Friday, June 1, 2018


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 


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,



     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,


          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

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

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of the online version.

Thanks to all who have shared

"frankly speaking" with family and friends.



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.