influence

Phoenix Bound

What a neat week being back. I am so glad to be writing again. And as you may or may not know, tonight, I'll be delivering the keynote speech at the International Christian Wellness Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I am so incredibly blessed not only for the honor of being asked, but for the mere fact that I have the health to be there. Help me praise the Lord. And I'm asking you today to pray for the weekend conference and for me as I go to express my heart. I'm going to share the bread.

Speaking of share my heart, my wife and I received the sweetest, most amazing letter this week. A couple of months ago, she and I wrote a personal plea for prayer over our ministry to one of our dear, favorite pastors. A man that has had an overwhelming impact on me, my wife and my entire life. Well, we found a reply in the mail yesterday. He said in part that he prayed that God would bless us as we continue to serve. And we received in God's perfect time. Pretty neat. And he signed it: Dr. Charles F. Stanley.

Friends, I hope you have a great, great weekend. Pray for each other, I'm praying for you. As always, I'm hoping you are as healthy in body as you are in spirit. See you Monday.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

THE POINT OF IT ALL: PrayFit resumed daily devotionals this week. And we have a prayer that reasserts the ministry's mission.

BRAVO!: As we wait out this life, let’s enjoy the intermission simply because of our inner mission. ALSO: Find out how to get Jimmy to your church!

HIS WORK: Despite your stumbles, take heart -- you can't ruin his work. ALSO: How a diet higher in protein can help you lose weight faster.

START PULLING: The enemy is ready on the other side of the rope. Don't wait to start your pull. ALSO: 4 ways to recover from injuries at home.

"I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should." 1 Cor. 9:27NEW GEAR Our fitness can be our witness. But if people aren't quite receiving the message, we have no problem making it more obvious. The newest additions to our apparel line broadcast your dedication to health as a means of praise. Click here to check our new assortment of men's and women's tanks.

Benchwarmer

"So Sarah laughed to herself." --Genesis 18:12

Read: Genesis 18

Benchwarmer. Not something that sat well with me. But during my sophomore year in high school, I endured it for the first time in my life. See, I was a baseball player, and a good one. But basketball? I probably should've hung up the Air Jordans as a freshmen. Sitting at the end of the bench during a blowout game, I hoped my friends and family would assume I was injured; maybe I twisted an ankle during warm-ups or something. But with a little over a minute on the clock, the unthinkable happened. Coach called my name.

"Reluctant" would be putting it mildly. I literally peeled myself off the chair. I removed my warm-ups from my cold body and joined the otherwise sweaty and necessary group of kids on the court. What's the use, I thought. Well, the clock ran out, we shook hands, and I put my warm-ups on as slowly as I had removed it.

Well, leaving the locker room that night to face the awkward "good game" from loved ones, Coach stopped me. He said something that I'd carry the rest of my life. He said, "I wanted to see your reaction when I called for you late in the game. Jimmy, it's never too late to make an impact."

Maybe you're wondering what kind of influence you can have. Perhaps you think it's way too late in the game for God to use you. That family member? Too far gone. That group of friends? Too set in their ways. No way God is calling me from the bench at my age, with my past. 

Folks, God has a way of doing the unexpected. And if He noticed Sarah laughing at the news of her baby on the way, rest assured He sees our reaction. So, take a minute to consider what the Spirit is whispering to your heart. If it's too lofty, too lowly, too late...God just may be looking for our reaction to His call. Carve this into your heart...If God calls for you, it's never too late to make an impact.

--Jimmy Peña

WALKING FOR HEALTH Just an hour of this low-impact activity per day can make you 50% healthier

Watch some TV? Just make sure you go for a walk after. New research put out by the American Heart Association showed that an hour of walking per day can cut your genetic tendency toward obesity as a result of watching the picture box by half.

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half," said Qibin Qi, Ph.D., study author and a post doctorate research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. "On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The study included 7,740 women and 4,564 men from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Researchers collected data on physical activity and TV watching two years prior to assessing BMI.

>> For the full story, click here.

Benchwarmer

"So Sarah laughed to herself." --Genesis 18:12

Read: Genesis 18

Benchwarmer. Not something that sat well with me. But during my sophomore year in high school, I endured it for the first time in my life. See, I was a baseball player, and a good one. But basketball? I probably should've hung up the Air Jordans as a freshmen. Sitting at the end of the bench during a blowout game, I hoped my friends and family would assume I was injured; maybe I twisted an ankle during warm-ups or something. But with a little over a minute on the clock, the unthinkable happened. Coach called my name.

"Reluctant" would be putting it mildly. I literally peeled myself off the chair. I stripped my warm-up off my cold body and joined the otherwise sweaty and necessary group of kids on the court. What's the use, I thought. The clock ran out, we shook hands, and I put my warm-up on as slowly as I had removed it.

Well, leaving the locker room that night to face the awkward "good game" from loved ones, Coach stopped me. He said something that I'd carry the rest of my life. He said, "I wanted to see your reaction when I called for you late in the game. Jimmy, it's never too late to make an impact."

Maybe you're wondering what kind of influence you can have. Perhaps you think it's way too late in the game for God to use you. That family member? Too far gone. That group of friends? Too set in their ways. No way God is calling me from the bench at my age, with my past. 

Folks, God has a way of doing the unexpected. And if He noticed Sarah laughing at the news of her baby on the way, rest assured He sees our reaction. So, take a minute to consider what the Spirit is whispering to your heart. If it's too lofty, too lowly, too late...God just may be looking for our reaction to His call. Carve this into your heart...If God calls for you, it's never too late to make an impact.

--Jimmy Peña

WALKING FOR HEALTH Just an hour of this low-impact activity per day can make you 50% healthier

Watch some TV? No judgement here. We like NCIS: Los Angeles, too. Just make sure you go for a walk after. New research put out by the American Heart Association showed that an hour of walking per day can cut your genetic tendency toward obesity as a result of watching the picture box by half.

"In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half," said Qibin Qi, Ph.D., study author and a post doctorate research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. "On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent."

The study included 7,740 women and 4,564 men from the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Researchers collected data on physical activity and TV watching two years prior to assessing BMI.

>> For the full story, click here.

FIRE...PROOF

March 30, 2011Read: Daniel 3

"Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feat in amazement." --Daniel 3:24

Three young men, when faced with a stubborn king's order to worship a pile of gold or else face a fiery furnace, jumped 1) at the chance to serve God, 2) out of the way of peer pressure and 3) in front of the crowd.

Three young men had a defining moment. When tested, they knew God was all they needed. And since God's favorite place to run is to our rescue, He jumped in the flame with them. And if their bold faith wasn't enough to convince anyone they were serious, the fourth image with them in the flame was. Can't you just see King Nebuchadnezzar counting his fingers and squinting his eyes? "Wait, one, two, thr..."

But that's what God does. He shows up and leaves the naysayers in shock and awe. So today, when we're faced with a challenge or golden opportunity, let's remember two things: God is with us, and the world is watching.

So on the count of three...

--J.P.

FIREPROOF HEALTH

Friends and family, the time for half-measured health is over. If you're fighting your bodyweight, blood pressure or other health issues, you're not alone in the fire. With God, it's possible, and we're praying for you and applauding your heart to serve. If you're not fighting but should be, it's time to jump. Health takes sacrifice. Health takes guts. And in this day and age, it takes those who are willing to set themselves apart from the crowd. The phrase "God looks at the heart" can no longer be used as an excuse to abuse the body. But there is no tomorrow. If it's right to jump, it's right to jump today. Let the onlookers watch in amazement at just how serious you are.

Here are some ways to jump in the fire: Turn off the TV, computer and phone and take a walk outside with your family. Get up 10 minutes earlier each day to do bodyweight exercises in your living room. Push away from the table just a few minutes early.

But these are merely suggestions. We have to decide what we'll sacrifice, what we're willing to change in order to be better stewards of the physical gifts we've been given. And since God looks at the heart, that's probably the first place we need to start.

DRAWING CONCLUSIONS

September 21, 2010Read: 2 Corinthians 3

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." -- 2 Corinthians 3:18

We recently took my brother and his family to Universal Studios in Los Angeles (Calif). He's got two young boys so naturally they wanted to hit the roller coasters, leaving yours truly holding the bags. But turns out, there's plenty to do with your feet firmly on the ground.

So while my family was busy doing loopdiloops, I had a caricature made of myself. "Why not?", I reasoned. The man said, "Step right up", so I plopped right down. Those passing by would take a look at the drawing, then up at me, then back to the drawing. I suppose they wanted to see if the picture being painted resembled the real thing. Well, after I paid Picasso, I walked back toward my family holding a cartoon of a stranger. But how could I be bitter? He only drew what he saw.

As Christians, we're supposed to resemble Jesus. Yet, I know in my own life, more times than not I don't look anything like Him. I'm a bad caricature of the real thing. And the conclusions people draw of me, aren't anything close to what I am (or who I have) on the inside. A show of hands for those who can relate...

Lord, help us reflect you today; in how we think, work and live. Help us paint for others an accurate picture of you. Amen.

--J.P.

SEDENTARY NATION More Americans spending their time doing anything but exercising

The epidemic continues. Is there an end in sight? A recent story published at CNN Health showed that most Americans spend a vast majority of their non-work and non-sleep time in sedentary activities like eating, drinking, or watching TV or movies. Just over 5% of subjects in the study reported doing any vigorous activity.

For the full report, visit CNN Health.