Announcing: The Rebelution Tour
If God wills . . .
Click on the image below to download the teaser ad.
If you live near Sacramento, we hope to see you in March!
Visit us at www.rebelutiontour.com
reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.
If God wills . . .
Click on the image below to download the teaser ad.
Visit us at www.rebelutiontour.com
Every time New Year's Eve rolls around, I have this incredible urge to make resolutions. Fortunately, I'm not alone. Millions of people around the world view the New Year Holiday as an opportunity to throw off the disappointments and struggles of an old year and replace them with the possibilities and hopes of a new one.
This post, however, is dedicated to looking back. We're going to blow the dust off my last year's resolutions in hope that they might serve you in developing your own resolutions for 2006. Looking back at these resolutions fills me with gratitude and regret. There was victory and defeat for me in 2005 (more defeat than victory). But God was, is, and will always be faithful.
These resolutions do not glorify me. I haven't kept one of them consistently. When I wrote them I was reaching for the stars, not out of hope that I'd actually reach them, but certain that by trying I wouldn't end up with a handful of mud. Alex and I challenge all of our readers to pursue holiness with the understanding that it will be a lifelong battle.
We're fighting too.
Brett and I have just returned home to the Northwest after completing our two-month internship with Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court. The opportunity to work with Justice Parker and his staff was a gift beyond what we had imagined beforehand.
Justice Parker is a great example for rebelutionaries of a godly leader. Our admiration and respect for him and the work he is doing in Alabama greatly increased during our time under his leadership. Not only is he a justice who fears God more than man, but he has also surrounded himself with staff members who share his vision to combat judicial activism, to restore the historic foundations of law, and to raise up future generations to do the same.
The privilege of working alongside such powerful Christian legal minds — men whose credentials are too lengthy to mention here — was a tremendous blessing. We have no doubt that the knowledge, understanding, and ability that we gained through our time at the Court will prove invaluable as we continue to seek God's will for our lives.
We were also blessed during our time "down South" through fellowship with many godly individuals and families, each of whom God used to deeply impact both Brett's and my life — and particularly through the godly counsel and care of the family whose household we joined while in Montgomery.
God used our time there to convict us of many inconsistencies in our own lives, to expose gaps in the way we thought about many things, and to reveal weaknesses and build strength. The entire trip was truly a life-changing experience.
Another significant impact of the trip was in regards to The Rebelution. Many of the messages written about here — particularly our slogan Do Hard Things™ — are still in the developmental stages. Although neither of us has had time to post much over the past few weeks, we have been giving a great deal of study, thought, and prayer to the many aspects encompassed by a genuinely rebelutionary mindset.
It's exciting how much clearer our vision and understanding has become over the past two months. Now that we're home, we have to decide how to best communicate that understanding — and more importantly, how to change our own lives to be more consistent with that understanding.
Our specific plans for the next year are quite "up in the air." There are a lot of very exciting possibilities, but nothing is 100% confirmed. For now, Brett and I have decided to take a break from blogging for the remainder of the year — to spend time with our family, to discuss the future with our parents, and to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Please be praying for both us and our parents as we seek God's will in making several life-shaping decisions for the next year. We look forward to resuming regular posting in 2006. We also predict that there will be several exciting announcements made next month that you will not want to miss.
For now, we encourage all of you to focus your gaze on the "reason for the season" — Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, come to earth as a ransom for our sins. To Christ — the rebelutionary's Commander in Chief — be all honor and glory and might forever and ever.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Alex and Brett Harris
Here are Brett's and my recommendations:
Click on the banner to cast your votes for the first Homeschool Blogger Awards. Hosted by Spunky Homeschool. The link now works.
God bless you all! Merry Christmas!
Brett and I are very pleased to announce that The Rebelution has been voted by its readers as the Best of 1001-1750 in the 2005 Weblog Awards.Brett and I were truly blown away by the enthusiasm and support The Rebelution received from its readers during the competition. Each of your willingness to vote — day after day, week after week, on multiple computers — was beyond what we ever expected. Brett and I really didn’t win this award, you did.
* Necessary Disclaimer: Just as with the blogs we link to on our sidebar — the content, views, and opinions found through the above links are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of, The Rebelution or its authors.
Please alert us to anyone we missed. Thank you all again! God bless you... And Merry Christmas!
Click on the banner to vote for the Rebelution in the Homeschool Blog Awards.
Best Teen Blog — Best Team/Group Blog — Best Current Events Blog — Best Photo Blog — Best Informational Blog — Best Inspirational BlogBrett and I would be honored to be awarded any of these categories, but if we had to choose one, we would choose Best Homeschool Teen Blog. It is a highly competitive category with many incredible blogs. Please vote for us in all of the categories — but Best Teen is most important, due to the quality of the competition.
Go and Vote for the Rebelution
Remember, you can vote once, per computer, per day. If you keep track of your votes, we'll recognize our top five supporters here on the blog. Feel free to be creative (i.e. email relatives, call through your church directories, :wink: etc.) Thank you all so much!
This post will stay here until voting ends. Be sure to check below for new posts! Go and Vote for the Rebelution
Here on The Rebelution, our “trademark” slogan is the phrase Do Hard Things.I think we’ve all spent a good deal of time pondering the Rebelution’s challenge to “Do Hard Things.” It’s a motto that any young person would be wise to adopt as his own. But as I’ve considered this concept, I’ve always had one significant question: what are these hard things?
We really like it.
It’s the exact opposite of what our media-saturated culture — from public schools to church youth groups — tells its young people. It flies right in the face of the prevailing notion that the teen years are a vacation from responsibility.
And yet, it also holds the possibility of great misunderstanding. Short statements often require long disclaimers, but while we’ve devoted entire series to the ‘myth of adolescence’ and the ‘rise of the kidult’; the Rebelution's slogan, ‘Do Hard Things’ has only one post to its name — primarily due to our hectic schedule since coming to Alabama.
Because of this, we were thrilled to receive the following guest post, written by fellow-rebelutionary Alex King of SmartHomeschool. He has done an absolutely excellent job, communicating many of the thoughts that we have been thinking, but which we have just not had time to write out. As it is, I think he put it better and more concisely than we would have ourselves. Please pay close attention to this very important article on Do Hard Things:
Benjamin (16) played a major role in the composition of the score. Anna and Elizabeth have kindly remarked that their "little brother" has greater talent in the area of composition. Indeed, Benjamin was not only competent, but he was diligent. Every night at 2:00 A.M. he would get himself out of bed (Mr. Botkin says they never had to wake him up) and take a five-hour shift at the computer, arranging the score for the film and improving the sound quality of each note and instrument. At 7:00 A.M. he would be relieved by Anna or Elizabeth, who would take the day shifts in a long and hard cycle. Such sacrifice characterizes the Botkin's approach to this film.Hopefully this young man was somewhat of a morning person, but I don’t know anyone who could hear an alarm clock going off at that time of the night and feel like getting up 100% of the time. I imagine there were many times when, half asleep, he weighed the pain of getting up against the benefit of those extra hours composing.
Doing hard things means being diligent in the small. Getting across an ocean means many strokes of rowing. Scoring a film means many mornings of getting up early. Changing the world means changing our everyday actions. These are the hard things that we need to be doing if we really want to make a difference - the small, seemingly unexciting tasks that we so often procrastinate on, or ignore altogether.So when you run into something small and unexciting, and you feel like procrastinating or ignoring it, don’t! Get up that extra hour earlier to work on that project. Reply to that email that could wait, but shouldn’t. Write that blog post that you’re simply not in the mood for, but need to do. Change the way you behave around your family for the better. Do those little things that don’t seem important, exciting, or enjoyable at first – but that can get you to your goals.
Be sure to express your apprecation to Alex King for writing a guest post for The Rebelution. Appreciation can be expressed by 1) leaving a comment, or 2) visiting his excellent blog.
Seen any teens in the news? Let us know! If we post about it, we'll give you credit for the tip. Email us at rebelution [dot] blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com.Michael Viscardi - Science Champion: 16-year-old Michael Viscardi, a homeschool student from San Diego, California, has been making headlines for his victory in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology, winning a $100,000 scholarship.
Viscardi tackled a 19th century math problem known as the Dirichlet problem, formulated by the mathematician Lejeune Dirichlet. The theorem Viscardi created to solve it has potential applications in the fields of engineering and physics, including airplane wing design.
Wolsey is self taught in web design, but has had help from US online innovator Tim Robertson, whose own site gets 20 million hits a month. "I found Tim through Google, told him how much I liked his site and what I was doing, and he has become a mentor to me," Wolsey said.
Bensinger says his age can be both a help and a hindrance when going after interviews, noting that when he started, some athletes did not want to have anything to do with him...Notice how these excerpts confirm and enhance principles we've spoken about on The Rebelution:
"I think as I've continued to get interviews," he says, "people see that I'm working hard, that I'm doing my homework, [and] the age doesn't have as much of an effect..."
While other teens may spend their free time hanging out with friends, Bensinger devotes hours to research, arranging and confirming guests, preparing questions and reading the latest sports headlines...
"Sure, you sacrifice some valuable time with friends," he says. "But on the same note, I love what I'm doing, and I know where I want to be in life and know where I want to get in life..."
"I think the difference between those who are successful in life and those who aren't is whether or not you have the drive and motivation and follow [your dream]," Bensinger says.
"Sure, people are going to say 'No,' and say, 'You can't do this' and 'You can't do that.' ... But if you work hard, in the end you will succeed."
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found hard and left untried." — G.K. Chesterton
Do Hard Things™
Go and Vote for The Rebelution!
It has come to my attention — through the loving rebuke and wise counsel of my father — that I included a careless falsehood in my recent response to Deputy Headmistress's comment regarding the original post about David Ludwig and Kara Borden. In it I wrote:
...[Y]ou will notice that I never claimed that either David or Kara were saved. My first reference to Christianity was to say, "David and Kara, you understand, are churchgoers, youth group attendees, from Christian families, with Christian friends." Later, I referred to them as "homeschooled teens from Christian families." However, I did not claim that they themselves were born again.This was not true. Though the post has been edited several times since it was first published — with the current version most clearly reflecting my conclusions on the matter — the original wording actually read, "David and Kara, you understand, are Christians, from Christian families..." This was soon changed, nevertheless, my claim that I had never labeled David and Kara as Christians was false. Even though I was not intentionally seeking to deceive, my statement was wrong — both literally and morally — and I ask all of your forgiveness.
A Debtor to Mercy, Alex Jordan Harris
Noah Riner, 21, sparked national controversy on September 20th with his speech to incoming freshman at Dartmouth College's annual convocation ceremony. In the speech, Riner did the unthinkable: extolling character while pointing to Jesus Christ — not only as the best example of character, but as the solution to man's inherent corruption.
Unsurprisingly, Riner's speech has received a great deal of media attention, by traditional media outlets, both secular and Christian, as well as by countless blogs. Alerted in early October by David MacMillan III of In Rejection of Mediocrity to a hosted video of the speech, The Rebelution, along with Agent Tim Online, became one of the first two blogs to link to it. However, within the next month the video was removed from the server on which it was hosted, and has been unavailable online ever since... That is, until now.
With the generous assistance of Eric Rice of Wright Film Association, The Rebelution is pleased to announce that the video of Noah Riner's convocation speech is back online. Links contained in previous coverage have been updated, so if you haven't read about this incredible display of Christian courage, go read and watch.
To just download the .wmv file, right-click here and save to your hard drive.
As some of you know, The Rebelution was one of the primary sources in the blogosphere for commentary on Dartmouth University student Noah Riner's convocation speech to incoming freshman two months ago, as well as being one the few sources on the Internet that provided a link to a video of the speech.
Unfortunately, since that time the video has been removed from the site on which it was hosted — and to my knowledge — is no longer available anywhere online. I have the .wmv file on my computer but do not have a decent place to host it. That's where you, our readers, come in.
Here's my request: Would anyone — with hosting capabilities and decent bandwith — be willing to permanently host the .wmv file?
If you would be willing to help The Rebelution make this powerful speech available to the public in video format, please email us at: rebelution [dot] blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com.
UPDATE: Eric Rice of Wright Film Association has kindly offered to host the video file. The URL will be made available within the next 24-48 hours and the links in past posts will be updated.
Soli Deo Gloria!
In a chilling reminder of the lessons being learned from David Ludwig and Kara Borden, news broke yesterday morning that — for the second time in less than a month — a homeschool teen has been arrested for murder.
Patrick Armstrong, a 14-year-old homeschooler from Fayette, Maine, has been charged with killing his neighbor, Marlee Johnston, 14. Both teens lived in the same neighborhood where, last Saturday, Marlee's body was found in a nearby pond, after she failed to return from a walk with the family dogs.
The Morning Sentinel reports:
Maine State Police are being extremely tight-lipped about the case. They have not released a cause of death, outlined a motive for the killing, or detailed the types of interactions the two teenagers might have had. The Medical Examiner's Office said the office is withholding the cause of death at the request of the Attorney General's Office.It has been reported that certain personal websites published by Armstrong, which are not publically accessible, demonstrated a troubled and angst-ridden teen.
Other bloggers covering the story: SpunkyHomeschool, Agent Tim, and Spunky Junior.
May God have mercy.
Make sure you read the most recent update made at the end of this post, in response to several of our reader's comments (updated Thursday, December 1st, 9:45 P.M. CST).The following comment was posted in response to our recent post, "Teens In The News: David Ludwig and Kara Borden." Due in part to the attention our article has received, as well as the excellent opportunity for clarification it provides, we felt it was wise to share this comment with you and then respond.
DeputyHeadmistress said: This is a good post, and I agree that we all need to look to ourselves and not be coplacent. But I think it's interesting how different people can read the same thing and come away with different ideas about it. I also read David's blog (and their friends' blogs) and I was struck by his view of God as a vending machine on high. I wasn't favorably impressed by either Kara or David's expressions of faith- they were not much different than expressions of delight over a rock band or a new and very cool shirt, IMO.Alex Harris said: To begin, let me thank you for your input. Even from reading your (relatively) brief comment on our blog in response to my post on the subject, I appreciated the fact that you have diligently researched the issue. I too had been to Lancaster Online, reading the articles, and many of the lengthy comment sections. I had also frequented Crime Library and the Action Report, and read the released excerpts from the emails allegedly written by David and his various female acquaintances. All this to say, I was aware of the information you cite, before I wrote my post.
In reading those blogs I was also disturbed to see that for most of those kids murder and premarital sex were 'making bad choices' and nobody should judge those who indulged in those bad choices. But letting somebody's parents know what was going on was worse than a bad choice- that would have been a very, very *bad* thing for them to do. These kids have, at best, a very twisted sense of values, right, wrong, sin, and good and evil.
You might read this (and other news reports on the same site):
Did David Ludwig use his Christian faith to manipulate and get close to girls? John Powers, of Long Island, N.Y., has written about the case on his “Action Report” Web site.
In an interview today, he said that an anonymous source gave him access to Ludwig’s e-mail account and that Ludwig’s e-mails show Ludwig had another relationship with a girl he met while on a trip to Hawaii last summer.
Ludwig had contact with several other girls around the same time, Powers said.
In the e-mails, Powers said, “He starts off preaching the word. It’s a level of communication they all could understand, something they all have in common.”
The girls responded in the same vein, and the relationship developed, Powers said.
Ludwig had gotten into trouble locally and, it appears, in Hawaii, for his actions in the past year, according to news accounts and the Web sites.
The pastor of Ludwig’s church told a reporter last week that Ludwig took a girl to Ludwig’s family’s cabin in Juniata County without her parents’ permission last spring, but that the girl’s parents did not contact authorities about it.
In a story posted on Court TV’s “Crime Library” Web site, writer Steve Huff said, “David Ludwig, at least, seemed to use his ‘faith’ in the same way other men use sports cars — as a ‘hook.’ ”
I would also note that looking at a timeline of events, the 'spirit led' initiative to fix up The Barn as a place where the kids could go to 'seek God's face' (because, naturally, David adn his pals could not seek God's face at home or in their churches or with adult supervision) only took place after the family cabin was off limits to David because he took at least one girl there without her family's permission.
None of this negates your broader points, I would just be careful about taking those public confessions of faith as expressed by Ludwig and people like him at face value.
Jamie: You are right in observing that I am very hesitant — as the evidence currently stands — to say that David was only using the appearance of Christianity to feed an abnormal sexual obsession. I am very uncomfortable with the tendency to paint David's entire childhood and teen years — the Bible quizzes, the lifeguarding, the Bible reading, the emails, 'The Barn', the prayer huddles — as nothing more than a facade to lure impressionable girls.
I do not deny that David took a significant turn for the worse over the past few months, and a more subtle turn over the past year or two, but I do disagree with the theory that all the things that caused people to identify him as "a caring person," and as "a good kid" with "a strong faith," were just an act to hide a murderer waiting for an opportunity. I would never support releasing David, even if he repents, or consider him "safe," but I do believe that a 14 or 15-year-old David would have been surprisingly similar to a majority of young men in the church today.
Concerning the theological issue: Nightfly was right on when he said that the point is not whether David and Kara were/are/can be saved or not. I appreciate many of the things that have been shared by our readers on this subject, but I'd prefer it not turn it into a debate. For now, I will only say this: If David and Kara were/are truly saved, I would expect repentance. If they weren't/aren't truly saved, they are by no means beyond the reach of God's saving grace. I pray for repentance.
Tim: You're right when you say we have a serious problem. In fact, that was one of the very things I hoped people would start realizing when they read my post. The truth is that a majority of what we classify as "normal Christian teens" are Christians in name only... It's just the environment they happen to be in... It's their parent's faith, not their own. In fact, I think it's highly probable that this was the category into which David and Kara fell. This is of great concern.
Again, we should all take this opportunity to examine our hearts and exhort our fellow young people. Do we go to church just because our parents make us? Just to see our friends? Do we read our Bible, memorize Scripture, and talk the talk, just because that's what expected and admired in the environment in which we live?
This is really a message that goes to the heart of The Rebelution. Our actions should never be dependent on cultural expectations, whether it be church culture, homeschool culture, or pop culture. Our authority is Christ and His Word, and He does not change.
Let's be honest, guys. Have we ever tried to impress the opposite sex by our spiritual maturity? If we have, I think we should be cautious in labeling David as some sort of predator... At the very least, we should take great care to ensure that our attitude does not even hint at self-righteousness.
A debtor to mercy, Alex Jordan Harris
As an encouragement to our new readers to take advantage of our "Popular Independent Posts" section, located on our sidebar, we re-post the following October 6th article:San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who became internationally known for his campaign a year ago to legalise gay marriage, said on Monday he considered wireless Internet access a fundamental right of all citizens.
The scary question becomes: When these high-tech luxuries are taken away, perhaps as the result of a natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina, how will we cope? And more importantly, what will we really know?