Wednesday, August 10, 2022

ONEING


Dear All of Us,

"Go figure!"

 And we sure do try!

   Self-Identity

   Relationships

   Reality

   Religion

   Right and Wrong

   Raising Kids

   Life Changes

   In-laws

   Finances

   Politics

     (Good luck!)

   Purpose 

   Values

   Vocation 

   Work

   Recreation

   Our spiritual life

Lots of lots

all over the place.

It's a day in and 

day out deal.

How do we 

put it all together?

How does it all add up?

     "Go Figure!'


The mystic, 

Julian of Norwich, did.

She was shone and 

shows that

  it all adds up to

        ONE

Actually and paradoxically 

we start, stay, go, remain,

end up, always are,  

always will be 

  VARIOUSLY ONE

For sure it's

a higher math

factoring endlessly

the dynamic of

   Goodness

        

    Goodness 

is loving, outgoing, 

givingpositive, 

creative energy.

That energy

is what we call God.


God Goodness is 

the base, the genesis, 

the source, 

the very presence 

in which all that is is.


God Goodness radiates out

in form, manner, intensity, 

dynamically and beyond count.


God Goodness is The Being 

in which all being exists.


Come to find out 

everyone, everything

is marvelously unique 

in the shared

       ONEING

that is God Goodness.


That One is busy 

bursting forth in

uncountable, ecstatic, 

beautiful ways -

        Creation 

us and all that "is" 

rooted and emerging from it,

the most element pulsation 

of energy to its most 

complex configuration -

           all 

     one in being, 

varied in expression.

      We're all 

         ONE

   in unendingly 

  different ways.


       PHEW!!

  OK. Let's take 

  a deep breath.


           ONEING

              is

        One in all 

            and 

       all in One.

   It is God Goodness

    in different ways.

  At the core of all is

          One

    in expression 

    vastly varied.

A vital, fruitful apple tree

can be an icon for us

of this divine unity 

variously expressed and present -

the oneness of rooted trunk 

branching, 

flowering forth,

fruitful in each unique apple.

Same one life/being

presenting variously.


Our spiritual life,

indeed, life itself,

is in large part 

catching on how to 

   "Go figure" 

        the 

 God Goodness, 

  of all that is,

  how to see 

  and live this

    ONEING

   It is active 

 contemplation.


Active contemplation 

    is letting God 

    show us around

    and getting us in 

    on it all.


For us it starts in 

our here and now 

and never stops

in our everywhere 

and always.


It's a given, not a gotten.

We just let go and let God 

      SHOW SHARE

   THE PARTICULARS 

             OF

            ONE


Our spiritual "practices" 

        are simply 

relaxation exercises

to loosen us up so 

God Goodness can 

introduce us to ourselves,

and to our ourselves

in all the different ways

we are one with all that is,

getting us active

in the dynamic of 

      ONEING

in having a blast

      Be-ing,

       One 

    with/in all.


Julian words God:

 "See that I am God. 

  See that I am in everything. 

  See that I do everything.

  See that I have 

  never stopped 

  ordering my works, 

  nor ever shall, eternally. 

  See that I lead everything 

  on to the conclusion 

  I ordained for it 

  before time began, 

  by the same power, wisdom, 

  and love with which I made it. 

  How can anything be amiss?"

             ONEING


So, when we feel that "other" 

people, places, 

energies, elements, 

activities - 

are strangers,

we realize it's 

an estrangement 

on our part. 

We ask God Goodness 

to warm us open,

     to get us

     ONEING

    free us to 

    embrace 

      and 

    engage,

   Oneness 

   in all its

  delightfully 

 different ways.

Hey, as that aborns

we find ourselves 

in love with All.

Julian of Norwich:

  "The fulness of joy 

   is to behold God 

   in everything."

No chance then for 

violating, waring,

for any kind of 

us against them

because at core we are 

         ONE

Julian of Norwich: 

 "The love of God creates 

  in us such a oneing 

  that when it is truly seen, 

  no person can separate 

  themselves from another."

Everyone, everything 

is family and more.

Everyone, everything 

is a particular of One.

We are the same 

in different ways  

We're kin at core.

Thus, Godly Kin-Ness.

"Whatever you do to 

 the least of these 

 you do unto me."

      Jesus

Matthew 25:40


Unfortunately, it takes

lots of time for lots of us 

to grow up, to wake up to 

who, how and what 

we and all are, to our

        ONEING

So we sin.

It's like cancer.

The body attacks itself.

Sin is the sickness of soul

trying to split our Oneness -

us and them,

haves and have nits,

preferred and rejected.

Fortunately, as Julian assures:

"The love of God is 

hard and marvelous. 

It cannot and will not 

be broken because 

of our sins."


As we see and embrace our 

          Oneness

    we are free to fly.

Other things, other people 

are the me I haven't met yet.

We don't have time to 

grab, hoard, or hurt.

We reverence, we celebrate, 

we delight, we care, 

we love

         ALL

because that's us.

We're freed to get 

wildly carried away 

making love with 

every bit of existence.

We help, we give, 

we receive, we share, 

we create, we celebrate, 

we enjoy, we rejoice, 

we heal.

One and never done!


"...Thy kin-domain come

on earth as it is in heaven."

            Jesus

That's our prayer.

That our life.

That's the wholly-ness of

         ONEING


       Delighted that 

     together we are      

          ONEING

        John Frank

          ******


 A One-der Full Welcome

 to first timers this week.

 You help us open ever more 

 to our 

           ONEING


            frankly speaking

      spirituality for the street

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                ******

       Love to ONE in ALL

                ******





















Wednesday, August 3, 2022

JUST KIDDING AROUND


Dear All of Us,

No kidding!

It takes a long time 

for most of us 

to get good at

JUST KIDDING 

   AROUND

We were really good 

at it early on.

Then for years of when

we were schooled 

away from it.

"Come on! Grow up!"

"Don't be such a baby!"

"Be a Big Boy/Girl."

"Stand on your own two feet."

"Get serious about life."

"Stand apart."

"Take care of yourself."

"Be your own man/woman."

"Get a life!'

"Get an education.

"Get a job."

And most of us did.


I did.

Off to boarding school, 

seminary, college, university,

piling up those degrees.

Ordained, pastored 

all sizes and shapes 

of churches, taught

high school and college, 

helped lead a large 

diocesan school system, 

retreat master, spiritual director,

blessedly married, fathered, 

now grandfathering, writer, speaker.

A lot of a lot.

Most of it quite worthwhile.

All grown up.


Yet, well, something got lost,

not all together, 

but sadly too often and much -

a disconnect from simplicity,

source and center.

Growing up sometimes 

meant growing away

from the total trust,

the playfulness,

the centered spirituality

of childhood, the grace of

JUST KIDDING AROUND


These days, long of years,

short of breath,

I'm getting a second wind

as my days wind down.

Jesus and my little 

Grand Son, Ollie the Younger,

are taking me out to play,

to cut loose, romp, trust,

get "happied" up, secure in a

spirituality Source centered.

We're having a ball

JUST KIDDING AROUND.


I watch Ollie. 

He is centered in 

The Source.

It's not a "think thing".

It's a lived experience,

mediated by his Mom.

He loves her.

He needs her

and he knows it!!

He trusts her.

He is free and safe with her.

He dives into embrace and 

gets lost in snuggle.

They play.

He grows and learns

secure in their oneness.

A model and experience of

simple, Source centered

spirituality.

Ollie is a great coach 

and playmate.

He's really good at

JUST KIDDING AROUND


Jesus is out here in

the playground of life with us.

He smiles me simple and safe.

All kinds of oneness.

Together we get absorbed 

in the flowers and trees

and beautiful architecture 

of our neighborhood here in DC.

We feel expansive doing

water aerobics together,

delighted in the rippled 

light show of sun and water 

dancing together in 

the crystal-clear pool.

We take our time and savor 

the extraordinary meals  

my wife prepares every evening. 

We go up to the roof pavilion

many evenings and get lost

in the panoramic magnificence 

of the sunset over the cathedral.

There's mellowing in 

gentle family visits.

We read all kinds of great books.

We often and more and more 

just sit together, a rested oneness. 

        

        At about the same time, 

        the disciples came 

        to Jesus asking,

       "Who gets the highest rank 

        in God's kingdom?"

        For an answer Jesus 

        called over a child,

        whom he stood in the middle 

        of the room, and said, 

      " I'm telling you,

        once and for all, 

        that unless you return 

        to square one and 

        start over like children, 

        you're not even going 

        to get a look at the kingdom, 

        let alone get in.

        Whoever becomes simple 

        and elemental again, 

        like this child, (like Ollie)

        will rank high in God's kingdom.

        What's more, when you receive

        the childlike on my account,

        it's the same as receiving me."

                Matthew 18: 1-5

                   The Message


                 Is it ever so God 

               to finally get back to

            JUST KIDDING AROUND

                  Ollie the Elder

                      ******

       PS  

          Ollie has an extraordinarily 

          good father.

          More of the same Godness 

          in a different way.

          He is twice blessed to 

               The Source

                 ******


Hey, to all the new kids showing up 

here today, You're in! Let's play!


         frankly speaking

     spirituality for the street 

         (and certainly, 

       for the playground)

   johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

   click frankly speaking top left

         

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              ******


     WOULD YOU PLEASE 

           HELP OUT?

    Sure would appreciate it 

    if you would pass this on 

    to a couple of friends, 

    family, colleagues today.

    You are the only advertising 

    I can afford. Thanks!!

               ******

             Come on!

             Let's go!

Ollie and Jesus are waiting for us.

               ******

          



     

    

  












Wednesday, July 27, 2022

PORTION

 

Dear All of Us,

When we gathered here 

a few weeks ago, we had a

good thing going with giving. 

Let's give giving more go.

(Yep, I like to play!)

So, here's a little 

true life adventure

from my long, long ago.


Grandma and Grandpa

joined us for Sunday dinner.

I was five in that long long ago 

of nineteen ought and forty-five.

My Mom had a try at a pint-sized 

Rite of Passage for me.

At the end of the meal

I was rather ceremoniously

commissioned to be a Big Boy

and serve desert all by myself.

Alone in the kitchen, 

I portioned out the

Hershey's vanilla ice cream

for my grandparents, 

Mom and Dad as well as 

my four-year-old sister

and rival, Ann.

I carefully brought 

the dishes out one at a time.

Lastly, I then came to the table 

with my own serving of ice cream,

a portion four time larger 

than anybody else's.

There were quiet chuckles

from the grownups and 

a howling challenge from 

my sister, Ann.

That rite wasn't at all "right."

I didn't pass the passage.


An essential part 

and passage of 

our spiritual lives

is to learn and live 

the liberation of

    "Freely you 

     have been given,

     freely give."

    Mathew 5:8 

Over the years 

our spirit maturing 

is a passage from 

the wrong of a

plugged-up self 

to the "right" 

of a freed, 

wide opened self-giving.

We catch on that 

plugged up to giving

plugs up to receiving,

that being given and giving 

have a flow through dynamic.

Given is given to give.

Plugging up the outflow

plugs up the inflow.


Conversely, we widen 

more and more to a

divine expansiveness

as we give more and more.

More flows into the emptiness 

created by the emptying out

of generous portions of giving.


It all starts and is powered by God.

God portions out the given 

of our existence,

a sharing in God's very Being.

  "So God created 

   human beings, 

   making them to be 

   like himself."

    Genesis 1:27 

  The Good News 

    Translation 

  " In him we live 

    and move 

    and have 

    our being." 

    Acts 17:28

        RSV

What a given!

We are invited into

the delightful dynamic 

that is God.

   "God is love."

    1 John 4:8

God Love is a given 

that wants to be given.

God counts on us 

for the openness

to be given 

and to give.

   "The Lord is 

    my portion." 

    Ps 119:57

We get to portion out 

the God Love given us.

What a deal!!

This is living.

This is really living!!

We're enlivened to enliven.

We're loved to love.

We're in on creation and

being created in the deal.


That sometimes takes 

a major portion 

of being given

and its flow through

to our giving:

 - birthing a child over

   the twenty some years

   or more that takes

 - caring for a disabled 

   or elderly person

 - taking a low paying position 

   for the good of others, e.g.

   teaching, pastoring,

   social work

  - passing up a major promotion

   given family needs

 - working to right the wrongs 

   of church, government,

   media, corporations

   and taking the "hits" for it

  (Liz Cheney, Pope Francis)

 - living a decidedly modest 

   and eco-friendly lifestyle

   so as to be able to help fund

   the needs of the poor 

   and so doing reverence 

   earth, water, air

 - to put time and energy into

   nurturing community - 

   neighborhood, church, politics -

   local to global.


There are as well 

many everyday ways 

to share generous portions,

giving what we've been given

by giving of

who we are, 

what we have,

what we can do:

- being the positive in a

  negative work environment 

- having an all-alone neighbor 

   over for dinner

 - smiling and thanking the 

   checkout clerk, bus driver,

   letter carrier, librarian

 - spotting exhausted parents 

   for a few hours

 - once a week teaching 

   Sunday School, tutoring, or

   being a Big Brother/Sister

 - corresponding with 

   an incarcerated person

 - buying a box of 

   Girl Scout Cookies 

   even if they don't have 

   our favorite variety available

 - really listening and caring 

   when another shares

 - getting over a slight  

   in less than ten years

 - going to a ball game 

   with another when

   we'd dearly rather

   go to a concert

- thanking the cook even if 

  dinner is many menus 

  from what we crave

- honestly, simply, lovingly

  praying for others.


Big ways, little ways, always

we open wide to being given God,

a God Love to be given.


It's quite a 

Rite of Passage 

as we ever widen

opening to receive 

more fully God Good 

and more fully pass

God Good on.

So much God Love then flows 

in us and through us 

that after there are 

no more whiles

it's pure heaven.


So, stop over sometime 

and we'll share a generous

           Portion

of Hershey's vanilla ice cream.

  Happy to be your brother,

      and Ann's too!

        John Frank

          ******


A Warm Summer Welcome 

             To All

         first timers, 

         sometimes,

        all the timers.


       frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

(click top left frankly speaking)

        

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               ******


"The gift you have been given 

       give as a gift."

      1 Peter 4:10

          ******

  See you next week!

         ******


  



         








Wednesday, July 20, 2022

LONGING

 

             VIEWER DISCRETION 

        ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY


  This foreword is a postscript.

  The past three days and nights 

  of penning this posting 

  have been painful.

  Reading it will be too.

  This is not cozy comfy.

  It's condemnation of 

  faux, fraud church. 

  It's call to clear, 

  clean church.

  Countries, currencies, 

  cultures, crumble.

  Truth based societies collapse.

                We need

         Jesus Christ Shared

             Real Church

      This is a challenge to be 

           as Jesus invites,

     not nominally, partially, but 

                  ALL IN

  The church in its present manner

      is way too often not at all

                  ALL IN

            We need to be.

That will take spiritual guts and grit 

           GRACED STAMINA

    The challenge in Revelations

  isn't just a some sometime one.

                    IT'S

            HERE AND NOW

 "So because you are lukewarm, 

  and neither hot nor cold, 

  I will spit you out of my mouth...

  He who has an ear, let him hear 

  what the Spirit says to the churches." 

         (Revelation 3:16 7 22)

                   ******



Dear All of Us,

It's Sunday morning.

I'm slowed soulful mellow.

I'm not going to church.

Just can't work up the

accommodation needed

for another episode of

   Sunday Morning

      Show Time

cutesy, content laden 

children's sermons that

completely bypasses the kids 

and aim to entertain adults,

trys at entertaining with

performance music 

and snappy media,

routine ruined ritual,

    sometimes 

  slick sales talk 

     sermons,

    sometimes 

pastor's persuasion 

        and 

preference sermons,

  too many times 

  what's the point 

      sermons,

sharing of the peace

that's neither a sharing 

nor about peace,

a gathering that doesn't unite,

a crowd not a community,

a less than persuaded presence,

a spiritually shallow hour of 

too much more of less,

fluffy glad handing at the door.

        Sunday Morning

          Show Time


I just want to be truly together 

in a genuine community of love, 

imperfect for sure, but sweaty real,

sincerely share, deeply pray, 

truly hear The Word

enliven everyday living,

feed on some for real soul food,

warmly fellowship, commit to care 

within and beyond.

Where do I go?

Like lots of others, 

not to church this Sunday.


Hey, I'd better be careful here or

headquarters may put a hold on 

my humble church pension.


As now a retired pastor  

on the other side of the alter

I get why so many don't go.

We crave, we long for substance

and get show and tell that

not at all shows and tells to soul. 

        Suday Morning

          Show Time

is a picture not so perfect

of what passes for church.

Way too many "churches" aren't.

Of course there are some churches 

that really and actually are

beautifully real church. 

Just not too many 

where many/most of us are.

In this chaotic, crisis time 

that's a crying shame.

We spiritually starved are

       LONGING

           for

   REAL and TRUE

     COMMUNITY

           for

 REAL JESUS Christ

    REALLY LIVED 

          and

  REALLY SHARED

  HONEST TO GOD 

      CHURCH

We would embrace 

the real deal.

Instead, scandalously often

we are delt churchy jokers. 

I'm not giving up,

but I can't stomach 

religious junk food,

served up in faux church.

Neither have to be fancy,

       just real.


  So Here's A 

   Real Dea

 For Instance.

It was pure gift 

from heaven for me

to serve a small, poor, rural 

southern, black church.

They took me in and to heart,

white and all.

Those folks didn't have much, 

but did they ever have each other 

and did they ever know 

that Jesus had them. 

Sure, they'd squabble and mess up,

sometimes big time.

Even more surely, though,

they had each other's backs

and a heart for each other.

They were really giving a go

at living 

          "kin-dom" 

life together,

at really living Jesus Christ

"the way, the truth and the life." 


They made sure that

members short on cash 

had food on the table,

that the kids were covered

when parent(s) had to work,

that the disabled and elderly 

were in the mix and cared for.

When we prayed the place rocked.

When we sang the place rolled.

We had lots of dinners together.

The food was plentiful 

and so southern good.

There were games and music,

sometimes even dancing.

We mixed and met!

We made a lot of noise 

at funerals.

We celebrated long and real 

on Sundays.

It took lots of time and 

meant lots of good.

Somehow, we covered rents 

when folks were out of work.

The rectory didn't have 

a lock on the door, 

but it did have a large screen TV

and lots of food in the kitchen.

The teens would often 

be right at home there 

when we'd get home.

We had a little cemetery.

No charge for a plot 

and the men and boys 

dug the graves and 

tended the grounds,

no money involved.

The teens did study mentoring 

for the little kids on Saturdays

in our small rectory.

There's lots more, but I trust 

we all get the good there 

and that can be in our here.


So, what do we do, 

where do we go?

Well, to our knees and  

The Holy Spirit.

In The Holy Spirit

we check out 

what's around, 

real and open 

in our area

or online.

I have found 

a touch of community 

in two weekly small group 

Zoom gatherings here in DC: 

a Bible Study and 

an Evening Prayer.

Were it not for COVID

I would be inviting 

a small group to gather

in our home,

taking Jesus, each other, 

and the needs of others

to heart and practice.

         Church

I can't do that just now.

Perhaps you can.


In any case,

please let me share 

a new, fresh help and blessing

as we try to sort ourselves out 

and find a way forward.

It takes time, lots of it,

to slowly and expansively 

pray through with others

"Do I Stay Christian"

  Brian Mc Claren,

       2022, 

   St. Martin's 

Publishing Group.

Brian is bright, perceptive,

informed, clear and candid.

He is a retired college professor

and pastor, a church life consultant, 

and spiritual writer.

He sees straight.

He talks straight.

He nails the peril and 

shines the promise.

He maps a way clear and clean.

If you need to move off 

dead and deadening center,

           PLEASE

let Brian be your moving man.

He offers ten sections showing 

the miss and mess of Christianity.

It details and documents

reasons to check out.

He then does exactly the same

the other way round, 

ten sections showing 

the good and real 

of Christianity/church.

It details and documents

reason to stay and recommit.

For those who do stay,

he then offers wonderful,

if challenging, ways to do so,

to refresh, re-presence, reform.

The way forward 

is not travel along 

Leisure Lane.

It takes lots

to tackle together,

to take to heart,

to transition 

to truly being and 

living together

The Body of Christ

      Church


For those of us stranded 

in a church nowhere

because of COVID

or because of faux church,

please consider an online connection

with a real and robust community 

and excellent pastor.

There are many.

One I can personally vouch for:

(Just Google)

    St. Paul's Lutheran Church

             Lititz, PA     

Pastor Rob Myallis

Church at 717-626-4709

Excellent pastor and parish.

(This coming Sunday.

       July 24th.

 they are not online)

 

Look, all this is raw rough.

Society is imploding.

Churches are too.

We need Real!

Too many (frankly most) 

"churches" aren't.

They are local franchises 

of denominational corporations.

I know this is hard on you.

Know that it is hard on me.

We'd better face up to it

while we can.

We'd better give more than

two hoots for the sakes of 

children, youth, young adults, 

and as Brian McClaren says,

"...the doubters, the disappointed, 

and the disillusioned", indeed the

            Kin-dom"


It's not over unless we quit.

It's a good and holy thing 

            to be   

          Longing

for shared right and real.

  Jesus did and we can

      in and with him

      and each other.

        Let's do it!

         Hopeful,

       John Frank

            ******

  To those new here warm 

            Welcome 

        frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

         (click top left)

       

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           ******

   Tough go this week.

   Thanks for going

    the distance!

    Looking forward

    to being together

    and giving it 

    another go

    next week.

     ******