Jon Kennedy's Postcards from
his missionary tour in Europe

The blog from Northern Ireland—a
roundup of every-day important
things I may have learned in life and
things I have found on the Internet

Jon Kennedy blog index


Today's Scripture: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also, I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.

Genesis, chapters 17:1-9,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the Bible study notes below.

Additional reading for today: Isaiah 2:3-11, Proverbs 2:1-22 «

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

I got this photo of another once-famous athlete of Belfast's past during my recent photo reconnaissance of the Cathedral Quarter near the city center. Raising a fist on the edge of St. Anne's Square is, according to the inscription on the base of the statue, "John Rinty Monaghan, 1918-1984, retired as undefeated world, European, British and Empire flyweight champion. When Irish eyes are smiling."

This is intended to be the third-to-last blog post before I begin my furlough in the United States Northwest, Seattle and beyond, next week. My daughter and grandson, who moved there a few months ago from San Jose, say they are anticipating my visit and we're already planning outings to Seattle Center and Pike Place (Seattle's famous open-stall marketplace where Starbucks had its first store). I'm also hoping to visit the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, in Puget Sound. which serves as Seattle's bay. I have heard the brotherhood's abbott, Fr. Tryphon, on the Morning Offering podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio. And I have, last I checked, a friend from seminary and another from college days living in that part of Washington State, so I hope to make contact with them.

On Monday night, Jack Lamb took me to a Full-Gospel Businessmen's dinner, where he spoke on visiting Israel, and he engaged me to make a short testimonial about my visit there with him. Yesterday's weather was similar to Monday's, beginning with showers after sunrise and heavy, moist cloud cover the rest of the day. Today began like yesterday, but the rain has continued, harder than usual for misty drizzly Belfast. «

Headline-links - an Orthodox Christian news aggregator
Click to access articles on news, features, research and opinion pieces. See caveats, below.

Jordan's King Abdullah II makes bequest to fund Holy Sepulchre restoration work

Win-win situation: porn site bans North Carolina to protest its stand on religious rights

Franklin Graham scolds Bruce Springsteen for opposing religions freedom in NC

No, 'gays' and 'transgenders' are not being bullied, they are doing the bullying

Obama tips scales of justice for Hillary while saying he would never get involved

Unfavorable campaign ratings are probably a construction of the mainstream media

Judd Gregg in The Hill: Bernie Sanders fans are ignorant of the realities of socialism

Bill Clinton’s Philadelphia rally speech was historically correct but politically wrong

Recent spike in white working-class deaths is more a spiritual than material crisis

Majority of Muslim students consider Brussels terrorists 'heroes,' say teachers

Christian worldview - thoughts about thinking
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Marcus Aurelius Antoninius was the emperor of Rome from AD 161 to 180, is considered one of the most important stoic philosophers, and though historians call him one of the five "good emperors" and he has many quotable thoughts like the one in today's meme, he was one of the most severe emperors in his persecution of the Christians.

So it's not the author of the meme that I want to bring to your attention, but the thought it contains and the congruence of the thought with a Christian philosophy of life or worldview.

There are many ways to improve the quality of your thoughts, but the most basic one is to think about them. Don't just "think," which most people would say is unavoidable, but think "theoretically." Make the connections. Fill in the dots. Take your thinking to the next higher level, and then on to the next, until you're thinking the thoughts of God himself. Of course for that, the greatest aid and an indispensable one, is the Bible, which is the only recorded source of thoughts of God at our disposal. But don't assume that you can interpret it accurately; that's where the church and its theological tradition come in.

Read. Go farther in and farther up. Question everything, especially your naive presuppositions, your prejudices, which are almost entirely the product of the communications-news-entertainment media you have let yourself be baptized by. Then compare those with what God says. Then you'll begin to develop a Christian worldview. «

Today's video




Today's quotes


There is no greater love than that a man lays down his life for his neighbor. When you hear someone complaining and you struggle with yourself and do not answer him back with complaints; when you are hurt and bear it patiently, not looking for revenge; then you are laying down your life for your neighbor.

— Abba Poemen  «

Though we cannot experience our life as an endless present, we are eternal in God's eyes; that is, in our deepest reality.

— C. S. Lewis «

Bible study notes: It seems apparent that God waited until Abraham and Sarah were "too old" to bear children to give them a promise that their progeny would fill the whole world. Almost as though He wanted to give them a miraculous outworking of the promise so they would be more convinced of it and its importance to Him—to God—than their normal consciousness could have taken in.

A word with God: Lord God of Abraham, the only Creator-God, our heavenly Father, help us in our naive unbelief. Cure us of our dependence of signs and wonders, and give us a continuous and reliable relationship with you, in faith, in hope, and in love. Hear our prayer in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, Amen. «

§     §     § Return to top

Every-day important things; A word from God; a word with God; taking stock of our place now; catching up on world and social concerns ("headlines"); an inward reflection (worldview); something to get you out; something to laugh about; some thoughts to sharpen your thinking.

Caveats on "headlines"; links to articles on current issues—news, features, research 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, being aware that knowledge can be dangerous and a little knowledge even moreso. «

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. «

Quotations usually have not been vetted (and thus may be falsely attributed). «

Videos used here are embedded from video websites (usually YouTube), and occasionally these are removed from the sites from which they were embedded, or permissions on those sites change, causing them to "disappear" from these pages. This is also likely to happen to links to articles outside this site. This is beyond the control or remedy of this blog and webmaster. «

Comments: Please leave comments on my Facebook or Google+ page. «

§ I have now uploaded over 5,000 photos and videos from my tours in Northern Ireland, Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Romania and Serbia, 2013-15, and also including several hundred photos and videos from my summer in Pennsylvania in 2012, some photos of the family, on my Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by albums. Click here for the Flicker site.

For more and more spontaneous posts, follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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 Europe. My permanent/postal address is 632 North 20th Street, San Jose, CA 95112; my Belfast telephone number is 07479 651992; from outside the United Kingdom, dial 00447479 651992.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

Previous blog entry

INDEX 2016

INDEX of blogs February 4 2015 - January 29 2016


This blog is just
an attempt to communicate
between an American lay missionary in Europe, his friends there, his friends in his home parish in Silicon Valley, California, his parish in his adopted home base of Belfast, UK, 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 Europe. 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

Other books by Jon

Author page
on Amazon


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