It Just Wouldn't Be Sunday...

"Why do you seek the living among the dead?" --Luke 24:5

Read Luke 24

Run away. Just run away. Prayfit contributing writer Allison Earnst can often be heard urging people to run away from bad food choices. Simply put, sometimes you have to just physically remove yourself from situations. Can anyone relate?

You know that reminds me, a few weeks ago, we celebrated Easter, and one of the stories of the Resurrection comes to mind today. When the women saw that the tomb was empty, what did they do? They ran to tell the others. They ran away from what was empty. In fact, what were they asked? "Why do you seek the living among the dead?"

Reminds me, on Saturday I wrote on Twitter:

"Donuts aren't the cause of the church's failing health, but whether we continue or discontinue, I'm afraid we'll lose members far too soon."

And wouldn't you know it, the next day the leader of the elder board at church said to the congregation, "It just wouldn't be Sunday without a donut." I turned and asked Loretta, "Did that really just happen?" To which she replied, "You're squeezing my hand." I'm chuckling as I type this sentence, because folks, I know donuts aren't the problem, but our heart toward food might be. Because of that, I think Allison is right when she urges people to do the unthinkable. And in many ways, we need to follow Mary's example and turn from what is empty. Plainly said, if believers are going to be the example in this country for a heart toward health, I think Sunday just might be the best day to start. Don't you?

--Jimmy Peña


When was the last time you checked in on the rising epidemic of obesity in this country? If it's been a while, here's a heavy, disheartening update. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese. And, if the trend continues, every state will see 44 percent of its population hit the obese category by 2030. Several states will hit 60 percent.

Despite the many causes of weight gain, the solutions are always simple: an increase an activity and changes to diet. A preponderance of resources on exercise and nutrition in the marketplace have failed to stem the rising tide of obesity and weight-related disease. Perhaps it's time for us to stop focusing so much on "the how" and start focusing more on "the why"?

By focusing on our health as a means of praise and seeing the need to be better stewards of our physical gifts, we can commit to serious, long-term change, honoring the One that created us.

"We don't strive to be healthy to be loved by God," says PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. "We strive to be healthy because we are."

For Discussion: Are you struggling with your own weight? What are the roadblocks to a healthier lifestyle? Do you think the Lord is pleased with the care that you have shown the body He gave you? Why or why not? Have you ever thought of your body as a divine gift that requires better upkeep?

Devotion Costs

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her." --Luke 10:41-42

Read: Luke 10

When I was 19 years old, my college buddies and I would base the week's success on how well we did in the squat rack. "Leg Day" was the focal point of our week, around which everything else rotated. Well one day, someone among us -- someone bigger and stronger -- put leg day on Sunday.

I'll never forget the feeling I had in our campus cafeteria. I sat there drenched in my old sweatshirt with traces of chalk from the gym still on my hands, when a group of students fresh from church joined us at our table. Having spent practically every Sunday in church since the 8th grade, I knew something was "off" for me. My legs might have been growing, but my heart wasn't. I determined at that point that if I didn't get my training done in six days, it wouldn't get done in seven. I couldn't help it. Someone bigger and stronger had set my schedule. And for the rest of my college days and for 20 years since, I haven't trained on Sunday.

Friends, I'm not suggesting you never train on Sundays, but I am saying to make sure that you rest. Renew your mind, your heart and your body. Let all three heal, repair and grow. It might mean a sacrifice. It might mean surrendering the dearest things in life. But He's honored by what we're willing to lay down.

--Jimmy Peña

RECOVERY, RELOADED Protein blend best for post-workout repair, study says

If you're not having some protein immediately post-workout, you should be. Providing your body with an influx of amino acids right after training helps you to optimally rebuild muscle to come back stronger for your next session. And while fast-digesting whey protein gets most of the attention, casein and soy are an important part of the recovery process.

Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Stronger Faith and Healthy Body in 28 Days" has long advocated a blend of the these three proteins post-workout and a new study is lending credence to that position.

At the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego this week, Blake Rasmussen, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch, presented findings that show a blend of protein sources — 50 percent casein, 25 percent whey, 25 percent soy — was superior to whey alone for prolonging muscle building and recovery after exercise.

“Whey protein has been given considerable notice as the gold standard ingredient after exercise to enhance muscle growth,” Rasmussen said. “The main problem with whey is it’s fast digesting—the anabolic response in muscle is only about an hour. We wanted to prolong the anabolic response with other protein sources. We found muscle protein synthesis is elevated for a longer amount of time with a protein blend versus whey protein.”

>> For the full story, click here.