Monday, March 28, 2011

Knowing God, Knowing Myself

Candid. Authentic. Pure. Inspiring. Quietly challenging. A few words that come to mind to describe Knowing God, Knowing Myself, An Invitation to Daily Discovery by Cecil Murphey.

In Knowing God, Knowing Myself, best-selling author Cec Murphey opens his heart, candidly sharing secret struggles and experiences that taught him more about himself – and about God.

The chapters of Knowing God, Knowing Myself are short and sweet, making it an easy-read. Each chapter shares personal anecdotes, related Scriptures and ends with a thought-provoking maxim, which serves as a stepping-stone to keep us moving forward in spiritual growth.

Murphey’s vulnerability makes this book a spiritual heart-probe. When a person is willing to talk about their own growing pains and weaknesses like a friend confiding in another friend, it helps you let down your guard, discard your self-deception and take a deeper look at your own blind spots so as to learn to deal with them in a biblical manner.

This book draws us into an unveiled look at ourselves, which then leads us to deeper walk with God—God who loves us as we are, weaknesses and all. I recommend it for new Christians and mature believers as well. A great read.

Copyright © March 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why I fell down a well in Haiti

My trip to Haiti this month was filled with delights and drama.

This picture shows just one of those delights--a little girl who is the joyful recipient of one of the dresses donated to Orphans First by Dress-A-Girl-Around-The-World. We gave out many of these beautiful dresses and also britches for boys.

Our trip took us to several parts of Haiti. I'll be writing a more in-depth article on this soon so keep stopping by. For now, let's talk about a wee spat of drama: I fell in a 20 foot well.

No panic, I didn't fall right to the bottom (or I probably wouldn't even be here to tell the story); I fell in up to my chest where I caught onto the metal lid which had flipped sideways. With the help of a friend, I managed to get my dangling body out and size up my wounds -- a bunch of bruises and a few broken ribs.

The good thing about that fall is that it brought attention to the need to get the well lid hinges fixed so that a child doesn't fall in. It also gave me a good reason to accept all the pampering and pity being poured on me (hey, I'm milking this for all it's worth -- it's not everyday I get to fall in a well). So, it's all good.

And whatever way you look at it, what are a few broken ribs and bruises in light of all that's happening in the world whether in Japan, Libya or even in Haiti? The world is in a bad way. With that sobering thought, I invite you to read my latest article in the San Diego Christian Perspectives Examiner on Spring 2011 and signs of the times.

Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © March 2011
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Saturday, March 05, 2011

PrayFit - interview with Jimmy Pena

I recently posted my review of PrayFit. If that whet your appetite to get fitter and closer to Jesus, you won't wanna miss my interview with the godly, fitness guru and author of PrayFit, Jimmy Pena.

Here's an appetizer... For the whole interview, read my article in The San Diego Christian Perspectives Examiner.

JD--I love that PrayFit challenges me to go further in my workout than I'd normally choose--while also inspiring me to go deeper with God. What gave you the idea for this unique combination?
JP— Well, from a fitness standpoint, I teach people that the body will only change according to the level at which it is stressed. Our bodies are pretty resilient and they adapt so well to what we put them through. For that reason, we have to continually ask more of ourselves day in and day out. I think the same thing goes for our faith. Spending good time with the Lord each day, seeking His guidance, going deeper into His word…that’s how we stay healthy on the inside.

JD--As well as being a brilliant fitness coach, PrayFit shows that you walk close to the Lord How does your faith impact your desire to help others get in shape?
JP— Well, all I know is that I love the Lord, and I am so thankful He’s in my heart. I’ve said before that it doesn’t necessarily take faith to be healthy, but if we have faith, we should strive to be. The message of PrayFit has been formed and molded into some simple concepts, most important being that we believe that while life is not about the body, our health is a means of praise. That we’re called to take care of the body that carries the soul and that there are plenty of biblical references and examples that point to and require a response in the area of physical fitness and proper eating. We believe that many areas of life require a sacrifice. Is our money required for heaven? No. But we’re told to be good stewards of it. Same thing goes for our bodies. Required for heaven? Nah. But we’re called to take care of them because they’re not ours to neglect. After all, that’s what a steward is anyway; someone put in charge of something that’s not their own. It’s not about a six-pack, but something so fearfully and wonderfully made deserves better attention and upkeep. Things like lower blood pressure and sensible weight loss can be seen simply as bi-products of obedience.

JD--One of the things I love about PrayFit is it's gimmick-free. The exercises don't even require equipment. I'm often in Haiti or other third-world countries where there's little opportunity to exercise. Do you have any special tips for me in this situation so I don't get back home stiff and out of shape?
JP—So glad you asked. We wrote PrayFit with bodyweight as the resistance because anybody and every body can experience a solid workout in very little time, without costly equipment and in the privacy of their home or hotel room. Few people realize how effective a bodyweight workout can be, but if you’re at home and you have only 10 minutes before work or if you’re in a hotel room, the simple bodyweight approach is so effective. The best thing? It’s all relative. My best effort, your best effort, anyone reading this article…we all have a threshold. Someone who can only do 5 push-ups or bodyweight squats or someone capable of 500, it doesn’t matter. Your best is your best, is your best… And each individual will see results. So while you’re in Haiti doing God’s work, you can Stayfit with PrayFit.

JD—I like that: STAYFIT with PRAYFIT. Yay!
With all the talk about the dangers of obesity, are Americans finally catching on? Are they becoming more health conscious or are they still caught in the deadly cycle of unhealthy food and little exercise?
JP—We’re great at identifying the dangers, risks and haunting statistics, but obesity is still something we see yet don’t yet feel. For that reason, it’s our opinion that the believer needs to lead the way. Whether you’re Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Non-denominational or otherwise, we believe that the believer should be the example. In 5, 10, 50 years, when this country puts statistics together to summarize the state of health in our nation, may there be one group that led the way to a healthier America…the Christians.

For all the links and more from Jimmy, click here.

Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © March 2011