Archive for May, 2011
Once a woman came upon three mothers at work. “What are you doing?” she asked them.
“I’m doing the weekly washing,” answered the first.
“I’m doing a bit of household drudgery,” replied the second.
“I’m mothering three young children who someday will fill important and useful spheres in life, and wash-day is part of my grand task in caring for these souls who shall live forever,” replied the third. Only she had caught the vision of the great work she was doing.
Taken from Verses of Virtue, The Poetry and Prose of Christian Womanhood.
Compiled and edited by Elizabeth Beall Phillips. Copyright 2007
“The hour is fast approaching, on which the honor and success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember, officers and soldiers, that you are free men, fighting for the blessings of liberty – that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men.”
George Washington – August 23, 1776
From 1776 by David McCullough
This week, I was reading through one of the books I had picked for the month of May and came across this quote. Though addressed to the soldiers and officers that were engaged in fighting for the control of New York back in 1776, a little pondering displayed it’s applicability to the day in which we are living now. I speak to the young people of my generation:
We are in a battle. We are fighting for the Christian family, for biblical femininity and noble manliness, for Christ-honoring marriages, for holiness within the Church, for the lives of individuals who are succumbing to the rampant lies of the adversary. This battle is not a game.
The choices we make in fighting this battle will influence our children, our grandchildren, the generations to come. We are writing tomorrow’s history books. We are tomorrow’s forefathers (and foremothers).
And what are we leaving behind? Following the patterns that we are setting today, will the next generation know the Lord?
This is a sobering responsibility, but on us rests the spiritual safety of our bleeding country. Christ has made us free, and we must fight hard and stand fast so that our children might know these blessings of liberty that we enjoy. Spiritual slavery will be their portion if we do not rise up in the strength of the Lord and faithfully follow His commands.
But to apply this to every-day life… could it be that a small wrong choice could really have that amount of impact? Yes. Absolutely. My family and I have seen it happen… a godly family lets one “little” area slip, and in just a few short years they are miles from where they used to be, compromising even the “big” areas of doctrine and foundational beliefs.
Jesus Christ, our Commander, is the only One Who has the power to keep this from happening to each of us. He has promised complete victory to us if we will simply obey! Cling to Him… study His Word diligently… apply the truth to your heart and life even when it’s painful… take godly counsel you are given with deep gratitude… These are little steps that will help to keep you from slipping.
When you are tempted to give in to the ways of the world, remember your Commander, remember the next generation – and “acquit yourselves like men.”
“That the generation to come might know them (the commandments of God), even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments…” Psalm 78:6-7
For all of our faithful readers, you may be wondering where we’ve been. But really, no posts means that we’ve been experiencing too many wonderful adventures to take the time to write about them, so you should rest assured that whenever there is a lengthy gap, we are probably just off on another one of our wild expeditions.
Such was the case this last week, only this expedition was a little different than normal. We were just living life. Very busy life, we might add, but still just life. Let’s see……. if you are looking for a detailed description of what our week held, we spent our time shopping, mowing, raking the grass, weeding and planting the garden, taking pictures, getting the little ones’ achievement tests finished for the year, making music, mopping our floors (dirtamascrubbiewithwaterandsoaping is the official Neely term ), teaching music lessons, playing outside a lot, having company, and much, much more.
But, lest you think we put the wrong title on this post, let us now reveal that we weren’t alone in this adventure. After being at a homeschool conference in Atlanta last weekend, we were able to pick up a stowaway and bring him home with us for a while. Wesley B. got to experience life first hand with the Neely Team… could be a little scary at times. What a week it was! We had an absolute blast… it was such a blessing to have him here to take part in all that happened. Wes just fit in – became part of the Team – and we loved it!
One of the ways Wesley encouraged us by his attention to the little ones. Matthew 18:5 says “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” It’s rare to find someone who is willing to joyfully invest their time and energy into little children.
Another way Wes blessed us was by his encouraging words. He took note of things that others did well and pointed them out.
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24
Wesley was also a huge blessing by patiently spending hours teaching classical styling on the guitar to several of us (better called a bunch of novices ). We are excited about continuing to learn more about this beautiful instrument!!
“Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 150
Thank you, Wes, for jumping into the Team like you did and leaving us so encouraged when you had to jump out again (though we also really enjoyed the time with your family when they came to pick you up). We are excited to claim you as a big brother – the memories we all made together will last for a long time! May the Lord continue to give you the grace to shine brightly for Him, leaving others rejuvenated and refreshed by your life and testimony.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Teaching stringed instruments has been a field of interest for many years, particularly teaching violin. For two of us, this dream became reality about a year and a half ago. Those two (Kathryn and I) have really enjoyed this area of ministry, have had bunches of fun, learned a ton, and asked lots of questions. Our wonderful violin teacher, Mr. Pinner, has told us over and over and over again that if we ever have any questions about teaching or any related topics, he is more than willing to help.
A few weeks ago I went to Mr. Pinner with quite a few teaching-related questions. What should I do in this situation? How would you handle this? How do you teach this? What should I do different? How can I help my student understand this concept better?
If you’ve ever taught an instrument, I’m sure you can relate. I’m so thankful that we have a teacher whose goal is to teach his students to teach, and who is ready, willing, and beyond capable of answering questions.
So with current teaching opportunities and the possibility of more, Mr. Pinner graciously offered to put together a String Pedagogy Workshop. He covered many topics including how to set up a string studio, how to mark and edit music, how to teach vibrato, dynamics, and bow control, string repair and maintenance, studio taxes, and much more!!!
Four of us Neelys participated, and we all came away motivated and excited about what the Lord has in store for us in this field of music. It was a fabulous time— worth every minute of it!!!
Thank you, Mr. Pinner, for letting the Lord use you in this way. You are an inspiration to many, and we look forward to learning more under your tutelage as the Lord allows!
Also, special thanks to the Wiginton family for hosting us for the weekend! What a blessing it was to us!