week in review

Phoenix Bound

What a neat week being back. I am so glad to be writing again. And as you may or may not know, tonight, I'll be delivering the keynote speech at the International Christian Wellness Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I am so incredibly blessed not only for the honor of being asked, but for the mere fact that I have the health to be there. Help me praise the Lord. And I'm asking you today to pray for the weekend conference and for me as I go to express my heart. I'm going to share the bread.

Speaking of share my heart, my wife and I received the sweetest, most amazing letter this week. A couple of months ago, she and I wrote a personal plea for prayer over our ministry to one of our dear, favorite pastors. A man that has had an overwhelming impact on me, my wife and my entire life. Well, we found a reply in the mail yesterday. He said in part that he prayed that God would bless us as we continue to serve. And we received in God's perfect time. Pretty neat. And he signed it: Dr. Charles F. Stanley.

Friends, I hope you have a great, great weekend. Pray for each other, I'm praying for you. As always, I'm hoping you are as healthy in body as you are in spirit. See you Monday.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

THE POINT OF IT ALL: PrayFit resumed daily devotionals this week. And we have a prayer that reasserts the ministry's mission.

BRAVO!: As we wait out this life, let’s enjoy the intermission simply because of our inner mission. ALSO: Find out how to get Jimmy to your church!

HIS WORK: Despite your stumbles, take heart -- you can't ruin his work. ALSO: How a diet higher in protein can help you lose weight faster.

START PULLING: The enemy is ready on the other side of the rope. Don't wait to start your pull. ALSO: 4 ways to recover from injuries at home.

"I discipline my body like an athlete training it to do what it should." 1 Cor. 9:27NEW GEAR Our fitness can be our witness. But if people aren't quite receiving the message, we have no problem making it more obvious. The newest additions to our apparel line broadcast your dedication to health as a means of praise. Click here to check our new assortment of men's and women's tanks.

Clive Said That

"Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more to the treasury than all the others." --Mark 12:43

Read: Mark 12

Like many of us, Clive Staples didn't really start living until he gave his heart to Jesus. Nine days after he and a writing buddy went for a long walk, Clive -- a known agnostic -- accepted God's grace and used the rest of his life as an offering to the Lord. Two thousand years earlier, Jesus watched a poor widow offer her life's savings -- two copper coins (worth about half a penny) -- into the church plate.

Two people that changed our world with one, single offering. But it was their offering of all.

Who's world would change if you asked God to help you give your all to your health? Maybe Your spouse? Your Kids? Maybe a friend who needs you to be all God intended you to be. Well, whoever comes to mind, just remember, it's not about perfection, but diligence. After all, "We don't have souls, we are souls. We have bodies." Clive Staples said that. But you know him better as C.S Lewis.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

FAITH

>> Soreness in a Sermon: Hard intervals yield eternal results when we know who we represent

>> Misfits Seldom Do: In a world that puts health last, you'll be in good company when you don't fit in

>> Work Backwards: Retrace your steps for a view of the cross to regain focus

>> Rattle Some Chains: Feeling captive? Maybe you're right where you should be

FITNESS

>> 28 Days: Want to get leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier in four weeks? This is your ticket

>> Accountability: 4 ways to start journaling for better, faster results

>> Protein: How this macronutrient rock star can help you build strength, lose fat

>> Fruits & Veggies: 2 ways to get more of 'em

LOOKING FOR CONVICTION?: Spend 3 minutes and 34 seconds finding it by clicking here.

Just Run

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." --1 Peter 5:7

Read: 1 Peter 5

Depending on when you open this entry, I'm doing one of many things. Check your watch. If it's early, and the sun is rising, be assured I'm dodging traffic and anticipating yellow lights. If it's mid morning, I'm tapping my toes with my face plastered against the airplane window. And if it's around noon, I'm sprinting. I've let go of my baggage, thrown my head back and my arms are wide open. After weeks of touring, speaking and serving...I'm almost home.

Friends, life is a quick trip; a short but often brutal bridge. On it we sometimes get trampled. Being Friday, maybe you can relate. Have you been overlooked this week? Ignored rather than recognized? Maybe you're struggling to cope with a troubled teen, financial hardships or health concerns. Whatever your recent trip of life has you burdened with, do what I am doing today. Drop the baggage and throw your head back. The One who knows you best, loves you most. So just run.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a week's worth of faith- and fitness-building entries

FAITH

>> Namesake: We stand for, kneel to and worship with our lives the One who didn’t take us off a list, but put our names on one…by giving us His

>> Follow the Leader: We are protected by the One that we follow

>> Can I Have This Dance?: It's never too late to dance...

>> Beating Miracles: Appreciating the miracle and workmanship of a vital organ

FITNESS

>> Body Toning: How to take your workouts to the next level and redefine your body in 33 days >> Recipe: A lighter, guilt-free spin on dessert

>> Community: How to build the PrayFit Nation, one click at a time

>> Tip: Training hungry can help you lose more weight

For Heaven's Sake

"You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." --1 Corinthians 6:20

Read: 1 Corinthians 6

C.S. Lewis once said, "Aim at Heaven, and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth, and you get neither." Since we know God looks at the heart, what does that mean in terms of our physical health? Truth is, somewhere between vanity and gluttony lies abundant living. And ironically, the mirror exposes that dual reality; that our reflection doesn't matter for Heaven, but our precious care for it can point others there. Our balanced approach to physical fitness can be an indicator to others of not only our gratitude, but also of how serious we take God's commands.

So, whether you're too focused on what the mirror reveals, or you haven't given it enough thought, it's time to pursue abundant health.

For Heaven's sake, it's time.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW FAITH

>> PRICELESS: Take joy in working on something that the Lord gave you...

>> TO THE PRAYFIT FAITHFUL: Building a fitter, more faithful nation, one share at a time

>> A SEA OF OBSTACLES: No matter how you got to the water's edge, it is crossable

>> DAD IN THE STANDS: a perfect average isn’t possible, but He’s with us for every at-bat so let's make each day we swing count?

FITNESS

>> WORKOUT: Looking for a new challenge? Try this weight-based DVD from the PrayFit team

>> SHARING: Tools to get your friends and family healthier and stronger

>> HEALTH NEWS: How much weight do you have to lose to improve your blood sugar control?

>> COMMITMENT: How small changes can add up to big results

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Health as a means of praise. Do you think your church could benefit from this message? Write us today to find out how to bring PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena to your next Sunday service!

Rate of Failure

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"— Galatians 2:21

Much is made of the failure rate in baseball.  A successful hitter, it is said, fails to get a hit seven out of every 10 trips to the plate. Despite this otherwise abysmal statistic, those who perform up to such a strict standard are held in high regard. The familiar sound of bat meeting ball is met by a chorus of applause, the hitter greeted by high fives and offered hands of affirmation by teammates upon his return to the dugout. The spoils of a job well done.

In our walks with God, the only measure of success -- the perfection of Christ -- makes failure a certainty. More often than not, despite our best efforts, we will swing and miss at opportunities to glorify God in how we live, work and play. Still, despite no quantifiable measure of achievement and no earthly rewards to be won, we test ourselves, training for a contest in which the outcome has already been determined. Because we know that someday, no matter our rate of failure, we too will be greeted -- not by the roar of the crowd but by choirs of angels. The spoils of a life redeemed by grace.

--Eric Velazquez

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW Can we be nostalgic about stuff from like, a little while ago? Sure can. Here's the highlights

FAITH

>> NOW WHAT?: The answer to our biggest question went climbed out of a crib and onto a cross

>> THE CLOSER: Stay ready -- you never know when you'll be called upon

>> A FIGHTING SPIRIT: If the spirit is willing, your body has no right to hold it back

>> ME AND MY DRUM: We've got nothing that's fit to give a King except our best effort

HEALTH & FITNESS

WORKOUT: Use this push-ups and planks program to build a stronger torso and core >> FOOD: Broaden your protein horizons in five easy steps

>> REPORT: Even mild intensity training can help you reduce blood pressure and lose bodyfat

>> NUTRITION: How this key macronutrient can help you get lean for good

HOT TOPICS Weigh in on these and other issues at the PrayFit forums

Belly fat won't budge

Small success

Prayer Requests

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He Gets Us

"For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." --Psalm 103:14

Read: Psalm 103

If focusing on creation and how we were wonderfully made has taught me anything, it's that God gets us. He gets why we worry. Why else would He constantly encourage us to have faith? He gets why we suffer. Why else would He urge us not to lean on our own understanding? And yes, He also gets the body.

As He formed us, He set limits. As He encased our soul with flesh, He numbered our days on purpose. See, most sculptors never hope to reunite with their design, but God does. We're all He thinks about! Artists may pour heart and soul into their work, but our heart and soul is His work, and He wants us back. His biggest desire for our lives is that we meet the source of our lives. And if Jesus is in our hearts, He gets us.

--Jimmy Peña

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a week's worth of faith-building and healthy living

Faith

BE HEALTHY, QUIETLY: No need to brag...let's let the byproducts of our obedience do the talking

A TRAINING PRAYER: A prayer to take into your next training session...and the one after that

BE STILL AND RUN: Today, kneel, bow your head and run

STILL TIME TO DANCE: It's never too late to start moving more

Fitness

WORKOUT: An at-home workout for bolder shoulders in 10 minutes flat NUTRITION: How soy can help you recover faster, boost health

COOKING TIP: Learning how to make a healthier banana bread

FAT-BURNING TIP: How training hungry can burn more fat

Pledge Allegiance

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

Read: Isaiah 53

Driving along the canyon in Los Angeles this week, 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

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW Use this quick-access guide to the week's greatest hits

FAITH >> BAGGAGE HANDLER: Drop off your luggage and remain seated -- God doesn't need a co-pilot on this ride

>> WHO WANTS THE BALL?: If God had a blackboard, He'd mark our path straight to the cross

>> FEELS LIKE REDEMPTION: Your trials don't make you -- it's how you come back from them that matters most

>> HE'S MY BROTHER: Moses and Aaron complemented each other perfectly. Who makes up the rest of your team?

FITNESS >> WORKOUT: Use this mini-program to build strength and shape in your calves

>> TIPS: Courtesy of Health.com, 51 ways to fight fat

>> RECIPE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Onions

>> STATISTICS: How closely related are obesity and heart disease?

33 DAYS: How have your New Year's resolutions held up? We're eyeballing the end of January (and heading into the weekend) and some of you may be starting to see your motivation wane. We've got just the cure. Jump start your routine all over again with our 33-Day Total Body Challenge DVD (Lionsgate Entertainment), hosted by PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena. This structured routine calls for 33 minutes a day for 33 days, honoring the One who gave us 33 years, and includes weekly devotionals to inspire and invigorate your efforts. Click here for more information!

Do You See Yourself?

"The Lord looks at the heart..." --1 Samuel 16:7

Read: 1 Samuel 16

Last week when PrayFit VP Eric Velazquez described seeing his resemblance in his daughter's faces, this weeping writer fought back tears. He said, "Jimmy, it's one thing to know they're your own flesh and blood, but when you start to see yourself, it's simply amazing. I'm at a loss for words." That says a lot coming from Eric, arguably one of the best writers in the country.

But you know, I want to be like Mya and Ella. Not that I want to look like Eric (handsome as he is), but the only thing I want more than being a dad one day is to be a child that resembles his Father.

Friends, as we end this work week, we hope that's the message you've heard here at PrayFit. Some enjoy the fitness tips, others the recipes. But don't miss this: Nothing matters unless we have Jesus in our hearts. If we're at a loss for words, our approach to wellness merely serves as a back-up to A) praise Him with our lives and B) help spread the gospel. Despite our highest highs and lowest lows, when He looks at us, it's His own reflection He longs to see.

--Jimmy Peña

"Lord, we love you. Our utmost desire is for you to live in our hearts. We seek your resemblance. See yourself, we pray. Amen."

WEEK IN REVIEW 

FAITH >> CUT TO THE CHASE: Let's follow Him so close that we're covered in His dust >> BREATHLESS: When we breathe it all out, He breathes it all in

>> WHAT CAN I BRING?: The One who matters most is the one that doesn't count

>> A DANGEROUS PRAYER: What will you do with the opportunity to live more healthfully?

FITNESS >> WORKOUT: Use this home-based routine to start the year with a sweat

>> EXERCISE: An in-depth look at one of the best exercises for your core

>> NUTRITION TIP: How to sneak more fruits and veggies in your diet

>> HEALTH: How higher protein diets help you stay lean  

GUMPTION

"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air."— 1 Corinthians 9:26

I'm definitely old-fashioned, but who reading this remembers tryouts? I thought of it yesterday when I asked, "Who won?" to a young boy and his mom as they came back from his soccer game. They replied, "Oh, we don't keep score. In this league, we don't keep score and everybody plays." Hmm. I tried to hide my confusion, but had she replied in Yiddish it would have made as much sense.

You know, if Paul were in sports, I think he would have enjoyed keeping score. The way he talked of disciplining his body like an athlete, or how passionately he wrote of running the race. Something tells me, Paul would have understood the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat." Of course, Paul would be the first person to teach us of grace and forgiveness, but a record of wrongs is not the issue at stake. The issue is more about the kind of fight we have in us for the faith, as well as for the body. Like Paul, it's time to follow our instincts.

Truth be told, if our health was required for Heaven, well, we'd be in bad shape. And if God kept score on our day's losses, we'd lose. But it's because of those things that we might as well toughen up. Who knows how effective we could be for the kingdom if we exercised a little more Godly gumption. Not in order to win favor, but because we have favor.

Oh, and I have to report, as my neighbor disappeared into her home, the little boy stuck his head out the front door, put his hand up to the side of his mouth as if to tell me a secret from across the street: "We won 11 to nothin'!" he yelled with a whisper. Atta boy, I thought. Gumption. He's a carrier. And so are you.

–Jimmy Peña

WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a week's worth of faith and fitness

Faith

>> READING LIPS: Showing the light in a world of darkness

>> NOW WHAT?: Abraham, Moses and Joshua asked. Shouldn't you?

>> WHEN HE KNOCKED: No need to clean up to take a bath

>> GOD WILL COME THROUGH: When in doubt, look up

Fitness

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Push-ups and planks

>> MEMORY FOOD: What super fruit can boost your ability to remember stuff?

>> RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Sauteed kale

>> PORTION CONTROL: How to eat 22% less this holiday season

COMING SOON!: This week marked the official release of PrayFit’s first DVD, now available for order on Amazon and other retail websites. Reserve yours by clicking here or shop for friends.

SHOP: Looking for the best in non-DVD PrayFit products for the health-minded believers in your life? Click here to visit the PrayFit store.

EYES WIDE OPEN

November 4, 2011Read: Ephesians 1

"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened." --Ephesians 1:18

As I prayed and waited to board my plane en route to the New York City Marathon yesterday, a scene from one of my all-time favorite shows, Friday Night Lights, came to mind. Before the big game, coach asked his young quarterback if his eyes were closed when he threw last week's touchdown pass. The kid's response: "No sir. My eyes were open. My eyes were wide open."

Well, I suppose that scene came to mind because that was my simple prayer -- that the Lord would open the eyes of my heart this weekend in New York. As a writer, not a runner, I know my purpose at the marathon isn't necessarily to have a fast start or even a strong finish, but rather to listen from start to finish. Indeed, after 26.2 miles, I want to be more focused on my walk than my run. May that be your prayer too. Whatever race lies before you today at work, school, or home, let's just try to see Him. All we want to do is see Him.

--J.P.

P.S. When they announced my flight, I turned and who was standing next to me? Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. We chatted a few minutes, he asked about PrayFit, and I praised what he's doing at Saddleback Church in the area of health. Thank you, Lord. My eyes are open. My eyes are wide open.

PRAYFIT WEEK IN REVIEW Time to cherry-pick from a week's worth of faith and fitness

Faith

>> PURPOSE OVER PROCESS: Know the destination, savor the journey

>> ELLA'S GRIN: The Lord watches over us, pausing on moments too good to pass up

>> REASON FOR THE CALL: We represent Him in how we live, speak and move

>> ROAD WARRIOR: Because He traveled, we will get home

Fitness

>> 3 MILES: How did you fare in this week's fitness challenge?

>> KID ACTIVITY: How much is enough?

>> DEPRESSION: Beat the blues with a few minutes of exercise

>> MARATHON FUN FACT: How close was the closest finish at the NYC Marathon?

PRAYER REQUEST: PrayFit Nation, we ask that you join us in praying for founder Jimmy Pena as he tackles the course at this weekend's New York City Marathon. Please pray that he is kept safe from injury and that with each footfall, he strides with his eyes (and heart) wide open. We're so proud of you for undertaking such a feat, brother!

--Team PrayFit

TRAFFIC

October 28, 2011Read: Ecclesiastes 7

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." --Ecclesiastes 7:8

I could hear it in his voice. Dejected, defeated, exhausted, PrayFit founder Jimmy Pena was in his third hour of a commute that should take 45 minutes. Those familiar with Southern California freeways can relate to the emotional roller coaster of emerging from a sea of brake lights with renewed hope, only to pull to a screeching halt a quarter mile ahead. Accidents, curious passersby, construction -- all things beyond his control. Tonight, Jimmy was, as ever, at the mercy of the pace provided.

Life can be the same way. Just when we think that we are ready to meander into the fast lane, we are pinned in by other obstacles and forced to stay put until the traffic eases. In these moments, we may want to lay on the horn or maneuver for the next closest exit but invariably, the best play is to exercise patience and wait it out.

Are you stuck in one of life's jams, physically or spiritually? In need of Godspeed? Stay in your lane and let Him guide you through. Someday the rearview will reveal that there really was no better place on earth, than on the road that led to Heaven.

And oh, for the record, Jimmy made it home just fine. It was much later than he may have wanted but he arrived safely to a smiling wife and a silent embrace that seemed to absorb all of the frustration of the road behind him. Someday, we'll all be so blessed.

--E.V.

PRAYFIT WEEK IN REVIEW

Faith

>> WE'RE PAGE-TURNERS: If you love the Author, the end will be better than expected

>> THE ONE WHO CALLS: Believe it or not, you're in the same class pharoahs and kings

>> THE MOMENT AT HAND: Let's clear our throats and make the most of our opportunities today

>> NO OTHER WORD FOR GRACE: It may be worth novels but a single word will do

Fitness

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Use mechanical advantage to enhance your productivity

>> TEST THE MACHINE: Make practice out of setting the bar high and hurdling it the next day

>> SMARTER SOUP: Liven up this comfort food with a few easy tips

>> MUSCLE FOOD: Add eggs to your breakfast to get stronger

 

 

 

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.

UPHILL BATTLES

September 23, 2011Read: Galatians 6

"Carry each other's burdens." --Galations 6:2

Uphill battles. If anyone understood the phrase, Simon did. Simon of Cyrene was of course the man who helped Jesus carry the cross up the hill toward Calvary. In one moment, a bystander. The next, a cross bearer. He did literally what you and I are called to do figuratively. Little did he know the example he was setting. I wonder if he knew his sin would soon be nailed to the tree he carried.

Uphill battles. If anyone understood the phrase, Jesus did. Yet Jesus knew that what He faced, He had to face alone. Nobody on earth, above or below, could take His place as He took ours. But the thought of you and me facing our days without hope was enough to kill Him. The weight of the cross and our helplessness were more than He could bear.

Simon, Jesus. Two men, one cross and an uphill battle.

-J.P.

Are you facing an uphill battle as we end the week? Perhaps at work? Out of work? Physically? Spiritually? We want to pray for you so leave your comment here. If you'd prefer, simply list your prayer request as: "unspoken request" and we'll be sure and lift you up.

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW

Faith

DEVOTION COSTS: God is pleased with what we are willing to surrender for Him

DIAGNOSIS: MIRACLE: The Great Healer does some of His best work when  you least expect it

WHAT CAN I BRING?: Give Jesus all you have and watch Him make miracles of it

DON'T MISS THIS BOAT: Tired and frustrated, Peter trusted Jesus, and cast his nets yet again.

Fitness

WORKOUT: Scramble your legs with this lower-body routine

33-33-33: How these percentages could help you live a healthier lifestyle

GREAT STARTS: Two great-tasting breakfast recipes that provide long-lasting fuel

COMMUNITY: A healthier soul, and a stronger body to carry it, awaits at the hands of like-minded believers

CAN'T BE SILENT

September 16, 2011Read: Luke 19:28-40

"'I tell you,'" he replied, "'if they keep quiet, the rocks will cry out.'" --Luke 19:40

The song of creation. Can you hear it? You and I are God's special guests in a masterpiece performed in His honor that He conducts. Not only that, He's given us "first chair." In orchestra speak, first chair is reserved for the one who is both most capable and responsible, regardless of the instrument they play. You and I are active participants in a grand arrangement entitled, 'Creation'.

When the Pharisees demanded Jesus to quiet the praise of His disciples, He assured them that if the disciples hush, they would literally hear rock music. But the idea of God's people being quiet is probably as sad a commentary as I've ever read...like a father who comes home to a silent family oblivious to his presence, or a mom who has never heard her children say, "I love you". Friends, the God of wonder, who has a beyond-concievable love and unbelievable future for us is worthy to be praised with everything we have -- our minds, our money, our time, and yes, our bodies.

The song of creation. Are you playing it? It's your life. Your cue! You can't be silent. He gave you the music. You are the music. Just read the notes and watch the Master. You're in the first chair. Be amazed...and play.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW

Monday >> YOU, HE KNITTED: From the vastness of space to the intricacies of your body, He created you with care >> ALSO: A workout to help you build strength and burn fat in just minutes

Tuesday >> SOWN UP WITH LOVE: The ultimate symbol of sacrifice is imprinted on our hearts -- literally and figuratively >> ALSO: How to boost strength instantly by 20%

Wednesday >> HE KNEW: He carefully constructed us, knowing that what the world would reject, Christ would accept. >> ALSO: How to select a cereal that's healthier for your breakfast table

Thursday >> HE GETS US: Sculpted in His image and by His own hand, we know He understands us >> ALSO: How interval training turns up your ability to burn fat

GIVING UP THE TITLE

July 29, 2011Read: 2 Samuel 22

"I will sing praises to your name." --2 Samuel 22:50

When the Forbes richest person list was revealed recently, there were few surprises, save for the absence of billionaire Bill Gates at No. 1. It's rumored that Bill Gates would have had the top spot had he not given so much to charity. Most can't fathom such a sacrifice, but because he gave so much to others, he relinquished a title many would kill for.

But just try to imagine. Jesus went from heaven to human. Actually, our minds can't begin to comprehend the exchange. If we can somehow use Bill Gates as a cheap example, while he gave to the needy, he didn't become needy. Billionaire to beggar? Baron to bum? Not exactly. After all, giving to the poor didn't mean living with the poor. But when Jesus came to earth, He did more than join us -- He took our place. We can't fathom such a sacrifice, but for you and I to have any hope, the cross needed the Savior. And that's a title only He could die for.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a week's worth of healthy living tips

>> RESOURCES: Finding the best fitness and nutrition tips around the site...in two clicks

>> NEWS: Can protein help to lower blood pressure?

>> NUTRITION: Keys to healthy weight gain

>> EXERCISE: Learn perfect form on the power push-up

QUESTION: If health eventually fails, why is it worth the fight? If God today, inquired of the condition of the body He gave you to get through life, what would your answer be? And if He called you do a better job, would you? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

FRIDAY REBOOT

June 17, 2011 After a long week filled with deadlines, commutes and family obligations, we have arrived at the weekend. But Friday doesn't have to be solely dedicated to unwinding. Sometimes, it can be the perfect occasion to recenter and recalibrate. Today, rather than giving a single, focused entry, we are providing healthy sampling of this week's devotionals. Our hope is that the variety sets the perfect end-of-the-week meeting -- one where God speaks to you where you are at this very moment so that He can steer you into the weekend recharged, rather than run down.

THE STANDARD Isn't it great to know that no matter how much the world around us changes, the ultimate standard never does?

Also: Burn more fat, keep more muscle. Take this week's interval-themed workout outside for a challenging but effective summer slim-down.

BE FIRST Peter's learned how to stand by often being the first to fall. Having an eager faith can help you set the pace for others, even through your stumbles.

Also: Learn exactly what's meant by "high intensity" and what you can do to apply it to your current fitness level.

HE MOVES YOU John jumped, shepherds sprinted and friends lifted. Like athletes, they moved just because He was near. How will you move in His presence today?

Also: Spice up your condiment life with this healthy recipe from Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC.

VERIFIED ACCOUNT Need a seal of approval? Thankfully, you may not find what you're looking for. Learn how an empty tomb was all the verification that was needed to change the world.

Also: Learn the truth about calories. Despite what some would have you believe, they're not all created equal.

DAD'S DAY While we take the morning to focus on the Father, let's not forget about dads! It's not too late to pick up the perfect something for the faith-and-fitness minded dads in your life. Head over to the PrayFit store to find shirts, hats, wristbands or books for Father's Day gifts.

FRIDAY CONVERSATION How has your dad influenced your approach to healthy living? Did he play sports with you as a kid? Did you watch him hoist crude, cement weights in the basement growing up? Even if the influence was more of a cautionary tale, share your experiences in the comments section below. Happy Father's Day!

EMPTY AND READY

May 20, 2011Read: 1 Chronicles 29

"Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name." --1 Chronicles 29:13

He wipes the sweat from his brow as he sweeps an empty body shop. Every few seconds, his eyes rise to see if any customers have stumbled in, but none do. His wife takes care of the office, the phones, and the plant on the window sill.  "Please Lord, bring us a customer." They'd poured out their life's savings. So as he continues to sweep a spotless floor, she straightens the OPEN FOR BUSINESS sign on the front window. It's a good shop. Empty and ready.

Certain things that happened this week reminded me of that story. Some days it feels like I'm sweeping an empty body shop, whispering to the Lord to see things through. You know, it's when we empty ourselves that the Lord does His work. But if we're full of ourselves or anything else, we leave no room for Him.

So Lord, we give you all that we do and say. We love you and we thank you in advance for what you will do in the days, weeks and months ahead. We're empty and ready.

(Oh, and thank you for sending a customer to my mom and dad so many years ago. In many ways, because you filled their empty shop, I can fill up this page with your good word.)

Have a blessed weekend everyone. In Jesus' name, we train.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

>> WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: A 10-minute push-ups and planks circuit for the ages

>> PREWORKOUT FOOD: How dark chocolate can power your routine

>> RECIPE: Chicken sausage & pepper flatbread

>> CAUSE AND EFFECT: What is behind America's obesity epidemic?

>> PRAYFIT IN PRINT: Looking for a great way to get your faith and health back on track? “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days” includes two 28-day, at-home workout programs, detailed meal plans and daily inspiration to nourish your faith. Find out what Tyler Perry, LL Cool J, Mario Lopez and so many more are talking about!

>> 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.

ROAD TO EMMAUS

May 13, 2011Read: Luke 24

"He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?'"  --Luke 24:17

I can just imagine those two disciples walking toward Emmaus together.  It was late in the day, their heads hung low as they kicked up dust with each reminiscent step. After minutes of silence, one would remember something Jesus said, bringing a grin to both their faces. After all, these two heard and saw things not written in the bible.

After another quiet mile or so, the other would bring up "that time when," and the two would smile, shake their heads, laugh and cry. Who would blame them? They missed their friend. Not the miracle maker or the water-walker, but just Jesus. The Jesus who would tell a good joke at bedtime, sending all the guys to bed laughing. And the same Jesus that listened to their stories with the anticipation of one who didn't already know the ending. Jesus was easy to miss.

Even when He was walking right next to you.

--J.P.

PRAYFIT: WEEK IN REVIEW

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Work most major muscles with this dumbbells-only complex

SACRIFICE: In what areas is God calling you to be healthier?

VEGETARIANS REJOICE: Learn a healthy, meat-free recipe from PrayFit contributing nutritionist Dana Angelo White

RED OR WHITE? Research yields more exciting news on the benefits of resveratrol

>> PRAYFIT IN PRINT: Looking for a great way to get your faith and health back on track? “PrayFit: Your Guide to a Healthy Body and a Stronger Faith in 28 Days” includes two 28-day, at-home workout programs, detailed meal plans and daily inspiration to nourish your faith. Find out what Tyler Perry, LL Cool J, Mario Lopez and so many more are talking about!

UNDERCOVER BOSS

February 25, 2011Read: John 1

"...and He dwelt among us." --John 1:14

I recently saw an advertisement for the show Undercover Boss, where the CEO of a very large company puts on a staff uniform and secretly joins his own working class. From the boardroom to the mail room, the one in charge becomes the one in line. Great concept. What better way to relate to his people than to live among them?

Wait, I think I've read that somewhere before...

--J.P.

WEEK IN REVIEW

>> WORKOUT: Lunge for better legs, glutes

>> HEALTH: Are cold and flu medications really worth it?

>> STUDY: What are the root causes of obesity?

NEW!!! At the top of each day's entry, you'll be able to share pages you like with your social networks. Click "Recommend," "Tweet," "Share" and/or "E-mail" to get your friends and family in the PrayFit loop!

VIDEO: If you haven't checked it out already, be sure to visit PrayFit's YouTube channel for exercise videos, messages from the founder and more.

GOING BACK

February 4, 2011Read: John 4

"A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink.'" -- John 4:7

Call me sentimental, but today marks a year to the day of my neck surgery. Today's check-up gave me assurance of a successful operation and my physician sent me away with a clean bill of health. To celebrate, I wanted to train. But on my way to the gym, I first walked to the edge of the rehab pool. Corny, sure. But I gave my life to that water, and it returned the favor. So I guess I went back to say goodbye.

You know, I wonder if the woman ever made her way back to that well, or if Peter ever wandered off alone to dip his toe in the sea of Galilee, remembering his stroll on the water. But whether it's to remember where you've been, or what you were given, going back does a body (and soul) good. Do you need to go back? If so, go ahead. Find your well, your shore, or your pool...and just thank God for living water.

--J.P.

QUIZ KEY

Yesterday, we dished you five "true or false" questions on fitness and nutrition. Still wondering how you did? Here's the answer key:

1. You burn more calories warming the body than cooling it. TRUE 2. You cause more muscle damage walking downhill than struggling to walk uphill. TRUE 3. The longest muscle in the body is the sartorius. TRUE 4. Stretching doesn’t prevent injury. TRUE 5. The safest time of day to have a cheat meal is immediately following a workout. TRUE

PRAYFIT: A WEEK IN REVIEW Revisiting a handful of healthy-living tips

WORKOUT: A simple superset can do wonders for your arms

TIPS: Time to take a serious look at obstacles to your health. Also, an inspirational member story...

NUTRITION: Is it possible to have sides that are slammed with flavor and health?

POP QUIZ: What is your fitness and nutrition IQ?