Wednesday, March 29, 2023


Dear All of Us,

What should we make 

of a father like this?

Clean as a whistle.

High minded, 

works hard

to support his sons,

sets a high bar for them.

When a son misbehaves,

he takes him to the garage

and beats him.

What should we make 

of a God like that,

one who requires 

his son to suffer

and die for the

misbehaving of humanity?

Scripture seems 

to say such of God -

Jesus is tortured and killed, 

and thus pays off 


blood justice debt 

to God the Father,

saves us all and

is raised from the dead.

Slaughter for salvation.

Is this "Abba"?

Is it true that

"God is love"?

We need to look

many agains

and much deeper.

Slaughter Dad

is neither singular 

nor exceptional.

Scripture says 

all sorts of things 

in all sorts of ways

which call for 

a deeper interpretation

to get at the core truth -

probing things such as their 

linguistic, historical, 

cultural context,

the limits and liabilities,

the persuasions and  

personal experiences

of the writers.


  - creation in six days,

  - God's violence in 

    many parts of 

    the Hebrew Scriptures,

 -  cutting off you right hand 

    if you sin with it

    (how is it that there are 

    so many right handed people 

    in church on Sunday??).

Well, let's have a go at 

a bit of a 

deeper interpretation

of Jesus death 

and resurrection.

On a practical, 

political level

Jesus was getting 

a larger and larger 


That was a concern 

for the Roman authorities

at a time of zealots 

and uprisings 

opposing their occupation

of Palestine.

Jesus was healing many,

was critical of 

the temple elite and their 

shallow show religiosity,

was preaching 

a beautiful and new 

kingdom of God.

He was getting large crowds, 

even right in the temple.

All this meant 

state and religious leaders

might lose their jobs, 

so Jesus had 

to lose his life.

At a much deeper level

Jesus is Emmanual, 

   God With Us 

right in the midst 

of our human 

mix, marvel and mess,

one of us,

one with us,

one for us.

Jesus lived 

a holistic realness 

that righted wrong. 

Sin, evil of any 

and every sort,

death itself, 

are the absence 

of the real, of life, 

of good, of God.

Jesus responded to them

in the Love that is God,

suffered them,

poured himself out for them,

emptied himself,

to fill the void

of sin, evil, death,

righting them real.

He taught and lived 

a life of such pure love 

that it has the bounce 

to rise from the dead.

Jesus invites us 

into this wonder.

     We are 

"baptized into his

death and resurrection",

    he with us,

    we together

      in him.

Jesus saved us

from a vacuous hell,

here and hereafter.

Richard Roher puts this all 

so clearly and well:

    Jesus is, in effect, saying,

   "This is how evil is 

    transformed into good! 

    I am going to take 

    the worst thing and 

    turn it into the best thing, 

    so you will never be 

    victimized, destroyed 

    or helpless again! 

    I am giving YOU 

    the victory over all death!" (1)

Over the years I had 

more than 

a few fathers 

in the congregation

who beat their sons

when they misbehaved.

So sadly sick,

evil compounding evil.

We don't have 

an Abba at all like that.

He shares his Son.

His Son shares 

God Goodness.

His Son Saves!

His Son loves the deadly 

and death itself to life.




    We find a quiet, 

      private place.

     We still down to 

       Soul Center

    We stop thinking, 

    figuring, planning.

   We gaze at the cross




We ask for an infusion of 

         GOD LOVE

         to enliven 

 the dark dead corners 

       of our minds 

       of our feelings

       of our behaviors

       of our relationships

       of our families

       of our churches

       of our nation

       of our world community


      We not only ask for

         an infusion of

           GOD LOVE

         We open to it.

   What does that look like?

   What does that take?

Let's be honest and actual

          about this.



(1) Things Hidden, 

      Scripture As Spirituality

      Richard Rohr, 2008, 

      Franciscan Media, p.188 

Spring freshens things up.

         So here's a 

      Spring Welcome

      to all our visitors.

        You sure do 

   freshen thigs up for us 

          here at

      frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street



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          The heck with

             Fox News

          The heck with 


          There's such 

          GOOD NEWS

       We can take it as


          Love to all,

         John Frank    


Wednesday, March 22, 2023


Dear All of Us,

Well, here we are in 

the home stretch of Lent.

And Lent sure is 

a stretch isn't it

a stretch

as in work out, 

as in heavy lifting,

working out life's


Let's have a go at that,

do a work out together

right here, right now.

A couple have 

a lovely wedding.

Two days into 

the honeymoon

one comes down 

with the flu

in its full fury 

for a fortnight.

You did really well in college,

landed a great job with 

an up-and-coming company.

Your career and compensation 

rode the company's crest.

Then the by out and you're out,

out on a limb with 

two college ripe kids 

and a hefty monthly mortgage.

The earth quakes and cracks.

Buildings crash down and

fifty thousand people   

are crushed to death

in Turkey/Syria.

So why all the downs in life?

Can we ever get up 

and stay up?

Put otherwise, 

how cope with 

screw ups that down,

with the deadening downers of

evil, pain and suffering?

Lent looks at that and 

sees Jesus come at it

in all its unrealness, 

with the pure power of 


       God Being

       God Energy

       God Love

Jesus gets down and dirty


       LOVE LIFT 

  from deadly downs.

He's still at it,

dying to evil, 

rising to life.

And it's not a 

one and done deal,

it's not a solo act either.

Jesus teams up with us

and counts on us.

Together we power through,

with nothing less than the

        Utter Reality 


        Divine Love

that absorbs and transforms

the chaos of suffering and pain,

righting the wrong,

purifying the polluted,

uplifting the downed,

reviving the deadened.

Some of all this we understand.

Much of this we can't figure.

Some of it works through

right away.

Some of it takes longer 

than our earth years 

to work through.

A good friend turns out 

to be neither.

We don't annihilate.

     We wait 

in pain and love.

We are in Soul Solidarity

with the people of Ukraine.

We feel, we hurt, not like them 

but for and with them.

For Lent we don't 

just give up a 

convenience or comfort.

We give up in Jesus

all we can to uplift.

We give, give big time 

and for real.

It could mean giving 

a foster child 

a home and family.

It could mean

having the church crank 

over for dinner and cards.

It could mean noticing 

the conflicted teen on the bus

and holding him in 

heartfelt love and prayer.

It could mean 

realizing and admitting that 

what we publish as personality

is way different than 

the inside and actual edition

we are so far.

We get some 

soul care and help 

with that.

It could and should mean

doing all we can,

where we are,

as we are, 

for social justice

by living it

before we talk it.

It could mean challenging

established religion

to get real,

really simple 

and simply spiritual.

Jesus didn't suffer, 

die and rise.




dying and rising

right here, right now

and he wants 




How about every day 

for the next week

       or more

we slowly, soulfully

ponder pray over 

these scriptures?

We just take a phrase

or sentence at a time.

- What is the idea, 

  the insight, here?

- What is being revealed 

  through it?

- What does it mean for our

  attitude and action?

- What are the implications for

  our spiritual small group?

Do you not know that all of us 

who have been baptized 

into Christ Jesus were baptized 

into his death? 

Therefore we have been 

buried with him by baptism 

into his death, so that, 

just as Christ was raised 

from the dead 

by the glory of the Father, 

so we too might live 

a new life.  

     Romans 6: 3-4

...I have been 

crucified with Christ; 

and it is no longer 

I who live but 

Christ who lives in me. 

And the life I now live 

in the flesh I live by faith 

in the Son of God, 

who loved me and 

gave himself for me.  

Galatians 2: 19b-20

...when you were buried 

with him in baptism, 

you were also raised 

with him through faith 

in the power of God 

who raised him 

from the dead.  

Colossians 2: 12

If we have died with him, 

we shall also live with him;  

2 Timothy 2;11


I am now rejoicing 

in my suffering 

for your sake, 

and in my flesh 

I am completing 

what is lacking 

in Christ's affliction 

for the sake of his body, 

that is, the church.  

Paul in Colossians 1:24



   to one and all.

A special shout out

to the large group of

visitors this week 

from Germany.

How good that 

we all are in this


        frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street



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  Lent means heavy lifting

         Up and Free

       Together in the 

          Spirit Spa

          Love to all

          John Frank




Wednesday, March 15, 2023


Dear All of Us,

Lent sure is a 

sober, serious business - 

necessary but not much fun.

Well, long ago 

folks took a break 

in the middle of Lent.

They lightened up Lent

    just for a day.

   They called it

  Laetare Sunday.

The name came from 

the opening words of 

their Sunday worship:

"Laetare Jerusalem"

"Rejoice Oh Jerusalem"

    Isaiah 66:10

Sunday, March 19th is

  "Rejoice Sunday."

Let's follow 

a good lead this Lent.

Hopefully our 

focus and story

here this week will 

brighten and lighten Lent


      Here goes!

Little kids love stories.

So do big kids like us.

Stories take us everywhere -

sky high, ocean deep,

down the street, 

across continents.

Stories aren't time trapped -

    "Once upon a time" 


long ago, right now,

     fast forward.

Stories plunk us right 

in the middle of 

free range experiences

told factual to fanciful.

Stories mix us in 

with all kinds of us,

humankind alive in 

varied peoples and cultures.

Stories flow from 

ear to mind and

keep on going to the heart -

ours and the heart of the matter.

Really good stories are

    Pure and Simple

Those good stories open our

Soul Windows and Doors

     wide in wonder.

   We get to see and be

     The Ever Larger 


The sacred stories 

     in scripture

    are like that -

  Pure and Simple,

spoken in the idiom 

of their time and place  

to be heard in tones

true to both, 

yet drawn from

the vocabulary of 

our time and place,

our thought and word,

much and diverse media

speaking the core message.

Here is a simple sampler of that.

If I'm here and have 

my wits about me 

a year or so from now

I hope to have a try at 

sharing a special story 

with my then to be

three year old

     Grand Son, Ollie 

    The Genesis Story

      the story of our 

          Get Go

I've been practicing,

trying to keep it 

   Pure and Simple

I have been

  "Praying it forward."

Here it is.

It would be helpful to first

reread Genesis 1.

Then may we listen in 

with the freedom 

and heart of a child,

hearing the message 

in a child's medium.

May it remind us big kids 

to do likewise 

and like heartedly

as we hear and tell 

scripture's stores, 

true to the message 

translated in 

our words and ways.



Ollie, this is so good. 

We get to sit here together

in grandpa's big, 

cozy, comfy chair

and look at these beautiful,

happy pages in our 

children's picture bible. 

They are all about 

a wonderful story,

a story about God

having a good time.

It goes like this.

Once upon a time, 

long, long ago, 

God went out to play.

God was really happy

and ready to have 

a big time good time.

God got going right away.

It was kind of dark, though.

So God said,

"Hey, lets have 

lots and lots of light.

Let's turn on all the lights."

It got beautifully bright.

God said,

"Wow, this is great.

I really like it.

Let's call the dark Night

and call the light Day"

There was water 

all over the place.

So God put lots of 

the water up high.

God called 

the water up high Sky.

God wanted to keep going

and sure enough 

God had another great idea.

"Let's put all this water 

left down here 

in a special places

so we can make room 

for some dry ground."

God called the dry ground Earth

and the gathered together waters

God called The Seas.

God said, "This is really good!"

Checking out the Earth

God said it would be just great

to have all kinds of 

flowers and food 

grow up from it.

And that's just what happened 

and is still happening.

See the daffodils, the tomatoes, 

the apples and grapes there

in the picture bible.

O yeh Ollie, 

they have your favorite,

blueberries, too!

God was on a roll.

God loves to make 

good things.

God was happy about 

how thigs were going,

about everything 

God was making.

Pretty soon God got busy 

doing something else.

It was about 

Day and Night again.

This time God made 

a super bright light 

for the Day and 

called it the Sun.

God make much softer lights 

for the Night.

Gad called them the Moon

and the Stars.

This picture right here 

in our Children's Bible 

is one that Van Gogh painted 

of a splendid Starry Night.

After we finish this story,

how about let's get 

the colors out 

and paint a sun 

and the moon 

and some stars.

That would be fun.

God sure was happy busy

making more and more 

wonderful things.

Next came all kinds 

of birds to fly in the sky

and all kinds of fish 

to swim in the sea,

lots and lots of them,

minnows, whales,

hummingbirds, eagles,

more than we can count.

Then God decided that

it would be good to make 

many different kinds of animals 

to live all over the Earth.

And that's just what happened.

We got chipmunks and

elephants, cows and puppies, 

horses and monkeys -

all sorts and sizes of animals.

Ollie, is the Panda Bear still 

your favorite animal?

God was full of 

happiness and love

and wanted to share it 

wonderfully way, way more.

So God said, 

"Let's make people and

let's make them a lot like I am."

So God made people 

God told them 

to help each other 

and have babies. 

That way there would be

lots of people who would 

take good care of each other 

and the Earth and Sky,

the Seas and the Land, 

all the flowers and plants, 

the fish and birds and animals.

God checked out all 

that God had made and said 

"This is so, so good."

It sure was and always will be

because to this story 

there never will be

     The End

After all this fun

God was pretty tired.

So, God went inside 

and took a nap.


If I were to be around 

when Ollie is in his teens 

and then later 

when he is a young man, 

later yet middle aged 

and then old,

I would seek 

age and stage 

appropriate ways 

to tell the story.

Something like a 

Beautiful Big Bang, 

an unending burst of 


   The Energy 

     That Is

God Love Creative

   Gone Cosmic

Always, though, 

remembering that

the story was spoken 

in the idiom of 

its time and place

to be heard in tones 

true to both yet drawn 

from our time and place.

In other words, 

in our words.

It is to be told as it is 

and we are.

I pray others 

will voice it such 

for Ollie and that  

in his days and ways 

Ollie will grow to

so such for others,

always telling it


      most of all 

by living it just that way.

I've had a great time 

with us all here

in this Laetare Break

but I'm pretty tired.

Now, I'm going 

to go take a nap.


 Thanks for this time 



We had many visitors 

this past week from:

The United Emirates, 

The United Kingdom, 



and the USA.

Folks in America's South 

have warm, delightful 

ways of speaking.


 for all our visitors 

     every week 

we borrow and join 

      the warm 

  South Smile Say:

 "Ya all come back"

      frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street



          Every Friday

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 God loves you and so do I.


     See you next week.

         John Frank



Wednesday, March 8, 2023


     Dear All of Us,

A refresher:


is a good bit more than 

two ducks in a row.


     is an apparent 


     that just isn't. 

    At its pure best 



     God's Mystery 



       our midst

    in myriad ways.

(Yes, alliterations dance 

  in the ear and hopefully 

  in the mind!)


Creation is God's Oneness 

splendidly diverse.

We are rooted together

in God's Reality,

in God's Oneness

manifest in varied fashion,

perspective and persuasion,

manner and mode.

To be Real is to be One.

To be One is to be Diverse.

That's how paradox plays out.

            And us?

 Oh God,

in trust and hope 

we bring before you


     the church,

     our nation,

     the world community,

     all of varied Creation.

Help us join in 

with your love for all.

May hurt heal.

May diversity of 

gift, condition, 

aptitude and attitude

be treasured unto


May truth tone 

seeking and speaking.

May we share 

your delight in us,

splendidly different,

       in your




        Lenten Looks

Where do I need the courage 

to be uniquely me, 

diverse and harmonized 

in our basic Oneness?

How can I more fully

interface and interheart 

with people of 

distinctly different 

persuasions and perspectives?


Each week it is blessing for us,

different as we are 

and from where we are,

to be united in 

God's Oneness.

What a joy this week

to welcome  

a large cohort of visitors 

from England

here at

       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

            BEST DELIVERY


               Each Friday

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        current online posting


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           consider sharing 

           frankly speaking

             with others.

      That would be a big help 

       and much appreciated.

          Have a great week.

  Love to every delightfully different


                 of us

             John Frank



Wednesday, March 1, 2023


Dear All of Us,

So, here's a little Lenten

   Let's Check It Out.

Learning, relationships, 

exercise, parenting, justice, 

peace, love, wisdom - all 

     The Biggies

        in life 

      are never

   one and done.

  Certainly so our 

     Soul Life.

   It is always    

   again and still.

The followers of Jesus

early on faced that.

They named that facing


Annually they pressed 

their spiritual "refresh" key






      They sought 

      change of mind

      change of heart

      change of direction

      change so real, 

      actual and definite

      that it changes one's

      Whole Way of Life.

Now it's our 

turn and time.

May this Lent 

be way more than

ashes and palms 

leading to lilies.

               Oh God

              We hold in 

          The Love You Are

          each and all of us.

         May we be graced 

           with a for real


            again and still.

       Help us never fall for 

            one and done.

      Help us hear Jesus anew

        in our deepest selves:

           From that rime on

          Jesus began 

          to announce,

         "Change your 

         hearts and lives!

         Here comes

         the kingdom 

         of heaven."

       Matthew 4:17

  Common English Bible


     LENTEN LOOK            

  "Change of heart"

      What way inside me 

      most needs change?

  "Change of living"

      What way I live 

      most needs change?

  "Here comes the

   kingdom of heaven"

       What in me most needs 

       to change to join in?

       What about our churches

       and nations?


Thank you for joining in here at

          frankly speaking

      spirituality for the street

           BEST DELIVERY


             Each Friday

               Sign Up

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            online posting


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     the current online posting


      Wednesday mornings

           Before noon

      East Coast USA time

        See you next week

            Love to all

            John Frank