Friday, August 27, 2010

CNN Reports

The Blockade That Is Halki

Posted by IN.GR Athens August 27, 2010

To break the blockade of the Theological School of Halki, even for just one month, managed 101 Greek artists. After 30 years of silence, the School will open to host the exhibition "Tracing Istanbul.
The exhibition will take place from 28 August to 23 September in Sismanoglio Hall and the Theological School of Halki, and in early October will be transferred to the "Technopolis in Athens.
"The idea with enthusiasm. It is an opportunity to contact the Greek and Turkish people. Particularly important is that it reopens and the School of Halki. It is an opportunity to join the Greeks in his past. Art is the only way to get around the two peoples. Only when we build a selfless, spiritual relationship will be able to have physical relationship. When a hostile attitude, it means that there is a spiritual connection, "said the News, Alekos Pheasant, whose works included in the report.
According to the curator Iris Cretan works, created for the most part for the purpose of the report, trace, and snapshots of reading mythological, historical and everyday recollections of ancient, Byzantine memories and lives of emperors and saints, dervish dances, romantic wandering travelers, handwritten notebooks and maps, newer memorabilia and historical photos and artifacts.
Alongside the exhibition, a specially designed area of the Theological School will run the 50-min documentary, "Tracing the City."
The exhibition is organized by the White Fox Company in cooperation with the Orthodox Theological School of Halki, the Greek consulate in Istanbul and the "Technopolis" of the City of Athens.
In the "Technopolis", and the report will be enriched with exhibits from the museum in Prince Adalar relating to geomorphology and history of Halki.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Islam the Slight of Hand

There is certainly a mix of wonderful happenings for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reclaiming of human dignity expressed in fundamental expression of religious liberty and freedom. Turkey is making some good faith effort to put its best foot forward let's hope this is just a sampling of the complete reinstatement of the Ecumenical standing within the State of Turkey; the only official state blinded to this fact and lost in it's militant secularist insecurities.
Here in the United States there continues to be the press for the islamization of the media and the new currency of acceptable attitudes and free speech. The blatant disregard for basic decency and sensitivity with the Ground Zero Mosque demonstrates at a minimum, the willful denial of the left to understand context of such an undertaking by Muslims. This 'cultural center' as it is now touted is not a bridge builder but a bridge burner. To discuss the legality and zoning of such a center dismisses the legitimate argument entirely and displaces the necessary focus of it's strategic placement. This is about more then American tolerance as if there has been a rash of anti muslim centiment or a backlash after 911 non of which happened. In fact we as Americans have fallen over ourselves not to profile at airports and split hairs in an attempt to distinguish extremists from moderates and even extremists from terrorists.
All in the name of equality the left has politicized this issue to no end. This integration and assimilation as the left talking points wishes to frame the argument of mosque seeding could just as easily be viewed as invasion. The mosque essentially serves as the community organizer winning the hearts and minds of young disgruntled Americans. They seek out especially those disenfranchized who undergo an acculturation of Islam.
We can't shut our eyes to the seeding and planting of cells within our borders and on the international scene all with their express intent of enforcing foreign religious laws despite what leading leftist commentators claim. The Ground Zero Mosque, Cordoba House is somehow to be equated with American tolerance or intolerance and not at all with Islamic conquest? This begs the question why not, considering the extensive history and undeniable reality on the ground. I take issue with the refusal to at least theorectically explore this concern, as do many rational right thinking Americans, who understand the propensity of Muslims to impose their worldview of domination and subordination which has transcended cultures and centuries.
This reform of 'moderate' Muslims is a fantasy of paper mache; a puppet show for the benefit of the media elites the forward thinking types, who think too much of themselves and their civilized mindset, to even entertain the thought they might actually be wrong. They might have underestimated their counterparts abroad. Not all Jihad is waged with the sword most of it is done with the slight of hand and hidden or 'buried' in policy.
All the Bush bashers are blaming the inarticulate Bush for all that is wrong in American foreign policy or domestic unrest. They have cocooned themselves in a logic tight compartmentalized thinking and they wish to take us all with them. Religious people are good as long as they are not Christians then they are close minded intolerant haters. After all not all Moslem's strap themselves to bombs or behead their wives or refuse basic civil rights to their mothers, daughters or sisters.

As for the marathon training for the run for religious freedom it is going very well. I'm definitely back in my groove. Official training commencing in about 3 weeks. If you haven't registered with our temporary home, please do under the Team 34220 tab.

Reopen the doors of St Demetrios after 39 years, Imvros

Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoğlu

Bardakoğlu: Everyone’s need for house of worship should be met

Today's ZamamReligious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoğlu has said providing places of worship for the believers of all religions is a part of religious freedom, underlining that everyone’s need for a place of worship should be met, regardless of their religion, race or color.Stating that the broader expansion of freedoms in Turkey has also positively affected religious freedoms specifically, he said he welcomes the opening of new mosques and holding religious services at historic places. “We do not deserve to be referred to as a country where religious freedoms are restricted. We regard the demands of members of other religions as integral to freedom of religion. Meeting these demands and opening churches or other places of worships would not bring harm to Turkey. Similarly, a country that allows opening mosques does not Islamicize. There are many mosques on Rhodes, in western Thrace and Macedonia which have yet to be re-opened. It does no harm to anybody to meet the needs for a place of worship of Muslims there, or Christians or Jews somewhere else. On the contrary, it contributes much to social tolerance,” Bardakoğlu said on Tuesday during a fast-breaking (iftar) dinner organized for journalists in Ankara.A historic religious service was held at Sümela Monastery in the Black Sea coastal province of Trabzon on Aug. 15. Three-thousand Orthodox Christians gathered for the service at the ancient monastery early in the day, which came after the government allowed a church service to be held there once a year in a gradual loosening of restrictions on religious expression. The service was officiated by İstanbul-based Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew. Pilgrims from Greece, Russia, Georgia and other countries traveled to the monastery, which currently serves as a museum. Around 500 pilgrims were admitted to the monastery, and the remaining participants watched the event from large screens set up outside Sümela.After the service, Patriarch Bartholomew offered his thanks to the Ministry of Culture for its willingness to open the monastery for an annual service. He said the opening of the monastery doors for a religious service was an act of courtesy on the part of the Turkish government.Touching upon another controversial issue surrounding religious freedom in Turkey, Bardakoğlu said a former Roman Catholic church in Tarsus, which was confiscated by the state in 1943 and is now a museum, should be turned back into a house of worship and that such a move would be a very positive step toward expanding religious freedoms. “Giving some the opportunity to represent Turkey as a country restricting religious freedoms is not correct. When I went to Tarsus, I said that there is nothing wrong with reopening St. Paul’s Church, which is now a museum. I said it would even be a positive step for more freedom of religion in Turkey. We want religious freedom not only for Muslims and Christians, but for everyone,” he said.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Call All Orthodox Christians and Runners

As many of you are already aware I've been organizing a national free marathon team-in-training. The first race is scheduled for Walt Disney World January 9, 2011. This venue was picked because of its great organization, family friendly venue and it being open to all first time runners. The main purpose for providing such a time consuming and personally costly venture is the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the need orthodox Christians to demand openly the right for religious freedom. I was glad to learn OCMC is also having a 50 mile run that Saturday for the missions a worthy endeavor. Without religious freedom there can be no mission no meaningful planting and sustaining of churches. Please note we are in the last four weeks of preseason training. Get registered make the commitment and the rest will come. Sign up for your weekly mileage guide and support at my website see the Team 34220 tabs. There is no cost to joining the effort only an opportunity to be a part of something big something worthwhile. Let's create together an Orthodox presence in the running community. 26.2 miles is a long way but it is doable. We can do it together. Join me it's not to late. I've run it twice before and each time I learn more about myself my convictions and while smashing preconceived notions about personal limits. Stand up and train with me join this lone voice and run for religious freedom. I'm designing a clothing line and the gear will be useful and cool.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheney Gets It

‎"YOU MAY BE A TALIBAN IF...(Is this insensitive??) NOT

1.. You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor
2. You ... own a $3,000 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.
3. You have more wives than teeth.
4. You wipe your butt with your bare hand, but consider bacon
5. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.
6. You can't think of anyone you haven't declared Jihad against.
7. You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.
8. You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.
9. You have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four.
10. You've always had a crush on your neighbor's goat.
From facebook posting by: Aleksandr Reshetar ‎

Fox News Ground Zero Mosque Loser Idea

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Some Cans and Can'ts

You CAN improve: Oxygen Delivery- your heart can pump stronger more efficiently moving more blood volume. This accounts for a lowered heart resting rate sound familiar? Oxygen Absorption- increase in vascular health improves your body's ability to access available oxygenated blood while removing waste bi-products.. Increase numbers of muscle fiber receptors and improve veins capacity to move blood through where it's needed. Gait Economy- through training we gain greater strength and increase stamina which enables runners to expend less effort or energy to move through the run. The first aspect of the run to suffer when we are tired is our gait. Also simple modifications to gait can make running economy far more efficient and less taxing. Strength- stronger muscles contract far more efficiently pushing back the threshold of discomfort the point before pain is experienced. Attitude- one's attitude toward circumstance is central to success or failure. A perceived internal locus of control an ability to effect a change in your ability to persevere is essential to any measure of authentic success or personal insight.
You CAN'T improve: Body mechanics- we are either endowed with the body time and gait best suited for elite running or we're not. All the training can't change genetics.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Port Authority and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

From the album: Wall Photos
Official communication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese August 19, 2010
Photo graphic layout NY Times July 3, 2008 (The GOA facts coincide with proposed plans)
The Rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Christian Church
NEW YORK - As is well known, on September 11, 2001 our city and nation suffered a terrorist attack of unparalleled proportions. In addition to the tragic and horrific loss of almost 3,000 innocent victims, a number of whom were members of our own community..., the world witnessed the unimaginable collapse of the Twin Towers. When the second Tower fell, it landed on and erased all traces of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church of St. Nicholas, the only house of worship destroyed that day. Opened in 1916 by a group of Greek immigrants, the church not only served the spiritual needs of its parishioners but was also a sacred space in which people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds working in the surrounding area would often stop, light a candle and spend a few moments in prayer and reflection. Following the events of 9/11, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the St. Nicholas parish fully cooperated and worked closely with the relevant authorities. Former Governor George Pataki pledged without reservation his support for rebuilding in the belief that it was a necessary part of the healing of New York City and of our nation. Early on, as plans were being formulated for the reconstruction of the area, the Church agreed to relocate and rebuild its house of worship at a new locale to facilitate the envisioned design for the overall site. In 2004, the authorities proposed that the new edifice be built at 130 Liberty Street, a parcel on the same block as the original site, and an agreement was reached between the Archdiocese and the Port Authority. Four successive LMDC/Port Authority administrations honored this mutual agreement which entailed extensive on-going work and planning on the part of all parties. All site plans for the area which the LMDC/Port Authority released to the public show St. Nicholas at this new locale. Regrettably, the latest Port Authority administration in 2009 unexpectedly and arbitrarily reneged on this agreement and as a result, the Archdiocese and St. Nicholas parish are suddenly offered no viable option. LMDC/Port Authority has refused to meet with us. In the meantime the LMDC/Port Authority has excavated the original site without our consent, rendering it unusable, in flagrant violation of our legal rights. The Archdiocese and parish leadership remain firmly committed to the rebuilding of the church honoring the long standing agreement with LMDC/Port Authority. Confident that we have acted in good faith and trusting in Almighty God, we expect that justice will prevail and that we will be successful in this sacred endeavor.

Official communication of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese August 19, 2010

Photo graphic NY Times July 3, 2008

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cordoba House: We are Raya No More! God's Speed to Fr Alex

To deny that Islam from its inception is a reus to rally troops, motivate hoards, ignite faithful people to march on, hijacking God to an unholy cause, is pathological. Mohammad the tyrant was about as enlightened as Jim Jones. He re-established what Roman Emperors of old knew: create or attach to oneself the deity and you are a demagogue to be afforded every concession, every right of passage, every personal indulgence. He created the rule book, the Koran which increased his stature, clout and did much for the morale of his troops. He assimilated basic understanding of religious practice of purification and prayer, of one God. In passing off heresy as legitimate; proclaiming himself the unquestionable keeper of 'the word' and the supreme authority.
For a religion which proclaims to mean peace, it has repeatedly, consistently for centuries conquered, looted, murdered, raped and taking first born sons as a tax for the Janissary. Churches, our sacred spaces were defiled with their conversion to mosques or further disgarded by turning them into fish houses, brothels and bathrooms. By converting religious epicenters into mosques they lay claim to their conquest symbolically and concretely. In recent times, appealing to prideful post-graduate thinkers, with their sophisticated sensibilities; churches are now relogated to remain museums. Deemed as artifacts, places of the old, where simple-minded ritualistic-orientated Neanderthals, who had a knack for art and architecture, beheld their immature philosophy.  All the while these zoning declarations forbid the structures to be used for their original intent. 
Today, sophisticated Muslims blame outsiders for their poor publicity, never speaking out against 'extremists' who kill over unfavorable documentaries and cartoons. They remain personally comfortable and empathetic to zealots who decimate national and religious centers of  peoples deemed 'as others'. 
Schizophrenic political leaders yield to fear, or appealing to some broader, deeper understanding, which seems to allude right-thinking people who get that concessions and ransoms should never be made. There are words which Americans can no longer say, sentiments which we can no longer express. The Muslim leadership has never, nor will they disavow the actions of the extremists. Only non-practicing Muslims (the un-churched to borrow a phrase) are the moderate Muslims; those essentially Muslim on in name only or during Ramadan. Islam will not undergo any reformation because it would spilt the core of Islamic belief conquest and oppression.
So around the world in 30 seconds, Turkey hopes now to invade Europe through legal charter and EU membership. Pass a resolution here, a law there, and with a visa in hand; swoosh Europe will experience a massive exodus of Turks throughout their countrysides. A population shift of 70,000,000 non indigenous peoples. It will be civilized and orderly unlike Cyprus, still a liability and a political nightmare. Invading and displacing hundreds of thousands of people logistically proves more difficult then Turkey anticipated.
Back home Ground zero was brilliant campaign: bomb, decimate and wait. While the Nation recovered from the shock, Islamic advocates infiltrated media, the schools and re-acculturated and redefined what is proper, politically correct, acceptable speech and attitudes. The intimidation of local officials, payoffs, deals for local businesses and appeal to fallacious arguments about tolerance, sophistication and setting the example, were pitched to the people. Government officials are being 'good' Americans by enforcing zoning codes and dismissing claims about the funneling of foreign money. Build the center for tolerance, the  mosque affectionately called Cordoba House, with its official opening September 11, 2011. Yes this is bridge-building at its best. In prison they call it by another name.
Now of course Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church which was decimated on 911 which stood beneath the towering emblems of American financial prowess was asked to move. Some notion of eminent domain and other zoning considerations accompanied with promises of making it right or whatever slimy politicians who enjoy stroking themselves were selling. They probably appealed to cultural sensitivity and understanding now refuse to meet to talk to slate the date for reconstruction. 
Now recalling a bit more history Cordoba House, this outreach center of dialogue and exchange, was named for Islamic stronghold in Spain. The home of one of the largest mosques in the world. Since the retaking of Cordoba, the defeat still stings the pride of Islam, havings iconic significance and has remained a emblem taking back lands for Islam. 
I'm not bigoted or racist. I'm not intolerant I am a reader, pilgrim. I'm an Orthodox Christian and I reject the immature faulty assertions made by Islam. I believe in the Trinitarian God, Christ crucified and resurrected. If your Islamic that's your problem not mine.
Touting the Constitution and Freedom of Religion as a end all is a shell game. We have the right to practice and believe what we want but not just anywhere, anytime. Claiming 'its the law' is no justification. It used to be the law in other lands that Christians are killed. Oh wait a minute it still is. In Turkey, converting to Christianity is considered an insult to Turkishness and a violation of the law. That's right Turkey is democratic and a secular state that makes is just fine then my mistake. In Saudi Arabia non Muslims are corralled like cattle where they can go otherwise they can be shot for defiling scared ground. BTY if you're heading there leave your blackberry home they cut off all service.

Islam is conquering ideology

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Washington Post, John Mark Renolds HOMERUN: Mosque & Halki

Director of the Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University
John Mark Reynolds
Is PR disaster worth it?

President Obama, after saying that building a mosque at Ground Zero fit our "commitment to religious freedom," backtracked, saying he wasn't commenting on the 'wisdom' of building it so close to 'hallowed ground.'
A Fox News poll showed that while 61 percent of Americans believe that Cordoba House has a constitutional right to build near Ground Zero, 64 percent believe it is not appropriate to do so.
Does Obama's hedging show a lack of ethical convictions? Does Hamas' endorsement change the debate? What is behind public opposition to the site? Can you believe in religious freedom but not believe the mosque is appropriate?
If Muslims choose to build near Ground Zero, they should be allowed to do so.
The reaction of the majority of the American public demonstrates that doing so is not wise in the short-term, but it is up to the funders of the Islamic center to decide if the immediate public relations disaster is worth it.
Meanwhile, nobody is helped by the President's bumbling response to the situation. What is his position? Is anybody sure? We recently learned that the President is not reading while in office.
His response proves it.
President Obama's responses were thoughtless and political. He is trying to vote "present" on an issue where the American public will not tolerate hesitancy. In the end Americans will admire courage, even for causes they don't like. Nobody likes a self-serving poll-gazer who tries to split the difference of moral issues.
What should we do?
Nobody should challenge the right of Muslims to build where they can. This is America and we respect both freedom of religion and reasonable uses of private property.
It is good to see Islamic scholars supporting both ideas. Through bitter experience and failure, Western religious people have learned that the free market of ideas is the best way to protect religion. Forced conversions or enforced conformity to a state religion is harmful to the individual, the state, and the religion.
For Islam to become more integrated into the West, it must continue to embrace both freedom of worship and the ownership of private property. Americans trust that the same Muslims pressing for an Islamic study center near Ground Zero will also publically support the rebuilding of the Orthodox Church destroyed on 9/11.
President Obama should press for this Orthodox Christian congregation to be allowed to rebuild their church. The tens of thousands of Arab Christian citizens in the United States, forgotten by the media, know that Christian liturgy has been said in Arabic longer than the Koran has existed. Arab Christians citizens have adopted noble American values, fought in her wars, and supported her government for almost two hundred years. Like all Arabs, they face the stereotypes against that proud people group, but they do so with the added burden of receiving no help from Islamic states abroad.
Now they see a sister Orthodox Church allowed to remain in ruins while the President of the United States defends, more or less, the right to see a new Islamic study center built. As one Arab friend sadly said to me on 9/11, "Why are you shocked? We have been killed for years by the same type."
Orthodox Christians have been slaughtered by Islamic states for centuries. They have been safe in America for hundreds of years, but a failure to rebuild a church destroyed by Islamic fanatics, as so many of their churches have been over the centuries, will send a bad message to this group of American citizens. They long to believe that, unlike in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, or Indonesia, a growth in Islam will necessarily lead to their marginalization and death.
They have a right to be worried and President Obama has only stoked their fears.
We are told that it was a twisted view of Islam that led to the attack on 9/11 and Americans want to believe it. As the Islamic center is built, it would be a generous act of good will, if funding were also found in the Muslim community to rebuild a place of worship destroyed by Islamic miscreants.
Christians have a duty to protect the rights of unpopular groups. We love our religious neighbors and our enemies. If Islam is indeed a religion of peace, Christian trust we will see the same treatment in the parts of the world where Muslims are a majority and Christians are not.
As a result, I look forward to seeing American Islamic scholars and public relations people pushing for the government of Turkey to allow Christians in the most sacred church in the East: Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It will be even easier for them to argue for reopening the Orthodox seminary in Turkey so the Ecumenical Patriarch, spiritual father to millions of Orthodox Christians in the world, can train his clergy.
The same principles should also allow for church planting activity all over the Arabian Peninsula. Despite official statistics, we all know there are Christians residing in Arabia. Can they build churches? Do they have property rights?
Our example in New York City should spur our State Department to ask these questions of the house of Saud, which receives billions in aide from the United States. You can build a mosque in the United States, Kenya, Italy, the United Kingdom, Russia, or Greece. Can you build a church in Arabia?
Following the New York City model, Egyptian Christians, part of Egypt long before Islam, will not face persecution and be allowed to witness to their faith. They will be allowed to build new churches and to easily rehabilitate old ones.
Even more important than buildings is the right to choose one's own religion or lack thereof. Converts to Islam, or atheism for that matter, do not face death in Moscow Russia or Moscow Idaho. I am sure Islamic Americans will labor so that Christian or atheist converts are equally safe in Mecca or Medina.
The hard truth is that Jewish groups in New York City are already being terrorized. They must install metal detectors in their places of worship to avoid real threats. The Ecumenical Patriarch lives in fear of his life and Christians are slaughtered in parts of the Islamic world. Christians, let alone atheists or other faiths, are second-class citizens, officially or unofficially, in the entire Islamic world.
Americans know they have elected a man named Barack Hussein Obama president, but they are sure that the voters in no Muslim land would elect a man named Ignatius John Smith, even if he were allowed to run.
Americans instinctively oppose the 9/11"mosque," because we don't see fair play from the Muslim world. We must overcome this justifiable irritation, allow it to be built, and then trumpet our demands for equal treatment using it as an example.
Western Muslims who embrace Western values of freedom of religion and freedom of property do not face their main foes in New York City Hall or in Washington. They face their main foes in Tehran and Mecca. If they are serious in their commitment to these freedoms, then they will soon open Islamic study centers pressing for these values in Tehran and Mecca.
That is where the real threat to private property and freedom of worship is found globally.
A Muslim in New York should not be safer than a Christian in Arabia if Islam is what it claims to be. Some people I know think Western Muslims are just saying what they must in the West to allow for their own growth. They are not committed to the values of Washington, Lincoln, or Reagan.
If the mosque is built, we shall see what is true by the effort made by Islamic scholars in the West to change things in the parts of the world dominated by Islam.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Create Milestone Every Run

Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death amen.

Today my body was tired and more easily taxed. I had to get control of my thinking and change my approach. I started by bringing my pace way down; by about 30 second per mile. At a mile and a half I thought "just get to three". Something happends when I approach .80 of any distance i kick it to get to the miles marker which is the time to slow for a cool down or turn it up for a strong finish; but not stop, all the while steps yeild mileage.
I'm consistently gauging my progress while ignoring the display. The key is knowing how to use it. It can motivate or it can be like watching water come to a boil.
At three miles I asserted  "just do thirty min". By that time found myself  almost at four miles so I considered keeping it going for 40 min. Once I rechecked the display five miles was not far off. One of my 'go to places' when at a crossroads to continue or to stop respectably, I declare that I'm closer to...(any given distance) now then I will be tomorrow or the next run. This simple declarative shrinks the distance between me and my objective; the resistence yeilds to my determination.  I concluded the session at 50 min. So my padawans I ran just under 5.20 miles (with cool down actual pace was faster) and could have continued in like manner until about an hour without much thought. This run was a perfect example of the dominoe or tipping effect of successful outcomes. One decision increases the likelihood of a direction and progression setting momentum toward achieving short term objectives and goals.
I didn't run longer at this point because the risk of injury especially to my hip would increase. Slow and easy its still pre-season. Another month of strength building and then training will really start and continue without injury God willing. Remember newbies that people stop training because of injury so get strong and keep running.

Team 34220 please remember to keep sending email updating me on your progress and questions.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Want the Payoff? Do the Work

The runs are really coming together. The move of the run is flowing and therapeutic, the work of the run is passed. It is still labor, but not work, not tedious or arduous. By employing basic principles of conditioning I'm getting conditioned. Operant and Classical Conditioning, Continuity and Tokens approaches to behavior modification can help move you through your training. Working for tokens for example setting goals and short term objectives, gives payoffs and increases motivation. The Continuity or Ritual Type is a set-up which increases the likelihood that once you begin the process the domino effect takes place. Operant conditioning is simply reinforcing positive behavior with reward and extinguishing negative. As for classical conditioning you pair pleasure with sensory input.
By taking serious note of what you feel and experience you tag your own currency or payoffs. For me sweat is as trigger a payoff a tonic level of exerersion. I realize I'm making a differenceas evidenced by a lowered resting hear rate, a smaller pant size, an internal locus of control. This is my fountain of youth where wisdom replaces the aches of aging. Increase your measure of success by deciding, doing, and documenting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Finding Your Tonic Level

A tonic place is the most beneficial balance to approaching running and life. It is the point where I maximize my effort without being overwhelmed or too relaxed. It's about making the most of our time, our prayer, our run. From this place we enter the flow 'super-fluidity', the high, ecstasy, the super-peak experience of spiritual performance. In running it can be describe as effortless resistance, free running. Set the tone, the context and the conditions to be totally present in the moment before God. My legs move like pistons of a train. When distractions come,  the ache in my hip or a noise or other types of 'mind' traffic refocus by dismissing them or inviting them to join you. When the rain comes I invite it to run with me. These moments, these out of this world experiences make their arrival during prayer: We can be running, while peeling potatoes, sweeping the floor, and motionless. I require have difficulty with attention I can spend an afternoon chasing a thought that pops into my mind. Running fully engages my body demanding my attention and overt commitment. It's what it takes me to clear the flight of ideas, the fragmented thinking,and everyday distractions which plagues.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Keep Records Write it Down or It Never Happened

I'm currently experiencing an "I told you so moment". As I have advised members of Team 34220 and others through the years write your miles. Log your runs the basics: time, distance traveled, course and process.
I haven't and now I'm suffering from amnesia trying to piece together my log. Well one run melding into another, one mile a mosaic of a week or a session or a moment.
It is quite frustrating to know better and to be here in this place of disorganization. Of course in the long term it all comes out in the wash but I am shaving minutes off miles and gearing up for the official training just under forty days off.
For those of you signed up for Team 34220 if you don't let me know how you are doing I can't guide you short of dictating training miles. Write me call if you'd like. Don't' forget to register for the big race!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Great Follow up 60 MInutes: Ecumenical Patriarchate

Bravo!!! 60 Minutes has done a great job in updating the public about the Ecumencial Patriarchate and the Historical Church!! If you missed it see it on youtube. Let's make this viral. If you haven't signed up with Team 34220 do so and run for religious freedom the world is watching. Register on my website under the Team 34220 tab.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The True Character of Olympians, of Christians

“To me, we must learn to spell the word RESPECT. We must respect the rights and properties of our fellowman. And then learn to play the game of life, as well as the game of athletics, according to the rules of society. If you can take that and put it into practice in the community in which you live, then, to me you have won the greatest championship.” Jesse Owens
Athletics especially going the distance of the marathon is one of the best educators of Christian traits. St. Paul describes discipleship as the good race the wreath of  glory. Conditioning especially paired with an openness to prayer and God stomps out (slothfulness, despair, lust for power and idle talk)  learned helplessness and learned avoidance. The Christian code of conduct is enforced naturally with a good training mindset: Charity, humility patience and love.  Dedication, persistence, endurance, loyalty, perseverance and stamina all Biblical principles.
We are not running for physical prowess that would yield only limited short term benefits we are in effect using our bodies stressing them and engaging them in our spiritual work actively. We are taking the abstract and making it material. The abstract is operationalized and self-evident. Once we have a firm working knowledge of these principles and skill set we will easily integrate and assimilate our strengths into core functioning and approach to living.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Increased Turnover

Today's four+ mile run was focused on increasing leg turnover. I have created, quite unintentionally, a very relaxed and lazy running form where I  leap (to exaggerate my point) from step to step. Pros have a leg turnover rate of about 180 per min. To move more quickly they maintain their turnover while increasing their stride length.
As mentioned already in other entries one benefit of treadmill training is redirecting focus off of road traffic or an unsure path the the mechanics. (Yes, it is true that form is slightly changed on the treadmill as opposed to road running but many pros also use treadmills in their training.) Speed runs, incline running (which I never do) and other pace related training tools can easily be done on a treadmill. I intently worked to increase my turnover rate. I shortened my stride and spent less time in the air thereby decreasing force on impact. Experimenting with stride length, foot landing and leg turnover can all improve efficiency and decrease risk of injury.
If you don't have access to a treadmill and can't get out to run keep a jump rope on hand and get in a 30min. round.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Treadmill Running Ultimate Convenience

Maximizing time is the best way to insure I fit my run into my day. I'm quite flexible about the time of day. In the past I ran my long run faithfully at 6 am on Saturday or Sunday mornings. To be completely honest nothing compares with watching the sunrise.  I enjoy evening runs when the sun is setting leaving straight away from my front door. Very little can compare to running in the rain. Although I can appreciate the idea of a "Y" membership it is inconvenient. The Y is 4 miles from my house. Even if I streamline my routine it still eats 30-45 min: travel, parking, check in, locker etc. I could be finished with my short runs in that time. Having the treadmill at home is great. Today just as I finished my three miles I heard Euphemia who required my attention and I was right there traveling 3+ miles without being further then a flight of stairs.
One major impediment to my run is getting to the run. A major impediment for most people to getting fit and transforming their lives is getting to the gym or the class or to the trail or wherever. I love the convenience of just lacing up and getting out the door. Sometimes I'll fit my run into an errand. I'll run to Publix for a small item instead of driving which also eats up time. If the family is planning a trip to Walmart I meet them there. There have been other times when I get out of the car a few miles from my brother-in-laws and finish on foot. It keeps running interesting, motivates others and give me experience on different surfaces.
One of the most scenic runs I took was in Jamestown. The family was watching glass blowing I wanted to run the countryside a bit. It was only two+ miles back to the parking lot. I was ready for the run (always be ready) and I ran back with the family meeting up with me when they finished. The view was spectacular complete with geese. Be adventurous always have a running outfit and sneakers in the car.
Prayer on the run has been written about a lot in my older blogs. It is a great aid setting that time aside the alone time to go inward breathing rhythmically the heart singing its chant and the mind engaging the soul. It is a Triune experience. I experience a runners high and gain satisfaction from my runs at disportionate rates based on the extensive reading. I believe it's the direct result of prayer. When people ask me to pray for them I run. Nine miles, fifteen and for the Ecumenical Patriarch 26.2. Whatever is required. When the Florida heat subsides I make the fourteen mile trek to vespers spending 2 hours preparing for church. So no excuses get up and run. With  so much competing for our time get smart.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

there's just life

So let's just focus on running. Not running races or setting PR's but simply recognizing and acknowledging that I have accomplished the impossible. I am the most ordinary person the most unliking athletic success story. I fail to meet any criterion for sucess except I am relentless.
I was a child and adolescent who smoked cigarettes and abused my system.  In fact the only stability I had in high school, the only success, was in singing. I sang in every group and competition available. I made all state choir two years (NY All-State) and sadly got bumped from All-easterns by junior with the same score (I was a sophmore) All-Easterns is only held every other year. I sang the National Anthem at my high school graduation taking home the National Choral Award accolade. I gave up singing in college to punish myself or my parents it's not clear. The only place you'll find me vocalizing now is in the church at the direction of Mother Raphaella and perhaps to the dismay of listening parishoners.
So I mention all this for several reasons: first I believe most people struggle with their purpose, identity, relationships, their work, and fail to acknowledge and embrace fully and completely the progress and transformation when it does happen. In full the spirit of honest diclosure I mention how I struggle balance all this celebration with my abrasive tone and def con 5 approach to parenting. I have become what I loath in many ways; initially fearful that my children will who are unspoiled and pure, might get messy.
I have never thought it easier or realistic to think  there is some emotional "White-Out" like pixi dust available to put distance between me and my moments of defeat and sin. I know that despite what progressives are telling our children about the only consequences to grave errors in judgement are the ones imposed by a judgmental conservative group or class; it is a lie from the devil. I have not found that in my ordinary life.
Judgment and condemnation have almost always come at my own hand. This idea that the past is of no consequence is an inane and damaging concept. I don't suggest floundering about drowning with regret but lamenting your mistakes or errors as they live with you and are as much a testament to who you are as your successes. Memory eternal is not relegated to only slivers of personhood.
Interrupting patterns of defeat and destitution, the loneliness and isolation, the personal neglect and dereliction comes only when you insert initially what is a artificial a new pattern of behavior and thought process which over time through the heavy hand of persistence and consistency will fertilize the good in you.
Sweat equity goes a long way because it does demonstrate a willingness a determination, fortitude, endurance and stamina. Will running make you rich? Not in a hocus pocus kind of way but it will change you in ways you never imagined and at times it will feel like the only life line. When I actively trained at the dojo many parents who would watch instead of train didn't much see the value for themselves. Spending two-four nights a week for 6 years did more then train me as martial artist. It made many other things possibilities like running and being prepared for brain surgery and just getting my stuff done. Not to mention being a role model for the kids who are themselves black belts.  Theophani is a second degree and by her 18th birthday she will be probably be ready for her Son Don 3rd Degree. Stavro-nikitas is also Second Degree (Ni Dan).
By the way for everyone who would prefer to dismiss the efforts of athletes in general I would ask what kind of consequence or result do you think would come from a person who spends 2-4 times a week at happy hour or 2-3 hours a weeks drinking with friends? There are impacts and consequences for all of our behavior. The beauty of the system is picking which result you want and then behaving in like manner. Wishful thinking doesn't get your there. It never has for me.
p.s. the great and wonderous saints of our church did spend their lifetimes in regret for the time before their conversion and recognized the sorrowful tears of remorse beneficial to one's soul.

Running Heart rate 134 bpm-170bpm ave 151bpm

Today I ran on the treadmill. I recalled all the advantages to training on the treadmill: the soft surface is easy on the joints; the climate is controlled; I could read, watch t.v or listen to music; I don't have to leave home; there is a restroom with shower ten feet away; there is no traffic, not prying onlookers, no unwanted distractions; a great view of my yard; immediate feedback on stats; pace control and even pre-programmable racing options up to marathon distance.
I was motivated not to put it off and to run at least 4+ miles. Accomplished. I experimented with my pace and my heart rate monitor. My excertion was more  then I  prefer but I have put on ten pounds since i stopped running and conditioning takes time. My strength is being renewed like the eagles.My legs are gaining definition and increasing their ability to withstand stress. I am more focused and motivated in my overall productivity.
After training I went to church for vespers and considered that is the designated place the appointed time for worship in God with the holy people of God. It is my function and my task my opportunity to commune. Being at the psaltery keeps my attention to the service more diligently. It was  blessed. Running has faithfully provided me the private personal space to return to my real personhood leaving internal divisions behind. If you want to become self aware run consistently for longer distances don't rush but push yourself a bit.
Hieromonk Joshua August 3 at 9:56pm

Posting Father's Comment here it is informative deserving its own forum.


Howdy! Friend!
Let me get to the point: All of us are thankful for the OCA glorifying our North American saints! None of them were members of the OCA, however. All of them were members of the Russian Orthodox Church as is Saint John Maximovich. Why didn't the OCA glorify him, may I ask? If they were the ONLY truly LOCAL CHURCH then why didn't they glorify him also?
Who wouldn't be thankful that some zealous Russians or, should I say, Ukrainians, took the initiative and moved to glorify OUR Orthodox PEOPLE? After all, it is an historical fact that none of our now glorified saints were Americans! Even the native people were Russian citizens!
Apart from being the truth to glorify the "just before the Lord" they were also used and manipulated so as to establish the myth that the OCA is "here to stay" and a legitimate "local Church." The idea was: "Local Churches glorify their own, don't they? So, let's do it and establish ourselves in the eyes of many as the ONLY legitimate local Church in North America!"
Friend, it is wrong, very wrong, to use the holy for political ends and political statements.
The OCA was born to be a transitional beauty and a gift and as long as she knows that she is to be a self-less transition and motivator for unity then she will give great glory to God! How many months ago were people saying the OCA was going to be an idealistic still birth because of corruption? How many said that she was going to be a "no-show" theoretical ecclesiastical vapor because of internal OCA wickedness? How humility goes out the window when noxious self-possessed triumphalism displaces holiness.
These glorifications of our saints happened with much holy complicity with all other Orthodox in North America. However, the OCA's time has come to morph: "Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies . . ."
You, friend, are wandering off into oblivion with your "dissolving stuff." Are we doing "ecclesiastical chemistry" now? We are talking, are we not, about reality or are you talking about clorox and caustic soda? What are you smok'in? It's not good to smoke while doing chemistry. "As for me and my house . . ." we will breath reality! You, with these "dissolving" comments, just went down a gopher hole and I refuse to follow! So there!
In the final analysis, I think His Grace Bishop Kondratic has ingloriously exposed the transient nature of all jurisdictions -- "You cannot love both God and money." So, the Holy Orthodox Church is here to stay and jurisdictions are NOT.
As Saint Paul says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." This does NOT make the OCA the sole harbinger of toxic finances or a lacking of integrity in high clerical circles. All of the ecclesiastical conflagration of the recent past simply means that others had and have better and more sophisticated "checks and balances" on their sin.
We Americans have at last been noticed by the Mother Churches (Thank the Lord!) and will now get all the genuine Christian attention we need to become full participants in world-wide Holy Orthodoxy. We are ALL on this Blessed Pilgrimage to Orthodox unity by the power of the Holy Spirit! Remember: "Father, I pray that they be one as We are One."
I love the OCA! Sho'nuff! We all owe her much! I love the liturgical texts, the beautiful music, the learching and fits toward an authentic Orthodox evangelization in North America, etc. I hope you are alive and conscious enough to realize that the false OCA American ethnic triumphalism is a killer of brotherly love and Orthodox unity which, incidentally, denigrates and negates all the many good and righteous developments and offerings from the humble ones amongst us. Give me Greek or Russian or Ukrainian or Bulgarian Orthodoxy and ethnicity any day! It will have infinitesimally small amounts of charitable annoyance compared to triumphalistic American pragmatic ethno-orthodoxy!
So, make a decision for love and decisively turn your back on triumphalism. Yes? I would rather smell an incense offering than what you are smok'in any day! Dissolving stuff? Go figure!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Team 34220 has Gone International

Today I happy to officially announce that Team 34220 has gone international. We have our first participant from abroad hailing from Athens, Greece. He is very exciting to be participating and I'm pleased that our team is increasing with a real cross section of runners.
I did my pre-season run on the treadmill and heard Jews and Christians debate the Islamic "Center" in Manhattan. It is nauseating to hear how some will deny the war mongering Islamic Religion. In another ten years liberals will deny the terrorists were Muslim or it will be an incidental. We have 1,400 years of these incidentals.
Anyway I'm hoping that Team 34220 will inspire Orthodox Christians who are runners to put their names to be counted for pan-orthodox unity and religious freedom. Please remember while having participants actually run Disney Marathon is optimal it is not the prerequisite  for participating. The spirit of liberty and the games transcend one race.

Heads Up America
August 2, 2010

"George Demos Appears on Fox News - Calls on Port Authority Director Chris Ward to Stop Blocking the Rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero

George Demos, the Conservative Republican Candidate for Congress in the First District of New York, appeared on Fox News today and called on the Executive Director of the Port Authority Chris Ward to immediately stop his bureaucratic roadblocks and to make the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero a top priority.

Demos stated that it was disgraceful that the Port Authority of New York/ New Jersey reneged on a deal with Church officials and for over a year has refused to meet with the leaders of the only house of worship actually destroyed on September 11, 2001. Demos noted that our government is spending billions of dollars to rebuild the infrastructure of Ground Zero, yet no plan exists for rebuilding the Church. Demos reiterated that our Judeo-Christian values are under attack in our nation and that rebuilding the Church transcends any particular denomination.
Demos also renewed his call to investigate the sources of funding for the newly proposed Mosque near Ground Zero given the serious questions about the background of the Mosque proponents.
Demos concluded that we owe it to the memory of the 3,000 victims of September 11, 2001, including the 168 from Suffolk County, many of whom prayed at St. Nicholas, to rebuild the Church."

George Demos on Fox & Friends

What does SCOBA and the OCA have in Common?

Hieromonk Joshua provided this on a FACEBOOK thread on my homepage. I think it's a homerun.
"The OCA was started in 1970, from what my history books say. It was a completely new entity that gained its standing from a TOTALLY subjugated Russian Orthodox patriarchate that had NO FREEDOM to g...ive "autocephaly" autonomously and free from political constraints of the atheistic communist government. Alaska and the West Coast were Russian parishes (NOT on Russian soil but American soil) and they were passed to, in the confusion and aftermath of the Russian Revolution, to numerous subdivisions of the fractured Russian Church and other churches who came in to protect their own ethnic Orthodox populations. Obviously, ROCOR has been officially recognized as the sole retainer of that Russian ecclesiastical patrimony by the Russian Orthodox Church and NOT the OCA.
By the very fact that Met. Jonah has said that the OCA "can dissolve" indicated from the highest levels of the OCA that it is ONLY a transitional "medium" as I understand the organizational documents, or at least the "oral tradition" seemed to indicate. Now, when one understands that ROCOR is NOW the ONLY approved extension of the Russian Church it makes sense that ROCOR will become the repository for all OCA parishes and institutions in the transition to a united American Orthodoxy. The Universal Orthodox Church DID NOT APPROVE nor SANCTION any autonomy or autocephaly -- therefore it is an extension of charity (mostly economy) by the Mother Churches (with the "First in Honor" being the EP in consultation and synodia with all the Mother Churches) to slowly but consistently work to bring the OCA into actually recognized canonical Churches. It is the Church Universal which grants autonomy or autocephaly and this is what the next Episcopal Conference is about."

Monday, August 2, 2010

.6 Mile Total

I waited until too late in the day to run and a treadmill run wasn't feasible because Euphemia wanted to be with me. I decided it had been about four months since our last run so I decided to bring her along. I buckled her in the ironman stroller and we hit the road.
We got .3 of a mile away and the sky became black and intermittently riddled with lightening. We made a u-turn and headed home. Within moments the sky opened and the rain poured. It seemed as if the sky was a pin ball machine lighting up and the thunderous bumpers clamouring. It was great!
A safe solo run would have been glorious but not realistic. The run not so much. Euphemia was unbothered noticing the ominous clouds ensuing.
For those of you training keep up the good work. There will be days like these. Don't worry it's o.k. Do more tomorrow.

" unforgivable " Metropolitan ...

I'M SORRY FOR THE POOR TRANSATION. I WILL LINK THE ORGINAL FROM romeafa. I'll provide link and post it. I obviously didn't do this entry or story justice. I'm sorry it deserves more.
Monday , 02 August 2010 Written by the Claus IgnatiadisWrath village come with the decision of the hierarchy not to allow the funeral to commit charokameni mother. Ended her life not bear to recent loss of her son in a car
The villagers and their anger that accompanied the last house a woman 47chroni noon Saturday in the village of Kozani Fir exceeded perhaps even the terrible human loss.
The woman was buried unread and moved to the graves of her house without going through the church, after explicit and unequivocal decision of the bishop of Servia and Kozani Mr. Paul to prohibit the commission funeral .
And that's why 47chroni had put the same end in her life, not bear to recent loss of her son in a car .
The appeals concerned the woman fell on deaf ears , as the medical report shown to ... Special Envoy Paul Bishop , which asserted that the woman charokameni suffered from psychological problems and was given medication.
Although the priest of the village had no objection , according to residents , to perform the funeral service , the answer of the envoy from Kozani was unequivocal : the sacred canons of the Church forbid the mention of suicide , regardless of the reason for suicide . Even forbade the priest even hit the funeral bell.
The civil funeral was pandemic, and was amid condemnations against Bishop Paul, the majority of the 340 residents of fir .
The " leventissa "as they called the village was the most active women in society, the soul of a local dance club and other rituals , until last winter, when she lost her son in a car on Lemnos, where he served the military the term.
Since then, according to the villagers , locked herself in , fell ill and took drugs. Last Friday, seven months later, did the aponenoimeno approach , jumping in the lake near the Polyfito Rimniou .
"What the Church has tried to bring this woman to speak, rather than punish them this way after death? Perhaps their role was to try to prevent the inevitable , instead of exhausting the severity of a human tragedy? " wondered told Ethnos friend of the family A. Bountis .
She left behind her husband and a daughter who is married and not residing in the village.
Please note that this is not the first time that Bishop Paul causes public outrage . The most recent was a handwritten letter to former Mayor C. Pagounis Kozani , in which I threatened to ... answer to St. Catherine in another world , because he had dared to denounce the construction of a small temple at the same St. public parking in the courtyard of the metropolis.