Do Hard Things: Part Two

Cover of "Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebel...

Cover via Amazon

Do Hard Things: by Alex and Brett Harris

I had forgotten this before, but their theme verse for this whole thing (the website, blog, book, everything) is 1 Timothy 4:12:

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

(1 Timothy 4:12 ESV)

They said their focus wasn’t on the first half of the verse, but on the second, setting an example to others.

OK, setting an example; that’s not too hard! So, when I’m at church and I see a little kid running, I set an example and tell them (gently of course) that they never see me running. Why?  Because I might bump into some one. So since I’m older and wiser they should follow my example and stop running. Nope, I’m sorry if you were hoping that was true, this is probably the first time you’ve visited my blog, because that’s not at all what it means! It means when your little bother (i.e. brother) is bothering you, you set an godly example and gently ask him to stop, or just overlook it. Or, you could set an example by doing something kind for your sister right after she dumped her soda can on your new comforter. Or you could show your friends that life isn’t all about shopping, music, and clothes (hopefully most of your friends don’t think that’s all life is about, at least, mine don’t :)).  You could set an example of humility by serving in the background, where no one will notice, instead of helping “on stage” where every one will praise you. Anyway, you can probably think of a LOT of ways to be an example right? So don’t just remember the first part of the verse! Memorize it all!

Here’s a question a friend asked me about my first post on this book, I’ve decided to incorporate it into this post.

If the kids hanging out at the basketball court or skateboard park or the neighbors sitting in their kitchens talking most of the day, changed their activity (say the kids spent that same amount of time practicing the violin or piano and the neighbors in the kitchen spent their time sewing clothes for the homeless), would that then mean their time is not being wasted? If the activity changes, does anything else change?
Good question! I think that those are good things to do, but I also think that you still could be wasting your time doing them. If you aren’t doing them for God’s glory (for instance if you were sewing clothes for the homeless because someone told you they would give you $50 every piece you sewed :*) but for personal gain or glory, I think it would be wasting time. But what if you did want to glorify God through your sewing?  I think it would be a matter of importance. Is what you are doing (i.e. sewing clothes for the homeless) the very best thing you could be doing with your time.  Also, maybe you are using that for an excuse, practicing violin because you don’t want to do your math. Because you want to take your mind off of the problems you’re facing in your life. Because you would rather play violin instead of have time alone with God (by the way, there is a balance to be struck with that, I think that having time with God is definitely very very very important but God has also called you to do other things with your time too, like practicing the violin. I think that if you’re to the point of replacing having time with God with playing the violin it has become an idol.) So,I think that if you are sure that God wants you to be doing it, and you have already done the other more important things God’s calling you to do at this time, and you are doing it solely with the motive of glorifying God, no, I don’t think it would be wasting time. I would go so far to say that if you are positive that “living” at the skateboard park all day in and day out is what God has called you to do and that you are doing it for the glory of God, and you have all the other important things (school is a big one) done already, and that is the best possible use of your time that you could do that and not be wasting your time! However, you would have a extremely hard time convincing me of all that :*
So, there’s your answer!

Do Hard Things

My brothers read this book too, and I thought you would enjoy both of their posts, except Kyle hasn’t written his yet 🙂 But take a look a Chris’s review

Do Hard Things: Alex and Brett Harris

Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Lo...

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This past week I read the book “Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.” It was really interesting and presented a lot of  ideas, or perspectives of those ideas. Here are some of the main points, or the points that struck me the most :).

Actually, first I’m going to copy the first part of the book.

“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 to last.

Well, we do.”

So with that introduction here’s some of the main points.

” 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 life.” I’m not technically a teenager yet, but this was interesting, we have a basketball court near our house and sometimes I’ll see the same young men (probably from 15 to 20 years old) just hanging out there all day. I have a friend who witnesses to boys at the skateboard park who are there a lot of the day, almost every day. We have “neighbors” who just sit in there house and talk all day. Whenever I see that I just think, they are just wasting so much time! They are losing so many opportunities to do so many things! Their parents don’t expect anything of them so they just waste their whole life lazily dribbling a basketball or something else like that.

Anyway, it was a good reminder to use the years of life God has given me wisely and to His glory.

“The word teenager had been around for less than seventy years!”

Here is an interesting account. “Teachers were given two classes of randomly divided students. However, the teachers were told that one class was made up of the best and brightest at the school and that the other class was made up of the slower to average students. Guess what happened?”

The class that the teacher thought was brightest, exceeded all expectations while the other class struggled and was left behind. He found out in the end that both were made up of average students! His expectations made all the difference!

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
(1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV) No mention of acting like a teenager here!
They give an example of a diving board, if you don’t jump at the right spot you end up doing a belly flop. “The pool is your future life. The diving board is your present life. The Myth of Adolescence would have you think that now is your time to party beside the pool. But the fact is, you’re already on the diving board… We’ll either make a successful dive into adulthood or deliver something closer to a belly flop- a failure to launch.”
That’s part one of my review; (running out of time) the next part will come sometime next week.

The Peacemaker: Chapter 4: Is this really worth fighting over

A man’s wisdom gives him patience;

and it is his glory to overlook an offence.

Proverbs 19:11

In this chapter Mr. Sande gives us some help on making sure this conflict is worth fighting over, and, helping us make sure the log is out of our eye before we try to take the speck out of our opponents eye. This is something I often struggle with so this chapter was a good one!  Here is the summary of his summary of the chapter.

  1. Define the material issues in this conflict.
  2. Define the personal issues in this conflict.
  3. Which personal issues are having the greatest influence on you and your oppenent?
  4. What has the other person done to offend you?
  5. Check your additude;   Have you been gentle, or irritable? What is good about the person involved in your conflict? What principles taought in Scripture do you need to apply in this conflict?
  6. What effect is your conflict having on the onlookers? (coworkers, family, neighbors, church members)
  7. How might overlooking this offense be pleasing to God?
  8. Which of the material issues in Quest. 1 can you simply give in on?

I needed this chapter and will work on using it!

Book Review

This is a great piece of writing! I’ve not read the book so I don’t know what it is like but she did a great job writing it!

She’s done a couple of them so be sure to take a look!

The Peacemaker: Chapter 3

Trust in the Lord and Do Good

I am writing this post as I sniff and sneeze wishing I could be at church with the others… but since I can’t I was able to read and write a review on this chapter today.

For this chapter I’m going to share with you some of the things he said that I found most relevant to me.

“The more you understand God’s love and power, the easier it is to trust him. And the more you trust him, the easier it is to do his will. This is especially true when you are involved in a conflict.”
God is sovereign: He allowed this conflict! He knows it’s happening and is teaching us something through it.
“God is good: He know’s us as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when his eye is off me , or his attention distracted from me.” ~J. I. Packer
“The fact that God is good does not mean that he will insulate us from all suffering. Rather it means he will be with us in our suffering and accomplish good through it.”

When you are involved in a conflict, you to must decide whether or not you will trust in God. Trusting God does not mean believing that he will do all you want, but rather believing that he will do everything he knows is good.

I need to remember that God is good, even when I’m involved in a conflict: I also need to trust him.

The Peacemaker: Chapter Two

This chapter is entitled: “Live at Peace.”  Mr. Sande begins the chapter by giving, “The Three Dimensions of Peace”

Peace With God: “Peace with God does not come automatically. ”

Peace With Others: “In addition to giving you peace with God, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross opened the way for you to enjoy peace with other people.”

Peace Within Yourself: “Through Jesus you can also experience genuine peace within yourself.”

“God loves peace. From Genesis to Revelation He communicates a deep desire to bless His people with peace and to use them to bring peace to others.” ~Ken Sande

The author also talks about the enemy of peace: Satan, which means “adversary.”  We need to be aware of Satan’s goals so that we will not be led astray from peace.

I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter: I find if I don’t write the review before I start the next chapter I can’t remember everything very well, but it sure is hard not to start the next chapter! I can’t wait for chapter three!

The Peacemaker: Chapter 1

In this chapter Ken Sande shows us the options you have in a conflict. He drew a chart called the “Slippery Slope” that showed the options, I will just try to describe it to you.

Escape Responses                                                                                Peacemaking Responses                                                                            Attack Responses

Suicide –  Flight –  Denial          Overlook – Reconciliation – Negotiation – Mediation – Arbitration – Accountability          Assault –    Litigation – Murder

Think of this as the options you have when facing a conflict. Suicide and murder are obviously the extremes. He looks at each of them and then focuses on the peace making responses

Though it takes him a lot of pages I’ll just let you read the book and find it out yourself :). I will give you the tips and processes that will help me in peacemaking.

Conflict Provides Opportunities!                          In Conflict you should:

Glorify God

Serve Others

Grow to be like Christ

He also gives: “The Four G’s of Peacemaking”

Glorify God: How can I please and honor God in this situation?

Get the log out of your own eye: How can I show Jesus’s work in me by taking responsibility for my contribution to this conflict?

Gently Restore: How can I serve others by helping take their responsibility for their contribution to this conflict?

Go and be Reconciled: How can I demonstrate the forgiveness of God and encourage a reasonable solution to this conflict?

That is only some of the content but it has some great ways to encouraging peace! I really encourage you to read this book!

The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

This is a book I’m going to start reading, it is quite long so I’m going to review every chapter, not just the book as a whole. I may not get all of them done but I’ll try to!

(the picture is copied from Amazon, but you can not click on it.)

She Walked With Jesus (by Brenda Poinsett)

I received this book for my birthday and just finished reading it. I loved the way she took the women’s story and drew out truths for us today. she covers Lydia, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Mary Madelene, Martha, and many other women who lived in and around Jesus’s time. I liked the short chapters she divided it into too. I’m not sure this with actually work but if it does, here is a link to look inside this book:  I really would encourage you to read this great book.

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