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Change in Heart

"Nothing will be impossible for you..." --Matthew 17:20

Read: Matthew 17

To hear this devotional read by Jimmy himself, click play here: [audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/PrayfitAudio/Change+In+Heart.mp3]

I was asked recently if I thought 33 days was a long enough period to create a change in heart and transform a life. The person on the other end of the question was referring to the time-frame we have listed on our DVDs. And my answer was two-fold. First, a month is both anecdotally and scientifically justified in helping people create habits, so we're confident to that end. After all, our resources are all about helping people get a jump-start on good, solid daily routines of devotions and exercise.

But then it hit me. I'm the wrong person to answer the question. Instead, I say we ask the woman at the well, the blind man in the temple or the criminal on the cross. Let's ask them about the day they met Him. After all, from the moment you meet the one who forgives your past, gives you sight, or secures your future, the only real timeframe in question is any moment spent without Him.

So while we could have written our books or these DVDs to be any length, it's remembering the lengths He went to show us His love that cause a change in heart. You know, it's ironic...we're bold to declare that faith can move a mountain, and yet we doubt it can help us move a muscle.

--Jimmy Peña

>>LISTEN: Spend a few minutes taking a listen to the founder of PrayFit, as he provides message that both inspire and encourage you as you make strides toward better health in 2013. Our new "Listen" page allows you to play select devotionals and share them with your social networks. Click here to hear...

>> SUBSCRIBE: If you're not already receiving the PrayFit Daily -- our morning, bite-sized helping of faith and fitness -- you can click here to sign-up.

>> GET INVOLVED: This video (click the player below) offers a glimpse of the message your congregation needs to hear. Contact us today at info@prayfit.com for details on how you can bring Jimmy Peña to your next Sunday service!

A PROVERBS WOMAN

October 14, 2011Read Proverbs 31

“She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” --Proverbs 31:17

For many women in the church today, reading about the woman in Proverbs 31 can be a little intimidating. If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking one of two things.  One, Wow, now that is an amazing woman and two, I hope my husband never sees this chapter! I mean, goodnight, is she human? This is quite a list: she’s a credit to her husband, she’s wise, she cooks, she sews, she shops, she’s a business woman, she’s charitable, she stays very busy, she works out, she—wait, she works out? Really?

Verse 17 says: “She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms.” To “gird” means to surround, equip or to prepare oneself for action.

In all my years of being in church and hearing about the ‘virtuous woman,’ I can’t remember this verse ever being highlighted. We hear about her honor, her selflessness and her business savvy, and these are all great qualities but why have we skipped over what is clearly a key to how and why she can accomplish so much?

I don’t know about you, but when I work out consistently I have more energy to tackle everything that’s on my plate. I’m less stressed, I’m even tempered (read: less cranky) and I’m better prepared for life’s challenges. I don’t have time to be lethargic, moody or ‘out of it.’ Does anyone? So, I’m thinking, if this woman had time to work out, surely we can fit it in. Now, I’m not suggesting she was doing push-ups on the side of a well and doing walking lunges to and from, but she was doing something, right?

One of the great benefits of working out (along with a sensible diet) is being healthy, strong and available for service when God calls us onto the field.  Being sidelined by health-related issues was never part of God’s plan of an abundant life for us. So, we need not be intimidated by our Proverbs 31 woman. After all, we’ve found her secret. Now it’s time to see her as a whole, understand that she was indeed human and in the midst of her busy life, still found time to “gird herself with strength.”

--Catrina Vargas-Cormell

An entrepreneur, Catrina Vargas-Cormell was one of the first members of the PrayFit community. Catrina is now a PrayFit executive committee member and PrayFit Group leader in El Paso, Texas. For more from Catrina, join her group, “Hungry!,” on Facebook or visit her PrayFit workout journal.

P-31: THE BOOK If today's entry piqued your interest on the Proverbs woman, read "P-31: Proverbs Women in Rush Hour Traffic, Navigating Serenity in a World of Chaos," by one of our best friends and most faithful PrayFit supporters, Sandie Powell. For more information on her book and its must-know concepts, e-mail Sandie at p31book@yahoo.com. All of the proceeds will be invested in the support and training of national pastors, bible and Christian literature distribution, church planting, and other support ministries in Southeast Asia.

PRAYFIT TO RELEASE FIRST DVD New 33-day program available through Lionsgate Entertainment Dec. 6

On December 6, Lionsgate Entertainment will release PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge to a global audience.  The DVD will feature a 33-minute, bodyweight-only program that boosts strength, stamina and flexibility. The program’s 33-day length is a nod to proven habit-forming behavior as well as the length of Jesus’s life. “He gave us 33 years,” says PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena, MS, CSCS. “Let’s give him 33 minutes for 33 days, honoring the one who made us.”

>> For the full story on the PrayFit 33-Day Total Body Challenge, click here. Or, to preorder immediately, visit Amazon.

 

 

RIPENED FRUIT

October 7, 2011Read: Galatians 5

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” --Galatians 5:22

There aren’t many things that make me as happy and content as perfectly ripened fresh fruit.  I love to walk into the market and smell the fresh peaches as I pass, see the bananas yellow to perfection. Perfectly ripened fruit doesn’t just “happen." It is a process that takes time, patience, and growth.  There are many factors that come into play when I ultimately choose the perfect Gala apple to put in my basket and take home.

I often wonder if God sees us as His ripened fruit. Sometimes we end up the best of the bunch and other times we are a more banged-up version of ourselves.  But, the awesome part is that even when we have bumps and bruises, He still picks us. To Him, we're keepers.  We don’t have to be perfectly ripened. We're in His basket and He proudly takes us home.

--Allison King Earnst

PrayFit's newest executive team member is a fitness expert, motivator, competitor and mother of three. She's been featured in numerous magazines including FitParent, Natural Muscle and Oxygen magazine. She has shared her fitness story on Good Morning America, Extra TV and Lifetime's "The Balancing Act."

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

Faith

>> NO HILL FOR A CLIMBER: Exhausted, He still climbed mountains to pray. When was the last time you were out of breath for Him?

>> SWING AWAY: Today's sunrise is the only sign you need to step up and swing away

>> AGREEMENT ISN'T ENOUGH: When you answer the call, it's the body that gets the soul where it needs to go

>> MISFITS SELDOM DO: Don't fit in with a world that disregards health as a means of praise?

Fitness

>> MASTERING THE PUSH-UP: Practicing variations of this fundamental move can improve your gains

>> THE DAIRY DEBATE: Is dairy beneficial or detrimental to your overall health?

>> NUTRITION Q&A: Should you be taking artificial sweeteners?

>> WORKOUT: Four moves for great abs

GEAR UP: Looking for PrayFit hats, shirts, wristbands and more? Visit the PrayFit store for the perfect gift today.

YOU, HE KNITTED

September 12, 2011Read: Psalm 139

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

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

-J.P.

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

WORKOUT of the WEEK

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

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

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

WHAT'S NEW/HOT AT THE PRAYFIT FORUMS:

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

>> New member seeks online weight loss accountability partner

 

IT TOOK A LIFETIME

August 8, 2011 Read: Deuteronomy 2

"The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands." --Deuteronomy 2:7

On Friday, Prayfit VP Eric Velazquez gave us a great reminder of God's faithfulness. We learned that although the Israelites wandered, they weren't lost. But in the end, what should have been an 11-day journey eventually took 40 years.

When it comes to your health and fitness, does it feel like you're wandering? Perhaps today, you're looking around thinking, "This looks so familiar. I just know I've been down this road before." (Not making time to exercise, diet is less than clean, motivation needs a jump-start, etc).

Well friends, take heart. Eventually the Israelites stood on the edge of the land they walked so far to see. And though they still had the river to cross and the walls to crumble, they made it. Picture them as they stood there; eyes wide, deep breaths, staring down their goal. What they saw took a lifetime. Your health does, too.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

Not a lot of time before work to workout? Find some empty space in your living room, garage, or backyard for this brief but effective total-body routine. In just a few minutes, this strength-and-power building routine will have provided you with more energy for the day ahead and set your metabolic fire ablaze.

Walk in place for 1 minute Jog in place for 1 minute High-knee run in place for 1 min Standard push-up to failure Jump Squat (20 reps or to failure) Rest 20-30 seconds

--Repeat the entire sequence 3-5 times. Try this workout two times this week, allowing 48-72 hours between sessions. If you're more experienced, aim for five total go-throughs with it, three times per week (or every other day).

KEY TERM Failure: the point at which you can no longer complete reps with good form on your own.

>> EXERCISE: For text and video descriptions of many of the exercises you find in these workouts, click here.

>> ABOUT US: Learn more about the dedicated team at PrayFit.

He's On Watch

"And even the very hairs on your head are numbered." --Matthew 10:30 Parents do the greatest things. I got an email from my Mom this weekend about a bird's nest in the backyard that she and Dad have been keeping an eye on for the last few weeks. Well, I'm happy to announce on their behalf that the lone egg finally hatched. Truly, something that happens in backyards everywhere is the highlight of their week. In fact, my parents are so proud, Dad pulled out his mega-powered telescope from storage so they could watch the little thing. Now mind you, the bird's nest is maybe 10-feet from the back door, but they're using a lens that can detect moisture on the moon. "Honey, come look!" I can just hear them now.

Funny, that little bird has no idea its being watched so closely. And if you'll forgive the comparison, sometimes we forget, too. While God is powerful enough to see beyond time and space, He's focused on our little lives. We're His highlight; under His wing and His watch. Isn't today just like any other day? Not to God.

--Jimmy Peña

 

LEASE ON LIFE

February 9, 2011Read: 1 Corinthians 6

"You are not your own." --1 Corinthians 6:19

We talk a lot about being good stewards of our money, our time and our bodies, but what exactly does that mean? Well, a steward is defined as someone who takes care of something that belongs to someone else. For some reason, it's easier to swallow the notion that our money is on loan or that we live on borrowed time, but when it comes to our bodies, we seem to assume full ownership, don't we?

Maybe it's time to renew the lease on life...

--J.P.

A NEW "STUDENT BODY"

Even the leanest adolescents find difficulty maintaining healthy body composition when they head off to college. Sodas on the go, mac and cheese by the box and the cursed soft-serve machine in the school cafe quickly add up, making once-youthful metabolisms vulnerable to early slow downs.

One college in Minnesota took quick stock of their student body and found that nearly 48% of them were overweight or obese. Unfortunately, this sample is indicative of a larger problem on college campuses nationwide.

>> Read up on how this campus is working to bring about a healthier student population.

AT THE CARWASH

January 5, 2011Read: Proverbs 26

"Smooth words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a clay pot." --Proverbs 26:23

If you've ever taken your car to the car wash, what's the first thing they clean? Do they start with a fresh coat of wax? Clean the windows? Polish the tires? No, before the body gets buffed, they head straight for the interior. And if you're like me, you actually help them by finding the hidden papers that have slipped through the cracks (or maybe had been shoved there on purpose...umm, hypothetically).

What we don't say is, "You know, go ahead and ignore the interior. Please leave the dirt and mess. Just clean the outside." That would be silly.

Imagine? Taking care of the body but ignoring what's inside? Wait, what are we talking about?

(Let's work together to tidy both in 2011.)

--J.P.

SPRINTING THE FAT OFF

Yesterday, we presented a basic introduction to HIIT -- high-intensity interval training. This cardio method alternates all-out bouts of sprinting with slower bouts of recovery, pushing your metabolism higher and for longer than traditional training. While there is still some value in your long, steady-paced runs -- namely in overall endurance -- HIIT may actually be your best choice for fat-burning, according to new research.

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario (London) found that subjects who performed 4-6, 30-second sprints three times per week burned twice as much fat as those who jogged for 30-60 minutes at a steady pace. Both groups gained an average of 1% lean mass. What's even more interesting is that the endurance markers -- time trials in 2000-meter run and VO2 max performance -- were similar with both groups.

The take home message is that high-intensity intervals can help you burn more fat, build more lean muscle and increase endurance -- usually in 1/3 or 1/2 of the time of your normal cardio session.

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: An introduction to high-intensity interval training

Source: PubMed.gov