Thursday, May 27, 2021



Dear All of Us,


How absolute are they?

Conservatives insist on them

but fudge some and some more.

Liberals run for the doors

at the mere mention,

yet are darn absolute

about their relativities. 

Both are likely 

to absolutely challenge 

the above.

So, what do we do?

I'm not 

       Kidding Around

about absolutes, 

but Jesus sure is.

Check him out about how to be 

absolutely counted in on

The Eternal Real Deal,

the kingdom of God:


  The people brought children to Jesus,

  hoping he might touch them.

  The disciples shooed them off.

  But Jesus was irate

  and let them know it.

  "Don't push these children away.

  Don't ever get between them and me.

  These children are at the very center

  of life in the kingdom.

  Mark this: Unless you accept 

  God's kingdom 

  in the simplicity of a child,

  you'll never get in."

  Then gathering the children up 

  in his arms,

  he laid his hands of blessing on them. (1)

Jesus isn't kidding around 

about the absolute need of

      Kidding Around

        Kids get it.

       We need to.

There is absolutely

only one flight right

getting us to 

God's kingdom.

"God's kingdom" 

is Jesus talk for 

   living together 

    real, right 

    and forever,

    centered in 

    God's Love.

It's the whole life plan 

Jesus lived, taught, offered 

and for which he died.

You know,

we can go like all blazes.

Most of us do.

But if we are buzzing along

in the wrong direction,

we crash into nothingness.

Jesus absolutely insists on 

the only right direction in life, 

to life in the kingdom of God:

    "Unless you accept 

     God's kingdom

     in the simplicity of a child,

     you'll never get in."

Keep it simple.

Simply be like a kid:

                Go with it.

                Go for it.

                Get gotten.

This is classic Jesus.

He's forever

flipping the tables 

of conventional 

short sightedness and


those of the money changers 

in the Temple, 

but way more:   

  - the first shall be last

    and the last shall be first

  - the greatest is the servant of all

  - love your enemies

  - do good to those who persecute you

  - he spent a noon time  

    at the well

    alone with a woman 

    (an absolute religious/social 

    "No No" in his time),

    a woman of ill repute, 

    and helped her get sorted 

    out right and real

  - he partied with publicans 

    and "sinners"

    (another absolute religious/social 

     "No No" in his time)

  - he didn't distances from lepers

    (yet another "No No" that 

     he flipped 

     to a "Yes Yes"),

    but connected with them

    so they could be refreshed,

    clean and whole

  - he "cure cared" to heal 

    hurts of mind and body

  - he didn't hang out much

    with the top brass 

    or the top bananas,

    but lived a preferential option 

    for the poor and overlooked.

Jesus offers and shares 

the kingdom of God.

Accepting it means a flip,

an absolute redirect and reversal 

of accepted/preferred 

persuasion and practice.

To do that we need 

to grow up to be kids!!

So, a moment or more 

with Jesus and his 

absolute requirement

to get into the kingdom of God:

  - his helpers miscalculated, 

    misdirected - they shooed off 

    the kids - kids only counted 

    in that society when 

    they survived to be useful adults

    (when they weren't kids anymore)

  - Jesus figures and values 

    all the way other,

    the "no counts" simply count 

    for more than a lot,

    they're at the center of 

    The Center

 - Jesus was ticked big time

   and let his helpers know it

 - Jesus told them

   to never ever put a wedge 

   between him and the kids 

   and that kids are 

   at the very center

   of the kingdom of God,

 - Jesus completed the flip

   insisting on an absolute

   unless you accept 

   the kingdom of God 

   in the simplicity of a child

    you'll never make grade,

   never get in

   (that's a HELL of an alternative!!)

 - then Jesus hugs and blesses the kids.

Hey, that sure as heaven is

one powerful, for real

       Kidding Around

From where we are and as we live,

it may seem a "flip"

but our spiritual life really is 

as absolutely simple as

   Kidding Around

So, in case we have forgotten,

how do we simply kid around?

What can we learn from 

those Jesus loved little experts?

Kids instinctively accept 

      good things.

They just don't push 

the pause button, 

calculating possibilities. 

Check out 

a newborn nursing,

a five year old learning 

to ride a bike,

a child's chance to go 

to Baskin Robbins,

a hug from Grandma,

They don't create it.

They don't earn it.

They don't refashion it.

They simply and happily 

accept it,

right away and completely.

They go with it.

Kids are "all in" 

on the here and the now.

They are present to the present

and what is offered.

They get absorbed in it.

They are not partial, tentative, 

or split about it 

as we older ones can be, 

say like being on the phone, 

watching TV, cooking supper, 

and having a glass of wine

all at the same time.

Everywhere is nowhere.

Split attention 

misses the moment.  

Not so for those kid experts.

When kids play tag

it's 100% tag.

For kids it's simply and happily 

"all in" right here, right now.

Kids are enthusiastic.

Life isn't a problem 

to figure out, 

a story to rewrite,

a prize to win.

It's an experience

to embrace 

and that with gusto.

Check out a kid 

on the water slide 

at the local pool.

We'll see more than 

a splash of enthusiasm.

Our spiritual life

means getting in on 

the real deal  -

the kingdom of God,

to accept it 

in the simplicity of a child:

    - to simply and happily

      flat out accept it

      so completely so that 

      we live it

    - to simply be "all in"

      right here, right now -

      absorption - nothing "sort of,"

      no partial anything about it

    - to simply go at it 

      with gusto and enthusiasm -

      completely energized 

      and engaged

To make grade, to get in on it,

we absolutely need to do some 

real time

         Kidding Around

So, come on.

Let's head over to 

the pool and see how 

the experts do it.

      In God's Dear Love,

           John Frank


(1) Mark 10: 13-16 

The Message Translation


We were blessed this week

to have our first participation 

from Sao Tome and Principe.

A warm hearted welcome

to all new to

  "frankly speaking"

spirituality for the street

it is posted online early Thursday

east coast USA time

easily bookmarked

an email version appears

on Fridays

sign up top right online version

to access all past postings

please go to

Blog Archive

right column



Have a great week 

for sure

Kidding Around!!










Thursday, May 20, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Potent, powerful, potential.

They all have the same Latin root,  



Often "potens" is 

just beneath the surface,

be that consciousness or terrain.

Often "potens" is 

just above or beyond

where and how we are 

in our just now.

         Wherever However 

        It's Powerfully There.

       Potent Power Potential 


  To Be Discovered and Released

Miners, mystics, master chefs, 

musicians, psychologists, 

astrophysicists, city planners, 

philosophers, sculptors, 

research scientists, archeologists,

millions of plain, simple, ordinary, 

everyday Jane and Joe's 

and all their aware cousins 

get at it.

       They seek and release it


The miner digs down 

for the uranium

that releases the power 

of the atom ("potens").

A sculptor frees 

the masterpiece hidden 

in the marble  ("potens").

Grandma takes 

the Sunday dinner leftovers 

and serves up one heck of 

a Monday night soup ("potens").

Mystics free fall into the power 

of divine intimacy ("potens").

The astrophysicist delves 

ever more into the potentials 

of Quantum Physics ("potens").

Seeking and releasing "potens"

is primary and privilege

in our spiritual lives.

All "potens" is God's 

creative energy.

As co-creators we seek it.

As co-creators we release it:

  - we help a child 

    discover and develop 

    all their potentiality

  - we work to turn a destructive 

    social pattern positive

  - we open to the power 

    of God's Love for us

    at our deepest center

  - we labor to free 

    religious structures 

    for full hearted spirituality

 - we delve into the deep down power 

   of sacred scriptures, music, liturgy, art

 - we redirect economies to equality

 - we invite animals, trees, flowers, 

   oceans, valleys and peaks 

    to tell us about God

 - we do a Grandma Moses 

   in our later years

   and release new 

   and creative potentials 

 - we push past fear and selfishness -

   we plumb the depths possible 

   in our closest relationships

 - we foster and support efforts to 

   free environmental best practices

 - we dare to be 

   and do all that is in us

 - we challenge timidity and bias 

   as we more and more 

   see and live out 

   the power of human diversity 

   in our oneness

 - how about here we take 

   more than ten 

   and detail some examples 

   from our own soul and situation -

  what are the deep down powers 

  that we can release

  within and about us as co-creators?


     ..........taking time..........

 "God does both the making 

   and the saving.

  He creates each of us 

   by Christ Jesus 

  to join him in the work he does, 

  the good work 

  he has gotten ready 

  for us to do, 

  work we had better 

  be doing" 

        Ephesians 2:10

         The Message

  "We are collaborators in creation." 

      Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 "The world is charged 

   with the grandeur of God...

   There lives the dearest freshness 

   deep down things." 

           God's Grandeur

      Gerard Manley Hopkins  

     Time to power up and out.

     Powerful Love to all!

            John Frank



       On behalf of 

 Oliver Martin Minnich 

 thank you for 

 all the welcome good wishes 

 at his birth. 

 Ollie is doing wonderfully well. 

 While he isn't reading 

  Chaucer just yet,

  he's opening to life 

  like a beautiful rose.

         Welcome greetings

      to all stopping by here 

          for the first time.

        "frankly speaking"

   spirituality for the street


   is posted early Thursday mornings

  east coast USA time

             (easily bookmarked)

   an email version arrives Fridays

   the sign up is top of the online page

   Blog Archive makes available 

   all past postings

   right column above online version


   Have a powerfully creative week




Thursday, May 13, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Hang on to your hat,

steady your head and heart.

This is going to be all over the place.

I'm high as a kite - been up all night.

At 1:49 this morning my 

daughter and her husband birthed


     our first grandchild.

That's more than something for

an eighty one year old

let me tell you

and I sure do want to !

Even deeper and better,

GrandBoy and I have had 

a soulful togetherness

while he was in utero, 

growing up to grow out and on,

to come alive to give life.

We communed beyond words.


More than biological bond - way more.

Around three this morning 

my wife and I got to see 

Mom, Dad and GrandBoy

via facetime.

What a beautiful child.

His soul shows through his body, 

       and soul he is.

Mom and Dad just glowed.

Over the past nine months 

the best kept strategic secret

here in Washington, DC 

-a  city of super secrets -

has been what will his name be?

Now name is more than handle.

It's meant to be sacred.

That's how it was in ancient Israel.

Have you ever wondered about 

the second of the ten commandments?

After God states his stake in the first,

God then says 

"Thou shall not take the name 

of the Lord, your God in vain."

Is God Himself being a bit vain here,

a tad too touchy?

Not at all.

Those commandments were

given by Jews in the manner 

of their understanding, 

their culture and custom.

In ancient Israel

their valuation was 

The Name Is The Person,

an absolute equivalency.

Name is sacred.

Given that, what would 

our daughter and son-in-love

name this dear man child?


The wonderful words were spoken

by our daughter during our facetime,

I cannot tell you my joy.

You see, my middle name is 



Oliver comes from the Latin 


the olive tree planter.

In Hebrew the biblical olive tree 

symbolizes fruitfulness 

and beauty and dignity.

To offer an olive branch 

is to lovingly offer peace.

Yes, this little man 

not only has soul, 

he can draw from 

a profound spiritual stream.

He also has another heritage.


is for Martin Luther,a nod 

to the German Lutheran 

heritage on his 


side and the name 

of the dorm where

his Mom and Dad met at 

Muhlenberg College, 

an outstanding Lutheran

center of leaning.

There's more.

St. Martin of Tours 

is the patron saint of France.

He is lovingly remembered

for sharing more than 

the shirt off his back.

One frigid winter day

Martin saw a freezing beggar.

Getting off his horse

he drew his sword,

slashed his cloak in two 

and shared it with

the freezing beggar.

There's "spirituality for the street"!!

And get this.

Oliver's initials are


That is also a sacred sound

in Indian and Buddhist religion.

It signifies the essence 

of ultimate reality,


I share all this with you 

for the sheer joy of it,

mine and I hope yours.

It's yet another wondrous

utterance of Gospel,

       God News.

  Thanks for letting me

  enthuse with you.


        Ollie the Elder


      John Frank


Yet another welcome.

This to first time visitors

and to participation

from Indonesia.

Great to be together here 


   "frankly speaking"

spirituality for the street

it goes online early

Thursday mornings

east coast USA time

easily bookmarked

an email version 

goes out each Friday

sign up top right

online version

all past postings 

are accessible at

Blog Archive

bottom right column


See you soon.

Gotta brush up on 

how to change a diaper.



Thursday, May 6, 2021


Dear All of Us,

How tall is is God?

Does he have a moustache?

For that matter, is God a he?

If not, what about the moustache?

Pretty silly for sure.

Way more silly,

even sacrilegious,

is any attempt 

to define God.

It's like trying 

to nail down the wind.

The ancient Israelites knew that.

They referred to God as

      Utterly Other

Augustine, genius that he was, 

knew that:

    "Si comprehendis, non est Deus" -

    "If you understand, it isn't God."

The Western Church, though,

has the naughty habit

of claiming to define God.

It's actually idolatry, 

a control thing,

setting up its own version of God,

fashioning attributes to its design,

then absolutizing them,

playing God itself in the process.

It's a role doomed to failure.

Even worse, it misleads and deprives

those trying to be faithful.

It scrambles and distracts 

their awareness, their

         Soul Focus.

It turns religion into 

an idea factory -

buy in and you're safe and saved -

doctrines and dogmas blocking 

mystery, awe, union. 

God is not contained in concept.

God is not contained period.

    "Behold, heaven 

     and the highest heaven

     cannot contain You, 

     how much less 

     this house I have built." 


   Temple Dedication Prayer

           I Kings 8:27


Faith isn't adherence to statement.

Faith is freefall into ineffable mystery.

    "Our awareness of God is a syntax

     of the silence in which our souls 

     mingle with the divine,

     in which the ineffable in us 

     communes with the ineffable 

     beyond us."

                Abraham Heschel

              I Asked For Wonder

                     ( p. 9 )

That "mingle" is like a three year old

snuggled up in a comfy chair 

with her grandfather

as together they read a picture book.

That happy, secure little girl

has no awareness 

of her grandfather's

favorite wine, portfolio, 

political party, blood pressure, or DNA.

Such is not a concern.

Ever so better, that little girl 

and her grandfather are together,

merged in a mutuality of loving oneness,

mingled in the mystery of shared love.

It's like that with God and us -

union not definition.

We do not connect with the head.

We do wondrously connect with the heart.

We just can't define God.

God wouldn't be God if we could.

We simple don't have 

the wattage to throw that light.

Fussing over articulations 

that attempt, and fail, to nail 

God's make up and behavior

draw us off center:

    - is God a person (or three),

      a motion, an energy, 

      an "it,"  or what?

    - does God predestine us?

    - does God grant us free will?

    - why does God permit (cause?) 

       tragedy and pain?

    - why does God allow those bad things

      to happen to "good" (??? ) people

      (like us??)?

    - how can an Almighty God be limited

      by being "humanized" in Jesus? 

   - where is the resurrected body of Jesus,

     and for the Romans, that of

     the assumed Mary?

Such and too many more dislocate 

              Soul Focus

That hurts our spiritual life

way more than 

a dislocated shoulder

hurts our body.

Like that little girl 

with her grandfather,

we do well to snuggle up with God,

experience God -

center to center,

commune ineffable to ineffable.

That's the union of free form prayer,

a life of shared presence,

a union.

Like that lovely little girl, 

we can describe 

a bit of what we experience.

Grandpa is big and he is funny.

After supper his tummy makes 

a bunch of noises.

That's what sacred scripture,

the mystics and saints, 

the traditions of our community

the study of theologians 

do for us.

They tell us "about" God.

"About" references awareness

from around, not in.

It is like a poet sharing 

the beauty of a tree

rather than trying 

to peg its essence.

They share 

the light and warmth 

of a sun ray.

They do not capture 

the essence of the sun.

Like poetry, our awareness

and experience of God

is best expressed 

by analogy and metaphor

because we are dealing 

with mystery,

the dearly ineffable.

Were I a name theologian

or churchman 

(and they were all men)

back in the middle ages,

I would have put it like this

( using Latin of course!):

    "Deus est Deus"

      "God is God"

        That's it!

Paragraph, indeed  tome, period.

God is who, how, what God is.

God is not a nut for me to crack.

God is not an ocean I can scoop into 

the bucket of my mind,

even if I'm impressed that

said bucket has a ten gallon capacity.

It just can't come within an infinity 

of containing God.

Thank God!!

So, I set the bucket aside 

as I get contained, 

as I jump in and enjoy 

one wonderful immersion,

mingled in the divine ocean.

    In the Marvelous Mystery,

     and so indebted to that 

 lovely, little three year old girl,

            John Frank


       Abraham Joshua Heschel:

A Prophetic Voice for Our Moment

       Online via YouTube

         May 13,2021

      7:00 PM (ET) USA

            Sign Up:




A word of warmest welcome to

all joining us for the first time.

Among others we were gifted 

by recent visitors from

and Estonia and Papua New Guinea.

Please feel right at home here at

       "frankly speaking"

   spirituality for the street

a new posting goes online 

early Thursday mornings

east coast USA time

please consider bookmarking 

for easy access

automatic email delivery 

each Friday is available

sign up is located top right 

online edition

Blog Archive provides access

to all past postings

right column online edition


      May we all get lost

      Mingled in Mystery

      See you next week.