Jon Kennedy's Postcards from
his missionary tour in Europe

The blog from Northern Ireland—a
roundup of every-day important things

Jon Kennedy blog index


Today's Scripture: For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.

St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 4:9-16,
from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
See the Bible study notes below.

Additional reading for today: John 1:35-51 «

Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland - a backward look to Tel Aviv

When the shuttle at the Belfast airport came to deliver us to Jack's car in the long-term parking, Jack asked the driver if the cold wet weather had been like this for a couple of days. "It's been like this for as long as I can remember," he replied; "somewhere around 1969." What an appropriate welcome back home to Norniron! I believe, in truth, that the day we left Belfast had been bright and sunny, the only such day we'd had since my arrival from Belgrade 13 days earlier, during which Norniron weather was unfailingly wet and cold. And since Saturday morning, it has been even being, of course, nearly the first of December now.

Our 12 days in Israel were perfect, in terms of weather, but also in terms of touring the Holy Land. Around 70 degrees every day (and warmer below sea level, where we spent much of our time), and mostly sunny day after day. We saw no violence, but did hear reports of some not far from us in both distance and time.

Rather than showing you how wet and cold it is here in Belfast, I'm giving a final glimpse back at Tel Aviv. Israel's largest metropolitan center with more than a million people, Tel Aviv is a new city, having been begun near the turn of the twentieth century when Jewish residents of the then-British territory started settlements there. And its skyline is reminiscent of Los Angeles's, with outcroppings of ultra modern buildings like the ones in the photo above, all around the basin it occupies.

Tomorrow I hope to put on my Santa hat and get into the Belfast Christmas mood, and hope also to get the Home Page "decorated" for the Nativity holiday. I took my usual walk to McDonald's for my breakfast and coffee this morning and, despite an umbrella, felt soaked by the time I got back "home," about three blocks distance. «

Headlines - an Orthodox Christian news aggregator
Links to news, features, research and opinion pieces. See caveats, below.

Global warming: the 97% fallacy; government and 'science' lies and free speech

Top scientist is called a 'pariah' for daring to apply actual science to climate study

Peer-reviewed survey finds most scientists skeptical of global warming crisis - Forbes

Colorado Springs shooter registered as 'unaffiliated female,' 'unknown’ to pro-lifers

Liberalism at its best? After Planned Parenthood shooting, a professor blames a peer

Police: 14-year-old dragged from Missouri public school for not wearing Muslim scarf

Treason based on false religion? The real reason Obama won’t destroy ISIS oil wells

Why did so many Muslims seem to celebrate the US attacks on 9/11? - US News

Trump was right – Muslims DID Celebrate in several parts of New Jersey on 9/11

Report: former Miss USA dumped Tebow because he wouldn’t have sex with her

Christian worldview - the fathers on abortion
(This department alternates with Writing stuff)

The oldest catechetical writing in church history, the Didache, plainly forbids abortion. This is the first time I have encountered this strong condemnation of it by one of the leading fathers of the church, St. Basil (329-379). Christians who believe that Jesus Christ did not lie when He said the gates of hell would not prevail against the church (Matthew 16:18) must, logically, agree with the plain teachings of the fathers (only if the church was already apostate by the end of the first century, could its most important post-New Testament document have been in error). «

Today's video




Today's quotes


A celebrity is a person who works hard all of their life to become well known, and then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

Fred Allen «

In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are.

— C. S. Lewis «

Bible study notes: Paul is speaking ironically / sarcastically in today's passage about his foolishness and his congregation's wisdom and the other contrasts between his standing and theirs.

A word with God: Lord we praise you for your faithfulness and your provision for our daily lives. Help us keep the faith ourselves and share it with our neighbors to their benefit. In Christ the Lord and the Father and the Holy Spirit, Amen. «

§     §     § Return to top

Every-day 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.

Caveats 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. «

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 (usually 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 and webmaster. «

Comments: Please leave comments on my Facebook or Google+ page. «

§ 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.

For more and more spontaneous posts, follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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 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.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


related pages

The Nanty Glo Home Page

Previous blog entry

INDEX of blogs since February 4, 2015


This 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.

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 Europe. 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

Other books by Jon

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