America – The Glory is Departing

America, America you were so very blessed.

You loved the Lord; and His truth you once professed.

You honored His Word and blessed His name,

But now you put them both to shame.

Respected by allies and feared by foes,

A once-free country, you now face many woes.

Of all the nations, God made you the best,

But now your name, is oft’ said in jest.

So far removed from all once possessed,

Your people in every city, deeply distressed.

America! Turn to the Lord before it’s too late.

And pray you’ve not already sealed your fate!

Hear the Lord’s pleas,

And fall on your knees.

That He may restore,

And bless you once more from shore to shore!

Bill Rudge

“Poems of Conviction” Will Challenge and Encourage

Who Will Go?

by Bruce Miller

It’s called the “Great Commission,”
Just who’s supposed to go?
You’ll find the answer on your knees
If you really want to know.

The harvest has been ready,
And the fields are very ripe;
Pray to the Lord for laborers,
Willing to share the light.

It seems today, and always has,
The ones that go are few;
It’s written in the book of Luke
In chapter ten, verse two.

Some say, “I’m just too busy,”
Or, “The timing isn’t right.”
Lift your eyes; look around;
The harvest is already white.

When you see Jesus face to face,
And He asks, “What did you do?”
I hope and pray your answer is,
“I labored, Lord, for you.”

A Near Miss in the Himalayas

by Bill Rudge

After speaking at a convention in the Himalayas of northern India, my team and I were making our way down the winding mountain roads as we headed to Calcutta. We stopped in the village of Darjeeling. Standing in the middle of a narrow road for a more panoramic view, my son and I surveyed this Himalayan village deciding which direction to go. Suddenly a bus came speeding around a sharp curve, heading straight toward us. Horn blaring, the bus maintained its speed as it rushed nearer and nearer with no sign of slowing down.

Sizing up the situation, I glanced to my right and left. Instinctively grabbing BJ, my then thirteen-year-old son, I quickly tried pulling him to the left, but his impulse was to go in the opposite direction. Adjusting my momentum to accommodate his motion, I pushed him to the right. Simultaneously, he acted on my initial tug by moving toward the left! There we were in the middle of the road going in circles as this huge bus came bearing down on us. I could have jumped out of the way to save my life, but I promised my wife I would bring our son back alive. If he was going to die, then I was going to die with him, so I hung on.

With adrenaline flowing and my heart pounding, thoughts of how we were both going to be killed flooded my mind, because buses in the Himalayas are notorious for not stopping for pedestrians. I personally have seen them barrel down the road, stopping for no one: young and old alike rushing to step aside or leaping to safety seconds before the bus sped by, missing them by inches.

Realizing this, our situation was desperate. Then, by the grace of God, the driver realized we really were in trouble and to our amazement, suddenly slammed on the brakes and slid to a stop no more than two feet in front of us. I remember standing there in the middle of the street after it was all over, looking at the flat front of the bus directly ahead of me thinking, “I could not even have jumped on its hood to get thrown to the side. It would have hit us, dropped us in the street, and then run over us! We would have had no hope for survival.” Thank God for His mercy and protection!

The point of this illustration is that when our heavenly Father is leading us in one direction, and we insist on going in another, then dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences occur. Rather than going around in circles in your life, take your lead from the Lord.

Four Options

When I was involved in the martial arts (before the Lord led me out) the easiest way for me to lead someone’s body was to lead their head. Wherever their head went, their body would follow. I used to demonstrate this with a volunteer from the audience. It was easy to lead a person who was submissive and yielded. But if they would stiffen their neck and resist, I would explain my choices:

  1. I could exert more force and possibly injure his neck.
  2. I could break his stiff neck.
  3. I could knock him unconscious and then drag him wherever I wanted.
  4. I could let him go his own way and bang his head against the wall, or against my knee, or whatever, as a natural consequence of his resistance.

When we resist the Lord’s will and refuse to submit, He also has choices:

  1. He can exert more pressure in our lives to get our attention.
  2. He can break our stiff necks and rebellious wills by humbling us.
  3. He can knock us unconscious by not using us anymore or allow Satan to render us ineffective.
  4. He can let us go our own rebellious ways and reap the consequences, until we learn and are ready to yield to His lead.

One Reassuring Fact

It is reassuring to know that when you remain yielded, available and surrendered to God, it is impossible for you to get too far out of line. If you get involved with a practice or belief that is unacceptable to Him, He will speak to your heart through His Word and Spirit, and the Great Shepherd will guide and direct you back to the path of righteousness.

The problem starts when you become insensitive, stiff-necked, obstinate and hardhearted. This kind of rebellious attitude before the Lord, carries one promise – that of reaping what you have sown. But when you are sensitive and yielded to the Spirit of God and obedient to His Word, you have the promise of eventual victory, blessing and of all things working together for good. You will be aware of God working in your life to achieve the purpose and potential He has for you.

Rise Up! Get Off Your Face!

by Bill Rudge

Over three thousand years ago Joshua sent three thousand Israelites to conquer the walled city of Ai. But they were routed by the men of Ai.

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. So the LORD said to Joshua, “Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? (Joshua 7:6, 10).

Once Joshua dealt with the sin issue in the camp of Israel (see Joshua 7:11 – 26) they victoriously conquered Ai.

Many Christians today are on their faces prostrate before the Lord – in repentance, prayer, and fasting. While prayer is powerful and essential, it is also imperative that we get off our faces and fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for our lives. What is that purpose? Being witnesses for Christ to a lost and dying world (Acts 1:8).

Obviously, don’t quit praying! But rise up and share your faith in Christ any way you can. Use your phone, letters, e-mail, texts, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of media. Witness to telemarketers and anyone who will listen.

Coronavirus Crisis

God desires to bring many more to salvation before the Rapture of the Church. Perhaps He is using this current crisis to help us get His Gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14). If the coronavirus could so easily and quickly multiply to infect so many people, how much more can believers multiply their testimonies to impact an entire world for Jesus Christ. Begin today!

Was the Crucifixion a Mistake?

by Bill Rudge

Photo by Deborah Ford on the Via Dolorosa during a Holy Land Adventure with Bill Rudge Ministries.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead and numerous other miracles Jesus performed created an intense expectation among the multitudes. The Jewish people were eager for the Messiah (Christ) to come and defeat the Romans and restore Israel to its former power and glory under King David. So at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the crowds welcomed Him with shouts of praise as they spread palm branches, and even their own garments in His path.

During His triumphal entry, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling Zechariah 9:9. Jesus was proclaiming Himself as King (just as 1 Kings 1:32-35, 44 records that David had Solomon ride on his mule before having him anointed king). The people welcomed Him with shouts of Hosanna, and the words of Messianic Psalm 118:26, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.” Spreading their cloaks on the road was an act of royal homage (2 Kings 9:12, 13).

They Didn’t Understand

Less than a week after the triumphal entry, many of this multitude were shouting for Him to be crucified. Why? What happened? They didn’t understand that it was God’s plan for the Christ to die during His first coming (Romans 11:25, 26). Therefore, they rejected the Messiah and called for His death.

Numerous Old Testament Scriptures foretold the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Messiah (Isaiah 53:5-12; Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 16:10). Nevertheless, the Jewish people and their leaders, as well as Jesus’ disciples, could not understand that God’s purpose was for the Christ to first die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

Jesus foretold He was going to be crucified. It was for this purpose He had come (John 12:27). Jesus repeatedly told His disciples He must suffer, die, and on the third day rise again (Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-33), but they were confused and did not comprehend what He meant (Luke 18:34; Mark 9:9, 10, 31, 32).

New Testament scholar, Dr. George Eldon Ladd, writes:

This is also why his disciples forsook him when he was taken captive. Their minds were so completely imbued with the idea of a conquering Messiah whose role it was to subdue his enemies that when they saw him broken and bleeding under the scourging, a helpless prisoner in the hands of Pilate, and when they saw him led away, nailed to a cross to die as a common criminal, all their messianic hopes for Jesus were shattered.

Suffering Messiah

The Hebrew Scriptures mention a suffering servant, especially in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Scripture also tells about the Messiah coming as David’s heir and reigning as King. After centuries of suffering under the yoke of foreigners, and then being under Roman oppression, the Jews of first century Israel yearned for the One who would come and rule on the throne of David forever. Consequently, the Jews of Jesus’ day only focused on the Messiah as coming King.

Peter tried to reprove Jesus for stating that He must suffer, be rejected, be killed, and rise again after three days (Mark 8:31, 32). But Jesus rebuked Peter and said—

Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s (Mark 8:33).

The animal sacrifices in the Tanakh [Old Testament] were a foreshadow of the death of the Messiah. Hebrews 9:22 says, “…without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Whereas the animal sacrifices were regular occurrences, Christ’s sacrificial death was, “once…to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Hebrews 9:26).

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was no mistake. It had been determined before the creation of the world. The Hebrew Scriptures foretold this mystery of God which was meticulously fulfilled in Jesus Christ and majestically proclaimed to both Jews and Gentiles.

God’s ultimate sacrifice is undeniable proof of His amazing and incomprehensible love for each of us.

An Invitation to Visit the Holy Land

Announcing our upcoming 11th “Holy Land Adventure,” February 13-21, 2021 – $3,891 from New York

Bill Rudge Ministries invites you to come with us on an unforgettable trip to the land of the Bible. This will be our 11th journey to the Holy Land and we have personally customized what we believe to be the best tour at the best price – maximizing your time for a truly life-changing experience. Bill also has led numerous mission teams to many countries. Each tour has been outstanding and we will do everything possible to make this another incredible trip!

The Holy Land Adventure will be filled with ancient biblical history, culture and spiritual blessings as we walk where Jesus and the patriarchs, prophets and apostles walked. Traveling through the land of the Bible – where God became flesh and where Jesus taught, healed, died and rose from the dead – will provide a deeper understanding of Scripture. It will come alive before your eyes as you encounter the people, places and events of the Bible. It has been said that we read the Scripture in black and white, but upon visiting the Holy Land our eyes will see in color. Bible scholars say a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is equal to one year of Bible college.

For example, no longer will the word, Capernaum, just be a place mentioned in the Bible. It will be a place you have seen with your eyes and walked upon with your feet.

Instead of just reading about accounts such as Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, you will see the Jordan and have an opportunity to be baptized in it or watch others doing so. Imagine yourself going on a nature walk to ancient ruins in Dan, sailing in a boat on the Sea of Galilee where the storms were calmed, floating in the Dead Sea, ascending by cable car to magnificent Masada, exploring the Ein Gedi oasis and Judean Wilderness, roaming the tranquil countryside and shores of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean, seeing Jesus’ birth place and exploring a cave where it may have actually occurred, walking the vibrant markets and streets of Jerusalem, sharing Christ’s love with Jews and Palestinians, discovering the most recent plans to rebuild the Temple, attending a Messianic service in Jerusalem, having communion near the site where our Lord was crucified and rose from the dead, entering the Garden Tomb, standing on the Mount of Olives where Jesus is coming back one day, and many other sacred experiences.

A trip to the Holy Land with Bill, Karen and Dr. BJ Rudge will be a spiritual pilgrimage, an exciting adventure and a fruitful mission. Tour members will visit traditional sites as well as explore places and have adventures rarely visited or experienced by tourists. We will also bless Russian Immigrant Jews, Palestinians and Arab Christians with clothes, supplies and some of our books and CDs.

You will never be the same! The scenes, smells, sounds and spiritual experiences of those moments will be etched in your memory. Fun, fellowship and new friends are also highlights of our tours.

This trip is much more than a vacation. As well as being a pilgrimage and adventure, it will also be a mini-mission trip. Some who have gone on previous Holy Land Adventures with us raised funds by selling sandwiches or baked goods after church and sending letters to family and friends.

I know that one of the major concerns about going to the Holy Land is SAFETY. If you talk to anyone who has made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land they will tell you that they felt safer, and the people more friendly, than in their home town! Maranatha Tours is one of the best Holy Land Travel companies and we have booked Olga, one of the best guides in all of Israel.

Once our team is assembled we will begin sending you biblical and other resources to prepare you spiritually and physically. We will also have a few meetings before the trip with those from our area and phone conversations or e-mail briefings with those who live outside our area.

We would love to have you come with us on this inspirational, faith-building and life-changing journey. Ask a family member or friend to join you. Don’t delay! Space is limited. We would like to limit the size of our group to 25 or less to allow more time to walk where Jesus walked and learn what Jesus taught. We are able to visit more sites with longer stays (almost 1/3 more than the regular 40 person tours). (The price on the brochure reflects a $100 discount for the first 25 people who sign up.)

Special blessings await you. We pray (and fast) that everyone who goes with us will have a profound spiritual experience and also have a positive impact on one or more people they meet in Israel and Palestinian Territory. At the end of this extraordinary tour two things will most certainly be changed, you, and your understanding of the Bible.

A three minute slide show and photo gallery of our previous Holy Land Adventures can be viewed at www.billrudge.org (under Ministries then under Holy Land Adventure).

For a brochure, including itinerary and registration form, e-mail brm7@me.com, call 724-983-1223, or mail your request to P.O. Box 108, Sharon, PA 16146. You also may download a brochure from the web site at billrudge.org.

Israel is becoming a very popular destination so we want to lock in our hotels and airfare as soon as possible. We are here to serve you and make this the best trip of your life! Come along and enjoy experiences that are timeless and memories that will last a lifetime!

Blessings,
Bill and Karen Rudge

Living God's Vision for Your Life

Through Scripture and prayer, God’s goals and vision you will conceive

With all of your heart trust the Lord and believe

Persevere in faith till fulfillment of His promise you receive

Through the witness of your life those fallen away you will retrieve

Then keep serving the Lord till this world you leave.

– Bill Rudge

Words of Wisdom to Encourage You

“Never let what you can’t do stop you from
achieving what you can do.”
~ Author Unknown

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. How tough are you?”

“You can’t enjoy the roads to success until you’ve traveled the streets of failure.”

“Winners will fail, and losers will win, but the true champions never quit.”

~ Mike Senerchia

For more information about Bill Rudge Ministries, click here: https://www.billrudge.org.

Students Enjoy “The Good Life” and “Everyday Heroes”

On one day, the entire student body – elementary, middle and high school – of Sharpsville Area School District, over a period of four assemblies in the Middle School gymnasium, were able to enjoy powerful presentations by Motivational Media of California. After each program, Bill Rudge addressed the student body sharing some of his experiences as a youth and the importance of making wise choices.

Three giant 14-foot screens, contemporary music, real-life stories, sports footage, film clips and familiar animated characters brought strong messages to the students about bullying, kindness, working hard toward your dreams, never giving up, truth matters and encouraging others.

The elementary students could barely contain their enthusiasm as they laughed, clapped, cheered, and sang their way through the assembly when they recognized familiar movie scenes and popular songs. You could hear a pin drop, but, as they became silent during the narration and messages of the presentation titled, “Everyday Heroes.”

The Middle and High School students’ assembly was called “The Good Life” which struck a more serious note as the students witnessed the results of using drugs and alcohol, texting and driving, and bullying. A most poignant scene showed teens talking lightheartedly about texting and driving. The mood changed quickly, however, in viewing a partially-paralyzed woman sit in front of the teens and share her story of the accident that crippled her and killed her parents because of a drunk driver. Throughout the assemblies the students were well behaved, attentive and responded enthusiastically to the messages – some students and teachers cried.

We received thank you notes from the principals, guidance counselors and superintendent. Principal Jonathan Fry wrote, “Bill, Thank you for all of the hard work that you do for our students. The program that you shared with us today was fantastic! Our students and staff truly enjoyed it and learned from it….”

For over 40 years, Bill Rudge has brought educational and inspirational multi-media assemblies to area schools, as well as he and BJ speaking at assemblies across the U.S. and in many countries. Bill also does self-defense clinics in the schools and runs an Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at BRM for many athletic teams from several schools. BJ trains students in soccer.

Special thanks to New Virginia United Methodist Church Missions Committee, Jan Anderson, Andy Canady Concrete Construction and Mary Alice Mook for underwriting these assemblies. Also, thanks to Chris Chrastina, Dick Hetrick, Shawn Hill and Bruce Lozier for helping set up the equipment and Darlinda McDonald for taking photographs.

For more about Bill’s School Assemblies please click here.

Keeping Childlike Faith in Uncertain Times

By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

The other day my daughter asked me about what it means to have childlike faith. I responded by telling her that just as children trust their parents we, too, need to trust God. In other words, we must learn to walk by faith and not by sight. 

The very next day I was cleaning up after dinner thinking about all the decisions that my wife and I were facing and the challenges we had as a family. 

After four ankle surgeries, my oldest daughter was still having significant pain. What should we do? Should we consult another doctor and face the possibility of a fifth surgery?

My second oldest daughter was still dealing with post-concussion issues, even though a year had passed. Would she ever experience relief from her headaches? Would we have to go through another round of vision therapy? 

Then, the reality of all the medical bills with my daughters’ issues began to make me concerned. How would we pay for them?  

The difficulties in my personal life seemed to only intensify with the proliferating coronavirus and how it might impact our lives and nation. What if our community was put under mandatory quarantine? Did we have enough food and supplies? What would we do if one of us gets sick?   

While feeling completely overwhelmed with all these questions running through my mind, I looked out our kitchen window and saw my two youngest daughters on our trampoline playing with their Barbie dolls. In the midst of all that was going on in my life and the world, they were content and at peace. It was at that moment where God impressed on my heart what it means to have childlike faith. It did not mean I would go through life with no problems or challenges, but in the midst of them, like my children, I could still have peace and joy.  

Just as my children’s peace and joy rested in the fact that they knew my wife and I would take care of their needs, so too, we can have peace and joy knowing that our heavenly Father will also take care of our needs.

As our world continues to face the fear of the uncertainty of the coronavirus, and as we all face difficulties and challenges, may we live with a childlike faith in a God who is truly our refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). 

Do You Have a Vision?

Through Scripture and prayer, God’s goals and vision you will conceive…

With all of your heart trust the Lord and believe…

Persevere in faith till fulfillment of His promise you receive…

Through the witness of your life those fallen away you will retrieve…

Then keep serving the Lord till this world you leave.

Bill Rudge