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Breathless

"...weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head..." -Luke 7:38

Read: Luke 7

Back in graduate school, we had our share of underwater weighing assignments. Underwater weighing is regarded as the most valuable tool at determining body composition. However, in order for the subject to be seen accurately, it takes an extreme amount of effort and courage on the part of the person being tested. See, as you're lowered into the water, you have to empty your lungs, breathing out every drop of air possible.

The woman in Luke 7 defied ridicule and disregarded the rules to do one thing: to pour everything she had at His feet. Broken, she just had to break free and nothing was going to stop her from seeing her Lord. After her tears cleaned His feet and her hair dried them, she courageously emptied her alabaster bottle of valuable perfume for Jesus to breathe in.

Friends, don't miss it today. When we're empty, we allow Him to see us. When we breathe it all out, He breathes it all in. If only for today, let's pour our health at His feet like perfume and tears. Lord, here is all our praise, expressed from the top of our lungs.

--Jimmy Peña

EXERCISE IN DEPTH: The Plank

Appropriate for today is our exercise of choice: the plank. This exercise has no movement whatsoever but has plenty going on. The plank primarily works the muscle called the transverse abdominis -- the muscle most responsible when we breathe out air. Try it, as you read this sentence, take a deep breath and then blow out as much as possible. Keep going....keep breathing out....feel that? Well, that muscle ache deep in your gut is exactly that, deep in your gut. In fact, the transverse abdominis is highly responsible for the strength of your spine and helps prevent low back pain. The stronger the transverse abdominis, the better your posture and the more likely you are to enjoy abundant low back health. Try it. Each day, shoot for a longer plank time. Here's how to get it right:

Plank | Focus: Core, abs, lower back Lie facedown on the floor with your body straight and forearms resting on the floor. Slowly press your body up off the floor onto your forearms and toes. Keep your abs pulled in tight and your back flat while holding this position.