Miley’s VMA Reprise

Miley-VMA-host-censoredThis coming Sunday night MTV will be exhausting all means necessary to garner one thing: ratings.

MTV has a history of stooping to new lows for ratings for their Video Music Awards show. This year’s new low will be Miley Cyrus hosting the show.

Yes, MTV exploiting Miley is nothing new. But this year they’ve been already pushing the envelope, utilizing Miley’s desperation for attention in their TV ads for the upcoming awards show. Maybe you’ve seen them: the topless ad (with little greenscreen dots covering the essentials), the “giving us the finger” ad, or the cloud of smoke adContinue reading “Miley’s VMA Reprise” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Jonathan's Rant, Music, TV, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

Our Empty Nest

Ash and Lyssy VanguardThis Thursday Lori, Alyssa and I drive 500 miles and drop off Ashley, my youngest, at Vanguard University in SoCal (Alyssa and Ashley in the pic to the right). We’re so excited for her… but it’s weird to think about how quiet it’s gonna be around our house!

When Alec left for school four years ago our girls were still here. It was an adjustment, but it was still a busy house and full-on parenting mode. Then, come summer, a full nest again.

When Alyssa left for college it was a little more severe. Alyssa went to Continue reading “Our Empty Nest” »

Posted in Parenting, Personal | 3 Comments

What You Don’t Know about Teens

girl-mom-fightI always find it interesting to compare articles and studies about today’s youth culture and look for common denominators.

Last week, Ypulse posted a noteworthy article about young people titled 5 Things You Don’t Know about Millennials and Teens. That article not only addressed the fact that 1/3 of the young people they surveyed have sexted and ¼ have had a one night stand, but also tackled subjects interesting to marketers like where young people eat (1/3 go to fast food on any given day), where they shop (the growth of online shopping), and how they communicate on their phones.

Earlier this summer, Download Youth Ministry released a ready-made parent newsletter package with 5 of my new “Parent Tips” articles, including one titled 5 Teen Trends That Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon. Funny, in that article, I also touched on how young people communicate with each other, noting the Continue reading “What You Don’t Know about Teens” »

Posted in Parenting, Youth Culture | 2 Comments

PG Porn

Selena Gomez PG PornLast week as I prepped to talk with parents about their kids’ phones, I browsed through the music video charts and noticed some interesting trends, especially from some of the “child actresses” our daughters grew up recently watching on TV—Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. Their two music videos at the top of the charts are what I call PG Porn—extremely sensual visuals, with scantily clad girls writhing in pleasure… but with no official nudity driving the rating up. It’s the kind of video that drives a junior high boy to either click on something more severe… or to take a cold shower.

And what are these videos teaching our daughters? Continue reading “PG Porn” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Jonathan's Rant, Music, Parenting, Self Image, Sexuality, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Youth Culture | 2 Comments

TV Interview

Canadian TV show 100 Huntley Street interviewed me a couple times for their TV show… they posted the first interview earlier this year… and they just released the second interview.

Host Maggie John asks me about becoming your kids “Go-to” person about sex.

Here’s the interview:

Posted in Books, Entertainment Media, Parenting, Sexuality | Leave a comment

Who’s Your Timothy? 25 years ago I volunteered as a small group leader in the high school ministry of my church. It was there I met my friend Lorin, a man in his twenties who was discipling three teenage boys.

We love to throw that word “discipling” around, so let me describe precisely what Lorin did. Lorin met with these three teens once a week, encouraging them, praying with them, and studying the Bible-with these three he chose the books of I and II Timothy. After some time, the boys were so inspired by the teachings of II Timothy that they decided to memorize it… the whole book! So Lorin and the three boys Continue reading “Who’s Your Timothy?” »

Posted in Evangelism, Faith, Leadership | Leave a comment

Filtering Rihanna’s BBHMM

rihanna-BBHMM-videoRihanna released a brand new music video this month that is already causing a stir. The world would describe this scandalous video as shrewd marketing. Others, “art”…


I call it “selling out.”

Regardless, Rihanna knew that the over-the-top violence, nudity and even racial hatred would ruffle feathers… and garner web traffic!

The explicit video is heading toward 20 million views already.

And music videos like this always stir up a question I hear at literally every one of my parent workshops:

“How can I block this stuff from my kid’s phone?”

That’s why I just wrote a brand new Parenting Help article on titled “Filtering Rihanna.” This article provides Continue reading “Filtering Rihanna’s BBHMM” »

Posted in Entertainment Media, Internet, Music, Parenting, Sexuality, Smartphones/Cell Phones, Youth Culture | Leave a comment

How Christians React to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

The dust (and pink confetti) is slowly settling since the June 26th Supreme Court decision to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. The question is, how are Christians responding?

Barna released a fascinating glimpse last week revealing that not only Americans, but different denominations land all over the spectrum on this issue. For example, 53% of Catholics favor the Supreme Court’s decision (strongly or somewhat), where only 2% of Barna’s definition of an Evangelical favor the decision. At the same time, most the country seems to agree this decision was inevitable.

Barna breaks it down nicely on this chart Continue reading “How Christians React to the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage” »

Posted in Church, Evangelism, Faith, News, Sexuality, Youth Culture | 5 Comments

Andy Stanley on Parenting Middle Schoolers

Andy Stanley ParentingI love Andy Stanley, and since my passion is to provide parents with good parenting tools… this video is a gold mine!

The video is an interview with Andy Stanley about parenting middle schoolers– a great free piece to show as a parent training tool.

I love his answers on so many of these topics. Sound familiar? Continue reading “Andy Stanley on Parenting Middle Schoolers” »

Posted in Parenting | Leave a comment

Was he right?

caitlyn-jenner-bruce-jennerIt’s the most effective question provoking discussion with teenagers. Three simple words: Was he right?

Whenever you encounter something debatable or controversial, just ask the question. Don’t lecture. Just ask and be quiet. It gets young people talking and adults listening… something beneficial to any adult/kid relationship.

It’s like this:

You read an article about Bruce Jenner… like this one: The High Cost of “Sexual Freedom” on “Caitlyn” Jenner’s Family, an article sure to stir up a discussion with opinions on both sides. Then ask the question.

Was this author right?

Maybe throw another article in the mix, an article with a slightly different tone. Like this Continue reading “Was he right?” »

Posted in Parenting, Youth Culture, Youth Ministry Programming | 1 Comment