Sacrifice

Aug 2014
1,362
Blue Planet
#11
The above link I posted also has a link with many Baha'i Stories, I hope you can get this link as it has many many good stories - Bahá’à Stories

The new Movie the Gate has just been made. It is a documentary type film for 1hr duration. It was good quality and filming. Unfortunately it would not be available for you to watch - https://thegatefilm.com/

I have to watch it again, as it was not what I expected and it left me wanting more story told.

Yes we could do with a great production, even if it was about one of the followers as to get around the issue of not portraying the Messenger of God.

Stay happy and well maryamr, Regards Tony
thank you Tony,
I just opened the site with many stories and it is amazing. I have also watched the movie "The Gate" a few months ago. it was not bad, but in fact we need really more than that. of course the faith is still young, but I hope we can witness more movies, songs and even paintings around the faith.
 
Jul 2018
62
Tarshish, bound for Nineveh
#12
A very important aspect in the faith, is purity of intentions:

"Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind, and were he to worship God in the forests, valleys, and mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his worship—yet, should the fragrance of My good pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would never be acceptable unto God." Kitab-i-Aqdas, v. 36

So a "good deed" such as helping someone with a complaint in one's heart, is not a good deed at all, at least in the sight of God. This leads to two alternatives, in my opinion, that we must decided between for ourselves.

1. Do not do a good deed at all, if we cannot do so with a sincere desire to do it and only for the pleasure of God, expecting no reward or acknowledgement but only as an act of love.

2. Even knowing that our impure intentions render our good deeds unacceptable to God, do it anyway, with the intent of one day having a pure intention for something that we cannot do sincerely in the moment. Perhaps practice makes perfect and one day we might attain good intentions in greater number and in more things.

I personally vacillate between these two things. For example, consider the requirements and words of the long obligatory prayer. There is a requisite condition stated before reciting, and there are some powerful and lofty words that I admit in all honesty often do not agree with my inward condition and it makes me feel...unworthy or perhaps insincere to say parts of it at certain times of my life. So I do it anyway, hoping that with practice my inner state, outward action and the words of the prayer will someday coincide perfectly and that it will become acceptable.

I know sometimes I don't want to help people. I make excuses not to. But I think I should try and overcome such thinking. If helping and serving is a blessing, as our writings say, then I am never harming myself to do so, while laziness is not really a virtue. We can always think about what true help means, however, since, enabling someone to not grow or to not become self-sufficient and learn the value of service and experience the bounties of becoming a helper themselves, is in reality not an assistance to anyone. But perhaps sometimes a man must be given a fish, when he is starving, before he will have the strength and capacity of mind to learn to fish.

Cheers
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#13
Through experience. It takes about a thousand years, but then you're a real expert.

gnat
You are soooo funny.... but thanks, I needed that tonight!
In a thousand years I might learn not to post back to a certain atheist I have been posting to for over three years.... but I keep saying "what if?" and "it is in the Hands of God." :rolleyes:
 
Sep 2010
4,437
Normanton Far North Queensland
#14
You are soooo funny.... but thanks, I needed that tonight!
In a thousand years I might learn not to post back to a certain atheist I have been posting to for over three years.... but I keep saying "what if?" and "it is in the Hands of God." :rolleyes:

Ha ha, I got kicked out of that Forum and am a pussy cat compared to a tiger, when it comes to your posts ;) That in itself says something!

What it says I do not know....he he.

Regards Tony
 
Jul 2017
341
Olympia, WA, USA
#15
In my view, even in helping others, we must consider things logically, to see if we are really the one who must help.

now, that story is always in my mind. I often wonder to what extent we have to help others. I read a passage by Adib Taherzadeh in which he says we must sacrifice our time for the Cause of God.

I would like to know your ideas. This matter is something I often think about; the extend to which we have to help others. I would be thankful also if you can show me parts of Scripture about this subject because I could not find anything myself.
”The Pen of the Most High hath decreed and imposed upon every one the obligation to teach this Cause…. God will, no doubt, inspire whosoever detacheth himself from all else but Him, and will cause the pure waters of wisdom and utterance to gush out and flow copiously from his heart. Verily, thy Lord, the All-Merciful, is powerful to do as He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth.

Wert thou to consider this world, and realize how fleeting are the things that pertain unto it, thou wouldst choose to tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord. None would have the power to deter thee from celebrating His praise, though all men should arise to oppose thee.

Go thou straight on and persevere in His service. Say: O people! The Day, promised unto you in all the Scriptures, is now come. Fear ye God, and withhold not yourselves from recognizing the One Who is the Object of your creation. Hasten ye unto Him. Better is this for you than the world and all that is therein. Would that ye could perceive it!”
Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 314

I have taken this very literally: "tread no path except the path of service to the Cause of thy Lord" when it comes to teaching the Cause. Of course it occurs to me, how much is too much, and then I read more passages:

“O ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.” Gleanings, p. 330

“Be unrestrained as the wind, while carrying the Message of Him Who hath caused the Dawn of Divine Guidance to break. Consider, how the wind, faithful to that which God hath ordained, bloweth upon all the regions of the earth, be they inhabited or desolate. Neither the sight of desolation, nor the evidences of prosperity, can either pain or please it. It bloweth in every direction, as bidden by its Creator. So should be every one that claimeth to be a lover of the one true God.” Gleanings, p. 339

I have been doing this teaching work 24/7 on forums for for 5 ½ years now and my material world life is now in a shambles, and I cannot get it back to the way it was before. I do not know what to do except keep doing what I am doing and hope God will help me get back on track when the time is right, hopefully before all the trees grow into the house and through the windows... It might sound funny to you but it is anything but funny... I wish I had photos.

We have three houses, two are rentals,and one is in need of repairs... Then there is the "second car" that just sits in the driveway and never gets driven, so the battery goes dead... Then there are the 10 Persian cats who are badly in need of grooming... I never do laundry anymore, I just wear the same outfit to work every day; one for summer, one for winter. I do wash it in the bathtub.

I know, I know, some Baha'i is going to give me a lecture about moderation, but it just does not help at all because that word is not in my vocabulary. :eek:

I dream about living in a nice senior living complex but with 10 cats that is impossible and I love the cats more than anything in the world so I am in a Catch-22.

At least I have no family so I do not have those kinds of obligations. I just have my husband who is 10 years my senior and he does a little around the house, dishes and litter boxes since he is retired and I am not. But nobody has mowed the lawn in two years. All I can say is "help me God!" I also ride my bike to work and it is a three hours round trip, and I say prayers for 45 minutes every morning on my way to work. Mind you, I do not have a lot of faith in God, but I have a strong belief, so I know God exists... I am just not close to God, at least I do not feel that way, but I want to do the right thing... I am just not so sure what that is anymore, and I do not think anyone else an help me, although I am always open to suggestions.

But the main thing that bothers me is that I want to know that what I am doing is for the right reason and that my motives are pure. It is not possible to know for certain because so much of what we do is driven by the subconscious... As far as what is conscious, I know I am doing it because Baha'u'llah said to do it, that is all I know. I sure hope that is a good enough reason. :eek:
 
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