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Bishop Blake: The Importance of Marriage

We’re starting a new series on marriage! In the first of our series, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares God’s vision of marriage, and the importance of marriage in building a strong community and a strong nation.

In the early days of the church, many false and heretical teachers arose. They taught false doctrines, among them the assertion that marriage was adverse to the life of the spirit, the work of the church, and the will of God. These heretics said that if you want to do the will and the work of God, and to have the power of the Spirit at work in your life, then don’t get married. Even today, there are many who would depreciate the importance and value of marriage.

The traditional wedding ceremony says that marriage is an honorable estate instituted of God. It was at the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed the first of His miracles. Marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently; discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God.

IN THE BEGINNING

23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2:23-24

Out of the ground, God formed Adam, and every beast of the field, but nothing in creation was sufficient for Adam, except for Eve.

God could have brought woman into existence out of nothing, or He could have formed her from any substance that already existed on the face of the earth. But in taking woman out of man, God implied that woman is a part of man. Woman was made out of man that man could esteem her and seek her welfare. Woman was given as man’s helper, to assist him in the challenges he would face:

Men have sight; women have insight.

Men have an understanding of the head; women have an understanding of the heart.

Where men fear, women enter freely.

Men supply structure; women provide adornment.

Men supply force; women supply the conscience.

Men provide nourishment; women make it good to the taste.

Men think in great generalities; women deal with minute details.

When men struggle to progress and to excel; women provide the encouragement they need.

GOD’S VISION FOR MARRIAGE

God devised and ordained marriage as a loving, lifelong, committed relationship between a man and a woman. Anatomically, men and women are made for each other. Their bodies are not the same, but comparable. One fulfills and completes the other. Male and female bodies join together to constitute the reproductive unit, and that unit continues to be needed even after the birth of the children, for their protection, nurture and training. The parental unit models life for them.

Marriage not only involves two individuals, but also their families. When families are brought together, meaning two individuals backed by two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, marry for life and bear children only within those marriages, all kinds of strengths begin to develop. They provide a heritage and legacy of wisdom for their children, wealth begins to accumulate, and the likelihood of economic well-being and generational wealth skyrockets.

It is undeniable and indisputable that human progress would have been radically hindered and retarded if God had not instituted marriage. The Biblical pattern of loving husbands and wives reverencing God, living faithfully together, loving, guiding, and protecting their children together, can constitute a basic building block for a renewed and transformed society. The integrity of the family is essential for economic well-being. Multiple families and divorce are among the factors which can devastate any wealth that a couple has accumulated. There’s no way a man can do as much for two or three families as he can for one family. Our society will never get it together until we get the family together, and we’ll never get the family together until we get our behavior together and make a renewed commitment to the institution of marriage.

LOVE, AS CHRIST LOVES US

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself – Ephesians 5:25-28  

Marriage signifies unto us the mystical union between Christ and His church. And a husband and wife ought to love one another the same way Christ loved the church. They must commit to one another for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, until death do they part. Marriage requires both the husband and the wife to submit to one another and pledge their faithfulness unto one another, so that they may live successfully, gracefully, and peacefully. Mutual love, faith in God, and commitment to Jesus Christ, is the key area of compatibility in your marriage.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 2, Genesis 2:7-24, Hebrews 13:4 Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:25-28, 1 Peter 5:5.

Adapted from the sermons, “Invite Jesus to Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage,” “The Importance of Marriage,” and “A Believer’s Agenda,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Hear the sermons in their entirety HERE, on The Legacy Broadcast.

The Importance of Marriage: Bishop Blake says, “Invite Jesus to your Wedding” – at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

WANT MORE ON MARRIAGE?  CLICK HERE to read PART II of our series: LADY MAE AND THE POWER OF PRAYER:

#GIVING TUESDAY – Support West Angeles Family Life Center Campaign!

An architectural rendering of the future West Angeles Family Life Center.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. has a God-centered vision for you and your family to live the best life God intended!

The West Angeles Family Life Center will provide the Crenshaw community and the city of Los Angeles with a center devoted to the education, edification, enrichment and equipment of God’s people, based on the principles and spirit of Jesus Christ.

West Angeles equips the whole family through its over 80 ministries, programs and departments, including:

  • The Brotherhood Organization
  • The Young Women’s Christian Council
  • Youth & Young Adult Ministry
  • College Prep (Education Enrichment)
  • Drug & Alcohol Ministry (Free N One)
  • The Prison Ministry
  • The West Angeles Christian Counseling Center
  • The Skid Row Ministry
  • Christian Education

Please click the photos below for a slideshow of some of the West Angeles Ministries:

 

President Barack Obama and Former President Bill Clinton have praised Bishop Blake and the West Angeles ministry model as a shining example of Christian ministry and community-building at its best.

Be a part of the first edifice of its kind in Los Angeles, CA.  PLEASE CLICK BELOW to give to the Family Life Center Campaign today.

donate-hands

Remember to add #GIVING TUESDAY!

Bishop Blake: A Prayer Agenda for Fathers

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

West Angeles Church of God In Christ takes a look back to Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s sermon dedicated to fathers, titled, “Paul’s Prayer Agenda for Fathers.”

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“One great stock brokerage firm proclaims that when its brokers speak, people listen. And by this they imply that their advice is so good, their expertise is so great that other people need their advice and expertise.”

“There’s a great hunger, a great need for expert advice on today…Abject failures are clamoring to tell you how to succeed.”

“Bad advice is everywhere but good expert advice is hard to find.”

“Sometimes, advice is very expensive, but there can be no more important dimension than that which relates to God and to eternal life.”

“The best advice comes from the Word of God.”

“It is so important to read the Bible for yourself.”

“Isn’t it great to be caught doing good?”

“Doesn’t it seem a little strange that Paul would pray for a group that seems to be doing pretty good?”

“All of us know a good start, but few of us are able to persevere.”

“When you decide you want to do something excellent for God, that’s when the devil attacks.”

“If you’ve never had a run-in with the devil, it may be because you’re going in his direction.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“You ought to be further ahead and more accountable to God than you were last year.”

“Success imposes responsibility. Blessings impose responsibility.”

“When you are succeeding, it takes a strong, secure person to help you and not get jealous of you.”

“Many consider the apostle Paul to be the greatest preacher that ever lived, except for Jesus Christ.”

“When something is filled, it has no room for anything else. And when we are filled with the truth, there’s no room for error.”

“Paul did not just pray for knowledge, but for divine knowledge.”

“You don’t know a person because you’ve shaken hands with a person…you’ve got to stay around the person.”

“The most important associate you can ever have is God almighty.”

“Stay around the Lord.”

“The priorities of so many men are confused…They want the knowledge of God so that they can accomplish their will. It’s not our will, but God’s will.”

“Wisdom is practical knowledge.”

“A dumb question is better than a stupid mistake.”

“It’s not our will, but God’s will.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“How many of you know that God will guide you and direct you?”

“When you’re prayerful… the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will guide you and direct you.”

“My brother…if you would open your heart to the Lord, He was a way of directing you in His way.”

“Your outward life ought to bring credit to your master’s name…If you’re a servant of the Lord, your life ought to reflect that.”

“The Lord wants us to be fruitful.”

“We need the help of God.”

“’Wait’ means trust in God. ‘Wait’ means rely on God. ‘Wait’ means believe that God is going to strengthen you. And if you put your trust in Jesus, He has a way of showing up.”

“Lord, I need your power. I need your presence. If you call Him, he’ll show up!”

“Lord, fill me with your power!”

“Jesus is alive!”

“God will bring you though!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Your enemies may come against you to bring you down, but God will pick you up.”

“God will bring you out! God will bring you over! God will bring you though!”

“Patience is endurance; it’s the ability to hold out and not be blocked by any attack of the enemy.”

“Thanksgiving is a command of God.”

“God wants you to stand!”

“Joy is in the Word of God!”

“The Lord is good!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Colossians 1:3-14, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 22:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Proverbs 14:12, James 1:5, Ephesians 5:17, John 14:26, Proverbs 3:6,2 Timothy 2:19, John 15:5, Galatians 6:9, Isaiah 40:31, 2 Timothy 1:7, Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49, Jeremiah 33:3, Luke 10:19, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 12:2, Jude 1:24, Revelation 22:13.


The West Angeles Counseling Center provides support and services to help strengthen every member of the family.  You do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

West Angeles Counseling: Which Spirit Drives Your Family?

In Part II of our Focus on the Family series, the West Angeles Counseling Center shares the principles of developing a strong family: starting with the right spirit.

 

Is your family ruled by hope, or by fear? Do you empower your family? Do you express love and acknowledge love in your family? Do you teach and instruct with an even-handed approach?

These are important questions to ask. Sometimes in families, our actions feed and encourage fear, and not power, love, and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7 says that:

A mother and daughter enjoy Sunday fellowship.

A mother and daughter enjoy Sunday fellowship.

God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, love and, self-discipline (NLT.)

In this scripture, fear comes before power, love, and self discipline, and it can block us from achieving a Christ-like spirit.

THE POWER OF FEAR

When fear is present in a relationship, it can take our power or be used as a weapon to take someone else’s. Our personal fear comes from insecurities in our lives that we bring from childhood or from previous relationships into our families, and if we are not aware of them, they can feed the wrong spirit. These issues can affect our ability to:

  • Be able to be trusted
  • Discipline our children in a fair manner
  • Love one another as Christ loves us

In a relationship, arguments are often driven by our insecurities as we try to protect our fears and shame, but these feelings are not of God’s plan for us. They are events and situations that have happened in the past, but we always have the power and self-discipline to overcome them. Those situations can never rule us unless we allow them to.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY COMMUNICATION

Unhealthy communication is an issue in families because of the presence of anger. This is not love. We are instructed that love is not easily angered (1 Corinthians 13:5), and this is one of the core principles that Christ came to teach us. So, if we argue a lot or struggle with anger, then this blocks us from sharing and receiving love. Communicating feelings without blaming others, or addressing and alleviating personal stress in our lives can help a family to communicate and grow with a spirit of love, as opposed to being repressed by fear.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPER DISCIPLINE

When you discipline your children, do you only focus on instilling fear in the child, or teaching the child that there are consequences to their actions? For example, if we only instruct our children to not touch the stove without teaching them why, then we are inadvertently instilling fear in them. A person develops self-discipline in their lives when they are free to think through experiences in their lives which help them measure the consequences of their actions. A child whom is taught that touching the stove will lead to a burn is more likely to not do it, and in the future they will make better decisions because their parents did their best to not allow fear to govern how they disciplined their child.

A father enjoys time with his 2 sons.

A father enjoys quality time with his two sons.

CONCLUSION

Challenging ourselves to embrace a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline as husband, wife, father, or mother, can aid in achieving the family harmony that Christ desires. The family we desire is in our spirit, because God has blessed us with it.


West Angeles Church of God In Christ is celebrating family strength and unity! Please join the West Angeles Counseling Center from July 15-18, 2016, as we launch Focus On The Family Weekend, a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation. Please CLICK HERE for more information!

West Angeles Church of God In Christ invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. The West Angeles Counseling Center provides support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. and you do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

Focus on the Family: A Message To Fathers

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is committed to developing and nurturing strong, resilient families, and today, we focus on fathers. In honor of Focus on The Family Weekend, the West Angeles Counseling Center, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., has compiled a list of 11 qualities which can help a man to develop into a strong, noble father.

The definition of a father, according to the dictionary, is:

One who has begotten a child; a male parent. A male who has impregnated a female, thus a child is born.

There are other significant definitions of fatherhood, but first and foremost, a father is a provider: spiritually, emotionally and physically. He is, in essence, a watchman over his children. He sets the spiritual tone in the family, and whether that tone is good or bad, he is the one who determines what will transpire in the home. If you had a negative experience with your father, dare to be different and do not allow that negativity to take place in your home.

Here’s a list of 11 things which help to define a strong father:

  1. Be a role model. A father should not only make available provisions to supply the needs of his children – food, clothes, and a roof over their heads – but he should also provide a stable and loving atmosphere for his children to enjoy. There should be warmth and peace in the home. There should be constant encouragement and a will inside of that man, that father, to be the best person he can be. A father should be a role model to his children. No other person should be able to compare to their dad. Be positive and optimistic. You can do this.
  2. Find employment. A man who is a father should be gainfully employed. There are times when a father is met with misfortune and a job is not available to him for a time. However this father must pick up the pieces and find or create employment wherever he can to maintain a living for his family.
  3. Show love. A father, if married, should show love in the household for his wife and the children should see the
    A young father walks with his son.

    A young father walks with his son.

    affection between the parents. The children should not be exposed to arguing and fighting, whether verbal or physical. A real man will not abuse his wife…period! The home must be a safe haven and a sanctuary for the family.

  4. Be strong. A father should show quality strength and courage even in the midst of trouble and his family will see that and line up with that. A father should show good character and help and equip his children to live a successful life. A father must teach his children good morals and ethics so they can be fine upstanding citizens in society. A father should instruct his children to obey the law and show them if one goes against the laws of the land what will transpire if they disobey authority.
  5. Value education. A father should make sure that his children are schooled. He must also be a part of the school system in that he has a caring attitude for what his child does in class. Enjoy your children through games, sports and activities. Spend quality time with your children at home. Take them on outings and stay within your budget. Everything does not have to be big and excessive. Small things count.
  6. Love the Lord. Take your family to church and instruct them on the ways of God. You, father, show them the scriptures. Take time to pray with your children. Show them that a real man depends on God for direction and then live it at home. You, father, take time at breakfast and at dinner to talk about the day. Find out what happened at school and discuss with them where they are as they share with you. You might feel, “I don’t have time” or “There’s not enough time in the day,” but if you don’t find time to give spiritual guidance to your family, someone else will. You can do this.
  7. Set boundaries. Teach them to be obedient at home, to you and to their mom. Teach them to respect their siblings. Teach your boys to respect females in your family. Teach your daughters to respect the males in your family. This will help them to have a mutual respect for all people. Let them know as they get older that there will be a curfew. Give them rules and create guidelines for the home. Let them know that there will be chores to do. You can do this.
  8. Discipline your children. Discuss with your wife or the mother of your children how this can be done. If a father does not live with the family, then find a way to achieve a special bond with your child. Pay your child support, and honor and respect the mother of the child that you helped to produce. Be in the child’s life.
  9. Teach them about life. Provide whatever life lessons you can for your children. Do not let them grow up without knowing that you are their father. Teach your daughter what kind of man she should be attracted too. She will look for a man like you who is of good moral quality and who has an attitude of righteousness; a man of substance and of prayer, a man who is gainfully employed (he may or may not have a degree, but he should be a hard working man). Help your son take the steps from childhood to adulthood. Show him how to be a real man as he grows. Show him the pit falls of making bad decisions in life and how to choose good friends. Train him up right. Let him know the mistakes you made and direct his path as God leads you. You can do this.
  10. Teach financial literacy. Save money for them for college and let them know that they can be a success in life (but of course it is better to show them with your own life). You can do this because God will help you if you ask Him.  Make sure that you have life insurance for your family in case of an emergency. Make sure that you have car insurance and medical coverage for the family. There is no excuse for excuses.
  11. Redeem the time you have with your family if you made a mistake. Humble yourself and find out if it is possible to correct your error. Even if it is your fault, it can be rectified. Fathers never give up and never give in. You can do this!

God has blessed and enabled you to plant a seed. Make sure that you water that seed and nurture that seed so that seed will someday blossom into a beautiful flower and strong deeply rooted plant and these will be your children. Be proud of them, and thank God that He allowed you to be their father.

This is our message to fathers…be blessed!


West Angeles Church of God In Christ is celebrating family strength and unity! Please join the West Angeles Counseling Center on July 15-18, 2016, as we launch Focus On The Family Weekend, a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation.  Please CLICK HERE for more information!

 

July 15 – 18: Focus on the Family Weekend

ATTENTION, WEST ANGELES FAMILY!

This coming weekend is

FOCUS ON THE FAMILY WEEKEND!

At West Angeles Church of God In Christ, we define “family” in different ways. Examples might include:

  • Single parents and their children
  • An elderly couple
  • Two parents, their children, and their parents
  • A foster family
  • Your ministry family, such as your small group at church

This coming weekend, July 15-18, 2016, West Angeles is celebrating family strength and unity. Please join us as we launch “Focus On The Family Weekend,” a weekend of family unity packed with four days of events for the entire congregation:

 

FFW7-15

Friday, July 15 – A Day of Family Prayer

Families are encouraged to participate “together” in one of the West Angeles Prayer Groups on that day:  6 a.m., 12 p.m., and/or 6 p.m.

LOCATION: North Campus Sanctuary.

 

 

Saturday, July 16 – A Day of Family Fun

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.FFW7-16

Families are invited to participate in the activities for the day: “FunShops” in the North Campus and Crystal Room, Water Splash Zone on the Youth Center Playground, and a Basketball Tournament and Dunkin’ Booth on the 30th Street Parking Lot.

And of course, FOOD IS FREE!

LOCATION: North Campus and Crystal Room, Youth Center Playground, 30th Street Parking Lot.

 

 

Sunday, July 17 – A Day of Family Worship

8:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. servicesFFW7-17

It’s “No Pumps, No Suits, No Hat” Day!

Families are joining together for a day of worship in Cathedral. Families are encouraged to dress in identifiable ways that help others to recognize their families.

The Cathedral Concourse will be filled with an array of family highlights, such as families greeting worshipers entering the Cathedral, sponsorship opportunities for a “Family Night of Comedy,” Vacation Bible School information, details about family dining reservations in the fabulous West Angeles Crystal Room and other surprises.

LOCATION: West Angeles Cathedral

 

Monday, July 18 – A Day of Family Time

FFW7-18

West Angeles Church will close at 5 p.m. so that families can go home and share quality time with each other.

Families will have received a “FunShop” packet that supports their quality time with family activities and menus for the whole family.

Activities are planned for all families throughout the weekend. Please join us as we celebrate family.

 


But Jesus said, “Now, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been.”

– Mark 5:19

Obama, Fatherhood, and “Dreams From My Father”

West Angeles honors Father’s Day with a look at 10 principles which helped to develop the leader of the free world, drawn from the autobiography of President Barack Hussein Obama.

We love our men; we love our fathers. You keep our families strong, and you’re the first example of manhood we see as children. No one has endured what you have over the centuries, but overcoming those challenges has made you the strongest men on earth. Now, we need your strength and your vision to rebuild our communities and our families, and to save our children, too.

Ten years ago, I read President Obama’s autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, which was originally published when Barack Obama was in his early 30s. In it, he spoke of his diverse lineage and racial identity; his troubled youth, the larger-than-life image of his absent father, and his quest to find the meaning of manhood and of his life. In his story, I saw glimpses of the principles our ancestors have used to endure for millenniums: faith, hope, hard work, determination, and love, principles any young person could grow from and any country would thrive through.  

Not long ago, I listened as the President told the backstory of his troubled youth at a conference for men and boys of color at the White House. I wondered if his story was being used in schools, or if the educational system had made his autobiography required reading. If not – especially with the importance of embracing and uplifting American youth of color – then we can certainly start today.

Below is a list of nine principles of fatherhood drawn from “Dreams From My Father” which can help provide the tools needed for parents, mentors, and teachers of African American children, principles which helped shape our president into the man he has become:

The Obama family worships at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia on Easter, 2016.

The Obama family worships at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Virginia on Easter, 2016.

  1. Place God at the center of your family. The Christian faith has played a pivotal, inseparable, role in the African American journey in the United States, and in the ideals and beliefs of the country as a whole. President Obama was raised by his mother, who was raised in a strong Christian household; he and First Lady Michelle Obama also raise their daughters in the Christian faith. Barack Obama realized that the Bible’s stories are our stories too[1]; belief in the Bible’s truths mends the spiritual chain broken by our enslavement, and gives our children a stable foundation from which to build.

 

  1. Accentuate the positive. The National Center for Biotechnology Information recently revealed the results of a study which concluded that positivity is good for your health, and also increases your abilities[2]. These principles are also central to Christian belief. Barack Obama’s family painted a picture of his father as brilliant and confident, even in his absence. Surround your children with positive energy. Speak positively about them, your spouse, and their possibilities.

 

  1. Teach them the power of giving back. Barack Obama displayed at an early age a heart for helping others, and it became the focus of his life’s work. Doing for others out of love increases our power spiritually, and is one of the foremost principles of the Christian faith[3].  
OBAMAfamilythrobk copy

Barack and Michelle Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha, in the early days of parenting.

  1. Teach resilience and determination. Many of us remember growing up with the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”[4].  Throughout the book and throughout his life, Barack Obama, when faced with obstacles, overcame them by consistently reevaluating his  strategies. We can start by allowing our children to witness our own determination in our work, our marriages, and our relationships with them.

 

  1. Be proactive about education. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom,” said George Washington Carver. Yet, “Without individual memory, a person literally loses his identity,” says historian William McNeil. “The changing perspectives of historical understanding are the very best introduction we can have to the practical problems of real life”[5]. We know that acquiring degrees and trades are important, but central to our success is the knowledge of our African ancestry, and we cannot wait for the schools to include our history in its curriculum. Not only did President Obama’s mother supplement his education by giving him additional lessons before each school day, his teachers also encouraged his thirst for knowledge of his African ancestry.

 

  1.  Limit television and media. Television is not a replacement for strong role models, nor for examples of virtue, integrity, or African American manhood. In fact, recent studies reveal just the opposite, that the media is a “significant contributing factor” in the undermining of our youth, and leads to a majority of society’s ills, including violence, hypersexuality, obesity, and poor health habits[6]. In his book, President Obama often reflected upon the demoralizing, diminishing effect the media had on him as an African American youth, and as President, he often asks families to turn off the television and turn back to reading and homework.

    A young Barack Obama with his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., in Hawaii, 1960's.

    A young Barack Obama with his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., in Hawaii, 1960’s.

 

  1. Travel with your children. Traveling gives children a wider perspective of the world and informs the vision of themselves as global citizens. President Obama experienced many cultures at an early age, but even if you can’t leave the country, start with traveling beyond your neighborhood, city or state borders.  

 

  1. Talk to your children; observe them. I noticed in the book that there was constant dialogue between Obama, his family, and  his mentors about life, identity, and purpose. Your observations reveal keys to your child’s purpose early in their life, and enables you to encourage them to pursue not what they want to do with their lives, but what they were born to do. “The safest place to be is in the will of God,” says Bishop Charles E. Blake.

 

  1.  Have hope. Barack Obama had family, mentors,  teachers, and community leaders who never gave up on him. If we have high expectations of our children, they will believe in themselves.

 

As Americans, we must see all children as our own, and not continue to allow fear and ignorance define us. We have much work to do to fulfill the promise America was founded on, but we, as a people, “have come a mighty long way”[7].  Even when we veer off-course, no matter how dire the circumstances, through faith and determination, we always manage to get back on track and overcome our greatest challenges.

 


 

REFERENCES

  1. “Dream From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance”, by Barack Obama. August, 2004; Broadway Books.Pg. 294.  
  2. MayoClinic.org: “Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-talk” http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950National Center for Biotechnology Information http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156028/
  1. Matthew 7:11-12.
  2. William Edward Hickson.
  3. William NcNeil; historians.org. http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/archives/why-study-history-(1985)
  1. Why Media’s Bad for your children- http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1864141,00.html
  1. “Mighty Long Way”; gospel lyrics by Joe Pace.

PHOTOS – Official Obama family photo by Pete Souza; Obama family worship, courtesy, Barack Obama on Twitter; Obama family photos.

Get Involved: The COGIC Urban Initiatives

Dear Beloved,

We are blessed with infinitely greater opportunities than BISHOPblack people anywhere on the face of the earth. But we are blessed that we might reach out to those less fortunate, and to lift them and help them. We cannot be satisfied to be in a community that’s blessed and prosperous until we reach out and bless everyone in that community.

I pray that, in this season, every one of us will stand upon our watch, and that we’ll go to God and pray:

‘God, I just don’t want to stand by. I want to have a positive impact on life on earth; I want to have appositive impact on my children, on my family, on my community. God, show me what you would have me to do show me what direction you would have me to go.’

As Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, I’ve asked every one of our 12,000 churches across the world to incorporate into their operations five areas of emphasis. We call this the Church of God In Christ Urban Initiatives.

The five areas are:
1. Education – Includes mentoring, tutoring, and Christian education
2. Economic Development – We offer job training, employment counseling and assistance, and entrepreneurship programs
3. Crime Prevention – We’ve developed alternative programs to proactively keep young people out of a life of crime, and to create collaborative relationships with law enforcement
4. Family – We’ve created programs to strengthen the family with a special emphasis on the role of fathers
5. Financial Literacy – Includes programs for both young people and adults

Some of the best leaders in our denomination have been assigned to lead the success of these programs across the nation. If every church has these five areas at work, there will be 60,000 programs in inner city America impacting our nation, impacting our communities, impacting the cities of our nation. West Angeles Church of God In Christ has all five of these areas well covered, and we must expand even more.

We need your gifts, your skills, and your involvement, and we look forward to working with you. We are Blessed to be a Blessing.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
Church of God in Christ, Inc.

 

GET INVOLVED WITH WEST ANGELES

  • For financial literacy, economic development, and community assistance programs, PLEASE CONTACT: The West Angeles Community Development Corporation at (323) 751-3440. Please click HERE for more information. http://www.westangelescdc.org/
  • For more on our family and personal development programs, PLEASE CONTACT: The West Angeles Counseling Center at (323) 737-7463 or (323) 733-8300×2360, [email protected] http://westa.org/counseling-2/
  • For our “Manhood 2 Fatherhood” sessions, please contact The West Angeles Counseling Center at (323) 737-7463. Please click HERE for more information. http://westa.org/portfolio/manhood-to-fatherhood/
  • For The Brotherhood Organization, please contact (323) 733-8300 http://westa.org/the-brotherhood/
  • For more information on our adult and youth Christian Education Classes including The School of Practical Christian Living, Sunday School, and the West Angeles Bible College, please call (323) 733-8300.
  • For college prep and Education Enrichment contact Deacon John Wilson at (323) 733-8300 x2628, 2629 [email protected] [email protected] http://westa.org/education-enrichment/
  • For Mentoring information, please contact Minister Sam Ransom, email [email protected] or call 323-733-8300 x2629.
  • For West Angeles COGIC Ministries and Auxiliaries – For more information on all of West Angeles’ ministries and auxiliaries, including our Skid Row Ministry, the Prison Ministry and many others, please call 323 733-8300, or CLICK HERE for a complete list. http://westa.org/ministries-departments/

“Building healthy individuals, families, and communities for a successful future.”

SATURDAY: One Night Only – “Clean Komedy Explosion!”

Get your tickets now for the CLEAN KOMEDY EXPLOSION!

The Hilarious Comedy Show for the Entire Family

Clean Komedy Explosion Flyer

SATURDAY, JANUARY 30

7:30 p.m

West Angeles Performing Arts Theatre

3020 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA  90016

Call 323.733.8707 for ticket information.

 

Bishop Blake Teaches of ‘The Forgotten Man’ During the Week of Christmas

“Joseph must have really been somebody, for this little-known man God chose to watch over the universe’s greatest treasure.” – Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. relates the Christmas drama to the role of fathers, manhood, and the plight of the traditional American family unit in his December 21 sermon entitled, “The Forgotten Man.”

“Family concerns should be foremost in our minds not only at Christmas time,” Bishop Blake said, “but at all times.”

He acknowledges the world’s plot to destroy the family, but he urges us to stay true to our faith by gaining inspiration from the strength of the Holy family’s resolve to follow God’s will.

“They were beset by pressures that would have destroyed many families, but they came through their ordeal with flying colors. They were a family: husband, wife, Jesus.”

Bishop Blake also uses Joseph as an example of exemplary manhood, and urges men to step into their role as leaders of the household by praying and obeying the Will of God as Joseph did.

“If children are going to obey their parents; if wives are to submit themselves to their husbands, then husbands and fathers have got to be willing to obey God,” said Bishop in the sermon.

Some of our favorite quotes from the sermon are as follows:

“The family is God-ordained.”

“The family is a basic unit of society. The plight of families determines the plight of the nation: and of the world.”

“As goes the home, so will go the nation.”

“They forget that the eyes of the Lord are everyplace.”

“A good man needs appreciation; he needs love, and he needs respect.”

“Don’t always tell him what needs to be done: thank him for what he has done.”

“Take time to tell him how much you appreciate him for what he is, and for what he has done.”

“So many men give up because they feel forgotten; because they feel neglected. But for those who feel that way, I would say, ‘Be a good man anyhow.'”

“A good man is a good man all the time.”

“Espousal or betrothal meant more than engagement means today.”

“Don’t be hot-headed. Don’t act rashly…but think things through.”

“There are some men who do wrong, and are not man enough to face up to their responsibility.”

“Joseph was thoughtful; Joseph was considerate. He was willing to be forgotten and ill-thought of for somebody else’s sake.”

“God needed a man who would silently look make his contribution and not demand some enhancement of himself personally.”

“Men: it’s very unwise to make your decisions without consulting God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Men: if you learn how meditate and pray; spend quite time before the Lord, the Lord will be able to deal with you. It’s very unwise to make your decisions without consulting God.”

“Joseph was a man who had his flesh under control. God is looking for some folk who have their flesh under control.”

“Joseph was not the kind of man who said, ‘I can’t help it’.”

“It’s no sin to be tempted: it’s just a sin to be out of control.”

“I believe in the Virgin Birth because the Bible tells me that Jesus was born of a virgin. And since everything else that the Bible tells me is true, and everything else that the Bible predicted is true, then I believe the Bible is telling the truth when it speaks regarding the Virgin Birth.”

“God gave His Son: His Son who was innocent, His Son who was worthy, His Son who was related to us, to come to the earth and die for our sins.”

“A Holy God is a Holy God.”

“I believe in the Virgin Birth because such a thing is easy for God. You might say it’s impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

“If God could create this universe of ours; if God can fling the stars against the blackness of the night and create the sun and the moon…If God could teach the bird to fly and the fish to swim…don’t you know god can manipulate His creation any way He wants to?”

“Everything Jesus did was Supernatural.”

“Child of God, if you really want to be Blessed; if you really want to rise to the level that God has in store for you, then every time God speaks to you, obey God.”

“God is looking for some fathers who will obey Him.”

“If children are going to obey their parents; if wives are to submit themselves to their husbands, then husbands and fathers have got to be willing to obey God.”

“You’re not on your own in this thing called life; if you seek God’s Will, God will direct you.”

“God will not leave you in confusion.”

“And so it was with Joseph. He worked hard; he loved his family; he was a sparkling example of love.”

“Parents, please understand today, that the survival and happiness of your children is dependent upon the relationship that they develop with God.”

“People of the Lord, we need to pray until we see something. It may not happen right away, but keep on praying!”

 

Scriptural References: Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:14; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 64:4; Galatians 4:3-5; Matthew 19:26; 1 Corinthians 15:52; Isaiah 6:1-8

 

The entire West Angeles Church Of God In Christ family Wishes You A Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Please join us for “WATCH NIGHT” New Year’s Eve Service at the West Angeles Cathedral, Wednesday, December 31,2014 at 10 p.m.

To hear this entire service and many more, please click here to order West Angeles Gospel on Demand. Makes a great Christmas gift!