Friday, July 25, 2008

Taking a Break

Barbie is at the Neshoba County Fair and will return on August 4. Feel free to browse the blog!

Viewer Mailbag

I've gotten quite a bit of "fan" mail lately--all of them asking the same question.

I have been wondering if you are pregnant again.? You look like it on tv. Sincerely, Nancy Goodwin in McComb

Barbie, Are you pregnant again? Signed, P.Magruder

Dear Barbie, You are a refreshing breath of fresh air every time you give a forecast! We are so glad to have you back from your matenity leave. Your new hairstyle is very fashionable and your wardrobe & accessories always compliment your apparel. We are hoping that you are not having remaining problems from your pregnancy, as it is obvious that you still have alot of "belly fat" or maybe swelling of the tummy. I am not sure what your problem with the tummy is, but you still look pregnant and I decided to send you this note & let you know. Signed, Anonymous
Four weeks ago, I decided to go on the Baptist Heath Systems liquid diet. Blog readers in the metro area know all about this diet. It is drastic diet which is doctor supervised. In four weeks, I've lost 12 pounds and go to the gym 5 days a week. My personal goal is to lose a total of 40 pounds (so I have 30 to go). Losing this much weight will get me back down to my high school weight. Sure, I want to lose the baby weight so that I can wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again. But I'm also doing this to hopefully prevent heart problems like my brother has experienced over the last year.

I guess the above viewers don't realize how much time it takes to lose the baby weight, especially after a c-section. And they probably don't understand how the tv adds 10 pounds to everyone because it is a two-dimensional picture.

To be honest, I have cried more times than I can count over these emails, not to mention the constant phone calls coming into the television station. Lilly Faith is 15 weeks old now and if some viewers would have patience, I promise I will once again be the size they expect me to be.
And society wonders why our pre-teen and teenage girls have such warped body images?

So I'm going to take a break for a while and go to the Neshoba County Fair to spend time with my family. A getaway can always do the heart, and emotions, good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Blood Drive-Today!

This is the time of year when most people are so busy with vacations and getting ready to go back to school. I was made aware of the desperate need for blood donors during the summer and knew something had to be done about it. As most of you know, my good friend and editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey has shared his drawing talent for the last year in designing a t-shirt for the Halloween and Valentines Day blood drive. He will be doing another one for all of you blood donors this Halloween. But we've given him the summer off (thanks, Marshall) and thought it would be a nice touch to do a blood drive with free gas cards as incentives. If you watch WLBT, you've probably seen this commercial by now.

Each donor will walk out with a handfull of items, plus the chance to win $1,200 in free gas. That's worth the needle stick alone! All of this aside, there is another reason why this blood drive is important--his name is Noah Moudy from Leesburg. Noah is 4 years old and has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs blood. His 7 year old sister Jessica looks to be a bone marrow transplant match for Noah. Noah's parents have 6 children. God bless them! But for now, they are pleading with the public for blood donations. If you donate blood today at Mississippi Blood Services on Lakeland Drive in Jackson, please do so in Noah Moudy's name. Even if you don't have the same blood type as Noah, your donation will count as a "credit" for him and allow him to receive more blood as he needs it. With eyes this blue, you can see why so many people in the small town of Leesburg have fallen in love with him.

Is God Proud of You?

I received several emails from blog readers yesterday who said they related to Job's story (see the July 21 blog entry entitled "Setting Limits").

In reading Job 1:8, God asked Satan "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." Could it be that God picked Job for Satan to test because God was proud of Job? Could it be that God knew how Job would react to all of Satan's mental, emotional and physical barbs? I believe so.

Perhaps God was giving Job a greater opportunity to honor Him with his allegiance. If so, the testing of Job was also a greater opportunity for God to prove God's faithfulness to Job in the end. Satan's assault was ultimately on God, but it was directed through Job.

Are you going through trials, tests and uncertainty in your life? God already knows how you and I will react. That's why He chose us.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Setting Limits

I've read the story of Job in the Bible many times. Each time, I find something different. Something this time around gave me alittle hope.

You know the story of Job. He was a very wealthy man and God allowed Satan to test him, take away his possessions, family and everything he had. Job's friends came to the rescue and told Job what all he was doing wrong; that HE somehow had caused all of this trouble to come upon himself. Meantime, Satan was trying to break Job's spirit and faith in God. In Job 1:9-11, Satan said to God "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." Satan was trying to prove to God that Job's faith would falter.

God allowed Job to be tested to prove he would be faithful. But Satan was trying to prove otherwise; that Job's profession of faith in God was a big fluke.

But this is the best part. In Job 1:12 and Job 2:6, God gave Satan specific limits. God told Satan, "the man himself do not lay a finger on him" and "you must spare Job's life". Isn't it good to know that through every trial, challenge and heart ache we go through that God has set a limit on the amount of testing? God wants to refine us, make us pure, and increase our faith in Him--not destroy us.

Knowing God has already set that limit should give us great peace.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Viewer Comments

(Note: Guys, if you are sensitive to people discussing various aspects of the female anatomy, don't read any further!)

Boy, things sure were quiet when I was away on maternity leave, so you knew it was coming--those viewer emails, phone calls and comments were sure to return with a vengence.

I was out and about last week and a lady came up to me so excited to see me. "I was so glad to see you back on tv! I missed seeing your weather reports while you were gone. But when I turned on the television and saw you, I said to myself "Aww, poor thing, she hasn't lost her baby weight yet." I smiled and made a comment about how it takes alittle longer to lose the baby weight with subsequent pregnancies. "Well," she said, "you were gone for 3 months. I figured it would've been gone by now!" (Are you shaking your head yet?)

I received this email from an anonymous viewer:

A few phrases I've noticed over the years of watching your broadcasts are irritating and redundant."At this present time" either "at this time" or "presently" would suffice. "Currently" would also work. "Rain showers" by definition, rain is showers and vice versa. Used together, the phrase is redundant.

(When people wake up on the wrong side of the bed, why do they feel the need to rub it off on everyone else?)

Then just a few days ago, I received this message on my voice mail.

"Barbie, I love that blouse you're wearing tonight. The colors look so pretty on you. But, your bosoms are sagging. You need to do something about that."

Ok, I'm a mother now. Does she know what these "bosoms" have gone through?! (Rolling eyes)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Speaking At The Right Time

How many times have you passed by someone and just cordially said, "Hi, how are you?", and just kept walking? Nine times out of ten we don't expect a full report of how that person is doing. We just assume they will reply with, "Fine, how are you?" One of those unexpected responses came my way Sunday. I had just finished teaching my Sunday School class and was on my way to pick up Gracie from her class, take her to the restroom one last time before the church service and sit with my husband. While I was quickly walking to Gracie's class, I ran into a fellow church member in the hallway. We exchanged smiles. "Hey, how are you doing?" I asked. "Not too good," she said. My feet wanted to keep walking, but I was so surprised that she didn't give the pat answer that most people do. I felt like I needed to stop and ask her more. She started crying and told me she was looking for a job. She had just gotten a divorce, has 3 children to care for and for first time in 11 years, she was having to go back to work just to put food on the table. She was scared and needed someone to talk to. So I stayed behind to listen to her and encourage her.

James tells us in James 1:9 that we should be "quick to listen and slow to speak". Isaiah 50:4 says, "The Lord God has given me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens me morning by morning, He wakens my ear to hear as a disciple." Isaiah said that the Lord had given him the tongue of a disciple, a learner or one who is taught, so that he would know how to "speak a word in season" to the weary.

Do you see any discouraged, tired people in the Body of Christ? Of course. We have serious problems in the world today. But there are also many born again Christians who are needy. Nehemiah 8:10 say, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". Joy is not found in our circumstances, it is found in Christ who lives within us. We are learning to find our joy in Christ alone. Speaking words in due season to one another will keep us from growing weary. We need to train ourselves to keep one ear tuned to God.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Doubting Spirit

A high school student recently told me he was interested in becoming a meteorologist. He wanted to know what kind of classes to take in high school. I stressed to him the importance of speech classes, computer classes, physics classes and math classes. If there was one subject I had "brain lock" in, it was math. I hated math. Any kind of math. Probably because I wasn't good in it and math intimidated me. When I got into graduate school at Mississippi State University, I quickly realized the math load associated with the meteorology classes. There was only one thing I could do: quit! I became so frustrated, but I truly believed meteorology was where God wanted me to be. Finally, I told God "If you want me to do this, to make it and to not be a failure and waste my parents' money, YOU are going to have to help me with math!"

Moses had brain block when it came to speaking. Exodus 4:10 says, "And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue." When God called Moses to be His spokesman to Pharaoh and the Israelites, Moses told God he wasn't eloquent enough to do what God wanted. God's response in Exodus 4:11 was, "Who has made man's mouth? Is is not I, the Lord?" We think sometimes that God does not know about all of our weaknesses, but He does.

In Exodus 4:12 God told Moses, "Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say." The next time God tells you to do something for Him or to speak for Him and you get fearful or anxious, remember: if He has sent you or called you, He will be with you. The doubt must go before you can go.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Wasted Hurts

Have you ever stopped to think how God could use the sins you and I have committed, the hurts we've suffered, the rejection we've experienced to minister to others? All of our past has purpose in God's plan. But Satan would have us believe otherwise.

Some people have difficulty getting over their past. Satan will try to convince us that we can never be healed, set free, or of any value to God. If we let him, Satan will control our emotions so much that we will be haunted by our past, have regrets and send our emotions into a tailspin. So how do we deal with this?

First of all, we must recognize them as lies. Any thought that takes us back to our life before Christ is not from God. God always looks as us as the new creatures we are in Christ Jesus. But Satan wants to focus our thoughts on the past so we cannot concentrate on what God has set before us. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13 that we are to "forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead." Our healing begins with the understanding that God is in control and we are a part of His plan.

It has been said before that God never wastes a hurt in our lives. Job said it best in Job 42:4, "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pressing On

I don't know what it is about running in the house, but Gracie was doing it one day last week. I was busy trying to wash clothes, wash dishes and soothe a crying baby. Gracie and Will were obviously having fun playing "catch me if you can". I chided them a few times and told them what every mother says at some point: "Somebody is going to get hurt!" And somebody did. Gracie slipped and fell, busting her chin on a frame. Blood was pouring and she was crying. After some bandaids and a cold pack, I reminded her how I had told them several times to stop running in the house. Every time she looks in the mirror and sees her swollen, purple chin, she remembers how it got there.

In the book of Mark, we read where Jesus had to chide His disciples. Mark 4:39-40 says,"And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to his disciples, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" Jesus calmed the storm, but He rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith. Why? Because it is vital to our future that we grow in faith which is trust and confidence in God. If Jesus allowed us to continue to live in fear and calming every storm for us without correcting us, we would never learn how to press on to the other side.

Not only must we speak our faith outloud when things aren't going the way we planned, but we must act and move on. Hebrews 10:23 says it best, "So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He who promised is reliable and faithful to his Word."

It is time for us to ride out our storms, knowing that God has His eye on everything, including us and the storm.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Negative Report

Do you know anyone who is negative? Are you negative? I was having a conversation with someone the other day and after I left, I felt so drained by her negativity. According to her, everything was going wrong in her life. After she told me of her problems, she went on to talk ugly about other people. I thought 100 pounds of lead had been dumped on me!

In Numbers, the Israelites got an evil report from the Hebrew spies about the land they were to go to and it was pretty discouraging. Number 13:32 says, "So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature."

Not only are we not to talk negatively about our circumstances, as the Hebrew spies did and came under the Lord's correction; we are also not to talk negatively about other people. Let's face it, there is no perfect church, perfect people, perfect workplace, perfect house, or perfect family.

Everything in this world is going to be imperfect. In the Bible, Paul tells us that when Jesus comes back to receive us, we are going to take off the corruptible and put on the incorruptible. But as long as we are here on this earth, we are always going to have to contend with corruption including other people.

We all are a "mixed bag". We have some good and some bad in us. God doesn't want us to magnify the bad in others or in ourselves. He wants us to magnify the good. I Peter 4:8 says, "Love covers a multitude of sins." That's what you and I are to do. We are go cover, not expose, people's imperfections. When we do so, we'll see them the way God sees them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Living in Love

I haven't been back to work for a whole week yet and the negative emails and phone calls have already started. In a week or so, I'll share them with you. I think God sometimes allows these people to surface just to see how I will respond to them. Have you considered how your dealings with other people can indicate your spiritual state?

A righteous walk with God will always manifest itself in our relationships with other people. It can be demonstrated in our treatment of one another. Jesus calls us to walk as He walked. How is that done? Matthew 7:12 says, "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Most people call this the "Golden Rule" in that we should "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

We all need and want unconditional love. Because of that, we should treat other people in precisely the same way we want to be treated! This is the Law and the Prophets. This is fulfilling the Law. So if we want to follow Jesus, we must keep the highest good of others before us, doing unto them as we would have them do unto us.

Just imagine how different the world would be today if every Christian lived like that...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Smile of Love

Its the little things that will get you going in the mornings. Coming in late at night and getting up at the crack of dawn with Lilly Faith is challenging. Thankfully, she is sleeping a full 8 hours and has been doing so for quite some time. But her 8 hours are different than mine. So because I get in so late at night, she's ready to wake up much earlier than my body is! And while I'm feeding her as my head nods, she does the sweetest thing...take a look for yourself below.

She smiles! Her dimples and blue eyes just make you want to eat her up! She'll "coo and goo" for several minutes, acting like she knows who I am. Does she care that I've just gotten in from work only a few hours before? Nope. She's still smiling.

I read an article this morning which said when a mother sees her baby smile, her brain produces dopamine, the same chemical rush that occurs when a person uses cocaine or heroine. And I believe it.

1 John 4:16-19 says, "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, becaue fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because God first loved us."

Lilly Faith has an idea that I love her. I'm up with her in the early mornings, I feed her, change her and bathe her. Besides a few hours in the afternoon when I'm at work, I'm right there every time she wakes up. Lilly Faith can't say she isn't loved!

And God is like that with us. When we make Him proud, imagine Him getting all mushy inside. Imagine His heart just melting when we minister to someone else or when share the love of Christ with others. Yes, even though we don't always get it right, He is there with us every step of the way.

You can't say you aren't loved!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fine-Tuning The Mouth

Gracie turned 5 last week and all of a sudden, she's become "Miss Independent." She's tried her best to do everything, without help. She sees me pushing the vaccum cleaner around the house, but when she tried to do it, she gets frustrated. "Its too heavy!" she says and she pushes it on the floor. "I can't do it!" I pick it up and tell her it isn't too heavy; you just have to let the arm down and then you can push it across the floor. I encourage her again, show her how I do it, and then let her try. (After all, I'll really need her help cleaning house one day!)

There were several people in the Bible whom God wanted to use, but they had a problem with their mouth that God had to correct. One of those people was Jeremiah. God called Jeremiah "a prophet to the nations" and Jeremiah started saying things that God had not told him to say. So God had to straighten out his mouth before God could use him.

In Jeremiah 1:4-10, he said "Then the word of the Lord came to me (Jeremiah) saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.' Then said I, Ah, Lord God! I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. But the Lord said to me, 'Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,' says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, 'Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy annd to overthrow, to build and to plant.'"

When God calls us to do something, we should not say that we cannot do it. If God says we can, then we can! Many times we verbalize out of our own insecurities or what other people have said about us. Therefore, we need to say about ourselves what God says about us.

No one is ever used without preparation. That means that God must deal with us and that we must submit to His dealings.

God is fine-tuning us. A piano will play without being tuned. But in order for it to make the beautiful melody it was made to do, it must be tuned just right. In that same way, God has been working in our lives in general ways for years, but now its time for some precise final adjustments so that we can be used by Him.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Temptation to Complain

I dreaded July 4. It was to be my first day back at work. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I missed my co-workers dearly. But I have enjoyed this maternity leave more than any other. Granted, I was always busy doing something or taking care of someone, but I enjoyed being with the kids. When nighttime came, I collapsed in bed. So I found myself being alittle melancholy Thursday night because I knew the life I had lived over the last 3 months was ending. I caught myself complaining about going back to work. Then I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, "You have a job. Be thankful. If I want you to stay at home, I'll make that happen for you."

There was another group of people who complained: the Israelites. When the Israelites went into the wilderness, one of the problems God had to repeatedly deal with them about was complaining. It was an 11 day journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, but after 40 years the Israelites were still wandering in the wilderness of death and destruction. Proverbs 21:23 says, "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from troubles." Proverbs 13:3 says, "He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."

When Jesus went into the wilderness, He did so with a great attitude. Jesus continued to praise God no matter what, refusing to complain, and as a result God raised Him from death to new life. That should be a lesson to us. We should guard against the temptation to complain and grumble and instead purposely choose to give God praise and thanksgiving.

In reading the Israelites' story, I could see their mistakes and not make the same ones. They complained and faced death and destruction. We should heed their example and not follow their pattern. Praising and giving thanks will open the door to life.