Jon Kennedy's Postcards from
his missionary tour in Europe

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

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Today's Scripture: You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

St. Paul's letter to Timothy, chapter 2:1-10,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the Bible study notes below.

Additional reading for today: John 15:17-16:2 «

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

You may have noticed that my "life-in" photos have been declining in quality in the past several weeks, with an accidental picture of the cobblestones filling the bill last Friday. And now it's a picture of an advertising poster in a Belfast bus shelter. The weather and my cold (as mentioned on Monday) can serve to cover me for today. But actually, I was pleased to find this poster which is, of course, if you know much of their menu, a McDonalds' advert for their biggest culinary achievement (IMHO), the sausage egg McMuffin. This is worth some discussion beyond the culinary; it lends itself to consideration of contrasts between the American and United Kingdom language and cultures.

1. What Americans call "English muffins," which is the type of bread used in this sandwich, is unknown to the English or anyone else on this side of the Atlantic. The closest proximation of this type of bread sold here is what they call a crumpet. English muffins, I've been given to believe, were introduced by a bakery in the Philadelphia-Atlantic City area, Thomases. Maybe the Thomas family were afraid Americans were not ready to eat a crumpet so they thought "English muffins" might be more acceptable; they certainly have become a nationwide staple.

2. The meat on this sandwich is sausage. In fact, in America, though we know two types of sausages, links and "patties," the patty is what most Americans think of when they hear "sausage." They get a "full English breakfast" here in the UK with sausage listed as one of the ingregients, and are let down to see that instead of either a sausage patty or a lnik sausage as we know them, they get a shriveled-up weiner. I put emphasis quotation marks around "patties" on first mention because over here that word is not used for a patty, either. Hamburger patties and sausage patties are traditionally made by patting a ball of meat between your hands like patty cake, until it is turned into a flat disc, so they're rightly known as patties.

And link sausages in the US, unless they're Italian or Polish sausages, are about the size of a mid-sized person's index finger, not a weiner. Furthermore, unlike UK sausages, American link sausages have some sausage flavor. When my parents once butchered a hog, they bought and used a can of sausage flavoring which gave the ground pork its distinct sausage taste, which is available here only on McDonald's and Burger King's breakfast sandwiches. Italian and Polish sausages, which are about the size of bratwursts, also have distinct flavors, but they are unknown here, or anywhere else I've traveled in Europe (I have not been to Poland and have been in Italy only for a couple of days in the 1960s).

Incidentally, I have no love lost on McDonalds other than my liking of this sandwich. In fact, I decided several years ago when I had equal access to McD's and Burger King for breakfast, that I liked BK's version of the sausage egg sandwich, made with a croissant rather than an English muffin, even better. But there is no BK available where I live now.

Incidentally two, my photo of the cobblestones and its discussion elicited more reader feedback than most items here. The writer said that "macadam," the asphalt paving used for most roadways and many sidewalks and paths these days, is a petroleum-based paving material that deteriorates very quickly and results in many potholes and high maintenance, compared with cobblestones. Good point, I have to agree.

Yesterday's weather continued being wet and cold, so I stayed in except for short walks for my lunch and dinner (I passed on McD's breakfast yesterday in favor of staying in bed longer). Tonight, the choir I wrote about several times last week is rehearsing, so I hope to be up to attending that. Rehearsals have moved from Monday to Wednesday and from the radio station to the outlying town of Dromore, which is where the choir director and some of the other singers reside. «

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

Whistleblower claims Obama govt destroyed intel needed to keep the US safe

BBC: American expats are giving up their citizenship because of extreme taxation

The origins of liberty-squelching political correctness are traced to 1930s Marxists

CNN says Ted Cruz flat-out lied about the news network's reporting on Ben Carson

Atheists aren’t even trying to answer Christian claims now…and why that’s terrifying

Abortion rights group slammed Doritos for cute Super Bowl ad—public isn't agreeing

Obama's response to surge of illegal immigrants is inadequate to protect homeland

European parliament recognizes ISIS’s anti-Christian genocide, U.S. must also act

Marco Rubio responds to attacks of his rivals that he is too radically pro-life

Report: hijab-wearing professor Larycia Hawkins will leave Wheaton College

Christian worldview - roots of today's social upheaval
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Today's headline links, above, include an article explaining the roots of political correctness, tracing it to a Marxist think tank begun in Frankfurt, Germany, before World War Two. I'm encouraging anyone interested in a Christian worldview to read it, because I believe it offers insights that are unknown to most people of our time, but facts which should be considered in any attempt to understand why so much is going wrong so quickly in our country and the West generally. And please consider these comments as an addendum to that article.

I have long suspected that the so-called sexual revolution might have more to do with disabling or dismembering Christianity than it has to do with feminism and normalizing homosexuality in modern society. Why, for one example, has become marriage a major goal for the gay movement when marriage more generally is rapidly diminishing in the culture at large (through no-fault divorce and widespread acceptance of cohabitation without marriage)? In the days of the Anita Bryant battles against gay civil rights in Florida (late '70s), gays insisted they had no intention of seeking a right to marry. So why the wholesale reversal?

Without denying the sincerity and fervent support of the cause on the part of any particular gay individuals, I strongly suspect that the liberal establishment realized that the best way to weaken Christianity in America, which would, in turn, weaken all conservative opposition to the liberal utopian agenda, the best way to do that would be by fully enfranchising "gays" as a social political minority, despite the fact that the only thing distinguishing them from the rest of us outwardly is their own claim that they're different. Why did both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton so quickly and easily completely reverse their positions on the gay marriage issue, unless they'd had an epiphany along such lines?

And in the process, I propose that liberal leaders realized that declaring opposition to homosexual sins to be politically incorrect would give the government grounds to enact laws crippling Christian individuals first, and the churches and their clergy in one or two decades on.

And what if, when several million Islamic "refugees from Syria" are clamoring for asylum in the west, ...what if canny liberal dreamers-schemers saw in this a one-two punch they could deliver against America's Christian community, by letting into the country, for the first time in its history, a sizeable and highly politically motivated body of religionists opposed to Christianity and its values and willing to fight to the death to impose their own, instead? Conspiracy theory, you say? Not so much if it's true.

Doesn't it make you wonder? «

Today's video




Today's quotes


If someone puts his trust in God in a matter, let him not argue with his brother about it.

— St. Mark the Ascetic «

No philosophical theory which I have yet come across is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis, that "In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth."

— C. S. Lewis «

Bible study notes: Paul reminds us in today's epistle passage from 2 Timothy that the Christian life is a warfare. He speaks metaphorically, of course, as a war for hearts, souls, and minds, rather than to gain ground or kill literal enemies. But his admonition is to keep our eyes steady on the prize, the Kingdom of God, and not let ourselves be distracted by sex, food, and follies as we make our way through life. Follow the "rules," the commandments of the Lord our High Commander, and keep our allegiance to the church which is our true kinship and homeland.

A word with God: Lord, enable us to have our eyes single to see you and your commandments, your rules for living, and keep them from wandering to other interests that distract. In Christ our Savior with the Father and the 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

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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

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