Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Dear All of Us,

Joe Cerone was retired,

but far from "retiring."

He was fun to be with.

When I'd ask Joe how he was

he'd often quip,

   "Given my age and income,

           pretty good!!"

Actually, beyond age and income,

        there are a host of the


          in how we are,

slender sleek, of ample proportions,

garrulous plus, tight-lipped, 

sober serious, loose as a goose,

artsy, practical plain

a rare bird, garden variety,

nurd, naughty or nice,

all colorations of skin 

and sorts of soul,

God Gifted 

like stars seen 

of a night clear,

all sizings of 

physique and personality 


diminutive gentle to 

vigorous robust, 

"Let's!!!" to "Let's wait!!"


"How long do I have 

 to stay at this party?"


 "I'm good til dawn

  and then let's go out 

  for breakfast!!",

  and endlessly on.

      THE GIVEN 

         of the


      is that we 


  A total and pure     


We didn't create ourselves.

We can't sustain ourselves in being.

Fame, fortune, a pricy psychologist,

hearty health insurance,

a plump portfolio and like givens

can't hold us in existence.




   Life is participation 


        What Is


     Ex - IS - tence





         we call 




      experience as 



   We are a birthing,

    a personalizing

         of that


We are an emanation, 

a pulsation of God, 

    The Energy of the Universe

We are a radiation of

     Reality Itself

  unique in intensity.

        We are a 


 Dynamic and Creative

    in ways rivaling 

 that clear stary night

     A gift to be


In the spirit and amplifying 

the words of l Peter 4:10,

"The gift you have been given, 

 give as a gift,"

 that gift is us


 in relationships supportive

 and generous to a fecundity.

We give as we are, 

with our array of the gifts to be  


Those relationships are 

with individuals,

  -  spouse/partner, family,

      friend, neighbor, enemy

  -  the needful of any sort or strip, 

     people, place, animals, earth, 

     air, waterways

  -  with groups such as 

     the marginalized 

     poor and powerless,  

     the lonely, 

     shunted elderly,

     deprived and endangered children,

     victims of poverty, war, discrimination 

     and their cause cancer capitalism,

     the different and disabled,

     our spiritual community.

Whatever our unique gifts 

we are gifted to be 



      Not giving,

   turning in to self 

   and off to other

     blocks the 

Creative Flow of Energy 


   Cosmic Existence





   Hurts Like Hell

        Is Hell

Makes It Hell For Others.

No need to get wasted there!


Good, Very Good News

     "It's Gospel"!

        We are

      God Given


    One with God

        We give 

    What a WOW!!

         It's a 



        We had a delightful 


        this past week with 

       first time visitors from 



     The British Virgin Islands.


    to you and to all new here at 

             frankly speaking

        spirituality for the street


         Wednesday mornings

         East coast USA time

           EMAIL DELIVERY 


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               for sharing 

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              with others.

      Looking forward to us all 

      being together next week.

               Here's to 

              God Given 

         Given To Be Given

             Love to all,

            John Frank


Wednesday, July 19, 2023


Dear All of Us,

It's said that

"All politics is local."

Just about 

everything else

sure is.

We can only be in 

one place at a time.


locate and hedge.


media modifies both, 

if not meddling 

overly much,

but we can use it 

   only in the

 here and now.





We can only 

make love locally.

We can only 

have babies,

share a meal, 

grow a garden, 

work remotely,




have our teeth cleaned,

wear clothes,

here and now. 

Life is Local

It's essential to


For sure that goes for 

our spiritual life.

It's either 

here and now,

or it is delusional.

Like everything else, 

it is contextual,


    in the 

here and now.

It doesn't exist 

then and there,

past or future, 


How 'bout this?


   The Savior 

   of the World


   Local Limited

and look what he did!!

    He lived but

 thirty three years

 within a less than

 one hundred mile


       To use 

traditional language,

"Jesus Saved The World"

and did it from home.

      Our life in 

      His Spirit



   are so as well.


OK, so what about

environmental degradation, 

nuclear threat,

culture wars,

religious decline,

Proud Bad Boys, 

politicians in a play pen,

wars, starvation and


  just too much?


we are part of a 

  Divine Whole

  and we have 

 our part to play.

God's Work and Way

         in the 


          is a


    and we have 

      our place 

         in it.

It is not the whole.

   We are neither 

   responsible for  

   nor capable of 


     The Whole.

     Our part is 

     our place

 in the here and now,



Given the chaos 

of the world just now,

there is the temptation 

  to be stymied still


not be and do our part.

   "What can I do?"

    "What difference 

    can I make?"

    "It's beyond me!"

       It sure is!!

         So we 

       Live Love 


Live it where and how

we are located 







We can't remedy 

global destruction.

We can modify 

our use of earth 

elements and energy.

We can't tame 

the intemperateness  

of culture wars.

We can offer broadness

of perspective and 

champion openness 

to diversity.

We can't bring about world peace.

We can bring peace 

to our part of the world. 

We do that with 

the gentle strength

of respect, acceptance, 

embrace and service.

We can't straighten out 

the twists and knots

of the church.

We can commit to sharing

simple and authentic

      Gospel Life

    in community.

God has a difference 

      to make

   and we are it

       in our 

   here and now.

  God chooses to 





and wants to do that

particularly and personally

       through us

in our person and place.

God counts on us to

      BE THERE


       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

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 Every Wednesday Morning

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     See you next week.

          Love to all,

         John Frank




All of this is to underscore 



Wednesday, July 12, 2023


Dear All of Us,

So, as a kid way back when - the 1940's and that's certainly basic back - 

it was fun to go to the Thom McAn Shoe Store in Battle Creek, Michigan. 

They had this wondrous machine. You stood in front of it and moved your foot 

into the bottom of it. Looking down into a scope you saw your foot 

inside one of their shoes. It was a live x-ray.

It showed if the shoe was a good fit or not, and if there was room for growth.

What say we some such with prayer? 

One size doesn't fit all. Like a kid and their shoes, we can regularly outgrow 

prayer form that was good before but just doesn't at all fit anymore. 

There are styles to shoes. We take time to break in a new pair of shoes. 

It's the same for prayer. Is this type of prayer a good fit? 

Are we trying to squeeze into a form of prayer that's just not right for us? 

Are we reluctant to try a new style or form of prayer?

What's best for public/shared prayer? What's a true fit for private prayer? 

What's the right way to go about a particular type/kind of praying? 

We scope it out:

- When we pray praise are we reflecting the good and glory of God, 

  or are we trying to butter up God - or a touch of both?

- When we pray petition are we basically telling God what to do, 

  or are we in trust holding a concern before God - or a touch of both?

- When we pray adoration are we enthralled in God's Goodness, 

   or are we trying to curry God's favor - or a touch of both?

- When we pray repentance are we really turning from the foul 

   to the fresh rightness of God's way for us - or a touch of both? 

- When we pray thanksgiving are we joyously grateful to God,

  or are greasing the skids for future favor - or a touch of both?

With the seasons of the year we adjust footwear. 

It's boots for snow, sandals for summer. The same is so for various occasions. 

It's one style for work and another for time off. So prayer.

As a child it's rote prayer that hopefully takes root in our hearts.

Praying at church we need to regularly do some prayer buffing up 

so the well-worn same old, same old can Spirit Shine, not deaden dull.

As we mature, we need varying footwear - action ware, formal ware, 

work and recreational ware.

As we mature, we need formal and informal prayer, shared and private prayer, 

meditative and contemplative prayer.

Sometimes no prayer form really fits. So we just keep going along bare souled,

faithfully in step with God when it's not clear what's going on 

and we feel pretty vague and vulnerable. 

Some mellow into a prayer of contemplative quiet. It's a bit like 

old lovers mellow together in a glider on the front porch. It's talk free together.

As babies we start out with booties. As ancient of days we finish up 

with soft slippers. In between start and finish we mature through 

sizes, shapes and styles. It's the same for prayer. 

The big question always is, does it fit 

and does it keep us on our way, in step with God?


                                   WELCOME ONE AND ALL        

                                         frankly speaking

                                    spirituality for the street


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Prayerfully Asking God's Fullness For Us All.

                  See you next week.

                     Love to all

                    John Frank


Wednesday, July 5, 2023


Dear All of Us, 

When it comes to financial investments, 

I know next to nothing about margins.

When it comes to life investments, 

I know a thing or three about margins.

In the first case I totally rely on 

a trusted friend and financial adviser. 

His name is Darrell.

In the second case I totally rely on a trusted guide 

who keeps teaching me the secret of life on the margins. 

His name is Jesus.

Jesus is totally invested on the margins.

That's where he is to be found.

He centers with the outsiders, the ordinary, 

the humble, the hurt, needy, deprived

      - the no accounts.  

He accounts them blessed.  

He factors them first. 

It's a higher math. 

It's the paradox that flips conventional evaluations:  

The only way to maximize is to marginalize.

Expansion happens at the margins.

Jesus said it.

Jesus lived it.

Marginalized, pushed to the edge, 

he died it and received an unlimited return.

What a yield for us all.

All this was countercultural - and it still is.

World wisdom centers on self.

Its portfolio is to accumulate fame and fortune.

Its accounting draws inward.

It closes in on self.

That grabbing and pulling in 

isolates and limits.

What's locked in

locks in.

Jesus goes out to the edges and keeps going.

            No limits on the margins.

Expansion happens on the margins.

With him, the pushed-out become outgoing 

and that without call.

There are no hedges at the edges.

Those there are needful and thus open, 

ready to be in on God's expanding creation.

Put a whole other way,

      Clutch Clutters, Closes In. 

      Need Widens, Opens Up and Out.

In any economy return results from market exposure.

That's certainly so investing with Soul Self.

Play it tight in and we're squeezed out.

Play it wide open on the margins

and the compounding widens.

Being at the edge makes 

most of us extremely "edgy."

That's for sure.

That's also the only opening for more.

It's been a while since I've done this,

so counting on your loving tolerance, 

here's a hokey, homespun analogy.

God gives us a sandbox.

We really like playing there.

God takes away the sandbox

and wants to send us to Harvard.

Lack hurts, upsets.

Lack opens.

Do we?

The "we" extends, includes all.

With Jesus we head out to the edges,

to those marginalized among us:

 - those in poverty

 - those victimized by injustice

 - the lonely

 - the ill of body or mind

 - the discards of society

 - the abused and the confused

 - the befuddled by puberty and mid-life

 - the dying, being edged out of what has been

    to what will be and that without limit or end.

                      Simply Divine

With Jesus we get close in out on the edge.

With Jesus we care and companion.

With Jesus we share what we can;

   - We become a Big Brother/Sister.

   - We tutor.

   - We challenge injustice, raise hell for heaven's sake.

   - We slim down our goods so others will have some goods.

   - We support food pantries.

   - We visit the lonely.

   - We are patient with the troubled who bother us.

   - We pray worldwide and deep.

Living on the margins is scary.

It tests and stretches our risk tolerance.

For those wiling to chance a wider exposure

to Jesus' life expanding economy, 

please consider what follows

slowly, deeply, prayerfully, practically.




      Risk all on the margins.

          It goes like this.

     "So the last will be first 

      and the first will be last"

                 Matthew 20:15

What the world figures as first 

       - stuff and status -

           is faux fatal. 

It devalues to nothing.

Those last aren't burdened with it.

They don't have it or the illusion of it.

That sure puts them ahead.

Up front of the line 

the little we have 

is all we'll ever have

and that not for long -

certainly not as long as we will be.

It will loss its currency,

leave us broke.

The danger of being first:

We can't get more ahead 

than being first.

Truncated by immediacy.

Lots of openness, though, 

at the end of the line 

and the bottom of the pile.

At the end of the line 

there is nothing to fall back on.

Scary hard.

Plenty of room, though, 

for furtherance in the Great Reversal.

The last will be first.

What a flip - solid and for ever.

We're not here on earth 

to force a faux first 

but to be open

and to be in community with the last. 

There's all the room in the world 

and the heavens for that

at the end or the line.


                     HIGH YIELD RETURNS

Fortunate, happy, blessed,

are the undervalued:

- the poor in spirit - uncomplicated, uncompromised, God ready

- those who mourn - loss clearing to furtherance.

- the meek - gentle strong enrichment

- those who hunger and thirst for righteousness - eager righting fullness

- the merciful - caring cared for

- the pure in heart - love ready

- the peacemakers -unifiers "oned" in God 

- those persecuted for righteousness  -  "the righters" earth-hurt, heaven-homed.  

                                  The Beattitudes Matthew 5:1-12

Living on the edge, 

what are moments, movements, 

situations for us 

individually and collectively 


 -"lasting" to "firsting"

 - being poor in spirit

 - mourning

 - being meek

 - craving rightness

 - being merciful

 - purity of heart

 - being peacemakers

 - taking hits working for righting?

It'll make all the difference in the world

and forever beyond that.



     In the past month plus

    we have been blessed with

    hundreds of participants from 


        joining in with us here.

      Thanks for the gift you are.

       Welcome to you and to all.

              frankly speaking

          spirituality for the street

               BEST DELIVERY


                 Each Friday

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       Wednesday mornings

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         Looking forward

    to seeing all next week.

    Great to be together.

Praying us all to be market wise -

     out here on the margins.

             Love to all 

            John Frank