Archive for June, 2014
We, as a Team, are excited to announce the official launch of our new website!
Stay tuned to hear the purpose of this new website, as well as our plans for our current site.
Stop for a minute.
Look around you, and think of three things that would typically bypass the eye, yet are beautiful and touching once noticed. Simple things: a child reaching on tip-toes trying to wash dirty hands in the kitchen sink; a little boy coming up, tenderly calling your name, asking you to play with him; the tenderness of a sister who gives you a hug “just because.”
Bask in the goodness and mercy of your Heavenly Father. He Who orchestrates the years, the days, the minutes, and the moments is worthy of our praise. Pause to remember a few of the blessings He has so freely bestowed on your life. Take a moment to embrace a little sibling or play a game with them. Wrap your arms around the neck of your parents and tell them how much you love them. Take a deep breath, look out the window, listen to the chirp of the bird’s song. Your Savior, your Lord, your Heavenly Father planned all of this! And He did it for you.
Will you ever regret looking into the eyes of your little brother and saying, “I love you?” Will you look back five years from now, and wish that you hadn’t taken all those pictures together? How often do you give a hug to encourage a sister?
These are all things I need to remember. So often in the busyness of life, I get caught up in what I have to do, the things I have planned, the goals and dreams that I want to pursue. And while these things are good things (and most of them are indeed things that do have to be done), I often miss the smallest of blessings by not taking a moment to look, to encourage, and to praise the One from Whom All blessings flow!
May we all strive to look at the smallest of details that the Lord so carefully and masterfully puts together and praise Him for the beauty He creates in each day!
What a joy it was, last month, to celebrate Victoria’s graduation from high school! Such a precious time to be with loved ones — particularly Matthew, Amanda, and our precious little niece, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins — and rejoice in the goodness and grace of the Lord in allowing her to reach this milestone in her life.
The plan for the day was to host, at our home, a dinner and music recital – as has been done for the past three Neely Team graduates. However, the Lord had other plans. With the forecast calling for rain all day on Saturday, two days before we realized that something had to be done! In His mercy, the Lord worked it out that the local church we use for hosting FEW Conferences, and where Matthew and Amanda were married, was available for that day. In a joyous scurry of activity, we prepared as much a possible on Thursday evening for the change. Friday, we left early and were away all day in Greenville, SC, for our cousin Austin’s graduation from Bob Jones University, arriving back home around midnight. Early Saturday morning we headed over to the church to get everything set up and ready… and, as He always does, the Lord worked everything out in good time, providing strength and creativity to accomplish each task.
The evening went well. One of the great blessings of the day was the presence of the Elliott family – Victoria’s beloved harp teacher and her parents – who graciously drove up from Greenville, bringing along the pedal harp, to assist in the recital. We pray that it was both an encouragement to the many dear believers present, as well as brilliant testimony for our Savior to the unbelievers who attended. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment:
Enjoying that precious bundle of blessing and joy (oh, how we miss her!):
Four generations! To God be praise.
Congratulations, dear sister, on your entrance into this new phase of life. We love you dearly and praise the Lord for you! May your eyes continue to be upon Him alone as you move forward into the exciting future He has in store for you.
And, by the way, welcome to the Alumni Association of Sheridan Hills Christian School…
We are immensely grateful to the Lord for putting us in the incredible neighborhood in which we live! The sweet people that surround us have become increasingly special to us through the years. What a joy it is to be able to serve each other, to bless each other with spontaneous gifts, to be there for each other in times of need.
One of our neighbors is retired from serving in the police force, where he developed expertise in training dogs used in service there, and so he has been able to offer us much helpful advice in the training of our German beauty. These tips have included a few of the “more fun” techniques, including learning to jump over hurdles and through windows on command. Recently, we joined him for an evening to work together on painting a new 8-foot dog jump! Though it was a simple project, seeing the team work and the enthusiasm offered by each person was a true blessing.
How much fun can you have while rinsing out paint brushes?!
So, may you be encouraged today to reach out to those around you, investing into their lives. It may be something simple – like a loaf of fresh banana bread, a plate of warm cookies, a sympathy card – that the Lord will use to touch their hearts and draw them nearer to Himself.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40