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

CarmelontheSea

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

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He Was Workin’

July 17, 2014

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

Yesterday afternoon I had a missionary in my living room, and he was workin’. His name was Jonathan, and he had come to share what he had planned for his trip and he needed money to do so. So excited. You couldn’t tell where one sentence ended and the next one began. The guy was on fire for the Lord. But he was distracted, see. What I mean is, he wasn’t alone. His boss had him preoccupied. Maybe I should back up.

Last week a company that was supposed to steam clean the carpet on our staircase didn’t show up. Twice. So Loretta called a different company and thankfully, the doorbell rang. When the two men arrived, both went right to work. Sort of. The older of the two started prepping the staircase and preparing the carpet. But the younger one was busy looking at my bookshelf. And as sure as I’m sitting here, the first words out of his mouth were, “How long have you been a Christian?”

First off, I was pretty busy yesterday getting ready for a photo shoot. In fact, today when many of you are reading this entry I’ll be in front of the camera filming some footage for the new PrayFit app. Gonna be neat when it all comes together. And honestly, the arrival of this carpet company wasn’t in my best interest. I mean, I’m busy working for the Lord after all! And then…

“How long have you been a Christian?” (So long busyness. Goodbye high horse.) I shared my testimony and he shared his. It was some neat scene. While his boss barked orders, this young man with his name on his shirt joyfully went about his business while explaining how he tried to run from God for almost all of his 22 years. But in his words, “God kept pursuing me until finally I accepted Him. I clean carpets to help me make money for the mission field.”

Like I said, I had a missionary in my living room yesterday and he was workin’.

Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: We sure can get busy right? Even so busy doing the Lord’s work that we forget to do His work. Even when it comes to health. I’ve said it before, but we have to be careful not to get so caught up in caring for the body that we forget to Honor God with it. Yesterday, like many of you, I said “Amen” about being a disciple of Jesus, and well, that sweet kid was acting like one.

Liftfromtheknees

 

 

Fellowship of the Unashamed

July 16, 2014

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel…” – Romans 1:16

“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power.
I’ve stepped over the line.
The decision has been made.
I’m a disciple of His.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly-talking, cheap-giving, and dwarf goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, position, promotion, applause, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience. I am uplifted by prayer and labour in power.
My pace is set. My gait is fast. My goal is Heaven. My road is narrow. My way is rough. My companions are few. My God reliable. My mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of my adversaries, negotiate at the table of my enemy, or ponder at the pool of popularity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I’ve stayed up, stored up, prayed up, preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.” -Worth Dying For, Infiltrate

For Discussion: Who is fired-up to face the day? An “amen” in the comment section would be a nice battle cry.

HeMovesInFAMILY CIRCLE: Hey everyone, thank you so much for your faithful reading. Do me a favor and please follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Tell your friends and family too!
(Many of you may remember this old entry.)
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A Life Worked Out

July 15, 2014

“What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning…Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-18 (version: the msg)

Dr. Charles Stanley said a few years ago, “There’s no name that carries more quality, none more Heavenly, or has the power and the energy than the name of Jesus.” He went on to say that those who claim Jesus as Savior must also claim Him as Lord of their lives; as the Boss. Because, “Jesus” he continued,  ”has the right to call every single play in our lives.” Wow. I can’t have Him as Savior of my soul and not the Lord in charge of my life.

In Philippians 2:12, Paul says, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” He wasn’t talking about working their way to Heaven through works, but he was talking about living a life worthy of the calling after salvation. In other words, Jesus is Savior, make sure He’s Lord. Work it out. What a powerful passage (the message Bible has a wonderful interpretation, part of which I included above, and I challenge you to read it.)

You know, I’ve been taking my training up a notch as you all know, trying new things, and this weekend I began using free weights again. And I show this pic 1stRowbecause I have a new back, and I’m working it out for the first time in a couple years (yes, with fear and trembling even with a little 8-pound dumbbell.) But it requires of me a different lifestyle. The kind of weight that I lift or the modified way I get around these days sends a message to those around me. Something is different. There’s a reason why I do the things I do.

The message? By grace we have Heaven, and our message to those around us on earth needs to be that we’re looking forward to it. That we’re working it out. Are we forgiving, loving, showing grace, helping, serving, being stewards? What did Paul say? “Be energetic in your life of salvation.” Indeed the Christian life is a life worked out.

For Discussion: Isn’t grace good? We can’t budge it. It crashes down on us and puts our little faith to work with whatever we have. Who’s working life out today?

WorkItOut

 

Health is a Season

July 13, 2014

Hey gang, on February 27, I asked you to pray for my buddy’s mom, Gail. Here was the email to me from her son Doug.

Hey Jimmy,
I hope this email finds you doing well. Going to cut right to it…
My dad took my mom into ER over the weekend, a CT and X-ray later = pancreatic cancer. Never saw it coming, healthy woman. Words cannot describe what we’re experiencing as a family, let alone my mother. Lab results are expected in the next 2-3 days. We’ll have an idea of game plan once we see the lab results and what stage she is in. Her tumor, 2-3 centimeters, is on the tip of the pancreas. Her name is Gail, in all honesty – she is my best friend. To say we’re close is an understatement. Can you please pray for her, and feel free to forward my request to anyone else in your network…
-Doug

A countless number of you reached out with comments and emails, prayers and messages of hope. I want you to know that they all reached Doug, and he and his family read each one of your comments to her at her bedside. Well, Gail isn’t hurting anymore. On Saturday, Loretta and I attended a beautiful memorial service and celebration of a life well-lived. She had Jesus in her heart and wasn’t shy about it. She was married 46 years and had a beautiful family of kids, grandkids and a whole lot of friends that loved her.

As they passed the mic around the crowded church so people could tell a quick story of Gail, one theme kept coming up. See, Gail spent 25 years as a manicurist/pedicurist, and most of the people she shared Christ with were people whose hands she held and whose feet she washed. What a testimony. Way to go, Gail. Washing feet, talking about Jesus.

-Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Oh friends, health – like life – is a season. Here today, gone tomorrow. That heartbeat you just had? God gave you that. What will you do with the next one He gives? Today and all week long, make a point to live like there’s no tomorrow. Share Christ, be healthy, work hard, kiss people, laugh and love. Health is a gift; open daily.
Who’s with me?HealthisaGift

 

 

Full Attention

July 11, 2014

Jeremy Riddle sings a great song for us on a Friday that fits nicely in our week’s theme. It’s called “Full Attention.” It goes:

May your voice be louder,
May your voice be clearer
than all the others in my life.
May your face be dearer.
May your words be sweeter
than all the others in my life.
Please keep my eyes fixed on You.
Please root my heart so deep in You.
Keep me abiding that I may bear fruit
.

This has been a neat week looking at Biblical moments of delight. Times when men and women found flowers in their sidewalk, and it was a blessing to read your sightings as well. Thank you.

You know, finding flowers in the sidewalk is also tough to see – at least for me – during daily moments of my disobedience; plenty of examples for us in God’s Word too. It’s Jonah in the belly. It’s Peter listening to a rooster. It’s David after Bathsheba, and it’s Adam after that bite. It’s the moment we encounter a bloom the moment we deserve doom. But as much as it hurts and convicts, it’s also a reminder of the comfort of grace, amen? Our obedience doesn’t merit grace, and our disobedience doesn’t mute it. Don’t look, but here comes the Son.

So as we end the week, let’s do a collective face-plant into the very pavement we’ve been treading on this week. And as we turn our heads to the side, find that flower rising from that impossible place. (Bloom). The one that shouldn’t be there. (Bloom). The one with no soil and no chance. The one representing delight. (Bloom). Let everything else behind it simply blur out of focus. See it? Good. Give it your full attention. And whether you’re hugging cement out of delight or despair or both, you have the perfect posture. Stay here as long as you like or as long as it takes. When you’re ready, just take a deep breath, and as you exhale, say, “Grace.”

Jimmy Peña

UNCOVERED
The PrayFit Diet, original cover.

RawCoverPFDiet
Just came across the raw cover of my latest book, The PrayFit Diet. Overwhelmed by the feedback from around the world. An Amazon and Barnes & Noble Hottest Hit, it’s been a refreshing resource of grace, perspective and triumph, as well as a teaching tool for balanced eating (recipes designed by Dana Angelo White, dietitian and culinary expert at The Food Network.)

And don’t worry about the word “diet” because a diet is simply the food we eat. If we ate food today, we have a diet. I just believe in a balanced plate. Plus, God’s grace frees me from being timid or afraid of the word, so it’s all good yo!

Friends, this is my 7th book project, but I admit, it’s my favorite. It’s available everywhere books are sold – thanks to my amazing publisher, Simon & Schuster - so I hope you pick one up for yourself or someone you love.

Green Thumbs and Grace

July 10, 2014

I admit, I have no green thumb. Put the care and well-being of a well-nourished, deeply-rooted, fully-watered plant in my hands and you can bet it won’t end well. Where my wife talks to each plant and encourages, I scowl and demand. Well, in a week looking at moments in the lives of believers – “flowers bursting through the sidewalk” – each instance required God’s grace and aren’t we glad! Take your Bible and flip through chapter after chapter at moments like we’ve discussed and you’ll find God doing the…the doing, the planting, watering, growing; even in the most unexpected of places.

It’s Moses watching the waters part and Daniel petting a hungry lion. It’s a trembling army hoisting young David on its collective shoulders and Peter needing help with nets full of fish. It’s a lame man walking out of the same house he was carried into and the woman at the well never being thirsty again. It’s John seeing the future and it’s God forgetting our past. Need I go on?

You know, when it comes to our health and well-being, the Bible says we’re quickly fading. But for now, we can join the frontrunners of our faith in those faith-fortifying, heart-pounding, eye-popping, head-scratching moments of growth through grace. Funny, I have no green thumb for plants or even for my own well-nourished life. Left in my hands, I won’t end well. Fortunately, God made me, makes me, fills me with grace and wants me to bloom for a minute. And He wants the same for you.
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: I hope that in your busy days and weeks – and as often as you get the chance to check in here at PrayFit – you find good glimmers of hope for your health and life. Anyone have any praises to share? Love to hear from you.

 

 

Easy To Miss

July 9, 2014

“He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’”  –Luke 24:17
Read: Luke 24

In keeping with our theme of the week, notice any flowers in this sidewalk?

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 same Jesus who would tell a good joke at night, 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.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Imagine the moment. They had no idea what had bloomed along the way, piercing their darkness. Question: Have you seen Jesus this week? Maybe in the doctor that gave you the news of your blood sugar? Perhaps it was the homeless man who wanted nothing more than for you to look him in the eye and smile? Friends, Jesus may not walk beside us like He did on the road to Emmaus, but He walks among us. He breaks through the pavement of school, work or the gym, piercing our darkness. Let’s remind each other not to miss Him, because it’s easy to do when we’re not looking.

MakemeAware

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Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 6.14.54 PMTHINK ETERNITY
For those who may have missed my plea yesterday, I want you to know about my friend Matt Brown, founder of Think Eternity. He and his wife Michelle are impacting thousands of people with the gospel each year through live events and online. Their speaking ministry has taken them to the ends of the earth, and thousands of people have trusted in Christ as a result of their ministry. They also minister to a quarter million followers on social media daily.

Guys, please do me an enormous favor and follow him. Such godly wisdom, all things Gospel and grace. He’s on Twitter @evangelistmatt and @Thinke and on Facebook. He has a new book hitting next year and his latest book, Revolutionaries, is a free e-book that I’ve recently downloaded. Please get it! Here’s the link. It’s free and powerful.