Blog-e1384791894696

You Are Miraculous

In 6 days, God created the miracle of the universe, the earth, and all of its inhabitants.  And He’s shown us through the ages that the miraculous can also be achieved by those who access His power for His purpose.

In Judges 16:28-30, a blinded Samson called to God for strength, and single-handedly defeated a corrupt government. David, a shepherd boy, destroyed a fierce enemy- of-the- people in 1 Samuel 17, after those who’d been trained for the job retreated in fear.  And Jesus, a carpenter by trade, was revealed as the Son of God upon His resurrection from death, and is today Savior to one-third of the earth’s population – and counting (that’s over 2.18 billion people).

What gift has God placed inside of you that that will drive The Kingdom forward?  What dream is unique to you that will make the earth a better place when you see it to fruition?  Even when we think we don’t have the time, strength, or resources to complete our goals or projects, Jesus reminds us in Revelation  22:12 –

12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.”  

He gives us power to do amazing things, and when you work within His will, you cannot fail.

You were born to do the miraculous: so go for it.

 

Written by blogger and long time member, Sis. Karen Lascaris.

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AIM to Inspire

The Youth Department is pleased to announcement its first online donation campaign and we need you!

Each year, the Church of God in Christ, Inc., hosts an annual summer convention called Auxiliaries In Ministry (AIM), geared toward leadership training, spiritual growth, education, World Missions training, and fellowship. This convention will be held in Tampa, Florida this year with the goal to achieve effectiveness in ministry.

POINT. AIM. and DIRECT. our Youth’s path to a brighter future in ministry.

 To donate now, click here!

 

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Denzel gives guidance to aspiring actors

A video of actor and West Angeles Church of God and Christ frequenter Denzel Washington giving a group of young actors some career–and life–advice surfaced this week.

Washington, who won Best Actor at the 2001 Academy Awards for his performance in Training Day, shares a message that revolves around the idea of God having a plan for each of us, a message that our very own Bishop Blake has spoke of at length.

What is most impressive about Washington’s soliloquy, in my opinion, is him stressing the fact that he was given a path, by God, and followed it, rather than promoting the idea of creating our own path, as if we were our own creators.

Also, in the video, Washington speaks about that itch that we have inside–that desire. And he advises the actors to realize that that itch is not only a desire, it’s a reminder, from God, that you were meant to do exactly what it is your heart desires so passionately.

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You Are Already Walking on Water

We try to live a holy life, separated from that which makes us weak.  Still, life can be a struggle on a daily basis and when confronted with strife, we appeal to God.

  “Lord I do what you ask of me. I have been obedient to your word, I have sacrificed and I have suffered! Why are these things still happening to me?”

Many times we look for answers within our Pastor, Worship Leaders, colleagues, friends and the most often heard answer is “just have faith.”   If we are honest with ourselves the “just have faith” or “I’m praying for you” responses are frustrating for one simple reason—how does that solve an immediate need? The struggle is still there the problem still exists.

However, perhaps the lens of our focus should be shifted. Perhaps we need to be reminded that the struggle of life’s oppositions and challenges are meant to sharpen the weapon of the mind and harden the fibers of our faith.

Every now and then, in order to press forward, we need to be reminded of what we have overcome. If your child was ever sick and is now healed—you’ve seen the sun stopped (Joshua 10:13).  If you were ever on the verge of eviction and you’re still in your home—you’ve seen a red sea parted  (Exodus 14:21). If you have EVER been broke, lied to or cheated on and are still standing—you’ve seen 5,000 men fed with a few loaves and water (Matthew 14:13-21).

The point of this life is to take the good with the bad and value each moment as a victory. God, in all his wisdom, has made us more than conquerors and I am excited to see how he will gently guide us to where we need to be! My prayer for many, including myself, is that each day brings us a revelation of just how strong we are and with the power of the Holy Spirit may we continue to walk on water.

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“SON OF GOD REVIEW”

Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. Comments on Recent Son of God Movie

 

I watched Son of God on opening weekend and would like to share a few thoughts about my experience as the movie approaches its second weekend.  My general impression of Son of God is overwhelmingly positive.  I enjoyed watching the movie for the most part and would give it a solid B+ rating.  There is a sincerity about the film that comes through quite clearly and I applaud reality TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, for bringing the Savior’s story to the big screen for the first time in over a decade.

 

Son of God is not as graphic as The Passion of the Christ and covers a broader excerpt of Jesus’ life and ministry.  It is also unlikely that this film will spark any controversy as did The Passion.  Son of God does a good job of presenting the political motivations for the Crucifixion; however, I think that those unfamiliar with the Gospels may have a difficult time figuring out why Jesus had to die from a larger theological perspective (i.e., he died for our sins).  It will be left up to believers to fill in the details for the uninitiated.  Churches may find it helpful to sponsor discussion groups or Bible studies surrounding the film.

 

As with any dramatic retelling of the Bible, some things are definitely left out of this movie.  One notable omission is Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.  Son of God is a lot like the miniseries that aired on the History Channel about a year ago, and really, it is just a reedited version of the latter half of it.  To me the miniseries felt like a highlight reel more than a complete story.  This is sort of the feeling that I get from Son of God as well.  Of course, every detail from the Gospel accounts cannot be fit into 138 minutes.

 

There aren’t any surprises with this movie. Son of God follows the Biblical accounts pretty faithfully.  I liked the inclusion of Hebrew prayers and other realistic details in the film, but was sometimes distracted by the British accents.  I will note that the Jesus of Son of God looks more like a model than a carpenter.  As I watched the movie, I kept wondering how such a good looking “movie” Jesus would have handled the torture and degradation of Calvary.  Yet, the toned down violence of this film compared to that of The Passion of the Christ makes this current project more family friendly by far.  If you have not yet seen Son of God, I do believe that you will enjoy it.  I would love to hear your take on the film.

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In Loving Memory of Nelson Mandela, Anti-Apartheid Icon

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Nelson Mandela, the modern father of Africa and icon who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.

Affectionately called Madiba, Mandela’s defiance of white minority rule and incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world’s attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994. Through Mandela’s fight–Mandela became a moral compass and conduit to heal a nation.

Mandela had serious bouts with lung infections over the course of the years–and braved on mightily.  He rests at 95.

According to CNN, President Zuma released a statement:

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human,” the president said in his late-night address. “We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”

According to BBC News,  UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Mr Mandela, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.

In a live statement, President Barack Obama says, “Nelson Mandela has gone home and we’ve lost one of the courageous men on this planet Earth. Michelle and I share our deepest sympathy and ask for the deepest comfort and respect for his family….A free South Africa at peace is an example to this world….We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us to make his legacy great and strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice. May God bless his memory and may be rest in peace.”

Please join West Angeles in honoring one of the greatest heros the world has ever seen.  We pay homage to Mandela’s family; offer prayers of comfort for his life and his memory.