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!

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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