Archive for the 'Matthew & Amanda' Category
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!
“I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty; it ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” – John Adams
“Indeed, it is an indisputable fact that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home and worldwide have their influence in the single Book [the Bible].” – Ronald Reagan
“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.” – John Adams
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.” – Abraham Lincoln
“Hold fast to the Bible. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization and to this we must look as our guide in the future.” – Ulysses S. Grant
“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing… than … communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?” – George Washington
“Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford
“It is the responsibility of the citizens to support their government. It is not the responsibility of the government to support its citizens.” – Grover Cleveland
“Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private virtue, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics.” – John Adams
“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favors.” – George Washington
… a little late! More details to follow soon, Lord willing…
“Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” Psalm 144:15
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!