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Help kids go from complaining to content in 60 seconds

Recently my fashionista daughter was struggling with her outfit for church. And by “struggling” I mean complaining that she did not have shoes that “matched” her outfit.

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My hippie child is morphing into a hipster daughter…the one who NEVER matches. She is fearless in what she wears–loud colors and prints mish-mashed together, even layered to achieve her intended look. So when she complained that she had no shoes to match her outfit, I was truly at a loss.

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I cocked my head and looked at her hard for a minute. The issue wasn’t with the matching; the “issue” was something deeper.

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We lined up the four pairs of summer shoes she had to choose from and picked the “least awful” pair–some plain black flip-flops.

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Then we sat down and had a chat:

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me: Look at your flip flops. Can you think of three things about them that you are thankful for?

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her: <haughtily> I have shoes.

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me: Yes. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve seen in poorer countries who don’t have a single pair of shoes, much less four pairs to choose from. What else?

her: <a tiny bit less haughtily>They aren’t broken yet.

me: That is something to be thankful for. Do you know that in some places, you are not allowed to go to school unless you have a uniform and shoes? Some kids want to go to school so much that they wear broken flip flops or shoes that are too small and hurt their feet. It’s a privilege to have shoes that are not broken and fit you perfectly. Can you think of one more thing?

her: <begrudgingly> They are comfortable.

me: Who gave you those shoes?

her: God.

me: How do you think it made God feel that you complained about the good shoes He gave you?

her: Sad.

I was proud that she had come to a solid conclusion and could see the effect of her actions. By turning situations where we are prone to complain into a time to practice observing at least three ways we can be thankful instead, we are teaching our children to live out Ephesians 5:20:

“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.

4 Drucker Principles for Better Parenting

I’ve been studying management principles by Peter Drucker to become better at my job. Any good thing in my professional life trickles down to my “other full-time job” as a parent.

Strong Biblical parallels naturally emerged from Drucker’s management principles that can easily be applied to parenting as well. Here are my top Druckerisms for parents:

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | | Jenna Scott | OneHope

The critical, determining factor between families that struggle or those that succeed is if they have figured out how to make children’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.[1]

Every child has been created in God’s image. When we help our children figure out and operate from their God-given strengths, they bring glory to God. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better demonstration of mercy than figuring out how to make my kids’ weaknesses irrelevant!

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | | Jenna Scott | OneHope

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

The delineation of right path in this verse implies that there are also wrong paths that we can errantly lead our children down. That’s frightening! But it’s also a strong reminder that in order for me to help each of my children find their right path, I need to study them. Then I can train them up in the way they should go.

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How can we know if we are being successful in how we are raising our children? We won’t really know unless we assess. It might seem strange to apply such a corporate business idea to your family, but this is actually straight from the Bible. One way we are told to assess is to look for the fruits of the spirit in our own and our children’s lives:

Fruits of the Spirit | | 4 Drucker Principles

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

“Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” Drucker wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.

But beyond simply measuring for fruitfulness, there is also a much-overlooked Drucker principle at play—relationship.

“Your first role . . . is the personal one… It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do. It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”[3]

How is their relationship with you? How often do you take time to talk about your child’s spiritual development with them, putting accountability in place, and setting goals for their lives? How is their relationship with their Heavenly Father?

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The verse my firstborn shared when he got baptized and has framed next to his bed is 1 Timothy 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Not only is that encouragement for your children, it’s an admonition to us as parents. Our kids will grow fastest in their faith when we invite them to take an active role in it on a daily basis.

God has great plans for our children. And I’m thankful that He hasn’t left us without an instruction manual and advice from some great minds to help us on the journey!


Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and they have 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.

[1] Paraphrase based on Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-13). The Daily Drucker (p. 47). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
[3]Excerpts from


Soccer + Scripture #Goalkeeping (Part 2)

Recently, the Juventus and Italian national goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new record when he went 947 minutes without conceding a goal. Anybody familiar with the game of soccer or who has played it knows what a phenomenal achievement this is. It is made even greater by that fact that Gigi (as he is affectionately known) at the age of 38 is no spring chicken. After the game, he penned a love letter to the goal he has guarded for more than a quarter of a century. Here is the letter:

“I was 12 when I turned my back on you, denying my past to guarantee you a safe future. I went with my heart; I went with my instinct. But the day I stopped looking you in the face is also the day that I started to love you. To protect you. To be your first and last line of defense. I promised myself that I would do everything not to see your face again. Or that I would do it as little as possible. It was painful every time I did, turning round and realizing I had disappointed you. Again and again. We have always been opposites yet we are complementary, like the sun and the moon. Forced to live side by side without being able to touch. Team-mates for life, a life in which we are denied all contact. More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I’ve always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own. I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow.”[1]

Beautiful, isn’t it? The line that stuck out to me was, “I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies.” Such an emotional letter written to an inanimate object! If the recipient of the letter were “the heart” instead of “the goal”—it would read very differently!

Soccer + Scripture |

In the Book of Proverbs we are told, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The school my children attend thought this Scripture so important that they declared it the theme for the entire school year. The headmaster’s desire is for the children to embrace the concept of guarding their hearts against things that come to oppose them.

We would do well to guard our heart like a goalkeeper protects his goal. Nothing causes a goalkeeper more pain and disappointment than picking the ball out of the back of the net. It’s one of the most horrific feelings in soccer. It carries with it a tinge of embarrassment and shame for failing to protect the thing that is most important in the game.

Among a generation that has no regard for what is bombarding and damaging their supple hearts, we must train up our children through prayer and the Word of God to guard their hearts. The enemy will attack them in this crucial spot. 1 Peter 5:8 advises us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” As we are training up our children, we must coach them to be like a goalkeeper and guard that which is the most precious to them.

Look up the following verses as a family and choose one to display in a meaningful place in your home and memorize together.

Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 51:10
Romans 12:2
Psalm 73:26
Luke 6:45

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David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

God’s Word for EVERY Child?

Our “impossible” goal to reach every child in every nation with the Gospel

In 1987, during a time of fasting and prayer, I received a vision from God. I saw scenes of children being attacked by Satan—an attempt to literally destroy an entire generation. The targeting of young people and children for destruction broke my heart.

But God didn’t leave me without an answer.

I asked a good friend and ministry partner, Dale Berkey, to pray and fast with me, asking God to reveal His plan for the children around the world to escape this attack. The message I received was very clear, “I want you to take My Word to the children of the world, and you will do it through leaders; I have sent my Word to heal them.”

Responding to the Vision

Since God had specified “His Word” and “leaders,” by faith, we took our first step. We acquired the names of the fifty most powerful people in every Spanish-speaking nation—presidents, ministers of education, and ministers of health—and inscribed their names in gold on beautiful Vida Study Bibles. These Bibles were then presented to the country leaders through missionary friends and Editorial Vida.

As a result, we received invitations to be the guests of presidents in several countries. But most amazingly, an invitation came from the Minister of Education in the country of El Salvador asking if we would provide the Word of God to every child in every school in the country! God was leading the way and showing us how we were to take His Word to the children of the world.

Our team went to work to develop a harmonized Scripture portion specifically for children and youth. The result was El Libro de Vida, or what is known today as the Book of Hope. At that time, a million children in El Salvador were handed God’s Word.

An Impossible Goal?

My son Rob has, since 2009, carried on the vision of OneHope under the banner of “God’s Word. Every Child.”

Do we think our goal of reaching every child around the world with a contextualized Gospel presentation is possible? It sounds too big—and for us it is—but with God, NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE.

We celebrated reaching our billionth child with God’s Word in February of last year. But we only paused long enough to thank Him for his favor, then kept on going because there is still so much to be done! We have plans to reach nearly 100 million more kids with the Gospel this year through our partnerships with churches, non-profits, schools and governments around the world.

Utilizing research and implementing an outcome-based ministry model has allowed us to develop a variety of tools for churches and other organizations to minister to the wide range of heartfelt needs of children and youth around the world.

We are excited about what God is going to continue to do when we dream big and follow his leading to expand the Kingdom.

Photo: OneHope Founder Bob Hoskins presents the 50 millionth Book of Hope to Tiffany in Peru. She is now reaching her own community with the Gospel. Watch her story here.



Bob HoskinsAfter spending years as a missionary around the world, Bob Hoskins founded the ministry of OneHope in 1987. Since that day he has worked tirelessly to tell each and every child about the love of Jesus, never losing sight of his God-given vision.

updated 4/16

Soccer + Scripture: #FreeKicks (Part 1)

In soccer everyone loves a great free kick. That moment of anticipation between the player’s foot striking the ball and the net of the opponent’s goal bulging like an old onion bag. Whether it is watching David Beckham bend the ball into the top corner, Cristiano Ronaldo’s gunslinger pose before striking a ball that dips unexpectedly, Zlatan Ibrahimović cracking the ball so hard it is like watching Thor unleash his hammer or Roberto Carlos defying physics with his banana weaving heat seeking missile, we all love a great free kick.

But sometimes, in anticipation of the attacker booting a good ball toward the goal and praying it finds the back of the net, we forget to factor in…THE WALL.

If you watch closely you will often see the goalkeeper screaming at his defenders to make a strong wall; usually waving his fingers in the air to indicate how many players he wants strategically lined up in front of the net. Why? Because this defensive formation is paramount to whether or not the opposing team will be able to score. And nothing drives the strange species of sportsman we call “keepers” to lose their decorum like a ball flying through a gap in the wall and whacking the back of their net. | Soccer + Scripture

A gap in your wall is a terrible thing. Proverbs even warns against the dangers of this exact scenario.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.—Proverbs 25:28

As parents, we do everything we can from birth to keep our precious child safe. We put up baby gates and install cabinet locks and outlet covers until they can safely navigate and make safe choices on their own. The same vigilance applies to keeping our children spiritually safe. Until they are able to do it themselves, we must build up strong walls of prayer.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. –Colossians 4:2

So many times in God’s Word we are commanded to be diligent and faithful, constantly in prayer. When we fail to do so, we have gaps in our walls. And it won’t be long before the opposing team finds that gap and exploits it.

We need to make sure that we are standing in the gap in prayer on behalf of our children, teaching them to pray without ceasing so they can fortify their own walls.

It is imperative that we raise the next generation as children who pray so that they will grow into adults who love to pray and recognize the critical importance of prayer. Model and encourage prayer at home and in every situation. Make sure their wall is strong and if there are gaps, stand firm together with them in those gaps. Keep the wall strong so the enemy has no opportunity to break through and score against us.

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David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

6 Bible verses to build a child’s confidence

A child’s self-esteem begins to develop at age 3 or 4[1]

Parents have a huge responsibility of speaking life into their children’s lives and to ensure that, like other parts of their development, their self-esteem is growing and thriving. Without healthy development, a child’s spirit will likely shrivel up and life will become a monotonous routine.

UNDETERRED.NET | KID'S SELF ESTEEMHealthy self-esteem in a child’s life must be rooted in Jesus and His Word.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Satan wants nothing more than for our children to consistently look for self-esteem in all the wrong places. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy every part of our child’s spirit and joy. But the “I” referenced in John 10:10 is the one that came to give life, and not just life, but a life filled to the brim with joy, hope, and love. The “I” is Jesus. The “I” is the One who whispers love and draws us to Himself and His love letter, the Bible.

“Kids don’t need self-esteem, they need God-esteem. If they esteem God they will understand their value but not make too much of themselves.” –Dannah Gresh


Next time you see your son or daughter slumping into feelings of insecurity based on other’s opinions of him or her, remind them of the Truth found in the Bible.

  • They are created in the “image of God” Himself Genesis 1:27
  • They are flawless in God’s eyes Song of Solomon 4:7 because
  • They are the “workmanship” of a perfect God Ephesians 2:10
  • They were created with intention and on purpose! Down to every last hair on their head Luke 12:7
  • God created them and knows them better than they know themselves. They are His children 1 John 3:1
  • They are more valuable than they will ever realize Matthew 10:31

The world defines self-esteem as “a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities”[2]. While others struggle towards this healthy sense of self-worth, the Bible places all of those “feelings” in the person of God. It says our self-esteem is all about Jesus, and it’s not a feeling; it’s a fact.

Teach your children to see themselves through the eyes of the One who created them from the pages of His book. Using the Bible as the basis for self-esteem will help develop a humble, God-fearing spirit that roots their confidence in Christ alone.

Click the button below to download a worksheet your child can use to look up verses in the Bible and build their self-esteem!


Print out and decorate this truth. Hang it on a mirror as a reminder that God has made you amazing! Memorize this verse and be sure to share it with others who might be struggling with their self-worth.


Get a coloring sheet version of this verse by clicking the button below!



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Thanksgiving activity guide

Whether they’re in diapers or dorm rooms, you can take advantage of Thanksgiving to point kids’ hearts in the direction of thankFULLness. We’ve compiled powerful stories, great parenting advice, and even activities to do together that inspire a biblical attitude of gratitude.

Use Thanksgiving and this great FREE resource to help young people focus on what they DO have instead of what they don’t.

Download your Thanksgiving activity guide here!

Give Thanks-04

Other great resources:


How to Raise Stand Strong kids

Whether biological or spiritual, it’s our job to study our children.

UD Raise Kids that Stand Strong-02

A parent who notices a child with musical acuity will provide access to instruments, arrange lessons for formal training, oversee regular practice, cheer for success, and encourage when momentum is lost.

If a child seems to be a math or football prodigy, parents will scrutinize schools, coaches, and programs, taking every opportunity to intentionally set their child on a path that will ultimately lead to success.

But are Christian parents being as intentional with the spiritual growth of children? Are we doing everything we can to set our kids up to be successful in real life situations, where they are equipped and able to stand strong in the face of negative influences? Or are we so busy focusing on honing their ancillary interests that we’re leaving their spiritual education and growth to chance?

Because we have worked with millions of children around the world and done the research, we know that a successful formula exists to raise spiritually strong children. In a culture that strives to feed our kids the most nutritious foods, access to the best education, expose them to the most diverse experiences, and not deprive them from growing up to be the most well-rounded individuals, I don’t understand why parents wouldn’t be as meticulous and intentional in their children’s spiritual growth and development. The global Attitudes and Behaviors of Youth (ABY) survey clearly showed three main influences that allowed young people to stand strong against the negative influences the world throws at them.

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We call this the “trifecta”.

Intentionally providing access to and activity in these three areas of your child’s life will help them resist negative behaviors and engage in more positive ones instead. Yet each one takes intentionality. Family  Faith community (Church) and the Bible (Religious texts).  Spiritual discipleship of our children is not an option, it’s a command.

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Positive family experiences

Do you have to be a pastor to disciple children spiritually? No. God has given us all we need.

UD Raise Kids that Stand Strong-04 UD Raise Kids that Stand Strong-06 UD Raise Kids that Stand Strong-05

Involvement in a faith community It is extremely important for children to be plugged into a faith community, like their church, that helps develop their spiritual training.

Yet the church has a much more limited amount of time with a child—as illustrated below. While a faith community is key, the most important entity in a child’s life is a parent—biological or spiritual. A church only has about forty hours in a given year to directly influence a child. On average, a parent has closer to 3,000 hours in the same year.[1] UD Raise Kids that Stand Strong-07Engagement in religious texts

We believe the only way a life can be transformed is through believing and accepting the Truth found in the Bible. God’s Word is more than enough for any situation we face. It is beyond what each of us deserves. (Romans 6:23) God’s Word is powerful and alive (Hebrews 4:12).

“The primary purpose of reading the Bible is not to know the Bible but to know God.”― James Merritt

“You Christians look after a document containing enough dynamite to blow all civilization to pieces, turn the world upside down and bring peace to a battle-torn planet.”― Mahatma Gandhi

“A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education.”—Theodore Roosevelt

The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they ma enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.—A.W. Tozer

Like the intentional parent providing access to instruments, training, and encouraging practice, we ought to be doing the same with God’s Word. There are a lot of great resources you can use as they grow through different ages and stages of life, here are just a few:


While Bible reading seems to be trending downward [2], 62 percent of Americans wish they read their Bible more. People say they’re too busy to read the Bible, and yet – people want to read the Bible. [3] As Christians, we are responsible to instill a sense of destiny in our children. We must do everything in our power to invite them to carry on the torch of their spiritual legacy, training them to become faithful Christians. This type of spiritual growth and maturity happens when they become students of the Word, engage in regular Christian fellowship, and take part in positive family experiences.

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[1] Joiner, Reggie. Think Orange: Imagine the Impact when Church and Family Collide David C. Cook, June 2009, p.85.

Face time

Being a parent can be depleting and exhausting at times—most of the time during some seasons of parenthood. I often need a reminder to be confident that our God keeps His face turned toward us.

My daughter loves to have me read in her bed with her. This has been true since Maddie got her first “big girl” bed when she was 4. Now that she’s 15, I read my own book and she reads hers, but one thing has always been true: we have to lie face to face. She hates it when I get tired of laying the same way and want to turn over. She has two reasons. First, she likes me to face her if she needs to tell me something. Second, she hates the way it “feels” when I have my back towards her.

God’s perfect love means He always makes His face available to me—access if I need to talk or just need the “feeling” of knowing He is present.

Sometimes I try to covertly turn away, thinking Maddie is so absorbed in what she is doing that she won’t notice. It never works. She always says, “No, turn your face to me.” When she says that, it melts my heart and no matter how much my back aches, I turn my face to hers.

My daughter is able to express to me what I am sometimes unable to express to God. I don’t always do a good job acknowledging that I need to see God’s face. Sometimes, it’s worse than that. I think I’ve got things under control in my life and I’m the one turning away. Still God waits with His face toward me.

Evidence of God’s face-to-face orientation to us is Jesus. God sent Jesus into the darkness to be our light. We may turn away from God, but He had a plan from the beginning to be able to keep His face turned toward us.

Here are some application ideas of this biblical concept for families in any stage:


God is eternal, like the circle of your wedding band. I have a habit of turning my band around and around on my finger. Maybe you have a similar habit or maybe just the visual cue of your wedding band can remind you of our eternal God’s face being turned toward you today. In the craziness of life it can be easy to forget this simple truth. It can also be easy to be turned in opposite directions as a couple. Do you need to turn toward your spouse or do you need to ask for them to turn towards you?

Family with kids in early elementary

If you read with your kids today, lie face to face. Talk with them about how it feels to be facing each other and how it feels when one of you turns their back to the other. Even though it is difficult for a child to understand that God doesn’t have a literal face, make the connection that God is always turned toward us. He is always present and available to your family.

Family with kids in late elementary

During this stage of family life it can feel like you are shifting to more of a sideline observer than participant with your kids. Often this is quite literal-you watch them play a sport or instrument from the sidelines instead of actually playing with them. If watching has replaced being with for you and your kids, think about moments you can create face-to-face time. Consider face-to-face rather than shoulder-to-shoulder in the car.  Even if it is brief, a few minutes at breakfast or bedtime; create space for looking into each other’s eyes. The value that communicates to your kids is huge.

Family with teenagers

It is a bit ironic that we have technology like FaceTime and Facebook, but our actual face-to-face time with family can be challenging to find. Ask each other how you are doing with face-to-face connections. Maybe technology has been helpful in connecting your family, or maybe it’s been a distraction. Talk about the pros and cons of connecting through technology. Try creating space today or soon to have a conversation about how your family can be intentional about getting some face-to-face time with each other. It won’t happen if you don’t make a plan.

005-L_BohnLisa Bohn serves as the Parent Engagement Specialist on the New Ministries team at Awana®. Fueled by a strong leadership background, personal ministry and parenting experience, Lisa has a strategic passion to come alongside families in the adventure of parenting and following Christ as a family. She and her husband Kenton have two teenagers, Ian and Maddie, and live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Follow Lisa @lisabohn3 on the Awana blog