crowd

We Are The Crowd

"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

Read: Mark 10

No need to adjust your computer screen, that’s indeed the same verse as yesterday's entry. But I just had to go back to it. Ever since we posted last night, I haven’t been able to get a particular thought out of my head: The crowd knew something. Read the verse again.

Typically, we focus on either the blind man, Bartimaeus or, of course, Jesus. But the crowd's response has bugged me for nearly 24 hours. The crowd is…us. Why? Because they knew something. They knew what Jesus had the power to do in the blind man's life. Otherwise, they wouldn't have reacted as if the beggar had just won the lottery!

Read it again. Of all the thousand voices that were clamoring for Jesus to hear, that of a blind beggar behind all the others sitting on the side of the road found the ear of Jesus, and the crowd knew what that meant. Can't you just see them pause, their wide eyes, open mouths, and then their whiplash reactions as they run to the one who's number had just been called?

You and I stand among those who need to heed the call. Read the verse again (last time, I promise). Isn't Jesus calling everyone? Didn't He die for all the world? And if we've been saved and healed…aren't we the crowd who knows?

–Jimmy Peña

Question: Who in your life needs to know what you know?

GYM TIP: There's more than one way to use a treadmill. A recent study found that those who pedaled backward on treadmills and elliptical machines gained greater quadriceps and hamstring strength and had greater aerobic capacity than those who went forward. Click here for more.

bg-speaking-engagementsPeña to be Honored by UT Tyler Alumni Association: Next Friday (March 22), the University of Texas at Tyler Alumni Association will recognize five graduates at its Alumni Gala. Among those being honored will be PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña, who earned a master of science in clinical exercise physiology from UT Tyler in 1998. "It’s easy to think of Heaven on days like this," he said. "We’ve accepted an invitation we don’t deserve, to celebrate a reward we didn’t earn." Click here to read more.

What Can I Bring?

"They all ate and were satisfied." -Mark 6:42

When the crowds grew hungry, can't you just see the disciples on their tip-toes counting heads? I wonder what number they reached before they realized they were outnumbered? But just to be sure, they decided to count inventory of the basket. "Two, three, four...nope, we're sure of it. Five loaves, two fish."

If you're like me, depending on the day, you've been both the worried disciple and the hungry crowd. In either case, the only one we can ever count on is the only one not counting. But somedays, I feel like the young boy don't you? Imagine him for a second. Little did he know that when his mom packed his bag that morning, he would literally hand it to God.

And while we don't hear the disciples say, "Thanks kid!" or "Glad you didn't come empty-handed, son," I like to imagine that after he got squeezed between the disciples and pushed to the back of the crowd, he found a nice spot on the hill with a good view. Grinning, he put his chin in his hands and watched God make a miracle out of his lunch.

We never know what the day has in store, but we do know what we bring to the day, spiritually and physically. (Let's remember to bring it.) And while we may not get applause, make sure to stick around to watch God do what only He can do with your life, and save me a seat. And oh, did you notice the verse? "They all ate." You never know, maybe the boy grinned with his mouth full, and maybe Jesus Himself brought the little guy his meal. But what we do know for certain is that our work never goes unnoticed (at least not by the one who doesn't count.)

Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT NUTRITION TIP: Fruits & Veggies by Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD

Let’s be honest...most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. The federal government’s new Dietary Guidelines say that we should fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables. Not only does this add a lot of nutrients and not a lot of calories, but it makes our meals colorful and more appealing. Here are some easy, thoughtful ways to bump up your fruit and veggie intake without simply picking up a cucumber and crunching away.

>> Add vegetables to omelets or scrambled eggs, pasta sauce, macaroni and cheese (try broccoli and tomatoes), soups, and sandwiches

>> Add fruit to smoothies, pancake and muffin mix, cereal and milk, yogurt, oatmeal, and salads

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, DC-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the Washington, DC area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.

THE ACT TO FOLLOW

June 22, 2011Read: Luke 3

…one is coming who is more powerful than I, and I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.” –Luke 3:16

Sitting in a music studio recently, I had the unique privilege of listening to a young, talented band who opens the show for another very popular group of musicians. Their task is simple: set the stage and prepare the audience for the main attraction. You know, something tells me John the Baptist would understand their job. It’s a role he played until the day he died.

Sitting there listening to them, I got to thinking about John; what he said, how he acted. But I think of all his many traits, his best quality was knowing it wasn’t his show; that the act to follow was really the act to follow.

Yes indeed, John showed us that our primary job is to invite a crowd, pull back the curtain and get out of the way.

–J.P.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Arugula Pesto

Enliven your pasta repertoire with this healthier summer sauce from PrayFit and Food Network contributor Dana Angelo White

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients: 3 cups fresh arugula 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts Juice and zest of a lemon 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Combine arugula, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until smooth. With the machine on, slowly pour in olive oil. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

Nutrition Info (per tablespoon):

Calories: 76 Total Fat: 8 grams Saturated Fat: 1 gram Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram Protein: 0 gram Sodium: 36 milligrams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Fiber: 0 grams

>> BOOKS & GEAR: Structured workouts, detailed meal plans and 56 daily devotionals highlight our book “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days.” Order yours at our online store today, or pick up a hat, shirt or wristband for your faith-and-fitness minded loved ones.

 

THE CROWD IS...US

November 23, 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

No need to adjust your computer screen, that’s indeed the same verse as yesterday’s entry. But I just had to go back to it. Ever since we posted last night, I haven’t been able to get a particular thought out of my head: The crowd knew something. Read the verse again.

Typically, we focus on either the blind man, Bartimaeus, or of course, Jesus. But the crowd’s response has bugged me for nearly 24 hours. The crowd is…us. Why? Because they knew something. They knew what Jesus had the power to do in the blind man’s life. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have reacted as if the beggar had just won the lottery!

Read it again. Of all the thousand voices that were clamoring for Jesus to hear, that of a blind beggar behind all the others sitting on the side of the road found the ear of Jesus, and the crowd knew what that meant. Can’t you just see the pause, the wide eyes, open mouths, and then their whiplash reactions as they run to the one who’s number had just been called?

You and I stand among those who need to heed the call. Read the verse again (last time, I promise). Isn’t Jesus calling everyone? Didn’t He die for all the world? And if we’ve been saved and healed…aren’t we the crowd who knows?

–J.P.

FUN FACT: THE INCREDIBLE EGG

Many of you may think that eggs are just a simple breakfast food -- something that's been on your plate every morning since you can remember. But it is so much more, particularly if you're looking to gain muscle, says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" (Regal Books). Researchers found that subjects who ate three whole eggs per day gained twice as much muscle in 12 weeks as those who only had one egg per day.

EGG FACTS: One whole egg contains 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of fat. But don't worry -- about 80% of that fat is monounsaturated and saturated fat, which actually aids in the muscle-building process.

Source: www.jimstoppani.com

HOMEOWNERS MEETING: PART II

November 17, 2010Read: Romans 12

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." --Romans 12:2

Now, where was I? Ah, yes...in the back of the room, cleverly disguised as a concerned homeowner. And though at first I remained rather stoic, I slowly began to think, "This ain't so bad." I actually nodded a couple times, gave my two cents here and there (after all, we could use a new parking lot), and even told a good joke. I had 'em eating out of my hand. Shucks, I even think I heard, "Boy, I sure am glad the new guy showed up! Is there room on the board for one more?" (Okay, maybe not, but that's not the point.) See, all was great. Until...

The next thing I knew the room had turned on me, and I was rolling up my sleeves, getting knee-deep in the thick of where dogs are allowed to be walked and whether or not new keys should be issued to homeowners. Besides, these old keys don't open anything! (Sigh) Yep...I'm not so sure if it was Loretta slowly shaking her head in my general direction, or if it was when she said to me, "I'm sorry sir, what was your name again?" but somewhere along the way I became part of the problem. The issues had become my issue. I lost focus on my focus. I was there to keep an eye on Loretta, but opted to have all eyes on me.

Hours later, sitting in my chair (which is where I should have stayed in the first place), I wondered if that's how the Lord sees us at times, taking our eyes off of Him and onto the crowd. I wonder if He shakes His head at how worked up we "homeowners" get about this temporary home.

--J.P.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Angelo Family French Toast

French toast -- we'll say it -- is a breakfast delicacy. There may be a special place in heaven where thick, egg-battered slices of perfectly prepared French toast are served at every meal. Unfortunately, here on Earth, it is an indulgence best had occasionally...until now. This recipe, prepared by PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, is a healthier alternative to this breakfast favorite.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 3 large eggs ¾ cup lowfat (1%) milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to taste 8 slices multi-grain bread 4 teaspoon unsalted butter Canola oil cooking spray 100% maple syrup 2 cups fresh seasonal fruit

Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon; set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray. Melt 1 tsp butter in skillet. Dip 2 slices of bread into milk mixture, making sure both sides are well coated. Place bread in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown (sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired). Repeat with remaining slices of bread. Transfer to a warm oven until ready to serve. Top with maple syrup -- sugar-free if carbs are a concern -- and fruit.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories: 414 Total Fat: 11 grams Saturated Fat: 4 grams Total Carbohydrate: 64 grams Protein: 15 grams Sodium:  473 milligrams Cholesterol: 171 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, and nutrition and fitness consultant for international food companies, restaurants and marketing firm. Dana is also the nutrition advisor to The Food Network.

>> NEW! Now, you can easily view past installments of the PrayFit Daily by visiting our new archives. Using this new feature, you can now categorically access over a year's worth of faith and fitness information and inspiration.

THE CROWD IS...US

July 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

No need to adjust your computer screen, that's indeed the same verse as yesterday's entry. But I just had to go back to it. Ever since we posted last night, I haven't been able to get a particular thought out of my head: The crowd knew something. Read the verse again.

Typically, we focus on either the blind man, Bartimaeus, or of course, Jesus. But the crowd's response has bugged me for nearly 24 hours. The crowd is...us. They knew something. They knew what Jesus had the power to do in the blind man's life. Otherwise, they wouldn't have reacted as if the beggar had just won the lottery.

Read it again. Of all the thousand voices that were clamoring for Jesus to hear, that of a blind beggar behind all the others sitting on the side of the road found the ear of Jesus, and the crowd knew what that meant. Can't you just see the pause, the wide eyes, open mouths, and then their whiplash reactions as they run to the one who's number had just been called?

You and I stand among those who need to heed the call. Read the verse again (last time, I promise). Isn't Jesus calling everyone? Didn't He die for all the world? And if we've been saved and healed...aren't we the crowd who knows?

--J.P.

TIME FOR A REMINDER

Time for more "broken record" rhetoric. Don’t worry about working on balance while trying to train for strength. For example, you may see people from time to time standing on one leg while doing biceps curls. That makes no sense, since both the biceps and core are not being fully stimulated. Your best bet is to focus on one or the other. Besides, the strongest cores are of power athletes, who spend their time picking up heavy stuff from a stable surface.