56 episodes

A podcast for uncommon Christians. We question status quo by confronting the norms of church and culture. By inspiring people to stay curious and live intentionally, Confronting Normal explores candid conversations with inspiring and thought-provoking people who are confronting the norms of church and culture.

Confronting Normal - A podcast for uncommon Christians Cindy Keating & Renae Kulhawe

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.9 • 37 Ratings

A podcast for uncommon Christians. We question status quo by confronting the norms of church and culture. By inspiring people to stay curious and live intentionally, Confronting Normal explores candid conversations with inspiring and thought-provoking people who are confronting the norms of church and culture.

    Confronting Ourselves, The Importance of Self-Awareness

    Confronting Ourselves, The Importance of Self-Awareness

    Self-awareness takes brutal honesty. We all have parts of ourselves that we like, parts that we don’t, parts that we showcase, and parts that we try to hide away. It’s really difficult to be honest about all sides of who we are—the good, the bad, the messy and the downright ugly. But recognizing and confronting all of our parts is really important if ever we are to move through this world with a healthy sense of clarity and intentionality.

    Today’s episode is about all kinds of bad words our society likes for us to keep on the DL—words like limitations, weaknesses, submission, boundaries and, you guessed it, self-awareness. These words ain’t pretty … they ain’t sexy … and they sure as ain’t great conversation starters. But they are important words. They are words we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace nor speak about. And they are words Cindy & Renae spend an entire episode confronting.

    “There are quick choices in life to either act out of our strengths in really beautiful and positive ways, or to lash out through our weakness. I think the centerpiece that holds the power for all of our choices is intense self-awareness.” —Cindy Keating

    • 56 min
    Confronting Intentionality, Recalibrate

    Confronting Intentionality, Recalibrate

    “It really is an incredible thing to look back over your past year and recognize what you did get right.” —Cindy Keating 

    Sometimes in life we veer off course without notice. When we choose to live intentionally and to pursue a specified life destination, we have to continually correct our path to ensure we end up where we intended to. This process can lead to some pretty interesting questions and ponderings, but also, it can lead us to step into some pretty intense self-reflection.

    In this first episode of 2020, Cindy and Renae discuss the beautiful gift of reflection and recalibration with questions such as the following:

    * What would you do this year if you were not afraid?

    * What would you do with your life if you only had 5 years left? 

    * What does living curiously look like for you this year? 

    * What would it look like for you to hold life loosely?

    As you step into this New Year and this new decade, remember how each and every day is a gift and it is never too late to recalibrate your life to match your desired destination.  

    CHALLENGE: Look up the definition of “intentionality” and ask yourself how it might apply to your 2020. 

    Mentioned In This Episode 

    * Book: The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield and Shawn Coyne 

    * Book: Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving The Westboro Baptist Church, by Megan Phelps-Roper 

    * Book: Confessions of a Funeral Director, by Caleb Wilde 

    * Book: Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant 

    * Website: The Enneagram Institute Type Descriptions

    • 47 min
    Confronting Christmas, Be Kind. Be Compassionate. Be Gracious.

    Confronting Christmas, Be Kind. Be Compassionate. Be Gracious.

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year … or so we sing — ‘tis the season for full bellies, family festivities, delicious baking, gift-giving/receiving, carols and more. But ‘tis also the most difficult time of the year for many — a season that isn’t particularly cheerful, jolly, merry and bright.

    Wounded and grieving people are all around, and yet, most of the time we’re fairly oblivious to them amidst the hustle and bustle of our own to-do lists:

    * Parents whose children are terminally ill

    * Couples in the middle of divorce

    * People grieving the loss of loved ones

    * Kids being bullied at school

    * Teenagers who want to end their lives

    * Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat

    * Families with no idea how to keep the lights on

    * Single parents with little help and little sleep

    Today’s episode is a gentle reminder to remember that not everyone around you is experiencing the Christmas season the same way you are. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be gracious. Create space whenever and wherever space may be needed, because you just never know how meaningful and needed your small act of kindness may be.

    It’s through and with this awareness that our greatest Christmas opportunities present themselves — that we can become the spirit of Christmas by offering hope, peace, love, joy and light to an otherwise worrisome, fearful and grieving season.

    It’s what we sing about after all:

    * Good will to men

    * All is calm, all is bright

    * Joy to the world

    * Peace on earth

    * O come all ye faithful

    Mentioned In This Episode

    * Episode 51: Confronting Life w/ Matt Rigby — Do We Sanitize The Dark Side A Little Too Much?

    * Blog post: Everyone Around You is Grieving, Go Easy by John Pavlovitz

    • 30 min
    Confronting Culture, What Did You Just Say?

    Confronting Culture, What Did You Just Say?


    “The way of Jesus is a lot more than a set of beliefs. Beliefs are a part of it, but it has a lot more to do with how you interact with the world.” —Alex Marriott 

    Warning: You are going to need a flow chart to follow this conversation, friends!

    Today we sit down with friends of the podcast, Matt Rigby and Alex Marriott, to discuss, well, Kayne West, Bono, Billy Graham, Relevant Magazine, Rob Bell, Mars Hill, and seemingly everything in between—ha! You really don’t want to miss this gem of an episode.   

    In classic Confronting Normal style, there is little in the way of answers, but we all did leave challenged by the idea that the way of Jesus is indeed a lot more than a set of beliefs, and that as much as ever before we need to think critically and not just consume all that comes at us.   

    Thoughts To Consider 

    Do you read/listen/research for yourself or just follow other people’s reviews and opinions?

    Do you agree that there can be a reluctance to accept complexities? Where have you seen and/or experienced this in your own sphere? Do you see it in yourself?

    Do you take time to stand back and consider longevity of character? Are you intentional about building longevity in your own character? Do you take into consideration the longevity of character over just quick acceptance of “right language”?

    How can you participate in creating safe spaces in your world—places where people feel safe enough to be honest?

    Mentioned In This Episode  

    Kayne West’ Album, Jesus Is King 


    Podcast: OnBeing, Krista Tippett 

    Blog Post: Matt Rigby’s, Something From Everything (Post Re: Pete Holmes) 

    Book: Richard Rohr’s, Falling Upward 

    Book: David Brooks’, The Road To Character  

    Peter Rollins 

    David Letterman’s NetFlix Series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction 

    Book: Rob Bell’s, Love Wins 

    Book: Henri Nouwen’s, In The Name of Jesus 


    • 1 hr 10 min
    Confronting Faith, People NOT Projects

    Confronting Faith, People NOT Projects

    Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone outside of your religious context, stumbling upon your words as you realize that although your beliefs and vocabulary have changed, the old scripts of your faith upbringing are still there, in your mind, fighting to come out?   

    In this episode Cindy and Renae have a candid conversation about their upbringing in church, their shifting beliefs, and how living out this faith intentionally requires some serious reprogramming.

    People, not projects.

    Relationships, not agendas.

    Love, not fear.

    Trust, not control.

    These are all easy things to say and easy things to ‘Pin’, but they can leave some of us ‘born and raised’ types fighting against internal scripts and crippling pressures.   

    Thoughts To Consider 

    When was the last time you stopped to think, I might be wrong? 

    How have your beliefs shifted over the last 1/5/10 years? 

    Do you carry agenda’s into your relationships—knowingly or unknowingly?  

    Do you trust God with the people you love? 

    Episode Quotes 

    * “What I find more interesting is, how do your beliefs impact how you treat people.” –Renae Kulhawe 

    “When was the last time you actually stopped to think, ‘I might be wrong,’ or, ‘I was wrong’?” –Cindy Keating 

    “There’s so much to learn from everybody, and that includes those in other religions.” –Renae Kulhawe 

    “You might have to go off script, the script doesn’t work, and it’s not as clear cut as what we were taught.” –Cindy Keating 

    Mentioned In This Episode 

    *  Book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol S. Dweck 

    * Color-blindness glasses: “People See Color For The First Time“

    • 47 min
    Confronting Life, Do We Sanitize The Dark Side A Little Too Much?

    Confronting Life, Do We Sanitize The Dark Side A Little Too Much?

    Light and dark coexist at every given moment of every given day. Holidays like Halloween and places like Vegas become easy targets of definable darkness because they’re overt in expression. But darkness is part of life always; it’s present in the form of heartache, grief, sadness, discouragement, sickness, failure and everything else that weighs us down. Turning a blind eye is not as simple as turning off our lights and choosing to not participate.

    Today’s episode is a conversation about what it means to think critically about how we’re going to engage these tensions and how we’re going to participate in being the light amidst the dark.

    In the same way we can’t fully sanitize Halloween or Vegas, we also can’t sanitize life and all the hardships, sadness and grief it brings. Instead, we can use these tensions as learning opportunities to know where we stand, what we think, how we feel, and to embrace who we’re meant to be for others who are also experiencing the same tensions.

    Perhaps instead of sanitizing what is uncomfortable to deal with, what we need instead, is the grace and space to walk through what’s hard, messy and ugly.

    Thoughts To Consider

    * Is our current worship music a little too sanitized?

    * If we really think about it and dive into it, how sanitized is the book of Psalms?

    * How “light” was David a majority of the time?

    * Have we sanitized ourselves so much as a Christian culture that we’ve become unrelatable to the outside world—the culture we’re supposed to be influencing?

    Episode Quotes

    * If you can’t include it all, stop. —Matt Rigby

    * There is something about facing something that you’re afraid of and seeing it for what it is. —Matt Rigby

    * The overarching point is this: how are you loving your street? How are you loving your community? You can’t just skip a culturally important night like Halloween. You need to figure out what you’re going to do with it. —Renae Kulhawe

    * Life is a mixed bag … and you don’t get to choose. You have to deal with the light and the dark; the good and the bad; the happy and the tragedy. —Renae Kulhawe

    * Instead of critically thinking about each circumstance or each holiday or each situation on a case-by-case basis, we make them easy, blanket statements of all or nothing: I’m all in or I’m all out. Instead, they could become important opportunities for consideration. —Cindy Keating

    Mentioned In This Episode

    * Then There’s Halloween — Episode #50, The Confronting Normal Podcast

    * Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

    * The book of Psalms

    * The Sunday Morning Gathering — Episode #49, The Confronting Normal Podcast

    * Imagine Dragons:  Song: Real Life, Album: Origins. Lyrics: I wish I had the answers … something you could hold too … only thing that’s real to me is … you.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

matr1980 ,

A wonderful, and needed, series of conversations

I love this podcast. I know the Renae and Cindy, so I'm biased, but their friendship and genuine curiousity come through in every conversation. It's honest about norms that are easy to accept without critical thought.

srgould ,

Real Conversations about Topics Worth Talking About.

Cindy and Renae explore topics that matter without assuming they have the answers to anything. They present refreshingly real perspectives, ask thought-provoking questions and leave you ready to take small steps towards living intentionally. Worth a listen regardless of your faith.

J2678422 ,

Asking questions is okay

An encouraging podcast centred around challenging the “norms” in faith and life.

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