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SERMON: Give The Lord Something to Look Forward To

“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!

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Spend the Holidays at WestA!

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!

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Elder Richard Brooks Shares Practical Christian Wisdom

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.

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

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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SERMON: Uleses C. Henderson, “There’s A Miracle On the Other Side of Your Storm”

As hurricane season commences around the United States, storms and strong winds cause many to lose power, while floods leave many others stranded. But as Elder Uleses C. Henderson preached to the West Angeles congregation on October 11, 2015:

“Your ship may be battered, your stern may be compromised. Your rudder may be broken, your sail may be ripped to shreds. But I just want to encourage you this morning to hang in there. Stay in the ship, don’t go overboard because Help in on the way.”

Elder Uleses Henderson is general counsel of the Church of God in Christ, and partner at One LLP, a Los Angeles law firm which provides a broad range of intellectual property advisory and litigation services in areas such as patents, trademarks, copyright, entertainment and new media. He is on the Board of the Jubilee Broadcasting Network, and is also a quarterly columnist for COGIC’s Whole Truth Magazine. Elder Henderson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, an Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School, where he also served as executive editor of the Loyola Law Review.

Elder Henderson’s sermon “There’s A Miracle On the Other Side of Your Storm” can be found HERE, on West Angeles’ Gospel on Demand.

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“We are all survivors of some kind of shipwreck, and we have all experienced storms.”

“What matters is not the storm, but what you do in the midst of the storm.”

“Storms are a part of life.”

“Every storm will eventually run out of rain. Look at somebody and tell them, ‘Your storm is almost over.’”

“Hearing God’s Word is intended to produce faith, and faith must always be tested.”

“It’s one thing to see a miracle. It’s another thing to need a miracle.”

“Jesus wanted to teach…how to live not just in a storm, but through a storm.”

“What matters is not the storm, but what you do in the midst of the storm.” – Elder Uleses C.Henderson

“The seeds of faith that Jesus planted…had to be tested before they could be trusted.”

“Satan doesn’t care how big the bible is that you tote, how many scriptures you can quote. Satan doesn’t care if you hear the Word, so long as you don’t live by the Word.”

“Unbelief produces fear.”

“Faith is not just asking and receiving. Faith is trusting God despite the outcome.”

“In order to survive the storm, the first thing you must do is rely on His promise.”

“When God gives you a command and a destination, He’ll always make and give you a promise.”

“You may be holding onto broken pieces of your life; broken dreams, broken relationships. You may be hanging by a wing and a prayer, but hold on anyhow!”

“Where you are, is not who you are.”

“If God sends you into a storm, He’ll never send you by yourself. He’ll always get into the storm with you.”

“If God brings you to a storm, He’s already given a strategy to get you through the storm.”

“If God sends you into a storm…He’ll always get into the storm with you.” – Elder Uleses C. Henderson

“Somebody here today has been thrown into the fire, but look at your neighbor and tell your neighbor, ‘I may have been thrown in bound, but I’m coming out loosed!’ God uses the fire to destroy the things that have held you bound.”

“Life is not determined by what has happened to you. Life is determined by what God has said about you.”

“God has spoken to us and given us some dreams and some visions. He’s told us to start businesses. He’s said go forth in ministry. He has told some of us to go back to school.”

“What I’ve learned about the film industry is that you don’t cut a trailer until the film is already finished. God has already given some of us a preview of things to come.…Tell yourself, ‘My script is already written!’”

“A faith that can’t be tested is a faith that can’t be trusted.”

“If prayer is the engine, then faith is the transmission.”

“Faith puts into action in the earthly realm what God has already performed in the spirit realm.”

“It’s already done!”

“Our greatest problems are not around us, but within us. It’s the spirit of unbelief.”

“If you want to make it through the storm, then you need to take God at His Word.”

“It takes a storm to know that God is a healer. It takes a storm to know that God is a deliverer…He is our refuge and our strength because it takes a storm to answer the questions about who God really is.”

“Faith requires trust in God: not just in some things, but in all things.”

“Get in the boat with Christ!” – Elder Uleses C.Henderson

“Faith is the only way to stop the devil from stopping you.”

“You don’t have to wait until the battle is over, you can shout right now.”

“Same God right now, same God back then.”

“You already have on the inside of you what you need to handle any storm.”

“When we’re going through a storm, some of us look to our family and friends: those who lack the ability to affect change in our situation. Some of us look to our internal ability; our intellect…our money: only to discover that some storms we’re just not equipped to handle.”

“Somebody needs to look at their situation and tell it to ‘Sit down and to shut up!’”

“A storm represents a changing of season…God told me to tell you that your storm is almost over, and your miracle season is on the way. And what comes after a storm? The rainbow: a sign and a promise from God.”

“Is there anybody here who will lift up the name of Jesus; who will praise God through your circumstance? He’s going to bring you out of the storm: come on and give God the praise!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Mark 4:34-39, John 16:33, Mark 3:14, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 34, Philippians 1:6, Isaiah 43:2, Daniel 3:25, Genesis 37, Romans 10:17, Hebrews 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 25:15, Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Romans 5:3-4, , Romans 8:28, Mark 6, Psalm 23:4, James 1:8, John 15:7, Psalm 1:3, Is 59:19, Psalm 145, 1 John 4:4, Mark 1:25, Genesis 1, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 30:5, Mark 5:1-20.

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SERMON: Reverend Albert C. Macklin IV says, “I’m a Survivor”

The West Angeles congregation was on its feet for the anointed man of God, Reverend Albert C. Macklin IV, who preached the spirit-filled, October 4, 2015 message, “I’m A Survivor.”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. introduced the guest speaker for West Angeles Church of God in Christ’s 8 a.m. service, Reverend Albert C. Macklin IV.

Reverend Macklin, who was born with glaucoma and has been blind since 1998, celebrated, in his opening remarks, the leadership and integrity of Presiding Bishop Blake.

“Bishop Blake leads us in our great fellowship of churches worldwide…One thing the Lord has blessed us with is leadership that shows us what can be done. Our Bishop is a man of excellence, a man that has put in the time in the Kingdom of God, a demonstration to Pastors everywhere to look what you can do when you have faith in God.”

“Just touch somebody and tell ‘em, ‘Sometimes you have to speak victory during your test,’” Bishop Macklin sang mightily. “Tell your neighbor, ‘I’ve got a story to tell. I’ve got a testimony!’”

The entire October 4 2015 sermon, titled, “I’m A Survivor” is available on West Angeles’ Gospel On Demand.

“When you look at being a survivor…a survivor is one who has gone through great turmoil, gone through great crisis…great tragedies or dilemmas, traumas, situations, drama in their life. And at the end of the journey… they’re still living. They’re able to declare that they are a survivor.’”

“You have survived because you have learned some practices that enable you to declare, ‘I made it!’”

“A survivor…conditions themselves to make it through stormy weather, bad conditions, to make it through what the average person wouldn’t be able to handle.”

“When you look at a survivor, they condition their mind. They condition their spirit just to be able to sustain them to the end of the journey.”

“Surviving really has to do with your mind and your spirit” – Reverend Albert C. Macklin, IV

“We must be sensitive to the spirit. Church, we’ve got to learn how to have a sensitive ear to the spirit of God.”

“It’s the Spirit of God and the sensitivity of our hearts, which will minister to us in our ‘right now’ situation.”

“I hear Shirley Caesar sing that great song, ‘Lord, Please Don’t Move My Mountain’…There are some things you’re gonna have to learn how to tunnel through.”

“There’s some situation you’ve been praying for God to move, but God said, ‘I’m trying to teach you about Myself…I’m trying to teach you My Word, about My Power.’”

“A lot of us want God to be a ‘right now’ God, but I want you to know, God is not always a ‘right now’ God.”

“You’ve gotta learn to hang on in there through whatever storm may come.”

“You cannot be connected to everybody and to God at the same time” -Reverend Albert C. Macklin, IV

“A lot of times we cannot hear because of the interference. What you’re dealing with in the spiritual realm is called ‘spiritual warfare.’”

“One of the greatest areas of spiritual warfare that the believer is faced with is interference from other people.”

“You’ve got to learn that if you’re going to make it through this turmoil…you cannot be connected to everybody and to God at the same time.”

“There’s some people you’re connected to that are messing up your journey and your testimony…because there’s a transferring of spirits.”

“You’ve got to learn that it’s alright to hang out by yourself sometimes.”

“How you gonna have victory, when you’re connected to folks who are defeated?”

“How you gonna show me how to be big when little got you?” Reverend Albert C. Macklin, IV

“If don’t nobody else wanna go, you go, because God’s spoke to you.”

“You cannot look for everybody to go where God has not spoken them to.”

“Wherever God directs you to, He will protect you.”

“If you hang on in there, God’s got a way of turning things around!”

“When you’re going through the storm, remember, there is a name. And that name is Jesus.”

“I believe God!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Acts 27:41-44, Proverbs 23:7, Psalm 46:5, Revelation 3:6.

Reverend Albert C. Macklin, IV is a COGIC son. Born the son of a COGIC pastor, he is also the brother of the Second Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God In Christ, Bishop Jerry Macklin. He received a Master’s Degree in Theology from San Jose Christian College in 2004, and is an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician, and gospel recording artist.

After the passing of his father, Pastor Albert C. Macklin III, Reverend Macklin was appointed Senior Pastor of Sweet Home Temple of Deliverance in Palo Alto, CA. He has served as Sr. Executive Pastor’s Administrative Assistant, Dean of COGIC Christian Education, and many other positions within the Northern California jurisdiction.

Born with glaucoma, Reverend Macklin lost sight in one eye in 1994, and in the other in 1998, but he remains a persevering, faithful servant of the Lord. He is the husband of Lady Evelyn Macklin; a proud father of four wonderful children, and is dedicated to a life of prayer and holiness.

Reverend Macklin lives by the principle, “My way is made, my need is met, and the door is open unto me. I believe God.”

Hear Inez Andrews sing, “Lord Don’t’ Move My Mountain” below:

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Inez Andrews’ version of “Lord Don’t Move My Mountain” made it to #48 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1973.
  • Inez Andrews was referred to as “the last great female vocalist of gospel’s golden age,” by the New York Times in 2012.
  • Fellow member from The Caravans, Pastor Shirley Caesar, once dubbed Inez Andrews as “The High Priestess” for her ability to hit high notes. She also once stated, “there never was and never will be another voice like Inez Andrews.”
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SERMON: Bishop Blake says, “God Has Your Back”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. offers words of encouragement, hope, and fortitude in difficult times in his September 13, 2015 sermon titled, “God Has Your Back.”

“One of the greatest joys of my life was early in the administration of Barack Obama,” Bishop Blake explained. “I was able to have a private meeting with the President in the oval office and sit and talk to him, and to be in his presence and to let him know how much I appreciated the opportunity. What had been set aside for a 15-minuute conference turned out to be a 1-hour conference, and as long as I live I’ll never forget sitting in the Oval Office, talking to Barack Obama.

“But I’ve got a greater honor for you today. We have the privilege of coming into God’s house, sitting before Him, lifting our hands to our Almighty God, letting him know how much we love Him and appreciate Him.

“What a privilege it is to worship God. God of miracles is here. God of power is here. God that is able to go inside your psyche, inside mind, your spirit, and set things right…Clap your hands and give praise to God!”

Bishop Blake’s full sermon titled “God Has Your Back” and the entire September 13, 2015 service is available HERE, on West Angeles Video On Demand. Highlights from this mighty and inspirational sermon follow:

“What do you do when your expectations crash on the rocks of despair…What do you do when it seems that God has changed His mind about you?”

“Sometimes God can so Bless us that we think we’re in some kind of special category of Blessing…Then on the other hand, sometimes it seems that God begins to snatch back Blessings formerly given to us.”

“Sometimes it seems that God does not behave like we expected God to behave.”

“I’m hearing from a lot of people who feel that God was just not there when they needed Him. They experienced repossession…foreclosure…death of a loved one or loss…Under circumstances like these, some people begin to wonder, ‘Where is God when I need Him?’”

“What God has provided for you is just what you need.”

“Learn to allow God to lead. Learn to allow God to choose what He chooses for you. The best prayer you can pray is ‘Thy Will be done.’”

“When you can see a miracle, it’s easy to believe God for another miracle.”

“There’s always an ‘after a while.’”

“Some people may begin to wonder, ‘Where is God when I need Him?’” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Isn’t it amazing how the things that we escape from try to recapture us and entangle us again?”

“Have you ever been in that place where you needed to feel the presence and the anointing of God in a special way? Jesus went through that kind of time.”

“When God moves, some people interpret ‘move’ to be ‘leave.’”

“You know, most people don’t do ‘different’ very well.”

“I’ve got a word of encouragement for you today. I’ve got a word of Hope…God has not moved to punish you. Sometimes God just moves because He’s God.”

“Sometimes God moves to develop unexposed powers and abilities …within us. He wants us to trust Him, to expand into a new area, give us a new testimony. Sometimes God wants to bring glory to Himself in a special way. Sometimes he moves just because he wants to test our faith.”

“The greater the level to which an individual is to rise, the greater the trial God takes that person through” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God does not change in his essential nature. God never changes in His purpose. But he changes in the methods and in the processes by which He perfects His children.”

“God’s trying to make something out of you.”

“God, I can’t see it. I can’t feel it. But I’m going to praise you anyhow!”

“Sometimes we need somebody to watch our back…God has your back.”

“Sometimes you can see God best by looking back.”

“Sometimes God goes behind you because there are things in your past trying to recapture you.”

“The devil always wants to remind you of your past.”

“You are not what was done to you…Stop holding on to that pain…Stop focusing on those kinds of memories that poison your present and poison your future.”

“Sometimes you can see God best by looking back”  – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God’s gonna help you get over it.”

“Child of God, you can go out onto the back porch of your life and see where God has brought you from.”

“If you knew what God has in store for you, you’d be jumping and shouting and praising the Lord!”

“God will never leave you.”

“Lord, I thank you…you’ve been so good to me! Hallelujah!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 14:19-31; Isaiah 52:12; Exodus 12:37-38; 13:20-22, Matthew 27:46; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 54:17; Deuteronomy 28:2-3; Psalm 23:6; Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Psalm 34:7.

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Elders Corner: Elder Graves on Christian Stewardship

As a part of our Elders Corner series, Elder Wilfred Graves Jr. explains what it means to be a Christian servant and how through stewardship, God allows us to be a partner in moving forward His mission on earth.

West Angeles Church has moved into a season in which God is challenging each of us to move to a greater level of commitment. The theme for 2015 is:

“Christ’s extreme sacrifice calls for our extreme commitment” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).

The Lord desires for us to commit every area of our lives to Him. This commitment includes our time, talents, finances, and other resources. All of these are gifts from God, and He wants us to use what He has given us for His glory and purposes.

The faithful and responsible use of God’s gifts is called Christian stewardship. In the Bible, a steward is one who is entrusted with the possessions of another. In the Gospels, a steward is a servant who is to manage the affairs of the master. The steward does not own the possessions; he/she is responsible for handling them in a wise manner. Christians are stewards over what God has given us. God owns everything (Psalm 24:1) and He entrusts us to handle His possessions with the utmost care (Genesis 1:26).

Partnering with God
The fact that God has entrusted us to manage His resources means that He has allowed us to become partners with Him. A financial offering, for example, is not only a gift to God’s work, but it also is participation with God in the establishment of His divine rule on earth. God can use our financial offerings as seeds that will yield a rich harvest of blessings and changed lives.

The Love of Money
It is easy to make an idol out of money. In fact, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:9-10). God does not mind His people having money. However, He wants us to surrender all aspects of our lives, including our finances, to His control. The surrender of our finances to Jesus Christ is one aspect of our surrender to His Lordship over our lives.

Tithes and Offerings
The tithe is ten percent of the increase of material blessings – monetary or other – that God has enabled a person to receive. The tithing principle is a useful minimum standard of “proportionate giving.” Several Old Testament examples of tithing include: Genesis 28:22; Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 14:22; and Malachi 3:8-10.

The New Testament continues the tithing principle. Jesus mentions tithing in Matthew 23:23 and tithing supports the ministries of local fellowships in 1 Corinthians 9:11-12 and Galatians 6:6-7. The New Testament also elaborates on the tithing principle by offering a number of insights on giving.

Giving is a voluntary action that is “unto the Lord.” Besides giving a tithe, a person can give a regular offering or a special offering. We should always find ways to give as much as we can to the Lord’s work. The basic motivation for giving is our relationship with God. We belong to God and we should seek to please Him in all that we do. God loves us and has given so much to us. Therefore, we give out of our love for and gratitude toward God. Giving is an act of worship. It is a positive response to God’s liberality and generosity, and it supports the work of ministry.

New Testament Principles of Giving
Jesus Christ taught important principles of giving, including the fact that God rewards unselfish giving (Luke 6:38), giving should be sacrificial and motivated by a sense of commitment (Mark 12:41-44), and “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians also contain many wonderful principles of giving. According to these chapters, Christian giving:

1. Is an expression of God’s grace (8:1-6)
2. Can be a spiritual gift (8:7)
3. Is inspired by the sacrifice of Christ (8:8-9)
4. Should be proportionate to our wealth (8:10-12)
5. Should be done with accountability (8:16-24)
6. Can be stimulated by friendly competition (9:1-5)
7. Promotes thanksgiving to God (9:11b-15)

Conclusion
Giving is an important aspect of our worship, stewardship, and commitment to God. God does not expect us to give what we do not have. He expects us to give what we do have with willingness, joy, and enthusiasm. As we continue to give, God will keep supplying resources to meet our personal needs and those of the local church. Is God challenging you to increase the amount of your contributions to His work? If so, then He will certainly reward your faithful obedience to Him.

Blessings,
Wilfred Graves Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. serves West Angeles Church as Special Assistant to the Senior Pastor and Chairman of the Board of Elders. He is the author of ‘In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God’s Salvation.’ The book is available at Amazon.com or http://www.pursuitofwholeness.com.

FOR FURTHER READING:
On Stewardship – 1 Chronicles 28:1; Matthew 24:45; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; and Luke 16:1-13.
On Giving – 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.

PLEASE JOIN WEST ANGELES as we unite in Prayer each month throughout 2015! Please CLICK HERE for our Monthly Prayer Calendar.

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I’m Getting It All Back – Bishop Brandon Porter

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This message speaks diligently to the fact of how people will criticize you before knowing your struggle.