It takes effort and work to fine-tune talents that we may have. Some seem more pronounced than others, but all in all…our talents great or small are God given. Consider the brain that tells the body what to do. Consider the fingers that play the piano that the brain tells the muscles to move as one reads the notes. All of this is miraculous.
When I was very young, I went to to boarding school. My love there was playing the piano with Mrs. Tolison as my teacher. I have mentioned this in a blog before, but looking back on the event I believe that there was talent there. Nevertheless that talent was placed on hold because of a move to an apartment with many steps that prevented a large piano from being moved there. It also had something to do with the fact that my dear mother was a single parent and could not afford anything else at the time. Circumstances change things in our lives. The talents we have may lay dormant for years…and then be renewed if we are willing to put the effort into its renewal.
Sir Winston Churchill had a talent in painting. Being that he was busy being the Prime Minister of Great Britain may have had something to do with his delayed use of his artistic talents. He had the responsibility to plot the future course of the military campaign to defeat Nazi Germany. But Winston Churchill could not resist the allure of the magical medieval city of Marrakesh, which was a five-hour drive to the south.
We are never too old or too young to develop the talent God has given to us. What is your talent? Use it…for it would be a crime to waste it. Yes, it takes work and perseverance.
Video of a 4 year old developing her amazing God-given talents.
(Notice that she is reading the music as she turns the pages. Unfortunately we don’t see her dear face because of advertisements at the end…oh well, the rest is great and beyond belief!)
I have a blogging friend in the UK. We enjoy reading each other’s blogs and find friendly ways to agree and disagree. Stephen has nominated me as for a quotation challenge and I, in turn, have nominated bloggers who are worthy of note. (Thanks, Stephen)
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
- What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God. Hans Urs Balthasar (Priest from Switzerland 1905-1988)
- Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. Sir Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the UK. born 1874- died 1965)
- As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963 35th President of the United States who was assassinated at the age of 46.)
I always like quotations that are uplifting, challenging and inspirational. If they are politicians, I may not be on the same thought wave…but appreciate any words that have meaning to me personally or to this troubled world in general.
Here are the rules for the Quotation Challenge and my nominees, who have blog sites worth notation. If you have not seen these sites, please take a look. You’ll be glad you did.
1.) Either once a day for three days, post a quotation, or post all three quotations at one time. It is your choice.
2.) Nominate and notify three other bloggers of the challenge.
3.) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
The nominees are under no obligation to complete this challenge, but it would be fun if they do. Plus, this will introduce them to a whole list of new readers.
My NOMINEES for the Quotation Challenge are:
December 6 is the day that my Mother, Alta Ellis Bishop, would have been 96. It is a day to remember exactly how much my mother meant to me and her family. She was 93 when she passed from this life, but her life was one of courage, determination and making the most of all her talents. She left home at age 16 to work her way through life; built a career in hair design and took time to be a patriot, working at a munitions factory, when W.W.II was being fought. Her dedication reminded me of the brave men and women who have given so much and why my mother’s generation was called “The Greatest Generation”. Thank you, Mother, for your generosity and love.
Once again we take a look at the era in which my mother was a young woman and mother.
We start with Winston Churchill. His famous speech echos through the years. (I paraphrase) “WE SHALL FIGHT....in the fields, on the sea, in the streets, on the land….and where we cannot…the new world will take up the fight….”
It is not easy to be a leader when the world is falling in around you. Neither is it easy to inspire an entire nation…but inspire he did. When bombs were daily pounding, one can imagine what the economy was like. Just living from day-to-day was an effort for all of Europe. It was not only a battle to secure land, but a battle for the very existence of mankind as millions were being murdered in concentration camps.
The movie, The Longest Day, shows the thousands of men, ships, and planes that came to the aid of France, giving great detail of what it was like for the people living in France on the coast of Normandy and those who braved the assault to free them.
There are two videos below: The first of Alta Bishop…The second one reminds us that the United States and the free people of Europe were not going to be in bondage. It is worth a journey back in time because our own nation must have this same fighting spirit if we are to survive today.
Churchill would not have guessed that the “new world”, as he called it would face a 9-11 or that his own beloved land would see suicide bombers. He would not have known about “cyber threats”, but had he been in a different time and place, one CAN BE ASSURED that he would step up to the challenge. He would warn against apathy and talk about pulling together.
It may seem strange to link a family member to a great man of history. Yet, the determination and sacrifice they shared for the lands they loved links them and all of us together. Freedom is all we have and as my mother and so many were willing to give of their efforts and their lives….so should we. I love you, Mother, and always will. Happy Birthday, even though you are unable to blow out the candles with us. We will go to your grave site and put a red poinsettia there to remember the many years that we celebrated your birthday and Christmas together. Christmas was one of your favorite times and we will miss you. We are certain that the stars and planets are so bright where you are as the hosts of heaven sing praises to the “New Born King”.
The Men of the war Years….Always brave!
From the White Cliffs of Dover to the Cotswolds, England is a beautiful country. History that is fascinating in that it was one of conquest and Kings of many creeds and diverse morals. Some upheld honor; others took honor away. In a fast changing world, one must look at the diligence in which the people of England stood firm in the midst of bombs and destruction. It would have seemed only reasonable that King Albert and his Queen would flee to safety during World War II terrible times. Yet they stayed and saw it through with their people. ( Another writing will feature Sir Winston Churchill and The Queen Mum)
The famous writers from this country have had their say about their homeland:
There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. That word is England.” – Winston Churchill
“Heaven take thy soul, and England keep my bones!” – William Shakespeare
“I traveled among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea:
Nor England! Did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.”
– William Wordsworth
Below is a video of beautiful England with the lyrics taken from a poem by Cecil Spring-Rice, written in 1908. At the time, he was with the British Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. At first the poem was called Urbs Dei (The Two Fatherlands). It says that the Christian owes two loyalties, both to her homeland and to the Kingdom of Heaven. How strongly he must have felt about the place of his birth to write of this. Filled with a patriotic spirit which many people seem to have lost for their homeland around the world, we may learn something from this pointed poem.
While serving as the British Ambassador to the United States, Rice tried to persuade President Woodrow Wilson to give up on neutrality and join Britain in the war against Germany. Finally the USA entered the war and there were huge losses to the British during this time. Rice then changed the title of the poem…I Vow to Thee, My Country.
The first verse reminds the listener of those who died for freedom in the First World War. The second verse says, “And there’s another country...” which is referring to being with God. Taken from Proverbs 3:17, it reads, “Her ways are of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace…”
Music was later written by Gustav Holst in 1921. It was first performed in 1925 and has become a standard music when honoring those fallen in battle for England. Z. Randall Stroope made the choir arrangement and added two more verses to the music in honor of his father who marched in the Bataan Death March.
Lyrics to I Vow To Thee, My Country is found below the video. (Turn on sound)
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.