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Celebrate The Resurrection: What Does Easter Mean To You?

Revelation 21:5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.

It’s Spring, the season of the Resurrection Celebration!  Each year at this time, we celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ Resurrection and the phenomenon of God’s miraculous power of rebirth.  This spirit is also reflected in nature and throughout the earth: dark, cold, rainy days give way to light, warmth, and longer periods of sun; plants, shriveled and dormant throughout the winter months, are now reborn with new, tender blooms; animals emerge from hibernation to introduce new young to the world.

The Easter Season symbolizes hope and rejuvenation, and it also magnifies the resilience of the human spirit.  It’s humankind’s call to renew its strength (Isaiah 40:28-31); to celebrate freedom from physical, emotional, and spiritual slavery (Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 12:12-15); to reaffirm a personal connection to God’s amazing universe and power (Ephesians 1:17-20).   As our Presiding Bishop Blake would say, “That same power that brought Jesus back from the dead, also resides in us!”

In the spirit of this glorious season, tell us: What does Easter mean to you? Does it represent tradition?  Does it conjure a memory?  Or does Jesus’ Resurrection inspire you to create a path to something new in your life?  Shine your light on the world by sharing your reflections with us on social media.  The West Angeles family would love to hear from you!

Everything You Need to Know About Resurrection Sunday at West A! Please join us!

Please Join Us on Resurrection Sunday!

PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES E. BLAKE, FIRST LADY MAE L. BLAKE

and the

WEST ANGELES WORSHIP AND ARTS MINISTRY with Dr. Judith McAllister

 invite you to worship with with us on

EASTER SUNDAY: RESURRECTION SUNDAY!

RESURRECTION Sunday2017

CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW TO LEARN MORE!

AND:

RESURRECTION concert 2017
Easter flyer 2017 copy

Morning Services at The West Angeles Cathedral
Address: 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Evening Concert at The West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary
Address: 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Resurrection Sunday Sermon: “My Lord and My God”

The presence of the Lord was with West Angeles on Resurrection Sunday 2016!

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. welcomed the congregants to the Easter service and presentation, thanking God with exuberance and praise.

“Your savior is alive! We are praising the Resurrection! He loved you to the degree that He would give His life for your salvation. If anyone has something to celebrate, it’s us – for the Lord Jesus! Come on, give Him praise!”

West Angeles member and actor Chaz Shepard, soulful Dove Award-winning gospel singer Pastor Wess Morgan, and celebrated international classical artist Audrey DuBois Harris were part of the magnificent, dramatic and musical presentation conducted by the Church of God In Christ’s International Minister of Music Dr. Judith Christie McAlister, who recently returned to West Angeles to lead its music ministry.

Bishop Blake’s moving Resurrection Sunday sermon was inspired by John 20:24-29, where Jesus appears to the disciple Thomas.

“How vivid is the image of resurrection?” asked Bishop Blake. He continued in prayer, “Thank you Jesus, that you loved us enough to give your life for us. Thank you for salvation, thank you for eternal life. Let us never ever again be the same, in Jesus name.”

 Highlights of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr’s Resurrection Sunday sermon titled, “My Lord and My God,” follow. For the complete slideshow of West Angeles’ Resurrection Sunday 2016, please click photos to enlarge:

“The starting point of believers’ knowledge of God…is not the Old Testament, it is Jesus Christ” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Without Jesus, we would probably not be aware of, or even read, the Old Testament.”

“Before Jesus, the Jewish faith was exactly that: the Jewish faith.”

“Most people believed in some kind of God, but they just didn’t know what God was really like.”

“Without the life of Jesus’ word, the New Testament would not have become the basis for the world’s great and dominant religions.”

“Without Jesus the Old Testament would have been of little interest to those of us who are not Jewish people.”

“Jesus told us about God because Jesus is God.”

“If Jesus had not arisen form the dead, He would not have impacted the world as He has.”

“If He had not arisen from the dead, we would not have believed that He is God. He would not have the significance for us that He has.”

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile. You are still in your sins.1 Corinthians 15:17

“There are few, if any, fears that are greater than the fear of death.”

“(American psychologist) Abraham Maslow articulated what he thought was the hierarchy of human need, that the physiological need for safety,  life, and security are at the very basis of man’s need structure.”

“Death for mankind is a fearful thing.”

“Death is the ultimate finishing of life. One of the reasons men turn to Jesus is because Jesus promises abundant life.”

“’I come that you might have life.’ That promise would seem empty if Jesus, who promises us life, did not come back to life Himself.”

“Where there is life, there’s hope.”

“Nobody enjoys death. Nobody wants death. But death for the believer is not the terror it once was because Jesus destroyed the power of Satan and the rule of Satan over our lives through death.”

“The fear of death keeps men in bondage.”

“We have the now. We know the now…and this seems to us to be more real than anything else.”

“Those of us who know Jesus need not be confronted by confusion or apprehension.”

“The resurrection of Jesus is the most miraculous and spectacular event in the history of mankind.”

“Anybody who can defeat death…I want to know Him.”

“The resurrection of Jesus is the most miraculous and spectacular event in the history of mankind.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“In all of history, no one can make the claim that Jesus made.”

“Let the church proclaim it: ‘Our Lord is alive!’”

“The resurrection was not just for the spirit of man but for the body of man also, which would also one day be resurrected.”

“Our loving Lord defeated death, and then He came back to let us know that the best part of life is on the other side of the grave.”

“The word ‘Lord’ means ‘owner’; the word ‘Lord’ means ‘master.’ So one who makes Christ his Lord considers Jesus to be his owner his master, and himself a slave of Jesus.”

“One who makes Jesus his Lord puts himself entirely in the hands of Jesus Christ.”

“Jesus is Lord by love.”

“Nothing on earth is worth our relationship with Jesus.”

“Jesus is Lord of the dead and Lord of the living.”

“At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord of all.”

“The world does not believe it, but Jesus is Lord of all.”

“Tell 3 people, ‘He is Lord!’” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“I have a sense of ownership! I have a sense of access!”

“Don’t stand back. Come boldly!”

“Thomas said that, ‘He is my Lord and my God.’ Can you say that He is your God today?”

“Without Him, nothing was made that was made.”

“Blessed are you who have seen not, but still believe.”

“So many people are dying…I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without Him!”

“When I was locked in and blocked in on all sides, Jesus came into my life and turned my life around…I came by to tell you that Jesus is still alive!”

“I see your joy coming back! I see your health coming back! I see your strength coming back! I see your ability coming back! I see your optimism coming back! Tell your neighbor, ‘It’s coming back!’”

“God will turn your life around!”

“If Jesus arose, I’m going to rise!”

“You may be in a dead situation, but child of God, have faith! God said, ‘It’s going to be alright!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: John 20:24-29, John 10:10, Hebrews 2:9, 14, I come that you might have life SITE, 1 Corinthians 15:14-20, 2 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Acts 2:36, Luke 10:22, Matthew 28:18, Romans 14:9, John 3:16, John 15:13, Romans 14:11, 1 John 4:19, Philippians 2:8-9, Hebrews 4:16, John 1:1-11, Isaiah 53:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, 1 Corinthians 15:52.

SERMON: The Resurrection Mentality

As we prepare for Resurrection Sunday, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake asks, “Do you have a resurrection mentality?”

In his sermon titled, “The Resurrection Mentality,” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. describes the characteristics of those who believe in Jesus.

“Those who live most effectively are those who have tapped an unseen reservoir from which they can gain power and strength,” said Bishop. “That God of power can be great in your life. And if He’s in your life, just like He rose from the dead, you can rise out of any situation that may come against you.”

Bishop Blake continued, “The message…is that you can be free. You can be delivered in the name of Jesus.”

See the entire sermon here on Westa Video On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Most of us will agree that life is becoming more complex and more difficult every day.”

“The dinosaur was strong, but he’s also gone.”

“Health, wealth, strength, prosperity, are not the keys to success…they’re not the keys to survival.

“The ability to endure adversity is a precious, precious commodity.”

“Those who live most effectively [are those] who have tapped an unseen reservoir from which they can gain power and strength.

Believing brings joy. Believing brings peace.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

People who don’t believe, people who don’t trust, are miserable and unhappy.”

“Unrealistic expectations and foolish and unfounded ambitions can destroy the very life of an individual.”

“So many folk have gone back because they thought the wrong things.”

“So many people today are locked in. So many people are fearful.”

“The message of this day of Resurrection is that you can be free. You can be delivered in the name of Jesus!”

Sometimes things happen that are so wonderful, we don’t even want to believe it, even though it’s standing before us alive and well.”

A crusade for unbelief has been launched against the life of every individual in this room...The world does not want you to believe.”

If you believe, you’ll walk after the spirit and not after the flesh.

The Lord wants you to believe and you NEED to believe.”

When the disciples did not believe, they were sad. When they did not believe, they returned to their old way of life.

Believing brings joy. Believing brings peace. Believing brings hope. Believing brings strength.

“The Risen Lord will show up in your life if you have faith enough to invite Him to come in.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

When you believe God’s Word, that enables you to walk by faith into your future, according to the power of Almighty God.”

“Are you somehow blocked, stopped, hindered, held up; unable to reach your goals…paralyzed by fear, by hopelessness? Believe the Word of God, and the same God that raised up Jesus will give you power and an altogether new life!

To meet the risen Lord will literally change your life.”

“I don’t know whether you know him or not, but you can’t really celebrate Easter, you can’t really celebrate Resurrection Sunday, unless you really know the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”.

“I hope before we leave this room that you’ll get to know the risen Lord!

If you’re led to the scriptures, you’ve got the key to your future.”

The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

“This is my Bible. This is the Word of God. I am what it says I am! I’ve got what it says I’ve got! I can do what it says I can do, and the Word of God says ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!’”

“When you’re troubled, go to the Word! When you’re weak, go to the Word!” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The Holy Ghost is your spiritual clothing. It’s your spiritual adornment.

“Clothing protects you. Clothing shelters you. Clothing hides you from the eyes of people. Clothing keeps you from being exposed. And Jesus said, ‘You shall receive Power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you!’

“Life is in the Power of the Spirit!”

“If you know Jesus, if you know the Word of God, if you’ve got the Holy Ghost, you’re ready for everything that the devil might do against you!”

“Sickness won’t stop me. Trouble won’t stop me. Adversity won’t stop me. Enemies won’t stop me. Getting fired won’t stop me. Losing my job won’t stop me. Running out of money won’t stop me. As long as I’ve got Jesus, I can make it!”

“The same Power that showed up at the grave. The same power that transformed the dying body of Jesus Christ into a living immortal resurrected body. The same power that brought Him forth from the grave is right here, right now, in this room. He’s here to set you free!”

“The chain is broken in the name of Jesus! You’re free!”

Scriptural References: John 11:25; Mark 16:10; Luke 14:15, 21, 25, 30; Romans 15:13; Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:21; John 20:19; Matthew 28:17; Romans 15:13; John 4:46; John 11:25; Luke 24:27-45; Philippians 4:13; Acts 1:8, Act 2:1; John 16:22, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Revelation 3:20, Romans 10:13; John 14:21; Psalm 46:1; Luke 10:19.

EASTER RECIPE: Salmon With Garlic and Broiled Fennel

Luke 24:40-43 (NKJV) – 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

Around the world, Christians celebrate the Miracle of Easter with a wonderful meal. Traditionally, many families in America serve ham, turkey, or lamb, a symbol of the Body of Christ. However, did you know that, according to the Bible, the first known meal that Jesus ate after His Resurrection was actually fish?

We’ve chosen salmon for our simple-yet-flavorful Easter main course recipe.  It’s a tasty, nutritious fresh-water fish that’s high in protein and omega-3 benefits, and it’s also quick and easy to prepare. Our dish is punctuated with the distinctive, licorice-like flavor of fennel which, when roasted, becomes a wonderful, sweet, and aromatic accent.  Fennel is also great for us: it’s high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, both of which help boost the immune system.                                                

We’ve also served our salmon with roasted red-skinned new potatoes*. Enjoy!

Eastermis

Salmon With Garlic and Broiled Fennel

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 lb. Salmon, skinned and rinsed with lemon juice*   

1 Fennel bulb, rinsed

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of seasoned salt

2 teaspoons of curry powder

Pinch of salt

½ teaspoon + one pinch of crushed black pepper

SALMON:

Preheat oven to 375°. Place rinsed salmon in a large bowl.  Add chopped garlic, one teaspoon of olive oil, seasoned salt, curry powder, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Eastersam1

Use brush to blend spices and coat the surface of the fish.

Eastersam2

Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil; place fish in dish. 

Eastersam3

Cover with foil; bake at 375° for 20 minutes, then broil uncovered for an additional 10 minutes to brown.  While salmon is baking, prepare the fennel.

FENNEL:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Cut stalks from top of bulb,

Easter fen1

then cut off the root end.

Easter fen2

Stand bulb on its root end to cut in half lengthwise.

Easter fen3

Cut away the tough triangular core; discard.

Easter fen4

Cut side down, cut bulb into ½” sections.

Easter fen5

Place sections in bowl; toss with one teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper. 

Easter fen6

Spread in a single layer onto a foil-lined baking sheet; roast at 375° for 30 minutes until tender.

easter fennel cookd

Arrange salmon on single layer of fennel plate. Garnish (optional; we used roasted cherry tomatoes); serve with a green vegetable and roasted, red-skinned new potatoes.  Serves 4.

Eastersam final

*DID YOU KNOW?

  • Salmon contains proteins and nutrients which may prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease; provide special support for joint cartilage; increase insulin effectiveness; and control inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Lemon is a natural disinfectant.  Rinsing fish with lemon juice before cooking diminishes lingering bacteria as well as the fishy smell.
  • New potatoes are smaller, sweeter, and often more tender than regular-sized ones.  We chose a red-skinned variety for our meal to symbolize the blood of Christ; mirroring the tradition of dying Easter eggs red.

For your safety, keep raw fish separate from vegetables; keep your food prep area clean and dry during fish preparation, and wash hands thoroughly after handling.

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Recipe and photos, ©Karen Lascaris, 2016.

 

 

 

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A West Angeles April…in photos.

What a wonderful month of April here at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, from an awe-inspiring Resurrection Sunday to this month’s visiting pastors, sharing the Word of the Lord.

Below are photos from the month of April, taken by our very own West Angeles photographers.

 

PHOTOS & SERMON: The Resurrection Mentality

I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast; the day of His appearing will come at last. He Lives!” – Lyrics, Alfred Henry Ackley, “I Serve A Risen Savior”

Resurrection Sunday 2015 was a glorious event at West Angeles Church of God In Christ! The congregation was alive with praise as Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake presented a rousing sermon titled, “The Resurrection Mentality,” defining the benefits of the Power of Christ within the life of the believer.

Here are a few photos of our West Angeles family from Resurrection Sunday:

Resurrection Sunday

 

The sermon was preceded by the moving and inspirational dramatic performance, “Miracles at Stillwater,” which reveals the plight of prisoners at a correctional facility who learn about the power of Jesus Christ for the first time.

Said Bishop, “That God of power can be great in your life. And if He’s in your life, just like He rose from the dead, you can rise out of any situation that may come against you.”

See the entire sermon here on Westa Video On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Most of us will agree that life is becoming more complex and more difficult every day.”

“The dinosaur was strong, but he’s also gone.”

“Health, wealth, strength, prosperity, are not the keys to success; they’re not the keys to survival.

“The ability to endure adversity is a precious, precious commodity.”

“Those who live most effectively [are those] who have tapped an unseen reservoir from which they can gain power and strength.

People who don’t believe, people who don’t trust, are miserable and unhappy.”

“Unrealistic expectations and foolish and unfounded ambitions can destroy the very life of an individual.”

“So many folk have gone back because they thought the wrong things.”

“So many people today are locked in; so many people are fearful.”

“The message of this day of Resurrection is that you can be free; you can be delivered in the name of Jesus!”

Sometimes things happen that are so wonderful, we don’t even want to believe it, even though it’s standing before us alive and well.”

A crusade for unbelief has been launched against the life of every individual in this room...The world does not want you to believe.”

If you believe, you’ll walk after the spirit and not after the flesh.

The Lord wants you to believe: and you NEED to believe.”

When the disciples did not believe, they were sad; when they did not believe, they returned to their old way of life.

Believing brings joy; believing brings peace; believing brings hope, believing brings strength.

When you believe God’s Word, that enables you to walk by faith into your future, according to the power of Almighty God.”

“Are you somehow blocked, stopped, hindered, held up; unable to reach your goals…paralyzed by fear, by hopelessness? Believe the Word of God, and the same God that raised up Jesus will give you power and an altogether new life!

To meet the risen Lord will literally change your life.”

“The Risen Lord will show up in your life if you have faith enough to invite Him to come in” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“I don’t know whether you know him or not, but you can’t really celebrate Easter, you can’t really celebrate Resurrection Sunday, unless you really know the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”.

“I hope before we leave this room that you’ll get to know the risen Lord!

If you’re led to the scriptures, you’ve got the key to your future.”

The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

“This is my Bible; this is the Word of God. I am what it says I am! I’ve got what it says I’ve got! I can do what it says I can do, and the Word of God says ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!’”

“When you’re troubled, go to the Word! When you’re weak, go to the Word!

“The Holy Ghost is your spiritual clothing; it’s your spiritual adornment.

“Clothing protects you; clothing shelters you. Clothing hides you from the eyes of people; clothing keeps you from being exposed. And Jesus said, ‘You shall receive Power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you!’

“Life is in the Power of the Spirit!”

“If you know Jesus, if you know the Word of God, if you’ve got the Holy Ghost, you’re ready for everything that the devil might do against you!”

“Sickness won’t stop me. Trouble won’t stop me. Adversity won’t stop me. Enemies won’t stop me. Getting fired won’t stop me. Losing my job won’t stop me. Running out of money won’t stop me. As long as I’ve got Jesus, I can make it!”

“The same Power that showed up at the grave; the same power that transformed the dying body of Jesus Christ into a living immortal resurrected body; the same power that brought Hi forth from the grave id right here right now, in this room. He’s here to set you free!”

“The chain is broken in the name of Jesus! You’re free!”

Scriptural References: John 11:25; Mark 16:10; Luke 14:15, 21, 25, 30; Romans 15:13; Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:21; John 20:19; Matthew 28:17; Romans 15:13; John 4:46; John 11:25; Luke 24:27-45; Philippians 4:13; Acts 1:8, Act 2:1; John 16:22, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Revelation 3:20, Romans 10:13; John 14:21; Psalm 46:1; Luke 10:19.

“Miracles at Stillwater,” written by Avan Hardwell, directed by Taja V. Simpson, and produced by Jonathan E. Coleman and Jason White.  See this performance and West Angeles’ entire Resurrection Sunday Service HERE, at West Angeles’ Video On Demand.  Get God Now!

Resurrection Sunday

The resurrection of Jesus is the culmination of all things meaningful, faith and fact, in establishing a relationship with God.

This is the key event in the New Testament where it is proclaimed throughout. All four Gospels report the miraculous event. In Matthew 28:6 the angel declared, “He is not here: for he is risen!” Mark 16:6 reports “‘Don’t be alarmed,’ [the angel] said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.'” 

In Luke 24:46-48, the risen Jesus gave His disciples a greater understanding of the resurrection when He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” Jesus foretells of His resurrection in John 16; then to one of the doubting witnesses, Thomas, He says the following in John 20:29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

Join us this Sunday for Resurrection Sunday.

Resurrection Sunday
“He Has Risen”
April 5, 2015 8 a.m., 11 a.m., Cathedral
7 p.m., North Campus Sanctuary
Featured Dramatic Presentation–“Miracle at Stillwater”

Watch LIVE HERE