A Near Miss in the Himalayas

by Bill Rudge

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

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

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

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

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

Four Options

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

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

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

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

One Reassuring Fact

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

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

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). 

A Mother’s Prayer for Her Children

by Delilah, Nighttime Radio Host

(We are grateful to Delilah for allowing BRM to use a portion of her prayer.)

Heavenly Father, Creator of Life – I thank You for the children You have entrusted into my keeping: those You have brought into this world through my womb, and those that You have blessed me with through adoption.

I ask Your protective hand upon each one of them. I know Father, they do not belong to me, but are only on loan from You. My job is to do the best that I can to raise them and nurture them and guide them. We live in a dangerous world God, and I fear for my children. Please keep their bodies safe, and even more, protect their hearts, their minds, and their souls. Do not let those that are bitter, perverse, prejudice, or rage-filled hurt them or harm them in any way.

I know that You have endowed each of my children with special gifts and talents. Help me Father to understand, appreciate, and nurture these gifts that they might find the path that You have chosen for them in life. I pray God that each child would be able to reach their full potential, understanding that every life you create is different and unique and every child has their own dream, their own path to discover.

God, I have a million hopes for my children’s futures. I hope that they find true love and I hope they never have their tender hearts broken. I hope they are able to overcome the obstacles in their lives, and I hope they never know the sting of racism. I hope they live to be very old, with children and grandchildren of their own. But above all else, I hope and I pray that they know You in an intimate way. Even if they should walk away from Your amazing love and grace, I pray You would not allow them to stray, but that You would lead them back again.

And God, for all the children of the world, I pray a prayer of protection, of love and security. I know there are thousands of babies that will never know the joy of their mother’s arms, thousands that will go to bed afraid, or hungry or lonely tonight. Please Father, be there to care for them. Send Your angels to hold them and watch them, and above all else, let them know that they are precious in Your sight. Amen.

How Much God Loves Us

by Bill Rudge

Daily I get a glimpse of how much God must love each and every one of His children. The following are just a few examples using my 11 grandchildren to reveal my love and enjoyment of them and how much I miss them when I am not with them.

When my 18 year old granddaughter left for college in August or previously sang for a Memorial Day Program or church services before I spoke…

When my 16 year old grandson works out with me on the obstacle course and then hangs out with me after and gives bear hugs before leaving…

When my 15 year old granddaughter asks me to play catch with the football or play basketball with her…

When my 14 year old granddaughter shared her testimony and wrote a story about her papa or sang before I spoke at the Salvation Army…

When my 13 year old granddaughter cut her long beautiful hair and donated it for wigs for cancer patients or received a special award for kindness at school…

When my 11 year old grandson asks me to sit beside him in a hammock so we can “shoot the breeze” or walks the West Hill with me and his cousin, thrilled by the stories from my youth…

When my 8 year old granddaughter smiled angelically as she bowed with perfect form after performing at a piano recital or laughs while I fly her through the air during a blanket ride…

When my 7 year old granddaughter holds my hand and arm tightly while walking through a dark hallway or asks me to tell her a story as we go on another “Papa Adventure” from my childhood or walks on her hands while I hold her feet…

When my 5 year old granddaughter is carried by me upstairs to bandage her left knee after she cut it running to the jumpy house, or after spilling something smiles at me when she realizes she is not in trouble or when we swing together…

When my 4 year old granddaughter cuddles up to me and wraps her arms around my neck and kisses me lightly on the cheek as she says, “I love you papa” then curls up under my arm and falls asleep or talks to me about Jesus and the Bible…

When my 3 year old granddaughter giggles in my arms when I tell her to go down the slide or while putting her head under water in the pool or while going through the tickle tunnel…

These are just a few of the countless times I get a glimpse and am reminded of how much our Heavenly Father loves each of His children and receives joy from a close relationship with each one of us.