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

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Today's Scripture: At that time, the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather; for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah."

So he left them and departed. When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

St. Matthew's Gospel, chapter 16:1-6,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

The photo above is of farmland I visited on Saturday, a few miles from Banbridge, County Down, and a view similar to many rural settings in Western Pennsylvania where I was born and grew up. This view was "enhanced" by a Google+ app that gives it the look of an old Kodak snapshot, presumably.

Today's weather has been sunnier than the past few days, and warmer than last evening with no precipitation.

Tomorrow, Jack Lamb and I are scheduled to meet a local elected offical to discuss my visa status, and then we are off to spend a night in Donegal for more planning of the C.S. Lewis Faith and Culture Centre. «

A closer look
Formerly "In the news"; links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See Caveat, below.

Son of a founder of Hamas speaks of the terrorist group's values, aims

A Christian forced to flee Mosul, Iraq, interviewed on ISIS terrorism

Israel's embassador to U.S. calls CNN out for biased reporting on Gaza

Court strikes down New Hampshire abortion facility censorship zones

Gaza Christians find refuge from bombings at Orthodox church inside Israel

Restaurant that posted a welcome to licensed guns has a business surge

'Social network pre-nups' becoming widespread in modern relationships

Documentary traces the longest procession or pilgrimage in Orthodoxy

Christian worldview
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

The worldview meme chosen for today inspires some thinking, and all our thinking should help us build our worldview. In the first place, we have never been given the role of being anyone else's "excuser." We may decide to ignore or give no more thought about something we find improper or unjust, or we can condone or even approve someone else's bad behavior (as parents so often do with their children). But to forgive is to let someone know you have decided not to hold against them something they have done to slight, hurt, or even physically damage you. "I have decided not to be your enemy despite this thing you did against me that was—or seemed—improper," is what is implied when you say "I forgive you." And when you forgive, if the other asks for your friendship, you must extend your openness to that.

If you know and profess to follow Jesus, you know that He teaches that He will forgive us in the measure to which we forgive those who trespass against or violate us in some way: No more, no less. We must forgive to receive God's forgiveness. And, as we pray when we say the Lord's Prayer, if we mean it, we forgive because we need the forgiveness of others that we also have offended, intentionally or even unconsciously on our own part.

If we do that, our heavenly Father, the perfectly just judge, will forgive us. It's guaranteed. «

Today's video




Today's quotes

The term 'scientist' was invented only in 1833, by the polymath William Whewell, who gave it a faintly pejorative odour, drawing analogies to 'journalist', 'sciolist*', 'atheist', and 'tobacconist'. 'Better die ... than bestialise our tongue by such barbarisms,' scowled the geologist Adam Sedgwick. 'To anyone who respects the English language,' said T H Huxley, 'I think "Scientist" must be about as pleasing a word as "Electrocution".' These men preferred to call themselves 'natural philosophers' and there was a real distinction. Scientists were narrowly focused utilitarian data-grubbers; natural philosophers thought deeply and wrote elegantly about the moral, cosmological and metaphysical implications of their work.

— Jonathan Rose in Literary Review

*sciolist = One who exhibits only superficial knowledge; a self-proclaimed expert with little real understanding. «

The giver of every good and perfect gift has called upon us to mimic God's giving, by grace, through faith, and this is not of ourselves.

— St. Nicholas of Myra «

Wherever any precept of traditional morality is simply challenged to produce its credentials, as though the burden of proof lay on it, we have taken the wrong position.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Earlier, Matthew had recorded Jesus' own explanation of what He meant by "the sign of Jonah." In chapter 12 Matthew gives us more detail: "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here."

The resurrection and the fact that it completely changed the disciples who had not been convinced before the fact that it would really happen, but became willing to die to defend it afterward, remains the central fact of the Gospel and the center of our messages as Christians, the only proof we require to make believers of skeptics. Either it is the central event of human history or it is not. If it is, we have endless reasons to rejoice. If it is just a fable, we are of all creatures the most miserable, as Paul tells us. Human beings by nature believe there should be some meaning in all that we see and experience, but if the resurrection is untrue, we know there is none, no meaning at all: We are but dust and ashes hurtling through space on a cinder. «

§     §     § Return to top

Caveat 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. «

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
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