Thursday, July 9, 2020


Dear All of Us,

Follow Through makes all the difference in the world, 
and that goes for everything in the world as well - business, cooking, 
career, pole vaultingromance, coaching everything.

Nowhere but nowhere is that more so than in our spiritual lives.
To stop and stay at concept, doctrine, pious practice, polity, 
church membership, ritual is to spiritually stall out.
Those things can be helpful starters. 
They can get us going and going we must, well past getting stuck at just a belonging/believing system. 
That would be like a pitcher winding up, starting to throw a strike out
and then dropping his arm. 
It's a balk, not a winning Follow Through.

To put a fine point on it, admittedly a sharp one, 
as  school can benefit so religion can benefit. 
We need to make sure, though,  
not to let school get in the way of our education, 
nor let religion get in the way of our spiritual maturity. 
What we need to do is Follow Through on both, going from 
                              theory to practice,
                              information to experience, 
                              potential to actuality, 
                              could be to is.

To grow spiritually is to come alive in 
                        The Life and Love Who Is God, 

to Follow Through on the lead and offer of Jesus the Christ: 
            " I came so they may have real and eternal life, 
              more and better life than they ever dreamed of."  
                                              John 19:10
                          The Message Translation

How do we come alive like that, life real, eternal, beyond our dreams? 
Well, Jesus shares how in all sorts of wonder-filled ways. 
The Gospels say and show them. 

So, this summer here at "frankly speaking' let's  together 
"listen up", hear again for the first time, a core Gospel revelation,
on living a for real Follow Through to Jesus -

                        The Sermon on the Mount

                from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Let's give an attentive heart to this heart to heart of Jesus with us.  
Let's do a deep hear and then Follow Through so that 

                 "I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me."
                                  Galatians 2:20

Let's make sure we know where we are and what's coming down 
as we engage Jesus, Follow Through on his life and teachings.

In the Sermon on the Mount, and throughout the Gospels, Jesus talks of the                  
                               Kingdom of Heaven
                               Kingdom of God
                               Reign of God.

They refer to the future. They refer to the present. 
They are eschatological (the end time) and they are immanent (right now).
      "When the Son of Man comes in all his glory..." Matthew 25:31
      "For in fact the kingdom of God is in your midst." Luke 17: 21

      "Thy kingdom come ... on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6: 10

The Kingdom is coming and it is here.

We are in the here and right now of it. 

We are also in the midst of the kingdoms of this world.
To follow Jesus means to have duel citizenship.
It means to be a resident, alien to the evils of many empires.
It means to Follow Through and live the life of the kingdom 
in the midst of empires often unreal and corrupting.

We live in a world coming unwound right now.
The fibers of social cohesion fray.
There is a call on the debt of justice long denied.
There is a response of violent default.
Structures and symbols are toppled.
Stability is stressed to fracture.
Bodies and the body politic are perilously dis-eased.
Protest is protested. 

This is where we live the kingdom life, 
where we Follow Through in our spiritual lives.
Jesus had his - the corrupt/oppressive Roman Empire.
He invited, initiated and lived kingdom living/loving
in the middle of that evil.
Now it's our turn and time to follow our leader, to Follow Through
where we are and as things are.
We live and pray: "Thy kingdom come on earth as in heaven"
and know that it will be
            "...real and eternal life, more and better 
            than they (we) ever dreamed of."

            "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's 
             and to God what is God's" (Mark 12:17)

            "For this world is not our permanent home;
             we are looking foreword to a home 
             yet to come" (Hebrews 13!14).

            "Behold I send you out as sheep
             in the midst of wolves of wolves,
             so be wise as serpents 
             and guileless as doves." ( Matthew 10:16)

Dual citizenship. One for now. One for now and forever.

That said, seen and understood, beginning next week  
we will hear Jesus on how to be and do 
as together we give a deep listen to him in the Sermon on the Mount.

That said, seen and understood we kick into gear and get going,
we Follow Through by moving from concept and ritual 
to experience and actuality, from religious practice 
to spiritual maturity so that

                "I live now not I, but Christ lives in me."

                                John Frank


           How wonderful to have a visit here this week 
           from a large group of folks from Canada.
           You and all other first time visitors are not only welcome. 
           You are a blessing.

                             "frankly speaking"

                          spirituality for the street

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