Time Of Your Life

June 5, 2014

Life. It’s been our theme this week. And while I had a gazillion topics I could have covered, I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. This week David reminded us to mix it up and get into the fight of our lives. We talked about personal victories (very personal) and we celebrated getting over hurdles and hurts. Spurgeon then reminded us that sermons have to get to Jesus, and our workouts are worship when they follow suit. And yesterday, of course, was a tough reminder that there are those among us less fortunate.

Life. Minute-to-minute, year-to-year opportunities to enjoy being in grace shape. Funny, the longer I’ve been an expert in training and fitness, the less I find myself writing about training and fitness. Because while I promise to share my routines and workout strategies as I return to fighting status, I never want us — and mostly myself — to miss the meaning of it all. Oh, I could use other things to motivate and inspire a healthy lifestyle, but grace is just too thorough.

When you kneel to tie your shoes on a run, it’s there reminding you of the immeasurable distance He went to meet your direst need. It’s there, in the weight room amidst the plates, reminding you that compared to all your sin on the bar, grace has no RM. Friends, I tell ya, there’s nothing more motivating physically than considering what God has done for us spiritually. If you have Jesus in your heart, you’re in grace shape. And to enjoy it, God gave you the time of your life.

–Jimmy Peña

FEEDBACK NEEDED!!: I have a favor to ask. We are building the PrayFit App (celebration please) and we’d love feedback. What would you like to see in our app. We’re taking input and suggestions. We want the site to be easy for you to read, navigate and be blessed by, so we want the app to only enhance that. Talk to me. What are some of the ways a PrayFit App could serve you best? In fact, later today we have a conference call with developers and I’d love to share with them your desires. After all, this is for you.

BRING PRAYFIT TO YOUR CHURCH

Jimmy Peña’s message of health as a means of praise is being well-received by congregations around the country. His storytelling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don’t want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com. Share this information with pastors, elders and influencers with the knowledge that there is never a speaking fee for churches!

For Those Who Can’t, Stand

June 4, 2014

“…Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” –Mark 10:49

Hope you don’t mind, but in keeping with our “LIVE LIFE” theme this week, I thought I’d pull a short paragraph from the book. And just wait till you see some of the comments we’ve received from it.

“I sat behind a man in church on Sunday, paralyzed from the neck down. It was interesting to me that when the choir director asked the congregation to stand and sing, you could feel the reluctance and see the slow-moving crowd rise to their feet. I thought to myself, I wonder how fast this sweet man would stand if he could. The next song we sang was ‘Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.’ You know what? This man’s voice was the loudest one around me. Plainly said, when we were asked to stand, he already was. Folks, life is not about the body, so if you have health and ability, use it as a means of praise. And believer, if you’re called to stand and sing — and you can stand up and sing — stand up and sing.”

Here are just a few of the responses I’ve received:

Renee Foster:We have a young boy in our church who has been wheelchair bound his whole life and yet, when we sing he raises his one hand by just bending it at the wrist from his wheelchair armrest. It’s all he can do so he does it. Imagine what an example that is for us.”

Tricia Weaver Cross:Thank you so much…I have a 13 yr old daughter that is wheelchair bound with a brain injury. I know that if she could stand and sing she would, with hands raised in praise. One day…one day!

Isabelle Kafarela:My father is paralyzed. What he wouldn’t give to have the use of his legs! We thank GOD every day for my father’s spirit as he lives with pain daily! Lord, please give my father Niko Kafarela strength in spirit to live Your Purpose daily!

Bud Krueger:The next time I stand, guess who will be there in front of me…Jesus, God, Holy Ghost. Amen

No words, right? Well, I have a few for us. “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name.”
And for those who can’t, stand.

–Jimmy Peña

Your Turn: Will you train, walk, run or lift for those less fortunate today? In a week where I’m celebrating a portion of MY new life – physically – I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts. Whether about the entry, the comments, or your own testimony. Please let us know. And I have to share this image that was sent to me yesterday with the caption, “Little Miss Happy Happy Joy Joy (Tay)  getting her chemo.”…I received it while I was posting this entry. Her mom requested an extra small PrayFit shirt. We had no idea. Guys, I have no words.

SweetTay

Until It Gets To Jesus

June 4, 2014

Charles Spurgeon once said, “It’s not a sermon until it gets to Jesus.” Go ahead and read that sentence again, and this time let it marinade a minute before you move on. Sweet, right? If you’ve noticed another theme this week, it’s not an accident. Monday we said it was time to live, and yesterday we looked at those moments of triumph that help us live againLife. Isn’t that our prayer today and everyday? That our lives would get to Jesus? Lives so moved by grace that they become sermons?

Our approach toward, perspective about, and outlook upon our health is one of those messages. Our attempt at a healthy lifestyle is simply a way to give back to God the life He gave us. Neat right? He gave us life. We live it out. He gave it all. We give it all back. Although, I wonder if I’m giving back as much as He gave. (The cursor on the keyboard is literally flashing on the screen as I contemplate my own question.) Do I? Am I?

With the clock ticking, our lives are ALL we have to give back. Am I emptying the tank? And I don’t mean simply in sweat, but in the right way, with the right heart, for the right reasons, and for the right people? Sweat is easy. Sermons are tough. And it’s not a sermon until it gets to Jesus.
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion:  Our lives, including our health, are all we have to give back to God. What area of your life needs to be emphasized or de-emphasized in order for your health to be a sermon? Dang, that’s a tough question. There goes my cursor again. (And hey guys, thanks for all of your comments yesterday about my personal triumph over my private pain. I appreciate everyone.)

Please follow me on Instagram (I think I’m getting the hang of it.)
Here I am training again. If the world needs proof that grace happens, here I come. And although my recovery isn’t the Gospel, I want my story to be a sermon. Today’s message, “Joy.” Can you see it on my face?
Grace Happens

 

 

Goodbye “R2″

June 3, 2014

A couple of my buddies who do not read PrayFit won’t get the benefit of knowing what I’m about to tell you, they’ll just have to witness it first-hand. However, I had a small victory yesterday. And because we get personal at PrayFit, I somehow find myself at peace in sharing. Many of you have confided in me and in the community for prayer and praise, so it’s my turn. Here I go. There’s no turning back. I’m an open book…………………………

Ok, so I don’t mean to stall, but some of you know that a few years ago – between the two spine surgeries – I had the unfortunate experience of having a severe colon issue; a hereditary circumstance that required reconstruction and a lifetime left for me to deal with. (If I had my druthers, I would take a spine surgery each month in lieu of it.) Long story short, for the last 3 years, our home has been equipped with what my buddies affectionately named “R2D2.” Go ahead and chuckle, it’s fine. The guys have been able to get to the bottom of every joke possible.

Well – risking ridicule – yesterday I said goodbye to R2. I’d like to think I said farewell with no sympathy, but that wouldn’t be completely true. Sentimental me is grateful for the life it has allowed me to continue. Shucks, leave it to me to tear up as I type, but why do I share such a personal triumph? Simple. To hopefully relate to some of you that are going through your own private hell. Someone reading this sentence endures something unspeakable each day, and if so, trust me when I say that I understand. If yesterday’s entry “Time To Live” meant nothing to the majority, it meant something to someone, perhaps only to me.

But friends, we have no idea what people are going through, the battles they fight, the pain they endure. But when we – by the grace of God – overcome obstacles, hurdles and hurts, we’re able to live again. Can anyone relate? Anyone want to join me in singing praises today?
Jimmy Peña

 

 

Time To Live

June 2, 2014

“So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:50

He struck down the Philistine.” You know, I’ve thought a lot lately about the young David and the day he floored the giant. Not sure why, but in my mind I find myself with a sling in one hand, while rolling a stone between my thumb and index finger in the other. I want to pick a fight.

With God’s Word and His wisdom echoing down the corridors of my brain, tamed courage paces back and forth within my self-imposed and carefully designed cages. Friends…it seems my health, my faith, my income, stewardship, prayer life, my thought life and my witnessing to others all deserve and require a glance down at my stone and sling. What am I waiting on? What are you?

I think it’s time to say, “Goodbye, comfort zones” and “So long, easy.” In fact, in the time that it’s taken me to write today’s entry, I’ve realized that I don’t have to pick a fight. The fight is waiting for me. It’s raging. I gotta get in it. Do you?

What battles will you face this week? Will your pride be bruised? Will vanity get the better of you? Will your self-control actually lose it? Does your health need more attention? Less attention? Do you need to talk to that neighbor? Call that friend? Thankfully, whether we succeed or not, God’s mercy is new each day and Jesus is in our hearts, so who do we have to fear? Let’s engage. Let’s get in it. It’s time to mix it up. I have my stone and sling. Got yours? If the world needs proof that grace changes people, here we come.

–Jimmy Peña

Question: What health battles are you fighting? Are you dealing with an illness? Perhaps you’re battling a food dependence or you’ve been neglecting your fitness routine? Let us know in the comment section, because we want to help you with your most powerful weapon: prayer. We promise to lift you up.

Song In Your Heart: As I was finishing-up today’s entry, a song by the group 33Miles came on, “Live.” Just spoke to me as I was trying to speak to you. Hope you enjoy the lyrics.

Who told you that you were all alone?
Who told you that this is all there is?
What’s holding you so you can’t take hold of hope?
You’re stuck so deep that you can’t move.
Don’t you want to live? Live!
Cause you are made for so much more than this. Live!
Knowing that God loves you
He’s been with you all along
He wants you to know the truth so you can live
You’re worth enough that He died for you
His heart burns with love and desire for you
Don’t be afraid to receive
Don’t be afraid to believe
That you can.
He knows what your pain feels like
Rest through His arms all night
So don’t you give up now
Let Him show you how to live.
Oh yeah, don’t you want to live?
Live.

FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
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He Set Limits

May 30, 2014

If focusing on how the body reacts to life has taught me anything this week (and over the years), 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. Let me say that again. 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

For Discussion: What entry this week spoke to you? Was it about redemption? Atrophy? Our weak but glorious bodies? Let me know. Love to hear your thoughts. What is it about our temporary, frail flesh that motivated you this week? Do we work for healthy habits and greater abundance? Yes. But has anyone been comforted about the body’s limited ability this week? Can you tell I want to hear from you? Much love to you all. Be blessed, enjoy the weekend, serve each other.

THE MESSAGE, DELIVERED

Jimmy Peña’s message of health as a means of praise is being well-received by congregations around the country. His storytelling approach to how a healthy body can strengthen the body of Christ and inspire abundant living is a message you don’t want to miss. For speaking appearances, ministry assistance, media inquiries, write us at info@prayfit.com. Share this information with pastors, elders and influencers with the knowledge that there is never a speaking fee for churches!

FAMILY CIRCLE: Social networks are like our extended digital family and we’d like to invite you to invite others! So “like,” “join,” “tweet” and “watch” PrayFit through our various channels. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community in 2014!
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Weak, Fragile, Glorious

May 28, 2014

He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” –Philippians 3:21

Neat week. Tuesday we talked soreness and redemption, and yesterday the atrophy of our frail flesh was a fresh reminder of resilient grace. Eternal souls – but first – a human fate. It’s been some week, amen?

And to continue the body’s heavenly perspective, I want you to imagine that before your very first day of school, or prior to getting your driver’s license, and even before you began the family with which you spend your days…came your body. Not only did God inspire your soul’s dream, but He gave you the body necessary to pursue the job. Since God will always equip us with what we need to accomplish His will, we know our bodies were His choice. Can you imagine the moment? It was as if God said:

Sweet soul, here is your body. I’ve carefully woven it together. It has what it takes for you to pursue me and tell others about me. And precious body, this is your soul. Of all the matter in the universe, this is what matters most. Carry it where it needs to go. Protect it. Honor it. Now, I want you two to be good to each other. Be friends, not enemies.”

Do me a favor and take a quick glance at your arm or hands. Think for a second that God himself has touched that skin. He was first. In fact, talk to your body. It’s okay, go ahead. Maybe you need to thank it. Perhaps you need to assure it. Or like me the last few years, maybe during your dark hour, you need to apologize. Could be for something you’ve knowingly done or for something out of your control — an ailment, an accident maybe, or even a disease. And much like any friend going through a tough time, just tell it you’re so very sorry. After all, it was God who knitted it and then breathed life into it. Miraculously, He gave your heart a knowledge that there is something more to this life than life. And like it says in our verse, in order to pursue Him and then share Him, He gave you a weak and fragile body. Oh, it may not last this earth, but you can rest assured it was indeed a match made in Heaven. Glorious.

–Jimmy Peña

CONFESSION: If some of today’s devotion sounds familiar, I pulled it from my latest book, The PrayFit Diet. I just had to. It was one of those pages in the book that really spoke to our theme this week of seeing Heaven from earth. Hope it spoke to you or to someone you love. You’d bless me if you shared it.

Final Prayfit Diet CoverHAVE YOU TRIED “THE PRAYFIT DIET?”

Steeped in grace, fueled by faith, written with you in mind.

Jimmy Peña, one of the nation’s most sought-after fitness experts, has been trusted by the most prominent names in the entertainment industry, including Tyler Perry, Mario Lopez, and LL Cool J, to help them look and feel their best. His highest calling, however, is transforming the bodies and souls of people all over the country through his powerful combination of faith and fitness called PrayFit.

In The PrayFit Diet, Peña offers an easy, effective program-including shopping lists, daily menus, and simple, delicious recipes. A healthy body, he explains, is not about restriction of either calories or food groups. Instead, it’s all about eating in equilibrium — a perfect 33% macronutrient balance of carbs, protein, and fat every day, which will allow you to make dramatic changes to your health and your waistline. The balanced approach of The PrayFit Diet is not only inspired by biblical principles, but it’s also supported by today’s cutting-edge science, and Peña gives you a plan to shed weight and the motivation to keep it off for a lifetime.

In The PrayFit Diet, Peña shows us how faith is the most powerful tool we have to conquer all of life’s obstacles, and that includes our health. More importantly, God wants you to be at your best, physically and spiritually. By combining perfectly proportioned meals with biblically based motivation, The PrayFit Diet will give you all the tools you need to live a life that will both inspire you and honor the Lord.

>> The PrayFit Diet can help you regain your health! Combine it with the workouts in our DVDs to see the best results! Pick up your book by clicking here TODAY!

>> We’re getting GREAT feedback from reviewers on Amazon! Click here to read what others are saying about The PrayFit Diet.

The Comfort of Atrophy

May 27, 2014

Atrophy: The gradual decline in muscle; to waste away.

I first learned of the word back in college while sitting around the lunch table with my fellow lifting buddies. A novice weightlifter, I was growing like a weed. I remember thinking – wait no – I remember knowing that the work and food I was putting to use in one week would be seen the next. It was just a natural mindset, and as it turns out, it was the only way to train, to think, to grow. I did nothing short of declare war with my humanity. Four years later, 18-inch arms and squatting small homes were testaments to that truth. But then…

Not sure when it began exactly, but over the years and through the heartache of illness I began to lose what I worked so hard for; a thought that would have crushed my younger self. If you train, you feel me. You know what I’m talking about. But like I promised you yesterday, the body has some amazing ways of pointing us to eternity. Atrophy is one of them. And what a comfort atrophy has become. Indeed, if atrophy had its own verse, it just may be 1 Timothy 4:8, “For physical training is of some value, but training in godliness has value now and in the life to come.” Yes sir, if there’s a bodily trait that should remind us to be thankful for grace, it’s atrophy, especially if you consider the amount of work it takes to gain muscle and how quickly it disappears if left untrained for whatever reason.

Thankfully – unlike our frail flesh – grace requires no work on our part, no diligence, no steadfast effort. Does it induce those things in our lives? Yes, but are they necessary to sustain it? No. And as I navigate my health and push hard against the naturally occurring decline, I’m simultaneously reminded of, and comforted by God’s age-defiant, atrophy resistant, eternally resilient grace. Dear friends, the longer I serve Him (and the smaller I get) the sweeter He grows.
Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Friends, we’re vapors. We’re quickly fading flowers. But isn’t it something that the last muscle to go, the heart – where grace makes its home – also goes through atrophy? And when it can no longer sustain us or maintain us, it stops contracting. But grace will have only just begun. Have you declared war against your humanity? We’re with you. That’s why we’re here to help you with the tools of training and food to help you navigate the battle. But here’s a question: Pride wants to convince you otherwise, but who here is encouraged by atrophy?

COMMENTS SECTION: Although I don’t always get to reply individually, I read and am thankful for each and every comment. When you take the time, it means the world to me, and I appreciate all of you.

ATTENTION PASTORS: You lead, they’ll follow. Church leaders across the country have worked with us to help them develop curriculum and small groups geared toward physical stewardship. If you’re looking for a book that you can be sure eschews vanity while celebrating grace, then look no further. We were blessed to receive this endorsement from one of our nation’s most celebrated pastors.

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, The Heart of the Story and senior pastor at Oak Hills Church

>> To order your copy of The PrayFit Diet, click here!

FAMILY CIRCLE: Social networks are like our extended digital family and we’d like to invite you to invite others! So “like,” “join,” “tweet” and “watch” PrayFit through our various channels. Click the links below to get plugged in with the rest of the PrayFit community in 2014!
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Feels Like Redemption

May 26, 2014

Exercise is not good for you. Yes, you read that right. Strictly speaking, it’s downright harmful. Take running, for instance. It’s traumatic, and the breakdown puts the body at an extremely vulnerable state. But what? It’s only how the body comes back from a beating that proves its worth.

Speaking of tough exercises, try and name one Biblical character that didn’t run into problems. Do you notice that each person that comes to mind was likely restored to become a more effective God follower? The Bible says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint.” (Rom. 5:3-5)

Healing, repair, growth, strength: descendants of diligence and progenies of prudence. The next time you’re sore from a workout or when your soul hurts from tribulation, whisper to yourself, “Feels like redemption“.

–Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: Stay with me this week as we examine some principles of health that help point us right back to eternity. Who else finds it neat the way God weaves spiritual truths within our bodies and health? Or better yet, who reading this has ever felt “redemption”…?

SUMMER TANKS!
Thank you so much for your faithful reading and support of PrayFit. Ladies Grey I DisciplineIt’s through your giving that we continue bringing you devotions. Please take a look at our store for summer tanks that might be great for yourself or for someone you love.

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Special Work

May 22, 2014

Earlier this week I asked that you keep a verse close to you, do you remember what it was? If you missed it, we took it from Jeremiah, “Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.” (v.1:5) And it’s been fun looking at all the great ways He did just that. From our uniqueness, our sameness, our choice, our Guest.

Well, welcome to Friday. Depending on when you get to this sentence, I will likely be on my way or perhaps already in the studio working alongside a production team on a project of mine. I won’t be on camera, so it won’t matter what clothes I have on or the fact that I’m probably wearing a ball cap. No, my work today is simply to use my voice. Get inside the sound booth, step up to the mic and deliver the lines that God delivered to my heart. They’re not looking at me, but they’re listening. So speak up, Peña.

Romans 11:36 says, “Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by His power and everything is for His glory.” What better way to end this week’s theme than with this verse. Put simply, it all comes from Him, and it’s all for Him. All good things are possible through Him, and all good things are for Him. We’re set apart, not to be seen, but for Him to be known. Our special work is to deliver the line of our lives.

Thank you Lord for making us who You wanted us to be. May we remember that we live to exhibit you. Let everything we do and say put you on display. 
Jimmy Peña

BLESSINGS FOR MEMORIAL DAY:
With it being a long weekend, the next PrayFit Daily will be on Tuesday, May 27th. Be safe and healthy, serve each other.