9.17.16

Happy Saturday to you!

It is a very calm September morning. For the serenity, I am grateful. In many communities throughout the world, this calm does not exist. Let us continue to pray for one another as a global family. This brings me to the point of today’s post. 

Prayer is a very powerful tool that we have at our disposal. Some of us take for granted its effectiveness in transforming people and circumstances. Some of us even have moments where we are reluctant to pray. We will try to utilize our human will and our limited knowledge to solve problems. Yet, there are some solutions that can be accessed through intercession alone. Today, you may have things that you are pondering in your heart. There may be decisions that you have to make or people in your life that need help. You may be overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of certain desires. I encourage you— to take a moment to pray. 

Pray aloud if you choose. Purchase a notebook and write down your intercession. Walk through the park, praying in your spirit. Lie in your bed at night with your eyes closed and supplicate. Whatever method you choose, pray. Prayer is healing. Prayer is transformative. Prayer is a possession you have that no one can take away. So, utilize this possession with fervor and in faith. In conclusion, remember this one thing. God wants to hear from you as often as you’re willing to speak to Him. Anytime. Anywhere. Day or night.

Love,

CompassionateLee

1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, 6 who gave himself a ransom for all —this was attested at the right time.

9.5.16

Happy Monday to you!

I hope you all enjoyed the first installment of the fall fashion series. Don't forget to let me know which items were your favorites! Today, I'll be sharing thoughts on what it means to be a good friend. If the verses resonate with you, feel free to share your definition of friendship. Also, I would love to read comments on powerful moments shared with your closest friends.

Thoughts on Friendship...

(Copyrighted Material-All Rights Reserved.)

The friend I hope to be...

Provides a listening ear at the opportune time

Gives space with cognizance

Loves tangibly-near and far

Utters meaningful words alone

Flees from senseless arguments

Because life is short

And some memories live forever

Quick to forgive

Goes against the grain-never vengeful

In relation with Christ, always.

Experiences with me synonymous with

Radiating from His glory.

Love,

CompassionateLee

2 Samuel 1:17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18 (He ordered that The Song of the Bow be taught to the people of Judah; it is written in the Book of Jashar.) He said: 19 Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places! How the mighty have fallen! 20 Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult. 21 You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor bounteous fields! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, nor the sword of Saul return empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with crimson, in luxury, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. 25 How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. 26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 27 How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

9.3.16

Happy Saturday to you!

My favorite month of the year is here—finally! I may be a summer baby, but I love what September has in store. Beautiful foliage. Pumpkin flavored goodies (yes, already). Cooler temperature. You know what happens when the weather transitions? I get to pull out my favorite apparel—sweaters, hats, midi skirts, etc. In my opinion, the best designs are reserved for the latter part of the year. So cheers to warm tones and layered ensembles! For today’s post, I am sharing five of my favorite items for the fall and winter posts. This will be a regular series throughout the next three months. Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know which pieces are your favorite. Today’s items are brought to you by Topshop. *This is not a sponsored post.*

 

Love,

CompassionateLee

Daniel 2:17 Then Daniel went to his home and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions with the rest of the wise men of Babylon might not perish. 19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven. 20 Daniel said: “Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his. 21 He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. 22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you, for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.”

8.24.16

Happy Wednesday to you!

Today's post comes from a writer that is no stranger to this website. A few of her literary pieces have been featured previously on the blog. If you have not read Zelena's previous posts, check them out here. Also, do not forget to leave your thoughts on her message in the comment section below. 

Not many of you reading know me personally, so I'll give you some background on where my life stands before we get started on today's topic. I am a twenty-five year old, stay at home mom of one, soon to be two. I love the Lord, and he is the glue that holds my family together in the calm and in the storm. I've been married to my husband for two years. In that time our lives have shifted, what seems to be a million times. We've been below the poverty line and comfortable in the middle class. We've been surrounded by supportive loved ones and we've been loners with no one to make holidays feel cozy. We've been madly in love and on the brink of wanting divorce. Friends have fallen away, family members have passed, and we've even been shunned by a congregation of believers in Christ. We've experienced many ups and downs in our time together, and each of them has shown us what we're made of spiritually. Today I want to talk about recognizing God when Satan tries to steal the show.

Last week during my quiet time at home, I looked around and noticed that nothing in my house had been purchased by me... aside from the photos on the walls. I was so grateful for how the Lord had provided for my family in times that were heavy with uncertainty and loss. I remembered praying that God would give us a home in a nice neighborhood, furniture to make it feel welcome, and all the simple things to make it function well. I prayed that prayer 8 months ago when we relocated to Georgia from Maryland, in obedience to the Holy Spirit. We had no direction or possessions. Three short months ago, we moved out of a sketchy neighborhood, into a cozy home that was quickly furnished by several kind people just trying to get rid of things. We were given living room furniture, kitchen table and chairs, a bedroom set, and many other things to fill our empty new home. Each one of these gifts were stained, scraped, or worn in some way. We couldn't care less about their condition because they were now things that we could call ours. They were pieces God used to bless us when we couldn't afford to buy anything to fill the emptiness. 

This week I received an email to alert me that I had entered my 30th week of pregnancy. It reminded me that my baby shower was fast approaching. It sparked a conversation with my best friend about what was to be expected at the shower. I told her that I doubted it would be anything like the kind of baby showers we'd grown accustomed to because it was being held at church and would be very short. I told her there wasn't going to be any "real food" and that I wasn't sure there would be any of the traditional games either. She suggested that we try to bring our own flare to the event and add some things that we were used to. Until that point, I didn't really allow myself to want anything for my baby shower. I didn't feel like I had the luxury of expressing anything I wanted due to my humble living situation. I told her there wouldn't be time for our suggestions and that I was simply grateful to be having a shower at all. 

Just as I began to hone in on my feelings of gratitude, a slight sense of self pity eased its way into my mind. I started to wonder why I always had to just be grateful for anything I could get instead of being able to want things and it be alright for me to have them. I thought of how sometimes I feel like I shouldn't say how I feel about things because I'm low class and people won't hear what I have to say anyway. I thought of how nice it would have been to pick out furniture for my home instead of having to settle for hand-me-downs. All of these thoughts bubbled up inside of me, telling me that I was a worthless charity case. The bubble slowly worked its way to my eyes and rolled uncontrollably down my cheeks. 

The Holy Spirit stepped in at that moment and helped me remember that God has kept me humble my entire adult life so that I could see him in every blessing. I've watched the Lord sustain me in every kind of circumstance and have been blessed to have him with me. Satan took something meant to bless my family and be a happy occasion, and tried to turn it into a reminder of my lowly status in life. He tried to devalue God's faithfulness and provision for my family, by telling me it wasn't good enough. He tried to make me believe that I somehow deserved more than what God has allowed me to obtain, when in reality I don't deserve anything I have at all. He tried to steal the spotlight that was reserved for God in my life. I'm ever grateful for the aid of the Holy Spirit in my time of forgetfulness. He helped me see that no matter how my life looks in comparison to other people's lives, I am blessed to have the lord by my side. I've done nothing to deserve even my life, yet I enjoy the richness of family, daily bread, and the Father's agape love. Be careful of letting Satan sit where God belongs in your life. He will rob you of your peace and screw up your perspective. What God has for you is for you, so when it comes be most grateful that you were worth a blessing in his eyes.

Live

Abundantly!

Philippians 4:11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

8.20.16

Happy Saturday to you!

Today's post comes from a writer that is no stranger to this website. A few of her literary pieces have been featured previously on the blog. If you have not read Zelena's previous posts, check them out here. Also, do not forget to leave your thoughts on her message in the comment section below. 

Yesterday I saw a post, well more of a meme, reflecting the two opposing sides of the government aid issue. I saw it after many months of watching my timeline be flooded with critical statements about the people who enlist the aid. It's always bothered me. Not only because from time to time I've needed the aid personally, but also because I'm spiritually convicted about the matter. After seeing this meme, I decided to voice my opinion in direct response to people who boldly and offensively oppose the provision of government aid. 

My first point was that while some people on government aid are comfortable, using it as a crutch for life, most people who utilize the resource would rather not need it. Those persons would much rather work hard and have that be enough to sustain their living; however for them it's not possible. Despite higher learning and  obtaining degrees that should qualify them for higher pay, many are still struggling to pay for the bare necessities.

The second point I made was from a biblical stand point. Since the start of God's relationship with his people, he has taught us to provide for the poor.  Centuries ago, caring for the poor meant leaving the edges of your fields untouched so that the poor and the sojourner would have the provision of food (Leviticus 23:22). This was just one example. If this is God's instruction, why do we oppose? 

The Word of God says that the poor will always be among us. To me, that says it's a given that not everyone will have that open door or opportunity to succeed, and not always because of the lack of effort. The people who oppose the provision made for the poor are under the assumption that everyone who can work hard, and does work hard, will be successful at making a living that allows them to live with at least their basic needs. This assumption is erroneous and insensitive. It is my opinion that a Christian who has this kind of thinking, is either uninformed or not fully committed to God's word. This is pure ignorance and arrogance. 

I've been prompted to write about this issue because someone very close to me confronted me about not only this post, but also the manner in which I express my thoughts on social issues. I haven't been able to sleep since the conversation. Thus, I figured I needed to pray and write. The individual urged me to be careful of coming off as offensive in my approach of addressing issues publicly. She thought I might offend people; consequently, those people would be inclined to pull away from me. 

To say the least, I was enragednot because I care that people would remove themselves from my circle. Instead, I was enraged because I felt like I was being asked to shut up. For me, shutting up and not using a public platform of which I have free access to stand for truth and combat what I see as an affront to the truth, is cowardice. Additionally, I felt like I was being asked to be a weak Christian. By no means am I a militant person. On the other hand, I am very passionate when it comes to my stance on worldly issues. I would describe myself as an aggressive Christian. 

I do not believe that the social issues of this present age and one's spiritual views can be separated, by a true Christian or a devout follower of any other faith. All of my viewpoints are simultaneously influenced by personal experience and spiritual beliefs. It is my belief that each person's social convictions should reflect his/her spiritual convictions. 

I am spiritually convicted to be a bold woman of faith. In other words, I aim to please the Lord with my words and actions rather than pleasing people. I boldly rebuke error through the authority given me by God, without taking on a feeling of being judgmental, or believing the popular misconception that offending people with truth is sinful. God despises the coward as much as the murderer (Rev 21:8). God does not applaud anyone for bypassing an opportunity to combat falsehood. 

Social media is a place that connects us to strangers across the world, as well as people we love. It has become one of the biggest political and social platforms through which people are informed and brainwashed. If you have a Facebook and not a pulpit, but you don't use it to dominate the evil you see, I fear we are in trouble. Satan is heard on these platforms. I am called to make sure God is heard just as loudly or even louder. I state my social views with biblical support, and I do it knowing that the truth is offensive. Certainly, walking boldly in faith is not comfortable. A truth unspoken is a truth unlearned. 

I am offensive because the message of Christ, his truth, is offensive. I am angry, but anger is not sin (Eph 4:26).   I speak freely and boldly in God's authority just as Christ' followers did in times past (Acts 4:13). I know that I will be persecuted and shut out at some point for the sake of the truth and that's alright. The Lord warned me in his word about the consequences of following his way. 

We live in a time where it is dangerous to be silent. Lines are being blurred. Right and wrong have switched places. We are pleasing men while offending God. Witnessing is a joke because we backpedal every fact with sugar coated and frilly nonsense, as if God needs our help to make what he says sound more tolerable. How insulting to our Savior! Regurgitate the principals and ways of the Lord in our lives and let him worry about the soil it falls on. That's our job and that's it. 

Do not be mistaken. A weak Christian has no impact on the faith, accept to hide it and give the notion that God is a people pleaser. Not taking every opportunity to right a wrong IS WRONG. Doing nothing, saying nothing, is as powerful as doing or saying what is wrong. 

I urge every God fearing man and woman to walk in holy boldness every day of your lives, at every chance you get. You don't have to go looking for lies or affronts to the truth. They  are everywhere. You just have to take the opportunity to declare truth or you will have to answer for your silence! There is a time for biting your tongue (Matt 7:6). We should have the wisdom to understand when that is. That time is not when people are misinformed or spreading untruths for lack of knowledge. In those moments, you must speak so that no one is left with an excuse for why they rejected God, or socially, why they neglected to walk in his ways. 

Live,

Abundantly

Philippians 1:12 I want you to know, beloved, that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14 and most of the brothers and sisters, having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word with greater boldness and without fear. 15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel;17 the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18 What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20 It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.