Achieving Maximal Results from Exercise and Fitness

Compiled by Bill Rudge

• Motivation, commitment, determination, discipline and dedication are important elements for a successful fitness program. Your goal should not just be to get in shape, but to keep your body in the best condition possible by making health and fitness a lifetime commitment.

• Before beginning any exercise program, consult your health care provider to determine the best course of action based on your age, level of fitness and health. You may have to use some creativity depending upon your physical limitations.

• Start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workout. Remember, it took time to get out of shape; it will take time to get back into shape. Set goals that are realistic and monitor your progress to keep on track.

• You can join an organized fitness program, get a personal trainer, exercise alone or workout with a partner. Choose activities you enjoy and use variety to keep your workouts fresh. Design a specialized program that fits your schedule, meets your needs and interests and keeps you motivated.

• Begin with warm-up and loosening exercises. Then do some gentle stretching, flexibility and balance exercises. Progress into strengthening and muscular endurance exercises which are designed to work every major muscle group (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) against some type of resistance. The resistance may be in the form of your own body weight as in push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats and lunges; pushing your head against a soft ball or your fingers to strengthen your neck; using weights, dumbbells, battle ropes, flipping tires or other innovative exercises. The amount of resistance develops strength and the number of repetitions helps muscular endurance. Both are important. Give your body at least 48 hours to rest between strength-training workouts.

• Get your body moving: Walk or ride your bike in a park. Aerobic activities like walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming benefit the efficiency of the cardio-respiratory system by actually exercising the heart, blood vessels and lungs—enabling them to supply fuel and oxygen to the muscles. In order to improve and maintain cardio-respiratory fitness, a person should participate in aerobic exercises of moderate intensity for approximately 20 to 30 minutes four to six times a week. My personal style is to do brief stretching or cardio in between sets of resistance exercises so I am constantly moving during the entire workout to maximize time.

• Breathe: When lifting weights or doing pull-ups and push-ups for example, inhale during the less strenuous aspect of each repetition and exhale when performing the most difficult aspect. Research suggests that nasal breathing is more effective and better than mouth breathing during exercise. Also, drink lots of purified water.

• Health experts recommend drinking purified water before, during and after a workout. I usually conclude workouts with a recovery drink containing water with a variety of nutrients and protein. Your personal water needs throughout the day depend on many factors such as your health, level of activity and climate.

• After any form of exercise, have a cooling down time such as gently stretching or walking slowly so your body can gradually return to its normal pace.

• Consuming more calories than your body uses will result in weight gain. A combination of reducing calorie intake as well as burning excess calories through exercise and increased physical activity is the best way to lose weight, and keep it off. If your weight is satisfactory, then exercise to tone, firm and condition. Realize muscle is denser than fat, therefore, you may initially gain weight on the scale, but you will soon look and feel better. Also, eat a mostly plant-based diet rich in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

• Devices and gimmicks that promise instant fitness with little time or effort, are usually a waste of both time and money. Regular, sustained activity, gradually increasing in intensity, is the best way to get and stay in shape.

• My fitness routine often consists of getting up early, and after Bible study and prayer, working out for approximately 30 to 60 minutes four to six days a week. The various regimens I have designed include stretching, balance, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. Throughout the week I will implement a variety of fitness routines using natural resistance, weights, dumbbells, battle rope, rings or obstacle course, as well as incorporating bouncing on a rebounder, punching a speed bag, kicking a heavy bag, jumping rope, walking, swimming or participating in recreational sports.

• Taking proper care of your miraculous body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, will provide numerous health benefits such as having more energy, feeling and looking better, being less prone to injury, dealing with stress more effectively and having a better, more confident attitude. Keeping fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will also enable you to be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ.

Health Quotes

“If you ignore your health, it will go away.” Dr. Stan Harris

“A man whose only goal in life is to seek riches will spend all his waking time finding ways to get more wealth, while neglecting his health. Then later in life he will spend all his wealth to try to gain back his health.” Author Unknown

“You can willingly change your diet and lifestyle now, or one day you will be forced to.” Bill Rudge

“Swallow your pride—it’s non-fattening.” David James

“The best exercise for weight loss is table push-aways.” Author Unknown

“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it never goes anywhere.” Wanda E. Brunstetter

“The finest form of exercise is to touch the floor regularly with your knees.” Author Unknown

“Many people have difficulty modifying the way they eat. Instead, I recommend they modify the way they shop for food. Keep all junk food, processed food, and tempting foods out of your grocery cart and out of your house. Don’t buy these foods. If you don’t have them readily available, you aren’t going to be as tempted to eat them.” Dr. Don Colbert

“Do you eat fish with high mercury levels, like tuna, King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, or swordfish? If so, consider switching to the ‘SMASH fish’ (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring). Certain foods enhance detoxification, including: cilantro, the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, arugula, bok choy etc.) avocados, artichokes, beets, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, lemons, olive oil, and seaweed.” Shaklee’s Health Quest

“To neglect the Creator’s instruction of taking one day off a week to rest and rejuvenate is a sure path to physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.” Author Unknown

Establish BALANCE for Optimal Health

by Bill Rudge

Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” He developed a balanced life. As believers we, too, should live a balanced life. God cares about our total well being.

Physically, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and should be “living sacrifices”—totally committed to the Lord in every aspect for His honor and glory. Mentally, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—thinking about and dwelling on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and praiseworthy. Emotionally, we must not allow negative and destructive feelings such as worry, fear, jealousy, bitterness, hate, revenge, greed, impatience and pride to dominate our lives. Instead, they must be replaced with the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Spiritually, we are created in God’s image and are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, filled with and walking in the Spirit.

…May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The most important principle of health is to “Fear [reverence] the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7, 8). Seek Him daily—preferably first thing in the morning. Find wisdom and strength for your day and your life in His Word and by His Spirit.

Do Not Neglect the Physical

Many Christians believe that exercise is of little value. They base their opinion, in part, on the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). When I was a new Christian and thought I would have to give up working out after reading 1 Timothy 4:8, a wise minister said to me, “The little that physical exercise does profit is very important, and not to be neglected.” Exercise is like tires on a car—small in comparison to the rest of the vehicle, but crucially important.
From the age of 12 (1965) when I was in the seventh grade, I have been involved in some type of exercise regimen (except for the brief period just mentioned). My current fitness routine often begins about 5:30 a.m., and after Bible study and prayer, I workout 30 to 60 minutes, four to six days a week. I also get exercise from outside work at the ministry center, as well as pushing grandchildren around in wheelbarrows or pulling them in wagons on “adventures” through “secret” trails in nearby fields and woods.

Bodily exercise and nutrition have temporal profit and are not to be neglected, but knowing Jesus Christ and His Word have eternal benefits! Paul counseled Timothy that godliness promises benefits for this present life and for the life to come; so I spend the majority of my time (approximately 40 – 60 hours a week) in Bible study, prayer and ministry and a minority of my time (about 4 – 6 hours a week) exercising and working out. The simple biblical principle that has proven to be of immense value in bringing balance to me is: “Focus on the spiritual while not neglecting the physical.” Since my priority has been making certain my “soul prospers,” the Lord has blessed me in many ways and given me abounding energy to accomplish the vision He placed in my heart. My prosperity is not in material wealth, but in His peace and joy that transcend life’s circumstances.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30). A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).

Like an athlete preparing for his next contest, I discipline myself and am constantly training (exercising, eating nutritionally, fasting, praying, studying Scripture and so on) to be a more effective witness for Christ, to better handle the daily stresses of life, to be able to fulfill an oftentimes rigorous ministry schedule, to be prepared for the rigors of my next mission adventure and to participate in physical activities with my grandchildren. My goal is to have the health and vitality to fulfill God’s purpose and finish the race He has called me to run.

You Have a Choice

Since the psalmist declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14), why are so many Christians sick and not walking in health? In many cases it is because we violate biblical principles: we lack self-control; have poor health habits; neglect proper exercise and sleep; have unresolved stress issues; overwork or are lazy; expose ourselves to dangerous chemicals, pollutants or too much sun. We allow negative emotions such as jealousy, anger and bitterness to dominate our lives. Time is the great equalizer; one day we will pay for our poor choices. Just remember, the farther you walk down the road of bad health habits, the longer the walk back towards better health.

Romans chapter 14 and other Scriptures make it clear that we have the freedom to eat whatever we want without endangering our relationship with Jesus Christ or our eternal destiny. Nevertheless, wisdom, spread throughout the pages of the Bible, reveals the importance of avoiding gluttony and other destructive indulgences. The choices we make and the things we do impact the length and quality of our lives:

• How do you handle relationships, financial and job stress?
• What foods do you consume?
• Are you exposed to environmental pollutants?
• Do you exercise or not?
• What is your decision on the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs?
• Do you engage in immoral behavior?
• Do you allow anger, bitterness, despair and feelings of hopelessness to rule your thoughts and emotions or do you choose love, forgiveness, peace and joy?

The fallout from these choices accumulate over time and determine the kind of life you will live, and even when and how you will die.

Considering the toxicity of our bodies, minds and spirits, the fact that we live in relatively good health for as long as we do is a testimony of how wonderfully we are made.

Optimum health is dependent on each person’s circumstances. It is taking whatever your situation and limitations are and seeking, with God’s help, to improve wherever you can. Some of you may have irreversible injuries or genetic disabilities to deal with. However, we still can choose to trust and honor God and seek, as far as possible, to implement His biblical health principles.

Greater Health through Biblical Principles

From personal experience and studying health and fitness for decades, I am convinced that Scripture contains superior principles for obtaining maximal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and the pages of our Bible divulge the ultimate way to gain health in this life, as well as the next! As believers in Christ, we await the blessed hope of the transformation of our physical bodies at the Lord’s return (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; Philippians 3:20-21).

Do not settle for imitation or inferior health and healing techniques which could compromise your biblical convictions or seduce you from a pure devotion to Christ. Instead, walk in harmony with, and in obedience to, God’s natural health laws and biblical principles. You will achieve your inherent optimal health, living a better quality of life with increased energy to accomplish His will and be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ! When the world sees how your faith in Christ positively effects every dimension of your life, many will want to know the Christ you represent.

Remember, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). As stewards of the amazing bodies, minds and spirits God has given us, we are responsible to establish balance by seeking to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit!

Excerpted from Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ which is being updated and expanded for its fourth printed edition and E-book.

The Snow Run

by Bill Rudge

Keira, a college roommate of Bill’s daughter with a heart for missions, went on the snow run with Bill. Keira’s father is an amazing scientist who persevered through great challenges and obstacles to invent the MRI.

The infamous Snow Run began one cold and snowy evening many years ago. I was at home, working on a message, late at night, and needed something at the ministry center – a distance of about 100 yards (the length of a football field). Instead of taking the time to put on socks and shoes, I ran barefoot over to the center. It was a challenge, an adventure and a time-saver, so I continued this practice through snow and ice many times. Even now, when guests visit us during the winter, I will ask if they want to do the Snow Run, and a few (especially my grandchildren) have run it with me, but most – though curious – decline.

I love doing things like the Snow Run because the Lord usually gives me spiritual applications to share. For instance, a believer’s daily walk with Him is like the Snow Run in many ways.

First, you “count the cost” and mentally prepare yourself for the ordeal that lies ahead. You consider the temperature, terrain and time of day or night to determine the level of difficulty. (Be sure to have the ministry door key ready or are able to make it to the obstacle course and then back to the house!) By way of parallel, Jesus said to count the cost before becoming His disciple. Before embarking on any endeavor in His name, you must be certain of being led by His Spirit and His Word, and that your heart is prepared for whatever might lie ahead.

Second, as a barefoot runner in shorts and T-shirt, you must run swiftly and make each step count; you cannot look back lest you slip and fall. So too, believers must throw off every sin that so easily entangles and swiftly run the race of faith, making each day count for the Lord. We must forget what lies behind and press on with faith and determination.

As a Snow Runner, you must not divert to the right or to the left because after a few steps, your feet start burning. In like manner, the believer in Jesus Christ must be focused on Him, not turning to the right or to the left lest the enemy divert, defeat and devour you.

By the time you are halfway across the snow-covered field, your feet feel like cement blocks, then quickly go numb; you cannot stop or you may have to crawl back. Likewise, for a true believer in Christ, stopping or giving up is not an option – you must stay faithful until the very end.

Running with little or no snow is even more difficult because the ground is covered with hard, uneven clumps of ice and dirt that hurt the bottoms of your feet. In the same way, living for Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God’s Word will hurt and hinder your witness and effectiveness.

Although watchers may not realize the true challenge and difficulty of the Snow Run, participants in bare feet, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, quickly understand the fortitude required to accomplish this feat. (At night, when it is below zero, with a foot of snow on the ground and the wind is blowing hard, this is especially true!) Similarly, those who do not know the Lord cannot comprehend the commitment and sacrifice of the true Christian who must often show tremendous courage to face the onslaught of the enemy and stand – sometimes alone – in the midst of opposition.

Approaching the ministry center parking lot, a burst of energy is needed to leap or climb over a snow bank several feet high left by the snow plow. Likewise, the believer will face many barriers and obstacles left to impede progress, but can be overcome through the energizing power of Christ.

Jumping over the snow mound, you will slide across an icy parking lot. If you keep your balance, you won’t fall on the blacktop or crash into the steps or front door of the ministry center and injure yourself! As believers, we maintain a biblical balance by avoiding the extremes of legalism on the one hand, and liberalism on the other. We must not slip or fall by compromising our commitment to Christ, nor injure young Christians because of our complacency.

Upon reaching the front door, your freezing hands will fumble with the key, sometimes dropping it, in an attempt to quickly unlock the door. So too, if as believers, we fumble when facing temptations and tribulations, we speedily ask His forgiveness, get up and press on to maintain our testimony.

The burning sensation returns as you walk around inside the ministry center, trying to warm your feet on the carpet. You may not want to make the return Snow Run, but you have to. In the same way, once you give your life to Christ and your heart is warmed by His love, you must go out into an oftentimes cold world and share His love and truth with those who may not always want to hear.

Finally, each step of the Snow Run takes you closer to your destination and the reward of warmth and comfort. Likewise, each day brings us as believers, closer to our eternal destiny and an everlasting reward.

Since selling the former ministry center, I have modified the Snow Run – making it a little longer and more challenging. Now the goal is to run all the way to the monkey bars in the obstacle course, do a few pull-ups (if possible) then run back to the house with no halfway point to warm our feet! You sprint back to the house as fast as you can to alleviate the intense burning sensation and numbness of your feet; your lungs, straining for every breath, are also burning! At times, spiritual warfare in a believer’s life is so intense that we can feel the fiery darts of the enemy; only the shield of faith will protect us and the Word of God is our source of victory.

Perhaps you will remember this story of the Snow Run as you see the Day of the Lord approaching or your time draws nearer to go to Him. May you be a conqueror who runs your race for the Lord with perseverance, leaping over every obstacle that hinders, remaining faithful to the very end and joyfully entering His eternal kingdom.

Postscript: My summer challenge is to run to the obstacle course in bare feet through the hundreds of clover flowers populating our lawn – carefully avoiding bees collecting their nectar – and dodging “land mines” (animal poop). This puts me in mind of the challenge and adventure of living for Jesus Christ every day of my life! There may be unpleasant times, but in the end, we win – which makes all we go through for our Lord Jesus Christ well worth it!

Ultimate Challenge Obstacle & Fitness Course

by Darlinda McDonald

This past summer, Army recruits, Boy Scouts, Summer’s Best Two Weeks Staff and Volunteers, Boys and Girls Soccer Teams, JV and Varsity Volleyball Teams, Youth Groups, families, and many others, experienced the obstacle course challenge under Bill Rudge’s direction. We are one of a very few ministries that has access to the schools and the opportunity to work with and train military. The following articles describe a few of those experiences.

Challenges

When Sgt. Keiuffer Ritter and Army Commander Captain Erin Funkhouser heard about the Bill Rudge Ministries’ Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course, they were excited to have recruits gain a different experience. With rain threatening overhead, recruits from Beaver, Erie, Greenville, Grove City, Hermitage, Meadville, New Castle, West Middlesex, and Sharpsville descended on the obstacle course – and then the weather turned beautiful. Most were preparing to leave for basic training so Bill gave them a taste of what was to come. Other Army personnel present included Sgt. Gregory Armstrong, 1st Sgt. Aaron Evans, Sgt. Jacob Zimmerman and retired Sgt. 1st Class Tim McCall.

The obstacles required a wide variety of skills and abilities that included strength, balance, coordination and memory. The recruits learned the importance of teamwork as well as competition. As always, Bill explained that the skills they used on the obstacle course – determination, courage, obedience, communication and faith – are the same ones they will need in life. Sgt. Ritter said the day went so well preparing the recruits for their journey in the U.S. Army that they are planning to return – which they did a few weeks later.

Teamwork

JV and Varsity Girls Volleyball teams and Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer Teams were led by Bill through loosening and stretching exercises, endurance and speed drills, relay races, navigating through the obstacle course, and other activities designed for physical conditioning and team building. The teams and their coaches enthusiastically and courageously faced each challenge and obstacle as they worked together encouraging each other to accomplish goals and build team unity. The head volleyball coach e-mailed: “It was great! We definitely will do it again and make it part of our conditioning next year. Thank you so much.”

Mentoring

When Pastor Aaron Christy of Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church recommended that the 1-to-1 mentoring program at Cray Youth and Family Services check out the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries for a group activity, Program Director Allisyn Wolfe was glad to do so. Each mentor is paired with a child between the ages of 6 and 18 to be a positive role model and friend. Mentoring works to support children as they overcome obstacles, rely on other people, and rise to new challenges; so this was a perfect place to experience all those things.

The obstacle course provided opportunities for the youth to not only meet physical challenges but also to develop attributes such as trust, like when they were blindfolded and had to walk across a log aided by the adults or were guided along a path holding each other’s hands carefully following the leader’s instructions. Their listening skills were honed, remembering the detailed directions given at each obstacle. Bill encouraged the youth to try things they had never done before. Allisyn stated, “The most gratifying part for me was seeing the kids (and some of the mentors) who were reluctant to try things at first ending up being proud of their accomplishments. We always enjoy the activities and the way Bill presents them.”

Special thanks to Bruce Adams, Darlinda McDonald, Bob Mild, Eric Nehlen, Mike Roy, Anneka, BJ, Lucas and Moriah Rudge, and Lily and Caeleana Smith for assisting Bill with the obstacle course this past summer.

Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course

How It All Started

Bill Rudge started developing obstacle courses for the youth soccer teams he coached, which have morphed and expanded over the years. The current course was built by many volunteers – primarily using natural materials such as logs and tree stumps. Dick Hetrick and other volunteers cut down trees on-site, then crafted them for the various challenges. Throw in some car, truck, and tractor tires, ropes, and over-sized monkey bars, as well as a balance beam and wall (built by South Py Community Church) and you have the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries (BRM). Several individuals, businesses, churches and organizations volunteer their time, talents, and resources toward maintenance, while others assist Bill in running it.

Challenging Youth & Adults to Reach their Maximum Potential

Bill and BJ Rudge have set up Obstacle Courses and provided specialized training for individuals and groups in school and church gymnasiums and outside fields – locally, across the U.S. and abroad – since 1986. The permanent Obstacle Course at BRM provides many opportunities to train sports teams, youth groups, church groups, military personnel and new recruits, mission teams preparing for upcoming trips, Scouts, children, teens, adults and families – all free of charge. Over the years Bill has invented several recreational and sports activities which have been published in various magazines and are incorporated into some of his training regimen.

Various rigorous training routines have been designed by Bill to help prepare new recruits for the challenges that lie ahead at boot camp and beyond. An Army Recruiting Sergeant reported that his soldiers and new recruits loved it and were soaked with sweat – just what he wanted. A Navy Petty Officer said the exercises were great; that the sailors and future sailors really enjoyed it. A Marine Recruiting Sergeant said the course was challenging in multiple ways and that his future Marines had a great time. Some who trained on the BRM Obstacle Course were preparing to try out for the Navy Seals and other Special Forces while others were conditioning to try out for American Ninja.

Bill customizes every obstacle course adventure to meet specific needs, goals and levels of intensity for each group. Typically, groups are scheduled for 60 to 120 minutes. The shorter time includes mainly the obstacle course while the additional time involves innovative drills, relay races, recreational or sports activities, and individual or team competitions.

Assistants help Bill and BJ lead participants through the multifaceted course where they face a variety of physical and mental challenges and choices. The obstacle course is great for motivating youth and adults to step out of their comfort zones and for Team Building – improving communication, producing leadership skills, promoting teamwork, instilling cooperation, and enhancing trust and encouragement of each other as groups take on challenges and reach goals together.

Workouts on the obstacle course are interspersed with verbal coaching by Bill or BJ who interject motivational and inspirational comments on such concepts as: attitude, choices, confidence, commitment, courage, determination, discipline, faith, life-balance, loyalty, nutrition, respect, and self-control (all biblical principles) with the intended purpose of challenging youth and adults to reach their maximum potential: Physically, by developing upper and lower body strength, agility, balance, control, and endurance. Mentally, in remembering the required exercises and options at each station while developing problem-solving skills to make necessary adjustments based on the circumstances. Emotionally, by rising above one’s fears to meet challenges with a positive attitude and confidence. Spiritually, Bill shares his personal experience in discovering true strength; talks with them about how skills developed on the obstacle course can be used in life, and gives copies of his books to those who request them.

Many notes, letters and e-mail from coaches, players, youth leaders and others testify to the fun, challenge and life lessons gained through the obstacle course experience.

Cub Scouts Meet the Challenge of the Obstacle Course

By Darlinda McDonald

Last month, members of Cub Scout Pack 3 of Sharon were ready to face the challenge. They were very excited as they approached the “Ultimate Challenge Obstacle and Fitness Course” at Bill Rudge Ministries.

Before leading the scouts through the course, Bill Rudge began the evening with “Coronavirus Kickball, Soccer Style.” He invented the game to help maintain as much social distancing as possible for the scouts. Similar to baseball, the field used tires for bases. Each player who was up would kick the ball and run to the bases while the team in the field retrieved the large “soccer ball” with their feet and tried to kick the ball to touch any of the four tires before the person running was safe on one of the bases. The referees on both sides judged whether the scout was safe or out.

Next up was the obstacle course, which had been recently renovated. The scouts partnered with their parents as they navigated each obstacle after attentively listening to Rudge’s instructions. They climbed, they crawled, they jumped, and they strove to keep their balance as they met each challenge. Their determination, positive attitude and a willingness to try each obstacle, even if feeling a little hesitant, was inspiring. It was enjoyable to lead this group of young boys as they persevered through the course. As each scout completed the final obstacle, they raced to the course entrance with a big smile on their face to clang the large silver bell.

The obstacle course provides awesome opportunities to challenge children, teens, and adults. It is used to teach and train various youth and adult groups, scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, sports teams, civic and church groups, and the military (Army, Navy, Marines) as well as those preparing for basic training, all at no charge.

Brain Health and Sugar

David Perlmutter, M.D. is America’s Brain Health Expert. He advocates following an anti-inflammatory diet for a healthier brain by avoiding sugar and processed carbs, particularly those containing gluten. He encourages us to consume more healthy natural fats that are vital for a healthy brain, along with plenty of fresh organic vegetables rich in protective antioxidants and other essential brain nutrients. (Dawn Thorpe Jarvis, Extraordinary Health, Vol. 33)

Considering the many health problems clearly linked to added sugar, including diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, cutting out simple sugars makes sense. (“Ask The Doctors”, The Herald, 2/6/19)

Marines Get Down and Dirty

Gunnery Sergeant Michael Kaufman recently coordinated a group of 35 Marine Recruits (from the Pittsburgh, Hermitage, New Castle and Cranberry areas) and four other Recruiting Sergeants to bring them to the Bill Rudge Ministries’ Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course. Bill Rudge led them through two hours of intense training, challenges and competition for the recruits. Helpers Teenie Blystone, Dick Hetrick, Joshua Lozier, Ken Ridgley, BJ Rudge, Lucas Rudge and Moriah Rudge aided in various ways . The recruits, some soon to leave for boot camp, were under the watchful eye of the five Recruiting Sergeants. The participants enthusiastically rose to the challenge of the course.

Bill Rudge has run this obstacle course free of charge for many youth and adult groups and organizations such as high school athletic teams, church groups, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Army, Navy, Marines and Mission Teams. Bill adjusts the level of intensity for each group’s specific goals and circumstances.

The Ultimate Challenge

This past spring, summer and fall many individuals and groups tested their skills at the Bill Rudge Ministries’ Ultimate Challenge Obstacle & Fitness Course. Sports teams, military personnel, youth groups, Boy Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, those preparing for mission trips, as well as groups of friends from work or school, faced the challenges of the obstacle course at BRM.

The Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course provides an exciting way to develop total fitness by motivating youth and adults to reach their maximum potential physically, mentally and spiritually.

The U.S. Army assisted Bill Rudge in guiding and encouraging two different high school soccer teams through the course before the soldiers and new recruits embarked on their own physical training with Bill.

The response has been outstanding. Everyone listens intently as Bill shares about choices, courage, self-control, and determination. Bill often interjects aspects of his personal testimony.

Facing the Obstacle Course Challenge

by Darlinda McDonald

This summer, many groups and individuals were challenged by the obstacle course at Bill Rudge Ministries. It was a delight to see the diversity within each group, from young people who were athletically gifted to those who looked at the obstacle course with apprehension. Several of Bill’s grandchildren assisted the groups through the course.

As Bill gave the instructions, he took the opportunity to help the young people see attitudes (such as courage, determination, confidence, etc.) that could help them navigate the course. All the youth met the challenges with great effort but one lesson was especially highlighted when one of the smallest boys volunteered first to scale the course’s 7-foot wall.

With great determination, this youth valiantly ran and leaped toward the top of the wall repeatedly. After finally realizing he couldn’t reach his goal alone, the other boys boosted him up and over. This encouraged others to try. In addition, this same young teen accepted the challenge of breaking the record for crossing the large monkey bars as many times as possible. He fell short of this goal also but gave it all he had. Like David facing Goliath, he did not let the size of the challenge deter him. We, too, can face challenges with courage and determination because the “battle belongs to the Lord.”

The youth groups from First Assembly of God and Neshannock Alliance, faced two challenges the day they came. One was navigating the Obstacle Course on an exceptionally hot and muggy morning. The second was a five-hour workday at the ministry grounds in the hot sun. They weed-whacked and pulled weeds, raked and picked up sticks and debris, washed windows, trimmed tree branches and cut them up and burned them, cleaned up the obstacle course area, and power-washed two decks and furniture as well as the side of the ministry center. We are so appreciative they chose our ministry for their workday project. Because of what they accomplished, the time we had to minister to others was multiplied.

Right after the youth group work was done, two visitors from the military arrived to look at the obstacle course. They were most impressed and asked to schedule troops to train at BRM. The Obstacle Course has provided many opportunities to train sports teams, youth groups, church groups, military personnel, soldiers, sailors, new recruits preparing for boot camp, groups preparing for mission trips, Boy Scouts, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, as well as to challenge individual children, teens and adults. Bill customizes each challenge to meet the needs and goals of that particular group or individual.

Bill Rudge also incorporates innovative sports, relay races, and games (several of which have been published in various magazines), as well as team building and individual challenges to help develop strength, balance, commitment, courage,