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2014: Let Him Make The List

Well dear friends, here we are. Last day of the year. Many of us are cleaning out cupboards, jotting down training schemes and setting our goals and objectives for a happy and healthy new year. And for that, we are so excited. We can't wait to be a resource of encouragement and motivation. And like many of you, I want God to make my list. But not as an item to be checked off, but that He actually MAKES my list.

Sure, I may have my own plan for the year, but honestly, I want His plan for my life! What about you? As you clean your cupboard, have you allowed Him to clean your heart? Like old food, what on the inside of us needs to be removed (or added) for next year? The list isn't easy, so let Him make it and then get excited about what God has in store. As you do, consider the changes you can make for His glory. We spend hours in the gym, running miles, swimming laps or on social media, but rarely spare 10 minutes a day in His Word or on our knees in prayer. Will that change for you this year?

COVER YOUR EARS FITNESS INDUSTRY: You can hit every single fitness goal imaginable and completely miss honoring Him with your body. Remember, it's not the height of our health that matters, but the depth of our hearts. Like I said, the list isn't easy, so let Him make it.

And if you don't know Jesus as your Savior, we pray that's at the very top. You will never be the same once you do. Jesus in a life makes all the difference. Your health is worth fighting for, no doubt, but your heart was worth dying for. Thank Him for it. Accept Him. Invite Him into your life. Be filled with grace, then spend the rest of your days out-of-breath trying to live it and give it.

Have a blessed new year -- a year of genuine faith and a wholehearted pursuit of health. And if God makes your list...you will.

–Jimmy Peña

"The list isn't easy, so let Him make it and then get excited about what God has in store. As you do, consider the changes you can make for His glory."

The PrayFit Daily will resume Monday, January 6. If you're not already subscribed, click here! Get ready for 2014.

A Thankful List

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." --1 Thessalonians 5:18

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Do you like lists? I love lists. My wife and I can be driving, and all I have to say to her is, "Give me your top three for dinner" and she knows I'm asking her to name me the three people she would love to have over for a meal. Without hesitation, Kate Winslet, Dr. Charles Stanley and Derek Jeter are scooting their chairs under our table. We've done things like that for years. And don't get me started about New Year's resolutions. We've saved every list of resolutions for 18 years. Not only that, we witness, sign and ratify them. (I wish I were kidding). What can I say? I love lists.

Do you have one? A list of things for which you're the most thankful this year? What better week than this to consider it. Could be a friend, or new job or maybe your health has improved. (That last one would make mine, FYI.) Take a minute to think of, or better yet, jot some things down. Use our comment section if you'd be so bold. What are you the most thankful for as you look back on this year? Give me your top three. And if you say Derek Jeter, I just might have you over for dinner.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. God has a list, and we're on it. You and I will be sitting at His table someday if we say yes. The invitation is open. It's up to us to accept it.

ASK THE NUTRITIONIST with Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD

[Q] I am looking to save calories where I can and I know that switching to lower-fat milk is an easy way to do that but I love whole milk! What's the best way to switch without going crazy?

[A] That's a great question. Milk is a great source of healthy protein and should be part of any healthy lifestyle but a lot of people do love the whole and find it hard to switch to lower-fat and therefore lower-calorie milk. If you have a hard time switching from higher-fat milk, try combining half of the higher-fat with half of the lower-fat, and gradually change the ratio so that the amount of lower-fat is increasing. This will help your taste buds to adjust and eventually, you will probably prefer the lower-fat! The same concept works for switching from regular to diet soda.

Emily Ann Miller, MPH, RD is a registered dietitian and works at a Washington, D.C.-based independent, nonprofit science organization, where her work is currently focused on environmental and policy solutions to obesity prevention. She also speaks to groups about health and nutrition and provides nutrition education to patients at a free medical clinic that serves low-income, uninsured adults in the D.C. area. You can view more of Emily’s nutrition tips and updates by following her on Twitter, @EmilyAMillerRD.