Saturday, December 11, 2021
Webcast and Prelude begin at 4:30pm Central Time
Remnant Fellowship Church
1230 Franklin Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027
Black, red, winter greens, burgundy, and gold glitter accents.
I want to first start off this testimony with giving credit to those who lived out a life of obedience to God first, especially Gwen Shamblin Lara and her children and their spouses – Michael & Elle Shamblin and Brandon & Elizabeth Hannah. Without these examples, my parents would never have heard about love for God first and seen it in action, day in and day out. Their lives have been a testimony to me and to my family. After being witness to their deep love for God and applying His principles to their own lives, my parent’s lives began changing. We lived in Denver, Colorado, at the time, but my parents wanted to be closer to those who lived for God wholeheartedly, and when I was three years old, God allowed things to fall into place for my family to move to Tennessee.
However, even though I grew up in Remnant Fellowship, I became distracted when I started middle school, and I found myself not going to God for everything. I had greed, pride, selfishness, and so much more. When I realized this, I began seeking God more and being convicted by the classes and sermons I heard at church. I began to lay down this self-focus as I grew closer to God. I know that if my parents had not made the decision to move our family close to this church so that I could build true friendships, I would have spent my teen years lonely, depressed, and anxious, filled with the magnified vices I listed above.
Shannon is genuinely the most loving and kindest person I know. She is extremely selfless, always looking to do whatever she can for the people around her. Every day, she convicts me and makes me wish I had more of her qualities. Her selfless heart convicts me and moves me to do the same. Shannon is by far the greatest blessing God has given me!– Zachary
Gwen Lara taught me how to find a personal relationship with God by following the example of Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful. Because of having a heart focused on God and following His lead through authorities above me, God has blessed me with graduating from MTSU with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and becoming a registered nurse. I know that I would have not found a fulfilling purpose and meaning in life without God and the messages shared in Remnant Fellowship. Words cannot express my gratitude to God first, and then to those who have lived their lives for God and showed me how to do the same in every area of my life.
Shannon has been the biggest blessing in my life. We met as children at the church’s summer day camp, and we became friends as the years passed through day camp, co-op, and youth group activities. At some point, we found ourselves talking more and more, becoming closer friends, and then dating. Over these past few years, Shannon has inspired me to sharpen my relationship with God even more. She is genuinely the most loving and kindest person I know. She is extremely selfless, always looking to do whatever she can for the people around her. Every day, she convicts me and makes me wish I had more of her qualities. Shannon’s personality is one of kindness, love, and empathy. I have never seen her show any bad attitude or become short or curt with anyone. No matter what the circumstance, she’s always focused on the church’s needs, her family’s needs, and my needs. Her selfless heart convicts me and moves me to do the same! She’s constantly looking for ways she can honor her authorities, whether that be her parents or her bosses at work. Even though her humility keeps her from saying this herself, she has received a great deal of favor at work. The bosses and physicians Shannon works with love her!
Shannon has consistently been there for me during my most trying times, never wavering and always pointing me up to God. I cannot believe that God has entrusted me with such a blessing in my life. I never want to take this for granted, and I praise God every day for the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with her as a companion. Shannon is by far the greatest blessing God has given me! I cannot voice enough my gratitude to God, to Gwen Lara, and to Remnant Fellowship for guiding me to this stage of life, and I cannot wait for the many years to come, living for God alongside Shannon in this amazing life!
I have had the privilege of growing up in Remnant Fellowship Church, since my family joined when I was only a few months old. Back in the early 2000s, my mom was taking a Weigh Down class at our local church in Illinois, which eventually led to her being introduced to the church. She noticed the peace and blessings that came from laying down her own desires and focusing on God first, and thus decided to join. My dad soon noticed the blessed changes in her life, and eventually our whole family joined Remnant as well! We didn’t move closer to the church until a few years later, but between visiting Tennessee frequently and spending much of my childhood years here, this place is where I’ve really always considered to be my home.
While I have gotten the chance to pretty much be raised surrounded by Godly role models and strong spiritual leaders, I did not always consistently live out these teachings in my own life. Throughout my middle school and early high school years, I allowed myself to become self-focused and could really only think about myself and my own worries. Seeking the attention of those around me and building earthly relationships were what I tried to fill my heart with. Of course, this focus only caused unnecessary difficulties and more worry in my life. Choosing this horizontal focus—instead of a focus on God first—left me empty.
Zachary convicts my own heart with his gift of patience, as he is never quick to rush into situations, but always waits on God. He definitely has the gift of joy and keeps me laughing more than I could possibly imagine! He is steadfast and holds tightly to the Biblical teachings laid before us. I have only hope and joy in my heart as I look toward the future, amazed at this opportunity to seek God together for the rest of our days.– Shannon
After chasing the always-changing approval of peers and finding myself only being “left out” and rejected, I slowly realized that sideways focus was never going to fill me up. I started to really listen to the sermons shared by Gwen Shamblin Lara and the examples of others, and I recall clearly a major turning point when Gwen released the book, “History of the Love of God.” I remember reading through each chapter as she shared about her relationship with God and exactly why and how she loved God more than anything on this Earth. The more I read her passionate words, the more I realized that I, too, can have this selfless, personal relationship with God and this amazing purpose of living for Him! After that, my whole life changed! I felt so much happier, because I knew I could take all my worries to God and that He would take the best care of me. This focus of living for God in every word, thought, and action has given me a purpose that brightens each and every day, a purpose that brings in abundant blessings through obeying His will!
Speaking of which, my absolute favorite blessing in my life that God has given me has to be Zachary Sanchez. Around the same time that I felt myself focusing on God and falling more in love with Him, I found myself hanging out with Zachary’s circle of friends more and more. Since we’ve both been members of the church since we were babies, I’ve known Zac pretty much my whole life, but it wasn’t until then that I really noticed him and all the fantastic qualities he has. He is so blessed with intelligence, and everyone who knows him has recognized his deep passion for God’s genius development of medicine and healthcare. Although he is also very handsome outwardly, I fell in love with Zac’s inward, Christlike characteristics that God designed in his personality; these characteristics have only increased over the recent years that I’ve had the blessing of growing closer to him.
Zachary convicts my own heart with his gift of patience, as he is never quick to rush into situations, but always waits on God. He definitely has the gift of joy and keeps me laughing more than I could possibly imagine! He is steadfast and holds tightly to the Biblical teachings laid before us. There are so many ways I could list showing how Zachary points me to God, and so many reasons why I love him so. I know that all the characteristics he has are a direct result of him pursuing a relationship with God and following the truth, which is why I have faith that as we continue to stay wholeheartedly focused on God and Christ, I can trust in Zachary as a gentle but strong leader of our household. I know that together, we will have a daily dependency on every word that comes from the mouth of God. I have only hope and joy in my heart as I look toward the future, amazed at this opportunity to seek God together for the rest of our days. God is so amazing in what He has done in our lives, and I truly can’t praise Him enough for this blessing of marrying Zachary, my best friend and true love of my life!