Wednesday, May 29, 2024

LISTEN

 

 Dear All of Us,

  This week 

  let's give a 

     LISTEN

         to

Meister Eckhart,

one of the greatest 

minds and mystics

in all of Christendom.

He soul jolts.


He's always been 

a bit much, though, 

for the lads in 

the front office at

Church Establishment Inc.

His supersonic jets zoom at

forty-five thousand feet 

to their Piper Cubs 

putzing along at 

five thousand.

They can't keep up

with him.

Ain't it too often so?


That crowd are 

the same flashlights 

that tried to dim out 

the beacons brilliant

- Copernicus, Galileo, Chardin,

   democracy, evolution, 

   and their many cousins 

   positive charged.

   Their miss is our find.


Meister Eckart helps us 

find our way to simple, pure

"spirituality for the street."

For all his lofty erudition

           and 

     mystical union

he says it simple full,

soul to soul: 

     "God only asks that you 

      get out of the way and 

      let God be God in you."


               WOW!

             "Take ten."

         "Take ten tens!"

 That's more than a mouthful.

           That's soulful.


Way too many-much,

        though, 

we tell ourselves and

    others tell us 

different dangerous.

        Our Ego 

 rigged out in pride

           and 

     reeking of it.

  Some sometimes:

       Parents

       Coaches

       Teachers

       Social circle

       Religious leaders

       Cultural expectations

       Spiritual directors

       Media moguls

       Advertisers

       Philosophers

       Self Help gurus

       Churchy sorts

       Friends and family 

               and

       Long leagues more.


We/They play God.

We/They insist 

we be different 

than we really are,

different than 

God wants to be 

in and through us.

We become 

      misfits 

in our own 

       skin 

       soul

      and in

   Realm Real:

      twitchy

      shallow

      merked up mad

      compromised

      restricted

      off center

      deluded

      doubting

      duped 

      pseudo someone

      God denied direction.

"Not nice!"


God doesn't get 

to shine through us.

We 're off the grid and 

operating on cheap, 

short-lived,

low power batteries.

We don't glow.

We don't go.

Others are shorted out

on how God wants 

to transmit transforming

      Divine Voltage

         to them

       through us.

      It's all rather 

  devilish and delusional.


Again and again, 

fuller and deeper

we do well to 

          LISTEN 

             as 

           Jesus 

      tells us true:

    "I am the vine, 

         you are 

     the branches."

            God 

             is 

        the energy 

          the life

   that surges us into

 being and fruitfulness,

yes, God's very own!.

       We are not 

       self-sourced,

       self-sustaining,

       self-producing.

       It's infinitely better when

       God is being God in us. 


When we fuss and foul that up 

it's like a branch of the vine 

pretending to be

a chicken hatching eggs.

           Crazy

      No God Good


God is

    Passionate Love 

that wants 

to be us,

to be as Augustine says, 

more intimate to us 

than we are to ourselves.

to flourish in us, 

to enrich through us.

God wants to be unique in us,

make us one of a kind,

to do what/where 

only we can as

friend, lover, teacher, parent, 

scientist, line worker, pastor, 

artist, public servant, leader,

programmer, musician, roofer, cook, 

salesperson, social worker, therapist and...

And to be and do that as our body type,

personality, temperament, sexual state, 

coloration, ethnicity, social status, location,

spiritual type, religion, and...


            So, let's 

          Soul Search

             a bit.

Do we really trust God 

to do a good job of 

           creating us

                and 

           uniquely so, 

radiating out that goodness

      - that GODNESS-

to further 

          Creation 

              in 

             us   

   our neighborhood,

   our zone,

   our time and place?

Such a trust is called

            FAITH


Or do we falter because 

our ego and/or the crowd 

around where we live

play God and demand a 

      DIFFERENT US


How scared or secure are we 

about being unique?

Example:

I'm an off the chart,

(ok, off the wall)

sociable introvert.

Society's Classified Ads

don't call for such at all.

Sociable ok, no way introvert.

People puzzle, even diss,

"How can you be such a live wire,

outgoing, enthusiastic,  

leader, preacher, teacher 

and then head for 

your cloister of quiet alone?"

Well, the key is

       "THEO"

        (GOD)

as in enthusiastic

  to share God 

  to be quiet in God.

That's the way 

God wants to be God in me.

It took a lot of grace 

to come up with the courage 

to be so when I was a boy,

and ever since  -

both recognized 

and shunned for it,

accepted and excluded for it.

Been like that all my life.

    Sociable Introvert

Not many of us 

out on the street.

God loves me just so.

I accept the love jut so.

I'm on the street God in me.

I'm cloistered God in me.

At times it's pretty lonely,

but then nothing beats 

letting God 

be this way

on the street.

in the cloister.


Wherever we are, 

however we are,

God wants to be 

   US THERE

       and

     UNIQUE


"God only asks that 

you get out of the way 

and let Go be God in you."


God speaks us.

May we 

     LISTEN   

     ******


NEXT ONLINE POSTING

         Wednesday

          June 5, 2024


Next Email Delivery

           Friday

           June 7, 2024


Whoever God is in you,

However God is in you,

          WELCOME 

       It's so Soul Rich

    to be together here.

                


           PLEASE

As a kid I was a paperboy,

The Newark Evening News.

That was back in 1951-3.

Had fifty or so customers

and you know, 

I actually was happy 

to get the news to them.


I would like to ask you 

to do some such where you live.

This week would you deliver 

       

        frankly speaking

     spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


to five or so family, friends,

folks at church, colleagues?

If you can, please share that 

you find some value here 

each week

  - well most weeks anyway - 

and you are inviting them 

to try it out.


Your referral, 

and for fellow the introverts 

       "courage,"

would be a big help 

and much appreciated.

            Thanks!

            ******


LAST FIVE POSTINGS

       AVAILABLE

             by

scrolling down beneath 

       this posting


Have a great week.

Praying that we all 

     "LISTEN UP"

      Love to all,

     John Frank

       ******







 





      





          




.




 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

HIDE AND SEEK


Dear All of Us,

It happens to us all.

We can't find it 

and it's important

 - the car keys (OK, "fob"),

 - documentation for 

    a tax audit,

 - our credit card,

 - grandma's recipe for

   the world's best ever

   chocolate cake. 

Sometimes we look in 

the wrong place 

for the right thing.

It's frustrating in its futility.

No matter how hard and 

persistently we go at it, 

      It's a No Go!


So our spiritual lives.

Too much, too long, 

too many have looked 

in the wrong place for God.

It's frustrating in its futility.

It's the misbegotten 

spirituality of

    Hide and Seek

seeking God hidden 

somewhere God isn't

and we can't find or be.


God is the Immediacy of Here.

             "I AM"

God is the "IS" of all that is.

God is ex-"IS"- tence itself.

God "IS" within and about

us and all that

                 "IS"

           So how do we  

              Soul Forth

                   to

               Find God,

                better

          Find Ourselves 

               In God?

                 

             It's a Go

when we energetically relax.

We free fall into what is, as is.

We don't have to find or fuel it.

It's already here and perking.

We lighten up to be powered up.

We don't produce existence.

We participate in existence.

We vigorously accept

the surge of 

             Existence

             Reality

             Being

             Actuality

and let it pulse and power us.

That Energy of Existence

              cascades

              into us

              through us

              out of us

        meets and merges 

        with unending more

             all about us

It's simply divine.

We call it 

   God.

God is an active verb

more than a set noun.

God means 

infinitely more 

and different than 

the God of 

Standardized Religion

hidden out there 

who knows where. 

We can't figure 

The Energy of Existence

all that much all at once.

We sure as heaven 

can experience it as it

    Moments Now.


Part of the fun is 

the active mystery of it all.

We're like a kid 

on a rollercoaster.

We really don't know 

too much about

how it's put together 

or powered 

     but

 IT'S A GO 

    AND

  WE GO 

 WITH IT

go up steep slow 

go down sheer fast

go curve and swerve


Such so it is with 

the up, down, 

curve and swerve

as we go/grow 

in Ex -"iS" -  tence.

We energetically relax 

into what "IS"

into as "IS"

into Good

into God.

We're 

  "All In,"

present to 

the presenting

of God Good:

holding a baby,

riding the bus,

heavy lifting,

negotiating 

a business transaction,

having the relatives over,

soaking in scripture,

doing the laundry,

closing the apartment door 

           quietly,

baby-sitting a grandchild,

deep in contemplation,

patient with our best pest,

playing the violin,

gardening,

sharing a communion,

listening to the brook babble,

going out for dinner,

texting a friend.


If we are the head sort,

we ponder, study, consider,

as fully as we can.

We understand that 

what "IS" is endless

and we have forever with it 

          It's a Go

and do we ever and forever!


Yes, we openly accept God as 

        God Presents

in this moment, place and way.

Accepting, 

we respond

as we can 

with awe and joy

fully participating

in the presencing.

We sing the song.

We bake the cake.

We fold into 

deepest contemplation.

We drive the car.

We savor the wine.

We hug-a-love.

We straighten out the garage.


The Divine Dynamic

flows through us.

  Not a trace of

 Hide and Seek

    ******


           MEMORIAL DAY

We lovingly remember the dead.

We lovingly remember the living

who will be dead if we war more.

        "Peace I leave you.

         My peace I give you."

                 Jesus

                Takers?

                ******

  


Next Posting

        Wednesday

         May 29, 2024

Next Email

         Friday

         May 31, 2024

             

    Greetings and Welcome 

            

        frankly speaking

   spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com

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            PLEASE SHARE 

         FRANKLY SPEAKING

               THANKS


What a gift to have God 

right here in the right now 

of existence. 

    See you next week.

        Love to all,

        John Frank

          ******

     









        













 







Wednesday, May 15, 2024

WIND WAY


           Hello!

Just want to mention 

            that

this posting is a sequel 

to last week's posting,

BACK TO THE FUTURE.


The latter is available 

by scrolling down 

below this one .


Both champion 

radical renewal 

     of the

    Church

 Pray it be so.

    ******



Dear All of Us,

OK everybody, 

Hold on to your hats.

We're heading into 

really whipped up winds.

Catching them just right

fills our sails,

fierce forths us

fast and far,

right and real.

   WIND WAY

      is the 

Soul Way Of Now.

  

     Wind 

     as in

(L) "spĂ­ritus"

  "the wind"

Ready or not, 

     this is

   The Age 

       of

  The Holy 

  "Spiritus"

  WIND WAY


What a soul stir!

The waves roil and rock

"nice", easy, comfy, 

casual, cultural,

tribal, Christianity. 

Such religion 

is getting swamped,

going under, 

sinking away.


Simple, small, sleek  

Spirit Schooners

skim the waves, 

sails catching the

  WIND WAY

These are 

small communities

closely bonded. 

They are not busy 

with buildings, budgets, 

programs, policies,

doctrines and dogmas,

entertainments in

ministry and worship.

Their leadership 

are not career clergy.

These small communities 

         qualify as

     "The Gathered"

        (L) ecclesia

          "church"

   Warts and all they are 

       "In-Spirited"

   Like the early church, 

          they are

  "Followers of the Way",

the way of Jesus the Christ.

        

        New Now

     small churches

in their place and way 

practically, actually 

give a good go at 

living the Gospel 

  - ALL Of IT -

more and more fully,

with a sweaty sweet 

earnest realness:

    The Beatitudes,

    The Sermon on the Mount,

    Full-fledged discipleship,

    Real Kingdom Residency,

    Daily dying and rising in Christ,

    Justice seeking,

    Caring, sharing for the needy,

    Living Gospel

    not striped of Spirit,

    but vigorously propelled

       WIND WAY

     

In one fashion or another 

they have had a Pentecost.

It shook them up.

It fired them up.

It freed them up.

No easy membership.

        Rather,

 Course Corrective 

      COVERSION


Individually and together

they experience 

Spirit Stirring.

They are

Spirit Sprung,

spiritually enlivened.

  That's a Wind Fall.

  That's a Wind Full.


        Living 

     WIND WAY

    sets sails in

simplicity 

      of spirit

      of lifestyle,

full blown

      community 

      commitment,

possessing 

      no more 

      than needed,

sharing 

       freely

       liberally

       exhaustively

Prayer

        personal 

        communal 

        deep 

        frequent

communion in 

        sacrament

        scripture,

        service

        sacrifice

justice 

        seeking 

        supporting

caring and sharing

         within

         beyond

souls

        Spirit Sought

        Spirit Seeking

        Spirit Springing


It's critical 

we find such a 

  Ship of Soul


One way of 

moving clear of 

fogged in, 

grounded,

stuck still church

could be to have

clusters of 

small communities 

under the guidance

of a spiritually seasoned 

 (G) "Episkopoi"

        Overseer

as the Early Church did.

Existing parishes could 

        reform 

sense and structures

           as

     Cooperative 

     Communities

            IF

        ONLY IF

   they first have a 

       Pentecost

 a spiritual shake up

 a spiritual stir up.

         If not,  

   we found one.


    Pentecost Sunday 

    means more than 

      liturgical red.

    Pentecost Sunday

   is now an everyday  

        WIND WAY 

          of life


Thank God for 

      this retrofitting,

      this redirection

      this burst of 

          Spirit

      this setting sail

        WIND WAY

         ******


Next Online Posting

       Wednesday

       May 22, 2024


Next Email Delivery

       Friday

       May 23, 2024

         ******


"Ecce quam bonum..."

        "Behold, 

how good and pleasant

       it is when 

brothers and sisters 

    live together in

         unity."

       Ps.133:1

    A WIND WAY 

      WELCOME

   to all joining in 

  for the first time 

  here at

       frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


THE LAST FIVE POSTINGS
       
ARE AVAILABLE

      by scrolling down 

      below this posting


       PLEASE SHARE

      frankly speaking

           Thanks


      Clear sailing in

        THE WAY OF

        THE WIND


    See you next week.

        Love to all,

       John Frank

        ******




        




















Wednesday, May 8, 2024

BACK TO THE FUTURE


Dear All of Us,

We all get stuck.

What a bother!

We often have to back up 

to find a way forward.

              It's 

  BACK TO THE FUTURE

and that's a lot more than 

a science fiction flick.

It's a fact of life.


The church is stuck.

Many leave. 

Few come.

Church is disparaged,

seen as inauthentic -

says one thing

and isn't what it says.


Time to go back

to go future,

back to Jesus:

"A new command 

 I give you:

 Love one another. 

 As I have loved you, 

 so you must love 

 one another. 

 By this will 

 all people know 

 you are my disciples, 

 if you love one another." 

   John 13:34-35


Let's be real here.

The question 

has finally 

been called 

on the church

as we have it.

It does good.

There are 

authentic churches

here and there.

Overall, though,

the established church

sadly shorts 

real deal 

Gospel 

   community

   and living.

It is more organization 

and real estate than

"The Followers of the Way"

(what church was first called).


We really need 

to test ourselves

by the standard 

and measure 

of Jesus

shared above.


In big churches 

people don't even 

know each other, 

much less 

love each other.

In small churches

people may know

 each other,

but how profoundly 

do they love each other?

Most churches are not 

communal hot beds of 

people loving each other 

      Jesus Style.


In a time 

of turmoil and trouble,

of bunker-like separatism,

of disappointment 

of skepticism,

of psychic isolation,

of Untruth Social,

people don't want 

more of less.

What has been 

needs to be 

what can be.


Jesus did not put together 

a big organization.

He invited life together 

in the Kin-Domain of God,  

      Community.

Community cannot happen 

in a crowd.

As we back up 

to the early church

to find a future church,

we see small communities

of faith sharing,

of fellowship,

of taking care of each other,

of service beyond themselves,

of sharing meal, means and more,

of prayer, scripture, sacrament, worship

of communion widening on outward.


Those first communities

were not perfect, 

but they were real

and they were 

Gospel Ernest,

Community Committed.


Church leaders today

don't get it.

They are trying 

to pump up  

a frayed flat tire.

It's futile and finished.

Marketing, 

analytics,

snappy worship,

"reorganizing for impact," 

are feverishly 

rearranging deck chairs 

on their sinking Titanic.

They don't come close 

to need.

Coming close together 

in for real, close, 

small communities

committed to giving 

The Beatitudes and 

The Sermon on the Mount

- all Jesus shared -

an honest, sweaty go,

is the way to go.

We need to let go

over-organization,

and size-mania.

The urgent call 

in our right now

is for:

committing to 

simple, vigorous,

close knit, loving,

sharing, serving

   community.

Many sincere seekers 

find that the 

established church

is not where to find 

     Jesus Lived 

Pray God we will let God 

change that by changing us.


Between here and there, 

small groups,

intentional and committed,  

are a start.

John Wesley points 

the way to a 

faith forward future -

"Ecclesiolae in Ecclsia" -

Lots of little churches in

the Larger Church.


We don't go to church.

we are the church.

Church isn't a place.

Church is Spirit Life Shared

and that intensely, personally,

and practically so.


John Wesley clarified

Our What: 

"Give them Christ."


Thich Nhat Hanh's advice 

helps us understand 

Our How: 

"At Plum Village 

we don't teach peace.

We share peace."


The church's "stuck"

is a blessed stop.

A chance to go

BACK TO THE FUTURE

    "By this will all people know 

    you are my disciples,

    if you love one another."

             Jesus

            ******


Next Posting

        Wednesday

        May 15, 2924

Next Email

        Friday

        MAY 17, 2024

           ******


Heart Full Thanks

to all who have

mother nurtured us.

You are life giving.

We are so grateful!

      ******


 This week large groups 

      of new folks from

          Columbia 

           and the 

             USA 

     joined in with us.

   Great to be together!

         WELCOME 

  to you and all here at


        frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


THE LAST FIVE POSTINGS

       ARE AVAILABLE

               by

  scrolling down beneath 

         this posting


The ancient

Jewish historian, 

Josephus,

reported the saying 

of his contemporaries 

about the early 

church communities;

    "See how 

     they love 

     one another."

May such be said of us.

May we be famous for our

    Christ Love Lived

         Together

             in 

       Community

       Love to all,

       John Frank

        ******


 


      


































Wednesday, May 1, 2024

TRUST


Dear All of Us,

Here in The States right now

a canvas of our country 

pictures puzzlement and concern:

    Whom Can You Trust? 


As I type away here just now,

student demonstrations 

roll to roil across the land 

reflecting that

puzzlement and concern.


For me it's more than 

a bit of de-ja vu.

Back in the mid-sixties

I was doing graduate study

in theology here in Washington

at Catholic University.

The Rector summarily fired 

a theology professor

solely on the basis 

of a news report.

No due process at all.

The faculty struck,

shut down the university. 

They asked the student body

for support and to protest.

We did.

All day for some days 

we peacefully marched 

on campus, placards held high,

chanting for justice 

and academic freedom.

There were TV news crews a plenty.

Then it was back to 

the seminary residence

for dinner and 

to watch ourselves

on all the major network 

evening news programs.

It was heady and dangerous.

We could have been expelled 

and denied ordination.

Eventually the theologian 

was reinstated and 

the Rector was dismissed

and we were ordained.


I learned a lot.

Being part of what 

was covered 

by the news media,

and how they reported it,

were not even fraternal twins.

Camera angles,

select scene backgrounds

and interview sites,

cropped crowd scrapes,

types of persons selected

for interview,

sound bites, 

toned and colored 

the reporting.

Facts and fictions 

were fitted into 

a variety of news frames

by the various networks.


In our here and now,

Whom Can You Trust?

    How do we find 

The God's Honest Truth 

    - to vote

    - navigating social media

    - in selecting a news outlet -

             Fox, PBS? 

             NYT, WSJ?

    - listening to a preacher

    - choosing spiritual podcasts, 

      publications and blogs

      (including this one)

    - deciding on a spiritual director

    - choosing a school for our child

      (if we are fortunate enough

      to have a choice)

    - what Not-For-Profit to support

    - which causes to follow

    - what sorts of entertainment

    - with whom to socialize?

Concerns aplenty trying 

to honestly, truthfully

live out our

"spirituality for the street."


Whom Can You Trust?

Where is the God's Honest Truth?


Jesus points us right real

out here on the streets of now.

He tells us be wise 

as a serpent and 

guileless as a dove.

    Matthew 10:16

-paradox point -

He outlines direction

for so much:

"Thus, by their fruits 

 you will recognize them." 

      Matthew 7:20


Paul paints in the picture,

      darks and lights, 

      fruits deadly,

      fruits inspiriting


 Fruits Deadly:

"It's obvious what kind of life 

develops out of trying 

to get your own way 

all the time: 

repetitive, loveless, cheap sex;

a stinking accumulation of

mental and emotional garbage;

frenzied and joyless grabs 

for happiness;

trinket gods;

magic-show religion;

paranoid loneliness;

cut-throat competition;

all-consuming-yet-

never-satisfied wants;

a brutal temper;

an impotence to love

or be loved;

divided homes and 

divided lives;

small-minded and 

lopsided pursuits;

the vicious habit of 

depersonalizing everyone 

into a rival;

uncontrolled and 

uncontrollable addictions;

ugly parodies of community."

     Galatians 5:19-21

       The Message 

          translation


Fruits Inspiriting

"But the fruit of the Spirit is

 love, joy, 

 peace, patience,

 kindness, goodness, 

 faithfulness,

 gentleness and

 self-control."

 Galatians 5: 22-23

          

In a land and time of 

puzzlement and concern

         we find 

The God's Honest Truth

          we can     

          TRUST

in people, platforms, policies,

procedures, politicians, pastors,

churches, media, causes, 

curricula, entertainments, 

writings, friends,

      anybody. anything

      ripe and rich with 

   The Fruits of the Spirit.

   That's The Good News.

   That's the way to go.


We eschew 

(haven't used that word 

in a month of Mondays!)

anybody, anything 

that fails, fakes, or fouls

The Fruits of the Spirit,

who serves up

 Fruits Deadly.


Our criteria for 

what to do,

where to go,

how to choose, 

whom to follow,

selecting friends,

is to be and go 

where there is 

   love, joy

   peace, patience

   kindness, goodness

   faithfulness, gentleness

    self-control.

It's our spiritual GPS.

It leads in 

a manner and way 

we can

          TRUST

          ******

NEXT POSING

         Wednesday

         May 8, 2024


NEXT EMAIL

         Friday

         May 10, 2024


Lots of new friends are joining in 

           with us each week.

       This week groups from 

                 Brazil 

                  and

               Germany

          were among them.

So, So Good to be So, So Blessed!

              WELCOME

                  ALL

                   to 

         frankly speaking

    spirituality for the street

johnfrankshares.blogspot.com


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     Looking forward to us all 

     being together here next week,

     and that's sure the truth!

                Love to all

                John Frank

                  ******