Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who suffered a shark attack that left her with only one arm, is having a very busy 2011.  She travelled to Dallas at the beginning of the year and filmed her I Am Second film about her faith journey as she was injured and then recovered and returned to the world of competitive surfing.  Her story is both shocking and inspiring, as her relationship with God gave her the resolve to not only recover, but to return to the sport she loves. 

Watch her film now at I Am Second. 

Bethany’s story is also told in the movie “Soul Surfer” which will be released on April 8th.


It seems that recently we’ve heard about a lot more I Am Second wristband sightings…

Sweet Bailee Madison was sporting her wristband on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

 

American Idol contestant Scott McCreary has been wearing an I Am Second wristband throughout the competition.

 

Pray that people are seeing the words and either asking what it means or “googling” it to find the videos.  Have you spotted any I Am Second wristbands, t-shirts, or bumper stickers?  Send us your pics!


We are so fortunate here at I Am Second to be able to sponsor Matthew West’s 2011 tour: An Evening of Stories and Songs.  We first met up with Matthew at I Am Second’s 2nd Birthday Celebration last December.  He’s got an amazing collection of songs out right now that tell about the power in our personal stories.  Joining together was a no-brainer. 

Grab your friends and get your tickets fast!  His concert series ends on April 3rd.

Check out these dates:

3/17/11- Franklin, TN

3/18/11- Naperville, IL

3/19/11- Valparaiso, IN

3/20/11- Paducah, KY

3/24/11- Lima, OH

3/25/11- Waukesha, WI

3/26/11- Sioux Center, IA

3/27/11- Sheboygan, WI

3/31/11- Cedar Rapids, IA

4/01/11- Saint Paul, MN

4/02/11- Fargo, ND

4/03/11- Kearney, NE

Find out more about the tour and purchase tickets at  www.matthewwest.com

Have you heard music from The Story of Your Life?   Tell us about it!


If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the review the I Am Second small group materials received over at SimpleChurch Journal. They have a great blog about living missionally and how the church can benefit from getting down to the basics.

Here are some excerpts:

They incorporate many of the principles that we have found key to starting healthy groups that can reach out to others to start new groups.

New believers are encouraged immediately to begin praying for their “village,” or sphere of influence, and to reach out with compassion towards them.

We appreciate the encouragement and are glad to be working toward the same goals.  Be sure to share your experience with the I Am Second small group materials on their blog and here for that matter!  What’s your experience been?


Diane’s Story

31Jan11

Diane shares the following story:

“I was doing my usual walking at a Rec Center where we go and I was wearing my ‘I Am Second’ t-shirt.  A guy came up to me (whom we have seen previously and spoken to briefly before) and said, ‘I like your t-shirt.’  He went on to say, ‘Not in a religious sense, but a philosophical sense. In other words, to put people first and myself second.  In fact that was my New Year’s resolution.’  We then began a conversation where I was able to share with him that God is the one who enables us to live, putting ourselves second. Then he began to share with me how he used to go to church, but not any more.  He had been turned off by the institution of the church and especially big churches. I was able to share with him that Chris (my husband) is the worship pastor of a small church in Frisco, and I explained that our pastor was very real and down-to-earth.  Then he asked me what time our service was and how to get there and said, ‘I’m coming.  You can count on it!’

I’m praising the Lord for the opportunity He gave me to share with this guy today and hopefully continue to be a ministry in his life!”

Have you had a similar experience?


Our New Sister

28Jan11

About a week ago Duche spoke to in the inmates involved with I am Second at the Dawson State jail. After presenting the Gospel, Duche left all the inmates one of his cards that had his story of transformation from drug dealer to Christ follower. Three days later, Duche got a facebook message from a 17 year old girl, named Michelle (name changed for privacy), saying that her mother had seen Duche in prison, had sent her his card and told her to contact Duche via facebook. She said she liked Duche’s story and she would like to meet Duche someday, but she knew that would probably never happen. She was content with a new facebook friend.

Duche looked up her facebook profile and saw that she was from Lubbock, TX. I am Second had an event in Lubbock at Texas Tech partnering with Campus Crusade and Duche invited her to come. He knew this would be awkward for a lonely high school girl to come to an event with hundreds of people she didn’t know, but she came anyway. When Michelle’s father dropped Duche off, the father asked, “What kind of event is this?” Duche gave him an I am Second tract and invited him in, but he said, “No, no, I’ll come back and pick her up.”

Duche walked Michelle in and connected her with Lauren Haynie, a student from UNT and a leader of I am Second nationally. They sat together and talked and Lauren shared the gospel with this girl. During the I am Second event, Baron Batch, Duche Bradley, and Chris Plekenpol share their stories of second. Michelle cried the whole time.

After the event, a bunch of the students wanted to go to Rosa’s. Lauren asked Michelle if she wanted to come, but Duche intervened and said her father is probably wanting her home, to which Michelle replied, “My dad doesn’t care about me.”

The way she said that caused a moment of pause.  Lauren  walked Michelle to her father’s old 1977 pick-up and asked him if she could take Michelle to Rosa’s for a late night dinner.  Her father said, “Just have her home by 8am.”

Duche walked over to the car and said, “Hey we will make sure that Michelle is safe, you don’t have to worry about her.”

The man looked back at Duche and said, “Hey man, I read your tract, you have a powerful story, keep up the good work.”

With that, Chris, Duche, Lauren and Michelle went to Rosa’s. Along the way Lauren continued to press the Gospel.

“Do you want to know Jesus as your savior?” she asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“Would you like to do it now?” Lauren asked.

“No,” Michelle said.

“Why not,” Chris asked.

“There is only one person, who would not want you to turn to Christ, that is Satan,” Duche said, “because he wants to kill steal and destroy, but God says come to me all who are heavy ladened and I will give you rest. That’s why you can’t sleep at night and you stay up worrying, because the enemy doesn’t want you to have peace.”

“My principle told me that the Devil has a hold on me. I’m afraid,” Michelle said.

“Listen Michelle,” Chris said. “Jesus taught his disciples to pray in Luke 11. He told them that they are praying to a Father who loves them. Jesus said when you ask your father for a fish, he won’t give you a snake, and when you ask for an egg he won’t give you a scorpion—even evil dad’s get that. But your Heavenly Father promises to give the Holy Spirit to anyone who asks him.”

Michelle sat in silence and Chris continued.

“All you have to do is cry out to God to give you the Holy Spirit and he promises to do it. I want you to just cry out and say, ‘God give me the Holy Spirit!’”

We sat for a moment and then Michelle cried, “God give me the Holy Spirit!”

Then Chris said, “You did it! Did you feel that?”

Michelle smiled.

“Now I want you to repeat after me this prayer…” Chris led her through the prayer of salvation and when she asked God to forgive her for all her pain, all her shame, and all her regrets, tears flowed. She told God she believed that Jesus died on the cross for her sins and that He rose from the dead, and that she wanted the Holy Spirit to live with her forever.

When they reached Rosa’s they announced to everyone the good news. They had a new sister in Christ. Immediately college students from Texas Tech introduced themselves and asked if they could be a part of her life.  They told her they wanted to spend time with her. They were her family now.


We’re excited about partnering with Campus Crusade at Texas Tech University in Lubbock this weekend!  Here’s Ashley’s perspective:

“It’s just two days before I get on the road with my friend, Havana, to begin the exciting eight hour drive to Lubbock from College Station.  We’re leaving Thursday afternoon to spend the weekend with the Campus Crusade group at Texas Tech.  These wonderful people have opened up over a dozen homes for all of us- we’re coming from Texas A&M, UNT, UT Tyler, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Sam Houston State.

Friday afternoon, about 25 A&M students will begin to pull out of their driveways to road-trip up to Tech and join our very-much-missed friends from all these other campuses.  So why on earth are we even venturing out on this long drive from College Station to our rivals up at Tech?

All day Saturday we will be doing small group training with our friends in Tech Cru.  Because of the awesome small group multiplication occurring at UNT and West Point, we want to see the same thing happen at other campuses!   Campus Crusade and I Am Second are partnering in using the I Am Second material to make radically obedient followers of Jesus.  I Am Second is all about making disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples, etc.  Campus Crusade shares this vision for their college campuses, so now we begin an exciting journey of working together to reach out and equip believers on our college campuses.  Exciting right?!

One of my favorite parts of these trips are the friendships you form.  What makes these friendships so unique and close to my heart is the passion we all share.  Even if you feel like you are burned out and burdened, the fellowship with other students never fails to light that flame in your heart and ignite that passion to reach your campus through small groups.  It’s seriously so simple. If you have a class, then you have a ministry and people to reach out to.  They’re the people sitting next to you in classrooms, the people behind in you in line at the coffee shops, and the people flying by you as they rush to class.  All you have to do is start a conversation.  We get to go to Texas Tech to share our passion for reaching our campus as we help start multiplying small groups!

Thanks and Gig ‘Em!”

Ashley Scarbrough is the I Am Second Small Groups Coordinator at Texas A&M.  She is a sophomore Communications major.



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