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I Am Second: Real Stories. Changing Lives. Hardcover – January 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"This collection of 20 real-life stories demonstrates lives radically changed by encounters with Jesus Christ from the growing “I am second” movement. Many stories, previously seen as video clips on the Web, are from famous personalities like Josh Hamilton and Brian “Head” Welch. Tommy Cresswell delivers the narratives in a pleasing baritone, capturing individual characters with unique tonal inflections, changes in pitch, and subtle accents. He matches voice to mood to capture the torment behind Michelle’s story of obesity, which sent her “life spinning out of control.” He perfectly renders Josh’s story of exchanging his sports playbook for God’s playbook, then Brian’s story, which begins with a choice between heroin and a telephone conversation. Creswell’s masterful portrayals reveal that belief in Jesus is all about relationship, never about religion." 
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Dave Sterrett is a speaker, missionary, and ambassador for I Am Second. Dave also serves as an adjunct professor of New Testament, Philosophy, and Apologetics at Liberty University. He is the author or coauthor of several books including Why Trust Jesus? (Moody Publishers), “O” God (WND Books), and the three-part novella series coauthored with Josh McDowell, The Coffeehouse Chronicles (Moody Publishers).

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He spends his time developing many of the small group tools found at and coaching churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second’s parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter in countries like Ethiopia and Indonesia. Doug is married to Catherine and has a daughter, Bethany.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400203732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400203734
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By christianfictionaddiction on December 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I Am Second is more than just a book - it's a movement. It is "the honest, raw, and often painful journey of broken people who have decided that life is not about them". Authors Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett have taken the stories of both famous people and everyday folk and allowed us to peek into their lives, at the mistakes they have made, and the encounter they have had with Jesus. Rock star Brian "Head" Welch, athlete Josh Hamilton, one-armed surfer Bethany Hamilton, and Christian musician Michael W. Smith are just a few of the people you will meet through the pages of this book, people who are choosing to put God first and themselves second.

The stories contained in I Am Second are powerful, engaging, and very well-written. The book is easy to read, and can either be read all at once or over the course of many days, allowing you to meditate on the power of Jesus to change lives. I greatly appreciate the willingness of the contributors to open up their lives and allow us to see their mistakes, their decisions to use drugs, look at pornography, or dive into a myriad of addictions, choices similar to ones we all make, mistakes wiped away by Jesus' grace. Others share about the power of their relationship with Jesus to help them walk through incredibly difficult times. I thought that a neat feature of the book is the provision of the QR codes at the end of each story, which links to the film for the person who is the focus of that story, or for people who have similar stories. Most of all, I liked the chapter at the end of the book about becoming second by recognizing what Jesus' sacrifice offers for us all.

I highly recommend this book, for it's potential to change lives, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through the Booksneeze program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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58 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Alex Humphrey on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book for free as part of the Book­Sneeze book review program. This did not effect my review in any way (as you will see).

I Am Second is a book born out of a website. At the site, famous people tell the story of becoming Christian and giving their lives and their fame to God. There's every­thing from authors to athletes; football coaches to rock stars and every­thing in between. If you're famous, Christian, and willing to talk to the I Am Second crew you're probably on the site.

In the book, 20 of these stories have been inter­preted by Bender and Sterrett in an attempt to spread the site into a new medium. But does it work? Is this a book you should read?

The Book

I Am Second follows a fairly consis­tent pattern:

1) A person's life starts out pretty well but quickly goes horribly wrong after a series of bad choices.
2) The person goes further and further into oblivion.
3) The person finds God, gives up their hopes of success and becomes a Christian.
4) The person finds massive success through their faith.

It's important to note that the pattern focuses on God, not Jesus. While Jesus is mentioned heavily in the final 5 pages of the book, He is almost completely absent from the rest of it. I had just read both Nate Larkin's book Samson and the Pirate Monks and Josh Hamilton's book Beyond Belief (both stories are in I Am Second) so I knew the lack of Jesus in their stories wasn't the speaker's, but the authors. From what I've seen of I Am Second, they leave Jesus out of the stories to make Chris­tianity more palatable for an unbe­lieving audience. Unfor­tu­nately, it makes for bland versions of great stories.

Most of the stories are shallow and devoid of God.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Scandalous Sanity VINE VOICE on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I Am Second is a collection of stories from people who have learned to put God first and themselves second. If you're familiar with the website's video shorts, then this book won't break any new ground. But if you're looking for a gift for someone who may not be inclined to surf the interweb, then this is the book for you.

The most popular people from the I Am Second videos are here, including Josh Hamilton, Brian "Head" Welch, Bradie James, Bethany Hamilton, and Sam Bradford. There are some resources in the back of the book, such as a short section on how to begin a relationship with God. There is also a complimentary sticker with the I Am Second logo.

The stories are well-written, which is always a concern with books like these. As mentioned before, the stories are pretty much the same as those online, so there's not much new ground to tread here. However, if you're interested in having I Am Second in an easy to give away format and having something physical to hold, this book could be for you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Littau VINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the book, I Am Second, by Doug Bender and Dave Sterrett, close to the last page there is something that really stood out to me. It said that when a person is brought to trial for a crime, the judge doesn't weigh all the good things against the bad thing the person is accused of doing. The good things don't matter. The thing that matters is whether he did the crime. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We all need a Savior. We have all done the crime. We all deserve the punishment...BUT GOD...made a way for us. Jesus took the punishment for our crime. Freedom from sin is ours if we just ask Him.

The personal stories were gripping. They were from people from every walk of life. Most of them tried to self medicate to keep from feeling the pain in their life. It took guts for them to stand up and be counted. I read the book in one sitting and found it compelling.
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