RUNNING TO WATER

May 2, 2011Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

"Rejoice always,  pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today was baptism day at church. If you've never been to one of these services, you should know -- it's not just the baptized that need towels. Fully immersed believers up front and tear-soaked pews throughout mean that everyone is leaving wet.

But for one family, there wouldn't be any dunking. They explained to us that their daughter was being baptized differently -- with a few sprinkles of water instead of the complete immersion -- because she had a rare and dangerous skin disorder that makes her particularly vulnerable to injury. A pat on the back, an unexpected stumble or an overzealous hug from someone who doesn't know any better could literally pull the delicate skin from her 10-year-old body.

Yet there she stood, proud and determined, ready to publicly declare her love for the Lord.

With my two, healthy, rambunctious daughters causing mayhem just a few doors away in Sunday school, I quietly reflected on what this family must have endured to come to this day. Hospital visits, constant anxiety, sleepless nights and enough tears to fill the baptismal they now stood beside. In a desert of hopelessness, when most would surrender to the sand, this family ran to the water that gives life.

--E.V.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 100 LUNGES

The lunge is a fantastic exercise for just about any part of the fitness demographic. Those looking to boost athleticism can enhance balance and improve overall leg strength. Those concerned with aesthetics can burn a ton of calories while shaping their entire lower-body musculature. Even seniors and those coming back from injury can use the lunge to improve stability and coordination. The message is clear: this all-purpose movement should be a staple of your exercise routine.

First, let us revisit the basics of the lunge:

Lunge | Focus: Quads, glutes,  hamstrings | (VIDEO)

Stand with your feet together, abs tight and eyes focused forward. Step forward with one foot. Bend both knees to lower yourself, making sure your front knee doesn’t pass your toes on your front foot. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the floor and reverse directions, driving through the heel of your forward foot to return to the start. Alternate legs for reps.

This week, your goal is to complete 100 lunges. Yes, that's 50 per foot. Advanced trainees won't get off easy, though. Here are our week's guidelines. Choose a workout challenge, based on your experience level.

Beginner: Perform 100 lunges before Friday. If it's 10 lunges at a time, twice a day, each day this week, then that's fine. Just make sure that you reach 100 by Friday.

Intermediate: Perform 100 lunges for time today. Mark your time. Thursday, perform 100 lunges again and strive to beat Monday's time. Use Thursday's time as your benchmark for next week's workouts.

Advanced: Perform 100 lunges each day this week for time. If you beat your time by more than 10 seconds in any workout, use 10-pound dumbbells (or heavier) for the next. Your goal is still to beat Monday's time each workout. Carry this process into next week's workouts.

>> GEAR UP: If you're faithful and into fitness, it's time to start dressing the part. Head over to our online store to pick up some of our newly-redesigned PrayFit gear. If you're looking for a structured fitness and nutrition plan, pick up a copy of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days."

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: If you need more guidance on PrayFit's core exercises, click here.