Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Dear All of Us,

Imaging people

driving backwards,

saying white is black,

black is white,

putting their 

right and left shoes

on the opposite foot,

flying from New York 

to Paris by way of 

Los Angeles and Sydney,

putting salt on 

their Cheerios 

and sugar on their

mashed potatoes?

Really pretty crazy, 

right, or is it left?

Given the above, 

and given that 

pot is so popular

and prevalent 

here in DC,

let me assure that

I've had nothing stronger 

than two cups of coffee this

"start - the - blog"

Monday morning.

That's really so and


is the question

of the day and of the

craziness above.

Let's see it and say it.

   We live in  a 

Mad Hatter world,

  one in free fall, 

   one that is 



 It's what the

Book of Revelation



It's like driving backwards 

on the freeway of shared life,

wrong directed, deadly:

dominance of the privileged,

possession for the few,

poverty for the masses,

a middle class 


into compliance, 

governance and commerce

too often operating 

at the moral level

of eighth grade 

playground bullies,

institutional religion 

captive and chaplain 

to Empire.

Unreal, wrong directed.

        Ah, but

       and there is 

   an "ah" and a "but."

   Jesus introduced,  



   "alternate facts"


      an alternate 

      faux reality,

         as in 


    but blessedly  

"Jesus announced, 

 lived, and inaugurated 

 for history a new social order.

 He called it The Reign of God, 

 The Kingdom of God... 

     REALLY REAL."   


This "kin-domain" 

is mentioned over 

eighty times in

The New Testament.

From the get go 

of his ministry, 

Jesus announced it

and detailed it:

"Jesus went  throughout Galilee 

teaching in their synagogues 

and proclaiming the good news 

of the kingdom..."

  Matthew 4:23 

The Sermon On The Mount 

is a wonderful "sampler"

in which Jesus explains living it 

 -  attitudes and actions  -

    Matthew 5:1-7:28


         REALLY REAL

       The Reign of God

     The Kingdom of God

         is community, 

      immediate and felt,

    a matter of the heart, 

        of coming alive

        at our center, 

 really accepting and living 

 the life and teaching of Jesus,

     caring and sharing,

  close in and way beyond,

in our communal here and now.

So we look to where we can find 

  God Love Lived Community

        The Reign of God

     The Kingdom of God

         REALLY REAL

If we can't find it, we found it.


Let's hear Jesus out,

    let his words

    Spirit Soak


infuse our hearts.

Let's apply them to 

who and how 

we are and can be 

as kingdom people.

    Some specific notetaking,

    practical, personal and 

    community applied, 

    might be a big help here:

 - what do we imagine

   it was like for people 

   to hear these words 

   directly from Jesus,

   living in the midst of 


   The Roman Empire,

   of their day? 

 - what is our initial reaction 

   to them?

 - what's the main point(s)

   that Jesus is sharing here? 

 - what do they mean for me/us

   as we are now?

 - what do they mean for me/us

   going forward - 

   how "be and do" them?

 - how about doing all this 

   with a Soul Friend or 

   with a small group from 

   our spiritual community,

   or those trying to find one?



   "These words I speak 

    to you are not 

    incidental additions 

    to your life, 

    homeowner  improvements 

    to your standard of living. 

    They are foundational words,

    words to build a life on."  (2)

   "Are you tired?

    Worn out?

    Burned out 

    on religion?

    Come to me.

    Get away with me

    and you'll recover 

    your life.

    I'll show you how 

    to take a real rest.

    Walk with me and 

    work with me -

    watch how I do it.

      Learn the unforced 

    rhythms of grace.

    I won't lay anything 

    heavy or ill-fitting 

    on you.

    Keep company 

    with me 

    and you'll learn 

    to live freely

    and lightly. (3)

  "In a word, 

   what I'm saying is 

        Grow up.

   You're kingdom subjects.

   Now live like it.

   Live out your 

   God-created identity.

   Live generously 

   and graciously

   toward others,

   the way God 

   lives toward you." (4)

  "Thy Kingdom come

   on earth as it is 

   in heaven" (5)

   and pray that be

right in our neighborhood,

perhaps even a small group

gathering in our home.

        For sure 


      John Frank


(1) Richard Rohr

      Daily Meditation, 

     November 15, 2020

(2) Matthew 7:24

     The Message

(3) Matthew 11:28-30

     The Message

(4) Matthew 5:48

     The Message

(5) Matthew 6:10


 An aid to participating in 

 a spiritual community 

 that is actually, practically, 

 given to living together 

   The Reign of God

   The Kingdom of God

   The Really Real 

follows for reflection and prayer 

on our own/with others.

Just scroll down.



       "REALLY REAL!"



     "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street


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" The kingdom of heaven

  is like a treasure 

  hidden in a field,

  which a man found 

  and hid again; 

  and from joy over it 

  he goes and sells 

  all he has and 

  buys that field." 


   Matthew 13:44

        It's the



 and what a find!!

In today's terms,

what does it mean 

to "buy in" completely,

like the man in 

the example Jesus gives?

What's it cost?

Jesus did not found a religion.

He offered joining together 

to live in The Reign of God.

Those who did so

were originally called

  "Followers of the Way."

Eventually their shared life 

was formalized in 

a structured way.

It became a religion

and took many forms 

as it does today.

Constantine converted

that into Empire,

into the state religion.

The result was not

religion pure and simple.

Richard Rohr summarized 

the coopting of Christianity 

by Empire:

      "It's possible to trace 

      the movement of Christianity  

      from the earliest days until now. 

      In Israel, Jesus and the early "church" 

      offered people an experience; 

      it moved to Greece, 

      and it became a philosophy.

      When it moved to Rome 

      and Constantinople,

      it became an organized religion.

      Then it spread to Europe,

      and it became a culture.

      Finally, it moved to North America

      and became a business...

      Even inside each of these iterations,

      as misguided as they were 

      - and still are today -

      humble, loving, people emerged

      in every one of them.


       "Jesus and the Empire"

       "Another Name for Everything"

        session 3, episode 4, March 7, 2020

What do you understand 

the above to mean for 

the structure and experience 

of religion as we have it today?

How much is it 

     Jesus experience,





 "By their fruits 

   you will 

   know them."


  Matthew 7:16

In all honesty, what's the 

spiritual "fruit" produced

by the religious community

to which we belong 

or are considering?

In what ways is it, 

or is it not,

an actual living together of 

The Beatitudes and 

The Sermon On The Mount?

Matthew 5:1 to 7:28

Let' be specific.

   "Let me give you 

     a new commandment:

     Love one another.

     In the same way 

     I have loved you, 

     you love one another.

     This is how people 

     will recognize that 

     you are my disciples -  

     when they see 

     the love you have 

     for each other."


       John 13:34-35

When people stop by 

the religious community 

to which we belong 

or are considering,

how much mutual love,

Jesus-like love,

do they see,

is vibrating, 

all over the place?

What is there to be


Do we find 

for real disciples?

Let's detail the level 

and likes of the love 

lived there.

What are ten 

perfect examples of it,

or the sad failure of it?

Jesus taught us to pray

 "Thy kingdom come.

  Thy will be done,

  on earth as in heaven."

      Mathew 6:10

Let's detail how our

our spiritual community,

or one we may be considering,

is like The Kingdom of Heaven,

as Jesus lived and taught it,

or not so.

Would we dare claim 

that heaven is like 

this community?

How so?

We face a critical time,

a tipping point, globally.

  - the rise of fascist 


  - sheer, bedrock truth

    perverted, pulverized 

    into contrived,

    self serving sand

    that just can't hold

    up to reality

  - an environment 

    so abused it teeters

    on exhaustion 

    and inability 

    to sustain life

  - the "haves" having most

    and the "have nots"

    not having enough

  - unfaced and unresolved 

    racial and ethnic evil

  - an inability to live diversity

    in unity

How is this 

spiritual community 

out front in addressing 

all this and offering practical

Jesus Solutions, or not?

What are they?

Jesus said:

    "I am the way, 

     the truth 

     and the life."

      John 14:6

How does this community

genuinely live and share 

      that "way"

      that "truth"

      that "life"

of Jesus, or fail to do so?


So, what do we do?

As mentioned above 

in this week's posting,

we find or found a community, 

one that, however imperfect,

together embraces and lives 

what Jesus gives -

   "Jesus announced, lived, 

    and inaugurated for history 

    a new social order.

    He called it The Reign of God, 

    The Kingdom of God...

            REALLY REAL" (1 above)

See you in church.

That might be 

across town.

That might just be 

in your living room

or your back yard.

Wherever, may it be