Grace Emerges

Friday, March 28, 2014

Practicing My Religion

by Brad Duncan, March 28, 2014

practice makes perfect, they say
so how do I practice my religion?

i see two different ways, and you can't have them both.

i can practice and practice
to be a disciplined kung fu master of my religion
got all the right moves, got control of myself, got strength and power
got deep knowledge and wisdom, can recite many words
got peace and harmony, but fiercely defend my cause when i need to
in fact, i vow to use my religion only for defense, never violence
i can teach others in my spiritual dojo
helping them find their weaknesses and building their discipline
while constantly reinforcing and improving my own art form
of practicing my religion

or i can practice and practice
to serve selflessly and to see the creator in all that is good
got to love some enemies to do that, got to take the weak road at times
got humility that grows the more you seek deep knowledge
got peace and harmony, but only because i have accepted others
in the slippery slope of messy humanity, i vow to appreciate differences
i can teach others and learn equally from them, not fix them
sharing our weaknesses and admitting our needs
my art form is kindness toward the powerless, the widows and orphans
practice makes perfect, they say
so that's how I practice my religion

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Worship

By Brad Duncan, March 24, 2014

Why oh Lord would you care about flattery,
That I should sing endlessly of your greatness?

Why oh Lord would you be honored by my shame,
That I should sing of my wretched state?

Where is the glory in repetition?
By saying it again I can evoke the needed tears?
Why are fear and shame the currency of faith?

No Lord, you do not take pleasure in my misery.
You are not inspired by the gulf between us

No, you have been there, with us in every way
Your heart beats on only one thought: your children.
How will my heart respond?

To live with gratitude,
To recognize my Father's face,
To embrace opportunity for great love,
To proclaim the freedom somehow imagined by Grace

This is my worship