Saturday, October 14, 2017
I was blessed in a little bit of a different way of finding this amazing message of God’s beautiful truth. Being a local Tennessean, I have lived here my entire life between several close towns – Dickson and Fairview. As a small child I always went to church on Sundays with my family and was involved Sunday school but never really was a part or big into the church scene. I would go but really all I can remember was always falling asleep during the sermons and shaking the preachers hand as I left; nothing really special at all. As I became older the church scene sort of just faded away and I left with no intentions of ever going back. I had convinced myself that I had become close to God on my own and that I would never need a church or anything else, for that matter, to change that.
"I look forward to the opportunity to take Baleigh as my wife and I know that as long as we are obedient to God, united in faith and love, we can withstand any tests that come. I praise God for giving us a firm foundation to build our life together!"- Dillon
Throughout my life, in all the worldly scenes that I had participated in, I had convinced/ justified myself in what I was doing was not wrong or doing any harm. I never gave any thought to what God thought or felt about what I was doing. God and his Kingdom was the last thing on my mind. In my heart all I had was sin: self focus, lust, tobacco addiction, alcohol consumption, praise of man, anger, pride, etc and the list could go on forever. I now know I never knew the truth about God and His beautiful Kingdom. I was never taught any differently. But I was soon to learn that my life was totally wrong. While attending Fairview High School, I was dating someone else at the time when God would introduce me to the person who would eventually, in my opinion, save my life.
Every day we were allowed to eat our lunches in the hallway and every day I would sit with a group of people that my girlfriend at the time hung out with. In this group was a girl named Baleigh Van Huis. Although we sat together almost every day, I would never speak to her nor did I ever think of her in any way other than being one of my girlfriend’s friends. I had no interest in her whatsoever. I had no idea that was all part of God’s genius plan! As time passed, Baleigh moved away and I remained at Fairview. That girl and I broke up and after a few more failed attempts at a relationship, I eventually gave up all hope on the dating scene and ever wanting to be married, having kids, or any life like that.
Then one day on Facebook I had noticed that on my notifications that Baleigh had moved into the Lyles area, which was relatively close to where I was currently living in Dickson. I reached out to her just out of worldly reasons – I knew that she had an interest in hunting, just as I did, and for other far less noble reasons. So I asked her if she’d like to start hanging out and asked her on our first date – a tractor pull. (So romantic, I know!) My original intentions of dating Baleigh were just the same as in any of the previous relationships that I was in – sinful and impure reasons that were not glorifying to God. But I know now that I never knew God. Any thought of God never crossed my mind. During the process of dating Baleigh though I rapidly realized that this relationship was unlike anything I had never seen, felt or heard of! I had no idea what this in turn would mean to come for me. In the beginning of our relationship I could see that I couldn’t seem to get enough time of being around her! My family instantly fell in love with her as well as anyone that I introduced her to.
About a month into our relationship, this amazing beautiful woman would do something that literally would stop my world in its tracks. One night at the lake at my parent’s house, we were watching the stars and sitting around the fire talking and she stood up for God by telling me that this relationship was going to stop here if I had no intentions of loving God with all my heart or attending church. I had never heard of someone doing this and I couldn’t at the time understand how she was doing this to us yet she had explained to me just how important God and her church (Remnant Fellowship) were to her. At the time I agreed to attend her church just to see what it was about. I originally started attending some of the sermons and the events just to keep her happy but that was all soon to change.
One night I was invited to attend the bachelor party of Scott Thissen. Hearing the amazing testimonies of the Godly men there such as Jonathan Walters, Scott Thissen, Patrick Stites and some others would convict and change my heart forever. At first I could not understand what I was feeling (the conviction) so I excluded myself from everyone but shortly after I explained to the group what I was feeling inside and they explained the reasoning of the conviction and a spiritual veil was being lifted off my eyes and heart. My life forever changed from that moment on soon after I would receive the amazing gift of the “History of the Love of God” book from Gwen! I’ve never been much of a reader throughout my life but this book was so much different! As I was attending more events and meeting so many amazing members of Remnant Fellowship, as well as reading the “Love” book, I learned to start putting into practice what I was hearing and reading! I would learn what purity was in a relationship and I laid down my tobacco addiction, lust in my heart, anger, control, and learned to tap into the true obedience to God. I began to attend the church and the events, not for Baleigh, but for me for the way that God would prick my heart and the amazing conviction that came from it.
With starting this life of God I would come to face hardships and testing, as well as wanting to become closer and more involved with God’s amazing church and kingdom. God led me to quit my previous job and accept the privilege of working for Mrs. Gwen Shamblin at Exodus Industries. I also soon felt led to truly become a part of God’s amazing people by being baptized into the truth. This in turn would be where the true testing would arise. I was warned by many that this would come. One night, on the week leading up to my baptism, someone broke into the cabin and stole most of my belongings. Through what I had been taught here at Remnant Fellowship, I knew it was just stuff and just a test. The love and support I got from Baleigh and her family and several other members was unbelievable! It was all so hand selected and amazingly from God!
I am so beyond grateful for God, Gwen Shamblin, this message of Truth, and Baleigh. God literally saved my life through introducing Baleigh into my life. This journey has not been the easiest but it has been orchestrated by God. Each and every test that has come and gone has been for my refinement! By looking inward and seeking the true love of God in my heart has given me the ability to give everything to God and know that any challenge that I face can be overcome with Him through His spirit in my heart and life! I look forward to the opportunity to take Baleigh as my wife and I know that as long as we are obedient to God, united in faith and love, we can withstand any test that comes. I praise God for giving us a firm foundation to build our life together!
I praise God for this opportunity to share everything that God has done in my life! In 2002 my mom found Weighdown through her friend, Laura Rozeveld, while living in Michigan. She began our journey with her first Weighdown class in February of 2003 and put the teaching of being a True Christian and being under authority into practice. Over several months she lost 60 pounds and laid down smoking, anger and other strongholds. She, along with me and my younger sister Carlie, began attending Remnant Fellowship church and officially joined in May of 2003 and our lives were forever changed. Seeing that change reflecting in our attitudes, my dad began attending and later joined in early 2004. My sister and I watched my parents grow closer to God and each other and becoming happier daily. We often visited Tennessee attending multiple festivals and summer camps through Remnant and each time it became harder to leave. Seeing the fruit of being around those that wanted nothing more that to do God's will and glorify him, we finally called Tennessee our home in 2007.
Being only 7 when we joined in 2003, I've been in this message most of my life. Although I grew up in this truth, it didn't mean my heart always followed. Once I got into High School, I felt the pull of the world and got caught up in the praise of man and caring more of what people thought of me and not what God thought of me. During my High school career I made some very poor choices and hung out with the wrong crowd. Instead of being in the middle of the pack (the righteous pack) I chose to surround myself with those living on the edge, all the while trying to convince myself and others that I wanted to help them. The truth was, I couldn't help myself let alone someone else. I wanted what I wanted and wasn't under authority. I didn't really want anything to do with authority - I just pretended that I did. Choosing that path made me loose some of my closest friends, something that I deeply regret to this day!
"I have no worries of being a young married couple in this day and age. As long as we stay plugged into this truth 100% and are completely obedient to Christ and our authorities we will have the BEST marriage!"- Baleigh
I first met Dillon while attending Fairview High School. He was dating a friend of mine and although we ate lunch together almost every day, we never really spoke to each other. Over a period of six years, we moved back and fourth from Fairview, Brentwood, Franklin, and finally to Lyles. We weren't really sure why God moved us there, but we came to realize that Dillon was the answer.
Dillon reached out to me through Facebook a few weeks after we moved to Lyles and I had posted my status change. None of my friends lived out there and with him living close by and having a shared interest in hunting and the outdoors, I didn’t think it was a bad idea to hang out. He invited me to attend a tractor pull (something I had never done before) in Chapel Hill along with his Mom and Step Father. He came to the house and met my entire family plus a few of my “other Dads” - How Lucky!! He quickly won everyone over! From then on, we became closer and hung out all the time. However, this relationship was not easy in the beginning - Dillon was not a member and I was not as spiritually strong as I had thought I was. Regardless, through trials, mistakes and tears we felt without a doubt, we were meant to be together. Determined, we persevered and through what we have been taught here at Remnant, we made the commitment to continually lay down our lives for God, then each other! It is such an honor and blessing to have watched Dillon transform from a worldly man to a humble, god-fearing man who desires nothing more than to lead us to God. I am truly blessed!
To this day, I cannot thank Gwen Shamblin enough for sacrificing her life for God and this church. It brings tears to my eyes just to think how lucky we are to be apart of something so amazing. Getting to hear truth every week that gives us so much hope for the future and for our marriage is a priceless gift and a resource to be treasured! I have no worries of being a young married couple in this day and age. As long as we stay plugged into this truth 100% and are completely obedient to Christ and our authorities we will have the BEST marriage!