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Jon Kennedy's update from Northern Ireland

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  • Jon Kennedy
    Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A campus ministry in Northern Ireland Jon Kennedy   JONAL
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 14, 2013
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      A campus ministry in Northern Ireland

      JONAL ENTRY 1279 | April 13 2013
       
      . . . we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
      — from Hebrews 6,
      from today's lenten Orthodox
      lectionary readings
       
      Diary: It turned out that only three, not four (as I said last time) university students came to my place for the weekend. . . .
       
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      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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    • Jon Kennedy
      Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A video walk around the neighborhood: Crumlin, Woodvale, and Shankill Roads Jon Kennedy  
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 25, 2013
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        A video walk around the neighborhood:
        Crumlin, Woodvale, and Shankill Roads

        JONAL ENTRY 1285 | April 25 2013
        God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here am I." Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt; for I will there make of you a great nation. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."
        — from Genesis 46,
        from today's lenten Orthodox
        lectionary readings
        Diary: Here it is Thursday and my diary catch up is just catching up with last Saturday. . . .

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        Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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      • Jon Kennedy
        Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland An education conclave and a tour of a historic monastic site in County Down Jon Kennedy  
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 29, 2013
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          An education conclave and a tour of a
          historic monastic site in County Down

          JONAL ENTRY 1286 | April 29 2013
          And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and never doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will be done."
          — from Matthew 21,
          from today's Holy Monday
          Orthodox lectionary readings
          Diary: Ward and Marda Stothers arrived back home from their five weeks in California to Belfast around 10 a.m. on Friday, so we've all been busy ever since. . . 

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          Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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        • Jon Kennedy
          Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Thoughts about comparative social services, and a trip to a historic suburb Jon Kennedy  
          Message 4 of 18 , May 17, 2013
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            Thoughts about comparative social
            services, and a trip to a historic suburb

            JONAL ENTRY 1289 | May 17 2013
            You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men. But I know that you have not the love of God within you. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.
            — from John 5,
            from today's Orthodox
            lectionary readings
            Diary: One big difference I've noticed between life here in Northern Ireland and in the USA is the increased emphasis on social programs and bringing social programs like "the arts" to the communities and to senior citizens like myself. 

             
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            Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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          • Jon Kennedy
            Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland An exceptional teaching opportunity Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1290 | May 18 2013 ...
            Message 5 of 18 , May 18, 2013
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              An exceptional teaching opportunity

              JONAL ENTRY 1290 | May 18 2013
              "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."
              — from John 6,
              from today's Orthodox
              lectionary readings
              Diary: On Monday I took part in an exceptional opportunity to teach and minister to a large class of students who in America would be called eighth graders. . . 

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              Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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            • Jon Kennedy
              Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A roundup of last week s highlights Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1291 | May 22 2013 ...  
              Message 6 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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                A roundup of last week's highlights

                JONAL ENTRY 1291 | May 22 2013

                "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day."
                — from John 6,
                from today's Orthodox
                lectionary readings
                Diary: This entry is a roundup of activities from the past week, as the pace here continues to make it hard to keep up with everything happening. . . .

                 
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                Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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              • Jon Kennedy
                Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Ecumenism or cross-community work Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1292 | May 30 2013 ... Please
                Message 7 of 18 , May 30, 2013
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                  Ecumenism or cross-community work

                  JONAL ENTRY 1292 | May 30 2013
                  And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
                  — from Acts 10, from today's
                  Orthodox lectionary readings
                  At a recent cross-community meeting, I had a sudden and somewhat striking insight. It was that Belfast is probably the most exciting city in the world for ecumenical church work. . . . 

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                  Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                • Jon Kennedy
                  Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Poetry slammed and defined again Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1294 | JUNE 15 2013 ...  
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jun 15, 2013
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                    Poetry slammed and defined again

                    JONAL ENTRY 1294 | JUNE 15 2013
                    "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. . . . He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."
                    — from John 14, from today's
                    Orthodox lectionary readings
                    Diary: I've wondered about poetry often over my seven-plus decades. The idea of an artful use of language to turn thoughts into poems appealed to me in my childhood . . .

                     
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                    Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                  • Jon Kennedy
                    Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Diary update and more poetry thoughts Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1295 | JUNE 22 2013 ...
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 22, 2013
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                      Diary update and more poetry thoughts

                      JONAL ENTRY 1295 | JUNE 22 2013
                      But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
                      — from Thessalonians 4, from today's
                      Orthodox lectionary readings
                      Diary: First a few updates about my sojourn and then some thoughts about poetry following onto last week's post. . . .

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                      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                    • Jon Kennedy
                      Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A colorful community event in Belfast s most historic cemetery Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 29, 2013
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                        A colorful community event in Belfast's
                        most historic cemetery

                        JONAL ENTRY 1296 | JUNE 29 2013
                        Jesus . . . asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."
                        — from Matthew 16, from today's
                        Orthodox lectionary readings
                        Diary: On Monday afternoon the Stothers and I drove to County Donegal, over the border in the Republic, for a holiday at a self-catering cottage, my first experience of that type of holiday as they say here instead of vacation. There are some photos from the trip on my Google+page and if I have time or too many other events do not intervene, I hope to write about it here later. But first, I'm backing back up to Monday morning for today's post about a ceremony and celebration that morning at the Shankill Cemetery. My friend pastor Jack Lamb asked me to attend with my press card in my cap to cover it, so (though I don't have a press card with me and the ones I left in California are 30 or more years old) that's what I did. 

                         
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                        Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                      • Jon Kennedy
                        Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A diary update and video clips from our Donegal holiday Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 9 4:25 AM
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                          A diary update and video clips
                          from our Donegal holiday

                          JONAL ENTRY 1298 | JULY 9 2013
                          I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
                          — from the Epistle to the Romans chapter 7, from today's
                          Orthodox lectionary readings
                          See the homelitical thought below.
                          Diary: On Sunday evening I gave my third lecture in a local church, my third since getting here and perhaps the most highly praised one I've ever given, at least outside the college classroom setting. . . .

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                          Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                        • Jon Kennedy
                          Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland What shall it prophet, and parading season in Belfast Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1299 | JULY
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 10 6:30 AM
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                            What shall it prophet, and
                            parading season in Belfast

                            JONAL ENTRY 1299 | JULY 10 2013

                            . . . those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

                            — from the Epistle to the Romans chapter 8, from today's
                            Orthodox lectionary readings
                            See the homelitical thought below.

                            Diary: After posting yesterday's thoughts about how much easier it is for me here in Northern Ireland to get opportunities than in San Jose, a friend replied from San Jose to the effect that I am proving the axiom that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country. I don't doubt the biblical axiom, but her comment gave me second thoughts. . . .

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                            Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                          • Jon Kennedy
                            Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland On my fourth monthaversary Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1300 | JULY 17 2013 ...  
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 17 7:31 AM
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                              On my fourth monthaversary

                              JONAL ENTRY 1300 | JULY 17 2013

                              . . . in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

                              — from the Epistle to the Galatians chapter 3, from today's
                              Orthodox lectionary readings
                              See the homelitical thought below.

                              Another rainy day in Ireland. My not-so-smart phone has been assuring us Wednesday will be rainy after a week and a half with no rain here where it had rained every day (more or less; numerous times, in fact, in many of those days) for my first three months here. So this is the view from the entrance of the cafe this morning. That's a parasol, not an umbrella, shading the baby in the carriage in the crosswalk. I for one am glad the smart phone is not all-wise.

                              Diary: I've now been here for four months and haven't had my visa revoked. . . .

                               
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                              Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                            • Jon Kennedy
                              Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland The land of poets Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1301 | JULY 29 2013 ... Please click here to
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jul 29 5:27 AM
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                                The land of poets

                                JONAL ENTRY 1301 | JULY 29 2013

                                . . . take note of those who create dissensions and difficulties, in opposition to the doctrine which you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded.

                                — from the Epistle to the Romans chapter 16, from today's
                                Orthodox lectionary readings
                                See the homelitical thought below.
                                 
                                Diary: Last week, spent at the John Hewitt International Summer School in Armagh, was yet another confrontation with poetry, its importance in England and Ireland, but especially Ireland. It confirmed that, allowing that some of the best poets who read their work there are English, Ireland is not only the land of saints and scholars, it is the land of poets. . . .

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                                Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                              • Jon Kennedy
                                Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland A new stab at diary keeping Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1302 | AUGUST 8 2013 ... Please click
                                Message 15 of 18 , Aug 8, 2013
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                                  A new stab at diary keeping

                                  JONAL ENTRY 1302 | AUGUST 8 2013

                                  I think that in view of the present distress it is well for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage.

                                  — from Paul's First Epistle to the 
                                  Corinthians chapter 7, from today's
                                  Orthodox lectionary readings
                                  See the homelitical thought below.

                                  Diary: I've been missing reporting on so many details of my life here that I decided yesterday to start a rudimentary real diary (opposed to the entries here that I've been labeling "Diary" but which lack most of the details of my days). . . . 

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                                  Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                                • Jon Kennedy
                                  Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Life is a riot Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1303 | AUGUST 10 2013 ... Please click here to
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Aug 10, 2013
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                                    Life is a riot
                                    JONAL ENTRY 1303 | AUGUST 10 2013

                                    Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
                                    — from Paul's Epistle to the 
                                    Romans chapter 12, from today's
                                    Orthodox lectionary readings
                                    See the homiletical thought below.
                                    Diary: Updates from the past three days

                                    Thursday, August 8

                                    No tea time this morning, so I went to Cafe Wah to do a blog entry, which became the day's main accomplishment. . . .

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                                    Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                                  • Jon Kennedy
                                    Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Highlights of last week Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 1304 | AUGUST 19 2013 ... Please click
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Aug 19, 2013
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                                      Highlights of last week
                                      JONAL ENTRY 1304 | AUGUST 19 2013

                                      "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!"

                                      — from the Gospel of
                                      Matthew chapter 18, from today's
                                      Orthodox lectionary readings
                                      See the homiletical thought below.

                                      Diary: A recap of most of last week

                                      This time I'll recap much of a typical week's routine, but will try to avoid being so repetitive and giving so much detail of the minutiae in future diary posts.
                                       

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                                      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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                                    • Jon Kennedy
                                      Jon Kennedy s Postcards from his sojourn in Northern Ireland Cookstown, because it s there Jon Kennedy   JONAL ENTRY 13066 | SEPTEMBER 5 2013 ...  
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Sep 5, 2013
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                                        Cookstown, because it's there
                                        JONAL ENTRY 13066 | SEPTEMBER 5 2013

                                        . . . We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of truth we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

                                        — from Paul's Second Epistle to the
                                        Church in Corinth, chapter 4, from today's
                                        Orthodox lectionary readings
                                        See the homiletical thought below.

                                        Diary: An even less real castle, in the woods

                                        September 4  Wednesday, writing on a bus from Europa Bus Center to Dungannon, en route to Cookstown. Cookstown is one of the largest towns in Ulster that I have not visited, so that is why that's where I'm bound today.

                                        Marda and Ward are expecting visitors from the United States today, to be in Ireland till Monday. Marda will take them north tomorrow for some touring; since there are four of them that's a car full so Ward will stay home, in the aegis of Derek.

                                        Today is mostly sunny; thus far, September has been better than August was.

                                        Now writing from Dungannon, while waiting for the bus to Cookstown.

                                        John Grant, "the Kiwi," blew back into Belfast last week and stayed with us most of the time. He has spent a year bicycling all over Ireland and, at 62, he has the physique of a 30-year old. I spent Monday afternoon with him; he's a great friend of all. He left yesterday with a friend from near Sligo, and will fly out of Dublin back to New Zealand on Sunday, so we don't expect to see him again on this trip and of course when a trip is that long, we wonder if he'll ever make it this way again.

                                        We got to talking about snakes, and he informed me that like Ireland, New Zealand has no snakes, in contrast to its bigger neighbor, Australia, which has many species, including some of the world's most venomous. I never had interest in visiting New Zealand, but now I'm more interested.

                                        Cookstown is spread out, boasts the widest and longest main boulevard in Ireland, and I walked most of the length of it and on out into the countryside to walk the footpath to the "Cabin Wood," a trail reminiscent of the Ghost Town Trail outside my home town of Nanty Glo, PA, toward Twin Rocks, with a small river on the left. I saw no cabin along the path, but there was a castle on the hill across the river from the path, though getting to a place where it could be photographed took some doing.


                                        Above is a picture of the main street (the name of which is several different things along its length, none of them "Main Street"). And below is the best photo I got of the castle: It does not have an ancient history as a castle-fort, as "authentic" or "historic" castles do, being only about two centuries old and still lived-in by a family who acquired it in the early 20th century for £100.


                                        I waited to get to Cookstown before having lunch, and that was a good move, as I found a "carvery-pub" that had three-course lunches for £5. Here's what I had: meat, potatoes, and assorted vegetables, all tasty and of good quality; classical Irish fare but seldom found (at least on my budget) in Belfast.


                                        The most interesting buildings in town were three churches along the main boulevard: The Methodist Church, below left, which looks historic but is described in an account of Cookstown only as "Romanesque" in its architectural style. Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church, Holy Trinity, below right, is of 19th-century construction.


                                        And so is St. Lurgan's Church of Ireland, below.


                                        § I have now uploaded over 1,000 photos, mostly from my current visit to Northern Ireland, but also including several hundred photos from my summer in Pennsylvania (2012), and some photos of the family, on my Flickr site. Though not individually labeled, most of these are now organized by sets. If you're interested, click here for the Flicker site.
                                        For more and more spontaneous posts, follow me onand. Google+ is much easier to understand, so most of the pictures I post are posted there.

                                        Feedback: You can comment on today's topic on the page linked here:


                                        Feedback is always welcome.

                                        Homiletical thought: Paul reminds the Corinthians, and us, of some of God's expectations for the behavior of His people.
                                        §     §     §

                                        Please pray for my mission to Northern Ireland. You can read my overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.
                                         
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                                        Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence
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