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Archive for January, 2011

Update… Part 2

Posted by Jessica

Jan

24

By the time you’ve finished reading this post, you should be well-informed as to what we’ve been doing…. At least for a few days…. until we go off and do something else. Rolling on the floor laughing Sometimes you just never know what we’ll do next…. in fact, sometimes we don’t even know what we’ll do next. Who knows, we may decide to take a trip to the moon!! (Well, that is a little “far out” – literally, and there aren’t any plans right now to do something that drastic…. but then again, you just never knowWinking smile)

The Monday following Christmas, the Staddon family came for an all-too-short visit. It is hard to accurately put into words everything that happened. There’s an old saying that goes something like, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so we’ll just show you the pictures. Smile

The "to do" list --- I think we got everything done!! :-)Fellowship begins...IMG_8861Shoveling the neighbor's driveway....Mr. Staddon hard at workIMG_8878Esther and Amanda carrying a sled full of snow to dump on the ever-growing pile!Esther supervising Bethany :-)IMG_8893James breaking up the iceAmandaPartners --- Mr. Staddon and HermanAfter the sled was emptied, someone had the idea of riding down the snow pile... Hannah's giving it a try.The whole "Snow Team" (they were pretending to eat the ice-covered gravel, otherwise know as "Peanut-Butter Brittle"Two on a couch enjoying a nice talkCatan... lots of fun!IMG_8949One of the Catan teamsIMG_8965Playing "Green Alligators" -- Bethany won every time!!I think something funny had happened... :-)IMG_8933James helped us with a project for DadPreparing the gingerbread house to be.... ummm.... destroyed.... (we hope. :-))The house is now readyGetting it all set up...Were they trying to be sheltered from the cold... or from the noise?? :-)IMG_9074IMG_9075IMG_9078IMG_9080Family timeIMG_9089Checkers -- Michael and BethanyI think Dutch Blitz was the most played game-- so much fun!Encouraging talksIntense on the game!The Blitz playersIMG_9110IMG_9111Two wonderful mothersWorking hard to get a perfect group picture :-)A van.... full of such great friends.....so sad to see it leave our driveway.... but we're looking forward to seeing in pulling into our driveway next time! Thank you, Staddon family, for your ministry of encouragement!

Next on the schedule was a trip to Bainbridge, GA to visit Grandmama (Dad’s mom)  and “Uncle Fudge.” Long-time friends of the family, “Uncle” Bill and “Aunt” Peggy Chapman, who we hadn’t seen in three years, were also there.

We had been asked to sing in two churches down there, one pastored by one of Dad’s science teachers, and our aunt, uncle and cousin go to the other. Both services went really well, and we praise the Lord for the opportunities to minister!

We also did some hunting while we were down there, but unfortunately did not have the opportunity to pull the trigger, except on a couple of armadillos. Oh well…. maybe next year…. Smile

We are disappointed to not have any pictures of that eight-point buck, or even a nice doe, which we were really hoping to see…. but we do have some pictures of the times that we weren’t in the woods. Winking smile It was truly a wonderful time to visit with friends and family for a few days!!!

The four-wheeler was a big hitWatching Grandmama look through her new scrapbook :-)"Uncle" Bill and Herman making a creation with pillsMeet VitaMan :-)Grandmama and "Uncle Fudge"More four-wheeler funHannah, Victoria, and TitusThe most doted-on little boy on the planet!Dad and Mom headed off to the woodsTalks with Aunt Myrtle and Uncle Willis, learning more about family history"Uncle Bill" entertaining the little ones"Uncle Fudge", Cousin Allison, Bethany, and HannahFriends"Uncle" Bill and "Aunt" Peggy - such dear friends!IMG_9248Allison opening her birthday presentAllison being "dressed up" with tissue paperUncle Blaine and BethanyUncle Blaine and SusannaAmanda and a new friendStory time with "Aunt" PeggyDad and "Uncle" BillThe whole group :-)

We were home for a couple days, and then friends from Atlanta, the Barnes family, came for two days. And it was a great visit! We even got to go sledding… with snow and real sleds.Smile

Playing games... such  fun!IMG_9326Mr. Barnes and Kevin putting together a puzzleTwo sleds... two teams... a whole bunch of people getting ready for a race down the front hillGetting ready to push offThe winner is determined!!Kathryn and Wesley playing "snowball" (if you look close, you can see the ball made of snow flying through the air... and Wesley hit it probably nine out of ten times! Simply amazing! :-))

Whew! Now I think you have been pretty much updated… oh and two weeks ago all of us had dentist appointments, we got a foot of snow, and Mom and Dad went away for the weekend and left us kids home with a friend. This week we’ve had more doctor’s appointments, and day trip to Greenville, and more company… life moves on. We look forward to what the Lord will bring across our path in the days to come… and hopefully we won’t fall too far behind in our blogging! Winking smile



Update…. Part 1

Posted by Jessica

Jan

18

Well, it has been a while since we’ve posted anything. The Lord has opened several doors of opportunity for our family, and with any opportunity comes responsibility. It has been a busy winter season, but it is definitely well worth it!!

Enough introduction…. here’s a brief summary of recent happenings….

We were blessed to be asked to present a Christmas program at a local church in early December. It truly was a blessing to fellowship with other believers!

IMG_8439IMG_8441IMG_8444

The Hynes family came for a brief visit at the beginning of December. We had a delightful visit with them, which included snowball “fights” and photography talk, and many games of Checkers.

IMG_8500Story time with Becky.... a huge highlight!Playing with photography techniques...Checkers was played quite a bitAdmiring Tim's cameraFellowship after church on SundayMore Checkers...Becky taught Susanna how to knit... and more Checkers! Quite the popular game!IMG_8668More fellowshipPiano trio --- Becky, Kathryn, and VictoriaLegos were the other "most popular toy" :)

Next on the agenda was a much anticipated trip to Louisville, Kentucky to minister in music at Landmark Independent Baptist Church. It was a fabulous trip, leaving us uplifted and encouraged. Matter of fact, we had such a wonderful time, that we neglected the camera, and ended up with a select few pictures. Oh well… the memories are still sweet! Here are some of the pictures we did get… SmileThe younger ones enjoyed playing with each otherFun...... and more fun!!The adult table... a place for fellowship and encouragement! What a special time it was!IMG_8706The Anders -- the pastor of Landmark. Such a sweet family. We left encouraged by your faithfulness and humility in service to the Lord, and inspired by your desire to "follow after righteousness." May God bless your family!The Allen family graciously hosted us Sunday night for a pizza party and wonderful time of fellowship. Thank you, Allen Family, for your servant's hearts and love for the Lord!

We got home from Louisville on December 20, and quickly began doing last minute Christmas preparations. We also went to a Christmas program at a friend’s church, which was very well done, and a huge blessing! On Christmas Eve,  we sang at our local nursing home, then went caroling through our neighborhood. Christmas day was quiet, but very restful, allowing us to focus on the Reason of Christmas and to enjoy time together as a family.

The Christmas Program --- about 19 children included!IMG_8834Titus--- overjoyed about his new mittens!IMG_8786IMG_8787IMG_8793IMG_8794IMG_8796IMG_8799Herman and Lauren... buds...IMG_8801Christmas dinner --- simply delicious!IMG_8821IMG_8822Mom and Dad -- we love you both!IMG_8827

Part 2 coming soon! Smile



Wahoo!!!

Posted by The Neely Team

Jan

15

Titus was given “Wahoo” for Christmas, and he quickly became one of the favorite toys!!



Jan

14

If you have not read the previous post, entitled “Life,” click here and read it first.

Currently, our family is smack in the middle of a trend that is sweeping violently through the house: cleaning out! Mom got a new book for Christmas that has motivated us all to evaluate how much stuff our home can really hold before it busts at the seams, and how much of this stuff we really need.

Well, yesterday I was organizing a low shelf in my room that, for all too long, has been forgotten and sadly neglected. To my surprise, several of the articles at one end belonged to me! I found several old notebooks… one with my coloring pictures from way back (well… maybe not that long ago :)), one with my Hunter’s Safety Course notes, and one with papers from a Bible study we girls had done. This last one held something within its binder that I had completely forgotten about: a letter, written in early 2005, that I had never sent. Now that I’ve seen it again, I remember sitting on the floor in my room one night, busily writing this to a good friend. The letter read:

 

March 28, 2005

Dear ______,

Hi! How are you doing? I’m doing great! Did you have a good Easter? We had a great and beautiful day, which helped me to constantly remember why we really have Easter.

I have a prayer request that is very important: Terri Schiavo, a lady from Florida, is being starved to death. She has major brain damage, and some people say she is just human waste. She doesn’t need any life support, all except for a feeding tube, because she can’t swallow. Her husband (who is very wicked) says she wouldn’t want to live like this, but there is no written document that says Terri said that. Her parents want to take care of her, and another lady offered her husband a million dollars if he would just hand her over to her parents, but he refused it. The Supreme Court ordered her tube taken out, and she has been starving for 10 days. Daddy said that she would probably die this week, but I know that if it is God’s will, He will spare her. All the people who are ordering her to die and the doctors and nurses who are wrongfully carrying out the order, are committing murder. A court law says that a judge can’t order murder, and that’s exactly what they are doing, even though they don’t view it as murder. Please have you and your family pray for her, as well as for her broken hearted parents.

Write back soon!

Love,

Kathryn

Like me, has the memory of the unlawful murder of Terri Schiavo been lost in your memory? When Daddy first came home, in 2005, with the news about her, and read us an article about the scenario from the Vision Forum website, it left a huge impact on me. I was 10 at the time. I wrote this letter to my friend, who was 11, but never sent it because, after having my parents read it, they told me that this was making national news and she probably already knew. Looking back, I’m amazed at God’s hand in even something so small. I would write the letter and stick it into a notebook that would get lost amongst many others on an unnoticed shelf, and then find it right after writing an essay on life, and shortly before the 6th anniversary of Terri’s tragic death.

So, have you forgotten the immense value that our Creator places on human life?

How should this reminder affect your actions?

It’s time for those who profess the name of Christ, the Giver and Sustainer of all life, to take a stand for it once again.



Life

Posted by Kathryn

Jan

5

Life. A common word in our everyday language, but have you ever stopped to ponder exactly what it means?

Perhaps for some, thoughts about life abound in the spring, for that is when the silent, cold, harshness of winter is slowly transformed into scenes bursting with activity, warmth, and beauty. Perhaps when your birthday rolls around each year, you contemplate just how quickly your life is passing. Or maybe you think of life as, for the first time, you cuddle a precious, perfect little baby, or stand by the coffin of a loved one whose life has just been terminated by illness.

Whatever life means to you, and in whichever form you choose to think of it, all life can be traced to a particular source – a common denominator – which can be encountered with almost no effort. The greatest tragedy of the ages is that many spend their days without ever discovering this vital center, the very essence of why they exist. But the evidence is all around them!

The meaning of life is found in the Author of Life, the Almighty One Who spoke it into existence, gave His own life for the sake of those who were dying, conquered death by coming back to life, and even now sustains the life that is within every living thing! “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28) During His life on earth, Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6) He alone holds the key to life eternal, as well the purpose for which we are here.

Have you ever thought of life from God’s perspective? For instance, when you think of human life, do you realize that, because it was created by God, it is sacred and a gift from Him? How often we violate this truth! It should make our hearts burn with anguish when we hear and witness how our wayward culture seeks to thwart life, which is so immensely precious, beautiful, and valued by our God! Do we realize that it is our pride that has caused us to devise every sort of biomedical nightmare imaginable to destroy what God has sanctified, because we view it as inconvenient, expensive, or “our right?” Life must be defended. When we try to manipulate or annihilate the blessing of life, we are unconsciously destroying ourselves and rejecting one of greatest gifts God has given to man.

Scripture is also clear that the words we speak communicate either death or life to the hearers. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21) From this verse we can clearly perceive that the words we say in everyday conversation are tremendously puissant. Can you recall a time that you have been deeply hurt by a careless comment, a cutting joke, or the slicing sarcasm in someone’s tone? The force of their spoken words is obvious from the sting you might still feel at the memory. But the best news of all is that positive, uplifting words are even more compelling, because the power of an almighty, loving, compassionate God is behind them. Some of the noblest deeds in history have been possible simply because the doer of them was inspired by a kind word of encouragement. I am sure you can testify that, in the past, when someone has paused with a thoughtful word for you in the midst of a difficult project, you returned to it with greater enthusiasm and excitement than ever before! Words like these are refreshing, more so than a cup of cool water in the scorching heat of summer. Make it your goal to use your lips to be communicator of life – a fountain of blessing and inspiration. You can never know the lasting results they might have!

The greatest aspect of life, however, can be traced to the moment when an individual decides to take Christ’s death for sin, the ultimate payment, as his own, repents of his sin, and receives the sure promise of eternal life someday in Heaven. At this point, abundant life is imparted to the new believer, meaning that he is given a purpose and a special meaning for which to devote his entire being! Now on this journey, often known as the Christian Life, this individual can and must come daily to Jesus for the renewal of this life, which He has promised to bestow when earnestly sought for. This hidden energy should then be showered upon others – a living manifestation of the love, goodness, grace, power, and working of God.

As you go about your everyday duties, take a moment to contemplate your life, and then pause to acknowledge the Giver of Life and praise Him for the blessings He so richly lavishes on you, His beloved creation.

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)