31 March 2009

Contact Info Changed

Just a quick note to say that we've deleted the toll-free number that is mentioned in all our podcasts, and changed the email address to info@emeraldcoastbahais.org.

Thanks for listening,

Sandy and Ron

05 October 2007

Anna's Presentation

"Anna's Presentation" is an introduction to the Bahá'í Faith that is part of Book 6 of the Ruhi sequence. In the book it is a conversation between two teen-aged girls, Anna who is a Bahá'í and Emilia, a friend of Anna's who has asked to learn more about the religion.

Actually the presentation was developed over many years by adults who consulted about the essential facts that people should be familiar with.

The audio is 40 minutes long. You're welcome to put it on a CD or an iPod and listen to it over and over. That's actually why Sandy and I recorded it--so we could listen enough times that we'd start to remember it.

If you're not yet a Bahá'í, we hope you'll contact the Bahá'ís in your area and ask about the "Study Circles," Devotional Meetings, and Children's Classes in your area.

The quickest way to find the Bahá'ís is to look in your local phone book, or if you're in the USA, call 800-22-UNITE. There are 6 million Bahá'ís around the world in 185 national organizations. There are over 12,000 local Bahá'í communities. You're probably in one of them.

Thanks for listening,

Sandy and Ron

22 December 2006

The Emancipation of Women

This speech by Layli Miller-Muro, the executive director of the Tahirih Justice Center, portrays the problems of women around the world. The reality is that women and men are equal in spiritual and mental capacities--and this reality is not accurately represented in the cultures of the world. This fundamental reality is distorted by cultures that value men over women, that educate men before women, that disregard women completely in some cases and treat them as property. If we want world peace, we must work for the full equality of women.

The Universal House of Justice wrote in 1985:
"The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world's population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavour will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge."

The Baha'i Writings say:
"And among the teachings of His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings -- one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be." --
(Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section, p. 288)

I was listening to a talk somewhere--I don't remember the source--a women was saying, "Boys, if you don't understand the equality of women and men, ask your mother; she'll explain it to you!"

Thanks for listening,


18 December 2006

Baha'u'llah in The Bible

Brian Whitcomb talks about the verses in the Bible that relate to Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith. This is actually two separate talks that Brian gave, each about 20 minutes long.

This is the first of several podcasts that will be taken from talks on www.BahaiVideo.com--a really great site with people giving formal talks and short impressions about the Faith. There is also a section where some of Baha'u'llah's Writings have been combined with nice photographs of our Holy Places. The video files are a bit large so one of my listeners in the beautiful Malaysian state of Sabah asked that I convert some of them to podcasts so people without large bandwidth could enjoy the talks.

I apologize that I can't give specific Bible references to the verses that Brian talks about; he mentions some specifics in his talk but for some he only mentions to the Book in the Bible and omits chapter and verse.

I hope you're moved to explore this question on your own. You can find many of the verses here. Others are found on the Prophecy-fulfilled site.

This topic seems to be one of great interest to our listeners. Joel Smith's series of podcasts about the Bible, recorded earlier in this series, are still among the most listened to of all our podcasts. So if you have some question that is not resolved by Joel's talks or by Brian's talk, please email me or send a voice mail and I'll try to get an answer for you.

Thanks for listening,


29 November 2006

The Challenge of the Baha'i Faith

A friend sent me a paper called, The Challenge of the Baha'i Faith, which was a section of a doctoral dissertation written in 1974. The author is not a Baha'i. He lists several reasons why Christians have been studying this religion for the last 150 years and why they should still study it.

I found another paper on the Bahai.org website entitled, For The Student of Religion, which covers similar ground from a different angle.

Both of these papers assume that you are comfortable in Christianity and offer no reasons why you should change--just that you should be familiar with a religion that supports Christianity, has many similarities to it, and seeks to bring the religions together in a true ecumenical spirit.

Why am I doing this blog and creating these podcasts? If you are not yet a Baha'i, I don't want you to change your religion. I really don't. We're not about changing people. But if you aren't settled into a religion, it's just possible that we are the religion you're looking for--that your beliefs and goals are aligned with ours. Maybe you've been wandering from religion to religion always feeling a little different from the people you meet. Most Baha'is will tell you that they've always believed what Baha'u'llah taught; they just didn't know there was a religion that shared their beliefs.

We want to find those people. Maybe you, or maybe someone you know.

Let me hear from you,


26 November 2006

A Few Baha'i Writings

We had a request from a listener in Philadelphia to include some of Baha'u'llah's Writings in a podcast. It was really hard to select a few from so many. Baha'u'llah wrote over 100 volumes of which we have perhaps ten translated into English. We chose just a few favorite prayers and some of The Hidden Words to give a sense of the power of the Words of God. I'm sure that other Baha'is would have chosen other examples to read. Please go to www.Bahai.org and read the Writings for yourself. Or go to your library, or BahaiBookstore.com and buy yourself a copy. If you're not sure what book to buy, send us an email and let us know what you're interested in. We'll be happy to help.

Some of you might like to read some of the Writings that we quoted in this podcasts. If so, here's the PDF file of the script.

This podcast and all our other podcasts are just to get you interested to the point that you'll read the Writings on your own. If you're looking for religious truth, you will find it in the Baha'i Writings, but I can't tell you what religious truth is, you have to read it for yourself.

Baha'u'llah's Writings are unique in religious scripture because God is speaking in the first person. He says, "I created thee rich . . . " rather than the third person as in "God created you rich . . . " So it takes some getting used to.

Thanks for listening,

Sandy and Ron

18 November 2006

What we lost and found

Sandy and Ron, and three of our Emerald Coast Baha'is, talk about the things that Christians give up when they become Baha'is. This was a result of a question from one of our listeners. We felt that it was a fair question. The biggest fear for Christians is that somehow they are turning their back on Jesus Christ. I think it's fair to say that each Christian who becomes a Baha'i feels their relationship with Jesus is illuminated and expanded, but there are things we give up--or many of us give up--depending on who we are as a Christian.

Some of the speakers mentioned the book, Thief in the Night, by William Sears. This is an excellent book for people who are interesting in Christian prophecy. The book has a few errors since Mr. Sears used some secondary sources that weren't verified with the original texts. But overall it presents a good overview of the many, many prophecies.

Please let us hear from you if you have specific questions about the Baha'i life.

Remember that we're just Baha'is talking about our own ideas--these podcasts aren't the official position of the Baha'i Faith.

Thanks so much for listening.

Sandy and Ron