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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Facts You Should Know

breast cancer awareness month

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. It’s important to be proactive about good health and to lead a healthy lifestyle. One step in the process which has been recommended by medical experts is to have regular screenings for breast cancer. Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most easily treated. It is typically detected either during a screening examination, before symptoms have developed, or after a woman notices a lump.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women; therefore, it is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting breast cancer at an early stage.

 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The American Cancer Society’s infographic about getting your mammogram.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR HEALTH

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s a great time to remember to schedule a mammogram, the test used to detect breast cancer. The Affordable Care Act requires that private health insurance plans provide preventive health services without charging you a co-payment or coinsurance.

Please see the following 5 important facts about breast cancer below, and download additional information about Breast Cancer, its statistics, and getting checked in the attached links :

  1. One in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Please download the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Fact Sheet HERE.
  2. Breast cancer Cells can grow out of control before any symptoms of breast cancer appear.  Please download the Susan G. Komen  “What is Breast Cancer” Facts For Life fact sheet HERE.
  3. It is very important for women to follow recommended screening guidelines for detecting  breast cancer at an early stage. Please see the American Cancer Society’s 2017-18 Facts & Figures  HERE.
  4.  African American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from it  than women of any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. Please download the LIFELINES newsletter from the National Cancer Institute for Black Women HERE.
  5. Getting a mammogram is an important step to keeping and monitoring the health of your breasts.  Please download the American Cancer Society’s infographic about getting a mammogram HERE.

Visit West Angeles West Angeles Church of God in Christ, where you’ll find additional resources and information in the vestibule after Sunday services during the month of October.


DID YOU KNOW?

Physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and excessive weight have all been linked to increased cancer risk.

RESOURCES

Black women and health

 

Mully

Movie Review: “Mully” – A Must-see Film

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 NIV

 

This October, there are, finally, a choice of films to see which reflect the power of Jesus Christ and the principles of the faith.  There’s A Question of Faith, presented by Los Angeles-based media company Silver Lining Entertainment, with Richard T. Jones, Kim Fields, T.C. Stallings and C. Thomas Howell. And if you’re in the Los Angeles area on Sunday, October 15th at 4:00PM, you can swing by West Angeles’ north campus to see The Case for Christ, our Discipleship ministry’s free Movie Event.

There’s another film in theaters next month, however, in which there is only a very short window to see, and this is one film you don’t want to miss.  That film is called Mully.

Here’s the synopsis:

What happens when a six-year-old boy in Kenya is abandoned by his family and left to raise himself on the streets? MULLY is no ordinary rags-to-riches tale. It’s the true story of Charles Mully, whose unlikely stratospheric rise to wealth and power leaves him questioning his own existence, searching for meaning in life. Against the better judgment of family and community, MULLY sets out to enrich the fate of orphaned children across Kenya. Jeopardizing his own life and the security of his family, Charles Mully risks everything and sets in motion a series of events that is nothing short of astonishing.

 

A GOD OF MIRACLES

In our current age where we’re left feeling overwhelmed, depressed, helpless, faithless and confused about how we got to this place in history, there emerges a story about what one man can indeed do to change the world: with the power of God behind him.

Charles Mully and Bishop Blake

Charles Mully speaks with Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. at West Angeles COGIC, Sept. 2017.

The film is the true story of the life of Charles Mully, formerly a successful Kenyan businessman with an amazing  testimony, who’s experienced trials and triumphs  reminiscent of the Joseph story in Genesis. His journey starts with his happy, simple life in his Kenyan village, surrounded by his family.  But his life takes a turn when he ends up homeless, and is eventually saved.

This is only the beginning of Charles Mully’s journey.  One can only say that God has called him, and clearly had a plan for his life, because Charles Mully subsequently experienced an amazing rise to success and prominence, even from the condition in which he found himself as a child.  But what happens next is nothing short of the miraculous, and shows the power that God provides for us when we follow Him. This film is about how obedience to God produces miracles, and the story is reminiscent of those we read in the Bible.

 

A LIFE-CHANGING FILM

The film, directed by Actor-Writer-Producer Scott Haze, was released abroad in 2015 to awards, accolades and fanfare; yet, the buzz about this amazing story has only just reached American shores.  I had the privilege of screening this life-changing film a year ago, and my husband and I were indeed left both speechless and inspired.  

I believe we’ve been blessed to see Mully now: at such a time as this.

See Mully in theaters nation-wide from October 3rd-5th

MULLY opens in select theaters October 3-5! Buy a Ticket before October 3rd & $15 will be donated to orphans in Kenya and the U.S.

Mully movie poster

It’s Father’s Day: 11 Qualities of a Strong Father

West Angeles Church of God In Christ is committed to developing and nurturing strong, resilient families, and today, we focus on fathers. Below, 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.

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

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!

THE WEST ANGELES COUNSELING CENTER – 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. We provide support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. 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.

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Bishop Blake: Do You Want To Be Well? Do These 3 Things

Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”  John 5:5-6 (NKJV)

In John 5, a man had been infirmed for 38 years; yet Jesus, before He would do anything for the man, asked him, “Do you want to be well?” That may seem like a strange question, but let me inform you that there are many people who say, “I want to be sick.”

Some choose to be sick because:

  • They don’t want to be held accountable. They don’t want to go through what they must endure both spiritually and biblically; they don’t want to rise up to the standard that the Word of God proclaims.
  • They do not want to endure the painful medical treatment, exercise, discipline or diet required to be made well.
  • They choose addictions, perversions, even mental illness; creating a false world into which they can escape, which frees them from the pressures and failures of life.

Jesus was right in asking this man if he wanted to be made well, because so many people settle for just any old thing. But I want to proclaim to you today that the saints should not be at the bottom, the saints ought to be the top! You’re not supposed to be “alright under the circumstances,” because God does not put us “under the circumstances.” You are above these circumstances!

Do You Want To Be Well? Do These 3 Things: Bishop Blake leads a powerful altar call at West Angeles COGIC.

In our lives, we should strive for the best: the best spiritually, the best physically, the best intellectually, the best materially, the best in our marriages, in our appearance, and in every area of our lives. We’re not here in the church just having fun, we’re here to establish lifestyles and habits that will give glory to God, and that will open us up to the blessing of the Lord in our lives.

If you’ve got God in your life, if you’ve got the Holy Ghost, you’ve got One in your life that gives you power to overcome and to surmount any obstacle, any difficulty, and any hardship that you might encounter.

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?

You don’t have to be below par. You can be everything that God wants you to be. Healing is yours if you want to be healed, but first, you must:

  1. Repent. Ask God’s forgiveness. So many folks never repent; they go in and out of life without repentance. But every once in a while, you ought to look up to God and say, “Lord at my best, I’m inadequate; at my best, I can’t come up to your standard. Lord, forgive me, and help me to turn around; help me to be the person that you’d have me to be. Lord, I’m sorry. I love you and praise your name. And if I’ve done anything that displeased you, then forgive me and try me one more time.  Lord, I’m here, seeking you with all of my heart.” Healing starts with repentance.
  2. Believe in Jesus. Believe He’s the Son of God; believe into His will and into His way. Put your hand in His hand, and your whole heart in Him. Believe that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. If you really love Him, then you’re on the way toward healing. Raise your hands and say, “Lord, fill me with the Holy Ghost! I want Your power; I want Your anointing. I want to walk righteously with You.” Step into Jesus; into His love, His power and His righteousness.
  3. Deny thyself. “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). If you want to do God’s will, then you’ve got to set flesh and self aside, and when you do, God steps in and begins to heal you and take you higher than you’ve ever gone before. Live your life being filled with the Holy Ghost! Holy Ghost power can work healing in your life (Acts 1:8)!

The Bible tells us to examine ourselves; to take heed of ourselves. A person who is not completely healed cannot function at full capacity. What is your spiritual condition? Are you really healthy, or are you only slightly healed? Do you want the best from God? And do you want to do the best for God?

The power of God can work healing to your life. Lift your hands and say,

“Lord, I’m coming to you for a spiritual examination. If you find anything that does not belong in me, work on me and heal me so I can be the person You created me to be! Create in me a clean heart. Lord, I want to live like You want me to live, and to be what you want me to be. Fill me with Your power; fill me with Your anointing. I want to do Your will; I want to walk in Your way to win others for the kingdom.”

God will take you higher than you’ve ever gone before. God can heal you; God can fix you. If God wants to bless anyone, He wants to bless His people: and if you’re one of the people of the Lord, God wants to bless you!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Jeremiah 6:14, Hosea 14:4, John 3:16, 5:6; Matthew 16:24, Acts 1:8, 1 Timothy 4:16, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 51:10.

Adapted from the sermon, “Do You want to be Well? by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.  May 28, 2017, at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Watch the entire sermon on The Legacy Broadcast HERE.

Hear Pastor Donnie McClurkin sing, “Create In Me A Clean Heart” below:

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with your doctor and other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Consult your doctor before starting any new eating or exercise regimen.

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light – 1 Peter 2: (NKJV)

Most medical research conducted in the United States does not include a detailed study of African American women or the uniqueness of the African American physiology.  That lack of knowledge has created disparities in the quality of medical care which African Americans receive. In 1984, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, previously the National Black Women’s Health Project, was formed in Atlanta, GA to address those disparities, and to address the health and reproductive rights of African American women. NBWHP was founded by MacArthur Fellow Byllye Avery, who was particularly influenced by the impact that public policy had on women of color and poor women.

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), based in Washington, DC, is the only national organization dedicated to improving the health and wellness of our nation’s 21 million Black women and girls – physically, emotionally and financially. Their mission is to lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S.

Also, in 1995, Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS) was launched, sending health questionnaires to thousands of women including Essence magazine subscribers and the members of  Black Nurses’ Association. For the past 22 years, the study has continued to gather data annually on the 59,000 women who returned completed questionnaires in 1995. The Black Women’s Health Imperative has used research of the BWHS to develop programs, initiatives and awareness to keep African American women healthy.

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now. Infographic, courtesy BWHI.org.

Black women are more likely to develop certain health problems than white women. Until the 1990s, most of the studies of women’s health included only small numbers of Black women or none at all. Improving the health of Black women required more knowledge of the causes of these health problems and also more knowledge about how women stay healthy. More knowledge meant more research.

Through collaborations between the two groups, findings from the application of their research have included:

  • Racism affects physical health. Experiences of racism are stressors that might result in health issues. Among participants under age 50, women who reported frequent experiences of racism in daily life or in housing, on the job, and by police were more likely to develop breast cancer. No other study has reported on this issue. Racism is also a contributor to increased obesity through changes in eating or exercise habits. In the BWHS, the occurrence of obesity was greater among women who had the greatest experiences of racism. This was the case whether women lived in segregated or non-segregated neighborhoods.
  • Stress is the enemy. Too much stress can contribute to the onset of diseases: not just psychological illnesses, but physical maladies as well, such as heart disease, obesity, and premature births.  Stress can also create chronic inflammation in the body, which can create other serious physical problems.
  • Breast cancer shows up earlier: and deadlier. Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age (median age is 58 for black women, 62 for white women) and die at a younger age than white women (median age is 62 for black women, 69 for white women).
  • Lupus occurs much more commonly among Black women than among other ethnic groups, and yet it is still a rare illness even among Black women.
  • Sitting for long periods increases cancer risk. Women who sit for more than 10 hours a day – even at work – have a 40 percent higher incidence of breast cancer, as compared to those who sat for fewer than five hours a day.
  • Beware of the night shift – The incidence of type 2 diabetes in the BWHS was greater among women who had worked a night shift for at least 10 years than among women who had not worked night shifts. A possible mechanism may involve sleep disturbances, which are increasingly being associated with adverse health effects.
  • More fried foods and meat mean more cancer. High intake of foods in the meat-fried food pattern was associated with a higher risk of cancer.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

Does God want us to be healthy? Yes! God has created us to follow His Word; God’s Word and God’s ways bring us health and strength (Proverbs 3). Here are 8 actions to take now, compiled from the findings of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Black Women’s Health Study, with support from the American Heart Association, which can help us to achieve the optimum health which God intends for us:

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now – You don’t need an acre to grow edibles; greens, lettuces and certain fruits and vegetables can even be grown in pots.

1. Be proactive about your health (Matthew 7:7-8, 1 Corinthians 6:19).  Get regular physicals, pap smears, and mammograms from doctors you can trust. Ask for referrals, ask questions, and get additional doctors’ opinions on diagnoses. Many doctors will treat us based on our weaknesses: not our strengths, or our ability to change our lifestyles and our eating habits! They will often not offer eating or exercise plans as solutions to common health problems. Seek out information about Black women’s health issues, and healthy eating and lifestyles. Be innovative! Our ancestors and forefathers have always created, invented, and “made a way out of no way.” Grow edibles!  Even if you don’t have the yard space, lettuces and certain vegetables can even be grown in pots or planters.  Create and discover new ways of cooking healthy at home (as opposed to eating out), which studies have found is associated with better health.

2. Get involved with your church. (Hebrews 10:25, Colossians 3:16). Studies show that religious involvement is associated with a healthy mental outlook. The Word of God provides peace, wisdom, and “strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:8); church provides a support system of friends and neighbors, inspiration, and the opportunity to help others, among other benefits. Women in the studies who said they were very involved in their church tended to report excellent or very good mental health. Not surprising, right?

3. Change your environment – even if it means just taking a day trip (Genesis 12:1, Acts 7:3).  Most people tend to be happier when they’re traveling for leisure or vacationing, of course, but a takeaway learned from a recent Cornell University study is that people also experience a direct increase in happiness from just planning a trip. And according to a joint study from the Global Commission on Aging, and the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, traveling actually keeps us healthier. The study found that women who vacation at least twice a year show a significantly lower risk of suffering a heart attack than those who only travel every six years or so. Also, according to the BWHS, women who lived in poorer neighborhoods more often developed diabetes than women who lived in wealthier areas. So getting away from the ol’ neighborhood for a change of scenery holds benefits for the body, mind and spirit.

4. Fill your plate with mostly fruits and vegetables (Genesis 1:29). It’s not only healthy…it’s Biblical! Include whole grains, root vegetables, dark berries and dark leafy greens in your diet. High intake of foods in the fruit-vegetable pattern was associated with lower cancer risk. Avoid or cut down on processed foods; any food that has 20 ingredients or more should be viewed with suspicion. Cut down on serving sizes. Also important: drink lots of water.

5. Cut out excess sugar and salt (Matthew 5:13-16). Limit high-calorie foods like sweets. Avoid drinks with added sugar. Cancers feed off of sugars, and excess salt creates inflammation: which accompanies many medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes.

6. Stand! (Ephesians 6:13). Stand while working, preparing foods: whenever you can. Walk around for short periods at work, even if watching television. Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle which results in 10 or more hours of sitting per day also results in 40 percent greater breast cancer risk. A 50% greater risk for diabetes was shown in those who sat for five hours a day or more.

7. Exercise! (Isaiah 40:31) Vigorous exercise reduces hypertension and depression. Participation in vigorous physical activity was associated with a decreased occurrence of both depression and hypertension among BWHS participants.

8. Rest. (Genesis 20:10) Get adequate sleep.  Sleep deprivation has been shown to not only affect the sex life, memory and physical appearance, but it can also put us at risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Have stress-free mechanisms for relaxation. Prayer; hobbies such as art, gardening and being outdoors in nature; deep breathing exercises, stretching, listening to soothing, uplifting music: all are examples of relaxing activities we can engage in to keep stress at bay.

Finally:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2.

With the mighty resurrection power of Jesus as our guide, we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

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Hear the voices of the Black Women’s Health Study Advisory Board speak about the impact and importance of the Black Women’s Health Study below:

Read Bishop Blake’s post, “DO YOU WANT TO BE WELL? DO THESE 3 THINGS”.  Please CLICK HERE to read.

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. West Angeles Church Of God In Christ makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with your doctor and other sources, and to review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Consult your doctor before starting any new eating or exercise regimen.

SERMON: Bishop Blake says, “Encourage Yourself”

1 Samuel 30:6 (NKJV) – Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. took inspiration from the magnificent life of King David, and his power to overcome in 1 Samuel 30 in his sermon titled, “Encourage Yourself.” In the scripture, David’s town had been burned and his family and possessions taken away by his enemies, but he strengthened himself, praying to God for guidance.

“He was the least likely son, in the least likely family, from the least likely tribe in all of the kingdom,” said Bishop Blake. “Yet God commanded His prophet Samuel to anoint David as the future King of the Jews.

“The devil will tell you what is not going to happen, and what can’t happen. But God lets us know that all things are possible.”

Please CLICK HERE to see this sermon in its entirety at West Angeles’ Gospel-On-Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“The life of David is one of the most spectacular adventure stories ever recorded in the annals of history.”

“David ascended from the care of his father’s flock to the rulership of the flock of almighty God – Israel and Judah.”

“There are many elders who dislike young people just because they’re young…So many young people have no use for their elders and think that they know more than their elders do.”

“David was aware that promotion comes neither from the east or the west, or from the north or the south. It’s God that takes down one, and puts up another.”

“Those who take things into their own hands soon find out how weak their hands really are.”

“Put yourself in God’s hands and you’ll find no better place to be in all of the universe.”

“The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord…He had lost everything: he had lost his wives. He had lost the loyalty and support of his men. But when folk let you down, you can still turn to God” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“David had to be discouraged. He had to be sick at heart. David had to be depressed but these are feelings that are common in our day.”

“There are very few people who are genuinely happy in the world today.”

“Men today respond in many different ways when they’re faced with trouble. Some people resign themselves to trouble…Some people blame other people for their distress.”

“When everything is going wrong, when everything is too hard to handle, too much to deal with, don’t just sit there in your predicament. Have a talk with Jesus!”

“Each of us has a battle with ourselves.”

“How many of you know that you would not have made it this far without the goodness of the Lord? How many of you know that you would not be here if God had not taken care of you?”

“Our God is a God of power. Our God is a God of might.”

“David reminded himself, ‘My God is a mighty God, and if He is a mighty God, there’s nothing He cannot do, nothing that He cannot overcome, nothing that he cannot deal with.'”

“You need to remind yourself that your God is not a weak God, your God is a mighty God. Taught the wind to blow. Taught the birds to fly. Come on, say, ‘Our God is a mighty God!’”

“As long as God has something for me to do, I can’t die until I get it done…As long as God has a purpose for my life, I’m going to live on.”

“Child of God, when you’re feeling low, just remember that God is in your life. He’s a mighty God. He’s a wise God. He’s a loving God. He cares about you.”

“The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord…He had lost everything. He had lost his wives. He had lost the loyalty and support of his men. But when folk let you down, you can still turn to God.”

“The Lord will not let you down. He’ll be with you through thick and through thin.”

“You might have lost your relationship with God. You might have lost your fellowship with God. But God did not leave you.”

“There are things that we as believers ought to make up our minds that we don’t want to lose.”

“If you’ve lost anything, there’s a determination on God’s heart to restore that unto you. Halleluiah!”

“Don’t let good things slip away.”

“Spiritual health and vitality can be lost if it’s not nourished by prayer.”

“We can lose our fervor and become lukewarm if we don’t stay in love and in contact with Almighty God.”

“If you wake up in the morning with your mind… on Jesus, you can make it throughout the day, and He’ll stand guard over your mind and over your mind.”

“Take back your determination. Stop letting the devil push you around!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The devil and the Holy Ghost cannot coexist in the same space. When the Holy Ghost shows up, the devil has got to go!”

“Whatever the Lord says is Yes, and Amen! I’ll say yes to Him, because He keeps on saying yes to me.’”

“You can still catch them; you can still overtake them. They may have a head start, but don’t you give up! Don’t you wave the white flag. Run after them! Pursue them! Halleluiah!”

“Child of God, you may have said, ‘It’s useless. It’s hopeless. I’m too old. It’s too late.’ But you’ve got to make up your mind that it’s never too late as long as God is involved.”

“There’s not a devil in Hell that can run fast enough to outrun God.”

“Overtake; walk in, in the name of Jesus!”

“Pursue! Overtake! You shall recover all!”

“Whatever it is, God can turn it around! It’s turn-around time!”

“God is going to give you more than you ever had before! Tell two people, ‘God is going to give you double for your trouble!’”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: 1 Samuel 30; Matthew 18:11; Luke 15:4-8, 11; Hebrews 2:1; Philippians 4:4-8; Jude 20; Psalm 46:1; Luke 10:19; 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 40:31; Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:20; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 30:5

Elder Oscar Owens: How to Connect with God in 7 Simple Steps

As a part of our Elders Corner series, Elder Oscar Owens sheds some light on how we can step away from the computer and the smartphone, and spend our time connecting with the ultimate source of knowledge…God!

By Elder Oscar Owens

Are our lives busy, and getting busier day by day, or what? These days, most of us are:

  • Driving rush hour-packed freeways and highways in nerve-racking traffic to work and home, shuttling our kids, here and there.
  • Trying to keep our home clean and in order while running the household errands
  • Striving to keep ourselves healthy by eating right and exercising.
  • Working long, hard hours of exhausting activity on our jobs.
  • Staying connected to the ever-present digital world of social media, online-publications, shopping, entertainment and even work, through the internet and our “smart devices.”

This whirlwind of activities, noise, information, attractions and distractions of our post-modern lives can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, and disconnected from God. How do we find calm centers in the storm to stop and focus on God?

There’s a simple method of 7 easy biblical steps I have found which will give any Christian the power to connect with God at any time – even in the middle of chaos. We can “log in” to God’s transforming power by learning the simple disciplines of Scripture meditation and prayer.

WHY DO WE NEED TO CONNECT TO GOD?

Our society, through various media channels, provides answers to just about everything. The one media source we’re staying connected to more and more is the Internet.

What is the Internet? The Internet, also known as the “world wide web,” is a system of interconnected computers which enables us to connect to other people and devices. The Internet is always active; its information sources are always available. We can connect to the Internet anywhere, if we have the right tools. We can ask any question, and it seems to have the answer.

The Internet has now consumed a large place in our lives, but has the time we’re now spending connected to social media and the Internet become a distraction?  Is it replacing the precious time meant to be spent communing with God?  Would our lives be different if we were hearing from God, following His Will and His Word for our lives?

Unless we take action, the business of our lives, the concerns of daily life, and the temptations of Satan, will pull our mental attention away from God’s good news in Jesus

Our Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we must not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. Connecting to God’s renewing, transformative Word in the Holy Bible gives us:

  • Power – God has given us the Spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).
  • Direction –As Bishop Blake always says, “God protects where God directs; God provides where God guides (Psalm 23).
  • Faith – Learn to trust in God. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
  • Prosperity – One of the greatest and most inspiring things about the African American Christian journey is the ability to OVERCOME. We learn how to get into God’s Word; encouraging one another through the Word. Prosper physically, spiritually, mentally – this is God’s prosperity (Joshua 1:8).
  • Courage – There are all sorts of negative things happening in the world, but we must believe in our hearts that we can be strong!  Have courage; be strong in the Lord (Psalm 46:1).

Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Therefore, we must discipline our physical minds to think on and thereby connect with the amazing spiritual blessings we have in God, through Christ Jesus.

HOW TO “LOG IN” TO GOD

God’s Good News about Jesus is that the power of His Holy Spirit is always available, always ready. We’re always connected to the Lord, even if we feel we are not! There are 7 simple biblical steps to easily connect with God, at any time, in any place:

  1. Find a space – Find a quiet place at work or in your home where you’ll go to pray daily, without distractions.  Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This is the best advice, but additionally, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then where you are, Jesus Christ is within you. Therefore, turn your focus to Him in you and you in Him, whether you are in the grocery line, caught in traffic, involved in work or with your family.
  2. Choose a time: or choose “now” – Set aside time to encounter God in the scripture. Before you start your day can be a great time to start (Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:33); turn off the television, computer, and phone. Again, this is best, but, wherever you are in your life’s activities, stop – and take a few moments to connect with God through a small verse of Scripture, God’s Word. God is the “I AM”; always present in the eternal “now.”
  3. Read the Word – Find the Words of Jesus and His Good News (Gospels and Epistles). Read a small section of Scripture until something grabs your attention. TIP: Read slowly! Read out loud! Read so you can hear it and your eyes can see it. Read that small section over and over. It’s like eating something good: chew on it and savor the flavors. Read it over and over, while listening to God speak it to you, through His Holy Spirit.
  4. Meditate on the Word – Mentally reflecting and imaginatively pondering is the powerful aspect of Scripture meditation. Reflect on what you’ve read, and begin to think about what God is saying. Biblical meditation begins with thinking God’s Word continuously to ourselves. We begin to internalize God’s Word inside our mind and our heart. Now, God starts downloading! Listen to God’s voice…God is now talking to you personally!
  5. Respond: Talk to God in prayer through the words and images in that Scripture. Thank the Lord for what He is revealing to you! Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness! Ask God to touch you, to form and conform you to be more like Jesus! Tell God, “I’m reading because I want You to read me; form me change me, make me like You.”
  6. Receive from God – Jesus said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Abide and rest in the Lord; contemplate Him. Now it is the time for the Lord to communicate within you. Listen. Enter into a deeper place with God. A place of intimacy; in His presence. This is a special time between you and the Lord. One-on-one with God. Give Him room; this is the time that God is blessing you. Let the Lord Bless you. Receive from the Lord and receive the Lord Himself, who is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! God is now working within you, renewing your thoughts in the knowledge of Jesus, activating the mind of Christ in you. You are actively connecting with God and God with you.
  7. Take action – Ask Father God to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do what Jesus, the Living Word, has revealed to you. For example, in relation to God, the Lord may be asking or reminding you to trust, love, believe, obey or stop disobeying Him. In relation to other people, the Lord may be asking you to forgive, love, pray for, accept, help or bless them. Ask our Holy Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the help, our Lord Jesus has promised. Now continue in your day, walking by faith and connected to our loving Lord who is with you and in you, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Keep on meditating on the words of Scripture that the Lord has drawn you to, throughout the rest of your day, wherever you are. Keep meditating, praying, thanking, praising, rejoicing and worshiping the Lord in your spirit, heart, mind and soul: whatever you are doing in your life. Do this until the next time you stop, to center in on the presence of the Lord in His Word!

God is now working on your mind. Your thoughts are renewed in the mind of Christ. You’re now “logged in” to God through Scripture meditation and prayer! Hallelujah!

SUGGESTED SCRIPTURES FOR READING AND MEDITATION

John 3:16, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, Psalm 1, Psalm, Joshua 1:8, Matthew 11:28-30, Deuteronomy 31:6, Ephesians 2:8-10, Psalm 119, Philippians 4:8, Timothy 4:15-16, Romans 10:17, 2 Peter 1:21, Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 3.

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Elder Oscar Owens has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord! He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Systematic Theology. He is currently studying for his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.

 

PRAY WITH COGIC! Presiding Bishop has called us to join with the saints in prayer for our nation, our leaders, and for Christians around the world. Download the 11/11/40 Prayer Guide HERE.

LET’S TALK ABOUT HOLINESS!  Come join Elder Oscar Owens, Dr. Wilfred Graves and Dr. Kenneth Hammonds on Nov. 11, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Wednesday night service at the West Angeles North Campus for “Let’s Talk About It: Holiness!”  This intriguing dialogue and discussion will seek to answer the questions, “What is holy living today, and how do we do it?” We would be so glad for you to join us!

GET BIBLE APPS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE! Now you can take the Bible wherever you go.  WestA.org has a link to the You Version app. You can download it HERE.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • According to a new report from the International Telecommunication Union, the average Internet user logs almost 2 hours per day on social media platforms or other leisure activities, and possibly 11 or more hours per day on all electronic media combined.
  • According to an articles published by The Guardian UK and Business Insider.com, we are less educated, less rested, and less productive due to our increased Internet activity:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/18/modern-world-bad-for-brain-daniel-j-levitin-organized-mind-information-overload

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-time-people-spend-online-2013-10