Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Northern Illinois Bahá'ís

Uniting Northern Illinois & Chicagoland

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A Talismanic View of Evolution

Baha'i - 6 hours 53 min ago

Here’s a fascinating quote from the Baha’i teachings that has interested me for a long time. What do you make of it? Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

The Danger of Putting Labels on People

Baha'i - 8 hours 54 min ago

We are living in confusing, disturbing times. When confused or disturbed, it eases our minds to put labels on things.  Somehow, categorizing and labeling helps our brain sort and make...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Imitation—the Antithesis of Justice

Baha'i - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 10:30am

The biggest detriment to independence of thought is the temptation and pressure of peers to imitate others. When we fall prey to this pervasive influence, and begin to imitate the...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

For the Love of Eve

Baha'i - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 8:00am

Have you ever wondered why God allows suffering?  Theodicy – faith in the face of suffering and evil comes to mind when we consider slavery.   Voltaire (1694-1778) – one...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

You Can Only Listen in Silence

Baha'i - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 11:30am

Our societies stress superlatives and give the lion’s share of their attention to all of the best, the brightest and often the loudest. But what about the rest of us?...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Life Has its Funny Little Ups and Downs

Baha'i - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 8:00am

When I was a small child and something made me sad, my mother used to sing me a sweet little song: Life has its Funny Little Ups and Downs. At...

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19 Baha’i Apps for Android and iPhone

Baha'i Blog - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 6:55pm

With the number of people using mobile phones growing globally every day, we thought it was time to update our list of Baha’i-inspired apps currently available for download and use. This list isn’t comprehensive; there are many other apps available, and many that offer similar functions to those we’ve listed below but in different languages or tailored to different countries. Nevertheless, we hope this list of 19 Baha’i-inspired apps gives you a good idea of what’s out there for iPhone and Android users and that it proves helpful to you. We’d love to hear what apps you find useful for you personally, or in your community building endeavours!

1. Baha’i Library – One Ocean 4.0

This iPhone app features 30 texts ranging from the Writings of the Bab, to recent letters from the Universal House of Justice and it allows you save quotations in categories of your making.

View the “Baha’i Library – One Ocean 4.0” app in iTunes.

2. Prayer Book

Having a prayer book on your device can be very handy and this app features prayers in Czech, Dutch, English, Fijian, French, German, Icelandic, Persian, Slovak and Spanish!

View the “Prayer Book” app in iTunes.

View the “Prayer Book” app for Android on Google Play.

3. Baha’i Prayers

Similar to the app described above, this iPhone app also boasts a customizable push notification reminder for saying “Allah’u’Abha” 95 times and for reciting your Obligatory Prayer, an RSS feed of stories released by the Baha’i World News Service, a compass so you can find the Qiblih, a Baha’i calendar and local sunrise and sunset times.

View the “Baha’i Prayers” app in iTunes.

4. Baha’i Feasts and Holy Days

This great little app tells you when the next Feast or Holy Day will occur.

View the “Baha’i Feasts and Holy Days” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i Feasts and Holy Days” app for Android on Google Play.

5. The Baha’i World News Service

If you’d like to keep up-to-date with news stories released by the Baha’i World News Service, the official news source of the International Baha’i Community, then this is the app for you! Some of their recent reports of the endeavours of Baha’is around the world have included videos, audio recordings and stunning photographs.

View the “The Baha’i World News Service” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i World News Service” app for Android on Google Play.

6. Baha’i Today

This app is designed to help further incorporate the Baha’i (or Badi) calendar into our daily lives. Each day it’ll show you where we are in the Baha’i calendar, provides the time of sunset so you know when the new day begins, informs you of which holy days work should be suspended, and gives a daily quotation for study and mediation.

View the “Baha’i Today” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i Today” app for Android on Google Play.

7. 9 Quotes

9 Quotes is designed to help you explore the Baha’i Writings. Its creators say: “if you ever take a book and open it just to read any passage your eye falls on – this app is for you.”

View the “9 Quotes” app in iTunes.

8. Virtues (Baha’i Text)

To assist you with your spiritual development, this app offers a list of common and essential virtues which have personal and societal implications. Each virtue is accompanied with a set of relevant quotes from the Baha’i Writings.

View the “Virtues (Baha’i Text)” app for Android on Google Play.

9. Baha’i Daily Quotes

Baha’i Daily Quotes gives you access to hundreds of short powerful quotes from Baha’u’llah and the Bab to assist in fulfilling our obligation to “Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide…” This app is great when you’re travelling, and unlike many similar apps out there, you don’t need an internet connection to use it.

View the “Baha’i Daily Quotes” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i Daily Quotes” app for Android on Google Play.

10. 95 Taps

As part of Baha’i obligatory prayer, it’s necessary to repeat the Greatest Name (Allah-u-Abha) 95 times. Of course remembering where you are up to in your sequence of 95 can be tricky. People often use prayer beads to help keep track, but for the tech Baha’i, you can now use the 95 taps app to get the number right.

View the “95 Taps” app in iTunes.

View the “95 Taps” app for Android on Google Play.

11. Baha’i Song Project

Remember Dayyan and Nadine from Baha’i Song Project from this interview? Well, here’s their iPhone app! Like the website, the app provides videos of the Writings put to music, the chords and the text sung.

View the “Baha’i Song Project” app in iTunes.

12. Baha’i Daily

This app provides a Baha’i historical “on this day” fact – in other words, whatever day of the year you open this app, it will tell you what occurred in Baha’i history on that same day, only years or decades prior. It also provides a quotation from the Writings for study and reflection.

View the “Baha’i Daily” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i Daily” app for Android on Google Play.

13. Baha’i Songbook

Another Baha’i musical iPhone app! This one features 130 Baha’i-inspired songs to enrich community life. The app includes the song lyrics, scores, guitar fingering, and chords.

View the “Baha’i Songbook” app in iTunes.

14. Ridvan Messages

With this app you can explore Ridvan messages, recent guidance, and statements from the Baha’i International Community in many languages.

View the “Ridvan Messages” app in iTunes.

View the “Ridvan Message” app for Android on Google Play.

15. Baha’i Core Activity StatHelper

You can record (and then export!) statistics for core activities, such as the number of participants and when activities were held, with this handy app.

View the “Baha’i Core Activity StatHelper” app for Android on Google Play.

16. iMemorize

Whether you need to remember a quote for your Ruhi study circle, or you’re just broadening your repertoire of Baha’i quotations, the iMemorize app will prove very handy. The app provides a word omission tool to help you practice memorizing quotes. And not only does it come with a library of quotes including Baha’i ones, it has a function to let you add your own.

View the “iMemorize” app in iTunes.

View the “iMemorize” app for Android on Google Play.

17. Qiblih

Every day Baha’is turn to the Qiblih to say our Obligatory Prayers. Fixed at the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, near Akka, in present day Israel, it can sometimes be a bit tricky to figure out exactly where to turn to face this spot. That’s where this simple iPhone app comes in handy. Using the compass function in your phone, it’ll point you in the right direction.

View the “Qiblih” app in iTunes.

18. Baha’i International Community United Nations Office

Access all the Baha’i International Community United Nations Office news, videos and statements in one place. This app includes office locations, contact information, maps, representative bios, and a listing of the Office’s 150+ national affiliates.

View the “Baha’i International Community United Nations Office” app in iTunes.

View the “Baha’i International Community United Nations Office” app for Android on Google Play.

19. The Baha’i Fast

This nifty little app helps you with sunrise and sunset times for the Fast based on your exact location. You can choose from over 350 cities, or let your device geo-locate you. It also includes detailed information on the Fast (in English only) as well as prayers in several languages.

View the “The Baha’i Fast” app in iTunes.

We’d love to hear what Baha’i-inspired apps you find useful for you personally, or in your community building endeavours in the comments section below!

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

How We Can Work Together to Reduce Tragedies

Baha'i - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 10:00am

“She was too young to be taken from us.” “He should have lived a lot longer.” “She didn’t deserve to die at her age.” “Why do the good die young?”...

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How to Celebrate Human Rights Day

Baha'i - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 8:00am

Every year on December 10th the world observes Human Rights Day, marking the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That 1948 declaration, the...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Let’s Value Women’s Unpaid Contributions to Society

Baha'i - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 10:00am

If we aspire to manifest the equality of women and men, we must learn to account for all the work we do, not just the kind that draws a paycheck....

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The Bedrock Baha’i Concept of Oneness

Baha'i - Sat, 12/09/2017 - 8:00am

The bedrock concept of oneness and unity permeates much of the Baha’i writings: The fundamental purpose animating the faith of God and His religion is to safeguard the interests and...

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Why Does God Give Us Laws?

Baha'i - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:00am

Why do religions have laws? The spiritual laws of every Faith guide us toward the Creator, but what about the social laws of various religions? All religious laws start on...

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Please Tell Me About the Times I Hurt You

Baha'i - Fri, 12/08/2017 - 8:00am

When I was a young girl, my family outwardly seemed to have unity—even though my stepfather molested me and beat my mother. I did not publicly talk about what was...

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Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World (part 1): A New Album by Jody Cooper

Baha'i Blog - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 3:26pm

Jody Cooper is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and performer who draws his musical inspiration from an array of musical icons ranging from The Beatles to Mike Oldfield, and his thought-provoking lyrics are drawn from life experiences, as well as being a Baha’i.

With three albums and an EP already under his belt, this year Jody released a new concept album called Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World (part 1), so decided to catch up with Jody to find out more about the album and his music.

Baha’i Blog: Hi Jody! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your musical background?

I come from a Baha’i family and grew up in North-East Scotland. It’s a very rural place of rolling fields, agriculture and livestock, and…not much excitement other than what a childhood mind can come up with! I was attracted to music from a very young age, and my family encouraged it. Once I took up the violin at 6 years old and started performing, well, it only made me want to do it more. I started writing my own songs when I was 14 and at 16 – a confused teenager without a career direction – I awoke suddenly one morning with a clear voice in my head telling me I was going to be a musician.

Baha’i Blog: So tell us a little bit about your new concept album called ‘Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World (part 1)’, and why it was important for you to make?

Ever since I first heard The Beatles ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of a concept album, and it’s always been a dream of mine to make my own. The Baha’i concept of the ‘independent investigation of truth’ has always been at the heart of my songwriting so, when I came up with the name ‘Serenades & Odes to a Cracked World’, I knew I had the right title for my concept album. Then I remembered Shoghi Effendi’s themes of ‘integration’ and ‘disintegration’. After that, it all fell into place and it was just a matter of deciding which theme to tackle first. It was important to me to start with the ‘disintegration’ part because, not only did it feel very current but, I know we are, ultimately, working towards a more unified world (or ‘part 2’ for me!). My hope is that, through my music, people will look constructively at the problems around them and to see that, although we are living in turbulent times, it all has a purpose. As Shoghi Effendi says: “Whereas they see before them only a world that is crumbling down, we are also seeing a new world being built up.”

Baha’i Blog: What’s something that really touched you, or that you personally learned during the process of making the album?

I think the one thing that was most amazing about making this album was the amount of support I got from people when I decided to launch it as a Kickstarter campaign. This was a much bigger project than anything I’d attempted before and, from the beginning, I knew that it was not something that I could afford to finance alone. I am so grateful to all those who gave to help me achieve my goal. I couldn’t have done it without them and it goes to show that, sometimes, when you ask, you do receive!

Baha’i Blog: Your album has very striking artwork. What can you tell us about it?

Thank you very much! It was very important to me from the project’s outset that the artwork should match the seriousness of the theme I explore on the album (disintegration). I had this idea of creating a sort of collage of imagery, which turned into a series of dioramas. To bring it all to life took hours of carefully setting up combinations of paper cutouts and toy figures that I’d collected over months, and creating scenes that were then photographed and manipulated later by my German-American friend Jasmina Meyer. It was a very involved experience and I’m just so pleased that she managed to get my crazy ideas to work!

Baha’i Blog: Who are some of your musical influences and what do you like about them?

As a child I listened to a lot of different music, but the one group that influenced me the most were The Beatles. I was fascinated by their journey from simple pop songs to the experimentation of their later years. To paraphrase one of their songs, their music “blew my mind”. When I eventually started writings songs of my own, I went through my own development based on the instruments I had at hand and the music I was listening to: anything from Madonna to Nirvana!

Baha’i Blog: How do you hope listeners will be affected by your music?

I hope they will be able to connect with it on a deeper level and find something of themselves in the songs, or interpret it in new ways. But, above all, I hope it has a positive effect. There is so much negative music out there and, as a songwriter and musician, I see it as my responsibility to go against that flow.

Baha’i Blog: Do you have any advice for other musicians, especially Baha’i musicians?

Music is as much a calling as a profession, and sometimes it can be hard to see the line between the two, especially if, like me, you do it for a living. What I’ve found helpful is to regularly ask myself why God has given me this particular skill, and to try and use it to serve Him as much as possible. Music has a powerful influence – both on our emotions and as a form of communication – so to me it’s only right that we should use it to open hearts and minds.

Baha’i Blog: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve been very fortunate in my life that, at the moment when I was the most in need of answers, I was given a very clear path to follow. It had a profound effect on my life and I will forever be grateful to God for it. I know that most people are not so lucky. But what I do know is that none of this would have happened had I not decided to make the effort and walk this path. Through action comes confirmation and, sometimes, we have to walk a while before we know where we’re really going.

Baha’i Blog: Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview Jody, and congratulations on your new album!

You can find out more about Jody Cooper, listen to his music, and buy his albums on

You can also follow him on Facebook here: and also check out his YouTube channel here:

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Autonomy and Will: Requisites for a Spiritual Education

Baha'i - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 10:00am

The implications of the Baha’i concept of human justice—salvation as endless motion—relate directly to all other parts of the Baha’i paradigm of physical reality. For example, education in a Baha’i...

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Silence: Not Always Golden

Baha'i - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 8:00am

Between the ages of 2 and 5, my stepfather molested me. At six, I was molested by a stranger. I was trained to be powerless and voiceless, and I became...

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Bringing Light to the World

Baha'i - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:28am

Let us move back in time from this year, the bicentenary of Baha’u’llah’s birthday, to the year 200 CE, the bicentenary of the birth of Jesus. At that time, the...

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What Defines a Good Society?

Baha'i - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 8:00am

What defines a good community, a good society? If you had your choice, what kind of society would you like to live and raise your children in? Lots of modern...

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Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Sole Desire Serve Cause: A Book by Don Brown

Baha'i Blog - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 3:17pm

Don Brown has written a memoir of Gale and Jameson (or Jamie, as he was fondly called) Bond, two Knights of Baha’u’llah who pioneered to the Canadian north. It’s called Sole Desire Serve Cause and it’s a new George Ronald publication (you can purchase it here).

The incredible stories of the Baha’is who sacrificially arose to spread the teachings and principles of the Baha’i Faith in remote and desolate places never cease to uplift and inspire and I am really excited that Gale and Jamie’s story is now in print. I love to get an insider’s story on new Baha’i-inspired publications and Don graciously agreed to tell me about his new book. Here’s what he shared:

Baha’i Blog: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Don. To start things off, could you please tell us a little about yourself and your work as a writer?

Professionally I worked as a management consultant throughout my career providing organization systems and strategic planning services to public and private sector businesses in Canada and in Jamaica where we pioneered for five years from 1982 to 1987. My wife, Christine and I served at the Baha’i World Centre from 1991 to 1996. Throughout my career I did extensive report writing. In 2001/2002 I wrote and self-published a book To Build Anew: Creating Baha’i Inspired Enterprises.

Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to tell Gale and Jamie Bond’s story?

I first met Knights of Baha’u’llah, Jamie and Gale Bond, a couple of years after becoming a Baha’i in 1976 at a “Gathering” at David Hadden’s Batterwood Estate in Port Hope, Ontario. Over the years we became close friends and I enjoyed hearing their stories of their life experiences. They shared with me their challenges and frustrations in trying to write their memoirs, particularly their desire to respond to the request by the Universal House of Justice to share their Baha’i experiences, particularly their pioneering to the high Arctic during the Ten Year Crusade. During the years 2005-2006 Jamie’s health was failing and it appeared that completing their memoirs was an ever more remote possibility.

In early 2007 at their request, I volunteered to assist with completing their memoirs. I stopped pursuing consulting contracts to focus on the book and Christine continued to work as a nurse to support us, as well as spending hours reviewing the material I was preparing.

I began to work with Gale on the memoirs. I found that Jamie had prepared hundreds of pages of multiple drafts of the memoirs mostly covering the period of the Ten Year Crusade including work he had done with another writer they had hired, Paul Vreeland. From discussions with Gale, I learned that Gale and Jamie had differing views about the memoirs, they described their experiences quite differently and as Gale was not a writer, her voice was missing from the material that had been prepared.

Because this was a memoir of two Knights of Baha’u’llah and Gale was available to share her views and I had a wealth of Jamie’s material, I decided to write their story using their voices. This resulted in completely rewriting the memoirs to incorporate both their voices and condensing them considerably to present the most significant and inspiring events of their lives rather than a detailed biography.

Baha’i Blog: Yes, Paul is my father and we are both thrilled that the Bonds’ story is now in print so that it can inspire others! What was the process like to put this book together?

I spent many hours sifting through materials, interviewing Gale and finding additional information about their early lives and initial years of service to the Faith. In the summer of 2007 Jamie passed away. It took two years of writing and almost weekly meetings with Gale to complete the first nine chapters of the book up to the end of the Ten Year Crusade – 1963. Gale finished reviewing the ninth chapter and passed away two weeks later.

During these two years I became ever more enamored with the dedication of Gale and Jamie to the Cause of Baha’u’llah and I felt theirs was an odyssey of Baha’i service that needed to be told. The challenge I faced was that both Gale and Jamie had passed on and I was left with 31 boxes of files that they had collected over the years along with some material that Jamie had prepared for their memoirs.

Over the following ten years I worked off and on researching, sifting through their files, fact checking and reaching out to people that knew them and institutions they served on to verify stories and learn more about their lives. During this time I also connected with Gale and Jamie’s children, Susan and David, and learned of their sacrifices and perspectives of Gale and Jamie’s years of service following the Ten Year Crusade. At the children’s request, the book focuses on Gale and Jamie’s teaching and administrative services with minimal reference to their family life.

Baha’i Blog: What motivated you and sustained you to persevere for ten years to complete these memoirs?

Author Don Brown

This was a personal commitment that I had made to Gale and Jamie and indirectly to the Universal House of Justice as their memoirs was a response to the request of the Universal House of Justice. It was Christine’s, my wife’s, unwavering support and constant encouragement that sustained me throughout this project. After the passing of Gale and Jamie, I felt somewhat at a loss as to how to properly complete the chronicle of their many years of service after 1963, so in May 2015 I enrolled in an online course on writing biographies with the Wilmette Institute which provided me with the necessary information, understanding and encouragement to complete the memoirs. Over the last year I had the special privilege and wonderful experience of working with May Hoffman and Erica Leith at George Ronald to bring this project to fruition.

Baha’i Blog: What do you hope readers will take away with them after reading this book?

As was the wish of Gale and Jamie, I hope that the readers of these memoirs will gain a greater appreciation of this significant formative period of the development of the Faith and become ever more inspired in their service to the Cause after reading about the exemplary, dedicated services of Gale and Jamie.

Baha’i Blog: What other projects are you currently working on?

I am currently involved in organizing a local multi-belief initiative in Sooke, planning a travel teaching trip and delving once more into social and economic development.

Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Don, for sharing your story of how ‘Sole Desire Serve Cause’ came to be!

Sole Desire Serve Cause can be purchased from George Ronald here. If you’re curious to know more about the Knights of Baha’u’llah, I wrote about them briefly in this Baha’i Blog article.

Categories: Bahá'í Blogs

Life, Re-forged in Poetic Terms

Baha'i - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 11:01am

My friend Audrey is a social worker. She supports people who have been forgotten or cast off in some way: people without homes, youth who’ve run away, elders who need...

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