Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 69 – If You Just Tuned In!

In the world of ultimate optionality, we hope to be a consistent guide for parents of particularly teens and young adults. We started this podcast in order to have a platform to share important ideas and resources to help lead our children towards a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ while keeping our own sanity!

If you are new to our podcast, here are some ideas on great prior episodes to check out:

Listen to the episode for lots of other highlights of prior content and our heart for raising children to be Abnormal! Connect with us for upcoming episodes or to share your questions and feedback. You can do that through our Facebook Page, Instagram Account, YouTube Channel, or our website – You can also subscribe to our email list so you don’t miss a single episode! Until next time…Be Abnormal!!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 68 – Family Discipleship: A Book REVIEW

In this episode, we review Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin’s book Family Discipleship: Leading Your Home Through Time, Moments, & Milestones. We highly recommend this resource for parents who are wanting to be intentional about raising their family to follow Christ. We found the book to be a very practical guide on how to use the normal routines of life for passing on our faith in Jesus.

We cover how this book is:


The book is broken into simple chapters that suggest we organize a discipleship plan around:

  • MODELING. We have to start with our own relationship and response to Christ.
  • TIME: Using the natural rhythms of life to read God’s Word, pray, and serve with our families
  • MOMENTS: Watching and being ready for those teachable moments where we can share truth about God.
  • MILESTONES: Using those milestones and markers of life such as birthdays, holidays, and graduations to offer faith challenges.

We encourage you to check out this book and begin making a tangible discipleship plan for your family. You can also check out this recent sermon Mark shared at Calvary Chapel Church where he talks more about some of these concepts. We also invite you to connect with us. You can do that through our Facebook Page, Instagram Account, YouTube Channel, or our website – You can also subscribe to our email list so you don’t miss a single episode! Until next time…Be Abnormal!!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 67 – What To Do When You Blow It With Your Kids!

Here are some highlights of the steps we discussed in responding to our “blowing it” moments with our kids:

  • Don’t be passive. We need to be initiative and intentional in our response.
  • Make seeking God a priority. Our healing and forgiveness starts with confessing our sins to God and asking for His grace. He almost always then challenges us to seek and offer forgiveness to others.
  • Say “I’m sorry” with no “buts” attached.
  • Maintain an attitude of brokenness. We need to model humility and a reliance on God.

If you missed the first part of this series – Episode 66 – What To Do When Your Kids Blow It – make sure to check that out. We also recommend Dr. Tim Kimmel’s book “Why Christian Kids Rebel” if you want to dig deeper into these issues. Until next time… Be Abnormal.

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 66 – What To Do When Your Kids Blow It!

While “blowing it” could mean everything from ignorance to out-and-out rebellion, there are some common things to remember when responding to your children’s failure:

  • Remember the Goal. We aren’t just trying to fix a problem; we are guiding a life.
  • Recognize their increasing need for independence. Allowing their own decisions and natural consequences is super valuable.
  • Value the relationship. We are fighting for them; not with them. Make a safe place for them to repent and restore.

So here’s some of the practical ideas we shared on how to do those things:

  • Start with God and His Truth. Realize God has more control, desire, and influence for your child than you do.
  • Don’t try to save face. Don’t apologize, sanitize, or hide their failures for them.
  • Let consequences do their job.
  • Keep communication open.

Several of our ideas we shared came from Dr. Tim Kimmel’s book “Why Christian Kids Rebel”. It’s a great resource if you want to dig deeper into these issues. Make sure to check out our next episode as we look at the other side of this “blowing it” problem. Until then, Be Abnormal!

I Recommend…

We live in what they call the “Recommendation Age”. The volume of information and options we have at our fingertips is mind-boggling. So we need others to help us curate what we read, wear, watch, eat, and care about!

Over the years of being a leader, pastor, and now podcaster, I’ve found myself more and more often being one of those curators. I often hear myself saying, “I recommend [insert relevant book or resource here].” Recently, I’ve caught myself particularly recommending a few books over and over again. I find these books personally, spiritually, and parentally helpful.

So if you are looking for a good read or resource, I particularly recommend:

These three books have challenged and shaped my thinking on some of the most pressing and important issues of raising my children for Christ in our current culture. Check one of them out this week.

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 65 – Making the Cut!

In this episode our friend and school administrator Jared Wallace brings a wealth of insight and experience to the discussion of extracurricular activities. Jared has been a coach, teacher, ag sponsor, principal and has just been hired as a superintendent. He is also a husband, father, and follower of Jesus.

Here are some of the big take aways from our discussion:

  • Extracurricular activities are a great tool to build character and life skills. Whether on a team or in a competition, there are so many situations that teach you about perseverance, hard-work, people skills, and dealing with failure. These are invaluable.
  • We must keep the goal in perspective. We want our children to be successful, but we must also support them in the losses as well. There is something greater going on here than a record sheet.
  • Make the most of your time together. Jared points out that parent support changes over time but must be made a priority. Invest in your child early and support them as they grow into organized activities.

As for some practical advice, here are a few thoughts from the episode:

  • Focus in. It’s okay to encourage variety, but consider limiting to one activity at a time.
  • Make best choices for your family. Evaluate what your child is ready for and what creates the best rhythm for your family
  • Prioritize family and faith.
  • Have fun! Enjoy this time with your children as you help them discover interests and abilities.

We also mentioned a great resource – Greg Dale’s book The Fulfilling Ride: A Parent’s Guide to Helping Athletes Have a Successful Sport Experience.

Until next time…Be Abnormal

The Power of “I Don’t Know?!?!”

We love interacting with and helping parents, but we don’t have it all figured out. We run into roadblocks, challenges, and failures with the young people in our lives all the time.

One thing we often mention is how important communication is with young people – learning how to listen, ask the right questions, be available. But I [Mark] have one particular young person in my household who challenges that all of the time. When I ask open ended questions to foster communication and relationship, I often get the answer “I don’t know?”. I’ve had to figure out better and different strategies (and employ a lot of patience) to continue fostering open communication with this child.

We are still learning, and we want to share that journey with you so you can learn along with us. The famous aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun once said, “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” And that attitude got us to the moon! So don’t let the “I don’t know”s make you feel like a failure; let’s turn those around!

I was reading in 1 Corinthians this week and chapter 2 reminds us that we are to be “explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” (vs 13). However, we cannot do that by our wisdom, but we must humbly seek the wisdom that only comes from God. So here are three steps to take this week as you continue raising your children for Christ:

  • Be honest. Don’t be afraid to admit when you know! Humility begets openness from others.
  • Search together. As we or our children have questions about faith, life, our world, or their struggles, we must foster a culture where we search for the answers in the right place. Take your children on that journey with you. When you are a part of the process, you own the answer.
  • Make it spiritual. Our ultimate goal is not just to have fully-functioning, self-sufficient humans, but to lead our children to live surrendered lives following Christ the King. Pray for and with your children. Share Scripture with your children. Talk about your spiritual journey. Ask them about their spiritual journey. And welcome questions about their faith, because that means they are thinking about spiritual things. And that is the goal!

We’d love to connect with you and be on the journey with you. You can comment on this post, reach out to us through our Facebook or Instagram accounts, or email us direct at Until next time, Be Abnormal!