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Do Hard Things August 14, 2010

Posted by Joe in Faith, Family.

I took Benjamin to an all day conference called The Rebelution: Do Hard Things today. What is a Rebelution? It’s a teenage rebellion against low expectations.

Here’s are some notes I took during the conference.

Setting Expectations

An elephant can pull trees out of the ground; it can win a tug-a-war contest against 100 men. Yet a simple piece of twine and a wooden stake in the ground can keep it from leaving in the night. Why? It’s not the twine around its leg that’s holding it back; it’s the shackles around it’s mind. It’s a matter of expectations. The elephant is trained from a very early age that it cannot pull free if something is tied around it back right leg. And it never challenges that expectation as an adult.

Young people of the past did incredible things. There were high expectations for them. That’s not so today; we have, as a society, have told young people that we expect them to be lazy, to goof off, and to be unreliable. And they are living up to our expectations.

When you look in the Bible, there is no mention of adolescence, of looking like an adult yet behaving like a child. God’s Word doesn’t have the concept of teenager. Paul counsels us to put away childish things. He doesn’t say that as young adults we should hold on to childish things.

Set high expectations. Actions follow expectations.

Do Hard Things

The complexity of our challenges have grown as we have grown, yet so has our capacity. What’s the difference in a four year old lifting 10 pounds and an eighteen year old lifting 100 pounds? Think about it this way. What’s the difference in a little Dixie cup and a huge super-sized cup when each is half full? Which is more full? One has more capacity, sure, but they are both still half full.

Our culture expects more from babies than from teenagers. Babies learn to talk, to walk, to go to the potty. We don’t give them a pass. Yet as our kids get older, our expectations for them goes down. We give ourselves and our kids a pass. “I’m not a math person.”, they say. Yet we don’t let our three year say “Mommy, I’m just not a toilet person.” when they are potty training.

Growth comes when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. And we need to grow to be the person that God wants us to be. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t quit. Moses tried to quit; Jeremiah had an excuse. But God wouldn’t give up on them. So don’t give up on yourself.

Expect great things of yourself and strive to reach the potential that God has given you to do the work He has prepared for you. Do hard things. Reach your full potential. Remember, worthwhile things are not easy. Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first. Just keep trying.

Much More

Although this has been a long post, there was much more great information presented in the conference. This post doesn’t come close to capturing many of the great points the Harris brothers made. It wasn’t a name-it-and-claim-it conference either. It was full of solid and boldly spoken truth.

For example, Alex gave an incredibly powerful testimony as he shared the Gospel. He challenged all of us to carefully consider our relationship with God, to examine our lives to see if there is evidence of God’s grace. It was moving. And it was a tremendous call to actions for each of us to live out our purpose. Then the oldest brother, Joshua, talked of the importance of building our life on a solid foundation, the rock that only Christ can be.

The conference was a great time of worship and bonding with Benjamin. We had a wonderful time together. He’s already asking to go back next time the conference comes around. If you have kids, I’d definitely recommend attending one. If you can’t make it to a Rebelution conference, buy the Harris’ best selling book Do Hard Things and read it with them. The conference is based on the book.

Recommended Resources

During the course of the conferences, many books were recommended and even given away. Here’s a list of some of them. We bought the first two. Benjamin’s looking forward to reading them.



1. K. Brian Kelley - August 14, 2010

We’re working through the first one with our junior high youth. It’s an excellent book. I’m reading the second one now and it has good practical advice. As far as the third one, another excellent book. Humbling. It is partially autobiographical.The first and the third I’ve reviewed over at the Goal Keeping DBA blog. I haven’t read the last one.

2. Beck - August 15, 2010

Sounds like a wonderful way to instill in young people (and a reminder for us that are older) of why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing until He calls us Home.

3. Joe - August 15, 2010

That’s great to hear, Brian! I’m planning to read Do Hard Things with my older two kids and discuss it with them.

I don’t believe the last book is specifically intended for youth, but rather to help arm Christians with a defense for their faith. For example one chapter talked about Darwinism and the concept of irreducible complexity. It also contained some information about the different kinds of Christianity – Evangelic, Catholicism, etc. Looked like it could be a good book. We didn’t purchase it though.

4. Joe - August 15, 2010

Beck – Yes, it was a motivating and encouraging call to action for us as Christians. Their idea of “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first” was really good. If it’s worth doing, it’s not going to be easy. And if it’s not easy, you likely won’t do it well at first but that’s ok. It takes time and perseverance to get better at something. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and grow.

It was good.

5. Robin - August 18, 2010

Trey and I read this book together last year. I agree it is a wonderful resource to work through with your youth. I plan to reread it with Sarah-Elizabeth this year. Then the three of us will watch the DVD on it. Also, wanted to mention another thing Sarah-Elizabeth and I are working on now called “Pathway to Purity.” There is a girl and boy version. There is many topics included like choosing Godly friends, purity, and dress etc. The kit includes CDs, child’s workbook, and the parents information. It has wonderful application activities for each topic covered (like get two different puzzles both 100 pieces. Set the timer for ten minutes, both the parent and the child work on their own puzzle. The difference is the child’s puzzel is missing lots of pieces and they don’t have the box cover. No one can talk. At the timer compare. Parent should have more put together. Lesson the box cover is like the Bible. If we use it daily for all situations and refer to it, life won’t be a walk in the park, but we know how to handle all situations.) May be worth looking into. Love to all, Robin

6. mode20100 - August 27, 2010

A+ would read again

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