Friday, June 22, 2018

LIGHT ART





Hi There !

So, Sunday there I was in church.

Nothing particularly special

about that?

But there was.

I had a revelation -

right there in church -

a for real revelation.

To be honest about it,

I drifted a bit

during the sermon.

No, I wasn't preaching!!

Drift I did, though.

That's when it happened.

The stained glass windows,

those narrow,

kaleidoscopic

floor to ceiling panels,

got a hold of me,

drew me in.

Windows of wonder.

All sorts and sizes

of colored bits

happy to be together

and showing so.

     The sun

over spreading them,

    lover-like,

a gentle intensity

artfully caressing,

      arousing 

 a radiant response,

   penetrating to

fusion and perfusion,

  birthing brilliant

    LIGHT ART.

A tone poem in color -

silent sight speaking

mystery and majesty.

            Awe.

I almost missed the collection.




Musing and meditating

      on Sunday's

     LIGHT ART

   and its revelation,

    I delight to be the

   unique bit of color

        that  I am,

    to be in company

 with such a plenitude

    of varied others,

each of us singular in

coloration, tone and hue,

 all of us yielding to

     LIGHT LOVE,

             to

           God

    intensifying us to

    shared  brilliance.



Think I'll call

the Pope,

Xi-Jinping,

Emmanuel Macron,

Franklin Graham,

The Saudi Crown Prince,

Donald Trump,

and my barber, Harry,

and tell them all about

      LIGHT ART.

Sure hope they'll pick up on it.

It's a Revelation that can make

all the difference in the world.





That goes for us, too.

So, how about we all take some

time, quiet, reflection, and prayer

this coming week for our own

           LIGHT ART.

Prompts and helps follow in our

        Meditation Markers.

 



We are blessed with new participation

                    here at

            "frankly speaking"

                from Algeria.

                 Welcome !



      "God bless us, every one!"

         Holding each and all

         In God's Dear Love,

               John Frank

                   *****




  MEDITATION MARKERS


Please draw from the plenitude

             of insights

            "sights into"

            little "peeks"

                 into

     the mystery and majesty

                  of

    God

        Light

             Creativity

                     Selfhood

                                 Art

                                   that follow.

See what they say,

hopefully sing,

to your soul.

Let's muse and meditate,

 ponder and pray

our way through

the next week,

daily drawing

from what is offered here.

          *****

                 


The ancient Greeks counseled

  "To thine own self be true."

              Am I?

    Have I embraced my

           True Self?

       Do I delight to be

      the unique me that 

              I am,

           this body,

           this spirit,

           this personality,

           this temperament,

           these talents,

           this dear, precious

             "bit  of color"

               created for

             the brilliance

                   of

           LIGHT ART

                ???

              *****



      How about

  "Just be yourself

and forget all the stuff

you read in 'GQ' magazine"

                     (Chris Pratt)

  or Vogue, or online,or...

               ???

             *****


Do I try to tailor

my clothes, manner,

activities, body, spirit,

life values and style 

  -   my very self  -

    in some sort of

      "make over"

to please, to play up,

      to position

          ???

       *****

The mystic scholar,

John Duns Scotus

shared that each

individual being is a

      unique,

    deliberate

     creation

        of

       God

delighting in us.

   Can I join

God's delight in me?

Yes, there are

flaws and faults in me.

Some I inherited from

my earth community

in its slippage

at times

into chaos.

Some from my own slippage

into unrealness.

Yet, they are not my essence,

        they are not the

beautiful,

           unique

                  colored bit

                           of potential

                that

       LOVE LIGHT

wants to shine through

       unto brilliance.

             *****

Allowing for the shading of

     time and occurrence,

what is God's favorite way

  of shinning through me?

What ray of the Divine Intensity

    radiates right through me?

               *****


There are so many other

     bits of color

in the composition of life,

      each unique in 

coloration, tone and hue  -

     in orientation to

understandings, gender,

spirituality, politics, life styles.

      Am I free enough

       to be delighted

      by the plenitude

     and blend right in.

              ???

            *****


Using a different metaphor,

the Sufi Mystic, Hafiz shares:

"I am the hole on the flute

that God's breath flows through."

                *****

A variation on our theme

comes from the Sufi Mystic,

                Rumi

"Everyone has been made

for some particular work,

and the desire for that work

has been put in in every heart."

                 *****

"That which God said

  to the rose

  and caused it to laugh

  in full-blown beauty,

  He said to my heart and

  made it a hundred times

  more beautiful."

                            Rumi

                *****

"Forget not that the earth delights

  to feel your bare feet and

  the wind longs to play with your hair."

                               Gibran

                  *****

"Art enables us to find ourselves

and lose ourselves at the same time."

                               Thomas Merton

                    *****

"Creativity takes courage."

                                Matisse

                     *****

"Every child is born an artist.

The problem is how

to remain an artist

once we grow up."

                                 Picasso

                      *****

"Creativity is contagious.

 Pass it on."

                                Einstein

                       *****

"Be yourself: everyone else

 is already taken."

                                Oscar Wilde

                        *****

"Your time is limited.

 Don't waste it

 living someone else's life."

                                 Steve Jobs

                          *****

"Find out who you are

 and do it on purpose."

                                 Dolly Parton

                            *****

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself

 and not a second-rate version

 of someone else."

                                  Judy Garland

                             *****

"Own who you are."

                                  Anonymous

                             *****

"We are ourselves creations.

We are meant to continue creativity

by being creative ourselves.

This is the God-force

extending itself through us."

                                   Julia Cameron

                             *****

"So God created humankind in his image..."

                                    Genesis 1; 27

               - Have I noticed?

               - God has designs on me, his!!

               - How about that??

                              *****

"The soul has been given its own ears

 to hear things the mind does not understand."

                                      Rumi

                               *****

"What matters is how quickly you do

  what your soul directs."

                                       Rumi

                                 *****

"If a man is to be alive,

 he must be all alive,

 body, soul, mind, heart, spirit."

                                      Thomas Merton

                                  *****

"God will use you to accomplish great things

 on the condition that you believe much more

 in his love than in your weakness."

                                      Mother Theresa

                                 *****

" Our own life has to be our message."

                                      Thich Nhat Hahn

                                  *****

"With passion pray.

With passion make love.

With passion eat and drink

and dance and play.

Why look like a dead fish

in the ocean of God?"

                                      Rumi

                                  *****

"You and your purpose in life

  are the same thing.

  Your purpose is to be you."

                                     George Alexion

                                    *****

From the Quakers:


"BE THE LIFE THAT WANTS TO LIVE IN YOU."




***********************************************************************************


Welcome to those new to

   "frankly speaking."


- It is posted online each Friday

  and can be accessed at

      johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

  and can be bookmarked for easy access.


- It is delivered weekly and automatically

   by email each Saturday.

   Sign Up is at the top right

   of the online version.


- Past Postings are available from

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                   Thank You !

  

                               

                                 







 































Friday, June 15, 2018

COUNT




               This time last week

               it seemed this posting

               would be delayed a day.

               Happily, here we go

               right on time!





Hi There !

So, come on.

Let's count 'em up,

because they sure do

         COUNT.

Let's count up all those

       "nobodies"

of this world who have made

all the difference in the world

to us in our spiritual lives.

Honestly, right here, right now,

                 let's

             COUNT

 our for real "patron" saints,

the whole ones, the holy ones,

who have been our spiritual patrons,

our spiritual benefactors,

those who have endowed us so richly

by their lived example and sharing.



As a prompt, please permit me to share

a few examples from my own long  

                   COUNT

of  my patron saints and benefactors.





  NOTES ON NOTABLE "NOBODIES"

               WHO REALLY

                     COUNT


      
 My Mother

-She didn't talk it, she walked it.

- She was the real deal,

  really and truly

  rooted, centered in

"The Love Who Is God."

- So centered, she was energized

  to raise eight children and

  one husband.

- Steadiness, generosity, hard, hard work.

- The good of all others always first and foremost.

 - Encouragement, high ideals

   blended with workable practicality.

 - A warm, nurturing way.

 - Found beauty everywhere.

 - Knew how to laugh.

 - Knew how to cry.

- A right at home mystic.



        Brother Marius

- The care taker and handyman

   at the seminary.

- So singularly, totally in full focus on God.

- A mystic on a lawn mower.



        Father Anthony Vivona

- A quiet, not much noticed priest.

- Had the courage to be

  who and how he really was.

- Introduced me to

  the contemplative, mystical life by

  his passionate love affair with God.

                        FYI

         The weekly greeting here at

               "frankly speaking"

                          of

                   "Hi There !"

           comes from Father Vivona.

       That's how he always greeted me.

 



         Rita "Ma" Willett


- Rough, tough widow.

- Raised thirteen children

  in extreme poverty and

  with a determination

  of steely faith.

- She wasn't pretty or poetic,

  but she sure was beautiful.



     Father James McMillan


- The greatest thinker and scholar

               I ever met.

- Taught in an obscure setting.

- Introduced me to the intellectual life,

               one with soul,

      one open to unendingness.


               "Craenie"


- Strong, vigorous farm woman.

- Robust of spirit.

- Generous to a fullness.

- Could laugh at a bug walking backward,

  and most of all at herself.

- Free and freeing soul.

- Contagious zest for life,

  life received, life given.



OK, time out.

Let's list the

"nobodies"

of this world

who have made

all the difference

in the world to you

as you have come alive spiritually.





       
                  LIST OF

      NOTABLE "NOBODIES"

              WHO REALLY

                  COUNT


Let's think and pray, then name the top six,

 and reconvene in ten

-___________________________________

-___________________________________

-___________________________________

-___________________________________

-___________________________________

-___________________________________



                 

           Ten Later




Pretty counter intuitive, right?

And there's the paradox.

         Those named

so different and delightfully so

           than the

       "Big Names,

              the

      "Somebodies"

of commerce, politics,

entertainment, the academe.

         Try this on.

When we come to die,

          who will

          COUNT

            for us?

Bill Gates or our own Father Vivona?



Well, before we get there,

we have a lot of living to do

right here, right now.

So, over the next week let's focus

on those dear ones who are

our spiritual patrons saints

                 and

           benefactors.

Let's let them be present to us anew.

It will  renew and refresh us.

It will redirect and reconstitute our spirits

out here on the street of every day living.

Like most of them, we don't

             COUNT

        in the public eye.

          Thank God !

One less illusion and distraction.

Happily, though, we are invited

        to what really does

             COUNT

in the long ( forever ) run -

free, full, open, joyous,

rambunctious, expansive

         ALIVENESS

     received and given,

    and that without end.

Numbers just can't go that high,

            but we can.

     We are meant to really

              COUNT.




 As my dear friend, Bill Engisch say,

             "Love to all."

              John Frank


             **********



For those new to our sharing:


-"frankly speaking" is posted every Friday

                          online at

         johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

and can easily be bookmarked for ready access.


- "frankly speaking" is also available

    by automatic email delivery

    every Saturday.

    Please see the top right of the

    online version for sign up.


 - Past posting are available at Blog Archive.

   It is located at the bottom right

   of the online version.


                WELCOME!!!


 **********************************

       

      













      








 



 




 
















Friday, June 8, 2018

CHALLENGE




         PLEASE NOTE


           The Friday,

           June 15th.

             issue of

       "frankly speaking"

      will be posted online

  Saturday Evening

                          June 16th.

   It will be available by email

   Sunday Evening

                          June 17th.


             Thank You!
 
               *****






Hi There !

So, when was the last time

you heard a really good sermon

about being  prophetic,

about giving unflinching

   CHALLENGE
         
to a significant wrong?

For that matter,

when was the last time

you caught yourself

just itching for

such a sermon anyway?

For most of us

it's at least a  -12

on a scale of 1-10.
.
Truth to tell,

and that's what prophets do,

who the heck wants it,

the bald, bold, unwashed,

(as in not watered down),

              truth
                ?

We're rather adept at

dancing around sheer truth.

In (not so) good part,

we prefer to play/pretend truth

down to a shadow of itself.

For all our protestations

to the contrary,

we're not all that fond of truth.

Just check out what we get and take

from advertisers and politicians,

and how we handle a personal critique

pointing out an uncomfortable truth

about ourselves.

When I get caught out like that,

say about my sermon

being way too long,

I usually play "nice, nice"

on the outside about the

      CHALLENGE

but you shouldn't hear

what I say inside!!

It sure isn't "nice, nice."




I/We shouldn't really get

all hot and bothered

about those kinds of

   a low intensity

   CHALLENGES.

Turned around the other way,

              though,

 we sure as heaven should get

hot and bothered enough to

      CHALLENGE

when there is evil loose among us.

A good example of a bad

                    that needs a vigorous

      CHALLENGE

         right now

is the horrific practice

                        in our country of

separating immigrant children

      from their parents.

Yet, how many of us

and our political leaders

are hot and bothered enough

to be giving a vigorous

     CHALLENGE

    to such a blatant

             and

      devastating

             sin
               ?

That sin should make us forget

being bothered over the likes of

     "Nice try, but your sermon

       went about fifty miles too far,"

                      or

    " Haven't seen you in months

       and where ever did you pick up

        all the new fullness?"

Way more, though,

it should make us

so  hot and bothered that

we make a lot of noise,

         take a stand,

until the truth about the evil of

separating children

                  from their parents

     is faced and corrected.

It is a hideous, violent practice.

         According to

The Department of Health

and Human Services,

10,773 migrant children

 are in government custody this week,

     torn away from their parents.

This travesty comes from

an administration that talks

       "family values,"

                and

          "right to life."

Make that "double talk."

How about the right to family life?

How about upholding

"the God given natural order of things" -

mom, dad and kids together

as a family unit?

The administration claims that

          "it's the law."

           Sometimes

            "the law"

    is wrong and immoral

         and must face

       CHALLENGE.

 Jesus was murdered under

             "the law."

 White people founded this nation

with enslaving black people

built into its foundation and

          "the law."

The killing  of women

attempting to marry outside

their caste or religion is

          "the law"

in sectors of our world right

     to this sad day.



   "The Law"

is not necessarily,

           nor essentially moral.

Consider laws protecting

       slavery and segregation

  in our country's past.

When law is not moral,

it needs a strong, clear,

non-compromising and

          prophetic

     CHALLENGE.

In terms of our current and

pernicious immigration practice

of severing children

                    from their parents,

I'll bet one of those

           record breaking,

           high profile,

          much touted

       executive orders

    from the White House

could make a saving difference,

could uphold family values and

the right to life as a family,

make adjustments to the practice

of stealing children away

from their parents until

           "the law"

           is righted.

To expel immigrants is one issue.

To violate the natural order

in the process is a devilish other.

         CHALLENGE



Being prophetic, standing up,

and often standing way out

on a limb to do that,

to speak for truth and justice,

is not only a bother, it can be costly.

       As a newly ordained,

I was asked to be right up front,

a white man in a black clerical suit,

     in a civil rights march

in segregated southern Maryland.

        That was  in 1968.

Martin Luther King

                  and Bobby Kennedy

had recently been shot to death.

       Civil rights workers

were beaten and even killed.

It was an angry, violent time.

We got a death threat just before

 we left church that morning for the march.

      I was a clear, easy target.

I feared I might be shot by evening.

   Leading that march was a

        CHALLENGE

    I didn't want to give,

        but I had to give.



Years later I was working

in the Chancery.

The bishop and I

were in daily contact.

We were quite friendly.

He was also my superior.

He buckled under pressure

and countermanded my decision

to hire a properly laicized,

highly recommended priest

with a doctorate in theology.

That man had a family to support.

The bishop denied him

the chance to do that in his field.

     I had no choice but to

         CHALLENGE

           the bishop.

     It strained a friendship

         and threatened

       my clerical climb

        ( shame on me!).



A caution.

In a run up to the crucifixion of Jesus

          the soldiers involved,

          the one's torturing

     and preparing to execute him

            did so under

             "the law,"

    They taunted him:

      "Prophesy to us.

          Who is it that struck you?"

                       (Matthew 26: 68)

      Jesus kept silent.

Sometimes saying nothing,

not playing into a contrivance,

withholding a recommendation,

and other forms of silence

are the appropriate 

       CHALLENGE.



There are other times,

        though,

  when to be real,

we "real"-ly must be

        prophetic

             and

    CHALLENGE

    loud and clear

              by

 "...speaking the truth in love."

                     (Ephesians 4:15)

It gets up front, personal

      and practical for

spouses, partners, children,

parents, business associates,

pastors and congregants,

police and military, politicians,

advertisers, merchants,

coaches and teachers,

citizens and neighbors.

All of us do well

to heed the wisdom and

        CHALLENGE

            of Jesus

               that

"The truth will make you free."

           ( John 8:32 )




That does not mean we are free

to mount our own, personal Inquisition

every time something is wacky or annoying

      It does mean we need

to accept a prophetic word or action of

            CHALLENGE

            addressed to us

                   and

  to give such when truly necessary

              to others.

Either and both can be difficult.

Either and both are fundamental

to our spiritual life and health out here

on the street of everyday living.



By the way, I recently visited

a wonderful United Methodist Church

                 and heard

         "... a really good sermon

         about being prophetic,

         about giving unflinching

                CHALLENGE

                  to a wrong."

It in part was the prompt for this blog.

The pastor gave a principled, balanced,

scriptural reminder that we need

to take a stand for the truth -

              Jesus is

            " the way,

           THE TRUTH,

            and the life."

         (  John 14:16 ) -

even if that stand for the truth

costs us money, friends, position.

That sermon was refreshing and itself a

           CHALLENGE,

one we too rarely hear in church,

but one essential to our spiritual lives.



By writing all this  I run the risk

of loosing friends and followers of this blog.

Well, that is a risk this

                  not so brave me just has to take.

          Every once in a while,

               we all need to

             CHALLENGE

                 and to be

            CHALLENGED.

It's not an every day, all the time matter.

Nor is it a matter of being

                       prickly and judgemental.

It's a matter of  taking a stand

                              so others can stand.





Teresa of Avila fleshes out

taking a stand for others,

standing in in the Truth of Jesus.


     "Christ has no body now, but yours.

      No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. 

      Yours are the eyes through which

      Christ looks compassion into the world

      Yours are the feet

      with which Christ walks to do good.

      Yours are the hands

      with which Christ blesses the world."



Spirituality for the street

in one way or many means

"We are all just walking each other home."

                                                    Ram Dass




Thanks for considering all this today.

"The truth will make you free."

That's the promise and the

          CHALLENGE.

       Holding each and all

      In God's Dear Love,

            John Frank



************************************************************************************



Each Friday

(except next Friday )

"frankly speaking"

is posted online at

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

and can be bookmarked for easy access.



Each Saturday

(except next Saturday)

"frankly speaking"

is available by email.

For automatic, weekly delivery

please see the email sigh up

at the top right of the online version.


Past postings are available at

Blog Archive,

which is located at

the bottom right of the online version.


********************************************************************************













              





























Friday, June 1, 2018

DIFFERENTLY TOGETHER





Hi There !

So, Kyle came over for dinner

the other night.

Guaranteed, you'd really like him.

He's seventeen, big and strong.

That goes for his soul, mind,

and ever ready smile as well.



As Kyle moved into

his second generous portion of

"Hammered Chicken,"

(a family favorite)

flavored orzo, avocado

and lettuce salad,

home made bread, asparagus,

 (and while keeping

an eager eye on

the chocolate cake waiting

over on the server),

we got to talking about school.

Kyle shared how grateful he is

that he has been home schooled.

Among other things,

it has allowed him

to hold to Creationism,

and not be forced to accept

other understandings.

Now, it so happens that

I understand and speak

about creation

quite differently than Kyle.

I chose not to speak

those differences at the table.

That wasn't to play it safe,

nor be polite.

It was to widen our sharing

rather than shut it down.




Neither Kyle nor I were around

at the get go of creation.

We both believe that God

is the creative power.

Just how God did it,

or in my view is still doing it,

is way bigger than

any human explanation,

or doctrinal encasement.

Like everyone else,

Kyle and I draw from

the multiple and varied

takes of 

astrophysicists,

geologist, religious texts,

philosophers, theologians,

biologists and

my barber, Harry.

None were primary

to the occurrence.

So, rather than play God,

arguing human articulations,

Kyle and I had a good time

talking about the gifts

and wonders of  God's creation,

( including that

delicious chocolate cake ).

Glad we did that.

That approach

       faces differences

           and looks to fields

              of sharing and support.





Right now our societal setting

is stuck in aggressive defense/offense

of difference, and that to the peril of

sharing and support,

if not our continuance.

It's down right dangerous and lethal.

Things have not only "gone ballistic,"

they threaten to go nuclear,

metaphorically and actually.

It's pervasive:

politics, religion, morals,

economics, governance, and racial,

ethnic to international relations.

It's a cultural war.

( See Ross Douthat's  Op Ed piece,

 NYT, May26,2018

for one view of this war).




In this belligerent, toxic atmosphere

we try to live out our spiritual lives.

And this belligerent, toxic atmosphere

is right where we can

freshen and free up things

for our choking, warring

constricted society.

It comes down to what

Kyle  and I experienced:

    face differences

          and look to fields

             of sharing and support.

"Live and let live "is good,

 but it is not good enough.

We need to

"Live and help live."



Let's frame it this way.

We all share existence.

How we interpret,

explain and live it varies.

Those variables are not

of the essence of existence.

Dealing with, allowing for

difference is imperative.

It's "Live and let live,"

perhaps better put as

"Live and let live to keep living."

If, however, we stay

on the surface of things,

our differences will destroy us.

If we go deep,

think and act from

the Center of

our shared existence,

we can deal with difference

and sprint together

to fields of unitive engagement.

That's spirituality

for the street in our right now -

all manner of differing people

gathered, facing their differences

and focused

beyond those differences -

shoulder to shoulder,

busy doing good things together

and thus truly "being" together.

          " To direct the mind towards

             the basic unity of all things

             and to divert it from

             the seizing of difference -

             therein lies bliss."

                       Tejo-Bindu Upanishad





This comes about in all

 manner and modes

 of teaming up

 to share and support:

   - working together to get

     a group of inner city kids

     to summer camp

   - forming  a local writers'

     and artists' colloquium

   -  campaigning together for

      the political party

      of your shared persuasion

    - organizing a community garden

      that grows enough extra

      to feed local needy

    - developing a support group

       for single parents -

       spotting each other

       for child care,

       providing social settings

       and activities

       for single parents

       and their and kids

    - mounting a week long,

     inter-religious,

     conservative/liberal

     work team repairing homes

     in Appalachia

     ( if you do, please

      let me know

      and I in turn will alert

     Fox and  CNN !! )

    - enjoy regular Food Fests,

      serving and savoring

      each other's different ethnic

      and regional foods

    - putting  together

      a mentoring team

      for at risk teens

   - visiting each other's

      religious services.

   -  fielding a sports league

       with Jews, Moslems,

       alt-left and righters,

       Hindus, Christians,

       agnostics, atheists,

       and anybody passing by,

       on every team and  then

       name the league

       "Differently Together" -

         (be sure to serve

          veggie dogs and

          beanburger along

          with the hot dogs

          and hambergers)

       - hiking, going to concerts

         and museums together

        - hosting Insight Evenings

          where people explain

          their traditions

          and  rituals in an open,

          informative,

          non-persuasive way

       - sharing an away, silent,

         spiritual retreat

       - frequently holding

         each other's babies



Working together,

walking together,

brings together.

God is One,

and we are invited

to be counted in!!

Glad we are together here.

In God's Dear Love,

    John Frank



If you have the time and interest,

please consider the

Addendum that follows.


             *****


This week we had our first ever

participation from Ecuador.

Good to welcome you and

be welcomed by you.




- "frankly speaking is

posted every week on Friday and

is delivered by email on Saturdays.


- Online it is available at

    johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

and can be bookmarked for easy access.


Sign up for automatic,

weekly email delivery

is at the top right of the online version.


Past postings are available from the

Blog Archive at the bottom right

of the online version.


Thanks to all who have shared

"frankly speaking" with family and friends.


******************************************************************************



    ADDENDUM




Honesty and Humility




We really need to be

honest and humble,

not claiming absolute,

divine or scientific certainty

and completeness

for our limited, human attempts

to explain things way bigger

than we are so far.

Biblical and scientific matters

are a clear example of that today.

Humans are indeed inspired to reveal.

We catch on to a goodness

and express it our way.

Our way is limited.

Einstein regularly reminded us

that there  is a vastness and mystery

way beyond where we are or can go.

We certainly can be on to

deep insight and critical truths,

but we cannot know

or express them fully.



Consider the biblical writers

of Genesis.

They conveyed a central truth -

God's creative love and action.

That more than qualifies

as a divine revelation,

a revelation "about,"

but not exhaustive

of God's creation.

It is described,

is toned, colored and limited

by what the writers

had available to them

in their time and culture.

Their metaphorical description of

 God's Six DayWork Week,

and a good rest on the seventh day,

put it well for

the working people

of their time.

It is also a variation

on a number of Creation Myths

current in their region at the time.

Myth does not mean untrue.

It means a truth expressed

in a metaphorical story.

It's important not to confuse

the package for the content.



It works the same way for science.

Read centuries of scientific history.

A scientific theory or fact

is refined or replaced

by a clearer one,

and that repeatedly

by more and more over time.

Remember The Peking Man.

Scientist are dealing with

the mystery of energy.

They tell it the best they can

with the understandings.

the calculations

and articulations

available to them at the time.

With time, those expand and change.



Whether it's biblical or scientific writers,

philosophers, psychologist, theologians -

the whole troop of thinkers and teachers,

I 'd say we are getting pretty good

at understanding and describing a leaf,

a leaf on one branch

of one tree

in the forest of existence.


Honesty and Humility.


Different peoples understand, describe,

and live out the mystery of existence

in different ways.

We need to face those differences

and focus on sharing and supporting

as together we start  to deal with

the second leaf

and endlessly more

in the forest of existence.

                      *****



.





          







.







     





















Friday, May 25, 2018

QUOTE




Hi There !!

From my earliest days I wanted to know.

Why?

    What?

            Who?

               When?

                   Where?

                          How?

My father used to call me

" Mr. District Attorney"

(after a popular radio drama of  the 40's).


In my teens

I started collecting quotes

that helped me deal with

my life questions.

I'd write each one

 on an index card

and kept pondering it

 all during the day.

The quote was

a wisdom reserve

to be mined.

It gave insight into the mystery

and adventure of life,

sight into the depth,

the innerness of things.



Well, I still collect quotes

finding such wisdom

and guidance in them. 

 With your permission,

I'd like to share a few.

some with you.



Each day for the  next week

please feel free

to select a quote

from the collection that follows here.

Consider writing the quote on a card

and having it with you all day.

May it be a wisdom reserve

 to be mined,

and more importantly,

to be "souled."

Consider it,

ponder,

muse and meditate over it.

in the quiet moments of the day,

between activities,

in the shower, while driving,

making a cup of coffee.



As you do, consider

"What does The Spirit say

to my spirit through these words?"



                  QUOTES



"Live the life that wants to live in you."

                                                 Quaker Saying


"Enlightenment is intimacy with all things."

                                                 Jack Kornfield


"To reach Accord, just say, "Not Two !"

                                                    Seng-Ts' An


"We love what we attend."

                                              Mwalimu Imara


"Until the heart becomes an open 'l Let'

 it cannot be free."

                                               Johnny Walsh


"Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty -

 that is all you know on earth,

 and all you need to know."

                                                   John Keats


"As long as you do not live totally in the body,

you do not live totally in the Self."

                                            B. K. S. Iyengar


"How can you follow the course of your life

 if you do not let it flow?"

                                                       Lao-Tzu


"When was the last time you sang?"

                               Question put to the sick

                               by a Native American

                               Medicine Man


"Another name for God is surprise."

                           Brother David Seindl-Rast




"And then the day came

 when the risk to remain

 tight in a bud was

 more painful than the

 risk to bloom."

                                                  Anasis Nin


" For the raindrop, joy is entering the river."

                                                  Ghalib

                                              (Sufi Mystic)


"'Discernment is a process

of letting go of what we are not."

                                        Thomas Keating


'Who sees all things in his own Self

and his own Self in all beings,

loses all fear."

                                     The Isa Upanishad


"To see takes time."

                                       Georgia O'Keefe


"Please remember,

 it is what you are that heals,

 not what you know."

                                                Carl Jung


"A fish cannot drown in water.

 A bird does not fall in air.

 Each creature God made

 must live in its own true nature."

                       Mechthild of Magdenburg


"You are that which you are seeking."

                                     Francis of Assisi





If you have a quote to share, I would love to receive it.

    johnfrankshares@gmail.com


Welcome to new participation from Iran.

We appreciate the privilege of being together.


Thanks to all for your good company.

God loves you and so do I.

You can quote me on that !!

            John Frank



                *****



PS:

    Saw this on a local church signboard:

     "Tweet as you wish to be tweeted."

                         *****



"frankly speaking" is posted online each Friday at

           johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

and can be book marked for easy access.


It is automatically available by email each Saturday.

The sign up is at the top right of the online version.


Past post are available at Blog Archives

at the bottom right of the online version.


                           *****









           











 





















Friday, May 18, 2018

UBUNTU




Hi There !

So, summer is just about

to cross the state line.

Let's party !!

How about a major league,

blow out barbecue on Memorial Day?



Actually, I've already rented

a few lakeside fields

at the county park.

Orders are in for lots and lots of

really serious, awesome

food and drink.

Got a band, softball, horse shoes,

swimming, row boats, lounge chairs,

umbrellas, picnic tables,

all lined up.



We really need to get

kith 'n kin together

for a first class,

major feast,

a Family Feast.

You know, like one of those huge,

midwestern family reunions

they have every five or so years.

Everyone is in,

in from close up and in from far out,

be that geography, religion, politics,

income, and any other distance,

difference, or degree of separation.

Gotta reconnect, renew, refresh

tie in tight those family ties.

It'll take some stretch for sure,

but after all we really are family.

                UBUNTU !!

That's a lot more than the name for an

open source software operating system

from our computer to The Cloud and

to all our internet connected things.


                  UBUNTU !!

It is us connected fundamentally,

foundationally, essentially.

It is our human family's spiritual,

source software operating system.

The folks out in Silicon Valley

actually borrowed the term from

the beautifully connected people

of southern Africa.

How 'bout that?

                  UBUNTU !!

Quite literally and quite really means

                
    " I AM BECAUSE WE ARE !"


Alone, I'm not.

Together we are.

Family.

Blood family.

World Family.

So, please stick with me, stay tuned.

Here's the list so far

of those invited to our

Memorial Day reaffirmation of our


         WORLD FAMILY
            

 -Donald Trump

-Pope Francis

-Queen Elizabeth

-Joe Biden

-Jerry Falwell, Jr

- Mark and Prisilla Chan Zuckenberg

-An undocumented family from Arizona

 ( don't want to name them )

-Steve Bannon

- Bob and Mary Zimmer - he works at the

  U S Steel plant in Lorain, Ohio

- Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -

   he is a key ISIS leader

- Rob Bell 

-"Judy" - she is  twenty two year old

   opioid addict from

   the hills of West Virginia

- Johnny - he is a frightened,

   fifteen year old gay teen

   from a small town in Mississippi,

   very much in the closet

-Sissy - she is a single, black mom

  working at a distillery in Bardstown, Ky

-A New York City couple

  ( they requested not to be named ),

  finance people, 1% -ers

-and of course all of us from

 "frankly speaking" - 

  we come from forty seven

 different nations at this point.



What a family we humans are

at heart, and that's our reference -

the heart of the matter!!


I mean, how cool,

how heart warming

it will be.

Imagine Queen Elizabeth,

a bit had from the wedding,

and Donald Trump,

freed from twittering

for the day,

munching away on

Grade A Angus burgers

( no McDonalds allowed )

and swapping tales

about the grandkids.



What bonding as young Johnny and Judy,

go row boating,

sharing their terrors,

being accepted and affirmed,

supported in their quests for freedom.

                 
                  UBUNTU !!

       "I AM BECAUSE WE ARE !"


                 Family Firm.



Steve Bannon and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

teamed up to play Jerry Falwell and Rob Bell

in a vigorous game of horse shoes

and finding out they all four

like sports and actually enjoy

 each others' company.

Joe Biden couching both teams.



Alone is unnatural.

Together is human nature.



Pope Francis circulating

from group to group,

good father that he is,

and having the wealthy family

from NYC and the

undocumented family

from Arizona, as well as

Sissy from Kentucky,

join at his picnic table

for some great barbecue.


            UBUNTU !!

 Alone is lethal.

Together is dynamic.



The Zuckenbergers walking around

"Liking" everyone,

and folks happy to "Like" them.



Yes, our spiritual life is life

"All in the Family,"

in the very best sense of the term.

"We are because WE ARE."




See you on the 31st.

Together we'll serve up and savor

generous portions of family,

a  Feast of Family,

our human family.


            UBUNTU !!


Thank all of you for dealing me in.

             Gratefully

     "I am because we are."

           John Frank

*****************************************************************************

If you wish, please enjoy the

Meditation Markers that follow

as you pray over

               UBUNTU !!


" I AM BECAUSE WE ARE."

and what that means for your

spiritual life out here

on the street of every day living.

                    *****



"frankly speaking"

     - is posted toward the end of the week.

      - online access:

        johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

        and can be book marked

        for easy reach

      - automatic email available -

        sign up top right of the online version.

      - past posts available from

        Blog Archive,

        bottom right of online version.

***********************************************************************************



               MEDITATION MARKERS





The Buddhists have

a powerful way of expressing

         
          UBUNTU !!


May every creature abound
in well being and peace.

May every living being,
weak or strong,
the long and the small,
the short and the medium-sized,
the mean and the great.

May every living being,
seen or unseen,
those dwelling far off,
those living near by,
those already born,
those waiting to be born,

May all attain inward peace.

Let no one deceive another.
Let no one despise another
in any situation.

Let no one from antipathy
or hatred,
wish evil to anyone at all.

Just as a mother,
with her own life,
protects her only child from hurt,
so within yourself foster
a limitless concern
for every living creature.

Display a heart of boundless love
for all of the world
in all its height and depth
and broad extent.

Love unrestrained,
without hate
or enmity.

Then as you stand
or walk, sit or lie,
until overcome by drowsiness,
devote your mind entirely to this:
It is known as living
the life divine.

(As quoted in the Unitarian
 Universalist Hymnal, #597)


How can the various qualities
named here be lived out
in my real, daily life?
Detail as many as you can, eg.
how can I
 "Display a heart of boundless love..."?


                 ****



"I give you a new commandment,
 that you love one another.
 Just as I have loved you,
 you should love
 one another."
                             Jesus

                         John 13:34

What kind of love does Jesus
 have for us?
 Be specific.

 What does loving others like that
 look like in my world and day,
 my attitudes and actions?
  Be specific.

                   *****



"For as in one body
we have many members,
and not all the members
have the same function,
so we, who are many,
are one body in Christ,
and individually we are
members one of another."

              Romans 12: 4-5


What are some of my "functions"
 in the Body of Christ?
How am I with experiencing
unity in diversity?
Specifically and really.


 "...we ...are one body in Christ."
How do I embody Christ,
individually and
at the same time corporately?
Specifically and really.


              *****


HOW TO RESPECT OTHER RELIGIONS


EDUCATE YOURSELF

BE AMAZED-OR EVEN
CONVERTED- INTO
A BETTER VERSION OF YOURSELF

BE PATIENT-DON"T FORM
OPINIONS TOO SOON

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

KEEP YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR HANDY

ASK QUESTIONS - LISTEN

SAY " I DON'T UNDERSTAND YET"

EXPERIENCE HOW OTHERS WORSHIP

HONOR CONVICTIONS- DON'T TRY
TO REMAKE PEOPLE IN YOUR OWN IMAGE

EAT TOGETHER, PLAY TOGETHER,
AND HOLD EACH OTHER'S BABIES

EMBRACE MYSTERY

DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU

                                                  SALT*
                                                  saltproject .org



"Be a lamp,
 a lifeboat,
 a ladder.
 Help someone's soul heal.
 Walk out of your house
  like a sheperd."
                            Rumi


Please take each metaphor
that Rumi uses.
How can I translate the metaphor
into attitude and action?
 

*************************************************************************************



































Friday, May 11, 2018

ARTIST



Hi There !

So, I'll just bet you're an artist,

and a really good one at that,

but you're simply not telling anyone,

even yourself, right?



OK, OK. I can almost hear

a hurried, definitive

"Oh no!  No way, Not me!"



Well, I'll still bet you're really a gifted artist.

That's because our whole spiritual life is

a work of art, a work of creating and crafting

aliveness and beauty,

the art of the divine

that's not at all out of this world:

:  - deep sharing with our lover

    - advocating for environmental responsibility

    - being a fascinating story teller

    - raising kids

    - allowing ourselves to free fall into

      the ocean of Love we call God

    - looking out for the lonely and lost

    - being a community organizer

    - singing in the choir, car, shower

    - developing a community garden

    - cultivating a contemplative soul manner

    - mentoring

    - going on a spiritual retreat

    - planning a family vacation

    - taking an inner city child with you

      on that vacation

    - supporting social justice concerns

    - corresponding with a prisoner

    - cultivating friendships

    - hosting dinner parties and barbecues

    - doing  regular and substantive spiritual reading

    - sharing a hearty sense of humor

    - resisting media obsessions

    - having quiet Soul Time each day

    - finding or founding a

      Soul Share Community

    - being politically astute and  active

   - keeping a spiritual journal

   - and limitless more ways

     to be an artist,

     creating and crafting

     aliveness and beauty.



Happily, we find ourselves alive in

the dynamic energy field we call God.

We get to create with the Creator.

Each of us doing so

with our unique spirits, hearts,

minds, eyes, hand, ears, touch -

our special life giving art gifts.



Most of all, though,

our art enlivens

by our very being -

our being in Being -

 exuberantly,

 rambunctiously alive.



Donna J. Stone tellingly highlights

the art of being alive:

        The most visible creators I know of are

        those artists whose medium is life itself,

        the ones who express the impossible -

        without brush, hammer, clay or guitar.

        They neither paint nor sculpt -

        their medium is being.

        Whatever  their presence touches

        has increased life.

        They see and don't have to draw.

        They are the artists of being alive.


    (Quoted in The Artists of Being Alive,

     by Nancy Zapolski, PhD ).


                    ****



A suggested practice for reflection

and prayer over the next week:

ask

   - how can I relax more in Being,

     free fall into the ocean of Love that is God?

   - what has to go so that can come?

   - what has to come so that can stay?

    - what realization and practice

       would help on a day to day basis?

let me

     - jot down five ways I can be part

       of creating and crafting

       aliveness and beauty

       where I live,

       how I live.

    - in prayerful reflection recall, re-feel,

      three people whose touch

      increased my aliveness

      and be happy and grateful

      in that  reflection.

     - respond to what

       The Spirit speaks

        to my spirit when I hear

        the words of Jesus:

        "I have come that you

          might have life and

          have it to the full"

             (John 10:10)


                 ****


Please do invite family, friends, colleagues

to check out "frankly speaking"

  -by your word of mouth,

  - your postings

    on Facebook and other media.



"frankly speaking" is posted

 toward the end of the week,

     - It can be bookmarked

        for easy access,

     - It is  available online at

         johnfrankshares.blobspot.com

     - And is also available automatically

       each week by email.

       Please see the sign up,

       top right of the online posting.

      - Past postings are available at the

         Blog Archive,

        bottom right of the online version.

                         Thanks!!



Happily quite a few new people

have recently joined us

in our weekly gathering here.

How good to now have participation

 now from Hong Kong.

Welcome and thank you

for your welcome!


                                 ****


God has given use free run of

His Creation Studio

and invites us in all sorts

of ways to be a

   Life Artist.

    "YES!!!"


Holding each

and all in

God's Dear Love,

 John Frank


********************************************************************************