rebelling against low expectations

Megan & Mandy: Taking A Stand For Christ


For some reason Alex and I have a certain penchant for stories about twins doing hard things — so we were very excited this past week when we heard the story of Megan and Mandy Chapman, twin sisters from Russel County, Kentucky. They provide a wonderful example of what it looks like to “take a stand” for Christ.

A Federal Lawsuit Filed by the ACLU

Megan and Mandy were graduating high school on Friday. Megan had been selected to conduct a prayer during the ceremony. Friday morning a federal judge issued an order barring Russell County High School and Megan (she was cited in the order by name) from conducting prayer during commencement.

With graduation just around the corner and her entire life ahead of her, Megan faced a difficult choice. Can you imagine how it would feel to read your name in a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU? As Megan wrestled with her decision, Mandy began to formulate a plan of her own.

Liberty Counsel and The Lord’s Prayer

At 4:00 PM, only three hours before the graduation ceremony, Megan received a phone call from Liberty Counsel, an organization devoted to protecting religious freedom.

Liberty Counsel founder and chairman, Mat Staver, told Megan they’d be behind her every step of the way and counseled her that God can turn apparent adversity into great opportunity when we’re willing to trust and obey Him.

Only a few hours later more than 3,000 people packed into the Russell County High gymnasium to watch 200 seniors graduate. As the principal finished his opening remarks the senior class suddenly stood as one body and began to recite The Lord’s Prayer!

Before they could finish the audience erupted into thunderous applause. Some students were too overcome with emotion to finish. But the statement had been made. They would not bow down to the ACLU.

A Secular Poem or Her Testimony?

Then, Megan came to the podium prepared to deliver a secular poem, The Road Less Traveled. But when she looked out at the large audience, and at the hundreds of seniors who had just completed The Lord’s Prayer, she asked God to give her a message. You did not put me here to recite a poem, Lord.

Putting aside what she prepared, Megan spoke from her heart. She shared how God had led her since she was a child. She spoke of the peace that comes from giving your life to Jesus. And she wished her classmates the same peace through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Again and again the speech was interrupted with applause and punctuated by several standing ovations.The Louisville Courier-Journal reporter covering the event described the evening as having a “revival-like atmosphere,” to the complete dismay of the ACLU! In trying to silence a prayer they had sparked a revival!

Fox News and Liberty University

The following morning, Megan received a call from Fox News, and that night shared the story of her personal salvation through Jesus Christ — with millions of viewers!

That same afternoon, Mat Staver spoke with Dr. Jerry Falwell, Founder and then Chancellor of Liberty University, and was authorized to offer Megan full scholarship to join the 2006 freshman class. Upon hearing the good news, Megan was overcome with tearful amazement.

“Are you kidding?” she asked. “I’ve been praying for several years to be able to attend Liberty University, but I simply could not afford it.” But to Mr. Staver’s bewilderment, Megan did not immediately accept the offer. He was puzzled.

Mr. Staver called her a few days later and voice that sounded just like Megan answered the phone. “Megan?” he asked.

“No, this is Mandy, her twin sister,” the voice replied.

Mandy, he found out, was the one who orchestrated the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer — distributing bookmarks with a copy of the prayer on it in case anyone forgot the words (see the bookmarks in this post’s header).

Mr. Staver immediately called Dr. Falwell. “Guess what,” he said. “Megan has a twin sister!”

Dr. Falwell paused briefly, and offered Mandy a full scholarship as well! The twin sisters, who had been planning to attend University of the Cumberlands together, now had an open door to their first choice — Liberty University!

From Liberty Counsel’s May 2008 Newsletter

“Almost two years later, Megan and Mandy have completed their sophomore year. Since arriving at Liberty, Megan has been volunteering in the Liberty Counsel office. She now wants to enter law school and eventually work with Liberty Counsel defending our religious freedoms against the ACLU bullies!

But there’s even more to the story. When CNN Headline News called wanting to feature Liberty Counsel in their series “God’s Warriors,” we introduced CNN correspondent Christiane Amenpour to the twins. The story of Megan and Mandy and their faith has now been shown several times around the world in the two hour documentary called “God’s Christian Warriors.” Megan and Mandy have received emails and notes of appreciation from all over the world!

God loves irony. Megan had a choice — buckle to the pressure of the ACLU or stand up for Christ. Had she buckled, her graduation would have been silent and her life would have taken a different direction. But she stood for Christ, and her witness was heard around the world. She is now at Liberty University and may soon go head-to-head in court with the ACLU as a practicing attorney. She did the right thing, and God honored her.”

Closing Thoughts and Application

Of course, taking a stand for Christ doesn’t always involved the ACLU — and it doesn’t often result in CNN documentaries, and full scholarships to your favorite college. The audience won’t always give you a standing ovation.

So what can we learn from Megan and Mandy? Well, I see a God who is in complete control. He brought Megan and Mandy an unwelcome test (via the ACLU), rewarded their obedience almost immediately (via Liberty University), and gave them a platform to spread the Gospel (via Fox News and CNN).

We can look at that story and say, “Wow, God is amazing! We obey Him and He gives us scholarships and fame!” But what if Megan had been booed? What if the ACLU had won? What if Megan and Mandy were made “media-martyrs” for standing up for Christ? Would God be less amazing?

I love stories like Megan and Mandy’s because I can see what God was up to. And at those times when it’s not so easy to see, I can say, “God, I know that you are in complete control. And even though I don’t understand what you are doing, I trust you, because I’ve seen you work before.”

I hope that Megan and Mandy’s story will inspire you to take radical stands for Christ, trusting firmly in God’s goodness, whatever the outcome might be. My prayer is that our generation would count the cost and stand anyway. That we would be able to stand firm and say with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • This was a very encorageing post! Jesus needs more peopel like megan and mandy, who are willing to take the chance to be made fun of or be labeled “Jesus freaks” . Its hard to take a stand for Christ sometimes, theres always the temptation to give in and do what everybody wants you to do, (at least what seems like what every body wants you to do.) but theres always rewards at the end.
    God bless the Reboltion, and megan and mandy.

  • …I had chill bumps through this entire post! What an amazing story!
    Thanks for sharing and encouraging all of us to take a stand for Jesus.

  • That is one amazing story, and one amazing God. I couldn’t have written a better ending. But you’re right, even if God hadn’t come through the way He did, it still would have been best in the long run to obey God.

  • What a great story! I still love that poem by Robert Frost that you mentioned. I like to think of it as the pathway of life, and the choice to follow Christ is the road less traveled. Of course it’s not totally theologicaly correct in the sence that we can’t choice that way unless God calls you.

  • Wow, absolutely amazing story! It reminds us that everyday is filled with choices and each choice has two seperate paths to travel, God’s or the world’s. This story is a reminder that every choice should be to follow God’s path.

  • I’m glad you posted the Chapman’s story. I’m actually a Liberty University distance learning student, and I’ve read their story before when it was featured in The Liberty Journal. I found it inspiring to say the least. It’s actually the only time I ever wished I could have been public schooled! Oh that I could have had the chance for a public witness like that at my graduation ceremony! What those girls did was truly amazing, and God was truly glorified. I’ll be attending Liberty University campus for the first time in the fall, so I’m hoping I’ll have the chance to meet these two remarkable sisters. Thanks for sharing their story, guys. They definitely fit the definition of rebelutionaries!

  • This is amazing!!! I’m so glad you posted this. These kind of stories really encourage me to do something amazing also!!!! 🙂

  • This is a great story of two young women who are willing to stand up for Christ in an age where religious pluralism and tolarance are much highly praised than Biblical Christianity. Praise Christ for what he is doing in their lives and the lives of others.

  • Immediately after my post I remembered Phil. 3:8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ”. This is the type of attitude that our generation must have if we are to reach a dying and fallen world. If we take a stand for Christ and it does not go well for us I pray that we will be able to emulate what the Apostle Paul says in Phil. 3:8.

    Thanks and God Bless

  • Wow! That is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing that. Hearing stories like that make it easier to “do hard things.”

  • That is awesome. And I love the verse from Daniel! Even if God chooses not to save us from something, He is still good, and He is still working for his glory.

  • Amazing. I want to have that kind of faithful strength that Mandy and Megan have, and God providing, I will have a situation like this, and I will please God with my decision. Girls, you’re blessing the people of this crumbling, dying world, and you’re changing lives. In the midst of persecution, remember that God is with you. Thanks for posting this boys, the blogs encourage me every time I read them!


  • WOW! That just about sums it all up…WOW! That is so encouraing. They are totally following Christ and living out Mark 8:35!


  • Thanks for sharing this story. I was familiar with it, but it was great to read more in depth about the twins stand for Christ. Thank you also for the closing comments.
    I say a hearty amen!

  • That is so cool! And truly inspiring.
    Liberty! Wow. That is amazing. Actually, I am looking into University of the Cumberlands myself. (because of tuition costs for anything else) They were very blessed to be able to receive that scholarship, and through it, they are showing God’s love to so many people.

    Praise the Lord!

  • I have to say, this is so encouraging. I love it when the “bad guys” get their plans turned around, and the damage is to them, and not to their victims! 😀 That must have been rather scary, standing up in front of all of those people, and struggling to decide if you should share the gospel or not. I guess that it doesn’t matter what others can do to you, and when you think of the fact that the vast majority of viewers would be going to hell, it really should make you want to share the love of God to all. I hope to have an opportunity like Megan and Mandy had. God uses us all in different ways, so I look forward to how he shall use me! Keep it up Megan and Mandy! And you too, Alex and Brett. Your blog is very, very well done, and I think that God is using it in some amazing ways. 🙂

  • That was so inspiring! God is really using them for wonderful things. They had great opportunities to share the gospel, and it’s great that they took advantage of them. To God be the glory for all the people’s lives they touched!

  • Wow! This is an amazing story; I find it truly is inspiring. The irony is so great! (I love stories with irony.) I just wonder if I would do the same. I guess I will not know until God tests me! 🙂

  • Everytime I hear and or read this story I am just inspired again and again. God most definatly has a sense of humor.

  • That is soooooo awesome! I had actually read the story in the Liberty Journal, but had forgotten about it. Thanks for reminding me!

  • That, my friends was truely amazing. I loved the story.
    I can only hope that if my faith is tested as such I would have as much courage as these twins. I have no more to say but, Wow.

    ~Amber Lynn

  • I LOVE that story! What a story of an awesome God and two girls who loved Him enough to publicly stand for Him.

    Thank you so much for posting this. 🙂

  • That is so amazingly courageous! God has given those twins so much faith and strength to be bright lights in our crooked and perverse generation. May He fill us all!

  • Praise the Lord! What an awesome example of having a greater fear of the Lord than fear of men. It’s a great example of thinking big thoughts about God… seeing what He has done in the past… and trusting Him completely with the outcome.

    Reminds me of Matthew 10:28–Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

  • This is sooooo GREAT!! I am so glad these girls decided to go against what people said and did what is right for the lord!!
    =] *Hope*

  • Inspiring words. We are embroiled in a world-wide battle. Satan despises God and hates humans. Stories like these remind us that it is God who sends the opposition and that God is the One who brings the victory over the opposition.

  • I love this post! It was so encouraging. At the school I go to there has been a big push to keep any religion out of the school. I’ve been in the principal’s office several times over it. It’s nice to hear the victories of my sisters in Christ and how God is working in their lives!!!

  • Praise be to God!!
    for Megan to have to courage to stand up infront of her peers, who have unconsciously been judging her through her school career, and profess her love for Jesus Christ is incredible!
    May God give such strength to us all.

  • What an example of the power and potential of a single choice we make.

    Oddly enough, I was at Liberty Univeristy’s School of Law just a couple of weeks ago for TeenPact Judicial, a one-week crash course on the legal and judicial system for high schoolers.

    At the awards banquet at the end of the week, I sat at the same table as Dean Staver, and heard this story in his words. I was surprised and pleased to see the same story on The Rebelution just a couple of weeks later!

    The rewards of risk, “success” or “fail,” are always better than apathy, for God is sovereign and working for our good. I don’t think anyone has ever regretted takings risks for Christ.

  • I luv it! GOD can use anyone, and do anything! i pray that i will be given grace enough to do the rigth thing in scary situations. the chpaman twins did a pretty scary thing!! Oh, by the way, i luv your blog name, Jesus Geek. Alex and Brett, God bless you for this amazing encouragement of a website!

  • God can do marvelous things if we just take the risk of looking foolish or wrong to others and stand up for what’s right.

    My brother is has taken online classes from Liberty, and he’s now moving there this fall. He would love to hear about this!

  • I was very encouraged by this post. It is very hard to give up your pride and ego for the sake of Christ. I guess the girls know the rewards of doing hard things.

  • A lot of times it’s hard to stand out for Christ, especially in front of a lot of people. Mandy and Magan are really brave!! I hope one day when I have the chance to stand out for Christ, I can trust God and really stand out for Him,

  • what an amazing story!! And what an encouragement to stand up for your faith no matter what Satan might use against you.

  • That is an amazing story! Congrats to Megan and Mandy, and all of those in their class! I find this an especially amazing in a special way, because my name is Mandy and I have a sister (not a twin though) named Megan!

    I’d like to mention another teen who certainly did hard things for God. He was an example of chivalry, what it means to be a true gentleman and live “in the world but not of it”. He died two weeks ago yesterday, in the greatest sacrifice of all, giving his life to save his sister from drowning and then going back to try and save his father, who was also drowning. Both he and his father died.
    I believe that Marc was a true hero and a splendid example of a teen who wasn’t afraid to give his life for another. I think it would be wonderful if you did a post about him on your blog. You can read about Marc at this website:

    and this one:

    oh, and this one as well.

  • Incredible, God did somthing utterly awesome through these megan and mandy I hope to see many other stands for Christ like this. God bless Megan and Mandy and the Rebelution -andrew

  • I agree we should all share our faith, but I wonder how I would feel if the sitation had been reversed and Megan and I did not share the same faith. Suppose I was at my graduation and it had been a Muslim saying a prayer to Allah. Or maybe just to take things a step further maybe someone of another religion openly insults Jesus at a high school graduation. I would have to say I’d be really angry.

  • I’m really thankful for this. I really never do bold things because I’m afraid I’ll be hated and insulted for it, but this gave me new hope. Thanks Megan!

  • I think it’s so cool that this happened! It’s ironic in a way. What the ACLU didn’t want to happen, happened and on a larger scale. I think God likes irony. 🙂

  • This is awesome. I live in Louisville, KY – and to be near relatively near to this phenomenal of a rebelutionary is such an encouragment!

    Keep fighting for faith! 🙂

  • It’s amazing to walk through something like that, and at the end of it all know God was leading all the way. Our God is a God of amazing power. His plans are always much bigger than our own, and these girls yielded themselves to Christ giving Him full control of their situation and He came through in more ways than they could fathom. What a great God we serve!

  • Generally, I’m paranoid about putting anything online, but after reading that post I just had to ask this question: What would those twins have done if the other students had refused to join them in reading the Lord’s Prayer? What are we supposed to do when people won’t collaborate with us? Currently, I have a fantastic opportunity to witness to a large group of unsaved acquaintances. I encouraged my two best (saved) friends to join me in this endeavor. They have more influence over this group of people that I do, and I thought a joint effort was prone to be more successful. They both, inexplicably, turned down my proposal and left me to try all by myself. How are we to handle situations like this?

  • I was so encouraged by this stand that these young people took against the ACLU, and to hear about Liberty Counsel backing them was such a bright light in this seemingly clouded situation. It was awesome to know that these graduates were moved to say “The Lord’s Prayer” and the adults in the audience encouraged them in their stand.
    Hearing about the scholarships that were given to these sisters as a reward for their faithfulness and obedience to their Creator and Savior was an even greater incentive for them to continue doing “Hard Things”.

  • This was an amazing story. I’m 15, and I just got back yesterday from youth camp at Liberty University, actually, so I found the coincedence funny. I’m currently reading ‘Do Hard Things’ and thought I’d check out the website, and this is an AMAZING thing God’s doing through Alex & Brett.

    One more thing, in response to the comment posted by ‘m.c.’ on July 15th… I believe that God has a hand in everything His children do, and so He would have performed a miracle no matter what. That’s all I have to say right now. Thanks!

  • This story was amazingly encouraging & gave me chills. It’s so empowering to know that God works so evidently in lives of Christians every single day…even mine! We truly serve an awesome God who is that strength we need to stand up to opposition from the hands of the evil one. Wow.

  • Awesome! I just love their willingness to possibly throw their reputations out the window and to possibly be labeled “Jesus freaks,” but as the song says, “There ain’t no disguising the truth.”

  • Wow that was amazing.. how she can do that when she kept on getting intureppted by the claps if that was me i might have bursted into tears. or something. but that was amazing what she done.

  • I am returning soon to work half-time in a public school. I am encouraged to stand up for Christ inspite of pressure to be silent. I pray that we all will be willing ask God to show us what we can do in the face of real persecution.

  • Wow, this was a wonderful story!! I am very glad you also included the fact that God would still be God and that He would still be good if the outcome of Megan and Mandy’s wasn’t as grand. That’s a very important point. But I am blessed to see what God DID do for these girls for doing what was right. That’s very inspiring!

    I have been here to your blog before but this is my very first time to comment. I want to let you know that I am very grateful for what you guys are doing and for standing up for God and the truth. I am hoping to order your book soon and I am very much looking forward to reading it. God bless!

  • Alex and Brett,

    When you stand before thousands, you are modeling Jesus to the multitudes. The best part is…every person in those crowds, adult and youth, can do something as meaningful as what you are doing, really big things, hard things.

    I just want to pray for you especially in the next few weeks as you leave home to go to college. Like others, you will get “home sick,” but your home is not of this world, so be homesick for Heaven, just like I am, for it is there, in the very presence of God, that we will have our completion.

    I pray you good physical health, intellectual and mental and emotional health and clarity, spiritual health, vigor, and strength. You are special, and as I read in THE SHACK, true for you, me, and those we minister to, God is especially fond of you two guys !


  • Ponder This :

    An infinite God
    can give all of Himself
    to each
    of His children.
    He does not
    distribute Himself
    that each may have a part,
    but to each one
    He gives all
    of Himself
    as fully
    as if
    there were
    no others.

    A.W. Tozer


  • […] The Harris Brothers, authors of the popular Christian book Do Hard Things, recently published an article about two girls who “took a stand for Christ.” These girls stood up against the ACLU which demanded that they not offer a prayer at graduation. In the end, everyone at their school participated in the “Lord’s Prayer” and one of the sisters was able to share from her heart about Christ. Because of their faithfulness, both girls got full-ride scholarships to a university and the opportunity to talk on CNN. […]

  • […] Do Hard Things: Keep Quiet The Harris Brothers, authors of the popular Christian book Do Hard Things, recently published an article about two girls who “took a stand for Christ.” These girls stood up against the ACLU which demanded that they not offer a prayer at graduation. In the end, everyone at their school participated in the “Lord’s Prayer” and one of the sisters was able to share from her heart about Christ. Because of their faithfulness, both girls got full-ride scholarships to a university and the opportunity to talk on CNN. […]

  • […] Do Hard Things: Keep Quiet The Harris Brothers, authors of the popular Christian book Do Hard Things, recently published an article about two girls who “took a stand for Christ.” These girls stood up against the ACLU which demanded that they not offer a prayer at graduation. In the end, everyone at their school participated in the “Lord’s Prayer” and one of the sisters was able to share from her heart about Christ. Because of their faithfulness, both girls got full-ride scholarships to a university and the opportunity to talk on CNN. […]

  • this has really inspired me to stand for what i belive in and do hard things! We should defiantily trust in the Lord no matter what. i look back at times when i didn’t stand up for what i belive in just because i was afraid of what peope would think. and it will be hard but now i know that if i step out of the flow, and i would be giving God the glory He deserves…no matter what people think of me.

    this is my first time to read your blogs, and its amazing what you guys are doing. im currently reading your book and and its really inspiring me to step outside my comfort zone and reach my full potential…so thanks!

  • […] The Harris Brothers, authors of the popular Christian book Do Hard Things, recently published an article about two girls who “took a stand for Christ.” These girls stood up against the ACLU which demanded that they not offer a prayer at graduation. In the end, everyone at their school participated in the “Lord’s Prayer” and one of the sisters was able to share from her heart about Christ. Because of their faithfulness, both girls got full-ride scholarships to a university and the opportunity to talk on CNN. […]

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →