Wednesday, February 23, 2022


Dear All of Us, 

How about this?

40% of premature deaths 

are preventable.

That's a billboard sized 


That shocker got to Katy Milkman.

She is a behavioral scientist at the 

Warton School, 

University of Pennsylvania.

She just published How to Change.

It's packed with research-based paths 

to personal growth and wellbeing.

She tops it off with:

    Change isn't one and done.

Those of us who try to stay away

from bedtime snacks know all about that.

At our deepest level,

all the way to Center Self, 

   Change isn't one and done.

Followers of Jesus 

early on faced that.

They annually dedicated

forty days and forty nights  

to a spiritual, communal


They named it Lent - 

after the Spring 


(lenting) of day light 

and nature's fresh Spring start 

as they strove for

spiritual light and renewal.

They took their cue 

from Jesus and his


The inaugural and 

oft recurrent theme   

of his ministry and

preaching was change.

  "Repent, for the kingdom 

   of heaven has come near."     

    Matthew 4:17

Unfortunately, there's a 

bit of a snag 

in the translations here.

Good old Jerome was the first 

to translate the 

Greek Scriptures into Latin.

He mistranslated the Greek 


       as the Latin 


thus our English repent.


is too narrow a translation.

Metanoia is an 




It means 

change your mind,

change your heart,

change your direction

so completely and powerfully 

that it changes your whole 

way of life.

That certainly means change 

from the limits of sin.

Even more it means changing 

to a life embrace 

of the good and full,

the kingdom of heaven.

Metanoia is Greek for 

the Hebrew "return."

In short, metanoia is a 

  Course Corrective

Lent is about to begin.

In Lent we turn away 

from sin,

personal and societal.

In Lent we (re)turn

to Kingdom Life.

Lent is a


never one and done.

So, yes in Lent we see and 

step away from sin.

That's repentance.

That's dealing with the negative.

Metanoia points positive as well.

We see and embrace anew 

(renew) Life in 

    The Kingdom of Heaven

So, embracing Metanoia,

what are five negatives, 

wrong headed,

wrong hearted,

wrong directed

foul ups that 

down us and others?

Honestly and practically 

for me they are:






What are five 

kingdom attitudes, 

kingdom approaches,

kingdom directions

that need to be embraced?

Honestly and practically 

for me they are:






What are the five most pressing

sins in church and society

that cry for repentance?

Honestly and practically

as I see it they are:






What are the five

kingdom attitudes,

kingdom approaches,

kingdom directions,

that need to be embraced 

by church and society?

Honestly and practically

as I see it they are:






We ask The Spirit for light.

We listen deep to Jesus in scripture.

We reflect on "as is."

We reflect on "as can be."

What needs change?

What does that mean?

What does all this come to for us

individually and collectively?

Positive, practical steps 

I will take are:

(take all the time and space needed)






       and more as needed

  From that time on Jesus 

  began to announce

 "Change your hearts and lives!

          Here comes 

    the kingdom of heaven."

           Luke 5:31-32

    Common English Bible

 a much better translation for

         CHANGE CALL

   Let's pray for each other, 

       for the church, 

       for the world.

       May this Lent lengthen 

       the light of our living.

           John Frank




     "Divided No More: 

      Rejoining Our 

      Inner and Outer Lives"

 Lead by Parker Palmer

 12:00 - 2:00 PM 

 Central USA Time

Center For Courage and Renewal

March 20, 2022


A wide open, 

          warm hearted, 



to all our first time, or many time,


             here at

        frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

          Online Posting

     Wednesday afternoon

     East Coast USA time

     Please consider bookmarking

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      All past postings

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     Here's to lots of Lent Light.

         See you next week.


Wednesday, February 16, 2022



Dear All of Us,

Be advised.

I'm hyped!

So hang on!

Last Saturday morning,

my just turned 

nine months old 


(Yes, I am totally 

 carried away)


called to ask if 

I would like to drive over 

to the park in Georgetown

with him.

His Mom voiced the call 

and offered to take the wheel.

I set an Olympic record saying

      "You Bet!!"

grabbed my cane and 

and off we went.

It was a warm bright morning

and so was I, 

plus I got to push 

Ollie's stroller.

He and I did lots of smiles as 

we rolled on through 

beautiful and quaint Georgetown.

There were tons of kids out 

taking their parents to the park.

Some families spread blankets 

and had a sun-drenched brunch. 

There were parents and kids 

of all ages, sizes and colorations,

speaking all kinds of languages.

Some were running around,

others were on swings and slides,

yet others were busy climbing bars

or kicking soccer balls.

Ollie really liked 

the special little kid swing.

He wasn't too sure if he like

the miniature slide, though.

The place and deal 

was festive and fresh.

After a bit we reeved up the stroller 

and tooled over to the nearby 

and brand-new branch library.

All kinds of people in a good way,

in a good place.

Like our whole family, 

Ollie is big into books.

The entire morning was 

a festival of freshness.

      I share this 

Saturday Soul Refresher

   for two reasons.

It's Good News as in Gospel.

Being with all those 

young professionals 

happily parenting away

and their freely delighted kids

was immersion in love lived.

"God is love" and God Love Lived

those kids and parents were.

Such scenes shine 

all over our global park

in mystical manifest

and holy perfusion.

The media misses it

and messes our heads

with incessant focus

on the frightful 

doings and undoing's

of a fractious fraction.

Yes, there's craziness 

loose in the land.

Yes, gotta know it and 

yes, gotta deal with it.

But no, we need not get numbed

to desperation and depression 

because there is so, so much 

Love Lived in the land 

and eventually and always

          LOVE WINS

What cut loose on Saturday 


         PARK PRAYER

the Real Presence of God

in the sanctuary of that place.

It was a Holy Communion 

of people and animals, 

trees and fields,

warm sunshine and fresh air,

families and strangers, 

all enlivened and enlivening,

in a liturgy of Varied Oneness. 

Love Lived for sure.

     "Ecce quam bonum 

      et quam iucundum 

      habitare fratres in unum."  

    "Behold how good and pleasant 

     it is when people dwell in unity."

                Psalm 132

The same such happens in 

ball parks and homes, 

on farms, in factories, 

at offices, on the bus,

at the beach, in museums 

and at concerts, in schools,

at doctors' offices 

- wherever and whenever

  Love is Lived and Shared.


       "God is love"

Last Saturday I got lost 

in mystery at Mass.

Better put, I got lost 

in a mass 

of Goodness, 

of Godness.

It all went way beyond 

words or thinking.

They would have 

gotten in the way.

It was simple, 

it was spontaneous,

it was spacious.

God was there.

Glad I was too.

Thanks Ollie!!

And thank you for

letting me share 


   Park Prayer

    John Frank


We are brethren from 

parks world-wide

dwelling as One 

each week here at

       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

This week we had many from

Germany, Kenya, Portugal, 

Russia, the USA, Japan and beyond

all gathered here.

What a blessing!

         frankly speaking

          Posted Online

    Wednesday afternoons

      East Coast USA time

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    See you in the park.


The Park Prayer Boy

Ollie now nine months old.


Wednesday, February 9, 2022



Dear All of Us,

Life is glorious.

It's participation 

in the majestic mystery 

that is God.

Hold a newborn baby.

Get lifted by a desert sunset.

Fall wildly in love.

Share pasta and wine with friends

(making sure, of course, 

the linguini is al detente 

and the wine a robust red).

Get lost in the mystical

embrace of God.

Life is so glorious

when we take it 

as God gives it.

Of sad course, though,

that's too terribly often

not what happens and

then life becomes hideous.

Even though my Mother

taught me to never hate,

          I do hate.

I fiercely hate the hideous 

in me, in others, in our culture,

in what we sometimes 

do to each other and to nature.

It's a disfigurement

of God present and glorious.


Even as a kid I abhorred

the hideous.

On Halloween I would 

never wear a gross, hideous, 

or monster-like costume.

It had to be something 

good and positive - 

a cowboy, or a doctor, 

a clown (yes, even way back then!!),

a teacher, farmer or pastor.

Now as a growing up,

I delight in life ever more

as God gives it.

I see God gloriously present

in an unending panorama of 

people, places and ways. 

Ever so special is it 

to see that in us.  


  Full Bodied

in our diversity,

we actually are the very

   The Body of Christ

We have God's Word on it

  1 Corinthians 12:27

      "Now you are Christ's Body, 

       and individually members of it."

Yes, how glorious when we take it 

as God gives it.

It sure is participation in the 

majestic mystery that is God.

These days,

so often more like 

deep dark nights,

do we ever need to be 

who we are,

and does our world ever 

need us to be 

who we are,

   The Body of Christ

We are privileged to presence God

to each other and to a hurting world.

That's so necessary right now.

These days a lot of God's glorious life 

is grievously, hideously disfigured. 

        Truth is trashed.

The Republican National Committee

last week went on record stating 

that the January 6th.attack 

on the Capital and the 

democratic process was

a" legitimate public discourse."

            Oh, no!

It was a mob effort at insurrection.

The democratic mayor here in DC

repeatedly lauds the 

public school system 

as vibrant and effective when 

in fact it is in disarray and chaos

with staff outpacing each other 

heading for the doors.

        Big Bold Bad Lies!

What a hideous disfigurements of 

        God given Truth.

Millions upon millions worldwide

live in horrid squalor and poverty 

while people like

Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg,

and too many others,

corner and hoard billions 

upon billions of dollars 

they can't even spend.

Adding pain to pain,

so many in our society are 

so used to this hideous horror 

that disfigures God's life 

in his children 

that they think it is laudable. 


There's a too familiar 

and a too long list

of the hideous just now

in politics, the church, governance,

commerce, social injustices 

and their denials, culture wars,

raping of nature and 

and so sorry sad more.  

Dark indeed.

As The Body of Christ 

we get to shine God's light 

in that dark.

We get to touch the disfigured 

and be channels of God's 

healing refreshment and vitality.

We don't do it alone 

because we aren't alone.

We are one unified people,

       Full Bodied

just as a body is a unified whole

in all its wonderful diversity.

We've all got a part to play,

just like the various parts 

of a physical body do 

in their diversified unity.

   "God's various gifts are 

    handed out everywhere

    but they originate 

    in God's Spirit. 

    God's various expressions 

    of power are

    in action everywhere. 

    Each person is given something 

    to do that shows who God is: 

    Everyone gets in on it, 

    everyone benefits.

    All kinds of things 

    are handed out

    by the Spirit, and to 

    all kinds of people! 

    The variety is wonderful..."

      1 Corinthians 12: 4-7

          The Message 


Some of us have a gift 

for public service - 

we can run for mayor, 

serve in the legislature,

on local boards and agencies.

Some of us have 

money and means 

way beyond the needs 

of a modest, Gospel level lifestyle 

and can direct them 

strategically and liberally - 

tipping the Instacart deliverer $25 

(and in cash at our door

to make sure they get it),

funding a college education 

for an impoverished young person,

subsidizing an After School Program,

sending $200 a month 

to Catholic Relief, UMCOR

Some of us can host 

regular dinner parties

bringing together folks 

shaded red and blue

setting aside divides,

swapping stories,

sharing remanences,

singing, playing cards, 

enjoying each other's families

and facilitating a 

holy communion 

of differences.

Others of us can mentor 

youth and young adults

in their spiritual, academic 

and career pursuits.

If we have the gift 

we can be scout leaders,

coaches, we can lead 

discussion groups 

at the local library, 

organize and lead neighborhood, 

ecumenical or inter-faith groups.

We can adopt a lonely senior adult

welcoming them for dinner 

and to our family gatherings.

We can model and invite others 

into a simple,

expansively shared lifestyle,

eschewing the media and merchant

perversion of a lavish, self-indulgent one.

We all can hold in God's love

family, neighbors, the church, 

world issues and leaders,

the down and out.

Each in our way and place

can share who we are 

and what we have

just as the various parts 

of a body cooperate

and complement each other 

for the life, health

and function of the body

and what the body can do

as a corporate, unified whole.

       Full Bodied

God was present and incarnate

in Jesus of Nazareth long ago.

It was a dirty, dark, rotten world then.

That didn't slow Jesus down at all.

Jesus was The Light of the World

then and is so now.

In this Now and Here

God wants to be present

and incarnate in and through us,

offering the light hope and help

for our dear, darkened world.

Front office folks in Washington, 

Moscow, Beijing, Wall Street, 

corporate and media centers, 

denominational headquarters

don't seem to get it at all well, 

if at all. 

       But we

The Body of Christ 

give it where we are, 

     as we are.

We rejoice that 

life is glorious

and we take it 

as God gives it.

We don't get stopped 

by the hideous disfigurements

of God's presence in our world.

      We be and do as 

we are gifted and able

    The Body of Christ

in our diversity wonderfully 



Thanks for the chance to share.

         John Frank


    Here's embracive 

      and delighted


     to one and many.

What a blessing to regularly 

        have such a 

        Full Bodied 

participation from Indonesia.

       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street


  Wednesday afternoons

      East Coast USA



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 Right column above


   See you next week




Wednesday, February 2, 2022



Dear All of Us,

"Just who the hell do you think 

you are anyway - God almighty?"

When that comes at us 

we either duck or charge.

No light there - deadly dark.

Well, let's neither duck nor charge

in that dark.

Let's take a different tack on it.

When we take the stinger of anger,

when we exorcize the "hell", out of it 

we've got one of the

best questions in town.

Even better, we have 


  best answer

in all the world

to that question:

  "I SURE AM!"

Actually, the answer 

is not original to us.

We're simply realizing

and passing on 

how Jesus answered 

the question of

   Who We Are 

Jesus is so simple 

and straight forward.

      He sure is 

"The Light Of The World."

He's just that pure, 

that intensely real

that brilliantly

     The Truth

As such he sheds light 

on the truth of who 

we really are.

No big, convoluted head trip.

Rather Jesus uses a heavenly 

down to earth metaphor.


     "I am the vine.

         You are 

      the branches."

        John 15:5

The vine is so absolutely alive

it just has to branch out.

Can't keep itself to itself.

It's the source of life 

for the branches.

The actual life in the branches 

is the actual life of the vine.

Jesus is the absolutely alive

life giving vine.

We are the branches 

absolutely enlivened.

Our life is the life of Jesus.

That's pretty darn divine.

We're God budding forth,

blossoming in all the unique,

wonderful ways we are.

God just can't sit home 

watching game shows all day.

God is the very dynamo

of cosmic life and love.

God's up early and 

goes like blazes all day

expansively sharing self.

It's called 


Francis of Assisi 

caught this fire.

He realized and related 

to all that is 

as brother and sister -

people, animals, 

the sun, trees,

stars, elements in 

every form and mode

      All that is

is God happening,

God branching out.

Look, Lent is about 

a month out.

Let's get a jump on it,


 to life afresh as the 

    God Wonderful 

    God Emanations

    God Branches

    God Presences 

we are.

Every day and frequently 

during every day

let's keep hearing Jesus

til we hear in 

our deepest selves

just who the heaven we are -

a presence of God All Mighty.

Then we will be freed to 

think, talk, act, react, love,

create, advocate, help, share,

support as who we are, 

as God happening 

and living 

and present 

and loving in us.

Please check out the


   that follows.

It is meant to help us

    hear Jesus,

to let God Happen

       as us.

So great to be your

brother branch!!

  John Frank


It's been a joy 

to have a substantial

cluster of fellow branches 

from Indonesia close in here

these past few weeks as well as 

another extensive gathering here 

this week from France.

Much Love To You All!



Let's not sucker into

a gloom and doom

sort of Lent.

You know, 

a torturous guilt trip.  

Let's let this Lent be 

a liberation trip, 

as we come out 

more freely and fully as 

the God People,

the God Presence,

the God Life

we are.

Now, for sure there are 

all sorts of minus signs 

in us - mess misses.

Well, this Lent

we let God take

those minus signs,

cross them 

into plus signs.

Here are some supports

for our daily "outing"

this liberating Lent. 

Instead of giving up 

chocolate or wine 

during Lent,

lets give up all those 

feelings, fears, hang ups, 

habits, attitudes,

bankrupt valuations,

activities, persuasions,

thoughts, relationships,

preoccupations that are

condoms to our spirits.

We seek to be liberated 

so as to be conduits of 


We want to get all potentials 

around us pregnant with

delightful new life in

    God's Creation

Every day of Lent

let's take a phrase

from what Jesus shares

about our Oneness in God.

We'll reference the

 fifteenth chapter of 

 John's Good News


    The Message


It can be found below.

Some days we may

focus on one same phrase

more and again.

Other days we may 

go back over 

a phrase/section 

already considered. 

The Spirit will show us

what and when.

Hopefully some/all 

of the following will prompt  

reflecting freedom.

Select as best for your liberation

We ask:

- just what is Jesus saying here?

- how does it address/impact our living?

- what's our reaction to 

  what Jesus says here?

- how can we open up to,

  embrace and let 

  come alive through us

  this truth of Jesus?

- what do we need to stop doing?

- what do we need to start doing?

- rather than try 

  this whole thing solo,

  how can we let God light the way,

  be the energy for this?

- how does any of this relate

  to working for social justice,

  to earth care and 

  environmental focus?

- what's the impact 

  and import here

  for being a positive presence

  in our spiritual community?

- how can we open our 

  value system and life styles 

  to being informed and conformed

  by Jesus here?

- what does all this mean 

  for how we spend our time,

  our money and means,

  for our day job,

  for our family life,

  for our friendships,

  for releasing our unique creativity.

- can/will we share this with others?

- how much time/what preference 

  do we dedicate to intimate presence 

  and sharing with God - Love Time?

- what are some of the fruits

  God would like to share 

  through us?

After the Gospel below

there are some 

Further Points To Ponder

    John's Gospel

    Chapter Fifteen

- "I am the Real Vine

  and My Father 

  is the Farmer.

- He cuts off 

  every branch of me 

  that doesn't bear grapes.

- And every branch 

  that is grape-bearing

  he prunes back

  so it will bear even more.

- You are already pruned back 

   by the message I have spoken.

- "Live in me...

- Make your home in me...

- ...just as I do in you.

- In the same way that a branch

  cannot bear grapes by itself

  but only by being joined 

  to the vine, you can't bear fruit

  unless you are joined to 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.

- Separated you can't produce a thing. 

- Anyone who separates from me

  is deadwood, gathered up

  and thrown on the bonfire.

- But if you make yourself 

  at home with me and 

  my words are at home in you,

  you can be sure that 

  whatever you ask 

  will be listened to 

  and acted upon.

- This is how my Father shows 

  who he is - when you

  produce grapes, 

  when you mature as my disciples.

- I've loved you the way 

  my Father has loved me.

- Make yourselves at home 

  in my love.

- If you keep my commands,

  you'll remain intimately 

  at home in my love.

- That's what I've done -

   kept my Father's commands

  and made myself at home 

  in his love.

- I've told you these things 

  for a purpose: that my joy

  might be your joy,

  and your joy wholly mature.

- This is my command:

  love one another as 

  I have loved you.

- This is the best way to love.

  Put your life on the line

  for your friends.

- You are my friends when 

  you do the things 

  I command you.

- I'm no longer calling you servants

  because servants don't understand 

  what their master 

  is thinking and planning.

- No, I've let you in on everything 

  I've heard from the Father.

- You didn't choose me, remember;

  I chose you and put you in the world 

  to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil.

- As fruit bearers, whatever you ask 

  the Father in relation to me,

  he gives you.

- But remember the root command:

  love one another.


It might be a good thing to go over

each of the Gospel phrases above

a second and even third time 

during Lent.


 A Few Further Points To Ponder

- God forths us.

- Spirituality becomes a

  "...sinking back into 

  the source of everything.

         Bill Plotkin

- With us and God there is 

  "co-inherence - a natural fact 

   as well as a supernatural truth."

          Charles Williams

- "You are not God and

   you are not not God."


- "...the church consists 

    in the state of communion 

    of the whole world."


- Spirituality is The Spirit 

  sparkling as us.

-"God is more intimate to me 

  than I am to myself."


- Between the soul and God 

  "there is neither strangeness

   nor distance."

           Meister Eckhart

- "Earth is crammed with heaven, 

   and every common bush 

   afire with God."

        Elizabeth Barrett Browning

- What we call spirituality is 

  The Energy Of The University


  surging creation through me,

  lovingly pulsating in union 

  with all the other "me's" that are -

  people, place, planet and all

  endlessly within and beyond.



               frankly speaking

          spirituality for the street

                Posted Online

        Wednesday afternoons

         ( a tad early this week )

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     Here's to a Lifting Liberating Lent

             (and an early one)

            See you next week.