Wednesday, March 2, 2022



Dear All of Us,

I've never been accused of being 

either good looking nor a trend setter.

There was, however, 

one exception years ago.

But in no way did it come even close 

to qualifying me as good looking.

Oh not so well!

It was at the beginning of the '60's.

I was in the midst of college.

And what do I do? 

I took a Gap Year 

before there was such a thing.

Scared the heck out of 

my family and pastor.

The one and only time I ever

came even close to any sort of 

trend setting.

I was twenty and just didn't know 

what to do - ministry, celibacy, 

religious life, marriage and kids, 

social work, farming, teaching, 

broadcasting, writing?

For all the puzzling, though,

I had to earn my keep. 

So, I sprung for some 

expensive haberdashery

and was in sales for a spell 

at an upscale, uppity 

department store.

Hated it.

Had to talk the idle rich 

into wasting their money

on over-priced things 

they didn't need.

One plus was it convinced me 

to be darn careful 

about truth, specifically, 

who's talking whom into what,

and what's the follow through.

I came to see that

our lives, 

individually and collectively,

are more than a bit 

like a giant experience of 

       SIMON SAYS 

To be genuine, 

to be real in life, 

we need to be both 

particular and precise 

about who's having 

the say and sway

in our living 

and how we respond.

Well, it's Lent.

Good time to have a look at

who's our Simon?

Does that Simon 

"say" the truth 

in words and all otherwises

or not, and do we do as


Out here on the street 

of everyday living

there are a lot of Simons

looking for folks 

to do life as they say.

It's critical to have 

one who stands 

for and upon the truth,

one rock solid genuine, 

Reality based and biased.

It's equally critical 

that we carefully 

and really do

just as such a

  Simon Says

Otherwise, we loose 

a lot more than 

a fun party game.

Sadly there are 

Simons saying

to self and society:
















   Deliberate, lying Misinformation


   Media Madness    

Do we fall for it?   


Happily, there are other

Simons saying 

to self and society:








   Environment Caring








   Media Maturity

   Unity in Diversity

Do we do as they say?

During Lent we see Jesus

in the desert

sorting out truth

from its perversion.

He refused to do as

Satan Simon Says.

It freed him for his

life giving mission.

Lent is our turn 

to be out in the 

Desert of Decision,

sorting out the truth,

seeing what Simon has 

the say and sway

in our lives,

and see full face

our actual follow through.

Jesus tipped his hand,

opened his heart,

to share why

he is among us:

      "I've come that 

     you might have life 

     and have it to the full."

          John 10:10

Being and doing as 

   Jesus Says

   will mean 

in fact and experience

that we will truly have 

"life and have it 

 to the full."

During these forty days of Lent

out here in the Desert of Decision

it would be wonderfully helpful

to hear Jesus and 

to hear about Jesus


As we do that 

we examen

how we are doing 

with what 

  Jesus Says

and our actual 

follow through.

We look to our

- value system

- life style

- consumption

- expenditures

- relationships

- prayer and meditation

- shared spiritual community

- practical efforts for

  social justice, earth care.


A good way to go about this 

would be to slowly Soul Savor

   The Gospel of Matthew

little by little over the course of Lent.

A help to do that would be 

"the twofer approach,"

daily reading Matthew

from a standard translation 

complemented by reading

Matthew from

     The Message 


The Message

 is available 

for free online.

It is a "right now,"

American English,

plain speak articulation 

from the Aramaic/Hebrew,


time and culture

of Jesus to ours.

It offers a much needed

contextual and tonal quality

to hearing the Gospel.

Slowing, settling, 

opening, centering 

we absorb

          The Word

as translated these two ways.

We then ponder what is shared 

and see how that gets translated 

into our actual living here and now.

We'll hear Jesus again 

for the first time.

May we then do just as 

        Jesus Says.

.       John Frank



"Peace is the tranquility of order." 


No such in Ukraine. 

People and place are thrown 

into painful, excruciating disorder. 

Empire evils forth horrendously.

Ordered reality is ripped and raped.

Our "answer" to this is not just

armchair anger from safely afar.

We need to be careful that 

foul doesn't foul our souls.

Hate of Putin will just 

put us in bed with him,

tossing and turning, 

not in love, 

but in hate and hurt.

We need to best him with 

   Full Souled Love

He is terribly sick 

and dangerous.

He is writhing in the

emptiness of illusion.



We focus on Putin.

We join God in loving him

to awaken from the 

nightmare that possesses him.

We focus on the people of Ukraine.

We feel their torment.

We join God in loving them 

to strength in their torture.

We do everything 

we possibly can 

from where we are 

and how we are 

to support them

actually and practically.

We hold in prayer 

the people of Russia,

captive to madness.

We look to the entire world 

as order and its peace 

are in question

in this so unstable moment.

This Lent Jesus is back 

on the Cross.

That's where we need to be.

One with him in his agonizing

through evil to Good.

One with him in his stretch.

One with him in his response:

"Father, forgive them 

for they know not what they do."

One with him in knowing 

what he is doing -

suffering through evil 

to the rebalance of the world.


A great big 


to all gathering here 

each week and 

to those joining for 

the first time this week.

Together we make this a 

holy communion.



Last week's posting,

  Change Call, 

had an incorrect citation.

The correct citation 

for the quote from 

The Common English Bible 


      Matthew 4:17


      frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street


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There's a bunch of Simons Saying 

what to do all over the place.

          "What'a we say"

              to what 

           "Jesus Says"

       Have a great week!