God's creation · mental health · thoughts · woman story · writing

a fifty percent attempt

Fiftyfifty percent speaks “Fifty” is a 2015 Nigerian romantic drama film released on December 18, 2015. Fifty captures few pivotal days of four women at the pinnacle of their careers. “FIFTY – The Movie” in New Zealand follows Mal Law’s bold attempt to run 50 mountain marathons over 50 peaks in just 50 days, all around New Zealand, in order to raise an enormous amount of money for the Mental Health Foundation. “FIFTY – The Movie will inspire the armchair athlete in all of us to think outside the box, push boundaries and think what if?” (I searched the internet and found these two movies with the name, “fifty”. I have not watched them. They sound interesting just by looking at the title.)

Coming back to my own fifty interpretation. This blog was first started on 2013/9/30. On 2016/4/30 I renamed this blog. In naming this blog fifty percent perspective I tried to focus the goal of this writing on giving voice to the less heard fifty percent of the human race, i.e. the woman. I consider that a healthy, practical, sustainable intimate relationship between a man and a woman only manifests where there is true equality. This means mutual acceptance and respect in words and in deeds. This calls for an acknowledgement of the validity of the other fifty percent and giving her/him an equal value in the equilibrium of life together. In particular, I place an importance on the right and manifestation of right to speak/communicate. I admit that in some situations it is the man who becomes the less heard fifty percent. So my goal is not confined to voicing for a woman. If a man considers himself a fifty percent which is not being given a voice he may be included in this blog’s fifty percent perspective too. To me, being human means being given the right to speak and the voice to be heard.
(https://kingdomofgodaughter.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/fifty-percent/)

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Bible promises · Bible verses · biography · Chrisitan woman · daughter of God · faith walk · family · testimony · why not woman · woman of faith · woman story · woman writers · writing

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.

biography · thoughts · travel · why not woman · woman story · women writers · writing

“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)

daughter of God · poetry · thoughts · why not woman · woman writers · women · writing

So, let our lives Be full of dreams

bingxinA few poems quoted at random from Spring Water (published 1923) by Bingxin (Chinese: “Pure in Heart”), a woman poet from China.

Spring Water

1

Water in spring,

It is another year,

And you are still running after the breeze.

May I have a look at

My reflection again?

Water replies gently with thanks:

“My friend,

I have never kept a reflection,

Not even yours.”

2

The four seasons slowly pass by-

Hundreds of flowers whisper to each other:

“We are the small and weak!

So, let our lives

Be full of dreams

And our drinking cups

Sentimental,

For God has already arranged all these!”

3

Young People!

You should be

As still and sober as mountains, if

You can’t float with winds,

The flowing wind-like career

Only belongs to the lives of poets.

6

Poets!

Do not grieve nature.

The picture of “beauty”

Needs to be painted lightly.

52

In the slightly tiring

Deep thought,

The pigeon whistles

Carried on the wind,

Pierce the air for poems.

58

Ice is as quiet as a mountain,

But a mountain is as vivid as flowing water.

How can the poet

Manipulate them like this?

~~~~~~~~

Biography of Bing Xin (1900 – 1999)

Bing Xin was one of the most outstanding modern female writers in China. Originally named Xie Wanying; born in Changle, Fujian Province. Bing Xin was the pioneer of the canon of children’s literature in modern China. Her parents encouraged her to study and write. In 1919, when she was studying in a girl college in Beijing, the event May 4th Movement by the students in Beijing changed her life. and she was in charge of the publicity in the student union. She wrote many related poems, articles, and stories.

In 1919, she published her first piece Two Families under the pen name “Bing Xin”. In 1921, she joined the Literary Research Society. In 1923, she amazed the literary circle with her short poems when they were published in two separate collections, Myriad Stars and Spring Water. In the same year, She went to America to study literature and focused her attention on literary research. She recounted her travels and experiences of her stay abroad in a series of essays, and published them in newspapers in China. These essays caused a national sensation and were later collected and published under the title of Letters to My Little Readers.

In 1926, Bing returned to China after receiving her M.A. degree. She taught at Yanjing University, later at Tsinghua University, and Beijing Women’s College of Arts and Sciences. In 1946, she went to Japan with her husband Wu Wenzao and taught at Tokyo University. She went back to China in 1951. Upon her return, she published a collection of poems, Ode to Cherry Blossoms, and a collection of essays, The Second Batch of Letters to My Little Readers. Apart from writing, Bing Xin also translated a number of foreign literary works. With the reputation “the grandmother of the literary circle” earned through her longevity, she passed away in 1999 at the age of 99.

Love Life

Her love story with Wu Wenzao, a famous sociologist and ethnologist, started in 1923 on a ship that sailed from Shanghai. The ship was bound for the United States, and Bing met Wu when she was searching for the brother of one of her classmates.

In 1929, the two got married while studying in the United States. Together, they became an internationally well-known couple in intellectual circles all over the world, mingling with other literary luminaries such as Virginia Woolf.

Their story was one of those love stories that have captured the hearts and imaginations of the Chinese public for decades. Many of them have been adapted for the big screen as well as for television. In a world where buildings fall, relationships end and economies collapse almost overnight, their tales remind us of the endurance of real love.

(the above are quoted and excerpted from various internet sources)

biography · poetry · thoughts · why not woman · woman story

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.)