Monday, April 30, 2007

On A Way Exciting Life: Encountering Different Religions in Dallas

If her blog is any indication, Rachel from Waco is a person with a kind and radiant heart who always wears a smile. She went on a field trip for her Living Religion Class and visited six religious centers in Dallas. -gw

Rachel (on the right) and a friend
So this weekend was sooo busy!! It definately wore me out!! :)
So to start it off, I left Thursday afternoon and drove to Dallas for a field for my Living World Religions class. It was such a great experience. It made me realize a few things that I think we, as Christians could do a little better. This trip just really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I mean some of those people I feel like I could have run into them like in the grocery store or they could be my neighbor or something. ...
The first place that we went to on Friday morning was a Hindu temple....
After we got done there we went to Soka Gakkai Buddhist place. It was very interesting also.... They did their chanting for us. It was definitely something that I have never experienced before. They were soo nice though. They had cookies and bottled water for us after we watched a video and they talked to us.
Then after we got done there we went to a Sikh place. This was so different. We all had to wear head coverings and take our shoes off. They also fed us Indian food while we were there. It was soo good too!! I love spicy food, so it was great! We had a snack first of like some fried vegetables...with this sauce that was good. Then we went into the room where the book that they worship is and we watched the service. ...three guys played their instruments and sang for like 2 hours was kind of gross from having to walk around barefoot a lot.... After the service was over we at the actual meal. It was really good. It was all vegetarian, so thankfully it was very flavorful. They gave us this good soup, and a mixture of potatoes, peas, broccoli, that was all mixed together with this really good sauce seasoning stuff on it. And they eat bread, that almost tasted like the mis between a corn and a flour tortilla. I loved that! Tortillas are my favorite! Then for dessert we had rice pudding. Which I'm not a big fan of puddings with weird textures....but once I got over the rice being in there, it was pretty good!!!
Friday was a long day. We were gone from about 8am until about 10:30 or so. ... Saturday we went to Jewish Conservative Synagogue at like 9am. The service lasted for 4 hours! We were there until noon! It was crazy. It felt more like our church than anything else we went to though. It's just that everything they did was in Hebrew. I did discover that chanting/singing in a different language makes me soooo sleepy. It was also a boy's bar mitzvah so he read a lot.
After that my parents came up and ate lunch with us, and then went to the mosque with us. The mosque was interesting. Several people told their stories of how they converted and they also gave us a lecture on their religion. We also got to tour their mosque.
After that we went to this Baha'i center. That was interesting also. They fed us sub sandwiches. It was delicious.
Everyone we met was so nice to us. It was just really neat how accepting they were to us. It had to make them nervous with like 70 something christians sitting in their place of worship. I really hope that we left a good impression on everyone that they met.
One of the things that saddened me the most about this trip was that at every place we went there was at least one person that used to be a Christian that converted to whatever religion of what place we were at. It just made me feel like some of the things that we disagree about it in the church of christ as well as things we don't agree with the baptist and methodists just seem so stupid when there are christians out there that have converted to a completely different religion.
Ok well that is all I'm typing tonight. I'll put a post about my formal tomorrow!! Night!
Rachel, "What a Weekend!!!" Rachel's Way Exciting Life!
{Re-posted with permission}

On Another Way to Participate in the "Cultivating the Roots" Conference: Audio Streaming and Blogging from the Event

The Bosch Baha'i conference on technology, "Cultivating the Roots," begins this coming Friday. There is probably yet time for those who can attend this unique first-time gathering live and in person to make reservations. For those like myself who cannot attend (furnace repairs in January and medical bills past and near future to blame), there is another option, as Anonymous indicated in his recent comment to the previous post about the conference on this blog. -gw

You don't have to be physically present at Bosch to participate. Go to "" for information about audio streaming and blogging from the event.

Photo: "I see bloggers ,"uploaded on March 21, 2006 by tomhammond on flickr

Sunday, April 29, 2007

On Iran and Iraq, Something in Common: The Ridvan Story and the Explanatory Power of the Teachings of Baha'u'llah

"Looking north up the Tigris River - 16 May 2003 - Baghdad,"
Uploaded on February 24, 2007 by Chi Man on flickr
Where is the focus of the world today? Certainly on Iraq, because of the terrible conflict and strife there. Also on Iran, for various reasons.

What do Iran and Iraq have in common? Both countries figure prominently in the history of the Baha'i Faith.
This is the Ridvan period. In their celebration of the three holy days within the 12-days of Ridvan, Baha'is share the story of Baha'u'llah's public announcement of His station, a story that took place ... where? On an island in the Tigris River in Baghdad.
Baha'u'llah was born in Persia in the 19th Century in what is present-day Iran. It was there he declared His belief in the Bab, His predecessor. It is from there he was exiled to the land immediately to the west of Iran, present-day Iraq.
Isn't it amazing that these places in the world, although not necessarily for good reason, are at center stage today, whereas a century and a half ago they held no such distinction. Western eyes, at least, were focused elsewhere then. Today we have television and cable news to bring us up close with visual images, often disturbing, from these countries.
Before the hostage crisis of 1979-1981 most Westerners didn't know what a mullah was. For many it was watching Ted Koppel's Nightline on the news from Iran that provided an introduction to the term.
Before the events of the past four years in Iraq most Westerners didn't know the difference between Sunni and Shi'a Islam. A few weeks ago there was a week-long series of stories on National Public Radio in which the historical events that led to the schism in Islam were explained in great detail, one of many efforts by news organizations today that attempt to provide background on the historical roots of the current conflict.
On a more seemingly arcane note, a small number of those who follow world news closely may have picked up on the interest that the current leader of government in Iran has in a literal interpretation of religious traditions involving the "return" of a religious figure in Shi'a Islam that is analogous to the fervent belief among some religious and political leaders in the United States of the literal "second coming" of Jesus Christ.
So literal interpretation of religion is common to Islam and Christiantity. So what? So where is all this discussion leading?
It seems to me that the world is being prepared to be able to size up the message of Baha'u'llah with full knowledge of the historical context from which the community that bears His name emerged. What a shock it is, when the realization finally hits, that world events, past and present, really do fit together and make sense. For the increasing number of people who are studying Baha'u'llah's life and message and are learning about the Ridvan story, what happened on that island in the Tigris provides the key to understanding world events in a way that nothing else can. - gw

In April 1863, before leaving Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh and His companions camped in a garden on the banks of the Tigris River. From 21 April to 2 May, Bahá'u'lláh shared with those Bábis in His company that He was the Promised One foretold by the Báb--foretold, indeed, in all the world's scriptures.

The garden became known as the Garden of Ridvan, which indicates "paradise" in Arabic. The anniversary of the twelve days spent there are celebrated in the Bahá'í world as the most joyous of holidays, known as the Ridvan Festival.

"Historical Introduction to Bahá'u'lláh" "Baha'is celebrate 'King of Festivals'""Festival of Ridvan marks beginning of Baha'i Faith"

On a Special Time for Baha'is: The 12 Days Of Ridvan

With all due thanks to the trusty search engines of the blogosphere, here is collage of links to Ridvan posts and photos offered up by Baha'is around the world who draw their sustenance from the Ridvan story and demonstrate the vibrant spirit of their Faith. -gw

Youngmin @ 1st Day of Ridvan celebration
Tue, Apr 24 2007 4:02 PM by (mulan) on mulan's Photos
...mulan posted a photo:

"light fixtures fixation: an explanation - I like light fixtures. they are a metaphor for humans. the light within illuminates so that the outer qualities may be revealed, with all its wonderment."
Uploaded on April 27, 2007 by mulan on flickr
Happy Ridvan!
Wed, Apr 25 2007 7:13 AM by Luckybeans on Luckybeans...
Ridvan is a Baha'i Festival that lasts for twelve days, and we are in the midst of them. Simon's Mum brought me these Ridvan flowers: Gorgeous!
The reports of the elections of Local spiritual Assemblies will be made available as the news comes ...
Melodies of Grace, Words of Solace and Joy
Tue, Apr 24 2007 7:28 AM by Bonita on Flitzy Phoebie ...
There was the sweet fragrance of lilac, roses and baby's breath when we entered Tim and Debbie's home for the Ridvan celebration on Saturday.
Amy, Navin, Shern, Pravin & I decided to hold a pre-Ridvan dinner party for a couple of our friends.... In the midst of dinner, we announced that this dinner was to celebrate Ridvan, the King of Festivals....
Happy Ridvan!
Mon, Apr 23 2007 3:06 PM by Menchie, Maarten & Enna-Marie on The Schoots ...
"Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridvan and entered it. ...
Feliz Ridvan ...
Feliz Ridvan a todos!!! Estos dias me gustaria tanto estar en mi comunidad celebrando esta la Mas Grande Festividad! Si algo he aprendido de estar en este sitio, es que la vida bahai en comunidad essumamente importante, nos nutre y nos da fuerza, el soporte que uno encuentra en los amigos es ...
3 days ago ·
la vida en el otro lado del charco by FlordeMaria
Morning of the First Day of Ridvan
Mon, Apr 23 2007 2:10 PM by Shingo on Ishikawa ...
In the morning of the First day of Ridvan.. we went out for a walk and visited Shrine of the Bab.. such a lovely day, and such a perfect...
Ridvan begins on 21 April; this year I want to take a different approach to the Ridvan poems I write for this celebration....
Ridvan: um vídeo
religião baha'i
Um trabalho colocado no site dos Bahá'ís de Nova Iorque. Palavras de Bahá'u'lláh ilustradas com fotos de Nelson Ashburger e msica de Do'a.
4 days ago ·
Povo de Bahá by Marco
ridván stage setup
Mon, Apr 23 2007 5:09 AM by dragfyre on ottawa - Everyone's Tagged Photos
...dragfyre posted a photo:
Baha'is celebrate 'King of Festivals'
Mon, Apr 23 2007 4:00 AM on Baha'i World News Service Headlines
...the Festival of Ridvan, which marks the anniversary of Baha'u'llah's declaration in 1863 that He was a new messenger of God. Ridvan -- 21 April...

2007 'Ridvan' AM. 001
Sat, Apr 21 2007 9:19 PM by (oscarromulus) on calgary - Everyone's Tagged Photos ...
This is the MAGNIFICIENT view we witness almost every morning from our dining room.

Young Adult Perceptions of the Baha'i Community
... to the need for unity within the community in order for succesful teaching to occur - an idea alluded to by the House of Justice in their recent Ridvan letter ...
5 days ago ·
Correlating: A Blog About The ... by David
Message of the Week: Bahai festival of Ridvan recalls paradise each...
Sat, Apr 21 2007 5:12 AM on The Tennessean - News ...
Just before the festival of Ridvan fifteen years ago, I became a Baha'i. As a broadcast journalist at the time, I brought an extra level of...

The Ridvan Festival: A Baha'i Testimony
religion · baha'i faith
"Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He Who is the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridvan and entered..." 6 days ago ·
Bahá’í Thought: Religion, ... by Phillipe Copeland
"Ridvan Garden,"
Uploaded on June 3, 2006 by swee on flickr

Friday, April 27, 2007

On the Spirituality Shared By Many: Maori, Baha'i, whatever, or none

...the world [is] a community of related persons each deserving respect and each seeking to enhance its own well-being and that of its close kin and neighbours.

Do you believe this? It comes from an article, the title of which is rather catching, "Eat your neighbours," that mentions the Faith and offers a discussion of indigenous religion. -gw

Tawhai was a Baha'i but writes about the spirituality shared by many Maori, of whatever religion, or none).

"Maori Welcome Ceremony,"
Uploaded on April 18, 2006 by BigFrank on flickr

Thursday, April 26, 2007

On Signatures in Slovakia: Thousands Needed, Thousands Obtained

"kids got all the 20000 signatures in one weekend in Bratislava !!!" Uploaded on February 12, 2007 by Hamy_Hai on Flickr

On Speaking of God: One World Under Allah

Not only is Matahari's text compelling, I find these accompanying pictures from her travels posted to her MySpace page quite beautiful as well. -gw
Window Seat View

Category: Religion and Philosophy
Just another one of my reflective thought. I respectfully propose this thought for your consideration and dialogue: Is the term "God" Christian, or can it be universally applied (with a big 'G,' not a small 'g' as in god or gods)? Or is it just an English term for the supreme or ultimate reality: as the being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe. Whatever religion or faith people belong to, when they speak of God in English, they tend to say, "God" They would never have said, "The Buddha" or "Lord Krishna" or "Lord Shiva" etc It is a common stance for non-Christians in the US to appropriate the term "God," perhaps in an attempt to bridge the cultural-religious difference with ethnocentric Americans. It is also common for Christians to call deities of other religions 'their god' - usually employing the qualifier 'their' (and not simply "God," which linguistically implies a shared perception). About the notion that God is the Abraham deity (Judeo-Christian-Muslim): Does a shared prophet (Abraham) mean that the deity is the same for all three? Perhaps or was it supported by a shared interpretation? Not really. Jews aren't supposed to speak his name. It's often "G_d" in writing, which is similar to how they would write his Hebrew name.

Could "God" truly be used to replace "Allah"? Respectfully, for the sake of peace and unity, I ask both the Muslims and non-Muslims. I ask you because I believe religious tolerance is in a danger fueled by ignorance. Several Christians have told me that the *modified* Pledge of Allegiance, which includes "One nation under God" can support ANY god. I ask them if they would say, "One nation under Allah." None would. Could it be because of their ignorance? Or could it be because of fear and shame that would immediately link them to the "terrorists". And also perhaps, outside the Arabic World, the use of Allah is generally associated exclusively with Islam, and is used to refer specifically to the Islamic concept of God. It is nearly the same as the Jewish conception of a single God, but differs from the Trinitarian Christian conception of God. In Islam, the concept of one God is strictly observed. The Qur'an refers to a Jewish belief in Ezra as the Son of God (qu'ran 9:30) although historical Judaism is also strictly monotheistic.

Mt. Merapi & the surrounding area
Allah is the Arabic language word referring to "God", "the Lord" and literally according to the Qur'an, to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" in the Arahamic religions. It does not mean "a god" but rather "the One and Only True God" the Supreme Creator of the universe, and it is the main teem for the deity in Islam. "Allah" means the same God that the people of Christianity and Judaism faith believe in; in other words, the three prominent religions comes from the same source and believe in the same God.

"Allah" is not restricted to just Islam, and used by certain countries in Africa, Arab Christians and Jews according to geographic region. Allah is not only found in the Qur'an but also in Arabic translations of both the Tanakh and the Gospels and even in the Indonesian translations of the Bible. The Baha'i Faith whose scriptures are primarily written in Arabic and Persian also uses Allah to mean God, though typical practise is to use the customary word fro God in the language being spoken. In certain specific uses Allah is not translated, rather the whole arabic phrase is used. The chief example of this would be customary Baha'is' greeting Allah'u'abha which is commonly translated as God is the All Glorious. ...

Muslim and non-Muslim scholars often translate "Allah" directly into English as "God", especially Qur'an alone Muslims. And Arabic speaking Jews and Christians refer to God using the Arabic word Allah. However, other scholars feel that "Allah" should not be translated arguing that "Allah" is the term for "the Only God" in a glorified pronunciation. And because they perceive the Arabic word to express the uniqueness of "Allah" more accurately than the word "god", which can take a plural "gods", whereas the word "Allah" has no plural form. This is a significant issue in translation of the Qur'an.

Would you and would there be any change if you used "Allah" in your communication instead of "God"?

Peace be upon you
{Re-posted with permission}

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On Wealth and Poverty: Thought-Provoking Reflections

Nhi takes in a Baha'i Club presentation and reflects on wealth and poverty. -gw

The Baha'i Club lecture was very interesting. The Baha'i faith. which I've heard of but never really knew what it is really, is very interesting... a very universal kind of belief that mankind is one and that we should promote understanding and peace and the eradication of absolute poverty and the diminishment of other extreme forms of poverty and extreme accumulation of wealth... I'm glad I went to it, I learned something new, and that's always good.

"Extremes of Wealth & Poverty, Wildfire Dance Theatre "
Uploaded on February 3, 2007 by Dr Phil on flickr
Anyways, some interesting, thought-provoking quotes that the lecturer mentioned:

- "He is truly wealthy who has acquired that which he desires"

- "He is truly poor who has everything and still desires more"

It was also interesting how the lecturer analogized the economic law of diminishing returns to the diminishing satisfaction gained from continuous wealth accumulation, and how he analogized the Columbus-age debate over whether the earth is flat or round to the Baha'i belief that mankind exists as one "race" versus separate "races" by saying that, no matter how much we debate over some things, they are the way they are and have always been and we cannot change the fact that mankind is one, just as we cannot change the fact that the earth is round. However, one must be cautious in making analogies, I think. Although it's a good way to support one's argument and persuade people, you can't really analogize any situation to another based on the same type of thinking. Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the lecture and feel that I've gained some new insights from it =)
{Reposted with permission}

On a Baha'i Affinity: A Love of Circles

"Circle of life,"
Uploaded on October 22, 2006
by Vafa Khavari on flickr
Have you ever noticed how Baha'is love circles? Seating arrangements for Baha'i gatherings are typically NOT row upon row of people looking at the back of the heads of those in front of them. Instead you'll find Baha'is unconciously arranging themselves whenever possible in ... a circle. -gw

Click here for Sahba's circle photo find, "Circle of Love," on her blog A World United in Diversity - through my eyes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

On the Bosch Conference for Baha'i Techies and Bloggers (and Those Who Love Them): Release your creative and geeky energies

News of the upcoming conference at beautiful Bosch Baha'i School entitled "Cultivating The Roots" is roots-music for my soul. Baha'i bloggers, get in on this. -gw

Intended for both 'newbies' and 'seasoned' veterans of technology, the goal of Cultivating The Roots is to get both your creative and geeky energies better focused on serving the faith through familiarity of technologies both old and new. Through presentations, breakout sessions and general consultation, you will gain a better grasp of the tools and resources available that can be used to further yours and your clusters' teaching efforts.

Learn More

The Baha'i Computer and Communications Association (BCCA) is pleased to announce the first ever 'Cultivating the Roots' technological conference!! This weekend-long event will be held at the beautiful Bosch Baha'i School in Santa Cruz, California, the weekend of May 4-6, 2007.

These institutions, agencies and specialties will be represented. -gw

US National Spiritual Assembly
Chief Information Officer, US National Baha'i Center IT Department
US Office of Communications
IT Architect, Baha'i World Centre Information Services
Baha'i Internet Agency
Incoming Internet Coordinator for the Baha'i Intl. Comm. Office of Public Info.

BCCA Coordinating Committee Members

Unicode Expert
Multimedia Specialist
Telephony Consultant
Software Developer
Usage Specialist
Computer Security Specialist

Don't miss out on this special opportunity. -gw

Monday, April 23, 2007

On Religion as the Cause of Unity: Stamp Your Feet, Clap Your Hands

Emails received. Stamp your feet, clap your hands! [Update: This is an internet hoax, as commenters have pointed out. But a nice idea anyway.] -gw

Dear friends, here is a new stamp from Canada with a Baha'i quote on it. Praised be God.
- Chris

New Canadian stamp with a quote from teachings of Baha'u'llah!!!

"Stamp your Feet"
Uploaded on January 21, 2006 by Photonut (Mr. Dave) on flickr
"...set your feet on the right path"
-Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny

On an African Baha'i in Japan: Jambo, Brother!

Here is my Favorite Baha'i Flickr Foto of the day. -gw
"Outside the Baha'i Centre in Amagasaki, between Kobe and Osaka"
Uploaded on April 22, 2007 by Dlamini on flickr
"African on Tokyo subway: Behold, the only African guy on this Tokyo subway train (apart from me) is... on the advertisement poster! Jambo brother (I think he is a Kenyan runner)"
Uploaded on March 31, 2007 by Dlamini

On Graduation from University: Buea-tiful!

"Cameroon Art & craft 53,"
uploaded on January 15, 2007 by nyamnjoh on flickr
It is the graduation time of year. There is no more beautiful graduation picture than this of a Cameroon Baha'i who has completed her Master's Degree in Women and Gender studies from the University of Buea. -gw

"Sunday Deepening at Baha'i Center"
Uploaded on July 27, 2006 by Sahar M, Cameroon, Africa, on flickr
"Day of Prayer"

Friday, April 20, 2007

On Flash Is Back: Indeed!

Love from Leila is a BBB - a Best Baha'i Blog - in a lot of people's book, including mine. After a mysterious disappearance from Blogdom, she back, although with some line about thanking The Google Team for helping her get her blog back from Deletesville. Whatever her story, whew! is all that the people in our house can say. -gw

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On Dalíl-i-taqrír: A divinely inspired religion overcometh the world

Scholarly notes, synopses, overviews, or summaries can be tantalizing in their brevity and offer a special fascination. Hajim's blog entry summarizing a discussion in Baha'i-Muslim apologetics that ran in the Journal of Baha'i Studies Vol. 7, n. 4, is a case in point.-gw

Definition of dalíl-i-taqrír - a divinely inspired religion cannot be stopped

- "Should a person claim to be the founder of a religion, and proceed to establish a religion, and claim a relationship between that religion and God (Blessed and Exalted be He), and that religion gains influence in the world and becomes established, this is sufficient proof regarding its truth." (Abu'l-Fadl) ...

Scriptural sources for dalíl-i-taqrír [from the Bible]:

-- Proverbs 19:5-9 : "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape...A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish."

-- I. Corinthians 4:11 : "For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

-- I John 5:4 : "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

-- Matthew 15:13 : "Every tree, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up."

-- Acts 5:33-39 : "But if it be of God, ye can not overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

Hajir Moghaddam, "A Brief Summary of Milani's An Introduction to Bahá'í-Muslim Apologetics," my Baha'i blog, a Baha'i perspective

Photo: "Eagle holding globe in its grasp.
This is the burial place of Shoghi Effendi"
Uploaded on September 9, 2006 by Hajir Moghaddam on flickr

On the Celebration in Seattle: A Continuous Baha'i Presence, 1907-2007

With songs, stories, and dance the Seattle Baha'i Community celebrated it's 100th Anniversary of existence in an extravaganza caught in images by OhOh2Golly, some of which have made it to his flickr site. Click here for a look-see. -gw

On an Era of Firsts: A Believer's First Feast

We live in an era, an epoch, a millenium, a dispensation ... of firsts. -gw

My first Bahai feast was awesome..xD ...

I am Eli, living at home which is the world. I am half Inuk and half Caucasian. I'm Baha'i.

Uploaded on February 23, 2005 by klamothe on flickr

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On Growing Baha'i Communities: Bit By PJBits

This how Baha'is think about growing communities in the Ruhi era. The Baha'is of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, set an example with their devoted efforts. -gw

...the powerpoint presentation fireside was going on well when…BOOM! - the lights went out! But that did not stop us. Aravindh continued to give his presentation till the end with candles and torchlights illuminating us!

"Central’s Light in the Dark," PJ bits - a space to share

On Changing a Life: omg, something exciting!

Uploaded on August 11, 2005
by HaYnCaNdi808 on flickr
Mohana-Madhur is of an age to be making decisions for herself. -gw

I'm meeting a woman, Mary, this Saturday at Olive Garden to talk about the Baha'i's so exciting!

Mohana-Madhur, "song about my tongue ring, Current mood: weird," MySpace

I'm a future Baha'i....maybe? The Baha'i Faith is seriously going to change my life, even if I only follow the philosophy. I'm more than excited to have finally found a religion, that has been established for over 100 yrs, that has the basic beliefs that I thought were only mine. So exciting!

Mohana-Madhur, "omg, something exciting! Current mood: excited," MySpace

"Olive Tree [Baha'i Gardens at Bahji]"
Uploaded on May 20, 2006 by .Leili on flickr

Monday, April 16, 2007

On Pasta Night With the Baha'is: Not a single preachy person there

Dane gets hungry and goes to Pasta Night. -gw

Wednesday I was insanely hungry and in a bad mood. An old friend of mine, Elsa, stiff-armed me into going to a Pasta night with some people she had just met. I was leery because it was hosted by a baha'i group and I really didn't wish to be preached at. But, by some adventuresome whim, I went along. And I must say, it really was fun. There was not a single preachy person there. They were all college age kids, psedo punk/ indie dressed, mutlicultural, and very liberal (even more-so than me). It was excellent chatting with complete strangers about rubick's cubes and 3D glasses. I only got to know the guy who hosts it, I think his name is Ben, Elsa's friend Mona, and another girl who's name escapes me. Perhaps I'll do it again. It really set a good tone for the week.

[Re-posted with permission]
"Pasta Flower," Uploaded on June 24, 2006 by Red Giraffe on flickr

On the One True God: Many Names

Melodrama had a discussion about God with a passenger while flying to Israel. -gw

...had an interesting conversation with a female Evangelical Christian Pastor... She was actually really nice, and didn't try to push her beliefs on us ... We also gave her a really brief intro on the Baha'i Faith, although she had heard of it before. However, when we explained that everyone has the same God -- whether they call it Allah, or God, or Lord, or whatever -- she said that their faith didn't exactly believe that Allah is their God. ... I said, "So you know that 'Allah' is just the word 'God' translated into Arabic, right? So even Arab Christians call God 'Allah,' and Christian Iranians call God 'Khoda,' and so on..." ... she kind of just said "oh, ok" and changed the subject!!

melodrama on Blogspot
[Reposted with permission]

pro found
Shim la
Sta tion,"
up loaded
by byte
on flickr

On Devotionals and "A Baha'i Perspective": Gerald's Vision Becomes All-Embracing

It is thrilling to read 16 year-old Gerald's posts of discovery as he continues to write of his investigation of the Baha'i Faith on his blog Walking the Ninefold Path: My personal journey to faith through the glory of Baha. He has attended his first devotional with Baha'is of Nampa, Idaho. He continues to deepen his understanding of the Faith using the Internet as a connection to the world and has been listening to interviews on "A Baha'i Perspective". -gw

A Baha'i Perspective
I heard something when listening to a series of interviews on the show “A Baha’i Perspective” that made so much sense to me, and a thought that previously seemed like evidence for the fallacy of religion. The idea that God created all men is incoherent with most religions, because most religions are culturally bonded. If you grow up in Mississippi, USA it is hard not to grow up a Baptist, and the same goes for Hindus in India, and any other world religion. If truth is true, it should be universal, and I think it is pretty arrogant of any culture to claim a monopoly on religion. I do not think however that it is impossible to embrace the universal nature of religion without being Baha’i....

Gerald, "Devotionals," Walking the Nine-Fold Path

Friday, April 13, 2007

On the Young Phil Lucas: Baha'i Teacher

OhOh2Golly has just posted pictures of Phil Lucas on his flickr site taken when Phil was a young man and soon to be leaving for pioneering to Central America. OO2G, or Jamie, was introduced to the Baha'i Faith by Phil Lucas when Jamie was teaching a photography class in 1968 at Western Washington State College and had Phil as a student. -gw

On Baha'i Devotionals: One Buddhist quote was meant for me

Enpleinair gets invited to a Baha'i devotional and finds her heart pounding. -gw

i'm not religious... but i am spiritual. today i went to a bahai devotional and it was nice. i got to know my genetics lab partners better and they are really cool. we went to eat Indian food... then we went back to nooshin's townhouse that she share's with her older sister and the place is a palace complete with persian carpets. then nooshin let me borrow some writings on the bahai faith and we went to the devotional which was basically a meditation. we inhaled exhaled for a bit then some people played the guitar and sax while others read religious writings from all different holy script. it was very nice. i found this one buddhist quote about overcoming fear and freeing oneself from all the things that bring us down and i read it out loud for all... my heart was pounding because the quote was meant for me...
Photo: Uploaded on September 14, 2006 by Asilwen on flickr