250 K!

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Milestones serve as excellent “stopping points” along the path of life at which to recall and communicate the providence and mercy of our Heavenly Father. Yesterday, shortly after we left home to enjoy an evening together at Wayah Bald, we encountered one of these important milestones: our van turned over 250, 000 miles! All those miles traveled together, and in safety, over the past 10 years, remind us of the beautiful truth that “Faithful is He that calleth you, Who also will do it.” The Lord has directed each trip, each opportunity for ministry, and He has faithfully provided and sustained. To Him be praise!

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Following that excitement and celebration (which we were privileged to enjoy along with Wes Barnes, loaned to us from his family for a few days), we spent the evening marveling the breathtaking scenery of Wayah Bald. As we stood looking out over the vast expanse visible from such a height, one person accurately summed up our feelings with the quiet reminder that “We serve a great Artist.”

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Memorial Day Picnic at the Brown’s Farm

The Neely Team

The wedding is over. The bins are put away. The bride and groom are on their honeymoon. All the extended family have returned home. And a holiday around the corner….

What is something we can do, to make some extra special memories as a family?

Mom and Dad had an idea! And an exciting one it was!!

So, the plan?? A trip to Wake Forest, NC for the Memorial Day Picnic at the Brown family farm! This annual event was attended by hundreds of people, the Gospel was clearly presented, and our veterans were honored. What a blessing it was to be there, and to enjoy the sweet fellowship with dear friends, and to meet new friends!

WWII veterans sharing memories (the four with matching ties are brothers!!)IMG_9010

Enjoying family and friendsTaking a bouncy, windy ride on a military vehicle

BBQ picnicSweet fellowship

Honor March: a march around the lake in honor of the many miles our veterans have marched.Military vehicles giving rides

IMG_9056Under the big red tent :)

Sweet sister timeSpecial Daddy time

Memory making with Mom

The idea was a success. As we drove home that evening, our hearts were encouraged, and gratitude filled us as we were reminded of the great sacrifice that thousands have given for our freedom. May we be faithful to the Lord, and stand for truth, for sake of generations to come and for the glory of our Lord!

Hanging out on the big rock

The Neely and Wikman families

Wedding Pictures!!

Here are a few pictures from Matthew & Amanda’s Wedding! We rejoice in God’s abundant goodness toward us, and praise Him for His continued work in our lives! Thank you to all of you who were able to participate in this special day, whether in person or via live streaming. It is our prayer that your hearts were drawn closer to our Heavenly Bridegroom as we look forward to His appearing!

 

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"O Be Glad!"DSCF7983

DSCF8007DSCF8036Their first kiss

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Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Wilkes!!Praising the Lord together

The expressions say it all :)

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The Car Crew carefully decorated the car so that M&A knew they were very loved.... but no practical jokes. :)Sisters

IMG_4594IMG_4598The happy couple.... We love you!

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Brothers--- a precious treasure

Amanda and her new sistersMothers

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The Neely Team

More pictures to follow….

LIVE Wedding Webcast

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Can’t make it to the wedding? Lord willing, Matthew and Amanda’s wedding ceremony will be broadcasted live!

To view, tune into our blog on Saturday, May 18th, 2013 at 12:30pm.

“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19

UPDATE: View the wedding live at this link: https://www.theneelyteam.com/2013/05/18/matthew-amandas-wedding/

Spring Musings

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For as many years as we have lived in here in the mountains, I don’t think I have ever seen our blooming cherry trees break forth with such loveliness as they have this year! To see the fluffy pink blossoms decked appropriately with hints of green as they bend and sway with the spring breeze… it gives such joy to know that the same One Who formed such beauty is the One Who holds my future, Who hears my call, Whose mercies surround each new day. Can I not take Him at His Word and depend upon Him to cause my life and testimony to radiate such beauty?

“O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days… Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:14, 16-17

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“Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.” Psalm 72:18

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“Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:18-22

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

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Going Home… to the Wilds

The Wilds has always held a special place in our hearts. It was there that Dad made sure of his salvation while attending camp in high school… one of our aunts trusted Christ there as well… and it has been the location sparking many precious memories for our family through the years.

A few weekends ago, we were blessed with the opportunity to attend Family Camp with the entire family, Matthew included! It is hard to describe the joy of being there once again… everything was so familiar, yet, as it had been several years, there were many new changes to explore. It was truly like going home. The Lord used the weekend away from the race of normal life, surrounded by glorious creation, God-honoring music, and sound preaching, to refresh our hearts and renew our energy for the events and duties before us.

A pictorial commentary on the weekend:

An evening in the CoolBeans coffee shop, enjoying our favorite ~ Raspberry White Chocolate Mocha Freezes!

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Since living in a duplex once again was so wonderful,  one of our “littles” made a hilarious contribution to the experience. Smile 

Always a reason to smile :-D

Other photos:

Headed to the dining hall for a delicious repast...... and waiting on the porch for the invitation...

...to "Come on in!"IMG_0460

Time to fellowship with our friends on staff was a tremendous highlight!

Ken Collier -- a big twin brother!

On Saturday afternoon, every forecast was predicting rain in high percentages, but the Giver of all good things saw fit to astound us with His goodness once again by clearing the skies and giving beautiful sunshine so we could enjoy time in the fresh air together.

(Notice Mr. Smiley in the background :)) About to experience the ride of their lives......on the Giant Swing! (A thrilling 65-ft free-fall)

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IMG_0470Getting ready for the Land Trolley

Coming in for a landingOn their way up the mountain for a ride IMG_0501

Blessed is the man that hath his quiver full!

Time for two of the dearest couples on earth to talk heart-to-heart!

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We are so grateful for the opportunity to have “gone home” for a season of refreshment, which reminds me of the beautiful passage in Isaiah 41:

“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” (vs. 17-18)

Listen for the Music

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Give your day to the Lord. From eternity past He has lovingly, sovereignly planned out each second of which it is comprised, so trust Him. Realize that when circumstances or individuals in your life seem to be hindering the way you think things ought to come together, it is not really them obstructing your path – they are merely instruments under the direction of the great Conductor Who is working all things into a symphony of praise and glory. Rest in Him, and listen for the music.

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