mistakes

You Don't Have To

"Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good." --Psalm 25:7

Read: Psalm 25 Earlier this week I received the most incredible and undeserved invitation. Details to come, but later this Fall, Loretta and I will be special guests at Baylor University, my alma mater. In the days leading up to a special Saturday event, we'll have the unique opportunity of speaking to students, staff and the community. We're so blessed and excited. Can I get a "Sic'em Bears?"

You know, the idea of going back and showing Loretta some of my old stomping grounds after all these years is already making my heart pound. I've even started taking notes on things I want to be sure and discuss with the students in particular. Oh man, to be able to go back and talk to a younger Jimmy Peña.  What would I tell him? (Other than to enjoy his hair line while he can and to eat more fiber. He'll just have to trust me on both.) So many things come to mind. But one thing I know, I'd make sure to find my way to old Russell Gym. I'd stand right next to young Jimmy as he eyed his next lift. While the gang of Russell Rats yell and scream in one ear, I'd whisper in the other, "You don't have to. You don't have to lift that much weight."

Carrying the weight of the past gets heavy, does it not? Yesterday's mistakes can feel heavier than a 500-pound bar across your back. I know, because I've carried both. But like the old Gaither hymn reminds me as I type this sentence:

"I'm free from the fear of tomorrow. I'm free from the guilt of my past. I've traded my shackles for a glorious song. I'm free. Praise the Lord, free at last."

If you're carrying yesterday's burden today, the Cross of Jesus says we don't have to. And we have the most incredible and undeserved invitation to embrace it.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Even though I know I would change some things in my past, I believe the good Lord has worked it all out. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I hadn't gone through some of my mistakes and wrong turns, I wouldn't be living the life I live today. Share your story. Give us your comments below. And have a great weekend everyone.

LISTEN, WATCH, INVITE: Life is not about the body. Our health is a means of praise. This fundamental message, which has become the heart of PrayFit in the last several years, has always been at the heart of Jimmy's philosophy on exercise and nutrition. But to put it in a paragraph here doesn't do it justice -- to hear it from the man himself is a convicting experience for anyone who has the opportunity. Use the links below to explore what we mean...

Listen >> Many of Jimmy's favorite devotionals are available here as audio files. Click here to "hear" PrayFit's founder articulate his passion for your health.

Watch >> The mission of PrayFit isn't six-pack abs -- it's stewardship. Click here for a video compilation of Jimmy's heartfelt message about caring for the bodies that carry these souls.

Invite >> Finally, if this is a message that you feel your family, your church or your community, then reach out to us today to find out how you can bring Jimmy to your next Sunday service or event. Click here for more info.

For additional PrayFit resources, such as books or DVDs, click here.

TIRED OF RUNNING

November 17, 2011Read: Psalm 103

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." --Psalm 103:12

As I began my day yesterday, getting organized for another entry of Marathon Week, I decided to work on the admin side of PrayFit. I won't bore you with the details (because I really don't understand them) but let's just say I pressed the wrong button...or two. What I thought would deactivate an old e-mail account, actually deactivated PrayFit.com. Despite being asked a few times, "Are you sure?", I pressed 'enter.' What took years to build was wiped away with a few wrong choices (now there's an entry). So, in that moment, I did what any saint would do...I flipped out. You'd be more likely to find the holy grail in my dishwasher than to see me exercising self-control. But fortunately, in a little less than two hours, my wife and our web expert reestablished three years of content and our connection. We were told that we were one mistake away from losing everything, for good.

If you're like me, despite your best intentions each day, you sometimes feel like you're one mistake away from losing your connection with God. Not sure what you do, but me, I high-tail it. I run to others for reassurance. I run to the gym to sweat it out. But my favorite place to run is into the same old wall of worry. My sin is just too much for God to take. A show of hands for anyone who can relate? Shamefully, it's only when I run out of options that I find myself right back where I started.

Truth is, though at times we may feel disconnected, we can never lose our relationship, and His favorite place to run is to our rescue. So, here I am again Lord, out of breath. I'm tired of running. Aren't you?

--Jimmy Peña

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Spicy Pulled Pork

Serves: 6

This pork is wonderful served with rice and beans, on grilled flatbread with cheese or in warm corn tortillas topped with shredded cabbage and diced avocado.

Ingredients: 2 pork tenderloin, trimmed (about 3 pounds) 6 fl oz dark beer ¼ cup apple cider or 2 tablespoons maple syrup Juice of ½ a lemon ¼ cup ketchup ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 1 cup barbecue sauce 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning* 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper puree (recipe below) ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced ½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced

Directions: Cut each tenderloin into 3 large pieces – set aside. In a large soup pot, combine beer, cider, lemon juice, ketchup, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, adobo, chipotle, onion and fennel.

Bring mixture to a simmer over medium high heat – add pork, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer pork to a clean cutting board and shred using 2 forks. Place shredded pork back into pot and continue to cook on medium-low heat, uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.

Bonus: Chipotle Pepper Puree 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo

Place peppers into a blender or mini food processor and puree. Store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. Add small amounts to sauces, dips and marinades for a smoky and spicy flavor.

*1 tsp of garlic powder can be used in place of adobo, but adobo seasoning can be found in the international foods section of most grocery stores

Nutrition Info Per Serving: Calories: 305 Total Fat: 5 Saturated Fat: 1.5 Carbohydrate: 14 Protein: 48 Cholesterol: 147 Sodium: 510 Fiber: 1

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian and is currently a nutrition expert for the Food Network, and has worked as a media spokesperson for Cooking Light Magazine. She has appeared on Good Day Street Talk, Food Network.com, Access Hollywood and GMA Health. Visit her at Dana White Nutrition. You can also visit her blog for more recipes at http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/.

 

YOU'RE FREE TO GO

January 7, 2011Read: Hebrews 9

"Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." --Hebrews 9:22

If you blinked, you missed this story. Earlier this week, a man was released from a Texas prison after spending 30 years behind bars for something he didn't do. Thirty years! I was eight when he began his sentence. This week, based on the evidence, a judge admitted the mistake, and set him free. Unbelievable.

He said he didn't quite know how to respond when the judge said, "You're free to go." I suppose if you've lived trapped your whole life, the reality of living free would be foreign.

But what the judge said to the prisoner, God says to us each day. We may not be in jail, per se, but we often feel imprisoned -- shackled by burdens and trapped by mistakes. Thankfully, God sees all the evidence -- Jesus -- and sets us free. Unbelievable.

--J.P.

SOUP FOR YOU Keep out the winter chill with this healthy broth From Dana Angelo White

Ingredients

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup whole-wheat pasta recommended (rotelle or other small shaped pasta recommended)

1 cup frozen green peas

2 cups baby spinach

3/4 cup mushrooms, quartered

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons shredded Parmesean

Directions

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling add pasta and cook for 5 to 6 minutes Add peas, spinach and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition analysis per serving: Calories: 120; Total fat: 2g; Saturated fat: 1g; Carbohydrate: 18g; Protein: 9g; Sodium: 360mg

>> NUTRITION: For more healthy recipes and nutrition tips, visit our nutrition page.

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