Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Power of Collaberation

Ten things The Harris Brothers have Learned about Teams:

1. Start with Questions
2. Walk with the Wise
3. Don't overlook Home Field Advantage
4. Use tehnology to Grow your team
5. Treasure Constructive Criticism
6. Credit is Free if you Give it away
7. Other people are sinners too
8. Expect a nightmare or two
9. Don't give up
10. Success Happens (In more ways than One)

Jenna -

"Family is a God-designed vehicle for collaboration that most teens miss, even though we're right in the midde of it. God intended your parents to be your primary mentors, and unless you're an only child, siblings can be some of your best team members." Pg. 121

Although I'm inspired to do "something big", the opportunity is not in my lap! However, I have a team...there are at least 9 people on it, and that is my family!! My family knows me best - my strengths and weaknesses, and often times they can help me the most too:) Until something big comes along, I have a team to work with. To encourage each other and to prepare together should the Lord see fit to give us a "hard thing" to do!!

Bethany -

The first thing I thought of when I read this chapter was the verse in Ecclesiastes, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." Big things are hard to accomplish when you are by yourself, so lower that pride a little and let others help out!

"American popular lore tries to persuade us that our destiny was won only by rugged individuals who stood tall, acted alone, rarely talked, and drank their whiskey straight. We're taught to admire the rebel, the loner, the maverick. But the facts suggest that the achievements of nations - like those of corporations, armies, universities, sports teams, churches and families - depend heavily on people coming together to co-labor: to agree on a common goal and then collaborate to make it happen."

Who's on your team?? Are they there to help you succeed?!

Raising the Bar

How to do Hard Things that go Beyond What's Expected or Required


Complacency is dangerous.  Today, expectations are so low that is easy for us to just procrastinate and not reach for the top, but God has made expectations so high "so that we won't make the mistake of aiming low.  He made them unreachable so that we would never have an excuse to stop growing"

Here are a few questions from the book to help identify complacency;

1. What areas of my life do I nt care about that I know I should care aabout?
2. In what areas have i fallen short of God's standards and my own potential?
3. In what areas have I settled for just getting by when I know I could do better if I really tried?
4. In what areas have I decided that things "will always be this way" without ever putting in the kind of effort that really changes things?


It is very easy to fall into the pit and sin of lazyness, and not do our best...we accomplish just enough school to scrap by a test, and everything else that we do is half-hearted and not unto the Lord.

We have the ability to raise the bar and "go above and beyond what our culture expects and take us closer to what God expects:

1) Do what's hard for you
2) Be known for what you do (more than for what you don't)
3) Pursue excellence, not excuses

And one that I added...do ALL things unto the Lord, and please Him! Know that you've done your VERY best without a doubt!!

What is one way you have been compliant on something you shouldn't have been?

God bless,

~Bethany, Jenna and Josh~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

That First Scary Step

How to do hard things that take you outside your comfort zone...

Jenna -

"Everyone likes to feel strong and smart. That means as soon as we start to feel stretched or pushed past our limits, we hit the brakes, slam into reverse, and scoot back to our comfort zones. Who wants to risk feeling weak and stupid?" Pg. 70

By not wanting to do hard things (I know all about that...) we're really saying that:

"We don't want to do things that don't come easily or naturally. We don't want to break through our fears. And by our actions, we're also saying that God isn't good and powerful enough to help us do what we can't comfortably do on our own. And that's a lie the Enemy loves!" Pg. 71

When it comes to doing hard things, two circumstances stand out in my memory.

It occured 2 years ago when I had my Spring Piano Recital. I had my 2 pieces down to perfection, memorized and beautiful...we got to the church and I wasn't even shaking! Wow! I made it through the whole recital (I was 2nd to last) and my name was called...I walked up to the piano (almost tripped) and started playing. All of a sudden I couldn't remember the next chord. It got so bad that I had to turn around and ask my teacher for my music. Boy, it was SO tough and I JUST WANTED the floor to SWALLOW me up! Guess what? It didn't...I was up there with my mind spinning, face as red as a beet and I thought I was going to die. But I did it, and somehow I was still alive! And what a RELIEF to accomplish that even though I made mistakes.

The second hardest thing for me to do, occurred last year. I was in a play. I don't remember how I agreed to it because for those of you that know me, I dislike, to the greatest extent, performing in front of people... I would much rather be in the audience. I toiled in agony for a whole year, trying to memorize, trying to act...it was all in vain. I will be honest and mention that my attitude was not God-honoring which made my accomplishment little when I finally said goodbye to the stage. That was such a trying time in my life...just ask my poor mother who had to hear my complaints for that entire year - I'm so sorry mom:)

I learned from those two experiences, to put my best into every project that I am in and to do everything AS UNTO THE LORD! It will make the ending SO much more joyful and exciting!!

Bethany -

"Fear is the fence that keeps us stuck in our comfort zones. To be fair, we usuallly feel fear for a reason: often something is outside that should make us afraid. The problem is when we just sit there. We wait. And we wait. Why? Well we're waiting to stop feeling afraid before we attempt anything. And - just to be fair - we're often afraid to try something new because of painful past experiences. We tried stepping out before, and it blew up in our faces. We poured everything we had into something we cared about and our efforts fell short. We don't want to embarrass ourselves again.

The truth is, though, is that it's going to be a long wait. If we're waiting until the fear and feelings of inadequacy go away, we'll never venture outside our comfort zones. Until we take a step in spite of our fears, none of us will ever truly be able to do hard things." (pg.74-75)

Fear is a dreadful weight. It ties you down and gives you little freedom. A year ago I was a shy, homeschooled, sheltered, 15 year old sophomore given a task. With 14 days in advance, I was told to prepare a speech to give in front of judges. It had to be a memorized speech, so it wasn't like I could just go up there and start talking. On top of all that, it was the first speech I'd ever given in my life (outside of speeches given at home) so I wasn't exactly sure how it was all going to play out. I was scared. But I ignored the fear and got up there and gave my 8 minutes speech. Ever since then, I have loved getting up in front of judges and speaking. What an amazing discovery that I wouldn't have found if I hadn't faced my fear.

While you may be faced with fear that may be more than getting up in front of judges and speaking, you still have to face it. Get outta that comfort zone and DO HARD THINGS!

What are two HARD things that you faced and accomplished in your life?? PLEASE SHARE!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Better Way

Reclaiming the teen years as the launching pad of life

Bethany -

So the teen years are looked at as the crazy partying years of a person's life. People have accepted this as the norm and there is even a name for them.....Kidults. "Legally, they're adults, but they're on the threshold, the doorway to adulthood and they're not going through it." I've seen this often, and it's terribly sad. Where is the maturity, the strength, the adulthood? Is our future generation going to even know these characteristics? They will with our help! It's all a myth! Teens CAN do hard things! Let's show them we can do it!

Jenna -

The teen years are given to me as a time to prepare for when I am an adult. I am still under my parents authority and guidance, and constantly learning things from them as they share their wisdom! Instead of partying through high school, I know that I need to be preparing for the work that God has called me too...how do I know what God has called me to??? I PRAY! I seek the Lord and ask HIM:) In His perfect timing, He will reveal to me what I am to be doing.

I'm asking myself the hard questions:

- Is how I'm spending my time right now preparing me for what I hope to become in the future?

- Am I doing things now that will equip me for the greater things that God may have me do?

Have you heard of the saying: "What you do when you're young is what you'll do when you're old"? In other words, I need to be preparing myself to do what the Lord asks of me, I need to give myself to His will.

I encourage you to ask yourself those hard questions too! Are you doing things now that will equip you to do the great things that God may have you do???!

Josh -
"After all, kidults are the logical result of the Myth of Adolescence, which encourages teens to view adulthood as spoiling the fun of the teen years rather than viewing it as the fulfilment of the teen years."(51)
Lets change that!
Let's be young people who "are rebelling against low expectations by choosing to get every possible benefit out of their teen years in creative, responsible, and highly efficient ways."(60)
I challenge you to tell us how you are doing hard things. How are you choosing to reap every possible benefit out of the teen years?
Real quick, let's take a peek at what we'll be talking about Wednesday:

5 Kinds of Hard

1).Things that are outside your comfort zone
2) Things that go beyond what is expected or required
3) Things that are too big to accomplish alone
4) Things that don't earn an immediate payoff
5) Things that challenge the cultural norm

What is a way that you can prepare yourself for the future?

In Christ,
~Bethany, Jenna, Josh~

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Myth of Adolesence

Bethany -

How old is the term 'teenager'? Not very old at all....just barely 70 years old. Before that, children grew into adults. There was no in-between age. Girls grew into women, boys into men. By the age of 15, they were considered adults. The expectations were much higher than they are today.
So, expectations of teens today are very low. Teens aren't exactly like taking charge of a ship or school anymore. David and Clara may have changed history, but they were really just average people who expected much out of themselves. They got results.

Now it's time for us to raise the expectation bar a little. It's our turn to have some high expectations for ourselves!!

Josh and Jenna -

We found this chapter full of encouragement to gut out the HARD things, but what do we comment on? We would love to have each of you share one hard thing that you're doing right now, or have done in the past...

Hard things can be working on a character quality, conquering something that you hate doing (like making phone calls lol) or making a decision that may not be your preference.

One hard thing that I (Jenna) am working on right now is not being bossy. I've got that "oldest sister syndrome" and it is not an easy thing to overcome, trust me! However, I don't want people to know me as "the boss", and so I pray that God will help me not be bossy...you'll have to ask my siblings if I'm making progress?.

Whether you're reading the book with us or not, please comment sharing a hard thing that you've done!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Birth of a Big Idea!

Bethany -

The Rebelution - made up by two 16 year old twins "combining the words rebellion and revolution to form an entirely new word for an entirely new concept: rebelling against rebellion. More precisely, we define rebelution as 'a teenage rebellion against low expectations.'

"While this chapter talks primarily about how The Rebelution was begun, it has a few very important things to note. #1. The Rebelution is made up of teens just like you and me....very normal teens. Maybe we don't get all A's in school or maybe we don't typically tend to do anything hard just because. Well guess what, this book is DEFINITELY for you! These may be some of the things addressed in this book. #2. In this chapter, the Harris brothers tell us about a few different thing done but some of the rebelutionaries. Tough stuff, but they did it.

Now can we say that teens can't do hard things? I think not. I'll join Alex and Brett in saying:

(This) is our invitation to you - to join with us and other teenagers who are serious about changing the world's ideas about the teen years. In the upcoming chapters, we'll show you how.

Jenna -

Doing the "hard thing" isn't easy - at least I don't think that it is! I could list a whole bunch of "hard things" that I've done, or attempted to do, but since I wasn't putting my best foot forward I failed. In this chapter, I was reminded of how rewarding it is when I actually do something hard, applying all of my effort to it and even if my success isn't *amazing*, I have the satisfaction of trying my best instead of not at all.

In general, we as "teenagers" are often thought of as lazy, trouble makers, or constantly "testing our limits" and in general, not trustworthy etc. That is not what I want to be known for! I want to be a teenager who loves the Lord, is trustworthy, who has a hard work ethic, and does all with my best effort and for the glory of the Lord:)

What is your goal as a teenager? Are you going to help raise the "bar"/standard?

Josh -

The Rebelution is made by combining Rebellion and Revolution to make an entirely new word for an entirely new concept: Rebelling against rebellion. More precisely, we define rebelution as "a teenage rebellion against low expectations."

As I said in my last post here, teenagers are surrounded by low expectations, and when the there is no standard they fail to rise past the low expectations set by the culture. The Harris brothers are out to change that! And we as young christian teens with a vision to change the world can join them! Lets start a Rebelution!


Josh, Jenna, and Bethany

Monday, December 14, 2009

Most People Don't......

A Different Kind of Teen Book


Wooohooo! The beginning of a new book........and hopefully, a new life! Do Hard Things. Don't get scared away by this title, 'cause this is going to be a most exciting ride. When I first read this book, I was like "this is exactly what I've been trying to say all along! Teens have no goal in life and for 7 years of their lives they are shaping themselves into lazy, worthless bums with no goal in life." Sounds mean? It's the truth. I've seen it all over.

Alex and Brett have now stood up against it and is telling you all to join the club so we can follow the "better way - a way to reach higher, dream bigger, grow stronger, love and honor God, live with more joy - and quite wasting our lives. (pg. 8) So hop aboard, there's plenty of room. This is going to be an amazing journey............


I sat down yesterday, to read the first chapter of Do Hard Things, since I've never read the book before. When I finally looked up from the book, I realized that I was at least half way through:) I couldn't stop reading. This book is wonderful, and when I set it down, I truly felt pushed to do something hard, and take a challenge and stand for something...all of last night I was pondering what I should do, but then I realized that I should really pray about it, because God already has something in mind for me!

My goal in life is not to skate by on the bare minimum, but instead, to "rediscover the better way - a way to reach higher, dream bigger, grow stronger, love and honor God, live with more joy - and quit wasting (my) life." pg. 8 This book has already got me excited to "Do Hard Things" for Christ!! I want to be a different kind of "teen" and I want to use my single years to serve the Lord and not waste them.

With great enthusiasm I can say "We started Do Hard Things!"

Today's society has developed a stereotypical teenager. The expectations for these teenagers are low at best. People view teenagers as lazy, self pleasing kids. And when that's what the bar has been set at, most teens see no motivation to be better than what people expect of them. When going through the book, we will see and be inspired to do hard things and live changed, productive lives for the Lord and not merely default to the expectation of the "average teen".

Let's Do Hard Things!

Alright, let's hear your thoughts!

~Bethany, Josh and Jenna~

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Do Hard Things
by Alex and Brett Harris!

On December 14, we will start reading and discussing Do Hard Things, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You are more than welcome to read and discuss each chapter with us! We would love for you to participate, so get the book soon from either your library or book store!! If you decide to do this study with us, please let us know in a comment:) Also, we would love to get the word out about this blog and study. Would you consider posting about it on your blog?


Below is the book description:


Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins' revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.


Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.


Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.


We look forward to reading DHT, and hope that you will join us as we learn, encourage and challenge one another~

In Christ,
Jenna, Bethany and Josh
p.s. The reading schedule is on the side bar!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Someday I'll have a Story to Tell...

Bethany -

When I was just a little girl, playing with my dolls, my life's dream was to find Prince Charming who would sweep me off my feet and we would enter a wonderful married life and have a bunch of beautiful babies. The future looked like a fairy tale.

As teens or young adults, we want life to hurry up so we can figure out what's on the next page of life. We don't feel like slowing down and enjoying everyday life. We want love, we want life. We believe that romance will give that to us, so we use dating. This usually backfires and dating hurts us. Then we are left wondering...."what are we supposed to do now?"

In this whole chapter, we have learned to draw close to God in our single years. We have seen how a relationship focused on God will make a couple strong in each other and Him. I hope to have a story of my own someday. I want a story that is God fearing, pure, loving and selfless. I want my story to bring back good memories, tears of joy and not of remorse. Yet, like Josh Harris says, "It's your choice."

Josh -

We are all writing stories. The story of our life. How will it turn out? Will we look back and smile at our journey of purity, patience, and trust in the Lord or will we look back with regret as we recall the haste, the uncontrolled passion and the compromise? It is a choice. That's right! A choice. What will you choose?

As christian young people, we all strive for God-honoring life stories that will include our love story as well. I just encourage you to prepare yourself for the years ahead; When you make up your mind about something, (ie. Purity) stick with it. When you meet opposition (it's inevitable) Don't cave in or compromise.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?." Romans 8:30

I encourage you to stand strong and write a life(love) story that you would be proud to tell.
Thank you very much for joining us in this book. I pray God blessed you through our study and I look forward to the next!
God Bless.

Jenna -

Shouldn't it be every young persons dream, to have a pure and God glorifying love story? This entire book has been an encouragement and blessing to me as I strive to keep my standards high, and purity complete. It has reminded me that God is in entire control and has the key to every story...it's a relief, just knowing that God can work every detail out for our good and His glory.

As we go day to day living our lives for Jesus (and always learning!), let's remember to keep our standards HIGH, to stand strong and boldly for Jesus Christ, and to wait for "the one" that God has created us for...let's be an encouragement to each other as we're all on the journey of purity and faithfulness.

One of the most encouraging things that I came away with from this book, was to treat our brothers and sisters in Christ with RESPECT, and in all purity, encouraging one another in HIS word. I believe it was chapter 7 "Just Friends in a Just Do it World".

"Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure." 1 Timothy 5:22

What was one or two things that you were blessed by from this book?

Thank you for joining us in reading "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". We certainly hope that you will go through Do Hard Things with us too, starting December 14th. We would love for more people to read it with us and discuss each chapter, so please spread the word!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Principled Romance

Bethany -

Romance is not something to play around with. While it may make you feel good physically and mentally it can't be played around with. It's tough stuff, hard work. Married life isn't always a bed of roses, it's laundry, working long days, dealing with emotions, etc. "Dating" isn't much different. Keeping a principle romance will help keep you on track and focused on God. No one romantic relationship is the same, and the Holy Spirit will help guide us in the right direction.

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives," the Bible tells us, "he will produce theis kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, indness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). When the Holy Spirit guides our journey toward marriage, our relationships will the exhibit the same qualities."

Keep your relationships "God-fearing".


I have never been in a romantic relationship before, but when I am, I hope and pray that it is centered around Jesus Christ. How can we keep a relationship focused on Christ? By praying together and for each other, searching the word of God together and discuss/encourage one-another in Christ, and treat each other in respect with all purity, amongst other activities. I think the key is seeking God's will for the relationship.

I'll be honest with you, I didn't really know what to write about for this chapter. Can you help me out? What are your thoughts??