Noah

It's The Stuff

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." --Hebrews 11:1

Read: Hebrews 11

You know the feeling. I do too. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, and your favorite batter hits one deep. You stand, your eyes widen, your mouth opens! It's going, GOING...caught. That's the ball game, your team loses. But for a few short seconds, the thrill of what could have been did a tap dance on your heart. And it felt great while it lasted. Really great.

I had that feeling yesterday. Opening an email that had been forwarded to me from my team, I lived the whole "home run" scene. In my mind, I was rounding third base in slow motion as the sound of trumpets and the crashing of cymbals rang in my ears. That is, until I realized I didn't read page two. Thud. The tap dance was over, the music had stopped. And I was out. But boy, when you get a glimmer, it's like...there's hope. You have a pulse! Boom, boom. Just typing the memory of the moment brings it back to the surface.

You know, I wonder how many times Noah peeked out the window? While he hoped for land, he was in the boat because of faith. Fast forward a few thousand years and there's the centurion. While desperately hoping his servant would live, Jesus healed him because of what? His faith. I think that's why I love the first part of our day's verse. "Faith is the substance." The substance! Folks, it's the stuff. It's the matter. It's the stuff that matters.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What are you waiting for in faith? Just like the olive branch meant land for Noah, you too may be waiting for God's divine intervention. What can we be praying for in faith for you? Let us know. If you'd like, as always, simply say "unspoken" and we promise to lift you up. You know friends, someday, that eye-popping, jaw-dropping thrill will never end, and the music will never stop. That's what faith is for. Let's pray together.

Banana Blueberry Pancakes1RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Banana Blueberry Pancakes

Breakfast recipes two weeks in a row? You betcha. This first meal is critical for success the rest of the day. It breaks your overnight fast, provides much-needed fuel to your brain and muscles and, if you do it right, sets the dietary "tone" for the rest of the day -- eat healthy, and you're bound to do so for the rest of the day. Kimberly Fuller's fruity pancake recipe will provide a welcome addition to your breakfast menu.

>> Click here for the recipe!

A FLOOD OF HOPE

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"When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth."— Genesis 8:11

It might seem odd during Christmas season to read about the flood, but if you live in sunny southern California, it's pretty appropriate this week. It won't stop raining. At all. Ever. Where's the nearest gopher wood vendor when you need him?

When Noah built the ark, those around him probably laughed and scoffed. But we all know the story. The ark was completed, then came two-by-two, and then the rain (a lot of it). A year later, the dove returned to Noah carrying hope; the olive branch meant land was near.

You and I just might be going through a flood this week. Sure, maybe not a literal downpour of rain, but caught in a torrent all the same -- up to our knees in doubt, our waists in worry, and our necks in fear. An olive branch to grab onto right about now would be nice, amen? A little break in the clouds maybe?

Well, it is Christmas time after all -- a reminder that the hope we need came in human form. And those ten little fingers and toes would eventually heal the broken, raise the dead and yes, calm storms. You know, if I'm not mistaken, I think it just stopped raining.

–Jimmy Peña

RECIPES OF THE WEEK: CRACKERS

Boasting one of the most palate-pleasing crunches in the world of snack, crackers are a fantastic low-calorie food -- not to mention the perfect complement to your favorite calcium-loaded cube of cheese. Try one -- or both -- of these healthier home recipes to create a kindler, gentler cracker to tote along to your next social gathering.

Parmesan & Oregano Crackers Makes 40 crackers 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 all-purpose flour 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Combine ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment – mix until dough forms. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 to 1/4 –inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut into desired shapes. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Package or serve.

Nutrition Info Per Cracker

Calories: 32
; Total Fat: 2 grams; 
Saturated Fat: 1 gram
; Total Carbohydrate: 1.5 grams
; Protein: 1 gram
; Sodium: 49 milligrams; 
Cholesterol: 6 milligrams; 
Fiber: 0 grams

Homemade Whole Grain Crackers Makes 40 crackers

2 whole wheat flour tortillas 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Herbs and spices of choice (see ideas below)

Cut tortilla into small squares. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings and bake at 350-degrees for  8 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Seasoning Ideas: Poppy seeds and sea salt (pictured above) Fresh rosemary and black pepper (pictured above) Garlic and chili powder Fresh thyme and sesame seeds

Nutrition Info Per Cracker

Calories: 13
; Total Fat: 0.5 grams
; Saturated Fat: 0 gram
; Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram; 
Protein: 0 gram
; Sodium: 33 milligrams; 
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
; Fiber: 0 grams

>> GIFTING TIP: Serve up your homemade crackers with grapes, cheese and wine at your own house party or bring them along to the neighborhood potluck. Wrap them up in tins or decorative bags just like cookies, or give alongside homemade chutney.

PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

GOD WILL COME THROUGH

"He rained down manna for the people to eat, He gave them the grain of heaven."— Psalm 78:24

God came through. When His people were in the desert; manna. When Noah opened the ark's window; an olive branch. If you're like me, you're waiting on something.  Maybe it's a promise to be kept, a letter to arrive, a phone call. Whatever it is, let's remind each other that while the world can be unfair and people forget, God delivers. Oh, we might not be waiting for a dove to signal land, or bread to fall from the sky, but look up -- God will come through.

--Jimmy Peña

PORTION CONTROL

Want to cut back on how much you eat this holiday season? Try reaching for...a smaller plate. Brian Wansink, a Cornell professor and author of Mindless Eating, suggests using a smaller plate, and serving the meal from the stove, not from the dining table. “Our research shows you eat 22% less on a 10-inch than on a 12-inch plate.”

Source: Harvard Health

THE ONE WHO CALLS

October 25, 2011Read: Romans 12

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." -- Romans 12:1 I'm probably dating myself with this statement, but the classic Christian group 4HIM sang a song called "A Man You Would Write About." I was reminded of that song on a run this weekend when a buddy of mine and I talked about the sacrifices and tests God allowed people in biblical times to endure. People like Daniel, Noah, Mary and specifically, Abraham. When asked what I would do if I were in Abraham's shoes, I simply said, "There are plenty of reasons why I'm not in Abraham's shoes."

But during the quiet miles, I reflected on his question. Truth is, while you and I haven't been called to sleep with lions, build an ark, or sacrifice flesh and blood, we have been called. Perhaps you're called to be a better mom, son or husband. Maybe you've been called to the medical field, football field or mission field.

In any case, it's not the calling that matters, it's the One who calls. And friends, God has as much confidence in you and me as He did a shepherd boy headhunting giants, a stutterer convincing a Pharaoh, and a few fisherman who altered the course of history. Remember that truth as you pursue your goals, physically and spiritually. The very same one who believed in them, believes in you.

--J.P.

TEST THE MACHINE

In whatever activity you enjoy the most or in whichever workout you have in store, take it to the max today and see where you are. Perhaps you have a familiar trail that you run after work or maybe you're hitting chest in the gym. Whatever your day's agenda, push yourself to a personal best. Write down the time, the weight, the reps or the distance and post it somewhere in your home or office. Every time you see it, let it remind you of your effort. When you read it, thank God as you think to yourself, "That was me, at my very best." Then, next time, you'll beat it.

>> SHARE: Please remember to share us on Facebook as we try to reach our goal of 10,000 likes by January 1st! And remember, you can help support our ministry by going to Amazon and pre-ordering our new DVD, PrayFit:33-Day Total Body Challenge, (Lionsgate Entertainment) which hits stores December 6th!

YOU'VE GOT MAIL

May 24, 2011 Read: Philippians 1

"Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." --Philippians 1:6

I bet Noah spent a good deal of time at the window when he was on the ark. If nothing more than for some needed fresh air, something tells me he often kept his eye out for land. After all, he built what he had to, and he was ready to deliver. So I'm guessing if he wasn't caring for his precious cargo, he could be found watching and waiting.

If you're like me, you spend a lot time at your window. Oh we're not at sea, per se, but you may often feel like you're drifting as you wait for that offer letter, that e-mail, that phone call. You've done everything in your power, but what you need most -- to land something -- seems nowhere on your horizon.

As for Noah, hope in the form of an olive branch finally arrived. The dove on the window sill was Noah's "You've Got Mail." No more waiting, no more watching, no more send/receive. Land was nigh. Yours just might be too.

--J.P.

COLORADO SLIM

It's not just a cool Old West poker name. In one of the most recent surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Rocky Mountain State was found to be among the leanest in the nation, with a prevalence of obesity below 20%. Only the District of Columbia joined Colorado below the 20% mark. Louisiana weighed in the heaviest, with a 34% obesity rate.

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: Find out how to properly perform many of the key exercises presented in our workouts by clicking here.

>> SHOP: Looking for a good Father’s Day gift? Visit PrayFit’s online store to pick up a hat, shirt, wristband or book for the dads in your life!

 

 

IF YOU BUILD IT...

April 12, 2011Read: Genesis 6

"Noah did everything God commanded him." --Genesis 6:22

We spend an incredible amount of time on this earth waiting. We wait at traffic lights, elevators, DMVs, for mail, for appointments, for that phone call, the offer letter, for good news, for any news...you name it, if we want something, sometimes we have to wait.

Noah knew what it was like to wait. Imagine him hammering the side of the ark with one hand while waving to passing neighbors with the other. "Evenin'! Yeah, I'm building an ark! For the, uhh...flood! Have a good night!" But we all know the story. The rain finally came, and Noah's purpose was revealed. Good thing he kept building.

Like Noah, are you waiting for God to storm into action? Trying to get into that college? Get that new job? Good, but hammer while you wait. You never know, that first drop of rain just might be today.

--J.P.

ARE YOU ARMY STRONG?

It's unquestionably one of the best ad campaigns the armed forces have ever rolled out. The concept of "Army Strong," illustrated by visions of hard-charging, camouflaged men and women in peak physical condition, doing what they can to keep our nation safe at home and abroad. Those hesitant to head down to the nearest recruiting station, no matter how patriotic, are sometimes deterred by the expectation of countless push-ups and sit-ups and 10-mile hikes. But today's Army is much different.

In the throes of a complete physical fitness makeover, soldiers are instituting new and more dynamic movements into their programming to prepare them for battle. Ever wonder how you'd stack up? Now you find out what it's like to be Army Strong.

Click here to find out what today's soldiers are expected to be good at and just how these standards transfer onto the battlefield.

Source: CNN

>> Do you know a homeland defender? If you know a cop, firefighter, National Guardsman, soldier, airman, sailor or guardian, please let them know about our forum dedicated specifically to them and what sacrifices they make to keep health a priority in their professions.

HOMELAND DEFENDERS FORUM - CLICK HERE

GOD COMES THROUGH

February 8, 2011Read: Psalm 78

"He rained down manna for the people to eat, He gave them the grain of heaven." --Psalm 78: 24

God came through. When His people were in the desert; manna. When Noah opened the ark's window; an olive branch. If you're like me, you're waiting on something.  Maybe it's a promise to be kept or a letter to arrive, but whatever it is, let's remind each other that while the world can be unfair and people forget, God delivers. Oh, we might not be waiting for a dove to signal land or bread to fall from the sky, but look up -- God will come through.

--J.P.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

If you've been looking for a way to stick to a fitness program, science may have an answer: Open the door and go outside. A recent study published in the research journal Environmental Science and Technology found that those who exercised outdoors had greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date.

Source: Science Daily

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?

August 24, 2010Read: 1 Chronicles 4

Oh Lord, that you would bless me indeed and increase my land. Keep your hand upon me and protect me from the evil one, so that I may not cause pain.” –-1 Chronicles 4:9-10

Most news networks finish their broadcast on a lighthearted note, and if you missed this one, allow me. A high school basketball coach was bet by the students that he couldn’t make a shot from half court. If he made it, they’d give him courtside tickets to this year’s NCAA Final Four Tournament; a crown jewel to many a basketball fan. But in order to make it to the promised land of hoops, he’d have to make the shot…blindfolded.

Okay, I’ll be quick…he made it alright. I mean, they gave him the ball, he dribbled it a couple times and woosh…nothin’ but net. The students went crazy, partly because it was an unbelievable shot, but also because they never had those tickets in the first place (oops!). Improbable odds with an impossible prize.

You know, I wonder what Noah thought, when he felt that first drop of rain. Or the look on Peter’s face when his boat was sinking from all the fish he caught. I’m sure any doubts were either washed away or grilled.

Friends, it’s time to pray big and give God the ball. He can make our one-in-a-million shots with our eyes closed.

--J.P.

WATER: THE ULTIMATE FAT-BURNER Turns out that the clear stuff may be an effective way to lose weight -- and keep it off

The fitness industry is bursting at the seams with dollars made from fad diets, here-and-gone workout programs and pricey supplements. People are looking for the magic bullet for weight loss and while the aforementioned methods can have some benefit, it turns out that water may be your strongest ally in your war on fat.

A recent study published in the journal Obesity showed that subjects on a low-calorie diet who drank 16 ounces of water prior to meals lost an average of 15.5 pounds over three months and kept it off -- or lost additional weight -- after a year of the same regimen.

While the mechanisms aren't fully understood, it is thought that water helps to fill you up ahead of your meal, reducing the amount of food you're likely to consume at each sitting. Also, consuming more H2O means that you are less likely to guzzle calorie-laden beverages.

So if you're looking to lose weight, try drinking 16 ounces of water prior to meals, while also sticking to a modest-calorie diet and regular exercise.

Source: CNN Health

>> READ, PRAY, LOVE: Stop by the prayer requests forum and see what others need prayer for today, or drop in and leave your own prayer request to get the PrayFit community praying with/for you.