Stories

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!

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Things To Learn From Teens

1. It’s O.K. To Not Be O.K.

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

2. Justice Matters

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

3. Value Community

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

4. Celebrate Uniqueness

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

5. Globally Minded

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

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

By David Martin

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

 

 

13Mar, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20100610-E3_Iamsecond_Brady James 64-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

¿De dónde vienen los líderes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where did the leaders come from?

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

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

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

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

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

 

04Nov, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22Aug, 2014

It’s hard to really know what brought Rachel into the tent that day.  It may have been the oppressive summer heat.  It could have just been curiosity.  As Joe Hamm, the Promotions Coordinator at e3 Partners was setting up that day, he watched as this teenage girl browsed the I am Second merchandise.

Suddenly, Rachel broke down crying.

“I didn’t say a word.  I just reached out and hugged her,” Joe remembers.

She clung to him for several minutes, soaking his shirt in her tears.  As she regained composure, Joe introduced himself.  That’s when she revealed the burdens she carried.

Between her painful home life and sexual abuse history, this seemingly normal teenage girl was dealing with deep emotional pain.  The scars on her arm proved it was becoming more than she could handle.  That’s when Joe began to share his own story and the impact Jesus has made on his life.

“It was really the first time I had ever shared Jesus with a stranger,” Joe remembers.

There, in an outdoor tent at one of the nation’s largest rock festivals, God broke into Rachel’s life.

Intersecting with Alternative Culture

With 41 stops and nearly 90 musical artists. the Vans Warped Tour is the premier alternative rock festival in the United States.  With over 15,000 guests expected at each stop, the tour will draw over half a million fans, many of whom are teenagers and college students.

At each stop, I am Second interacts with musical artists and concert-goers from across the country.  In addition to selling merchandise, Joe and his team host a lounge where guests can rest, charge their phones, and escape the hot summer heat.

Joe explains, “It’s all a public service to attract people so we can engage them in conversation.”

Many attendees are outcasts in their schools.  Some actively experiment with casual sex and drug use.  Events like the Vans Warped Tour are a gathering place for these fans who find community in their shared love of music.

“We’re all finding satisfaction in things that aren’t helpful,” Joe remarked.  “The youth of today like to rebel and a man preaching on a street corner won’t likely resonate with them.”

I am Second engages these fans in their own environment.  It’s also a chance for the team to share Jesus’ love.

Joe explains, “They’re used to constantly being told that they’re wrong. They think Christianity is about pointing the finger and it’s not. The fact we’re in that environment with them is huge.”

Over the last year, Joe and his wife, Renee have kindled a special friendship with Rachel on social media.  They touch base every few months.  In the time since their encounter, her life has gone in a completely new direction.  She has relief from the burdens of her past and has even found a local church.

Keep Up with I am Second

This year’s tour begins on Thursday, June 19 in Pomona, CA and will continue into August.  Joe and the I am Second team will be there at each stop, hanging out with fans and engaging  along the way.  Catch their updates on the new I am Second app! Download here.

IMG_3502

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.

One year later, he returned to Johannesburg.  Dylan was greeted by this same young man.  Still free from crack and still rocking his I am Second volunteer shirt.unnamed

 

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.

IA2_2Frank Seale MS_Small Groups_2014_IMG_0562

These students formed Team Ethan in order to support their friend through this battle with cancer. Team Ethan inspired these weekly I am Second groups.

IA2_Frank Seale MS_Small Groups_2014_IMG_0393

On this particular morning, 140+ students flooded through the doors and Peter opened the group with his story.

IA2_Frank Seale MS_Small Groups_2014_IMG_0377

The students then broken into I am Second Groups to discuss the story.

IA2_2Frank Seale MS_Small Groups_2014_IMG_0558

As they gathered, they shared their stories and talked about life and God.

IA2_2Frank Seale MS_Small Groups_2014_IMG_0551

Before the bell would ring for class, the students ended their time together talking to God.

JsCoffeeShop

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.

-Ken Foster

For more information about the I am Second tools, click here.

13Mar, 2014

EduardoOrtiz copy

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.

Eduardo Ortiz

To get the gear and start a conversation please visit the I am Second Store and share your stories with us!

eitanbar_landscape2

When you hear “Israel,” what comes to your mind? Is it deserts, camels, markets full of tents and vendors, or men in military uniforms? Have you ever asked yourself what it would be like to live a life of Second in Israel, or anywhere else in the world today? 

Over the past few years in America, it seems open religious expression has lost its cultural support- no prayers in school, don’t say “Jesus” in public spaces, people going to court for speaking up.  Now more than ever, we’re told it’s imperative that we remain politically correct, regardless of what we may feel in our heart to be right or wrong.

But despite our own country’s resistance, we have a freedom we still take for granted. For years now, Stefan, Eitan, and Yair have been collectively working on creative ways to spread the idea of Second in Israel.  With several organizations and tools in Hebrew and English, they bring a creative and technologically savvy approach to spreading the idea of Second. In fact, it’s their goal to use much of I am Second’s approach when spreading the message of hope, except for one aspect of it: the gear. They can’t put up a billboard, pass out flyers, or even wear the same gear that we so freely wear here in the U.S.

We, as Americans, have the luxury of using our I am Second gear to start conversations and explain what it means to live Second.  However in Israel, to discuss how they live Second faces more resistance, and even giving someone the gear without saying a word is deemed as bribery, particularly when it comes to I am Second and what’s behind it. Stefan remarks, “[we] are seen to be traitors to our own people as those who have ‘converted’ to a different faith altogether and are no longer a part of the Jewish people in any way.”

thegroup

Much of this resistance in Israel is due to a history of persecution associated with the church.  Anything that has to do with living Second is seen as something very negative because of the associatuion with the crusades and even the Holocaust events that happened in the name of Jesus by ‘christians’.  Because of this, when the idea of living Second is mentioned in Israel one of the first things that comes to their mind is persecution.

Stefan comments, “If you are [ethnically] Jewish, you can believe in anything. You can be a Buddhist, a satanist, into new age, magic, witchcraft…anything and you are still considered Jewish. But, if you become a follower of [Jesus] you are no longer considered a Jew but a Christian.”

Due to the historical scars, it is nearly impossible to share what it means to live Second in any easy way. Nevertheless, Stefan shares many stories of friends who declare a life of Second because of their boldness despite the resistance in their country. And the group’s ability to harness technology and impart creativity is helping them take the idea of Second to the next level in Israel. You can see that here at oneforisrael.org.

What does this mean for us?  Let us take advantage of our freedom and engage our communities.  Let us take advantage of our freedom to wear our Second gear and share a life of Second.  Let us join our Israeli friends in boldness to declare a life of Second in the midst of resistance. Because despite not being able to use the I am Second wristband to start conversations, the Israeli group still wears the message as a simple reminder to themselves: there is hope!


Take advantage of October’s promotions when you get the gear this month at iamsecondstore.com:

– 10% off Activeware : NO PROMO CODE NEEDED

– 10 FREE wristbands with $30 order : promo code 5910 for IAS wristband; promo code 5911 for YSS wristband

– FREE Black Coffee Mug with $30 order : promo code 5912 for IAS mug;  promo code 5913 for YSS mug  

  • 1
  • 2
X

Login

Reset Password

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

I am Second

Struggle With?

Chat Now

Ready to be Second?

Ready to be Second? Connect Now