Lost Tails and All

July 31, 2014

Jesus takes our fears seriously. In fact, he takes our fears more seriously than we do. Let that thought marinade in your mind for a second. Before He left earth, He left no doubt about it. More than any other command, Jesus urged us to not fear. Of everything we know the Lord said to us while dwelling among us, “fear not” topped the list. If you think about it, what stops us from sharing our faith with strangers? What hinders us from loving the unlovable, forgiving the unforgivable or attempting the impossible? Fear, fear and more fear. It’s no wonder He encouraged courage.

Well, before we say goodbye to Aslan tomorrow, I wanted to hopefully encourage you with one more principle that I drew from C.S. Lewis in his children’s tale. In a cute, comical scene, Aslan is talking to Reepicheep; a brave, sword-fighting mouse who has lost his tail in a great battle. While Aslan tells Reepicheep that the shortened tail becomes him well, Reepicheep dramatically offers his sword to Aslan saying that because of his deformity, he must resign from duty. “All the same, great King. I regret that I must withdraw, for a tail is the honor and glory of a mouse.” Then Aslan delivers probably one of the strongest lines in the film (perfect for mice and men.) He replied, “Perhaps you think too much of your honor, friend.”Aslan and Reepicheep

Wow. I actually pressed rewind to hear that again. Perhaps you think too much of your honor. What a powerful principle and a perfect reminder for us during courage week. Guys, when we focus on our abilities, inabilities, physical or otherwise, we get wrapped up in our own honor and ego. We think if we’re not whole, we’re not us. But with God, we’re whole. We’re enough. Lost tails and all.
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I can relate to Reepicheep. I used to be pretty fit and strong; put together. (True story.) Honor intact, I had the world by the tail. Then I started losing spinal disks and colon function. LOL, yeah, that’ll do it. Many a day I offered God my sword, withdrawing from duty. Like Reepicheep, I thought too much of my honor. But God had other plans. So I kept typing, He kept healing. Yeah, I used to think I was put together with muscle and bone, when in truth, I’ve always been held together by a thread. And that’s enough.
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Roaring Times

July 30, 2014

–Continuing with our Chronicles of Narnia marathon, here’s Lucy talking to Aslan. Because she was the only one among her friends at the time who could see him, she was afraid to follow him. Here Aslan is asking her why that held her back….–
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So, yesterday I sat in a boardroom. Probably the biggest meeting of my little career. I may have mentioned that this was a big week for me. Well, with my agency on my left and my production partner to my right, I proceeded to explain to these execs how PrayFit began. I started with the early days; a blog with a handful of readers. Then I talked about the first book, and our mention on The Tonight Show which led to our DVD series with Lionsgate Entertainment. I finished my summary with our latest cookbook with Simon & Schuster. Oh I was on a roll and getting ALL of my points across. (Well, not all of them.)

While someone else was talking, it was as if the room grew quiet. I thought of all of you, and this week’s topic, and Loretta’s last text to me before I went into the meeting. “Have courage. You’re not alone.” I’m sure my grin was noticeable as I thought to myself, “I have the spirit of the living God in me. What’s holding me back?”

Daydream over, I sat up in my seat, leaned across the freshly-polished mahogany and said, “Above all. Our diligence toward a healthy lifestyle is not about the mirror. It’s about the One we’re trying to mirror. If our health doesn’t begin and end with Jesus, then we’re just going through the motions.” I’m giggling to myself as I type this recap, but I suppose in my weak and feeble way, I tried to roar.TheOnewemirror

Now, whether or not this network puts us on TV, I’m not sure. But one thing is. They know that this company, this site, my books and DVDs are designed to bring honor and glory to our Lord. Otherwise, better change the channel. Amen?
Jimmy Peña

FOR DISCUSSION: How has this week’s theme bolstered your courage? Any specifics you care to share? What praises do you have to raise to the group? And this week, it’s ok if you show some teeth. Please let me know.
(And hey guys, I covet your prayers. Today I have another major network meeting. Roar with me.)

Facing Courage

July 29, 2014

And then that word grew louder and louder until it was a battle cry.”
- lyrics of “The Call” from The Chronicles of Narnia.

Here we find Edmund before heading off to war – a stubborn, power-hungry, disobedient boy who wandered away from what was right to seek his own glory – seen here talking to Aslan. The neat part about this scene – and the reason I chose it today – is that we don’t hear the conversation between the two. What we do know is that all it took for Edmund to turn his life around was a face-to-face with the One who saved him.Edmund_aslan

Courage is our battle cry this week, and so many people responded to yesterday’s entry. Prayer requests, special needs, courage seekers, and as I type this very sentence a need was posted from a reader who can’t quite put into words what she’s feeling or thinking. Having wandered far from God, as well as, recently diagnosed with cancer, she’s unsure of what she needs or if she’s even worthy to ask for it.

Guys, so many people around us are hurting, scared and desperate; in need of hope as they head off to war.

Truth: No matter how far we’ve wandered, despite our mistakes and missteps, and even in the midst of unforeseen infirmities, a face-to-face with Jesus is the birthplace of faith and the beginning of courage.

Are you waiting to hear the diagnosis? Got a big meeting at 4:00pm PST? Does your neighbor need your forgiveness? Maybe it’s time to take back your health? Whatever it is, let the word “courage” grow louder and louder inside your heart until it’s a battle cry. Because like we learn from Edmund, the best we can do is know who our friends are when we head off to war. Amen to that. No matter who or what you’re up against today, before you face them, face Him.
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What Biblical character can you think of that – even after wandering far from God – received courage by going back to the beginning for a face-to-face?

The Lion in Us

July 27, 2014

Last week Loretta and I decided to do a “Chronicles of Narnia Marathon.”  Anyone seen all three films? Considered a classic in children’s literature, the teaching principles throughout these C.S. Lewis stories are innumerable. And to think there are seven Narnia books, and rumors are swirling of a fourth movie. If you haven’t seen or read them, the main character is a lion named Aslan; an alternate version of Jesus in these fantasy tales.ASLAN

Wiping away tears at the end of each film, Loretta and I both agreed that if we could hug Aslan, we’d do so and never let go. We’d follow him everywhere, never letting him out of our sight. If the most gentle and powerful being of all time were our closest friend and at our side day and night, we’d have courage to talk about God with anyone, anywhere, anytime. We’d forgive sooner and help more. And don’t get us started on how much less we’d worry. (You know where I’m going with this, so I won’t even say it.)

This week is another big week for PrayFit. I’ll walk into some crowded boardrooms with my little box of dreams. And it’s funny – as silly as it sounds and with a grin on my face as I type – I know I won’t be alone. The network executives on the other side of the table won’t be able to see Him at my side as they evaluate me and PrayFit, but they’ll know He’s there; by my words, my spirit, my heart and by this week’s theme of devotions, my courage.

Over the next few days, we’ll talk courage when it comes to our health and well-being. Fact is, whether we’re super healthy, severely ill and anywhere in-between, we need godly courage to meet each day’s needs. And all those needs can only be met by the Lion in us.
Jimmy and Loretta Peña

Prayer Requests of Courage: Anyone facing something this week that you’d like us to help you pray about? Job interview? Doctor’s appointment? Presentation? Sale pending? Trying to share Christ with a co-worker? Are you losing a battle with pride? It takes courage to face it all. List your need here or simply say “Unspoken” and this little band of your brothers and sisters promises to pray for you.

PrayFit Perspective: As much as we strive for greater health, it’s our time in God’s word and in prayer that has everlasting results. Grace doesn’t atrophy. Later this week we’ll be looking at the kind of courage it takes for the believer in the fitness community to seek godliness over what the world demands. Stay tuned.
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No Wonder

July 25, 2014

“Know that the Lord is our God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” –Psalm 100:3

Read: Psalm 100

toolsShe should have been a carpenter. If it had been a priceless work of art, she wouldn’t have put any more effort into it. Sitting on the kitchen floor, Loretta (who is the handyman in the family), measured, marked and re-measured to make sure the new kitchen hardware was going to be centered perfectly. Of course, I “eyeballed it” and knew everything would be even, but that wasn’t good enough. No sir. She even made me hold the tools as she steadied the level. But you can’t blame her. After all, these were her cabinets for a room where we spend the most time and have have so much fun.

Putting my arm around her, I kissed the side of her head as we surveyed her work. In that moment, I wondered if this is how we should be treating our time, resources and our health. Our gifts deserve more than an “eyeballing” but rather a genuine care and concern, amen? Of course, not to boast in our possessions or to gloat about how “fit” we are, but all because of the One who made us.

“Fearfully.” “Wonderfully.” “Knit together.” “Formed.” “Created”. These are just a few of the ways the bible describes how God lovingly built us. Just imagine Him with a level as He designed our souls with integrity. Picture it as He wipes the dust from our rough edges, smoothing tempers and molding character. It’s no wonder He chose to be a carpenter. We’re a masterpiece that He signed with His blood and framed with a body; what a privilege He’s given us to care for His work.

–Jimmy Peña

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PrayFit RISE Conference Update: So yesterday we wrapped our first video for the new PrayFit App coming to iTunes soon. Neat stuff. So blessed. (And my chocolate lab “The Outlaw Ms. Josey Wales” steals the show!)

Anyway, the team is about to post a job opening for us, and I wanted to raise the praise here first. Los Angeles will be the spot for the first PrayFit Rise Conference; a celebration of grace, faith, fitness, food and more! Preachers, world-renowned speakers, dietitians, fitness experts, and one of my favorite Christian bands will be on-hand at PrayFit Rise to close-out the night. So neat.

As far as the job opening, the team is looking for a sales expert in the Los Angeles area with a heart for the Lord and a mind for sales & sponsorships. Interested individuals can email resumes and cover letters to info@prayfit.com for more details. Neat huh? Anyone ready to come to PrayFit Rise? Hope so. And if not, I know you’ll pray for us. Details will be on the app and on the site real soon. Thanks everyone. Live Jesus, in our hearts forever.

Forgive Us, The Body

July 24, 2014

Lord, forgive us for spending so much time trying to honor the body that we actually fail to honor you with it.

Forgive us for not taking care of our body to the point that we fail to physically accomplish what you designed for us to do; serve others, live exceptionally, and much, much more.

Forgive us for worrying about what others see and how we compare to the fitness magazines that we forget that you love us and see yourself in us. It’s you we want to mirror.

Forgive us for forgetting that when you said “Go” to the disciples, you said the same to us. It’s still a call to action. It’s tough to serve our community from the couch.

Forgive us for putting so much emphasis on planning and preparing what we eat before we train – fast-digesting protein and slow-digesting carbs – that we’d rather stuff a quick verse down our throat – at best – so we don’t miss the gym.

Forgive us for living in either a vanity-driven paranoia or a stale state of gluttony.

Forgive us for forgetting that even though life is not about the body, it’s not just any body. It’s yours.

Forgive us – the body of Christ – for forgetting that our health is our means of praise. That our health is a gift of grace.

Help us Lord. May we all recalibrate WHY our health is important to YOU, the source of this perfectly-designed, wonderfully made, grace-filled, small, weak and failing, temporary, awesome gift of life. Amen.
- Jimmy Peña
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Prayer Request Update:
Guys, yesterday there was an outpouring of prayer requests and needs. If you have time, please help us go through and pray for others. Health struggles and more. Thanks everyone.

Hidden Valleys

July 23, 2014

On our drive home down Highway 1 this weekend, we happened upon a neat scene. As we came around a bend, we noticed a few dozen cars stopped on the side of the road. Doors open, people standing and taking pictures. They weren’t looking toward the water, but rather toward a beautiful, hidden valley. Something out of the ordinary had caught their attention. Turning to catch a glimpse myself, I too had to pull over for a peek at a beautiful herd of…zebras…that had made their way to the road. Never know what you’ll find in a hidden valley.HiddenValley

Makes me wonder, anyone familiar with Christian artist Steve Green? He may be a little old school for some of us, but Steve sang a great song that Loretta and I were immediately reminded of and began to sing in the truck as we drove away. The words will cut right to the heart for some of you today.

In a hidden valley
just over the hill.
A young shepherd boy
surrenders his will.
As he lifts his voice in praise to his king,
only the lambs will hear and follow as he sings.

In a hidden valley,
a faithful one leads.
No one looking on,
he cares for their needs.
For he knows the One
who tries the heart.
So he is steadfast and content
to do his part
.

Hidden valleys produce a life song.
Hidden valleys will make a heart strong.
Desperation can cause you to sing.
Hidden valleys turn shepherds to kings
.

Guys, the Lord only knows what some of you are going through today. Illness, tragedy, hurts, loneliness, fear, and yes, perhaps even desperation.  With a humble heart, I want you to know that I care, that I know it’s tough, and that I’m praying for you today. Even though the world may not stop to notice or care – to God – hidden valleys are in plain sight.
Jimmy Peña

Prayer Requests: Hidden valleys produce a life song. Think of that phrase for a minute. If you’re in a valley or know someone who is, please mention your request in the comments section. If you’d rather not be specific, simply write “Unspoken” and we promise to lift your name in prayer.

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IAMyoursolution

Deep Calling

July 21, 2014

You are the salt of the earth…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16

This weekend Loretta and I took a short drive up the coast to visit some friends in Carmel, Ca. If the phrase “God’s Country” ever applied, it’s there. We always love seeing Carmel, and we’ve determined that if we ever move cities, Carmel awaits. The only thing better than the view was the couple we were there to visit. Mike and Sima Saeidi. A former colleague of mine in the hospitality industry, Mike and his wife Sima are some of our closest friends. If the phrase, “Salt of the Earth” ever applied, it’s to them.

Speaking of salt, one afternoon we toured their resort in Carmel and on the grounds they have an actual salt house. It’s the neatest thing. They harvest the resort’s salt directly from the waters of Monterey Bay. And something I read made me think of all of you. In order to farm the salt, the salt company “heads out about a mile into the deeper, hallowed waters of the Bay where the water is pure and fresh.”

Friends, isn’t that the goal each day for our lives, work and health? To go deep? It’s deep into God’s word and deep on our knees in prayer, and deep into our perspective of the body where we find real, lasting meaning. Shallow is easy. And quick. And popular. But we’re called to a deeper love. Peter wasn’t called out of the boat where his feet could touch the bottom, and neither are we. In order to be God’s salt of the earth in this industry or any industry, we know where to go, the gospel. Where water is pure and fresh. Let’s have a good week.
Jimmy Peña

Carmel In Pictures
I likely have a week’s worth of entries in my head from all we saw on our quick trip. Just take a look at these images.

Highway1

A bluff in Carmel

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By the water in Carmel.

lavendar fields

Lavender Fields

 

 

 

 

God’s Will and Good Health

July 21, 2014

I have a long list of goals. Wanna hear a few of them? Ok, here goes. In no particular order — and before I turn 50 — my goals are 1) to become fluent in Spanish 2) memorize the New Testament 3) learn to play the piano 4) visit Bethlehem and 5) be able to do a handstand. Do you like my odds? Please, no bets on the handstand. Give me a hand for just standing!

But when you read some of my life’s objectives, what do they all require? Any common denominators? I can think of two: God’s will and my health. I am nothing without either. But I love to imagine what all I could do with God’s blessing of a plan and His blessing of good health to see it through. Wow. The idea literally makes my heart pound. Friends, I’m convinced that the only two solitary and pivotal elements any believer needs when it comes to their goals are God’s will and health.

What do you need your health to help you see and do? (Don’t hold back, I want to know.) Be around for your daughter’s wedding? Someone with special needs who needs you the most? Hand bibles out in uncharted territories? Goals. Of course, we celebrate the byproducts of obedience like healthier weight, blood pressure, clear lungs, but if God allows those things, don’t dare stop there. What are your goals? Let’s get together and pray for God’s will and wisdom. And then plan. Let’s plan away. Get on your knees, and with God’s help, deliver an unwavering commitment to put your health on that mission.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What swing-for-the-fence dreams do you have? If it were God’s will, what makes your heart pound? Please give us your short list. Etched on your heart is part of your purpose. What is it?

 

King of My Heart

July 17, 2014

Happy Friday everyone. Cool week. I actually spent the better part of yesterday shooting video for the new PrayFit App that will hit the iTunes store very soon. Whew. We’re so excited. Aren’t you? You’ll be able to receive the daily, get recipes, training, videos, tips, an audio Bible and more, all through the app. So blessed. Hope you enjoy it. Below is a pic of me behind the scenes. Handsome, huh?

Well, following the shoot I was pretty whipped. Came home and downloaded a great new song called “King of My Heart” by the group Love & The Outcome. It hit the spot. Please allow this to be both the entry and the words that you recite and repeat throughout your Friday. It’s sweet and strong.

“I’m in a war every minute.
I know for sure I’ll never win it.
I am David up against Goliath.
It’s the fight for my attention.
I’m being pulled in every direction.
This world tells me just what I can see.
Lord won’t you help me believe what I believe.
Cause YOU are:
Bigger than any battle I’m facing.
Better than anything I’ve been chasing.
Savior in royalty. The only hope for me.
Jesus you are – you are – the King of my heart.
Rule in me.”

Amen? So grateful for your faithfulness and encouragement. I hope that you are healthy in body and strong in spirit from what you see and read here at PrayFit. You’re why I’m here!
Jimmy

Behindthescenes

FAMILY CIRCLE: If I can ask a favor of you, please share our social networks with your friends online. That would bless me so much. Have a great weekend. See you Monday.
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