We are sincerely enjoying providing for you our “Get to Know the Remnant” article segments, and it is fascinating to learn more about our brothers and sisters in Christ. No matter where each family lives…and regardless of everyone’s vocational training or other talents/gifts, it is amazing to find out how EACH UNIQUE SAINT fits into the Body of Christ…GOD’S Church! EVERY Saint has tremendous purpose and value, and GOD continues to call more and more people to Him and His Church. Today we have another fine example of a family who lives and breathes for GOD…and who has been CHANGED for the better by this incredible Ministry and Church. And SO – Coming to us from Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan (the “Upper Peninsula”), let’s get to know the PALMER family – Paxton, Beckie, Cora, and PJ!
RN = Remnant News
PF = Palmer Family
PF – Well, first of all, Praise God we were given the opportunity to go through our first class just after we were married in 1995 while away at college! We both lost weight, then moved back home and didn’t know anything more about WD. In 2009, a WD Regional Rep, Genny Kaunisto, put a small business card ad in the paper about an upcoming class offered at a local college. And there our true journey begins…
RN – Tell us about your first visit to the Church. What was the event or occasion…and how did it change your life?
PF – Beckie was given a scholarship to go to D.O. (Desert Oasis – a Weigh Down international conference held in Nashville, Tennessee periodically throughout the years) in 2009 and was overwhelmed with the magnitude of beautiful people and that there was actually a church that was formed out of this message of obedience. On the way home from D.O. 2010 she called and said she was never going back without me. She knew this place was real and wanted me to experience it firsthand. At this point we had just started webcasting with the Kaunisto Family. In October we had the opportunity to travel downstate to a “Ring the Changes” Youth Gathering with Jonathan Walters and Joseph Langsdon. They along with two vans full of youth traveled NINE hours north to fellowship and worship together. By November we had joined and were blessed with the opportunity to make our first visit as a family to Remnant Fellowship Nashville to watch the Hosanna Symphony. This was like nothing we had ever experienced. To say that our lives were forever changed was an understatement!
RN – Share your/your family’s favorite Weigh Down/Remnant Fellowship seminar(s), audios, videos, lessons, songs, etc. What are those RESOURCES that have hit your hearts in special ways? Pick some stand-out favorites!
PF – My (Paxton) favorite resource would have to be the “Idolatry Forbidden” 2-part DVD and CD set – the way Gwen talks about giving it all up, selling everything you have to accomplish God’s plan for us…and having a reverence, love, and appreciation for God for all that He continues to give us even though we deserve nothing. Beckie’s favorite resources would be TruthStream and specifically the “You Are Not a Victim” 3-part audio. This was an essential part of laying down self-focus and stopping the act of putting our family into the victim role rather than taking responsibility for our actions. Our 15 year old daughter Cora’s favorite is the lesson on “Forgiveness,” learning that when someone does something hurtful it is not the people that are doing it and to not take it personally. This has been a great help in growing up in a small community. Our 13 year old son, Paxton Jr.’s favorite resource is the amazing music!
RN – What were some ways that you felt GOD calling to you throughout your life?
PF – I (Paxton) grew up going to church occasionally with my grandma or the neighborhood kids. Beckie grew up in a Methodist church all her life. At 12 years old she felt God calling her to be different and to lean on Him for everything…especially in dealing with some difficult family challenges at home while she was growing up. After we married we knew we needed a church that had young families to raise our family in and we “left” her family’s church. I was a deacon in a non-denominational church but just sick with watching the sin and heartache that was continuing to grow in each one of the families that we went to church with. Ultimately we see God was preparing our hearts for the final “Exodus” from the counterfeit church 14 years later when God clearly showed us that what we were “trying” to do in our last church was not getting us any closer to God.
RN – How do you feel that GOD has drawn out your gifts since joining the Remnant Fellowship?
PF – Our family loves to serve…we are usually with one of our children by our sides and lending a hand…from yard work, cleaning, cooking meals, watching children, housesitting, giving rides, visiting/encouraging, you name it…we are willing to give it our best! In the past we always knew we needed to serve but it seemed like it was never enough. Here at Remnant, to watch the body of Christ work, as Gwen Shamblin so eloquently puts it, is fluid. It is utterly amazing to watch each member of the body with their unique jobs go to work. We are taught to emulate Christ. When we have the opportunity to be home all we want to do is form more connections and serve Christ’s body of believers. Gwen is the utmost example of this servanthood. At any given time she could be working on the next message, wedding colors, flower arrangements and decorations, countless hours of counseling from youth to experienced, meeting with leaders to find out the physical and spiritual needs of the church, in video production for an upcoming groundbreaking release like the History of the One True God, Zion Youth, or a new class study, or meeting the needs of her beautiful growing family; we could go on and on. All this being said, in the past we were very lazy. Now we cannot thank God enough for all the blessings He has allowed!
RN – What is something that most people do not know about you and others in your family?
PF – We do NOT live in Nashville, Tennessee yet! I am self-employed and Beckie gets to work in a school, so we travel (13 hours from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) to Tennessee as often as God allows to serve the Kingdom! No matter if you are in the heart of Tennessee or in one of the outposts, God is calling us all to stand up and be the constant light in this hurting world!
RN – What makes you HAPPY?
PF – Paxton: Traveling to Tennessee and being able to serve God’s Kingdom! Also, getting closer connections with God’s people. Beckie: Seeing my family worship together in unity…learning and then putting it into action immediately! Cora: When I am able to go to Tennessee, serve and have fun with saints. I get to learn more about God when I am with other saints! Paxton Jr.: My little dog Bella and seeing her after school! I love it when my parents are happy!
RN – What do you do for a living and how do you feel it draws you closer to GOD? Think about the specific tests and opportunities that He allows you to go through to refine you.
PF – I am a self-employed auto mechanic and am allowed the continual interaction with the world and see such hopelessness that comes through the door. With this comes testing – I must continually go to God and shed it off and not let it build up on me. Praise God that so many people have “noticed” my change of size and more importantly my attitude! Beckie gets to teach kindergartners to read at a local charter school. Specific tests for Beckie involve being a lead paraprofessional and dealing with the overall general, negative “It’s not my job” attitude. God allows her to pray over each situation and then flip it for that team member so they can all be productive in helping beautiful children grow and learn! She has changed before everyone’s eyes and now they see that it is permanent! She has had the honor of speaking at yearly “health” fairs…openly about Weigh Down with Bible in hand!
RN – Tell us about your favorite Festival. Why is it your favorite…and what are some wonderful memories you have in celebrating it?
PF – The Feast of Tabernacles would have to be our family’s favorite festival! Learning the history of God’s calendar and having these beautiful Days of Awe to slow down, look in, change, and change some more is amazing. Each year we grow deeper as a family and then end this time in God’s bountiful harvest season, which is so symbolic. The fruit of dying to self is beautiful! We love the outdoors and family time together. The fellowship time, wagon and horse rides, picnics, campfire, and sharing is a sweet time to get to know and celebrate this time together.
RN – List a few of the BLESSINGS and positive CHANGES that your family has made since finding this message.
PF – Together our family has lost over 100 pounds of excess weight. We have laid down selfishness, pride, anger and frustration, stubbornness, and being manipulative to name just a few! We are so much more appreciative for everything God allows for us to go through…both good and hard. This spring we were allowed to go through heavy persecution from someone close. It first puts the fear of God deeper in your heart and knowing everything we have could be taken away in an instant. Then we flipped it to be thankful to be allowed to go through a test to check our hearts. This summer we took more time to stop and see exactly where God has us and enjoyed every opportunity He allowed in His beautiful nature – fresh water beaches, fishing in ponds, watching beautiful horses, taking small boat rides, visiting waterfalls, roughing it in a cabin for the weekend 😉 and even blueberry picking!!
RN – If you could share just a few words to any visitors/newcomers/curious onlookers about this Church/Ministry/message…knowing that this might be the ONLY time you would have the opportunity to communicate with them…what would you tell them?
PF – God’s Word is an amazing history and manual for life. Before Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship we thought we knew what God wanted and how we should live our lives but always wondered why we were stuck saying the same sinners’ prayers week after week, why the other person was not fulfilling our needs, and we were just downright miserable! THIS is a religion of love. As Mark 12:30 instructs us, Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, mind, soul, and strength. We need this constant encouragement from this faithful church through Sabbaths/Men’s nights/You Can Overcome Shows, TruthStream, being in a class, and being in the Word to keep digging and growing closer to God instead of leaning on our own understanding! Our lives have totally changed, our time and money used to go to feed our physical selves and now it is used to feed our spiritual selves! If you ever get the opportunity or feel God leading you to travel to worship with different saints both near and far, JUST DO IT!!! You will be such a blessing to those you go to see and you will be over-the-top BLESSED!! God gives back more time, resources, and love then we could ever imagine! One of our family verses is I John 2:17 – The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. We extend love, prayers, and hugs from all of us in the Palmer Family!
As you can tell, that is a family that is unquestionably COMMITTED to GOD and to His CHURCH! The Palmer family is a fine example of the fact that WHEREVER you live…whatever your jobs and family circumstances or jobs might be…you can LIVE for GOD and be very active in His Church. The Palmers have not let a 13-hour drive from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan stop them from (1) living out the Truth where they ARE…and (2) setting aside the time and resources to travel to where the Saints are gathering for special events and weekends…and using every ounce of their energy to serve and love and give to GOD’S Kingdom work. We love the Palmer family and pray that they will continue to be blessed as they give of themselves to bless this Ministry and Church. And guess what…YOU can have the same fire for GOD and joy and exuberance for the Church that the Palmer family has just shared with us! Go “ALL IN,” as Michael Shamblin’s new worship song lays out for us in beautiful words and song, and SEE how GOD takes care of those who put Him first!