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: Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “ask Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. I have made the earth, and created man on it. I—my hands—stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city and let My exiles go free, not for price nor reward,” says the Lord of hosts.

Thus says the Lord: “the labor of Egypt and merchandise of Cush and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours; they shall walk behind you, they shall come over in chains; and they shall bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, ‘surely God is in you, and there is no other; there is no other God.’” Truly You are God, who hide Yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior! They shall be ashamed and also disgraced, all of them; they shall go in confusion together, who are makers of idols. But Israel shall be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever.

Isaiah, chapter 45:11-17,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the Bible study notes below.

Additional reading for today: Genesis 22:1-18 and
Proverbs 17:17-18:5 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

Today's life-in photo is evidence that Belfast, like most other urban centers in the western world (and most likely beyond), has as a major social problem drug abuse and its myriad side effects. The center panel of this billboard in downtown Belfast, if you have trouble deciphering it, shows a mother kneeling beside a son who, apparently, has overdosed. These ads are as common as any campaign now going on in the advertising billboards and bus cards around Northern Ireland. Though the drug scourge is widely discussed, I see little first-hand evidence of it, as I'm seldom on the sidewalks after 9 p.m. I am aware of homelessness being a major problem that's visible downtown, later in the nights, despite efforts of charities and government agencies to provide shelter and relative safety. And break-ins to buildings (including one at a church I wrote about here some time back), and into cars are common, most likely in a quest to get cash and things to sell to pay for drugs. It is said that drug dealers will threaten to "kneecap" "customers" whose payments get too far behind, and such threats are occasionally cited as having led to more than a few suicides.

Lord willing, there will be one more blog (Monday's) after this one, before I take my furlough. I'm not sure how long the hiatus will be until I resume blogging, but expect it will be at least until my birthday, May 31, or until the details of my next publishing project have all been worked out. I have to leave the UK for six months, under the tourist visa rules, so that I can be back in Belfast in November to launch my third book on C.S. Lewis, Saint Clive, and participate in the annual C.S. Lewis festival here. The plan is to spend the first half of the six-month furlough in the United States, mostly in the Seattle area with my daughter Chris and grandson Antony, then for a few weeks or a month with my sons and their families, and friends in the San Francisco Bay area and my brother Bob, in Willows, Calif. Then I hope to fly to Vienna, Austria, partly because I have never been there and partly in the hope of meeting Sister Vassa (see links: bio here, video here) there and possibly do some volunteering with her video and podcast ministry. The current Sister Vassa video, appropos today's life-in photo, discusses addiction.

Yesterday was mostly dry, though mostly cloudy. Today, Jack Lamb and I are planning an early start to go to Donegal to visit our colleague and friend, Bill Stainsby, on Inch Island, so I am getting today's blog online too early to describe today's weather. «

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

Teen abortion, pregnancy rates at historic lows; more babies saved from abortion

Missouri House passes bill to define unborn baby as a person and ban abortions

Fournier: Obama admin 'the least transparent,' 'probably in this nation's history'

NPR asks if it's 'OK to profit' from cooking food of 'other cultures'... or is it racist?

University of Toronto closes transgender toilets following peeping perv incidents

Two-thirds of British Muslims tell pollsters they wouldn't tell the gov't about terror plot

DeMint in USA Today: America needs more governors like Mississippi's Phil Bryant

ACLU loses Michigan lawsuit to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions

School teacher professed love to 16-year-old she seduced while marrying another

An 18-year-old English girl has accused middle eastern migrants of gang rape

Christian worldview - forgive and let go
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Holding a grudge is detrimental to your mental health. Let the wrongs you want to cherish go. Not only is doing so good for your physical well-being, it's vital to your spiritual well-being and progress toward sanctification or theosis (union with Christ), which is what all your life should be about. «

Today's video




Today's quotes


Whoever has a spiritual gift and is compassionate toward one who does not have it guards his gift through his compassion. But whoever is proud of his gift loses it through self-esteem.

— St. Mark the Ascetic  «

Free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having.

— C. S. Lewis «

Bible study notes: Today's passage from the prophesies of Isaiah assures the sons and daughters of the covenant that they belong to their God, their Savior, and that it is an everlasting vow that He will never break or forsake. He offers them rewards for their faithfulness, if they can keep what He has given them.

A word with God: God our eternal Father, give us the assurance of your promises, and give us a burning desire to keep the faith you have graced us with. In Christ our Lord with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God in three persons, 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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