Why Muslim Imams Won’t Denounce Islamic Terroists

I keep hearing in the news a call for Muslim Imams to denounce the horrific acts of Muslim terrorism being perpetrated around the world. Well, in my humble opinion I wouldn’t hold my breath. Why? Because their holy book, the Quran, specifically states that they are to kill the infidel. And to say they shouldn’t directly contradicts what they’ve been told they should in their Quran.

Christianity, on the other hand, though it has a violent root in the Old Testament, does not have any such blanket command to kill innocent people. God’s commands to cleanse the land prior to occupation in the Old Testament does not stand as a command that goes forth into the future or is it taken as a command for living today. Christianity has a command that has been misapplied, but we have since straightened that out. The command, directly from Jesus, was to go and make disciples. Through the crusades and other forced conversions Christians have learned that force does not get a person’s heart to engage. And without the heart being engaged there isn’t a Christian no matter how many church services one attends.

As with all religions there is a lifestyle that accompanies the belief and for Christianity it isn’t a lifestyle of warring and murdering innocent men, women and children. It is a lifestyle rather of helping them. And many of today’s Christians will help whether or not the person they are helping has a saving knowledge of Christ because the hope is that through their help the person will see Christ in them and want Him in their life.  It is the living out in our lives of the precept that God is love.

So, the Muslim has a very difficult problem to face.  If, in fact they really should not be killing the “infidel” (which is what the world believes), who is usually someone totally innocent of any wrong against them other than their perceived wrong of not believing in Mohammed then they also have to accept that their Quran is wrong.  And that sets up a complete destruction of their faith, again, in my opinion.

My understanding is the violent Islamists of today believe they are at war.  Problem being they are taking this “war” to people that are not attacking them.  Rather they are the ones attacking.  The Christians have already tried this.  It was in the crusades.  It didn’t work.  It won’t work now.  Christians finally came to understand that they had to do things differently and their scripture is such that reinterpreting it did not destroy the whole belief system.  It was obvious that the scripture stood, the interpretation of it didn’t.  At some point there is going to have to be a rethinking of the verses that command the death of every infidel and then we will see if Islam can stand.  The world is not going to let this continue on ad infinitum.  And how they reinterpret their scripture to comply with how the world is going to demand they live is going to determine if they survive.  And how can they survive if they have to admit that their Quran is not a book that they can embrace completely?  That some of what it says is flawed.

Getting This off my Chest

I’ve been rather lax lately in keeping up with my posts.  With Fall just a few weeks away that will change, but I have realized that I need an outlet for my “opinions.”  All these posts will be under one category and if you don’t want to read my opinions I completely understand.

This summer was a first for me.  I participated in the “Stand for Life” rally in Austin.  My husband and I made the trip down there twice to show our support for the bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks and required that abortion clinics have the same requirements found in ambulatory surgical centers.  This has been all over the news because Texas, supposedly, passed the most restrictive bill to come out so far.  The bill itself was largely inspired by the horrors of the Kermit Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia.  But sentiment has been moving away from non-restricted abortions for quite some time now.  My belief is that with the addition of sonograms during pregnancy we are more aware that this is really a little human than we were when Roe vs Wade was enacted.

The situation in Austin was very interesting from a number of viewpoints.  First, it was a bold-faced confrontation with Satan and his influence.  Why do I say that?  Because the earmarks were there.  The twisted faces yelling.  The total disrespect for the Rules of Order in the chamber galleries.  There were many signs directed at religion in general, a few specifically directed at Christ.  The actions the opposition wanted to take and did in some cases were beyond the pale in bad taste. But what I love the most about the whole debate is how illogical it is.  That is truly a mark of Satan.  When you can’t see that your argument actually has no basis then you really are “under the influence.”

Why is their argument illogical?  Well, what they want is control over their bodies.  That’s what they kept screaming, “My body. My choice.”  Okay.  Make your choice.  Just do it before you impact another human being.  In other words, choose to abstain and failing that choose to use birth control.  If you choose to use birth control be responsible enough to know that it may fail and know going in that you may create a life and in doing so you have become responsible for that life.  That is what an actual adult would do.  Since a large number of the protesters were college students from the University of Texas, I’m going to assume they have critical thinking skills.  Those skills must have been suspended for some reason.

I am the mother of two girls and that was how they were reared.  They knew when they started dating that if they became sexually active they risked a pregnancy and if a pregnancy occurred there was not going to be an abortion.  They were taught responsibility for their actions.

Yes, you can make the argument for the young woman who is not taught the basics of being responsible.  I get it.  That doesn’t mean I think her unintended child should pay with its life for her lack of responsibility.  As a matter of fact I think the abortion industry preys on these women.  It is a falsehood that you just have the abortion and that is it.  Your body knows that you have been pregnant.  And your body knows that you are no longer pregnant and you have not given birth.  There are many physical and hormonal changes that occur with gestation and birth.  That’s the way God made us (or evolution if you think that way). And most importantly you know you have been pregnant.  And as I often say I don’t know anyone who upon being told they are pregnant thinks, “Oh, I have foreign tissue in my body.”  What you think is – “It’s a baby!”  And once that has happened you can never go back.  You can never say you weren’t pregnant.  For the rest of your life  you have that knowledge.  Unfortunately, for some they also know that they ended a life and they live with that guilt.  Yes, I know that some women know all this and proceed with an abortion anyway.  We must work harder to help them.  We must work harder to save their unborn child.  And we must find avenues that allow for that life and for the mother to continue with her life, sans child if she desires.  There are thousands of people waiting to adopt.  They are the light on the hill for that unborn child.

Apple Cider Vinegar

I swear I will figure this all out somehow.  Anyway, even though I was doing my burst exercises and watching my calories — sort of, I have seen a slight creep in my weight.  I gave it some thought and realized that prior I had been doing the apple cider vinegar/lemon/cinnamon cleanse thing once a day.  Then I started researching apple cider vinegar and realized I may have made a mistake by stopping this daily routine.  So, yesterday I started it again and overnight the weight started dropping off again.  What the…???

So, I did a google and got this information:  Does Apple Cider Vinegar help you lose weight?  Seems there actually is some science behind it.  I need to adjust a little and do a little drink before each meal.  I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that little packet of Truvia might help keep the drink going down.

So here’s what I’ve made the routine so far:  daily calorie restriction, 1,200 to 1,500 a day, but more towards the 1,200.  Three times a week burst training exercise.  Daily vinegar/lemon juice/cinnamon/truvia drink.  And now two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before each meal.  As a fair disclaimer — so far I am still drinking a Coke a day, the bottles that total 200 calories.  But with the vinegar I seem to be losing the craving for the Coke.  I might make real progress if I cut out the Coke!  But that’s hard when you’re a Coke-a-holic.

Let me say that I’ve tried all of this stuff before except the vinegar, but not in combination.  I’ve given up Coke for days and weeks and nothing.  I’ve exercised like a wild person every day, at one point for two hours a day and nothing.  I’ve fasted with moderate, but not enough success.  It isn’t until I started combining all these elements together that I felt like I had real hope of turning this around.

Burst Training Again

I started the burst training recommended by Dr. Pompa last week.  Then I took a whole weekend off from everything.  No restricted calories, no burst training, but I did walk well over a mile or more at a flea market.  Then today, it was back at it again.  And the burst training exercise was harder than ever.  I went the first round and thought I was going to die.  Waited two minutes and went the second round short 10 seconds of a full minute and knew I was going to die.  Waited three minutes and could only do 40 seconds and felt like I should just collapse.  Even now, 20 minutes later I’m still feeling it.  And I’ve been nauseated.  I don’t know where that comes from.  Do you suppose I really am sick?  Naw, surely not.  Anyway, as with all exercise the first time is great, the second time it gets harder and so on.  Had I not been a big fan of doing all kinds of exercise DVD’s for years I would not know that.  But I’ve been able to persevere before so I should be able to push on through with this too.  OR!  I could claim my age has me and just give up.  No, that’s no fun.  I’ll just keep going and keep telling myself it is going to get better.

I have to say though it is really depressing that you can work out for years.  Have a knee injury that puts you off for months and feel like you never worked out a day in your life when you start back.

Seriously, people, I’m about to throw up.

Hitting the Weight Loss Wall

Several weeks, maybe over a month ago I blogged that I was doing the 5/2 Diet which quickly became the 14 to 16 hour Fasting Diet.  I’ve been doing that ever since.  I’ve kept my caloric intake below 1500 on most days and normally around 1200 to 1300 a day.  I dropped 6 pounds wham-o.  And then, thud, I hit the wall.  Everyone knows how depressing it is to be hungry most of the day and get on the scales the next morning and not see an ounce of change in your weight.  It leads to eating cake.

Then I saw in Southern Living a new product called SeroVital which is supposed to ramp up your HGH levels which coincidentally should make you lose weight and tighten your skin and make you feel better and — well, it’s just a miracle, isn’t it?  Except it’s taking something that costs $100 a month to maintain.  I thought to myself, there has to be a better, more natural way.  Then I found Dr. Pompa.  The first video of his I watched was one on raising your HGH levels naturally through high intensity burst exercising.  Here’s a link to the video:  Weight Loss and Anti-Aging.  Exercising 10 minutes every other day — uh, I think I can do that!

So, if you watch the video you see he does a simple squat and press with weights as fast as he can for a minute or less.  Then he rests until his breath returns to somewhere near normal or 2 to 3 minutes.  Then he goes again for 3 or 4 repetitions.  I have weights, I have lots of weights.  I know how to squat and press.  I do it.  I am sweating like a pig afterwards.  A very good sign that my body is releasing toxins.  I congratulate myself on a job well done and go about my day.

I get up this morning and there it is!  I’ve lost a little over a pound.  I am now in a territory I haven’t seen in quite some time.  Nothing like success to motivate.

Day 7 – Hilo Hattie’s

On our last day, essentially, of the cruise we decided to do a little souvenir shopping.  We hadn’t booked any excursions because we were on Kauai and most of the excursions were very expensive.  This is the garden island and a lot of the excursions are helicopter rides, translate that as big bucks.  And the departure time was early afternoon.

We took one of the shuttles that Hilo Hattie’s provides to the store.  That should have been my first clue right there!  Anyway, upon arrival in the store we were each handed a key and told to try to unlock the treasure chest on the counter.  The keys didn’t unlock a thing.  BUT!  We had a consolation prize in the form of a discount ticket to pick an oyster and win a pearl.  The oysters cost something like $15 to purchase.  My second clue.  I received 50 % off and my husband got 30% off, I think.  But, of course, all I saw was the 50% off and my brain clicked into bargain time.  Wrong.  We followed the lovely young sales person back to the jewelry counter where they kept the oysters and I picked out my oyster.  There is this horrible little ceremony they make you go through that lets everyone in the store know you are buying an oyster and therefore a pearl.  After which they open the oyster for you and dig out the pearl.  Every oyster has a pearl. And then the real fun begins.

After she cleans the pearl she wants to mount the pearl.  Of course she does.  So, she pulls out some mountings starting with $300 mountings for my less than $15 pearl.  That was a no from me with a sideways glance at my husband trying to mentally transmit to him that he needed to step in here and get me out of this.  So, she goes down to the $200 mountings.  I gave in at the $100 mountings and let her mount my pearl.  Whew, I thought.  That’s over.  Oh, no it wasn’t.  Complimenting my husband on his patience and how much he loved me to let me chose such a lovely mounting for my pearl (which unbeknownst to her was coming strictly out of my pocket) she offers him a “free” pearl.  Are you kidding me?  These people have got this down to an absolute science.

He picks his oyster and she opens it to find, surprise!, another pearl.  He then promptly turns to me and gives me the pearl.  If looks could kill.  Anyway, we start the process over.  By this time I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my two daughters are going to some day inherit solitaire pearl necklaces and I go forth with the second mounting.  They are very pretty, lovely as a matter of fact.  And she may be right I might have paid a lot more to have them mounted back home.  My point being I didn’t intend to buy any more pearls.  I had bought a pearl twice the size with a very simple mounting for under $45 on another island.  At least I hope it is a real pearl.  I am assuming it is.  However, I had a pearl from Hawaii.  And secondly, I have only the pearl.  Now I will, someday, have to come up with necklaces, gold necklaces or chains for the pearl pendants, which I just priced.  That will cost me at this time in history around $400 a chain.  So, my wonderful 50% off that got me my wonderful $7.50 pearl and a “free” pearl is going to end up costing me around $500 each necklace by the time all is said and done.  Oh, how I wish I had taken advantage of the offer that lovely lady where I bought the first pearl gave me.  She said they were moving the shop and make her an offer on anything in the store.  She had some really nice, big smokey grey pearls, or pink or white that I probably could have picked up for a real bargain.  But I didn’t think the captain would make the trip back so I could take advantage of her sale.

After our pearl adventure we finished our shopping.  I in stunned silence.  My husband in his usual jovial, chatty mood.  For the rest of the day I meditated on what had happened… and not in a happy way.  The next morning after breakfast my husband says, “Are you happy with your purchases yet?”  He knows me too well.  Yes, begrudgingly, I’m happy.  I’ll say this, I’m not likely to forget it.

Fasting at Three Weeks

I managed to do the 5/2 Fasting Diet for two weeks.  By the end of the second week I realized that I was quite capable of overcoming any good I was doing myself with the fast on the days off from the fast.  My weight had dropped almost four pounds, but I could easily gain that back during the three day break.  Not wanting to yo-yo my way down the scale I did some more research. And found another fasting diet that claims to have the same benefits only better.  This is intermittent fasting on a daily basis.

I eat for six to eight hours and I fast for 18 to 16 hours.  The eating occurs in a block and the fasting occurs in a block.  For my personality and my level of discipline saying you can’t eat during these hours is easier.  I found on the 5/2 diet I was constantly trying to figure out what I was going to eat and when to get the calorie intake I could have and stave off the hunger.  On this diet if I’m hungry the answer is just bear it.   However, I’m not that hungry during my fasting time, most of which I spend sleeping.  And when I can eat, I eat whatever I want.

I have noticed that after just four days on this new regime I do consider what I’m going to eat a little more than I did in the beginning.  And I’m trying to listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry.  I don’t rush into the kitchen in the morning and start eating.  I wait until I’m hungry.  At first that made me a little panicky because I knew the clock was ticking and I wasn’t going to be able to eat after say 3:00 in the afternoon.  But now I don’t panic because I know it’s just for that evening and if I’m hungry in the morning I can eat.

I am within two pounds now of my first brick wall.  A weight that I haven’t seen the south side of for quite some time.  If things continue as they are going I should break that barrier next week.

I’m Still Alive!

I fasted yesterday, the Micheal Mosley way, but still it was a fast.  The big news is I didn’t wake up famished.  I didn’t eat until my normal time to eat and I didn’t eat a ton of breakfast, just my normal breakfast.  And I’m not finding I’ve got See-Food disease either.  You know where you see food and you eat it.

I started the day off with one scrambled egg made with a little water and two strawberries, no sugar.  That held me until around 1:30, 2:00 in the afternoon and then I ate a large salad taking my cues from the South Beach Diet.  I didn’t finish the salad.  Then I was okay, but not great until the evening at which time I had a very small piece of chicken.  I had started feeling rather lethargic so I was ready to go to bed early and knowing that once asleep I wouldn’t know I wasn’t eating I opted to go to bed early.  Then I awoke this morning knowing I had consumed somewhere over 400, but under 500 calories yesterday, right on target for what is considered a fast in the 5/2 Diet.

I jumped on the scales this morning because I could tell I was throwing off a lot of inflammation yesterday (in other words I peed a lot, sorry).  And from the last time I weighed, which was not the morning of the fast, until this morning I had lost over three pounds.  Wow!  Now, I don’t expect that three pounds to hold until I fast again on Thursday, but I don’t expect to gain it all back either.

I did learn one very important thing yesterday and that is to plan what I’m going to eat prior to the fast day.  I was a little surprised that my salad was as few calories as it was.  Had I known I was only going to get to around 250 calories with the salad I would have added in some kind of protein.  And the protein would have probably kept me feeling a little better in the evening.  Staying busy helps too.  If you stay busy you aren’t thinking about the Ritz crackers in the pantry.

So, although I’m not eager for the next fast day, I’m not going to quit.  This is doable particularly because after you get to a certain point you can cut your fast days down to one a week.

For me the main point is the loss of inflammation and belly fat.  I absolutely must give my body a rest from all the punishment I put it through.  And that sells me on this diet above all others.

Hawaii – Day 6, Kona and the Glass Bottom Boat

We had originally scheduled a snorkel trip, but after being on several islands and being a little chilly every time we canceled the snorkel trip.  Given that it would have been on a day that we had to be back at the ship by 1:00 p.m., I’m glad we did.  That is really not enough time.  Which, I think I should mention, if you are going to plan this trip by yourself pay attention to when the ship is leaving while choosing your excursions.  All the excursions are, of course, planned around the ships sailing times, but if you’re like us you don’t want to feel the pressure of being there on time or getting left.  We have been on our own on other cruises and never really felt like we were in charge of where to be when, particularly if ship time is different from the time on land.  Anyhoo, we rescheduled our excursion to be on a glass bottomed boat in Kona, our stop for the day.

The Kona stop has the ship out in the water so you take an excursion boat, which is also the life raft, to the shore.  The seas were a little choppy that day so that was a little bit of excitement.  But getting from the ship to the glass bottom boat was nothing.  They dropped us off at the only pier, I’m assuming, in Kona and we walked across the pier to the glass bottomed boat.  This is an option of you don’t want to go snorkeling, but I have a feeling snorkeling would have been better, maybe.  I’m not that conversant on the sea life in Hawaii.  The only other place I’ve snorkeled is in the Virgin Islands, so that is my only comparison.

Once again the people leading the excursion were very informative.  They knew all about the reef around the island and the fish inhabiting the reef.  I was just a little disappointed in the lack of diversity of fish.  There were lots and lots of Tang and some other fish, but as you have probably surmised, the only one I can remember is the Tang.  They are yellow, they kind of stick out.  And trying to catch the little buggers on film is almost impossible because you have to do it as the window passes over them. I snapped 16 pictures and this is the only one with a fish in it.

Hawaii - 2013 109

What I remember the most about the trip was the people getting seasick on the boat.  Yep, throwing up, right there in front of God and everyone.  The staff on the boat warned us about this before we left the shore so this must happen on a regular basis.  The combination of going under power and sitting with your head hanging over a glass window in the bottom must do a lot of people in.  I feel very fortunate that I have never been seasick, mildly nauseous, but not seasick.  I am aware though that being below and under power can have that affect on you.  The solution is to get up on deck and in the wind.  That usually solves it for most people.  However, doing that means you don’t get to look though the bottom which is why you came in the first place.

So, I’ll be real honest and say this was my least favorite excursion, but it did get us off the boat.  Afterwards, we walked around Kona for a bit and shopped and then went back to the ship.  An easy, relaxing day.  And by this time we were so relaxed it would have been hard to get us excited about a fire on-board or the ship blowing up or any number of things.

I’m Fat

Yesterday my husband and I went to the first birthday of his only granddaughter/grandchild.   And in this age of immediate social media almost before we were home from the party there were pictures posted on Facebook.  And for the first time in a long time I allowed myself to really look at those pictures and say to myself, “You’re fat.  Do something.”  I was planning on doing something starting this week, but the pictures convinced me I really must start somewhere and keep going.

As a little history, I am a cancer survivor.  I had breast cancer seven, almost eight years ago.  I am also over the age of 60.  And I’ve been on hormone replacement therapy for over two decades.  But the biggest factor in this weight is I’m in a very happy marriage.  I know that sounds really silly, but I have noticed that being married to someone that really loves me and lets me be me has given me every excuse in the book to do what I want and a lot of that involves eating what I want.  I’m not blaming my husband, I’m just saying that is my reality.  It didn’t used to be so.  I was in a very sad marriage before.  My husband was hyper-critical and I was never good enough.  I worked myself to the bone.  Once that marriage ended I didn’t gain weight because I hoped at some point I would remarry and have a chance to really have a loving marriage.  And my husband, who is a widower, will tell you the same thing.  We were very trim when we started dating.

The cancer also led me to a doctor that is always on the cutting edge of what they are learning about cancer.  Annoyingly, he is on the cutting edge of what they are learning about cancer.  I keep asking him just how he plans for me to die because if I followed his advice to the letter I don’t think that would be a possibility.  Fortunately, I haven’t done that so I assume I’m right on schedule for my check-out time.  However, it’s gone past that now.  The latest thing he dropped on me was that there had been a study done recently that said that if a person cut out wheat and refined sugar five days a week their inflammation levels would drop to the point that having it for two days a week would not make a difference.

And that brings me to my point here.  My daughter recently introduced me to the 5/2 Diet.  You eat five days a week and you fast two days a week. Here is a link to Michael Mosley explaining it.  I am starting tomorrow, Monday, April 8th.

Here goes nothing!  When I get brave enough I’ll post the picture from the party and maybe in a few weeks I can also post improvement.  Nothing before this has worked, not restricted calories, not yoga, not working out daily at the gym.  So, wish me luck.  I’m not good at this.