The Remnant ushered in the “Spring season” a little bit EARLY…as on March 12th, as we kicked off GOD’S glorious time of RENEWAL and REBIRTH on the calendar with a praise-and-worship-to-GOD-filled CONCERT evening! It was a FULL night, and we all enjoyed a big variety of the musical gifts that GOD has given to the musicians in this Church. Check out the set list from the evening…
“Fall to My Knees” – Emma Colwell wrote and performed this song. She also played acoustic guitar. At age 15, Emma is using her gift to write for GOD! The “unplugged,” acoustic sound was beautiful, and the three-part vocal harmonies for the song were shared by Emma, Becki Sindell, and Theresa Radebaugh. These young ladies started our evening with humility and quiet praise to GOD!
“Must Remain Strong” – Robert Williams shared his newest song with the backing of John Radebaugh on electric guitar and Dustin Hertz on drums. The steady beat and up-tempo feel had everyone on their feet, and we ALL have felt the sentiment of the song. No matter what happens…what tests may come your way…we MUST remain STRONG!
Next, it was YOUTH BAND Time! These young Saints, with most of them being teenagers, are learning and carrying on with this incredible music that Michael Shamblin has written over the years. They played Michael’s “Praise Song” and “The Cross of Peter.” The future of the music in this Church is in good hands…as the Youth Band rehearses regularly and continue to add Remnant songs to their repertoire. As ADULTS, nothing fills our hearts with more joy than seeing the “next generation” living out this message and sharing it with the world!
“Man in the Mirror” – Okay…so nearly EVERYONE in this country has heard the original recording of this classic pop song performed by the late Michael Jackson. We have learned from Gwen that GOD can use songs written by people all over the world for HIS glory…even if the original intent or direction of the song perhaps had a different focus. We remember Gwen’s example in her “ballet story,” as many years ago she passed a difficult time of testing and asked GOD to fill her heart with the satisfaction of knowing that yes, indeed, He “CAN do better and fill us up more than rocky road ice cream!” As she passed that test and reached for some music to play, the song “Longer” (or “Longer Than”) by Dan Fogelberg played through her sound system and she danced before GOD, rejoicing in His approval and in her awe of Him. Everyone in this message is learning to apply that lesson in our own lives. We are learning to SEEK and FIND GOD and what He is trying to get across to us all day every day. “Man in the Mirror” is a classic song in and of itself, but when you apply THIS MESSAGE to its words, WOW! It takes on an ETERNAL meaning! “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.” Josh Smith, Wesley Henry, and Will Langsdon had everyone on their feet in worship to GOD as they performed this song with awesome three-part vocal harmony and with a HEAVENLY focus!
“Only GOD Must Reign Alone” – It was the theme for the evening, and Michael Shamblin kicked off part two of the Concert with a bang! If you’ve seen the HOSANNA Symphony Viewsical any time we’ve performed it during the past ten years, then you are familiar with at least the “tune” or the melody line. But Michael updated the arrangement for the song and moved it from a theatrical feel to a “rockin'” praise song! REGARDLESS of which style of the song you find yourself listening to, the WORDS and SENTIMENT are one and the same – and it comes directly from Gwen’s messages – that only GOD must reign alone!
“Fly” – Miley and BB Barcus put this toe-tapper together quite a long time ago, but the just debuted the song with the Praise Band at our 2015 Feast of Tabernacles outdoor Concert…and man, does it ever charge everyone musically and lyrically! Gwen talks and has written often about “rising above” and “flying”…over any temptation in this world. The fast pace and lyrical feel of this song has been uplifting to everyone, and it helped make all of us want to “Fly away to You (GOD)!”
“All of My Life” – Matt Weaver debuted another new song that was directly inspired by Gwen’s messages. His “bouncy” piano playing and the joyful feel of the song will make this a favorite one in his collection of Remnant songs for a long time to come!
“Your Love is All I Need” – Talk about keeping it upbeat! Ever since Julie Radebaugh debuted this song back in 2014, it’s been a favorite of the Saints from her musical catalog. Julie writes many of her songs with a “jazzy” feel, but more importantly than that, every lyric is a shout of praise to GOD, a declaration of a need for GOD, and/or a statement of awe for GOD and all that He is and does. This fun song featured backing vocals from Daniel and Amanda Baker…as well as John and Julie’s daughter, Theresa. “Your love is all I need…and I can’t live without Your love…” Amen!
“All Fall Down” – To say that Michael Shamblin has a musical gift that stretches across nearly every musical STYLE would be an UNDERSTATEMENT! He’s written theatrical songs, entire symphonies, classical choir pieces, rock songs, rap and hip hop, pop, country, instrumental underscores, and much more – but although GOD has gifted him with more musical VARIETY from the Heavens than anyone that any of us probably have ever come across, one UNIFYING FACT always remains – every word and every note is written with humility and all of it exists to glorify and praise GOD and His Son Jesus Christ, to encourage the Saints, and to convict listeners to give GOD EVERYTHING…to be TOTALLY devoted to Him. As Gwen has said, many of these songs are like “mini sermons.” “All Fall Down” takes everyone through the journey of life, going from “gambling” everything away – throwing away what GOD has given to us – to the conclusion that every Saint wants, that we “All Fall Down…and we lay our crowns…” This storytelling anthem was backed up vocally by Amanda Baker, Madalyn Meadors, and Theresa Radebaugh.
“Lately” – Michael Shamblin and Durville Patton brought this rap classic to life just a few years ago, but the message it speaks of is as CURRENT as ever! It’s a true “before and after” story. Spiritual Warfare is always going on in and around us, and it is the sweet voice and message of direction, correction, and re-direction that puts us on the right path. Michael and Durville are highly skilled rappers, and that is no easy task! Praise GOD that we can enjoy such an awesome collection of musical genres in this Church…all with the purpose of pointing people UPWARDS.
“Underground Religion” – The inspired rapping continued as Durville Patton declared that this song is dedicated to the “first family,” Gwen and the Shamblins/Hannahs, who have withstood years of testing, false accusations, and a heavy burden to lead this incredible Ministry and message for decades! He was joined on stage by Robert Williams and Miley Barcus, who lent their voices to the melody of this powerful and fun song of commitment!
“Free” – Next up was David Martin, with his “song for the Prisoner.” This song was directly inspired by Gwen and her work with the Prison Ministry efforts of this Church. She has introduced the WORLD to the concept that your “circumstances” are NOT what control you. YOU have a choice as to what to DO with yourself and how YOU act – no matter what surrounds you. Our extended Prison Ministry now has HUNDREDS of inmates, both men and women, who are living for GOD and for Jesus Christ and to grow GOD’S Church…even as they spend time “behind bars” because of choices they made in the PAST. But they have turned their lives around because of this message, and they NOW are FREE in Christ and FREE in their hearts…no matter what their surrounding “environment” looks like. They are, indeed, “FREE…no, you can’t chain what’s alive inside of me!”
“Victory” – Michael Shamblin came back to the stage to lead everyone in this celebratory anthem of praise! With its stomp-stomp-clap beat and rousing chorus – “Save us, save us Adonai!” – the incredible lyrics tell the story of GOD saving His people from their slavery so that we would be free to worship HIM and Him alone! The song also is a perfect “lead-in” to our upcoming Passover season.
“Chasing Stars” – Michael continued the upbeat praises with one of his most popular concert songs. Cindy Barker lent her voice to the melody line and Michael took us through a lyrical journey – and WOW, Michael REALLY can write some powerful words! It’s a recounting of history – going back to all of the attacks on Gwen and this message. He carries us forward in time to the beauty of this Church. There is only ONE thing to “chase” in a Christ-focused life – GOD Almighty!
“All In” – There’s nothing as musically moving as worshipping GOD together with the Saints. Michael’s song “All In” has become one of this Church and Ministry’s most powerful “anthems,” and it helped us draw this evening of worship and celebration to a fitting conclusion. The first line says it all… “I’ve decided to go ALL IN. I don’t want sin inside.” The praises were lifted high and the voices of the Saints rang out loudly. This truly is a place where we are learning what it means to be ALL IN for GOD, for Jesus Christ, and for the Church!
A MESSAGE of POWER – Gwen Shamblin has been speaking, writing, and recording the TRUTH for more than three DECADES…and whether she speaks for an hour or even just five minutes, the IMPACT is felt with every listener. That was the case again as the Concert evening moved toward its ending. Gwen reminded everyone that this place is DIFFERENT. We aren’t just singing songs to have fun…although we absolutely DO have fun singing, dancing, and praising GOD! But it’s more than that. We are here to LIVE OUT the words to these messages and songs. If we are not living them out, then we make a mockery of GOD. But thankfully, this IS a place where the Truth isn’t just spoken, it IS carried out! For our Guests, we always invite them to KEEP VISITING. Sure…if you visit just once, you WILL see a huge difference in this group of joyful people. HOWEVER, if you come for a few weeks in a row, you will see ENTIRE LIVES and FAMILIES and WORKPLACES and HABITS and WORDS and ACTIONS that are completely TRUE to this message. There’s no “go to Church twice a week but live differently during the rest of the week.” That was our OLD mindset. You will see that as you keep checking out this place of LOVE, JOY, HOPE, TRUTH, and GRATITUDE!
And speaking of GRATITUDE, as Gwen wrapped up her brief charge, we filled the Stage with our Shepherds and their families and ended the evening with one of Michael’s newest and most JOYFUL songs – we are, indeed, “THANKFUL for LIVING!”
We praise GOD for what was an incredible and moving evening, and the Fellowship Gathering that followed our dismissal was an overflow of joy and praise. Indeed, in this place, “Only GOD Must Reign Alone!”