prayfit

#jumpingjacksforjesus

"I am not ashamed of the gospel." --Romans 1:16

Read: Romans 1, 14

The day before yesterday I came across a tweet from SELF Magazine's senior writer Erin Bried (@niftybutton) joking about our new DVD she received from my publicist. Former magazine guys ourselves, Eric and I would often get books and products on our desks from hopeful artists just like us, so we've been in her shoes. But that's where our similarities evidently cease. Because after her good laugh, she and some others exchanged jokes, then she posted a pic of me, adding a hashtag: #jumpingjacksforjesus

Now, my first thought was to drop her my resume, name some of the books I'd written, reveal the celebrities I've served and list the thousands of articles I've written on newsstands. But then it hit me: she knows enough. She knows I'm completely unashamed of the gospel. And just like the shepherds who sprinted to the see the newborn King and John the Baptist leaping in his mom's womb, there's something about Jesus that moves people. And now she knows He moves me too. So yes, I'm afraid I do jumping jacks for Jesus. That and much, much more. So I simply retweeted her and told her that it was my life's work. And that I hope she checks it out. After all, like Spurgeon said, "Defending the gospel is like defending a lion. All you have to do is let it out of its cage, and it will defend itself."

You know friends, it boils down to this. If it's awkward to do things for Jesus, be it praise, write, speak or even jump around, it's gonna feel real awkward when we're kneeling. So for all of those unashamed athletes, the line-crossers, the limb-walkers and ridicule takers, I salute you. Whether you run, lift, swim, walk or otherwise, all because your health is a means of praise, I'm in your debt and I'm at your feet. I am one of you. Save me some room out on that limb. #InJesusNameWeTrain

--Jimmy Peña

>> You can follow us on Twitter by clicking here. (@prayfit) In Honor of it all, here is the DVD God inspired me to create. Hope you order one for yourself and a few for those you love. This follow-up to our first DVD is extremely challenging, targeting each bodypart including the legs, glutes, arms, chest, back, shoulders, cardio, and flexibility. All of that infused with biblical stories and motivational minutes to encourage you to keep going. Like I've always said, we don't strive to be healthy in order to be loved by God, we strive to be healthy because we are.

>> To order your DVD now, click here!

>> NEW!!! To check out other PrayFit products including books, DVDs and our all new line of faith-and-fitness apparel, click here!

Your Mission...

"I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." --3 John 1:2

Read: 3 John 1

I remember like it was yesterday, scrounging through an old box of books while whispering to myself, "Your mission, should you choose to accept it...." I'm smiling as I type this sentence. Great memories. See, in 1996, the movie of the year was the first Mission: Impossible, and I was bound and determined to see it. But as a young married couple, times were tight. With both of us working and in school, we watched every penny. I knew that in order for us to see the show, it was up to me. (Light the fuse, cue the music.)

Long story short, the sign at the end of the street read, "WE BUY BOOKS." And fortunately, I kept every schoolbook I'd ever read (from every class). So if they were buying, I was selling. When Loretta got home, I greeted her with a kiss, a grin and two tickets. Special times.

That story came to mind recently when someone requested PrayFit resources for their church. Seems I'm still selling books. Only now it's for what many see as an impossible mission: to conquer the obesity epidemic in our homes and churches. But I think John said it best. In his third epistle, the first thing he said to a man named Gaius was, "I hope you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit." (v. 2) A worthy hope he had for his friend, especially considering the times in which they lived. And it's still a worthy hope today; a hope that defines our purpose at PrayFit. Is your church in need of help? Does someone you love need encouragement to be healthy for the right reasons? If so, we're on a mission, and we're bringing books.

--Jimmy Peña

THE RIGHT GADGETS FOR YOUR MISSION

The protagonist in the Mission: Impossible films, Ethan Hunt, was successful due to his vast experience in the world of espionage...and a few choice inventions. From voice-replicating throat chips to explosive gum, the tools of the trade were always vital to the mission. Same applies for you and yours. Try these resources when it comes to confronting health issues in your home and community:

>> READ: Our first book, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 33 Days," provides two 28-day exercise programs, a complete diet plan and biblically-inspired devotions to keep you motivated each step of the way.

>> WATCH: PrayFit has partnered with Lionsgate Entertainment to bring you two home-based workout DVDs -- the second more challenging than the first. Train along with founder Jimmy Peña as you work to become stronger, leaner and healthier, all from the comfort of your living room.

For more information on these and other products, click here.

Opening Day

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." --Romans 8:1

Read: Romans 8

Last week marked the beginning of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. Of course, many of you know we're thrilled that the boys of summer have taken the field. In fact, I'm not kidding when I say I've been whistling "Take me out to the ballgame" a lot lately. (And maybe now so are you.)

But as I watched my beloved Yankees take the field, it occurred to me that opening day can teach us a lot about grace. Reason being, right before Jeter's first at-bat, all they could talk about was last season's stats. And yet, as he stepped into the batter's box, his average on the screen was .000 -- a clean slate.

You know, each morning you and I step up to the plate ready to swing away at whatever the day throws at us. Thankfully, no matter how many strikeouts we had yesterday, God's mercy is new with each plate appearance. And with yesterday being Easter, it's so appropriate don't you think? Jesus conquered death so we can have life; an abundant life with no record of wrongs. Let's rise today the way Jesus rose yesterday...victorious.

You know, I'm now whistling a medley. "Take me out to the ballgame"...because I know "He Lives".

--Jimmy Peña

NEW: PRAYFIT 33-DAY TOTAL BODY SYSTEM

Get ready to transform your health. Building on the strong success of our first DVD, PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge, we are proud to partner with Lionsgate Entertainment and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the exclusive release of our second DVD, Prayfit 33-day Body Toning System.

"If you thought the first DVD was fun, effective and challenging, you won't believe our newest edition," says Jimmy Pena. "Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the most respected names in Christian publishing, is exclusively releasing our second DVD through retailers everywhere. We hope you order it and are blessed by the message and workout. Get ready. You are going to love it!"

>> ORDER: Be among the first to try the PrayFit 33-Day Body Toning System. This workout is an extension of the first DVD and can provide a welcome challenge for exercisers of all levels. Each DVD is rounded out by PrayFit Minutes, inspirational messages from founder Jimmy Pena that feed the soul and remind us of a fundamental truth: God cares about our health. Click here to get started!

It Took a Funeral

"The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." --John 11:25

Read: John 11

If anyone had the right to claim credit for the phrase "Today is the first day of the rest of my life" it was Lazarus. Four days gone. Entombed. Lazarus was dead. Then he wasn't. If any day felt like the first to him, this was the one. But it took a funeral to make him feel alive.

You and I are no different. Well, we don't cheat graves, but we are called to die each day, to ourselves. But we can't talk about death without including every aspect of life. Our minds: how we think. Our motives: selfish and proud. And our bodies: how we nourish His temple on earth. If we strive to be obedient in everything including, say, our approach to food, we live better. Conquering our daily life of health requires a daily death of self.

It's tough to live in a grave. Ask Lazarus. His best day was his first day, and so is yours. And it begins at a funeral.

--Jimmy Peña

THE IMPORTANCE OF "PRAY" IN PRAYFIT Research reinforcing the connection between physical and spiritual health The name "PrayFit" isn't an accident. We believe that a deeper connection with the Lord -- which is achieved through daily reading, prayer and fellowship -- is central to your ongoing quest for a healthier body. A recent story lends credence -- actual lab-coat-and-bar-graphs kinda credence -- to this fundamental truth.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that individuals who prayed daily were 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those who didn't pray regularly. And a 2011 study of inner city youth with asthma found that those with regular prayer lives exhibited fewer and less severe symptoms.

But the floodgate of research showing the correlation of spiritual and physical health doesn't stop there. Read the full story from the Huffington Post by clicking the link below.

>> HUFF POST: Why People Who Pray Are Healthier Than Those Who Don't

TRACKING NUMBERS

November 16, 2011 Read: Isaiah 43

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you." --Isaiah 43:1

Bib No. 18-164 wasn't tracking. Even though race officials, sponsors and loved ones knew bib No. 18-164 started the race, nobody knew where he was on the course. See, bib numbers have bar codes that tell everyone your pace, stage and whereabouts. Without a functioning bib, you might as well be invisible.

Can you relate? In the course of your day, have you ever felt as if nobody knows just exactly where you are? Oh sure, you're at your cubicle or at home with your kids. But is anyone really watching what you're going through, let alone loving you through it? Your hurt is real. Your pain is deep. And walking away would be much easier than running this rat race. But we're more than tracked, and our steps are better than traced. Hope isn't lost and neither are you. God finds us and loves us from start-to-finish.

And as far as bib No. 18-164, he officially finished in just over five hours. And while his time didn't warrant interviews or draw a crowd, he did receive his medal. But he wasn't alone in this achievement -- the prize went to anyone who accepted the invitation to finish the race. Friends, God invites us to accept Jesus into our hearts and lives. When we do, we join a race He's already won on our behalf. Our job is to trace His steps and help others do the same. See you at the finish.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION TIP: Apples for Size

"I commonly advise people to eat an apple preworkout," says Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days." "Apples contain polyphenols that have been shown to increase muscle strength, endurance and fat loss."

A recent study affirms those benefits, showing that one of the polyphenols in apples, ursolic acid, also increases muscle growth and fat loss. For the scientific speak on the topic, click here.

>> PRAYFIT IN YOUR HOME: PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS, comes to your living room this December with the release of the "PrayFit: 33-Day Total Body Challenge" DVD. Learn more and reserve your copy today by clicking here.

 

THE LORD NEVER PANICS

August 17, 2011Read: Isaiah 55

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” --Isaiah 55:9

Things on the ground look pretty small from 35,000 feet. I know, because that’s where this entry was written. Halfway through a five-hour trip cross country, the flight attendant announced, “If there is a physician on board, please come to the back of the aircraft.” She repeated it three times.

Immediately two young men, including a man sitting in my row, jumped from their seats and rushed to help. The rest of us simply sat and watched as a huddle formed in the back of the plane. After maybe a minute, a grey-haired man from the front of the plane walked passed us, almost casually, to join the effort. It wasn't long before the man from my row returned to his seat and explained that a young lady had suffered a panic attack.

Curious, I asked him if he was a physician. “No," he said. “There was only one doctor among us back there. Two of us were firemen, but only one doctor -- an older man. When he showed up, we all stepped back to let him work.”

(Get me a laptop, stat.)

In life, we tend to panic, and the world responds will all sorts of solutions. But like today, I know I can’t run to the rescue. Only God can. Isn't it assuring to know that He is never rattled or stressed? He's always in control and is never late. And the problems that find us, even at 35,000 feet, are well under His.

Now I think I’ll sit back and relax. We still have a ways to go.

--J.P.

>> PRAYFIT  IN THE NEWS: Earlier this week, PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena was the subject of an interview on bodybuilding.com, the world's most heavily-trafficked fitness website. Learn about health as a means of praise from this Texas kid turned fitness expert in "Body & Soul."

>> DID YOU KNOW? Vitamin D isn't just a vitamin -- it's a powerful tool in achieving better overall health. Numerous studies show that Vitamin D can lower blood pressure, help prevent certain kinds of cancer and fortify you against diabetes. Vitamin D can also help you feel fuller longer, store less bodyfat, burn more abdominal fat and improve strength levels. According to Jim Stoppani, PhD, co-author of "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Stronger Faith and Healthy Body in 28 Days," vitamin D enhances muscle contraction and protein synthesis, meaning better workouts and improved recovery afterward. The Endocrine Society recommends that healthy individuals get in 1,000-2,000 international units (IU) per day from all sources (food and supplemental). Those who are overweight could benefit from slightly higher doses, up to 4,000 IU.

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.

 

TO THE PRAYFIT 3,000

June 30, 2011 Yesterday, Prayfit reached a milestone. What started as a daily blog being sent to a handful of friends, now reaches over 3,000 like-minded people every morning. And we can say with the utmost certainty, it's an honor we take seriously. Steeped in prayer, and surrounded by walls of perspective, our fitness devotions are meant solely to help all of us heighten our regard for health as a means of praise. Many of you participate in various kinds of fitness activities, share meal plans and philosophies, all while giving Jesus the glory. By doing so, you energize the Prayfit philosophy: healthy in body, strong in spirit.

It's our sincere hope that you continue to read and share our site with loved ones. But most importantly, continue to pray for PrayFit. When we write our entries, you're on our minds and in our prayers. Thank you in advance for doing the same for us.

You know, when C.S. Lewis said, "You don't have souls, you are souls. You have bodies," little did he know he was weaving the very fabric of our purpose. Today, let that be our mantra. In how we work, move, eat and play, let's take care of the body that carries the soul.

In Jesus' name , we train.

Team PrayFit

>> MEET THE FOUNDER: Get a welcome message from PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena and learn five ways you can get started on a healthier lifestyle today!

>> SHARE: Help us get others on board with this whole “faith and fitness” thing. Use the “Recommend,” “Tweet,” “E-Mail” and “Share” buttons at the top of each day’s entry to get your social network in the know about PrayFit. Also, you can “like” us, “follow” us or “watch” us by clicking the FacebookTwitterand YouTube icons at the bottom of each page.

>> EXERCISE CENTRAL: Learn how to correctly perform many of the core exercises we use in our weekly workouts by clicking here.

CORNERMAN

April 5, 2011Read: Matthew 11

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened and I'll give you rest." --Matthew 11:28

We've all heard the phrase "God is in your corner." Sounds comforting, no? But if you've ever seen a cornerman at work (like you will this Saturday when Robert Guerrero steps into the ring), the phrase takes on new meaning. If you compare what he does to what we know of God, the similarities are striking.

Let's see:

He has his fighter's best interest in mind.

He knows what he can handle.

He never takes his eyes off his fighter.

He knows his strengths and weaknesses.

He knows the opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

He treats his fighter's wounds.

He gives wise advice on how to win the fight.

He knows when his fighter's had enough.

Win or lose, he's always there to pick him up.

Now, compare all that to what a cornerman does.

Come to think of it, have you ever seen a fighter avoid his corner between rounds? Me neither.

IN HIS CORNER

This weekend (Saturday, April 9), boxer and PrayFit endorser Robert Guerrero steps into the ring against Michael Katsidis on the highly touted "Action Heroes" fight card on HBO Pay-Per-View. Guerrero, a loving husband and father of two, will be wearing PrayFit.com on the back of his trunks as he looks to capture the interim lightweight (135-pound) titles for the WBA and WBO. For more on this weekend's fight, visit HBO Boxing. For ordering information, contact your local cable provider.

>> GEAR UP! As you cozy up in front of the flat screen this weekend before the big fight, make sure you're geared up right. Click here to purchase our newly designed PrayFit hats and shirts.

HE WROTE THE STORY

March 2, 2011Read: Luke 12

"Indeed, the very hairs on your head are numbered." --Luke 12:7

Today we at PrayFit were blessed to receive a highly favorable book review from a prominent critic in our industry. Praise the Lord for it. It's such a pleasure to hear what others are saying about the book we've written. The best part? She's telling others our story.

I wonder...would she write with the same favor of the book I'm writing with my life?

Isn't it comforting to know that despite our typos and mistakes, the rewrites and rough drafts, our lives are still page-turners to God. He just can't put us down. His book marker sits on our today, between our yesterday and tomorrow. The best part? He not only hangs on our every word, He wrote the story.

--J.P.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA Forget delivery. Stay on track with this healthy alternative to a guilty favorite

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole wheat English muffins, sliced
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 medium scallion, finely chopped
  • 3 oz grilled chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F. Place English muffins on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Top with barbecue sauce, scallion and chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Data:

Calories: 160 | Total fat: 16g | Saturated fat: 2g | Carbohydrate: 16g | Protein: 13.5g | Sodium: 428mg

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is the nutrition expert for Food Network.com and the Healthy Eats blog. She is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

>> FEEDBACK TIME! Team PrayFit is actively seeking reader feedback on a few specific items...

PrayFit the book: Have you done -- or are you currently doing -- the exercise program presented in "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days?" If so, we want to hear from you. Write us with your successes, challenges and input at info@prayfit.com. Feel free to include before and after pics if the situation calls for it!

Family life: We're looking for a few good 100-200 word accounts of how you are fostering a culture of health in your home. Whether it's dinners at the table every night, or planning your menu as a family, we want to hear how you are encouraging better eating and exercise habits under your own roof. E-mail us at info@prayfit.com.

POWER AND STRENGTH

January 26, 2011 "We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength." --Dr. Charles Stanley

In "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days," we advocate spending a few minutes each day working on faith and fitness. No matter what time of day you choose to do this, life can make it difficult to muster the motivation to work on either. Long work days, kids running you ragged, all-night study sessions, brutal commutes, bad sleep -- even amidst the status of a life lived well, cracking open your bible and then working up a sweat may seem such an extraneous and wholly dispensable chore. But by making that time and keeping that morning meeting with the Lord, you will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish, not just for the workout that follows, but for the day ahead. Energy, power and strength -- byproducts of a commitment to faith and fitness. Dr. Stanley was on to something.

WE'RE PACKED AND READY

During a recent interview about the book, we were asked if we traveled to churches and groups to discuss faith and fitness. And our answer was a resounding "Yes." And so we'd like to share the same with you. Please talk to your Pastor or church leaders. Give them a book and reach out to us to discuss the Prayfit Team visiting your community. We're packed and ready to help you and yours take back your health for the Lord. Remember, something so fearfully made deserves more attention and upkeep than what we as a nation of believers are giving. And we want to help.

>> PRAYFIT JETSETTERS: To invite PrayFit to your church, or for help setting up your own PrayFit ministry, contact us at info@prayfit.com.

BY THE NUMBERS

215: Number of calories burned in 30 minutes of rigorous weight training.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

A RUNNER'S WALK

December 10, 2010Read: Galatians 6

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." --Galatians 6:9

So there I was, packing up the truck to head back home. The marathon had long since ended, and Loretta was getting herself ready to leave. As I looked across the parking lot, I saw a few runners walking back from the venue. They literally looked like they'd been through a battle. I then went to check-out of the hotel and was surrounded by marathoners; medals hanging from each neck and numbers across their chests.

But you know what was interesting? I knew they had just run the race, not because of the medals and numbers, but by the familiar limp. Loretta had it too. She could hardly move. When we went into town to eat a few hours later, I saw people who either had no trouble walking or who barely had the strength to stand. Battle tested.  If you ran the race, it showed in your walk.

(Gulp)

Not sure about you, but I could stand to limp a lot more each day, amen?

--J.P.

PRAYFIT WEEK IN REVIEW A look back at a week's worth of healthy living tips

WORKOUT: 10 minutes to a stronger lower back and core

FITNESS TIP: How to keep a better fitness journal for faster results

RECIPE: Orange-Chocolate Cookies

PRAYFIT 2.0: Find out how PrayFit just got stronger in the fitness-and-nutrition department

>> HELP PRAYFIT BECOME A BESTSELLER! As many of you know, “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days” from Regal Books, is due to start shipping to mailboxes December 6. And in the month of January, you can find us on display tables at Barnes & Noble. With your help, we believe that “PrayFit” has the muscle to be a bestseller. So pick up a copy or order a few for gifts — help us spread the gospel of faith and fitness as we approach 2011! A portion of each book sold will go to support mission trips abroad.

THANKFUL...NO MATTER WHAT

November 24, 2010Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

"In all things, give thanks." --1 Thessalonians 5:18

The bible is pretty clear when it comes to being thankful: we should be, no matter what. But if you're like me, it's easy to be thankful when times are good. But what about during the storms of life? What then?

Well, thankfully, God is as worthy of our thanks in rough water as He is when our seas are calm. Our circumstances might change, but He doesn't; no matter what. So, even though we might not be praying, "Thank you God for this storm", we can pray, "Lord, if not for this storm, I wouldn't be looking to you for shelter."

So tomorrow, before we eat with friends and family or watch a good game and doze on the couch, we simply want to say, "Thanks for being God, no matter what."

--J.P.

PRAYFIT 101: REST TO PROGRESS

A great many of you that we hear from on PrayFit are hardcore trainers -- people who workout hard four or more times per week. That is fantastic but if you've started to notice that you're a little slower, a little weaker and a little more fatigued than usual, or that your once-meteoric progress has come to a screeching halt, you may be a victim of overtraining.

Overtraining is a very real syndrome that comes as a result of training too often or too intensely -- or both -- and it can wreak havoc on your fitness goals. When you start to notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, take a look at your training regimen. Have you been pushing yourself a bit too hard? Well, as difficult a pill as this may be to swallow, the only prescription for overtraining -- the only thing that will get you back on track -- is rest. Take a few days off from workouts completely or scale your workouts back in frequency and intensity for several days or up to a few weeks. At the end of this "cooling off" period, you should be able to dive right back in with renewed energy, strength and enthusiasm. Training hard is great -- but as with all things, moderation is the key.

>> HELP PRAYFIT BECOME A BESTSELLER! As many of you know, "PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days" from Regal Books, is due to start shipping to mailboxes December 6. And in the month of January, you can find us on display tables at Barnes & Noble. With your help, we believe that "PrayFit" has the muscle to be a bestseller. So pick up a copy or order a few for gifts -- help us spread the gospel of faith and fitness as we approach 2011! A portion of each book sold will go to support mission trips abroad.

HOMEOWNERS MEETING: PART II

November 17, 2010Read: Romans 12

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." --Romans 12:2

Now, where was I? Ah, yes...in the back of the room, cleverly disguised as a concerned homeowner. And though at first I remained rather stoic, I slowly began to think, "This ain't so bad." I actually nodded a couple times, gave my two cents here and there (after all, we could use a new parking lot), and even told a good joke. I had 'em eating out of my hand. Shucks, I even think I heard, "Boy, I sure am glad the new guy showed up! Is there room on the board for one more?" (Okay, maybe not, but that's not the point.) See, all was great. Until...

The next thing I knew the room had turned on me, and I was rolling up my sleeves, getting knee-deep in the thick of where dogs are allowed to be walked and whether or not new keys should be issued to homeowners. Besides, these old keys don't open anything! (Sigh) Yep...I'm not so sure if it was Loretta slowly shaking her head in my general direction, or if it was when she said to me, "I'm sorry sir, what was your name again?" but somewhere along the way I became part of the problem. The issues had become my issue. I lost focus on my focus. I was there to keep an eye on Loretta, but opted to have all eyes on me.

Hours later, sitting in my chair (which is where I should have stayed in the first place), I wondered if that's how the Lord sees us at times, taking our eyes off of Him and onto the crowd. I wonder if He shakes His head at how worked up we "homeowners" get about this temporary home.

--J.P.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Angelo Family French Toast

French toast -- we'll say it -- is a breakfast delicacy. There may be a special place in heaven where thick, egg-battered slices of perfectly prepared French toast are served at every meal. Unfortunately, here on Earth, it is an indulgence best had occasionally...until now. This recipe, prepared by PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White, is a healthier alternative to this breakfast favorite.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 3 large eggs ¾ cup lowfat (1%) milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to taste 8 slices multi-grain bread 4 teaspoon unsalted butter Canola oil cooking spray 100% maple syrup 2 cups fresh seasonal fruit

Directions: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon; set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray. Melt 1 tsp butter in skillet. Dip 2 slices of bread into milk mixture, making sure both sides are well coated. Place bread in skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown (sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired). Repeat with remaining slices of bread. Transfer to a warm oven until ready to serve. Top with maple syrup -- sugar-free if carbs are a concern -- and fruit.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories: 414 Total Fat: 11 grams Saturated Fat: 4 grams Total Carbohydrate: 64 grams Protein: 15 grams Sodium:  473 milligrams Cholesterol: 171 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, and nutrition and fitness consultant for international food companies, restaurants and marketing firm. Dana is also the nutrition advisor to The Food Network.

>> NEW! Now, you can easily view past installments of the PrayFit Daily by visiting our new archives. Using this new feature, you can now categorically access over a year's worth of faith and fitness information and inspiration.

THE PRIZE FIGHTER

November 15, 2010Read: 2 Timothy 4

"I have fought the good fight..." --2 Timothy 4:7

This past Saturday night, many in the sports world gathered around their televisions to watch the much anticipated boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. But by the end of the bout, those watching were witness to much more than just stiff jabs and timely upper cuts. One fighter taught a lesson in mercy, the other, in courage.

Hardly able to count the fingers being held before his swollen eyes, Margarito demanded to continue fighting. His opponent knew he was about to fall. But had Margarito quit or Manny gone for the knockout, no one would have blamed either, but instead they did neither. When the bell announced the final round, Margarito stood up and Manny stood down.

Ironic -- mercy meeting courage -- because for the fight to go the distance, both were required.

As we begin this week, despite last week's left hooks and low blows, the bell means it's time to get up. After all, as believers we're "prize" fighters, aren't we? And while our enemy shows no mercy, God does. (Ding...ding)

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10-Minute Bodyweight Cardio Blast

No treadmill? No bike? Not a problem. It's short-sighted to think that you need some piece of gym equipment to get your heart racing. The greatest piece of equipment at your disposal is your body. Hit this intense, at-home cardio session to burn calories and start the day off right.

TRAINER TIP: To increase the amount of fat you burn, try this workout on an empty stomach. After a night of fasting, available blood sugar is low, meaning that your body will tap into stored fat for fuel faster than normal.

Perform each exercise for one minute and move to the next exercise immediately, with no rest between moves.

Walk in place Jog in place High knee running Jumping jacks Fast feet (Squat down, spread your feet and tap your toes as fast as you can) High knee running Virtual jump rope (Feel free to use an actual jump rope if you have one) High knee running Jumping jacks Walk in place

>> MONDAY "TO DO": Today, we're asking for a favor. If you haven't already, please visit the Official PrayFit Facebook page and click "Like," then suggest us to ten friends. Help us get to 1,000 "Likes" by the end of the year to help more friends and family get a daily faith and fitness inspiration as we head into 2011.

THE MECCA

November 8, 2010Read: Genesis 11

"Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'" --Genesis 11:4

Earlier this year, I spent a day directing a photo shoot at Gold's gym in Venice, Calif., arguably the world's hub for bodybuilding and fitness. No longer in the the magazine business, the spectacle was eye-opening. Above the over-sized mirrors are the words "THE MECCA," the massive letters easily 10-feet tall apiece. And if you look around the room, the word is as appropriate as it is misleading, because many  in the mirror really do believe they've arrived.

At PrayFit, our mission toward greater health and fitness is all about obedience, not perfection. Our mantra is that it doesn't matter how big we get in life, but that embracing our smallness is what matters most. Remember we serve a great, big God, which makes us no match and a perfect match all at the same time. For that reason, it's only after He's arrived, that we'll ever be able to claim the same.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: IT'S LUNGE TIME

So you've got 15 minutes either before work, at lunch or right after work and you wanna train your lower body with no equipment. No sweat. Well, kinda. Hit these exercises with very little rest between them, and get right back to your day. Do each move to absolute failure -- the point at which you can no longer complete reps with good (or decent) form -- then move to the next one. If you have time, go through all of them again. And while all three moves are bodyweight driven, weight can be added to each to increase intensity. Not sure how? E-mail us at info@prayfit.com or ask other readers on the PrayFit forums.

Sissy Squat Rise onto your toes, grasping a support for balance. Bend your knees and let them extend out in front of you, leaning back as you descend keeping your body straight from knees to shoulders. At the bottom, simultaneously push through your toes and drive your hips forward and up.

Wall Squat Lean against the wall with your back flush against it, your legs bent at 90-degrees and your eyes focused forward. Hold that position as long as possible.

Alternating Lunge Step forward with one foot. Bend both knees to lower yourself, making sure your front knee doesn’t pass your toes. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the floor and reverse directions, driving through the heel of your forward foot to return to the start.

>> IN THE NEWS: Congratulations to PrayFit endorser Robert Guerrero for his 10-round unanimous decision over Vincente Escobedo on Saturday.

>> STUFF A STOCKING: "PrayFit: Your Guide to A Healthy Body and A Stronger Faith in 28 Days," is the perfect gift for anyone looking for a renewal of faith and fitness. The book includes 56 days of daily devotionals, complete exercise programs for beginners and intermediates, as well as full meal plans to speed results. Order a gift today or pick one up for yourself by heading to Barnes & Noble or Amazon today!

FRESH START

October 29, 2010Read: Exodus 35

"From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering." --Exodus 35:5

Last night, the PrayFit team offered a sneak preview of the book's 28-day, bodyweight-only program to a small group of enthusiastic believers from Christ Lutheran Church in Costa Mesa (Calif.). This cross-section of newly-minted PrayFitters, who represent the start for what we hope will be a nationwide rejuvenation of faith and fitness, was diverse to say the least. Those battling injury, those nursing arthritic joints, those who are simply looking to shed a few pounds -- they all showed up to offer what they could, not to us, but to the Lord.

Despite their wide array of backgrounds, they were all linked by a simple theme: a desire to honor the body that houses the soul.

People are often reluctant to renew their commitment to their health. It's uncomfortable, it's tiring and it's scary. But like Jimmy's dad told him: "Son, never give the Lord anything that costs you nothing."

We hope you'll join our friends at Christ Lutheran and give whatever you have to offer of yourselves -- today and everyday from here on out -- and let the Lord do with it what He will.

>> PRAYFIT IN PRINT: Read more about the upcoming PrayFit book and find out how you can pre-order copies for yourself, friends and family. Click here.

--E.V.

PRAYFIT WEEK IN REVIEW Revisit the week's fitness and nutrition wisdom

>> 10-MINUTE ABS: Try the PrayFit Workout of the Week and read up on Tyler's (Texas) Fit City initiative.

>> DIABETES ON THE RISE: Just how bad is the diabetes epidemic in the U.S.? Worldwide?

>> HALLOWEEN WISDOM: Ease the impact on your gut (and teeth) with these easy tips.

>> ABS ON THE DECLINE: Learn the ins and outs of this novel, but highly effective move for stronger abs.

TAKING PRAYFIT ON THE ROAD

October 4, 2010Read: Luke 5

"And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed." --Luke 5:16

The understatement of the year would be to say that we at PrayFit have been blessed. Your faithfulness, encouragement and prayers have overwhelmed us. We're humbled by your response to our automatic e-mail feed and we want to publicly give the Lord all the glory. We thank Him for who He is, for what He's done, for what He's doing right now, and for what He will do in the weeks and months ahead.

With that promise, we are going to follow His lead into our own wilderness for time of prayer, rejuvenation and renovation! Over the next few weeks, we will be doing some traveling, speaking at churches and conferences beginning in Tyler, Texas at the Fit City Challenge where we will be delivering the keynote speech. Not only will we be sharing the PrayFit message, but we will be pre-selling our first book, helping parents, kids and teens live healthier, fuller lives. If you haven’t pre-ordered the book on Amazon for yourself or as a gift, please do so by clicking here.

If you want to book the PrayFit team to visit your church, community center or sports team over the next few months, please e-mail us at info@prayfit.com for more information!

In the meantime, please keep us in your prayers -- as always, you'll be in ours.

In Jesus’ name, we train.

Team PrayFit

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LET FRIDAY BEGIN

September 3, 2010Read Psalm 121 “My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” --Psalm 121:2

It’s Friday. The ninth inning. The fourth quarter. The last period.

When coaches encourage their players to “leave it all out on the field,” it’s not to sure-up a victory or avoid defeat, but more so to prevent regret either way.

Of all people, Jesus understood Friday. If anybody ever had cause to hesitate before Friday’s first step, He did. But He finished the game. He suited up and took on the best the world had to offer by offering himself for the world.

Let's finish the week stronger than we began it. In Jesus' name, we train.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Revisit the healthy living entries from the last week

PrayFit Workout of the Week: Chest

New research on the importance of surrounding ourselves with fit-minded people.

RECIPE: Cheese lover's delight

3 ways to improve your running stride

>> A GROWING FAMILY: As we move toward the release of our first print project, we are hoping to expand the PrayFit community. As we close the week, we hope that you will share this site with at least one friend or family member, whether it's via link, Facebook, Twitter, blog, word of mouth or messenger pigeon! Have a fantastic weekend. We hope to see you here Monday!