Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
journey in Europe
(because I haven't seen any falcons)
ENTRY 1633 | SATURDAY,
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because
I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the
Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of
your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is
ours in Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from
your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have
been refreshed through you. Accordingly, though I am bold enough
in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love's
sake I prefer to appeal to you - I, Paul, an ambassador and
now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus - I appeal to you for my
child, Onesimos, whose father I have become in my imprisonment.
(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful
to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my
very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order
that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment
for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent
in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of
your own free will. Perhaps this is why he was parted from you
for a while, that you might have him back for ever, no longer
as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially
to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the
Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you
would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you
anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with
my own hand, I will repay it - to say nothing of your owing
me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from
you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your
obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more
than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for
I am hoping through your prayers to be granted to you. Epaphras,
my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you,
and so do Mark, Aristarchos, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
From St. Paul's letter to Philemon,
from today's Orthodox lectionary
See the homiletical thought below. «
diary - life in the Republic of Malta
a photo of the first nice display of Christmas lights I saw in Belfast
about this time last year, and this is the most elaborate one I've
seen thus far in Malta. Though two colors of lights are used, they
are so similar that the difference hardly shows in the photo. There
are perhaps three dozen of these identical light displays over Republic
Street in downtown Valletta. They are mostly raindeer surrounded by
some flourishes, or gilding. I think I've been more impressed by a
few shops I've seen decorated in what I would call a "total Christmas
look," with nothing but Christmas displays throughout, and many
multi-colored lights, tinsel, and other decorations. I have seen those
only through the windows of the buses thus far, but will look to get
some pictures of them later.
I decided to have some social life, even if I have to settle for my
own "society," and went to a movie theater but there was
nothing worth watching, so looked for a restaurant. I found a nice
Japanese restaurant in San Julian, and Japanese cuisine is probably
my favorite in a general sense. I chose an appetizer ("starter,"
they call it here and in the UK) of gyoza, which is a Japanese version
of the more familiar Chinese appetizer, pot stickers. And if you still
don't recognize them, they're white dough dumplings filled with pork
or other meat, or a vegetarian substitute. I opted for the pork. They
were tasty, but the outside was browned and crisp. I think the other
Japanese restaurants where I've had them have made them crisper than
Chinese-style (which is doughy), but these were as brown as a croquet.
Not bad, but not the best I've ever had. My main course was a hot
chilly spicy beef noodle dish, odon, which was very hot-spicy,
and very filling, with generous slices of medium braised beef; very
continues to be as perfect as anything I've known in California at
this time of year, and yes (in comparison to the earlier week of rain
Malta had) California occasionally has heavy rains in November as
well, though perhaps no one living there remembers that now, after
years of continuing drought. «
to news, features, and opinion pieces. See caveats,
of Michael Brown urges protesters to remain peaceful
Democrat donor charged with sodomy with 15-year-old boy
recounts his close encounter with profanity in a tight space
chooses singer of 'Jesus Died for Someone’s Sins, But Not for Hers'
Bob Schieffer cays Gruber should repay $400K Obamacare earnings
Ruse: Vatican right to avoid being labelled liberal or conservative
earn more than husbands in one-third of American families
tells gathering: 'Global warming is a $22 billion scam' «
(This department alternates with Writing
of the seven deadly sins, is a form of judging our brothers or sisters,
probably the most dangerous form to our spiritual well-being; the
elder is certainly right that it destroys our peace. We see something
good come to one of our neighbors and judge him or her unworthy or
undeserving for such favor in life. That often takes the form of thinking,
"I've done more to deserve that kind of special treatment or
reward than s/he has."
And that sets into motion a whole chain of judgments we find to lodge
against him or her, which sometimes leads to plots to punish your
rival to even the score of her or him having something better than
what you have more, obviously, deserved.
is exactly what led to the first murder in recorded history, that
of Cain against his brother Abel, who got the approval of God by sacrificing
an animal from his harvest after God disapproved of Cain's sacrifice
of grain from his harvest. It's the same type of jealousy that led
Joseph's older brothers to sell him into slavery into Egypt, and countless
other incidences of people coveting another's good fortune and doing
wicked deeds to "even the score."
If you think
yourself better or more deserving than someone else, you're always
wrong, for such thoughts in themselves are sins. There's only one
cure for it: repent, apologize for any wrongs you've done to get even
(or that you've plotted to do), and ask the forgiveness of the one
you've wronged. Ask God to forgive you as well and ask for His assistance,
then don't ever do it again. «
Happy is the
man in whom there is love for God, for he bears God within himself.
Ephraim the Syrian «
this very moment you and I are either committing [selfishness], or
about to commit it, or repenting it.
thought: Today's epistle passage is addressed by Paul
to an individual, Philemon, whose slave, Onesimos, had crossed
Paul's path, became converted to the Gospel, and was encouraged
by Paul to return to Philemon to receive full release from
his slavery and be accepted as a brother in Christ, a full
member of the church. It was a risky gambit, but Paul knew
that if Philemon's conversion was genuine, so would be his
generosity toward Onemimos and his desire to welcome his former
servant and obey his bishop, Paul. The fact that the epistle,
which went from Paul's hands to Philemon and has survived
as one of the signal teachings of the early churches (on slavery)
is all we have, or need, to know how Philemon received it
and his new brother in Christ, Onesimos. «
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. «
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. «
usually have not been vetted (and thus may be falsely attributed). «
used here are embedded from video websites (most frequently YouTube),
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. «
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§ § §
for my mission to Europe. You
can read my background overview of this undertaking here.
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str, Lija, LJA 1405 Malta. Mobile, (Not yet available, please
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