belief

Can Anything Good Come Out of This?

"'Can anything good come from Nazareth?' Nathanael asked. 'Come and see,' said Philip." --John 1:46

Read: John 1

What a verse. What a story. Oh, I'm sure Nathanael meant well. After all, so do you and I, right? We've asked the same. Just replace Nazareth with your hurt. Can anything good come out of your diagnosis? The unemployment? The heartache? Lord knows I've asked this year. Can anything good come out of this?

Sitting in crowded waiting rooms, watching my doctor go from room to room, just begged the question. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't be as close to the Lord today, I wouldn't have had a chance to share Christ with my neighbor, and I wouldn't have such a hunger for God's word. In fact, reading through the Gospels this month, I've come to realize more than ever that Jesus healed so many people physically in order to heal the world spiritually. Everywhere He turned, more healing, more believing.

No wonder Philip said what he said. And I like to think he had a grin on his face when he said it: "Come Nathanael. Come...and see."

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. In case you hadn't had a chance to skim yesterday's entry, sit in the waiting room with me. Listen to the hurts. Feel others' pain. click here and scroll down to the comment section. Pick one on the list, bow your head and pray for them specifically as they enter their room and close the door.

UPHILL BATTLE? Why being heavy makes it harder -- but not impossible -- to lose weight, inches

If you're reading this, then chances are you are fitness-minded or at the very least seeking guidance on how to live a healthier lifestyle. And we're glad to have you -- regardless of where you fall on the body-shape continuum.

But those who are on the heavier side have something working against them in their efforts to lean up: their brains. New research in the journal Physiology & Behavior showed that diets high in saturated fat and refined sugar may cause changes to the brains of obese people that in turn may fuel overconsumption of those same foods and make weight loss more challenging. In other words, the heavier you get, the harder the weight will be to lose.

But at PrayFit, we firmly believe that nothing is impossible. That slimmer waistline you seek is attainable, so long as you are diligent, faithful and obedient. For more on this message, click here, then press play.

Those Who Have Heard

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" --Romans 10:14

Read: Romans 10

Those of you who periodically stop in at the prayer requests section of the PrayFit forum may know that I struggle mightily with the plight of my younger brother.  At 30, his body is beginning to fail him. He is plagued by intestinal distress, some vision loss, dangerously high blood pressure and numerous other physical ailments, nearly all of which are the result of his own stubborn insistence on living the way he wants.

As both a big brother and someone who has made a career out of fitness, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to watch my brother destroy his body, one Big Gulp, one pack of cigarettes at a time. Over the years, I've discussed the gospel of health with him and have tried to be the kind of fitness witness he can mold himself after. Alas, he has heard the truth and still refuses to believe. Tragically, a slow and willful death is all that awaits. And for what? The comfort and ease of doing what feels good?

Today, there are so many people who have heard and do not believe. There are those who know the consequences of physical inactivity, smoking and poor nutrition yet continue to dishonor their bodies. There are also those who would thumb their noses at news of the resurrection of Christ, forgiveness of sins and the heaven that awaits, all in the name of living a life without moral consequence or conviction. Both roads lead to death. Friends, the One that gives life wants you to choose Him, just as much as He wants for you to thrive physically.

Some people never get the chance to hear the good news. So consider yourself blessed! You have heard. Now what will you do?

--Eric Velazquez

WILLFUL DESTRUCTION A few eye-opening facts about the most troubling health problem in America

--The annual healthcare costs of obesity in this country are $147 billion a year. This could rise to as much as $344 billion by 2018, according to one major study.

--Obesity has become one of the most expensive health problems in America today, surpassing smoking, according to a study in Health Affairs.

--Two-thirds of Americans are overweight although 85% of Americans characterize their lifestyle as somewhat/very healthy.

--Obese employee sick days total approximately 39 million workdays and 63 million doctor visits yearly.

--12 million Americans are considered severely obese, defined as more than 100 pounds overweight.

--Nearly a third of the children in this country are overweight and some experts believe up to one third of children will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lifetime.

--For the first time in the history of our nation, some medical experts warn that this younger generation may be on track to have a shorter life span than their parents as a direct result of the obesity epidemic.

Source: CNBC's "One Nation, Overweight"

"BUT MOM...IT'S JESUS"

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." — Matthew 1:23

NativityOut walking with their parents on a recent winter evening, Prayfit VP Eric Velazquez's little Mya and Ella came upon a scene that they could not resist. It’s not often that you run into a nearly-life-size donkey and cow begging for you to hop on their backs, right? Passing on propriety, they sped by their parents, the wise men, jumped right into the large nativity, and made themselves at home. Faces full of delight...click! A moment is captured forever and in the next, cautiously put on Facebook for friends near and far to enjoy.

Their parents questioned the appropriateness -- Mya and Ella questioned their caution.

“But Mom, it’s Jesus!”

Where are we in this picture? In Matthew 8, Jesus says that unless we become like children we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven; a child’s faith -- so pure and trusting -- is necessary for a relationship with Him.  As adults, bogged down with day-to-day issues, it’s easy to lose the child-like ease that intimacy with the Father brings. Knowing God's character, I believe it was not only okay for Mya and Ella to make themselves at home with Jesus, He’s waiting for us to join them.

--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.

SHOP & STAY LEAN Don’t let holiday shopping  derail your healthy-living goals

“It’s the heart of the holiday shopping season: Malls are flooded, parking lots are jam-packed, and your inbox is overflowing with e-coupons,” says Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, PrayFit’s resident healthy-eating expert. “Whether you’re hitting up the food court or doing your shopping online, keep these tips in mind.”

Don’t…

…munch on free samples. The calories can add up fast.

…shop hungry. Eat a sensible meal before you head out to the store or sit at the computer.

…swig liquid calories. Large sodas and full-fat peppermint lattes can have as many calories as a meal.

…go overboard on holiday goodies. Just because you can buy a 10-pound bar of chocolate shaped like a Christmas tree doesn’t mean that you should.

Do…

…resist the wafting smells from the pretzel and cookie stands. Save those calories for holiday parties.

…pack power snacks. Granola bars, fresh fruit, peanut butter crackers, and trail mix are good options.

…keep your mouth occupied. If you find yourself mindlessly snacking, chew sugarless gum or sip on a  calorie-free drink.

…wash your hands before you eat, especially after a day of shopping.

>> For more healthy holiday tips, visit Dana’s Healthy Eats blog on the Food Network.

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.

 

GRACIAS A DIOS

October 20, 2011Read: John 20

"Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." --John 20:27

"The usual?", I asked with a smile. The sweet lunchtime waitress and I have grown accustomed to each another. I'm greeted, not with a menu but with a name. By now, she knows I don't like ice in my water, and that I prefer egg whites. Probably in her late sixties, she speaks beautiful Spanish and forces me to practice mine. I know she likes my PrayFit hat and goes to church just around the corner. Today, however, she lingered longer than usual after showing me to my booth. I knew immediately she was more empty than my stomach.

"Do you ever doubt?" she asked as she straightened her apron and adjusted her bifocals. Before I could answer, she began to serve up her hurt, and as she phrased it, the need to "see Him" in her life. A glimpse. That's all she wanted. Something to feel, something real. I didn't presume to have all the answers, but we chatted. By the time I ate and payed my bill, my friend was assured of two things. 1) she wasn't alone in her doubts, and 2) she wasn't alone at all.

Friends, Jesus understands. That's why when He showed His scars to Thomas, He showed them to you and me. In order to reach us, He let us touch Him.

Gracias a Dios.

--J.P.

KIDS & ASTHMA

Want to keep your kids lungs healthy? Keep them at a healthy bodyweight. Research shows that overweight or obese children are 50%  more likely to have asthma than children who maintain a healthy weight. But even if your child is heavy, keep them eating a sensible diet and make sure they still get 60 minutes per day or more of moderate to rigorous physical activity. Increased physical activity can actually work to improve lung function, so the benefits far outweigh the risks. More severe cases should be monitored more closely, of course, so be sure to consult with your family physician before starting your child out on any structured exercise program.

 

 

 

 

BY THE SUN

April 15, 2011 "I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."

--C.S Lewis

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Absorb a week's worth of healthy living tips in just three clicks

>> WORKOUT: A 10-minute solution for lagging legs, triceps and abs

>> NEWS: What does it mean, exactly, to be "Army Strong?"

>> RECIPE: Looking for a no-guilt way to enjoy banana bread? Check Dana Angelo White's recipe.

TRIVIA ANSWERS from yesterday's trivia question... 1. The safest time to eat a cheat meal is actually right after a blistering workout. You are more likely to utilize the cheat meal for fuel and not store it as bodyfat right after a training session. The second best time for such a meal is first thing in the morning after an overnight fast.

2. The wide-grip seated row is a fantastic back exercises, and because of the wide grip which forces your elbows to raise  and arms to become parallel with the floor, it is an excellent way to target the upper lats, rhomboids and middle traps.

So, Phil...congratulations. You are this week's trivia winner. Let us know where to send your PrayFit gear by emailing us at info@prayfit.com