Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Shepherdess Speaks...

Prayer Changes Things

Near the front door of my paternal grandmother’s house, (Elizabeth, The Wild Rose of Lancaster) this plaque hung on the wall where all who entered and left the house could read the words. At that time, Elizabeth was running a boarding house and as a child, it was this house that I remember. After I was grown and Elizabeth died, this same plaque hung by the front door of the farmhouse where I grew up. I saw it a hundred times; a thousand times, and the words, silent and profound, are forever etched in my memory.

When my family was preparing to move far from home, my mother asked if I would like the plaque in memory of Elizabeth. Nothing could have pleased me more. This was a treasure. Those words, “Prayer Changes Things,” hang near my door and have traveled with me throughout my life. They are more than mere words on a decorative plaque. They are reality, proven to be true time and time again, reminding me always that there is nothing to hard for God to resolve, no circumstance in life that He cannot change if we pray and He wills it so.

This April morning was cool in the south and my husband made a fire in the fireplace. I removed the plaque from the wall and placed it on the tea table. I had several prayers that awaited an answer. I needed to read those words again, to remember Elizabeth, my mother, to remind myself how God had answered prayer for them, how this silent witness had spoken to all who came and went. Through the years, I have seen the eyes of my guests scan the words as they leave my home, those changeless words that plant faith, remind us that God still hears, still cares, and still changes things for our good.

When I pray, I say to Him, “I know, Lord, you always hear my prayer…and you will change this thing that I have no power or might to change…
©2012 Ruth Carmichael Ellinger

"The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Jas 5:16

"And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” Jas 5:15

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Php. 4:6-7

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Shepherdess Speaks...

Where is the Road?

To lose heart is to lose the desire and will to go on, to lose our courage to continue moving forward. Perhaps we are weary with the battle, tired of pressing through so many difficult circumstances. Are we ready to quit and throw in the towel, to go back down the narrow road we have traveled for so long?

To be discouraged is common to all pilgrims, but we rise above this temporary state and by faith, we take on new courage. But to lose heart altogether is not just a temporary setback, not just a stumble, a fall, or dip in the road. Losing heart has fatal consequences. We make shipwreck of our faith and cause others to lose heart. If we turn around and head back to Egypt, others will lose courage as well. We depend on each other; we need each other.

Even so, as fellow travelers on this road of faith, we must value our own personal relationship with God above all else, above all powers and principalities, above all that Satan would present to hinder our forward progress, remembering always that our trust for every situation is in God alone. The arm of flesh is weak and friends may fail to understand us. Our fellow pilgrims cannot prevent the many discouragements that come our way.

The arm of God is strong to uphold us and He loves us so much that we are graven upon the palms of his hands. Therefore, we do not lose heart when there seems to be no way out of our difficulties. He will make a way, and that is enough to know.

© 2012 by Ruth Carmichael Ellinger

Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of my hands...

Isaiah 49:16

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.”

John 10: 27-29

Wednesday, April 11, 2012




April is the month when everything I love is blooming and the gardens look so fresh and new. The herbs are ready to pick and dry for later use but I keep some going the year around. Cooking with the fresh herbs make everything so tasty. My favorite to use for fresh salmon are rosemary and tarragon. My daughter even gathers the stinging nettle which she drys for a tea that is very helpful to women and eats the young leaves like greens cooked with seasonings. Be careful when gathering the nettle to use gloves!

Wright's orchids are all in bloom now. He has just the right spot for them

This colorful orchid couldn't be improved upon. The colors in creation are magnificent

The garden outside the study window

They call this a "peace" lily. Is that because that it blooms at Easter?

I had a friend over for afternoon tea and my husband added these roses. I enjoyed them so much and they added such color to the table

Tea on the porch on a spring day

Cool water and fresh mint from the garden

Cranberry orange scones. Yum!

I love eating raw.This salad has greens, mango, sweet pepper, blue cheese, sugar snap peas, and mushrooms.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Cross

Celebrating the Resurrection

The cross is a well-known and beloved symbol of the Christian faith and represents the instrument used to crucify Jesus Christ, the sacrificial “Lamb of God” who purchased the free gift of salvation for all who believe. We who have knelt at the foot of this old rugged cross, have felt the agony of His passion and the selfless love poured out for our redemption. We understand in part the undeniable beauty of this crude emblem. How rough and harsh is this symbol, but oh how beautiful and magnificent is the impact and significance of the Christian cross.

©2010by Ruth Carmichael Ellinger