He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul, But he who is careless
of his ways will die. He who has pity on the poor lends to the
Lord, And He will pay back what he has given. Chasten your son
while there is hope, And do not set your heart on his destruction.
A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; For if you rescue
him, you will have to do it again. Listen to counsel and receive
instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. There
are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that
will stand. What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor
man is better than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be
visited with evil. A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, and
will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. Strike a scoffer,
and the simple will become wary; rebuke one who has understanding,
and he will discern knowledge.
reading for today: Isaiah 48:17-49:4; Genesis 27:1-41 «
diary - life in Northern Ireland - the last blog
photo for the final blog before I go off on my furlough gives an example
of how American culture, especially pop culture, is reflected in the
United Kingdom and Ireland.
"Fonzie's," complete with images of "the Fonz,"
just opened a couple of blocks from where I'm living (though it may
have been closed for refurbishing). It's an ice cream and soda shop,
which harkens back to the late 1940s and '50s, in the United States
(but those years are remembered here as the final years of the war-caused
rationing years, marked by shortages in all food and luxury items).
As the best of English television (like Downton Abbey, Foyle's War,
Life on Mars) is well known to American television viewers, so is
much of American television's fare seen here. And as rock and roll
is as big here as it has been in the United States, the pop culture
associated with it, including Happy Days, is very much liked. One
of my personal epiphanies here has been walking into a shop and hearing,
with some pleasure of recognition, some American hit record, only
to realize the artist is Elton John or Engelbert Humperdinck, true-blue
Birts, not American at all.
pop music, on Saturday night Jack Lamb took me to a musical evening
at the Ulster Hall, featuring the Belfast Operatic Company's show,
"West End to Broadway," a collection of songs from shows
ranging from Evita to Mama Mia. It was very impressive, inspiring
in a get-up-and-dance way (though I resisted the temptation), and
finally delivered me from humming the songs learned for our choir
concert last month.
Jack and I visited our Donegal friend and colleague in the CS Lewis
"industry," Bill Stainsby, and were wowed by all the progress
Bill has made on his house and grounds on Inch Island, which he is
turning into a C.S. Lewis Center for Ireland. He is hoping to have
it open for visitors this summer, and is encouraging me to start thinking
of joining him there as Writer in Residence (which I am very much
looking forward to).
a mild, mostly sunny spring day in Belfast. My friends at St. Ignatius
gave me a very warm send-off, with hopes all around of seeing each
other in November, and in the evening Trevor Buchanan and Richard
Bowron toasted my departure at our nearby favorite restaurant, the
Beijing buffet. Today is my packing day, with a break in the mddle
for one last lunch at the Lampost with Jack.
worldview - make America great again (This
department alternates with Writing stuff)
Facebook friend, a theological
blogger with a sizeable following, asked a few weeks back, what does
Donald Trump mean by calling on people to elect him to make America
great again. In what sense was America once great, and in what greatness
does he want it to be returned? They are good questions, because I
have seen no instance in which Trump has defined America's former
greatness, what caused it to lose its greatness, and what it would
mean to see it become great again. It's almost like he is saying just
electing him would make America great again, but there is almost no
evidence put forward to support that claim. If "he" is to
become America's greatness, I am not convinced this is even close
to my definition of how America may have once been great and how it
can regain that former greatness.
I do believe
America has lost much of its former greatness, especially in the past
seven years, for reasons laid out in the video below by Dennis Prager.
Though I've never been an "America first," "my country
right or wrong" type of person, I have nevertheless believed,
like Prager, that America has always been an exceptional country and
its influence throughout the world has been mostly for the good. I
have met many people here in my three years of living in Europe who
share that opinion, which I have come by without having to ask for
that the left sees America as a bad place in need of transformation
and conservatives see it as a good place worth preserving, is valid.
And in the meme above, by Milan Kundera, his point that a people can
be liquidated by erasing their memory, also rings true. But in our
case, no one had to burn the history books, because all that was needed
was to hire nothing but "America-bad" history professors
at the uniformly leftist major universities, and a new generation
would fall for their line and believe facile propaganda without even
looking for truthful history. Some even fall for "the new culture"
just because it's new and they didn't quite like the old. «
hunger and thirst for the sake of Christ. Insofar as you pacify your
body, so much will you do to make your soul virtuous. God, who rewards
thoughts, words, and deeds, will give good in return for even a small
thing which you gladly suffer for His sake.
Gennadius of Constantinople «
believe in nothing are very, very jealous and angry at those who believe
study notes: In
a year like this one, it's hard to read a passage like today's
selection from Proverbs without thinking of political candidates
making their cases to the voters, and wondering which verse
best matches which candidate. The truth is that every proverb
matches us all, though some of them fit some of us better
than they fit others.
A word with
God: God of heaven and earth, give us insight into your
word and your words as they teach us your precepts.
Help us to understand what we read, and live accordingly.
Through Christ our Lord with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God in three persons, Amen. «
important things; A word from God; a word
with God; taking stock of our place now; catching up on world and
social concerns ("headlines"); an inward reflection (worldview);
something to get you out; something to laugh about; some thoughts
to sharpen your thinking.
on "headlines"; links to articles on current issues—news,
features, research 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, being aware
that knowledge can be dangerous and a little knowledge even moreso. «
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 (usually 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
and webmaster. «
I have now uploaded over 5,000 photos and videos from my tours in
Northern Ireland, Malta, Greece, Bulgaria, Republic of Ireland, Romania
and Serbia, 2013-15, and also including several hundred photos and
videos from my summer in Pennsylvania in 2012, some photos of the
family, on my
Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by albums. Click
here for the Flicker site.
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.
§ § §
for my mission to Europe. My
permanent/postal address is 632 North 20th Street, San Jose, CA 95112;
my Belfast telephone number is 07479 651992; from outside the United
Kingdom, dial 00447479 651992.
blog is just
an attempt to communicate between an American lay missionary
in Europe, his friends there, his friends in his home parish
in Silicon Valley, California, his parish in his adopted home
base of Belfast, UK, 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."
Jon Kennedy's recent book,
C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads,is available
for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author's
download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf
on your PC or smartphone.