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.
Claramente, 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
En 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
Con 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
En 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
Brian 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
¿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
In 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
With 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
In 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
Brian 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
Is 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?
Desde 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
Una 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
Es tiempo de mirar las cosas diferente. ¿Qué tal si este mes del amor consistiera en hacer cosas pequeñas por aquellos que amamos? Compralo aquí.
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?
Take 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.
One 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.
It’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.
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.
La 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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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
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.
Step 2: Paint
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
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).
Step 4: Decorate
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
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!
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!
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.
“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 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.
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.
One kid had “satan” written across 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, Ohio
“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
“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
Dylan Stopher was given his first I am Second wristband while volunteering at a Newsboys concert. Whether it is at his job as a Funeral Director, with his youth group, or back in South Africa, Dylan uses every opportunity he gets to ignite a fire with the message of Second. While Dylan has numerous opportunities to share with individuals in the states, his most inspiring moment involves sharing Second on his first trip to Johannesburg, South Africa.
When he arrived, Dylan and his team were invited to attend a BBQ, but declined the invite to host a youth gathering instead. Dylan, a lover of rap music, asked the group if they had heard of the Hip Hop artist, Lecrae. He was astonished to find none of the teenagers knew him. At that moment, he played Lecrae’s I Am Second film. He quickly noticed the youth were captivated as this young artist who looked like them and talked about the radical freedom he found outside the world of drugs, theft, alcohol and gang activity. Tears and conversations gradually filled the room. By the end of the gathering the youth flooded the product table wanting an I Am Second wristband and other tools. Before you knew it, the team ran out of all the product!
Later that night, a man found Dylan because he sincerely wanted a wristband. They began to talk. He opened up about his previous crack addiction and how Lecrae’s film encouraged him to find his identity and hope elsewhere. The night came to a close when Dylan gave this man his I am second volunteer t-shirt.
It all started when a young guy named Ethan was diagnosed with a rare cancer four years ago. Last year an 8th grader named, Peter, got his buddies together on Friday mornings to pray for Ethan at a middle school in Midlothian, TX. They began using I am Second materials and as they opened it up to others, it immediately went to 80+ students.
In the week prior to Kaká’s film, 6 countries provided over 90% of the traffic to iamsecond.com:
Since the Kaká film launched, 15 countries have accounted for 85% of the traffic to iamsecond.com, indicating increased visits from around the globe:
Please enjoy the following update from Second and former Navy SEAL, Remi Adeleke:
Hello I am Second family,
So much has happened over the past few months. For the sake of time, I’ll only touch on the highlights. First, my wife Jessica gave birth to our baby boy Cayden on February 19th. He was born weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long. Cayden has brought so much joy to our lives, and has taught us a new aspect of love we have never experienced. Providentially, my brother’s wife gave birth to their first child on the same day!
God has also blessed my company. For those who don’t know, I am part owner of a consulting company, Acumen Performance Group (APG). APG trains Professional Athletes, Collegiate Athletes, Olympians and Corporations on SEAL principles. Our topics range from Team Building to Mental Toughness. This second Quarter of 2014 is projected to be our biggest quarter in our company’s history. I truly credit all of our success to the Lord our God.
Last year APG had the luxury of running the I am Second Leadership Team through a day of TEAM training. Considering all the athletic and corporate organizations I’ve worked
with, our event with I am Second is among my favorites.
Lastly, with I am Second Speakers, there have been many opportunities for me to share my testimony, help others discover the I am Second movement. At these events, we’ve seen many live Second!
Momentum for I am Second Speakers continues to grow, bringing Seconds and their stories to conferences, college campuses, churches and special events everywhere. Recent bookings include speaking engagements for Seconds Matt Barkley, Remi Adeleke, Karen Green, Bradie James, Sean Lowe, Jason Castro, and I am Second author, Doug Bender.
J’s Coffee Shop is an outreach ministry where we encourage our regulars to invite friends who belong to different faiths. We try to make it not seem so much like church so they won’t feel intimidated. It actually started out as a homework club, but after three to four times the kids figured out it was more fun if they didn’t bring their homework. We do a very short devotion time. Aside from that we just hang out, eat, play games, etc. When I use the IAS videos for devotion time, I usually make some comments about the content and I always invite questions, but I don’t force the issue. We have watched dozens of films such as Propaganda, Vitor Belfour, and Wayne Huizenga.
Most of the discussion takes place in the kitchen afterwards whether one-on-one or in small groups. After the Propaganda video, one kid said that “He explains the truth like a boss”. Another kid was very moved by the Vitor Belfour story, having spent a number of years in a Russian orphanage before being adopted and brought to the US. He said a lot of his story was similar. I think you could have heard a pin drop when I showed the Wayne Huizenga film. They’re pretty smart and I think they picked up that me showing them a film featuring a rich and entitled man was me calling them out as somewhat entitled.
The kids identify with the films and often times they know the people giving their testimony. It’s enlightening for them to see people who seem like they have it all together don’t always have it all together. Many of the kids have realized that having wealth and power does not guarantee happiness. It is hard to say specifically how their lives are impacted, but I know the films are contributing to their lives. Plus, they keep coming and their parents aren’t making them. I’ll take that as a win.
For more information about the I am Second tools, click here.
Until the Summer of 2012, I was not a runner, in fact until my church announced the FIT FOR LIFE 5K – I had never participated in a running race. With some simple social steps and a small group of I Am Second volunteers we created a Facebook group where we would team up, wear the Finish Second shirt, and be united as a team to run.
Now, two years later the I Am Second Runners Group exist to support and to encourage any runner to run, but to always FINISH SECOND- we share stories on how the gear sparks lively conversations and we join forces to create teams on any race at anytime.
With every race I do, I wear my FINISH SECOND shirt and it is amazing how it allows for people to engage in conversations – some identify with the message of I am Second and they shout –” awesome shirt” others say “I love your shirt”. But, the ones I really enjoy are those people that come to me and ask me , “What does I am Second mean?”
I can recall last year when at the TooColdToHold Race this girl approached me and asked, “Why do you wear that shirt? What do you mean Finish Second?” I was able to be open and share my heart with her to let her know that I don’t have it all together. It is my faith in God that enables me to finish any race. I have realized that everything makes sense when I put God first in my life.
The I am Second Runners Group shares this common bond -To live SECOND: to know that we run this race because we were born to do so. We say, “find some running partners, forget what lies behind, strain forward to what lies ahead, and press on toward the goal.” Now, after 20 plus races, I run social runs, run training runs, and lead running groups. I fill my calendar with half marathons and trail runs that go beyond the proverbial 26.2 but at every race, I wear the same shirt, to start a conversation, to FINISH SECOND.
To get the gear and start a conversation please visit the I am Second Store and share your stories with us!
Everyone needs a pen to write out those checks, pay the bills, and to wrap up work. Warm up the office with the I am Second pen.
Let your teen keep track of the car keys with an I am Second Carabiner. Plus get a reminder to be Second while driving in busy traffic!
A practical, yet thoughtful gift for mom or dad, spouse or you! Start conversations with new clients and employees whenever a business card is needed.
Jazz up the season Second-style with a hot n’ fresh Cabbie Hat. Grandad, uncle, or friend can always use more style, right?
A perfect quick and easy read with a cup of coffee in the mornings to get you ready for the day ahead. Get two. Your best friend might like something like this as well.
Deep conversations over a cup of something warm happen often. This mug can be a door opener to sharing God’s story!
Have tech savvy friends, kids or parents? An I am Second iPad sleeve will keep their iPads nice and cozy.
This month’s promo codes give you a discount on everyone’s favorite T-shirt. Great for all shapes and sizes- and all friends and family. Starting conversations is its specialty.
We heard pink is the new black. Add the finishing touch to that winter wardrobe with the I am Second Wristband, now in hot pink.
Camo hat inspired by The Robertsons’ Second film – enough said!
Robertson Film Makes for Biggest Month Ever
Thanks for making November the biggest month ever! With more than 2.5 million views in just a few short weeks, the Robertson film made for the biggest month ever for I am Second and YOU made it all possible. Our biggest thanks goes to all those who shared the film and hosted one of the 9,651 watch parties in homes, offices, and churches across the nation, beards and all. Here were some of our favorite pics you sent in:
“4 Generations of Duck Dynasty fans and fans of I am Second, only one of us just didn’t need a beard on a stick though!” -Maggie Beasley
“Been showing the film at different homes, just so excited to share it with people! Laughs, tears, hope…its all good.” -Julie Kieschnick
“Beards aren’t just for the guys…” -Stacy Steele
“Beards-a-plenty” -Billy Butler
Plus, check out the coverage of this new film by CNN and Good Morning America:
CNN Headline News features the Robertsons and I am Second: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxqDl4PEqf0
Good Morning America talks the Robertsons and their road to recovery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICWyWIebYfQ
Fox News feature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=335duMFgS-s
CNN reports (http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/25/pf/black-friday-sales/) that total spending over Black Friday last year hit a new record of $59.1 billion. While this is a season for shopping, that is not what makes this season special. This is a season based on relationships, friendships, and family. If it weren’t for all these people in our lives, we would not have over 307.67 million people rushing to the stores on Black Friday. The key to making this season special is not the shopping, but rather remembering who you are. You are Second.
Why? How does being Second make this season special? It gives you reason for the shopping, for the giving, and putting up with your family drama. When we are Second, the reason for the season comes alive.
Here are the 5 ways to making your season special:
1. Throw a party. We all have friends where the holidays are not the happiest time of their lives. Many of our friends might not have family, friends, or anyone to shop for but themselves. Invite them to join you and your family.
2. Have a small group. Do you have some friends or family that aren’t Second and you don’t know how to start that conversation? Invite your friends, family, or even co-workers to discuss life and God. Get the FREE Hope for the Holidays discussion guide: http://iasresponsive.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/HopeforHolidays.pdf
3. Become a storyteller. It is easy to get caught up in the shopping rush of the season. Share the story for the reason for the season. It can be as simple as inviting a friend, coworker, or family member to lunch and discussing what it means to be Second. Or it can be as extravagant as making dinner, picking out a Christmas Classic, and exchanging white elephant gifts, then sharing the reason behind the gifts. Whatever you do whether big or small, share the story behind the season.
4. Play with the kids. How can you tell your kids about being Second? This can be as simple as asking them what they think it means to be Second and what that looks like. Invite them to help you come up with ideas of how to be Second together. Help them tell their teachers, friends at school, or friends on their soccer teams. Let the season come alive for your kids.
5. Make that phone call. Here is the tough one. Do you have any friends or family members you don’t talk to anymore? Maybe you had a hurtful conversation with a friend, a coworker, or even someone in your family. Now is the perfect time to give them a call, ask them out for coffee, for lunch, or for just a few minutes of their time. Remember who you are. You are Second.
You can’t make this season special by giving them that diamond necklace, that motorcycle, American Girl Doll, or Red Ryder BB Gun. What makes your season special is not based on how much money you spend. It is based on who you are. If you are Second, it changes how you celebrate this season and it changes your relationships. When we are Second, the reason for this season comes alive.
Share photos of ways to be Second with your friends and family this season and we will share our staff favorites in an upcoming blog post!
As a Navy SEAL, Remi Adeleke recalled “living in a foreign country where you know people want to kill you; you kind of live on edge; you always have to be attentive.”
Jessica, his wife, remembered longing for a time when she wouldn’t need to worry “about the constant threat of somebody harming [Remi] whether sleeping or awake; for him to experience the luxury of a hot shower and a comfortable bed. And of course to just have him in my arms again!”
But they also knew that living Second in a me-first world was another very real battle they must fight. Fighting to be Second in a world of first is hard. The battle can be gruesome and exhausting at times. But we fight, because there is a battle to be won. There is a victory.
“Being a Navy SEAL strengthened my faith exponentially,” Remi said. “Every day I knew that I could die at any moment. My career as a Navy SEAL helped me to not just read the afterlife promises of God, but to believe them and trust them wholeheartedly.”
As a Navy SEAL, he was trained to fight. “I had to engage in warfare through many different methods,” he said. “My career in the physical as a warrior has helped me to prepare for my job in the spiritual, as a spiritual warrior. I had to put on my breastplate, utility belt, helmet, shoes, and bring my weapons on every mission. If I didn’t I would be combat ineffective.”
Military families face battles on two fronts, overseas and at home. “I really do have a new understanding and appreciation for what many military families go through,” Jessica said. “I took each day one at a time and put complete trust in God. As long as I did not think my own thoughts, but instead, meditated on the faithfulness of God, I was ok.”
Because of their dedication to the fight for a life of Second Remi and Jessica were able to say, after the deployment the first month back home was pretty “normal”. Jessica says Remi, “has such a mental toughness and most importantly, a complete trust in God, and I believe these attributes allowed his seamless adjustment back home. He also spent the majority of his free time on deployment studying God’s word and I could see how that helped him greatly while away and on coming home.”