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Upside Down

"For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." --Ephesians 2:8-9

Read: Ephesians 2

Sometimes God allows things to be turned upside down for our own good, amen? I thought of that yesterday while hanging completely upside down on a call to my agent. I wish it were because I was cool, trendy or a serious Batman fan. Well, maybe one of those? But alas, no. See, I have accelerated degenerative disk disease, so an inversion table is a fixture in my home. Of course, Loretta makes me hang around downstairs in my cave. And each day I do everything in my power to help relieve the symptoms of an otherwise irreversible trend. My disks are failing rapidly, and they're unforgiving.

In a recent article with InTouch Magazine, Max Lucado was asked, "Why do you think we miss out on this aspect of grace and try to live for God on our own strength? Max answered by saying, "Grace goes so contrary to everything else in life. Everything else in life is a barter system. We work, so we get paid. We love others; we hope they will love us back. Then we come into a relationship with God with the same idea — that it’s going to be some type of exchange with a merit system. Religion says that if you do good, God will notice you. The Bible says God has already noticed you. He’s loved you and adopted you, and given you a new heart. Now go out and do good. It just really kind of flips everything upside down."

Yeah, grace does that. When everyone and everything is unforgiving, God's grace turns it upside down. I can no sooner turn back the clock on my disks than I can take back yesterday's sin. But Jesus gives grace. Grace great enough to secure my soul forever. And that's why I hang upside down; just in case He gives me another day to share that news.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: Has your life been turned upside down? Financially, emotionally, physically? Let us be an encouragement that no matter what happens, sweet grace never lets go. Share with us how we can be praying for you today.

5 FLU-FIGHTING FOODS This flu season will go down as one of the worst on record, and it's not over yet. Parts of the country are still reeling from the epidemic and thousands more are still likely to get it. The flu can knock you down for days or even weeks, making it that much harder to focus on proper nutrition. But there are certain foods that you can take down that can ease your symptoms and get you back into the game sooner. Read this authoritative list of five flu-fighting foods from PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC.

>> Click here for the list!

DID YOU KNOW? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 22,048 flu cases from September 30 through the end of 2012. By the same time last year, only 849 flu cases had been reported nationwide.