Author Laura Hillenbrand’s Inspiration

Who knew? Author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote the book, Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which generated a 2003 movie of the same name, has been a shut-in for years due to the debilitating nature of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) she is suffering.

Author Laura Hillenbrand's book, UnbrokenShe’s coming out with her second non-fiction book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, about Louis Zamperini, who was an Olympic runner, World War II bombardier and a POW. After his plane was shot down, he spent 47 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean before being captured by the Japanese. He was beaten routinely and starved by his captors. But he survived, and now at the age of 93 continues to work as a motivational speaker.

A story posted a couple days ago on USA Today’s website about the remarkable resolve of this author of inspiring true stories is a must-read. This author of inspiring books is herself an inspiration in her ongoing battle in dealing with the debilitating nature of CFS.

UPDATE, Nov. 14, 2010: Former Washington Times colleague Rick Snider, who now writes for The Examiner in Washington, D.C., filed this column for the newspaper following his interview with author Hillenbrand — Rick Snider: Survivor of the Unthinkable.

Joe Beene’s Inspiration: A Quadriplegic’s Story

Joe Beene (Photo courtesy Joe Beene)

It was 10 years ago, exactly, that Joe Beene’s world changed instantaneously. On Nov. 8, 2000, Joe was a 17-year-old, playing linebacker for his Permian High School football team in Odessa, Texas.

It was their final practice of the year before they were to meet their arch-rivals from across town, Odessa High School. Joe, a senior, made what seemed like a routine tackle. But the tackle was anything but routine. “I was tackling somebody, and my neck went back,” said Joe in a sort of matter-of-fact manner.

He remembers the time immediately after the tackle very well. “I stopped breathing. I was awake. I was wondering what was going on — you know, you can’t breathe.”

He knew something was wrong, but all he could do was lie there. “I couldn’t speak, but with my eyes I was saying, ‘Do something! Do something!’ I went without air for seven minutes. I should be dead or brain dead. But God kept me alive.”

Joe says he didn’t realize right away the seriousness of what had happened, “not until about three days later, after surgery. They fused C1 and C2 [vertebrae] together. I woke up after surgery and my dad told me what happened; I started crying — because I was thankful that God kept me alive and I wasn’t brain dead.”

What happened to Joe 10 years ago on that tackle left him paralyzed from the neck down. But what happened to Joe 10 years ago also turned his life on a path that led him closer to God and into a powerful relationship with Jesus. In the decade that’s gone by since his injury, he’s become an ordained minister, and he just got his degree this summer from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, where he majored in history and minored in business.

“It was amazing,” said Joe about the injury. “I should have died; I should have been brain dead.”

But he wasn’t. What overwhelmed Joe wasn’t the devastating injury, “it was that God had kept me alive for that long; maybe he had given me another chance at life. I started crying because I was thankful for that.”

Joe takes a larger view of the accident that left him a quadriplegic: “Everyone goes through hard things. It’s not like I’m an exception to the rule.”

We wanted to know — did he have strong faith before the injury? His answer was Continue reading “Joe Beene’s Inspiration: A Quadriplegic’s Story”

Faith, Focus and Follow-Through

Faith and fear. What’s the difference between the two? Faith is the polar opposite of fear. That’s easy.

Faith = Finding Answers In The Heart.
Fear = False Evidence Appearing Real.

What’s knocked you down in life? Have you been able to get back up, and continue on? Or have you struggled as a result? Have you gotten back up, shrugged off the blows and carried on with perseverance, stronger faith and determination? Or has fear gripped you and held you back? Made you tenuous in your walk through life?

Which has a hold of you right now?

The three “F”s of success are:

  • Faith
  • Focus
  • Follow-through

Let’s have Faith in those three “F”s. Let’s focus on that and follow through on setting and accomplishing goals. Great quote by Henry Ford: “If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

It’s all about you and your approach. Keep going, don’t falter, have faith.

Surviving a Shotgun Blast to the Face

InspiredON by Perseverance —According to Chrissy Steltz, the survivor of an accidental shotgun blast to the face as quoted in a special report done by the Portland Oregonian, “When anybody finds out how I went blind, their first comment 99 percent of the time is, ‘I’m sorry.’ And my response to that is: I’m not. I lived. There’s nothing to be sorry about living through something like that. Don’t be sorry for me. Be happy for me. Be proud of the fact that I have gone on with my life.”

Police officer, Bob Baxter, who responded to the scene of the shooting also was quoted in the Oregonian story: “Most of her face was gone. There was just this gaping hole in her face where her eyes and nose and most of her mouth had been. I thought she was dead. I just figured this was going to be another homicide scene.

“Then I saw her fingers start to move — ever so slightly. And it looked like she was trying Continue reading “Surviving a Shotgun Blast to the Face”