Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations  -     By: Alex Harris, Brett Harris
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This homeschool product specifically reflects a Christian worldview.
 Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

Multnomah / 2008 / Hardcover

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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 and stories of teens in action.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Multnomah
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1601421125
ISBN-13: 9781601421128
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do. – Alex and Brett

A generation stands on the brink of a "rebelution"

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.  Then they map out five powerful ways teens can respond for personal and social change.

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 an already-happening teen revolution challenges a generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

Now includes:
--A new introduction from the authors, "Looking Back, Looking Ahead"
--Questions (and Stories) To Get You Started
--A list of 100 Hard Things to help inspire you
--A study guide for personal or group use

Author Bio

Alex and Brett Harris founded TheRebelution.com at sixteen years old and co-authored two best-selling books by the age of twenty-one. The twins have been blessed to travel and speak in major cities around the world and have been featured nationally on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, as well as in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, and The New York Times. They are sons of homeschool pioneers Gregg and Sono Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye). Raised in Portland, Oregon, the brothers are graduates of Patrick Henry College.

Foreword by Chuck Norris

As a young man, I discovered the power of doing hard things. Abject poverty, a father’s alcoholism and desertion of our family, and my own shyness were a few of the obstacles I faced and overcame growing up. My mother always told me, “God has a plan for your life.” And she’s right. Each of us is called to reach for greatness. There really is a hero in all of us. We’ve all been designed by God to be a blessing to many—a hero to some. But there’s only one way to get there—it’s described by the title of this book: Do Hard Things.

Today we live in a culture that promotes comfort, not challenges. Everything is about finding ways to escape hardship, avoid pain, and dodge duty. In the past, young people were expected to make significant contributions to society. Today, our culture expects very little from teens—not much more than staying in school and doing a few chores. A sad consequence of such low expectations is that life-changing lessons go unlearned. To whom can we turn to motivate a new generation of giants? I’ve found the answer. Alex and Brett Harris and their book, Do Hard Things.

I know the twins personally and can vouch for their integrity and wisdom. I’ve seen their passion to raise up a new generation of tough-spirited young people. They are amazing young men, uniquely qualified to inspire others to reach for great things.

One of my life’s principles is to develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways and to help others do the same. Brett and Alex come straight from the same mold, but with an even greater potential to reach young people around the world.

Their book is far more than a typical how-to book. From an insightful historical overview of the teen years to personal plans for helping teens hurdle tough obstacles, the authors sound a battle cry to raise the cultural bar on teenage potential and to challenge young people to reach for their Godgiven best.

Do Hard Things will help recruit, develop, and deploy a new generation of young culture warriors. With God’s help, the book you’re holding will usher in an era in which it can once again be said of our youth, “I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).

Start reading now. Then do hard things!
—Chuck Norris

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris is a wonderful wake-up call for today’s youth. Beginning with the “myth of adolescence”, the Harris brothers reveal that it is only in recent days (the term “teenager was coined in 1941 in Reader’s Digest) that the youth of our culture has been allowed to act and think as children.

It is the premise of this book that our young adults (teens) have the capacity to do great things- even hard things, given the proper motivation, resources, and adult expectations. The brothers go on to cite teens in their “Rebelution” who, bucking the current childlike-adult trend, have purposed to Do Hard Things to make a difference in their world.

The Harris are unashamedly Christian, and this book is peppered with Scripture quotes that confirm their stance. However, even the non-Christian teen would benefit from their motivational challenge to reach their God-given potential. At the closing of the book, the brothers lay out the Gospel message and invite readers to believe on Jesus, who has done the ultimate Hard Thing: Dying in our place that we might be saved. It was a beautiful ending to a very inspirational book.

As a parent of a son who is on the edge of adolescence, I found this book to be inspiring, challenging, and a call to raise my expectations for my kids to step out and Do Hard Things. -- Tracey Bonsell, www.christianbookpreviews.com

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Do Hard Things

"Do Hard Things is an extraordinary book. In fact, I believe it will prove to be one of the most life-changing, family-changing, church-changing, and culture-changing books of this generation. I'd love for every teenager to read this book, but I'm just as eager for every parent, church leader, and educator to read it."
– Randy Alcorn, best-selling author of Heaven and The Treasure Principle

"This book is one I would recommend to any of my friends, teen or not. If it doesn't help you, you are lying."
– Carter B., age 14, North Carolina

"Do Hard Things is so important. It is challenging teenagers to rebel against the low expectations placed on them. And the voices that are asking teens to rise to meet this challenge are voices from their own generation. That thrills me."
– Chuck Colson, best-selling author of How Now Shall We Live?

"I love the way it is written. It is crystal clear, to the point, interesting, funny, challenging, encouraging, and an easy read."
– Lisa R., age 15, Australia

"Adult expectations for youth are too low. And these twins are out to raise them. Don't adapt to the low cultural expectations for youth. Set high ones. Youth can become examples for adults. Think that way. Dream that way. Or as the Harris brothers would say, ’Rebel against low expectations.’"
– John Piper, best-selling author of Don’t Waste Your Life

"The message of Do Hard Things is going to awaken the dreams and passions of thousands of young people all over the world. How do I know this? This radical, yet relatively simple idea, has changed my life."
– Erika H., age 18, Michigan

"In a culture where laziness and ease is often the order of the day for teenagers, Do Hard Things presents a radical and provocative alternative. I heartily recommend this book."
– R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book has totally changed the way I think. I recommend it to any and every teen who has a desire to turn their life around and make a difference."
– Ashley W., age 13, Georgia

"Alex and Brett capture the passion and potential of our generation perfectly in this book. In Do Hard Thingsthey encourage us to go above and beyond the status quo in everything from schoolwork to serving the poor. This is a truly unique and sorely needed book."
– Zach Hunter, author of Be the Change and Generation Change

"This book is amazing. It changes your whole way of thinking. I believe that every single teen needs to buy a copy of this book. Thanks, Alex and Brett for challenging us!"
– Stacie L., age 15, Kentucky

"This is an important book. And not just for those wanting to launch successfully into adulthood, but also for discontent twenty- and thirty-somethings who long to be catapulted into significance."
– Ted Slater, editor of Boundless, Focus on the Family

"I'm not exactly a teenager anymore. But as I was reading I began to see how this can apply to anyone. It's never too late to start. I absolutely cannot wait to suggest this book to the 'kidults' in my life."
– Matt R., age 26, Georgia

"Alex and Brett are the real deal and Do Hard Things is a real wake up call, not just for young people, but for all God's people. I can't recommend it highly enough."
– Shannon Ethridge, best-selling author of the Every Woman's Battle series

"This book is a wake up call to a generation that is down in the dumps. It's like a coach screaming from the sidelines, ’You can do it!!!’. I'd recommend it to anyone, young or old."
– Douglas A., age 17, England

"Do Hard Things is the textbook for anyone who works with teens; it’s a philosophical and foundational must-read."
– Timothy Eldred, executive director of Christian Endeavor International

Product Reviews

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  1. Joplin, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Be Careful Not to Do Hard Things for the Sake of Doing Hard Things
    April 29, 2016
    mattparks35
    Joplin, MO
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 2
    The most unique aspect about this book is that it is a book about teens written for and by teenagers. Many youth ministry books are written from the perspective of older adults about teenage issues, but often miss the mark when it comes to communicating the actual needs and opinions of teenagers (probably because we expect too little of them). The wisdom that these two teenagers bring to the table is rare, no doubt because they chose to "do hard things" when they could have veged out in front of a TV or computer screen.

    The main issue in the book is that society places too low expectations on teenagers. The authors' solution is for teenagers to "do hard things," instead of doing nothing or just enough to get by. The teenage years should be a launching point into adulthood rather than a waiting period. What these two young men are saying is not necessarily new, but it is often unheeded and definitely needed. As with every bright idea, there needs to be something to distinguish this idea from others. The chic thing to do is to splice key words together to form a new word. The authors combined the words "rebellion" and "revolution" to form "rebelution" to brand their idea. This word, though a bit cheesy and clich, captures the main theme of "rebelling against rebellion," or, as the subtitle of the book states, "a teenage rebellion against low expectations." (pg. 11)

    The style of the writing is very conversational and testimonial. After a brief history and explanation of the authors' rebelutionary idea, the bulk of the pages expound the "Five Kinds of Hard": Things that are outside your comfort zone, go beyond what is expected or required, are too big to accomplish alone, don't earn an immediate payoff, and challenge the cultural norm. Of course, with all books about action, the last few chapters challenge the reader to do something, or more specifically to "do hard things." The book also has appendices that give ideas for taking the first step, which can be helpful for the person that does not know which hard things to start doing.

    Ironically, for a book challenging teens to "do hard things," reading this book does not live up to its title. Maybe that is on purpose, but keep in mind that it is a book written for and by teens, though parents and adults can benefit as well. I guess I expected that this book would have been a little more The book can be skimmed in sections. Part 1 contains the more "meaty" parts while Parts 2 and 3 are mainly the how-to guide of the "Five Kinds of Hard," testimonies of teenagers who have done the hard things and how God has changed their life in the process, and the motivational speech to get up and do something.

    One major critique of this book is that it comes scarily close to promoting a secular humanistic agenda of "be all that you can be" or "you can do anything you put your mind to." For the Christian reading this book, it is most likely assumed that God's glory is the reason for such things, but the non-Christian wanting to impact the world can easily do hard things and come away with the three pillars of the Rebelution (character, competence, and collaboration) without glorifying God. Apart from all Truth being God's Truth, the Truth that needs to be explicit is Jesus as the Savior of our sins. The authors equate being salt as fighting against sin and being light as fighting for truth and justice. The idea Jesus was trying to communicate was that the point of the Christian's existence was to specifically point to Him, not to some Christian ideal (Matt. 5:13-16). Christians do need to create a counter-culture, but the gospel that Jesus came to save people from their sins should be explicitly communicated in that counter-culture and not merely indirectly acknowledged, as if we simply tip our hats to Jesus. What separates a Christian counter-culture from secular culture is Christ. If Jesus is not explicitly present in the "hard things" that we do, then all we have secular humanism with a little Jesus sprinkled on top instead of having Jesus as the tree and "doing hard things" as the branches.

    It is not my intention to discourage people away from reading this book. Honestly, I probably would not have picked up this book if it had not been for endorsements from respected authors such as Randy Alcorn, John Piper, and R. Albert Mohler Jr. But after reading it, I highly recommend it. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not obliged to write a positive review.
  2. Alabama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent read for young and old alike
    January 3, 2014
    KatZ
    Alabama
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This book offers such a great challenge for young people. This is my go to gift for middle and high school students. I bought several copies to just hand out in youth group. Adults can benefit from this book as well. It has a good message for people of any age, reminds us to take the first hard step in what God wants us to do with our lives.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    March 29, 2013
    Elvia Grimsley
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This product written for teens gets right to their heart. Great Book.
  4. Plainfield, Indiana
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    YES
    February 22, 2013
    JohnDeereGirl
    Plainfield, Indiana
    Age: Under 18
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Title: Do Hard Things: A teenage rebellion against low expectations

    Author: Alex and Brett Harris

    Date I Finished Reading: February 21,2013

    My Rating: 5/5

    WARNING: If you do not want to be challenged or inspired to step out of your comfort zone and do something, then keep on walking, 'cause that is what this book is gonna do! Do Hard Things is the perfect book for our generation on rebelling against low expectations, and doing something hard, whether it is big or small.

    I absolutely loved this book_ and needed it too! Alex and Brett discuss very practical, very true points. They speak on things that keep us from striving towards and achieving big things, whether that is lies within the culture and media, or our own pride or fear. They explain to us where our mindsets are wrong, and how WE, teenagers can truly accomplish something amazing, whether it is ourselves individually, or us as a team. One point that I really needed was the reminder and encouragement to keep on doing the small hard things, cheerfully. They say that small things, such as chores, homework, and repetitive, even mundane duties help to strengthen us and to prepare us for the bigger hard things to come.

    Alex and Brett did an amazing job on this book. They use humor, personal examples, and also the examples of others to encourage teenagers to stand up and step out. The book was actually fun to read.

    I would say that I DEFINITELY recommend this book. Every teenager out there needs to read this and be motivated and encouraged to Do Hard Things.

    Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. However, my opinions are my own.
  5. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Doings Hard Things Big and Small
    February 16, 2013
    KeirSeraphim
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I won't lie; this book took a bit to get into. The nineteen year old twin boys who wrote this begin with an introduction to the general idea of "Doing Hard Things" and this is all well and good. However, they then go on to discuss all of their accomplishments, and this left me with the distinct impression that they were teens who had been born into a textbook family, encouraged in all they did, and given everything on a silver platter. That impression left me dubious of the authors' ability to inspire any teens who hadn't been born into nuclear situations and skeptical of their real world experience. As the book goes on; however, this impression fades, and I came to respect the authors for their experience and commitment, but this is the reason that I had a difficult time becoming immersed in the book.

    Once readers get over the initial bad taste of the first few chapters, it becomes apparent that the authors of the book do know what they are talking about. There is an ample amount of scripture successfully integrated with the instructions, and they consistently use bible stories to emphasize their points. Do Hard Things to the Harris brothers means overcoming fears and hesitations so as to glorify God more, and they mainly express their ideas in true stories of other so called "rebolutionaries." The authors assert that society's expectations of adolescents set the bar far too low, and it should be the goal of all teens to rise above settling into unchallenging and uninspiring lifestyles. They share stories of massive political campaigns run by teenagers, of online initiatives that spiraled into ground breaking Christian social experiments, and of shy or unmotivated teens who broke free from their shells and blossomed into productive young adults. Overall, this method of story-telling works well in the goal of inspiring youth. The Harris brothers emphasize that the teens in the stories are just normal kids who decided that society's average is far too low. By doing this, the book invokes a sense of unity in a reader-the sense of "If they can do it, so can I."

    One chapter in particular stood out to me as an all-star. The chapter entitled Small Hard Things discussed the daily tasks that seem repetitive, pointless, and boring. As per the title of the chapter, the Harris brothers label them as Small Hard Things and call teens to focus on them just as much, if not more, than they focus on Big Hard Things. For parents, this chapter might be a Godsend. It's all well and good to have kids running campaigns and witnessing to friends, but it's not worth much if they won't clean their rooms and help around the house. This chapter explains that the daily tasks build the discipline and character needed to do the big things that the rest of the book calls for, and is a perfectly written chapter.

    Overall, I would recommend Do Hard Things for any adolescent eleven or older. The language of the book is simple and it is perhaps aimed more for younger teens, but older teens can get just as much from the stories and advice given within. 4 out of 5 stars.
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