Keeping Childlike Faith in Uncertain Times

By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Darlinda McDonald

Bill Rudge addresses Sharpsville students.

On one day, over a period of four assemblies in the Middle School gymnasium, the entire student body (elementary, middle and high school) of Sharpsville Area School District was able to enjoy powerful presentations by Motivational Media of California. After each program, Bill Rudge addressed the student body sharing some of his experiences as a youth and the importance of making wise choices. The students were well behaved, attentive, and responded enthusiastically to the messages – some students and teachers cried at the more poignant parts.

Three giant 14-foot screens, current music, well-known actors and actresses, sports footage, film clips and familiar animated characters brought strong messages to the students about bullying, kindness, working hard toward your dreams, never giving up, truth matters and encouraging others. The elementary students could barely contain their enthusiasm as they laughed, clapped, cheered, and sang their way through the assembly when they recognized familiar movie scenes and popular songs. You could hear a pin drop, however, as they became silent during the narration and messages of the presentation titled, “Everyday Heroes.”

The Middle and High School students’ assembly was called “The Good Life” which struck a more serious note as the students witnessed the results of using drugs and alcohol, texting and driving, and bullying. A most poignant scene showed teens talking lightheartedly about texting and driving. The mood changed quickly, however, when they viewed a partially-paralyzed woman sit in front of the teens and share her story of the accident that crippled her and killed her parents because of a drunk driver.

According to Elementary Principal Jonathan Fry, the overall themes of perseverance, positivity, and hard work aligned perfectly with our “School Wide Positive Behavior Program.” He also wrote to Bill, “Thank you for all of the hard work that you do for our students. The program you shared with us today was fantastic! Our students and staff truly enjoyed it and learned from it.”

The cost for the local assemblies was underwritten by Andy Canady Concrete Construction and New Virginia United Methodist Missions Fund.

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

The Arnold Sports Festival

by Bill Rudge

Bill Rudge is flanked by two participants in the annual Arnold Sports Festival.

I am sure going to miss the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus this year. It will not be open to the public due to the coronavirus. It was a great place to learn and share ideas at the various booths. It was also an excellent opportunity to hear the spiritual journeys of so many top body builders and athletes who were most respectful of my unique journey of faith in Jesus Christ and receptive to accepting my free book, Reaching Your Maximum Potential. Hopefully, next year will be even bigger and better!