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

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Today's Scripture: God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things. I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

St. Paul's  first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4:9-16
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland - 5 more days

I'm ba-a-ack! And with another look (above) at beautiful downtown Carnlough on the Antrim Coast and Glens Highway.

Nothing has been removed from the house, which I'm supposed to have empty by Tuesday noon, so I was quite anxious this morning. I was assured in a phone call that one of the "removers" will definitely be coming over the weekend to fill a van, so maybe I'll sleep better tonight. Trevor Buchanan has offered to take my bedroom furnishings for his spare room (with the offer that I can visit him if I'm ever able to return to Belfast for short stays), so I still have to arrange for "a man with a van" to pick that kit up, preferably on Tuesday, before I'm on my way to the airport.

People are still saying winter is back, so Malta is looking better every hour, with today again cold under cloudy skies and intermittent rain much like yesterday. «

A closer look
Links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See caveats, below.l

State commission tells Christian business owners to leave religion at home

BBC reports that Google 'Street View' will go to the deserts by camel

Some Harvard students claim US is greater threat to world peace than ISIS

Brains can make decisions while we sleep – here they are in action

Scotland will stay in the UK, but some US states are thinking secession

Think tank scholar says the fight for who defines marriage is far from over

School will call kids 'purple penguins'; 'boys and girls' not inclusive enough

Muslim woman barred from Colorado pool over dress; code will be changed «

Christian worldview - moral relativism
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Today's meme may summarize the liberal parties' platform in most Western democracies but is totally incompatible with a Christian worldview. God is good and anything that conforms to His will, even if imperfectly, is better than anything that rejects or does not try to follow His standards. And "conforming to God's standards" as revealed in and by His Word, is the measure of everything—things both material like works of literarure and art and things immaterial like ideas and teachings—contrary to the claim of relativist ("liberal," "modernist") philosophies and religions that good and bad are no more than subjective opinions; any point of view is as good as the next. See C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man and That Hideous Strength (and this series of lectures by Thomas Hopko on YouTube) for more on this topic. «

Today's video





Today's quotes

The only time you should look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.

Louis C.K.

(Have to wonder if s/he actually said that.) «

It is not you who shape God; it is God who shapes you. Offer the Potter your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which the Artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of the Potter’s fingers.

— St. Irenaeus «


Homiletical thought: Now that I see passages like today's as sarcastic or, more appropriately, Paul's use of literary irony, they make an important point. And the point is that we are to aspire to be more like Paul, our spiritual father, in all his weakness and less like the Corinthians who could boast of their strength. «

§     §     § Return to top

Caveats 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. «

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

Videos used here are embedded from video websites (most frequently 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. «

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

§ I have now uploaded over 3,000 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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© 2014 JRK