"Before You Leave Home"

Are your children ready for the world?

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

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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


Overwhelmed with Worries

Dealing with the Worries of Life in this World

In 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” His advice – in the face of life’s troubles, worrying just makes things worse. So… don’t worry, be happy. God has a similar opinion about worry. It’s found in Philippians 4:6-7. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Don’t worry. Be Happy. Those words are easy to say, but not

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Summer on the Beach

Take Some Time This Summer to Rest & Reflect

No matter what stage of life you are in, summer is a time when we are conditioned to think about slowing down. Even if it’s been a long long time since we were in school, we all remember that feeling of excitement on the last day of school, with the whole wonderful lazy summer ahead of us. Something inside us still tells us that summer should be the time to: Lay in a hammock under a shady tree reading a book Hang out at the beach or lake or river just playing Drink a glass of lemonade or sweet tea

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Full Service Gas Station Meant Full Service

Three Ways to Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For

Let’s be frank. No one wants to work for a bad boss. Certainly not me. Once was enough. Sam, my first boss, made my first job miserable. I got a firsthand taste of what Archibald Hart described when he said in his book The Crazy-Making Workplace, “A lousy boss can kill your happiness, destroy your self-esteem, suffocate your individuality, poison your mind, threaten your sanity, and dead-end your ambitions.” That’s not the kind of boss I want to work for. Or the kind of boss I want to be. It was a happy day when I said good-bye to Sam

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Four Ways to Wow Your Employers With Your Work

I’m in the middle of a two-part message series that I’ve titled Wow@Work. The thought of work that wows our employers isn’t new. Paul brought it up in his letter to the church at Colosse when he said: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the

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Take Time for Meaningful Conversations

How to Have Meaningful Conversations with Your Teenagers Before They Leave Home

Just One More Thing… Before You Leave Home was written to be a tool to open up conversations between you and your child who will soon be leaving to go to college or out into the world. It’s something we did with each of our three kids during their senior years in high school. I would take each of them out to a late Saturday breakfast and we’d discuss one topic each time over pancakes. If it would work for you to go through Just One More Thing with your son or daughter in a similar way sometime during their

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