You're Closest

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose." --Romans 8:28

Read: Romans 8

Last week I wrote about my MRI experience for my spine in an entry titled "Be Really Still." If you missed it, it might explain today's entry. But what I didn't write about was what happened moments before and after the test. On my way there, I stood next to a man less fortunate; homeless. My heart broke. And in that moment I whispered, "Lord, help him." And then it was as if God said, "I am. You're closest." Oh friends. This is what our health is for. Let's not be fit for fit's sake, but healthy for Heaven's sake.

Two hours later, my surgeon would tell me that another vertebrae is broken, and that I'll lose another disk in my back next month. Many of you remember back in 2010 that I had a few disks removed from my neck. Well, the look on my doctor's face said it all. The degenerative disease is eating me up. But folks, my health is still a means of praise. A means to share Christ. We can't wait. I'll say it again: Life is not about the body. The more adversity weakens my muscle, the more God strengthens my message. And until life's final war with pain, I want to stand up as straight as possible and be reckless. Who's with me? Think about this entry throughout your day. Who has God put you close to? We may be on our way to get some bad news, but let's try and see it as another chance to share the good.

--Jimmy Peña

JUST "D" FACTS...

Vitamin D isn't just a vitamin -- it's a powerful tool in achieving better overall health. Numerous studies show that Vitamin D can lower blood pressure, help prevent certain kinds of cancer and fortify you against diabetes. Vitamin D can also help you feel fuller longer, store less bodyfat, burn more abdominal fat and improve strength levels. According to Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Stronger Faith and Healthy Body in 28 Days," vitamin D enhances muscle contraction and protein synthesis, meaning better workouts and improved recovery afterward. The Endocrine Society recommends that healthy individuals get in 1,000-2,000 international units (IU) per day from all sources (food and supplemental). Those who are overweight could benefit from slightly higher doses, up to 4,000 IU.