Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fantastic New Book and Giveaway -- and no, it's not mine!

I have been reading the most fascinating book this week. In about 40 minutes on Saturday I blew through the first 60 pages. This book is targeted at teenagers, but will resonate with many, many more. In my opinion, this book should be a graduation gift for all junior high and high school students. It phenomenal.

If you've been around the homeschool movement for any length of time, then you're probably familiar with Gregg Harris. If you've been in a bookstore since 1997, then you're familiar with I Kissed Dating Good-bye and Josh Harris.

Now it's time to meet sons and younger brothers Alex & Brett Harris. I first ran into them with their modesty survey and posted about it at Generation NeXt Parenting on February 20, 2007. Then I was given the twins' book Do Hard Things. Here's the official blurb...but keep reading for my take and the giveaway details:

With over 10 million hits to their website TheRebelution.com, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.

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.

This book is incredible. Many of us have seen teens, young adults, even thirty-somethings who are floundering through life. They can't seem to get any traction. Frankly, this approach to life drives my crazy, because I live on the other extreme. The Harris twins pinpoint the problem as a plague of low expectations when we're teenagers. As a result, we aren't trained to push ourselves and ask how God can use us -- especially during our teen years.

The verse that motivates their ministry is I Timothy 4:12. I smiled when I saw that as it was my life verse until I was 30 and decided I might need a different verse since I wasn't exactly a youth anymore. I've often wondered what my parents did or didn't do that made me believe anything I wanted to do/be was possible if it lined up with God's Word and will. Telling them at 12 or 13 that I wanted to start college at 16 -- no problem. When I turned 16 and still wanted to do it, they marched me down to the community college and figured it out.

There was an expectation that everything was training. The teen years weren't a time to goof off. Instead, they were a time to prove myself and gain increasing independence as I proved myself faithful. Everything I've done, accomplished, am doing is a direct result of that philosophy.

So I find myself in a church that doesn't offer a Bible study I'm interested in. No problem. I'll offer to lead one. So I want to teach at a major Big Ten University. No problem, I'll fill-in until I earn a contract spot. So I want to write books. No problem. I'll read books and wait until God says go. Then I'll invest the time and energy to write the books and take the steps necessary to prepare myself as God opens doors.

In a sense this is exactly what Do Hard Things is about. It challenges teens to do intentionally do 5 kinds of hard things:
  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.
We'd all benefit from applying those principles to our lives. But how much better if we taught them to young people. I've talked about this book since starting it. Eric is lined up to read it. I'll be giving it as graduation gifts. And it will land in my children's hands by the time they are twelve, so we can fully discuss and apply these principles in their lives.

I have a copy of this book to give away to a luck reader. Leave a comment here to be entered.


windycindy said...

Hi, I have just read about this book recently! It is written for teenagers, but I can certainly see how it could apply to me, also! I don't know what holds me back. I love that list of five things to do in your life! How inspiring. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks very much.....Cindi

Brett Harris said...

Cara, I wanted to comment for two reasons: (1) to thank you for such a kind review of our book, and (2) to ask whether you'd be willing to post your review on the book's Amazon.com page?

What you've written here would be so very helpful for people interested in the book -- and such a blessing for Alex and me. =)

In Christ Alone,
Brett Harris

Carolynn W. said...

Oh please enter me! I would love to read this and share it with my teen siblings, thanks for the chance to win!

Grateful Gramma said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I'd love to read this book.


ellie said...

This giveaway is simply wonderful. Useful, timely and great. Thanks for the chance and loved the review. sauble(at)tennis(dot)com

flchen1 said...

I hadn't heard of this book before today--thank you for bringing it to my attention! It sounds like a timely and incredibly useful book--I'd love to read it and pass it on.

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book, please enter me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

sorry, I forgot to leave my e-mail :) vkc922 at cox dot net

Anonymous said...

I have 2 teenagers that would enjoy reading this book, and I would too!

Simple Family Supper lady said...

WoW! This book sounds wonderful!
Heather C

Sarah/Robert said...

Yep. I think my younger friends with teens would really like the newest Harris book! Count me in for the drawing, please! Sarah

Anonymous said...

Have heard great things about this book-want to share it with our youth pastor at church


petite said...

This book is extraordinary and would be greatly appreciated. What a wonderful giveaway. The review gave me great insight in to this book. Thanks for this chance.


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