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We manifest the Fruit of the Spirit when we consecrate ourselves to the Lord.

Consecration: 7 Tips for Fasting Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PLEASE CLICK HERE for the 2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines.

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

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

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

 

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2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines

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

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

 

PREPARING THE WAY OF THE LORD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Presiding Bishop Blake Shares The Bread of Life

In this lesson on Biblical history, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. explains the  metaphors which represent the life-giving power of Jesus in our lives.

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst – John 6:32-35

In this passage from John 6, Jesus presents to us metaphors to describe His person and to describe His mission. He said, “I am the Light of the world; I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Vine.”

If you really want to have a good, spiritual, Holy Ghost good time, study some of the metaphors that describe Jesus Christ; see how they apply to Him, and then understand what they mean to you. Such is the case when we observe Jesus as the “Bread of Life.”

Bread was the foundation of the diet of men in Biblical days. Sometimes, an entire meal would be comprised of just bread. The bulk of their diet was farinaceous, or made from flour or from [grains]. They very seldom ate flesh or meat. the word which we interpret to be meat meant “food” in general, rather than flesh in particular; the word which we interpret as corn really means, in most cases, “wheat” or “barley.”

The use of bread was so prevalent that “bread” was synonymous with “food,” and “food” was synonymous with “bread”. So when we say “bread,” we’re not talking about the anemic, mushy stuff that we eat today. We’re talking about a hearty, vitamin-rich natural staple that ancient men called “the staff of life.”

Jesus says, “I am to your soul what bread is to your body; I stand in the same relationship in your spirit and in your soul that bread and food stands in relationship to your physical life on earth.” In all that Jesus is, and all that He does, He is the bread of Life, but as with natural bread, you are never blessed by it until you consume it and receive it into your body. You are what you eat, and the more you partake of Jesus the more like Jesus you become.

“You can never get enough of Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

Not only is He the life-giving bread, but He’s totally wholesome! There are some foods that we eat that are not good for us, even if it’s vitamin-enriched. There are some things you can eat and get too much of and get indigestion from, but you can never get too much of Jesus. The Bible says that He is Good Bread (John 6:35-40). Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! How many of you know that God is good? God is good, and you can never get enough of Jesus!

If you’re hungry and your spirit is famished, Jesus is available. Oh Bless the Name of God! If you come unto Him believe in Him Praise the Lord. He must be received by faith. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus; all you have to do is lift up your hands and say,

“Lord I’m hungry! Lord I’m thirsty! My soul needs a blessing from on high. Every day I want more; every day I want to be closer; every day I want to feel the manifestation of his power, come on the inside of my life. Every day I want to know more about Jesus because you can never get enough of Jesus!”

Jesus is the Bread of Life. Lift up your hands and say, “Lord fill me again!” Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 6:32-40, John 8:12, John 10:11, John 15:5, Psalm 34:8, Romans 8:1.

Adapted from the sermon, “The Bread Of Life”; Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. October 5, 2014 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

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JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed. Please CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.

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January is Consecration Month

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

January is Consecration Month for the Church of God In Christ. The very word consecrate means “to declare” or “to set apart; to be removed from.” In some definitions, the word consecrate means “to hallow” or “to make vulnerable.”

In the above scripture, God is essentially telling the reader that if you declare or set yourself apart from the world and dedicate yourself to a sacred purpose; if you irrevocably devote yourself to Him, there is no way you cannot be holy in pleasing God…for He is holy! (Leviticus 11:45).

As we prepare for Consecration, let us remember that we are making ourselves vulnerable to the Word of God. Fantastic guidelines to live by, wouldn’t you agree?

For 2016, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake has prepared an updated version of the Consecration Calendar, complete with new rejuvenating scriptures, prayer focuses, and fasting guidelines.

Please click the following link  – 2016 Consecration Calendar  for your copy of the January 2016 Consecration Calendar.
2016 Consecration Calendarsm
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Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake has shared with us the theme for 2016 for The Church of God In Christ:

“Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World.” 1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold of eternal life.

Please join us as we pray for peace, and for the manifestation of the Kingdom of God.

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SERMON: Bishop Blake – “When People Hate You”

It’s the season of the 108th Annual  Church Of God In Christ Holy Convocation, to take place from November 2-5, 2015, in St. Louis, MO.

For the 40 days prior to Convocation Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. is asking that the Church of God in Christ set aside 40 Days of Prayer: 11 petitions unto the Lord for at least 11 minutes per day,” along with praying the Monthly Prayer Calendar.

Bishop Blake is also calling the Church to fast on Tuesdays and Fridays during this period. “Fast and commit ourselves to the Lord, and by the time we finish this 40 days of prayer and commitment to the Lord,” said Bishop Blake, “our personal lives are going to be rejuvenated revived; changed and transformed by the power of Almighty God.

“All over the world, we want every member of the Church of God In Christ to be involved in this time of prayer, consecration and miracles, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Links to the COGIC 11/11/40 Prayer Petitions and the West Angeles Monthly Prayer Calendar can be found below.

Bishop Blake’s 11am October 4, 2015 sermon entitled, “When People Hate You” , is available on CD and DVD at the West Angeles Emporium, or HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon are below:

“All of us at one time or other has felt like we were the outsider, walking by ourselves, rejected by everybody.”

“All of us can agree that the capture and torture of Jesus was one of the most hideous in the history of the world. But it would be a mistake to assume that what happened on the night and morning of His crucifixion was all that was done to Jesus.”

“He was the Son of God, doing good works, but they criticized, ‘He does that by the power of the devil, and he’s possessed by a demon.’”

“We say that demon-possessed people are insane.”

“Not only did they say Jesus has a demon, but they lied on Him. Has anybody in here ever been lied on?” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“In the midst of all the things you’re going through, you need your family to stand by your side.”

“Jesus was the object of undeserved hostility. There are many people in this room who are mad at people who have never done anything to you.”

“You’re mad because they didn’t do what you wanted them to do…say what you wanted them to say…because they didn’t become the friend you wanted them to be…So many people have an erroneous sense of entitlement.”

“Nobody has to do anything for you.”

“If people don’t do what you need or ask, thank them and understand that they’ve got…obligations, too.”

“Grant to people the freedom that you would wish to have yourself.”

“When you’ve got something going on, you’re not into somebody else’s business!”

“Be careful because you don’t know who you are dealing with.”

“When you have confidence in God, you can hold your peace and let God fight your battle. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

“When you have no confidence in God, you think that somebody else’s success is your failure.”

“If you really want God to Bless you just pray for people…and believe in God’s miracle-working power in their lives.”

“There are some folks you better leave alone! Because if you mess with them, you’re going to find yourself messing with God Himself. And you don’t want to mess with God.”

“When you have confidence in God, you can let God fight your battle. Hallelujah!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Be sensitive to the fact that God might not check with you every time he wants to Bless somebody.”

“Hatred and anger are painful and destructive emotions.”

“Don’t be a hater!”

“They responded to ideas with physical violence. They responded to words with physical force.”

“Husbands and wives need to learn how to talk to one other. Brother, keep your hands off your wife in a violent way… And some of you ladies have the nerve to be trying to go upside your husband’s head, going in the kitchen and getting hot grits and all that kind of stuff. Got husbands afraid to go to sleep at night!”

“Intelligent people resolve their disputes without resorting to violence.”

“Jesus went about His business and pursued His goals. There were folk who hated Him…folk who tried to block Him. But Jesus kept right on working. He kept on doing the work of God the Father. Halleluiah.”

“Don’t be surprised by hostility.”

“I’m busy…I’m working…I’m doing God’s Will – and I’m not going to let a hater stop me from serving the Lord” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Child of God, keep on working for God Keep on loving serving God. Don’t let an enemy cause you to lose your momentum. Keep on marching by faith in God.”

“God is taking you somewhere. The reason they’re fighting you is because they see God’s destiny and God’s purpose at work in your life.”

“Don’t hang out with your enemies. The best thing you can do with your enemies is forgive them and move on.”

“Don’t hang out with crazy folk. Find some folk who love God like you love God.”

“Keep your eyes on Jesus.”

“Every one of us has a wall to build…God has much for you to do. You can’t build your wall by looking at my wall, or someone else’s wall. Build your wall. Build it for Jesus.”

“How do I know you’re going to rise up out of your predicament? How do I know that your enemies are not going to destroy you? Because Jesus got up on the third day! Oh yes! Come on and praise Him!”

“We fall down, but we get up! Tell your neighbor, ‘Get back up again!’”

“The trial you’re going through is going to take you higher, and make you better, in the name of Jesus.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 15:18, Matthew 9:33, 12:24; John 8:48, 11:47-49, 9:24, 10:49, 8:58, 10:31, 7:7; Acts 5:38; Job 42:10; Matthew 7:1; Isaiah 53:3; John 4:34; Luke 9:51; Philippians 3:14 ; John 15-17; Psalm 46:1, Matthew 26:36-46.

Are you ready for your miracle?  This season, please join the Church of God In Christ in prayer  for all Christians, for our nation, and for our world. Download COGIC’s Prayer Guide Book and the 11/11/40″ Petitions of Prayer  HERE.

Please join The Church Of God In Christ in prayer each month.  Access our Monthly Prayer Calendar HERE.

Sweet tooth?  Here's a recipe for a fruit salad you won't want to stop eating!

Recipe: Breakfast Fruit Salad

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Genesis 1:29 – And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

Consecration is designed to bring us closer to God, and the purity of foods eaten during this time reminds me of a modern-day return to Eden.  But, although the process calls u to sacrifice: who said fasting has to be boring?  Start your day with this delicious fruit salad, which can be adjusted according to taste, or to include in-season fruits.   Serves 2. Enjoy! 

One apple (seeded and cubed with skin on)

Two pears (preferably Bosc, seeded and sliced with skin on)

1 cup of fresh pineapple , cut into tidbits

1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half

5 blackberries, cut in half*

3 tablespoons non-dairy vanilla yoghurt*

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup of Pomegranate seeds

Combine apple, pears, pineapple, grapes, and blackberries in a large bowl. Add yoghurt and coconut; mix with fruit.  Spoon into serving bowls; top with pomegranate seeds.

*TIPS:  

·         Did you know there are yoghurts on the market made without dairy?  Look for yoghurt made from almond, soy, or coconut milk.

·         Buy berries and grapes in-season for best flavor and lowest prices, and freeze for use later.  

       Photo and recipe: Karen Lascaris