Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 102 – Die Hard, Advent, and Talking About Baby Jesus

In this last episode of 2022, Randell and Mark talk about the season of Advent and preparing for Christmas. They also make a big announcement – starting in 2023, the Is That Normal? Podcast will be going to a seasonal format. Be watching for the next season in early Spring 2023!

Here’s some of the important links and resources from this episode:

Until next year…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 101 – Talking Bout My Generation!

Randell and Mark are joined in this episode by youth leader, IT guru, BBQ aficionado, and relative Tyler Boggs! Tyler is the current Youth Leader at Calvary Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.

In this episode the three of them talk about the different experiences of faith between generations as well as the role that adults play in those experiences. Tyler also talks about the importance of parental involvement in youth ministry and his hope for this generation.

They also have a great conversation about rebel tunes. Until next time…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 100 – 100 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Young People!

We are so excited to make it to our 100th episode. Thanks for joining us on this journey. We’d love to hear from you about your favorite or the most helpful parts of our podcast.

In today’s episode we give a quick list of 100 things everyone should know about young people. It comes as a compilation of some of the big issues and thoughts we’ve covered up to this point. We hope you enjoy it!

We are looking forward to our next 100 episodes. We’ve got a lot of great content, resources, and relevant voices planned for the near future. Plan to join us and…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 99 – For the Faith of the Next Generation REVIEW

In this episode we take a look at a great new resource from Randall House publishingFor the Faith of the Next Generation by Julie Kurz. Randall House is the publisher of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. They are committed to a philosophy of supporting parents and leaders in a family approach to discipleship.

We encourage you to check out both Randall House and this new book with has great practical ideas on family health and collective faith.

Until next time…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 98 – New School Year Resolutions

It’s Back-To-School time and that brings fall sports, new outfits and the freshest trapper keepers and themed lunch boxes (or at least that’s what it meant for us!). But it is also a great time to make start or restart some good habits.

Here are the suggestions we make in this episode:

  1. Get up a little bit earlier.
  2. Make family Bible reading and prayer time a priority.
  3. Encourage intentional friendships.
  4. Evaluate extracurricular commitments.
  5. Make a reading plan. YouVersion and the Foundations Devotional are two great resources.
  6. Look for service opportunities.
  7. Make a routine prayer time for schools
  8. Welcome and include new people.
  9. Bless a teacher.
  10. Enjoy the season.

Try out a couple of these suggestions this week. Also send us your best advice or greatest stories as we prepare for our 100th episode. You can contact us at Be Abnormal.

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 97 – 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager REVIEW

We all have questions. Teenagers have LOTS of questions. As parents, one of our biggest challenges is how to answer and direct those questions. Kara Powell and Brad Griffin’s book 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager is here to help!

In this episode we review this book, which is a continuation of previous research work done by Fuller Youth Institute, and discuss how it can help us point our children to the better answers Jesus gives.

In my two decades as a youth pastor, I was asked a lot of questions by teenagers.  The three most common were as follows:

  • “How far is too far to go with my boyfriend/girlfriend?”
  • “Can I have a soda out of the church fridge?”
  • “What is God’s will for my life?”

While I was always glad to address these and the dozens of other questions, what I really wanted to do was help them realize the real questions behind their questions.  Powell and Griffin point out that all of humanity (which includes teenagers) have three basic questions: 

  1. Who Am I? (The Question of Identity)
  2. Where Do I Fit? (The Question of Belonging)
  3. What Difference Can I Make? (The Question of Purpose)

This research driven book is a must-have resource for youth workers, parents, and concerned adults.  In it they help us realize the flaws in how we tend to answer those questions and push us to discover the better answers that Jesus gives.  They also include very practical tools to help you ask the young people in your life good questions.  It helped remind me all people (young and old) are looking for ways to find identity, belonging and purpose.  May we take the time to listen to the questions people are asking and help direct them to the answers Jesus gives! Be Abnormal.

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 96 – Live from CIY!

In this “live on location” episode, Mark and Randell interview some youth leaders about their CIY MOVE Conference experience and give some thoughts on how parents can engage their students who attended.

Check out CIY.COM to learn more. Here are some of the take-home highlights to discuss with your child if they attended CIY MOVE:

  • How were you challenged by the theme of forgiveness?
  • Did you open a Kingdom Worker card? If so, how can I help you engage with your challenge?
  • What are some of the spiritual habits or routines you liked at CIY MOVE? How are you planning to continue those now that you are home?

Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 95 – Ice Cream, Abortion, and Other Polarizing Things

While we all might like different flavors of ice cream, it’s not hard to find common ground. So many of the other issues facing us today aren’t as easy, and we might find ourselves on opposite sides with our own family. In this episode we explore why and how to engage in discussion over these divisive topics.

Our kids are going to form opinions – oftentimes strong opinions – on the current cultural hot buttons. Issues like LGBTQ+ rights, gender identity, racial reconciliation, abortion, and a myriad of tough political issues permeate the social conscience and social media.

Here’s a few thoughts on how to engage discussion with our family:

  • Ask good questions that lead to understanding the other sides position.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Stick to the facts. Do your homework.
  • Point to the truth, and remember that truth is a person – Jesus!
  • Have the hardest conversations along with food. Food makes everything better!
  • Pray for solutions. Take a look at Psalm 103:6 together.

Remember this is a process. Invite your children to go on the journey of finding the truth of these issues together. Until next time…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 94 – Winning the Battle; Not the Argument

It’s normal for us to have conflict if we live with other humans. What shouldn’t be normal is having habits of unhealthy responses. In this episode, we discuss some of the reasons for conflict and some steps to resolving those conflicts.

Here’s an overview of the steps we discuss:

  1. Identify the Source. Some common culprits are false concepts, bitterness, high expectation of others, low expectation of self, and outside distractions.
  2. Own your part. Use “I” rather than “You” language. Don’t allow a blame culture.
  3. Set healthy, relational, and realistic goals
  4. Set up a meeting to address the problems
  5. Encourage forgiveness
  6. Identify what we can agree on and best next steps.

Realize this is a process and a cycle. Get comfortable resolving conflict. One resource we talk about in this episode is Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally. Check out their book or Is That Normal? Episode 72 where we review their book. Be Abnormal!

Summer Memories

The last few weeks have been full ones for our families. Summer is in full swing and that means unusual schedules, exciting adventures, and memorable moments. Because of that, we won’t be having a new podcast episode this week (just couldn’t seem to fit that in with everything else going on). We’ll be back on schedule in two weeks with a brand new episode about conflict resolution!

Until then, we’d love to hear from you about what kind of summer plans and memories you have going on. Here’s a a few highlights for us:

Vacation to Innsbrook, MO where we hiked, waded, and collected lots of bug bites in the woods.

Fishing and berry picking on our farm.

Trying new things at an Affogato Bar.

Taking the “whole crew” to a movie!

Please share with us your stories and memories in the comments. If you missed the last two episodes, they give great ideas on making summer vacation plans and having a spiritually successful summer. Until next time, Be Abnormal!