disciple

A Peyton Manning Moment

"But Jesus said, 'You feed them.' They answered him saying, 'But we only have five loaves of bread and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.'" --Luke 9:13

Read: Luke 9

Seeing as we're in the middle of football season, I've declared this Peyton Manning week. Of all the great things that Peyton is known for in the National Football League (NFL), changing the plays at the line of scrimmage is one of them. More often than not, he breaks the huddle, approaches the line and, based on what he sees in the defense, he yells out a different plan. He calls an audible and, in doing so, changes the game.

Now, for Peyton to be able to read the defense is a gift, no doubt. But I'm as impressed with how his offense adapts so quickly to his changing mind. One thing is for certain, you can't work with Peyton and expect routine. As for me? I'd prefer Peyton to simply remember what we agreed on in the huddle; 'Just stick to the original plan, would ya?' I love my daily routine. I can deal with the expected.

You know, Jesus was known for calling a few audibles of his own. Like we see in today's passage, asking the impossible, he'd watch his disciples go from scratching their heads in wonder to rubbing their eyes in awe. Maybe that's why Jesus so often asked where their faith was. I know He'd ask me the same. Can anyone relate? Anyone else having a week of unfamiliar routes and last-minute audibles? Anyone else rubbing their eyes yet?

--Jimmy Peña

MASTERING YOUR BODYWEIGHT How a simple increase in intensity can maximize your workouts

At PrayFit, we rely a lot on bodyweight exercises. In many of our weekly workouts, you'll see maybe a plyometric push up or a jump squat. Those moves are incredible for developing lean muscle. But I want to explain why. Take the plyo-push up for example. During the plyo-push up, you lower your chest toward the floor slowly, then you press yourself up as powerfully and explosively as possible in order to let your hands come off the floor. Some of you can even do clap push-ups, clapping your hands on each rep.

Well, there's a lot of science behind that simple move. See, during a typical push-up (and any standard rep on anything in the gym for that matter) we decelerate the move so that our hands remain in contact with the floor. Same thing with, say, the bench press. We decelerate the bar as we press up so the bar doesn't leave our hands. BUT, during plyo-push ups, we forget about deceleration and allow our hands to leave the floor. Doing so causes more fast-twitch muscle fibers to be utilized. Fast-twitch fibers are those muscle fibers most responsible for tone for the ladies and muscle mass for the guys. The explosive nature of the plyos calls those fibers into play.

So the next time you see a jump squat or plyo-push up, you know why. AND, when you get too tired during any of those sets, simply resume the exercise with the standard version of that move and you'll help tighten and tone even more.

>> For video demonstrations of plyo push-ups and jump squats, click here.

>> RAVING ABOUT PRAYFIT: Actors, athletes and Christian law enforcement organizations have lent their endorsements to our mission. Find out what they're saying by clicking here.

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.