Pressing On in the Midst of a Storm

By Darlinda McDonald

This past Sunday, Bill and Karen Rudge were returning from Michigan where they had delivered a carload of books to Christian Resources International. As they reached Toledo, a fast-moving thunderstorm overtook their vehicle and did not subside for the remaining four hours of the trip. The torrential rain, high winds, and thunder and lightning made the driving very difficult. In addition, their visibility was impaired by the fog and commercial trucks on either side of the small Mitsubishi splashing huge amounts of water on their windshield. In several cities that they traveled through, their radio warned of tornadoes and flash flooding. While Karen wanted Bill to stop because of the storm, he chose to look at the drive as another adventure that God was taking them through.

The decision to keep pressing on despite the weather and treacherous driving conditions can be compared to our Christian walk. Sometimes life throws us unexpected situations that can either stop us in our tracks or make us determined to press on towards the goal. Our choice to walk by faith and not by sight will strengthen our faith and trust in the One Who watches over us and takes care of us.

In this life journey, we will have many decisions to make. As an example, Bill had stopped at a Service Center so Karen could get something to eat. After they left, the low gas warning light came on. Bill realized that he had been right beside a gas station but thought he had enough gas to get home. The next 20 miles were extremely stressful before he reached the next station. How similar this is to persons who have heard the message of salvation but paid no attention to it thinking that they had plenty of time to make a decision about eternity. We all don’t get second chances.

A Lament for Hugh

by Bill Rudge

flowerPsalm 103:15-18 accurately states:

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. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

Hugh may have had a “funtastic” life but I would not want his eternity. He may have been proud about breaking down moral barriers and mocking God’s commands but I am certain he is now humbled in the presence of the One who allowed him the temporary freedom to make his own choices and even live his sensual lifestyle – which influenced multitudes.

“It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied round his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1, 2).

Hugh may have been proud of “decontaminating the notion of premarital sex” but I wonder now that he has a “perspective from eternity” how he feels about all the STDs, ruined marriages, broken homes, shattered lives, exploited women, abortions … he helped unleash on the U.S. and world.

In contrast to seduction to lustful indulgences, Hugh would have been better off to be like Job who said:

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1). David asserted, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (Psalm 101:3).

Hugh may have temporarily enjoyed sex with over a thousand women and the opulence of being a multi-millionaire but how will he fare for eternity. The parable of the rich man and Lazarus has some relevance to Hugh:

There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” But Abraham replied, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.” (Luke 16:19-25).

As a person who had all the pleasures this world had to offer as a youth, I can honestly say that nothing or no one has fulfilled my life and satisfied me more than coming to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Living for Christ has been an amazing adventure (and at times very challenging and difficult) and has provided tremendous hope and anticipation for an eternal inheritance. Only He fulfilled my never-ending search for meaning and purpose. The God who created and designed me has given me greater peace and joy than anything this world ever offered. Since coming to know Christ I have never desired to return to my former lifestyle forsaking all I have gained in Christ. I now understand what the psalmist meant when he said,

“Besides You, I desire nothing on earth” (Psalm 73:25 NAS), and “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

My advice after you finish reading this article is to turn off your television, walk away from the Internet, silence your cell phone, discard your pornography and get away to seriously ponder your choices and lifestyle – and the eventual (sometimes immediate) and eternal consequences.

Instead of following in the footsteps of someone who will lead you down an eventual path of disease, devastation, death and destruction, follow the One who promises true and lasting righteousness, peace and joy.

David, the greatest king in Israel’s history who was forgiven of a sordid past, confidently stated,

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:11).

Write for a free copy of Bill Rudge’s insightful book, Overcoming Sexual Immorality. Send your mailing address to BRM, P.O. Box 108, Sharon, PA 16146.

The Prayer of a Haitian Woman

by Bill Rudge

About a hundred people were gathered outside a witch doctor’s hut in Haiti in a voodoo village. We formed a large circle and were about to pray when one woman became very agitated. “You didn’t bring us food and clothing!” she cried out in Creole. Having nothing left since we had already given away the food and clothes my team had, I responded through my interpreter, “If I give you food today, tomorrow you will be hungry again. If I give you clothes today, in a few months they will wear out and be tattered and torn. But what I came to give you today will last forever. I offer you spiritual food that will satisfy you now and for all eternity.” She nodded to acknowledge that what I said was good.

During my prayer, I glanced to see if this woman was participating. Her head was bowed and her eyes were closed. The thirst of her heart was greater than her need for food and clothes.

Giving water to someone who is thirsty is admirable, but unless we also offer the life-quenching water of Jesus Christ, we deprive them of their most crucial need. If we give a bottle of water or food or clothes to someone in need, we should do so in Jesus’ name. While we should care about people’s material and physical well being, we should be even more concerned about the condition of their soul.