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Gwen Shamblin Lara 17: The Hair Apparant


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1 hour ago, Xan said:

church.  I think David Shamblin still had a hand in Remnant Fellowship for quite a long time.  If he's still involved, it could get interesting.

He’s still identified as a member, I think on his public FB page.  Of all the churches around in middle Tennessee, you think he’s be able to find one that wasn’t led by his ex- and her trophy hubby. Unless he still had an interest in RF. And admittedly, his kids & grandkids were there, too, so there’s that.

 

Just blue-skying, but could the narrative write Mr. Lara out of the picture and bring David, Michael & Elizabeth as the loving, bereaved heirs?  Long shot, admittedly.  

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8 hours ago, Xan said:

Thanks for telling us that.  I knew MT was bad but I didn't realize exactly how bad she was.  So, I guess points to Gwen for not allowing people to die in agony.  (On the other hand, I doubt Gwen knew much about Mother Teresa either and she still felt that good works weren't important.)

 

Here's an interesting reddit thread on Mother Teresa and the alternating sanctification/vilification of her. There's a good quote within that thread that I think would work in this context as well: “Anyway, between the two of them*, my sympathies were always with Mother Teresa. If you were sitting in rags in a gutter in Bombay, who would be more likely to give you a bowl of soup? You’d get one from Mother Teresa.”

*originally the comparison was between MT and Christopher Hitchens, who wrote The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice.

Also as a note: this isn't meant to be like a "yay Mother Teresa!!" post, but just that when she comes up, my brain always goes right to that reddit thread because I found it a very interesting look at the nuances of Mother Teresa's legacy beyond merely "saint" or "sociopath."

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Mother Theresa believed that the suffering of the poor brought them closer to god so kept her facilities primitive while she went to a Mayo Clinic for her own care. Gross. 

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AmazonGrace said:

They know none of the seven would want this moment to be about them.

@Ozlsn said:

Are they sure of that? I mean, even Gwen?!

I think there is a good chance that Gwen would have wanted the moment to be about how she never wanted the moment to be about her.

You don't start a cult without a good dose of hey-look-at-little-old-me.

It was a common thread running through the devotionals too... How it's supposedly all about God but in the meantime she did a  lot of not-so-humble bragging about how selfless and devoted she was to God's cause and how she had completely given up pleasing her self. Which is not what you write devotionals about if you don't want things to be about you. 

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16 hours ago, RFTies said:

For anyone interested, a few years ago they tried to have Elizabeth and Michael do a version of Gwen’s “You Can Overcome” show. It didn’t last long, and - to me - it’s obvious Elizabeth wasn’t nearly as charismatic as Gwen. Wondering if this is why we didn’t see them today and if this is how things will go from now on...

Link below to YouTube video referenced above:
 

Elizabeth overall does seem well-spoken, just not in any way bubbly. Interesting she's led the youth group so many years so somehow has some kind of down-to-earth personality with them though in appearance she is very buttoned up and not down-to-earth at all. But maybe the idea is that she's the serious one? Brandon definitely seemed like the fun one in their marriage. Or maybe Michael is supposed to bring that balance,  though he is silent most of this video.

I forget, isnt Elizabeth not her real name? Didnt they change it for some reason?

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19 hours ago, Xan said:

Elizabeth did a taped message for Brandon.  I'm surprised at how much she sounds like Gwen.

ETA:  Elizabeth says that Brandon "must be the happiest man on earth" to be in Heaven now with the Lord.  Her problem with words is much like her mother's.  I see that @AmazonGrace also picked up on this!

Here's a pic from the taped message:

  Hide contents

421852353_Screenshot(4909).png.e46ffa1dccddd837ea3ca811882b18f1.png

 

It seemed like most pictures of Brandon were sans Elizabeth.  Am I wrong?  I might have to scan the replay, but it seems like he was out and about without her a lot.

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3 hours ago, fundiewatch said:

Mother Theresa believed that the suffering of the poor brought them closer to god so kept her facilities primitive while she went to a Mayo Clinic for her own care. Gross. 

Mother Theresa was a hypocrite on many levels.  I have never been able to fully embrace her actions.   I won’t discount the good she did but she was definitely an odd bird.

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22 minutes ago, freethemall said:

Elizabeth overall does seem well-spoken, just not in any way bubbly. Interesting she's led the youth group so many years so somehow has some kind of down-to-earth personality with them though in appearance she is very buttoned up and not down-to-earth at all. But maybe the idea is that she's the serious one? Brandon definitely seemed like the fun one in their marriage. Or maybe Michael is supposed to bring that balance,  though he is silent most of this video.

I forget, isnt Elizabeth not her real name? Didnt they change it for some reason?

I think her name is Michelle Elizabeth. I think the spouses of Elizabeth and Michael were much more personally involved in leadership. They were on stage more than their spouses. Michael was on stage just to play music. I don’t remember him speaking much. I think Brandon was more outgoing and personable. I honestly can’t imagine Elizabeth or Michael being anything like Gwen. When you are raised by a narcissist, I imagine you get used to never being in the spotlight because your narcissist mother must always be praised and given all the attention. It would be a very hard transition to suddenly be in the spotlight. 

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16 hours ago, RFTies said:

For anyone interested, a few years ago they tried to have Elizabeth and Michael do a version of Gwen’s “You Can Overcome” show. It didn’t last long, and - to me - it’s obvious Elizabeth wasn’t nearly as charismatic as Gwen. Wondering if this is why we didn’t see them today and if this is how things will go from now on...

Link below to YouTube video referenced above:
 

I didn't watch the whole thing but it seems like they're trying to push Michael and Elizabeth as the face of the youth... she says something about the other shows starring adults... and this show came out in 2016. I'm not sure how old she and Michael are but Elizabeth and Brandon married in 2003 and she says Michael is her big brother so they've both been adults for a while when this came out.

But I guess age is just a number.

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8 hours ago, MamaJunebug said:

He’s still identified as a member, I think on his public FB page.  Of all the churches around in middle Tennessee, you think he’s be able to find one that wasn’t led by his ex- and her trophy hubby. Unless he still had an interest in RF. And admittedly, his kids & grandkids were there, too, so there’s that.

 

Just blue-skying, but could the narrative write Mr. Lara out of the picture and bring David, Michael & Elizabeth as the loving, bereaved heirs?  Long shot, admittedly.  

I missed some parts but I don't remember David being mentioned at all at the memorial podcast. It was all about how Joe and Gwen were the perfect couple and so much in love every day and how God miraculously led him into Gwen's neighborhood so they would meet.

But it would certainly be a fun exercise in cognitive dissonance after they changed the church position on divorce and all that to prove that Gwen was perfectly right to divorce such a man.

 

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9 hours ago, OK Boomer said:

The key is whether Gwen had a will or not.

There certainly would have been a complete reworking of wills and clarification of legal structures of the various business entities when grace widow Gwen and Tarzan tied the knot.  RF is a wealth generating entity with a religious overlay and I suspect Gwen was a very savvy business woman.  All details would have been sewed up tight, but even so, teasing out personal wealth from the church's wealth could get dicey, and that's especially true when there is nepotism involved. 

Probate of even simple wills with everything clear in advance can take quite a while to clear. Probate for this could go on for years. 

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33 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

I think her name is Michelle Elizabeth. I think the spouses of Elizabeth and Michael were much more personally involved in leadership. They were on stage more than their spouses. Michael was on stage just to play music. I don’t remember him speaking much. I think Brandon was more outgoing and personable. I honestly can’t imagine Elizabeth or Michael being anything like Gwen. When you are raised by a narcissist, I imagine you get used to never being in the spotlight because your narcissist mother must always be praised and given all the attention. It would be a very hard transition to suddenly be in the spotlight. 

Thinking about it, the RF major players don't need Elizabeth and Michael to be the face of the church forever.  They just need them now.  If they can get through Gwen's death, they can eventually name a new leader and Gwen will just be the saint that watches them from Heaven.   Maybe both Elizabeth and Michael are being enticed to make some videos and act as if they're taking over their mom's legacy.  As long as they're not on stage very much, they can be written out of the script in a few months.  

If I was a higher-up at RF, I'd just be worried about stopping a mass exodus within the next month or so.  If they can keep members after that, they might be okay.  I'd bet that both E and M would be glad to do it in order to stay on the payroll.  It's not as if Gwen made sure they had enough job experience and education to have lives elsewhere.  

(She may have sent them to college and I'm not aware of it.  Did she?)

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42 minutes ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

When you are raised by a narcissist, I imagine you get used to never being in the spotlight because your narcissist mother must always be praised and given all the attention.

Boom! Yes, that's the dynamic. Narcissists also don't teach their children/subordinates to lead or appoint a successor. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Xan said:

It's not as if Gwen made sure they had enough job experience and education to have lives elsewhere.  

(She may have sent them to college and I'm not aware of it.  Did she?)

I think they might have gone to Lipscomb University pre-RF (?) although I don’t know whether they finished degrees or not. Does anyone remember for sure? 

9 hours ago, MamaJunebug said:

He’s still identified as a member, I think on his public FB page. 

I haven’t seen it for myself, but if so, that seems very weird to me. David Shamblin was most certainly not a RF member during all of the years I was there. I think this might be just a very outdated FB detail, perhaps one left over from the many years that he was not a member but was also not considered an “enemy” because he would publicly defend Gwen and her love for God. Although I cant say for sure that he didn’t change his FB right after Gwen’s death, this is very unlikely: the RF members are not going to view David Shamblin as a potential heir after he hasn’t been in the picture for 20 years (with the exception of investing Gwen’s weigh down/Remnant $$$ for the years they were still married). David Shamblin has studied theology and, in addition to being overweight, I got the idea that he fundamentally disagrees with many of Gwen’s core teachings. 

Edited by throwaway9988
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2 hours ago, Howl said:

grace widow Gwen

Grace widow? Is that how they spun it? Tell me more!

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2 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

I think they might have gone to Lipscomb University pre-RF (?) although I don’t know whether they finished degrees or not. Does anyone remember for sure? 

I haven’t seen it for myself, but if so, that seems very weird to me. David Shamblin was most certainly not a RF member during all of the years I was there. I think this might be just a very outdated FB detail, perhaps one left over from the many years that he was not a member but was also not considered an “enemy” because he would publicly defend Gwen and her love for God. Although I cant say for sure that he didn’t change his FB right after Gwen’s death, this is very unlikely: the RF members are not going to view David Shamblin as a potential heir after he hasn’t been in the picture for 20 years (with the exception of investing Gwen’s weigh down/Remnant $$$ for the years they were still married). David Shamblin has studied theology and, in addition to being overweight, I got the idea that he fundamentally disagrees with many of Gwen’s core teachings. 

Right after her death, he posted the Merle Haggard's "Long Black Limousine" on his Facebook page.  He has since removed it and the top post is a pic of him with Elizabeth, Brandon, and the kids.

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1 hour ago, ManyGoats said:

Grace widow? Is that how they spun it? Tell me more!

This goes back to MLM Essential Oils Queen Stacy McDonald and it's a way to spin being divorced if you and your denomination publicly don't believe in actual divorce.  I searched and found a post by @hoipolloi on a Doug Phillips thread with this quote from Stacy herself with the rationale. 

Spoiler

Sadly, many times, the victim of adultery and abandonment is left alone feeling fearful and confused. For a woman, her fears may be very practical, as well as emotional. Should she remain unmarried while her adulterous husband lives in open sin, and pray indefinitely for his repentance? Should she file for divorce, so that she can receive child support and move on with her life?...The victim of adultery or abandonment may be rightly considered simply a “widow;” but, for the sake of clarity, it seems we should distinguish between someone who is widowed through death, and someone who is widowed through the treachery (Malachi 2:15) of an unfaithful spouse who is still living. With all that being said, I’ve decided to take a chance and borrow the antiquated term, “grace widow,” to describe the “innocent party” of divorce.

 

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3 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

haven’t seen it for myself, but if so, that seems very weird to me. David Shamblin was most certainly not a RF member during all of the years I was there. I think this might be just a very outdated FB detail,

You're likely correct, as I glanced at his FB page about a month ago in a lazy, rambling day.  Way before the plane crash.

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17 minutes ago, Howl said:

This goes back to MLM Essential Oils Queen Stacy McDonald and it's a way to spin being divorced if you and your denomination publicly don't believe in actual divorce.  I searched and found a post by @hoipolloi on a Doug Phillips thread with this quote from Stacy herself with the rationale. 

  Hide contents

Sadly, many times, the victim of adultery and abandonment is left alone feeling fearful and confused. For a woman, her fears may be very practical, as well as emotional. Should she remain unmarried while her adulterous husband lives in open sin, and pray indefinitely for his repentance? Should she file for divorce, so that she can receive child support and move on with her life?...The victim of adultery or abandonment may be rightly considered simply a “widow;” but, for the sake of clarity, it seems we should distinguish between someone who is widowed through death, and someone who is widowed through the treachery (Malachi 2:15) of an unfaithful spouse who is still living. With all that being said, I’ve decided to take a chance and borrow the antiquated term, “grace widow,” to describe the “innocent party” of divorce.

 

That's interesting! How did Gwen manage to apply that to her situation? David wasn't unfaithful to her as far as I know. Did she equate his being overweight and not being "all in" with "this amessage" with infidelity?

I have read comments that he actually lost weight once they split up. You can't tell someone's weight by a head shot but his face does look slimmer in his current FB photo.

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45 minutes ago, ManyGoats said:

How did Gwen manage to apply that to her situation?

I'm sure she wasn't aware of that particular term. 

Others will be able to clarify how RF spun the divorce from David and remarriage to Joe. 

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@Howl, I’m willing to bet that this use of the term “grace widow” is a slant on the term “grass widow”—a married woman whose husband is often absent, as in away on business.

@Ozlsn, your first impulse was correct: “Smitten” is indeed the past participle of “smite.” (Simple past=“smote.”)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Howl said:

I'm sure she wasn't aware of that particular term. 

Others will be able to clarify how RF spun the divorce from David and remarriage to Joe. 

I don't recall grace widow being used by RF at all.  I thought they just acted as if Joe was always there.  Well, after the crazy proposal and wedding.

Edited by WeirdHarold
Clarity
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15 hours ago, quiversR4hunting said:

Interesting (just read up on simultaneous death law). 

I'm betting they both had an estate and I agree almost unable to break. I think the fights will happen with the leadership and purse strings of WD and RF. I could see where Micheal, Elizabeth and ex-husband (if he still has some ownership) fighting with the direction of all of it. 

I should have said simultaneous death laws, as Tennessee actually has several governing different things: testate and intestate succession, distribution of life insurance proceeds, and property held with rights of survivorship.

Gwen might have had a trust, rather than a will, which would keep most of it out of public probate proceedings.

It would also be interesting to know whether she and Joe Lara had a pre-nuptial contract. I’m betting that they did. It’s speculation, but when Gwen was getting divorced, she probably had a will or trust, and a pre-nuptial agreement drawn up by her lawyers.

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2 hours ago, Howl said:

This goes back to MLM Essential Oils Queen Stacy McDonald and it's a way to spin being divorced if you and your denomination publicly don't believe in actual divorce.

Stacy is the one who made a big deal out of it but have no idea if she actually thought up the term. 

Needless to say, all of that stuff has been safely purged from the intertubez.

1 hour ago, Hane said:

I’m willing to bet that this use of the term “grace widow” is a slant on the term “grass widow”—a married woman whose husband is often absent, as in away on business.

That's quite possible.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hane said:

@Howl, I’m willing to bet that this use of the term “grace widow” is a slant on the term “grass widow”—a married woman whose husband is often absent, as in away on business.

Yes, exactly correct. In fact @hoipolloi posted this on a Doug Phillips' thread where Bealle was discussed as a grass widow. 

Edited by Howl
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