Archive for the 'Matthew & Amanda' Category
How do you summarize a weekend such as the NC FEW was? It’s hard. The Lord was merciful in the way He allowed each detail to play out (especially since some of us were very preoccupied with other things that had happened that week…). Sweet fellowship with other believers, motivating messages, encouraging testimonies, invigorating play time, delectable food, award winning smiles, uplifting prayer time, unity of hearts… the Lord truly blessed. Each year, we Neelys ask ourselves, “Why do we host the conference?” Every year the answer is the same: “Because we need the encouragement!” And every year, the result is the same…we are encouraged. Praise be to the Lord, Who is the Source of our encouragement.
May we each continue to look to the Lord for guidance and joy as we strive to stay the course by His grace!
… for a dear brother!
“Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour…” Psalm 112
We are unspeakably grateful to the LORD for you, Matthew! May His richest blessings continue to rest upon you.
Yet another journey in June was to Richmond for the HEAV (Home Educator’s Association of Virginia) Convention. With the days packed to bursting with busyness, fellowship, opportunities to serve and minister to many precious people, and much more, we all came away truly blessed and uplifted.
One of the numerous blessings of the weekend was seeing the standard of righteousness that the HEAV has set. Throughout the convention, frequent and unashamed acknowledgement of the LORD and His Word was clearly evident, and for that we were immensely grateful.
** Jessica was privileged to join our friend James (with Lenspiration) in leading a team of photographers for the convention.
** At any convention, the Neely Team always loves the vendor hall… so being able to operate a booth ourselves and walk the floor many times visiting others was certainly a highlight.
** Participating in music, both in the HEAV High School Graduation ceremony and in the lobby background music, was such a joy! Matthew & Amanda joined us at the convention on the day of the graduation, so having Amanda in the ranks again to sing/play brought many smiles.
June has begun, and with it an intense season of busyness for the Team! (One of our dear littles gave us a good giggle when, on the evening of May 31st, she calmly told us all to “get ready, because in a few hours we [were] entering the month of no sleep.”) The month of May, though, was also quite packed… hence the prolonged blog silence. But over the next several weeks, we will do our best to stay up to date with you all.
A few weeks ago we were thrilled and delighted to take a trip to VA to host a bridal shower for our dear “sister” Jennifer. The LORD blessed the day immensely – such a sweet, precious gathering of ladies to fellowship and share the joy of what He has done in bringing Derrick & Jenny together.
A few games brought quite a riot of laughter and smiles…
Dear, sweet sisters-in-law shared from their hearts to the lovely bride-to-be…
Precious fellowship… lots of hugs… tears… smiles…
While the bridal shower was taking place, the men gathered outside for a time of target shooting, fellowship, exhortation, and encouragement. The poor gentlemen… things suddenly changed for their afternoon activities when the dark, gathering clouds burst open and the rain poured down! Everyone kept a cheerful outlook on the unexpected situation, though, and simply moved to the porch (declaring as they did so that they, the men, had had the REAL shower… literally).
We are so, SO happy for you both, Derrick & Jenny, and praise the LORD for the beautiful, wondrous work He has wrought in bringing you together. In the years ahead, may He use you – as one in Him – to point many others to Himself, for His own glory.
We love you dearly.
A “FEW” final shots…
May the LORD Find Us Faithful
God hath not given us the spirit of fear,
But has given us the strength to obey.
With power and sound mind, with love, the unfailing kind,
O be not ashamed of His way.
No man that seeketh after things of this life
Is a soldier who passes the test.
Be faithful, be working, be running, be serving,
Be searching His Word for His best.
Living or dying, may honor be Thine,
From this wretched life You loved and forgave.
A life that is on fire, be only our heart’s desire.
Be faithful from now to the grave.
May the LORD find us faithful.
May His Word be our banner held high.
May the LORD find us faithful
Every day, though we live, though we die.
Discipleship game time – a great chance for the little ones to release their wiggles and for the older ones to invest into their lives! Such sweet memories are made.
Music – what a blessing to see so many young ones using their gifts for the glory of God!
Meals – the joy of fellowshipping together around delicious food!
Sessions – a time to hear from the LORD through the preaching and teaching of His Word
“Living in Jesus’ Name”
“The Journey of Love” (Ladies’ session)
Young People’s Testimonies – “An Attitude of Gratitude”
Children’s Session – “In EVERYTHING Give Thanks!”
Chalk Talk – “Eagles and Expectations”
We are often asked, “What is a Family Encouragement Weekend?”
In our culture today, many families feel alone in the walk of life to which the LORD has called them.
Many feel discouraged about a lack of likeminded fellowship.
Many wonder if following the commands, principles, and patterns of Scripture for home and family life is really worth the sacrifice it involves.
In short, a Family Encouragement Weekend (FEW Conference) it is a weekend conference organized with the simple goal of encouraging families who are seeking to follow a Biblical pattern of family life.
Because… we all need encouragement. We all need strengthening in the race we call the Christian life. We all need reminders that Christ, Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling (2 Tim. 1:9), is indeed faithful and has promised to bring to completion the good work that He has begun (Phil. 1:6).
2015 NC FEW Conference
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
What a true joy it was to participate in the NC FEW Conference earlier this month! The LORD’s hand of blessing was abundantly evident, and for that our hearts are filled with gratitude.
Throughout the course of the weekend, whether in teaching from the Word, family prayer times, character-building activities, or fellowship together, a spirit of oneness in Christ was beautifully seen.
In the forthcoming series of posts, we hope to give you a little glimpse of the joyous time the LORD granted us together. May He receive all glory and praise, because He alone is worthy!
For information regarding the WV FEW Conference coming up this summer, please contact us.
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!