Manhattan Christian College for music ministry Kansas Wesleyan University

My Story

Video Highlights (minute markers)

0:00  Intro/Jim shares his background/marriage to an incredible woman whose name was Trudy

2:42  Story about Trudy giving her brand new coat away

4:10  At age 49, Trudy was given 2 years after the diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer

5:00  Jim shares about running/the promise Trudy wanted from him/Oklahoma City Marathon

7:00  Jim’s family was given 6 years instead of 2/Trudy never complained

7:50   Trudy asks Jim again if he will walk away from Jesus/10 days later Trudy passes

8:56  Trudy’s “Flower Notebook”

10:30  Jim’s encounter with Jesus

11:43  Gary shares about how words are so impactful- Flower Notebook

12:20  Talked about humility and the blessing of the Joy of the Lord

14:17  Jim encourages another friend with the passing of their spouse

14:30  Going Deeper    Surrender    Finish Strong

17:43  Gary honors Trudy

18:37  Gary asks Jim for his advice for others in a similar situation/significance vs success

21:58  Jim’s profile picture is a painting

22:30  We encourage others to share their story

23:19  Jim is grateful for what we are doing at Check Your Game

24:16  Gary encourages others to share their comments on Jim’s page

I was raised in a Christian home and my mom had written prayer requests for each of her 3 boys in her Bible. The one for me was that God would send me a lady that would love Jesus.

God heard her prayers and I married the most amazing woman any one could ask for.  She loved Jesus and her family and friends and gave sacrificially to us and to anyone in need. She taught our boys to give. I don’t know how many times they came home without shoes because they saw someone else who needed them.

She encouraged me consistently to be better than I ever thought I could be and for 30 years of marriage. I was blessed.  She was my rock….and then one day we were told she had stage 4 breast cancer.

My check engine light came on during this time as I began my crisis of faith.  The following 2 years were the most difficult years of questioning God, challenging Him, and turning my back on Him. Then one day I went to a “service station” called church and had an amazing encounter with our Heavenly Father. At that moment He became my Jesus. You see for all those years I relied on my wife’s faith and prayers and when she went to be in His presence, I did not know what to do.

The last 2 years have been an amazing journey and I know my wife is in heaven saying, “finally he is getting you Jesus!” The rest of my life will focus on significance rather than success.

My Advice

Turn to God first. Don’t be prideful saying you can handle this situation on your own.

And from the message my wife gave to the pastor for her celebration of life service.

Go Deeper in His Word
Surrender to Him
Finish strong!

Be blessed and be a blessing.


Jim I feel blessed to know you as well as your family through the telling of your story. Trudy sounds like an amazing woman who was selfless, thought/prayed for others, and not just gave her time, but gave the coat right off her back. She was an amazing example to you and your boys who took note and did similar things. Hearing those stories are so encouraging and help me to see how shiny Trudy was on the inside as well as the outside. I am thankful that her life was used to encourage others, but also to help bring you to a better place in your relationship with God. I know your story and the life that Trudy led will be an encouragement to many other men and women and am truly thankful that you decided to share it with us. Thanks again, Gary.

Spread the word

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Jean Rogers says:

Jim this is Gary’s mom… Jean.
I wanted to comment on what you shared
with Gary in your Checkyourgame interview. What a beautiful testimony of your life journey with your precious wife Trudy. I sensed a deep and abiding love for her as you walked out this path with faith and courage. I do understand a little of what you experienced, as I too have lost my spouse to a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Today … August 20 is our anniversary and it would have been 54 years.
So here it is the end of the day and I had the pleasure to hear a wonderful story of determination, unconditional love and faithfulness. You have inspired and blessed me this day . I am reminded that as believers in Jesus, when we die , we have a new heavenly home that is eternal. A beautiful place where there is no more pain or suffering. I love reading Revelation 21 where there is a vivid description. May God bless you and your sons.

Michael Ray says:

God is soooooo amazing – He is with us always. Even in the moments of such great challenges, obstacles and despair – He never leaves.

I often say we smile and make others smile because life is hard and not easy – but that smile comes from the love knowing that our God gives us that love and strength.

I often come back to the footprints in the sand knowing that in these challenges Jesus is not only with us but carrying us.

Life is not perfect – life is not easy – life is good.

Life is good because of the love Christ has for us.

Stacey says:

What a powerful story of love, faith, strength, healing, & the WILL to embrace what was always available—Jesus!

Jim, your words about always depending on your wife’s faith and her relationship with the Lord is so profound! I see it as an incredible “loving” path that through her, it led you to HIM!

God has His ways & they are definitely not something we could or would ever come up with ourselves. It is an incredible testimony to the power of the spirit and in obedience!

Thank you for sharing your “check engine” story with us! There are powerful pieces in this for all of us to receive! 🙏

Mark Helphinstine says:

Such an inspiration and thank you for sharing your amazing story. God’s glory comes through our experiences – both strife and pleasure are His blessings for us.

Billy Southerland says:


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us. What an amazing woman you had as your wife, what a legacy she has left to live on through you and your children and grandchildren. I truly appreciated your humbleness and Gods kindness in revealing to you His desire for all of us to have the relationship that Trudy has with Him. His patience, kindness, unending grace and perfect love is truly what leads us to repentance! What an amazing model of that you have had in Trudy and that is now living on in you and your children!!

What a great story and moment of impact! Trudy sounds like truly an amazing woman.

Tom Cudney says:

Jim… thank you for sharing your personal and family’s time of great sorrow and blessing !!

I pray much continued strength and healing for you and your family !! 🙏❤️

David Guzik says:

Jim, thanks for sharing your inspiring story! Trudy was a remarkable woman, and it was moving to hear of her great concern that you continue on with Jesus no matter what happened to her. I also found your emphasis on significance more than success to be really helpful. I appreciate your giving back, and please know that giving a purpose to your pain is helping many others.

Franky Smith says:

This was awesome. It had me all choked up and hit home as my wife is dealing with breast cancer and she does all the bills. This hit home! It hit me in the gut kind of feeling. I’ve been blessed today. Thank you Jim. Thank you Gary for your drive to continue to do what God called you to do.

James Barber says:

Praying for you and your wife.

Anonymous says:

Thank you for sharing! When it becomes significant, it becomes a priority! I need to redefine my mission statement!

Brian Goslee says:

To all:
Please watch this video. This is inspirational, uplifting, and encouraging on so many levels. I am inspired by the lives of Trudy, Jim, and their boys, and by Jim’s last several years of finding maximum growth during maximum pain.

Thank you for sharing such an intimate and personal story that honors your wife Trudy and Jesus in such a profound way.
It is clear to me that God used the most difficult time in your life, when you were being “wrecked in a bad way” with waves of sorrow, to “wreck you in a good way” with waves of His love, peace, comfort, and knowing Him personally.

During the watching of the video, I thought how wonderful it is that God used your loss to actually ADVANCE you up the rungs of glory in Him. Moving you from glory to glory:

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV)

People quote Romans 8:28 a lot when there are bad times, in order to comfort someone, but few actually activate it in their lives. You have. Keep going my friend and others will be saved and encouraged!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

Mark says:

Jim, After getting to know your wife through your words in your interview with Gary I couldn’t help to think of my mom and how similar they were with how they gave so much of themselves helping others. What an example she was to you and your boys showing you what is important in life. It amazes me how easy it is to lose sight of this but thanks to you and your amazing testimony it has reminded me to live and walk through my life with a reckless abandon of loving others.

A blessing to have Jim share part of his journey and experience with us. We will all face death in our lives…loved ones, friends and eventually our own. Jim’s story can be a source of encouragement as we seek God’s touch in our time of need. Thank you Jim for sharing and thank you Gary for highlighting it.

Mark Leonard says:

Wonderful story of faith, love, and family. Thank you Jim and thank you Trudy!

Thank you for sharing your story, James. Your wife sounds like a lovely woman who was a gift to so many.

Your advice resonated with me. For years, I tried to control my destiny and wound up in some pretty dark places. Turning to God to guide me and show me the way was my answer, too.

God bless you, James, and your family.

Thanks to Gary Rogers for bringing your story to life!

Laura Nutt says:

What an amazing testimony of how God is always working even when we can’t see or feel it!
Hearing stories like this of who literally walk the path and live out the life of Jesus Christ that heals humanity and glorify God just strengthen my faith and I declare even louder, Our God is an Awesome God! Hallelujah Glory to God and Amen!
Thank you Jim, Trudy and Gary 💜🙏

Alan Peil says:

Jim, it was very good to see and hear you since it has been awhile! Thank you very much for sharing yours’s and Trudy’s story! It shows the love you had for each other, family and especially God! I know this will touch many lives in ways you will not know! Stay well and it’s good to see you!!

Kristin Nelson says:

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so thankful that I watched your “check your game” moment! I have designated a “prayer chair” and have started taking notes in my Bible! Thank you for encouraging followers of Christ to go deeper, surrender, and finish strong!

ian says:

Thanks for sharing, my wife is struggling with Cancer this year.


Sara+Im says:

Jim, I’m sorry for your loss of your amazing Godly wife. I’m happy that her strong, unshakable love and faith have lead you to Jesus. I pray that you always find peace in Christ love. Blessings.

Val Smith says:

Oh my my, Jim thank you.
Your story makes me want to step up my game and make every day count as a blessing to others. Sometimes I lack courage to do some things for God. You’re right, it’s only when we go deeper do we get stronger!
I went a little bit crazy after recovering from my breast cancer by cramming as much into life as possible but in doing that I moved further away from God. I went on to write a book, Heart to Heart with God, this is not a plug Jim but to say during this time I found a personal relationship with Jesus.
God bless you and your lovely family Jim

Wow, what an awesome story, and what a blessing that you are able to see the hand of God even in what I am sure was the most difficult trial you have ever had to endure. I have heard the phrase “prayer has no expiration date.” I imagine that your deepened personal faith came right on time as the answer to the prayers of both your wife and your mother.