Monday, June 8, 2009

The world might make it after all...

From time to time, I do a little teenager bashing on here. Much of it can be easily justified by something stup...excuse me...ridiculous my own teenager has said or done (I can no longer use the stupid word by decree of Mrs. Tony C). Having a teenage girl coupled with an approaching terrible two's toddler gives me greater understanding of the plight of Job. As a matter of fact, there are days I'd rather sit around and scrape scabs to open wounds than listen to one more lame excuse trying to justify the funky smell emitting from a certain person's room or the lack of appropriate attire that coincides with current weather patterns. UGGGHHHH!

But that's not my direction a matter of fact, I'm going a completely different way...hopefully for good. While on vacation last week, I managed to get in some long overdue casual reading. Oh, I read a lot daily, but keeping up with the world today requires reading or watching or listening to a plethora of daily casual/leisure reading often takes a back seat...or would toilet seat be more accurate. I digress...

One of the books I was determined to work through was Do Hard Things by Alex and Brent Harris. I had heard and read good reviews about the book and the premise that teenagers are tired of the low expectation placed on them as a group from society. Interesting....but I needed more information.

Wow! Starting with the Forward by none other than Chuck Norris, this book grabbed and convicted me. The book is not complex, yet it challenges the core belief in most adults today that teenagers are a lazy bunch looking for the path of least resistance in life. You find yourself quickly on the battlefields of WW II where the fate of the world often was in the hands of 17 or 18 years old on both sides of the fight. There are examples from Biblical times up to present day of teenagers making major impact in the world.

Also, Do Hard Things is a book on faith. The authors proudly testify about the impact Christ has made in their own lives. The book won't keep your teenagers out of trouble. Instead, it challenges both them and you to put God at the center and strive to achieve your fullest potential by...well...doing hard things.

Recent ESPN the Magazine article titled Do Hard Things

I've got to admit, the book has had a profound impact on the way I view and deal with my own teenager. Even though I hold her to high expectations (or so I thought), I still place limits on her ability to make a major impact for God and for herself in the world....and it's not just her. Working with youth at church can often be frustrating and painful, but now I see that I create a lot of the negative feelings I have because my own actions and words project low expectations from the get-go.

Read this book. If you have children, work with youth or if you've ever been a this book! I'm very glad it was suggested to me (thanks Rosie), and I did. Be warned that your toes might get stepped on like mine did...but in the's well worth the self-reflection and renewed faith that everything will be okay when the kids of today get their chance to run things. We should expect that from them.


David said...

Wow, it is wonderful when real men of God (like you) turn from the stereotypical father roles, and treat kids like real Christians. We don't make mistakes because we don't love, we make them because we don't always know.

My personal epiphany came at a David and Kathie Walters - "Kids in Combat" conference. He started out by saying, "Kids are dumb, sticky and loud." The parents laughed, and the kids, from 3 to 18, rolled their eyes. He then said, "Parents, please show me in the Bible where it says our kids have a junior Holy Spirit?" (It doesn't.) Then asked the kids to kindly point their finger at their parents, and say, "I told you so."

Wow, my 8-year-old has never been the same. She was full of the Holy Spirit and power when she left. She has done missions and brought many to Christ. She is now 18. My other daughter was a Kings Kid for (YWAM) 5 or 6 years and dnaced fo Jesus on the streets of most major New England cities.

Do they still do stu - err - dumb things? Yupp. But not as dumb as me not letting them grow up in Christ.

Bravo Tony, for you persistence to be like Him. And you know, you look little like Chuck Norris too. ;o]

Laretha said...

I can't wait to read it!

Thanks for the recommend. We do place too low of standards on our teens. We set the bar too low when they are capable of so much more!

Beth in NC said...

You have me interested! Sounds like a great book!

AtlantaMama said...

wow... i didn't know you had a teen and an almost two! our almost two-year-old is showing people who don't know us that he's "almost two". i keep saying, "it's just a phase"...

But my husband and I work w/ teens so we need to read that book.

Burkulater said...

Sounds like a good read...thankfully, I'll need to read it in several years!

Lula! said...

I want to read it. But I'm afraid. In a good way. I know God will use it to challenge and convict me, which I need...but don't always want.

Being honest. Because God's always honest.

Ah, so thankful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

AtlantaMama said...

Thought of you when I saw this on another web site:

Even though saying his name* makes my teeth grate, Rick O’Shea, a 2FM DJ, has a blog and he has a rather amusing entry on cows.


SOCIALISM:You have 2 cows, and you give one to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM:You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM:You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.

etc etc

My favourites are these;

SURREALISM:You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


THE POLISH GOVERNMENT:You have two cows. You lecture one on how turning gay will mean the end of cattle. The other cow emigrates.

(Not sure if this google link will work, but you can try it:

Pastor Jamie said...

Thanks for this recommendation! I am certainly going to share it with my friends who are moms of teenagers... and as the future mom of a future teenager, maybe I should read it as well! God bless.

Z said...

I sense kids are missing enthusiasm these days..about anything.
An interesting tie-in is their having no expectations on them... high expectations might make them live UP to something..strive, get excited, feel accomplishment?
We can only hope. the book sounds good, thanks, Joe.
I hope you're feeling well.