Saturday, December 31, 2016

I Am

Moses asked God
who he should tell the people
was sending him.
God’s reply was
“I AM.”
That’s sure a
Now God!

Helen Mallicoat

I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
“My name is I Am”
He paused.
I waited.
He continued:
“ When you live in the past
with its mistakes and regrets,
it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not
I Was.
When you live in the future,
with its problems and fears,
it is hard.
I am not there.
My name is not
I Will Be.
When you live in this moment
It is not hard.
I am here.

My name is
I Am.”

Monday, December 19, 2016



To us, watchful and waiting,
a gift has been slipped into our midst.

A tiny child, born in a manger,
a gift of peace to troubled souls
and dangerous streets.

A gift of joy to sad hearts and cautious lives,
a gift of hope to wearied brows
and oppressed peoples.

A tiny child, gift of God.
Give your hearts: raise your songs.
Give thanks to the giver;
Welcome the gift.
Amen. (!)

Look for Christ
and you will find Him.
And with Him,
everything else.
C. S. Lewis


To your enemy - Forgiveness
To your opponent - Tolerance
To a friend - Your Heart
To a customer - Service
To all People - Love
To every child - Good Example
To yourself - Respect
Author Unknown

A Christmas Prayer

Gracious God, by the gift of your son, Jesus Christ,
you have revealed the love you bear for your whole creation
and opened to all the way of peace.
For Jesus's sake, make us bringers of peace
in our homes and among our extended family and friends.
Help ours be voices of reason and reconciliation in our neighborhoods,
our workplaces and our communities.
Strengthen us to reject every form of violence
as a means to get even or get ahead.
Help use use whatever influence we posses to promote peace
by working for justice and witnessing for Jesus .
Amen ( 2 )

( 1 ) Communications Resources, Inc.
Canton, Ohio
( 2 ) Worship Bulletin
Demerest United Methodist Church
December 24, 1999

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Effortlessly, Love Flows from God to Man

Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus, we move into God's world,
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
Humanity sings -
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
Must sound.

Mechtild of Magdeburg
( 1207 - 1282 )

Advent Plea

O God, whose will is justice for the poor,
and peace for the afflicted,
Let your herald's urgent voice pierce our hardened hearts
and announce the dawn of your kingdom.

Before the advent of the One
who baptizes with the fire of the Holy Spirit,
let our complacency give way to conversion,
oppression to to justice,
and conflict to acceptance of of one another in Christ.

We ask this through the One whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near,
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

( Sacramentary, U.S.A.. 20th cent )
The United Methodist Book of Worship
Nashville, Tennessee


                   GET READY
                                   GET SET

Look to the East.
The rising sun, our morning light,
chases away the night.

A voice cries out in the wilderness:
Make ready the way of the Lord!

Make a good path
so all may walk in beauty
with kind steps and happy hearts.

A voice cries out in the wilderness:
Make ready the way of the Lord.

Look, the rising sun,
the dawning of Fullness,
the advent of hope,
the beginning of peace.

Make a bright path.
Come Lord Jesus!

Sourcebook of Worship resources
Communication Resources, Inc.
Canton, Ohio

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Full Human Being

Yesterday I met a whole ( person ).
It is a rare experience
but always an illuminating and ennobling one
It costs so much
to be a full human being
that there are very few
who have the enlightenment or courage
to pay the full price.
One has to abandon all together
the search for security,
to reach out to the risk of living with both arms.
One has to embrace the world
like a lover,
and yet demand no easy return of love.
One has to accept pain
as a condition of existence.
One has to court doubt and darkness
as the cost of knowing.
One needs a will stubborn in conflict
but apt always
to the total acceptance
of every consequence
of living and dying.

Morris West
Shoes of the Fisherman
( novel )

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Street Spirituality

" What A Hell Of A Mess  !!! "

" O Tempora, O Mores! "
That's Latin for
" What a hell of a mess! "
...more technically
" Oh the times! Oh the behaviors ! "
It was part of Cicero's rant
 deploring the viciousness and corruption
where he lived out on the streets of ancient Rome.

Well, out on the streets where we live right now
there's all sorts of ranting,
deploring the chaos and conflict  
of our socio/political/religious neighborhood.
Some tell us to hang a hard Right.
Others tell us to take a sharp Left.  
The worse it gets, the worse it gets!  
It scares the Bee Jee Bers out of us.
What's going to happen to us, 
and for that matter,
who is " us " ?

Jesus sure got it right:
" My kingdom is not of this world."
John 15:19

Paul sure got it right:
" For here we do not have an enduring city,
but we are looking for the city to come. "
Hebrews 13:14

The " seer who spoke "
in Revelations  sure got it right 
about the evils of Empire.
See Revelation 18:1-3

 Mess, Empire, Vicious, Corruption, Hard Right, Sharp Left
What happened ?
Well all sorts  of currents collided.
To switch metaphors,
it seems that in the last forty/fifty years
numerous maladies infected the 
Body America:
out of control " ME-ism ",
unabsorbed social and demographic shifts,
rampant materialism,
unquestioned militarism,
addictive and unfocused social media,
profoundly deep rooted and unresolved racism,
confusing globalization,
just for starters. 
Racist fury at the election of a black president
and the knifing of the recent election process
lanced our American Malignancy.
All sordid sorts of vicious puss  exploded,
deranging our inner selves
and rupturing our shared self.
We got what WE GOT!!!
Like the ancient Israelites, 
we messed up big time 
and ended up in a real exile
except we didn't have to drive to Babylon for it!

So, what sort of Street Spirituality  is possible
out here on Exile Street?
Well, those ancient and exiled Israelites       
can be something of a GPS for us
as we try to navigate life
on and out of Exile Street.
The first thing they did was notice what happened.
Not nice!!!  
So, they sat down and wept ( Psalm 137: 1 ).
Recognition and remorse.
The pain of exile,
and it sure hurt,
woke them up,
purified them,
clarified and eventually redirected them.
The pain of exile can do the same for us: 
redirect us.
Individually and collectively 
we need to do real   
The exiled Israelites did that,   
they went deep and wide.
They heard and heeded prophetic leads
like Isaiah and Jeremiah.
They pondered.
They did Soul Share.
They pulled together.
Eventually they got off Exile Street
and on their way home and a fresh start.
We can, too!
Future blogs will offer guides 
form our rich traditions for our needful times.

Hang on!
There's hope, 
a hard hope, but a real hope!!

Thanks for considering all this.

John Frank

Monday, December 5, 2016

Mystic on Maturity

" When one reaches the highest degree of human maturity,
one has only one question left: How can I be Helpful? "

Therea of Avila

Sunday, December 4, 2016

To Know, Or Not To Know.

That's Sure A Big Question.

"We're not meant to know everything about other people, 
even those who are closest to us, 
and we have to accept at the end of the day
that not all mysteries are solvable."

Scandalous Risks, novel, by Susan Howatch, Knoph, p.631

Saturday, December 3, 2016


" Love must act
as light must shine
and fire must burn."

Rule of Life
Order of the Holy Cross


Friday, December 2, 2016


is the end of loneliness
because it erases
the separateness between
seer and seen."

Richard Rohr
daily email
8 November 2016
Center for Action and Contemplation

Thursday, December 1, 2016


           The Experience
                                    and Spirituality
                                                            of diminishing
                                                                                   into Fullness.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reflections on John 1:1 - 5

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. 
He was in the beginning with God. 
All things came into being through him, 
and without him not one thing came into being. 
What has come into being in him was life, 
and the life was the light of all people. 
The light shines in the darkness, 
and the darkness did not overcome it.
John 1:1-5

Word Work  

The Word
God person spoken
deep downess shared
Outgiving maker
creation speaking
Depth distance
free flung flow
Love language lavish

What's Going On Here?

What's Going On Here?

"frankly speaking"
What and Why

Well, after you scope out " frankly speaking, "

you'll have your own take on that, 

and that's the one that counts.

As the guy at this end of " frankly speaking "

( the Frank in " frankly speaking " ),

here's my take on what's going on here.

I'm in the last lap of earth life,

smart enough to know that 

I don't know a hell of a lot,

and wise enough to to recognize

that that I sure as heaven 

do have a few things  to share.

And " share " is the

motivation, manner and motif here.

It goes with the turf of old age -

you want to see the kids

( of whatever  chronological age ) make it , 

So, for starters,

here's where I start and hopefully end: 

my home base is Christian.

I love it!

I do not at all like what 

too many church people 

have done to it , though!!

I also love to learn and share

with folks based in other

faiths, ways and persuasions.

After all, we are all together

on life's street, a stretch 

dreadful, ecstatic, boring,

painful, creative, conflicted, 

joy filled and endlessly more.

We all out here together 

trying to get somewhere,

somewhere beautiful and good - 

heaven, Nirvana,  the Omega Point,

Cosmic Oneness - 

lots of names for pretty much the same thing.

So, " frankly speaking " tries to offer

some sharings to help us make it

out here on  life's street

as it really is, and as we really are ( so far ):

sweaty and sweet, acne, mortgages,

beautiful babies, the grind at work,

noble souls, profound and puny politicians,

in laws and out laws,

hugging trees,

caring for every bit of of creation,

trying to find someone to love

and have a life with,

seeking to dial into a

really good way to wrap up

earth life's last enning.

Between here and there, 

having a zippy, zesty, flat out,

go for broke, high octane spirit -

a spirituality for the street.

There is no pretense or promise here 

of absolute truth,

of reality nailed tight,

just sharings in the hope of energized spirits

for life out here on life's street.

The bias underneath and throughout

everything here is,

in the words and way of my tradition,

unleashed and limitless love -  

" God is love " ( 1 John 4:8 ) and

" Blessed are those invited 

to the wedding  supper of the Lamb! " ( Revelation 19: 9 ).

So, let's party!

Let's make love,

better yet,

let's let Love make us!

Thanks for being part of all this.

John Frank