"These words I am commanding you today must be kept in mind, and you must teach them to your children and speak of them as you sit in your house, as you walk along the road, as you lie down, and as you get up. You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. Inscribe them on the doorframes of your houses and gates. “ Deuteronomy6:7-9

This past Friday I did not write a blog post.  Friday was move out of the house and move-in day for my oldest daughter Paris at Birmingham Southern College where she will attend for the next 4 years.  My wife Nancy and I have two daughters and Paris is our first one to leave and start her life outside of our home.  It was a full day for all of us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Physically, we left our home at 6:20am to get there at 8:00am.  After checking in we spent the four hours along with the hundreds of other students and their parents helping them move in into their dorm rooms. We carried clothing, bedding, furniture and items up flights of stairs to get their rooms set up.  Then running to Wal-Mart and back getting items needed.

Emotionally, we were surrounded by incoming students who were excited, terrified, sad, and joyful, and their family members like us who shared these emotions.  As final good byes were said lingering hugs and tears took place then that release when both parent and child looked into each others eyes and expressed to one another, “This is really it, the moment of separation has taken place and our relationship will never be the same again.” My wife, younger daughter Milan, and Paris hugged and shared tears as well.  I hugged Paris goodbye as well through all kinds of emotions. 

Spiritually. Prayers were said by all, both parents and students; out loud at times however constantly in silence by parents wanting to get in their last minute prayers and blessings over their children.  Parent's joyful yet reluctant prayers of thanksgiving and release of the precious gift their son or daughter is the Father has allowed them to raise for 18 years and letting them go to discover what God has in store for them on their own.

Before Nancy and I left our home after her water broke with Paris to head to the hospital for her delivery, Nancy stopped at the front door and said turn around and look at our house, when we return it will never be the same.  18 years later, Nancy and I returned and walked into a home that again will never be the same.

And as I looked over the auditorium during their Convocation at the room filled with 18 and 19 years old young men and women (my daughter is the girl near the middle smiling) looking around with deer-in-the-headlights looks on their faces of all the unknown and uncertainty that lies ahead of them it was a reminder to me of the inevitable, constant, continual change that occurs in our lives.   For Paris to continue on in all that God has in store for her it requires a change in her life’s structure and surroundings,  A release of the comfortable, the familiar and a going forth into the new, uncertain, yet wonderful adventure God has for her.  And it requires a releasing and encouraging to go by her family structure.  The only thing that is constant in life is change. 


In our walk with Christ the only thing that is constant, besides the Father, is change.  For us and the church to continue into all God has in store for us and are calling also requires a change in The Church’s structure and surroundings.  A release of the comfortable and familiar and a going forth into the new, uncertain, yet wonderful adventure Jesus has for it’s bride. 

I am reminded of a quote, “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd.   My daughter was safe at home, but that is not what God designed her for.  And The Church is safest gathered in a building, but that is not what God designed it for.

My ODC family, I pray today you will listen to the Holy Spirit and embrace the calling and adventure God is calling you to enter into outside of your comfort zone, your structured life, and your safety net of familiarity, family and friends, your harbor, and sail out into the adventure you were built for.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!!

Please share your reflections with us in the comments box below.

Gary Liederbach

One Direction Community – Lead Follower


We would love your partnership and support of our ministry as we serve outside the harbor in our community!


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