Launch Day: A Tribute to John Turansky

Reflections from Ed Miller...

Today is "Launch Day" for 
Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller's new book, Motivate Your Child.  We're very excited about this new book, but this is not going to be the typical Launch Day Blog Post with a lot of hype and promotion. On the contrary, this post is a tribute to a man who embodied the tenants set forth in Motivate Your Child. I want to honor Pastor John Turansky for a life well lived. He cared deeply about the internal spiritual development of his children and grandchildren and everyone else around him. I'd like to share a few stories with you about this wonderful man and his family.

The Turansky Men - A Legacy of Faith
I've had the privilege of knowing the Turansky Family for more than 25 years. I was part of the team that called Scott to come with his family from Hawaii to New Jersey to serve with us on our pastoral staff. Our families have worked closely together ever since. I can't remember the first time that I met John and Shirley Turansky, but I do remember hearing John preach one Sunday when they visited us. He was very passionate about teaching the Scripture and very eager for followers of Christ to live out Biblical principles in every day life. John always ended his sermons with the words "So what?" and challenged us to apply what we heard to our hearts and lives.

John shared that same passion for teaching God's Word to his children. If you've ever heard Scott speak, you've heard him tell one of the many stories from "Family Times" with his father. He loves to tell about the time that Pastor John gathered the kids together in a closet with a flashlight and taught them about how Jesus is the Light of the World. Or maybe you heard the story about how John gathered them together when they were older to write a commentary on the Book of Proverbs. I remember John sharing about having the kids get pots and pans from the kitchen and march around singing a Scripture song while banging like crazy. (Shirley must have loved those times!)

John and Shirley Turansky
John was a man who was dedicated to passing the faith on to his children. He used creativity and passion to make it all come alive. Today, Scott shares about the importance of "Family Time" and discipleship at home at every live seminar. Before his health began to fail, John would often travel with us and lead a portion of a live seminar where he'd speak on the importance of the role of grandparents. He modeled this as well with his grandchildren through creative and energetic discussions and Scripture Memory. 

The Turansky Family will come together from all over the world next week to honor the life and legacy of John and Shirley Turansky. Our families are very close and we've been together recently for a number of family weddings. We're hoping that next week our  whole family will be able to fly from New Jersey to Los Angeles to join in this celebration of a life well lived. Most of the family members were able to say their farewells to John earlier this month while they were together. They're planning next week's event as a joyous celebration of family life and ministry. John will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on.

Please leave a comment or note for the Turanskys.


Milan Tomic

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  1. Here's what one mom shared yesterday. I LOVE, LOVE your books! I have a 9, 6 and 1.5 yr old and we are switching out parenting technique thanks to you both. However, trying to undue the past 9 years is quite difficult, I think more so for me as the mom :-(. I LOVE all your application. Yours is the first book that I have found that actually puts what we can say in quotes! LOVE THAT! Keep it up PLEASE! :-)

    1. I couldn't agree more! Even having the privilege to present some of these materials to other parents, and working to integrate them into our family for a few years, old habits do die hard. I find that I still have to work intentionally on a daily basis to do what is right, not just what is easy. Thank you, Joanne and Scott, for sharing your love for families and your practical, biblical advice. I can see the positive benefits it is having on our family.

  2. Thanks for this great tribute, Ed. We are grateful for you, Joanne, Tim, Dave, and Amanda. It's wonderful to have family and friends who share the love of Christ and commitment to ministry.

  3. My dad was a special man. He's the one who made a greatest impact on me in many ways, but particularly spiritually. He trained me to know and love God and to understand his ways from early childhood. Much of my work now to help parents pass the faith on to their kids was inspired by my own relationship with my father who loved the Lord and communicated to us as kids what it meant to serve him at any age. It's amazing to think about how one man can affect so many people. I'm grateful for my father. Many many people will benefit from his work in our family and in my life. --Scott Turansky

  4. I remember stories of how John Turansky traveled around from church to church equipping children's workers to empower kids with an active faith. He wanted to see Sunday School be more than babysitting! John was doing Family Ministry long before the current trend. He was a man of vision and love for children, love for the family, and love for God.

  5. What a moving tribute. I am a grateful recipient of your father's legacy through your work, Scott. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  6. Brenda and I had the privilege of attending PIBC when we lived in Mililani Town for a few years. There we met John and Shirley, and were drawn into this man's dedication and heart for sharing God's Word. I remember each sermon ending with "So what; how does this apply to me?"

    Even today, as I teach my own weekly Bible study, I often quote what I learned from John, I remember those days of worship at "Kiddie Club"; "warm fuzzy time" in the service; baptisms and "ohana" time at Alii Beach; church retreats at the camp on the north side of Oahu; my 6am weekly discipleship time in John's home where we spurred each other on to memorize Scripture; workdays painting the church (in fact, Brenda and I mused that maybe John's heavenly mansion is painted with a mixture of paints left over in his heavenly neighbors' garages - PIBC people will remember those times ;-) ).

    So what? How does this apply to me? John was the one pastor who made me understand what it meant to be a Dad and what it meant to study the Bible. Until we meet again ...

  7. Anyone who knew John has a precious memory of him and many of those already stated are mutual. Each time I look at my bookshelf I think of John for while we were living in Hawaii he encouraged me to attend The Institute In Basic Youth Conflicts in Texas and while there I purchased the big, hard cover book "Character Sketches" which I refer to often when writing for or teaching children. John touched my life - and I grew