“Seek Ye First” (acapella)
Published on Mar 31, 2013 – Monte Lalli [670+]
High School Large Chorus – This performance was awarded a gold medal. Park Plaza Church of Christ; Tulsa, Oklahoma
King James translation of the Greek Scriptures transformed into a hymn. Click the graphic above to listen to the acapella version (i.e., without instrumental accompaniment). Jesus of Nazareth exhorts His listeners to focus first on spiritual matters and to trust God for fulfillment of basic material needs.
The Greek Scriptures record His own experience with choosing to be sustained by the Word of God instead of mere physical food (i.e., bread). This hymn exhorts us to follow His example and to trust God to provide the answers we seek. Click the various links below to delve deeper into the spiritual feast (i.e., “food for thought”) offered by this hymn as you contemplate metaphysical realities.
LYRICS: Seek Ye First
Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things
shall be added unto you.
Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by every word
That proceeds from the mouth of God,
Ask and it shall be given unto you,
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be
opened unto you,
Seekye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all these things
shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33 KJV
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 4:4 KJV
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 7:7-8 KJV
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Colossians 3:1 KJV
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
“Vast Voyage” (Theme Song from “High Seas Expedition”)
Uploaded on Aug 20, 2010 – Group’s Easy VBS Media [53,534+]
The history of Jesus actually begins with his cousin John, the son of Elisabeth who was an elder cousin of Jesus’ mother Mary. Fittingly, the ministry of Jesus also begins with His encounter with John. Let’s start with the “Gospel of Luke” in the New Testament.
Luke 3:1-20 [King James version] 1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophetA, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;6And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.10And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.15And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.18And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. 19But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Who came into Jordan preaching the “baptism of repentance”? John the son of Zacharias What prompted him to preach?the word of God came to him [John] What kind of baptism did he preach?baptism of repentance for the remission of sins When and where did this happen?Historically, during the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (which historians place the beginning of his reign as 14 AD and ending in 37 AD) or about 29 AD., John came into the area all around the Jordan River which provided the water for performing the immersions (i.e., baptisms). The Jordan River runs south from the Sea of Galilee into the Dead Sea, in the land along the east shores of the Mediterranean Sea including Judea, Samaria and Galilee to the west of the Jordan as well as Perea and Decapolis to the east of the Jordan. [See a detailed map] This situation references what text in the Old Testament?Writings of Esaias the prophet (also spelled Isaiah) as recorded in chapter 40 of the Book of IsaiahA What did John say to those who came to him?“Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance”. He also mentioned “wrath to come.” Was John talking about physical fruit from orchards or gardens? or was he speaking in metaphors?When John answered the question, “What shall we do then?” he answered with concrete actions for people to take rather than harvesting instructions. If one has two coats then give a coat to someone who has none; do the same with “meat” (or could that be “food” in general?). John also gave occupation-specific instructions to tax collectors and soldiers. Apparently, his scolding of Herod eventually landed him in prison. Are there other Bible passages that reveal what John taught?Yes, John is mentioned in all the Gospel accounts attributed to MatthewB, MarkC, and JohnD as well as here by Luke. He spoke of the “kingdom of heaven” saying that “it is at hand”. It seems the remark about vipers was actually directed to the religious leaders of that time, the Pharisees and Sadducees. What do these passages say about who John was?John earned the moniker “John the Baptist” (or baptizer) because of his activity at the Jordan River. Matthew and Mark’s accounts describe John’s apparel and diet. Matthew’s account states explicitly that John is the person of whom the prophet Isaiah foretold; Mark’s account makes it clear that the “voice in the wilderness” belongs to a person who was sent to prepare the way for yet someone else. What did John say about himself, about who he was?According to the “Gospel of John”, referring to John the Baptist, “this is the record of John”: most clearly identified himself saying, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” He emphasized who he was by declaring whom he was NOT–not the Christ, not Elias (or Elijah), not “that prophet.” John distinguished himself as the one who baptizes with water and directed the audience attention toward another who would come after him. What can we know about John’s conception, birth and purpose?Luke’s chronologyE of the gospel begins with the announcement of John’s conception and purpose: “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” As we see from the texts discussed thus far, indeed, Johns seems to have fulfilled his destined role of being the herald of the Gospel.
Next, we’ll take a closer look at John the Baptist and his relationship to Jesus Christ.
AIsaiah 40:1-5 [King James version] 1Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
BMatthew 3:1-12 [King James version] 1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.4And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
CMark 1:1-8 [King James version] 1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;2As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.4John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. 6And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; 7And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. 8I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
DJohn 1:19-28 [King James version] 19And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.24And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 26John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
ELuke 1:5-45 [King James version] 5There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.24And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.39And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah; 40and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. 41And it came to pass, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit; 42and she lifted up her voice with a loud cry, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come unto me? 44For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a fulfilment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord.
LOL, the title of this post reminded me of a song . . . .
“Along Came Jones” by Ray Stevens
Published on Jun 12, 2013 – raystevensmusic [160,871+]
Like it or not, this is the reality of the current industrial food system with its monocultures, herbicides/pesticides, GMO crops, and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) geared for mass production. Is it sustainable? Is there a better way?
“Farmers Feed the World” (Watch Me, Hit the Quan, Uptown Funk Parody)
Uploaded on Jan 20, 2009 – Peterson Farm Bros [854,462+]
We can certainly cultivate far more culture via holistic farming and improved, innovative farming practices that are ecologically sound. To bear good fruit, we’ll need wise stewards of the land and a transformation of hearts.
“Food”, that all-important word that stands for how entities are nourished. “Nourished” is not simply being fed or having one stuffed with consumable matter; it’s about sustenance, that which sustains, heals, cultivates and enables us to grow in stature, strength and/or other capacities.
“Shed”, a protective shelter to safeguard someone and/or something, also implies a bestowal like an “outpouring”. “Foodshed” can be viewed as that system which provides for the production, storage and distribution of food; managed appropriately, a foodshed can shower the bounty of Earth’s goodness upon all of us.
If we were to consider all the world not merely a stage but a storehouse and we not merely as players but as stewards and diners at one table (albeit, a huge table), how might we behave in this world? How might we treat one another? How might we treat the Earth and the abundance within it?
As at any joyous feast where the baskets and platters are passed around and all are able to fill their plates according to their own tastes and appetites, there is no need for greediness or hoarding; even those preparing and serving the food are adequately fed. Imagine a world of bounty that was no longer shackled by the illusion of scarcity–how would that world operate?
We are blessed with a diversity of palates and preferences such that all of us can be satisfied with the variety of foods available here on our home planet Earth. At any given moment, there’s a finite but adequate amount a food available to be eaten; our challenge is to ensure that the food is accessible and acceptable and that it continues to be available.
The AAA Foodshed–acceptable, available and accessible–that is what would deserves our concern. We could focus our resources on the quality, abundance and distribution of food locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, even globally. These are the “terraces” of the global foodshed. Each terrace encompasses its own challenges and advantages; each merits due consideration in managing and sustaining its operation.
Like most effective and efficient systems, the terraces of the foodshed are best governed as close to the source as possible but with flexibility to allow for innovations. Indeed, by involving minimal bureaucracy to ensure quality, the system can be self-regulating for the most part; beyond that, any regulation needs to be scale-appropriate to ensure availability and accessibility.
Food distributed locally and/or direct to consumers requires the least scrutiny as the stream of commerce can regulate itself in most cases. A food provider lacking in quality will not be sourced for the long-term. When the producer and recipient are aware of each other, the obligation to fulfill the bond of trust is more keenly felt. Should a quality problem arise, the food is easily traced back to the source and more quickly resolved. Where the direct relationship is nurtured, the parties feel a sense of gratitude and responsibility to ensure only goodness is shared; this offers a transparency unmatched by large-scale, distant producers.
On a regional level, including intrastate commerce, traceability is key in monitoring quality. The distances between producer and consumer are manageable enough for a relatively small team to track down the source of any quality problems that arise. At this level, reputation and maintaining market share are suitable inducements to motivate producers to be vigilant in care given to producing acceptable food.
The real challenge is food that is distributed nationally because of the sheer volume and dispersion of food products. Recognizing a duty to look out for the well-being of our fellow members of society, large-scale producers can infuse throughout their operations a sense of pride in workmanship that insists on quality and refuses to compromise the integrity of food products.
Quality must be an integral ingredient of the process from start to finish, essentially built in. Just as one cannot inject “quality” into a finished product, one cannot “inspect” bad quality out. Inspection is a tool for verifying quality; system integrity and the integrity of management and all contributors is the requirement. At this level, transparency with impunity and clear traceability are needed for effective monitoring.
When a high degree of trustworthiness is established by a track record of quality then there is confidence enough to distribute food products internationally or even on a global scale. Monitoring and traceability must remain in place to detect and resolve may quality issues that may arise. If the goal is to provide for a wholesome foodshed, then the aim is not to seek prosecution so much as to ensure that any deficiencies in the system are rectified.
How can such transparency, traceability and quality monitoring occur? Revolutionizing our attitudes toward our fellow humans would be a noble endeavor. If I were to view others as part of my loving family–unfortunately, not everyone has experienced genuine love–then I would seek to be of service to my community and desire to be a worthy recipient of its bestowals. This is neither whim nor idle fancy; it’s a real possibility and it’s been modeled in parts of the world.
Let us get busy setting the global table and cultivating friendships so that each one of us will have a seat and a plate to satisfy our palates.
Join us for the journey into a whole new world . . .
“A Whole New World” sung by Chauncey Matthews and Ruben Stoddard
Uploaded on Sep 9, 2006 – ellieishappy [47,063+]
Perfection, the Words of Sovereignty172 BE: Kamál el Kalimát-i-Sulṭán
Monday, the 7th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 24 for the Badi calendar.
O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden WordsArabic #2
Badi Challenge: Contemplate Perfection (excellence, fullness, consummation, maturity) as the Words (utterance, the word of God) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.–– Baha’u’llah, Prayers and MeditationsCLXXXI
My Reflections of the Day
Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Monday, the 25th of January”, so we can say “Perfection, the Words of Sovereignty” or “Kamál el Kalimát-i-Sulṭán.”
weekday: MON. – PERFECTION – Kamál [كمال ] day: 7 – WORDS – Kalimát [كلمات ] month: 17 – SOVEREIGNTY – Sulṭán [سلطان ]
The current Bahá’í year is 172 BE (21 March 2015 – 20 March 2016), is year Alif (the 1st, “A”) of the Váḥid Hubb (the 10th, “Love”) in the 1st Kull-i-Shay’ (first 361-year cycle ending in 2205).
The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.
Beauty, the Mercy of Sovereignty172 BE: Jamál el Raḥmat-i-Sulṭán
Sunday, the 6th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 23 for the Badi calendar.
O YE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MINDS TO KNOW AND EARS TO HEAR!
The first call of the Beloved is this: O mystic nightingale! Abide not but in the rose garden of the spirit. O messenger of the Solomon of love! Seek thou no shelter except in the Sheba of the well-beloved, and O immortal phoenix! dwell not save on the mount of faithfulness. Therein is thy habitation, if on the wings of thy soul thou soarest to the realm of the infinite and seekest to attain thy goal.–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden WordsPersian #1
Badi Challenge: Contemplate Beauty or charm as the Mercy (blessing, grace, favour, loving kindness, providence, compassion) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).
Intone, O My servant, the verses of God that have been received by thee, as intoned by them who have drawn nigh unto Him, that the sweetness of thy melody may kindle thine own soul, and attract the hearts of all men. Whoso reciteth, in the privacy of his chamber, the verses revealed by God, the scattering angels of the Almighty shall scatter abroad the fragrance of the words uttered by his mouth, and shall cause the heart of every righteous man to throb. Though he may, at first, remain unaware of its effect, yet the virtue of the grace vouchsafed unto him must needs sooner or later exercise its influence upon his soul. Thus have the mysteries of the Revelation of God been decreed by virtue of the Will of Him Who is the Source of power and wisdom.–– Baha’u’llah, Gleanings CXXXVI [para. 2]
My Reflections of the Day
Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Saturday, the 24th of January”, so we can say “Beauty, the Mercy of Sovereignty” or “Jamál el Raḥmat-i-Sulṭán.”
Glory, the Light of Sovereignty172 BE: Jalál el Núr-i-Sulṭán
Saturday, the 5th day of the 17th month in the year 172 BE––the first year of the 10th Váḥid in the first Kull-i-Shay’ or the “Beginning of the Love of All Things”. The day began at sunset on January 22 for the Badi calendar.
O SON OF SPIRIT!
My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting.–– Baha’u’llah, Hidden WordsArabic #1
Badi Challenge: Contemplate Glory or majesty as the Light (radiance, brightness, splendour, effulgence, illumination) of Sovereignty (king, lord, majesty, sovereign, monarch, authority, potency, the power of sovereignty, the all-possessing, the most potent of rulers).
Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.–– Baha’u’llah, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice by Shoghi Effendi [para., “This is the day in which to speak”]
My Reflections of the Day
I’m reminded that our own bodies can be considered a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit or a dwelling place of God. Perhaps, blessedness can be our individual state as well–by our feelings, thoughts, words, deeds in our soul, mind, heart, and body.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” — 1 Corinthians 6:9 [King James Version]
With that in mind, exploring the purpose of human life is inviting. If the FIRST advice given tells us to steward our hearts, then what must be the divine mission entrusted to each of us? Perhaps more importantly, how is each one of us to carry out that mission given the diversity of talents, interests, and capacities we display? Indeed, it seems this has been the question down through the ages. The answers espoused have varied and often no answer is proffered.
Here are some notions to consider:
At the macro level: humankind All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth.–– Baha’u’llah, GleaningsCIX
At the micro level: individuals The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High.–– Baha’u’llah, GleaningsLXXXI
[NOTE: Please forgive English, “All men” is inclusive without gender distinction; mankind, humankind.]
Perhaps the answer is more personal . . . how shall a person acquire and apply divine education to attain purity, sanctity and absolute detachment?
Key to the Badi Calendar:
As one would say “Saturday, the 23rd of January”, so we can say “Glory, the Light of Sovereignty” or “Jalál el Núr-i-Sulṭán.”
A photo posted by Gene Marie (@genemariekennedy) on
Songs by Bread
Album – The Best of Bread (1973)
Published on Jun 2, 2014 – sunflower0074 [5,985,312+]
00:00 Make It with You
03:11 Everything I Own
09:28 Baby I’m A Want You
11:56 It Don’t Matter To Me
17:20 Mother Freedom
19:55 Down On My Knees
22:39 Too Much Love
25:27 Let Your Love Go
27:50 Look What You’ve Done
33:34 The Guitar Man
40:59 The Last Time
45:09 Sweet Surrender
47:45 He’s A Good Lad
54:03 Friends And Lovers
57:57 Lost Without Your Love
Read: “Action Plan for the New Year” by Dr. Mercola
Happy New Year! This year, what do you say we all skip the New Year’s resolution? About half of Americans make them, and most start out strong but come February or March, many have already thrown in the towel.
Mercola’s Story At-a-Glance
– Ninety-two percent of Americans fail to achieve the resolutions they commit to on New Year’s Day
– In place of a New Year’s resolution, make a commitment to simply live better this year
– My top 10 steps for living better in 2016 are discussed
This is an ongoing process, a lifestyle change, not an impulsive resolution that you blurted out at midnight and have all but forgotten by morning. It’s also not something you can achieve overnight. Rather, this is a plan you can live by.
It’s the start of a new year — what better time to start fresh with some positive changes? The 10 that follow are the crème de la crème of lifestyle tricks you can use to live better and be happier — and isn’t that really what virtually all of us are after?
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Lest I steal Dr. Mercola’s thunder and become guilty of plagiarism, below I simply offer my thoughts on his recommendations
For starters, the Ten Jump-Start Tips are great to implement at any time; so don’t wait for annual resolution time–you can begin today!
1. Give Up Soda – There are better ways to hydrate the body and still get that dopamine pleasure kick. Want fizzy? Try kefir or kombucha. [Learn more]
2. Eat Two Meals a Day, Within an Eight-Hour Window – Heck many ofus are too busy to eat “three squares” anyway. Eat less, digest more . . . then you can focus on quality intake instead of quantity and ditch calorie counting! One trick is to get to sleep before the late night munchies set in . . .
3. Get Eight Hours of Sleep Each Night – Early to bed…healthy, wealthy, and wise–early is . . . before “munchies” set in (see Tip #2). Sleep time is body-repair time; the rejuvenating sleep cycle allows the body to assimilate the good food and gather waste for elimination–have a good morning poop!
4. Eat More Healthy Fats and Fiber – It’s true, butter is better and enjoy the coconut. Veggie and fruit fiber beats shredded wheat. [Learn more from Mercola.com]
5. Eat Fermented Vegetables – What could be better than fresh garden veggies? Consider fermented goodies with an amazing shelf life and increased nutritional content–let those good little bacteria whip up a potent batch of enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics, and other nutrients for you!
6. Sit Less and Walk More, Work on Your Flexibility – An “active” lifestyle is not necessarily about spending hours in a gym or on the court(s). Here’s an AFoRMation for you: If you move it, you’ll improve it — Agility, Flexibility, Range of Motion.
7. Have Your Vitamin D Level Tested – In school we worked to avoid D’s especially on tests but Dr. Mercola suggests we get tested for vitamin D and pray our levels aren’t low–25(OH)D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D. However, don’t be quick to grab D-fortified drinks and foods because synthetic vitamin D is not what we need. We want the ideal ID, the internal not infernal D!
8. Eat Nutrient-Dense Protein (Quality not Quantity) – Moderation in all things works but one needs ALL things–whatever your source: pastured-based meat, fish, free-range/soy-free eggs, grassfed dairy products, or GMO-free legumes and nuts. You may not need much so seek protein that is PRO-Team: terrestrial (pasture-based), ecological (GMO-free), amicable (humanely cultivated), and manageable (assimilates well with you). Mercola suggests additional protein sources.
Imagine what it would be like to live in the desert-like conditions of sixth century Arabia among traveling merchants stopping in Mecca, the nomads venturing into the city for brief periods each year, and the annual pilgrimage to the Kaabah–“home” of a multitude of revered deities.
Christians rarely venture south into Arabia; they’re mostly concentrated around Constantinople, north Africa, around the Mediterranean and Europe. The Americas have yet to be “discovered” and Asia is humming along mostly with Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The Israelites have long been scattered and Jewish communities can be found in many places. The voice of monotheists is rarely heard among the hubbub of Quraysh-controlled Mecca.
Recognized as descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, the inhabitants of the region were nevertheless deprived of access to biblical accounts of their ancestry. Even copies of “New Testament” scriptures were nearly impossible to acquire. It were as if this corner of the world had been left in the shadows despite the vast dissemination from Palestine of the teachings of Jesus the Christ [i.e., Anointed One] over the past five centuries.
In the year 610 CE, Muhammad, a forty-year-old businessman known as Al-Amin, “the trustworthy,” marched down from the mountains…looking shattered and frightened….An angel had visited him….ordered him to “recite.”[p. ix]
Reminiscent of a stuttering Moses being told through a burning bush to return to Egypt and “speak” to Pharaoh and persuade him to release the descendants of Jacob, Muhammad is commissioned to return Arabs from polytheism back to monotheism–the one God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus.
Cleverly written in the voices of key characters in the life of Muhammad, Deepak Chopra captures the nuances of the era and provides an opportunity to become acquainted much like an introduction at a party–no long biographical sketches are offered, just the heart-connecting nod of glimpsing into the eyes of another. Such a likable spark compels further conversation and opens the doors to further exploration.
Below are a few of the morsels I gathered in my first read of the book; I look forward to dining with it again. In the meantime, I’ll keep putting hors d’oeuvres on the plate below.
Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet
New York Times Bestseller! In this riveting novel, beloved international bestselling author Deepak Chopra captures the spellbinding life story of the great and often misunderstood Prophet. Islam was born in a cradle of tribal turmoil, and the arrival of one God who vanquished hundreds of ancient Arabian gods changed the world forever. God reached down into the life of Muhammad, a settled husband and father, and spoke through him. Muhammad’s divine and dangerous task was to convince his people to renounce their ancestral idols and superstitious veneration of multiple gods. [Read More]
Morsels from Muhammad
Chp 1: Restoring the ancestral fountain, Zamzam, “the water that accumulates”
Every family has some remnant of collective wisdom from the past–some a larger stock than most, others perhaps have just a saying or two. If “charity begins at home”, perhaps we reclaiming what we already possess is a wise move.
Think of Dorothy’s trip to Oz only to return cherishing her home. Recall, if you can, the fervor of the followers of Jesus after his death; the Jews who had converted to “the Way” held a greater appreciation and understanding of their heritage in Judaism–the prophesies began to make sense, the holy days were more meaningful, the spirit of the Mosaical law became practicable. Next holiday or family gathering, look past the “skeletons in the closet” and rediscover the gemstones garnered long ago.
Whether you’re the patient/client, caretaker/mother, or healthcare provider, a holistic approach to life can relieve stress, bring greater joy, and rescue us from the rabbit hole of ill-health and dis-ease.
Enjoy “The Electric Slide” – It’s Holistic
Skip the Whole Life Insurance, let’s get to the Whole Life Party! Ever been through the “Bounce House of Health“? or the “Tread Mill of Dread“? Let’s hop on a “New Train of Thought” enroute to the “High Air Balloon of Healthy Behaviors“! Inspired by Marcia Griffiths’ “Electric Boogie” promo video on YouTube.com
Holistic Health for Nutters, Poppers and Fritters – BlogTalkRadio
Hands for Healing presents a new audio podcast series . . . Join Gene Marie for a cruise down “Healthway 66” towards a lifestyle of robust radiance and joy.
We’ll talk to the Nutters who “sample” every health scheme that comes down the pike.
We’ll hang with the Poppers who run a track record of hits and misses–kinda like popcorn, some kernals never get fluffy.
Then we’ll gawk at the Fritters who get fried because they can’t decide.
Let’s get on with the party, paint flowers on the walls, and get out on the dance floor of life!
WORK STILL IN PROGRESSPlease forgive our mess.
Treasuring the Global Family
Healthway 66 is about cherishing ourselves and each other so we can partake of and enjoy the richness of what it is to be human–no matter where or how we live, regardless of what we believe or do. We are all part of The Great Experiment and there is so much to learn from and with each other. This is the real journey. This is the divine odyssey.