Tuesday, July 9, 2024

JUST KIDDING


Dear All of Us,


"Hey, Come on!

 I'm just kidding."


Real Life Translations:

   "Don't take it seriously."

   "Nothing of consequence."

        JUST KIDDING

           around

      

          Kidding     

   Well, we like kids,

            but

they don't figure big in 

our social calculations 

of success and count

until and less

they are competent, 

competitive achievers.

That's when they are 

of consequence and 

to be taken seriously,

no kidding about it!

That's the current 

culture curve.


That's essentially 

how the disciples

felt when they 

were trying 

to shoo the kids 

away from Jesus.

Kids don't qualify 

for prime time.


Oh Yah?


   But Jesus called 

   the children to him 

   and said,

  "Let the little children

   come to me, and

   do not hinder them,

   for the kingdom of God 

   belongs to such as these. 

   I tell you the truth, 

   anyone who 

   will not receive 

   the kingdom of God 

   like a little child

   will never enter it."

   Luke 18: 16- 17


Is Jesus just being 

a bit poetic here,

a touch of soothing

       Hallmark

     kid cute stuff

     but decidedly

   JUST KIDDING? 

What's he talking about?


His talk just isn't  

in the language of

Wall Street, 

Madison Avenue,

The World Bank,

politics,

clergy advancement,

military ranking,

Walmart,

sports,

entertainments.

Definitely not in 

the curriculum at 

The Harvard School 

of Business.

That's for sure!


That's because 

all those are 

articulations,

dialects of 

    Empire.


Jesus speaks an

altogether different

      life lingo.

Jesus invites us to 

take a pass on Empire.

Sure, we have to 

live and work 

in the midst of it -

in it but not of it.


Jesus invites us into 

  Kingdom of God 

     Realm Real

       in our 

   here and now 

    our forever

And yes, Jesus is

 JUST KIDDING

The only way in 

is the way of kids

- simple, straightforward,

  unqualified, wholehearted 

  receiving of a good:

"I tell you the truth,

 anyone who will 

 not receive the 

 kingdom of God

 like a little child

 will never enter it."

  It's pure gift.

  All it takes is 

  a lived yes,

  indeed, 

  a lively yes

  just like kids.


You know what?

This is so simple  

I'm having 

a hard time 

trying to say it.

Hey, I'm going 

to take a brake. 

Be back!


          ******

   GONE SWIMMING

          ******


OK, I'm back on

the blog job.

Talk about 

"kidding" around.

I got to our pool.

There was a dad 

and his kids already

in the water.

They were having 

one uproarious,

heaven of a good time,

the kids squealing 

in delight 

as their dad 

flipped them, 

swirled them, 

squirted them,

danced them around.

Dad was delighted 

in delighting.

No letup or 

slow down to it.

Sheer glee all round.

          THAT'S

   what receiving the

     kingdom of God 

      like a child is.

         ACCEPT

         ALL IN

    totally engaged 

    as dad delights.

And if things tangle up, 

       God Dad 

straightens them out.


Now, here's 

the really hard part.

The single most 

terrible sin the

  Establishment Church

has ever committed is 

to have watered down, 

papered over,

dumbed up,

what it takes 

to get life right,

to get in on the 

Kingdom of God.

It complicated, 

compromised  

entrance 

to kingdom life 

at the pass.


The Establishment 

       Church, 

bought into Empire, 

it's ways and deceits,

established itself 

as absolutely necessary, 

as the only key into

 The Kingdom of God,

clergy at the controls.

Rules, routines, rituals,

doctrines, dogmas, 

disciplines, hierarchies,

to choke the soul.

So, lots of folks took a look,

didn't see much heaven 

in it all, said

     "The hell with it" 

        and bailed. 

        See the 

damnable damage done.


Others were seduced 

into life-long struggling,

trying to qualify,

wrack up the points, 

and be able 

to get a ticket 

to the Kingdom 

     Hereafter

      through

Church Incorporated.

See the perversion, 

the distraction from God.


The Establishment Church

has either run people off,

or duped the majority 

who stick around 

into settling for 

a surface religiosity

 - believe these things,

 - observe the rules and regulations

 - show up for the required rituals

 - avoid sin, most especially

   cooking the books at work,

   having sex outside of marriage,

   loosing your temper or fibbing

 - for the eager beavers, 

   work hard at the spiritual disciples,

   wrack up even more points

   getting holy

   so you can go first class

   to the kingdom of Hereafter.

   

A lot of chasing the wrong rabbit.


By contrast, when we simply,

like a child invited 

to a birthday party, 

accept the gift of 

kingdom life,

we joyously join in

going full court 

living the Gospel

together in community. 

Our valve system, lifestyle,

finances, family and social life,

practical commitment 

to justice for the earth 

and all her people

are God's Love Lived 

at our address.


Please know there is 

a vast void between 

    The Church 

          and 

The Establishment 

        Church

My experience pastoring

over fifty-five years

in two denominations,

in parishes, teaching, 

administration,

clergy mentoring, 

spiritual companioning, 

retreats and writing

has shown me that 

denominations, 

churches,

religious institutions

are all a mix of 

       The Church

        and sadly

The Establishment Church

It's critical to know that 

and the degree of that.

I hear Richar Rohr on this.

He counsels living on 

the edge of the inside.

Often that's the best 

we can find and do.


Whatever our 

ecclesial address,

we can do the Jesus

   JUST KIDDING


  Jesus revealed that

      Kingdom Life   

             is 

     God in the pool

inviting us to come on in,

       be loved alive.


Jesus lived and taught

     Kingdom Life

He modeled it for us.

His Spirit 

energizes us for it.

We just need 

to jump in. 


Just for the record, the 

Establishment Church

has done much good. 

Horribly, though,

it tried to take 

God's place. 

It got in God's way 

and our way in God.


Meister Eckart 

nailed the simple 

in a simple way:

    "All God wants 

     of you 

     is to get out 

     of the way 

     and let God 

     be God in you."


That goes for 

each of us, 

all of us 

     The Church

   "The Gathered"

around dad in the pool.


Come on!

Let's head for the pool.

I mean that in

the best sense of

keeping it simple, 

like the little ones 

Jesus holds 

before us by his

 JUST KIDDING

    ******

             FYI

Online Postings are now 

     Tuesday Evenings

     East Coast USA Time

Email Delivery will continue 

      to be each Friday.

       


A WARM WIDE WELCOME

                  to

      groups from

        CZECHIA

           and 

       COLUMBIA

     who jumped in 

    with us this week 

          here at


      frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com 


NEXT ONLINE POSTING

         Tuesday Evening

       July 16, 2024

       East Coast USA TIME

 

NEXT EMAIL DELIVERY

        Friday

        July 19, 2024


LAST FIVE POSTINGS
       AVAILABLE

            by

    scrolling down 

beneath this posting.


Here's to a wonderful week.

        Love to all.

        God Bless,

        John Frank

          ******


  














 








 





 


      




Tuesday, July 2, 2024

HOW

        FYI 

Am posting a

few hours early



    Dear All of Us,

    Seems we all 

   have decidedly 

different and distinct

    preferences 

      on just

       HOW

 we like our food 

    served up -

well done, crispy,

really rare, tender,

seasoned to next Sunday,

piping hot, crunchy. 

        It's the

         HOW 

     of the what.

    

      Such goes for 

         all our 

    life preferences

    music to politics,  

        education 

  to home furnishings. 


The biggest of the big is 

           HOW

we like God served up 

    in our favored

types and tones of spirituality,

nature's settings and splendor,

the arts, social geographies,

communities of significance,

and totally outranking all of them

       our preference for

                HOW 

God is served up in other people.


   Even with a food court

        of differences,

most of us want God served up

in people pleasant, personable, 

attractive and impressed with us!


   Tough toddles, Totsie!!

Ain't gonna happen everyday 

     and never all day!!


   To switch metaphors,

    God sings us people 

      in a vast range

              of 

     tones and tempos

     in the harmony of 

            Being


    Our spirituality, 

    sanity, society

depend on developing 

     an ear for God.

       Otherwise 

     we are out of 

     sink and step,

  tone deadened dull, 

   missing the beat, 

tripping up the tapping, 

     discordant.

  We jar dissonant 

        God's 

 rhythmic cadence

and it sure as heck is 

  jarred dissonant

      just now.


To combine the metaphors, 

we miss God people present

    unless we meet God

       served up as, 

      have an ear for God, 

             in

   others quite other, 

often mirror opposites

           of us:

liberals - conservatives, 

introverts - extroverts 

people religious -

    people nonreligious and

    people of other religions,

sophisticates -

    plain down-home folks,

travelers - stay at homes, 

fans of The Boss -

      devotees (Tah Tah) of Brahms

vegetarians - carnivores,

city folks -

     town and country folks.

It's a stretch for sure

and for sure worth it.

It opens us wide to God

         present

         in them

       different all.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

and Antoin Scalia

  experienced 

 that goodness, 

 that Godness,

  in spades.


That stretch, though, gets 

especially difficult to painful

when it comes to hearing God,

when it comes to God served up,

in sick, sinful, difficult, dangerous,

               people.

Covered over is their deep down 

              God Core.

We certainly need to deal with 

their negatives and dangers

as necessary for our safety 

and well-being.

But, for all the stress,

even that danger of it,

We just must not miss 

    their positive core.

That's where we meet God.


    If world leaders 

      get in touch 

  with the God Core, 

        say, of

   Vladimir Putin,

they would have the 

best possible clarity 

on how to deal with him

and respond to his aggression.


          It's not ours to decide 

                    HOW

        God is served up or heard.

           It is ours not to miss 

                     God

              people present.


         Particularly pertinent 

         is this in our right now. 

  People are scared, angry, divisive,

         and dangerously so.

  We either meet and merge in God

     at each other's God Center

                    or 

         we strike out in hurt 

                and thus 

             strike out in 

                 HOW

     God is present in others, 

             even if they

            don't know it,

     don't or can't or won't 

              live it out

and that to Creation's detriment.

 

All pretty piety pushed aside, 

  quite clearly, quite actually 

                HOW 

we respond to and treat others is

              EXACTLY 

     how we do or don't meet

                God.


         "Whatever you do

          to the least of these, 

          you do unto me,"

           Matthew 25:40

              That' the 

                 HOW

                 of it.

               ******


NEXT ONLINE POSTING

      Wednesday

      July 12, 2024


NEXT EMAIL DELIVERY

       Friday

       July 14, 2024


It is so good 

to have 

so many from

HONG KONG

now fully part of 

our weekly gatherings 

here at


      frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street

johnfrankshars.blogspot.com


LAST FIVE ONLINE POSTINGS

          AVAIILABLE

                by

     scrolling down below

         this posting


         HATS OFF

         to all who 

  have been telling others 

               of 

       frankly speaking.

           Thanks!


     Looking forward 

     to being together 

     here next week.

       This July 4th.

       A prayer for

  "..liberty, freedom 

    and justice for ALL"

            Love  

         God Bless,

         John Frank

           ******




      









          






 


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

MARVEL


Dear All of Us,

How about this?

What's mustard 

have to do with 

    Marvel?

     

      Well

  when next 

   we have

        a 

   2:00 AM

   torturous

Charlie Horse

quickly ingest 

half a spoon of 

   mustard.

Charlie Horse

   instantly 

gallops away.

   Honest

No quackery,

    simply 

      a

   counter

   intuitive 

   Marvel


       We all have 

      a lot more than 

     2:00 AM troubles. 

       We live in a 

         torturous 

      "All The Time."

  Our society suffers a

        multitude of 

        debilitating

      Charlie Horses.


   Our spiritual life

  doesn't make them

       go away.

   It does free us 

    from them.

  It does gives us 

    a way to go, 

         one

completely different, 

decidedly wholesome,

genuinely joyous, 

         and

it's unconditionally 

          a 

 counterintuitive

      Marvel

  

   Details to follow. 

   First the situation.

 

Our social symmetry

           is

       Empire

     Evil Empire

    so seductively

      pervasive 

     we assume 

    it's mostly ok.

      EKKKKS!


   Greed grabbing 

    power people

     manipulate

       masses

         into 

devitalizing servitude,

  - upper classes drugged

    on stuff and status,

 - vast populations

   bound in filthy cords

   of abject, painful poverty.

        Diabolical!

Empire demons are legion.

     See Mark 5:1-12

They seduce and 

hold captive both

     the indulged, 

     the denied,

   differently evil. 

      Their grip 

      squeezes 

soul and society sick:

  incessant stress,

  lonely strangers 

  to ourselves,

  off centeredness,

  continuous waring,

  truth trashing,

  cultural chaos,

  nature raping,

  The Common Good

  denied and exiled,

  dehumanizing,

  God Good Creation

      violated.

         It's 

  a horrid herd 

         of

     societal 

       and 

    personal

 Charlie Horses.

  They disable.

  They hurt like hell.

  They are hell.


Fortunately and powerfully

there's more and better.

    Jesus musters us 

           Free 

   right in the middle 

    of the hell that is 

         Empire

Jesus Spirit Springs us

vigorously, beautifully 

           alive 

            in 

That Love that is God,

         united 

            in

The Kin-Domain of God.

     Empire wrong 

     is righted real

     in a wholly new

          reset,

      a refreshing,

      radical righting

       that is totally 

     counterintuitiv

             to 

       Evil Empire 

  We not only survive. 

      We flourish.

          It's a

         Marvel


         Flipping the

     deadly dark doings

              of 

           Empire

            to a 

          counter 

         Life Light,

  Jesus leads us together

              in

         Love Lived 

           Love of

             God

           neighbor

             and

             self.

   Jesus shares his 

    countercultural, 

    counterintuitive, 

    Kin-Domain Life 

       in which

 the last shall be first,

 the greatest is 

 servant of all,

 the put down 

 pop up bright right:

    the poor in spirit

    those who mourn

    the meek

    those craving rightness

    the pure in heart

    peacemakers

    those persecuted 

    for right realness.

Empire Nobodies become

    the salt of the earth,

    the light of the world.

    With them there is

quiet, anonymous giving,

no show to tell fasting,

banking heavenly currency, 

worry free trust,

judgment free and freed,

confidence to 

ask, seek, knock,

at God's Door,

narrow gate entry,

rock solid foundation,

dying to deadly,

rising lively,

childlike trust,

gentle and humble 

      in heart,

   living Jesus 

   at his word:

  "For my yoke is easy 

   and my burden is light."

     Matthew 11:30

We do well to take

a slow soul stroll thru

The Sermon On The Mount

       (Matthrew 5-7)

- ideally and beneficially

     best to pray ponder

       all the Gospels 

  to hear more fully this

      counterintuitive

           Marvel

 that is Kin-Domain living

    Please consider using

       THE MESSAGE

         translation 

         free online


Yes, these are 

terribly tough times.

There is so much 

sad/sick/soul/social sin.

We have to wade through

       cesspools 

            of 

deceit and injustice

just to negotiate daily life. 

The foundation and way of

        truth/reality

      is upside down.


For all that 

we have a clean, clear 

way to go.

Jesus walks us 

real and right.

        He is

  "...the way, 

      the truth  

      the life."

     John 14:6

  Jesus wraps us

          into 

     Realm Real

The Kin-Domain of God.


It does not happen at 

the intersection of 

Easy Street and 

Comfy Corner. 

So much for 

Casual Christianity!

We must take up 

our daily crisscross

and follow Jesus -

do what he taught,

do what he did,

do as he did,

do it in for real 

 community

so he's doing 

  it all in us

  right now,

  right here.


Well, hey!

This is a lot of a lot.

In the coming days 

let's slow go it,

fine comb all

we just brushed over.

What's what here?

What's at issue?

How is Empire 

structured into our

values, assumptions, 

daily life,

however stark, 

however subtle,

       consumption 

       compelled 

        to

       body shaming,

       political slash and kill

           to

       prestige purchasing?

How on board are we 

with the practicals of

Kin-Domain Living,

"Do unto others 

 as you would have then 

 do to you"

- the gold standard -

      Matthew 7:12

             to

"I was hungry, 

you gave me to eat,

I was naked (homeless)..."

    Matthew 25:31-46

- the gold standard

  put into practice -


Companioned by Jesus 

and each other in community 

  ( Read: Real Deal Church)

we can go counterintuitive,

we can go countercultural,

we can cut the mustard.

         What a

         MARVEL

         ******


NEXT ONLINE POSTING

      Wednesday

      July 3, 2924


NEXT EMAIL DELIVERY

       Friday

      July 5,2924


LAST FIVE POSTINGS

      AVAILABLE

  by scrolling down

 beneath this posting


       WELCOME

     The coffee pot 

  is always on here at


        frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


Praying clarity, courage

    as we all live a 

          YES

           to

       MARVEL

See you next week.

     Love to all.

     God Bless,

     John Frank

       ******

      









 

        


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

THIS'S and THAT'S


Dear All of Us,

I feel like a little kid 

who just got home 

from a school trip

to the museum.

Excited, you want 

to share all the 

"This's and That's"

of the trip's goodness.


Some telling

THIS'S and THAT's

about our spiritual journey

have come my way lately

and I am excited 

to send them your way.

Also, I've added in a few 

from my personal 

Journey Journal 

on the chance 

they might be helpful.


   Slowly over 

 the next whiles 

       let's

   Pray Pause

   with them 

  one at a time

listening for what 

    The Spirit 

might say as we

journey our way to

        Real 

      

  WE WONDER   

    What does 

     The Spirit 

   speak to soul

        about

         self

       society

  sacred creation

  divine intimacy

        as we 

    Pray Ponder 

        over 

THIS'S and THAT'S

      ******



The world is too dangerous 

for anything but truth 

and too small 

for anything but love.

William Sloan Coffin

       

    You only know 

    as much 

    as you do.

    Francis of Assisi  


There is no such thing

as outside.

All is endlessly One.


 No mud, no lotus.

 Thich Nhat Hanh


  Love fills in a lot of 

  life's potholes.


Hell is the truth seen too late.

     William Sloan Coffin

              

When the people lack 

a sense of awe,

there will be trouble 

in the empire.

   Lao Tzu


Why did Jesus die?

To love death to life

        for us.

  

The best criticism of the bad 

is the practice of better. 

       Richard Rohr


As the years open out 

we need less  

to make room for 

        ALL

         

Every day is a journey, 

and the journey itself 

is home.

    Matsuo Basko

      

Raising children: 

long days, 

short years.

   Author unknown,

   The truth of it 

   well known.

   Long on love.

      

Experience is not 

what happens to you. 

It is what you do with 

what happens to you.

   Aldous Huxley


        Death

Moving to a new state,

a new state of being.

Can be stressful.

But, 

        Ah!!!!!!!


  "Tat Taum Asi"

      means

  "You are That"

 - be it flower, 

   river, concert,

   enemy, lover -

   everything and 

   all that is -

     Ultimate Reality

             in

      all and every

        particular

          of it.

        Hinduism

         

The earth is pregnant 

with God.

   Angela of Foligno


If you were on trial 

for being a Christian, 

would there be 

enough evidence

to find you guilty?

   James Turro

         

  Apache Blessing

  May the sun 

  bring you 

  new energy by day,

  may the moon

  softly restore you 

  by night,

  may the rain 

  wash away 

  your worries,

  may the breeze 

  blow new strength 

  into your being,

  may you walk gently 

  through the world 

  and know the beauty 

  all the days of your life.


        God is love.

        1 John 4:8

         ******

      

        Hope these

    This"s and That's

    open to Godness.

         ******


Next Online Posting

      Wednesday

      June 26, 2024

Next Email Delivery

       Friday 

       June 28, 2024


    Mirabile Visu

"Wonderful to Behold"

 say it in Latin

 say it in English

 say it in any tribe tongue

 it's so good 

 to have new folks 

 with us here at


         frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


A Special Greeting

to the groups 

of new folks

         from 

India, USA, Hong Kong,

who joined in 

with us this week.

You and all gathered here

are gift and we all

are blessed

with the good company.

         ******


 LAST FIVE POSTINGS

   Simply scroll down

     below this one.


A BIG TIME 

THANK YOU, 

THANK YOU

to all who 

have recently

    shared 

"frankly speaking"

  with others.


Let's keep 

our eyes open 

       for

This's and That's

        that

 Spirit Spark Soul.

     Thank you

  for letting me share

  a few of mine.

  See you next week.

        Love to all.

        God Bless,

        John Frank

          ******























Wednesday, June 12, 2024

MIRACLE


Dear All of Us,

Words come easy for me

(Often too darn many, 

       though )

Not so numbers.

I totally dumb out.

Don't know 

what you're 

talking about,

  EXCEPT FOR RATIOS.

  Them I figure fine.

  Example:

      The faster we go

       the more we miss

       as we go.

.

That factors for miracles.

Miracles are God 

on the job for us.

They're all over the place.

Yet, hell bent on 

achievement, success, 

schedule, destination, 

distraction, fixation,

hurry, profit,

possessions, position,

recognition, results,

Mad-Hatter-Much

we zip right on by and

miss most miracles.


Augustine, genius and

sinner become saint, 

saw-said it like this:

 "We take for granted 

  the slow miracle 

  whereby water 

  in the irrigation 

  of a vineyard 

  becomes wine. 

  It is only when Christ 

  turns water into wine

  in a quick motion, 

  (Wedding at Cana)

  as it were, 

  that we stand

     amazed."


       YES

        to

       both


I was instantly 

amazed and grateful

when a speeding car flipped

and came at me upside down

with only inches to spare, 

inches that spared my life.

Amazing miracle noticed so

for sure! 


It took me years, though, 

to slowly 

Soul See

my conception 

and the nine months 

and billions of cells

it took

becoming me

as the 

   Slow Miracle 

it was.

Almost missed

the amazement 

of that 

slow motion 

miracle me.


     It seems 

most miracles are

   Slow Miracles.

       As we 

    Slow Soul It,

      we get it

    and is it ever 

        WOW!


More than less, 

though, 

our culture

hassle-hurries us

- fast food, 

  quick solutions, 

  internet instant 

  everything,

  Amazon deliveries 

  seeming to arrive 

  before we finish 

  the order.

Pretty crazy.

Fast forward 

     that

blurs and dulls,

missing miracles,

missing God 

on the job for us.


      Imagine 

           a 

Beethoven symphony

played ten time faster 

than scored.

Beauty marred, 

cacophony, 

a dozy of

a headache.

    Slow Miracle 

        missed.


Sure, there are times 

when we really need 

to get a move on

- finishing a delayed

  term paper or tax filing, 

  EMT's in response,

  getting the bride 

  to the church on time,

  taking the barbeque 

  off the grill 

  when it is just right.


Most of the time, 

though,

we need to 

   Soul Slow It

to be in on 

all the miracles 

taking their time 

being God's

   WOW!

things like:

-keeping company 

with a seed 

miracle maturing 

to intricate full flower,

-watching the clouds 

slow dance with God,

-blending into a Van Gogh,

-instep with God 

 on the Appalachian Trail,

-savoring a simple supper, 

-holding a sleeping baby,

-carefully crafting a 

 product/program at work,

-slow soul scrolling scripture,

-watching a wheatfield 

wave hello,

-teaching a child 

to play checkers,

-taking five at home 

to see how wonderful it is

to have a place to live,

-listening as sea and shore

 do a duet,

-sensing the mountains' 

 muscled might and majesty,

-sitting on the porch with God 

 when neither of us have

 anything else but each other.   


We hurry up and slow down 

          because

   so often, so much 

              is

           SLOW

         MIRACLE

          ******


"There are only 

 two ways 

 to live your life. 

 One is as though 

 nothing is a miracle.

 The other is as though 

 everything is a miracle."

    Albert Einstein


Next Online Posting

        Wednesday

        June19, 2024


Next Email Delivery

        Friday

        Jube 21,2024


Every week it is a marvel

as we meet and mix,

many one in The One.

A special welcome to 

first time visitors.

So good to be together 

        here at

      

       frankly speaking

  spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


     PAST FIVE POSTINGS 

            AVAILABLE

      Simply scroll down 

      below this posting


         Miracles are 

           God Gifts.

 Most take time to unwrap.


     Looking forward to 

our gathering here next week.

          Love to all.

          God Bless,

          John Frank  

           ******