Ecclesiastes 3:1&6 (NKJV) – Everything Has Its Time
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away
Spring represents humankind’s annual opportunity to “make all things new,” to move ahead with renewed purpose and passion, and to create room for God’s power in this season of renewal and strength. If you haven’t done your Spring cleaning yet, then now is a great time to start!
Does God actually want us to keep our homes clean, organized, and clutter-free? The answer is yes! 1 Corinthians 14:40 tells us that “all things should be done decently and in order.” Order facilitates preparation,* and preparation allows everything else in our lives to flow efficiently (Proverbs 13:4).
We are called to exhibit self-control as a reflection of God (Titus 1:8), and when we mirror Him, we can be a light and an example to others (Titus 2:5 and 1 Timothy 3:5). The cleaning process is also a great way to instill other fundamental values in our children, such as perseverance, diligence, self-control, humility, and charity. Simply put, cleanliness and order can edify the soul and reflect peace: which helps us to create the life God intended.
Here are 10 tips for spring cleaning success:
- Say “No” to clutter. Taking the first step toward a clutter-free lifestyle begins with changing our mindset. Often, we hoard possessions out of fear of loss. But God tells us in Luke 12:15 to “beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
- Be prepared. Gather cleaning tools and cloths; gather boxes to organize unwanted items; use old newspapers for cleaning windows and glass surfaces. Make sure your vacuum cleaner is operating properly; empty debris and dust from previous use. Use boxes for organizing, and to toss unwanted items. Preparation is key (1 Chronicles 22:5)!
- Make your own natural cleaning solutions! Dilute ½ cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water; use it to clean glass, counter tops, and the refrigerator; wood and tile floors. Mix ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup of vinegar and 2 gallons of warm water; use it to clean walls, sinks. Make a paste of vinegar and baking soda to make a scouring cleanser; this also cleans chrome and removes stains. Mix vinegar and ketchup to polish brass and copper; mix vinegar, baking soda and boiling water to clean silver. Remove soap scum or mildew with a solution of 1 cup of ammonia or bleach in a gallon of water. Spray surface; leave for a few minutes until stains disappear. Rinse well with hot water.
- Make a plan. Take one room at a time. Work from ceiling to floor, leaving the vacuuming and floors for last. And don’t forget the attic, basement and garage.
- Organize your important papers – Download ourMonthly Expense Form to help organize receipts and expenditures. Sort bills and receipts by month, and store in an accordion folder. Safely store important documents and booklets for your appliances, insurance policies, automobiles, and medical history, and place all in a dedicated space in your home.
- Organize your closet – Wash or dry clean soiled clothing; polish shoes; mend, tailor, or repair if needed. Organize items by type and color (this method even works for books too).
- Donate old family photos. Don’t throw away those old photos! Our lives are an important source of history; give photos and memorabilia to an archive, library or repository.
- Stop the junk mail! Yes, you can opt-out of mailing lists! You can contact any company yourself to make this request, or you can contact Catalog Choice or the Direct Marketing Association; both organizations will submit your opt-out requests for free. Virtual junk mail and even unwanted phone calls create clutter too. Click here for additional information from the Volunteer Guide.
- Don’t forget the yard – The outside of your home is as important as the inside. Rake up dead leaves, prune bushes and trees, pull weeds, dust away old spider webs. Hose down garden furniture; discard any unwanted junk that’s lying around.
- Have a yard sale; GIVE your excess to charity. Luke12:33 (NIV) – 33 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
When your spring cleaning is completed, complement your fresh new home by choosing one room to enliven with a pop of color. Add a bouquet of flowers, a new throw pillow or two, even a new paint color on an accent wall. By adding a softly scented candle near your home’s entryway, you’ll awaken the senses and welcome visitors.
- West Angeles hosts E-Waste Collection Events each year! More information coming soon to Westa.org.
- Vehicle Donation Program – Donate your old cars to West Angeles! If you would like to give to the ministry of West Angeles and you have a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle vehicle you’d like to donate, please call (323) 733-8300 ext. 2315 for more information.
The Salvation Army – Schedule a pick-up of your donated goods online. Website – http://satruck.org/, or call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
Goodwill – http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/. To donate items call 1-800-GOODWILL.
Catalogue Choice.org – https://www.catalogchoice.org/. A free service to opt out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more.
Direct Marketing Association’s DMAchoice – https://www.dmachoice.org/. Everything you want to know about direct mail, the mail preference service and more.
*DID YOU KNOW:
The day before the Sabbath is called “Preparation Day” (Mark15:42)? It’s traditionally the day to do all remaining work and cleaning in order to prepare for a restful Sabbath Day. The most significant Preparation Day known to Christians is the day the body of Christ was prepared for burial, preceding His glorious Resurrection.
By linking to the external sites mentioned in this article, West Angeles Church of God in Christ is not endorsing their products, services, or policies. We recommend you thoroughly review the business or organization, as well as their policies, terms and conditions.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you – John 15:7
On World Missions Sunday 2016, Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson III, President of the International Department of Evangelism of the Church of God In Christ, served as guest pastor at West Angeles Church. To prepare the saints to “impact the world,” his sermon for the day cites Luke 3 and the period of preparation before Jesus began His ministry.
“I remember when God called me,” said Bishop Hankerson of his own road to ministry. “I ended up on an entry-level job. Folks were beating up on me, saying, ‘You’re supposed to be anointed? What are you doing sitting here on this computer when God has called you to reach the world?’ I complained to God, saying ‘God, I gave you my life at a young age. I gave you everything. Why am I sitting here at this entry-level job?’
“I thought God was going to pat me on the back and tell me that everything is going to be alright. But God told me, ‘Your attitude is not right. You ought to be thankful you have that humble job to take care of your family…and I’m not going to take you to where you’re going until you praise Me.'”
“As we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we are always taught that every time Jesus was around, miracles were taking place. People were always getting healed. People were always getting set free. But I found out that really, when you study the life of Christ, according to Luke 3:23…His ministry did not start until He was 30 years old.”
“It wasn’t until Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost down at the Jordan River that Jesus began to work miracles. So it was during those 30 years that He had to learn how to submit Himself in order to be obedient. The Son of God didn’t know what it meant to be subject to His creation.”
“The Bible says that Jesus He learned obedience by the things that he suffered…He submits Himself and humbles Himself – even to the point of death.”
“Take note of this: all during those 30 years, during that time of ministry where He was learning and growing, the Bible lets us know that He humbly says, ‘I do nothing on my own accord. Everything my father says that’s what I say. Everything my father does, that’s what I do.’ That was His testimony before the cross.”
“After you come through the difficult times, you come out stronger.” – Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III
“After He died on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day, He said, ‘My testimony has changed. Now…all power in heaven and on earth is given unto Me.’”
“How many of you know that after you come through the suffering, after you come through the difficult times, after you come through the valley of the shadow of death, you come out stronger, more anointed, with more power?”
“God is preparing us. God has to prepare you to go out and win the world for Christ.”
“I remember when God called me to ministry…He said, ‘You’re going to take the gospel to the world. You’re going to go from sea to sea. You’re going to go from state to state. You’re going to go from nation to nation.’”
“God has to prepare you to go out and win the world for Christ.” – Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III
“Sometimes God will speak a word in your heart, but you’re not ready to go forth with what God has for you.”
“Sometimes you’re too full of yourself. Sometimes you’re too full of pride. So God has to humble you down because the Bible says, ‘Humble yourself, then God will exalt you.'”
“How many know today that the call of God is on your life? You don’t have to network. You don’t have to know the right person.”
“If God says, ‘It’s your time,’ then God will make it happen.”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘God going to take you to where you’re going when you learn to praise Him through your tears, through your suffering, through your hard times.'”
“I dare you to lift your hands and say, ‘God, I’m going to trust you through the silent years, through my heartaches, I’m still going to trust you. Through my disappointments, I’m still going to trust you.’ Say ‘Yes!'”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘I’m glad He died for me; I’m glad He died for my sins! Every time I turn around, God is blessing me!'”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 15:7, Luke 3-4, Isaiah 6:1-3, Phil 2:8-10.
Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson III is on a mission to spread the gospel world-wide with the vision of “Life, love, and liberty for the Body of Christ.” He is President of the International Department of Evangelism of the Church of God In Christ, Inc., and Senior Pastor and founder of the Life Center International COGIC of Saint Louis, MO. Dr. Hankerson serves the Church of God in Christ in many capacities and posts, including the Jurisdictional Ordination Board, Chairman of the Public Relations Department for Missouri Eastern First Jurisdiction, Director of Public Relations for COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc., and internationally as Representative of the General Board to the General Assembly. The love and inspiration of Dr. Hankerson’s life is his lovely wife, Evangelist Rachel L. Hankerson and their three children: Elijah IV, Raquel and Matthew.
As we look for answers to the moral and spiritual unrest in our world, West Angeles takes a look back to July of 2015 when Ambassador Charles R. Stith delivered a powerful message of comfort, about the strength and solace which can be found beneath the wings of angels.
A few weeks ago, Ambassador Charles R. Stith, a long-time friend of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., worshiped with the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, alongside his wife, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith. I was reminded of a powerful, insightful, yet comforting sermon Ambassador Stith delivered last year. The sermon addressed America’s burgeoning spiritual unrest; punctuated by troubling events in Ferguson, MO; the tragic shootings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
His message, simply called, “Angels,” was inspired by Hebrews 13:2 –
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.
“Implied in this text, said Ambassador Stith, “is a profound word of caution: be careful how you treat folks…Be careful who you ignore…That person you ignore just might be the one bearing your blessing.”
“St. Thomas Aquinas said that ‘an angel can illuminate thought in the mind of a person by strengthening the power of their vision.’”
“Moses Maimonides said that ‘everyone entrusted with a mission is an angel.’”
“We make all sorts of assumptions about people. We harbor all sorts of stereotypes about people. And what the evidence reveals is that more often than not, these assumptions, these stereotypes, are not true.”
“Race is not an arbiter of content or character.”
“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people…You never know. Anybody can be an angel” – Ambassador Charles R. Stith
“Martin Luther King Jr…His moral vision defined the last half of the last century, and continues to provide a moral compass for this century.”
“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people. You need to careful about the stereotypes you harbor about people.”
“The stranger might not simply be a chance encounter, but it could be someone special. That person could be an angel.”
“You never know. Anybody can be an angel. They don’t come with wings or dressed in long white robes. They’re not perfect vessels unscarred or embattled by life. They’re not necessarily saintly or models for how you ought to live your life.”
“I believe that, just as God moves in and out of history, He moves in and out of the vessels He uses.”
“These angels that He sends work in mysterious ways and come at mysterious times; speaking word of truth or demonstrating random acts of kindness that cut to the heart and soul of the human condition.”
“Anybody or everybody can be more than they seem…Someone you’ll meet when you leave here this morning, or somebody you met on the way, could be an angel.”
“Sometimes the worst wrong we can do can do is not a sin of commission but a sin of omission.”
“We need a change in the entire country’s culture.” – Ambassador Charles R. Stith
“Sometimes the worst thing you can do to a person is to neglect them…to treat folk as if they’re invisible, as if who they are and what they represent doesn’t matter.”
“Neglect and indifference often does more damage than outright dislike.”
“Despite what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nixon’s head of HUD, said in the 1960s, there is no such thing as ‘benign neglect.’”
“Neglect, beloved, is a cardinal sin. So powerful is its impact that Jesus made it one of the conditions to inherit the Kingdom. Hear Jesus: ‘When I was a stranger, did you take me in? And remember, whatever you did to the least of them, you also did it to me.’”
“Neglect…this is the source of the cry that Black Lives Matter.”
“The devil kills the conscience of those he possesses.”
“What we miss, or choose to ignore, is that there are politics and policies that kill whole communities. It is such policies and politics that neglect the needs, the hopes, the dreams of communities like those around…communities like this one, and they provide an environment for hate…to grow.”
“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.” – Ambassador Charles R. Stith
“What I’m trying to tell you this morning, church, is that we don’t just need a change in police culture, we need a change in the entire country’s culture.”
“If God can use the person sitting in front of you, behind you, or your neighbor down the street, or the stranger you pass or have yet to meet, He might just want to use you.”
“To be all that you can be is about the extent to which God is in your life.”
“The bible says that we were created a little lower than the angels and it seems like some of us have been working to get lower ever since.”
“You’ve got to know Jesus. If you know Him… you can be the good you want to be.”
“What is your mission? Will you master your mission or miss it?”
“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hebrews 13, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 1:16.
Ambassador Charles R. Stith serves as Chairman of The Pula Group International, and is founder of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center of Boston University. He was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the United Republic of Tanzania by President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Ambassador Stith received a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA, and a Master of Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. By the age of 30, he was Senior Minister at Union United Methodist Church in Boston, the youngest minister ever appointed to the position at the church. Ambassador Stith is also founder of ONE, the Organization for the New Equality, a non-profit organization devoted to generating economic opportunity for women and people of color.
 McIntosh, J; “Angels : A Joyous Celebration” (1999). Running Press, PA. Pg. 121.
 Maimonides, Moses; “The Guide for the Perplexed” (1919) George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. London. Pg. 160. (Google Books; Accessed 7/23)
For more about Emmanuel AME and the stellar accomplishments of its pastor, the late Senator Clementa Pinckney, please click HERE to read “President Obama Defines The Meaning of Black Church.”
There’s still time to sign up for the free Diabetes Self-Management Class!
Learn how to recognize the signs of diabetes; learn healthy eating tips, lifestyle changes and more.
Register in the concourse between services, or call (844) 472-4224 or (323) 733-8300 for further details.
For his Sunday April 10 sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. continued a series he began on Sunday April 3 which is taken from his book “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence.” Bishop Blake’s often humorous delivery of his sermon, titled “God’s Motive and God’s Objective,” was met with laughter as he compared God’s relationship with us to the relationships we have with others.
“God loves you, He’ll do anything for you,’ said Bishop, “but He’s got to have His R-E-S-P-E-C-T!”
Last Sunday Bishop Blake was led to speak about the Arc of the Covenant and its symbolic significance in the NT and for our life in God even today.
“Years ago when I began to study about the Arc and the other furnishings of the tabernacle; the holy days, the high priests and the various sacrifices, all of these things came to my attention…The Tabernacle was a symbol; an image of Jesus Christ.”
“The study of the Arc of the Covenant and the Tabernacle present to us Old Testament examples and shadows of New Testament realities.”
“If you study the history of a person or a relationship, you will better understand that person…and the nature of that relationship.”
“The understanding of a person’s history will help you deal with that person.”
“Jesus frequently said that He came to fulfill the law, and the Bible frequently affirms that the Old Testament, the Tabernacle, the priesthood and the sacrifices served as shadows and examples of heavenly things.”
“What was it that God wanted? What motivated Him to reach out to man? What was God’s objective?”
“In order to live effectively with a person, you need to know your objectives for dealing with that person, and you need to know that person’s objectives for dealing with you.”
“It’s very wise to ascertain the expectations the other party has of you, prior to committing to a relationship.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Everybody that smiles at you…who treats you nicely, does not want a relationship with you.”
“Everybody who treats you rudely or harshly is not responding to something you are or even something you have done. Some people are just rude; some people are just harsh…and they are that way to everybody they meet.”
“Most people are just trying to get from one day to the next day.”
“Maybe to your great disappointment, you need to know that everybody does not spend a great deal of time thinking about you.”
“Some will want to be your friend, but others will desire a favor from you; a loan, or some benefit from you.”
“There has been a tremendous amount of pain and confusion in the world because people who want relationship have been dealing with people who only wanted relations.”
“If you want a Godly, honorable relationship, you’ll have a terrible time dealing with somebody who only…wants to use you and throw you away.”
“If you are to deal effectively with a person, you need to understand that person…You need to know their goals; their objectives.”
“God will do anything for you, but He’s got to have His R-E-S-P-E-C-T!” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“It’s tough to be with a person who mistreats you, who doesn’t care how you feel or what you think.”
“Some folks wear you out just being around them.”
“You need a good understanding of yourself. Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you understand yourself?’”
“Don’t be tricky. Don’t be deceptive.”
“If you’re struggling with homosexuality brother, don’t mess up some poor lady’s life. And lady, don’t marry somebody, thinking that you’ll be able to change him from gay to straight.”
“There’s got to be mutual admiration and respect. This is absolutely necessary and essential for a lasting, satisfactory relationship.”
“Relationships that are deficient in communication are doomed to much unhappiness and failure.”
“People need to talk – and people need to listen.”
“Some people – even friends – have a big ol’ orangutan of a problem sitting right in the middle of their relationship and they won’t recognize that it’s there.”
“You can’t just look at people and know people…Can I get a witness?”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘Try again…and again, and again.’”
“Don’t let your emotions and your animal drives cause you to make a fool of yourself.”
“Remember that personality and character do not frequently change.”
“The best way to tell what a person will do is to look at what a person has done, and that will tell you what you can expect.”
“In discussing God’s purpose regarding His relationship with us…the principles are the same whether with God or with men and women.”
Deuteronomy 28:1 (NKJV) Blessings on Obedience – “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.”
“Down through history, God’s purposes regarding his relationship with mankind has been the same…but because of our sin…God has chosen to deal with mankind in different ways during different periods.”
“After 400 years of slavery (in Egypt), God delivered Israel from Egypt. This was, in essence, their introduction to the Lord. Four hundred years of domination by Egypt had almost erased the every memory and image of God from their minds.”
“Even Moses himself knew so little about God, he had to ask God, ‘What is your name?’ And he had to teach the people how to do the same.”
“God’s motive for dealing with us is love.”
“I don’t care who you are…I don’t care what you have done, God is in love with you.”
“Most parents don’t want anything from their children. They just want to see their children to do well; to succeed. They want them to be prosperous. And their great despair is after they’ve invested so much into their children, they often see them waste and ruin their lives.”
“That’s all God wants for you. He wants you to be productive. He wants your life to be fruitful. That’s why God came into your life in the first place, ‘that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.’”
“God loves us, but if we’re going to have a relationship with Him, we have to know who He is.”
“God’s motive for dealing with us is love” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“It’s alright for you to come to God, but when you come, don’t bring mess and sin into the presence of the Lord.”
“Whatever you do for God, it ought to be greater. It ought to be more. It ought to be higher!”
“God said, ‘I am a jealous God…Don’t worship me today and Allah tomorrow!’”
“God’s objective is to love us, and to be loved by us.”
“Tell your neighbor, ‘Neighbor, I’m blessed going in and coming out. I’m blessed by the power of God!”
“There’s nobody like God!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Deuteronomy 7:6-11, 6:4; Amos 3:3, Exodus 3:5, 13-15; Jeremiah 31:3, John 3:16, Psalm 35:27, 149:4; John 10:10, Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:11, Psalm 150:6, 1 Peter 1:16, Psalm 136:1, Deuteronomy 28:1-14, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 100:4.
- Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.’s book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence” is available at the West Angeles Christian Emporium. Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012
- To read highlights from last week’s sermon titled, “Components of a Testimony,” please click HERE.
- Is Ethiopia the site of the Arc of the Covenant? Watch as COGIC’s International World Missions President Vincent Matthews shares historic facts about Ethiopia’s Christian heritage:
- Please join us for the 21st WORLD MISSIONS CONFERENCE! Please click HERE for more information.
On Sunday, April 3, 2016, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. began a new series, teaching from his book, Encountering God. The sermon was taken from scripture surrounding the Arc of the Covenant, the tabernacle of Moses, and the Israelites, who did not trust God in spite of miracles He performed on their behalf.
“Sometimes we’re losing because we don’t trust God,” said Bishop Blake. “The God that we serve has already made a way…God will take care of you if you only believe.”
“The Arc of the Covenant was in the Tabernacle of Moses. In the court of the Tabernacle it stood before the Brazen Altar where the sacrifices were offered up to God to atone for the sins of the people.”
“The Bronze Laver [is] where the priests were first washed by Moses and where subsequently they washed themselves as they performed the various rites of sacrifice in the courtyard.”
“The showbread…was made from wheat. It symbolized God’s people in His presence, and in fellowship with Him and one another.”
“The lamp stand, with its seven flames…symbolized God’s spirit at work…It symbolized God’s Word. It symbolized Jesus Christ. It symbolized the church of Jesus Christ.”
“The golden altar of incense…ignited by God’s fire, represents the praises and the worship of God’s people. It also represents the pleasure that the praises of God’s people bring to God.”
“God enjoys our praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Behind the veil is the most Holy place or the Holy of Holies. Within the Most Holy place is the Arc of the Covenant, which is also called ‘The Arc of the Testimony.’”
“The Arc of the Covenant was a wooden chest or box…This wooden chest was overlaid with sheets of pure gold, both within and without.”
“On the lid of the Arc was a plate of pure gold…That plate was called the mercy seat. At the ends of the Mercy Seat were two statues of golden angels.”
“For many reasons, the Arc of the Covenant is the most important piece of furniture in the tabernacle. It’s important, as far as I can tell, because the Arc…is the only item of tabernacle furniture that will be in heaven.”
“I don’t really understand how the Arc of the Covenant will be in heaven – whether it will be there materially or spiritually – but the Bible says it will be there. And if God will retain the Arc of the Covenant alone for Heaven, then the Arc of the Covenant must be very, very important.”
“Arc of the Covenant was the first item of furniture to be described and placed in the Tabernacle.”
“Each of the three items were the result of miraculous occurrences and miraculous actions on the part of God. Each of the three items were an expression of the love of God”
“The fact that each of these items is a response [of] God to negative behavior on the part of Israel is unfortunate. Negative behavior caused each of these items to be placed before the people of God.”
“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.”
“God was working through Moses. Moses was obeying God’s directions.”
“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Moses…was already free. He was already doing well, but he returned to Egypt to bring God’s people out of slavery.”
“Murmuring is offensive and alienating…even a murmurer doesn’t want to be around another murmurer.”
“Murmuring is counterproductive because it makes future favors unlikely.”
“Murmuring is an indication of a lack of trust.”
“You got help and assistance before, what makes you think you have to murmur now?”
“The opposite of murmuring is praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“One of God’s worst judgments came down on Israel because of her complaining…The cause of their complaining in this case was a declining food supply.”
“Your blessing may require some work.”
“Your miracle does not excuse you from working while the miracle takes place.”
“Sometimes what you snatch against the will of God spoils and breeds worms.”
“What you invest in God won’t spoil.”
“How many of you know you have to rely on God every day?”
“They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.'”
“There was manna in the Arc.”
“’ 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense,’ and the next day all the congregation of Israel murmured…I think I would have kept my mouth shut!”
“49 But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Look at your neighbor and say, ‘I think God doesn’t like murmuring!’”
They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“So many folks are against you, but God’s going to bless you anyway.”
“If God chooses you, there’s nothing that anybody can do about it!”
“That Aaron’s rod would blossom, that it would bear fruit, is assurance that God can bring dead things back to life again.”
“How do I know God can bring dead things back to life? Because he brought me back to life again! Halleluiah!”
“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!”
“If anything has died in your world, God can bring it back to life again!”
“The tablets contained God’s Commandments for his people. They contained his will regarding their behavior. But the fact that they were in the Arc was proof that God gave them a second chance.”
“This is the day of the second chance. I don’t care who you are and what you’ve done, God is a God of a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance.”
“Neighbor, you may have messed up, but God through Jesus is giving you a second chance.”
“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“The arc was a testimony.”
“God will take care of you if you only trust Him, if you only believe.”
“They put the manna in the Arc so you remember that I provided for you in the desert…put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when there was no rain and no sowing and no reaping, I fed you with bread put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when you run out, I step in.”
“If God has done it before, God will do it again. God can heal again. God can provide again.”
“Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you have a pot of manna in your testimony?’ Can you remember a time when God miraculously provided for you?”
“When things seem dead and hopeless, God is still able!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 16:32 , Numbers 17:10; Deuteronomy 10:1-9; Hebrews 9:3-4, 1 Kings 8:9, Exodus 16:2-32, Revelation 11:19, Numbers 16, Numbers 17:1-4, Romans 17:8, Exodus 31:18, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 27:10, Hebrews 4:14-16
Presiding Bishop Charles Edrward Blake, Sr’s book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence” is available at the West Angeles Christian Emporium. Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012
April 7 is “World Health Day,” and this year the focus is on ending diabetes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes, which is one of the most serious health problems our country faces today. But there’s a home-grown movement spreading across America which may change that…and it’s being shepherded by African American men.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food – Genesis 1:29 (NIV)
A few months ago, I received a call, informing me that my close friend Allison had suffered a stroke – a diagnosis which seems to be much too common these days. She’s actually one of three women I know who’ve suffered from this condition in recent years, and they all have very noticeable things in common. They are:
- African American
- Working in high-stress, often hostile environments
- Self-described as overweight
- In their early to mid-50’s
African Americans and Native Americans are affected disproportionately by diabetes more than any other ethnic groups in America, with Latino Americans factoring in third. African American adults are 80 percent more likely than white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician, and are twice as likely as Whites to die from the disease .
The proper diet can make all the difference in controlling diabetes. However, when we’re stressed, our comfort foods are one of the few “comforts” we believe we have – and that was certainly the case with my friend Allison. The difference in her story? Her husband George.
George immediately took over the leadership of his family’s nutrition, planting a garden in their back yard with methods he’d learned as a boy from his father, and cooking healthy fare which helped bring his wife back to optimum health. And Allison? She’s now back at work, healthy, and more than 60 pounds lighter.
Allison’s husband is part of a growing worldwide trend which reveals that men of African descent are taking the health and nutritional well-being of their families and their communities into their own hands. Around the globe, black men seem to be remembering the ancestral wisdom of God which reminds us to go back to the earth for nourishment; men like Jimmy Williams, author of “From Seed To Skillet,” who learned all about vegetable gardening from his grandmother, a South Carolina native from a traditional Gullah community whose members were descendants of Caribbean slaves. Or Purcell Keeling, who has owned Simply Wholesome, a health food restaurant and market in Los Angeles, for almost 30 years. Or Bryce Fluellen, a Chef Instructor with the American Heart Association, who’s changing the eating habits of our children one classroom at a time.
On this World Health Day, we’re profiling three African American men who are game changers in the healthy-eating movement:
RON FINLEY – “I planted my Eden in my front yard,” said South Central Los Angeles artist and designer Ron Finley, affectionately known as “The Gangsta Gardener.” Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside vegetable garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education, and healthy, hopeful futures – one urban garden at a time.
“I planted my Eden in my front yard” – Ron Finley
He calls South Central Los Angeles the “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by,” and it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes. In the two years since his appearance at TED, a global set of conferences which uses its video-recorded lectures as a medium for spreading new ideas, Finley’s work has quickly become celebrated worldwide, making him a bit of a phenomenon. He’s now featured in a film which raises awareness about urban gardening called “Can You Dig This,” directed by Delila Vallot and executive produced by John Legend.
BRYANT TERRY is reconnecting us with our healthy, vegetable-based African food traditions. He is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. His started with his own family by transforming traditional soul food staples into mouth-watering, healthy fare. “More than anyone else,” said Terry in his book Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, & Southern Flavors Remixed, “people of African descent should honor, cultivate, and consume food from the African diaspora…[those traditions] connect us to our ancestors and bring the past into the present day.”
He’s also known as a DJ, creatively paring his recipes with musical suggestions and spinning music wherever his food is served. He is currently the inaugural Chef in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.
“Food from the African diaspora connects us to our ancestors” – Bryant Terry
Bryant is the author of four books: critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine; The Inspired Vegan; Grub; and his latest title, Afro Vegan, Farm-fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 2014). In 2002, Bryant founded b-healthy (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a multi-year initiative in New York City designed to empower youth to be more active in fighting for a more sustainable food system. He continues to collaborate with schools and community organizations around the country to inspire, educate, and empower young people to be active in the food justice movement.
THE REVEREND RICHARD JOYNER – Over the last 10 years or so, Conetoe, NC has become the center of a movement for healthy living, driven by the Reverend Richard Joyner, pastor of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. A predominantly African-American community, Conetoe, which is just outside of Raleigh-Durham, is surrounded by farmland, but the nearest grocery store is 10 miles away. This makes Conetoe one of the country’s many “food deserts,” where fresh, nutritious food is not readily available.
Rev. Joyner was inspired to make a change in his town after watching many of his parishioners die from preventable diseases.”Diabetes, high blood pressure…we counted 30 funerals in one year,” Rev. Joyner said. “I couldn’t ignore it because I was spending more time in funerals than anything else.”
As a result, he started a community garden, enlisting the help of the children in his congregation. Today, his nonprofit, the Conetoe Family Life Center, manages more than 20 plots of land, including one 25-acre site. More than 80 young people help Joyner plan, plant and harvest nearly 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year. Much of this produce is given away to local residents, but the students also sell the food – including their own brand of honey – to businesses and restaurants, raising money for school supplies and scholarships.
“By nourishing plants, you’re nourishing community. It’s one and the same” – Reverend Richard Joyner
The youth also learn healthy cooking techniques, which they in turn share with their families. As a result, the community is healthier and doctor visits are down. These efforts, Rev. Joyner says, are having other amazing benefits as well. “One of the biggest things the youth are learning here are social skills – how to relate to each other and have healthy relationships. They also get to practice skills like science and math; they learn about pricing, marketing,” says Joyner.
“Growing food calls us to work together,” he said. “By nourishing plants, you’re nourishing community. It’s one and the same. If we just let them explore and create a safe space for them, most of the time they’ll come up with an answer for themselves. And when youth become creative, wow – they think outside of the box.”
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. . You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with your doctor and other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Consult your doctor before starting any new eating or exercise regimen.
Bryant Terry’s books are available HERE, on http://www.bryant-terry.com/.
 American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/. Accessed 4/05/2016.
 US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlID=18. Accessed 4/05/2016.
 Many thanks to CNN.com, and CNN Heroes.
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