Texas

Through Your Life

"For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?" --Psalm 89:6

Read: Psalm 89

Yesterday I got the most humbling invitation. The Director of Alumni Relations e-mailed me and said that the Regional Alumni Selection Committee selected me as one of four Distinguished Alumni of The University of Texas at Tyler where I attended graduate school. Not only that but I've been invited to accept the award at the Alumni Awards Gala in March being held in our honor. Friends, family and former professors will be there to celebrate and reminisce with me. Part of their correspondence said, "Thank you for your talent, your accomplishments and for bringing attention and value to your alma mater through your life."

Now, I'm sure we'll be sharing details as it comes closer, and we're already praying for the opportunity to speak at a church while we're there, but let's go back to the end of that sentence. "Through your life." Not throughout my life, but through it -- within it, inside it. Reading it the first time was rough, but re-typing it was even tougher; talk about humbling and undeserved. In that moment, I wished I had been a better student.

It's easy to think of Heaven on days like this. We've accepted an invitation we don't deserve, to celebrate a reward we didn't earn. You know, if we're allowed to reminisce about earth as we sit at Heaven's table, I know for certain that I'll wish I had been a better Christian, a stronger witness, and a closer follower. What could I have done with my life, my words, my thoughts, and my health for the Lord? Oh, but grace. Thankfully like the old hymn says, we'll "turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face. And the things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

--Jimmy Peña

Question: Someday, we may just find out what more we could have done with our lives and health for the cause of Christ. I want my list to be short. What changes will you make today to ensure that you are as able and capable physically to fulfill your purpose? Let us know in the comment section below.

TRAINING TIP: RUNNING

When you get in from a run, do your back, arches and everything else hurt? We share your pain, but hopefully not for long. With these easy tips to correct your stride, your runs may quickly become more enjoyable. And in delight, there is consistency.

>> Click here for three ways you can improve your stride today.

>> The Word is out...PrayFit's new, challenging at-home workout DVD is helping people build physical and spiritual muscle! Still one of Amazon's top new releases in faith, this workout is the perfect way to reclaim your health. Share the link below with others, or order yours today!

A PROVERBS WOMAN

October 14, 2011Read Proverbs 31

“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” --Proverbs 31:17

For many women in the church today, reading about the woman in Proverbs 31 can be a little intimidating. If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking one of two things.  One, Wow, now that is an amazing woman and two, I hope my husband never sees this chapter! I mean, goodnight, is she human? This is quite a list: she’s a credit to her husband, she’s wise, she cooks, she sews, she shops, she’s a business woman, she’s charitable, she stays very busy, she works out, she—wait, she works out? Really?

Verse 17 says: “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” To “gird” means to surround, equip or to prepare oneself for action.

In all my years of being in church and hearing about the ‘virtuous woman,’ I can’t remember this verse ever being highlighted. We hear about her honor, her selflessness and her business savvy, and these are all great qualities but why have we skipped over what is clearly a key to how and why she can accomplish so much?

I don’t know about you, but when I work out consistently I have more energy to tackle everything that’s on my plate. I’m less stressed, I’m even tempered (read: less cranky) and I’m better prepared for life’s challenges. I don’t have time to be lethargic, moody or ‘out of it.’ Does anyone? So, I’m thinking, if this woman had time to work out, surely we can fit it in. Now, I’m not suggesting she was doing push-ups on the side of a well and doing walking lunges to and from, but she was doing something, right?

One of the great benefits of working out (along with a sensible diet) is being healthy, strong and available for service when God calls us onto the field.  Being sidelined by health-related issues was never part of God’s plan of an abundant life for us. So, we need not be intimidated by our Proverbs 31 woman. After all, we’ve found her secret. Now it’s time to see her as a whole, understand that she was indeed human and in the midst of her busy life, still found time to “gird herself with strength.”

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell was one of the first members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit executive committee member and PrayFit Group leader in El Paso, Texas. For more from Catrina, join her group, “Hungry!,” on Facebook or visit her PrayFit workout journal.

P-31: THE BOOK If today's entry piqued your interest on the Proverbs woman, read "P-31: Proverbs Women in Rush Hour Traffic, Navigating Serenity in a World of Chaos," by one of our best friends and most faithful PrayFit supporters, Sandie Powell. For more information on her book and its must-know concepts, e-mail Sandie at p31book@yahoo.com. All of the proceeds will be invested in the support and training of national pastors, bible and Christian literature distribution, church planting, and other support ministries in Southeast Asia.

PRAYFIT TO RELEASE FIRST DVD New 33-day program available through Lionsgate Entertainment Dec. 6

On December 6, Lionsgate Entertainment will release PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge to a global audience.  The DVD will feature a 33-minute, bodyweight-only program that boosts strength, stamina and flexibility. The program’s 33-day length is a nod to proven habit-forming behavior as well as the length of Jesus’s life. “He gave us 33 years,” says PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS. “Let’s give him 33 minutes for 33 days, honoring the one who made us.”

>> For the full story on the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge, click here. Or, to preorder immediately, visit Amazon.

 

 

FIT TOGETHER

January 18, 2011Read: Matthew 18

"For where two or more gather in my name, there I am with them." --Matthew 18:20

Among the things I miss most about playing sports in high school and college, would be those times when coach would huddle us up to give us words of motivation. We'd all take a knee, and at the end, he'd say, "Everybody in." He'd put out his hand, and we'd stand to put ours atop his. At that very moment, there was nothing more important. I learned then that powerful things happen when people come together with a common purpose and a serious plan.

I thought of those old memories today because a small group from El Paso formed a new PrayFit huddle this week. They're teaming together to share faith, fitness and accountability because they know our health is an obligation as well as a means of praise.

Speaking of small groups, we don't know what all was said among the disciples in the upper room, on shorelines, or on hillsides, but something tells me they huddled. When it was time to get everyone's attention, I like to think they brought it in real close like teams do. After all, if our faith had a team, they were the first string. And to think, what they said to each other before that first huddle broke, eventually got to you and me. Common purpose, serious plan. Powerful.

--J.P.

DID YOU KNOW?

In this country, there are just as many people who exercise regularly as those that don't. In a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2009, 35% of adults 18 years and older were found to engage in regular physical activity. The same study showed that a full 33% engaged in zero leisure time activity at all.

So if you're part of the 35%, then bravo. But this shows that some 65% of Americans do not exercise regularly.

Care for another stat? According to the CDC, 34% of Americans 20 and over are obese.

The message is clear: it's time for us to get moving.

Source: CDC

>> SHOP: Looking for PrayFit in print? Read more on "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" by clicking here, or visit Barnes & Noble or Amazon today!

>> CALLING ALL KENTUCKIANS: If you're from the Louisville, Kentucky area and are following us here on PrayFit.com, reading our book or have rededicated yourself to faith and fitness in 2011, we want to hear from you! Contact us at info@prayfit.com for more details on an opportunity to share your story.

>> SUCCESS STORIES: Whether it's completing your first 5K, doing your first pull-up or getting your cholesterol down, we want to hear your success story. Share with the PrayFit community by clicking here.

YOU'RE FREE TO GO

January 7, 2011Read: Hebrews 9

"Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." --Hebrews 9:22

If you blinked, you missed this story. Earlier this week, a man was released from a Texas prison after spending 30 years behind bars for something he didn't do. Thirty years! I was eight when he began his sentence. This week, based on the evidence, a judge admitted the mistake, and set him free. Unbelievable.

He said he didn't quite know how to respond when the judge said, "You're free to go." I suppose if you've lived trapped your whole life, the reality of living free would be foreign.

But what the judge said to the prisoner, God says to us each day. We may not be in jail, per se, but we often feel imprisoned -- shackled by burdens and trapped by mistakes. Thankfully, God sees all the evidence -- Jesus -- and sets us free. Unbelievable.

--J.P.

SOUP FOR YOU Keep out the winter chill with this healthy broth From Dana Angelo White

Ingredients

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole-wheat pasta recommended (rotelle or other small shaped pasta recommended)

1 cup frozen green peas

2 cups baby spinach

3/4 cup mushrooms, quartered

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons shredded Parmesean

Directions

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling add pasta and cook for 5 to 6 minutes Add peas, spinach and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition analysis per serving: Calories: 120; Total fat: 2g; Saturated fat: 1g; Carbohydrate: 18g; Protein: 9g; Sodium: 360mg

>> NUTRITION: For more healthy recipes and nutrition tips, visit our nutrition page.

>> WIN!: For a chance to win one of 25 free PrayFit books courtesy of NBC's EXTRA, click here.

>> ORDER: Pick up a copy of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" from Amazon or Barnes & Noble today!

FIT CITY

October 25, 2010Read: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things- Philippians 4:8

What does "fit" look like?

That was the question that came to mind as I delivered a message to Tyler's Fit City Challenge back in Texas this weekend. The great people of Tyler are reaching deep within themselves and are hitting the obesity epidemic head on. Their mission statement says it all: Making Tyler a "Fit City" one step, one bite and one health-conscious decision at a time. Someday, the city of Tyler will be the standard against which the surrounding communities will be judged. Amen, Tyler?

On my way back to the airport, we passed by Bergfeld Park where the challenge was held. And while all the booths, vendors and guest speakers were long gone, there were a couple of families enjoying the park. One family was throwing a ball around, and the other was on the swings. I wondered if it was part of their weekly routine or a brand new tradition; either would be fine with me.

Tyler...may God help us follow your lead in our homes and communities. You're the answer to my question.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10-Minute Abs & Core

Like we've said before, it's impossible to completely isolate any one portion of the abs or core musculature, but you can emphasize a section over another depending on the exercise. Today's 10-minute workout will hit your upper and lower abs, your obliques as well as your deep transverse abdominis with accuracy. We'll begin by hitting a common weakness, the lower abs. Then we'll move to the obliques and upper abs and close-out today's workout with the plank.

Exercise (emphasis)

Reverse Crunch (lower abs) Crossover Crunch (obliques) Standard Crunch (upper abs) Plank (transverse abdominis/core)

--Do a set to failure of each exercise, moving through the circuit without rest. Repeat the sequence for 10 minutes. Log the number of reps you get on each exercise as well as the number of times you are able to complete the sequence. Try this workout twice per week, aiming to beat the number of reps and total trips through the circuit each time. Remember that consistently challenging yourself to do better than you did last time is the only way to ensure progress -- something to think about if a stronger-looking midsection is your goal.

>> FIT CITY CHALLENGE: Check out the post-event coverage of the Fit City Challenge on the Tyler Paper.

TAKING PRAYFIT ON THE ROAD

October 4, 2010Read: Luke 5

"And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed." --Luke 5:16

The understatement of the year would be to say that we at PrayFit have been blessed. Your faithfulness, encouragement and prayers have overwhelmed us. We're humbled by your response to our automatic e-mail feed and we want to publicly give the Lord all the glory. We thank Him for who He is, for what He's done, for what He's doing right now, and for what He will do in the weeks and months ahead.

With that promise, we are going to follow His lead into our own wilderness for time of prayer, rejuvenation and renovation! Over the next few weeks, we will be doing some traveling, speaking at churches and conferences beginning in Tyler, Texas at the Fit City Challenge where we will be delivering the keynote speech. Not only will we be sharing the PrayFit message, but we will be pre-selling our first book, helping parents, kids and teens live healthier, fuller lives. If you haven’t pre-ordered the book on Amazon for yourself or as a gift, please do so by clicking here.

If you want to book the PrayFit team to visit your church, community center or sports team over the next few months, please e-mail us at info@prayfit.com for more information!

In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers -- as always, you'll be in ours.

In Jesus’ name, we train.

Team PrayFit

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