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We Have A Winner!

A big CONGRATULATIONS to Janet, the winner of Baha’i Blog’s 1000 Facebook Followers Giveaway!

(The winner for this competition was picked using the Random Number Generator on www.random.org)

Janet is the winner of some awesome albums from Andy Grammer, Luke Slott, Tahereh Etehad and MANA. (Janet, we’ll be in touch shortly with more information on how to collect your prize!)

Thanks to everyone else for all the comments, “Like”s and for sharing the link with your friends. We’ve really appreciated all the kind words of support and encouragement, as well as the useful feedback, which we’ve been getting from so many readers over the past week!

We wish we could give prizes to everyone who commented and responded, but stay tuned for more exciting developments and giveaways over the next few months.

Baha’i Blog was started as an online resource for Baha’is and friends of the Faith, as well as to support Baha’i blogging efforts. We’ve come a long way in just six months thanks to the support and encouragement of our readers and contributors.

Please remember to share your thoughts with us in the comments and “Like” our articles if, well… you like them! Our writers work tirelessly and a little interaction, encouragement and support is always tremendously appreciated!

Also, do remember to share the blog and its articles with your friends and encourage them to follow us on Baha’i Blog’s Facebook page for regular updates, or sign up to our Mailing List. The more readers we have, the more effective Baha’i Blog is as a tool for connecting Baha’is from all over the world and for acting as a one-stop resource for all things Baha’i. It’s as simple as that!

Once again, a HUGE thanks for the fantastic response and constant support. Stay tuned for more!

Paris Talks: A Hundred Years On

A view from Avenue de Camoens where Abdu'l-Baha delivered many talks. (photo: Michael Day)

One hundred years ago this month, Abdu’l-Baha was speaking up on behalf of the victims of conflict in Libya and offering solutions to the scourge of war.

We who are witnessing a civil war in the same country exactly a century later can read what he said at that time. His words are published in one of the most beloved of Baha’i books, Paris Talks, which contains transcripts of talks delivered between October and December 1911, as well as some later addresses in London.

Many readers are likely to have an uncanny experience of the “history repeats itself” variety.

“The news of the Battle of the Benghazi grieves my heart,” Abdu’l-Baha said in a talk he gave to an audience in Paris on October 21, 1911.

That battle was part of the 1911-12 Italo-Turkish war which claimed 25,000 lives in  what is now modern day Libya.

 

Abdu’l-Baha spoke about the pointlessness of the fighting, a feeling many of us no doubt share today concerning the present conflict.

“The highest of created being fighting to obtain the lowest form of matter, earth?” he said. Continue reading

Our 1,000 Facebook Fans Giveaway!

Baha’i Blog now has 1,000 fans on Facebook! We’d like to thank our amazing readers for their support and so we’re celebrating this milestone with some awesome music give-aways.

The Facebook Page is a great way to keep up-to-date with the latest Baha’i Blog posts. In addition, we also link to news articles, events and other happenings of interest to Baha’is around the world at least once every 24 hours!

All you have to do is “Like” the page to receive all our updates!

And if you’re not a Facebook user, just sign up to our mailing list and you’ll receive an email every time we post a new Baha’i Blog article. It’s that simple!

 

Want to win four awesome Baha’i CDs? Keep reading…

Continue reading

New Songs Available for Ruhi Book 3, Grade 1 & 2

The Ruhi Institute has made available for download, recordings of the songs contained in the new lesson plans for Grades 1 and 2 of the Teaching Children’s Class book.

These songs can be downloaded for free, and you can also download a page which contains both the lyrics and the chords for each song – so that’s pretty cool!

These materials can be used in both children’s classes and other educational activities, and The Ruhi Institute also permits the songs to be translated and recorded into various languages, provided that no recording be sold or used for commercial purposes in any way.

You can access the songs here: http://www.ruhi.org/resources/songs.php

4 Ways to Achieve Prayerfulness

Image by shioshvili (Flickr)

When I first became a Baha’i, the concept of obligatory prayer was new to me. I went from only saying prayers when I needed divine intervention to rescue me from impending academic doom (i.e. every semester, during exam period) to trying to fulfil the various spiritual obligations for a Baha’i life. Obligatory prayer, 95 Allah’u’Abhas, reading from the scriptures at morning and night, remembering to bring myself to account each day – talk about a spiritual regime! For an undisciplined soul like mine, it felt like spiritual boot camp!

Nearly two years later, I still find myself struggling – particularly with obligatory prayer.

Continue reading

Six Months of Baha’i Blog: Your Favourite Posts Are….

Having just passed the six-month milestone just days ago, we’ve decided that it’s time for another round-up of Baha’i Blog’s top 10 posts in the past three months! Before we get around to your favourite posts so far, here are some interesting stats of where we’re at.

As of now, we have:

  • 43,195 pageviews to date
  • 970 followers on Facebook (and we’re gonna be doing something pretty cool when we hit 1000 – stay tuned to find out more!)
  • readers from 171 countries out of the world’s 196 (up from 129 countries just three months ago)!

The top 10 posts on Baha’i Blog based on our stats were….

Continue reading

5 Unique Baha’i Apps for Android

5 Unique Bahai Apps for AndroidSome time back, we published a post about 5 Unique Apps for the iPhone. For all the Android users among our readers – we haven’t forgotten about you! There are a number of really cool Baha’i apps for Android out there as well!

Here are 5 great Baha’i apps for the Android users out there. They’re all incredibly useful and, even better, free! Be sure to grab a copy and support our community of awesome Baha’i app developers.

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5 Year Plan Talks by Tom Price

Baha’i music composer Tom Price recently gave a series of three talks about the Five Year Plan at the Tennessee Baha’i School. With his permission, Baha’i Blog is pleased to share with you the talks to stream from our site or to download – and best of all, it’s completely free!

The study of the 5 Year Plan is something we’ve all been encouraged to do, and we hope these talks will help you with this. We know that anyone who has ever heard Tom Price speak will be frantically clicking away at the download buttons, and for those of you who have yet to tune in to one of Tom’s talks, you’re in for a treat!

We hope you enjoy the talks and please let us know what you think in the comments section and feel free to share this post with your friends.

Happy Listening! Continue reading

Create in Me a Pure Heart: An Interview with Luke Slott

Create in Me a Pure Heart, Luke Slott

The “Create in me a pure heart” prayer by Baha’u’llah has long been one of my favourite prayers for spiritual growth. Whenever I read this prayer, my mind is drawn to the beauty of its imagery, and regardless of how I was feeling when I began reading the prayer, I begin to feel a profound tranquility.

Luke Slott’s beautiful musical rendition of this prayer is befitting and always reminds me of one of my favourite lines from the prayer: “Let Thine everlasting melodies breathe tranquility on me”.  So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Luke’s rendition of Create in Me a Pure Heart is merely part of a larger project: an album of devotional music! (Not to mention the beautiful album artwork by Shirin Sahba!)

I decided to catch up with Luke to find out more about his devotional album, his future plans, as well as his thoughts on being a Baha’i musician.

Baha’i Blog: So tell us a bit more about yourself and how you started making music.

When I was 12 years old, my father, who was a jazz trumpet player, gave me a gift of one of his trumpets and started giving me lessons. After about a year of teaching me at home, my dad insisted that I get a classical music education at an established institute. So I enrolled for trumpet lessons at the College of Music & Drama in Dublin. Around the same time, I started taking piano lessons at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and guitar lessons with a local teacher. In my teens, I started writing songs and for a few years I played in a rock band with some school friends. Continue reading

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