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Time To Live

"So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine." 1 Samuel 17:50 "He struck down the Philistine." You know, I've thought a lot lately about the young David and the day he floored the giant. Not sure why, but in my mind I find myself with a sling in one hand, while rolling a stone between my thumb and index finger in the other. I want to pick a fight.

With God's Word and His wisdom echoing down the corridors of my brain, tamed courage paces back and forth within my self-imposed and carefully designed cages. Friends...it seems my health, my faith, my income, stewardship, prayer life, my thought life and my witnessing to others all deserve and require a glance down at my stone and sling. What am I waiting on? What are you?

I think it's time to say, "Goodbye, comfort zones" and "So long, easy." In fact, in the time that it's taken me to write today's entry, I've realized that I don't have to pick a fight. The fight is waiting for me. It's raging. I gotta get in it. Do you?

What battles will you face this week? Will your pride be bruised? Will vanity get the better of you? Will your self-control actually lose it? Does your health need more attention? Less attention? Do you need to talk to that neighbor? Call that friend? Thankfully, whether we succeed or not, God's mercy is new each day and Jesus is in our hearts, so who do we have to fear? Let's engage. Let's get in it. It's time to mix it up. I have my stone and sling. Got yours? If the world needs proof that grace changes people, here we come.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: What health battles are you fighting? Are you dealing with an illness? Perhaps you're battling a food dependence or you've been neglecting your fitness routine? Let us know in the comment section, because we want to help you with your most powerful weapon: prayer. We promise to lift you up.

Song In Your Heart: As I was finishing-up today's entry, a song by the group 33Miles came on, "Live." Just spoke to me as I was trying to speak to you. Hope you enjoy the lyrics.

Who told you that you were all alone? Who told you that this is all there is? What's holding you so you can't take hold of hope? You're stuck so deep that you can't move. Don't you want to live? Live! Cause you are made for so much more than this. Live! Knowing that God loves you He's been with you all along He wants you to know the truth so you can live You're worth enough that He died for you His heart burns with love and desire for you Don't be afraid to receive Don't be afraid to believe That you can. He knows what your pain feels like Rest through His arms all night So don't you give up now Let Him show you how to live. Oh yeah, don't you want to live? Live.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT Thank you so much for your constant support of our little ministry and for wearing the PrayFit gear to the gym, on the road, beach, bike ride or wherever you health takes you. Ladies Black I FoughtYou're a blessing to us and to those around you for doing so. >> Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

>> SUBSCRIBE!!! Thousands of people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this complimentary service already, simply click the link below. And if you do, be sure to share the link with your social networks!

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Breathless

"Weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head..." --Luke 7:38

Read: Luke 7

Back in graduate school, we had our share of underwater weighing assignments. Underwater weighing is regarded as the most valuable tool at determining body composition. However, in order for the subject to be seen accurately, it takes an extreme amount of effort and courage on the part of the person being tested. See, as you're lowered into the water, you have to empty your lungs, breathing out every drop of air possible.

The woman in Luke 7 defied ridicule and disregarded the rules to do one thing: to pour everything she had at His feet. Broken, she just had to break free and nothing was going to stop her from seeing her Lord. After her tears cleaned His feet and her hair dried them, she courageously emptied her alabaster bottle of valuable perfume for Jesus to breathe in.

Friends, don't miss it today. When we're empty, we allow Him to see us. When we breathe it all out, He breathes it all in. If only for today, let's pour our health at His feet like perfume and tears. Lord, here is all our praise, expressed from the top of our lungs.

--Jimmy Peña

Ameansofpraise

LOTS IN STORE: Thank you for the feedback on the first of our new additions to the store! Hurry and order your "I Fought" t-shirt or tank, because soon we're going to roll the next one out and these will be gone! Thanks so much for supporting our site and for praying for us.

Ladies Black Tank I Fought The Good Fight

>> Whether you're ready to expand your wardrobe or to get someone you love some cool PrayFit gear, we've got just the thing for you. Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

This Soul Is Guarded

Last week in D.C., one of the most important sites I promised to show Loretta was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And while I described the scene to her prior to our arrival -- much like the case of this entry -- she'll tell you I didn't do it justice. If you're unfamiliar, the Tomb of the Unknown is a monument in dedication to the services of an unidentified soldier and to the common memories of all soldiers killed in any war. And it's guarded. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is guarded by sentinels, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and under any weather condition. Sentinels -- all volunteers -- are considered to be the best of the elite 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment.

The amazing process is breathtaking to watch. He takes 21 steps, stops and pauses for 21 seconds, turns and marches another 21 steps. To and fro, back and forth with the utmost precision, and he doesn't stop his duty until another sentinel arrives to relieve him. The changing of the guard deserves an entry by itself. Unbelievable.

The tomb has been guarded with such reverence every second -- day and night -- since 1937. But what I find so motivating and thrilling is just exactly what they're protecting. And here begins the lesson.

The Unknown SoldierBuried inside the Sentinel's Creed is a line that jumps off the page to me, and one I hope we can all apply to the body God gave us. It says, "I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect...This soldier will - in honored glory - rest under my eternal vigilance."

Chills anyone? Maybe it's just sentimental me, but these men march day and night in humble dedication and service, not to protect the marble tomb or the manicured lawn. No, they're protecting respect. (Read that sentence again, slowly.) What does it mean to protect respect? And can anyone reading this sentence apply that to the duty you and I have about our health? It's something, isn't it? They've dedicated a life of allegiance because of every soldier who's ever filled a tomb. We've committed our lives because of an empty one. And in humble reverence, it is He who commands the respect we protect.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: The scene is dripping with so much symbolism, I can't quite type. Of course it's not about aesthetics, but when we consider our lives -- our impact on others, our personal calling, our ability to share Christ -- it's an awesome reminder that our health is significant to the Kingdom. Our temporary diligence has eternal consequences. As I type, I can't think straight. Friends, all I hope is that my effort in caring for a frail body -- one that's built to ultimately fail -- is a worthy salute; one that humbly says this soul is guarded.

NEW PRAYFIT GEAR! If you're looking to sport some gear that reflects your commitment to health-focused stewardship, then you need to head over to the PrayFit store. With a robust assortment of tees, tanks and hats for guys and girls, you're sure to find something to suit your needs. While you're there, you can browse our selection of faith-centered exercise and nutrition resources, including our books and DVDs (which also make for great small group tools!).

Mens Black "I Fought The Good Fight"

THE MESSAGE, DELIVERED

Jimmy Peña's message of health as a means of praise is being well-received by congregations around the country. His storytelling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don't want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com. Share this information with pastors, elders and influencers with the knowledge that there is never a speaking fee for churches!

Embrace Your Smallness

Truth is, I can't be reminded of it enough. Although some days present scenarios that help me realize it better than others, life has a way of offering a million visible souvenirs of one simple, solitary, certain fact: I am extremely small. lettadoorphotoThis picture I took of Loretta at the front door of the National Archives building in Washington D.C. last week provided such a jolt to my ever forgetful memory; a memory that wants pride to drape its blinding and extremely convincing veil across my eyes. As if any amount of temporary success, or healing, or health could somehow add height or depth to my otherwise feeble self. Cue the memento. As I snapped this pic of Loretta pretending to reach for the handle, I immediately remembered something Louie Giglio wrote:

"You and I are tiny. Miniscule. Microscopic. A momentary and infinitesimal blip on the timeline of the universe. Among us, the strongest of the strong can be felled in one faltering heartbeat. We are fleeting mortals. Frail flesh. Little specks. If this fact makes you just a tad bit uncomfortable, you're not alone. Invariably, when I talk about the vastness of God and the cosmos, someone will say, 'You're making me feel bad about myself and making me feel really, really small,' (as if that's the worst thing that could happen.) But the point is not to make you feel small, rather to help you see and embrace the reality that you are small...Really, really small." --Louie Giglio, excerpt from I Am Not But I Know I Am

Of course, it's not so much about how small we are but all about how big God is...really, really big. And yet despite how tiny we are relative to the cosmos, God, who can line up every planet of every galaxy in the palm of His hand, sent His Son to willingly die on the cross as penalty for my mistakes -- and for yours. All because a great, big God loves us.

So welcome to Monday. I hope you have a week full of great, big reminders of just how little you are. In fact, embrace your smallness. Relish it, celebrate it. Thank God for it. Can't open that door? He can. Can't close that one? He can. Can't seem to reach the handle? Yeah, that's okay, He can handle that too.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Will you promise to look for big reminders of your smallness this week? If something comes to mind, I'd love to hear about it.

Ladies Black Tank I Fought The Good Fight

NEW SHIRTS AND CAPS!

Spiritually and physically, grace puts faith to work. Grace is why we "fight the good fight." We're blessed to be rolling out some new designs for shirts, tanks and caps and we hope they bless and capture your heart. In its powerful simplicity, this first one off the line will represent many things to many people. Some of you are coming off of a layoff, injury or illness, and you know you were able to get through it ONLY by His grace. For others, it's not a claim, but a goal for the day, the week or the rest of your life. Whoever you are, whatever your story -- physically or spiritually -- we're thankful to be on the battlefield with you. For His Renown.

>> Click here to browse all the new merchandise offerings from PrayFit!

A Prayer: I Need To See You Move

"I need to see you move. I need to see your hand. I'm trying to live by faith. I don't know if I can. But I know you've not changed. There's nothing you can't do. I've done all that I can. I need to see you move."--Newsong

Dear Lord, like it says in the chorus of this song, so many of us reading this sentence (and the one writing it) need to see you move. From ailing health to crippling financial situations, may the position of our necks mirror that of Abraham during doubt, David during despair and Moses during fear. We know that it's not only during crisis that you want us to look to you, but we're comforted to know that we can. We just need you.

Tonight Lord, may the flame that ignites the opening ceremony of the Olympic games remind us that it takes discipline to create a destiny of excellence. And even if just for a moment, let it also remind us Lord that because of the cross, we've won a reward we didn't train for, work for, or ever deserve. May you prevent our pride from blinding us to the truth that our hearts and minds are not medal-worthy. Our thoughts and actions don't deserve a podium's praise. But by your grace, your face is all you see in us. Therefore, may it be your perfect performance we get lost in. May we be mesmerized by your relentless love. Give us the resolve to realize that life is a vapor-quick gift -- a vanishing moment that's here today and gone tomorrow. Help us gather for ourselves the mind of Paul that our chance at life is our chance to show the world that we live not to hoist a medal but to wear a crown. (2 Tim 4:8)

And Lord, while we need to see you move, may that same desperate plea echo inside our hearts as something you're saying to us each day. Help us respond in obedience and out of love. Like the shepherds who ran when you were born, you're still our good news. Like an unborn John, your presence still makes us jump for joy. And like David may we dance to a rhythm that only a life spent serving you can provide.

It's so true Lord. You alone satisfy. And so -- much like it satisfied the men and women who fill the pages of your Word -- seeing you move is all we need. And may you be pleased with our response when you lovingly and sovereignly ask the same of us. Thank you for another week. Any health is only possible through you, and any health we'll use to glorify you. In Jesus' name and for His sake, Amen.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion (and a request): What went well this week? Any victories to report? Praises to lift? Let's celebrate and give God the glory together. Any prayer requests? What's on your hearts and minds? And personally, please pray for me and Loretta. For a few weeks, we've been in daily meetings and discussions on PrayFit-related projects and dreams, and we covet your prayers. We just want to please Him. His renown is all we want. Wisdom and courage as we make decisions. Providence. Thanks guys. Nothing means more to us than your prayers.

 

FITNESS, NUTRITION AND MORE

For many of you, the PrayFit Daily is your entry point to our ministry. But how many of you have taken the time to explore the rest of what our site has to offer? Take a minute and find a few of these key links and be sure to bookmark your favorites!

FITNESS: Here, you'll find all you need to start putting your body in motion for whatever it is called to do. From workouts to exercise demos, we provide you a wide variety of ways to start reshaping your body and boosting your health. NUTRITION: Recipes. Research. Dietary tips. It's no wonder that this is one of the most popular pages on our site. To start eating in balance, click here.

RESOURCES: Our book and DVDs form the backbone of our ministry. All of these products offer readers life-changing guidance on honoring the bodies that carry their souls. You can check them out here, or browse the rest of our branded gear.

 

I Can Begin Again

Thinking about 2014 goals is pretty exciting (and daunting). My heart skips a beat when I think of some of the big mountains my little legs want to climb. Dreams are awesome, aren't they? It's like we're saying, "That one, God. Yes! Let's conquer that!" And with a little faith, we chase them.

Well, on our most recent road trip home, I remember seeing the sign: DELAYS AHEAD. I didn't give it much thought. A few miles later: EXPECT DELAYS. I looked at my watch. "So far so good," I reasoned. So I shrugged, turned up the radio and set my cruise control. But sure enough the next sign literally read: EXPECT EXTREME DELAYS SOON. They weren't kidding about the "extreme" or "soon" parts. In fact, I knew it was gonna be bad when I saw cars pulling off the highway by any means possible to find a short cut. Our quick four-hour trip had quickly become eight.

You know, as we begin to think about, pray for and chase our spiritual and physical goals for the upcoming year, we can expect delays. Even though you may have hit the new year at full speed, the chances of a few roadblocks are high. But let's not quit or lose heart. Rather, let's keep our faith in drive, realizing that we're covered in grace on what the Bible says is a quick trip home.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Loretta's 2014 theme song is "I Can Begin Again" by Larnelle Harris. The chorus always catches my heart, and it's perfect I think for this time of year. Who among you will embrace it as YOUR theme song? And if you already have one in your heart, what is it? Tell us in the comments section below.

"I can begin again, with a passion of a child. My heart has caught a vision of a life that's still worthwhile. I can reach out again. Far beyond what I have done. Like a dreamer whose awakened to a life that's yet to come. For new beginnings are not just for the young."

On God's Errand

er-rand: a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something, often on someone else's behalf.

malibu sunsetA couple days away from the dawn of a new year, and I can't believe how fast 2013 came and went. Anybody with me on this? It literally feels like it flew by. Last night, Loretta and I took in a Malibu sunset as a way to try and put a button on the year. I snapped this pic to memorize the moment. A minute or so before it finally disappeared, I removed my cap, grabbed her hand, and we prayed. I tell ya, if one thing a good sunset will do is shine a nice light on a year gone by.

Oh the errands the good Lord sent us on this year. And that's really what they are. Errands. Short journeys to collect or deliver something on someone else's behalf. His.

Maybe it's just me, but don't some errands feel like enormous compliments? That God would deem us able? I can almost feel your collective sigh. The job situation, the mounting bills, your husband's diagnosis, your surgery, your brother's illness, your sister's dilemma. And on the other side of that same sigh is a smile. The graduation, the promotion, the solution. You got that long-awaited e-mail, someone gave just enough, that call of forgiveness or the letter of reconciliation.So many of God's errands leave us wiping our brow, scratching our heads, smiling in joy or everything in between. Thankfully, He's the common denominator, Amen?

Suffice it say that the sunset last night represented two bookends for me. Before it disappeared, it was a light that allowed me to both remember the year and dream about the next. And as it descended and disappeared, it reminded me that God gives us a short time to fulfill our calling. Sweet friends, we're either delivering or collecting something for Him in this quick life, and I'm thankful to be on this 'God errand' with you. So this is me, removing my cap and reaching for your hand.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Health is a God errand. What an enormous blessing, obligation and opportunity. Called to honor Him with our health, battling the elements designed to destroy a body that's built to thrive while we're alive. Who's celebrating 2013 and/or ready for 2014 (or both)? One day more...

SUNRISE RESOURCES

So yes, like Jimmy said, the sun is setting on 2013 and before long, we'll be walking into the sunrise of 2014 fully charged with a fresh take on health. So here we are, once more, extending a hand...humbly praying you'll take that walk with us. Our modest collection of resources gives you everything you need to help your body thrive in the new year. If we've helped to convince you of why it helps to stay healthy, let us now show you how with one of our at-home workout DVDs.

The Land of Misfits

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." --1 Corinthians 1:27

Read: 1 Corinthians 1

If he were your neighbor, you'd move. If choosing teams, he'd be the last one picked. Without a doubt, on the island of misfits he'd be king. But he didn't care. More bold than beautiful, John knew the act to follow was really the act to follow. So he used whatever God gave him to get his message across to a world in need.

Friends, our bodies are merely tools. In the end, they simply get us from life's A to B. But our short trip was so important that Jesus made His. So as we begin to prepare our hearts to celebrate His birth, let's add how we eat and exercise to the list of strange ways God makes Himself known to those around us. Will you be popular? Maybe not. Regarded or rewarded? It's doubtful. But then again, the only attention that's really important is the attention you're paying to God and honoring Him with the body He designed for you. So go ahead. Be the last one standing. In a world that disregards the body as a means of praise, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in. Misfits seldom do.

--Jimmy Peña

Christmas Tradition: Maybe it's just me, but when you hear the word "Misfits" you probably think of the classic claymation Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. (Or maybe it IS just me.) At any rate, what is your family's favorite Christmas movie? What do you have playing as you deck the halls? We have our favorites. Christmas Vacation anyone?

IMG_4821GEAR UP!: Give the gift of faith and fitness this Christmas. Please take a quick look at the store to find our t-shirts and tanks with some of our favorite verses. Friends, it's through your giving that we're able to continue the ministry of PrayFit and we are so grateful. We hope these items -- books, DVDs, apparel and more -- bless your life and your testimony as Christians with a heart for health. Thank you for your love and support.

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY!

Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this complimentary service already, simply click the links provided here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive -- if you want to help us continue our faith-and-fitness revival -- you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

A Healthy Conscience

"But we must hold on to the progress we have already made." --Philippians 3:16

Read: Philippians 3

With Thanksgiving in the rear-view -- deep breath -- it's time to gear up for Christmas. School activities, shopping lists, travel arrangements. Add to that a genuine desire to be healthy and as fit as possible, and the days get pretty packed, right? If it takes an hour in the gym or on the track to get my workout in, sparing even 10 minutes to read and pray is, well, tough to spare. A show of hands of those who can relate. Who has time to get quiet? Doesn't God know how busy I am?

But folks, if there's ever a time to create new habits or fortify old ones, it's now. At PrayFit, we believe it's more important to have a healthy conscience that it is to be health conscious. For the fitness-minded, shame on us if we train and eat "perfectly" this week but never crack open our bibles or hit our knees. Sure, it's great to plan your workout, but more important to work your heart out.

So let's enjoy the season; shop till we drop, pull out the Christmas sweaters and hang the lights. But as you set the week's schedule including your workouts and meal plans, bless the Lord and your life by adding in those precious few minutes of reading, praying and listening. Start with today's chapter. Find out the context of the verse. God knows time is precious, and He misses His with you.

--Jimmy Peña

Did You Know? >> The average person spends 18 hours a month on Facebook (checking the news feed just 7 times a day.) How many verses could you read in 18 hours a month? Will you lay down social media to get closer to the Lord?

WORKOUT OF THE MONTH: PrayFit 33

Don't wait until the turn of the calendar to renew your commitment to health and fitness. The PrayFit 33-Day Body-Toning System, the sequel to the team's first workout DVD, is a highly-effective blend of resistance training and cardio that can help you reshape your body for good.

For more information or to order, click here!

What Was I Thinking?

Genuine fear. That's what I felt the day after my 12th birthday. Allow me take you back. A couple of friends and I stayed the night at a buddy's house for his birthday. We played games, watched TV -- kid's stuff. But the next day -- the day -- one of us found an itzy bitzy, harmless, spool of wire outside. So what did these little boys do? Played with it, of course. We bent it, rolled it, played Army with it. No harm, no foul. That is, until we stuck it into the valve stem of a parked car tire.

SSSSSSSSSSsssssssssss. DOWN...Down...down....flat. Mind you, it would have been bad enough had we stopped with that first one. But no, we three geniuses decided to hit every other car in the entire apartment complex. I'm chuckling as I type this question but..."What was I thinking?"

Sitting in the apartment office, I stared out the window at flashing police lights. But truthfully, I wasn't thinking about the police, I was thinking about Daddy. Waiting for our parents to show up, I knew I was dead. The other two boys knew I was dead too. See, they knew Papa Peña. Before I knew it, I heard his voice from the other room. The first words out of his mouth? "Where is he?"

I won't go into too much detail -- to protect the innocent -- but suffice it to say that little Jimmy never got into trouble again. Later that night, both my parents came into my room to give me love. Even though it was hours later, I was still crying because of how I disappointed them, and because my older brother kidded me "in all seriousness" that Mom and Dad were shipping me off. (Pretty sure my brother got in trouble for that.)

Why do I tell that story during our "Fear Less" week? Because to this day, I love and respect my Daddy more than life itself. Growing up, I loved him, respected him, and feared him. And guess what...I still do.

PrayFit friends, help me wish my sweet Daddy a very Happy 70th Birthday come this Saturday. I love you, Papa.

Still my father's son, Jimmy

For Discussion: On this Halloween, I thought I'd share the scariest moment of my life with you, wink wink. Love and fear. Isn't that an amazing combination? It molds us. Shapes us. Develops us into the kind of people God designed us to be. 

IMG_4821GEAR UP!: Please help us make room for our Fall and Winter line! Please take a quick look at the store to find our t-shirts and tanks with some of our favorite verses. Friends, it's through your giving that we're able to continue the ministry of PrayFit and we are so grateful. We hope these items bless your life and your testimony as Christians with a heart for health. Thank you for your love and support.

SIGN UP FOR THE DAILY!

Nearly 10,000 people have chosen to receive the PrayFit Daily in their inboxes each morning. If you haven't signed up for this complimentary service already, simply click the links provided here. Click, type, send -- it could be the most rewarding 30 seconds you spend on the computer this morning! And if you want to help us go viral with this sign-up drive -- if you want to help us continue our faith-and-fitness revival -- you can do so by sending friends this link:

SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/cSd8tp

The Imperfect Game

Pretty neat weak. I liked our theme: "Closers." Great life-enders. Thumbing through God's word and some books of my favorite authors, the number of remarkable men and women (and yes, even the donkey) who finished their life's game with the kind of endurance that Paul penned is jaw-dropping. Just count all the pitfalls, the pitiful, and the pits! What a pit-y party. And, well, it might as well have been. Because while their lives were heavenly, inspired and God-breathed, each one of them -- like you and me -- needs amazing pity.

On June 3, 2010 Armando Gallaraga was one out away from pitching only the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Not only did he hold the opposition to zero hits, he never even walked a batter. Each of the first 26 hitters he faced sat down. But with only one out left in the 9th, umpire Jim Joyce mistakenly called a hitter safe at first. The blown call cost Armando his place in history. From perfect to imperfect, just like that. Getting support around baseball as well as from Armando himself, a tearful and regretful Jim Joyce was quoted as saying, "Nobody's perfect."

With baseball's closer role woven throughout our theme this week, I thought of that game. That imperfect game. You and I have made some blown calls in life, haven't we? That one day. Those dumb days. Bad judgement calls. If we could take them back, we would. But since we can't, our chance at a perfect life is impossible. We'd have a better chance of swallowing the ocean than being flawless. Enter Jesus, The Savior.

Imagine it. He takes our place on the hill. His was a sinless, sacred life. Blameless. Spotless. Perfect. But because of our sin, He climbed on the cross and died for each one. Amazing pity. When God looks at your life and mine, He sees the life of His Son. No blown calls. He alone was worthy to take the loss, in order that we could win what only perfection can earn. And in what hour on Friday does the Bible say our Savior's eyes closed? Yes. In the 9th.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: If you missed any of this week's entries, be sure and see A Life Spent Saving, Out of the Pits, The Purpose Fulfilled Life and The Set-Up Man. We hope they blessed your week and life. Do you have a favorite Biblical closer? Someone we didn't mention? We'd love to read it. Share it with us. Have a good weekend. And please don't miss Monday's entry. I'm already excited to write it.

IMG_4821GEAR UP!: We're getting ready to load our FALL LINE of clothing and accessories, so it's time to clear the store! Please take a quick look at the store to find our t-shirts and tanks with some of our favorite verses. Friends, it's through your giving that we're able to continue the ministry of PrayFit and we are so grateful. We hope these items bless your life and your testimony as Christians with a heart for health. Thank you for your love and support.

His Work

"But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." --Romans 5:20

Read: Romans 5 Jimmy-backDon't bend, twist or lift more than 10 pounds. Avoid slipping and falling. Those were my instructions 120 days ago. See, by sticking to those rules, the odds were in my favor for solid fusion between the new hardware and bones. Simply, the surgery needed to take. No pressure. The doctor did his thing, but now it was up to me. Stick to the rules, and I won't ruin his work.

I can't tell you how many times over the summer I wondered if I messed things up. Did I twist too much at the waist? Bend down too far? And yes, despite us rearranging the furniture, I stumbled a time or two. Oh the fear that set in. I wanted to go back to the surgery date and start over. This time with no mistakes, no tumbles, no wrong turns.

Have you ever wondered if grace took? After a mistake, a tumble, a stumble, have you ever thought, "Surely God can't forgive me again" or "When I got saved, did I mean it enough? Like, enough enough?" After my slip and fall, the first thing I imagined was that I ruined the doctor's work. He gave me a brand new chance and I blew it. But you know the good news by now. When the doctor looked inside, he saw fusion, healing, progress.

Aren't we glad that God gives us a brand new heart, His. And thankfully, gracefully, when God sees your life and mine, He doesn't see our sin, He sees the blood of His son. He doesn't see a heart held together by a very thin thread; as if one more fall would sever the relationship. No, when you and I accept Him as Lord, there is perfect, permanent fusion; based not on our ability to stick to the rules, but all because of what He did at Calvary. We try to avoid slipping and falling, yes. But there is peace in knowing that grace took. We can't ruin His work.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I think the fact that our health is our responsibility is a healthy reminder that we can't earn grace. A show of hands of those who feel motivated to take better care of themselves physically because of what God did for you spiritually? Is there a better reason to take care of ourselves? I guarantee there isn't.

 

Loretta-gear

NEW GEAR!

Your health -- what you choose to eat, how often you choose to move -- tells a story. But sometimes, good old fashioned words will do the trick. Our newest offering of PrayFit apparel (as seen on Mrs. Loretta Peña following her recent Disney 1/2 Marathon) spells out, authoritatively, that your health doesn't just matter to you...it matters to Him. Browse the new selections here and pick up shirts, tanks and hats for you and your like-minded friends and family!

NUTRITION NEWS

While most people choose to focus on carbohydrates in their weight loss programs, it's important not to lose sight of protein intake. Protein, which comes in at only 4 calories per gram, is helpful in shedding unwanted pounds. Research has shown that high-protein diets are great for enhancing satiety, elevating metabolism, building muscle and burning fat. The good news is that the type of protein you choose to build your diet around may not matter all that much. A new study conducted by scientists at Laval University in Canada seems to indicate that both plant- and animal-based proteins are equally effective at aiding in weight loss.

>> Get the full story from NutraIngredients by clicking here.

Falling for Grace

Not sure about you, but we sure have enjoyed spending a few days focusing on a single verse. (Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3) I know Paul's use of an athlete has a special place in many of your hearts, but do you know the rest of the verse? That's right, there's more. I, for one, would have been fine had Paul stopped right there. "I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should." Simply incredible. But Paul went a step further.

Speaking of steps, ever witnessed a false start at a track meet? Seeing as we've talked about runners lately, false starts are tough to watch. On some of sport's grandest stages, many of track and field's top athletes stumble right out of the blocks or worse, they jump the gun -- disqualification from a race you've trained your entire life for is arguably one of the roughest moments to witness.

If anyone in the bible could attest to rough beginnings and false starts, it was Paul. One of Christianity's most zealous enemies, Paul approved of the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58). The man whose hands we've traced under the light of the lamp was once merciless. But a face-to-face with the Author of mercy Himself changed all that. Following his conversion, Paul carried out his mission in the face of mental and physical hardship the likes of which we have never imagined. His tireless preaching and unparalleled endurance has inspired countless missionaries for 2000 years, not to mention the person typing this sentence and those reading it now.

But despite his false start, Paul would finish our favorite verse by saying, "So that after I have preached to others I myself will not be disqualified." Why did he discipline himself like an athlete and train himself to do the right thing? Simple. In order to be seen running the same race in the same way he urged others to run. False starts, stumbles, tumbles are no match for the grace of God, but they're tough to witness and tough on our witness. Truly, Paul pleaded for physical and spiritual discipline not in order to earn grace, but because of the gift of it. He finished strong. Oh for grace, may we all.

--Jimmy Peña

DID YOU KNOW?

Sodium, because of its connection to blood pressure, has been given a bad rap and people have started to think twice about salting their food. According to renowned exercise physiologist, Dr. Jim Stoppani, the Institute of Medicine states that people should be cautious in consuming more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This warning is especially true for those individuals who are salt sensitive or have a history of heart disease. However, a review published in the American Journal of Medicine found that people who consumed less than the IOM’s recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day actually had a 37% increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease than those who ingested more. Hmm, please pass the salt.

For many of you, the PrayFit Daily is your entry point to our ministry. But how many of you have really taken the time to explore the rest of what our site has to offer? Take a minute and hit up these key links and be sure to bookmark your favorites!

FITNESS: Here, you'll find all you need to start putting your body in motion for whatever it is called to do. From workouts to exercise demos, we provide you a wide variety of ways to start reshaping your body and boosting your health. NUTRITION: Recipes. Research. Dietary tips. It's no wonder that this is one of the most popular pages on our site. To start eating in balance, click here.

LISTEN: For those looking for more nutrition for their souls, PrayFit offers a selection of audio devotionals, read by founder Jimmy Peña. Click, listen, share. RESOURCES: Our book and DVDs form the backbone of our ministry. All of these products offer readers life-changing guidance on honoring the bodies that carry their souls. You can check them out here, or browse the rest of our branded gear.

 

The Gospel of Peace

"..and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." --Ephesians 6:15

Read: Ephesians 6

We've all been fitted for shoes at one time or another, and if you're flat-footed like me, you know immediately whether a shoe is gonna work or not. As kids, it was important for them to measure our feet with that little foot-measuring thing, remember? But it wasn't until your mom or dad found your big toe and you walked around a little that you and everyone else had a peace about them. A peace? Well, walk with me.

Consider the athlete. Most major sports -- from baseball, basketball to football -- have shoes that fit the game. It's simple, right? The athlete needs to be sure-footed for the surface. Sure-footed. At peace. Think of a golfer swinging a club on slick wet grass or a sprinter getting into the blocks. There's a peace in knowing you're firmly planted.

Consider Paul. When he described the full armor of God, he didn't forget the feet. In biblical times, Roman sandals had thick spikes on the soles to ensure that the warrior was grounded, anchored, and less likely to slip. It's no wonder Paul urged for our feet to be "fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace."

Wow. Athletes wear the shoe that best meets the needs of their sport. Ancient warriors dressed for battle. Amazing to think that for every believer, one shoe fits. So let's just consider God fitting His children with the gospel of peace. Peace...from head to (big) toe.

--Jimmy Peña

NUTRITION OVERHAUL IN 8 EASY STEPS

Eight steps. Finding your body's ideal weight is that easy. No miracle pills, no back-breaking deprivation -- cleaner, more sensible eating can be boiled down to these easy strategies.

>> 8 WAYS TO EAT BETTER...FOREVER

6710-Grey>> SHOP: Looking for some awesome PrayFit gear to sport on your next run or trip to the gym? Visit the PrayFit store today for hot deals on tees, hats, wristbands and more. While you're there, pick up some resources to speed you on your way to a healthier body -- books and DVDs can help you get fit from home and come equipped with your usual helping of PrayFit-themed devotionals.

The Scars & Stripes

"...and by His stripes we are healed." --Isaiah 53:5

Read: Isaiah 53

One day while driving along the canyon in Los Angeles, I came across a tall, old tree in the front yard of a beautiful home. Next to the tree stood an equally tall flag pole. Now, most days I probably wouldn't have noticed, but as I went by I realized the flag was tangled around some branches, evidence of some recent high winds. Now, you may be just like me, but something stirs inside when I see the stars and stripes helpless like that. I don't know, but our symbol of freedom shouldn't be stuck to a tree. It was wrapped so tight in fact, I literally said to myself, "Oh, someone has to climb up there."

With amazing pity for my crimes and yours, our Freedom willingly crawled up that old rugged cross. We were helpless, so someone had to climb up there. And Jesus, with His scars and stripes, embraced it.

--Jimmy Peña

Happy 4th of July everyone. Celebrate freedom! Please look for our next PrayFit entry on Monday, July 8th!

PRAYFIT USA!

6710-GreyRepresent your dedication to faith, fitness and country with our new line of PrayFit USA gear. Both guys and gals can find a style to suit them in the newly updated store. Get yours today while supplies last! Click here to browse the selection now!

 

Walking Joshua To Class

"So Joshua ordered the officers of the people." --Joshua 1:10

Read: Joshua 1 I used to dread 5th period math. Oh, I was fine with the subject matter, but it was the getting to my math class that had me shaking in my little boots. Each day that semester, a small group of bullies would hang out by my locker, calculating ways to torment me until one day, I got smart and asked my Bubba to walk me to class. Little did they know that the skinniest kid in school was the younger brother of the toughest. They did the math.

In our passage today, Moses has just died and the responsibility fell on Joshua. In preparing Joshua to address the people, you notice God say things like, "Nobody will be able to stand against you" (v. 5), "Be strong and courageous" (v. 6) "Be strong and very courageous" (v. 7) and then again God finishes his holy encouragement with, "Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (v. 9)

God walked Joshua to class.

You know, I don't remember ever being scared again on the way to math. Not because of who I was, but because of who walked with me that day. If you notice, God didn't tell Joshua, "Chin up, you have the power, trust your instincts, believe in yourself." No, God knew Joshua could stand tall because he wouldn't be alone. And what was Joshua's response? After nine verses of God's assurance, we learn Joshua didn't hesitate. That's right. He ordered. He commanded. He pushed forward in faith and trust. (Because that's how winning is done.)

Folks, faith says that there aren't enough problems waiting around today's corner that can add up or stand up to the One you bring with you. Like we said yesterday, life hits hard. Life can bully. And if we rely on our "selves," we do have reason to fear. But like Joshua and that skinny fifth grader, you and I don't walk to class alone.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What are you facing that needs your absolute faith and trust that God is with you? Health, financial, relationships, hardships? What can we be praying with you about?

EXTREME MAKEOVER: FRIDGE EDITION Body makeovers start in the kitchen. So for 2013, it’s out with the old and in with the new for your fridge and freezer. We’ve got five things to scratch off your shopping list and five fresher, healthier, and more affordable things to put in their place.

>> Click here for tips on how to retrofit your fridge for year-round clean eating. Prayfit Stainless Steel Water BottleSHOP FIT: Looking for some new fitness swag to sweat up in your pursuit of a leaner, healthier body? We've got just the thing(s).

Click here to explore the newly updated PrayFit store!

"That's How Winning Is Done"

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine." --1 Peter 1:7

Read: 1 Peter 1

In 2006, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Sylvester Stallone. He was promoting a new product, and so my editor-in-chief -- knowing just how special the moment would be -- sent me to chat with him. The interview was scheduled just a few months before Rocky Balboa would hit theaters.

Walking into the host hotel, I remember Loretta straightening my tie before I headed up to the suite to conduct my interview. It was a moment I'd never forget. I even carried my master's thesis with me so Stallone could sign it where I had given Rocky praise nearly a decade earlier. Sitting there, just the two of us, was both surreal and motivating, to say the least. I remember wishing that I could convey just how much of an influence he had been on my life. But before I could, he said something that I repeat to myself to this day. In fact, you've likely heard it repeated in commercials or motivational videos. But to one of my questions, he said:

"Jimmy, in my next film, I wrote that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. But you gotta...take...the hits."

Faith. That fireproof, battle-tested, unquenchable reservoir. It's why we take the hits, amen? It's how we move forward. It's not only the means we need to get back to our feet, it's the reason we try. Mustard-seed small, mountain-moving faith. Faith in Jesus. He's the reward of trust. It's our theme for the week. I hope you don't miss a day.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. He signed my book. Neat moment. He wrote, "Thanks Jimmy. Keep punchin." I am, Sly. I am buddy.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Lunge for Better, Stronger Legs Walking is a fantastic exercise that can provide a strong base of cardiovascular fitness, particularly when you push yourself to walk faster and farther each time. But those who can do more should in order to achieve higher levels of fitness and to force the body to continue changing. So this week, we’re adding a tougher twist to your normally casual stroll through the neighborhood.

>> Click here for the workout

ultralite-hat-back-whiteSHOP FIT: Looking for some new fitness swag to sweat up in your pursuit of a leaner, healthier body? We've got just the thing(s).

Click here to explore the newly updated PrayFit store!

Remember Mrs. Kravitz?

"Love thy neighbor as yourself." --Mark 12:31

Read: Mark 12

Sitting on our little porch, I'm watching Loretta add potting mix, dirt and water to plants and shrubs. The smell of barbecue from a nearby condo fills the air. Somebody's cookin' out. The neighborhood seems alive tonight. Sun-filled cheeks on neighborhood kids is evidence of a fast-approaching summer. It seems God has dropped me in an episode of Leave it to Beaver. Somehow you'd expect Wally to come strollin' by. But I know better. This is no Pine Street.

I know better because I know myself better. When was the last time we visited a new neighbor? Or went to see the widow down the street? Or invited the single dad to church? Not sure if you can relate, but we have more in common with Mrs. Kravitz than we do June Cleaver. In reality, however, our homes, apartments and condos are as much an opportunity to witness as gyms, offices and schools.

I write about this today, because yesterday I was paid a visit by one of MY neighbors. Mind you, he's never been to our place, but he knew my truck hadn't moved in weeks, and he was heading out for coffee; just wanted to see if I needed anything. I won't try to explain what that meant to me, but the smallest gesture can have an enormous impact. Reach out to someone today. They just might need a cup of coffee.

–Jimmy Peña

>> SOCIAL NETWORKS: Now you can "like," "join," "tweet" and "watch" faith and fitness at your leisure. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community. Facebook HeavenUp Twitter YouTube

>> SHOP: Spread the health via your apparel at the PrayFit online store. Custom hats, cozy tees and logo wristbands are all available at the click of a mouse, with easy shipping. You can also pick up PrayFit books and DVDs to help you start living a healthier lifestyle here. Click to get started.

>> CHAT: Are you already a member of our forums? Get back in on the discussion by clicking here. Not yet signed up? All it takes is 20 seconds to get started. Click here.

>> SOWING: Plant the seeds of health and fitness in your church by arranging a visit from PrayFit founder Jimmy Peña. Learn more about his message by clicking here, or write us at info@prayfit.com to start planning dates!

The Safest Place

"Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before God our maker." --Psalm 95:6

Read: Psalm 95

Every once in a while, the world pulls the rug out from underneath us. The sand shifts. The ground shakes. Be it from a financial hardship or perhaps an unexpected diagnosis, keeping your balance is sometimes impossible. And it's not long before you literally -- and perhaps figuratively -- find yourself on the floor, waiting for the aftershocks to stop. But wouldn't you know it? Whether by irony or divinity, the safest place to be when things are unstable is low.

This last weekend we received some news that felt very much like that, and it shook the house of PrayFit. But Sunday night, as I was about to turn in, I found Loretta kneeling at my bedside; a daily habit of hers our entire life together. That night would be no different. As I made my way over to her, I stood there for a second as she prayed. But I knew where I needed to be. After all, that's how we've always kept our balance -- on our knees. So for the first time since my back surgery, I slowly made my way to mine.

Taking her hand wasn't something she expected; shocked might be a better way to put it. She raised her head so fast, and her eyes got huge! I simply nodded and smiled with pursed lips, and then she finished her prayer (Out loud and crying, of course. We're weepers, don't forget.) Oh folks, aren't we so blessed to know that all things work together for good for those who love Him? (Rom 8:28) Like many of you, I am so thankful.

I wonder, are you low today? Should you be? Maybe the job search is still a search. The painful illness still hurts. And although you're a day closer to the future, the ground you're standing on still shows the cracks of yesterday's quake. But trust me. Fill them with your knees. Wherever you are and whatever shakes your world, remember: The safest place to be when things are unstable is low.

--Jimmy Peña

HEALTH UPDATE FROM JIMMY: "I walked to Trader Joe's and back yesterday. That's almost a mile. For me, it may as well have been a marathon. Small steps are huge strides, amen?  I say, To Trader Joe's, and beyond! Thank you all for the faithful prayers."

THE COST OF CALORIES

You may not stop to think about how quickly calories can add up. And if you're not controlling your own food preparation, portions and ingredients can leave you with a waist-widening caloric excess. PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White offers some insight on the caloric "cost" of some common snacks, take-out dinners and desserts in this article.

>> Click here for the true cost of a calorie...

6210-CardinalGIFTS FOR DAD

If you're looking for thoughtful gifts for the health-minded dads in your life, make sure you stop at our newly-revamped online store. Here, you'll find long- and short-sleeve tees, hats and get-fit resources from PrayFit like books and DVDs...everything dads need to spread the concept of health as a means of praise. Want to place a group order? Contact us direct at sales@prayfit.com for special discounts!

>> Click here to start "window" shopping!

The Island of Grace

"He refreshes my soul..." --Psalm 23:3

Read: Psalm 23

HammockWe hope you've enjoyed pausing on the island of grace this week. We can't think of a better place to still our hearts and minds. Be it in the fitness industry or in the aisle at your local supermarket, the water can get choppy, leaving you bobbing in the wake of someone's opinion, society's judgments or self-destructive habits of comparison and self-obsession. The under currents are strong, and it's not long before you're waving your arms, "Look at me, I measure up! I fit in! Can anyone see me?!"

But the anchor of grace reminds us that health is given for one singular purpose: to bring glory to a mighty God. And as we've discussed over the years, that means so many things, and it doesn't mean so many things. But if you're tired, don't worry. Treading water is toughest in really shallow water which is, coincidentally, where the world demands most of your time. But thankfully, God provides a shore. So go ahead and come out. Wrap yourself in a towel of compassion. Have a seat on the beach, run your toes through the sand, take a deep breath, and bask in a warmness only a Godly view of the body can provide.

Next week we'll hit the water again hard, because our health demands our best. But for now -- yawwwwn -- I think I found a great spot for a nap.

--Jimmy Peña

6210-CardinalGIFTS FOR DAD

If you're looking for thoughtful gifts for the health-minded dads in your life, make sure you stop at our newly-revamped online store. Here, you'll find long- and short-sleeve tees, hats and get-fit resources from PrayFit like books and DVDs...everything dads need to spread the concept of health as a means of praise. Want to place a group order? Contact us direct at sales@prayfit.com for special discounts!

>> Click here to start "window" shopping!