"Before You Leave Home"

Are your children ready for the world?

A book to prepare your kids for a great life on their own.

Featured on:

Our Story

We’re David & Bernice Gudgel. Life has thrown a lot of big decisions at us. Maybe you can relate. Along the way – through good & bad experiences, the wisdom of others, and lots of prayer – we’ve learned lessons that we wish we would have known before. Now, we hope to help you make the best big decisions in life.

Bernice has a degree in Psychology and has focused much of her adult life on raising three kids (who turned out great!) and leading ministries in the church. Dave is a pastor who has a degree in Sociology, an M Div, and a D Min. He’s counseled over a thousand clients and hosted a weekday radio program.

Our Books


Spiritual Conversations Can Happen Anywhere

When It Comes to Getting to Know Someone, I Have a Favorite Question

When I meet someone new I ask the usual questions like Where do you work? Are you in school? Where do you live? Do you have a family? But I also like to ask people Do you have any spiritual beliefs? That simple question has opened the door to many significant conversations – on airplanes, while playing golf, while exercising at the gym. I’ve asked that question a lot of times. And I’ve found that though most people are interested in spiritual things, their spiritual tanks aren’t even close to being full. Their gauges would register just above empty. The

Read More »
Bob & Ann with their Grandchildren

I am Coming to See My Lack of Understanding as a Good Thing

I’m not one to make excuses, but in the past week I’ve come face-to-face with my lack of understanding.  I’m sure you can relate to my feelings. Especially if you’ve had a friend or family member die or you are in the midst of some kind of hardship that has you baffled. I’m referring to those times in life when you find yourself saying, “This just doesn’t make sense. I don’t get it. Why him? Why me? Why her? Why this? Why now?” That was my reaction a week ago when I got a phone call telling me that a

Read More »
Brian, Katie, Dave, and Brent - Zuma Beach 1987

What’s a Mom to Do When She Doesn’t Know What to Do?

Last Sunday was Mothers Day so I’ve been thinking a lot about my kids and what it was like when they were growing up. My first thought was that I was really lucky! Lucky because my kids turned out great, and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I was raising them. Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking when He let me be their mom. I Prayed…A lot Oh I worked hard at being a good mom. I read books, and went to seminars & moms’ groups, and got input from moms who were farther along

Read More »

The Four of Us Kids Did Our Best to Keep Mom Praying

I can’t say any of us kids made it easy on my mom. One thing is for sure, we kept mom on her knees. I guess you could say it was our unintentional way of helping her grow closer to the Lord. Fortunately for us, God gave her strength beyond ours and wisdom beyond hers. With all the work we didn’t do, mom should have been overwhelmed. But she wasn’t. She was like the Energizer bunny – she just kept going and going and going. The Courage to Speak Up Wisdom. Mom had it. Beyond her years. I attribute it

Read More »

Three Proven Ways to Be the Kind of Teammate That Gets Mentioned in Print

If your name shows up on a book’s acknowledgement page, you must have done something good. You made a valuable contribution in some way in getting the book to market. John – this book bears the mark of your expert editing. Your skill with words is beyond me. Liz, Mike, Frank, Gale, Randy – you are a dream team. You believed in this project even when I had my doubts. Sally – without your prayers I would have given up. God answered and I am thankful. The Apostle Paul – who wrote thirteen New Testament books – regularly ended his

Read More »

Are You Intentional About Worshiping When You Go to a Worship Service?

Many Christians go to a worship service at a church every week. If you’re one of them, have you ever stopped to think if you are actually worshipping during those services? I’ve spent many years working with Worship Pastors so I know the worship team is trying their best to lead you in worship. But are you really worshipping? The Bible makes it clear that God doesn’t want empty sacrifices or rituals. Simply being in a worship service and giving to the offering and listening to the teaching and singing some worshipful songs mean nothing to God if you’re not

Read More »