15th, time for the Non~FIRST blog tour!(Join our
alliance! Click the button!) Every 15th, we will featuring an author and
his/her latest non~fiction book's FIRST chapter!
The feature author is:
Multnomah Books (April 15, 2008)
ABOUT THE AUTHORs:
Alex and Brett Harris founded TheRebelution.com in
August 2005 and today at age 19 are the most popular Christian teen
writers on the Web. The twins are frequent contributors to Focus on the
Family’s Boundless webzine, serve as the main speakers for the Rebelution
Tour conferences, and have been featured in WORLD magazine, Breakaway,
The Old Schoolhouse, and the New York Daily News. Sons of homeschool
pioneer Gregg Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua
Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Alex and Brett live near Portland,
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
A different kind of teen
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
Well, we do.
This is a different kind
of teen book. Check online or walk through your local bookstore. You’ll
find plenty of books written by fortysomethings who, like, totally
understand what it’s like being a teenager. You’ll find a lot of cheap
books for teens because young people today aren’t supposed
to care about books or see any reason to keep them around. And you’ll
find a wide selection of books where you never have to read anything
twice—because the message is dumbed-down. Like, just for you.
What you’re holding in your hands right now is a challenging book for
teens by teens who believe our generation is ready for a change. Ready for
something that doesn’t promise a whole new life if you’ll just buy the
right pair of jeans or use the right kind of deodorant. We believe our
generation is ready to rethink what teens are capable of doing and
becoming. And we’ve noticed that once wrong ideas are debunked
cleared away, our generation is quick to choose a better way, even if
it’s also more difficult.
We’re nineteen-year-old twin
brothers, born and raised in Oregon, taught at home by our parents, and
striving to follow Christ as best we can. We’ve made more than our share of
mistakes. And although we don’t think “average teenagers” exist, there is
nothing all that extraordinary about us personally.
we’ve had some extraordinary experiences. At age sixteen, we interned
at the Alabama Supreme Court. At seventeen, we served as grass-roots
directors for four statewide political campaigns. At eighteen, we authored
the most popular Christian teen blog on the web. We’ve been able to
speak to thousands of teens and their parents at conferences in the
United States and internationally and to reach millions
online. But if
our teen years have been different than most, it’s not because we’re
somehow better than other teens, but because we’ve been motivated by a
simple but very big idea. It’s an idea you’re going to encounter for
yourself in the pages
We’ve seen this idea transform
“average” teenagers into world-changers able to accomplish incredible
things. And they started by simply being willing to break the mold of
what society thinks teens are capable of.
So even though the
story starts with us, this book really isn’t about us, and we would
never want it to be. It’s about something God is doing in the hearts and
minds of our generation. It’s about an idea. It’s about rebelling
against low expectations. It’s about a movement that is changing the
attitudes and actions of teens around the world. And we want you to be part of
This book invites you to explore some radical
• Is it possible that even though teens today have more
freedom than any other generation in history, we’re actually missing out
on some of the best years of our
• Is it possible
that what our culture says about the purpose and potential of the teen
years is a lie and that we are its victims?
• Is it
possible that our teen years give us a once-in-alifetime opportunity for huge
accomplishments—as individuals and as a generation?
finally, what would our lives look like if we set out on a different path
entirely—a path that required more effort but promised a lot more
We describe that alternative path with three simple
words: “do hard things.”
If you’re like most people, your first
reaction to the phrase “do hard things” runs along the lines of, “Hard?
Uh-oh. Guys, I just remembered that I’m supposed to be somewhere else.
Like, right now.”
We understand this reaction. It reminds
us of a story we like to tell about a group of monks. Yep, monks.
On the outskirts of a small town in Germany is the imaginary abbey
of Dundelhoff. This small stone monastery is home to a particularly
strict sect of Dundress monks, who have each vowed to live a life of
continual self-denial and discomfort.
Instead of wearing comfy
T-shirts and well-worn jeans like most people, these monks wear either
itchy shirts made from goat hair or cold chain mail worn directly over
bare skin. Instead of soft mattresses, pillows, and warm blankets, they
sleep on the cold stone floors of the abbey. You might have read
somewhere that monks are fabulous cooks? Well, not these monks. They eat
colorless, tasteless sludge—once a day. They only drink lukewarm water.
We could go on, but you get the picture. No matter what
decision they face, Dundress monks always choose the more difficult option,
the one that provides the least physical comfort, holds the least appeal,
offers the least fun. Why? Because they believe that the more
miserable they are, the holier they are; and the holier they are, the happier
So these miserable monks must be poster boys for “do
hard things.” Right?
We’re not plotting to
make your life miserable. We’re not recommending that you do any and
every difficult thing. For example, we’re not telling you to rob a bank,
jump off a cliff, climb Half Dome with your bare hands, or stand on
your head for twenty-four hours straight. We are not telling you to do
pointless (or stupid) hard things just because they’re hard. And if
you’re a Christian, we’re certainly not telling you that if you work harder
or make yourself uncomfortable on purpose, God will love you more. He
will never—could never—love you any more than He does right now.
So that’s what we’re not doing. What we are doing is challenging
you to grab hold of a more exciting option for your teen years than the
one portrayed as normal in society today. This option has somehow gotten
lost in our culture, and most people don’t even know it. In the pages
ahead, you’re going to meet young people just like you who have
rediscovered this better way—a way to reach higher, dream bigger, grow
stronger, love and honor God, live with more joy—and quit wasting their
In Do Hard Things, we not only say there is a better
way to do the teen years, we show you how we and thousands of other
teens are doing it right now and how you can as well.