Saturday, December 31, 2022
Webcast and Prelude begin at 5:00pm Central Time
Remnant Fellowship Church
1230 Franklin Rd.
Brentwood, TN 37027
Black, white, gold, and silver (sparkles)
Growing up, I never desired the typical dream job of police officer, fireman, etc., but rather I wanted nothing more than to be a husband to a loving wife and a father to happy and loving children. I was fascinated by the men of the Bible and how strong they were in the face of adversity, how they seemingly overcame impossible odds, even physical or spiritual threats, each being great leaders and fathers of men. As much as I lacked understanding, God gave me a great desire to resemble these men as closely as possible, and after receiving my first Bible at the age of eight, I set out to unlock the secrets of these men so that I might become like them one day, praying to God to mold and refine me.
Anna has the purest heart, wanting to constantly improve in anything and everything she does while never becoming arrogant and self-focused. She is always looking for ways she can serve others, sacrificing her time and energy to ensure others are taken care of before herself. She does all this expecting absolutely nothing in return... - Mitchell
Over the next ten years, God answered my prayer in so many ways, throwing me into the Refiner's Fire to fashion and shape me, giving numerous opportunities to serve, lead, learn, and grow. It was a true test at times, spiritually and physically, but I paved on through what I felt God's path was for me. I had checked my list, dotted my Is and crossed my Ts, believing full well that I was living within God's Boundaries, but there was still something missing. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I was feeling a major lack of peace and fruit, for all of this work had been done, yet I was experiencing every night sleepless and stressed, being unable to find any comfort in the decisions I had made. My path had all started with me desiring a Godly family, and I felt no closer to it than I had all those years ago. What had I missed? I became increasingly distraught and angry as I searched for an answer but found none...until I looked in the mirror and found that I was the problem. I was hateful, envious, crude, disrespectful, greedy, gluttonous, etc. At that point, I lost hope, and I gave up any idea of my dream of a Godly family, accepting that it just wasn't meant to be. I felt I was unrepairable; the damage had been done.
I began to realize that I had done all these things for my own selfish gain... As much as desiring a family is Biblical, I only wanted one to serve my own desires and not the desires of God and His Kingdom. Greatly humbled and having been brought low before Him, I began to seek forgiveness, wishing to do things God's way and not my way, now desiring nothing more but to be in His presence. I began searching for a teaching that would help me with this new focus for my life, and after months of church hopping, I found the Remnant Fellowship Church. I was enthralled at the love that existed here. I joined almost immediately, knowing God had led me to this place filled with people who had nothing but Total Love for Him and wished to live out His doctrine to its fullest. I was home, praise God! And I finally learned how to really follow in the footsteps of Christ and find the Spirit of God and His will for me through the sermons and messages taught here.
I began to realize all the ways my heart was still holding on to idols, and although the Refiner’s Fire can seem hot at times, one by one, I found my past idols falling to God’s power and love because this time I wasn't doing it for myself, I was doing it to make God happy! I did my best to get under God's authority and follow His Spirit, and God blessed me with so many opportunities to serve and love all those around me -- I was beyond excited and thankful! I learned and grew, and this time there was fruit, peace, and pure joy in my life! I cared not for what my future held but only that God would be a part of it, because instead of me expecting Him to be on my team, I wanted to be on His, doing anything He needed me to do so I could remain in His good pleasure! Then the unthinkable happened, and God blessed me with the biggest opportunity yet, the ability to get to know the beautiful Anna Smith...
Anna has the purest heart, wanting to constantly improve in anything and everything she does while never becoming arrogant and self-focused. She is always looking for ways she can serve others, sacrificing her time and energy to ensure others are taken care of before herself. She does all this expecting absolutely nothing in return, having no sense of victimization or self-focus, wanting nothing more but to pour love on everyone God puts in her life. I had the pleasure of working and volunteering with her and got to see all of this firsthand, so when the opportunity came for me to get to know Anna better, I was astonished that God would allow me to even speak with someone like her. We would talk for hours each night, never growing tired of the conversation and always finding it so hard to say goodbye, but the promise of being able to start again the next day was enough.
We would grow closer daily as we poured over the Bible and Gwen Lara's amazing books, talking about all the challenges we had overcome in our lives, how God had taught us and helped us grow. I look back on all that God has done in my life, and I now really get to live the dream that God planted in my heart all those years ago. I am astonished that God would allow me second, third, and beyond chances to be in His presence, and that He would take it so much further to allow me to spend the rest of my life with the sweet, beautiful Anna Smith. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve such an amazing woman of God's Church. If God's plan was for me to end up here all along, then I would take on every obstacle and wade through every storm just to make sure I got here again.
We are beyond blessed, and I pray that our marriage is just a further testament added to all those who have come before, a testament to the true Power of God's Love and His Eternal Church in the Remnant.
I have looked back at all the answered prayers in my life, and I am blown away at it all! God has done so much just in the past year! The blessings and the answered prayers are above and beyond anything I ever prayed for. My joy is inexpressible, and I am so excited to share just a small piece of my testimony.
My story starts with my mother’s testimony. All her adult life, she had longed for a true relationship with God as well as a way to lose weight. After trying everything, she discovered the Weigh Down Diet. Through the lessons, my mother heard Gwen share how we all worship something in life, but the only thing that could truly give back and strengthen us was God. My mother immediately changed! For the first time, she felt true joy and peace and was experiencing answered prayers—in addition to losing (and keeping off) 50 pounds! A friend in class told her about the Remnant Fellowship Church, and after looking into it, my mother fell in love with Remnant. It was a community of people from across the nation worshiping together, either in person or through a webcast, all with a focus on and a true love for God. My father was skeptical at the beginning, and he questioned how these men, women, and children could really be different from any other church. However, joining in the webcast for a few months allowed him to witness the difference. He saw men leading their homes with righteousness, kindness, and humility, and he saw women respecting their husbands in true devotion and love...but what he saw in the children was what truly won him over. Not only did the youth have their own personal relationships with God, but there was no bickering and no arguing—only joy, love, and peace in the family. We officially joined Remnant in 2003 and moved to Tennessee to be closer to the church in 2004.
Mitchell openly shares his convictions, and he inspires me to serve with his level of love and enthusiasm. He is the most servant-hearted, righteous, selfless, dedicated-to-God, and caring person… I pray that our marriage is our testimony, and that together, we prove that God is everything. - Anna
As a child, I enjoyed church for the fun activities, the friends, and the music, but never really connected with God personally at that young age. When I became a teenager, even while continuing to attend church with my family, a lack of God became evident in my life. I grew self-focused and lonely, even while around my longtime friends. I let worry and anxiety rule my life, and God was becoming more and more distant. In my mid-teens, I hit rock bottom and knew that I needed to change my focus.
Even though I grew up hearing about a personal relationship with God, I had never truly embraced it in my heart. But now, I was convicted that it was time to work on my own relationship with God, so I began taking the Breakthrough class. Gwen Lara’s teaching in that class made me truly understand that God longs for our attention, our devotion, and our love, and that He is eagerly waiting to give back everything we give Him, plus more! As soon as I made the decision to love God fully and foremost, worry was replaced with peace, and self-focus was replaced with selflessness. My friendships grew stronger, and my relationship with my parents grew as I trusted them more and more and sought their guidance. I loved the refinement that came from God’s Word and learning how to be more loving, more kind, and more Christ-like toward others.
God has given back every desire of my heart. God has allowed me righteous, loving friends that I can count on and a family that is focused on serving and loving Him first and foremost. And now...He has presented me with the righteous husband I have always dreamed of. All credit goes to God for bringing us together.
I first met Mitchell through the Remnant church orchestra. He plays trumpet, and I play French horn. Mitchell was so much fun to be around, and I knew that we were going to be good friends. I watched as he led our orchestra section with joy, laughter, and a focus on making sure that we were playing to make God look good. We also both also serve on many of the same volunteer committees at church, and as time passed, God allowed us to begin noticing one another more and more. If we were both on the same food committee, I would find myself hanging out in the church kitchen more and more, just to spend more time with Mitchell. One evening, after finishing up our volunteer time at an event, we ended up going out. We talked for hours, and by the end of the evening, we both knew that God had put us together for this purpose.
Mitchell has shown me nothing but love and patience, and he is the most fun gentleman to be around. Every conversation with him is focused on God and His Kingdom. We still FaceTime every night, even if all we do is pray together and say goodnight. We are constantly looking for ways to serve the church fellowship and we pray together consistently. Mitchell openly shares his convictions, and he inspires me to serve with his level of love and enthusiasm because he is the first to jump up if anyone needs anything. He is the most servant-hearted, righteous, selfless, dedicated-to-God, and caring person. I am undeserving of such a man, and Mitchell’s encouragement and example inspire me to run after God even more!
I wish I could share every answered prayer, every blessing, and every story I have about God and His blessings, but there will never be enough time to share it all. I pray that our marriage is our testimony, and that together, we prove that God is everything.