Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Never Give Up!

On this day in history, January 24, 1965, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader with the looks and the tenacity of a bulldog, passed away at age ninety. From his early days as a soldier through his career in Parliament and as Prime Minister, his policy was to never surrender.

I had always heard that, in his famous speech to Harrow School, Churchill stood before the students and said, "Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give in. Never give in. Never give in. Never give in," and then sat down. The actual speech he made was much longer, though it did contain very similar words, and its theme was mostly on persevering in tough times. The British certainly had them during World War II.

I'm inspired by these words:

. . . appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must "...meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same."

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination.

We writers are creatures of imagination. For us, especially when our imaginations make things out far worse than they are, when we feel we will never sell another book or interest another agent or win another contest or write another worthy word, we must hold on and do those things God has called us to.

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Well said, Mr. Churchill!

You can read and hear the entire speech HERE.

Lady Nancy Astor: Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea.
Churchill: Nancy, if I were your husband, I'd drink it.

Is there something you're working on now that you're tempted to quit on?

How do you know the difference between giving up and being called to something different?

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, and Letters in the Attic, a contemporary mystery. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with four spoiled cats.


  1. I just had an article in an online magazine with a similar theme. Yes, if God calls you to something, never give up. I would add also, learn to rest in Him for refreshing during the battle.

    How do you know when he calls you to something different. Now that's a little tough. But I would say generally the same ways we hear the call in the first place. Anything from a radical voice or visions to a quiet shift in desires and sense of rightness in our hearts.

    And love the quote at the end. LOL.

  2. I just thought of the story of Jacob and Rachel. Would you have worked seven more years to get Rachel after basically being tricked? But it was in God's plan for Jacob to learn from this. He fell head over heals with Rachel but God knew they weren't ready. Seven years later apparently wasn't enough either!

    Hmmm. I think this is all tying in to another conversation we've had about being ready for publication.

    Waiting for God's timing is tough, but look how He blesses us when we don't give up though the rough spots.

    I just watched Secrets of the Manor House on PBS Sunday, and they showed a photo of young Winston with his American mother. One of those wealthy American women who brought money back into the British aristocracy.

    Fun to see him as a young boy, as well. Apparently he credited a lot of his pluck from his clever and 'strong work ethics' mother.

  3. I think you're right, Dina. We get a shift in our desires and just a "knowing."

    And, yes, isn't that a great quote? It's always made me laugh. :D

    "Secrets of the Manor House" sounds great, Debra. I had no idea his mother was American!

  4. Great post, DeAnna! (And I loved the conversation between him and Lady Nancy, too.)

    Sometimes God does call us to new things, but until He does, we're supposed to keep going, even when we don't see results. I've been convicted a lot lately that God is working and active throughout all our circumstances, even when we don't see Him.

    Thanks, DeAnna!

  5. Yes, Sus. Exactly.

    And I've found that, once we wait FOREVER, suddenly everything happens at once. :D

    Or is that just me?

  6. Amen on everything happening at once! The writer's life seems to be feast or famine.

    Now for a complete over generalization--the British seem to have such a gift for oratory. I'm sure it has something to do with the school system, but just never ceases to amaze me. Sir Churchill was one of the best too.

  7. Definitely the feast or famine for me. Okay, maybe snack or famine, but it's better than famine and famine. :)

  8. We watched "Into the Storm" (a biography of Churchill's war years) last week. He was definitely single minded!

    Deb, I believe that in addition to being American, Jenny Churchill was part Native American. Have we ever had an American president with any NA ancestors?

  9. DeAnna, I love the "never give up" theme. It's one of my favorites and truly inspiring.

    I've been in a position before where I felt led to do something. Well, when things didn't work out quite the way I thought they would (after all, I was led to do this so it should work out, right?) I ended up having to go in a different direction. But, I don't give up easily. I am the most stubborn person I know (my family agrees). So I prayed about it for a very long time, and I constantly felt the same nudge I felt when I felt led to do it.

    It does seem strange that God can led you to do something, then lead you to stop doing it. Why would He do that? Because He knows what is best for me, and when I listened and followed His lead, I grew. The experience gave me confidence, it helped me come out of my shell, it helped me with my self esteem, and I gained valuable experience in dealing with many things. And, in being led away from it, I learned the most important thing of all - Trust Him. If we pray and trust Him, I think we'll be able to see if He's leading us, or if we're leading ourselves.

    Thanks DeAnna. Great post, great question.

  10. I can relate. My pastor once compared me to a snapping turtle -- from the pulpit! ;)

  11. Hello, Inkies! Winston Churchill is one of my absolute favorite people to spend time with, and he never ceases to inspire me. Why, just this Christmas, I had the Captain build me a stand-up desk, because "Well, Churchill had one, and it worked out well for him..." And so it has for me, too.

    As a writer who likes to link true-life historical figures to her stories, I love collecting the habits of great people as a sort of memento of having spent time with them. A small connection that reaches through time and adds to my life in so many ways.

    Even when it's only a stand-up desk.

    Loved the quotes, DeAnna. I'm not even going to start with those, or I'd go way over the word limit for a comment. But I did want to mention that so many times when we are "led" to do things, it often takes us through territory we have never traveled before. It takes a lot of courage to do that. And I agree with Suzie that learning to trust the Lord in those situations is the vital key.

  12. "I am ready to meet my maker, but I am not sure if my maker is ready for meeting me" One of Mr. Churchill's shorter soundbites that has always stuck with me.

  13. Debra Marvin I am not sure whether Jenny Churchill's type of 'work ethic' was anything to be proud of according to what I have heard of her.


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