Saturday, January 15, 2022
Webcast and Prelude begin at 4:30pm Central Time
Remnant Fellowship Church
1230 Franklin Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027
Navy blue, Ice blue, and White
I would like to personally thank my parents and all the leaders of Remnant Fellowship, especially the Lara, Hannah, and Shamblin families, for the sacrifices they have made and the examples they have set to lead me to where I am today.
My mother first participated in Weigh Down in 2000, a few months after I was born. It wasn’t until seven years later that she learned about Remnant Fellowship Church, and in 2008, she brought my brother, sister, and me to visit the church for the first time for Festival of Lights. I immediately fell in love with the people here at Remnant and wanted to move to be closer to them. For two years, we worshipped via webcast and travelled to Tennessee as often as we could for special events and summer day camp. My father was seeing positive changes in our family as we were putting the teachings of the church into practice, and in 2010, he began joining us for worship services as well. Finally, in 2011, God answered my prayer to move our family to Tennessee.
Kaitlin’s personality and her love for God makes her the best blessing and answered prayer I have ever received! She is truly the most fun, loving, sweetest, and most caring person I’ve ever met. She convicts me to spend more time with God and to see Him in all things. I know that my relationship with God and my relationship with Kaitlin will both continue to get better and better as we move forward in the rest of our lives!- Matthew
After we moved here, I watched my family grow closer to God through laying down strongholds and loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I wanted to seek that same goal. However, in junior high and high school, I struggled with being consistent in growing my personal relationship with God. While in my final year of high school, I witnessed my brother come to a crossroads in his own relationship with God as he walked through a very difficult time. I watched him make the decision to truly put God first...and then I witnessed God give it all back by giving my brother the deepest desire of his heart—a Godly wife who is perfect for him—as a blessing for his obedience. I took that experience to heart and made a new commitment to make my relationship with God a priority by fully putting into practice the Biblical Truths that I’ve only been taught here at Remnant Fellowship.
Since making that commitment, I’m no longer quick to become angry or disrespectful toward my authorities, and I’ve learned to take to heart any correction or redirection I receive. When it comes to relationships with others, all of these changes helped me to focus on BEING the right person instead of looking for the right person, just as I have been taught through the wise words of Gwen Lara.
Through putting those wise words (and countless others) into practice, I’ve become a better son, brother, friend, student, and employee. I’ve been able to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems and Analytics at MTSU and have been blessed with an internship at a local company. Even more importantly, God has allowed me to find the perfect person to share the rest of my life and to serve God’s Kingdom with. I know that none of this would have been possible if I didn’t have this message of mere Christianity setting me on the right path.
I’ve always dreamed of finding the woman that God had chosen for me. However, it wasn’t until I let go of my own control trying to find that person and instead focused on being that right person that God allowed me to meet Kaitlin. We started out as friends who enjoyed hanging out with the same people, then eventually we began dating. The more time I got to spend with her, the more I knew that Kaitlin was the woman I had been yearning for. We share many similar interests, but it is her personality and her love for God that makes Kaitlin the best blessing and answered prayer I have ever received! She is truly the most fun, loving, sweetest, and most caring person I’ve ever met. She convicts me to spend more time with God and to see Him in all things. She is always the first person to point me back up to God and put the focus on Him. She uses her gifts to serve the church and is always selfless in serving the needs of others and setting a good example for those around her.
I cannot express how grateful to God and to the leaders of Remnant Fellowship Church for providing me with the opportunity to be united with someone as amazing and pure of heart as Kaitlin. I have enjoyed every moment of being with her, getting to know her even better, and growing into a more Godly man through this relationship. I know that my relationship with God and my relationship with Kaitlin will both continue to get better and better as we move forward in the rest of our lives!
Throughout my teen years, I struggled with self-focus, not knowing that it was God my heart was longing for. As an older teen, I listened to the audio lessons that my mom would listen to in the morning, and I started finding God in little ways here and there. God was becoming personal to me. This led to my first visit to Remnant Fellowship Church on my own at the end of 2019. It was on that trip that I finally had a breakthrough, realizing that the Remnant was the place I belonged, and I didn’t want to be anywhere else. Nowhere else have I felt more love and selflessness. This was a true gathering—a remnant—of Saints who wanted to follow God’s will and devote their lives to doing everything God’s way.
Matthew truly is a blessing on my life, and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. Matthew encourages me all the time to get closer to God, to pray more, to call out to God over anything and everything, and to include God in every step of the day.- Kaitlin
During that visit in 2019, it was through the selflessness and hospitality of church members that I met Matthew for the first time—along with a whole slew of friends that will last a lifetime! Although the trip was short, it wasn’t long before my family began to plan more trips to Tennessee to visit the church and to fellowship with all our friends. Then, in the summer of 2020, God opened up the doors for me to move to Tennessee.
As for Matthew, I clearly remember the moment I fell in love with him. It was at my first church youth gathering after moving to Tennessee. He stood up and testified about his relationship with God and how he was working to get even closer to God with everything he did. It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t know Matthew very well yet; the only thing I wanted was someone who desired a relationship with God above anything, and from the beginning, that focus was something that Matthew exemplified.
Throughout every step of our relationship, God has given, and given, and given. Everywhere I look, there’s a gift or blessing or little wink from God that reminds me of His leading in mine and Matthew’s relationship. Matthew truly is a blessing on my life, and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. Matthew encourages me all the time to get closer to God, to pray more, to call out to God over anything and everything, and to include God in every step of the day. The quality that Matthew shows above all else, is his desire to do right before God. He is always digging deeper to know what is truly in his own heart. When he knows what needs to be done, he does it without a second thought, and he inspires me to live my life that way: to go all out for God. Matthew makes me laugh, and I know that our lives together are going to be focused on the joy of the Lord that has been graciously gifted to us through the teaching of putting God first, in the example of Jesus Christ.
There’s not a day that goes by that God doesn’t give back in our relationship. It's almost impossible to believe that I get to marry someone so devoted to God and with the same aspiration to someday walk through the gates of Heaven.