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Bishop Blake: Your Power, Your Authority

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. reminds us to use the badge of power, authority, and strength found only through Jesus Christ.

 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do…If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” –  John 14:13-14

There are some who try to impersonate officers of the law. They will paint their cars as close to that of a police officer as they can, putting on some kind of phony uniform, trying to act like they are an officer of the law. But listen…trying to act like an officer does not make you a policeman  A true deputy is a person appointed as substitute. He is someone who has the power to act.

It is an impressive thing when you read the scriptures that imply that we are deputies of God and of his son Jesus Christ. All these privileges, powers and rights are conferred upon believer,  and you cannot confer authority upon others unless you have established authority within yourself.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – Luke 10:19 (KJV)

Who gives us our power? What gives us our authority? Our authority comes from:

  1. God. Jesus Christ gives us our badges. Our badges imply that we are empowered and authorized to act on His behalf. Don’t try to walk the earth on your own authority. People and devils will not respond to us. But when we go forth in the name and the power of Jesus Christ, we can change our situation.
  2. The Word. The power of your authority is in the Word of God; the Word is power! If you stand on the word, the devil has got to back up and step aside in the name of Jesus!
  3.  Prayer. Prayer is the key to the kingdom, and faith unlocks the door. Sometimes our answer is detained; sometimes the miracle we want does not happen right away. He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be right on time. Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your badge.

    Your Power, Your Authority: Bishop Blake praises the Lord.

Is there anybody who needs to change their situation? Is there anybody who knows that God can change things? If you’re a saved person, you’ve got authority. You are an agent of the Kingdom. You are somebody. Don’t live beneath your privilege. Don’t let problems discourage you. Use your badge!

Holy Ghost power is what we need in this day and time; the Holy Ghost is our back-up! Raise your hands and say,

“Father, I stretch my hand to thee; no other help I know. Lord, I need your power! I need your might! I need your anointing!” 

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. If you use your badge, God will show up in your life. You are an agent of the Kingdom!

Hallelujah!

Adapted from the sermon titled, “Use Your Badge,” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.This entire sermon and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand

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SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 14:12-14, 16:15; Luke 9:1, Mark 16:15-17, Matthew 10:1-7; Luke 10:19, Matthew 16:19, 18:20, 10:40; Ephesians 6:16, Exodus 12:23, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Revelations 1:5, Matthew 6:31, Acts 19:13, Luke 9:23, John 13:34, Judges 16, Daniel 10, Hebrews 14:12, Matthew 22:29, Ephesians 3:20, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:31, Acts 4:13-31, Jeremiah 33:3, Daniel 3:19-26, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:7, Isaiah 40:31.

 

Hear the West Angeles Youth and Young Adult Choir sing,” We need your power”, featuring Darius Maxey. At WEST ANGELES CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST.

Bishop Blake: Motivation in Tough Times

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. 39He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” – Matthew 26:38

At the time of His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ agony and sorrow became more and more intense in His heart. He had just finished the Passover Supper with the disciples, and He was aware that this was the last meal that they would share together before His crucifixion. In the scripture above, in essence, Jesus prayed, “Father if you can find any other way to redeem men, then do not make me go through this. I don’t want to do this: but if you want me to…I’ll die on a cross for the world.

“It’s not what I want: it’s what You want.”

There are many times in the life of the believer where what he has to do as a believer is not what he wants to do as a person. However, when you have to do what you don’t want to do:

  1. Be honest with God. When we’re honest with God, God has a way of showing up and giving us the help that we need.
  2. Enhance your spiritual desires. The best way to overcome one desire is with a stronger desire.
  3. Pray. Prayer is spiritual therapy. Pray until you feel the power and the presence of Almighty God; pray until the Holy Ghost shows up and takes over the prayer. When God shows up, He gives you power and strength, and every problem is resolved. “Praying through” will help you to go through!
  4. Find the joy in what you have to do. God’s presence can bring you joy. When you know you’re pleasing God; when you know that God will bring you through: even though it might be painful or unpleasant, joy begins to come into your heart, and you’re able to say, “Hallelujah, anyhow!”
  5. You’ll be better than when you started. Job looked at his situation and said, “God knows the way that I take, and when He’s tried me, I shall come forth shining like gold.” Your blessing is in doing what you don’t want to do. God will bless you if you obey Him.

JESUS: OUR EXAMPLE, OUR MESSIAH

If you’re going through something tough, God may be getting you ready for something that’s more than you ever imagined you would do. Every trial takes us higher; every challenge takes us higher.

Jesus had to do what He did not want to do. He did not want to have nails driven into His hands and feet. He did not want to be pierced in His side. But because of God’s love for the world, Jesus died so that we might have life. This is the mortar that holds all the other factors together and thank God Jesus loved us!

After Jesus was buried, God raised Him up again, and exalted Him above all men. If God could raise Jesus up, there’s nothing He cannot do.

When you have to do what you don’t want to do, remember Jesus.

Adapted from the sermon, “When You Have To Do What You Don’t Want To Do,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 4/9/2017. To hear this entire sermon and more, please CLICK HERE for the West Angeles Legacy Broadcast.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hebrews 9:22, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23, 33, 8:28; Matthew 16:24, Jude 20, Proverbs 21:15, 16:9, Psalm 16:11, Job 23:1, Philippians 2:5.

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NEED MORE INSPIRATION? Come home to West Angeles! Join us each Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

(Featured photo, courtesy, Wiki Commons).

Inspiring Quotes from Great Women in History Part II

 

West Angeles Church of God in Christ concludes Women’s History Month with more wonderful,  inspirational quotes by women of achievement. 

“To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world–that I am able to change it in positive ways.”

— Maxine Hong Kingston, author of “Woman Warrior”

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part II: Judge Constance Baker Motley.

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part II: Judge Constance Baker Motley.

— Maya Angelou, African-American poet

 

“I rejected the notion that my race or sex would bar my success in life.”

— Constance Baker Motley, first African-American woman to serve as a federal judge

 

“For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.”

–  Elizabeth Blackwell, first female physician in the United States

 

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

— Beverly Sills, former American opera soprano

 

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

— Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women”

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.”

— Sojourner Truth, African-American abolitionist

 

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

— Jackie Joyner-Kersee, first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the Summer Olympics

 

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

― Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave

 

“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

— Toni Morrison, author of “Song of Solomon” and first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

 

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.”

— Susan B. Anthony, American suffragette and advocate of women’s rights

Be uplifted by West Angeles’ Praise & Worship team lead by David Daughtery, and Soloist Carolyn Johnson-White below:

Inspiring Quotes from Great Women in History Part II: West Angeles Mass Choir Sermonic Selection, “I Never Lost My Praise” by Kurt Carr, on Vimeo.


  • “A DAY IN MAY WITH MAE” is back!   First Lady Mae L. Blake and the Women’s Affairs Committee invite you to join us for lunch on Women’s Day 2017.  Details to come on Westa.org.  The color for this year: “Pretty In Pink”!
  • For more inspirational quotes by women of wisdom, resilience, and courage, please click HERE.
  • Did you miss West Angeles’ spectacular Black History Month Presentation? Please CLICK HERE for highlights.

 

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part I

Likewise, older women are to show their reverence for God by their behavior. They are not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of goodness. They should encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible and pure, to manage their households, to be kind, and to submit themselves to their husbands. Otherwise, the word of God may be discredited. Titus 2:3-5 (ISV)

 

March is Women’s History Month!  On Westa.org, we celebrate the strength and resilience of women throughout history.  Below is a list of 10 inspiring quotes by great women in history who have surpassed obstacles to emerge untarnished on the other side; women who have paved the way for the next generation to reach for their dreams and to make them come true.

May you be inspired and encouraged to live your life to the fullest by the ancestors that have proved your capability and influence as a child of God.

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

— Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

– Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

 

“Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be.”

– Condoleezza Rice,  Former United States Secretary of State
WOMENMarieDaly

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History: Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry, Columbia University, 1947.

 

 

 

“Courage… it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging” – Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

 

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. ”
– Michelle Obama, first African American First Lady of the United States

 

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.”

– Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

 

“The best protection any woman can have…is courage.”

– Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American abolitionist

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

 

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

– Frances Willard, suffragette whose “momentum” started kindergartens and day care for the children of working women

 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave


Hear Nia Allen sing the beautiful hymn, “Holy Spirit”, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

 

Oprah Photo: Benny Gool/Harpo.

 

 

The American Journey of the Negro National Anthem

At the age of 28, James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) began to pen a poem which would become one of the most celebrated hymns of all time. Johnson was not only a writer, but also a lawyer, teacher, United States diplomat, and the author of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Negro National Anthem. He became the first African-American to pass the bar in the state of Florida, and also served as executive secretary of the NAACP from 1920-1930.

VOICE OF A PEOPLE, SONG OF A NATION

After receiving his bachelor’s and law degrees, Johnson balanced dual careers as educator and lawyer, while also writing poetry. In 1900, at the age of 29, he was asked to speak at an observance at the Florida school where he was principal, but chose to write a piece instead. That piece became what we now know as Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Said James Weldon Johnson –

“A group of young men in Jacksonville, Florida, arranged to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. My brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, and I decided to write a song to be sung at the exercises. I wrote the words and he wrote the music. Our New York publisher, Edward B. Marks, made mimeographed copies for us, and the song was taught to and sung by a chorus of five hundred colored school children.

“Shortly afterwards my brother and I moved away from Jacksonville to New York, and the song passed out of our minds. But the school children of Jacksonville kept singing it; they went off to other schools and sang it; they became teachers and taught it to other children. Within twenty years it was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used.

“The lines of this song repay me in an elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children.”[1]

 

In 1939, renowned artist Augusta Savage received a commission from the World's Fair for a work of art. She created a 16-foot plaster sculpture titled “The Harp”, which was inspired by “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”. The sounding board of the harp is the arm and hand of God.

In 1939, renowned artist Augusta Savage received a commission from the World’s Fair for a work of art. She created a 16-foot plaster sculpture titled “The Harp”, which was inspired by “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. The sounding board of the harp is the arm and hand of God.

In 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded and by 1920, Johnson was appointed as its Executive Secretary. As he worked with the organization to combat racism, lynching, and segregation, the popularity of his anthem began to spread throughout the South. Copies of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” could be found in Black churches across the country, and the NAACP had adopted it as its theme song. It was also during this time that “Negro History Week” (now “Black History Month”) was first celebrated, conceived by noted historian Carter G. Woodson.

According to Harry Henderson and Romare Bearden in A History of African-American Artists (From 1792 to the Present)-

“[Lift Every Voice and Sing] resonates strongly as a Christian hymn because it is a song about exodus. It is a story of a journey sanctified by faith, and protected and prospered by God”[2].

Though the Johnson brothers wrote over 200 songs together (mostly for the stage), this anthem would be their most renowed. Recent historic references to Lift Every Voice include the recitation of its 3rd stanza by Civil Rights leader Reverend Joseph Lowery (formerly president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), for his benediction at the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama in 2009, and a beautiful performance by noted soprano Denyce Graves at the opening ceremonies of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC in 2016.

Lift Every Voice and Sing continues to serve as inspiration of a people, and an anthem of resilience, hope and faith – not only for African Americans, but also for all Americans who are on the journey to freedom, liberty and justice. 

 

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING

Lift every voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise

High as the list’ning skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on till victory is won.

CLICK HERE FOR A PDF OF THE COMPLETE LYRICS. Watch violinist Karen Briggs perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

Read more about The American Journey of Black History Month HERE.

See Dr. Judith McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir’s presentation of “We Shall Overcome” HERE.


[1] – Poetry Foundation, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/46549

[2] – Bearden, Romare and Henderson, Harry:  A History of African-American Artists (From 1792 to the Present), Pantheon Books (Random House), 1993, ISBN 0-394-57016-2. Pp. 168-180.

Image of Augusta Savage, courtesy, New York Public Library.

The American Journey of Black History Month

The American journey of Black  History Month begins around 1915, 50 years after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. In September of that year, historian Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a National Negro History week in 1926.

The American Journey of Black History Month - Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History Month.

Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History Month.

 

CREATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The son of former slaves, historian Carter G. Woodson was the second African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University. Like W. E. B. Du Bois (who was, incidentally, the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard), he believed that truth could not be denied, and that reason would prevail over prejudice [2]. Through his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), he conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass[1]. The NAACP was also founded in February in 1909.

Woodson lobbied schools, churches, and organizations to participate in a special program to encourage the study of African-American history. The response was overwhelming. Black history clubs sprang up, teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils, and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. Mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

By the 1970s, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.  During America’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1976, President Gerald R. Ford recognized Black History Month as a national celebration, calling upon the public to “seize theThe American Journey of Black History Month opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”[2]

HONORING BLACK HISTORY MONTH TODAY

Since its official, national recognition in 1976, Black History Month has been designated by every American president as a time to reflect upon the history and accomplishments of African Americans, and to honor the individuals and groups which have worked tirelessly toward racial justice.  Other countries around the world also devote time to celebrating Black History.

American Presidents have also adopted the practice of endorsing specific themes for the month’s observations. The 2013 theme, “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington,” marks the 150th and 50th anniversaries of two pivotal events in African-American history.

For Black History Month in 2014, President Barack Obama in his Presidential Proclamation  said the following:

“As we pay tribute to the heroes, sung and unsung, of African-American history, we recall the inner strength that sustained millions in bondage. We remember the courage that led activists to defy lynch mobs and register their neighbors to vote. And we carry forward the unyielding hope that guided a movement as it bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  Even while we seek to dull the scars of slavery and legalized discrimination, we hold fast to the values gained through centuries of trial and suffering.”[3]

As the Black American journey continues to uplift the hopes and dreams of those of other cultures worldwide, the stories and testimonies found in African American history serve as a constant light and reflection of the true soul and promise of America. Carter G. Woodson, in promoting the study of black history, has inspired a nation to honor the resilience and spirit of a people.

 

Video, courtesy, Biography.com.  Many thanks!


[1] – “About Carter G. Woodson”, Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). https://asalh100.org/our-history/carter-g-woodson/, accessed 2-7-2017.

[2] – “About African American History Month,” excerpted from an essay by Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University, for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about.html; accessed 2/4/2016. 

[3] – “African American History Month”, The National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. http://www.national-consortium.org/Special-Recognition/African-American-History-Month.aspx

FEATURED PAINTING – Aaron Douglas: “From Slavery to Reconstruction, Aspects of Negro Life”, 1934; courtesy, The New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Art and Artifacts Division.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • In September 2016, the Smithsonian Institution opened the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC. Thirteen years since Congress and President George W. Bush authorized its construction, the 400,000-square-foot building stands on a five-acre site on the National Mall, close to the Washington Monument.
  • AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.gov is a collaboration between The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
  • The Library of Congress has a branch dedicated to law and legislative documents. The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to African American History Month.

 

 

Get Fresh: West Angeles C.R.E.W. Sunday School

 

YOUTH WESTA CREW

Get Fresh! West Angeles C.R.E.W Sunday School

The West Angeles C.R.E.W cordially invites you to join our FRESH Sunday School, every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. in Room 9 at the West Angeles North Campus. Our mission in FRESH (“Faith Restoring Enriched Spiritual Health”) is to provide young adults with practical tools that promote spiritual growth and a desire to study God’s word.  By receiving accurate knowledge and applying the word, our young adults will be equipped and prepared to serve as effective leaders in ministry.

So come out, get fresh, and we know you will be blessed!


See an excerpt from Elder Uleses Henderson‘s presentation, “The Making of a Champion” below:

Elder Uleses Henderson – Get Fresh! West Angeles C.R.E.W  at West Angeles COGIC.

The West Angeles North Campus is located at 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 733-8300 for details.

Bishop Blake Discusses Financial Literacy and a New COGIC Partnership

EXCITING NEWS! The Church of God In Christ is partnering with John Hope Bryant and OPERATION HOPE to edify the community with financial literacy, as part of the COGIC Urban Initiatives.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

 

Since its inception, OPERATION HOPE has served more than 2.5 million individuals, teaching the building blocks of financial literacy and directing more than $1.8 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities. HOPE maintains a growing army of 22,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. Bryant founded OPERATION HOPE immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots.

 

The partnership between OPERATION HOPE and the Church of God In Christ will be administered through the COGIC Urban Initiatives, which will in turn empower each church to create programs which build upon the principles of financial literacy and economic development within its constituents, in order to create thriving families and communities.

 

OPERATION HOPE also operates the HOPE Inside Atlanta at Ebenezer Church, located on the campus of the King Center. Both the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., were focused on making free enterprise a reality for all.
Watch this inspiring conversation between our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and Operation Hope CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant in this edition of “CIVIL RIGHTS STRAIGHT TALK” below, where they discuss the power of financial literacy for the underserved, and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement:

COGIC Urban Initiatives – The vision of COGIC Urban Initiatives is to build healthy individuals, families and communities for a successful future.  Our mission is to empower the local church to implement programs that address Education, Economic Development, Crime, Family, and Financial Literacy. The programs will result in measurable improvement in the quality of life for individuals, families and communities served by the Church of God in Christ.


Compton son John Hope Bryant is a financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of the nonprofit Operation HOPE.  Bryant was appointed to the U.S. Community Development Advisory Board [10] for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and as vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush. He continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC). He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC Bryant was selected to be a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also a best-selling author of several titles on economics and leadership, including How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. 

 

Consecration: 7 Tips for Fasting Success

We’re entering the first week of the annual West Angeles January Consecration! If you’ve never fasted, or you need a little inspiration to get you started, here are 7 tips to help make your fast a successful one.

Millions of Christians throughout the world begin the New Year with a period of consecration, extended prayer and fasting. When we fast and consecrate ourselves, we do so to bring ourselves closer to God; to cleanse our bodies, to develop discipline, and to prepare ourselves for God’s use for His purpose.

Fasting leads us to the diet and physical conditions God wanted for us when He created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:29), helps us to manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24), and develops within us optimum spiritual, mental, and physical functionality (Daniel 1:18-20). But do you have a tough time starting a fast, or maintaining the eating principles required? Do you want to fast, but you don’t know where to start?

Here are 7 tips to help make your time of fasting and consecration a success:

  1. Think…It’s for God – and we don’t want to let Him down (Matthew 6:33). Fasting gives us clearer reception to hear God’s voice and enables Him work in our lives. Fast to create a deeper relationship with God in your relationships, your home, your marriage, your church, and your life.
  2. Do remember…It’s good for you. – Fasting cleanses our bodies from the inside out, and helps us to develop temperance, discipline, and moderation (Daniel 1:8); as a result, it provides us with a healthier lifestyle, better memory, and a better body condition for the healing of both physical and mental afflictions. During your fast, turn off media; clean, de-clutter and organize your home, increase prayer and meditation time. Limit foods, beverages, and anything else which enters the body – including intercourse for a mutually agreed-upon time (1 Corinthians 7:5).
  3. Do your homework. When we fast, we limit the quantity of foods we eat. Fasting returns us to a moderate,quote-fast earth-based foods diet which consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and spices; and we eliminate artificial and processed foods and drinks; dairy, alcohol, fast foods, sugar, and salt. There are many advances in vegetarian and vegan food preparation these days, so fasting doesn’t restrict you to only celery, carrot sticks and water!
  4. Be creative! Start by making a list of the healthy foods you like, and begin your fast by limiting your fasting “menu” to those items. Use those foods as the foundation to create your own new recipes, or to alter existing recipes into a healthier version. The use of spices is okay.
  5. Have only healthy snacks around the house and at work. Get rid of the chips, sodas, dairy, candy, sweeteners and other sugary items. Replace them with snacks like nuts, sliced fruits, unsweetened apple sauce, figs, dates.
  6. Juice! Juicing is a great element to add to our diets at any time of the year. A day of juicing can be a healthy, nutrient-filled addition to your year-round eating routine, and a good way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Remember that pureed vegetables are “juices” too! Include pureed vegetable soups on days where a fast calls for liquids only, as a warm “green meal”, or an alternative to a salad.
  7. Drink lots of water. Our bodies are made up of mostly water. When we drink lots of water, it flushes out impurities and helps re-balance us. It also helps fill us, and keeps the cravings at bay. Try starting each day of your fast by consuming more water than you usually do; work up to consuming 1 half-gallon of water by noon.

A final important tip to remember: You will eat again. Often, we don’t want to start a fast because we believe we can’t give up our favorite foods. Sacrifice for God, however, is an important discipline which fasting teaches.

If principles such as renewal, transformation, peace and self-control are important for you to develop in your life, then a consecration is a great place to start. Resuming “normal” eating habits after a fast, however, doesn’t mean going back to consuming the unhealthy foods, drinks, and habits! When you feel the difference in your body and mind without the extra sugar, salt, and even pounds – who knows? It may inspire you to make a permanent change.

Allow fasting, consecration and prayer to inspire you to use moderation as a lifestyle, to break the yoke of bondage to unhealthy habits, and to maintain a clearer connection with God.

FOR FURTHER READING: Genesis 1:29, Exodus 34:28, Leviticus 20:7, Esther 4:16, Joel 2:12-13, Daniel 1:8-14, 10:3; Matthew 6:16-18, 33; Luke 4:2-4. 18:12; Acts 13:2, 14:23; 1 Corinthians 7:5, Galatians 5:16-25.


PLEASE CLICK HERE for the 2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines.

NEED FASTING RECIPES? Try our delicious recipe for Fruit Salad HERE.

REMINDER – Always check the ingredients in commercially prepared foods and juices. Many products which claim to be healthy still add sugar, salt, and other additives.

DISCLAIMER – The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions.  Please consult your doctor or physician before starting any eating plan.

 

2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines

Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God – Leviticus 20:7

January is Consecration Month for the Church of God In Christ. To consecrate means “to declare” or “to set apart; to be removed from.” In some definitions, the word consecrate means “to hallow” or “to make vulnerable.” In the above scripture, God is telling us that if we declare or set ourselves apart from the world and dedicate ourselves to a sacred purpose, then there is no way we cannot be holy in pleasing God…for He is holy (Leviticus 11:45).

 

PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. presents to the Church of God In Christ our theme and focus for 2017:

“IN THIS CHANGING WORLD, LET US HOLD ON TO OUR UNCHANGING FAITH”

Colossians 1:9-23, Jude 3-4, 2 Timothy 3:1-17, 1 Corinthians 15:58.

As we  prepare  to fast and consecrate ourselves for God’s work, an updated version of the Consecration Calendar has been provided below, complete with new rejuvenating scriptures, prayer focuses, and fasting guidelines. Join with saints around the world as we manifest the power of corporate prayer and fasting. Please click the image to download and print your copy of the January 2017 Consecration Calendar.

consecration-calendar-2017-copy

consecration-calendar-instructions-2017-copy


Need encouragement as you begin the 2017 Consecration?  Read our 7 Tips for Fasting Success HERE.

Please join us this month as we unite in prayer!  Details to come on WESTA.ORG.