Day 1: The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference

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There was a wonderful, uplifted spirit of excitement and anticipation in the air at the West Angeles Cathedral on Thursday morning, as hundreds of pastors from across America converged on Los Angeles for the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference. After registration, the registrants enjoyed guided tours of the magnificent West Angeles Cathedral building, and lively conversation over a continental breakfast provided by the West Angeles Food Services department.

At 10 a.m., attendees boarded beautiful coach buses for the journey to the West Angeles North Campus morning session of the Conference. Lively praise and worship led by David Daughtery and the Cathedral Chorale greeted attendees as they entered the sanctuary. Pastor Michael Golden, Legacy Conference Chair, gave the welcome greetings and opening remarks; Mother Francis Harris presented a heart-felt introduction and biography of First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake. First Lady Mae presented a wonderful, fascinating history of her life and journey alongside Bishop Blake, from childhood to marriage and children; and through the growth of their ministry as they experienced both trials and triumphs.

After the Morning Session and a delicious lunch served in the beautiful West Angeles Crystal Room, 1st Assistant Presiding Bishop Phillip A. Brooks introduced Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, who, during the Afternoon Session of the Conference, provided attendees with an impartation of wisdom mined from his decades in ministry.

Highlights and quotes from Day 1 of the Bishop CE Blake Legacy Conference follow:

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Lady Mae Speaks: The Journey

“Women, we must develop a vital prayer life.”

“To all the pastors’ wives out there: no matter how outrageous an idea may seem, if the Lord gave it to your husband, it will succeed.”

“The Blake household has an artillery of prayer, and every room is armed for battle.”

“The more widespread your ministry, the more you will be talked about.”

“God’s hand was on Bishop Blake…He has represented COGIC well. Job 1:6.”

“Bishop, you are a Superstar of a man.”

Elder Charles Blake II: The Legacy 

“As African Americans, it is we who will have to redefine our identity.”

“In ministry, my father told me, ‘Always bring it back to Jesus. That’s who we are. That’s what we do.”

“My father has taught me that if you give your all to God, God will give His all to you.”

“We need to redefine what it means to be a man if we are going to take back our community.”

“A man who stands for God is a man who stands for justice.”

“We, as a church, are going to have to find new ways to minster to those who are hurting.”

Elder Lawrence Blake: The Legacy 

“Sons and fathers sometimes clash. It’s not the fault of the father, but of the son who thinks he has all the wisdom.”

“After my shooting, I went to a very dark place…but God saved my life.”

“I had too much pride to go home, but my father had enough love to come to where I was and bring me back.”

“I have never heard him say a disrespectful thing…I know God because my father lives a Godly life.”

“I thank God for such a Godly example in my father.”

“Thanks to Bishop Charles Edward Blake, I can see a future…We just want to thank you and Lady Mae for who you have been in our lives. We love you.”

The Presiding Bishop Speaks 

“A group of young ministers came to me to ask that I impart wisdom from my decades in ministry. This conference was not my idea.”

“Your church can be bigger than you’ve ever dreamed it could be.”

“Acts 18:8 – Many Corinthians heard and believed…You have many people in your city: you just have to speak the Word, and believe.”

“Your community ought to know that your church is there.”

“If the President can run the whole country, you can run, and minister to, a big church…Isaiah 54:2.”

“I believe that the church should be a big ‘supermarket’ of services.”

“Don’t give up on the people who are against you…They can turn out to be supporters for life.”

“Pastors, release your wife! She’s your most valuable asset. No one loves you more than she does.”

“Tell 5 people: ‘There’s no limit to the size and magnitude of your ministry.’”

“It’s God, it’s God, it’s God!”

The Afternoon Session concluded with a lively and informative panel discussion which showcased the wisdom of West Angeles’ COO, Gladys Ross; Executive Director of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation, Grant Power; West Angeles’ Director of Technology, Evan Farmer; and Coordinator of the West Angeles Technology Sector, Alex Stewart. The panel provided valuable information; panelists answered questions from the attendees on topics such as best hiring practices, finance, and social media platforms.

Bishop Jerry Macklin delivered the benediction, concluding Day 1 of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference.


There’s still time!  Attend the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference!  Onsite registration for Day 2 is available at the North Campus Sanctuary starting at 7:30 AM on Thursday, March 17th.

DVDs of the Bishop CE Blake Legacy Conference is now available for pre-order! Details to come on Westa.org.

SERMON: Bishop Blake Says “Use Your Badge”

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In his March 13, 2016 sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. reminds us to use the power we have in Jesus Christ.

“I’ve got power that you can’t see; I can fight any enemy, because God and me are a majority!” preached Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. during his March 13 sermon, encouraging the congregation to use the badge of power and strength found only through Jesus Christ.

Before the sermon, Bishop Blake, who’d just returned from delivering fresh water to residents in Flint, MI, shared the scripture from Luke 17 about 10 men who begged Jesus to heal them of leprosy as He traveled to Jerusalem.

“They called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ begging him to heal their bodies of leprosy. They were cleansed; cured at the Word of Jesus Christ. Nine of them rushed in the opposite direction of their families of their jobs. But one of them said, ‘I’ve got to go back and thank God for what He’s done for me.’

“Thank you for being great and for doing great things. Give thanks,” added Bishop Blake. “God does great things…We are blessed.”

This entire service and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do…If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” –  John 14:13-14

“A deputy is a person appointed as substitute; with the power to act. It is an impressive thing when you read the scriptures that imply that we are deputies of God and of his son Jesus Christ.”

“All these privileges…powers and rights are conferred upon believers; and you cannot confer authority upon others unless you have established authority within yourself. Our authority comes from God.”

“If Jesus could master death, there’s nothing Jesus cannot do; there’s nothing that Jesus cannot master.”

“I am what the Bible says I am; can do what the Bible says I can do.”

“Jesus Christ gives us our badges. Our badges imply that we are empowered and authorized to act on His behalf.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Hello, deputy! You’re authorized to act on behalf of Jesus Christ!’”

“Are you washed in the blood? Are your garments white?”

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – Luke 10:19 (KJV)

“There are some who try to impersonate officers of the law. They will paint their cars as close to that of a police officer as they can, putting on some kind of phony uniform, trying to act like they are an officer of the law. But listen…trying to act like an officer does not make you a policeman.”

“There are some conditions around us that will not yield until we command them in the name of Jesus!”

“Individuals respect the badge to the degree that they respect the power behind the badge.”

“Is there anybody in here who needs to change their situation? Is there anybody who knows that God can change things?”

“People and devils will not respond to us. But when we go forth in the name and the power of Jesus Christ, we can change our situation.”

“God can change things. Is there anybody who’s a witness?”

“Samson was guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer of the law. He laid his head on the wrong lap, and sought after pleasure, rather than the will of God.…he woke up one night and shook himself, but the power was gone. The anointing was gone. God had confiscated his badge.”

“I don’t care what you have. If you don’t have love, you have nothing.”

“If God can love you, if god can have favor on you, if God can forgive you, then you ought to be willing to forgive your bother in the name of Jesus.”

“Don’t try to walk the earth on your own authority.”

“The word is power!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“You are an agent of the Kingdom. Grab your neighbor by the hand and say, ‘You are somebody. Don’t live beneath your privilege.’”

“If you’re a saved person, you’ve got authority.”

“Don’t let problems discourage you.”

“Sometimes our answer is detained; sometimes the miracle we want does not happen right away.  But I just came by to tell you that He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be right on time.”

“Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your badge. God will show up in your life. Halelluiah!”

“Our God is a mighty God. Our God can do anything.”

“The power of your authority is in the Word of God.”

“The Lord said, ‘I’m not just going to give you authority, I’m going to give you power! The Holy Ghost is your back-up!’”

“Holy Ghost power is what we need in this day and time. Raise your hands and say, ‘Lord, I need your power! I need your might! I need your anointing!’”

“Child of God, stretch out your hand and say, ‘Father, I stretch my hand to thee. No other help I know. If you withdraw your help from me, where will I go?’”

“Use your badge!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“If you hold up your badge, Jesus will show up!”

“Use your badge in the face of your troubled marriage…Tell the devil, you can’t have my marriage. Devil…step aside you’re under arrest!”

“Sickness in your body, but use your badge and claim your healing.”

“There might be a habit that’s controlling you, but if you use your badge God will give you control over it.”

“Prayer is the key to the kingdom, and faith unlocks the door.”

“If you stand on the word, the devil has got to back up and step aside in the name of Jesus!”

“If you’ve got a message for the devil, write it on the bottom of my shoe, because the devil is under my feet!”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I’ve got angels all around me!’”

“I command you, Satan: take up your weapons and get out of here! The Holy Ghost is here! Power is here! Deliverance is here!”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Hold on! You’ve got the victory: in the name of Jesus…Come on and say it: ‘In the name of Jesus! Be set free! The Lord is here, and when the Lord shows up, everything is alright!’”

“You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You are an agent of the Kingdom!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 14:12-14, 16:15; Luke 9:1, Mark 16:15-17, Matthew 10:1-7; Luke 10:19, Matthew 16:19, 18:20, 10:40; Ephesians 6:16, Exodus 12:23, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Revelations 1:5, Matthew 6:31, Acts 19:13, Luke 9:23, John 13:34, Judges 16, Daniel 10, Hebrews 14:12, Matthew 22:29, Ephesians 3:20, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:31, Acts 4:13-31, Jeremiah 33:3, Daniel 3:19-26, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:7, Isaiah 40:31.


Only 2 more days before the start of the Bishop C.E. Blake LEGACY CONFERENCE.  Please click HERE to register today!

 

SERMON: When Faith Becomes Frustrated

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For the last Sunday Sermon for 2015 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, visiting Pastor Joseph A. Connor asks us to keep praising God through our frustrations.

Pastor Joseph A. Connor used the story of Jesus’ visit with Mary and Martha in Luke 10 as the basis of his sermon titled, When Faith Becomes Frustrated. 

“The apostle Paul said, ‘I want to know Him,’” said Pastor Connor before the Sunday evening sermon, “and that’s what our objective should be: to know God beyond the limit. The end of the year should be a time to look back and see what God has done, to see how far God has brought us from. And hasn’t God brought us from a mighty long way?”  

Added Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., “Martha’s faith was frustrated, but she said to Mary, ‘Jesus is talking. That’s more important than anything on the face of the earth…and He might not be here tomorrow.  I just want to worship Him and praise Him.’”

“Praise Jesus for who He is,” said Bishop. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve come here to praise Him!  I want God to move in my life; I want to know  Him beyond the limit! Take the limit off God. My God can do anything but fail!”

This entire sermon and many others are available HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand.  Highlights from the sermon follow:

“No matter how much we love Jesus, or how sincere we are in our service to others, there are times – if we’re honest – when our faith becomes frustrated.”

“It has been said that everybody needs a friend.”

“Could any of us truly have gone through what Jesus went through?”

“Life in the spotlight…can be a lonely road. Living under the constant scrutiny of the public is a demanding and sometimes demeaning lifestyle.”

“We need companions with whom we can be ourselves…friends who have no hidden agenda.”

“Even Jesus needed human friends: and so do the rest of us” – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“Most of us don’t have real friends. We have friendly enemies.”

“A friend loveth at all times. A friend can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“Even Jesus needed human friends, and so do the rest of us.”

“It’s nice to be with somebody with whom you can be yourself.”

“Whatever we as God’s children do, we should do it with pride and with style.”

“Whether pushing a broom or serving a table: whatever we do represents not only us, but the God who made us.”

“The God I serve is first class!”

“Whatever we do, others should be aware that they are in the presence of one of God’s redeemed children.”

“Some of the biggest arguments in the church occur around the kitchen!”

“A friend can disagree without being disagreeable” – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“All of us at times become frustrated in our service.”

“Frustrated faith is faith that is out of character – and all of us can act out of character at times.”

“When faith becomes frustrated, we lose the joy of serving and and even living for God.”

“I have a difficult time understanding how you can speak in tongues and not speak to me.”

“Faith can become frustration when we feel that, while we do the work, others receive the recognition.”

“When you are frustrated, you may work your fingers to the bone.”

“Some of us have come to the end of 2015…not able to accept the different ways that others serve Jesus.”

“Jesus’ heart is big enough that there is room in the Kingdom of God and in the church for both the Marys and the Marthas”

“We need Marthas to teach us to speak the truth, and we need Marys to remind us to hold our peace.”

“Jesus calls on us to be Mary and Martha”  – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“Jesus not only points us to Calvary, but also to Gethsemane.”

“Don’t let your frustration keep you from praising God.”

“He’s done too much  for me to let my frustrations quench my spirit.”

“When faith loses it’s hope, do what David says, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’”

“I think we ought to give God some praise! We ought to make some noise in here!”

“My high school teacher told my mother I was not college material. But because my mother said to me ‘You are college material’…I got a Bachelor’s Degree….I got a Master’s Degree…I got a Doctorate…I’ve got reason to give God praise. If you’re really thankful for what God has done for you, thank Him for everything and shout Hallelujah!

“Give Him the glory!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Luke 10:38-42, Psalm 23:5-6, Psalm 100:1-4.

Pastor Joseph A. Conner is the pastor of New Beginnings Sanctuary of Praise Church of God in Christ in West Philadelphia. He is the chief adjutant and personal secretary to Bishop Benjamin J. Ravened, Sr. of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.  Pastor Connor founded a successful after-school program for boys which has served as a model for similar programs in the West Philadelphia area. He is also employed as a social worker for the Philadelphia Prison System. A graduate of Antioch University of Pennsylvania, Conner also attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia He holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree.

Conner is the proud husband to June Conner and the father of Jasmin and Joseph, Jr.

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Praise the New Year in with West Angeles! Please join Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr, dynamic Evangelist Missionary Joyce Rodgers, the West Angeles Mass Choir, and other special guests for Watch Night Service at the West Angeles at the Cathedral, December 31 at 10 p.m. 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016.

Please join us for the Afterglow Breakfast! We’re having breakfast in the Crystal Room immediately following Watch Night Service, 12:30-2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2016.  Cost: $10 per person. West Angeles North Campus, 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016. See you then!

Why Did God Choose the Shepherds?

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As a prelude to Christmas, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. looks at the many ways in which God chooses those He blesses.

“We’re approaching Christmas, and we’re excited about all the wonderful things which are taking place here at West Angeles. I hope you’ll be involved in all of them,” said Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., in regard to upcoming Holiday events including Christmas at the Cathedral. “But as we approach Christmas, I want to look at an aspect of the story of our Savior’s birth (in Luke 2). Of all the people who God might have invited, the only group He informed was a group of lowly shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

“Now, you might say, ‘What about the wise Men?’, said Bishop, “and I would agree with you to a degree, but the Wise Men were not chosen like the shepherds were chosen.”

In this sermon, Bishop Blake gives us several reasons which explain why God invited the shepherds to witness the arrival of Jesus Christ to the world, and reveals the ways in which we can get God to choose us too. “If God can choose shepherds, he can choose anyone: and God has chosen you”.

See the entire sermon HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand.  Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Earth was about to receive a visitor from outer space. Never before had such a visit taken place…This was a visit from the Lord of the universe, to a remote solar system, in a single galaxy, on a single speck in the universe called the earth.”

“Over the centuries, divine proclamations, prophetic predictions, and the whole flow of earthly affairs all pointed to the moment when this visit would take place.”

“The significance of the moment cannot be overstated or over emphasized.”

“The time of His coming had long since been determined but the issue before the divine council was, ‘Who was to be told of the birth of the Christ child? Upon whom should we place the honor of being the first recipients of that wonderful news?’”

“This was a choice that people did not get to make. This was a choice that God Himself made. Some choices God reserves for Himself. Some choices people don’t get to make.”

“I’m glad that God doesn’t leave the important decisions about me up to people, because people can love you today and hate you tomorrow.”

“People have their own agendas. They have their own inner conflicts their own dilemmas. What they decide about you doesn’t always have anything to do with you.”

“I’m glad God chooses”– Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The Bible lets me know what kind of God he is. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, He’s wise, He’s Holy, He’s just, He’s unchanging, and He’s merciful and forgiving.”

“You might not agree, but God loves me!”

“Before the story started, God has already written the script of my life from the beginning to the ending. All I have to do now is play my role.”

“God will bring it to pass.”

“Romans 8:28 tells us how it turns out for folks that are chosen by God.”

“Your only memory of elementary school might be the memory of not being chosen to play on the team or to be involved in the activity…but if God chooses you, you win.”

“According to my reading in the Word of God, the only individuals who received a direct heavenly announcement about the birth of Jesus Christ…an invitation to come and worship Him was a group of shepherds.”

Wise men always seek Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“’Pursue’ was the key word for the wise men. No mention is made of any heavenly vision that came to the wise men…but they were sensitive to the Divine, and they were hungry for God.”

“They were wise men, not according to the wisdom of the world, but according to true wisdom. Wise men always seek Jesus.”

“God had chosen the Jews to be the vehicles of his revelation. The Old Testament was given to the Jews; Jesus was sent to the Jews…but these wise men were not Jews.”

“The wise men had a sincere respect for the things of God, so they diligently pursued Biblical knowledge and wisdom, and studied the heavens and acted upon their discoveries. But the shepherds had a heavenly vision, a divine visitation.”

“It may not be your turn. It may not be your time, but if you seek God with all your heart, God can move you to the front of the line.”

“Child of God, hold on ‘til you get your blessing; hold on to your miracle. You might have to go out of your way, you might have to travel along distances, you might have to travel beyond yourself to get what God has in store for you. But if you press on, God will hear your prayer.’

“I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, and before I leave here today, I shall be filled.”

“If you don’t get an invitation to the Holy Ghost party, show up anyhow and get your miracle!”  – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God said, ‘If I choose the rich folk, if I choose the highly educated folk, if I choose the folk that everybody expects me to choose, I won’t get the glory for what I do in their lives. They’ll get the glory.”

“It was not me, it was God who did the work!”

“God reaches for humble people.”

“God loves to go ‘outside the box’ to make His choices.”

“God was on a roll; He was in the groove, He had it going on!”

“Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you don’t have what other folks have. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you don’t have a PhD or a Masters. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you’re not in their crowd. This might be the day that God has chosen to Bless your crowd!”

“Even if it’s not your day, prayer and faith can move you to the front of the line”

“God will not share His glory. God will not share His praise.”

“The more He does for you, the more you ought to praise Him.”

“God chose shepherds because He wanted everybody to know that they are important unto Him.”

“If everybody’s important to God, everybody ought to be important to you” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Men look on the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart! Hallelujah!”

“I know there’s a $500 suit on his back, I know there’s a $700 pair of shoes on his feet, a $100,000 car in his driveway…but don’t look at all that. You’d better look at the heart.”

“If you’re not careful, you might find somebody who’ll say, ‘Play Misty For Me.’ Uh huh.”

“Everything that looks good is not good.”

“There are too many people that want folk to give to them, rather than giving to folk. There are too many people that want people to serve them, rather than serving people. But it’s what you do for Christ that’s going to last.”

“God chose the shepherds because he knew what kind of people they were. He knew they would obey and go. He knew that they would testify and give Him praise.”

“If you want God to bless you, you’ve got to be willing to go when God says ‘Go!’”

“I don’t know about you, but wherever God is working, I want to be in on it.”

“If you don’t have time for Jesus, you don’t have time to be Blessed by Almighty God.”

“If God can choose shepherds, He can chose anyone” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Praise Him because He walked by a millionaire, a King, and a ‘high and mighty,’ and reached way down and got you!”

“I’m glad that the Lord saved me!”

“God loves for us to testify and tell men about Jesus.”

“Let’s lift Jesus up. He chose you to be a witness. He chose you to serve Him to do His will. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to tell everyone about my savior!”

“Stand up in this place and give God praise!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Luke 2:7-20, John 1:1-14, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:1-17, Romans 8:28, Numbers 24:17, Matthew 15:22-28, 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, 1 Samuel 16, Mark 16:15, Psalm 34:1-3, Psalm 100:2-4, Matthew 5:6.

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EXCITING CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY EVENTS ARE UNDERWAY AT WEST ANGELES! Please click HERE for more information on CHRISTMAS AT THE CATHEDRAL, WATCH NIGHT SERVICE and more.

SHOP THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM for all of your Christmas shopping needs.

Visit us at:

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Bishop Blake: The Story of Scheherazade

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Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. discusses the myth of Scheherazade, and the story of a loving God who enhances the lives of those who please Him.

Let me tell you about a fascinating myth from Ancient Eastern literature. There was an insanely enraged King in Central Asia, around the 9th century AD, named King Shahryār. King Shahryār hated women because the first woman he married was unfaithful to him every time he left the royal city. To dissuade his anger, he had her put to death. He then married a new woman every day, immediately sentencing her to death, and executing her shortly thereafter.

All the single women in the kingdom were overwhelmed with fear and terror, because each of them felt their day was soon to come. But there was one young lady, the daughter of a Chief Executive Officer; her name was Scheherazade. Scheherazade felt that she had a strategy that would not only save her life, but would also save the lives of all the rest of the women in the kingdom. But in order to execute her strategy, she would have to marry the King. She begged her father to permit her to do so, and finally her father, feeling that she was a creative young lady, consented to the marriage.

After the wedding, everyone was depressed about what they knew would happen next. But to their amazement, the King and Scheherazade went into the chamber, came out the next day, and Scheherazade was still alive! As a matter of fact, the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that she was still alive.

The people were overjoyed, but they still had questions about Scheherazade’s survival. It was then discovered that on their wedding night, she began to tell the King a fascinating story. And just at the most dramatic moment of the story, she said, “I can’t go any further tonight. I’ll finish the story tomorrow night.”

The King was enthralled. He was so interested in the next part of the story that he allowed her to live another day. Again, when she came to the end of the story, she immediately started another story, and again, paused at the most dramatic moment. So she lived on, night after night, until the King abandoned his plan, and ended the destruction of the women of the Kingdom. He enjoyed a lifetime full of stories, such as “Alibaba” and “Aladdin.” Those stories came to be collectively known as “The 1001 Arabian Nights Entertainment.”

Scheherazade preserved the lives of others. She was allowed to live because she created and fulfilled a King’s positive anticipation. She stimulated and satisfied all expectations, and was allowed to remain Queen because she touched a very special place where the goals and aspirations of a King resided.

CHRIST, OUR REDEEMER

This story bears striking resemblance to the story of man’s redemption. The first unfaithful wife reminds us of Adam and Eve, who, rather than trust and be faithful to God who provided everything for them, chose to trust and obey the devil. Because of this, they were at odds with God, and the disease of sin became embedded in their natures, and in the natures of all their descendants.

But along came a man called Jesus, who like Scheherazade, had the capacity to initiate a strategy that would result in His victory over sin and over death, victory not only for Himself, but also for all who would believe in Him. God the Son came to earth to reverse the effects of sin. He loves you too much to allow you to be destroyed. If you give God something to look forward to, God will keep you alive.

God loves a good story and he’s writing a good story about you.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 3, Matthew 28, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 16:7, Psalm 121:7.

SERMON: Give The Lord Something to Look Forward To

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“If we give Him thanks and praise, then that’s indicative to Him of what we’ll do for the rest of our lives…It’s not about fun and Holidays, it’s about thanking God.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Blake’s November 26 sermon for Thanksgiving drew inspiration from the book of Joshua chapter 14, where Caleb, who “had wholly followed the Lord” (v.8), came to Joshua to request the inheritance promised him.

But Bishop first told the story of Scheherazade, who saved the women of her Kingdom from destruction by entertaining her King with the “1001 Arabian Nights” stories.

“Christmas is on the way,” said Bishop Blake. “Maybe your heart is feeling heavy and you don’t know how you’re going to endure. I just came by to tell you that God loves you too much to allow you to be destroyed. If you’ll trust Him, God will bring you out.”

This entire sermon and many others are available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon “Give The Lord Something to Look Forward To” follow:

“Adam and Eve were blessed to be in the Garden of Eden…but rather than trusting and being faithful to God who loved them and who provided everything for them, they chose to trust and to obey the devil. And because of this, Adam and Eve lost the garden.”

“Along came a man called Jesus, who had the capacity to initiate a strategy that would result in His victory over sin and over death, and that victory would not only be for Him, but for all who believe in Him.”

“Jesus was a unique man because He was the Son of God…He pleased God, and he gave God something to look forward to.”

“Jesus not only died but He arose from the dead, and He made it possible for all those who believe in him to also rise from the dead.”

“The story that Jesus told was so good that it outweighs all the bad stories that characterize our lives.”

“Your bad story is not the end of the story” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Are there any free people in the house?”

“Those who have many friends are those who please people…those who become friends with God are the ones who give God something to look forward to.”

“God loves good stories.”

“God looks forward to productivity.”

“The more God does for you, the more God expects from you.”

“Bishop Ira Hilliard says, ‘Until you make an uncommon contribution in the earth, your existence is unnecessary.’”

“Obey God!”

“If you get involved with God’s purpose, if you obey God, then God goes into every area of your life and causes everything to work out for your good and for your benefit.”

“Obedience is essential to answered prayer.”

“Obedience to God will cause success and prosperity” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Giving is a way of showing we’re thankful to God.”

“If you don’t give, you’re not really thankful.”

“Without faith it’s impossible to please God.”

“We have to make up our minds to believe God and trust God.”

“God is still healing sick bodies and meeting needs feeding hungry folk. God is still opening doors”

“If God can’t do it, it can’t be done.”

“Jesus gave God something to look forward to” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Praise is the way we articulate our faith.”

“Say ‘Hallelujah,’ anyhow!”

“God is looking for somebody who will praise Him…when we thank Him and praise Him, God pours our Blessings in our lives.”

“If you want a Blessing, don’t wait until you get it. Praise God anyhow.”

“Do you have a different spirit?”

“You can’t die until the story that God has written has come to pass.”

“The greatest Being deserves the greatest praise.”

“Praise your way out of it! Praise your way through it!”

“Tell three people, ‘The Lord’s been good to me!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Joshua 14:10, John 8:28, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 8:36, Luke 12:48, Luke 13:69, Matthew 21:18, John 15:15, Proverbs 16:25, 1 John2:21, Proverbs 16:7, Romans 8:28, Philippians4:15-19, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 11:6, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Matthew 6:25-34, John 4:23-23, Numbers 13, Jeremiah 29:11

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH AN EVENING OF CHRISTMAS CHEER!  Please join us for “Christmas At The Cathedral” on Sunday, December 13th at 7PM, featuring Anthony Brown and Group Therapy. Please click HERE for more information on all of our Holiday events.  This event is FREE!

Spend the Holidays at WestA!

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You are cordially invited to celebrate The Holiday Season with Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake & The West Angeles Church of God in Christ at the following events:

Sunday, December 13 – Christmas At The Cathedral
The West Angeles Mass Choir will be featured with special guest Tasha Cobbs, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy. This evening of music will be hosted by George Wallace at 7 p.m. at the West Angeles Cathedral.

Sunday, December 20 – Christmas Sunday
The Music and Worship Arts Ministry will bless our hearts with joyful music in preparation for a powerful Word from our pastor as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Services at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Wednesday, December 23 – Candlelight Service
Come and experience the richness of this timeless presentation by Bishop Charles E. Blake. There will be sacred music from the West Angeles Music and Worship Arts Ministry along with special guests. This inspirational service will be held at the West Angeles North Campus at 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 31 – “Watch Night” New Year’s Eve Service
A time to reflect and praise our way into the New Year at the West Angeles Cathedral. Prayer begins at 9:00 p.m. and worship at 10 p.m.

Sunday, January 3, 2016 – New Year’s Day Service
Start the New Year right by coming to church. Special music, an anointed Word from Bishop Blake, Communion, and distribution of The Consecration Calendar will help you enter the New Year revived, refreshed, and ready!

Elder Richard Brooks Shares Practical Christian Wisdom

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In this edition of “The Elders’ Corner,” Elder Richard Brooks shares pearls of wisdom on purpose, understanding enemies, and allowing God to use our lives to Bless others.

Every strong faith, culture or society makes room for the impartation of wisdom from its Elders, and the Church of God in Christ is no exception. The Bible provides us with such wisdom, and the Elders of the church are among those who teach and pass on that wisdom to others.

Elder Richard L. Brooks was raised in the church, and has been infused with Biblical wisdom and COGIC tradition through his grandmother, through YPWW (COGIC’s Youth Training Union), and through Prayer & Bible Band, the oldest organized auxiliary in the Church of God in Christ. A quiet, humble man, Elder Brooks has always had a fascination with education and Christianity, and is always seeking words of wisdom in the Bible.

He now passes on generations of tradition and wisdom through his Sunday School classes, during New Members’ Orientation, and as Program Coordinator of West Angeles’ School of Practical Christian Living.

In this edition of The Elders’ Corner, we’re blessed to have Elder Richard L. Brooks share some pearls of wisdom with us.

ON PURPOSE

“A lot of people talk about having an experience with God, but they don’t have any experience because they don’t listen. They know what they want to do and they go after that…That’s the biggest mistake we make. We are taught to make that mistake.”

“You’d be surprised at how many people have no idea what they are called to do. And it’s simply because they have not sought the Lord.”

“We ask our children from the time they’re little, what do you want to be? What are you going to be when you get grown? We tell our children to decide what they want to be. We don’t teach our children to seek the Lord. We don’t do that…we do not do that.”

“Children…they don’t know what they’re capable of…only God knows.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea. A good idea, anybody can do it. But a God idea…only the person God gives it to can do it, because He only gives you a part of it at a time.”

“God will say, ‘Do this,’ and you do it, then it comes to a standstill. You can’t go further because you don’t know what to do. Then sometimes you say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll try to do this over here’ – but it don’t work. God does not give you the whole program.”

ON OBEYING GOD

“The Lord is ‘hinkty!’ If He tells you something, and you don’t appreciate it enough to get up and write it down, He’ll let you forget it, and all you’ll have is the knowledge that ‘The Lord told me something…and I can’t remember what it was!’ You know that it’s something that you need, because every now and then, way down the line, you’ll hear it again.”

“God is telling you, ‘When I give you something, write it down!’ When He said (in Habakkuk 2:2), ‘Write the vision; make it plain, so that those who read it may run…,’ the Lord’s not in the business of telling us things just so we can forget it. God has something He is trying to tell us.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“You have to stay in harmony with what God’s doing, because if you get out of harmony with what He’s doing, He’ll quit, and you’ve got nothing, because it all came from Him.”

“It’s important that we remember what the Lord tells us because God knows that the devil is waiting…just waiting…”

ON ENEMIES

“You’ll run into people who look at your success, and they’ll think it’s you, and they don’t realize it’s God. They want to tap into it. ‘Oh, I want to do that.’ But you can’t give them what you’ve got because it was given to you.”

“You’d be surprised at the enemies you’ll make while you’re busy working, trying to do what the Lord says. But somebody over there is plotting, setting you up to stab you in the back. It puts you in a position where you’re totally dependent on God.”

“When you get involved with the work of the Lord…you’re not going to be happy a lot of times. Folk will make you unhappy. They’re gonna see to it that you’re unhappy, because they’re unhappy. You’ve got to be able to throw that off and keep on going.”

ON HEAVEN

“People think when they get to Heaven, they’re gonna see the Holy Ghost. No, you ain’t gonna see the Holy Ghost…It’s a Spirit.”

“When Jesus said ‘I’m going to prepare a place for you’ – He said ‘a place,’ but it’s a body…’In my Father’s House there are many a mansions’… John said, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth coming down out of heaven.’ God don’t need Earth. He’s Spirit. Earth is natural. Christ is telling us…the people who need earth will have a body.”

“Paul talks about, ‘The mortal must put on the immortal’ bodies. You won’t be floatin’ around, eatin’ milk and honey!”

“Peter said, ‘Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and new earth wherein righteousness dwelleth.’ There’s something coming, but God doesn’t tell us. Paul said, ‘I saw it, but I can’t tell you. He won’t let me tell you.”

“Nothing that we can imagine approaches what God has prepared for them that love Him. It’s beyond our human imagination. If people are already jumping off bridges and taking poison trying to get there, imagine if we had an idea of what it would be like!”

“There are people who just want to end it all. But they don’t realize, you don’t end nothing. You’re gonna live forever. It’s where you’re gonna live that’s the thing.”

ON LIVING A CHRISTIAN LIFE

“Most of us don’t read the Bible because we don’t understand it. We read Psalms, but the Psalms don’t tell us a lot of things.”

“We’ve got to learn that just because we’re saved, we’re speaking in tongues, we love the Lord and so forth, it does not mean that we know what we need to do. We don’t know.”

“Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“Our will is not God’s Will. What we want to do 99.9% of the time is different than from what God wants us to do. Now, God will show us and tell us, and our reaction? ‘Ooooo, that’s going to hurt. I don’t know if I can do that!’”

“When you get in His Will, that’s when your life takes off. This is why Jesus said, ‘I do always those things to please My Father.’ It’s not our will, it’s God’s Will.”

“If you want the Lord to lead you, find out from Him what He wants you to do and you’ll be way up the line.”

“We must ask, ‘What does God want me to be? What does it take for me to be what the Lord wants me to be? How am I supposed to live and be a Christian?’ Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do. That’s Practical Christian Living.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 16:10-12, Isaiah 55:6-7, Habakkuk 2:2, John 8:29, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 21:1-2; John 14:1-4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 15:53; John 5:30.

Elder Richard Brooks is Program Coordinator for West Angeles’ Christian Education Department and its School of Practical Christian Living. A product of the Church of God in Christ, Elder Brooks acknowledged his call to ministry in 1953, preaching his first sermon that same year at Lockett Temple COGIC in Detroit, MI. He was ordained in 1967, and has served in various capacities within the Church of God in Christ, including District President of the Young People’s Willing Workers Department (YPWW), Pastor, and Sunday School Teacher, which he continues to do to this day. Elder Brooks encourages believers to practice Biblical concepts through daily application of its principles. He continues to direct, guide and serve the people of God through preaching, teaching, and living the Word.
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DO YOU WANT TO LEAD A ORE ENRICHED LIFE FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE? THE SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING (PCL) offers classes such as Integration of Faith, Community and Service, What Am I Called Of God To Do and more. Learn to be the best Christian you can be by applying biblical principles and practices to your everyday life. Join us for the next session! For more information call (323) 733-8300, Extension 2366.

108th CONVOCATION: Bishop Blake Officiates the Lord’s Day Worship Celebration

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Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. gave a compelling, inspirational sermon to bless the saints in attendance for The Lord’s Day Worship Celebration.

Second Assistant Presiding Bishop Jerry W. Macklin led the Sunday morning Convocation program at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO, on the final day of the 108th Annual COGIC Convocation on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Bishop Macklin declared, “Everything the devil has planned, God cancelled it right now!”

After the Affirmation of Faith and Scripture readings of the day were presented by COGIC General Board members, International Supervisor of Women Mother Willie Mae Rivers gave a wonderful greeting and recap of the week’s Convocation events. General Secretary Bishop J.H. Lyles presented the announcements for the Holy Communion Celebration and other remaining events later that evening, and for the General Assembly session scheduled for Monday, November 9.

Sunday’s musical selections included the C.H. Mason Memorial Choir’s powerful rendition of “What A Mighty God We Serve” led by Psalmist Sharon Jackson, the Sermonic selection, “My Help,” delivered with grace and elegance by operatic soprano Lady Audrey Dubois Harris, and the mighty COGIC anthem, sung by the Choir and the entire Convocation delegation, accompanied by the blowing of the shofar.

Bishop P.A. Brooks, First Vice President of the Church of God In Christ, gave a wonderful, insightful introduction and biography of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.:

“Spiritual and political crises,” Bishop Brooks began, “have functioned to produce new leadership for a given generation. During such periods, God raises up leaders to be sources of inspiration and witness…God anoints someone to be the voice of conscience for the voiceless, the widows, and the orphans…Thus, it is, in the strictest sense of the word, ‘a Calling,’ one that requires exceptional integrity, courage, and a wisdom that comes from above. In our time, we, the members of the Church of God In Christ, recognize and appreciate that God has raised up, from among us, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, a leader that the times demand.”

Presiding Bishop Blake presented awards, acknowledgements, and praises for every leader in the denomination, as well as Bishops and Ministers from other denominations who were in attendance. He shared with the delegation, “A battle is going on in this place today. The devil and all of his allies are joining together to try to stop you from receiving the Blessing that the Lord has in store for you, to stop you from receiving your miracle, to stop you from getting your healing…But I proclaim that you shall have victory over the enemy. This I going to be a time of healing! A time of Blessing! Clap your hands and give praise for what God is going to do in your life! Give Him Praise!”

Selections from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “God Has Your Back” follow:

”Isn’t it strange how when something we really depend on disappears, it almost seems that God Himself has disappeared?”

“At every point along the way, God gave the people a visible symbol of His presence, of His favor.”

“When God chooses a provision for His people or for an individual, it is, in a very special way, just what they need.”

“We don’t know what’s best for us. We need to learn how to allow God to lead, and let God do the choosing for us. The best prayer we can pray is, ‘Lord, Thy will be done.’ Any way You Bless me, I’ll be satisfied.”

“Some of us become filled with doubt and apprehension when God moves on us. We wonder, ‘Has God moved because I’ve committed some kind of sin? Has God moved because He’s angry? Am I being punished because of something I’ve done in the past?’ God has not moved because He’s angry. He’s not moved to punish you. God is a creative God. God is a God of infinite wisdom. There are times when God will do new things just because He’s God.”

“The greater the level to which He’s going to carry you, the greater the trial that the Lord is going to carry you through, to get you to that level He has in mind for you.”

“The further you intend to shoot the arrow, the more pressure you put on the bow” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“The Lord knows our capacity. He knows how much we can bear. When God stretches us back …and back, and back, then releases us, we go further than we’ve ever been able to go.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘You can bear it! You can take it!’”

“Sometimes God moves because we’re too manifestation-focused. We’ve got to learn to have faith in God and trust in God, even when there is no manifestation.”

“He’s God everywhere, and He’s God at all times.”

“When you see no signs of God’s presence, that sometimes means He’s nearer than He’s ever been before” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Is there anybody in here who sometimes wished they had somebody to watch their back?”

“If our enemies knew our past, they would use our past to destroy our future. God works behind us. He’s straightening it out in the name of Jesus.”

“This is my Bible. It is the Word of God. I am what it says I am. I’ve got what it says I’ve got. I can do what it says I can do. And my Bible says, ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me!’”

“God also goes behind us to show us some of the good things that He’s done for us in the past.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I can do it in the name of Jesus!’”

“Sometimes what we’re reaching for is the very thing we don’t need. God will snatch it away, that He might give us something better.”

“Sometimes our plans conflict with the plans of God” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Hold on until morning time!”

“Jesus humbled Himself. He humbled Himself unto death. Now God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that’s above every name. When you humble yourself and obey God, God will take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.”

“Neighbor, you may have to go through it, but I see you coming out in victory!”

“Don’t cry. If you cry, that’s a sign of unbelief!”

“When God moves behind you, keep on obeying the Word of God. Keep living holy, hold on unto the Lord!”

“Go forward! God does not want us to stop, just because our circumstances change. Things may change, but hold on to God.”

“As Bishop Jakes said, ‘It may be rough, but just keep on walking. It may be tough, but just keep on walking!”

“When God moves behind you, your past cannot destroy your future” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“’I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll, I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul. But I heard the voice of my Savior, telling me still to fight on, He promised, oh, He promised, never to leave me, never to leave me alone’ [1]. Tell two people, ‘Never, never alone! God has your back!”

“Your God is fighting for you!”

“God has your back! God is all around you! God will take care of you! It’s alright!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 14:15-21, 12:37, 13:20; Isaiah 52:12, 43:19; Job 23:3, Micah 7:19, Psalm 34:19, 2 Timothy 3:12, Psalm 30:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 54:17, Deuteronomy 28:2-3, Psalm 23:6.

[1] Hymn, “Never Alone”, Anonymous/Unknown, pub.1892. Copyright, public domain.

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