Wednesday, March 17, 2010

‘Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are’ by Alex & Brett Harris with Elisa Stanford – Book Review and Giveaway

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Alex and Brett Harris have done a lot in their young lives.  In 2005, they created a blog called The Rebelution.  The Rebelution is described on the group’s Facebook page as ‘a movement of teens and young adults around the world who are rebelling against the low expectations society holds for young people.’  The twins were sixteen years old at that time.  They wrote their first book, ‘Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations,’ when they were eighteen.  They speak regularly to audiences of thousands on the The Rebelution Tour.  The movement is geared to teenagers and young adults.  They also tweet on Twitter.  Raised in Portland, OR, they are now twenty and are currently attending Patrick Henry College in Virginia.

Here are Alex and Brett previewing ‘Start Here’:

I’ve just discovered that Alex & Brett’s older brother is Joshua Harris, whose book, ‘Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters,’ will be reviewed here soon.  What an amazing family!

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are’ is the follow-up to ‘Do Hard Things.’  It is a practical guide to doing the hard things.  It answers the questions ‘How do I get started?’ ‘What do I do when I get discouraged?’ and ‘What’s the best way to inspire others?,’ among many others.  The book is filled with stories and insights from Alex and Brett, and other real-life rebelutionaries.

The twins explain what has happened since the movement began:

Since ‘Do Hard Things’ came out, the Rebelution movement has exploded.  In the past year, rebelutionary teens have raised tens of thousands of dollars to bring the gospel to and dig wells in Africa, won prestigious film festivals, fought human trafficking in the United States and around the world, young people are moving out of their comfort zones – whether that means standing for Christ in a hostile classroom, raising money to build a dormitory for orphans in China, or mending relationships with parents or younger siblings. (p. 2)

I think this is a wonderful book to give to a young person, to give them some ideas and inspiration on how to get started doing hard things.  These Godly young men provide powerful insights.  

Here’s an example, in Chapter 2, 'Getting Started: What That First Step Looks Like':

Nothing we do for God is insignificant.  When we have this as our mind-set, then we won’t get proud if God allows us to do something big and we won’t be discouraged if we feel stuck in the small things.  Remember, neither fame nor obscurity is the goal.  The goal is obedience to God, effectiveness in whatever he gives us to do, and a heart that glorifies Him.  (p. 21)

The earlier one learns that valuable lesson, the better off one will be and the more glory will be sent in the right direction – to God.  They regularly promote the Godly principles of humility and service to others.  They also offer helpful advice on time management, Godly counsel, patience, perseverance, praying for mentors, etc…  Here’s the twins’ perspective on using time productively:

In our own lives, having seemingly too much to do can actually make us more productive.  It forces us to be purposeful in our use of time and to cut out unimportant things.  Like Hannah, we’ve found that stretching ourselves requires us to rely on God in order to get everything done.  We try to keep our schedule right outside our comfort zone, but not in the danger zone, where the quality of our work, important relationships, or obligations suffer. (p. 60)

The young men make a good point that doing hard things as a teen or young adult will help later on in life:

If we fail to prepare adequately as young adults, responsibility will be like a weight that is too heavy for our untrained arms.  The problem will not be that we grew up too fast but that we weren’t prepared when we did grow up and become adults.  Rather than learn to properly balance hard work and fun as teenagers, we let a preoccupation with fun set us up for failure. (p. 90)

What insightful and sound advice!

I found this passage to be the culmination of their message:

In every moment of victory, God calls us to remember that we can do good things only when He world through us.  Our response to accomplishing a hard thing will never be perfectly pure, but as we grow closer to God, our desire to see Him glorified, not us, will grow.  Our excitement over what He has done will practically burst from us!  We will take more and more joy in being part of what God is doing. (p. 106)

It is heartening to see young people whose hearts are so geared to the heart of God.  I highly recommend 'Start Here' for all young people; in fact, I learned a few things myself!  As a matter of fact, I think it is also a valuable resource for churches and for youth ministries.

You can order this book here.

This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review and giveaway purposes.

I have a copy of this book that I would love to pass along to one of you! 

There are several ways to gain entry:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me about the person who you have in mind that would benefit from this book!  Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.

2) Follow me on Twitter; I will more than likely follow you back!  If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

3) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

4) Become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

5) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

So there are five chances to enter!  Please limit one entry per option.

This give away is for U.S. residents only.  The deadline for entry is Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Thursday, March 25, 2010 and will be contacted via email.  The best to all of you!


Judylynn said...

Hi, Andrea! Sign me up!


Judylynn said...

I am a Google follower!

Judylynn said...

I am a Facebook friend!

Judylynn said...

I am a Twitter follower!

Kathy at Sumballo said...

I would love to share this book with my teens!

sumballo at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

i read do hard things and LOVED it!
i would love to get this book and read it!
so enter me!
Carman sent me.

Sprite said...

Hey there! I added you as a facebook friend, and I would love to enter to win this book! I got so much out of "Do Hard Things", and I'm incredibly anxious to read "Start Here". Carman sent me to your blog- thanks so much!

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