John

The Temptation of Pride

"Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?" --Acts 3:11

Read: Acts 3

When Peter and John came across the lame man at the temple gate, Peter said to him, "Look at us." When the lame man fixed his eyes on them, Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6) And as you'll see later in the passage, all the people later saw the man walking, leaping and praising God, and they ran to Peter and John in awe.

But what Peter said to them should rock our world. Peter said, "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we made this man walk?" (v.12) Peter wanted nothing to do with credit. He wanted out of the way. Any praise was deflected before it was uttered. The last thing he wanted was for the people to miss the point of the miracle.

The temptation of pride. Tough for many Christians in the fitness industry. Torn, because the most difficult battle for the gifted Christian athlete isn't the work it takes in the gym, but in the aftermath of pride. Ironic isn't it? Peter and John told the lame man to look at them, but they didn't want to be seen.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: If Christians aren't promoting humility, modesty and meekness in the fitness industry, who will? If not you, who? Are we desperate for others to "look at us" in order to be seen or for them to see Christ? What changes do you need to make in order to be seen less? Knowing that God opposes the proud, in what ways can you follow Peter's example? We know it's odd for a fitness company to NOT be about the body, but then again, our health was important to God long before the fitness industry; an industry that needs revolutionaries to rock its world. Revolutionaries who don't want the crowd to miss the point of the miracle. Will you be one this week?

REVIEW US: We've heard lots of great, early feedback from you all about The PrayFit Diet on our Facebook page and Twitter. Now, we're asking you to share your views on Amazon so that others can see what you like about the book and how it's helping you find biblical balance with your nutrition. Click here to leave a short review for future Amazon shoppers!

4 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT CARBS FROM THE PRAYFIT DIET

1 Carbs are the body's preferred source of energy but not all carbs are created equal.

2 Choosing slower-digesting carbs provides better, longer-lasting energy and greater benefits for body composition.

3 Fiber reduces the impact of carbs, aids digestion and helps keep weight off.

4 Carb timing counts. Having carb-heavy foods upon waking and after working out are less likely to be stored as fat.

>> For more info on how carbs, fat and protein work together to improve our health, pick up The PrayFit Diet today!

Heal The Wound, Leave The Scar

Yesterday on Twitter, one of my favorite authors, Reverend Scotty Smith, had such a neat question for us. He said, "In the new heaven/new earth, I want to sing like Steve Perry, love like Mother Teresa and paint like Makoto Fugimura. You?" I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to fashion my response. "Dance like Fred Astaire," made my list. So did "Tell a good story like Max Lucado" and "Look like Rob Lowe." Hey, it's Heaven! And while Loretta and I laughed together, I began to wonder what guys like Paul, John, or a battered Job will be doing in eternity. Right? I mean, the Bible is full of men and women who endured life -- individuals who really lived and have the scars to prove it.Reminds me of the old song that said, "Heal the wound, but leave the scar. A reminder of how merciful you are."

Friends, I don't think for a second Paul will ever forget being blind. Or John his loneliness. Or Job, those boils. Each of them built altars with the broken pieces of their lives and worshiped. May that be our week's perspective. Let's stay on our knees, remember His mercy, bathe in grace, and let the dream of Heaven be the reason we work so hard for a healthy lifestyle on earth.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Okay, I know you're dying to answer with me. What say you to Scotty's question?

Final Prayfit Diet CoverTOMORROW WE HIT BOOKSTORES! One more day guys!!! Your local bookstores are being filled with our newest book, The PrayFit Diet. We are so overjoyed. Thank you if you've already ordered yours. And if you get yours, please send us a pic and we'll share it on Facebook and Twitter. And we know from your messages and posts that many of you shop on Amazon, so here's the link where you can buy yours. Thank you for supporting our little ministry and for helping tomorrow's book launch. You're so good to us. If you write us a review on one of the major book vendor sites, we'd love to share it with the community, so send us yours by clicking here.

Drop 'Em

"They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." --Matthew 4:21-22

Read: Matthew 4

Recently, I was relating to Jimmy how shallow my faith seems compared to the first disciples. Peter was a fisherman. James and John also made a living casting their nets. But this then-anonymous Nazarene walks up and kindly suggests that they leave it all behind (v. 19). And they do. No arguments, no hesitation -- immediate surrender to a higher cause, forsaking their livelihood and everything they'd ever known, simply because they were asked to. Ponder that for a moment. Better yet, put yourself in their shoes. Would you be able to set down your Macbook if He called you? What about your tool belt? Your barbell?

Now, it's easy to think of this story of the first disciples as faith-testing hyperbole -- a tale meant to symbolize our surrender to Christ. But folks, if you had the benefit of living in the context of that verse, you'd go back to the shore to see a pile of abandoned nets and a ship anchored in the shallows with no captain. These were things of great value to men who had very little and they left them behind without batting an eyelash.

We all have things that we place (or misplace) great value on, both tangible and intangible -- things of this earth to which we electively and misguidedly assign value -- material things, workout schedules, turbulent relationships and more. But how much better off would we be if we simply dropped them all and just followed Him.

As you get set to cast your nets overboard today, take pause, look to the shore and just listen. This is a call you don't want to miss and those nets, however important you think they are to the day's haul, won't travel well with you on this journey. All you have to do is drop 'em.

–-Eric Velazquez

For Discussion: There may just be things that we need to abandon to flourish in the splendor of His grace, including the mirror. But stepping away from our reflection isn't the same as stepping away from our health. As Jimmy says, "It's not about the mirror, but about the One we're trying to mirror." It's worth noting that it wasn't the last time these first disciples fished -- they just found new nets and new waters to fish. What (or whom) can you haul in with your commitment to health today?

BRING PRAYFIT TO YOUR TOWN

This weekend, Jimmy is addressing parishioners in Oregon. Could your church be next? More and more pastors, elders and churchgoers are inquiring about how to bring PrayFit's message -- one of stewardship, faith, humility and endurance -- to their next Sunday service. They want their congregations to be as healthy as they can be to take care of the work that needs doing in their communities and on missions abroad. Help us make your church next. Reach out to us at info@prayfit.com for more details. As always, for churches and other non-profit events there is never a speaking fee. Talk to your pastors and leaders. Reach out to us and let's see health as a means of praise, together. For a sample of what you can expect, click play below.

The Land of Misfits

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 1

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the last one picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So as we begin to prepare our hearts to celebrate His birth, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to God and honoring Him with the body He designed for you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--Jimmy Peña

Christmas Tradition: Maybe it's just me, but when you hear the word "Misfits" you probably think of the classic claymation Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. (Or maybe it IS just me.) At any rate, what is your family's favorite Christmas movie? What do you have playing as you deck the halls? We have our favorites. Christmas Vacation anyone?

IMG_4821GEAR UP!: Give the gift of faith and fitness this Christmas. Please take a quick look at the store to find our t-shirts and tanks with some of our favorite verses. Friends, it's through your giving that we're able to continue the ministry of PrayFit and we are so grateful. We hope these items -- books, DVDs, apparel and more -- bless your life and your testimony as Christians with a heart for health. Thank you for your love and support.

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY!

Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this complimentary service already, simply click the links provided here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive -- if you want to help us continue our faith-and-fitness revival -- you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

The Temptation of Pride

"Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?" --Acts 3:11

Read: Acts 3

When Peter and John came across the lame man at the temple gate, Peter said to him, "Look at us." When the lame man fixed his eyes on them, Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (Acts 3:6) And as you'll see later in the passage, all the people later saw the man walking, leaping and praising God, and they ran to Peter and John in awe.

But what Peter said to them should rock our world. Peter said, "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we made this man walk?" (v.12) Peter wanted nothing to do with credit. He wanted out of the way. Any praise was deflected before it was uttered. The last thing he wanted was for the people to miss the point of the miracle.

The temptation of pride. Tough for many Christians in the fitness industry. Torn, because the most difficult battle for the gifted Christian athlete isn't the work it takes in the gym, but in the aftermath of pride. Ironic isn't it? Peter and John told the lame man to look at them, but they didn't want to be seen.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: If Christians aren't promoting humility, modesty and meekness in the fitness industry, who will? If not you, who? Are we desperate for others to "look at us" in order to be seen or for them to see Christ? What changes do you need to make in order to be seen less? Knowing that God opposes the proud, in what ways can you follow Peter's example? We know it's odd for a fitness company to NOT be about the body, but then again, our health was important to God long before the fitness industry; an industry that needs revolutionaries to rock its world. Revolutionaries who don't want the crowd to miss the point of the miracle. Will you be one this week?

HEALTH & FITNESS TIP

As summer begins to wane, people are making last-ditch efforts to get in shape. But the key to success may not lie in your routine, or even your diet. To find out what the most important factor is during this time of year, click here.

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY!

Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this free service already, simply click the links provided here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive -- if you want to help us continue our faith-and-fitness revival -- you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

Your Mission

"I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

Read: 3 John 1

I remember like it was yesterday, scrounging through an old box of books while whispering to myself, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it...." I'm smiling as I type this sentence. Great memories. See, in 1996, the movie of the year was the first Mission: Impossible, and I was bound and determined to see it. But as a young married couple, times were tight. With both of us working and in school, we watched every penny. I knew that in order for us to see the show, it was up to me. (Light the fuse, cue the music.)

Long story short, the sign at the end of the street read, "WE BUY BOOKS!" And fortunately, I kept every schoolbook I'd ever read (from every class). So if they were buying, I was selling. When Loretta got home, I greeted her with a kiss, a grin and two tickets. Special times.

That story came to mind recently when someone requested PrayFit resources for their church. Seems I'm still selling books. Only now it's for what many see as an impossible mission: to conquer the obesity epidemic in our homes and churches. But I think John said it best. In his third epistle, the first thing he said to a man named Gaius was, "I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (v. 2) A worthy hope he had for his friend, especially considering the times in which they lived. And it's still a worthy hope today; a hope that defines our purpose at PrayFit. Is your church in need of help? Does someone you love need encouragement to be healthy for the right reasons? If so, we're on a mission, and we're bringing books.

--Jimmy Peña

THE RIGHT GADGETS FOR YOUR MISSION

The protagonist in the Mission: Impossible films, Ethan Hunt, was successful due to his vast experience in the world of espionage...and a few choice inventions. From voice-replicating throat chips to explosive gum, the tools of the trade were always vital to the mission. Same applies for you and yours. Try these resources when it comes to confronting health issues in your home and community:

>> READ: Our first book, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 33 Days," provides two 28-day exercise programs, a complete diet plan and biblically-inspired devotions to keep you motivated each step of the way.

>> WATCH: PrayFit has partnered with Lionsgate Entertainment to bring you two home-based workout DVDs -- the second more challenging than the first. Train along with founder Jimmy Peña as you work to become stronger, leaner and healthier, all from the comfort of your living room.

For more information on these and other products, click here.

Get Your Voice Back

"How can I be sure this will happen? I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." --Luke 1:18

Read: Luke 1

Not his best moment. Zacharias has just been given really great news; news of eternal significance. He's been told that Elizabeth will bear him a son. And he will go before the Lord with the spirit and power of Elijah, no doubt. The frontrunner! And not only that, the courier of this miracle message wasn't a neighbor. It wasn't a trusted uncle or even the High Priest. No, Zacharias heard this first-hand from none other than Angel Gabriel himself.

Now, all things being equal, you'd think that would prompt Zacharias to simply rejoice, trust and obey. But as you read in today's verse, Zacharias chose to respond like you and I often do.

Who me? I'm not qualified for that job, have you seen my resume? Who me? A missionary? Have you read my laundry list of weaknesses? Who me? Regain my health after years of negligence? What good can this body accomplish?

There's no telling how effective we would be for the Lord if we trusted the things God lays on our hearts. You know, Zacharias' little faith spoke volumes, so Gabriel made him mute. Months later, on the day of his son's birth, those standing around Elizabeth objected to his given name. But Zacharias -- still mute -- boldly wrote on his tablet: His name is John.

He got his voice back.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: When you and I let fear and doubt cloud our hearts and minds, we too become mute. What has God put on your heart that you need courage to accept?

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: BeFit with Jimmy and Kym

To start this week, we encourage you to dive into these workout tactics, brought to you by PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña and Dancing with the Stars cast member Kym Johnson. In the video below, Jimmy discusses why faith is important for staying fit, then puts Kym through the paces of a workout that requires only resistance bands and your own bodyweight. For more workouts like this one, courtesy of our friends at Lionsgate, visit their BeFit channel on YouTube.

Misfits Seldom Do

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 1

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the one last picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So this week, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to the body God designed for you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--Jimmy Peña

THE POWER OF THE JOURNAL

Keeping a consistent workout journal is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable. Here are some of the key things to note in your daily journal:

1 Exercises, sets and reps: Consider this the workout blueprint. Jotting all this down is a good way to ensure that your workouts have structure and that you have a clear plan of what work there is to get done each day.

2 Weight used: Whether it's your own bodyweight or a heavy barbell, keeping track of the resistance you're using serves as a mental note to consistently add more. Whether your trying to add muscle or just get stronger, gradual increases in weight are crucial.

3 Rest periods: How long did you take between sets? The shorter the rest periods, the more intense the workout. If you are lifting heavier, then longer rest periods may be helpful. In either case, keep a careful eye on the clock between sets.

4 Intensity techniques: Did you use drop sets today? Did you have your spotter help you through a few forced reps? Knowing which intensity techniques you're using to make your workouts more challenging will help you continue making gains. Knowing when and how often you're pushing it will also help you keep from overtraining.

>> What else do you keep track of in your journal? Let us know in the comments below, or on the PrayFit forums today.

>> Start a journal - Click Here

>> Got a journal already? Update it today, or just view other PrayFit workout journals, by clicking here!

Misfits Seldom Do

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 1

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the one last picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So this week, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to the body God designed for you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--Jimmy Peña

THE POWER OF THE JOURNAL

Keeping a consistent workout journal is one of the best ways to keep yourself accountable. Here are some of the key things to note in your daily journal:

1 Exercises, sets and reps: Consider this the workout blueprint. Jotting all this down is a good way to ensure that your workouts have structure and that you have a clear plan of what work there is to get done each day.

2 Weight used: Whether it's your own bodyweight or a heavy barbell, keeping track of the resistance you're using serves as a mental note to consistently add more. Whether your trying to add muscle or just get stronger, gradual increases in weight are crucial.

3 Rest periods: How long did you take between sets? The shorter the rest periods, the more intense the workout. If you are lifting heavier, then longer rest periods may be helpful. In either case, keep a careful eye on the clock between sets.

4 Intensity techniques: Did you use drop sets today? Did you have your spotter help you through a few forced reps? Knowing which intensity techniques you're using to make your workouts more challenging will help you continue making gains. Knowing when and how often you're pushing it will also help you keep from overtraining.

>> What else do you keep track of in your journal? Let us know in the comments below, or on the PrayFit forums today.

>> Start a journal - Click Here

>> Got a journal already? Update it today, view other PrayFit workout journals, by clicking here!

PRAYFIT NEWS: PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña will be appearing on FOX's Good Day Atlanta this Wednesday, February 8, between 9:00 am and 9:45 am EST. For the full story, click here.

MISFITS SELDOM DO

October 3, 2011Read 1 Corinthians 1

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the one last picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So this week, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to the body God designed you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 4 MOVES 4 GREAT ABS

If necessity is the mother of invention then simplicity is it's wise, older uncle. When it comes to designing good, productive workout routines, the best strategy is often the most basic. So this abs program -- devoid of any cheap gimmicks -- is an invention born out of simply knowing what works. Using proven, effective exercises for the upper abs, lower abs and obliques, you'll provide your midsection all the stimulus it needs to change in just minutes.

>> Do This. Perform these four exercises in the order listed without rest. Do each move to failure then move to the next one. Rest 30 seconds at the end of the last exercise then repeat 2-3 more times. Use this routine at the end of any workout or do it as a stand-alone routine. Allow 48-72 hours between sessions to allow for better recovery.

Double Crunch

Standard Crunch

Crossover Crunch

Reverse Crunch

>> For exercise descriptions, click here.

>> For exercise demonstrations, click here. (VIDEO)

 

THE ACT TO FOLLOW

March 18, 2011Read: Luke 3

"...one is coming who is more powerful than I, and I'm not worthy to untie his sandal straps." --Luke 3:16

Sitting in a music studio yesterday, I had a the unique privilege of hearing a young, talented band who opens the show for another very popular group of musicians. Their task is simple: set the stage and prepare the audience for the main attraction. You know, something tells me John the Baptist would understand their job. It's a role he played until the day he died.

Sitting there listening to them, I got to thinking about John; what he said, how he acted. But I think of all his many traits, his best quality was knowing it wasn't his show; that the act to follow was really the act to follow.

Yes indeed, John showed us that our only job is to invite a crowd, pull back the curtain and get out of the way.

--J.P.

POST-WORKOUT QUIZ

Here's yesterday's question: Of these choices, what's the best post-workout combo?

a. Egg whites and Cream of Wheat b. Whey protein and white rice c. Egg whites and oatmeal d. Whey protein and brown rice

ANSWER: B (Whey protein and white rice)

After a training session, you want a fast-digesting protein to start repairing muscle tissue and a fast-digesting carbohydrate to replenish glycogen stores. When it comes to protein, whey would be the fastest on our list. It is easily digested and has a very high level of bioavailability, meaning that your muscles will get the building blocks (amino acids) that they need for complete repair. And when it comes to carbohydrate, the white rice is fast at refilling those depleted energy tanks (note: the cream of wheat is also a very fast-digesting carb). So knowing that, the best answer is B.

For all of those who chose oatmeal, you should know that it is one of our favorite foods. It's great tasting and extremely nutritious but it is very slow to digest, which means that it's a great choice pre-workout, for breakfast or even between big meals.

>> AND THE WINNER IS...: Thanks for your answers everyone! The first person to get it right was Justin Ziegler. E-mail your mailing info directly to jimmy@prayfit.com to claim your prize!