Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review - Life Inside The "Thin" Cage

I first heard about this book at the .mom conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

This book was great!

I have decided to include an excerpt of the book that really impacted me while I was reading it. This is when it hit me that the way I was looking at my eating habits and the way I was putting myself down were not healthy. Seeing someone else write the same things I was thinking really put things in perspective.

In chapter 17 Constance Rhodes, the author, mentions something called the "message tapes". She says that these message tapes play in our heads constantly and never give us rest. These tapes play over and over in our minds regarding food, what it is to be attractive, how we mess up regarding our food intake and so on. 

These are the "message sound bites" a lady shared with Constance. It can be found on page 147 of the book:

If  you eat this, everyone will think you're a pig

If you eat this, you are childish and unhealthy.

If you eat this, you will show weakness.

If you eat this, you will cancel out any exercise you've done this week.

If you eat this, you have no self-control.

If you get fat, you will not be respected at work.

If you get fat, you won't have any physical beauty.

If you eat this, people will think, "No wonder she is overweight"

If you eat this, you will disappoint God.

If you eat this, God won't love you as much.

If you eat this, God and everyone at the table will know what  a bad person you are.

If you eat this, people will think you're ignorant.

If you eat this, you won't be special because of your size.

If you eat this, you will have to pay for it for the rest of the week by not eating breakfast or lunch.

If your clothes fit too tightly, it means you are a horrible person who should have known better than to eat too much.

If you eat dessert, you may as well give up on having any self-control ever again.

If you start to get fat, you will not be able to stop. You will lose control.

Any unhealthy food is like poison in your system that you will never get rid of.

Does this sound familiar? It did for me. I couldn't believe someone else thought like me! And seeing it in black and white and on paper, I realized how demented this way of thinking was. What a horrible way to live. This book helps a lot in finding peace. The world has really twisted what the true image of beauty is. It puts things in a perspective that makes you want to snatch any little girl and tell her what real beauty is all about. 

If you hear any of these "messages" when you eat, then this book is going to help you. There is no secret formula or diet to follow. On the contrary you get to enjoy your life and not live in slavery of the latest diet craze.

One thing I didn't like about the book though is that it recommends seeking therapy or counseling. I am not really into that too much. Prayer seems to work best for me and taking my questions, fears, concerns and everything else to God - I believe - is the best help I can get. The Holy Spirit you usually guides me in what steps to take to better myself and of course, God's Word guides my path.

I read the book in about a week. There are steps to take to help you cease with the "message tapes". Frankly I haven't lost any weight since reading the book, but neither have I gained any. BUT!!! I have enjoyed foods that before were off limits. I have cooked my favorite recipes and have enjoyed them with my family. I cook more for them and they actually love  my food. I don't berate my kids or my husband in not eating this or that. If my clothes feel snug because of my period, I don't panic and go on a starvation-binge cycle. Eventually, the water retention goes away and I feel fine again. Before I would have lost maybe  1 to 5 pounds then would have binged and starved and not enjoyed anything and would have ended up at the same weight. This time, I didn't have the roller coaster of emotions, and I am still at the same weight. Go figure!

I recommend this book to any woman struggling to be comfortable in her own skin. To the woman who hurts her own feelings all the time. To the woman with negative "message tapes". To the woman caught in the "thin cage".

I give this book 8 out of 10 stars
Total pages: 227

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Son of Hamas - Book Review

As an American, I don't understand what it is like to be occupied by a stronger regime.  I do not understand what it is like to see family members killed. I do not have to physically fight for my rights or be afraid of being tortured for information or because of my beliefs. Most people I know that have died, have died due to sickness, disease, old age or accidents. I live very comfortably in a cozy home with running water and electricity. I do not know hunger, unless I am fasting.  I own a car, a TV, a computer and other seemingly worthless things. And above all, I have never been afraid to worship my God. The only fear that comes with worship is in my own mind and placed there by my own inhibitions. Will someone think I am a hypocrite if I raise my hands to worship Jesus? Will someone be disturbed if I say "amen" too loudly? Will someone get offended if - dare I say it!? - danced in worshiping my Lord? The only fear I have when it comes to worshiping, praying, reading my Bible, or professing my faith is the fear that I might offend someone. How pathetic!

This is why I picked up this book to read. I wanted to read about the story of a man who, according to the world, would become the next Hamas leader. But God had different plans for him. Mosab Hassan Yousef, the firstborn son of the Hamas leader became a servant of my Jesus Christ. The man who five times a day prayed to allah, is now praying to the same Jesus I pray to. The man with a family that disowned him because of his new faith, now has a new family in the body of the Bride. I wanted to read about his story.

I could not put this book down. Besides having his conversion story, there is also the story of the forever war between Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Mr. Hassan tells an intriguing story of pain, murder, espionage and faith. This book reads like a spy thriller and I was really impressed in how entertaining it was. Hassan's story is beautiful and very sad at the same time. He eventually finds Jesus and spiritual rest but at a very high cost.

This book also goes into the Muslim culture and explains several Islamic rituals. Hasaan also exhorts Believers about passing from praying for others and actually doing something about what we pray about and who we pray for.
Recommended for: Any Christian, especially ones who like reading suspense, biographies, and books on espionage. Also Christian Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans will appreciate this book.

Warnings: There are plenty of chapters involving brutal torture, including the author's. There are several paragraphs that talk about promiscuity and unnatural sex acts. There are lots of chapters full of violence, death, bombs and the use of other military weapons.

Rating: 10 out of 10 stars
Pages: 265

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cinnathumb Buns

Oh my! These were delicious and all 20 were gone in about an hour!

1 C milk
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/4 yeast (or one envelope)
4 C bread flour
5 Tbsp butter (room temperature)

Filling & Glazing
3 Tbsp butter (room temperature)
3 Tbsp sugar
1 egg lightly beaten

3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Heat the milk in a large saucepan, just until warm. Whisk the egg seperately with a little bit of the warm milk, then pour into the saucepan and whisk. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon to the saucepan and mix well

In a separate bowl mix the flour and yeast together. Add a little of this flour mixture to the saucepan and whisk well to introduce lots of air into the dough. Continue to add the flour mixture. Once it gets to thick to use the whisk, use a wooden spoon. Finally add the butter and knead it into the dough with your hands until thoroughly incorporated. (The dough will be slippery)

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is elastic and is no longer sticky. Add more flour if necessary. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

After 1 hour, punch down the dough  and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes. Divide into four, then divide each piece into five again so you have a total of 20 pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Cover again and let prove for another 30 minutes.

Make the filling by mixing the butter and sugar together.

Pre-heat oven to 400F

After the 30 minutes, press your finger into the top of each bun to make a hole (I used my thumb!) and fill it with the filling. Brush the beaten egg on top of the buns. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

While still hot sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon generously over the buns. Eat warm!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anne Askew - Daughter of the Reformation

I stumbled upon this person while doing research on the word "heretic".  In the back of my mind I think I remember reading about her a long time ago, but I am so glad that I was able to research a little about her. Anne Askew stood up for what she believed and she paid a heavy price for her faith.

Anne Askew is believed to have been born in the year 1520. She had an older sister named Martha that was betrothed to Thomas Kyme, but when her sister died before she was able to marry Thomas, Anne was forced to marry Thomas in her sister's stead. This devastated Anne and she never adopted Thomas surname. She asked for a divorce from him based on I Corinthians 7:15, but the divorce was never granted.

It is believed that she had more than one child, but we only have the name of one child named, William Askew.

In 1545 she was arrested in London for heresy, but was acquitted and sent to her husband. The last time she was arrested it was again for heresy. She was asked to name any others that practiced the "new" faith and was even asked if Henry's latest wife, Catherine Parr was also partaking of the new "reformation". Her interrogators and tormentors wanted proof to arrest the latest queen of Henry VIII. Queen Catherine was a Protestant sympathizer and if it wasn't for Henry's death, she probably would have been "dispose of" some way or another by Henry.  It is erroneously believed that Henry converted to Protestantism or was a Reformer, but he wasn't. What he did was put himself as Supreme Head of the Church instead of the Pope. In 1539 Henry authorized the Act of the Six Articles which are Catholic doctrines in everything but name. Anyone disobeying these laws would be treated as a heretic.

Summary of the Six Articles:
1. The Holy Sacraments (Lord's Supper) is the literal, actual blood and body of Jesus. Also called transubstantiation.
2. The Holy Sacraments could be withheld from those who are not clergy.
3. Priest of any order were to remain celibate
4. Observance of vows of chastity
5. Permission for private masses
6. Importance of confessing sins to a priest.

It is because of the first article that got Anne into the most trouble. She boldly preached that if the Holy Sacrament bread were put in a box that it would eventually mold. That Jesus used many times objects to REPRESENT Him. She said that Jesus called Himself "the door", "the light", "the rock", but none of these were taken as literal meanings.