Ella's Grin

"The Lord watches over you." --Psalm 121:5

Read: Psalm 121

Recently, PrayFit co-Founder Eric Velazquez posted this picture of his little girls. What Eric wrote as a caption was something I'm sure only a father can truly understand, but it hit me. Eric said:

"Does Ella's grin give it away that they're not really asleep? Still, I found them in bed, sharing a blanket and laughing yesterday, and it was just one of those fun, dad moments I wanted to snap. Bonus: Mya is in bed wearing a princess dress. She refused to nap without it."

Hmm...haven't we all slept with Ella's grin? We close our eyes, pretend, and try to fool God under the blanket of the very grace He provides. But the fact is, He knows us. And He loves us despite ourselves. Call me sentimental ('cause I am), but I like to think God watches over us like Eric does his kids, pausing on moments too good to pass up...with a grin of His own.

--Jimmy Peña

Lord, we love you. And you're watching. Though we often fall asleep on Your watch, we never lose your blanket of grace. We're so glad You love us and You never, ever... stop being Dad.

Question: How does knowing God is watching over you help you take better care of yourself and your family?

PRAYFIT NEWS & NOTES >> ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK? If not, you should be, if only to "like" PrayFit! Sign-up to get all the latest PrayFit updates, inspiring quotes, health facts and photo albums showing the PrayFit team in action. Sign up here or, if you're already a member, click here for pics of Jimmy Pena addressing crowds last weekend at Destiny Family Christian Center in El Paso, Texas.

>> TOTAL BODY CHALLENGE: "Let's give 33 minutes a day for 33 days to honor the One who gave us 33 years," says PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena. The PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge, in stores now, is an at-home, bodyweight-only workout program designed to makeover the body that carries the soul. The DVD also comes equipped with powerful devotionals, delivered by Pena. (For an audio sample of these devotionals, click here.)

>> FELLOWSHIP: Part of the PrayFit mission is to develop a church of like-minded believers -- a nationwide congregation devoted to abundant living through faith and fitness. The good news? You don't have to go anywhere. Our online community is available to you at the click of a mouse. Click here to sign up or, if you're already a member, click here to get back into the discussion.


"He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.'"— Mark 16:15

"Tell me, Jimmy, can you talk about some before and after successes?"

Of all the questions about PrayFit I fielded on the radio this week, that was probably the toughest to answer. Not because we don't have powerful testimonies of physical change, but like I told the host, "It's too early for a victory lap." Because honestly, the day health won't be a necessary battle will be the day it's no longer our responsibility.

But right now, during this "before" called life, our souls want to go places our bodies simply can't go. And because of that, sadly, our minds don't let our hearts even dream of living abundantly. Serve on the mission field? Laugh. Participate in a charity walk? Chuckle. Make it to church? Sigh. Our physical troubles have become spiritual warfare. We're soldiers of the cross who can't reach the battlefield.

Sure, someday we'll be rescued from a body that doesn't work, but until then, let's see what it can do for the cause of Christ. After all, His great commission to us -- "Go" -- hasn't changed. It's still an action verb.

–Jimmy Peña


In addition to the typical monkey bar romps and lunchtime hoops, dedicated muscle strengthening is a good idea for kids. Training for strength, contrary to a commonly-held belief, does not interfere with a child’s growth or promote excessive musculature. In fact, even a minimal amount of strength training can be beneficial for a child’s bone density, muscle growth, coordination and motor learning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least three days per week of activities that include strengthening moves such as gymnastics, push-ups or jumping rope.

>> STOCKING STUFFERS: Looking for a few gifts to hang from the chimney with care? Visit the PrayFit Store to do a little digital shopping for the faith-and-fitness devotees in your life.






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.



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.






December 14, 2010Read: Psalm 57

"I cry out to God most high, to God who fulfills his purpose for me." --Psalm 57:2

In grad school, one of the more tedious obligations we had was recalibrating our lab equipment. VO2 max machines, CO2 analyzers -- you name it, we had to put things in check and often. It's one thing for a piece of scientific apparatus to be precise, but unless it's accurate, it doesn't do much good.

With that in mind, let’s do a little calibration of our own. We're almost to the end of 2010, and we’re knee-deep in school and work. Sounds silly, but have we been going to work without shoes on? Or to school without books? Of course not. Some things just never cross our minds.

But when we fail to spend time in God's word, praying and talking to Him, we begin our day unprepared and unprotected. And if we're not dedicated to optimum health and nutrition, we're neglecting His gift of life itself.

So as we enter the last few weeks of the year, let's recalibrate. Let's be precise with those priorities and more accurate with our appointments. As the new year approaches, let’s draw a new line in the sand as it relates to our faith and fitness and we’ll hit it with our knees...together.


NEWS: KIDS NOT EXERCISING ENOUGH Sunday soccer may not be sufficient to boost health, prevent obesity

Many parents get their kids active in sports in order to plant the seeds of an active lifestyle. Weekly practices and games, they figure, are sufficient to help their kids reap all the developmental benefits that exercise has to offer such as bone development, better energy levels and strong mental health. And while it's better for our kids to be involved in sports than not, the cumulative amount of activity may not be enough, according to a new study.

Researchers at San Diego State found that fewer than 25% of the children -- ages 7-14 -- got the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day that they needed. They discovered that despite the length of some practices exceeding three hours, much of that time was devoted to stand-still strategy and discussion.

The solution is beneficial not only for Sunday soccer, but for the collective health of our children. Coaches simply need to find ways to get them to move more during the time they have with them.

"If coaches were convinced that fit players were better players, there would be more physical activity during practices," said study author James Sallis.

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