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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.

________________________________________________________________________

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.

Celebrate The Resurrection: What Does Easter Mean To You?

Revelation 21:5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.

It’s Spring, the season of the Resurrection Celebration!  Each year at this time, we celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ Resurrection and the phenomenon of God’s miraculous power of rebirth.  This spirit is also reflected in nature and throughout the earth: dark, cold, rainy days give way to light, warmth, and longer periods of sun; plants, shriveled and dormant throughout the winter months, are now reborn with new, tender blooms; animals emerge from hibernation to introduce new young to the world.

The Easter Season symbolizes hope and rejuvenation, and it also magnifies the resilience of the human spirit.  It’s humankind’s call to renew its strength (Isaiah 40:28-31); to celebrate freedom from physical, emotional, and spiritual slavery (Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 12:12-15); to reaffirm a personal connection to God’s amazing universe and power (Ephesians 1:17-20).   As our Presiding Bishop Blake would say, “That same power that brought Jesus back from the dead, also resides in us!”

In the spirit of this glorious season, tell us: What does Easter mean to you? Does it represent tradition?  Does it conjure a memory?  Or does Jesus’ Resurrection inspire you to create a path to something new in your life?  Shine your light on the world by sharing your reflections with us on social media.  The West Angeles family would love to hear from you!

Everything You Need to Know About Resurrection Sunday at West A! Please join us!

Stressed? 8 Last-minute Tax Tips!

It’s tax time again! If you’re feeling lost in a sea of papers and receipts, no worries…we’re here to help!

To start, if you’re like many Americans who have not yet filed your taxes, there’s good news: you have more time! April 18 is the income tax filing deadline for 2016 taxes because of the observance of the Emancipation Day Holiday, and because April 15th, the traditional tax filing deadline, falls on a Saturday this year.

Next, we’ve compiled some tools, tips, and links to help ease the stress of tax time, and to help to empower us to take control of our finances. Since God wants us all to be good stewards of our finances (Matthew 25:20-21), these tips can help remove some of the drudgery and mystery out of tax preparation, and encourage us to establish good financial practices for the future:

  1. Organize. Use a box or separate envelopes to toss receipts into, and to store tax forms received from employers or clients. Use an accordion file to store receipts and bills; use one section per month. Designate a place in your home where these items can be kept on a permanent basis.

  2. Chart your spending. Record your expenditures by category. This will help your tax preparer make the right deductions for you, which could result in a bigger return. It will also help you to better budget your spending. Download our free MONTHLY EXPENSE FORM; use it at the end of each month to organize and record your receipts and expenditures.

  3. Gather all necessary paperwork. TurboTax® has compiled a handy list with additional information that can affect your tax filing status. Click HERE to download.

  4. File an extension. Feeling stressed by the last-minute rush? The IRS grants special penalty relief to many taxpayers who request a time extension to file their federal income tax returns. You’ll find FORM 4868 HERE.

  5. File online. If you feel confident that you can fill out the forms yourself, then avoid those long lines at the post office by filing online for free. The IRS now offers many services on their website at IRS.gov, including the Online Payment Agreement application, and FREE FILE, a step-by-step tax return filing system. Filing through Free File, you avoid the late-filing penalty on money you may owe. Even if you make a mistake, there’s a solution. Use  FORM 1040X to correct any errors, even on previously filed returns.

  6. Do you owe money? Don’t panic! Some struggling taxpayers may qualify for an offer-in-compromise, an agreement between the taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. Eligibility is determined by the taxpayer’s income and assets.

  7. Filing after the deadline? It’s not the end of the world. Contact the IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). They’re your voice at the IRS, and they can answer questions about tax credits, penalties, and tax return preparation. Their job is to make sure that all taxpayers are treated fairly.

  8. Help is FREE. There are several resources for free help with tax return preparation and questions:

The West Angeles Community Development Corporation offers free tax return preparation for individuals and small business owners with low to moderate incomes. Click HERE for more information, or call 1-323-751-3440.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to-moderate income taxpayers, with a special interest to those 60 and older. There are more than 5,000 locations nationwide; click HERE to find a site near you, or call 1-888-227-7669.

 The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help nationwide to people who generally make $52,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Click HERE to find a VITA site near you or call 1-800-906-9887.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors. The IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS. Click HERE to find a TCE site near you or call 800-906-9887.

The IRS’ Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)   offers free help to guide you through the often-confusing process of resolving  tax problems that you haven’t been able to solve on your own. Their role is to help you understand your rights. Click HERE or call 1-877-777-4778.

Finally, remember, as 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) tells us,

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

On behalf of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, have a blessed and stress-free tax season!


By linking to the external sites mentioned in this article, West Angeles Church of God in Christ is not endorsing their products, services, or privacy or security policies. We recommend you review the business or organization’s information collection policy or terms and conditions to fully understand what information is collected by these entities. Our thanks to the IRS, Intuit / TurboTax®, and to the West Angeles CDC.

8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose

“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”

-Jeremiah 1:5

Whether we know it or not, every thing, and everyone, has a purpose. But life can seem pretty hopeless at times if we don’t know what our purpose is. Sure, we all want to be happy, but what if we were to find out that our true purpose in life isn’t contingent upon our own happiness at all?

The dictionary defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”

But God’s word defines purpose in a higher way. Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) says,  

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

That means, in a nutshell, that our purpose isn’t our choice, it’s God’s. It’s got nothing to do with our parents’ purposes, or our connections, or a particular industry we may think our skills fit into. Our purpose is strictly between us and God, and that makes it pretty important.

DIVINE DESIGN

Now that we know that God has created us for a divine purpose, 8 Things You Need to Know About Finding Your Purpose also know that the world will be a much better place when we all know what that purpose is, then focused on making it happen. But before we can understand how God’s plan for our lives is revealed, we must also know that the world is going to provide all sorts of ready-made ideas for us to claim a “passion” in life – ideas which can distract us and take us down the wrong path if we’re not careful.

That part of the journey can lead us to proclaim:

  • “I want to work in the ______ industry.”
  • “People like me on television  are doing_____, and I want to do it too.”
  • “_______looks like fun!”
  • “My (dad or mom) was a ______, so I’m going to be one too.”
  • “_______makes me happy.”

These reasons, though, probably have nothing to do with why God created us in the first place.

THE SECRET TO YOUR PURPOSE

To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out in order to embrace a whole new way of thinking. So if we’re serious about taking this journey, we’ve got to let go of our own egos and desires, then:

    1. Ditch the world’s idea of who you should be (Romans 12:2). This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps to finding our purpose. This may be hard to do: but take a “media fast”, in order to spend time with God. Social media, television, music: all can be distracting and soul-numbing, and can fill the soul with a million voices – none of which are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, musical performances, sports, news, and reality tv, God doesn’t need any of them to make His purpose for your life known to you.
    2. Listen to God (Isaiah 55:11). He speaks in a myriad of ways. Asking God, hearing and listening to Him, and following Him takes commitment. Fasting, praying, meditating on His Word…You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
    3. Keep a journal (Jeremiah 30:2). Record your dreams and visions. Let Scripture define each task you do.
    4. Go back to childhood (Jeremiah 1:5). Who you were and what you did best in the early days of your childhood can reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose. 
    5. Know that you are not your parents (Exodus 20:5-6). God doesn’t want you to take your parents’ issues into your future. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
    6. Understand it’s not about your happiness (Luke 22:42) – it’s actually about someone else’s. Finding your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes your faith will be tested.
    7. Get off the career ladder (Colossians 1:16). That’s society’s vision for you. You were born with gifts and skills to be used for a higher purpose.
    8. Listen to your elders (1 Timothy 4:14). Respected elders can see the vision for your life, and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.

Jesus said in Luke 9:23,

“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”  

and in John 15:13,

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

If you look at Jesus’ life, everything He did, all of the miracles He performed, He did for others; for those who needed Him. That’s the secret to unlocking the miracles in your purpose: it’s all about using your gifts for the benefit of uplifting others.

What voice or idea is unique only to you? What aspects of society drive you forward and turn on a light within you? Using your God-given gifts and talents to let the world know who God is, changes the world as only you can. Following God’s call puts you on the road to manifesting miracles found only in living out His purpose for your life.


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.

Christian Life: 10 Essential Scriptures for Maintaining Your Cool

Have you found yourself in situations which threaten to challenge your patience, disrupt your peace, and encourage behavior which is counter to what God expects of you? Now, more than ever, saints are uplifting each other with the simple reminder that, no matter what is happening in the world, “God is in Control.” In our latest post on living your best Christian life, Dr. Tonya Lewis shares a list of 10 essential Scriptures for maintaining your cool in challenging times.

When we are confident with who we are and Whose we are, we learn we don’t have to fight each battle which comes our way. Insecurity, immaturity,  and not learning the value of living a peaceable life provokes us to think, say, and do whatever comes to mind, even though it is definitely not wise to do so. Most of the time, many of us feel that we must have the last word or action; we conclude that we can’t allow anyone to think that we are weak or afraid. We then want to blame others for our negative actions; even using the excuse “The devil made me do it!” (which legendary comedian Flip Wilson famous!)

Yes, while Satan and others may influence us, we make the final decision of how we think, speak, or act.  

As we mature in both age and spirit, we actually learn that we express more power by not engaging in each temptation of battle. We are told in Proverbs. 14:29, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness; and in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (NLT). Rather than lose self-control, we must take personal responsibility for our thoughts, our choices, and our actions.

We must commit to keeping our hearts holy and righteous so that BIBLE we reflect the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, both internally and externally. When we yield our lives to Christ Jesus, He empowers us to control what we think, speak or do.  

Below are 10 Scriptures which encourage us to maintain our cool and control under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior:

  1. James 1:19-20 (NIV)My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
  2. Proverbs 10:19Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
  3. James 3:2 (NLT) – Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
  4. Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (NLT).
  5. Prov. 21:23 (NLT) – He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
  6. James 1:26 (NLT) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.  
  7. Proverbs 28:25 (NASB) – An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper
  8. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  9. James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
  10. Matthew 12:34 – (NLT) For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

As Kingdom citizens who live under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, we can have the assurance of 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which states,

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).

Such is not true for persons who are still trying to live life apart from the Lordship of Christ. In order for our spirit, soul and body to be blameless, we must stay in control! When we live according to the Word of God, we can rest assured that we will be kept blameless in what we think, say or do.

God bless you!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years, serving on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, and at other teaching venues.


Hear Jonathan McReynolds sing “MAINTAIN”, featuring Chantae Cann below:

Bishop Blake Discusses Financial Literacy and a New COGIC Partnership

EXCITING NEWS! The Church of God In Christ is partnering with John Hope Bryant and OPERATION HOPE to edify the community with financial literacy, as part of the COGIC Urban Initiatives.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. dedicates the Financial Literacy Center at COGIC National Headquarters, with General Board member Bishop Brandon Porter and Operation Hope CEO John Hope Bryant.

 

Since its inception, OPERATION HOPE has served more than 2.5 million individuals, teaching the building blocks of financial literacy and directing more than $1.8 billion in private capital to America’s low-wealth communities. HOPE maintains a growing army of 22,000 HOPE Corps volunteers, and currently serves more than 300 U.S. cities, as well as South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. Bryant founded OPERATION HOPE immediately following the 1992 Rodney King riots.

 

The partnership between OPERATION HOPE and the Church of God In Christ will be administered through the COGIC Urban Initiatives, which will in turn empower each church to create programs which build upon the principles of financial literacy and economic development within its constituents, in order to create thriving families and communities.

 

OPERATION HOPE also operates the HOPE Inside Atlanta at Ebenezer Church, located on the campus of the King Center. Both the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., were focused on making free enterprise a reality for all.
Watch this inspiring conversation between our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and Operation Hope CEO and Founder John Hope Bryant in this edition of “CIVIL RIGHTS STRAIGHT TALK” below, where they discuss the power of financial literacy for the underserved, and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement:

COGIC Urban Initiatives – The vision of COGIC Urban Initiatives is to build healthy individuals, families and communities for a successful future.  Our mission is to empower the local church to implement programs that address Education, Economic Development, Crime, Family, and Financial Literacy. The programs will result in measurable improvement in the quality of life for individuals, families and communities served by the Church of God in Christ.


Compton son John Hope Bryant is a financial literacy entrepreneur and businessman. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of the nonprofit Operation HOPE.  Bryant was appointed to the U.S. Community Development Advisory Board [10] for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and as vice-chairman of the President’s Council on Financial Literacy by U.S. President George W. Bush. He continued this work under President Barack Obama as part of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (PACFC). He was appointed chairman of the new Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the PACFC Bryant was selected to be a member of the Global Agenda Council for the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also a best-selling author of several titles on economics and leadership, including How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. 

 

Please Join Us: 11/40 Prayer & Consecration Guide

The need for prayer today is greater than ever. Our world faces wars, along with an epidemic of broken homes, poverty, violence, sexual immorality and social strife. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration.

It was the mission of Church of God In Christ’s founder, the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, to recapture and maintain the prayer traditions of the slaves[1]. Our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. desires that we must again commit ourselves to seeking God through prayer, and to maintaining the COGIC legacy of being a church of prayer and fasting.

The 40 Days of Prayer was established by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., in 2011 to intercede on behalf of the Annual International Holy Convocation. For 2016, God has placed the following theme upon Presiding Bishop Blake’s heart:

FIGHTING FOR SALVATION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN A VIOLENT AND IMMORAL WORLD – 1 Timothy 6:12

cogic-theme-2016

It is the joy of the Presiding Bishop to call the people of the Lord to seek God during the 40 days leading up to and during the 109th Annual International Holy Convocation in Saint Louis, Missouri. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration: 40 Prayer requests/11 Minutes of our daily prayer time/40 Days –

 

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 – NOVEMBER 6, 2016

We pray that this event impacts your life, and that praying for our nation moves us from a 40-day venture to a lifetime endeavor.

 

2016-prayer-11-402016-consecration-prayer-guide

Please DOWNLOAD your 2016 11/40 PRAYER GUIDE HERE (please click image on the left to download). 

Please DOWNLOAD your 109TH ANNUAL HOLY CONVOCATION 11/40 CONSECRATION GUIDEBOOK HERE (please click image on the right to download).


[1] – COGIC.org, “Church of God In Christ 109th Annual Holy Convocation 11/40 Guidebook”;http://www.cogic.org/hc2016/files/2013/09/11-11-40-l-Guidebook-2016.pdf. Accessed 10-1-2016.