One Word {Encouragement for Teen Girls}

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Teen Girls

One word. The thought baffles me.

Verbosity is my weakness.

I heard the challenge on the radio a couple of days ago. Instead of writing out a list of goals and achievements; resolutions for the year, to choose one word.

One word to hold onto. One word to inspire. One word. Only one.

So I started thinking. I can do this, right? Just one word, pshaw–that should be easy…right?

Ahem. Until you start trying to narrow it down.

Words filled my mind.







All beautiful words…but they felt redundant to me. Sure, I could use them. But they didn’t feel right. So I prayed about it, and kept thinking and searching. Then I saw it:

A beautiful word. So simple. Mundane, boring even. But the thoughts that filled my mind when I read it whispered, “This is it.”


He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
~Micah 6:8

To place one foot in front of the other.
To get somewhere.
Swift or slow, to progress.
Steady or shaking, intrepid or heart breaking.
To hold His hand and follow Him.
To take each step. With Him.


“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
~Genesis 5:24

“I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.”
~Leviticus 26:12

“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
~Deuteronomy 6:7

“When His lamp shone over my head, And by His light I walked through darkness;”
~Job 29:3

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
~Psalm 23:4

“For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.”
~Psalm 26:3

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
~Psalm 86:11

“for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
~Ephesians 5:8

“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,”
~Colossians 2:6

“so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
~1 Thessalonians 2:12

“but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
~1 John 1:7

“the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
~1 John 2:6

“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed;”
~Revelation 21:23-25
What do you think of this challenge–one word for the year?
What would be a word that you would choose?

When Kids Ask Tough Questions

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Encouragement, Family Devo Tips, Why Bring Faith Home?

When faithful young adults were asked what solidified their faith the most in their teen years, the prominent answer was faith conversations in the home!  What does this tell us?  It says that we must talk about God with our family; when it is inconvenient, when it is uncomfortable, or if you don’t feel like you have an intelligent answer.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to us, because this is what God said to do in Deuteronomy 6:7

“Impress them [the commandments] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  

What about those tough spiritual questions our children/teenagers ask that we just don’t know the answer to?

We can’t be afraid of tough questions! We must answer tough questions.  (Notice I didn’t say WE need to have all the answers.)   Help them grow in their knowledge and understanding of scripture and God through helping them discover the richness and depth of the Word.  And when you don’t know an answer, it’s a wonderful thing to find the answer with them!  You may look up passages through your concordance, the internet (,, books, or even your pastor or friend that has been on this journey with Christ longer than you.

What does this teach your child/teenager?

When you help them answer tough questions, you are discipling them!  A disciple is a follower, a learner.  By the way, you are discipling them in lots of areas (how to dress, how to get along with others, how to study, etc.), so make sure you are also discipling them in their faith. You will gain respect and build your relationship by being humble and learning with your children.  When you explore questions with your child, you help them learn how to learn, how to find answers.  You also teach them that you are open to learning new things and you never stop learning.

They will need as many questions answered before going off to college, so they can stand firm.  We must teach them to depend upon the Word, to seek it, to know it.  When the storms come, we want them to have a solid foundation, a lasting faith and trust in our Savior. Luke 6:48-50

Small group questions:

How are you answering your children’s questions?  How are you building in them a solid foundation that will stay firm when the storms come?  How are you preparing them for a faith that will last?  If you have any suggestion on what worked for your kids, share them with others below.

What questions have your kids asked?  Post them in the comments section below and we will help you answer them.

Helping you have Homes Devoted,

Jonathan & Carrie

Discipling your children…now there’s a challenge!

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Family Devo Tips, Marty Gonterman

I was discipled by a man who knew what he was doing. He was exceedingly skilled at building deeply into another’s life. This discipleship process had such a profound effect on my life that I absolutely had to learn how to do it, no matter the cost.

At age 23, I put my career plans on hold and moved halfway across the country to learn how to make disciples of Jesus Christ. After three long but rewarding years dedicated to this ministry, I completed the training I wanted, and it was time to resume my original life plan: Career and…etc.?

So, here’s my next few years in a nutshell: I landed the job of my dreams with a giant ad agency, met the girl of my dreams, ran away scared from the girl of my dreams, finally came to my senses and married Sharon (she’s still the girl of my dreams), had two kids, built a career and maintained a ministry discipling men in my church. Life was good, all according to plan.

Then…out of nowhere…things changed. The kids started walking, talking, thinking, talking, growing, talking, talking, talking!! If I had had any dreams or expectations about family life, this was not even close. And any ideas I may have had about what a family might someday require from me was—easily– the greatest underestimation of my life.

Of course, those of you with children are nodding and (maybe) smiling. This experience is certainly common to every parent that has ever lived. So, as all parents have done before me, I asked myself, “Now what?”

For me, there was an immediate answer to that question. Go with Plan A.

Since I was a trained and experienced disciple-maker, Sharon and I should simply do what I already knew how to do: Disciple our children. “Easy enough,” thought I.

And that was the second greatest underestimation of my life.

Turns out that discipling your kids is a completely different animal than dealing with men who are eager to follow Christ. Who knew? Fast forwarding, my children survived and actually turned out great. God is faithful! They’re both in their 20s and love the Lord. But the process…wow! I wish I had kept a journal, but at the time, we didn’t know how challenging it would be.

There were very few resources available at the time to help guide us, and we didn’t really know anyone that was attempting to do what we had in mind. So we made it up as we went along, and there were ups and downs along the way.
Still…making the commitment to disciple our children and seeing it through was—easily—the greatest, most rewarding accomplishment of our life. Nothing else is even a close second.

We offer concepts and ideas to guide parents in their discipling perspective and family development. A few are easy to introduce for first-timers, a few are fun, a few obvious…and a few may scare the bejeebers out of you. Stay tuned.

By Marty Gonterman


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