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

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Today's Scripture: Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; I urge you to be subject to such men and to every fellow worker and laborer. I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicos, because they have made up for your absence; for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such men. The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. All the brethren send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. If any one has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, chapter  16:13-24,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the homiletical thought below. 

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland - 14 more days

I've mentioned earlier the frequent encounters one has here in Ulster with papier mache cattle. This cow was inside a community center we visited to get tickets for an event, and not only does she have an untypical color scheme, she's wearing boots. But really, who wants to walk through cow pastures with less?

Some of the items in the house—the Loom—are beginning to disappear, so the finality of my last two weeks in residence here is coming home. Unfortunately we learned today that the owners are not going to rent the flat any longer, but to put it up for sale.

This morning was again warm enough for short-sleeve shirts outside, but now a storm is blowing in. This could be a longer-term change in the weather, October blowing in, as it were. Jack Lamb, Trevor Buchanan and I are hoping to make it to New Grange and Tara on Friday, but now a rainy day is being predicted, so that may have to be scratched. «

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

UK's Telegraph on Iraq crisis: 'every single Christian wants to leave'

Russian news site calls Obama most militaristic US President ever

BBC News reports that 'thousands are flocking' to anti-Facebook site

Remembering the late Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand

T. D. Jakes threatens to sue rappers for sampling his sermon

Lessons from workplace terrorism about domestic radical Islam

Cardinal Kasper: Some fear a domino effect at synod on the family

Some useful 'facts' about global warming and climate change extremism

The latest Forbes 400 listing of this year's richest people in America

'Knight Rider' gives a Downs syndrome fan a ride of a lifetime in KITT

How racial discrimination and marriage 'equality' are not similar

MSNBC's Al Sharpton to keynote dinner for group linked to Hamas

Satellite space mission welcomes a new trio aboard; icons in space

Russian webpage: celtic worship more like Eastern worship than today's West «

Christian worldview - how much can you handle?
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

Not only is today's cartoon meme laugh-out-loud funny, it may have some food for theological thought helpful to the development of a Christian worldview. Is it true that "the Lord will never give you more than you can handle," even if that is a commonly repeated saying in various meme forms? I wouldn't want to recite it to any of the martyrs, like St. Ignatius of Antioch who was devoured by lions, or those who were burned at the stake, or those beheaded by Islamic axes or buried alive in Iraq in recent weeks. Most Christians over the centuries have believed that the great tribution prophesied in the New Testament occurred in the first three centuries of the church, at the hands of Roman caesars, but most contemporary evangelicals prefer to believe that the great tribution is yet to occur, and they will be spared it (through "the rapture") because "the Lord will never give you more than you can handle."

Of course, "handle" can be interpreted in a range of ways. Some can't handle a hangnail, but others can "handle" beheading, and one martyr burned at the stake is said to have asked his tormentors to turn him over as he was now done on one side (St. Lawrence of Rome). It may even be possibe that some can handle beheading easier than a hangnail. The point of this department is not to tell you what you have to believe to have a Christian worldview, but to point you in the direction of constructing your own with the aid of godly friends and the church. Though the Bible is the first line of investigation, I would also recommend immersing yourself in church history before coming to any hard and fast conclusions about what Christians might be called upon to suffer. «

Today's video

(Recorded at Antiochian Village, Ligonier, PA)




Today's quotes


When you throw a nail into a fire, it gets hot and starts to glow like fire. In the same way you, when you listen to divine teachings and live accordingly, will become like God.

— St. Symeon of Daibabe «

It is by human avarice or human stupidity, not by the churlishness of nature, that we have poverty and overwork.

— C.S. Lewis «

Homiletical thought: Most of this passage is about taking care of business, but the key thought is one to heed: "Let all that you do be done in love." Sometimes that entails subjecting our wills to brothers and sisters farther up the path to holiness. Be teachable, be patient, and let those God brings into our lives minister to our most important needs. «

§     §     § 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

Previous blog entry


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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