Wednesday, July 27, 2022



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 


  " In him we live 

    and move 

    and have 

    our being." 

    Acts 17:28


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


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, 


        all the timers.

       frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street

(click top left frankly speaking)


           BEST DELIVERY



      Sigh Up top online posting


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        East coast USA time


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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





  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 


    The challenge in Revelations

  isn't just a some sometime one.


            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,


  slick sales talk 



pastor's persuasion 


preference sermons,

  too many times 

  what's the point 


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



   REAL and TRUE









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 


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.


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,


   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,


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


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


It's not over unless we quit.

It's a good and holy thing 

            to be   


for shared right and real.

  Jesus did and we can

      in and with him

      and each other.

        Let's do it!


       John Frank


  To those new here warm 


        frankly speaking

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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.





Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Dear All of Us, 

What a rip roaring spendthrift -

over the top - intoxicated with giving,

generous to a divinity.

Yep, that's God for you, 

God all for you and for me 

and all that is and all that can be.

Can't give Self away fast enough.

Blitzed by generosity,

a generating, creative gifting.

A magnificent case in point.

We are located in 

 a cosmos so vast and expansive 

that we realize we are 

just beginning to realize that.

And while we're at it,

are there other 

who knows "whats"

out there/in here, 

somewhere, somehow,

even possibly flowing 

through each other? 

Was The Big Bang 

a one time,

one firecracker event,

or was it/is it one burst 

in an enormous, ongoing

Fourth of July-like Fireworks,

one of multiple effusions 

with countless

Big Bangs bursting 

bursts upon bursts?

We know-it-alls 

are finding out we don't.

And that's wonder-filled!

What we do know is that 

Steller Wise a lot's going on 

and on and on - a fantastic 


     is having a ball 

    giving Itself away.

The ancient Israelites 

called that Energy

    The Utterly Other One

Jesus tells us it's his

      Abba Dad

Two ways to name 


Godness on a tare, 

unfolding unending gift.

Within this marvel of 

dynamic creativity,

this gifting upon gifting,

are wonders within and

wonders upon wonders:

- a drop of crystal clear water

  glistening on a fresh summer rose  

- a Grand Son bursting alive

  in stunning new steps and stages 

- ants and Alps,

- more species of creatures 

  than we knew 

  and those we do know 

  all so intricate and unique 

our bodies and minds 

  and psyches and souls -


a cosmos within a cosmos


mystery emerging from

       God Mystery

  What an origin gift!

  What gifting within it:

intuition, imagination, fantasy,

reason, ingenuity, inventiveness,

soulful mysticism, love-ability,

diversity of diversities - 

talents, types, temperaments,

aptitudes, sensitivities, spiritualities -

gifted up and down the scale of being.

So many ways to see and say 

       God Goodness

who has absolutely no intention 

of keeping any of it to itself.

God's having a heaven of

good time lavishing

The Love that God is

no borders broad.

Personally, collectively,

we and all creation 

are invited to the party,

this spectacular 


   We are given 

   to get in on 

   the giving.

So we accept 

every ray of light, 

every impulse to good,

every gift, talent, power,

grace, ability, blessing,

opportunity and occasion -

live them with gusto

and join in on 

God's Lavish Giving.

We nurture children

and care for the elderly.

We mentor and companion 

the young in life skills and giving.

We foster young marrieds 

and their families -roll up 

our sleeves in sweat support - 

listening, jumping in 

so they can go out,

giving personal, practical help

as needed, appropriate and wanted.

We turn up high all 

our talents and gifts,

"all the way on", wide open  

and out flowing

for the benefit of others -

people, place, cause and movement.

We join in with simple, sincere 

commitment to community -

book clubs, block parties,

spiritual gatherings, 

Habitat For Humanity 

work teams,

community gardens, 

family get-togethers...

We get happy being poured out 

in creative, lavish sharing of 

who we are, what we have - 

coaching kids, supporting 

Berea College, getting married 

and having a family, 

hanging out with the left out,

doing a good job at work,

care and inclusion for the elderly,

(If a few of these examples

seem autobiographical, 

well, heck yah!)

stopping what we are doing 

and giving real welcome and 

full attention to unexpected company...

That emptying out opens us up

to refreshing fulfillment

more and more and more.

We are given more 

    to give more.  

   God doing so 

in and through us.

We don't let the 

crazies and sickos

who are threatening

and messing up 

so much right now 

slow us down.

They are a sad and 

dangerous lot,

period pieces that will 

never become 

a treasured durable.

We love them.

We pray for them.

We do what we can for them.

We do not let them shut down

         God Giving.

We dance right on and on, 

   getting and giving,  

          joyful in 

    God's Giveaway

We're full court living a Love,

that well never stop 

or be stopped -

eternal and divine.

We're in the flow of the

real, good, actual, just,

loving, gifted giving.

We party on with 

Divine Abandon -

God's and ours.

Happily, we have 

a way to go, a divine


So great for us to share 

some of it together here.

       John Frank


     Speaking of gift, 

     we are so gifted

     each week with 

     new folks joining in

     with us.



        frankly speaking

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with family, friends, colleagues,

folks at church. Thanks!


How great to be invited to be

          God Givers!

       May we all have 

     a spend thrift week

     having a God Blast

           a Godly






Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Dear All of Us, 

Holy Cow!

What's coming down here?

It's Sunday morning.

It's The Fourth of July weekend.

What's the matter with me?

I should be getting ready for church, 

pool time, a brass and organ concert at

The National Cathedral, family time,

hotdogs with lots of sauerkraut,

the blitz and blast of spectacular fireworks.

What's the matter with me?

Why am I bothering to start 

this blog now of all times?

That usually happens during the week.

   I'm bothering because 

     that's exactly how 

I really, really am right now -



What's bothering me is that 

just about everyone is

so terribly bothered, 

bothered to the point of 

fear and frustration,

despair and depression.

I look, I listen, I care.

Some say it.

Some duct it.

It's all over the place.

Society is saturated 

with despondency.

Things are out of control 

and there's a hell of 

a lot more to come.

Those who can are trying 

to circle the wagons and

they know down deep 

it won't work.

Those without wagons 

are already knocked 

to their knees, naked to peril.

I know of what I speak and 

what we don't want to know.

We live in a house built of cards 

and the winds of consequence

are blowing it to hell. 

A lived lie is now

laying life low.

The bottom is falling out 

because there is no bottom,

no substratum of reality.

It's a cockeyed fantasy -

faux, phony, fictitious -

a plastic Disney- Like Delusion

that can't hold up to the

light and heat of reality

The delusion is to have 



center and ultimate,







white supremacist 

on the march in Boston,

devastation in Ukraine,

price gauging,

dictatorship of ideologies,

SELF - seeking satisfaction in

"The Good Life"

 that is neither.



It manifests in 

a cascade of chaos - 

   rampant malicious misinformation,

   obscene wealth at the expense of 

   inhuman poverty and misery,

   politics without principle, 

   refusal to resolve racial injustice,

   destruction of democracy 

   in the name of patriotism,

   me over we,

   escalating violence


   raping Mother Earth

   (rain forests for hamburgers),

   leaders lost,

   truth denied.


Like every other empire 

- without exception -

collapsing, crumbling

imploding, folding, taking

safety, stability, security with it.

Governments, corporations,

capitalism, socialism, 

military, media, militia, money,

soft, spongy religions, banks,

programs and politicians,

can't prop us up much longer.

They are dimensions 

and departments 

of this falling fiction that is 


I so feel for us all

as we deal with it.

"It ain't nice and

 it ain't go'n away!!"

We can cave to fear,

be had, roll over and die.

We don't have to! 

There's a Road to Real,

not easy, but unbeatable,

divinely beautiful 

and eternally durable.

We can come alive anew,

righted, fresh, invigorated by

fully accepting,

fully embracing,

fully engaging

active citizenship in 

 The Realm of Real

 "The time is fulfilled,

   and the kingdom of God

   is at hand;"

It's time.

It's Now. 

It's at hand. 

We can

    "Repent and believe

     the gospel"


        Mark 1:15

Repent isn't 

wasting ourselves 

in a guilt trip.

Repent literally means 


change your mind, 

your direction, 

your heart, 

how you be 

and what you do.


isn't a doctrinal 

    head trip.

It means "be + life"

in a whole new way,

That way is "gospel,"

literally and actually

    "Good News"

    It means to 

      Live Love


   "God is Love"

     1 John 4:8

Jesus started his sharing,

his ministry, with this invite 

to a new citizenship,

the exact opposite of Empire

He details it in 

The Sermon On The Mount

        Matthew 5-7

         That's the 

prospectus and the promise.

He Lived Love,

showed how to do that,

invited us into a unity with him,

into a people, a community 

doing just that.

He names it

     The Kin-Domain of God

and it is a vibrant kinship,

an immediate and full fledged 

         Living Love

 all of us, all of nature 

        and God as 


As in Jesus' time,

it is lived in the midst of Empire,

in counter distinction to Empire

as a culture counter to Empire.

Empire is falling apart.

We don't have to.

Rather than checking 

the news 24/7

with its obsessive detailing 

the obituary of Empire, 

we can grow

right, real, forever,

joyful, beautiful, 

unstoppably alive in this 

  "Kin Domain of God"


    God Who is Love

sheer, essential, 

unlimited, outgoing, 

won't ever quit goodness

that just keeps 

bursting in beauty.

It bonds us in

active communion

with others in a 

Beloving Community.

We have no choice 

but to be in the midst of 

Empire's collapse.

It's rough and 

it's going to get rougher.

Its citizens are tearing 

each other apart, 

taking no prisoners,

demolishing structure and order,

scorching the earth and all nature.

It's a hideous demolition derby.

We will get wiped out  

if it's all we have.

It's not!!!

We have the opportunity 

for intimate union with God,

to come together

for real community -

caring, supportive 

life sharing within and outward.

       For God's sake 


     "For God's sake" 

we simply cannot settle for 

polite, gentile, feel good religion.

It's the real deal or no deal at all.

We need real God in real community.

As John Wesley said: 

           Personal Holiness

           Social Holiness

So, we find it, or we found it.


Well, it's now The Fourth of July.

I did get to church yesterday.

It was simple, simply real.

Occasional contributor here,

      Caly McCarthy 

led and preached beautifully.

Please check it out for a

         Soul Lift

Small, warm, homie church.

   Cleveland Park Congregational 

      United Church of Christ

          Washington, DC

            July 3, 2022

Couldn't handle the "rha rha" 

of civil religion at the

cathedral concert this 

Fourth of July morning.

I tuned out.

Looking forward to 

family and pool 

later today


those once a year

hot dogs with lots of 

sauerkraut. Then the 

spectacular fireworks 

here in DC.

They give me a feel for 

God's Bursts of Love.


As I wrap up this sharing

it's now Tuesday evening.

More evil and chaos as  

ordinary, garden variety people

tried to celebrate shared freedom

at a parade.

Murder, injury, fractured families,

multiple points of pain and trauma,

more fear and vulnerability

as another safe zone no longer so.

    The cult of the gun!

    The madness of Me-ism.

Even though this sharing

has been tough,

I'm glad we 


  to face up 



  our peril


 our potential.

Hang on.

Lots of land mines ahead.

So is 



Your brother right next to you,

            John Frank





       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street




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See you next week!






     and the