Thursday, October 17, 2019


Dear All of Us,


"Wee Little Ones" and old timers like me have to work at it.
Otherwise, down we go.

Given the terrain of the times, everyone has to work hard for balance
these days so as to stay upright and move forward. If not, down we go.
And a lot are down, and some sadly out, 
from a loss of spiritual/social/psychic balance.

Yes, i
t's tough to negotiate today's terrain, to keep balance and not go down.
There are such severe slopes to the right and to the left, 
partisan potholes deep and wide, 
division's detritus and debris tripping us up, 
uneven stretches of inequity and injustice, 
rocky roads of misinformation and trust lost. 
Here in the not at all "United" States of America we aren't too far from 
slipping into the ditch of constitutional crisis and variants of a Civil War. 
Some lands and peoples already have.
Untamed technologies run serene calm and common sense off the road.
Climate change makes for perilous travel conditions. 
Guardrails of civility, religion, ethics are severely compromised.

How keep your balance?
How keep from going down, even out, here on the road of real living,
a road littered with crippled spirits, their balance lost?

The best balance and response I know is Jesus.
He is "the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:16)
He gives us a way to go, offers bedrock truth and shares life, 
hopeful and balanced -  his!
Taking him to heart gives us strength and balance 
to negotiate today's rocky road of unreal.

To do that we need to hear him again for the first time.
We need to hear him in his cultural context, speaking to ours's.
He lived in a culture different from ours's 
only in locale, time and manner of chaos. 
Empire dominated and despoiled as it does today. 
Religion was flaccid as it is today. 
Faction fought society into fragments as it does today.
In that muddled to mad context, Jesus kept balance.
He showed and said it.

From the get go he invited companions and community.
"Come follow me." 
   (Mark 1:17)
Some did and some refused, but he didn't go it alone.
We must not either.
Jesus and his community lived, shared and traveled together. 
To keep balance it is essential for us also to be in deep community.
If you can't find one, start one.

One way and many our Jesus community is where we help each other 
get real about living the Love Who is God. 
We keep balance by loving God, neighbor and self. 
That embraces everything from the most immediate and practical 
to the most mystical and unitive.
That span of embrace braces for balance in the turmoil of the times. 

Jesus tells like it needs to be told.
   "Be wise as serpents and as guileless as doves." 
           (Matthew 10:16)
In our vernacular:  
   "Know what's coming down. 
    Plan and maneuver for it.
    Don't be a misty eyed dumb butt. 
    While you're at it be pure and genuine.
    Don't let the corruption around you corrupt you.
    Keep your balance by dealing with evil, not by more evil,
    but by doing ever so much better and purer."

Keeping our balance on the slippery slope of society just now 
requires bench pressing spiritual vigor.
It means bulking up on The Spirit.
It means by all means connecting with the Source of Good.
Like Jesus we go to a quiet place by ourselves and pray.
We let ourselves be loved to life by Life.
Again, the vernacular: 
     "We let God love the socks off us."
We open all the way and let the realness, the energy, the power of God
(aka Grace) pour into every bit of who and how we are.
It balances us out just right!!! 

How do I keep balance and try to change the world for the better?
Well, Jesus didn't change the Evil Empire of his day.
At the risk of stunning activists, left or right, Jesus didn't even try.
He invited us to a new way, his kingdom and approach.
Instead of top down, Jesus uses a bottom up approach.
Jesus changes hearts to change the world, 
this one and to usher in the next.
He spent himself on the poor and marginialized.
He did the deal this way:
     "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
                 (Mark 12:17)
     "My kingdom is not of this world..." 
                 ( John 18:36)
In the vernacular yet again:
     "Do what you've got to do in the secular realm.
      Make the best of it.
      Just bet you buttons my kingdom is all together different. 
      There's a lot more and better than
      than the immediacies of just now power and privilege."
Jesus didn't try to change the social structure in a juridical fashion.
He centered on the heart.
He invites us in on his approach and work.
      "Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, 
       and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, 
       and  learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart, 
       and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, 
       and my burden is light." 
                            (Matthew 11;28-30)
It is not ours to save the world.
It is ours to Soul Shoulder in our place our portion of the yoke.
        "Bloom where you are planted."

          ( St. Francis De Sales)
        "Do all the good you can.
         By all the means you can.
         In all the ways you can.
         At all the times you can.
        To all the people you can.
        As long as ever you can."  

              (John Wesley)

It will be blessed balance.

The times are tough. 
It's hard not to go down in depression, despair and defeat.
It's hard to stay standing, 
to keep our spiritual/social/psychic balance.
Paul had to get knocked off his horse to get his balance.
He then found out that: 
       "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
                               ( Philippians 4:3)
May we as well.

One last time the vernacular: 
        "We keep our balance, stay standing, 
         by taking our shots of Spirit straight up!!"

It's great to brace, to balance each other here each week.
                                Love you all!!

                                 John Frank


    As the weather here chills our welcome warms ever more 
    to you joining in here for the first time.

    A special greeting to the 85 folks from Russia 
    who joined in with us this week.

                             "frankly speaking"

                         spirituality for the street

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                          See you next week!!!