Here I Am To Worship

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart." --Psalm 138:1

Read: Psalm 138

Here I am to worship. If it's been a while since you've been to the gym, whisper it to the Lord as you open that door. If you're starting to walk after work with your spouse, pray it together as you take that step. Maybe you're about to take a swim, go for a jog or start your at-home DVD. Whatever the case, say it: Here I am to worship.

And as you do, remember -- it's not about the mirror, or lower bodyfat, or the muscle. Those things may happen, they may not. If they do, consider them gifts of obedience and blessings of diligence. But we believe it warms God's heart when we take care of ours. So go ahead. Lift, run, walk, swim, stretch. Have church. After all, you are a temple.

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Push-Up Practice The push-up is one of the most fundamental exercises you can build into your program for increasing upper body strength. But not everyone can hit the deck and give us 50. No matter where you are on the push-up power continuum, this scaled workout will allow you get better at it...fast.

>> Click here for the workout.

Discipline Determines Destiny

I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should." --1 Corinthians 9:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 9

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Charles Stanley with In Touch Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. He delivered a message entitled, "Discipline Determines Destiny." Of course, he made it clear that he wasn't talking about eternal destiny, but that he wanted to discuss our earthly effectiveness; how we handle our money, our time, our relationships and ohhhh yes, while I was at the edge of my seat, he said it..."how we handle our health."

None of the other topics received much of a reaction (perhaps because they were expected), but when he asked the question, "Who wants to live a long, healthy life?", there was a noticeable murmur. When it became quiet, Dr. Stanley simply asked his congregation how they expected to live abundantly when they're facing avoidable and preventable road blocks of health. Hearing it from me is one thing, but when Dr. Charles Stanley says it, it's another thing altogether.

As he preached, I scribbled. He used words and phrases like,

The value we place on our health will be evident in our diligence... Fulfilling, achieving, orderly, less stressful... Aimless and lethargic versus Godly and confident... Feeling good about yourself...  Nothing to do with age... He still has the best in mind for you... Positive impact on others...health can be a way to witness... Build better health and a better faith...

Folks, go ahead and quiet the murmur in your mind and settle your thoughts on this one: Your health is important to God. Any personal justification you've otherwise convinced yourself with, is false. The call to action this week is a call of discipline. And it doesn't matter what you decide to do.  Just decide and work within your means. Walk the block or the dog. Do some push-ups or lift some weights. Walk away from the dessert menu and step up to the plate of clean eating. Discipline determines destiny, and if you're reading this, yours is still unwritten.

--Jimmy Peña

Peña to co-headline Mother's Day Celebration with Grammy winning trio Point of Grace

This Saturday (May 5), PrayFit Founder Jimmy Peña will join Grammy and Dove Award Winning sensation Point of Grace at the Mom’s Squad Mother’s Day Celebration in Ohio, hosted by Cleveland’s 95.5 THE FISH.

“It’s such a blessing to be included in such an important event, to be speaking to so many influential women and to be sharing the day with the amazing women of Point of Grace!” Peña says.

>> For the full event lineup, list of sponsors or info on attending, click here.

Do you want Jimmy and the PrayFit team to come to your church or business to share his motivational story of health as a means of praise? Using biblical characters and motivational scenarios, Jimmy will help motivate and inspire you and your congregation to view health differently than ever before. E-mail us at info@prayfit.com for more details!

Feels Like Redemption

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint." --Romans 5:3-5

Read: Romans 5

Exercise is not good for you. Yes, you read that right. Strictly speaking, it's downright harmful. Take running, for instance. It's traumatic, and the breakdown puts the body at an extremely vulnerable state. But what? It's only how the body comes back from a beating that proves its worth.

Speaking of tough exercises, try and name one biblical character that didn't run into problems. (Go ahead and save your breath). But did you notice that each person that came to mind was likely restored to become a more effective God follower?

Healing, repair, growth, strength: descendants of diligence and progenies of prudence. The next time you're sore from a workout or when your soul hurts from tribulation, whisper to yourself, "Feels like redemption".

--Jimmy Peña

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Onions

Most people don’t eat as many vegetables as they should and an easy way to add a side of veggies at a meal is to roast them. Broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, carrots, collards, kale, sweet potatoes, squash –- there are so many options! Starchier veggies (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash) tend to take longer to cook, but the smaller you cut any vegetable, the quicker it will cook. One of my favorite combos for roasting is brussels sprouts with apples and onions. The sweetness of the apples balances the sprouts, which some people find mildly bitter.

Ingredients: • 2 cups fresh brussels sprouts • 1 large apple • 1 medium onion • 1½ tablespoons canola or olive oil • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray. Cut the stem ends off of the sprouts and cut them in half (or quarters if they are large). Core the apple and cut into ½-inch chunks (no need to remove the peel, there are a lot of nutrients in there!). Chop the onion into ½-inch chunks. Put the sprouts, apples, and onions on the aluminum foil in the pan, then drizzle everything with oil and lightly season with salt and pepper, stirring everything together. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, and continue to cook at 5-minute intervals as needed until sprouts are beginning to brown and the apples and vegetables are fork-tender. You may need to cover with foil partway through if they are getting too brown. Serves 4.

Approximate nutrition information per serving: 105 calories, 5.5g fat (0.5g of which is saturated), 15mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g protein. (Adding ½ tsp. salt adds 290mg sodium/serving, adding ¼ tsp. salt adds 145mg sodium/serving.)

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.