inspiration

With Your Health In Mind

"Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, 'Why couldn't we drive it out?' --Matthew 17:19

Read: Matthew 17

When the disciples asked the Lord why they couldn't do certain things, notice He didn't say, "If only you had more self-confidence. If only you felt inspired, motivated, thought positively. If only you really wanted it." No, and aren't we blessed He didn't say any of those things? Because after all, some days those resources are plentiful and other days pitiful. But He talked of faith. The only thing that can accept grace. And if we accept grace through faith, we've conquered the world through Christ; not by anything we've done, can do or will do. And when inspiration sputters and motivation wanes, our faith in Christ and the truth that our lives are covered in grace just soothes.

Speaking of soothing, it's Friday. How was the week? Any mountain-top moments? What are we celebrating? Any pitfalls or valleys? What are we conquering? As I glance back on the week on PrayFit, we talked about how our health is unearned. And then about how we as prodigals came home to take care of our inherited health. And yesterday we used worn-out tools to rebuild for the cause of Christ. If it's been some week, say "Amen."

And with that, I would just like to take a second and thank you for spending these few minutes with us each day. If there's a place where you can go knowing that the message was written with your life and health in mind, I hope you know it's here. Much love to you all. I think that puts the button on the week, don't you?

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT ON THE ROAD THIS FALL: IS YOUR CHURCH ON THE TOUR?

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss.

For speaking appearances, ministry assistance or media inquiries, write us today at info@prayfit.com!

I'll Say, "No"

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." --Job 13:15

Read: Job 13

My wife is the runner in the family, so I typically don't read her magazine, but the cover blurb on her Runner's World caught my eye: "The Most Inspiring Runner You've Never Met." And I can tell you that if he's not, he's close. Hit by a car at the age of six, Bret Dunlap spent weeks in a coma. His first word when he woke up? "No." Seems he knew he had more life in him. And while he doesn't remember saying it, the 39 years after the accident simply prove that he meant it.

And while I won't give anything away, there was something his mom said to him that stuck with me. She said, "God never said anything about fair. He said you got a chance." This she said to a boy who suffered brain damage, paralysis, a colostomy, and who's face freezes, and who's mind forgets what he learns; just to name a few of his afflictions. But this she also said to boy who would teach himself several languages, give 12 gallons of blood over the years as a volunteer, play the piano left handed, hold the same job for over 18 years and eventually, run. Oh my friends, he may finish last, but he runs his race; one floppy foot over another. The rest of the story is miraculous, and sad, and gut-wrenching, and funny, and unbelievable and well, convicting.

Have you ever wallowed? Ever thought, "Why me?" or stomped your feet and said, "Not fair!" I know I have. I know I do. But it's stories like that of Bret that help give me perspective. And hope. And courage. And it's stories like that of Bret that always seem to remind me of grace and what Jesus did for me on the cross. Like our verse reminds us today, God's grace really is all I need and want, so whatever else I have in life is a gift. And when the enemy tries to convince me otherwise, when he tries to blind me to blessings, when he tries to discourage my personal calling, when he reminds me that my body is failing, I won't let it steal my joy. I'll just steal a line from Bret and say "No." What about you? What is your answer today?

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What are you doing to show the Lord and everyone around you how grateful you are for the gifts you been given? Is your life a statement that says, "Faith" or a question that wonders, "Why"?

It’s not just a tagline: Milk does do a body good. So do cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese. A new study showed that women who followed a regular exercise program on high-protein, high-dairy diets lost more total fat –- and more from their abdomen –- than those on adequate-protein, medium-dairy and adequate-protein, low-dairy diets.

>> For more detail on the study, click here.

Jimmy Peña's message of "Life is not about the body, but health is a means of praise" is being well-received by congregations around the country. His story-telling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss.

Bring Jimmy to your church this year! Contact us here: info@prayfit.com

HE'S MY BROTHER

July 15, 2011Read: Joshua 24

"Then I sent Moses and Aaron..." --Joshua 24:5

This week, Prayfit VP Eric Velazquez has been out on assignment. The assignment? Vacation with family. Time away from being the glue for everything we do at PrayFit. If I could humbly assign Eric a biblical counterpart, it would probably be Aaron. If you're thinking, "Aaron! Of course! Aaron...who's Aaron?" Well, that helps my point.

Aaron was Moses' brother. Often overlooked, but when Moses was in need, God sent Aaron. Moses stuttered, so God delivered. Aaron 'spoke well' and they became a team.

So please allow me to use the comparison to publicly acknowledge Eric and his selfless, invisible, critical and fantastic work he does day in and out. If it weren't for Eric, there would be no message. If he's not writing amazing entries and inspiring people to grow closer to the Lord and healthier in the process, he's smoothing my stutter. He's my brother, and we're a team.

--J.P.

WEEK IN REVIEW Your weekly, one-stop shop for healthy living tips

>> HOW TO: Learn the basics of effective journaling for faster, more noticeable results

>> CHALLENGE: Are you up for making one small change each night in a single week?

>> DISCUSSION: How important is it to care for the bodies that He so carefully built?

>> STRATEGY: 6 ways to get more out of meals without expanding your waistline

HEARD: Peace Officers for Christ, International is committed to improving the mental, physical and spiritual health of police officers everywhere. PrayFit helps us do just that. If the police are to serve honorably we must be able to withstand spiritual attack every bit as much as physical assaults. This is more than a ‘pump you up’ book. It certainly does that but more importantly, it will pump up your spiritual fitness level as well. I look forward to sharing it with my colleagues across America and the world. But whatever your calling, this book is for you.”

–Rick Hicks, Chief of Police (retired) and Board Member, Peace Officers for Christ, International

>> Order your copy of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" at Amazon today by clicking 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.

FIT CITY

October 25, 2010Read: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things- Philippians 4:8

What does "fit" look like?

That was the question that came to mind as I delivered a message to Tyler's Fit City Challenge back in Texas this weekend. The great people of Tyler are reaching deep within themselves and are hitting the obesity epidemic head on. Their mission statement says it all: Making Tyler a "Fit City" one step, one bite and one health-conscious decision at a time. Someday, the city of Tyler will be the standard against which the surrounding communities will be judged. Amen, Tyler?

On my way back to the airport, we passed by Bergfeld Park where the challenge was held. And while all the booths, vendors and guest speakers were long gone, there were a couple of families enjoying the park. One family was throwing a ball around, and the other was on the swings. I wondered if it was part of their weekly routine or a brand new tradition; either would be fine with me.

Tyler...may God help us follow your lead in our homes and communities. You're the answer to my question.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10-Minute Abs & Core

Like we've said before, it's impossible to completely isolate any one portion of the abs or core musculature, but you can emphasize a section over another depending on the exercise. Today's 10-minute workout will hit your upper and lower abs, your obliques as well as your deep transverse abdominis with accuracy. We'll begin by hitting a common weakness, the lower abs. Then we'll move to the obliques and upper abs and close-out today's workout with the plank.

Exercise (emphasis)

Reverse Crunch (lower abs) Crossover Crunch (obliques) Standard Crunch (upper abs) Plank (transverse abdominis/core)

--Do a set to failure of each exercise, moving through the circuit without rest. Repeat the sequence for 10 minutes. Log the number of reps you get on each exercise as well as the number of times you are able to complete the sequence. Try this workout twice per week, aiming to beat the number of reps and total trips through the circuit each time. Remember that consistently challenging yourself to do better than you did last time is the only way to ensure progress -- something to think about if a stronger-looking midsection is your goal.

>> FIT CITY CHALLENGE: Check out the post-event coverage of the Fit City Challenge on the Tyler Paper.