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Time To Live

"So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:50 "He struck down the Philistine." You know, I've thought a lot lately about the young David and the day he floored the giant. Not sure why, but in my mind I find myself with a sling in one hand, while rolling a stone between my thumb and index finger in the other. I want to pick a fight.

With God's Word and His wisdom echoing down the corridors of my brain, tamed courage paces back and forth within my self-imposed and carefully designed cages. Friends...it seems my health, my faith, my income, stewardship, prayer life, my thought life and my witnessing to others all deserve and require a glance down at my stone and sling. What am I waiting on? What are you?

I think it's time to say, "Goodbye, comfort zones" and "So long, easy." In fact, in the time that it's taken me to write today's entry, I've realized that I don't have to pick a fight. The fight is waiting for me. It's raging. I gotta get in it. Do you?

What battles will you face this week? Will your pride be bruised? Will vanity get the better of you? Will your self-control actually lose it? Does your health need more attention? Less attention? Do you need to talk to that neighbor? Call that friend? Thankfully, whether we succeed or not, God's mercy is new each day and Jesus is in our hearts, so who do we have to fear? Let's engage. Let's get in it. It's time to mix it up. I have my stone and sling. Got yours? If the world needs proof that grace changes people, here we come.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What health battles are you fighting? Are you dealing with an illness? Perhaps you're battling a food dependence or you've been neglecting your fitness routine? Let us know in the comment section, because we want to help you with your most powerful weapon: prayer. We promise to lift you up.

Song In Your Heart: As I was finishing-up today's entry, a song by the group 33Miles came on, "Live." Just spoke to me as I was trying to speak to you. Hope you enjoy the lyrics.

Who told you that you were all alone? Who told you that this is all there is? What's holding you so you can't take hold of hope? You're stuck so deep that you can't move. Don't you want to live? Live! Cause you are made for so much more than this. Live! Knowing that God loves you He's been with you all along He wants you to know the truth so you can live You're worth enough that He died for you His heart burns with love and desire for you Don't be afraid to receive Don't be afraid to believe That you can. He knows what your pain feels like Rest through His arms all night So don't you give up now Let Him show you how to live. Oh yeah, don't you want to live? Live.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT Thank you so much for your constant support of our little ministry and for wearing the PrayFit gear to the gym, on the road, beach, bike ride or wherever you health takes you. Ladies Black I FoughtYou're a blessing to us and to those around you for doing so. >> Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

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Breathless

"Weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head..." --Luke 7:38

Read: Luke 7

Back in graduate school, we had our share of underwater weighing assignments. Underwater weighing is regarded as the most valuable tool at determining body composition. However, in order for the subject to be seen accurately, it takes an extreme amount of effort and courage on the part of the person being tested. See, as you're lowered into the water, you have to empty your lungs, breathing out every drop of air possible.

The woman in Luke 7 defied ridicule and disregarded the rules to do one thing: to pour everything she had at His feet. Broken, she just had to break free and nothing was going to stop her from seeing her Lord. After her tears cleaned His feet and her hair dried them, she courageously emptied her alabaster bottle of valuable perfume for Jesus to breathe in.

Friends, don't miss it today. When we're empty, we allow Him to see us. When we breathe it all out, He breathes it all in. If only for today, let's pour our health at His feet like perfume and tears. Lord, here is all our praise, expressed from the top of our lungs.

--Jimmy Peña

Ameansofpraise

LOTS IN STORE: Thank you for the feedback on the first of our new additions to the store! Hurry and order your "I Fought" t-shirt or tank, because soon we're going to roll the next one out and these will be gone! Thanks so much for supporting our site and for praying for us.

Ladies Black Tank I Fought The Good Fight

>> Whether you're ready to expand your wardrobe or to get someone you love some cool PrayFit gear, we've got just the thing for you. Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

Mr. Irrelevant

"So the last will be first, and the first will be last." --Matthew 20:16

Read: Matthew 20

Some of you might be football fans. And if so, last week's draft was exciting. A lot of hoopla surrounding Johnny Football being passed over, and over, and over again made for a brow-raising draft, even for us baseball fans. Interestingly though, some of football's greatest Hall of Fame legends were some of the last picked on draft day. Curtis Martin, the NFL's fourth-leading rusher of all time (and PrayFit endorser) was selected 74th in 1995. Joe Montana, arguably one of the top three quarterbacks to ever throw a football didn't make the Top 10 of his draft. Try 82nd. And as far as Tom Brady, three-time Super Bowl Champion and multiple MVP award winner? Only 198 players were chosen before his name was called.

Just goes to show that what the world sees as a long shot can be a winner in disguise.

Interestingly, do you know what they call the last person picked in the draft? In 1976, the tradition began of giving the last man standing a name. They called him "Mr. Irrelevant." And every year since, Mr. Irrelevant and his family are invited to spend a week in Newport Beach, California, for a golf tournament and a ceremony awarding him the Lowsman Trophy -- depicting a player fumbling a football. In short, it's a gala for the one they say is immaterial, not pertinent, not germane, unimportant, inconsequential and insignificant.

Paul persecuted Christians, Moses had a stutter, and when others saw David as a simple shepherd boy, God saw a king. So if you're feeling like a long shot -- a Mr. or Mrs. Irrelevant -- have faith that you're a winner, not in disguise, but in His eyes.

--Jimmy Peña

GodisAbleFor Discussion: As we begin the week, are you feeling like your job doesn't matter? Your status? Your title? Perhaps your health? Make no mistake, that we are divinely made by a God who loves us and makes us relevant through Himself. We can can do anything God wants us to do. Who you are and what you do is divinely relevant when we're living in His will. And He's able.

Mens White Shirt "I Fought The Good Fight"

NEW GEAR! Spiritually and physically, grace puts faith to work. Grace is why we "fight the good fight." We're blessed to be rolling out some new designs for shirts, tanks and caps and we hope they bless and capture your heart. In its powerful simplicity, this first one off the line will represent many things to many people. Some of you are coming off of a layoff, injury or illness, and you know you were able to get through it ONLY by His grace. For others, it's not a claim, but a goal for the day, the week or the rest of your life. Whoever you are, whatever your story -- physically or spiritually -- we're thankful to be on the battlefield with you. For His Renown.

>> Whether you're ready to expand your wardrobe or to get someone you love some cool PrayFit gear, we've got just the thing for you. Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

This Soul Is Guarded

Last week in D.C., one of the most important sites I promised to show Loretta was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And while I described the scene to her prior to our arrival -- much like the case of this entry -- she'll tell you I didn't do it justice. If you're unfamiliar, the Tomb of the Unknown is a monument in dedication to the services of an unidentified soldier and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. And it's guarded. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by sentinels, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and under any weather condition. Sentinels -- all volunteers -- are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment.

The amazing process is breathtaking to watch. He takes 21 steps, stops and pauses for 21 seconds, turns and marches another 21 steps. To and fro, back and forth with the utmost precision, and he doesn't stop his duty until another sentinel arrives to relieve him. The changing of the guard deserves an entry by itself. Unbelievable.

The tomb has been guarded with such reverence every second -- day and night -- since 1937. But what I find so motivating and thrilling is just exactly what they're protecting. And here begins the lesson.

The Unknown SoldierBuried inside the Sentinel's Creed is a line that jumps off the page to me, and one I hope we can all apply to the body God gave us. It says, "I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect...This soldier will - in honored glory - rest under my eternal vigilance."

Chills anyone? Maybe it's just sentimental me, but these men march day and night in humble dedication and service, not to protect the marble tomb or the manicured lawn. No, they're protecting respect. (Read that sentence again, slowly.) What does it mean to protect respect? And can anyone reading this sentence apply that to the duty you and I have about our health? It's something, isn't it? They've dedicated a life of allegiance because of every soldier who's ever filled a tomb. We've committed our lives because of an empty one. And in humble reverence, it is He who commands the respect we protect.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: The scene is dripping with so much symbolism, I can't quite type. Of course it's not about aesthetics, but when we consider our lives -- our impact on others, our personal calling, our ability to share Christ -- it's an awesome reminder that our health is significant to the Kingdom. Our temporary diligence has eternal consequences. As I type, I can't think straight. Friends, all I hope is that my effort in caring for a frail body -- one that's built to ultimately fail -- is a worthy salute; one that humbly says this soul is guarded.

NEW PRAYFIT GEAR! If you're looking to sport some gear that reflects your commitment to health-focused stewardship, then you need to head over to the PrayFit store. With a robust assortment of tees, tanks and hats for guys and girls, you're sure to find something to suit your needs. While you're there, you can browse our selection of faith-centered exercise and nutrition resources, including our books and DVDs (which also make for great small group tools!).

Mens Black "I Fought The Good Fight"

THE MESSAGE, DELIVERED

Jimmy Peña's message of health as a means of praise is being well-received by congregations around the country. His storytelling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com. Share this information with pastors, elders and influencers with the knowledge that there is never a speaking fee for churches!

26.2 (The Finish)

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." --1 Corinthians 9:24

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

Loretta's half-marathon in D.C. last week brought back memories of her first-ever 26.2 race. Hope you enjoy my memories.

Twenty-six miles. Well, 26.2 to be exact. Driving back from San Diego, Loretta checked the online results for her first marathon. The four hours and 14 minutes it took her to run a little over 26 miles represented the culmination of countless days and weeks of preparation and sacrifice. And for a non-runner like her husband, it represented four hours and 14 minutes of pride and excitement.

Finding my perfect place on the course, I hunkered down. With camera in hand, I anxiously awaited the love of my life to turn the corner and head for home. And as I waited, I took some notes, some of which I'll share with you this week. It just so happens that a marathon is to a fitness writer what a farmer's market is to a chef; plenty of ingredients from which to choose.

Oh, and yes, Loretta turned the corner indeed. Just like I knew she would. With a flushed face, she put one foot in front of the other and ran right to me. Well, she finished the race (of course), but I took her home. All things being equal, somehow I think God understands the marathon.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Yesterday, we celebrated our smallness. What does it mean to you that while you and I run our little race, He has His eye on us, caring for us, rooting for us! He understands our short marathon! Maybe tomorrow I'll share with you an old entry from my one and only race but the thought of the Lord cheering me on as I run the vapor-quick life He gave me just helps me put one foot in front of the other. Love to know your thoughts.

PRAYFIT-HAT-BLACK-26FOR THE RUNNERS: Are you a runner? Marathoner? Half-marathoner? Hope to be? Well, whatever your experience level, please visit the store for some of our latest items in our black and white collection (and share with your running friends). We have new hat selections, new tanks and tees and other resources you need to run your race! Thank you for supporting our ministry. Be blessed. And keep running.

Final Prayfit Diet CoverA 33-DAY MAKEOVER

The simplicity of The PrayFit Diet -- perfect caloric balance with protein, fat and carbs -- can help you get incredibly healthy and find your motivation for a lifetime to stay that way. Here are a few of the more frequently asked questions about this effective eating plan

Q: Is the PrayFit Diet a diet?

A: The PrayFit Diet is only a diet in name. It is more accurately described as a lifestyle adjustment that addresses our relationship with food. It is a 33-day program that calls for balanced caloric intake from the three macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates). Research shows that when food is eaten in these proportions, health is maximized, fat loss is optimized and inflammation is minimized.

Q: Why is it 33 days?

A: The PrayFit Diet was built out as a 33-day plan because it pays tribute to the 33 years Jesus gave us and because a month-long plan is proven to by research to be highly effective time frame to create change within the body and to develop positive eating habits.

Q: How much weight can I lose on the PrayFit Diet?

A: This is perhaps the most asked question when it comes to any nutrition book. Those who follow the program to the letter, particularly those with more weight to lose, can lose up to 20 pounds in 33 days in combination with regular activity. But this book goes so far beyond the pounds and inches that you stand to lose this month. Because we don't ask you to eliminate any macros, as is the case with some "diets," you are not left feeling deprived. You will be getting enough carbs to fuel workouts and daily activity, enough protein to repair and build muscle and enough fat to cushion joints and bolster heart health. Because of this, the PrayFit Diet is utterly sustainable. No need to cycle off and come back to it. By following the principles outlined in these pages, you'll have the only manual you need to feed yourself and your family healthy, wholesome meals, day in and day out, forever.

>> To order a copy of The PrayFit Diet for yourself or someone else, click here!

Embrace Your Smallness

Truth is, I can't be reminded of it enough. Although some days present scenarios that help me realize it better than others, life has a way of offering a million visible souvenirs of one simple, solitary, certain fact: I am extremely small. lettadoorphotoThis picture I took of Loretta at the front door of the National Archives building in Washington D.C. last week provided such a jolt to my ever forgetful memory; a memory that wants pride to drape its blinding and extremely convincing veil across my eyes. As if any amount of temporary success, or healing, or health could somehow add height or depth to my otherwise feeble self. Cue the memento. As I snapped this pic of Loretta pretending to reach for the handle, I immediately remembered something Louie Giglio wrote:

"You and I are tiny. Miniscule. Microscopic. A momentary and infinitesimal blip on the timeline of the universe. Among us, the strongest of the strong can be felled in one faltering heartbeat. We are fleeting mortals. Frail flesh. Little specks. If this fact makes you just a tad bit uncomfortable, you're not alone. Invariably, when I talk about the vastness of God and the cosmos, someone will say, 'You're making me feel bad about myself and making me feel really, really small,' (as if that's the worst thing that could happen.) But the point is not to make you feel small, rather to help you see and embrace the reality that you are small...Really, really small." --Louie Giglio, excerpt from I Am Not But I Know I Am

Of course, it's not so much about how small we are but all about how big God is...really, really big. And yet despite how tiny we are relative to the cosmos, God, who can line up every planet of every galaxy in the palm of His hand, sent His Son to willingly die on the cross as penalty for my mistakes -- and for yours. All because a great, big God loves us.

So welcome to Monday. I hope you have a week full of great, big reminders of just how little you are. In fact, embrace your smallness. Relish it, celebrate it. Thank God for it. Can't open that door? He can. Can't close that one? He can. Can't seem to reach the handle? Yeah, that's okay, He can handle that too.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Will you promise to look for big reminders of your smallness this week? If something comes to mind, I'd love to hear about it.

Ladies Black Tank I Fought The Good Fight

NEW SHIRTS AND CAPS!

Spiritually and physically, grace puts faith to work. Grace is why we "fight the good fight." We're blessed to be rolling out some new designs for shirts, tanks and caps and we hope they bless and capture your heart. In its powerful simplicity, this first one off the line will represent many things to many people. Some of you are coming off of a layoff, injury or illness, and you know you were able to get through it ONLY by His grace. For others, it's not a claim, but a goal for the day, the week or the rest of your life. Whoever you are, whatever your story -- physically or spiritually -- we're thankful to be on the battlefield with you. For His Renown.

>> Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

I Can Begin Again

Thinking about 2014 goals is pretty exciting (and daunting). My heart skips a beat when I think of some of the big mountains my little legs want to climb. Dreams are awesome, aren't they? It's like we're saying, "That one, God. Yes! Let's conquer that!" And with a little faith, we chase them.

Well, on our most recent road trip home, I remember seeing the sign: DELAYS AHEAD. I didn't give it much thought. A few miles later: EXPECT DELAYS. I looked at my watch. "So far so good," I reasoned. So I shrugged, turned up the radio and set my cruise control. But sure enough the next sign literally read: EXPECT EXTREME DELAYS SOON. They weren't kidding about the "extreme" or "soon" parts. In fact, I knew it was gonna be bad when I saw cars pulling off the highway by any means possible to find a short cut. Our quick four-hour trip had quickly become eight.

You know, as we begin to think about, pray for and chase our spiritual and physical goals for the upcoming year, we can expect delays. Even though you may have hit the new year at full speed, the chances of a few roadblocks are high. But let's not quit or lose heart. Rather, let's keep our faith in drive, realizing that we're covered in grace on what the Bible says is a quick trip home.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Loretta's 2014 theme song is "I Can Begin Again" by Larnelle Harris. The chorus always catches my heart, and it's perfect I think for this time of year. Who among you will embrace it as YOUR theme song? And if you already have one in your heart, what is it? Tell us in the comments section below.

"I can begin again, with a passion of a child. My heart has caught a vision of a life that's still worthwhile. I can reach out again. Far beyond what I have done. Like a dreamer whose awakened to a life that's yet to come. For new beginnings are not just for the young."

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.

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The Imperfect Game

Pretty neat weak. I liked our theme: "Closers." Great life-enders. Thumbing through God's word and some books of my favorite authors, the number of remarkable men and women (and yes, even the donkey) who finished their life's game with the kind of endurance that Paul penned is jaw-dropping. Just count all the pitfalls, the pitiful, and the pits! What a pit-y party. And, well, it might as well have been. Because while their lives were heavenly, inspired and God-breathed, each one of them -- like you and me -- needs amazing pity.

On June 3, 2010 Armando Gallaraga was one out away from pitching only the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Not only did he hold the opposition to zero hits, he never even walked a batter. Each of the first 26 hitters he faced sat down. But with only one out left in the 9th, umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called a hitter safe at first. The blown call cost Armando his place in history. From perfect to imperfect, just like that. Getting support around baseball as well as from Armando himself, a tearful and regretful Jim Joyce was quoted as saying, "Nobody's perfect."

With baseball's closer role woven throughout our theme this week, I thought of that game. That imperfect game. You and I have made some blown calls in life, haven't we? That one day. Those dumb days. Bad judgement calls. If we could take them back, we would. But since we can't, our chance at a perfect life is impossible. We'd have a better chance of swallowing the ocean than being flawless. Enter Jesus, The Savior.

Imagine it. He takes our place on the hill. His was a sinless, sacred life. Blameless. Spotless. Perfect. But because of our sin, He climbed on the cross and died for each one. Amazing pity. When God looks at your life and mine, He sees the life of His Son. No blown calls. He alone was worthy to take the loss, in order that we could win what only perfection can earn. And in what hour on Friday does the Bible say our Savior's eyes closed? Yes. In the 9th.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: If you missed any of this week's entries, be sure and see A Life Spent Saving, Out of the Pits, The Purpose Fulfilled Life and The Set-Up Man. We hope they blessed your week and life. Do you have a favorite Biblical closer? Someone we didn't mention? We'd love to read it. Share it with us. Have a good weekend. And please don't miss Monday's entry. I'm already excited to write it.

IMG_4821GEAR UP!: We're getting ready to load our FALL LINE of clothing and accessories, so it's time to clear the store! 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 bless your life and your testimony as Christians with a heart for health. Thank you for your love and support.

Bravo!

Over our summer break, Loretta and I spent an evening with The Maestro of the Movies. Admittedly, this concert had been circled on our calendar for months. If the name John Williams isn't familiar, I'll bet you my keyboard that you know his work. In fact, if you've been to the movies over the last 40 years, chances are you know more than one song by heart. And there we sat. Under the night sky at the Hollywood Bowl, the wonderful and classy Julie Andrews hosted the gala and the great John Williams conducted the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra. And ohhh did they play. From the soundtracks of E.T. to Lincoln to Star Wars, each note was a memory as vivid as the stars above. The joy on Loretta's face as each melody played was priceless. And me? I thoroughly enjoyed every measure, but like a boy in line to meet a superhero, I was waiting for one song in particular. But before you could say, "Bravo," the first hour was over, the musicians stood and Mr. Williams left the stage under thunderous applause.

Intermissions are interesting. The lights go up and life resumes. Reality sets in. Minutes earlier I was a Raider of the Lost Ark, swinging over lagoons to find hidden treasure but let the music stop and my back is aching and my hips won't open! I was even sweating the traffic we would soon face getting out of there. But despite how I was feeling, a team of horses couldn't pull me away. Why? There was more. It was just the intermission. So I moved around a little, did some light stretching and said hello to the strangers in my aisle as I made my way back to my seat.

How are you feeling today? Have you been spending good, quality time reading God's word, praying, talking, listening? And what about your health? Eating right? Exercising? Is your workout a symphony of praise? I sure hope so. If not, I know it can get tough. But press on. God has an encore the bible says is beyond imagination. Not the half has been told of what's in store for us. So as you and I wait out this life, let's enjoy the intermission simply because of our inner mission. Move around a little, do some stretching, say hi to those around you. There's more. And oh, let's try not to sweat the traffic.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. The Maestro never did play my song. Can you guess what I was waiting to hear? I gave you a hint, did you catch it? Alas, after three curtain calls, the sweet 80-year old genius placed his palms together, put them to the side of his tilted face and motioned to his intimate party of 18,000 that it was time to go to bed. Bravo.

THE INNER MISSION What is God calling you to do with your health? What goals are you setting? Perhaps with the kids back in school, you've set some new objectives? Maybe you're a couple desiring to start an exercise plan together. Whatever you need your health for, enjoy your time, follow your heart's dream. Make music while you wait.

"I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should." 1 Cor. 9:27NEW GEAR Our fitness can be our witness. But if people aren't quite receiving the message, we have no problem making it more obvious. The newest additions to our apparel line broadcast your dedication to health as a means of praise. Click here to check our new assortment of men's and women's tanks.

DESTINATION: YOUR CHURCH If you are a regular visitor to our site, then you are likely familiar with the core of Jimmy Peña's message. But if you've never had the chance to hear this message delivered in person, now is your chance. PrayFit is actively seeking churches to visit this fall and winter. Write us at info@prayfit.com to find out how you can bring Jimmy to a service at your place of worship!

The Gospel of Peace

"..and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." --Ephesians 6:15

Read: Ephesians 6

We've all been fitted for shoes at one time or another, and if you're flat-footed like me, you know immediately whether a shoe is gonna work or not. As kids, it was important for them to measure our feet with that little foot-measuring thing, remember? But it wasn't until your mom or dad found your big toe and you walked around a little that you and everyone else had a peace about them. A peace? Well, walk with me.

Consider the athlete. Most major sports -- from baseball, basketball to football -- have shoes that fit the game. It's simple, right? The athlete needs to be sure-footed for the surface. Sure-footed. At peace. Think of a golfer swinging a club on slick wet grass or a sprinter getting into the blocks. There's a peace in knowing you're firmly planted.

Consider Paul. When he described the full armor of God, he didn't forget the feet. In biblical times, Roman sandals had thick spikes on the soles to ensure that the warrior was grounded, anchored, and less likely to slip. It's no wonder Paul urged for our feet to be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."

Wow. Athletes wear the shoe that best meets the needs of their sport. Ancient warriors dressed for battle. Amazing to think that for every believer, one shoe fits. So let's just consider God fitting His children with the gospel of peace. Peace...from head to (big) toe.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION OVERHAUL IN 8 EASY STEPS

Eight steps. Finding your body's ideal weight is that easy. No miracle pills, no back-breaking deprivation -- cleaner, more sensible eating can be boiled down to these easy strategies.

>> 8 WAYS TO EAT BETTER...FOREVER

6710-Grey>> SHOP: Looking for some awesome PrayFit gear to sport on your next run or trip to the gym? Visit the PrayFit store today for hot deals on tees, hats, wristbands and more. While you're there, pick up some resources to speed you on your way to a healthier body -- books and DVDs can help you get fit from home and come equipped with your usual helping of PrayFit-themed devotionals.

The Scars & Stripes

"...and by His stripes we are healed." --Isaiah 53:5

Read: Isaiah 53

One day while driving along the canyon in Los Angeles, I came across a tall, old tree in the front yard of a beautiful home. Next to the tree stood an equally tall flag pole. Now, most days I probably wouldn't have noticed, but as I went by I realized the flag was tangled around some branches, evidence of some recent high winds. Now, you may be just like me, but something stirs inside when I see the stars and stripes helpless like that. I don't know, but our symbol of freedom shouldn't be stuck to a tree. It was wrapped so tight in fact, I literally said to myself, "Oh, someone has to climb up there."

With amazing pity for my crimes and yours, our Freedom willingly crawled up that old rugged cross. We were helpless, so someone had to climb up there. And Jesus, with His scars and stripes, embraced it.

--Jimmy Peña

Happy 4th of July everyone. Celebrate freedom! Please look for our next PrayFit entry on Monday, July 8th!

PRAYFIT USA!

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"That's How Winning Is Done"

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine." --1 Peter 1:7

Read: 1 Peter 1

In 2006, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Sylvester Stallone. He was promoting a new product, and so my editor-in-chief -- knowing just how special the moment would be -- sent me to chat with him. The interview was scheduled just a few months before Rocky Balboa would hit theaters.

Walking into the host hotel, I remember Loretta straightening my tie before I headed up to the suite to conduct my interview. It was a moment I'd never forget. I even carried my master's thesis with me so Stallone could sign it where I had given Rocky praise nearly a decade earlier. Sitting there, just the two of us, was both surreal and motivating, to say the least. I remember wishing that I could convey just how much of an influence he had been on my life. But before I could, he said something that I repeat to myself to this day. In fact, you've likely heard it repeated in commercials or motivational videos. But to one of my questions, he said:

"Jimmy, in my next film, I wrote that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. But you gotta...take...the hits."

Faith. That fireproof, battle-tested, unquenchable reservoir. It's why we take the hits, amen? It's how we move forward. It's not only the means we need to get back to our feet, it's the reason we try. Mustard-seed small, mountain-moving faith. Faith in Jesus. He's the reward of trust. It's our theme for the week. I hope you don't miss a day.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. He signed my book. Neat moment. He wrote, "Thanks Jimmy. Keep punchin." I am, Sly. I am buddy.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Lunge for Better, Stronger Legs Walking is a fantastic exercise that can provide a strong base of cardiovascular fitness, particularly when you push yourself to walk faster and farther each time. But those who can do more should in order to achieve higher levels of fitness and to force the body to continue changing. So this week, we’re adding a tougher twist to your normally casual stroll through the neighborhood.

>> Click here for the workout

ultralite-hat-back-whiteSHOP FIT: Looking for some new fitness swag to sweat up in your pursuit of a leaner, healthier body? We've got just the thing(s).

Click here to explore the newly updated PrayFit store!

The Safest Place

"Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before God our maker." --Psalm 95:6

Read: Psalm 95

Every once in a while, the world pulls the rug out from underneath us. The sand shifts. The ground shakes. Be it from a financial hardship or perhaps an unexpected diagnosis, keeping your balance is sometimes impossible. And it's not long before you literally -- and perhaps figuratively -- find yourself on the floor, waiting for the aftershocks to stop. But wouldn't you know it? Whether by irony or divinity, the safest place to be when things are unstable is low.

This last weekend we received some news that felt very much like that, and it shook the house of PrayFit. But Sunday night, as I was about to turn in, I found Loretta kneeling at my bedside; a daily habit of hers our entire life together. That night would be no different. As I made my way over to her, I stood there for a second as she prayed. But I knew where I needed to be. After all, that's how we've always kept our balance -- on our knees. So for the first time since my back surgery, I slowly made my way to mine.

Taking her hand wasn't something she expected; shocked might be a better way to put it. She raised her head so fast, and her eyes got huge! I simply nodded and smiled with pursed lips, and then she finished her prayer (Out loud and crying, of course. We're weepers, don't forget.) Oh folks, aren't we so blessed to know that all things work together for good for those who love Him? (Rom 8:28) Like many of you, I am so thankful.

I wonder, are you low today? Should you be? Maybe the job search is still a search. The painful illness still hurts. And although you're a day closer to the future, the ground you're standing on still shows the cracks of yesterday's quake. But trust me. Fill them with your knees. Wherever you are and whatever shakes your world, remember: The safest place to be when things are unstable is low.

--Jimmy Peña

HEALTH UPDATE FROM JIMMY: "I walked to Trader Joe's and back yesterday. That's almost a mile. For me, it may as well have been a marathon. Small steps are huge strides, amen?  I say, To Trader Joe's, and beyond! Thank you all for the faithful prayers."

THE COST OF CALORIES

You may not stop to think about how quickly calories can add up. And if you're not controlling your own food preparation, portions and ingredients can leave you with a waist-widening caloric excess. PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White offers some insight on the caloric "cost" of some common snacks, take-out dinners and desserts in this article.

>> Click here for the true cost of a calorie...

6210-CardinalGIFTS FOR DAD

If you're looking for thoughtful gifts for the health-minded dads in your life, make sure you stop at our newly-revamped online store. Here, you'll find long- and short-sleeve tees, hats and get-fit resources from PrayFit like books and DVDs...everything dads need to spread the concept of health as a means of praise. Want to place a group order? Contact us direct at sales@prayfit.com for special discounts!

>> Click here to start "window" shopping!

The Island of Grace

"He refreshes my soul..." --Psalm 23:3

Read: Psalm 23

HammockWe hope you've enjoyed pausing on the island of grace this week. We can't think of a better place to still our hearts and minds. Be it in the fitness industry or in the aisle at your local supermarket, the water can get choppy, leaving you bobbing in the wake of someone's opinion, society's judgments or self-destructive habits of comparison and self-obsession. The under currents are strong, and it's not long before you're waving your arms, "Look at me, I measure up! I fit in! Can anyone see me?!"

But the anchor of grace reminds us that health is given for one singular purpose: to bring glory to a mighty God. And as we've discussed over the years, that means so many things, and it doesn't mean so many things. But if you're tired, don't worry. Treading water is toughest in really shallow water which is, coincidentally, where the world demands most of your time. But thankfully, God provides a shore. So go ahead and come out. Wrap yourself in a towel of compassion. Have a seat on the beach, run your toes through the sand, take a deep breath, and bask in a warmness only a Godly view of the body can provide.

Next week we'll hit the water again hard, because our health demands our best. But for now -- yawwwwn -- I think I found a great spot for a nap.

--Jimmy Peña

6210-CardinalGIFTS FOR DAD

If you're looking for thoughtful gifts for the health-minded dads in your life, make sure you stop at our newly-revamped online store. Here, you'll find long- and short-sleeve tees, hats and get-fit resources from PrayFit like books and DVDs...everything dads need to spread the concept of health as a means of praise. Want to place a group order? Contact us direct at sales@prayfit.com for special discounts!

>> Click here to start "window" shopping!

Glory By Way of Pain

"May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do." --2 Thessalonians 1:11

Read: 2 Thessalonians 1 Do me a favor and hold your breath for a couple seconds while you read along. I'll let you know when to exhale. Ready? (Deep breath.) "Well," he said while reading my medical chart. "I want you to do more. Let's push it a little. You're ready." (You can breathe now). And so can I.

Like you, I held my breath yesterday at my latest check-up. As if in a cage, I paced back and forth from one side of the room to the other. Waiting, praying, hoping. Thirteen months since I first began treatment. And sure enough, by God's grace alone, I'm healing; so much so that I've been given permission to do more.

What are you going through today? Are you struggling physically? Do you need God's healing hand, an encouraging word, an intentional prayer? We want to know so we can pray for you. List whatever you want us to pray with you about in the comment section. If you'd rather, go ahead and list "unspoken" and we will most certainly pray. We want for you what's happened in our own life. Like our passage today says, "May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do." (v.11)

Oh, and as I left the office, my doctor asked me about PrayFit. Sentimental me, I got choked up as I told him about some church visits on the East coast in a few weeks. He reached out his hand and shook mine saying, "Call me from the road if you need me."

Color Peña gone. Glory by way of pain.

--Jimmy Peña

WHEY BETTER RESULTS IN 2013 If you've made the effort to step up workouts this year -- perhaps with one of our at-home workout DVDs -- you'll need to make sure that you're rebuilding muscle optimally. Most of this can be achieved through proper nutrition but adequate protein consumption is vital. As you train, muscle fibers are ravaged. It is only during the aftermath that they use amino acids to rebuild themselves stronger for the next session. And that's why whey protein should be a staple of your pantry arsenal. This fast-digesting -- and usually great-tasting -- powder gives ailing muscles all they need to get back on the mend. Click the link below for more info!

>> How to use whey protein to get stronger, leaner in 2013

Jesus Ate Perfectly

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." --John 4:34

Read: John 4

Jesus ate perfectly. Does anyone find that amazing? Whether during a hearty celebration meal with friends or while eating sparingly on the road as He traveled, He never sinned. In fact, nobody ever ate better. Now, that's food for thought.

Some of you may be sitting back in your chair thinking, "Wait, what? Surely you don't mean perfectly?" Well, in fact, yes. That's exactly what we mean. See, we believe Jesus was perfect in every imaginable way and that includes how He ate. It's easy to think of Jesus as the healer or speaker but perfect eater? Well, while we know He never ate for vanity or gluttony, that truth is easier to digest when we realize that nothing He ate or didn't eat would prevent Him from reaching the cross for your sins and mine. Knowing that, it's tough to argue that He ate perfectly, wouldn't you agree?

So what can that teach us? For one, it should remind us that God looks at the heart, so we might as well get out of the mirror. But it also means that neglecting the body and eating without purpose is a heart issue. On one hand, we can't be so focused on our waistline that we fail to see the needs around us, nor can we eat in such a way that we can't function with abundance or fulfill our potential.

But isn't it liberating? See, like you, I believe Jesus enjoyed a good meal with the disciples and I like to imagine Him leaning back and being the first to doze off. But humbly, I can also see Him going days without food, fasting for Heavenly wisdom for you and for me. Oh my friends, it's when we see food through His eyes that the table clearly comes into focus. Enjoy food, respect food, and learn how it allows you to serve Him. After all, He was the perfect example. Everything He ate or didn't eat, helped Him save us.

--Jimmy Peña

FUN FACT: As we strive — and struggle — to live more like Jesus, it’s important to immerse ourselves in God’s word on a daily basis. But an extension of Christ-like living, whether we realize it or not, is exercise (1 Timothy 4:8) — because Jesus did a lot of it, mostly through walking. Sure, most of that was out of necessity but you can bet that He was pretty fit. Would you believe that Jesus walked over 3,000 miles during his ministry?

>> The Word is out...PrayFit's new, challenging at-home workout DVD is helping people build physical and spiritual muscle! We peaked at No. 14 today on Amazon's hot new releases in exercise & fitness and are determined to hit the top spot. We're blessed by your support...and sweat! Share the link below with others, or order yours today!

Made In Heaven

"He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control." --Philippians 3:21

Read: Philippians 3

Before your very first day of school, or prior to getting your driver's license, and even before you began the family with which you spend your days...came your body. Not only did God inspire your soul's dream, but He gave you the body necessary to pursue the job. Since God will always equip us with what we need to accomplish His will, we know our bodies were His choice. Can you imagine the moment?

It was as if God said:

"Sweet soul, here is your body. I've carefully woven it together. It has what it takes for you to pursue me and tell others about me. And oh precious body, this is your soul. Of all the matter in the universe, this is what matters most. Carry it where it needs to go. Protect it. Honor it. Now, I want you two to be good to each other. Be friends, not enemies."

So, do me a favor and take a quick glance at your arm or hands. Think for a second that God himself has touched that skin. He was first. In fact, talk to your body. It's okay, go ahead. Maybe you need to thank it? Assure it? Or like me recently, maybe during your dark hour, you need to apologize. Could be for something you've knowingly done or for something out of your control -- an ailment, an accident maybe, or even a disease. But much like any friend going through a tough time, just tell it you're so very sorry. After all, it was God who knitted it and then breathed life into it. Miraculously, He gave your heart a knowledge that there is something more to this life than life. And like it says in our verse, in order to pursue Him and then share Him, He gave you a weak and fragile body. Oh, it may not last this earth, but you can rest assured it was indeed a match made in Heaven.

--Jimmy Peña

NEW MERCH!!! >> Faithfully taking care of the body the Lord made for you is a daily pursuit. So why not dress the part? Visit our redesigned online store to browse our newest offerings and get a jump on your Christmas shopping! Our new, comfort-first apparel choices include thermals, tees and a selection of gym-ready, lightweight running/training hats. While you're there, you can also check out our print and DVD products, complete with workouts and meal plans, all designed to help you bolster your faith and fitness in 2013 and beyond.

Your gracious purchase will help us continue the mission of PrayFit.com. We are very much in your debt and thankful for all you do for us.

>> CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!

#jumpingjacksforjesus

"I am not ashamed of the gospel." --Romans 1:16

Read: Romans 1, 14

The day before yesterday I came across a tweet from SELF Magazine's senior writer Erin Bried (@niftybutton) joking about our new DVD she received from my publicist. Former magazine guys ourselves, Eric and I would often get books and products on our desks from hopeful artists just like us, so we've been in her shoes. But that's where our similarities evidently cease. Because after her good laugh, she and some others exchanged jokes, then she posted a pic of me, adding a hashtag: #jumpingjacksforjesus

Now, my first thought was to drop her my resume, name some of the books I'd written, reveal the celebrities I've served and list the thousands of articles I've written on newsstands. But then it hit me: she knows enough. She knows I'm completely unashamed of the gospel. And just like the shepherds who sprinted to the see the newborn King and John the Baptist leaping in his mom's womb, there's something about Jesus that moves people. And now she knows He moves me too. So yes, I'm afraid I do jumping jacks for Jesus. That and much, much more. So I simply retweeted her and told her that it was my life's work. And that I hope she checks it out. After all, like Spurgeon said, "Defending the gospel is like defending a lion. All you have to do is let it out of its cage, and it will defend itself."

You know friends, it boils down to this. If it's awkward to do things for Jesus, be it praise, write, speak or even jump around, it's gonna feel real awkward when we're kneeling. So for all of those unashamed athletes, the line-crossers, the limb-walkers and ridicule takers, I salute you. Whether you run, lift, swim, walk or otherwise, all because your health is a means of praise, I'm in your debt and I'm at your feet. I am one of you. Save me some room out on that limb. #InJesusNameWeTrain

--Jimmy Peña

>> You can follow us on Twitter by clicking here. (@prayfit) In Honor of it all, here is the DVD God inspired me to create. Hope you order one for yourself and a few for those you love. This follow-up to our first DVD is extremely challenging, targeting each bodypart including the legs, glutes, arms, chest, back, shoulders, cardio, and flexibility. All of that infused with biblical stories and motivational minutes to encourage you to keep going. Like I've always said, we don't strive to be healthy in order to be loved by God, we strive to be healthy because we are.

>> To order your DVD now, click here!

>> NEW!!! To check out other PrayFit products including books, DVDs and our all new line of faith-and-fitness apparel, click here!

HIGHER

July 14, 2011Read: Genesis 1

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." -- Genesis 1:1

Experts agree that with NASA's launch last week, man has officially traveled as high as he'll ever go. Thirty years after the shuttle's first mission to the final frontier, the program lifted off on its last.

Oh my friends, we may not be able to puncture space, but the composer and conductor of the universe will someday take us much higher. The galaxies we can't reach are not out of His, and what we call the final frontier is really just the beginning. Our limits are good reminders that He has none. Astrologists may tell us the sun is the center of it all, but if we want to go even higher, we'd be wise to seek the Son...the center of it all.

-J.P.

6 TIPS FOR MINDFUL EATING

A National Institute of Health (NIH) study on binge eaters examined how eating pace affected satiety but the results can be broadly applied by anyone looking to achieve or keep to a healthy weight.

According to the research, which was reported in the Harvard Medical School newsletter, digestion involves a complex series of hormonal signals between the gut and the nervous system, and it seems to take about 20 minutes for the brain to register satiety (fullness). If someone eats too quickly, satiety may occur after overeating instead of putting a stop to it. There’s also reason to believe that eating while we’re distracted by activities like driving or typing may slow down or stop digestion similar to how the “fight or flight” response does. And if we’re not digesting well, we may be missing out on the full nutritive value of some of the food we’re consuming. Use their six tips to maintain reasonable sized portions and to get more nutritive value out of what you're eating.

1 Set a timer to 20 minutes and use the entire time to eat a normal-sized meal.

2 Try eating with your non-dominant hand. If you're a righty, hold your fork in your left hand during meals.

3 Use chopsticks if you don't normally use them.

4 Eat silently for five minutes, thinking about what it took to produce that meal, from the sun's rays to the farmer to the grocer to the cook.

5 Take small bites and chew well.

6 Ask yourself if you're really hungry before foraging through the fridge or pantry.

>> APPAREL & GEAR: Make a fashion-forward statement about your dedication to faith and fitness by shopping at the PrayFit online store.