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 business person 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 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 men.
“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 business person 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.
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:
“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.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches 5 principles of living a blessed, high-leverage life in the Lord.
2 Chronicles 31:20-21 (NKJV) – 20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.
I’m quite fascinated by the life of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was prosperous. Hezekiah was blessed. He was one of the greatest kings in the history of the Israelites. During Hezekiah’s reign, Israel became a nation which was admired and respected by the other nations of the world.
Hezekiah prospered in all his works. The man was ridiculously rich. He received tremendous miracles from God. He experienced outstanding manifestations of God’s power and might. His was a high-leverage life because of his attitude, conduct, and behavior, which brought into action the providence and power of almighty God.
5 QUALITIES OF THE HIGH-LEVERAGE LIFE
When you look at the results of Hezekiah’s life, it is not his effort or ability that caused these great miracles to take place. I focus on Hezekiah today because we can learn from him. We should learn from great men how to be greater; from wise men, how to be wiser, and from blessed men, how to be more greatly blessed.
What positive qualities do great people possess that we can incorporate into our own lives? How can we sense a person’s heart when discerning their conduct? And what qualities do we observe in Hezekiah?
- He pleased God. When God is with you, you prosper wherever you go. God is looking for those who will do what’s right; folks who do are high-leverage people. When you are a righteous person, you are in step with the canons and rhythms of God’s great universe.
- He was a man of character. How you behave daily is an indication of your character. Character is not only good behavior but also the moral convictions that produce good work in your life. God the Creator has a master plan by which the universe was created and operates. We obey the word of God – the Holy Bible – because we recognize the wisdom and authority of God as Creator. If you’re not obeying God, it’s because you think you’ve got a better solution.
- He made a covenant with God. A covenant is a committed relationship. God has committed Himself to us, but so few of us are really committed to Lord. We don’t want a relationship…we want a date! In Romans 8:35-39, Paul said, “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- He had faith. He trusted God. Our faithfulness does not exempt us from trouble, but God does promise to be with us in the midst of it (Daniel 3:25). The Son of God will show up in your situation if you’re faithful to God; God will fight your battles.
- He prayed. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV). I know you’re having problems, but stop talking about them! If you cry out to God, He will show up; if you call Him, He will answer you.
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us. Jesus not only died for us, but He also rose up on the third day. That’s God’s guarantee to you that you, too, shall rise. The name of Jesus means you can have life everlasting; in Him, your life can be more than you ever dreamed. Let God Himself take control of your life.
When you live a high-leverage life, you’ve got leverage with Almighty God.
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: 2 Chronicles 31:20, 32:1-7,23,27, 29:2-10, 7:14; 2 Kings 19:14-16, 35-36, 20:1-6,11, 18:5;1 Samuel 16:7, John 4:23, Jeremiah 9:24, 33:3; Romans 1:18, 8:31, 35-39; Proverbs 3:6, 16:7, 14:12; Daniel 3:25, Ephesians 3:20.
Adapted from the sermon, “The High-Leverage Life”, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.; October 2, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, Los Angeles, CA.
Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. was reinstated as the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) by winning the vote at the COGIC General Assembly on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, following the COGIC 109th Holy Convocation. Presiding Bishop Blake now begins his 3rd term as the Presiding Bishop. Blake is the 7th leader in Succession, and the 7th Presiding Bishop of the denomination since its founding in 1907 by Bishop Charles Harrison Mason.
COGIC boasts over 6.5 million members and has congregations in 63 countries around the world. “I am humbled and overjoyed that God has allowed me to continue my service as the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ,” stated Blake. Blake is the Senior Pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, where the membership exceeds 25,000. West Angeles represents the largest church within the COGIC denomination.
The election rounded out a week of worship services, meetings, and fellowship during the COGIC 109th Holy Convocation, which took place in St. Louis Missouri from November 7-15. During the Convocation over 40,000 people attended the Convocation, generating over $30 million dollars for St. Louis’ businesses.
“The Church of God in Christ is a body of Holy men and women whose mission is to seek and save that which is lost. I count it a blessing to serve the members of COGIC and my Lord and Savior with integrity, righteousness and a daily commitment to do the will of God,” said Blake.
Tanya Young Williams, Chief Strategist
TRY Williams Consulting Group
The world today calls for the church to live in holiness and righteousness. God calls us as His people to maintain our connection to Him; to be a people set apart from the ways of society, and to use our lives to bring light into the darkness of the world. In the first of a 3-part series for “The Elders’ Corner,” Dr. Kenneth Hammonds discusses the meaning of holiness through linguistics, and through understanding the nature and wonder of God Himself.
What Is Holiness?
In order to study the meaning of holiness, we must start with God. God is the beginning of holiness. Before the beginning of creation was God, who existed in all of His splendor by Himself, of course in the persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But some theologians assert that God’s holiness – or His “otherness” – is His key attribute; the central core and foundational attribute of His nature and character.
One pastor, Pastor Jim McClarty, made a great statement which said, “God is unlike any other, and His holiness is the essence of His otherness.”
Defining Holiness through Language
Let’s look at some of the basic concepts of holiness through linguistics, in both its Hebrew and Greek foundations in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
In Hebrew, the word is Kadosh, which means “sacred or holy.” This word is used many times in the Old Testament, in the book of Leviticus. In the Greek (in the New Testament), the word is Hagios, which means, “to be holy; to be sacred, to be set apart by or for God as holy or sacred.” The Greeks used the word in their temples. A third word, Ekklesia means “church, assembly, congregation, convocation.” It is made of two words: ek which means “out of,” and klesia, from the word kaleo, which means “to be called.” The church is not the building! To be the church is to be called out as the assembly for God’s purpose.
Three words summarize the linguistic foundation of holiness and what it is. Holiness is:
- DIFFERENT – standing out from the ordinary
- SET APART – for purpose, mission, and service to God
- BEAUTIFUL – the splendor, the beauty of our life and of our witness; holiness is attractiveness
In other words, to live holy means that we are called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.
What Does Holiness Mean To Me?
Some questions about holiness we may ask:
- “How do we know God is holy?” We know because God reveals, proclaims, and declares Himself as Holy to mankind. Leviticus 11:44 says, “Be Holy because I am Holy.”
- “God is holy, but can He impart holiness to humans?” God says that it is possible, and it can be done. Indeed without Him, you cannot be Holy. His nature makes it possible. You can be different; you can be set apart, but it takes His impartation of holiness to be set apart to God.
- “Why is holiness required or indispensable?” Holiness is indispensable in the time in which we live, and in New Testament theology. It is absolutely required and indispensable to show God’s work in the lives of human beings. In you, as a holy human being, others have seen a difference in your life! The impartation of God’s holiness speaks to others about God’s work in our lives, which is for the benefit of mankind. Because others live holy, mankind benefits, simply because someone is set apart for God’s service. Most importantly, the reason we do anything and everything is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31 –
“We do all things for the glory of God.”
So, holiness is to be lived and enjoyed!
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. That is the holiness that God gives, and it is also the holiness of what God is. As you look at the words we’ve discussed above, you see that the nature of holiness is good. Holiness means being set apart. If you are a set apart being, then you are beautiful.
Be beautiful! Called-out! Set apart!
God Bless you!
Adapted from “Let’s Talk About It: Holiness,” by Dr. Kenneth Hammonds, Dr. Wilfred Graves and Elder Oscar Owens, 11/11/2015, at the West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Peter; Isaiah 6:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Romans 1:6, Leviticus 11:44 , 1 Corinthians 10:31. See also: Strong’s Concordance, and the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.
JOIN US FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY! Delve deeper into the Word of God as dynamic pastors, theologians and speakers from across the country present riveting insights on the Bible, the basis of our faith. Please join us at West Angeles each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the North Campus Sanctuary, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Visit Westa.org or phone:(323) 733-8300 for more information.
THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM – Want to learn about the promises of God? Hear this entire sermon in its entirety on CD or DVD. Visit us at the West Angeles Christian Emporium where you’ll find a variety of Bible translations, books on Christian life, devotionals, and more. Visit us in the lobby after each service, or visit us at 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012 for hours and directions.
The need for prayer today is greater than ever. Our world faces wars, along with an epidemic of broken homes, poverty, violence, sexual immorality and social strife. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration.
It was the mission of Church of God In Christ’s founder, the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, to recapture and maintain the prayer traditions of the slaves. Our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. desires that we must again commit ourselves to seeking God through prayer, and to maintaining the COGIC legacy of being a church of prayer and fasting.
The 40 Days of Prayer was established by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., in 2011 to intercede on behalf of the Annual International Holy Convocation. For 2016, God has placed the following theme upon Presiding Bishop Blake’s heart:
FIGHTING FOR SALVATION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN A VIOLENT AND IMMORAL WORLD – 1 Timothy 6:12
It is the joy of the Presiding Bishop to call the people of the Lord to seek God during the 40 days leading up to and during the 109th Annual International Holy Convocation in Saint Louis, Missouri. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration: 40 Prayer requests/11 Minutes of our daily prayer time/40 Days –
SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 – NOVEMBER 6, 2016
We pray that this event impacts your life, and that praying for our nation moves us from a 40-day venture to a lifetime endeavor.
 – COGIC.org, “Church of God In Christ 109th Annual Holy Convocation 11/40 Guidebook”;http://www.cogic.org/hc2016/files/2013/09/11-11-40-l-Guidebook-2016.pdf. Accessed 10-1-2016.
Are your worries and fears closing in on you? Do you feel that the world goes against all you believe in? In this sermon from 2012, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. gives us the Kingdom tools for living confidently within the power of the Word of God.
Romans 8:37 – Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
“Our text for today provides for us a foundation for living with confidence, and living without fear.”
“There are many Christians who do not live confidently. Our father has given us the Kingdom, but we sometimes think and act like paupers.”
“Omnipotence awaits our very beck and call, but we are filled with fear and intimidated by it all.”
“Those who would manipulate you, those who would control you, those who would imprison you emotionally, will do so by capitalizing on your hunger and on your fear.”
“Don’t tell folk your business; don’t tell folks your insecurities and fears – unless you know they love you.”
“If you look to people as a source…and if you strongly desire what people can give you, they may use you and your hunger to accomplish their goals and aspirations, rather than your good.”
“By holding up what you desire, they will lead you in directions that you should not go.”
“Be careful of who you reveal your insecurities to.”
“Fear will cause you to turn away from a very righteous agenda. When people know you are afraid, they will use your fear to make you step aside and be silent, when you ought to be speaking out.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“You’re never better off when you’re content.”
“Don’t be hungry for things…live in, drive in, and wear what you can pay for.”
“Don’t live on credit, because if you live on credit you’re going to live hungry and afraid.”
“If there’s unavoidable hunger and there’s unavoidable fear, reveal it to God.”
“The devil and the wicked will use your hunger, use your fear as handles by which they will guide you and control you and keep you in bondage.”
“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Grace is something wonderful to be under because grace is God’s righteousness at Christs’ expense.”
“Jesus paid it all!”
“Stop downing and condemning yourself: start praising God!”
“Start believing what God’s Word says, and you shall become what God’s Word says you can become.”
“Aren’t you glad to be a child of God?”
“Look over at your neighbor and say, ‘It’s working out!’”
“You’re dealing with something that’s bigger than you can handle; overwhelming you, driving you down into the dirt, but I want you to know, just keep on loving and serving God…it’s working out!
“God is going to bring you over! God is going to bring you out!”
“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.”
“Some of you are worried about the forces that are against you…You’re worried about a situation the environment that is…but you ought to rejoice because the Bible says, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ Hallelujah!”
“The Bible says that God has created all things…How can something that God created and controls be against us?” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Don’t worry about what seems to be against you. Just keep on trusting God. You’re going make it. You’re going to come through it.”
“The psalmist says, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me!’”
“When God shows up, I don’t care who else shows up: there’s nothing that God cannot deal with!”
“Break for praise! Clap your hands and give praise to God for all that He is!”
“We can live confidently because if God is for us, the world cannot come against us stop us block us.”
“If you’re looking for love, you’ll find it in God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“If you looking for someone who cares about you, if you’re looking for someone to trust with your fears, open your heart and say, ‘These are my challenges; these are my fears, my hunger,’ you can do so with God, and He will help you.”
“Stop walking in inferiority…All of us need the mercy of God. Come boldly to the throne of Grace.”
“You don’t have to live in defeat. Position yourself in Christ and you’ll be more than a conqueror.”
“Jesus conquered demons; He made them tremble and He made them obey Him…He destroyed principalities and powers. Through death and resurrection, Jesus was more than a conqueror.”
“The same spirit that raised Him up from the dead is in you to conquer and to overcome.”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Romans 8:31-37, Genesis 25:19-34, 50:20; 1 Timothy 6:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:11, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:4-5, Psalm 27, Roman 3:28, John 3:16, Hebrews 4:15, Proverb 16:32.