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SERMON: Presiding Bishop Blake, “Components of a Testimony”

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. began a new series, teaching from his book, Encountering God. The sermon was taken from scripture surrounding the Arc of the Covenant, the tabernacle of Moses, and the Israelites, who did not trust God in spite of miracles He performed on their behalf.

“Sometimes we’re losing because we don’t trust God,” said Bishop Blake. “The God that we serve has already made a way…God will take care of you if you only believe.”

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

“The Arc of the Covenant was in the Tabernacle of Moses. In the court of the Tabernacle it stood before the Brazen Altar where the sacrifices were offered up to God to atone for the sins of the people.”

“The Bronze Laver [is] where the priests were first washed by Moses and where subsequently they washed themselves as they performed the various rites of sacrifice in the courtyard.”

“The showbread…was made from wheat. It symbolized God’s people in His presence, and in fellowship with Him and one another.”

“The lamp stand, with its seven flames…symbolized God’s spirit at work…It symbolized God’s Word. It symbolized Jesus Christ. It symbolized the church of Jesus Christ.”

“The golden altar of incense…ignited by God’s fire, represents the praises and the worship of God’s people. It also represents the pleasure that the praises of God’s people bring to God.”

“God enjoys our praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Behind the veil is the most Holy place or the Holy of Holies. Within the Most Holy place is the Arc of the Covenant, which is also called ‘The Arc of the Testimony.’”

“The Arc of the Covenant was a wooden chest or box…This wooden chest was overlaid with sheets of pure gold, both within and without.”

“On the lid of the Arc was a plate of pure gold…That plate was called the mercy seat. At the ends of the Mercy Seat were two statues of golden angels.”

“For many reasons, the Arc of the Covenant is the most important piece of furniture in the tabernacle. It’s important, as far as I can tell, because the Arc…is the only item of tabernacle furniture that will be in heaven.”

“I don’t really understand how the Arc of the Covenant will be in heaven – whether it will be there materially or spiritually –  but the Bible says it will be there. And if God will retain the Arc of the Covenant alone for Heaven, then the Arc of the Covenant must be very, very important.”

“Arc of the Covenant was the first item of furniture to be described and placed in the Tabernacle.”

“Each of the three items were the result of miraculous occurrences and miraculous actions on the part of God.  Each of the three items were an expression of the love of God”

“The fact that each of these items is a response [of] God to negative behavior on the part of Israel is unfortunate.  Negative behavior caused each of these items to be placed before the people of God.”

“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.”

“God was working through Moses. Moses was obeying God’s directions.”

“God had just brought them out of a 400-year ordeal of slavery and oppression.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Moses…was already free. He was already doing well, but he returned to Egypt to bring God’s people out of slavery.”

“Murmuring is offensive and alienating…even a murmurer doesn’t want to be around another murmurer.”

“Murmuring is counterproductive because it makes future favors unlikely.”

“Murmuring is an indication of a lack of trust.”

“You got help and assistance before, what makes you think you have to murmur now?”

“The opposite of murmuring is praise.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“One of God’s worst judgments came down on Israel because of her complaining…The cause of their complaining in this case was a declining food supply.”

“Your blessing may require some work.”

“Your miracle does not excuse you from working while the miracle takes place.”

“Sometimes what you snatch against the will of God spoils and breeds worms.”

“What you invest in God won’t spoil.”

“How many of you know you have to rely on God every day?”

“They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.'”

“There was manna in the Arc.”

“’ 35 And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense,’ and the next day all the congregation of Israel murmured…I think I would have kept my mouth shut!”

49 But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Look at your neighbor and say, ‘I think God doesn’t like murmuring!’”

They had to rely on God every day because without a miracle they would have been without food.  ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’ – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“So many folks are against you, but God’s going to bless you anyway.”

“If God chooses you, there’s nothing that anybody can do about it!”

“That Aaron’s rod would blossom, that it would bear fruit, is assurance that God can bring dead things back to life again.”

“How do I know God can bring dead things back to life? Because he brought me back to life again! Halleluiah!”

“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!”

“If anything has died in your world, God can bring it back to life again!”

“The tablets contained God’s Commandments for his people. They contained his will regarding their behavior.  But the fact that they were in the Arc was proof that God gave them a second chance.”

“This is the day of the second chance. I don’t care who you are and what you’ve done, God is a God of a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance.”

“Neighbor, you may have messed up, but God through Jesus is giving you a second chance.”

“Jesus was dead. God brought him back to life again!” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“The arc was a testimony.”

“God will take care of you if you only trust Him, if you only believe.”

“They put the manna in the Arc so you remember that I provided for you in the desert…put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when there was no rain and no sowing and no reaping, I fed you with bread put the manna in the Arc so you remember that when you run out, I step in.”

“If God has done it before, God will do it again. God can heal again. God can provide again.”

“Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you have a pot of manna in your testimony?’ Can you remember a time when God miraculously provided for you?”

“When things seem dead and hopeless, God is still able!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 16:32 , Numbers 17:10; Deuteronomy 10:1-9; Hebrews 9:3-4, 1 Kings 8:9, Exodus 16:2-32, Revelation 11:19, Numbers 16, Numbers 17:1-4, Romans 17:8, Exodus 31:18, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 27:10, Hebrews 4:14-16

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Presiding Bishop Charles Edrward Blake, Sr’s book, “Encountering God: Pathway to His Presence” is available at the West Angeles Christian Emporium. Address: 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012


 

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WORLD HEALTH DAY: Black Men Lead the Healthy Eating Revolution

April 7 is “World Health Day,” and this year the focus is on ending diabetes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes, which is one of the most serious health problems our country faces today. But there’s a home-grown movement spreading across America which may change that…and it’s being shepherded by African American men.

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food – Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

A few months ago, I received a call, informing me that my close friend Allison had suffered a stroke – a diagnosis which seems to be much too common these days. She’s actually one of three women I know who’ve suffered from this condition in recent years, and they all have very noticeable things in common.  They are:

  • African American
  • Working in high-stress, often hostile environments
  • Self-described as overweight
  • In their early to mid-50’s
  • Diabetic

African Americans and Native Americans are affected disproportionately by diabetes more than any other ethnic groups in America, with Latino Americans factoring in third[1]. African American adults are 80 percent more likely than white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician, and are twice as likely as Whites to die from the disease [2].

The proper diet can make all the difference in controlling diabetes. However, when we’re stressed, our comfort foods are one of the few “comforts” we believe we have – and that was certainly the case with my friend Allison. The difference in her story? Her husband George.

George immediately took over the leadership of his family’s nutrition, planting a garden in their back yard with methods he’d learned as a boy from his father, and cooking healthy fare which helped bring his wife back to optimum health. And Allison? She’s now back at work, healthy, and more than 60 pounds lighter.

Allison’s husband is part of a growing worldwide trend which reveals that men of African descent are taking the health and nutritional well-being of their families and their communities into their own hands. Around the globe, black men seem to be remembering the ancestral wisdom of God which reminds us to go back to the earth for nourishment; men like Jimmy Williams, author of “From Seed To Skillet,” who learned all about vegetable gardening from his grandmother, a South Carolina native from a traditional Gullah community whose members were descendants of Caribbean slaves. Or Purcell Keeling, who has owned Simply Wholesome, a health food restaurant and market in Los Angeles, for almost 30 years. Or Bryce Fluellen, a Chef Instructor with the American Heart Association, who’s changing the eating habits of our children one classroom at a time.

On this World Health Day, we’re profiling three African American men who are game changers in the healthy-eating movement:

RON FINLEY – “I planted my Eden in my front yard,” said South Central Los Angeles artist and designer Ron Finley, Ron_Finleyaffectionately known as “The Gangsta Gardener.” Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside vegetable garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education, and healthy, hopeful futures – one urban garden at a time.

“I planted my Eden in my front yard” – Ron Finley 

He calls South Central Los Angeles the “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by,” and it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes. In the two years since his appearance at TED, a global set of conferences which uses its video-recorded lectures as a medium for spreading new ideas, Finley’s work has quickly become celebrated worldwide, making him a bit of a phenomenon. He’s now featured in a film which raises awareness about urban gardening called “Can You Dig This,” directed by Delila Vallot and executive produced by John Legend.

 

BRYANT TERRY is reconnecting us with our healthy, vegetable-based African food traditions. He is a 2015 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for hisbryantterry2 activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. His started with his own family by transforming traditional soul food staples into mouth-watering, healthy fare. “More than anyone else,” said Terry in his book Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, & Southern Flavors Remixed, “people of African descent should honor, cultivate, and consume food from the African diaspora…[those traditions] connect us to our ancestors and bring the past into the present day.”

He’s also known as a DJ, creatively paring his recipes with musical suggestions and spinning music wherever his food is served. He is currently the inaugural Chef in Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.

“Food from the African diaspora connects us to our ancestors” – Bryant Terry

Bryant is the author of four books: critically acclaimed Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine; The Inspired Vegan; Grub; and his latest title, Afro Vegan, Farm-fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed (Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA, 2014). In 2002, Bryant founded b-healthy (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth), a multi-year initiative in New York City designed to empower youth to be more active in fighting for a more sustainable food system. He continues to collaborate with schools and community organizations around the country to inspire, educate, and empower young people to be active in the food justice movement.

 

THE REVEREND RICHARD JOYNER – Over the last 10 years or so, Conetoe, NC has become the center of a movement for healthyfoodrev living, driven by the Reverend Richard Joyner, pastor of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. A predominantly African-American community, Conetoe, which is just outside of Raleigh-Durham, is surrounded by farmland, but the nearest grocery store is 10 miles away. This makes Conetoe one of the country’s many “food deserts,” where fresh, nutritious food is not readily available.
Rev. Joyner was inspired to make a change in his town after watching many of his parishioners die from preventable diseases.”Diabetes, high blood pressure…we counted 30 funerals in one year,” Rev. Joyner said. “I couldn’t ignore it because I was spending more time in funerals than anything else.”

As a result, he started a community garden, enlisting the help of the children in his congregation. Today, his nonprofit, the Conetoe Family Life Center, manages more than 20 plots of land, including one 25-acre site. More than 80 young people help Joyner plan, plant and harvest nearly 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year. Much of this produce is given away to local residents, but the students also sell the food – including their own brand of honey – to businesses and restaurants, raising money for school supplies and scholarships.

“By nourishing plants, you’re nourishing community. It’s one and the same” – Reverend Richard Joyner

The youth also learn healthy cooking techniques, which they in turn share with their families. As a result, the community is healthier and doctor visits are down. These efforts, Rev. Joyner says, are having other amazing benefits as well. “One of the biggest things the youth are learning here are social skills – how to relate to each other and have healthy relationships. They also get to practice skills like science and math; they learn about pricing, marketing,” says Joyner.

“Growing food calls us to work together,” he said. “By nourishing plants, you’re nourishing community. It’s one and the same. If we just let them explore and create a safe space for them, most of the time they’ll come up with an answer for themselves. And when youth become creative, wow – they think outside of the box.”[3]


To find out more about World Health Day and the World Health Organization’s campaign to “Beat Diabetes”, please click HERE.

The American Diabetes Association has programs which address diabetes according to culture. To find out more, please click HERE.

To read more about the US Department of Health and Human Services’ statistics on diabetes and African Americans, please click HERE.

To see Ron Finley’s film, “Can You Dig This,” or to arrange a screening in your town, please click HERE.

Bryant Terry’s books are available HERE, on http://www.bryant-terry.com/.

To purchase products from the Conetoe Family Life Center, please click HERE.

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[1] American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/.  Accessed 4/05/2016.

[2] US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlID=18.  Accessed 4/05/2016.

[3] Many thanks to CNN.com, and CNN Heroes.

 

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Day 2: The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference

Everyone’s talking about The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, an incredible, unrivaled impartation of anointed wisdom, history, and information on the establishment of one of the most successful churches in the United States today.

On Day Two of The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake got right to business as the first speaker of the day.

After lively praise and worship led by Dr. Judith Christie McAllister and members of the Cathedral Chorale, opening statements by Dr. Michael Golden, and prayer led by General Board member Bishop Lawrence Wooten, Bishop Blake began a series on 12 key points he employed in establishing West Angeles Church of God In Christ as a successful ministry. Bishop then devoted the next segment of the morning session to the importance of evangelism.

“Under the worst possible conditions, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Go out and catch fish,’” said Bishop Blake, referring to current statistics which reveal a decline in faith and church attendance in the Millennial Generation. “Edify. Build up believers.”

Bishop Blake spoke in length about the Millennials, the generation born between the 1980s and the 2000s.

“Your Millennials are the future of your church,” said Bishop, while acknowledging that they are an “anti-church” generation. “Forty-one percecnt of Millennials in the UK (for example) believe that religion is an evil thing.”

Bishop Blake then called upon COGIC’s International Youth and Young Adult President, Dr. Ben Stephens, who delivered poignant, timely insights into reaching this demographic.

A highlight of the afternoon session of the Legacy Conference included an invaluable panel discussion/Q&A with key officers within the COGIC and West Angeles. Panelists included:

  • COGIC’s Minister of Music/President, International Music Department Dr. Judith Christie McAlister
  • CFO Tyrone Potts
  • Chief Legal Counsel Elder Uleses Henderson
  • President of COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc. Bishop Edwin Bass
  • Chairman of the COGIC Publishing House Pastor Marc Ellis
  • West Angeles Church of God In Christ COO Gladys Ross

Topics covered included counseling and education, music ministry, church finance and infrastructure, and risk management.

The conference concluded with the powerful Elijah & Elisha Experience Prayer of Anointing and Communion Ceremony, bestowing the blessings of the Elders to the younger pastors, who in turn anointed the rest of the Legacy Conference attendees.

“I charge you now,” said Bishop Blake to the audience, “step into that which fulfills your destiny in God.”

Highlights from Day Two of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference follow:

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on the 12 key decisions he employed in establishing the ministry of West Angeles:

  1. “Serve and know God.”
  2. “Be a man of moral and spiritual integrity.”
  3. “Love God with all your heart.”
  4. “Strive for excellence.”
  5. “Treat the church as a business.”
  6. “Limit your income.”
  7. “Share ministry with others.”
  8. “Invest in growth and in staff.”
  9. “I invested in the music ministry.”
  10. “I crossed denominational borders.”
  11. “Become known in the community. Know your politicians.”
  12. “Test the limits…The church exists for the glory of God.”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on evangelism:

“As soon as we forget the importance of evangelism, we’re destined to die.”

“If you win souls to Jesus Christ, you’ll have all the money you need to do the work of the Lord.”

“People want to feel welcome. If you have people coming to your church but no one ever embraces them, they’re going to find someplace else to go.”

“I know you might be tired…you’ve been working hard and not getting the results you want. But do something different from what you’re doing right now.”

“They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they will mount up on wings of eagles!”

“Jesus knew what to do to catch fish…If we’re gonna hang with Jesus, we need to get some strong nets!”

“You don’t need gimmicks. Just preach the Word of God.”

 

Bishop Elijah Hankerson, President, COGIC International Department of Evangelism, on the 5 key aspects of growing a church through evangelism:

“Expectation, documentation, communication, demonstration, evangelization.”

 

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on music ministry:

”I believe that West Angeles played a role in transforming the music of the church.”

“The professional singer stole singing from the people…I decided it was time to give singing back to the people.”

“Let us have some music that people can sing all week long!”

 

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. on establishing the proper church foundation:

“Set the environment of your church. Exemplify moral excellence. Promote spiritual development.”

“Mark 7:13 – Examine your traditions. Some of them might be driving folks away.”

“Jesus broke tradition.”

“Let’s approach our services as if we’re on television…counterproductive traditions must be discarded.”

“Give your people something to do. People need to feel involved in the life of the church.”

“Provide training. We have classes on Practical Christian Living and Spiritual Gifts.”

“People will reach up, but they won’t reach down. Don’t ever dumb down your ministry.”

 


 

Stay tuned to Westa.org for more highlights from The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference!

DVDs of all 6 sessions of The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference are available for pre-order for just $99! Details coming soon to westa.org!

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. is the author of “Encountering God” and “Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny”. Contact the West Angeles Christian Emporium  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012.

If you missed the highlights of Day 1 of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, please click HERE.

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Inspirational Quotes on Life and Leadership From Dr. Myles Munroe

As we prepare for this month’s LEGACY CONFERENCE, we’re highlighting inspirational quotes on leadership, purpose, marriage, and living life to its fullest potential, by beloved pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe.

World-renowned pastor and motivational speaker Dr. Myles Munroe was founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship in the Bahamas, and CEO and Chairman of the Board of the International Third World Leaders Association. As president of the International Leadership Training Institute, he traveled the world training leaders in business, government, education, sports, media, and religion.

This week, we celebrate Dr. Munroe’s contribution to the spiritual life of mankind with a list of some of our favorite quotes:

ON LEADERSHIP

“The Creator caused to be inherent in each created entity – including the apex of his creation, mankind – everything it needs to fulfill its original purpose. The original purpose for mankind, defined and established by the Creator, was to “rule (have dominion) over all the earth.” Since the word ‘dominion’ in this case means to reign and rule, the Creator wired ALL human beings with the capacity and natural ability to lead.”

“Leadership is not about control, but service. It’s not about power, but empowerment. It’s not about manipulation, but inspiration.”

“People generally fall into one of three groups: the few who make things happen, the many who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority, who have no notion of what happens. Every person is either a creator of fact or a creature of circumstance. He either puts color into his environment, or, like a chameleon, takes color from his environment.”

“Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”

“Kingdom citizenship is a spiritual reality, but it is also a mentality. As believers, we already have the Spirit of God, but we need to learn the mind and the heart of God.”

ON PURPOSE

“Your existence is evidence that this generation needs something that your life contains.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

“Purpose is when you know and understand what you were born to accomplish. Vision is when you see it in your mind and begin to imagine it.”

“Circumstances and crises are God’s tools to move you into your purpose and the maximizing of your potential.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams”.

“By refining your gift, you make room for it in the world. The more refined your gift, the more in demand you will be.”

“The wealthiest places in the world are not gold mines, oil fields, diamond mines or banks. The wealthiest place is the cemetery. There lies companies that were never started, masterpieces that were never painted. In the cemetery there is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. There is a treasure within you that must come out. Don’t go to the grave with your treasure still within YOU.”

ON POTENTIAL

“Be fruitful. God’s command in Genesis 1:28 is most often understood as referring to procreation, but filling the earth with people is only part of the meaning. God’s purpose is that we bear abundant fruit and release the blessings of our gift and potential to the world.”

“Don’t ever make the mistake of telling God that you have nothing to offer. That simply is not true. God does not create any junk.”

“You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent, untapped resources locked away within you.”

“The more faithful we are with our stewardship, the more resources God will entrust to us. That is a biblical principle.”

“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

ON DATING AND RELATIONSHIPS

“Healthy relationships should always begin at the spiritual and intellectual levels – the levels of purpose, motivation, interests, dreams, and personality.”

“The time you are most prepared for dating is when you don’t need anyone to complete you, fulfill you, or instill in you a sense of worth or purpose.”

“Being open to correction means making ourselves vulnerable, and many people are not willing to do that.”

“Friendship is not a gift, but is the result of hard work.”

ON MARRIAGE

“Marriage is the most important decision a person will make, next to his decision to follow Christ.”

“A wedding is an event, but marriage is a life.”

“God did not create woman from man’s head, that he should command her, nor from his feet, that she should be his slave, but rather from his side, that she should be near his heart.”

“The adversary’s global attack on marriage is actually an attack on society itself, and ultimately an attack on God, the creator and manufacturer of society and marriage. The adversary knows that if he can destroy marriage, he can destroy families. If he can destroy families, he can destroy society. And if he can destroy society, he can destroy humanity.”

ON LIFE

“Life is not measured by duration but by donation.”

“We are not to be so concerned about who approves or disapproves of us, but remember that God’s approval is what counts. Those whom God approves are approved indeed.”

“Proverbs 25:28 says, ‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ In other words, if we do not control our own lives from the inside, somebody else will control them from the outside.”

“I’m washed, I’m forgiven, I’m whole, and I’m healed. I’m cleansed and I’m glory bound. I am only a sojourner on the earth. I am but a pilgrim on this planet, on my way to perfection, and I don’t need anybody to tell me who I am, because I know who I am. I am a child of the King, a son (or daughter) of God, born again through Jesus Christ, bought with the price of His blood. I am a new creation, totally new, thoroughly loved and completely accepted as a child of my Father, precious in His sight.”


Dr. Myles Munroe (1954-2014) was founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries International Fellowship in the Bahamas and CEO and Chairman of the Board of the International Third World Leaders Association. He was the author of 69 books, including: Becoming a Leader, The Principles and Power of Vision, The Pursuit of Purpose, Understanding Your Potential, Rediscovering the Kingdom, Waiting and Dating, The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage, and God’s Big Idea, among others. Dr. Myles Munroe’s book, The Burden Of Freedom, revolutionized how many viewed the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean. In 1978 Dr. Monroe received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education, and Theology degree from Oral Roberts University, and in 1980, a Master’s degree in administration from the University of Tulsa. He has also received several honorary doctorate degrees, and served as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at ORU.  Notably, in 1998, Dr. Munroe was awarded an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – by Queen Elizabeth II for services to religion.

 

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Presiding Bishop Blake Shares The Bread of Life

In this lesson on Biblical history, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. explains the  metaphors which represent the life-giving power of Jesus in our lives.

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst – John 6:32-35

In this passage from John 6, Jesus presents to us metaphors to describe His person and to describe His mission. He said, “I am the Light of the world; I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Vine.”

If you really want to have a good, spiritual, Holy Ghost good time, study some of the metaphors that describe Jesus Christ; see how they apply to Him, and then understand what they mean to you. Such is the case when we observe Jesus as the “Bread of Life.”

Bread was the foundation of the diet of men in Biblical days. Sometimes, an entire meal would be comprised of just bread. The bulk of their diet was farinaceous, or made from flour or from [grains]. They very seldom ate flesh or meat. the word which we interpret to be meat meant “food” in general, rather than flesh in particular; the word which we interpret as corn really means, in most cases, “wheat” or “barley.”

The use of bread was so prevalent that “bread” was synonymous with “food,” and “food” was synonymous with “bread”. So when we say “bread,” we’re not talking about the anemic, mushy stuff that we eat today. We’re talking about a hearty, vitamin-rich natural staple that ancient men called “the staff of life.”

Jesus says, “I am to your soul what bread is to your body; I stand in the same relationship in your spirit and in your soul that bread and food stands in relationship to your physical life on earth.” In all that Jesus is, and all that He does, He is the bread of Life, but as with natural bread, you are never blessed by it until you consume it and receive it into your body. You are what you eat, and the more you partake of Jesus the more like Jesus you become.

“You can never get enough of Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

Not only is He the life-giving bread, but He’s totally wholesome! There are some foods that we eat that are not good for us, even if it’s vitamin-enriched. There are some things you can eat and get too much of and get indigestion from, but you can never get too much of Jesus. The Bible says that He is Good Bread (John 6:35-40). Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! How many of you know that God is good? God is good, and you can never get enough of Jesus!

If you’re hungry and your spirit is famished, Jesus is available. Oh Bless the Name of God! If you come unto Him believe in Him Praise the Lord. He must be received by faith. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus; all you have to do is lift up your hands and say,

“Lord I’m hungry! Lord I’m thirsty! My soul needs a blessing from on high. Every day I want more; every day I want to be closer; every day I want to feel the manifestation of his power, come on the inside of my life. Every day I want to know more about Jesus because you can never get enough of Jesus!”

Jesus is the Bread of Life. Lift up your hands and say, “Lord fill me again!” Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 6:32-40, John 8:12, John 10:11, John 15:5, Psalm 34:8, Romans 8:1.

Adapted from the sermon, “The Bread Of Life”; Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. October 5, 2014 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

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JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed. Please CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.

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Evangelist Joyce Rodgers: Unforgettable

Evangelist Joyce Rodgers preached the First Sunday sermon of 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, on 1/3/2016. Chair of the International Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ and author of Fatal Distractions, a book which uncovers the roadblocks which keep us from our ministries and our destinies, Evangelist Rodgers continued the prophetic word delivered in her Watch Night message.

“We reverence the blood and the wine [of communion], but because this is the first Sunday of the year, I believe God wants me to share this message today,” began Evangelist Rodgers, in reference to her sermon titled, “Unforgettable.”

“I cannot bring up the topic without saying ‘Rest in peace’ to Natalie Cole. The lyrics to the song say, ‘Unforgettable in every way,’ and God is going to blow your mind in 2016!”

See this entire service HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

“2016 shall be a year of experiences that shall be unforgettable.”

“I want to prophetically let you know that God is going to blow your mind in 2016, with unforgettable things in every way, unimaginable things. No eye has ever seen or ear ever heard anything like this!”

“God knows what you have need of even before you ask Him, so when you arrive, He’s already done what He said He was going to do.”

“Can I get some radical people to scream, ‘Unforgettable’?”

“You shall experience extraordinary success. I release it in this house, indescribable joy; greater levels of spiritual intimacy.”

“Uncommon possibilities are going to knock on your door. You shall be filled with creative ideas that shall generate a higher income. You shall walk in Kingdom authority and declare and decree that you and your children shall be blessed and not in the midst of mess!”

“Man cannot see because man’s eyes are too limited. His ears are too limited. But God told me to tell you in 2016, He’s taking the limits off of things!”

“You shall experience extraordinary success. I release it in this house!” – Evangelist Joyce Rodgers

“I want you to know this year, we’re going to experience the demonstration of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit like never before!”

“You’ll be driving down the freeway, and suddenly there comes a wave of God’s anointing…You’re going to walk through your own house and take back everything that the devil has stolen from you.”

“The message that Isaiah released in (chapter) 64 was also for (the nation of Judah) to receive the promises of God through the deliverance of the Messiah.”

“I’ve come to tell somebody, ‘This is your year of coming out! This is your year of mighty deliverance!’”

“Isaiah said, ‘Men are clueless about what God is about to do for them. You ain’t seen nothing yet! God is about to do something supernatural!”

“I’m talking about some unforgettable stuff, if you can just imagine what God has prepared for us!”

“You can’t know the things of God if you don’t know God!”

“Now that I have the mind of Christ, it is the Spirit of God that allows me to see to hear and to understand what God has planned for me and my house.”

“You can’t know the things of God if you don’t know God!”  Evangelist Joyce Rodgers

“If you don’t know about my midnight, don’t you hate on my morning!”

“There are some things that if God doesn’t pull it off, it won’t be pulled off.”

“Every time you praise Him, He’s gonna bring you through. Every time you upraise Him, the enemy’s gonna get nervous.”

“When the praises go up, the blessings will come down. Say yes!”

“He might not come when you want Him, but He’s an on-time God.”

“I know the roads have been rough and the hills have been hard to climb, but…this is my testimony: what the devil meant for evil, God did a boomerang! Somebody say ‘Boomerang blessings!’”

“This is your year! This is your season!”

“God is going to blow your mind in 2016!” – Evangelist Joyce Rodgers

“In your unforgettable moment, you need to be around some people who can celebrate your celebration. Look around you and say, ‘Can you handle what God’s going to do in my life?’”

“Neighbor, you don’t know what I’ve been going through, but God is working in my favor. God is working in my life, so excuse me while I put a praise on it!”

“I know you’ve seen a lot of things and you’ve been a million places, but you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 3:20-21, Job 23:10, Isaiah 64, 2 Chronicles 7:14, 1 Corinthians 2:12, Philippians 2:5.

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Evangelist Joyce Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Primary Purpose Ministries, Inc., and serves COGIC on the international level, leading the Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ. The widely respected evangelist and speaker is also author of the book Fatal Distractions, which uncovers the roadblocks which can keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Born and raised in Gladewater, Texas, Evangelist Rodgers is a third generation daughter of the Church Of God In Christ. She is widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator of the deep truths of God’s Word, which she blends with precision, humor and God’s anointing.

Follow Evangelist Joyce Rodgers on Twitter @MsJoyceLRodgers.

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Evangelist Joyce Rodgers Declares ‘2016 is a New Morning’

COGIC’s International Youth Department leader Evangelist Joyce Rodgers delivered a powerful, prophetic Word to the West Angeles Church of God In Christ congregation at the New Year’s Eve Watch Night Celebration on December 31, 2015.

Watch Night Service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ ushered in 2016 with the cathedral filled to the rafters and pulsating with praise, worship, and song. After opening remarks from Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., an encore performance by the Chosen Vessels Dance Ministry, and several rousing selections by the West Angeles Mass Choir, visiting Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers began to deliver a prophetic Word of God to the congregation in song.

“I can’t sing,” Evangelist Rodgers said humbly, “but we’re going to work it out. The words of this song are part of what we’re going to talk about.”

She then proceeded, in a booming voice which was at once a cross between Candi Staton and Mavis Staples, to belt out chords of Pastor Andrae Crouch’s “Through It All.”

I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
How could I tell you, ‘God can solve them’?
I’d never know what faith in God could do.

Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I have learned to trust upon His Word.

“The words of the song say, ‘I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow…but through it all I’ve learned to trust in God,’” said Evangelist Rodgers. “Let me just take a poll in this room: how any of you have had tears and sorrows? Questions about tomorrow? And learned to trust in God?

“Mass shootings, spiritual terror attacks, natural disasters come upon the people of God. Many of us have shed tears over what we have seen the enemy do to our loved ones, but weeping time is almost over! Weeping may endure for a night – even Jesus had to weep – but instead of weeping, God is about to release your blessings!”

To see West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s 2015 Watch Night service in its entirety, CLICK HERE for West Angeles Video on Demand. Highlights from the evening follow:

“2016 is a year that we can declare and decree as ‘A New Morning.’ 2016 is a new morning. It’s a new beginning. How many of you need that new beginning?”

“You can always tell when something new is about to happen. There is a war in the element. When the hot air doesn’t want to give way to the cold air, you see a lot of rain.”

“The enemy knows that his time is about to play out.”

“Something different is about to take place…that has never occurred before in your life.”

“This year will represent a brand new morning for you and your household. It will represent new blessings, new favor, new breakthrough, new joy, new peace, new understanding, new creativity and innovative ideas…I need you to expect a new morning; expect miracles to come from the Lord!”

“I see your season escalating! God is about to break open the heavens, and He’s about to release a legion of Angels that are going to come and hover over you!”

“There’s a new frame of revival that is moving throughout the earth…God is about to shake up the earth!”

“Look at somebody and say, ‘Wake up from your slumbering…this is your year of a New Morning!’”

“Is there anybody here who’s been shedding some tears? Weeping may endure for a night, but this is your year of a New Morning!”

“I smell the coffee brewing: God is up to something!”

“Wake up from your slumbering…this is your year of a New Morning!” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“Just put your hand on yourself and say, ‘Blessings are coming my way!’”

“The next time that tear comes to your sphere, it’s coming as victory, dominion, and power, because the Word of God says, ‘God shall wipe away all your tears.’”

“’Endure!’ That means ‘remain in existence.’”

“”I want to drop in this house, ‘This is your year of delivery and recovery. God is about to give you back everything that the enemy stole from you; Big Mamma, Ma’ Dear, all of you!”

“God is not going to give you back 30, not 60, nor 100-fold, but He said ‘I’m going to give you back seven times greater’ – so everything you’ve lost is about to be returned unrecognizable.”

“This is the year of the morning. Just look at somebody and say, ‘This is my year!’”

“Psalm 30…deals with prosperity and adversity. Like one of my favorite songs…which says, ‘You can’t have one without the other!’”

“When you are prosperous in your way, your adversary is standing ready”

“He let me know my trials come to make me strong” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“It doesn’t matter what the enemy does to you. He cannot get to you without God’s permission.”

“Do I have any people who will say, ‘It doesn’t matter what I am going through and I may have a right to complain, but I am self-sufficient in Christ Jesus?’”

“Somebody scream, ‘Good morning!’”

“In our religion, we teach people that you are to praise Him on the mountain top, but there will be days that you will be operating in the valley.”

“The thing that I like about God? He’s not a church God, but He is the God of the universe.”

“On those days when I can’t make it up there, He lets me praise Him down here. On those days I can’t raise my head, He lets me praise him with my eyes…There are times when you praise Him where you are.”

“No matter what the situation, be thankful and give God praise…We are to praise Him at all times.”

“In the new morning, there is lifetime favor. In the morning time, you wake up with new strength” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side, I wouldn’t have made it.”

“They were waiting for me to stumble and fall throw in the towel, but I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better than I’ve ever been in my life, and God is with me!”

“In the new morning, there is lifetime favor. In the morning time, you wake up with new strength. Look at somebody and say, ‘Wake up!’”

“You can’t have my children! You can’t have my family! You can’t have my breakthrough! You can’t, you can’t, you can’t!”

“This is your year to take back everything the devil has stolen from you. Whatever has happened, God is still with you!”

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve been though…it’s time for you to rejoice!”

“The worst is over! You can make it!”

“Good morning, East Coast! Good morning, Atlanta! Good morning, West Coast! This is your year to give God praise! Somebody scream!”

“It’s morning!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Psalm 30:5, Isaiah 42:9, Psalm 56, Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 59:19, 54:17; Philippians 4:11, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 121:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 23:4-5, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 124, Psalm 40:1, Psalm 5

Evangelist Joyce Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Primary Purpose Ministries, Inc., and serves COGIC on the international level, leading the Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ. The widely respected evangelist and speaker is also author of the book Fatal Distractions, which uncovers the roadblocks which can keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Born and raised in Gladewater, Texas, Evangelist Rodgers is a third generation daughter of the Church Of God In Christ. She is widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator of the deep truths of God’s Word, which she blends with precision, humor and God’s anointing.

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JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed.  CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.

Follow Evangelist Joyce Rodgers on Twitter! https://twitter.com/msjoycelrodgers

Hear Pastor Andrae Crouch sing “Through It All” below:

 

“Through It All”, by Pastor Andrae Crouch. Songwriters: BROWN, GARY VICTOR / HARVEY, STEVE. Publisher: Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.

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Bishop Blake: The Story of Scheherazade

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.

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SERMON: Bishop T.D. Jakes on the Pain of Recovery

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, ‘Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

On Friday evening, November 6, 2015, Evangelist Joyce Rodgers led the saints in rousing praise, welcoming Bishop T.D. Jakes to the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation, and sharing with the saints that this is the most wonderful time of the year for God to do something supernatural, something miraculous.

“If you believe ‘big’ is coming to your house,” shouted Evangelist Rodgers, “just scream, ‘Big!’ If you believe your children are about to do something big, just scream, ‘Big!’ The acronym BIG stands for ‘Believe In God.’ If you believe in God, scream ‘It’s already done!’”

Also on hand were Nate Miles, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Eli Lilly and Company, who thanked COGIC for years of partnership in helping the needy worldwide. He presented a check for $50,000 from the company toward those initiatives.

Prior to Bishop Jakes’ sermon, Superintendent Michiah James Young, Sr. preached the opening Word inspired by Genesis 32: 24. He gave a miraculous praise report about His mother who had heart attack last year, resulting in surgery. He and his family prayed for her before the surgery, and were subsequently told by the surgeon, “I don’t know what happened, whatever you did, but it worked. The [heart] damage we saw wasn’t there when we went in!”

Present to perform the sermonic selection was Minister Melonie Daniels-Walker, who sang a beautiful rendition of “There’s Something About That Name.”

Bishop T. D. Jakes also gave a miraculous testimony about recovering from back surgery, intense pain, and paralysis in the same week he was to speak to the delegation at the COGIC Convocation. But God explained his pain, telling him, “The enemy is trying to shut you down, because I’m going to send you to St. Louis to tell my servants that everything that the devil held up, everything that’s been under attack…without fail, you will recover all!”

The Friday evening Holy Convocation service was broadcast live on The Word Network, sending the services around the world.

Highlights from Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon, “The Pain Of Recovery”, follow:

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, “Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.”

“There’s too much Holy Ghost in here not to bind the devil in this place tonight!”

“If you have no sense of destiny, you have no sense of God.”

“When all Hell is raging, God has a plan. And if you know that plan and walk in that plan, you don’t have to worry about what people say. You don’t have to worry about the winds blowing or the storms coming because if God be for you…Somebody shout, ‘Amen!’”

“I have learned that the attacks that come against you are indicative of the fact that you have an appointment with destiny.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do.”

“It’s going to cost you something to win this fight.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

“The more anointed, the more gifted, the more you are a child of destiny, the more you will be attacked privately for what God wants to do in your life.”

“The more God uses you publicly, the more the enemy will attack you privately, because he knows that you’re headed somewhere.”

“It’s one thing to fight your enemy when you’re fresh, but it’s another thing to fight him when you’re tired.”

“Isn’t it funny how you can be mighty in one area and vulnerable in another?”

”Is there anybody in here who’s been knocked to their knees?”

”It is possible to be a public success and still come home and be a private failure.”

“Somewhere, before you get your credentials, you’ve got to go through some smoke. I wish I had some ‘smoky folks’ in here, folk who had been through some fires, some tests, some trials!”

“The same people who fought with him are now ready to fight against him, because when people get hurt, they love to hurt others.”

“I want to talk to some people who have gone through something that shocked you. Knocked the wind out of you…and you wondered how you were going to make it through this.”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight. He had a Promise from God that he would get the victory, but not without a fight. Not without pain.”

“The devil doesn’t want you to praise Him. He doesn’t want you to believe Him…Hell is nervous and demons are trembling, but open your mouth and say, ‘I’m going to get it back!’”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight”Bishop T.D. Jakes

“You will recover all; that means your money, that means your house, that means your focus, that means your dignity! You shall recover ALL!”

“Your glory is coming back. Your anointing is coming back. Your church is coming back. Your faith is coming back. Everything that the devil has been attacking is coming back, and the Lord wanted you to hear it!”

“The devil is fighting against you, but recover it! The house is divided, but recover it! Wake up! Recover all!”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘Neighbor, excuse me; you go ahead and be cute, but I’ve got to give God some praise! I’ve got a devil to fight!”

“I’ve gone from survival to success, but I’m coming back. I may not see it I may not feel it but I want the devil to know I’m going to get it back…TONIGHT! Somebody shout ‘Yeah!”

“Lose yourself in the Holy Ghost and give God praise!”

“Take it!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES -1 Samuel 30:1-8.

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Ministerial and business visionary, entrepreneurial trailblazer, altruistic philanthropist, and spiritual shepherd to millions around the globe, Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes, Sr., founded Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, his first pastorate, in 1979.  He now pastors The Potter’s House, a multiracial, nondenominational church with 50-plus active outreach ministries, which has grown to more than 30,000 members. The Potter’s House as a nonprofit organization has produced four major national conferences – The Pastors’ and Leadership Conference, ManPower, Woman, Thou Art Loosed (WTAL), and MegaFest. Bishop Jakes is also the founder of TDJ Enterprises through which he employs his other aptitudes as author, songwriter, filmmaker and playwright. Bishop Jakes lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with his wife Serita and their five children. 

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SERMON: Bishop Paul Morton Opens the 108th Holy Convocation

Bishop Paul S. Morton served the saints plenty of humor and food for thought during his opening sermon for the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Mayor of St. Louis, Francis G. Slay, gave a heart-felt welcome to the attendees, delegates, and other officials present for the official first day of the 108th Annual Holy Convocation of the Church of God In Christ, on Tuesday November 3, 2015. Mayor Slay praised the effect that COGIC’s presence and uplifting spirit has on the city of St. Louis year after year.

Others on hand for opening remarks at St, Louis’ America’s Center included Michael McMillan, President and CEO at Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, who commended COGIC for providing healing and support on the ground during the Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, MO, and for partnering with the Urban League on “Community Caring and Sharing” initiatives. McMillan also presented Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake with the Whitney M. Young Community Award.

Other events for which the Church of God In Christ was praised throughout the evening were the COGIC Health Fair, COGIC Urban Initiatives Job Fair, “COGIC Clean-up” events, where volunteers commenced to cleaning up the city of St. Louis, “COGIC read,” where COGIC members read to children in the St. Louis schools, and “Christmas in November,” an event providing hot meals, personal hygiene, haircuts, job prospects, and health screenings to those in need. The events are an extension of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.’s COGIC Urban Initiatives.

The COGIC’s International Music Department, under the direction of Dr. Judith Christie McAlister, was in wonderful form for the evening. Among the songs performed by The C.H. Mason Memorial Choir was a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful, which included a new refrain, “Pray for the USA.”
Also among those who traveled to St. Louis for the Convocation were two Messianic Pentecostal Hebrews who committed to joining the Church Of God In Christ denomination.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake presented the speaker for the evening, Bishop Paul S. Morton, founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. Bishop Morton started his sermon by sharing the principle of preparing to receive God’s Word, praying: “The educated mind can kill the Word…place the spirit over the mind.”

Highlights from Bishop Morton’s sermon, titled “Dealing With Impossibilities” follow:

“Perception unchallenged becomes reality, because we really know…that all things are possible with Him if you can just believe.”

“In this story…Jesus is challenging us to rise with Him to another and higher type of life than we normally live. What He’s telling us is, ‘Maximize your potential; maximize that unexposed ability that untapped strength.’”

“You’re not just average…Do you know what average means? Being on top of the bottom.”

“Jesus became what we are so we could become what He is.”

“Perception unchallenged becomes reality” – Bishop Paul S. Morton

“The devil can smell fear and that’s dangerous because the devil will attack you because God has not given us the spirit of fear. He’s given us power. He’s given us love. He’s given us a sound mind.”

“The Disciples are saying, ‘If only Jesus were here’ then they see a walker on the water, and they are afraid. It sounds like some of us. We know how to pray, but when He shows up, we get afraid!”

“The only way you can recognize [His] voice in a storm, you have to get familiar with His voice before the storm!”

“Peter believed that impossibilities could be transmitted into possibilities.”

“Someone once said, ‘You really don’t even test the resources of God until you try the impossible.’”

“One man says, ‘I will do as much as much as I can, [but] anybody can do that. He who believes in Jesus Christ does what you cannot do.’”

“Jesus wants us to have great faith in Him…He wants reckless faith!”

“If you do it because God said, ‘Do it’, He will make a way somehow!”

“I’m just praying the day will come when we just take our hands off the steering wheel and let God drive!”

“Reckless faith will make you break the rules.”

“Get out of your comfort zone and trust God!” – Bishop Paul S. Morton

“I believe we have some water-walkers in this place!”

“This night, you have come to the house of the Lord, and you’re not afraid to get out of the boat. You’re not afraid to get the blessings that God has for you and deal with your impossibilities.”

“If you’re going to get out of the boat, this is one thing you’re going to have to do: get away from negative folk! Negative folk will keep you in the boat!”

“You’ve got to know how to get out of your comfort zone and trust God!”

“I don’t care how much talent you have. I don’t care how gifted you are, you’ve got to know God is the only one who’s able to save you.”

“This is a new season! Church of God in Christ, you’ve got to get ready, because God is raising up a nation [of] water-walkers!”

“Jesus, if you tell me to walk on the water, I will walk.”

“Get out of the boat!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Matthew 14:22-33, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 43:19, Luke 8:43-48, Luke 5:17-26.

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Bishop Paul S. Morton is founder of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship. He is the Senior Pastor of Changing a Generation FGBC in Atlanta, GA, and Co-Pastor of Greater St. Stephen FGBC in New Orleans, LA. He is also holds several advanced degrees, is an author and Stellar-award-winning recording artist. Bishop Morton and his wife, Dr. Debra Morton, are the proud parents of 3 children, and the grandparents of 6 grandchildren.

Join us in St, Louis! WATCH THE 108th CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST HOLY CONVOCATION LIVE HERE!