reb•e•lu•tion (reb’el lu shen) n. a teenage rebellion against the low expectations of an ungodly culture.

5/30/2006

The Rebelution, Moving Forward (Part 2)

Dear Friends and Rebelutionaries
Brett and I have broken our "most time between posts" record yet again, shattering the previous record of 9 days with a ground-breaking 17 days between our last post and this one.

However, as Brett and I wrote back in April, the Rebelution is moving forward. During the 17-day period between posts, Brett and I embarked on a 7-day, 7-stop Join the Rebelution tour in cities and counties across the state of Alabama. You can see one of our fliers by clicking here.

Each stop was a 2-hour, 2-session, mini-conference where Brett and I were able to communicate the message of the Rebelution to hundreds of teens and their parents from all over the state, encouraging them to take strategic action in the culture war for our generation, including the historic election taking place in Alabama on June 6th.

Brett and I with the Wyatt girls in Pell City, AL
We are now exactly one week from the Alabama primary election (June 6th) and there is a lot of hard work to be done in a very short amount of time. Please keep us in your prayers over the next week, as well as the Alabama Supreme Court candidates we are working to elect: Justice Tom Parker, Judge Ben Hand, Colonel Hank Fowler, and Alan Zeigler.

Coming Up

Brett and I return home to Oregon on June 13th. We have an interview about the Rebelution coming out in the summer issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. We're excited about the opportunity for more homeschool families to catch the vision and join the movement.

We hope to do a lot of writing this summer on a variety of projects. Lord-willing, you will hear more about those as time goes on.

We're also working with our fellow rebelutionaries over at Regenerate Our Culture and others on some exciting ways to advance the cause of the Rebelution in even bigger ways.

How About You?
Have any exciting projects that you're working on? Please keep us updated on what you're doing and let us know how we can help, pray, and promote the work you are doing to turn our culture's expectations of young people on their head.

Email Brett and me at: rebelution [dot] blogspot [at] gmail [dot] com

Thank you all so much for your prayers! God bless you!

5/13/2006

Christian Soldier vs. Vietminh

The following post was written by Gabby J. -- who doesn't have a blog of her own, but has been reading The Rebelution for several months. Thank you Gabby for writing an excellent guest post.
The Vietminh—that name means nothing to most people my age, and perhaps even our parents would give a blank stare if asked what the Vietminh was. I’m going to give you a short summary of who the Vietminh was, and then share how spiritually challenged I was when I found out more about them. Before I progress I’ll pique your interest with a query: Is it possible to learn from people who believe and teach lies? Is it possible to be challenged spiritually by those whom we might see as spiritual enemies?

The Vietminh began in the 1940s as a supposed Vietnamese nationalist organization, but as it progressed in the years to come its communist goals would become apparent. The Vietminh’s goals were to throw off French rule and then establish a communist government. They achieved these goals through a process of three steps, most commonly known as protracted war. During the first stage the Vietminh were mainly concerned with purifying their own ranks and sticking to the goals. The first stage would prove to be a hard stage; they hid from the government and did almost nothing but indoctrinate the recruits they had. The Vietminh’s leaders understood that things would get worse before they got better. Though the recruits were excited to be a part of such a cause, those same recruits would lose their emotional high and some would desert. The Vietminh did get smaller before it got bigger, but it only got stronger.

Throughout the war, but mainly in the second and third stages, the Vietminh concentrated on getting the support of the common people, the peasant farmers of Vietnam. The military leader of the Vietminh, Vo Nguyen Giap, instructed his soldiers to treat the Vietnamese people with the utmost respect so the soldiers would earn the trust of the people. Specifically, to earn the people’s respect, the Vietminh strove to be different from the French colonists. The Vietminh showed themselves friendly to the friendless, loving to the unloved, and strength to the weak.

The emphasis the Vietminh put on gaining people’s trust and respect was a key to the eventual success of the Vietminh. As I had to research the Vietminh for a research paper, I was challenged in my Christian life. These men and women who fought for and supported the Vietminh fought and supported wholeheartedly even though they were, in essence, fighting for what we know to be lies. I am a Christian, part of God’s army, yet so often I find myself fighting only halfheartedly if at all. So often I get on an emotional high after reading a challenging post on the Rebelution or likeminded blog, but am I one of those recruits who will desert when things get tough? Or will I stay and endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3)

The Vietminh gathered support by being different from the French. Am I striving to be different? To be one of the peculiar people redeemed by God (Titus 2: 14) Am I loving the unlovely? Being a friend to the friendless? James 1:27 says that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Am I visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction? Am I showing Christ’s love to people when they need it?

The last thing is this: the Vietminh fought for a social system that has done nothing good for them. They have believed and fought for lies. I know The Truth. Should not I at least equal if not surpass their zeal in fighting seeing I know The Truth? What about you? How are you fighting?

5/05/2006

Choosing Our Battles Wisely

The following post was written by Ednella of Think Upon These Things, a rebelutionary blogger with a passion for her Savior.
"Getzlaf nails Chuck Kobasew along the boards with a hard hit. Corey Perry boards Byron Ritchie a second later and all players skate over and start pushing and shoving."

- HockeyFights.com, Fight Log, April 25, 2006 -
A few months ago, I was amused by to be told that, allegedly, the first two English words that French-Canadian hockey players are taught when they arrive in the States to play hockey are: "Wanna fight?" I don't know if this is true or not, but it certainly tells us a lot about the sport -- and the players.

Hockey is one of the most violent sports, with players repeatedly engaging in fights like the one listed above. I'll be honest. My first reaction was, "What's their problem? It's just a game."

The Question
Here is my question for us: What do we fight for? Maybe we don't get into fist fights, but what things do we rank as worth defending? More importantly, which of those things does God think are worth defending? Chances are we have some misplaced priorities.

I'm afraid that I often find myself concerned about really stupid things. You see, I am a "creature of order." I like to have things just so, and for them to stay that way. Of course, that's not very easy when you have younger siblings.

As my family will testify, one of my biggest pet peeves is where people sit. In my mind, not only does everyone have a seat, but everyone should sit in their seat and no one elses. Unfortunately, this doesn't always go over too well with my younger brother, Stefan, self-proclaimed 'King of the Table'.

I find it a constant struggle, even in silly situations like that, to let go of my personal preferences. The truth is, they really don't matter.

What does matter?
In Romans 12:10, Paul tells us to "love one another with brotherly affection." As Christians we are to build each other up, not tear each other down over insignificant things.

In Ephesians 4:29, Paul exhorts us: "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

These passages and others like them have convinced me that we need to choose our battles more wisely. As I've thought about what we should be fighting for, three main things stand out: faith, family, and friends.

Fighting for Faith
About a week ago, I read a story on The Rebelution about a Chinese girl who was martyred by the Communists for her faith. Commanded to spit on God's Word, she refused. It was a short story, but it made a big impact on me. Faced with the same decision, what would I do? I pray that I would stand up like that girl did. I want to fight for faith.

Fighting for Family
If you are like me, you have had your share of sibling conflicts. How do we fight for our family, instead of against it? I have found two biblical passages that are very helpful.

The first is Ephesians 4:26, where we are told to not to let the sun go down while we are still angry. The second is Matthew 5:23-24, where Jesus commands us to immediately leave what we are doing and reconcile ourselves with our brother.

In a society where people are trying to redefine marriage and the family, we need to stand up and fight.

Fighting for Friends
One of my favorite examples of fighting for your friend is the Old Testament story of David and Jonathan, where Jonathan remained loyal to David and saved his life. We need more David and Jonathan friendships today. In John 15:13, Jesus tell us: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends."

So in conclusion, let me restate my question: What should we be fighting for? Not the outcome of a hockey game, not where people sit at the table, but our faith, our family, and our friends.
Be sure to visit Ednella's blog, Think Upon These Things, and leave a comment. Thank you, Ednella, for the great post.

Want to write a guest post for The Rebelution? Email us at info [at] therebelution [dot] com.

5/02/2006

My First Shower Nearly Killed Me

I'm Just Not A Shower Person
I still remember my first shower. It was a horrible experience. I was eight years old and all I had ever known was baths. Baths were neat and tidy ordeals where the water flowed in from below my head and – provided I didn’t splash too much – stayed below my head.

I found showers to be an entirely different beast. The water, rather than flowing as a solid stream that was easily visible and avoidable, sprayed out as nearly invisible and unavoidable droplets that seemed to have a magnetic attraction to my eyes.

I did not ask to be promoted from Junior Bath Taker to Junior Shower Taker, but my parents had set the date for my graduation and protesting made little difference. It didn’t help that my twin brother Alex loved showers and had taken one earlier that week.

Before I could draft my formal petition, let alone get anyone to sign it, I found myself staring up at the dreadful showerhead just as a brave soul stares down the barrel of his executioner’s gun.

However, once the trigger was pulled and the showerhead began rumbling and hissing, my courage melted away, and I was screaming before the first drop hit me.

You see, in my mind there was no moral difference between making your child take a shower and stripping that same child naked and locking him out of the house during a thunderstorm. It was abandonment. I wasn’t a Water Nymph. I wasn’t a shower person. I was a bath person and I was happy that way.

The funny thing is that this morning, nearly ten years later, I took a shower and didn’t think twice about it. I even purposefully let the water spray on my face! It is incredible that what then seemed to be an impossible hurdle is now part of my everyday routines.

We've All Had "First Shower" Experiences
You probably can remember something in your own life that at the time seemed entirely beyond you. Maybe it was something as simple as tying your shoes or riding a bike without trainings wheels. Maybe it was learning to read or solving basic math problems in 2nd grade. These are things that are easy for you now, but were enormous challenges at the time.

My question for you is: What has changed? What is the difference between the enormous challenges of a child and the enormous challenges of a young adult?

What’s the difference between a difficult 2nd grade math problem for a seven-year-old and a difficult Algebra problem for a 15-year-old? Though an algebraic equation operates on a higher plateau than a double-digit multiplication problem that is compensated for by the fact that a teenager operates on a higher plateau than a child.

What’s the difference between my 12-year-old brother curling 15 pounds and me (at 17 years old) curling 35 pounds? Is it not likely that we would be equally challenged by our respective weights due to our different levels of strength?

Compare learning to dance with learning to walk. When you contrast the motor skills of baby with those of a young child you should conclude that though dancing is more complex, it is not necessarily more difficult.

As a musician I can attest to the fact that my difficult piano pieces in Level 9 were no more arduous than my difficult pieces in Level 3. The only variance was my level of skill and tolerance for practice. It is just as difficult for a seven-year-old beginner to practice “Chopsticks” for 30-minutes as it is for a music major in college to practice Lizst's “Hungarian Rhapsody” for three hours.

If A Baby Can Do It, Why Can't We?
With those examples in mind, I return to my question: What has changed? What is the difference between the enormous challenges of your childhood and the enormous challenges of your young adulthood?

And perhaps a more important question: What is the difference between the way you responded to those challenges as a child and how you respond to them now?

I constantly hear fellow young adults say things like, “You know, I did Algebra 1/2, but I’m just not a math person,” or “I’m a terrible speller, my brain just doesn’t work that way.” I’ve had other teens tell me, “I’m just a quiet person. I don’t like communicating much,” and “I’m such a compulsive shopper. If I see something I like I can’t help but buy it.” Or what about, “I’m just such a blonde!”

While I don’t doubt that many teens find math, spelling, communication, self-control and intelligence incredibly difficult, I find it very hard to accept that these difficulties should begin to define their personhood.

We would think it was crazy if a toddler said, “You know, I tried to get potty-trained, but I’m just not a toilet person.” But we sympathize with a fellow teenager who says that he’s “just not a people person.”

If a young child said, “I tried tying my own shoes, but my brain just doesn’t work that way,” we would not say, “That’s alright Johnny, we’ll just have someone else do it for you for the rest of your life.” But if we have trouble spelling we say, “It’s alright, I’ll just make sure I always use the spell checker.”

Low Expectations Strike Again
The fact is that as we get older we begin defining our limitations as what comes easily to us – and our rate of growth in competence and character slows and falters.

When we were children our limitations were not defined by difficulty. Our limitations were not defined by failure – even repeated failure. So what has changed? Why do babies, with inferior motor skills, reasoning ability, and general physical and mental strength, why do they have a nearly 100% success rate in overcoming their big challenges, while teenagers often falter and fail before theirs?

We Expect More of Babies Than We Do of Teens
The truth is that we are incredibly susceptible to cultural expectations and once we have satisfied our culture’s meager requirements we stop pushing ourselves.

Why does every healthy baby learn to walk while very few teenagers are sophisticated enough to have mastered the Waltz? One is expected, the other is not.

Why does every normal baby overcome communication barriers by learning to talk while very few teenagers overcome barriers between themselves and their parents by learning to communicate? One is expected, the other is not.

And why do we sympathize with the poor “non-math” teenager while we admonish the “non-toilet” six-year-old? Because using the toilet is a basic skill that is necessary for life, but unless they plan on becoming an engineer, most people never use Algebra.

We live in a culture that expects the basics, but nothing more. We live in a culture that expects for you to get by (i.e. be potty-trained), but not to thrive.

The Rebelution’s challenge to you is this: Have you really found your limits or have you merely reached a point where our culture’s expectations no longer demand that you succeed?

We Are Capable of Much More Than Is Expected
If you were abandoned in a foreign country with citizens who spoke no English, you would pick up the native dialect. And if your high school required everyone to complete Advanced Calculus in order to graduate you would find a way to do it.

Both necessity and expectations have incredible power to require much of us and make us strong, or to require little of us and make us weak. We live in a culture where few people do more than is required, yet that is the secret of effectiveness in the Lord’s service.

The application of this post goes far beyond math and language, dancing and speaking; those are simply a few helpful examples. The important question we must ask ourselves is: “Am I unable to do certain things, or am I simply unwilling to invest the time and effort necessary to succeed?"

This Is A Serious Issue
Classifying yourself as "this-kind-of-person" or "that-kind-of-person" is one of the quickest ways to greatly increase or majorly hamper your potential. Adults who at one time decided they "just weren't computer people" are missing out on all the convenience and power of technology.

A person who decides early in life that he is "just not a public speaker," and then stops striving for excellence in the area of public communication, has no doubt lost thousands of opportunities to impact the lives of hundreds, if not thousands of people.

History is jammed full of examples of "extremely shy people" who not only overcame their fear of people, but also became famous leaders and communicators. Calvin Coolidge, the United States' 30th President, is just one such example.

One of the most devastating classifications that can be made is when a person classifies themselves spiritually as "not really one of those extreme Christians."

Millions of young people, even Christian young people, live through years of spiritual weakness and build up loads of regret simply because they found their identity in being a rebel.

Closing Thoughts

I wasn't a "shower person" when I was eight, and I'm not sure if I'm a "campaign person" at 17, but by God's grace and through His strength I can do anything. And so can you.

Nearly a decade after my first shower, one of the great challenges of my childhood, I find myself working long hours on four statewide races for the Alabama Supreme Court. When I find myself thinking that this current challenge is going to kill me, I just remember that I thought the same thing about my first shower. Then I smile, and keep on pushing.

Questions for Discussion:
  • Are there areas in your life that have been labeled as “just not me”?
  • If so, have you stop striving for excellence in those areas as a result of that label?
  • What would the impact be on your future if you chose to overcome your difficulties in those areas and mastered them?

5/01/2006

NEWS FLASH: Rebelution leaders meet in Michigan

Lansing, MI -- Sources have confirmed a meeting in southern Michigan between two national leaders of the Rebelution — a worldwide movement of Christian young people rebelling against what they call "the low expectations of an ungodly culture."

The two young ladies, Kristin (a.k.a. Spunky Jr.) and Hannah, were identified by a reporter who first discovered the meeting after making his way through a series of puzzling riddles.

"I was confused at first," admitted the reporter. "I couldn't figure out whether 'near' meant 'adjacent' or 'nearby'. But then the pieces started coming together."

Kristin and Hannah are two of the three co-authors of Beauty from the Heart, a rebelutionary blog targeted at Christian young women. Kristin makes her home in Michigan. Hannah is from Texas.

The third co-author, Lindsey of Northern California, was not present. Her exact whereabouts are currently unknown.

A growing movement, a growing concern

The meeting today was only the latest in a series of high-profile "get togethers" between members of the Rebelution that are causing a stir among secular analysts.

Last year The National Scoop exposed a late night meeting between Rebelution leaders Tim Sweetman (a.k.a. Agent Tim) and Alex and Brett Harris. The three were spotted at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant in downtown Washington, DC.

Now sources are reporting additional gatherings across the United States, including a convention of nearly 500 rebelutionaries in Sacramento on March 11. The sources confirmed that Lindsey of Beauty from the Heart was present at the convention.

A National Scoop reporter who gained access to a top secret map of rebelutionaries reported that it included young adults from around across the United States, in the Phillipines, Australia, Europe, Canada, Africa, and South America.

"These Christian kids think they can be mature and responsible," exclaimed a greatly concerned Wurld Lee Kulture. "Worse, they're starting to network and create a counter-culture. It threatens to ruin everything I've worked for!"

Copyright © The National Scoop 2006

More Than Words: Justice Tom Parker

The latest issue of Regenerate Our Culture came out today and includes an excellent profile of an extraordinary man: Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court. Agent Tim (a.k.a. Tim Sweetman) did a wonderful job as both interviewer and author.

To read the article, click here.