Wednesday, December 27, 2023


     Dear All of Us,

        Holy cow!

Here we are at another of

   time's tipping points.


   is out for the count.

What can we count on for


  Some folks get pretty 


 about the whole thing 

    and not just on 

    New Years Eve!!

           To tip 

      right and real

         in 2024

         any time

         all the time

       here are a few 

         timely tips.

 They come straight from 



         Each is an 

         action plan 

         for living

         what he 

         said and did

         as shared in 

         the Gospels.

         Each is an




  real personal practical


 "spirituality for the street"


      "Christianity can be confusing, 

       but the way of Jesus 

       was pretty clear. 


           Move toward the poor.

           Empower women.

           Create space at the table.

           Throw parties.

           Widen the family boundaries.

           Poke holes in oppressive systems.

           Don't retaliate with violence.

           Forgive your enemy.

           Don't store up wealth.

           Be present with people.



           Push back darkness

          "The kingdom of God is near."


                                Dan Sadlier

                  HAPPY HOLY 

                  NEW NOW

                  John Frank



Wednesday, December 20, 2023


Dear All of Us,

We're all 

buzzing busy 

just now.

So, here's a 

short little post,

long on love.



   God showed up

      then, there



    God shows up.

      here, now


     Then, there,


      Here now

      Jesus Us

       God Gift 

    given to give.   


"The Word became flesh 


    made his dwelling 

        among us. 

     We have seen 

        his glory, 

    the glory of the 

    One and Only, 

      who came 

   from the Father,

        full of 

  grace and truth." 

     John 1:14


 Merry Christmas

    John Frank


Wednesday, December 13, 2023


Dear all of Us,

I have a heck of

a lot more trouble 

choosing Christmas gifts 

than God does.

Then again, 

and ever so clearly, 

God has more than a bit of

an advantage in the matter.

However, I am catching on 

as I go on.

God has this way of choosing 

just what someone needs,

can't get, and gives it.

   It could be to overcome a problem.

   It could be to launch life anew.

   It could be to equip for excellence.

   It could be, well God has 

   a delightfully infinite way of gifting

         "When you Care Enough 

           to Send the very Best."

     (even Hallmark picked up on it)

God does not sucker into 

the faux folly of showing off, 

trying to score points,

commercialism faking as gift.

God doesn't give Grandma 

a $200,000 pink Lamborghini.

Good thing.

She'd run it up a tree 

first time out.

Grandma has gotten 

fragile and needful.

God gets Grandma 

an understanding, 

skilled and kind caregiver 

just right for her

and it puts Grandma 

back on the map.

So, we more than 

take a cue from God.

   We see what 

   another needs, 

   can't get,

   we have 

   and can give?

   There it is!

We don't dress up 

in a Santa outfit, 

but we all are 

God's Gift Givers

at Christmas 

and all year round.

So we gift 

as other needs,

as we are able:   





    we clean Grandma's house

    we give free lessons 

         to needy kids -music, 

         cooking, carpentry, 

         chess, computer...

    we have the 

         cranky neighbor over

    we wrap a single parent 

         and children 

        into our family 

   we pitch in at 

        Habitat for Humanity

   we cook dinner 

        once a month at 

        the homeless shelter

   we take care of a child 

        after school

   we "as needed, as able"

           GOD GIFT

We catch on and go with 

        God's Giving.

God checked us out.

Saw that we were 


God gifted.

God spoke a WORD.

That WORD became flesh 

and moved in with us.

Just what we needed.

Emmanuel - 

        God in person

        Love Incarnate

        Truely human

        Truely divine

        so we could be too.

       In that GIFT we



       What a gift to join in 

         together here at 

        frankly speaking

     spirituality for the street


Wednesday mornings

East Coast USA time


Please scroll down

beneath the current posting



Sign Up 

top right

online posting

Special Greetings

to the large group 

of folks from 


gathering with us

this past week.

You know, basically

our whole spiritual lives

are getting in on gifting -

       God's to us,

   Ours to each other.

      "GO GIFT!!"

       Love to all,

      John Frank


Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Dear All of Us,

So, when was 

the last time you had 

the tables turned on you?

Not nice, right?

Well, yes but...

My wife and I recently had

the happy flip of that.

We live in a small apartment.

Our dining table seats four.

Ten were coming for 

Thanksgiving Dinner.

What to do?

Well, turn the table 

the opposite way.

Go get my work table 

from the study.

Put them together.

Get some folding chairs 

and settle in for one heck of 

a great meal and time.


"Turned the tables on us."

It turned out to be

a blessing times two.

With the dining table 

now permanently turned, 

there's better 

room balance,

eye appeal and 


We didn't know that until

   "We had the tables 

       turned on us."

It's a keeper.

Our spiritual life

is often like that.

What presents as problem

can turn to a mighty blessing.

Usually not easy or quick, though.

The preeminent instance of that 

is the torture and murder of Jesus.

What a horrid and hideous

turn of things. Yet 



             for us

             on the 


         turned into a




        that's turning,


          all history, 

          all Creation, 

         all possibility,

       positively divine.

So we stay with it when 

the tables get turned on us,

often "not nice,"

yet trusting that 

it will somehow 

turn to good. 

You're deeply in love,

ready for marriage.

Your intended's ex beau/belle 

showed up, upended

and ended everything.

Shock, pain, loss.

That loss eventually 

made room for 

a wonderful other 

and a marriage 

of way deeper love

and fuller goodness 

as it turned out.

As a kid you preferred 

playing the piano 

to playing soccer.

It painfully upended popularity.

It also opened to later being 

the high school music teacher

for the kids of those soccer players.

You've been spiritually 

focused and faithful for years. 

Now there are years of 

spiritual dryness and ennui.

It feels like you are

personally experiencing

that dreadful dry desert trek 

of the Israelites.

Will it ever end?

It did for the Israelites

but it sure took one heck 

of a long time

for a good turnout,

and finally finding 

The Promised Land.

They were more than 

move in ready!!

We all have 

the tables and more 

turned on us.

We get flipped flat on 

our posterior cushions.

God has a way 

of turning that 

to a new 

stance and direction,

a very God Good One.

It is most often

hard and slow - 

very all three.

In Jesus, the Risen Savior,

we trust - that's faith.

No matter what turns up

or turns over,

We hold on being held on.

We wait it out, work it out,

as Paul says "En Christo," 

           "In Christ" 

The mystic Julia of Norwich

found out and shared:

     "All shall be well, 

      and all shall be well,

      and all manner of things

      shall be well."


           En Christo

         turned wrong

        gets loved right.

        What a divine 



        It's Been 


the past few weeks 

to have a large number of 

          new folks 

     from many lands 

          joining in. 


      It's great to be 

     together here at


         frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street


       Wednesday mornings

       East Coast USA time


       Please scroll down

       below online posting



        Sign Up

        top right

        online posting


        We know that 

        a lot more than 

        the tables 

        get turned on us.

       "And we know that 

        in all things

        God works for the good 

        of those who love him."

            Romans 8:28

         See you next week!

         Love to all!

             John Frank





Tuesday, November 28, 2023



     An Explanation

Technical concerns necessitate

posting a bit early this week.

What follows is actually

         the posting for 


     November 29, 2023.


Dear All of Us, 

Welcome to our family,

to our joy and table!

What a weekend!


with all the trimmings,

with all the family,

with friends of our daughters.

Crowded  Delicious  Delightful

Saturday it was  together some more -

just perfect sauteed pork chops, 

tangy sweet apple sauce,

creamy crusted scalloped potatoes,

tender firm haricot verts,

baby greens, apple slices, and walnuts

all dressed up together in an engaging 

mustard herb vinaigrette.

These delights were caped off

with a to die for orange zest cake.

Yes, my wife is culinary wonder.

Then Sunday after church 

it was off to Chang Chang 

for wonderous Dim Sum:

    Kungpao Vegetables

    Walnut Prawns

    Bubble Pancake

    Pan-Fried Pork Dumpling

    and deliciously much more

What a feast!

Yes, my son-in-law is so

thoughtful and generous.

Great company and time.

All these treats and joy 

as our family celebrated

our daughter Karissa's birthday.

And Ollie, now two and a half, 

loved every morsal and moment of it 

especially getting to help Mommy 

blow out the candles.

So how about this?

Some Same Day Serendipity.

While revisiting my journals

this weekend in prayerful Soul See

look what presented:

July 7, 1994

Wild Duns, SC

Karissa - the best thing 

I've ever done is 

marry her Mom and

be her father. 

Wonderful child!

I really mean it.

If I dropped dead today,

the best part of my life

has been to give her life

       - my life -

   the life that God 

has given her through me.

So, I'm starting to get clear here 

     (inside me about me).

I'm a child myself - a child of God.

That's all the security I need -

that's all the security there is! 

I'm really quite ok.

I'm a child who is part of 

God's play - an

  eternal ( forever), 

  cosmic ( boundless ), 


God delights in me 

(baby, go back over that line

for the rest of your life 

on this earth!!!).

Sure, the other kids and I 

are banged up (sin), 

but the merriment 

of the play 

heals us.

That's because God is 

merriment (love).

All of us kids are here 

to play together,

to share, 

to whopp it up!

All I want to do anymore is play!

All I want to do as a pastor 

is be part of God's play 

and do what's given me 

help everybody 

get into the game!

That means get together, 

get close, get busy, 

get creative, 

get helpful & healing 

happy & hilarious!


That was me almost 

thirty years ago.

It helped me then,

it helps me now.

I hope it does that 

for us all.


      Thanks to all visiting here 

             for the first time.

     Please do join in our sharing 

            each week here at

              frankly speaking

         spirituality for the street


Each Wednesday morning

East Coast USA time


Please scroll down beneath 

the current posting.


Delivered each Friday

Sign Up top right

online posting


     Come on!

Let's play God's 


     Love to all,

    John Frank



Wednesday, November 22, 2023


Dear All of Us,

So, come on now.

Fess up.

What's your favorite sin?


You have more than one?

Yah, me too.

We all do -

individually and collectively.

Really messes things up.

Mostly we just don't want 

to know about it, 

much less talk about it.

Well, let's anyway.

"Confession is good for the soul",

 granted not much fun for sure.


Talk about sin is 

a hard sell these days.

We want feel good,

"nice, nice" spirituality,

 cushy comfy living



The simple reality


       is that 

spirituality is about 

   what actually 



    what can be,

    up or down

Sin "IS."

Sin is a



That's  stink'n sad certain.

Way more certainly,

life is meant to be 

vibrantly more than 

cushy, comfy,

inane existence.

We can be freed from both

for infinitely more.

That's being saved,

if we face and accept

what sin is and 

what can be in better-stead.

When I was a kid 

in the 40's and early 50's,

things were the other way round.

We were not only sin sensitive, 

we were sin soaked.

Sin made the top 

of the top ten played 

in most churches. 

While lying and stealing

got attention, the real 


centered in our body, 

  our center zone,

and how we delt with it

"In thought, word or deed,"

   "alone or with other."

The church's favorite was

           SEX SIN

That fixation on frailty 

obscured focus on our

isolating self-centeredness

that morphed into a global




    The First Folks 

     suckered into 

     a try at being 

  the center of things.

They couldn't 

hold it together, 

hold steady, 

centered real.

It didn't work.

It worked havoc on them, 

on us their children 

through the ages,

and for all about us 

in Creation.

That First Family was 


off center.

Paradise lost, 

hard labor.

One First Brother 

murders the other 

They and we germinated 

a virus that effects, infects.

to this day.

We call it sin.

They and now we,

their inheritors

and the Creation 

we are charged 

to care for,

live a



That's sin.

On top of that,

as noted above,

these days facing sex sin 

and pretty much

and kind of sin is mostly

not the done thing.

We explain it away,

as primitive myth about   

unnecessary worry 

and weighty guilt.

That will be our undoing


      We don't get 


  if we don't face sin.

   Let's check it out.


Angel to Joseph:

    "...and you are 

    to give him 

   the name Jesus,


he will save the people 

    from their sins." 

    (Mathew 1:21)

Translation Trouble

Our word Jesus 

doesn't say it 

at all accurately.

We're short changed.

The English name  


   comes from 

the Greek translation 

of the Hebrew name 

recorded in 

the divine scriptures.

        What's in 

that original scripture 



   Joshua means 


Here's the point 

on the pencil:

Joshua is the

  God given 




It's who Joshua 

is and what 

he is among us 

to do -

           SAVE US


 the disorder and distress 



 every miserable speck 

             of it,

        SAVE US







    Off center,

the world still spins,

but it wabbles.

We lose our footing. 

We stumble.

We crash and collide:

- truth is destabilized

as is the Common Good, 

- racism roils

- anger attacks

- separatism fractures,

- religion goes flaccid

- junk food goes

on the table

and in the mind

- an excess of moshy flab  -  

body and spirit

- the needy neglected

the pure polluted -

air, water, soil,

- the failure of limiting

The Right To Life

to the unborn and

sanctioning slaughter later,

aborting life after birth -

war, starvation. poverty, 

gun mania, capital punishment

- unrestrained individualism

leaves isolating crowds 

of loneliness

- life commercialized,

it's richness 

drained dry dull

- and so sin spirals us

    off center

 out of control,

pained and paining.



   God Reality


     of what is


 personal present 

 in the mix with us 

 to center and stabilize. 

He sets us 

right and real

by incorporating us

into himself,

sharing with us 

who he is and 

how he is.


      SAVES US

from the destabilized, 


that pitches us wrong

and wronging.

Much and many 

all about us are 

spun out of control 

It's a sin!

It hurts like hell.

It is hell!

United and centered in


 "The Lord saves"

     we are his 

  presence, person, 


centering and stabilizing:

- we live a simplified lifestyle

  so others can have a life to live,

- we face emerging fascism 

  with a love centered openness 

  to all people,

  delighting in diversity,

  free and freeing,

  busy with the weave of unity.

- we find ways 

  to gentle jarred nature

  back to wholesome

  freshness and fecundity.

- we gather as 

  The Body of Christ

  to share care and community.

- we live in contemplative intimacy

  with The Love Who Is God.

- we decern both our

  circumstance and abilities 

  in tandem with discerning 

  the needs of the people and place 

  where we are 

  as we share extravagantly. 

- we refuse the false flooring 

  of media that maddens and 

  consumption that consumes.

- we stretch and strive 

  for social justice

  even at the price of 

  pocketbook or popularity.


          we center





In the days and ways ahead

     please consider the

        Ponder Prayer

         that follows.

     May it help us hear 

     deeper and dearer


    to centering intimacy.


       A Harvest Welcome

     to all joining in with us

     for the first time here at

         frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street


Each Wednesday Morning

East Coast USA time


Please scroll down beneath

the current online posting


Delivered Fridays

Sign Up, top right

online posting


Soul Stilled Peaceful,

we hear at our center

Joshua's desire 

to be intimate with us, 

for us to be intimate with him,



    "Live in me.

     Make your home in me 

     just as I do in you...

     I've loved you 

     the way my Father 

     has loved me.

     Make yourself at home 

     in my love."

           John 15: 4 & 9

           The Message

Joshua does not say 

live "with" me.

That would be close.

Joshua wants more.

Joshua wants intimacy, 

more than even 

marital intimacy.

Joshua wants us 



our life within his.

Joshua wants us

centered in him,

    "At home" 

       in him

      and he 

 centered in us,

  "At Home"

     in us

just the way it is 

with him and 

The Father.

That is so deep, 

so divine,

it cannot be described, 

but only experienced.

We are welcome  

and wanted at 

God's Center.

That "centers" us 

and we together our world.

Bonaventure said that 

God's center is everywhere 

and his circumference nowhere.

There are not limits

inward or outward.

That's being centered ,

"saved' from the 

off centeredness of sin -

ours and the worlds.

What do you say?

Our "saying" is 

our spiritual life.

May it be truly a

      Centering Prayer


How do we go about 

living this centeredness,

this intimacy?

         "I am 

          the way, 

          the truth and 

          the life."

         (John 14:6)

We go about life the way 

the historical Joshua did.

The particulars are different

in time, place and culture.

The truth, the life lived 

is one and the same.

To discern we open wide to

the impulse of the Spirit.

We do that in personal prayer.

We do that as "The Gathered",

(English for "ecclesia" - church).

We live out the value system, 

the teachings of Joshua

in our time and place.

Slow Soul Soaking 

in the Gospels is


We adapt the 

words and way of Joshua

to how we spend time,

work, pray, serve,

interact, eat and drink, 

drive, bank, buy, treat others,

love, forgive, and...


We plumb and lift to our living:

    "In him we live 

     and move 

     and have our being."

        (Acts 17:28)

     " is no longer 

      I who live, 

     but Christ 

     lives in me..."

      (Galatians 2:20)

      " ...I came that 

      they might have life, 

      and have it abundantly."

          (John 10:10)


May you and yours have a joyous


              Love to all

             John Frank