Bullying Topic Grabs Students’ Attention

By Darlinda McDonald

As violence and bullying escalate throughout our nation and world, many students have received powerful messages on anti-bullying and self-defense by Bill Rudge. A week after arriving home from leading a group of 26 people from across the U.S. on a Holy Land Adventure, Bill will be in Pennsylvania and Ohio schools this month presenting his Street Survival Strategies and Defense Clinics and also beginning sessions on the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course.

I had the privilege of attending two of these assemblies and would like to thank Bill for his continuing efforts to bring positive, motivational messages to the students. In today’s culture, where bullying can go beyond the classroom and schoolyard into cyberspace, it is comforting to know Bill is willing to add to his busy schedule and go into the schools.

Bully Demonstration

The verbal abuse and bullying of others is as vicious and merciless as someone beating up a defenseless, elderly person. Bill often illustrates this point when speaking and doing demonstrations in schools and churches. His assistant, in the guise of a little old man, would walk by using a cane. Unsuspecting, Bill would kick out his cane; then proceed to do multiple kicks and strikes, abusing him while he was on the ground. Stopping the attack, Bill would offer to help him up, but as he reached for Bill’s hand, he would kick him back down, then straddle him and do multiple strikes to his face and chest. Although they were clearly acting, and the audience loved the demonstration, they got the message of how vicious bullying really is.

Following the demo Bill asks: Would you be impressed if you saw me do that to an old person? No! You would be disgusted. Would you think I was strong? No! You would think I was weak for picking on someone weaker and smaller. That is not strength; that is weakness. When you bully, abuse, pick on or torment those who are weaker than you or who are alone when you are with friends, or call them names to hurt and humiliate them, you are weak and disgusting – as pathetic as I was, beating up that “old man.”

Remember, an insecure, jealous, weak person bullies others and puts them down – while a strong and confident person helps others and doesn’t have to show off to prove it! Be kind, because you don’t know what is going on in their life, with their family or with their health. Be a champion and make a positive difference in the world around you with your words, actions and attitudes. Instead of discouraging others, encourage them. Rather than hurting those who are vulnerable, help them. Instead of bullying those who are weaker, be an inspiration to them. Remember, a strong person stands up for himself but a stronger person stands up for others.

Most Dangerous Person

You all know the world is a dangerous place. But do you know who is the most dangerous person in the world to you? You are! You can be your own worst enemy regarding your survival. It’s all about the choices you make: whether you use illicit drugs, whether you abuse alcohol or junk food, whether you drive recklessly…I think you get the point. Protect yourself from the opportunist bully and defend yourself from an attacker on the street, but also safeguard yourself from yourself by making wise choices.

The Bully Thinking Twice

by Glen Rudge

I was blinded by fury,
distraught with despair.
The bully tormented,
but why did I care?
Because I was the target.
The victim this time.
When it happened to others?
I didn’t mind.
But now it was personal,
this time it was me.
This time I was forced to see.
I had turned a blind eye,
because I was scared.
But now? This time?
Somebody cared.
He shouted, HEY,
This isn’t right,
and he stepped up to the bully,
preparing to fight.
My aggressor he left,
not wanting confrontation.
And he walked away laughing,
with no explanation.
Would he come back?
To start a new fight?
No, for he was a cockroach,
afraid of the light.
The light of another,
willing to stand,
up to the bully,
something he had not planned.

Quotes from Bill Rudge

  • Bullies manifest their insecurities and weaknesses through intimidation and aggression; courageous people reveal their strength through love and kindness.
  • The true measure of a person’s character and strength is how they treat those who are weaker, poorer or less talented.


Bill Rudge

All through my younger years I was often told that what I planned to do was impossible. I was repeatedly told: “You can’t do it! You are too young, too small, too weak, too poor. You will never make it. You might as well give up!”

So, as one who never really had much potential and was often considered the least likely to succeed in high school and college, who would have thought that one day I would start a ministry that would grow into an international outreach which was to have an impact on tens of thousands of youth and adults?

My wife and I arrived at Bible college as new Christians, still in our teens, with little money and no jobs. Early on I was voted in one class to be the least likely to succeed in ministry. Nevertheless, I finished all four years with good grades, even though I had to work 40 – 60 hours a week on an assembly line at a window factory, along with classes and homework. By my senior year, I was running a growing youth group for a country church and teaching exercise and self-defense classes at the college and YMCA.

A few years later, the president of the college from which I had graduated called to book me at their new campus in Virginia. He asked me to address the student body on “Reaching Your Maximum Potential,” and how we had developed a successful, multifaceted ministry.

Since then I have been blessed to train hundreds of staff and volunteers—many of whom are serving in churches, ministries or missions—as well as training missionaries, pastors, chaplains, military personnel (enlisted men and women, and officers) and leaders of various ministries and organizations. The Lord has also opened doors for me to speak at several pastors’ and leadership conferences in the U.S. and other countries.

Bare Beginnings

In August of 1977, with virtually no money, staff or facilities—just a lot of God-given determination—Karen and I started this ministry in the upstairs apartment of my parents’ home. I used the kitchen table as a desk and Karen kept the ministry records in a file cabinet in our bedroom. Few people thought we would succeed. Many said, “Others have tried and failed; you will too!” Nevertheless, with God’s help we persevered and for over 45 years have witnessed Him do the impossible.

Recently, after speaking at a local church where I had mentioned in my sermon about being voted least likely to succeed at Bible college, an older man told me that he remembered when I started my ministry. He had said to his wife, “He’ll never make it.” He paused and said, “I am so glad you did make it!”

Philippians 4:13

There are many other stories I could share—examples of how God has enabled us to accomplish that which others thought impossible. In reality, people were right for thinking I did not have much potential. However, I have built my life and ministry on the belief that I can do all things because Christ strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I think God chose me—the least of all—to display His transforming power and to vividly illustrate that if He can use me, He can use anyone!

One of the reasons we have such faithful volunteers and supporters is that they know I am going to do what I say I am going to do. If I believe God has led me to do something, then nothing or no one will stop me. I will persevere until it is accomplished. I will never give up until the Lord either fulfills what He led me to do, or gives definite, new direction.

I have always enjoyed a challenge. It seems the more obstacles I face and the more opposition I receive, the more determined I become. Countless times throughout my life and ministry, I have had to face the cold reality that circumstances say, “You cannot do it,” and people said, “You will never do it,” but God’s Word reminds us, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Three-Legged Race

Speaking in the city of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, for a series of engagements, I designed a special outreach including relays and an obstacle course in a neighborhood that was nicknamed “Hell’s Half Acre.” It was like a time warp back to the 1960s and was similar to the neighborhood where I had been raised. Both the youth and the adults loved the competition.

Before the start of a three-legged race, Steven, a youth of about twelve years of age, hobbled over to me with a crutch. His leg was badly crippled, yet he asked if he could compete in the three-legged race. He said, “I don’t need a partner as I already have three legs.” I told him to go for it. He competed with fervent determination and nearly won the race. Before sharing my testimony following the competition, I acknowledged this youth for his courage, determination and attitude, then awarded him a Reaching Your Maximum Potential T-shirt which he appreciated and greatly deserved.

What Is Your Dream?

Proverbs 29:18 says:

Where there is no vision [revelation], the people are unrestrained [out of control], but happy [blessed] is one who keeps the Law.

To have determination that never gives up, you must have goals, dreams and vision. Believe that through Christ you can do it. Be willing to pay the price at all cost, and be motivated and empowered by His Spirit to persevere no matter what the challenge.

What goals and vision has the Lord given you through study of His Word and prayer? If you do not have any, then spend time in Scripture, prayer and fasting, and God will put His goals, His dreams, His vision and His desires in your heart. One of the reasons I am still in the ministry and still excited is due to my goals and vision for the future. When I achieve one goal, God gives me one or two more. That keeps me motivated. I often pray: “Lord, put Your goals, dreams and vision in my heart. Give me unwavering faith to believe You and the motivation and determination to persevere.” And remember, anything worth doing is worth doing with excellence. Strive to be the best you can be at whatever you do.

Determination of a Navy SWCC and SEAL

My oldest grandson, like his uncle BJ, excelled in soccer; playing for two national traveling teams. However, he gave up a college Division I soccer scholarship to enlist in the Navy and try out for Special Forces. His determination and never-quit attitude was already honed through the many difficulties and hard training he experienced in soccer. His self-imposed intense workout routines helped prepare him for the severe and extremely rigorous training at Special Forces—crawling through broken seashells and then, with open wounds, crawling through fresh sewage and repeatedly enduring freezing cold water.

My brother Ken gave an insightful quote: “If you want to be the best, you have to face the worst.” The additional challenges my grandson has faced for remaining faithful to Christ have been almost incomprehensible, but so far, with God’s help, he has overcome.

He enlisted in the Navy at age 18 with a goal and a dream to become a SWCC (SpecialWarfare Combatant Crewman). During Navy SWCC Selection, after many were either sent home or quit, a SWCC instructor asked him, “Are you going to quit?” “They will have to kill me” he replied. What he endured was horrific but he refused to give up and by age 19 he achieved his goal of Naval Special Operations Forces.

During the prestigious graduation ceremony in Coronado, the commander mentioned that my grandson gave up a college scholarship to play soccer. He then enthusiastically said to him, “Welcome to the pros!”

I have had the opportunity to speak several times at an Arab Center in California to people who have known suffering and persecution firsthand. The group consists of men, women and young people from various countries throughout the Middle East (some are Arabic instructors at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey in California) and U.S. military personnel. It is an incredible place to speak because there is also a meeting of Jewish believers going on at the same time in the same building. People from both groups ask, “Where else can Arabs and Jews get along so lovingly?”

However, the point I want to emphasize concerns a Navy SEAL. Following my message, many waited to talk to me, to ask questions or obtain free copies of my books. One young man was halfway through his training to become a Navy SEAL (that along with SWCC is probably the most difficult and rigorous military training available). He asked me to pray for him. After doing so I looked him in the eyes and asked, “Are you going to complete the training to become a SEAL?” He responded without hesitation as he looked me in the eyes with confidence, “Sir, they will have to break every bone in my body before I will quit!”

The attitudes of determination and resolve modeled by both these young men are needed by all believers in our commitment and service to Jesus Christ!

Never Quit; Never Give Up

One of the most important exhortations regarding the end times—repeated several times in Revelation and elsewhere—is to persevere: be faithful even to the point of death, hold on till the end, have patient endurance, be victorious, overcome, stand firm, endure to the end and do not shrink back.

After speaking at Petra Cafe in Fort Stewart, a young soldier said to me: “I want to go home, sir.” It was understandable for him to be homesick and want to quit the Army, but giving up should not be an option for a believer, nor even be in a Christian’s vocabulary.

My desire is to turn the hearts of the people back to the Lord and to inspire them to walk in faithfulness until He returns. As believers in Christ, we must have the attitude that no opposition or obstacle will cause us to give up in defeat. Instead, we must endure to the end in our commitment to Him. We must persevere, remain faithful and never give up until the Lord fulfills what He leads us to do or He gives us clear, new direction.

The Apostle Paul was in prison at Rome, knowing that his time on earth was about to end. Yet with faith and determination he wrote these powerful words in 2 Timothy 4:6-8:

…The time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing.

Paul’s commitment to Christ resulted in unwavering faith and determination—even to his death. Ask God to instill in you the kind of determination Paul had: to never give up and to remain faithful to the very end.

God has taken that little bit of determination in my youth; has redirected and increased it, and enabled me by His power to do what was seemingly not doable. In upcoming books on The Impossible and Adventures in Missions, I document some of the many difficult situations the Lord has enabled me to overcome through unwavering faith in Him, obedient determination and persistent perseverance.

Determination means refusing to give up no matter how daunting the obstacle, how intense the opposition, how rough the road, or how difficult the battle, but to persevere until the very end and victory is achieved. Never forget, if you consistently, persistently, incessantly and unrelentingly believe and never give up, you will accomplish what others thought to be impossible!

Courage to Stand Alone – Part 1

by Bill Rudge

Part 1 of Bill’s challenging message on Courage to Stand Alone was recorded live at a national youth convention. It has inspired thousands of teenagers and adults to resist the peer pressure and dare to be different. Just like Daniel who was used by God in an incredible way to accomplish feats of heroism, faith, and courage that inspire us to this very day, so too, you can have courage to stand alone and impact your world.

To download this Radio Broadcast click here.

Finding Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

This has been a very sad and difficult week for the community that I live in. This past Sunday (February 10th), four high school students from our school district were in a severe accident. The accident led to the tragic death of two of the students. As I write this blog, the other two students are in the hospital dealing with a range of injuries. This tragic event has impacted me personally as my family knew these girls and, being the high school girls’ soccer coach, I use to coach one of the girls who died. In simplistic terms, this has been an emotionally difficult situation to deal with as it has brought me face to face with the reality that no one is immune from the tragedies of life. But despite this reality, it is in these moments where we learn the most valuable life lessons. For instance, I was reminded of the importance of community. As I spent time at the school on Monday talking with faculty and students, I was encouraged and comforted to see everyone come together as one. Despite our differences, there was singularity in purpose. A powerful reminder that not only do we need the support and love of others, but we also need to return that same love and support. We need to bear each other’s burdens. I hope and pray that you have others in your life that are helping you bear your burdens, and in return you are coming alongside them to bear theirs.

Along with the idea of community, this situation has reminded me of the importance of being intentional with my loved ones: to never walk away angry, or let the sun go down without letting them know how much I love them. I need to live each moment with appreciation for the time that I have with my family and friends. Life can truly change in a moment, so we all need to let others know, through both our words and actions, how much they mean to us.

A final impression that I have gained from this tragedy is how important it is to live our lives with purpose. As I stood watching the students flow into the room that was set up at the school for them to come and grieve, I was overwhelmed to hear their stories about how their lives were enriched by knowing the girls who had died. One particular staff member told me that when they first moved here, her daughters had a hard time adjusting to their new surroundings, but that the transition was made easier because one of the girls who had died introduced herself to her daughters and made them feel valued and accepted. This is a great reminder how just a simple word and action can make the difference in the lives of others. While our school has lost two remarkable young ladies, their memories will live on through those they impacted. Their lives were taken from us way too early but they leave a legacy that will continue for years to come.

In the uncertainty of this tragedy, I do see God actively involved. From the love and support of surrounding communities to the unity displayed by our faculty and students, I see God working in and through each one of us. As in any tragedy, the WHY will continue to knock us off our feet, but it is the WHO that will enable us to stand back up. Though our faith in Jesus Christ is shaken, it will not be destroyed.  His loving arms are embracing our community and bringing comfort and hope in our time of pain and sorrow.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).