Packed Up And Moving Forward

Shelves of boxes

Christmas is over, the new year is here. Most people have probably already packed up the Christmas ornaments and decorations, taken down their tree and are ready to move forward with the new year.

All those Christmas decorations and ornaments are packed up for another year. They will not be taken out until November or December of this year. They are hidden away in a attic, closet, shed or garage to not be seen until Christmas season arrives again.

During the Christmas season, everyone is quick to talk about the birth of Jesus, about giving and loving others. The focus for many, at least for believers, is why Jesus came to this earth. Churches are often packed out for the Christmas service. People go to Christmas concerts and performances. Radios play songs about the birth of Jesus.

Manger scene

Yet, as soon as Christmas is over and the new year has begun people move on. Very quickly the heart of Christmas is missing. Generosity is forgotten. Joy is gone. Jesus is often put back in a box, packed away until the right season comes along.

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. Luke 2:17-18

Looking back at the time of when Jesus was born, the shepherds were the first ones to learn about His birth. Immediately upon meeting Jesus, they went out and told everyone about what they had seen and learned. They did not pack up Jesus for the next season, but did it immediately.

While the bible does not say anything more about those shepherds, I often wonder if any of those shepherds later followed Jesus. How long did they keep talking about what they had seen?

Shepherd with sheep

I believe that they did not stop any time soon. This was a major event in their life. Think about it, how often do you suddenly see the sky filled with angels to bring you a message from God and you are able to verify the message is true? I have never had that experience.

There are experiences that I have had in my life that occurred 30+ years ago that I still talk about to this day. They had a major impact in my life. I want to continue to remember those experiences and share them with other people.

Drop in water

Trusting that you are a believer, Jesus has impacted your life. There was a point in your life where you chose to believe in Him and it changed your life. Do not stop at that point, keep allowing Jesus to impact your life and share that impact with others.

While Christmas is the season in which we focus on His birth, it does not need to stop there. Many believers are quick to talk about Jesus during the Christmas season, but quickly forget talking about Him after the season. Carry Jesus with you every where you go. Pack up the Christmas ornaments and decorations, but do not pack Jesus up until the next Christmas season or even until the next Sunday morning.

Child walking forward

Move forward in what God has for you, sharing what Jesus has done in you, for you and with you. Be willing to tell the world the good news. The good news of His birth gets better after His death and resurrection. You have great news to share, so go out and share it.

As this new year has begun, find out how you can draw closer to God. Find out how you share Jesus with more people. Do not hide Jesus away so that they world cannot know Him, but allow Him to shine in this dark world through you.

As you move forward in this new year, move forward in His joy, His love, His peace, His comfort, His strength, His life, His ways, His mercy, His grace, His patience, and His salvation given to you.

Packing Up And Moving On

There is a family who belonged to our church that had made a good impact on our community over a short couple of years. They had come into the area, from out of state, to run a boys home.

This boys home, Still Creek Ranch, is one where troubled boys could be sent to try to get their life back on the right track. It is Christian based and has its own school for teaching and training the boys. At the ranch, the boys learn to grow gardens and take care of animals, while learning about God.

The couple who ran the ranch, had chosen to become members and attend our church. They were always faithful to be at church and had a heart for God. Their focus was on God in everything that they did. They held a standard in their own lives that would mirror God’s standard.

It was only about two years ago that they came into our life. During that time, we had done several things together and talked many times about many different issues in life. Both, my wife and I, and this couple have had to go through various challenges in life and saw God work through them with great blessings.

About two to three months ago, this couple felt a call from God to move out of state to another ministry in New Mexico. This was something difficult to accept.

Many questions were asked as to why would God move them away. From the outside it did not make much sense. Everything appeared to be going great.

After talking with them, we found out that God was moving their hearts to a different type of ministry. The doors were slowly closing where they were. Although they felt that change was about to occur, they were not looking for a new ministry or for change. They just trusted God and kept doing what God placed them there to do.

As they were doing their ministry, God placed it on the heart of someone else to call them to a different ministry. It would be in a different state and would be doing a church plant. This was something brand new for them. After a lot of prayer, they felt that this was the direction God was leading the. Once this decision was made, the doors opened more for the new ministry and started to close where they currently were.

This last weekend was the weekend for them to pack up and move to the new location. My family was blessed to be able to help them load their moving truck up for the move. It was an event that took all day to finish.

It was a blessing to us to be able to help them load up their truck. During the time of loading we were able to talk about various events in our lives, and memories of the time shared together. We were able to share many more testimonies of how God had blessed us in miraculous ways. At the end were able to pray God’s blessing, provision and protection in this new journey in their life as we sent them off.

As hard as it is to see them leave, we know that God has great things in store for them. Often in life people like to settle down in one place and never move again. It is comfortable staying in one place where you know everyone and everything. Change is never easy and rarely is it fun, at least at the beginning of the change.

However, change can bring on new blessings. If they had never went through change and came to our area, we would never have had the chance to meet them. The blessings of knowing them and their children would never have occurred.

As much as we would love to keep them here, they have new blessings to pour out on other people somewhere else. There are new lives to be touched in an area that I cannot reach and I must be willing to let them go and do that ministry.

Letting friends move on is hard, but it does not mean the end of a friendship. The friendship will still remain, through phone calls, emails and Facebook. We will always be connected by God and prayer. We can touch each other through prayer.  Ultimately there will be a reunion when Jesus returns and we all meet up again in heaven, if not here on this earth.

We look forward to hearing about how God will bless their ministry and about the lives that will be touched in the new location.

If you have never had a friend move on, there will come a day when that will happen. Allow your friends to move forward in the will of God to make a change in this world. Not every believer needs to be in one location. Allow everyone to go where God has a place for them. Do not be selfish and want to keep the person tied down to you alone. Share them with the world.

Always remember that God is with them and will never leave nor forsake them. And God is with you and will never leave nor forsake you.