chains

Shackles and Heavy Burdens

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed. --Mark 1:35

Read: Mark 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWay back in the day, I would often incorporate various tools and tactics into my training in order to become stronger, better. One of my favorites was the use of big, heavy-linked chains. Yes, chains. Boy how times have changed. Seen rarely, and often only in shipyards, these chains were massive. Popeye would be so proud. Well, depending on the exercise, you attach them to the ends of the bar (which already have free weights on them) and perform the exercise.

I got to thinking about those old chains recently. See, chains provide a unique value to training. As you raise the bar higher and higher, the bar actually gets heavier. Why? As you lift the bar up, more links of the chain leave the ground. As you lower the weight toward the floor, one-by-one, the links begin piling up and the load you're carrying gets lighter. Simply put, the load is lightest the closer you get to the floor.

What are you lifting? What burden are you carrying? In many ways, our obligations and daily demands -- linked together -- create a pretty heavy load. Family, work, bills, deadlines, grades, health, illness, link, link...link. Even if you love the calling and the work, the occasional rest is necessary.

Friends, why do we stress quiet times? Because burdens get lighter the closer we get to the floor. If the day were a heavy set of deadlifts, then the quiet, prayerful rest periods do a soul good. Matter of fact, back in the weight room, it's proven that short periods of rest help the lifter sustain the workload with greater success. Beat that with a stick. I just knew those old chains would come in handy someday.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. For the old-school among us, sing with me some Gaither Music...

"Shackled by a heavy burden. 'Neath a load of guilt and shame. Then the hand of Jesus touched me. And now, I am no longer the same.

He touched me. Oh, He touched me. And oh the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know, He touched me and made me whole."

EATING IN BALANCE

Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that the body responded best to a diet that was split equally among the three macronutrients — carbs, protein and fat. Their research pointed out that this type of diet, where you get 33 percent of each day's calories from these three sources, limited inflammation as well as certain type of cancers by acting favorably on key genes. In addition, this type of eating provides enough healthy dietary fat to support joint and heart function, enough protein to support muscle repair and metabolism and enough carbs to power your daily activities.

What else can this type of balance do for you? Find out here!

Shackles and Heavy Burdens

Way back in the day, I would often incorporate various tools and tactics into my training in order to become stronger, better. One of my favorites was the use of big, heavy-linked chains. Yes, chains. Boy how times have changed. Seen rarely, and often only in shipyards, these chains were massive. Popeye would be so proud. Well, depending on the exercise, you attach them to the ends of the bar (which already have free weights on them) and perform the exercise.

I got to thinking about those old chains recently. See, chains provide a unique value to training. As you raise the bar higher and higher, the bar actually gets heavier. Why? As you lift the bar up, more links of the chain leave the ground. As you lower the weight toward the floor, one-by-one, the links begin piling up and the load you're carrying gets lighter. Simply put, the load is lightest the closer you get to the floor.

What are you lifting? What burden are you carrying? In many ways, our obligations and daily demands -- linked together -- create a pretty heavy load. Family, work, bills, deadlines, grades, health, illness, link, link...link. Even if you love the calling and the work, the occasional rest is necessary.

Friends, why do we stress quiet times? Burdens get lighter the closer we get to the floor. If the day were a heavy set of deadlifts, then the quiet, prayerful rest periods do a soul good. Matter of fact, back in the weight room, it's proven that short periods of rest help the lifter sustain the workload with greater success. Beat that with a stick. I just knew those old chains would come in handy someday.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. For the old-school among us, sing with me some Gaither Music...

"Shackled by a heavy burden. 'Neath a load of guilt and shame. Then the hand of Jesus touched me. And now, I am no longer the same.

He touched me. Oh, He touched me. And oh the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know, He touched me and made me whole."

Old belts

Prayer Requests: And finally, so many people with needs and requests. If you saw yesterday's post, you may have been there to pray for others. If you have the time, click on yesterday's entry and read through the growing number of urgent needs. Some have appointments to see the doctor today. Thanks everyone.

Kiss The Walls

"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?' I said, 'Here I am. Send me.'" --Isaiah 6:8

Read: Isaiah 6

We often pray for God to send us where He wants us to go. You've probably said, "Here I am Lord...send me."  Well, when Paul was put in prison, he kissed the walls. He figured he had a captive audience, and if this is where God wanted him, he was gonna rattle some chains.

So take a look around you. Survey your surroundings. Do you have a captive audience? You may not be in prison, but perhaps God has cleverly placed you right where He wants you. Any family members come to mind? What about your next door neighbor, or the person in the next cubicle, or that handful of people you see each day at the gym. Would Paul consider them captive? Perhaps it's time to kiss the walls and rattle some chains. If you've prayed, "Here I am Lord, send me", maybe He already has.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: It's not easy is it? Yesterday at rehab I found myself trying to find joy in what I can't do anymore. Being bound to my area, you might as well put prison bars around me. But the therapists and doctors who have been assigned to me just might need the Lord. Captive audience. Kissing walls...not easy. Can anyone relate?

FALL RECIPE: Banana-Pear Bread

Need a little something to compliment that cup of hot cocoa in front of the fire? Try this healthy loaf recipe from PrayFit contributing nutritionist Emily Ann Miller.

>> Click here for the recipe!

BONUS SEASONAL RECIPE: Apple-Raisin Salad

>> Got a fall recipe you want to share? Post it to the comments below!

Rattle Some Chains

"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?' I said, 'Here I am. Send me.'" --Isaiah 6:8

We often pray for God to send us where He wants us to go. You've probably said, "Here I am Lord... send me." Well, when Paul was put in prison, he kissed the walls. He figured he had a captive audience. If this is where God wanted him, he was gonna rattle some chains.

So take a look around you. Do you have a captive audience? Oh, you may not be in prison, but perhaps God has cleverly placed you right where He wants you. So do like Paul and kiss the walls. Go ahead, throw away the key and rattle some chains. When you pray, "Here I am Lord, send me", maybe He already has.

--Jimmy Peña

Lord, as we begin a new week, help us see those around us (family, friends, co-workers and fellow gym-goers) as the audience that needs to see You, through us. Help us be obedient, leaving the consequences to you. In Jesus' name, amen.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10 Minute Abs

After a fun afternoon Super Bowl Sunday with family and friends -- and more buffalo wings and nachos than you care to admit -- a shock-and-awe abdominal routine might sound rather good today, so here you go. Take 10 minutes and crush your midsection with these simple yet effective moves that target your upper and lower abs, obliques and innermost core musculature. The order is more random than you're used to, so pay attention to the rest periods as they come sporadically and less often than would be typical for an abs workout.

Reverse Crunch - 30 seconds Standard Crunch - 30 seconds Double Crunch - 30 seconds Rest - 30 seconds Plank - 1 Minute Rest - 30 seconds Plank - 1 minute Rest - 30 seconds Double Crunch - 1 minute Standard Crunch - 1 minute Reverse Crunch - 1 minute Plank - 30 seconds Rest 30 Seconds Double Crunch - 1 minute

>> VIDEO: For video demonstrations of these exercises, click here.

PRAYFIT 33: Step up your training with the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge DVD from Lionsgate. This home-based workout, led by PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS, will help you build strength and burn fat, all from home and always honoring the one who made you. Click here for more info, or to order.