Wednesday, September 27, 2023



Dear All of Us,

Hope all goes well there.

Thank God it does here.

May it be so everywhere.

Speaking of God, 

and that quite Frankly,

I am well aware that 

I am not all that bright,

yet I am very much a 









       We all are.

It's a dimension of our 

spiritual lives that 

we don't see so well, 

but others sure do.

So let's take a look little.

Well, a little "see/say" first.

Folk See/Say:

  "You are the only Bible

   that lots of people 

   will ever read."

That's See/Say/Sure.

So is this.

We reflect God, 

know it or not,

want to or not, 

happy to our not.

Who we are,

how we are,

what we do,

what we don't do,


   God's Goodness


 Our Disfigurement 




We didn't engineer 

this set up.

God did:

   "God spoke: 

   'Let us make 

    human beings 

    in our own image, 

    make them 


    our nature.'"

       Genesis 1:26

       The Message

We are created 

in the image and 

likeness of God.

We share a smidgen 


     God's DNA.

   We are family.

And it shows or fails to.

 " is no longer 

    I who live, 

    but Christ 

    who lives in me.

        Galatians 2:20

And it shows or fails to.

It's all free gift.

We accept.

We decline.

Most of us do 

lots of both 

in the course 

of a day.

I sad sure do!

      An unarticulated

    yet quaveringly real


         we all have 

        of each other 


 "What's it all about, Alfie?"

   - what's the very meaning 

     of our existence -

    What we're all about

      reflects response

      because it's all a







Now we needn't get into 

a crazy tight fright here.

We don't have to 

come up with 

a goodness

to reflect.

God takes care of that.

What's up to us 

is giving clear channel 

to the current,

the surge, of

God's Goodness

in and through us.

     It all sort of 

comes down to this.

       We are a 




      the life we are, 

    or refuse to be,

    God accepting, 

    God rejecting,

    Reality based,

    Illusion laced.

We see it in public figures -

       Mother Theresa 

       Adolf Hitler

We see it close up 

and in person.

For me, happily 

  My Mother and my Wife,

So sadly for me,

  the nasty drunk pastor 

  of my internship

  many years ago.

Right here let's 

pause in prayer,

recalling our experience

of public and private people

and how they did or didn't 

give us a 




What were/are the effects?

Now let's take a wide eyed look

in the mirror of Sheer Truth

and see what we see or don't

about ourselves,

about how

our living 

reflects God

or fails to.

As far as we can see,

what were/are the results

for others?

    In every and all


Our spiritual lives are 

an invitation to LIGHT up

and let God Goodness shine

personal and practical in us.

God provides the current.

We control the Light switch.

All of this comes 

more and more 

into focus for me

as my body eyes dim

with old age 

and my Soul Sees

ever better and brighter. 

I find myself trying to

     "...say only 

     the good things 

     people need to know."

        Paraphrase of 

        Ephesians 4:29

I try to relax and let 

God be and do 

as God wills 

through my



life style, 





In all honestly 

it is sometimes a sad, 

dark, damaged, disfigured

image of God reflected.

I get ticked.

I get selfish.

At eighty-three 

I still have a lot

of growing up to do.

Sometimes it is 


I give.

I accept.

I forgive.

I share.

Those are the times 

I tell my ego to go 

to hell and I drive it 

to the station!!

That's when I let God 

flow/shine in me.

So here's a surprise.

I set out today to share 

a collection of reflections 


       END NOTES 

    the legacy piece 

I'm working on these days.

And look what happened!

It turned out way differently.

I pray it turned out to be 

at least a little bit of a







   I'll have a try at




     soon and see 

    what happens.



 to all the good folks

 joining in for 

 the first time,

 the once in a while time,

 the all the time,

 here at

         frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street

            a weekly


       Wednesday mornings

       East Coast USA time


        Please scroll down past

        the current posting


        Each Friday

        Sign Up located

        top right of 

        online posting

Rich Rohr 

recently shared:

  "If contemplation 

   means anything, 

   it means we can

  '...safeguard that 

   little piece 

   of You, God, 

   in ourselves'

   as Etty Hillesum 

   describes it."

      Daily Meditation

      September 14, 2023

Our share in God's DNA.

That's quite something 

to reflect on 


to reflect.

So Dear Ones,

what do we say?

Let's throw 

the switch of 



 God's Light

 deep in us.

 It'll be just 


Looking forward 

to our sharing 

next week.

Love to all,

John Frank




Wednesday, September 20, 2023


Dear All of Us,

So, what do you think?

In our longing 

for that one, 

special, life-long 


do we wait it out, 

wait to be sought out?

Or do we get out 

and seek out that one, 

special life-long 



When it comes 

to the God, 

do we seek or 

are we sought?


Is it Abraham Heschel's

God's Search for Man,


    Vicktor Frankl's 

Man's Search for Meaning?


It's the proverbial 

twosided coin -

a unified, 



  all at once

In our spiritual desire for

The Ultimate, One, Special

    Eternal Good God

 We hurry up and wait.

 Two Soul Sensitivities

    at the very time.

Trusting that we are sought, 

           we wait.

All ears and eyes, heart and soul, 

           we seek.

Both necessary.

Each unique.  

God seeks us.

We seek God.

That's what lovers do.

Both are an unfolding of  


    God's and Ours

The seeking and being sought

can happen at the same time.

We hold a newborn baby

and sense God coming to us 

and ourselves coming to God.

They can come about separately.

We are suddenly graced 

as John Wesley was 

that Pentecost Eve 

when his heart was 

"strangely warmed."


We read Richard Rohr and 

find a contemplative 

way to pray.


Sometimes we wait for one 

or the other or both.

Sometimes we feel God 

drawing us into moments of 

profound, indescribable intimacy.

      That's Soul Sought

At other times we seek God

in nature, in meditation, 

in service, in........

      That's Soul Seeking

Often we experience 

being sought and seeking

in the same places and ways.

God "shows up" in:

prayer private and shared,


the writings of mystics,

scientific research,


caring for others,

love making,

a delightful dinner party,

Holy Communion,

great art and literature,

seeking justice for all,

a job well done,

in a simple kindness,

medical care,

a good education,

in our church,

at a State Park,

dancing and singing.

No matter 

sought or seeking,

it's an unfolding -

sudden, slowly,

progressively, surprisingly,

a first ever, a regular.

One way and many 

we hurry up and wait.

Forcing delays or destroys.

We don't try to get 

a seven-year-old 

to be a mystic on his

First Holy Communion Day,

but that could happen!!

God seeks us out 

as God presents.

In our seeking 

we find God 

as God presents.

God just wants 

our openness 

and takes it from there.

    Most basically, 

God wants to be our


There's a lot of surprise 

to it whether it's 




What does The Spirit 

      Soul Say

       to us?

"For thus says 

the Lord God: 

I, I myself will search 

for my sheep and 

will seek them out."  

   Ezekiel 34:11

"You will seek me 

 and find me, 

 when you seek me 

 with all your heart"

  Jeremiah 29:13

"Rest in the Lord and 

 wait patiently for him."

       Psalm 37:7



       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

            a weekly


   Wednesday before noon

     East Coast USA time



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Please be an active member 

             of our


         by sharing 

    "frankly speaking"

        with others.

   You are the only such 

          we have.



Looking forward to us all 

being together here 

next week.

       Love to all.

       God Bless

       John Frank





Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Dear All of Us,

And you sure are just that - 

ever so dear.

Here's hoping things go well 

for each and every.

In regard to how things go,

           a rather 



Do we get ten miles ahead of 

the next fad/fashion,

angling to be 

"Chi Chi" sharp/successful?

Or do we hang back ten miles,

waiting to see how 

it all proves out

and be safe secure 

in an armored vehicle 

of caution?

Now, I don't own any vehicles 

other than a lightweight walker,

and I'm way too old 

to jump at anything.

But then I do want 

to keep moving

and stay abreast.

So, I guess 

I'm mostly middle man.

I go for the mantra:

   "Be not the first by whom 

    the new is tried, 

    nor the last by whom 

    the old is laid aside."

I'm not the first

in my neighborhood

to get the latest hula-hoop,

nor is our home 

completely furnished in great,

great, grandmother's furniture.

When it comes to 

our spiritual lives,

it's a major lift 

to have



over the latest and 

hottest spirituality fads,

such as every morning

beginning prayer time 

by drinking eight glasses 

of celery juice 

spiked with paprika,

while standing 

completely naked,

mentally picturing

peaceful and flowing 

fields of flowers

and chanting 


until we experience nirvana, 


need to head for the restroom.

Then again, it's important 

to leave behind practices

that are and need to be,

such as kneeling 

up straight

on a cold, hard floor,

for two hours

slowly praying 

a ten-page novena

to St. Flagelatio

after a dozen swips of

  The Discipline 

that sick, sordid,

supposedly ascetical,

 Cat and Nine Tails.

Hey, Reductio ad Absurdum

 sure helps makes the point! 




is not to have one

until we first have 

the best and right 


That means we turn off 

the flashlight of control,

      open wide 

the shutters of self

       and let 

  The Sun of Spirit


       as it will.

Most of us need to do this

every thirty seconds or so!!

We are just that much 

in the dark,

addicted to fussing with 

our flashlights of control.

Any spiritual practices 

are best if they are

appropriate to our

condition and potential.

An off the chart 

Myers Briggs  

extrovert does best with

a group/interactive retreat,

and certainly not an 

Ignatian thirty day 

silent one.

We happily high 

introverts do best 

the other way round.

Listening, deep and still

putting into practice what

         The Spirit 


  is what it all comes to.

"The work of the Holy Spirit 

 in our lives is to reveal to us 

  the truth of our being 

  so that the way of

  our being can match it." 

     Wm. Paul Young


         So Some


- soul soaking in 

  The Sacred Scriptures

- sitting on a park bench

  watching the birds and

  squirrels dance divine 

- meditation, gentle deep

- reading solid 

  spiritual authors

  such as 

       Joan Chichester

       Richard Rohr 

       Rob Bell

       Doroty Day

       Henri Nouwen

       Barbara Taylor Brown

       Thomas Merton 

       Frederich Buechner

       Evelyn Underhill

         among many 

- doing as Jesus counseled,

  go to our room alone, 

  close the door and

  pray to The Father -

  that "room" can be 

  one with a door, 

  it can be outdoors,

  but vey much

  just the two of us 

- that's got an active twin -

  soul listening/loving 

  speaks us forth in

      Lived Love 

    in extravagant 

    service and care

    particular to our 

    situation and competence

- wholehearted participation

  in a spiritual community - 

  the wisdom of folk religion

  proves positive -  

 "We don't go to heaven alone"

- listening to The Spirit

  leads us to see and share 

  our giftedness - 

  a living out of

          God Gift Given

           To Be Given

The Spiritual Gifts Inventory

          online from

   Discipleship Ministries

  United Methodist Church

    is free and quite good.

- Simplifying our lifestyle

  so as not to be tied down

  by stuff and busies.

  That way others can be 

  lifted up to sufficiency and 

  we can be set free,

       Present Centered

- Participating in retreats, 

  revivals, hymn sings,

  bible studies, 

  small group ministries, 

  e.g. Men's Spirituality, 

  outreach ministries,

  e.g. tutoring needful children 

- various devotional practices,

  e.g. Stations of the Cross,

  rosary - important not to get

  "thingy - clingy - culty"" 

   with them- 

   use only as a clear 

   means to pray.

 - fasting: from food, 

   social media, anything 

   that helps keep us from 

   the trap and tangle of

   unreal control and comfort.

- take counsel with a wise and 

  spiritual director, or a wise and 

  deeply spiritual acquaintance


  be where we are,

  be present to the present,

  be in the flow of now,

  be here,

  that's where God is,

  in the majesty and mess

  of the moment,

  be attuned, attentive, 

     Here and Now

    that's where we 

     "Practice the 

    Presence of God"


      The Presence 

   is always present.

   We need to be as well,

   present in The  Presence.

   If not, when we try 

   to activate some 

   spiritual "practice" 

   nothing real happens.

   It's like turning on 

   a computer 

   that is not connected 

   to the power source.

   Put another way, 

   be open, receptive, 

   and responsive to

     The Presence

   as and how it presents.

   God is in what's going on,

             all of it, 

   easy, hard, sweet, sour.

   We need to be also.

   Spiritually, we need to be 

   "Present to be accounted for."

   Being on the phone 

   and the computer

   while cooking supper

   means being out of touch 

   and missing in action.

   Absorbed and responsive

   to immediacy is the best of



As mentioned above,

before any particular practice

comes the going of control

and the opening to

        The Spirit

Then we are clear and clean,

         ready for

          SPIRIT- ual



Whether this is our first 

or our umpteenth 

time together 

it's just plan 


that we all 

are together

here at

        frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

           a weekly


Each Wednesday morning

   East Coast USA time


   Please scroll beneath 

   the current online posting


        Each Friday

         Sign UP

 Top right online posting


    Again and as always,

 great to be together here.

        All the best.

   See you next week.

        Love to all,

       John Frank



Wednesday, September 6, 2023


Dear All of Us, 

  OH BOY!!  




           Oliver Martin Minnich

             Ollie The Younger

              My Grand Son

              now two plus

             and what a plus.

The other day Ollie 

was sent home 

from school 

with a bit of a cold.

His Mom and Dad 

had super important, 

heavy duty schedules 

at work.

They really just couldn't 

spot each other.

So, could Ollie come over 

to Grandma's

and Grandpa's?

Turned out to be 

three wondrous days. 

Of course, we did let 

Ollie's parents 

take him home at night!!

The days were calm, 

filled with one on one

attention and activities: 

Ollie helping make the batter 

for blueberry pancakes, 

and helping himself 

to a lot of blueberries 

that never made it 

to the batter. 

He loved 

pressing play dough

into lots of shapes.

He knows the names 

of all the shapes 

by the way, and yes 

I know I'm bragging.

There were animated 

Sing Along enactments of 

"The Wheels on the Bus" 


   "Itsy Bitsy Spider". 

With the star shapes he sang 

"Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

There were reams of

colored marker artwork, 

Museum of Modern Art ready.

Storybook time, 

bubbles and balls 

out in the park and so

much delightfully more 

filled the days.

Ollie even woke up 

from his nap

singing in the crib.

I mean this was 


The following 

Monday morning 

Ollie's Mom explained 

that after breakfast 

Mommy and Daddy 

were going to work

and Ollie was going

to Bambini (his school).

Ollie chimed in with 

an alternate scenario.


Mommy and Daddy work, 

Ollie Grandma and Grandpa!"

A two-year-old knows 

what's going on 

and can say so.

All this is long way round 

 - and I sure as heck 

   enjoyed sharing it -


     The Bible is


The Bible writers knew 

what was going on 

and how to say so.

Like Ollie, that was 

in terms of how far 

they had progressed, 

how far they 

had matured, 

in understanding 

and its expression.

Read about 

Adam and Eve 

and read Paul.

What a progression 

in both understanding 

and expression.

The Sacred Scriptures 

are surely sacred 

and just as surely 

scripted in the 

sensing and saying 

of their writers.

Limited bespeaks 

the Unlimited 

in a limited way.

We need 

to understand that 

when we read them.

Grandma and I 

understand Ollie 

as a two-year-old, 

not as a Harvard 

doctoral candidate.

He'll' be heard then 

as he is then.

Right now he's 

a wonderful 


He thinks and 

speaks as such.

It works the same 

with bible writers.

We misunderstand them 

if we don't read them

in terms of their time, 

circumstance and the 

maturity of their

understanding and

the expression of it.

The sacred scriptures 

       say God 

in people parlance.

The parlance of 

primitive writers 

is primitive.

The parlance of 

later writers 

reflects growth 

and progress in


consciousness and 



the human 

is the medium 

for The Divine.

Human goodness 

and evil,


and limit, 

find themselves scripted.

There's excellence 

and there's error.

What's recounted are 

the frequent

three steps forward 

and two backward 

of the Chosen People 

and often of the teller

in the telling.

For instance: over time

exile, slavery, 

liberating exodus,

fidelity, infidelity, 

maturing, mauling 

and murder, 

freedom and failing,

hope, renewal.

The values, insights, 

imagery, and articulation,

are right from 

central casting 

of the writer's 

time and place.

The ancients were at times  


      as they grew  


      The scriptures 

      reflect and recount 

      both and all.

A literal translation, 

to say nothing of

a literal understanding,

of scripture can

at times mean 

misrepresentation and



John 10:14  

The Message

"I am the good Shepherd. 

  I know my own sheep 

  and my own sheep 

  know me. 

  In the same way, 

  the Fahrer knows me 

  and I know the Father. 

  I put the sheep 

  before myself, 

  sacrificing myself 

  if necessary."

In contemporary English 

         "to know"


to rationally understand.

It's cerebral, a head thing 

and the knowing is limited 

and not necessarily either 

participative or causative.

As such, it is a

lame and limp translation 

of the original Hebrew.

In Hebrew 

         "To know" 

is bodied and passionate

        love making  

        hot, sweet sex, 

        being swept away 

        into each other.

        Deepest intimacy.

We note Mary: 

 "How can this be 

  as I do not

  know man?"

   Luke 1:34

With Jesus and us

    "to know"

    each other

  is to make love, 

  melt into a oneness

  just as Jesus and 

  the Father do.


And to top it off, 

in the original Hebrew 

it is not 


as in English, 

the one who 

spermed us 

and supports us.

The closest 

we can come 

to the marvel 

of the word 

in Hebrew is


the guy who's 

always there for us, 

who would do 

anything for us 

no matter 

what it cost him,

the one who 

cozy's us up 

on his lap and 

rocks us to safe, 

serene sleep.  

Now those wordings

are pulsating, 

joyous and unitive, 

about as far from 

"to know "and "father" 

as the hot sun is from 

the cold, dark night


Sacred Scripture 

is written only in

the present tense 

of the writer's then, 

there and how -

consciousness and


When it comes 

to scripture

it's either 

keep it to 

a perfunctive, 

surface sense, 

and that at the risk 

of being unmoved 

and unmoving, 

or go deep 

and never stop 

marinating in the

message and meaning.

Sacred Scripture has 

a pantry full of marinates.

The latter means 

prayerful wonder, 

a Study Bible 

and commentaries 

pluming the levels, 

tones, texture, tinting, 

context and senses 

of scripture. 


     offered below

Originally the scriptures 

were read and 

considered communally,

as the people "gathered" 

(L."ecclesia" - "church").

Back then there were 

no printed copy's,

for solo reading, 

just an expensive,

single copy which often 

circulated through a

number of communities.

Best to get back 

to communal hearing 

and sharing. 

It gives The Spirit 

a lot more space 

to sweep us deep.

Hopefully little Ollie 

will grow in

experience, understanding, 

expression and sharing 

as he matures 

over the years.

Hopefully we will as well 

as we grow into living 

    The Word of Life, 

as we mature and grow 

       ever more 

spiritually and scripturally 









 Richard Rohr, 2008,

 Franciscan Media, 

Cincinnati OH



Hands down, 


I know for the 

general public. 

Readable, insightful, 

takes you where 

you need to go 

clearly and simply.




Richard Rohr, 2018, 

The Center for Action

 and Contemplation, 

  Albuquerque, NM,



Short, clear and concise.

Quite helpful.



1957, Abington Press, 

Nashville, TN, 12 Volumes, 

Genesis to Revelation.

My "Go To" resource. 

Good scholarship.

Lots there! 

Individual volumes 

or the whole set 

are available from 

Used Book Stores 

and generally 

at a reasonable price.








1995, Abington Press, 

   Nashville, TN, 



A different format 

and tenor than 

the predecessor above 

- quite good, pricey.




       frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

            a weekly


A Happy Hearty Shout Out


the expanding and extensive

gathering in here of so many

     Sisters and Brothers



     You are welcome  

      We are blessed

    "Behold, how good 

     and how pleasant

     it is for brethren 

     to dwell together 

     in unity."

        Psalm 133;1

        IT SURE IS!!!



     Wednesday mornings

     East Coast USA time 


      Scroll down below 

    current online posting


          Each Friday

      Sign Up top right 

        online posting


         AS ALWAYS


       to all who share

       frankly speaking

       with others.

       You are the



       here and

       much appreciated.

I am already 

looking foreword 

to all of us 

being together 

here next week.

  Love to all.

  God Bless,

  John Frank


Ollie The Elder