Monday, April 29, 2013

On In the Young People of the World: Lies a reservoir of capacity to transform society

"A strenuous and concerted effort" will change the world. Martha reflects on these words of the Universal House of Justice as it relates to youth at our Cluster Reflection Meeting. -gw

They may come from any one of a number of educational backgrounds with all the hope in their hearts that, through strenuous concerted effort, the world will change. Irrespective of particulars, they will, one and all, share in the desire to dedicate their time and energy, talents and abilities, to service to their communities. Many, when given the opportunity, will gladly dedicate a few years of their lives to the provision of spiritual education to the rising generations. In the young people of the world, then, lies a reservoir of capacity to transform society waiting to be tapped.
The Universal House of Justice,  12 December 2011, quoted also in a lovely blog comment here...

On Learning to Run Long and Hard: Not just for horses

Pegah ends our Reflection Meeting with a Persian story. The gist is, some of us are called upon to learn to run long and hard. This is a story that has such applicability for all the various communities within which I live -- the Utya Tigers / Tacoma Invaders football-loving community, the Pierce County Baha'is and their friends raising up more spiritual neighborhoods on Tacoma's East and South sides, and the early childhood mental health professionals community on the Kitsap and Peninsulas. Members of these communities, each with its own particular set of goals, are being asked to "run long and hard" to make this world a better place. -gw

Thursday, April 25, 2013

On Songs Sung in Tacoma: Can come from anywhere


Gwen teaches us a new song. -gw

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Broken Wing Bird: Fifth Dimension song

"Broken-Winged Bird" recording by The Fifth Dimension, solo by Billy Davis. It is not the exact prayer, but the concept lyric was inspired and written by Kelly McKinney, music and arrangement by Bob Alcivar.
Bob Alcivar posted to Bahá'í-Inspired Music Listeners' Club

The Fifth Dimension sang more than just Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In. -gw
O God! O God! This is a broken-winged bird and his flight is very slow—assist him so that he may fly toward the apex of prosperity and salvation, wing his way with the utmost joy and happiness throughout the illimitable space, raise his melody in Thy Supreme Name in all the regions, exhilarate the ears with this call, and brighten the eyes by beholding the signs of guidance. 
O Lord! I am single, alone and lowly. For me there is no support save Thee, no helper except Thee and no sustainer beside Thee. Confirm me in Thy service, assist me with the cohorts of Thy angels, make me victorious in the promotion of Thy Word and suffer me to speak out Thy wisdom 189 amongst Thy creatures. Verily, Thou art the helper of the weak and the defender of the little ones, and verily Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty and the Unconstrained.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Tacoma's Ridvan: The Day of supreme felicity

We arrive at the Ridvan Festival, Tacoma 2013. -gw

...the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh and His companions in the Najíbíyyih Garden outside the city of 213 Baghdád, subsequently referred to by the Bahá’ís as the Garden of Riḍván. This event, which took place thirty-one days after Naw-Rúz, in April 1863, signalized the commencement of the period during which Bahá’u’lláh declared His Mission to His companions. In a Tablet, He refers to His Declaration as “the Day of supreme felicity” and He describes the Garden of Riḍván as “the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendours of His Name, the All-Merciful”. Bahá’u’lláh spent twelve days in this Garden prior to departing for Istanbul, the place to which He had been banished. 
The Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh is celebrated annually by the twelve-day Riḍván Festival, described by Shoghi Effendi as “the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals”
Note to The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

On Singing At Ridvan: To the hallowed beauty of the Beloved

A song at Ridvan. -gw

O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved.
The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

On Boy Down: Love Rescue Me


Love rescues us. -gw
In the cold mirror of a glass
I see my reflection pass
See the dark shades of what I used to be
See the purple of her eyes
The scarlet of my lies
Love rescue me
Yea, though I walk
In the valley of shadow
Yea, I will fear no evil
I have cursed thy rod and staff
They no longer comfort me
Love rescue me
Love Rescue Me
Words: Bono/Bob Dylan / Music: U2

Saturday, April 06, 2013

On the Oldest Young Son: He is praying for his mom

He is the oldest son of a single-parent family of five headed up by his mother. He participates in a junior youth group organized by Baha'is in his public housing neighborhood. At devotions he prays that his mother will come through surgery without difficulty. He doesn't want to lose his mom.-gw

Josh and Alex

Alex watching Alex

On Counted Blessings: Where unity existeth in a given family

Alex, Christy, Chris & Bonita at Thursday devotions
Devotions at Matt & Christy's 4-4-13

Matt is a man who counts his blessings, as is evident by his comments each week at the devotional meeting he holds in his home each week. Another thing about Matt -- he knows how to serve his family and others. -gw


Note ye how easily, where unity existeth in a given family, the affairs of that family are conducted; what progress the members of that family make, how they prosper in the world. Their concerns are in order, they enjoy comfort and tranquillity, they are secure, their position is assured, they come to be envied by all. Such a family but addeth to its stature and its lasting honour, as day succeedeth day.
Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

On Receptive Children: Sanctifying them from the limitations imposed upon them




It is amazing how receptive children are to the word of God. Here the 9 and 10 year-olds at the Ainsworth Court children's classes are memorizing a passage from the Baha'i Writings with the help of their animator Shadi. -gw


O my Lord! Make Thy beauty to be my food, and Thy presence my drink, and Thy pleasure my hope, and praise of Thee my action, and remembrance of Thee my companion, and the power of Thy sovereignty my succorer, and Thy habitation my home, and my dwelling-place the seat Thou hast sanctified from the limitations imposed upon them who are shut out as by a veil from Thee. 
Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful. 

Monday, April 01, 2013

On There's a Man Going 'Round Taking Names: The Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory

Blogged about
Huddie Ledbetter, a.k.a. Lead Belly

Coach Charles was asked to get the names of the kids who came out for the football practice on Saturday. As I saw him walking around, I thought of a song on an album I had back in the 60's by Huddie Ledbetter and the title song to an album I discovered 10 years ago by Johnny Cash.

The phrase "There's a man going around taking names" recalls the the song of that name popularized by folk singer Lead Belly.

What should we make of the idea of the Second Coming of Christ? -gw

It is said in the Holy Books that Christ will come again, and that His coming depends upon the fulfillment of certain signs: when He comes, it will be with these signs. For example, “The sun will be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven…. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Bahá’u’lláh has explained these verses in the Kitáb-i-Íqán.

On When Jesus Christ Died Upon the Cross: Faith confirmed

"When Jesus Christ died upon the cross, the disciples who witnessed His crucifixion were disturbed and shaken. Even Peter, one of the greatest of His followers, denied Him thrice. Mary Magdalene brought them together and confirmed their faith, saying, “Why are ye doubting? Why have ye feared? O thou Peter! Why didst thou deny Him? ... The reality of Christ is ever-living, everlasting, eternal. For that divine reality there is no beginning, no ending, and, therefore, there can be no death." -- The Baha'i Sacred Writings
Reflections at Easter. -gw

Spring floral arrangement