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Elder William Hampton: God’s Purpose for Our Thoughts

Elder William Hampton explores God’s power and purpose of our thoughts in the second of a 3-part series on the Elders’ Corner.

The World Book Dictionary defines a thought as “the power or process of thinking.” It is a mental activity; the characteristic thinking of a particular person, group, time and/or place.

The average human brain contains around 100 billion cells. The cells can live for an entire lifetime, frequently making them the oldest living cells in the human body. The brain weighs about three pounds, and continues to grow from conception until around 18 years of age.

The left side of the human brain has considerably more neurons than the right side, and the forebrain, which controls intellectual function, is far larger in humans than in other animal species.

The thoughts of the human brain are powered by neurotransmitters, which in turn are powered by copious quantities of blood flowing through the brain every minute.

According to scientific research, it is said that we have approximately 48.6 thoughts per minute which translates into 2,916 thoughts per hour and 69,984 thoughts throughout the day. We are literally thinking the entire day.

Even as we sleep, our brains continue to process thoughts. A different set of neurotransmitters controls our thoughts while we sleep, which is why our dreams can seem so different from our waking thoughts.

 

KNOWING OUR THOUGHTS: 7 QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

As we can see, our brain processes a lot of thoughts. We have good thoughts and bad thoughts, and out of them come the decisions of life. How can thoughts affect our lives? Who, or what, determines our thoughts? And does God know our thoughts?

Here are 7 questions to ask in understanding God’s purpose for our thoughts:

  1. Does God know our thoughts? In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David gives advice to his son because he has experienced first-hand the power of God. David’s thoughts at times were not pure; therefore, they led him into various sins. He’s telling Solomon not to do as he did because God knows his thoughts. In Isaiah 66:18, God tells the prophet that He knows the thoughts of the people, and the ones with pure hearts and thoughts will be taken as priests and Levites. Other scriptures about thoughts include, Psalm 94:11-“The Lord knows the thoughts of man that they are futile/vanity.” Matthew 9:4-“But Jesus knowing their thoughts said ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’” From these and many other scriptures, we can infer that our thought patterns are known by God.
  2. Who should determine our thoughts? Amos 4:13-“For behold He who forms mountains, and creates the wind. Who declares to man what his thought is and makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth…The Lord of hosts is His name.” Amos is saying, “Let God determine your thought pattern.” God is the Sustainer and Creator of everything. If He can form the mountains and wind, He can definitely form our thoughts.
  3. How can we develop our thoughts? Proverbs 16:3-“Commit thy works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” If we turn over to the Lord what we plan to do, our life’s purpose will come to fruition. As the song says, “Turn it over to Jesus, and you can smile the rest of your day.” Saints of God, please give your lives over to JESUS!
  4. What are God’s thoughts? Psalm 92:5 says, “O Lord, how great are your works, Your thoughts are very deep” We cannot even begin to fathom the deep thoughts of God. God’s thoughts are beyond our conception; beyond our expression. His thoughts are the products of great power and wisdom, of great consequence and importance! Our works are nothing to Him. Isaiah 55:8-“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways  higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  We cannot comprehend the greatness of God’s works. We can only reverently and gracefully wonder at them, and even stand dumbfounded at the magnificence of them. Our works are small and our thoughts are shallow; but God’s thoughts and works are great and cannot be measured or comprehended.
  5. Now that we know God’s thoughts, what about man’s? Isaiah 59:7 – “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity…” This is the thought of man. Romans 1:21 – “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Some of us know people in this state: but again, these are the thoughts of man.
  6. How can thoughts affect our lives?
    When inner desires respond to outward enticement, sin is spawned. In James 1:14-15, James does not mention Satan’s role in temptation. His purpose is not to discuss the origin of sin, but to explain that enticement to evil is not from God. In stressing the inward nature of temptation, James leaves sinners no excuse. Satan is indeed the external source of temptation, but no one can blame him for the roots of sinful deeds. Sin starts with a thought which becomes a very prevalent mindset. This leads us to trouble; then, our thoughts can become uncontrollable. Negative thoughts can begin to take root deep within our being, and those thoughts are fulfilled when the desire is satisfied. This is what is known as a spiritual death: but thoughts can also lead to physical death. For example: ingesting a foreign substance into your system, making the decision flee from the police, or sharing intimate relations with someone and contracting a deadly disease can all lead to demonic transfer or a tragic ending. This is why God tells us in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Paul is telling us to exercise our minds. If we keep the mind of Christ, we can simply stay out of trouble.
  7. How do we keep our minds focused on good thoughts in life? All of us can testify that we thought of something bad – or good – and it actually happened. We, as saints, must understand one thing: every time we sin, we become more bound by that particular sin. That is how sin can become a part of us and we are unaware of its presence. Our bad thoughts are the same.  They can become a part of our thought process, and can begin to lead and to guide our lives until we get pleasure from thinking them. We feed off of them as if they were a narcotic substance in our bodies, then, when God saves us, we think everything will be alright. What God will do is begin to bring months, years and even decades of wrong thoughts to our remembrance, and allow us to see them for what they really are. Acknowledging that we have these negative thoughts, however, can be difficult.

The bible says in Proverbs 23:7 “ For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Saints of God, your thoughts are the gateway, portal and doorkeeper to your heart. When we allow thoughts to fester in our minds, they become embedded within our spirits.

This is why God has given us the provision to think upon His goodness. We must learn the art of “letting go and letting God.” Please keep your mind as pure as possible, and watch your life drastically change for the better.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 28:9, Isaiah 66:18, Psalm 94:11, Matthew 9:4, Amos 4:13, Proverbs 16:3, Psalm 92:5, Isaiah 55:8, Isaiah 59:7, Romans 1:21, James 1:14-15, Philippians 2:5, Proverbs 23:7.

Elder F. William Hampton is a long-time member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Born in Houston, Texas, he received his High School Diploma from Hinds Agricultural High School,  his Associates of Arts Degree from Utica Junior College, his BA from Texas Southern University and his MFA from Loyola Marymount University. Elder Hampton joined West Angeles Church in 1985 and was ordained as an Elder in June of 2008.  He has worked with the West Angeles Sunday School and Youth Ministries, and is currently a member of the Web Team.  

Inspiring Quotes from Great Women in History Part II

 

West Angeles Church of God in Christ concludes Women’s History Month with more wonderful,  inspirational quotes by women of achievement. 

“To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world–that I am able to change it in positive ways.”

— Maxine Hong Kingston, author of “Woman Warrior”

 

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part II: Judge Constance Baker Motley.

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part II: Judge Constance Baker Motley.

— Maya Angelou, African-American poet

 

“I rejected the notion that my race or sex would bar my success in life.”

— Constance Baker Motley, first African-American woman to serve as a federal judge

 

“For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women.”

–  Elizabeth Blackwell, first female physician in the United States

 

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

— Beverly Sills, former American opera soprano

 

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

— Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women”

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.”

— Sojourner Truth, African-American abolitionist

 

“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

— Jackie Joyner-Kersee, first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the Summer Olympics

 

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there’s shouting after you, keep going. Don’t ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

― Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave

 

“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

— Toni Morrison, author of “Song of Solomon” and first African-American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

 

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.”

— Susan B. Anthony, American suffragette and advocate of women’s rights

Be uplifted by West Angeles’ Praise & Worship team lead by David Daughtery, and Soloist Carolyn Johnson-White below:

Inspiring Quotes from Great Women in History Part II: West Angeles Mass Choir Sermonic Selection, “I Never Lost My Praise” by Kurt Carr, on Vimeo.


  • “A DAY IN MAY WITH MAE” is back!   First Lady Mae L. Blake and the Women’s Affairs Committee invite you to join us for lunch on Women’s Day 2017.  Details to come on Westa.org.  The color for this year: “Pretty In Pink”!
  • For more inspirational quotes by women of wisdom, resilience, and courage, please click HERE.
  • Did you miss West Angeles’ spectacular Black History Month Presentation? Please CLICK HERE for highlights.

 

6 Questions to Consider on the Power of Your Thoughts

Have you ever considered the power of your thoughts? This week, we welcome Elder William F. Hampton to the Elders’ Corner, with the first piece in a new series which focuses on our thoughts.

The World Book Dictionary defines a thought as “the power or process of thinking. It is a mental activity; the characteristic thinking of a particular person, group, time and/or place.  

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a thought as “serious consideration.” Strong’s Concordance defines a thought as “an association of ideas; cogitation (meaning, ‘deep thought, careful consideration, pondering, meditation’…); divided in mind.”

My definition would be:

A process of thinking that dictates your future.

In the upcoming weeks, join us on Westa.org as we focus on our “thoughts.” I will examine how the brain processes thought, and I will also touch on the following:  

1. Does God know our thoughts?  

2. What are man’s thoughts?

3. Who should determine our thoughts?

4. How can we develop our thoughts?

5. What are God’s thoughts?

6. How can thoughts affect our lives?

Last, but not least, I would like to focus on what our thoughts should reflect. Please join me next week to explore the question, “Does God know our thoughts?”


Elder F. William Hampton is a long-time member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Born in Houston, Texas, he received his High School Diploma from Hinds Agricultural High School,  his Associates of Arts Degree from Utica Junior College, his BA from Texas Southern University and his MFA from Loyola Marymount University. Elder Hampton joined West Angeles Church in 1985 and was ordained as an Elder in June of 2008.  He has worked with the West Angeles Sunday School and Youth Ministries, and is currently a member of the Web Team.  

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Pastors & Elders: West Coast Super Rally Week!

GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!

The General Council of Pastors and Elders is coming to the

West Coast!

Pastors and Elders, plan to meet your Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., who will be sharing a word from the Lord, at a rally near you.

Conference details & registration opportunities available on COGIC.org.

See you in the place!

SUPER Rally

Highlights: Black History Month Presentation

For West Angeles’ culminating Black History Month presentation for 2017, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and the West Angeles Music and Worship and Arts team and the took the congregation to school with a  lesson in African American that transcended the ages. 

On February 26 for the conclusion of Black History Month 2017, West Angeles Church of God In Christ delivered an exciting and inspiring Black History Month Presentation which included dance, hip-hop, oral history, and spoken word. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake began his Black History Month sermon in Africa, thousands of years before the birth of Christ, with the story of Moses; journeying through the reign of the Queen of Sheba, the Atlantic slave trade, and to the roots of Pentecostalism to reveal the connection between people of African descent and the roots of Christianity. Bishop Blake was also inspired by the story of Joseph in Genesis, siting parallels between Joseph’s journey and the historic journey of African Americans.

Dr. Judith McAllister, Marvin Wright-Bey, and the West Angeles Worship and Arts team staged a glorious multi-media presentation, resplendent with interpretations of the African American journey, in dance, spoken word, and song.  Musical performances by the West Angeles Angelic and Mass Choirs were accompanied by featured artists including SuNWhoa Love, Angie Fisher, and West Angeles’ own David Daughtery.

Highlights from “A Sermon for Black History Month” follow (please click the images to enlarge the slideshow).  See the complete service HERE, on West Angeles’ Legacy Broadcast:

“2000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Moses traveled to Midian, in the southern part of the fertile crescent.  There, Moses married a dark-skinned Midianite woman and worked for his dark-skinned father-in-law, by the name of Jethro. Numbers 12:1 indicate that Jethro and his daughter were Ethiopian.”

“Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the woman he had married…God got upset and smote Miriam with leprosy. Sometimes, Black women are mighty powerful.”

“400 years later, Joseph would marry a dark-skinned Egyptian woman.”

“Almost 1000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the Queen of Sheba – also known as “Cush” or Ethiopia – visited King Solomon. She came from Africa with many camels, spices, gold, and precious stones. Her nation and her culture had obviously existed long before that time.”

“The Ethiopian, Piankhi, established the 24th Egyptian Dynasty. And at least four Black Kings ruled over Egypt from 730 BC until 66 BC…Great nations, great civilizations, great cultures existed in Africa centuries before Jesus Christ was born.”

“Centuries before Jesus Christ was born, one of the greatest generals of all time was a man by the name of Hannibal – a black man – from the city of Carthage in Northern Africa. Hannibal defied and defeated Rome between 219 and 203 BC.”

BLACK HISTORY WESTA 2017 2

Black History Month: The Angelic Choir sings! West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 2-26-2017.

“In 1498 AD, Portuguese explorers wrote that they found along the east African coast, tall stone cities of comfort and of wealth. They found people who were highly civilized and skilled in the use of the compass, and in reading charts.”

“God has a purpose for your life: and we know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord; for them who were called according to His purpose.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The city of Timbuktu in West Sudan (was) a magnificent city where merchants made greater profit from the sale of books than from the sale of any other commodity that they sold.”

“In the areas of science, art, medicine, government, law, and culture, and so on, certainly many of the nations of Africa were competitive with, and in many cases more advanced than, the other nations of the world in during that period.”

“All of the things that I’ve described so far have been devastated by the slave trade, by slavery, by Colonialism.”

“William Banks in his book, ‘The Black Church in the US’ gives us the following report:

Nearly 20 million Negroes were made captive over the span of some 300 years, from 1517 until 1840. A more conservative estimate is around 14.6 million. They were jammed and crammed into ships like sardines in a can, and brought across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Guinea to the New World, in a trip called “The Middle Passage.’ It’s estimated that perhaps 12 million Blacks landed in Latin America, and about 2 million of them were brought into the US.”

“What happened to the millions? Some died resisting capture. Some died in captivity, while being held in Africa waiting to be shipped out. Some committed suicide, eating quantities of clay. Others, beaten and too weak to continue the trek in the convoy to the harbor, were abandoned to die.”

“Shackled in irons, they hung beneath the decks of the ships for 16 hours at a time, in unbearable heat filth and stench, barely surviving on the stale spoiled food and stagnant water. They were only given a few minutes a day on deck for fresh air and exercise. If the weather was bad, they received neither fresh air nor exercise. Many died at sea from dysentery, small pox, and other diseases. Some starved themselves to death, refusing to eat. Others committed suicide, jumping into the ocean. Lastly, those who were warriors taken in battle were often beaten and shot to death. Some died soon after reaching American soil.”

“In Christ, there’s no Black, no White, but one race, one blood in Christ Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“A meaningful study would be, ‘What was the impact of the loss of 20 million of its inhabitants on the culture and the nations of Africa? How many died trying to defend their families in the violence associated with the slave trade?’”

Dancers reenact the Middle Passage, and freedom from slavery.

Black History Month: Dancers reenact the Middle Passage, and freedom from slavery. West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 2-26-2017.

“After the slave trade came the horrible period of Colonialism, in which horrible invaders did to Africa’s resources what those before them did to Africa’s people. What was the value of 20 million people taken out of their homeland?

“After slavery, black people experienced one humiliation after another, but still, we produced Benjamin Banneker, inventor and maker of the first American clock, Sojourner Truth, George Washington Carver, Charles Drew, a pioneer in blood plasma research…Benjamin  O Davis, Thurgood Marshall, Ralph Bunche, Booker T. Washington, Marion Anderson, and a host of others that rose above their oppression toward a level of excellence.”

Let’s examine now the interaction between Christ and his church and Black people. Because of their concern for the babe Jesus, Mary and Joseph followed an angel to find refuge. It was in Egypt, in North Africa that they sought safety.”

“During the dark day of the Crucifixion, the Jews were condemning Jesus to death. Europe, represented by the Roman Centurions, drove nails into the hands of feet of Jesus, and pierced Him in the side. But Africa, represented by Simon of Cyrene, from Northwest Africa, stepped in when everybody else was stepping back…Simon of Cyrene shared history’s most significant moment with the Christ, as a Black man bore the Cross of Christ up Calvary’s Hill.”

“Listen, if Jesus needed help with His cross, I’m sure He understands when you and I need help with our crosses.  He will help you in the midst of your trials, and in the midst of your struggles.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“One would think that if Jesus needed help with His cross, the privilege would be reserved for Simon Peter, or for John, and for another apostle. But God chose Black hands and wooly hair to perform an act and level of service that all the truly wise men of all the ages would be supremely honored to perform.”

“The Ethiopian Secretary of the Treasury was to pass in his chariot…This Ethiopian nobleman heard and received the gospel, and after being baptized, this nobleman went back to Ethiopia to form the Abyssinian (Coptic) Church that exists until this day. He was the first Gentile of record to be saved. A Black Ethiopian was the first Gentile to be saved, after the Jews.”

“Historian Dean Henry Hart Milman has said: ‘It was Africa, not Rome, which gave birth to Latin Christianity. Africa gave three of the greatest leaders and scholars of the church to the church. Augustine, Tertullian, Cyprian.’”

“Historian and author Dr. H. Vinson Synan says that Charles F. Parham, a white man, and William J. Seymour, a Black man, share roughly equal positions as founders of modern Pentecostalism…Seymour was the outstanding personality in bringing about that crucial Pentecostal revival that we call the Azuza Street revival here in the city of Los Angeles.”

“One key man in that contagious spread (of Pentecostalism) was a man by the name of Charles Harrison Mason, a Black man and the father of founder of the Church Of God in Christ…in 1897.

In 1907, Elder Mason traveled  to Los Angeles and participated in the Azuza Revival and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.”

“The Church of God In Christ became the first legally incorporated Pentecostal body in the United States.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Synan also points out that most of the white Pentecostal churches from 1907 to 1914 had no recognizable Ecclesiastical body to represent them, and to ordain their ministers. Therefore they were not authorized to perform marriages or other ministerial duties…Scores of white ministers joined the Church of God In Christ and obtained ministerial credentials from Elder Mason from the Church of God In Christ.”

“One group in Alabama and Texas received permission from COGIC to use the name of the church in 1912, and this continued until 1914, when they organized and called their predominantly white organization the Assemblies of God Church.”

“When Bishop Mason passed in 1961, he left behind him one of the largest Pentecostal bodies in the world.”

“I get the impression that God wanted all of us to be together as one in Him, worshiping Him and praising Him together.”

“Christianity is not a white man’s religion it’s not a black man’s religion: it’s simply man’s religion! It’s the only hope for salvation in this world.”

“In Christ, there’s no Black, no white, but one race, one blood in Christ Jesus. Let’s give praise to the Lord!”

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches the rich history of Black people in the Bible, for Black History Month at West Angeles COGIC. 2-26-2017.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches the rich history of Black people in the Bible, for Black History Month at West Angeles COGIC. 2-26-2017.

“I mentioned a little while ago about Joseph…There are many parallels between Black people and the experience of Joseph, who spoke the words of our text. Joseph had visions…Those visions sustained him in the midst of adversity.”

“I say to you as a people, I say to you as individuals: whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re dealing with, keep on seeing the vision. God said, ‘I know the thoughts I have toward you…future and a hope.’ So God has a future in store for you, and if you see the vision it shall come to pass.”

“In jail, Joseph held on to the dream. Black people held on to the dream in slavery. We believed that God was going to deliver us, and praise God – God did deliver us. We held onto the dream!”

“Our presence here in the United States was not a mistake. It was painful…We were hanged we were lynched, we were abused. But God used what we went through for our good. God raised us up. God brought us out. God brought us through.”

“God’s purpose was fulfilled in us, but God is not through with us yet. You are a child of destiny. God has a purpose in blessing you.”

“Somebody in here is going through something evil, but I want you to know God meant it for good! God is going to turn it around!”

“You are a child of destiny. God has a purpose in blessing you.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God has a purpose for your life, and we know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord, for them who were called according to His purpose.”

“What you’ve been through, I’m going to use to bless you and to bless others.”

“Thank you, Lord, for those who have gone before us. Thank you dear Lord, for those who have paved the way for us.”

“God blessed and elevated Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, reached back to help those who hated him…and blessed them. And thus, he was able to bless literally all the world.”

“Look at your hands please…the hands that God wants to use to transform the world. If you’ll say ‘Yes,’ if you’ll say ‘Thy will be done,” God will use those hands and use your life to bring glory to His name.”

“You are a child of purpose. God has a purpose for your life.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 37-50, Numbers 10:29, Numbers 12:1-9, Isaiah 40:31, Romans 8:28; Romans 8:31-39, Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 6:33.


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

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

 

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History, Part I

Likewise, older women are to show their reverence for God by their behavior. They are not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of goodness. They should encourage the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible and pure, to manage their households, to be kind, and to submit themselves to their husbands. Otherwise, the word of God may be discredited. Titus 2:3-5 (ISV)

 

March is Women’s History Month!  On Westa.org, we celebrate the strength and resilience of women throughout history.  Below is a list of 10 inspiring quotes by great women in history who have surpassed obstacles to emerge untarnished on the other side; women who have paved the way for the next generation to reach for their dreams and to make them come true.

May you be inspired and encouraged to live your life to the fullest by the ancestors that have proved your capability and influence as a child of God.

 

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.”

— Rosa Parks, African-American civil rights activist

 

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

– Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

 

“Great leaders never accept the world as it was and always work for the world as it should be.”

– Condoleezza Rice,  Former United States Secretary of State
WOMENMarieDaly

10 Inspiring Quotes by Great Women in History: Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry, Columbia University, 1947.

 

 

 

“Courage… it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging” – Marie M. Daly, The first female African-American to earn a PhD in Chemistry

 

 

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages. ”
– Michelle Obama, first African American First Lady of the United States

 

“You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.”

– Rita Dove, first African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

 

“The best protection any woman can have…is courage.”

– Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American abolitionist

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

– Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist

 

“The world is wide, and I will not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum.”

– Frances Willard, suffragette whose “momentum” started kindergartens and day care for the children of working women

 

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, humanitarian, and former slave


Hear Nia Allen sing the beautiful hymn, “Holy Spirit”, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ below:

 

Oprah Photo: Benny Gool/Harpo.

 

 

8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Whether we know it or not, every thing, and everyone, has a purpose. But life can seem pretty hopeless at times if we don’t know what our purpose is. Sure, we all want to be happy, but what if we were to find out that our true purpose in life isn’t contingent upon our own happiness at all?

The dictionary defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”

But God’s word defines purpose in a higher way. Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) says,  

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

That means, in a nutshell, that our purpose isn’t our choice, it’s God’s. It’s got nothing to do with our parents’ purposes, or our connections, or a particular industry we may think our skills fit into. Our purpose is strictly between us and God, and that makes it pretty important.

DIVINE DESIGN

Now that we know that God has created us for a divine purpose, 8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose also know that the world will be a much better place when we all know what that purpose is, then focused on making it happen. But before we can understand how God’s plan for our lives is revealed, we must also know that the world is going to provide all sorts of ready-made ideas for us to claim a “passion” in life – ideas which can distract us and take us down the wrong path if we’re not careful.

That part of the journey can lead us to proclaim:

  • “I want to work in the ______ industry.”
  • “People like me on television  are doing_____, and I want to do it too.”
  • “_______looks like fun!”
  • “My (dad or mom) was a ______, so I’m going to be one too.”
  • “_______makes me happy.”

These reasons, though, probably have nothing to do with why God created us in the first place.

THE SECRET TO YOUR PURPOSE

To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out in order to embrace a whole new way of thinking. So if we’re serious about taking this journey, we’ve got to let go of our own egos and desires, then:

    1. Ditch the world’s idea of who you should be (Romans 12:2). This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps to finding our purpose. This may be hard to do: but take a “media fast”, in order to spend time with God. Social media, television, music: all can be distracting and soul-numbing, and can fill the soul with a million voices – none of which are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, musical performances, sports, news, and reality tv, God doesn’t need any of them to make His purpose for your life known to you.
    2. Listen to God (Isaiah 55:11). He speaks in a myriad of ways. Asking God, hearing and listening to Him, and following Him takes commitment. Fasting, praying, meditating on His Word…You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
    3. Keep a journal (Jeremiah 30:2). Record your dreams and visions. Let Scripture define each task you do.
    4. Go back to childhood (Jeremiah 1:5). Who you were and what you did best in the early days of your childhood can reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose. 
    5. Know that you are not your parents (Exodus 20:5-6). God doesn’t want you to take your parents’ issues into your future. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
    6. Understand it’s not about your happiness (Luke 22:42) – it’s actually about someone else’s. Finding your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes your faith will be tested.
    7. Get off the career ladder (Colossians 1:16). That’s society’s vision for you. You were born with gifts and skills to be used for a higher purpose.
    8. Listen to your elders (1 Timothy 4:14). Respected elders can see the vision for your life, and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23,

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  

and in John 15:13,

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

If you look at Jesus’ life, everything He did, all of the miracles He performed, He did for others; for those who needed Him. That’s the secret to unlocking the miracles in your purpose: it’s all about using your gifts for the benefit of uplifting others.

What voice or idea is unique only to you? What aspects of society drive you forward and turn on a light within you? Using your God-given gifts and talents to let the world know who God is, changes the world as only you can. Following God’s call puts you on the road to manifesting miracles found only in living out His purpose for your life.


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

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

Christian Life: 10 Essential Scriptures for Maintaining Your Cool

Have you found yourself in situations which threaten to challenge your patience, disrupt your peace, and encourage behavior which is counter to what God expects of you? Now, more than ever, saints are uplifting each other with the simple reminder that, no matter what is happening in the world, “God is in Control.” In our latest post on living your best Christian life, Dr. Tonya Lewis shares a list of 10 essential Scriptures for maintaining your cool in challenging times.

When we are confident with who we are and Whose we are, we learn we don’t have to fight each battle which comes our way. Insecurity, immaturity,  and not learning the value of living a peaceable life provokes us to think, say, and do whatever comes to mind, even though it is definitely not wise to do so. Most of the time, many of us feel that we must have the last word or action; we conclude that we can’t allow anyone to think that we are weak or afraid. We then want to blame others for our negative actions; even using the excuse “The devil made me do it!” (which legendary comedian Flip Wilson famous!)

Yes, while Satan and others may influence us, we make the final decision of how we think, speak, or act.  

As we mature in both age and spirit, we actually learn that we express more power by not engaging in each temptation of battle. We are told in Proverbs. 14:29, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness; and in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (NLT). Rather than lose self-control, we must take personal responsibility for our thoughts, our choices, and our actions.

We must commit to keeping our hearts holy and righteous so that BIBLE we reflect the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, both internally and externally. When we yield our lives to Christ Jesus, He empowers us to control what we think, speak or do.  

Below are 10 Scriptures which encourage us to maintain our cool and control under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior:

  1. James 1:19-20 (NIV)My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
  2. Proverbs 10:19Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
  3. James 3:2 (NLT) – Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
  4. Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (NLT).
  5. Prov. 21:23 (NLT) – He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
  6. James 1:26 (NLT) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.  
  7. Proverbs 28:25 (NASB) – An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper
  8. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  9. James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
  10. Matthew 12:34 – (NLT) For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

As Kingdom citizens who live under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, we can have the assurance of 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which states,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).

Such is not true for persons who are still trying to live life apart from the Lordship of Christ. In order for our spirit, soul and body to be blameless, we must stay in control! When we live according to the Word of God, we can rest assured that we will be kept blameless in what we think, say or do.

God bless you!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years, serving on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, and at other teaching venues.


Hear Jonathan McReynolds sing “MAINTAIN”, featuring Chantae Cann below:

Dr. Judith McAllister: We Shall Overcome

We have come, over a way that with tears has been watered.

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

-From “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Negro National Anthem, by  James Weldon Johnson.

 

(Please click the images below to enlarge the slideshow).

OUR HISTORY is resplendent with examples of ancestral strength, unimaginable faith, and a powerful vision of a day – similar to the one in which we now live – where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in beautiful Cathedrals such as this.  

Our forefathers and mothers; the unbearable pain they shouldered, the profound injustice they endured. They sacrificed their lives, their energy and great strength to overcome: and yet we are overcoming.

Now, we, as a people, must stand in unity, with the holy resolve to keep fighting, keep marching, and keep succeeding until we have indeed overcome.  

We literally come from kings and queens: Mansa Musa, Nzingha, Shaka Zulu, the Queen of Sheba – royal stock who, when bowed and broken, possessed a resiliency and an impenetrable determination to move beyond the hardship, to reach beyond the injustice, and to push past the dark veil of hopelessness to the promise of better day.   

We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – and that same thread runs within each of us. We must dig deeper and be resilient. We may bend, but we will not break!

 We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – for we must know that our true greatness lies not only in our ability to withstand oppression and survive, but also in our ability to hope, to trust, and to put our future in the hands of our Eternal God. He is strong to save. He who knows every detail of our victorious future. And it is within Him that true greatness lies!

 

A father leads his 2 sons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.

A grandfather leads his 2 grandsons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.

 

We have overcome, but yet we are overcoming – for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. Through the storm, through the strain, through hardship, through pain, we have overcome, and we yet, are overcoming.

So let your words today be filled with life, with hope, and with strength. Share with someone the testimony of what you have been through, so that they will know that if you made it through, they can too!

For together-

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome some day.

Oh, deep in my heart

I do believe

We shall overcome someday.

 

Hear Dr. Judith  McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir perform “We Shall Overcome” below: 

 

“We Shall Overcome” – Lyrics derived from “I’ll Overcome Some Day”, Charles A. Tindley, 1900.

Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Negro National Anthem, by  James Weldon Johnson, 1899; music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.


Dr. Judith McAllister, COGIC's International Minister of Music.

Often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship,” Dr. Judith Christie McAllister is probably best known for her impact as one of the forerunners of the Praise and Worship movement in the African American Church. Having served as Worship Leader at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ under Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., as the church’s Executive Director of the Music and Worship Arts Department, and also as Minister of Music/President of COGIC’s International Music Department, she developed a style and approach to Praise & Worship earning her accolades from coast to coast. A wife, mother, author, prolific Bible teacher, prophetic psalmist and a Grammy Award nominee, Dr. McAlister is also CEO of three entities which enable her to mentor, train and empower the next generation in the ministry of music. Judah Music Group LLC,  Inheritance of Judah Ministries and Never Ending Worship (N.E.W.) Enterprises LLC, provide the foundation for all of her workshops, seminars, ministry services and products.

Inspiration: You Can Make A Difference

If  you were told that you could end a war, would you believe it?  If you were told that you could save the world from hatred, hurt and pain, or that you are the cure to the cancer that’s spreading throughout our society, would you doubt it? It’s overwhelming for us to believe that we, alone, can make a difference in solving the issues that seem so massive today. However, it only takes one person with the compassion and vision to heal a particular pain in our world to stand up and do so…

The rest will follow.


WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO

I am reminded of Esther, who saved her people, the Jews, from slaughter; and the young shepherd boy, David, who slayed a giant all on his own. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw the need for economic equality; to free the poor and disenfranchised from discrimination, and from oppression and repression by the wealthy. Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake saw the need to create a ministry which helped children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Save Africa’s Children created much needed support for more than 100,000 children in over 23 African nations; now, Bishop Blake has set his sights on building an economic and educational legacy here at home to empower the generations to come.

Every revolution begins with a single person deciding to make a stand. 

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, but he who keeps the law is happy. The pattern in the word is that each battle and triumph begins with one person: and you can be that person. This does not mean you have to join every battle, but rather, pursue that calling which touches your heart most. That is the ministry that God has placed on your heart to help others, and to take each step one day at a time towards change.  You may begin alone, but I guarantee that God will not let you fight the entire battle by yourself. He will put like-minded people in your path, and together, as a mighty team in the name of Jesus, we can empower God’s people, build His Kingdom on earth, and make the world a better place.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” – Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)

Hear William McDowell perform the beautiful hymn, “I Give Myself Away” below: