Welcome to the Month of Light 172
In this issue – The Fund
An Introduction to the Baha’i Funds – Slide Presentation with Transcript
Fund Education – Slide Presentation with Transcript
The Bahá’í Fund – Lifeblood of the Cause
The Bahá’í Fund Song with music, chords and lyrics, by Jim Styan
‘Abdu’l-Baha and Sacrificial Donations to the Fund
All the Bahá’ís in Iran loved and respected Haji Amin, and many wonderful stories are told about his sincerity and devotion. Once, when he was about to set off for the Holy Land, a very poor woman gave him a small coin to take with him. Haji Amin thanked her and put it in his pocket. As soon as he arrived at the home of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, he presented to Him the donations he had collected, as he always did. The Master would usually thank him and praise him for his untiring labours. Haji Amin’s integrity was not to be questioned, and he had never made a mistake in his calculations. Indeed, it was not difficult for him to keep his accounts as he never had any money of his own. This time, however, to his utter astonishment, when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was presented with the money, He looked at Haji Amin kindly and said something was missing from the amount. Haji Amin left the Master’s presences with much sadness, unable to understand what could have happened. He went to his room in tears and prostrated himself in prayer. As he did so, he felt a hard piece of metal under his knee. It was the small coin the poor woman had given him to take to the Holy Land as he was leaving. The coin had slipped through a hole in his pocket into the lining of his long coat. Haji Amin immediately took the coin and went to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Master showered His praises on him . He kissed the coin and said this was worth more than all the other donations because it had been given with the greatest sacrifice.
(Gloria Faizi, Stories about Bahá’í Funds, p. 47-48)
“Then there’s the story of the man who learned about the Baha’i Faith and considered the principles so admirable that… he made a substantial donation, only to have it returned to him with a note saying that only Baha’is may contribute to the Baha’i funds. So, he became a Baha’i!” (What’s in it For Me – Personal Stories)
For the Fund
All the friends of God … should contribute to the extent possible, however modest their offering may be. God doth not burden a soul beyond its capacity. Such contributions must come from all centers and all believers. … O Friends of God! Be ye assured that in place of these contributions, your agriculture, your industry, and your commerce will be blessed by manifold increases, with goodly gifts and bestowals. He who cometh with one goodly deed will receive a tenfold reward. There is no doubt that the living Lord will abundantly confirm those who expend their wealth in His path.
O God, my God! Illumine the brows of Thy true lovers, and support them with angelic hosts of certain triumph. Set firm their feet on Thy straight path, and out of Thine ancient bounty open before them the portals of Thy blessings; for they are expending on Thy pathway what Thou hast bestowed upon them, safeguarding Thy Faith, putting their trust in their remembrance of Thee, offering up their hearts for love of Thee, and withholding not what they possess in adoration for Thy Beauty and in their search for ways to please Thee. O my Lord! Ordain for them a plenteous share, a destined recompense and sure reward. Verily, Thou art the Sustainer, the Helper, the Generous, the Bountiful, the Ever-Bestowing. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 83)
Serving the Faith and Humanity through the Baha’i Fund – a thought-provoking video that contrasts the material use of money vs. the spiritual. It looks at where individuals and society spends their money; and compares it with the way Bahá’ís spend their money. It’s well worth the 22 minutes it takes to watch it. You’ll want to show it to your communities; and your friends!
Another series that could easily be shown to the community is a series of films made in the fall of 2005, when members at the Treasurer’s Office at the Bahá’i National Centre in the United States, approached several young film-makers and asked them to produce a short film about young people and their relationship to contributing to the funds of the Bahá’i Faith. In the following series of videos, we see the results of that collaboration. The series takes about 35 minutes; so it would be a perfect presentation at Feast!
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 1
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 1.5
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 2
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 3
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 4
Lifeblood: Young Baha’is and the Fund Intro part 5
Stories about Bahá’í Funds by Gloria Faizi is a collection of poignant, humorous, inspiring and touching stories of the sacrificial donations of believers from around the world. These accounts will help you connect with the hearts and minds of those who are embodiments of faith and sacrifice as they contribute to the life-blood of the Bahá’i Faith.
I love this little book; and often read stories from it to inspire the friends at the Feast; as part of a Fund Education program.
The Feelings of L-B-F by Heidi Lakshman. This high quality book introduces young Bahá’í children to “The Feelings of L-B-F a young “Local Bahá’í Fund” which is depicted as a smiling heart with a lot of personality. The needs of the fund are explained in a very personal way from the perspective of the Fund itself. It laughs, it cries, it goes hungry, and it wants to be treated like a member of your family!
The straight-forward educational message about the importance of giving to the Fund is buffered by the engaging pictures which can be colored by the children after you read them the story. An activity in the back encourages monthly awareness of the need to pray and contribute, and helps in memorizing the names of Bahá’í Months.
You’ll want to get one for every young member of your community and see what happens. You may discover that your children come to understand the fund better than the adults!
On a personal note, I love to promote this book, because it was written by one of my heroes and a former member of our cluster. Heidi, like Stephen Hawking, has lived with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) for over 20 years. She contracted the disease while serving at the Bahá’í World Centre, and was asked by the House of Justice to return to Canada for medical treatment. Instead of going to a large city, where she would have easy access to the best doctors, she chose to pioneer to several small towns in Ontario, where she could best serve the needs of the Faith.
Her illness has left her without the use of her arms; and although she’s been able to live in her own apartment, she relies on home-health care aids to help with absolutely everything. Despite all that, I’ve never heard her complain!
She wrote this book, as well as New Heaven, New Earth, (which I had the bounty and privilege of helping to edit) and several other books, by positioning her body in such a way that her fingers could press down on the keys of her laptop, one painstaking letter at a time.
She once told me two things that really stuck with me:
- We must really need patience in the next world, because we receive more tests that require it in this world. Surely her patience has been tested more than most people’s!
- I must have contracted this disease and lived with it so long so that I could write these books, as I never would have had the time to work on them before. Indeed, most people with ALS only live 2-5 years from the time of diagnosis and only about 5 percent of people with ALS live longer than 10 years.
I hope you’ll give it a read; and pass it on to all the children and grandchildren in your life!
Julie Walker is an intuitive with a specialty in medical issues. You can ask all types of questions about health and wellbeing, but also anything that is on your mind about your life, family, or work. She can help discover what is going on in your body, even when the doctors are baffled. It’s vital to prepare ahead of time by writing down clear questions that you have about your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. She stays very booked, so it often takes weeks to get an appointment. If you have an urgent need, be sure to communicate that when you contact Karen and request to be fit into any cancellation that happens. To make an appt, call her assistant Karen Bermann-Mazibuko, 773-517-4637, or email kbermannmazibuko@ gmail.com. You may want a bit of rest and reflection time right after the appointment, so try not to schedule your life too tightly up against it.
Bahá’í Writings As Art
Glenn Franco Simmons says: “Photography is my passion; flower photography is my art”; and both things are absolutely evident on his site. Glenn’s business, Bahá’í Writings As Art, showcases this beautifully!
Although his site features many incredible pictures of backroads, butterflies, California coast, collector cars, museums, flowers, flower blossoms and much more, my favorite parts of his site include his “Faith” series, with quotes from the different religions, most including beautiful flower pictures:
He also provides commercial products that include cards, posters, mural and canvas art, as well numerous other commercial products that include cups, mugs, mouse pads and more.
While all of his photos are free to download for noncommercial use, he also appreciates your support if you can. Those of us, like myself, who make our materials available online incur huge financial outlays to do so, so anything you can contribute would be welcomed.
You can also contact him for commercial licensing.
Our Readers Write:
Susan – I know who \”nothintosee\” is – since he was in diapers! I don\’t know if he wants to remain anonymous or not. If you want to contact him, let me know and I will forward that request to him. (Anja)
While I did contact Anja I haven’t heard back from her yet, to “nothintosee” still remains incognito!
Being a new but devoted fan of your work, I am unsure as to which artists you have showcased so forgive me. Have you featured JB Eckl and Eric Dozier either together as Moanin’ Sons or individually? Thank you for all your service to our Beloved! (Carol Campbell)
Previous editions of the newsletter have featured:
- Nabil Moghaddam
- Luke Slott
- Bryan Weber
- Amir Haghighi and Amy Stephen
- MJ Cyr
- Afshin Toufighian
- Ali Youssefi
- Smith & Dragoman
- Roxanne Andrighetti
- Laurie Early
- Bahareh Khademi
- Jim Styan
- James Mohajer
- Karim Rushdy and Arlen Yanch
- Shadi Toloui-Wallace
- Kristine H
- Paul Lample
- Dapper Rappers
- Nothin’ To See
I’ve posted previous editions of the newsletters at my website
As you can see, I haven’t featured JB Eckl or Eric Dozier yet, so I thank you for the suggestions! I’ve long been a fan of their work, and they’re both in my YouTube playlist (but I hadn’t heard of them playing together as Moanin’Sons till now). It’s a great suggestion, and I’ve added them to my suggested musicians for upcoming editions! Stay tuned!
Thanks to all who write in! Your encouragement really keeps me going!
By the way, like Glenn, I too, accept donations! If you like the materials in these newsletters and on my website, please consider making a donation. Your help and feedback is GREATLY appreciated, to defray the costs of making these available to you!!! There’s a PayPal “Donate” Button at the bottom of every page on my website. Thank you!!!