Vol. 5 Issue 5 | February 2, 2019

Vol. 5 Issue 5 | February 2, 2019

Three Things This Week

1. We’re In This Together

What it is: My daughter recently turned 14, got a smartphone, and all of a sudden, stuff just got real!

Why it’s always personal: Each week we do our best to equip you for the conversations with your kids that matter most, but if we’re honest, we’re learning right along with you. Parenting is emotionally and physically exhausting, and if you’re like me, you’re wondering what’s going on inside your teen’s head. Why is she suddenly so quiet? What’s she doing up in her room all by herself? Who is she texting or sharing pictures with? For more in depth, personalized help from The Culture Translator staff, check out our expanding list of Parent Guides (e.g. Sexting, Snapchat, Anxiety, Porn). Also, here’s a great site we utilize to remind us how much we need one another in this challenging season of life. Instead of asking your teen a question, here’s a question for you: What’s working in your home? What’s bringing you and your kids together? How can we better equip you on a weekly basis for those challenging moments? Email me at garyalan@axis.org, I’d love to commiserate with you!

2. Conversations with a Killer

What is it: Netflix’s new documentary on serial killer Ted Bundy.

Why it’s really disturbing: Even though he was executed in 1989, Bundy’s “charismatic” and “handsome” persona are still dangerous, especially for younger viewers who might largely be unaware of the gruesome reality of his crimes. The series runs the risk of turning Bundy into a sympathetic antihero, glossing over his crimes against humanity. The special called Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is this week’s streaming favorite. Fueling renewed interest in Bundy is a soon-to-be-released biopic starring Zac Efron (yes, High School Musical‘s Zac Efron). So with all this attention toward the darker sides of life, what’s prompting our society’s interest in the macabre? What does it say about our culture that we’d rather be voyeurs of serial murder than to think on, and view the good, beautiful, and the true?

3. Party at Pleasant Park

What it is:Fortnite is reportedly hosting an in-game concert with real-world EDM artist Marshmello on Feb. 2.

Why it’s brilliant marketing: Concerts happen at the Superbowl, so why not in a video game? The in-game football field is already being “prepped,” and Marshmello has added Pleasant Park to his tour locations. In addition, data miners found code for new Marshmello skins and emotes to build the hype. And while adults might get stuck on how authentic a virtual concert can really be, gamers are only thinking about whether they can afford to miss out on such a huge cultural happening. Temporary events like these are what keep Fortnite relevant: Players want to experience them or have FOMO if they can’t. Ask your Fortnite player if they or their friends plan to “attend” the concert. Use this as an opportunity to talk about FOMO and if they feel the urgency to participate in the nonstop stream of one-time events.

Parent Guide Spotlight: In just two short weeks, the Day of Love will be upon us! It’s a holiday that can bring immense pressure, expectations, or even loneliness and depression for our teens. Our Parent’s Guide to Valentine’s Day offers ideas for how to disciple teenagers in varying levels of relationship, and some of them might find you and your kids bonding over what could’ve been a really sad, frustrating, or disappointing day.

Just Keep Reading

If Christianity is anything, it’s a lifelong journey toward spiritual maturation. This assumes our faith is living and active. Early followers of Christ realized this by referring to themselves as “the people of the way,” implying they were participants in a spiritual pilgrimage whose final destination is the full knowledge of and intimacy with Jesus Christ. But often on this journey, we get stuck or even start drifting backwards because we assume we’ve already arrived. If you or your teen is feeling apathetic about faith, maybe you need to be stretched or even pulled into new ways of seeing and experiencing God. With that in mind, we asked our staff what books they read during high school and college that helped them move into a deeper relationship with Christ. Below are 10 of those books. Grab one of them and read it with your son or daughter and tell us what you think. Did it make you feel uncomfortable? What new ideas or beliefs about God did you encounter? Is there a way to mesh your old beliefs with some of the new teachings you read?

1. The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible by Michael Heiser

2. Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning

3. Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright

4. Wisdom Distilled from the Daily by Joan Chittister

5. The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

6. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

7. Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich

8. Secrets in the Dark by Frederick Buechner

9. L’Abri by Edith Schaeffer

10. The Meaning of Jesus by Marcus Borg & N.T. Wright

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