Photo Credits~

(owl:donaldthompson95 on flickr, luna:BillLepidoptera/ on flickr, willow/fence:trensamiro on flickr, all remaining: Merana Leigh)

Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;

guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long (NIV)

Drench yourself in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open,

Today is where your book begins, The rest is still unwritten. ("Unwritten" by Natasha Beddingfield)

It matters not how long we live, but how!

Friday, September 2, 2011

For others....

Ok, ok...I know it's been FOR-EV-ER since I've been on here. This place (blogland) is addictive! But life just pulls me far too much away from here. I think of many of you & continue to pray for those of you I know are struggling with something. And Paula, God help me, I got your e-mail today that you left on 8-18. I don't even check my e-mail very often. Being a single parent is tough. Then getting down to see my dad after his stroke in March every weekend for several months took its toll too. Then I tried to get landscaping work done outside before it got too hot. Then I was a painting fool getting several rooms in the house done. Then getting my son in football. Then he got injured the 1st week of practice so on to dr's appts. & now he's in his 4th week of physical therapy. Getting the kids ready to get back in it's homework, etc. I've been swamped at work. My income decreased by $500/month, so trying to find another job. And just....just....(well, you get the picture)

At any rate, I watched an rerun once of Law & Order SVU. Not my usual thing, but I'm guessing God wanted me to see this particular episode. To make a long story short, this one woman escaped Congo after being brutally raped by soldiers. She described how those who raped her also raped her 5 year old daughter. I sobbed my eyes out listening to her describe that, and how many days it took her daughter to die. Every time I think of that episode, I cry. I'm praying this morning for those persecuted, this episode comes to mind & I find myself crying openly. And ranting at God as to how He could allow such a thing....and yes, blah, blah, blah, this is Satan's domain, etc. And then this indignation rises up in me & I say, "But YOU, Lord God, are the righteousness! YOU opened the sea & held back the waters for your people to pass through. YOU rained down manna for your people to eat in the desert. YOU placed every star in the sky. YOU know how many hairs are on each of our heads. YOU love each of us more than a sparrow. YOU can hear my prayer and my prayer is that you will place someone to intervene on behalf of those who are neglected, abused, malnourished, persecuted. YOU, Lord God, love them. YOU, will hear my prayer for them. So I will keep coming to you each day for them. I will stand in the gap just as Moses did for his rebellious people. Yes, there is much horrific evil in this world, but YOU will indeed be the light in that darkness. I believe that YOU will indeed open doors for people to help those in need. And I thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer and weeping with me!"

I realized that I don't feel that there is much I can physically do to help those people, but I can bow down on their behalf every single day of my life. And I will do just that. I will never know those who have been spared, or even saved. But I don't need to, I just need to do what I can & what I know is right.

Join me, my BB's, in interceding for those who have lost their will to live because of that which they must endure.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

C.S. Lewis writing

As I continue on in my Lenten Studies booklet, I realized I just had to share the entire message for Tuesday with you here:

Ask for Help

Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily when I call. Psalm 102:2

You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us toward is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one had that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. the only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection.

This entire message resonates with my very soul. I've been sitting on the following for a couple of days because I just have not had the time to get on here. Now I can see why. It was a "God-thing" simply wasn't time yet!

Psalm 23:6 ~ Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


Haggai 2:9 ~ ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Hugs, my friends ~ Merana

Friday, April 8, 2011


Psalm 37:34 ~ Wait for the Lord & keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land...

That's the hardest thing...waiting...isn't it?! I've resolved to wait for where the Lord is taking me. It's not easy. I want what I want...and I want it now! But....that's just simply not how it works. And I'm trying my very best to keep his way. That's hard too. I'm not perfect....Lord knows I'm as flawed as the next person...yet...I try.

But, just like the Israelites going through the desert 40 years...He will still deliver us to the land we are to inherit. Each of us has a different "land", don't we? One person's may be a successful business venture, another's to conceive a child, another's for healing, another's to have their children safe, yet another's to find that someone special after so long alone (even if for mere companions).... The point is, everyone has a different land to which the Lord is taking us to inherit. We just have to follow the first part of that Scripture verse...WAIT for him & KEEP his way!

When I get frustrated & try to make things happen my way, as I've confessed before, the Holy Spirit always reminds me that it's HIS plans He speaks of in Jeremiah 29:11....not MY plans! So, until the time of my inheritance (at least of this world, before my true inheritance in Christ's Kingdom), I constantly pray Psalm 25:4,5 - Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long...and cling to this Psalm 37:34 with Romans 8:24b ~ But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

I don't want to wander 40 years in the desert....or even one day...because I tried to do it MY way!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lenten Studies #3

C.S. Lewis again...2 days' studies combined in my thoughts.

"What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter as long as they are contented?' we want, in fact, not so much Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven - a senile benevolence who, as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves.'"

I believe that is so true. We'd like to continue on our merry way & when we get in trouble, give a shout out to the God of the universe to come fix everything we just messed up. But what we should heed, is when Scripture tells us:

Philippians 4:11-13 (New International Version) ~ 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Ephesians 4:22-24 (New International Version) ~22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Lewis then continues, "God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than any other being...He makes, we are made: He is the original, we derivative. Our life is, at every moment, supplied by Him: our tiny, miraculous power of free will only operates in bodies which His continual energy keeps in existence." Think about that. Yes, we have free we could choose to turn our backs on Him. But He's still with us, He still loves us. The sheer fact that we're still alive to utilize the very gift of free will to turn our back, is itself because He is ordaining that to happen.

"WOW!!!" .... that's about all I can say!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Falling down...

Ok, so continuing on in my Lenten Studies & recently read C.S. Lewis comments about not being discouraged. We must realize that even at our best attempts to behave/be good, we are going to fail. Even with our best attempts, we are never going to achieve perfection...ever! But God is going to be there every single time we stumble, every time we trip, every time we out & out fall the parents with outstretched arms encouraging the child to run to them.

We must remember, as C.S. Lewis says, "no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal" (of the perfection to which He is guiding us). Yes, only each of us, with our free will, can stand in God's way of bringing us to where we need to truly be. And to paraphrase Henri Nouwen, God is forcing us onward, upward, to a higher level by allowing situations where we must be more brave, more patient, and more loving that we ever dreamed of being before. To us, it seems unnecessary. That is only because we have no inkling of the tremendous person He intends to make of us, if we will just follow His lead. With that, I always go back to my Scripture prayer, Psalm 25:4,5 ~ Show me your way, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Yes, I believe it is wonderful to pray the Scriptures & this is one I do daily....several times a day.

Join in Spiritual Sundays for blessings & encouragement!

Artwork by Rick Hansen

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lenten studies....and learning #2

Ok, so I'm reading even further in the Lenten studies booklets I have that I referenced previously. This booklet, however, is a compilation of C.S. Lewis' works. Today's reading calls for "A Deeper Change", and it goes in line with what I posted on Friday. As I was reading it, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a line from Facing the Giants. Fabulous movie that is chock-FULL of on liners that stick with you forever, and that the Spirit uses to remind you of something & give you direction.

So the reading said, in part, this: "We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way - centered on money or pleasure or ambition - and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do." It then expanded, saying "If I am a field of grass, I cannot produce wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown", then quotes 1 Corinthians 10:1 ~ So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.

And the Holy Spirit reminded me of the line in the movie that is the one liner that sticks with my best friend the most. A young man is quite the soccer player. However, he & his father move to a new place & the school does not have a soccer team. He is debating going out on the football team as a kicker. His self-rejection fear holds him back as he says to his dad (& mostly to himself!), "What if I'm not good enough? What if I don't make the team?" To which, his father said, "Can you be any more not on the team than you already are?" WOW!!! It just demonstrates that if we are not willing to step out in faith to where God is taking us, we will never be able to see what He has in store for us come to fruition!

Yes, just like the picture above shows, we may face slippery situations, but if we are keeping our eyes on Christ & following where HE leads, He will light the way & be with us along each stepping stone....and also waiting with open arms on the other side of that path. But we certainly can never get there if we won't step out onto that next stone and follow where He's leading us.

Thank you, Father, for your guiding hand and love....and for wanting even more for me than I can even imagine that I want for myself!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Why are people so dang afraid to just tell others how they feel about them? Really! Tomorrow is promised to NO ONE! Is pride or regret the greater motivator for them? Me.....I chose to live with little regrets! Can't change the past, except to try to make amends. But I can certainly change the direction of my future!

Lenten studies....and learning

Working as I do as a church secretary, I have access to a great deal of resources. One of those came in the mail in the form of a Lenten Studies booklet that is a compilation of Henri Nouwen's work. I LOOOOVE him!

Anyway, one of the day's studies focused on how we fall into traps & the greatest of these, the one that most certainly holds us down, holds us back, or out-&-out will defeat us, is that of "self-rejection". Think about it. Self rejection comes from that place inside us where negativity screams, "you're no good", "you're fat", "you're ugly", "you have scars", "who would ever love you", "you're worthless", "you're weak", "you'll never amount to anything", "you're a failure" get the idea!

And these feelings of inadequacies are what drive us to seek our worth in unworthy places....success, popularity, the point that we don't even see our true worth, but a worldly worth. It's not about what we can achieve for the Lord, but more of what we can prove to ourselves & the world. But really, we're still that same little insecure child within when you get down to brass tacks! THAT doesn't just go away because you get/achieve/accomplish more, more, more. It's superficial. It's the thumb in the dike to hold back the water dripping out of the hole. But it's not fixing the problem that caused the hole to begin with!

But those are all lies of the tempter, the Father of Lies. He WANTS us to stay defeated in the trap of self-loathing, self-rejection. Otherwise, we would stand firm in who we are in Christ & accomplish great things for His Kingdom. Trusting in God means stepping out of our comfort zone. Yes, that's right, you heard's "comfortable" to stay in the place where you don't think so highly of yourself. Not "comfortING", but "comfortable" in the sense that it's what you know....where you're used to being. Perhaps you were led there by others' views of you and thus, have limited yourself because of it.

This Lenten Season, break these negative bonds Satan holds over you. Prayerfully ask God to come live in that black hole space within you that is sucking away the light of His love & what HE has in store of you. It's easy to stay in defeat, the real work comes in trusting. Trust Him until it hurts, and God shows you (& the world!) what He can do!

Remember: Jeremiah 29:11 speaks of the plans HE has for us, not on our own plans. Do as I've been told by the Holy Spirit....(ok, smacked upside the head to listen, admittedly!)...."stop getting in the way of the plans I have for you, quit interfering!"

Hugs my bb's ~ Merana

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Friday, March 11, 2011


I think God allows friendships to develop, flourish, and even sustain over great amount of time as a way to demonstrate his vast love for us. I've had this demonstrated recently.

#1) there's ALWAYS my best friend, Nanette, back home. We've known one another since we were 10. She comes home every time I do (she lives 6 hours from there, I live 13) just so we can see each other. We talk almost every day. When schedules make it so we don't talk for a few days or even {gasp} a week, we go through withdrawal!

#2) then there's Alecia. We met our freshman year of college. We talk every few weeks (ok, sometimes, months). But it's one of those things where you pick up a conversation like you just had it the day before.

#3) then there's Kathleen, who lives down the street. She's a busy mom of 4. We don't get together much anymore. But I know she's there & that she loves me, as I do her. We'd be there in a heartbeat for each other, if it were needed.

#4) I got a surprise phone call this past Sunday evening. An old friend from back before I had kids. Mardelle & I started working at the company the same day. I left when I started my family, she left not long after. We've only kept in touch via Christmas cards over the years. The sad thing is, we only live 45 minutes away from one another. But somehow we all, I believe, just let life pass us by. Delle took the time to reach out to me. It was a fabulous conversation full of laughter, as she & I were so known to do! We hung up with promises to get together once I finish painting my hallway & in a few weeks. We're now connected on Facebook (I LOOOOOVE Facebook!) I honestly felt a euphoric "high" all evening after we talked & I talked about her to my kids.

#5) now I have you, my BB's. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I value all of you for your insight, inspiration, laughter, prayers, and friendship through this Internet chasm. I value you all! Thank you.

And mostly, Lord, thank you! Thank you for reminding me that even when I feel alone because I don't physically have someone to share things with, and even when I get upset with you b/c you can't hold my hand, give me a hug, or even a poke in the still find a way to reach out to friendship! I love you!

Visit Spiritual Sunday here for inspiration and friendship!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cliches, Platitudes, and Humbling

I've been having a hard time, my BB's and could certainly use some prayers. I'll be honest, I hate Valentine's Day! It's yet another reminder to those of us who are single, have no idea any more where to look to even meet people, and have gotten to the broken point of solitude, of our "aloneness". Now, before you say me, I've already thought it, "God is always with me. He will never leave me or forsake me." But it still doesn't help. He's not here to give me a hug. He's not here to be a shoulder to cry on. He's not here for something as simple as to hold my hand. Never, people, never lose the significance of the value of human touch....or of tears. I read once that some people actually die from loneliness...and I believe that. Yes, I have my children, but they want to be around me only perhaps 5% of the time. The rest of the time, as children do, it's "Mom, what time is dinner (or even what's for dinner)" or "Mom, can you take me here or there" or "Mom, can so & so come over, can we have a sleepover". Please don't get me wrong. I'm not upset with them. They're being typical kids. No, what I mostly miss are the subtle nuances of a relationship: being able to trust someone, looking forward to sharing good news with someone, making decisions with someone. I have none of that.

Then there's the sheer fact of having friends to do something with, even just one! I have none of that either. I try. But everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, nobody can ever do anything. I don't blame them. I do understand this. But, let me tell ya, it hurts like h*ll when I find out several times that groups have gone out to do something, and nobody ever considered calling to include me.

I'm lonely, terribly lonely. There, I said it! You wanna know the truth? The most support I get is from you, dear BB's. It's pathetic that I have to sit at a computer to find friendship, support & solace. Yet, I consider it a blessing.

I tried to get involved in a church. Didn't work. You can only be put off so many times trying to volunteer for any number of things. I don't have skin of steel that when activities are canceled & I show up, to realize nobody bothered to call me to let me know, that that doesn't hurt either. Or that several people in the group got together & didn't include me. So, hot knife through butter...I never went back. Ran into the pastor's wife & when she inquired as to why she hasn't seen me in so long & was I ok, I told her. It would have been so easy to sweep it under the rug & say, "oh, I've been busy". But I just couldn't do that. I was so incredibly hurt. I had been in for counseling on this very thing, but nobody... and I do mean NOBODY bothered to check to see if I was alright after not seeing me since October. So, there I stood in Subway, placing my order with tears streaming down my face, paying for my order with even more tears, and finally leaving after telling her I just couldn't come back. I told her that even tho' my dad & step-mom live 45 minutes away & I know they love me & have been there so many times (but there's only so much I feel I can go to them with), I have no one. Nobody locally who supports me. No one that I can rant about something that upsets me. No one that I can call for support. That the church should be my family, my rock of support (especially when they knew where I was coming from), and just how alone I am. I told her that I get more support from my best friend 1/2 a country away & from my blogging buddies, than I do from them who are 2 miles away. And then I got home & felt guilty. I don't like to make anyone feel bad, ever. So, what did I do? Called my best friend, 1/2 a country away, crying my eyes out to her. (I'm serious...she needs to be elected for sainthood for what all she's gotten me through!) And she told me I did the right thing, and not to feel guilty. She said, "you handled it very well. You didn't explode or do it in anger. But you let your hurt & disappointment show. The church is supposed to be there for you, and if they feel convicted, then that's what God wants them to understand...they are not reaching out to the hurting world the way they apparently think they are." On the cerebral level, I understand this. But my heart hurts nonetheless.

I realize, in the grand scheme of things that God's taking the broken pieces of my heart and making a lovely kaliedescope of beauty with them. But, it's still not whole, lovely as it may be.

I know that we've all had broken hearts. Unfortunately, it's the condition of being human. Right now tho', I'm just trying desperately to not let everything get sucked into the black hole in my heart. That place in me that just hurts & longs for people to share my life with. It's not SO much about finding love again, although I will admit that I really do want that. It's about just having human relationship with others who genuinely CARE about me & show it. I have people I work with, but that's different. I try to keep my work & personal life separate.

I'm often angry. I'm often depressed. I've gotten so adept at putting on a good facade, but truth be told, I honestly feel a part of me is dying.

I typically stay home when I don't have the boys (and yes, admittedly, after being a full-time mom for 2 wks with no break, I relish the solitude). And yes, when I have the boys, we do stuff together - but often with them going grudgingly. Otherwise, when I do go out, I go out alone. I eat alone. I go to movies or events alone. I got to ball games alone. Occasionally, I even go hear a band alone. I shop alone. I walk alone. Part of me finds this absolutely pathetic, but part of me is comforted to know that I have the strength to do things alone. I will not give up & just do nothing, but be a homebody simply because I have no one to share it with. My mother always told me I was very independent, even as an infant. Perhaps that's why I refuse to sit back & do nothing. If it's something I want to do/see, I just go do it alone. At least I have the pleasure of doing that. Yes, it would be so much nicer to share it with someone or a group, but I refuse to let life pass me by!

Then I think....maybe I'm TOO independent. I've tried Internet dating off & on for several years. Total waste of time b/c all anyone is interested in is sex. Or nobody is really who they say they are. It truly is Satan's playground. And this has caused my hurt heart to fortify it's walls, and build them higher. I think my greatest fear is that even when God finally DOES bring someone into my life (b/c yes, I still believe in that!), I'm going to be so set in my ways that either a) I won't even recognize someone special, and b) I will no longer know how to open up & share myself with them b/c I've gone so long sharing nothing, but living in this "solitudinal" place.

My son even asked me recently why I like NCIS & those type of shows. I told him that it's mostly b/c I love mysteries & I love to watch them solve 'who dun it'. But that I just don't like to watch romance movies or read romance books b/c I just don't "get" it. I don't have it in my life. I haven't had it for well over 13 years, and it's hard to watch it happening for other people. I can't even count the number of people I've seen who have marriages/relationships split up after mine did & now they're blissfully happy with someone else. I'm strong enough to admit that that's really difficult for me. I'm happy for them...really, I am! But, it just further solidifies my aloneness. It's hard.

And I'm reminded of the cliche "be careful what you wish for". I did wish for, pray earnestly for, being out of my marriage. Answered prayer. It was mentally & verbally abusive. It took years to be answered, but answered prayer it is! And this grass of aloneness is definitely greener than that was. I got my wish. My prayer was answered. I'd still take this life over that any day of the week...hands down! But, it's not a lush lawn full of picnics & cloud watching.

So, I was crying about it all yesterday & saying to myself, "what's wrong with me?" Then I realized it was Satan...up to his conniving ways. I hate him! No seriously, I truly do HATE him!!! So, I just started repeating over & over & over, "Jesus loves me!" "Jesus fought for me!" "Jesus died for me!" To the point that I was actually screaming that at Satan. And crying still. And my humbling point then came. "Am I not enough for you, dear child?" My broken confession was "No, Lord. I'm sorry! I shouldn't want more, but I do. I desperately want to fulfill who you made me to be. But I just don't feel like I am. All I feel like I do is go through this thing called life, day to day, not really doing anything but existing. I'm SORRY, Father! I'm trying to be content here. I definitely am so very thankful for the blessings you've given me. But, there's just got to be MORE than this .... this....whatever "this" is."

I'm at a loss, my BB's. Please pray for me b/c I am SO very, very tired of feeling this way! I want to stop feeling so terribly alone. I want my life to count for something. I want to touch others for Him. I want to be open to allowing someone in to my life. I want to trust. I want to share. I want to be involved. I want desperately to find the right church where I can offer God's gifts. I want to do more than exist.

Thank you, my friends, for patiently reading what must seem a pathetic little Pity Party Train. Believe me, tho', when I say it's deeper than that. I realize Satan is coming against me pretty strong right now. I can't go up against him alone. I can pray, and I can extol God's virtues loudly, but it's not enough. I need some prayer warriors on my side. Please help me!

Through my tears ~ Merana

PS - ok, so I've walked the dog & taken a very long, very hot shower & God was gracious (as He always is!) to remind me what He put on my heart previously (as He did about this blog, I might add!). There is a decided lack of singles groups catering to the mid-age bracket. There are senior groups, there are singles groups for the 20's/early 30's crowd, but not really for the mid-30's to mid-50's group. So, perhaps this is something He would like for me to look into doing. I've told Him I will do it, just please show me how & where to start it. Not as a dating group, but for friendships. And for safe ways of meeting people. Please pray for clarity on this for me as well, and if it's His desire that I do this, to open doors to show me the way to make it happen.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Follow His Commands!

Hmmm, who do we think we are? Indeed! How many of us follow the path of our choosing, as opposed to seeking God's counsel first? I know I certainly have....and admittedly, still do. And then in retrospect I say "Oops, Lord, sorry! What would you have me do now that I'm here & have gone ahead & done this?" Feel the slap on the hand yet?

It's amazing how I discover things in my Bible that I just never saw before. Oh, I don't the whole book of Deuteronomy! Ok, I read it in my first Bible. But, I got myself a new Bible because I'd marked up my older one & couldn't see anything with fresh eyes. Ummmm, got that back in 2007. Seriously, almost 4 years & I haven't read Deut yet?! But, oh how the Holy Spirit it faithful to reveal SO much through the fresh eyes of a clean page, and life experiences over those 4 years to make verses just leap off the page! Here's what I've seen, dear BB's with related Scripture the Spirit lead me to also share:

"...what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees..." (Deut. 10:12-13)

"but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you." (Jer. 7:23)

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath." (Deut. 4:29-31)

"Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you..." (Deut. 6:13-14) (These "gods" could be any number of things we idolize: tv, other people, sports figures, money, addictions, etc.)

"Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors..." (Deut. 6:16-18)

"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments." (Deut. 7:9)

"If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors." (Deut. 7:12) (see that? we must FIRST follow God's laws carefully & THEN he will keep His covenant. Why would He bless us if we don't bother to follow Him?)

"Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." (Deut. 8:2-3) (God causes us to "hunger". I believe that hunger is those things within us that we strive for, dream of, hunger for that we just can't seem to attain. It's a deep-seated desire that is unfulfilled, not something superficial. I believe He "causes us to hunger" to test us to see if we will seek Him with all our heart and soul. THEN He will work things that bring about the fulfillment of that hunger by revealing even more of Himself through the process!)

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Is. 55:9)

It all boils down to trust, my friends!

, wonder what else is to be revealed as I continue on in Deut?! Can't wait to learn & share with you, dear BB's!

Be blessed by what He's shared with you here today through me. Thank you, Father, for using me to reach your followers and any lost souls! ~ Merana

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Beauty of "Grace" (Hidden Treasure #4)

Hello my precious BB's. Oh how I wish I could sit here & read endlessly all the trials, dreams, hopes, fears you all share with the blogging world. Alas, I'm neglectful in my time here. I feel it.

Awhile back I told y'all that I've been concentrating on the smaller books of the Bible. I read Esther all the way through this a.m. But last week I was reading Nehemiah. Powerful, powerful book! God shared with me what He wants me to share with you from this book, a bit more mixed up & discombobulated than how Nehemiah wrote it...but it gets the point across in the end. Everything I take is from Nehemiah 9 NIV.

But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them and
in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies (v. 27b&c) But see, we are slaves today...{we are slaves to different things in this world, BB's...time waste, obligations, addictions, disobedience, avoidance, intolerance, depression} (v.36). And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. (v. 28c)

But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them even when...{choose whatever "even when" that applies to you, BB's} (v.17-18) Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them... (v. 19) You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold... (v. 20)

For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them... (v.30) In your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. (v. 31) In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. (v. 33) You have kept your promise because you are righteous. (v.8b)

Grace is offered, not because of who we are, because we will always most certainly fall short, but because it is God showing us His mercy in action.

Thank you, Father God, for loving me and for forgiving me even though....

Blessings ~ Merana

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Monday, January 17, 2011

My Well (Old Writing #4 - LONG!)


Imagine my well, if you will.

It is cold down here. It is wet. The walls are so slippery. I cannot climb out. I can’t get a foothold. I cannot get a grasp on anything.

And then . . . then, there is the darkness. The darkness is . . . is everywhere. It permeates all space around me. It envelopes me in its clammy grip.

There is fear here. It penetrates me. It takes over my thoughts, my feelings - it bores into my being.

I feel as if I’m falling . . . and then I realize - I am. Is it possible to get further down in a well? It is!

Oh, now I know what it is – I’m sinking. I’m sinking in this well. I’m being overcome by this dark, wet, dank, dreary place – my well.

I wonder . . . does anyone even know that I am here? Has anyone recognized that I’m not where I should be? Is this what it comes down to for my life?

I cannot say a word. I don’t shout for help – perhaps because I don’t feel I can. I hear the pleas of anguish in my head, but the words won’t form on my lips, nor air breathed into them from my lungs. I certainly feel a need – the need for urgent, lifesaving help as I slip further into the darkness.

As I’m frozen and sinking further, I know that I am being overcome. I am losing my fight. I have resigned myself to the fact that my life will end in this desperate state – alone, cold, wet, miserable, and surrounded by deafening darkness.

Deafening darkness, you say? How can sound be associated with light, or lack of both thereof? I don’t know the answer to that for sure. All I do know is that when you are in that darkness, it is so incredibly loud - it saturates everything around me. Yes, there is a sound to the darkness. It pounds in my ears. It makes my head swim. I truly feel that I’m going under as it consumes me.

Just as I feel the life ebb from my body, there comes a light above me. It is brilliant through the darkness. And there is a voice saying, “Take my hand. I will get you out.”

But, how can he reach down for me when I couldn’t even reach up before? Just then I feel his grasp around my wrist as I’m about to go under.

“Oh my gosh,” I think, “I am free! I am free of all the toil of trying to climb out on my own. I am free of being consumed by that well. But mostly, I am free of that all-encompassing darkness. There is light now. And the roar of the darkness is no more. There is beauty and peace, and rest in the light.

Just as a desperate person who has been saved does, I cling to my life-saver. He rescued me from the clutches of death. I am saved. I have a life – a wonderful life to lead.

Now, as my panting and fear subside, I look upon this person who rescued me. He has no discernable face. There is only a glow of the light that he is. I’m still held in his arms - like a babe being comforted. He soothes away my sobbing. He assures me that everything is going to be alright, as he strokes my hair and rocks me.

He is the Lord Jesus Christ. He has come to save me. He has come to offer me the promise of a glorious life that I have yet to lead . . . in His service. He reached out to me when nobody else could. He is the only one who even knew I was in that well.

I continue to cling to my Savior. He is guiding me in ways that I still do not yet know, along unfamiliar paths. But He is providing me light upon those paths (Isaiah 42:16). I ask Him daily, “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long!” (Psalm 25: 4,5).

One cannot know, until they are placed in that situation of life or death, just how truly valuable life really is. Not just feeling a physical death, but a mental, emotional, spiritual death. Feeling as if the very lifeblood of you is being shrouded and overcome by darkness.

There is such sincere, overwhelming gratitude when one is saved from the brink of the darkness. I have that gratitude. I will live the remainder of my life trying to pay back my rescuer – even if the only way I can do that is to touch others for Him, and hopefully throw them a life line and a flashlight. Even a flickering candle is blinding when one is being consumed by that darkness. I can offer living proof that there is light out of the darkness. So I will indeed lead a life in His service. To simply help just one other person from this darkness serves Him so that He can save them as He did me. And I will trust in His promise, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). This is one of my favorite Scriptures. I only wish I had had this to lean on so I would never have fallen into that well. But, had I not been there, I would not be here now.

Neil Anderson stated this perfectly, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has clearly shown you in the light.” God indeed showed me something in the light – the light that is Jesus. These following Scriptures truly reflect that light of Jesus for me.

Isaiah 50:10 – Let him who walks in darkness, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.

1 John 1:5 – God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.

John 8:12 – Jesus . . said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This particular Scripture holds two promises for me: 1) I have light, and since Jesus is the light, then I have Him; and, 2) I have life. I will not succumb to the deafening darkness again. I will have future troubles, but Jesus overcame the world so that He can help me to overcome my troubles (John 16:33).

Look closely. Is anyone in a well of their own that maybe everyone’s too busy to see? Once you’ve been there yourself, you can usually see it in others. Life-altering experiences are few, but they are just that: life-altering. You can never, ever be the same after having one. We must remain in the Word and continue to seek Jesus in order that He remain in us. We must show ourselves to be His disciples in bearing much fruit to the Father’s glory (John 15:8). We must distribute that light that’s given us by living Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Jesus came into this world as our light so that no one who believes in Him will stay in darkness (John 12:46). I know within the very depths of my being, just as Jesus promised the disciples upon the Great Commission, in saying, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Pray that the Lord reveal lost, hurting souls to you so that you can serve as an instrument for Him in reaching them. Never tire in His service, for He will provide you the grace to do His work. I have come from a deep pit (my well) to where I can now say, “It is well with my soul.” And I strive to hear my Master say upon Judgment Day, “Well done my good & faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). I have come from a negative connotation (the pit of a well), to the positive, life-sustaining wellness of the Lord Jesus. Two totally different meanings coming from one word.

Author’s Note: Almost one year, to the day, after having written this piece, I was reading my Bible during some devotional time I was able to sneak in during the middle of the day. I found the following passages, which immediately reminded me of “Well”. The Psalmist, David, was where I was. So, upon my second reading of His Word, after a full year of growth in His Word, I found these Scriptures. This simply illustrates to me that God knows exactly where we are in life, even before we are formed in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5a). And He provides us the guidance of His Word to show us the way through life. All we need do is look.

Psalm 18:5,6,16,19,28 – The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of the deep waters. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 40:2 – He lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

May God’s grace and peace be with you always. Don’t turn from His guidance. He only wants the best for you (John 10:10b).

Photo credit - Ivo Berg (Crazy Ivory) through Getty Images

Friday, January 14, 2011

WOW Moment!

The Lord truly amazes me in ways He reaches out to reveal something to me that I totally missed....this time, literally, just the day before. When I read my Bible, I make a little 'tick-mark' in the margin of the page where I leave off. Well, I went to read the other day, starting with Nehemiah 2. So, God revealed SO much! WOW - how exciting!!!

Nehemiah 2:2 - so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart,” followed by 2:4 "Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king,", followed by 2:6c "It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time."

See that? Nehemiah prayed first, and then the king was pleased & responded according to what God put on his heart! (caring king to notice & ask why he was sad in the first place, tho'!)

And then in 2:12 - "I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem".

It just demonstrates how much we can leave everything alone & trust everything to God, in silence...not shouting from the rooftops, but in trusting reverence simply leaving it with the Lord! But I was, obviously, reminded of Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

He makes the way!

Now, why this is my WOW moment....when I actually looked more closely....I had a tick-mark at Nehemiah 3, not 2. I was supposed to start at Nehemiah 3 that day. But the amazing thing is....I had just read Nehemiah 2 the day before & totally missed all that I just told you. There wasn't a single thing underlined in Nehemiah 2, not one. There is now, tho'! ;o}

I just figured...well, someone other than me needs to see/know this. Thus, this post is God's gift to you, through me! Thanks, Lord! I love when You use me to extend Your loving messages to the hearts of those needing to know it! I know You'll direct them here to read this.

Happy w/e my friends ~ Merana

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Hidden Treasure #3

Ok, so Hidden Treasure #3 continues my "series" (I use that term oh-so-loosely!) of Hidden Treasures in the Bible. You know....the last one being in S-E-P-T-E-M-B-E-R??!! (I'm SOOOOO bad! But hey, I said then that I had more to follow, so work with me here!)


King Nebuchadnezzar was a walking contradiction...rather like a fish out of water flopping around on the dock every which way. In Daniel 2:47 he says, "Sure your God is the God of gods..." only to have forgotten by Daniel 3:15c "then what God will be able to rescue you from my hand?"


Daniel 3:28 “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”


Daniel 4:2 "It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me."


Daniel 4:8 "after the name of my god"


Daniel 4:9 "...I know the spirit of the holy gods is in you."

Makes ya just want to scream at him, "Well, which is it? The Most Holy God? My god? The gods? What?"

'Ol Nebbie was warned in his dream, rightfully interpreted by Daniel. He could have, should have, changed his ways, but he didn't. His, his delusion reached great levels to say in Daniel 4:30 "Is it not...that I have my mighty power & for the glory of my majesty.."

But it was all an illusion. Just as we, too, have them. We get lost in the illusion of people, places, things. Many sport stars & celebrities fit here with the mistake that "no one can touch me. I can do whatever I please & no one can touch me." (ok, granted, society tolerates far too much from these egotistical so-&-so's, but....). But we get wrapped up in thinking that our worth is wrapped up in our cars, our homes, our clothing, or our possessions. Your "image", the way you present yourself to the world becomes increasingly important to you. But cars can be damaged, twisted, totalled. Homes can be flooded, struck by lightning, flooded, blown away by a tornado, destroyed. Clothing...well, it can be ripped or torn...or (gasp) someone else wear the same thing on the same day. The point is, possessions can be taken away in one swoop!

And let me say that sadly I've seen people treat their children in this image illusion. The child does something and instead of saying, "What were you thinking? Don't you know you or someone else could have been hurt? Or the damage that could have been done?" from a caring, but stern response, the parent says "How could you do this to me?" As tho' their image is ruined. To those people I would say "Maybe they did it just to get some attention from you!" I have always said that I think people lash out and do stupid things because in their mind, negative attention is better than no attention. It's a cry for be truly loved & cared for.

We need to remember these hidden treasures:

Jonah 2:8 - "Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them."
Daniel 4:37b - And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Re-read Daniel. Ol' King Nebbie sure got humbled!

Always remember - God gave us [this] book so we would know how to live today with tomorrow in mind. (Ray Stedman)

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