A Psalm of Life


by Lucy Morgan Johnson

The Lord, my shepherd, is ever near
To watch o’er me, and I’ve no fear –
He’ll quench my thirst with nectar sweet
And give me daily food to eat.

He’ll make for me a grassy bed
On which to lay my weary head;
Beside still waters, cool and bright
He’ll watch o’er me till morning light.

In paths of righteousness from sin
He’ll cleanse my soul, without, within;
For His Name’s sake, I will obey
My Lord, my Shepherd, day by day.

When thru’ the vale of death I go
And shadows hang quite dark and low;
I’ll fear no evil, for He is there
To lead me with His tender care.

His rod and staff will comfort me
As I tread life’s path to eternity;
T’will be my stay in time of need
My Shepherd’s Hand, to guide and lead.

And He’ll a table spread for me
In presence of mine enemy;
My cup of joy will overflow
With oils of peace that He’ll bestow.

And when I rise from earthly strife
To start a new and fuller life,
His goodness and His mercy, pure,
Will evermore with me endure.

Then with my Shepherd as my guide
I’ll enter thru’ the gates thrown wide
And step within my mansion door
To dwell with Him, forevermore.

The preceding poem, A Psalm of Life, is from the book, “Dream Petals” (copyright 1943) by Lucy Morgan Johnson and used here with permission from her niece, Mary Green. Mary is a longtime supporter of BRM and her daughter, Ann Ore, is on staff at the ministry. We hope you enjoy this insightful and inspirational poem.

Dealing With Fear

BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

Halloween is a holiday focused on the emotion of fear. While some people enjoy the adrenaline rush from walking through a haunted house, for others the ongoing daily battle with fear has kept them paralyzed in bondage.

While occasional fear is something all of us will experience, the question is, how do we prevent this emotion from controlling our lives? Certainly, our mindset is important because what we perceive in our lives through the lens of fear, dramatically impacts how we will deal with reality. Also, realizing the strength and support we can gain from others is vital in helping us overcome our fear.

The real key in dealing with fear is knowing the LORD our God Who is greater than anything or anyone we will ever face. Joshua was reminded of this as he prepared to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

The next time you feel the emotion of fear holding you back, remember the words the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Make Your Home An Oasis

Your home should not be laced with land mines – unexpected and shocking images that pop up or scenes which undermine your biblical convictions. Instead, your home should be an oasis and safe haven.

You must evaluate your sources of entertainment and remove whatever is not profitable or dishonors the Lord. If you don’t, seeds will be planted in your children’s hearts that can grow and lead them down a path you do not want them to go.

Caution and discernment concerning all forms of media – even “Christian” movies – is vital. We are living in a day and age when it is imperative to evaluate the content and message of every program or movie before allowing them in your home. Remaining faithful to the Lord and His Word must be your preeminent goal.

Bill Rudge

There Is One I Seek To Impress

Many years ago, as a result of a trip to India, Netherlands, and Israel, the mileage boosted me to Silver Elite member status and qualified me for free upgrades to first class. On a Continental flight to minister in San Diego, I got that free upgrade. Little did they know I was a “poor” missionary whose miles were from mission trips. The other passengers and the stewardesses treated me like I was one of the elite. (Karen had insisted I take the first class seat since it was earned from my previous mission trip. I would occasionally go back to visit her and ask how my “peasant” wife was doing.) About halfway through the flight a stewardess from economy class brought me a special vegetarian meal and asked, “Are you Bill Rudge who was assigned to economy class seating and requested a special meal?” Everyone in first class stared at me like I had leprosy.

Although the perception of the other passengers in first class did not concern me, there is ONE whose opinion I am greatly concerned about. He is the One for whom nothing is hidden. He is the One I will one day stand before and give an account of my life. That is why I strive to live for Him with all my heart and live each day as though it may be THE day I go to meet my Lord. ~ Bill Rudge

“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the LORD.”
Jeremiah 9:23-24

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.

Speak Blessing

by Karen Rudge

“Death and Life are in the power of the tongue …” (Proverbs 18:21).

“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

The world our young people experience everyday is so divided, negative, scary and seemingly purposeless and hopeless. Therefore, our homes must be a place of peace, love and hope. Children should not be told by parents that they are no good, will never make anything of themselves or that they are lazy and useless! They hear enough of these messages in the world from social media, television, movies and even their peers.

Words have great influence for either harm or good. That is why we need to speak words of Truth and Blessing. When you speak negatively to your children, it tears them down; you are speaking destructively over someone God has created for a special purpose. Instead, nurture them with powerful and positive words from the Word of God.

At bedtime, when our children were young, Bill and I would say a blessing over them. We would pray a scripture to plant a seed in their life, or claim a promise of God if they were needing encouragement for something they were going through. When we prayed a scripture, we would add their name to make it more personal.

Young people need positive words said to them that will build them up, inspire and motivate them to excel. They need God’s Word spoken over them to bring healing, peace, confidence and courage. Isaiah 54:13 states:

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

When you speak or pray a blessing over your child (or anyone), personalize it to their current need or crisis. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you words that will bring comfort and healing. Our words are not only powerful, but what we say shows others who we really are for what is truly in our hearts will overflow in our speech. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45b).

The apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:29:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

So let’s begin today to speak forth blessings and not cursing. Let our speech be pleasant to the hearer and bring glory to our Lord. Speaking blessings will not only bring hope, encouragement and direction to those we speak, it will also bless us as well.

Wisdom for an 18 Year Old … and All of Us, part two – Wisdom from My Father

Recently Bill and BJ Rudge were requested by a father to each send a letter to his son who was about to turn 18. Their advice is relevant to all – both young and old, male and female. The following is BJ’s response.

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

I feel very honored to share with you the realization that I had become a man. I was blessed to have a godly father who taught me to build my life upon the Word of God. This gave me a great foundation and outlook on what it meant to be a man from God’s (and not the world’s) perspective.

Bill and BJ in the Himalayas.

When I was 18, I took a class on philosophy. My professor did not have a positive view of religion, and more specifically, had a hostile attitude toward Christianity. From the very first class, he spent much of his energy showing why it was “foolish” to believe in God and the Bible. As my faith was attacked, I spoke with my father expecting that he would tell me to drop the course. Instead, he told me to take on my professor’s challenge by investigating the truth of the faith that he had taught me growing up. This led me on an incredible spiritual journey that moved me from having only a belief to a conviction that Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be and that He had risen from the dead. This process created a powerful transition from being just a boy into a man who could take ownership over what I believed and why I believed it.

During this process, at age 19, I was hired as boys’ soccer coach at Hickory High School. To set context, this was the school where I graduated and where I played high school soccer, which meant the players on the team were not only my former teammates but my friends. So, literally overnight, I had to shift from being one of their peers to being their coach, placing me in many situations where I had to deal with “grown-up” issues and decisions.

For example, the very first week of the season one of my players, and very close friend, was caught drinking. As a violation of our program’s policy, this infraction required me, as coach, to not only meet with the player and his parents, but to levy consequences. Just two weeks prior, I was at this player’s house hanging out, talking to his parents as their son’s friend; now I had to meet with all of them as the coach who had to act as judge and jury over what happened.

Being a high school coach at a young age was a life-changing experience that made me realize that, as a man, I had a responsibility toward others that required me to hold them accountable for their actions.

Our world truly needs more godly men: men who will stand for what is right – even if it means standing alone – who will spiritually lead their families, who will protect and love their wives, and who will humbly seek to glorify God in all areas. May the Lord’s hand be upon you as He continues to guide you through the steps of becoming the man He wants you to be.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

Leaving A Legacy

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

One afternoon while walking through the woods, and spending time with the Lord in prayer, I reflected upon my life. Not only contemplating my past, I began to examine where I was in the present; specifically how I was spending my time and how this might impact my future. I thought of my children and what type of legacy I was leaving for them, and asked myself, “If I were to pass away, how would my children describe me? Would they talk about a father who not only loved them, but also desired to continually be in the presence of the Lord? Would they see me as a man who invested his life in prayer and in fulfilling God’s calling on his life? Would they want to follow in my footsteps as a man of integrity and emulate my spiritual walk with the Lord?”

The reality is that all of us will leave a legacy. Regardless of whether we are married and have children or not, God places people in our lives who are part of our circle of influence. A friend of mine has never been married and has no children, but he recognizes that he has been called by God to be a spiritual role model for his nieces and nephews. Another friend told me that he and his wife were not able to have children. However, he realizes that God has still called him to be a godly example to others. So he invests his time working with the children at his church, and serving as a chaplain at a local hospital to patients who are dying.

Considering this, ask yourself the following question: “What spiritual legacy am I leaving with the people God has put in my life?” The answer will depend upon how much time you spend in prayer, for it is in the time we spend in prayer that God prepares and equips us for His calling on our lives. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones asserts in his studies on the Sermon on the Mount:

Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when, upon his knees, he comes face to face with God.

Walk As Royalty

by Bill Rudge

photo by Bill Rudge

Believers in Jesus Christ have an exciting destiny – to rule and reign with Him throughout eternity! Considering this high calling of serving as royalty under the King of Kings, it is imperative that our words, attitudes and actions resemble His. Princes and princesses in God’s Kingdom should be a reflection of their LORD.

A few years ago, while speaking at a military memorial service, I sat between two dignitaries. They were both gracious and very complimentary of the words I spoke. However, what I want to emphasize here is that they handled themselves with dignity.

There is just something different about most dignitaries and royalty in the way they carry themselves. How much more should we, who are “joint heirs” (Romans 8:17) with the very Son of God, carry ourselves with dignity in our public and private lives. We should not be a reproach to His name, but conduct ourselves in a respectable manner.

Just as descendants of a reigning king are prepared for their royal positions, so believers begin on this side of eternity to prepare for our royal positions which will assuredly become reality during the Millennium and forever thereafter. The following qualities and attributes should begin to be manifest in our words, attitudes and behavior: dignity, integrity, righteousness, self-control, courage, compassion, humility, gentleness, generosity, kindness and faithfulness.

When I was twelve years old I was very skinny so I started lifting weights. Even though I remained thin for a long time thereafter, I began to walk and handle myself as if I was this strong person – believing I would eventually become like that and a few years later I was. Likewise, I know that one day I will rule and reign with Jesus Christ so I can begin now to think and behave accordingly.

Just as my thin physique was transformed into muscles as a teenager – one day my mortal body and humble existence will be transformed into a glorified body that will rule and reign with Christ. This will become a reality for those who believe in and commit their lives to Jesus Christ – so let’s begin acting like it in faith and confidence now!

John, a friend I made while in San Diego, is part Mexican and part American Indian. He has a phenomenal attitude, strong faith in Christ and is very talented. He told me that he used to see himself as skinny, dingy and ugly but now sees himself as lean, tan and distinct. He said that change of perspective has made a tremendous difference in how he carries himself.

Our High Calling

Always remember that as Christians, we have the highest calling. No matter what our position in this life, we can hold our heads high because one day we will be dignitaries serving as representatives for all eternity of the KING and LORD of the universe.

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

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://billrudge.org/fasting-sensitivity-and-power-e-book or purchase through amazon.com.