HUMBLE, DEDICATED, DEVOTED, STEADFAST…
Every one of these words – and many more Godly qualities…fruit of the Spirit…can be used to describe our Remnant Fellowship Staff Member of the Month for June of 2014 – JENNI MENDL.
You won’t see Jenni “up front” very often. Her words and her testimony are powerful and she is very convicting and encouraging when she shares about this Good News Message, but her focus tends to be “behind the scenes.” She is an ultimate supporter and tireless worker who lives and breathes to both serve GOD and to help further this Ministry and Church in any way that she can. For this and so much more, Gwen Shamblin wanted to recognize this dear Saint for this month – a position of honor and appreciation. Of course, Jenni would be the FIRST to tell you that she totally credits Gwen and this message for the wonderful qualities she possesses – and in fact, we had a chance to visit with Jenni and gather some of “her story” for this article. You’ll see more of that a little bit further down in this story. In our most recent Leadership and Staff meeting, after Gwen recognized Jenni for the awesome example she sets for everyone, Jenni spoke briefly and shared words of gratitude and, again, humility. Jenni spoke of WANTING and NEEDING this Truth every single day of her life. She said that she longed to receive the leading of GOD always and that she looked for Gwen’s leading, through the Heavenly words GOD has given to her, each and every day. She even shared that she GASPED for this beautiful leading and would sorely miss it if ever it were taken away. THAT, friends everywhere, is a precious example of a childlike heart…one that ONLY wants GOD’S will! If you speak with Jenni, she will always treat you with respect – whether she knows you very well or not – and you always will walk away feeling like you were both loved and honored in your conversation. That also is a great gift! It is a delight to extend CONGRATULATIONS to Jenni, her husband Rick, and their children Alexis, Austin, and Aubrey. The Mendl family is dedicated to GOD and His Church, and they are highly esteemed by Gwen and everyone in this place! Now – let’s hear from a few of Jenni’s co-workers about their blessed interactions with Jenni, and we’ll follow that up with a “Q&A” time with Jenni…
Wow! As you can see, Jenni is DEARLY beloved and respected by those who work closely with her, and her constant example of “putting this message into practice” makes a difference to everyone! Now – let’s “meet Jenni”…and hear a little bit more about her story…
RN = Remnant News
JM = Jenni Mendl
RN – Talk about how and when you heard about Gwen Shamblin and Weigh Down.
JM – Thank you for asking me about this. I saw a lady at the church I was attending have dramatic weight loss. I asked her what she was doing and she excitedly shared that she was hosting a Weigh Down Class. I signed up right after Rick said I could. This was in approximately 1995.
RN – How much weight have you lost and how has this message changed you?
JM – I have lost about 10–15 pounds, and I had three pregnancies after I started taking Weigh Down. I gained about 30-35 pounds with each pregnancy and lost that weight each time like within 6-8 weeks. It was amazing to me – and my doctor – as well. I can remember a time after one of the pregnancies and I was in his office for a checkup visit. He was like, “Let me check your thyroid…this weight loss has been so fast and so complete!” I was totally healthy and fine. I just had been a follower of hunger and fullness and the pregnancy weight just came off right away. It surprised us both!! The sweet thing is that he got to see that every time I had another child. God is so good. I went to the Weigh Down class for the weight loss. I knew I was a binge eater…and I knew that Weight Watchers, Nutri System and running/exercise/aerobics classes were not fixing this ongoing desire for too much food. I found quickly that God was going to show me more in my heart beyond greed for food. I took the Exodus from Strongholds class as soon as it came out and I found that I had the strongholds of control, anger, and self- focus. It was awesome to get the right diagnosis, finally, because I had spent years in Christian Counseling getting the wrong diagnosis and advice, much like diet rules that only made my strongholds worse. Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship have given me God’s diagnosis…sin is crouching at my door and I must master it…and it also has given me the “how to” to master it. I have the type of heart that needs constant input of redirection and finally my heart found the truth about God and His personality and His Kingdom to set me free.
RN – Tell everyone about your marriage and family.
JM – One of my favorite subjects…Rick and I are in this thing called marriage until death do us part! Rick and I both have seen divorce in our extended families. We are learning constantly at Remnant about commitment, trust, how God brings people together, and that it is by God’s design. Rick has a huge list of gifts that I cannot wrap my brain around. I am thrilled he has stayed married to me. We now have three teenaged children and we love them, and it seems that because of Remnant and getting more and more truth in our hearts that this phase has a sweet, hopeful feeling to it. We have had a blast having two sons and one daughter. This Church teaches me to look at their gifts more than their faults to encourage them and not to discourage them and to tell them the truth and not falsely flatter them. The contrast of what type of teen my daughter is to what I was at her age is NIGHT AND DAY!!!
RN – Talk about you and your husband Rick deciding to join the Remnant Fellowship in its earliest days. Feel free to reflect upon that commitment…in spite of the controversy and lies that were being spread about this place at that time. You guys are unwavering and that is inspiring to others out there!
JM – I was taking classes and hosting classes in my church and calling Weigh Down as often as I could. Because of Gwen’s hope and her videos and her way of teaching me to run to God for everything, I had renewed hope that life was worth living despite the fact that was in church ever since birth. I attended a private Christian high school and college and took countless Bible courses…and then I went for Bible studies after college, always seeking answers to the contrast of my life in comparison to Christ’s life. Taking back-to-back Weigh Down classes and laying down greed for food lifted a veil on our eyes and God showed us hypocrisy in our church. We heard of a Thursday night Bible study at the Weigh Down building that I was dying for an invite to. I got that invite and felt like God had allowed another gesture – that there was my way out of dead-end, no-overcoming-a-sin religion. The rest is history! We left long-term friendships and the church that we got married in. We left the denomination that our parents raised us in. We saw that Gwen Shamblin had a relationship with God that we wanted and she was willing to show us how to get it as well. This was the most exciting thing I had ever experienced! We would have church at a park and have blankets set out…and we took our Bibles and we sat there for hours just talking about God and Jesus and laying down sin! The main theme at every gathering for me was laying down sin. I went to every sermon that my other church had and wrote every word down at every single sermon. NO JOKE – I always wanted to capture every word that the previous preacher had to say. I was looking for some phrase that would help me get out of the sins that were still there…after the greed for food. Rick and I felt a seamless, unbreakable commitment to this Remnant Fellowship Church upon sight. Rick and I left our previous church, attended Remnant for the first time, and we never went back to the old church! We were about to have our son, Austin, very soon after we joined.
RN – Talk about your background. What did you study? How has that impacted your understanding of this message today?
JM – I graduated with a degree in dietetics and became a registered dietitian. I have kept my credentials to be able to practice dietetics in the state of Tennessee. But once I found Weigh Down I could not and will not endorse another weight loss method. I know God allowed for me to get that education and I praise Him for allowing the lessons that I learned in it. It has drawn me to Him but also to an understanding for those who desperately want out of what Gwen calls “emotional eating.”
RN – Share a little bit about Shipping and Distribution here at Weigh Down. You’ve been involved in that for a long time! How does it work and how has it changed over the years?
JM – Weigh Down prints, duplicates, and assembles so many products that Gwen Shamblin has written and produced. God has allowed me to have a short time to work under another Saint and then get to work on my own back in Shipping. Now the Shipping department is buzzing with volunteers who help duplicate media, assemble workbooks, and even ship out the material! Since I have been at Weigh Down in the Shipping area, we have relocated within the building here and streamlined the space we use. Incidentally, the amount of purchased items versus the amount of donated items (given freely to people who need it and don’t have the means to pay for it) leaving the building here is running in an equal amount now. The amount of donated materials that go to seekers of truth is seriously amazing and this Ministry is beyond a doubt seeking to get the truth out to the globe on God’s behalf while we still have “today.” I absolutely love packing a box of Weigh Down materials and taping up the box and getting it to the dock. It is my dream job!
RN – What do you want seekers to know about this place?
JM – One of the top 10 things I want everyone to know about this place is how seriously minded the tasks and endeavors and mission of Weigh Down and Remnant Fellowship Churches are handled. I feel that under the leadership of Gwen Shamblin everyone knows that time is of the essence and so is the clarity of what gets out to the seekers of truth. It goes without saying but is always appropriate to repeat that Gwen Shamblin is always seeking God for the next need of His Church and those who want to find true religion. I guess the next thing everyone needs to know, and likely already knows, is that this Ministry is the most welcoming, loving, and gentle place I have ever witnessed.
RN – What would you say to people who “did Weigh Down” years ago and now are finding themselves hurting…and wanting to return to this Ministry.
JM – I think the returning caller to Weigh Down wants to make sure that Gwen has not changed what she teaches. It is so great to be able to share that no, you lose your weight permanently the same way as you ever will…loving God and enjoying His food. I feel charged to meet their needs because that is Gwen’s example. We get to convey how understanding and ready-to-welcome that person back home that Weigh Down and Remnant is. Love keeps no record of wrongs, is gentle and kind, and love bears all things. This is a Ministry of love like you have never seen or had in your life. It is the same love you found back then, and that love is love for God first and man second. God has shown Gwen Shamblin more and more about the warfare so now there are materials that she has written that help you to get back to God’s heart and learn how to stay there. While the ungodly in this world are finding their love growing colder, this love HERE, from God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ, is warm and eternal. Weigh Down isn’t going anywhere. We aren’t leaving or quitting! Weigh Down didn’t leave the scene when others tried different diets. Finally, the returning person has to take it one step further than they did the last time. It is time to separate off from the religion that allows you to have greed in your heart…and stop stepping out of that religion JUST on a Thursday night for your Weigh Down Class. I had to separate from false religion in order to keep my weight off and to tackle the remaining idols that were in my heart. I needed to hear one message and that is the one in my Weigh Down classes, and now it is the one from my Church leadership at Remnant Fellowship.
JM – Here’s an interesting fact about me – God allowed me to be an only child until I was 18 years of age. I feel God gave us my sister, Anne Stone Jost, as a beacon of light. Her life has been strategic in me wanting to live and devote all of my heart to God. I got to witness Anne take “The Last EXODUS” class as a young teen, get under the mentorship of Gwen’s daughter, Elizabeth Hannah, and then give her life to God and lose her weight and the rest of her idols. To see people that you love so dearly find this and get so blessed for giving their heart to God has been amazing!
PRAISE GOD for those heartfelt words from Jenni! And we again offer congratulations to Jenni and her family. This is a very deserving honor, and Gwen personally wanted to recognize her for setting a high bar for Saints everywhere. We praise GOD for these Saints, and please know this…YOU TOO can have the kind of relationship with GOD that Gwen has talked about and lived out for years – and the same kind of relationship that Jenni exudes with her actions and words. Please contact us and STAY CONNECTED with us…and we will help you every step of the way!