Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbie will return Tuesday, Dec 2.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is upon us and people are bustling about trying to finalize their travel plans and cooking details for their family celebrations. My resolution this year was to make every day a day of Thanksgiving. And with all of the negative news we are bombarded with on a daily basis, gratitude has come easy for me.

When we are filled with genuine gratitude, we will see our current circumstances as a gift, no matter how good or bad they may be. No, we may not have everything we want, but we are taken care of and we quickly realize that having a little is just enough. There are details in our life that aren't warm and fuzzy and we all have our own share of anxieties, but use this opportunity to thank God for where He has brought you and verbalize your faith to Him in where He is going to take you.

In 2 Samuel 7:18, David speaks a prayer of gratitude to God: "Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?" David is acknowledging that he is a small fish in a big pond, but yet God has taken care of him. David realized that God has constant provisions for him, no matter how big or small those provisions may have been. David was overwhelmed with gratitude.

We will be doing something a little different in the Bassett house this in which I hope to make a family tradition. We will each have 5 corn kernels on our dinner plate, which symbolize the daily rations the Pilgrims endured. With each corn kernel, we will go around the table and name 5 things we are thankful for, combining all of our kernels (or our blessings) in a basket. We will be able to see when we combine all of our kernels, God has taken care of us as a family and our blessings are much bigger when we put them all together.

So now, it is your turn to post. Tell us on this blog how you give thanks to God and what you are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Update On My Brother

Some of you have asked about my brother, Doug. For those of you who have been following this blog, you probably remember Doug had a massive heart attack in July 2007. He also had an "after death" experience. Doug had a defibrillator put in, which was a quick fix. He lost weight, was able to start walking 3 miles a day, and began farming again. As Spring came, he became winded again and started retaining fluid around his heart. His doctor in Oxford who initially treated him for his heart attack had done all he could. Doug was sent to Baptist hospital in Memphis and a quintuple bypass was done on his heart the same day I was having Lilly Faith on April 3. Doug has resumed farming again, but his heart is severely damaged. The heart surgeons told him that in doing the 5 bypasses, he would have another 3-5 years and would probably never see a heart donated.

Yesterday, he went back to the hospital in Memphis for an evaluation and discussion with a research team who want to do stem cell research on him. Doctors believe they can harvest stem cells from his leg muscle, grow the stem cells in the lab, then inject the new stem cells back in his heart. His stem cells, if working properly, would re-grow new heart muscle on his damaged heart. The research team believes if they can re-grown just some of his heart muscle, he can live many more years while they still put him on a heart transplant list.

This research will take a total of 3 years from start to finish, with the hopes of beginning in the Spring.

I'm sure we will have more discussions of this procedure when our family gets together this weekend and I'll be sure to keep you updated. Please pray for my brother to have wisdom in knowing this is God's will for him and for the researchers to know exactly what they need to do.

If you have never read my August 10, 2007 blog entry, I have posted it below for you.
"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, November 24, 2008

Where He Is, I Want To Be

Lilly Faith is at the sweet age now of 7 months. One of the things I love the most about this age is that she knows me. I mean, she really knows that I'm her momma. Anyone can be holding her and when I walk in a room, her body leans towards me and so does her arms. She's not the best at reaching just yet, but when she leans, it is all the person holding her can do to keep her in their arms. And like any mother will do, I place her on my hip and she sits there while I clean off the counter tops, fix supper, put makeup name it. She hangs on like alittle koala bear while I go about my business. I can tell she knows who I am by her need to be attached to me. Wherever I am, she wants to be.

What would happen if we treated our relationship with the Lord that way? Just imagine, you don't want to be anywhere else or do anything without being with Him and in His presence. Not only do you not want to leave His side, but you surely don't want to make any decisions without Him there! You want to be a part of His world and all that He is. When you love someone, that's how you act. You cling to them and hold on tight for fear of not being near them.

Psalm 86:13 says, "For great is your love toward me." Psalm 89:33 says, "I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness." When you are a parent, knowing your child wants to be with you is a special feeling. It brings warmth to your heart and a smile on your face.

When I examine my relationship with the Lord, does He realize I want to be where He is? Am I holding on to Him for dear life? Does my love for Him bring a smile to His face?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Because You Asked Friday

Today is a continuation of the questions posted to this blog and emailed questions.

J.T. asks:
"What ever happened to the book you were writing? Are you still writing it? When will it come out?"

My book is still a work in progress. After having Lilly Faith, I haven't been able to write on it as much as I wanted with so many other things taking up what is left of my spare time. The publisher was pushing for a winter release for this year, but that was before I knew about our latest addition to the family. So, we are hoping for a late '09 release. I have been toying with the idea of no longer writing on this blog consistently (Monday-Friday) and only blogging once a week so I could devote more time to writing on the book and finishing it. Blogging takes quite a bit of time for me because I am always searching for scripture and thinking about the various topics I can share with you. Limiting my blogging would provide that extra time.

Jack posted:
"I love reading your blog. Since this is ask your questions Friday, I'd like to ask some questions. What are some of the funnier things that have happened while doing the weather? And what are some of the funny bloopers that have happened? I would love to see some bloopers maybe at the end of the newscast someday! Keep up the good work, Barbie and this blog. We love you here in Clinton."

When you work in the LIVE tv business, things are bound to happen and I not the most graceful verbally on the air. During our Hurricane Gustav coverage, my weekend meteorologist Eric Law and I were wall-to-wall with our weathercasts. Around 3am, the worst of the weather was over and we were concluding our coverage. I said to Eric on the air, "It's time for us to go home and go to bed." Eric blurted out, "But not together!" Last winter, I was giving a forecast and mentioned there would be some "light assing of the roadways". I meant to say "light icing of the roadways." When I was co-anchoring the Morning Show, Jack Hobbs read the church announcements on the air. He read about one church that was having a 'yoke breaking ceremony' where people could come and have their burdens prayed for. Jack asked me what I thought about this and I said, "I'd like to have my yoke broken." But the one I remember the most was when I was co-anchoring the Morning Show with Wilson Stribling and we had read a story about a new kiosk being put in at some gas stations up north. These kiosks would let the customer buy groceries, fill prescriptions, and making doctor appointments all while the customer was filling up their gas tank. I looked over at Wilson and said, "Well, if I've got that kind of time to do all of those things while I'm standing there, then I've got time to make my own gas!" I didn't realize how it sounded. Poor Wilson never recovered. Sometime at the end of the year, WLBT has been known to show a 'best of" montage of snippets from funny moments throughout the previous months.

P.Ramone asked this question:
"Just wanted to ask a question about the newsteam wardrobe. Do you all have a dress code that you must follow or are you allowed to wear what you want? And does the station furnish your outfits to wear every day? You and the others look fabulous, by the way."

We don't necessarily have a dress code, but we try to adhere to dressing professionally. Some newscasts lend themselves to wearing more casual clothes. When I was on mornings, I wore more dressy shirts and sweaters. When I was promoted to chief meteorologist, I found myself wearing more pantsuits. We are allowed to wear whatever we want within reason. The only time my wardrobe was furnished was when I was expecting my children, but we currently do not have a store that provides us clothes. We don't even get discounts. Just like you, I try to stretch a dollar and don't shop the high end stores. But it can get very tricky in trying to piece together several outfits to make them look different every night. The news men are so fortunate---they can wear the same suit every night, change out the shirt and tie and no one would know the difference. For us girls, it is more difficult because if I wear the same suit twice in 2 weeks, someone inevitably calls and complains that I wore "that same outfit 2 Tuesdays ago!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When You Can't Wait

As I walked through the grocery store yesterday, I noticed a worker perched high atop a ladder putting Christmas decorations up. The department stores had their Christmas decorations up the week of Halloween. Some stores just couldn't wait..

How many times have you heard a young teen say, "I can't wait to turn 16!" I remember being in grad school thinking, "I can't wait to graduate". My little ones are saying lately, "I can't wait until Christmas". When an expectant mother gets in those last few weeks of pregnancy, many of them say "I can't wait until this baby gets here". Sometimes, we just can't wait for fill-in-the-blank to happen!

If we only acted that excited about what God wants to do in our life. Acts 3 tells the story of a man who couldn't wait to see God's power in his life. Verse 1 says, "Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them." God performed a miracle through Peter and John and the man was healed from his crippled state and walked away from the temple.

In order to receive an answer from God, notice what we have to do---fix our attention on Him and expect. Did you see that?

Have you ever taught a dog how to do tricks? If you have, you know the dog looks at his owner with intensity and expects a treat. He has learned to trust his owner so well and knows what the outcome is if he does the trick he's been taught.

So instead of wondering when God is going to answer our prayers, we should fix our attention on Him and expect Him to answer. When things aren't going according to plan next time, perhaps we should say "I can't wait for God to answer my prayer!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

When Insecurity Comes Along

Last month, I had the chance to see how much Will hates shots. It was time for Lilly Faith's 6 month check up, which meant more shots. Since Gracie had not had her 5 year old boosters, we decided to do both girls at the same time. Before we left the house, we sat Gracie down and explained to her why she was getting shots and how we all "had to get shots when we were little". Will was apparently listening closely to our conversation. "I'm not getting shots," he told us. We told Will it wasn't his time to get shots, so he need not worry. We drove to the pediatrician's office and Will said in the car, "Gracie, I'm not going to get any shots." We took our seat in the waiting room, once again assuring Gracie that it would be over soon and would get her a treat after the shots were over. "But I'm not getting any shots, mommy," Will said. I shook my head again and told Will we were there for Lilly Faith and Gracie to get shots. "Yep, that's right!" Will said.

We waited in the room as our friendly doctor walked in the door and greeted all of us. Can you guess what Will told the doctor? "I'm not here to get a shot!" Will told the doctor. Even the good doctor found it comical that Will was so adamant that we all knew he was not there to get a shot!

Insecurity can be an ugly thing especially when you see negative situations happening all around you. Many of us are insecure about a variety of things: our job, our looks, our weight, the car we drive, the neighborhood we live in, or the clothes we wear. It can sometimes be hard not to second guess yourself when you look around. Proverbs 14:26 says, "In the fear of the Lord, one has strong confidence and His children will have a refuge". When we keep our confidence in the Lord and believe He will do what He says He will in His Word, insecurity has no place in our life. Insecurity and second guessing breeds more of the same and is a feast for Satan. But keeping our hope and confidence in the Lord produces peace about every situation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where Does Faith Come From?

Next week is Thanksgiving and most of us will pile in the car and drive to visit family. One of the things my husband and I do to pass the time when we're on trips is to play "name that group". He has XM Satellite Radio in his truck and we'll put it on the 80s music channel. The game goes like this: listen to the first few notes of the song and name the group. If you're really good, blurt out the year the song was released. I don't want to sound arrogant or anything, but I'm the reigning queen of this game! We'll talk about what we were doing or where we were when that song was popular. Since there are a few years' difference between us it can be fun to reminisce.

One of my favorite people in the Bible is David---the young David. When David was getting ready to face Goliath, he remembered how God had helped him in the past. I Samuel 17:46 says, "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand."

When David saw this giant man standing in front of him, he had to encourage himself because nobody else was offering him positive reinforcement. His brothers told him he was crazy; King Saul thought David was too small to defeat Goliath. But David remembered the lion and the bear God had helped him kill before. No doubt David had tremendous faith. But what gave him that faith? David's past experience with God! David would not have had any faith to convince him God would help him slay Goliath if David had not remembered how God had pulled through for him in the past.

Each of us has to have our own experience with God. I can't live on your experience and you can't live on my experience. We can encourage each other in the faith and share how God has helped us, but each one of us must go through our own trials. And just as David probably thought back to how God had brought him through before, isn't it good to remember God's faithfulness and that He has never taken His hand off us? That's where faith comes from!

Monday, November 17, 2008

When You Are Burdened For A Loved One

After last Friday's blog post, so many of you jumped on board and posted other questions in the comment section or emailed more of your questions. I will get to them this coming Friday. But I received this email question from a blog reader last week and thought it needed more attention than last Friday's blog could spare.

"Sally" wrote:
"My husband and I gave our lives to Jesus in 2006. He radically changed our lives, our hearts, everything about us is totally different, we are so blessed by Him! What we find ourselves continually struggling with is the attitudes of others. We have not had anything negative directed toward us from family or friends, but the problem is when we try to witness to them. They are not ugly or anything, but they tell us they are already saved, and politely try to push the subject aside. We can't know anyone else's heart, only Jesus knows. If someone tells you they are already saved, but everything about their lives that we can see, seems to say otherwise, such as, swearing, drinking, going to bars, etc..what do we do? I feel burdened that they aren't truly saved, because they show no outward signs of fruit in their lives. When we invite them to church, they will occasionally come just to appease us, but they don't attend church anywhere, etc, you get the idea....Do we need to leave them alone, and just try to continue being an example by the way we live our lives and the way we conduct ourselves, or do we continue to try to invite them to church, knowing they will always have an excuse not to go? I know this email is long and I apologize. I value your opinion and outlook on the subject as a sister in Christ.Thanks for your insight!"

I would venture to say that each one of us has a member of our family who was just described above. The Bible says in Matthew 7:16, "By their fruit you will recognize them". The truth is, there are many "ala carte" Christians in this world---they say they are Christian but they pick and choose what part of Christ they want to follow. When we are filled with Christ, we share that with other people in various ways like serving others, treating others as God would treat His own children, and inviting them to worship with us. You are not responsible for their actions and their choices, but you are responsible, as a Christian, for the type of witness you live before them. Continue to pray for these family members of yours. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." Sometimes we just don't know what to do about these situations because we feel like we've done all we can do and our hands are tied. In these cases, the Bible clearly says to "pray for wisdom". God knows your heart is burdened for them and He will bless you for your being sensitive to the Spirit. Continue to live the Christ-centered life and yes, continue inviting them to worship with you as the Lord leads you.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Because You Asked Friday

Every now and then, some blog readers post questions on this blog. I don't normally answer those questions in the comment section and since posting doesn't leave me an email address to reply to, their questions usually go unanswered. So today I thought I would answer the questions you have posted and emailed to me over the last couple of days. I will answer more questions on Monday.

Anonymous posted this question:
"Barbie, I enjoy your blog and can definitely tell you are losing the weight. I have recently started considering homeschooling my two children next year. One will be in the 4th grade and the other in kindergarten. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be considering this, I would have laughed. How has your homeschooling experience gone so far?"

Someone once told me homeschooling is a calling. There were several reasons that brought me to homeschooling and I am not sorry that I took the plunge. I teach part-time at Mississippi College and this is my fifth year at teaching Sunday School. But I had zero experience in the academic teaching of a child. This is our 15th week and we are having a blast! We start each day with prayer and it is that prayer has gotten us through it. With two other children underfoot, its not always easy to concentrate on teaching the other one so every day presents a new challenge. I've gotten my share of "You homeschool? Why? Aren't you afraid your child won't be socialized?" comments, but I have a peace about it and believe it is what the Lord would have me do....for now.

Big Bob posted:
"My daughter is a big fan and looks up to you in a big way. You might say you are one of her heros. Who would you say is your biggest hero outside of your family? Who is that person that has had an ever lasting affect on you?"

The person who has had the biggest impact in my life is my mother. I often mention her in this blog. Outside of my family, Melinda Aldison would be the person who had an ever lasting affect on me. Melinda was from Sledge, a small town near my hometown of Marks. She dated my brother in the early 80s. Melinda was a beauty queen and I was always fascinated by her prettiness. She won numerous titles over the years and had competed in both the Miss Mississippi Pageant and the Miss Tennessee Pageant. Being the baby of the family, not many people wanted to spend time with me but Melinda was different. She always made it a point to talk about internal beauty with me and the importance of being a Godly woman. She was an encourager to me, never made me feel like I was a bother, and she would take me shopping and do things little girls enjoyed doing. When I cried to her about being made fun of or being called names, Melinda understood. She didn't know it, but Melinda was affirming all my mother had been trying to teach me. This proves what many have said over the years--the type of people your children associate with have a strong influence on them as they grow. Melinda and I are still close friends to this day and she's just as beautiful now as she was then as you can see.

Jane posted this question:
"How did you and your husband meet? My second question is do you have a devotion book that inspires your posts, or is it from daily reading of God's word. You always hit it right on the nail with your posts by uplifting others. Your blog is just such an encouragement, and a reminder of how we should be living our lives as Christians. I think very highly of you, and I only watch you when it comes to the weather! I think you look great! You have beautiful children, and that picture of Lilly Faith is gorgeous! Her blue eyes just pop out-incredible!"

Thank you for your kind words and compliments, Jane.

My husband and I met while we were volunteering with teenagers at the Mississippi Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership weekend seminar. It was "love at first sight". By the way, we still volunteer every year with the same organization! Here is a picture the year after we were married with the actor Hugh O'Brian.

I've never really considered my blog as a devotion, although some of you have mentioned that you read it as one. When I started blogging in December 2006, it was intended to be an outlet for me to share my thoughts about the weather and spiritual journey. I wanted to write down what God was dealing with me on because if I write it down, I'm more apt to remember it and to apply it. The different subjects are really derived from my everyday life. As you can see by reading many of them, God shows me things through my children, my experiences in the media and public eye, and just being a typical woman trying to keep all of the balls in the air at the same time. When He lays something on my heart, He always leads me to a scripture that tops it off and nails it down. I'm reading the Bible through, so I don't have a devotional book that I use in my personal quiet time right now. If God speaks to you through what I've written, I can only tell you that it was HIM, not me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wide-Eyed And Speechless

Santa Claus is in town. Yes, the real Santa Claus. He's the one who sits on the throne at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland. I love that man. He and I communicate throughout the year, even while he's back to being just regular ol' Kris Kringle. We struck a close friendship several years ago before I had children when he came to WLBT and did an interview with me when I co-anchored the morning show. Santa literally knew too much about me. I was amazed and couldn't believe this "guy" just walked into the studio and knew I was expecting (before I had made it public), he knew my husband's name, and he knew where I grew up. Santa had obviously done his homework. A few weeks later, we were at the mall shopping. We walked past the center court where Santa was holding court with the good little boys and girls. Santa spotted me walking by and yells, "Barbie! Hey! How are you doing?" Hubby turned around and wide-eyed he asked, "You know Santa? Santa knows your name?" My husband was amazed that Santa and I were buddies. He was like a kid seeing a brand new bike for the first time!

Yesterday, Santa dropped by WLBT to bring me some early Christmas presents and we recorded a bit you will get to see on Christmas Eve on Channel 3. As we were catching up in the front lobby, a long line of small children were being led through having completed a tour of the tv station. As they walked by and saw Santa, they were speechless. All they could do was wave and walk slowly by as their mouths flew open. I bet when those children got home, they forgot all about the WLBT tour but they remembered seeing Santa Claus in the flesh! It was neat to watch the awe they had in their eyes and on their small faces in looking at the man they have heard about only in stories and tales.

I wonder how many times we are in awe of God? No, He isn't standing right here in front of us, but His presence is all around us in everything He has created and in how He provides for us. When Moses came down from Mt.Sinai after having been in the presence of God, his face was so bright the people couldn't look at him for days! There are numerous accounts in the Bible when Jesus healed the sick and did other miracles. One of those is in Matthew 9:8 when Jesus headed the paralytic: "When the crowd saw that (the healing), they were filled with awe and they praised God." Psalm 47:2 says, "How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth!"

How many times a day have you stopped to acknowledge the things around you, the circumstances around you, the blessing around you, and just drank in God's awesomeness? When you think about all He has done, you can't help but be wide-eyed and speechless...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rain And More Rain

When the kids looked out the window yesterday morning, one said "yuk". Yuk is right. Rain arrived yesterday and it is sticking around for today. Climatologically speaking, we could use some rain. Since November 1, the National Weather Service in Jackson has recorded 0.40" of rain which puts us -1.29" below normal for this time of the month. The cold front on the way is a slow mover and there is plenty of moisture forming well ahead of the actual front. With that said, expect rain showers throughout the day and evening, with some heavy sprinkles. Here is this morning's graphic from the NWS.Most of the stronger thunderstorms will remain well to our south and southwest or closest to the warm front. One computer model has us completely drying out by Thursday afternoon while another model has the rain lasting through Friday afternoon. By this weekend, you'll be bundled up because the temperatures will plummet to the 50s for daytime highs and 30s for overnight lows.

Meantime, I thought I'd do alittle something different for this Friday's blog. Every now and then, readers to this blog post questions in the "comments" section. One was posted yesterday by a reader. If you have any questions for me, I'll be happy to answer them on this Friday's blog. Just post your question or send it to me at (I realize some of you don't know how to post on this blog or you would rather send an email because it may be easier for you).

Take your umbrella today and try not to grow webbed feet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. It is a day when our citizens are supposed to honor those who have served in the armed forces.

My grandfathers were never in the military; my dad and brother have never been in the military; and I don't have any uncles who have served in the military. Being from a die-hard farming family, most of the men (and women) stayed behind during wars and grew food for everyone else. So, I don't have any first hand accounts or memories of loved ones being away in foreign countries fighting wars. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate what was done and what is being done for me even to this day.

When I was a senior in high school, my mom, my sister and I went to Hawaii for a beauty pageant I was in. While there, we toured Pearl Harbor. I remember learning about the significance of Pearl Harbor, but it didn't hit a note with me in until I toured the memorial there. In my life, there have been a few times when I've felt a reverential hush come over me. Standing on the memorial, looking into that deep blue water, seeing the oil residue float on top of the ocean and realizing the bodies that were under me was one of those moments that I will never forget what I felt like.

My co-worker Bert Case did a wonderful story yesterday about a family of brothers in Neshoba County who all served in the military fighting in various wars. I've posted a portion of his story below and a picture of the Jackson brothers.

We found six men in Neshoba county, all of whom were veterans of either World War II or Korea, to go to for their perspective on Veteran's Day. O.D. Jackson, C.O. Jackson, Jeffie Jackson, Fulton Jackson, Howard Jackson, and Wendall Jackson. You guessed it, the Jacksons are all brothers, five of whom served in World War II at the same time and two later in the Korean War. One Jackson brother who was a Veteran of World War II, Lawson Jackson, died Sunday. They are all the sons of Will and Mae Jackson of Neshoba County. We thought they would have an interesting view of the meaning of Veteran's Day. "Had we not won World War II, we would very likely be speaking some foreign language, if we were even here today," said O.D. Jackson, WWII veteran. "It just brings to mind what we went through, and people won't even take time to, go out to celebrate it," added C.O. Jackson, WWII veteran.
"It means everything to me," added Jeffie Jackson, WWII veteran. "I think of freedom primarily. I think of Veteran's Day. I like to see the parades, I like to see the flags flying, I like to see patriotism emphasized," added Howard Jackson, Korean War veteran. So when you think of Veteran's Day, this year, think of the Jackson brothers of Neshoba County, Mississippi.

While you are going about exercising your freedoms today and you come across someone who has served our country in war or peacetime, tell them "thank you". They will understand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Loved, Even Though We're Broken

Last year around Christmas time, my nanny took Gracie to the Build-A-Bear workshop and let her make an animal of her choice. Gracie picked Rudolph to make. This toy is precious. His red nose would light up and he plays the jingle "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer". That child carried Rudolph everywhere and still does to this day. As springtime came, we noticed the nose stopped lighting up and the jingle sounded alittle slow and warped. My husband dissected the animal and put a new battery in, thinking that would solve the problem. The jingle was back to normal, but Rudolph's nose still wouldn't light up. It seems as if Rudolph's nose is permanently broken, although it didn't seem to bother Gracie nor has she complained that Rudolph wasn't the same.

Over the weekend, I asked Gracie if she wanted to go back to Build-A-Bear this Christmas and pick out a new Rudolph to replace her broken one with, or she could pick out a totally different "new" animal to make. Big tears filled her eyes. "No, I don't want to get rid of Rudolph," she said. So I explained to Gracie that I thought she would rather have a new one since her's was broken. "You may think he's broken, but I love him like he's new," she said.

When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments the second time, Moses heard first hand from God who He is. Exodus 34:6 says, "And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, 'The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.." When you love someone, you are faithful to them. You don't leave them when the going gets tough, you don't abandon them, and you certainly don't leave them even though they have problems. Your love for them makes you faithful to them.

God proclaimed that's exactly who He is: He loves his children and is faithful to those He loves. Even though we are broken in many ways, God doesn't ever try to replace us. He loves us just like we're new.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Sin of Independence

Remember when you fed your children baby food? What a mess! Sweet Lilly Faith is enjoying all of the various tastes of baby food but wants to help me feed her now. When I first started feeding her, she let me do it all. Now that she is learning some hand-eye coordination, she wants to do it all. When she sees me hold the spoon full of sweet potatoes towards her mouth, her hand flies up to grab the spoon and the mashed mess goes everywhere. Meantime, Will is always wanting to dress himself and often gets his shoes on the wrong feet or his clothes inside out. I guess independence starts early....

Too often, we are guilty of the sin of independence, which causes many problems. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Having cast all of your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." A desire for independence is a sign of an immature Christian. A child thinks he can do anything and instead of asking for help, he wants to do everything for himself.

We can be that way as Christians. Our heavenly Father tries to help us but we don't want His help; we want to do it all by ourselves and we end up making a terrible mess of things. God wants to manage our life. He wants to handle our affairs for us as a blessing to us, but many times we reject His help and try to do things on our own. And, the result is often disastrous.

We are to cast our burdens on the Lord and let them remain with Him. Most Christians go to the Lord in prayer and get their temporary relief; then go away and soon find themselves under the same old burden. The way we overcome a spirit of independence is by placing ourselves totally into God's hands and allowing Him to be the Manager of our life. Our first responsibility is to trust God. The second is not to take His place.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Give Satan Fits!

I heard someone mention yesterday about how hurt they were with the election outcome. "But I prayed and prayed and prayed about this presidential election. I've prayed diligently for the last few weeks....more than I ever have in my life!" she said. She was confused as to why God didn't come through with a last minute miracle and change the outcome. Most Christians prayed for this presidential election and this country more than they ever have before, but we should make it a priority to do that every day; not just before an election. But rest assured, God knew the outcome long ago and it didn't catch him off guard.

It is easy to say, "don't worry". But to actually do that requires experience with God. Do you have that?

Romans 5:2-4 says, "Through Him also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character. And character produces joyful and confident hope."

That's why it is so important to continue to have faith and trust in God in the very midst of the mess that occurs in our everyday lives and in our world. It is important to resist the temptation to throw up our hands and give up or quit when the going gets tough or when it keeps on getting rougher over a long period of time. It is in those trying times that the Lord is building in us the patience, endurance, and character that will eventually produce the habit of joyful and confident hope.

If you and I hang in there and refuse to give up, sooner or later we will be more than Satan can handle and will give him fits! When that happens, we will have reached spiritual maturity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Live It Out Loud!

Like many of you last night, I watched the election returns between newscasts. I found myself getting worried and downright anxious. The political commentators were just making me nervous. So, I turned off the television, grabbed Lilly Faith and we went and played in another room. It was the only way I could escape the stress that was building up inside of me. I found myself praying for her and my other children, for their future and for them to grow to be spiritual warriors.

The persecutions you and I and our children have coming to us seem bleak. But no matter what a leader says about abortion, marriage, Israel, or any other cultural, social or foreign issue, God addresses them all in the 66 books of the Bible. God does not compromise and doesn't change His mind on any of the issues (I've tried to find it).

I am reminded about what Moses told Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

We have a tongue-in-cheek term we use for those who sit in the back of the Baptist churches every Sunday morning. They are referred to as "back row Baptists". The joke is that these are people who don't want to take a public stand for Christ, get involved in evangelism and other matters spoken about in God's Word. But these "back row Baptists" continue to come to church because they want their fire insurance and want to be able to sneak into heaven via the back pearly gate.

Truth is still on the throne and Truth is still in control and reigns! So now is the time. Don't be a back row Christian. Live your Christianity out loud and as that old hymn says,

"Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross. Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory, His army shall He lead. Till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey; forth to the mighty conflict, in this his glorious day. Ye that are brave now serve him against unnumbered foes; let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose. Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long; this day the noise of battle, the next the victor's song. To those who vanquish evil a crown of life shall be; they with the King of Glory shall reign eternally."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Planning For The Election Outcome

Today is the day that we've been waiting for---election day! Not only will we elect a new leader of the our free world, but we'll be able to watch television without being bombarded with political ads!

Many plans have been made for the victory celebrations for the various candidates. While they are making their plans, I've been thinking of a few of mine: What will I do if my candidate doesn't win? What will happen to my future? What will happen to my children's future? I'm sure you have the same questions running in your head, too, and have probably already answered some of them with your "plans".

All of our life, all we do is plan. We get up in the morning and we plan out our day. While we brush our teeth, we plan what we're going to wear. During the day, we plan for the evening. We plan what we're going to cook, when to go exercise, then we plan what we're going to plan tomorrow! All I do all day long is plan, plan, plan! But, God has a plan, too.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome."

Sometimes we have to lay down our plan to hear God's plan. I think it is wise to plan our work and work our plan. But we must not become so rooted in our plan that we argue and resist if God tries to show us a better way. We will never enjoy life until we begin trusting God to a much greater degree. In everything that concerns us, God has a plan, just as He did for Jesus when He sent Him into this world to save us and serve as our example. So while we may be busy planning our plans, what about asking God what His plan is?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Upsetting Your Father

My husband is an easy going fella. There isn't much that trips his trigger or makes him angry. Saturday night Gracie wanted to watch me bathe Lilly Faith in the sink while Will was getting his own bath. Gracie grabbed a small stool I've had for years and was walking toward the kitchen counter when all of a sudden, she tripped and fell. She was fine but the stool lost one of it's four legs. She was so upset that she had broken my stool, but I explained it was an old stool and I knew she didn't mean to do it. My husband walked in and saw the broken stool and asked her what happened. She explained how she broke the stool. "But I didn't mean to, daddy!" she told him. "I know," he said. "I'm not mad at you," he said. "I just wanted to know how it happened to I could possibly fix it." Gracie asked him, "You're not mad? Isn't there anything that upsets you?"

I heard a Christian author on the radio last week who said we think of God in the same way we think of our earthly father. For instance, if your earthly father was gruff and always in a bad mood, then you will think of God in the same way. If your earthly father was loving and always forgiving, then you will think of God in that way. If your earthly father was no where to be found or absent from your life, then you will probably think of God has being a hands-off father.

Psalm 84:11 says, "For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Not only does the sun bring warmth to the earth, but it also brings light so we can see. God lights our way so we can see His will more clearly. He also shields us from fear and from the danger of the unknown. But none of us are blameless because we have all sinned. I don't believe this passage implies perfection, but instead, undivided loyalty. When God grants forgiveness, we become blameless in His sight.

Isn't it nice to know that although we mess our life up so easily, whether accidental or intentional, God's mercy and love endures! It is our loyalty that He is after.