Friday, December 21, 2007

The Best Gift of All

Have you ever been excited to give someone a present? Ever anticipated seeing their face when they open it? There have been several presents over the years I've been excited to give (maybe even more excited than the person I've given them to!). I remember when we were first married, money was tight. I had left Channel 16 and they were suing me. I was using every bit of money I had to pay the attorney. During that year, I was working 4 part-time jobs but I was able to tuck away $20 here and there to prepare for Christmas. Someone had given me a tip that my husband wanted a new set of golf clubs but would never ask for them. After doing some shopping and sneaking around, I bought a set of new Callaway Golf Clubs for $700 and hid them. I couldn't wait until Christmas because I wanted to see his face when he opened the box. I was more excited about seeing his reaction and the smile on his face. Sure enough, his reaction didn't disappoint me. In my opinion, that was a great gift!

Over the last few weeks, I've been reminded about how God must've felt in sending Jesus to earth as a baby. I wondered, "Was God excited? Was He peeking around the corner waiting and watching for our reaction? Did God wonder if we would like His gift?"

What makes giving a gift special? When I gave the golf clubs to my husband, my gift was special because times were tough financially and it was a sacrifice on my part. Did God the Father feel that way? Think about it...He had one Son to give...that's it. God knew His Son would bring you much joy and comfort. God knew His Son would save you from your sins so you could have eternal life. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life." You don't give special, sacrificial gifts to someone you don't love. What a waste of your time and effort! But you'll give whatever you can afford to someone you love dearly.

See God's gift for what is it--sacrificial, one-of-a-kind, full of love and adoration. And just imagine God peeking around the corner of your life to see how you react to His gift!

Merry Christmas!

(I'll return on January 2, 2008.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What About the Baby Jesus?

There is a commercial running on WLBT which shows a home all decked out for Christmas. The sister is rushing around getting ready for a Christmas party; the father is busy working on his palm pilot; and the mother is yelling at them about getting the presents wrapped and her casserole out of the oven. The camera then shows the little brother sitting on the floor asking, "What about the baby Jesus?" When that commercial came on the other day, Gracie was sitting beside me. I noticed her face and her eyes filled up with tears. "They forgot about baby Jesus, mom. You can't forget about baby Jesus and his manger friends at Christmas!" This commercial obviously caused her concern.

How true it is. This is a busy time of year and if we aren't vigilant, we will forget about the baby Jesus. The sad fact is, most people want to keep Jesus as a baby in the manger. They don't let him grow up. They don't see him for the Savior he is. They don't see him as God in the flesh. They don't see him as coming to die on the cross for their sins. They don't let baby Jesus ever get out of the manger in their life.

For me, the baby Jesus signifies hope. Romans 15:4 says, "Everything that was written in the past was written to teach me, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures I might have hope."

If we don't slow down and take it all in, we will totally miss the "Christ" in Christmas. We will totally miss the whole purpose for God sending His Son.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

God's Favorite Things To Say

Who doesn't love a surprise? Gracie has this game she plays---she goes to get something from my bathroom drawer or my jewelry box, she puts it in tissue paper, then brings it to me. "I have something for you, mommy....Surprise!" Of course, the object of the game is for me to act surprised and not point out that the item is something that was already mine.

I think of God as having two favorite sayings:
"Surprise!" and
"My grace is sufficient for you!"

Think back on some of the people in the Bible to whom God said "surprise" to: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Job, Ester, Mary, David, Paul...the list goes on and on. Sure, it probably wasn't the surprise they wanted as they probably saw it as adversity or trials God was allowing to come their way. But God always walked through every trial with them and comforted them. You can almost hear Him say, "My grace is sufficient for YOU!"

So has God said "surprise!" to you lately and completely caught you off guard with a new challenge? You may not think of it as a present right now or a pleasant experience (then again, it may be), but remember...His grace is sufficient to get you through it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stealing From The Children

I don't always blog about the news, but a story yesterday struck a nerve with me. For those of you who live in this area, you are probably aware of the miraculous work the Magnolia Speech School does. Magnolia is a K-8 school which specializes in teaching children who have severe language disorders and those who are deaf. It has a budget of 2 million dollars per year and is run strictly off tuition (which many parents cannot pay) and donations. I know this because I am on the board of directors for the Magnolia Speech School. Over the weekend, their air conditioning and heating units were stripped and destroyed by thieves who stole the copper on the units. No one noticed it until they couldn't get the heat on before the children showed up for school yesterday morning. The damage to the units, fence and other parts of the building are estimated to cost $100,000. There is hope that insurance will cover a portion, if not all, of the repairs. However, if you've had any dealings with insurance companies lately, you don't always get what you pay premiums for.

Magnolia is special to me because my grandmother is deaf and has been since she was 11 years old. She had a horrific case of the flu and the fever she incurred burned the nerves in her ears. She has never heard a word since. The deaf and those with language disorders are a group of people who get left out of our society. It is a quiet existence for them.

Parents from all over the country bring their children to Magnolia Speech School. It is a one-of-a-kind school, which does not teach sign language. The goal is to mainstream these students into public and private schools at a certain age and to become productive citizens who function at the same rate as any other person born on this earth. As a board member, I've seen it happen over and over again and I stand amazed at what those teachers can do.

Stealing is an abomination to God; stealing from a ministry who serves children is even worse in my opinion. Pray for the person(s) who did this; pray for school as it tries to move forward and that it would find favor with the insurance company; pray for people to step forward to help remedy the damage; and pray for the children who don't understand why they are so cold.

If you are interested in watching a video of the story WLBT ran Monday night, click here:

http://www.wlbt.com/global/story.asp?s=7507956

Monday, December 17, 2007

Fear Not

I love the childrens programs this time of the year. There are always plenty of children to act out the roles of shepherds, wise men, sheep, cattle, Mary & Joseph...and don't forget the angels. Gracie played an angel in our church program a few weeks ago and had more fun with the costume than should be allowed. She really thought once she put the wings on, she was immediately transformed to an angelic state of mind. When I asked her what did the angels say when Jesus was born, I thought she would say something like "Glory to God" or "Jesus is born"; something like that. But the thing that stuck out in her mind the angels said was "Fear not!".

Have you ever noticed when God had good news to give to someone, He sent His angels to proclaim "Fear not"? Obviously, seeing an angel was enough to bring anyone to their knees, but God wanted to let it be known He had good news to share in the middle of adversity. When Mary was told she would bear God's Son, the angel told her "Fear not" (Luke 1:30); when the shepherds saw the star announcing Jesus' birth, the angel told them "Fear not" (Luke 2:10); when Isaiah learned of the job he had before him in being a helper to Israel, he was told "Do not fear" (Isaiah 41:10). In all of these examples, as well as many others, I noticed God always had a plan to deliver the person He was talking to. He didn't make them shake in their boots for nothing! God wanted them to know that He understood their concern and their anxiety, but He would see them through it all.

Hebrews 13:5-6 says it best, "God Himself has said He will not in way fail me nor give me up not leave me without support. He will not in any degree leave me helpless nor forsake me let me down. So I take comfort and am encouraged and confidently and boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper. I will not be seized with alarm.'"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Will!

Today is a special day in the Bassett home--it is Will's 2nd birthday. It seems like yesterday when my water broke just minutes before the 5pm newscast. Will was breech so we had a scheduled c-section date planned, however Will didn't know that. All I could think was "I can't have this baby right here! He's not turned right!" Not to mention, I didn't want Bert Case to be the one to delivery him! (For all of you out-of-staters, Bert is our 5pm news anchor--a legend newsman in these parts). I drove myself to the emergency room while fighting the contractions and the plans that were put in place to do a c-section a few days later were sped up to do the procedure right then. Over the last 2 years, things haven't always gone as planned, but we've had more fun with this little boy. I've laughed more times than I begin to count; and cried over a few broken items. Boys are definitely different than little girls. So today, I'm taking off to be with my children and to enjoy this time which appears to be flying by now more than ever.

I'll leave you with the scripture the Lord put on my heart when I found out we were expecting Will. Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Dance

The other night, 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' was on. One of my favorite characters in the whole cartoon series is Snoopy. What makes Snoopy so unique is that he shows his joy. Have you ever seen his Snoopy dance? His feet go 90 miles an hour, his paws are up in the air, he tilts his head back and his ears flop all around him. Snoopy knows how to rejoice.

Several years ago, my husband bought me a car for Christmas. It was the car I had always wanted and the one I still have today. He gave me a box to open and at the bottom of the box was a set of keys. He escorted me outside, lifted up the garage door and there it was! He claims I did a 'Snoopy dance' right there on the driveway and says the neighbors watched it all (I don't remember such an event).

Psalm 30:11 says, "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness." Rejoicing is a demonstration of our faith in God. The Lord is turning things around for our good. If you don't rejoice through your circumstances, Satan will think he's winning.

The next time something happens you're not expecting or when you find yourself down and out about a situation, do a 'Snoopy dance'--rejoice in the Lord! Act like you are winning in Christ!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Inconvenient Truth

I traveled to Utica last Sunday to sing at Utica Baptist Church. My good friends and pastor of the church, Ben and Laura Leigh James, always ask me to come sing for their church about this time of the year. I took the children with me and had loaded them back in the car, said our good-byes, and headed back home. Sunday was going to be a busy one with our Christmas program Gracie was to be in that night and other things we needed to do, so my mind was focused on the day ahead. Just as I was about to leave the town, one of Utica's finest pulled me over. "Why is the police car behind you, mommy? He has his lights on!" Gracie said.

The officer approached my car, looked at my license and said, "Ma'am, I clocked you doing 40 in a 35 mile per hour zone." I admitted I wasn't from that town and didn't see the sign; my mind was somewhere else. He looked at my license and said, "You're a long way from home. What brings you to Utica?" I explained I had just sang at the church and was heading home with my children. "I'm sorry I missed that," he said. So I took the liberty to say, "Well, I'm sure the church would love to have you come visit next time you're off work." The officer smiled and said, "I'll do that. Be careful and slow down." (Whew! No ticket....this time!)

I pleaded ignorant because I truly was. It was my fault I was speeding, if even it was just a few miles over the speed limit. Romans 2:8 says, "God will pour out his wrath and anger on those who live for themselves." There may be some verses in the Bible that we don't fully comprehend, but this one is straight forward. If we are not serving others, doing only what is convenient for us, God makes it very clear how He feels---a verse we won't be able to plead ignorant to because we didn't understand what the scripture was saying.

A speeding ticket would surely have been an inconvenience and ding on my driving record. Will you serve someone else today, even if it isn't convenient for you? Or will you plead ignorant to God's Word?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Viewer Phone Calls

(In my best soap opera announcer's voice) And now..it's time for another episode of "Viewer Phone Calls"......

Caller # 1:

Hi Barbie. I've been watching you for the last few weeks and I had a question. Are you having:
A. Twins
B. Triplets
C. Quadruplets, or
D. One big 20 pound baby?
Please tells us on TV and I'll be watching.

Caller # 2:

Hey Barbie. My sister and I have a bet going on and we need you to settle it. We were wondering how far along you are? I said you are due in April, but my sister said you are due any day now. I told her when you have as many kids as you have, you just get fat alot quicker. I keep trying to tell her that you're going to get much fatter before it's over, but hopefully you won't stay fat after the baby is born. So if you can, please call me back and settle this!

(Can I roll my eyes here?)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seeing Things at Eye Level

I traveled to Osyka Saturday to be in their Christmas parade. While I was gone, my husband and children put up the Christmas tree we bought earlier in the day. When I got home that night, Gracie insisted she and Will help put on the ornaments. Of course I was hesitant because I have beautiful glass and glittered Christmas balls as ornaments and I didn't want any to break. But I conceded and let them "help" put on the ornaments. When we finished the tree, we noticed all of the ornaments they put on were 2 feet up the tree or lower, hanging all along the bottom of the tree. I guess when you're not very tall, you put everything at eye-level! They helped alright...they just put ornaments where they could reach them.

It is hard for us to see the big picture in life sometimes. We see only what is in front of us at the time. Psalm 94:9 says, "Does He who formed the eye not see? Does He who formed the eye not see?" The writer of this chapter is reminding himself that although he may not see and hear the future, God does and the writer is trying to muster up some faith through his circumstances.

Although we may not see the big picture now and not understand where God is leading and going with our situation, God does. He sees it all, He hears it all; He is in control.

When the kids became distracted and started playing with the nativity scene, my husband and I quickly grabbed the "low" ornaments and gave them a new home on the Christmas tree. Isn't that what God does? He takes the things we see and spreads His plan out to make a full picture of the type of person He is making us to be.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Jehoshaphat's Story

For the last couple of months, I've been reading 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles. Talk about mind blowing! These books in the Bible are all about genealogy, the various kings that ruled and their reputations, and the numerous battles that took place. Even muddling through the different accounts of it all and wondering "where is this going?", I found a chapter I could identify with. It is the story of Jehoshaphat and his rule as king of Judah.

Someone breaks the news to Jehoshaphat that the Moabites and Ammonites are heading his way to go to war with him. He is alarmed and declares a fast for all of Judah. Everyone came together and prayed to ask God for help. They all gathered in the temple courtyard and Jehoshaphat prayed in front of all of them so they could all hear his plea with God. His prayer starts in 2 Chronicles 20:6. In verse 12, he prays, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." If you read the rest of the chapter, you'll see where the battle ensues and the Moabites and Ammonites were defeated. But the interesting part is, they were not defeated by Jehoshaphat's army--another group of people from Mount Seir (who had initially joined in the battle to invade Judah along with the Moabites and Ammonites) rose up against them and defeated them. In fact, the Bible says in verse 23, "they helped to destroy one another."

Sometimes we find ourselves in Jehoshaphat's shoes--we have a battle before us and we don't know what to do. But if we keep our eyes fixed on God, God provides another way for the battle to be won--and sometimes, it is won through a most unlikely means.

In the middle of this whole chapter, a man named Jahaziel stood up after Jehoshaphat's public prayer and says (verse 17), "You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you." Notice Jahaziel encouraged them to be ready, and they would get the opportunity to watch God fight for them.

Whatever battle rages in your life right now, grab your supplies, take up your position and stand firm. Then watch God do the fighting for you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Love Him Alot

Time to pull the nativity scene out once again. Our nativity set is nothing spectacular. It is wooden and cheap--just right for little hands to hold and drop on the floor countless times. I use the nativity scene every year to teach the children about Jesus. We role play and take turns at telling the story. Pulling the scene out today, I was reminded of Gracie's rendition of it last year. I wrote this on one of my blog entries from last December, but thought I'd share it again.

At our house, we have a wooden nativity set my daughter Gracie plays with. Its cheap enough that it would not be too expensive to replace should one piece get broken or should baby Will chew the angel's halo off. Gracie is a loving 3 1/2 year old, but she has a tendency to squeeze baby Will too hard when she hugs him. We've had several conversations with her lately on the importance of being gentle---it's ok to love baby Will, but don't squeeze him too hard--he's not Charmin! While I was playing with Gracie, she said she wanted to tell me the "Baby Jesus" story. I obliged. She grabbed the angel and baby Jesus and said "Hello everybody! My name is angel and I'm here to tell you that baby Jesus has been born today." She handed baby Jesus over to Mary and Joseph and instructed them both, "Here is your baby Jesus. Love him alot, but don't squeeze him too hard!" I bit my lip and tried my best not to laugh. Then I realized Gracie had gotten the whole Christmas story perfect---"love him alot". That's what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

God Chose You

God chose you. You didn't choose Him. In fact, He chose you before He made the world. Nothing you did before you believed in Christ changed His mind. He adopted you as His very own child and redeemed you through the the blood of Jesus so that we could become His own. Realizing all of this, do you really think God would ever turn his back on you?

Hebrews 13:5-6 says, "He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?'"

When Satan parades our guilt in front of us, reminds us of our shortcomings and failures, and tells us no one cares about us or wants us, remind him that God so loved you that He gave His only begotten Son to die in your place. When we feel all alone, let's remember the nail prints in Jesus' hands; they are for eternity and so are we. Isaiah 49:15-16 says, "I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Words--A Powerful Witness

Sometimes, you just need alittle good news. I got this email last week.
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Barbie, I know your brother Doug. I deliver his propane gas to the farm. He told me today what happened to him. When I left him today, I was going down Highway 6, and I started praying and cried. I asked Jesus to come into my life. I needed that talk. God has left him for a good reason. PRAISE GOD. Signed, Gene
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For those of you who are readers of this blog, you are aware of what Gene is referring to--my brother's heart attack and his heavenly experience (read the August 10 blog entry). Because my brother was willing to witness to Gene, Gene will now have eternal life and a life worth living.

Matthew 12:36-37 says, "On the day of judgement, I will have to give an account for every idle word I speak. For by my words I will be justified and acquitted, and by my words I will be condemned and sentenced." Proverbs 18:21 says, "The power of life and death are in the tongue and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it (for death or life)."

How many times a day do you and I let pass when we should be witnessing to others? Sure, most of us haven't had a near death experience, but we have something to boast about--how our life has changed since Christ came into our lives.

Being in the "Bible Belt" in Mississippi, we assume everyone around us knows the hope by which we are called, but that isn't necessarily the case. If that were true, Gene would've had someone share Christ with him before last week. What an awesome responsibility we have in giving life to others just by the words we share and knowing that when we get to heaven, we will be justified and acquitted because we were willing to testify to the changes in our life since Jesus came into our heart!

Monday, December 3, 2007

If You Quit, Satan Wins

What a wonderful time I had with the ladies (and few men!) in Kosciusko last Saturday at the First Baptist Church's ladies brunch. The crowd was so encouraging and uplifting. I hope I was able to leave them with some of the same.

One of the many things I shared with the group is how important it is to persevere at things you feel God has led you to do. It is so easy to give up, especially when times get difficult. Some of you know how torn I was at coming back to work after having Will. Not only was I dealing with the adjustment of another baby, but I was sleep deprived and having some post-pardum issues and couldn't stop crying. When I came back to work after 3 months, the viewer emails and phone calls were hateful--everyone wanted to know when was I going to lose my baby weight? I called my mother and told her I thought I was having a nervous breakdown and couldn't take it anymore. The only option I could see was giving up my meteorology career and staying at home, thinking that would fix my problem. My mother reminded me how I felt called to do what I was doing and ended the conversation by saying, "If you quit, if you give up, Satan wins."

I Corinthians 15:58 says, "I am standing firm, letting nothing move me. I give myself fully to the work of the Lord, because I know that my labor in the Lord is not in vain." In the hard times when your world has fallen to pieces, we must learn how to pick up the one piece that matters most. However, there's no other place to know the strength of your faith, but in the hard times.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Cover Up the Country!

I received a phone call from a viewer this week:

"Hi Barbie. I realize you're pregnant and everything. But you are covering up most of the map of the United States. We can't see the weather. Several states are completely gone."

I'm looking forward to being in Kosciusko tomorrow speaking to the ladies at First Baptist Church. (For all of you out-of-staters, Kosciusko is famous for being the hometown of Oprah.)Here is what they have posted on their website and what they sent out to the community:
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BRUNCH WITH BARBIE!
Barbie Bassett and the FBC Kosciusko Women's Ministry want you to join us for brunch!
Barbie predicts a 100% chance of Son light with a definite shower of blessings.

Date: Saturday, December 1
Time: 9:00 AM
Place: FBC Kosciusko Son Building

Tickets are $10 and include brunch and nursery with reservations. The forecast is bright! So, bring your Bible and Son glasses!

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In the meantime, I'm going to work alittle harder at moving around when I'm doing the weather so I won't cover up so much of the country. But I have a feeling I'll be accused of covering up large bodies of water and continents before this is all over!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blessed So Much, You Can't Handle It!

When we were out shopping Monday, I noticed the bell ringers out soliciting donations for the Salvation Army. Gracie asked why people were standing around the "red bucket" ringing a bell. I explained to her that every year around Christmas, people ring bells hoping others will give money to those who don't have things like clothes and food. I gave Gracie and Will some money and helped each one up so they could drop it in the red kettle. "But why do people only give money to others at Christmas time?" she asked. Although I didn't tell her that, that's exactly what she surmised from our conversation. How true it seems that this is the only time of the year we decide to give to others.

Luke 6:38 says, "I give, and gifts are given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For with the measure I deal out, it will be measured back to me." When I think about this scripture, I am reminded of what happened to my brother this summer. Earlier in the year, he wanted to plant soybeans, as he always does. For some reason, it was not working out that way. He missed the deadline to plant soybeans and was frustrated. That left him with the only option of planting milo instead. Then in July, he had a massive heart attack. Fortunately, milo is self-sufficient as he would be unable to work in the fields for quite some time while he was recovering. When it came time to harvest in August, he and his workers combined around the clock for several weeks. They couldn't get all of the milo harvested! Not only that, but all of his grain bins were filled up and he was having to borrow other farmers' grain bins in order to store the milo for the processors. Each day, 18-wheelers were burning up the gravel roads taking the grain back and forth. That's what I call "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over"! When we are consistent with our giving to the church and giving to others, God blesses us so much that we can't hold all of the blessings!

Last night on WLBT, I noticed the Salvation Army had only received $48,000 of the $230,000 goal in the red kettles for Mississippi. Although Christmas is several weeks away and there is still plenty of time to give between now and then, will the givers show? Or will we continue to walk by while others give and receive the blessings intended for us?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Words That Are Living

I've caught Gracie doing something I've never seen her do before--standing in the window sill with a book open, talking up a storm. I asked her what she is doing. "I'm preaching, mommy," she said with conviction.

I've always thought of the Bible as God-inspired, which it is. Here lately, I've realized the Bible is God's own words! When I think of the Bible as being words directly from God to me, I am moved by just how powerful this book is. Although I may not understand everything in the Bible, I do understand the words spoken are God's words and He was speaking to/is speaking to each one of us to help us become more like His son, Jesus.

Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is living and active." Many times we think of the Bible as being outdated in some areas and ancient in other ways. Although it may be several thousand years old, God himself says His word is living. As you read it today, take a moment to truly comprehend--God is speaking directly to you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When We Cloud The Picture

Technology gives me the blues. We began noticing lines in our tv picture on Thanksgiving, but didn't think anything about it. Friday we couldn't even watch tv without seeing double, not to mention, the internet was down. Comcast couldn't send a technician until yesterday. This meant I couldn't check in to work and get emails, but less communicate with the internet world nor watch what little tv we normally watch. How frustrating! I felt so behind.

As Christians, we can sometimes confuse non-believers and believers alike with our actions and words. There is nothing more disheartening than to see a Christian give missed messages. It clouds the picture for others.

As Christians, we are also set free from the law of the Old Testament. 1 Corinthians 8:9 says, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ." Paul is telling the Corinthian church how important it is for them to watch what they do. It was a sin to eat food in the temple of idols and to eat the food that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul was telling the Corinthians that so many others were watching what they were doing and would be influenced to do the same. The Corinthians were confusing the non-believers and were causing them to sin as well.

God knows we aren't perfect, although we should strive to be like His son Jesus. Let us pray today that what we say or do may not cause someone with a "weaker conscience" to sin against God; pray that what you say or do will turn someone on to Christ and not off to Christ.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Break

Barbie is away for the rest of the week with her family. Feel free to browse older posts on her"Forecasts & Faith" blog. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Count Your Blessings, Name Them One By One

The Lord has really impressed upon me the importance of giving thanks continually, not just on Thanksgiving. When I think back on all of the blessings I've received so far in my life and not just in 2007, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I have a job (which I'll be working on Thanksgiving!), a healthy family, a car that cranks every time I turn the key, a house to keep me warm and try to keep clean with little hands and fingerprints on doorknobs and walls, a husband that is complimentary of me even when I'm sporting a big belly...the list goes on and on. When I sit down and put things on paper, the blessings just keep flowing. It reminds me of a hymn we used to sing in church:

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, and you will keep singing as the days go by.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be disheartened, God is over all; count your many blessings, angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done!Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, see what God has done!

Take some time this week to count your blessings and see what God has done for you!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving is For-Giving

This week ushers in one of my favorite holidays--Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite because I get the opportunity to be with most of my family, which only happens a few times a year. But isn't it funny how being with some members of your family can open up old wounds? There are just some people in the family who make it difficult for you to get along with them, much less love them.

There isn't a family I know of that doesn't have "one of those" people in their family. They've said something or done something and we can't seem to get past it. We say we have forgiven them, but do our actions and our words show that we have?

Our pastor so aptly has been preaching on forgiveness. How appropriate that he ended his series yesterday, the week most of us will be around those family members. The story of Joseph in the Bible is a wonderful story of forgiveness and family reconciliation. There are other scriptures I've found on forgiveness I've been studying. Matthew 6:14 says, "If I forgive people their trespasses, my heavenly Father will also forgive me." Mark 11:25-26 says, "And whenever I stand praying, if I have anything against anyone, I forgive him and let it drop, in order that my Father, Who is in heaven may also forgive me my own failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if I do not forgive, neither will my Father in heaven forgive my failings and shortcomings." And Ephesians 4:32 says, "I am useful and helpful and kind to others, tenderhearted, forgiving others, as God in Christ forgave me." Seems pretty cut and dry, doesn't it?"

There are families who have remained in turmoil because of deeds done to them generations ago. Forgiving the words and actions of a person who has hurt us is a big step. It isn't easy and to be honest, it isn't fun. But God didn't ask our opinion and certainly didn't ask us if we WANTED to forgive the offense. God COMMANDS us to forgive.

Getting together this week with that person(s) who has deeply hurt you won't be easy. But forgiving them will set us free. More importantly, it may even change your family tree and mine, too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

How To Handle Criticism

So often I have gotten upset over my own inadequacies, my own failures, my own stupidities, and I have thought, "If only I had...or If only I hadn't..."

As you've seen on this blog, not all of my mail consists of love letters! Not everyone who talks to me is always nice to me. Not every member of my family loves me or accepts me the way I am. And although I may try, I'm not all that I should be. I have to deal with rejection, some of which comes because of my personality and inadequacies and some because of my beliefs. How do I handle it?

By accepting what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:10, "by the grace of God, I am what I am" and by believing that I am in the process of being conformed to His image. By trying to learn from my mistakes and seeking to turn from that which is not Christlike in character and behavior.

Especially when faced with criticism, I have to remember that I am God's bond-servant--not man's--and He is the one to whom I am accountable. Galations 1:10 says, "For am I now seeking the favor of men or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ."

You and I must remember to let this truth daily guide our words in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From A Distance

I enjoy astronomy. If there is a meteor shower expected, I usually try to stay awake and look for it. It just fascinates me how God thought all of the planets, stars, and constellations through when He created everything. Not one single thing was left undone. When I saw this picture of the Earth-rise over the Moon this week, I had to gasp. This picture was taken by a Japanese spacecraft of the Moon's surface, near the Moon's north pole. The areas shown on the Earth are of the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean. How tiny we look! We all fit on this big Earth. Even more mind-boggling--God knows each one of our names and what each of us is going through.
Psalm 145:3 says, "Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom." How true! Even looking at this photo brings to mind the awesomeness of God and His unshakable love for us. It wouldn't make sense to create something so intricate and NOT love it.
Even though each one of us is one in several billion walking the Earth and going about our own business, isn't is neat to know God knows your name?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Faith = Miracles

I've read the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 countless times, but I saw something today I had never seen in that scripture. The people had gathered along the hillside because they heard Jesus was nearby. They followed him everywhere he went. Jesus couldn't seem to get away to a solitary place and rest. When he saw the crowd, the Bible says he had compassion on them and went to see them. By this point, the disciples are worried because it is getting late and the people won't leave. The disciples ask Jesus to make an "announcement" of sorts and tell them to go home to eat. Then in Matthew 14:16, "Jesus replied, 'They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.'" Jesus knew the disciples were lacking faith, but he wanted to give them a chance at exercising it anyway. But the disciples whine anyway and say in Matthew 14:17, "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish." Another words, they were telling Jesus that same old line little Arnold used to say on the hit 80s television show, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" Jesus knew what they were thinking and in verse 18, Jesus tells the disciples, "Bring them here to me."

Some people say miracles don't happen anymore. I disagree. I've witnessed too many of them. Granted, there have been some miracles I've prayed for that God didn't see fit to perform. But in reading the above scripture, God wants us to exhibit our faith FIRST. When He sees our faith, He is more likely to answer our prayers.

Whatever God has brought your way today, show your faith FIRST, then just wait for the miracle.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hush!

I was driving to a recent speaking engagement and my mind was racing. As my mind was racing, my body was tired and I was mentally shot. With the various speaking engagements, responsibilities at work and home, motherhood, and an aching pregnant body, I felt overwhelmed. I needed a break....a BIG break. At that very moment, Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Be Still" came on the radio. For the first time, I listened to every lyric:

Be still and know that He is God. Be still and know that He is holy. Be still, oh restless soul of mine, bow before the Prince of Peace. Let the noise and clamor cease. Be still and know that He is God. Be still and know that He is faithful. Consider all that He has done, stand in awe and be amazed. And know that He will never change. Be still. Be still and know that He is God. Be speechless. Be still and know He is our Father. Come rest your head upon his breast. Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love, beating for his little ones, calling each of us to come.....Be still.

Sometimes in order to hear someone speak to us, we have to HUSH. So be still.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Whys of This World

Thanks to all of you of sent emails and posts of sympathy over the last week in the loss of my husband's mother. We have appreciated your kind words of support and encouragement during this difficult time.

We explained things as best we could to Gracie just as we did when my husband's grandmother, KK, passed earlier in the year. Surprisingly, Gracie took it well considering two great losses in just a few short months. I explained how God had healed her "grandmudder" (as she so lovingly referred to her) and she was enjoying her new body in heaven with God, Jesus and all of the angels. Gracie has been learning about Elijah in Sunday School and even suggested "grandmudder" was in heaven playing with Elijah (hope Elijah knows how to play tea party, as that was their favorite thing to play!). Then Gracie asked, "Why couldn't God take grandmudder to heaven, heal her, then bring her back down here to us?" What a great question.

How many times have I suggested to God how He should handle a situation for me or solve a problem? If God would only do this, it would make it alot easier. If God would only answer this way, the situation would be solved. Some things can't be explained and some answers won't come to us here on earth. But faith answers all of our questions because we are forced to rely on God's sovereignty. Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God and those who come to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Through the ups and downs of the day, we must have faith to keep on keepin' on, and know God's ways are always higher and greater.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Away on Funeral Leave

Barbie is away this week for the visitation and funeral of her mother-in-law. Barbie will return on Monday.

Feel free to read her earlier blog entries.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Death & Life

Yesterday morning, my mother-in-law passed away. She had emphysema for several years which made breathing difficult. She was 66 years old. Over the next few days, I will be away as we prepare for her "Send Off Party" (if you don't know what that is, check out my blog entry from February 2, 2007 entitled "The Send Off Party"). I know my husband would appreciate your prayers at this difficult time.

In the meantime, I was scheduled to have a diagnostic fetal sonogram today. The purpose is for the doctor to see if the baby has any abnormalities and to hopefully find out what gender this one is. My husband and I discussed whether we wanted to keep this on our agenda for today considering the circumstances or try to reschedule. After much thought, he insisted we go today for the sonogram as I'm sure his mother would've wanted us to. Assuming the baby isn't "hiding", I will announce tonight at 6pm if this baby is a he or a she.

During this sad time for our family and anticipation of a new birth, I am reminded of Psalm 30:11-12, "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Looking Back

This weekend, I got the chance to reminisce. Saturday night I emceed the beauty & beau pageant at Benton Academy in Benton. Traveling on lonely highway 16 reminded me of some of the back roads I grew up on. Sunday night I spoke at First Baptist Church in Yazoo City and drove through Flora. I smelled something that was so familiar to me and I had to roll down the window--the smell of cotton defoliate. Driving through these small towns brought back memories of a slice of Americana many people will never experience. When I was a teenager, all I wanted to do was to LEAVE home and move to the big city. After all, there was "nothing to do" in Marks, Mississippi. My daddy once told me, "You're going to miss this one day," and I would always roll my eyes at his wisdom.

My parents were always diligent in teaching us about God's Word. When I was told not to do something, I usually got a mini-sermon from my mother explaining what the Bible said about that particular subject. It reminds me of Deuteronomy 6:7, "Impress my commandments on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Not all memories of growing up are fond. But isn't it funny how some of the things you didn't enjoy as a child are some of your fondest memories now? And isn't it amusing how many of the rules and regulations you were given by your parents you have passed them down to your own children? My, how things have a way of coming back to us all...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trapping God Inside

We were out running errands Monday morning and Gracie noticed the moon was still out. "Why is the moon still shining, Mommy? It's daytime, not nighttime." I explained the moon is always out, but the sunshine is so bright that we don't always see the moon. "The moon is kind of like God--He is always with us but we don't always see Him. But we know He is there," I told her. She paused for a few seconds trying to make sense of what I said. "Yep, and our skin keeps God trapped inside of us so He can't get out and leave us!" Gracie proclaimed.

Genesis 28:15 says, "God is with me and will keep watch over me with care, take notice of me wherever I may go." Although Gracie may not have fully understood the concept of God always being with us, she knew God couldn't get out if He was trapped inside. As you go throughout the events of today, have you let God live inside of you? Throughout the troubles and frustrations of the day, is it evident He is alive in you? If not, perhaps you need to "trap" Him inside!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Record Breaking Day


Yesterday's blood drive at Mississippi Blood Services in Jackson was another record breaker--350 people came out to donate blood! This is the most people MBS has ever had donate in one day and I was so honored to be a part of it all. I was moved by the number of people who gave their time to come sit in line and wait to donate. This success could not have been possible without the contribution of Clarion Ledger editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey. His t-shirt design was a hit and many came out just to get his t-shirt. Thank you, Marshall, for being such a sincere contributor to our community and for being a friend I can always count on! Here is a picture of Marshall and I just before our LIVE television interview on WLBT (Marshall gave blood for the first time in 6 years since being diagnosed with melanoma).



When I got back to the television station to prepare my forecasts, a viewer had sent me a letter. Here is what she wrote:

"Please watch the maternity clothes you wear. Your bosoms are very large and need to be covered up."

I've seen girdles for covering up tummies, hips, thighs, buttocks, etc. But does anyone know where I could find a "bosom girdle" so I can cover mine up? Geez......

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Prayers Answered

Thanks to all of you who prayed for my mother and sent me emails of encouragement. Last Friday, my mother had a heart catheter done. She had not experienced any of the typical heart attack symptoms, but her cholesterol was high. Her doctor suggested the heart cath to see if she had any blockage in her heart and to be sure she would not face the same possible heart attack like my brother did in July. We had prayed for the doctor to see whatever he needed to see last Friday and he did. The cardiologist found my mother had one vein that was 75% blocked. It seems the blocked vein was the same one as my brother had AND in the same location! The cardiologist said in his 30 years of medicine, he had never seen a mother and son have the same heart blockage. Early yesterday morning, the doctor put a stint in the vein and my mother came out of it with flying colors. She will be released from the hospital today and now she faces some of the same rehab my brother has already mastered, including losing 40 pounds.

Many of you have emailed asking for an update on my brother Doug. He is doing fabulous. He has lost 40 pounds, exercises everyday and is even farming about 8 hours a day (something the doctor told us he would never do again). Not only has God answered prayers concerning his recovery, but he is a daily witness to people in our community on the power of prayer and more importantly, someone seeking God's will in his life when given a second chance--which many of us don't get a second chance to do.

God woke me up at 4:30am Friday morning urging me to pray for my mother and God did the same thing yesterday morning (talk about missing my beauty sleep!). For some reason, God would not let me go back to sleep. I was reminded of Luke 18:1, "I always pray, I don't faint, quit or give up." Has God told you not to give up on asking for something and seeking His will? There is a reason and He promises He will make our "joy complete" when He answers (John 16:24).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Monday Prayer

Barbie is taking the day off to spend with her family. Please keep Barbie's mother, Brenda Wiggs, in your prayers. She will have a stint put in her heart early Tuesday morning at the hospital in Oxford.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Viewer Emails

I received two emails yesterday concerning my pregnancy; both had something similar to say.
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We're watching you "grow" every week and my husband doesn't think you can make it until April. Signed, Sue

&

Are you sure you are going to make to April? Signed, CM
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In my hormonal, sensitive pregnancy state of mind, I read those both to say something like, "Gollllyyyyyy! You are HUGE! You look more like you're 9 months pregnant instead of 4 months!" Ok, so I'm exaggerating a bit here. But isn't it funny how someone can say something and we take it differently than it probably was intended?

I have to remind myself the words in Proverbs 16:23, "I think before I speak because the mind of the wise instructs his mouth." Controlling the mouth (and what comes out of it) isn't easy. The Bible says there is "life and death in the power of the tongue". This means we can easily break someone's spirit simply by what we say.

So today, I'm going to try and not "read" into what people say to me. More importantly, I'm going to think about what I say before I release it in my mouth!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Splinter in the Flesh

Monday morning Will woke up complaining about his feet. It isn't always easy to understand what a 22 month old is trying to say, but I could tell something was wrong. He was walking on his tippy-toes. He kept saying, "foot hurt". After checking out his foot, I saw he had 3 splinters in the bottom of both feet. Seems he had played outside Sunday afternoon without his shoes on. Trying to be a good mother, I pulled out a needle, tweezers and peroxide to do some minor surgery. Will wouldn't have any of it. He was kicking my belly and wouldn't be still. I loaded the kids in the car and took him to my husband's workplace and handed Will over. After holding him down for what seemed like 30 minutes, my husband fished out the splinters and saved our boy from walking on his tip-toes all day!

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about his "thorn in the flesh". Some speculate it may have been a spiritual problem or perhaps a physical ailment. Either way, those can get us down. We can become depressed and frustrated because we can't fix the problem ourself. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The Lord goes before me; He will march with me. He will not fail me or let me go or forsake me; I will fear not, neither become broken in spirit--depressed, dismayed and unnerved with alarm." Whatever it is that we can't fix, the Bible says God is with us through it all. God even told Paul, "my grace is sufficient for you."

Sometimes the smallest things in our life can cause the most pain. Whether it is a splinter or a thorn, God has not abandoned us and will 'march' with us---even if that means we have to walk on our tippy-toes for a while.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clogged Drains

I traveled to Gallman Baptist Church Monday night to speak to their WMU group. While I was gone, my husband turned into Mr. Roto-Rooter. When I walked in the door, he met me with a smile. "You know, I must love you alot," he said. Wondering what he was talking about, I walked into the master bathroom and saw what he had done. It seems my vanity sink was draining alittle sluggish and he decided to investigate. He pulled out several 10 inch clumps of dark hair--all mine. Yep, it was pretty nasty to see that my own hair had been clogging up the drain. But after his cleaning job, the sink drained in a matter of seconds.

Our spiritual life has a tendency to get clogged up, too. With all of the activities we have going on, combined with daily life and responsibilities, we neglect our quiet time with God. I fall into this category at times. And unfortunately, we suffer for it. Our spiritual drain needs a cleaning. Revelation 3:15-16 says, "God knows my works and what I am doing. He would rather I were either cold or hot--not lukewarm. For the lukewarm, He will spew out of His mouth!" When we neglect our time alone with God, we are being lukewarm. We are giving attention and care to all other areas of our life, but putting God on hold. God wants us to be either 100% with Him or 100% against Him. There is no straddling the fence.

Does your spiritual drain need to be unclogged so God can flow through you? It will only happen if we are in the Word on a daily basis.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Gentle Reminder

Going to the grocery store over the weekend was a bad move. My husband had a meeting to go to at 4pm that day and said he would keep Gracie while I took Will to the store with me. I didn't have many things to buy, but I needed to make it a quick trip so I could get back and he could leave. I don't know what it was about that day, but Will was not enjoying the ride in the buggy. Every time I put something in the buggy, he picked it up and threw it out of the buggy. After disciplining him in one of the aisles, he got my point. We proceeded to continue and ran up on two older women chatting in the middle of the aisle. They were oblivious to me behind them and probably didn't know I was in a hurry. I waited a minute or two for them to realize I was waiting behind them, and one of them moved to the side to continue their conversation. While at the check-out counter, Will was restless and I was busy trying to unload the groceries onto the conveyor belt. Not paying any attention to the bag boy, I paid and realized he had put all of my groceries in another buggy and collapsed it so there was no where for me to put Will. Now I had 2 buggies to push outside and down the hill to the parking lot. I was not too thrilled but kept my composure. Then, a friend sent me this email:

Dear God, help me remember that the jerk who cut me off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Help me to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Remind me, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that I can only imagine in our worst nightmares. Help me to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking my shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together. Heavenly Father, remind me each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity. Let me be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Superhero In Training

Last Friday, I shared the preview of my lycra-laden Super Girl costume for the Halloween blood drive at Mississippi Blood Services. My friend Marshall Ramsey finished the special edition t-shirt he drew for the occasion. In the commercial, you'll see his talent in blank and white (the t-shirt will have his design in color). Thanks, Marshall! Here is the commercial which will start running this week:

Ok, so I admit it. I coveted Linda Carter's svelte figure on the hit 80s show "Wonder Woman" and always wanted to be her when I was a child. After squeezing into this costume, I have changed my mind.

Look, Up In the Sky!


I did something I had never done yesterday. I went from mild-mannered chief meteorologist to Super Girl! To be honest, I had to record a commercial for our Halloween blood drive at Mississippi Blood Services. The theme of the commercial is to encourage viewers to become a superhero and donate blood to help save lives. So, we took the "superhero" part quite seriously. I drove to MBS in costume all the while hoping I didn't get stopped along the way. Before I left the house, Gracie asked, "Does this mean you can fly now with your super cape on, Mommy?" No, I didn't fly as in 'in the air', but I sure was flying 'on the road'. I got some funny looks from drivers in the lanes next to me. But I was just trying to hurry and get to my destination to get the commercial cut so I could get out of the lycra I sucked myself into, trying and squeeze down some of my pregnant belly into the costume. Always remember girls, lycra is your friend!

My friend Marshall Ramsey is creating a t-shirt design for the big day, and I'm thrilled he's going to make this such a success again. More details on that and all of the big give-a-ways we'll have later. The commercial will start next week and I'll give you a sneak peek once it gets out of production on Monday. Here's a hint on the costume, big 80s hair and all.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Guilt-Free Living

When I put on my anti-wrinkle cream at night, I'm trying to turn back the hands of time and "undo" what nature has already done. Unlike my magical, always-stay-young-cream, Jesus doesn't turn back the clock on our life when we're saved by grace through faith. He doesn't change what we've done, but He DOES take away the guilt. When our guilt is gone, we have peace. If we don't have peace, one of two things may be holding us back--unbelief or Satan.

If it is unbelief, we remain miserable and ineffective until we begin to believe God's words in Isaiah 43:25, "I am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins." How plain can God put it? Until we decide in faith to believe God, we're stuck in sin. Romans 14:23 says, "Whatever is not from faith is sin."

The other reason we feel guilt is because Satan heaps it on us. If he can keep us feeling guilty, he'll flatten us with it. Satan means "accuser". He'll get us any way he can. But don't make him your focus. Don't live in fear of Satan's attacks. Simply be aware of how he operates and his schemes to get you.

If we can learn to live in the light of God's truth, we can handle each of Satan's attacks and have victory over each one.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pantene Kick-Off

We have officially kicked off the 2008 campaign for Pantene's Beautiful Lengths. Last year, my co-worker Stephanie Bell-Flynt and I did this event together. We wanted to do something alittle bit different this year.

I am always having to explain to Gracie why I have to leave early for a volunteer meeting, or why I have to be away for several hours helping someone or some organization. At four, she doesn't grasp the concept of volunteering just yet and what it means. So I asked her if she would like to grow her hair with me and give it to someone who doesn't have any hair. Gracie's face lit up and she said, "Yes!" In doing this, I'm hoping to teach her the value in servanthood at an early age and the blessing she'll get from doing do. Meantime, Stephanie's daughter Stevie, is blind. Stephanie and her husband have done a phenomenal job in teaching Stevie how to turn her disability into an ability. Stephanie has been working with Stevie to show her that although she is blind, there are still many things she can do to help other people. Both of us got together and wanted to teach our daughters how to "pay it forward".

We recorded this commercial last week which you'll start seeing on WLBT.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Needed: A Few Good Servants

Our pastor told us Sunday how many people it takes to keep the church running each week. There are 1,088 volunteer positions in our church on a weekly basis. However, 30% of those positions are not filled. Therefore, many people in our church end up doing 3, 4, or 5 different volunteer positions just to keep things running smoothly.

I once heard a story about a man who picked up garbage everyday and wore a 3 piece suit and bow tie while he worked. Someone asked him why he dressed the way he did "just to pick up people's nasty garbage every day?" He replied, "To me, this is the most important job I do. Because it is such an important job, I take pride in it." How true that is. This man knew he was doing a job we all rely on and most of us wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. He made it his life's mission to do it whole-heartedly and with a servant attitude.

Some Sundays, it is all I can do to get myself together, get the kids together, fix breakfast and get to church on time to teach my 2 year-olds class. Why is that? I can make it to work during the week on time and not stressed out; I can serve on 6 different boards of directors; I can make time to volunteer with several organizations and can even chair a few big events. How come teaching one class on Sunday mornings can seem like my plate is full and I can't bear to do another position serving in the church?

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Is God asking you to do alittle more serving for the kingdom? When we do serve, we are serving Christ. He is looking for a few good hosts.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stumbling Blocks

Last week, a woman and her daughter came up to me and introduced themselves. The mother mentioned how much she appreciated "someone in the media who is a Christian witness to the lost and saved." She went on to say how her family was recently in a Jackson store and noticed a meteorologist from another television station stocking up on alcoholic beverages. This mother said how disappointed she was to see this person with a buggy full of drinks and was embarrassed because her daughter saw it, too.

It is true, as Christians we all live in a fishbowl to some extent. As a Christian, we have an awesome responsibility to turn people "on" to Christ; not turn them "off". Romans 14:13 says, "Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way." What does this mean? A stumbling block is anything or anyone that causes someone to sin. If your conscience tells you a certain action is sinful, then it is sin for you to do it. That is the Holy Spirit convicting you or your actions.

Each year, my parents go to their old high school reunions. As with many parties or gathering, there is alcohol being served. My parents refuse to carry a cup around with them while they visit, although it contains sweet tea or lemonade, because they don't want someone to say, "I saw so-in-so drinking at the class reunion!" Now, you may call that extreme, but my parents do not believe it is right for them to drink alcohol. They believe it would be a stumbling block for others to see them partaking in drinking alcohol. (Trust me when I tell you, they have a wonderful time without it. And, they can remember everything that was said and done the morning after.) However, they don't have a problem with others making that choice.

It is the same for the clothes we wear, the things we say, and the people we associate with. Can someone who is a weak Christian or a non-Christian be "turned off" to Christ because of my actions or your actions? It is a big responsibility, but one God expects us to take seriously.

Friday, October 12, 2007

God-Given Assignments

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak in Brookhaven to the Kings Daughters Hospital's Breast Cancer Awareness gathering. We laughed together and heard some inspiring stories of women who have battled cancer and survived it (thanks, ladies!). Afterwards, a lady came up to me to thank me for coming. With tears in her eyes, she said she appreciated my speech and for sharing my faith with the group. Seeing her with tears made my eyes well up! I know she came to thank me, but her words of affirmation and encouragement made my night. Then I read Tammie's post on yesterday's blog entry:

Barbie, I just wanted to let you know that you are such an inspiration. Since I have been reading your blog, I have been working on strengthening my relationship with the Lord and I owe that to you. It is wonderful to see a person that is in the public eye that isn't afraid to express their love for God and showcase their faith. You are truly a blessing. Thank you!

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." That means God has an assignment for you and you were placed on this earth to complete that assignment. Some days pass by and I wonder, "Have I influenced anyone today for the kingdom? Have I given anyone hope? Have others seen Jesus in me?" Then I get a comment from someone in the audience or a post like Tammie's and that question is answered for me.

Your assignment may be to be an encourager in your home; a Christian in the workplace; a willing volunteer; or the door greeter at church. Whatever it is, God wants you to take it seriously because it is the job He made you specifically for!

What assignment has God given you today? Then, go out and do it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Barbie is taking the day off to attend the Canton Flea Market and to speak in Brookhaven tonight. She will return Friday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Hiding The Truth

How do you know someone loves you? They tell you. How do you know someone truly cares for you? They do things that show you.

Did you know God knows who really trusts in Him? Nahum 1:7 says, "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." Now, I've read this scripture many times in the past, but I have never seen the second part---God knows who trusts Him and who doesn't.

When you are around someone who doesn't like you or who doesn't agree with you, its pretty obvious, isn't it? Their attitude, body language, even facial expressions can give them away. So isn't it the same way with God? The Bible says He knows our heart and Nahum says God knows those who trust in Him. There is no hiding the truth.

Do you really trust God today? If we do our part, He promises to do His part.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Being Afraid

Over the last few weeks, I have seen more people with disabilities. Some were crippled and walked with a limp; some have Down Syndrome. Over the weekend, we ate lunch next to a family who had an adult Down Syndrome child with them. Couple that with hearing more news about birth defects for women in their mid 30s having children. I admit, I'm scared. Not that I wouldn't or couldn't love a child with any of the above, but it makes me think "Why have I been allowed to have two perfectly healthy children? Could I handle a child like this if God sees fit?" Satan is playing on my fear and I'm having a hard time with it.

Is Satan using fear to grip you about something? Perhaps it is the fear of getting bad news from the doctor, fear of losing your stable job, fear that you're marriage is breaking up, just name your fear. Since this has bothered me so much (and to be honest, I don't know why), I've had to start studying what the Bible says about fear. Psalm 112:7-8 says, "I am not afraid of receiving bad news; my faith is strong and I trust in the Lord. I am not worried or afraid." Luke 12:32 says, "I will not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, for it is my Father's good pleasure to give me the kingdom." I have been repeating these verses over and over, out loud, for the last few weeks. I even went so far as to write them down, put them on my wall in my office next to a picture of my sonogram. Satan is hearing me say these verses and he doesn't like it.

So whatever fear you may have in your life now, do as the Psalmist says: "trust in the Lord." I believe God will honor our faith in our times of anxiety.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Columbus Day

Barbie is spending time with her family on this Columbus Day and will return Tuesday. Enjoy the day!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Viewer Calls & Emails

I've had several calls this week at WLBT from viewers wanting to comment about my pregnancy. One lady was shocked at hearing I was expecting. "You're having another baby? You just HAD a baby! I can't believe you want one so soon. How many kids do you have now?" she asked. I told her we had two children and explained that Will was almost two years old. "Already two years old? My, time flies, doesn't it?" she concluded.

Another caller wanted to know, "Does Barbie Bassett walk around her house barefooted all of the time? She's pregnant every time you turn the tv on!"

And this viewer suggested I should change religious denominations.
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I am taking the liberty of contacting a few contractor buddies to see if any of them have any plans for a giant shoe home, cuz at this rate I'm afraid you may just end up as the poem "there once was a woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many kids she didn't know what to do!" Ya know, you would have made a great Catholic...they're big on this procreation thing. Signed, JC
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My mother is one of 8 children; my dad is one of 5. But my grandfather was one of 22! Now that calls for a bigger house. I don't think 3 children warrants a giant shoe home....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Something Stinks!

My car stinks. The outside of it, I mean. While driving home last night, I got a strong whiff of a skunk. When I pulled into the garage, I smelled skunk. I even walked into the house and asked my husband, "Do you smell a skunk?" Granted, my nose is as sensitive as a bloodhound right now due to the pregnancy. Turns out, I accidentally drove over something that was already dead in the road last night but didn't know what it was. Now I do. And now I can't get that smell out of my nose.

Ever been around people who have an attitude that stinks? Seems every time you get around them, they have something negative to say and I seem to leave the conversation thinking, "Why are they always so sour?" Others you can visit with for just a few minutes and walk away thinking, "I love being around her/him! They are always so uplifting."

Having a good attitude is a large part of being a Christian. Philippians 2:5 says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." What does this mean? Having an attitude like Jesus means loving and accepting one another, even when we're different. God delights in our diversity as He made us all unique. But Christ sets a pattern and the Bible furnishes a standard, for what brings honor to God and promotes love among God's people. We should all be "like-minded" in our obedience to Christ and in our care for others.

Sometimes when it stinks every where you go, you are likely the one stinking! Trying to have an attitude like Christ is a big challenge, but at least we won't stink to others.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Don't Want to Wander? Learn the Lesson!

In reading Deuteronomy and the story of the children of Israel and how God was trying to mold and shape them into the people He wanted them to be, I was struck by God's reason for testing them. As you remember in the Bible, the children of Israel wandered for 40 years. God provided for them the whole way and most of the time, they ended up complaining about their circumstances. Deuteronomy 8:2 says, "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands."

Ever wonder why we are tested? This verse clearly outlines the reason--God tests us to know our heart.

Nine years ago when I left WAPT, I was at a low point in my life. I called my mother to complain and cry about it all and she gave me some great advice---"Learn why God has brought this test your way and learn the lesson quickly. Don't be like the children of Israel and wander in this desert for 40 years when you could easily come out of it much sooner. Learn the lesson and move on!" How right she was.

Now when I see a test headed my way, I ask God to teach me what I'm supposed to learn and help me get it right the first time. He provides for us through the trials and He is proud of us when we shorten our time in the desert.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Packing Our Patience

This week, I am flying in the WLBT helicopter doing traffic reports for morning commuters. I flew in the helicopter for 7 years and saw many sights of traffic tie-ups and what-not during that time. But this morning, I saw a unique commuter--someone driving a front-end loader/back-hoe down the interstate. The driver was in the far right lane and had that machine wide open, but it was still going 35 or 40 miles per hour--a bit slow considering the speed limit is 70. During the morning rush hour, the timing could not have been any worse. Although we were hovering at 800 feet above it all, I could practically see the steam coming out of drivers' ears and hear the swear words they were invoking on the machine driver!

How many times have we grown impatient over something in our life? I will admit, I like things done on what my husband calls "Barbie time". You know what that means--things done when I want them done and how I want them done. And if they don't get done, I'll do them myself! But God doesn't always work on "Barbie time". Psalm 37:34 says, "I won't be impatient for the Lord to act. I will keep traveling steadily along his pathway and in due season He will honor me with every blessing." This means God honors patience; He honors the faith we put in Him that He will see us through whatever it is we are facing.

Being a Christian, many times we have to pack our patience with us when we head out on life's highway. Have you packed yours today?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Giving Hope to the Hopeless

I was horrified while watching the news Saturday night when I heard about a daughter who walked into her mother's hospital room and shot and killed her mother, then turned the gun on herself. For those of you who live in the area, you heard this story, too. As it turns out, the mother was terminally ill and her daughter was taking care of her. The daughter left a suicide note behind stating how stressed she had been taking care of her mom and how she could not continue to see her mother suffer. At 5:30am Saturday morning, the daughter ended both of their lives.

All I could think about was how sad it must be to feel as if you have no hope left. In my own life, I've had a few hopeless moments when I didn't feel like there was a way out of my circumstances. It seems as if during those moments, I've always encountered someone who gave me a bit of hope, mostly through their words of encouragement, support or by simply saying, "I'll pray for you." Those people helped me see there was a light at the end of the tunnel and someone else around who help me "bear my burden."

Romans 12:12 says, "I rejoice and exult in hope; I'm steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; constant in prayer." Being patient in our suffering makes no sense to me, does it to you? But when we do, we get God's attention. He sees we are serious about our relationship and our commitment to Him. If there is one thing He gives us through our trials, it is hope.

I wondered if there was anyone in this daughter's life to give her hope? Was there anyone around who spoke words of encouragement to her? Did she have a Christian neighbor who offered to cook meals and make things easier for her and her mother during this time? Was there anyone around to pray for her? We never know who we will encounter from one day to the next who needs a glimmer of hope in their life. Be that person today.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Bandaids

Sorry, guys. This story is one that only women can relate to!

Gracie is at that age where she asks alot of questions. She and Will both love to play in my bathroom vanity drawers. They pull out old makeup, bottles, lotions, and anything else they can find and have fun. She recently pulled out some panty liners and asked me what they were. I told Gracie they were like big bandaids (no need to explain what they are REALLY for!). So when Gracie would find a cut or open scratch on her body, she would immediately fetch one of my large "bandaids". I had to break the news to her--we don't use those kind of "bandaids" when we hurt ourself--we use the smaller, real bandaids. She understood and didn't seem to mind.

While I was cleaning up the house, I noticed Gracie and Will had disappeared. I figured they had found something to play with and were keeping each other company. Then Gracie yells, "Mommy, baby Will has your bandaids on!" I walked into my bathroom only to find Will had pulled back most of the adhesive sheets of the panty liners and stuck them all over himself. He was smiling from ear to ear.

Then I remembered Ecclesiastes 3:4, "There is a time to weep and a time to laugh." I just didn't know which one to do first....

Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Bad Things Happen..

Do you ever wonder where God is when bad things happen to you or to someone you love? Rest assured God is not the Creator who brought you into this world and then abandoned you. Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." God does not stand on the sidelines and refuse to get involved in your life because it's none of His business. It is just the opposite. Everything that concerns you IS His business! Nor does he beat up on his children. He disciplines us, but it is always for our good.

So when we wonder where God is when bad things happen, don't forget, God is in control. There is a purpose in what He's doing, whether we see it or not. We have His promise on that. What happens to use may not be good, but because He is God, He'll cause it to work together for our good as Romans 8:28 says.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Special Purchases

I had to take my car for the 30,000 mile maintenance yesterday. I don't mind giving up my car all day, but I always shudder when I have to pay for it. Its never fun writing a check for several hundred dollars. But, I love my car.

I always knew I wanted wanted my car. After we got married, I immediately started saving my money every month so I could pay for my car with cash, or at least a large chunk of it. It took me 5 years to save the money. It drives smooth, it is quiet, and the heated leather seats are a joy in the winter. Maybe I love my car so much because it is paid for. To keep it running in tip top shape, I don't mind spending hundreds of dollars every few months to keep it safely running for me and the kids.

I John 4:19 says, "My love for Him comes as a result of His loving me first." When you put your blood, sweat and tears into something you want to buy, it is much more special. You treat it differently than you would if someone just gave it to you. When you have a vested interest in something, it has a special place in your heart. Ever thought that is why we are so special to Jesus? He bought us with a price--the price of his life when he died on the cross.

So look at yourself today as a valuable prize bought with the ultimate price. See yourself as extra special because God chose to buy YOU!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Looks Can Be Deceiving

This past Sunday, I was asked to speak and sing for the congregation at Wynndale Baptist Church in Terry. The pastor specifically asked that I prepare my speech based on 1 Peter 3:1-7. The pastor wanted me to concentrate on the importance of inner beauty which is outlined in that scripture.

Afterwards, an older gentleman came up to me to thank me for coming and speaking to his church. "After meeting you, hearing you speech and hearing your heart, I'm not gonna believe all those things I've heard about you," he said. Surprised, I asked him what had he heard about me? He proceeded to say, "I've heard you control everything down there at WLBT--you control the news, the weather, the sports, the commercials, you even hire and fire folks!" I had to laugh and assured him I was there to only be the chief meteorologist and we have many other people in place to direct the other aspects of the television station (after all, if I was going to be the boss, shouldn't I get the boss's salary?!).

Yesterday, I received this email from someone in the church:

I am not good at words, but I just want to say THANKS for coming to Wynndale Baptist Church yesterday. I really enjoyed what you had to say and it really made me think about my life. Plus I have to confess I have been guilty about saying things about how you look sometimes on the TV. I am sorry and I hope that what you said yesterday I will try really hard to apply it to my life. THANKS AGAIN!!!! Signed D.T.

Isn't it funny how we can have preconceived ideas about people? When you see someone dressed sloppily or someone who doesn't have the best hygiene, we immediately think "homeless". When the prophet Samuel was sent to find a king, God chastised him for not looking at the whole person. 2 Samuel 16:7 says, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." The chapter ends with Samuel anointing the boy David to be the next king.

Judging people on their outer appearance or believing what we're told about someone before we know the truth is human nature. Next time you're tempted to do so, remember "The Lord looks at the heart."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ministry Through Hurt

The weekend was busy! Saturday I had the honor of being the guest speaker at Zion Hill Baptist Church's ladies tea in Wesson. The sold out crowd wore hats of all different shapes and sizes, sang songs of worship and we all ate in the fellowship hall after I spoke. I had a fabulous time (thanks, ladies!).

While sitting at the table eating lunch, Janet (one of the organizers and frequent blog reader) asked me a question: do I think the negative, critical emails I receive are so hurtful because I grew up as an unattractive, overweight child? My answer was simple--yes! Most of the negative emails I receive are based on superficial things--my hair, makeup, clothes, etc. As a child, I was always made fun of because of the way I looked. However, I believe God allowed me to go through those years of mockery so I could possibly deal with it alittle easier as an adult in the vocation He has called me to do.

Even more important, I don't think God ever wastes a hurt. I've learned over the years that our greatest ministry will sometimes come from our greatest hurt, if we let God lead us. Look at the story of Paul in the Bible. The man was beaten, abandoned on an island and imprisoned and even given a "thorn in the flesh" to contend with for the rest of his life. He pressed on to minister to thousands in other countries and helped them through their trials in life.

What has God allowed you to experience in you past, or present, that you could use to minister to others? Psalm 30:7 says it best, "By Your favor, O Lord, You have established me as a strong mountain." Be the one who encourages others in their time of need. Don't allow Satan to waste your hurt!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Snapshot in Time

A viewer sent me an email this week:
"Better have the doctor check you out again. When you turn to the side, looks like you've got twins in that belly!" Signed Peg

Interestingly enough, I had a sonogram done this week. He/she was doing gymnastics, but slowed
down enough for the tech to snap a picture. Double check with me---nope, only one in there (boy, was my husband relieved!).
To be honest, this is the point at which I become anxious. At 11 weeks, I lost a baby in 2004. I find worry creep in until the next appointment and sonogram to be sure the baby is still alive. If you've been there before, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Yes, even though there is only 1 in there, I just look a bit bigger. And remember, the cameras add 10-15 pounds. Let's hope I only cover up Texas and Louisiana and not the whole eastern seaboard...
"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you." Ephesians 1:16-18

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Eternity

Every comment that is posted on this blog, I read. "Judy" posted a comment yesterday on my August 10 entry entitled "Address in Heaven" which entails my brother's after death experience and I don't think she would mind me posting it here.

Barbie, I know I have a home in Heaven with all my loved ones already there because of Jesus telling us he was going to prepare a place for us. Still, your brother's words are so comforting to me. You see, I have stage 4 cancer in both lungs and don't know how much longer I have. I am in a win/win situation, either I'll be with my loved ones here or my loved ones there. I don't want to go and leave my son though as he started college in August and he needs me, even though he thinks he doesn't. I'd also love to see and play with my grandchildren some day. It is all in God's hands and His will be done. Thank your brother for sharing this beautiful experience as it has brought me great comfort and joy.

Revelation 7:11 says, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." My brother's experience answered many questions for me: when we die, we are immediately in the presence of God (there is no "waiting room"), there is complete peace and tranquility, we are reunited with loved ones and we immediately know who is in heaven waiting on us, and we won't be sad to be away from our loved ones here on earth. Granted, there is still more to heaven than this as the Bible says we will worship and praise God and heaven will offer rewards for those who have overcome in this life.

I have dreams just like Judy. I want to see my children grow up, I want to see them have children of their own and live fulfilled lives, I want to continue in my career and calling, I want to build my dream house, I want to enjoy retirement...and the list goes on and on. But knowing there is so much more to eternal life is much more comforting to me now than it ever was. I know everything and everyone I leave behind will be in God's hands. And I look forward to seeing them in heaven and sharing my heavenly address with them.