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Bishop Blake: What To Do When Your Soul Refuses to be Comforted

“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint – Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes, peace of mind may seem elusive. The problems and issues of the world dominate our minds, seep into our hearts and afflict our souls.  Our past hurts and our sins plague us, and it seems as if things may never be right again. When we feel overwhelmed by the shadow cast over us, we must always remember that God is often trying to teach us that we have strength in Jesus. He is teaching us resilience; how to have faith, how to overcome, how to triumph.

In this sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. gives us the example of a mother eagle teaching her baby how to fly. Sometimes the mother eagle will drop her young from her grasp, then swoop down at the last minute as it falls. Just as the eagle saves her offspring moments before it hits the earth, God looks out for us in the same way. Comfort comes in knowing that God will never leave us; nor will He forsake us in our time of need.

“What To Do When Your Soul Refuses To Be Comforted” from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

“When you endure difficult trials your soul should be comforted,” said Bishop Blake… “Jesus has already paid the price…God is trying to teach you how to fly. James 1 says,

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.'”

What do you do when your soul refuses to be comforted? Are there bible verses that you refer to when you are feeling anxious or depressed? Please feel free to share them with others below or on our social media page, so that others may be comforted too.

 

Bishop Blake: Who Are You Going To Call?

By Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

As a young evangelist, I conducted a revival with a friend of mine at a church in St. Louis, MO. Afterwards, we had another revival to conduct in Denver, CO. We left St. Louis in a driving rain storm that only grew worse as we traveled.

At a certain point, we rounded a curve, and my car lost traction on the wet pavement. We began to hydroplane. We twirled and twirled toward a tree beside the road. As I wrestled with the steering wheel, my friend, who was traveling with me, called out, “Charles! Charles!” The car was spinning out of control at 60 or 70 mph… My friend called my name again, “Charles!” But he wasn’t getting very far.

Our lives flashed before our eyes as I tried to straighten the car without success. I released the steering wheel and we both covered our heads to brace for the impact. Just then, my friend called out “JESUS!” We waited for the crash – but there was no crash. The car had gone down off the highway backwards into a stream.

The back of the trunk was under water the rest on the edge of the shore.

We looked up and saw that we were alright! We never heard a crash. We never felt the car even stop. We got out of the car unhurt, waded through the little bit of water we were in, and made it to shore. We stood on the bank of the stream, lifted up our hands and began to glorify God.

Do you know that you can call on the name Jesus? For John 14:13 says:

“Whatsoever you ask in my name you shall receive it.”

So I’m proclaiming healing in the name of Jesus; deliverance in the name of Jesus; strength in the name of Jesus; peace in the name of Jesus, provision in the name of Jesus.

Lift up your hands and say, “In the name of Jesus!”


Adapted from the sermon “God’s Terms of Engagement”; April 24, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. See this entire service and more HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.

5 Ways To Optimum Health Through Jesus Christ

Often time, the word “health” is misunderstood.

How do we achieve optimum health? Many of us think this only pertains to eating habits. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

To reach true optimum health, we must be diligent in mind, body and spirit. In order to accomplish this, we must honor God and acknowledge that we are His workmanship. Romans 12:1 (NIV) says: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Maintaining our health is one of the best gifts we can give to God. Along with prayer, exercise and healthy eating, there are many ways to worship Him daily. Here are 5 ways to maintain health in spirit:

  1. Speak The Good News. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Speaking light not only builds the Kingdom, it also helps to keep you healthy through faith and hope (Isaiah 61). There is a difference between having a negative thought and actually speaking that thought into existence. Try to speak of the positive aspects of life. If you speak only of the negative, not only will those negatives come to fruition, others will distance themselves from you. Speak positivity! 
  2. Live by faith, not by sight. A large percentage of what enters our bodies daily is not through our mouths, but through our eyes and ears. Be sure that the media you ingest daily is edifying and your family, and for the Kingdom. We live in a secular world, that isn’t always prone to providing the best examples of Christian living. It is important to remember that our faith resides in the Lord, not in his earthly children. 
  3. Our attachments can make us sick. As Bishop Blake said on Sunday, we can’t plant our seeds in a thorn bush. Bad habits can be destructive to health, but even in our compassion for others, we can sometimes internalize their afflictions and demons. Gently remind others that laying their burdens on Jesus connects them to an eternal wellspring of life and health.
  4. Physician, heal thyself! More and more, we’re relying on statistics, pills, and physicians who do not share our faith in the transformative, healing power we have through Jesus Christ (Matthew 8:1-17). Talk to yourself and talk to Jesus. He will steer you in the right direction in terms of healing, whether that be through a change in diet, a medical expert, or just a change in lifestyle!
  5. Guard your heart. According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans today. Maintaining the health of your heart, and accessing the power of God’s universe through Christ, is key to a healthy and abundant life (Prov 4:23). Do your research. Determine was in good for your body and heart, and what isn’t. Don’t rely on others to tell you. God wants you to care for yourself and those around you!
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Bishop Blake featured in NY Daily News column

As the attack that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend continue to fuel debate regarding the direction of our society, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s statement on the matter found its way into political anchor Errol Louis’s column on Tuesday, entitled Vaccines against extremism: Culture and faith.

Click HERE to read the full story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

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

OUR BIBLE, OUR POWER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

PLEASE JOIN US FOR SUNDAY SERVICES AT WEST ANGELES! Click HERE to go to Westa.org for details.

Bishop Blake: Live a High-Leverage Life

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches 5 principles of living a blessed, high-leverage life in the Lord.

2 Chronicles 31:20-21 (NKJV) – 20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in the law and in the commandment, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart. So he prospered.

I’m quite fascinated by the life of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was prosperous. Hezekiah was blessed. He was one of the greatest kings in the history of the Israelites. During Hezekiah’s reign, Israel became a nation which was admired and respected by the other nations of the world.

Hezekiah prospered in all his works. The man was ridiculously rich. He received tremendous miracles from God. He experienced outstanding manifestations of God’s power and might. His was a high-leverage life because of his attitude, conduct, and behavior, which brought into action the providence and power of almighty God.

Dr. Judith McAllister leads the West Angeles Mass Choir in "Total Praise." 10-2-2016.

Dr. Judith McAllister leads the West Angeles Mass Choir in “Total Praise.” 10-2-2016.

5 QUALITIES OF THE HIGH-LEVERAGE LIFE

When you look at the results of Hezekiah’s life, it is not his effort or ability that caused these great miracles to take place. I focus on Hezekiah today because we can learn from him. We should learn from great men how to be greater; from wise men, how to be wiser, and from blessed men, how to be more greatly blessed.

What positive qualities do great people possess that we can incorporate into our own lives? How can we sense a person’s heart when discerning their conduct? And what qualities do we observe in Hezekiah?

  1. He pleased God. When God is with you, you prosper wherever you go. God is looking for those who will do what’s right; folks who do are high-leverage people. When you are a righteous person, you are in step with the canons and rhythms of God’s great universe.
  2. He was a man of character. How you behave daily is an indication of your character. Character is not only good behavior but also the moral convictions that produce good work in your life. God the Creator has a master plan by which the universe was created and operates. We obey the quote-leverword of God – the Holy Bible – because we recognize the wisdom and authority of God as Creator.  If you’re not obeying God, it’s because you think you’ve got a better solution.
  3. He made a covenant with God. A covenant is a committed relationship. God has committed Himself to us, but so few of us are really committed to Lord. We don’t want a relationship…we want a date! In Romans 8:35-39, Paul said, “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  4. He had faith. He trusted God. Our faithfulness does not exempt us from trouble, but God does promise to be with us in the midst of it (Daniel 3:25). The Son of God will show up in your situation if you’re faithful to God; God will fight your battles.
  5. He prayed. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV). I know you’re having problems, but stop talking about them!  If you cry out to God, He will show up; if you call Him, He will answer you.

God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to save us. Jesus not only died for us, but He also rose up on the third day.  That’s God’s guarantee to you that you, too, shall rise. The name of Jesus means you can have life everlasting; in Him, your life can be more than you ever dreamed. Let God Himself take control of your life.

When you live a high-leverage life, you’ve got leverage with Almighty God.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: 2 Chronicles 31:20, 32:1-7,23,27, 29:2-10, 7:14; 2 Kings 19:14-16, 35-36, 20:1-6,11, 18:5;1 Samuel 16:7, John 4:23, Jeremiah 9:24, 33:3; Romans 1:18, 8:31, 35-39; Proverbs 3:6, 16:7, 14:12; Daniel 3:25, Ephesians 3:20.

Adapted from the sermon, “The High-Leverage Life”, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.; October 2, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, Los Angeles, CA.


 

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Courtney B. Vance Honored by Merge Summit

Integrating faith & entertainment, THE MERGE SUMMIT is a series of exclusive events that provides education, inspiration, empowerment and opportunity. The event takes place August 25-27, 2016 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

courtney vance

Courtney B. Vance

Founded by West Angeles’ own Robi Reed, the Merge Summit brings together leaders in the arts and entertainment industry to teach, prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders in music, film, television, business and ministry. Their efforts revolve around providing value to their participants by providing the opportunity to meet and learn from industry powerhouses.

This year at the MERGE AWARDS OPENING GALA honors West Angeles COGIC member and Emmy Award nominated actor Courtney B. Vance; Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial, Dorinda Walker; ESSENCE Magazine Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor; and founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, Dr. Bill Winston. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian, Cedric The Entertainer.

THE MERGE SUMMIT features over 20 Interactive Panel Discussions; Powerful Master Classes and Engaging Breakout Sessions, all taught by more than 60 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives.  The Summit also features The Merge Awards™ Luncheon, The Merge Showcase, & FREEDOM, The Merge Concert Experience.

Within the past year, THE MERGE has traveled nationwide with events in Baltimore, Atlanta, and Chicago.

SERMON: Bishop Blake Teaches Symbolism of the Bronze Altar

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake continues the study of the tabernacle, preaching the 4th message of the series based on his book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence.” Some of the new meaning found within the Old Testament symbolism of tabernacle refers to “relationships, especially our relationship with God,” said Bishop Blake.

“We talked about God’s nature; that He is holy, that He is jealous, but He is also merciful. We talked about God’s promises, and a practical, working understanding of God, so we can better understand what God is like, and what God expects from us.”

Bishop Blake also believes that the series can help us to understand ourselves, as well as those to whom we are to relate.

“We talked about what God is like. What we haven’t talked about is what we are like.”

In Part IV of the series, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake discusses some of the factors which “affect our ability or inability to properly relate to God, or to life. God wants us to enjoy Him.”

This sermon is based on the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. For more information, please see below. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…the almighty eternal God in His wisdom created and synchronized this vast universe in which we live.”

“As a finale of this great drama of creation, God brought in to existence a being made in His own image. He created man. This man and the women God gave to man was esteemed and cherished above all God had created.”

“Man was a living soul who had the capacity to communicate with God, to love God, and to worship God.”

“Genesis implies there was no death, no physical suffering in the universe as God created it. It was a vast symphony of harmony, and a vast symphony of peace.”

“Man was created in innocence and was privileged to live in communion with God, and in harmony with God and with creation.”

“Because God loved man, God made man a free moral being. He gave man the ability to make choices regarding his moral behavior and regarding his spiritual behavior.”

“Although God had created man in His own image, man had to make His own choices as to how he would maintain that purity, and maintain that righteousness.”

“God has dominion over all creation. The existence of alternatives is absolutely necessary if one is to be a free moral being.”

“Adam not only had to be free to do good, he also had to be free to do evil. Otherwise, he would not have been free at all.”

“It seems that God would have had our diet to be vegetarian. The thought of killing animals did not enter into the minds of Adam and Eve.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The consequences of disobedience would be death.” 

“1 John 3:4 tells us that sin is a transgression of our obedience to the law and command of God.”

“Satan is still using the same strategy today. He’s still lying, doing the same thing.”

“The prospect of being like God was too much for Adam and Eve, and they disobeyed their creator.”

“That instance of disobedience was the saddest and most tragic moment in all of history.”

“Sin is the ugly blemish in God’s picture of what the world ought to be.”

“Sin had emblazoned itself on the nature of the universe. It is transgression of the law of God.”

“Sin is a slap in the face of God.”

“We’re like an heir who inherits an already encumbered estate…and he continues to [add] more and more debt against the estate.”

“Sin is a discordant note in the symphony of the universe.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Sin is a dreaded disease and its relayed from father and mother to sons and daughters.”

“All men are sinners…because men are sinners by nature.”

“Every one of us has committed sins. Every one of us has reduced and contorted the picture of what God wants us to be. All have sinned…all of us fall short of the glory of God.”

“There are many who claim to believe…that if humans are left alone they’d automatically do what’s best, that they’d automatically do what’s virtuous. But there’s little evidence in the annals of human history to substantiate that view.”

“Man is what the Bible says he is, and that is a sinner.”

“Because of sinfulness, because of guilt, men became enemies of God and were made subject of the wrath and judgement of God.”

“The condition of the world before the fall of man and after the fall of man is graphically portrayed in Genesis 1:29.”

“It seems that God would have had our diet to be vegetarian. The idea of killing and consuming animals was not even mentioned. Even after they had sinned, the thought of killing animals did not enter into the minds of Adam and Eve.”

“They designed their clothing from leaves and from vegetable items that were growing on the face of the earth.”

“Notice that an apron does just fine up front. But from the rear, an apron leaves everything exposed!” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“In order for the skin of an animal to be obtained…the blood of that animal must be shed. From the time man sinned, bloodshed became necessary that his guilt and his shame might be covered.”

“The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”

“Sin is such an abomination and repulsion to our Holy God and to our righteous God.”

“The tabernacle was actually a relatively small tent-type structure…the walls were made of detachable acacia wood boards.”

“The high priests alone could go into the most Holy place.”

“What one would see upon entering the outer court was the brazen altar; an altar of sacrifice.”

“In the most Holy place behind the veil was the arc of the covenant, but the location of the brazen altar vividly  illustrates that entrance into the fellowship with God is by means of the altar of sacrifice.”

“Individual worshiper, if he was not a priest, could go no further than the brazen altar.

“The brazen alter was a testimony of God’s judgement, and God’s condemnation of sin.”

“The tabernacle, and everything in the tabernacle was a type or a shadow of things to come.”

“Just as the lamb was a substitute, Jesus was our substitute.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“What happened at the brazen altar confirms that the entrance into the things of God is available only by a sacrifice of blood.”

“Every priest stands administering daily, offering the same sacrifice which can never take away sins. But this man, Jesus Christ, after he’d offered one sacrifice for sins forever…He was perfecting  forever those who were being sanctified.”

“Throughout the Old Covenant, animals were sacrificed daily; lambs were sacrificed on the bronze altar. But when Jesus came He made one sacrifice  on the cross forever.”

“Just as the lamb was a substitute, Jesus was our substitute.”

“Clap your hands and praise God for Jesus!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 29:38-46, 1 John 3:4, Genesis 1:29, Hebrews 9:22, Genesis 4:3, Romans 3:23, Exodus 11, Gen 3:7, 21, Hebrews 10:11.


 

Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop ENCOUNTERING GOD bookCharles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.


To see this entire service, or to learn more about Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s series on the tabernacle and more, Please click HERE, to go to West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

SERMON: God’s Terms of Engagement

In Part III of his series on the Tabernacle of Moses, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. begins the study of 5 key furnishings in the tabernacle, each of which holds symbolism for establishing a deeper relationship with God in our lives today. 

In his sermon titled, “God’s Terms of Engagement,” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. studies 5 of the furnishings that were in the Tabernacle of Moses: the bronze altar, the bronze laver, the table of showbread, the lampstand, and the golden altar of incense.

“Each of these items is a symbol for something else,” said Bishop Blake, “and each of their actions represents a symbolic action.”

Based on Exodus 25, the sermon is a revelation into the wonders of the Bible, and how we can use it to make our lives fuller.

“Old Testament symbolism has a New Testament application,” continued Bishop Blake. “There are things in the spirit that we do through Christ Jesus that will take us into the very presence of God, and each phase is symbolized by something that was in the Tabernacle of Moses. Jesus is really what the tabernacle is all about.”

This sermon is based on the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.  For more information, please see below.

“God’s terms of engagement is God’s provision; His standard.”

“The status of the people of God; relationship the people had with God, and God’s response to them, were related to how they would deal with – in sincerity – those items that were in the tabernacle.”

“If they, in a pure and sincere heart, dealt with those items in the tabernacle properly, it would enhance their relationship with almighty God.”

“The bronze altar, with its sacrifices, represented God’s selection of the acceptable price to be paid for sin, and God’s forgiveness…It represented the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made, once and for all, for our sins.”

“The bronze laver, in which the priests would wash themselves, represents moral and spiritual cleansing.”

“The table of showbread represented God’s people constantly before his presence offering themselves to Him.”

“By offering that which was most precious, they offered themselves and their lives to the Lord.”

“The Bible is filled with physical actions that we ought to take in relationship with God. God talks about behavior in worship, in moral life, in relationships with other people; in relationship to money, and so on.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“The candlestick in the tabernacle represented moral and spiritual light: the light that God and His people were to be in a dark and Godless world.”

“The golden altar of incense represented what God’s people and their worship were to God…a sweet aroma unto God.”

“The contents of the arc of the covenant were two stone tablets upon which the 10 Commandments were written; Aaron’s rod that budded, and a pot of manna.”

“The second set of tablets represented a second chance for the people.”

“[Aaron’s] rod …represented God bringing life out of death, and possibility out of impossibility.”

“The pot of manna represented God’s miraculous provision for His children.”

“The mercy seat on the arc represented the culmination and success of the process by which they’d been involved with the other items in the tabernacle.”

“What causes one place to be different from another place? But God said, ‘In that place I shall meet with you.’”

“You’ve got to take a bath or else when you come before me you’re going to die…Tell your neighbor, ‘It seems to me, God is serious about this!’”

“You better watch out for your own fire.”

“There is none other like Him in all the universe…God is Holy!” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“If somebody tells you they’re jealous, you better believe them; and if they’re really tough, you really better believe them!  And God is saying, ‘I’m jealous!’”

“There is none other like Him in all the universe…God is Holy!”

“God’s nature mandates that His praise be the highest praise.”

“Nobody or nothing should get the praise that we give to God.”

“Every one of us have some preferences for how we want to be treated…Now, I just need to stop right there. Some carnal minds will go off, and I won’t get you back!”

“If you’ve got a husband or a wife, make sure you know how they want to be treated, and within reasonable limits, treat them that way.”

“If you’re not married wait…your day will come.”

“The word of God tells us how God wants to be treated.”

“The Bible starts with the heart of man. It clearly teaches that it doesn’t start on the outside, it starts on the inside. And it starts with the heart.”

“So, no matter what else you do, no matter how you perform all the rites of worship…God says it starts with your heart.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God says, ‘Treat me like I’m special.”

“Few things are more gratifying than to have somebody that you love praise you in a crowd.”

“There are few things that are more painful than to have someone criticize you in a crowd.”

“None of us would be happy with a loved one who gave us thoughts and not word, or words and no actions.”

“God expects good deeds. God expects good actions. God expects favor from those who say that they love Him.”

“Unless God can impact us on the level of the physical, He cannot impact us at the level of the spiritual.”

“The Bible is filled with physical actions that we ought to take in relationship with God. God talks about behavior in worship, in moral life, in relation with other people, in relationship to money, and so on.”

“We’re stimulated visually. We’re motivated visually. We’re motivated through our senses. The interaction of body and mind is such that they both stimulate one another.”

“But the body, spirit, and mind relationship is such that every mental and spiritual impulse carries with it a physical manifestation.”

“There are some things that happen on the inside that you cannot hide on the outside.”

“God expects good deeds. God expects good actions. God expects favor from those who say that they love Him.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Soul rejoicing is at its best when it gets noisy.”

“David said, ‘Class dismissed! I’m going to praise the Lord!”

“The tabernacle was a tangible instrument of the worship and praise of almighty God.”

“God uses symbols.”

“The Lord’s supper that we celebrate on the first Sunday is symbolic. The bread represents His body; the juice represents His blood.”

“Baptism is a symbol. It’s symbolic of the burial of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

“The cross is a symbol. It’s symbolic of our salvation.”

“Sometimes you don’t praise Him like you should, but when you have a symbol of the cross, a symbol of body a symbol of His blood you’re able to praise Him.”

“I know that the Lord has brought you from a mighty long way…Lift up your hands and praise Him.”

“God is so good to me.”

“He shows up when we worship Him. He shows up when we praise him. He shows up when we glorify Him. Come on and praise Him!”- Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“There are at least seven Hebrew words that tell us how to praise the lord. All of them mean praise, but each focuses on a different kind of behavior”

“He shows up when we worship Him. He shows up when we praise him. He shows up when we glorify Him. Come on and praise Him!”

“Worship is what you do, it’s not only what you feel, but it’s also what you say. It’s things, it’s places, it’s behavior, it’s conduct.”

“When you show up with the right stuff, show up in the right place, doing the right thing, with the right praise on your lips, God said, ‘I’m going to show up and bless you and take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.’”

“I wish somebody would praise him…Are there any true worshippers in the house today?”

“When the Holy Ghost shows up, you’ll move! When the Holy Ghost shows up, your body gets healed When the Holy Ghost shows up, your spirit gets blessed. When the Holy Ghost shows up, the power of the Lord is in the room!”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘The Holy Ghost is here right now!’”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 25:8, 21, Exodus 3:4, 29:29, 26:33, 30:18, Leviticus 10:1-2, Ex 34:14, Psalm 139:1,23, 1 Samuel 16:7,  Leviticus 10:3, Romans 12:1, Jeremiah 20:9, Psalm 34:2, 2 Samuel 6:14, ps 50:14, Psalm 103:1, Psalm 22:3, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:2-3, John 4:24.


 

Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, by Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Paperback Legacy Publishers International, 2004, 173 pages.ENCOUNTERING GOD book

In Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake beautifully and poignantly illustrates to us the clear path to establishing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Experiencing your divine encounter with God means following steps that will touch His heart. From Presiding Bishop Blake: “If you will follow these steps, then I can assure you that the experience you so desperately desire… will come!”

To  order your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please CLICK HERE to purchase.


To experience this entire sermon, “God’s Terms of Engagement” and more, please CLICK HERE for West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

Ambassador Charles R. Stith on the Power of Angels

As we look for answers to the moral and spiritual unrest in our world, West Angeles takes a look back to July of 2015 when Ambassador Charles R. Stith delivered a powerful message of comfort, about the strength and solace which can be found beneath the wings of angels.

A few weeks ago, Ambassador Charles R. Stith, a long-time friend of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., worshiped with the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, alongside his wife, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith. I was reminded of a powerful, insightful, yet comforting sermon Ambassador Stith delivered last year. The sermon addressed America’s burgeoning spiritual unrest; punctuated by troubling events in Ferguson, MO; the tragic shootings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

His message, simply called, “Angels,” was inspired by Hebrews 13:2 –

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.

“Implied in this text, said Ambassador Stith, “is a profound word of caution: be careful how you treat folks…Be careful who you ignore…That person you ignore just might be the one bearing your blessing.”

The full service is available HERE, on West Angeles’ Video On Demand; highlights from this sermon follow:

“St. Thomas Aquinas said that ‘an angel can illuminate thought in the mind of a person by strengthening the power of their vision.’”[1]

“Moses Maimonides said that ‘everyone entrusted with a mission is an angel.’”[2]

“We make all sorts of assumptions about people. We harbor all sorts of stereotypes about people. And what the evidence reveals is that more often than not, these assumptions, these stereotypes, are not true.”

“Race is not an arbiter of content or character.”

“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people…You never know. Anybody can be an angel”  – Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“Martin Luther King Jr…His moral vision defined the last half of the last century, and continues to provide a moral compass for this century.”

“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people. You need to careful about the stereotypes you harbor about people.”

“The stranger might not simply be a chance encounter, but it could be someone special. That person could be an angel.”

“You never know. Anybody can be an angel. They don’t come with wings or dressed in long white robes. They’re not perfect vessels unscarred or embattled by life. They’re not necessarily saintly or models for how you ought to live your life.”

“I believe that, just as God moves in and out of history, He moves in and out of the vessels He uses.”

“These angels that He sends work in mysterious ways and come at mysterious times; speaking word of truth or demonstrating random acts of kindness that cut to the heart and soul of the human condition.”

“Anybody or everybody can be more than they seem…Someone you’ll meet when you leave here this morning, or somebody you met on the way, could be an angel.”

“Sometimes the worst wrong we can do can do is not a sin of commission but a sin of omission.”

“We need a change in the entire country’s culture.” – Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“Sometimes the worst thing you can do to a person is to neglect them…to treat folk as if they’re invisible, as if who they are and what they represent doesn’t matter.”

“Neglect and indifference often does more damage than outright dislike.”

“Despite what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nixon’s head of HUD, said in the 1960s, there is no such thing as ‘benign neglect.’”

“Neglect, beloved, is a cardinal sin. So powerful is its impact that Jesus made it one of the conditions to inherit the Kingdom. Hear Jesus: ‘When I was a stranger, did you take me in? And remember, whatever you did to the least of them, you also did it to me.’”

“Neglect…this is the source of the cry that Black Lives Matter.”

“The devil kills the conscience of those he possesses.”

“What we miss, or choose to ignore, is that there are politics and policies that kill whole communities. It is such policies and politics that neglect the needs, the hopes, the dreams of communities like those around…communities like this one, and they provide an environment for hate…to grow.”

“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.”  –  Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“What I’m trying to tell you this morning, church, is that we don’t just need a change in police culture, we need a change in the entire country’s culture.”

“If God can use the person sitting in front of you, behind you, or your neighbor down the street, or the stranger you pass or have yet to meet, He might just want to use you.”

“To be all that you can be is about the extent to which God is in your life.”

“The bible says that we were created a little lower than the angels and it seems like some of us have been working to get lower ever since.”

“You’ve got to know Jesus. If you know Him… you can be the good you want to be.”

“What is your mission? Will you master your mission or miss it?”

“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hebrews 13, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 1:16.

 

Ambassador Charles R. Stith serves as Chairman of The Pula Group International, and is founder of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center of Boston University. He was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the United Republic of Tanzania by President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Ambassador Stith received a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA, and a Master of Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. By the age of 30, he was Senior Minister at Union United Methodist Church in Boston, the youngest minister ever appointed to the position at the church. Ambassador Stith is also founder of ONE, the Organization for the New Equality, a non-profit organization devoted to generating economic opportunity for women and people of color.

 

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FOOTNOTES
[1] McIntosh, J; “Angels : A Joyous Celebration” (1999). Running Press, PA. Pg. 121.
[2] Maimonides, Moses; “The Guide for the Perplexed” (1919) George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. London. Pg. 160. (Google Books; Accessed 7/23)

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For more about Emmanuel AME and the stellar accomplishments of its pastor, the late Senator Clementa Pinckney, please click HERE to readPresident Obama Defines The Meaning of Black Church.”