop Paul S. Morton served the saints plenty of humor and food for thought during his opening sermon for the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Mayor of St. Louis, Francis G. Slay, gave a heart-felt welcome to the attendees, delegates, and other officials present for the official first day of the 108th Annual Holy Convocation of the Church of God In Christ, on Tuesday November 3, 2015. Mayor Slay praised the effect that COGIC’s presence and uplifting spirit has on the city of St. Louis year after year.

Others on hand for opening remarks at St, Louis’ America’s Center included Michael McMillan, President and CEO at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, who commended COGIC for providing healing and support on the ground during the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, MO, and for partnering with the Urban League on “Community Caring and Sharing” initiatives. McMillan also presented Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake with the Whitney M. Young Community Award.

Other events for which the Church of God In Christ was praised throughout the evening were the COGIC Health Fair, COGIC Urban Initiatives Job Fair, “COGIC Clean-up” events, where volunteers commenced to cleaning up the city of St. Louis, “COGIC read,” where COGIC members read to children in the St. Louis schools, and “Christmas in November,” an event providing hot meals, personal hygiene, haircuts, job prospects, and health screenings to those in need. The events are an extension of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.’s COGIC Urban Initiatives.

The COGIC’s International Music Department, under the direction of Dr. Judith Christie McAlister, was in wonderful form for the evening. Among the songs performed by The C.H. Mason Memorial Choir was a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful, which included a new refrain, “Pray for the USA.”
Also among those who traveled to St. Louis for the Convocation were two Messianic Pentecostal Hebrews who committed to joining the Church Of God In Christ denomination.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake presented the speaker for the evening, Bishop Paul S. Morton, founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Bishop Morton started his sermon by sharing the principle of preparing to receive God’s Word, praying: “The educated mind can kill the Word…place the spirit over the mind.”

Highlights from Bishop Morton’s sermon, titled “Dealing With Impossibilities” follow:

“Perception unchallenged becomes reality, because we really know…that all things are possible with Him if you can just believe.”

“In this story…Jesus is challenging us to rise with Him to another and higher type of life than we normally live. What He’s telling us is, ‘Maximize your potential; maximize that unexposed ability that untapped strength.’”

“You’re not just average…Do you know what average means? Being on top of the bottom.”

“Jesus became what we are so we could become what He is.”

“Perception unchallenged becomes reality” – Bishop Paul S. Morton

“The devil can smell fear and that’s dangerous because the devil will attack you because God has not given us the spirit of fear. He’s given us power. He’s given us love. He’s given us a sound mind.”

“The Disciples are saying, ‘If only Jesus were here’ then they see a walker on the water, and they are afraid. It sounds like some of us. We know how to pray, but when He shows up, we get afraid!”

“The only way you can recognize [His] voice in a storm, you have to get familiar with His voice before the storm!”

“Peter believed that impossibilities could be transmitted into possibilities.”

“Someone once said, ‘You really don’t even test the resources of God until you try the impossible.’”

“One man says, ‘I will do as much as much as I can, [but] anybody can do that. He who believes in Jesus Christ does what you cannot do.’”

“Jesus wants us to have great faith in Him…He wants reckless faith!”

“If you do it because God said, ‘Do it’, He will make a way somehow!”

“I’m just praying the day will come when we just take our hands off the steering wheel and let God drive!”

“Reckless faith will make you break the rules.”

“Get out of your comfort zone and trust God!” – Bishop Paul S. Morton

“I believe we have some water-walkers in this place!”

“This night, you have come to the house of the Lord, and you’re not afraid to get out of the boat. You’re not afraid to get the blessings that God has for you and deal with your impossibilities.”

“If you’re going to get out of the boat, this is one thing you’re going to have to do: get away from negative folk! Negative folk will keep you in the boat!”

“You’ve got to know how to get out of your comfort zone and trust God!”

“I don’t care how much talent you have. I don’t care how gifted you are, you’ve got to know God is the only one who’s able to save you.”

“This is a new season! Church of God in Christ, you’ve got to get ready, because God is raising up a nation [of] water-walkers!”

“Jesus, if you tell me to walk on the water, I will walk.”

“Get out of the boat!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Matthew 14:22-33, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 43:19, Luke 8:43-48, Luke 5:17-26.

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Bishop Paul S. Morton is founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. He is the Senior Pastor of Changing a Generation FGBC in Atlanta, GA, and Co-Pastor of Greater St. Stephen FGBC in New Orleans, LA. He is also holds several advanced degrees, is an author and Stellar-award-winning recording artist. Bishop Morton and his wife, Dr. Debra Morton, are the proud parents of 3 children, and the grandparents of 6 grandchildren.

Join us in St, Louis! WATCH THE 108th CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST HOLY CONVOCATION LIVE HERE!