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

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Today's Scripture: . . . if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 5:17-21; 6:1-2,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

The harpist shown above was playing at the end of the Peace Bridge in Derry when I went through on Wednesday. The harp is one of Ireland's cultural symbols, possibly an allusion to David the ancient king of Israel who played a harp for King Saul and was, like St. Patrick, a shepherd in his youth and is arguably the best poet of all time, as the author of many of the Psalms.

Last evening Jack Lamb and I attended a talk at the Shankill Public Library on the Irish language in the Protestant communities in Ireland, led by Linda Ervine of the Skainos Irish Language program. Though I had attended a similar presentation at Skainos last year, this time I seemed to engage much better, possibly because I'm more acclimated to the local accents and are better to hear more without having to ask after every sentence, "what did s/he say?" Especially interesting was the discussion of place names in Ireland that are anglicized versions of Irish words. "Knock," which is the name of a number of places throughout the island, for example, comes from the Irish "cnoc," meaning "hill." And many phrases that we (especially we descendants from long-past Irish ancestors) use, are actually English adaptations of Irish expressions which, in English, don't make much sense or at least are not the easiest way to say it in English. For example, "he never let on." «

In the news
Links to articles on current issues—news 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.

Belfast teenager beaten, shot with pellet gun in sectarian attack last night

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) likens Tea Partiers to Hamas terrorists

Bergdahl platoon mate tells Congress he appeared to be planning desertion

Senator Ted Cruz questions whether President supplied arms to ISIS

How US Government exchanged liberalism for intolerance, part 2

Christian worldview
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

During down time on my trip to Donegal earlier this week, I finished reading a short book I bought last week at a lecture at an Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Belfast by Carl R. Trueman, professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Though I attended a Philadelphia reformed seminary (Reformed Episcopal) in my salad days (mid-1960s) which had considerable overlap with Westminster beyond their geographical proximity, it wasn't Trueman's reformed frame of reference that mainly interested me (I'm well past that) so much as the fact that he is a native Englishman now living and working in the United States and writing on what he considers the excesses of evangelical Americans' political conservatism. The book is Republocrat, Confessions of a Liberal Conservative.

I rather hoped that the little book would have a "moderating" influence on me, as I consider myself something of a Conservative's conservative and fear that I've been pushed farther to one side than I'm comfortable with by recent events. But, alas, the things he is critical of in American political conservativism are generally ones that I have long been critical of too. This includes, especially, heavy reliance on the Fox News Channel, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and other fast and loose (and secular, non-Christian) pundits, along with conservatives' disdain for critical or analytical thinking and such spin-offs of that as republishing false urban myths without checking first.

The book was published in 2010, but as it has only a few sketchy references to Barack Obama and is full of rhetoric about George W. Bush, it appears to have been written at least two years earlier than that. Which means that for all practical purposes, it's largely out of date. But the book does have some interesting points relating to a Christian worldview that make it worth engaging, so with this introduction I will take that up next time. «

Today's video




Today's quotes


Sin makes man a coward; but a life in the Truth of Christ makes Him bold.

— St. John Chrysostom «

God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Paul speaks in today's passage to the ubiquitous question among skeptics, "what kind of God would give us such a messed up world as this," and also introduces the antidote to the poison fouling our world. It is because of love—God loving our first parents enough to permit them to think and act for themselves, even if for selfish reasons. And even as Adam took the infection into his own person and passed it on to all of us, Jesus, the Godman, came with healing in his wings and offered a dose of it (repentance) to all who chose to try it out. «

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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).

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Feedback is always welcome.

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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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