Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
in Northern Ireland'
diary and Belfast blog
ENTRY 1366 | TUESDAY,
DECEMBER 31 2013
. . . all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good
work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing
and his kingdom: preach the word, be urgent in season and out
of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience
and in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not
endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate
for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will
turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.
From St. Paul's
second letter to Timothy, chapters 3 & 4,
from today's Orthodox lectionary
See the homiletical thought below.
this writing, 2013 is going out in glory...as sunny a day as we ever
see in Belfast. Though this is "rainy season" in California,
New Year's Day almost always seems to be mild and sunny there. My
brother said this was nature's way of conspiring to lure new migrants
into the state from places eastern; they'd see the Rose Parade on
TV and think that if California is that lovely why weren't they living
haven't ascertained whether UK televiewers have ever seen the Rose
Parade, so for the record, it's a huge New Year's parade broadcast
from the main street of Pasadena (one of LA's oldest suburbs). It
features elaborate floats (motorized parade displays) all covered
with the petals of roses and other flowers and grasses.
the point is, you have proof before your eyes above that Belfast is
just as sunny and lovely, so why not consider moving? California considers
itself overpopulated while Northern Ireland still regrets that it
has never regained the level of population it had before the potato
The seventh day of Christmas.
The painting depicted above is "Twelfth Night," a tribute
to Shakespeare's play of the same name. G. K. Chesterton had some
thoughts very much like many I have shared in this forum over the
years: Christmas should begin, not end, on December 25, and though
it is now mostly forgotten, this was true for several centuries. Dale
Ahlquist, one of the best and most underappreciated contemporary authors,
the champion of Chesterton without peer, writes:
|Says Chesterton: “Modern
men have a vague feeling that when they have come to the feast,
they have come to the finish. By modern commercial customs, the
preparations for it have been so very long and the practice of
it seems so very short. This is, of course, in sharp contrast
to the older traditional customs, in the days when it was a sacred
festival for a simpler people. Then the preparation took the form
of the more austere season of Advent and the fast of Christmas
Eve. But when men passed on to the feast of Christmas it went
on for a long time after the feast of Christmas Day. It always
went on for a continuous holiday of rejoicing for at least twelve
days.” It ended, he points out, in a wild culmination that was
famously commemorated by a writer most of us have heard of: William
Shakespeare. He wrote a play called Twelfth Night. And while most
of us have heard of the play, most have forgotten the meaning
of Twelfth Night. It is the twelfth day of Christmas. The last
of a dozen days of great celebration, that begins with the birth
of Christ and ends with the visit of the Wise Men.
the whole article in Crisis here. I agree with everything in it
except this: "awful 'holiday' music that blares out of the loudspeakers
in every public place during the month of December." As anyone
who's been with me here on previous Christmases knows, I consider
Christmas music the most joyous of the year.
Here's a bonus
chuckle for New Year's Eve. It made me laugh out loud, so I had to
share it, from a post on Twitter (yes, I Tweet). Evolutionists should
be impressed at the progress made in three short years.
One way to
define humility is doing what God wants as opposed to doing what I
want. Pride is doing what I want instead of what God commands. To
be humble means to consider God before myself. This takes courage
and love. The result is the power to live as God commands. As Jesus
said. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who
humbles himself will be exalted.”
Younts, by way of Kirk Cameron
for silly quote of the year is the following, with my adaptation of
the meme for posting on my Fb and G+ pages:
Christians cannot condemn Barbara or anyone else; that's the prerogative
of God in the person of the true Messiah alone. But if democracy has
any hope of working, it is necessary for public figures to be criticized
on their silliness and blasphemies.
Love may forgive
all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease
to will their removal.
perfect commentary on the passage above is the words of Jesus
in the Gospel reading for today: "Is not this why you are
wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power
of God?" It's also instructive that the church juxtaposed
these two passages from two chapters from Paul's second letter
to Timothy for today's reading, to emphasize that knowing
the Scriptures is fundamental to being able to preach and
teach the word of God.
principles of the enlightenment produced denominations of
professing Christians who believe that each individual's interpretation
of any passage of the word is as good as any other's. Over
against this, the apostolic church has always taught that
only the tradition can be called on as a valid and reliable
interpretation of any passage. Innovation in doctrine is to
be suspected and if seen as new, rejected. This is why Orthodoxy
does not accept Roman Catholic doctrines like purgatory and
the immaculate conception of the Theotokos or Protestant ones
like chiliasm; none of these are found in the tradition of
otherwise, none of the message memes used in this blog are the creation
or property of the author, but are reposted here from the social networks.
comments on my Facebook
§ I have
now uploaded over 2,700 photos and videos, mostly from my current
visit to Northern Ireland, but also including several hundred photos
and videos from my summer in Pennsylvania (2012), and some photos
of the family, on my
Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by sets. Click
here for the Flicker site.
For more and
more spontaneous posts, follow me onand
(click on either icon to go to the site).
Google+ works more automatically, so most of the pictures I post (excluding
Flickr) are posted there. Feedback:
Please comment on anything in today's blog on the Facebook and Google+
pages linked above, and of course via email to email@example.com.
Feedback is always welcome.
§ § §
for my mission to Northern Ireland. You
can read my background overview of this undertaking here.
My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern
Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy