Run With Me

November 12, 2013

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” –Hebrews 12:1

Read: Hebrews 12

As you may have read on some of the posts, I love to run. In fact, as soon as Jimmy and I got back from Baylor this last weekend, I ran the Malibu 1/2 Marathon. Such a beautiful course. I even got the chance to talk with Josh Cox before the race – Josh is the American record holder in the 50K. And while I’m no elite runner, I simply enjoy competing against myself and always try to beat my best times. Before my last race, I told Jimmy, “Even if I beat it by one second I’ll be happy.” Well, on mile No. 9, I began to fatigue and I knew by my watch that I was at risk of not running my best race. At that moment, someone ran up beside me and asked me what time I was shooting for. I told him I wanted to beat 1:57. He said “Okay let’s do it. That’s the pace I want to keep.”

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November 12, 2013

“Tell me your story,” he said. Putting his arm around Loretta and placing his hand on the side of my face, Judge Ken Starr, President of Baylor University, as if settling in for chapter one of his favorite book implored, “Tell me your story.”The great and honorable Judge Ken Starr, President of Baylor University

Guys, I can’t quite explain the emotion of going back to Baylor last week. I haven’t stopped talking or thinking about it. Walking the campus with Loretta, pointing out various spots, claiming ownership of memories built throughout different parts of school was too much for me to bear, let alone summarize here today. And then to be asked to speak to various classes in exercise physiology and sports ministry…the honor was irreplaceable. Baylor UPlease suffice it to say that I’m still overwhelmed at the generosity and hospitality of the amazing leadership of Baylor University. Thank you dear friends.

A fellow Baylor grad that I went to school with named David Phelps – who turned out to be one of Christian music’s greatest voices – wrote a song called “Virtuoso.” And friends, after being back at Baylor, I’m reminded once again of exactly the life I want to live for the cause of Christ, and what I want PrayFit to represent to you as you honor God with your health: Virtuoso. 

“A handful of dust. A worthless piece of clay, and you breathed the breath of Heaven.
There was a soul, the heart, the hands, the voice that could sing of your perfection.
Life is a symphony that only you can play. You know I can hear it through the madness every day.
This heart is your instrument. This life is your song.”

So good to be backYour heart? Your instrument. Your life? Your song. Friends I don’t know, but I want to make the most of today. Just today. My heart, my health, my mind and life. An excellent life. A life lived. A life loved. Harmonious and graceful. Abundant. When Judge Starr asked me the question – with my entire world in his two hands – I couldn’t quite summarize it eloquently. I didn’t read him my resume or broadcast my bio. But hopefully in that moment (and today and tomorrow) my answer was, is and will be a timeless, grateful melody that not only says it, but it inspires it too…”Virtuoso.”
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: What choices will you make today to guard your heart, protect your health, guide your mind and honor God? Who reading this wants a life, virtuoso?

(For a brief photo summary of the days at Baylor, please find me on Instagram @prayfit. There is also an Instagram icon on our homepage. Here is a quick pic of me walking old Russell gym. Even though there’s a state-of-the-art fitness facility across campus, old Russell is still there. But all the old, rusted equipment has been replaced. Where it all began.)


Thanks for all the emails and well wishes. It’s good to be back. Be blessed and have a great week.

Baylor Bound

November 4, 2013

When I first arrived on the Baylor University campus as an 18-year old, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a Christian from the West Texas town of El Paso, I went to Baylor to play baseball, but after my first season as a redshirt freshman, I injured my ankle so bad that it landed me on the disabled list and in a cast. Any hopes of playing my sophomore season were dashed. But during my time on the DL, I found a hole-in-the-wall gym on campus called Russell Gym; school was in session, the lessons soon began.

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Yes, I’m Still Listening

November 3, 2013

Working and writing from home, I tend to keep the place filled with music. When I’m reflective, I’ve been known to go a little old-school (ya know, 90′s Christian). If I’m researching, it’s classical Beethoven or Tchaikovsky. For me, music just seems to help me focus on the mission at hand. One of the programs I often use is Pandora, a free music service that serves up all my favorites. I can create channels with my favorite genre, artists and songs. Before I know it, I’ve written volumes.

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They Knew What To Do

November 1, 2013

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

Read: Mark 4

The disciples knew what to do. Isn’t it true? We try and relate to those great men on so many levels, but for some reason, this week’s theme on fear seems especially relatable. They knew what to do, and if you think about, 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.

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What Was I Thinking?

October 31, 2013

Genuine fear. That’s what I felt the day after my 12th birthday. Allow me take you back. A couple of friends and I stayed the night at a buddy’s house for his birthday. We played games, watched TV — kid’s stuff. But the next day — the day — one of us found an itzy bitzy, harmless, spool of wire outside. So what did these little boys do? Played with it, of course. We bent it, rolled it, played Army with it. No harm, no foul. That is, until we stuck it into the valve stem of a parked car tire.

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A Healthy Fear

October 29, 2013

“Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God…” –1 Peter 2:17

Read: 1 Peter 2

You may have anticipated today’s entry — for the other shoe to drop. Well, you’d be right, because there is a healthy kind of fear. Back in my heavy lifting days, after the warm-up and light sets, we’d gradually load more and more plates to the bar. As I wrapped my wrists and knees for the heavy stuff, the fire of fear would build inside me.

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Serious Courage

October 28, 2013

Jesus takes our fears seriously. In fact, he takes our fears more seriously than we do. Imagine that 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.

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Fear Less

October 27, 2013

Saturday night Loretta and I joined some friends at Universal Studios. To be honest, we’re not huge fans of Halloween, but we enjoyed getting out with the gang. After dinner together, the dozen of us like Scooby-Doo and friends, gathered our collective courage and dared the various mazes designed to haunt and scare. Like, Zoinks!

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Finish Strong

October 25, 2013

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” –Psalm 73:26

Read: Psalm 73

Well? Was a week at the beach? On Monday we opened with “A Strong Life” and that begged the question, “What does a strong life look like?” And since we know that the good Lord is always on watch, our little friend that we found on the road was a good reminder that He knows about and cares about our little predicaments. And when God finds us, we become a strong community with those he places in our path, our neighborhood, our church. If you missed any of our entries this week, you can click the links here or scroll our archives and we hope they bless your life. Your comments this week had all of us at PrayFit nodding our heads and with chills to boot.

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