Thursday, January 31, 2008

Severe Weather Possible

Looks like it's going to be a long day in the WLBT Weather Lab! The weather could get rough at times today and tonight as a strong cold front pushes into the state. Areas mainly south of the Natchez Trace Parkway will see the most rain and storms. Areas south of Highway 84 will see the greatest threat for isolated tornadoes. Please slow it down while you're on the roadways and keep your NOAA weather radio on. Most of the rain and storms should be to our east by 9pm.

Tomorrow on the blog, I'll share more viewer emails & phone calls, plus show you some special pictures I had taken Monday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Almost or Altogether?

There are days when I feel like I have everything together. And there are days when I barely remember to put deodorant on. In the same way, there are almost Christians and then there are altogether Christians.

In Acts 26, Paul was witnessing to King Agrippa and his right hand man, Festus. Paul told of his Damascus road experience, the type of life he used to live and how he had changed to fully serve God. In verse 24, the Bible says, "And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad." But Paul said, "I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." And Paul said, "I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds."

There are plenty of almost Christians in the world and they believe in God. Even the Bible says the demons believe in God and "they tremble". The almost Christian hasn't fully committed to God; they are more content with doing what they want, when they want, and then call on God for help when they can't seem to figure things out. They are a fair-weather Christian. They like their Christianity 'ala carte' (they take what they want and leave the rest behind). And then there are the altogether Christians, of which Paul was one. Altogether Christians are those who serve God with their whole heart, soul and mind; people that let God guide their steps and those who live by faith, no matter the circumstance.

Which one are you? An almost Christian or an altogether Christian?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Celebrating the Blessings

Last weekend, we traveled to my hometown to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. After church Sunday, myself and 130 of my relatives gathered in the family life center for a catered luncheon to commemorate her big day. There was a special table set aside for my grandmother and 15 other relatives who have January birthdays along with a huge birthday cake. On the wall was our family's genealogy; displayed quilts my grandmother had made in the past; and a scrapbook of memories we had all made for her to read. Several relatives did special performances for my grandmother in the form of singing and clogging. One of the neatest things I saw was a television which displayed old home 8mm movies which had been converted to a DVD. On this DVD was something I had never seen before---me as a baby.

My grandmother is deaf and has been deaf since she was 11 years old due to a high fever when she contracted the flu. She and my grandfather had 8 children. My mother is the oldest of those 8. It amazes me how my grandmother birthed and raised so many, all without hearing a word (perhaps that's why my mother was such a good one--because she tended to her siblings since she could hear them cry!). I sat there and watched people stream by her chair, all telling her how much she meant to them. I wondered how much she really understood? It must be challenging to be deaf and know there is a party in your honor and you can't hear any of it.

In watching all of those around her, I was reminded of Psalm 37:25, "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed." My grandmother had her children in attendance, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren there---all of them blessed in some form or fashion. That's what I want to leave behind for my children--eternal blessings.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Slip of the Tongue

Sometimes, words just don't come out quite right. Last Friday night at 5pm, I was doing my weathercast talking about the Ice Storm Warning we had in effect as well as the Winter Weather Advisory. With so much to talk about and explain, I wanted to make sure the viewers understood the possibilities and knew what to expect. As I was talking about certain portions of the state getting sleet, I said those areas could see some "light assing accumulation". What I meant was, "light ice accumulation". I caught it after I said it, smiled and quickly corrected myself, hoping no one else would catch it. But I heard Stephanie Bell-Flynt and Bert Case crack up in the studio and heard the production crew in my ear rolling on the floor in the control room. Ok, so a few of my co-workers heard it. Let's hope no one else did. Then, I got this email:

Barbie, watching your broadcast just now.. My wife and I are laughing so hard.. We heard you say "light assing accumulation" and saw you smiling about it.. Too funny...We love you Barbie!
Colin Leach, Vicksburg

So maybe more people heard my slip of the tongue than I had hoped. LIVE television can be rough because there are no edits or do-overs.

James 4:6 says, "God gives me more and more grace. That is why He says, God sets himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace to the lowly."

I felt pretty low at that moment; thank God for His grace. Things just don't always come out the way you meant for them to...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Weather Advisory

Time to talk some weather!

Most of the state is under a Winter Weather Advisory for most of the day which means we could see periods of rain mixed with sleet. Although accumulations will be light due to the surface temperatures being so warm, use common sense when driving on bridges and overpasses (and county roads). Tonight, some of us could see the rain/sleet change over to freezing rain. This is when the rain freezes once it hits the ground because the surface is below freezing. The freezing rain would be more confined to areas in northwest Mississippi.

There is no need to panic or become concerned for the next few hours. Just use caution while out and about and don't be surprised if you notice the sleet bouncing off your windshield or accumulating on some flat surfaces.

If you have a NOAA Weather Radio, have it on so you can receive additional information should the National Weather Service issue other advisories or watches.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Being Grateful & Not Complaining

I love jewelry. Its just one of those things I use to dress up a blah outfit. Put a few rhinestones with a t-shirt and jeans and it looks like a totally different outfit. Well, apparently, my son likes jewelry, too. Will looks at my bracelets as something to pull apart and see just how long some of them will stretch. Or so he did last night. While I was loading the dishwasher, I heard Will say "Uh oh" and heard something hit the floor. Somehow I knew what that meant. I turned to see Will had pulled one of my bracelets so far apart that the elastic string broke and little brown crystal beads rained on the floor. After I scolded him with my voice and gave him a couple of spanks on his bottom, I made him start picking up his mess. It was one of my favorite bracelets to wear because it had a matching necklace.

A little while later, Gracie came over to me. "I'm sorry Will broke your necklace, mom. I know it was your favorite," she said sincerely. I told her it was most definitely my favorite and I knew he didn't mean to. "Look at all of the other things you have," Gracie said. "You have pretty hair, a pretty mouth, pretty clothes, pretty shoes. You need to be grateful for what God has given you and not worry about the things you don't have." All I could think of was "what is a 4 year old doing telling me I need to be grateful?!" But how right she was!

Philippians 4:4-6 says, "Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers."

Be generous in your gratitude to the Lord for what you have and it will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Working Our Own Agenda

I had a full day ahead of me and had to get several things done before I left for work. I started cooking supper at 1pm so it could simmer while I was gone and was trying to dry some clothes and pack the dishwasher--all at the same time. That day, I was the "queen" of multi-tasking. The kids had gotten quiet and I noticed Gracie was sitting on the couch writing her letters. I went back to working feverishly for another 10 minutes. Then I realized Will was quiet. "Have you seen Will-Will (my pet name for him)?" I asked Gracie. "No ma'am," she replied. I began looking in all of the rooms, calling his name, then walked back into the kitchen to turn the stove down. I found my bathroom, on the floor, digging in the extra large container of vaseline! "Oh no!" was all I could say. Will had the greasy jelly all over him and was smiling the whole time. "Made a mess, mommy," he said. My title of being the "queen" of multi-tasking was reliquished.

How many times do we get wrapped up in our own problems, our own jobs, our own families, our own schedules, that we don't look us for ministry opportunities to others? We become so determined with accomplishing our own agenda for the day while others around us find themselves in a mess! They are hurting, they need a shoulder to cry on, and they need a friend.

Paul says in I Timothy 1:8, "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord." Paul goes onto say in verse 9, "who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace." God has called us to minister to others in their times of need. God gives us the grace to handle our own affairs and to share a bit of His light with those around us.

When we aren't sharing the love of Jesus, we are basically saying we are ashamed of Him. Jesus didn't die on the cross so we could be self-absorbed. He died on the cross to save us from our sin and so we could in turn share that love with other Christians and the lost. Don't be ashamed of sharing a part of your day ministering to someone else.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Waiting for the Snow & Answered Prayers

Last Friday night at work, I got the chance to talk about the "s" word---SNOW! For those of you who live in the WLBT viewing area, you know that's a commodity we don't see very often. The computer models just weren't agreeing as to the amount of possible snow, a definite track, nor if we'd really see any. Before the 10pm newscast hit air, I wondered if all of those who were excited about our chances would wake up disappointed. Goodness knows, I wanted to deliver on my forecast and found myself saying a quick prayer of "God, please don't make me out to be a fool!" So I did as most Mississippians did when I went to bed Friday night---I waited..and waited..and waited..nothing. I even got up at 5am and took a peek outside. Just rain. So I waited alittle longer. At 7:30am, Gracie ran into our bedroom yelling, "It's snowing outside!" I had to see this for myself. And sure enough, it was indeed snowing.

In Psalm 27:14 David says, "I am still confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." In the Old Testament, to 'wait for the Lord' meant to 'expect'. David was expecting God to answer his prayer when, and only when, the time was right.

When I think of waiting, I think of sitting. But God wants us to expect that He will show up! When we make the transition from just waiting on God to expecting God to answer, we release our faith in Him. And it's that faith that gives us the courage to wait for the next answer to our prayers.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Barbie is taking the day off and will return Tuesday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Viewer Comments

The emails of complaints have quietened down but the comments/phone calls from viewers haven't. Here are just a few I received this week:

"Barbie, if you're going to stay pregnant all of the time, it's time for you to go to the house. We don't want to see it. Just go home and be a mother!"

"Hey Barbie, I think it's nice how you're having another baby and all. But, haven't you figured out what causes this?"

While my husband and I were eating out last Saturday night, an older man came up to me and said he couldn't believe how big I looked on TV. "Yes, I know," I said. "TV adds another 10-15 pounds on people." Then he said, "Well, since you're so big and this one is a girl, I think you need to name her Ida Clare!"

(So I admit, I even laughed at that comment.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wearing A Mask

A close friend of mind has often called me a "hypocrite" because I smile even though I may be hurting inside from other's comments, actions and such. Even through the sickness of this pregnancy (which by the way, doesn't always go away after the first trimester), people have asked, "how do you continue to work and smile while you're on TV?" I've had to admit, I could probably win an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress because I try to not let it show on the air. Then I usually excuse myself to go to the restroom and finish my sickness.

Hypocrisy was as common in Jesus' day as it is today. Jesus frequently referred to hypocrites like in Matthew 23:27-28, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you..outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." But notice it was the religious ones whom Jesus called hypocrites--the ones who claimed to know God--not the prostitutes, drunks, thieves, liars and adulterers.

A "hypocrite" was the word used for a stage actor in the Greek and Roman theatres. Remember learning in high school literature how the actors would put on different masks to show their emotion or mood? So, a hypocrite is one who habitually wears a mask.

So I had to ask myself, am I a hypocrite in any way? Do I "act"? Do I ever slip on a mask to hide how I truly feel? Do I speak words that my life doesn't back up?

When we pray the Lord's Prayer and say, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," do we really desire to stay away from temptation? When we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," are we really willing to forgive others as God has forgiven us?

Ask God to reveal any hypocrisy, any hidden sin or pride and to make you righteous inside and out. Throw away the mask-of-the-day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Gift of Exhortation

Last night, I spoke at a dinner for the women's ministry at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton and had a lovely time (thanks, ladies). Someone pointed out how important it is that we encourage each other as there are many hurts that our friends, family and co-workers are going through now which we probably know nothing about. Encouragement would be a "gift of exhortation" which is spoken about in Romans 12:8. It is one of the ministry gifts the Holy Spirit gives certain individuals.

The Holy Spirit is called the "Helper" in John 14:26. He exhorts (or encourages) people in their growth in God, encourages them to be all they can be, for God's glory. We need to see exhortation is a ministry--a much needed ministry in this day and time. There are always plenty of people around us who are willing to give up if something does not happen to encourage them in their faith walk. As an exhorter, you and I actually prevent someone from backsliding or giving up! Also in John 14:26, the Holy Spirit is called the "Comforter". People who exhort bring comfort, they just simply make people feel better--about themselves, their circumstances, their past, about the present, about the future, about anything else that concerns them.

Some people are very gifted in this area. I know of several people who are natural exhorters (my mother is one of them). Everything that comes out of her mouth is something to make others feel encouraged. I am learning the importance of the gift of exhortation and am trying to remember that people are hurting and need to be encouraged all around us.

"Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing." I Thessalonians 5:11

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Picture of the Inside

I went to the eye doctor yesterday. My eye doctor has a new machine that takes a picture of the inside of the eye ball. Of course my first question was, "Does it hurt?" and the answer is no. But considering my now deceased grandfather had glaucoma and cataracts, I try to have my eyes checked frequently for the possible onset of those two conditions. This machine would give me the answer. After two quick flashes of the machine, which were similar to a camera flash, the pictures were pulled up on a computer screen. The doctor went over his findings and gave me the good news that my eyes look healthy.

I wonder what God sees when He takes a picture of my heart? Surely He sees the things I don't and knows where I'm headed, even when I have no clue. He knows the trials and obstacles that will come my way, all the while knowing how those will make me grow stronger in my faith. In reading I Chronicles 28, King David realizes he won't be the one to build the temple. God tells him it will instead be his son Solomon. David has some wise words for his son in verse 9: "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of you father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." So in essence, God DOES take pictures of our hearts; He knows our motives and why we do what we do.

Perhaps its time we ask God to take a picture of our heart and reveal whats inside; make it clear to us His intentions for our life and how we can better serve Him. And when the picture is developed, listen closely to what God has to say about our heart.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not Giving Up On Prayer

When our eldest child, Gracie was three, we began to encourage Gracie to say a prayer before retiring for the evening. We suggested that she thank God for the things or people in her life that were special to her. This is the prayer that she prayed: “Thank you God for Mamaw and Papaw. Thank you God for Granddaddy Frank and Grandmudder. Thank you God for Mommy, and Daddy, and Will and Gracie. And please God, give Mommy another baby. Amen.” Mixed in Gracie's prayer were special requests for people she loved who were sick. When her great-grandmother, KK, was sick, Gracie prayed for her healing. Once KK went to heaven, we explained she didn't have to keep putting KK in her prayers because God answered them--KK was now healed and in heaven with Jesus. We did the same thing when it came to "Grandmudder" (as Gracie pronounced it). Once again, we explained to Gracie she could take Grandmudder out of her prayers because God had healed her, too. Last weekend when we were riding in the car, Gracie told me from her carseat, "I just can't get Grandmudder out of my prayers, mommy!" I asked her what she meant and Gracie said, "Well, I just prayed for her for so long."

I have a special person I pray for every day, sometimes several times a day. There are days when I tell God, "I'm tired of praying for this person. I pray everyday and you don't ever answer. I never see any results because I'm not seeing any change!" Then once again, God tells me, "If you don't pray for them, who will?"

In I Chronicles, the story of the war between the sons of Reuben, Gad and several other tribes is told. I Chronicles 5:20 says, "God answered their prayers because they trusted in Him." So maybe that's why my prayers for this special person haven't been answered after all of these years! I haven't trusted God to answer them. I've been so disappointed because I haven't seen the results I think I should! (Notice all of the "I"s.)

When God puts someone on your heart to pray for, listen. Don't give up, even if it seems like God is being slow to answer. Trust Him---He will answer. After all, if you don't pray for the person God puts on your heart, no one else will. There is a reason why God is telling YOU to pray for them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

What A Long Week!

Have you ever been glad a week is almost over? I am--this week. Between the mean emails I've received all this week, two days of severe weather, long days and other obligations, I'm pooped...mentally, emotionally and physically. I think I've cried more this week than I have in a while (blame it on my hormones, I guess). And to add to that, I received this email.
Barbie, please! You looked so nice in the jacket-suit thing last week. If you're attempting to display a 'how not to dress' motif, you've got it mastered. Pregnancy is a great thing; however, subtlety and professionalism have a place too. If you intend to look like an errant weather balloon, fine. In my humble opinion, the WLBT weather should be about 'the weather' and not about Barbie. Apparently I'm misdirected. I don't think you'll find one person in 50 who will agree that your choices are appropriate. Signed, Don in Madison
Whoa, I've been called a "covered wagon" and a "weather balloon" this week. Many of you are so kind to post such nice things on my blog and send me emails of encouragement. But the superficiality of this job can really get you down. Let one of our newsmen gain weight, go grey or bald and get loads of wrinkles and we won't hear anything about it--the public accepts it. But when I get pregnant and keep working throughout the pregnancy, some viewers 'don't want to see it.' So I've often thought, what am I trying to teach my 4 year old Gracie about this? I'm trying to teach her that you can do anything you set your mind to, with lots of God's grace of course. I'm trying to teach her that you can have a family, be a mother, and have a career at the same time, if that's what God has called you to do. (Granted, there are women out there who feel they have been called to be a stay-at-home-mom and wife only. I respect that.) Pregnancy is not a disease; it's a condition, and should not be used as an excuse to be lazy.

Stephanie Bell-Flynt, Maggie Wade and I had a photo shoot this week for the "Go Red for Women" campaign in February. When I shared this email with them, they thought it was only appropriate that they stick their bellies out (what bellies?) and support me. Here's the picture. Thanks, girls!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Severe Weather Expected

It is shaping up to be another nasty weather day. With a strong cold front moving in from the west and warm, moist air coming in from the Gulf, a clash of air masses will take place. This system looks to have more moisture with it which could make it stronger than Tuesday's. All of this to say, please be weather aware today; please have your weather radio on; and stay put if you don't have to drive or be out in this weather once it starts popping.

Since today will be another long day for me, I'll make this entry short. Pray for those who find themselves in the middle of the severe weather cross hairs. (And lets hope the mean emails will cease for the next 24 hours!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Long Night

It was a rough Tuesday! As expected, the severe weather broke out mid-afternoon and didn't stop until 11pm. We had several reported tornadoes on the ground as well as damage coming in from all parts of the state. A couple of times yesterday afternoon, I had to break into commercials and programming (no big deal considering we have those "judge" shows in the late afternoons). Around 6:30pm, I had to break into Entertainment Tonight because we had 2 tornadoes on the ground. As always, there will be complaints from viewers. One man called the WLBT newsroom and told a producer that he wanted her to come "yank" me off the television so he could see his show. When she kindly explained to him that we had tornadoes on the ground, we had an obligation with our viewers and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), he shouted, "I know what your obligation is. Get Barbie off the tv!" The producer sat quietly on the phone for a few seconds and the caller said, "Well, I'm waiting! She's still on!"

Then, I received this email from another viewer:
Where have you gone Dear Woody? Maybe it's me... but I do not believe the general viewing public needs or wants a mind numbing door to door prediction, jam packed with meteorologist jargon we do not understand or need to know, if we wanted to be a meteorologist we would have taken classes that are not jammed down our throats over and over while we just hope to get the basic facts,,, are we in danger, yes or no... simple. Give us credit for a little common sense and don't go on and on cutting in on programing when we know you are really not helping the public, but just trying to stay ahead of other local stations and get more little citations to hang on the wall, its all about ratings and who can "Out Technical " the other stations, I expect to see a weathercaster knocking on my door sooner or later, going door to door screaming "hey it is raining, remember, you heard it here first!!!!" PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK!!! Signed, Anonymous

At the same time I was receiving this email, I had several calls from senior citizens who were scared and needed assurance. Some wanted me to tell them how their weather radio worked; others wanted to know if they should abandon their mobile home because they live alone.

Even after all of these years, I still can't get over the number of people who think the severe weather doesn't matter if it isn't affecting their home. It's almost as if they think, "let everybody else die..let me watch my show!"

When I had to break in, I made sure to make the updates clear, concise, and tell viewers what to expect. When we had tornadoes on the ground at several locations with reports of homes damaged, trees and power lines down, it became apparent this threat was real and warranted. To be honest, I don't go on the air to try to out-do the other television stations. If I wanted to do that, I would go on for hours at a time and stay on. The last thing I want to do is to scare the public or to overwhelm them with weather information.

I can only hope if some of these viewers find themselves in the same position as others did last night, there will be a meteorologist around who cares the same for them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Severe Weather Possible

Things are setting up in the atmosphere for us to experience a few rounds of thunderstorms and some severe weather over the next couple of days. Our high temperature in Jackson yesterday was 75 degrees (normal high is 55). Meantime, Greenwood and Greenville set record high temperatures on Monday. With warm, moist air ahead of a strong cold front, areas north of I-20 could see strong winds, hail and isolated tornadoes this afternoon and tonight (the same weather people in Illinois and Indiana saw last night).

Another round of severe weather is possible for Thursday as a strong cold front swings into the state from the plains. Whereas the focus of today's possible stormy weather is in the northern portion of the state, Thursday the focus is shifted south of the Natchez Trace Parkway. At this time, Thursday's weather looks to be more active than today's.

So, have your weather radio on throughout today and tonight. And have it ready once again for Thursday. Meantime, I'll be keeping some long hours over the next couple of nights. Be safe, use common sense, and I'll see you on WLBT!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Viewer Emails

And now, it's time for another episode of ...."Viewer Emails"....

Hi Barbie,
We live in Natchez & we enjoy watching your channel, but you are covering up Natchez & Woodville. We have to change channels to get the weather for Natchez because you are covering up our part of the state. We need to see what is going on in our world. Signed, Herbert Arnold

(Another email I received last week, I will not post as it was too sexually explicit. A male viewer had some advice for my husband on how not to get me pregnant.)

Dear Barbie,
It's time to go to the house. That outfit you were wearing on the 10:00 news makes you look like a covered wagon. Give us a break. Signed, Nell McGowan, Grandmother in Crystal Springs


My, my!

Friday, January 4, 2008

An Old Pageant Dress

When school starts back and our doorbell rings, it is a sign of neighborhood children selling their latest requirement for fundraising at their local school---wrapping paper, candy, popcorn, coupons--you name it. We always buy from our neighbors' children and joke that when our kids get in school one day, we'll ask them to return the favor and buy something!

Yesterday, I went to get my nails done, which is a treat I don't always afford myself. A friend was there and I knew she had some financial problems. When I asked her how she was doing, she rattled off a list of problems in her life. One included her business was slow this time of the year and she barely had $20 to get a few groceries for her and her husband for the week. Come spring, things always improve because her job is seasonal. This lady loves to shop consignment and so do I. When we see each other, we usually swap a few "guess what I bought" kind of stories on our latest treasure hunts. When I got ready to leave, she said she had something she bought at a thrift store and thought only of me. It was a 1980s type of pageant dress, short, with loads of sequins. "When I saw this dress, it screamed your name!" she said. "It was only 20 dollars and I just had to buy it for you." In my mind I thought, "That thing is tacky!" But I saw the gleam she had in her eye. "I figured with all of the events you do and places you go, surely you could wear this. It's just beautiful," she said. I could feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. "I love those colors and that sparkle. I'd LOVE to have it. Let me pay you for it," and I pulled out the money she paid for the dress and gave it to her. When she walked away, she had a spring in her step. Twenty dollars...that was it, but it will help get her and her husband through a few more days until the next paycheck. When I drove in to work, I looked over at the tattered sequined dress on my front seat and smiled. I had plans for that 20 dollars, but God had a bigger plan.

Matthew 10:8 says, "Freely you have received, freely give." No, I certainly didn't need another pageant dress, much less one I couldn't wear nor one that was 20 years old. But my friend needed some money and someone who would accept her kind thought. Sometimes the greatest blessings come from the smallest things...including consigned pageant dresses.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Predictions for 2008

Stand in the checkout line long enough in the grocery store and you'll notice magazines of all types making their predictions for 2008. Isn't it funny how some try to predict the future (meteorologists not included!)?

Once we understand and embrace what the Bible teaches about the character and sovereignty of God, we will find calm in the center of life's storms. God rules overs all--there are no accidents in life, that no tactic of Satan or man can thwart the will of God--should bring divine comfort. Because God is sovereign, we can believe and embrace the promise in Romans 8:28-30, "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified."

Here is a prediction for 2008:
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

When we grasp the truth of how all things are working together for good to conform us to His image, then in faith we'll be able to rejoice and do as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome to 2008!

(The Wiggs family: brother Doug is on the floor in camo; sister Rhonda is in pink; sister Melody is the white-haired one in a white sweater; parents are in the middle; I am on the back row with husband William.)
I trust you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's over the last couple of weeks. I had to work through both holidays (no holidays in the television business!), so I don't really feel rested. Hopefully, that will come later.

This was a special Christmas for my side of the family because we were able to celebrate the miraculous year my brother had. Plus, this was the first time in 4 years that all of my siblings and all grandchildren were together, hence our annual family Christmas snapshot. On the other hand, it was a "different" Christmas for my husband as he lost both his grandmother and mother this year. Watching him deal with the change has been inspiring and seeing his faith has been uplifting.
So it's now that time of the year when we make our resolutions. I make a few every year, do you? Can't promise I fulfill them all 100%, but I usually get close. Of course I'd like to lose my baby weight once baby girl arrives, but God prompted me to make a couple of others: finish reading the Bible through, memorizing more scripture, and working a bit more on my book.
Many people become frustrated when their resolutions fall through; and how many stories have we seen on TV lately that gives advice for sticking to them? I am reminded of what Paul said in Philippines 3:13, "But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Forgetting the past isn't always a bad thing, in my opinion. I believe it can remind us of how far we've come and what we've been able to accomplish with God's help. More importantly, the past helps us focus on what is ahead. If we didn't make resolutions, we would be prideful and complacent which could inhibit our continued growth in grace. So go ahead, make a resolution or two, and don't become complacent in allowing God to complete His work in you for 2008.