Daily Practice for 2016.03.09


I'm so excited! One of the youth I work with in detention is graduating high school today. This is such a huge accomplishment! I don't know what the firm stats are, but my general experience tells me that graduation rates among incarcerated youth are nearly cut in half. I've looked up the statistics but they are so broad as to be useless. This particular youth faced so many challenges. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges they face is being transgender in the incarceration system as a youth. Detention is ultimately a very binary place--male or female. But the reality is that people are not so binary. And so it continues. In this child, a perfect example of why I do both of my ministries--Reconciling Ministries and Youth Chaplaincy Coalition.

For this child, I start with music by Celine Dion, a poem from Lucille Clifton, and wisdom from Bernard Kerik along with scripture from several traditions.  I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, my friend Grace Cox-Johnson speaks to the story of feeding the 5,000 people--the miracle of loaves and fishes. She says,

"The world we live in now is still looking for healing and wholeness. Miracles happen when we...find our voice of compassion and love."

From churches to detention centers, we need to find our voice of compassion and love, especially regarding transgender youth. #itstime to put their lives ahead of anyone's particular comfort. The attempted suicide rate among those who are transgender is astronomical - 40%. What can change this trajectory? Families and communities that show acceptance, love, and compassion. It really is the least we can do.



Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBO: Breath In, Breath Out--roar!!


The Power of the Dream by Celine Dion

Deep within each heart
There lies a magic spark
That lights the fire of our imagination
And since the dawn of man
The strength of just 'I can'
Has brought together people of all nations
There's nothin' ordinary in the living of each day
There's a special part everyone of us will play


Won't You Celebrate With Me - Poem by Lucille Clifton

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my one hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

Sacred Text
For full, typed-out scripture list, follow this link

Isaiah 60:17-22
Matthew 9:27-34
Psalm 146
Quran Surah 2.158-167
Daily Buddhism Reading

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. Those selected here are chosen from the Christian scripture cycle of daily readings, the Daily Lectionary, at commontexts.org, from the online Quran at clearquran.com and also at quran.com, and from the Daily Reading at dailyzen.com.

Sacred Quotable

"Going to prison is like dying with your eyes open."--Bernard Kerik



For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the 150 people killed by the US in Somalia
for the continued quest for nuclear weapons by all nations
for Macedonia shutting its border to refugees
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
260 incidents, 81 killed, 160 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the elephant rescued from a well in Kenya
for the court ordered shut down of a nuclear plant in Japan amid safety concerns
for the new frog species discovered in Colombia and his beautiful yellow eyebrows
for the rescue of a dog caught in the Peru river
For Andorra, Austria, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE

Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.

Lord’s Prayer:

Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi

O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.

May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.

A floor of graduation caps

"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel 
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove


News Notes:
Mass shooting resource
Wars in the World
Prayer cycle of the world's countries
Good news

Today's Scriptures:

Isaiah 60:17-22

From BibleGateway.com/The Voice version

17     I will bring you gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stone.
Your government will be founded and grounded;
I will make peace your governor, and righteousness your ruler.
18 You’ll never hear again, “Help! Call the guards!”
Violence, destruction, and ruin will be things of the past in Jerusalem.
You will name the city walls Salvation, and the city gates Praise.
19 You won’t need the sun to brighten the day
or the moon and lamps to give you light.
The Eternal One will be all the light you ever need.
Your God will provide your glory, brilliance for all time.
20 Your sun will never set;
your moon will never be eclipsed in shadow,
For you’ll bask in the Eternal’s light and silver splendor forever.
Never again will you suffer the dark night of despair and gloom of mourning.
21 All the people will be right with God,
and they’ll stay in the land they possess forever.
I will plant them there like a sturdy sapling with My own hands.
I will tend them and take pride in their growing.
22     Just watch, they will develop robustly;
from so small a beginning, they will multiply and become a mighty nation.
I, the Eternal One, will make it happen soon.

Matthew 9:27-34

From BibleGateway.com/The Voice version

27 Jesus left the official’s house. And as He was walking, two blind men began to follow Him.

Blind Men: Son of David! Have mercy on us!

28 Jesus went to their house, and the blind men sat in front of Him.

Jesus: Do you believe that I am able to do this?

Blind Men: Yes, Lord.

Jesus (touching their eyes): 29 According to your faith, it will be done to you.

30 And they could see. Then Jesus spoke to them as He had spoken to the leper.

Jesus: Don’t tell anyone about this.

31 But when the men (who could now see) left, they told everyone in the area they met what had happened.

32 Later a man who was possessed by demons and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 Jesus drove out the demons, and the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed.

Crowd: Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.

Pharisees: 34 It must be the prince of demons who gives Him the power to cast out demons.

Psalm 146

From BibleGateway.com/The Voice version

1 Praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal, O my soul;
2 I will praise the Eternal for as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God as long as breath fills my lungs and blood flows through my veins.
3 Do not put your trust in the rulers of this world—kings and princes.
Do not expect any rescue from mortal men.
4 As soon as their breath leaves them, they return to the earth;
on that day, all of them perish—their dreams, their plans, and their memories.
5 Blessed are those whose help comes from the God of Jacob,
whose hope is centered in the Eternal their God—
6 Who created the heavens, the earth,
the seas, and all that lives within them;
Who stays true and remains faithful forever;
7 Who works justice for those who are pressed down by the world,
providing food for those who are hungry.
The Eternal frees those who are imprisoned;
8 He makes the blind see.
He lifts up those whose backs are bent in labor;
He cherishes those who do what is right.
9 The Eternal looks after those who journey in a land not their own;
He takes care of the orphan and the widow,
but He frustrates the wicked along their way.
10 The Eternal will reign today, tomorrow, and forever.
People of Zion, your God will rule forever over all generations.
Praise the Eternal!

Quran Surah 2.168-176

from ClearQuran.com

168. O people! Eat of what is lawful and good on earth, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. He is to you an open enemy.

169. He commands you to do evil and vice, and to say about God what you do not know.

170. And when it is said to them, "Follow what God has revealed," they say, "We will follow what we found our ancestors following." Even if their ancestors understood nothing, and were not guided?

171. The parable of those who disbelieve is that of someone who calls upon someone who hears nothing except screaming and yelling. Deaf, dumb, and blind-they do not understand.

172. O you who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and give thanks to God, if it is Him that you serve.

173. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled, without desiring or exceeding, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

174. Those who conceal what God revealed in the Book, and exchange it for a small price-those swallow nothing but fire into their bellies. And God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they will have a painful punishment.

175. It is they who exchange guidance for error, and forgiveness for punishment. But why do they insist on the Fire?

176. That is because God has revealed the Book in truth; and those who differ about the Book are in deep discord.

Daily Buddhism Reading 

from dailyzen.com

Comprehending the fundamental,
Embracing the spirit,
Roam the root of heaven and earth,
Wander beyond the dust and dirt,
Travel to work in non-involvement.
Take care not to let mechanical
Intelligence burden your mind;
Watch what is not temporal
And remain unmoved by things.
- Lao tzu

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