Thursday, May 7, 2020


                                        Pre Script

                                      Dear All of Us,
                                   And are you ever!
                                     What a week.
                                What a Birthday Party!!
                                      Thank You!
                                Thank you for all your 
                   cards, calls, texts, emails, videos and more.
                         The wires and waves pulsated with 
                                 God's Love Shared.
                            I am blessed and grateful.
               And yes, it took the better part of the afternoon 
                           to blow out those 80 candles,
              and yes, that did call for a nice long nap afterward.
                                 Holding Each And All
                                 In God's Dear Love,

                                       John Frank


Dear All of Us,

Right now there's this big push 
to open up the country, 
to open up the economy.
The consequences are enormous.
Open and prosper?
Open and perish?
Wisdom is critical.

That goes for all of life always -
big things, little things, all things always.
We have to open the door to have company.
Being open to fact fixing and partisan misinformation is disastrous.
We can only make love if we open more than our body to another.
Then there's being open to junk food and those consequences..
Open and prosper?
Open and perish?
Consequences for sure.
Wisdom is critical.

In our current, likely recurrent, crisis just now
how open we are 
has enormous consequences.

Way more so is it so in our spiritual lives.

The wisdom of the soul is to always and in all ways be wide open, 
open to the good, to God - never closed off or in,
isolated in self and/or stuff. 

Jesus showed and shared that spirit from the get go.
See the Gospel of Matthew, especially Matthew 4:12 and following.
Being open is the lead in the story of Jesus' ministry and teaching.

In the opening of his seminal sermon, The Sermon on the Mount,
Jesus names eight blessings that come to those who are wide open, 
open in various ways and settings to the good, to God.
We call them The Beatitudes.

Many of us memorized them so we could get confirmed. 
And most of us haven't really referenced them all that much since.
We're not alone in this.
Most church leaders don't do as Jesus did and make them
the sine qua non, the prerequisites, for our spiritual life. 
But they are!

Our current, and likely recurrent crisis, lays bare the matter and painfully so.
There's a run on the bank of self securing, self "in"closing.
That "spirit" of self enrichment and self sufficiency is bankrupt.
We thought we and our way were enough.
We're not.
It's not.
We have operated individually and collectively from a spirit of "self/stuff".
We gathered everything from position, property, possessions, 
pleasures, degrees, status, religious systems, portfolios, 
preferences and preferments in our bunker of "self/stuff" and locked the door.
We felt in charge, enriched and safe. 
Now we're alone, freighted and palpably needful in our bunkers of "self/stuff", 
not all that safe and secure "shelterd in place".

Jesus says and shows how "blessed" are those wide open to God
in their need and impoverishment.
Their lack is their potential.
It's the empty hand that can be filled.
And it's infinitely more that God wants to fill.
Hear the very Jewish Jesus: "Not to worry!" about security and stuff -
                                          your life, food, drink, clothing-
         " ...your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. 
           But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness 
           ( right order ), and all these things will be given to you as well."                                                                                    Matthew 6:  25 - 34 

The wisdom of Jesus is counterintuitive to the way of the world.
The Beatitudes at first flash seem to be set ups for fools and loosing.
What's so blessed about
     -being poor in spirit or pocket,
     -mourning in a land of Disney-like delusion and distraction,
     -being meek in a mad, mean world,
     -craving righteousness in a wasteland of wrong and wronging,
     -being merciful in the face of malice,
     -having a pure heart in a foxy world,
     -making peace in the war zone of competitive conflict,
     -being persecuted for trying to get things right?

So where's the spiritual smarts here?
Well, let's look at the first Beatitude, 
at the spiritual economics of being
             "Poor in spirit"

If my spirit has a surfeit of supposed self securities,
then I'm my own provider and protector.
The little I have, of course, is an illusion, but it binds me shut.
In truth I have nothing on my own, but I don't want to know that.

By contrast Jesus says that when we know, feel, and face the fact that 
in no way are we ultimately and sufficiently 
our own provider and protector, then we are                                 
                   "Blessed ".
When we accept and live our existential poverty, 
then  we are open to enrichment, to that of a kingdom, a truly heavenly one.
What a deal!!

Please let me say it again and put in another way. 
If we live in the La La Land of supposing we have secured ourselves,
and done that so we have a positive balance of health, money, significance, 
prestige, street smarts, intellectual acumen, spiritual maturity, 
and a corps of solid relationships in our life account, 
then we're locked up in the vault of those illusions of self securing.
Infinite, truly heavenly enrichment and blessedness, is locked out 
by our locked in-ness.

May the current loss by so many of self reliant securities open us 
to the blessedness of being poor in spirit.
Spirit is our deepest self, our True Self, the energy of our life.
When wide open, not self reliant, not self enclosed, but God open,
ours is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Paradoxically it is the only way to security and enrichment 
where they count - existence, evolution unto ever expanding fullness.
That takes a lot of spiritual smarts. 
That takes  the hard work of a long reality therapy for many/most of us -
                        to let go to be lifted up,
                        to open wide to be filled.
It will open us to our real security base and life enrichment.
In that openness we will experience the truth of how very
                   "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
                    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven".

To put a point on it:
        Stop trying to be your own god.
        You'll screw everything up.
        Realize that we start out as a nothing.
        Let God give us everything.
        Don't block that with a heap of self and stuff.

Check out the spoiled rich boy of Assisi.
He had the rug of phony securities
pulled out from under him.
After pride prompted fighting between boys of rival towns, he was captured.
He ended up down, down in a dudgeon, 
his "staying in place", a hell hole of rat infested, cold confinement.
In limit, filth, abuse, hunger and dark he saw the light.
Finally freed, he really was.
He handed off his cloths and closed in life of privilege.
In the openness of his poverty he was flooded with liveliness and love. 
He was free as a bird and did he ever take off.
He was passionately in love with God and every creature and creation of God.
Even in times of pain he was full of joy.
Francis, the spoiled rich kid was enriched in the poverty of being wide open. 
In that openness he prospered and soared.

spirit of poverty frees for fullness.
What a blessing to be so open!

                      "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
                  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

        BEFORE WE GO:

                     PLEASE TAKE 

                                  FOUR MINUTES
                                                TO SOUL SEE AND SAVOR

                                 THE GREAT REALIZATION:
                                 HINDSIGHT 2020 - YouTube

                                  It beautifully says and shows 
                                  just what our souls need 
                                  to hear and see just now.

                                                In God's Dear Love,

                                       John Frank


                          FOR PRAYER AND PONDERING

                         During the coning week please consider 
                         taking time and giving attention 
                         to some of these spirit springs.

Eugene Peterson was a scripture scholar and pastor. 
He translated the Bible from the most ancient biblical texts. 
Those ancient texts were in the idiom and style of ordinary people.
They were not in the classical style of the time.
Most of translations we have today miss that. 
Peterson translated the scriptures into our modern American idiom and style:

                         "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
                              for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


         " You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. 
           With less of you there is more of God and his rule."

                           How does that resonate?

 Here's a paraphrase I've used over the years in preaching 
 and spiritual direction:

                  "How good things will get when you move over 
              and let God drive. You'll really get somewhere."

                   "When a person has let go of attachments, 
               when the mind is rooted in wisdom, 
               everything they do is worship."
                                                 The Bhagavad Gita

               "We need a spiritual recovery program 
                for those addicted to the separate self."
                                                (Sufi Wisdom)  
                                                Kabir Helminski

                        "For what is one profited 
                         by gaining the whole world 
                         and forfeiting one's self."
                                                Mark 8:36

                        "I sought the Lord, and he
                                   answered me,
                         and delivered me from all my
                                   this poor soul cried, and was
                                   heard by the Lord,
                          and was saved from every
                                                                      Psalm34:4 and 6
                               The Parable  of the Rich Fool

                                                   Luke 12:13- 21

                        "Ultimate Reality 
                         is not clearly and immediately apprehended 
                         except by those who have made themselves 
                         loving, pure in heart, and poor in spirit."
                                                     Aldous Huxley

                        "Riches seem to come to the poor in spirit,
                         the poor in intent and joy.
                         To put it straight - the very rich 
                         are a poor bunch of bastards.
                                                      John Steinbeck



     A heartfelt welcome to all joining us for the first time here at 

                              frankly speaking

                       spirituality for the street

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                        HAVE A GREAT WEEK !





For Shakespeare 
"To be ,or not to be,.."
was  the question."
For us to be or not to be open
is the question