Archive for the 'Matthew & Amanda' Category
What a blessing it was to journey northward a few weeks ago to take part in the Gen2 Conference! Hosted by Generations with Vision (taking place at the Creation Museum), this conference focused on the millennial generation and why a large percentage of it is walking away from the faith.
Sweet fellowship with many dear friends –
The sessions, presented by Kevin Swanson, Daniel Craig, Ken Ham, Rick Boyer, Norm Wakefield, Brian Ray, Woody Robertson, Israel Wayne, and many others, left us challenged and encouraged. May we each, in the coming days, not only reject the apostasy that is sweeping our culture, but continue pressing onward in the strength of the LORD, seeking His grace, and pursuing lives of godliness for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom.
An added joy was that Matthew & Amanda were able to join us for the weekend! We treasured the opportunity to minister in song a couple of times throughout the conference, and having them there to participate with us again blessed us immensely.
Other snapshots —
Special thanks to Sarah Bryant for the use of her photos!
On New Year’s Day we were able to go back to Colonial Williamsburg with all three of our dear Wilkes Teams. We had such a great time there learning history together.
I enjoyed touring the magazine. It was amazing to hear how they fired the different kinds of cannons.
I also enjoyed touring the Art Museum. The hand-sewn quilts were amazing.
Earlier in the day, we also heard actors, pretending to be George and Martha Washington, speak! I thought it was interesting how they (the actors) could pretend to be back in the 1700’s; it sounded so real.
After our delightful day together, we all ate dinner at Cracker Barrel. The fellowship was very sweet and we look forward to the next time we get to visit Williamsburg again with them!
What a perfect way to start 2015!
It was a very special Christmas this year! An added blessing was to be with my niece on her first Christmas! We all had a great time together.
Dad and Mom gave us all vests to match in. They are filled with tiny feathers, and so some of them can fold up into little bitty bags. (Stuffing a huge, fluffy vest into a tiny little pouch, making it look like a pillow, is very fun!) We had a lot of laughter when we discovered that!
Another favorite gift was a canvas that we kids gave to Dad and Mom – it was a picture of all of us on the beach from this past fall!
I am very grateful for the sweet time we all had together. God is so good.
The Governor’s Palace
Several weeks ago, after attending the Family Economics & Mentorship Conference, we were blessed with the opportunity to take a brief evening walk through Colonial Williamsburg with Matthew and Amanda. Though most of the shops and tourist attractions were already closed for the evening, we were just in time for a lovely sunset and thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely stroll together. Special thanks to Matthew for suggesting the idea!
The fall foilage was truly stunning – a testimony to the creativity and handiwork of our Creator
Taking a ride in the shuttle
Life – in this season, at this time – is truly beautiful, because it is our Heavenly Father’s gift of love to us. May we all continue to make the most of the precious moments He has bestowed.
“I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.” Psalm 145:1-9
What a great joy it was to attend the 2014 Family Economics & Mentorship Conference in Hampton, VA, this past weekend! How can one summarize, in a short post, several days packed to bursting with encouragement, solid, Scriptural teaching, and precious fellowship?! Perhaps the best way to attempt this feat would be to merely touch on the highlights of the event.
Special thanks to Matthew for loaning his darling wife and baby to us for the week while he returned home for work… having Amanda back as an active part of the Neely Team was such a joy! Matthew joined us for the last day of the conference, and what a blessing it was to be all together again.
Each session, presented by Christ-centered, dynamic speakers such as Kevin Swanson, Eric Weir, Steve Riddell, Daniel Craig, Gregg Harris, Anne Miller, and Rick & Marilyn Boyer – was spiritually refreshing and highly practical. Topics included entrepreneurship, sales, godly character, marketing, mentorship, family life, and communication. We all left inspired, convicted, challenged… and ready to continue pressing onward in our various ministries, businesses, and family lives for the glory of our Savior and the advancement of His kingdom.
What an honor it was to be able to minister through music during the conference! Special thanks to David Craig for all of his work in organizing this. His forethought and consideration allowed everything to run smoothly, and left us feeling welcomed and cared for. The music of the Craig and Roche gentlemen was also an incredible blessing to us.
Participating in the vendor hall a perfect opportunity to get to know many precious families. The sweetness of the fellowship was a reminder of the eternity that awaits those who have trusted Christ – to live for endless ages sharing the common bond of His love will be unspeakably glorious! This weekend was truly a foretaste of that bliss. Friday evening, the conference team graciously hosted a pizza party for all of the attendees, allowing for even more fellowship to take place (imagine seeing a total of about 110 Domino’s pizzas piled on serving tables — quite a delicious sight! ).
And, last but certainly not least, the staff at the Holiday Inn Express (where many of the conference attendees resided) also largely contributed to the joys of the weekend. Professional, accommodating, kind, and incredibly friendly, they were used of the LORD to bless many of us.
A final summary… We praise the Lord for His merciful kindness so clearly manifested this weekend on our behalf, and look forward to returning home to apply what we have heard and learned. May He remain preeminent in all of our endeavors.
Following a very uplifting time at the annual NCFIC conference on the Power of the Gospel transforming Church and Family, we came home on Saturday night, meeting with our dear eldest sister and her little family on the way. A few hours later, we were privileged to welcome our dear Wilkes Team into our home for a short 40 hours (or so ). We are so blessed to have been able to see these dear ones again! One of the primary activities of the weekend was the dedication of our adored little niece to our Savior. What a special time for each of her grandparents, aunties, and uncles (We’re very grateful for FaceTime, it enabled this number to include her Uncle & Aunt and cousins from 500 miles away!) to speak into her life from the Word of God, and to pray for her salvation and future. To say that each person involved was touched in some way would be an understatement….it was not only a time of dedication, but also a time of family bonding as the Lord used His Word to draw us all together once more.
Time and space would run short before we could ever transcribe the encouragement, kindness, blessing, fellowship, and joy in our Savior that we experienced. What a lovely weekend we were given by the mercy of Christ! Thank you, Wilkes Team, for being willing vessels of the Master’s love! We are grateful for you!
July 20th is National Lollipop Day!
While on our way to VA last week for a family reunion with Mom’s side of the family, we stopped at Sam’s Club to buy the last-minute items for the weekend and, at the suggestion of a sweet, younger member of the Team, we also picked up a couple of boxes of Blow-Pops…
Have a Blow-Pop, anyone?!
Take time today to rejoice over the little things of life. Don’t pass up an opportunity to make memories with those you love… you won’t regret it.
And, by the way…
Happy National Lollipop Day!