Wednesday, September 29, 2021


Dear All of Us,

This week we start

with rough stuff

and hopefully 

a smooth finish.

Let's see what happens.

Not nice, rough, but

Two Fisted Drinkers

sure are a concern.

Their booze blitz 

blocks better and best.

The same is so with

Two Fisted Getters.

They clutch all 

they can get: 

power, popularity, 

pleasure, property, 


Paradoxically they 

end up blocked

by their "gots,"

trapped  and possessed 

by their possessions.

There is no room for 

different, deeper,

better, fuller.

Two Fisted Getters

are like someone clutching 

handfuls of pennies

so tightly that they

decline the hand off 

of an inheritance check 

for ten million dollars.

Penny Poor for sure!

Jesus says it all

oh so much better.

   Together let's 

     Heart Hear


    as shared in

  Luke 12:13-34

and contemporized 

     for us in 

  The Message


Here Jesus speaks

to warn and ween,

to win over from




  He paints a 

 Word Picture

in broad strokes 

with bold-bright colors.

That's how the ancient Jews

stressed importance. 

So slowly we 


   this spoken 

 Reality Canvas.

As we do,

 - what's the deep down

   truth pictured here?

 - how do we deep down

   react to it?

 - how do we deal with these 

   broad strokes, 

   this bold-bright,

   "colorful language" 

    of Jesus?

- are we drawn into

  this "picturing"

  or do we push off

  from it? 

- do we see any of

  our culture,

  value system,

  life style,

  pictured here,

  actual, desired, or both?

- what's our gut reaction

  to the two ways 

  of living,

  of receiving,

  that Jesus sketches -

  getting or being given?

- what do they look like 

  as current and lived 

  in our here and now?

- scanning Jesus here,

  what does it mean 

  to move from 

  preoccupation with

  our "getting" to being

  open in trust and gratitude 

  to God's "giving"?

- what's the cost 

  of the trust level 

  needed to be "given"?

So we go 

slowly and honestly.

No rush-brush.

We pray and ponder 

as we see/hear 

the word picture 

Jesus paints:


  "Take care! Protect yourself 

    against the least bit of greed.

    Life is not defined 

    by what you have,

    even when you have a lot." 



   "Don't fuss about what's 

    on the table at mealtimes 

    or if the cloths in your closet 

    are in fashion. 

    There's a lot more to 

    your inner life than the food 

    you put in your stomach, 

    much more to your 

    outer appearance than 

    the cloths you hang 

    on your body. 

    Look at the ravens, 

    free and unfettered, 

    not tied down to 

    a job description, 

    carefree in the care of God. 

    And you count far more." 

         ( vs 22-24)

  "If God gives such attention 

   to the wildflowers, 

   ..., don't you think 

   he'll attend to you, 

   take pride in you, 

   do his best for you?" 

          (vs 28)

  "What I'm trying to do here 

   is get you to relax, 

   not to be so preoccupied 

   with getting so you can 

   respond to God's giving.

   You're my dearest friends! 

   The Father wants to give you 

   the very kingdom itself." 

           (vs 31-32)

  "Be generous.

   Give to the poor.

   Get yourselves a bank ...

   in heaven...

   a bank you can bank on...

   The place where 

   your treasure is,

   is the place you will 

   most want to be, 

   and end up being."

      (vs 33-34)

Jesus tells us that

The Father wants 

to give us 

The Kingdom.

Are our hands 

empty enough,

is our heart 

trusting enough,

to accept?

There it is!

Lighten up.

Loosen up. 

Let go the grip of our


Open those tightened 

fists full of pennies with their 

         FAUX FILL.

          Drop it.

       Then God can 

         FULL FILL 

        our hands 

    and every other part 

    and possibility of us

    to endless fullness.

For sure this is Gospel,

    "Good News."

For sure this is also

hard to hear,

hard to take

in a capitalistic 

Get Culture:

  - "Very lovely.

     Totally impractical."

  - "I've got a mortgage

     to manage and kids 

     to get through college."

 - "If you don't get,

    you're got!"

 - "So who/what insures

     my retirement?"

 - "How about what 

    my relatives and 

    neighbors would 

    make of me, 

    do to me?"

 - "Idyllic, but I'm no 

    Flower Child."

Given the above, 

too often too many 

of us settle for 

a wimpy and supposed 


of what Jesus says.

"I'll have a 'spirit' of 

simplicity and trust,

but I can't function 

the way Jesus invites -

just not practical or secure."

That sadly sterilizes the life out 

of what Jesus offers.

Real "spirit" is 

front and center, 

dynamic, operative,

functional, actual.

So, how do we avoid 

a sentimentalized and 

fake "spiritualizing"

of what Jesus says?

So how do we live

out all this with 

a whole spirit?

It comes down to,

and raises up to, 

who/what we trust -

market, money, or

The Creative Energy

that makes us 

and makes us go.

If we bank on 

what Jesus offers,

we accept 

God Given Grace

(inner "oomph")

  - to be assured by Jesus

    of God's care and providing, 

    to bank on it

  - to notice all that care 

    and providing at play in 

    our practical, daily living -

    we actually do have food,

    shelter, clothing, the 

    beauties of nature, 

    the arts and sciences, 

    learning, and...

 - to live practically, but simply   

 - to actually refuse greed.

 - to actually relax our spirit -

   and quit fearful getting.

 - to actually let God secure us

   as we go about our daily life

   rather than grab all we can.

So yes we go to work 

and do our banking

and pay our mortgages,

We send our kids to college.

We let God work 

through our work.

We bank on, 

take the "spirit,"

the dynamic of trust 

to our work, bank, 

tuition payments,


We let God

line things up 

for us/with us,

be our assurance

and surety.

We focus on 

the gifts and largess 

that God showers on us

through the practicalities

of freed, trustful living.

We relax into living

"carefree in the care of God."

We swap out

        FAUX FILL

       and trust God to

        FULL FILL

That puts a smooth finish 

     on everything

     Joining you in 

    Kingdom Trust,

      John Frank



Left untouched by grace,

I tend to cave to fear and 

worry about security.

More and more 

over the years, though,

I've chosen to trust God

more than not.

At eighty plus 

I have been "given" 

a wonderful wife, children,

and now grandchild,

health, sufficient 

retirement funding,

a marvelous life in

education and ministry.

Wimpy and weak as I am,

I more and more do "relax",

trusting in God's care,

being "preoccupied"

with God's "giving"

and am I ever so grateful.

In sharing this here

I don't give a red hot anything 

but offering a weak man's 

witness to God's care and




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God Given

frees from 




How about that scripture

Luke 12:34 (The Message)

"The place where your 

        treasure is,

       is the place...

  you will end up being." 

    We get to choose 

      the address 

         of our 


     What a deal!!


 See you next week!






God gives us openness

mind, heart, soul -


God offers invites

a filing to endless fullness.

Gotta trust and open

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Dear All of Us,



socially and 


makes a difference

- a big difference.

It opens doors,

ups the voltage,

deals a full house,

makes the cash register jingle,

rolls out the red carpet.

It's the way the world works.

In a wonderfully, refreshingly

         different way, 

  a pure and intimate way,



is just the the way Jesus works:

   "Live in me.

    Make your home in me

    just as i do in you.

    In the same way  

    that a branch 

    can't bear grapes by itself 

    but only by being joined 

    to the vine, 

    you can't bear fruit 

    unless you are joined with me.

    I am the Vine,

    you are the branches.

    When you're joined with me 

    and I with you, 

    the relationship 

    intimate and organic, 

    the harvest is sure 

    to be abundant."(1)



Jesus invites us 

into a dynamic 

Divine Connection.

Our spiritual life 

is our response.

Our response 

is acceptance.

Most basically 

our spiritual life 

is not a getting,

is not a doing.

It is accepting 

life connected to

   The Source 

    The Vine


letting it fruitfully 

  flower forth.

To clear for that,

it is telling 

our false self,

our phony self,

our fear fueled self,

our arrogant self,

our control determined self,

our independent driven self,

our disconnected self,

to go to hell in a hurry

and that we're not in any way 

going along for the ride!!

So freed, 

we take Jesus up 

on his offer,

on his invitation.

We accept connection

unto union and fruitfulness.

We really do 

move in with Jesus.

We not only 

live with him,

we live "in" him.

We are right at home 

in him as he is 

right at home "in" us.

It is naked intimacy,

each plunged into

the other unto 


Jesus is the vine 

that branches out as us.

It's "intimate and organic" 

and the harvest is 

ever so "abundant."

Jesus is 

the Source, 

the Aliveness,

the Energy,

that flows through us

unto harvest fullness.

Are we ever


So connected,

so sourced, 

we think like Jesus,

we value like Jesus,

we act like Jesus,

we live like Jesus.

"I live now, not I, 

but Christ lives in me" (2)

Then comes the "doing,"

the "doing" of Jesus 

in and through us.

The vine makes 

the branch fruitful.

All this deserves 

a generous portion 

of time and reflection.

Over the next many days

let's do just that.








Praying that we more and more 

accept the invitation to be


         John Frank


    (1) JOHN 15:4-5

    (2) Galatians 2:20


If you care to

Pray Ponder 

more and deeper 

     on being


     on our 

God Connection,

here are some 



We soul slow it.

A little at a time.

We deep listen.


reflections is a major help.

So is penning a quote 

or reflection on a card

and carrying it with us 

for prayer on and off 

during the day.

We see-sense what 

    The Spirit 


We feel free to stay with 

a word, an example, 

an insight, an application,

for all it has to say-show.

We then dress the particulars

of our life in that brightness.

Our help here is 

Eugene Peterson's

translation of scripture, 

   The Message

The scriptures were written 

long ago and far away 

in the idiom of 

then and there.

Peterson translates them 

in the idiom of

our here and now.

As we pray ponder these scriptures:

    - what do we understand here?

    - how do we react to it?

    - how does it show up in/effect

      our daily living?

    - is there something we need to

      maintain, change, add, delete?

    - is there a way we can 

      share with/support others 

      in all this?

   - where is our 

     religious community

     with (or without) all this?

We again hear Jesus and 

his offer of connection.

   What does he 

      Soul Say

to us and how we live?


     John 15:4-5

"Live in me.

 Make your home in me

 just as I do in you.

 In the same way that a branch 

 can't bear grapes by itself

 but only by being joined 

 to the vine,

 you can't bear fruit 

 unless you are joined with me. 

  I am the Vine, 

 you are the branches.

 When you're joined with me

 and I with you, the relation

 intimate and organic,

 the harvest is sure 

 to be abundant."

     - live in me

     - make your home in me

     - as I do in you

     - Vine as source

     - branches connected 

       and fruitful

     - how see and say all this 

       in the particulars of 

       our daily living?

Paul details a stepping 

away from disconnection and a 

stepping forward to accept 

connection and its fruits.


   Galatians 5:16-18

"My counsel is this: 

        Live freely,

 animated and motivated 

 by God's Spirit.

 Then you won't feed 

 the compulsions of selfishness.

 For there is a root of 

 sinful self-interest in us 

 that is at odds 

 with a free spirit,

 just as the free spirit is 

 incompatible with selfishness.

 These two ways of life 

 are antithetical,

 so that you cannot live 

 at times one way and at times 

 another way according to 

 how you feel on any given day.

 Why don't you choose 

 to be led by the Spirit

 and so escape the 

 erratic compulsions of 

 a law-dominated existence?"

       - live freely

       - Spirit powered

       - sinful selfishness

         at odds with a

         freed spirit

       - Spirit led

       - escape compulsive


       - what's all this look like 

         living out our spiritual lives

         out here on the street

         of actual, everyday life?

     Galatians 5: 19-21

"It is obvious what kind of life

 develops out of trying to get 

 your own way all the time

  ( being disconnected ):

 repetitive, loveless, cheap sex;

 a stinking accumulation of 

 mental and emotional garbage;

 frenzied and joyless grabs 

 for happiness;

 trinket gods;

 magic-show religion;

 paranoid loneliness;

 cutthroat competition;

 all consuming-yet-

 never-satisfied wants;

 a brutal temper;

 an impotence to love

 or be loved;

 divided homes and divided families

 small-minded and lopsided pursuits;

 the vicious habit of depersonalizing

 everyone into a rival;

 uncontrolled and 

 uncontrollable addictions;

 ugly parodies of community.

 I could go on..."

        - Whew!!

          - from what do we need 

          to disconnect?

       - how do these show up

         in our society/culture

         and how does that effect us ?

   Galatians 5:22-23

"But what happens when 

 we live God's way?

 He brings gifts into our lives,

 much the same way that 

 fruit appears in an orchard - 

 things like 

 affection for others,

 exuberance about life,


 We develop a willingness

 to stick with things,

 a sense of compassion 

 in the heart,

 and a conviction that 

 a basic holiness permeates 

 things and people. 

 we find ourselves involved 

 in loyal commitments,

 not needing to force 

 our way in life,

 able to marshal and 

 direct our energies wisely."

    -the fruits of being well Sourced,



Oh God, disconnect us from dead circuitry.

Plug us in, hot wires us to Source Central.



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Wednesday, September 15, 2021



Dear All of Us,

Bob Dylan knew it then.

We know it now.

"The Times They Are a-Changn'."

They sure as heck are, 

and not at all for the better:

concern, chaos, conflict -

         such risk.

Who knows how things 

     will work out, 

         or not,

with democracies diminished, 

politics polarized to peril,

pandemic (or is it pandemics?),

fiscal uncertainties inflating, 

spiritually shallow religion, 

culture wars,

terrorism over there 

and right here,

nuclear and climate threats,

to name some of too many.

We've had the pins 

of presumptive invincibility

knocked out from under us.

There are Flat Stanleys and 

Flat Stellas all over

the floor of upset.

Could ever Red and Blue

blend to royal purple?

Are we at all capable of

getting in the same boat and

rowing in one direction?

So far, not so good.

People are freight fraught.

What the heaven can we 

do about it - literally, really?

Or are we fated to 

some sort of hell on earth

and powerless in its 

incendiary blasts?

We have very little control

over much many of the 

troubles pressing on us.

There are major movers

controlling them,

but we are not they.

Prayer puzzling all this 

over the weekend

it occurred to me 

that a good part 

of our spiritual lives 

out here on the street

of right now

is a call to do something 

about "The Troubles,"

to get close and personal,

and sensitively so,

to show and share


the shoring up 

of sagging spirits,

a reset on hope,

a strengthening 

for the stress.

That we can be and do.

It makes 

different world 

of just now for others.


etymologically and actually,

means to put heart into another,

      (L) cor = heart

        to give them 

       courage care

        under siege.

That happens as 

we share with another

The Love Who Is God

in personal and practical ways.

It has as many manners

and takes as many forms as 

there are people hurting

and those encouraging them.

It's finding appropriate ways 

to share care and support,

to companion in pain and peril.

It can mean words.

It can mean silence.

It can be as simple as a smile.

It can be as extensive as

forestalling an eviction.

Whatever the expression,

it's enfleshing, personalizing

   God's Bright Love 

for those darkened in difficulty.

  "But encourage one another

   day after day, as long as 

   it is still called "Today"...

       Hebrews 3:13


The New Testament has 

one hundred references to 


How be such and do such?

Being a "Do Gooder" 

doesn't do it.

It's a poor parody

of encouragement.

Too full of self show.

It just aggravates aggravation.

We don't overwhelm.

We come close carefully 

and respectfully.

Encouragement glows out

from deep in us.

It's God's Bright in us

warming, brightening.

It's attitude, presence, response

appropriate to the need

of others.

  Spirit Sensitivity

  is so essential.

It's not only what we do,

it's mostly how how we do.

We sense the sense of the other.

We sense what we might 

be and do in response.

Rather than drooping off 

clothing for a poor family, 

we do much better 

stopping in for a visit

and at the end 

of the visit mentioning 

"There's some clothing

in the car that our kids 

have outgrown and 

we'd be so grateful 

if you'd help us out

by passing it on 

to your little ones."

  Soul Sensing

  Being and Do


We can't fix every problem,

but we can show awareness, 

respect and care.

We can be and do 


    in all sorts of 




- Thank the weary check out clerk,

  offering a wish for a good day

generously tip service persons:

   the plumber, the wait staff,

   the packet deliverer

- on a scorching hot/humid day

  give the mail deliverer five dollars

  to get a cool drink and express 

  appreciation for the effort required

- text a "Hello" and good wishes to 

  those adjusting to college

- when someone new on the job

  makes ten stupid mistakes

  in a row, affirm all the energy 

  they are putting into 

  learning the ropes

- take time to kibitz with 

  neighbors at the bus stop

- listen respectfully as a friend

  tells their tale of woe

- take a lonely senior adult

  for a ride in the country

- email your child's teacher

  expressing appreciation

  for all it is taking to

  reorient children to school

  after a year and a half

  on the loose (and couch)

- without being "preachy,"

  celebrate goodness

  in conversations -

  a sprightly Fall day,

  a "stay awake, spunky sermon",

  how well the new neighbors are 

  taking care of their yard,

  the wonderful, new crossing guard

- have the family of an unemployed

  parent over for dinner and a movie

- if you can, anonymously cover 

  the rent for a family 

  about to be evicted

- don't get all over the painter

  who shows up for one of 

  every five promised dates

- hear and accept the fear 

  so many have about so much

In our own way and world 

we do what we can.

  "If I cannot do great things, 

    I can do small things 

    in a great way." 


  "Let's see how inventive 

   we can be in encouraging love 

   and helping out..."

       Hebrews 10:25

       The Message

   "Instruction does much, 

    but encouragement 

    does everything."


By encouragement we 

not only help each other

survive the storm,

but together we learn 

how to dance in the rain.

      John Frank



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to this week's visitors 





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     "Try to be a rainbow 

      in someone's cloud."

        Maya Angelou


     See you next week.

     Looking forward to it!






Wednesday, September 8, 2021



Dear All of Us,

Well, from here in 

Washington, DC

a good Monday Morning 

to you whatever day 

and time it is there.

As we get under way, 

please permit reference to 

personal experience

quickly becoming 

ancient history.

As a boy way back there 

in the 40's, I loved 

going to Temple.

That's what our 

parish church, 

town library, and

art museum 

were for me.

They were temples of

hushed wonder.

Entering them 

was stepping into

silent sanctuaries of

mystery and wonder,

still zones 

speaking goodness 

to my young soul. 

Those environments of

tranquil awe 

awakened me

to the sacred center

of my own soul,

The Still Point

that is God.

Now, as a young boy 

certainly didn't 

have words for it.

No matter.

The experience was 

real and sacred

and still is more than 

three quarters 

of a century later.

Our spiritual lives, 

at their freshest,

are a sacred and 

beautiful blend of

inner and outer,

action and contemplation,

silence, saying, singing,

Just now, let's take 

a touch of time

for the inner, 

time to hear 

the sounds of silence,

time to sense the sacred

in the wonder of 


We slow soul it.

We soul sense it.

"Be still and know 

 that I am God."

  Psalm 46:10

"I think 99 times 

 and find nothing.

 I stop thinking,

 swim in silence, 

 and truth 

 comes to me."

 Albert Einstein

"The ego gets

 what it wants

 with words.

 The soul finds 

 what it needs

 in silence."

Author Unknown

Shared by Phillip Russo

"Cor ad cor loquitor."

(Heart speaks to heart.)

   Francis de Sales

"In Silence there is eloquence. 

 Stop weaving and see how 

 the pattern improves." 


"It is better in prayer to have 

 a heart without words

 than words without a heart."

       Mahatma Gandhi

"For now she needs not think 

 of anybody. She could be herself,

 by herself. And that was what now 

 she often felt the need of - to think; 

 well not even to think. 

 To be silent; to be alone. 

 All the being and the doing, 

 expansive, glittering, vocal, 

 evaporated; and one shrunk, 

 with a sense of solemnity, 

 to being oneself, 

 a wedge-shaped core 

 of darkness,

 something invisible to others...

 and this self having shed 

 its attachments was free 

 for the strangest adventures."

        Virginia Woolf, 

      To the Lighthouse

     It takes 


to journey to our 

deepest self, to

The Still Point 

at our core,

the point where God 

presents as us,

and is present to us.

Paradoxically our Still Point 

is that from which all our 

being and doing emanate.

Reality, us and all that is, 

have vast ranges  

of resonance.

Many most are in 

a silent-subtle-still frequency.

We can only "hear" them 

"soul-sense-see" them

in that zone of


There's such much varied 

soundings-seeings-sensings in it.

We have so many "levels" 

to us - ever deeper 

than the immediacy 

of our ear hear,

of our think soundings,

of our surface stir.

Sensing is energy sharing.

That energy is 

way more than 

a decibel count,

or concept captive,

or sense scurry.

It thins to fullness

ever going deeper.

"Deep calls unto deep"

      Psalm 42:7

To take the call we need 

channels free of surface static.

To hear deeply we need 

deep still and silence.

To center in we need 


That starts by turning down 

the volume of static 

on the surface of our living -

rush, stress, being over active,

over committed hurry,

too much media noise and "news."

Those things blitz our psyche

and block access to


We slow and steady

the frenzy and the frenetic.

We make sure to regularly

get in our canoe and go out

on the lake of tranquility.

The Spirit may beckon us

to the fields, to a chapel,

to the woods, to an art museum,

to the quiet of our porch

or our bedroom.

There's a divine realm 

beyond thought and word,

beyond busy,

be that inner or outer.

Getting there is simple


Now it's time for me to 

be just that.

      John Frank


Because I have a brain 

that just doesn't click 

like it used to, 

I forgot to mention 

in last week's posting

that the illustration about

the hitch hiker in Alaska

came, I think, from

The Book Of Awakenings

by Mark Nepo, MJF Books,

New York.

Gotta tell you,

this old age stage 

is something else!

As my feet shuffle

and my brain flubs

my spirit says:

"Who cares?

The peace and 

soul mellow

are so wonderful!!"


Every good wish 

and blessing 

to our Jewish 

sisters and brothers

during these

High Holy Days.





      TO US ALL.

This week a special

        "Hi 5"

to those of us from 

Russia and Turkey.


     Please share 

  "frankly speaking"

spirituality for the street

with friends and associates.


Wednesdays before dinner

(because I want to enjoy dinner

and go to bed early)

east coast USA time

please consider bookmarking



sign up top right online format


access to all past postings

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The Spirit speaks so clearly in

  The Sounds of Silence


 Looking forward to seeing 

      you next week.



So, those of us

"Ancient of days"

well remember going 

to the local library

as kids back in 

a distinctly different era.

It was like entering

this sacred space, a

Temple of Wonder.

It was sort of like 

going to church.