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Wear The Song Out

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and the light unto my path." --Psalm 119:105

Read: Psalm 119

I'm gonna wear this song out. Seems I can't get over a new ditty by Steven Curtis Chapman. Play, repeat, play, repeat. Thing is, I want to wear this song out; out on my walk, out to my therapy, out to the store. Well, you'll be glad that I have a new song for our stroll together today. Let's walk and talk.

My eyes had not yet adjusted. After turning out the lights last night, I stood in pitch blackness. You know the feeling. Though your eyes are wide open, you can't see the end of your nose. So I did what you do. I didn't budge. I reasoned that in my condition the last thing I need to do is trip and fall. But Loretta's eyes had already adjusted to the dark. "You're fine, take another step." And there it is. What had to happen for me to move? I needed to have faith that Loretta could see in the dark.

We encourage babies to do it. Patients that surround me at rehab need to hear it. From someone discouraged because they haven't lost a pound, to someone trying to overcome the loss of a loved one, it's the most basic, difficult and necessary action any of us have to do to get through.

Are you in the dark today, unable to budge? Fearful about something? Timid or unsure? The light of your circumstances has gone out and you're standing there blind with your eyes wide open. Friend, He knows how you feel. But He sees in the dark. After all, He is the light. Just close your eyes, hold on to Him and take another step. And another step. And another step. And another step. Before you know it, you're wearing the song out.

--Jimmy Peña

 

For Discussion: As you step out the door, is putting one foot in front of the other as tough literally as it is theoretically? I hope we can be an encouragement to you to keep going. Praying for you, hoping for you, helping shine His light so you can find your way. If you'd like us to help you pray about something, let us know. We're right here.

(Again I encourage you to go to iTunes and download the new CD by Steven Curtis Chapman called, "A Glorious Unfolding." When you get to "Take Another Step" turn it up for me.)

GET FIT WITH JIMMY PEÑA

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A Determined Rise

"Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light." --Micah 7:8

Read: Micah 7

HurdlesLast night, I had an epic wipeout on my new beach cruiser -- an "into-a-rail-and-over-the-handlebars" kind of spill. If you've ever fallen, you're probably familiar with the question you are faced with in the moments after: Do I get up and carry on, or stay on the ground and wallow in my misfortune? Two Olympic hurdlers illustrated the difference for us last summer.

In one of the heats of the women's 400-meter hurdles, two athletes met disaster but each recovered differently. Just a few seconds into the race, Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria hit the first hurdle, tumbling hopelessly to the track surface as her competition shrunk quickly into the distance. Maureen Jelegat-Maiyo of Kenya stumbled disastrously over a hurdle a few moments later. Both fell. But only one finished.

Dejected and physically beaten, Stambolova picked herself up and ambled reluctantly off of the track, conceding defeat. Jelegat-Maiyo, on the other hand, sprung up and continued on. She finished in last place, almost four seconds behind her next nearest competitor -- a lifetime in the world of elite hurdles. Despite her heroic recovery, there was little fanfare for the Kenyan hurdler to look forward to at the finish. No flash bulbs, no doting reporters -- just the knowledge that she'd picked herself up, run hard and given her best effort, both for herself and her countrymen.

How often do you charge out of the blocks on faith, only to stumble at the start? We misjudge our own power, we underestimate our weaknesses, and we short ourselves on hurdles of health. Sometimes, as was the case on my ride, the falls are catastrophic and sudden, leaving us to wonder what happened. But those stumbles are never enough to knock us out of the race. In fact, our victory -- which begins with a determined rise -- is assured because of the One who has already succeeded on the same obstacle-ridden course. As long as you commit to collecting yourself from a fall, there is no hurdle ahead you can't bound with His help.

--Eric Velazquez

UPDATE ON JIMMY'S 14-DAY POST-SURGERY APPT Great news! Jimmy's check-up went incredibly well yesterday. He's ready for a 3-month healing and rehab process. Thank you for your sincere prayers. Let's raise praise.

 

EXERCISE IN FOCUS: REVERSE CRUNCH Yesterday's Workout of the Week started off with the reverse crunch because the lower abs are typically the most undertrained area of the midsection. Leading off with it -- you should always train weaknesses first -- allows you to target this hard-to-change area of your body faster. Here's a bit more about it, and some info on how to get it right.

Reverse Crunch | Focus: Lower abs

Lie faceup on the ground with your hands extended at your sides, your feet up and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor. Slowly bring your knees toward your chest, lifting your hips and glutes off the ground, and try to maintain the bend in your knees throughout the movement. Return under control.

>> VIDEO: THE REVERSE CRUNCH

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Under the Radar - By Eric Velazquez

"It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." --1 Corinthians 4:2

Read: 1 Corinthians 4

As a baby Christian (I wasn't baptized until I was 25 years old), I really prided myself on my ability to fly under the radar. I was new to the club so I implemented a low-key initiation period where I could just live under the radar. I didn't want any attention called to my new-found faith any more than my previous shortcomings -- I just wanted to adjust to grace at my own pace, under the warm blanket of ambiguity.

In one way or another, we're all still baby Christians clinging to the comfort of anonymity. We think we can get away with doing just enough not to lose His divine favor, not so much that you risk being pressed into greater service. Of course, this is just no way to exercise faith. Paul reminds us that while we aren't judged on our works, we are called to live by faith -- to live boldly in the light of salvation so that others may see and be saved by it.

The world makes it easy to do "just enough" -- to be wholly adequate, never daring to seek our full potential. But whether it's our faith, our health or our love, we should never wither to our calling. Baby Christians or not, it's time for us to stride confidently out of conformity and onto His radar.

--Eric Velazquez

Question: Are you doing "just enough" in the realm of health and fitness? Are you challenging your body each and every day? Have you become content with doing the same workout at the same pace or with the same weights? How we care for our bodies can reflect the love of the One who created them. Do you think your health can be a witness to those around you?

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DVD: Our 33-Day Total Body Makeover is changing bodies and fortifying faith across the U.S.! Check out a trailer for the video and find out how you can get in on this inside-out makeover by clicking here.

You, He Knitted

"You knit me together in my mother’s womb." --Psalm 139:13

Read: Psalm 139

God spoke, and there was light. He breathed the stars in space and put the moon in place. But you? You, He knitted. Imagine, the God who filled the oceans with water made your eyes to blink. After spraying the cosmos with trillions of galaxies, He gave you goosebumps. (And then you did the same to Him.)

--Jimmy Peña

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Build, Burn

Try the following workout to jump-start your week. Build muscle, burn calories...all at your own pace. Everyone has a "best." What's yours? That's what your effort should be everyday. Walk in place with high knees - 1 min. Jog in place - 1 min. Jumping jacks - 1 min. Jog with high knees - 1 min. Rest 30 sec. Push-ups - 30 sec. Straight-arm plank - 30 sec. Standard plank - 30 sec. Push-ups - 30 sec. Rest 30 sec.

Repeat the entire sequence 2-3 times. Perform this workout up to three times per week, allowing 24-48 hours between sessions. For your push-ups, regardless of what type you are doing, count your reps and strive to increase that number from workout to workout.

DVD: Looking for a new program to speed your gains along in 2012? Try the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge DVD by Lionsgate.

YOU, HE KNITTED

September 12, 2011Read: Psalm 139

“You knit me together in my mother’s womb. --Psalm 139:13

God spoke, and there was light. He breathed the stars in space and put the moon in place. But you? You, He knitted. Imagine, the God who filled the oceans with water made your eyes to blink. After spraying the cosmos with trillions of galaxies, He gave you goosebumps. (And then you did the same to Him.)

-J.P.

Please join us this week as we look at the miracle of our bodies as His prized creation, and how His temple on earth will outshine the stars.

WORKOUT of the WEEK

Try this workout to jump-start your week. Build muscle, burn calories...all at your own pace. Everyone has a "best." What's yours? That's what your effort should be everyday.

Walk in place with high knees - 1 min. Jog in place - 1 min. Jumping jacks - 1 min. Jog with high knees - 1 min. Rest 30 sec. Push-ups - 30 sec. (modify per your abilities) Straight-arm plank - 30 sec. Standard plank for - 30 sec. Push-ups - 30 sec. (modify per your abilities) Rest 30 sec.

Repeat the entire sequence 2-3 times. Perform this workout up to three times per week, allowing 24-48 hours between sessions. For your push-ups, regardless of what type you are doing, count your reps and strive to increase that number from workout to workout.

WHAT'S NEW/HOT AT THE PRAYFIT FORUMS:

>> Jobs, heartache, stress, joy, praise -- offer your prayers for the community here

>> New member seeks online weight loss accountability partner

 

PASSING THE FAITH ALONG

July 21, 2011Read: John 14

“You know the way to the place where I am going.” --John 14:4

Hope nobody’s tired of this week’s marathon theme, because I’m definitely not running out of topics (Ouch!). But I did see something at the race that made me tilt my head and squint my eyes just a bit; something that seemed out of place–a relay team.

I never thought of a marathon as a team sport, but as it turns out, you can run relay-style. Every few minutes or so, I’d see someone run by carrying a baton they’d received from their forerunner, and I realized they’re not in the race alone; for them to be running, there needed to be a hand off.

As believers, it’s neat to think that as we run, we’re collectively carrying a light that Jesus himself lit miles and miles ago. My forerunner was a sweet man named Henry Powell. Because of him, I’m in the race. And although I haven’t always kept pace, because of my ‘preacher man’, I know where I’ll be when I run out of road.

Who was your forerunner?

–J.P.

SO YOU WANNA RUN A MARATHON? (continued)

So if you have managed to stick to the site all week, you will have noticed a developing theme. First, we discussed how beginners should approach their training. Here, we'll speak to the intermediates and our more advanced runners who are looking to make a serious impression on the course.

INTERMEDIATE: If you regularly run 20 to 30 miles a week, and have done so for a year or more, you’re an intermediate. Intermediates also likely do a weekly long run of 8-10 miles and have some experience with tempo runs or intervals. They’ve run 10K races and maybe even finished a half marathon. The rare, elite category of intermediates may have already run a full marathon but are now ready to set more challenging goals for their race times.

>> The Plan: “Long runs are the basis of marathon training, but at this level it’s important to add some intensity to the program,” says anaerobic management coach John Sinclair (www.anaerobic.net). So, you’ll gradually increase the length of the weekly long run to adapt your mind and body to the rigors of running nonstop for several hours. But running 18 to 20 miles at a time isn’t all you need, so you’ll supplement these runs with some higher-effort running twice weekly, including sustained tempo runs at your half-marathon race pace. These promote aerobic strength and efficiency and will help you find that groove you’d like to be in when you run a longer race, according to Sinclair. You’ll also be doing a smattering of speed work. For more specific tips, visit www.runnersworld.com.

ADVANCED: Advanced runners are veterans — those who have been at it for at least three or four years that routinely log 35 to 40 miles a week, with a splash of interval training mixed in for good measure. Advanced runners have likely run the full gamut of races from the 5K up to the marathon. But even elite runners want to score that most prized runner’s achievement — the PR, the absolute fastest 26.2 miles you’re capable of. They may also have ideas of crossing the tape first in a given division.

>> The Plan: “You’ll have to be willing to hit 50 miles a week,” Sinclair says. “For an advanced marathon effort, inadequate miles just won’t cut it.” At this level, your goal is to learn how to maintain a strong, solid pace for several hours. So, along with the standard long runs, you’re going to spend two days a week developing stamina at half marathon, 10K, and 5K race paces. On Thursdays, you’ll be served a marathon goal pace/tempo/cruise combo platter — an extended effort that develops focus, strength, and the capacity to hold a strong pace as fatigue sets in. “Long runs and mileage get you to the finish line,” says Sinclair. “Intensity in your training will get you to the finish line faster.”

Source: Runner’s World

HEARD: “Not only is Jimmy Pena one of my best friends, but whenever I want to get dialed-in for a role or photo shoot, he’s my only call. And I love starting my day at PrayFit.com, building spiritual and physical muscle. A one-of-a-kind concept from the best in the business.”

Mario Lopez, host, EXTRA

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