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

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Today's Scripture: . . . a young man came up to Jesus, kneeling and saying, "Good Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you call me good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.

And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

St. Matthew's Gospel, chapter 19:16-26,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

Finally, we've come to the final photo from the trip to Devenish Island ancient monastic community earlier this month. Seen here is St. Molaise's house. I had never heard of St. Molaise before, so this is the introduction to him from Wikipedia: "Saint Laisrén mac Nad Froích (d. 564), or Laisrén of Devenish and Lasserian, also known by his petname Mo Laisse, was the patron saint of Devenish Island in Lough Erne (Co. Fermanagh), near Enniskillen, in the present diocese of Clogher. Laisrén is the subject of both a Latin and an Irish Life, which offer loose narratives in which a number of miscellaneous anecdotes and miracles have been grouped together." (By "Life," is meant a biography or hagiography.) It goes on to say he was the founder of the monastery here.

Last night's outing took Jack Lamb and me to a performance at the Lyric Theater in the University Quarter which the festival program describes as '"One of Us Will Die" a bold comedy from Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner.' The married couple are an average-height bloke, Berliner, from England, and a "little person," Stamell, from Australia, whose schtick was mostly chatter intended as jokes about sex organs and the hardships (Jewishness in his case, dwarfism in hers) that their people groups have suffered over time. It was never hilarious (as I rather expected it would) and the laughs it did produce were generally the uneasy guilty kind. I could not recommend it; though I watched Russell Howard's "Good News" from the BBC via YouTube when I first moved here, I eventually got so I had to stop watching it because of its offensive language, though at least it is genuinely funny on average a few times per show.

Today's Belfast weather started out promising and got better throughout the day, but by late afternoon the clouds were gathering and rain was again beginning to threaten.

We had a guest priest, Fr. Christopher of Manchester, England, for the service at St. Ignatius this morning, as Fr. Paul is on a much-deserved holiday. Arlene Williamson had a delicious lunch for us afterward, and during the fellowship I started breaking the news that I expect to be leaving Belfast around the beginning of November, hoping to winter in Malta and then, Lord willing, back to Donegal to continue my work with Bill Stainsby in the spring. This is the final weekend before school resumes in NornIron next week, so attendance was down. «

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

U.S. military does airstrikes, aid drops to Iraqi town surrounded by ISIS

Maryland Sheriff to Feds: taking our guns will result in a civil war

'Lemonade kid' defeats his opposition, shares wealth with good cause

Scientists track the origins of the Ebola outbreak through mutations

Arguments for implanting microchips in human subjects gain momentum «

Christian worldview - reaping what you sow
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

It's not karma, it's reaping what you sow. Today's meme makes no biblical reference, but it is generally consistent with biblical and New Testament teaching. In a sense this "echo" is divine justice and a pleading for that favor from God, one of the essential beliefs of Old Testament Judaism, emphasized in the Psalms, the Prophets, and the political establishment of Israel. It was not so much about salvation and going to heaven as it was getting what we deserve and, even more in many cases, making sure that God gives our enemies what they deserve for mistreating us. But the Christian worldview has some changes to ring on this old all-too-human quest. It is learning to forgive our enemies and even love them, doing the best for them. And the best they can achieve is acceptance by God, His forgiveness, and a place in His eternal presence. So preach the Gospel of Love that begins with repentance and ends with eternal bliss in the presence of the all glorious God our savior. «

Today's video



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Today's quotes


The forgiveness of insults is a sign of true love, free from hypocrisy. For thus the Lord also loved this world.

— St. Mark the Ascetic «

Look for yourself, and you will find loneliness and despair. But look for Christ and you will find Him and everything else.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Those with many "things," whether money, or spheres of influence, or followers of their blogs, their movies, shows, books, or their "original" ideas, even their families (cf. C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce)—such people are hindered in worshipping their Creator because they usually are disposed to think they've done it their own way, they've created themselves, their success, their "things." They and their things are all they need, they are their own god.

What things do you worship? Which possessions define you? Are you all you need? «

§     §     § 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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