Think About It

  • As The Grass Fades (Psalm 103)

    by Bill Rudge

    Everyone, sooner or later, comes to realize that youth and vigor fade like the waning summer days of September.

    The most attractive people in the world will, in a few short years, lose much of their beauty. Their “perfect” bodies and good looks will give way to sags and wrinkles. Just visit a nursing home and compare the residents to their youthful pictures.

    A Sports Festival I attended included men and women at their peak of perfection: massive muscles from steroids, chiseled bodies from intense training, youthful appearance, vivacious…. But looking beyond the glamorous surface, while witnessing and giving out my Reaching Your Maximum Potential and Who Is This Jesus? books, I noticed visible flaws from aging, sun damaged skin, over training and overdosing. Many who just a few years earlier were at their pinnacle, now limped while walking due to bad knees, hips or backs; had faces engraved with wrinkles, sculpted bodies with extended bellies and hernias, tattoos that looked grotesque from shrinking muscles and shriveling skin; varicose veins – the result of over exertion and straining; surgical scars on shoulders and knees from injuries caused by lifting excessive amounts of weight….

    Eternal Significance

    A lifetime of training in athletics, academics or the arts can be wiped out in a moment of time – an unexpected injury, debilitating accident or dread disease. The Book of Ecclesiastes says to enjoy each day to its fullest, but focus on the important priorities because life is but a passing vapor. A self-written obituary by 69-year-old Emily Phillips noted: “I was born; I blinked; and it was over.”

    David said it this way:

    As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more (Psalm 103:15,16).

    Life goes by too quickly to disregard or even defy the Lord for a few years of fleeting indulgence. Chasing after worldly pleasures and possessions is – as Solomon learned 3,000 years ago through personal experience – futility and foolishness.

    Why spend a lifetime developing skills and talents yet neglect that which has never-ending significance? Enjoy the temporary but focus on the eternal. Endeavor to develop attributes and qualities whose benefits last forever.

    You have a lifetime (however long or short that may be) to determine your eternal destiny; an eternity to enjoy the rewards, or suffer the consequences for the choices you made in this lifetime. You have the final word in this life; God has it in the next life.

    Wisdom from Solomon

    It would be expedient to heed the wisdom of Solomon: His search in riches and pleasure inspired him to conclude the book of Ecclesiastes with the following admonition:

    However many years a person may live, let them enjoy them all. But remember that days of darkness will be many. Rejoice while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before you grow old and no longer enjoy living – before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you say, “I find no pleasure in them.” The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear [Reverence] God and obey His commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Adapted from Ecclesiastes 11:8,9 and 12:13-14.)

    Change of Perspective

    As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, our outlook changes. Enjoyment of the passions of this life fade like the flexibility and suppleness of aging joints. It is good that God uses the degeneration and deterioration of our physical bodies to divert our focus from the pleasures of this physical domain to that of our approaching destiny.

    I often tell people that time is the great equalizer: It has a way of catching up with us and changing our perspective – as do our circumstances. If you have not yet discovered, you soon will, that what matters most in your younger years, matters little when you are older, and what matters little when you are young matters most when you get older. The things of this earth grow strangely dim as Eternity looms on the horizon.

    Some of what was a fun time for me as a teenager is now foolishness. Some of what I considered boring and weak back then, I recognize as wise and strong today. Some of what I thought was a waste of time and irrelevant is now a priority and passion. Much of what I rushed toward then, I avoid today. What I fled from before, I embrace today. My perspective has dramatically changed since coming to know Jesus Christ. It is diametrically opposed to what it was as a teenager before accepting Christ. With years, comes experience, and through experience, comes a new viewpoint.

    Some people turn away from the sins of their youth because they have come to know the Lord, experience the joy of being forgiven and the peace of walking with God. Others do so because they are forced by circumstances or advancing age to no longer indulge in them.

    It is far better to make the changes while you have the choice and the ability to do so, than to wait until you are one day forced to. However, whatever it takes, I hope you have amended your attitude and behavior from that which is contrary to God’s nature and His purpose for creating you, to that which honors Him. True repentance means that you would not repeat sinful behavior if you were back in those circumstances or had the opportunity once again.

    Nourish Your Spirit

    It is inevitable that your physical body will wear out; muscles will shrink and bones will weaken. Your body will eventually cease to function and will return to the dust from which God created it – but your spirit will live forever.

    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly [physical body] we are wasting away, yet inwardly [the eternal spirit] we are being renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16).

    In light of this certainty, my suggestion is to spend more time nourishing your spirit through Bible study and prayer and less time pampering the flesh. You should be convinced by this point in your life that sinful behavior, really does result in the consequences warned about in the pages of Scripture. Hopefully, you have gained enough wisdom over the years to have learned what is pleasing to the Lord and acquired enough respect and reverence for God to avoid that which dishonors Him. David goes on to write in Psalm 103:

    But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear [reverence] Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts (Psalm 103:17,18).

    David confidently proclaimed in the closing verse of his most famous psalm:

    I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23:6).

    What Really Matters?

    When all is said and done, what really matters? Ponder the following questions then make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

    Where will I spend eternity?
    • Am I ready to meet my Creator?
    • Did I honor Jesus Christ with my life (and ministry)?
    • Was I a wise steward of the gifts and resources God entrusted to me?
    • Did my life bear fruit by leading others to Christ?
    • Was His will and purpose fulfilled through me?

    May the longing of our hearts and the focus of our lives be to know and to exalt our Creator. May we inherit all God has prepared for those who love Him and obey His Word. May we rejoice because of the assurance that at Christ’s return believers’ bodies will be transformed into immortal, glorified bodies to rule and reign over a world returned to its original paradise.

  • Knowing the Depth of God’s Love

    by Bill Rudge

    There was no other way for God to show the depth of His amazing love throughout eternity other than through the cross of Jesus Christ. Sure, He could just tell us how much He loves us or lavish every imaginable blessing on us. But that would not fully display the depth of His love: only His crucifixion ordeal manifests His abundant grace:

    All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15).

    Jesus’ suffering and death serves as an everlasting reminder of God’s displeasure and intolerance for sin and rebellion. How can fallen humanity, who brought sin and death into God’s perfect creation, pay the price to satisfy God’s Holiness, Righteousness and Justice? Since “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) we are without hope. Yet, the sinless Son of God shed His precious blood to appease God’s wrath due us and make the way for restored relationship with our Creator. And Jesus’ resurrection provides us confident assurance:

    We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence (2 Corinthians 4:14).

    You can only become a “new creation” through Jesus Christ. How could heaven be heaven, filled with “old creations” in a fallen state polluting heaven with the same sins which polluted earth: gossip, vulgarity, jealousy, envy, revenge, pride, arrogance, lies, thefts, sexual immorality and perversion? Those who refuse to accept God’s great mercy, forfeit all He has prepared for those who love Him! They have no other option but to be where God’s light and loving presence is not.

    God’s personal invitation to spend eternity with Him was delivered by His own Son. A familiar, yet profound, Scripture gives us a glimpse of His amazing love for His creation:

    For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

  • Resistance Strengthens Us

    by Bill Rudge

    Giants and obstacles are like exercise. Exercise works because of resistance. The greater the resistance, the bigger and stronger your muscles become. The more giants we face, the more character and spiritual muscles we develop.

    Often, what I have wanted God to deliver me from was what He used to make me stronger. Something happens in the wilderness, the valley, and the desert that does not happen on the mountaintop; God builds character, strength, faith and determination as He molds our lives to accomplish His will.

    On the way home from seeing a specialist after my son tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) for the second time while playing soccer, with no alternative but extensive knee surgery, I told him that, “Trials, obstacles, and difficulties put iron in our blood and make us strong as nails.”

    For about 10 years during our early Christian lives and ministry, Karen and I lived in extreme poverty. It looked as though we would never have anything. Over the years we faced many hard times, difficulties, obstacles, impossible circumstances and giants. But the Lord somehow always intervened in His time and way to enable us to overcome them.

    I often wondered why, throughout my Christian life and in our ministry, God permitted so many difficulties. We seemed to do everything the hard way. Yet, God has taught me the reality that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). I have walked with the Lord more than 45 years, and I can honestly testify to the truth of this Scriptural promise.

    I am glad we have persevered through our impoverished beginnings and many hard times. Since the Lord has greatly blessed my life and ministry, no one can say that I only serve Him for all the blessings He has given me. I served the Lord when we had nothing; with no hope of ever having anything, and I serve the Lord when He blesses. I will serve Him if He takes away everything He has given to me.

  • Reverence For His Name

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Excerpts from Powerful and Effective Prayer E-Book

    The Lord’s Prayer opens with this concept of reverence: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Addressing God as our Father identifies us as His children. How do we become one of His children?

    But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

    Besides having the privilege to address God as our Father, we are to hallow God’s name when we pray. This means we should approach God with reverence and respect. In ancient times a name expressed the individual’s essential being. Thus, by approaching God with reverence for His name, we are in reality expressing a respect for His very being. As David proclaims, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9).

    Seeking His Will

    The essence of Jesus’ life reflects His willingness to humble Himself and submit to the will of His Father (see Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus taught this in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). The apostle John reiterates that we should pray according to God’s will.

    This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us (1 John 5:14).

    He could not have stated it more clearly, if we want God to hear our prayers, then we must seek God’s will and not our own.

    In my youth, I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Certainly, there was nothing wrong in aspiring to such a lofty goal. The problem was, I allowed my desire to play soccer to be more important than my desire to serve and honor God. Soccer had become my identity and I based my self-value upon it. Essentially, I was living a self-centered life, rather than a Christ-centered life and my prayers reflected it. The pursuit of my own dreams nearly destroyed me; it took three injuries, which required surgery on my left ankle and both knees, to bring me to the point in my life where I began to seek God’s will and not my own. After my third operation, I wrote the following in my prayer journal,

    “God, I give my life and desires to you. Take this and build within me a desire to serve You; stronger than my desire to play soccer.”

    As it says in Proverbs, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (19:21).

    Our prayer lives will be ineffective if we approach God on our own terms and in accordance to our own will. It will not be until we are willing to humble ourselves, and submit to His will for our lives, that we will see our prayer lives becoming powerful and effective.

    Jesus Is Our Example

    Jesus’ life was defined by prayer. At the start of His ministry, as He was baptized, He prayed (Luke 3:21). Before He chose His disciples He spent time in prayer (Luke 6:12-16). Before He was betrayed, arrested, and condemned to death, He was on His knees in prayer (Matthew 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:41; John 17). This consistent pattern of prayer obviously left an impression on Jesus’ disciples. As one of my former students, Mike J. Sarkissian, asserts in his excellent book: Before God: The Biblical Doctrine of Prayer:

    The disciples had been used to going to the synagogues and the temple and hearing the cold, impersonal, repetitious prayers of the Pharisees. But once they began following Jesus, they must have immediately noticed that His prayer life was different. It was passionate and powerful. It was much different than what they were used to. When Jesus prayed things happened. Jesus’ prayer life commanded the disciples’ attention enough for them to ask Him for instruction on how to pray.

    Spending Time in Prayer

    Jesus separated Himself from others to spend time in prayer with His Father (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). Challenges we all face include distractions and busy schedules. I understand this! I have six children, work full time in the ministry, travel for speaking engagements, author books, coach high school soccer, and teach as part-time professor at an area university.

    None of us is busier than Jesus was, and if He could make time to separate Himself to pray, we can do the same. While we may not have a mountain or wilderness available for solitude, we can still find places and make ways to spend time alone with God.

  • Should We Fear God?

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    During a Sunday morning service I attended, the congregation was told that the most devastating fear in a Christian’s life is the fear of God. The pastor went on to assert that a fear-based approach to spirituality does not promote a healthy and vital faith.

    I agree that if we only approach our faith with a fear of God, it will hinder our relationship with Him. If we view our Heavenly Father as an authoritative parent waiting for us to make a mistake so He can punish us, our perception of God will be affected. This type of “cowering fear” can cultivate a faith motivated out of mere duty or obligation to follow God through our own merits and works, as we attempt to appease Him.

    However, does this mean we should not have a fear of God? For an adequate answer, we must recognize what it really means to fear God. Fearing God does not mean we fear His wrath and judgment. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are no longer under God’s condemnation. Paul clearly states in Romans:

    Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-4).

    Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death, the punishment for our sins has been paid (Romans 5:8, 9; 6:23; 1 John 2:1, 2). As a result, our positional status before God changes as we move from being estranged (Romans 5:10) to being adopted into His family as one of His children:

    For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15).

    While we will still experience God’s discipline (Proverbs 3:11, 12; Hebrews 12:5, 6) and a loss of rewards for unfaithfulness in this life (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12), as believers we do not have to fear His coming wrath and judgment:

    By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:17, 18).

    Rather, it is this fear of a wrathful God that haunts everyone who rejects His plan of salvation and walks in rebellion to His will. As we find in the books of Luke and Revelation:

    I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Luke 12:4, 5).

    They said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16, 17).

    Since we need not fear His wrath and judgment, what then does this mean for believers? It means we are to have a respect and reverence for who He is – the Creator and Sustainer of life! It means we recognize His sovereign authority over our lives; that He is holy and righteous in both His nature and in what He does. As the author of Hebrews says:

    Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28).

    Reverence and Respect

    Besides having the privilege to address God as our Father because of what Jesus Christ has done, we are to hallow God’s name when we pray. This means we should approach God with reverence and respect. In ancient times a name expressed the individual’s essential being. In other words, to know the name of a person was to know that person’s total character and nature. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

    Thus, by approaching God with reverence for His name, we are in reality expressing a respect for His very being. As David proclaims, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:9). Every time we look at creation we should respond like David with a sense of awe and marvel that we have the privilege to draw near to the One who created it.

    But many people approach God without this sense of reverence. They pray to God like He is just one of their buddies, or even worse, they dictate their requests to Him and expect Him to respond to their beck and call.

    A Dangerous Path

    The lack of a proper fear of God is leading our world down a path of violence, immorality, sorcery, thefts and lies. Our country has gone down that slippery slope because it has abandoned the truth of the scriptures and has no reverence for the Creator. Our nation has forgotten that “the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Paul emphasizes this point in describing man’s spiritual condition without Christ: “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18; see also Psalm 36:1; Proverbs 1:29; Jeremiah 2:19).

    Even the lifestyles of many who profess faith in God indicate they do not have a holy fear or respect for God and His Word. They attempt to condone and justify sin under the notion that God loves and accepts us no matter what we do.

    While we all fall short of God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23), we should never excuse sinful behavior because God is loving and gracious (Romans 6:1-4). We are called as Christians to a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:14-16). A proper fear (awe) of Him helps to keep us from walking down an evil path:

    By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil (Proverbs 16:6).

    The Apostle Paul emphasized this point in his letter to the Corinthian believers:

    Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1).

    Going back to the question, “Should we have a fear of God?” Yes. And God’s Word consistently teaches this truth (see Psalm 34:9; 86:11; 89:7; 128:1; Proverbs 1:7; 14:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13; Acts 9:31; 10:35; Ephesians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:17). God takes pleasure in those who fear [reverence and respect] Him (Psalm 147:11; see also Luke 1:50).

    Therefore, let us always approach God in prayer and live each day with a reverential and holy fear of our loving Lord and Savior:

    And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great” (Revelation 19:5).

    Never forget. Our worthiness to be in His presence has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with Him (Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22).

    Solomon, concludes Ecclesiastes with the following message:

    The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
    14 For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
    (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

    Jesus stated in Luke 12:4, 5

    4 “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
    Those who reject the Gospel should consider the following warning given by Jesus:

    5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! (Luke 12:5).

  • Stages of Stardom

    Passion – the obsession to become a star

    Pursuit – the quest for success

    Price – the cost paid to achieve the goal

    Popularity – adoration of fans

    Prestige – fame and celebrity status

    Pride – thinking more highly of yourself than you really are; giving glory to yourself rather than the One who deserves it

    Pleasure – worldly indulgences and self-gratification

    Possessions – lots of “toys” and worldly goods

    Power – to influence and control others

    Pinnacle – reaching the peak of success

    Plunge – appeal and popularity decline

    Panic – turning to drugs and alcohol or committing suicide

    Passing – all over in this life

    This pathetic pattern is repeated over and over in every generation, yet many people “sell their souls” for fleeting fame and passing popularity. Instead of chasing fantasies that fade like the radiance of a rainbow, be wise and live your life for the One who promises abundant life here and now, as well as eternal life.

    ~ Bill Rudge

  • Tabby the Cat: Are “White Lies” Okay?

    Sometimes when my mom is at home and the phone rings for her, she doesn’t want to talk. She tells me to tell the person she is not at home. I do, but I told her that is lying and she said no, just a little white lie. Is it wrong?


    Dear Emma,

    What a good question! We know Jesus does not want us to lie and that the Bible tells us not to lie. So if you feel you are lying and that what you are doing is wrong then you need to tell your mommy again how you feel. The one good thing about moms is that they love their children very much. I am sure if you told her you still feel like you are lying and you know Jesus doesn’t want you to lie, she will understand. Why don’t you ask her if the two of you can come up with something else to tell the person who is calling so that you don’t feel like you are telling a fib, but the truth. For example, if she is resting and really tired maybe you could say, “My mommy is resting now. Could you call back later?” If she is busy doing something, maybe you could say, “My mommy is unable to come to the phone right now. May I take a message, please?” Don’t forget to pray and ask Jesus to be with you when you talk to your mom!


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Daddy, Please Come to Church

    I am 7 years old and my birthday is coming up. My dad asked me what I want for my birthday and all I want is for him to go to church with me. I asked him, but he said no. What can I do? Help me.


    Dear Megan,

    This is a wonderful birthday present that you are asking for. Remember that you should always pray first and ask God for His help and wisdom. God wants us to be completely truthful and honest. Try telling your dad why it is so important to you that he comes with you to church. If your dad still says no, do not give up. Keep praying for him and inviting him to church. Remember the Lord hears all your prayers and will answer them in His own time. Maybe this month as we celebrate Father’s Day, your dad will go to church with you. If not, God still wants you to love and respect your dad. Remember, God said He would never leave us. So when you go to church on Sunday, remember, God goes with you as your Heavenly Father.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Eternal Life

    If eternal means without beginning or end, how can we have eternal life if we do have beginnings?


    Dear Caroline,

    The word eternal does mean “without beginning or end”. It also means everlasting. You are right, we are created with a beginning. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created…” and the rest of Genesis chapter 1 lists what God created. In verse 27 God creates man. Later in the book of Genesis Chapter 21 verse 33 the Bible refers to God as “The Eternal God.” So God is the only one with no beginning or end. Since He gave us our beginning His Word only promises us no end or eternal life. Revelation 21:4 says “… There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He promises us no more death. This is a wonderful promise but more importantly, is how do we receive this gift of eternal life from God. John 3:16 says,”For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.” So look at it this way: God loved you so much He created you and gave you your beginning. And His love for you is so deep He wants to give you a life with Him that will never end. All you have to do is believe and love Him with your whole heart.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Jesus’ Daddy

    If God is Jesus’ father, then who is Joseph?


    Dear Morgan,

    This was such a good question that I had my friend Tara the Turtle help me with an answer. Together we looked in God’s Word, the Bible. In Matthew 3:17, God calls Jesus His Son, “. . . This is my Son, whom I love.” You are right when you say, “God is Jesus’ father,” but God is His heavenly father. Joseph was his father too, but his earthly father. Think of it this way: Just like your dad is your earthly father, Joseph was Jesus’ earthly father. God is Jesus’ heavenly Father just as God is your heavenly Father. The Bible says in John 14:6, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father (our heavenly Father) except through Me.” When we believe in Jesus, God becomes our heavenly Father and He will always be there for you just like your earthly father is.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Love the Unlovely

    In my school there is a girl who is smelly and also dirty. Everyone teases her and is mean to her. I want to be nice to her, but everyone else will get mad if I would talk to her. What should I do?


    Dear Tammy,

    I am so happy to hear that you want to be nice to this girl in your class. That is just what Jesus would want us to do. In the Bible Jesus told us to be kind to one another, showing love to another. Just remember if that were you how you would feel if everyone was making fun of you. It would really hurt your feelings.

    I know some may get mad at you if you talk to her, but we need to please Jesus more than others. Every time you talk to her you will be putting a big smile on Jesus’ face. The right thing to do is sometimes the hardest, but God promised if we obey His Word that He would bless us for it. God sees how you are treating her and will reward you one day for your kindness to this little girl. I am so proud of you for wanting to be nice to her. You are going to be setting a good example for the rest of your classmates.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: My Neighbor Wants to Fight

    My neighbor is 8 and I am 10. He always hits or kicks me. I really don’t want to fight with him, but it is frustrating! His brother is 10 also and said if I hit his younger brother, he will jump in and fight me too. What should I do?


    Dear Zac,

    I am sorry to hear that this is how your neighbors are treating you. I am glad that you do not want to fight them, but I also understand that you want it to stop. In impossible situations like these, only God can help. Mark 10:27 says, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” We know that God can make all things possible, He can even change the hearts of your neighbors to be more kind and loving. Remember some of the impossible things God has done through Scripture: protecting Noah and his family during the flood (Genesis 7), parting the Red Sea (Exodus14), and helping David defeat giant Goliath (I Samuel 17). With God’s help, you can stand up to your neighbors and tell them to stop. Just like David, we sometimes have to use self-defense to defend ourselves.

    But remember, if God can do these amazing things He can change your neighbors’ hearts, but you must pray for them. James 5:16, says, “. . . the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” A righteous person loves God and follows the Bible. So, Zac, if you love Jesus and follow His Word that means your prayers are powerful and God is listening. Pray every night for your two neighbors and see what God does. It may take time so be patient. I will be praying for you too!


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Respecting God’s Word

    I am 12 years of age and I love to read my Bible. Sometimes I highlight certain things in the Bible because they are special to me. My Sunday School teacher said this is not right because it is God’s Holy Word. Should I not mark things in my Bible?


    Dear Carmen,

    This is a very good question you have asked. Your Sunday School teacher is right when she said God’s Word is Holy. God’s Word is very holy and we need to treat it that way. You need to decide for yourself if marking your Bible is showing disrespect for God’s Word or not. If you are just making marks and highlighting because you are bored during Sunday School, then I would agree with your teacher that it is wrong and disrespectful. If you are highlighting verses that are special to you and you want to remember for later, I do not think this is showing disrespect at all. I also highlight my Bible. This makes it easier for me to find the verse again if I need to share it with a friend or just to read again for myself. Keep up the good work and continue reading your Bible. That is the most important thing.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: TV Temptation

    My parents do not allow me to watch a certain program on TV that all my friends can watch. When I go to my friend’s house, I watch it there, but then I feel bad. I don’t know why my parents have to be so strict. Is it wrong for me to watch the program at my friend’s?


    Dear Sara,

    Thanks for writing. I know how hard it can be when you want to watch something on TV but you are not allowed to. The guilty feeling you have is Jesus telling you that it is wrong and you should not have watched the show. Also, remember how very much your mom and dad love you. They would never let anything happen to you. They only want what is best for you. So it may be hard right now to understand why they do not want you to watch that show, but remember they are only trying to protect you. Next time you are at your friend’s house try suggesting another show on TV to watch or a game you could play together instead.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: When Will Jesus Come Down to Earth?

    When will Jesus come down to earth?

    Lily Grace

    Dear Lily Grace,

    This question shows how much you love Jesus. The Bible says we should long for Jesus’ return. That means you are excited for Him to return like when you are excited to see your mom or dad when they get home from work.

    To answer your question we do not know when Jesus will return. Matthew. 24:42 says, “You do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Even though we don’t know the day there are some things we do know. First Corinthians 15:52 refers to Jesus’ return as a flash or twinkling of an eye. So blink your eyes right now! How quickly it takes for you to blink your eye is how quickly Jesus’ return will take and we will be with Him.

    The other thing we do know is Heaven is going to be a wonderful place – more wonderful than Disney World or the best birthday party ever! So, Lily Grace, keep praying, going to church, and reading your Bible and we will all wait for Jesus’ return. See you in Heaven soon!


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: When Words Hurt

    My dad always puts me down. When I play baseball and don’t hit the ball he calls me a sissy and says I am no good. I can do nothing to please him. I always seem to do things wrong. He calls me stupid. Why doesn’t my dad love me?


    Dear Brad,

    I know how much those words must hurt. Try to remember that just because your dad is calling you those names doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. He may not realize how much he is hurting you. You need to pray and then tell your dad how you feel when he says those words to you. There is a book in the Bible called Psalms. In Psalm 139, the Bible talks about how God created you and God says that you are wonderfully made. So if you are wonderfully made you cannot be a sissy or the other names you may be called. Have your dad help you find Psalm 139 and read it together and remind your dad that God says that you are wonderful. Tell him that he is a great dad and what you love about him and ask him to tell you what he loves about you.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Where Did God Come From?

    If God was in the beginning, where did He come from?


    Dear Theresa,

    I remember asking my dad this same question when I was a little girl, “Where did God come from?” You are right, God was in the beginning.

    Genesis 1:1 starts by saying, “In the beginning God created” This verse shows us that He was here first and then He created us. So where did God come from? The Bible has many verses describing God as eternal. For example: Romans 16:26 refers to our eternal God.

    Eternal means without beginning or end. So, if God is eternal He always was here. I know this is very hard to think of God as always being alive and not being born like you and I. When we get to heaven we will better understand God and how He has always been alive and was not born or created like us. But don’t worry, even a great man in the Bible like Job had a hard time understanding God and who He was. God doesn’t make all things hard to understand. He makes it easy to love Him and be in heaven with Him if we just believe in Him. So, focus on those things and when you get to heaven, Theresa, God will be able to explain to you how He has always existed.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Why Did God Let Me be in a Wheel Chair?

    I am am 11 years old and in a wheelchair. Sometimes I sit at my window and watch all the children in the neighborhood running and playing. I get so mad at God. Why did God make me this way? I am hurting.


    Dear Brenda,

    I am so sorry to hear how hard this situation is. I know it must be tough to bear. It must be very hard to watch your friends play and wonder why God made you this way or why He just doesn’t heal you right now. I do not know why God chose you to be in the wheelchair. Some things we may not know until we get to heaven. I do know that the ones God does put in difficult situations, He wants to use in some way to help fulfill His plan. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, the apostle Paul was given a thorn in his flesh by God. He pleaded with the Lord to take it away. The Lord in verse 9 told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” You may be looking at your weakness and thinking about all the things you cannot do, but God is saying if you trust Me I will turn your weakness into something good and use it to reach others. That is also what the apostle Paul decided. He could not get rid of the thorn in his flesh so he trusted God and God used him to bring many to the Lord. Remember to pray and ask God how He can use you in your wheelchair to reach out to others and fulfill the plan He has for you. Then when you get to heaven you will have a new body and a crown with your name on it.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • Tabby the Cat: Why Did Jesus Die For Us?

    Why did Jesus die for us?

    Saraya (age 6)

    Dear Saraya,

    First of all, let’s pretend there is some place really special you want your mom or dad to take you. Your mom says you have to clean your room first if you want her to take you. So you go to your room, but instead of cleaning, you see your new doll and start playing with it. A few hours go by and your mom tells you it is time to get ready to go. She looks in your room and still sees the big mess. She tells you that you can’t go now and have to stay home and clean your room.

    You begin to cry and tell her you are sorry, but you still are not allowed to go. All of a sudden your brother or sister come into your room and ask your mom if they can take your punishment and stay home and clean your room instead. They know how much you were looking forward to going to this special place and they are willing to be grounded for you.

    This is what Jesus did for us on the cross so we can go to the special place God has for us. It is Heaven and it is more beautiful than anything we could imagine. But to go there we have to obey God too. Every day we sin and disobey Him and His Word, the Bible. So God sent His Son Jesus to die for us and take our punishment instead. The Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    God loves you so much, Saraya, that He took your punishment by dying on the cross. Now you can ask God to forgive you for all the bad things you do and He forgives you and forgets all about your sin. If you love God He will one day take you to His special place in Heaven and you will live with Him forever.


    Tabby the Cat

    Tabby the Cat answers are written by Tabitha Rudge Smith. If your child or grandchild has a question for Tabby, please e-mail her. Although she may be unable to personally answer each one, she will answer questions in future newsletters.

  • The Nature of God

    by Bill Rudge

    The amazement of God is manifest through the birth of a child.

    The love of God is understood while holding a grandchild in your arms.

    The wonder of God is displayed in the majestic movements of a butterfly.

    The creativity of God is revealed by the diversity of His creation.

    The splendor of God is visible with the vastness of the universe.

    The ingenuity of God is shown in the complexity of the DNA.

    The hope of God is offered through a Baby in a manger.

    The grace of God is realized through a blood stained cross.

    The joy of God is obtained through the new birth.

    The peace of God is achieved by trusting in Him.

    The awesomeness of God will be displayed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.

    The kindness and goodness of God will be lavished throughout eternity on those who know and love Him.

  • The Shadow of the Cross

    by Bill Rudge

    While exercising outside in the early morning hours, I noticed the shadow of one of our crosses silhouetted on the lightly snow-covered ground. Looking for the source of this shadow (the security light of our former ministry center – now the Mercer County Area Agency On Aging) it struck me that every person who has ever been born is affected in some way by the Cross.

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was determined before the creation of the world. Since the Fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden, God promised a coming Messiah and Savior. Those before Christ’s sacrificial death looked forward to the coming of this Promised One, while those after Jesus’ crucifixion look back to His finished work on the cross.

    Both Sides of the Cross

    Who I was and what I did before coming to Christ is in stark contrast to who I am and what I do after coming to know Him. My philosophy of life, words, behavior and lifestyle have so dramatically changed that they are in diametric opposition to what they were before. Before the Shadow of the Cross passed over my life, my passions were rebellion, violence and pleasure. This side of the cross my zeal is for obedience, compassion and reaching this world for Christ.

    Some thought I was hopeless as a teenager but Jesus knew otherwise. I thank Him virtually every day for His amazing grace to me, received many years ago when I was 18.

    How has the Cross affected you? What kind of a shadow (influence) has it been on your life? Has the cross drawn you closer to God and the Savior or are you still hiding – running from or rebelling against the LORD of all Creation? You do realize that it’s time for you to come home! Fall on your knees beneath the Shadow of the Cross and surrender your life to Jesus.

    Remember, eternity will be determined by your association with the cross. The cross of Christ is our only hope to see our departed loved ones again. For believers, it is a guaranteed promise! As Bill Glass succinctly said, “Christ arose! Your redeemed loved ones will too, and you can spend eternity with them in God’s presence.”

  • Why Do Bad Things Happen?

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    My 11 year old daughter asked me a question that I am sure all of us have asked at some point in our lives, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to us?” In thinking of how best to answer this question and make sense to an 11 year old, I recalled the story of the “Wolfpack” kids.

    These kids were members of the Angulo family. They lived in a small apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The six sons and one daughter were home-schooled by their mother Susanne, and except for rare occasions they were not allowed to the leave their apartment. Their father, Oscar, was a Peruvian immigrant and he felt New York would “contaminate” his children. In order to protect them from the dangers outside their apartment, he not only kept the door locked, but he possessed the only key to unlock it. In this environment, the father had complete control over their lives, and as the mother stated in an interview, “I felt like I didn’t have control over my choices.” Their father may have created an environment to protect them from danger, but in the process he deprived them of their freedom.

    While God is sovereign, He permits human freedom. Thus, He did not create us like puppets, controlling our every move and decision. Nor did he place us in an environment where, like a tyrannical dictator, we were compelled to honor Him. Instead, as we see in the Garden of Eden, He created mankind with the freedom to choose whether to obey or disobey Him (Genesis 3). With the potential of choice came the consequences of choice. As we find in Genesis, Adam and Eve chose to disobey, and with their choice (sin) came the consequences: pain, suffering and death (Romans 5:12; 6:23).

    Adam and Eve

    At this point, you may be asking the same question my daughter did, “How is it fair for us to be punished for the sins of Adam and Eve?” While it is true that we are all subject to the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin through birth, we are all still as guilty as they are, for each of us has also used our freedom to disobey God’s commands. In other words, each of us is accountable for our own sin (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Yet, despite our consistent abuse of the freedom God has given us, He still chooses to be a Father that extends mercy and grace to those who ask for it (John 3:16-17; Romans 6:23).

    Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?

    The first time I asked this question there was a family which was very close to mine. Their daughter at the age of 13 was diagnosed with cancer. Within a year of her diagnosis she passed away. I found myself asking that very question, “Why?”

    If it is true that God is all knowing, then certainly He knows how to prevent this girl from getting cancer. If it is also true that God is all powerful then He should be able to prevent her from getting cancer. And if it is true that God is all loving then He would want to prevent her from getting cancer and dying. Yet, this young girl in the prime of her life, died. Why?

    A neighbor wanted to know why her husband of 45 years had to die of cancer and a friend wanted to know why his wife no longer loved him and was leaving him for another man. This very question probably pervades the thinking of every person who has been affected by a natural disaster such as hurricane Sandy.

    With a heavy heart I watched the news and witnessed the devastation left by hurricane Sandy several years ago. I was grateful the damage in our area was not as bad as anticipated, but it was hard to see the many people who lost their homes and businesses. A friend of mine called to ask for prayer as their house suffered significant water damage from the storm.

    Seeing the images of flooded neighborhoods, burning houses and people without electricity, a particular story stuck in my mind: During the storm, two young boys were killed when a large tree fell into their living room. I instantly thought of my own son and wondered how these families would cope with the loss of their sons.

    I wondered why these boys had to die this way. My feelings at that moment were the same way as when I woke up on the morning of July 20, 2012. After going through my morning routine and following breakfast, I turned on the television to check the weather for the day; only then did I learn of the tragic shooting in a Colorado movie theatre. I am sure many of you had the same initial reaction I did, “How could someone do this?” This question (repeatedly asked through every tragedy) leads to other questions, which ultimately leads us to ask: “Why does God allow bad things to happen?”

    It is not always possible to give a satisfactory answer for the Why question. But I can point them to the Who! By pointing them to Jesus Christ, I know from personal experience that even in the uncertainty of pain and suffering, we have hope. Several years ago my family faced the painful ordeal of a miscarriage. As I walked with my wife and children through this, the only thing we could hold onto was the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

    I shared this hope with a friend of mine who was dying with cancer. When he was healthy, he and his wife did a lot of traveling. I asked him where was his favorite place, and he began to tell me all about Aruba and how beautiful it was; how nice the people were. As he described the beauty of Aruba, it was like he was back there sitting on the beach watching the waves.

    A few days later in the hospital I reminded him of our conversation about Aruba, which instantly brought a smile to his face. I began to share with him of a place God had prepared for him that was so much greater than Aruba. I told him about how much God loved Him and how He demonstrated this love by sacrificing His life so that he can go to this place for eternity.

    The Heart of Christianity

    Like my 11 year old daughter and myself, we may not fully understand in this life why bad things and tragedies happen or why God did not prevent that tree from falling on the house that killed those two young boys. Yet, we can be assured of the depth of His love for us. We can be certain that in the midst of life’s difficulties He is with us – a God who responded to evil, pain and suffering by sending His only Son to die on a cross, offering us the opportunity to live in eternity with Him. We can know the love of a Father Who desires to provide His children not only true freedom, but also eternal blessings. This is the heart of Christianity, and it’s the best explanation of hope to a world full of pain and suffering.

    Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

  • Why Violence and Mass Shootings?

    by Bill Rudge

    Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of mass shootings. Our ministry prayer team prays for the families of those whose lives are cut short, as well as for the recovery of the injured and traumatized. The impact these senseless tragedies have on so many lives and families is incomprehensible. We are grateful for those who “miraculously” survive and for those who prove to be heroes – wounded or killed – while protecting others.

    But WHY these insane, cowardly acts of carnage? The answers can be elusive and complex – but are most revealing as to where our society is today. The triggers for acts of violence and mass killings can be anything: seeking revenge for being bullied or fired from a job, experiencing the breakup of a relationship or some other emotional trauma, merely being pulled over for a traffic violation, plotting suicide while killing others, obtaining notoriety…. Some get a twisted pleasure from seeing others suffer or just enjoy killing with little or no remorse.

    Many shooters fill their minds with graphic visuals of violent crimes, explosions, shootings, blood splattered victims and walls, people hunted down and murdered by crazed killers. Violence is portrayed in countless movies as every imaginable weapon and technique are used to kill, torture and mutilate. Scenes of terror such as vehicles and buildings being blown apart, pools of blood and other scenes of horror are proliferating. These vivid sights and sounds implanted in one’s mind can (and will) have adverse mental, emotional, physical and spiritual consequences.

    Violence in the media and the breakup of families, definitely contribute to these horrific acts of violence. However, another crucial consideration – often overlooked – is that when God is no longer revered or feared, disastrous consequences result from confusion and hopelessness. We have dealt in previous newsletters (and will do so in future ones) about the ramifications of a society losing its faith and respect for God. This abandonment of God and the rejection of biblical moral values, has resulted in segments of society embracing amoralism, atheism, mysticism and occultism – opening the door to a dangerous dilemma: the demonic dimension.

    The Demonic Dimension

    While my previous research into bizarre behaviors gives some insight into the twisted psyche, there is a realm not frequently considered.

    In many cases the only reasonable explanation is found in the demonic connection – and all the more as our society drifts further and further from faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ.

    Mental health workers (some of whom had previously thought that belief in angels or demons was delusional) have called me about cases they were dealing with which, they said, defied psychological explanation or latent human physical or mental potential and phenomena. They felt they were dealing with something sinister and supernatural.

    I am certain that some mass shooters and others who commit heinous acts are influenced or controlled by demonic entities. After the deed is done, if not dead already, the evil spirit motivates them to take their own life or departs from them, leaving them frightened and confused; wondering how they could have performed such an atrocity! Many who were apprehended after committing violent murders have confessed that they heard a voice telling them to do it; some said they felt controlled by an evil force.
    While it is inaccurate and unwise to attribute all problems and phenomena to the demonic dimension, the other extreme of unbelief in the existence of Satan and demons, makes it virtually impossible to recognize their activities. Undetected satanic activity negates the possibility of effectively dealing with it.

    The Bible records several accounts of Jesus, the apostle Paul and others, encountering demon-possessed individuals. Without sensationalizing the demonic realm, Jesus and the Bible clearly acknowledge its reality.

    The Connection

    There is always a “connection” – a “trigger” – that makes a person vulnerable to demonic forces which desire to kill and destroy those created in God’s image. Human beings are like defended castles having a wall of protection that shelter them from the demonic realm; however, many let down the drawbridge and open the door to the spirit world through various means (to be addressed in a future newsletter). Those who step outside God’s protection and willingly violate, disregard or defy His mandates put themselves in a perilous position.

    The Bible identifies two people possessed by Satan himself: Judas and the future Antichrist. In hindsight we see, concerning Judas, that he had some “issues” which made him vulnerable to be Satan’s tool in betraying Christ to those who wanted to put Him to death. But nothing – even his greed – alerted the disciples to the dastardly deed conceived in his heart. The disciples thought Judas was a “nice guy” (as has been said about some of the shooters) until he actually betrayed Jesus.

    Satan, taking advantage of this “connection,” entered Judas who then carried out the religious leaders’ scheme to betray Jesus. Once Satan was done using Judas to put Christ to death, he departed from him – leaving Judas so distraught that he hung himself.

    From foresight provided by prophetic Scripture, we discover that the Antichrist (coming to power through false promises of peace and prosperity) will unleash the greatest bloodbath in human history! Scripture foretells a dramatic increase of violence, demonic activity and phenomena in the end times. Just as the book of Revelation foretells, there will be a level of violence never seen before in the history of the world. We definitely appear to be moving in that direction.

    Transformed through Christ

    The only way to prevent senseless tragedies such as those happening across this nation is either by prevention (often a near impossibility) or for the potential perpetrator of the crime to be truly transformed by the love and forgiveness that comes through a restored relationship with our Creator. Having a life of meaning, purpose and hope (in spite of one’s circumstances) is the best deterrent to prevent someone from wasting their own life and ruining the lives of so many others – including their own family.
    Coming to know Jesus Christ by receiving His offer of salvation (conveyed through the pages of the New Testament) is the only hope for a darkened soul in need of the Light. No one who has truly received Jesus and His message of love will participate in acts of cruelty and senseless violence. Those transformed by the power of God’s Spirit will be the solution to society’s problems and not the perpetrator of them.

  • Will God Forgive Anything?

    A man nearing the age of 70 who had squandered his life, told me he had asked the Lord to forgive him many times over the years. But after repeated failures, he felt he could never be forgiven for all he had done and was doomed eternally.

    The Lord instantly spoke to my heart the following words – “There is no sin the Lord cannot forgive, except the sin that is not asked to be forgiven.”

    This man who had fallen into hopeless despair for his wasted life, accepted, once again, the Lord’s offer of forgiveness (1 John 1:9). A few years later he died as a powerful witness for Jesus Christ.

    Bill Rudge

  • Will You Have Regrets?

    by Bill Rudge

    I have never met anyone who, facing death, regretted committing their life to Jesus Christ. But I have met many people who, as they lay dying, wished they had accepted Jesus earlier or had served Him more faithfully.

    I have never met anyone who, as they got older, regretted having lived a disciplined life of health and nutrition. But I have encountered many who, having abused their health, regretted poor choices made when they were younger.

    I have never met anyone who, having spent time with their children and grandchildren, regretted doing so later in life. But I have met many who regretted wasted years and lost relationships because of lives squandered in immoral behavior and the dissipation of drugs and alcohol; or because they were too self-absorbed, resentful, unforgiving or busy to spend time with loved ones. Many in isolation and loneliness discover – too late – the importance of family and right, loving relationships.

    Make wise choices concerning your commitment to Jesus Christ, your health and your family – while you still have the opportunities to do so.

    Pandita Ramabai accurately said, “A life totally committed to God has nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to regret.”