Friday, August 31, 2007

Welcome Rain!

It was so nice seeing the rain come down yesterday! The newsroom scanners were buzzing with all sorts of traffic accidents. I don't know what it is about rain, but drivers go nuts when the roads get wet! WLBT is never at a loss for "news" on those days. Then again, maybe its because we haven't had any rain in a while and people forget how to drive in it.

With today being the last day of August, we will go down in the record books with 1.31" of rain for the month (one of the driest in our history). We should have 3.55" of rain by now, which puts us 2.24" below average for this month. We are still shy 15.37" of rain for the year, which is staggering. My children were bummed yesterday because it began raining and they couldn't go outside after lunch. By 4pm, the ground had soaked all of the rain in and they were back outside without any evidence of it having rained.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and lets hope for wetter September!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Slithering Fear

It was great reading your posted comments and emails regarding yesterday's blog. A big "THANK YOU" to those of you who shared your opinion and thoughts.

I got to see my husband do something I had never seen before. When I arrived home after the 10pm newscast the other night, I pulled my car in the garage and realized I needed to put the garbage can out on the sidewalk for the next day. I pulled it out to the road and began walking back toward the garage. My husband walked out of the door with another trash bag in his hand and stepped on a rat snake (which neither of us knew was there). He danced a gig, let me tell ya' (all while being graceful, I might add). The snake slithered into the garage closet after being stepped on. He didn't bite my husband and I'm sure was more afraid of what would happen next. I immediately ordered my husband to "kill it!". (Now I'm from the country. We didn't just carry hoes in our hands to chop cotton in the field; we carried hoes to chop at the snakes we came across along the way. I'm sure they have a function in this world, but I've never met a snake I liked. The only good snake is a dead snake, in my opinion--no matter the size or the breed!) My husband grabbed a garden tool and went into the closet. After some banging and clanging, he emerged victorious with the snake wrapped around the tool. He said, "It's just a rat snake." I quickly answered, "Well, we don't have any rats around here so we don't need him!"

Fear is a weapon Satan will use to grip us and control us. Whether its the fear of starting a new job, being rejected by someone or worry over our health, fear can invade us. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline." 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!" The Bible makes is very clear that fear is not from God. So whether its a snake in your garage or a new challenge, God's hand is always on us.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Your Time To Share

Many of you email me and you are always welcome to do so. I received an email yesterday from a blog reader who thought I was a little hard on Mary Jo (see yesterday's blog entry). I think this is a good opportunity for you to share your opinion with others.
Hi Barbie, I just read your blog for today & I think you misunderstood Mary Jo. I believe what she wanted was current tangible evidence that the Pantene hair giveaway was currently benefiting ladies with cancer. Why not have some stories of Mississippi women who are now getting free wigs from Pantene? And if not from this latest hair donation from an earlier one? I think its only a fair question she was raising. I remember similar questions about past "Toys for Tots" WLBT sponsored events where people didn't see local kids getting many if any toys that were collected. Just give us some evidence of that hair being used. I'm also troubled by your inferring that Mary Jo's question/concern was"Satan at work trying to steal my joy", Barbie, legitimate questions or even disagreements AREN'T "Satan at work". People shooting people, wars, theft, rape, greed, etc ARE the "work of Satan", a BIG difference from Mary Jo's question and concern. Please keep it real & honest and lighten up on over spiritualizing everything. Signed, Troy Blount
I gave my best attempt at trying to address Mary Jo's questions/concerns. I explained how the women we contacted did not want to be interviewed about receiving the wigs because they want some confidentiality, which is understandable. Every answer I gave was not good enough. Another email would be sent with more allegations and personal attacks (I did not share with you everything Mary Jo wrote). With every response, I tried to be humble and "keep the peace" but the emails just kept coming. I agree that legitimate questions and disagreements aren't the work of Satan. However, when they keep coming and you begin to think un-Christian thoughts about that person and the situation, is that not Satan at work?

I may hold a different view point here, but when I give money or donate items to an organization or person, I don't ask to see how that organization/person is using my money/items. For instance, when I give a few dollars to a homeless man on the intersection, I don't ask him to show me what he's going to do with my hard earned money. Sometimes I think, "he's just going to buy drugs or alcohol with it", which may be true in some cases. But when I feel the Holy Spirit telling me to give, my responsibility is to obey. It is not my responsibility to see that money is used in the proper way or that my donated items make it to the poor and forlorn. I assume if I'm willing to give, God will take care of the rest.

So what do you think? Do you think Satan uses other people to get to you? Or do you think Satan is only at work in the big controversies in this world? Am I over-spiritualizing things and not keeping it "real & honest"? Post your comment here. Remember, people from all over the world read this blog every day, so now is your time to comment and share.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Joy Stealers

Ever had someone push your buttons and try to see how far they could get with you? I had one of those yesterday. A viewer sent me this email regarding the hair donation program I headed up in May.
Remembering the campaign you did to get local women to grow and cut their hair to be donated for wigs for cancer patients . . . was there a follow up that interviewed some of the recipients of the free wigs from Pantene? I never saw anything and it would sure be great to see how many wigs were donated, how much money was raised and how all the profits have been used to benefit cancer victims. Signed, Mary Jo ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I responded with my email to her:
Sorry you missed all of this, but we did several stories on your questions. We had over 110 pounds of hair donated which were made into wigs. The amount of hair donated for wigs was a staggering $300,000 worth of hair! All of the wigs will not be completed until the end of the year as we had so much donated. We will be doing the Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program again for a May 2008 cut off date.

Apparently, my response wasn't good enough. Mary Jo began questioning if any women had indeed gotten wigs free of charge or if I had done the campaign for personal publicity. Once again, I explained to her how we are not privy to the women who get the wigs and why it takes so long to make one human hair wig as opposed to a synthetic wig and the price difference between the two. The ladies who receive wigs from Pantene do not pay the normal $1,500 per wig. She wrote:
If I'd publicly campaigned for this event you may be sure Pantene would be cranking out some wigs and getting them out to the needy forthwith if they didn't want to face some serious negative exposure, and I'm not even a professional news reporter (in the case of Ms. Stephanie Bell Flynt) or a meteorologist who speaks/blogs on such subjects as Christian ethics. That said, if you (or WLBT for that matter) truly wanted to make a "difference", you would focus, for example, on the millions of gallons of toxic and carcinogenic wastes dumped by Proctor & Gamble into the environment rather than providing free public relations for a company which is, in the opinion of many including myself, largely responsible for the cancer victims which they so facetiously pretend to be "helping". Signed, Mary Jo Brooks
Mary Jo's emails turned personal and every response I gave her wasn't good enough. I wrote her back yesterday afternoon and told her I appreciated her recognizing I am a Christian and I'm just trying to live as Christ would have me. I did not do the hair donation campaign for any other reason than I felt God leading me in that direction. I didn't question the whys, hows and whens--I was there to give. If indeed there is some type of wrong doing or illegal works done on the part of Pantene, or any other organization for that matter, I have no knowledge to that nor do I hold any responsibility in that area. Should that be the case (which I highly doubt there is as this would've been plastered all over the nightly news), I was willing to forgive the organization and move on. Mary Jo sent me this email this morning:
Let's hope your viewers are as forgiving as you are . . .Signed, Mary Jo
Satan loves to use people to get to us. And if you let it, they will steal your joy and make you second guess who you are in Christ. But the Bible says God will contend with those who contend with you. Psalm 35:1-3 says, "The Lord contends with those who contend with me; He fights against those who fight against me! I take hold of the shield and buckler, and stand up for my help! I draw out also the spear and javelin and close up the way of those who pursue and persecute me. The Lord is my deliverance!" Isn't that great news? Even while we are trying to hold it together, God is fighting for us and He has the final say in the end. Don't let them steal your joy today!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Looking Into Hearts

What does God see when He looks into our heart? Do we shine with the joy of true surrender to Him? 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." God is looking for hearts that are fully His and totally dependent on Him. How do we keep our heart like this? We keep our quiet time with Him and talk with Him about the issues of our life. When we get in a hurry, when we're so pressured by all of the commitments around us, so stressed out, and so preoccupied with everything else going on in our life, then we're in grave danger of succumbing to temptation and pride.

The Lord's eyes are searching the earth. When He sees you meditating on His Word, taking time to communicate with Him through prayer, He stops. He has found what He's looking for--a heart that is fully His.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is Resentment Still Alive?

As I picked up my lipstick from the vanity counter, I opened it up. The lipstick was broken off. I immediately summoned Gracie and asked her if she broke my lipstick off. She sheepishly admitted she did and said she didn't mean to when she was playing in my makeup. Although it was one of my favorite colors, I thought to myself, "It's just a tube of lipstick, for goodness sake!" Gracie asked me if I was mad at her. "No, I'm not mad. I wish you wouldn't play in my makeup, but I forgive you," I told her. Gracie patted me on he back and said, "I forgive you, too, Mommy."

Forgiving for small infractions like this isn't hard. The hardest acts to forgive often leave resentment behind. How many times have you said you had forgiven someone only to still resent them to this day? I admit, I've had to deal with that, too. I have a good memory! Although I may have forgiven someone for something they said or did, I don't really have much compassion on them next time I see them, less I get hurt again.

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." When you "let it drop" you leave it and let it go. If we have truly forgiven, the resentment should not be there. If there is still resentment, have we really forgiven that person? If so, maybe we need to try again.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Spiritual Contact Lenses

I've worn thick, Coke bottle glasses since I was in the fourth grade. Take my glasses or my contacts away and I wouldn't be able to see to get around. I remember as a child having perfect vision and getting to the point to where I couldn't make out anything on the chalkboard at school. Talk about frustration. When I got in junior high, I graduated to contact lenses and it seemed like I could see 100% better than with my glasses. The contacts gave me an entirely new perspective.

In a similar way, many of us are so focused on the future that we can't understand the things happening now to us. Things don't appear to be taking us in the direction we want to go and our immediate relationships seem strangely out of focus. We find ourselves straining to see our lives more clearly. This is why some people have problems with the sovereignty of God. They look at the future, thinking they see it clearly and have difficulty accepting and handling hurts, setbacks and adversities in daily life. How could this all be coming from God?

One reason we have problems with God's sovereignty in the face of adversity is that our vision is temporal and limited. God, however, sees everything under the heavens, from eternity past to eternity future. Job 28:24 says, "For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens."

What we need are spiritual contact lenses. We need a proper perspective on the present in light of the eternal. Only faith with do.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Condemning Hearts

Ever felt guilty for doing something? Gracie has a wonderful honesty about her most of the time, except the other day. She apparently disobeyed the babysitter and was sent to her room for a 'time out'. Later that night, my husband had a heart to heart with Gracie to find out what happened.

Gracie told her daddy she wasn't sent to her room and that she had been good. When my husband told her he knew otherwise, the jig was up. She knew she would be punished again for not telling the truth. My husband told her because she didn't tell the truth and because she acted up, her bicycle and 'sweet treats' would be taken away for her for a few days. The tears flowed like the Nile River! She was devastated. The two things she loves would be taken away. With tears in her eyes she said, "But that's all I think bike and my sweet treats." It was all I could do not to giggle. "It's just so hard to get that off my mind," she said.

Ever tried to get something off your mind? Its been said we are our own worst critic. When we've done something we know we shouldn't have done, said something we know wasn't right or even thought a bad thought, we must ask God for forgiveness first. It's the "forgetting" part we have a hard time with. In I John 3:18-20 it says, "I do not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how I know that I belong to the truth, and how I set my heart at rest in his presence whenever my heart condemns me. For God is greater than my heart, and he knows everything." Isn't it good to know that God knows our heart? God knows our intentions and He is 'greater' than our heart.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dean & A Viewer's Email

Hurricane Dean roared ashore at 3:30am at Majahual, Mexico with maximum sustained winds at 165 mph and wind gusts of 200 mph! That is monstrous! Dean is already being called the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in two decades. With the damage already done and the deaths so far, Dean's name will likely be retired, never to be used as a hurricane name again by the National Hurricane Center. There is another area of disturbed weather the NHC is closely watching in the Atlantic. This cluster of storms will be moving into a more favorable wind environment over the next day or two which could allow it to form into a tropical system.

I got this email yesterday from a viewer who said I was the topic of conversation at a local bar.
"I was at "Fire", the club down next to Hal and Mals, checking out a battle of the bands Sunday. The subject of weather came up and some one said that they were mad at you for all the hot weather we've had lately. Well this young guy spoke up quickly and told the guy it wasn't your fault and he had better not pick on his "Lil' Hottie Barbie"! He then went into how hard it must be to lose weight after having "all them kids". Then a discussion ensued, and you were pretty much voted hottest girl on local TV." ---Jesse
"All them kids", huh? All two of them. Thanks.....I think.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Only Serious Need to Apply

I saw a neat billboard over the weekend for the Marines: "No applications accepted: only commitments wanted." In the classifieds when someone is selling something, they will often put, "Only serious inquiries please." Isn't that what God wants from us? In Matthew 23:27, Jesus tells of His disdain for people who are wishy-washy or hypocrites: "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." What good are bones? They aren't. When you see the bones of something, its an indication of death; they don't do anything except sit there and continue to rot. Jesus is basically saying we are no good to Him if we are not committed. You are either a child of God or not. There is no kind of-sort of-maybe not-really to it.

Christianity is not ala-carte. Although it may be easier sometimes to pick and choose which parts of following God we want to participate it, we don't get the benefit of the blessings if we aren't fully committed. God wants to give us the full meal deal; not pieces and parts.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Week of Weather

What a weather week it has been! With Tropical Storm Erin making landfall in Texas, all eyes now on Hurricane Dean, and our triple digit temperatures, there will be no lack for "weather talk" in the news.

In Jackson, we have had 14 straight days of temperatures at 95 degrees or higher; 5 of those days have been at 100 degrees or higher. Thursday was our first non-100+ degree day and it felt "cooler"...if you call 99 degrees cool. It looks as if those triple digit days are over for now and we can get back to the 90s in the forecast. By the way, the normal high temperature for this time of the year is 92 degrees, which we are still far from.

On to Hurricane Dean, which is a category 2 hurricane. We look at 5 hurricane computer models. Right now, 2 models have Dean making landfall in Texas and/or Louisiana; 3 models have Dean hitting the Yucatan Peninsula, moving into the Bay of Campeche, then hitting Mexico again. Granted we don't want Dean in Mississippi, but we desperately need his rain. Although it is good that the majority of the models have Dean land falling in other places besides Mississippi, it is unfortunate we could miss out on a good chance to receive tropical moisture. This is all still several days away and many things could change between now and then, especially the strength of a high pressure area which is protecting us right now and keeping Dean south. So, stay tuned!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Reaping The Harvest

I was about ready to pull my hair out yesterday. Will isn't even two yet, but he's been giving hints of going through the "terrible twos". Not that he is a bad child by any means. But when he gets frustrated (a toy doesn't do what he wants, he can't make something work, etc), he loses it. He wails, sometimes raises his jabbering a decibel or two, and throws a fit. After spatting his rear end several times earlier in the day and giving him several other options, I had reached my limit. Last night, he started throwing another one during our play time. I got down in his face and looked him in the eye and asked, "No fit! Do you want momma to spank you again?" With tears streaming down his face, he shook his head 'no' and kissed me right on the lips. How could I discipline him? He had 'gotten' my point with my one question.

Dr.Phil McGraw is often quoted as saying, "You either get it or you don't". Some people just don't get it...whatever 'it' seems to be at the time. It can be frustrating trying to do the right thing and staying the course, but the Bible tells us not to give in. Galatians 6:9 says "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Paul is saying if we live primarily to please our flesh, we'll find ourselves spiritually impoverished now and bankrupt in heaven later. But if we live by the Spirit, we shall see fruit in our present circumstances and also have a rich reward waiting for us in heaven.

Any farmer will tell you the harvest comes when the season is over, and no sooner. One of the joys of farming is tending to the crop, making sure it has the best chance at growth, going through the stress of the weather, then seeing the crop come full circle and reaping the rewards financially. Persistence isn't always the easiest road ahead of us in whatever life may bring. But the harvest comes after the season is over and God allows us to see how our hard work paid off. Not only will we be blessed, but those around us will be, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do You Know The Words To....

We don't watch TV much at night. Between eating dinner, playing with the children and bath time, no one has a chance to watch TV. Last night was different. I was in the living room floor playing with the children and had the television on in the background. While playing, I was listening to NBC's latest show called "The Singing Bee" and boy, was I having fun. On the show, professional singers belt out the first part of a song and the contestants have to finish the rest of the song correctly. Let me just tell you, if I was on that show, I would win! I don't know if I have a quick memory or spent too much time listening to the radio growing up, but I could finish every song they were singing. Some contestants would find themselves making up the words and I would just shake my head. How could they not know that song?

As I got in the car and drove back to work, the Lord convicted me. I need to spend more time memorizing scripture. Sure, I was active in Bible drill when I was younger and can remember lots of scripture. But, I haven't memorized any new scripture lately. What is the purpose of this after all? The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says the word of God equips us to go through this life with God by our side: "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." When our times are tough, we rely on scripture to remind us of God's loving kindness and the peace that only He can give.

We have things we have committed to memory--our social security number, telephone number, computer passwords, directions, bank account, etc. We can spit them out and repeat them backwards if we need to. They are easily retrieved in our mind. How much more should we memorize scripture and what God's word says to encourage us through our day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Weather Update

In yesterday's heat, I thought about something..if Hell feels anything like 103 degrees, I don't want to go there! God has a sense of humor with all of this Mississippi heat we've been dealt over the last week. Records have been breaking all over the state and once again, we are expecting near record temperatures today. The lack of rainfall isn't helping either. So far for August, Jackson has recorded 0.15" of rain. That's a 1.50" deficit for this time of the month. Although July was a wet month in the state, we are still -14.40" of rain below average since January 1.

Not only am I concerned about the heat, but I'm closely monitoring tropical depression #4, which could easily become Tropical Storm Dean sometime today. Two of the computer models take this storm north of Puerto Rico and up the eastern Atlantic coast. But one of the computer models take it straight into the Gulf of Mexico. Two years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina changed everything we had ever known or experienced with gulf coast hurricanes. Although all of this is still a week away from becoming clearer, you can bet I'm already thinking about how to prepare like I did for Katrina (non-perishables, keeping the car full of gas, keeping some cash on hand, and trying to figure out extended care for the children).

Keep it tuned to WLBT as I give updates on all of this and let's pray for rain, a break in the heat, and a hurricane that won't head into the gulf!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Not Just Lip Service

Ever had one of those Sundays when you're just not into it? Yesterday was that way for me. I have been dealing with a horrible sinus infection coupled with a deep cough and I felt (and still feel) horrible. I worked this weekend for Eric Law, so I woke up tired. It was advancement day at our church and both children were put in new rooms with new teachers (imagine their apprehension). My heart just wasn't into worship because I had so many other things going on in my head!

God wants true and genuine worshipers. He isn't looking for people who worship Him out of fear, obligation, but out of a loving relationship. We can be tempted to think, 'I'm worshipping. I'm looking at the overhead screens. I'm singing. I'm even clapping my hands!' But those things are not worship either unless they come from the heart. God is not pleased because we show up at the same place every Sunday, put in a certain amount of time, and then go home and do not think about Him until the same time next week. Our hearts have to be connected with what we are doing and we have to be focused on Him, or we are not involved in true praise and worship. In real worship, we cannot give God lip service; we have to give Him our hearts and true worshipers are those who express with their mouths the worship that is in their hearts.

In Matthew 15:7-9, Jesus said, "Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: These people draw near me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from me. Uselessly do they worship me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men." The last thing I want is for my worship, or prayers, to be useless. So in order for keep them true and authentic, we have to keep our hearts in it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

An Address in Heaven

I've had a wonderful time being off work for the last few days. I spent a couple of days in my hometown of Marks helping with my mom's re-election campaign. Thankfully, she handily won another 4 year term by a long shot. It was nice visiting with people I knew growing up there and catching up on how everyone is doing. My brother and I got several opportunities to visit, too. He helped answer phones Tuesday night at the courthouse as residents and the media would call and ask for updated election results. He would get up every now and then and walk the courthouse, as if he were walking laps around a building.

For all of you who prayed for him, I thought I'd share more on his life-after-death experience. He spent about an hour telling us in detail what all he remembered and answering our questions. Doug said the last thing he remembered while in the ambulance helicopter was hearing the pilot say, "Six minutes out" (which indicated they were six minutes away from reaching the hospital in Oxford). At that point, everything went black. Doug said he was immediately in what he described as a peaceful place with whitish/grey matter surrounding him. He said this resembled clouds. He saw the brightest, most fluorescent light ahead. Doug said it was ten times brighter than the sun and illuminated everything with the most beautiful, pure color of light. Although Doug said he was walking straight toward the light, he could not feel anything touching his feet, nor did he look down at this legs--he just had the sensation of walking. (I asked if he felt like he was floating and he said no. He was walking). Doug said the temperature was perfect and that sticks out in his mind. He said he knew exactly who the light was and was being drawn towards it. Doug said the first person he kept telling himself he wanted to see was my grandfather. (My grandfather was such an instrumental leader in our family, always giving spiritual insight and was a wise man). I asked my brother if he realized he was dead or if he missed his family (this is a question I've always wondered--do people in heaven KNOW they have died and do they miss everyone they left behind?). Doug said no. He had no knowledge that he had died and did not think about his children or his wife. I guess that's what the Bible means when it says there are "no tears in heaven". However, he was determined to keep walking to the light and to seek out my grandfather. The next thing he knew, the stretcher was shaking as the paramedics were taking him out of the helicopter and a doctor asked him if he knew who he was.

Interesting things to note: Doug said although he was dead for only a short while, he said it felt like he spent hours in heaven. We also talked about a family member for whom we've been praying for and how burdened his heart is for this family member to come to Christ. "I've been to heaven and I want to go back," Doug said with tears in his eyes. "I want to make sure everyone knows it is real. I do not want anyone to experience the alternative."

I love how Philippians 3:20 puts it, "our citizenship is in heaven". Yes, we have an earthly residence, but as Christians, we have an address in heaven, too. I am so thankful to have my brother here on earth. But knowing Doug has an address in heaven is a much greater blessing. Does your family members have their heavenly address?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Waiting to Have Patience!

Barbie will be gone for the next few days helping her mother's re-election campaign. She'll return at the end of the week.
I have a hard time with patience and apparently, I passed that trait down to my kids. Over the weekend, we traveled to Orange Beach, Alabama so I could speak at a convention. The children have never been to the beach or seen the ocean and my husband thought this would be a good time to take them and make some memories (what was he thinking?). A friend let us borrow their portable DVD player, we stocked up on snacks and made sure we took the stuffed animals and blankets for the trip. What should've been a 5 hour trip took almost 8 hours! The traffic in Mobile was horrific..bumper to bumper. When we got to Loxley and made the turn to head south, we moved along an inch at a time. At hour 6, the kids were getting tired and so were we at Gracie's questions, "How much longer to the beach?"

We get impatient waiting on God many times. Whether we have asked for physical healing, emotional healing or spiritual insight, God doesn't work on our time table. 'Why won't He work faster? The solution seems so easy!', I've often thought. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning of it, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit." How true that is. After persevering through the long trip and telling Gracie to 'Have patience. We'll be there soon', we finally made it. Although we didn't have as long to play at the beach we initially planned for, the children had a blast. We made sandcastles and played in the water for a couple of hours (and of course, took lots of pictures). So yes, the end was better than the beginning and we all learned how to be a bit more patient in our spirit.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Does Anyone Watch The Weather Anymore?

I was in the grocery store recently and a lady viewer tapped me on the shoulder. "I am so proud of you!" she said. I'm sure I had a puzzled look on my face as I asked why. "You have lost all of that baby weight! My friends and I watched every night just to be sure you could," she said. As I always do, I thanked her for her compliment and made a comment about baby Will not being much of a baby anymore and continued shopping.

Then I received this email last week.

Enough with wearing all the suits! Us men want tight pants and especially tops. For goodness sake, it's summer. Signed, A Faithful Viewer

It's hard do a job when you know there are viewers out there critiquing the weight loss, weight gain, clothes, hair, makeup....and summer suits. Does anyone tune in to watch the weather anymore for the weather forecast? Maybe I don't need to know the answer to that question..

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Keep Praying

Ever wanted something so bad you bugged your parents to pieces until you got it? I if was something I just had to a new Barbie Doll. My parents could tell how serious I was about something based on the fact that I asked for it alot. If I didn't ask often, they quickly figured out perhaps I didn't want it as much. My "want" would change in a few weeks.

Prayer is like that. James 5:16 says, "The earnest prayer of a righteous man (one who is made right with God) makes tremendous power available." Notice that an earnest prayer, which is the prayer that makes tremendous power available, is heartfelt, continued prayer. One of the keys to powerful prayer is to ask God for what we need and to continue to pray until we experience His power working on our behalf in the situation. We need not give up so quickly! When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, He encouraged them to be persistent in praying in Luke 11:9-10. Jesus basically said: ask and keep on asking and it shall be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and it shall be given to you; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened for you; For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened. Its obvious Jesus wants us to persevere in prayer. We ask reverently and confidently. When we pray and keep on praying, He promises our prayers will be effective and that we will receive the answers we need in due time.

Keep on asking, so God knows how sincere you are.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sometimes Its So Hard

Although they are as sweet as they can be (most of the time), Gracie and Will have their moments. Will doesn't understand the concept of sharing and Gracie doesn't understand why Will doesn't understand the concept of sharing. Yesterday while they were playing with each other, Will apparently grabbed a toy away from Gracie. Gracie quickly grabbed it back. When she did, Will fell forward and the crying ensued. I sat Gracie down and told her that Will isn't "big" like she is; he doesn't know how to share. When he grabs a toy, let him have it and move on to another toy. When he gets alittle older, he will know how to share. "But why do I have to share?" Gracie asked. "Because it's the right thing to do," I said. Gracie looked at me and shrugged her shoulders, "Sometimes it's so hard to do the right thing, mommy." Isn't that the truth.

I heard some gossip the other day. Of course in the television business, we could call this "news", not gossip. Truth be told, it is one in the same. In talking with a co-worker, I wanted to share what I had just heard. Immediately, the Holy Spirit convicted me. What is the purpose in telling someone else what I just learned? If it's important enough, the object of the gossip will share it with everyone else and it won't be a secret anymore.

Romans 8:9 says, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." Paul is basically saying as Christians, we still sin even though we are spirit-controlled. The journey of discipleship involves learning how to let the Spirit have control; to let the Spirit direct and control us.

That's what Gracie was trying to say, too. She wants to do one thing, but does the opposite, and sometimes are harder than others. So as we go through today, lets allow the love of Christ to control us and not our own will.