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Bishop Blake: What To Do When Your Soul Refuses to be Comforted

“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint – Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes, peace of mind may seem elusive. The problems and issues of the world dominate our minds, seep into our hearts and afflict our souls.  Our past hurts and our sins plague us, and it seems as if things may never be right again. When we feel overwhelmed by the shadow cast over us, we must always remember that God is often trying to teach us that we have strength in Jesus. He is teaching us resilience; how to have faith, how to overcome, how to triumph.

In this sermon, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. gives us the example of a mother eagle teaching her baby how to fly. Sometimes the mother eagle will drop her young from her grasp, then swoop down at the last minute as it falls. Just as the eagle saves her offspring moments before it hits the earth, God looks out for us in the same way. Comfort comes in knowing that God will never leave us; nor will He forsake us in our time of need.

“What To Do When Your Soul Refuses To Be Comforted” from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

“When you endure difficult trials your soul should be comforted,” said Bishop Blake… “Jesus has already paid the price…God is trying to teach you how to fly. James 1 says,

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.'”

What do you do when your soul refuses to be comforted? Are there bible verses that you refer to when you are feeling anxious or depressed? Please feel free to share them with others below or on our social media page, so that others may be comforted too.

 

A Picture of Peace

By Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

Today is the International Day of Peace. Please take a moment to read and share the scriptures below, and to do one small action toward creating peace in the world.

An artist was commissioned to paint a picture of peace. He painted a picture of lightning flashing across the sky; he painted debris carried thru the sky by the ferocious wind. Then, in the middle of the picture, the artist painted a huge rock that was cracked. And deep in its recesses within a cleft in the rock, the artist painted a little bird sitting on her nest, chirping softly to the little baby birds that were in the nest beneath her.

When the artist was finished, he stepped back and said, “Now that’s peace.”

Peace is not defined by the absence of storms; peace is not the absence of trouble and distress. But if you’ve got Jesus, you’ve got peace. If you’ve got Jesus, you know things are going to turn out well, and you know everything is going to be alright.

 

7 SCRIPTURES OF PEACE

The following is a list of scriptures on the peace and shelter found within the word of the Lord:

Psalm 29:11 (NKJV) The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Mark 4:39 (KJV) And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


DID YOU KNOW?

The WEST ANGELES COUNSELING CENTER offers personal development programs, and classes on marriage, parenting, and more – regardless of your membership status. Please contact (323) 737-7463 or  733-8300 ext. 2360. Email [email protected] Please click here to learn more.

 

Bishop Blake God's call to action

THE TIME IS NOW: Bishop Blake Preaches God’s Call To Action

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shared the story of the Israelites in the book of Deuteronomy, who had been in the wilderness for 40 years. But when God communicated to the people through Moses that they had “skirted or compassed this mountain long enough,” and that they should “begin moving forward into the Promised Land” (2:2-3), they instead disobeyed out of fear. Except for Caleb and Joshua, most of the Israelites died without ever entering the Promised Land, or receiving the Blessing God had for them.

Bishop Blake preached, however, that it’s “time to fight” our fears and sins, and calls on us to heed God’s Word in His timing. “It’s your time to be blessed; to be an overcomer, to walk in the power of God,” Bishop said. “When God says long enough, He means long enough, and you can walk into your miracle.”

Below are quotes from the sermon:

“If God says something is going to happen, you need to know: it’s going to happen!”– Bishop Charles E. Blake

“I believe somebody  is going to move from where you are, to where you want to be; from where you are to where God would have you to be.”

“Your ability has nothing to do with it. The blessing that God has for you, God is going to give it to you – by His own Power.”

“Sometimes we’re better off not knowing the true nature of the challenges that stand before us. Sometimes if we had known about the cost and the problem and the difficulty, we would not have started off in the first place.”

“If God says something is going to happen, you need to know: it’s going to happen!”

“Sometimes our pride will cause God to lose patience with us. We’re so wrapped up, caught up in ourselves that we don’t want to focus on the things of God.”

“Sometimes our unbelief will cause us to miss out. Sometimes it’s our sin: sin in our lives prevents us from walking into the blessings that the Lord has in store for us. Sometimes it’s our fear: but God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

“If ‘long enough’ is allowed to pass by us, then ‘too long’ will be the next description of our plight.”

“Now is the time. When God says move, it’s time to move. God wants to get somebody back on His schedule today.”

“Sometimes God has to get you into a tough spot to really prepare you and teach you, and get you ready for what is on the way.”

“If God can bring me through that, there’s nothing that He can’t bring me through. If God stood with me in the middle of that, then I know it’s going to be alright!”

“It’s time to go higher: higher in the Power of God. We’ve been where we are long enough” – Bishop Charles E. Blake

 

“Use your waiting period to allow God to help you to become everything you ought to be.”

“Certain things take a long time. Do you know how long it takes to make a rock? It takes time. It takes heat. It takes moisture. It takes pressure to make a rock.”

“Life always brings some kind of hardship. You’ll never become the person God wants you to be without going through something.”

“It’s on the way. The promise of God will be fulfilled.”

“You can make it. You can endure. You can overcome. God did not come into your life to bring you to failure and to defeat. God has something good in store for you.”

“My objective for you today is for you to decide in your heart, ‘I’m ready.’ The Promised Land is ready. When the Lord speaks…it’s time for you to step out on faith.”

“When you step out into God’s miracle-working power, walls will fall down. When the Israelites went into the Promised Land, Jericho was the first city that stood before them; (a city with wide, strong walls. But) they didn’t have to pull the walls down. All they had to do was walk: and the walls fell.”

“Walls are coming down: walls of trouble; walls of resistance; walls of sorrow. Pull them down in the name of Jesus.”

“Now is the time. Now is the day. Now is the hour. God called on us to walk into our future free and whole in Jesus.”

Bishop Blake: Who Are You Going To Call?

By Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

As a young evangelist, I conducted a revival with a friend of mine at a church in St. Louis, MO. Afterwards, we had another revival to conduct in Denver, CO. We left St. Louis in a driving rain storm that only grew worse as we traveled.

At a certain point, we rounded a curve, and my car lost traction on the wet pavement. We began to hydroplane. We twirled and twirled toward a tree beside the road. As I wrestled with the steering wheel, my friend, who was traveling with me, called out, “Charles! Charles!” The car was spinning out of control at 60 or 70 mph… My friend called my name again, “Charles!” But he wasn’t getting very far.

Our lives flashed before our eyes as I tried to straighten the car without success. I released the steering wheel and we both covered our heads to brace for the impact. Just then, my friend called out “JESUS!” We waited for the crash – but there was no crash. The car had gone down off the highway backwards into a stream.

The back of the trunk was under water the rest on the edge of the shore.

We looked up and saw that we were alright! We never heard a crash. We never felt the car even stop. We got out of the car unhurt, waded through the little bit of water we were in, and made it to shore. We stood on the bank of the stream, lifted up our hands and began to glorify God.

Do you know that you can call on the name Jesus? For John 14:13 says:

“Whatsoever you ask in my name you shall receive it.”

So I’m proclaiming healing in the name of Jesus; deliverance in the name of Jesus; strength in the name of Jesus; peace in the name of Jesus, provision in the name of Jesus.

Lift up your hands and say, “In the name of Jesus!”


Adapted from the sermon “God’s Terms of Engagement”; April 24, 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. See this entire service and more HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.

Keeping the Christian Family Strong

There couldn’t be a better time for renewed focus on strengthening and celebrating the Christian family.

A whopping 78 percent of Americans identify as Christian[1], and after decades of unparalleled trials, triumphs and tests, we now know that regaining our stride as a community and a nation requires a reaffirmation of our faith and our beliefs.

For African American Christians in particular, this couldn’t be closer to the truth. Marriage, family, and generational ties were the foundations of our cultures in Africa. Even after being denied to marry during generations of slavery, our ancestors got married and stayed married decades later, making historic strides during the Civil Rights Era. Fast forward to the new millennium, however, and we’re now a generation that’s questioned our beliefs and traditions in favor of society’s trends and movements when it comes to marriage, relationships and child-rearing.

Adopting the permissiveness of the ‘sexual revolution’,  the materialism spawned by the 1980s, and the self-absorption characteristic of the millennial – or “ME” – generation, has thrown some of us off track, landing us in worse financial and emotional shape than our parents or even grandparents. Where previous generations got married and stayed married, many of us have chosen single life or divorce, allowing ourselves an “out” as soon as something goes wrong.  We dissolve the marriage before fully understanding the benefits of enduring and transcending trials.

But there’s no triumph without a trial (James 1:12), and if you’re ready to throw statistics out the window and breathe renewed life into your family and your future, it’s time to get back on track by:

1. Putting Christ at the center of your family life. The common denominator among strong civilizations is a common spiritual belief. Yet, while those of other faiths stand firm in their beliefs, we Christians have seen – and allowed – more challenges to our beliefs than any other religion. Ephesians 6:13 tells us to “put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and therefore after you have done everything, to stand.” As past generations have proven, the only way for us to thrive in an unstable society is to stand by the principles of our faith.

2. Putting the marriage first. When we travel by plane, one of the first things the flight attendants tell us is if the plane goes down, put on our own life support vest before helping others. The same goes for a marriage. The husband and wife – not career, money, possessions or even the children – are the core of the family.  Show love and affection toward each other and attend to each others’ needs. Continue to grow as individuals and as a couple, and always keep your relationship new, exciting and alive.  Joined by God, a husband and wife create a supernatural bond that knows no bounds. And the good news is, we’re not alone: marriage is on the rise [2]!

3. Guarding your heart, mind, and ears. Staying focused on the Word, using discernment when deciphering society’s trends, limiting media intake, and surrounding yourselves and your family with like-minded people are important ways to maintain strength and focus as a Christian family. For example, studies show that you’re 75 percent more likely to become divorced if you spend most of your time with friends and family who are divorced [3].

4. Preparing your children to serve. Cultivate their walk in their God-given purpose – not their wants or desires as promoted by society. Teach them the importance of giving back, and of becoming global citizens (read more on raising strong children here).

5. Doing things together as a family. Whether through meals, vacations, charitable and leisure activities, a family enterprise, or worship, spending quality time together as a family is key. As the saying goes, “The family that prays together, stays together [4].”

6. Having faith in faith. For centuries we’ve overcome trials by summoning faith in Christ. But in modern times, many have turned their backs on faith, thinking that we’ve somehow “evolved” beyond a need for Jesus’ strength. True strength is found in “walking the walk,” having the courage to live by your beliefs, and by being the first example of how your children should live. Being a Christian isn’t ‘weird,’ but very special (1 Peter 2:9).

7. Creating a ‘Vision Statement’ for your family. Call a family meeting to create a mission statement together, and write down your process and your results. Having a mission statement keeps everyone focused on ultimate goals and the big picture, not the quick fix or the gamble. Another great idea is to adopt a family scripture, as the Bradley family discusses here.

8. Creating your “Village.” As the (Yoruba) African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Multi-generational families are making a comeback. We honor the wisdom of the elders to keep us firmly rooted in our faith, our traditions, and our past triumphs, as well as to project a vision for our future. Your village may include trusted friends and your church family, as well as blood relatives. Put the well-being of the family first while setting limits. Discipline is a biblical principle (Proverbs 13:24); allow the wisdom of God to protect your family.

The truth is, marriage and family are central themes in the Christian faith, and they’re also symbolic of the church. To each other, we are “brethren,” “fathers,” “brothers,” “sisters,” and as a unit, we are the “household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

By far, more people claim Christianity as their faith than any other religion[1], yet no other faith on earth has experienced the level of challenges – or triumphs – that belief in the power of Jesus has. Work hard to maintain your focus on faith, and believe that the strength of your marriage and your family is one of God’s secret weapons of prosperity.

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/04/u-s-doesnt-rank-high-in-religious-diversity/
[2] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/06/new-census-data-show-more-americans-are-tying-the-knot-but-mostly-its-the-college-educated/
[3] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/10/21/is-divorce-contagious/
[4] – Father Patrick Peyton.

 

Did you know?
• Christians are the largest religious group in the world, and make up 33 percent of the world’s population.

• The common belief that “50 percent of all marriages end in divorce” is a myth. Origins: In 1979, during a time when new ideas and movements like Women’s Liberation and the Sexual Revolution began to hit their peak, the number of divorces peaked at 47 percent of the number of marriages performed that year. However, the number did not reflect the millions of marriages which had endured through previous generations.

• Grandparents’ Day is celebrated in September.

Bishop Blake to Headline CBCF Prayer Breakfast

Story originally published HERE.

Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. (COGIC), Charles Edward Blake Sr., and legendary GRAMMY® award-winning powerhouse, Pastor Shirley Caesar, are set to headline the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated’s (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Prayer Breakfast, September 23, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. This year’s ALC honorary co-chairs are Congressman Marc Veasey from Texas and Congresswoman Robin Kelly from Illinois.

Celebrating faith, freedom and resilience, this year’s event will introduce a creative worship experience with liturgical dancers Stacy J. & Unified Praise from Houston, Texas and will also feature a performance by the Great Commission Baptist Church Choir from Ft. Worth, Texas. The CBCF is honored again to have this year’s Prayer Breakfast sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

“People of all faiths, nationalities, and races are facing unprecedented attempts to take away basic civil and human rights. Our nation needs decisive leadership to overcome some of its most urgent challenges,” said A. Shuanise Washington, CBCF president and CEO. “The Prayer Breakfast is a time to unite and refocus our priorities on what is truly important, namely investments in our people. By doing so, we will ultimately prevail over those seeking to divide us.”

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., is the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., a 6.5 million-member Pentecostal-Holiness denomination. In 2009, Bishop Blake was invited by President Obama to serve on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. As founder and CEO of Save Africa’s Children, a program of the Pan African Children’s Fund, Bishop Blake helps to support more than 200,000 children in 400 orphan care programs in more than 23 African nations. Bishop Blake is an ardent advocate of education and academic excellence, holding multiple academic and honorary degrees from various educational institutions.

Pastor Shirley Caesar is a music icon. Known as the “Reigning Queen of Gospel,” Pastor Shirley Caesar is one of the most recognized names and voices of gospel. She has won 12 GRAMMY® Awards, 14 Stellar Awards, 18 Dove Awards, has been inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Music is my lifelong service in ministry. I am excited to be part of the CBCF’s Prayer Breakfast and hope that listeners will feel the love, embrace the strength and be inspired to keep rising through the tough times,” said Pastor Shirley Caesar.

Great Commission Baptist Church Choir’s main purpose is to touch people by ministering and imparting the gospel of Jesus Christ through song. This powerful ensemble from Ft. Worth, Texas, is filled with singers of various musical experiences and ages who celebrate music and spirituality. Under the direction of Excell Amos and backed by a talented ensemble of musicians, the choir’s spirit and harmonies bring audiences to their feet by making a joyful noise.

Stacy J. & Unified Praise want to change lives through dance. From Houston, Texas, this amazing and gifted group of liturgical dancers share their understanding of resilience through a cultural lens that is aimed at bringing glory to God through dance.

Proceeds from the Prayer Breakfast benefit the CBCF’s fellowship, internship, scholarship and research programs—and the foundation’s efforts to eliminate disparities in the African-American community. To purchase tickets to the breakfast and to register for the ALC, click HERE.

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Bishop Blake featured in NY Daily News column

As the attack that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend continue to fuel debate regarding the direction of our society, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s statement on the matter found its way into political anchor Errol Louis’s column on Tuesday, entitled Vaccines against extremism: Culture and faith.

Click HERE to read the full story.

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.

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.

Bishop Blake, Magic Focus on Advancing Black Males

Originally posted on LAsentinel.net.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church of God in Christ, and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson are partnering to offer advancement services to equip African American men to succeed in life.

During the official launch event on March 18 at West Angeles COGIC, the two leaders announced the initiative before an audience of 400+ men attending the church’s Brotherhood Organization gathering.

The program, billed as “Super Saturday,” featured breakfast and motivational speeches by Blake, Johnson and actor and entrepreneur Romell Witherspoon.

“This initiative was birthed out of a deep concern about poor academic achievement, financial disenfranchisement, high unemployment, soaring crime levels, the desperate state of the African-American male and the breakdown of the family unit that plagues our cities, small and large, urban and rural,” explained Blake.

To combat those challenges, the advancement services will focus on education (access, excellence and  equity), economic development (job creation and training), crime prevention (reduction and  rehabilitation), family life (developing healthy men, women and children) and financial literacy (earning, saving, investing and spending wisely).

While West Angeles COGIC already offers 20 programs specifically for men, Blake noted the Super Saturday event strengthens the church’s effort to do even more to help African American males.

“This is kind of a special day to have Earvin with us now and Witherspoon, a very sharp entrepreneur, to share with us from a millennial perspective. Nobody’s a better businessman than Earvin “Magic” Johnson. He’s taking us to another level and we’re going to continue as long as we are here,” said Blake.

Explaining that the initiative is another step towards community improvement, Johnson said, “The face of our community changed when Bishop built the church (West Angeles Cathedral).  I think people’s minds were changed, so now we have products and services and goods that we never had before in our community.

“We have had so many things happen that are positive in our community. This is what it’s all about. We’ve got to continue to take striving steps to make our community better.”

Johnson’s commitment to community development and empowerment is illustrated by his long history of establishing businesses and hiring people in underserved communities across the nation. In South L.A., he is heralded for opening a movie theater, several Starbucks and other businesses in the area. Through his Magic Johnson Foundation, he sponsors a number of philanthropic campaigns such HIV educational and  awareness programs.

A 25-year member of West Angeles COGIC and president of the L.A. Lakers, Johnson said, “I’m never going to change.  It’s not about my job or what I do, but who I am.  I will always be a man who will be involved.”

“His businesses that he manages here in Los Angeles and the economic opportunities he provides are in the hood or near the hood. So I’m very proud of him and his efforts to improve to enhance the community,” added Blake.