Honestly, the conference wasn't quite as I expected it to be--it was even better! Over 800 Rebelutionaries and parents gathered together to be taught, equipped, and inspired to "rebel" against our culture's low expectations for teenagers by doing hard things. The following are my notes from the first two of the four sessions:
Alex Harris: "The Myth of Adolescence"
- The elephant is just tied by a piece of rope from which it could easily break free, but it has shackles on its mind.
- Our culture expects teenagers to be rebellious, irresponsible, emotionally unstable, etc... but it's a myth that things must be that way!
- George, Dave, and Drew all took on high levels of responsibility at young ages in times past.
- Quote from Challenge of Youth by Friedrich Heer.
- Prior to this century there were only two stages of life--childhood and adulthood
- The word "teenager" did not exist until a popular magazine used it in 1941.
- "...the goal of the child was to grow up as promptly as possible in order to enjoy the opportunities of an adult..." --from a book describing the 18th and 19th centuries.
- "The current ceiling of expectation for young adults is where the floor ought to be".
- 1 Cor. 13:11; 1 Tim 4:12; Lam. 12:3
- Whose expectations are you using in how you spend these years? God's or the world's?
- George, Dave, and Drew went on to be George Washington (1st President of the United States), David Farragut (admiral in the US Navy), and Andrew Carnegie (one of the most successful businessmen of his day).
- You have to view the teen years as a launching pad whether you want to or not, because you are launching in some direction. The question is, "What direction are you going?"
- The applicability of the old adage, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."
- Break the shackles.
Brett Harris, "Do Hard Things"
- God doesn't call us to do everything, but He definitely hasn't called us to be afraid of doing hard things.
- Don't be like Moses who was afraid when God called him to do a hard thing.
- How do we grow stronger? By doing hard things and building "muscle".
- Example: Getting angry is wrong and easy; controlling your temper is right and hard.
- Example: Being proud is wrong and easy; staying humble is right and hard.
- If you're facing discouragement because something you find very hard is very easy for someone who is naturally gifted in that area (example: math), the "Do Hard Things" mindset will give you an edge over the person who is naturally talented because he will stop at the end of how far he's naturally talented, but you can go beyond that.
- It's about building muscle--mental, physical, spiritual...
- Do what's hard for YOU, not someone else.
- A failure to perform in character or competence is due to a failure of past exertion.
- Even failure produces muscle.
- Our unique makeup allows for beautiful diversity.
- Small things aren't usually seen by others.
- Don't think that you always have to do an extraordinary thing; but instead do normal things extraordinarily.
- It's a call to the sold out Christian life.
1. "Do Hard Things" means fighting sin in your life
2. "Do Hard Things" means battling discouragement and complacency
3. "Do Hard Things" means doing more than is required
4. "Do Hard Things" means getting over your fear of failure
5. "Do Hard Things" looks different for every person
6. "Do Hard Things" is often small things
7. "Do Hard Things" is your best life
Conversing with fellow Rebelutionaries, the Beilmans and Rileys, during a break after the session "Character Counts".
Me, Paul, Jeremy, and Ben. Paul and I had met Jeremy last year at Awana Camp, and Ben came with us to the conference.
Mr. Nasser and Pat IV.
Anti-Feminists Hannah (we stayed at her house for the weekend), me, and Sarah. Attention all young ladies! If you want to find a godly web site with posts filled with encouragement and insights for girls then check out Hannah's blog Beauty from the Heart which she co-authors with two other young ladies. The web site is also on the sidebar of this page under "Links".
Joel Harris (the twins' older brother who was the worship leader), Brett Harris, Paul, and Alex Harris. I am amazed at the work the Harris family is accomplishing, and I was sorry when we had to leave. But the good news is that they're coming back to D/FW next year! Who knows, maybe I'll see you there!
And if you live within range, there's still another conference on this year's Rebelution Tour, Indianapolis on September 15, 2007. Don't miss it.
Update: A friend sent me this picture:
Marshall (the head coordinator) , Brett Harris, me, and Alex Harris