Don’t Let These 6 Things Steal Your Potential

Are there “thieves” in your life? Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake exposes the elements of our lives which rob us of our full potential in Christ Jesus.

 

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion – Luke 10:30-33(NKJV)

 

In this day and age, so many are moving fast, but in reality they are really going nowhere.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teaches a lesson on the thieves which rob us of our potential.

The man in our story had a goal; he was on a journey, he had a destination. Yes, goals are essential to progress, but good goals must not keep us from the best goals. To prosper; to reach high levels of renown and popularity: “good” can be the enemy of “the best.”

You’ve heard many times the story of the good Samaritan. The story was prompted by a question asked of Jesus, probably of a lawyer, who asked, who is my neighbor?” Today I want to focus on the man who was wounded and on the thieves who wounded him.

 

In this scripture, thieves came upon a man who was on a journey. The thieves beat him and wounded him; they left him naked and half dead. A wounded person cannot function normally until they have recuperated. Nakedness is a sign of disgrace; it’s a sign of poverty.  And to be half dead means that you are only half alive: he was destined to die without help.

  • The man who was devastated and wounded represents us – he represents every person in this room.
  • The priest would represent the rites and the sacraments of organized religion – which, in themselves, cannot save us.
  • The Levite would represent man’s moral and ethical efforts – which, by themselves, cannot save us.
  • The thieves represent those things that potentially strip us and wound us and leave us half dead.

Men who were once exploding with potential are lying beside the road naked and dying. What happened to them? Thieves happened.

 

6 THIEVES WHICH CAN STEAL YOUR LIFE

 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death – James 1:14-15 (NKJV)

The bible teaches us that sin is a thief. It’s a thief that destroys life and happiness on this earth, and also in the world to come.  The evil forces that would destroy you use various enticements, but the goal is to wound you, to strip you, and to leave you half dead.

God despises sin because of what it does to His children.  Romans 6 says that “the wages of sin is death”; that which is opposed to the will of God will kill you. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 tells us that:

Don’t Let These 6 Things Steal Your Potential: Sin keeps us from the fullness of Christ.

  1. Fornication and adultery: those are thieves…they spread diseases which cause sickness and death. They rob boys and girls of their childhood; making them parents while they are still children. They are the greatest factors in the abortion epidemic. They break up marriages and destroy families.
  2. Idolatry is a thief, causing men to serve the wrong God. Anything that separates you from God is an idol and is a sin.
  3. Homosexuality is a thief because it contradicts God’s image of what a family should be. It deprives society of needed mothers and fathers, and they sometimes recruit and draw children into that lifestyle.
  4. Covetousness is a thief. Excessive desire for material things places higher value on money and things than it does on people.
  5. Extortion is nothing but a high-class thief.
  6. Drunkenness is a thief – and it doesn’t matter how you got drunk. Whether by alcohol or by drugs, jails and mental institutions are filled with victims of substance abuse.

But verse 11 of 1 Corinthians 6 says, “and such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

That means, the better we become, the better our lives become.

 

JESUS IS THE WAY 

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly – John 10:10

It’s time for me to reveal who the good Samaritan is: the good Samaritan represents Jesus. If we really want to live, it’s time for us to fall down before God and repent for our sins.  In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin.”

The man in our story was on a mission: he had a goal. But even a good objective can become a bad objective when it precludes God and shuts God out.  He was on a journey, but he made a mistake: he should not have traveled alone.  Have you been stripped? Have you been disgraced? Are you going through a time of trouble and distress? I’ve just come to tell you that you don’t have to travel by yourself. Raise your hand and say:

“Lord, Thank you Lord for turning my life around. Thank you for giving me your power. Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus Christ; thank you for stepping in just when I need you most. I need the power of the Holy Ghost!”

Child of God, if you’ve got Jesus Christ with you on the road of life, God will be with you! You’ve got the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
Stand up and say, “Power!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Luke 10:30-37, Psalms 95:6, 101,147:4; Isaiah 43:7, Philippians 3:7, Acts 17:28, John 3:16, 6:68, 10:7-10; Matthew 6:33, James 1:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Romans 6.

Adapted from the sermon, “Thieves”, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Watch the entire service below:


Illustration by Kyle Reed, c/o Creation Swap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know what an idol is? Read our post titled, “WHAT’S AN IDOL?” HERE.

GET INVOLVED: The COGIC Urban Initiatives

Dear West Angeles Family,

We are blessed with infinitely greater opportunities than Black people anywhere on the face of the earth. But we are blessed that we might reach out to those less fortunate, and to lift them and help them. We cannot be satisfied to be in a community that’s blessed and prosperous until we reach out and Bless everyone in that community.

I pray that, in this season, every one of us will stand upon our watch, and that we’ll go to God and pray:

‘God, I just don’t want to stand by. I want to have a positive impact on life on earth; I want to have appositive impact on my children, on my family, on my community. God, show me what you would have me to do show me what direction you would have me to go.’

As Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, I’ve asked every one of our 12,000 churches across the world to incorporate into their operations 5 areas of emphasis. We call this the Church Of God In Christ Urban Initiatives.

Get Involved: The COGIC Urban Initiatives include progressive programs for youth and young adults.

The 5 areas are:
1. Education – Includes mentoring, tutoring, and Christian education.
2. Economic Development – We offer job training, employment counseling and assistance, and entrepreneurship programs.
3. Crime Prevention – We’ve developed alternative programs to proactively keep young people out of crime,

and to create collaborative relationships with law enforcement.
4. Family – We’ve created programs to strengthen the family with a special emphasis on the role of fathers.
5. Financial Literacy – Includes programs for both young people and adults.

Some of the best leaders in our denomination have been assigned to lead the success of these programs across the nation. If every church has these five areas at work, there will be 60,000 programs in inner city America impacting our nation, impacting our communities, impacting the cities of our nation. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ has all 5 of these areas well covered, and we must expand even more.

We are Blessed to be a Blessing.  We need your gifts, your skills, and your involvement, and we look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
Church of God in Christ, Inc.

 

GET INVOLVED WITH WEST ANGELES

  • For financial literacy, economic development, and community assistance programs, PLEASE CONTACT: The West Angeles Community Development Corporation at (323) 751-3440. Please click HERE for more information. http://www.westangelescdc.org/
  • For more on our family and personal development programs, PLEASE CONTACT: The West Angeles Counseling Center at (323) 737-7463 or (323) 733-8300×2360, counseling@westa.org http://westa.org/counseling-2/
  • For our “Manhood 2 Fatherhood” sessions, please contact The West Angeles Counseling Center at (323) 737-7463. Please click HERE for more information. http://westa.org/portfolio/manhood-to-fatherhood/
  • For The Brotherhood Organization, please contact (323) 733-8300 http://westa.org/the-brotherhood/
  • For more information on our adult and youth Christian Education Classes including The School of Practical Christian Living, Sunday School, and the West Angeles Bible College, please call (323) 733-8300.
  • For college prep and Education Enrichment contact Deacon John Wilson at (323) 733-8300 x2628, 2629 jwilson@westa.org lburks@westa.org http://westa.org/education-enrichment/
  • For Mentoring information, please contact Minister Sam Ransom, email Sransom@westa.org or call 323-733-8300 x2629.
  • For West Angeles COGIC Ministries and Auxiliaries – For more information on all of West Angeles’ ministries and auxiliaries, including our Skid Row Ministry, the Prison Ministry and many others, please call 323 733-8300, or CLICK HERE for a complete list. http://westa.org/ministries-departments/

THE COGIC URBAN INITIATIVES: “Building healthy individuals, families, and communities for a successful future.”

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COGIC URBAN INITIATIVES IN ACTION – Please CLICK HERE to watch an inspiring conversation between our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and Operation Hope CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant, where they discuss a new COGIC partnership, the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement, and the power of financial literacy for the underserved.

What’s An Idol?

Most of us probably don’t make a connection between our favorite activities and the Bible’s definition of an idol.

We’re probably even content to pawn off our neighbor’s statue of the Virgin Mary as God’s idea of what a “graven image.” But the term idol is mentioned or alluded to so many times in the Bible – even in the 10 Commandments – that worshiping them must be a pretty serious offense!

So, before we discuss what an idol is, let’s first talk about what it isn’t, starting with those carved sculptures that are mentioned so much in the Old Testament. Sure, for those cultures that use them, they can be idols too, but they’re only a representation of the modern issues we’re dealing with today.

Second, let’s look at a passage that best defines what an idol is. Colossians 3:5 says it’s “everything that belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed” (NIV). Simply put, an idol is anything we live or swear by which keeps us from truly serving and worshiping God. So, chances are, there are elements of our daily routines which have “idol” written all over them (sorry, but that nightly smoke you “need” to get to sleep? That qualifies too).

Here are five things you probably didn’t know are idols:

  1. Your horoscope. It’s got the First Commandment written all over it (Exodus 20:4). We’re not supposed to worship the image of anything that’s “in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth,” and astrology certainly fits that description. One reason it’s bad: it limits your potential. If you think you’ve got no more capabilities than a goat or a scorpion, then how are you ever going to walk on water?
  2. Television and media images. Yes, I know you’re really into that show, and you also think you can’t live without your Xbox. But entertainment and social media has taken on a life of their own, and these days, unfortunately, there’s very little reality or God in them. Idols created by the entertainment industry now influence almost everything in society, from lifestyle choices to career pursuits. Its images can be as extreme as porn, or as violent as your favorite video game. But they can also be simple images repeated over time, like the thin blonde girl symbolizing universal beauty, or the African American man in handcuffs symbolizing universal fear. These images become idols which influence thought. They illicit desire, disparage a race or gender, create a false reality, or negatively influence our ideas about absolutely everything and everyone – even Jesus. Psalm 97:7 (ESV) lets us know that “All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols.”
  3. Bad habits. Drugs, alcohol and other addictions; phobias, sickness, family history, overeating, uncontrolled emotions, thoughts…the list goes on. How many times have we heard (or said) statements like:

“I just can’t handle [insert phobia here]: that’s just how I am”, or

“We Smiths are [insert vice here]”, or

“My Mom and Grandma had [insert illness here], so I will too…”

Whatever limiting thoughts and ideas we allow ourselves to attach to are not only idols, but they can also influence the way our children and grandchildren think about themselves too (Exodus  20:5).

  1. Society’s norms. Gluttony, racism, oppression, and yes, casual sex; the practices we engage in and ideas we adopt which go against God’s instructions for our lives not only limit our own potential, but also the growth and potential of others.
  2. Money. This is a big one. Yes, it’s part of survival in our society. But love of money is another thing entirely. Jesus makes it plain in Matthew 6:24 that it’s impossible to live for greed and God at the same time. Greed has been at the heart of man’s endeavors from the beginning of time, and manifests itself in a variety of ways, from slavery to economic recession. If the motivation behind any action is monetary gain, as opposed to the intrinsic good of all mankind, then that action becomes an idol. From manufacturing a seed, to building a business, to developing a community or governing a nation: if God didn’t ordain it, then man’s probably in it for profit and control, and its effects diminish and destroy God’s people and His Will for the earth.

Idolatry keeps us from finding true liberty and freedom in Christ, and prevents us and future generations from being all we’re created to be (Exodus 20:2-5). “There are ways which seem right to a man, but in the end are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25). That passage defines idolatry in a nutshell, and God seemed to believe the message was so important for us to understand, He sent it twice! But in Proverbs 19:21, He also makes it clear that, in spite of man’s ways, it’s only God’s methods that triumph.

So save yourself years of trials and anguish: drop the idols and do things His way.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Colossians 3:5, Leviticus 26:1, Psalm 97:7, Exodus 20:2-5, Matthew 6:24, Proverbs 14:12, 16:25, and 19:21.

Marriage Series: How Bishop & Lady Mae Met

As our Marriage Series continues, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. and First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake tell the story of how they met:

ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED? The West Angeles Counseling Center offers a wonderful 8-week Pre-Marital Counseling Course to give couples a strong foundation for marriage. Contact the West Angeles Counseling Center today. Phone: (323) 737-7463 Address: 3017 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. – How to Overcome Obstacles and Negative Circumstances in Your Life

Inspired by Psalm 18, the highlights of this sermon, titled “Overcome Negative Circumstances And Negative Emotions” by our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., reference the words spoken by King David to the Lord on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all of his enemies.

“One of the most important abilities a person can have is the ability to endure and rise above negative circumstances and emotions.”

“It was Samuel Lover who said, ‘Circumstances are the rulers of the weak, but they are the instruments of the strong.’”

“Napoleon said, ‘Circumstances? I make circumstances!’”

“The same circumstances that will destroy and devastate one person will make and develop another person.”

“Arnold Toynbee said, ‘Great civilizations are not born in circumstances where everything is nice or where everything is beautiful; but rather, in environments that are unusually difficult.’”

“It’s not your circumstances, it’s how you respond to your circumstances that is the important thing.”

“Some people don’t need a reason to hate you. They just find out that somebody else hates you, and they’re going to hate you, too! Does anybody know anything about haters?”

“Don’t be surprised when people hate you. Just be glad when you find some folk that love you.”

“If you live, you’re going to have enemies.”

“When you’re in the midst of wickedness all around you, it begins to drain your spirit – if you’re not careful” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“People are afraid today. They’re afraid about their marriage. They’re afraid about holding onto their job…They’re afraid for their children…and then there are some folk that are afraid, and they don’t know what they’re afraid about!”

“If I can get you depressed, I can defeat you.”

“When you’re in the midst of wickedness all around you, it begins to drain your spirit and drain your enthusiasm for righteousness – if you’re not careful.”

“Austin O’Malley said, ‘Sorrow, like rain, makes roses and mud.’ That same sorrow, if you allow God to use it, can create a rose garden in the middle of your mud.”

“One thing about Brother David is that even though he faced these negative emotions, he was under-girded with some firm convictions about God!”

“If you know God, you ought to be able to overcome negative emotions better than some folk who don’t know God.”

“Whenever you see those words ‘OH LORD’… that’s a Tetragrammaton to replace the word ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’…that let’s you know the name of our God.”

“Nothing else defines God but God Himself!”

“God spoke out of a bush that was burning, but not consumed.”

“God doesn’t need any fuel to burn!”

“God can send fire, and He needs no fuel for the fire to burn…If our world could do that, then nations could stay at home, and not be out somewhere trying to take somebody else’s oil!”

“God speaks to the things that be not as though they were…and if God wants to create something out of nothing, God can do it. And if God wants to bring life out of death, then God can do it. And Jesus proved that when He died on the cross; nails in His hands, nails in His feet, but on the third day morning He got up!”

“With God, nothing is impossible! Does anybody know God? Does anybody trust God? I’m gonna rely on GOD! Clap your hands! Give praise!”

“When you have a God like that, you’ll stop telling your God about your problems, and start telling your problems about your God!”

“God loves you with an everlasting Love.”

“God wants you to love Him; and if you love Him, He’ll work it out for you.”

“With God, nothing is impossible” – Philippians 4:13

“The psalmist says, ‘I’m going to overcome my negative circumstances; I’m going overcome my negative emotions by loving the Lord.’”

“My love for God will cause me to hold onto God, no matter what else happens in my life.”

“If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overwhelmed by worry. If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overcome by fear.”

“Neighbor, put it down…Cast all your burden on Him, because He loves you. He’ll take care of you.”

“God is courteous…He will not come in until you call Him. If you call Him, He’ll hear your prayer.”

“Does anybody know He’s an on-time God?”

“Are there any overcomers in the house? Let all the overcomers give God a cheer!”

“I’m not going to let fear destroy me; I’m not gonna let negative circumstances drag me down… I’m not going to let the world take my salvation; steal my joy… I shall be saved!”

“Child of God, don’t throw in the towel; Child of God, don’t give up. Your best days are still ahead…Tell your neighbor, ‘Keep going! Hold on! Hallelujah!’ ”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Psalm 18:1-4 ,“Proverbs 18:14, Psalm 46:1-2; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:28, Matthew 17:20, 22:37; John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 40:31, Job 1:13-22, 2:8-9, 23:10.

OVERCOMERS BIBLE FELLOWSHIP – You are invited to join the Overcomers Bible Fellowship, facilitated by Dr. Tonya Lewis. This fellowship can teach you how to overcome any and everything that’s contrary to God’s Word, thus developing you into strong, spiritual, Kingdom citizens. Join us each Sunday morning, 8-10 a.m., or Sunday evening 5:30-6:40 p.m. in the North Campus Sanctuary. Please contact:
Dr. Tonya Lewis at tlewis@westa.org, or please call 323-733-8300 ext. 2242.

It’s Father’s Day: 11 Qualities of a Strong Father

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is committed to developing and nurturing strong, resilient families, and today, we focus on fathers. Below, the West Angeles Counseling Center, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., has compiled a list of 11 qualities which can help a man to develop into a strong, noble father.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

The definition of a father, according to the dictionary, is:

One who has begotten a child; a male parent. A male who has impregnated a female, thus a child is born.

There are other significant definitions of fatherhood, but first and foremost, a father is a provider: spiritually, emotionally and physically. He is, in essence, a watchman over his children. He sets the spiritual tone in the family, and whether that tone is good or bad, he is the one who determines what will transpire in the home. If you had a negative experience with your father, dare to be different and do not allow that negativity to take place in your home.

Here’s a list of 11 things which help to define a strong father:

  1. Be a role model. A father should not only make available provisions to supply the needs of his children – food, clothes, and a roof over their heads – but he should also provide a stable and loving atmosphere for his children to enjoy. There should be warmth and peace in the home. There should be constant encouragement and a will inside of that man, that father, to be the best person he can be. A father should be a role model to his children. No other person should be able to compare to their dad. Be positive and optimistic. You can do this.
  2. Find employment. A man who is a father should be gainfully employed. There are times when a father is met with misfortune and a job is not available to him for a time. However this father must pick up the pieces and find or create employment wherever he can to maintain a living for his family.
  3. Show love. A father, if married, should show love in the household for his wife and the children should see the
    A young father walks with his son.

    A young father walks with his son.

    affection between the parents. The children should not be exposed to arguing and fighting, whether verbal or physical. A real man will not abuse his wife…period! The home must be a safe haven and a sanctuary for the family.

  4. Be strong. A father should show quality strength and courage even in the midst of trouble and his family will see that and line up with that. A father should show good character and help and equip his children to live a successful life. A father must teach his children good morals and ethics so they can be fine upstanding citizens in society. A father should instruct his children to obey the law and show them if one goes against the laws of the land what will transpire if they disobey authority.
  5. Value education. A father should make sure that his children are schooled. He must also be a part of the school system in that he has a caring attitude for what his child does in class. Enjoy your children through games, sports and activities. Spend quality time with your children at home. Take them on outings and stay within your budget. Everything does not have to be big and excessive. Small things count.
  6. Love the Lord. Take your family to church and instruct them on the ways of God. You, father, show them the scriptures. Take time to pray with your children. Show them that a real man depends on God for direction and then live it at home. You, father, take time at breakfast and at dinner to talk about the day. Find out what happened at school and discuss with them where they are as they share with you. You might feel, “I don’t have time” or “There’s not enough time in the day,” but if you don’t find time to give spiritual guidance to your family, someone else will. You can do this.
  7. Set boundaries. Teach them to be obedient at home, to you and to their mom. Teach them to respect their siblings. Teach your boys to respect females in your family. Teach your daughters to respect the males in your family. This will help them to have a mutual respect for all people. Let them know as they get older that there will be a curfew. Give them rules and create guidelines for the home. Let them know that there will be chores to do. You can do this.
  8. Discipline your children. Discuss with your wife or the mother of your children how this can be done. If a father does not live with the family, then find a way to achieve a special bond with your child. Pay your child support, and honor and respect the mother of the child that you helped to produce. Be in the child’s life.
  9. Teach them about life. Provide whatever life lessons you can for your children. Do not let them grow up without knowing that you are their father. Teach your daughter what kind of man she should be attracted too. She will look for a man like you who is of good moral quality and who has an attitude of righteousness; a man of substance and of prayer, a man who is gainfully employed (he may or may not have a degree, but he should be a hard working man). Help your son take the steps from childhood to adulthood. Show him how to be a real man as he grows. Show him the pit falls of making bad decisions in life and how to choose good friends. Train him up right. Let him know the mistakes you made and direct his path as God leads you. You can do this.
  10. Teach financial literacy. Save money for them for college and let them know that they can be a success in life (but of course it is better to show them with your own life). You can do this because God will help you if you ask Him.  Make sure that you have life insurance for your family in case of an emergency. Make sure that you have car insurance and medical coverage for the family. There is no excuse for excuses.
  11. Redeem the time you have with your family if you made a mistake. Humble yourself and find out if it is possible to correct your error. Even if it is your fault, it can be rectified. Fathers never give up and never give in. You can do this!

God has blessed and enabled you to plant a seed. Make sure that you water that seed and nurture that seed so that seed will someday blossom into a beautiful flower and strong deeply rooted plant and these will be your children. Be proud of them, and thank God that He allowed you to be their father.

This is our message to fathers…be blessed!

THE WEST ANGELES COUNSELING CENTER – West Angeles Church of God In Christ invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. We provide support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. You do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

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Bishop Blake: A Prayer Agenda for Fathers

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

 

“There’s a great hunger, a great need for expert advice on today…Abject failures are clamoring to tell you how to succeed.”

“Bad advice is everywhere but good expert advice is hard to find.”

“Sometimes, advice is very expensive, but there can be no more important dimension than that which relates to God and to eternal life.”

“The best advice comes from the Word of God.”

“It is so important to read the Bible for yourself.”

“Isn’t it great to be caught doing good?”

“Doesn’t it seem a little strange that Paul would pray for a group that seems to be doing pretty good?”

“All of us know a good start, but few of us are able to persevere.”

“When you decide you want to do something excellent for God, that’s when the devil attacks.”

“If you’ve never had a run-in with the devil, it may be because you’re going in his direction.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“You ought to be further ahead and more accountable to God than you were last year.”

“Success imposes responsibility. Blessings impose responsibility.”

“When you are succeeding, it takes a strong, secure person to help you and not get jealous of you.”

“Many consider the apostle Paul to be the greatest preacher that ever lived, except for Jesus Christ.”

“When something is filled, it has no room for anything else. And when we are filled with the truth, there’s no room for error.”

“Paul did not just pray for knowledge, but for divine knowledge.”

“You don’t know a person because you’ve shaken hands with a person…you’ve got to stay around the person.”

“The most important associate you can ever have is God almighty.”

“Stay around the Lord.”

“The priorities of so many men are confused…They want the knowledge of God so that they can accomplish their will. It’s not our will, but God’s will.”

“Wisdom is practical knowledge.”

“A dumb question is better than a stupid mistake.”

“It’s not our will, but God’s will.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“How many of you know that God will guide you and direct you?”

“When you’re prayerful… the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will guide you and direct you.”

“My brother…if you would open your heart to the Lord, He was a way of directing you in His way.”

“Your outward life ought to bring credit to your master’s name…If you’re a servant of the Lord, your life ought to reflect that.”

“The Lord wants us to be fruitful.”

“We need the help of God.”

“’Wait’ means trust in God. ‘Wait’ means rely on God. ‘Wait’ means believe that God is going to strengthen you. And if you put your trust in Jesus, He has a way of showing up.”

“Lord, I need your power. I need your presence. If you call Him, he’ll show up!”

“Lord, fill me with your power!”

“Jesus is alive!”

“God will bring you though!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Your enemies may come against you to bring you down, but God will pick you up.”

“God will bring you out! God will bring you over! God will bring you though!”

“Patience is endurance; it’s the ability to hold out and not be blocked by any attack of the enemy.”

“Thanksgiving is a command of God.”

“God wants you to stand!”

“Joy is in the Word of God!”

“The Lord is good!”

Adapted from the sermon, “Paul’s Prayer Agenda for Fathers.”  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.  See our entire Father’s Day service featuring Shelby 5, on The Legacy Broadcast.

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Colossians 1:3-14, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 22:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Proverbs 14:12, James 1:5, Ephesians 5:17, John 14:26, Proverbs 3:6,2 Timothy 2:19, John 15:5, Galatians 6:9, Isaiah 40:31, 2 Timothy 1:7, Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49, Jeremiah 33:3, Luke 10:19, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 12:2, Jude 1:24, Revelation 22:13.


Shelby 5 was our musical guest on Father’s Day 2017 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ! Hear their awesome acapella version of “CHAMPION” below:

DID YOU KNOW? The West Angeles Counseling Center has classes on parenting and marriage. We provide support and services to help strengthen every member of the family, and you do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

Join Us for a Free Movie Night: “The Shack”

Join the Discipleship Department on
FRIDAY, JUNE 16th, 2017
for a free Movie Night, as we travel to

The SHACK

A man encounters an abandoned shack and what goes on in this experience will bring you to a new realization of God and His love for us.

Come see this riveting movie based upon the award winning book, “The Shack”

 Friday, June 16th

at 6:45 p.m. at the

WEST ANGELES NORTH CAMPUS in the Crystal Room

Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Enjoy free popcorn, and bring a friend!

 Please call Discipleship to RSVP: 323 733-8300 ext. 2349.

Bishop Blake: Do You Want To Be Well? Do These 3 Things

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  John 5:5-6 (NKJV)

In John 5, a man had been infirmed for 38 years; yet Jesus, before He would do anything for the man, asked him, “Do you want to be well?” That may seem like a strange question, but let me inform you that there are many people who say, “I want to be sick.”

Some choose to be sick because:

  • They don’t want to be held accountable. They don’t want to go through what they must endure both spiritually and biblically; they don’t want to rise up to the standard that the Word of God proclaims.
  • They do not want to endure the painful medical treatment, exercise, discipline or diet required to be made well.
  • They choose addictions, perversions, even mental illness; creating a false world into which they can escape, which frees them from the pressures and failures of life.

Jesus was right in asking this man if he wanted to be made well, because so many people settle for just any old thing. But I want to proclaim to you today that the saints should not be at the bottom, the saints ought to be the top! You’re not supposed to be “alright under the circumstances,” because God does not put us “under the circumstances.” You are above these circumstances!

Do You Want To Be Well? Do These 3 Things: Bishop Blake leads a powerful altar call at West Angeles COGIC.

In our lives, we should strive for the best: the best spiritually, the best physically, the best intellectually, the best materially, the best in our marriages, in our appearance, and in every area of our lives. We’re not here in the church just having fun, we’re here to establish lifestyles and habits that will give glory to God, and that will open us up to the blessing of the Lord in our lives.

If you’ve got God in your life, if you’ve got the Holy Ghost, you’ve got One in your life that gives you power to overcome and to surmount any obstacle, any difficulty, and any hardship that you might encounter.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?

You don’t have to be below par. You can be everything that God wants you to be. Healing is yours if you want to be healed, but first, you must:

  1. Repent. Ask God’s forgiveness. So many folks never repent; they go in and out of life without repentance. But every once in a while, you ought to look up to God and say, “Lord at my best, I’m inadequate; at my best, I can’t come up to your standard. Lord, forgive me, and help me to turn around; help me to be the person that you’d have me to be. Lord, I’m sorry. I love you and praise your name. And if I’ve done anything that displeased you, then forgive me and try me one more time.  Lord, I’m here, seeking you with all of my heart.” Healing starts with repentance.
  2. Believe in Jesus. Believe He’s the Son of God; believe into His will and into His way. Put your hand in His hand, and your whole heart in Him. Believe that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. If you really love Him, then you’re on the way toward healing. Raise your hands and say, “Lord, fill me with the Holy Ghost! I want Your power; I want Your anointing. I want to walk righteously with You.” Step into Jesus; into His love, His power and His righteousness.
  3. Deny thyself. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). If you want to do God’s will, then you’ve got to set flesh and self aside, and when you do, God steps in and begins to heal you and take you higher than you’ve ever gone before. Live your life being filled with the Holy Ghost! Holy Ghost power can work healing in your life (Acts 1:8)!

The Bible tells us to examine ourselves; to take heed of ourselves. A person who is not completely healed cannot function at full capacity. What is your spiritual condition? Are you really healthy, or are you only slightly healed? Do you want the best from God? And do you want to do the best for God?

The power of God can work healing to your life. Lift your hands and say,

“Lord, I’m coming to you for a spiritual examination. If you find anything that does not belong in me, work on me and heal me so I can be the person You created me to be! Create in me a clean heart. Lord, I want to live like You want me to live, and to be what you want me to be. Fill me with Your power; fill me with Your anointing. I want to do Your will; I want to walk in Your way to win others for the kingdom.”

God will take you higher than you’ve ever gone before. God can heal you; God can fix you. If God wants to bless anyone, He wants to bless His people: and if you’re one of the people of the Lord, God wants to bless you!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Jeremiah 6:14, Hosea 14:4, John 3:16, 5:6; Matthew 16:24, Acts 1:8, 1 Timothy 4:16, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 51:10.

Adapted from the sermon, “Do You want to be Well? by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.  May 28, 2017, at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Watch the entire sermon on The Legacy Broadcast HERE.

Hear Pastor Donnie McClurkin sing, “Create In Me A Clean Heart” below:

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with your doctor and other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Consult your doctor before starting any new eating or exercise regimen.

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light – 1 Peter 2: (NKJV)

Most medical research conducted in the United States does not include a detailed study of African American women or the uniqueness of the African American physiology.  That lack of knowledge has created disparities in the quality of medical care which African Americans receive. In 1984, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, previously the National Black Women’s Health Project, was formed in Atlanta, GA to address those disparities, and to address the health and reproductive rights of African American women. NBWHP was founded by MacArthur Fellow Byllye Avery, who was particularly influenced by the impact that public policy had on women of color and poor women.

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), based in Washington, DC, is the only national organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls – physically, emotionally and financially. Their mission is to lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S.

Also, in 1995, Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) was launched, sending health questionnaires to thousands of women including Essence magazine subscribers and the members of  Black Nurses’ Association. For the past 22 years, the study has continued to gather data annually on the 59,000 women who returned completed questionnaires in 1995. The Black Women’s Health Imperative has used research of the BWHS to develop programs, initiatives and awareness to keep African American women healthy.

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now. Infographic, courtesy BWHI.org.

Black women are more likely to develop certain health problems than white women. Until the 1990s, most of the studies of women’s health included only small numbers of Black women or none at all. Improving the health of Black women required more knowledge of the causes of these health problems and also more knowledge about how women stay healthy. More knowledge meant more research.

Through collaborations between the two groups, findings from the application of their research have included:

  • Racism affects physical health. Experiences of racism are stressors that might result in health issues. Among participants under age 50, women who reported frequent experiences of racism in daily life or in housing, on the job, and by police were more likely to develop breast cancer. No other study has reported on this issue. Racism is also a contributor to increased obesity through changes in eating or exercise habits. In the BWHS, the occurrence of obesity was greater among women who had the greatest experiences of racism. This was the case whether women lived in segregated or non-segregated neighborhoods.
  • Stress is the enemy. Too much stress can contribute to the onset of diseases: not just psychological illnesses, but physical maladies as well, such as heart disease, obesity, and premature births.  Stress can also create chronic inflammation in the body, which can create other serious physical problems.
  • Breast cancer shows up earlier: and deadlier. Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age (median age is 58 for black women, 62 for white women) and die at a younger age than white women (median age is 62 for black women, 69 for white women).
  • Lupus occurs much more commonly among Black women than among other ethnic groups, and yet it is still a rare illness even among Black women.
  • Sitting for long periods increases cancer risk. Women who sit for more than 10 hours a day – even at work – have a 40 percent higher incidence of breast cancer, as compared to those who sat for fewer than five hours a day.
  • Beware of the night shift – The incidence of type 2 diabetes in the BWHS was greater among women who had worked a night shift for at least 10 years than among women who had not worked night shifts. A possible mechanism may involve sleep disturbances, which are increasingly being associated with adverse health effects.
  • More fried foods and meat mean more cancer. High intake of foods in the meat-fried food pattern was associated with a higher risk of cancer.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Does God want us to be healthy? Yes! God has created us to follow His Word; God’s Word and God’s ways bring us health and strength (Proverbs 3). Here are 8 actions to take now, compiled from the findings of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Black Women’s Health Study, with support from the American Heart Association, which can help us to achieve the optimum health which God intends for us:

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now – You don’t need an acre to grow edibles; greens, lettuces and certain fruits and vegetables can even be grown in pots.

1. Be proactive about your health (Matthew 7:7-8, 1 Corinthians 6:19).  Get regular physicals, pap smears, and mammograms from doctors you can trust. Ask for referrals, ask questions, and get additional doctors’ opinions on diagnoses. Many doctors will treat us based on our weaknesses: not our strengths, or our ability to change our lifestyles and our eating habits! They will often not offer eating or exercise plans as solutions to common health problems. Seek out information about Black women’s health issues, and healthy eating and lifestyles. Be innovative! Our ancestors and forefathers have always created, invented, and “made a way out of no way.” Grow edibles!  Even if you don’t have the yard space, lettuces and certain vegetables can even be grown in pots or planters.  Create and discover new ways of cooking healthy at home (as opposed to eating out), which studies have found is associated with better health.

2. Get involved with your church. (Hebrews 10:25, Colossians 3:16). Studies show that religious involvement is associated with a healthy mental outlook. The Word of God provides peace, wisdom, and “strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8); church provides a support system of friends and neighbors, inspiration, and the opportunity to help others, among other benefits. Women in the studies who said they were very involved in their church tended to report excellent or very good mental health. Not surprising, right?

3. Change your environment – even if it means just taking a day trip (Genesis 12:1, Acts 7:3).  Most people tend to be happier when they’re traveling for leisure or vacationing, of course, but a takeaway learned from a recent Cornell University study is that people also experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip. And according to a joint study from the Global Commission on Aging, and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, traveling actually keeps us healthier. The study found that women who vacation at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who only travel every six years or so. Also, according to the BWHS, women who lived in poorer neighborhoods more often developed diabetes than women who lived in wealthier areas. So getting away from the ol’ neighborhood for a change of scenery holds benefits for the body, mind and spirit.

4. Fill your plate with mostly fruits and vegetables (Genesis 1:29). It’s not only healthy…it’s Biblical! Include whole grains, root vegetables, dark berries and dark leafy greens in your diet. High intake of foods in the fruit-vegetable pattern was associated with lower cancer risk. Avoid or cut down on processed foods; any food that has 20 ingredients or more should be viewed with suspicion. Cut down on serving sizes. Also important: drink lots of water.

5. Cut out excess sugar and salt (Matthew 5:13-16). Limit high-calorie foods like sweets. Avoid drinks with added sugar. Cancers feed off of sugars, and excess salt creates inflammation: which accompanies many medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes.

6. Stand! (Ephesians 6:13). Stand while working, preparing foods: whenever you can. Walk around for short periods at work, even if watching television. Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle which results in 10 or more hours of sitting per day also results in 40 percent greater breast cancer risk. A 50% greater risk for diabetes was shown in those who sat for five hours a day or more.

7. Exercise! (Isaiah 40:31) Vigorous exercise reduces hypertension and depression. Participation in vigorous physical activity was associated with a decreased occurrence of both depression and hypertension among BWHS participants.

8. Rest. (Genesis 20:10) Get adequate sleep.  Sleep deprivation has been shown to not only affect the sex life, memory and physical appearance, but it can also put us at risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Have stress-free mechanisms for relaxation. Prayer; hobbies such as art, gardening and being outdoors in nature; deep breathing exercises, stretching, listening to soothing, uplifting music: all are examples of relaxing activities we can engage in to keep stress at bay.

Finally:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.

With the mighty resurrection power of Jesus as our guide, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

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Hear the voices of the Black Women’s Health Study Advisory Board speak about the impact and importance of the Black Women’s Health Study below:

Read Bishop Blake’s post, “DO YOU WANT TO BE WELL? DO THESE 3 THINGS”.  Please CLICK HERE to read.

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with your doctor and other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Consult your doctor before starting any new eating or exercise regimen.