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.

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.

Quotes To Reflect On

Building Character

“Character is like a muscle; the more it is exercised and used, the stronger it becomes. Every time we choose to do what is right, we build character and moral courage.” Senator Douglas V. Mastriano, PhD (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired)

Face the Worst

“If you want to be the best you have to face the worst.” Quote from Ken Rudge for a nephew going through rigorous Special Forces training.

What God Does

“It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.”

“It is not what you do for God, rather, it is what God does through you.” Authors Unknown

Great Things

“Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.” William Carey

The Focus

“You will find your purpose when you make Jesus the center of what you want to do and the focus of what you hope to accomplish.” BJ Rudge

Overcoming Sexual Immorality

Bill Rudge

Overcoming sexual immorality is like engaging in a lethal street fight: It takes courage and fortitude to stand up to such a formidable foe. The struggle is an all-out battle, a warfare so to speak, for your very life – your body, mind, heart, soul, and family.

The illustrations and biblical truths contained within this book are intended to be like strikes and kicks in a brawl. Some will hit you squarely and hard while others may glance off. In a real fight you may need to use multiple strikes and hit vulnerable parts of the body to defeat a hostile opponent. Similarly, the principles in the various chapters are intended to hit every vital area possible, sometimes repetitively. Results will prove the decisive victory over your adversary.

This book offers a path to victory for those who desire to be set free from sexually immoral behavior.

Bill’s recently updated and expanded book on Overcoming Sexual Immorality is available as a free e-book through our website ( https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/e-books/ ) or for purchase through amazon.com.

Messiah’s Birthplace

BJ Rudge, PhD

One of my favorite places in the Holy Land is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. This place is special because it attests to the historical birth of Jesus and testifies to His true identity.

Micah 5:2 identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. The uniqueness of Micah’s prophecy is fourfold: First, the Jewish chief priests and scribes recognized this passage in Micah as prophesying the Messiah (Matthew 2:3-8). Second, this prophecy highlights the exact city where Messiah would be born (Bethlehem Ephrathah). This was important because there was another city named Bethlehem (Joshua 19:15). Third, Micah declared this prophecy more than 700 years before Jesus Christ was born. Fourth, this prophecy was just one of many Messianic prophecies fulfilled during Jesus’ first coming.

Bethlehem was more than just a place where Jesus was born; it helped to identify Him as the promised Messiah.

The following is from “Turning Point Magazine” (used with permission):

700 Years Before Christ

When Jesus was born, there were three major continents known to scholars – Europe, Asia, and Africa. Asia was chosen, but Asia has many countries. Micah selected one country, Israel, with three districts – Judea, Galilee, Samaria. Judea was chosen, but Judea had thousands of villages. Yet seven hundred years before Christ, Micah pinpointed the very town of His birth – Bethlehem.

God’s Approval

by Bill Rudge

It is not the one who commends himself or herself, or even the one who is commended by others, but the one who is commended by the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:12, 18). When all is said and done, the only opinion that really matters is the Lord’s. He is the One we stand before to give an account of our lives. He is the One who holds our destiny in His hands. He is the One from whom we want to receive praise (1 Corinthians 4:5).

There is an eternal difference between seeking the praises of men and seeking the favor of God. The first focuses on oneself and temporal recognition, while the latter focuses on Christ and heavenly honor. Both provide rewards. Praise from people may last a lifetime but bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom will last forever.

As you read the following verses, ponder whether you love the praise from men more than praise from God:

Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:42-43).

Will you allow the praises of people, prestige, popularity, personal gain or pursuits of pleasure to undermine your commitment to Jesus Christ? Far better than obtaining recognition from and the praises of people, is to cultivate an attitude and a lifestyle that gain approval from the Lord.

True Greatness ~ Join the Great Multitude

by Bill Rudge

You may be facing a lot of peer pressure today, and feel like you are in a shrinking minority because almost everyone at school, college or work rejects the Bible as God’s unique revelation of truth. However, one day you will be with multitudes (billions of people!) since Creation – heroes of the faith, prophets, kings, warriors, disciples, martyrs from every generation throughout history, men and women, children and teens from across the globe – who resisted the pressures of their day and became part of the great multitude who will inherit all that the Lord has prepared for those who love and honor Him; believers from throughout the ages will live with God forever. Those already in Heaven will one day be joined by a vast host:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands (Revelation 7:9).

On that Day when Jesus Christ establishes His eternal Kingdom, those whose names are written in the Book of Life will receive all He has prepared for those who love Him and obey His Word. We will have endless time to enjoy and explore the wonders of a restored paradise on Earth and the countless adventures awaiting us throughout the expanse of the entire universe. We will never cease to be amazed by the glory of our God and overjoyed with the blessings He will lavish on His children.

In contrast, those who reject God’s offer of salvation in this life, so as to enjoy the conveniences of compromise, pleasure, popularity or prestige will be named among the “cowardly” mentioned in Revelation 21:8. They will forfeit God’s blessed Kingdom, quarantined from His glorious presence.

Instead of succumbing to the seductive spirit of this age or pressures to compromise your faith and conform your lifestyle to current cultural and popular morality trends, be encouraged by the throngs of people who have gone before you and whose testimonies spur you on:

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).

Be a part of the millions of people alive on this planet today who faithfully serve and honor Jesus Christ in spite of ridicule, oppression, hostility, persecution and even martyrdom. I promise that you will never regret serving Jesus Christ and I assure everyone who rejects or refuses to accept Him that they will eternally regret that decision.

Believers throughout the history of the Church have fought in the “arena of life” to proclaim the Gospel. Now it is our time to stand strong in the “arena” for Christ. We must not shrink back or cower in fear. That Great Cloud of Witnesses – in fact all of Heaven – is watching and cheering us on!

I Could Run But I Couldn’t Hide

By Bill Rudge

Fifty years ago, on May 16, 1971, I began my hitchhiking quest across the country with my weightlifting buddy to get away from my girlfriend and her Jesus. In reality, I was in search of peace, fulfillment and the purpose of life. The adventures along the way – as well as the dangers – were many but the story took a turn while stranded in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We received rides from all types of people.

I remember getting picked up by a businessman outside of Akron, Ohio. I thought, “Nice car!” Wouldn’t you know, he began to witness to me about Jesus Christ. I run right into this religious nut who is telling me about this Jesus who I do not want to hear about. He knew I did not want to hear about Jesus so when he discovered I was going to New Mexico he said, “I know some monks out there.” (I later discovered they were born again, Spirit-filled monks).” He wrote a note and said, “I want you to give this to them and they will take care of you.” He sealed it in an envelope and I filed it away.

I thought, I am never going to see some dumb religious monks, so I later opened the letter. It said something like, “These boys are deeply troubled. Please pray for their souls.” I kept the note just in case we needed to go there and get some food.

Then in Columbus, Ohio, we hitched a ride with a guy who pulled a Bible out of his glove compartment and I thought, “Here we go again!” But when he opened his Bible, there was a hole cut out of the center pages with a stash of marijuana hidden there. As we all shared a joint, I thought, “How cool; no cop would ever think of looking inside a Bible for that.”

Albuquerque, New Mexico

After only two days and nights on the road and many adventures, we reached Albuquerque. I hoped to see my oldest brother who was living in a hippie commune there and to obtain a “hot” [stolen] motorcycle to ride to California. My brother had phoned at Christmas and I told him I might come out to see him sometime. He said he could get me a “hot” motorcycle on which we could travel across the rest of the country. He didn’t really believe I would ever show up.

At the hippie compound I was told that my brother had left the day before to go swimming at some springs in the mountains a hundred miles away. They had no idea when he would be back.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

We decided to hitchhike to Santa Fe, which was about 50 miles north of Albuquerque. After walking about three miles we finally hitched a ride that took us right into Santa Fe. During our ride, the car radio informed us that the temperature was going down to about 25 degrees, a record low for this time of year. I had anticipated warm weather out west in May, so all I had was a short-sleeved shirt and a plastic poncho.

Our ride dropped us off and we walked the cobblestone streets of Santa Fe to find a place to spend the night. Darkness was settling in and it seemed as though the whole city had closed down. Finally we found an open bar but were not allowed inside because we were underage. We asked again if we could just go inside long enough to find someone to put us up for the night. The person running the bar did not care and assured us that without proper I.D. we would not be allowed in.

We saw a girl riding by on a bicycle (the only sign of outside life) and yelled at her to stop but she pedaled all the faster and disappeared down a side street.

We returned to our only hope, the bar, which was now closing. No one leaving the bar was willing to help or put us up for the night. It was very late and the temperatures had dropped drastically.

I had unknowingly served Satan faithfully over the years but now he knew that God was beginning to move in my heart so he led me here and set me up to freeze to death.

Hope was diminishing and then, seemingly out of nowhere, down a narrow street came a small, yellow foreign car with several longhaired hippies and a German Shepherd dog hanging his head out of the window. My friend and I began to wave and yell hoping they would stop. All of a sudden one of them started yelling, “That’s my brother, that’s my brother!” and my brother Larry screeched the car to a halt. One of the passengers, Rick, said, “Yeah, we’re all brothers. You and me are brothers. The guy in the back seat is your brother too.” Larry said, “It is my blood brother.” Rick said, “That’s impossible!”

My brother did not even know I was in New Mexico. He was supposed to be 100 miles away swimming somewhere in the mountains, and there in the small town of Santa Fe, on a narrow street, a God who knew I would one day give my life to Him, intervened and spared my life.

Larry, his buddies, and a German shepherd dog Larry found had hitchhiked up to Jemez Hot Springs (59 miles north of Albuquerque and 50 miles – by road – west of Santa Fe) and stayed for a couple days. Larry and his friends were thrown out of the Hot Springs after a few nights and were hitchhiking back to Albuquerque when a young female school teacher picked them up. She took them to her home – which just happened to be in Santa Fe – and let them sleep on her floor that night. She said to Larry, “You guys aren’t going to trash my house and steal my TV and other items?” Larry promised they would not.

The next day this single female teacher left them a note stating she would be back at noon and that they were welcome to wait at the house. She came back home from school at noon and gave Larry the keys to her car saying they could use it to see Sante Fe but to please bring it back that night since it was the only car she had. She asked Larry again, “You guys aren’t going to steal my car and take everything in my house?” Larry promised her they would not. Another schoolteacher who had followed her home at noon drove her back to school and then dropped her off at her house after school. It was later that night, as Larry was driving the car back to her house, that he saw me. Larry later told me they had thought about stealing her car but wanted to keep his promise to return her car since she had been so nice.

It was on Larry’s way back to her house that God used him to save my life. If the car windows hadn’t been rolled down, Larry would never have seen me. You know why the windows were down in such cold weather? Because they had been feeding Mexican beans to the dog and it had gas. Since the defroster wasn’t working, all the windows would have steamed up, he wouldn’t have seen me, and we would have passed like two ships in the night. So God used the dog’s gas for those windows to be down!

God uses the foolish things to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the strong.

We all scrunched into that small car and soon all of us were hanging out the windows. We went to where they were staying and I completely forgot, or cared, about God. We all smoked some grass and shared stories. Larry explained that he would not be able to get us a motorcycle so the next day my friend and I started hitchhiking back to Pennsylvania. Larry, his buddies, and the dog returned to Albuquerque – never to see that school teacher again and wondering not only why she ever picked them up, let them stay in her house, and borrow her car, but also why they didn’t steal it and take off. For many years, Larry was in and out of prison for drug related charges. He told many prisoners about that miracle in Sante Fe in 1971. Years later, Larry was on fire for Jesus Christ. He died of lung cancer and with his dying words He praised Jesus for what God did in Santa Fe.

Back in Pennsylvania

We encountered many more incidents along the way but were really happy when we arrived home. The first thing I did when I got home was call Karen and then go to see her. It happened to be Sunday so, after our reunion, Karen said, “Bill, I want you to come tonight and hear this fantastic evangelist speaking in Youngstown, Ohio.”

The last thing I wanted to do my first night back was to spend it in church hearing about Jesus. I told her, “Karen, take your religion and shove it.” She persisted so I decided to go since we hadn’t seen each other for so long and she looked so beautiful.

But that night the Holy Spirit was dealing with me in a way I had never known before. The evangelist spoke on Bible prophecy and how we could know God in a real and personal way.

I had been searching for meaning and purpose in life for a long time. I had tried everything imaginable to find lasting happiness and peace. I now knew that what I was looking for would not be found, no matter where I went or what I did, but only through giving my life to Jesus Christ and fulfilling the purpose God had for my life.

When he gave the altar call, Karen and her friends asked the usual question, “Do you want us to walk down with you?” I said, “No. This time I’ll do it alone.”

I stood to my feet and as I walked down the long aisle to the altar, I said, “God, if You prove Yourself real to me tonight, I’ll live my life for You.” That was May 23, 1971. God did, and I’ve never been the same since.

The next night I went to hear this same evangelist speak in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.

During the service he pointed to me and said, “Young man, last night there was a battle between heaven and hell. Satan and hell wanted to keep you, but God won!”

And that’s exactly what happened. I’ve never been the same and I never will be the same.

God intervened and changed my life in a way no self-realization course, no mind-expansion technique, no latent mental powers, no psychotherapy technique, no martial arts involvement, no weight lifting, no hypnosis, no meditation, no Yoga, no occultism, no Eastern religion, no human potential, no atheism, no self-effort or works of righteousness could! Nothing and no one could change my life, except Him.

Consider Carefully

by Bill Rudge

The following confessions of faith have heartfelt meaning in my relationship with Christ. They are frequently part of my prayer and fasting time:

You are the CREATOR and Sovereign Lord of the Universe; ELOHIM, the strong and faithful One; ADONAI, Master and Lord; YAHWEH, the Great I Am; KING of Kings and LORD of Lords …

You are Holy, Righteous, Just, Faithful, True, Loving, Kind, Merciful, Long-Suffering …

You are my Source and Strength, my God and King, my Savior and Messiah, my Lord and Master, my Creator and Sustainer, my Rock and Fortress, my Shield and Sword, my Protector and Provider, my Helper and Healer …

My desire and prayer is to:

• Walk with You like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24).

• Be considered Your friend like Abraham (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).

• Be considered Your servant like Moses (Joshua 1:2).

• Have a heart after You like David (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

• Be obedient like Jesus (Philippians 2:8; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:8).

• Be a faithful witness like Antipas (Revelation 2:13).

Now read all the above once again slowly as you ponder and pray about each description of God and what He means in your heart and life. Then give the LORD your praise, thanks and worship because He is truly worthy!

Dynamic Principles of Prayer

by Bill Rudge

After searching Scripture for God’s perspective on prayer, I compiled them in my book Fasting For Sensitivity and Power. You can read these nine dynamic biblical principles on prayer in just a few minutes. It will be worth your time as God’s Spirit enlightens your heart through His Word – giving you insight concerning one of the most beneficial practices in life – Prayer! Be blessed as you engage in some Bible study by looking up each one of the following verses:

1) Right Motives
James 4:3

2) According to His Will
1 John 5:14

3) Persistence
Luke 11:5-10

4) Do Not Doubt
James 1:6-7; Hebrews 11:1, 6

5) Mountain-Moving Faith
Mark 9:23; 11:23

6) Do Not Be Anxious – Be Thankful
Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2

7) Obedience
John 14:14-15; 15:7; 1 John 3:21-24

8) A Clean Heart before God
2 Chronicles 6:36-39; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15-17; James 5:16-18

9) Delight Yourself in the Lord
Psalm 37:4; Psalm 84:11; Matthew 6:33

The Lord has taught me that I cannot coerce or manipulate Him to give me what I want. However, if I delight myself in Him, seek to Honor His name and walk in obedience, He will grant the desires of my heart (because they will be His desires as well) and abundantly bless beyond what I could ever ask or think.

Powerful Prayers in Scripture

Seven powerful prayers (two of which were accompanied by fasting) that should serve as an example and inspiration to us can be found in Scripture. Take time to study them and be inspired by their example of faith:

• Elijah’s effective prayer during his encounter with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:36-37).

• David’s magnificent prayer of thanks and praise to bless the LORD. David acknowledges that everything – including riches and honor – comes from the LORD (1 Chronicles 29:10-20).

• Solomon’s powerful prayer at the dedication of the Temple, acknowledging God’s faithfulness and sovereignty – His punishment of sin and His forgiveness and restoration for repentance (2 Chronicles 6:13-42).

• Nehemiah’s persistent prayer for favor in the presence of Artaxerxes, King of Persia (Nehemiah 1:4-11).

• Hezekiah’s earnest prayer in the Temple after receiving the threatening letter from Sennacherib, King of Assyria, demanding Jerusalem’s surrender (Isaiah 37:14-20).

• Daniel’s intercessory prayer of forgiveness for the people and for Jerusalem’s restoration after receiving understanding from Scripture – seeking the Lord God by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (Daniel 9:3-19).

• The early Church’s courageous prayer following the release of Peter and John (Acts 4:23-31).

For additional information read Bill’s new and updated e-book, Fasting for Sensitivity and Power. It is available free of charge at https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/2000/05/30/fasting-for-sensitivity-and-power-e-book/ or purchase through amazon.com.

Upcoming New and Updated Books by Bill Rudge and Dr. BJ Rudge

Along with new videos and audio messages on a variety of timely topics, Bill and BJ are diligently writing several new books and updating and expanding the current ones. Some of the books that Bill and BJ are hoping to finish by the end of December 2023 are:

ABCs of False Teachings – An A to Z Guide to Recognize Unbiblical Phenomena and Teachings

Adventures in Missions – Catch the Vision – Highlights of Bill’s Mission Trips

Biblical Leadership – Being an Effective Leader

The Book of Jude – Contending for the Faith

Conquering Stress Before It Conquers You

Death, Dying and Eternity

Faith Through The Fire – BJ’s Testimony

Fasting for Sensitivity and Power

God in the California Wildfires – Protection and Ministry in the Midst of It

Impact Evangelism – Effectively Sharing Your Faith

Impacting Our World for Christ – How do we effectively live for Jesus Christ in a hostile environment?

The Impossible – Testimonies of the Miraculous in Bill’s Life and Ministry

Karen’s Journal – Her Journey of Overcoming Cancer and Meeting Challenges

Keys to Biblical Discernment – Avoiding Spiritual Deception

The Last Days – What’s Ahead for the World, the Church and the Apostate Church

Living Your Life in the Center of God’s Will – Hearing God’s Voice and Knowing God’s Will

Not Our Fathers Faith – How Doctrines of Demons Have Invaded the Church

Overcoming Sexual Immorality – A Path to Victory

Overcoming the Giants In Your Life – Biblical Insights on Victorious Living and God’s Promised Blessings

Peer Pressure – Dare to Be Different

The Power of Words – Are Yours Helpful or Hurtful?

Powerful and Effective Prayer – God Using Ordinary People to Accomplish the Extraordinary

Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ – Be all God Created You to Be (One of Bill’s most popular books, updated, reprinted and translated several times.)

Self-Defense from a Biblical Perspective

Spiritual Warfare and Victory in Christ – Triumphant in the Arena of Spiritual Warfare

Strength Through Weakness – One of God’s Most Powerful Lessons

The Taming of Godzilla – Bill’s Life Testimony

Uniqueness of Christianity and Evidence for the Resurrection

Where Have All the Christians Gone? – What Happens After the Rapture

Who Is This Jesus? – Overwhelming Evidence for Those Who Want to Know the Real Truth

Why I Quit Karate – Five Reasons Bill Discontinued Formal Training

Please pray for God’s anointing, wisdom, strength and the time to complete this monumental goal by the end of December 2023. Also pray God raises up additional people to help with proofreading, editing, production and funds for distribution of these vital biblical resources. These new and updated E-Books, video and audio messages (always free of charge) will be available through our web site and other venues.

Oh Those Telemarketing Calls

by Bill Rudge

Telemarketing calls can be annoying!

However, I choose to treat telemarketers with respect since they are just trying to make a living. I often turn the call into a witness opportunity by saying, “Before I answer your question let me tell you about the most important thing in my life which is my relationship with Jesus Christ..”

Some listen, some hang up. But all hear Jesus’ name!

Ben Hur

Lew Wallace (4/10/1827 – 2/15/1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman and author. According to an article in Israel My Glory magazine:

He and his famous ungodly friend, Robert Ingersoll, once agreed to write a book that would forever destroy the “myth” of Christianity. For two years, Wallace gathered information from the leading libraries of Europe and America. He got no further than chapter two when he suddenly found himself on his knees, crying out, “My Lord, and my God.” He had found his evidence, and it overwhelmingly and conclusively supported the deity of Christ. He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. So Wallace abandoned his project and became a Christian. Later he wrote one of the finest novels ever written concerning the time of Christ, Ben Hur.

Instead of disproving the deity of Christ and His resurrection – Lew Wallace ended up defending it in his famous epic Biblical novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, described as “the most influential book of the nineteenth century.”

The Jelly Beans

Red is for the blood He gave,

Green is for the grass He made.

Yellow is for His sun so bright,

Orange is for the edge of night.

Black is for the sins we made,

White is for the grace He gave.

Purple is for His hours of sorrow,

Pink is for our new tomorrow.

Author Unknown

In Pursuit of a Dream

By Darlinda McDonald

Carson (left) was commended by the Navy Chief and the Commander for training Navy recruits and providing them transportation for several weeks before he himself left for Boot Camp.
Carson standing on top of a climbing obstacle at BRM. He has hurled many obstacles and excelled in making great accomplishments.
Michael, Carson and Lucas with some of the Cub Scouts they led through the BRM obstacle course last summer.
Carson (on left) leading the Sharpsville Varsity Soccer Team through “Black Tire Pain” – one of the hardest challenges at the BRM obstacle course.

Carson (Bill and Karen Rudge’s grandson) was born in San Diego one month after 9/11. His family moved to Pennsylvania several years later. Carson graduated from high school during the coronavirus. A dedicated athlete, he played soccer for the Riverhounds in Pittsburgh and played in soccer tournaments across the country as well as in Italy. At age 18, Carson turned down a scholarship to play soccer in college to pursue his dream of special military service in the Navy.

Carson has been a great blessing to Bill Rudge Ministries for many years. He helped Bill with school assemblies, defense clinics, and the obstacle course for sports teams and military recruits, as well as assisting with grounds maintenance, mail pick-up, delivering clothes, school supplies and household items to local missions and ministries, and loading trucks with boxes of books, sports jerseys, soccer balls, school supplies, etc. for delivery to Third World countries. Carson has been willing to help in any way needed at BRM. He also mentored several peers, assisted an injured Vietnam Vet by moving furniture, doing yard work and various other projects. He delivered and moved furniture for Building of Hope to those in need and for several elderly people.

Carson is greatly missed by family, friends and BRM staff and volunteers. He continues to support the ministry by having a portion of his pay from the Navy automatically given to BRM. We pray God’s protection for this young man of excellence, a consistent and valued volunteer – never charging anyone for anything he did to help.

Bill’s Advice To Carson Before Boot Camp

“Always remember the tetherball battles, hockey games, boxing, obstacle course, sleeping on our couch and borrowing my clothes.

“Always remember, Carson Brock, that you were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Never forget that He loves you so much He died for you (John 3:16). Realize that Jesus will forgive anything if you ask (1 John 1:9).

“Rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life and one day you will rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:6). You may have some lonely times but He will never leave you or forsake you (Matthew 28:20).

“Have faith, courage, determination, discipline and integrity because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

“There will be challenges and difficulties but God will use them to make you strong and work everything out for good (Romans 8:28).

“Through it all you will be molded into the man He intended you to be (Romans 8:29). In the end you will look back and know the truth of God’s Word and that He honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).

“One day we will never have to say goodbye again. Stay safe, healthy and close to Jesus. And never, ever forget how much I love you. I am so proud to have you as a grandson!”

Papa Bill

Tragedy to Triumph

The tragic death of a child leads to an unexpected journey that results in a multi-generational blessing.

To view more of Bill’s videos on YouTube, visit https://www.youtube.com/billrudgeministries/videos.

To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudgeministries.wordpress.com/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows/.

Stepping Out in Faith

By BJ Rudge, Ph. D.

The greatest battles we often face will occur the moment we step out in faith. Consider Nehemiah who stepped out in faith when he asked the Persian King for permission to go and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. While being commissioned by the king to complete this task, we find that Nehemiah’s act of faith and trust in God came with its challenges. For example, opposition quickly arose to discourage and prevent him from doing what God had called him to do:

But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” (Nehemiah 2:19; see chapters 4-6 for further examples of challenges and opposition that Nehemiah had to endure).

In the case of Nehemiah, God moved forward through the challenges he faced and brought a great victory. Not only was the wall built, but also those Jewish exiles who returned to their land made an agreement to obey the commands of God as they once again occupied His holy city Jerusalem.

We can have the same confidence Nehemiah had that when we place our faith and trust in God, He will fulfill His plans through our lives. Just like Nehemiah, if we remain faithful to what God has called us to do we will see a great victory in the end.

So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God (Nehemiah 6:15, 16).

How I Started My Tract Ministry

By Jan Gunsley

Jan, at BRM, holds up one of the hundreds of God’s Promise tracts written by Bill and BJ Rudge that she has passed out over the years.

I was sitting with Ruth Carnino at the St. John XXIII Home in the fall of 2008 when Bill Rudge came to visit and left the “God’s Promise” tract which includes so much: Psalm 23, the Lord’s Prayer, Scriptures of Encouragement, Eternity, Knowing Him, and Words of Hope.

I thought it would really touch people’s lives so I started sending these tracts in sympathy, birthday, get well and other cards. I also gave tracts to my friends, at high school reunions and different get-togethers, and when visiting people. I gave them to the congregation at Orangeville Baptist Church and told them about the tract ministry since they contribute to Bill Rudge Ministries.

When I sold my home in August 2020, we had a sale and my nephew, Daniel Guzik, sat by the front porch and gave out tracts to all. He knows the Lord and was so happy to do it. When done, I told him we had another job to do and that was “to pray for all that received the tracts.” He said, “Oh, I will.”

May you consider a tract ministry! These tracts are free of charge at BRM but eternally rewarding.

What Child is This?

by Wendy Wippel

Wendy Wippel is a molecular biologist who specializes in genetics. The following are excerpts from an article in The Lamplighter magazine. Used with permission.

Fresco in the Shepherd’s Field Church in Bethlehem.
Photo by Bill Rudge.

It’s the Christmas season, and amid the baking and the bustling and the bows, it’s easy to lose sight of what the fuss is all about — a baby. As the old carol asks, “What child is this?” There’s a lot riding on your answer. Because that baby is the central figure of human history. Human history, in fact, is divided into two eras (BC and AD) by His existence. (Your birth date? Counted from His.)

• He never traveled more than 100 miles from home, but His followers permeated every country in the world with His story.

• He never wrote a book, but more have been written about Him than anyone else in history, by far.

• The first book about Him, the Bible, has been translated into more than 500 languages, and portions of it into more than 3000 languages.

• He had only 12 disciples, but billions of people discuss His teachings every day.

• He was homeless during His public life, but most of the world’s most beautiful buildings were built in His honor (Notre Dame, Westminster Abbey, Hagia Sophia, Chartres, St. John’s Cathedral, and so on.)

• He died as a criminal, but today thousands of names of cities and countries memorialize His life. (San Salvador, for example, which means Holy Savior.)

• He never married, but more wedding vows have asked His blessing than any other.

• He never had kids, but there’s a really good chance you’re named after one of his family or his friends.

• Untold numbers of people throughout history have willingly gone to their deaths rather than renounce His name.

Jesus is recognized by skeptic and saint alike as the turning point of history. What child IS this? We’ve had 2000 years to speculate: A really moral man? A great philosopher? A champion of social justice? A pacifist? A mythical figure? A revolutionary? An example for all of us to follow?

Those really aren’t the right questions, though. The real question is “Who does He think He is?” And Jesus, tellingly, said none of the above. Jesus said that He came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus said that He came to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). In fact, He said that He came specifically for one moment in time, His crucifixion (John 12:27).

What child is this? We all have to answer that question for ourselves. And eternity rides on our answer. Why? Because God created humans to be with Him. But you probably know what happened next – Adam and Eve disobeyed the one rule that God established, and humanity became tainted with sin. And as descendants of Adam and Eve, we inherited that condition. We’re all SIN positive.

The problem is that sin can’t survive in the presence of the holiness of God. But that same God still loves us and wants us to be with Him. So Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. We’re what was lost (John 1:12; 3:16).

Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great for you, but it’s just not my thing.” Or, “I have my own faith.” Or, “We all worship the same God.” Then what child is this? One that made some pretty amazing statements:

I am the way, the truth, the life. No man comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6). All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me (Matthew 28:18).

Nobody else said things like this. Not Mohammed. Not Confucius. Not Buddha. Nobody. People these days say that makes Christianity exclusive. Except that Jesus also said that whosoever believes in Him can have eternal life. Whosoever.

So what child is this? You can call Him a liar. You can call Him a lunatic. Or you can call Him Lord. “Undecided” isn’t really an option. He didn’t mean for it to be.

Jesus was crucified because He claimed to be the Messiah, a Messiah described in Isaiah as “wounded for our transgressions,” whose chastisement made peace for us with God. Jesus said that He came to give us life as a ransom for many. Nobody else said that. Nobody.

That’s what sets Jesus apart. Only He laid down His life for your sins and mine. And when He died on that cross (a fact documented in Roman records) it would have certainly seemed that was the last history would hear of Him.

But the cross that He died on is now the world’s most common symbol, engraved on tombstones, mounted in and on churches, scattered on hillsides and hung around a whole lot of necks.

So what child is this? That’s the question. And the answer … God, in the form of Jesus, left heaven to seek and save that which was lost, meaning you and me. When He died on the cross, God was saying that He loves you. He Himself came to earth to give His life as your ransom. It was the God of all the universe, whispering into your ears, “I do.” And that God, who still loves you, stands at the altar, waiting for your answer. He’ll wait. He has all eternity to do so. Do you?