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

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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.

 

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0 comments on “Journal Prompts for Loving God, Loving Others, & Loving Yourself (June)”

Journal Prompts for Loving God, Loving Others, & Loving Yourself (June)

Need a little love in your heart?

I once heard a brother in church say, “Where there are relationships, there are conflicts.” And if you’re not a Christian, or if you’re a new Christian, a part-time Christian, a Christian returning to faith, or a mature Christian, conflicts are inevitable.  We all have relationships to maintain.

The great thing about conflict is the need for love. And where there is a need for love, there is room for growth. No matter where you are in your spiritual walk, you need to love, love, love!

I came up with these questions you can ask yourself to help you find balance in all your relationships, to help you make reflections, and make sense of where you’re at in your spiritual journey.

I admit I don’t always reply or react the way a proper Christian should, but the desire to be more loving never ceases in my heart. If you’re in the same boat, press that print button and give this activity a shot.

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)

 

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0 comments on “He Gave Me Gladness”

He Gave Me Gladness

At His feet I cried, I came empty handed, 

He bled for me and died so violently, broken hearted

I said, “I’m sorry I have nothing to give You my Lord, 

I’ve squandered it all for this world;

What good am I to be redeemed and restored?”

He said, “Give Me your heart, give Me your truthful words, 

Give Me your praises, and every hurt you hoard; 

There is nothing I AM not able to do and afford.”

At His feet I cried, full of joy, full of sadness,

He bled for me and died, took my all and gave me gladness.

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Nutrition  Portrait Art

4 comments on “UPDATE”

UPDATE

It’s been so long. I know I’ve abandoned my blog. Forgive me. I just edited my About Me too explaining this. I sound redundant. But I’m back. If you care. Or if you don’t I really don’t mind. 🙂 I started this years ago and I just can’t not use it ever again. It’s always nice to have something to call your own. I think I’m finally starting to think more like a mom, even though I don’t have any kids. This is my baby. I need to nurture it. I think God would really like that. He was the one who prompted me to start this anyway. So yes, Im back. I’m alive or at least trying to survive. Life got busy. Reading some of my old posts makes me crack up. I’ve gone and deleted ones that just sound immature. Err. I’m still growing and every year gets better and better. What matters is I keep walking in faith and part of that is keeping up with this blog. I’m so glad 2018 has been great towards me so far. I’m learning to expand in ways I only dreamed in the past. And having this blog will push me to share the Lord’s goodness. I’m grateful. And so should you, for whatever circumstance you might be in, know that it only takes gratitude for the things you already have, because with God all things are possible. While I’ve been gone, on my free time, I would read so much on health because I knew I wasn’t living my best. I’m always led to the cold truth that my relationship with Christ is directly related to my overall wellbeing, and the topic of health has definitely stepped up on my list of values. So I’ve been doing a lot of independent research, specifically concerning women’s health. If you are only following this blog because of the Christian-based content, you might want to unsubscribe. I would just like to warn you that I’m incorporating all things related to diet/weight loss (recipes, tips, and health in general). I will be sharing my weight loss journey in hopes of helping many other women struggling to lose unwanted weight. Lastly, I am a portrait artist who has committed to using my talent not just when I feel like drawing or painting. I’ve been blessed to appreciate detail in everything and with this gift, how can I suppress it? I’ll be posting all my artwork here. Check out my GALLERY. So that’s me for now. I hope you all are doing great this year. And I pray you receive blessings every day. BE BLESSED! 🙂

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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0 comments on “GOD’S PEACE | HUMILITY”

GOD’S PEACE | HUMILITY

Being humble is good. It brings you to places that has your mind and heart expecting peace…not expecting in a way that you think you deserve it, but instead expecting in a way that it’s just there and it’s free. And not many know this or is even aware it’s there, but you feel special cause you see it and understand it. At that point, it’s more of a gift than it is free. The peace of God is joy and love, and in it there is freedom. You have to help people understand this. There’s much peace by meeting Him halfway, by approaching Him in humility, by surrendering completely. But don’t waste this gift of knowledge and not tell a soul.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

I was sent a message for one of the posts I made in my other blog, which was also about humility. He told me to define “humble” because he says he didn’t believe many people truly understand humility. I will eventually make a vlog discussing more on this topic. But anyway, I thought I’d refer to an older post I made, thanks to an anonymous prayer request. Here’s my thoughts on humility and more.

 

I’ve been struggling with a certain sin pattern in my life for a long time now, and no matter how many times I try to give it over to God, I end up falling back into it eventually. It’s doing a number on my anxiety, and I just feelhopeless and far from God. A friend told me I should talk to someone she knows about it, but I’m just not sure I’m ready to do that. I’d really appreciate some prayer, and maybe some advice on what to do if you’ve got any. (Sorry it’s kinda vague…)

No worries, thank you for this! 🙂 A sin is a sin. Sins will always present anxiety/fear sooner or later. There is no greater sin God detests over another because the point is He always wants us to repent and confess whatever wrong it was we did. It’s for our own good so that we move on with peace. See how much He loves us? Prayer is suppose to bring you back to humility, hence  ACTS – adoration (praise), confession, thanksgiving, and supplication (special requests). In prayer, anything you ask for should often be towards the end or at the end. I say often because if you’re not already yet in a state of surrender/humility, it will be hard to reach the heart of God, but if you already are humble before you ask, then more likely than not your prayers will be answered sooner than later. God wants you to grow in humility first before asking Him anything. Know the difference between weakness and humility. Weakness, believe it or not has pride in it. It is based on the thought and feeling we have because we believe we are not strong enough. You can magnify your weakness by feeding into that belief, which will only strengthen your “weakness”. Humility is acceptance of whatever you have good or bad and trusting God with it. We are not perfect for a reason, we’ll always make mistakes, and that reason is because the Lord wants us to call on Him in our desperation. It’s a reminder that He’s God and we’re not. I believe that when a person struggles with the same sin over and over again, it’s in His will that they are going through it. That is your test/trial. How will you handle it? Some might believe God is punishing them, or it’s karma, or it’s just life and you have to deal with it, or they might not even really think much because they are so deep into sin. He will put the person in the same situation time and time again until they approach God or in some cases approach Him a different way. Try ACTS and ask Him at the end to help you transform your mind, to help you see that your situation with the same sin are trials. It puts importance on praise and thanks rather than going to Him with your sin being the thing that’s magnified. Focus on Him, not on yourself, and the natural thing that happens next is a deep humility to surrender and give up your sins, turning away from them in complete faith. There is power in the name of Jesus. Pray and mention His name often. Put importance on the relationship between the Son and the Father. I believe we get stuck in our sins because we have lost the significance of the connection between them. God sent His Son to die for you. He died at the Cross and was resurrected to be with the Father. When He joined God in Heaven, He took our sins with Him and His Father dealt with them. ALL SINS OF THE WORLD WERE FORGIVEN, PARDONED, PAID FOR, BECAUSE GOD’S SON DYING FOR YOU AND ME WAS ALL IN HIS WILL. NO ONE CAN DO ANYTHING TO UNDO THAT. THAT WAS ALL GOD’S DOING, HE SENT JESUS FOR THAT VERY PURPOSE. WE ARE THEN LEFT TO ACCEPT THAT PERFECT GRACE WHICH IS CHRIST INTO OUR HEARTS AGAIN AND AGAIN AS MANY TIMES AS WE MUST EVERY HOUR, EVERY DAY AND BE LIKE JESUS, WHO WAS JUST THE EXAMPLE GOD KNEW WE NEEDED. OUR OLD LIVES MUST DIE WITH OUR SINS EACH TIME WE ACCEPT CHRIST BECAUSE WHEN WE ACCEPT CHRIST WE ALSO BECOME ONE IN THE FATHER JUST AS HE WAS UNITED WITH HIM. WE CAN’T COME TO THE FATHER WITHOUT FIRST ACCEPTING CHRIST (John 14:6). YOU WILL FEEL MUCH CLOSER TO GOD THE MORE YOU STRIVE TO LIVE WITH THE CHARACTERISTICS OF JESUS BECAUSE HE IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. IF YOU KNOW JESUS, THEN YOU KNOW THE FATHER (John 14:9). If you accept Christ you will do whatever it takes not to take God’s Grace for granted and also not take advantage of it. When you accept Christ you’re accepting God’s Grace. Get in the habit of accepting Him into your heart every morning and truly mean it so that your mind magnifies God’s revealed truth about His Son….you’re reminding yourself that JESUS IS GOD’S GRACE. WE DON’T DESERVE HIM BUT HE WAS SENT ANYWAY. Every time you obey Him on the basis of His Grace, He is proud of you. That is a blessing because it should grant your heart joy and peace for being in harmony with Him. And if you fall into the same sin again, repeat the process ACTS and in His time you’ll get better and better at turning away. I believe that anxiety is the result of a divided heart. Make sure you’re not making certain situations, thoughts, and things more important than God. Anything that  doesn’t point to Him is a distraction. He must be behind your every motive. Whatever you entertain in your mind and in your life is what you end up worshipping over Him. Pay close attention to the things you feed your mind and body. FOCUS ON HIM. A couple years ago I found out the word integrity comes from “integer” meaning whole and complete, not a fraction. Integrity is found in wholeness, in being one with God. It’s only in being one with Him you will find true peace and joy and faith and confidence to overcome your giants. PRAY THROUGHOUT THE DAY, OBEY CONSISTENTLY.

       (my prayer…)

Heavenly Father, we worship You, the God who frees us from ourselves. Be magnified in our minds, be glorified in our hearts, be exalted in Your will, to which we surrender faithfully. Lord God, we praise Jesus, thank You for His holiness, thank You that You chose us to be Your servants, that we might give up our ways of pleasing ourselves to devote a life of honoring You. Father, I lift up my friend who seeks to live that life of freedom, I point them to You. Every morning, the life You grace them with, breathe Your Spirit into their soul so that they rise and walk with the life You meant for them live. Lord, give them Your willpower, so they seek to find a strength that matches Jesus’ to go after Your heart in all they do and say. Reveal to them the beauty that is in Your heart, so they strive to offer theirs in place for humility. Forgive them Father for all they have done to pollute their heart and show them how easily You have removed all impurity and fears because of surrendering to You. I ask that You help them to focus on praising You and magnifying that perfect heart of Yours so that in their desire for more of You, they allow theirs to be shaped and molded continually. And however You are going to do that, let their minds be also transformed to trust that in all situations and circumstances, You are there guiding them no matter what. Lord, I lift up all those that return to the same sins. In Your power break their addictions, teach them the ways of Jesus because it’s His heart full of character we want to reflect. We call on You, our ever-present help, please convict us loudly in our hearts when temptation is near to offer that time to You. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

1 John 3:6-7 “No one who abides in Him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen Him or known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as He is righteous.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Acts 8:22 Repent, then, of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that He will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this.

Matthew 3:8 Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins.

Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

1 Peter 1:13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 

By His Grace, Sheela (Via godfirstgodalways)

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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2 comments on “Sorrows Into Joy”

Sorrows Into Joy

 

Even after all these years of being a Christian, I still struggle with trust. In all my relationships, God wants me to dearly cling onto Him. When I’m at my weakest (usually a few days out of the month…) I’m reminded of traumatizing experiences in my past. But without a relationship with the Lord, I would be clueless as to how He could turn my sorrows into joy. I’m so grateful for my trials. Anybody who has been physically and/or verbally abused by a parent, guardian, or partner, remember He only gives what you can handle, and it’s in His will you come out of it a much stronger person. You wouldn’t be the faithful and strong person you are today if you never acknowledged God was watching over you.

James 1:2-4, 12 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast (or perseveres) under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 5:3-4 We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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8 comments on “My Peace of Mind”

My Peace of Mind

View this painting in my ART GALLERY.

Original art. 20″ x 24″ Oil on canvas.

I painted this lovely scene in 2009, except it was much gloomier and quite depressing. Just last year, I decided it wasn’t finished and added colors that I believed my heart belted out if it wasn’t for joy. Then I decided it isn’t nearly done if I don’t add a poem. 🙂 I’m probably going to work on this again, because I already see some things I need to touch up on. Always happens after taking a picture. But anyway…..

There exists a beautiful place

Of a blue river flowing with grace

It’s nowhere found on Earth’s face

Not the sight of man can be seen or traced

I walk here when peace is hard to find

I lay here to have that peace of mind

I pray here when the world seems deaf and blind

I return here for a heart that was left behind

 

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

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0 comments on “How He Transforms Lives”

How He Transforms Lives

If you’ve noticed lately that things have been causing you grief because nothing is going your way, God will continually put you in the same situations until you begin to be convinced that He’s trying to get your attention. He wants you to know that He’s about to make some changes in Your heart and He needs your mind to focus on gaining more faith in His ability to do so. This is how He transforms lives.

NOTE: This will be a future vlog and/or series.

By His Grace, Sheela (via sheelaleigh.com)

 

Christian  Health|Fitness  Portrait Art