Wednesday, May 25, 2022



Dear All of Us,

Jesus was born and 

Herod slaughtered children 

for miles around.

So it was.

So it is.

So it sadly will be.

Out on the streets of life

right here and right now

God is aborning,

God is coming alive,

in beautiful people, places, ways.

Jesus grew to invite all 

into the "kin-domain of God",

The Realm of Real,

The Community of Unity,

The People and Place of Peace,

The Experience of Co-Creation,

The Spirit of Love and Joy.

Out here on the streets of life

Herods are still slaughtering

for miles around - 

down the street at the schoolhouse,

down the street at the supermarket,

down the streets of Ukraine

and so many other streets of war,

down the street at the mosque,

at the movie house, the concert,

at the nightclub, the synagogue,

down the streets 

of democracy and decency,

of The Common Good,

down the streets of justice,

opportunity and equality,

down the streets of

clear, honest communication,

down the Wall Streets 

and the Streets of Governance,

down the streets of religion,

of marriage and family.

It's a Slaughterhouse.

We must live in it.

We can live in the 

Kin-domain of God.

Life is not hopeless.

Life is full of hurt.

That's how it is right now.

I am writing this 

Wednesday morning, 

May 25th.

I had another posting prepared

for this week.

Then the Schoolhouse Slaughter 

in Texas yesterday.

What do we do?

How do we react and respond?

I need time to calm up 

and pray on that.

But I just want to reach out 

to all of us as we face the horror

and remind, reheart, rehope  

us to also face the hope,

The Blessed Assurance 

we have.

Rather than get 

downed in depression,

it's time to Let Loose Love

and that big time.

Let's hold close all those families, 

all those school kids in Texas

in their trauma.

In our prayer let's hold close 

all the children across the land 

abused by fear 

of what might hurt them.

Let's pray for their parents 

as they search for ways 

to stabilize their children.

Let's pray and commit 

to more than changing gun laws.

Let's pray and commit to 


because what we face is

at core a Soul Sickness.

Modern day Herrods 

have poisoned the wells

in this land and all lands.

Let's seek souls willing

to chance life together in 

 The Kin-Domain of God

and bond and commit.

This is hastily written.

Please tolerate that.

But I want 

to connect and assure.

Time to post.

Time to hope. 

Time to dare Love.

My love to you all!

   John Frank


     frankly speaking

spirituality for the street



There is a fatal flaw

in the floor.

Changes laws won't fix it.

That comes after the 


Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Dear All of Us,

So, how would it go

if we were 

to go out to work, or

go out to a social event, 

dressed with absolutely 

all our clothing 

        INSIDE OUT

underwear to jacket and hat?

Of course it just wouldn't be a


       at all, would it, 

     except for a hasty


     right back home,

voluntary or otherwise.

In our spiritual lives 

it's just the opposite.

       The "go" 

     the dynamic

     is decidedly


And we don't have 

to beat a hasty retreat 

to go home because 

we're already 

and appropriately 

right at home 

and ready from there 

      to be


This is more than 

a play on words.

      It's how 

   our spiritual 

    lives play 


God is our 


the core, 

the essence 

of who we are.

We "be" in BEING.

We live OUT 

that Goodness, 

that Godness.

A far away God 

doesn't have 

to come to us 

from the 


  God's already 

    "All IN"


   "In him 

    we live 

    and move 

    and have our 


    Acts 17:28

We are embers of 






    1 John 4:8


Our spiritual lives are 

a flaming outward 

of that intensity, 

ignited and igniting 

in creative Love.

That's who and 

how we are 

at our deepest 

and from there 

we are vigorously


Sadly, much religion goes 

the other way, it goes -


    In so doing it



     even does in 

a lot of healthy spirituality.

It sets separation 

between God and us.

It reads and routes 

our spiritual life 

with lots of distance:

    We're here.

 God's out there.

    In select 

moments and manners

God comes into 

our separated souls 

from that afar  -


That means we start 

and stay alone a lot.

This flaw in 

a lot of religion 

is the failure to see 

that God 



and holds us 

  in being,

energizing us 

    to be



Yes, at our center 

        we are 



We can bask in it.

That's what lovers do.

In the very best sense of it, 

we're hot, so hot that 

we are hot to trot,


to meet and meld into 


with all the other 

    embers of

of being and doing, 

embers of God's


   - flowers, babies, music, 

   - establishment of just

     social structures, 

   - ecological care,

   - romance and sex, 

   - philosophical insight, 

   - the hurt and the hurting

   - meditation and 


   - scientific research 

     and development,

   - good meals and wine, 

   - sacred scriptures, 

     drama, literature and art,

   - partnering and parenting, 

   - people on the check-out line

     to members of our

     spiritual community,

     happily and endlessly

     without end!!

Richard Rohr puts us right

by putting it like this:

  "God cannot be found 

        'out there'

  until God is first found

        'in here,'

   within ourselves,

     as Augustine

   had profoundly 


  in his Confessions 

   in many ways.

  Then we can 

  almost naturally 

      see God 

  in others and in 

  all creation too. (1)


Put another way,

it's essential to be 

right at home 




That starts in 

the habitation of self, 

    centered in 

 The Love Blaze 

   who is God.

The intensity of 

that Love Blaze

flames us forth 


in union, support 

and service because 

we are equally 

right at home 

in the habitations of

Creation all about us

in whatever condition 

we find it in: 

    people and place, 

    matter and spirit,

    need and hurt,

     gift and grace,

    expansive co-creation,

    redemptive reconciliation

We discover that 

what is at our center 

is the very same center 

and endless extension 

that is at the core 

of all that is about us in



We start from 

where we are 

and how we are -

God centered, 

loved to life, 

divinely intimate.

From there

  The Love Blaze 

  flames us forth


  in joyous union 


 passionate care,

no degree of separation 

from a distant God

or God's presence in


Hildegard of Bingin 

tells the tale:

  "Love abounds 

   in all things,

   excels from 

   the depths

   to beyond the stars,

   is lovingly disposed 

   to all things."

  "All living creatures 

   are sparks from 

   the radiation 

   of God's brilliance, 

   emerging from God 

   like the rays of the sun."


     Oh yes! 

 In God we are 

right at home, 

happily inside out

and endlessly


Love to us all

 John Frank


(1) Richard Rohr, 

     Eager To Love

  Franciscan Media, 

  Cincinnati, Ohio,

       2014, p.8  






For those of us 

who wish to 

reflect and pray 

more and deeper 

on the dynamic of 


please consider 

drawing from 

what is offered here.

It is comes from 

Hildegard of Bingin,

a medieval mystic.

She saw and spoke 

so dearly, 

so deeply

so clearly

of innerness 

and outerness -

the divine dynamic.


Over the coming week(s)

may The Spirit 

fill ours, drawing 

from her sharings.



      To Prepare

Calming to our center,

we slowly and deeply

breath in and out.

       IN: "Yah"

       OUT: Weh


 In Hebrew: Y-H-W-H 

       When ready, 


         Soul See 

a passage from Hildegard.

We let it speak and spark

rather than trying to master it.

The Spirit leads.


"Our souls should be like 

 transparent crystal

 through which 

 God can be perceived."



"O, You who are 

 ever giving life,

 moving all creatures,

 root of all things,

 washing them clean,

 wiping out their mistakes,

 healing their wounds.

 You are our true life,



 awakening the heart 

 from its ancient sleep."


"Humankind, full of 

 creative possibilities,

 is God's work.

 Humankind alone

 is called to assist God.

 Humankind is called 

 to co-create.

 With nature's help,

 humankind can 

 set into creation

 all that is necessary

 and life sustaining."


"Be not lax in celebrating.

 Be not lazy in the

 festive service of God.

 Be ablaze with enthusiasm.

 Let us be an alive, 

 burning offering 

 before the altar of God."


"The soul is kissed by God 

 in its innermost regions."


"God has arranged

 everything in the universe

 in consideration 

 of everything else."


"Holy Spirit, 

 the life that gives life.

 You are the cause 

 of all movement. 

 You are the breath 

 of all creatures.

 You are the salve 

 that purifies our souls.

 You are the ointment 

 that heals our wounds.

 You are the fire 

 that warms our hearts.

 You are the light 

 that guides our feet.

 Let all the world praise you."


"Humanity, take

 a good look 

at yourself.

Inside you, 

you've got 

heaven and earth, 

and all creation.

You're a world - 

everything is

hidden in you."


"I am the fiery life 

 of the essence of God.

 I am the flame above 

 the beauty in the fields;

 I shine in the waters

 I burn in the sun, 

 the moon, and the stars.

 And with the airy wind, 

 I quicken all things vitally

 by an unseen, 

 all-sustaining life."


Welcome to our visitors. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Please come back.

We'd be blessed to have you 

 join in our little community

 each week here at

    "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street


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Please invite others 

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       Thank You!


Have a rip roaring great week,

 "ablaze with enthusiasm" 

        Out Going


 The Love Who is God




Wednesday, May 11, 2022


Dear All of Us,

I delight to introduce people to each other.

So, please meet Anthony Pami.

Anthony is my dear and treasured Soul Son.

He graces us with a recent sermon.

It's quite a story.

I'll be back next week.

See you then.

Love to All,

John Frank


                                                   THE REST OF THE STORY

There’s a verse in the Christian scriptures in a book called John (Chapter 20: Verse 30) that reads “now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.” 

I like that. 

The writer of this particular story goes on to say that, despite this reality of incompleteness, you have ENOUGH of the story to believe but more importantly to LIVE (well).  I think that’s right.  In fact, while we do fuss and fret a whole lot in our lives and in our world over certain details, when it comes to living a life of GENEROSITY and LOVE (which I would argue is the point of this particular story) we really don’t need a lot of details. 

But then .. there are those other times in life where we do need details.  Times when we DO need to fuss and fret a whole lot more.  Times when knowing the “rest of the story” can make the difference between death and life.

During the second World War, radio broadcaster Paul Harvey created an on-air segment in which he would present stories of little known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects.  He would weave these details into the story and into the living rooms of homes across the country while holding back the identity of the main subject until the very end.  That revelation at the end would be, exactly that .. a revelation .. an epiphany that left listeners surprised and enlightened having now been given, as Harvey would conclude in only the way he could, the “rest of the story.” 

The writer in John and Paul Harvey have me wondering and thinking about the “rest of my story,” and the “rest of your story.”  I don’t mean “the rest” as in the life yet to be lived.  I’m referring to all the parts and pieces .. all the history and complexity .. the joy and sorrow that we don’t know about.  We speak of TIME as our most precious commodity, often in the sense that, to maximize it, we need to MOVE – GO – PRODUCE – BE EFFICIENT .. but what if our greatest use of time is the ATTENTION we give it.  And what if that ATTENTION can be poured into the embrace of knowing the “rest of the story” of those we live with, those we love AND those we come across each and every day.   

The poet Mary Oliver writes this ..

“Here’s a story, and you don’t have to visit many houses to find it. One person is talking, the other one is not really listening. Someone can look like they are but they’re actually thinking about something they want to say, or their minds are just wandering. Or they’re looking at that little box people hold in their hands these days. And people get discouraged, so they quit trying. And the very quiet people, you may have noticed, are often the sad people.”

In my experience, the “sad” people often present as the angry people too.  But whatever it may be .. no matter how it may play out .. whether it’s sadness & despair – anger & some form of violence, whether it’s deep despair or some sort of deep dissatisfaction masquerading as a reckless non-stop party, there are human beings (all of which I would argue contain the spark of the divine within them) all around us desperately seeking to have their story heard .. brothers, others, sisters, a-listers and b-teamers who would love to be listened to. 

My teen-age daughter Elisabeth works part-time in a local Dunkin Donuts.  She shared with me yesterday that a woman came into the store, placed her order and then proceeded to tell her, as Elisabeth describes it, “her life story.”  No doubt, she’s exaggerating some but not entirely.  An adult woman walks into a Dunkin Donuts and confesses elements of the “rest of her story” to a 16 year old stranger!  She’s desperate to be heard .. for people to know more of her story .. for someone to fuss and fret over the details because .. the “rest of the story” matters. 

Last week, in the midst of my “secular” job (in addition to being a weekend pastor, I spend my week days working for a staffing firm seeking to find work, largely for finance & accounting professionals), I spoke to a woman who had, upon first blush, a difficult first and last name to pronounce.  She went by Kat which was a relief to my awkward pronunciation skills but I asked her if she could pronounce her full name for me (so that I could do the same accurately).  She did (in a fluid and lovely manner), to which I responded .. “what’s your background?”  She replied ..

“I’m Russian but don’t hold it against me.”

I would like to think that she knew it was unlikely I would hold that against her but she had to say it nonetheless .. didn’t she?  Because we do hold LOTS of things against people.  We assume – we label – we judge AND we don’t take the time to know the “rest of the story.”  Part of the rest of Kat’s story included having a sister named Lisa (so do I) and, like my sister, Kat spends a good amount of her free time, fostering and rescuing dogs.  Kat has a great energy and spirit about her .. and she puts forth that spirit in the interest of saving “man’s” best friends that have been forgotten. 

Mary Oliver writes of the people living in our houses.  And then there are the people that walk into the Dunkin Donuts on any given Sunday.  And there’s Kat .. “she’s Russian,” but she’s a whole lot more than that, isn’t she?

There are those we love .. those we know well and those we’ve yet to meet or perhaps think we know.  And there are a whole bunch of folks we think we know and, quite frankly, we don’t like very much.  People that we are seemingly miles apart from because of how we’ve labeled them .. people that are seemingly “no good” to us because of what they profess to believe .. because of what we “think” they value.  It’s no secret that we are an increasingly divided people! 

Technology has made our world smaller with the promise of knowing each other better and yet, we’ve settled for such a small part of the “story” of each other, that we’ve grown further and further apart.  We don’t know the “rest of the story” for those we love and for those we don’t think we like very much. 

So .. how about this!

Today .. tomorrow .. sometime this week .. whether it’s when you are “with the one you love,” whether it’s at the check-out counter at your local Dunkin Donuts or whether it’s, God forbid, with that person you just can’t imagine reconciling with (you know – your enemies) .. how about taking the time to ask them some questions about what is bringing them joy and sorrow TODAY, about who they are, where they came from, what growing up was like for them?  What if we all spend some extra time this week getting to know the “rest of the story” of the divine-human beings in our midst! 

For those that identify as Christians, we are living in an “age of resurrection,” having just celebrated Easter a little while ago.  When asked where he sees “signs of resurrection,” author and priest Paul Fromberg said this:

He most profoundly sees signs of resurrection when people recognize the presence of God in the person sitting right next to them. 

What if recognition includes listening and learning the “rest of the story” of that person! 

Grace & Peace,


P.S. Thanks to my soul brother / father / friend John Frank for asking me to offer a reflection for this wonderful blog, Frankly Speaking.  It’s a gift to be READ (i.e. listened to) in this way.  I hope it struck a chord with you and will create some action in your life this week.  You can always visit me (in my weekend work) ( or on Facebook at or just e-mail me at .

P.S.S. I love movies.  One film you can check out where art imitates life with respect to the “rest of the story” is the brilliant 1997 drama, Goodwill Hunting.  Check out how the “young man” in Goodwill Hunting fails to invest, at times, in the “rest of the story” and how the “older man” (Sean played by Robin Williams) refuses to assume, label and stop at the surface level but continues to question and invest in the “rest of the story” of Will (played by Matt Damon).  Will is at risk of becoming more isolated, more angry, more life-less but through the attention of time given to him by Sean in knowing his story, he finds LIFE.  It’s a story, you can say, of HUNTING for the GOOD (in another) through exploring the ”rest of the story.”  


                                  Thanks Anthony!


                                  frankly speaking

                            spirituality for the street


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Wednesday, May 4, 2022


Dear All of Us,

Taking the curve slowly 

I just turned 82.

I feel a lot like 

trucker and truck

moving on down 

the road of now in a 

1940 Chevy Pick Up  -

no claim to be a classic of course,

surprised to still be on the road,

more than a few rust spots,

slow to go but steady,

odometer overed, 

and overed, and overed.

And over those miles of years 

 "Been there, done that"

       lots of lots 

     good and bad, 

  graceful and sinful.

Now way on down the road,

slowed synapses and sinews

slow sight to a wider, fuller view.

A few such seeings:

Life is what it is and 

best embraced as such.

There is pain, there is pleasure.

There is sadness, there is joy.

So such.

Death opens to new life,

all kinds of each.

That goes for plants, planet, people,

pretty much everyone and everything. 

There is a grand growth going on,

an evolution of good.

Some days we get it.

Some days we miss it.

Some days we abuse it.

Some days we embrace it.

It goes on anyway.

It's Limitless Energy.

It presents in a constellation  

of forms and intensities.

Our metrics measure

but a miniscule smidgen of

     This Mystery

What we can't measure, 

figure, configure, control,

we can experience

climbing into 

The Cosmic Bed Of Love. 

Even better, just let God

carry us there.

           "God is Love" 

and that's just where God wants us 

so God can love the socks off us.

It's a right now to forever romp.

Hey, thanks for riding along 

with this old trucker.

        John Frank


   A sequel of sorts 

   to this posting

   is likely for about 

   a month from now.

   Hope to share a bit more 

   with an old man musings 

   on the life journey as one

   rounding it out.

   So far the title is


   and it is planned 

   for posting on May 25th.,

   but then in life, well,

   we'll see.


We're sure happy to welcome 

new folks here each week.

You are a blessing 

to our little community

here at

        frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

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        Keep on truck'n