On God's Errand

er-rand: a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone else's behalf.

malibu sunsetA couple days away from the dawn of a new year, and I can't believe how fast 2013 came and went. Anybody with me on this? It literally feels like it flew by. Last night, Loretta and I took in a Malibu sunset as a way to try and put a button on the year. I snapped this pic to memorize the moment. A minute or so before it finally disappeared, I removed my cap, grabbed her hand, and we prayed. I tell ya, if one thing a good sunset will do is shine a nice light on a year gone by.

Oh the errands the good Lord sent us on this year. And that's really what they are. Errands. Short journeys to collect or deliver something on someone else's behalf. His.

Maybe it's just me, but don't some errands feel like enormous compliments? That God would deem us able? I can almost feel your collective sigh. The job situation, the mounting bills, your husband's diagnosis, your surgery, your brother's illness, your sister's dilemma. And on the other side of that same sigh is a smile. The graduation, the promotion, the solution. You got that long-awaited e-mail, someone gave just enough, that call of forgiveness or the letter of reconciliation.So many of God's errands leave us wiping our brow, scratching our heads, smiling in joy or everything in between. Thankfully, He's the common denominator, Amen?

Suffice it say that the sunset last night represented two bookends for me. Before it disappeared, it was a light that allowed me to both remember the year and dream about the next. And as it descended and disappeared, it reminded me that God gives us a short time to fulfill our calling. Sweet friends, we're either delivering or collecting something for Him in this quick life, and I'm thankful to be on this 'God errand' with you. So this is me, removing my cap and reaching for your hand.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Health is a God errand. What an enormous blessing, obligation and opportunity. Called to honor Him with our health, battling the elements designed to destroy a body that's built to thrive while we're alive. Who's celebrating 2013 and/or ready for 2014 (or both)? One day more...


So yes, like Jimmy said, the sun is setting on 2013 and before long, we'll be walking into the sunrise of 2014 fully charged with a fresh take on health. So here we are, once more, extending a hand...humbly praying you'll take that walk with us. Our modest collection of resources gives you everything you need to help your body thrive in the new year. If we've helped to convince you of why it helps to stay healthy, let us now show you how with one of our at-home workout DVDs.

What Do You See, Lord?

"You saw me before I was born." --Psalm 139:16

Read: Psalm 139

Awaiting my turn on a recent TV broadcast, I sat in the green room watching the first hour's guest. A woman -- maybe in her late 50's -- was there sharing her fundraising efforts for the homeless and orphaned. Her reply to the host's last question caught my attention. He asked her why she thought God placed this burden on her heart. Through a flood of tears she said, "I just think God saw something in me I never could have seen for myself."

Wow. It felt like she was accepting an award; honored beyond words. Believe me folks, a child is going to find a home, a meal, or both because of this woman. Her words resonated in my head (and heart) as I took my place on the couch. It was my turn. But honestly, I don't remember the host's first question. I struggled to concentrate. "We're back in 5, 4, 3, 2..."

Sarah, David, Mary Magdalene, Peter. To the rest of the world, outcasts and misfits. Too little, too late. But that's not what God saw.

Is this your prayer? Mine too:

"What do you see Lord? What you can see means more to me than what I can't. So show me. My back is strong. My shoulders are steady. I don't want to be empty-handed. Give me the burden that you see me carrying."

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What has God called you to do? What burden has He laid on your heart? What can we help you pray about today?


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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.



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.

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November 22, 2010Read: Mark 10

"Jesus stopped and said, 'Call him.' So they called to the blind man, 'Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you!' Throwing his cloak aside, he leaped to his feet and came to Jesus." --Mark 10:49-50

Most of us can't fathom what the blind man was going through that day outside of Jericho. What we do know is that he spent his days begging in the dark. In the verses leading up to this one, we learn he's rebuked and told to be quiet for calling out for Jesus. But nothing stirs the blind like a close encounter with a sight giver, and when Jesus finally called for him, he jumped.

Nobody knows what you're battling today either. Though your eyes may work just fine, things like family matters, school issues and work problems might be darkening your spirit and blinding you from all that God wants you to see. But whatever you do, don't sit there quietly. Despite what those around you might say, cry out for Him with every functioning sense, and then cheer up and jump to your feet. He's calling you!



It's funny that while most people revile the thought of having to spend 30 minutes on an exercise bike, most will spend as abs. Folks will do reps until they cramp if it means having a flat, strong-looking midsection. Well, the good news is that abs training is more about the quality than the quantity of your sessions. Abs, mostly comprised of endurance-based muscle fibers, can quickly adapt to marathon crunch sessions. Your focus, then, should be on the accuracy of each move (are you doing it right?) and the intensity of each workout (how hard are you training?). This 10-minute session allows you to target all three areas of your abs with proven, easy-to-execute exercises.

Choose one exercise for each section to help target different sections of your abdominals. If you choose an exercise that requires resistance, select a weight that allows you to fail around 15-20 repetitions. If it's a bodyweight-only move, do as many reps as necessary until you reach failure and if you have time, repeat the cycle -- up to three times total. Perform this workout twice per week -- after weight training or on non-weight training days -- and, with a relatively clean diet, you should see results in no time!

Lower Abs Hanging Leg Raise Reverse Crunch Hip Thrust

Upper Abs Standard Crunch Lying Cable Crunch Machine Crunch

Obliques Crossover Crunch Woodchopper Decline Cable Twist

Core Plank

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