Newsletter #511 – I am Second

This is news to me but a few years ago a group in I am secondDallas started recording the stories of ordinary people interspersed with well-known athletes, musicians, professionals and celebrities. Most have been (or still are) driven to succeed. Many have battled difficult circumstances. All are committed to letting Jesus Christ be first in their lives so that each can say “I am second.” A Google search describes I Am Second as “a Christian multimedia movement and not-for-profit organization that  is designed to inspire people to live for Jesus Christ and others.” This definition may seem a little formal but it points to a series of brief, sometimes moving autobiographies that are worth watching at You can pick and choose easily and they’re short – about four minutes each. They demonstrate principles that we’ve discussed in earlier newsletters this year—principles that all of us can apply to our lives, careers, and ways to impact others:

  • The power of stories. There is nothing fancy here: no flashing lights, video clips or bullet-points. These are just people telling their stories but in thought provoking, often powerful ways.
  • The importance of design. Look at how the camera angles and close-ups hold our attention on a set that is jet black with one white chair.
  • The value of simplicity. In effective communication simplicity is often best. In contrast, clutter distracts.
  • The role of other people. Living for oneself or trying to make it on your own can be a difficult, sometimes self-defeating journey. All of these story-tellers had support from friends.
  • The significance of finding life direction and life-guiding values. Who can know how many people drift through life, try to build their own success, stumble repeatedly and sometimes find misery even if they get applause and tangible success?

Some of this might be worth pondering during the coming week whenever we can find time think about the true meaning of Christmas. If you watch some of these videos you will understand why I conclude with these words: My name is Gary Collins and I am second. Are you there yet? Please leave a comment or observation.


  1. As my dear husband completed his “dash” on Dec. 7 I am rethinking, again, the importance of dailyintentional living, .


  2. I never tire of hearing people, in humility, talk about how God has changed their life. It always brings a tear because I remember how He saved me and changed me. What a wonderful God we have.And yes, the simple story of a changed life (humbly told) speaks volumes.They didn’t need any fancy graphics. That would have only distracted from their testimony.


  3. Hi Gary,

    Thank you for this email. The timing couldn’t be better.

    My sermon topic for tomorrow centers on the question – Is Jesus your Lord.

    The first video that opened up on is Lauren Scruggs. I think I’ll show it tomorrow at the end of the message.

    Keep up the inspiration! God uses you. Merry Christmas,

    Tim Behrens


  4. As a writer/graphic designer and former Buddhist, I struggled with belief in God until I was saved at 40. I frequently visit I Am Second because I can relate to other creatives who have conquered the same struggle. Thomas Nelson publishes a book by the same name, I Am Second, with many of the testimonies.


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