I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed the messages that I am Second and the 22-Day Challenge sends to the lost and saved world.

Approximately one year ago, someone shared the website with me and I have passed it on to others. The videos are so powerful and heartfelt.
While all of the speakers in the videos are diverse, I can see a glimpse of myself in them all. We all have a story and the main character is God.
Thank goodness for His Mercy and Grace.

Your ministry is a blessing and I pray God continues to bless others through your service.

Sincerely,
Cathy

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With the Super Bowl just around the corner, we’ve got a great opportunity to reach out to our friends and neighbors!  To help connect people to a meaningful community where Jesus will be shared, we have some resources available at I Am Second that could be just what you need.  Get people together to watch the Super Bowl and find out who is interested in spiritual things.  Use our Kickoff Event Planner to plan the party as well as the follow-up after the party.  These free tools are available at www.iamsecond.com/kickoff.

The new “Champions” discussion guide and DVD will be coming out soon!  This is going to be a great tool for sports enthusiasts or FCA groups.  Talk about great athlete’s stories like Sam Bradford, Josh Hamilton, or Tony Dungy and learn about true success.  Go deeper by using the “Film Discussion Guide”- an evangelistic Bible study designed to facilitate discussions about the Gospel and its relevance.  Use “What’s First” to learn how to identify people in your sphere of influence and how to share your own story with them.  Watch a training film to learn more about using these resources at http://www.iamsecond.com/groups.  At I Am Second, we want to equip you to share your faith and bring hope to those around you!


PLANO, Texas, Dec. 2, 2010 – The revolutionary I Am Second   movement commemorated two years of outstanding growth and impact with a special birthday celebration tonight to share stories of lives changed at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas.

The evening was filled with reminiscing on the beginning of I Am Second, which launched with a billboard campaign in the Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace on Dec. 2, 2008, and what has now become an international movement, garnering more than 14 million page views and 3.3 million visits from 214 countries/regions. In addition to praise and worship from Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West, numerous “seconds” featured on the website filled the program, sharing testimonies and feedback regarding their I Am Second experience.

“I sacrificed a lot when I left Korn,” said Brian “Head” Welch, former band member of Korn. “What I’m doing now doesn’t pay much, but to see people’s lives changed, that’s my paycheck. It’s what I live for.”

The evening’s program was segmented to highlight the various walks of life of the “Seconds.” Among those in attendance were Dallas Cowboys Bradie James and Greg Ellis, child actress Bailee Madison, pro skateboarder Brian Sumner and professional bass fisherman and guide James Caldemeyer and professional motorcycle racer Laura Klock.

“When I first saw the I Am Second billboards two years ago, I said ‘They’ll never have me up there,'” said James. “At the time … we all have struggles and all have to deal with them. For me to be here today that just shows God is working in a lot of our lives.”

Proof of how I Am Second stories have transformed lives around the world were conveyed throughout the evening, including that of Navy Seal John “Remi” Adeleke who started a church service and showed the I Am Second videos to his troop overseas in order to help the men understand they weren’t the only ones struggling. One of the men attending was considering leaving his wife until he saw Biggest Loser Season 6 winner Michelle Aguilar’s I Am Second testimony of the effects of her parents’ divorce. Adeleke surprised Aguilar to thank her for telling her story.

“One of the biggest blessings of the I Am Second campaign is it goes places I can’t go. These videos are going into places all around the world. I’m so thankful you would return the favor and share the story of how I Am Second is impacting you,” Aguilar said to Adeleke.

In addition, the evening highlighted the outreach I Am Second has created beyond the website including I Am Second expeditions to do missions around the world and I Am Second small groups, with a special emphasis on school and university groups. I Am Second also launched in Orlando, Fla., in September 2010 and plans to debut in additional cities over the next year.


Neat story from our friend Emily:

I am Emily Lambert. I am on staff with ZOE Ministries (www.zoeland.com) and I work with four other staff members. We focus on middle school, high school, and we now have a college ministry as well. Every Wednesday night is a ZOE Chapter. During a chapter, we hang out for a little bit – play a game/do a skit – announcements + possible video – worship – Phillip speaks – hang out/go home. We have separate middle school and high school chapters on Wednesday, and we have a college Bible study on Sunday nights.

This past summer in July, ZOE went on a mission trip to Costa Rica with a group from Texas. Two girls, Annie White and Ashley Scarbrough were in the group from Texas and just from conversations we had, IA2 came up. At ZOE, we had been aware of the organization and we would sometimes show one of the IA2 Testimonies on Wednesday nights during the high school chapter. But Annie and Ashley brought up how they were starting these IA2 small groups on their college campus. We thought those groups sounded great and we wanted to somehow get ZOE involved.

When we got back from Costa Rica we started brainstorming how to go about these groups and we (ZOE) decided that the students could bring the IA2 groups to their high schools. Before school started up in August we started getting the students excited about the groups that we were going to start.

When we made an announcement about the groups to ZOE, we asked for people interested in leading/starting a group to let us know. We did not know what kind of response we would get, but after three months (Aug-Nov) we now have 14 IA2 groups started in four high schools in Saint Louis!

I am overseeing all the IA2 groups, but the students are leading them. I give them the packets (with the video + discussion) and I push them in the direction they need to go about starting a group. Before the students start a group, I meet with them and explain what a group will look like, their responsibility, and how to get kids to come and be involved in their group. The groups are flexible and the cool thing about their groups is that they all meet at different times. So if a student wants to get involved, there is most likely a group meeting at a time/day that student is available.

At the students groups, they usually last 35 min to an hour or more. They hang out, watch an IA2 video, discuss it, and pray. They use the discussion sheet from their packet and more questions can come from those just from talking in their group and the Lord really works in their groups that way.

Almost all of the groups are lead from students in ZOE, however, they are inviting people who don’t go to ZOE, or youth groups, or church to their groups! So they are reaching new kids and its awesome.

One thing ZOE does is every month we have an IA2 Party. At the party I open the ZOEhouse at 7 and we hang out, play slamball (a ZOE game), order pizza, at 8:30 watch an IA2 testimony + give announcements about their groups and upcoming events, and then hang out until midnight. it is a time for the leaders to invite all their groups to come to ZOE but not be intimidated by the “church” aspect of it. They are just coming to hang out and have fun. Or if they have never heard of ZOE they can check it out. And if they are not plugged in somewhere and want to get involved we have that opportunity for the new students. The parties are going really well! There are new kids coming and getting involved and hearing about Jesus and it’s great!

Looking for more information on our groups? Visit our groups page here: http://iamsecond.com/groups


Howdy! My name is Ashley Scarbrough and I am a sophomore at Texas A&M University.  I lead an I Am Second small group, and I am also the Texas A&M I Am Second Small Groups Coordinator.

You know, its crazy.  Writing this and thinking back about how God even brought me here.  I never knew what I Am Second groups were.  Yea, I saw the website, watched the videos, but I never knew there was something more!  I am sure God got a kick out of it, because I never would have guessed He would bring me to I Am Second, or bring me to small groups.

Groups…goodness, when I learned about how to lead an I Am Second group, I had no idea I would even be getting involved, let alone become the Small Group Coordinator on my campus!  He knows me so well: I love surprises.  And God is obviously FULL of surprises!  You never know what to expect from Him.

I came to love I Am Second groups quickly, because as soon as I learned the heart behind the groups, I realized God was simply answering my prayers.  Being in college, I have come to realize I have many friends that just need Jesus!  They need Jesus, not just a religion, not just a church building, but they need the real Jesus living in them. They need to encounter Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and not just sit in a pew, as their mind wander.  They need intimacy, which they are so obviously longing for. I was always find myself asking God, “How do I reach them?”  And He showed me a way–I Am Second groups.

I Am Second small groups is a simple tool to gather my friends together just to discuss life and God.  We get into the Word.  I do not have to preach, but I get to listen.  We engage and discuss the Bible.  It is a comfortable environment, where my friends who have not given Jesus Christ the key to their heart can open up and discuss the Bible too.  He provided a way!  He answered my prayers and He has given me a way to reach out to those who just won’t do church.  Not only that but my I Am Second group doesn’t grow, it multiplies!  I have girls I first had in my I Am Second group, now leading their own and reaching out to their own friends who just need Jesus!


My big sister just got a haircut.   Big news, I know.  “Stop the presses,” right?  Really though, it is kind of big news.  She cut off all of her hair (think Duran Duran circa 1981) and bleached it so that she could dye it.  She dyed it pink because she wanted to do something dramatic before it all falls out.  It’s all going to start falling out any day now since she just had her first round of chemotherapy this past Friday.

See, for the past few months my oldest sister has been walking down the path of a breast cancer patient.  Since her diagnosis she has been to doctors, getting scans, having surgeries, and now she’s in the treatment phase.  She’s relatively young, in good health, and we have absolutely no family history of cancer, much less breast cancer.  This was completely out of the blue.  She has three young daughters whom she home schools, a husband who has faithfully been by her side every step of the process (even when he has to take off work to make it to a doctor’s appointment with her), and, well, a life.  She’s a busy woman, but her cancer doesn’t seem to care.  Cancer has a distinct way of messing with your plans and flipping your life on its head.

But it’s not just cancer that makes people’s lives topsy turvy and my sister is not the only one who is fighting a battle against difficult circumstances. Other handicaps and illnesses do their fair share to disturb life plans and things like wayward children, financial difficulties, unemployment, and marital struggles heap sorrow after sorrow on an already weary heart.  In a world where life often seems to be one trying circumstance after another it is no wonder that so many people are praying for peace in their lives and begging God to lighten their loads.

I heard a story once about an art competition where artists were given the task of depicting “Peace”.  There were dozens of entries that soothed the soul just to look at them.  There were a number that showed rolling green hills dotted with a few sheep or horses.  There were many showing babbling brooks or rushing rivers and almost all of them were set against the background of a bright blue and partly cloudy sky.  One had a young girl sitting in a field of flowers while another had a boy snoozing under the shade of a large oak tree.  There was a beautiful quietness and calmness that radiated out of these paintings.  But it was not any of these that won the award for having the most peaceful scene.

The winner showed a dark, angry sea against a dark, ominous sky.  The waves swirled with no real sense of direction and were beating heavily against the large rocks on the seashore.  At the top of a rocky cliff there were trees being bent and broken by the gale-force winds and lightning streaked across the black sky.  There was an overwhelming cold and frightful feeling to this painting.  But in a deep crag in the rocks there was a small bird settling in for the evening.  It was nestled deep enough in the rocks that it had no fear of the wind and high enough that the waves were not a concern.  There the bird sat in the side of that rock face waiting out the storm.

What an impacting picture of peace!  As much as we desire the circumstances of our lives to be quiet and serene with green valleys and babbling brooks, often the fiercest storms reveal our true security in the Lord.  It is in the hardest times that we are provided the opportunity to cling to the rock and know that we are safe.  When our lives seem to be completely restless and overwhelming, that is when God grants us His deepest peace.

As I watch my sister go through the difficulties of surgeries and treatments and I consider how this cancer has affected her life, her husband’s life, and the lives of my precious nieces it makes me ask God, “why?”  Or actually, I probably ask more often, “why not?” Why won’t God just take this cancer away?  Why didn’t He keep it from spreading to the lymph nodes?  Why doesn’t He make this whole process easier so my sister’s family doesn’t have to do acrobatics to accommodate this cancer?  The funny thing is that I have never heard my sister ask these questions.  I’m sure she has pondered them in her own private times with the Lord, but she has come to a very sincere place where she is no longer seeking a change in her circumstances and a calming of her storm.  Instead she is resting in the safety of Christ.  Here are some of her words she wrote to remind herself of the security she finds in the Lord.

“By the grace of God you are being carried forward. By His granting of peace you are rising above the pull of your flesh that says you ought to be a pile of mush by now. Don’t listen to your flesh, don’t listen to the voices around you saying you’re insane to not be upset over these things. Don’t listen to your pride that thinks you’re holding yourself together on your own power. It is God and GOD ONLY who is doing this.”

That is peace that passes understanding.  May we all find such quiet stillness in the cleft of the Rock as the storms in our lives rage around us.  May we settle in and rest until morning.

You will keep in perfect peace

him whose mind is steadfast,

because he trust in you.

Trust in the LORD forever,

for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

~Isaiah 26:3-4

-Abby Hoff


Hey seconds!

I get the joy of spending today in prayer instead of on the mission field, so I´d ask that you join me! I was supposed to be going out to my site this morning, but unfortunately, I got sick this morning. So instead, I not only get to intercede in prayer, I also get to ask YOU to help me do the same. Yesterday, it took my team 3 hours to get to our site… so it´s obvious that Satan is scared by something that is happening in Sipe Sipe! I´m going to type out my prayer, with instructions for you as you pray with me. At e3 (and I am Second), we are HUGE believers int he Lord´s prayer. Nothing is magical about the words of the Lord´s prayer, but the model is valuable in getting our hearts right before Christ as we ask for His provision. Let´s pray for my brothers and sisters on the field!

RELATIONSHIP – ¨Our Father in heaven…¨ God we thank you that you have adopted us as your children. We thank you that you provide for us only as a Perfect Father could, and we trust you because you have graciously spared nothing good from us–including the death of Your Son, Jesus Christ. (Now acknowledge our relationship to Him–that He is our Father)

WORSHIP – ¨…hallowed be your name…¨ Father your are the Holy one. You are the famous one. Nothing compares to You. There is no one like You. You are our provider. You are the Creative one. You are perfectly merciful and just. You are incredible. Your lovingkindness surpasses understanding. Your wisdom is beyond measure. (Now worship Him for who He is.)

SURRENDER – ¨Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.¨ Lord we hand this mission over to You. Lord our service is not because these people need Christ (although they do), but because you have instructed us to do so and have provided a way. Let everything that happens this week be Your will and not our own. Guide our steps with your precious Holy Spirit. Father I pray the celebrations that will come this week because of those who will believe in you will be a glimpse of Heaven. Father we surrender our plans, egos, pride, way of doing things, and our mission to You. We only desire to do Your will. (Is there something in your life that you need to surrender to the Lord? Surrender it now.)

ASK – ¨Give us this day our daily bread…¨ Father we ask You to provide opportunities to share your name on these sites. Specifically Lord,  I pray that each site will find a person of peace who is both receptive to the gospel, and influential in their community, so that this work can continue when we´ve left. Father I pray specifically for Jared right now. Both of his team members are sick today and at the hotel. This means he is leading and with the Bolivians by himself today. Give him the words to say and guide his leadership. Father, I pray for all of the Bolivians who work with the churches already, that they will be growing in You this week so that they will be well equipped to share the gospel and to lead when we leave. Father I pray for the American leaders, that you will give them Your wisdom and discernment. Father I pray for quick healing for both myself and Kenny, that we may be able to do Your work tomorrow. (Anything else you can think of that needs prayer on this trip, ask now.)

FORGIVE – ¨…forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.¨ Father I ask that we can show your forgiveness to those who we need to forgive. (Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive but haven´t? Surrender that to Him, because ¨… if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.¨)

PROTECTION – ¨And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.¨ Father, Satan is clearly attacking, but we know that even He is subject to You. Protect your children from Satan´s schemes and lies. He tries to put stumbling blocks in our way, but You can protect us. If Satan tries to tempt anyone on our teams to sin, make the way out clear. Father You are bigger and stronger than Satan or his demons, so we trust you and ask you to protect us. (Pray for protection from the evil one)

WORSHIP – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Thank you for praying with me over the team in Bolivia. We´ve completely surrendered to the Lord and it´s obvious that Satan is scared. All of you that have been praying, have the blessing of taking part in the incredible work being done here by the Lord. I can´t wait until Christ´s return when we can all learn the impact of our prayers and actions. Praise God that He allows us to be part of His plan!

We´re so grateful for all of you!
In Him,

Shay



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