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5 Things I wish I'd known before I went to College

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went To College

 

It’s “Back-to-School Season”; that time of year when youth and young adults around the world say “good-bye” to Summer fun and freedom, and go back to the structure and routine of school.

Senior year symbolically marks the end childhood and the beginning of adulthood: and for many, life on your own in college.

I still remember my first realization that I’d be leaving the small-town comforts and familiarity of home and family to embark upon the journey to adulthood in the big city. Up until that point, I’d spent most of my time focused on finishing my last year of high school; planning and preparing for entrance exams, college applications and portfolios; and gathering the necessities for dormitory life. Then it hit me: I’m going to be living a totally new life – and I had no idea what that was going to be.

Looking back now, I see an amazing adventure, and I wouldn’t have traded in a day of those experiences. But years later, much has changed in the world of today. The times are very different: and there might be a few things I’d want to know if I were doing it all over again.

Here are 5 things I wish I’d known before going away to college:

  1. Your faith will be tested. Your first encounters may be with people, activities, or ideas which are the exact opposite of everything you’ve learned to be true up until now.But although it’s great to learn new things, that doesn’t mean that your faith is wrong: even if everyone in society says otherwise.Your homework assignment for today: Read about Daniel and his friends in The Book of Daniel, chapters 1-6. Best advice here? Practice discipline. Know that saying “No” is a strength: not a weakness.
  2. It’s not necessarily a Christ-centered education you’re getting. Unless you’re attending a Christian college or seminary, your education is going to be secular; meaning, it may uphold more worldly ideas than Godly ones. I always thought that college was a more in-depth, specialized version of what we get in high school, and like the news, education was supposed to be neutral and objective, based on a central (bible-based) truth. Well, that’s no longer true for the news, and it’s not always true for your college education either. Holding onto your faith will prove to be an important asset (Proverbs 2:1-2).
  3. It’s a crash course in tolerance. My coed college dorm was a converted apartment building with large apartments as dorm rooms. Within my first two years of college, I’d had seven roommates; among them: a lovable white “hippie” drug dealer; a physically-challenged adopted Asian; a free-spirited African-American; a prim, Southern white supremacist; a shy Latino. That close proximity to actually living with diversity has continued to prepare me for life experiences to this day (Ephesians 4:2-5).
  4. You won’t always have someone on your side. Nope, not even professors. As a matter of fact, many professors feel it’s their duty to break you of whatever old ideas they think you’re harboring in order to make you “a new creation”. But remember your faith: and according to 2 Corinthians 5:17-18, that’s Jesus’ job. Joseph’s story in Genesis 34 is a great one to remember regarding the trials – and rewards – of staying faithful to the dream God has for you.
  5. It’s a very important step in a much bigger journey. Be proactive about your education; develop as many of your skills as possible. Where a syllabus may fall short culturally or spiritually, research other titles which can supplement your knowledge base. It’s important to seek and learn all you can to prepare yourself for the life God created you for (Matthew 25:14-30). Staying true to your Christian faith when you’re young will yield many rewards later in life, and this is just the beginning.

I guess the diversity of experiences was a gift, and I chose to accept it head-on (unlike our troubled, white supremacist roommate who, upon asking to be moved to another apartment during our first semester, was never seen or heard from by any of us again). My college years eventually led me to a fuller understanding of Jesus, of God, of my own values, and of the world. It may sound trite, but life really is a wonderful journey if you remember to keep the faith, stay the course, and hold on to the lessons it brings.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES -Daniel 1-6, Proverbs 2:1-2,Ephesians 4:2-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18,Genesis 34, Matthew 25:14-30.

Are you ready for college?

Watch the trailer for the film, “God Is Not Dead”-

When atheist philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) plans to forego “dusty arguments” in his class, he insists the new students declare that “God Is Dead.” Unable to do this, Josh (Shane Harper) is challenged to defend his faith and prove to the class that God is NOT Dead. 

BOOK Free To Dream by Bishop Charles E. BlakeDO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve?  Let  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.

PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.

Bishop Blake: Why We Need The Church

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. shares with us why the church is of vital importance in today’s world.

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:1)
 …not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” (Hebrews 10:25) 

 

IMAGINE a world without the church.  Can you conceive of how bad things would be? Conditions are already bad on the earth in which we live. The moral standards of our nation have gone into the sewer; mankind today is doing every conceivable thing – and even some things that have not yet been conceived!

Why do we need the church?

The work of the church is important because:

  1. The church points men to their Creator.
  2. The church defines the meaning of life.
  3. The church prepares men for eternity.
  4. The church talks about morality.
  5. The church gathers people together to hear the Word of God and the will of God.

If the church were not here, who would tell men about Jesus?

If the church were not here, who would point men to God?

If the church were not here, who would stand for morals; calling right ‘right’, and wrong ‘wrong?’

“The work of the church is more important than any institution in the world because it makes the spirit of man its central focus.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

Every endeavor has a place. Every pursuit has a place, and we go to that place to pursue what it stands for. The church is that place which stands for God. We ought to make sure that we have a house where we can worship Him; to lift our hands and praise Him! When we fail to provide a place of worship, it indicates a lack of sincerity and commitment to God.

We also need to make the church as great as we possibly can. God gave us His best when He gave us Jesus Christ; therefore, we ought to give God our best. God’s house ought to reflect the beauty and majesty of God; a beautiful, a spacious place which accommodates the people of the Lord.

David said in Psalm 122, “I glad was when they said unto me, let us go into house of the Lord.”  The work of the church is more important than that of any institution in the world because no other institution makes the spirit of man its central focus.

We need the church to tell men about God’s Will, and to push him higher than he’s ever gone before.  God has a plan for mankind and for this world, and the world needs to turn to God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Adapted from the sermon, “Of Your Own, We Have Given You”; July 26, 2015, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. at West Angeles Church Of God In Christ.  PHOTO – W. E. B. DuBois, 1899. “Photographs of African Americans in Georgia exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.” Courtesy, Library of Congress.


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Bishop Blake: How To Praise the Lord!

“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” – Revelation 19:5

The Bible is filled with physical actions that we ought to take in relationship with God. God wants our bodies. He wants our submissiveness. Praise is the key to powerful living. It ignites God’s power in our lives.

As human beings, we were created by God to praise Him (Isaiah 43:7, Matthew 21:16). Praise, prayer, and fasting are for spiritual warfare, for lifting the spiritual man up and putting the physical man down. God is at work in your mind, in your soul.

So as we enter the season of praise of the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, do you know what it means to praise Him?

The Hebrews had seven words for praise which that tell us how to praise the Lord. All of them mean praise, but each word focuses on a different kind of behavior:

Towdah – Psalm 50:14. The word Towdah means “thanksgiving.” Towdah means “to lift up your hands in a cup-like manner

“Zamar” – Our musical gifts are given to us for the purpose of praising God.

as in giving or receiving a gift, or giving a sacrifice.” Lift up your hands and say, “Lord I praise you, and I know you’re going to pour out your spirit into my life. I’m cupping my hands so I can receive it and retain it.”

Yadah – PSALM 63:1. Yadah means “lift up your arms and worship with extended hands.” Lift up your hands; extend them into the air and say, “Lord, I surrender to you. Your will be done in my life.”

Zamar – PSALM 92:1-3.  Zamar is song and praise on the instruments of music. Our musical gifts are given to us by God for the purpose of praising Him.

Tehillah – PSALM 34:1; Tehillah means “to sing in the spirit, glorify the Lord in song. To be filled with the spirit; make melody in your heart.” Sing “Praise the Lord!”

Barak – PSALM 95:6-7; to kneel; to rock back and forth, and side to side. Bow down before the Lord. You’ve got to move!

Shabach – PSALM 150:6. Loud praise; shout to God proclaiming the glory of God. Release and lift your voice to the Lord! “Let everything that has breath praise Him!”

Halal – PSALM 147:1. Halal means “clamorous, foolish, crazy praise!” Whatever you do to celebrate anything else, you ought to do even more for the Lord!

 

The Bible says the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. When you praise Him, when you open your mouth and worship Him, the Lord shows up in the middle of your praise, and you feel His presence.

Lift your hands and say, “Lord, fill me again. I want to be filled with the Holy Ghost!” Clap your hands and praise Him! Hallelujah!

Excerpted from the sermon, “God’s Terms of Engagement.” April 24, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Watch it HERE on West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

Hear the phenomenal, anointed “SHELBY 5” sing “TOTAL PRAISE” at WEST ANGELES CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST below:


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

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

To  purchase your copy of Encountering God: The Pathway to His Presence, please contact the West Angeles Christian Emporium at 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012.

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

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

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

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

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

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

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

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

    A young father walks with his son.

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

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

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

This is our message to fathers…be blessed!

THE WEST ANGELES COUNSELING CENTER – West Angeles Church of God In Christ invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. We provide support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. You do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

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Bishop Blake: A Prayer Agenda for Fathers

“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:9-10

 

“There’s a great hunger, a great need for expert advice on today…Abject failures are clamoring to tell you how to succeed.”

“Bad advice is everywhere but good expert advice is hard to find.”

“Sometimes, advice is very expensive, but there can be no more important dimension than that which relates to God and to eternal life.”

“The best advice comes from the Word of God.”

“It is so important to read the Bible for yourself.”

“Isn’t it great to be caught doing good?”

“Doesn’t it seem a little strange that Paul would pray for a group that seems to be doing pretty good?”

“All of us know a good start, but few of us are able to persevere.”

“When you decide you want to do something excellent for God, that’s when the devil attacks.”

“If you’ve never had a run-in with the devil, it may be because you’re going in his direction.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“You ought to be further ahead and more accountable to God than you were last year.”

“Success imposes responsibility. Blessings impose responsibility.”

“When you are succeeding, it takes a strong, secure person to help you and not get jealous of you.”

“Many consider the apostle Paul to be the greatest preacher that ever lived, except for Jesus Christ.”

“When something is filled, it has no room for anything else. And when we are filled with the truth, there’s no room for error.”

“Paul did not just pray for knowledge, but for divine knowledge.”

“You don’t know a person because you’ve shaken hands with a person…you’ve got to stay around the person.”

“The most important associate you can ever have is God almighty.”

“Stay around the Lord.”

“The priorities of so many men are confused…They want the knowledge of God so that they can accomplish their will. It’s not our will, but God’s will.”

“Wisdom is practical knowledge.”

“A dumb question is better than a stupid mistake.”

“It’s not our will, but God’s will.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“How many of you know that God will guide you and direct you?”

“When you’re prayerful… the Spirit of the Holy Ghost will guide you and direct you.”

“My brother…if you would open your heart to the Lord, He was a way of directing you in His way.”

“Your outward life ought to bring credit to your master’s name…If you’re a servant of the Lord, your life ought to reflect that.”

“The Lord wants us to be fruitful.”

“We need the help of God.”

“’Wait’ means trust in God. ‘Wait’ means rely on God. ‘Wait’ means believe that God is going to strengthen you. And if you put your trust in Jesus, He has a way of showing up.”

“Lord, I need your power. I need your presence. If you call Him, he’ll show up!”

“Lord, fill me with your power!”

“Jesus is alive!”

“God will bring you though!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Your enemies may come against you to bring you down, but God will pick you up.”

“God will bring you out! God will bring you over! God will bring you though!”

“Patience is endurance; it’s the ability to hold out and not be blocked by any attack of the enemy.”

“Thanksgiving is a command of God.”

“God wants you to stand!”

“Joy is in the Word of God!”

“The Lord is good!”

Adapted from the sermon, “Paul’s Prayer Agenda for Fathers.”  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.  See our entire Father’s Day service featuring Shelby 5, on The Legacy Broadcast.

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Colossians 1:3-14, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Matthew 22:29, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Proverbs 14:12, James 1:5, Ephesians 5:17, John 14:26, Proverbs 3:6,2 Timothy 2:19, John 15:5, Galatians 6:9, Isaiah 40:31, 2 Timothy 1:7, Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49, Jeremiah 33:3, Luke 10:19, Romans 8:31, Hebrews 12:2, Jude 1:24, Revelation 22:13.


Shelby 5 was our musical guest on Father’s Day 2017 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ! Hear their awesome acapella version of “CHAMPION” below:

DID YOU KNOW? The West Angeles Counseling Center has classes on parenting and marriage. We provide support and services to help strengthen every member of the family, and you do not have to be a West Angeles member. If you need support, and to find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

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

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

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

Some choose to be sick because:

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

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

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

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

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

 

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEALED?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Women and Health: 8 Actions to Take Now

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

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

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

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

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

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

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

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

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

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please Join Us For: “A Day In May with Mae!”

Ladies, it’s that time of year again!

Please join our First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake and The Women’s Affairs Organization for:

“A DAY IN MAY WITH MAE”

WHEN:  Saturday, May 13th

TIME: 10:00 AM

DONATION: $60

PLACE:  The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel

5400 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90045
Parking is $10, or $15 for valet service.
CONTACT:  Peaches Allen at 323/733-8300 X2382 for details.
…And for our attire color this year:
“Pretty in Pink”!

Give to the West Angeles Sponsorship Fund

ATTENTION, WEST ANGELES FAMILY: IT’S TIME TO GIVE!

 

April is West Angeles Sponsorship Month!  – We all know how challenging it can be to meet rising college expenses. To be a blessing to the West Angeles scholars who have qualified for a sponsorship, please give to the West Angeles Sponsorship Fund Organization (WASFO).

Last year, you gave over $83,000 to help deserving students achieve a quality education. Please feel free to mail your donations to the address below, or to pay online now, please click the image below. You can also use the yellow envelopes provided in the pews during our annual fundraising drive; however, tax-deductible donations are accepted on a continuous basis.

To give to the Sponsorship Fund, please make checks payable to:

WEST ANGELES CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (in the memo area, please write “WASFO”).

Our West Angeles Church of God In Christ address is:

3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Education and EnrichmentDeacon John Wilson, (323) 733-8300 x2628, or Le’Nese Burks, x2629 for further details.

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CLICK HERE TO GIVE!

The West Angeles Sponsorship Fund Organization (WASFO) was created to assist in furthering the development of our high school graduates and current college students, by way of providing sponsorship for their college education. Since its creation, WASFO has distributed over 200 scholarships to qualified applicants who are active members of West Angeles Church. Our youth and young adults are some of the brightest in the country and for this reason we want to help them succeed in their pursuit of higher learning, as we help to alleviate some of their financial pressures.

Visit WESTA.ORG for timely information and articles from our Office of Education and Enrichment.  For more information on financial aid, application deadlines and more, please click HERE to read more.

World Missions Spreads the Gospel Worldwide

 

 

 

The World Missions Organization is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide.

West Angeles’ and COGIC World Missions make an impact around the world.

Each year, the World Missions Organization travels to various parts of the world, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and doing God’s work. We would love for you to join us!

We’ve ministered in countries such as:

  • Brazil
  • Panama
  • India
  • Haiti
  • Israel
  • And various countries on the continent of Africa

Today there are more than 6,000 unreached groups in the world. These are peoples among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with the adequate resources to evangelize within the group.

The World Missions Organization has two goals:

  1. To deliver the message of the gospel in the appropriate way; providing the members of that group historic access to the Good News.
  2. To invest in resources and leadership training strategies which empower indigenous leaders with the ability to reach their own people.

Find out more by calling the number below. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to change the lives of others around the world. Call Deacon Jon Randall, Chairman, at 323-733-8300 ext. 2760.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO GIVE TODAY:

 

JOIN US ON OUR NEXT MISSIONS TRIP TO ISRAEL! Please CLICK HERE to learn more.