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 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.
GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!
The General Council of Pastors and Elders is coming to the
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!
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:
- 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).
- They shall be my people, and I will be their God (Jeremiah 32:38).
- 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).
- I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good (Jeremiah 32:40).
- I will put my fear in their hearts (Jeremiah 32:40).
- 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).
- 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
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.
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.