BLOG

0 comments on “Makes Sense to Me”

Makes Sense to Me

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

– Albert Einstein

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15

“Ask the Lord and put your hope in Him. He has all the answers.”

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

@godfirstgodalways  God first God always  @god_first_god_always @sheelaleigh  @sheelaleigh

 

 

0 comments on “WHY PRAY?: 5 Benefits of Prayer”

WHY PRAY?: 5 Benefits of Prayer

I got prayer all wrong in the past. I thought if I prayed and focused long enough for something like confidence I would be confident for the rest of the year at least if not for life. But sooner or later my doubts would creep in and I would wonder, “Where did my confidence go?” My prayer worked but my confidence only lasted for a while. The thing I realized was that my confidence had an expiration date. I thought maybe I’m not being faithful enough. So then I would pray for faith thinking that if I prayed for it religiously for a week I would have faith for the rest of the year or for a couple months at least and that I would never have to pray for it again until when I was desperate enough.

Our Father in Heaven never meant for us to come to Him asking for specific things just once or even twice. He knows just how needy we are. He wants to have a connection with us all the time that’s why He uses our lack, our imperfections, and our weaknesses to drive us back to Him. But our human nature usually opts to wait for those desperate moments to bring them up in prayer when we can make a habit instead to pray about them throughout the day. Our faith and confidence expires for a reason and that’s because God’s does not. Isn’t His love so amazing to call us back to Him when our cups have run dry?

Prayer is undervalued because not everyone around you will see exactly how you’re benefitting from it as it’s usually a private activity. Only you will know more often than even the closest people to you that it actually works.

SO, EXACTLY HOW DOES ONE BENEFIT FROM PRAYING?

1. PRAYER PRODUCES CONFIDENCE. If it’s self-confidence you want more of, placing it in God is your best move. Sure you’ll find confidence in other things, but do those things build your integrity? When your hope and trust is placed in your Creator, your confidence becomes a firm faith, and you’ll be more positive and optimistic about where you’re headed in life, which means your worries and anxieties lessen, you gain more focus, and become more aware of the opportunities around you. Confidence says a lot about a person’s worth and without knowing your worth, who is going to believe you?

2. PRAYER STRENGTHENS OUR BOND WITH GOD & PEOPLE. The joy and peace we give to and receive from our relationships greatly depend on the strength of our relationship and oneness with the LORD. Our meditations to Him manifests as our internal dialogue, which has a great effect on the way we communicate with others. Prayer helps us make connections with people we have a hard time understanding or just getting along with because it builds patience within us as we realize how patient God is with us. The overall quality of life is enhanced through healthy relationships.

3. PRAYER HELPS US TO LIVE IN GOD’S WILL. Discernment is important if we want to make good decisions that keep us in alignment with God’s plan. As we become consistent with prayer, we are able to know quickly what ideas and suggestions are from Satan and what ideas and suggestions are from God. The wisdom we gain will help us to be more aware of the difference between conviction and condemnation that we might save ourselves from pain and suffering later on. His will becomes ours the more we accept it.

4. PRAYER HELPS US TO VALUE DISCIPLINE. Our confessions and repentance produces humility to continually welcome righteousness into our hearts. Prayer reaffirms that our goal is to have the characteristics of Jesus because when we display His qualities we attract like-minded people who help us make life a little easier. Self-control is such an important quality if anyone wants to make it far in life.

5. PRAYER HELPS COMBAT STRESS/ANXIETY & DEPRESSION. When the mind and body suffers, it is often the spirit that is overlooked. Prayer produces relaxation that is very well an alternative to medicine. Our God and Creator made us for Himself, and that is why when we worship Him with all our being, He really is everything we ever need. Prayer encourages us to forgive easily, which protects us from anxiety and a host of others mental illnesses as well as cardiovascular disease. He heals our hearts and minds as we live more for Him.

Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

WANT THOUGHTS OF LOVE FOR YOU OR A LOVED ONE? DROP A PRAYER REQUEST OR TWO ON OUR PRAYER WALL

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

@godfirstgodalways  God first God always  @god_first_god_always @sheelaleigh  @sheelaleigh

0 comments on “Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)”

Journal Prompts for the Sinful Heart (September)

From time to time God shows me there are quite some very distraught spirits here. I know our hearts can sometimes be very unclean, so I have put these affirmative questions together to help your weary soul. I have been for a very long time a perfectionist at heart only to discover nothing I can physically do can wipe away my sins because Christ has already paid that debt for me. But as a Christian I know there are plenty that still live in deliberate disobedience, and if you can relate to beating yourself up for “not being good enough in God’s eyes”, I urge you to take a few minutes of your day to make reflections. I hope and pray these questions strengthen your bond with Christ. These journal prompts are more of an assessment, a reevaluation for the heart and soul….but anyway, this is for the Christian struggling but still love Jesus. <3

30 (19)

James 1:13-18 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
 
 
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
 

 

 

 

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

@godfirstgodalways  God first God always  @god_first_god_always @sheelaleigh  @sheelaleigh

0 comments on “KEEP WALKING”

KEEP WALKING

I remember being 12 years old and thinking “When I’m 16, I’ll have my first boyfriend and I’ll get my driver’s license, when I’m 25 I should be married, and when I’m 30 I should have my first child.” Okay, so none of my predictions came true. By the time I turned 25, I still couldn’t figure out what I wanted to be in life. There’s a one hit wonder by 4 Non Blondes and it goes….

       Twenty-five years and my life is still

Trying to get up that great big hill of hope

For a destination

………

And I try, oh my god do I try

I try all the time, in this institution

And I pray, oh my god do I pray

I pray every single day

For a revolution

………

And I say, hey hey hey hey

I said hey, what’s going on?

………

That was my song. I sang it quite well actually. I was one of two vocalists in a cover band performing weekly at a bar not far from the Vegas Strip. I didn’t pick the song, the members chose it for me but they didn’t even have a clue I was only a few months away from turning 25. I remember that year clearly. I thought I had a very good standing relationship with God, but I look back and I was actually more on the self-righteous side blinded by my own self-confidence, yet I didn’t have a clear focus on how God wanted to use my skills and talents and I was still chasing after worldly gains.

I always believed having a goal meant that you’re counting on yourself to achieve it one day. YOU SET IT, YOU GET IT. And it confused me so much because the Bible says that God establishes a man’s steps, no matter how much he plans his own life (Proverbs 16:9). So what did He want from me?!? Why did He give me so much passions and interests and I can’t even focus on one to set me for life?

He brought me back to square one. And not just once, but quite a few handful of times. Square one was a corner as I had always pictured it before. And whenever I came back to this place, I always lost hope and complained “Well, I’m going to have to work extra hard now just to gain back all the strength I just lost, because now I have to start all over again.” It might have been the hundredth time of returning to this place that I finally realized it is not a corner but the center of where everything begins. It is now the place where the LORD always reminds me I am nothing without Him and have nothing without Him. And I have no complaints but praises and thanks. I have to make sure I’m still on the path. He brings me here to remind me it doesn’t matter how much I have been pushing myself just to walk a little faster than before because at times I felt I was so behind. What matters is that I’m walking in faith. What matters is that God is my ultimate Goal.

adobe-spark-post (12)

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.”

Earl Nightingale

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:6

“God is my Goal.”

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “Journal Prompts for Boosting your Confidence (August)”

Journal Prompts for Boosting your Confidence (August)

Confidence is something I thought I always lacked. And then I realized all I had to do was let life happen. Confidence is something you get because of experience. Whether the experiences are good or bad, how we deal with life can ultimately help us gain more confidence. But how we deal with life absolutely depends on what types of questions we ask ourselves. Here’s a detailed list of questions to give you a boost in yourself because we all need it from time to time.

 

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Click here to view

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “Planners & Task Managers”

Planners & Task Managers

I couldn’t find a planner I was happy with and  productivity apps just aren’t enough for me, so I created 6 pages to help me organize my thoughts to stay on top with managing everyday to dos/work/tasks. If this could help you procrastinate less and be more productive and focused, whether you’re a student or not, then by God’s Grace, I pray He will use your time to bless others as well.

Click here to view

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS PDF: 

  • EISENHOWER MATRIX DAILY TASK MANAGER
  • GENERAL WEEKLY PLANNER
  • WEEKLY TASK MANAGER
  • POMODORO TECHNIQUE MARK OFF CHARTS
  • PRODUCTIVITY REVIEW JOURNAL PROMPTS
  • FILL-IN CALENDAR FOR SCHEDULES/DEADLINES

If you haven’t yet signed up to receive free printables from me, such as monthly journal prompts/devotionals, the sign up is a pop-up window that should appear if it hasn’t already yet. 😉 God bless you & all your endeavors!

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

 

0 comments on “ANXIETY SERIES – VLOGS”

ANXIETY SERIES – VLOGS

I received an anonymous question a few months back on God first God always.

Do you think if a Christian suffers from anxiety they aren’t true Christians?

I thought about what I had said in previous posts. How did this awesome question come about? I honestly would not know what words I would have used if someone asked me that question in person. That’s why I believe I turn to blogging because for some reason, words just like to start coming together in bands that cheer each other on. They make more sense to me as they form convictions, and sometimes I don’t even feel like it’s me writing or typing anymore. I sense as if my fingers seem to think faster than my brain. It’s questions and concerns like this that encourage me to grow. It might sound like a ridiculous question to you but to others hungry for God or just curious, I am satisfied to be that bridge for them to meet with Jesus. If anything I publish confirms your faith in Christ, I am blessed as well too!

I am not as smart or wise in person as I sound much of the time in all my posts. I like to believe I learn best when I am blogging and I learn best when I journal. I grow and therefore sound more mature and full of wisdom when I am challenged to answer a question concerning faith because I have the time to think before I publish. At least that’s what I’d like to believe. I made a point in the first vlog that it really doesn’t matter if you’ve been a Christian for years and you still experience anxiety. I believe it’s when you’re in the midst of your anxiety and you know at that moment to turn to God, but you choose not to. It is that deliberate choice that makes it a sin to the one experiencing the struggle. Therefore to answer anon’s question, feeling anxious is generally not a sin, but remaining anxious is. I don’t think a Christian is any less a Christian if they suffer from anxiety because if remaining anxious and not doing anything about it means not trusting God enough, then all other sins for that Christian should make them less of a Christian. A sin is a sin and God is the Just Judge.

I would like you to know I do struggle too. I have anxieties like all normal humans experience. Perhaps maybe even more. And I am that curious kid at heart who would have asked the same question years ago if it only crossed my mind. I got anxious to answer the question when I read it….anxious because I had so many thoughts running through my mind, and I wanted to choose all the words that were jumping anxiously at me. But I waited and settled on a conviction that when my thoughts would finally calm down, God’s guidance would be much clearer, and I would leave the rest to my fingers. I had to dig deep and pray they were the words He trusted me with. The videos don’t get recorded until I’ve meditated ridiculously on what I’ve typed/written otherwise my mouth goes astray.

Why this long intro? I’m convincing myself there has to be some explanation why I have not been consistently making videos and why all of a sudden now it seems as though I am so confident to be back. I have been so guilty not making enough content. Laziness, busyness, bad time management, perfectionism, discouragement, insecurities, and anxieties. I could blame it on so many things and at the same time support my excuses. But nothing is more truer than the fact that I’m always led back to my relationship with Jesus. I’ve regretted making this blog and my channel countless times but I believe the number of times I’ve praised and thanked the LORD is exceeding that number. Hallelujah! Thanks to the anon who asked the question and to all the rest that brought up the topic of anxiety. It has given me life as a vlogger/blogger once again.

Do you think if a Christian Suffers from Anxiety they Aren’t true Christians?

There are 3 learned behaviors that govern the levels of stress and anxiety a person experiences. Okay, so I didn’t just come up with this. It’s been years of anxiety my brain and body have dealt with and I’ve come to the conclusion that my PRIDE, my INATTENTION (to important matters) or my ATTENTION (to unimportant matters), and my IMPULSIVENESS all have contributed to my woes. Woah, woah, woah! Yes, I am saying you cause your own anxiety. Unless you were diagnosed by a medical doctor, then it might be a bigger problem than the kind of anxiety I am talking about. Our PRIDE, ATTENTION/INATTENTION, and IMPULSIVENESS all affect 5 areas of life, which we must take time to examine. They are:

  1. BELIEFS

  2. INTERNAL DIALOGUE

  3. HABITS

  4. RELATIONSHIPS

  5. SPEECH

What Causes Anxiety? (From a perspective of a stubborn Christian – Me)

I believe Christian or not, we will still experience anxiety. However, we can definitely lessen it’s negative effects and practice is all it takes. In my spiritual walk, I’ve learned to be aware of when Satan’s about to shake my world, and even when I fail to avoid that, God’s grace reminds me to surrender in the midst of my struggle. In the video, I discuss steps to approach this practice.

  1. Know the difference between godly sorrow/worry and worldly sorrow/worry.

  2. Make a list of all your worries and distinguish whether your worries/anxieties are worldly or godly.

  3. Pray about your worldly worries/anxieties.

How to Steer Clear of Anxiety

In this video, I discuss Scripture for preventing and eliminating anxiety. Here are 3 keywords/points to focus on and apply:

  1. PROMOTE PEACE

  2. GIVE THANKS

  3. FEAR THE LORD/HUMBLE YOURSELF

Mini Bible Study – Anxiety

So How do I approach God with my anxiety? How do I pray about it? In this video, I talk about the importance of prayer and using an acronym (ANXIETY) as a guide.

  • A-doration & apology

  • N-otice whether the worry is worldly or godly

  • X-Explain how you feel & what happened

  • I-ntentionally forgive

  • E-xpress how you hate feeling worried & fearful

  • T-hank God for your anxiety

  • Y-ield to God with praises & end your prayer

How I pray for my Anxiety

The first part of this episode I share a breathing technique that has helped me come down from my stresses. The second part is a detox drink recipe for coping with stress.

Breathing Technique & Detox for Anxiety

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

1 Peter 5:6-8 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 

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

From my heart to yours. (PDF) 31 Journal Prompts for Managing Anxiety/Depression

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art 

0 comments on “Journal Prompts for Managing Anxiety & Depression (July)”

Journal Prompts for Managing Anxiety & Depression (July)

Anxiety is a hot topic, at least on God first God always it is. I get prayer requests about it and it’s a subject that comes up often enough. That’s why I’ve put these questions together in hopes that you can better cope with your struggle. I mean if you’re fed up with this common problem the rest of the world deals with, how about take a few minutes everyday to make these reflections? Maybe it can even save you from pulling all your hair out. 😛

I’ve had my share of anxiety and depression. You might argue the two are totally different. But the one word that ties them together is distress. Both words will always be associated with each other for as long as humans are alive. Have I overcome both? I wouldn’t say I’ve overcome them because I still do have times when I’m anxious or feeling sad. However, I do have more peace under pressure when things don’t go my way  compared to my old ways of thinking when I could not control my thoughts and feelings.

1 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Journal Prompts July 2.jpg

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Journal Prompts (anxiety)

Click here to view

 

* IF YOU EVER TAKE TIME TO ANSWER ANY OF THESE DAILY QUESTIONS, I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS WERE. LEAVE ME A MESSAGE.

* IF YOU WOULD LIKE JOURNAL PROMPTS ON A SPECIFIC TOPIC, DON’T HESITATE TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS FOR ME.

* IF YOU ENJOYED THIS & WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE FREE CONTENT LIKE THIS, THE SIGN UP IS A POP-UP WINDOW.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “Signs of Spiritual Maturity”

Signs of Spiritual Maturity

My dad was the substitute for our pastor one Sunday and he asked me for some thoughts on spiritual growth. Here’s a few I came up with…..

  • When you are able to say “Thank You Lord for the struggles” and truly mean it.
  • When you grow concern for others’ spiritual maturity besides your own.
  • When you understand the difference between happiness and joy.
  • When you recognize times you could have surrendered or are able to surrender right then and there during a time you were impulsive or a time you were tempted. You favor the Lord’s discernment even over your common sense.
  • When you realize patience, forgiveness, and compassion are just as important as eating healthy and exercising. Your spiritual health is biblically intertwined with your physical and mental health.
  • When you find yourself talking/praying to God not just about the big decisions in life but also about the smallest details. His wisdom is more important to you than your own understanding.
  • When you receive confidence, peace, and joy by resisting all kinds of temptations instead of feeling dissatisfied, resentful, or vindictive. You see growth opportunities in your daily struggles.
  • When you become generous of the things you are grateful for in life. Even if it’s as simple as joy, you will spread it.
  • When your alone time with God becomes more and more important to you.
  • When you’re able to see God’s blessings towards others who bear good fruit. You are also aware and able to see the blessings that come from God because of your obedience to Him.
  • When you become less sensitive about yourself and more sensitive for others.

Colossians 1:10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Ephesian 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,

2 Peter 1:5-6 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;

This list was not made to make anyone compare themselves to other Christians. Everyone is at a different level of spiritual maturity because everyone is responsible for their  own growth. That’s why patience, love, and understanding are some of the most valuable qualities to have. We don’t know how far along some Christians have come, Christian or not. Let us not compare ourselves to them. Let’s not judge them. Let’s pray whether that comparison was out of self pity or pride. Let’s bring whatever that judgement was to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

0 comments on “A Psalm of Sheela”

A Psalm of Sheela

My heart it aches, I suffer in my youth,

My groans and moans speak for me the truth

But if my grief is caused by Satan’s lies,

What reason have I to cry and cry?

My heart it grows faint within me,

My spirit is far from free

But if my agony should lead me back to Your glory,

Lord, let my restless soul rest in Thee!

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

P.S. No worries, I am not depressed. Just felt like writing this for anyone who might be going through something heart wrenching. I’ve been there friend.

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art