rebelling against low expectations

Introduction: Think Hard Things


Greetings, rebelutionaries! You have probably noticed that new posts have been an endangered species around here in the recent months. Some of that is busyness. Some of that is planning and projects — for next year and the years ahead. But a lot of it is the simple fact that we haven’t had much to write about.

Oh, there are still lots of stories of rebelutionaries making a difference. This week we received an email about a group of teens in Tinley Park, IL, who adopted the “Do Hard Things” challenge and raised thousands of dollars for an orphanage and thousands more for a mini-home makeover for an 11-year-old cancer survivor!

The Insight Problem

No, when we say we have not had much to write about, we are not talking about a lack of information, we are talking about a lack of insight. When we write, we want to share something we believe is uniquely helpful — something we hope will equip you and make you more effective in doing hard things for the glory of God.

The problem is that we are not that wise! We like to joke that we used up all our life experience writing Do Hard Things and Start Here — and that is partly true! Those books are our message to our generation, the best we’ve been able to put it. And we’re not lying when we say that we poured all our good ideas into them.

That doesn’t mean we think there’s nothing left that’s worth saying. Not at all! But the Rebelution was birthed out of a summer of intense reading (and thinking). Our best writing has come when we have been pondering over the great ideas of older and wiser men and women. And there has been less time for that this past year.

Replenishing the Well

One of our favorite quotes is by Charles Spurgeon on reading: “The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains proves he has no brains of his own.”

That’s not just true for people who have never authored a book, published a paper, or delivered a sermon, that’s true for everyone. The well of insight dries up quickly when it is not replenished by life experience, by reading, and by the Word.

As we approach the end of the semester and enter the Christmas season, we are hoping to replenish the well by reading — and one of the books we’re reading is Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper. Just a few chapters in, there are already a host of direct applications for rebelutionaries.

Series Roadmap

This next month, we’ll be posting our thoughts in response to John Piper’s insights (spoiler: a lot of it is about reading), and challenging you to join us in prioritizing the life of the mind this holiday season — and for the rest of your life.

For now, join the conversation by answering any or all of the following questions:

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
  • When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
  • What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?

+ Join the Conversation +

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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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  • Very interesting….looks like you guys have a case of spiritual writer’s block :). I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on John Piper’s book!

  • The Suprgeon quote was great 🙂 God really moved my heart to dig in a book that addresses praise music in the church (It’s called “Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns”). I need to be more faithful reading it, but from what I have read has helped me define why I enjoy the christian music that I like (HYMNS, HYMNS, HYMNS 🙂 okay and a little Josh Turner LOL ). I also enjoy reading various types of fiction (just finished “The Redemption of Sarah Cain” by Beverly Lewis) and of course I’ll be reading “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” before I head to the movies 🙂
    Godspeed on the reading project 🙂 I believe we have a few of J.P.’s books, and I believe that that would be fun to read over christmas break………….
    For the Glory of God!

  • Over the past year, I did a lot of thinking on the ideas of 1) seeing beauty in all areas of life, 2) leadership, and 3) giving. All of those things contributed to my decision to start blogging in June, and I’m glad I did. Writing has proved to be exactly the outlet I needed for my thoughts and ideas. But I, too, am beginning to recognize that when reading slows down, one runs short on insight!

    The most life-changing Scripture I re-discovered this year was Isaiah 58. When I read it, I was immediately struck that I had realized my purpose in life, as defined in verses 9b-10.

    I think the number one reason I don’t read more is simply because reading great books can be quite difficult! For someone who always prided herself on being “such a great reader” as a kid, it was humbling to realize that some of the things I need to read the most are going to be hard and long. One of the most rewarding books I’ve ever read was “The Problem of Pain” by C.S. Lewis. I would consider it challenging reading for where I was at the time, but I was quite glad that I finished.

    On my “reading regimen” is a whole load of books on film directing, as I’m eager to learn as much as I can on that subject through books before pursuing it as a career. I am also hoping to read some of the books you all have referenced as your starting point — especially “The World is Flat” and “Total Truth.” Authors I’ll continue to read are C.S. Lewis (of course), John MacArthur, and John Piper.

  • Your mind, body and soul has gone through a great ripping with the passing of your mother. This is a time of being held in the palm of God’s hand while He heals you. Please don’t be discouraged if, as you try to replenish the well, you realize it has some cracks in the walls. Because of God’s grace and love, you will recover.

  • I really needed this post to wake me back up from my re-entry into internet laziness. Great books are difficult to read when you’ve taken a break. However, every time I make myself start reading difficult things again on a regular basis, it gets much easier as you keep reading.

    Reading, like anything else requires practice. It requires practice, because reading is not just filling a pail with words. It is a process of thinking, digesting, building a worldview, and acquiring wisdom. The best reading I’ve ever done also produced discussion and writing.

    I read when I make myself stop, get quiet, and read. It’s a discipline for me, but I enjoy it once I whip myself back into order.

  • I’ve been reading “Money, Possession, and Eternity” by Randy Alcorn. Every Christian who comes from a materialist culture should read it; Alcorn dives into all the Bible says about how what we do with our Earthly stuff is tied very tightly to our walk with Christ. It’s very challenging and eye-opening, to see what wise money handling looks like from the perspective of the Bible. I’ll warn you, it’s quite a bit different than what an average financial advisor would tell you, and much of what the Bible tells us to do looks pretty stupid from a world point of view. In that sense, Alcorn very much challenges everyone of every age to do hard things.

    I have the most time to read at the end of my day (I’m in college). The biggest reason I don’t read is that I don’t make time for it, which would be easier if I really strode forward in cutting out all time-wasting activities.

    On my reading list is “The Sacred Romance” by John Eldridge, along with “The Four Loves” by C.S. Lewis along with whatever else I can find by him that I haven’t read. I’ve heard some good things about Rob Bell (“Velvet Elvis”) and I’d like to read some of his work to see what I think.

    I read “Desiring God” by John Piper last summer and have listened to a few of his sermons, and I can say that I very highly respect him as a solid Biblical scholar and passionate servant of Christ! Thusly I was excited to read about your choice of book. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on his work!

  • Books. This is what I’ve been pondering as of late. Right now, I have a stack on my shelf waiting for me, a few of them being 8 Attributes of Great Achievers, Radical by David Platt and Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic. Over the next year, or maybe next few years, I want to focus on reading and studying classics. There’s so much to read and learn and not nearly enough time! I think this series will be yet another new source of inspiration.

  • One thing I learned this year was that it is vital to read Scripture every single day, even when it’s the last thing I want to do. I read my Bible every day for several months without feeling much inspiration, but I focused on verses in Paul’s epistles that talked about a Christian’s behavior towards fellow humans. They haunted me throughout the day and made me act better towards those I lived with. Then, when I fell into a terrible depression this summer, I knew which verses to turn to.

    In reading other books throughout the year, I focused a lot on God’s sovereignty and how His glory should be my focus. A Heart for God by Sinclair Ferguson and The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence were huge bombshells in my life this year.

    I love reading classic literature, and this year I’ve noticed myself really taking character’s actions “captive” so to speak. I’ve tried to think, “Do I act this way?” “Is this a Godly response?” “Should this character’s focus be my focus?”

    I’ve also been blessed by certain authors who have mastered wonderful description and character development. They have made me try to look at life differently and realize how beautiful certain phrases are written in Scripture.

  • Talk about lack of insight! I think in general the college life slows you down A LOT around November, with exams and just with general overwhelmption (if that’s a word). It’s so crazy! I go through it every year and I don’t know how to deal with it, but I feel like I’m always feeling uninspired and removed from my spiritual self when I’m so bogged down with schoolwork. I mean, yes, I still have time in the day to spend with God. But it’s a lot more difficult to focus. Also, I’ve come to find that once you graduate high school there are very few support resources for Christian college students. Yes, there are on-campus groups, but the homey comfortable atmosphere stops existing. I think this is the primary reason so many students turn away from their relationship with Christ during their years of college. When we were in junior high and high school we were looked after and taken care of in a sense that there were always activities to do with our youth group, conferences to go to, speakers to go listen to. We were provided with resources. In college you’re supposed to seek our your own, and this is what I think trips up most students because we are just so busy that oftentimes it’s hard to make extra time to seek out these resources. College students are expected to serve as leaders, which I do, but I find that there are few resources that nourish ME on a collective scale (with other college students, not just through individual adult mentors).
    Wow that seems like a lot to say, but I know how you feel there! I think there should be a national college-student-focused program of some sort (like a youth conference for college students, perhaps, and there may already be some it’s just that, naturally, I haven’t heard of any). I may think up something…when I feel inspired (ie. not right now, most likely, since I’m down in the dumps because I have five essays due within the next week).

  • I’ve been reading The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer, and it really has challenged my view of God and renewed my thirst for Him.

    Recently, I’ve finished studying the book of Philippians. I was pondering how the “peace of God” can “gaurd our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (4:6-7). God taught me that His peace keeps us focused on HIM rather than our circumstances. It guards us from focusing on ourselves.

    I love to read, but school has a way of keeping me busy! 🙂 Still, I’m sure I could find some time to read… part of the reason I don’t read a ton anymore may be because I don’t have my priorities straight. Time management is something I need to be more careful about!

    On my “to-read” list:
    Forgotten God by Francis Chan
    Battle for Truth by David Noebel
    My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

  • Have you heard of Wheatstone? (

    Right now it’s a one week summer conference.
    They are very committed to thinking, reading, learning, questioning, examining, and growing in order to find Goodness, Truth, and Beauty to better understand Christ, know God better, and live in an excellent way worthy of Him.

    I don’t know how exactly how to explain it all… we read things like Plato, experience things like operas and Shakespeare plays, and do things like sailing, and high ropes courses… but if anyone’s interested, definitely check out their website.

    This seems kind of advertisement-ish but I really feel like what they try and get across to students is very similar to what you’re getting at here.

  • What books have I read that I think are Awesome, cant think of any right now. Now though I’ve read many scriptures this year. Not just by reading my bible but also through text. My friend sent me a scripture when school first got started. They were very encouraging, helpful, and made me think. They were so helpful that I started to text scriptures. I started by just writing the scripture, but later on I started to put what I thought about the scripture as well. I was surprised at how many people texted me back telling me thanks. From there we started a little group called text-a-scripture. We challenged our friends to text scriptures to there friends, and see what they think. I was surprised by how many people took my challenge. I built on friend ships, and started new ones. I send scriptures to over 25 people, in Texas alone, both teens and adults. I like to use this to talk about my quite times, and what I learned.
    The best time for me to read any thing is before school, during lunch, during Algebra II, after school, before I go to bed and when there is a holiday. Now the reason I wouldn’t read is I would tell myself “I’ll do it tomorrow”, or “I’ll do it after I…”. Now though with me doing Text a Scripture a day, it helps me, it forces me to read some at least.
    Now what books do I want for Christmas? Well I’d like “Start Here by Alex & Brett Harris”, “Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God” by John Piper”.

  • I live vicariously through the library so a lot of the books I read are secular (but appropriate) in nature. However, I am trying to get a hold of a lot of Christian books and so I’ll try to read the “Left Behind” Series and maybe “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” again by Josh Harris. I’m also going to try to read “Pilgrims Progress” and “My Upmost for His Highest”. I’ve got a lot of book research to do, that’s for sure.

  • You make some great points in this post–I’m so glad to know that you’re going to spend some time “replenishing” your wisdom during break. I think I’ll have to do the same.

    May I strongly, strongly, recommend that you read “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert? The website for the book is here:

    I read the book several weeks ago and it really has forced me to think deeply about the “hard things” that I’m doing–will the things I do actually make a difference? Or will my attempting to help actually hurt? The book applies strong biblical principles to Christians working in poverty alleviation–but quite frankly, the book is applicable to almost any area of Christian work.

    To my fellow Rebelutionaries: Want to help the homeless? Read this book. Want to work with orphans? Read this book. Want to fight human trafficking? Read this book. Want to go on a short-term mission’s trip? You know what I’m going to say =).

    In fact, regardless of what you want to do, I really think this book is beneficial to anyone. Some of it is on economic development, which you may want to skip, but the basic principles are SO applicable. So read it =).

    Alex and Brett–I’ve been thinking lately that the concepts in this book are really fantastic for the Rebelution. After all, we all want to go do hard things–but we need to do them the *right* way. And this book makes some excellant points about how to do something the biblical, and thus the right, way.

    My reading list for Christmas break…would probably take up a lot more than just one post! I’ve only been able to read about two books (apart from school books) this school year–so I’m quite looking forward to some free time!

  • Wow, how timely :). I have 17 books on my booklist to read by the time I graduate from high school. I’m reading “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster and Men Made New by John Stott. To read soon after, I have “Think” by John Piper, “The Purpose of Man: Made to Worship” by A.W. Tozer, and “Holiness” by J.C. Ryle. Also, I have several Elisabeth Elliot books to read, “The Heavenly Man” by Brother Yun and “The Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer…and also “The Holy War” by John Bunyan. Oh, my list is long, and I am SO excited to read all of those books!!

    In Scripture, I have truly been learning how important prayer is in the life of a believer (and Josh Harris’ Desperate sermon series is so incredibly helpful, encouraging, and challenging!!). Also, I have come to realize even more so over the past few months that doing simple acts of kindness for others, or just using a gentle word with siblings goes such a long way. Lastly, I’ve been focusing on God’s love, and how prominent it is in Scripture…for example, Ps. 136 and Ps. 63 (I was SO excited when the first sermon in “Desperate” was on Ps. 63!).

    My best time to read is during “nap time” 🙂 when my little sibbies are sleeping and the house is quiet, and at night, after the kiddos go to bed. My greatest challenge in reading is probably that there are so many I want to read, it’s a bit overwhelming…and also, I sometimes get in that mindset of “Oh, I have another book to read after this…I need to hurry through this one,” instead of savoring the words that I’m reading and learning through the process.

    That’s a bit of what I’m learning…but looking through a Noel Piper book just this morning, I am reminded again that Christ is the one thing that matters…seek Christ in everything, seek to see Him in everything, and seek to honor and love Him in everything….because He is the only One worthy…

  • This post is specifically for Alex and Brett – I would love for you to read a book that I just finished. It’s a very short read, but extremely powerful. The message really does flow right along with “Do Hard Things” in spelling out the purpose of a person’s teenage years. It is called “The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ” by Jerry Ross – a youth pastor for over 20 years. I could spend a lot of time here describing it, but you really have to read it. He also has written a great short called “Stay in the Castle” that is a wonderful story for teenage girls to read. I may not be the typical demographic of people that usually post here – I am a 48 year-old father of two teenagers who I am very proud of for doing some ‘Hard Things’. My daughter is 16 and my son is 14 and have been homeschooled all of their lives. They are currently finishing up a Calculus class at our local community college (both in the top 4 in the class). They are both enrolled in CollegePlus! in working toward their college degrees. My daughter should have 29 units completed in her first semester and my son will have 17 units completed by Christmas. He also had a firewood business this summer and with a little help from his Dad cut, split, and sold 15 cords of wood. We held a Purity Ball for both of them this summer. And they have worked together on producing several award-winning short films in some local film festivals. Again, I am very proud of them and have appreciated the input in their lives from “Do Hard Things”. I can’t emphasize enough how powerful the message in “The Teenage Years of Jesus Christ” is – especially for a time span in His life where you would think there couldn’t be much said based on the few scriptures directly describing that time period. It really is a great book and I highly recommend it. You can find it here:

  • I have been reading “Practicing the Presence of G-d” by Brother Lawrence for a while now. It is such a good book and a heavy read that I can’t go through it quickly. It has really shown me that I have been getting caught up in doing and learning what I need to be doing. I have been getting legalistic and have forgotten that I need a personal relationship with G-d and that He doesn’t just have a list of things for me to do, He wants to know me and that is wonderful!

    In Scripture, I have been studying 1 & 2 Peter and that has been a great journey.

    I read at night which is when I do most of my non-work related tasks 🙂

    Through this Christmas break I plan to read “Boy Meets Girl” by Josh Harris.

  • Over the past year, I’ve read a lot of great books. I’ve read “Crime and Punishment”, “Start Here”, and a lot of other stuff. I’ve started reading all the way through my Bible again and am at Judges- and one of the things that I loved a lot was the story of Gideon because it says (very strait-forwardly) that he was of the smallest clan and the youngest of his family (Judges 6:15) yet God still chose him. God uses the great but he uses the small just as much, and just as effectively. I have the most time to read when I’m out of school. The reason I so often don’t read great books more is because of a lack of time- books like “The Screwtape Letters” you can’t pick up read a few pages and set back down (believe me I tried it) you end up getting way to confused. The books I want to read currently are the following: “The Karamazov Brothers”, “Les Miserables”, and a book by Oswald J. Smith.

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? Great ideas? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the big hard things I want to do in my lifetime. Fight abortion, sing around the world telling others about Christ, change our culture’s musical standards, and share with young women how wonderful God’s love is and that He alone can satisfy!

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading? Hmmm… that’s hard to narrow down. I’ve been studying the book of Esther a lot lately. It’s so amazing to see how God used a simple Hebrew girl to save the Jewish people. Remembering that God can use anyone is always such an encouraging thought! 🙂

    When do you find you have the most time to read? Right before I go to bed. That’s when little siblings are asleep and quiet. 😉

    What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more? Time. With speech and debate, evangelism/witnessing courses, apologetics class, writing for a blog, serving at our church, etc., I don’t have much spare time to pick up a good book. 🙁

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? “How Should We Then Live?” by Francis A. Schaeffer and “Already Gone” by Ken Ham.

    For next year? To name a few…

    “More Than a Carpenter” by Josh McDowell
    “Discipline: the Glad Surrender” by Elisabeth Elliot
    “Hints on Child Training” by H. Clay Trumbull (Foreword by Gregg Harris 😉 )
    “Your Money Counts” by Howard Dayton
    “To Train Up a Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl
    “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris

    Thanks for posting guys! We’ve all missed you! 🙂

  • Here is an interesting thought:

    “If you read fifteen minutes a day for one year… you would have read 3,041 pages in one year. That’s ten very substantial books. All in fifteen minutes a day.” ~John Piper

  • Thanks for posting that thought, Sarah. I think it may well stir me up to read like I haven’t done before.

    Usually, I read fiction (when I do read in my spare time). They’re entirely useless, and yet I know I could get a lot from reading deep thinkers and deep Christians.

    What ideas I have pondered over the last few years have been stirred by the Word and by speakers. At times I find it easier to listen to a person talk than to read the book.

  • I’ve read some really great books this year! My favorite was The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun. I also loved Radical by David Platt. Those two books got me thinking about how I really don’t take following Christ all that seriously most of the time. That needs to change immediately. Also, this year I’ve started reading the Bible much more than I ever have before. I’m starting at the beginning and going all the way through. One thing that really struck me when reading the Old Testament quickly (as opposed to reading bits and pieces for months or years on end) is God’s holiness and sovereignty. I usually spend most of my time reading the New Testament, but the Bible is mostly comprised of the OT. I’m obviously missing something huge if I neglect it. I think the NT focuses on themes of God’s love and mercy, but the OT seems to focus more on His holiness and sovereignty. Reading more about God’s holiness has made me love Him even more because I see better now how incredible His mercy towards me really is.

    I am a total bookworm and have been since I first learned how to read, so I almost always manage to find time to read. The last couple years I’ve had a lot less energy to do things I used to do because of illness, so I’ve really ramped up my reading. Some of the themes I’ve been reading about are missions, abortion and the pro-life movement, the Chinese house church movement, and a bunch of other random stuff.

  • Glad to hear I’m not alone…I’ve been going through the exact same thing as you seem to have been, Alex and Brett. There was a time when I had lots of (uniquely valuable) things to say on my blog, but as of late I just haven’t found the wisdom and inspiration in me to keep up!

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep on renewing my mind…I needed that! 🙂

  • Reading tends to take a back seat to school and music right now. My hard things this fall are studying French and Spanish, and participating in several speech contests. Probably my best time for reading is after I go to bed at night, so between 9:30 and 10:30. I’m reading “Ben-Hur” right now, and on my reading list are “Les Miserables,” a two-volume biography of Hudson Taylor, and “The Scarlet Letter.”

    This year my family has been reading through the Bible, which has been great for me. Making the commitment to read several chapters every day has been a challenge, but a needed one. God has been teaching me so much!

  • Let’s see, the most book that has jumped out at me this year would be the bible, espeically Romans. I don’t know why, but Romans has really helped me. When I’m down, that is where I turn too.

    I haven’t really been reading due to a ton of schoolwork, but some of the books I read for school are (and shall read) is the Screwtape Letters and Till We have Faces both by C.S. Lewis. I shall also read the Unaborted Socrates and the Best Things in Life both by Peter Kreeft. I have heard both of these are good and encouraging.

  • First, I just want to say thanks Alex and Brett, for not just posting to post. If you posted all the time then I don’t think people would reflect on what is being said as much. I highly respect the fact that you only post when God has put something on your hearts to post.(Even though I very much look forward to every post, and often wish for more.) I like to read, and often on my Saturdays and holidays I spend several hours at a time reading. What keeps me from reading? Well, I could say school but technically I AM reading at school…just not necesarily what I WANT to be reading. I think deep down what keeps me from reading is laziness(or not “feeling like it”), or hunger for the world rather than for God or for knowledge. A struggle sometimes is finding teen books that aren’t secular, ecspecially when A LOT of books labled “Christian” aren’t bringing me any closer to Christ and may be ,infact, doing the opposite. I find myself constantly in the adult section of the local library looking for book that are easy-ish to read (I’m 13) and still apply to my life. I do enjoy Christian historical fiction and am currently reading a series by Janette Oke. I am in four different places in my Bible and hopefully will have read the whole thing by the end of the year. These past months I have read Zach Hunter’s 3 books and am currently reading “Don’t Waste Your Life” by Piper and “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” by C.S. Lewis. Also, I just wanted to say thank you for the post! I look forward to the upcoming series!

  • Thanks for posting that quote from Spurgeon!
    A good book to read is ”Its Not About Me” by Max Lucado. ”Dont Waste Your Life” by John Piper.
    Micah 6:8 is an amazing verse. Also 1 Chronicles 16:24 and 1 Corinthians8:6 are amazing verses that tell of how we are supposed to glorify God that we live FOR God. Anyway those are some verses. Some ideas i have thought about is how God is always in control always. Sadly i sometimes doubt that. This year has been tough because i have moved 3 different times to knew towns and i really doubted God. i couldnt see what his plan was. But God has shown me that he will never forsake me ever.
    On my reading list would be: ”Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis, ”Smoke of a thousand Villages” by im not sure :] ”The Sovereignty of God” by ARthur Pink, ”In His Steps” by Sheldon, and many many more :]
    THe best time for me to read is when i come home from school adn finish my homework or on long trips.
    on my list above, i only listed nonfiction, but usually i read way more fiction then any other kind of book. It seems they are easier to get onto then the beneficial books…. :]

    @Jon-Marc: Good job reading all the way to Judges! Judges is a good book, but sadly those Israelites continually disobey, but God shows continual love and forgivness. Our God is a great God!

  • Thanks for such an inspiring post!! This has really encouraged me to get out some books on my ‘hold’ list 😀 It’s so easy for me to pick up an easy read and skim through it, and so often the deeper books get pushed off until ‘later’. Some books that I really want to read are Francis Chan’s ‘Forgotten God’ and ‘Crazy Love’, and then there are others as well.

    Thanks again for giving me a little nudge to dust off my collection and start reading!!

  • Oh hey sorry to take up even more space but a title of a great book popped into my head like just now lol its ”God’s Smuggler” by Brother Andrew. ok that was all :] :] :]

  • A few of the books I have read this year are “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis, “Start Here,” “Beowulf,” “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A-Kempis, “Set Apart Femininity” by Leslie Ludy, and I am in the middle of “Decision Points” by President Bush. I have learned alot from each of these books.

    Also, thank you for the quote from Spurgeon. I had never heard it, but it is one that will go up in my room to be thought about daily.

  • I would deffinitely say that one of the main things God has used in my life is books, ESPECIALLY the Bible.
    A few years ago, I was trying to overcome a particular sin habit. When I finally got up the courage to go to my mom for some help, she took me to our Christian book store. That was probubly the best thing we could have possibly done. SHe got me two books. One was “Beautiful Girlhood”. The other was “A Young Woman After God’s Own Heart”. These books are the BEST books I have ever read! The secound book encouraged me to read the Bible more. For the first time I was finding out what it meant to have a truly deep relationship with Jesus Chirst, and slowly I began to develope the habit of being his His word dayly. A year later, I went though a stressful time, but because I had the solid foundation of the Bible and these books (along with an expanding library of other great books) I was able to gain encouragement. I have been confined the last couple years as well to staying at home for hours apon hours a day by myself. I used to ask God why He would leave me alone without any friends. Now I am greatful for this time because He gave me the chance to read some amazing books, and He gave me LOTS of time to spend with Him and just to THINK! That gave me the chance to use everything that I had leaner and begin a Discipleship group for younger girls. “Do Hard Things” was the jump start to this ministry.

    SO if your talking about books and thinking. That’s one thing I’ve had alot of. And it pays off! 😀 Now I need to go read “Total Tryth” by Nancy Pearcy whish I got at the Rebelution Conference this year! 🙂

  • » What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
    ANSWER: I’ve been reading Proverbs in my Bible lately. I’ve really been thinking about physical and mental purity. It’s soooo important. It could affect the rest of my entire life.

    » When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    ANSWER: I tend to read at night. Unless it’s the summer, it’s the only time I have free time to read. To answer why I don’t read great books more? well, I don’t own them. And my library, sadly, doesn’t carry them. I can’t afford to buy every great book out there.

    » What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    ANSWER: I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (smile), A Young Woman’s Walk With God (and multiple other books) by Elizabeth George… and tons more! I LOVE reading Christian nonfiction. It helps me grow in the Lord sooo much.

  • I really liked ‘The Screwtape Letters’ by C.S.Lewis, It makes you realize that there are devils and that they are out to temped you and pull you away from God, and it’s helped me realize when I’m being tempted, it makes the devils temptation more noticeable, at least for me.
    I’ve though about starting my own pro-life blog, but I would need some spiritual encouragement before that becomes a reality because of what I would want it to become and the time and responsibility it would require. Though I’m praying about it because its very important to me and close to my heart and I feel like I’m being pulled in that direction, I’m still praying about it though.

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year?

    Loved reading “Intimate Friendship with God” by Joy Dawson. The message of this book is to value the fear of the LORD and reverence for God as a way of life.

    Also, “A Long Obedience In the Same Direction” by Eugene Peterson. Mr. Peterson was the person who wrote out the Bible paraphrase the Message. He did it to get his college group to relate to the themes/stories of the Bible. This book was very insightful in my life as a college student seeking to live a godly life for my *whole* life. (Hence, the loooooong part in the title.)

    Currently reading, “Keep Them on Your Side” by Samuel Bacharach. This book is an aid for managing teams of people working together. Bacharach is effective in breaking down the ways to lead a productive team of individuals.

    And I’m also reading, “Homemade Money: Starting Smart!” by Barbara Brabec. This is geared for people (like me!) interested in business. Gregg Harris gave it to me in Feb. during one of the Raising Kids conferences. Finished the sequel to it first (yes, I am reading out of order).

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    Currently reading 2 Samuel, just finished 1 Samuel in my reading plan. I usually get quite a bit of insight from reading scripture. Specifically, I’ve been learning about the leaderships styles of Saul, David, and (later) Solomon.

    This insight has also been helpful with leading the Business Club on my campus.

    When do you find you have the most time to read?
    I try to read for an hour before I got to bed. This is when it is quietest and when I have time to myself. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as consistent as I could be.

    What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    As Zach and Chloe said…mismanaged time/life.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    biographies and auto-biographies

    I haven’t read very many because I thought it was better to read “idea” books where the ideas are clearly spelled out. Yet, I’m finding that biographies are a great way to find inspiration and, consequently, ideas from the very lives of others.

    These are on my list:
    ~Conversations with Myself written by Nelson Mandela
    ~Extraordinary, Ordinary People Condoleezza Rice
    ~Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire James Wallace
    ~Edison: A Biography Matthew Josephson

    Does anybody else know any good biographies to read? I’m open to suggestions.

  • I find the most time to read at night, after i am in bed. I also sometimes read while i eat or brush my teeth. (Yes, i do) I really felt touched by the book One Girl Can Change the World, by Claudia Mitchell and Kim Goad. It made me start thinking about what i will do, then when i read Do Hard Things i thought even MORE about what i can do. Now my friends and i have our own Christian website and online magazine. I also pray daily that God will show me what else he wantsme to do with my teen years. The Rebelution is such a big encouragement to me, and i think that without those books to give me a push, i wouldn’t be where i am today!

  • Q:What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year?
    A: Do Hard Things, to be certain. Great Ideas? Quotes by Dr. King, my friends, and my youth pastor. Having integrity and being real. Being blunt when appropriate.

    Q:How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
    A:Courage to be certain. In Jeremiah 1, it talks about having the courage to do hard things; to go and do whatever he commands. That’s pretty much been my life for the past 6 months.

    Q:When do you find you have the most time to read?
    A: Weekends, after school, in school, before school, etc. You get the point. If I don’t have time, I make it.

    Q:What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    A: Because I don’t have time to make time…or vice versa.

    Q:What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    A: Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. Forgotten God by Francis Chan. Books about Wycliffe Translators. My Essential Connections (Lifeway) Magazine. I recommend that mag, by the way. It’s full of devotions.

    Grace and Peace, Siblings!

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    Two books that have really impacted me are “Crazy Love” and “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan. They paint a bigger picture of God than I’ve seen anywhere else. Theologically, my mind has been stretched by John Piper’s works. Right now I’m re-reading (or in this case, listening to) Don’t Waste Your Life, and it’s really showing me God’s call on my life. Personally, I’ve been encouraged and emboldened by “God’s Gift to Women” by Eric Ludy, a book all about re-claiming Biblical manhood.

    In scripture, I’ve been reading through the “One Year Bible,” and have seen again and again the mindset that scripture gives me as I start and end my day with scripture. The spiritual growth I’ve seen this year in my life overshadows every other year.

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?

    Specifically for Scripture, my flesh tells me that no time is good for reading, which is all the more reason I do it every morning and every night. It’s hard to explain, but I NEED scripture to start and end my day. It’s the mindset that the very words of God put my mind into that keep me focused on Him.

    Other than that, it really is hard for me to work in a lot of reading time into my schedule. So, instead of finding time to read, I’ve found that the hour I spend commuting to my college for PSEO (college classes in high school) with my Dad are well spent listening to my library of Christian audiobooks (most of which I haven’t actually listened to!).

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?

    I hope to finish “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis this Christmas, and am hoping for a number of books to add to my book/audiobook library. Sometime soon I want to check out “Radical” by David Platt. May I never stop reading hard books for the glory of my King and Father!


  • What books (or great ideas) have I pondered over the last year? Any insights?
    -Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson
    -God has written His truth on the hearts of all men
    -This Present Darkness by Frank E Peritti
    -I realize it’s a novel but it really brought the power of prayer to my attention.
    Great Idea
    -I have six younger siblings and decided to pick one day each week to pray specifically into one of their lives. Every time they do something that annoys me I try to find a way that they could use that thing to glorify God. I bought some journals and will write down my prayers, thoughts, and scriptures for each one.Once I have filled up the journals I plan to give them to my siblings. I am hoping that by doing this I can release the power of prayer into their lives and see them with God’s eyes.

    When do I have the most time to read?
    -At night around the time I go to bed.

    What books do I plan to read in the upcoming year?
    -How Should We Then Live, Screwtape Letters, and Secret Believers

  • Hi Alex and Brett
    I can’t believe I have lurked your blog for a couple of years and left maybe two comments in total… so I’m going to change that.

    Thankyou for doing what you do. I get excited to see how you two have stood up and done hard things, challenging and inspiring thousands of teens to do hard things. I get excited to hear about what you have done, starting with that intensive reading program you experienced that summer. I am inspired.

    But, of course, there is a catch. After being inspired to do hard things, I have to go do it! And, I’ve learnt, doing hard things means doing hard things (obviously.) I’m still not sure what hard thing God has destined for me to do, but until then it’s about doing small hard things that you often talk about!

    So now, without further ado…
    What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
    In August, I finished a book caled ‘The Puzzle of Ancient Man’ by Donald E.t. Basically he explores archeological evidence to find out whether evolution’s idea or the account of creation fit better with what we see around us. Although it was a hard-going book, it felt fantastic to have finished it and I learnt a lot about the amazing brains of post-flood people.

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    The best time for me to read is towards the end of my [home]school day, when I am still focused and yet able to ‘relax’ with a book. Probably the biggest reason for not reading more is being unconsistant with that reading time and also not making myself focus and read during my own time when I am at a loose end.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    I’d like to read, if not on holidays then this year:
    * The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved! by Ken Ham
    * The Bronze Bow by Elisabeth George Speare
    * The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
    * a biography on George Washington Carver
    * In His Steps/What Would Jesus Do? by Charles Sheldon
    * Discovering Australia’s Christian Heritage by Col Stringer

    …and a couple others. Although these maybe a little lighter that what you are talking about, I’ve chosen to take these on our family holiday to take a break from study and yet still stimulate my mind.

    God bless!

  • I have trouble staying inspired to read. When I find a great book I disengage in other activites until I can finish it. Overcoming inner resistance (urgency to work on other projects, fear of a book’s inadequacy) to actually start new books, however, has been a challenge.

    I read ‘Blue Like Jazz’ a couple of months ago, it was extremely encouraging, and I immediately ordered more books. Then I spent a lot if time avoiding my book shelf, justifying other things, and staring longingly at a mental picture of the perfect book. Finally, I started burning out on an editing task I had, so I picked up Donald Miller’s ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’. I found a rebelutionary gold mine. It’s all about living a good story (rather than merely reading one), in a way that pleases God. The way Don makes a distinction between thinking good thoughts, and living a great life is mind-shifting. I’d say it’s an absolutely essential read for any rebelutionary.

    To top it all off, I went to curch tonight, and my pastor began his sermon by illustrating the difference between having faith and living in faith, so as to live a great story. Both his sermon and Don’s book stressed that every character is built by conflict, and that every epic tale is defined by sacrifice. We can make a great story of our lives by imitating Christ, and we can find strength in knowing that our conflict, though great, is nothing in comparison to what His was.

  • Some of the best books I’ve read this year: Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller (also re-read his book The Reason for God), Vintage Jesus and Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll, Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, and probably many other great ones that I’m leaving out. Many of these books helped to shed light on sin in my life or to show me the beauty of the local and global Church.

    As far as Scripture goes, I generally try to follow along and personally study whatever book my church or campus ministry is preaching through at the time. Over the past year I’ve particularly enjoyed studying (and listening to) Ephesians and 1 John.

    Piper’s “Think” and “Taste and See: Savoring the Supremecy of Christ in all of Life” are definitely on my list for next year, as well as Keller’s new book “Generous Justice.”

  • I have been reading a lot of John Grisham novels.
    I love how he unfolds the stories, and how he shows that not all Christians are obsessed with money and power. That we have a totally different view on success, and can be satisfied without the worldly version of it.

  • Hi,its my first time.. i just read your book.. about doing hard things.. It really help me a lot and i am able to do more things that i used to.. It made me realized many things..

  • Hello at all!

    I’m reading now the book “YES YOU CAN”. My best friend hat buy it for me and says “it’s a very good bok! you must read it!”. And he didn’t lie to me.

    I love your book and it changed my life and my charakter was formed by this book. And now I play drums in 4 bands and I want to do more !!!

    Thank you, Alex and Brett


    PS; Sorry for my bad english, but I’m from Germany…

  • » When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more? I typically read a lot of great books, right now, I just can’t find any!
    » What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year? Pusuit of Holyness, Acceptable Christian Sins (I think that that is the title) and any Ryle books I can put my hands on! 😀

  • Though reading time has been scarce during high school, I have managed to find time to read some awesome books. I’d have to say the most spiritually profitable books I’ve read this year are “Stepping Heavenward” (by E. Prentiss) and “Through Gates of Splender” (by Elisabeth Elliot). “Through Gates of Splender” is mostly made up of excerpts of Jim Elliot’s diary, and I was amazed at the spiritual maturity he showed as a teenager! Very encouraging book that I would highly recommend. Otherwise I’ve enjoyed many classics – by Charles Dickens, Alexander Dumas, George Macdonald,Tolkien, and practically everything else I can get my hands on. Thanks everyone for your reading suggestions!

  • I think I have the most time to read at night in my bed… the problem is that then I go to sleep too late and get a REALLY late start on the day. I don’t get to read great books, or any books in general, because of a school program my mom has me in. It is really great, but the problem is I don’t have time to do hardly anything else. It has really started to bother me, because, even though it is a Christian program and I am learning A TON, I feel like I don’t have enough time to spend with God, and am finding that my faith seems almost like it is slipping away. I pray, but my prayers seem empty. I just can’t seem to focus. I don’t know what to do. Anyone have any ideas?

  • I’m a total bookworm but have not been able to read many books this past year because of a demanding college schedule. I look forward to catching up on my booklist over Christmas break. Here are some books that I currently have on my Christmas list:
    Miracle at Tenwek by Gregg Lewis
    Saving Leonardo by Nancy Pearcey
    Rebekah Ann Naylor, MD by Camille Lee Hornbeck

    Also, after you guys have replenished your “well” of literary inspiration, I’d love it if you would update your booklist. I’ve really enjoyed some of the books you’ve recommended!

  • Thank you Alex and Brett and all of you who posted. I really needed this reminder to read hard things.

    My favorite book ever besides the Bible is “The Robe” by Lloyd C. Douglas. Right now I am reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. I also have some of George McDonald’s books which present some interesting ideas about having a relationship with God. At some point I want to read “Start Here” by Alex and Brett and many of the books everyone else posted about.

    God bless you!

  • I love to read books, but I’m lazy about it….wierd I know. I find myself reading more when I read inspirational, motivational, and romance books. But when it comes to reading books for school, i slack off. Rarely do i ever enjoy reading a book for school. I think that the biggest reason why I or we dont read good books anymore is because we want to keep up with the latest episode to a new season on TV. We want to be clued into modern day world.

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
    I have really been reading and pondering “Humilty: True Greatness” by C.J. Mahaney. I read Macbeth in English and Have been pondering that along with John Piper books, Agatha Christie and my favorite book, The Ragamuffin Gospel. Lots of Philip Yancy books as well. Most of what I have been ponder is who I am, Who God is, and what are relationship is and is supposed to be.
    THe books that most influence that are the Psalms, Humility, The Jesus I never knew, The Ragamuffin Gospel and What’s so Amazing about Grace

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?

    I find the most time to read on vacation and during the weekends. The biggest reason that I don’t read more books is because of time. I check out many more library books than I am able to read and I try not to be too distracted from school work because I am learning to make choices with my time.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    I would really like to read more C.S. Lewis, A Beautiful Way, more Ravi Zacharias and some other authors. I am not sure what I want to leave. I spend many study halls in the School Library so I am always being tempted by good books. 🙂

  • The books that are on my Christmas list would be Start Here, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, and Loves Unending Legacy by Jannete Oke. For next year I’m not sure…I guess whatever comes my way!

  • This year I read some interesting books, two by Dostoevsky “The Gambler” and “The Idiot” and by Philip Yancey “The Jesus I never Knew”, “Prayer”, “What’s so amazing about grace?”, “Where is God when it hurts?” and “Rumors of another world”, “Do Hard Things” and I’m currently reading “To kill a mockingbird” and “Soul Survivor”- Philip Yancey. Some of the books that I’m planning to read are “Start Here”, “1984”(by George Orwell), “The Karamazov Brothers”(Dostoevsky) and after that I’ll see:).
    Most of the times I read before I go to bed or when I come from school.

  • One of my favorite verses (if not my favorite) is in Proverbs. I don’t have the reference in front of me (I have a really hard time memorizing those!!) but is this: There are many plans in a man’s heart; nevertheless, the LORD’s council, that will stand. That really stood out to me because I have alot of things I want to do when I’m in and then out of college and I want to travel alot. But I had never stopped to think that God has a different plan for me that I don’t know yet. As for books, I’ve always loved to read!! But I have trouble reading good classics. I’m homeschooled and one of my courses this year is called Starting Points. It was written to develop a Biblical worldview and to detect the worldview of others. In the section I am in I am reading some books and finding the authors Biblical worldview. Probably my favorite single book (my favorite is the Lord of the Rings series) is To Kill A Mockingbird. It has so many lessons and is a great book for discussion. I love to read but during the school year I have trouble reading good books on my own because I get so caught up in school and dance classes that I run out of time. Thanks for the great wake-up article!!

  • Wow! This is something God has really spoken to me in the past couple of months. He has so much wisdom to offer us, and He will give it to us if we ask, but sometimes, we just don’t ask. Right now I’m listening to an AMAZING series, “Sin No More” by Michael Pearl. It is so freeing, Pearl talks about how with Jesus, we have the power to “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). If any of you guys have the time, I urge you to listen to these tapes, or any tapes, by Michael Pearl. They’ve really taught me a lot, and I’m continuing to learn more every day. Thanks for your post! That’s awesome.

  • This was a great refresher for me! I love my library, but the books I find are like junk food, if you know what I mean. This has made me rethink my mindset of “Those are my dad’s books, I’ll read them when I’m older.” One thing I have read recently is Lose Your Cool, by Zac Hunter. It really made me think.

  • So I was reading in Nehemiah the morning that I read this blog and something in Nehemiah chapter 4 really hit me. In verse 17b it says, “Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other” and v23, “Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water”.

    They were ready to fight for what God called them to do. They kept working and pressing on towards what God told them to do, but they carried their weapons so they were ready to fight the threat of the surrounding kings (who didn’t want them to rebuild Jerusalem) in case they were attacked. We need to always be on guard and ready to fight for what God has called us to, but also to keep on continuing the work God has given us.

  • Amen! Thank you so much for this post. Wow. God has been doing so much! It has truly been incredible to watch. I’ve been working through a list of stuff reading, but looking for some new stuff. The comments here have given me some fantastic ideas! Thank you Brett and Alex for letting Christ shine through you!

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year?
    This last year, books like All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren, and John Adams by David Mccullough have influenced the way I’ve thought about the political system, and it’s implications. These books, along with dozens of others from a multitude of genres have helped me understand the importance of the big ideas in our everyday life.

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading? I’ve been reading the Psalms, and really coming to an understanding of the depth of these statements, and our relationship with Him

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more? I read after bed, and inbetween school assignments. I am constantly striving to read great books. But here’s a question for other commenters; what makes a great book? Is it a distinct Christian nature? Is it quality literature? Is it simply true? Or is it something else? Before one can read “Great Books”, they must determine what is a “Great Book”.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year? Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom”, One Cup of Tea by Greg Mortenson, How we know what isn’t so, by Thomas Gilovich, and whatever else I can find via, or the Library.

  • Thanks so much for the quote! It really got me thinking!
    This past summer I read Ellisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity, and it totally changed the way I view life and love. I guess it never occurred to me that two people could have a love for each other that was so holy and pleasing to God, I’d always viewed love as something two people expressed to each other, not necessarily directly related to deepening their love for God.
    In my quiet time, I’ve spent a lot of time reading psalms that express a deep longing to know God and follow his paths.
    My reading goal for the christmast season is to finish Don Quixote and I’m only 21 chapters into it! Next year I plan to read some John Piper, some Jane Austen, some Shakespear, plenty of poetry and lots more!

  • Just this last summer, I read “Emotional Purity” by Heather Arnel Paulsen in preparation for the upcoming school year. I wanted to be steadfast in God as I go back to school and continue on (and I still do, by the way). The book has indeed moved and challenged me! I saw how important emotional and mental purity is. We overlook both matters and focus only on physical purity not realizing that emotional and mental purity is just as important. It’s a must read, y’all!

    I’ve also read “Just like Jesus” by Max Lucado this past summer. It’s so important that we know more about Jesus because only when we know more about God will we be able worship Him the way we should. God is so amazing and indescribable that He can never be praised enough!

    Right now, I’m reading “Passion and Purity” by Elisabeth Elliot and I’m getting a lot!

    I’m also pretty excited about reading “The Attributes of God” by A.W. Tozer and “The Purple Book” by Pastor Rice Broocks and Pastor Steve Murrell.

  • My reading list for this Christmas season is more about mystery books. Those books train me to use my common sense, to squeeze out logic from my young mind. But I learn life lessons from inspirational ones. I still want to learn to read varieties and not stick to one.

  • I just finished reading The Giver. I loved the book and the idea, hated the ending. It made me think about life without memories and individuality, and how scary that life would be. On my list is The Forgotten Man by Amity Schalze. Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life, The Hunger Games and some Hemmingway. I love to read and really like the quote you used by Spurgeon. Thanks for stating that talking to older and wiser people helps you, I am one of those people and I can say that sometimes I get to feeling irrelevant, in our society that idolizes youth.

  • A book that I have read recently that has really caused me to think is the book Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by the Relentless of God by Francis Chan. This book has truly changed the way I think about life. He asks question that blow your mind in a good way. It makes you think about how great God is and how powerful He is. I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to be challenged.
    I have been reading through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew over the last couple of months and it has really helped me grow spirituality.
    I find that reading at night is when I have the most time. However I play Varsity School soccer and am very involved with school and my youth group at church. So I find it difficult to read during the day or before school or after school. So I would say that in general just the normal day things that go on in my life make it very difficult to give my full attention to a book.
    A book that is on my Christmas reading list is the book, Out Live Your Life, by Max Lucado. And Bible wise I am going to reread the book of Romans and 1st and 2nd Peter.

  • I’ve just decided to major in education, with the hope of some day working for the church and so I’ve been think a lot about the following passages

    “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” Romans 12:1

    “But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.” Philippians 2:17

    “Do all the good you can,
    By all the means you can,
    In all the ways you can,
    In all the places you can,
    At all the times you can,
    To all the people you can,
    As long as you ever can.”
    -John Wesley

    I wish I had more time to read, fiction but more recently non-fiction about leading and being a Christian in the world. Usually, it is school work that cuts this short for me. I feel more and more strongly for Mark Twain when he said “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

  • I think the reason I don’t read great books more is that I spend all my time reading fiction. I’ll have to change that this year.
    And just to help us, could you please make a list of great books that every teenager should read and put it up on here?

  • There is such extreme value in the wisdom and words of others. Thank you so much for posting your own words of wisdom to us all! Though you may not feel like you have much, you do!
    This past year I have been reading books focusing on the Love of our Father and what it means to truly live a life abandoned to the cause of Christ. Loose Your Cool by our brother Zach Hunter, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and Radical by David Platt are a few I have read. I am still reading Radical, can’t seem to get past chapter 2. Such a deep and convicting book for all believers. So far it has really challenged me to re-focus on Christ and my true purpose and responsibility as a follower of Christ. I am excited for this quarter of school to end so I will have time to finish it.

    But most importantly I have realized how much time we (I) spend reading books that really are great, challenging, and wisdom filled, but seem to out them in a higher place or priority than the Bible, the Word of the most wise! So this Christmas break I am just going to read His Word!

    Thanks again for your wisdom Alex and Brett!
    In Christ Alone,

  • Olá, me desculpem não escrever em
    inglês. É que só falo português e um pouco de espanhol.
    Cara, comecei a ler um dos livros de vocês
    e é muito 10.
    Agradeço a Deus pela vida de vocês.
    Graça e Paz

  • I was raised reading classical literature, and we have about 7,000,000 books in our house! (most of what I’ve read…) 🙂 I plan on reading the Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom this season, to remind me to be thankful for my family, and everything that we take for granted. I am reading Jane Eyre for school right now, and just finished Passion and Purity, by Elizabeth Elliot, for the umpteenth time! I really love that book. It is so inspiring that there is living proof of a love-relationship bring such GLORY to God!
    I plan on reading books that will make me thankful this year, like A Christmas Carol, The Hiding Place, DO HARD THINGS, etc…. Thank you Rebolution! We love you guys!

  • These past months, through my church’s youth camp and studying Proverbs, I have been repeatedly reminded of how sweet and strong godly counsel is (particularly from my parents!) and of the importance of having and applying biblical doctrine.

    I just started college this past fall, so my reading has mainly been restricted to textbooks. When I do read, I tend to choose lightweight books so I don’t have to expend any more cranial energy. However, when I have had time in the past(i.e. during the summer), I ended up not reading because of lack of planning and plain laziness.

    Over Christmas break and the next couple months, I’m hoping to get through Let me be a Woman, Radical Womanhood, Middlemarch, Isaiah, Romans, Hebrews, and any book by John Piper!

    Thank you for your post, Alex and Brett! It was great to heart from you again! I was encouraged and provoked to read how you’ve gained your wisdom from reading good books. Your discussion questions also made me recall how faithful God has been to me.

  • Recently, I have read Get In the Game: 8 Elements of Perserverance that Make a Difference by Cal Ripken Jr.

    It is a great book, and Cal Ripken Jr. shares a lot of his experiences and knowledge.

    Another great book that I have read is titled Game Plan For Life by Joe Gibbs. Another great book by another great man who has made a difference in sports. Joe Gibbs shares many of his stories, and ultimately shows how God should be our coach and call all our plays.

  • One of the most profound books that I’ve read this year is The Cross-Centered Life by CJ
    Mahaney. It was totally convicting and inspiring for me as a Christian!

    One of my favorites is Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. Excellent! It is a young woman’s journal from her teen years through later life with her walk with the Lord.
    It is very honest and encouraging—I’ve read it atleast ten times, because there are so many ‘nuggets’ in the book. 🙂

    Thanks so much for your ministry! God bless!

  • My favorite book that I have read this year is “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti..I think everyone should read it!!

  • Elyssa- Thank you for sharing your idea on the notebooks for your siblings. I am one of 5 children and starting next year, plan on doing the same. I really think it will truly bless my realationship with God as well as my siblings. Thank you!!

    Cierra- I just wanted to let you know that I will be praying for God to give you wisdom and guidence concerning your passion for the pro-life movement. I also have a burden for for those in our world who are not given the right to life.

    Bethany- The only thing I can say is this. God is far more important than your education, even thought I believe that is VERY important also. Think of the things you do that are absolutely necessary for life. Now, put spending time with God above that and see what happens. When reading your Bible and praying become more important that eating, suddenly there is an adequate amount of time to do so. I don’t know if this will help, but it brought a new perspective to me so I decided to throw it out there. As for your faith slipping away, the best thing to do is spend more time with God. He hears you. No matter what, He is there for you always if you are His child.

  • I’ve been pondering something and now I’m sure it’s worth a try. Thanks guys.

    I’ll study the word of God a bit more like how I’d study physics or a programming tutorial.

    Instead of reading a few chapters, I’ll write one chapter on paper and really try to get at it. I think there’s a lot more to be had if we really try to get into it. We can read over something a few times and still not get it if we’re not careful.

    Reading alone never was good for studying for a physics test.

  • I’ve been challenged this year to spend more time in prayer, in the study of the Word, in taking individual saints out for meals and just spending time in things with eternal value. Of course, that would not be possible without sacrifice in other areas – away from the Internet, away from comfort zones, away from extra sleep and more. And I can’t even begin to share how blessed I have been. Reading and listening to ministries from have been TREMENDOUSLY encouraging and are food to the soul. I have been reading after dinner once I get home from work, at work during the extra 15 mins I have after lunch instead of munching longer on that bite.

    What I read this year and what I’d greatly recommend:

    Phillip Keller’s A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (tremendously beautiful real-life portraiture of the Shepherd as Keller’s a shepherd himself and such rare literature to find now that lifts Christ up!)

    David Dunlap’s Glory of the Ages: A great book on Dispensational Theology in “language all Christians can understand”… a tremendous help and key to understand Scripture in God’s timing and purposes.

    Journals of Jim Elliot edited by Elisabeth Elliot – as good as a commentary on the Bible itself as most of his entries are reflections on his reading that day. Very very encouraging and honest reflections from a man after God’s kingdom.

    Currently reading AP Gibbs’ book on Worship and very very blessed by it. What takes me away from reading are distractions like the Internet, as well as not being able to say no to going out when I know I can do better with some quiet reading at home.

    Happy reading everyone!

  • My favorite book I read this year is Charles Spurgeon’s “What The Holy Spirit Does In A Believers Life”. It is a great book that will encourage you in your Christian walk.

    Steven, I love your idea of writing out a chapter and really studying it. I read my bible every day but I have yet to really study the word.

  • So far this year a book that has stood out to me has been Jerry Bridges “The Pursuit of Holiness” and over Thanksgiving break I read “Do Hard Things” (Wonder who wrote that book :).
    I often read before I go to bed or when I have small amounts of time to fill. I make it a point to read a few chapters from my Bible apart from my devotions. I just started Genesis again. I have been amazed at how many things I never thought about before, like why did God not simply remove Cain from the earth? Why did Noah send out a Dove? Was he trying to find information before God said it was safe? Did he need to check to see if there was dry ground? Think while you read, don’t just read to read.

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    The best book that I’ve been reading lately is the Letters of Samuel Rutherford. It is so encouraging, and, what is more, (thinking of Spurgeon :D), there are awesome quotes to be had, left and right!!!

    I’ve been memorizing all of Psalm 119 lately, and it has really sparked my desire to memorize and study Scripture more than I have in the past. . .

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?

    I didn’t!!!! I can pretty much only read what is required for school since I’m so busy. . . and my convictions won’t allow me to read anything that isn’t Conservative Christian literature, mostly the Puritans and their followers. 😀 😀 😀

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?

    I definitely want to read a lot more Puritans. . . and some of the really, really old classics. I don’t read much else besides that right now anyway. My dad wrote a book with Joel Beeke (President of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary) called Living By God’s Promises. I would totally recommend it. . . of course. 🙂 But I’m looking forward to reading that.

  • In response to the first question, I’d have to say I don’t know where to start. Maybe first off is a quote given to me by an older woman once:
    “We will be the same in 5 years from now except for the books we read, the people we meet, and the choices we make.”

    I’ve definitely found that to be true for myself. Books that were life-changing to me 5 years ago now seem very basic and “beginner” if I may take the liberty of using that word. Let me add that this is not true for every book I have read.
    But back to the present. This past year, I would have to say (a few) of my favorite books were A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot (a memoir of Amy Carmichael’s life), The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and No Compromise(the story of Keith Green) which I’ve only read about half a dozen times. 🙂
    One thing that has been helpful to me is highlighting stuff that I want to remember or that challenge me. Later, I can go back and look for all the highlights and maybe even journal about it some.

    In answer to the second half of the question, I feel like the Bible has never-ending insights and challenges to daily life. At the moment, I am reading through the Old Testament, a chapter or two a day, and then journaling about something I learned. It keeps me focused and makes me think more about what I’m reading. Right now I’m in Exodus, and there have been so many things that I’ve read about that I don’t think I thought about much before.
    I obviously left out a lot of details, so if you want to know more about the books, etc. I suggest you read them and find out for yourself.:) Maybe it will be life-changing. Maybe it won’t be a big light-bulb. Whatever the case, my advice is to never quit learning from books. They really can and do teach us a lot!

  • The main thing I’ve come away with from Scripture and books this past year is how much I need God—as in all the time. Until this past semester I would try to stick to a consistent devotions schedule and then, well, I mean, life’s just really busy, isn’t it? I didn’t think it was a big deal until I moved to Germany this past summer. Then all of a sudden I didn’t have my friends and church and music academy and everything else that made my life comfortable. Now if I skip my Bible reading and prayer-time (which I am still dumb enough to do) my life goes all haywire.

    I just finished a great read on the Emergent church: “Why We’re not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be),” written by Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck. Another favorite that has really opened my eyes to the true meaning of the gospel is Tim Keller’s “The Prodigal God.” I’m also currently working through a wonderful book for teenage girls: “Lies Young Women Believe” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. So much freedom comes from combating Satan’s lies with God’s Truth!

    I really want to thank you guys for your ministry. While all the principles you put forward are great and are things I definitely need to hear, the most beneficial thing I’ve gotten out of your blog, book, forums, etc. is the fact that I am not alone. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only kid in the world who’s trying to develop a relationship with God, obey Him, respect my parents, and forsake the world for Him. But I’ve discovered that there are other crazy kids out there, too. 🙂

    Thanks again for the work that you are doing! God bless!

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year?

    I’ve been taking a class that has challenged me to step back and look at the overarching story running throughout Scripture – God’s plan of salvation through Jesus. It is incredible to see all the metanarratives!! My mind has been blown, several times over =) How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth – Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart. God’s Big Picture – Vaughan Roberts. An Introduction to the Old Testament – Tremper Longman.

    This is also my first time actually going through all of Systematic Theology. Before I started it I read Dug Down Deep, which made me pumped about reading Grudem. Reading it side by side with J.I. Packer’s Concise Theology was helpful, because I was able to read the short, then long version of each concept. Also Reading and Writing in the World as a Christian by Timmerman & Hettinga has challenged me to think about the role of Liberal Arts in my faith. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard inspired me to become a better writer for the glory of God. Malcolm Gladwell’s two most recent books, Outliers & What the Dog Saw, were faithful, Gladwellian awesomeness.

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    The hermeneutics books I wrote down have pushed me to look at all the parallels in Scripture drawing us towards Christ and have made my personal study much more meaningful. Also, Psalm 119 has been the epitome of my desire this year, I could never get enough of it. More than anything specific, just carving out the time each day to be in the Word, in an area, brings so much joy.

    When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?

    I am blessed to be at a school that requires you to read a lot of good books. I may not get to read as many books from my personal reading list, but I also get to find many books I might not have read under other circumstances. Personal reading usually happens right before I go to bed.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?

    The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
    Anything from the Ancient Christian Commentary series
    Radical – David Platt
    The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    …and now Think by John Piper =)

    I am very excited for this series of posts! Our families prayers are with you guys, especially as you head into finals! Grace and Peace.

  • It makes me happy to see that there are still people out there who care enough to read the Bible. So many people say they’re Christians and live nothing like it. I find that really sad. My fellow rebelutionary’s we have work to do! I personally love reading about the creation, King David and the stories of Jesus.

  • Hi Alex and Brett. Thank you so much for being obedient to the calling God has put on your lives and for sharing what God has put in your hearts. Your book Do Hard Things is just what I needed. I needed that wake up call that I can and should do hard things. I had just been stuck in this mentality that I’m just a teenager and that no one really cares about me and that what I do won’t really make a difference or really matter at all. Again, thank you so much!

    Here are my answers to your questions:
    » What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? >A: Well I’ve been reading up on alot of different subjects lately such as homeschooling, Christianity, Government. For Government I’ve been reading Basic American Government, and I’ve also been reading Mere Christianity. I am homeschooled and always have been, but I get updated on whats happening with the homeschool movement by reading different books and articles and listening to radio programs (i.e. Generations Radio w/ Kevin Swanson).
    >Q:How about in Scripture? >A: Lately I’ve been reading on the how God provided for the Israelites in so many ways. I also love to read the Gospels and David’s psalms.
    >Q:What insights did you take away from that reading? Not really anything new, but reminder that God does provide for all his plans in our lives and around the world and that He’s always there.
    » When do you find you have the most time to read? A: Lately I’ve been doing my reading around 7pm because I’m not really that tired as opposed to how I used to wake up at 5am and read when I’m still half asleep.
    >Q:What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more? A: My problem is that sometimes I am just plain lazy. I have the time most days, but I just don’t take advantage of it.
    » What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year? This Christmas season I’m continuing to read Mere Christianity and Do Hard Things. For next year, I hope I can get I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist by Dr. Frank Turek, and I want to get Understanding the Times by Dr. David Noebel. I’m also going to read the Abolition of Man, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel, and How to be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. My list goes on and on.

  • Read way to many books to remember this year…A couple that made a huge impact on me were-

    “Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl” by N.D. Wilson
    “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller (and all his other books, especially “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. I can’t agree with all his theology, but he has a wonderful way with words and a lot of really honest things to say that I needed to hear.)
    “Deep Comedy” by Peter Leithart (And several other books by him, but this really rocked my world.)
    Several books by Nancy Wilson, Elisabeth Elliot, Jim Elliot’s journals a second time, a few books by Elizabeth George, and…yeah…some others I’m sure.

    There are so many amazing books out there and so much to learn and so much I NEED to learn and so little time.
    I guess that’s another good motivation to be good stewards of our time, right?

    And of course the most important book. The Bible. I really fell in love with Isaiah and Ecclesiastes this year. Isn’t it amazing how every time we read the Bible there is so much more to love and learn?

    Thanks for post.

    God Bless!

  • I’ve been missing your blog lately! I have been checking up all the time and keep getting disappointed with no new blog posts:(

    I am reading “90 Minutes in Heaven” and I just finished “Dominion” by Randy Alcorn.
    I’m not sure yet about 90 minutes yet… 🙂

    And of course my Bible, which I almost always read at night! A lot of people say that they like to read in the morning so they can think about it throughout the day, but I think I can pay attention and listen easier at night.

    Keep up the blogging!!! Praying for you both~ Alli

  • In August I started reading the devotional Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Its written as if Jesus is talking to you and it gives you the scriptures that its based on. Its been a blessing for me.I’ve also started reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis which has really begun to show me how easily we are all tempted to sin.

    Earlier this year I was reading my Bible and I came across Acts 20:24, “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” It really made me think about what kind of witness I am and it made me wonder how diligent I am about spreading the Gospel. I have also been trying to live out Romans 12:2,”Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good pleasing and perfect will.” Its a constant battle for me to keep from trying to “conform to the pattern of this world” but God is helping me to overcome those desires.

    Thank yall so much for what you do. Do Hard Things challenged my home school coop class and me, and in response to it we are now in the process of raising money to go on a mission trip. I’m looking forward to reading Start Now soon too!


  • Hey(:

    Wow! My favourite topic! Well, apart from the Bible (daily reading), I finished Silence by Shusaku Endo yesterday. I’d reccommend this book to all Christians, since Endo is a very famous, albeit slightly controversial, Christian write from Japan. (:

    Another series would be the Dragons in our Midst Series by Bryan Davis, which shows that good fiction can be Godly and entertaining. ^_^

    I’ve been averaging about a book a day so…. well, there’s too many books to count! But reading is one of my favourite activities (To read books about books (and no, not metafiction), some good titles are “So many books, so little time” “Yellow lighted bookshop” and such)

    But as for my future reading list, well, I’ll see what happens, because sometimes, if you’re not looking to hard for anything, God can lead you to the book you need.
    God bless~

  • *What Scripture have you pondered over this past year?
    Romans 3

    *When do you find you have the most time to read?
    At night in my bed

    *What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    Not feeling like it. 🙁

    *What is on your reading list this Christmas season?
    Fire In Your Heart (my friend loaned it to me)

    *For next year?
    Crazy Love, Tales Of Cunburra And Other Stories (by my friend Kara Siert), Girlz Of God (by my other friend, Talia DeAndrea), Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees, Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper.

  • Thanks, Sarah. 🙂

    » What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year?
    Left Behind the Kids, mostly.

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?
    I really like 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (I just saw it in ‘Our Daily Bread’)

    » When do you find you have the most time to read?

    What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    They aren’t at the library, I don’t feel like it, I’m being lazy, I don’t own them

    » What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    Some different Nancy Rue books, the Bible, 90 minutes in heaven, others.

    God bless you!!!


  • One great book I read and pondered over this last year is “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper. I love all his sermons and his books. It really made me think how important it is to live life in the most worthwhile way. I’m 16 and a missionary in Thailand so it encouraged me to serve Jesus with more passion and fervor. I realized that the little things really do matter in how I live out my life. God bless you for your dedication, I’m praying for you.

  • Often during Christmas I have hard time finding time to read because I am very busy during this season. We have a performing/caroling troupe.I love reading though, so I try to make the time.

  • I’m planning on reading both of your books this Christmas. I’m looking forward to it, I know they’re going to be really inspiring!!

  • Hope you guys are doing okay. Brett, I tried to contact you this past month; I’ve been praying for you all during these past months. I trust the Lord is helping and strengthening you through the good days and the bad. Please know you’ve got a sister in your corner. 🙂

    Looking forward to your thoughts on Piper. Stay strong in Christ’s love and might.

  • Books Rock! The Left Behind series and “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” are awesome! I also like Lord of the Rings.

  • I read as much as possible. I can read about five to ten books a week, and I really like reading in bed. Or outside during the summer. 🙂

  • I love “Do hard things,” the inspiration of the stories, the ministry, and all of the things which “Do hard things” has sparked in a fresh and new revolution that is sweeping the country. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this ministry in the future.

  • I read whenever and wherever I can- the car, in bed, anywhere. Do Hard Things is definitely on the top of my list, but some of my others favorites are the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, the Screwtape Letters, and the Outsiders. I can’t wait to read Start Here. My family has been and still is praying for you. What you guys said in your book is exactly what my parents have been telling me for years! I was ecstatic when I found out that I wasn’t the only one who felt like that!!!! Now I’m really encouraged to Do Hard Things.

  • My favorites for 2010 and 09 have been Let the Nations be Glad! by John Piper, Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan, and The Kingdom that Turned the World Upside Down by David Bercot, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and Do Hard Things.

    For 2011 I plan to read Start Here, A Vision of the Possible by Daniel Sinclair and the new 2010 Operation World.

  • My pastor preached on “The Power of One”. That is what I’ve been trying to focus on this year. His scriptural base was Ezekial 22:30- And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

    I WANT TO BE THAT ONE. I have been praying for direction and purpose this year and I will be continuing.

    I am reading “Do Hard Things” right now. When I was at a national youth convention in Orlando, Florida, they advertised it big time. Everywhere you looked there were red books in peoples hands. Thank you so much for this book. I will definitely be getting “Start Here” as well. Keep up the good work, guys!

  • I recently read The Raggamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. he is a real man of God! His sample is convicting. much like yours. I just finished reading your book yesterday. good stuff. it’s really good to have your sample to follow.

  • Lately I have been reading some books that I believe would be beneficial for all. They are: The Road Ahead, The Way of the Pilgrim, The Pilgrim continues His Way, The Truth of our Faith, and The Truth of our Faith volume two. The Road Ahead is a Christian book for teens and I enjoyed it. The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim continues His Way are books focused on the main character and author, the pilgrim, and his journey in finding out how to pray unceasingly. The way how this is done is by praying the Jesus Prayer or the Prayer of the Heart unceasingly. After all, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: 16 “rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” NKJV (5:16 – 18) and to the Ephehesians he wrote: 17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints – and for me that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak.” NKJV 6:17 – 20. And he also wrote to Timothy: 8 “I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” NKJV 2:8 – 10. These books teach you how to pray unceasingly while doing other activities at the same time. The Truth of our Faith and its sequel are books written by an elder named Elder Cleopa In it are many questions by and Inquirer and Elder cleopa answers them with quotes from the Bible and writings of the saints and from the desert fathers. These books are for anyone who has questions about the orthodox faith or just isn’t sure about something in the bible or the church. And s for my favorite bible quote… I don’t have one but these are my favorite. John 13:31 – 35 NKJV 31 So when he had gone out, (Judas went to betray him) Jesus said ” Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him (Jesus) God will also glorify Him ( Jesus) in Himself, (God) and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews ‘ Where I am going you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” And that would be it.

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture?
    Hm, this year I have read Girls Gone Wise this year, (and loved it) Dug Down Deep, Crazy Love, and Worldliness by C.J. Mahaney. I have thought a lot about modesty in our churches, small hard things that I need to be doing, making a difference where God has put me and learning not to worry. In Scripture… I read through Luke and loved it. Really looking at how Jesus lived and the messages he taught was pretty cool. It gives you a better picture of who are living for.

    What insights did you take away from that reading?
    I really enjoyed worldliness… it was convicting yet encouraging in a way to be different. Some of the ideas presented I had never thought about. Also, reading Crazy Love helped me to remember not only God’s judgement but his love for us too.

    » When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?
    I read the most over the weekends or when everyone is chilling out at home. Like when my parents are watching tv, I’ll grab a book and sit with them most of the time. When we go on trips I think I read the most. I dont read more books because I dont make the time.

    » What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?
    This Christmas is to finish Stepping Heavenward by Elisabeth Prentiss and What’s the Difference by John Piper. Next year I want to read biographies (getting to know dead people 🙂 ), the Pilgrims Progress, and some C.S. Lewis… types of books I dont normally read.

  • What book have I recently pondered this year? DUG DOWN DEEP by Joshua Harris. I HIGHLY recommend this book, as it has really helped me have a better understanding of what i believe. Even basic things that i thought I understood i now understand way better and more than that: i know now that there is a lot i do not understand. Excellent book for people of all ages and Christian maturity.

  • ‘The power of a praying teen’ by Stormie Omartian
    ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ by Joshua Harris
    ‘Passion and Purity’ by Elizabeth Elliot
    ‘Quest for Love’ by Elizabeth Elliot
    ‘God Girl’ by Haley Dimarco
    ‘Lies Young Women Believe’ by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh
    ‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie Ten Boom
    ‘The Christy Miller Series’ by Robin Jones Gunn
    ‘Hope Rising’ by Kim Meeder
    And of course, ‘Do Hard Things’ by Alex and Brett Harris 
    All are really great books I’ve read this year and I highly recommend them!
    BTW ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R Tolkien, are some pretty awesome books also.

    Isaiah 29:11 encouraged me. It gave me hope and peace. I was going through a time of searching for the Lord’s future will for my life. The enemy was doing a pretty good job at making me feel as though I needed to take matters into my own hands. That if God wasn’t going to take immediate action with my life, who would? I started to give up my trust in God. One night during that time, I met together with some strong, Christian friends for a Bible study/prayer get together. They encouraged me and prayed for me. Within the next few days, the Lord gave me that verse. He told me that He loved me and cared for me, that He wants the very best for me and He has the very best for me. He told me to wait patiently and when the time comes, run, with passion, the race He marked out for me.

  • The most influencial book i’ve read this year would have to be your book Alex and Brett “Do Hard Things”. My youth pastor in January of this year bought about 20 some of your books of the copy “Do Hard Things” for the leadership in our youth group to read. It is an amazing book! I was homesachooled until now and i go to ctc it’s a career technology center to learn career programs you are interested in in high school. I mainly decided to go because i felt God wanted me to go and share Him to the lost. I am recently trying to get a prayer group started and i know a christian teacher here who might be able to help me get it started. I am excited to see what God will do and i thank you for writing “Do Hard Things” it gave me the boldness i needed to get this far along with God giving me the boldness to step out. Thank You!

  • Man its so cool that im on this websight. Usualy I am on youtube or somthing. I love your book Do hard things, its helped me realize that Im capable of much more than being a punk kid on a sk8 bord.


  • I’ve been reading Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. It has really opened my eyes to the spiritual warfare all around me. Now I want to be a strong warrior for God sporting His full armor. I’m
    doing a reading plan from for reading the Bible in 90 days. I just today broke the New Testament. I just love filling my mind each morning with scripture. My heart is burdened for orphans (our family has adopted 7 kids) and I raised 4,000 dollars last Christmas for a 5 year old girl with Leukemia who’s wish was to adopt (she was adopted herself). Loved your book Do Hard Things! Keep on keeping on, guys!

  • I read your book do hard things and it is just amazing! All the stories about people raising money for the poor, and about how guys feel about how girls dress. This book has been a blessing to me and really helped me stay on track with God. I congratulate you on the work you have done changing so many lives! 🙂 I pray that God continues to bless you and your brother continually in your ministry. From your brother in Christ Jonathan

  • I have been reading Gilbert Morris’s the House of Winslow series. i read your books over the summer and they really challenged me to (if it’s already been said well don’t change it) Do Hard Things to the glory of God. i have been reading Peter Marshall’s biography written by his wife. and it’s good too.

    i have been studying the book of Luke when i read my Bible and just noticing things that i have never noticed before.

    finding time to read is a big struggle because I usually do it in bed late at night and then don’t get up on time. and if I don’t read then I don’t read much at all unless I am in a car.

  • i just read another great book called Every Day Deserves a Chance by Max Lucado. It is a lot about doing small hard things in our daily lives and what we can do EVERY DAY. It really talks about how every day deserves a chance! Not just days when everything is going well, but also days when we are having troubles with our families or school or whatever. EVERY DAY is a day when you can do things, have a positive attitude, and have an overall positive outlook on life. I LOVE IT!!!

  • The insights I gained from the books listed in the one with my name on it, posted at December 4rth 2010 at 10:50, were how to pray unceasingly and answers to some uncertianties I had about the cross, praying for the dead, and the Christian mysteries. And I read whenever I can and I also have some other books to recommend. They are called the Philokalia and The Final Hour. The Philokalia is the book that the pilgrim uses to learn how to pray unceasingly. It has the writings of many saints and the Church Fathers on the Jesus Prayer or the Prayer of the Heart and how to pray it unceasingly. And therefore do what Paul wrote in the Thesselonians, Ephehesians, and in 1Timothy: Thesselonians 17 pray without ceasing, 5: 17 , Ephehesians: ;praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints – 6:17 , 8 I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath or doubting; 2.8 ( all of it is NKJV).

    The Final Hour tells how the 21st century is the century that the devil is using to make people turn away from God ever since He made a bet with him to do so for 100 years. A now deceased Pope had a vision of the whole thing ( May his memory be eternal.). Sound crazy?. In Revelation or the Apocalypse the devil was bound for a 1,000 years, symbolizing a long time. Then as it said he will be released for a little while. That little while is the 21st century. And if you think about it it is true: wars, crime, sexual immorality, sorcery, fun, going with the crowd, and denying of the devil and his demons has increased a lot. Seem hopeless? Well Jesus knowing of all this and wanting the devil to lose sent and His beloved Virgin Mary to make sure that the devil loses and that Jesus wins. This book is all about what visions and appearances that Mary and the devil did and what they both did in this war.

    What I took away from all this is to pray (I can’t pray unceasingly yet) and the fact that their is a war more terrible now than ever between Jesus with the Virgin Mary and the devil and his demons. I would highly recommend both these books. And as for the Scripture: I need to love Jesus and everyone else as Jesus loves me.

    The reasons why I haven’t been able to read that often is because I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like. Why? I have been in a program lately because of my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and my Scruples and thought disorder. In short what this means is that I am obsessed with Christianity to the point where my Mom took away my religious books a couple times and I have thoughts popping into my head against my moral and religious beliefs and I get easily stressed out and I put too much extent on my moral and religious rules.

    I plan to get the Philokalia and finish reading the Final Hour.

    P.S. my new Email is [email protected]

    Your Brother in Christ, Thomas Cudo Andrango

  • I really love your book! me, some of my friends from sunday school, and our teacher got together each week outside of church and talked about the chapters we read that week. it went really well. we came up with many ideas of how we could do hard things ourselves. now i see you have a new book! this Sunday night, the service is student lead. I am going to speak on getting out of your comfort zone and doing hard things while my friend is speaking on selflessness. it’s just one of the many hard things we have been doing thanks to your inspirational book!

  • Some of the thoughts I have been pondering lately are over the contradiction between a socialist and capitalist government. During this last semester, I have been taking an electing America’s Leaders class at my co-op; in which I have been blessed enough to becone one of the candadates for co-op president (by the way, the election is on 10-12-10, so if you have the time, please pray for God’s will to be done, and for the other candadates to become the leader(s) God wants them to be if I am not elected). Our homework this week was to research the ethics of both socialist and capitalist countries and decide which we think is the best option (did you know that the USA is considered a socialist nation because of the resent government bail-outs and health care?).

    The usual reason that I don’t read books out of my own free will is because I have been swamped with schoolwork lately. However, I would LOVE to begin reading for fun agiagn. Which brings me to my reading list for the next year. For Christmas, I have asked for Decision Points, by George Bush, America by Heart; by Sarah Palin, and Arguing with Idiots; by Glenn Beck. Hopefully, I will be able to read these over Christmas break (we are going to Disney!!!)

    For school this year, I have read some great litterature, such as; the Divine Comedy, the Trilogy, How Should We Then Live, and the Universe Next Door. I haven’t been very interested in most of the subjects in these books in the past, but reading them gave me such intreset and as Mr. Harris says (I’m probably not going to quote this right) “If you read one great book on a subject, you will know more about that subject than 80% of the world?” I probably didn’t do that right….

    I agree that merely quoting or pondering the thoughts of great men and women can give you great thoughts and quotes of your own! The best way to become intelligent is to place yourself in the shadow of those who are intelligent!

    Great Post!!! You really got me thinking!!! Please forgive any spelling errors, spelling has never been my cup of tea.


  • By the way… Tex is my nickname and a total oximoron. I am a girl with five younger brothers, and I am not athletic or tough in any way shape or form; just thought I’d letcha know. Hahaha

  • Hey y’all
    in class we are doing perswassive essays and guess what i’m doing mine on? A “Do Hard Things” club!

  • What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? Ive been reading the biography of George Muller and everyday still amazed by God’s works through His servant. The problem of Christian praying life today is that our will be done, not God’s will be done. And that is the problem of faith today.

    How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading? Ive been thinking about king David and his personal walk with God through Psalm and The Kings. Over and over again the Scripture keep telling me about finding God’s will through my life, because the life of man esp Christian is a life of God’s grace and mercy. By understanding this concept, we will seek for the knowledge of God and God’s will.

    When do you find you have the most time to read? In the afternoon. With a cup of milk.

    What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more? Lazziness.

    What is on your reading list this Christmas season? Designed for Dignity by Richard L.Pratt and Tell The Truth by Will Metzger.

    For next year? To name a few…
    Paul and the self : Apostolic Teaching for Personal Wholeness by J.Knox Chamblin
    Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand by Paul David Tripp
    Apologetics to the Glory of God : introductory by John M. Frame

    Its great to know you guys from this website. I still have not read your book because i have to order it by mail (and still haven’t, but will be soon). In Indonesia, its very rare to have English books, esp the Christian ones. All the books that i read are translated to Indonesian by the publisher. Thanks God there could be these publishers who could provide the Christian book in Indonesian, altough its very long to have one because of the translation progress. Your brother books have been translated, but not yours (mayeb later).Keep up the good works, doing the hard things for Glory of God, brother..Maybe someday the two of u could share your vision to the youth in Indonesia. God bless.

  • I read a LOT of Ted DeKker books, the ones i really LOVE are: Black, Red, White, and Green. It’s a story about good and evil (although almost all of them are) But I love it becuase it’s reminds me about our life as Christians and how the Devil tries to bring us down, and sometimes we fall prey to him, but as long as we trust in God He will see us through! 🙂 i recommend reading books from T.D. he is a Great author!

    “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, For you (God) are with me Your Rod and Staff protect and comforts me!” Psalm 23

  • My favorites are:
    “God’s Smuggler”
    “Heavenly Man”
    “Till We Have Faces”

    Some of my favorite topics recently have been 1) modern-day slavery (“Girl Soldier”), and 2) Muslim culture (since one of my best friends is Muslim). I am reading “The Gospel for Muslims” and the Koran in addition to (of course) LOTS of God’s word. I also have been looking up autobiographies of people who turned to Christianity after being Muslim. My favorite one’s been a booklet called “Inside the Revival”. It shares stories of God’s work since 9/11 in Muslim’s hearts all over the world.

  • “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builder labor in vain.” -Psalm 127:1a

    When I read this, it really hit me hard. I started to question myself. Am I really doing everything I do for God and His glory? And, sadly, I wasn’t. Not even close. In fact, I was the exact opposite. So now, my new goal is to change my ways and become a worker building a house for the LORD, a house that He would approve, not something that is going to waste my time and possibly others.

  • I have been gaining some great insights from God at Work, by Gene Edward Veith. During Christmas vacation, I plan to read The Love Dare and re-read Do Hard Things. I’m sure I’ll find several others during that time, too.

  • hello, i came accross this rebelutionaries idea with our recent youth meeting and i have to say its great!! well the scripture that has me thinking is psalm 18:6 “In my distress i called to the LORD i cried to my God for help, from his temple he heard my voice my cry came before him into his ears” this verse popped out at me because it prooves to me like so many other toimes that god is with me no matter what!! thankyou rebelutionaries and dont stop blogging!!

  • also its me (again) as i was reading the bible, another verse came up to me very short but beatiful this is malachi 1:2 ” I have loved you,”says the Lord. this verse is so powerfull another piece of proof that god loves us!!!

  • I’m an MK (missionary kid) living in the small town of Kandern, in the southwestern corner of Germany, and I go to a school called Black Forest Academy (also in Kandern). I’m in ninth grade, and this year for Bible class, we were privaleged to read Do Hard Things as an optional part of the course. I’ve just now finished the book and thought I’d check out the blog. What I’ve read and seen has really encouraged and challenged me to make a difference in my community. Black Forest Academy (BFA) is an international Christian school, but even in a Christian community, I’ve realized that we sometimes sit back and relax and forget to keep guard on all the temptations in our lives. Yes, even at BFA, in the past 3 years, we have had four 12th graders expelled for having sex. When I was little, I thought it impossible for Christians to commit “big” sins like that, and yet, the year I was in sixth grade and again the year I was in eighth grade, the Vice Principal had to announce to the student body that a certain couple had been expelled. One of the girls actually got pregnant; thankfully, the other (2 years later) didn’t, but it’s still a big reminder that you can never say “I’m a Christian; that can’t happen to me.” My class graduates in 3 and a half years, and I hope that I will be able to say “None of my classmates got expelled for anything.” On a more pleasant note, some books I’ve enjoyed reading are all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books about Middle Earth (including the works by his son, Christopher Tolkien), C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, and the books by Stephen R. Lawhead. I’m sure there are more that I can’t remember, but those are the top ones.

  • Thanks Alex and Brett and all you folks for all that you have taught me. My favorite books that I have read recently are “Carry on, Mr. Bowditch” By Jean Lee Latham, a biography about Nathanael Bowditch who really got the concept of Do Hard Things, and “The Hiding Place” By Corrie Ten Boom. Thanks for the examples you all are in this world.

  • What book have you read this past year? Too many to count. I am always reading and re-reading the books I have. I usually read 5 or more books at time, finishing them in a few days to a week. I just bought a new book called Brainwashed by Ben Shapiro and had it done in about 9 hours. I keep a list of some of my favorites on my blog. Some of the books are: many of the Ludy books, Do Hard Things, Many of C S Lewis works, and so on… I don’t read fiction much at all. If I do, it’s stuff like Moby Dick, The Old Man and the Sea, Daniel Deronda, etc.
    Scripture~ I’ve been reading Ephesians, Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes this past month.
    Why do I not read? I cannot NOT read! I always have a book under my arm. On errands, I take a set of three or more. I read a chapter, go to the next book, read a chapter, and so on.
    When do you have time to read? On trips, at night, before breakfast, in the afternoon, whenever I have a spare minute.
    My reading list coming up~
    Joyfully at Home
    The Lost Art of True Beauty
    Money,Greed, and God
    Shadow World
    Some more books about Churchill
    Total Truth
    – and many many more
    Looking forward to the series!

  • thanks alex and brett for inspiring teens like me to do hard things dispite of the low expectation of the society to us. i am really blessed with the book “do hard things”. thank you also to the other rebelutionist who firmly take a stand in life as a teen. for sharing your hearts and your thoughts. it bring something in my heart. i”m also happy to knowe that it”s not just me who have the heart of rebeling in the low expectation of the world in the teens at the time of new era. may God continue to bless you friends.

  • I know this isn’t reading but I’m watching a documentary called Tom Brokaw Presents: Bridging the Divide–It just reminded me of how certain expectations effect the way a person thinks, etc. I recommend that people watch this cause I think it holds a lot of truth. I also remember a friend saying something related to it about having low expectations and I’m sad that he thinks that way because of those expectations that have affected him.

  • I have been reading and pondering (my definition of pondering: absorbing, soaking in, ruminating,chewing on, and applying) two books in particular. “Do Hard Things” and “Start Here”. When I read “Do Hard Things”, there were so many “goodies” in there, I thought for sure that Alex and Brett couldn’t possibly have anything more to say than they already said, but I was wrong! “Stat Here” is just as refreshing, helpful, and insightful; containing many more gems!
    As for what I have been reading in the Scriptures, I read in both the Old Covenant Writings and New Covenant Writings, and the Holy Spirit has really been opening the eyes of my understanding, and I’ve been soaking in a lot. The Epistles and the Prophets are my favorite places to read.
    Since I have been quite busy with scholarly studies 🙂 I haven’t had that much time to read. I make sure I always get my morning devotions ( they are the foundation for my day) and sometimes I get a few minutes here and there to read several times a day which I take advantage of.
    One of the books I read in my spare moments was “Rise and Walk”, the story of Dennis Byrd, the football player who broke his neck. He was paralyzed, but by God’s hand and doctors and physical therapists (besides the type of break it was) , he walked again. It is an absolutely great read. God is given the glory. Has anyone read or heard of the book?
    Anyway, that is my commentary.

  • these are all awesome questions and deserve answers. and just these questions alone can change the way we all see the “normal” things in life. my little brother said something one time that’s always gotten my attention: “‘Normal’ is a word to comfort the stupid.” We cant be normal any longer. if we’re normal in the society’s standards, we are, in all honesty, going to crash and burn. and I’m not speaking metaphorically.

    * What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    I’ve been reading Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw. its a great book that challenges all ages to live for Jesus in the Way that He did despite the world’s ideas, AGE, physical problems, jobs, and (again) the society’s views. And I’ve been reading a lot of stuff in the bible, one of which really struck a cord: Malachi 2. It’s a call for ALL God’s people tp get up, stop being lazy, and to get to work. 1 Timothy chapters 3 and 4 break it down. Chapter 3 explains it to the Pastors and anybody in charge of the church. and chapter 4 explains it to the rest of the church. just read it if you want your life changed.

    * When do you find you have the most time to read? What tends to be the biggest reason why you don’t read (great books) more?

    i read a lot. the times when i read most are at my gramma’s house cause she and i are the only people in my family trying to ‘do hard things’. we read everything that teaches us how to live for God. I’m going to bring her this book this next week. and i read great books and nothing else. never, EVER anything else. i dont have time to while i read the great books. haha

    * What is on your reading list this Christmas season? For next year?

    im going to finish “Do Hard Things” (since im only on the second chapter in the last 10 minutes) and head on to “Start Here” and then its going to be “Common Prayer” by Shane Claiborne and Jonathon Wilson-Hartgrove. 🙂 only the best for the Daughter of God. haha

    God Bless and GO Bless everybody

  • That book about Dennis Byrd sounds phenomenal. I will have to check it out. I love the book “Do Hard Things”. It was so refreshing to hear that teens across America aren’t satisfied with the stereotypes and low expectations. I am in my senior year of high school, and I have seen God work through me through little things. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in the future, however, I am seeing all the good things he has for my life now. I highly recommend the 90 day devotional by Joe Osteen called “Living Your Best Life Now” this is a devotional, but he also has a book called “Living Your Best Life Now”. It deals with the mindset, much like Alex and Brett talked about in their book, about not giving into low expectations and believing you can accomplish great things. This book also has a personal connections because when I was in middle school, my friends brother, at the age of 22, was killed on his motorcycle. He was ironically reading this book. His death was devastating, but at his funeral service many of his friends accepted Jesus. His father was the one who prayed with them, which is amazing. He was able to put aside his won grief to give the gift of Jesus to his son’s friends. To this day, the family holds a Bible study at their house in honor of their son. It proves how God uses even sad times to work miracles.

  • Awesome interview! I know this isn’t the right to post this. My dad kept saying Amen! 😀 God Bless! Hope to go to one of your conferences sometime!

  • Dear Kelly Cochrane,

    I commend you for your faith in God, and your desire to do hard things for him. But it is vital to remember, that the hard things we do must be for God, or they are fruitless. From what you have said, I understand that you want to do hard things for God. Giving glory to God is the noblest aim possible – because of that please let me warn you in love to be very careful with material by Joel Osteen. While on the surface it may look like Joel Osteen teaches a similar message to Alex and Brett, it is obvious that their motivations for doing hard things are diametrically opposite. Therein lays the huge (and dangerous) difference between what Joel Osteen teaches and the hard things Alex and Brett exhort us to do. Joel Osteen encourages us to do things to have a better life, and expects God to do what is necessary for us to have a better life, whether it be to heal, to make us rich or whatever; Alex and Brett encourage us to do hard things to give glory to God. Osteen’s motivations can be seen in the title of his book ‘Living Your Best Life Now’. I’m fairly sure it was John Piper who said that the only way we can live our best life now is if we are going to hell. Please be careful and discerning when reading material by Mr Osteen. He does not preach a full gospel. I know that it is not your intention to do things for yourself. From your post it is evident that you desire to see the work of God – please, please make sure that you want that work to give glory to God and do not let yourself be lead astray by messages such as ‘best life now’. We cannot have our best life now, and we waste our lives if we try. We should echo the words of Paul to the Philippians: “Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” We must live life in the light of heaven, not the short few years we are granted on this earth. Keep on pressing towards the goal and doing hard things for God.

    In Christ,

  • Thank you very much for you insightful comments. I think you brought up a valid point that I hadn’t considered. It does seem as though he is saying to do things for selfish intent and not for the glory of God . I was taking it that God would get the glory for anything that would happen and it would be as a result of his work and not mine; however, one has to have faith that God will give us what we need. I took the material as attempting to strengthen our faith with the prior knowledge that God answers our requests according to what is best for us, not necessarily what we want. To a newer Christian, it could be very misleading and even to an old Christian, the underlying message can be deceiving. I am very thankful for you pointing out the errors. Our best life is definitely in heaven and not on earth. I took that title as being more as enhancing your life so you can serve God better and have a better relationship. Our time here is temporary. Thank you again, I have been realizing that my life has so much more purpose and I am so hungry for more knowledge and growing closer with God. I need to be more sensitive to the underlying messages. I hope my point of view makes sense, but I definitely do not feel that this book will help me any further. Maybe Alex and Brett could do a devotional for teens? I am new to this whole website and I am not sure if they have anything like that.

  • hi huys im reading your book its really good and at my school during chapel my pastor talks about the book and how we can rebel against low expectations keep up the good work 🙂

  • I don’t know whether they would do a devotional for teens, but there are a whole lot of great articles down the sidebar which are just as helpful. 🙂

  • The last three books I read were Do Hard Things, Radical by David Platt, and Start Here. All three of these books have redefined how I look at both myself, and God. Ok, so here it goes…Do Hard Things really helped me realize that I can be so much more than I am. I’m 17, a sophmore in college, 4.0 GPA, excelling in my part-time job (they want me to work towards being a manager), and would consider myself well-versed in scripture. So through the first half of the book I was thinking to myself, “Yes! This is exactly what I do. I’m glad someone else out there realizes that teens are capable of so much more.” Then I started the chapter on complacency…that hurt. But in order to get the dross out of the silver, you have to put it through the fire. It was a good hurt.
    I then started to read Start Here, but quickly realized it was for those who had good ideas, but didn’t know how to start. Anytime I tried to think about something to do, my mind would go completely blank. I trusted that God would show me what to do when the time came, so I started reading Radical, it showed me that God isn’t who we think He is…we get our own preconceptions about Him, and we think we know how He operates…but we really need to focus on the only solid clue He gives us about Him, the Bible. While reading Radical God gave me an idea for a Hard Thing I could do. He then showed me that that very Hard Thing was to be my future career. I read Start Here and am currently preparing for that Hard Thing.

    Some radical ideas I’ve had? You might think I’m insane, but these are only ideas, and I’m not relying on them as facts. (Just a little disclaimer right there. :D)
    – In the verse, “We walk by faith and not by sight” maybe we’ve over-thought that verse. Yes, it probably does have deeper meanings, but maybe the writer just wanted to use it as an example of faith? I mean, how many people actually look at their feet while they walk?
    – In the book Radical, it tells a true story about a missionary, he was a martial arts fighter. One day a witch doctor challenged him to a fight, but God told him that He would do the fighting for him. So he pulled up a chair, sat down and told the witch doctor that God would do his fighting for him. The witch doctor started to choke, then died. Why did God kill him instead of doing something to change him? I mean, we hear other stories about witch doctors turning to Christ after experiencing the power of God, Romans chapter 9 answers that question by stating basically “Who are we to question God?” It says that if God chooses to use someone to display His power and justice, who are we to question Him? Maybe God doesn’t operate how we might think He would…

  • Just getting familliar with your Rebelution. As a Tea Party Patriot in my eighth decade I find it very exciting that you exist. The goal of those trying to make over our country into a socialist society must eliminate God from our culture if they are to win……………and so far they have done an excellent job.

    You are in the vanguard of reversing this evil trend and I am hopeful the Tea Party Patriots can some how hook up with you as our road map in taking our country back will not succeed if the Socialists are successful in turning us into a Godless society.

  • I’ve recently been reading a lot of Isaiah and a big chunk of the book is the prophecies of destruction for Judah because all of its people has turned away from God. I couldn’t help but think about how our own country has turned farther and farther away from Christ. I also thought of the song “While you were sleeping” By Casting Crowns. In the song it asks if America will go down in history as a nation with no room for its King. I think this is a huge wake up call for all of us and we, the youth of America, need to do something or we could fall in the steps of many countries before us. Doom and destruction since we are not listening and obeying Christ.

  • I find I read the most when I don’t have anything else to do. I haven’t read any (great books) recently although I did try to read “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. I didn’t get really far. I might try reading it next year. The only really thought-provoking book I’ve read lately has been “Dear Elsie” by Mission City Press. It is full of letters girls have written to “Elsie” and the advice she gave them. It was full of things I don’t think about very often and I tried a few of her ideas for quiet time.
    I just finished reading through the whole Bible and am trying to find another plan or something to do.
    Books I want to read next year? I don’t really have any specifics.
    Another book, or series of books I found really good were “A Life of Faith: Millie Keith”. Even though it is about a fictional character it really challenged me to think more about how much my own life reflets Jesus.
    Psalm 119 has also challenged me. I read it twice in two days and David is totally focused on God, always asking him to help him understand and give him discernment. His whole focus is on getting to know God, understanding His Word, and living a life that pleases Him. I need to be more like that.

  • God relly do love us…it has no doubt at all..if we just believe there is really no hard for the LOrd..thanks to the book “do hard things” for encouraging our generation to rebel against the world”s low expectations to us teens…let this generation be the change of that mind set…we can do much,much extraordinary things for the glory of our KING!!GOD BLESS…:)

  • heyy alex and brett. i read your book Do Hard Things at my school for bible and i really loved it. i was wondering… how do you guys say no to temping things all the time? and do you ever feel a lot of pressure to have to be perfect because of your blog? thanks
    -laura 🙂

  • Thank you two so much. I just want ya’ll to know what a blessing you are. I have been so challenged by you and your blog. Thank you. I just went to the library at my school and got some great books and for the first time in a long time, am excited about reading. I never knew Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen could be so entertaining. I would definately recommend it.
    A lot of people earlier mentioned the book Radical… Just wondering what it was about. So grateful for like-mided teens and an awesome King!
    Thank you two for challenging me to be faithful to Christ!!
    Ephesians 1:15-20

  • I have recently broken my coller bone and i see this as God’s way of telling me that tennis not what I need to focus on right now. you see, I broke it the day that I was going to start indoor tennis 4 nights a week so I have alot of extra time. Now I need some way to spend my freetime preferably something productive.Reading and English (normaly my favorite subject) is being taught to me by a person who’s idea of teaching is to sit and do nothing and tell us to work without any examples at all. Now I am not complaining that this class is to hard, quite the oposite actually this class is much too easy and I am suposedly in tha smart class.I have no idea how to get her to teach because the distict seems to have turned a blind eye to it, I mean the person has been teaching for many years she is 69 years old.The standerdized testing my school takes is going to cover English this year this will determine placement in highschool.I have asked the classes before me they all did awful on the state testing and I cant expect help from the district her classes test scores have been bad since before i was even thought of.
    P.S. I recently read jouney to the center of the earth good book.

  • hi. while most of my comments are possative im really frustrated with the guys comments for the modesty survey. i mean “when a girl bends over and some of her back is showing, is that immodest?” umm if they are doing it on puppose, then yes. but if its on acciedent then SO WHAT. BIG DEAL. ugh im so frustrated. i just think “suck it up guys.” a cammi is not immodest if the are not showing clevege. as a woman its our right to show a fair amount of clevege. plus i think guys get all their “lust” from songs. all the songs talk about these days is sex. no wonder they have trouble with an inch of skin on our thigh. and i think its ok to where shorts above the knees for sports and summer and a sprorts bra for the gym. as long as its not to attract attention. and on the running thing, again, SUCK IT UP. its called P.E. its not like we have a big sign on our cheasts. i just think they should give the girls with the right intention a little breathing room. i mean how are we supposed to dress cute with u clawing up our back about everying?

  • I am going to read Stepping Heavenward this Christmas. I am half way through it and it is a great book that I recommend for everybody.

  • This post is perfect for my life right now!!! I haven’t been reading nearly enough this year 🙁 But I feel that this Christmas break will be a time for me to read and study out stuff. Sometimes I get excited about reading and learning new things, but I end up getting so entangled in what I’m going to do that I don’t actually do it! So I’m going to be working on that over this break LOL.

    The Shack is the main book on my reading list this Christmas break. I will also probably be reading and studying the book of Acts, or a different book in the bible.

  • hey rebels!!! the book that i have been reading is “Coming back stronger” by Drew Brees, the new orleans saints quaterback. this is an amazing book! its all about doing hard things and when falling, coming back even stronger. please guys you have to read this book!!

  • Hey guys, check out this article! It’s really eye opening. As a teenager, our brains are like sponges, the absorb so much. But during the teenage years our brain also starts to “prune” so to speak. What we focus on we grow stronger in, and what we choose not to concentrate on dies away. That’s kind of a scary thoght, but it goes right along with the whole “Do Hard Things” movement. Right NOW is the prime time to learn as much as possible! Here’s the link:

  • This is the first time on this site, just wanted to tell everyone hi….came here as kind of a last resort my life just really sucks right now………..

  • Another problem i would say is that though our heart and God tells us to take action for the glory of God that little voice called Satan always stalls us! any advice? i know it was discussed in the book but it is extremely hard to be able just simply go out and do things that you know you will be made fun of! no matter all the words of encouragement it is always so hard!

  • Hallo Alex, Brett and The Rebelutionaries,

    My name is Audrey Caron Rumamby. I am from Indonesia and in my 41st year of age.
    On 13th December 2010, I watched on TBN which also aired in Indonesia about ‘ Do The Hard Things ‘.
    I’m glad that finally in this era, there are young people who are willing to take the initiative to be like Lord Jesus in character and pattern of thinking despite peer group pressures.
    I have been reading since I was young.
    However, from all the books that I have read, I found none is rich in wisdom and guidance than The Bible.
    It has helped me to face hard issues such as forgiveness, pride and prejudice.
    These are the issues that young people must resolve before entering the workforce.
    If we can not forgive our friends and families , we certainly can not forgive the injustice that frequently occurs in the work place.
    For instance, we are not promoted to a position although we are honest and have consistently worked very hard in a certain company . Instead, our co-worker who is dishonest and seldom works hard, get the promotion.
    What would we do ? There are very few people who choose to keep going and consistently working hard and being honest in the same company.
    Forgiveness is the key that they choose. A character that is not acquired overnight.
    From my experience, it is one of the hardest things that I must learn and practice continually every day.
    From all the books, The Bible has certainly helped me to walk in the path of forgiveness.

  • Hi, guys
    I have recently read your book(which lead me to your website) and it has really inspired me to be a youth for christ. I also would like to commend you; because you have taken your gifts to the fullest extent in order to serve God. Despite want to serve God, I have some major questions. Such as,

    How can I, a 13 year old girl accomplish all the things that I want to do? I don’t have the resources nor do I know the right people in order to get started!

    If you can, please give me some advice on how to get started!

  • Hey, rebels!
    Alex & Brett, I have been going through your book with a few of my friends, a chapter per week as our small group. It’s been awesome. I am also reading “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by your brother (right?) and It is SOOO awesome. Praise the Lord for inspiring him to write that book! I am excited for everyone on this site and reading the book (do hard things), I am being so challenged and convicted as I’m reading it. the Chronicles of Narnia are my favorite series; can’t wait to see the new movie 🙂 One thing I am doing this Christmas is using some of the money I get to start sponsoring a child in Uganda (my best friend is a missionary there) through Watoto – go to their website, whoever is reading this! God bless your mission.
    Sam ;>

  • Hey guys,
    I recently went to one of your guys confrences.It was awsome!!! One of my friends little brother was saved at your confrence, I’ll never forget that night. God bless you!!

  • I’ve been reading two good books lately. “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren and “Why Pray?” by something De’vries. But, even though they’re so good, I can’t seem to want to ever read them. I have no motivation. I want to change my life, I want God to change my life. I’m fifteen, but I want to make a difference, but I have no real motivation. Does anybody have any hints. I mean, I’ve read “Do Hard Things”, but whatever I read never really seams to stick or change my life. HEELLPPP

  • Hi- I am a 38 year old woman who mentors middle school girls. I just finished your book and thank you for all you wrote. The girls I mentor have such potential and yet are so caught up in society right now. You have inspired me to push them, encourage them and to get them all to read your book! Thank you for a hearing God’s call to encourage the teens in our world… you inspired me! God Bless and Merry Christmas!

  • I am an 18 year old and have been a Christian my whole life. Reading has always been one of my passions, what I would sneak off to do when my mom would leave for a minute. I have never slept well, so I spend all those late night/early morning hours when it is quiet doing a ton of reading. This past year I read Joshua Harris’ book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” for the first time. It has sat on my nightstand often since then. I also read Alex and Brett’s “Do Hard Things” for the first time. Although both were amazing and the messages therein needing to be widely conveyed, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” hit me more, because I was not in a Godly relationship at the time. I was kind of arrogant at not reading Josh’s book when one of my brothers bought it, I thought I was above reading such a book, because I had never dated before, I had never wanted to. Boy was I wrong!! Joshua did not write against dating, he wrote about relationship pitfalls and how to do things God’s way. I repented and focussed on God, and He has brought a wonderful man into my life in the most amazing way. I told my Daddy that I liked this guy, and he has been great about it (he was in the Army for 9 years, hard core). So I have had so much to be thankful for. I wanted to share this with you. God bless, Ellie

  • Hello guys!
    I from Guaiçara, interior of São Paulo states – Brazil!

    I’m reading your book; I really like what the way that you write about teenage!
    You got now one more fan!
    Sorry if i write something that you don’t understand, because I don’t speak english very well (I really not speak portuguese verry well too, cause is a language so hard hahaha)

    So, I get a moment in my life that was so hard! I did a very, very bad thing! Don’t worry! I did’t hurt or kill anybody; I just hurt myself, I kill my soul!

    But God someday comes to me on a moment that I Pray lonely
    And I hear Your voice! He says: I pardon you, my son!

    It was sooo Great!! So fantastic! The First time in my life that I hear the voice of God!

    So, I was catolic (my family is catolic) but my soul needs so much of God and because this, now I’m a evangelic (or cristan) I’m going in the church Assembléia de Deus – Promessa! And a friend of a my friend gives your books to read! And I discovered this blog and you!

    Thanks! I really like if you sent a e-mail for me!
    ([email protected])

    Que Deus lhes abençoem muito!
    Fiquem em paz! (I’m kidding, I speak portuguese very well! My dream is will be a great brazilian writer like Machado de Assis! kkk’)

  • hello this is kath, a 19 years old ordinary girl. i just finished reading your book ” doing hard things”. i learned a lot and was encourage as well. i am also reading the other book you wrote. thank you so much for giving us a chance to realize that we can make a difference in this world regarding who i am. who you are as long as you i, and you desire it.
    God bless us all

  • * What books (and great ideas) have you pondered over this past year? How about in Scripture? What insights did you take away from that reading?

    Our church has recently finished going through Dean Sherman’s “Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian: How to Live in Victory and Retake the Land!” video series. After it was through I immediately began reading through the book which was incredibly eye-opening, inspiring, and life-changing. I would encourage every Christian to read this book if they are serious about being more effective for the kingdom of God. It is imperative that we all not only understand the seriousness of the spiritual battle that is going on each and every day, but that we take an active stance in interceding and thwarting Satan’s attacks by controlling our thinking and attitudes. This book has greatly impacted my prayer life and I have seen God at work more than ever not only in my life but in the lives of those around me. It not only challenged me to continue in my outreach to the community but also gave me greater insight as to how to reach the youth in my town who are undergoing great spiritual oppression and warfare. My most recent blog post and movie was inspired by all I have learned. Dean Sherman’s book is a must read! I can promise that it will have a great effect on your spiritual life and every day life!

    Your sister in Christ,

    ~Robin Burk

  • hi, Alex and Brett, i am a 16 year old girl, who was challenged by my youth pastor to read your book “do hard things” and it has changed my whole outlook on my youth years! I am inspired to have a dream and persue it, and i know i am not alone in my youth group, i just don’t know how to start. I want to start a rebelution in my own youth group because i know that we can make a difference in our community! Thank you for getting me started!!

  • over this Christmas break I have read your book “Do Hard Things” and it has encouraged me so much! there are so many things I want to do and will try to be doing through high school. I’m just a freshman, but God has already done some amazing things in my life. thanks for encouraging and advising other Christians through your ministry. 🙂 Im praying for yall!

  • I’m Elizabeth, and I’m 14. I’ve just started Josh’s book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. It’s a really great book so far, and I’m looking forward to finishing it! Alex and Brett, you guys are great role models and are very encouraging with your sincere devotion to “Do Hard Things” for the glory of the Creator! Thanks for your constant encouragement and inspiring snippets!

  • I strongly reccomend “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” to everyone! It’s building a good foundation for me, and I’ve had some interesting disscussions with friends of mine concerning the subject! The book gives great insight on WHY dating is NOT the best choice for keeping your own purity intact before your married.

  • Im 12, and I need information on how you keep strong bonds with your family. I dont cooperate well with my parents, and I dont let my parents in on everything that I do. A couple of weeks ago I got a paper that had to be sighned in order for me to particapate in a spelling bee that I joined. I brought it to my dad ,but just because I wanted it sighned. My mom never found out about it untill I came home with the t shirt the day before the bee. It weakend our bond. Part of the problem is that I have trouble distributing my opinion. I will act like I believe whatever they beileve because its easier than telling them what I think. When I do say what I think, any questions about my opinion I take as an insult, or that they think My thoughts are wrong.You guys have strong family bonds, so thats why I ask you. I need help.

  • Be open with them. Let your parents be a part of your life. They will apprecite it and you will enjoy having a cheering section. The worst thing for any parent is a child who shuts them out of their (the child’s) life. Your parents raised you and they want to be a part of your life. Fear can be a powerful hinderance. In God you can overcome the fears and be free.

  • Hey Alex and Brett I just started reading Do hard things! I am so glad that God has given y’all the gift to write such a motivating book! I have been impacted to not conform to this sinful culture with extremely low expectations for it’s youth but to join this godly rebelutuon! I really like reading the stories of people who have ventured out of their comfort zones and took a step of faith and obeyed what God commanded them to do! It is really encouraging to read and it makes me want do the same! Thanks!

  • Just want to share of what I’ve learned upon reading the book “START HERE” by Alex & Bret. When I start reading it, I found it little boring for the application I need to do was to hard for me. its all about suggestion of doing hard things like making a project that will help those who are in need. Lots of plan came up in my mind but I don’t have the heart to do it. For me it was though. Worries surrounds me. It seems like it does not answer my question where will I start doing hard things. Until I reach in the middle of the book & start to ponder, questions like How do I make God happy with what I am doing? Knowing what God desires for me must be the first thing I should taken an action. Having lots of plan of doing extra-ordinary things might come to ruin if God is not with you when your planning it.

  • Knowing that Scripture contains the most important thoughts we will think, and builds a framework called a Biblical “worldview” through which we will think all other thoughts, I wanted to recommend an online tool called Memverse which I have been using to renew my mind (Rom 12:2) through the memorization of Scripture. It is free and very helpful. (I used it in studying for the Bible Bee, which is a great program for U.S. rebelutionaries age 7-18). After creating an account, you can add verses in any major Bible translation and review them online. Because you “rate your review” of each verse, the system knows when to review the verse again. If you have been having trouble setting up your own program for memorizing, this could be a huge blessing. I log in daily to keep up on the verses so they don’t slip out of my memory, and so that I can apply them to the day ahead. (BTW: Memorizing and meditating on Scripture counts as a hard thing!)

    God Bless,


  • I recieved the “dohardthings” book for Christmas and at first when i started reading i was thinking “i dont need this” and “why am i reading this?” But then i came too realize that i do need it!It helps me with my spiritual walk with the Lord and i wanted too share that thank-you!

  • Olá, termnei de ler o livro de voces!
    me contagiei !
    Parabéns, quero ser uma rebelucionária com a paixão de mudar minha célula na igreja, de jovens, pois eles ainda são descomprometidos, !
    eu ou conseguir, deus me capacita dia após dia!

  • Some of my favorite books are by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio, Leslie Ludy, and Alex & Brett. After I attended the Rebelution I picked up I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris. It was excellent! The book really has helped me this semester as well as the verse in Psalm 37: Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Those have made a huge impact in my life this year.

    The comments about reading are most definitely true! When I become “busy” and fall away from reading my Bible consistently or anything substantial I feel so dry and shallow!

  • Hey guys, I received your book, “Do Hard Things” for this Christmas and I was really astonished. I felt that I was a procrastinator and a lazy-man, when It came to work. I really need your advice in these things bro’s. I have lots of problem in regards of these two things. I also have a question for both of you. “What gives you the desire to keep on working, yet all other typical teens even try to stop you from doing so? Isn’t it hard?” Thanks, that is all. God Bless! and keep on motivating people through your books.

  • Hey guys, I received your book, “Do Hard Things” for this Christmas and I was really astonished. I felt that I was a procrastinator and a lazy-man, when It came to work. I really need your advice in these things bro’s. I have lots of problem in regards of these two things. I also have a question for both of you. “What gives you the desire to keep on working, yet all other typical teens even try to stop you from doing so? Isn’t it hard?” Thanks, that is all. God Bless! and keep on motivating people through your books. 🙂

  • Hi! I have recently read Do Hard Things along with some friends of mine. It really inspired us to think about what we could do with our lives. Togethor we created Inspired by Him Magazine – an on-line, Christian, girls magazine. I can’t wait to read Start Here! Thanks so much for writing such an inspiring book.

    If you would like to visit our website to find out more about Inspired by Him, you can go to:

  • hi, im julianna and im 17. i just got your book “do hard things” for christmas and started reading it and was blown away! ive moved a LOT in my life and my parents were overseas missionaries for five years so i really became complacent in my walk with Christ just because i thought i knew all the answers. your book has challenged me to step up and go beyond the call of duty and go against the flow. i want to do something important for God with my life, but i didnt know where to start. your book has really helped shape some ideas in my head and im very grateful for that!!! i honestly had never heard of you guys until a friend of mine told me about the book and i looked up the website and was very inspirred and impressed! keep up the good work!!
    God bless 🙂

  • Hey guys! I read your book do hard things and I loved it!! I took it to school to read during free time and all my friends were very curious about it!! I have let some other people read it!!

  • Hey guys whats up? I’m Caleb and i am 17. My best friend and Mentor, Zeke, gave me 4 books to read over the christmas break “Uncencored” by Jeanne Mayo, “The Remnant” by Larry Stockstill, “Living on the Edge” by Chip Ingram, and of course “Do Hard Things” and i have read all of them except “Living on the Edge.” The thing that really hit me was that i HAD become very complacent being the “above-average” kid. I am a pk (pastors kid) and God has granted me the gift of speaking. And i had let that make me complacent with being “above-average.” Upon reading your book my eyes were opened to my complacency and God really jolted me to do something Big. So i am actually doing collaboration and am putting on a Christian Rock concert this March. i really wanted to thank God for putting it on your hearts to right the book “Do Hard Things” because it really made a HUGE impact on my life
    God Bless

  • Christian literature has been such an intrument for the Holy Spirits work in my life and sanctification! After going on a foreign mission trip I appreciate the resources we have here. The fact that I can go to my church library or youth pastor and be immersed in wisdom and insight about Jesus is so valuable and I take it for granted! Recently I read “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan (author of one of the best books ever written Crazy Love) and I was challenged by the power and awesomeness of the Holy Spirit. Also for girls I highly recomend Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers…awesome picture of Christ’s crazy love that we are unworthy of and Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. She is a little extreme of her views on realationships but her heart and desire for purity and her life that is so real made a huge impact on me! Keep reading and soaking in all of the insight but don’t forget that Christian books can’t compare to the “living and active” word of God! Keep Rebelling!

    “Clinging to the promise, You’re not through with me yet” -Ginny Owens

  • Ok so i just finished “dohardthings” and it is Amazing!It made me stop and acctually think.It wasnt another book that i just “read” and when i was done said “oh well that was a good one’ No it made since and i hope too have the chance to share it with others(:

  • I got the book “do hard things” for christmas and I have just started reading it. It has already started to make an impact on my life and would highly recomend this book to anyone.
    God bless

  • Over the last year, I have been wondering what God wants for my life and over the summer He showed me at least one of the answers. You see, I had read several books and done several Bible studies that talked about the importance of modesty and I felt like God was telling me to write a “letter” to other teenage girls about it. For several months I kind of resisted God while at the same time drafting the first page or so. I told God, “I don’t have the resources,” but He showed me that I did. Then I said “People will think I am weird,” and He showed me that it did not matter what they thought. I finished in September and showed it to a few people. One of my friends asked if she could share it with some of her friends and her mom asked to show it to her homeschool group. I was really excited. I don’t know how God will use it (or me) in the future but I am content to know that He has a plan. The two books I used as resources were Secret Keeper, and For Young Women Only. Sorry I don’t remember the authors. I also listed the Modesty Survey on this blog as a good resource. (Sorry I didn’t ask befor Alex and Brett.) Well that’s all for now. Happy New Year fellow Rebelutionaries!

  • Dear Bobby,
    I kinda know what you are going through. For a while, i didnt get along with my parents either. i isolated myself in my room, i never told them my opinion either. i thought they really didnt care. But maybe when your parents question your opinion, dont take it as an insult. They may see a flaw in your opinion and only want what is best for you, that is what i learned.
    But you probably dont want a sermon ;] Try spending time with them. Your not the only one who say they believe what their parents say becuz its easier. I do that as well. we take the easier way out. Try voicing your opinion as best as you can. See what happens. I will be praying for you. Hope things work out! God bless you. ~ Tori
    ps. im 12 too :] so i see things the way you do to. Does that make sense? :] Good luck!

  • One of the books I love the most is “EMOTIONAL PURITY: An Affair of the Heart” by Heather Paulsen. It stopped me from dreaming of fairytale endings, corrected my concept of God’s will as some Prince Charming and guarded my heart for immature feelings.
    Nevertheless, it taught me to be pure not just physically but emotionally as well. As written in the Bible that our hearts are deceitful that’s why we should guard it.
    Try reading girls! 😉

  • I have pondered over many great books this year. I am one to say that I am a definite book worm. I read Do Hard Things last Spring thanks to one of my friends who told me about it. It has really challenged me to think about my life and how to live for Christ in the most devoted way that I possibly can. It’s opened up my heart to share the love of Christ with others and not care if I get judged for it. So far, it has helped a lot. I am currently taking a Speech class and I have tried to devote mostly every Speech that I can to Him. I’m not sure about the results, but it feels good to bring glory to the Lord through that.
    Some great ideas that I’ve been pondering are helping out at the local teen center and spread the love of Christ to those who are there. I will get that opportunity next week because one of my friends asked me to come help out with him. Prayer would be wonderful! Another idea is to show “To Save a Life” at my school soon. We recently lost one of our fellow students and we are in need of a revival. It hasn’t been sent into motion yet, but our principal okayed it, so I’m hoping that it will happen soon.
    I have the most reading time on days after school and in study hall. I plan to read some Karen Kingsbury novels (if you haven’t read any of her books, you are certainly missing out!) and some C.S. Lewis.

    Glory to Christ!
    Your Sister,

  • I’ll be taking the journey of the second book…start here…I feel excited of discovering the wonders of this book…and finding out the hard things i am capable of doing for the glory of my KING..

  • I’ll be tucking into Scripture this Season and year, as most of us try to do. I’m trying to read the entire Bible through; for what better book is there than the Word of our God? So far, I’ve entered into 1 Choronicles at a healthy pace. I couldn’t ask for more than what I’ve already learned along the way.

    One particular moment I cherished was when a king (Hezekiah maybe?) was told by a prophet that he was going to die. The king wept bitterly and cried out to God, asking questions that basically sum up as: ” I did everything right! Why must I die, while wicked kings have lived long and happily in their sin?”

    God said: “I have heard your cries. I shall extend your life 15 more years.”

    Of course, it isn’t always like that. Sometimes, good people die at times that seem to be much too soon for what should be right. Still, it’s comforting to know that as we weep bitterly, the Lord hears our cries.

    In God’s Word,
    Your Sister in Christ

  • It is hard to believe how well you can learn the Scriptures when you spend hours a day reading them. I am feeling convicted for not being convicted about sin in my life.

  • Bobby,
    Your parents may be questioning your opinions in order to get you to use your critical thinking skills. Also try praying for your parents. I was having the same problem until I began praying. Now I am more open with them because I want to know how to pray for them more effectively.

  • Well as far as books go I’ve been behind on reading, but I have been reading Do Hard Things. I’m personally not a part of religion, in fact I’m atheist, but I still find that the book inspires me to go out and do more. I’m an artist, english nerd, and thespian, and the book helps me think about where to go with that.
    And I’ve been reading The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (He’s Motley Crue’s bassist). These are so touching to me personally, I’m getting over an ex-boyfriend who is really into weed now but I’m sure he will get into stuff later. I had broke up with him over my own problems with commitment and relationships at such a young age and I couldn’t take the pressure, I’m glad I broke it off but I still worry and love and care about him just as I have.
    Anyone who is worried about someone doing drugs, would like to learn more about them themselves, or is trying to get off of them, I reccomend the heroin diaries to. They can be found at Barnes and Nobles everywhere. I love it, it really makes me think about things.

  • Hey i live in Painesville Ohio and i go to Willoughby Hills Friends church and i have been reading your book “Do Hard Things” and have been really inspired to change my life dratically. I would like to Rebelutionize my youth group in some way.

  • Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 Love it

  • lover your book “do hard things” reading i feel more connected with you than with the teens in my church (who I’ve known for six moths you guys…N/A)

    P.S. to all fantasy fans out there raising dragons is AWSOME

  • I think its crazy how much sociaty has put us down over the last years. Its like there almost makeing us believe that we’re nothing…………. BUT WE ARE SOMTHING VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!! AndI know that for a fact.:)

  • Hey! My name is Hannah. I’m 13 and just started reading Do Hard Things today. I really want to be a leader at my school, but it’s SO hard because of all the people who put us down even though I go to a Christian school. I was even hit a couple weeks ago by a student and I told the teacher and was put down upon because it was “just a joke” and I didn’t “get it”. I’m sick of people making fun of me and some of my friends or saying crude things and when we confront them it turns out to be “just a joke”. My grade is like the “bad grade” we have such low expectations by our authority, and I DON’T WANT THAT! I want to do something amazing with my life and I know God has an amazing plan. I want to be a leader, and I try, but I just don’t know how to start! Any advice!

  • My best advice is just to pray about it, maybe God has a plan about that. I really wouldn’t know as I’m home schooled, I’m not the social one. 🙁

  • Maybe you could help me as I siad I’m not the social one. There is this kid that always walks by on his way home from school, he usally stops and we talk and play. He isn’t a christian though and he believes every word of Evelution. I know Gods been prompting me to witness to him, but I just CAN’T and I know I should! So maybe you have advice for me.

  • i bought a copy of your. thanks for those encouragements and advices. it helped me a lot in my everyday life and spiritual life as well. because it’s a new year i want to start a new. for years I’ve been thinking of how to share God’s word but the fear i have always eats me. i’m so afraid to stand and testify how God is so special to me and how thankful i am because He loves me so much and He is there always. please help on how to vanish this fear. i want to shout to the whole world how great God is but whenever people reacts or criticize what i share about God it made me quit. i know God wants me to share His word and tell the world who He is. maybe you can give me an advice. thanks and more power!

  • Well, my dad bought this book last November, it’s called “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turan. Still haven’t finished it, but I’m planning to this year. Hope I could sit down and finish it before the month ends. It’s a great read, and has helped me to see further into the insight that God is mighty and powerful God and that He prepared every little detail for us to witness His majesty. But that sometimes, He closes up the minds of people that they don’t get to see how awesome He is. And that’s a pity, because even nature, science and things like that all point to Him alone. Oh yeah, the best thing about this book is that it presents evidence in the best way for atheists to see, and conclude that there really IS a God.

    I was able to get a copy of Do Hard Things last summer, and it has been a great blessing, and challenge, for me. I think I’ll re-read again after I finish “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist”.

  • Some of my reading list for 2011…

    Loose Your Cool by Zach Hunter
    Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

    The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins
    The God Hater by Bill Myers
    The Left Behind series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LeHaye

  • Some books that I intend to read this year:

    Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne
    Prince Caspian (in French c: ) by C.S. Lewis
    Forgotten God by Francis Chan
    Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

    I usually read more, but now that I’m in college I can’t read as much as I would like.

  • My favorite books of 2010 were Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper, Jesus Among Other Gods, by Ravi Zacharias,Do Hard Things, The Lost Art of True Beauty and Set Apart Femininity, by Leslie Ludy, and What Christians Believe, by C.S. Lewis.
    My partial reading list for 2011 includes Our Lord Prays for His Own, The Complete Works of E.M Bounds on Prayer, A Woman after God’s Own Heart, Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes, and The Call, by Os Guiness.

  • G. K. Chesterton’s “The Everlasting Man”. Awesome book.
    Also, I read The Illiad and The Odyssey, some of the Greek
    tragedies, some excerpts from Cicero’s writings (On Duties, pt. 3
    and On Old Age), plus some of Plutarch’s Lives. One thing that I
    would recommend is reading “The Everlasting Man” and comparing it
    with Cicero’s “On Old Age”. The contrast between the Christian who
    has a sense of, and an assurance of, eternity, and the pagan who is
    so close, yet so far from the Truth, is really quite

  • The best books I’ve read in the past year were:
    “Crazy Love,” by Francis Chan
    “The Last Christian Generation,” by Josh McDowell
    “Don’t Waste Your Life,” and “The Pleasures of God,” by John Piper

    For 2011, I want to read:
    “Radical: Taking Back your Faith from the American Dream,” by David Platt
    “Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God,” by John Piper
    “The Mind of Christ,” by T W Hunt.

  • I have read Do Hard Things and its a great book. I just started Under God We Trust, after that I plan to read Me Myself and God. Its kind of hard to though, I don’t realy like to read.

  • I think two of my favorite books are Crazy Love by Francis Chan and Radical by David Platt!! Those have got to be some of the best books I have ever read!!!

  • I’m beginning Crazy Love as well; great book! I’m also
    reading A Patriot’s History of the United States by Larry
    Schweikart and Michael Patrick Allen. Oh, and Liberty &
    Tyranny by Mark Levin.

  • Some of my favorite books I read this past year were “The
    Betrayal” by Douglas Bond “Faithful but not Famous” by Emma Leslie
    “Joyfully at Home” by Jasmine Baucham “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by
    Joshua Harris “Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God” by
    John Calvin “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris “Institutes
    of the Christian Religion” volumes 1 and 2 by John Calvin “So Much
    More” by Anna and Sophia Botkin “John Calvin: Man of the
    Millennium” by Philip Vollmer Some books I want to read are “Last
    Days Madness” by Gary DeMar “Start Here” by Alex and Brett
    “Principles of Biblical Interpretation” by L. Berkhof “Confessing
    Christ” by C.K. Cummings “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper “By
    Grace Alone” by Sinclair Ferguson “The Goodness of God” by Randy
    Alcorn “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake “Breath” by Martha Mason
    Just a short list, what I read inbetween school classics and
    literature and Greek. My whole life I have had this deep love of
    reading, this inept way of looking at the book in a different way
    then most and getting a lot more out of the story than half the
    people who read it do. I usually read 5-10 books per week, the
    number depends on how crazy my 10 younger siblings get. 🙂 I pray
    someone benefits from this post. I have benefited from many others.
    God bless, everyone!!

  • I have heard so much about that book (Crazy Love), even the band Hawk Nelson wrote a song about the book. Sooner or later I will make myself read it!

  • Thank you for your insights.
    Two of the books I’ve read this year that have really made me think are ‘Dug Down Deep’ and ‘They Found the Secret’. I find that when I read great books, it usually leads to me finding out that I’m missing something in my life.. and remembering Jesus’ promise that He’ll fulfill every desire of our hearts.
    For example, a part in John, (John 3, 4, and 7), describes 3 different types of Christians. The first, (Nicodemus), finds the Savior, takes a sip of the living water, and ‘settles down’. The second, (the Samaritan woman), finds the Savior, and in Him, becomes a spring of living water. And finally, the third, “rivers of living water will flow from within them” (NIV).
    Reading List for this year: The Pilgrim’s progress by John Bunyan, The Power of a Praying Life by Stormie Omartian, My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, Bible Doctrine by Wayne A. Grudem and Jeff Purswell. And more.

  • Generation Change is a very good book by Zach Hunter. He gives very sound advice and some heart changing stories on how people like you and me can change the world for God’s glory

  • I have done poorly in reading recently, so this series of posts is a timely challenge for me.

    One of the great books I read recently was Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, which argues that the Bible is total truth and it applies every part of our lives; that there is no “secular” area of life which has nothing to do with the Bible.

    Another great book was “The Man Who Was Thursday” by GK Chesterton, which besides being an extremely exciting cliff-hanger, had several sections which really made me think- from the nature of philosophies today to the reason Christians endure periods of pain and the nature of poetry. Great book, and it still makes me think.

    Thanks for this timely clarion call Brett and Alex, I needed it.


  • Be Last by Jeremy Kingsby. It’s a great book for everyone talking about humility and how to become great according to God. It really made me think about my life.

  • What a great post! I love reading, and I especially love reading books that really make me think, not just ones for a fun read (although I do enjoy those too).

    From the Bible, I really was impacted by reading about Mary this Christmas season. By remembering the context she was in–a very young teenage girl who would be shunned because she was pregnant and not married–I was convicted by her humility and my lack of humility. O to have Mary’s words on my mind when faced with something I don’t like: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” (Luke 1:38)

    I find I have the most time to read during vacations–family, spring, summer, and Christmas. The biggest reason why I don’t read is time. With school and homework, I use my time for those things instead of reading.

    Books on my reading list are “Discerning Truth” by Jason Lisle, “3:16 The Number of Hope” by Max Lucado, and I’m currently reading “Dug Down Deep” by your brother. =D Some great books that impacted me this year are “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper and “I Kissed Dating Good Bye” by your brother too. Boy, you guys sure do impact people! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on even more books that challenge and inspire me this year.

  • I’ve always been a heavy reader, but last year I didn’t get around to reading very many books. This is probably due to the fact I have over 200 titles on my to-read-list!

    Anyways, the books I did manage to get to were all PHENOMENAL! “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan was by far my favorite title of 2010. His material opened my heart up to experience God in a new way than I ever had before. “The Noticer” by Andy Andrews (author of “The Time Traveller’s Gift) was also excellent. I re-read “Do Hard Things” by…well, you know who :D. Some other friends and I actually led a book study primarily for younger teens, hoping to use the message of the book to ignite a sense of “doing the ordinary, extraordinarily” within them. It turned out great. I believe I got more out of it than most of the “students”. Funny how that works, huh?

    Another good one is “Muslims, Christians, and Jesus” by Carl Medearis. Shattering cultural stereotypes and making the point that no matter what they as a culture have done to us, they are still loved by God, Jesus still died for them, and that we should be reaching out to them in love just like we would any other people.
    I also read most of Joshua Harris’ “Boy Meets Girl”. I don’t think God is leading me to commitment of marriage anytime soon, but I thoroughly enjoyed the preparation of mind and insight it gives. “Martyrs, vol. #1” by dc Talk was over-poweringly good. A read that encourages us, as Christians, to stand firm in our faith and be willing to die for His name. I pray, if I were ever in these heroes of the faith position’s, that I’d respond in the same manner.

    The top books of 2011 I hope to read are:
    “Radical” by David Platt
    “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan
    “Start Here” by Alex & Brett Harris (my friends and I are doing a follow-up-study with this one. Wish us luck!)
    “Total Truth” by Elisabeth Elliot
    “Revolution in World Missions” by K.P. Yohannan
    “Let the Nations Be Glad” by John Piper
    “The Missionary Call” by M. David Sills
    “Dug Down Deep” by Joshua Harris
    “Shadow of the Almighty” by Elisabeth Elliot
    “Light Force” by Brother Andrew

    I also plan on studying the Word more. I’ve been involved in an inductive Bible study on the book of Mark and it is incredible how the Word becomes fresh and alive!

    These are just a few of many great titles I hope to read and learn from. Pray for me as I tackle this mondo list of mine!

    ~Codie F.

  • I would write more if I had more time, but here’s just a list of books i’ve been reading that have been really good:
    – Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) – Josh Harris
    -The Quest For Love – Elisabeth Elliot
    -A young Woman After God’s Own Heart – Elizabeth George
    – Stepping Heavenward – Elizabeth Prentiss
    – Wait For Me – Rebecca St. James
    -Mere Chrisitanity – C.S. Lewis (I read this last year but I still recommend it)
    and of course “Do Hard Things”. This is definetly not and exhaustive list, as I read ALL the time, but these are some of the ones I could think of off the top of my head. I am so glad to have read “Do Hard Things” recently, because I’ve felt so much more motivation to start doing something for Christ, and I finally don’t feel so alone in my faith (while I do go to church, most of them my age go to a different school, and only a couple Christians attend mine, so at school I’m pretty much on my own in that way). Keep it going!!


  • I’d have to say Mere Christianity was the best book out of 2010 for me. It took a little bit of slogging through mid-20th century Englander-English, but there are so many deep gems and wisdom in there. I recieved “Do Hard Things” and “Start Here” for Christmas, and I just finished “Do Hard Things.” I read quite a bit more than the average teen, but I’m ashamed to say it, most of it is the “gossipy girls and vampire romances” mentioned in the post. I’m praying that God will break the habit of filling my mind with that when I could be doing hard things.

  • “Good To Great” – Jim Collins
    In short – A secular book with surprising Christ-like principles of compiled research on what makes good companies great. However, Collins states that in all his research he is more curious to understand the fundamental differences between great and good, between excellent and mediocre. Quote; “That good is the enemy of great is not just a business problem. It is a human problem.” I found his explanation of why good is the enemy of great extremely enlightening. Excellent, excellent read. Very much in line with the Rebeultionary challenge.
    Honours Reward – John Bevere
    Once again, in short – a crucial read on the great weight that God puts on honour and the importance of it and the detrimental lack thereof in our society.

  • Reading/Recommended Books List:

    – “Steps to Christ” by Ellen White
    – “Desire of Ages” by Ellen White
    – “Messages to Young People” by Ellen White
    – “Christ’s Object Lessons” by Ellen White
    – “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldon
    – “The Certainty of God’s Promises” by Randrick Chance
    – “The Marked Bible”
    – “If I Perish” by Ester Kim
    – “You Never Can Tell When You May Meet a Leopard” by Goldie Down

  • “Warrior of The Light: The Manual” – Paulo Coelho

    As the title says, no need for any further describing.

  • Oh, how to pick the great books of 2010! (I’m not a big non-fiction reader, so most of these books are fiction. I love fiction, one of the reasons being the stories and images an author can use to get his message across.)

    The couple non-fiction books I read or am reading were/are “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn, and “Girls-Gone-Wise in a World Gone Wild” by Mary Kassian. My small group is studying the second one together, and I really love it! Another one is “The Illustrated Guide to World Religions” by Dean Halverson. It’s a great Christian book that talks about all the religions, and gives ideas for evangelizing the different ones.

    Some of my favorite fiction books (that I read this year. There are a lot more that I could add from previous years) are:
    Deadline, Dominion and Deception by Randy Alcorn. Very solid theology and excellent writing!
    Showdown, Saint and Sinner, Blink, Thr3e, and Blessed Child and A Man Called Blessed by Ted Dekker. Ted Dekker is basically a genius when it comes to writing good books. Skin wasn’t that great, though (no mention of redemption at the end, unlike his other books).
    This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, The Visitation, Prophet, and House by Frank Peretti. (House is co-authored with Ted Dekker.) Very insightful and thought-provoking fiction, as well as great (creepy) story-lines. House, which I just finished last night, was full of very powerful, though creepy at times, imagery. The Oath, while great scary, thrilling writing, wasn’t that strong on theological implications, which is what I love about his other works.
    Hood, Scarlet, and Tuck by Stephen Lawhead. Rhi Bran y Hud (also known as Robin Hood) is one of my favorite heroes–pretty much what a man, a real man, is supposed to be.
    A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. “Dickens” says it all, right? 🙂
    I’m also reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo for school. I really really like it so far.

    Some of my not-so-favorite-but-thought-provoking reads this year were the Romantic poets, and my homeschool curriculum’s philosophy program. The Romantics … well, suffice it to say they’re not my cup o’tea, to put it nicely. They were definitely thought-provoking! Ralph Waldo Emerson… there’s a character! Some of the things he said in his essay “Self-Reliance” (title says it all) horrified me, then there were other things that were great and Rebelutionary-ish! My philosophy program (what I understand of it) is a dialogue between this character, Simplicio, and all the great philosophers, from Plato to Marx. It’s biblically based, so I get the philosophy, but through a good worldview.

    To answer the second and third questions, I love to read (I would read 24/7 if I didn’t get headaches), so I can usually find time to read whenever–mostly at night before bed and at mealtimes for non-school books. I don’t read non-fiction more for the simple reason that I don’t really love to read non-fiction. It’s not that I have anything against non-fiction, it’s just I love fiction more.

    On my (non-fiction. My fiction choices are pretty much whatever I’m in the mood for at the time or whatever my mom assigns me for school) reading list this year …. hmmm…. I would love to read some stuff by John Piper and Mark Driscoll, maybe other theologians of that sort as well. I also want to see what the Café in the forums is doing next to study. “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan has been getting so many rave reviews, that maybe I’ll have to read that too.

    Whoa…. sorry this got so long!! Me plus books makes very long posts, I guess! 🙂 God bless!

    In Christ,

  • I’m an avid reader, but these books left a definite mark long after they’d been shelved.

    1. Stepping Heavenward, by Elizabeth Prentiss

    2. Because He Loves Me, by Elyse Fitzpatrick

    3. Worldliness, by C.J. Mahaney

    4. Humility, by Wayne Mack

    5. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

    6. Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien

    7. The Well-Educated Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer

    8. Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

    9. Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis

    10. The Inheritance Series, by Christopher Paolini (he was only fifteen when he wrote the first book)

    This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but these books are probably the top ten of 2010. There were also magazines, such as World, and radio shows, such as Thinking in Public, hosted by Al Mohler.

  • I do not know if you have ever read anything by Richard Mitchell, but he’s definitely worth reading.
    Mother actually had me read his books “Less Than Words Can Say” and “The Graves of Academe” last year for school reading. In his writing Mitchell strives to point out, rather humorously, the problem of mediocre thinking and standards in academia. I find the funniest part of these books is that they were written back in the 1970’s yet they still ring true. As of this year I am reading through his book “The Gift of Fire” and his Underground Grammarian Newsletters.

    Some other great books that I would recommend are:

    The Making of America: The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, by W. Cleon Skousen. The best book ever on the American Constitution, since it draws from the Founders writings, and not just what other people say.

    Basic Economics, A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell. Yes, economics is a dry subject, but Sowell does a great job of laying out how everything affects everything else, and how there is no such thing as a closed economy.

    The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. Hilarious fiction, in a very old fashion way. 🙂

    God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew. This guy is amazing. If you have never heard of Brother Andrew, I’ll just say that he demonstrates a faith in God that surpasses anything I have ever heard about, and he’ll leave you wanting to follow his example.

    and lastly, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. by Eric Metaxas. I have not even finished the first 100 pages of this thick book, but the true story of a Christian following God even to death, really hits a cord with me… talk about doing hard things.

    I could go on… but I think that it would be a rather too long of a list. 🙂

  • Wow. I love the quote from Spurgeon. Very inspiring and so true. Thank you for the post. I read it just when I needed it. God has really been challenging and reminding me of many truths I have forgotten and have yet to learn.

    2010 was a year filled with school for me, but reading has always been a love of mine. God really challenged my thinking about His love for me this year. Because I’ve grown up in the church, I’ve never really understood the depth of His love. I’ve almost taken it for granted. But this year He poured it out on me, both through the personal times I spent with Him and the books I read. I challenged myself to read “The Chronicles of Narnia” series, which captures Christ so well through Lewis’ character of Aslan. In Scripture, I read many verses about the spiritual battle we face every day. “Waking the Dead” by John Eldredge really awakened me to that truth – that as Christians we are in a war every day of a our lives. It forced me to dig into my Bible more and through that I have been able to rely on God as my Provider and Warrior (because our God is not passive).

    I love reading in my free time, on breaks (especially summer), weekends, and at night when I finally get a breather after school, homework, sports and everything else daily life demands. Unfortunately, it is because of this busy life of AP classes, church, sports, books have not been in my life as much as I would like for them to be. I have a long to-read list because of this.

    For 2011, I’d love to get to more C.S. Lewis books, including “Mere Christianity” and “Screwtape Letters”. Because of my deep pro-life conviction and passion, I’d love to get a hold of the not-yet released book “Unplanned” by Abby Johnson. “Start Here” is also one I’d love to get to reading.

    Thanks for the post. It was a good reminder and an encouragement.

  • hi all,
    I have just started reading “Do Hard Things” and I have to say I have been trying to figure out how to phrase all my ideas about how teenagers should live above the social expectations and this book expresses it perfectly!! My one question is how do you know if you are personally being enough of a leader in this mind set? or what if I am not showing enough of Christ’s light in my life?….it worries me….. but i am loving this book! and I am going to continue to follow this blog!

  • This book was amazing and the Lord really used it to convict me of some sins in my life.
    Worldliness- various authors Forward by C.J. Mahaney

  • This past year I’ve read a few books that were thought-provoking, but naturally less than I would have liked to. I tend to neglect reading in my free time. I don’t spend my free time well. That’s one of the things I’ve got to work on this year.
    I’ve read a lot by Mother Theresa this year. That has impacted my life. Her message fo love is so simple, yet so very difficult to embrace and practice.

  • Best book of 2010 was ‘The Devil’s Delusion’ by David Berlinski. Its sort of a comeback to Richard Dawkins ‘The God Delusion. Very well written and worth the read.

  • Some books I am planning on reading this year are “The Rights of Man” by Thomas Paine, “Mornings on Horseback” by David McCollough, “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, “That Printer of Udells” by Harold Bell Wright, “Wuthering Heights” by Bronte, and “Emma” by Jane Austen just to name a few. There are many, many more on my list of books I want to read.

  • Alex and Brett,

    When it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, my hat is off to a Christian gentleman (now in his late 80s) who’s been walking the walk for 25 years… reaching the world for Christ:

    The God Who Hung on the Cross (with three very prominent leaders endorsements):

    The back cover has three very strong recommendations, which I am including here:

    “Dois shows us that it is never too late in life to take on something
    big for God. In some ways, this book is a sequel to The Body, for it
    vividly illustrates the reality of how Christ is building His church,
    His body, around the world. This is the remarkable story of the
    difference one person, fully committed to Christ, can make. May God
    use it to spur you on to make a difference in your own part of the
    world today!” – From the foreword by Chuck Colson.

    “If you want to break through to the blessed life, read this book! It
    is the incredible journey of a businessman who broke out of the boxes
    of conventional Christianity. Its keys can set us free to be used by
    the God who loves to surprise us—the God who delights in using any
    ordinary person for his extraordinary purposed.” Bruce Wilkinson,
    Author, The Prayer of Jabez

    “Never has it been more strategic for the boy of Christ around the
    world to demonstrate our true unity in Him. This book is for believers
    who are ready to respond to God’s great call for His church today.”
    Franklin Graham

    Here are two other links to learn more about the ministry:

  • Thanks for the Spurgeon quote. The Prince of Preachers sure knew how to drive a point home.

    Speaking of Spurgeon, the best book I read in 2010 had to be his Lectures to My Students. The insight of this man is profound enough to impact us in the 21’st century if we’ll get over our technology and realize that wiser men than us have walked the earth. Just because we have iPhones and facebook doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily better than those of the 19th and even 18th centuries.

    My goal this year is to read 52 books. I’ve read five so far,

    The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (funny)
    Born Again, by Chuck Colson. This is a fascinating book. Not only do we get to see a hard politician influenced and saved through the influence of his compassionate Christian friends, but the glimpse of prison life should burden all of us for the lost in jails around our country.
    Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. The greatest, most thought-provoking book I’ve read, Bible aside. I read it every year.
    Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper. Piper is the greatest reformed writer of our day and I always leave his books with a new perspective on the things of God.

    In the line-up for 2011 is,

    Truman, by David McCullough
    Walden, or Life in the Woods
    Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlen
    To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Changed into His Image and Created for His Glory (both rereads) by Jim Berg

    One last thing. I think we should all make an effort to read the King James Bible through cover to cover this year. This is the 400th anniversary of the most lasting translation of God’s word ever.

    Blessings in your reading and in your New year,

  • Right now, God wants me to focus on his presence, everything in my bible that i have read recently seems to be about this. “They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Psalm 91:12 is a good part of an awesome psalm that is all about God’s presence in your life.
    Besides ongoing bible reading i read:
    Huck Finn (school)
    Anne Frank (still reading)
    do hard things (sound familiar? im still reading this one too)

    i have a Joyce Meyer’s “Power Thoughts” on deck for 2011, once i get some other books all good and read.

    the reason why i don’t read as much as i’d like to is simple, too much school, too little time
    can i get a day extension please? 🙂

  • I think SOME of my favorite books this year have been ones that have hammered back on course towards my goal; glorifying God.

    #1: Proverbs, which i have been doing my best to memorize. It was really a turning point for me when I really started to understand what God expected of me and how much wisdom, though counter-cultural, is something to really strive for.

    #2: Do Hard Things, ironic, but true, it really has been giving me a sense of how horrible “my comfort zone” really is.

    #3: The Christian Atheist. It has been a big help to me by making me realize that I need to BELIEVE in what I preach.

    Love the blog and site, and God bless 🙂


  • When I was 17 I started teaching sunday schoool,then I preached my first sermon,since then I’v been to the pulpit two more times. After reading do hard thing I’v been challenged to do more,a lot more than am doing now!! Thank you very much for your great books. You guys are reaching far and wide,I say this because I live in Botswana,once again thank you!!

    Favourite books
    I kissed dating goodbye
    Not even a hint
    Do hard things
    Charismatic Chaos by John Macarthur
    The seven checkpoints by Andy Stanley
    Story of Charles Spurgron
    Family man,famiyl leader by Philip Lancaster
    Foxes Book of martyrs by John Foxe

    This year the book in the bible that amazes me is Genesis! I,v been listening to some astonishing facts about genesis and evolution!! Check out the website at

  • Ok, first great book of 2011: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Officially one of my favorite books! I read the abridged version from 1964 that my homeschool curriculum assigned, but I hope this summer to read the whole, unabridged, 1500 page version.

  • Well, my list is continualy growing as far as books to read but these are three that I am currently starting. The problem is I have a lot of school, so I have limited time to read!
    1) Politics According to the Bible-Wayne Grudem, every teen and college student MUST read this book. We need to know how far our Government should go in all areas according to the Bible.
    2) The Call me Coach John Wooden- John Wooden
    3) Decision Points- George W. Bush This book thus far has been very interesting and enlightening.

  • HEY!!!! 🙂

    Just wanted to share my favorite-tist quote from the bible….. look it up if you’d like.
    Phil. 4:4-9,13,19 IT’S AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! And inspiring…. something to really get you going 🙂 hope you guys like it 😀

  • Books?!!? Well i looooovvvvveeee books. I am now reading: Politics according to the bible, and…… I am trying to prove a theory ao I am currently reading the Koran, which is the Islamic “bible”. You see, the muslims believe that Allah, which is their god is the same as the one and only God, plus they believe that Jesus was one of their prophets, but the thing is that a whole lot of things they believe in contradict a BUNCH!!! And the creepiest thing is that the clossests thing to Allah in the bible is El’Jah, which means Satan. I want to figure out the truth, so I am studying both the bible and the koran.
    I am very confident in my faith, I am confident that God will guide me through my search for the truth.

    <3 always,
    Sarah Brzozowski 😀

  • Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson. and

    It’s about his journey of building schools in the most remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, bringing peace and goodwill through education.

    His first book three cups of tea has been made compulsory reading in the military.

    Must-read for those intending to change the world with girl education, and those intending to touch the Muslim world.

  • I’ve only read three of her books, but they are amazing! (She’s a Christian author)

    1. A Voice In the Wind
    and it’s sequel…

    2. An Echo In the Darkness.
    These books are historical fiction about a slave girl in a rich household and how her faith impacts those around her. These books is really inspiring and will hold your interest!

    3. Redeeming Love.
    This is a romance based on the book of Hosea in the Bible where God is constantly pursuing the people of Israel, while they repeatedly turn from him. In the novel, God tells a man of high reputation to pursue a harlot. He is obedient and shows the harlot what love really looks like: Jesus. It’s really really good.

  • The fifth harry potter book. I read the first four when i was in high school and then i just stopped for some reason.

    I’d like to finish the series. I dont like leaving things incompleted.

  • I read in 2010 I love all of these books !!!!!
    Reedeming lov
    the door within
    the wyrm lord
    the finale storm
    the carter house girl serise
    diary of a wimpy kid

  • Some of my top favorites are:

    Le Miserable – Victor Hugo
    Moby Dick – Hermann Melville
    Bleak House – Charles Dickens
    Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dosteovsky
    War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    How Shall We Then Live? – Francis Schaeffer

    Although most of them are fairly long and sometimes difficult reading, they are all simply amazing!

    And of course the Word of God!

  • As a Christian doula studying to be a midwife I have to make a list of some books that I think everyone should read if they want to have a family.

    Nutritional and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price
    Honoring our Cycles or The Garden of Fertility by Katie Singer
    The Family Bed: an age old concept in child rearing
    The Christian Childbirth Handbook
    Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
    Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley

  • Well I’m a horse lover and a history lover.
    My favorite time period in history was the medival time period. So when I walk into a book store, I generally go straight to the fiction section and grab the first interesting book (usually it has a knight or a dragon on the cover)
    My mom has been encouraging me to get out of the medival phase and go for something deeper (so I went and bought the Lord of the Rings books…deep reading)

    well, I started relizing that I should be getting excited over the word of God as much as reading about a sword fight in a book. So I had started reading a Christian book series by Robin Jones Gunn called “Christy Miller” they’re definatley girl books! I had read a few of them (our church library doesn’t have all of them in order and they skip quite a bit) but I went and read every single one in the series and they really helped me allot. then I bought a few in the Katie Weldon series that branches off of the Christy Miller series…..

    I soon began diving into the word of God more and found that it was actualy interesting! I love the book of Isaiah and Pauls letters. I’m currently memorizing the whole book of Hebrews with my churchs quiz team, and that hast to be the deepest reading I’ve ever done!
    It’s so hard to find good medival and dragon books, because so much of them have sorcery in them, And my personal oppinion is that I shouldn’t be filling my mind with stuff like that because its real.

    some of my favorite Christian books are:
    Dragons in Our Midst series by: Brayn Davis
    TheChristy Miller, Serria Jennson, and The Katie Weldon series by: Robin Jones Gunn
    Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire by: Wyane Thomas Batson

    Some of my Favorite secular books are:
    Rangers Apprentice by: John Flanagan
    Lord of the Rings by: JRR Tolken
    Nacy Drew by: Carolyne Keen
    Black Stallion series
    Thoroughbred series by: Joanna Campbell
    Heartland series by: Lauren Brooke

    I also enjoy reading educational books on horses (I know weird but I’ll sit and look through a horse dictionary for hours!)
    I enjoy reading through an equine education handbook compiled and written by trainer Amy Fletcher (Becoming a centuar farm) She gave it to me when I rode in her clinic and helped her with another horse clinic for little kids. You can’t really buy it.

    I’m planning on trying to read more deep christian books
    I just finished reading “Generation Change” by Zack Hunter (amazing book)
    and of course “Do Hard Things” last month for the second time 🙂
    I plan to try and read allot of the classics…..In my homeschoolong I don’t do (whish I did) a literature class so I guess I have to catch myself up!

    Keep Shining your light!

  • Hi! Im Shae and I’m thirteen. My teacher (i go to a private christian school) gave our class a copy per student of your book and I love it! I didn’t know where to leave you a message so i thought i’d leave a comment here. I truely believe God has something for everyone and I’m trying to lead an example in my class. Even though I go to a private school there are only 4/15 students that I know for sure are christians in my class. Lots of my classmates think if u stand up for God, you’re ‘uncool’ or ‘a loser’. Do you have any advice for me of how to get across to my class without losing my reputation? Or even any of you readers of Brett and Alex’s blog

  • Oh, and im reading a book called ‘Ever’. It is a story about acient greek mothology with all those wind gods and such. But the author took a story from the Bible and changed it to a greek mythology novel. What does anyone think about that…? Is it going against what God said about not changing the Bible? Please give feedback!!!

  • As a child, it was never my habit to read books! Not, until God called me to grow in knowledge and wisdom that He gave me the interest and passion to read books and be wise.

    My favorite book is John Piper’s “Pierced by the Word”. A small book but the power of God’s word is revealed. Each chapter may be short, but it takes days to go through it and live it as it ” operate the souls, not just slay it”.

  • Some books in my list of Books worth Reading:

    -Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
    -When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper
    -What Jesus Demands from the World by John piper
    -Stand: A Call to Endurance of Saints
    -Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges
    -Growing your Faith by Jerry Bridges
    -Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris
    -I Kissed Dating Goodbye
    -Not Even A Hint by Joshua Harris
    -Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris
    -The Radical Cross by AW Tozer
    -Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
    -Secure in Everlasting Arma by Elisabeth Elliot
    -The Little Price by Saint Antoine de Exupery
    -The Giver by Lois Lowry
    -Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
    -The Chronicles of Narnia (all 7 books) by CS Lewis
    -To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
    -Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Philip Yancey
    -A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    -Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
    -Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
    -The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
    -Collected Writings of Lois Pasteur and Joseph Lister

    I didn’t include the Bible in the list because it is more than a book for me.

    Kudos and God bless!

  • In relation to books that I have found helpful, the works of A. W. Tozer have been extremely good. I bought a box of ten collections of hid works for £25 last summer. I have only read three so far, but I’ve seen a direct impact on my life through them. In The Pursuit of God Tozer draws illustrations from Abraham’s great time of testing. He talks of how we are so full up of possessions that there’s not room in our hearts to give our all the God, and Abraham was the same. He idolised his son. Therefore God made Abraham go through the test on mount Moriah to get rid of all in Abraham’s heart that was in place of God. I prayed the prayer at the end of this chapter, asking God to show me if there was anything in my life that was in place of him and to take it out, even if it hurt.

    A few weeks later God answered my prayer. On Friday on my way out of school I walked past two lists. The first was the list of librarians chosen for the year.A few days earlier I had submitted my form in the hopes of becoming a librarian. One of the questions on the form had been about types of books you liked to read and favourite books; I almost hadn’t enough room to list the extent of my reading. I also got on well with the head librarian. I was completely confident of being chosen. It may seem like a nerdy thing to be a librarian, but it’s a completely normal thing in our school and 45 people out of the 90 in our year had applied. When I walked past that list, I read it through and didn’t see my name. So I read it again. I hadn’t been chosen. I was gutted.

    After this I walked a little down the corridor to the English department. The list had just been put up for the cast of the school play. I couldn’t help thinking of the similarity with the same time a year previous. Then I had also looked at this list, reread it, and put on a fake smile as Mr Murphy told me that I had been very good, but hadn’t got a part. The only difference was that the year before I had been assured that I would get it the year after. No doubt.

    I walked very quickly away to get my bus after this. I put my iPod earphones in and turned up some Blink 182 to keep in tune with my heart. I was very angry, and very hurt.

    God used this hurt to do exactly as I had asked him! He ripped it out in one sharp motion; my desire to always be involved and in the limelight, my inability to be as happy with others getting opportunities as when I was getting them. I now don’t feel like I have to volunteer or apply for everything that I have the opportunity to, and I had more time over the last school year to devote to the things that I was already involved in like editing the school magazine and helping with the children’s ministry at church. I am so, so thankful for the book that prompted me to pray that prayer and ultimately changed me for the better.

  • So, I met you guys through your book on a random shelf in my youth group’s little library. I…am…AMAZED at your guys’s accomplishments! God has done so much for you and I honestly feel exactly like your friend you mentioned, Heidi. I am totally shy when it comes to talking to people. I am still in the process of reading your book and I’m so happy I kindasorta met!! You guys ROCK! Thank you for telling me what I wanted to hear!!!!

    -A straight-up admirer!

  • I didn’t know how I would be able to contact you other than your blog and posting a comment. But, this is perfectly fine with me.

    I am 15 years old, and I recently gave my life to Christ. I have simply been overwhelmed by how much God has blessed me and lead me on the right path. Well, the summer of my freshman year (2010), God placed something on my heart. He pretty much told me that he wants me to rebel against the low expectations that I had set for myself, which is where you guys come in. Recently, I met with a librarian and I told her about my goal to start a mentoring program this summer for in-coming Freshmen. The program would help them transition into their high school career, and ultimately help them become better people. My librarian reccommended your book, “Do Hard Things”, and I purchased it on Saturday. I just have to thank you for documenting and caring enough about your and future generations to really guide them and show them the right way. You two are truley blessed, and I’m really proud of your accomplishments. I was wondering if you guys would; 1: please give me some way to contact you, via email is the easiest for me; and 2: PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY for one of your conferences. Our high schoolers, REALLY need you’re insight and insipiration and I know that we would all appreciate your visit.

    Thank you again for you’re inspiration and insight.
    May God continue to bless you two. 🙂


  • Alex, Brett, your book is awesome!!!! I just finished reading Do Hard Things and it changed me and a friend. After we read, we decided to make necklaces or bracelets or both, sell them, and give the proceeds to charity. Loved the book.

    Paul Hodge

  • I read your book a few years ago.

    There’s a huge gap between us and say, 70 years ago when people who were MY age were freeing death camps and fighting kamikaze planes, instead now they’re skipping school to play COD or getting a DUI. And society rewards them for it.

    My father has had cancer for as long as I’ve been around, and I’ve had to deal with that for a long time. As his health declined over these past few months, and my sister off at college, I decided that my goal was to become self-succifent, despite the fact that I had seizure disorder and high-functioning Autism. My mother has become so depressed, and I don’t know how she deals with half the things that she does.

    I’m starting to do more and more with each and every day, trying to take care of the house while my sister has a job at the local courthouse as an intern and my father gets treatment.

    Keep inspiring others, Alex & Brett.

  • hey alex and brett! ive been reading your book these past few weeeks and ive got to say this is incredible! i myself am a very timid person and there has been times ive let that interfere with my witnessing to others. lately, sence ive been reading, i notice ive done few things, as small as they were that have taken me out of my comfort zone. like last week i volenteered to pray for my youth gruoup out loud and i noticed it wasnt as bad as i fear. im challenging myslef to completly step out and do what god has in store for me.
    thankyou so much for opening my eyes to what i need to do to rise against such low expectations of me, i know i can do more then what scociety expects of me, i just never truely exerted myslef to overcome it.
    thanx for everything 🙂

  • Great post, great site, and great ideas Alex and Brett. Thanks for following God’s call on your lives and for all the inspirational work that you do.

    What I’m reading now:

    1.The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris
    2.Band of Brothers, by Stephen Ambrose

    A small portion of what’s on my ever-expanding list:

    1. Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb
    2. Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard
    3. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
    4. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
    5. The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
    6. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
    7. The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli
    8. The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx
    9. The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler
    10. The Republic, by Plato

    I like reading a variety of different books for a variety of reasons. Thanks for all your encouragement, fellow rebelutionaries!

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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 →