IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 24 NOTES

In this EPISODE, we talk about the biggest, deepest, most foundational question of all humanity – who do you think you are? In answering that question, we take a look at Mark Driscoll’s book and study guide of the same name.

This book is a study of the biblical book of Ephesians and pulls out fifteen powerful statements that define who we are when we are “in Christ”. Among them are the concepts that we are Saints, Adopted, Heard and Accepted. It further helps us see that we often look to wrong things to find our identity when we should be looking to our Creator.

Here’s a great acronym to help us evaluate if we are looking in the wrong places (IDOL):

  1. Items – the trap of materialism
  2. Duties – the trap of leaning on our own strength and ability
  3. Others – the trap of putting others in a place that only God can fill
  4. Longings – the trap of wanting things our way rather than God’s way

Some ideas to help parents have this conversation with their children is:

  1. Read the book of Ephesians and pull out the identity statements found there.
  2. Consider getting Mark Driscoll’s book WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? and its companion Study Guide.
  3. Find ways to affirm our God given identity in ours and our children’s lives. Some of the ways we do that is change our language and check our goals.

Until next week – Be Abnormal!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 23 NOTES

In this EPISODE we unpack the phenomenon that many of our children look more to YouTube and Instagramers as celebrity heroes than they do movie actors and rock stars. This becomes a particularly challenging topic as we realize these social media channels are helping shape our children’s worldviews.

We take some recent podcasts from popular YouTubers Rhett and Link as a case study. Rhett and Link – who grew up in church, were involved in ministry leadership, and were even missionaries for a time – recently came out with stories on their podcast Ear Biscuits explaining how they have moved away from their Christian faith. If you would like to hear the podcasts, you can find Rhett’s story here and Link’s story here. However, I would caution you to use great discretion in sharing these with your child.

As we move to helping our young people process these kinds of stories and voices – those that challenge our Christian faith and worldview – here are a few ideas on approach:

  1. Acknowledge that this is real. These people are real and in many cases our young people feel very relationally connected to them.
  2. Create space for doubt and discussion. We will be doing an entire episode on this topic in a few weeks but we encourage you to delve into the deep concepts of faith development and ask some scary questions to help your kids process and own their faith.
  3. Teach them to evaluate the voices and channels in their lives. Help them to not just take every statement at face value. Advise them of some counterpoints to consider. Introduce them to some deep Christian thinkers to help them. A few we mentioned were Josh and Sean McDowell and Lee Strobel, for starts.
  4. Make it personal! As our kids wrestle and struggle through what they believe, we must guide them to truth but do it through biblical grace and with a great sense of belonging. Help them know you are in this with them. Remember this is a process; not a product.

Closing challenges were to ask your child about what YouTube or Social Media voices they are listening to and ask some questions. Also we encourage you to SUBSCRIBE so you don’t miss any of our exciting upcoming content! Until then Be Abnormal!!

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 22 NOTES

In this EPISODE, we talk about some of the great reasons and ways to inspire adventure for your family. If you aren’t sick of streaming Netflix, we encourage you to check out last week’s episode – What Are You Binging on Netflix? for some suggestions. We also encourage you to check out Episode 8 – Drinking Coffee and Rites of Passage for more ideas on inspiring your children to meaningful experiences.

A couple of resources for further ideas and research that we highlighted in this episode were

  1. John Sower’s The Heroic Path. This is particularly a great read for parents of boys.
  2. Bob Goff’s Everybody Always. An inspiring book with lots of adventure and stories to help us see how to become who God wants us to be.

As we talked about inspiring adventure that helps our children find purpose, ownership and confidence, here were a few suggestions:

  1. Raise a baby animal.
  2. Build a fort.
  3. Get a tent and literally camp in your own backyard.
  4. Plant something. If you are looking for seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a great mail order option with lots of unique choices.
  5. Have some friendly family competitions. Check out Dude Perfect if you need some inspiration.
  6. Do something new with your kids you’ve never done before. If you are really feeling adventurous, offer to make a tiktok video with them.
  7. Remodel a room. Do a significant task together, letting your child make some of the decisions and learn something new.

There are obviously lots of other ways you can inspire adventure while still staying at home. We’d love to hear some of your ideas in the comments. Until next time…Be Abnormal.

IS THAT NORMAL? Podcast – Episode 21 NOTES

In this EPISODE, we talk about the phenomenon of media streaming. Media consumption and teenagers go hand in hand. You add to it the increased fluidity of our schedules during this current time, and a parent can feel really overwhelmed. How do I monitor? What is okay to watch? How do I help my kids make healthy media choices?

We cover the importance of having a plan for screen time as well as monitoring what your children watch. In addition to discussions and checking histories, we recommend using‘s Parent Guides and Common Sense Media to check out content of Movies and TV before watching. We also mentioned Vidangel, which is a subscription based filtering service for streamed content.

We also gave some recommendations for family watching that are currently on three of the major streaming services. We would make the caveats that most of these films are not overtly Christian but lend themselves to good discussion with teenagers. Some of them might not be appropriate for younger viewers, so make sure you use one of the content monitors we mentioned previously to make your decision to watch.

  1. AMAZON PRIME: We mentioned some of the mini-series adaptations of good literature such as Little Dorrit, Dr. Thorne, and the 2018 version of Little Women. A few movies we mentioned that would be good for older teens to watch and discuss are The Passion of the Christ, Lars and the Real Girl and A Quiet Place.
  2. DISNEY+: This new service (which is offering free accounts to Verizon customers through the end of this year) has a lot of good, family entertainment. A couple of standout DISNEY+ original movies are Togo and Timmy Failure. Both are good for the whole family.
  3. NETFLIX: While we feel that this service is the least family friendly, it does have a few gems. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an excellent original film. There are also some old family classics on there like Groundhog Day and Yours, Mine, and Ours.

Ultimately we always come back to the encouragement to be intentional in helping your children make choices about what they are watching. And also be engaged to discuss with them what worldviews are present in current media and how that compares to our Christian worldview and values. So this week, watch something fun as a family, have good conversations about why we believe what we believe, and Be Abnormal!