Pledge Allegiance

"...and by His stripes we are healed." --Isaiah 53:5

Read: Isaiah 53

Driving along the canyon in Los Angeles this week, I came across a tall, old tree in the front yard of a beautiful home. Next to the tree stood an equally tall flag pole. Now, most days I probably wouldn't have noticed, but as I went by I realized the flag was tangled around some branches, evidence of some recent high winds. Now, you may be just like me, but something stirs inside when I see the stars and stripes helpless like that. I don't know, but our symbol of freedom shouldn't be stuck to a tree. It was wrapped so tight in fact, I literally said to myself, "Oh, someone has to climb up there."

With amazing pity for my crimes and yours, our Freedom willingly crawled up that old rugged cross. We were helpless, so someone had to climb up there. And Jesus, with His scars and stripes, embraced it.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Use this quick-access guide to the week's greatest hits

FAITH >> BAGGAGE HANDLER: Drop off your luggage and remain seated -- God doesn't need a co-pilot on this ride

>> WHO WANTS THE BALL?: If God had a blackboard, He'd mark our path straight to the cross

>> FEELS LIKE REDEMPTION: Your trials don't make you -- it's how you come back from them that matters most

>> HE'S MY BROTHER: Moses and Aaron complemented each other perfectly. Who makes up the rest of your team?

FITNESS >> WORKOUT: Use this mini-program to build strength and shape in your calves

>> TIPS: Courtesy of Health.com, 51 ways to fight fat

>> RECIPE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Onions

>> STATISTICS: How closely related are obesity and heart disease?

33 DAYS: How have your New Year's resolutions held up? We're eyeballing the end of January (and heading into the weekend) and some of you may be starting to see your motivation wane. We've got just the cure. Jump start your routine all over again with our 33-Day Total Body Challenge DVD (Lionsgate Entertainment), hosted by PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena. This structured routine calls for 33 minutes a day for 33 days, honoring the One who gave us 33 years, and includes weekly devotionals to inspire and invigorate your efforts. Click here for more information!