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Tony your posts blessed me today.  I am thankful I met you through the ministry and still have an opportunity daily to walk with Jesus, drawing closer to Him so that I can bless my wife and family.  Peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

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Had some free time today and some time off work. Will catch up the recording this week too by the end of the week. Today I felt like posting a few thoughts I have been meaning to share........

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I was reading the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel chapter 3 this week and wanted to share some thoughts with you all...
 
I am going to use a web reference to refer to the story so I don't mis-quote it but the life application will be a bit different from what is stated on the site or from the service to make it directed at the men out there that have found themselves in the middle of the biggest trial of their lives (separation or divorce).....
 
 
 
 
The Fiery Furnace Bible Story Summary
 
This story is from Daniel chapter three and involves the king of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, making a golden image and his requirement that all in the kingdom must bow down and worship it at the sounding of the music.  The three Jews who refused to bow down and worship this image were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  When the Chaldeans reported this news to King Nebuchadnezzar, he was furious and gave orders that the three men be brought before him immediately.
 
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were brought before King Nebuchadnezzar he asked them if it was true that they refused to bow down and worship the image.  The king told the three men that they risked being thrown into the fiery furnace if they didn‘t. The three men simply answered the king that it was true – they refused to bow down and worship the golden image. These three Jews didn't try to make excuses, give the king an apology or try to reason with him. They flatly refused to bow down and worship the idol, even at the king’s command and with the threat of losing their lives.  Listen to their bold response:  “we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Dan 3:16-18).  King Nebuchadnezzar was outraged and commanded the men to immediately be thrown into the fiery furnace.
 
In fact, the king ordered that the furnace be heated up to seven times its normal rate as an expression of the king’s rage against the men. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound and thrown into the furnace.  The furnace was so hot that it immediately annihilated the soldiers who threw the three men into it.  The three men were tied up and bound with their garments so as to have no possible escape.  King 
Nebuchadnezzar must have been present because right after this he was astonished and asked his counselors that “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?  They answered, ’True O King’. He then answered and said, ’But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods’” (Dan 3:24-25). The king apparently recognized the fourth person as being a divine being.
 
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the furnace, their clothes were not harmed, not a hair on their heads were singed and they didn't even have the smell of smoke on them (Dan. 3:27).  King Nebuchadnezzar was so impressed that he commanded everyone in the entire Babylonian Empire to give homage to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to not even speak an ill word against him or be put to death.  Even the king gave honor and glory to this god, unknown to him as he was, he wrote praises for him: “How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!  His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation” (Dan 4:3).
 
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We will all face trials in this life. Think of the furnace in the above story as a TRIAL (trial by fire). In the story, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to make a stand of faith to serve their God and not give in to the pressure of their time to bow down and worship a false God. For us, we most often didn't get into the furnace by standing on faith as they did. For most of us, we were thrown into the the furnace while we we sleep walking through this thing called marriage and our wife finally said enough is enough. Guys, this is not to punish us, but rather to wake us up and to allow us to be purified like gold (1 peter 1:7).
 
Let me first say that just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we are not in the furnace or TRIALS by ourselves, Jesus is in there with us (Deuteronomy 31:8 and Hebrews 12:5). The question is will you acknowledge that he is in the fire with you or will you be too busy screaming for help, whining because the fire hurts, and looking for a way out to even notice Him there with you? But I don't see Him here! But I don't feel His presence, he has forsaken me! God does not lie and His word tells us that is is with us always and that he will never leave us or forsake us. But what if He doesn't do what you want Him to do, are you ok with that?
 
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to be thrown into the furnace by choice, by their faith. They believed that their God was able to deliver them but they also by faith, were willing to die in the furnace rather than bow down to the king (Deuteronomy 3:18). Like I said above, the guys in this ministry for the most part didn't have a choice to be thrown into this TRIAL by faith, we woke up in the furnace fighting for our lives. The ministry talks about us dying to ourselves. Are you willing to die in the furnace rather than give into your temptations to tuck your tail between your legs and run as fast as you can away from the fire? Jesus is there with you and if you allow Him to, he will get you through this and His cleaning fire will purify you and mold you into the Christlike man He designed you to be. Then and only then can you become the Man Your Bride Needs You to Be!
 
Guys, in this world you will be asked to compromise. Will you choose to trust God completely like the three men above? God can use the fire from our Trials to make us into Christlike men. If you remember from the story above, the king had them turn up the heat of the fire seven times higher than it's normal heat. Satan also works like this, thinking that if he will just turn up the heat another couple of notches that you will give up and give into his temptations and compromises. But remember that right in the middle of your fire, God is with you, you are unbound and you fire does not consume you. The Bible tells us that our faith will be tested but never more than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Very few men find God when life is going great, most men find God only in the midst of despair.
 
Last point I want to make is this, you should come out of the fire smelling differently. You should not come out smelling like smoke, or else you got out too early. I think it would be fair to say that we all know someone in our life that has gone through the same situation over and over and over and they still smell like smoke. They constantly jump out of the fire too early and that bad seed wasn't quite dead yet and it resprouts. Am I right?
 
For me that is my brother. He is 3 years older than me and is so so talented. He can play bass guitar, lead guitar and rhythmic guitar like no ones business. He is also a great singer. He has been in rock bands before and almost made it big a couple of times. They toured with Kiss as one point as look alikes. They even opened for At&T and Van Helen. You can still find some of their music out on the web on youtube under 'Villian". Yep, that we their name! They really were rockers to the core. Their "Only Time Will Tell" album was a pretty big hit in Japan and Europe and they were all set to tour for the album's release when he ended up in Jail for possession and intent to sell. They never recovered, the drugs and alcohol brought them down more than once. Then he found Christ. Did great for a year, got a great job paying more than me but ultimately lost it and got divorced a second time.
 
Then he recommitted his life, Got married again and really got into church. Was in the church worship band at a really big and popular church and was well like and loved by all. But again, the alcohol stepped in. The funny thing was that this time, it was a leadership couple at the church that started inviting them over for fellowship and they drank wine with dinner often. Somehow, even after years of AAA, he and his new wife justified drinking just one glass here and there. Well, one led to two and then three and well, you get it. Down he fell again. This time we talked him into going into Youth for Christ rehab program. It was a one year commitment. After about 3 months, he started getting weekend passes. He complained a lot about the facility and the people and how bad it was. I knew in my soul that he was going to fall again and he did not make it 6 months. 
 
This time he ended up in an emergency room with alcohol poisoning and came very very close to dying. This of course changed him once and for all, he would never drink again. Seemed promising, got another great job and was starting to see daylight. Only 3 months later, his boss tracked him down and found him passed out in the company vehicle drunk as a skunk. To make a long story short, he is now back into Youth with Christ rehab and has almost completed the full year - will graduate in Aug. He is very involved there and even the leader of their worship band that is touring around to various churches. Has he stayed in the fire long enough to burn those bad roots, I do not know yet but have high hopes but also sense something still wrong in my soul.
 
This may be a bad example because for an alcoholic or a person with any addiction, that bad root may never completely be burnt away. A person in this situation must stay in the fire the rest of their lives to keep the addiction at bay.
 
But my point here is that you must let the fire consume you, purify you and take you to the cross or you will never change....
 
God Bless - hope this helps someone - was on my heart this week! :)
 
 
 
 
 
References
 
1 Peter 1:7 (AMP) | In Context | Whole Chapter - So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
 
Deuteronomy 31:8 New International Version (NIV) - "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
 
Hebrews 13:5 New International Version (NIV) - "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
 
Joshua 1:5 New International Version (NIV) - "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
 
1 Corinthians 10:13 New International Version (NIV) - "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey everyone,

 

Today is exactly one year from the day that Shawn flew back from Arkansas and moved back into our home. It was funny, I was wondering if she remembered. I had arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to her today and made arrangements for dinner and movie tonight but she did not know, I put that info in the card attached to the flowers.

 

So about 1pm today, I got a text from here thanking me for the flowers and card. She thought I forgot because she was thinking she came back on May 19th, not the 20th. I texted her back that she may be right, maybe I got off a day (but I was pretty sure I was correct). Didn't take her long to text me back that I was correct and she thanked me again and told me she was so looking forward to our date tonight. She then sent me a text that said, "You are our families Rock and I am our Heart, together we are perfect and one"! WOW, we have come a long way. Today is just another milestone along the path to an outrageously happily marriage that will now last forever!

 

I also have another surprise for my beautiful bride next week. I have to go to Salt Lake City for business and I invited her along.  We decided to drive instead of fly and work gave me the extra days off to do so. At the end of my work week, Shawn and I are going to go out to dinner with one of my coworkers and her husband and then go back over to their house and hang out for a bit. I arranged for different lodging on Friday and Saturday nights that she does not know about. The lodging is a cabin by a lake resort and my coworkers in Utah highly recommended it. I even found a GROUPON to get two nights for like $120. In addition to the cabin, I made plans for us to get up on Saturday morning and go on an adventure that includes renting a two seater ATV for the day, stopping for a nice picnic by a secluded lake while ATVing and then ending the day with a ZIPLINE ride that goes as fast as 50 miles per hour (something she has always talked about doing). Work is covering all of the expenses except for the ATV adventure and ZIPLINE excursions....

 

I am so excited. The kids are both old enough to stay home alone - wasn't that a movie (ut oh)......

 

God Bless you all and remember guys, there is not down side to walking out what Joel & Kathy teach here. I won my wife back but I could not have done that unless I stayed the course and followed my heart and the Holy Spirti

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Thank you SO much for that update, Rebuilding Trust! It's very, very encouraging for all of us -- old- and new- timers alike!

 

Are you sure your wife doesn't read your thread? If she sneaks a peek, she'll know about the upcoming surprises! ;)

 

She would still be happy, anyway.

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  • 11 months later...

Hey everyone,

 

Been a while since I posted so I thought I would say hello and let everyone know that things are still going really, really well. Last night I was thinking about how far I have come and what I have learned about love and living in understanding with my wife - here are just a few things that came to mind: 

 

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Love is making the bed everyday so my wife does not have to....

 

Love is planning and making dinner for the family so my wife does not have to (she hates cooking even though she is a great cook)...

 

Love is running to the store to get my wife strawberries because she is craving them.....

 

Love is crawling into bed exhausted but listening to my wife tell me the same story she told me earlier...

 

Love is making phone calls, appointments and stuff for my wife so she doesn't have to...

 

Love is giving my wife a massage without it leading to sex, even though we had already planned to make love earlier....

 

Love is planning what I am going to wear the next day so that I don't wake my wife up getting ready for work the next morning...

 

Love is hearing my wife tell me about a concert or comedy show she just heard about that is still 6 months away and taking the time to write it down and plan a date to surprise her....

 

Love is getting a text or seeing a Facebook post about a recipe my wife likes or wants to try and then making it happen......

 

Love is remembering my wife's work schedule so that on days it works out, I can ask her to come have lunch with me near my work...

 

Love is telling my wife to go buy a new outfit for her second job interview, so she really feels comfortable and good about herself going into it...

 

Love is planning and budgeting so that my wife can keep up with her pedicure and manicure and hair, so she always feels loved, pampered and beautiful...

 

Love is hiding little notes for my bride so she finds them when I’m not there and she knows I am thinking about her….

 

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You see, some of these things I didn't allot for in the past or I would justify to myself why it was her responsibility, I worked hard and was too tired, or that we couldn't afford it or whatever - I was a selfish pig.......

 

It is amazing the energy and clarity of mind that you find when you put God first and then put your wife before yourself. The beauty of it too is that as you lay down your life for your bride, she naturally responds and she begins responding and reciprocating the loving actions back…

 

Read my thread, this didn't happen over night. I had to go first by laying down my life for my bride and learn to love unconditionally, without expectations. I couldn't have done it without the support and teachings of this ministry. Just ask my wife and she will tell you that it is a miracle I found the ministry and was able to change. She was 100% sure that day she left me that I would walk away and never look back.....

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