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A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he needed his wife to wake him at 5 a.m. for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5 a.m." He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke to discover it was 9 a.m. and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. It said, 'It is 5 a.m., wake up." Men are not equipped for this kind of contest.


It's not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you've lived.

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Jon Kennedy's recent book,
C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads, is available for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author'
s planned mission to Belfast, Ireland. Click here to download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf on your PC or smartphone.


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

Northern Ireland diary and God's justice

Jon Kennedy  

JONAL ENTRY 1270 | March 27 2013

. . . the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness. . . . Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. . . .

— from Isaiah 5 (RSV)
from today's lenten Orthodox
lectionary readings

Though the temperatures feel no higher (still mid- to low-30s), most of the snow is gone from the streets and sidewalks in Belfast now, so I walked over to the Shankill business district to do some banking this morning (less than a mile south of here). In fact, as I write this, bright sunshine is streaming through my front window, a welcome respite.

Yesterday and Monday were so busy that I never got to my computer and this blog, so it's time for some catch-up. Monday began with a 7:30 a.m. prayer meeting here at the Loom (and that meant that in the absence of Ward and Marda, who are back in Berkeley, Calif., I was hosting). Their pastor, Jack Lamb, attended and invited me to join him for a lecture at a community center in the Shankill later in the morning, and after that he took me and the secretary of the organization hosting that meeting for coffee at Costa's (the U.K.'s answer to Starbucks). The organization secretary was then dropped off at a job, and Jack and I went to lunch at the McAdam-Fiaich Cultural Center in the Falls Road section, a nationalist (i.e., Catholic) area of the city. I took in exhibits at the cultural center while Pastor Jack went up the street for a medical appointment.

Click the > on the video to launch. After the video launches, you can double-click the screen to play enlarge it to full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in Windows Media format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

I was then dropped back at the house for a little rest, after which Jack and two younger fellows associated with his parish, John and Robert, and I took in a movie, a Romanian film about an exorcism at an Orthodox women's monastery. That was in the University section of Belfast which, combined with the 1970's film noir themes of the movie, took me back to my early campus ministry days at UC Santa Barbara.

Yesterday I bought a day ticket and took the bus into central city to do some shopping. The number one and two items were a foam matress to get some relief from the lumpy matress I bought a week earlier, and a comfortable desk chair for my bedroom-office, so I can do this work there instead of in the front room. I found them at the same thrift store I'd bought the earlier furnishings, and they're scheduled for delivery on Friday. I also bought a light-blocking curtain liner for my room window, a bag of miscellaneous "notions" at the Pound store (pound stores are the U.K. equivalent of American dollar stores, but they are super busy!), and four bags of groceries at Tesco, the major grocery in this part of the world (the closest one is a short walk from City Hall and a few doors down from the Pound store, downtown).

What a schlepp I had back home with all of my bags. A walking stick I also bought at the thrift store which I hoped would assist my walking proved another impediment with my hands so full. And of course I got on the wrong bus, the third time in as many solo bus trips I've had here, missing my destination and having to redouble my tracks; it's a good thing I've been using day tickets (one price to ride anywhere all day).

Earlier yesterday, while waiting for a bus back to the thrift store after overshooting it, I met a young (everyone is young to me it seems any more!) Prestyterian minister who was waiting for the bus and offered to help me get to my destination. That was Providential, I'm sure, as it seemed the kind of personal meeting in a strange land that going out as a "missionary" is made for; no discount if he ministered more to me than I to him.

Now the clouds have returned and the hardest snow flurry since last Saturday is underway, in earnest!

The Bible passage for today reminds me of my recent series here about God's justice. What a delight to be reminded that God "is exalted in justice, and . . . shows himself holy in righteousness." The rest of the passage speaks of the secularist forces that "call evil good and good evil." God deals with them in his holy righteousness (at least eventually, the Prophets always remind us). But it's instructive to be told again that the secularist trends of our time are nothing new. Those who forget God and want the rest of us to follow their example have not changed and neither is their agenda. But neither has God changed, and neither is what He's asking of us.

§     §     §

If you missed my overview of my venture in Northern Ireland, check it out here.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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