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ourn in Northern Ireland'

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Today's Scripture: At that time, the apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the hour is now late; send them away, to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat." But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?" And he said to them, "How many loaves have you? Go and see." And when they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." Then he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men. Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

St. Mark's Gospel, chapter 6:30-45,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

Of course one thing I look for here in Northern Ireland is evidence of distant cousins. The Kennedys watchshop in Ballymena is one of many such shops I've come across; there's a Kennedy Florist just down the road from the Loom. And at the top of Falls Road in Belfast is Kennedy Way, the site of the Kennedy Center, a fair to middling shopping center, seen below. The Kennedy Way sign is in both English and Irish; note how Kennedy is spelled in Irish.

Tonight is the third and final meeting of the Loom Writers Group, so I'll rush this blog through to be in order to be ready.

Today's weather: cool with heavy cloud cover. «

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

Community rallies to protest schools' outrage over flags on 9/11

Ravens player retires to give a kidney to younger brother, a retired Steeler

New Jersey teenager Brendan Tevlin: martyr to domestic terroristism

Former White House official says war in Iraq may go on 'forever'

Sotloff family tells CBS the Obama Administration 'bullied them'

How the 20 controversial couples married by Pope Francis were legit

Inflation in US: a pound of ground beef tops $4 for first time

Poll: Black and white Ferguson residents agree - media made things worse

Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent, and why it isn’t really all that surprising

CBN: evangelical Christians in Ukraine report they're living a nightmare

Post mortem: King Richard III's final moments were quick and brutal

Government labor board orders CNN to rehire 100 fired employees

Netanyahu: 'Before, there was a master race; now there's a master faith'

Billboard’s message about homosexuality and sin is creating a stir

An Orthodox priest's Christian response to beheading by Muslims

CBO: Cost of Obamacare subsidy will increase 8-fold in 10 years

'The View' on US TV debuts a more serious tone along with new hosts

Theater shooting victim's parents sue the seller of ammo used

Remember #BringBackOurGirls? This is what's been accomplished «

Writing stuff - punctuation
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

One theme of tonight's meeting will be punctuation, which can be vital and, as the meme on the left attests, can even save lives! The one on the right is an illustration of a punctuation fault. Can you identify it? Hint: the fault is one of omission«

Today's video

This is one of the most beloved hymns in Orthodoxy, as performed by the Omaha, Neb., St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church Choir.




Today's quotes


. . . honor [the Lord] with the honor that He commanded, namely, to lavish wealth on the poor. God does not need golden vessels but golden souls.

— St. John Chrysostom (ca. 346-407) «

An Ulster Scot may come to disbelieve in God, but not to wear his weekday clothes on the Sabbath.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Imagine trying to retreat to a quiet place and being greeted there by 5,000 of your best friends who beat you to the "quiet" place to drain off more of your energy. That's one way to look at what happened in this instance, but Jesus was not as negative as I tend to be, but instead welcomed the crowd and even wowed them with His most amazing miracle yet, by giving them all a fish dinner. It's even more amazing than my late brother's aunt-in-law, Hazel Oblackovich, who invited us all to her house after two of our family funerals, and fed us all sumptuous dinners by what appeared to be magic in what seemed no more than a few minutes after our arrival.

Friends often have a way of energising us even when we feel we need to retreat, especially when they seem in need of something we can provide, as in this case. I can only guess that many of the 5,000 (along with their wives and children) at that miraculous fish dinner became among Jesus' most ardent disciples after the full disclosure of His divinity, and to go on to become pillars of the first-generation church. «

§     §     § 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

Previous blog entry


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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