Thursday, November 26, 2020



        This is the ninth

             in our 

          Fall Series


           living out

  The Sermon On The Mount

It builds on last week's posting,


    which is available by 

    scrolling down here, or

by going to the Blog Archive

  ( November 19, 2020)


Dear All of Us,

What would you make of a commanding general

who sent his troops into fierce combat 

with absolutely no protective gear nor armaments -

not even a camouflage cap, not even a spit ball?


Some feel that's what Jesus does by insisting 

we love our enemies and that we do not retaliate

when we are the victims of evil.

They feel we're sent out defenseless

into a rough, tough world,

vulnerable, victims in the making.

This we need to check out!

Now, an important caution right from 

the get go here. In no way are we meant

to passively endure any or all evil.

What Jesus shares does mean, though,

that we do not return evil for evil,

we do not retaliate.

For sure the victim of sexual or spousal abuse

must not feel compelled 

to just stay there and take it.

They should get the hell out of hell

for God's sake - literally so!!.

The systems and leaders responsible for 

social inequities need to be corrected, 

but without a tinge of retaliation,

again "for God's sake."

I once tried to pastor a church that wasn't.

It was toxic. It was damaging my soul,

my psych and my body.

I asked for and received another assignment.

It was professionally embarrassing 

to spend such a short time in one place.

It also and happily led to health 

and appointment to one of

the best church I ever pastored.

Yes, there's a lot of rough in life.

We need to be ready for that.

Jesus spoke and lived out

        how to be

 READY for the ROUGH.

In our own way and world we wade into 

fierce combat zones all the time: 

   - cut throat competition

     in the business world

   - not at all "social" climbers

     stepping all over us

     to get to the top of the pile,

     the heap of personal carnage 

     they cause at school, church, 

     on the team, at the club

  - the crude and course who 

    cut us off in traffic or conversation

  - the friend who betrays and belittles us

 - the relative who despises us and 

   makes drama of it at family gatherings

 - social/systemic evils - affronts to justice

   and The Common Good.

 - the list would exhaust 

   any cloud's storage capacity.

As we wade into life's fierce combat zones

how do we arm ourselves?

What protective gear covers us?

What weapons do we carry?

How secure our advantage?

Well, the way of the world would have us 

load up on ammo of various calibers:

  - cunning

  - mocking

  - out smarting

  - hitting first and hard

  - sarcasm

  - over powering/whelming

  - getting a good lawyer

    and suing the socks off 

    the suckers

  - doing a social media smear 

  - never mind " a tooth for a tooth",


  - spill the beans, spread the dirt

  - subtlety set loose  

    devastating misinformation.

  - figure out how do you get them 

    before they get you

  - misuse law and or position 

    for political, economic, 

    social dominance

  - riot rather than reform

That's the way of the world 

in pursuit of protection

and advantage.

It bears no closeness to living 

and responding in 

"the reign of God."

Not only are protection 

and advantage issues here, 

but even more so is the purity, the reality, 

the viability of our spiritual living.

That goes for the individual and the group.

How do we go right under the siege of wrong?

How stay safe in harm's way 

without harming others

and our very own souls?

The Sermon on The Mount calls 

for heroic valor.

And this is where it gets

      Rough Tough

In Matthew 5:38-48

Jesus sets the high bar 

of response to enemy and hurt.


      - "Do not resist the evildoer"

      - "Love your enemies".

A personal confession, well, more like 

an old fashioned, early church public confession.

I get it in my head. I buy it in my heart.

I can't do it all in practice.

Now long in the tooth 

(and glad to still have most of them),

I really can love and not retaliate

at being cut off by the crude and course,

at getting stepped on by sick social climbers,

at a friend's betrayal and belittlement,

at the despising relative, 

when working to right a social wrong,

and I don't have the money 

or energy to be in the cut throat business world.

It's not so much virtue.

Just, "Been there. Done that" 

and suffered the futility of such foolishness.

But come at me or my loved ones physically,

or at my loved ones attacking their spiritual, 

social, psychological, or financial safety, 

and I'll try not to hurt you too much,

but I'll use force to stop you.

This is the one place where I just don't follow 

what many feel is what Jesus requires of us.

I will resist the evildoer, be that person, party,

church, corporation, politician, government.

Am I in spiritual jeopardy?

Am I am wrong?

Am I spiritually flakey and frail?

And in all cases, I know I'm far

from  alone - we are legion.

We all seem to stall out,

get stymied just about here. 

How about this?

If we can learn the genius 

of what Jesus commands,

and really accept an infusion 

of his Holy Spirit, 

we can make grade.

We can get though the granite of

misunderstanding and fear to

the vein of gold in what Jesus tells. 

So, a closer look for a closer way

to follow Jesus' lead to unrestricted Love

for enemy and the spiritual energy not to retaliate.

Let's have a try!

   The Genius of Jesus,

   The Largeness of His Love

Jesus responds to evil,

pierces evil, not with a weapon, 

but with the power of 

Absolute Sheer Reality,

Absolute Sheer Love.

He wants to do the same for us and with us.

The evildoer's casing of hurt 

may continue but it no longer excludes us 

from going to the heart of the matter

and embracing the hurtful one/group 

at their core and thus on unto loving union,

even if the hurters don't yet get it

and continues to hurt.

Empire is likely to last longer than any of us.

Responding in and with Jesus 

and his limitless love means  

the evildoers are then powerless to block 

our GodLove for them.

They cannot keep us from piercing past 

their hurting us to God's deep Oneness in them.

The evildoer is no longer enemy

because we won't let that be the story shorted.

We don't retaliate because that would continue 

discontinuance between us.

And this is key -we don't "resist" 

by revengeful counter attack.

That just compounds evil.

So, we counter in lavish love.

Using the metaphors of Jesus 

in this Gospel section

  ( Matthew 5;39-2)

we some how or other 

say something like:

  - "Hey, you want my coat, 

     here's my cloak as well.

     You'll really look good in both."

  - "You want to take me to court?

     Hop in. I'll drive and pay your court costs

     when we get there."

  - "What you just said sure

     was a real slap in the face. 

     But, hey, together we can find a 

     a way to face what's bugging you." 

  - "You're really pushing me 

     to go along with you on this.

     Tell you what, let's see 

     how much more

     I can stretch to just that."

   - "You want me to cosign your car loan?

      You know what? I've got the money. 

      I'll just buy the car for you."

These sorts of responses and their animating spirit

apply whether the enemy/hurter is a person,

a government, a corporation, a social system.

The secret here is to stop the chain of evil 

by out doing the hurter in honest goodness.

That's the meaning of

           "Do not resist the evildoer".

Refuse tit for tat. Up the ante to a

response of lavish generosity. 

Now if someone or a system is out of control,

is violating, desecrating, destroying,

we employ LoveEnergy to restrain that.

But, we do not retaliate in the venture.

"Love your enemies" sure as heaven   

takes a lot of love.

I/We cannot pass muster 

on our own steam, 

and by our own good intentions.

We just don't have nearly enough juice

pulsating through our wires. 

We need to so absolutely, so sheerly, 

so totally allow ourselves to be consumed, 

enfolded, enwrapped in God's Love

that then God's Love in us embraces God's Love 

in the painful other, bonding us all three.

As always, the issue at the center of everything 

is letting God love us to Love.

We really need to get sick and tired 

of the loneliness, the incompleteness,

of trying to go it alone, the futility of trying 

to be our own fullness and god,

fighting our way forward.

We're just not up to it. We end up up side down.

We just ice ourselves out of God's warm love.

God wants intimacy. God wants us to get lost 

in God within us and God within each other.

That means and makes a Divine Love Union.

So enlivened, we can't waste ourselves, 

or others, by hurting enemies.

That would keep us apart from God in us

and God in the other, and thus from God.

It would short the divine circuitry.

Without a doubt the hardest of the hard

is not resisting the evil doer

in revengeful  violence.

What Jesus says and shows here

is so often misunderstood and then rejected.

It does not mean allowing Empire's evil 

in person, group, action - just taking it on the chin.

Turn the other cheek means give the hurter

another chance to kiss rather than slap, 

being sure not to slap back.

To get it right and live it out 

takes careful attention

and a lot of Soul-Smart-Stamina.

Jesus resisted the evil doers in the Temple.

He used force. He publicly castigated them.

He flipped their money tables.

He chased then out of the place with a whip.

He challenged and interrupted their evil. 

He did not hurt or destroy them.

He stopped them.

No vengeful response.

On the cross it wasn't calling down 

vengeful, wrath.

It was "Father, forgive them

for they know not what they do."

Holy wisdom shows us what and when.

At times we do need to model on Jesus 

vigorously flipping the tables on the 

evil doers in the temple.

Whether it's the energy of voice or arm, 

we do right to right a wrong.

We publicly protest police brutality

and brutality toward police.

We challenge to change corrupt

political/governmental evils.

We overpower a shooter or rapist.

What we don't do is fall into the trap 

of vengeful retaliation.

Our culture trains us 

to defend ourselves.

Jesus trains us to make sure 

that defending doesn't 

just fend off union

at the deepest level,

even if the hurter

isn't ready to go there. 

Our nuclear nations are like 

tectonic plates pushing 

against each other, 

pressure building to 

rupture and devastation -

a defense offensive,

ready to retaliate 

unto mutual annihilation.

Jesus nurtures us in the softening 

of edges and borders, 

not pulling or pushing,

reducing the conflicting pressures.

That makes possible merging mutuality,


 and the dynamic of expanding creation.

God creates diversity,

invites complementing


yet we trash the immigrant, 

the poor, minorities, the "different",

those that don't suit and satisfy

our ego demands, 

who trigger our insecurities,

making them enemy,

denying them lived GodLove from us,

thus denying union and 


by practicing anti-creative 

birthing control of GodLove.

Jesus trains our heads and hearts,

to strip away the contraceptives 

of retaliation and enmity,

to overcoming evil with GodLove.

Jesus has us go through 

the hurt to the hurter's God-Core,

merging there with the hurter and God.

In the process we do right wrongs 

with positive energies of sheer truth,

reality, and divine love.

Never, though, in negative 

vengeful, destructive vengeance -

always good for good.

It comes down to this or up to that:

we deny GodLove and descend 

to the hell of maddeningly lonely,

self imposed solitary confinement, 

or we lavish GodLove on all 

and ascend to the heights of 

shared and expansive creative union,

even in the immediacy of inflicted pain

from evildoer/Empire.

So, let's do spiritual stretch with Jesus.

That means the stress of facing 

our limits, pain and hurt,

    and accepting God's

        " fullerness"

all the way inside, being 

        Loved To Life

  so others can be as well.

To wrap up, there is here a 

       Sacred Trinity

 God - the hurt - the hurter

"in" love even if the hurter 

does not realize it yet.

It's ROUGH and we're READY.

Please let's love and pray

 for each other so we 

"go all the way" 

in Divine Love Making.

      John Frank


This past week we had 

a large number of folks 

from Russia join in with us.


Welcome to you and all 

new to our gathering.

Please come back and stay 

   as we SoulShare 

  each week here at

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One of the really neat things 

about being non retaliatory

is that all our energies are harmonized,

are all together going 

in the same right direction.

We don't split and splinter.


Thanksgiving Good Wishes !!!!

       Looking forward 

         to seeing you 

         next week.