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The Power of Women: 8 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible

On Westa.org, we’re celebrating Women’s Day and Women’s History Month with a list of 8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible which are sure to keep you inspired.

As modern-day women, we seem to have as many mountains to climb today as at any other time in history. We may find ourselves questioning whether or not we have the strength to balance the weight of all the  responsibilities heaped upon our shoulders. We start our days on the run, stressed-out and worried that we’re unable to manage in our multiple roles as wife, daughter, mother, and career woman.

We end our days seeking a moment of solace by immersing ourselves in our favorite TV shows or social media outlets. Instead of finding peace, however, we’re bombarded with soul-shaking news stories and demoralizing images which seem to  challenge our  progress as a people and a nation, or worse – to undermine our faith.

We also know that we should make sure we’re healthy mentally and physically, in order to be at our best for others. However, with so much to do and so little time, we go to bed exhausted and awaken the same way, unsure of how we’ll summon the strength to rise again and start another day.

As women before us have known for centuries though, we must not lose heart when our help is as close as the Bible on the nightstand beside us.

 

8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

Prayer Warrior: 8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

OUR BIBLE, OUR POWER

The bible tells us the story of our history, and it has the key to our empowerment. Women throughout history have overcome obstacles by seeking and and relying upon the Word of God; gaining strength from its unlimited source of power.  

Here’s a list of 8 dynamic qualities of women in  the Bible to inspire and fortify you:

Prayer warrior. Women in the bible exemplify the power of prayer. Hannah’s prayers produce a warrior for God (1 Samuel 1:9-11); Anna’s prayers are rewarded with the promise of God’s New Kingdom (Luke 2:36–38).

Support system. Together, Naomi and Ruth use Godly wisdom to secure their family’s future – and change the course of history (Book of Ruth).

Purpose-driven. To cure her condition, one woman endures the possibility of disdain, scorn, and banishment in order to connect with Jesus. She allows nothing to deter her from the healing Power of God, and gives us a shining example of unwavering faith (Matthew 9:20-22).

Entrepreneur. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a hard-working, enterprising, industrious entrepreneur who not only weaves her own fabrics (Proverbs 31:19), but from that fabric she also “makes linen garments and sells them,” and supplies products for other merchants (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Prophet. Deborah knows what would save her nation from oppression. She aligns herself with a leader named Barak who can get the job done (Judges 4).

Life-saver. Esther uses the power of grace, fasting, and marriage to save her people from extermination (Book of Esther).

Ruler of nations. The Queen of Sheba uses wisdom and discernment before giving King Solomon her blessing (1 Kings 10:1-13): but Jesus warns a disobedient generation that they will not have the same results! (Matthew 12:42)

Mother of mankind. Eve is the first woman – mother of us all (Genesis 3:20). And to Mary, a Savior is born, whose existence gives us the only living example of our fullest potential (Matthew 1:18-21).

The next time you need a boost of faith, come back to this list of Biblical heroines to remind you of those who came before you, who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges and, through the power of almighty God, triumphed. Stay strong, encouraged, and focused on the Promise of The Word. As women, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.


8 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible: West Angeles Choir Singing King Jesus Is A Listening from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

LADIES: WE’RE PRAYING FOR OUR MEN!  Please join us for the next “When Women Pray” prayer event.  Please CLICK HERE for more information.

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20 Scriptures and Quotes on Love

As month of February turns our thoughts to love, here are 20 memorable quotes and scriptures to remind us of the true meaning of mankind’s greatest gift.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

– The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“There are some who’ve said that it’s the role of the husband to love, and it’s the role of the wife to submit, but I would say that both20 Scriptures and Quotes on Love the husband and the wife must love and submit…The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:5, ‘All of you must submit to one another.’”

“Wisdom and love need to drink from the same cup.”

Before you fall in love, put priority on spiritual and emotional excellence, not just on physical and erotic attractiveness.”

“When two people love the Lord, who committed to the way of God, who believe the Word of God, and who believe in Christian principles, living, and raising their family, they’ve got a marriage that’s going to work and be blessed.”

– Presiding Bishop Charles Edward  Blake, Sr.

“Wisdom and love need to drink from the same cup” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward  Blake, Sr.

__________

“Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part. The Bible says, ‘Let love be your greatest aim.’”

“If God’s going teach you real love, He’s going put you around some unloving people.”

“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”

Pastor Rick Warren

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“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” –  Cornell West

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“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense” – Former President Barack Obama

__________

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” – Matthew 22:37-39

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him,  and show him My salvation” – Psalm 91:14-16

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34 

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” – Romans 8:35

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

“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” – John 13:34.


Hear Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade perform “LOVE LIFTED ME” below –

West Angeles Christian Education: Study the Bible with Us!

West Angeles is regarded as one of the greatest churches in the country, but it’s also known for its educational ministry.

Every day, new developments in our society and around the world can inspire us to think more deeply about our beliefs, or even to question the daily decisions we make. Many of the issues which consume us may sometimes seem outside of our sphere of influence to solve. Whether political, economic, or social in nature, however, the answers can be found by growing closer to our faith.

Most of us probably take our understanding of Christian principles for granted. Yet, although we’ve all heard many times that renewing our minds will transform us (Romans 12:2), how many of us have considered doing so through guided biblical study? Maybe it’s time to make a change.

BE TRANSFORMED!

West Angeles’ Christian Education (WACE) classes are for anyone interested in using the principles of the Christian faith more effectively. The courses offered provide all levels of biblical study and are designed not only to serve those who are called to careers in ministry, but also to empower any Christian who wants to:

  • Live with purpose through the Word
  • Understand the Bible more thoroughly and how it relates to the times we live in
  • Improve their lives, their families’ lives, and the lives of others.

Classes offered through WACE are designed to help students create a deeper relationship with God, the church, and the Christian faith.

“We are facing a world of distressing and disturbing issues,” says Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., who serves as Chancellor of the West Angeles Bible College. “In our Bible studies, we learn about trusting in the promises of God and how to obey God. It allows us to share our thoughts and ideas on how to better ourselves and how to better others.”

Taught in both the traditional classroom setting and online, courses offered through WACE are designed to help students to serve the church and the world through responsible imparting of biblical knowledge.

Directed by Elder Oscar Owens, West Angeles Christian Education offers three levels of study:

Sunday School – West Angeles’ Sunday School has introductory-level courses for children, youth and adults which are designed to provide a deeper knowledge of the Christian faith. Geared to help students overcome life’s obstacles and daily issues, the roster offers a variety of classes for children ages 5-12 years of age, and youth Classes for ages 12-16 years of age.

Adult Sunday school classes include the New Members’ Class, which gives an overview of the principles of the Christian faith and COGIC history; Power for Living, which familiarizes students with the power and principles of the Holy Spirit and how to live a Christian life; The Total Man, which teaches men how God’s Word fills all of life’s needs; and Virtuous Woman Bible Study,  inter-generational sessions which show women how to grow in Christ while mentoring younger women.

School of Practical Christian Living – A mid-level study program, the School of Practical Christian Living introduces systematic Bible study and foundational biblical knowledge. Designed for those who desire to become more effective as a parent, spouse, or worker for Christ, the classes include: “What Am I Called of God To Do?”,“Financial Success How-to,” and “Foundational Studies for Aspiring Missionaries,” one of several certificate programs offered.

West Angeles Bible College – The Bible College provides college-level study in biblical, historical, and theological foundations of the Christian faith. This comprehensive training provides an academic understanding of the Bible to equip individuals to competently serve and apply the teachings of the gospel to the spiritual needs of those around them.

Classes include: “The Life of Christ”,“Christian Leadership,” “Understanding World Religions,” and “Church History 1 & 2.” WABC offers certifications and diplomas, an online-portal, and read-only access to the West Angeles Reference Library.

All adult Christian Education classes are at 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard (unless otherwise specified); children and youth classes are held at 3010 Crenshaw Boulevard at the West Angeles Youth Center.

For information regarding schedules, Bible College fees, certificates offered and more, call West Angeles Church of God in Christ at 323/733-8300; department extensions can be found below:

  • Christian Education (including Sunday School inquiries) – Elder Oscar Owens, Director; Ayanna Bereal, Administrative Assistant to Elder Oscar Owens, X2345
  • Bible College – Letha Rhymes, Bible College Registrar , X2367
  • School of Practical Christian Living – Elder Richard Brooks, Christian Education Program Coordinator, X2366
  • Young Women’s Christian Council – Mrs. Renee Weathersby, President, X2765

Come study the bible with West Angeles Christian Education.


DID YOU KNOW?
Online learning plays a significant role in promoting a desire for lifelong education, as a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education has found. According to the study, schools which offer an online learning component (whether taught completely online or blended) “on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than do classes with solely face-to-face instruction.”

8 Verses to Help You Through Suffering

A story about a recent tragedy has been populating my Facebook news feed over the past week.

Over and over, I see the photo of a young black family. In the photo, a father and mother stand on a playground. A blue slide and yellow monkey bars serve as the backdrop for the photo.

The father holds his young daughter in his right arm and his left arm hugs his wife, the mother of his children. The mother places her right arm around her husband and her left hand is placed gently on the chest of her first born daughter, who stands wearing a pink dress, toy in hand.

This picture has been circulating social media as the cover of several news stories and for the family’s GoFundMe account. On that day, the mother gripped her family close. Soon after, her grip was lost.

The father and two young daughters passed away in a car accident this past weekend.

I don’t know this family personally, but the anguish I felt when reading about this story was enough to make me sit back and shake my head in disillusionment. My thoughts were:

What could anyone possibly say to this young woman to comfort her in this time of tremendous grief?

How can she possibly overcome this?

What will it take for her to move forward with her life?

Many of those that commented on the Facebook posts were also at a loss for words, saying as much in their comments. And with the recent tragedies that have taken place in our country, many have been at a loss for words on several fronts.

With that said, there is always one place to turn…turn to Him.

As many continue to suffer with finding justice or looking for an explanation, here are eight verses about dealing with suffering:

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

 

Bishop Blake Shares Black History in the Bible

“We need to reach back to our homeland, reach back to Africa.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares a Black History Month lesson that transcends the ages, beginning in Africa, thousands of years before the birth of Christ. He shares the stories of Moses, the Queen of Sheba, and Joseph; the slave trade, and the roots of Pentecostalism, revealing the connection between people of African descent and the roots of Christianity.

See this entire Black History celebration on West Angeles’ Gospel On Demand hereHighlights from Bishop Blake’s “A Sermon for Black History Month” follow:

“Two thousand years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Moses traveled to Midian, in the southern part of the fertile crescent. There, Moses married a dark-skinned Midianite woman. Moses married an Ethiopian, and Ethiopian people in her family became counselors and advisers to Moses.”

“Almost 1,000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the Queen of Sheba – also known as Kush or Ethiopia – visited King Solomon. She came from Africa with many camels, spices, gold, and precious stones. Her nation and her culture had obviously existed long before that time.”

“The Ethiopian Piankhi established the 24th Egyptian Dynasty. And at least four Egyptian Kings ruled over Egypt from 730 BC until 66 BC…great nations, great civilizations, great cultures existed in Africa centuries before Jesus Christ was born.”

“One of the greatest generals of all time was a man by the name of Hannibal from the city of Carthage in Northern Africa. Hannibal frequently defied and defeated Rome between 219 and 203 BC.”

“In 1498 AD, Portuguese explorers wrote that they found along the east African coast tall stone towns of comfort and of wealth. They found people who were highly civilized and skilled in the use of the compass, and in reading charts.”

“Timbuktu was a magnificent city where merchants made greater profit from the sale of books than from the sale of any other commodity.”

“In the areas of science, art, medicine, government, law and culture, many of the nations of Africa were competitive with, and in many cases, more advanced than the other nations of the world in Europe and Asia during that period. All of this was devastated by the slave trade; by slavery, and by Colonialism.”

“William Banks gives us the report in his book, The Black Church in the U.S., that nearly 20 million Negroes were made captive over the span of some 300 years, from 1517 until 1840. They were crammed …into ships like sardines in a can, and brought across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Guinea to the New World. The trip that they made was called ‘The Middle Passage.’ It’s estimated that perhaps 12 million blacks landed in South America and Latin America, and about 2 million of them were brought into the U.S.”

“What happened to the millions that were taken away from Africa? Some died resisting capture. Some died in captivity. While waiting in Africa to be shipped out, some committed suicide, not willing to be captured. Others, beaten and too weak to continue the trek, were abandoned to die.”

“After all we went through, God blessed us to be productive; to rise above our oppression and attain excellence.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Most of the loss of life came during the Middle Passage, that journey across the ocean from Africa to the New World. Perhaps not more than half of the slaves which were shipped out from Africa ever became effective workers in the New World.”

“What was the impact of the loss of 20 million of its inhabitants on the culture and the nations of Africa? How many died trying to defend their families in the violence associated with the slave trade?”

“After the slave trade came the horrible period of Colonialism, in which horrible invaders did to Africa’s resources what those before them did to Africa’s people. What was the value of the people and of the resources that were taken from the continent of Africa?”

“After all we went through, we still produced a Benjamin Banneker, maker of the first American clock; Sojourner Truth; George Washington Carver; Charles Drew… Benjamin O Davis; Ralph Bunche; Booker T. Washington; Marion Anderson; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Malcolm X; Colin Powell; Barack Obama!”

“During the dark day of the Crucifixion, the Jews were condemning [Jesus] and calling for His death. Europe, represented by the Roman Centurions, drove nails into the hands of feet of Jesus. But Africa, represented by Simon of Cyrene, a black man from Northwest Africa, stepped in when everybody else was stepping back…Simon of Cyrene shared history’s most significant moment with the Christ: he bore the Cross of Christ up Calvary’s Hill.”

“Jesus will not allow you to bear your cross by yourself. If anybody out there needs help with your cross, give praise to the Lord, and He will help you to bear your cross!”

“God chose black hands and woolly hair to perform an act that all the truly wise and all the truly great…Godly men of the earth would have been overjoyed to perform: bearing the Cross of Jesus Christ.”

“If Joseph were here, he would say, ‘Don’t ever give up on your dream.'”  – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The Ethiopian secretary of the treasury was to pass in his chariot…this Ethiopian nobleman heard and believed the gospel, and after being baptized, this nobleman went back to Ethiopia to form the Abyssinian Church that exists until this day. He was the first Gentile of record to be saved…a Black man.”

“Historian Dean (Henry Hart) Milman has said, “It was Africa, not Rome, which gave birth to Latin Christianity. Africa gave three of the greatest scholars of the church to the church. Augustine, Tertullian, Cyprian, were all born in Northern Africa.”

“Anyone who says that Christianity is a white man’s religion and not a black man’s religion really doesn’t know anything about Christianity.”

“Christianity is not a white man’s religion it’s not a black man’s religion…it’s just man’s religion! Halleluiah!”

“Black men have the privilege of being among the first leaders and participants in the Pentecostal and Charismatic revival that swept across the church in the early 1900s.”

“Historian and author Dr. H. Vinson Synan says that) Charles F. Parham, a white man, and William J. Seymour, a black man, share roughly equal positions as founders of modern Pentecostalism.”

“A key man in that contagious spread (of Pentecostalism) was a man by the name of Charles Harrison Mason, a black man and the father of founder of the Church of God In Christ. In 1907, Elder Mason went to Los Angeles and participated in the Azuza Revival and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.”

“Scores of white ministers obtained ministerial credentials from Elder Mason from the Church of God In Christ. One group in Alabama and Texas received permission to use the name of the church in 1912, and this continued until 1914, when they organized and called their predominantly white organization the Assemblies of God.”

“When Bishop Mason passed in 1961, he left behind him one of the largest Pentecostal bodies in the world.”

“Christianity is not a white man’s religion. It’s not a black man’s religion…it’s just man’s religion.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“There are many parallels between [African Americans] and the experience of Joseph. In jail, Joseph held on to the dream. Black people held on to the dream in slavery. We believed that God was going to deliver us, and praise God; God did deliver us. We held onto the dream!”

“Somebody in here is going through something evil, but I want you to know God meant it for good! God is going to turn it around!”

“We need to reach back to our homeland; reach back to Africa.”

“If you pursue the purpose of God, God is going to work everything out for your good.”

“God worked it out for it us, and God is gonna work it out for you…but you’ve got to hold on to the dream!”

“Does anybody have a dream in here? Anybody have a vision? Do you have something you’re reaching for? Listen: God is going to bring it to pass!”

“If you hold on to God, if you trust God: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of god and His righteousness, and all of these things shall be added unto you.”

“Child of God, I just came by to tell you that God has great miracles in store for you!”

“If Joseph were here, and if he could testify, he would say to you, ‘Don’t ever give up on your dream. Don’t ever give up on your vision.”

“God has Blessed us, but I don’t believe God is through with us yet.”

“The story of Joseph can be your story. The story of your people can be your story…Praise God for your future!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 37-50, Numbers 10:29, Numbers 12:1-9, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:28; Romans 8:31-39, Matthew 6:33.

Elder Oscar Owens: How to Connect with God in 7 Simple Steps

As a part of our Elders Corner series, Elder Oscar Owens sheds some light on how we can step away from the computer and the smartphone, and spend our time connecting with the ultimate source of knowledge…God!

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 is currently studying for 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 join with the saints in prayer for our nation, our leaders, and for Christians around the world. Download the 11/11/40 Prayer Guide HERE.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HOLINESS!  Come join Elder Oscar Owens, Dr. Wilfred Graves and Dr. Kenneth Hammonds on Nov. 11, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Wednesday night service at the West Angeles North Campus for “Let’s Talk About It: Holiness!”  This intriguing dialogue and discussion will seek to answer the questions, “What is holy living today, and how do we do it?” We would be so glad for you to join us!

GET BIBLE APPS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE! Now you can take the Bible wherever you go.  WestA.org has a link to the You Version app. You can download it HERE.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • According to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union, the average Internet user logs almost 2 hours per day on social media platforms or other leisure activities, and possibly 11 or more hours per day on all electronic media combined.
  • According to an articles published by The Guardian UK and Business Insider.com, we are less educated, less rested, and less productive due to our increased Internet activity:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/18/modern-world-bad-for-brain-daniel-j-levitin-organized-mind-information-overload

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-time-people-spend-online-2013-10

Bishop Blake Implores Us to be Determined for Our Blessings

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake preached in his January 25 sermon about what it takes to be blessed.

Bishop Blake’s Sunday sermon was inspired by the story in Genesis 32 of Jacob, who had been troubled by his own thoughts of purpose and destiny. In the passage, Jacob, who was alone in the night, found himself wrestling persistently with a theophany – a physical manifestation of God – until he received a blessing from God.

Bishop Blake cited several other instances from the Bible where God’s will was performed within the lives of those who sought Him in solitude.

“Jesus the Christ spent time alone with God the Father,” Bishop Blake said. “Moses was alone on the mountain when God gave him the Pentateuch and the 10 Commandments. John was alone on the Isle of Patmos when he received the Revelation from Jesus Christ. Developing one’s relationship with God requires some time alone. Concentrating, meditating, artistic endeavors, writing, studying, requires periods of quietness. [It] requires some time alone with just you and God.”

Some of our favorite quotes from the sermon follow:

“Some of man’s greatest accomplishments grow out of the time that somebody spent alone.”

“There are some things that God will do best in your life when He gets you alone with Him.”

“Sometimes so many other voices are speaking that you can’t even hear the voice of almighty God, so spend some time with God alone.”

“[Jacob’s] name was a reflection of his nature…and he needed an extreme makeover!”

“You need this word to come alive on the inside. You need it to speak directly to you.”

“Someone here’s saying, ‘I believe the Word of God. I believe that Jesus is the son of God, that He died for me and rose again. I believe it. But somehow, I need it to become significant in my life today.'”

“Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

“Is there anybody in here who feels that God has to have something else in store for you?”

“If you pray, God will show up.”

“Child of you can hold God to His Word. Whatever God says, God is bound to do.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“God, your Word says thus and so, and I’m not going to let You go until You perform Your Word in my life!”

“When God enters into covenant with us, God will stand by the covenant. He’ll not leave us alone, but He’ll perform His Covenant in our lives.”

“You can take hold of God by taking hold of the Word of God.”

“Arm you spiritual arsenal and stock up in the Word of God.”

“Be confident that what He has promised – God will perform it!”

“You’ve got to fight because there’s something in you that’s fighting against God’s plan for your life.”

“God, I know I need you, and I know I can’t live without you!”

“Your spiritual man has to struggle against the flesh in order to overcome the flesh.”

“We’ve got to wrestle with ourselves. We have to be humble.”

“Bless my soul, bless my soul, bless my soul!”

“If you’re gonna deal with God, you’ve got to be determined; you’ve got to be focused.”

“You’re wrestling for your life, for your salvation, for your spiritual survival.”

“Are there any thirsty people in the house today?”

“God, if I have you, I have everything I need.”

“Many things you are entitled to; child of God, you’re going to lose them if you don’t take hold of them.”

“The spirit man is strengthened by the struggle.”

“We struggle for everything else: why not struggle for God?”

“Present your body a living sacrifice…that’s what God wants.”

“If you’re diligent…the Lord will cause your enemies who wrestled against you to be defeated.”

“I’m going to hold on in Faith; I’m going to trust you until you bring a miracle!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 32:22-28, Philippians 1:6, Hosea 12:3, Luke 1:45, Romans 4:25, Rom8:11, Romans 12:1, John5:4.

West Angeles Christian Education: Study The Bible With Us!

West Angeles is regarded as one of the greatest churches in the country, but it’s also known for its educational ministry.

Every day, new developments in our society and around the world can inspire us to think more deeply about our beliefs, or even to question the daily decisions we make. Many of the issues which consume us may sometimes seem outside of our sphere of influence to solve. Whether political, economic, or social in nature, however, the answers can be found by growing closer to our faith.

Most of us probably take our understanding of Christian principles for granted. Yet, although we’ve all heard many times that we should renew our minds (Romans 12:2), how many of us have considered doing so through guided biblical study? Maybe it’s time to make a change.

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” – Romans 12:2

West Angeles’ Christian Education (WACE) classes are for anyone interested in using the principles of the Christian faith more effectively. The courses offered provide all levels of biblical study and are designed not only to serve those who are called to careers in ministry, but also to empower any Christian who wants to:

  •  live with purpose through the Word;
  •  understand the Bible more thoroughly and how it relates to the times we live in, and
  •  improve their lives, their families’ lives, and the lives of others.

Classes offered through WACE are designed to help students create a deeper relationship with God, the church, and the Christian faith.

“We are facing a world of distressing and disturbing issues,” says Bishop Charles E. Blake, who serves as Chancellor of the West Angeles Bible College. “In our Bible studies, we learn about trusting in the promises of God and how to obey God. It allows us to share our thoughts and ideas on how to better ourselves and how to better others.”

Taught in both the traditional classroom setting and online, courses offered through WACE are designed to help students to serve the church and the world through responsible imparting of biblical knowledge.

Directed by Elder Oscar Owens, West Angeles Christian Education offers three levels of study:

Sunday School – West Angeles’ Sunday School has introductory-level courses for children, youth and adults which are designed to provide a deeper knowledge of the Christian faith. Geared to help students overcome life’s obstacles and daily issues, the roster offers a variety of classes for children ages 5-12 years of age, and youth Classes for ages 12-16 years of age.

Adult Sunday school classes include the New Members’ Class, which gives an overview of the principles of the Christian faith and COGIC history; Power for Living, which familiarizes students with the power and principles of the Holy Spirit and how to live a Christian life; The Total Man, which teaches men how God’s Word fills all of life’s needs; and Virtuous Woman Bible Study,  inter-generational sessions which show women how to grow in Christ while mentoring younger women.

School of Practical Christian Living – A mid-level study program, the School of Practical Christian Living introduces systematic Bible study and foundational biblical knowledge. Designed for those who desire to become more effective as a parent, spouse, or worker for Christ, the classes include: “What Am I Called of God To Do?”,“Financial Success How-to,” and “Foundational Studies for Aspiring Missionaries,” one of several certificate programs offered.

West Angeles Bible College – The Bible College provides college-level study in biblical, historical, and theological foundations of the Christian faith. This comprehensive training provides an academic understanding of the Bible to equip individuals to competently serve and apply the teachings of the gospel to the spiritual needs of those around them.

Classes include: “The Life of Christ”,“Christian Leadership,” “Understanding World Religions,” and “Church History 1 & 2.” WABC offers certifications and diplomas, an online-portal, and read-only access to the West Angeles Reference Library.

All adult Christian Education classes are at 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard (unless otherwise specified); children and youth classes are held at 3010 Crenshaw Boulevard at the West Angeles Youth Center.

For information regarding schedules, Bible College fees, certificates offered and more, call West Angeles Church of God in Christ at 323/733-8300; department extensions can be found below:

  • Christian Education (including Sunday School inquiries) – Elder Oscar Owens, Director; Ayanna Bereal, Administrative Assistant to Elder Oscar Owens, X2345
  • Bible College – Letha Rhymes, Bible College Registrar , X2367
  • School of Practical Christian Living – Elder Richard Brooks, Christian Education Program Coordinator, X2366
  • Young Women’s Christian Council – Mrs. Renee Weathersby, President, X2765

Come study the bible with West Angeles Christian Education.

DID YOU KNOW?
Some classes offered through WABC are held online!

FACT: Online learning plays a significant role in promoting a desire for lifelong education, as a recent report by the U.S. Department of Education has found. According to the study, schools which offer an online learning component (whether taught completely online or blended) “on average produce stronger student learning outcomes than do classes with solely face-to-face instruction.”