As an encouragement to others we rejoice and celebrate the restoration that has taken place in people's lives. These stories should encourage you but most, as for myself, are not just about a final victory but are reports about restorations in progress. Share your testimony!
Can Couples Find Love Again?
"We were either
going to get
The Flournoys Share
Their Encouraging Story...
Approximately 14 years ago, after having spent the previous fifteen years playing the role of the prodigal son, the Lord called me back to him. But there was (and still is) much work to be done in the healing of a broken past and the effects if has on the present. “The Present”...don’t miss that. For each day from then till now, in spite of the painful lessons learned, has been “a gift” from God.
After having come back to the Lord in my heart, I had yet to come to grips with the fact that from the time I was about twelve, I had developed a significant addiction that was leaving a wake of destruction in its path (to include a previous marriage). Here I was trying to change and become this young Christian at age thirty-‐two, and yet I still had one foot planted firmly in the camp of God’s enemy. The trouble was, with my newfound beliefs, I could no longer fully enjoy the sinful pleasures that for so many years had been my closest friend. I was conflicted in my spirit and living a double life.
Somewhere early in this process I met the love of my life, Jacqueline, and I knew right away that she was different and special. After dating for some time and drawing close to both her and her young daughter from a previous marriage, I asked if she would marry me. She accepted. Unfortunately the joy was short lived. Only three months into our engagement, a series of events exposed the secret life I had been living both during and prior to our relationship and my world came crashing down. The news was devastating and the deception ran deep. All hope for our relationship seemed to be lost. Within a week, I had moved to Daytona Beach from Orlando to begin getting healthy, but saw little hope in saving our relationship.
Amazingly however, approximately six months after we had separated, Jacqueline opened up a communication that would eventually lead to us to counseling. After slowly working back into a relationship, she was able to feel safe enough to enter into a second engagement. This time would be different however. We decided that this time we would take a more biblical approach toward our future marriage. We agreed to have a non-‐physical relationship and to live separately until the night of our wedding. One and a
half years later, we were married. It was a second chance -‐ something that few people ever get, and a part of our story that no one will ever be able to take away.
Most people would think the story ends there with a “happily ever after” ride off into marital bliss; but that would be far from our reality. In fact, what we did not understand was that although we had a lot of love and good intentions, we had very few tools to deal with the troubles ahead. Communication in the first five years was troubled at best. Over that period of time we had seen four different counselors in an effort to find solutions. Between year four and five, we engaged a Christian counselor for that entire year as a final effort to save our marriage; but things kept getting worse. I will never forget the day that she invited us into her office and she looked at me and said, “Jeff, the only thing worse than growing up FROM a broken home, is growing up IN a broken home. Your kids are growing up IN a very broken home.” And with that, she fired us. Our Christian counselor had lost all hope and was at the end of her ability to help. She even suggested to Jacqueline that we would be better off divorced. Jacqueline experienced those words as the Christian “permission slip” she had been looking for to end the marriage. So within two weeks, she filed for divorce and I was served papers at our home.
Within days, the world as we knew it was changing. I moved out, we both hired attorneys and started what would become a very expensive and bitter battle over finances and access to our kids. Amazingly over the course of the next three months; three different individuals, unrelated to one another, told me about a place in Branson, Missouri where marriages just like mine were being saved. While I was appreciative of the suggestion, I was quick to tell each of them that they did not understand. This divorce was well on the way to being finalized and I saw little chance of reconciliation. While I did not want divorce, I could not imagine anything that could have a lasting effect on such a broken marriage. I am grateful however that the third man to tell me about NIM presented it in the form of a challenge, not a suggestion. Although he was a stranger, he made me commit to him verbally that I would go back home and do everything in my power to get my wife to NIM. I reluctantly agreed.
After returning home, I began offering up the marriage intensives offered at NIM as an alternative to the divorce we were facing. Jacqueline would tell you that she very clearly said “NO” each time I raised the subject, and we continued to march toward divorce. Four days prior to our mediation however, she called me up to say “OK, I will go, but you need to know that I am only doing this for the girls. I need to know I tried everything”. I too, was so doubtful that it could possibly make a difference that I rescheduled the mediation for the day after we were to get home. We were either going to get a miracle, or we were coming home to finalize our divorce. There would be no in between.
What we learned over our four days at the National Institute of Marriage would change our lives forever. Although we had tried traditional counseling for years, we found most of it focused on symptomatic issues like finances, in-‐laws, stress, physicality, etc. We found that we never really resolved the “problem of the week”, and also found that we were creating new issues at a far greater rate than we could possibly resolve them. What we experienced at NIM however, was a revealing journey to our individual hearts. By the end of the first day we had a better understanding of each other’s life story and a glimpse into some significant life events that had shaped who we had become. By day two we had a clear understanding of our deepest fears and had taken inventory of the broken tools in our arsenal we were unsuccessfully using to deal with them. By day three, we were learning to break the cycles that were at the root of every point of contention, and by day four we were armed with a common language and a new way to communicate our way through every issue we would face from our past and into our future.
Although we left NIM with a lot of work to be done, I moved back into our home the day we got back. We both took great pleasure in releasing our attorneys and our children immediately experienced the miracle of a reconciled marriage. In December of this year, we found ourselves back at NIM to host a dinner for a very special man and friend, Jack Herschend. Not only did we celebrate Jack’s dedication to the ministry, but the date also happened to fall on our eleventh year wedding anniversary. Six years now divides us from the pain of our past, but in all honesty we would not go back and change a thing. Had it not been for our crisis and the threat of losing everything, we may never have realized the potential that God had in store for us all along. Jacqueline and I have committed to spending the rest of our time here on Earth ensuring that others will hear about the resource of hope that NIM offers marriages in crisis.
In the second chapter of the Book of Mark, a story is recorded of four men who were carrying their paralyzed friend on a mat in hopes of getting him into the presence of Jesus. They would stop at nothing to get their friend to a place where he was most likely to receive a miracle, even if it meant entering through a roof and lowering him into the presence of Jesus. The story says that the man did in fact receive a miracle and although he entered through the roof a paralytic, he walked out the door restored. I can only imagine that the man spent the rest of his life telling anyone who would listen, the story of exactly where and how he was healed. I am that man; and I am here to tell anyone who will listen that miracles are still happening today.
If you are reading our testimony, you fall into one of two categories described in the story. You are either paralyzed in your marriage and are in desperate need of having others help you find healing, or you, like us, are called to carry the mat for someone you know and help them to a place where they are most likely to receive a miracle. Whichever the case may be, our prayer is that by reading our story you will find hope. Hope in the midst of a broken world that continues to perpetuate the lie of disposable, conditional love. We hope you will contact us, and join us on the journey to a “thrilling” marriage for you and everyone you know.
For more information, feel free to contact us (Jeff & Jacqueline Flournoy / 704-905-3411 cell), email us at JFlournoy@ETALogistics.com, call the National Institute of Marriage at 866-875-2915 or visit their website at NationalMarriage.com. Together we can make a difference.
May God Bless You,
Jeff, Jacqueline, Ashton & Tristan Flournoy
Rabbi Jeremy Storch
Listen to Jeremy's "Beneath Your Wings"
From ROCK STAR to MESSIANIC RABBI
Through God's awesome saving power!
The testimony of Jeremy Storch
Jeremy Storch was born in New York City, and raised in the Jewish heritage. Following high school, Jeremy co-founded the very successful rock group called "The Vagrants." Jeremy was the songwriter, organist and vocalist for the group.
Once "The Vagrants" disbanded, in 1968, RCA Records picked up Jeremy to record and release two solo albums. "From a Naked Window" and "Forty Miles Past Woodstock."
This popularity and success led him further into the rock culture of the sixties - including all the trappings of a typical rock star: experimentation with and heavy use of various drugs and plunging into wild parties and illicit affairs. In short, he became a prodigal son.
In 1970, Jeremy's excessive lifestyle caught up with him and he died, on the way to the hospital, of a drug overdose. In this death experience, God spoke to Jeremy saying, "I am giving you back your life to do some work for Me!" As soon as that was spoken, Jeremy awoke in a hospital bed.
Several years passed before Jeremy obeyed the voice he heard that evening. He continued in the secular music field and in 1976, Jeremy formed the band Stagecoach in the San Francisco Bay Area. Under Jeremy's strong leadership and great work ethic, the band hit the ground running and was well received by the clubs, concert halls, public, and other musicians. Jeremy played piano and sang both lead and back-up vocals. Visitors to the practice sessions included Eddie Money who recorded Jeremy's song, "Call On Me," and Dave Mason who recorded Jeremy's song, "Spend Your Life With Me."
In 1978, Jeremy found himself in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, with a role in the city's annual Passion Play. He played one of the two thieves on the cross. After hanging on the cross in front of 4,000 people for two nights, the Holy Spirit started working in Jeremy's heart. After the evening performance, Jeremy retreated to a cabin in the woods and he broke down and cried, realizing his sinfulness. In the middle of that night he awoke and heard the same voice he had witnessed seven years earlier, this time saying: "My son, your sins are forgiven, but go and sin no more, for I have a brand new life for you." At that moment, Jeremy totally dedicated his life to the Lord Yeshua (Jesus).
Jeremy has now been in ministry for over 25 years and uses his musical ability for the Lord. He has recorded, arranged and produced several albums: "Let Every Knee", "Hebrew Lord", "I Believe in Yeshua", "Praise Your Name", "Behold the Bridegroom", "In Heavenly Places", "He Reigns", "On Mount Zion" and "In the Presence of the Lord." His newest album "All Rise" was released May 2010.
Jeremy is the Rabbi, Cantor and worship leader of The Tabernacle, a rapidly growing Messianic Jewish congregation meeting Friday evenings and Saturday mornings in Branson, Missouri. He also ministers in other congregations by giving musical concerts, leading praise and worship, teaching on the Biblical Jewish roots of Christianity, and sharing his dynamic testimony. He has performed at the regional Messianic Jewish Roots of Christianity, sharing his dynamic testimony. He has performed at the regional Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) convention in Florida and has made several national television appearances, including "The New Jim Bakker Show," "Keeping in Truth," "Praise the Lord," "Jewish Jewels," and "Jewish Voice" broadcasts. Rabbi Jeremy answers questions about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith through his daily radio teaching program, "Ask the Rabbi," and through interviews on other local and national radio programs. The international ministry "Jews for Jesus" has published for worldwide distribution a Messianic Hymnal with many of Jeremy's songs in it. These songs and many others that he has written are now being used for praise and worship in congregations all around the world, especially in the U.S., Israel, Europe and Latin America.
If you would like to schedule Jeremy Storch to come and minister in your congregation through music and/or teaching or for a radio or television interview or other special event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 417-334-7373. Other information and music can be obtained through http://www.jeremystorch.net.
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