Thursday, March 18, 2021



      Prayer - Fasting - Alms

  This week we consider alms.

Dear All of Us,

Our spiritual life is like working for UPS.

God has all this good to share

and God counts on us to deliver it.

An old fashioned word for this is alms.

With all due respect for things old, 
    (being very that myself)

the word and concept of "alms" 

doesn't come close to cutting it for us.

In fact it is off-putting and misleading.

It congers up a scene 

from a Dickensonian novel

set in the 1800's with a beggar 

sitting by the road crying out

"Alms, alms for the poor."

The spiritual reality at play here 

is vastly wider and richer -

beautifully and dynamically so.

It all starts with God 

and isn't meant to stay there.

God is unabashedly exuberant, joyous, 

dynamic, limitless Goodness

and He can't keep it to Herself.

God's full time day job,

night time, 

all the time job, 

is giving Himself away.

God does it in more ways  

than the sun has rays:
   - a newborn baby 
   - a great idea 
   - a cosmos that won't quit
   - a contagious sense of humor
   - a lift for the dropped
   - a passionate, enduring lover
   - health care that is both 
   - the world's best ever
     chicken cacciatore for dinner
   - a Spring garden
   - meaningful work
   - scientific breakthroughs
   - a Verdi opera

Hey, this is fun!!

It's meant to be.

God's Goodness is our gift 

  We are gifted to give.

We are invited in on 

God's lusty, limitless largess.

Like a UPS driver, 

we all have a truckload 

of unique gifts 

and routes of giving.

Those gifts are meant 

for different people and places.

That's what alms is.

    Alms is Gifting.

Whatever and all 

we have been given

is meant to keep on going

through our gifting all sorts 

of people and places.

"Places" may seem surprising.

Well, we have votes to cast 

for places needing

environmental protection.

There are yards to tend 

that help beautify

our neighborhoods.

There are farms to cultivate

in healthy and sustainable ways.

We are careful 

not to trash public spaces.

We make it a point

to never pollute 

water, air, soil.

We use our opportunities and energy 

to recycle and compost.

We employ the same to maintain 

appropriate sound levels

on the street, in public 

and shared spheres.

We creatively work beauty 

as we design and decorate 

our living spaces.

We use public transport 

as much as possible 

to free up roadways

and diminish CO 2.

Again and always 

we let the opportunities,

means and energies 

with which God gifts us 

pass through us to gift place.

The very same spiritual dynamic

of flow through gifting

flourishes as we bring 

God's Goodness to us

to all sorts of people

in all sorts of ways.

If we have the gift 

of companionship and nurture, 

we partner and raise a family.

We use our social and financial capital

to support need and

contribute to creativity.

We do that by using what we need 

and sharing all the rest 

for the needs of other people.

We finance education.

We endow the arts.

We fund social justice 

and environmental efforts.

We tithe time, talent and finance

to ministries of service and care.

The gifts and the giving are different, 

but the gifts are given.

It can be as simple as thanking 

the bus driver as we exit.

It can be as extensive

as earning a PhD and teaching 

because we're good at it 

and others benefit from our gifts shared. 

If you care to, please use

the Addendum below to refocus

and recommit to giving your gifts 

given for that Holy Gifting.

All the best with your 



Unabashed Personal Service.

God has all this Goodness to share

and She counts on you to deliver Him.

How wonderful are your gifts and gifting.

                John Frank



We still soul til we hear Soul Center,

the truth and harmony of our True Self.

We listen as the Spirit speaks us.

We sense these scriptures.

We see how they show God Gift 

in us for others.

We open to the flow through.

We discern the practical ways, 

means and modes of that -

soul specific.


       "The gift you have been given, 

         give as a gift."
                                           I Peter 4:10

What are my God Given Gifts For Giving:

 - physical  - social - emotional - spiritual

- intellectual - locational - professional
- psychological  - financial - organizational
- artistic - leadership  - wisdom  - knowledge
- faith  - speaking the truth (prophecy)
- discernment  expression  (tongues)
- interpretation  - helping/healing
- making a change for the good  (miracles)
- serving  - teaching  - encouragement
- mercy


              Consider taking     
     Exploring Your Spiritual Gifts
       United Methodist Church 
                - online -


 How are the Fruits of the Spirit
 apparent in me for others?
                                     Galatians 5: 22-23

- LOVE  - JOY   -  PEACE   


                -  GOODNESS      -   FAITHFULNESS


"To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit

 for the common good".

                                         I Corinthians 12: 7

In what ways is the Spirit manifest in me for others?


"We have different gifts 
                     according to the grace given to us..."

                                         Romans 12: 6

How aware, accepting and generous  

am I with the gifts with which I am gifted?


What do you make of/take from this?

With the onset of the pandemic, Rick Steves , 

who has all those great travel shows on PBS,

was unable to travel, film or guide groups.

He employs one hundred people.

Rather than lay them off, he kept them

on the payroll and had them work 

as support for a variety of 

community services.

That's alms real and right!


        A hearty welcome to all  

        joining in with us for the first time.

        This past week we welcomed 
        a good number of folks from 

        Sweden, Peru and Russia

                   here at

           "frankly speaking"
spirituality for the street

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             SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!!