Under the influence of alcohol or parents? You choose.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of MADD.  A donation was made to MADD in my name to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

As a high school teacher for over twenty years, I wanted to participate in this blog campaign because I’ve taught students who died because of their own drinking or because of being in a car with someone who’s drunk or being hit by someone drinking. Kids at every grade level, freshmen just entering high school, seniors on the verge of graduation…robbed of opportunity by disability or death.

What’s enraged me even more than kids drinking are the parents who provide the alcohol for them. Their rationale? “Well, they’re going to drink anyway. I’d rather them drink here where I can watch them.” Really? Where you can watch them get drunk, then attend prom in a limo where there’s more alcohol? If they’re going to engage in sex “anyway,” will you let them do that at your house as well?

I live close to New Orleans, and some students think that getting smashed on Bourbon Street is a rite of passage. For far too many, it’s followed by the last rites.

Check out these sites, don’t be afraid to be honest with your kids. Take a stand to shape a generation, not bury one.

Roughly 6,000 people will die this year in direct correlation with underage drinking—a statistic that can be greatly reduced with parental intervention.

Underage drinking has emerged as the number one youth drug problem. By being an informed, caring parent you can strongly impact your teens decisions regarding alcohol. In fact, 74% of kids will turn to their parents for guidance on drinking. And research shows that as moms we are the number one influencers in dealing with this issue. For teens, alcohol is an illegal drug—and a zero tolerance policy is the best policy to have as a parent.

On October 27th, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) will be launching The Power of Parents: It’s Your Influence (www.thepowerofparents.org). This program has been designed to help provide us as parents with key tips, information, and tools to help us at home reach our teens and communicate the real life danger of underage alcohol use.


Know an outstanding teen? Check this out!

The Wendy's High School Heisman

As a high school teacher for over twenty years, I’ve always been impressed by the number of teens who push themselves to achieve their goals. These are kids who rise above their circumstances, and don’t let the facts stand in the way of their dreams.

I’ve known students who manage intense Advanced Placement and Honors classes, involvements in school sports, and volunteer activites in their communities.

When college applications roll around, these students move to the top of the admissions stacks. And they well deserve to.

With college admissions growing more and more selective, the Wendy’s High School Heisman program presents a great opportunity to help those students who have managed to balance so much, stand out. This award celebrates high school seniors who excel in academics, athletics, and community involvement; in essence, recognizing them for all of the things they already do. Colleges want to see well-rounded students who demonstrate dedication and commitment, making this program especially relevant and accessible.

High school seniors who have a 3.0 average or higher, participate in a school-sponsored sport and contribute to their community can apply at www.WendysHeisman.com, or a high school educator, guidance counselor, or coach can nominate them. As a little reward, the first 41,100 applicants will receive a free Wendy’s gift card in amounts ranging from $5 to $50. One male and one female from each high school will win the award and continue on in competition for state and national awards. Twelve national finalists will participate in Heisman Weekend festivities during an all-expenses-paid trip Dec. 11-13 to New York City. ESPN2 will feature all 12 national finalists during the Wendy’s High School Heisman Awards Ceremony, which airs Dec. 13.  The Wendy’s High School Heisman website will display the names of all applicants and individual school winners on October 22, 2009.

YOU CAN WIN A $20 WENDY’S GIFT CARD BY LEAVING A COMMENT ABOUT AN OUTSTANDING TEEN YOU KNOW…MAYBE YOUR OWN! One name will be drawn October 3, 2009.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Wendy’s and received a gift certificate to giveaway and to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Suzanne Eller’s MAKING IT REAL: Whose Faith is it Anyway?

A recent statistic said that over 80% of Christian teens abandon their faith for a season. Author T. Suzanne Eller says, “As someone who has ministered to teens for a long time, I believe that teens leave a support system only to have to find out what they believe, as opposed to what they’ve heard in a sermon or celebrated as a family.” Making It Real starts that journey now, rather than later so that they are not one of the 80% who aren’t sure what they believe anymore. WhetWhose Faith Is It Anyway?her the reader is a first-time Christ-seeker or a seasoned believer, the book is for teens wanting to know God on a personal life-changing level.

Making It Real helps teens grow their faith, no matter where they are spiritually–into a dynamic relationship with God.

For teens asking questions about their faith, like:

  • How do I make my faith more personal?
  • How do I turn to God in both good and bad times?
  • Where is God leading me?
  • Is my faith a relationship or tradition?

Family faith is awesome. Youth church is a place where teens can grow. But personal faith is a one-on-one journey. Making It Real is great for individuals as well as small cell or discipleship groups or Sunday school classes.

Making It Real:Whose Faith Is It Anyway?

How can teens own their faith rather than inherit it from their families?

At some point we all need to make a decision as we ask this question: Whose faith is it anyway? It’s especially crucial for teens because they leave a support system and their faith is questioned, or they hit challenges and obstacles and dig deep for God and come up with a 1,000 sermons or their parent’s belief system and it’s often just not enough. Statistics say that over 80% of young adults walk away from their faith for a season. For some, that’s just a statistic. To me, it’s names. I could sit with you for hours and talk about the young adults who abandoned their faith for a season, and those who have never come back, and those who lost their way and are now in situations or circumstances that they never expected to be in.

Faith is so much bigger than hanging out in a church. It’s knowing and loving God, and being loved and known by Him.

You talk about four “faithbusters.” What are they?

  • Living your faith by feelings – Teens get tripped up when God is only as big as their last experience–whether an awesome camp moment or a colossal mistake. Living by feelings is roller-coaster Christianity at it’s best. You are close to God and you are up. You make a mistake and you bungee down. The problem with living faith by feeling is that you turn to what feels good at the moment, instead of God when you don’t feel Him or feel worthy.
  • Confusing tradition with faith – Traditions are amazing, but intimacy with God is making Him more than a habit. Going to church doesn’t take the place of seeking God, or being honest with Him about your life, or carving out a part of your day to hang out with Him. It’s not a to-do list. It’s relationship.
  • Making faith a group activity only – I’ve worked with teens for a long time. I can tell you every gross food game; I can proudly say I’ve conquered mud mountain; I’ve watched teens connect with God in a beautiful way as a group in worship or service. But sometimes teens wait for the music or hype or youth pastor to tell them when to worship God. Worship is more than a song. It’s becoming a follower of Christ, even if no one else chooses that path. It’s knowing where to turn if the people you trust, like your youth pastor or believing parents, walk away from their own faith.
  • Living on borrowed convictions – A lot of teens (and adults) start thinking about education at a young age. It’s a goal. But are we as educated about our beliefs? Too often Christians have enormous amounts of education, but only a 6th grade knowledge of their faith. I don’t say that to be condemning, but to encourage believers to dig deeper. Do we know who God is? Do we understand the act of the Cross? Do we understand scripture and how it applied then, and how it applies today? When you live on borrowed convictions and you have to live them out in the real world, it’s tough. That’s why I wrote Making It Real. I love discipleship. I wanted a resource that a teen could take and it be relevant and real and deep, but not complex.

Isn’t it scary for a teen to doubt his faith, or to ask the tough questions?

Many parents are fearful when a teen questions their faith, but let’s look at it another way: they are trying to make it personal. They need to understand why they believe, and as they do their faith becomes a life-long journey, as opposed to just going to church.

If your teen came to you and said, “I don’t get calculus,” you’d most likely try to help them by giving them additional resources or support or encouragement. You wouldn’t react with fear or anger.

So, what do you do when a teen is trying to “make it real”? During that time, you still go to church as a family, but you understand that Christ didn’t drag any of us to the foot of the cross. You let your teen know that you trust that he or she will find their way and that you are praying for direction. You offer resources. It’s important that your faith remain vibrant and intimate, as you turn to God and pray for your child. The average teen hears a thousand messages about spirituality or skewed perceptions of Christianity. My daughter once said, “when I thought about it, Mom, I thought about your relationship with God and I knew it was real and that was enough for me.” Your influence spiritually is so much greater than you realize. Trust God. Pray. Ask for guidance. Continue to honor God as a family, but encourage the individual journey of your child. His or her faith may not look exactly like yours, but if the foundation is Christ, then they are well on their way to an intimate relationship.


It seems your life calling has taken on so many different themes. You have a heart for student ministries, young adult women, and mothers. What’s it like writing and speaking for three different people groups? How are the dynamics different, and what one thing remains the same no matter the group?

The overall theme of my ministry is “becoming.” If you look at what I teach or write, you’ll see that theme stamped all over them. I dare to believe that God is who He says He is, and I want to become all that I can be as I follow Him. I love to share that same theme with others, no matter their gender or age.

What Others Are Saying

Making It Real will engage you and take you on a faith-building and life-changing journey,leading you daily to a powerful one-on-one encounter with God. This book connects this generation with a message that is relevant, inspiring and definitely needed.

~ Beau Herbert, President Youthfire.com

About the Author

T. Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is the author of five books and over 600 articles and columns. She is a contributing writer to Today’s Christian Woman, cbn.com, and Enrichment Journal. Suzie is a youth culture and parenting columnist, and a community mentor in The Woman of Vision program. Her books include The Mom I Want to Be, The Woman I Am Becoming: Embracing the Chase for Identity, Faith, and Destiny and Making it Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway? Suzie is a sought-after inspirational speaker who ministers internationally to groups of all sizes. She has been featSuzie Ellerured on hundreds of radio and TV programs. Suzie and her husband have three children and make their home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. For more information, visit http://www.daretobelieve.org/

The Contest

1. During this blog tour, any reader who responds to Twila Belk at iamstraightway@aol.com with the name of a church or organization that is interested in having Suzie in as a guest speaker, will receive all three of Suzie’s books (up to 10 sets will be given away on a first come first serve basis).

2. If any of your readers contact Twila regarding a Bible study group or book club wanting to use Suzie’s materials, their groups will receive conference calls from Suzie to kick off or conclude their studies.

3. All readers who post a comment regarding Suzie’s books will be placed in a grand prize drawing on August 2, 2008,  for a delightful gift basket!


You say you want a REBELUTION? Win a copy of DO HARD THINGS.

If you’re the parent of teenager, kidult, or adultescent, BUY this book. Buy several copies. Hand them out to anyone breathing who knows a teen, kidult, and/or adultescent. 

I’ve taught high school for over twenty years. This is, without a doubt, one of the single most important books I could place in the hands of every teen who passes through the doors of my classroom. In fact, money and public school notwithstanding, I would. This book is that powerful.

 This review is longer than most of those posted here.. Actually, it’s shorter than I’d want it to be, but I found myself wanting to duplicate everything on their site.

I encourage you, no–I URGE you–visit their blog. Scroll through their topics on the sidebar, issues like Modern Day chivalry, The Myth of Adolescence, Brothers & Sisters, Teens and Technology, The Modesty Survey. Click on the links. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll line up the family and the pets to do the wave. 

Enjoy.

BUY THE BOOK.

REVIEW FROM TORI L., A STUDENT IN MY ENGLISH II HONORS CLASS:

I didn’t ask for extra reading material; it was given to me when my teacher Mrs. Allan handed me the book. I was skeptical. I asked myself the question, “Why me and no one else?” I didn’t want to completely ignore my teacher’s wishes to read the book, so I skimmed the first few pages. Rebelutionary, a word that grasped my attention every time my eyes rolled over it. Rebelutionary is a word created by the authors of Do Hard Things. It’s a revolution they started for teens to rebels against laziness. This book was written not just to share two teen brothers’ experiences with a revolution they started, but also to motivate teens to join them. I won’t reveal every aspect of the book because it’s your treasure to find. I will tell you, however, it’s a treasure worth missing one or two episodes of American Idol to find. I encourage everyone to read Do Hard Things. It will change your outlook on teenage years.

 Alex and Brett Harris

The next generation stands on the brink of a “rebelution.”

With over 16 million hits to their website TheRebelution.com, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.

Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

The next generation stands on the brink of a “rebelution.”

With over 16 million hits to their website TheRebelution.com, Alex and Brett Harris are leading the charge in a growing movement of Christian young people who are rebelling against the low expectations of their culture by choosing to “do hard things” for the glory of God.

Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life and map a clear trajectory for long-term fulfillment and eternal impact.

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of revolution already in progress challenges the next generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

ALEX AND BRETT HARRIS founded TheRebelution.com in August 2005 and today, at age 19, are among the most widely read teen writers on the Web. The twins are frequent contributors to Focus on the Family’s webzine Boundless, serve as the main speakers for The Rebelution Tour conferences, and have been featured nationally on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and The New York Times, as well as in publications like WORLD magazine, Breakaway, and Ignite Your Faith. Their first book, Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations, will be released on April 15, 2008, by Multnomah Books.

Sons of homeschool pioneers Gregg and Sono Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Alex and Brett have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, basketball, and soccer. And food. They like food.

When they’re not traveling around doing conferences, Alex and Brett live with their parents and three younger siblings near Portland, Oregon, where they attend Household of Faith Community Church. They plan to enter college together in the fall of 2008 — and continue to write, speak, and blog.

CHAPTER ONE: EXCERPT

A Different Kind of Teen Book

Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last.

Well, we do.

This is a different kind of teen book. Check online or walk through your local bookstore. You’ll find plenty of books written by fortysomethings who, like, totally understand what it’s like being a teenager. You’ll find a lot of cheap, throwaway books for teens, because young people today aren’t supposed to care much about books, or see any reason to keep them around. And you’ll find a wide selection of books where you never have to read anything twice–because it’s been dumbed down. Like, just for you.

What you’re holding in your hands right now is a challenging, hardcover book for teens by two teens who believe our generation is ready for a change. Ready for something that doesn’t promise a whole new life if you’ll just buy the right pair of jeans or use the right kind of deodorant. We believe our generation is ready to rethink what teens are capable of doing and becoming. And we’ve noticed that once wrong ideas are debunked and cleared away, our generation is quick to choose a better way, even if it’s also more difficult.

We’re nineteen-year-old twin brothers, born and raised in Oregon, taught at home by our parents, and striving to follow Christ as best we can. We’ve made more than our share of mistakes. And although we don’t think “average teenagers” exist, there is nothing all that extraordinary about us personally.

Still, we’ve had some extraordinary experiences. At age sixteen we interned at the Supreme Court of Alabama. At seventeen, we served as grassroots directors for four statewide political campaigns. At eighteen, we authored the most popular Christian teen blog on the web. We’ve been able to speak to thousands of teens and their parents at conferences in the United States and internationally, and to reach millions online. But if our teen years have been different than most, it’s not because we are somehow better than other teens, but because we’ve been motivated by a simple but very big idea. It’s an idea you’re going to encounter for yourself in the pages ahead.

We’ve seen this idea transform “average” teenagers into world-changers able to accomplish incredible things. And they started by simply being willing to break the mold of what society thinks teens are capable of.

So even though the story starts with us, this book is really not about us, and we would never want it to be. It’s about something God is doing in the hearts and minds of our generation. It’s about an idea. It’s about rebelling against low expectations. It’s about a movement that is changing the attitudes and actions of teens around the world. And we want you to be part of it.

This book invites you to explore some radical questions:

  • Is it possible that even though teens today have more freedom than any other generation in history, we’re actually missing out on some of the best years of our lives?
  • Is it possible that what our culture says about the purpose and potential of the teen years is a lie, and that we are its victims?
  • Is it possible that our teen years give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for huge accomplishments–as individuals and as a generation?
  • And finally, what would our lives look like if we set out on a different path entirely–a path that required more effort but promised a lot more reward?

We describe that alternative path with three simple words: “do hard things.”

Read the rest HERE.

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