6 questions to consider about the power of your thoughts: does God know your thoughts?

6 Questions to Consider on the Power of Your Thoughts

Have you ever considered the power of your thoughts? This week, we welcome Elder William F. Hampton to the Elders’ Corner, with the first piece in a new series which focuses on our thoughts.

The World Book Dictionary defines a thought as “the power or process of thinking. It is a mental activity; the characteristic thinking of a particular person, group, time and/or place.  

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a thought as “serious consideration.” Strong’s Concordance defines a thought as “an association of ideas; cogitation (meaning, ‘deep thought, careful consideration, pondering, meditation’…); divided in mind.”

My definition would be:

A process of thinking that dictates your future.

In the upcoming weeks, join us on Westa.org as we focus on our “thoughts.” I will examine how the brain processes thought, and I will also touch on the following:  

1. Does God know our thoughts?  

2. What are man’s thoughts?

3. Who should determine our thoughts?

4. How can we develop our thoughts?

5. What are God’s thoughts?

6. How can thoughts affect our lives?

Last, but not least, I would like to focus on what our thoughts should reflect. Please join me next week to explore the question, “Does God know our thoughts?”


Elder F. William Hampton is a long-time member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Born in Houston, Texas, he received his High School Diploma from Hinds Agricultural High School,  his Associates of Arts Degree from Utica Junior College, his BA from Texas Southern University and his MFA from Loyola Marymount University. Elder Hampton joined West Angeles Church in 1985 and was ordained as an Elder in June of 2008.  He has worked with the West Angeles Sunday School and Youth Ministries, and is currently a member of the Web Team.  

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Bishop Blake, Magic Focus on Advancing Black Males

Originally posted on LAsentinel.net.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson are partnering to offer advancement services to equip African American men to succeed in life.

During the official launch event on March 18 at West Angeles COGIC, the two leaders announced the initiative before an audience of 400+ men attending the church’s Brotherhood Organization gathering.

The program, billed as “Super Saturday,” featured breakfast and motivational speeches by Blake, Johnson and actor and entrepreneur Romell Witherspoon.

“This initiative was birthed out of a deep concern about poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, the desperate state of the African-American male and the breakdown of the family unit that plagues our cities, small and large, urban and rural,” explained Blake.

To combat those challenges, the advancement services will focus on education (access, excellence and  equity), economic development (job creation and training), crime prevention (reduction and  rehabilitation), family life (developing healthy men, women and children) and financial literacy (earning, saving, investing and spending wisely).

While West Angeles COGIC already offers 20 programs specifically for men, Blake noted the Super Saturday event strengthens the church’s effort to do even more to help African American males.

“This is kind of a special day to have Earvin with us now and Witherspoon, a very sharp entrepreneur, to share with us from a millennial perspective. Nobody’s a better businessman than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He’s taking us to another level and we’re going to continue as long as we are here,” said Blake.

Explaining that the initiative is another step towards community improvement, Johnson said, “The face of our community changed when Bishop built the church (West Angeles Cathedral).  I think people’s minds were changed, so now we have products and services and goods that we never had before in our community.

“We have had so many things happen that are positive in our community. This is what it’s all about. We’ve got to continue to take striving steps to make our community better.”

Johnson’s commitment to community development and empowerment is illustrated by his long history of establishing businesses and hiring people in underserved communities across the nation. In South L.A., he is heralded for opening a movie theater, several Starbucks and other businesses in the area. Through his Magic Johnson Foundation, he sponsors a number of philanthropic campaigns such HIV educational and  awareness programs.

A 25-year member of West Angeles COGIC and president of the L.A. Lakers, Johnson said, “I’m never going to change.  It’s not about my job or what I do, but who I am.  I will always be a man who will be involved.”

“His businesses that he manages here in Los Angeles and the economic opportunities he provides are in the hood or near the hood. So I’m very proud of him and his efforts to improve to enhance the community,” added Blake.

A Message from the Stars: Seyfert galaxy NGC 6814. Photo: ESA/Hubble & NASA; credit, Judy Schmidt

Bishop Blake: Amazing Facts About the Greatness of God, Part I

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake ponders the greatness of God’s universe in Part I of our series on God and His creation.

“The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.” – Psalm 19:1

Whenever you look out into the sky, even on the clearest night, you see only a small part of God’s universe. The nearest heavenly body to us is the moon, and the moon is approximately 245,000 miles away. The sun, which is a star, is 93 million miles away from us, a gigantic celestial body with a circumference of three million miles around. And there are stars in the universe that are 1,000 times as large as our sun.

Distances in the universe are so great, a basic unit of measurement is a light year – the distance that light can travel in one year – and that distance would be six trillion miles.

Our galaxy, called, “The Milky Way,” is more than 100,000 light years in diameter. Two million light years beyond that, you will arrive at another galaxy system.

Limits of the universe have never been discovered. But as large as it is, the God that we serve is bigger. The heavens declare the glory of God because the vastness of the heavens declares the vastness of our God. God is everywhere present and as mighty as all of those combined wonders are, our God has more power than what He has created…our God is a mighty God!

When you come against something that is too much for you, too powerful for you, too overwhelming for you, when you think you’re not going to be able to deal with it, even with God’s help, I just want you to remember: God has made an infinite number of stars and suns that are bigger than our sun. They’re still burning, still shining…and if God can do that, then God can do whatever you need Him to do.

Adapted from the sermon titled, “A Message from the Stars,” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Come back to Westa.org for Part II of Bishop Blake’s Amazing Facts About the Greatness of God.


As our gift to you, experience the entire sermon below, on West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Legacy Broadcast:

A Message From The Stars, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake at West Angeles Church of God In Christ from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

IMAGES – Featured photo: Seyfert galaxy NGC 6814. ESA/Hubble; acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt.  Sun video /Gyrating active region: both courtesy NASA.gov.

SUPER Rally

Pastors & Elders: West Coast Super Rally Week!

GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!

The General Council of Pastors and Elders is coming to the

West Coast!

Pastors and Elders, plan to meet your Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., who will be sharing a word from the Lord, at a rally near you.

Conference details & registration opportunities available on COGIC.org.

See you in the place!

SUPER Rally

7 PROMISES of GOD

7 Promises of God That Will Motivate You Today

Behold: I am the Lord is there anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27 

The prophet Jeremiah ministered during one of the darkest periods in the history of the Jewish nation. God was displeased, and the Kingdom of Judah was preoccupied with great distress. Babylon, the greatest military force of that day, had launched a deadly attack against the nation of Judah.

God had revealed to Jeremiah that, although He had delivered Judah many times in the past, Judah was then to be defeated. Its land and its assets were going to be confiscated. Its people were going to be made slaves. Many had already been killed by the Babylonians. Others were facing starvation and great desperation.

But Zedekiah not only rejected Jeremiah’s counsel, he also put Jeremiah in jail (and Jeremiah, of course, was proven to be correct; Babylon did overwhelm Judah, Zedekiah’s kingdom).

However, let’s take note of God’s grace and God’s mercy, even in the midst of crisis and amid catastrophe. God, in the midst of their distress, gave Judah a promise. In Jeremiah 32, God let them know that He still had a future for them:

  1. I will gather them from all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to this place…I will cause them to dwell in safety (Jeremiah 32:37).
  2. They shall be my people, and I will be their God (Jeremiah 32:38).
  3. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them (Jeremiah 32:39).
  4. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good (Jeremiah 32:40).
  5. I will put my fear in their hearts (Jeremiah 32:40).
  6. I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul (Jeremiah 32:41).
  7. I will bring upon them all the good that I have promised them (Jeremiah 32:42).

Time and again, God says, ‘I will.’” Even in the midst of a terrible predicament, Judah received promises from the Lord.

NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD

Some of you are in a terrible predicament today. You’ve got bills, you’ve got creditors, and they’re pressing in on your from every side. The demons of hell are bombarding you with temptations designed to make you a slave, and to exile you from everything that’s valuable and important to you. The evil forces of the earth assault you with relentless fury so that your very survival is at stake. In the midst of it all, God seems distant or silent, and it seems you can go no further.

But I pray today that whatever state you’re in, that you will listen and hear God say, “I WILL.” We have a God who will keep His promises. God has made promises to us that can sustain us in the middle of our distress. If you believe God will keep His promises, give praise to the Lord.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Jeremiah 32:24-42, 24-57, 33:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20.

From the sermon, “Take Title When You Can’t Take Possession,” by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. 3-5-2017, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

WATCH NOW: Experience the entire inspiring sermon, “Take Title When You Can’t Take Possession,” HERE, on West Angeles’ LEGACY BROADCAST.


Hear “Nothing is Impossible” by Sinach Joseph, below:

Nothing Is Impossible performed by SINACH JOSEPH, Nigeria

Be inspired by 8 dynamic qualities of women in the Bible: like you.

The Power of Women: 8 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible

On Westa.org, we’re celebrating Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with a list of 8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible which are sure to keep you inspired.

As modern-day women, we seem to have as many mountains to climb today as at any other time in history. We may find ourselves questioning whether or not we have the strength to balance the weight of all the  responsibilities heaped upon our shoulders. We start our days on the run, stressed-out and worried that we’re unable to manage in our multiple roles as wife, daughter, mother, and career woman.

We end our days seeking a moment of solace by immersing ourselves in our favorite TV shows or social media outlets. Instead of finding peace, however, we’re bombarded with soul-shaking news stories and demoralizing images which seem to  challenge our  progress as a people and a nation, or worse – to undermine our faith.

We also know that we should make sure we’re healthy mentally and physically, in order to be at our best for others. However, with so much to do and so little time, we go to bed exhausted and awaken the same way, unsure of how we’ll summon the strength to rise again and start another day.

As women before us have known for centuries though, we must not lose heart when our help is as close as the Bible on the nightstand beside us.

 

8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

Prayer Warrior: 8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

OUR BIBLE, OUR POWER

The bible tells us the story of our history, and it has the key to our empowerment. Women throughout history have overcome obstacles by seeking and and relying upon the Word of God; gaining strength from its unlimited source of power.  

Here’s a list of 8 dynamic qualities of women in  the Bible to inspire and fortify you:

Prayer warrior. Women in the bible exemplify the power of prayer. Hannah’s prayers produce a warrior for God (1 Samuel 1:9-11); Anna’s prayers are rewarded with the promise of God’s New Kingdom (Luke 2:36–38).

Support system. Together, Naomi and Ruth use Godly wisdom to secure their family’s future – and change the course of history (Book of Ruth).

Purpose-driven. To cure her condition, one woman endures the possibility of disdain, scorn, and banishment in order to connect with Jesus. She allows nothing to deter her from the healing Power of God, and gives us a shining example of unwavering faith (Matthew 9:20-22).

Entrepreneur. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a hard-working, enterprising, industrious entrepreneur who not only weaves her own fabrics (Proverbs 31:19), but from that fabric she also “makes linen garments and sells them,” and supplies products for other merchants (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Prophet. Deborah knows what would save her nation from oppression. She aligns herself with a leader named Barak who can get the job done (Judges 4).

Life-saver. Esther uses the power of grace, fasting, and marriage to save her people from extermination (Book of Esther).

Ruler of nations. The Queen of Sheba uses wisdom and discernment before giving King Solomon her blessing (1 Kings 10:1-13): but Jesus warns a disobedient generation that they will not have the same results! (Matthew 12:42)

Mother of mankind. Eve is the first woman – mother of us all (Genesis 3:20). And to Mary, a Savior is born, whose existence gives us the only living example of our fullest potential (Matthew 1:18-21).

The next time you need a boost of faith, come back to this list of Biblical heroines to remind you of those who came before you, who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges and, through the power of almighty God, triumphed. Stay strong, encouraged, and focused on the Promise of The Word. As women, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.


8 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible: West Angeles Choir Singing King Jesus Is A Listening from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

LADIES: WE’RE PRAYING FOR OUR MEN!  Please join us for the next “When Women Pray” prayer event.  Please CLICK HERE for more information.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR SUNDAY SERVICES AT WEST ANGELES! Click HERE to go to Westa.org for details.

REVIVAL 3-2017

March Revival: Order in the Court

Bishop Roderick L. Hennings returns to West Angeles Church of God In Christ for Revival this week, from March 1-3.  

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. presented to us the opportunity for renewal and refreshment at West Angeles Church of God In Christ with a powerful revival titled “Order in the Court.” The guest pastor for the revival was Bishop Roderick L. Hennings of Zion Dominion Global Ministries in Rochester, NY, who began day one of the revival with an insightful look at Psalm 30:5 (KJV)–

For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

“The western mind looks at time as being linear – having a beginning and an ending,” began Bishop Hennings. “In fact, we’re the only people in the world who believe that time is linear.”

He went on to teach the congregation about the true meaning of the text, and that time is endless in God’s context.

“What time is it? No matter what time it is, joy cometh; Joy is always on the way…so even in the middle of your greatest pain, joy is on the way!”

Bishop Hennings also reminded the congregation of the power in giving God heart-felt, exuberant praise.

“You can be a quiet worshiper but you can’t be a quiet praiser…Joy is looking for you! Joy is coming! Give Him praise in your time!”

Highlights from Day 1 of the powerful, 3-day revival “Order in the Court”  follow:

REVIVAL Hemmings 2017

“Order In The Court” – Bishop Roderick Hennings conducts March Revival at West Angeles COGIC.

“He’s knocking with His Word” – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings

“The enemy can’t find you when God places you…When you’re in the right place – where God placed you – the enemy cannot find residence.”

“He pulled (Eve) out of her place. I don’t want to talk to anyone who can’t talk to me in my place!”

“Roles change when you get out of position.”

“When a man is not in place, things get out of order.”

“You learn how to love by being touched: not by being told.”

“A woman responds to touch.”

“Only one person can fit the place God has designed for you, and that’s you. Tell your neighbor, ‘I’m necessary.’”

“When you don’t know your assignment, you waste your time.” – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings

“When God has an assignment on your life…Thank God for every day you’re alone. That’s the time He’s developing you in the dark so he can present you in the light.”

“The danger of doing things God hasn’t called you to do will cause you to fight in battles, and then want God to back you up.”

“Know the difference between purpose and a proposal. When you have purpose, it’s the reason for your being; the reason that you’re here. But a proposal is something that you present, and you hope someone accepts it.”

“Purpose won’t let you die. Purpose won’t let you go through life precariously; hoping something will happen.”

“Lift your hands and say, ‘Lord, work on me!’”

“People make decisions based not on choice, but on what they value.”

“When you don’t know your assignment, you waste your time.”

“That ‘no’ can keep you on point. That ‘no’ can keep you on your assignment.”

“He’s not into exposing your processing plant. He’ll work on you privately, so He can promote you publicly.”

“Are you fitted for glory?” – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings

“Sometimes reminding yourself gives you balance.”

“God qualifies you by choosing you.”

“Even though you’re anointed to do what you do…there’s some stuff you still have to pray off of you.”

“If your prayer is promised-based, God moves quickly because you’re saying what He wants to hear.”

“You have to pray His Word! When you start praying His Word, you know you’re being fitted for glory. When you pray His Word, demons back up!”

“When you start praying the Word, the enemy has no room in your conversation.”

“Serving is not about recognition. He said, ‘Don’t get tired while doing the right thing.’”

“We’re in the last days…and all eyes are on the Christian church. Are you fitted for glory?”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Kings 6:7,13-19, Genesis 2, Revelation 3,  Hebrews 13,  Ecclesiastes 10, Hebrews 5:1-2.

Preacher, teacher, author, apologist, Bishop Roderick L. Hennings is Senior Pastor of Zion Dominion Global Ministries which he founded 1993. The church grew from 20 to 4000 members, moving to 14-acre campus in Buffalo, NY. Bishop Hennings is also the COGIC International Director of Church Growth and Development, and Administrative Assistant District Superintendent to Bishop Glenwood Young of the NY Western Jurisdiction #2. The author of “Survey of Biblical Theology,” Bishop Hennings is married to First Lady Pamela D. Hennings, and father of 2 daughters, Ariane and Chloe.


 

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10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History: Oprah with graduates of the Oprah Leadership Academy for Girl.

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part I

Likewise, older women are to show their reverence for God by their behavior. They are not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of goodness. They should encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible and pure, to manage their households, to be kind, and to submit themselves to their husbands. Otherwise, the word of God may be discredited. Titus 2:3-5 (ISV)

 

March is Women’s History Month!  On Westa.org, we celebrate the strength and resilience of women throughout history.  Below is a list of 10 inspiring quotes by great women in history who have surpassed obstacles to emerge untarnished on the other side; women who have paved the way for the next generation to reach for their dreams and to make them come true.

May you be inspired and encouraged to live your life to the fullest by the ancestors that have proved your capability and influence as a child of God.

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

— Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

– Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

 

“Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be.”

– Condoleezza Rice,  Former United States Secretary of State
WOMENMarieDaly

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History: Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry, Columbia University, 1947.

 

 

 

“Courage… it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging” – Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

 

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. ”
– Michelle Obama, first African American First Lady of the United States

 

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.”

– Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

 

“The best protection any woman can have…is courage.”

– Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American abolitionist

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

 

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

– Frances Willard, suffragette whose “momentum” started kindergartens and day care for the children of working women

 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave


Hear Nia Allen sing the beautiful hymn, “Holy Spirit”, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

 

Oprah Photo: Benny Gool/Harpo.

 

 

The American Journey of the Negro National Anthem

The American Journey of the Negro National Anthem

At the age of 28, James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) began to pen a poem which would become one of the most celebrated hymns of all time. Johnson was not only a writer, but also a lawyer, teacher, United States diplomat, and the author of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Negro National Anthem. He became the first African-American to pass the bar in the state of Florida, and also served as executive secretary of the NAACP from 1920-1930.

VOICE OF A PEOPLE, SONG OF A NATION

After receiving his bachelor’s and law degrees, Johnson balanced dual careers as educator and lawyer, while also writing poetry. In 1900, at the age of 29, he was asked to speak at an observance at the Florida school where he was principal, but chose to write a piece instead. That piece became what we now know as Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Said James Weldon Johnson –

“A group of young men in Jacksonville, Florida, arranged to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. My brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, and I decided to write a song to be sung at the exercises. I wrote the words and he wrote the music. Our New York publisher, Edward B. Marks, made mimeographed copies for us, and the song was taught to and sung by a chorus of five hundred colored school children.

“Shortly afterwards my brother and I moved away from Jacksonville to New York, and the song passed out of our minds. But the school children of Jacksonville kept singing it; they went off to other schools and sang it; they became teachers and taught it to other children. Within twenty years it was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used.

“The lines of this song repay me in an elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children.”[1]

 

In 1939, renowned artist Augusta Savage received a commission from the World's Fair for a work of art. She created a 16-foot plaster sculpture titled “The Harp”, which was inspired by “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”. The sounding board of the harp is the arm and hand of God.

In 1939, renowned artist Augusta Savage received a commission from the World’s Fair for a work of art. She created a 16-foot plaster sculpture titled “The Harp”, which was inspired by “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. The sounding board of the harp is the arm and hand of God.

In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded and by 1920, Johnson was appointed as its Executive Secretary. As he worked with the organization to combat racism, lynching, and segregation, the popularity of his anthem began to spread throughout the South. Copies of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” could be found in Black churches across the country, and the NAACP had adopted it as its theme song. It was also during this time that “Negro History Week” (now “Black History Month”) was first celebrated, conceived by noted historian Carter G. Woodson.

According to Harry Henderson and Romare Bearden in A History of African-American Artists (From 1792 to the Present)-

“[Lift Every Voice and Sing] resonates strongly as a Christian hymn because it is a song about exodus. It is a story of a journey sanctified by faith, and protected and prospered by God”[2].

Though the Johnson brothers wrote over 200 songs together (mostly for the stage), this anthem would be their most renowed. Recent historic references to Lift Every Voice include the recitation of its 3rd stanza by Civil Rights leader Reverend Joseph Lowery (formerly president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), for his benediction at the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama in 2009, and a beautiful performance by noted soprano Denyce Graves at the opening ceremonies of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC in 2016.

Lift Every Voice and Sing continues to serve as inspiration of a people, and an anthem of resilience, hope and faith – not only for African Americans, but also for all Americans who are on the journey to freedom, liberty and justice. 

 

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING

Lift every voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the list’ning skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on till victory is won.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE COMPLETE LYRICS. Watch violinist Karen Briggs perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

Read more about The American Journey of Black History Month HERE.

See Dr. Judith McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir’s presentation of “We Shall Overcome” HERE.


[1] – Poetry Foundation, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46549

[2] – Bearden, Romare and Henderson, Harry:  A History of African-American Artists (From 1792 to the Present), Pantheon Books (Random House), 1993, ISBN 0-394-57016-2. Pp. 168-180.

Image of Augusta Savage, courtesy, New York Public Library.

The road less traveled: 8 things you need to know about finding your purpose.

8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Whether we know it or not, every thing, and everyone, has a purpose. But life can seem pretty hopeless at times if we don’t know what our purpose is. Sure, we all want to be happy, but what if we were to find out that our true purpose in life isn’t contingent upon our own happiness at all?

The dictionary defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”

But God’s word defines purpose in a higher way. Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) says,  

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

That means, in a nutshell, that our purpose isn’t our choice, it’s God’s. It’s got nothing to do with our parents’ purposes, or our connections, or a particular industry we may think our skills fit into. Our purpose is strictly between us and God, and that makes it pretty important.

DIVINE DESIGN

Now that we know that God has created us for a divine purpose, 8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose also know that the world will be a much better place when we all know what that purpose is, then focused on making it happen. But before we can understand how God’s plan for our lives is revealed, we must also know that the world is going to provide all sorts of ready-made ideas for us to claim a “passion” in life – ideas which can distract us and take us down the wrong path if we’re not careful.

That part of the journey can lead us to proclaim:

  • “I want to work in the ______ industry.”
  • “People like me on television  are doing_____, and I want to do it too.”
  • “_______looks like fun!”
  • “My (dad or mom) was a ______, so I’m going to be one too.”
  • “_______makes me happy.”

These reasons, though, probably have nothing to do with why God created us in the first place.

THE SECRET TO YOUR PURPOSE

To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out in order to embrace a whole new way of thinking. So if we’re serious about taking this journey, we’ve got to let go of our own egos and desires, then:

    1. Ditch the world’s idea of who you should be (Romans 12:2). This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps to finding our purpose. This may be hard to do: but take a “media fast”, in order to spend time with God. Social media, television, music: all can be distracting and soul-numbing, and can fill the soul with a million voices – none of which are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, musical performances, sports, news, and reality tv, God doesn’t need any of them to make His purpose for your life known to you.
    2. Listen to God (Isaiah 55:11). He speaks in a myriad of ways. Asking God, hearing and listening to Him, and following Him takes commitment. Fasting, praying, meditating on His Word…You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
    3. Keep a journal (Jeremiah 30:2). Record your dreams and visions. Let Scripture define each task you do.
    4. Go back to childhood (Jeremiah 1:5). Who you were and what you did best in the early days of your childhood can reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose. 
    5. Know that you are not your parents (Exodus 20:5-6). God doesn’t want you to take your parents’ issues into your future. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
    6. Understand it’s not about your happiness (Luke 22:42) – it’s actually about someone else’s. Finding your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes your faith will be tested.
    7. Get off the career ladder (Colossians 1:16). That’s society’s vision for you. You were born with gifts and skills to be used for a higher purpose.
    8. Listen to your elders (1 Timothy 4:14). Respected elders can see the vision for your life, and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23,

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  

and in John 15:13,

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

If you look at Jesus’ life, everything He did, all of the miracles He performed, He did for others; for those who needed Him. That’s the secret to unlocking the miracles in your purpose: it’s all about using your gifts for the benefit of uplifting others.

What voice or idea is unique only to you? What aspects of society drive you forward and turn on a light within you? Using your God-given gifts and talents to let the world know who God is, changes the world as only you can. Following God’s call puts you on the road to manifesting miracles found only in living out His purpose for your life.


BOOK Free To Dream by Bishop Charles E. BlakeDO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve?  Let  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.

PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.