The Blog

28Aug, 2015

I read something yesterday that had me laughing, but as I thought about it more, it really got me wondering: What should a Christian look like?

Relevant magazine posted a hilarious article titled, “13 Things Every ’90s Youth-Group-Goer Definitely Owned.” If you grew up in the evangelical church, you should read it. It will bring back a lot of memories.

Most of mine were funny. Many of them slightly embarrassing. But as I thought about that period of my life, I started noticing something. A lot of what my 90s church experience was about involved one thing: Defining Christianity in terms of cutting ourselves off from the “world.”

It was about having our own music. Our own movies. Our own sayings. Our own logos. It wasn’t about helping redeem culture, it was about receding from it. It was about working hard to show you were better than all the stuff and bad people around you, thus convincing people they just had to have what you had.

Don’t wear XYZ.

Don’t listen to ABC (or TLC).

Don’t watch MTV.

Who remembers this? You shouldn’t wear Abercrombie clothes, because they use scandalous models! Take a stand by wearing the “Abreadcrumb & Fish” shirt instead!

(Source: Relevantmagazine.com)

(Source: Relevantmagazine.com)

Here’s the funny thing: We retreated and then just couldn’t believe when culture continued to get worse. Then we’d pull back even more, treating it and those involved like mange-ravaged dogs that were to be pitied but avoided. You could pet them if you had gloves on, but don’t get too close otherwise.

But what did we think was going to happen if we decided to put up our walls and try to protect ourselves from what was going on “out there” instead of engaging it? If all we did was point out the burning house and shake our heads instead of caring about those inside? It’s as if we were saying: You poor person. You should come outside. Don’t you see how much better it is out here? I’d come in, but it’s too hot and I don’t want to get burned.

Are we supposed to be different? Absolutely. But what if being different wasn’t focused on a checklist of things we shouldn’t do, and more about what we should?

Listen, I’m not talking about always ignoring the bad and only focusing on the warm fuzzies, (and there are certain lines we should draw and not cross). But what I am talking about is more grace, more love, more being “for” and less being “against.”* More listening and less listing of wrongs. More relationships and less trying to always be right.

So that brings me back to the opening question: What should a Christian look like?

I don’t mean appearance. What I’m talking about is more of the essence of “look.” Actions. Deeds. Words. How should a Christian be?

I don’t mean to sound so simple, but I think it’s about being honest. Of course there are certain core beliefs anyone who calls themselves a follower of Christ must hold. But how do those beliefs affect us?

Shouldn’t they compel us to admit who we really are?

We do the things we don’t want to do.

We make mistakes.

We’re broken.

There are things we’re sure about.

There are things we doubt.

Some of us are strong.

A lot more of us are weak.

Christians should be authentic. Human. Be people who have their issues but also have real hope that their struggles don’t define them. People with a desire to live for something greater than themselves. People who know they’re going to fail and admit it. People whose “don’t dos” are a result of wanting to live a life of more compelling “dos.”

Take a look at those we’ve filmed over the years. Addicts. Athletes. Rappers. Strippers. Bad dads. Bad husbands. Bad shape. They’re not people who have it all put together. They’re people who have been put back together.

Take No Malice, for example:

Let me put it this way: I’m not a Christian because I don’t struggle and I have it all figured out, I’m a Christian because I do struggle and I don’t have all the answers. I recognize there’s something and someone outside of me that does. He loved me enough to offer me a better way, the best way. And that love compels me to greater and better things, and stirs in me a desire to share it with others.

John Piper, a man much wiser than I’ll ever be, puts it like this: “A Christian is a person living under the constraint of Christ’s love. Christianity is not merely believing a set of ideas about Christ’s love. It is an experience of being constrained by that love.”

And you know what? A silly t-shirt with a fake logo on it was never going to convey that.

*If after you read “more love” you whispered “more power” you were truly deep into the 90s to 2000s church culture. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video.

Tim Shaw is dying. That’s not hyperbole. That’s not a prediction. That’s fact.

But while that’s important for you to know, here’s what’s more important: While dying, he’s living. Like, really living.

Shaw is a former NFL linebacker. That means he was once one of the most finely-tuned human specimens there is, playing in a league filled with elite athletes. Now it takes him five minutes to put his socks on.

He has ALS. And unless you lived in a hole last year, you know what that is from the hundreds of videos showing people dumping cold water on themselves to raise awareness. It worked.

But now that everyone has dried off, the reality is there are people still suffering from the degenerative disease. They’re dying. Like Tim Shaw.

Shaw is normal. He struggles with anger, sadness, and fear. How could he not? But struggling with those things is different than letting them consume him.

“I believe people are made for a purpose,” Shaw told The Tennesseean recently. “Sometimes specifically, God says, ‘This is what I made you for.’ In my situation, I believe He will make good out of every situation. He didn’t have ALS planned for me. But He prepared for me for the tough time He knew I’d be going through.

“It doesn’t make things easier and it doesn’t take (ALS) away. But it gives me peace. There’s also sadness in there. There’s fear. There’s anger. But above all, there’s peace.”

As I write this, a song plays on my computer. It couldn’t be more appropriate:

You make me brave. 

You make me brave. 

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. 

You make me brave. 

You make me brave.

No fear can hinder now the promises you made.

Shaw has traveled to Brazil to dig wells and Haiti to serve in orphanages since he was diagnosed with the disease. That’s incredible. The man who’s dying is spending some of his last days helping others.

“I know myself from experience that when I do things selfishly, I don’t feel nearly as good or nearly as fulfilled as doing things for others,” he told the paper. “It’s kind of a lesson I’ve learned throughout my life and a lesson I would love everyone to test. Go ahead and do something for someone and don’t tell anyone about it. You’ll have this overwhelmingly joyful and peaceful and fulfilling feeling.”

See what I mean? He doesn’t just wear a bracelet that says he’s Second, he embodies it. That challenges me. I hope it challenges you.

Tim Shaw, wearing an I Am Second wristband. (Source: Twitter.com/TShawsTruth)

Tim Shaw, wearing an I Am Second wristband. (Source: Twitter.com/TShawsTruth)

It reminds me of someone else’s story I heard while working in the news business. Ethan Hallmark. Ethan was 13 years old when he died almost a year ago on September 13. But like Shaw, that means nothing compared to how he lived.

Ethan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, when he was 9. Nine years old. Seventy-three days before his death he sat in a white chair and uttered some of the most striking words I’ve ever heard from a teenager:

Obviously I want to beat this disease, but I’m not going to be that sad if I don’t. … Of course I want to live a long life, who doesn’t? I want to watch my sister and brothers go to middle school with me, go to high school, watch them graduate. Even I want to graduate. It’s not really my plan though.

And he touched lives.

My eyes are wet. And I’ve seen those videos several times.

Ethan Hallmark. Tim Shaw. One truly lived. The other is truly living.

Are we?

Jeff Fisher (Source: I Am Second)

Jeff Fisher (Source: I Am Second)

 

March 10, 2015.

It was a Tuesday. If you cared about sports, you were gearing up for the NCAA tournament. But in St. Louis, Missouri, Rams coach Jeff Fisher was making sure you couldn’t ignore the NFL.

There, the 20-year head coach was taking part in a blockbuster move that would send his quarterback to the Philadelphia Eagles. The teams would trade starting signal-callers in a surprising move. He was hailed as a genius for getting the better end of the deal.

Two teams, with millions of dollars on the line, swapping players like a playground game of Old Maid.

***

2010.

“The answers weren’t there. They just were not there,” Fisher says about that time.

At some point he found himself sitting in a vehicle with a friend. As they drove around Fisher’s property, they decided to pull off. It just happened to be on a bridge. That detail has stayed with Fisher for some reason.

That’s where his friend asked him a very pointed question about his life: “Do you really, honestly believe that Jesus Christ is your lord and your savior?”

Fisher said he did. But his friend pushed: “What does that mean?”

“And I paused, and I couldn’t answer that,” he says.

They kept talking. Eventually, he found the answer.

***

The Jeff Fisher film isn’t long. It probably takes less time to watch it than it does to go through a car wash. It’s not overly profound. It’s not complicated or jaw-dropping. But there’s something that I really like about it.*

Here it is: The most important day of Fisher’s story involved the front seat of a parked car on a bridge.

Just picture that for a moment.

The man who’s desire to finish first has him swapping quarterbacks on a Tuesday and coaching in front of hundreds of thousands on a Sunday, became second on the side the road. It’s rugged. Raw. Real. It’s what Hollywood tries to capture in a movie to make it feel like we know the characters.

I feel like Fisher’s story is a lot of people’s story. How many of us have been disillusioned by the church or life, but finally found meaning when we decided to stop driving away and just pull the car over?

Jeff Fisher the man, not Jeff Fisher the untouchable NFL coach, did.

I can only imagine he was wearing a flannel shirt when it happened. Just like in one of those life-imitating movies.

*One other thing that’s a close second: He sat down and made the film the day before the 2015 draft. When you think about the incredible dedication this man has to his job, that’s amazing.

Monday morning. 10 o’clock a.m. on the East Coast. You were probably at work. Maybe grumbling about the “Mondays.” Or maybe you slept in, called in, or cashed in. It was, after all, Monday morning. While you were doing whatever it is you were doing, a 62-year-old woman was fighting back tears telling one of the most beautiful stories of a life I’ve heard in a while. A life lived second.

Source: 'TODAY' show screen shot.

Source: ‘TODAY’ show screen shot.

The woman is someone you might recognize. Kathie Lee Gifford. She spent years alongside Regis on the show named after them. For the last eight years she’s been hosting the fourth hour of the “TODAY” show. Last Sunday, August 9, her husband died unexpectedly. You may recognize his name, too. Frank Gifford. He was a legendary Giants football player and host of “Monday Night Football.” Chances are you or someone you know grew up listening to his voice.

I say all that so that you understand better the magnitude of what Kathie Lee did on Monday morning, her first day back on TV after Frank’s passing. She could have said anything, asked for anything, screamed anything. She could have retired right then and there with a bitter goodbye and we all would have understood.

But she didn’t. She decided to do something else. She told Frank’s story. For eight minutes she told his story.

“As a young child, Frank asked Jesus into his heart,” she said, explaining that the Hall of Famer grew up with nothing during the Depression. “And that remained with him for the rest of his life. He strayed from his faith on occasion but his faith never left him.”

“His world got smaller as his God got bigger and he’d want you to know that, that he died in complete peace,” she added. “He knew every sin he’d ever committed was forgiven. He had the hope that he would be with the Lord, and that we would some day be with him as well. That is the foundation of the Christian faith, is forgiveness, grace, and hope.”

“And those of you who are hurting today or feel hopeless, it might be the answer for you.”

She stopped herself.

“In fact, I know it’s the answer for you.”

Pause for a moment and think about that. A grieving wife on national TV so convinced about what her husband had she couldn’t help but share it.

Angry? I know it’s the answer for you.

Discontent? I know it’s the answer for you.

Struggling to find purpose? I know it’s the answer for you.

Hurting? I know it’s the answer for you.

Facing a divorce? I know it’s the answer for you.

Let that sink in.

Then there’s the story about the stone. One small stone.

See, Kathie Lee and Frank took a trip to Israel a few years back. There, their friend took them down to a stream. It’s said to be the same stream that the historical king, David, went down to and picked up five stones from as he prepared to take on a seemingly impossible task: the giant Goliath.

“The miracle wasn’t that the shepherd boy was able to kill the giant,” she explained. “The miracle was that the shepherd boy, who had all the skills he would ever need in life, trusted in a living God. Not a religion, but a living God.”

Frank grabbed a stone.

That moment left a lasting impression on him. In fact, it changed him so much that when people came over to his house he wouldn’t take them to his Hall of Fame bust or his Emmy awards, but rather the small stone he plucked out of the stream.

That started a tradition in the family. The couple’s kids, Cassidy and Cody, both got stones when they graduated high school and college shortly after.

“And we said to her, ‘Cass, where you going to throw your stone for the kingdom of God? What is your stone and where are you going to throw it?’ A week later, Cody graduated from college … he got a stone.”

She had a challenge.

“If you ever leave a legacy for your children, let it be that you’ve taught them friendship with God, and that you’ve taught them to find their stone. And show it, show it. Throw it hard and well and transform this hurting world that needs God’s love so much.”

“Frank would want you to do this today: If you see a stone somewhere, pick it up and ask yourself that question, ‘What is my stone? What is the gift that only I can do in this world to make it a better place? And then spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well.”

That got me thinking.

At the front entrance of my office building, there just happens to be some stones. I walk by them all the time without giving them a second thought. In fact, as I wrote this, I had to pause, walk down to the entrance, and make sure I wasn’t making that up. I grabbed a stone and decided to write out what Frank stood for: a life of being second.

The author with his #secondstone. (Source: I Am Second)

The author with his stone #mysecondstone. (Source: I Am Second)

If we feel the same way, I think we should all take her advice. Find a stone today. Then, “Spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well.”

Desde el comienzo, se han preguntando una cosa: ¿Cómo podemos tener una carrera en nuestra ciudad? Bueno, ¿adivinen qué? ¡Es fácil!

Se llama la opción “Run Anywhere.”  Es una manera sencilla de compartir en la experiencia de Yo Soy Segundo y correr con amigos y compañeros. Los pasos son fáciles.

1. Saca tu teléfono.

2. Envía un texto, correo electrónico o dale una  llamada a tus amigos. 

3. Escoge una fecha y un lugar.

4. Selecciona un nombre para tu equipo. ¡Con creatividad!. Registra tu equipo aquí y tendrás tu propia página de equipo personalizada donde puedes invitar a otras personas. También te mandaran una camisa y pulsera en el correo con tu registración.

¡Eso es todo! Asegúrate de tomar una cuantas fotos y de  publicarlas en los medios sociales utilizando hashtags # ia2runanywhere y #secondrunselfie.

El año pasado, los corredores como Janel, Andy, y Heidi se divirtieron con la opción de Run Anywhere.

“¡La carrera, I am Second Run Anywhere en Boston fue mi primera carrera! Lo vi como un reto personal, igual como una gran manera de compartir el mensaje de Yo Soy Segundo con mi ciudad. Mi mejor amigo corrió a mi lado y me animó a cada paso del camino. Corrimos juntos a lo largo del Charles River Esplanade, a través del hermoso follaje de otoño, todos ataviados con nuestra ropa y pulseras de Yo Soy Segundo.  No sólo nos divertimos juntos, pero también hemos demostrado nuestra solidaridad con otros  Segundos por todo el país. Estámos orgullosos de decir que hemos terminado segundo. “- Janel de Boston, MA

“Soy un teniente del Departamento de Policía de Ohio Lima. Con mi tiempo tan limitado, no pude correr con mi esposa y su amiga que corrieron la Run Anywhere 5K. Tenía muchas ganas de correr, así que decidí correr por mi mismo en el trabajo. Tomé un tiempito durante  el almuerzo y fui a la máquina de correr. . Corrí un 10K muy rápido y me inspire escuchando musica de alabanzas.  Con la opción Run Anywhere me sentí como si  fuera parte del evento, a pesar  que no podía correr con todos los demás. Sin duda lo haré de nuevo este año, pero espero poder correr al aire libre por lo menos! “–Andy de Lima, Ohio

“Descubrí que las carreras virtuales son una manera divertida de mantenerse motivado después que otras carerra hayan terminado.  ¡Así que cuando vi la opción de Run Anywhere en Facebook, me apunte!   ¡La carrera era interesante! El día anterior, nos despertamos con una mini tormenta de nieve. Nieve durante la época de Halloween es raro aquí, pero esto era 4.6 pulgadas de nieve, viento y temperatura de 10 grados! En la mañana de la carrera, hacía frío y todo estaba lento debido al hielo. Desde entonces, he entrenado para mi primer carrera de 10k, y ahora estoy entrenando para mi primera maratón. Ha sido una experiencia increíble. Estoy realmente esperando con interés la próxima carrera virtual de Yo soy Segundo. Será divertido  mirar hacia atrás este año pasado y ver lo lejos que he llegado. “–Heidi de Palmer, MI

Si es tu primera carrera como Janel o solo una de muchas como Heidi, la opción de Run Anywhere es una gran manera de unirte a tus compañeros Segundos,y llevar estas historias al resto del mundo. Así que llama a tus amigos (o hazlo durante el almuerzo,  como Andy) y participa dondequiera que estés, cuando TU puedas!

Ponte tus zapatos de correr y lleva el mensaje de Yo Soy Segundo a tu ciudad!

GPFL Logo-AppEn su libro, Salvaje de Corazón, John Eldredge escribe: “Un hombre debe saber que es poderoso; él debe saber que tiene dentro de él lo que es necesario. Un hombre tiene que saber de dónde viene y de lo que es hecho“.

Desde su carrera en la NFL, el entrenador Joe Gibbs ha inspirado a muchos hombres a conocer su verdadera identidad. [insert Spanish Joe Gibbs page]. Hoy en día, Joe Gibbs ayuda a muchos más por todo el país con su organización Game Plan for Life , y la serie, Average Joes. Pero su dedicación a los  jóvenes comenzó muy temprano en su carrera. Derrick Crawford, ex-director de operaciones de los Washington Redskins, recuerda la actitud del ex-entrenado.

“Uno siempre ve el tirano que intenta entrenar inclinado por temor. Pero él [Gibbs]  nunca entrenó usando el temor. Entrenó usando el respeto.”

Derrick conoció a Gibbs en el 2004, cuando el entrenador se unió al equipo en una segunda etapa como entrenador de los Washington Redskins. Pero Gibbs no fue el  típico entrenador de fútbol americano y Derrick admiraba eso de él. Mientras que otros entrenadores gritaban a sus jugadores durante horas y horas, Gibbs hacía entrega de premios cada semana, reconociendo a los que dieron su mejor esfuerzo en el campo. Él creía en el empoderamiento de sus jugadores, en vez de enfocarse en lo negativo. El respeto que él les demostró, dio a luz una amistad entre el equipo que no se podía romper.

“Cuando respetas a tu entrenador haces hasta lo imposible para él”, comentó Derrick.

Después de su retiro con los Red Skins en 2008, Gibbs escribió el libro Game Plan for Life  y puso en marcha una nueva organización con el mismo nombre. Tanto el libro como la organización ahondan en diferentes áreas de éxito y buscan empoderar a los hombres con la inspiración y comunidad. Gibbs y su equipo logran esto a través de desayunos de hombres, eventos, y asambleas en las escuelas. Todas estas iniciativas construyen relaciones de tutoría donde los jóvenes pueden encontrar apoyo y aliento.

La oportunidad de participar en Game Plan For life llegó en un momento muy crítico para Derrick.  Después de meses de desempleo, apenas podía mantener la cabeza fuera del agua. Fue un tiempo muy difícil para él y su familia.

“Yo estaba recibiendo cupones de alimentos del gobierno, ayudando a un compañero a vender casas, y a otro compañero a organizar su vida. Hice todo lo que pude para poder sobrevivir durante ese tiempo “.

Fue entonces cuando recibió una llamada crucial de Gibbs invitando lo a convertirse en su nuevo Director Ejecutivo. La misión de Game Plan For Life  cambia miles de vidas de hombres por todo el país. Y la vida de Derrick tambien cambio.

“Me ayudó a tener fe y en saber que Dios está en control”, compartió Derrick.

Actualmente, Gibbs y Derrick han puesto en marcha una nueva serie, Average Joes, que cuenta las historias de hombres que han tenido éxito a pesar de terribles circunstancias y fracasos.

Ayudando a los hombres a realizarse por sí mismos a sido la pasión de Joe Gibbs desde el principio. Desde el entrenamiento en el campo de fútbol a la creación de Game Plan for Life , él y su equipo continúan inspirar a hombres por todo el país. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre Game Plan para la Vida y su nueva serie Average Joes.

Since the very first I am Second Run you have been asking for one thing: How can we have a run in our city? Well, guess what. It’s easy!

It’s called the “Run Anywhere” option. It’s a simple way to share in the I Am Second run experience with friends and fellow Seconds. The steps are easy.

1. Take out your phone.

2. Text, email, or call your friends.

3.Pick a date and a location.

4. Select a team name. Make sure you get creative. Register your team here and get your custom team page where you can invite others. You’ll also get a shirt and wristband in the mail.

5. Meet up and run.

That’s it! Be sure to snap a few pics and post them to social media using hashtags #ia2runanywhere and #secondrunselfie.

Last year, runners such as Janel, Andy, and Heidi had a blast with the Run Anywhere option.

“The I am Second Run Anywhere in Boston was my first run ever! I saw it as a personal fitness challenge as well as a great way to share I am Second with my city. My best friend ran at my side and encouraged me every step of the way.  We ran together along the Charles River Esplanade, through the beautiful Fall foliage, all decked out in our I am Second gear. Not only did we have great fun together, but we showed our solidarity with Seconds all across the country. We were proud to say that we finished Second.” — Janel from Boston, MA

“I’m a Lieutenant at the Lima Ohio Police Department. With my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to run with my wife and her friend who did the Run Anywhere 5K. I really wanted to run still, so I decided that it would have to be the treadmill for me. I took a lunch break at work and changed into my running gear. I ran a quick 10K on the treadmill and rocked out to some worship music. With the Run Anywhere option I still felt like I was part of the event, even though I couldn’t run with everyone else. I’ll certainly be doing it again this year, but hope to run outside at least!”  –Andy from Lima, Ohio

“I discovered virtual runs were a fun way to stay motivated after the other races were over. So when I saw the I am Second virtual run posted on Facebook, I signed right up! The run was interesting! The day before, we woke up to a mini blizzard. Snow for Halloween isn’t uncommon up here, but this was 4-6 inches of snow, windy, and 10 degrees! On the morning of the run, it was cold and slow because of the ice. Since then, I spent the winter training for my first 10k, and now I’m training for my first half marathon. It’s been an amazing experience. I’m really looking forward to the next I am Second virtual run. It’ll be fun to look back to last year and see how far I’ve come.” —Heidi, Palmer, MI

Whether it’s your first run like Janel or one of many like Heidi, the I am Second’s Run Anywhere is a great way to join your fellow Seconds as they make their stories known to rest of the world. So grab your friends (or go it alone during a lunch break like Andy) and take part wherever you are, whenever you can!

Lace up your running shoes and bring the I am Second Run to your city!

GPFL Logo-AppIn his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge writes, “A man must know he is powerful; he must know he has what it takes.  A man has to know where he comes from and what he’s made of.“

Since his years in the NFL, showing men their true identity has been a central part of Joe Gibbs’ life.  But his investment in younger guys started long before his retirement.  Derrick Crawford, former Director of Team Administration for the Washington Redskins, remembers the former coach’s demeanor well.

“You always see the tyrant who tries to coach out of fear. But he didn’t coach out of fear. He coached out of respect.”

Derrick met Gibbs in 2004 when the coach joined the team in a second stint as head coach of the Washington Redskins. But Gibbs wasn’t your typical football coach and Derrick admired that about him. While other coaches yelled at their players for hours on end, Gibbs gave out awards every week, acknowledging those who gave their best on the field. He believed in empowering his players, not beating them down. The respect he showed them birthed a team bond that could not be broken.

“When you respect your coach that much you will run through a brick wall for him,” Derrick remarked.

After his retirement from the Redskins in 2008, Gibbs wrote Game Plan for Life and launched a new organization by the same name.  Both the book and the organization delve into different areas of success and seek to empower men with inspiration coaching and community.  Gibbs and his team do this through men’s breakfasts, outreach events, and assemblies in schools.  All of these initiatives build mentoring relationships with men where they can find support and encouragement.

“We are trying to get men off the sidelines and into the game,” Derrick commented.

Derrick’s involvement with Game Plan for Life came at a critical time.  After months of unemployment, he could barely keep his head above water.  It was a taxing time for him and his family.

“I was getting food stamps, helping a buddy flip houses, and helping another buddy organize his life. I did whatever I could so I could pay the bills every month.”

That’s when he received a crucial call from Gibbs inviting him to become his new Executive Director. The mission of Game Plan for Life changes thousands of men’s lives around the country. And now Derrick’s life has changed too.

“It helped me to have faith and know that God is in control,” Derrick shared.

Currently, Gibbs and Derrick have launched a new online series, Average Joes, that tells the stories of men who have experienced success despite terrible circumstances and failures.

Helping men know what they are made of has been Joe Gibbs’ passion from the beginning.  From coaching on the football field to creating Game Plan for Life, he and his team continue to empower men all across the country. Click here to learn more about Game Plan for Life and their new Average Joes series.

07Aug, 2015

Is It Just Porn?

This weekend, an adult entertainment expo, Exxxotica, is coming to the Dallas area. It’s caused quite a debate in the city, with your typical critics, such as pastors, speaking out against it. That’s to be expected. But here’s what I found interesting: It’s not just pastors or the “religious” types who have a problem with it. Last week, a women’s rights group sent a letter to the Dallas mayor, and begged the city to understand that there are deeper issues at play than just porn.

“There is a huge correlation between pornography, sex trade, violence against women, and trafficking,” Roslyn Dawson Thompson, the head of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, says. “How can you not reconcile that, and realize that this is not a good thing for our city to be doing?”

And that group isn’t some stuffy, Bible Belt coffee clutch. Their annual fall luncheon will feature actress Eva Langoria, who led efforts to have Barack Obama elected.

Thompson isn’t the only one that thinks porn can lead to a lot of other issues. “Pornography documents and facilitates trafficking,” writes Melissa Farley.

And just consider another group that’s concerned about the weekend’s events — a group that has a unique perspective: former prostitutes.

When you get down to it, they say the expos are fronts for and gateways to prostitution and human trafficking.

“It opens doors for women to be degraded,” one tells Dallas TV station WFAA.

“I lost myself in this world of sex, to be used as a sex toy as an object,” says another.

Listen to them in their own words:

Annie Lobert knows exactly what these women are talking about. She was an escort for high rollers, working for a pimp and fulfilling the fantasies of men who couldn’t get enough but were willing to pay a lot of money to try. She charged $10,000 for a full night. It started as a way to buy nice things but quickly turned into beatings and addiction. It even involved turning tricks as she battled cancer.

Watch her tell her story of what she thought was going to be a glamorous lifestyle that left her empty, and the one night that led her to finally find something more:

You can read Lobert’s blog post from earlier this year, too, or read her book, Fallen.

07Aug, 2015
Jon Seidl (Source: Jon Seidl)

Jon Seidl (Source: Jon Seidl)

Well — hello there.

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. I’m Jon, your new (and first) editor-in-chief at I Am Second. More on what that means in a bit.

It’s incredible when I think about how I found my way to you. Have you ever done that? You know, stop and think about all the twists and turns, bad decisions, good luck, and hard work that has brought you to this exact place in time. I’ve been doing that over the last couple days since I announced I was leaving my job in the news business to join you. I’ve lived in Wisconsin, New York City, Colorado and Texas. My goal at one point was to be the White House press secretary. That was before I found writing. I still remember the first article I ever got published, what that felt like, and then realizing I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

Now, here I am.

So what does this mean? What is “editor-in-chief” anyway? Let me put it this way: I’m here to make sure you have relevant, fun, and thoughtful things to read. Sometimes, you’ll read something that’s all three of those. Sometimes you’ll read something that’s just one of those. And if you read something that is none of those, I hope you’ll let me know about it.

In short: Soon you’ll be seeing more written content from I Am Second. We love making the films, and will continue to do so, but we wanted to give you more. This isn’t anything radical, but it is something that required us to bring someone in to lead those efforts. Enter me.

Jon with his wife, Brett. (Source: Jon Seidl)

Jon with his wife, Brett. (Source: Jon Seidl)

My passion is story-telling. I want to tell stories that make a difference; stories that make you think; stories that you disagree with; stories that make you want to change, to be different, to be better; stories that are bigger than you and me; stories that take us on a journey; stories that stay with us. That’s why I came here.

I’m really picking up where others have left off, though. People such as Nathan Sheets, Adam Leydig, Mike Jorgensen, Oscar Castillo and, of course, Doug Bender have laid the foundation. I’m just building on it. And with the team we have in place here I can’t wait to get started.

Now this is the point in this little post that I tell you a little bit about me:

• My birthday is in January

• I’ve been married for six years*

• I have a 3-month-old little girl

• I’m originally from Wisconsin

• I went to college in New York City, where I lived for six years

• I can cook a mean brat

•Don’t try talking to me during a Packers game

• I ride a Harley

• My wife is taller than I am

• I lost 50 pounds two summers ago and I’m trying to get back to that

But the most important thing you need to know about me: I am second.

Message me anytime and let me know what you want to see, tell me your story, or just say hey: jseidl@iamsecond.com; @jonseidl on Twitter; and Jonathon M. Seidl on Facebook.

We’re going to have a great time together.

*I originally said five years. Folks, that’s wrong. It’s six. And, well, that was an embarrassing reminder from my lovely wife.

Joe Hamm , Coordinador de Promociones para I am Second, comparte con nosotros tras del escenario en el evento Warped Tour! A pesar del viento y la música a todo volumen , puedes ver su entusiasmo. Estén atentos para más historias de Warped tour en la app de I am Second y medios sociales.

 
15Jul, 2015

I am Second Promotions Coordinator, Joe Hamm, shares an update with us about life out on Warped Tour! Despite the wind and loud music, you can still catch his enthusiasm. Stay tuned for more Warped Tour stories coming to the I am Second app and social media.

E3_I am Second_Moriah Peters_ST_IMG_0138“Haven’t Even Kissed,” “I’ll Wait for You, Love,” “BRAVE Love” — these are just a few titles of the songs and book concepts I’ve written in regards to relationships. Am I an expert on romance? Absolutely not. But I feel as though I’ve been undeservedly given certain people in my life to help navigate what it means to give and receive love in an honest and adventurous way. These guides that led me along the journey had many different names, like Contentment, Hope, Disappointment and Insecurity but the three characters that have held my hand the longest and strongest are named Patricia, Anthony and Joel.

This was my adventure- perhaps you can join me in living this kind of BRAVE Love.

1. Love Is Not Self-Seeking

It only took one abusive relationship for Patricia Castillo to desperately seek out her worth in God’s love. It was in that seeking that she found and shared with her husband and children what selflessness looks like. When she first met my father, he was in debt as a law student but she worked to provide for them both as he ceaselessly studied for the bar exam. He didn’t have money but he had determination, the kind of passion that inspires a woman to stand beside her man and give of herself until the vision is achieved. It was her words that allowed me to love a man not for the things he owns but for the character he shows, “Look for a man who works hard and stops at nothing to accomplish what God has called him to do. When you find him, partner with and pray for him always.”

2. Love Always Protects

Anthony Moreno Peters is an overcomer. Son to an abusive, alcoholic father, it took a divine power, greater than his own to make him into the leader that he would become. He’s a judge, author and speaker but I know him as Dad. It was his consistent protection and love in raising me that led me to understand the true meaning of a “strong man.” I remember crying on his lap after another failed date, asking this question, “Is anyone ever going to be good enough?” His response was consistent throughout those years of dating, “Wait for the man who will cherish you and love you. Who will call you the apple of his eye and the pearl of great prize.”

3. Love is Patient

Joel Smallbone is a hunky, holy Aussie with the face of a Greek garden statue…but don’t worry, when I first met him, I didn’t let him know this. Initially, I tried to hide my intimidation with snarky comments like, “Why do you talk like that? Do you think your accent is cool or something?” I don’t know what he saw in the 17 year old, thick brow, overconfident version of myself but I sure am glad he saw it. When we finally got around to having a mature conversation, I mentioned wanting to save my first kiss for my wedding day to which he calmly replied, “As long as God has called you to do so, I completely support that decision.” Then began the beautiful ebb and flow of our relationship. I would make some outlandish statement and he would respond in patience and peace. As things progressed, my strong feelings for him scared me to the point of wanting to turn away. He would always give me time and gently encourage me to come out of my hiding place and see the wonderful world of fearless love. The lessons learned in watching Joel interact with others, press into God’s voice, and love me so purely has shaped me into the woman I am today. Our first kiss at the altar was the exclamation mark to the phrase he lived by and shared with me many times, “Whenever you see Jesus in the Bible, he gives extravagantly, never holding anything back. I want to love like that.”

To hear more of Moriah Peter’s story, click here.

E3_I am Second_Moriah Peters_ST_IMG_0138“Ni siquiera han besado”, “Voy a esperar por ti, amor”, “BRAVE Love” – ​​estos son sólo algunos títulos de las canciones y los conceptos de libros que he escrito en lo que respecta a las relaciones. ¿Soy una experta en el romance? Absolutamente no. Pero me siento como si me han dado inmerecidamente ciertas personas en mi vida que me han ayudado a navegar lo que significa dar y recibir amor de una manera honesta y aventurera. Estas guías que me llevó a lo largo de la jornada tuvieron muchos nombres diferentes, como la alegría, la esperanza, la decepción y la inseguridad, pero los tres personajes que han ocupado mi mano el más largo y más fuerte se nombran Patricia, Anthony y Joel.

Esta fue mi aventura- tal vez puedes unirte a mí en vivir este tipo de amor BRAVE [valiente].

1. El amor no es egoísta

Sólo hizo falta una relación abusiva para que Patricia Castillo  buscara desesperadamente su valor en el amor de Dios. Fue en esa búsqueda que encontró y compartió con su esposo e hijos que significa el sacrificio hecho en amor. La primera vez que conoció a mi padre, que estaba en deuda como estudiante de derecho, pero trabajó para proveer para ellos tanto en lo que estudió sin cesar para el examen de la barra. No tenía dinero, pero él tenía la determinación, la clase de pasión que inspira a una mujer para estar al lado de su hombre y dar de sí misma hasta que se logre la visión. Fueron sus palabras que me permitieron amar a un hombre no por las cosas que posee, sino por el personaje que muestra, “Encuentra un hombre que trabaja duro y se detiene ante nada para lograr lo que Dios le ha llamado a hacer. Cuando lo encuentres, únete  y ora por él siempre “.

 

2. El amor siempre protege

Anthony Moreno Peters es un vencedor. Hijo de un padre alcohólico y abusivo, tomó un poder divino, para convertirlo en el líder que se convertiría. Él es un juez, autor y orador, pero yo lo conozco como papá. Fue su protección constante y amor en criarme que me llevó a comprender el verdadero significado de un “hombre fuerte”. Recuerdo llorar junto a él  después de otra cita que no terminó bien, haciendo esta pregunta: “¿Hay alguien que va a ser lo suficientemente bueno? “Su respuesta fue constante a través de los años de noviazgo,” Espera a el hombre que va a valorar y amarte. Quién te llamará la niña de sus ojos y la perla de gran precio “.

 

3. El amor es paciente

Joel Smallbone es un guapo, Aussie con el rostro de un jardín de estatua griego … pero no te preocupes, cuando lo conocí, yo no le hice saber esto. Al principio, traté de ocultar mi intimidación con comentarios sarcásticos como: “¿Por qué hablas así? ¿Crees que tu acento es “cool” o algo así? “No sé lo que vio en una joven de 17 años, con cejas gruesas, un exceso de confianza en mí misma, pero estoy alegre que lo vio. Cuando al fin tuvimos una conversación madura, mencioné querer salvar mi primer beso para mi día de boda, lo cual él  respondió con calma: “Mientras Dios te ha llamado a hacerlo, yo apoyo completamente esa decisión.” Entonces empezó la hermosa historia de nuestra relación. Aveces yo hacía  alguna declaración descabellada y él respondía con paciencia. Las cosas progresaron y mis fuertes sentimientos por él me asustaban, hasta el punto de querer darle la espalda. Él siempre me daba tiempo y suavemente me animava a salir de mi escondite y ver el maravilloso mundo de amor sin miedo.  Aprendí muchas lecciones en ver a Joel interactuar con los demás, escuchando la voz de Dios, y lo puramente meamado, lo cual me ha ayudado a ser la mujer que soy hoy en día. Nuestro primer beso en el altar era el signo de exclamación a la frase que vivió y compartió conmigo muchas veces, “Cada vez que vemos a Jesús en la Biblia, él da extravagante, no reservarse nada. Quiero amar de esa manera “.

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25 wristbands (normally a $50 value!)

Free with $50 purchase. Take advantage of this deal and share some wristbands this summer.

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Offer valid July 1-31, 2015.

E3_Iam2nd_BrianSumner_10132009_TC_3817_EditSé hombre, ¿qué significa eso?

Nosotros creemos en un mundo con ritmo, de tiempos rápidos y, una sociedad que está en continuo cambio bombardeando con la próxima mejor cosa para alcanzar tus sueños. Abdominales “six pack”, el vestuario correcto y el trabajo que mejor te sirva.

Pero, ¿cuál es la intención de Dios para nosotros como hombres? ¿Cómo es “Ser un hombre” en los términos de Dios?

Por 24 años yo no conocía a Jesús. Fui criado en un hogar amoroso con padres que estaban juntos y por un papá que todavía es un héroe para mí. Pero me pregunto, a los 35 años, ¿tengo una buena comprensión del papel de ser un hombre?

1. El comienzo

Cientos de blogs definen cómo ser “un hombre exitoso”, “un súper papá”, o cómo “alcanzar tus metas”. Sin embargo, nada de eso importa. Nos hace falta que antes de todo esto, Dios nos hizo como hombres para representarlo por la eternidad. El primer punto, aunque parezca simple, es esta pregunta ¿verdaderamente está Dios de primero en nuestras vidas? ¿en nuestras casas, matrimonios, familias, trabajo, deportes, cuando estamos solos, y más importante, como Salvador del mundo?

Si no sabemos por qué somos creados, entonces incluso nuestros mejores esfuerzos para ser hombres serán en vano.

2. Trabajo

Como hombres, ¿para qué estamos aquí? Si te pregunto por qué compraste ese taladro, ¿qué dirías? Para taladrar. O para mí, como patinador, ¿qué bien tiene una patineta si no se usa? ¿una guitarra si no se toca? ¿un barco si no se navega? Pablo anotó en su carta a los Efesios, que como hombre, somos los trabajadores de Dios. Y si no caminamos en sincronía con esto,  justo como un taladro, una patineta o una guitarra, estamos simplemente adquiriendo polvo.

Sé lo difícil que la vida puede ser. Las personas ponen expectativas en nosotros. Nosotros ponemos expectativas en nosotros mismos. Pero Jesús nos ha dado un camino para recorrer y trabajar para Él.

3. Su Esposo

¿Estamos listos alguna vez para ser esposos? Todas las expectativas que vemos a través de películas, libros, y otros medios nos agotan. A la edad de diecinueve, yo estaba casado y no entendía para nada el matrimonio. Diecisiete años después el matrimonio empezó a tener sentido. Lo que sé y te diré, es que no lo tenemos todo junto. Dios no nos puso con nuestras esposas porque hacemos la pareja perfecta, sino porque a través de esto somos perfeccionados. El matrimonio es una de las maneras en que Dios hace que crezcamos. Lo que vemos al inicio de la Biblia es que la esposa vienea ser la ayuda del hombre. Dios le dió una mujer a Adán y tuvo en mente una mujer, Tracy, para mí. Nosotros nos hicimos uno, y ahora diariamente, sea lo que sea que enfrentemos, puedo confiar en que Dios tomó la mejor decisión en unirnos.

Como esposos, debemos ir al lado de esa mujer, en quien Dios está trabajando y ser partícipes en ser usados en ese proceso. No es fácil, A través del matrimonio, dos seres humanos son unidos con el propósito de servir a Dios, uno al otro y a otros. Yo estoy confiado en que Dios hará cosas maravillosas en nosotros, como hombres, amando a nuestras esposas primero.

4. Padre

Como papá de tres y posiblemente pronto de un cuarto hijo, si es la voluntad de Dios, ¿puedo confesarte algo? Por todo el tiempo que estoy viajando, no hay un momento en el que yo no desee estar haciendo mejor las cosas. Como patinador, Todo es acerca de perfección. Pero como padre, cómo estoy haciendo imperfectamente las cosas resalta más  para mí. Dios me ha dado a estos pequeños humanos para amar, guiar y dirigir. Hay veces que me siento abrumado. Pero, el recordatorio que me motiva a seguir: Podemos hacer muchas cosas en nuestras vidas. Podemos alcanzar esto y lograr aquello, pero sólo nosotros podemos ser los padres de nuestros hijos.

Como papá tengo que aprender lo que hace que sus ruedas anden y a dónde va su concentración. Me involucro en lo que sea que hagan, ya sea baseball, surfear, patinar, dibujar o leer la Biblia. Si hacemos el tiempo para relacionarnos con ellos, tendremos éxito en la mayor área a la que muchos niños les hace falta actualmente, sentirse queridos y amados.

5. Para Servir

De todas las cosas que les podamos decir a nuestros hijos, nuestro carácter en conjunto y cómo lo manejamos es cómo nos van a ver. Tenemos que “ser hombres” y aceptar la responsabilidad de servir como propósito diario. Después de Jesús fue bautizado en el Jordán, y dirigido a llamar a sus primeros discípulos. ¿Qué fue lo que dijo? Jesús se acercó a cuatro pescadores: Simón Pedro, su hermano Andrés, Jacobo, hijos de Zebedeo. Él dijo “Les mostraré cómo ser pescadores de hombres”. Ellos dejaron sus botes, redes y a los otros. Y en su camino siguieron a Jesús. El hecho de que estos hombres hayan dejado su negocio familiar me asombra. ¿Por qué habrán hecho eso? Porque amaban a Jesús. Él vino a servir y ahora nosotros continuamos lo que dejó.

Como esposos, padres, jefes, empleados, estudiantes, miembros de familia, amigos o lo que sea que podamos ser, tenemos que asegurarnos que no perdamos la alegría de caminar junto a Jesús diariamente. Se nos ha dado la oportunidad de dejar un legado de poner a Dios de primero en nuestras vidas. Vivimos en un mundo que se está muriendo, dónde Al Bundy, Homero Simpson y Christian Grey se están convirtiendo en estándares para los hombres, ¿por qué no vivir de otra maner? ¿Sé hombre!

E3_Iam2nd_BrianSumner_10132009_TC_3817_EditMan up, what does that even mean?

We live in a world of pace, fast times, and an ever changing society that bombards you with the next best thing to accomplish your dreams. Six pack abs, the right outfit, and a job that serves you best.

But what did God intend for us as men? What does it look like to “man up” on God’s terms?

For 24 years I did not know Jesus. I was raised in a loving home with parents who stayed together and by a dad who is still a hero of mine. But I wonder, at the age of 35, do I now have a good grasp of the role of being a man?

1. The beginning

Hundreds of blogs define how to be a “successful man”, “super dad”, or how to “accomplish your dreams”. But none of this really matters. We are missing that before all of this, God places us as men to represent God for all eternity. The first point, though it may seem simple, is this one question. Is God really first in our lives? In our homes, marriages, families, work, sports, when we’re alone, and most importantly, as Savior of the world?

If we don’t know why we were created, then even our best efforts to “man up” will be in vain.

2. Work

As men, what are we here to do? If I ask you why you bought that drill, what would you say? To drill. Or for myself, as a skateboarder, what good is a skateboard if it is not being skated? A guitar if not being played? A boat if not being sailed? Paul notes in his letter to the Ephesians, that as men, we are God’s workmanship. And if we are not walking in sync with this, just like a drill, skateboard or guitar, we are simply acquiring dust.

I know how difficult life can be. People put expectations on us. We put expectations on ourselves. But Jesus has given us a path to walk down and we work for Him.

3. Her Husband.

Are we ever ready to be a husband? All the expectations we see through films, books, and other sources of media exhaust us. At the age of nineteen, I was married and did not understand marriage at all. Seventeen years later and marriage seems like it somewhat makes sense now. What I do know and will tell you, is we don’t have it all together. God didn’t place us with our wives because we make the perfect match, but because through this we are perfected. Marriage is one of the ways God grows us. What we see in the beginning of the Bible is that the wife comes alongside as man’s helper.  God brought one woman to Adam and has one woman, Tracy, in mind for me. We become one, and now daily, whatever we my face, I can trust that God made the right decision in uniting us.

As husbands, we get to come alongside this woman, who God is at work in, and partake of being used in that process. Its not easy. Through marriage two humans are brought together with the purpose of serving God, one another, and others. I am confident God will do mighty things in us, as men, as we love our wives first.

4. Dad.

As a father of three, possibly soon, a fourth, God willing, can I confess something to you? For all the time I am traveling, there isn’t a moment I don’t wish I was doing things better. As a skateboarder, everything is about perfection. But as a father, how imperfectly I am doing things stands out all the more to me. God has given me these little humans to love, lead, and direct. Wow, I can sometimes feel overwhelmed. But it is this reminder that keeps me going: We can do many things in our lives. We can achieve this and accomplish that, but only we can be our children’s father.

As a father I have had to learn what makes their wheels turn and where their focus goes. I get involved in what they do whether it is baseball, surfing, skating, drawing, or reading their Bible. If we will make the time to relate to them, we will succeed in the biggest area are that so many kids are lacking in today: feeling loved and wanted.

5. To Serve.

Of all the things we may tell our kids, our overall character and drive will be who they view us as. We have to “man up” and accept the responsibility to serve as our daily purpose. After Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, and headed off to call his first disciples. What did he say? Jesus approaches four fishermen: Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, James, and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee. He says “I will show you how to fish for men.” They left their boats, nets, and the others. And on their way they followed Jesus. The fact that these men left their family business amazes me. Why would they do this? Because they loved Jesus. He came to serve and now we continue where he left off.

As husbands, dads, bosses, employees, students, family members, friends, or whatever we may be, we need to make sure we don’t miss the joy of walking with Jesus daily. We are given the opportunity to leave a legacy of putting God first in our lives. We live in a dying world where Al Bundy, Homer Simpson and Christian Grey are becoming the standard for men, why not live otherwise? Man up!

18May, 2015

I am Second in your pocket

Six years of powerful films. Hundreds of raw stories resonating across culture and age. Serious topics from addictions to abuse,  trauma and anger. Fun stories featuring musicians and athletes you follow. The result: thousands of lives healed. Hope found. A new culture redefined by you.

But you wanted more and we listened.

Introducing the new I am Second App. A new way to connect and engage with those around you. And talk about the things that really matter.  You’ll be able to:

IHelpPanel_Page5@2x➩ Discuss today’s news and cultural issues.

➩ Start conversation with others about real life stories

➩ Take daily challenges to help bring your best to life

➩ Unlock exclusive I am Second content and digital downloads

➩  and many more features!

Explore. Engage. Share.
Watch for it June 2015.

18May, 2015

I am Second en tu bolsillo

Seis años de videos poderosos. Cientos de historias fuertes resonando en todas las culturas y edades. Temas serios desde adicción hasta abuso, trauma y enojo. Historias divertidas protagonizadas por músicos y atletas que sigues. El resultado: miles de vidas sanadas. Esperanza encontrada. Una nueva cultura redefinida por tí.

Sin embargo, ustedes querían más y escuchamos.

Presentando la nueva aplicación: I Am Second App. Una nueva forma de conectarse y relacionarse con aquellos alrededor tuyo. Y, hablar de asuntos que de veras importan. Podrás:

IHelpPanel_Page5@2x➩ Discutir las noticias de última hora y asuntos culturales..

➩ Comenzar conversaciones con otros sobre historias reales.

➩ Tomar desafíos diarios para ayudar a llevar lo mejor a tu vida.

➩ Desbloquee y descargue material exclusivo de I Am Second.

➩  ¡Y muchas características más!

Explore. Únase. Comparta

Esperalo en Junio del 2015.

14May, 2015

local-events-222“So here’s my story. At the Chicago date for Warped Tour, I spotted the I am Second tent. It interested me, so I went up to the tent and talked with a man there. I 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. He hugged me and  told me how proud he was of me for overcoming my battles.” — Gina

Gina is only one of thousands of lives impacted by I am Second volunteers. This summer, as I am Second travels across the United States you can help transform the lives of our friends like Gina. Volunteer at Warped Tour, Celebrate Freedom, and other to be announced events. You’ll have fun,  make friends, and you’ll make a difference in someone’s life.

Check out these summer events below.

Warped Tour 2015

Starting on June 17th, I am Second hits the road with Warped Tour, the largest travelling music festival in the US. I am Second travels across the country throughout the months of June, July, and August. Limited volunteer spots are available so be quick and find out when the Warped Tour is coming near you and volunteer with I am Second. To check out the tour dates and stops, click here.

Celebrate Freedom 2015

Dallasites, this one is for you. Pack your sunscreen and we will provide the water and snacks while you volunteer with us at the June 27th all day concert.  Volunteer spots are limited so catch them while you can!

To find out more about the volunteer opportunities and get involved in your city, contact I am Second at getinvolved@iamsecond.com

Profile-BlackBG-Alex-KendrickIs your marriage falling apart? Are you losing sleep over your family’s debt? Every year the amount of broken homes continues to grow. In 2000, 60% of all children were born into broken homes. The health of our economy isn’t as it should be. What does this all mean? Does all this leave us helpless and doomed?

Ironically, Alex Kendrick, whose personal I am Second film debuted two–plus years ago, has a suggestion. “It’s time to go to war,” says Alex and his brother Stephen, the producers of the upcoming film, The War Room.  

“Looking at the state of our culture, we see it has become more alarming each year. We are too divided and dispersed. The church is not unified,” states Alex Kendrick. This conviction pierced the hearts of the Kendrick Brothers, the producers of past films Fireproof, Courageous, and Facing the Giants.  With their current film project, they call the church of America to fall on their knees and go to war in prayer.

This family friendly drama, The War Room,  is about learning to begin all your battles on your knees and learning who your real enemy is. This film focuses on the couple, Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, as they go through personal, marital, and spiritual problems. Rising to the challenge of a wise older woman, Elizabeth Jordan decides to take a stand and combat the difficulties in her marriage. She realizes the anger towards her husband and her children have exhausted her family. After setting up her War Room, Elizabeth fights for her marriage while on her knees in prayer.

The message of this film convicted Alex Kendrick to aggressively fight for his family and country. Sharing his personal experience with the filming, Alex remarked, “It has certainly changed my prayer life.  We went from doing it occasionally 3-4 times a week to regularly and more so individually. This morning I was on my knees crying out to God to be with our family, our culture, our church, with ISIS situation, and our family debt.”

Not only convicted, but empowered by the film, Alex confesses, “Our marriage has gotten stronger.  My wife and I have a better understanding of how to challenge and disciple our children. It gives us a greater passion and we take more seriously how we spend our money and engage our culture.”

Even their children have been affected. “Our kids are adopting our standards little by little. Even though we have been considered a strong christian family, we have been pressed to get more serious about our faith. My wife and I have watched our kids start doing their own devotional times without our prompting. They choose to not be apart of things detrimental to their lives. They stand up and choose to be better.”

Through the film, the Kendrick Brothers go to war for their country and their families. Now they challenge us with a battle cry to join them on the battlefield and fight. The War Room comes out late August of 2015, along with other resources including a study for couples and a book called, The Battle Plan for Prayer. To watch the trailer for this upcoming film, click here.

 

local-events-222“Bueno, esta es mi historia. En una fecha en Chicago para Warped Tour, encontré con la carpa de I  Am Second (Yo Soy Segundo). Me interesaba, por lo que fui a hablar con el hombre ahí. Le expliqué cómo había luchado con la depresión y la ansiedad hacía varios años ya, y que llevaba más de seis meses sin cortarme. Él me abrazó y me dijo lo orgulloso que estaba de mi por haber superado mis batallas”- Gina

Gina es tan sólo una de las miles de vidas impactadas por los voluntarios de I Am Second. Este verano, como I Am Second viajará por todo Estados Unidos, puedes ayudar a transformar la vida de nuestros amigos como Gina. Sé voluntario en el Warped Tour, Celebrate Freedom, y otros eventos que serán anunciados. Te divertirás, harás nuevos amigos y harás la diferencia en la vida de alguien.

Mira nuestros Eventos de Verena abajo

Warped Tour 2015

Comenzando el 17 de Junio, I Am Second llega a las calles con el Warped Tour, el festival de viaje y música más largo de EEUU. I Am Second viaja a través del país en los mese de Junio, Julio y Agosto. Todavía hay disponibles campos limitados, por lo que sé rápido y descubre cuándo el Warped Tour estará cerca de ti para que puedas ser voluntario con I Am Second. Para revisar las fechas del tour y las paradas, da click aquí.

Celebrate Freedom 2015

Ciudadanos de Dallas, esto es para ustedes. Empaca tu protector solar y nosotros proveeremos agua y merienda mientras son voluntarios con nosotros todo el día en el concierto el 27 de Junio. Los cupos para voluntarios son limitados así que guarda el tuyo mientras puedas.

Para descubrir más oportunidades de cómo ser voluntario e involucrarte en tu ciudad, contacta I Am Second a getinvolved@iamsecond.com

Profile-BlackBG-Alex-Kendrick¿Tu matrimonio se está desmoronando? ¿Estás perdiendo el sueño por la deuda de tu familia? Cada año la cantidad de hogares rotos aumenta. En el 2000, 60% de los niños nacieron en hogares rotos. La salud de nuestra economía no es como debería ser. ¿Qué significa todo esto? ¿Nos deja todo esto indefensos y condenados?

Irónicamente, Alex Kendrick, cuyo video de Yo Soy Segundo debutó hace más de años, tiene una sugerencia. “Es tiempo de ir a la guerra”, dijeron Alex y su hermano Steven, quienes son los productores de la nueva película, The War Room.

“Mirando el estado de nuestra cultura, vemos que se vuelve más alarmante con cada año. Estamos muy divididos y dispersos. La iglesia no está unificada”, resalta Alex Kendrick. Esta convicción tocó el corazón de los hermanos Kendrick, los productores de varias películas como A Prueba de Fuego, Reto de Valientes, y Enfrentando a los Gigantes. Con su nuevo proyecto, llaman a la iglesia de América a ponerse de rodillas e ir a la guerra en oración.

Este drama familiar, The War Room, trata sobre aprender a iniciar todas tus batallas en tus rodillas y en aprender quién es tu verdadero enemigo. Esta película se concentra en la pareja, Tony y Elizabeth Jordan, mientras ellos pasan por problemas personales, maritles y espirituales. Enfrentándose al desafío de una sabia mujer mayor, Elizabeth Jordan decide tomar su posición y enfrentar las dificultades en su matrimonio. Ella se da cuenta que el enojo que sentía hacia su marido y hacia sus hijos había cansado a su familia. Depués de montar su Cuarto de Guerra, ella pelea por su matrimonio mientras ora.

El mensaje de esta película comprometió a Alex Kendrick a pelear agresivamente por su familia y por su país. Compartiendo su experiencia personal con la película, Alex remarcó, “Ciertamente cambió mi vida de oración. Pasamos de hacerlo de 3 a 4 veces por semana, a hacerlo más regularmente e aún más individualmente. Esta mañana estaba en mis rodillas pidiéndole a Dios para que este con nuestra familia, cultura e iglesia, con la situación de ISIS y por la deuda familiar”.

No sólo comprometido, sino empoderado por la película, Alex confiesa, “Nuestro matrimonio se ha vuelto más fuerte. Mi esposa y yo ahora tenemos más entendimiento en cómo desafiar y disciplinar a nuestros hijos. Nos da más pasión y ahora tenemos más cuidado en cómo invertir nuestro dinero e involucrar nuestra cultura.”

Incluso sus hijos han sido afectados. “Nuestros hijos han adoptado nuestros estándares poco a poco. Aunque somos considerados como una familia fuerte y cristiana, somos presionados por volvernos más serios con respecto a nuestra fé. MI esposa y yo hemos visto a nuestros hijos comenzar a hacer sus devocionales sin necesidad de que se los digamos. Ellos han escogido no apartarse de las cosas no perjudiciales para sus vidas. Ellos se ponen en pie y escogen ser mejores”.

Por medio de la película, los hermanos Kendrick van a la guerra por su país y sus familias. Ahora ellos nos retan a unirnos en ellos con un grito de guerra en el campo de batalla y pelear. The War Room llega se estrenará a finales de Agosto del 2015, junto con otros recursos incluyendo un estudio para parejas y un libro llamado, The Battle Plan for Prayer (El plan de batallas con oración). Para mirar el trailer de ésta película da click aquí.

E3_I am Second_Albert Pujols_IMG_0075“No escogimos el Síndrome de Down, el Síndrome de Down nos escogió a nosotros”

 

La respetable carrera de Albert Pujols en la Liga Mayor de Baseball ha tenido momentos frecuentes en el foco de los medios. Quinientas carreras de home run hacen eso. Sin embargo, no fue sino hasta hace poco que audiencias pudieron tener un vistazo de su pasión más allá del baseball, Dios y la familia. Cualquier conversación acerca de esas pasiones, eventualmente lleva al tema del Síndrome de Down.

Pujols se sentó con Yo Soy Segundo para un entrevista sincera, detallando cómo fue que conoció al amor de su vida Deidre y a su hija Isabella, quién fue diagnosticada con Síndrome de Down tres meses antes de su encuentro. El amor y el cuidado que Deidre demostraba hacia Isabella atrajo a Pujols hacia su futura esposa y orgullosamente tomó como si fuera suya a Isabella cuando contrajeron matrimonio en el 2000.

El diagnóstico de Síndrome de Down puede ser una experiencia de confusión emocional que impacta a más de 6.000 familias al año y con gastos médicos superiores de hasta 12 veces mayores que una familia promedio. Como madre soltera en ese entonces, Deidre sabía en pocos minutos después del nacimiento de Isabella que ella tenía Síndrome de Down. Preguntó a muchos padres que han enfrentado este desafío y le expresaron un sentido de alegría y llamado al criar a sus hijos. Para Albert y Deidre, este llamado tomó la forma de la Fundación Familia Pujols (Pujols Family Foundation / PFF) que empezó en el 2005 a dar conciencia acerca del Síndrome de Down.

La fundación crea conciencia, provee esperanza, y crea eventos memorables y de ayuda por familias impactadas por esta condición. Este trabajo se extiende más lejos de los Estados Unidos y del hogar nativo de Albert, República Dominicana, a ayudar a los niños de escasos recursos  a través de la educación, ayuda médica y bienes tangibles. En total, PFF anfitriona más de 100 eventos cada año alrededor del mundo.

“Es mi pasión. Tener a un niño con necesidades especiales cambia todo en tu vida. También, haber crecido en la República Dominicana me dió un entendimiento de la pobreza mundial”, remarca Pujols.

De todos los eventos organizacionales, los bailes son sus favoritos. “Somos anfitriones de bailes para niños y jóvenes con Síndrome de Down. Más de 1.000 personas con Síndrome de Down asisten a uno de nuestro bailes a través del país. Me encanta ver la felicidad en sus caras. ¡Me encanta verlos bailar! Es una noche de pura felicidad y alegría. En verdad es el lugar más feliz de la Tierra”

Cuando Albert y Deidre viajan alrededor del mundo, son transformados e inspirados por las familias y los niños que conocen. Mientras las necesidades especiales llegaron a ellos como una bola curva, Albert y su esposa lo han convertido en un home run para muchas familias a lo largo del mundo.

A pesar de la exitosa carrera de Albert en el baseball, no es más que un medio para el fin. “Dios me ha bendecido con la plataforma del baseball, para que podamos hacer funcionar esto”, compartió Pujols.

Tan demandante como puede ver ser su carrera, él se rehúsa a dejar que eso lo distraiga de su familia. Cuando está acaba de batear, corre por las bases lleno de pasión por su familia y por una gran comunidad con necesidades especiales. En mayo, la fundación celebrará diez años de servir a las familias con Síndrome de Down en los Estados Unidos y República Dominicana.

Para escuchar más acerca la historia de Albert, mira su video de Yo Soy Segundo aquí.

E3_I am Second_Albert Pujols_IMG_0075“We did not choose Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome chose us.

Albert Pujols’ storied Major League Baseball career has been filled with frequent moments in the media spotlight. 500 plus career home runs will do that. However, only recently were audiences able to get a glimpse into his passions beyond baseball – God and Family. Any conversation about those passions eventually leads to the subject of Down Syndrome.

Pujols sat down with I am Second for a candid interview detailing how he met the love of his life Deidre and her daughter Isabella, who had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome three months prior to them meeting. The love and care Deidre displayed toward Isabella attracted Pujols to his future wife and he proudly took on Isabella as his own when they wed in 2000.

The diagnosis of Down Syndrome can be an emotionally confusing experience that impacts over 6,000 families a year and with medical expenses twelve times higher than the average family. As a single mother at the time, Deidre knew minutes after her daughter was born that she had Down Syndrome. But ask most parents who have faced the challenge and they’ll express a sense of joy and calling as they raise their children.  For Albert and Deidre, this calling took the form of the Pujols Family Foundation (PFF), which they started in 2005 to spread awareness of Down  Syndrome.

The foundation raises awareness, provides hope, and creates supportive and memorable events for families impacted by the condition.  This work extends beyond the United States and into Albert’s native home, the Dominican Republic, to aid impoverished children through education, medical relief and tangible goods.  Altogether, PFF hosts over 100 events every year around the world.

“It is my passion. Having a child with special needs will change everything in your life. Also, growing up in the Dominican I had first-hand understanding of global poverty,” remarks Pujols.

Of all the organization’s events, the proms are his favorite.  “We host a series of proms for kids and young adults with Down Syndrome. Over 1,000 people with Down Syndrome each year attend one of our proms across the country. I love to see the happiness on their faces. I love to see them dance! It is a night of pure happiness and joy. It truly is the happiest place on earth.”

When Albert and Deidre travel around the globe, they are transformed and inspired by the families and children they meet. While special needs came at them like a curveball, Albert and his wife have turned it into a home run for many families all over the world.

Despite Albert’s prolific career in baseball, it’s nothing more than a means to an end.  “God has blessed me with the platform of baseball, so that we can do this work,” shared Pujols.

As demanding as his career may seem, he refuses to let it distract him from his family.  When he steps up to bat, he runs the bases fueled by a passion for his family and the greater special needs community.  In May, the foundation will celebrate ten years of service to Down Syndrome families in the United States and the Dominican Republic.

To hear more of Albert’s story, watch his I am Second film here.

 

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) Connect 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.

 

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