Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
in Northern Ireland'
diary and Belfast blog
ENTRY 1556 | MONDAY,
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
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."
Gospel, chapter 16:1-6,
from today's Orthodox lectionary
See the homiletical thought below. «
diary - life in Northern Ireland
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.
has been sunnier than the past few days, and warmer than last evening
with no precipitation.
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. «
"In the news"; links to news, features, and opinion pieces.
See Caveat, below.
of a founder of Hamas speaks of the terrorist group's values, aims
Christian forced to flee Mosul, Iraq, interviewed on ISIS terrorism
embassador to U.S. calls CNN out for biased reporting on Gaza
strikes down New Hampshire abortion facility censorship zones
Christians find refuge from bombings at Orthodox church inside Israel
that posted a welcome to licensed guns has a business surge
network pre-nups' becoming widespread in modern relationships
traces the longest procession or pilgrimage in Orthodoxy
(This department alternates with Writing
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 wasor seemedimproper,"
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.
we do that, our heavenly Father, the perfectly just judge, will forgive
us. It's guaranteed. «
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
Rose in Literary
= One who exhibits only superficial knowledge; a self-proclaimed expert
with little real understanding. «
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.
Nicholas of Myra «
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.
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."
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. «
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. «
leave comments on my Facebook
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.
more and more spontaneous posts, follow me on,
on either icon to go to the site).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback is always welcome.
§ § §
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
Nanty Glo Home Page
TO GET NOTICES OF THESE BLOGS BY EMAIL (free).
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.
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.
letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication
in the Forum department unless they are specifically labeled
"Not for Publication."
Christian studies stays and visits.
Reply by email or use contact