foreign soil

PROMOTED PRISONER

June 21, 2011Read Romans 8 "...nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." --Romans 8:39 "Captured U.S Solder Receives Second Promotion in Two Years"

That's the headline that caught my attention this past weekend. While we don't typically turn our heads to promotions and awards, when they're given to someone behind enemy lines, it's a different story.

Bowe Bergadhl was a private first class two years ago and has now been promoted to the rank of sergeant. His family was given the honor this weekend, to which his father closed his remarks to his son with, "Be patient and kind to those around you. You are not forgotten. You are not forgotten."

You know, at times we feel like we're on foreign soil. The thing is, we are. We're definitely not at home. But if we're captured by grace, we've been promoted behind enemy lines. You and I are prisoners of hope. So let's be patient and kind to those around us...we are not forgotten.

--J.P.

STUDY: OBESITY LINKED TO CHRONIC PAIN

Knees hurt? Back sore all the time? Before reaching for another dose of ibuprofen, you might wanna check the scale. A recent study reaffirmed what you might already know -- that carrying around excess weight puts you at much higher risk for chronic pain.

In the study, conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, obese men were almost 21 percent more likely to develop chronic lower back pain than men of normal weight, and 22 percent more likely to develop neck or shoulder pain. Obese women were also 21 percent more likely to develop lower back pain than women of normal weight, and 19 percent more likely to develop neck and shoulder pain.

Based on the results, researchers believe that even moderate physical exercise -- just one hour or more per week -- "can, to some extent, compensate for the adverse effect of being overweight and obese on future risk of chronic pain."

>> For the full story from Reuters, click here.

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SPECIAL FORCES

January 17, 2011Read: Psalm 18

"He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me." --Psalm 18:17

During a recent trip, I met an incredible individual. Today he's a successful businessman, but years ago he was invisible. A former member of the elite Delta Special Forces, he was trained in the dark arts of hostage rescue. They had one primary mission: To get behind enemy lines, set captives free and bring them home.

He explained that just to be considered for Delta, he was dropped into unfamiliar territory and instructed to get from point A to B as fast as possible which often took days. At each checkpoint, he had no idea if he had reached it in time or how many more days were left in the test. Along with discouragement to continue, all he was given was a new destination and the opportunity to quit.

As he talked, my mind wandered. Our life can sometimes feel like that selection process. We're dropped into unfamiliar territory, discouraged daily, without knowing when it all will end. But we'd be wise to remember that with Jesus in our hearts, we've already been rescued. Unnoticed and disguised as a human, He stepped onto foreign soil to set us captives free. Because He did, we don't quit.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Full-Body Dumbbell Blast

While bodybuilders tend to specialize, training individual bodyparts on certain days of the week, there are a great many people who are forced to multi-task. Short on time but high on motivation, some prefer to get as much done as they can, in as little time possible. This short, full-body workout, which requires little more than a set of dumbbells and some floor space, will call your entire musculature into play in 10-15 minutes.

Using the same light-moderate pair of dumbbells, go from one exercise to the next without rest. Simply do as many reps as you can of each exercise. After the last exercise on the list, go ahead and rest 2-3 minutes then go through the circuit again, for a total of three times maximum. You can perform this workout 2-4 times per week, depending on experience.

Dumbbell Squat to Overhead Press Dumbbell Squat to Upright Row Two-hand Bent-Over Dumbbell Row Dumbbell Curl Floor Dumbbell Chest Press * Weighted (Dumbbell) Crunch

* Feel free to substitute dumbbell bench press if you have a bench available.

>> FEATURED WORKOUT JOURNAL: TrooperG | Running + PrayFit