Sunday, September 16, 2018.
It all started for me when a couple friends and I decided to road trip to Tennessee for “Weigh Down Desert Oasis 2011.” My parents had already been members since 2008 and had finally talked me into at least going for a visit. At the time I wasn’t necessarily searching for truth or a closer relationship with God. I was more interested in my own selfish pursuits, but at the same time I knew there was something special about this place. However, despite my wonderful experience attending Desert Oasis, and the obvious powerful changes that had happened in my parents’ lives, I chose to return to my own desires.
It was fall 2012 when God grabbed my attention in a way I couldn’t ignore. I was living away from home and had decided to come back for the weekend. I had been feeling this constant longing for something new, like my life was truly lacking. I remember thinking “Is this really all there is to life? Go to work, come home, and go to bed-just to do it all again with no real purpose?” I knew there had to be more. After several years of having no interest in watching a Church worship webcast, I decided to sit down with my family and give it a try.
I remember the words of Gwen Shamblin making more sense to me than anything I had ever heard before. It was truth I couldn’t deny. That night I knelt at the side of my bed and petitioned to God that if this was something I should pursue, that He would give me a sign. That night I had an incredible dream—I was suddenly at the church, on stage, bawling like a baby. My parents were standing there with me, and Gwen Shamblin was there, sitting in the front row. I was standing there, confessing my sins and begging for an opportunity to change, when suddenly I was woken up by a bright flash! I jumped awake, and knew this was my first true sign from God, and I had no choice but to pursue a new life.
After joining Remnant Fellowship I could immediately see my life changing as I put into practice everything I was learning. My family and friends could see it, and I could feel the truth changing my heart and life in so many ways. It was obvious what I was being taught at Remnant Fellowship was what was spoken about in the Bible. Only a true relationship with God could elicit so much positive change.
It was the summer of 2013 when I made the decision to move to Tennessee and be a part of the church that had changed who I was and given me purpose in life. It was an incredible experience and truly life changing. Never had I seen such a Godly community. Everyone working to meet the needs of the church and of others. All focused on one singular purpose: to live the life of a true Christian, as God intended.
Fast forward to May 2015. This was a time when I found myself listening to lies, and falling out of touch with God. Despite the absolute best efforts of my Godly friends and the loving leadership of the church, I found myself swept away by my own selfish ideas. A true testament to how powerful satan's lies can be. I ended up leaving the church, and for the next year and a half my life would spiral completely out of control. I had turned my back on what I knew was right, and God allowed me to suffer the consequences for my actions. God used this time to show me how truly stubborn and prideful I was. It's amazing to me that despite all of the incredible teachings, answered prayers, and changed lives I had been a witness to, I was still so full of pride. God did exactly what He needed to for me to realize how foolish I had been.
December 2016 I decided to go back to Tennessee, to visit my church friends and attend a wedding at the church. I once again couldn’t deny what my heart was feeling and what my eyes were witnessing. I had returned to a place where the love and unity had clearly increased. I could see God's hand all over the congregation. I could see incredible change in the hearts of my friends who I had pushed away. After a long weekend of reuniting with so many loving and sweet friends, I rejoined the church.
In the last year since returning, God has truly restored my life. He has healed my heart and restored my soul. He gave me purpose in Life again. What a genius and merciful God we serve! I owe God my life. I am forever grateful for the truly inspired and spirit led teachings of Gwen Shamblin, and praising God every day for such a Godly community of believers He’s allowed me to be a part of at Remnant Fellowship!
"Having a relationship with Esabella has been nothing short of a dream come true, a true blessing. We established early on in our relationship that God had to be first in everything, and the result has been so blessed!" - Jess
God has also taken me by total surprise and has further revealed His genius when He allowed me to meet Esabella. Having a relationship with Esabella has been nothing short of a dream come true, a true blessing. We established early on in our relationship that God had to be first in everything, and the result has been so blessed! Now we’re getting married! I have such peace going into marriage knowing that we will be taught how to handle any situation in a Godly manner. Praise God for the spirit led council we’re afforded at Remnant Fellowship!.
My family and I first heard about Weigh Down Ministries in 2001 when I was 5 years old. My mom attended the South Bend, Indiana "Rebuilding the Wall" event and then we all attended a "Festival of Lights" gathering that Christmas. Though my mom felt the difference in everyone who was committing to living out the Bible-based teachings, we thought we could just replicate it on our own and we stopped pursuing Weigh Down and the new Remnant Fellowship Church.
Six years later, my mom found her old South Bend cassette tapes and began listening again. Her heart moved, we took another trip to Tennessee for the Weigh Down "Desert Oasis-The Treasure Series" event. That same summer we officially became members of Remnant Fellowship Church and moved to Tennessee! At 11 years old, it was a lot of change in one summer. For a long while I just went along with everything because it was what my parents were doing. The children were all accepting and loving so it was fun! But I didn’t develop my own personal relationship with God, nor did I fully understand or realize that I did not have one – and I really did not listen to the teachings God was handing out through Gwen Shamblin.
When I was about 16 God lovingly put me at a very distinctive crossroads. I had a choice – my own clueless, selfish, arrogant way...or His beautiful, righteous path. Through many many hours of my mom’s persistent and loving redirection, prayer, and encouragement I finally saw the light and committed to pursuing GOD and a relationship with Him! A Scripture that summarizes how I realized I needed to completely die to my old ways and live a new life is the following:
"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" - John 12:27-28
Over the next few years, I really began listening for myself to the Biblical teachings and thoroughly applying them to my life. The change in my heart was so freeing!!! Though I never outwardly had weight to lose, I felt like I lost hundreds of pounds of evil spirits, self-focus, and greed for praise of man! My life was full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, and self-control...and it was AMAZING!! My relationships with my family members grew closer, my friendships became stronger, and my joy was overflowing!! I am overwhelmed with the mercy God has shown me and I never want to take that for granted.
"Remnant Fellowship Church has changed my life for the better, and I cannot believe I get to now be married in this magnificent Kingdom of Love." - Esabella
In September of 2017 Jess reached out to me. I knew of him but had never really developed a friendship with him. As our conversations went on, and in keeping in close conversation with my mom about him, I saw that this was moving beyond just a friendship and so immediately sought godly council and advice. No matter who I spoke to, I got the same words from each person. Jess was a godly, righteous, loving, loyal man who was committed to God first and this beautiful church. The more we got to know each other, the more I saw that this was true! As our relationship developed I knew he was the one God had chosen for me, as Jess handled everything above reproach and he was so gentle. We were living in separate towns and so when we did get to spend time together in person, it was always about God and meeting the needs of others— far more than the two of us—which was something I had prayed fervently for in whoever God chose for me to marry.
Even though I never thought I would end up marrying Jess Zogg, I could not have come up with a more perfect person to spend my life with! As my love for Jess grows, my love for God grows even more, and I could not ask for anything better!! I have such immense peace for our marriage because I know our relationship is founded on that this life isn’t about us...it is about GOD and building up His kingdom so that each generation gets stronger! As it says on page 40 of Gwen Shamblin's book, "God Fearing Families" ...what God had orchestrated all along was not this tunnel vision where you are focused on yourself, your own life, your own accomplishments...but a much larger perspective to look at all Creation that God has made and to see His Kingdom in a broad stroke of eternity. You are in the middlle of an enormous plan...a plan in which each generation builds more strength for the next generation, forever...
I am so very grateful that my mom stood her ground for the truth and helped me out of the dark hole I had dug myself into – and I am forever indebted to Gwen Shamblin for constantly putting everyone before herself and no matter what, telling us the truth! Remnant Fellowship Church has changed my life for the better, and I cannot believe I get to now be married in this magnificent Kingdom of Love! I do not deserve such immense blessings, but I know that they are in direct correlation with having 100% put these teachings of Remnant Fellowship Church into practice. I have no fear for the future as I know that if we continue to fully put them into practice, our lives will be peaceful and full of inexpressible joy!!
"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne." - Revelation 3:21
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9