Do Hard Things: Week 3 Discussion 3

July 24, 2008

At this point there has been NO interaction with the discussion questions.  I strongly encourage you to respond to AT LEAST one question (here are the guidelines for commenting – here).

The following is taken verbatim from the Do Hard Things – Study Guide

Chapter 3 is titled the Myth of Adolescence: Exposing Expectations That Our Robbing our Generation

An elephant is an incredibly powerful beast that can be restrained by a piece of twine (No kidding).  And that powerful animal just might be you, say Alex and Brett.  Why?  Because teens today but into “the Myth of Adolescence.”  That myth is an assumption that the teen years can’t add up to much and are meant to be spent as some sort of vacation from responsibility.  Unfortunately, those low expectations end up trapping and limiting teens for no good reason.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Even the word teenager, the authors point out, is a recent invention.  We can choose to live by higher standards.  We can leave childish ways behind and grow up.  We can decide to do hard things.  That, say the twins, is where the Rebelution starts.

Questions for discussion:

Have you ever visited a zoo, seen beautiful and powerful animals caged by glass or bars, and felt that something was terribly wrong?  If so, talk about it.  Why do you think some teens might identify with a wild but caged bird or animal?

Do you think that harmless-sounding lies about the teen years could be holding back both you and other teens you know?  Talk about it. 

What was your reaction to the stories of George, David, and Clarissa (pages 31-32)?  Have you ever thought you could accomplish a lot more than you are now?

What do your parents expect you to do at home in an average week?  Do you deliver?  Be honest.  How much time and effort does it take to do what’s asked of you?  Do you think your parents require too much or too little? 

Have you ever found yourself behaving very differently – and accomplishing a lot more – simply because someone expected you to?  Describe the experience.

Look forward to hearing from you SOON!

 


Walk Across the Room

July 22, 2008

What if twenty steps across a room would change your friends forever?  Don’t forget that on the 3rd of August, in Room 205 @ 9:30 A.M. we will be launching our 4-week study by Bill Hybels called, “Just Walk Across the Room.”

Over a four weekend period, we’ll learn to:

  • Develop friendships with people far from God
  • Discover the stories behind their life’s journey
  • Discern what “next steps” will help point them to faith

Just Walk Across the Room will change your mind about sharing your faith with others. 

Pointing people to faith is something that all of us can do – and it shows up on the heels of a simple walk across the room.

You don’t want to miss this!


Role of Parents and the Church in Rearing the Next Generation

July 21, 2008

Here are some interesting thoughts from David Prince in his work titled Family Worship

In commenting on the business of our lives, David Prince asks:

In the midst of our busy lives, who is given the responsibility of rearing the next generation in the Christian faith?  Who is given the responsibility of calling the next generation to hope in God?

Pause for a moment and think about this before reading below

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Do Hard Things: Week 2 Chapter 2 DISCUSSION

July 16, 2008

For discussion guidelines click here.

The following is verbatim from the Do Hard Things Study Guide:

In this chapter, Alex and Brett tell the story of their journey from being bored teens to being Supremem Court interns, campaign workers, and blog hosts.  But before they had new experiences they had new ideas – big ideas like:

  • Our generation is getting robbed!
  • There has to be more to the teen years than goofing off.
  • Ordinary teens can make a big difference in the world.
  • Young people can handle big responsibilities.
  • With big dreams come big challenges.
  • What teens working together can accomplish is amazing!

They close the chapter by inviting readers to join them in an uprising “against a cultural mind-set that twists the purpose and potential of the teen years and threatens to cripple our generation.

Questions for discussion and reflection:

  •  
    • Looking back, do you see a season, a book, or an event that changed what you believe or how you live?  If so, talk about it.  How are you different now?

 

  •  
    • One teen told Alex and Brett, “Everyone I know at school is shackled by low expectations.”  Could you say the same thing?  If so, talk about why.

 

  •  
    • Have you ever found yourself responsible for a task that seemed too big for you to succeed at?  If so, what happened?  Did that experience turn out to be a bad thing or a good thing your life?

 

  •  
    • Did you identify with the story of shy Heidi Bentley (pages 19-22)?  If so, talk about it.

 

  •  
    • History shows that youth movements against God-established authority have generally amouunted to much.  How do the authors set their message apart from such movements? 

Family Worship: Reading the Scriptures

July 15, 2008

J. W. Alexander once said,

The daily reading of God’s holy word, by a parent before his children, is one of the most powerful agencies of Christian life.  We are prone to undervalue this cause.  It is a constant dropping, but it wears its mark into the rock.  A family thus trained cannot be ignorant of the Word.  The whole Scriptures come repeatedly before the mind…No part of juvenile education is more important (Thoughts on Family Worship, pg. 62-63).

As parents/guardians we must understand that God’s words are powerful, and that they are more than capable to give us “wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3.15).  Not only do the Scriptures give us wisdom that leads to salvation, but they are good for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3.16). 

The reason that we read the Scriptures to our children is finally explained in 2 Timothy 3.17,

so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Therefore, we as parents/guardians are to read and integrate the Scriptures in the lives of our children on a daily basis (read Deuteronomy 6.4-9).  The integration of faith in the lives of our children is to be a daily affair that is based upon our involvement in their lives.  Since this is the case we cannot believe for one iota that sending them to school, children’s church, or youth group, will provide all that they need to become a Christian.  These should be a support to what is going on at home and not the primary means of instruction and discipline (read Ephesians 6.1-4)

Let me ask you parents/guardians, “What steps can you take right now to best incorporate the reading of Scripture with your family?”  “Does life need to be simplified?”  “Are there activities that need to be canceled to create more time for your involvement in the life of your children?”  “Should you go to bed earlier, missing the late night shows, so that you can get up 30 minutes earlier to read and pray together?”  “What steps need to be taken in order to have your family together for family worship in the evening?” 

These are just some preliminary questions.  I will provide some other thoughts on family worship later.


Do Hard Things: Week 2 Chapter 2

July 15, 2008

This week we are reading Chapter 2 of Do Hard Things.  The title of this chapter is “The Birth of a Big Idea: Rumblings of a rebelution.”  For the guidelines and expectations of the read along and discussion click here.

This chapter entails how Alex and Brett Harris came upon the idea of beginning the “rebelution.”  For me I am always encouraged by reading the stories of others and how the LORD works in and through their lives.  It seems as if the LORD always does more than we could ever think or imagine (read Ephesians 3.20) when we step out in faith to do what He calls us to do.

After reading this chapter I was really encouraged by the example of Heidi in her work in the political grass-roots level in Alabama.  In commenting on her introverted personality and how she arose to the challenge that was set before her, Alex and Brett said,

She had always been extremely introverted.  She hated talking on the phone, her family told us, even with people she knew.  Yet we had put her on the phone with strangers almost constantly.  Throughout the entire campaign, her family watched in amazement as Heidi jumped way outside of her comfort zone and did things that would have seemed impossible before (pg. 20).

If we believe that salvation is possible only through the life of Jesus Christ (read John 14.6) and that God empowers us to be a witness for Him to others (read Acts 1.8), then why do some of us use our “shyness” as an excuse to not connect with others for the purpose of introducing them to Jesus Christ?  Also, if God has promised to empower us to be a witness by sharing Jesus Christ with others, then how can we say that it is true if we do not step out in faith on His word? (you so have to check-out the example of Peter in stepping out in faith upon the promise of God in Luke 5.1-11). 

What can we take away from this?  What we can take away from this little blurb is that we cannot cop out on personal responsibility by using our personality quarks as excuses.  We cannot place anything in our life in a position that is greater than God.  As if it has more power over us than what God is working in us.  The power of God that is at work towards us is so much greater than any personality trait, physical deformity, or speech impediment, that we may or may not have (read Ephesians 1.18-20).


Media Awareness and A Review of “I Kissed a Girl”

July 14, 2008

As parents it is vitally important that we purposefully engage with our children and other youth in helping them develop the ability to interact with all forms of media (such as T.V., music, Internet, etc…) from a Biblical perspective (i.e. Christian Worldview).  Likewise, it is crucial for youth to learn how to engage all forms of media from a Biblical perspective.  For example, if we as parents simply tell our children not to watch certain programs, but never provide them with the ability to make that decision themselves, then we are doing them a seriouis injustice.  Moreover, if youth are mindlessly watching and listening to whatever they please, then I can guarantee you that you will become what you are feeding on (same principle as eating, you are what you eat!)

There are two reasons that I have been thinking about this.  First, I just recently started a facebook page for myself and have been stupefied by how many people claim that they are Christians,yet post countless pictures of themselves drinking, partying, and what character from Sex and the City best represents them. 

Secondly, my wife and I were…

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