Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 84 – The Superpower of Empathy!

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Superspeed? Flight? Reading Minds?

What if you could connect with and understand the young people in your life? Now that would be a superpower! In this episode we talk about the power of empathy and how we can develop it.

Here’s some highlights from the episode:

  • Empathy = Notice + Care
  • Notice takes Listening
  • Listening takes Asking Good Questions
  • Care takes an Investment
  • Don’t let your Perceived Experiences or Preferences keep you from forming Empathy.

Several of the concepts we used came from Fuller Youth Institute. Check out their website and parent resources. We also encourage you to fill our our Parent Survey. We’ll be talking about the results in an episode next month! Be Abnormal!

Where We Need the Most Help and Advice

This excerpt from Episode 83 – What Parents Need! shares one of the biggest concerns for parents of teens and young adults – Spiritual Development.

We want to invite your feedback by filling out our Parent Survey. This survey is meant to help us continue providing the best ideas and resources for the needs of your family. We will be highlighting the results in an episode in mid-February. Stay tuned and Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 83 – What Parents Need!

As we enter a new year, we look forward to continuing to provide episodes full of great ideas and resources for parents. And we need your help to do it!

We are asking our listeners (and any parent or concerned adult who is willing) to fill out a short survey giving us some feedback. The survey should only take about 15 minutes and will allow you to share some of what has been helpful and what you are needing more of. You can fill out the survey here.

We hope that your feedback will help us improve our podcast as well as identify the biggest issues facing our listener’s families. Here’s a few of the big issues that we highlight in this episode:

  • Spiritual Development
  • Mental Health
  • Social Justice
  • Purpose and Direction

We encourage you to take the survey, listen to this episode and then join us in two weeks as we help you unleash the power of empathy! Be Abnormal!


There is no new podcast today. We will be returning next Tuesday – January 4th – with a brand new episode for a brand new year!

As we look forward to 2022, we are excited to continue partnering with parents to help raise our children for the cause of Christ! Here’s a little preview of some of our upcoming episodes:

  • The Superpower of Empathy
  • Social Media Do’s & Don’t’s
  • Helping Your Child Find Help
  • How to Talk to Your Teenager
  • Having Fun on a Budget!

We look forward to sharing these and other topics in the upcoming weeks. We would also love to hear from you. You can comment on our episodes and posts. You can reach us via social media at Facebook or Instagram. Or you can email us directly at

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 82 – Finding Truth in Fiction

We all have our favorite stories. We find them in books and movies and fairy tales. But why do these stories capture our imaginations? It’s because they all have elements of the true story of God and His work among His people.

In this episode, we talk about how to identify those truths and use them to guide our families closer to God. Here’s some of the action steps:

  • Make sure your family sees how compelling the true story is. Get your family reading and engaging with the Bible to see it’s truth and relevance to their lives.
  • Engage in fiction stories with them. Find out the stories they love and share in them. We really encourage you to read books along with your kids. Here’s a few of the ones we mentioned in the podcast: The Hobbit, C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, Brave New World.
  • Make Sure your family sees themselves in the story. Use these stories to ask the deep questions of life. Where to you identify? Who do you want to be more like? How would you have responded?

Take some time this week to share in some stories with your family! Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 81 – YouVersion and Your Family

The YouVersion Bible app is one of the best modern tools for engaging with God’s Word. Just recently this app achieved 500 million downloads, which represents lives, families, and households who are being impacted by the power of Scripture!

This episode highlights some great ways to use this tool for yourself and your family in your walk with Jesus.

  1. Use the Bible Reading Plans. There are a wealth of devotionals and plans to help you read through the Bible and apply it to your life. Here are a few we really like: The Curious Questions of Jesus, Reading Galatians with Spurgeon, and Peace on Earth: A 5-Day Advent Devo.
  2. Make Friends. The social aspect of this app is a really great way to hold yourself and others accountable. Use this function to see what others are reading and even read the same plans together.
  3. Highlighting and Verse Images. These functions help make a record of the things God is teaching you.
  4. Stories and Verse of the Day. These functions have been a really great way to do family devotions and spark spiritual conversation.

So we encourage you to get the app, pick a plan, make some friends and start letting God’s Word change your lives! Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 80 – Do You See What I See?

In this episode, we take a look at worldviews!

In this diverse world, there are numerous ways to look at life. We just have to help ourselves and the young people in our lives find the right one! Here’s some of the highlights of our discussion.

Every worldview answers what it believes about six key things:

  • God
  • Humanity
  • Salvation
  • Authority
  • Time
  • Jesus

Here’s a few starting points on how to connect our families to the right worldview:

  • Ask them what they think their worldview is.
  • Lean towards exploration rather than indoctrination
  • Begin looking for “worldview moments” and point them out.
  • Share why you hold to your worldview.

If you are looking for some further resources, check out Focus on the Family and Sean McDowell’s website. Also, if you are interested in that Grow Games and Icebreakers App, check it out here. Until next time…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 79 – Great Ways to Set Boundaries

Have you ever said “yes” to too many commitments? Do you sometimes want to say “no” to even the best requests? Have you ever realized too late that you ran a relational stop sign? If so, you might have a boundary problem!

In this episode, Mark and Randell discuss the habit of boundary setting. As a part of that discussion, they share some ideas from a great resource – “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. You can check out more information about their research at

Here’s a few highlights from the episode:

  • Defining boundaries means we must have a clear understanding of who we are, what we own, and what our responsibilities are.
  • Identifying where we struggle in what we say and what we hear is key to developing better boundaries.
  • We have to learn to say “yes” to the right things and “no” to the wrong things.
  • Regular discussions with our family are a good evaluation tool.
  • Boundaries aren’t set overnight. And even when they are set, they will need constant attention.

We hope this information sets you on the path to making healthier boundaries in your life and the lives of those around you. Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son

In our most recent podcast episode – #78: Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter – we reviewed Vicki Courtney’s book of the same title. If you’ve already went through that material or if you are just wondering “But what about my son?”, we want to recommend Vicki’s other book – Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son.

In this very accessible read, Courtney covers the same five conversations – just from the perspective of what your son is experiencing. We strongly recommend reading both of these valuable books and having these life-changing conversations with your sons and daughters.

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 78 – Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter REVIEW

In this episode, we review Vicki Courtney’s book Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter. This great resource covers some of the tough but necessary conversations we must have with the young women in our families.

Here are those conversations:

  1. Don’t let culture define you. We must help our daughters define beauty from God’s standards.
  2. Guard your heart. We must help our daughters discern which voices should shape their views, thoughts and beliefs. Parents need to be good listeners and provide a safe place as we help them reflect these issues.
  3. Respect you body and your sexuality. We need to be committed to having age-appropriate conversations with our daughters about the issues surrounding sex. (Check out our Episode 71 – Let’s Talk about Sex for more thoughts on this conversation.)
  4. Realize childhood is only for a season. We need to help our daughters imagine a healthy adult future for themselves.
  5. Know that you are who you have been becoming. We need to help our daughters take inventory of where they are on their path so they can continue heading to the future that God wants for them. Proverbs 31 is a good tool to use in these times of reflection.

We encourage you to start and/or continue these conversations with your daughters. Until next time, Be Abnormal!