(Interview) What Makes a Person Resilient? World-renowned Expert Helps Us Understand [Podcast #29]

Have you ever wondered what it is that enables some people to endure extreme adversity, and then be able bounce back from it?  World-renowned author, speaker, and professor, Dr. Glenn Schiraldi, calls that special ingredient “resilience.” The recent movie Unbroken about WWII veteran and Japanese prison camp survivor Louis Zamperini gives us a glimpse of what that resilience looks like. Dr. Schiraldi interviewed Mr. Zamperini a few years ago, along with a number of other WWII veterans and holocaust survivors and has written about much of what he has learned in a number of different books.

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Photo of Louis Zamperini. “When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed had intervened to save him.” ― Laura Hillenbrand

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In his recent book, The Resilient Warrior, Dr. Schirali writes, “Resilience is those strengths of mind and character—both inborn and developed—that help us to respond well to adversity. The strengths of resilience help us to:
• Perform at our very best, even under pressure
• Prevent and recover from combat stress-related problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, problem anger, drug/substance abuse, and difficulty connecting with others
• Maintain and improve peak mental fitness throughout life.”

He is the author of 12 books on stress-related topics that include: The Complete Guide to Resilience; The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook; and World War II Survivors: Lessons in Resilience. Recently I had the privilege to attend several of his lectures on the topic of resilience. He was kind enough to sit down and share his time in the following interview. You can learn more about Dr. Schiraldi’s work and books at: www.resiliencefirst.com.

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(Interview) TJ Ashcraft Remembers His Brother’s Death and God’s Faithfulness [Podcast #28]

On June 28, 2013, lightning struck the mountains near Yarnell, AZ, a tiny community about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, igniting a raging wildfire that came to be known as the Yarnell Hill Fire. Ongoing drought conditions and erratic wind patterns caused the wildfire to quickly grow out of control.

Andrew Ashcraft was killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013

Andrew Ashcraft was killed in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of local, highly trained firefighters specifically trained  to fight wildfires, were deployed to combat the flames. on June 30, however, two days after the wildfire began, 19 of the 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots were overcome and killed by the blaze. This was the largest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933, and the greatest loss of firefighters in the United States since 9/11.   Andrew Ashcraft, husband and father of four, was one of the members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who was killed. 

Andrew’s brother, TJ, had just returned from a 12 month deployment in Afghanistan as a crew chief on a medevac crew and had just spent Father’s Day with Andrew and their father, just days before Andrew was killed. This past June 30, while deployed to Iraq, TJ and members of his company remembered the 3 year anniversary of Andrew’s death. 

TJ Ashcroft in Iraq

TJ Ashcraft remembers while in Iraq

I had a chance to hear about the tragedy from TJ’s perspective while with him in Iraq, and learned how TJ’s faith in God sustained him through that time, and continues to encourage him three years later. 

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(Interview) Special Operations Couple Share Their Secrets to a Lasting Marriage [Podcast #27]

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Special Operations pilot, Jason Nazarenko, recently surprised his wife, Kammi, with a trip to the beach to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. While there they sat on the beach and reflected on the highs and lows that make up the story of their love. In my conversation with them they both share some of those highs and lows with me, and some of what they’ve learned about how to help their marriage flourish. It hasn’t always been easy; but it has been an incredible 20 years! They are both thrilled about the next 20 to come.

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(Interview) Special Ops Psychologist Talks about the Challenges of SOF Marriages [Podcast #26]

maxresdefault-2Colonel Art Finch is about to take over as the senior psychologist in the Army’s Special Operations Command. He has served as a psychologist in Special Operations throughout the Global War on Terror, and ever since. Having spent thousands of hours with our nation’s most elite warriors, he has a unique understanding of their mindset and the challenges they face within marriage. He recently sat down with me and Chaplain Jay Outen, a regimental chaplain also serving inside Special Operations, to discuss those challenges. Listen Below 

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(Interview) What are the Ingredients to Intimacy in Marriage? Professional Counselor Rebecca Townsend Tells Us [Podcasts #24-25]

Ever wondered what makes up marital intimacy? Closeness in marriage is what every couple hopes for, but it often eludes many of us.  Rebecca Townsend shares her take on the main ingredients that make up marital intimacy and some of the roadblocks that get in the way.lightstock_127074_small_seth_magnuson_

Rebecca Townsend is professional counselor, coach, speaker, and writer in the Fort Campbell area who specializes in personal, relationship and family therapy. She is also the founder of SAFE—Soldiers and Families Embraced—a non-profit that helps meet the unique needs of military families dealing with the challenges of military stress and combat trauma. She sat down with me to share her insights on what intimacy in marriage looks like, how it works and why its so important for a marriage to thrive. You can find her and her blog at rebeccatownsend.com.

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The Awakened Sinner [Quote from The Valley of Vision]

“…when I think upon they greatness and they goodness I am ashamed at my insensibility, I blush to lift up my face, for I have foolishly erred.  …I confess that thou hast not been in all my thoughts, that the knowledge of thyself as the end of my being has been strangely overlooked, that I have never seriously considered my heart-need.
     But although my mind is perplexed and divided, my nature perverse, yet my secret dispositions still desire thee.  Let me not delay to come to thee; break the fatal enchantment that binds my evil affections, and bring me to a happy mind that rests in thee, for though hast made me and canst not forget me.  Let thy Spirit teach me the vital lessons of Christ, for I am slow to learn; and hear thou my broken cries.”how can i forget God?

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5

(Interview) Executive Coach Bill Hart Writes Books and Dodges Bullets [Podcast Episode #23]

His upcoming book is entitled “White Collar Warrior–Lessons for Sales Professionals From America’s Military Elite.”  After 27 years in the mortgage and real estate industry he has established himself as an executive coach and speaker who works with Building Champions.   bill hart

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Bill Hart sat down with me recently and told me about his experience  dodging bullets and why he loves life so much.  In our conversation he talks about what he does to help business executives and sales professionals not just make more money, but live out their lives in the fullest way possible.  Coach Bill has learned that it has a lot more to do with one’s legacy than it does doubling one’s profit.  He serves as an ambassador for the Boot Campaign, a non-profit that supports American Military Service Members as they transition out of the military.  Bill posts coaching tips at his website: CoachBillHart.com.

 

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Why did Jesus wash his disciples’ feet? Was it just as an example? or was it something deeper and more spectacular? In this video I identity the deed, the need, and the implication of this parable of cleansing that Jesus acted out for his followers.

Podcast-How To Wake Up From Spiritual Sleepwalk [Podcast Episode #22]

A recent article in the UK Telegraph reported a strange phenomenon occurring in a tiny little village in Kazakhstan. For some mysterious reason, for the last two years residents of this small town have suddenly been falling asleep and remaining unconcious for days! 25% of the 600 residents have experienced this horrifying phenomenon.alejandroescamilla-dude-walkin

Like those Kazakhs who become unconscious for days at at time, Christians sometimes suffer the same thing in their spiritual lives. If you’re anything like me, sometimes you appear to be alive and awake, but your heart is numb, dull and asleep. When we neglect our hearts, we become spiritual sleepwalkers. 

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Paul says in Romans 13 do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Here are three ways to wake up:

1) First, nothing jolts us better than listening to preaching of God’s Word that puts the focus on his glory and the supremacy of his son, Jesus Christ.

It’s always good to learn practical tools for our daily lives from the Bible; but nothing splashes cold water on our faces and gets our heart pumping like a fresh vision of God’s glory and the splendor of our Savior, Jesus. It’s like the Holy Spirit turns a switch inside us and unleashes life. It’s amazing to know that God is eagerly waiting to communicate with us. Listening to the conversation he’s already started through the preaching of his Word is the first way to wake up.

2) Second, our response to what he communicates to us is manifested through personal worship.

When we focus our attention on the perfection, power and love of God, our hearts start warming up and filling with life, and we are compelled to respond in worship. Worshiping God is like exercise for the soul. It gets our blood pumping like running a lap around the track. If we are not worshiping, we are asleep.

3) Finally, we desperately need to fellowship with other believers, confess our struggles and sins and then remind each other the grace that comes through Christ.

This is what it means to minister the gospel to each other. We need this because it pulls back the shades from our hearts and lets the light of Christ pour in. This draws us out of isolation, shame and fear, the lethal ingredients that put us to sleep.

When these three things are missing from our lives, there’s a good chance that we’re sleepwalking.  Nothing wakes us up and energizes us like hearing from God, responding in worship, and then sharing it with each other. Let’s wake up this week!

What are the most powerful tools God uses to wake you up from sleepwalk? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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(Interview) CW5 Kenny Poindexter Tells Us–Is Coffee a Bean or a Seed? [Episode #21]

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Kenny Poindexter has served in the military for 36 years—first as a Marine, then as a Black Hawk pilot. In 1997 he joined Special Operations as a pilot, and currently holds the position as a Flight Lead and Senior Warrant Officer for an aviation battalion within Special Operations.1425369089591

Raised in Los Angeles, he shares his story of growing up without a father, learning to become a father himself, and his journey into a life of faith.

He didn’t always love coffee, but that changed in the last several years as he has fallen into a unique relationship with the beloved bean. He now owns and manages Mugsy’s Coffee Shop—Clarksville’s most beloved coffee shop.

Kenny joined me for a conversation about his life, his faith, and what he has learned about roasting coffee and running a business. You can find his website here: www.mugsyscoffeeco.com.
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