Category Archives: biography

it was a woman physicist who discovered the power of nuclear energy

Lisa-Meitner“Racial and gender prejudice are dramatic backdrops to our modern era. The dramatic splitting of the atom—“nuclear fission”—was a discovery which changed our world. Yet few know that it was a woman physicist who discovered the power of nuclear energy just after her dramatic escape from Nazi Germany. The irony of the story of Lise Meitner (1878 – 1968) is that her laboratory partner of thirty years, Otto Hahn, who remained in Berlin throughout the Third Reich, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944. Meitner’s exclusion from sharing the Nobel Prize was thus integrally related to her escape from Nazi Germany to Sweden and the consequent social ‘marginalization’ of her important physics research and discoveries. Albert Einstein called the respected Viennese pioneer in nuclear physics “our Madame Curie.” (Above quoted from http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/meitner-lise)

The brilliant Lise Meitner was the mother of nuclear power, but you’ve probably never heard of her! Her research contributed greatly to the discovery of nuclear fission. She was an Austrian physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Otto Hahn and Meitner led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939.

Lise Meitner was one of eight children. When she finished school at age 14, she was barred from higher education, as were all girls in Austria. When Lise showed an early propensity for mathematics, she was privately tutored, her father insisting that each of his daughters receive the same education as his sons. (Three of Lise’s sisters later also earned their Ph.D. degrees). Inspired by the discoveries of William Röntgen and Henri Becquerel, she was determined to study radioactivity. When she turned 21, women were finally allowed into Austrian universities. Two years of tutoring preceded her enrollment at the University of Vienna; there she excelled in math and physics and earned her doctorate in 1906. She wrote to Marie Curie, but there was no room for her in the Paris lab and so Meitner made her way to Berlin. There she collaborated with Otto Hahn on the study of radioactive elements, but as an Austrian Jewish woman (all three qualities were strikes against her), she was excluded from the main labs and lectures and allowed to work only in the basement. For several years she was not permitted access to the laboratories of the Berlin Institute for Chemistry where she worked as an unpaid research scientist (1907–1912)

In 1912, Hahn and Meitner moved to a new university and Meitner had better lab facilities. Meitner became an official University Lecturer in 1922, but even in liberalizing Berlin the press jokingly reported the topic of her inaugural speech as “Cosmetic Physics” instead of cosmic physics. She led several courses in quantum physics with her outstanding graduate students (such as Leo Szilard and Max Delbrueck) as assistants, until Adolf Hitler’s decrees in April, 1933 stripped Jewish academics of their professorial positions.

At first she was an unpaid “guest” under Hahn, but most people knew they were equals in their research team. From 1924 to 1934, the team gained international prestige and were nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ten consecutive years. Though their partnership was split up physically when she was forced to flee Nazi Germany in 1938, Hahn and Meitner continued to collaborate.

Meitner continued her work in Sweden. After Hahn discovered that uranium atoms were split when bombarded with neutrons, Meitner and her nephew Frisch took a hike in the snowy Swedish woods, animatedly discussing the puzzling “bursting” process. Then they realized: if E=mc2, that mass could not be lost, but the nucleus would be “split in two.”. She calculated the energy released in the reaction and named the phenomenon “nuclear fission.” The discovery—which eventually led to the atomic bomb (“You must not blame scientists for the use to which war technicians have put our discoveries,” Meitner would say in 1945)—won Hahn the Nobel Prize in 1944. Meitner was left out by the Awarding Committee.

She carried on with her research and helped produce one of the first peacetime nuclear reactors. It wasn’t until 1966 that Meitner really received any attention. During her 60 years of work in the field of atomic physics she wrote 128 articles, and served on the United Nations Committee on atomic energy. In 1992 it was announced that she would have an element named after her, meitnerium. Meitner spent most of her 70s and 80s traveling, encouraging women students to “remember that science can bring both joy and satisfaction to your life.”

Lise’s parents were assimilated Viennese Jews, who did not practice Judaism. In 1908 on a visit to Vienna Lise formally withdrew from the Jewish community and was baptized at the Evangelical Congregation.

(The above biography is compiled from information/excerpts from Wikipedia and Jewish Women encyclopedia)

Reading the above makes me marvel at the courage and determination of this woman whose ability and worth as an individual overcame the male chauvinistic social and economic culture and racial prejudices of her time. She was a woman and a Jew. These went against her in that time. She was made to work and research without pay and under harsh physical condition. She was not given a recognition which she rightly deserved. She was threatened with her life. But all these did not stop her from becoming a woman of great worth, perhaps not in monetary terms, but in the history of mankind. She will not be forgotten. She became a model of overcomer.

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a woman of finance background to watch

andrea Lead.jpg
She is steadfast and confident, honest and reliable.A tower of strength for those she cares for and a rock to the family.
“We have a bright future outside the EU.

In total 170 countries in the world are outside the EU. Most of them have sensible trading arrangements, including with Europe, and workable immigration policies. This is not some fantasy land. This is the normal operating basis of four-fifths of the globe.
And we are in such a strong position to make the most of the opportunity. We are the fifth largest economy, with great natural advantages including our language, legal system, the great City of London, and our great trading history and creative and engineering talents. Nearly eighty per cent of the world’s GDP lies outside the EU and, in marked contrast to the EU, most of it is growing strongly. We need to embrace that opportunity to ensure our future prosperity.”

Biography
Andrea was born in Buckinghamshire and attended Tonbridge Girls Grammar School in Kent, followed by Warwick University. She holds a degree in Political Science.

After university Andrea began a career in the banking and finance industry that would last 25 years. Andrea’s career included 10 years in BZW and Barclays where she worked in swaps and treasury, project finance, structured projects and then moved to Barclays Head Office to become Financial Institutions Director. In 1995 she helped the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, over the weekend that Barings collapsed as he tried to reassure the markets and prevent a run on the banks. Andrea more recently held positions as Managing Director of a start up London based funds management company and then spent ten years as Head of Corporate Governance and Senior Investment Officer at Invesco Perpetual, one of the UK’s largest retail fund managers.

Alongside her business career, Andrea was a Trustee, and for 9 years Chairman, of a children’s charity, the Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP), which helps families that are struggling to form a secure bond with their new babies. In 2011, Andrea established the Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership (NORPIP), as a sister charity to OXPIP, and in 2012 established PIP UK, a new charitable foundation, whose purpose will be to support the roll out of Parent Infant Partnerships around the country. PIP UK offers practical and financial support for the establishment of new PIPs.

Andrea has wanted to be an MP since she was 13 and has been a Conservative activist since University. She was elected as a Councillor on South Oxfordshire District Council between 2003 and 2007, and contested Knowsley South in the 2005 general election.

In May 2010, Andrea was elected as the first MP for South Northamptonshire with a majority of over 20,000.

Andrea was elected in 2010 to the Treasury Select Committee. She has also held posts as Chairman of the APPG on Sure Starts, and Chairman of the APPG on the 1001 Critical Days – conception to age two; she was founder and co-Chairman with a Labour MP of the APPG for European Reform and founded the Fresh Start Project in Parliament that works towards establishing a new relationship for Britain within the EU.

In April 2014, Andrea joined the Government as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, taking responsibility for Financial Services.

Andrea is married to Ben and has three children and in her free time enjoys cycling, walking in the Northamptonshire countryside and spending time with her family.

Andrea comes from the Latin meaning “Womanly” or “Beautiful Lady”. She is steadfast and confident, honest and reliable.A tower of strength for those she cares for and a rock to the family.
That girl is quite the andrea.
Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire. Wife, Mother. Leave campaigner.
http://www.andrealeadsom.com/home/home

“If you just work hard enough, you will get there.”

“If you just work hard enough, you will get there.” Her life was remarkable, characterized by the confidence that she can accomplish whatever is required because of her trust in the Lord.

In the midst of World War II, Margaret studied medicine in London. She topped the class with Paul Brand as second. Despite their brilliant academic performance, both were committed followers of Christ and dedicated their lives to serve God in a third world country. They both pioneered practices in the treatment of leprosy in India and throughout the world. Almost by accident, without formal training in eye diseases, she became an ophthalmologist and one of the foremost authorities in the field of ocular leprosy. You will be encouraged and inspired by the remarkable impact of this medical pioneer in the field of leprosy and by her vision for God. Her work in medicine and rehabilitation has literally touched the lives of millions, and her quiet, humble leanings upon her Lord and Savior has touched perhaps even more lives. Through this unique biography/autobiography, we have, for the first time, a look at the personal life and world-renown work of this great medical pioneer. we see the record of a woman who was firstly a disciple of Jesus Christ, and an example for professional women in combining responsible motherhood of six children with pursuit of an outstanding clinical career. The pace of the storytelling is such that one ends a chapter wondering what is going to happen in the next. Human interest events combine with objective reporting to provide a wealth of quotable insights.
Dr. Paul Wilson Brand, CBE (17 July 1914 – 8 July 2003) was a pioneer in developing tendon transfer techniques for use in the hands of those with leprosy. He was the first physician to appreciate that leprosy did not cause the rotting away of tissues, but that it was the loss of the sensation of pain which made sufferers susceptible to injury. Brand contributed extensively to the fields of hand surgery and hand therapy through his publications and lectures, and wrote popular autobiographical books about his childhood, his parents’ missionary work, and his philosophy about the valuable properties of pain. One of his best known books, co-written with Philip Yancey, is Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants (1993), republished in 1997 as The Gift of Pain. His wife of 61 years of a happy and fulfilling marriage, Dr. Margaret Brand lived until 95 and passed away in 2014.

(The above information is taken from various internet sources: Vision for God: The Story of Dr. Margaret Brand Paperback – September 1, 2006)

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Why not women: A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership
“We did not write this book for the millions of women who are happy and secure in their roles. Our passion was for the hundreds of millions of women who are not free. It was for their sake, and for the final completion of the task of taking the Good News to them, that we wrote this book.”

Multiplied millions of women all over the world are looking over the church’s shoulder, longing to see the freedom Jesus purchased for them at Calvary. Millions more have found freedom in Jesus but are still bound by human ideas-ideas that pressure a woman to let culture, not God, determine her place in the Kingdom.

While hurting men and women are outside the church cry out, “Is there any hope? Does anyone care?” their sisters in the church are asking, “How can I share the hope I have” How can I, a woman, serve the Lord?” Many women, having heard God call them into public roles in the Kingdom, are serving in positions of leadership. They are asking, “Will the church support us?”

We must respond. The issue of women in missions, ministry, and leadership is dividing homes, churches, communities, even societies. We must respond responsibly, for we never want to find ourselves working against God’s purposes, quenching His Spirit at work in the lives of those He has called. We must respond carefully, since God’s truth often stands in direct opposition to what the majority of people believe. The book includes a recommended resource list, Endnotes for each chapter 1-18 with a final word, short author biographies and related book lists.
(quoted from Amazon)
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what is the female angle on an equilateral triangle

Lord Peter Wimsey quote

Lord Peter Wimsey’s quote

Was she a feminist? Was she ahead of her time in history? Or was she a mere writer of mysteries? In 1915 Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) became one of the first women to graduate from Oxford University. In 1912, Sayers won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford where she studied modern languages and medieval literature. She finished with first-class honours in 1915. Women could not be awarded degrees at that time, but Sayers was among the first to receive a degree when the position changed a few years later; in 1920 she graduated as an MA.

Her first major work was “Whose Body?”(1923), in which she created the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, a witty gentleman-scholar who would be featured in later short stories. After the 1930s she focused on theological dramas and books, radio plays and scholarly translations, notably of Dante’s”The Divine Comedy”.

She was primarily known as a crime writer, Dorothy Sayers was not limited to that genre. She was a translator of Dante, playwright, a Christian apologist, and a founder of the classical education movement. She had a passion for careful reasoning and logic, which can be like a cold drink on a hot day to today’s confused post-modern reader. Though her writing is not extremely accessible, it is rewarding, clever, witty and quite funny. She had a way of saying old orthodox truths in fresh ways. She shared a friendship with C.S. Lewis and even attended some meetings of the Socratic Club in Oxford, of which Lewis was the chairman. Her most well known Christian apologetic work is “The Mind of the Maker. Though the language and writing are thick, it is a good read and worth the wading.

Dorothy L Sayers’ great lay contemporaries in the Church of England were T. S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, but none of them wrote a book quite like The Mind of the Maker”. In this crisp, elegant exercise in theology, Sayers illuminates the doctrine of the Trinity by relating it to the process of writing fiction, a process about which she could speak with complete authority. She illustrates her thesis with many examples drawn from her own books, and even illuminates the Christian heresies by analysing certain failures of creation which regularly occur in literature. This marvellous classic describes the creative process in terms of the arts and shows that literature can cast light on theology and vice versa.

“Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man – there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“I am occasionally desired by congenital imbeciles and the editors of magazines to say something about the writing of detective fiction “from the woman’s point of view.” To such demands, one can only say “Go away and don’t be silly. You might as well ask what is the female angle on an equilateral triangle.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“In reaction against the age-old slogan, “woman is the weaker vessel,” or the still more offensive, “woman is a divine creature,” we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that “a woman is as good as a man,” without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that. What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether, viz: (…) that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society

“Why do you want a letter from me? Why don’t you take the trouble to find out for yourselves what Christianity is? You take time to learn technical terms about electricity. Why don’t you do as much for theology? Why do you never read the great writings on the subject, but take your information from the secular ‘experts’ who have picked it up as inaccurately as you? Why don’t you learn the facts in this field as honestly as your own field? Why do you accept mildewed old heresies as the language of the church, when any handbook on church history will tell you where they came from?
Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity – God the three in One – yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? What makes you suppose that the expression “God ordains” is narrow and bigoted, while your own expression, “Science demands” is taken as an objective statement of fact?
You would be ashamed to know as little about internal combustion as you know about Christian beliefs.
I admit, you can practice Christianity without knowing much theology, just as you can drive a car without knowing much about internal combustion. But when something breaks down in the car, you go humbly to the man who understands the works; whereas if something goes wrong with religion, you merely throw the works away and tell the theologian he is a liar.
Why do you want a letter from me telling you about God? You will never bother to check on it or find out whether I’m giving you personal opinions or Christian doctrines. Don’t bother. Go away and do some work and let me get on with mine.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers
tags: christian-apologetics

(above are quoted from the internet resources)

dorothy L Sayers

happy mother’s day: a golden haiku for my mother

happy mother's day 2016

endurance patience
faith hope love joy peace
strength to strength she glows

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)

the richest woman in the world

queen EII

Queen Elizabeth II and her dad King George VI in 1942

Queen E youngShe remains a well-beloved woman of many. The mark of ages has not affected her. A woman of worth with consistency in almost a century of changes and uncertainty.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reflects on Jesus’ central role in her life in a new book ahead of her 90th birthday, calling Christ “the King she serves” in the title.

“I have been — and remain — very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for his steadfast love,” the British monarch writes in the foreword to The Servant Queen and the King She Serves, which is released in April.

“I have indeed seen His faithfulness,” she adds.

Thousands of churches will reportedly be giving away copies of the book, which is being published by HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, according to the Church of England.

“As I’ve been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don’t know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I’ve been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen’s faith,” said Mark Greene, executive director of LICC, who is the co-author of the book.

“The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I’ve read what she’s written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is,” he added.

The Star Tribune noted that besides her faith, the queen also talks about the ongoing mass persecution of Christians in the Middle East in her book, which is a subject she has touched upon on a number of occasions.

She highlighted the persecution of Christians in her Christmas address of 2015, which Church observers called the “most Christian message yet” of her 60-plus year reign as monarch.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said at the time that “if people in this country gave greater heed to what the queen says about the importance of Christianity in our personal as well as our national life, then we would be in a better place to confront it.”

He noted that “the queen will also be aware that Christians and others have faced unprecedented persecution over the last year in parts of the Middle East, and could even face extinction.”

HOPE’s Executive Director Roy Crowne said that the book on Elizabeth’s birthday, which is on April 21, will be a chance for Christians “to say thank you to God and to the Queen for her life and example as a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Paul Woolley, deputy chief executive at the Bible Society, added: “In drawing attention to the central role of the Queen’s faith in her life and reign, The Servant Queen will be a unique 90th birthday publication. The book will inform, surprise, entertain and challenge, all at the same time.”

“So to have a monarch who talks openly about Jesus in a very relaxed and natural way, we find that a huge encouragement and hope that Christians across the country will take a leaf out of the queen’s book and learn to talk about Jesus in a natural way with friends, relatives and colleagues so people can discover more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus,” co-author Catherine Butcher, from HOPE, told premier.org.

The Queen writes of her enduring Christian faith and shares a treasured memory of the moment George VI prayed for the nation during the Second World War. The following is an excerpt about the incident:

“At first when war was declared nothing much happened, but within a few months France and Belgium fell to the Germans. The only port from which to evacuate the British Army was Dunkirk where they were trapped against the sea. Our troops were encircled and the German Army was proceeding to their annihilation. The position was so serious it was estimated that perhaps only 20,000 men might be rescued. The whole root, core and brains of the British Army was about to perish. There was no human solution to this crisis; the end of the British way of life had come-or so it appeared.

When it became clear how serious the situation was King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on 26th May. In a national broadcast he instructed the people of the UK to plead for Divine Intervention. Together with members of the Cabinet, the King attended Westminster Abbey whilst literally
millions of people across the British Isles flocked to churches to join in prayer seeking deliverance. Nothing like it had ever been seen before in our country, or indeed in any country, with people queuing to get into churches pleading for help.

What happened next was the most miraculous and timely deliverance ever to occur in the history of our nation with two great phenomena following this National Day of Prayer. The first was a great storm which broke out over the area on the 28th May hindering the murderous work of the German airforce and the second was the great calm which settled on the English Channel the likes of which hadn’t been seen for decades. This calm enabled an armada of boats to rescue no less than 335,000 men! Four years later of course, this deliverance further meant that Britain was able to provide a “launch pad” for the liberation of Europe . If the British Army had been destroyed at Dunkirk the UK would then have been occupied and the liberation of Europe would never have happened.

The violent storm and Channel calm immediately following this Day of Prayer made possible what people began to call “the miracle of Dunkirk”. Sunday 9th June
was appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. There had been no human solution to this national crisis; it had been solved by Divine Intervention alone. There were so many other instances of Divine Assistance at crucial moments in the war that in October 1942 Churchill was moved to comment:

“I sometimes have a feeling of interference. I want to stress that. I have a feeling sometimes that some Guiding Hand has interfered. I have a feeling that we have a Guardian because we have a great Cause and we shall have that Guardian so long as we serve that Cause faithfully”:(quoted from:http://www.ensignmessage.com/shouldremember.html)

A Bible passage about Queen Esther
Esther 4:13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.[a]

Footnotes:

Esther 4:17 Septuagint adds a prayer of Mordecai here.

https://www.christianstogether.net/Articles/200052/Christians_Together_in/Christian_Life/The_Miracle_of.aspx

The Miracle of Dunkirk: 70 years on (Excerpts from a trilogy entitled ‘The Trumpet Sounds for Britain’ written by Rev. David E Gardner) in what is still called ‘the Miracle of Dunkirk’ the story is told of how over 300,000 British troops were snatched from the beaches of France in an operation that was so fraught with dangers that success can only be attributed to a miraculous combination of circumstances.

Britain had a godly Sovereign
But Britain had a godly Sovereign. Seeing this situation developing, His Majesty King George VI requested that Sunday, 26 May should be observed as a National Day of Prayer. In a stirring broadcast, he called the people of Britain and of the Empire to commit their cause to God. Together with members of the Cabinet, the King attended Westminster Abbey, whilst millions of his subjects in all parts of the Commonwealth and Empire flocked to the churches to join in prayer. Britain was given inspiring leadership in those days, and her people responded immediately when this kind of initiative was taken. The whole nation was at prayer on that Sunday. The scene outside Westminster Abbey was remarkable—photographs show long queues of people who could not even get in, the Abbey was so crowded! So much so, that the following morning the Daily Sketch exclaimed, ‘Nothing like it has ever happened before.’
In its hour of deep distress a heart-cry from both monarch and people alike was going up to God in prayer. And that cry did not go unanswered. For very soon, at least three miracles were seen to happen.

The first miracle
The first was that for some reason—which has never yet been fully explained—Hitler overruled his generals and halted the advance of his armoured columns at the very point when they could have proceeded to the British army’s annihilation. They were now only ten miles away! Later, Mr Churchill asserted in his memoirs that this was because Hitler undoubtedly believed ‘that his air superiority would be sufficient to prevent a large-scale evacuation by sea.’ That is very significant in terms of the second miracle.

The second miracle
A storm of unprecedented fury broke over Flanders on Tuesday, 28 May, (1940) grounding the German Luftwaffe squadrons and enabling the British army formations, now eight to twelve miles from Dunkirk, to move up on foot to the coast in the darkness of the storm and the violence of the rain, with scarcely any interruption from aircraft, which were unable to operate in such turbulent conditions. The Fuehrer had obviously not taken the weather into his reckoning, nor the One who controls the weather! And the third miracle?

The third miracle
Despite the storm in Flanders, a great calm—such as has rarely been experienced—settled over the English Channel during the days which followed, and its waters became as still as a mill pond.
It was this quite extraordinary calm which enabled a vast armada of little ships, big ships, warships, privately owned motor-cruisers from British rivers and estuaries – in fact, almost anything that would float – to ply back and forth in a desperate bid to rescue as many of our men as possible.

NationalDayOfPrayer1940

“You are much, much more.” she wrote

maeve-binchy_grandeI decided to post some quotes of a much loved Irish writer of stories. She wrote of simple ordinary everyday people, but their stories are credible and real. Of love and deceit, family drama, wealth and poverty, of friendship and courage. Families and people who aren’t always quite what they seem.

Maeve Binchy Quotes

“I’ll understand if you don’t want me. But I will be heartbroken. You are all I ever dreamed of and hoped for. You are much, much more. Please know that I didn’t think I was mean-minded. But I realize I am. I don’t want you to put your arms around me and say it’s all right, that you forgive me. I want you to be sure that you do, and my love for you will last as long as I live. I can see no lightness, no humour, no joke to make. I just hope that we will be able to go back to when we had laughter, and the world was coloured, not black and white and grey. I am so sorry for hurting you. I could inflict all kinds of pain on myself, but it would not take back any I gave to you. – David Power”― Maeve Binchy, Echoes

“I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”

“We’re nothing if we’re not loved. When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really. And I think we are all striving for it in different ways. I also believe very, very strongly that everybody is the hero/heroine of his/her own life. I try to make my characters kind of ordinary, somebody that anybody could be. Because we’ve all had loves, perhaps love and loss, people can relate to my characters”

“Any one could write a book,” said the taxi driver. ” Yes, they could, but they DON’T,” said Maeve Binchy”

“But an intelligent man like you would know that to live in an unrealistic hope is a very foolish way to spend a life.” – Lena Gray”― Maeve Binchy, The Glass Lake

“It was so silly to try to define things by words. What did one person mean by infatuation or obsession and another mean by love. The whole thing couldn’t be tidied away with neat little labels.” – Lena Gray”― Maeve Binchy, The Glass Lake

“She put her head down on the table and cried all the tears that she knew she should have cried in the past year and a half. But they weren’t ready then, they were now.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“I look placid, you see, that’s why people think I’m fine. Inside I worry a lot.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“If you had your time all over again…? She was keen to know. You can’t rewrite history. I have no idea what I’d do.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“Listen to me, Ria. It will be different when you and I have a home. It will be a real home, one that people will want to come running back to.”― Maeve Binchy, Tara Road

“Wasn’t it hard that you did so much for children and loved them so deeply and they seemed so indifferent to you in return?”― Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street

“A silly idea about a book of blessings couldn’t really work. Not seriously.”― Maeve Binchy, Chestnut Street

“It was true what they had been saying: if people remember you, then you’re not dead. It was very comforting.”

“Writing is a bit like going on a diet; you should either tell everyone or no one.”― Maeve Binchy, The Maeve Binchy Writers’ Club

“She said that it was dangerous to try to know somebody too well. People should have their own reserves, she said, the places they went in their minds, where no one else should follow.”

“How will I explain it all … to everybody?” “You know, people don’t have to explain things nearly as much as you think they do.”― Maeve Binchy, A Week in Winter

Maeve Binchy Snell (28 May 1939– 30 July 2012), known as Maeve Binchy, was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker best known for her sympathetic and often humorous portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature, and her often clever surprise endings. Her novels, which were translated into 37 languages, sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, and her death at age 73, announced by Vincent Browne on Irish television late on 30 July 2012, was mourned as the death of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognizable writer. She cracked the US market, featuring on The New York Times best-seller list and in Oprah’s Book Club. Recognized for her “total absence of malice”and generosity to other writers, she finished 3rd in a 2000 poll for World Book Day, ahead of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Stephen King. (Excerpts From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes

Don’t tell me women
are not the stuff of heroes,
I alone rode over the East Sea’s
winds for ten thousand leagues.
My poetic thoughts ever expand,
like a sail between ocean and heaven.
I dreamed of your three islands,
all gems, all dazzling with moonlight.
I grieve to think of the bronze camels,
guardians of China, lost in thorns.
Ashamed, I have done nothing;
not one victory to my name.
I simply make my war horse sweat.
Grieving over my native land
hurts my heart. So tell me;
how can I spend these days here?
A guest enjoying your spring winds?

(poem by Qiu Jin, Chinese feminist & revolutionary martyr)

Qiu Jin (1875–1907) was a Chinese writer & poet, a strong-willed feminist who is considered a national hero in China. Also called “Jianhu Nüxia” (Woman Knight of Mirror Lake”), she was executed after participating in a failed uprising against the Qing Dynasty.

Qiu Jin was born in 1875 to a family of the gentry, and received an excellent education as was typical for a young woman of her position. She always loved to write, and in this period of her life she wrote many joyful poems on subjects ranging from flowers and the four seasons to visiting historical places and domestic activities. She also wrote about female heroes and warriors from Chinese history, in inspiring poems about their strength, courage, and beauty. One of her poems begins“Don’t tell me women / are not the stuff of heroes” (as above quoted). Her poetry reflected her self-confidence and desire to become an excellent female writer as valued by traditional Chinese culture.

When Qiu Jin was 19, she obeyed her father and married the son of a wealthy merchant, against her own wishes. Qiu became extremely unhappy in her marriage. She wrote of her husband, “That person’s behavior is worse than an animal’s….He treats me as less than nothing.” and “When I think of him my hair bristles with anger, it’s absolutely unbearable.” Her previous self-confidence was shaken and her dreams of becoming a recognized poet were abandoned. Her poetry from this period of her life was full of self-doubt and loneliness.

During this period Qiu also began writing poetry about current events and the fate of China. After hearing of events such as the Boxer Rebellion and occupation of Beijing, she used her poetry, with literary allusion to heroines of the past, to express her concern about the fate of China and Chinese women. Qiu longed to serve her country but realized that that wasn’t possible as long as she was trapped in a conventional married life. Her marriage was an important catalyst in her development as a feminist and revolutionary.

In 1903, Qiu Jin moved with her husband to Beijing where he had purchased an official post. In Beijing, Qiu started reading feminist writings and became interested in women’s education.

Qiu Jin finally left her husband in 1903, leaving to study in Japan. She became vocal in her support for women’s rights, pressed for improved access to education for women in her journals and speech, and spoke out against the practice of foot-binding. Returning to China in 1905, she joined the Triads, an underground society who advocated for the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, and other anti-Qing societies both Chinese and Japanese. She admired the Japanese for their disciplined military spirit and thought that it played an important role in the modernization of Japan.

“With all my heart I beseech and beg my two hundred million female compatriots to assume their responsibility as citizens. Arise! Arise! Chinese women, arise!”

In 1906 Qiu founded her own journal, “Zhongguo nubao” (Chinese women’s journal), which featured nationalist and feminist writings. Unlike traditional and other nationalist views that held women’s place as mothers and educators in a traditional family role, Qiu Jin saw the traditional family as oppressive to women.

Qiu was appointed head of the Datong school in the city of Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, in 1907. The school was supposedly for sport teachers, but was actually used for the military training of revolutionaries. In the final years of her life, she frequently cross-dressed, wearing western-style men’s clothing, and practiced military drills and training with her students. She became well-known as a chivalrous woman for helping the poor and weak.

At this time, Qiu was working with her cousin Xu Xilin to unite and train fellow revolutionaries who also believed that China needed a western-style government. On July 6, 1907, Xu was caught and tortured for information before an uprising they had scheduled in Anqing in Angui Province. He was executed the next day.

Qiu Jin learned about her cousin’s death and the failed uprising a few days later. She was warned that officials would be coming for her at the Datong school, but she stayed anyway, writing to her sword sister Xu Yunhua that she was determined to die for the cause. On July 13, Qiu was arrested. Even after being tortured she refused to talk about her involvement in the scheduled uprising, but incriminating evidence was found at the school. On July 15, 1907, Qiu Jin was beheaded publicly in her home village of Shanyin, at the age of 31.

Shocked by the brutal execution of a woman, many Chinese were strengthened in their resentment of the Qing dynasty. Qiu Jin immediately became a national hero, and was the subject of poetry, drama, and numerous works of fiction. Much of her writing, including her poetry and letters to family and friends, was published after her death.

To this day, Qiu Jin is a symbol of women’s independence in China. She is now buried by Xī Hú (West Lake) in Hangzhou, where a statue of her marks her tomb.

(Above quoted from: KeriLynn Engel, Amazing Women In History)

Qui Jin, at one level, was an oriental twentieth-century Judith, the mythical Jewish widow from Bethulia who cut off the head of Holofernes, the Assyrian general besieging the city, thus saving the Israelites from destruction. Qui Jin was, as Judith was, a self-reliant heroine who when others seemed ‘helpless and demoralized undertook to save them single-handedly’, or in her case virtually single-handedly. This, of course, was both her making and her unmaking. In Chinese terms the story of Qui Jin, like the story of Judith if less famous, less publicised, more recent, is the story of an icon at once central and at the same time marginal to tradition. She contradicted the most cherished customs on Confucian Chinese culture. She was a radical force who thrust her way to the centre of the concentric circles of customs surrounding this culture and was pushed back to the margins by conservatism. Nevertheless Qui Jin was not without success. She challenged a long-established mythology of exclusively masterful patriarchy – and created a counter myth of purposeful patriotic feminism. She was a counter-cultural icon who changed perceptions of Chinese femininity. She gave courage, confidence and purpose to those women who came after her and absorbed her ambitions for modern Chinese womanhood. For them she was a modern national heroine and a personification of a modern nation of equal men and women. For Qui Jin the body was an instrument of female revolution to be trained, strengthened and prepared for confrontation. As a revolutionary militant she was a failure; as a revolutionary talisman she was a success. For the Chinese women of the 1911 Revolution hers was an exemplary emancipatory story: subscribe, struggle, sacrifice. Patriotism through feminism is the purpose. Her heroism was firmly outside the historic patriarchal order. Her adulation is thus all the more remarkable because of the profound traditions she rejected, the controversial mannerisms she adopted, the uncompromising attitudes she embraced. She eschewed motherhood, abandoned marriage, dismissed femininity, and yet won acclaim in the most traditional of cultures. Qui Jin was hardly a cynosure of universal acclaim but she was admired, respected and emulated by radical Chinese women and men seeking a new society accommodating women. Her modern feminism struggled to overcome an ancient patriarchy. Here was her appeal. She exuded no moral ambiguity. Consequently, if she was demonized by the conventional; she was deified by the radical – and inspired them as the contemplated and attempted to construct the future. There is a point, of course, that should not be overlooked. Qui Jin, in fact, is not divorced from occidental culture and political iconography. Qui Jin is closely associated with the attitudes, aspirations and fantasies of modern Western feminism. As Margarita Stocker observes, a ‘romantic heroine, angry feminist, radical, activist is one example of a pervasive figure’, in modern Western cultural mythology ‘a figure we may sum up as the Woman with a Gun’. Force, that potent means to power, is available to the gun user irrespective of age of sex, with a resulting ‘crucial alteration in the sexual politics of violence’. The Woman with a Gun can now be emphatically heroic – without duplicity, without deceitfulness, without subterfuge. Moral ambiguity in action has been abandoned. She becomes an unambiguous potent force – an armed woman faces an armed man on equal terms – physically, psychologically, morally. Equality offers the legal right and responsibility to kill in the name of patriotism. Modern culture has just caught up with Qui Jin.

(Abstract quoted from: Fan H, Mangan JA. J Hist Sport. 2001;18(1):27-54. doi: 10.1080/714001489.)

Schoolteacher, physician, and mother

jennie2Schoolteacher, physician, and mother. Kidd Trout (April 21, 1841 – November 10, 1921) was the first woman in Canada legally to become a medical doctor, and was the only woman in Canada licensed to practice medicine until 1880, when Emily Stowe completed the official qualifications. The field of the 19th Century was dominated by men while women struggled for the right to practice.

Jenny was six when she immigrated with her family to Ellice Township, Upper Canada. They developed a thriving ten-acre farm and regularly worshipped at Knox Presbyterian Church in nearby Stratford. She attended school in the town and in 1860 was accepted as an adult member of the Free Church. One year later Miss Gowanlock finished her training at the Normal School in Toronto, in about half the usual time, and from 1861 to 1865 she taught public school in the Stratford area. There she met Edward Trout, who sold advertising for the Toronto Leader in the region. After an extended courtship they married and settled in Toronto.

A lengthy illness occupied the next six years of Jennie Trout’s life, but when she recovered, she decided to take up a career in medicine. Jennie’s plans were encouraged by her husband, as well as by her longtime friend and mentor, Emily Stowe, who had been practising medicine in Toronto since 1867 although she was not licensed by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

Entering a Man’s World
During most of the last century professional medical practice was exclusively a male domain. Hospitals were designed for the poor, since wealthy people could afford home treatment. In most hospitals, nursing care was provided by nursing sisters, or nuns. In cases where lay women acted as nurses, they were treated as little more than servants, with no professional respect. Florence Nightingale’s campaign to create a nursing profession only began to have an impact in Canada late in the nineteenth century.

In this climate, it is not surprising that the male medical establishment was hostile to the idea of educated and paid female doctors. When the Toronto School of Medicine reluctantly allowed Jennie Trout and Emily Stowe to attend lectures, it was on the condition that they “make no fuss, whatever happened.” Plenty happened. Trout and Stowe were the only women in a lecture hall filled with men. Led by the lecturers themselves, the male students jeered at the women. Obscene sketches had to be white-washed from the walls four times in the course of the lectures.

Finally, Trout went to the United States for her medical education. She returned to Canada in 1875 with a medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Licensed to Practice
Back in Ontario, Jennie Trout passed an examination before the College of Physicians and Surgeons, who complimented Mr. Trout for having “such a talented wife.” Jennie Trout went on to practice medicine at Toronto’s Therapeutic and Electrical Institute until 1882, when poor health forced her to retire. Still, she did not abandon the work she had begun, and her next objective was to establish a college for the medical education of women in Canada. After a long campaign to gather support for the college, Trout had another fight to see that women could sit on the college’s board of governors. Finally, the Women’s Medical College at Kingston opened on October 2, 1883, partly supported by a large financial contribution from Trout herself. The heroic struggles of Jennie Kidd Trout – the quiet woman whose life’s aim transcended personal ambition – opened the door for the many Canadian women doctors who came after her.
After retiring, Jennie continued to build a place for women in the medical field. Her campaigning culminated in the opening of the Women’s Medical College at Kingston on October 2, 1883.

In retirement, her interest increased in Bible study and missions. Jennie was a strong advocate of temperance. She filled, with much acceptance, the offices of Vice President and President of the Women’s Temperance Union. Also, for a time, she was Vice President of the Association for the Advancement of Women. She brought up two adopted children, grandnephew Edward Huntsman and grandniece, Helen Huntsman, after their mother died at an early age. Edward Huntsman-Trout was later a noted landscape architect in Los Angeles, CA.

The Trouts wintered in Florida at their winter residence and returned to Toronto for the summers. Their family home was called Gowan Hall in Scarborough, Ontario. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1908 where she died in 1921 at 1640 N. Hobart Blvd., Los Angeles, California.

In the past several decades, Jennie Trout has been rediscovered by Canadians. Her struggle to become the country’s first licensed female physician has been documented by at least two historians. Many Canadian books include reference to her, including The Canadian Men and Women of Our Time by Henry James Morgan, Toronto, 1912 and The Life and Times of Jennie Kidd Trout, and The Indomitable Lady Doctors by Caroline Hacker.

(The above are excerpts from various online sources.)

 

She led an army of voteless women

 

Carrie Chapman CattShe “led an army of voteless women in 1919 to pressure Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving them the right to vote and convinced state legislatures to ratify it in 1920” and “was one of the best-known women in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century and was on all lists of famous American women.”

“Shall we play the coward, then,” she asked her 1916 audience, “and leave the hard knocks for our daughters, or shall we throw ourselves into the fray, bare our own shoulders to the blows, and thus bequeath to them a politically liberated womanhood?”

When we read history, we realize that the fifty percent of the voters in modern democratic election system have not been able to vote not long ago. The voting right has been fought and won by some brave hearts. Even in America, not long ago really. 

As a child, Carrie was interested in science and wanted to become a doctor. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa. Carrie’s father was initially reluctant to allow her to attend college, but he relented, contributing only a part of the costs. To make ends meet, Carrie worked as a dishwasher, in the school library, and as a teacher at rural schools during school breaks.Catt’s freshman class consisted of 27 students; six of whom were female. Carrie joined the Crescent Literary Society, a student organization aimed at advancing student learning skills and self-confidence. Because only men were allowed to speak in meetings, Carrie defied the rules and spoke up during a male debate. This started a discussion about women’s participation in the group, and ultimately led to women gaining the right to speak in meetings.After three years, Carrie graduated on November 10, 1880 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She was the valedictorian and only female in her graduating class. She worked as a law clerk after graduating then she became a teacher and then superintendent of schools in Mason City, Iowa in 1885. She was the first female superintendent of the district. In February 1885, Carrie married newspaper editor Leo Chapman, but he died in California in August 1886, soon after of typhoid fever. She remained in San Francisco where she worked as the city’s first female reporter. In 1890, she married George Catt, a wealthy engineer and Alumnus of Iowa State University. He encouraged her being involved in suffrage.After her husbands death in 1905, Carrie spent much of the following eight years as IWSA president promoting equal-suffrage rights worldwide. After she retired from NAWSA, she continued to help women around the world to gain the right to vote. 

She believed that the political decisions being made should involve the views of the citizens rather than the views of politicians. This was the greatest challenge that Carrie had to face. Not only was it a struggle to get her own name in the public and for others to look at her as a leader or role model but it was a struggle to get majority of the male population on her side. Most males during this time stuck to their strong views on women and no one, especially a female, was going to change that.

Timeline of women’s suffrage in the United States: 1777: Women lose the right to vote in New York. 1920: The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, stating, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) was an American women’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. Catt served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and was the founder of the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. 

(The above excerpts are taken from various internet sources.)

Genesis 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)

27 So God created human beings[a] in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:27 Or the man; Hebrew reads ha-adam.