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



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     See you next week.

         John Frank