Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his sojourn in Northern Ireland'


Jon Kennedy  

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While I was shopping in the mall with my three children, a display in the window of a lingerie store caught my eye. "Do you think Daddy would like this?" I asked the kids as I pointed to the lacy pajamas with matching robe. "No way," my horrified six-year-old son replied. "Daddy would never wear that!"


Life is God's gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

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s planned mission to Belfast, Ireland. Click here to download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf on your PC or smartphone.

JONAL ENTRY 1264 | March 16 2013

All of my connections were on time, so I arrived in Belfast Wednesday evening, by bus from Dublin, a road trip of over 100 miles and over two hours drive time. Marda met me at the Dublin airport (her husband Ward lives with Parkinson's, so is less active). As usual, I slept very little on the flights from San Francisco (10 hours, give or take) and from London (one hour), so I was ready to turn in at around 9:30 local time.

In keeping with my previous post, "Possessed by our possessions," I was struck the next day by feelings of being somewhat dispossessed because I lacked many of the everyday accoutrements of life. Though I brought a huge duffle bag and a large carryon full of clothing, toiletries, some reading material, electronic items and the Orthodox calendar, most of which is still inaccessible because, living in an unfurnished room, I have no place yet to unpack. Marda and I went to a large modern thrift store in East Belfast Thursday where I bought a bed, dresser, and computer table, which will be delivered on Monday. So it begins again.

I'm sure our father in the Faith, Abraham, and his wife Sarah, their nephew Lot and a large retinue of attendants and servants, went through the same feelings every time they pitched their tents in their journey from Ur to what is now Israel in the first major journey recorded in the Holy Scriptures. They had to carry along food and water for themselves and their livestock, pottery for their cooking, eating, and other requirements, and many things they had acquired or made to facilitate their daily needs even in their relatively primitive time and place.

Which should keep us aware that we are always sojourners here, traveling through. We should learn as much as we can about what God provides through nature and Providence, and give back as much as we can to the generations succeeding us; we should always engage and contribute to culture. But always we remember, our home—our eternal abode—is somewhere else.

Today's pictures are, above, St. Mary's Church, a Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish that is directly across from our current abode. It is so large that I had to walk some three short blocks to get all of the spire in, and even still could not capture the weathervane atop it (Anglican parishes are distinguished from Catholic ones here by the weathervanes on the former and crosses on the latter).

Below are three "only in the UK" views captured since my arrival.

I was struck by this shop (above) appended to a car service station selling "cash and carry coal." The lowest priced bag of coal (probably 100 pounds) is £6.40, well over $10. Am I dreaming or was there a time I can remember when a ton of coal could be bought, delivered to your house, for a dollar? I'm sure $5 is part of my memories from childhood years, at least. These bags of coal are presumably meant for use primarily in fireplaces, which are still common here as a major part of the home heating scheme.

And though there are chimney sweeps in American cities, too, they're much more part of the English culture. This advert is next to the alley adjacent to our townhouse.

Finally, a sign designating our townhouse and its residents' ministries as "The Loom" has been added since my previous visit here in October 2010.

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If you missed my earlier entry giving an overview of my new venture in Northern Ireland, check it out here.

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