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Christian Life: 10 Essential Scriptures for Maintaining Your Cool

Have you found yourself in situations which threaten to challenge your patience, disrupt your peace, and encourage behavior which is counter to what God expects of you? Now, more than ever, saints are uplifting each other with the simple reminder that, no matter what is happening in the world, “God is in Control.” In our latest post on living your best Christian life, Dr. Tonya Lewis shares a list of 10 essential Scriptures for maintaining your cool in challenging times.

When we are confident with who we are and Whose we are, we learn we don’t have to fight each battle which comes our way. Insecurity, immaturity,  and not learning the value of living a peaceable life provokes us to think, say, and do whatever comes to mind, even though it is definitely not wise to do so. Most of the time, many of us feel that we must have the last word or action; we conclude that we can’t allow anyone to think that we are weak or afraid. We then want to blame others for our negative actions; even using the excuse “The devil made me do it!” (which legendary comedian Flip Wilson famous!)

Yes, while Satan and others may influence us, we make the final decision of how we think, speak, or act.  

As we mature in both age and spirit, we actually learn that we express more power by not engaging in each temptation of battle. We are told in Proverbs. 14:29, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness; and in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (NLT). Rather than lose self-control, we must take personal responsibility for our thoughts, our choices, and our actions.

We must commit to keeping our hearts holy and righteous so that BIBLE we reflect the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, both internally and externally. When we yield our lives to Christ Jesus, He empowers us to control what we think, speak or do.  

Below are 10 Scriptures which encourage us to maintain our cool and control under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior:

  1. James 1:19-20 (NIV)My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
  2. Proverbs 10:19Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
  3. James 3:2 (NLT) – Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
  4. Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (NLT).
  5. Prov. 21:23 (NLT) – He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
  6. James 1:26 (NLT) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.  
  7. Proverbs 28:25 (NASB) – An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper
  8. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  9. James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
  10. Matthew 12:34 – (NLT) For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

As Kingdom citizens who live under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, we are assured of 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which states,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).

Such is not true for persons who are still trying to live life apart from the Lordship of Christ. In order for our spirit, soul and body to be blameless, we must stay in control! When  living according to the Word of God, we will be kept blameless in what we think, say or do. 

God bless you!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years, serving on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, and at other teaching venues.


Hear Jonathan McReynolds sing “MAINTAIN”, featuring Chantae Cann below:

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September is National Preparedness Month!

Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency? Are you and your family prepared? West Angeles Church of God In Christ is providing you with the tips, resources and information you’ll need in case of an emergency.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM), which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.

Ready.gov is continuing their commitment to help us prepare ourselves in case of emergency, with an emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

FEMA - Build an Emergency Toolkit

READY.GOV – Build an Emergency Kit

To download your free disaster toolkit information, please click the links below.

  • Download the Department of Homeland Security’s “Preparing for Disaster” booklet HERE.
  • Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips HERE.
  • Get information on building your own emergency kit and plan, as well as preparing your car, your family, your pets and more HERE.
  • Get the Department of Homeland Security’s  “Active Shooter Pocket Card” HERE.
  • For more information and resources on creating an emergency plan for your family, please CLICK HERE to visit Ready.gov. 

Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies!


Please pick up your EMERGENCY TOOLKIT in the West Angeles Cathedral vestibule after Sunday service.

Please CLICK HERE to read President Barack Obama’s official proclamation, designating September 2016 as NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH. 

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Elder Richard Brooks Imparts Practical Christian Wisdom

In this edition of “The Elders’ Corner,” Elder Richard Brooks shares pearls of wisdom on purpose, understanding enemies, and allowing God to use our lives to Bless others.

Every strong faith, culture or society makes room for the impartation of wisdom from its Elders, and the Church of God in Christ is no exception. The Bible provides us with such wisdom, and the Elders of the church are among those who teach and pass on that wisdom to others.

Elder Richard L. Brooks was raised in the church, and has been infused with Biblical wisdom and COGIC tradition through his grandmother, through YPWW (COGIC’s Youth Training Union), and through Prayer & Bible Band, the oldest organized auxiliary in the Church of God in Christ. A quiet, humble man, Elder Brooks has always had a fascination with education and Christianity, and is always seeking words of wisdom in the Bible.

He now passes on generations of tradition and wisdom through his Sunday School classes, during New Members’ Orientation, and as Program Coordinator of West Angeles’ School of Practical Christian Living.

In this edition of The Elders’ Corner, we’re blessed to have Elder Richard L. Brooks share some pearls of wisdom with us.

ON PURPOSE

“A lot of people talk about having an experience with God, but they don’t have any experience because they don’t listen. They know what they want to do and they go after that…That’s the biggest mistake we make. We are taught to make that mistake.”

“You’d be surprised at how many people have no idea what they are called to do. And it’s simply because they have not sought the Lord.”

“We ask our children from the time they’re little, what do you want to be? What are you going to be when you get grown? We tell our children to decide what they want to be. We don’t teach our children to seek the Lord. We don’t do that…we do not do that.”

“Children…they don’t know what they’re capable of…only God knows.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea. A good idea, anybody can do it. But a God idea…only the person God gives it to can do it, because He only gives you a part of it at a time.”

“God will say, ‘Do this,’ and you do it, then it comes to a standstill. You can’t go further because you don’t know what to do. Then sometimes you say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll try to do this over here’ – but it don’t work. God does not give you the whole program.”

ON OBEYING GOD

“The Lord is ‘hinkty!’ If He tells you something, and you don’t appreciate it enough to get up and write it down, He’ll let you forget it, and all you’ll have is the knowledge that ‘The Lord told me something…and I can’t remember what it was!’ You know that it’s something that you need, because every now and then, way down the line, you’ll hear it again.”

“God is telling you, ‘When I give you something, write it down!’ When He said (in Habakkuk 2:2), ‘Write the vision; make it plain, so that those who read it may run…,’ the Lord’s not in the business of telling us things just so we can forget it. God has something He is trying to tell us.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea.” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“You have to stay in harmony with what God’s doing, because if you get out of harmony with what He’s doing, He’ll quit, and you’ve got nothing, because it all came from Him.”

“It’s important that we remember what the Lord tells us because God knows that the devil is waiting…just waiting…”

ON ENEMIES

“You’ll run into people who look at your success, and they’ll think it’s you, and they don’t realize it’s God. They want to tap into it. ‘Oh, I want to do that.’ But you can’t give them what you’ve got because it was given to you.”

“You’d be surprised at the enemies you’ll make while you’re busy working, trying to do what the Lord says. But somebody over there is plotting, setting you up to stab you in the back. It puts you in a position where you’re totally dependent on God.”

“When you get involved with the work of the Lord…you’re not going to be happy a lot of times. Folk will make you unhappy. They’re gonna see to it that you’re unhappy, because they’re unhappy. You’ve got to be able to throw that off and keep on going.”

ON HEAVEN

“People think when they get to Heaven, they’re gonna see the Holy Ghost. No, you ain’t gonna see the Holy Ghost…It’s a Spirit.”

“When Jesus said ‘I’m going to prepare a place for you’ – He said ‘a place,’ but it’s a body…’In my Father’s House there are many a mansions’… John said, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth coming down out of heaven.’ God don’t need Earth. He’s Spirit. Earth is natural. Christ is telling us…the people who need earth will have a body.”

“Paul talks about, ‘The mortal must put on the immortal’ bodies. You won’t be floatin’ around, eatin’ milk and honey!”

“Peter said, ‘Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and new earth wherein righteousness dwelleth.’ There’s something coming, but God doesn’t tell us. Paul said, ‘I saw it, but I can’t tell you. He won’t let me tell you.”

“Nothing that we can imagine approaches what God has prepared for them that love Him. It’s beyond our human imagination. If people are already jumping off bridges and taking poison trying to get there, imagine if we had an idea of what it would be like!”

“There are people who just want to end it all. But they don’t realize, you don’t end nothing. You’re gonna live forever. It’s where you’re gonna live that’s the thing.”

ON LIVING A CHRISTIAN LIFE

“Most of us don’t read the Bible because we don’t understand it. We read Psalms, but the Psalms don’t tell us a lot of things.”

“We’ve got to learn that just because we’re saved, we’re speaking in tongues, we love the Lord and so forth, it does not mean that we know what we need to do. We don’t know.”

“Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do.” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“Our will is not God’s Will. What we want to do 99.9% of the time is different than from what God wants us to do. Now, God will show us and tell us, and our reaction? ‘Ooooo, that’s going to hurt. I don’t know if I can do that!’”

“When you get in His Will, that’s when your life takes off. This is why Jesus said, ‘I do always those things to please My Father.’ It’s not our will, it’s God’s Will.”

“If you want the Lord to lead you, find out from Him what He wants you to do and you’ll be way up the line.”

“We must ask, ‘What does God want me to be? What does it take for me to be what the Lord wants me to be? How am I supposed to live and be a Christian?’ Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do. That’s Practical Christian Living.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 16:10-12, Isaiah 55:6-7, Habakkuk 2:2, John 8:29, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 21:1-2; John 14:1-4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 15:53; John 5:30.

Elder Richard Brooks is Program Coordinator for West Angeles’ Christian Education Department and its School of Practical Christian Living. A product of the Church of God in Christ, Elder Brooks acknowledged his call to ministry in 1953, preaching his first sermon that same year at Lockett Temple COGIC in Detroit, MI. He was ordained in 1967, and has served in various capacities within the Church of God in Christ, including District President of the Young People’s Willing Workers Department (YPWW), Pastor, and Sunday School Teacher, which he continues to do to this day. Elder Brooks encourages believers to practice Biblical concepts through daily application of its principles. He continues to direct, guide and serve the people of God through preaching, teaching, and living the Word.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW for THE SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING –  Do you want a more enriched life for you and your family? Are you new to Christ, and you want to know more about how to live from a Christian perspective? The School Of Practical Christian Living (PCL) offers classes such as Integration of Faith, Community and Service, What Am I Called Of God To Do and more. Learn to be the best Christian you can be by applying biblical principles and practices to your everyday life.

REGISTER NOW through Sunday, September 11th.  For more information or to register, please visit table 9A on the Cathedral concourse following each morning worship service.  You can also register in the lobby of the North Campus Sanctuary on Wednesday Nights from 6:00- 8:00PM.  Call (323) 733-8300, Extension 2366. Join us for the next session!

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Education Enrichment: 5 Financial Aid Tips You Need To Know Now

Deacon John Wilson, Director of West Angeles’ Education Enrichment ministry, shares 5 important tips for properly submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

For students beginning at a college or university in Fall 2017 (Academic Year 2017-18, rising seniors), Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deliveries can and should begin October 1. As you probably know, proper and timely FAFSA delivery is required to get Federal or Institutional Aid from a college or university. It’s our advice that the FAFSA be delivered October 1 – 10. 

NOTEIn previous years, the FAFSA would have been delivered January 1-10t of the year of enrollment – in this case, 2017. The date was changed by the Federal Government by Presidential Executive Order earlier this year.

Here are 5 additional important considerations:

  1. The FAFSA should be delivered ONLINE at fafsa.ed.gov, although it could be delivered in the mail. If you deliver by mail, it will take 4-6 additional weeks to complete the financial aid process.
  2. Even though it’s an ONLINE application and it’s their FAFSA, YOUTH SHOULD NEVER DELIVER THE FAFSA UNSUPERVISED.
  3. It’s our 13-year FAFSA experience that 80% of all FAFSAs are delivered ONLINE with some sort of error – 25-30% with an error that significantly reduces or delays the financial aid award. This is why, for a very small donation, we deliver FAFSAs and follow up during the financial aid process. Outside services charge hundreds of dollars for this service.
  4. Before submitting the FAFSA, both youth and parent should order a FAFSA username and password at fafsa.ed.gov. However, it’s quite difficult to follow the online instructions for this. In fact, last year, which was the first year for ordering FAFSA usernames and passwords, we noticed that 60% had serious problems with initial ordering or could not complete the proper ordering of the password. Because of this, we have developed a detailed procedure that can be found HERE.
  5. The FAFSA 2015 taxable income data will need to be retrieved into FAFSA from the 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.

If you have further FAFSA or other financial aid process issues, please call our Office (West Angeles EEP) at West Angeles Church of God In Christ at 323-733-8300 ext. 2629.


Deacon John Wilson is Director of West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Education and Enrichment Ministry (EEM). EEM is provided in accordance with the Urban Initiatives of the Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) International, through the leadership of Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr. Please contact EEM at 323-733-8300 X 2629 to find out more about the various programs and services provided, or click please HERE.

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Day 2: The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference

Everyone’s talking about The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, an incredible, unrivaled impartation of anointed wisdom, history, and information on the establishment of one of the most successful churches in the United States today.

On Day Two of The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake got right to business as the first speaker of the day.

After lively praise and worship led by Dr. Judith Christie McAllister and members of the Cathedral Chorale, opening statements by Dr. Michael Golden, and prayer led by General Board member Bishop Lawrence Wooten, Bishop Blake began a series on 12 key points he employed in establishing West Angeles Church of God In Christ as a successful ministry. Bishop then devoted the next segment of the morning session to the importance of evangelism.

“Under the worst possible conditions, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go out and catch fish,’” said Bishop Blake, referring to current statistics which reveal a decline in faith and church attendance in the Millennial Generation. “Edify. Build up believers.”

Bishop Blake spoke in length about the Millennials, the generation born between the 1980s and the 2000s.

“Your Millennials are the future of your church,” said Bishop, while acknowledging that they are an “anti-church” generation. “Forty-one percecnt of Millennials in the UK (for example) believe that religion is an evil thing.”

Bishop Blake then called upon COGIC’s International Youth and Young Adult President, Dr. Ben Stephens, who delivered poignant, timely insights into reaching this demographic.

A highlight of the afternoon session of the Legacy Conference included an invaluable panel discussion/Q&A with key officers within the COGIC and West Angeles. Panelists included:

  • COGIC’s Minister of Music/President, International Music Department Dr. Judith Christie McAlister
  • CFO Tyrone Potts
  • Chief Legal Counsel Elder Uleses Henderson
  • President of COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc. Bishop Edwin Bass
  • Chairman of the COGIC Publishing House Pastor Marc Ellis
  • West Angeles Church of God In Christ COO Gladys Ross

Topics covered included counseling and education, music ministry, church finance and infrastructure, and risk management.

The conference concluded with the powerful Elijah & Elisha Experience Prayer of Anointing and Communion Ceremony, bestowing the blessings of the Elders to the younger pastors, who in turn anointed the rest of the Legacy Conference attendees.

“I charge you now,” said Bishop Blake to the audience, “step into that which fulfills your destiny in God.”

Highlights from Day Two of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference follow:

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on the 12 key decisions he employed in establishing the ministry of West Angeles:

  1. “Serve and know God.”
  2. “Be a man of moral and spiritual integrity.”
  3. “Love God with all your heart.”
  4. “Strive for excellence.”
  5. “Treat the church as a business.”
  6. “Limit your income.”
  7. “Share ministry with others.”
  8. “Invest in growth and in staff.”
  9. “I invested in the music ministry.”
  10. “I crossed denominational borders.”
  11. “Become known in the community. Know your politicians.”
  12. “Test the limits…The church exists for the glory of God.”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on evangelism:

“As soon as we forget the importance of evangelism, we’re destined to die.”

“If you win souls to Jesus Christ, you’ll have all the money you need to do the work of the Lord.”

“People want to feel welcome. If you have people coming to your church but no one ever embraces them, they’re going to find someplace else to go.”

“I know you might be tired…you’ve been working hard and not getting the results you want. But do something different from what you’re doing right now.”

“They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up on wings of eagles!”

“Jesus knew what to do to catch fish…If we’re gonna hang with Jesus, we need to get some strong nets!”

“You don’t need gimmicks. Just preach the Word of God.”

 

Bishop Elijah Hankerson, President, COGIC International Department of Evangelism, on the 5 key aspects of growing a church through evangelism:

“Expectation, documentation, communication, demonstration, evangelization.”

 

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on music ministry:

”I believe that West Angeles played a role in transforming the music of the church.”

“The professional singer stole singing from the people…I decided it was time to give singing back to the people.”

“Let us have some music that people can sing all week long!”

 

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on establishing the proper church foundation:

“Set the environment of your church. Exemplify moral excellence. Promote spiritual development.”

“Mark 7:13 – Examine your traditions. Some of them might be driving folks away.”

“Jesus broke tradition.”

“Let’s approach our services as if we’re on television…counterproductive traditions must be discarded.”

“Give your people something to do. People need to feel involved in the life of the church.”

“Provide training. We have classes on Practical Christian Living and Spiritual Gifts.”

“People will reach up, but they won’t reach down. Don’t ever dumb down your ministry.”

 


 

Stay tuned to Westa.org for more highlights from The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference!

DVDs of all 6 sessions of The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference are available for pre-order for just $99! Details coming soon to westa.org!

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. is the author of “Encountering God” and “Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny”. Contact the West Angeles Christian Emporium  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012.

If you missed the highlights of Day 1 of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, please click HERE.

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Inspirational Quotes on Life and Leadership From Dr. Myles Munroe

As we prepare for this month’s LEGACY CONFERENCE, we’re highlighting inspirational quotes on leadership, purpose, marriage, and living life to its fullest potential, by beloved pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe.

World-renowned pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe was founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship in the Bahamas, and CEO and Chairman of the Board of the International Third World Leaders Association. As president of the International Leadership Training Institute, he traveled the world training leaders in business, government, education, sports, media, and religion.

This week, we celebrate Dr. Munroe’s contribution to the spiritual life of mankind with a list of some of our favorite quotes:

ON LEADERSHIP

“The Creator caused to be inherent in each created entity – including the apex of his creation, mankind – everything it needs to fulfill its original purpose. The original purpose for mankind, defined and established by the Creator, was to “rule (have dominion) over all the earth.” Since the word ‘dominion’ in this case means to reign and rule, the Creator wired ALL human beings with the capacity and natural ability to lead.”

“Leadership is not about control, but service. It’s not about power, but empowerment. It’s not about manipulation, but inspiration.”

“People generally fall into one of three groups: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority, who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of fact or a creature of circumstance. He either puts color into his environment, or, like a chameleon, takes color from his environment.”

“Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”

“Kingdom citizenship is a spiritual reality, but it is also a mentality. As believers, we already have the Spirit of God, but we need to learn the mind and the heart of God.”

ON PURPOSE

“Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

“Purpose is when you know and understand what you were born to accomplish. Vision is when you see it in your mind and begin to imagine it.”

“Circumstances and crises are God’s tools to move you into your purpose and the maximizing of your potential.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams”.

“By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. The more refined your gift, the more in demand you will be.”

“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU.”

ON POTENTIAL

“Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.”

“Don’t ever make the mistake of telling God that you have nothing to offer. That simply is not true. God does not create any junk.”

“You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.”

“The more faithful we are with our stewardship, the more resources God will entrust to us. That is a biblical principle.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

ON DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS

“Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels – the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality.”

“The time you are most prepared for dating is when you don’t need anyone to complete you, fulfill you, or instill in you a sense of worth or purpose.”

“Being open to correction means making ourselves vulnerable, and many people are not willing to do that.”

“Friendship is not a gift, but is the result of hard work.”

ON MARRIAGE

“Marriage is the most important decision a person will make, next to his decision to follow Christ.”

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is a life.”

“God did not create woman from man’s head, that he should command her, nor from his feet, that she should be his slave, but rather from his side, that she should be near his heart.”

“The adversary’s global attack on marriage is actually an attack on society itself, and ultimately an attack on God, the creator and manufacturer of society and marriage. The adversary knows that if he can destroy marriage, he can destroy families. If he can destroy families, he can destroy society. And if he can destroy society, he can destroy humanity.”

ON LIFE

“Life is not measured by duration but by donation.”

“We are not to be so concerned about who approves or disapproves of us, but remember that God’s approval is what counts. Those whom God approves are approved indeed.”

“Proverbs 25:28 says, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ In other words, if we do not control our own lives from the inside, somebody else will control them from the outside.”

“I’m washed, I’m forgiven, I’m whole, and I’m healed. I’m cleansed and I’m glory bound. I am only a sojourner on the earth. I am but a pilgrim on this planet, on my way to perfection, and I don’t need anybody to tell me who I am, because I know who I am. I am a child of the King, a son (or daughter) of God, born again through Jesus Christ, bought with the price of His blood. I am a new creation, totally new, thoroughly loved and completely accepted as a child of my Father, precious in His sight.”


Dr. Myles Munroe (1954-2014) was founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship in the Bahamas and CEO and Chairman of the Board of the International Third World Leaders Association. He was the author of 69 books, including: Becoming a Leader, The Principles and Power of Vision, The Pursuit of Purpose, Understanding Your Potential, Rediscovering the Kingdom, Waiting and Dating, The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage, and God’s Big Idea, among others. Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, The Burden Of Freedom, revolutionized how many viewed the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean. In 1978 Dr. Monroe received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education, and Theology degree from Oral Roberts University, and in 1980, a Master’s degree in administration from the University of Tulsa. He has also received several honorary doctorate degrees, and served as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at ORU.  Notably, in 1998, Dr. Munroe was awarded an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – by Queen Elizabeth II for services to religion.

 

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How To “Log in” To God In 7 Steps

By Elder Oscar Owens

Are our lives busy, and getting busier day by day, or what? These days, most of us are:

  • Driving rush hour-packed freeways and highways in nerve-racking traffic to work and home, shuttling our kids, here and there.
  • Trying to keep our home clean and in order while running the household errands
  • Striving to keep ourselves healthy by eating right and exercising.
  • Working long, hard hours of exhausting activity on our jobs.
  • Staying connected to the ever-present digital world of social media, online-publications, shopping, entertainment and even work, through the internet and our “smart devices.”

This whirlwind of activities, noise, information, attractions and distractions of our post-modern lives can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, and disconnected from God. How do we find calm centers in the storm to stop and focus on God?

There’s a simple method of 7 easy biblical steps I have found which will give any Christian the power to connect with God at any time – even in the middle of chaos. We can “log in” to God’s transforming power by learning the simple disciplines of Scripture meditation and prayer.

WHY DO WE NEED TO CONNECT TO GOD?

Our society, through various media channels, provides answers to just about everything. The one media source we’re staying connected to more and more is the Internet.

What is the Internet? The Internet, also known as the “world wide web,” is a system of interconnected computers which enables us to connect to other people and devices. The Internet is always active; its information sources are always available. We can connect to the Internet anywhere, if we have the right tools. We can ask any question, and it seems to have the answer.

The Internet has now consumed a large place in our lives, but has the time we’re now spending connected to social media and the Internet become a distraction?  Is it replacing the precious time meant to be spent communing with God?  Would our lives be different if we were hearing from God, following His Will and His Word for our lives?

Unless we take action, the business of our lives, the concerns of daily life, and the temptations of Satan, will pull our mental attention away from God’s good news in Jesus

Our Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we must not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. Connecting to God’s renewing, transformative Word in the Holy Bible gives us:

  • Power – God has given us the Spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).
  • Direction –As Bishop Blake always says, “God protects where God directs; God provides where God guides (Psalm 23).
  • Faith – Learn to trust in God. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
  • Prosperity – One of the greatest and most inspiring things about the African American Christian journey is the ability to OVERCOME. We learn how to get into God’s Word; encouraging one another through the Word. Prosper physically, spiritually, mentally – this is God’s prosperity (Joshua 1:8).
  • Courage – There are all sorts of negative things happening in the world, but we must believe in our hearts that we can be strong!  Have courage; be strong in the Lord (Psalm 46:1).

Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Therefore, we must discipline our physical minds to think on and thereby connect with the amazing spiritual blessings we have in God, through Christ Jesus.

HOW TO “LOG IN” TO GOD

God’s Good News about Jesus is that the power of His Holy Spirit is always available, always ready. We’re always connected to the Lord, even if we feel we are not! There are 7 simple biblical steps to easily connect with God, at any time, in any place:

  1. Find a space – Find a quiet place at work or in your home where you’ll go to pray daily, without distractions.  Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This is the best advice, but additionally, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then where you are, Jesus Christ is within you. Therefore, turn your focus to Him in you and you in Him, whether you are in the grocery line, caught in traffic, involved in work or with your family.
  2. Choose a time: or choose “now” – Set aside time to encounter God in the scripture. Before you start your day can be a great time to start (Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:33); turn off the television, computer, and phone. Again, this is best, but, wherever you are in your life’s activities, stop – and take a few moments to connect with God through a small verse of Scripture, God’s Word. God is the “I AM”; always present in the eternal “now.”
  3. Read the Word – Find the Words of Jesus and His Good News (Gospels and Epistles). Read a small section of Scripture until something grabs your attention. TIP: Read slowly! Read out loud! Read so you can hear it and your eyes can see it. Read that small section over and over. It’s like eating something good: chew on it and savor the flavors. Read it over and over, while listening to God speak it to you, through His Holy Spirit.
  4. Meditate on the Word – Mentally reflecting and imaginatively pondering is the powerful aspect of Scripture meditation. Reflect on what you’ve read, and begin to think about what God is saying. Biblical meditation begins with thinking God’s Word continuously to ourselves. We begin to internalize God’s Word inside our mind and our heart. Now, God starts downloading! Listen to God’s voice…God is now talking to you personally!
  5. Respond: Talk to God in prayer through the words and images in that Scripture. Thank the Lord for what He is revealing to you! Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness! Ask God to touch you, to form and conform you to be more like Jesus! Tell God, “I’m reading because I want You to read me; form me change me, make me like You.”
  6. Receive from God – Jesus said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Abide and rest in the Lord; contemplate Him. Now it is the time for the Lord to communicate within you. Listen. Enter into a deeper place with God. A place of intimacy; in His presence. This is a special time between you and the Lord. One-on-one with God. Give Him room; this is the time that God is blessing you. Let the Lord Bless you. Receive from the Lord and receive the Lord Himself, who is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! God is now working within you, renewing your thoughts in the knowledge of Jesus, activating the mind of Christ in you. You are actively connecting with God and God with you.
  7. Take action – Ask Father God to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do what Jesus, the Living Word, has revealed to you. For example, in relation to God, the Lord may be asking or reminding you to trust, love, believe, obey or stop disobeying Him. In relation to other people, the Lord may be asking you to forgive, love, pray for, accept, help or bless them. Ask our Holy Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the help, our Lord Jesus has promised. Now continue in your day, walking by faith and connected to our loving Lord who is with you and in you, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Keep on meditating on the words of Scripture that the Lord has drawn you to, throughout the rest of your day, wherever you are. Keep meditating, praying, thanking, praising, rejoicing and worshiping the Lord in your spirit, heart, mind and soul: whatever you are doing in your life. Do this until the next time you stop, to center in on the presence of the Lord in His Word!

God is now working on your mind. Your thoughts are renewed in the mind of Christ. You’re now “logged in” to God through Scripture meditation and prayer! Hallelujah!

SUGGESTED SCRIPTURES FOR READING AND MEDITATION

John 3:16, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, Psalm 1, Psalm, Joshua 1:8, Matthew 11:28-30, Deuteronomy 31:6, Ephesians 2:8-10, Psalm 119, Philippians 4:8, Timothy 4:15-16, Romans 10:17, 2 Peter 1:21, Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 3.

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Elder Oscar Owens has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord! He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Systematic Theology. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.

PRAY WITH COGIC! Presiding Bishop has called us to fast for the month of January, and to join with the saints in prayer for 2016. Download the 2016 Consecration Calendar HERE.

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It’s All About Love…Part 1

Love. We sing about it. We make movies about Love. Writers devote entire careers to it. History tells us that some men have even fought wars over it, while others seem determined to destroy it.

The world has even set aside one whole day in February each year in honor of love. The shops become filled with all things red, pink and heart-shaped, as we turn to thoughts of romance, candle-lit dinners…or of another dreaded evening spent alone.

Now that the last of the candy hearts, scented candles and silk rose petals are in storage, (only replaced by pastel eggs and chocolate bunnies), are we finding ourselves any closer to love, or is today just another day?

The truth is, God designed us with love, for love, to love. But before we talk about what love is, we’d better define what it isn’t.

1. Love isn’t seasonal. Love isn’t “here today, gone tomorrow.” Love, like God, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). You either love, or you don’t.

2. Love cannot be bought or sold. In Matthew 6:24 (NIV), Jesus tells his disciples that “you cannot serve both God and money.” And if God is love (1 John 4:8), money has no bearing on love either!

3. Society can’t define it. Celebrity, fashion trends, race, social standing, educational achievement, country of origin, political party, skin tone, sports team, zodiac sign’ none of things that our society seems to hold in high regard can actually decide, define or dictate what love is.

4. It isn’t something you do “on the way past.” You can’t “fall out of love” if you’ve ever truly loved at all. In fact, it’s quite the contrary. Love is actually the thing that keeps you present and in the game (Ephesians 4:2).

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) says:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Verse eight goes on to say that love never fails. Why? Because love transcends all things. If you’re looking for love, know that above all, love is a way of life.

 

Look for PART II of our series on Love on. http://WWW.WESTA.ORG

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How to Enrich Your Teen’s Educational Career

Your child needs a college preparation program that is tailored to their specific interests and needs.  Deacon John Wilson, Director of the Education and Enrichment programs walks you through our college preparatory classes.  Get involved today and take an active role in preparing  your child for the future!