Resilience Blog

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 …

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 …
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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …
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 …

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 …
“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 …
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 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 …

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 …
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 …

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 …
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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …
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 …
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 …

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 …
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 …
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 …
  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 …
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 …
  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 …

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