Thursday, June 17, 2021



Dear All of Us,

I'm telling you,

it was surreal, 

but it sure was fun.

There I was

in the supermarket

to buy a bottle of wine,

and I got proofed.

Yep, proofed!

"Company policy,

no exceptions"

the young clerk explained,

not even for one as 

long in the tooth as me.

Been years!!

What a hoot!!

Speaking of "spirits,"

we're all getting proofed,

not about spirits 

in a bottle, 

but about the spirit of 

our discipleship:

    "Let me me give you 

     a new command: 

     Love one another.

     In the same way 

     I loved you, 

     you love one another. 

     This is how everyone 

     will recognize that you 

     are my disciples - 

     when they see the love 

     you have for each other."(1)

That's Jesus' proof policy

about our discipleship -

no exceptions.

That's also the 

everyday public's proof policy

about our discipleship -

no exceptions.

Loving each other 

with a Jesus love 

is proof positive

of genuine discipleship.

It seals the deal.

Now, this is 

major league matter.

So much depends on it

for us and for others.

So slow we go.

Let's take time 

in the next while 

to unlock

all we can with

these keys from Jesus:

    - command

    - love

    - disciple


  "Let me give you 

   a new command..."

There's a donation, 

not a demand here. 

It's a gift, a "give"

from Jesus to us.

"Let me ..."

Allow me says Jesus.

Ah, but!!

Consciously or otherwise,

most of us bristle and buck 

at a command - 

even from Jesus.

That damnable arrogance

we inherited from 

the first moma and papa

back in the good old 

garden days gone bad!

Where/how are we 

in our right now with


   we as a disciple

   we as a community 

   of disciples


Well, it would be just that 

          - well -

 to scope out what 

that means with Jesus.

He's not a general 

ordering us around.

In it's purity, 

and certainly 

in the purity of Jesus,


means what

the root words mean:

   (L) com   =  with

       manus =  hand

Free translation,

no need to go it alone.

Let's team it, 

go it hand in hand.

Jesus wants to walk us 

right and real

as his disciples,

show us the way,

companion us.

Will we and our churches

accept his lead and hand,

his "command"??


If we do and as we do 

     that means 

loving the socks off 

     each other.

Put another way,

we are only disciples

if and as much as

we love on each other.

Take that to the mirror.

Take that to church.

 How so?

The measure of the matter 

from Jesus to us is:

    "In the same way 

     I loved you..."

And Jesus is anything but 

a timid, tentative, sort of, 

so so, measured, metered


He's a total, unqualified,

unrestricted, flat out,

passionate, no hugs barred.

consistent, persistent,

totally self giving


He's hot wired.

The Love that is God

surges through him

right to us.

  " I've loved you the way 

    my Father has loved me.

    Make yourself right at home 

    in my love...

    This is the very best 

    way to love.

    Put your life on the line 

    for your friends." ( 2 )

      WOW and WHOA

 That's a million miles from 

moving over and letting 

a fellow parishioner 

have the aisle seat

and thinking that 

we scored as a disciple!

Loving fellow disciples 

gets personal, practical 

and fervently real.

Will we baby sit kids 

so an exhausted couple 

from our church

could have a weekend 

off together?

Will we forebear 

the arrogant loud mouth 

who tries to dominate

at church meetings?

Will we stay up all night 

with a dying parishioner 

who has no family?

Will we pitch in with others 

to cover the rent for 

a family about to be evicted?

Will we socialize regularly 

and freely and joyfully with 

our mirror opposites:

gays, straights, 

conservatives, liberals,

wealthy, poor,

sophisticated, unlettered -

have them over for supper,

go bowling, have play dates 

for the kids?

Will we make it a mix,

kids to seniors, 

all sorts of worship modes,

multiples of ethic foods,

plenty of shared prayer 

and prayer styles?

Will we go all out for

the disabled?

Will we love each other

so much that we 

really are a viable, 

for real community,

vibrantly interacting

not just folks meeting 

Sunday mornings

at formalized worship?

Can it be said of us 

as was said 

of the early church:

"See how they love 

one another."


People will only count us

disciples of Jesus 

if we're red hot in love 

with our fellow disciples.

How many can look at us,

see and feel that?

A spiritual exercise 

to check out how 

we check out


Hopefully next week 

we can turn 

the third key: disciple.

Hey! I love you!

As a matter of fact

fatigue and a double sty

in my left eye

have meant 

three false starts 

on writing this posting 

and an extra day at it.

But, then, so what!

I really want 

to love you,

to prove out 

and be a real disciple

with you!!

     John Frank


(1) John 13:34-35

      The Message

(2) John 15: 9 & 13

       The Message


Over the days ahead 

let's pray and ponder 

our way through

what The Spirit shows

about our discipleship,

that of 


and that of our 


How is/can it be

put into practice

in our right now,

right here living.

Let's be specific and 

concrete about this.

Might help to do this 

with pen and paper.

First time through, 

   how can I live love 

   so noted 

   as a disciple.?

Second time through,

    how can we live love 

    so noted

    as a church of disciples?

Let's see all that is shown.

That means honesty, 

openness, courage,

taking Jesus at his word

and a slow go in this 


 I Corinthians 13:4-7

      The Message

   Love never gives up.

   Love cares more for others than for self.

   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.

   Love doesn't strut,

   Doesn't have a swelled head,

   Doesn't force itself on others,

   Isn't always "me first,"

   Doesn't fly off the handle,

   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

   Doesn't revel when others grovel,

   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

   Puts up with anything,

   Trusts God always,

   Always looks for the best,

   Never looks back,

   But keeps going to the end.

And now, what are/will we do about it?


A warm summer welcome to all,

those here every week and 

those here for the first time.

A special joy is our 

first ever connect from 



          "frankly speaking"

      spirituality for the street

posted early Thursday mornings

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The only valid ID 

we have as disciples

is our love for each other.

So let's slow it!

Great to get PROOFED!!







Did you ever get in on

any of those sure fire            


guaranteed to set 

soul and church

right and real?

Over the fifty plus years 

I pastored there was

an unending stream 

of them -

pastoral approaches, 

programs, projects, 

studies, experiences 


renewal to real:

Folk Masses, Cursillo,

Marriage Encounter,

Disciple Bible Study, 

retreats, Holy Years,

Revivals, pilgrimages,

"I'll bet ya!

Oh no!

Not me.

I prefer a sure thing.

My betting has been limited to

church car raffles 

and "Fifty-Fifties,"

with an occasional stray 

to a state Lottery ticket

at the local Seven Eleven.

Notch all that up. way up, 

and there is the surest of

sure things. 

In the best sense of it

"You can bet on it."

It's the trifecta 

Jesus shares in John j