Saved. Alone.

November 24, 2013

“In all things give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:18

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5

Over 100 years ago, a very successful lawyer and real estate mogul, Horatio Spafford, lost a lot in the great Chicago fire of 1870, but years later he lost much, much more. The fire left thousands homeless, and Horatio and his family spent years helping those less fortunate. Exhausted, Horatio and his wife, along with their four daughters planned a cruise to Europe. But just prior to pushing off, Horatio was called upon to stay for business. Still, he sent his family on their much-needed vacation.

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To God Be The Glory

November 22, 2013

Don’t worry everyone, I’m not a poet and I know it. But since it’s Friday, I thought I’d add some rhyme to our reason. Indeed, we all know and agree that there is a reason for health — to thrive, look alive, live abundant for family, church and the world. And we’re up for the task, because all good things are possible through Him and all good things we do for Him. He gets all our praise.

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Our Tiny Offering

November 21, 2013

“‘Isaac spoke up and said to his father, ‘Abraham, Father?’ ‘Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied. ‘The fire and wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’” –Genesis 22:7

Read: Genesis 22

When I was a kid my dad said to me, “Son, never give God anything that costs you nothing.” And if I’ve ever felt like my father’s son, it’s now, as we’re about to launch a new PrayFit tour in 2014.

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Lead Us To Victory

November 19, 2013

With my head bowed and eyes closed, I heard an honest and sincere prayer for victory last week in Waco. With a strong, southern accent and pure heart, a Baylor executive led a small group of us over lunch praying, “Lord, you know our hearts and you know what’s on our minds. Forgive us if it’s selfish, but I just pray for a victory tonight against Oklahoma.” I grinned with a nod as I opened my eyes to join the amen.

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Inspect What He Expects

November 18, 2013

Years ago, while cutting my teeth in leadership and service, I learned how important it was to inspect what you expect. Daily checklists and standard operating procedures were the keys to the satisfaction of both the consumer and the team around you. Here’s a neat insight. In some of the finest hotels in the world, the housekeeping department employs a very simple strategy. In the back of the hotel — or the back of the “house,” as it’s called — they hang pictures of guest rooms. Within the frames are immaculate, impeccably clean, spotless rooms, with nothing out of place. Get this…they view them daily. That way, they know exactly how each room should appear, making it easier to create excellence. Each time a guest enters the room, it’s perfect. Those pictures hang there as reminders of the standard that must be kept.

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Go Back and Ask

November 17, 2013

“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I AM has sent me to you.” –Exodus 3:14

I AM your solutionRead: Exodus 3

When Moses needed a name, he got one. “Tell them I AM sent you.” Before Moses became one of the greatest leaders the world ever knew, he needed guidance. The leader needed leading. So he went back and asked for it. Not the run-of-the-mill, garden-variety, Twitter-savvy kind of guidance, but he needed what only God could give; Himself.

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Kiss The Walls

November 14, 2013

“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.

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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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Virtuoso

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.
Virtuoso. 
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.)

Russell

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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