Let me count the ways…

There is an Eilzabeth Barrett Browning sonnet, “How Do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways…”

Well, I was applying this to how many opportunities to exercise faith in these last few days alone.

Sunday, it looked as if my pre-ordered taxi was not going to turn up to take me to the airport.

  • Opportunity to stresslaughing smiley

As I was about to contact him, he rang me. He had the ‘flu, so was sending his cousin, who arrived shortly after.

Managed all the luggage into airport and found the correct line to book in.

In departures, I did what all well-trained people of my generation did, headed for the ‘loo’ before the plane.portaloo

Intercepted by a man in information jacket.

“There is a problem with the water supply and the restrooms cannot be used.”

Oh, well, not important.

Apparently it became important. A number of Porta-Loos were hired and set up in the carpark. The lady on the plane with me had needed to use one and found that her backpack (carry-on luggage) would not fit in with her, so she had to leave it outside and the door open.

She told me that also it was impossible to buy a cup of tea or coffee… not water.

There was no water to the International airport. mmmm

My next potential stress was on the way into the security clearance area. I had to stand aside to let three policemen and two security guards escort a male passenger from the security area.

Who is in charge of my journey?

Well, then. Keep going.

After a four-hour layover in Doha, the plane was late in allowing boarding.

Oh dear. Would I miss my connection in Chicago?

Who is it who is in charge? LOL

Finally boarded… and plane did not take off on time.

(Repeat refrain LOL)

missed flight

This was a little more of a concern. I was being met at Charlotte… the plane might

get there in time, but woud I be on it?

Ha ha. Guess Who was in charge?

The flight arrived early in Chicago.

At the last minute (well, nearly) – there was a gate change…

Made it with the help of wheelchair assistance.

So, now in Charlotte, as I wait for the next flight, it has been on the news about a potential tornado.

Ah well, next oppotunity to ‘count the ways’.

Thinking, not stressing. And for anyone who knows me… well that is a miracle in itself LOL

Till the next time

Susan

What I learned from writing the books

hallelujah

I have completed the first draft of Keep the Flame, book 4 in the Apostle John series.

Now, the checking part.

Not just the spelling, the quotation marks, and other punctuation… but the various timelines that run through the series.

cover images Apostle John series

While this series takes four books (so far) it actually covers a three or four year period. (The fourth cover is not ‘set’ as yet.)

From Jan 92 AD – until, so far, December 95 AD. When book five is written there will be another year (proposed).

In writing these books, I have discovered so much about faith. In our time we might be beset by false teaching, have terrorists to pray about (and I do not belittle all that the victims of a terror organization have suffered) but basically, we have it pretty good.

We can worship God freely… for the moment

We can buy Bibles and study them… again, for the moment

We can travel to our places of worship, sometimes far distant… in safety. (Yes, you know the next bit)

In the time period I have been writing about, those first believers were at the mercy of the Roman overlords, the whim of a crazed Roman emperor, liable to be denounced as dissidents by either pagans or Jews.

In the beginning of the faith of the ‘Way’ they were able to worship in the synagogues, but then came the Birkat ha-Minim – the blessing on the heretics, which was really a curse. Followers of Christ could not recite it when they attended with the Jews in the synagogue. It was part of the synagogue worship.

arena, ephesus
Tourism image, arena at Ephesus now

 

Of course there was always the arena in the background… a threat.

 

 

 

The faith of those first Christians was determined, committed, and they chose death over compromise.

First commandment

After all, they would have had peace if they had done the once yearly ‘act of worship’ to the Roman emperor. It wasn’t much to ask – or was it?

 

To them it was… it would have broken the First Commandment.

In choosing to keep the commandments of God it sometimes cost them their earthly lives.

 

I often wondered as I tried to step into the shoes of these people, would I have had the strength of faith they did?

animated, old lady dancingPondering and celebrating the progress of the series.

More next time

Susan