Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday's Gustav Update

Gustav's track remains the same, if not having slightly shifted to the east overnight. Before reaching Cuba yesterday, the storm reached category 4 status. Once over Cuba, the eyewall collapsed and Gustav lost some intensity. Now that he is back over water fully, intensification will begin again once the storm reaches an area called the warm loop current. Although Gustav is back down to a category 3, he could reach category 4 over the next 24 hours. Here is the latest track:
Landfall is expected to occur sometime Monday afternoon and the storm should then shift northwest. As drag is created over land, the storm could bring several days of rain to portions of west and southwest Mississippi, an area which already had plenty of rain from Tropical Storm Fay just last week.

Meantime, we are under a tropical storm wind watch and hurricane wind watch. This means winds could be gusting up to 39 mph-60 mph with sustained winds of the same for a period of time. As I said last night on WLBT, we could begin to see the rain bands move into portions of the state tonight along with the windy conditions.

I continue to believe we won't be any worse off than Katrina. Everyone has their own Katrina story and we all went through different effects; some lost power for 7-10 days, some had flash flooding and we all encountered tornado watches and warnings. Although this could obviously get rough at times until the storm has completely passed, we will make it again.

Find your county on this map and see what you can expect today:
We are all more prepared this go around than last time. With Katrina, we had 2 days to prepare. This time, we have had 7 days to prepare. Do you think God is trying to tell us something this time? Hmmmm....Let's be thankful for that!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday's Gustav Update

Gustav is now considered a major hurricane because the winds have reached 120 miles per hour which puts his intensity at a category 3. Once over the open waters last night, Gustav gained all the strength he needed to get a burst of energy. The storm has also grown much larger in size since yesterday. It could possibly reach category 4 status once it moves into the warm waters of the gulf. Computer models are still showing a late Monday night/Tuesday morning landfall along south central Louisiana.

Notice the "spaghetti plots" stick close together through Cuba's landfall and gulf entry. Two models have an area of high pressure forming off the coast of Texas which would loop the storm back to the west. Most of the models have Gustav making a Lousiana landfall then continuing northwest. It is expected Gustav will slow just a bit before reaching land which could make the storm lose some intensity before it makes landfall. It is also expect that upon making landfall, the storm will slow over land which could be a heavy rain event for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Take a look at the expected winds on Tuesday with this graphic:

As you can tell, central Mississippi will receive winds in upwards of 50 miles per hour while south and southwest Mississippi could experience winds of 60-70 miles per hour. Again, this is assuming Gustav's track stays the same, and we all know hurricanes don't travel in a straight line.

Everyone has their own Katrina memory as we all experienced different things. It is my personal opinion that it will not get any worse than what we went through with Katrina and has the possibility of not getting as bad. However, the further south, southwest and west you live in the state of Mississippi, the greater the chances are that you will see the worst weather.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday's Gustav Update

Gustav keeps getting punched in the stomach by land. First it was Haiti that did a number on Gustav's strength; last night it was Jamaica. Although Gustav is still a tropical storm, he will emerge today back over the open waters and gather more strength.

The forecasted landfall track has shifted slightly west. A strong area of high pressure is now expected to build in over the Ohio River Valley which would "protect" eastern Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, the back end of that high could break down slightly. If that should happen, Gustav still has his eyes set on western Louisiana or the central coast of Louisiana. With computer models taking this into account, the track has shifted more towards New Iberia, Louisiana. I have posted 3 graphics here for you to see just how close the models are to consensus.

Gustav looks to make his landfall early Tuesday morning and continue on a northwesterly track. Notice on the "spaghetti plot", 3 models have Gustav headed for Mississippi & Louisiana while 3 others take if far to the west to Texas.

Obviously, there is still room for error in the landfall location, timing and strength of this storm. But as long as Mississippi stays in the right front quadrant of the storm, we stand the chance to see sustained winds, rain and tornadoes.

One poster to this blog wanted to know how to deal with a child who is deathly afraid of storms. We are scared of things we don't understand. A child (and some adults) may be afraid of bad weather because they don't understand what causes the bad weather. The truth is tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms occur everyday all over the world. When God made this earth, He made it to work in cycles. Although we seem to be more afraid of the damage from hurricanes, the churning of the ocean waters help to "mix up" the water and bring more nutrients closer to the surface so sea creatures and plant life can have more to feed on. We are scared of damage from tornadoes, but tornadoes often have rain that accompanies it. Plants and animals need the rain that comes from these storms. So you see, storms do have a place in this expansive world. Once I explained to my oldest Gracie in 5 year-old terms how lightning is formed, she wasn't as afraid. However, a certain amount of fear is healthy--I wouldn't want her to play outside in the middle of a storm! Also, make sure you reassure your child they are not alone; that you will be right there with them through this and you will help them make the right choice in taking cover when appropriate. Take this opportunity to talk to your child about having a weather plan (have a special room, close or hallway to wait out the storm should tornado warnings be issued). The more relaxed and prepared they feel, the more the fear will ease.

I don't normally blog on the weekends, but I'll be working this weekend and will continue to update you on the latest.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday's Gustav Update

Gustav has gained strength overnight and is on the verge of becoming a hurricane. Those in Jamaica are battening down the hatches as the storm is expected to roll over them today. Computer models have Gustav shifting alittle further to the west. Obviously, the models think the high pressure centered over Florida will hang on for alittle longer before weakening. Last night, it was looking like a Grand Isle, Louisiana landfall; this morning, it looks closer to Houma and New Iberia, Louisiana landfall on Tuesday morning. Gustav looks to slow down once it reaches the coastline which would mean several days of rain for central Mississippi. However, with Mississippi expected to be in the right front quadrant, that puts us at high risk for heavy rain, sustained winds of 50 miles per hour, and possible tornadoes---not the best place to be.

Five day forecasts for hurricanes can be wrong. There is about a 300 mile error for landfall as well as a 25 mile per hour error. Thats alot of breathing room. As things have slightly changed since yesterday, things can change tomorrow.

I am using the montra "prepare, don't scare". So many people were caught off guard when Katrina made her jog west, although we gave viewers a 2 day notice of her landfall along the Mississippi coast. This time, we've been given 5-6 days to prepare. The more you're prepared, the more prepared you'll be to help your neighbors, family members, and those out of state.

One poster asked yesterday how to calm her weather-frightened child. I'll answer that tomorrow in my blog because I'm dealing with the same questions in my house.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wednesday's Gustav Update

Over the next few days, I'm going to be giving you my thoughts on Gustav--at least until we know he won't be a threat for Mississippi. I don't always share my personal opinions or gut feelings in my weathercasts, so this gives me an opportunity to do so.

I am very concerned. You've seen the computer models and you know the scenarios. We have a cold front that will move into the state on Friday. This front is progged to move into south Mississippi over the weekend and stall out. By that point, Gustav will be back to hurricane status (most models have it as a category 3 by that point), and churning in the Gulf of Mexico. If this upper trough (or leftover front) hangs around the northern gulf on Sunday and Monday, it will turn Gustav more eastward putting Mississippi in his path. If the trough doesn't make it that far and the winds from a high pressure over Florida weaken, Gustav will move more Louisiana, Texas. Where Gustav goes is totally dependent meteorologically upon the high pressure and the upper trough.

I've seen this before. I saw it the Friday before Hurricane Katrina hit. Everyone thought I was crazy (after all, Katrina was supposed to hit Florida, right?). Obviously, Gustav bears watching.
Yesterday, we put the "Bassett household crisis plan" into motion. Knowing that my husband will most likely disappear for days, weeks, or even months as before with Katrina and I will be working for days upon end without coming home, we've already made our plans to send our children out of town. I suggest you begin thinking about the steps you need to take SHOULD this Gustav stay on his current path.

All of this is subject to change and I'll be keeping you updated with inside information here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Act Like It!

As we were getting the kids ready for bed Sunday night, I turned on the tv and watched some of the Olympics closing ceremonies. The memory tower, the fireworks, music, lighted acrobats hanging hundreds of feet in the air--my eyes could barely take it all in. It was an amazing show. But the last ten minutes of the broadcast is what got to me. NBC showed a montage of the last two weeks of the winning moments for the athletes. I sat there mesmerized as I watched a wrestler cry over his win, the smiles beaming from the womens gymnastic team, a jouster collapse on the floor in an exhaustive win, Michael Phelps raise his fist in triumph, a big burly weightlifter show his medal around his neck and hold a picture of his son next to the gold---the list goes on and on. I had tears in my eyes watching these moments, many I hadn't seen on tv. I thought about the massive undertaking many of them had taken just to get to Beijing and how they must've felt knowing they gave it all they had and won. And from that moment on, they walked and acted like champions!

The Bible says that we can have victory, too. In Romans 8:35 Paul writes, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." 2 Samuel 8:6 says David "had victory wherever he went".

So can Christians ever lose in life? We cannot balance physical reality with spiritual reality. On the cross, it looked like Jesus was overcome. In reality, he was the overcomer! Jesus taught his disciples that they would have to lose their lives to really live, that they could only be great by becoming slaves and that the way to be exalted is to be humbled. Such ideas seem to be contradictions because we see things from the physical realm. But the fact is that even in defeat, in Christ we win.

Seeing as we have victory in Christ, act like it! Walk with your head lifted high; speak like someone who knows they've got the victory. A duck walks, talks and quacks like a duck because it is a duck! A duck can't be anything else because he is a duck! It's time we walk as though we know we have already won....because we have!

Monday, August 25, 2008

An Update on Fay

Everywhere I went over the weekend, people were asking about what was once Tropical Storm Fay. It has been raining all weekend and if you're like me, you're ready to see the sun shine again. I found some interesting statistics I thought I'd share with you:

-Fay made several landfalls--the only storm in Florida's history to make 4 landfalls.
-Fay could help us break the record rainfall totals for any August. The current August record rainfall stands at 11.39" set back in 1942. So far, we have received 11.33" this August and the month isn't over. The wettest month on record in Jackson any time during the year stands at 17.70" in December of 1982. We are hoping that record won't be broken.

The good news is the remnants of Fay will be headed northeast over Mississippi today and taking the rain with her. Our chances for rain will be going down from here although we may have several more rounds of heavy drizzle. Considering this storm had many possibilities and different senarios, we came out on the good end of what could've been a big problem for the coastal areas still dealing with the aftermath of Katrina.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why The Blog Is Being Updated So Late?

Its been a long 2 weeks. The Olympics have pushed our 10pm newscasts an hour or two later than normal. Last night, we were supposed to go on the air at 11pm, but with the mens volleyball finals and the gold medal win, we were pushed back another 30 minutes. I got in bed around 12:45am and had 2 smiling faces greeting me shortly after 6:15am this morning. I've enjoyed watching various parts of the competitions but my sleep deprived mind will be glad when its all over. I really feel sorry for those television stations in the eastern time zone!

In the last six weeks, I've lost 17 pounds. As I told you several weeks ago, I am on the liquid diet that Baptist hospital oversees. It hasn't been as tough as I initially thought as I continue to lose more every week. But, the emails continue regarding my weight.

Are you pregnant now? We are just wondering at my job. Signed, Christie

Hear rumors that you pregnant again with TWINS. Is that correct? If so, when are they due? Signed, Lois Womack

Me and my friend are having a fight over if you pregnant or not. I said no, she said yes. Please let me know. Signed Cora Fields

Of course, I explained to these viewers that what they are seeing is just some leftover baby weight and that I'm trying my best to get it off. Patience, people, patience....

Let me apologize for being tardy in updating the blog this week. We have started something new in the Bassett house--I am now a homeschool mother. After much prayer and conviction over the summer, it was what we felt was best for our Gracie, now a kindergartener. With my schedule of working afternoons and nights, I would not see my child until 7pm during my dinner break should we put her in regular kindergarten. She would not be with either parent until that time when both my husband and I would be home. That is a long time to be without any parental influence. I struggled with what people would say and if I could do it (after all, my life is already packed to the gills). Some people have asked me if I will continue to homeschool as she gets older or if I will homeschool Will and Lilly Faith. I don't have that answer and I'll wait on the Lord to tell me. We've completed the first week and I have to say, I've enjoyed teaching Gracie how to read and write. We've also involved my husband in the learning process. He does a Bible lesson with her at night while I go back to work.

With that said, on most days the blogging won't be finished until 9:30am or 10am as I have decided to put Gracie first. I hope you won't mind and I covet your prayers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making Our Own Problems

I have a bad habit of not being patient. Some time ago, I noticed the vinyl on our kitchen floor coming apart at one of the seams. I asked my husband to get some special floor glue to temporarily fix it until we saved the money to get the floors completely re-done. Well, I got tired of waiting on him and I took things into my own hands! I took some glue that's supposed to be strong and put it in the seam myself. It stayed together for several days and looked good. Then, it came undone again; this time much worse than it was before. My husband wasn't too happy with me. "I told you I would fix it when I got around to it," he told me. "Now what was once a small problem is even uglier." And he was right.

Abraham and Sarah made their small problem much bigger when they weren't willing to wait. Genesis 15 tells the story of how God came to Abraham (Abram at the time) and told him he would bless him and give him a heir so that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. But Sarah got impatient. She came up with a plan for Abraham to sleep with her servant, Hagar, and produce the heir both Abraham and Sarah wanted. In chapter 17, God even went on to bless Sarah and told her He would cause her to have a child with Abraham, even though she was an old woman by then. It was through this promised son, Isaac, and not through the natural son that Abraham and Hagar produced, Ishmael, that God's covenant of blessings was to be fulfilled.

Isaac was God's idea and plan; Ishmael was Sarah's idea and plan. One was the child of promise or the child of the Spirit; the other was the child of human effort, or the child of the flesh. Abraham had to wait 20 years for God's promised fulfillment. And when Isaac was finally born, Ishmael caused problems in the household, so Abraham had to send Ishmael away to his mother Hagar.

Many times the reason we're having problems is because we have produced our own Ishmaels rather than Isaacs. We are reaping the consequences of trying to carry out our own plans and ideas rather than waiting on God to bring forth His plan for us. And when things don't turn out the way we expect, we get mad at God because He isn't fixing things the way we want Him to.

John 6:63 says, "It is the Spirit Who gives life; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever." What we fail to remember is that what is born of the Spirit is spirit and what is born of the flesh is flesh. If you and I are going to fulfill God's will and plan us in this life, we have got to get flesh out of the way and let God be God in us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Giving To Others

Working in downtown Jackson, I get to see things that I probably wouldn't normally see living out in the county. Last night as I was driving back for our 10pm webcast, I drove past a gas station that was closed. There was a homeless man digging in the trash cans set next to the gas pumps. At first I thought he was an employee closing up for the evening. But as I looked closer, I realized what he was doing--trying his best to find any scrap of food to eat or maybe even a dropped coin or two. The Holy Spirit convicted me: "Give that man some money".

Someone has said, "Show me how a person spends his money and I'll tell you what his relationship with God is like." How true do you really think that is?

When Paul talked about giving in the Bible, he begins by sharing with the Corinthians how the Macedonian Christians were sending money they really didn't have to spare. Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea were all cities in Macedonia where the churches were suffering greatly because of persecution from the Jews. And how were the believers in Macedonia enduring it all? 2 Corinthians 8:1-2 says, "Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality."

The suffering they were experiencing, their poverty, filled them with joy. So much so that when they heard about the collection Paul was taking up, they had to help. They begged to help!

What about you and me? Do we find great joy in giving generously to the work of God? Has the Lord laid it upon your heart to share your resources to help someone else? What will you and I do with what we've been given?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Its All In The Eyes

I'm not much of a sports fanatic. Although the Olympics have caused me to get home late at night due to our 10pm newscast being pushed back for Olympic coverage, I have found myself following some of the competitions. I watched Saturday night as Michael Phelps went for his 8th gold medal. I found myself cheering on the television set, "Go, go, go, you've almost got it, keep going, he's getting closer to you!" And at the end of the relay, the USA mens swim team won gold!

When you see the athletes compete, you barely notice their faces because it all goes so fast and the camera shots are always switching angles. But when I've seen the still photographs that are released to the public after the race is completed, I notice one thing on each competitor's face: their eyes are fixed, focused, determined.

Daniel was determined in the Bible. You remember the story of Daniel in the den of lions. The king threw him in the den because the king didn't like the interpretations Daniel was giving. So the king told him in Daniel 6:16, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" The Bible goes on to give the account. The king went to bed that night without eating and he tossed and turned. When he went to see if Daniel had been devoured by the lions the next morning, he saw Daniel still alive. Daniel told him in verse 22: "My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me." The king gave the order to have Daniel taken out of the den. When Daniel was taken out of the den, there wasn't a scratch on him, "because he had trusted in God" (verse 23).

If Daniel had at any point taken his eyes off God, the lions would have had him for an appetizer, full course and dessert. But he didn't. He had his eyes fixated and focused on God. If we take our eyes off the Father when troubles arise, then we become mince meat for Satan. When we keep our eyes solely on God and His promises, we triumph without a scratch!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Walking In The Way

Nothing can bring greater peace in the middle of suffering than to know you're where God would have you to be. In Acts 18:9-10 God told Paul, "Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city."

I've never thought Paul as being afraid. We forget that the heroes in the Bible were people just like us, people who battled their emotions and dealt with the same fears we do. Some were fears of shame, suffering or the fear of rejection.

Paul was afraid and God commanded him to not be afraid. That's all Paul had to hear. Alittle further down in Acts 18:11 it says, "And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them."

Just to know that you're in God's will brings peace and the ability to continue to do what He has called you to do. Without that knowledge, there is either confusion or a scrurrying about as you try to do more than God ever intended for you to do.

We can have strength and confidence to settle in and persevere. Isaiah 30:21 puts it best, "This is the way, walk in it." There is nothing more valuable in knowing that way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Suggestions From A Caller

Everyone has an opinion. Whether that opinion is shared in a kind way or not doesn't always matter. It's one of those "perks" of the job that I didn't sign up for, but for some reason comes nonetheless. Many of you were appalled and commented on the "Viewer Emails" blog entry from last Friday (you remember the one, don't you?). Over the weekend, while I wasn't at work, I received 2 voice mails on my office phone. Both voice mails were from the same woman. Without transcribing the entire messages for you, I thought I'd share some bits and pieces.

Received 4:10pm, Saturday, August 9
The female caller says that she has been keeping up with my blog and read my blog entry from August 8. She said "this has gotten out of hand" and told me "you are obsessed with the fact that you are out of shape. Your nipples WERE showing. You wear things like bed jackets and your nipples were sticking out as well as your big belly button. I know a nipple whenever I see one." The caller told me "I think you would be really attractive if you'd wear more suits and went somewhere else to get your hair done. You're making a really big deal out of this. More than most people care about it. You need to stick with doing the weather report. You'd probably do better."

Received 9:40pm, Sunday, August 10
She called back again and this time she said she "isn't an email or blog person" and said she kept up with my brother and sister's heart problems last year and wanted to know why I didn't talk more about them. She said she would much rather I stop "preaching". She said, "I don't go to the internet to read the Bible. Maybe you should stop copying scripture. We all have Bibles. If I want to read a Bible, I'll read it. Maybe you're thinking of being an evangelist." Once again she said, "I think you're just obsessed with your looks. Perhaps you need to do your hair back like it used to look years ago. It just doesn't look good on you. You need to dress more professionally. You do a great job with the weather report. But you are obsessed with being out of shape. You're just another woman who had kids and got out of shape."

I always respond to my emails, letter and phone calls, if they leave me a return address or phone number. I think its only appropriate to respond to viewers should they take the time to contact me. However, this lady didn't leave her name, nor number on either message. Some of you may have some of the same suggestions or questions, so I thought I would respond to her concerns.

1) I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with my looks. I would much rather come to work and do my job and would hope people don't concentrate on my appearance. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked that way. Some viewers have become obsessed with my looks. That is obvious by the number of emails, letters and phone calls addressing my outer appearance.

2) We went back to look at the broadcast in which I was supposedly exposing myself and I wasn't. However, I put on the same blouse for a friend of mine and this is what she noticed: the seams/darts on the front of the blouse fall right on my bust line. It seems that I have lost so much weight in my chest area after having the baby that the seams were in the wrong place and out of line, causing the material to pucker. This is what Ms. Moss was seeing, the puckering. She wasn't seeing nipples. And as far as my "big belly button sticking out", I don't have an "outty" and never have. My mother and husband can attest to that.

3) Most people think because I'm on tv, I must have a limitless amount of money to spend on clothes or that I get free clothes. The truth is, I am not given any money to purchase clothes and I don't get free clothes. I shop for bargains and sales. If someone wants to hand me a blank check, I'll be more than happy to go buy all of the professional suits that I can fit into my car! Some may think I have a hairstylist and makeup artist on site to make me camera ready before the lights go on. Not so. I am the hairstylist and makeup artist and I have 10 minutes or less to do it in every day. So if my hair looks bad or if there is some mascara on my cheek, there is no one to blame but me.

4) I have given updates on my brother and sister on several occasions. So many of you were their prayer warriors and they felt every one of them lifted up on their behalf. In case you missed it, they are both doing so well. My brother Doug has had an active summer working in the field, driving the tractor and combine, and attending his son's baseball games. He just returned from the beach where he took his family for a short vacation and celebrated the one year mark of his heart attack. My sister Rhonda hasn't had any heart palpitations since being put on beta blockers. She and her husband continue to parent their 2 college aged sons and pre-teen daughter.

5) In the beginning, I chose to make my blog public. Some blogs are private and readers must subscribe or have passwords in order to read them, but I wanted to let mine be public. Although it may seem that I'm preaching, I'm not. This blog was meant to be therapy for me....a way I could write down what the Lord is trying to teach me, read it over and over again, and meditate on how I need to change. If the blog speaks to you, that isn't my doing--that's the Holy Spirit. I won't take credit for that. As you might have noticed, when there is something significant weatherwise to talk about, I'll share my meteorological thoughts, too. That's why I call it "Barbie's Forecasts & Faith".

Over the years, I've been more cause oriented instead of career oriented. However, if I can minister to others through my career, then I feel like I'm doing the right thing.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Standing Firm

It's one thing to serve God when glory comes your way, when everyone says what a fine job you did, when you're well known, honored and respected. But it's another thing to continue doing what God has called you to do while people dishonor you and say mean things about you. Even Jesus was despised and rejected.

When we persevere during times like these and when we handle the praises and accolades of people, when it goes either way and we stand firm while being God's servant, He will not be discredited. God rewards His faithful and in time He will certainly vindicate them in the eyes of their enemies. Ours is to stand firm in His grace as spoken about in 2 Corinthians 6:4, 8-9: "In everything commending ourselves as servants of God, but glory and dishonor, by evil report and good report; regarded as deceivers and yet true; as unknown yet well-known, as dying yet behold, we live; as punished yet not put to death."

We must ask the Lord to help us stand even when others condemn us or misunderstand, and to help equip and strengthen us to serve God without pride and without shame.

Tomorrow I will share with you a phone call I received over the weekend from a viewer who had some suggestions and critiques of this blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When All Heck Breaks Loose

I was ready to scream "Uncle!" yesterday. As I told you in yesterday's post, we were expecting severe weather and for some in our viewing area, it came to fruition. With record rainfall across the state, it rained all day and night. I knew I would probably need to go into work earlier than normal, but I didn't expect it all to happen at one time.

I was preparing to walk out the door when several tornado warnings were issued at once. I called into the television station to give our morning meteorologist, Paul Williams, advance notice that I was on my way....or so I thought. I began telling the children good-bye when Gracie got sick to her stomach again (which began at 4am). While I was tending to Gracie and had Lilly Faith perched on one hip, the sweet baby had an "explosion" in her diaper that got on her, me and the floor (for those of you who are parents, you KNOW what an explosion in the diaper is, don't you?). Then Will decided to have a small melt down when he realized I was leaving for work earlier than normal. Knowing that work was calling and all 3 of my sick children needed me at the same time, I was overwhelmed.

As I was driving in the blinding rain, I just whispered a little prayer: "Lord, you've got to help me today. For some reason, I'm not feelin' the love!" Then Isaiah 41:13 came to mind, "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."

That's good to know, I thought, because I think I'm running out of hands for you to hold!

Even in the midst of everything swirling around us, God is with us. He sees our frustration and exhaustion. We can trust in the confidence of knowing God will deliver His grace and mercy in our time of need, even during the times when all heck breaks loose!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stormy Weather

For the Mississippi readers, we've really taken a soaking over the last couple of days and more rain is expected today. In looking at the latest numbers, Jackson has recorded 31.20" of rain since January 1. Normal for this time of the year is 36.68" which means we are -5.48" below normal. Here is a glimpse of the rainfall totals from yesterday:

Gulfport 1.82"

Greenville 0.13"

Hattiesburg 1.07"

Jackson 1.16"

McComb 1.87"

Vicksburg 1.45"

Today we have a strong area of low pressure that will ride along a warm front and bring more rain. The possibility exists for some portions of the WLBT viewing area to see some severe storms as well as a chance for isolated tornadoes. I have attached the National Weather Service's graphicast so you can pinpoint your location.

Please have your weather radio on throughout the day and evening, and lets hope for the best.

Let me go ahead and apologize to all of you who may tune in tonight. I've been on antibiotics for the last 3 days fighting a horrible sinus infection. Lilly Faith and Will had the stomach virus yesterday and Gracie woke up with it this morning at 4am. Now I have 3 children with the stomach virus. Not to mention, the Olympics went past the expected time last night, so our nightly news didn't go on until just before midnight. So if my brain seems alittle fuzzy, you know the reason why!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Formula for Kingdom Living

If you listen to the nightly news, it seems like the world is crumbling all around us. It can get you down and make you think we are hopeless; doomed. The Bible gives us specific instructions on how to live our life so that we aren't taking part in the evil around us, but are living for the Kingdom.

2 Peter 1:4-8 says, "By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape from the moral decay that is in the world because of covetousness, and become sharers of the divine nature. For this very reason, adding your diligence, employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue, and in virtue knowledge. And in knowledge self-control, and in self-control steadfastness, and in steadfastness godliness."

The first thing we are told to do is that we must take the promises of God and add to them diligence. Some people never get past that part and therefore never get to the promises of God. They go around quoting scripture promises all of their lives but they never add any diligence or effort on their part so they never see the fulfillment of those promises. If we are going to continue to grow as Christians in maturity and fulfill God's plan for our lives, then we are going to have to stay the course. There are going to be things that pop up against us to discourage us and make us want to give up. So we must be determined; we must be diligent. Then we are told to add to our diligence faith, which in turn develops excellence.

There comes a time in our lives when the Lord says, "You can no longer be a sloppy, lazy and undisciplined Christian. Its time to exercise excellence." Its that excellence that develops knowledge which produces self-control. This means we can no longer do whatever we feel like doing, but we must be committed as Jesus was in doing the will of God.

Once we have developed this self-control, it leads to steadfastness, which is the same thing as patience or endurance. Patience is not just the ability to sit and wait, but the ability to wait with a good attitude. While we are waiting on God to move in our life, our lives are still giving forth that sweet aroma before the Lord.

It is so easy to give off a good aroma when things are going our way, but it is much more difficult to do so when everything is going against us and when others are having their prayers answered and our own prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. We all have those moments. The test is what kind of Christian fragrance we give off while we are doing so.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Viewer Emails

(Note: if you are offended by the mention of a woman's anatomy, please don't read any further.)

You guessed it, more viewer emails. This one came from a viewer who was worried I was showing too much on television.

Ms. Bassett, I'm not trying to be ugly, but I think if you rewatch tonite's forecast, you'll be upset to see that your nipples were really sticking out bad. I really think it was the blouse material. I'm sorry if I offended you. Signed, Linda Moss

Nope, no nipples showing. I explained to Linda that television can sometimes distort images like the one she thought she was seeing that night. For instance last week, I wore a pink blouse. I received several emails and phone calls from viewers who complimented my red blouse. There was no red in the blouse, but after the transmission of our signal, colors, materials and other things can appear differently on your television screen at home. You know by now that tv makes people appear taller & larger on screen. Viewers can rest assure that I would never wear anything that would embarrass my children, my husband, my parents, nor myself.

This next viewer is afraid I'm sending the wrong message to those of you in television land.

Hi Barbie, I am writing you with concern. Please do not take this the wrong way. I watch your weather forecast every night. Its a family tradition, but we have all fell to wonder: why you are having so many children? You are a role model to so many out there. Here I am, 21, mother of 2, and married and can barely make it. And you are showing kids of all ages that it is okay to go and have as many kids as they want or have no choice over having. I am really concerned. Please do not take this letter rude or hateful. But I know that you care for the public. But what your are bringing into everyone's home, that you are sending the message that its okay to stay pregnant all the time. I know that its wonderful to have children, but God also teaches us to use wisdom on how many we bring into the world. So please take this to thought. And again this letter is not meaning to hurt you in anyway. Sincerely, Just Concerned

I've had 3 children. I'm happily married, working, volunteering and trying to live by faith. I'm not quite sure how many children Just Concerned thinks I have. I empathize that she is a 21 year old mother of 2 and struggling to make it in this world. I work several jobs myself, along with my husband who works 10-12 hour days. We are not rich by any means, but we are richly blessed. If anything, I've tried to set an example for other women to see that you can work, be a mother, wife, and give back to your community--if that is what God has called you to do.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Working Behind The Scenes

Yesterday, I wrote that God sometimes works in secret. In Psalm 139:15-16, the psalmist wrote that long before his actual appearance in this world, he was being formed in secret by God: "My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret intricately and curiously wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days of my life were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them."

Just look at King David in the Bible. David didn't make his appearance as king of Israel until the Lord determined the time was right. In this same way, God will bring His perfect work in us when He knows everything is right for us. Our God is a working God. Jesus said in John 5:17, "My Father has worked until now, and I, too, must be at work." God is at work in your life and my life and in our present situation if we believe He is as it says in Matthew 9:29, "According to your faith be it unto you."

We must refuse to worry and rest safely away and secure under the shadow of His wings. Even though it may seem God is doing nothing, He is secretly working behind the scenes. We may not be able to hear it or hear it, but we can accept it by faith.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Obedience Equals Miracles

In a conversation with someone the other day, I was asked if I believed miracles still exist. Sure, I do. The first miracle of Jesus recorded in the Bible was when He attended a wedding celebration. The wine ran out for the guests and Mary asked her Son Jesus to do something about the situation. Then she told the servants in John 2:5, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Jesus told the servants to fill up several huge water pots, then draw out of the pots the water which by then had been miraculously changed into wine. Because of their obedience to Him, the physical needs of many were met that day. This tells me, in order to have a miracle in our life, we must obey.

We want miracles to happen in our life, but we need to make sure we are being obedient to Him. In Galations 6:9, the Lord promised us that if we do so in patient confidence and trust in Him, we will eventually reap: "And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint."

Sometimes when things aren't working out the way we think they should or we aren't getting the answers to our prayers as fast as we would like, we begin thinking, "Well, God isn't doing anything. Why should I be obedient when He isn't answering my prayers?" In these times, we must remember that God is always working. We just may not be able to see it because He usually works in secret.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Confrontations and Conversations

I have a tendency to overthink things. If there is someone I need to talk to about an issue or if there is a conversation I need to have, I have "mental rehearsals" on what I should say.

Jesus warned His disciples in not worrying about what to say when they opened their mouths to speak the Gospel because it would not be them speaking but the Holy Spirit within them. Mark 13:11 says, "Now when they take you to court and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say nor meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

Jesus was telling his disciples that when they went out into the world to preach the Gospel, as He was commanding them to do, they would run into opposition. He was preparing them to face persecution. He was telling them that they would be brought before governors and kings for His sake as a testimony to them.

How many times have you mentally rehearsed what you are going to say to someone? I usually imagine what I will say, then I try to figure out what they will say back to me. In my head, those conversations can play over and over again. If we are filled with anxiety, it may be a sign we think the outcome of that conversation depends upon us and our ability rather than upon the Holy Spirit and His ability.

If we are sure we are operating in obedience to God's will, we don't need to be anxious, worried or nervous about what we are going to say to others. Sure, we need to be prepared, but if we excessively rehearse the conversation over and over, it is an indication we are not trusting in the anointing of God but in ourselves. We will not do as well as if we were depending completely upon God.

Next time we find ourselves in this situation, we need to ask the Lord to give us favor with all those to whom we speak. Then we can be confident that whatever the results of our conversation or confrontation, it is the will of God and it will work for the best for all concerned.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Negotiating With God

It's good to be home! The Neshoba County Fair was a blast. I was welcomed home by reading all of the posts some of you made in regards to my blog entry "Viewer Mailbag". Your encouraging words have gone a long way. Isn't it good to be encouraged by fellow believers? I thank God for all of you.

After spending the week chasing children, cooking, cleaning and entertaining others in our fair cabin, I considered sleeping in Sunday morning. Surely the other teacher will be there and she can handle it, I thought. I resisted the urge and went to church nonetheless. Much to my surprise, I had 10 two year olds Sunday morning, all of whom are potty training. Not to mention, my other teacher didn't show. In our childrens Sunday School time, we have a routine: teach the lesson, move the class to a much larger room where they enjoy a puppet show, skit and sing songs about Jesus (we call this the "Rally Room"), move the children back into our classroom, serve them a snack, potty time, then wait for the parents to pick them up. In surveying my group, I wondered how in the world was I going to do all of this by myself? A volunteer showed up at my classroom door. "I'll do anything you need me to do, but I can't help you with the children when you take them to the Rally Room. All of that singing and clapping just gets on my nerves," she said. I told her I could actually handle the children during every other time by myself EXCEPT getting them to and from the Rally Room (I was afraid I would lose a child in the hallway if I didn't have any help). "If you could help me move them back and forth, and help in keep them together in the Rally Room, that would be so helpful," I told her. "No! Anything but that," she said.

How many times has God asked us to do something and we've told Him, "anything but that, God"! We find ourselves negotiating what we will and won't do for the Kingdom. For some reason, we think that we can be an ala carte' Christian--do this, do that, but not this part. Psalm 95:7 says, "For He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." If you have a hardened heart, that means you don't listen; a hardened heart is oblivious and could care less about the request being made.

Think of how full our lives would be if we would stop treating God's request of us as ala carte'; taking the bits and pieces we want and leaving the rest. In not fully listening to what God wants us to do, we miss out on the full blessing God has for us. God isn't known for giving "a half blessing".