Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Springtime on the Gulf Coast

Welcome Spring!

Quietly, it came again . . .
So soft . . .I almost missed it.
When sunshine streamed through broken clouds
and dewdrops gently kissed it.
Sleepy still . . . but awake at last,
Oh how I've missed her singing.
When springtime fills my heart with joy_
Great happiness she's bringing!

Ruth Carmichael Ellinger, @2000

Springtime sunset from out front yard. Never miss a sunset

First bloom of spring, the harbinger of good things to come

A lovely orchid grown by my husband who has the proverbial "green Thumb"

From the lunch cruise around Tampa Bay. This beautiful home is on the very tip of Harbor Island

The colors of springtime on the Gulf Coast

We understand that the Gulf waters are already beginning to warm up which means an early hurricane season this year

Spring and warm weather is already here, the trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the air conditioner is running as I write this post. The colors are vivid, with new life and we are enjoying God's creation at its loveliest

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Writer and the Written Word

Luke, the physician who accompanied the apostle Paul in his journeys, was not only a doctor of his day but also a writer. He wrote the book of St. Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Had Luke not taken this work seriously, we would have little knowledge of the apostles and their works, their passions, their personalities. God laid his hand on Luke to write down these accounts and we are blessed beyond measure by the words we read in Luke’s gospel and the miraculous accounts in Acts.

From Luke’s writings, we read vivid detail about the birth of Christ and we visualize the amazing events taking place in the New Testament church. We see the word picture, not the writer. We enter into the event as the reader, but we don’t notice the writer. We experience the awe of the miracles, but we never see the face of the man who wrote about them. Luke was truly a writer to emulate.

Ruth Carmichael Ellinger

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Shepherdess Speaks...

Sharing my thoughts...

"His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." --Genesis 49:24

That strength which God gives to His Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valor, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true--divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nothing we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from "the mighty God of Jacob." Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph--"The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." Thus God is represented as putting His hands on Joseph's hands, placing His arms on Joseph's arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear Him. He puts His arms upon them. Marvelous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from His throne and lays His hand upon His child's hand, stretching His arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it is ascribed to "the mighty God of Jacob."

Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob. we love to think of God's covenant. All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. If there were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to the God of Jacob -- our God.

(from the writings of Charles Spurgeon)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sword of the Wild Rose and the Patriots

Saturday - Feb. 18th 2012.

SAR Compatriot Keith Kaufman, Charter President of the Hocking Valley Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, of Lancaster ( right ) shown with Mr. and Mrs. Larry Cornwell, of Montgomery, Alabama. Presenting them with a signed copy of "Sword of the Wild Rose", a book written by award winning author, Ruth Carmichael Ellinger, a former native of Fairfield County, Ohio, who now resides in Florida.

Mr. and Mrs. ( Larry and Leanne ) Cornwell presented a program for members and guests of the Hocking Valley Chapter, SAR, portraying Revolutionary War General, Richard Montgomery and his wife. A most excellent program enjoyed by all.

Huzzah ... 3 times!!!

SinSARly .. Keith Kaufman - Chapter President

PS. Col. Larry Cornwell, is the Genealogist General of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution.

Friday, February 17, 2012

His Sheepfold...

This is a photo taken from an original painting of a sheepfold. The art piece is displayed in Tulloch Castle, the seat of Clan Davidson in Scotland. The picture speaks volumes.

Yes, I am the pastor’s wife, but I feel no higher than any of the sheep in the flock. I simply fulfill my role as the shepherdess, standing by my husband’s side, a position in the body of Christ. Some may look on and see this as an esteemed place of honor, and true, we are instructed to honor our leaders, but…I fight the same devil, the same “life and death” struggles, the common battles. I feel sadness, gladness, and hurt -- just like anyone else. At times, I have no words…nothing left to say…don’t know what to advise. I feel empty…. The situations we encounter often have no resolution, and unless God works…there is no help for it, no resolve. There are some life altering circumstances we cannot control, but they have made me realize two things that are absolutes in my life: God is the, “I Am” of the Bible and I am the, “Yea, Lord,” of His sheepfold. How simple is that? I am His trusting child.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Passing Through...


(See Isaiah 43:1-2)

“When Thou passest through the waters,”

Deep the waves may be and cold,

But JEHOVAH is our Refuge

And His promise is our hold;

For the LORD Himself hath said it,

He the faithful God & true;

“When thou comest to the waters,

Thou shalt not go down, but through.

Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,

Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,

Rolling surges of temptation,

Sweeping over heart & brain,

They shall never overflow us,

For we know His word is true;

All His waves & all His billows

He will lead us safely through.

Threatening breakers of destruction,

Doubt’s insidious undertow,

Shall not sink us, shall not drag us

Out to ocean depths of woe;

For His promise shall sustain us,

Praise the LORD, Whose word is true!

We shall not go down or under,

He hath said, “Thou passest through.”

Annie Johnson Flint

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Children of God. Matt 5:9

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace and the things therewith one may edify another. Romans 14:19

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Are people crazy? And yes, Tuesday is valentine’s day, but the frenzy to re-capture the essence of love is getting out of hand! We see the same tired old unimaginative gifts everywhere. Along the roadside and in the grocery store are sorry looking flowers in white buckets, potted plants, chocolates, heart-shaped everything; from pork chops to cookies, all shoved to the forefront. Radio floods us with their shop online, fast ordering; PJ grams, candy grams, teddy bear grams, all wrapped, and ready for “your special valentine.” There are books galore on who to love, how to love, and even what to love. However, the email I received today has taken things a bit too far.

Fall in love with your PC all over again

8 ways to rekindle romance with your computer

Does anyone out there remember romantic valentine cards? Maybe even homemade with original verse that comes from the heart? AND…the card is for your flesh and blood love --- not to be confused with a “thing” or a techy device such as a smart phone or your computer. If I were sending my computer a valentine, it would probably say something like this:

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

If you crash one more time,

You and I are through!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Shepherdess speaks...

To the easy-care sheep who quietly follow, who go in and out to pasture, and who stand still while I work the burrs and tangles from their wool, I say thank you for making my job a labor of love. I thank you for the joy you bring to me as we journey together, for the warmth of your wool in winter, for the furry little lambs that arrive in spring.

And for those sheep of other folds who secretly follow…a Scottish proverb for you,

“May the roof above us never fall in;
May we who share this humble shelter, never fall out.”

He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.

Paraphrased from Isaiah 40: 1-11

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Beating the air...

My grand-daughter, Alexandria

I belong to an “all ladies” exercise group designed to help us stay fit and healthy as we advance in age. Many women don’t bother with this aspect of life until they actually KNOW they better get with the program.

So…here we are, a group of mature age ladies endeavoring to stay healthy. If I attend at a certain time, there are two particular ladies who arrive together at this time, and as we progress around the room performing the various exercises for muscle tone and flexibility, I find opportunity to observe my peer group in action, or should I say…inaction?

Personally, I do not like to talk while exercising, but others do, talking to each other about everything imaginable. All have their routine and I am often puzzled over the fact that some ladies actually think they are exercising, unless they consider talking part of the exercise routine.

The two ladies to whom I am referring, stand on their exercise pads and punch the air as though striking at an invisible opponent. Nothing else on the body moves, just the, not to vigorous punching into the air. If one were a practicing pugilist or even if there were a punching bag hanging in front of them, their punching routine would not appear quite so futile. Watching them, however, offers me some amusement and helps pass the time quickly. Before I know it, I’ve completed the routine, all the while wondering if the ladies are gaining any ground in their battle with the air.

After sharing this rather amusing experience with my grand-daughter, she sent me an email with a very appropriate scripture verse from 1 Cor. 9:26, and it reads: "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air."

How often do we find ourselves “beating the air,” punching at things that are not even there, wasting our energy on nothing, punching out at enemies that are only figments of our imagination. If we fight the good fight of faith, let our aim have purpose and the fight be skillful, worthy of a decisive victory and the real goal that is set before us.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Look through my window...

A French Cafe in Edinburgh

Through the window of the village church in the Spey Valley

God uses some exceptional thing to lighten our load in life, to shine on our path, to help us see through the window, beyond the physical elements that sometimes darken our world, blinding us to what truly matters. For our peace of mind, He offers the beauty of nature; a soothing and timeless river, a mountain range of blue and purple, a desert blooming with color and contrast, and even a voice speaking from the pages of a good book. We gather peace to store against the day of strife.

In this time world we share with those who journey with us, there are those who love strife, who disregard and dishonor the very spirit of peace and harmony. Look through my window today and remember the words of Jesus: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Wednesday, February 1, 2012



“With my soul have I desired thee in the night;

Yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early:”

Isaiah 26:9

It was one of those days everyone talks about; a day of small disasters that cause us to wonder why we crawled out of bed.

Sitting at my computer, I stared at the screen, seeing nothing, my mind a myriad of jumbled thoughts, wondering why this day seemed entirely out of tune with everything around me. Anything that could go wrong had gone wrong. Wearily, I tried in vain to focus on the next thing: a writing deadline with a manuscript due in one week.

My peace of mind had vanished, leaving me worried and anxious over small insignificant provocations. Things I would normally brush off became huge mountains of anxiety and perplexity. The really big concerns now loomed before me as near impossibilities.

What had happened? What went wrong with my day? Why was I thinking so negatively?......

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