We’re Silent

April 17, 2014

“It is finished.” –John 19:30

Read: John 19

Today, we’re silent. Like the angels for six hours that Friday, we’re still. Like the naysayers and doubters, who waited at the foot of the cross to hear Jesus take back His promises, and with the disciples who hid their faces from the enemies who sought them, we’re speechless. It’s Friday. And it is finished.

Uphill Battles

April 17, 2014

“Carry each other’s burdens.” –Galatians 6:2

Read: Galatians 6

>> AUDIO: Click here to listen to Jimmy read today’s entry.

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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.

–Jimmy Peña

EATING IN BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS

So what’s our new book about anyway? The PrayFit Diet, available in stores now, can help you feel your best, not by starving you or cutting out carbs but by showing you how to eat in balance. Perfectly proportioned meal planning that improves vitality while keeping you fulfilled! This faith-filled manual is fortified by real science demonstrating that when all three macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) are eaten in equal caloric ratios, magic happens. Inflammation is reduced, energy improves, other health markers improve. You have enough energy from carbs to power through workouts, enough protein to support muscle repair and retention and enough healthy fat to cushion joints, improve heart health and support brain function. Taken in total, this can help you become a better steward of your physical health! If any (or all) of this sounds like something that you or a loved one can benefit from, grab a copy or two today by clicking here.

Carry Your Purpose

April 15, 2014

“‘Go into that village over there,’” he told them. ‘As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.’” –Luke 19:30

Read: Luke 19

I know I talk about him each year, but I just love him. I hope you don’t mind…

There he was. Tied up. Who knows how long he’d been waiting? The most insignificant of animals with an inconsequential life. No thoroughbred blood running through his veins. His next meal was his only solace between chores. A helpless laborer, a meaningless creature. When, all of a sudden…

If you’re like me, you’ve questioned your significance. Is this really what I was meant to do? Well, the next time you ponder your purpose, think of that donkey. Jesus asked for him specifically. Sure, the Lord could have chosen any method of transportation, but He chose him. Uniquely qualified, his purpose was to carry Jesus to His.

Forgive my sentimental imagination, but I like to think that a donkey nobody had ever ridden knew exactly who he carried. I bet he did his best to make Jesus proud. Of course we don’t know what the Lord said to him as He got off and walked away, maybe nothing. But this humble writer likes to think that as the crowd took Jesus the rest of the way, that little donkey stood taller than ever. After all, Jesus needed a ride.

–Jimmy Peña

Question: Have you ever pondered your purpose? Ever wondered what Jesus could use you for? No matter what your life’s calling or trade, there is someone you know or someone you don’t who is empty and lost. You’re hand-picked. Like the donkey in our story, you may be the carrier of their only hope. So, deliver.

PRAYFIT NUTRITION: MILK
There’s a good alternative for those sensitive to cow’s milk

If you’re sensitive to cow’s milk, you might try the goat variety. Did you know that goat’s milk has more essential amino acids and more omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium than cow’s milk? With all that said, its protein is easier to digest than cow’s milk and has less lactose. Wondering about the taste? It’s a bit on the sweeter side.

>> DAILY FEED: Wanna get PrayFit sent to your inbox on a daily basis? Sign up here, and tell your friends and family to do the same!

Hope Does Not Disappoint

April 14, 2014

“Hope does not disappoint.” –Romans 5:5

Read: Romans 5

I’ve always loved today’s verse. Read it again. I’ve purposefully held out the surrounding verses, because I want to focus on this phrase for a second. See, when the world mentions the word “hope,” its tone is usually one of question or doubt. I hope I get an “A”. I hope she likes me. I hope nobody notices. I hope….

Well, the Bible says that strength comes to those who hope in the Lord. No question there. No sign of doubts. It’s a done deal. Why? God…will…come…through…for…us. How do we know? He died for us. That’s why Paul said in Romans 15, “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace.” Look up and read the verse again out loud.

Are you in need of a sure thing? When dreams allude us and people fall short, and all we want is a glimmer:

We know that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” –Romans 5:3-5

It’s the ultimate catch-22. If we invite the God of hope into our hearts, He delivers it on impact.

And you know what they say about hope.

–Jimmy Peña

DID YOU KNOW? There are two times of the day when simple (fast-digesting) carbs, such as white bread and sugars, are less likely to impact your waistline: first thing in the morning and after a hard workout. During sleep and exercise, your body burns through stored sugars, leaving you in something of a carb deficit. At most other times of the day, excess carbs or fast-burning carbs are more likely to result in stored body fat.

(Page 59, The PrayFit Diet)

WORKOUT: PRAYFIT 33

We’ve been talking a lot about nutrition lately and we hope that you are all enjoying the abundance set forth in The PrayFit Diet. But if you’re looking for workouts that can truly send your results off the charts, we’ve got just the thing. Either of PrayFit’s two at-home workout DVDs can help you build strength and burn body fat, taking greater advantage of the food prescriptions we lay out in The PrayFit Diet. Try this sample workout, led by Jimmy, then pick up your DVDs to help accelerate your results by clicking here.

Tray Tables Full Of Dreams

April 14, 2014

laptop“We’ve reached our cruising altitude. At this time you may use all approved electronic devices…”

Flying back from The 700 Club taping last week, I sat staring at the tray table in front of me. It all happened so fast, I thought. Instead a sit-down interview plus cooking demo, they decided to make it a kitchen segment. I did my best to try and convey the message of grace while showing a day’s worth of food. The team (Eric) busted my chops for closing my eyes so much. Passion, I laughed back in a text. Just pure passion. Oh friends, what a blessing of an opportunity.

Where was I? Ah, yes. The plane ride home. Well, across the aisle, a gentleman was thundering away on his laptop. A tall fellow, his knees were near his chest but that didn’t stop him from furiously typing with purpose. For nearly five hours his eyes never left the screen. Meanwhile, I was exhausted and I could feel my glands getting swollen and a tickle in my throat. The days of little sleep and all the emotion were catching up to me. I was ready to get home.

Long flight story short, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign as we’ve begun our initial descent into LAX.” Music to my clogged ears. And for the first time since we took off, my neighbor stopped typing and made a mad dash to the lavatory. Placing the computer on his seat with the screen open, I couldn’t help but read the heading of his document. In big, bold letters it read, “PASSION PROJECTS.” No wonder. I wish you could have seen me grin and nod at him as he returned to his seat. I was this close to encouraging him. After all – because of grace – I’m living mine.

As we begin a week’s worth of devotions surrounding the holiest of weeks, passion will be a common theme. Of heart, of health, of hope. Please join us each day. Let’s dive into Scripture together. Let’s look at training, running, activity and balanced eating. If there’s ever been a week to celebrate abundant life for the right reasons, this is it. Welcome to Monday.

–Jimmy Peña

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Our recipe of the week comes directly from the pages of The PrayFit Diet. Like every other recipe in the book, it is a tasty concoction from the mind (and kitchen) of Food Network contributor Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC.

Ingredients:
1 mango, peeled and diced
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped cucumber
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Salt
Hot sauce
8 ounces tilapia
1 tablespoon canola oil

For the salsa, combine mango, pepper, cucumber, lime juice, and cilantro. Season with salt and a few dashes of hot sauce, if desired; set aside.

Season tilapia with canola oil, salt, and hot sauce. Cook fish in a nonstick skillet or grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until completely cooked through. Serve topped with salsa.

THE 33 DIFFERENCE: Tilapia is a healthy, protein-loaded mainstay on the PrayFit Diet, and there are a number of ways you can prepare it. But after you try this recipe, you may be more of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” persuasion. By combining mango, bell pepper, cucumber, lime, and cilantro, you get a flavor explosion that jazzes up an already amazing source of protein and healthy dietary fat.

For another recipe and an excerpt from the The PrayFit Diet on BeliefNet, click here!

Alone in a Crowded Courtyard

April 11, 2014

“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” –John 15:20

Read: John 15

Yesterday’s post stirred my heart. Here’s how I see the same scene. When Jesus was taken into custody and led to the home of the high priest, Peter followed, wanting to stay as close to Jesus as he could. He did so at his own peril — if the guards had realized that he was one of the twelve, Peter could have been on the fourth cross at Calvary. But that was Peter…a bold, brazen and unapologetic follower of Christ. Then they entered the courtyard.

Peter sat there, the glow of the firelight on his face, his mind racing with ideas on how he could be used to help his captive Savior. Just then, the flames betrayed more than his concern — they revealed his identity. Recognized by someone from across the fire, Peter began to shrink from his steely determination and quickly denied who he was and who He was there for. A second mention of his association with Christ brought knots to his stomach. Again he denied. And the third put an arrow through his heart — because at this denial, he caught the eyes of a crestfallen Christ. Though He knew Peter would disassociate himself, the denial didn’t hurt any less.

Whether it’s in the court of public opinion or our family’s Sunday dinners, we as believers can sometimes feel like loners in a crowded courtyard. Persecuted for who we follow, we can find ourselves absorbing the whispers and suspicious scowls of those across the fire but we can rest on two unquestionable truths: 1) He said it would be this way. 2) Peter became the rock upon which the Lord built His church.

Being alone in the crowd isn’t comfortable…just an honor.

–Eric Velazquez

Final Prayfit Diet CoverHAVE YOU ORDERED YOUR COPY? Thanks to you, The PrayFit Diet has seen a huge surge in its opening week. Social media is abuzz with the simplicity of the plan — “The 33 Balance” — and what it can do to help you change the way you look and feel…forever. No deprivation, no elimination of food groups — just perfect, biblical balance that triggers weight loss, reduces inflammation, improves joint health, heart health and brain function and drastically increases energy! Help us carry the momentum into the weekend by ordering yours today!

JIMMY ON THE 700 CLUB

Did you catch Jimmy on yesterday’s episode of The 700 Club? Jimmy got to cook one of the recipes from The PrayFit Diet in studio while discussing the amazing principles of the “33 Balance” laid out in the book. Click on the player below to watch!

Meeting His Eyes

April 9, 2014

“The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.” –Luke 22:61

Read: Luke 22

Have you ever stopped to think about all the great and odd ways that God gets the attention of His people? Lazarus woke up and Jonah saw the inside of a whale. Just run through the bible and we find countless examples of jaw-dropping, head-swiveling surrender to God’s presence and authority.

Continue Reading »

Kiss The Walls

April 9, 2014

“Then I heard the Lord asking, ‘Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?’ I said, ‘Here I am. Send me.’” –Isaiah 6:8

Read: Isaiah 6

We often pray for God to send us where He wants us to go. You’ve probably said, “Here I am Lord…send me.”  Well, when Paul was put in prison, he kissed the walls. He figured he had a captive audience, and if this is where God wanted him, he was gonna rattle some chains.

So take a look around you. Survey your surroundings. Do you have a captive audience? You may not be in prison, but perhaps God has cleverly placed you right where He wants you. Any family members come to mind? What about your next door neighbor, or the person in the next cubicle, or that handful of people you see each day at the gym. Would Paul consider them captive? Perhaps it’s time to kiss the walls and rattle some chains. If you’ve prayed, “Here I am Lord, send me”, maybe He already has.

–Jimmy Peña

30,000 FEET: By the time you read this, I’ll be well on my way to spend time on The 700 Club, talking about our new book, The PrayFit Diet. Thank you for your prayers. So honored to be asked to sit with the great people of the CBN. Humbled and honored!

>> You can see Jimmy on The 700 Club LIVE this Thursday, April 10. For air times with your provider, click here or visit The 700 Club homepage.
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They Knew What To Do

April 8, 2014

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” –Mark 4:38

Read: Mark 4

The disciples knew what to do. Isn’t it true? They knew what to do, and they were the first to do it. Do what exactly? Well, they did literally what you and I do metaphorically. They praised Him in the storm. We know the story. First came the wind, then the waves. And with teeth chattering and knees knocking, the terrified bunch woke the only one who could put the sea to sleep.

This week is such a good reminder for me that Jesus may have been asleep in the boat, but He wasn’t asleep at the wheel. And it’s not that the storm wasn’t threatening, or that the disciples were silly for being scared. No, the storm that night was real. But Jesus took their fears seriously.

Of all the things we can learn from this story, it’s that Jesus didn’t hush the storm to prove its insignificance. He hushed it to show their significance to Him.

Your storms are real. Our fears are real. But when your teeth chatter and my knees buckle, we can follow their lead, amen? They knew what to do. We can too. In many ways, we’re in the same boat. Brings a lump to my throat to think He’s patiently waiting for me to wake Him up.

–Jimmy Peña

Final Prayfit Diet Cover

THE DAY IS HERE!: What a gift of grace. Our book, The PrayFit Diet, has finally arrived. I know we’ve been talking about it for a couple weeks now but please help us celebrate by thanking the Lord with us and for praying for us — that this book will find its way into the hearts and hands of churches, small groups and individuals all across the country. Whether someone is looking for a Gospel perspective when it comes to food or whether someone is seeking a prescriptive, abundant, life-long meal plan and teaching tool, this book is for them. I personally appreciate everyone who has helped us spread the word about this beautiful book and I thank you in advance for sharing this news with your friends, family or even your Pastor and leadership. I’m at your feet.

“Practically everyone I know wants to lose weight and get more fit — myself included. This battle is as much spiritual as it is physical, and most exercise and diet specialists miss this, but not Jimmy Peña and his Prayfit Diet plan. Getting fit God’s way ensures you have the proper perspective on how and who God made you to be. When you have this foundation firmly in place, you will not be motivated to get fit to prove you are a somebody, but to express the somebody you are in Christ.” –Randy Frazee, author of Making Room for Life and The Heart of the Story, and senior pastor at Oak Hills Church

Heal The Wound, Leave The Scar

April 6, 2014

Yesterday on Twitter, one of my favorite authors, Reverend Scotty Smith, had such a neat question for us. He said, “In the new heaven/new earth, I want to sing like Steve Perry, love like Mother Teresa and paint like Makoto Fugimura. You?”

I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to fashion my response. “Dance like Fred Astaire,” made my list. So did “Tell a good story like Max Lucado” and “Look like Rob Lowe.” Hey, it’s Heaven! And while Loretta and I laughed together, I began to wonder what guys like Paul, John, or a battered Job will be doing in eternity. Right? I mean, the Bible is full of men and women who endured life — individuals who really lived and have the scars to prove it.Reminds me of the old song that said, “Heal the wound, but leave the scar. A reminder of how merciful you are.

Friends, I don’t think for a second Paul will ever forget being blind. Or John his loneliness. Or Job, those boils. Each of them built altars with the broken pieces of their lives and worshiped. May that be our week’s perspective. Let’s stay on our knees, remember His mercy, bathe in grace, and let the dream of Heaven be the reason we work so hard for a healthy lifestyle on earth.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Okay, I know you’re dying to answer with me. What say you to Scotty’s question?

Final Prayfit Diet CoverTOMORROW WE HIT BOOKSTORES! One more day guys!!! Your local bookstores are being filled with our newest book, The PrayFit Diet. We are so overjoyed. Thank you if you’ve already ordered yours. And if you get yours, please send us a pic and we’ll share it on Facebook and Twitter. And we know from your messages and posts that many of you shop on Amazon, so here’s the link where you can buy yours. Thank you for supporting our little ministry and for helping tomorrow’s book launch. You’re so good to us. If you write us a review on one of the major book vendor sites, we’d love to share it with the community, so send us yours by clicking here.