Tiger Creek Ladies Conference

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Our Tiger Creek Annual Ladies Conference turned out very nice. We had 9 different churches represented with nearly 50 women in attendance.  I spoke on the subject of “Touch Me Again”.  I appreciate the committee and all those who worked to make the conference a success.   Thank you!  I know the Lord was glorified.

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  IfI should count them, they are more in number than the sand…” Psalm 139:17-18a.

From the Mouth of Babes

In just a few weeks I will have my newest book, From the Mouth of Babes available!

If you are a blogger and would be interested in reviewing this book on your blog, send me an email and I’ll forward the information.

kimberlyw1@wildblue.net

Just what does the abundant life look like?  Flip through these pages and you will get a glimpse into the abundant life of this pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of three, who lives with her family in South Mississippi. 

Written by Kimberly Williams, From the Mouth of Babes is a compilation of short stories about life, children, faith, and this world we live in.

Learn how to have a clean kitchen, see life through the eyes of a child, look at marriage in a new light, take a serious look at the church and this modern culture, and discover some new traditions.    Grab a cup of coffee and kick up your feet.  Get ready to laugh, be prepared to be challenged, and pull out your Bible as you are pointed to the Word of God.

5 Ways to say “I Love You!”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the card, chocolate, and flower industries are prospering.  Everyone wants to show their loved ones just how much they truly love them.  But let me ask.  Is this the best way to show our love?  Sure, it is nice to get a card, some chocolate, or a vase of flowers on Valentine’s Day.   But is it really necessary? 

Do not get me wrong.  I love getting flowers and such from my husband.  But I love getting them much more “just because”.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that the “just because” are not expected.  They are just because he is thinking of me and wants to show his love.  The second reason is that these industries usually increase their prices this time of year.  And I hate having money wasted.

So, what is one to do?  After all, it would be incredibly disheartening to just ignore an extra opportunity to show some love.  We could buy things for our family and they could buy things for us.  But, I’ve put together a list of five ways that we can show our husband or children just how much we love them without spending a dime.

Writing – It stands to reason that a writer would list writing first.  It just makes so much sense.  First of all, when you take the time to write something down it means more.  It is longer lasting.  I’ve written many poems for my husband and family.  One year I made an acrostic poem of my children’s names.  I simply listed attributes about them beginning with the letters of their names.  Maybe poetry is not your expertise.  Don’t despair.   A simple letter that they could hold on to would speak volumes.  I have learned that very few men care about poetry.  They do, however, want to be respected.  So, make a list for your husband of all the reason’s you respect him.  Tell him he’s doing a good job.  Let him know he’s a good father.  Thank him for providing for you every day.  My husband has told other men to go to Wal-mart and copy down a Halmark card word for word.  I won’t comment on that! But I will say that there is nothing sweeter than a hand written note.

Baking – Sure you can go to the store and buy cupcakes or cookies.  But there is always one ingredient the stores leave out – love.  Sure you can go out, wait in line for two hours, and share a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant with dozens of other couples but where is the romance in that?  One sure way to let your loved ones know you care is to bake them something.  Pancakes for breakfast with chocolate chips are one way to give my children something special.  One year I took some chocolate and melted it down.  I then took wooden skewers and made chocolate heart suckers for my children.  A little time and $3 later I was their hero!  A frozen pizza is particularly special for my husband!  No, not for him to eat but for the children.  You see, I can fix us a special romantic meal and send the children to another room with a frozen pizza and a movie.  They are happy to get a special treat.  We are happy to have some special time.  Everyone wins!  Does your husband have a favorite meal or dessert?  Make it for him.  He’ll love you for it! 

  Investing – Nothing articulates love like time!  Invest some time into your children.  Play a game with them.  Color with them.  Read a book together.  Help them make a tent in the living room.  Just spend time with them.  And, after spending time with them put them to bed early and spend time with your husband.  My husband and I like to take walks together.  We stay close to the house, hold hands, and walk.  It’s wonderful.  If you have a busy day scheduled make the effort to get up 15 minutes early and linger over a cup of coffee together.  It will set the tone for the rest of the day.  Keep some white space on your calendar for your family.  It shows them you love them!

 Organizing – One day my children and I spent an afternoon cleaning out and organizing their daddy’s closet.  We even categorized his dress shirts by color.  He was so thrilled!  Sometimes I surprise him and we clean out and vacuum his car.  Doing little things for others is a big way to show love.  Does your husband have a desk, a work area, or a shed that needs some attention?  Surprise him and organize it.  What about your children’s bedrooms?  We expect our children to be responsible for their own rooms.  It is their job to clean them.  And maybe you have extremely neat and organized children who keep their rooms perfectly clutter free.  I don’t.  My children for some reason think that the trash can is under the bed.  So every now and then (for no other reason than because I love them) I help them organize their rooms.  A little help goes a long way.

Praying – So far I have listed ways to show our family we love them with our hands – writing, baking, investing, and organizing.  But this next one is not something we do with our hands.  We do it on our knees.  One of the greatest ways to show you love your family is to pray earnestly for them.  Pray for your husband, that God would lead him as he leads his family.  Pray that God gives him wisdom.  Pray that God would bless him.  Pray for your children. Pray for their salvation, pray for their protection, pray for their health, and pray for their future.  Pray that God will work mightily in your family.    Prayer is a great gift that shows great love.  Your family may not ever know about it but the effects are eternal.

This list is not exclusive.  There are many ways to show love to your family.  Be creative.  And have a blessed Valentine’s Day!

We love him, because he first loved us. (1John 4:19)

 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)

 

The Modern Church

 “I don’t like those people!”

“I refuse to go to that church!”

“The people there are hypocrites!”

Have you ever heard statements like these? Many of us have. Sadly, many times people who make these statements simply stay at home and refuse to participate in their church functions. They will not join another church either. Perhaps they feel justified because they have been deeply wounded. Perhaps they are just making excuses. But regardless, for some reason they are “forsaking the assembly” (Hebrews 10:25). This attitude is in every town, within every individual church, and has been around since the beginning.

Something that I have witness of late is the “home church” movement. This group of people is different than the ones described above. Often, they are among the finest and most devoted Christians. They rightly believe that it is the parent’s role to teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord. It is not the government’s role or even the churches’ role to teach their children. These committed parents are faithful in teaching the Bible and living a consistent godly life. They are faithful in protecting their children from the world and the evils in it.

Often these families were once very involved in a local church but something happened to discourage them. The reasoning for withdrawing is usually warranted.

“The church looks and acts just like the world.”

 “I shelter my children six days a week just to have them exposed to something immoral from the other children at church.”

“The church is not following the doctrines laid out in Scripture.”

These are all the comments I hear. And sadly, many modern day churches make it harder and harder for those who are striving to live by biblical principles to be a part of.

Consider these four examples.

1. Church one is a rather large church and probably the most severe case. Unfortunately, they are very worldly and known in the community for their divisions. The membership is divided between ministers within the church. One faction follows the leadership of the pastor and another follows the leadership of another minister. This division causes constant envying and strife among the believers. It has gotten so bad that members of the same church have been known to sue one another causing even more division. Recently, one family was torn apart because of sexual immortality between family members. The whole town heard of this. In addition, the church abuses its ordnances. The membership of this church often has trials and many are sick. It is apparent that God is judging this church.

 2. Church two is a wonderful church full of promise and potential. But there are two women in this church that cannot seem to get along. All the good qualities are overlooked in this church because of these women. Others have had to step in and try to resolve the issue. It is so bad the other churches know about this problem, therefore, the church has a bad reputation.

3. Church three has members within the church who teach lies. Entire families are being persuaded and have embraced these false doctrines. There are those in the community who slander and falsely accuse the church. The leadership of this church will have to eventually deal with this issue before it destroys the church.

4. Church four has a young pastor who is very faithful. But, this pastor has to deal with those who refuse to submit to his leadership because of his age. And unfortunately, like church three, this church also has to deal with false teachers. The teachers are known hypocrites who try to influence those who are weak in the faith. It is easy to see how the more mature Christians struggle with this and get discouraged.

These examples are from just a few churches. But if we were to pull back the curtain of hypocrisy and reveal the churches as they truly were, we would find that every modern day church has problems. The doctrines taught seem to be superficial, the worldliness abounds, and unqualified pastors often prey on their congregations for greedy gain. One can see why devoted Christians want to reject it all and worship God in Spirit and Truth in the safe haven of their home. Understandably, they want to be a part of a pure and holy church, somewhat like the first century church, who met in their homes. These early believers were filled with the Spirit. They prayed and fellowshipped together. They had one heart and one soul. They even had all things common (Acts 4:31-37). What a wonderful church to belong to!

However, the grass is not always greener on the other side. Nor, was the church better in the first century. You see, the four examples given were from the first century. Church one was the Corinthian church, Church two was the church at Philippi. Church three was the church at Crete, whose pastor was Titus. And church four was the church at Ephesus. Timothy is the young faithful pastor mentioned above. All of these were founded by none other than Paul himself during the first century.

So, let me ask this question. What would have happened to the church at Ephesus (or any of the others) if all the mature, striving Christians would have left the church? It is likely that Timothy would have been left fighting heresy all alone. The church would have continued down a path of wickedness, never learning the truth. Without the examples of the mature believers and the discipleship they give, the babes in Christ would have never matured. The remaining sheep would have been slaughtered by wolves and the goats would have rule. I see this very thing happening today. In the pursuit of a perfect church, many have given up the fight and turned individual churches over to Satan. Without support, the pastor is left feeling defeated and he too often gives up.

In addition, a family who pulls out from the church also pulls out from under the authority that Christ established within the church. When they forsake the assembly, they remove themselves out from under the authority of the pillar and ground of the truth – the church (I Timothy 3:15). Christ called His church (Matthew 4:18-21), Christ confirms His church (Matt 16:18), Christ loves and died for His church (Ephesians 5:25), and Christ will return for His church (I Thessalonians 4:17). He intended for the church (ekklesia) to be a called out, local assembly of baptized believers who covet together to carry out the Great Commission.

Dear believer, we must not give up on the church that Jesus built. Remember, the church is a family of families. Those that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak. The mature needs to disciple the immature. Those on the meat of the Word need to be teaching those on the milk. Pastors need help from those families who are striving to live by biblical principles. This is what we are called to do. Christ said Himself that the wheat and tares would grow together until the harvest (Matthew 13:24-30). True believers must remain strong and true to the Lord’s church. Otherwise, no one is left to fight false teaching. No one is left to take a stand when it matters. No one is left to confront sin in the church. How Christ must grieve when this happens.

Of course, it should be noted that there are times when one must shake the dust off their feet because the people will not change. But this should be done with much prayer. In some cases it would be foolish to stay at a dying church. But if we have to leave one church it should always be to find another. 

“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee,” Psalm 22:22.

Sugar-Free, Day Ten

 I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I am sure most people agree and would never ask why. But just in case you are wondering, it is because they do not work. It seems as though a sure way to make sure you do not accomplish something is to make it a New Year’s Resolution. With that said, my decision to go sugar-free was NOT a New Year’s Resolution. I am simply resolved.

The decision was based on a number of factors. The first, and most obvious, is for health reasons. The second reason is because I’ve been convicted of it. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve need to quit eating so much sugar. I just haven’t been convicted before now. The conviction came slowly (probably because I didn’t have ears to hear, therefore I shut it out). But one verse kept coming to my mind, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s,”(1Co 6:19-20).

So, in order to “quit eating so much sugar” I had to decide to quit eating ANY sugar. I know that many people can just cut back but for me it is really easier in the long run to just simple not eat any. So I decided a little over a month ago that I would go sugar-free. Now, I’m a realist; therefore, I decided to wait until after the holidays. Today I am on day ten. It hasn’t been too difficult so far. At church on Sunday I simply skipped over the dessert table. I was a little concerned at my Homeschool Group’s Mom’s Night Out this week, there were so many delicious looking desserts but I focused on fellowshipping with other mom’s and was able to do without. One night this week the children made milkshakes. I just made a fruit smoothie. It was not only easy but tasty. Here’s the recipe ifyou would like to try it.

Strawberry & Banana Fruit Smoothie

1 ½ cups frozen strawberries

1 banana

1/3 cup milk

 Blend together in a blender. If you like you can add a few packets of Splenda or sugar substitute.

My son asked me how long I was going to go sugar-free. Remember, I’m a realist. At some point I will most likely eat some sugar. But for now I am sugar-free and to how long I will go without sugar, I am simply not resolved.

It’s Snowing In Our Living Room

I woke up at 4:15 this morning unable to sleep.  So I fixed a cup of hot chocolate and headed to the living room to sit in my favorite recliner.  As I sat in the quiet, I looked up and saw all of the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. They were dancing and twirling in a peaceful, serene way.  The sight was a beautiful reminder of childhood dreams, like snow covered Christmas mornings or mom making snow ice cream.  For just a few moments I was brought back to days of waking up to see a white blanket of snow covering our yard, building snowmen, and sledding with my brother.

Living in south Mississippi, it is rare for my children to see a lot of snow.  And while they do not get to experience all that I did as a child, they do get to create memories of their own.  Memories like making snowflakes to hang in our living room.  Abigail and Andrew made them for our Christmas party for the church on Friday night.  They are beautiful and easy to make.  We went online and printed out the patterns.  All you need are some scissors and hands to help.  In a matter of minutes you can have snow in your living room as well.

I’ve shared before that I do not believe in Christmas decorations that have no meaning.  I do not put things in my house just because they are seasonal.  There is purpose behind it all.  So, as the children and I made snowflakes we talked about how God has made each one unique.  No two snowflakes are alike.  The Creator has designed each one to be special.  Likewise, God has made each one of us unique.  No two humans are alike.  We are all created special and the Lord has a plan for each of our lives.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (Psa 139:14-17)

We serve an amazing God!  Thank you Lord for snowflakes and how all of creation reminds us of Your greateness!

The Cinderbubba Film

Our family was recently invited to “star” in a movie!

Okay, maybe not star in it but we have been privileged to play a small role in the upcoming “Cinderbubba” film. The re-telling of a classic tale – Southern Style – is really the only way to describe “Cinderbubba”. It is Cinderella with a Christian twist and set in south Mississippi. It is written by our good friend Joseph Harris.  He is an author, minister, college professor, and magician.   If you are from the south or just a southerner at heart you will want to get a hold of his book. Susan Wolf at GCACEF (Gulf Coast Association of Christian Entertainers and Filmmakers) is producing the movie. It has been a pleasure getting to know her. 

We filmed all day on Saturday.

Jonathan, Matthew, and Aaron….Can you guess what these three have in common?

True Cowboys…Andrew and Joseph

Filming “fairy godbubba”  in the squash patch

Aaron helping out

Andrew is “hanging out” waiting on his moment to shine.

Lunch Break!

Prince Charming Farmer King’s son with all his gals!

The Cowboy Scene

“Annabelle Gilliams” on stage

“Flora Mae” and “Maize Belle”

“Cowlick” and his purty rooster

“Cinderbubba”

After a long day of filming we headed to CiCi’s for some tasty pizza and good fellowship.

A Bat in My Skimmer

My husband had an exhausting weekend.  Due to a wake, funeral and church function, he spent 26 hours at the church house between Friday and Saturday.  Around 8 p.m. Saturday evening, as we were walking back over to the house, my husband said, “All I want to do is go to bed.”  But trying to be a thoughtful wife I said, “Why don’t you take a swim with me.  You’ll feel refreshed.  Then you can go to bed.”  There really is nothing like an evening swim where we live.   With the Desoto National Forest behind us, it is quiet peaceful.  So, the children put on a movie and we went for a swim.  All was well for about 5 minutes; that is until my husband went to clean out the skimmer and found a dead bat.  I won’t go into the details, just let me say that it was not pleasant!   We are logical people and we know in our minds that the 18,000 gallons of water could not possible be contaminate by one dead bat.  But that did not change the fact that my husband was not happy.  In fact, he was rather disgusted.  He got rid of the bat and tried really hard to enjoy the water.  He just couldn’t.  We got out.  He went to bed.

You know, there is a biblical principle that applies here.  It is found in Ecclesiastes 10:1.  “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.”   How true it is that it just takes a little folly to wreck a person’s reputation.  A person can work their whole life on building a reputation of wisdom and honor and one act of foolishness ruins it.  This is how sin works.  It just takes a little.  It is true with the individual person but also with the family.  I try to teach my children that when one person in the family sins the whole family is affected.  It is especially important that my boys learn this truth.  They will one day be the head of their homes.  The responsibility of being a leader is extremely weighty.   The decisions they will make as husbands and fathers will affect their whole family.  But not only is it true for the individual and families, it is also true for the church.  This is because the church is a family of families.  Galatians 5:9 says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”  I realize that we live in a society that says, “Don’t judge me.  What I do is none of your business.  How I live is my personal decision.”  But, according to Scriptures, when it comes to the church we are our brother’s keeper.  Why?  Because a little leaven  leaveneth the whole lump.          

So, I will try to remember that it just takes a little sin and that little sin doesn’t just affect me, but also those around me.  I’ll also try to remember that a dead fly can spoil all the perfume, that folly can wreck a reputation, and that a little leaven leavens the whole lump.  Oh, and that one dead flying rodent ruins the whole swim.

A Lesson in Loyalty

I was blessed this weekend with a visit from some like-minded friends. Our family enjoyed three days of sweet fellowship with this dear couple, five precious children, and one adorable Daschund puppy. Some might think that a home filled with 4 adults visiting, working, and cooking; 8 children laughing, swimming, and playing; and 3 dogs barking, running, and whining might be loud and disorderly. But that was not the case. Our home was peaceful. The children were polite and well behaved. And the dogs were…….well; the children were polite and well behaved.

Speaking of the dogs, I was amazed as I watched “Bobbie” the Daschund with his 8 year old owner. Never before have I seen such loyalty in a dog. Wherever this little girl went her dog followed. If she went in a room and closed the door, he would be at the door whining. If she went outside to play, he would pace the floor and whine at the door. When she was in the house, he was in her lap or at her feet. It was as though she was ALWAYS on his mind. The other children or adults could pet him or hold him but his eyes were always fixed upon his little owner.

As I observed all of this, I could not help but think about my Master and my loyalty to Him. Are my eyes always fixed upon Him? Am I anxious when He seems afar off? Am I always looking to sit at His feet? Am I as loyal as this little dog is to his master? These are good questions to ponder. And, as I consider these, I will meditate upon Psalm 123:2 “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”