Thursday, September 30, 2010

On a Silicon Valley Neighborhood Baha'i Children's Class: My neighbor joins me at church functions

Another Baha'i children's class in the 'hood  --  in this case, Silicon Valley -- drawing together neighbors of all backgrounds. -gw

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On Getting a Bead on Belief: I am equally Jewish and Mormon, but way more Quaker with a pinch of Baha'i.

Baha'i Faith (91%). 6. Liberal Quakers (88%) ..... I am equally Jewish and Mormon, but way more Quaker with a pinch of Baha'i. 1 day ago ... - 25 minutes ago
The Belefnet quiz continues to stir things up in the minds of folks wanting to get a bead of just what do they believe. And then there is this report... -gw
JUDY WOODRUFF: There's no doubt that faith and religion play a large role in American life. But a new survey out today shows that Americans' basic knowledge about their religion and others is somewhat lacking.

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On Kevin Locke Without Regalia: Hoops and a boom box

A boom box, hoops in the form of the earth, and Kevin Locke. Taken at the Magdalene Carney Baha'i Institute.  By toastforbrekkie on flickr. -gw

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On Addressing the Psychological Conflicts of Youth With Meaning and Purpose: Baha'i junior youth groups appreciated

I recently participated in a workshop sponsored by the local Baha’i community ( titled ‘Animator Training for Junior Youth’.  I was expecting  a religious-based program with a narrow focus on the spiritual development of  adolescents.  I showed up to the program, and took my seat with the worries of a full day of psychiatric practice still running through my head. ...

The purpose was not to create a utopia, but rather to work collectively towards a better world. The bonus was to find out that these programs and activities are going on all over the world!  Reports of the success of these wonderful young people were coming from places as varied as war-ravaged African countries and the  neighborhoods of Los Angeles in the U.S.

I left the gathering feeling hopeful about the future of our world.  I also felt rejuvenated to approach psychological conflicts and deficits in my patients within the wider context of the meaning and purpose of our lives.

It was nice to come across this blog on behavioral health, which is, essentially, my field, one that mentions the Faith. Baha'i Junior Youth groups really can be a counter to forces of society contributing to a the dysregulated emotional state of many youth. I remember Ferris' comments on the subject back at Neah Bay in 2008.
Here are two other posts Br Dr Sabet on this site that mention the Faith.  -gw

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On Images From the Feast of Mashiyyat: Remembering the Feast orchid

The Dannells hosted feast Monday night, not at our home, but at the Salishan Family Center instead. I had the able help of Rochelle, Selena and brand new Baha'i Sara, attending her very first Feast, in helping to set up. I loved the fact that there was an exercise class going on in the same space right before, complete with booming boombox. I brought my own booming boxes for the evening, my big speakers, along with mixer, two-disk CD player, and amplifier, just purchased from the pawn shop, to make sweet Baha'i music. But I forgot the box with the speaker cords, power strip ... 


... and an extension cord. I had to drive all the way home, keeping the friends waiting for Feast to start. But it all seemed worth it, once I powered my equipment up. The sound quality was great. The songs played, incorporating Baha'i prayers and writings by Nabilinho, Walter Heath, Chelsea-Lyne, Elika Mahoney and others, were exquisite.

Going back to the house I managed to also remember to bring the Feast orchid, that is watered every 19 days and travels from Feast to Feast, after being taken care of by the respective Feast host for the Baha'i month prior. Neat tradition, huh!

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On Images From the Feast of Mashiyyat: DJ-in for Feast and remembering the orchid

The Dannells hosted feast Monday night, not at our home, but at the Salishan Family Center instead. I had the able help of Rochelle, Selena and brand new Baha'i Sara, attending her very first Feast, in helping to set up. I loved the fact that there was an exercise class going on in the same space right before, complete with booming boombox. I brought my own booming boxes for the evening, my big speakers, along with mixer, two=disk CD player, and amplifier, just purchased from the pawn shop, to make sweet Baha'i music. But I forgot the box with the speaker cords, power strip ... 
... and an extension cord. I had to drive all the way home, keeping the friends waiting for Feast to start. But it all seemed worth it., when I powered my equipment up. The sound quality was great. The songs played, incorporating Baha'i prayers and writings by Nabilinho, Walter Heath, Chelsea-Lyne, Elika Mahoney and others, were exquisite.
Going back to the house I had remembered to also bring the Feast orchid, that is watered every 19 days and travels from Feast to Feast, after being taken care of by the respective Feast host for the Baha'i month prior. Neat tradition, huh!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On Dreams and Their Interpretation: An analysis in the Baha'i religion

It never ceases to amaze me how many subjects have been addressed in conjunction with the Baha'i Faith. Here the venerable subject of dream analysis. -gw

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On So This Is the Message I Got From Facebook: Consider the relationship confirmed

My wife is new to Facebook, and already she is so very up to speed. So this is the message I got from Facebook...
OK, consider it confirmed. This is the woman I'm married to. -gw

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Monday, September 27, 2010

On Jamie Franks Photos for the Month of Mashyyat: The Baha'i teachings extol the supremacy of God's Will

Yes, there is predestination in the Baha'i teachings, however, it is not viewed as an absolute force governing every detail of human life. The Baha'i teachings assert that God, through His Will, through His Divine Messengers, and in response to human prayers, influences the course of human history and causes some events to happen according to His Will. Baha'i teachings extol the supremacy of God's Will:

"O thou who art turning thy face towards God! Close thine eyes to all things else, and open them to the realm of the All-Glorious. Ask whatsoever thou wishest of Him alone; seek whatsoever thou seekest from Him alone. With a look He granteth a hundred thousand hopes, with a glance He healeth a hundred thousand incurable ills, with a nod He layeth balm on every wound, with a glimpse He freeth the hearts from the shackles of grief. He doeth as He doeth, and what recourse have we? He carrieth out His Will, He ordaineth what He pleaseth. Then better for thee to bow down thy head in submission, and put thy trust in the All-Merciful Lord." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p. 51)

The best thing a human being can do once he realizes the superiority of God's authority is to turn heart and soul towards His Will and His Word.

"Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. To this He Who is the Lord of all creation beareth Me witness." (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 21-22)

Aligning our lives in accordance with what God wishes of us is a challenge we all face. Here is Jamie's set of photos for the Baha'i month of Will which begins today. -gw
Mashiyyat....sept. 27, the Baha'i month of 'Will' .... the will of 'god' is evident to me in Nature and children, and occasionally in adults .... -- james eugene frank  · Sets

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

On DJ-ing for a Bonifide Baha'i Barn Dance: The high points

ComfortTherm batts are sized to fit standard cavities. You can cut JM ComfortTherm insulation easily with an ordinary utility knife to fit nonstandard cavities, and install it by simply pressing in place between studs or joists. You can secure the insulation by stapling the flanges to wood studs. ComfortTherm is also available in a reverse-flange underfloor configuration with the vapor retarder toward the floor.


Time is at a premium these days. I have a major home project that is going to take many hours to complete: reinsulating our crawl space. It's gotta be done. My window for blogging is going to diminish even further than it has of late, although there is a lot to blog about. Like DJ-ing last night bor a bonifide Baha'i barn dance. The high points for me: (1) that Tom and Renee came, the couple who came to our devotional on Thursday and (2) that two young women, Kim's daughter and Karen's daughter, who have become fast friends, were able to receive impromptu instruction in Persian dance from Feloria. -gw

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On Taking a Hike in the Neighborhood: A team building exercise in its own right

I work for a wonderful community mental health agency. I am assigned to the Community Support Team. Given the significance that community-builidng has for Baha'is, the name holds a special buzz for me.
Thursday our team went on retreat. We met at the home of a colleague who lives on Bainbridge Island. When the rain stopped, after our team consultation,  we took a hike in the neighborhood, a team-building exercise  in its own right.  -gw

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Friday, September 24, 2010

On Maximizing Human Potential: The study of infant mental health inspired by the beauty of the day

I posted this photo set on my "other " other blog, The Peninsulas Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Group, content of which also appears in this permutation via autoposting. I include it here on Baha'i Views simply for the juxtaposition of images of jargon-heavy slides from a presentation for mental health professionals together with photos of the historical location taken on a beautiful day.
Regarding the subject of mental halth, the values of the Baha'i Faith embrace the concept that humankind should do everything to maximize human potential, starting from the moment of conception through the critical years of infancy and early childhood, straight through to adulthood and beyond. As each individual is able to achieve his or her potential, we will experience an ever-advancing civilization in accordance with God's blueprint. -gw

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On Tom and Renee Come to Baha'i Devotions: I just see these signs of desire for unity

Tom Brooks, jazz bassist, came to our devotions tonight with his wife Renee. His music can be heard here. -gw
"I just see these signs of desire for unity" - Tom

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On an International Year of Youth Writing Contest: Are the millennium goals achievable?''

If you are a youth (born between 1990 and 1995) there is yet time to enter the UN Chronicle writing contest in celebration of the International Year of Youth.  The topic is "Are the millennium goals achievable?'' and the deadline is September 30, 2010.  More information is at -gw



Are you between the age of 15 and 20? Do you have things to say to the international community? Enter UN Chronicle’s youth writing contest to celebrate the International Year of Youth! One winning article will be published in UN Chronicle’s special issue on youth. Second and third place winners will receive a free year’s subscription.

THE TOPIC: “Are the Millennium Development Goals Achievable?” ...

PICK ONE OF THE 8 MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS and explain whether you think it is achievable or not. The article must be more than a personal essay and must highlight a project that has been done, or it must include facts and research. For more information on the Millennium Development Goals, visit


1) Write a 900-word article on the theme: “Are the Millennium Development Goals Achievable?” (Pick ONE of the MDGs and explain whether it is achievable or not.)
2) Include your name, age, country, and word count of the article at the top of every page.
3) Submit to
4) Title the email “Youth Writing Contest” and include your country and age. e.g. Youth Writing Contest, Cindy Mueller, 25

CONTEST DEADLINE: September 30, 2010


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On an Offline version of iMemorize: Just released

Dear George, I wanted to let you know that we have just released an offline version of iMemorize. You can get it here:

In addition to the offline support, includes a few updates -- most notably it now supports other langage characters. So although the pre-populated quotes are still in English, users can add their own quotes in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

Warmest regards,

To be able to cite the Baha'i Writings by heart is always an asset. I keep thinking, if I were thrown in prison for being a Baha'i, what prayers would I have in my heart I could draw on at any time? Those that I have memorized. -gw 

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On Where the Greatest New Music Is Being Created in 2010: And the runner-up is...


I may have sent this to you before.  If not .........


I think Baha'i-inspired music as a genre, being created in all parts of the globe and so diverse, is the greatest new music of today. So here is a great suggestion for a runner-up. Thanks, Frank, for sending  this on. -gw

----- Original Message ----- From: Martin -- Where is the greatest new music being created in 2010?


I have spent many hours exploring the music of various countries this year,
and it can accumulate like a tower of Babel unless you are able to process
the Art with knowledge of both past and present.

New Orleans was one of the great multi cultural focal points 100 years
ago.  Historians basically agree on this fact, but WHERE is it happening

I believe it is in Algeria, and is expressed through a style called
Raï.  This is a style which blends just about everything the pop musicians
of the world are trying to say. There is Muslim Raï, Hindu Raï, Hip-Hop
Raï, and it has a common thread.  The message is perhaps best found in the
1996 song by Khaled.  The English translated lyrics are:

"El Harba Wayn"

Where has youth gone?
Where are the brave ones?
The rich gorge themselves
The poor work themselves to death
The Islamic charlatans show their true face...
You can always cry or complain
Or escape... but where?

W.A.Y.N. = Where Are You Now?

The literal translation of raï is "opinion" (along with "my way", "tell it
like it is!" and many other possible translations).  Raï is the symbol of a
lifestyle of cynicism and anti-authoritarianism, and is the common thread
of almost all new art that has ever been created by the youth of our
world.  Try and tell me that Jazz and Ragtime weren't cynical and
anti-authoritarian.  They most certainly were!


Here are some fine examples, if you would like to follow:

My favorite, because it captures so much modern reality (and with humor):

Is this Latin, African Tribal, or Muslim? Who cares!

The 1996 W.A.Y.N. video.  We're NOT in India? No, this is from Algeria.

Big Ali, a NYC born Hip-Hop musician turned French and Algerian Raï artist:

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On a Change of Address: Moving in support of the Plan

"a shift in consciousness"
"building community"
"capacity building"
"the new national Baha'i website"
"updates on the web"
"new book"
"in support of the Plan"
"a natural progression"
"a shift in consciousness"
"reaching the goals of this Plan"
"children, parents and the friends get involved together"
"love for the Baha'i revelation dissolves barriers"
"change of address"
These are all phrases to be found in the headlines in the current issue of the American Baha'i. Notice a theme?
We're asked to raise up 308 pioneers before the end of the Plan next spring. Some of the friends are moving to fulfill that goal. But, really, all Baha'is are called upon to move, both cognitively and spiritually, in support of the plan. What is your change of address? -gw

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On an Alternative Reality to the Mourning of America: The Destiny of America

Our paper is delivered at unpredictable times these days. The newspaper business is on the decline, in case no one has noticed. But I still look forward to reading what finally gets tossed on our porch, as small as the news window is these days. This morning this paragraph from columnist Kathleen Parker caught my eye.

Everybody's angry. But anger is cheap and tired. Most Americans are also sad. The always bountiful America seems on the edge of famine, spiritual if not literal, although the latter seems all too possible as jobs disappear and businesses close.

And then in the newly arrived American Baha'i (I love it!) I see the ad for America's Sacred Calling: Building a New Spiritual Reality, "a call to action for America to embrace a new society that honors the spiritual reality of the human soul."

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On 25, 10, and One: Healing the world, a soul at a time

I did a quick count for Jeff of attendance at our Thursday night devotions for the past three months. The Area Teaching Committee keeps records of those things. Total attendance has been 25 souls. Of the 10 who weren't Baha'is, one has since officially declared. Three of those who came have been children.
We got back from an overnight trip to Eastern Washingtonin time to be able to hold our regular devotional meeting Thursday evening. It was great seeing Louis who stopped by, whom my brother had a chance to meet. As my brother had heart surgery four months ago and is still regaining his stamina, I played the "Healing Suite" by JB Eckl and Eric Dozier from the Badasht album. It seemed appropriate, although I don't think Dick's very comfortable with the idea of prayer. A prayer in musical form, Baha'u'llah's long healing prayer at that, is potent. I played three of the four parts of the suite, before finally fading out. Louis would have been up for the entire 20 minute piece, I'm sure. I'll get in the fourth part the next time he comes, I promise. -gw
O thou yearner after the Kingdom! Each Manifestations is the heart of the world and the proficient Physician of every patient. The world of humanity is sick, but that skilled Physician hath the healing remedy and He bestoweth divine teachings, exhortations and advices which are the remedy of every ailment and the dressing for every wound. Undoubtedly, the wise physician discovereth the needs of the patient at every season and prescribeth medicine. Therefore, when thou wilt compare the teachings of the Beauty of Abha with the requisitions and necessities of the present time, thou wilt conclude that they are to the sick body of the world the swift healing antidote; nay, rather they are the remedy of everlasting health. The prescription of the proficient physicians of the past and the future will not be the same; nay, rather they will be in accord with the ailment of the patient. Although the medicine is changed, yet all of these are for the sole purpose of the healing of the sick. In former dispensations the sick body of the world could not bear the strong and overpowering remedies. That is why His Highness the Christ said: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He, the Spirit of the Comforter, who is sent by the Father, is come, He will guide you into all truth.”
Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 538

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On Breaking a Record for Consecutive Paddles: And rain

This is how it all started a week ago. My brother came to visit. I haven't posted since the day of his arrival and I haven't checked my email since last Friday. It has felt a little wierd, I must admit.
He has come up to canoe most years since 2001. Last year our gadding around was abbreviated; we had a reunion to go to in Canada. in 2008 he was recovering from a health problem. So this year our goal was to get back into the groove. We did seven paddles in seven days. We canoed the very day of his arrival and we canoed the day of his departure.  I think we broke our own record.
In Washington, consecutive daily-record rainfall amounts were established on September 17-18 in Olympia and Seattle, with 2-day totals reaching 2.52 ...
Several of those paddles were in Eastern Washington where it was still sunny and warm, unlike Western WA which has had four times as much rain as usual for September this year.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

On Hectore in Haifa: The evening shift

Hectore, who has 226,832 photos up on Flick,r is in Haifa, clicking away. In fact, his last 30 sets are from the time of his Baha'i service working as a volunteer there. Love it! -gw

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On Two Family Gatherings: A Sunday in September

I am a part of many families: i.e., the human family, the extended family of my spouse and progeny and relations, and our Baha'i family. Sunday Bonita and I had two family gatherings to go to. First we went to a home devotional, with breakfast included, offered by members of our Baha'i family, Tim and Deb. Then we went to lunch at my son's home, joined by my daughter and her husband visiting for the weekend to participate in a City of Tacoma-hosted 11th annual 10K race. Both gatherings offered rich opportunities for recording for posperity (and throwing it all up onto Flickr) the goings-on. The actions of little ones were especially noteworthy. At Rue and Annie's it's little Dan Dan who still steals the show. At Tim & Deb's it was Gilmar. I'm so glad that Charles was able to come to Tim & Deb's with his family, Kim, Gina, and the little guy. -gw

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On Daisy's Room: Smile, because I care

Our granddaughter Daisy, a devoted Christian, is of junior-youth age. She is marvelously articulate and strives to service to her family. -gw

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On the Involvement of Non-Baha'is in Baha'i Core Activities: A focus of action-oriented committees in Baha'i clusters

  • Quite unlike how most "committees" function, an area teaching committee is essentially meant to serve as an "action team". To truly understand the Five Year Plan requires that one engage in Plan processes and experience its components, not just read about them.

The Area Teaching Committee for our cluster meets tonight. So does the Tacoma Baha'i Spiritual Assembly. The institution of the assemby was developed and lovingly honed by Shoghi Effendi, especially during first 13 years of his ministry. It was only after administrative institutions were in place that he turned to call on the friends to carry out the teaching campaigns called for by Abdu'l-Baha.

The Area Teaching Committee is a new entity. It differs greatly from the District Teaching Committees of decades past. As I look over a document describing the duties of the ATC, I am struck by the fact that this body is focusing on the development of the planet, and not just the expansion of the Baha'i religion.

The Baha'i Faith is not another minority religion among a bevy of minority religions in the world each of which is striving to increase its "market share" through increasing its membership enrollments. Rather Baha'is are transforming the planet through putting in place core activities that incorporate the teachings of Baha'u'llah and invite people of all Faiths, or no Faith, to join us in the process. It is what Baha'is do, but, as we are discovering, many souls are willing to step up to become tutors or children's teaching or junior youth animators, whether they have declared their Faith in Baha'u'llah of not.

As I look over the ATC document, these words and phrases stand out for me, reflecting the language of what has been termed the institute process.
  • operating at the grassroots level
  • action-oriented
  • learning-based
  • organized
  • collaborative
  • working to enlarge resources
  • mobilizing for service
  • assessing
  • analyzing
  • reflecting
  • an organic process
Below are official documents that describe the Baha'i view of global development, to which the Baha'i core activites contribute in a fundmental way. -gw

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Friday, September 10, 2010

On Ten Tonight at Baha'i Devotions: Spiritual community building starts in our living room

We had a round of prayers with musical selections interspersed. We studied one of Hidden Words together (and discovered a Hidden Word's scholar in Sara, who was introduced to this work by Baha'u'llah just a few weeks ago). We went around the cirlce one more time to discover what was in our hearts. Arlene shared her impressions from attending the Baha'i Persian culture conference in Wilmette and telling of the presentation by non-Baha'i Roxana Saberi to the gathering. -gw

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

On Abridged Hiking in Washington's Channeled Scablands: Or the complete boxed set

If you gotta have the complete box set, here it is: The BLM Twin Lakes Hike Complete includes all of the photos taken of this hike. Some of the images may seem redundant to include (although I love every one of them), but the purpose here is to show the view of every leg of this 9.5 miles trek, taken on September 5, 2010. The colors are desert browns and tans. We'd love to hike it in the Spring, too, when everything is green. We never tire of the the vistas in the channeled scablands of Washington State. -gw
The Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington are home to geologic features not found anywhere else in the world. Catastrophic floods raced through the area during the last Ice Age, carving channels through the mostly flat land. Today, rolling hills of cropland and sagebrush steppe habitat are interspersed with canyons of carved basalt columns. A completely unique world exists within those canyon walls. Creeks and lakes support grasslands and trees. Wildlife and wildflowers thrive. Remnants of early Native American settlements and pioneer homesteads speak of the first inhabitants.

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On a How-To Video for Spiritual Community Building: The example of Fort Collins

BahaiNationalCenter | September 07, 2010

This summer, fifteen teenagers gathered in the Rocky Mountains for a unique brand of summer camp. They focused on learning how they can start classes for children and junior youth empowerment programs in their own neighborhoods.

Nearby Fort Collins, Colorado provided opportunities for the youth to practice what they were learning. The Fort Collins Baha'is sponsor weekly children's classes in two distinct neighborhood settings. The youth participants gained real-life experience in the classroom.

This is "how-to" quality -- how to build spiritual community. But this is not just a hypothetical case. What is portrayed in this video is obviously real, happening in the present moment, and not just in Fort Collins' Timber Ridge  and Tacoma's Salishan's neighborhoods but in thousands of neighborhoods around the world.  
Members of the Area Teaching Committee serving the Fort Collins vicinity came to Tacoma earlier this year to participate in the first weekend of our 19th Intensive campaign, for which we were most grateful. -gw 

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

On Camping at Coffeepot Lake: Tea, instead

Coffeepot. Nice name for a lake, huh. Well, we had coffee there, and two great canoe paddles with some exploring across the lake.
I did a wordsearch for "coffee" in the Baha'i Reference Library. There is no reference. There are, however, 28 references to tea. -gw
Muhammad-‘Alí would carefully consider every blessing that came his way. “How delicious my tea is today,” he would comment. “What perfume, what color! How lovely this meadow is, and the flowers so bright!” He used to say that everything, even air and water, had its own special fragrance. For him the days passed in indescribable delight. Even kings were not so happy as this old man, the people said. “He is completely free of the world,” they would declare. “He lives in joy.”

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On Photos for the Feast of Might: 'Izzat

ok, George, now it's 'done' ..... see you tonite, I moved my trip to Thurs. morning ...... Jamie
Tonight is the Baha'i Feast of Might. -gw
tenth Baha'i month ... ' Izzat', of course ...... another attribute of G_d ...... james eugene frank · Sets

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

On 100 Years of Baha'i Spiritual Education: A new video from the Baha'i National Center

Previously, Baha'i children's education was aimed at Baha'i children. In a profound cultural shift in keeping with the guidance of their institutions, Baha'is have adopted an outward approach and are now offering spiritual education for any and all children, Baha'i or not, in neighborhood after neighborhood. It's an evolution that inspires awe and wonder for long-time Baha'is and great delight for the parents and children in these neighborhoods who are discovering the unique special qualities of this spiritual education that can be found no where else, based on the teachings of Baha'u'llah for transforming the entire planet. -gw

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On Sticking It Out: And be not of those who doubt

Xhosa and Persian -- "A darling Baha'i lady from Jo'burg - she is in typical Xhosa makeup - though this was end of day and most of it had worn off, but you can see her cheeks and part of her outfit, mother of friend of mine, has a complicated name!!!"
Martha discovered that Uganda was like her beloved Vanutu. Then she decided to return to South Africa. -gw
Soon what I thought was confirmation for me to stay in Uganda became confirmation for me to stay in South Africa. As I talked to people about the problems that I had noticed in SA the reactions changed from “You should come here” to “they need all the help they can get, you should stay there”. That was the whole reason I decided to come to SA in the first place, because I realised how much they need the help. Losing that anger and resentment was so relieving. Suddenly I was excited about going home and putting my new energy into action. All it took was me removing myself from the picture and looking at things holistically instead of only from my point of view.

There is a prayer in the Baha’i Writings called the Tablet of Ahmad that really hit me. Although I’ve read it tonnes of times before, I've even memorised it, there was one line that I really took from it on this trip


“And be not of those who doubt.”


I challenged myself fulfil this line. Stop doubting life when things get hard, try more perseverance and determination. So I’m going to stick it out here in South Africa. It’s going to be hard and trying and frustrating but that’s ok. I have removed all my prior expectations and I’m just going to do what I can “Even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee..”


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On the Sports Kid on Cover: The ultimate illustration

Rocky z granddaughter    Tierra Crockrell is in September; Sports Illustrated for Kids,
                                                                            rocky crockrell
They picked the best shot of Tierra to run with their article, that's for sure! -gw

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

On Old News: Bonita's Already Told the Story

It's hard  to keep up with Bonita. When you take a lot of pictures, it's hard to keep up with processing all the fotos. Only last night did I have the chance to do the photos from our trip to try to hike Mt Townsend. But Bonita's already told the story. -gw

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

On Bonita Shops Cabela's: All firearms must be inspected

REI vs Cabela's. That was the matchup. Cabela's has won as Bonita's favorite recreational store. I think it was the stuffed animals that took her over the top. But I think she should reconsider, by considering this. -gw
Our Commitment to Stewardship

REI is helping to build a lasting legacy of trails, rivers, and wild lands for generations to come, supporting programs to help people of all ages and experiences participate. REI's involvement and impact in local communities reached new heights in 2009. Investing $2 million in outdoor recreation programs and stewardship projects, REI helped care for areas of recreation, introduce people to the outdoors and leverage additional dollars for great programs. Sally Jewell, REI's president and CEO stated, "REI recognizes that today's youth will be tomorrow's stewards of the environment. REI is committed to providing opportunities for young people to experience the joys of outdoor recreation and learn how to care for open spaces and our shared public lands."

Brilliant Star wins APEX Award of Excellence for Green Writing
July 22, 2010
Brilliant Star magazine, published for children ages 8–12 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States, received a 2010 APEX Award of Excellence for Green Writing for its March/April 2009 issue entitled "Caring for Our Planet," which was produced in observance of the U.N. Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, 2005–2014. This is the magazine's fourth APEX Award for Publication Excellence

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On Rocky's Other Granddaughter: Caring and sharing

Check out the Tacoma Weekly. What an article they did on Tierra and her family! Look in the sport section.
I still haven't picked up a copy of the Weekly to see the article Rocky was referring to in his e-mail to me. I have loved featuring the track and field accomplishments of his granddaughter Tierra, shown with her brother Pierre at the bottom of this post. And it should be no surprise that Rocky has other granddaughters and grandsons who are extraordinary kids as well.  At Karen & Fredric's Family Fun Night I was in awe of the granddaughter, featured in the set below, who took great delight in tending to Charles' little grandchild, also in attendance last Saturday night. -gw
Tierra & Pierre
Thus from the very beginning of life every child will be refreshed by the gentle wafting of the love of God and will tremble with joy at the sweet scent of heavenly guidance.

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

On Amped Up to Study a Prayer With Someone: Andrene to the rescue

Tonight I went Pawn-X on South Tacoma Way to see if they had an amplifier/receiver I could buy to replace the one that is on the fritz in the living room at home. They just had a Yamaha. I don't like how difficult it is to change the volume of the rear and center speakers on that unit, so I didn't buy it.
Wednesday evenings I try to use for home-visits. And Sunday. Tuesday evenings and Saturday are set aside for family time. Our home devotional is Thursday evening. Monday and Friday evenings are open, Mondays often being for Spiritual Assembly or Area Teaching Committee meetings.
So after no success at Pawn-X, this being Wednesday, I thought, who can I go visit? I sifted through possibilities. Regina is tied up this week, I believe. I haven't met Cinnamon yet. Then I thought, Andrene!
I didn't have her address, but I thought I might be able to figure it out by proximity, having been there once before. Sure enough, as I walked through the complex on G-Street, there she was, out in front of her apartment, keeping an eye on Derrick and doling something on her iPhone.
I told her I was out and about, but had been thinking about her family and thought I'd stop  by to say hello. We discussed the effort of Baha'is to build spiritual community through home-visits and four core activities. I told her I would love to find a time when we could study a prayer together. I said, to get in a truely devotional state, you have to become deeply in touch with the Holy Writings. And what a great way to have a spiritual conversation with a person than to study a prayer with them!
I said, "I've brought these prayer books with me. How about now?" She said come on in.
It was a delightful study. This is the prayer we studied...
She's been to devotions in our home.  I told her it would be wonderful if she could have regular devotions in her home. 
We talked again about having children's classes for Derrick and other children in the complex. I told her the effect that regular children's classes were having on the children in Salishan. I think she might be interested in being accompanied to do both activities.
She said she was going to come to our houseagain  for devotions tomorrow. I hope my amp will hold up for one more evening. Gotta have music for our devotional. And the deep study of at least one prayer. -gw

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On What If My Friend Finds Out: So long afternoons at IKEA

From there she joined the Baha'i faith. ... [S]he stayed with them because she had made a friend in the community who visited her and took her out to buy New Balance sneakers and sheets from IKEA. They also prayed together, and Linda found the Baha'i prayers comforting.

I told her that if the Baha'i prayers were comforting, she should continue to say them. But now she had a conflict. She had recently joined the Church of the Nazarene because she heard they had great prayer groups. She was excited to report to me that two members of the church had already visited her and brought flowers and Nazarene paperwork. But then her mood darkened, and she said, "I did call one of the ladies after their visit, to invite her to come over again, but she said she was going to be busy all of September. She wasn't as nice on the phone as she was when she was here."

"Can I stay a Baha'i and also be a member of the Nazarenes?" she asked. "What if my Baha'i friend finds out? She'll stop visiting me." So long, afternoons at IKEA.

Then she paused and said, "Am I just being wishy-washy? Shouldn't I just pick a religion and stick to it?"

I was taken off guard by her sudden insight. I often think that my agnosticism is wishy-washy. I was brought up Catholic, ...

There are several highly salient issues regarding religious affiliation woven into this fascinating blog post.  To follow the example of Abdu'l-Baha, a Baha'i friend learning this soul had joined a Nazarene church wouldn't bat an eye, but would simply continue to love and to serve and, I predict, to continue to visit. This soul's spiritual journey is her spiritual journey.

Baha'is are building spiritual community,  increasingly working side by side with people who are not Baha'is in establishing the core activities that bring spiritual unity. There are clear authoritative guidelines for Baha'is on all sorts of matters, including church affiliation, but the bottom line for a follower of Baha'u'lah  is ... don't worry about your neighbor's journey. He or she is in God's hands. Just love, teach, grow. -gw

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On Gracing the Nine-Pointed Star: Immaculate and her radiant children

I give this picture set 4 stars  (out of four). -gw

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