This blog contains responses to blog prompts, & thoughts on spiritual or religious themes
"The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations, and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers."
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"Treasures lie hidden beneath the throne of God;
the key to those treasures if the tongue of poets."
"O my God! O my God! Unite the hearts of Thy servants, and reveal to them Thy great purpose. May they follow Thy commandments and abide in Thy law. Help them, O God, in their endeavor, and grant them strength to serve Thee. O God! Leave them not to themselves, but guide their steps by the light of Thy knowledge, and cheer their hearts by Thy love. Verily, Thou art their Helper and their Lord."
Istiqlal (Independence), 19 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Friday, September 25, 2020
“This emergency has, more than a thousand treaties or speeches, made us suddenly realize that we are part of one single world,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.3
The call has gone out for new levels of international cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus affects the citizens of every nation on Earth, and it can't be battled one nation at a time. To battle this pandemic requires the resources of every nation on Earth. It the nations on Earth respond to this call for unified action against the COVID-19 pandemic, we can defeat it. However, if nations withdrawn into the national borders and attempt to fight this pandemic by themselves the battle is lost.
The call has gone out!
God's will is in the process
of being accomplished.
Fidal (Grace), 16 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Day 2867: Who has changed your life, and how?
Who has changed my life? Baha'u'llah has changed my life. He changed it through the sacred scriptures He revealed. He changed it through the prayer He revealed. Before accepting Baha'u'llah I didn't understand that all religions--no matter what they call God--worship the same God. I learned that all religions are sent by one All-Glorious Unknowable Creator. Below is a list of Baha'i Teachings, from the pamphlet Baha'i Solutions, which caused me to investigate the way I thought and to question some of the things I learned as a child.
"The oneness of the world of humanity"
"The foundation of all religion is one"
"Religion must be the cause of unity"
"Harmony of Science and Religion"
"Independent investigation of truth"
"An international tribunal"
"To eliminate all forms of prejudice"
"A universal auxiliary language"
"A spiritual solution to economic problems"
"Equality of men and women"
Kamal (Perfection), 15 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Monday, September 21, 2020
Day 2866: “It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” ― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View Is love eternal?
Is love eternal? Yes, if its the love of God for His creation. Love between human beings is accidental and ephemeral. Anything can come between two people who are in love or think they are in love. It takes hard work for two human beings to remain in love with each other, and--no matter how much people want their love to be eternal--sometimes the relationship between the two isn't worth the work.
"4. O Son of Man!
I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.
5 O Son of Being!
Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant."
In the above quotes from The Hidden Words, Baha'u'llah--Prophet-founder of the Baha'i Faith--is speaking to humanity in the voice of God, the voice of the Holy Spirit. He emphasizes the reason for humanity's creation and how we can feel God's love in our hearts and lives.
Jamal (Beauty), 14 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Sunday, September 20, 2020
"He is God! Thou seest us, O my God, gathered around this table, praising Thy bounty, with our gaze set upon Thy Kingdom. O Lord! Send down upon us Thy heavenly food and confer upon us Thy blessing. Thou art verily the Bestower, the Merciful, the Compassionate."
Sunday the first day of the week on the Gregorian calendar. On the Baha'i calendar it is Jamal, the day of Beauty. It is church day for some, and, for others, it just another work day or a day off from work or school. For me, today is a day of memories. Memories of growing up in Blackwell, Oklahoma, and attending Sunday services at the First Southern Baptist Mission in the Smelter Heights. My family also attended the First Southern Baptist church in downtown Blackwell, and when we moved to Shawnee, Oklahoma, we attended the Baptist church there. However, it's memories of attending the Mission in the Smelter Heights that are the clearest.
My Grandparents lived in the Heights, so on the weekends and in summer my siblings and I stayed at their home. We went to the Mission on Sundays and for Vacation Bible School in summer. Every Sunday, after church, we would have dinner (our biggest meal of the day) and Grandpa would say grace at the table. When Grandpa said grace he used his own words.
After Grandpa died, I got out of the habit of saying grace at the table. When I attempted to get back into the habit, I used my own words. However, my own words didn't seem adequate and always sounded selfish. Now I use the prayer revealed by 'Abdu'l-Baha, because, I feel, they adequate and don't sound selfish.
Jalal (Glory), 13 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Saturday, September 19, 2020
Day 2864: "My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent." Ruth Bader Ginsburg Let that or another Ruth Bader Ginsburg inspire your blog entry today.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Say a prayer for R.B.G.
to help her soul advance
in the world of the spirit.
Prayer for Ruth Bader Ginsburg
We are all sinners!
Forgive our sins
and the sins of those
who have ascended into the spiritual realm.
assist Ruth Bader Ginsburg
to continue inspiring us
to work for gender equality.
Istiqlal (Independence), 12 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Friday, September 18, 2020
On Friday September 18, 2020
On Friday, September 18, 2020
I contemplate the entries
I made to "Snow's Space Blog" ,
"I Blog Poetry and Prose" ,
"Writing in Snow" ,
and the decision I made
to enter the "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge" .
I breath a sigh of relief,
because the outpatient surgery
I had yesterday
and all I have to do
for my NANOWRIMO book
Letters From My Soul
is keep note on ideas
and create the book.
Idal (Majesty), 10 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Wednesday, September 16, 2020
"O my God, my Lord and my Master! I have detached myself from my kindred and have sought through Thee to become independent of all that dwell on earth and ever ready to receive that which is praiseworthy in Thy sight. Bestow on me such good as will make me independent of aught else but Thee, and grant me an ampler share of Thy boundless favors. Verily, Thou art the Lord of grace abounding."
NANO Rebel Notes for
Letters From My Soul
Collection with 100 maximum entries.
Who are the letters addressed to?
Are there other people I want to address any of the letters to?
This may have to be answered during October or November.
What are the topics of the letters?
Other topics will come up as I think about this.
"October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge"
Fidal (Grace), 9 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Tuesday, September 15, 2020
DAY 2235t: Isaac Asimov says, “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”
Is Asimov right? Is society falling behind? What do you think?
One of the saddest aspects of life is that science and religion are considered enemies. Both science and religion are gifts from God, the All-Glorious Creator, and were never intended to be enemies. One of the basic principles revealed by Baha'u'llah, Prophet Founder of the Baha'i Faith, and enunciated by 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's son, was the harmony of science and religion. Both religion and science are necessary for civilization and humanity to prosper.
"Religion and Science are inter-twined with each other and cannot be separated. These are the two wings with which humanity must fly. One wing is not enough. Every religion which does not concern itself with Science is mere tradition, and that is not the essential. Therefore science, education and civilization are most important necessities for the full religious life."
Kamal (Perfection), 8 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Monday, September 14, 2020
I have decided to become a NaNo Rebel! I tried this once before with a bit of success, I wrote several memories and poems. I'm not sure I liked what I wrote because I didn't plan what I was writing. Sometimes I succeed when I plan and sometime I succeed when I don't plan. This time I'm going to plan a little more carefully than I did before. I'm sure with prayer and planning I can succeed. In addition to planning, I'm going to begin each writing session with prayer.
"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord."
NANO Rebel Notes for
Letters From My Soul
50,000 words in 30 days
1,667-2,000 words per day
Letter written to one of five or one of ten recipients.
Who are the letters addressed to?
What are the topics of the letters?
Do I need an introduction and an epilogue?
Each chapter addressed to a different one of the chosen recipients.
Should I join "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge" and attempt to apply the exercises to the letters?
What is the theme or premise?
This is all I have for now. I'll update this in later blog entries if anything else comes to mind. I have about 16 days to decided whether or not to join "October NaNoWriMo Prep Challenge" . I have about 47 days until NANOWRIMO begins.
Jamal (Beauty), 7 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Sunday, September 13, 2020
"All glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on High, were heard calling aloud: "Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.”"
The tidings descend from Mount Carmel:
Oh, People of Earth rejoice!
Declare the joyful tidings,
A new vision of unity--
You are the fruits of one tree--
Shout the news to humanity.
Behold the new Jerusalem
Lighting the crest of Mount Carmel
Expressing God's love for His creation--
Sing out all creation,,
Sing out Concourse on High--
Intone your gratitude to the All-Glorious Lord
Now is the time of justice and unity,
Great is the blessedness of this day.
Jalal (Glory), 6 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Saturday, September 12, 2020
I just finished reading Why We Should Memorize the Verses of God by Jennifer Boles, and it brought back memories of memorizing verses from the Holy Bible. In the summer, we attended Vacation Bible School at the First Southern Baptist Mission. The Mission (as we called it) was located in the city of Blackwell, Oklahoma, in the Smelter Heights. Two of the verse, I memorized was Psalms 23 and the Lord's Prayer. After becoming a Baha'i one of the first verses I memorized was Baha'u'llah's introduction to The Hidden Words, which I can still repeat from memory.
"He Is the Glory of Glories
This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of divine virtue."
My method of memorizing the verses of The Hidden Words is to begin, at night before I go to sleep, with a prayer revealed by either The Bab, Baha'u'llah, or 'Abdu'l-Baha. Next I read, aloud, the verse I'm memorizing over several time, and attempt to repeat it by memory several times. If I can repeat it by memory, I repeat the verse I memorized before it. Once I can repeat those several time I go on the the next verse. Sometimes I go to sleep before I finish repeating the verses. Once I have the verses memorized (I know I have them memorized with I can repeat the silently without a mistake), I go on to the next verse.
Istijlal (Majesty), 4 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Thursday, September 10, 2020
Sharing a poem I wrote several years ago.
We ask questions all the time:
Who, what, when, where, where, why, and how.
The answers come in various forms,
though they are often not what we want
Are the questions
we ask God and ourselves
meant to elicit the answers we want
or the answers we need.
I find myself asking, "What am I doing wrong?"
Doesn't this suggest that I expect
to take the incorrect action?
On the other hand,
if I rephrase the question
it becomes "What am I doing right?"
Now I'm preparing my eyes to see reality.
God put within me,
a s park of divine light.
Rephrasing a question refocuses it
on either the positive or the negative.
It lets us see both what needs fixing
and what is well done.
God loves the individual and humanity,
has a plan for each person
and for civilization:
There is always something the individual is doing right.
Idal (Grace), 3 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The Feast of Izzat (Might) was held online via a Zoom meeting. There are some differences between online Feast and those held in the Baha'i Center. The devotional portions, between online and offline feast, are similar in both cases, reading from the Baha'i Scriptures and music videos. The consultation portions are similar because we can interact with each other through audio and video, but the social portions are different. During the online social portion we can see each other and talk to each other, however, refreshments aren't served. With the online Feast service, you can still feel the presence of the Holy Spirit because the sacred writing are read.
"I adjure Thee by Thy might, O my God! Let no harm beset me in times of tests, and in moments of heedlessness guide my steps aright through Thine inspiration. Thou art God, potent art Thou to do what Thou desirest. No one can withstand Thy Will or thwart Thy Purpose."
These are indeed times of test for every believer, no matter what religion they follow. In these times we must find comfort and support for others who believe in God. If we have to go online and have spiritual or devotional services to do it, we must find a way to go online. If we need to have devotional services in our homes with only those who live with us or in our neighborhood, we must find a way to do it. Spiritual services and talking to other believers helps fight depression and invigorates our souls. Once our souls are invigorated, the Holy Spirit can enter our lives and work miracles om our homes and our neighborhoods.
Kamal (Perfectopm), 1 Izzat (Might) 177 B.E. - Monday, September 7, 2020
Feast of Might and Labor Day 2020
"Glory to Thee, O my God! But for the tribulations which are sustained in Thy path, how could Thy true lovers be recognized; and were it not for the trials which are borne for love of Thee, how could the station of such as yearn for Thee be revealed? Thy might beareth me witness! The companions of all who adore Thee are the tears they shed, and the comforters of such as seek Thee are the groans they utter, and the food of them who haste to meet Thee is the fragments of their broken hearts."
God's Ocean of Might
The Lord of Humanity
Is God's Manifestation
The tears shed by God's lovers
Are their companions
The groans uttered by
the Seekers their comforters
Food of the faithful
Their own hearts' fragments
Istiqlal (Independence), 17 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Friday, September 4, 2020
DAY 2849: "The words with which a child’s heart is poisoned, whether through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul.” ― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Do you agree or disagree? Did something happen as a child that influenced your actions as an adult?
I have lots of issues from words and events that occurred during my childhood. Some of the words were said out of ignorance of what they would do to me. Some of them was the results of bullying. Some occurred because the people who should have protected me didn't. In the past, I attempted to write blog entries or poem about those incidents, or just push them to the back of my mind while attempting to get on with my life.
Writing about those issues helped me deal with them, to a certain extent. Pushing them to the back of my mind, just caused them to popup later and throw me into a loop of depression. Now, at 73, I have decided that the best way to deal with them, when they raise their ugly heads, is through prayer and meditation. Afterwards, if my intuition suggests that I write about them, I write something about them. Almost every human being in the world today has crap leftover from their childhood that they have to deal with directly, indirectly, or let fester in their subconscious mind until it explodes.
and let God
Istijlal (Majesty), 16 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Thursday, September 3, 2020
"God is pure perfection and the creation is absolute imperfection. For God to descend into the degrees of existence would be the greatest of imperfections; rather, His manifestation, dawning, and effulgence are even as the appearance of the sun in a clear, bright, and polished mirror."
Today I give thanks
Today I give thanks
for The Bab,
and for Baha'u'llah.
Fidal (Grace), 14 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Tuesday, September 1, 2020
DAY 2231: Tommy Orange says in There There, “Numbers are consistent. You can count on them.”
What do you think of number 20, the now-age of WdC?
Twenty is a beautiful number--
Happy 20th Birthday, Writing.com!
You have left your teenage years
and entered your young adulthood,
in which your creativity,
Kamal (Perfection), 13 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Monday, August 31, 2020
Day 2845: Let this quote inspire your blog entry today: "There are other worlds than these." ~ Stephen King
Life on Other Planets
I know there are other planets orbiting other stars, and each planet has its own life forms. I know this because God, through His latest Holy Manifestation, has told us this. In Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 163 Baha'u'llah says "Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute."2223 The reason the earlier Manifestations of God--such as His Holiness Christ--didn't give this information was because humanity wasn't mature enough to comprehend it.
Atoms of novas disperse
across the interstellar medium to merge
with clouds of dust and gas.
in which stars condense and planet grow--
give birth to systems
prepared to nurture sentient life:
bodies that house nescient souls.
What creatures are these
that risen from the primal ooze
stand awestruck at the sight
of multicolored flickering lights
spread across the firmament?
Neither gods nor beast--
but having attributes of both--
at death their bodies will return to atoms of the dust,
while their souls ascent into the worlds of God.
Jamal (Beauty), 12 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Sunday, August 30, 2020
"Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble."
Each Holy Manifestation
is a human being
who reflects the perfections
of divinity to humanity.
Each Divine Manifestation,
or Holy Prophet,
speaks in metaphors
to assist ordinary human beings
in their comprehension
of the Divine Essence.
Jalal (Glory), 11 Asma (Names) 177 B.E. - Saturday, August 29, 2020
DAY 2231: August is almost over and September is almost upon us, what are your plans? Are you participating in this years 20th anniversary celebration here on WDC? Or are you working on something special in your life? New goals?
What are my plans for September? I plan to celebrate WDC's 20th anniversary by participating in the contests. I don't know how many of the contests I'll enter, I will attempt to enter more than I have been. I have other things I want to finish before the end of 2020, which I will focus on after September is over. Right now, I just want to enjoy WDC's birthday celebration and get out of the yo-yo depression I'm experiencing at to moment. I'm slowly getting my focus back. I hope to have it back completely by the end of the month.
Meditation on the Long Healing Prayer
"He is the Healer, the Sufficer, the Helper, the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful."24
I meditate the Names of God,
that Baha'u'llah inscribed in the verses
of the Long Healing prayer.
Since this is the beginning of a new week (for me), I decided to do something a little different. I listened to an hour's presentation about the relationship of the Long Healing prayer--revealed by Baha'u'llah--and the metaphysics of unity. That helped me to refocus my attention and inspired the above poem. Therefore, when I feel my focus going, I will listen to one of the prayers that I can access on YouTube or read one or more from my prayer book or the app on my phone.