Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
his soj
ourn in Northern Ireland'

My Google+ diary and Belfast blog

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Today's Scripture: I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

From St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

Today's "life in" picture gives a glimpse of the progress on the construction of the new main campus of the University of Ulster in downtown Belfast, with the two cranes in the background lifting the building materials for the first annex. The main reason for taking that picture today, while I waited for my bus from downtown back to the Loom, is that it shows this morning as one of those rare "as-good-as-it-gets" days in Northern Ireland. Actually, I have seen a few days a bit better in that there were fewer clouds than even seen there, but let's not quibble; living here, we are grateful for anything even approximating this level of pairfect weather.

Now, two hours later, however, it's still not even drizzly. Yet. . . .

This afternoon I'm off to a meeting with the press on behalf of hallTogether, the nonprofit agency on which I'm a trustee. This weekend a fundraiser for the agency will be held at the hall and the community paper for North Belfast is coming to get the five W's for an article.

On a procedural note, you will notice that our next department has been renamed from "In the news" to "A closer look." That's because not all the items I've linked there have qualified as "news," or even as "opinion," such as several videos about the churches carved out of solid stone in Ethiopia that were linked last week. I've even been mulling whether incorporating some "news comment"-type memes might be appropriate in that department, and on days when I'm short of other memes, I will probably use some ("political cartoons" or philosophical reflections on the geopolitical realm).  «

A closer look
Formerly "In the news." Click here to see Caveat.

Egyptian journalist calls Hamas an Islamic Brotherhood offshoot

National Review compares Obama, Putin: which one is 'the bear'?

Shocking photos for 40-year anniversary of Turkish invasion of Cyprus

Microsoft memo buries layoff news in 11th paragraph: 'Hello There'

Salon: Amazon’s all-you-can-eat plan to devour the book business

Despite toughest gun laws in the country, 22 shot, 2 dead in Chicago

Writing stuff
(This department alternates with Christian worldview)

The meme above is fine for anyone who doesn't aspire to be a communicator, but if you're a writer, it won't do. Your main responsibility (and the wording should be "responsible only," not "only responsible"; always modify your subject, not your predicate) as a writer is to work to be understood. If you're not being understood, your writing fails. In that case, a good editor is needed.

Are you a writer? That's another topic, but since I've brought it up, the answer is, "you are if you say you are." How good you are at the task is up to you. There are many resources online that can help you learn the task, but the best way to learn is to write, and write, and write, then rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Another tip: pick a writer you like and anaylze what it is that makes his or her writing exceptional. Don't try to imitate it, but learn from it; learn how to do whatever it is in her or his writing that makes you like it

And learn when to use commas, hyphens, and dashes. As the meme at right says, commas can save lives when properly used. I used to have a desk dictionary that had a grammar section; the subsection on commas found eight places where commas should be used. The most underused one is the introductory adverb (Therefore,) introductory adverbial phrase (In closing,), or introductory adverbial clause (Once you've finished the first stage,).

The main thing to know about hyphens and dashes is that hyphens are used to combine words, especially compound modifers ("the first-born child"); dashes are used to separate words more abruptly than commas often are used in similar, less abrupt, cases: "The faith—that which has been believed by everyone, everywhere, at all times—is what the church has been entrusted by her Lord to preserve." «

Today's video




Today's quotes


In the Christian context, we do not mean by a "mystery" merely that which is baffling and mysterious, an enigma or insoluble problem. A mystery is, on the contrary, something that is revealed for our understanding, but which we never understand exhaustively because it leads into the depth or the darkness of God. The eyes are closed—but they are also opened.

— Kallistos Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia
(b. 1934) in The Orthodox Way

What does not satisfy when we find it, was not the thing we were desiring.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: It may seem surprising that Paul advises the church to judge among themselves who is worthy of the Eucharist (another way of saying "membership," as being admitted to communion has always been the church's main way of acknowledging full membership or acceptance in the body). This passage must be one of the major supports that groups like the Amish use to shun those who have turned their backs on the "order" of their churches, while they are happy to do commerce on cordial terms with their neighbors who have never been part of their communion or communities. The Catholic Church has been debating the application of this for years, especially with regard to the refusal of some political figures claiming to be Catholic but refusing to obey church teaching on abortion in their elective offices. Some bishops have said all such are not to take the Eucharist, but most do not. What would you do? What does your church do to preserve the purity of the faith? «

§     §     § Return to top

Caveat on "A closer look," links to articles on current issues—news, features, and opinion that may signify how the cultural winds are blowing. Note that most 'news reports' are not 'objective' and if some are 'neutral' it's because the writers and editors are disinterested (could care less about the topic). Neither are 'news reports,' in general, highly accurate or unbiased; try to discern the bias of any report's source; always read aware and at your own risk.

Unless specified 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.

Please leave comments on my Facebook or Google+ page.

§ 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 on, and Twitter (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

Feedback is always welcome.

§     §     §

Please pray for my mission to Northern Ireland. You can read my background overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is The Loom, 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile, international: 44 7455 980890; from within the UK, 07455 980890.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

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This blog is just
an attempt to communicate
between an American lay missionary in Northern Ireland, his friends there, his friends in his home parish in Silicon Valley, California, and his friends in his native coalfields of Western Pennsylvania, and any others interested. When time for deeper reflection is lacking, this may consist mainly of reposts of things from online networks that seem to resonate with members of his circles.

The Nanty Glo Home Page, on which this blog resides, and all its departments are for and by the whole Blacklick Valley, Pa., community. Your feedback and written or artistic contributions, also notification about access problems, are welcomed. Click here to reply.

Suitable letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication in the Forum department unless they are specifically labeled "Not for Publication."

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

C.S. Lewis Society of Northern Ireland

Blogs I follow:

Glory to God for All Things

Dock Cafe - Life in the Titanic Quarter

Sitting around the campfire with Jim

The Belfast Lord Mayor's blog

Other books by Jon

Author page
on Amazon

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