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1159Friday's Belfast blog - Berkeley

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  • Jon Kennedy
    Jul 25 10:40 AM
      Belfast blog - Jon Kennedy
      The Jonal, Jon Kennedy's blog on the Nanty Glo, Pa. Home Page.
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      JONAL ENTRY 1554 | FRIDAY, JULY 25 2014

      Today's Scripture: The Lord said, "No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hid that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light. Take heed then how you hear; for to him who has will more be given, and from him who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away."
      Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him for the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you." But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
      — St. Luke'd Gospel, chapter 8:16-21,
      from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
      See the homiletical thought below. «

      Today's diary - life in Northern Ireland

      Before Berkeley became a radically secular city in California, Berkeley was a bishop of the Church of Ireland and for some years a resident of Derry, then known as Londonderry, the major seaport on the north Atlantic coast of the island of Ireland (and from which tens—more likely hundreds—of thousands of Irish, mostly Presbyterians who felt themselves persecuted by the Anglican church and the political rule behind it, immigrated to America in the second half of the 18th Century). George Berkeley is better known as developer of one of the earliest philosophical systems (mystic idealism, as Kant named it) self-consciously attempting to examine the whole world in terms consistent with Christian teachings than he now is as a hierarch of the Anglican communion. His theories about mathematics and the nature of matter are said to have influenced Einstein. And yes, this Berkeley is the one after whom the headquarters city of the University of California, a few miles from San Francisco, was named. I took the picture of the history circle plaque on the house where Berkeley lived in Derry during my visit there yesterday.
      I spent most of the day in Derry with a couple who are planning to open a C.S. Lewis Faith and Culture Center a few miles from Derry, in County Donegal, a very exciting event about which I hope to be reporting much more in weeks to come.
      Ulster continues to enjoy its incredible summer. Yesterday's high in Derry was 85°F; at this writing it is 79°F in Belfast, according to my smartphone. Had a wonderful time of sitting on the dock on the Marina before beginning my shift at the cafe this noon.
      Tonight, an artist is presenting his work at Townsend Presbyterian halls. A week from tonight, we are planning our first writers group meeting at the Loom. «
      A closer look
      Formerly "In the news"; links to news, features, and opinion pieces. See Caveat, below.
      A US State Department statement says ISIS is now a full-blown army
      Biblical prophet Jonah's grave dug up by ISIS members;
      Christian minorities in Iraq on the verge of being eradicated
      Monk living in the clouds reminder of monasticsm's Stylite period
      Re-release of Beatle film brings reflection on change they wrought
      Study finds more happy people in Louisiana cities than elsewhere in US
      Working-class caucasians in Ohio, US 'swing state,' no longer dominant
      French Catholics rally to show solidarity to persecuted Christians in Iraq
      New school will bring educational opportunity to Ugandan children
      ISIS is making good on its threat to kill Christians remaining in Iraq
      Resumes mentioning religion are 26% less likely to get employer responses
      Meriam Ibrahim, formerly under death sentence, now reported safe in Italy
      Pregnant woman can't cross street to hospital because of Obama motorcade
      Christian worldview
      (This department alternates with Writing stuff)
      A meme found online that is consistent with a Christian worldview:
      Today's video
      Today's quotes
      [An] enormous difference is clearly seen between a pagan philosopher and a Christian saint. The [philosopher] loses himself in abstractions, in cleverly twisted words, in logical provocations and in thoughtful sport while the [saint] directs his whole mind on the Living God and on the salvation of his soul. The one is abstract and dead, while the other is practical and alive.
      — St. Nikolai Velimirovich «
      Without the aid of trained emotions the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.
      — C.S. Lewis «
      Homiletical thought: The first paragraph in today's Gospel passage warns those who have secrets that they will be exposed, their darkness eventually bathed in light. The second suggests that the cousins (called here after the extended-family practice, as "brothers"), who accompanied his mother to visit Jesus while He was carrying out His ministry, were not believing in him as two better known cousins, John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, and his elder half-brother, James, had begun to. These latter three were among the ones He describes as hearing the Word and doing it. «
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      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence