The Blog

IA2_I am Second RUN2014_IMG_0016¡La carrera de Yo Soy Segundo está en marcha! Ya sea que seas un corredor profesional o estes empezando, la carrera de Yo Soy Segundo tiene espacio para todos, para que terminen de Segundo.Puedes correr 5k, 10km, caminar o trotar la Fun Run (carrera divertida), o venir a animar a los otros. ¿Tienes hijos?¿Amigos? Haz un equipo. Todos deberían ver la opción de Correr en cualquier lugar/ Correr cuando sea.

Guarda las fechas en tu calendario!

Franklin, TN: 12 de Setiembre, 2015

San Antonio, TX: 19 de Setiembre, 2015

Kansas City, MO: 24 de Octubre, 2015

Plano, TX (Dallas): 7 de Noviembre, 2015

Birmingham, AL: Primavera del  2016

Evansville, IN: Primavera del 2016

Orange County, CA: Primavera del  2016

Ft. Worth, TX: Primavera del  2016

Para más información.

Home-WhiteBG-Ryan-Ries-ESPCuando comencé con The Whosoevers con Sonny Sandoval, la visión para el movimiento era de alcanzar a las personas y presentarles a Jesús. El nombre de Whosoevers fue inspirado en Juan 3:16 y está basado en ir por el mundo alentando a otros.

Aquí hay 3 formas en que alcanzamos a personas y puedes hacer los mismo en tu comunidad local:

1) Encuentra tu pasión y síguela.

Si te gusta la música, enséñale a niños de la música. Si te gusta el arte, haz una recolecta de fondos para caridad vendiendo tu arte. A mí me gusta hablar y conversar con niños que están pasando por situaciones con las que me puedo relacionar. Me siento como en casa en centros de rehabilitación porque básicamente casi estuve en uno y alrededor de muchas personas que tenían problemas de adicción. Es impresionante ver a Dios cambiar corazones en lo roto.

2) Conectarse con otros.

Identifica organizaciones en tu comunidad como orfanatos locales, centros de rehabilitación, centros para adultos mayores, o recolecta dinero para una organización sin fines de lucro que quieras apoyar. Hacer voluntariado te permite conectarte con otros y entrar al mundo real y ver cómo va. También, incluye a tu familia. Yo llevo a mis sobrinas y sobrino a los eventos porque ellos aprenden viendo.

3) Tal y como nuestro andar con Dios, la Consistencia es la clave.

Ser voluntario te da propósito. Nuestra misión es fortalecer a la comunidad a través de las mismas personas, y los lugares que hacemos voluntariado dependen de  que seamos consistentes. Esto trae confianza y al final del día, ayudar a otros es un regalo.

The Whosoevers está creado para construir comunidades locales y hablar del propósito en las vidas alrededor del mundo. Siempre estamos aquí para ayudarte a conectarte con alguna iglesia u organización si has tenido problemas en encontrar dónde ser voluntario. Visita nuestro sitio www.thewhosoevers.com

Con cariño,

Ryan Ries,

Co fundador de The Whosoevers

 

IA2_I am Second RUN2014_IMG_0016

The I am Second Run is on the move! Whether you are a lifelong runner or beginner, the I am Second run has a spot for everyone to finish Second. Run in a 5K, 10K, walk or jog the Fun Run, or come and cheer others on. Got kids? Friends? Form a team. Everyone else should  check out the Run Anywhere/ Run Anytime option.

 

Get your calendar and save the dates!

Franklin, TN: September 12, 2015

San Antonio, TX: September 19, 2015

Kansas City, MO: October 24, 2015

Plano, TX (Dallas): November 7, 2015

Birmingham, AL: Spring 2016

Evansville, IN: Spring 2016

Orange County, CA: Spring 2016

Ft. Worth, TX: Spring 2016

For more information, visit here.

Home-WhiteBG-Ryan-Ries-ESPWhen I started The Whosoevers with Sonny Sandoval the vision for the movement was to reach out to people and introduce them to Jesus. The Whosoevers name was inspired by John 3:16 and is based on going out into the world and encouraging others.

Here are 3 ways we reach out and you can do the same in your local communities:

1) Find your passion and follow it.  

If you like music teach kids music. If you like art raise money for a charity by selling your art. I like to speak and talk with kids that are going through stuff that I can relate to. I feel at home in rehab centers because I was basically in one and around a lot of people that had addiction issues. It’s rad to see God change hearts in the broken.

2) Connecting With Others

Identify organizations in your community like local homeless shelters, rehab facilities, community & senior centers, or raise money for a non-profit you want to support. Volunteering allows you to connect with people and get in the real world and see what’s up. Also, include your family. I bring my nieces and nephew to events because they learn by watching.

3) Just like our walk with God, Consistency Is the Key.

Volunteering gives you purpose. Our mission is to strengthen communities through people, and the places we volunteer at depend on us to be consistent. This builds trust and at the end of the day helping people is a gift.

The Whosoevers is dedicated to building local communities and speaking purpose into lives around the world. We’re always here to help plug you into a church or organization if you’re having trouble finding opportunities to volunteer. Check us out at www.thewhosoevers.com

Much Love, Ryan Ries

Co-founder of The Whosoevers

Recientemente, me senté en un confortable sillón con mi café favorito en la mano y con un equipo de trabajo. Trabajamos en un ejercicio que trata de sugerir adjetivos que mejor describan a los adolescentes en el 2015. Como grupo, surgieron palabras como “superficial”, “piensan en sí mismos”, “desentendido”.

Lo entendí, muchos dijeron lo mismo de mi generación y de mí. Seamos honestos. Todo lo que se tiene que hacer es navegar a través de Instagram y darse cuenta que esta generación no solamente ha inventado el “Selfie”, también ha perfeccionado el arte de eso. El término “Selfie” puede apoyar las percepciones generales y dirigirnos a la suposición de lo que trata esa generación.

Eschenbach dijo, “En la juventud aprendemos, en la adultez entendemos”. He trabajado con adolescentes desde hace más de una década. La sociedad muchas veces marca a esa generación como la del “Selfie”. Sin embargo, he aprendido que hay mucho más debajo de la superficie que miran nuestros ojos. Hay ciertas cosas clave que podemos aprender de los adolescentes que podrían inspirar al mundo a #Vivir Segundo.

5 Cosas por aprender de los adolescentes

1. Está bien no estar bien.

Esta generación, más que otras anteriores, celebra y  motiva a admitir el “no estoy bien”. Muchas personas sienten esta presión para presentarnos en una manera que dice “yo estoy bien”. La verdad es que todos tenemos “asuntos”. Los adolescentes aceptan esta realidad.

2. La justicia importa.

Una vez Kurt Cobain dijo, “el deber de la juventud es desafiar la corrupción”. Los adolescentes tienen una gran sensibilidad por la injusticia. Ya sea por el bullying, racismo, sexismo, pobreza o por tráfico de sexo,  esta generación no se sacude la cabeza con estos retos. Al contrario, ellos alzan su voz, creatividad y esfuerzo para hacerle frente a las injusticias en su mundo.

3. El valor de la comunidad

Los adolescentes valoran conocer a otros y ser conocidos. Las relaciones importan. Los adolescentes ven la comunión como algo necesario y lo cultivan intencionalmente, tanto en persona como por internet.

4. Celebra la singularidad

Nuestra sociedad crea etiquetas y categorías a prácticamente todo. Esta generación tiene cierto disgusto por las etiquetas y celebra la singularidad de cada uno. Su manera de ser enseña a otros que nuestro trabajo no es rechazar o juzgar a quienes están en nuestro alrededor, sino amar a los demás por cómo son.

5. Pensamiento global

La definición de un movimiento es “un grupo de personas trabajando juntas para promover su ideal político, social o ideas artísticas”. Los movimientos están catalizados para cambiar. Mientras los adolescentes celebran la individualidad, tienen un deseo para ser parte de algo más grande.

Una mirada más allá de los “selfies”, revela características y valores en los adolescentes que pueden inspirar a otros a #VivirSegundo

Por David Martin

David Martin es el Director de Estudiantes de I Am Second (Yo Soy Segundo). Para aprender más de este movimiento nacional de estudiantes, dale click aquí.

 

11IA2 LIVE_Evansville_2015_1234_17Evansville, IN fue una vez calificada de  #8 como la ciudad más miserable en América. Sin embargo, a través del movimiento de Yo Soy Segundo, los ciudadanos ahora brillan con esperanza. Aproximadamente más de 600 individuos del triestatal asistieron a Yo Soy Segundo Live en Evansville el 26 de Febrero.

Presentado por el autor bestseller del New York Times Eric Metaxas, Yo Soy Segundo Live también con la participación de concursante de American Idol Danny Gokey presentándose y hablando acerca de su experiencia personal con la transformación de la ciudad de Nashville a través de su fundación sin ánimo de lucro, Sophia’s Heart. Los músicos locales, Gina Moore y After Hours llevaron sus talentos a la velada junto con la personalidad de televisión Randy Moore y el artista de hip hop, Sean Little.

Un panel de discusión de cuatro líderes locales de Evansville moderado por Metaxas mostró el deseo de los ciudadanos de Evansville para unirse y transformar la ciudad. El panel protagonizado por el Director de Community One (Comunidad Uno) Eric Cummings, el Pastor Líder de la Iglesia de la ciudad Jeff Kinkade, el Pastor de la red One Life (Una Vida) Bret Nicholson y el gerente de la YMCA del Sureste de Indiana Derrick Stewart y resultó siendo un llamado para una gran unidad para servir a la ciudad.

El gran punto culminante de la noche fue el nuevo video de Yo Soy Segundo inspirado en Lindsay Schroer, la esposa del Detective de la Policía de Evansville, Nathan Schroer cuyo video fue estrenado por Yo Soy Segundo el año pasado después de su muerte. En su video, Lindsay habla acerca de cómo la comunidad la ha apoyado desde la muerte de su esposo.

La comunidad de Evansville dejó el evento alentando que la ciudad #8 más miserable de la nación ya no lo era más. Unos pocos comentarios de los invitados coronando la noche:

“¡Magnífico trabajo ésta noche! ¡Que noche tan fabulosa para la unión de la ciudad!”

“… realmente fue un regalo estar ahí. ¡Fue una velada tan profesional y divertida!”

“Fue mi primer vistazo a lo que es Yo Soy Segundo y realmente tiene un mensaje poderoso que merece apoyo”

“El evento de Yo Soy Segundo Live me inspira de maneras que no puedo describir adecuadamente”

Recently, I sat in a comfortable, overstuffed chair with my favorite Starbucks in hand with a brainstorm group. We worked on an exercise to come up with some adjectives that best describe teens in 2015. As a group, words like “shallow,” “self-absorbed,” and “disengaged” popped up.

I get it. Many said the same thing about my generation and me. Let’s be honest.  All one has to do is scroll through an Instagram feed and see that this generation has not only invented the “Selfie” but has also perfected the art of it.  The term “Selfie” alone could support the general perceptions and lead one to surmise what this generation is all about.

Eschenbach said, “In youth we learn; in age we understand.” I’ve worked with teens for over a decade. Society often times write off teens as the “Selfie” generation. However, I’ve learned that there’s more under the surface than meets the eye. There are some key things to learn from teens that could inspire the world to #LiveSecond.

5 Things To Learn From Teens

1. It’s O.K. To Not Be O.K.

This generation, more than previous ones in recent history, celebrates and encourages peers to admit, “I’m not O.K.” Many feel this pressure to present ourselves in a way that says, “I am O.K.” Truth is everyone has “issues.” Teens embrace this reality.

2. Justice Matters

Kurt Cobain once said, “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption.” Teens have a high sensitivity to injustice.  Whether it be bullying, racism, sexism, poverty or sex trafficking, this generation doesn’t shake its head at these challenges. Instead they leverage their voice, creativity, and efforts to address injustices in their world.

3. Value Community

Teens value knowing others and being known. Relationships matter. Teens see community as a necessity and cultivate it with intentionality, both in person and online.

4. Celebrate Uniqueness

Our society creates labels and categories for almost anything.  This generation has a strong distaste for labels and celebrates the uniqueness of an individual.  Their approach teaches others that our job isn’t to dismiss or judge those around us, but to love others for who they are.

5. Globally Minded

The definition of a movement is “a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social or artistic ideas.”  Movements are catalysts for change. While teens celebrate individuality, they have the desire to be a part of something bigger.

A look beyond the “selfies,” reveals characteristics and values in teens that inspire others to #Live Second.

By David Martin

David Martin serves as the Director of I am Second Students. To learn more about this national student movement, click here.

 

 

13Mar, 2015

11IA2 LIVE_Evansville_2015_1234_17Evansville, IN was once noted as #8 most miserable city in America. But through the I am Second movement, the citizens now gleen with hope. Underscoring more than 600 individuals from the Tri-State attended I am Second Live in Evansville on February 26.

Hosted by New York Times bestselling author Eric Metaxas, I am Second Live  also featured American Idol alum Danny Gokey performing and speaking about his personal experience with city transformation in Nashville through his non-profit, Sophia’s Heart. Local musicians Gina Moore and After Hours lent their talents to the evening along with television personality Randy Moore and hip-hop artist, Sean Little.

A panel discussion of four local leaders from Evansville moderated by Metaxas showcased a desire for citizens of Evansville to come together and transform the city. The panel featured Community One Executive Director Eric Cummings, City Church Lead Pastor Jeff Kinkade, One Life Network Lead Pastor Bret Nicholson and YMCA of Southwestern Indiana CEO Derrick Stewart and resulted in a call for greater unity in serving the city.

A big highlight of the night was a new I am Second-inspired film featuring Lindsay Schroer, the wife of the late Evansville Police Detective Nathan Schroer whose film was released by I am Second last year after his death.  In her film Lindsay talked about how the community has embraced her since her husband’s death.

The community of Evansville left the event encouraged that America’s #8 most miserable city in the nation was no more. A few comments from the guests topped off the night:

“Great job tonight! What a great night for  unity in the city!”

“… it was really a treat to be there.  It was such a professional and fun evening!”

“It was my first real exposure to what I am Second is about and it certainly has a powerful message that deserves support.”

“The I am Second Live event inspired me in ways I cannot adequately describe.”

 

06Mar, 2015

¿Están sus estantes poniéndose un poco polvorientos? Ya sea que te encanten los libros o no, no te vas a querer perder estas lecturas inspiracionales. Segundos de los videos de Yo Soy Segundo tienen nuevos libros que no solamente te van a empujar y retar, también te dejarán confortado y alentado mientras buscas una vida de Segundo.

1. Milagros por Eric Metaxas.

¿Realmente los milagro existen? El autor Best Seller según el New York Times, Eric Metaxas, se inmersiona en una minuciosa exploración del fenómeno de los milagros. Aprenda sobre la relación entre la fé y las obras, mientras es desarrollado por medio de milagros bien documentados. ¿Escéptico? ¿Creyente? Este libro es una buena lectura para ti. Compra su libro aquí.

2. Caída: Fuera de la Industria del Sexo y En los brazos del Salvador por Annie Lobert.

En su video de Yo Soy Segundo Annie Lobert comparte acerca de su vida en la industria del sexo. A través de las páginas de su nuevo libro, Annie comparte el abismo de sus luchas las cuales la inspiraron a su organización, Hookers for Jesus. En este libro el lector descubrirá lo profundo del amor que se ofrece por medio de una relación con Jesús. Compra su libro aquí.

3. Por las razones correctas: El Soltero Favorito de América en Fe, Amor, Matrimonio, y ¿Por qué los Chicos Buenos Terminan Primeros? por Sean Lowe

¿Cuáles son las razones correctas? ¿Los “chicos buenos” siempre terminan primero? ¿Cómo tienes que manejar la vida de citas? Sean Lowe comparte su experiencia personal en el show de televisión, The Bachelor, y lo que ha descubierto a través de su vida de citas. Compra su libro aquí.

4. Dios, Armas, Valor y Dinero Fácil por Mike Huckabee

El líder político, Mike Huckabee discute el cambio drástico en la cultura Americana que vemos en la actualidad. Únete a la discusión de los derechos de armas, matrimonio homosexual, patriotismo, racismo y división de clases. Compra su libro aquí.

5. Un Poco Vulnerable: En Hollywood, Dios, Sobriedad y Política por Janine Turner

Janine Turner abra la puerta e invita al lector adentro en un viaje vulnerable y personal a través de su vida como actriz. Escucha de Janine Turner mientras comparte su aventura por medio del corazón roto, alcoholismo y muerte de miembros de la familia. Compra su libro aquí.

6. Inofendible: Como un cambio puede hacer toda una vida mejor por Brant Hansen

Brant Hansen publica su nuevo libro, Inofendible. Él reta a sus lectores con la cruda verdad: no tenemos derecho a quedarnos enojados. Mientras esto puede sonar un poco severo, Brant revela la libertad de este estilo de vida a través de su estilo conversacional y humorístico. Compra su nuevo libro aquí.

7. ¿Sabes dónde vas a ir?: la historia de un hombre del 11 de septiembre y la gracia de Jesucristo por Sujo John

Sujo John estuvo en pánico mientras esperaba por horas para descubrir el paradero de su esposa. La implosión que volteó las dos torres nubló sus pensamientos. Ahora, Sujo John comparte su historia entera en detalle, entretanto reta al lector a acercarse a la vida. Compra su libro aquí.

8. Tu corazón hermoso: 31 reflecciones sobre el amor, la fe, la amistad y de convertirse en una chica que brilla por Lauren Scruggs

Periodista de moda, Lauren Scruggs comparte su viaje de cómo luce el amor auténtico. Un accidente horrible que resultó en la pérdida de una mano y un ojo llevó a Lauren a un viaje para descubrir la belleza. Ella escribe este libro basado en los descubrimientos hechos durante sus momentos oscuros. Este libro ilumina amor y fe en el centro de batallas de una joven adolescente. Compra su libro aquí.

06Mar, 2015

Are your bookshelves getting a little dusty? Whether you are a book nerd or not, you don’t want to miss out on these inspirational reads. Seconds from the I am Second films have new books that will not only stretch and challenge you, but leave you comforted and encouraged as you pursue a life of Second.

1. Miracles by Eric Metaxas

Do miracles really happen? New York Times Best Selling Author, Eric Metaxas dives into a thorough exploration of the phenomenon of miracles. Learn about the relationship between faith and works as it plays out in well-documented miracles. Skeptical? Believer? This book is a good read for you. Buy his book here.

2. Fallen: Out of the Sex Industry & Into the Arms of the Savior by Annie Lobert

In her I am Second film Annie Lobert shared her story of life in the sex industry. Throughout the pages of her new book, Annie shares the pit of these struggles which has inspired her organization, Hookers for Jesus. In this book the reader will discover the depths of the love offered through a relationship with Jesus. Buy her book here.

3. For the Right Reasons: America’s Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage, and Why Nice Guys Finish First  by Sean Lowe

What are the right reasons? Do “nice guys” always finish first? How do you navigate the dating life? Sean Lowe shares his personal experiences on the TV Show, The Bachelor, and what he has discovered through his dating experience. Buy his book here.

4. God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy by Mike Huckabee

Political leader, Mike Huckabee discusses the drastic shift in American culture we see taking place today. Join the discussion on gun rights, gay marriage, patriotism, racism, and divisions of class. Buy his book here.

5. A Little Bit Vulnerable: On Hollywood, God, Sobriety, & Politics by Janine Turner

Janine Turner opens the door and invites the reader in on a vulnerable and personal journey through her life as an actress. Hear from Janine Turner as she shares her adventure through heartbreak, alcoholism, and death of family members.  Buy her book here.

6. Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better by Brant Hansen

Brant Hansen has released his new book, Unoffendable. He challenges his reader with the ugly truth: we’re not entitled to stay angry. While this may sound a bit harsh, Brant reveals the freedom of this lifestyle through his conversational and humorous style. Buy his book here.

7. Do You Know Where You Are Going?: One Man’s Story of September 11 and the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ by Sujo John

Sujo John shook in panic as he waited for hours to discover his wife’s whereabouts. The tumbling implosion of the two towers fogged up his thoughts. Now, Sujo John shares his entire life story in detail, while challenging the reader’s approach to life. Buy his book here.

8. Your Beautiful Heart: 31 Reflections on Love, Faith, Friendship, and Becoming a Girl Who Shines by Lauren Scruggs

Fashion journalist, Lauren Scruggs shares her journey of what authentic love looks like. A horrific accident resulting in the loss of a hand and eye lead Lauren on a journey to discover for beauty. She writes this book based on the discoveries made during her darkest moments. This book shines love and faith into core of  teen girl struggles. Buy her book here.

Home-WhiteBG-Annie-Lobert- PORTClearly, Fifty Shades’ mastermind E.L. James is not an expert on dominance and submission. Yet her books and now the movie based on the books glamorize that lifestyle to millions across the globe.

I first encountered the BDSM lifestyle when I received a request from my escort agency to fill a call for a dominatrix role. The phone girl didn’t have anyone to fill this request and asked if I would do it.

At this point in my life, I had been sex trafficked, beaten profusely by my pimp, and finally left him for good. My pimp would beat me and then force me to have sex with him. I never enjoyed the pain—rather I was completely freaked out, afraid, emotionally and physically hurt. This behavior never turned me on; I was completely disgusted by it.

I was pretty bitter from the abuse that I experienced from my sex trafficker and in revenge mode on men. Greedy and hungry to finally be in control–I was curious and wanted to see what this BDSM lifestyle was all about, so I decided to take the call and try my hand at being the dominant. I demanded money and did what was expected of me, channeling “Fallen,” my sex industry name and call girl persona.

What a twist of fate and irony—the severely abused now becoming an abuser and getting paid to do it.

Many of my clients were obsessed with me and continued to call, because in their minds, a fantasy love/relationship had started. As this progressed, I got to know many of them and asked why they enjoyed BDSM. The answers varied: as “a way to let off steam”and “to let go of control”

Some described mother-to-son abusive relationships, physical and sexual relationships with other men, and a handful of important CEOs explained the need to surrender the control they had over others running their stressful companies.

With many of my clients, the more they practiced BDSM, the more intensity they wanted. And like a drug, they were never satisfied—they always wanted a more severe beating. Once they tried one thing, they wanted to explore another. That’s where it got really scary for me. What if they end up getting really hurt?

In all of my experience over the years with these men, one thing stands true: underlying their desire to be dominated was a deep-seated hunger and need for love. Many times their sexual desires stemmed from childhood abuse. They wanted to be cared for, watched for, disciplined, and admired. Just like a child.

I believe these men were looking for love through BDSM, and missing the mark—and this is why it never satisfied. Real Love doesn’t dominate. Love doesn’t push. Love’s intent isn’t to create pain. Love’s intent is to create a relationship of peace, safety and security, emotionally and relationally when it comes to intimacy. We know from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 that:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

When you cross the line and hurt someone emotionally and physically, it throws unknowns into the picture: a loss of security, a loss of trust, a loss of honor, a loss of commitment. Broken vows. If you are willing to hurt me physically and emotionally, what else are you willing to do to me? And if I ask you to stop—will you?

BDSM blurs these lines of love. It turns them upside down, and it teaches what we thought was love to become boring and old fashioned, while what we once thought was abuse is sold off as exciting and erotic. These thought processes in the wrong hands can lead us down treacherous roads of accepting abuse as the norm. Normalizing abuse is not the answer to our pain, and it eventually leads to a darker road of more severe abuses.

Spoiler alert: In Fifty Shades Of Grey, Christian Grey was a scared and lonely child who witnessed the murder of his sex-trafficked mother at the hands of her pimp. At 15, he was sexually abused by a woman who taught him the BDSM lifestyle, redirecting his drinking habits and anger issues from his childhood. He eventually becomes a dominant, finds a female who he dominates, humiliates, and by the end of the three books, he marries her, has children with, and together they live happily ever after.

But the roots of his childhood abuse are not dealt with; instead they are excused as the reason for his dominance.

Can someone find true love and happiness while participating in this lifestyle? According to E.L. James they can. But as she’s admitted, she is no BDSM expert, and this story was written as fiction, not truth.

Realistically—are there happy endings? From my personal experience, no. Should you read the books and go and see the movie? Will it enrich your life if you do?

I am not here to tell you what to do, only to give you the truth that I experienced and to remind you that while Fifty Shades glamorizes BDSM this story is 100% fiction. Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t enrich my life; it only revealed a very broken society desperate for answers and relief from pain deep inside their souls.

By Annie Lobert

Annie Lobert is a former high-class escort, a sex trafficking survivor, wife to Oz Fox of Stryper, and the author of Fallen (February 2015).

To watch her I am Second film, click here.

Home-WhiteBG-Annie-Lobert- PORTClaramente, el E.L. James el cerebro de Cincuenta Sombras no es una experta en dominación y sumisión. Sin embargo, sus libros y ahora la película basada en ellos, embellece ese estilo de vida para millones de personas a través del mundo.

Yo primero me encontré con el estilo de vida BDSM cuando recibí una solicitud de mi agencia de acompañantes para completar un llamado por un rol de dominantrix. La niña del teléfono no tenía a nadie para que supliera esta petición y preguntó si yo lo podía hacer.

En este punto de mi vida, yo había sido traficada por sexo,  golpeada duramente por mi proxeneta y finalmente lo dejé para bien. Mi proxeneta podía golpearme y me obligaba a tener relaciones sexuales con él. Nunca disfruté el dolor, estaba con miedo, asustada, emocionalmente y físicamente herida. Este comportamiento nunca me excitó,  más bien me disgustaba por completo.

Estaba muy amargada por el abuso que experimenté por mi traficante de sexo y en modo de venganza hacia los hombres. Codiciosa y hambrienta por finalmente estar en control, estaba curiosa por saber de qué trataba este estilo de vida BDSM, por lo que decidí tomar la llamada y tratar de ser la dominante. Yo exigí dinero e hice todo lo que esperaban de mí, canalizando “Fallen”, el nombre de la industria de sexo y el nombre de la muchacha.

¡Que giro del destino e ironía!, la severamente abusada ahora se convierte en abusadora y obteniendo dinero por eso.

Muchos de mis clientes estaban obsesionados conmigo y continuaban llamando, porque en sus mentes, una relación amorosa de fantasía había comenzado. Mientras esto continuaba, pude conocer a muchos de ellos y les pregunté por qué disfrutaban el BDSM. Las respuestas fueron variadas: “es una manera de desahogarse” y “para dejar de estar en control”

Algunos describieron una relación de abuso madre a hijo, relaciones físicas y sexuales con otros hombres, y una gran cantidad de gerentes importantes explicaron la necesidad de rendir el control que tienen sobre otros al manejar sus compañías estresantes.

Con muchos de mis clientes, mientras ellos practicaban más BDSM, querían mayor intensidad. Y como una droga, nunca estaban satisfechos, ellos siempre querían un golpe más severo. Una vez que intentaban algo, querían explorar otra cosa. Ahí es donde empecé a tener miedo. ¿Qué tal si ellos terminaban muy lastimados?

En toda la experiencia a través de los años con estos hombres, una cosa sigue siendo verdadera: satisfacer su deseo por ser dominados era un arraigo profundo de hambre y necesidad de amor. Muchas veces sus deseos sexuales se debieron al ser abusados de niños. Querían ser cuidados, vigilados, disciplinados y admirados. Como un niño.

Yo creo que estos hombres estaban buscando amor por medio del BDSM, y errando en el blanco, es por esto que nunca se satisfacían. El verdadero amor no domina. El amor no presiona. La intención del amor no es crear dolor. La intención del amor es crear una relación de paz y seguridad, emocionalmente y relacionalmente cuando se trata de intimidad. Sabemos de 1 Corintios 13:4-7 que:

“El amor es paciente, es bondadoso. El amor no es envidioso ni jactancioso ni orgulloso. No se comporta con rudeza, no es egoísta, no se enoja fácilmente, no guarda rencor. El amor no se deleita en la maldad sino que se regocija con la verdad. Todo lo disculpa, todo lo cree, todo lo espera, todo lo soporta.”

Cuando cruzas la línea y lastimas a alguien emocional y físicamente, arroja incógnitas al panorama: pérdida de seguridad, pérdida de confianza, pérdida de honor, pérdida de compromiso. Votos rotos. Si estás dispuesto a lastimarme físicamente y emocionalmente, ¿qué más estás dispuesto a hacerme? Si te pido que pares, ¿lo harías?

El BDSM borra estas líneas de amor. Las pone al revés y enseña que lo que nosotros pensábamos que era amor se convierte aburrido y está pasado de moda, mientras que lo que una vez pensábamos que era abuso es vendido como excitante y erótico. Estos procesos de enseñar, estando en las  manos equivocadas nos guían a caminos traicioneros aceptando el abuso como si fuera normal. Normalizando que el abuso no es la respuesta de nuestro dolor, y eventualmente nos guía a caminos oscuros de abuso más severo.

Alerta Spoiler: En Cincuenta Sombras de Grey, Christian Grey era un niño asustado y solo que presenció el asesinato de su madre traficada por sexo en manos de su proxeneta. A los 15 años, él fue abusado sexualmente por la mujer que le enseñó el estilo de vida de BDSM, redireccionando sus hábitos de bebida y problemas de enojo de su niñez. Eventualmente, él se convirtió en dominante, encuentra a una mujer que dominar, humillar, y al final de los tres libros, se casa con ella, tienen un hijo, y viven juntos un final feliz.

Pero las raíces de su abuso de niño no fueron tratadas, al contrario, son la excusa por la razón que él es dominante.

¿Puede alguien encontrar el verdadero amor y la felicidad practicando este estilo de vida? Según E.L. James sí pueden. Pero como ella ha admitido, no es una experta en BDSM, y esta historia fue escrita como ficción, no verdad.

En realidad, ¿hay finales felices? Por experiencia propia, no. ¿Deberías leer los libro e ir a ver la película? ¿Va a enriquecer tu vida si vas?

No estoy aquí para decirte qué hacer, sólo para darte la verdad que he experimentado y recordarte que mientras Cincuenta Sombras embellece el BDSM esta historia es 100% ficción. Cincuenta Sombras de Grey no enriqueció mi vida, sólo reveló una sociedad rota y desesperada por respuestas y alivio del dolor que está dentro, en lo profundo de sus almas.

Por Annie Lobert

Annie Lobert es una ex acompañante de clase alta, una sobreviviente del tráfico de sexo, esposa de Oz Fox de Stryper, y autora de Fallen (Febrero 2015)

 

¿Cuáles películas has estado viendo este mes? ¿Tienes un email? ¿La Propuesta? ¿Mi gran boda griega? ¿La princesa prometida? ¿Qué tal ver historias de amor reales? Una historia de amor con altos y bajos.  Divorcio. Rechazo. Primer beso. Argumentos maritales. ¿De veras el amor lo vale?

5. Moriah Peters

E3_I am Second_Moriah Peters_ST_IMG_0138En su video de Yo Soy Segundo, Moriah Peters cuenta una historia convincente de su negación por aceptar las demandas culturales. Ella confiadamente se determina a guardar su primer beso para el matrimonio. Inspírate por cómo Moriah Peters responde a la tensión entre las expectativas de Ídolos Americanos y las expectativas de su Dios. Mira su historia aquí.

 

 

 

4. Sean Lowe

20131218-E3_I am Second_Sean Lowe_ST_IMG_1015Con drama y una naturaleza impactante de un reality show, Sean Lowe se determina a sobrepasar las expectativas. En esta impactante historia, el ex soltero, Sean Lowe comparte su determinación por encontrar no sólo a una mujer hermosa, sino el verdadero amor. Mira su historia aquí.

 

 

 

3. Kay Robertson

E3_i am Second_Kay Robertson_ST_DSC_3351En este video de Yo Soy Segundo, comparte una historia que está relacionada con muchos de los matrimonios de la actualidad. Cuando el te hecha a ti y a tus hijos, ¿es esa la gota que derrama el vaso? Cuando la cultura te dice que presentes el divorcio, Kate Robertson luchó por su matrimonio. Inspírate y alientate por su monumental decisión diaria de amar a su esposo. Mira su historia aquí.

 

 

 

2. Brian Sumner

E3_Iam2nd_BrianSumner_10132009_TC_3817_EditBrian Sumner lucha con la tensión que todos enfrentamos entre la carrera y el matrimonio. ¿A quién le dedicarías tu vida? Brian Sumner comparte su viaje como patinador, patinando por Tony Hawk y su travesía como esposo aprendiendo a amar a su esposa. Mira su historia aquí.

 

 

 

1. Los Scruggs

E3_IAm2nd_TheScruggs_12012008__0095-Edit¿Hay esperanza en redimir un matrimonio después de un romance? Vivimos en un mundo donde el divorcio divide hogares y familias en todo lado. En su video de Yo Soy Segundo, los Scruggs comparten una historia poderosa que lucharon en contra todas las posibilidades. Mira su historia aquí.

 

What films have you been watching this month? You’ve Got Mail? The Proposal? My Big Fat Greek Wedding? The Princess Bride? What about watching some real life love stories? A love story of ups and downs, highs and lows. Divorce. Rejection. First Kiss. Marital Arguments. Is love really worth it?

5. Moriah Peters

E3_I am Second_Moriah Peters_ST_IMG_0138In her I am Second film, Moriah Peter tells a compelling story about her refusal to give into cultural demands. She confidently determines to save her first kiss for marriage.  Be inspired by how Moriah Peters responds to this tension between the expectations of American Idols and the expectations of her God. Watch her story here.

 

 

 

4. Sean Lowe

20131218-E3_I am Second_Sean Lowe_ST_IMG_1015With the drama and shocking nature of a reality TV show, Sean Lowe determines to rise above expectations. In this shocking story, former Bachelor, Sean Lowe, shares his determination to find not just a beautiful woman, but true love. Watch his story here.

 

 

 

3. Kay Robertson

E3_i am Second_Kay Robertson_ST_DSC_3351In this I am Secod film, Kay Robertson shares a story relevant to many of today’s marriages. When he kicks you and the kids out, will that be the last straw? When culture says to file for divorce, Kay Robertson fought for her marriage. Be inspired and encouraged by her monumental and daily decision to love her husband.Watch her story here.

 

 

2. Brian Sumner

E3_Iam2nd_BrianSumner_10132009_TC_3817_EditBrian Sumner deals with the tension we all often face today between career and marriage. Who will you dedicate your life to? Brian Sumner shares his journey as a skateboarder, skating for Tony Hawk and his journey as a husband learning to love his wife. Watch his story here.

 

 

 

1. The Scruggs

E3_IAm2nd_TheScruggs_12012008__0095-EditIs there hope to redeem a marriage after an affair? We living in a world where divorce divides the homes of families all over the country. In their I am Second film, the Scruggs share a powerful story that fought against all odds.  Watch their story here.

El mes del amor aún no ha terminado y nunca es tarde para darle un obsequio a esa persona especial. ¿Quieres darle un regalo que muestre cuánto los ama? Vas a necesitar algo más que chocolates, rosas y un osos de peluche. Consigue el regalo que es acerca del amor que dura.

1. ¿Cuál es tu historia de amor?

love-collection2Desde el inicio. ¿Quieres hablar sobre el amor de tu vida pero no sabes cómo comenzar la conversación? Esta camisa para mujeres es una excelente forma para compartir su historia. Comprala aquí.

 

 

 

2. Luchar por Amor

love-collectionUna pieza puede hacer toda la diferencia. La gente puede preguntarse por qué tienes “amor” y una espada en la misma camisa. No se me ocurre una mejor manera para que puedas hablar sobre el amor por el que luchas. Comprala aquí.

 

 

 

3. Hacer Cosas Pequeñas

IMG_1562Es tiempo de mirar las cosas diferente. ¿Qué tal si este mes del amor consistiera en hacer cosas pequeñas por aquellos que amamos? Compralo aquí.

17Feb, 2015

The month of love isn’t over yet and it’s never too late to get a present for that special person. Want to get a gift that shows how much you love them? You’re going to need something more than just chocolates, roses, and a fluffy teddy bear. Get the gift that’s about the love that lasts.

1. What’s Your Love Story?

love-collection2Take it from the top. Want to talk about the most important love your life, but don’t know how to start your conversation? This tee for ladies is a great way to share your story. Purchase it here.

 

 

 

2. Fight for Love.

love-collectionOne piece can make all the difference. People might wonder why you would have “love” and a sword on the same shirt. Can’t think of a better way to talk about the love you are fighting for. Purchase it here.

 

 

 

3. Do Small Things.

IMG_1562It’s time to look at things differently. What if this month of love was about doing small things for the ones we love? Purchase it here.

imageCuando David Wilson llegó a Nueva York, marcó más que un cambio en el calendario. Marcó dos años de sobriedad.

A los 21 años de edad, David empacó sus maletas y se mudó a Okinawa, Japón para servir como policía militar. Solo meses antes, estaba disfrutando de su casa en Florida con su familia y novia a su lado. Sin embargo, la distancia entre Florida y el aislado Pacífico llevó la relación con su novia al piso, dejándolo en una grave depresión.

“El rompimiento llevó a la bebida, perdiendo el conocimiento los fines de semana y entrando en peleas. El 31 de Diciembre del 2012, tomé tanto que dejé una marca negativa en mis amigos más cercanos. Ese fue mi punto de cambio. Desperté el 1 de Enero del 2013 con una nueva perspectiva”, remarcó David.

Ese día vio un comercial de Yo Soy Segundo en su televisor durante las carreras de NASCAR. Pocos minutos después, David abrió su computadora portátil y comenzó a ver un video después de otro, Joe Gibbs, Jason Witten, Colt McCoy, Darrell Waltrip… y la lista continúa.

“Ellos son unos de mis atletas favoritos y es lindo verlos profesando su fe mientras escucho sus historias.”

Pocos meses después, mientras seguía en la isla, David acompañó a uno de sus compañeros a una sala de tatuajes. Antes de darse cuenta, David estaba recostado a la silla, apretando el puño, y teniendo un bosquejo de “I am Second” (Yo soy Segundo) en su antebrazo. En el conservatorio de la comunidad Japonesa en la que él estaba viviendo, esto era una declaración intrépida.

“Los Japoneses me dijeron que tenían mucho respeto hacia mí porque en su cultura ellos consideraban los tatuajes como una degradación personal. Ellos pensaron que era genial que yo tolerara el dolor por mi Dios”.

Muchas de esas personas se convirtieron en amigos cercanos de David. Incluso luego de regresar a los Estados Unidos, siguen en contacto y su tatuaje continúa siendo una declaración. Cuando la gente nota el tatuaje de “I am Second” (Yo soy Segundo) en su brazo, usualmente preguntan “¿Por qué no puso “I am first (Yo soy primero)?”

“No puedo decir que las conversaciones causan mucho, pero después las personas harán preguntas acerca de la fe y comenzarán a ir a la iglesia conmigo”, compartió David.

Hace sólo dos años, David pasó su Año Nuevo rodeado de botellas vacías en una isla solitaria. Este año, lo pasó con amigos cercanos que presenciaron la transformación de su vida, que siempre será recordada por la tinta en su antebrazo.

 

20100610-E3_Iamsecond_Brady James 64-1La semana pasada, el Segundo Bradie James se encontró registrándose en la Las Vegas Convetion Center. Conferencias  y salones de hoteles no son nada nuevo para el muchacho de 34 años de edad, pero esta experiencia fue única.

Después de que los Dallas Cowboys lo seleccionaron en el 2003, Bradie disfrutó casi una década en la NFL. Sin embargo, en el 2012, su carrera llegó a su fin. Todo por lo que había trabajado ya estaba completo. Ahí es cuando Bradie empezó a buscar el próximo paso de su vida y fue cuando lanzó Premier Electronics. Pero instalar equipo de seguridad y automatización del hogar no es la verdadera pasión de Bradie. Electronics es solamente una excusa para ser un ejemplo para sus clientes y empleados.

“Puedes vender un producto, pero para mí, se trata de construir una relación”, compartió Bradie.

Recientemente, una nueva cosecha de internos llenaron los pasillos de la oficina de Bradie. Un hombre en particular le llamó la atención, no por su trabajo duro sino por su falta de motivación. En vez de dejarlo ir, Bradie buscó una alternativa inesperada.

“Comencé a ver a un muchacho que llegaba tarde y se iba un poco de fiesta, entonces lo comencé dejar y a llevar al trabajo”, comenzó Bradie

Bradie invitó al joven interno para que lo siguiera. Mientras veía a Bradie dirigir reuniones y resolver conflictos, conversaciones espirituales comenzaron a surgir y su relación se profundizó. Cuanto más se hundía el joven en el abuso de sustancias, Bradie se hundía más en su vida.

“Las personas pasan por eso y es algo con lo que deben lidiar. Debes dar las buenas nuevas, de que, sin importar nada, Dios nos ama. Siempre te puedes recuperar.”

Pasaron meses mientras el joven aprendía de Jesús, pero él no fue el único que cambió a través de su amistad. Bradie experimentó una oportunidad para vivir su propósito en la oficina.

“He aprendido a ser dócil. No es una debilidad, sino poder bajo control. Definitivamente eso es a lo que me he adaptado.”declaró Bradie.

Mientras Bradie estaba en la fila para registrarse en la convención de International CES Electronics en Las Vegas, representó más que un negocio. Él representó a un equipo de empleados y clientes que ha aprendido a servir como un ejemplo de Jesús para otros.

Para aprender más del viaje de Bradie viviendo Segundo, da click aquí.

 

image

As David Wilson rang in the New Year, it marked more than a change in the calendar.  It marked two years of sobriety.

At the age of 21, David packed his bags and moved to Okinawa, Japan to serve as a military policeman. Just months earlier, he was enjoying his home in Florida with his family and girlfriend by his side.  But the distance between Florida and the lonely Pacific drove his relationship with his girlfriend into the ground, leaving him in a deep depression.

“The breakup led to drinking, blacking out on weekends, and getting in fights. On December 31, 2012, I drank so much that I left a negative mark on my closest friends. That was my turning point. I woke up on January 1, 2013 with a new perspective,” David remarked.

That next day he recalled an I am Second commercial on his TV screen during the NASCAR races. A few minutes later, David opened up his laptop and began watching one film after another– Joe Gibbs, Jason Witten, Colt McCoy, Darrell Waltrip… and the list went on.

“They are some of my favorite athletes and it’s nice to see them professing their faith as I get to hear their stories.”

A few months later, while still on the island, David accompanied one of his buddies to a tattoo parlor.  Before he knew it, David was leaning back in the chair, squeezing his fist, and getting “I am Second” sketched into his forearm.  In the conservative Japanese community in which he lived, this was a bold statement.

“The Japanese people told me they had a lot of respect for me because tattoos in their culture are seen as a personal degradation.  They thought it was cool that I would tolerate pain for my God.”

Many of those people have now become David’s closest friends.  Even after returning to the United States, they still keep in contact and his tattoo continues to make a statement.  When people notice “I am Second” inked across his arm, they often ask, “Why wouldn’t you get ‘I am first’?”

“I can’t say the conversations caused much, but the people would later ask questions about faith and start going to church with me,” David shared.

Just two years ago, David spent his New Years surrounded by empty bottles on a lonely island.  This year, he spent it with close friends who witnessed the transformation in his life, forever memorialized in ink on his forearm.

20100610-E3_Iamsecond_Brady James 64-1

This past week, Second, Bradie James found himself checking into the Las Vegas Convention Center. Conferences and hotel ballrooms are nothing new to the 34-year-old, but this experience was unique.

After the Dallas Cowboys drafted him in 2003, Bradie enjoyed nearly a decade in the NFL.  But, in 2012, his career came to a close. Everything he had once worked towards was now complete. That’s when Bradie began searching for the next step in his life and launched Premiere Electronics. But installing security equipment and home automation isn’t Bradie’s true passion. Electronics is simply an excuse to be an example for his clients and employees.

“You can sell a product, but for me, it’s about building the relationships,” Bradie shared.

Recently, a new crop of interns filled the halls of Bradie’s office. One young man in particular grabbed his attention – not for his hard work, but for his lack of motivation. Instead of letting him go, Bradie pursued an unexpected alternative.

“I started seeing one guy come in late and noticed he was partying a bit, so I started picking him up and taking him to work,” Bradie stated.

Bradie invited the young intern to shadow him. As he watched Bradie conduct meetings and solve conflicts, spiritual conversations began to unfold and their relationship deepened.  As the young man sank further into substance abuse, Bradie sank further into his life.

“People go through that and it’s something you have to deal with. You have to share the good news that, no matter what, God loves us. You can always bounce back.”

Months passed by as the young man learned about Jesus, but he was not the only one changed through this friendship. Bradie experienced an opportunity to live out his purpose in the office.

“I have learned to be meek. It’s not a weakness, but power under control. That is what I have definitely adapted to,” Bradie stated.

As Bradie stood in line to check in at the International CES Electronics Convention in Las Vegas, he represented more than an electronics business. He represented a team of employees and clients he has learned to serve as an example of Jesus to others.

To hear more of Bradie’s journey towards living Second, click here.

417280_3394716236163_460560780_n (2)“La culpa de sobrevivir me estaba consumiendo tan rápido como yo estaba consumiendo los analgésicos”, comentó Aaron Walker.

En el año 2008, Aaron regresó a su casa como el único sobreviviente de un accidente de carro.Este era el segundo accidente de carro en un mes. Sin embargo, Aaron sobrevivió ambos.

“Tuve varios amigos que me dijeron que tenía que ser parte gato después de todas esas llamadas cercanas”, recalcó.

Como adicto a las pastillas y al alcohol, celebró su camino a través de dos matrimonios y múltiples trabajos. Finalmente, estas dos experiencias en las que estuvo cerca de la muerta, cambiaron toda la perspectiva. En recuperación, Aaron se encontró con el video de Yo Soy Segundo de Josh Hamilton.

“Cuando vi el video, seguía repitiendo cosas que habían acontecido en mi vida y que me pusieron en este lugar. Debí verlo alrededor de 10 a 15 veces ese día”, dijo Aaron.

Ver el video fue sólo el primer paso de un largo camino de recuperación de su adicción. Una vez, él dependió de las pastillas y las botellas de alcohol. Ahora, Aaron se llena de vivir Segundo.

“Puedes ver todos los videos que quieras, pero sin tomar ese próximo paso, estás en el mismo lugar en el que estabas”, compartió Aaron.

 

PNE-front0-470x654“Estaba en mi camino para trabajar con los Dallas Cowboys y fue muy vivo”, empezó a compartir Greg Ellis. Después de jugar con los Cowboys por ocho años, Greg Ellis se dió cuenta que si su casa se quemaba, lo que más le dolería perder serían la fotos de su esposa e hija. Este pequeño momento determinó el camino de Greg después de su carrera en el futbol. Él quería crear y salvar recuerdos para las personas. Con un corazón para los adolescentes, Greg comenzó PlayNow Enterprise con el fin de ayudar a los aspirantes de camarógrafos y fotógrafos.

“Rechacé el ser entrenador porque me gusta ver a las personas sonreír. Puedes hacer eso entrenando, pero salvar recuerdos es en dónde está”, comentó.

Esta Navidad, Greg y PlayNow Enterprise traen un sueño a la realidad con The Now Christmas Program (El Programa de Ahora de Navidad). Esta temporada, ellos alcanzaron la comunidad de Dallas y llevaron el motivo de la Navidad a la vida. Con pasión para alcanzar a las personas de esta ciudad, proporcionan actividades divertidas de Navidad así como la oportunidad de escuchar la historia de Navidad.

“Cuando vas a las tiendas ves muy poco acerca de los orígenes de la verdadera Navidad, mi meta es traer eso de vuelta sin excluir el lado comercial de la Navidad”, compartió Greg.

Greg Ellis salió a su comunidad como un faro de luz para llevar la esperanza de esta temporada a todas las familias que pueda.

The Now Christmas Program va desde el 13 al 24 de Diciembre. Para unirse a la diversión y recibir más información, click here.

 

PNE-front0-470x654“I was on my way to work out with the Dallas Cowboys and it  was very vivid,” Greg Ellis began to share.

After playing with the Cowboys for about eight years, Greg Ellis realized if his house ever burned down, the pictures of his wife and kids would be the worst to lose. This brief moment determined Greg’s post-football career path.  He wanted to create and save memories for people. With a heart for teens, Greg began PlayNow Enterprise in order to help aspiring videographers and photographers.

“I turned down coaching because I like seeing people smile.  You can do that with coaching, but saving memories is where it’s at,” he remarked.

This Christmas season, Greg and PlayNow Enterprise bring a dream to life with The Now Christmas Program.  This season, they reach out to the Dallas community to bring the reason for the Christmas season to life. With a passion to reach the people of this city, they provide fun Christmas activities as well as an opportunity to hear the Christmas story.

“When you go to the stores you see very little about the origins of the real Christmas. My goal is to bring that back, while not excluding the commercial side of Christmas,” Greg shared.

Greg Ellis steps out into his community as a beacon of light to bring the hope of this season to every family he can.

The Now Christmas Program goes on from December 13-24.  To join in the fun and receive more information, click here.

417280_3394716236163_460560780_n (2)“Survivor’s guilt was eating me up as fast as I was eating the painkillers,” Aaron Walker commented.

In 2008, Aaron returned home as the lone survivor of a car accident. This was two driving accidents in one month. Yet, Aaron walked away each time.

“I had several friends say that I must be part cat after all the close calls,” he remarked.

As a junkie for pills and alcohol, he partied his way through two marriages and multiple jobs. Finally these two near death experiences shifted everything into perspective. During recovery, Aaron stumbled upon Josh Hamilton’s I am Second video.

“When I watched the film, I kept replaying things that had happened in my life that put me in this place. I must have watched it 10-15 times that day,” Aaron noted.

Watching the film was only the first step on a long road of addiction recovery. He once depended on the pills and alcohol bottles. Now Aaron fills himself by living Second.

“You can watch all the videos you want, but without taking that next step, you are still in the same place you were,” Aaron shared.

Time passed and Aaron took step after step.  To overcome his shy nature, Aaron purchased his first I am Second t-shirt and wristband to help him share his story with others.

Today, Aaron not only shares his story with others here in the states, but he takes annual trips out to Nicaragua since 2012. During his first trip, Aaron met Mario, the local drunk. As Aaron shared his story and why he traveled thousands of miles to Nicaragua, Mario began to open up. Shortly after, Mario poured out his alcohol bottle, broke his cigarettes, and began to live Second. Since meeting Mario, Aaron still sees him each time he comes to town. Sharing his story with people all around the world helps Aaron see the good in surviving those car accidents.

 

wreath_final2

Pssst….. want to know the secret to a great holiday season? Spending time with family and sharing the message, of course!

This DIY I am Second wristband wreath will help you do both. The wreath holds and displays I am Second wristbands and makes it easy to give them away! And when they’re all gone? The wreath still looks great and is easy to re-stock.

Gather friends and family to help create this fun wreath, or invite them over after you’ve made it to make sure they have their own wristband this season! Here’s how:

 

Step 1: Gather Supplies

DIY_wristband_wreath_items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Some fake greenery from Hobby Lobby or any other craft store. We chose some soft leaf fabric stems (easy to cut and glue) and some other greenery that had pine cones on it.

2. Some clothespins! This will make it easy to hold and distribute wristbands to guests. We bought a 24 pack.

3. Piece of cardboard cut into a circle. The middle of ours was about the circumference of a coffee mug. Width of the actual cardboard is about 3-4 inches.

4. Glue Gun. Other strong tacky glue will work too, it just may take a little longer to dry.

5. Ribbon to hang the wreath. 

6. Green paint and paint brush.

7. 25 pack of I am Second wristbands.

 

Step 2: Paint

wreath_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using your green paint, paint the clothespins and one side of the cardboard circle. We painted the majority of each clothespin but left the inside of the “clip” unpainted (the part that holds clothes, or in this case, the wristbands).

 

Step 3: Glue

wreath_2(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the paint is dry, glue the clothespins on top of the cardboard circle, green side up. Make sure the inside of the circle of clothespins is the part you normally squeeze to open a clothespin, as the arrow shows in the image. (The actual clip of the clothespins should be facing outward so it will hold your wristbands on the outside of the wreath.)

Once the clothespins are glued to the wreath and secure, cut some of your greenery and glue to the top of clothespins. You can make the length of each stem vary, but make sure the stems line up with the inside of the circle, not extending beyond the part of the clothespin that you squeeze. (They can extend a little at the end of the clothespins where you’ll clip the wristbands in).

iamsecond_wristband_wreath_4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iamsecond_wristband_wreath_3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Decorate

iamsecond_wristband_wreath_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took the pine cones off the other greenery we purchased and glued them straight on to the fabric leaves. If you decided to use fake pine as your leaves, you may have to tie the pine cones down with thin wire, as the glue may not hold well. You can also skip the pine cones and decorate with whatever you like (ribbon, small ornaments, etc.) or just leave it green! Lastly, we glued a little extra greenery on the inside of the circle where any cardboard was showing, just to make it look more full. This is optional!

 

Step 5: Clip in the Wristbands

iamsecond_wristband_wreath_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Squeeze each clothespin from the inside of the circle and place a wristband on the outside of the wreath where the clothespins clamp down. We made our wristbands face upward so visitors could see the message and it also looks a little more full. This is also the point where you add ribbon to hang the wreath. There are multiple ways to do this. We folded a long piece of red ribbon in half, put the loop through the middle of the wreath, and brought the loop back up to put the ends of the ribbon back through the loop. Hide the ribbon that’s wrapped around the wreath between a couple clothespins, then lastly, tie a bow!

 

Step 6: Hang It and Give!

iamsecond_wristband_wreath_final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re done! Time to display and give away some wristbands. You can hang this outside on your front door, or inside! After the Christmas season, you can keep customizing the wreath to make it last all season: change the ribbon to a festive “New Year” color like gold; re-stock the wristbands or just leave it green; have it hold any Christmas cards you received; remove the Christmas-y ornaments and attach flowers on it by the time Spring comes, etc. So many options!

Get your 25-pack of I am Second wristbands here to get started >

 

 

 

En una mañana de martes, Amy Lowe, profesora de teatro en la secundaria Franke Seale Middle School, tomó un conjunto de 200 estudiantes. La campana aún no había sonado cuando los alumnos ya estaban con sus mochilas en los pasillos. Mientras ellos entraban a su clase, los líderes pasaron el material que iban a discutir para la reunión.

Todo comenzó aproximadamente hace tres años, cuando unos estudiantes estaban juntos mirando unos vídeos de Yo Soy Segundo. La palabra se esparció en los pasillos de manera que a sus compañeros les provocó curiosidad. Amy sólo conocía a estos chicos como los amigos de su hija. Ahora los reconoce como líderes en la escuela.

Estos alumnos que comenzaron los grupos hace tres años, son líderes de los suyos en la secundaria. En la actualidad, nuevos líderes de estudiantes continúan con estos grupos. Amy sigue reuniendose semanalmente con ellos. En tan sólo pocas semanas, los nuevos líderes volarán a Florida para recibir un entrenamiento.

¿De dónde vienen los líderes?

Muchos de ellos comenzaron como estudiantes en sus días normales de colegio. El número de ellos no incluía a Emily, la hija de Amy.

“Emily era una líder en los grupos de Yo Soy Segundo sin siquiera conocer de Jesús”, recalcó Amy.

Sin embargo eso no duró mucho. En el sexto grado, Emily comenzó a preguntar acerca de Dios. A partir del 8vo grado, las preguntas que realizaba eran cada vez más profundas y comentaba acerca de eso en su grupo de Yo Soy Segundo. En un semestre frío de otoño, Emily le dijo a su madre, Amy, que ya estaba lista para ser bautizada.

Los estudiantes de 8vo año no son los únicos en dar un paso adelante  para liderar. Uno de sexto grado, Jace, se unió a un grupo y ni siquiera sabía de Jesús. Él sólo quería hacer amigos. Al pasar de los meses, se convirtió Segundo y los muchachos del 8vo grado comenzaron a invertir en él. Cada semana, más estudiantes de 6to grado se comenzaron a unir. Actualmente, Jace lidera su propio grupo y es uno de los líderes de Yo Soy Segundo en la secundaria Frank Seale Middle School.

¿Interesado en poder involucrar a sus alumnos en el movimiento Grupos de Estudiantes Líderes de Yo Soy Segundo? Mira

Early on a Tuesday morning, Amy Lowe, the theater teacher at Franke Seale Middle School, takes a headcount of over 200 students. The bell hasn’t even rung yet and students fill the hallway with their backpacks. As the students trickle into her classroom, the leaders pass out their discussion material for the meeting.

It all started about three years ago with several students watching I am Second films together. The word spread throughout the hallways and more students became curious. Amy had simply known these kids as her daughter’s friends. Now she recognizes them as leaders in the school.

These students who started these groups three years ago now lead their own groups in high school. Today, new student leaders continue these middle school groups. Amy continues to meet with these students weekly. In just a few weeks the new leaders fly out to Florida for an I am Second training.

Where did the leaders come from?

Many of them started out as your normal, everyday middle school student.  A number of them were not even Ch including Amy’s daughter, Emalee.

“Emily was a leader in the I am Second group without even knowing Jesus,” Amy remarked.

But that didn’t last long. Emalee began asking questions about God in 6th grade. During her 8th grade year, the questions became deeper as she voiced them in her I am Second group. One a chilly fall semester Emalee told her mom, Amy, she was ready to get baptized.

The 8th graders aren’t the only ones stepping up to lead. A 6th grader, Jace, joined a group and did not even know Jesus. He just wanted to make some friends. The months passed, he became Second and the 8th grade boys began to pour into him. Each week more 6th grade students began to join. Today, Jace leads his own group and is one of the I am Second leaders at Frank Seale Middle School.

Interested in getting your students involved in this wildfire of I am Second Student-Led Groups? Check out I am Second Students here.

 

04Nov, 2014

“Mom, you know my life is sort of like this bottle of water. When I look through the water in the bottle, everything is blurry. I can sort of see things, but nothing is clear. When I think of my life, it’s the same. I don’t understand everything that has happened, I don’t know what the future will be either. I know I have a future, but God keeps it a little blurry so we have to trust Him. My life is like this water. It’s good and sometimes filled with pain, but once the water is gone, the bottle can be clearly seen through. It’s no longer blurry. That hope and future God talks about are fulfilled in Heaven. All of our lives are blurry here. They are only made clear once we are with Him.” Ethan Hallmark, hero of our newest film, “Many are The Wonders.”

We were blessed to capture the courageous cancer journey of Ethan before he passed away. His 45 minute film shares his story of being light in a dark place. See it here.

Thanks for investing in I am Second. Your gifts help make it possible to share stories of courage and hope with millions.

Krystal and her friends started their first small group two years ago. Today Krystal is in college, while the small groups continue to meet each week.

Krystal and her friends started their first small group two years ago. Today Krystal is in college, while the small groups continue to meet each week.

Krystal texted her friends, “I don’t know what we’re getting into but come to my house and check this out.” After watching the “How to Start a Group” videos, Krystal jumped in.

And it all got started with just a white and black I am Second wristband.  After receiving the bracelet from her youth pastor, she checked out the website, watched the small group videos, texted a few friends and started her I am Second Group.

A group of five high school students turned into  twenty-five students or more packing out Krystal’s house within just a few months. After reaching out to her band friends, the word spread to the Drill Team, and reached all the other groups in the high school. Before she knew it, everyone was asking what I am Second was. Each Tuesday night, people from all groups of the school began hanging out together, playing some Game Central, eating snacks, and discussing the I am Second films.

Outside of the weekly small groups at Krystal's house, the students build deeper friendships but hanging out throughout the week.

Outside of the weekly small groups at Krystal’s house, the students build deeper friendships by hanging out throughout the week.

This buzz in the hallways, attracted even the younger kids, who began begging their parents to drop them off each week. Now when the phones go off at school it’s because they are texting each other about the group. Throughout the week, the students make a point to help one another apply what they discussed and share what they learned with other friends. When Spring semester hits, the students train new group leaders for the next year. Today, the group continues to multiply into one group after another.

Interested in getting involved in student-led I am Second groups? Check out I am Second Students.

This past year the group had over 45 students pack out a house for the annual Christmas party.

This past year the group had over 45 students pack out a house for the annual Christmas party.

22Aug, 2014

One kid had “satan” written acrLion in the Maineoss his chest and many people had scars covering their forearms. Some would only stay a minute, but then you get those few who just wanted someone to listen. Whether it was a down pour or scorching sun, kids would trickle by the booth and ask what I am Second was all about.  Check out these stories from the volunteers and kids who visited the booth.

“I had a long conversation with a sixteen year old named Leah. She came to the tent and started crying. Without saying anything to her, I walked over and gave her a hug. She bawled on my shoulder. We talked for hours about the things she has bent through in life: raped and pregnant at twelve years old, lost the baby, sexually abused at fourteen by a thirty year old man now in prison. I prayed over her and we talked for a long while about her ambitions in life. She wants to go into the medical field and help people. I gave her an I am Second Bible and she promised she would read it. She was beaming when she left our tent for the day.” – Joe; Cleveland, OhioDSC_8316

“I walked my butt off trying to find two teenagers at ‘Warped Tour’ in Cuyahoga Falls. No matter how swollen my feet were or how many miles I probably walked to find them, I did find one sign for I am Second. I stopped to take a break and there was the sign. I continued to look for my teen’s I brought with me, but at the same time was looking for a booth. By the grace of God, I remembered when my son gave me my rubber bracelet to wear when I finally decided to go back to church almost two years ago, since my divorce seven years ago. I truly am enlightened to find this booth. I am back and I am ready to give it all to Him.” -Emily; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

DSC_8220“Okay. So here’s my story for the campaign I am Second. At the Chicago date for Warped Tour, I spotted the tent for I am Second. It interested me, so I went up to the tent and talked with a man. He told me what they were about and I told him I full on supported them and explained to him how I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for a number of years now and how I was almost six months free of cutting, but I was finally telling myself life was worth the battle and things would get better. He hugged me and told me how proud he was of me for overcoming my battles. I fully support this campaign and what they’re about. Everyone should check them out when they have time!” -Amber; Chicago, Illinois

“I had a really good conversation with a kid named Colten. He said he had been dealing with depression and thoughts of suicide when he was alone at home every night.  He said he felt like he didn’t have a purpose in life and didn’t know why he was here and had no one to talk to about what was going on(mostly bullying and being picked on). I talked to him for about 15-20 minutes just about his life and things going on. Towards the end of our conversation he voiced that he really wanted to start going back to church and it had been five years since his last attendance.  All of his memories from church were really positive and he really enjoyed his youth group but it had been so long that he was scared to go back. He tried going with his last girlfriend and as they were on the way he got sick to his stomach and started throwing up from anxiety and nervousness.  So I encouraged him to try it again and he promised me he would.   It was a great encounter and I have been praying for him. Hopefully he will get back involved with church and use the 24/7 chat if he needs to.” Ben; Volunteer in Kansas City

DSC_8710

X

Login

Reset Password

Need to create an account? Join I am Second Now!
X

I am Second

Struggle With?

Chat Now

Ready to be Second?

Ready to be Second? Connect Now