honor

On God's Errand

er-rand: a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone else's behalf.

malibu sunsetA couple days away from the dawn of a new year, and I can't believe how fast 2013 came and went. Anybody with me on this? It literally feels like it flew by. Last night, Loretta and I took in a Malibu sunset as a way to try and put a button on the year. I snapped this pic to memorize the moment. A minute or so before it finally disappeared, I removed my cap, grabbed her hand, and we prayed. I tell ya, if one thing a good sunset will do is shine a nice light on a year gone by.

Oh the errands the good Lord sent us on this year. And that's really what they are. Errands. Short journeys to collect or deliver something on someone else's behalf. His.

Maybe it's just me, but don't some errands feel like enormous compliments? That God would deem us able? I can almost feel your collective sigh. The job situation, the mounting bills, your husband's diagnosis, your surgery, your brother's illness, your sister's dilemma. And on the other side of that same sigh is a smile. The graduation, the promotion, the solution. You got that long-awaited e-mail, someone gave just enough, that call of forgiveness or the letter of reconciliation.So many of God's errands leave us wiping our brow, scratching our heads, smiling in joy or everything in between. Thankfully, He's the common denominator, Amen?

Suffice it say that the sunset last night represented two bookends for me. Before it disappeared, it was a light that allowed me to both remember the year and dream about the next. And as it descended and disappeared, it reminded me that God gives us a short time to fulfill our calling. Sweet friends, we're either delivering or collecting something for Him in this quick life, and I'm thankful to be on this 'God errand' with you. So this is me, removing my cap and reaching for your hand.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Health is a God errand. What an enormous blessing, obligation and opportunity. Called to honor Him with our health, battling the elements designed to destroy a body that's built to thrive while we're alive. Who's celebrating 2013 and/or ready for 2014 (or both)? One day more...

SUNRISE RESOURCES

So yes, like Jimmy said, the sun is setting on 2013 and before long, we'll be walking into the sunrise of 2014 fully charged with a fresh take on health. So here we are, once more, extending a hand...humbly praying you'll take that walk with us. Our modest collection of resources gives you everything you need to help your body thrive in the new year. If we've helped to convince you of why it helps to stay healthy, let us now show you how with one of our at-home workout DVDs.

Through Your Life

"For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?" --Psalm 89:6

Read: Psalm 89

Yesterday I got the most humbling invitation. The Director of Alumni Relations e-mailed me and said that the Regional Alumni Selection Committee selected me as one of four Distinguished Alumni of The University of Texas at Tyler where I attended graduate school. Not only that but I've been invited to accept the award at the Alumni Awards Gala in March being held in our honor. Friends, family and former professors will be there to celebrate and reminisce with me. Part of their correspondence said, "Thank you for your talent, your accomplishments and for bringing attention and value to your alma mater through your life."

Now, I'm sure we'll be sharing details as it comes closer, and we're already praying for the opportunity to speak at a church while we're there, but let's go back to the end of that sentence. "Through your life." Not throughout my life, but through it -- within it, inside it. Reading it the first time was rough, but re-typing it was even tougher; talk about humbling and undeserved. In that moment, I wished I had been a better student.

It's easy to think of Heaven on days like this. We've accepted an invitation we don't deserve, to celebrate a reward we didn't earn. You know, if we're allowed to reminisce about earth as we sit at Heaven's table, I know for certain that I'll wish I had been a better Christian, a stronger witness, and a closer follower. What could I have done with my life, my words, my thoughts, and my health for the Lord? Oh, but grace. Thankfully like the old hymn says, we'll "turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face. And the things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

--Jimmy Peña

Question: Someday, we may just find out what more we could have done with our lives and health for the cause of Christ. I want my list to be short. What changes will you make today to ensure that you are as able and capable physically to fulfill your purpose? Let us know in the comment section below.

TRAINING TIP: RUNNING

When you get in from a run, do your back, arches and everything else hurt? We share your pain, but hopefully not for long. With these easy tips to correct your stride, your runs may quickly become more enjoyable. And in delight, there is consistency.

>> Click here for three ways you can improve your stride today.

>> The Word is out...PrayFit's new, challenging at-home workout DVD is helping people build physical and spiritual muscle! Still one of Amazon's top new releases in faith, this workout is the perfect way to reclaim your health. Share the link below with others, or order yours today!

Honoring our Veterans

Today, we pause to humbly offer our gratitude to those who have served or are currently in uniform for the cause of freedom at home and abroad. The dangers you face and the sacrifices you and your families make are gestures that are not lost on us.

If you know a veteran, reach out to say thanks. If you see one, take the time to offer a word of encouragement. If you are one, then we hope that you are blessed today. Join us in prayers of protection for those who so dutifully protect us or leave a few words of affirmation in the comments section below.

Vets, today we honor you. But as far as we're concerned, each day we get to fly Old Glory is Veterans Day. Thank you for your service.

--Team PrayFit

>> MILITARY FORUM: If you are a member of our armed forces, we hope that you’ll share your thoughts on faith and fitness with the PrayFit family in our Homeland Defenders forum. If you know a faithful serviceman or woman, we hope that you’ll refer them there so that we can all benefit from their experiences.

Not registered for our forums yet? Click here to get started.

>> Need workout ideas for the week? Click here to visit our fitness page.

A RESCUE MISSION

August 9, 2011Read: Hebrews 9 "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." --Hebrews 9:22

By now you've heard the tragic news of the group of American troops, including 22 Navy SEALs, killed in Afghanistan on Saturday. According to news reports, the troops on the ground requested additional forces, at which time a CH-47 Chinook helicopter was dispatched, carrying members of the U.S. special operations command. They died on a rescue mission.

Yesterday morning, I watched an interview with the family of Aaron Vaughn, one of the SEALs killed in the crash. Of Aaron, his mom said: "Everything he did was secret, and it just feels really strange right now, that only in his death can we celebrate who he was in his life." Known as a devout follower of Christ, Aaron loved America, and there was nothing else he would rather do with his life.

Our hearts at PrayFit are heavy, and we honor Aaron Vaughn and all of those with him. We can't think of a more appropriate way to remember Aaron's ultimate sacrifice than to recall what Jesus did for us on Calvary. He loved us, and there was nothing else He would rather do with His life. He became the ultimate sacrifice, and died on a rescue mission.

--J.P.

>> We are grateful for those who serve in the military -- those who build their lives around defending those they will never meet, for a cause they believe in without compromise. If someone you know or love is serving in the armed forces, or if you have lost someone who wore the uniform, please share in the comments section below so that we can salute and pray for you (and them) as a community.

DID YOU KNOW? >> If you were born after the year 2000, you have a 1 in 3 chance of developing Type II diabetes. It is no longer exclusively called adult-onset diabetes, since kids today are developing the diet-induced disease at an alarming rate.

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.

>> SHARE: Help us get others on board with this whole “faith and fitness” thing. Use the “Recommend,” “Tweet,” “E-Mail” and “Share” buttons at the top of each day’s entry to get your social network in the know about PrayFit. Also, you can “like” us, “follow” us or “watch” us by clicking the FacebookTwitter and YouTube icons at the bottom of each page.

"IT'S A RENTAL"

May 17, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You are not your own. You were bought at a price, so honor God with your body." --1 Corinthians 6:20

Somewhere, on some rental car lot -- with the sounds of inbound flights drowning out the hum of transit buses coming and going from the terminal -- an economy sedan sits in solitude, used, beaten and soiled. Coffee stains, cigarette ashes, Slim Jim wrappers. An inadvertent pen mark is making a home in the upholstery and the suspension on the car is aching from the accumulation of sharper-than-normal turns and a Dukes of Hazzard approach to the speed bumps on the return route to the terminal.

Why are we so hard on our rentals? Because we don't have to take it home with us, of course! Strangely, the same person who would put their Avis in peril prefers to park their high-priced Mercedes in the remotest corner of the grocery store lot at home.

Our bodies are rentals -- they are only ours for a fleeting moment of time in eternity -- but we need to treat them more like our own credit depends on the condition in which we return them. Today, take to cleaning out your personal make and model -- better fuel, a spotless interior and a shiny, polished coat. You'll feel better and the ultimate Lessor will be appreciative of the upkeep.

--E.V.

DARK CHOCOLATE PRE-WORKOUT?

It may sound like the most counterintuitive performance training advice ever, but having dark chocolate with approximately 70 percent cocoa pre-workout, can actually make your workouts more productive.

Subjects in a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition consumed a single, 100-gram serving of dark chocolate 2.5 hours prior to a cycling routine. Researchers found that consuming the dark chocolate before intense exercise caused an increase in antioxidant status and a reduction in a compound called F2-isoprostane, which is an indicator of oxidative stress.

For the full story, click here.

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: Find out how to properly perform many of the key exercises presented in our workouts by clicking here.

>> SHOP: Looking for a good Father's Day gift? Visit PrayFit's online store to pick up a hat, shirt, wristband or book for the dads in your life!

 

 

HONOR TO CHOOSE

March 14, 2011 "Any injustice in this life is offset by the honor of choosing our destiny in the next."

-- Max Lucado

Workout of the Week: 10-Minute Triceps

The triceps. This muscle group, critical for every upper body pushing movement, represents some 2/3 of the mass in your upper arm. Men who want bigger arms sometimes mistakenly overtrain their biceps but it's the out-of-sight, out-of-mind triceps that need the attention. For women, the back of the arm can be a "trouble" area -- a place where more bodyfat is stored and muscle tone can be tougher to hold on to. This short workout will help both genders provide this area with a mini-makeover worth its weight in tanktops.

You must train the triceps from three different angles to make sure that all three triceps heads are targeted. To keep the workout challenging, the pace is kept high, as you move from exercise to exercise with no rest.

The first exercise is the two-hand overhead extension which targets the long head. You will move immediately into a two-hand kickback, keeping both elbows high to target the middle head of the triceps. Finish the mini-circuit with close-grip push-ups to completely exhaust the back of the arms, this final move emphasizng the outer "horseshoe" portion of the triceps. Rest a couple of minutes and repeat. (Note: if you don't have dumbbells, you can use elastic bands or even soup cans.)

Overhead triceps extension - 12-15 repetitions Two-arm kickback - 12-15 repetitions Close-grip push-up - To failure (if necessary, do modified push-ups from the knees)

Triceps Trivia: Even when referring to one arm, always refer to the muscle as triceps. In fact, "tricep" is not a word.

"IT'S A RENTAL"

August 4, 2010Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You are not your own. You were bought at a price, so honor God with your body." --1 Corinthians 6:20

Somewhere, on some rental car lot -- with the sounds of inbound flights drowning out the hum of transit buses coming and going from the terminal -- an economy sedan sits in solitude, used, beaten and soiled. Coffee stains, cigarette ashes, Slim Jim wrappers. An inadvertent pen mark is making a home in the upholstery and the suspension on the car is aching from the accumulation of sharper-than-normal turns and a Dukes of Hazzard approach to the speed bumps on the return route to the terminal.

Why are we so hard on our rentals? Because we don't have to take it home with us, of course! Strangely, the same person who would put their Avis in door-dinging peril prefers to park their high-priced Mercedes in the remotest corner of the grocery store lot at home.

Our bodies are rentals -- they are only ours for a fleeting moment of time in eternity -- but we need to treat them more like our own credit depends on the condition in which we return them. Today, take to cleaning out your personal make and model -- better fuel, a spotless interior and a shiny, polished coat. You'll feel better and the ultimate Lessor will be appreciative of the upkeep.

--E.V.

RESISTING BONE DEPLETION Keep bone density high with resistance and high-impact training

Training is all about progression. No matter what your goal is, you should always work on beating yesterday's best. This is the only way to ensure drastic, lasting change in your physique and overall health. But just in case you needed another reason to bust your tail in the gym or elsewhere, increased intensity can also boost your bone health.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that long-term running and resistance training helped to increase bone mineral density. They also found that high-impact activities, such as running, have a greater positive effect on bone mineral density than resistance training.

So two activities that many people still shun because of their perceived difficulty -- weight training and running -- hold myriad benefits, not just for those looking to become leaner or more athletic, but for anyone looking to fortify bone structure. By training this way, you could literally be adding years to your life clock and keeping yourself out of the urgent care in the meantime.