Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Dear All of Us,

So, how about this?

It's a cloudy night.

No moonlight, no starlight at all.

There are seventy-five thousand of us.

We've filled the field and stands at

Yankee Stadium for a rally.

There's a power outage in New York.

Ink dark.

That's an image of our world 

and life just now.

It's a black out.

What can ordinary people 

     like us do about it? 

We feel powerless, stymied, stuck.

We can't stop the slaughter 

     in Ukraine.

We can't get Donald Trump 

     to stop lying about The Big Lie.

We can't deflate inflation.

We can't get insurrectionists 

     to be constitutionalists.

We can't get social media 

     truth tuned.

We can't root out racism.

We can't get Congress 

     focused and functional on

     The Common Good.

We can't reduce the risk of 

     nuclear devastation.

We can't discount pandemics.

We can't reverse

    wholesale earth abuse.

We're just little people 

     in a big bad world.

We can't do anything about it.

Oh yes we can!

Father James Keller used to say:

   "It's better to light one candle 

    than to curse the darkness." 

One candle can be seen 

in darkened Yankee Stadium.

When each of us little people 

lights a candle, deadly dark 

Yankee Stadium glows

       Candle Bright

So it can be with us

 and our world.

       A lot of little 

       means a lot.

Lots of "lit" little people

mean a lot of light 

in a dark world.

But how do we ignite?

How do we get the light?

  "I am the light of the world; 

   the one who follows me 

   will not walk in darkness, 

   but will have the light of life." 

          Matthew 5:16

We don't have to find the light.

We just need to follow the 

     "light of the world"

right where we are,

just as we are.

Sharing that in community

defies dark in 

a blaze of brilliance.

That's what real Church is.

To follow the leader is to live 

   "The Light of the World"


  "...have the light of life."

Jesus gives us a tutorial on

the how's, way's and why's 

of following him,

of living The Light.

It's simple and clear.

It's counter cultural.

That means it's difficult.

That means it's divine.

That means it's brilliant.

The tutorial is shared in

The Sermon on the Mount.

       Matthrew 5-7

Jesus "enlightens" us, 

his followers, his disciples.

Jesus spotlights:

- attitudes, stances, approaches

  on how to "be" real -

    The "Be"attitudes

- Us as "salt" and "light" 

       for others

- Anger

- Adultery

- Divorce

- Oaths

- Retaliation

- Love of enemies

- Giving to the needy

- Prayer

- Fasting

- Heart treasure

- Seeing clear eyed in the light

- Can't serve two masters -  we get 

        what follows from 

        who/what we follow

- Worry

- Judging others

- Profaning the holy

- Ask, Search, Knock

- "The Golden Rule"

- The narrow gate

- "Thus you will know them 

   by their fruits"

- Self deception

- Hearers and Doers

Talk about 

"spirituality for the street"!!

Jesus puts a lot of flesh 

on the bones of concept!

All of it is living The Light, 

personal, practical, communal.

In short, loving God, neighbor, self 

with all we've got -

high voltage!!

A couple of suggestions and 

a few comments.

This one has a sharp point - 

hopefully helpful like a good pencil.

Beware of large parts 

of organized religion.

Having "Been there, done that" 

for well over fifty years of pastoring, 

I sadly see that too many sectors of 

church are sanctuaries to Empire. 

The ideal was to convert Empire 

to the beautiful life of Christianity, 

but a lot of Christianity 

got converted to the controls 

and evils of Empire.

Be clear and honest about 

what's what ,

just how genuinely tuned 

to the Gospels a church is.

And there are many of them.

Many of the many 

are simple and small.

Most of all and always,

    "By their fruits 

     you will know them."


Watch out for a watered down Gospel, 

one that is conformed (deformed) to 

comfy, casual, "Christianity Lite"

        (not "The" Light).

Dietrick Bonhoeffer warned against 

         "cheap grace." 

He penned the price 

of genuine discipleship in

      "The Cost of Discipleship."

He paid the price with his life.

For those ready for a 

    Spring Retreat, 

a weeks long dwelling with 

The Sermon on the Mount 


would be a blessing.

What is Jesus saying, 

how do we live that light 

in our circumstances?

If there is interest and energy, 

a parallel reading 

of a standard translation and

The Message  translation 

would give a fuller sense of 

all that Jesus shares and invites.

The Message translation is 

online and free.

Twice Plus blessed if we do this

with one or more others.


(thank you for hanging tight), 

a masterful commentary is 

Richard Rohr's book, 

   Jesus' Plan For A New World Order, 

       The Sermon on the Mount,

franciscan media, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1996. 

We'd have to go far to find better.

        Speaking of going, let's!

        How good for us together 

        to glow bright.

         "You're sons of Light,

          daughters of Day."

          1 Thessalonians 5:5 

               John Frank


          A "Springing" Welcome 

                to our visitors

                    here at

               frankly speaking

          spirituality for the street


            Wednesday by mid-day

            East coast USA time


            Delivered Fridays

            Sign up top right online format


            All past postings

            Right column online format


        Happily we don't have 

   to leave our world in the dark.

        See you next week.



So, how to?

There is also Jesus is the Light of the World.

He wants to spark us, brighten us, enflame us.

He is pure bright - brilliance.

He is actually, in practice, "the way, the truth and the life" -

    the way to go about life

    the truth in which to do that

    the life to live.

 the Love that doesn't know how to go out.

 put poetically  1 Thess

In our day to day world and life

we can get depressed and curse the dark


We can also be a

                     Candle Bright



Wednesday, April 20, 2022


Dear All of Us,

Go ahead!


This is my Grand Son, Ollie

and my Son-in-Love, Nick.

It's also about the best picturing

I can find of our spiritual life.



   Going where God takes us.

   Going as God takes us.

   Enjoying the closeness.

   Seeing things as God sees them.

   Secure in loving union and care.

   Experiencing Life


If it gets cold shiver together.

If it gets exciting get pumped together.

If it gets sunny bask together.

If it gets confusing get lost together.

If it gets rough get rocked together.

If it's a funeral cry together.

If it's a celebration party together.

        Never going it alone.

           All and Always


In other and much better words, 

 "Abide in me as I do in you."


            Gotta go.

Here comes Ollie and his Dad

We're going out for a walk.

          John Frank



   Here's a bonus picturing 

   of our spiritual life. 




         frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street


Wednesday, April 13, 2022


Dear All of Us,

It was Good Friday.

Mickey caught me 

out front of church.

Mickey was a dear, deep,

lovable little boy of seven.

He was also a hurting little boy.

His Mom had died from cancer 

a few months prior.

Mickey was 

Soul Sick and Tired

of pain, hurt and death.

"Father, why do they call this

Good Friday?

They killed Jesus."

Mickey and I had a 

heart hug and huddle 

right then and there.

That was Good that Friday!

There's more than 

a little of Mickey in us all:


pain, suffering, death?

What's so good about

all the varied

Good Fridays in life, 

that of Jesus, ours

those of all creation?

Good Friday 

was good because

that's how Jesus brought 


       God Love

to the very guts of

where it wasn't - 



He entered the 

realm of evil 

from its portal 

right where he was 

his suffering and crucifixion.

We do it one in Jesus 

from right where and how we are -

   betrayal, abuse, conflict, 

   physical/psychic suffering...

No matter the portal, 

they all open to 

the vast vacuum

of no good, no God, 

no Love, no Reality,

of sin, evil, pain -

all absences of good.

Lots of names for 

what's missing.

They present,

and we take them,

as something 

when in fact

they are an absence.


Someone gets punched

in the nose.

The root evil there is 

the absence of the 

good use of energy 

(forcing the fist in in face)

and an absence of 

right good order 

in how our nose 

is supposed to be

(not pained and bleeding).

Most of all the absence of 

love, aka God, in the puncher.

Like all vacuums, 

evil sucks us 

into nothingness 

and that hurts like hell

because that's 

just what it is - hell - 

the absence of the real, 

of good, of love, of God.

In one form or other or many -

they lack the 




  that is 

God Good

Jesus brought 

that Realness, 

The Love That is God, 

where it wasn't, 

suffered the hurt 

of that absence

and kept on going through it 

and beyond it - rising up from it.

That blossomed into atonement.

Atonement isn't taking a hit 

to pay off a ticked off god.

Atonement is

getting us through the pain 

and nothingness of evil 

to oneness,



the real and good, 

that is God.

The trouble with trouble 

isn't what it is.

The trouble with trouble 

is what it isn't,


Jesus embraced all 

that's missing in us,

all our sin and pain.

He suffered through it

in his Realness, 

his Goodness,

the Goodness that is God. 

He fulfilled what was missing.

He was in solidarity with all suffering

and brings us to solidarity with all good.


What's good about

   GOOD Friday

is that it we 

don't stay there.

What's good about

   GOOD Friday 

is that it opens to

   Easter Sunday




  "Christ is risen"

  and we will too!

  Alleluia Alleluia  



           frankly speaking

     spirituality for the street


      Wednesday by midday

       East Coast USA time


          Delivered Fridays

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          online format


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May we and our world rise up in 

              Easter joy.

            And, oh yes.

       Enjoy the jelly beans,

    especially the orange ones.


Wednesday, April 6, 2022


Dear All of Us,

Good Morning, 

Good Afternoon,

Good Evening

to us all 

where and when 

we are in our just nows

on this spinning orb.

My just now is Monday morning 

here in Washington, DC - much prayer 

and three cups of coffee into this posting.

Well, where/when/however we are, 

here we go into 

the home stretch of Lent.

And Lent does "stretch" us,

doesn't it, and 

uncomfortably so at that.

It's a matter of Metanoia,

    a turn round right, 

    a return to Real,

    a letting go wrong heartedness,

    a letting The Spirit take hold and

         steer us straight into the

               Realm of Real

For most all of us, 

really for all of us,

the hardest of 

the hard parts of


      of this

  Rewew to Real

is to clear clean access 

to our hearts

by forgiving ourselves 

and others.

Difficult as it is,

Metanoia is only possible 

if we forgive.

Delt dreadfully by another, 

or sometimes by ourselves,

we are in pain for sure.

Just as surly we own it

from then on.

The effects may last, 

but the event is over.

We need to be over it too.

We may need help, even therapy,

to deal with the aftereffects.

Yet fundamentally, soul-wise,

the only way foreword is 


It's rough, rock hard.

Yet, forgive we do.

That's because 

the pain inflicted on us

contracts, blocks the 

       Love Flow

into and out of us.

We shut down, close off.

It's like our soul 

having a heart attack. 

It's just that dangerous.

So we seek and accept 

the grace requisite 

to open things up 

for free flow -

to receive and give love.


And that is what God does:

  "Let all bitterness and wrath 

   and anger and clamor and slander 

   be put away from you, 

   along with malice. 

   Be kind to one another, 


   forgiving each other, 

   just as God in Christ 

   also has forgiven you." 

    Ephesians 4: 31-32

We do as Jesus did.

His last Lenten "stretch" was to be 

physically and psychically 

stretched to broken on the cross - 

betrayed, abandoned, 

horrendously tortured.

His response:


     "Father, forgive them;

      for they do not know 

      what they are doing." 

         Luke 23:34

His openness to forgiveness 

meant the free flow of 

redeeming love for us all.

Like minded, like hearted,

     we turn to hurt in 


       and its freeing.

For these last days of Lent some

        points and prompts 

follow below should you wish them.

       Blessings on us all this 

          Lenten Stretch,

             John Frank




Metanoia means getting to

The Heart Of What Matters,

to get Righted Real:

- How much have I asked God 

  for the energy to address hurt, 

  to forgive and heal?

- What is it that another 

   has done to me, or that

   I have done to myself, that

   most blocks the free flow of

   The Love That Is God in me?

 - For how long have I denied, 

   delayed forgiveness?

 - How does that present in my

   attitude and behavior:

    - strife

    - quarrels

    - grudges

    - avoidance

    - passive aggressive tactics

    - jealousy

    - attacks social, physical, occupational,

      financial, political?

    - sulking 

    - moodiness, depression

- Do I need help from a spiritual guide

  to companion me to forgiveness?

Does this piece from Desmond Tutu

and his daughter, Mpho, 

speak to our spirit?

"Forgiveness is the only way 

to heal ourselves and 

to be free from the past...

without forgiveness, 

we remain tethered 

to the person who harmed us. 

We are bound to 

the chains of bitterness, 

tied together, trapped.

Until we can forgive 

the person who harmed us, 

that person will hold 

the keys to our happiness, 

that person will be our jailer. 

When we forgive, 

we take back control of 

our own fate and our feelings. 

We become our own liberator."

    The Book of Forgiving

What light do these scriptures shine 

on my need to forgive?

It's worth noting that there is no 

tit for tat involved.

God can only forgive us 

if we forgive others,

if we are opened up

to the free flow of forgiveness.

It is essentially, necessarily,

a two-way street.

We can only be forgiven 

if we actually embrace 

forgiveness in its fullness.

To buy in we may not hedge,

crop, or "adjust" our buy in.

It's all in or not at all in.

   "For if you forgive others,

    for their transgressions, 

    your heavenly Father 

    will also forgive you.

    But if you do 

    not forgive others, 

    then your Father 

    will not forgive 

    your transgressions."

     Matthew 6:14-15

   "Bearing with one another, 

    and forgiving each other, 

    whoever has a complaint 

    against anyone; 

    just as the Lord forgave you, 

    so also should you."

         Colossians 3:13

   "Be on guard! If your brother sins,  

    rebuke him; and if he repents, 

    forgive him. 

    And if he sins against you 

    seven times a day, 

    and returns to you 

    seven times saying, 

    'I repent,' forgive him."

     Luke 17:3-4

   (To be a Chistian 

     sure does gets us 

     into a lot of love!!)


This week a very large group 

from Brazil and our 

first ever visitor from 

Saudi Arabia

joined in with us all. 

Thank you and all 

new to our fellowship 

here at

         frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street



   by mid-day Wednesday

   east coast USA time


   format delivered Fridays

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   all past postings

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May Holy Week be just that - a