Posts

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 7.01.49 PM

Bishop Blake, Magic Focus on Advancing Black Males

Originally posted on LAsentinel.net.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson are partnering to offer advancement services to equip African American men to succeed in life.

During the official launch event on March 18 at West Angeles COGIC, the two leaders announced the initiative before an audience of 400+ men attending the church’s Brotherhood Organization gathering.

The program, billed as “Super Saturday,” featured breakfast and motivational speeches by Blake, Johnson and actor and entrepreneur Romell Witherspoon.

“This initiative was birthed out of a deep concern about poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, the desperate state of the African-American male and the breakdown of the family unit that plagues our cities, small and large, urban and rural,” explained Blake.

To combat those challenges, the advancement services will focus on education (access, excellence and  equity), economic development (job creation and training), crime prevention (reduction and  rehabilitation), family life (developing healthy men, women and children) and financial literacy (earning, saving, investing and spending wisely).

While West Angeles COGIC already offers 20 programs specifically for men, Blake noted the Super Saturday event strengthens the church’s effort to do even more to help African American males.

“This is kind of a special day to have Earvin with us now and Witherspoon, a very sharp entrepreneur, to share with us from a millennial perspective. Nobody’s a better businessman than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He’s taking us to another level and we’re going to continue as long as we are here,” said Blake.

Explaining that the initiative is another step towards community improvement, Johnson said, “The face of our community changed when Bishop built the church (West Angeles Cathedral).  I think people’s minds were changed, so now we have products and services and goods that we never had before in our community.

“We have had so many things happen that are positive in our community. This is what it’s all about. We’ve got to continue to take striving steps to make our community better.”

Johnson’s commitment to community development and empowerment is illustrated by his long history of establishing businesses and hiring people in underserved communities across the nation. In South L.A., he is heralded for opening a movie theater, several Starbucks and other businesses in the area. Through his Magic Johnson Foundation, he sponsors a number of philanthropic campaigns such HIV educational and  awareness programs.

A 25-year member of West Angeles COGIC and president of the L.A. Lakers, Johnson said, “I’m never going to change.  It’s not about my job or what I do, but who I am.  I will always be a man who will be involved.”

“His businesses that he manages here in Los Angeles and the economic opportunities he provides are in the hood or near the hood. So I’m very proud of him and his efforts to improve to enhance the community,” added Blake.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-8-43-52-am

Convocation Expected to Inject Millions into STL

Originally posted on STLAmerican.com

The Church of God in Christ’s 109th Holy Convocation projected to make over $30 million economic impact to St. Louis metro area. This gathering of more than 40,000 attendees, scheduled for November 7-13 at the America’s Center and the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis, is one of the city’s largest conventions.

“We expect a record number of attendees this year, which means our organization will have an increased economic impact on the St. Louis area,” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. said.

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the fourth largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in 83 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Highlights for the week include:

Thursday, November 10. COGIC Urban Initiatives presents “An Education Affair” in collaboration with the United States Department of Education, in America’s Center Atrium from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Thursday-Saturday, November 10-12. COGIC Health Fair in America’s Center Atrium, 2nd Floor, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily.

Friday, November 11. COGIC Urban Initiatives 7th Annual Job Fair in America’s Center Atrium, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 12. Christmas in November blesses the St. Louis community with free groceries, clothes, appliances, cosmetics, toys, hot lunches, haircuts, and free cell phones with minutes for those who qualify, at 5300 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Children must be present to receive toys, and adults must show an ID. This event requires registration at COGIC.org, or call 314-583-0610.

“This will be the sixth year the convention has been held in St. Louis,” Bishop Blake said, “and we are excited to return to such a hospitable city.”

For more information about COGIC’s community outreach efforts during the 109th Holy Convocation or to view the schedule of activities, visit www.cogic.org.

black-vote

Bishop Blake Talks Importance of Black Church, Black Vote

Originally posted on Ebony.com.

Since the enforcement of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Black churches have always played a pivotal role in the electoral process. During the Civil Rights Movement, Sunday morning pulpits were preachers’ soapboxes to commingle God’s word with inspiration and information regarding civil rights initiatives, including rights and privileges guaranteed by that law.

In response to the civil rights political victories, African-Americans exercised their right to vote with passion. Within months of the act’s passage, one quarter of a million new Black voters had been registered. By 1969, Tennessee had a 92.1% turnout; Arkansas, 77.9%; and Texas, 73.1%.

The enthusiasm with which African-Americans vote has diminished over decades. It remains the Black church’s responsibility to encourage its membership to participate in the electoral process; remind them of their history; and empower them to be heard through their vote.

Black voter turnout, or the lack thereof, will have a significant impact on the election of the next president of The United States of America. This presidential campaign season, many Black evangelicals find ourselves in a bit of a quandary. I am a Pentecostal pastor who is a pro-life, registered Democrat. Thus, I am biblically and doctrinally opposed to policies that support same-sex marriage and abortion. But simultaneously, I support policies that empower the middle-class, poor, uneducated, disadvantaged, and effectively improve the civic, economic, religious, and cultural conditions of our African-American communities. An agreement or disagreement on one issue cannot dictate one’s vote. We must look to the totality of the candidates’ platforms to make an informed voting decision.

As the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a 6 million member denomination, and the Pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, a 25,000 member congregation in the inner-city of Los Angeles, I take seriously my obligation as an American citizen to vote, despite the complexity of choice we sometimes face. To that end, my vote must be cast for the candidate who cares most about my community, my family, the Black church, its rights and our parishioners.

There are many pastors formally endorsing presidential candidates this campaign season, to much fanfare. It is an insult to the intelligence and savvy of the Black church membership for political candidates, strategists and pollers to assume that for whomever a “church leader” cast his or her vote, the membership will follow blindly. Moreover, legally and constitutionally, the church should not exert influence over the outcome of elections and individuals involved in elections. In fact, a 1954 Tax Reform Act, commonly termed the “Johnson Amendment” noted that all tax-exempt organizations are banned from supporting or opposing political candidates.

However, the Tax Reform Act does not require the church to remain silent. Morally and from a humane perspective, the church should take positions on issues that impact people; the poor, disenfranchised, those who cannot speak loudly for themselves either because of lack of resources or lack of access.

Every once in awhile, an issue rises to the level of potentially contributing to the good or ill of our African-American society; or an issue rises in relationship to those things that are most sacred to us. Consequently, on occasion, it is imperative for the Black church to articulate its position. This presidential campaign season represents one of those occasions where the Black church must articulate its position and express its expectations of the presidential candidates; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

A review of recent comments from each of the candidates demonstrates that each must worker harder to engage the Black Church in a compelling way. Mr. Trump stated, “I believe we need a civil rights agenda for our time, one that ensures the right to a great education . . . and the right to live in safety and in peace, and to have a really, really great job, a good-paying job, and one that you love to go to every morning.” It is unclear to me what Mr. Trump meant by a “civil rights agenda for our time.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 prescribed an end to segregation, an end to discrimination in employment, desegregation of schools, and equal opportunity to live in safety and peace. We don’t need a new “civil rights agenda,” we need politicians who are passionate and committed to furthering and fulfilling the original Civil Rights Act.

In response to Mr. Trump’s question to African-Americans: “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What … do you have to lose?” If the next President does not understand, empathize and sympathize with the daily struggles and dreams of African-Americans, then we have 50 years of progress to lose.

Secretary Clinton, as of late, has begun to engage the Black church in a more consistent manner, which does not mean, a more meaningful manner. She told a predominantly Black audience that the nation needed “a president who will pray with you and for you.” She has also stated that she is “grateful for the great gift of personal salvation and for the great obligation of the social gospel.” To any God-fearing Christian, these words are music to our ears. Yet, they fall short of speaking directly to our problems and offering tangible solutions that will be top priorities on day one in the Oval Office.

The Black church must wield its strength in numbers and influence and demand that the presidential candidates speak to the issues that impact their members every day. The narrative must shift from how the other candidate will harm us, to how their presidency will help us. Therefore, a clear understanding and agreement in a candidate’s positions, as they relate to the congregants of the Black church, is what will determine who gets the vote.

The Black church is too powerful an institution to be taken for granted or underestimated. Based on our voter engagement, we will cast the deciding votes as to who will be the 45th President of the United States of America.   The Black church equals Black power.

accounting

COGIC, First Tennessee partner to provide financial counseling

The Church of God in Christ’s world headquarters at the historic Mason Temple in Memphis will soon be home to free financial literacy counseling for consumers, small business leaders and entrepreneurs, courtesy of First Tennessee Bank.

First Tennessee will provide a full-time, on-site Operation HOPE financial counselor who will offer seminars and one-on-one counseling on credit and money management for consumers and entrepreneurial training for start-up small businesses.

The counselor will be available to Church of God in Christ congregation members and the public at the Lelia Mason Museum on the grounds of the Mason Temple.  Hours will be established in partnership with the Church of God in Christ, and the workshops and counseling sessions will begin early in 2017.

First Tennessee has made a four-year commitment to provide the financial counseling in partnership with the Church of God in Christ.

Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., says, “The Church of God in Christ is delighted to partner with First Tennessee Bank and Operation HOPE to open a financial literacy center in the newly built Lelia Mason Museum on the campus of the historic Mason Temple. This financial literacy center will provide training and assist individuals in raising their credit scores and provide classes for small business development.” He added, “This center is only the second of its kind in the country and could not have been accomplished without COGIC Urban Initiatives, First Tennessee Bank and Operation HOPE coming together to help the Memphis community.”

COGIClogo

COGIC donates $50,000 to Louisiana Flood Victims

Originally posted on Christian Newswire

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 19, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Church of God in Christ (COGIC) churches devastated by the recent flooding in Louisiana will receive assistance from COGIC Charities.

COGIC Charities has committed $50,000 to help COGIC churches in the Southern Louisiana area hit by the recent flooding. The funds will be distributed through local jurisdictions to assist churches with their immediate needs.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “The Church of God in Christ is committed to assisting our churches in the Southern Louisiana area that have been affected by the recent flooding. Our goal is to help as many of our churches with whatever they may need to help get their congregations back on their feet.”

Currently, the Church of God in Christ has over 200 churches in the state of Louisiana and approximately five of them were damaged by or completely destroyed by floodwaters. These COGIC Charities funds will help local churches remove water, repair structures, provide food, water, clothing and any other assistance that may be needed.

Working in conjunction with COGIC Charities, the International Missions Department has dispatched a team of workers to the Baton Rouge, LA area to assist churches there with cleanup, water removal and any additional needs affected congregations may require.

COGIC Charities, the benevolent arm of the Church of God in Christ, provides assistance to areas devastated by natural disasters. Since it’s founding in 2002, COGIC Charities has provided humanitarian relief to victims of hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, along with disasters in Flint, MI, Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal, Japan and Africa. COGIC Charities has contributed to various relief agencies, including The Salvation Army, the Horn of Africa Relief and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in over 82 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

image

COGIC Statement on Nice Attacks

On Thursday evening, as families peacefully celebrated Bastille Day, a terrorist attack once again affected the lives of many in the European country of France, this time in the city of Nice,

On behalf of the Church of God In Christ, we strongly condemn the actions of those responsible for this attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this unspeakable tragedy, and at this time, we must call on God to ease the suffering of those that have lost their loved ones as a result of this terrorist attack.

FOCUS on the Family Wknd

Focus on the Family: A Message To Fathers

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A young father walks with his son.

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

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

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

This is our message to fathers…be blessed!


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

 

pray1

8 Verses to Help You Through Suffering

A story about a recent tragedy has been populating my Facebook news feed over the past week.

Over and over, I see the photo of a young black family. In the photo, a father and mother stand on a playground. A blue slide and yellow monkey bars serve as the backdrop for the photo.

The father holds his young daughter in his right arm and his left arm hugs his wife, the mother of his children. The mother places her right arm around her husband and her left hand is placed gently on the chest of her first born daughter, who stands wearing a pink dress, toy in hand.

This picture has been circulating social media as the cover of several news stories and for the family’s GoFundMe account. On that day, the mother gripped her family close. Soon after, her grip was lost.

The father and two young daughters passed away in a car accident this past weekend.

I don’t know this family personally, but the anguish I felt when reading about this story was enough to make me sit back and shake my head in disillusionment. My thoughts were:

What could anyone possibly say to this young woman to comfort her in this time of tremendous grief?

How can she possibly overcome this?

What will it take for her to move forward with her life?

Many of those that commented on the Facebook posts were also at a loss for words, saying as much in their comments. And with the recent tragedies that have taken place in our country, many have been at a loss for words on several fronts.

With that said, there is always one place to turn…turn to Him.

As many continue to suffer with finding justice or looking for an explanation, here are eight verses about dealing with suffering:

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

 

TABLE of bread

SERMON: The Table of Bread

On First Sunday, as Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake prepared to continue his series on the tabernacle of meeting, West Angeles Church of God In Christ was surprised by a prestigious guest: Former President Bill Clinton.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continued his series on the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting and their symbolic meanings in a sermon called, “The Table of Bread”, in keeping with the June 5, 2016 Communion Sunday service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ. But before he could begin the sermon at the 11AM service, West Angeles was honored to receive a most prestigious guest: Former President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton.

Clinton praised West Angeles’ extensive community developments; having been to the church long before the Cathedral was built.

“I was here before you all were in such fancy digs,” the former President joked with the congregation.

But he also acknowledged that West Angeles’ success should be mirrored throughout America.

“If we did what you’ve done here; if we did it everywhere in America, could we restore upward mobility? Could we help bring people back from the depths of despair? I believe we could,” stated Clinton.

Bishop Blake said that he welcomed the opportunity to share with President Clinton the importance of Christians’ right to worship freely, without compromising doctrine.

“I shared with [Former President Clinton] how important it is that the church be allowed to pursue its mandate from Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Blake, “to preach Biblical principles and holiness and righteousness, without being discouraged.”

As the Presiding Bishop of over 12,000 COGIC churches, as well as the Co-Chair of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), Bishop Blake spoke of former President Clinton’s visit to West Angeles as an honor.

“We are honored by his presence here, and happy for the opportunity to remind him that there are some things that the church just cannot bow to. Let’s praise God for his coming to us today.”

To see this entire service and more, please click HERE to visit West Angeles Gospel on Demand, or call the West Angeles Christian Emporium at (323) 731-3012. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “The Table of Bread” follow:

“As you enter into the Holy place just to the right, there’s a furnishing called the “Table of Bread.”

“It was made of acacia wood, which is a very strong, durable wood, and it was overlaid with pure gold.”

“Gold was the most beautiful and valuable of all metals. The bronze altar and the bronze laver were made from brass.  One symbolized the atoning work of Jesus Christ; the other, the cleansing work of the Spirit of God.”

“Everything in the Holy place was either made from gold or it was overlaid with gold.”

“It’s always disappointing to be moved from a higher level to a lower level.”

“Most people try to see to it that they either rise higher and higher or they at least maintain the highest level that they’ve reached. That ought to be the same in our walk with the Lord.”

“If we want to go from silver to gold and gold to platinum in our frequent flyer clubs and credit cards, how much more should we want to go higher and higher in our relationship with the Lord?”

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord?” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“How many of you are striving to go higher and higher in the Lord? I don’t want to be where I was last week…As I go through this Christian walk, I want to go higher and higher and higher.”

“The wood in the table symbolized the human and the gold in the table symbolized the divine. The table symbolized the coming together of, and the interaction of, the human and the divine.”

“Jesus Christ, Son of God, divine, took on humanity that He might bear us to and before God the Father. The table, then, represents Jesus the Son of God, who was both human and divine.”

“There was also a frame; a band, an elevated edge around the table, about the width of a man’s hand. It was designed to keep the bread from falling off the table…Israel was, and believers are, the bread; and thus, the elevated edge is there to let us know that God has put some provisions in place to keep us from falling.”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You just don’t have to fall.’ God has made so many IMAGE Cliff Jude24provisions for us to survive in Him, that it takes special effort to fall away from the will and the plan of God in our life.”

“So many are worried about their spiritual survival, so many worried about slipping over the edge. But God does not want us to be worried and anxious.  He’s not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.”

“Most commentators feel that the 12 loaves represent the 12 tribes of Israel, and that the table of bread communicated God’s desire to dwell with His people, and that His people should dwell with Him.”

“They said, ‘Lord bring us back together again; let us be as one in You.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘God wants you in His face.’”

“We focus our attention on Him. We realize that He’s our source, and that all must come through Him.”

“When you praise Him, chains are broken.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“It’s not just about the place. It’s about entering into personal relationship with the Spirit of God: always before Him, always reaching out to Him, always yearning for the more of our God.”

“My soul thirsts for God…for the living God.”

“When you do what you should do for God, God takes care of you.”

“We’re here today because the Lord has provided, and because we know the Lord will provide.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’”

“I assure you, my brother, my sister, if you put your trust in God. If you put God first, the Lord will make a way somehow.”

“Let the people bring bread. Let the people bring fine flour. Let the people bring that which is made from the best of wheat: and I’ll take care of them in the wilderness. I want their best, so I can give them My best.”

“This is why we can say, ‘Lord, give us this day, our daily bread.’” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

““Every time she took something out, God put something in.”

“When you give [to God] what you might enjoy, what you might consume, then you are investing in your covenant with the Lord.”

“Child of God, you never lose when you Bless the work of God.”

“They gave bread from the earth and God gave them bread from heaven.”

“This manna, this bread made from wheat that they provided, not only nourished the priests on their behalf, but it set the covenant aright and firm in the heart and mind of God and of the people.”

 “The Bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives Light to the world.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The manna was in many ways symbolic of Jesus Christ.”

“’Most assuredly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven,’ for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and give light to the world.”

“Jesus is bread to us, and we are bread to Him.”

“Jesus is blessed by our praise…Praise Him for who He is. He’s worthy!”

“When you praise Him, miracles start to happen. When you praise Him chains are broken; yokes are broken. When you praise Him, He takes you higher than you’ve ever been before. Clap your hands and praise Him!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Leviticus 24:5-9, Philippians 2:9-10, 3:12, 4:19; Exodus 25:25, 30, 40:23; Jude 24-25, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:8, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 42:1, Matthew 6:33,   John 6:31-35, 55, 15:7; Numbers 11:7, 1 Kings 17:13, Psalm 22:3, Romans 14:11.


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

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

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


Photo of Sutton Bank: courtesy, Wikimedia Commons.

Image of the Table of Showbread: courtesy, Tabernacle Ministries.

 

The lampstand, or menorah, in the tabernacle of God.

SERMON: The Lampstand

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. continues his series of messages from his book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence”, with a study of the lampstand, one of the key furnishings in God’s Tabernacle.

On Sunday June 12, 2016, Presiding Bishop Blake taught the congregation at West Angeles Church of God In Christ about power of light in the life of the believer, using the symbolism of the lampstand. The lampstand, or menorah, is one of the key furnishings in the Tabernacle of God in Exodus 25:31.

Bishop Blake began with a story of his own visit to Nigeria, and the honor of being invited to attend 7 a.m. prayer at the mansion of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo. But just when it was time for him to shave and dress for his visit, there was a blackout at the exclusive hotel where Bishop was staying. “Lord, help me…help me Lord!” cried Bishop Blake. “Lord, please let these lights come on!” And an instant later, light returned. “I believed the lights came on because I prayed!

“Believe that God is going to do something great in the midst of His people,” said Bishop. “To quote the late Oral Roberts, ‘Something good is going to happen to you.’ How many of you expect something good to happen?”

This entire series and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.  To purchase the book, “Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence,” please click HERE.

 

“Let there be light!” Genesis 1:3  

“It’s difficult for us to imagine how significant light and darkness were to ancient men…Today, we can change the blackness of night into the brightness of noonday with a flick of a switch.”

“Night and darkness were a terror to ancient men, because there was always danger of wild beasts and unseen hazards and robbers…and beyond these very real dangers there were the superstitious fears that ancient men had about countless spirits and demons and haints that did their devilment under a cloak of darkness.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.”

“Unless it was absolutely impossible to do so, ancient men ceased their activity at night.”

“Light was fire…fire was light. It was warmth; it was protection.”

“In certain ancient societies, one of the most important individuals in town was the keeper of the fire.”

“When everybody’s fires went out, they could go to the keeper of the fire to rekindle their fires.”

“For those who lived in biblical times, a lamp was a great necessity in the home. They didn’t have matches to strike…Almost every fire was started from some other fire.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Only the poorest person slept without a lamp burning.”

“The light of the wicked indeed goes out. Job18:5”

“If all of one’s lights went out, he might have to travel many miles to obtain fire from someone else.”

“One of the most terrible curses of the ancient world was to predict that a person’s light would be put out.”

“Light is the essential condition of sight.”

“Given these conditions, it’s easy to understand why darkness was associated with unpleasantness and sorrow, and light was associated with good fortune and happiness.”

“When the Bible speaks of darkness, it’s not always referring to nighttime; but rather, those situations where a man finds himself where he cannot see his way; where he has no guidance, when he is lost.”

 “Darkness is when a man has no moral light to guide him.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“All of us have known a darkness that had nothing to do with the light of the sun.”

“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.”

“I’m glad to say today that God is a God of Fire and a God of Light.”

“It was with light and with fire that God attracted Moses’ attention.”

“When God’s children are in the fire, their sin and their bondage may be consumed, but they themselves are not consumed”.

“This fire that the Lord sent came from heaven…this ever-burning fire symbolized God’s acceptance of their sacrifices; His favor and His forgiveness his power.”

“Somebody in here knows what it is to have the blues.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God sent the fire, but God commanded us to keep the fire burning on the altar.”

“Moses was very careful to do everything exactly as God had told him to do.”

“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.”

“Worship is about the Lord’s glory…worship is about honoring and respecting the might and the majesty of almighty God.”

“Their action caused the wrath of God to fall on them.”

“It was an error for them to do anything without approval from God.”

“They did not use God’s fire, but they got some strange fire.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God, through Moses, had made them priests. They should have respected Moses’ leadership.”

“New responsibility; a new anointing should not cause one to disrespect leadership.”

“Some folk think anything they do, any way they behave, anything they say, anything ought to be pleasing to the eyes of God, but you have to seek the will and the way of Almighty God.”

“Improper worship implies an improper relationship with God.”

“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.”

“Their punishment was a warning that those who love god must not only sanctify themselves, but also consider God and His service most Holy.”

“I never would have made it without You.”

“So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:2″

“Are there any true worshipers in the house? Hallelujah!”

“It’s time for awe; it’s time for reverence; it’s time for respect when you come into the house of the Lord.”

“Just as Moses sent the priests into the tabernacle for separation and consecration, God sent the first believers into the upper room for 10 days of consecration and prayer.”

“God is just as serious about worship in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament.”

“Fire remains a symbol of God; fire remains a symbol of the Holy Ghost both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.”

“Let the Holy Ghost take control; let it rule.”

“There’s too much strange fire; too much strange worship, too much selfishness in the worship of the Lord.”

“You offer strange fire when you’re filled with pride, but you use God’s fire when you humble yourself in the presence of God.”

“Those who worship God must consider God and His service to be most Holy.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Humble yourself, and the Lord will draw near you; humble yourself and His presence will cheer you.”[1]

“We offer strange fire when we don’t repent for our sins.”

“If you’re seeking miracles; if you’re seeking power, you need to be washed before you come before God.”

“If you want a miracle, let God wash you. Come on and praise Him! Hallelujah!

“Make sure you keep the fire burning. That means we’ve got to keep the Holy Ghost moving.”

“Lord, let the Holy Ghost take control.”

“No fire but your fire…We need Holy Ghost fire!”

“When the saints get together and call on the Lord, God does something in the midst of His church.”

“Lord, let the fire burn!  Let the Holy Ghost move!”

“Send the power!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 25:31, Job18:5, Genesis 1:1, Exodus 3:1, 13:21; Leviticus 9:24, 6:16, 10:1-2; Psalm 100:4, John 4:23-24, Acts 2:1-4, 5:1; John 1:27, 1 Corinthians 14:15, Jude 20, Romans 8:1.

[1] Hymn: Humble Thyself to Walk , Johnson Oatman, Jr., pub.1908. Public Domain.


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

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

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