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Refined by Fire: A Family's Triumph of Love and Faith Paperback – July 1, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0842386033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842386036
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Many of the books written about the tragic events of 9/11 center on what happened at the World Trade Center or the field in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed. Comparatively less has been written about the Pentagon. I always thought that this was because the Pentagon is a military installation and the levels of security there kept these stories quieter.

The fire from the crash in D.C. found victims there without regard to age, rank and serial number just as it did in New York and Pennsylvania. REFINED BY FIRE is the story of one of these victims, LTC Brian Birdwell, who survived the plane's impact by chance --- he was not in his office when the plane hit, but rather in a hallway outside. His two co-workers died at their desks.

The story is that of Brian's courage through thirty-plus surgeries, endless skin grafts and raging infection. While this was happening with great speed and accompanying stress, Mel was beside her husband, fighting for his dignity and sharing a strength and resolve to maintain both his honor and his position. The faith of the Birdwells is clear. God had His hand on their shoulders from the moment that fire hit. Both Mel and Brian turned to Scripture and prayer when many others might have collapsed from despair and anger. Scripture took on new meaning to Mel as she read passages and related them to their lives.

Mel read Scripture to Brian even as he lay unconscious. Instead of questioning their misfortune, she focused them on moving toward healing. They could not run through it, they could not hide from it. Instead, they needed to draw strength for each new step from God and each other.

I love the title of this book. These three words define so much about the Birdwells. They were refined. Their faith was refined.
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Format: Paperback
This is truly a heartwarming and awakening story of one family's quick and abrupt encounter with God. From the moment that tragedy struck The Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Brian and Mel Birdwell both knew that there was a reason he was spared while others lost their lives. This is a time-line recollection of the day of the attack and the weeks and months that follow but more so, it's a story of belief and faith and finally a story of their willingness to share their feelings, their anger and their experience with both the reader and with the world through their outreach and personal ministry to other burn victims and wounded military members whereever they go. This is a great buy. You will never be sorry you read this faith-oriented story.
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Format: Paperback
I love the way the story is told from both Brian and Mel's experiences. I can underatand many of the descriptions of the military as my husband is an major in the USAF. What a testimony to God's love and sovereignty. Their story will help put life into perspective as to what is truly important. What a great gift the Birdwells have given us.
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Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely amazing! I knew a lot of the Birdwell's story, as I am friends with them (and a neighbor when this all happened). But of course I did not know a lot of the details. Mel and Brian both do a wonderful job relaying their story. This book really makes you think. Thank you Birdwells for sharing your experience and helping so many people. You are an inspiration, both individually and as a couple!
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book that details how this precious family relied on God's grace to sustain them as they were forced to walk down a road that none of us would choose to take. The technique of using both Brian and Mel to give their own personal perspectives and accounts throughout the book was quite effective. I read this book while flying to Charleston, SC, and was wiping away tears the entire flight. The guy next to me finally had to ask if I was "O.K.", to which I replied, "yes, it's just that this book is so moving - and so good!"
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Format: Paperback
This book is an amazing testimony of God's mercy, love and faithfulness to those who call upon His name. As Brian and Mel Birdwell share their experiences from the Pentagon attack and aftermath, the reader gets a vivid mental picture of much of what they went through. They share their pain and suffering, but they also share their hope and trust in the Lord which is ultimately what gets them through such an appalling tragedy. God is clearly glorified in this story!
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Format: Paperback
Brian is a friend of my son and his family and while visiting with my son, I was fortunate enough to meet Brian and his wife. They are a very loving sincere couple who have had their faith tested and have come out of this stronger than ever. I have recommended this book to others and am giving the books to friend and family because I think it tells a great story of love, devotion and faith.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know this couple personally and reading Mel's story was heartbreaking. There were times, I just had to put the book down and have a good cry and others when I could not let go, until I finished the chapter.

Inspiration is found in every sentence written by Mel and Brian.

Today, Brian Birdwell is a Senator in the Texas Senate and continues to inspire people every day.

On 9-11, God had other plans for Brian Birdwell's life, than the mad people who steered the plane, into the Pentagon. Thanks be to God for sparing his life!
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