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.
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
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.
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

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.