Wednesday, October 20, 2021

REALLY REAL


Dear All of Us,

Imaging people

driving backwards,

saying white is black,

black is white,

putting their 

right and left shoes

on the opposite foot,

flying from New York 

to Paris by way of 

Los Angeles and Sydney,

putting salt on 

their Cheerios 

and sugar on their

mashed potatoes?

Really pretty crazy, 

right, or is it left?


Given the above, 

and given that 

pot is so popular

and prevalent 

here in DC,

let me assure that

I've had nothing stronger 

than two cups of coffee this

"start - the - blog"

Monday morning.

That's really so and

    "REALLY" 

is the question

of the day and of the

craziness above.


Let's see it and say it.

   We live in  a 

Mad Hatter world,

  one in free fall, 

   one that is 

  maddeningly 

    UNREAL

 It's what the

Book of Revelation

        calls 

      EMPIRE


It's like driving backwards 

on the freeway of shared life,

wrong directed, deadly:

dominance of the privileged,

possession for the few,

poverty for the masses,

a middle class 

materialism-managed 

into compliance, 

governance and commerce

too often operating 

at the moral level

of eighth grade 

playground bullies,

institutional religion 

captive and chaplain 

to Empire.

Unreal, wrong directed.


        Ah, but

       and there is 

   an "ah" and a "but."

   Jesus introduced,  

         invites, 

           not

   "alternate facts"

           nor 

      an alternate 

      faux reality,

         as in 

        Empire

    but blessedly  

"Jesus announced, 

 lived, and inaugurated 

 for history a new social order.

 He called it The Reign of God, 

 The Kingdom of God... 

     REALLY REAL."   

         (1)


This "kin-domain" 

is mentioned over 

eighty times in

The New Testament.

From the get go 

of his ministry, 

Jesus announced it

and detailed it:

"Jesus went  throughout Galilee 

teaching in their synagogues 

and proclaiming the good news 

of the kingdom..."

  Matthew 4:23 


The Sermon On The Mount 

is a wonderful "sampler"

in which Jesus explains living it 

 -  attitudes and actions  -

    Matthew 5:1-7:28

   

         REALLY REAL

       The Reign of God

     The Kingdom of God

         is community, 

      immediate and felt,

    a matter of the heart, 

        of coming alive

        at our center, 

 really accepting and living 

 the life and teaching of Jesus,

     caring and sharing,

  close in and way beyond,

in our communal here and now.


So we look to where we can find 

  God Love Lived Community

        The Reign of God

     The Kingdom of God

         REALLY REAL

If we can't find it, we found it.

           

Let's hear Jesus out,

    let his words

    Spirit Soak

          us

infuse our hearts.

Let's apply them to 

who and how 

we are and can be 

as kingdom people.

    Some specific notetaking,

    practical, personal and 

    community applied, 

    might be a big help here:

 - what do we imagine

   it was like for people 

   to hear these words 

   directly from Jesus,

   living in the midst of 

          Empire,

   The Roman Empire,

   of their day? 

 - what is our initial reaction 

   to them?

 - what's the main point(s)

   that Jesus is sharing here? 

 - what do they mean for me/us

   as we are now?

 - what do they mean for me/us

   going forward - 

   how "be and do" them?

 - how about doing all this 

   with a Soul Friend or 

   with a small group from 

   our spiritual community,

   or those trying to find one?

 

           JESUS

   "These words I speak 

    to you are not 

    incidental additions 

    to your life, 

    homeowner  improvements 

    to your standard of living. 

    They are foundational words,

    words to build a life on."  (2)


   "Are you tired?

    Worn out?

    Burned out 

    on religion?

    Come to me.

    Get away with me

    and you'll recover 

    your life.

    I'll show you how 

    to take a real rest.

    Walk with me and 

    work with me -

    watch how I do it.

      Learn the unforced 

    rhythms of grace.

    I won't lay anything 

    heavy or ill-fitting 

    on you.

    Keep company 

    with me 

    and you'll learn 

    to live freely

    and lightly. (3)


  "In a word, 

   what I'm saying is 

        Grow up.

   You're kingdom subjects.

   Now live like it.

   Live out your 

   God-created identity.

   Live generously 

   and graciously

   toward others,

   the way God 

   lives toward you." (4)


  "Thy Kingdom come

   on earth as it is 

   in heaven" (5)

   and pray that be

right in our neighborhood,

perhaps even a small group

gathering in our home.

        For sure 

      REALLY REAL

      John Frank

        *****


(1) Richard Rohr

      Daily Meditation, 

     November 15, 2020

(2) Matthew 7:24

     The Message

(3) Matthew 11:28-30

     The Message

(4) Matthew 5:48

     The Message

(5) Matthew 6:10

        ******


 An aid to participating in 

 a spiritual community 

 that is actually, practically, 

 given to living together 

   The Reign of God

   The Kingdom of God

   The Really Real 

follows for reflection and prayer 

on our own/with others.

Just scroll down.

           ******


               A

       "REALLY REAL!"

           Welcome

                to

     "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street

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   Wednesday afternoons

   east coast USA time

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         BLOG ARCHIVE

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   past postings

   found right column 

   online posting.

 **************



    PONDER AND PRAY

REALLY REAL COMMUNITY


" The kingdom of heaven

  is like a treasure 

  hidden in a field,

  which a man found 

  and hid again; 

  and from joy over it 

  he goes and sells 

  all he has and 

  buys that field." 

        Jesus

   Matthew 13:44

        It's the

  "REALLY REAL!"

        Deal

 and what a find!!


In today's terms,

what does it mean 

to "buy in" completely,

like the man in 

the example Jesus gives?

What's it cost?


Jesus did not found a religion.

He offered joining together 

to live in The Reign of God.

Those who did so

were originally called

  "Followers of the Way."

Eventually their shared life 

was formalized in 

a structured way.

It became a religion

and took many forms 

as it does today.

Constantine converted

that into Empire,

into the state religion.

The result was not

religion pure and simple.

Richard Rohr summarized 

the coopting of Christianity 

by Empire:

      "It's possible to trace 

      the movement of Christianity  

      from the earliest days until now. 

      In Israel, Jesus and the early "church" 

      offered people an experience; 

      it moved to Greece, 

      and it became a philosophy.

      When it moved to Rome 

      and Constantinople,

      it became an organized religion.

      Then it spread to Europe,

      and it became a culture.

      Finally, it moved to North America

      and became a business...

      Even inside each of these iterations,

      as misguided as they were 

      - and still are today -

      humble, loving, people emerged

      in every one of them.

                  Podcast 

       "Jesus and the Empire"

       "Another Name for Everything"

        session 3, episode 4, March 7, 2020


What do you understand 

the above to mean for 

the structure and experience 

of religion as we have it today?

How much is it 

     Jesus experience,

     philosophy,

     religion,

     culture,

     business?



 "By their fruits 

   you will 

   know them."

       Jesus

  Matthew 7:16


In all honesty, what's the 

spiritual "fruit" produced

by the religious community

to which we belong 

or are considering?

In what ways is it, 

or is it not,

an actual living together of 

The Beatitudes and 

The Sermon On The Mount?

Matthew 5:1 to 7:28

Let' be specific.


   "Let me give you 

     a new commandment:

     Love one another.

     In the same way 

     I have loved you, 

     you love one another.

     This is how people 

     will recognize that 

     you are my disciples -  

     when they see 

     the love you have 

     for each other."

           Jesus

       John 13:34-35


When people stop by 

the religious community 

to which we belong 

or are considering,

how much mutual love,

Jesus-like love,

do they see,

is vibrating, 

all over the place?

What is there to be

"recognized"?

Do we find 

for real disciples?

Let's detail the level 

and likes of the love 

lived there.

What are ten 

perfect examples of it,

or the sad failure of it?


Jesus taught us to pray

 "Thy kingdom come.

  Thy will be done,

  on earth as in heaven."

      Mathew 6:10


Let's detail how our

our spiritual community,

or one we may be considering,

is like The Kingdom of Heaven,

as Jesus lived and taught it,

or not so.

Would we dare claim 

that heaven is like 

this community?

How so?


We face a critical time,

a tipping point, globally.

  - the rise of fascist 

    nationalism

  - sheer, bedrock truth

    perverted, pulverized 

    into contrived,

    self serving sand

    that just can't hold

    up to reality

  - an environment 

    so abused it teeters

    on exhaustion 

    and inability 

    to sustain life

  - the "haves" having most

    and the "have nots"

    not having enough

  - unfaced and unresolved 

    racial and ethnic evil

  - an inability to live diversity

    in unity

How is this 

spiritual community 

out front in addressing 

all this and offering practical

Jesus Solutions, or not?

What are they?


Jesus said:

    "I am the way, 

     the truth 

     and the life."

      John 14:6


How does this community

genuinely live and share 

      that "way"

      that "truth"

      that "life"

of Jesus, or fail to do so?

Examples?


So, what do we do?

As mentioned above 

in this week's posting,

we find or found a community, 

one that, however imperfect,

together embraces and lives 

what Jesus gives -

   "Jesus announced, lived, 

    and inaugurated for history 

    a new social order.

    He called it The Reign of God, 

    The Kingdom of God...

            REALLY REAL" (1 above)


See you in church.

That might be 

across town.

That might just be 

in your living room

or your back yard.

Wherever, may it be

   REALLY REAL

     ******








 

     

   














          


                             

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BROADCAST

 

Dear All of Us,

I'm in recovery.

My addiction lasted

seventy five years -

from age six 

to just this Spring.

It started in 1946

with my first radio.

I was hooked.

I became a

Broadcast News 

     Addict.


Early on it was 

the sonorous tones of 

H.V. Kaltenborn

reporting the news

on NBC Radio.

There was 

Lowell Thomas

on CBS Radio

signing off with 

the likes of

"So long for now 

from Kathmandu."

As a seven year old in

Battle Creek, Michigan,

I'd regularly stop in 

at the two radio stations

downtown as the

news and weather 

were being broadcast.

I was out of my mind crazy 

when once the announcer 

on the other side 

of the glass wall said,

"We have a cute 

little redhead visiting us

here in the studio 

this afternoon."

i didn't wash my right hand 

for ten years after shaking hands 

with the CBS sage, Eric Sevareid.

As a young adult I bumped into 

Walter Cronkite at the A&P

in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard.

I forced myself to refrain from 

asking him to autograph my bag of flour.

On and on right up to 

Judy Woodruff and the

PBS News Hour.

The nightly news was 

 a sacrosanct must.

Things had to fit in around it.

News Specials outflanked

all but Sunday Church.

Broadcast News Addict

        for sure.

Could never get enough.



Enough with "enough."

I recently realized 

( more than a 

slow learner here )

I was getting

too much that was being talked about 

too much that just wasn't all that 

much good, 

much less 

much good news

in the first place.

In others words: 

Too much of not too much!


These days I check

The Washington Post online,

read a few select articles,

but don't give it 

obsessive time 

or attention -

want to be informed 

but not fixated.

Old age has forced me

to realize I need 

to be judicious

about where I invest 

attention and time.


What does claim my 

attention and time

these days is a major flip 

for me of news reporting.

These days I encourage

us all to be

    broadcasters,

announcing news of

a wonderfully fresh 

and hopeful sort.

It's called 

    Evangelion,

    Good News,

    Gospel


What a lift in 

a down time. 

How encouraging 

to hear and see 

so many being the 

medium and message

of the real and positive

as they broadcast 

 The Good News


Mostly they do it 

by their life style,

their living love 

in simple, 

everyday ways.

They are honest, 

hope filled,

generous, caring, 

sharing and creative.

They live the life of Jesus.

They are "networked" as 

     WTL Radio

      Followers 

          of 

     THE WAY

     THE TRUTH

     THE LIFE

In the midst of 

today's deadly 

Evil Empire 

spinning us 

to destruction, 

they stabilize. 

They are beautifully alive 

and enlivening.

They right things 

in the midst of wrong.

They live the 

Love Who Is God,

personally and practically.

Their "live" broadcasts

gives clear channel to

   The Good News 

          of 

        Jesus. 

They do this in 

their own frequencies,

right where they are, 

just as they are.

They are partners and parents,

warehouse workers, neighbors, 

artisans, investors, teachers, 

farmers, bus drivers, retirees,

technicians, shop keepers,

school board members... 

- all living 

          God Love

 really, personally and locally.


Simple example.

The other day I struggled 

to get off the bus 

with my little shopping cart.

It was filled to the brim 

(had a couple bottles

of wine in there)

and was it ever heavy.

Trying to exit I realized that

the gap between the bus 

and the curb was such that 

in no way could

I navigate that stretch.

I was stuck and 

the bus driver was getting antsy.

A black man and a white man

at the bus stop took over.

They reached in, 

took my cart over the gap

with smiles and good cheer.

In a city with 

sadly significant

racial tension, 

that outreach 

and united effort

   sure was

  Good News


Those men and 

so many more

are out here on 

the street of

everyday life.

They are and 

are casting broadly

The Good News Live.

   They are you! 

     Wonderful    

     Thank You!

Your broadcast partner

         John Frank

           ******


A PERSONAL POSTSCRIPT


The above posting was written

a few weeks ago before last week's

     "A Week from Hell"

So glad it was in the queue.


This past week was less hellish -

   "A Week in Purgatory"


Can't wait for 

    "A Week in Paradise"


My family and I thank 

so many of you 

who offered

so much support.

You are dear and

we are grateful.

       ******







 










Wednesday, October 6, 2021

DISLOCATION

Dear All of Us,

It's been "a week from hell."

In the past seven days

my family and I

have dealt with

difficulty, dislocation,

distress and disability

compounding all over 

each otherloss of

home and work

to serious and

long term injury.

Gone are convenience,

comfort, control.

It feels like

the Israelites

living out of a 

suitcase in the 

desert of nowhere.


Like them, 

we and

all dislocated

have two options.


We can face

our instability,

trust Yahweh

to stabilize us

in this distress

and keep on truck'n

across this desert

of dislocation.



Or, we can

take things

into our own hands,

disconnect from

Yahweh,

fashion our own gods

for resolution

and get what

the Israelites got

more mess and misery.



Please pray for us

and all in our 

world family

suffering dislocation:

divorce, abandonment,  

migration, war,

flood, fire, COVID,

betrayal, impoverishment,

depression and painfully

too much more.


As upset and scared

as we are,

we trust and truck.


John Frank

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

FAUX FULL - FULL FILL

Dear All of Us,

This week we start

with rough stuff

and hopefully 

a smooth finish.

Let's see what happens.


Not nice, rough, but

Two Fisted Drinkers

sure are a concern.

Their booze blitz 

blocks better and best.


The same is so with

Two Fisted Getters.

They clutch all 

they can get: 

power, popularity, 

pleasure, property, 

possessions.

Paradoxically they 

end up blocked

by their "gots,"

trapped  and possessed 

by their possessions.

There is no room for 

different, deeper,

better, fuller.


Two Fisted Getters

are like someone clutching 

handfuls of pennies

so tightly that they

decline the hand off 

of an inheritance check 

for ten million dollars.

Penny Poor for sure!


Jesus says it all

oh so much better.


   Together let's 

     Heart Hear

        Him 

    as shared in

  Luke 12:13-34

and contemporized 

     for us in 

  The Message

   translation.

Here Jesus speaks

to warn and ween,

to win over from

   FAUX FILL 

       TO 

   FULL FILL

  He paints a 

 Word Picture

in broad strokes 

with bold-bright colors.

That's how the ancient Jews

stressed importance. 

So slowly we 

Soul-Scan-Sense

   this spoken 

 Reality Canvas.

As we do,

 - what's the deep down

   truth pictured here?

 - how do we deep down

   react to it?

 - how do we deal with these 

   broad strokes, 

   this bold-bright,

   "colorful language" 

    of Jesus?

- are we drawn into

  this "picturing"

  or do we push off

  from it? 

- do we see any of

  our culture,

  value system,

  life style,

  pictured here,

  actual, desired, or both?

- what's our gut reaction

  to the two ways 

  of living,

  of receiving,

  that Jesus sketches -

  getting or being given?

- what do they look like 

  as current and lived 

  in our here and now?

- scanning Jesus here,

  what does it mean 

  to move from 

  preoccupation with

  our "getting" to being

  open in trust and gratitude 

  to God's "giving"?

- what's the cost 

  of the trust level 

  needed to be "given"?


So we go 

slowly and honestly.

No rush-brush.

We pray and ponder 

as we see/hear 

the word picture 

Jesus paints:

  

  "Take care! Protect yourself 

    against the least bit of greed.

    Life is not defined 

    by what you have,

    even when you have a lot." 

              (vs.15)

  

   "Don't fuss about what's 

    on the table at mealtimes 

    or if the cloths in your closet 

    are in fashion. 

    There's a lot more to 

    your inner life than the food 

    you put in your stomach, 

    much more to your 

    outer appearance than 

    the cloths you hang 

    on your body. 

    Look at the ravens, 

    free and unfettered, 

    not tied down to 

    a job description, 

    carefree in the care of God. 

    And you count far more." 

         ( vs 22-24)


  "If God gives such attention 

   to the wildflowers, 

   ..., don't you think 

   he'll attend to you, 

   take pride in you, 

   do his best for you?" 

          (vs 28)


  "What I'm trying to do here 

   is get you to relax, 

   not to be so preoccupied 

   with getting so you can 

   respond to God's giving.

   You're my dearest friends! 

   The Father wants to give you 

   the very kingdom itself." 

           (vs 31-32)


  "Be generous.

   Give to the poor.

   Get yourselves a bank ...

   in heaven...

   a bank you can bank on...

   The place where 

   your treasure is,

   is the place you will 

   most want to be, 

   and end up being."

      (vs 33-34)


Jesus tells us that

The Father wants 

to give us 

The Kingdom.

Are our hands 

empty enough,

is our heart 

trusting enough,

to accept?


There it is!

Lighten up.

Loosen up. 

Let go the grip of our

GETTER CULTURE

Open those tightened 

fists full of pennies with their 

         FAUX FILL.

          Drop it.

       Then God can 

         FULL FILL 

        our hands 

    and every other part 

    and possibility of us

    to endless fullness.


For sure this is Gospel,

    "Good News."

For sure this is also

hard to hear,

hard to take

in a capitalistic 

Get Culture:

  - "Very lovely.

     Totally impractical."

  - "I've got a mortgage

     to manage and kids 

     to get through college."

 - "If you don't get,

    you're got!"

 - "So who/what insures

     my retirement?"

 - "How about what 

    my relatives and 

    neighbors would 

    make of me, 

    do to me?"

 - "Idyllic, but I'm no 

    Flower Child."


Given the above, 

too often too many 

of us settle for 

a wimpy and supposed 

  "spiritualizing" 

of what Jesus says.

"I'll have a 'spirit' of 

simplicity and trust,

but I can't function 

the way Jesus invites -

just not practical or secure."

That sadly sterilizes the life out 

of what Jesus offers.


Real "spirit" is 

front and center, 

dynamic, operative,

functional, actual.

So, how do we avoid 

a sentimentalized and 

fake "spiritualizing"

of what Jesus says?

So how do we live

out all this with 

a whole spirit?


It comes down to,

and raises up to, 

who/what we trust -

market, money, or

The Creative Energy

that makes us 

and makes us go.

If we bank on 

what Jesus offers,

we accept 

God Given Grace

(inner "oomph")

  - to be assured by Jesus

    of God's care and providing, 

    to bank on it

  - to notice all that care 

    and providing at play in 

    our practical, daily living -

    we actually do have food,

    shelter, clothing, the 

    beauties of nature, 

    the arts and sciences, 

    learning, and...

 - to live practically, but simply   

 - to actually refuse greed.

 - to actually relax our spirit -

   and quit fearful getting.

 - to actually let God secure us

   as we go about our daily life

   rather than grab all we can.


So yes we go to work 

and do our banking

and pay our mortgages,

We send our kids to college.

We let God work 

through our work.

We bank on, 

take the "spirit,"

the dynamic of trust 

to our work, bank, 

tuition payments,

neighborhood.

We let God

line things up 

for us/with us,

be our assurance

and surety.

We focus on 

the gifts and largess 

that God showers on us

through the practicalities

of freed, trustful living.

We relax into living

"carefree in the care of God."

We swap out

        FAUX FILL

       and trust God to

        FULL FILL

That puts a smooth finish 

     on everything


     Joining you in 

    Kingdom Trust,

      John Frank

        ******


PS

Left untouched by grace,

I tend to cave to fear and 

worry about security.

More and more 

over the years, though,

I've chosen to trust God

more than not.

At eighty plus 

I have been "given" 

a wonderful wife, children,

and now grandchild,

health, sufficient 

retirement funding,

a marvelous life in

education and ministry.

Wimpy and weak as I am,

I more and more do "relax",

trusting in God's care,

being "preoccupied"

with God's "giving"

and am I ever so grateful.

In sharing this here

I don't give a red hot anything 

but offering a weak man's 

witness to God's care and

          GIVING.

          ******

        WELCOME ALL

          A special 

             "Hi 5" 

  to all of us from the USA

          ******

    "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street

      ONLINE FORMAT

posted Wednesday afternoons

east coast USA time

johnfrankshares.blogspor.com

please consider bookmarking

       EMAIL FORMAT

delivered Fridays

sign up top right online format

       BLOG ARCHIVE

provides access to all past postings

right column online format

            ******

Hey, lucky us!

God Trust

God Given

frees from 

    FAUX FILL

        for

    FULL FILL


How about that scripture

Luke 12:34 (The Message)

"The place where your 

        treasure is,

       is the place...

  you will end up being." 

    We get to choose 

      the address 

         of our 

        forever.

     What a deal!!

         ******

 See you next week!

         ******





        

     

















    






   





God gives us openness

mind, heart, soul -

limitless

God offers invites

a filing to endless fullness.


Gotta trust and open







Wednesday, September 22, 2021

WELL CONNCTED

Dear All of Us,

       Being

WELL CONNECTED

socially and 

professionally

makes a difference

- a big difference.

It opens doors,

ups the voltage,

deals a full house,

makes the cash register jingle,

rolls out the red carpet.

It's the way the world works.



In a wonderfully, refreshingly

         different way, 

  a pure and intimate way,

               being

       WELL CONNECTED 

is just the the way Jesus works:

   "Live in me.

    Make your home in me

    just as i do in you.

    In the same way  

    that a branch 

    can't bear grapes by itself 

    but only by being joined 

    to the vine, 

    you can't bear fruit 

    unless you are joined with me.

    I am the Vine,

    you are the branches.

    When you're joined with me 

    and I with you, 

    the relationship 

    intimate and organic, 

    the harvest is sure 

    to be abundant."(1)

            Jesus


           WOW!!


Jesus invites us 

into a dynamic 

Divine Connection.

Our spiritual life 

is our response.

Our response 

is acceptance.


Most basically 

our spiritual life 

is not a getting,

is not a doing.

It is accepting 

life connected to

   The Source 

    The Vine

       and 

letting it fruitfully 

  flower forth.


To clear for that,

it is telling 

our false self,

our phony self,

our fear fueled self,

our arrogant self,

our control determined self,

our independent driven self,

our disconnected self,

to go to hell in a hurry

and that we're not in any way 

going along for the ride!!


So freed, 

we take Jesus up 

on his offer,

on his invitation.

We accept connection

unto union and fruitfulness.


We really do 

move in with Jesus.

We not only 

live with him,

we live "in" him.

We are right at home 

in him as he is 

right at home "in" us.

It is naked intimacy,

each plunged into

the other unto 

   Oneness.


Jesus is the vine 

that branches out as us.

It's "intimate and organic" 

and the harvest is 

ever so "abundant."

Jesus is 

the Source, 

the Aliveness,

the Energy,

that flows through us

unto harvest fullness.

Are we ever

WELL CONNECTED


So connected,

so sourced, 

we think like Jesus,

we value like Jesus,

we act like Jesus,

we live like Jesus.

"I live now, not I, 

but Christ lives in me" (2)


Then comes the "doing,"

the "doing" of Jesus 

in and through us.

The vine makes 

the branch fruitful.


All this deserves 

a generous portion 

of time and reflection.

Over the next many days

let's do just that.


    SOUL STEPS

          to

 heeding, 

      accepting,

              living,

                    Jesus 

   

Praying that we more and more 

accept the invitation to be

    WELL CONNECTED

         John Frank

           ******


    (1) JOHN 15:4-5

    (2) Galatians 2:20

           ******


If you care to

Pray Ponder 

more and deeper 

     on being

WELL CONNECTED,

     on our 

God Connection,

here are some 

  SOUL STEPS

   forward.


We soul slow it.

A little at a time.

We deep listen.

Jotting/Journaling

reflections is a major help.

So is penning a quote 

or reflection on a card

and carrying it with us 

for prayer on and off 

during the day.

We see-sense what 

    The Spirit 

     shows. 

We feel free to stay with 

a word, an example, 

an insight, an application,

for all it has to say-show.

We then dress the particulars

of our life in that brightness.


Our help here is 

Eugene Peterson's

translation of scripture, 

   The Message

The scriptures were written 

long ago and far away 

in the idiom of 

then and there.

Peterson translates them 

in the idiom of

our here and now.


As we pray ponder these scriptures:

    - what do we understand here?

    - how do we react to it?

    - how does it show up in/effect

      our daily living?

    - is there something we need to

      maintain, change, add, delete?

    - is there a way we can 

      share with/support others 

      in all this?

   - where is our 

     religious community

     with (or without) all this?


We again hear Jesus and 

his offer of connection.

   What does he 

      Soul Say

to us and how we live?

  

     John 15:4-5

"Live in me.

 Make your home in me

 just as I do in you.

 In the same way that a branch 

 can't bear grapes by itself

 but only by being joined 

 to the vine,

 you can't bear fruit 

 unless you are joined with me. 

  I am the Vine, 

 you are the branches.

 When you're joined with me

 and I with you, the relation

 intimate and organic,

 the harvest is sure 

 to be abundant."


     - live in me

     - make your home in me

     - as I do in you

     - Vine as source

     - branches connected 

       and fruitful

     - how see and say all this 

       in the particulars of 

       our daily living?


Paul details a stepping 

away from disconnection and a 

stepping forward to accept 

connection and its fruits.

         

   Galatians 5:16-18

"My counsel is this: 

        Live freely,

 animated and motivated 

 by God's Spirit.

 Then you won't feed 

 the compulsions of selfishness.

 For there is a root of 

 sinful self-interest in us 

 that is at odds 

 with a free spirit,

 just as the free spirit is 

 incompatible with selfishness.

 These two ways of life 

 are antithetical,

 so that you cannot live 

 at times one way and at times 

 another way according to 

 how you feel on any given day.

 Why don't you choose 

 to be led by the Spirit

 and so escape the 

 erratic compulsions of 

 a law-dominated existence?"


       - live freely

       - Spirit powered

       - sinful selfishness

         at odds with a

         freed spirit

       - Spirit led

       - escape compulsive

         domination

       - what's all this look like 

         living out our spiritual lives

         out here on the street

         of actual, everyday life?


     Galatians 5: 19-21

"It is obvious what kind of life

 develops out of trying to get 

 your own way all the time

  ( being disconnected ):

 repetitive, loveless, cheap sex;

 a stinking accumulation of 

 mental and emotional garbage;

 frenzied and joyless grabs 

 for happiness;

 trinket gods;

 magic-show religion;

 paranoid loneliness;

 cutthroat competition;

 all consuming-yet-

 never-satisfied wants;

 a brutal temper;

 an impotence to love

 or be loved;

 divided homes and divided families

 small-minded and lopsided pursuits;

 the vicious habit of depersonalizing

 everyone into a rival;

 uncontrolled and 

 uncontrollable addictions;

 ugly parodies of community.

 I could go on..."


        - Whew!!

          - from what do we need 

          to disconnect?

       - how do these show up

         in our society/culture

         and how does that effect us ?


   Galatians 5:22-23

"But what happens when 

 we live God's way?

 He brings gifts into our lives,

 much the same way that 

 fruit appears in an orchard - 

 things like 

 affection for others,

 exuberance about life,

 serenity.

 We develop a willingness

 to stick with things,

 a sense of compassion 

 in the heart,

 and a conviction that 

 a basic holiness permeates 

 things and people. 

 we find ourselves involved 

 in loyal commitments,

 not needing to force 

 our way in life,

 able to marshal and 

 direct our energies wisely."

    -the fruits of being well Sourced,

         WELL CONNECTED

                ******


Oh God, disconnect us from dead circuitry.

Plug us in, hot wires us to Source Central.

                  ******


                 WELCOME

            A special "HI 5" 

     to our visitors this week from 

                   Turkey


           "frankly speaking"

       spirituality for the street

            ONLINE POSTING

      Late afternoon Wednesdays

     johnfrankshares,blogspot.com

     please consider bookmarking

            EMAIL DELIVERY

     Fridays

     sign up top right online posting

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     access to all past postings

     lower right column online posting

          Thanks for connecting!

Looking forward to it again next week.

                   ******