Our Health: 7 Ways To Achieve Optimum Health

It’s Men’s Health Month, but West Angeles wants us to achieve God’s best for our lives this month and every month. As we approach “Focus on the Family Weekend” here at West Angeles, here are 7 tips to keep you and your entire family in optimum health.

How do we achieve optimum health? In mind, body and spirit, we honor God when we acknowledge that we are His workmanship. Romans 12:1 (NIV) says:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Maintaining our health is one of the best gifts we can give to God, but along with prayer, exercise and healthy eating, there are many other ways to worship Him daily.

Here are 7 ways to make achieving your best health a priority:

1. Exercise. If you’ve heard of the 21-day push-up challenge, then you know that men everywhere are being proactive about health by encouraging each other toward better health through exercise. But even if we haven’t accepted the challenge, regular physical activity still reigns as one of the most important things we can all do for our health, according to the Centers of Disease Control [1].

It can help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you’re an older adult
  • Increase your chances of living longer.

Start slowly, and consult a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.

2. Eat healthy foods (Genesis 1:29). According to ChooseMyPlate.gov, an initiative to promote a healthy eating lifestyle started by First Lady Michelle Obama and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, everything you eat and drink matters [2]. Create a balanced diet by:

  • Focusing on whole fruits. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed without added sugar. Of course, fresh is always best, and for maximum benefits, choose whole fruits more often than 100% fruit juice.
  • Varying your veggies. Vegetables are divided into five subgroups and include dark-green vegetables, red and orange vegetables, legumes (beans and peas), starchy vegetables, and other vegetables. Choose vegetables from all subgroups.
  • Making half the grains you eat whole grains. Grains include whole grains and refined, enriched grains. Choose whole grains more often.
  • Varying your protein routine. Protein foods include fish, eggs, and plant sources such as nuts, beans,

    Free Download: Men’s Health Check Poster

    seeds, and soy products (beans and peas are also part of the vegetable group).

  • Moving to low-fat or fat-free milk and yogurt. Dairy includes milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified soy, nut, or grain beverages (such as soymilk, almond milk, flax milk, etc). Choose fat-free (skim) and low fat (1%) dairy foods.
  • Drinking lots of water. Our bodies are primarily comprised of water; replenishing our intake of water keeps us hydrated, and keeps our bodies running smoothly. Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars; eliminate alcohol.
  • Making oils part of your healthy eating lifestyle. Oils provide nutrients for the body, like fatty acids and vitamin E. They also enhance the flavor of your food. Some oils are eaten as a natural part of the food such as in nuts, olives, avocados, and seafood. Other oils are refined and added to a food during processing or preparation such as soybean, canola, and safflower oils. Choose the right amount of oil to stay within your daily calorie needs.

3.  Get annual check-ups and “guard your heart.” We do annual tune-ups and oil changes in order to maintain the health of our automobiles; likewise, seeing a doctor annually must be our priority for maintaining the health of our bodies. Proverbs 4:23 says to “Guard your heart,” yet, according to the American Heart Association, “Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world today, and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined [3]. We must make the health of our bodies a priority by going for annual check-ups with a doctor we can trust, and who share our faith in the transformative, healing power of Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:1-17 6).

4.  Our attachments can make us sick. Bad habits can be destructive to our health. Smoking, stress, and other lifestyle choices can actually tax our organs and shorten our lives. Even in our compassion for others, we can sometimes internalize their afflictions and demons. Gently remind others that laying their burdens on Jesus connects them to an eternal wellspring of life and health (Matthew 11:27-29). Surround yourself with others who are positive and uplifting.

5.  Speak The Good News. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Speaking positiveness and light not only builds the Kingdom, it also helps to keep you and those around you healthy through faith and hope (Isaiah 52:7).

6.  “Live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). A larger percentage of what enters our bodies daily is not through our mouths, but through our eyes and ears. Be sure that the media you ingest daily is edifying for you, for your family, and for building the Kingdom.

7.  Join a church. Joining a good church can keep you on the road to good health by:

  • Surrounding you with like-minded people who are of a common, fundamental belief,
  • Presenting opportunities for giving back, and
  • Increasing your knowledge of God’s requirements for living your best life, through closer relationship with Him and His word (Proverbs 4:20-27).

Even scientists have proven that faith leads to longer life and health [4]. Keep faith in Jesus Christ at the center of your life.

Psalm 103:1-5 says:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Maintaining your health and the health and well-being of your family, and accessing the power of Jesus Christ, is the key to a healthy, abundant, and prosperous life.

 

To read more about good health in the Bible, please see the following  scriptural references:

Romans 12:1, Genesis 1:29, Ephesians 5:18, Proverbs 3:7-8,  Jeremiah 33:6-7, Isaiah 53:4, Matthew 8:1-17, 11:27-29; Proverbs 4:20-27,  18:21; 2 Corinthians 5:7, Isaiah 52:7, Psalm 103:1-5, Deuteronomy 7:12,15.


[1] -The Benefits of Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/. Accessed 6/29/2016.

[2] – Everything You Eat and Drink Matters — Focus on Variety, Amount, and Nutrition. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/variety. Accessed 6/29/2016.

[3] – Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – At-a-Glance, AHA.  https:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/downloadable/ucm_470704.pdf. Accessed 6/29/2016.

[4] – How Faith Can Heal. The Biology of Belief.  Time Magazine, February 23, 2009.  http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1879179,00.html. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601090223,00.html. Accessed 6/29/2016.

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HELPFUL LINKS:

  • For more information on how to eat healthy, click HERE to download Health.gov’s Dietary and Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
  • For more information on recipes and healthy eating, including projects for children and the family, please Click HERE to go to Choose My Plate.gov. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/
  • For facts on heart disease, stroke, and their risk factors, click HERE to download the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – At-a-Glance.   https:[email protected][email protected][email protected]/documents/downloadable/ucm_470704.pdf,
  • To learn more about nutritional topics such as Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs, Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets, Food Shopping, Cooking, Meal Planning and more, please CLICK HERE to access Nutrition.gov. http://www.nutrition.gov/
  • For more information on ways to stay fit and other men’s health initiatives, please CLICK HERE to go to Men’s Health Month.org. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #MensHealthMonth! http://www.menshealthmonth.org/thingstodo.html

 

This post is not a substitute for the care of a doctor or nutritionist. “National Nutrition Month” is a campaign of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Poster and photo, courtesy Men’s Health Month.org.

 

 

 

REGISTER NOW: 2016 Summer Enrichment Program

It’s that time again! Register now for the 2016 Youth Summer Enrichment Program! Mandatory orientation for the 2016 West Angeles Youth Summer Enrichment Program is:

Thursday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m.

For registration package, please see the bottom of this page.

 

 

Education Enrichment 2016 Summer Program

Education Enrichment 2016 Summer Program


To download the Summer Enrichment Program Registration Package, please 

BUTTON CLICK HERE

Education Enrichment: 4 Mistakes Class of 2017 Families are Making Right Now

Deacon John Wilson, Director of West Angeles’ Education Enrichment Ministry, explains the 4 mistakes to correct if a great, affordable college is the goal for your 2017 graduating senior.

If a member of your family is a high school student who’s graduating in the Class of 2017, it may be hard to believe, but, yes – even in June 2016 – there are things which families typically need to do today in order to help secure an affordable and appropriate college for their 11th grade youth.

Here are 4 often missing steps which parents should be taking NOW – in June of the 11th grade year:

  1.  Review transcripts & SAT scores to ensure that HS Course Requirements are complete and adequate for the colleges of your choice.

Reviewing these items NOW will help give you options for make-up classes, or can help you to strengthen your youth academically in the right areas this summer. Very often when I meet with families in the fall of the 12th grade year, I find that the student may have gotten D’s and/or F’s in earlier semesters which could have been made up. However, high school counselors may not have notified students of this, or parents may have made their own assumptions concerning the courses needed for college. This is understandable, but wrong assumptions are often reinforced by well-meaning friends and/or family members. Meet with a knowledgeable college guidance professional to confirm (a) if HS courses need replacement; and (b) which colleges are best to apply to. In our program, we call these “College Readiness Conferences.” Contact us or another college prep professional to set up the required meetings.

  1.  Register Your Youth for High Quality, Reduced Cost SAT Class for the October SAT.

Many families whose students really need higher SAT scores determine that their youth can study on their own for the SAT; in fact, the College Board is making this claim to HS Counselors and educators! It was their hope that prep would not be needed, and students could teach themselves online. Here in our program, we do not deny this could be true, but it’s very rare. Why? Nearly all 11th graders we’ve worked with are not as adept at the self-study techniques needed to adequately learn content. They need human motivation to learn difficult material, which is even harder than disciplining themselves to do well on school tests. We are certified SAT preparers, and we know that training in SAT test-taking techniques help with over 90% of students. Contact us for more information for low cost SAT Prep for the October SAT.

  1.  Apply for the FAFSA Username and Password NOW.

The 2017-18 FAFSA should be submitted in the first 2 weeks of October of 2016. Due to a recent change in the Federal Financial Aid regulations/procedures, your 2015 income will be used for financial aid determination. In response, many colleges are making their financial aid deadlines for Fall earlier this year. Naturally, I am advising BOTH parents and Class of 2017 students to order their usernames and passwords early. All you need to apply for the FAFSA username and password is the Social Security Number, date of birth and names as they appear on the Social Security Cards.

We produced a GREAT procedure for finding the FAFSA username and password; you can find at the following link:

http://www.mathinkers.org/uploads/8/8/4/4/8844425/how_to_order_a_username_and_password.pdf

NOTE:  Both student and parent need to apply for the FAFSA username and password.

  1. Allow your youth to take AP Classes during the 12th grade year ONLY if their Unweighted GPAs are already above 3.5, AND if you know they have a very good chance of getting an “A” in the AP course.

What’s more important is that a student’s GPA actually increases the first semester of the 12th grade year. The best way to raise a GPA is for the student to get A’s. The best way for a student to get A’s is for them to study HARD and to not have AP Courses to focus on. The ONLY time students should be taking AP Courses during the 12th grade Year is (a) when they have gotten A’s in similar courses; (b) if they have earlier experience with AP courses; and  (c) if they are looking seriously at University of California Campuses and have a GPA of 3.6 weighted and 3.5 unweighted. I know it’s a difficult decision to make when teachers and counselors insist that AP courses MUST be taken to get into a great college, but it’s simply not true. Please contact our office if you have questions or want to know more details.

Please review the above information carefully and get a great start RIGHT NOW in preparing your youth for admission into an affordable, cost sustainable and GREAT college!

 

Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. Please contact EEM at 323-733-8300 X 2629 to find out more about the various programs and services provided, or click please HERE.


It’s Summer Enrichment time again! Mandatory orientation for the West Angeles Summer Enrichment Program is Thursday, June 30 at 6:30pm. To find out more about the program including deadlines and registration materials, please click HERE.

 

SERMON: The Table of Bread

On First Sunday, as Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake prepared to continue his series on the tabernacle of meeting, West Angeles Church of God In Christ was surprised by a prestigious guest: Former President Bill Clinton.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continued his series on the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting and their symbolic meanings in a sermon called, “The Table of Bread”, in keeping with the June 5, 2016 Communion Sunday service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. But before he could begin the sermon at the 11AM service, West Angeles was honored to receive a most prestigious guest: Former President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton.

Clinton praised West Angeles’ extensive community developments; having been to the church long before the Cathedral was built.

“I was here before you all were in such fancy digs,” the former President joked with the congregation.

But he also acknowledged that West Angeles’ success should be mirrored throughout America.

“If we did what you’ve done here; if we did it everywhere in America, could we restore upward mobility? Could we help bring people back from the depths of despair? I believe we could,” stated Clinton.

Bishop Blake said that he welcomed the opportunity to share with President Clinton the importance of Christians’ right to worship freely, without compromising doctrine.

“I shared with [Former President Clinton] how important it is that the church be allowed to pursue its mandate from Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Blake, “to preach Biblical principles and holiness and righteousness, without being discouraged.”

As the Presiding Bishop of over 12,000 COGIC churches, as well as the Co-Chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), Bishop Blake spoke of former President Clinton’s visit to West Angeles as an honor.

“We are honored by his presence here, and happy for the opportunity to remind him that there are some things that the church just cannot bow to. Let’s praise God for his coming to us today.”

To see this entire service and more, please click HERE to visit West Angeles Gospel on Demand, or call the West Angeles Christian Emporium at (323) 731-3012. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “The Table of Bread” follow:

“As you enter into the Holy place just to the right, there’s a furnishing called the “Table of Bread.”

“It was made of acacia wood, which is a very strong, durable wood, and it was overlaid with pure gold.”

“Gold was the most beautiful and valuable of all metals. The bronze altar and the bronze laver were made from brass.  One symbolized the atoning work of Jesus Christ; the other, the cleansing work of the Spirit of God.”

“Everything in the Holy place was either made from gold or it was overlaid with gold.”

“It’s always disappointing to be moved from a higher level to a lower level.”

“Most people try to see to it that they either rise higher and higher or they at least maintain the highest level that they’ve reached. That ought to be the same in our walk with the Lord.”

“If we want to go from silver to gold and gold to platinum in our frequent flyer clubs and credit cards, how much more should we want to go higher and higher in our relationship with the Lord?”

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord?” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord? I don’t want to be where I was last week…As I go through this Christian walk, I want to go higher and higher and higher.”

“The wood in the table symbolized the human and the gold in the table symbolized the divine. The table symbolized the coming together of, and the interaction of, the human and the divine.”

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, divine, took on humanity that He might bear us to and before God the Father. The table, then, represents Jesus the Son of God, who was both human and divine.”

“There was also a frame; a band, an elevated edge around the table, about the width of a man’s hand. It was designed to keep the bread from falling off the table…Israel was, and believers are, the bread; and thus, the elevated edge is there to let us know that God has put some provisions in place to keep us from falling.”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You just don’t have to fall.’ God has made so many IMAGE Cliff Jude24provisions for us to survive in Him, that it takes special effort to fall away from the will and the plan of God in our life.”

“So many are worried about their spiritual survival, so many worried about slipping over the edge. But God does not want us to be worried and anxious.  He’s not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.”

“Most commentators feel that the 12 loaves represent the 12 tribes of Israel, and that the table of bread communicated God’s desire to dwell with His people, and that His people should dwell with Him.”

“They said, ‘Lord bring us back together again; let us be as one in You.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘God wants you in His face.’”

“We focus our attention on Him. We realize that He’s our source, and that all must come through Him.”

“When you praise Him, chains are broken.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“It’s not just about the place. It’s about entering into personal relationship with the Spirit of God: always before Him, always reaching out to Him, always yearning for the more of our God.”

“My soul thirsts for God…for the living God.”

“When you do what you should do for God, God takes care of you.”

“We’re here today because the Lord has provided, and because we know the Lord will provide.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’”

“I assure you, my brother, my sister, if you put your trust in God. If you put God first, the Lord will make a way somehow.”

“Let the people bring bread. Let the people bring fine flour. Let the people bring that which is made from the best of wheat: and I’ll take care of them in the wilderness. I want their best, so I can give them My best.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

““Every time she took something out, God put something in.”

“When you give [to God] what you might enjoy, what you might consume, then you are investing in your covenant with the Lord.”

“Child of God, you never lose when you Bless the work of God.”

“They gave bread from the earth and God gave them bread from heaven.”

“This manna, this bread made from wheat that they provided, not only nourished the priests on their behalf, but it set the covenant aright and firm in the heart and mind of God and of the people.”

 “The Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives Light to the world.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The manna was in many ways symbolic of Jesus Christ.”

“’Most assuredly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven,’ for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and give light to the world.”

“Jesus is bread to us, and we are bread to Him.”

“Jesus is blessed by our praise…Praise Him for who He is. He’s worthy!”

“When you praise Him, miracles start to happen. When you praise Him chains are broken; yokes are broken. When you praise Him, He takes you higher than you’ve ever been before. Clap your hands and praise Him!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Leviticus 24:5-9, Philippians 2:9-10, 3:12, 4:19; Exodus 25:25, 30, 40:23; Jude 24-25, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 42:1, Matthew 6:33,   John 6:31-35, 55, 15:7; Numbers 11:7, 1 Kings 17:13, Psalm 22:3, Romans 14:11.


Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop ENCOUNTERING GOD bookCharles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire…will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.


Photo of Sutton Bank: courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.

Image of the Table of Showbread: courtesy, Tabernacle Ministries.

 

SERMON: The Lampstand

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continues his series of messages from his book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence”, with a study of the lampstand, one of the key furnishings in God’s Tabernacle.

On Sunday June 12, 2016, Presiding Bishop Blake taught the congregation at West Angeles Church of God In Christ about power of light in the life of the believer, using the symbolism of the lampstand. The lampstand, or menorah, is one of the key furnishings in the Tabernacle of God in Exodus 25:31.

Bishop Blake began with a story of his own visit to Nigeria, and the honor of being invited to attend 7 a.m. prayer at the mansion of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. But just when it was time for him to shave and dress for his visit, there was a blackout at the exclusive hotel where Bishop was staying. “Lord, help me…help me Lord!” cried Bishop Blake. “Lord, please let these lights come on!” And an instant later, light returned. “I believed the lights came on because I prayed!

“Believe that God is going to do something great in the midst of His people,” said Bishop. “To quote the late Oral Roberts, ‘Something good is going to happen to you.’ How many of you expect something good to happen?”

This entire series and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.  To purchase the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” please click HERE.

 

“Let there be light!” Genesis 1:3  

“It’s difficult for us to imagine how significant light and darkness were to ancient men…Today, we can change the blackness of night into the brightness of noonday with a flick of a switch.”

“Night and darkness were a terror to ancient men, because there was always danger of wild beasts and unseen hazards and robbers…and beyond these very real dangers there were the superstitious fears that ancient men had about countless spirits and demons and haints that did their devilment under a cloak of darkness.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.”

“Unless it was absolutely impossible to do so, ancient men ceased their activity at night.”

“Light was fire…fire was light. It was warmth; it was protection.”

“In certain ancient societies, one of the most important individuals in town was the keeper of the fire.”

“When everybody’s fires went out, they could go to the keeper of the fire to rekindle their fires.”

“For those who lived in biblical times, a lamp was a great necessity in the home. They didn’t have matches to strike…Almost every fire was started from some other fire.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Only the poorest person slept without a lamp burning.”

“The light of the wicked indeed goes out. Job18:5”

“If all of one’s lights went out, he might have to travel many miles to obtain fire from someone else.”

“One of the most terrible curses of the ancient world was to predict that a person’s light would be put out.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.”

“Given these conditions, it’s easy to understand why darkness was associated with unpleasantness and sorrow, and light was associated with good fortune and happiness.”

“When the Bible speaks of darkness, it’s not always referring to nighttime; but rather, those situations where a man finds himself where he cannot see his way; where he has no guidance, when he is lost.”

 “Darkness is when a man has no moral light to guide him.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“All of us have known a darkness that had nothing to do with the light of the sun.”

“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.”

“I’m glad to say today that God is a God of Fire and a God of Light.”

“It was with light and with fire that God attracted Moses’ attention.”

“When God’s children are in the fire, their sin and their bondage may be consumed, but they themselves are not consumed”.

“This fire that the Lord sent came from heaven…this ever-burning fire symbolized God’s acceptance of their sacrifices; His favor and His forgiveness his power.”

“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God sent the fire, but God commanded us to keep the fire burning on the altar.”

“Moses was very careful to do everything exactly as God had told him to do.”

“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.”

“Worship is about the Lord’s glory…worship is about honoring and respecting the might and the majesty of almighty God.”

“Their action caused the wrath of God to fall on them.”

“It was an error for them to do anything without approval from God.”

“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God, through Moses, had made them priests. They should have respected Moses’ leadership.”

“New responsibility; a new anointing should not cause one to disrespect leadership.”

“Some folk think anything they do, any way they behave, anything they say, anything ought to be pleasing to the eyes of God, but you have to seek the will and the way of Almighty God.”

“Improper worship implies an improper relationship with God.”

“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.”

“Their punishment was a warning that those who love god must not only sanctify themselves, but also consider God and His service most Holy.”

“I never would have made it without You.”

“So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:2″

“Are there any true worshipers in the house? Hallelujah!”

“It’s time for awe; it’s time for reverence; it’s time for respect when you come into the house of the Lord.”

“Just as Moses sent the priests into the tabernacle for separation and consecration, God sent the first believers into the upper room for 10 days of consecration and prayer.”

“God is just as serious about worship in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament.”

“Fire remains a symbol of God; fire remains a symbol of the Holy Ghost both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.”

“Let the Holy Ghost take control; let it rule.”

“There’s too much strange fire; too much strange worship, too much selfishness in the worship of the Lord.”

“You offer strange fire when you’re filled with pride, but you use God’s fire when you humble yourself in the presence of God.”

“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Humble yourself, and the Lord will draw near you; humble yourself and His presence will cheer you.”[1]

“We offer strange fire when we don’t repent for our sins.”

“If you’re seeking miracles; if you’re seeking power, you need to be washed before you come before God.”

“If you want a miracle, let God wash you. Come on and praise Him! Hallelujah!

“Make sure you keep the fire burning. That means we’ve got to keep the Holy Ghost moving.”

“Lord, let the Holy Ghost take control.”

“No fire but your fire…We need Holy Ghost fire!”

“When the saints get together and call on the Lord, God does something in the midst of His church.”

“Lord, let the fire burn!  Let the Holy Ghost move!”

“Send the power!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 25:31, Job18:5, Genesis 1:1, Exodus 3:1, 13:21; Leviticus 9:24, 6:16, 10:1-2; Psalm 100:4, John 4:23-24, Acts 2:1-4, 5:1; John 1:27, 1 Corinthians 14:15, Jude 20, Romans 8:1.

[1] Hymn: Humble Thyself to Walk , Johnson Oatman, Jr., pub.1908. Public Domain.


Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop ENCOUNTERING GOD bookCharles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.

 

 

 

 

Obama, Fatherhood, and “Dreams From My Father”

West Angeles honors Father’s Day with a look at 10 principles which helped to develop the leader of the free world, drawn from the autobiography of President Barack Hussein Obama.

We love our men; we love our fathers. You keep our families strong, and you’re the first example of manhood we see as children. No one has endured what you have over the centuries, but overcoming those challenges has made you the strongest men on earth. Now, we need your strength and your vision to rebuild our communities and our families, and to save our children, too.

Ten years ago, I read President Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, which was originally published when Barack Obama was in his early 30s. In it, he spoke of his diverse lineage and racial identity; his troubled youth, the larger-than-life image of his absent father, and his quest to find the meaning of manhood and of his life. In his story, I saw glimpses of the principles our ancestors have used to endure for millenniums: faith, hope, hard work, determination, and love, principles any young person could grow from and any country would thrive through.  

Not long ago, I listened as the President told the backstory of his troubled youth at a conference for men and boys of color at the White House. I wondered if his story was being used in schools, or if the educational system had made his autobiography required reading. If not – especially with the importance of embracing and uplifting American youth of color – then we can certainly start today.

Below is a list of nine principles of fatherhood drawn from “Dreams From My Father” which can help provide the tools needed for parents, mentors, and teachers of African American children, principles which helped shape our president into the man he has become:

The Obama family worships at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia on Easter, 2016.

The Obama family worships at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia on Easter, 2016.

  1. Place God at the center of your family. The Christian faith has played a pivotal, inseparable, role in the African American journey in the United States, and in the ideals and beliefs of the country as a whole. President Obama was raised by his mother, who was raised in a strong Christian household; he and First Lady Michelle Obama also raise their daughters in the Christian faith. Barack Obama realized that the Bible’s stories are our stories too[1]; belief in the Bible’s truths mends the spiritual chain broken by our enslavement, and gives our children a stable foundation from which to build.

 

  1. Accentuate the positive. The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently revealed the results of a study which concluded that positivity is good for your health, and also increases your abilities[2]. These principles are also central to Christian belief. Barack Obama’s family painted a picture of his father as brilliant and confident, even in his absence. Surround your children with positive energy. Speak positively about them, your spouse, and their possibilities.

 

  1. Teach them the power of giving back. Barack Obama displayed at an early age a heart for helping others, and it became the focus of his life’s work. Doing for others out of love increases our power spiritually, and is one of the foremost principles of the Christian faith[3].  
OBAMAfamilythrobk copy

Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha, in the early days of parenting.

  1. Teach resilience and determination. Many of us remember growing up with the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”[4].  Throughout the book and throughout his life, Barack Obama, when faced with obstacles, overcame them by consistently reevaluating his  strategies. We can start by allowing our children to witness our own determination in our work, our marriages, and our relationships with them.

 

  1. Be proactive about education. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom,” said George Washington Carver. Yet, “Without individual memory, a person literally loses his identity,” says historian William McNeil. “The changing perspectives of historical understanding are the very best introduction we can have to the practical problems of real life”[5]. We know that acquiring degrees and trades are important, but central to our success is the knowledge of our African ancestry, and we cannot wait for the schools to include our history in its curriculum. Not only did President Obama’s mother supplement his education by giving him additional lessons before each school day, his teachers also encouraged his thirst for knowledge of his African ancestry.

 

  1.  Limit television and media. Television is not a replacement for strong role models, nor for examples of virtue, integrity, or African American manhood. In fact, recent studies reveal just the opposite, that the media is a “significant contributing factor” in the undermining of our youth, and leads to a majority of society’s ills, including violence, hypersexuality, obesity, and poor health habits[6]. In his book, President Obama often reflected upon the demoralizing, diminishing effect the media had on him as an African American youth, and as President, he often asks families to turn off the television and turn back to reading and homework.

    A young Barack Obama with his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., in Hawaii, 1960's.

    A young Barack Obama with his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., in Hawaii, 1960’s.

 

  1. Travel with your children. Traveling gives children a wider perspective of the world and informs the vision of themselves as global citizens. President Obama experienced many cultures at an early age, but even if you can’t leave the country, start with traveling beyond your neighborhood, city or state borders.  

 

  1. Talk to your children; observe them. I noticed in the book that there was constant dialogue between Obama, his family, and  his mentors about life, identity, and purpose. Your observations reveal keys to your child’s purpose early in their life, and enables you to encourage them to pursue not what they want to do with their lives, but what they were born to do. “The safest place to be is in the will of God,” says Bishop Charles E. Blake.

 

  1.  Have hope. Barack Obama had family, mentors,  teachers, and community leaders who never gave up on him. If we have high expectations of our children, they will believe in themselves.

 

As Americans, we must see all children as our own, and not continue to allow fear and ignorance define us. We have much work to do to fulfill the promise America was founded on, but we, as a people, “have come a mighty long way”[7].  Even when we veer off-course, no matter how dire the circumstances, through faith and determination, we always manage to get back on track and overcome our greatest challenges.

 


 

REFERENCES

  1. “Dream From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”, by Barack Obama. August, 2004; Broadway Books.Pg. 294.  
  2. MayoClinic.org: “Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-talk” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950National Center for Biotechnology Information http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156028/
  1. Matthew 7:11-12.
  2. William Edward Hickson.
  3. William NcNeil; historians.org. http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/archives/why-study-history-(1985)
  1. Why Media’s Bad for your children- http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1864141,00.html
  1. “Mighty Long Way”; gospel lyrics by Joe Pace.

PHOTOS – Official Obama family photo by Pete Souza; Obama family worship, courtesy, Barack Obama on Twitter; Obama family photos.

Bishop Blake: Who Are You Going To Call?

By Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

As a young evangelist, I conducted a revival with a friend of mine at a church in St. Louis, MO. Afterwards, we had another revival to conduct in Denver, CO. We left St. Louis in a driving rain storm that only grew worse as we traveled.

At a certain point, we rounded a curve, and my car lost traction on the wet pavement. We began to hydroplane. We twirled and twirled toward a tree beside the road. As I wrestled with the steering wheel, my friend, who was traveling with me, called out, “Charles! Charles!” The car was spinning out of control at 60 or 70 mph… My friend called my name again, “Charles!” But he wasn’t getting very far.

Our lives flashed before our eyes as I tried to straighten the car without success. I released the steering wheel and we both covered our heads to brace for the impact. Just then, my friend called out “JESUS!” We waited for the crash – but there was no crash. The car had gone down off the highway backwards into a stream.

The back of the trunk was under water the rest on the edge of the shore.

We looked up and saw that we were alright! We never heard a crash. We never felt the car even stop. We got out of the car unhurt, waded through the little bit of water we were in, and made it to shore. We stood on the bank of the stream, lifted up our hands and began to glorify God.

Do you know that you can call on the name Jesus? For John 14:13 says:

“Whatsoever you ask in my name you shall receive it.”

So I’m proclaiming healing in the name of Jesus; deliverance in the name of Jesus; strength in the name of Jesus; peace in the name of Jesus, provision in the name of Jesus.

Lift up your hands and say, “In the name of Jesus!”


Adapted from the sermon “God’s Terms of Engagement”; April 24, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. See this entire service and more HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.

Former President Bill Clinton Praises West Angeles’ Redevelopment Success

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. discusses church concerns, and President Clinton claims West Angeles Redevelopment is blueprint for national initiative to improve quality of life in urban communities.

By Tanya Young Williams

LOS ANGELES – Former President Bill Clinton and a host of Los Angeles-based politicians descended on West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC), where Bishop Charles E. Blake is the pastor. West Angeles has one of largest congregations in America with over 25,000 members. Local and state representatives often visit West Angeles, especially during the campaign season, however, a visit from a former President is not commonplace.

“When a former President of the United States is inclined to visit West Angeles Church of God in Christ for Sunday worship service, out of respect for the highest office in our country, we are honored to oblige, irrespective of party affiliation. The attendance and participation of any politician is not an endorsement from Bishop Charles Blake, the leadership of West Angeles, nor the COGIC denomination,” said Gladys Ross, Chief  Operating Officer of West Angeles COGIC.

PresidentClintonBishopBlake

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and Former President Bill Clinton share a private moment before service on June 5, 2016, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ in Los Angeles, CA.

The 1954 tax reform act, commonly termed the “Johnson amendment,” instructs that all tax-exempt organizations are banned from supporting or opposing political candidates. “Legally, constitutionally, the church cannot and should not exert influence over the outcome of elections and individuals involved in elections. Morally, and from a humane perspective, the church should take positions on issues that impact people; the poor, disenfranchised, those who cannot speak loudly for themselves either because of lack of resources or lack of access. We don’t take partisan positions, nor do we endorse individuals. However, the church can educate people and encourage people to participate in the electoral process.”

Blake and Clinton are both natives of Arkansas. Prior to attending the service, Blake and Clinton met privately. “I welcomed the unique opportunity, as the Presiding Bishop of over 12,000 COGIC churches and the Co-Chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), to share with President Clinton that we cannot compromise our stance, and are doctrinally opposed to all policies that support same sex marriage and abortion. It was also important to begin a conversation about what I perceive is an increasing infringement on the religious rights and freedoms of the Black Church,” said Blake.

“West Angeles…If we did what you’ve done here everywhere in America, we could bring people back from the depths of despair” – Former President William J. Clinton 

Clinton addressed the packed church and was received with a standing ovation. “I was in West Angeles before you had such fancy digs, I have noticed that you did not just move into your fancy digs, you also helped to develop the whole area: something you should be very proud of,” said Clinton.

West Angeles COGIC has developed over 400 units of housing and commercial property, including West Angeles Plaza, in the inner city of Los Angeles. It has initiated and implemented scores of civic, social, financial and educational programs that have assisted thousands of congregants and Los Angeles County residents. West Angeles’ newest development initiative will provide modern housing for senior citizens in the Los Angeles Community. Blake and West Angeles are in the midst of a capital campaign to develop the West Angeles Family Life Center which will provide educational, medical, financial, social and recreational resources to its congregants and community-at-large.

“We are very proud the of expansion and redevelopment initiatives that have improved the quality of life of our members and our community. COGIC Urban Initiatives is our national platform that is positively impacting our neighborhoods throughout the country. The Black Church remains the cornerstone of our communities and it’s our responsibility to provide access to resources oftentimes out of reach for our neighbors,” stated Blake.

Clinton continued to praise the success of West Angeles’ programs to audible cheers and claps from the congregants. “Do you believe that we can have shared prosperity like you are trying to create all around this church? If we did what you’ve done here, if we did it everywhere in America, could we reduce inequality? Could we restore upward mobility? Could we help bring people back from the depths of despair? I believe we could,” stated Clinton.

“It would be tremendous if West Angeles’ CDC and COGIC’s Urban Initiatives could be implemented in communities around our nation. Helping our community, our ‘brother in need’, the ‘widows and the orphans’ is not political, its scriptural and we will continue to do the work of the Lord at West Angeles Church of God in Christ,” concluded Blake.


 

 

Father’s Day: Enter the ‘My WestA Dad’ Contest!

Every day should be spent celebrating our parents. They are the people that have fed us, clothed us, protected us and cared for us. They are the moms and dads who sacrifice to keep food on the table. They are the adoptive parents who welcomed a child that was not their own into their home. They are the grandmothers and grandfathers who once again assumed the responsibility of raising a child. They are the young couple, just figuring out how to get some sleep on a nightly basis.

On June 19, the nation will celebrate fatherhood. Here at West Angeles Church, fathers mean the world to us. We feel blessed to say that our very own Bishop Charles E. Blake is an outstanding example of what it means to be a father. And now, we want to hear about your dad!

WESTADAD Fathers Day Comp RULE (1)

 

On June 18, 2016, the day before Father’s Day, five (5) winners will be picked at random and can claim their gift baskets at West Angeles Church of God In Christ on Sunday, June 19 (Winners will receive a notification Facebook message or Twitter direct message. Winners can arrange another date to pick up their prize).

 

SERMON: Bishop Blake Teaches Symbolism of the Bronze Altar

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake continues the study of the tabernacle, preaching the 4th message of the series based on his book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence.” Some of the new meaning found within the Old Testament symbolism of tabernacle refers to “relationships, especially our relationship with God,” said Bishop Blake.

“We talked about God’s nature; that He is holy, that He is jealous, but He is also merciful. We talked about God’s promises, and a practical, working understanding of God, so we can better understand what God is like, and what God expects from us.”

Bishop Blake also believes that the series can help us to understand ourselves, as well as those to whom we are to relate.

“We talked about what God is like. What we haven’t talked about is what we are like.”

In Part IV of the series, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake discusses some of the factors which “affect our ability or inability to properly relate to God, or to life. God wants us to enjoy Him.”

This sermon is based on the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. For more information, please see below. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…the almighty eternal God in His wisdom created and synchronized this vast universe in which we live.”

“As a finale of this great drama of creation, God brought in to existence a being made in His own image. He created man. This man and the women God gave to man was esteemed and cherished above all God had created.”

“Man was a living soul who had the capacity to communicate with God, to love God, and to worship God.”

“Genesis implies there was no death, no physical suffering in the universe as God created it. It was a vast symphony of harmony, and a vast symphony of peace.”

“Man was created in innocence and was privileged to live in communion with God, and in harmony with God and with creation.”

“Because God loved man, God made man a free moral being. He gave man the ability to make choices regarding his moral behavior and regarding his spiritual behavior.”

“Although God had created man in His own image, man had to make His own choices as to how he would maintain that purity, and maintain that righteousness.”

“God has dominion over all creation. The existence of alternatives is absolutely necessary if one is to be a free moral being.”

“Adam not only had to be free to do good, he also had to be free to do evil. Otherwise, he would not have been free at all.”

“It seems that God would have had our diet to be vegetarian. The thought of killing animals did not enter into the minds of Adam and Eve.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The consequences of disobedience would be death.” 

“1 John 3:4 tells us that sin is a transgression of our obedience to the law and command of God.”

“Satan is still using the same strategy today. He’s still lying, doing the same thing.”

“The prospect of being like God was too much for Adam and Eve, and they disobeyed their creator.”

“That instance of disobedience was the saddest and most tragic moment in all of history.”

“Sin is the ugly blemish in God’s picture of what the world ought to be.”

“Sin had emblazoned itself on the nature of the universe. It is transgression of the law of God.”

“Sin is a slap in the face of God.”

“We’re like an heir who inherits an already encumbered estate…and he continues to [add] more and more debt against the estate.”

“Sin is a discordant note in the symphony of the universe.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Sin is a dreaded disease and its relayed from father and mother to sons and daughters.”

“All men are sinners…because men are sinners by nature.”

“Every one of us has committed sins. Every one of us has reduced and contorted the picture of what God wants us to be. All have sinned…all of us fall short of the glory of God.”

“There are many who claim to believe…that if humans are left alone they’d automatically do what’s best, that they’d automatically do what’s virtuous. But there’s little evidence in the annals of human history to substantiate that view.”

“Man is what the Bible says he is, and that is a sinner.”

“Because of sinfulness, because of guilt, men became enemies of God and were made subject of the wrath and judgement of God.”

“The condition of the world before the fall of man and after the fall of man is graphically portrayed in Genesis 1:29.”

“It seems that God would have had our diet to be vegetarian. The idea of killing and consuming animals was not even mentioned. Even after they had sinned, the thought of killing animals did not enter into the minds of Adam and Eve.”

“They designed their clothing from leaves and from vegetable items that were growing on the face of the earth.”

“Notice that an apron does just fine up front. But from the rear, an apron leaves everything exposed!” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“In order for the skin of an animal to be obtained…the blood of that animal must be shed. From the time man sinned, bloodshed became necessary that his guilt and his shame might be covered.”

“The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”

“Sin is such an abomination and repulsion to our Holy God and to our righteous God.”

“The tabernacle was actually a relatively small tent-type structure…the walls were made of detachable acacia wood boards.”

“The high priests alone could go into the most Holy place.”

“What one would see upon entering the outer court was the brazen altar; an altar of sacrifice.”

“In the most Holy place behind the veil was the arc of the covenant, but the location of the brazen altar vividly  illustrates that entrance into the fellowship with God is by means of the altar of sacrifice.”

“Individual worshiper, if he was not a priest, could go no further than the brazen altar.

“The brazen alter was a testimony of God’s judgement, and God’s condemnation of sin.”

“The tabernacle, and everything in the tabernacle was a type or a shadow of things to come.”

“Just as the lamb was a substitute, Jesus was our substitute.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“What happened at the brazen altar confirms that the entrance into the things of God is available only by a sacrifice of blood.”

“Every priest stands administering daily, offering the same sacrifice which can never take away sins. But this man, Jesus Christ, after he’d offered one sacrifice for sins forever…He was perfecting  forever those who were being sanctified.”

“Throughout the Old Covenant, animals were sacrificed daily; lambs were sacrificed on the bronze altar. But when Jesus came He made one sacrifice  on the cross forever.”

“Just as the lamb was a substitute, Jesus was our substitute.”

“Clap your hands and praise God for Jesus!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 29:38-46, 1 John 3:4, Genesis 1:29, Hebrews 9:22, Genesis 4:3, Romans 3:23, Exodus 11, Gen 3:7, 21, Hebrews 10:11.


 

Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop ENCOUNTERING GOD bookCharles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.


To see this entire service, or to learn more about Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s series on the tabernacle and more, Please click HERE, to go to West Angeles Gospel On Demand.