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5 Things I wish I'd known before I went to College

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went To College

 

It’s “Back-to-School Season”; that time of year when youth and young adults around the world say “good-bye” to Summer fun and freedom, and go back to the structure and routine of school.

Senior year symbolically marks the end childhood and the beginning of adulthood: and for many, life on your own in college.

I still remember my first realization that I’d be leaving the small-town comforts and familiarity of home and family to embark upon the journey to adulthood in the big city. Up until that point, I’d spent most of my time focused on finishing my last year of high school; planning and preparing for entrance exams, college applications and portfolios; and gathering the necessities for dormitory life. Then it hit me: I’m going to be living a totally new life – and I had no idea what that was going to be.

Looking back now, I see an amazing adventure, and I wouldn’t have traded in a day of those experiences. But years later, much has changed in the world of today. The times are very different: and there might be a few things I’d want to know if I were doing it all over again.

Here are 5 things I wish I’d known before going away to college:

  1. Your faith will be tested. Your first encounters may be with people, activities, or ideas which are the exact opposite of everything you’ve learned to be true up until now.But although it’s great to learn new things, that doesn’t mean that your faith is wrong: even if everyone in society says otherwise.Your homework assignment for today: Read about Daniel and his friends in The Book of Daniel, chapters 1-6. Best advice here? Practice discipline. Know that saying “No” is a strength: not a weakness.
  2. It’s not necessarily a Christ-centered education you’re getting. Unless you’re attending a Christian college or seminary, your education is going to be secular; meaning, it may uphold more worldly ideas than Godly ones. I always thought that college was a more in-depth, specialized version of what we get in high school, and like the news, education was supposed to be neutral and objective, based on a central (bible-based) truth. Well, that’s no longer true for the news, and it’s not always true for your college education either. Holding onto your faith will prove to be an important asset (Proverbs 2:1-2).
  3. It’s a crash course in tolerance. My coed college dorm was a converted apartment building with large apartments as dorm rooms. Within my first two years of college, I’d had seven roommates; among them: a lovable white “hippie” drug dealer; a physically-challenged adopted Asian; a free-spirited African-American; a prim, Southern white supremacist; a shy Latino. That close proximity to actually living with diversity has continued to prepare me for life experiences to this day (Ephesians 4:2-5).
  4. You won’t always have someone on your side. Nope, not even professors. As a matter of fact, many professors feel it’s their duty to break you of whatever old ideas they think you’re harboring in order to make you “a new creation”. But remember your faith: and according to 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, that’s Jesus’ job. Joseph’s story in Genesis 34 is a great one to remember regarding the trials – and rewards – of staying faithful to the dream God has for you.
  5. It’s a very important step in a much bigger journey. Be proactive about your education; develop as many of your skills as possible. Where a syllabus may fall short culturally or spiritually, research other titles which can supplement your knowledge base. It’s important to seek and learn all you can to prepare yourself for the life God created you for (Matthew 25:14-30). Staying true to your Christian faith when you’re young will yield many rewards later in life, and this is just the beginning.

I guess the diversity of experiences was a gift, and I chose to accept it head-on (unlike our troubled, white supremacist roommate who, upon asking to be moved to another apartment during our first semester, was never seen or heard from by any of us again). My college years eventually led me to a fuller understanding of Jesus, of God, of my own values, and of the world. It may sound trite, but life really is a wonderful journey if you remember to keep the faith, stay the course, and hold on to the lessons it brings.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES -Daniel 1-6, Proverbs 2:1-2,Ephesians 4:2-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18,Genesis 34, Matthew 25:14-30.

Are you ready for college?

Watch the trailer for the film, “God Is Not Dead”-

When atheist philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) plans to forego “dusty arguments” in his class, he insists the new students declare that “God Is Dead.” Unable to do this, Josh (Shane Harper) is challenged to defend his faith and prove to the class that God is NOT Dead. 

BOOK Free To Dream by Bishop Charles E. BlakeDO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve?  Let  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.

PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.

Bishop Blake on Faith, Power, and Being Born Again

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. presents a Biblical lesson in worship,  faith, and what it really means to be born again, in his February 7, 2016 sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know.”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. delivered an insightful sermon based on John 3, which tells the story of Jesus’ instruction of Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council.

“Nicodemus came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him,’” read Bishop Blake. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”

Before the sermon, Bishop Blake prayed, “Nothing is beyond His power. Nothing is beyond His wisdom. Turn it over to Jesus; He’s going to handle it on your behalf. Halleluiah! Halleluiah!”

Presiding Bishop Blake’s full sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know” is available HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“All of those who wrote in the Old and New Testaments were Jewish people. Even Jesus himself, according to His earthly nature, was a Jew, as was Paul and all of the disciples.”

“Especially the Pharisees among the Jews were known as the most devout individuals in that nation. Animal sacrifices and blood atonement had been the very foundation of the Jewish faith.”

“The Old Testament contained very strict instructions and guidelines, not only regarding their sacrifices, but also the nature in which the sacrifices were presented, and also where the sacrifices could be offered up and where Israel was to worship before the Lord.”

“The Greeks ruled over Jerusalem and Judea, then Romans ruled over Jerusalem and Judea…The ability of the Jews to really practice their faith was frequently disrupted, and finally they gave up on temple worship and sacrifices all together…This explains the obsession of the Jews with Jerusalem and the spot where the temple was formerly located.”

“Nicodemus…represents not only himself individually, but he represents all of the Pharisees, and his Jewish bretheren, and he even represents all of us.”

“God judged them, and rejected any human effort they might make to…be in the favor of almighty God.  Isaiah reflects this in chapter 1:11-15, and again in Psalm 14:2.”

“To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?”
Says the Lord.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood” – Isaiah 1:11&15

“Is there anybody here who has seen a human relationship totally devastated?…Is there anybody who knows what it means to be through? God was through!”

“All the books of the New Testament were written after the crucifixion, after the burial, and after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.  Each of the New Testament writers wrote with a vision of the crucified and ascended Lord before their eyes.”

“Many of the things which Jesus spoke of …would be understood and realized only after His resurrection.”

“Resurrection bodies are designed to be ascended and caught up into the presence of God.”

“His resurrection body was affected by time and place… Jesus is now available to everyone at the same time.”

“Unless He left them physically, He could not come to them spiritually.”

“We walk by faith and not by sight.”

“Are there any worshipers in the house?”

“I know you’d get more excited if you saw Jesus walking up and down these aisles; I know you’d clap your hands and shout if you could touch Him and see Him physically, but listen: we walk by faith! In faith God is pleased!”

“Nicodemus didn’t know that Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God said, ‘I’m taking this thing over now!’”

“Without faith, the Bible says it is impossible to please God.”

“Nicodemus didn’t know that Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world; he did know that Jesus was going to rise up from the dead.”

“We know that Jesus is alive. His spirit is at work in the earth.”

“The resurrection of Jesus is the key event informing us that Jesus is the Son of God.”

“Jesus is unique among all men in that He died and arose, never to die again.”

“Jesus performed other miracles that affirmed His divinity, but His resurrection was a definitive statement regarding His Lordship over everything.”

“If Jesus can defeat death, then Jesus can defeat anything.”

“If He’s got power over death, then He has power over everything; power over sickness, power over infirmities, power over the devil, over any force that may come against us.”

“Because He lives, we shall live also.”

 “The more you read the Bible, the more you know about God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“If you hear of my home-going, don’t worry…Go ahead, roll me down the aisle. Go ahead, take me to the burial place. Go ahead, eat the fried chicken! Have a good time! Don’t worry about me! I shall rise again!”

“No other religion can make that claim. We can point to the grave of Mohamed, of Buddha, and they’re still occupied. But [Jesus’] grave is empty! My savior is alive!”

“Through Jesus we have peace with God. Because of Jesus we have life.”

“Jesus was not just instructing Nicodemus. When you accept Jesus, you become a new creature.”

“You’re old but you can still be born again.”

“If you feed the flesh, the flesh will grow. If you feed the spirit the spirit will grow.”

“You feed the spirit man when you read the Word of God.”

“The more you read the Bible, the more you know about God.”

“I am what the Word says I can do! I am everything the Bible says I am!”

“The Word says it and I believe it! Come on and praise Him!”

“Whatever the problem is, take it to Jesus!”

“Jesus is unique among all men in that He died and arose, never to die again.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“You feed the spirit man when you receive the Holy Ghost.”

“Raise your hands and say, ‘Lord, fill me with the Holy Ghost! Lord, I need your power!  I want your presence! I want your blessing!”

“When you feed the spirit man you feed Him by worship and with praise.  When you praise Him, you’re fueling up; you’re building up the spirit man.”

“When you praise him, God shows up in a special way. He said, ‘I am enthroned in the praises in My people. When they praise Me, I show up in power; I show up in might. I bring miracles, I bring blessings, I bring deliverance into their lives.’”

“Child of God will you throw up your hands, open up your mouth and praise Him?”

“Nicodemus didn’t know all of this, but we know it!

“Tell two people, ‘I know what God can do; I know there’s power in the name of Jesus! I know I can be healed! I know I can be set free! I know!’”

“God is moving! Halleluiah!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 3:1-16, Joshua 1:8, Leviticus 1&2, 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:13, Isaiah 1:11-15, Psalm14:2, Romans 3:23, 6:23, John 7:37-39, 20:17, 16:7, 14:23, John 4:23, 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 50; 1 John 5:10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Psalm 119:105, Acts 1:8.


 

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s full sermon, “What Nicodemus Did Not Know” is available on CD and DVD at the West Angeles Emporium.

Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Elder Owens: How To “Log in” To 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.

_____________________________________

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 fast for the month of January, and to join with the saints in prayer for 2016. Download the 2016 Consecration Calendar HERE.

SERMON: Apostle Paul Prays for Power for the Church

Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians was at the center of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.’s sermon on Sunday August 16, titled, The Believer’s Agenda.

“Paul won more souls to Jesus Christ during the period of his life than anybody else on the face of the earth,” Bishop Blake said.

Paul prayed for knowledge of the Will of God for the relatively young church at Colossae because, “It’s important that those who are doing good to do better. Success imposes responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required,” said Bishop Blake.

Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled “A Believer’s Agenda” follows; please click HERE to see this entire sermon on West Angeles Video On Demand:

“There’s a great hunger and a great need for expert advice in the world today.”

“Everybody wants to give advice. Not too many people are wise enough to seek advice.”

“Abject failures are clamoring to tell us how to succeed.”

“The best advice is from the Word of the Lord. That’s why you have to read the Bible for yourself.”

“The best advice you can get is in the Bible” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“The Bible is your constant counselor.”

“Don’t feel that because you’re good you’ll never be attacked. You’re the one the devil wants to hurt. You’re the one the devil wants to destroy.”

“Sometimes God stretches us. Sometimes the archer pulls the bow back until the bow seems to be on the verge of breaking. But the archer says I’ve got to put stress on this bow because [it] can catapult the arrow to the great distance.”

“Don’t cry, don’t moan, don’t groan when you’re distressed. Just let God catapult you into your future. Halleluiah!”

“Success imposes responsibility.”

“You think God blessed you just so you can look good? God blessed you because He intends to get the most out of you.”

“There are many people who will help you when you are down, but when you are succeeding…it takes a strong, secure person to be able to help you and not be envious.”

“Paul was one of the foremost apostles…He wrote most of the NT. He’s right up there behind Jesus Christ as one of the greatest men to walk the earth.”

“When something is filled, there’s not room for anything else. When we’re filled with the truth, there’s no room for error.”

“If we know the scriptures, then we will know the power of God” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“The priority of so many people is confused…But it’s not our will. It’s God’s Will that we should seek.”

“Some folks have the nerve to brag about not being sanctified. If you’re not sanctified, then you’re outside the Will of God…the Bible says, ‘This is the Will of God. Even your sanctification.’”

“Wisdom and spiritual understanding come by prayer.”

“Some folk need to have some good old-fashioned common sense.”

“Dumb questions are better than dumb mistakes.”

“You need the Holy Ghost because the Holy Ghost is a teacher…Lift your hands and say, ‘Lord, I need the Holy Ghost!’”

“When you’re filled with the Spirit of God, the Lord will direct you.”

“Let Jesus lead you!”

“When you give your life to the Lord, your question ought to be, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’”

“Walk worthy of the Lord; this is the responsibility of every believer.”

“When Jesus is in your life, you should act like it! You should talk like it…You should live like it!”

“Children of the King should be royal in their behavior” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God doesn’t sponsor any flops.”

“If you want to serve God, you’ll serve people, too.”

“Doing good is more than not doing wrong.”

“God is looking for somebody who will work for Him.”

“There’s a knowledge of God that you’ll receive when you work for God, that you will not receive any other time.”

“If Jesus has power over death, He has power over everything.”

“God has everything under control.”

“If you stand for God, God will stand for you.”

“Neighbor, He’s here right now…The Lord is here!”

“Jesus gave us salvation just for the asking.”

“Power is yours. Wisdom is yours. The Holy Ghost is yours. Come on and praise Him!”

“Whatever the Lord is passing out, I want it!”

BIBLICAL REFERENCES – Colossians 1:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; James 1:5; Ephesians 5:17; John14:26 Proverbs 3:5-6; Ezra 8:23; Galatians 6:9; Luke 5:5; Acts 1:8; John 16:7; Mark 16:17; Luke 11:13; Acts 2:4, 2:39, 10:46, 19:6. Psalm 22:3.

Pursuing Higher Education

The Christian Education Department and the Education and Enrichment Department are joining hands to intie all adults who may be interested in pursuing higher education. If you are an adult and are interested in going to college or returning to college and want to know how to make it affordable, please plan to attend this seminar! Representatives from reputable institutions such as Azusa Pacific University and Student Resource USA will be present for your interest.

Date: Saturday, June 27
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Cost: If applicable
Location: Youth Center – Multi-Purpose Room

REPORT: Christian Population Dropping in America

From 2007 to 2014, the percentage of Americans that identify themselves as Christian has dropped from 78 percent to 71 percent, which amounts to five million adults in the seven year gap, according to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Furthermore, in 2007, 36 million adults identified themselves as unaffiliated with any religious group. But that number that has jumped considerably to 56 million in 2014.

Click HERE to read the Associated Press story.

Click HERE to read the New York Times story.

The Pew Research Center offered no concrete answer as to why the Christian population has dropped.

So, why do you think there are less Christians in America? Please, share your respectful thoughts in the comments section.

Critical Topics Discussed at Inaugural Pentecostal Leaders Summit

February 23, 2015 (Los Angeles, CA)-Leaders from six global Pentecostal denominations, representing over 90 million members combined, recently met in Los Angeles to discuss a wide range of international and domestic topics.

The Pentecostal Leaders Summit convened for three days last week in Los Angeles, California, to discuss a number of topics including the effects of terrorism, the church’s role in racial harmony, religious freedom, and same-sex issues facing the church, among other topics.

The leaders in attendance included Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God; Dr. Glenn C. Burris President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent/Presiding Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer, Church of God; Rev. Randall A. Bach, President, Open Bible Churches and Dr. Jack W. Hayford, former President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Additional persons in attendance included elected officials from each organization.

A goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for each leader to listen and discuss the various national and international crises facing Christians around the globe, while also seeking to help bring unity to the Body of Christ globally.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “This gathering of Pentecostal leaders has provided each person with a unique opportunity to come to Los Angeles and dialogue with their contemporaries in other denominations, with similar beliefs, about issues that are confronting us all.” He further states, “This summit has shown us what we, as Christian leaders, have said and known for some time now: We are all better when we come together as one.”

Dr. George O. Wood states, “This was truly an historical meeting. We are all the grandsons and granddaughters of the Azusa Street revival, and in these days, the Holy Spirit is drawing us together in united witness, fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the world would know us by our love for one another.”

Dr. Glen Burris emphasized, “There is a strong sense that the conversations among us have resonated much like the early church, that experienced a ‘one accord’ dynamic.  An African proverb says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.’  Finishing the Great Commission will require all of us.”

The last discussion topic of the summit revolved around how the six denominations can continue in dialog with one another and provide opportunities to include additional Pentecostal denominations and enlarge the representation from each group.

Bishop Doug Beacham says, “People are so thankful that we are meeting like this. Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country and for revival . . .”

Dr. Mark L. Williams declares, “Our shared history along with the collegiality and genuine respect we have for one another holds great promise and unlimited potential for fulfilling the mission for which Jesus died. Only a united church can reach a divided world. We must be one.”

Rev. Randall A. Bach explains, “It is always meaningful to gather with leaders of like faith. It is particularly joyful, however, to fellowship and collaborate with leaders of like experience, who love and pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our family of ministers and churches embrace and value our sister fellowships with love and respect. Unity in the Spirit glorifies the Lord.”

This is the first time in history a conference of this kind, with these leaders representing such a large and diverse membership, has ever taken place.

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A Message From The Stars- Bishop Charles E. Blake

A Message From The Stars_ Full720 from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

Bishop Charles E. Blake goes in full detail on the density of the universe. Visit shop.westa.tv to download the service in it’s entirety.

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