“When life comes at you hard, you make it look so easy. No matter what you’re facing, you are my inspiration, yeah. That’s what you are. You’re a fighter that doesn’t know how to back down. You never ever give up. You hold on, no matter what. You show the world the face of brave.”

When you are tempted to give up, remember this— transformation can happen, even in the most difficult of situations. We can change from giving up to being given hope. Jesus gives us an example of hope fulfilled in a parable he tells to his disciples. In Luke 18, Jesus shares an unusual story. First we hear about a judge who is described as “not fearing God and nor caring what people say.” Then we are introduced to a certain widow—a persistent, praying woman, who kept coming to the judge demanding justice against an adversary, to the point that this judge gave in and helped her get justice. Luke introduces this parable by saying that Jesus told the story to show the disciples that they should always pray and not give up. A good lesson for all of us!

I urge you to type this thought out and put it as a reminder on your phone so that you will look at it often. Print it on a sticky note and post it somewhere you will see it every morning. Find a way to keep this very important message from Jesus in front of your eyes constantly. It may not be justice that you are praying for; maybe you just need to personally “hang in there” and wait. While you wait, pray—and don’t give up!

Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Then Jesus proceeded to tell the story of the persistent widow who got justice by “bothering” the judge so much.

Questions: Do you know someone who never gives up and always fights back when in the middle of difficult circumstances? What are the character qualities that come to mind when you think of this person? What are your favorite Bible verses that help you to fight and persevere when the going gets tough?

Prayer Power: Dear Lord, help me to be a persistent, praying person. Thank you for giving me hope. Help me to always pray and never give up. Amen.

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Jeannie Blocher is the President Emeritus and Director of Spiritual Impact of Body & Soul Fitness. She and her husband Roy founded Body & Soul in 1981, and now Jeannie serves in a volunteer capacity. She is an author and speaker, who treasures first her role as wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight. She wrote the First Place 4 Health Bible Study “Make Every Day Your Best Day” and the book “Encouragement for the Body & the Soul.” She enjoys speaking on behalf of Body & Soul, sharing the message of faith & fitness.

Contact Jeannie at jeannie@bodyandsoul.org

Be Transformed by music!

What a concept—God can use music to transform our hearts and our minds. Have you ever been in a negative frame of mind, disappointed, frustrated, worried, and seeking a mind-transformation? Here’s an antidote —turn up the music in your life –right now! We’ve all felt it; it’s a real thing. Music can be a catalyst to transform our mind from worry to trust and fear to faith. God can use music to take us from a place of stress to a place of peace. Whether it is reading the Psalms, listening to popular Christian music or humming traditional hymns—the tunes and words can capture our mind and our heart and change us from the inside out.

King David knew this. In Psalm after Psalm, he poured out his heart and his troubles to God. And then as the “music” of the song (psalm) he was writing filled his mind, he would burst out in praise and express his trust in his Almighty God. In Psalm 7, David starts with “Lord, my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me… and then he moves from there to “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.” In Psalm 10, David begins: “Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide in times of trouble?” and then he continues with: “The Lord is King for ever and ever… you, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry…” I encourage you to be like David—don’t be afraid to pour out your questions and laments to God—sing them to him in your own way, turn up some music that inspires you and then watch God transform you from the inside out!

It is our prayer in Body & Soul that the music we exercise to will help to transform you—both in your soul and in your physical body. Enjoy reading the devotional thoughts included here and have fun checking out our music playlist so you can add the songs to your personal library. Trust God to work a transformation in your life as you fill your heart and mind with music that lifts him up!

For more insights into this session’s songs, look up the lyrics (below) or click here to read our Be Transformed Devotional.

Be Transformed Music & Lyric Links

Songs Artists
Never Give Up Matthew West
Even Then Micah Tyler
Sound of a Life Changing Matthew West
Grace Got You MercyMe
Inside Out Bonray
Changed Jordan Feliz
Gravity Landry Cantrell
Heaven on Earth Stars Go Dim
Comeback Kid Mandisa
He Still Does (Miracles) Hawk Nelson
Right on Time Aaron Cole
One More Day Aaron Cole
Cheer You On Jordan Feliz
Freedom Hymn Austin French
Miracle Unspoken
Get Up Building 429
Love’s Not Done with You Jason Gray
All In Matthew West
The One He Speaks Through Mandisa
Different Micah Tyler
If It’s Amazing Grace Stars Go Dim
Good Love Steven Macolm
Hold On Beckah Shae
What A Friend Matt Maher
Talk About It Branan Murphy
Life Is Beautiful Rend Collective
Amen Matthew West

Be Transformed Session Devotional

Click on image to view PDF of the Winter 2019 Be Transformed Devotional.


Jeannie Blocher is the President Emeritus and Director of Spiritual Impact of Body & Soul Fitness. She and her husband Roy founded Body & Soul in 1981, and now Jeannie serves in a volunteer capacity. She is an author and speaker, who treasures first her role as wife, mother of three and grandmother of eight. She wrote the First Place 4 Health Bible Study “Make Every Day Your Best Day” and the book “Encouragement for the Body & the Soul.” She enjoys speaking on behalf of Body & Soul, sharing the message of faith & fitness.

Contact Jeannie at jeannie@bodyandsoul.org

Don’t you just love a good story? One that hooks you from the very first scene and keeps you on the edge of your seat through the building of the plot, the introduction of each character, the climactic struggle between good and evil, and ends with a happily ever after? I love the ups and downs of a story, but I mostly love the dramatic rescue that gives us the happily ever after. The hero swoops in and saves the day! Or even better yet – saves the girl! (yes, I’m a romantic.)

I believe the greatest tale of rescue is told in the first Christmas, documented in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. We hear of an epic adventure that takes place across many treacherous miles for an engaged couple expecting a baby. We read about interrupted plans, angels appearing and speaking to shepherds at night, and wise men following a shining star to visit a child born a king in a stable. Wow! Great story, right?!

The main character in this account is Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 1:15, that Jesus came into the world to rescue sinners, and the Christmas story is the account of the hero’s arrival. It’s not only a good story – it’s the greatest story in history. And He does more than just save the girl – He saves ALL of us. From His birth told at Christmas to His death on Good Friday and His resurrection at Easter, Jesus’s story is the ultimate love story of redemption and transformation. The Christmas story is OUR story! It’s the story of OUR rescue from sin and death. It’s the story that tells of grace over guilt. The Christmas story changes everything! We have the opportunity to be rescued from darkness to live happily ever after on earth now and in heaven for eternity because God has written us into His story. Talk about an adventure!

Take time during your Christmas holiday to read this story told in the Bible with its dramatic ups and downs and unexpected twists. Put yourself in the story, get caught up in the action, and let it transform your holiday and your ever after.

As we turn the calendar from 2018 to 2019, Body & Soul Fitness will begin focusing on our theme of “Be Transformed”. Join us as we use Romans 12:2 as our theme Scripture verse and “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Make the new year a time of reflection and refocus as you take inventory of 2018 and set personal goals for 2019. Then move into the new year with hope and confidence, knowing that life is made up of unexpected yet exciting adventures that write our stories.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Body & Soul Fitness!


Amy Stafford is the President of Body & Soul Fitness, certified personal trainer, ACE faculty and ACE Group Fitness Instructor. She is a leader in the fitness industry and a popular speaker for women’s events, retreats, fitness conferences. For information on booking Amy for your event or for an interview please email amy@bodyandsoul.org. Amy currently teaches in the Williamsburg, VA area.