Resilience Blog

Lost His Legs, Found His Soul

by Bob Dees What did this process of bouncing back…look like for Allen Clark, Vietnam Veteran, successful banker, distinguished leader in the Department of Veterans Affairs, founder of the Combat Faith ministry to veterans, and author of Wounded Soldier, Healing Warrior, a personal story of a Vietnam Veteran who lost his legs, but found his

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Don’t Stuff It!

by Bob Dees Let’s face it – we have all lost something in this COVID19 pandemic!  Maybe a job, a loved one or friend, a business opportunity, a graduation or prom event, a wedding, the opportunity to say a final goodbye to a departed friend, our own health, or simply personal freedom or future plans. 

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Honor The Fallen, Lead The Living

by Bob Dees I asked the packed church service in California “Are you a leader?” A few businessmen, city officials, and the pastor held up their hands.  “I’m sorry, maybe some of you didn’t hear the question,” I responded.  “Are you a leader?”  The hands began to raise slowly until every person had signified “yes”

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Perseverance

by Bob Dees As I was rolling up my parachute, the elderly Dutch woman grabbed me by the knees in a tight hug.  With a translator, we learned her agitated words meant “We saw you coming.  The eagle from the sky (referring to the Screaming Eagle shoulder patch).  You saved my father!” (who had been

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No Man Is An Island

by Bob Dees John Donne, a sixteeth century English poet who was well acquainted with grief, suffering, and resilience; penned these famous words “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…”  While there is a strong human tendency to isolate when we

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The Hope Diamond

by Bob Dees I would often stand in front of weary and pressed Ranger students after a few weeks of excruciating training. “OK, Men… you are starting to look different.  I think I’m starting to see a little shine.  A little pressure, a little heat, and I see diamonds forming before my very eyes.  Hang

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Springtime In America!

What is your favorite part of Spring?  Maybe the return of birds who chirp their distinctive songs as they flit about the freshness of new growth?  Or perhaps the green shoots that appear under the melting snow?  Possibly for you it is the flowers in bloom, or the bluebonnets in Texas?  Whatever your particular moment

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Guard Your Primary Relationships!

We had just lost our first child.  In her initial anguish, Kathleen asked me to protect her from many well-meaning sympathizers, including her loving yet sometimes smothering mother.  As a young, inexperienced husband I heartily carried out her wishes, no doubt offending many.  In particular, I protected my wife from her mother a little too

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Waiting Well!

“It was a cold Sunday morning with over a foot of newly fallen snow.  We were in a classroom setting for a short burst of instruction before taking to the ice covered hills yet once again.  In recent days many had parachuted into their training operations, or soon would. We all had run until our

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Draw From Your Well of Courage

“At intervals between a bomb falling it sounded like church:voices from nearby slit trenches all chanting the Lord’s prayer together– over and over again.  Louder when the bombs hit closer.” ~Veteran Army Air Force Bombadier and Olympic Runner Louie Zamperini,recounting the Japanese bombardment of U.S. forces,as recorded in Unbroken by Lauren Hildenbrand. COURAGE is not

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With Height Comes Perspective

Tribulation comes in all forms.  I often say the bookends of tribulation resemble a hurricane or a tornado.  At present in America, we have both. The Corona Virus (CV) hurricane is pushing destruction to the shores of America, combined with the shocking tornado of rapidly dropping financial markets.  This double whammy has resulted in a

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The Hate Bus

We noticed the very attractive and distinguished older couple facing toward us from their table at the small restaurant in Gerrards Cross, England.  Kathleen and I were new to town, just having moved to England to attend the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London. Anxious to meet new friends and learn more about

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The Expectations Trap

No doubt we all have different pictures of FREEDOM in our minds.  Basically, Freedom is the absence of captivity. Perhaps you think of captives in prison who are “freed.”  Or maybe someone in bondage to an addiction who is able to gain freedom. Clearly, Christ followers would think of the freedom they have received from

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Navigating the Age of Offense!

We live in an “Age of Offense.”  While taking offense has always been part of our human DNA, today’s culture (including many of us) has placed narrowly defined personal “rights” and interests on an unprecedented pedestal. This self-interest idolatry is a destructive toxin which divides peoples and sabotages healthy and respectful relationships across a diverse

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Are We There Yet???

How many times have you been on a long drive with family when the familiar refrain from the backseat echoes:  “Are We There Yet?” I have probably heard this hundreds of times as a parent, but also from my own lips as a young back-seat traveler on long road trips across the expanse of Texas. 

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Aging: The Unavoidable Test of Resilience!

I’ve heard many an elderly person reflect that “aging is not for the weak or faint hearted.”  As one who just had another “zero” birthday moving into a new decade of life, I am starting to identify with that sentiment.  The reality is that at some point we all start to creak, at some point

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The One that Got Away!

Dusk is closing in over the small pond.  Creeping along the bank I gently toss my “Jitterbug” (a wiggly top-water fishing lure that causes fish to crest the water’s surface to capture the tantalizing bait) amid the reeds in shallow water just a few feet away.  After maybe ten seconds of breathless expectation, the water

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Plant Early and Often!

Every farmer knows you need to plant to produce a harvest.  Investment precedes return. Start with the smallest of seeds to grow the biggest of plants.  Plant in the Spring, harvest in the Fall. We must sow if we are going to reap. We understand the principle well. The mantra for Army Athletics is “On

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Know Your Redlines!

At the famous Battle of the Alamo in 1836, Colonel William Barrett Travis drew a “Line in the Sand,” stating “those prepared to give their lives in freedom’s cause, come over to me!”  This “line in the sand” became the point of no return for the brave Texans who crossed it to fight to the

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Sing a NEW Song in 2020

In the introduction to Mid-Course Correction, Gordon MacDonald discusses a characteristic called “vital optimism” which at its very heart is simply hope.  MacDonald highlights John Keegan’s The First World War sobering discussion of the British battle of the Somme where they suffered 425,000 casualties, threatening their vital optimism as a nation. MacDonald defines this vital

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Resilient Joy

Have you ever had a lonely Christmas?  Has your Christmas meal been laced with tension, bitterness, and anger?  Or has your economic situation negated your ability to even provide modest presents for those you love?  Is this the time which triggers you over the loss of a dear loved one? Are you separated by oceans

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Growing Children Who Bounce

The game was close — middle of the 4th Quarter — the high school football teams were tied — one of my teen grandsons was in the game.  Our team runs a wide sweep with a jarring tackle near their own bench — suddenly the tackle turns into a fight which turns into a mini-brawl

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Pursuit of Happiness

Early one morning I found myself with some unusual “idle time” in the Nashville airport. Walking past the entrance to the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) checkpoint, I noticed an elderly African-American lady scurry up, looking very dignified in her well-pressed volunteer clothes. Her apparent duty was to serve at the volunteer desk just outside the

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Grateful for Grace

Soon many of us will find ourselves seated around a Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, just as God has “seated us with Him in the heavenly places.” The word seated in this Ephesians 2:6 verse is past tense, meaning that “even when we were dead in our transgressions, (God) made us alive together with

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Where would we be without our Veterans?

On this Veterans Day 2019, we must ask ourselves a very important question: “Where would we be without our Veterans?” What if they had concluded it was too windy, too wet, and too uncomfortable to venture onto the beaches of Normandy in June 1944? Gratefully, they didn’t ask such a self-serving question — they were

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Embracing the Moments When Your Entire Life Changes by Charles George

I recently attended a thought-provoking and insightful Resilience Conference conducted by Bob Dees. What made this conference significant to me is the timing. Four years ago on July 30, 2015, I experienced one of the most devastating days of my life. It was a day when my entire life changed. Getting Ready for the Storm

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They Rode As Champions

Consider the 1945 rescue and repatriation of the Bataan Death March survivors who had been brutally tortured and malnourished at the Cabanatuan prison camp in the Philippines: A convoy of large troop-carrying trucks motored down the road and halted alongside the column.  The prisoners were told to vacate their oxcarts and climb aboard.  For the

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Turn On Your Searchlight, and Point It At The Sky!

BOILERS CHURNING HOT, USS Doyle sliced through the sea with the urgency of a bullet.  Over the radio, Claytor had heard that Marks collected more than fifty men, and also about the second Dumbo (a downed seaplane).  This meant there were at least a hundred men still in the water on this blackest of nights. 

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Don’t Grow Slack in Your Day of Distress

His room at Flossenburg was simple—nothing on the plaster walls—just a wooden door with a big lock, a few feet from where he was executed, a few weeks before Allies liberated the Flossenburg Nazi German concentration camp.  I was humble and contrite as I looked at the garden wall where they killed German Pastor Dietrich

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Getting Upstream to Avert Tragedy

  Today I will attend a funeral – a father who took his life.  Loving family, successful business, active in church – hard to understand, yet very real.  This tragedy is another indication that suicide knows no bounds, cutting across all ages and stages of life, unimpressed by fame, fortune, or status.  We see it

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Growing in Hope during Seasons of Infirmity

Whether you and I are eight, eighteen, or eighty; we will encounter physical infirmity – short term illness or recovery from injury, or perhaps a long-term medical condition that becomes our constant companion.  While we are exhorted to “give thanks in all things,” this is often easier said than done.  The reality is that each

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Resilient Enough To Get Back In The Saddle

  I spent time with a young officer who had worked for me in the past. He was getting ready to assume command of a battalion sized formation (roughly 700 troops) which would deploy to combat. In an unusual moment of candor for a military professional, he looked at me with tears in his eyes,

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