Monday, December 28, 2009

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Barbie is away and will return on Monday, January 4.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

In reading over some of my old blogs, I wanted to "revisit" the one posted one year ago today--my Christmas entry. I hope you enjoy your Christmas and you won't be surprised where God shows up for you!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I remember an old country song that said, "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places" and it made me wonder: how many times do we totally miss God because we are expecting Him to show up in certain places? We structure our lives around the idea that there are certain places where God is to be safely confronted, while making other areas in our life "God-free-zones" (places we would prefer He not show, where we can do what we want, when we want). But God has a way of breaking free from the confines that we try to put on Him. He has a way of making His presence known in some of the most obscure locations.

Take Bethlehem, for instance.The Magi, or the Three Wise Men, were intelligent men who had been studying the ancient reports and prophesies concerning events that would happen in their world--most importantly, the birth of a new king in Israel. They had learned the timing of his birth would come at the same time as a bright star. When they saw the heavenly sight, they went first to Jerusalem, the city of kings, of course. When they got there, they were told the king wasn't there, but in Bethlehem, which had been designated by the prophets as to where the Messiah would be born.

In many ways, Bethlehem was a small and insignificant town, yet it was the place God chose for the birthplace of His Son. Matthew 2:6 says, "And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for our of you shall come forth a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel." The prophet Micah had rebuked Israel, the people of God, for their rebellion. They had sunk to the lowest of low; their behavior was no better than the surrounding pagan nations. Micah confronts them in Micah 1:9 that they had been infected with the same sins that Samaria had been known for.

But in the midst of this dismal setting, we are given this hope; for it is right here that God promises to raise up a King to shepherd His oppressed people. I believe God purposefully chose Bethlehem for it's misery because it was the best place for God's glory to shine! In I Corinthians 1, Paul writes "but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, the weak things to shame the strong. The base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen...the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are." God chose to break out of the box, to reveal Himself where He wouldn't be expected.

Where in your life would you be most surprised for God to show Himself? A job loss...a spouse's layoff...among the conversation with your friends....as you pass a homeless man on the street corner...or maybe the cashier at the local store? God will not be confined and He is not predictable, but He is faithful. Therefore, we need to look for Him and make room for Him in all areas of our lives and at all times.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Storms

No, this kind of weather doesn't remind you of Christmas; it reminds you of spring, right? If you've been watching me over the last few days, you know what we have in store for today.

These storms have a history of producing tornadoes in Texas and Louisiana since this morning. Hail, damaging winds, downpours and tornadoes will be likely during today's event. Here is the NWS depiction of our state today. Locate your county and read the corresponding weather:If you're doing last minutes shopping or even traveling today, be careful and take it slow. It could be difficult at times to keep your vehicle between the lines with these gusty winds. I'll be on WLBT this afternoon with the latest. Also, please have your NOAA Weather Radio on in case your should lose electricity.

The good news is, this cold front will be to our east by 9pm this evening. Most Christman Eve church services will go on without a hitch, although it could still be a bit windy. Skies will be clearing just in time for Santa Claus to come tonight.

Speaking of, I'll be interviewing Santa tonight on WLBT's 6pm & 10pm news. I'll be sure to ask him when he's planning on being in central Mississippi for you!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Someone You Know May Need This Gift

What is the best gift you could give someone this Christmas?

I spoke with a friend yesterday about her crumbling marriage. After 15 years, her husband left her and their four children. After making it on her own for the last year, he has returned to their house. She believes he's back only because he has no where else to go. "Every time I look at him, I have such anger and disdain for him and what he did to our relationship," she told me. "I want to forgive him and I know I should, but I'm just so mad that I can't right now!" And who could blame her?

Why is it that when we think about forgiving someone, we feel like we own our grudge? It's like a family pet that we are so attached to, if it were to leave we'd be so lost without it around? Instead of looking at our grudge as a prized possession that is mine, perhaps it may be easier to look at our forgiveness as a gift--a gift the other person needs.

Most of us hear the pleas of various non-profit programs begging for donations and gifts-for-the-needy. We hear them say, "Children won't have a Merry Christmas unless you give out of the kindness of your heart to those less fortunate." In that same way, you and I have a present, or a gift, that someone needs. They won't get it any other way, nor from any other person, if you and I don't give it to them. In that respect, forgiveness becomes a gift.

Philippians 2:5 says, "You must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had." That's pretty straight forward, isn't it? No room for misunderstanding there.

So what is the first gift God gave us? Forgiveness. God's forgiveness was given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth that first Christmas morning.

For some, forgiveness is the best gift you and I could give this Christmas. It may be the only gift they truly need.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Little Miracle

Last month, I finished reading Bruce Wilkinson's book You Were Born For This. The book gives several ways to partner with God in delivering miracles for other people. It gives prompts and ways to listen to the Holy Spirit in detecting the needs of other people, and encourages the reader to give God the credit.

Wilkinson talks of a "God Pocket"--a special place where you keep money God has blessed you with so that you may bless others. The money in the God Pocket is not yours; it's God's, and is used only for Him.

Monday after having lunch at Gattitown with the kids for Will's birthday, I took the kids to the dentist for a check up. It is one doctor's visit they enjoy because they always walk out with some small prize for being still for the dental hygienist.

We walked out to the car to leave when we were stopped by a lady, who was sitting in car, trying to get my attention. She rolled down the window. "You know who you look like?" she asked. "Barbie Bassett on channel 3!" I smiled back at her. "You ARE her, aren't you?" I told her I was and Gracie confirmed it. "Yep, she's our mother," Gracie told her. The lady stayed in her car and we made small talk through her passenger window. That's when Will realized he better speak up if he wanted to get into the conversation. "Today's my birf-day!" Will said with excitement. "It is, baby?" she said. "How old are you?" Will held up his 4 fingers to show her. "Four years old?!" she said, acting surprised. "Hold on one second. I think you deserve a birthday present."

Just then, she opened her purse. I saw her dig around and find her wallet. She opened it up and pulled out one dollar. It was a lone dollar. I could tell she had no other cash with it. The inside of her car had the upholstery ripped and cracked and she was driving a car that looked about 10 years old. I saw what looked to be bills on her dashboard.

"Here, baby. You have this dollar for your birthday!" and she gave it to Will. His face beamed and he thanked her. I ushered the kids into their car seats and I pulled a large denomination out of my God Pocket.

I turned around and said to her, "Ma'am, you gave my son a dollar and I have something to give you." She looked puzzled. "Someone gave me some money and told me to give this to you," as I handed the bill to her. She reached out to take the money, looked at it, and started squealing. She jumped out of her car, still doing a screaming jig, and ran over to hug me. "How did you know? How did you know I needed this?" she cried. "God knew and He's the one who told me to give this to you."

Proverbs 19:17 says, "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord. And God will pay back what he has given."

I'm learning through this process that when it comes to prayers for a financial miracle, Heaven depends on people for answers. God intends for us to use our money to display His goodness and faithfulness.

This time of year, it's easy to give to those who are in need. But imagine how God could use us if we did this 12 months out of the year? God is always at work behind the scenes, orchestrating the place and timing for a miracle connection, even if it's at the dentist's office. And He arranges the event so that when the delivery happens, the recipient knows in her heart that God intervened specifically for her!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Will!

I traveled south to Prentiss Baptist Church to be their guester singer yesterday. I always sing "O Holy Night" for Pastor Ben James as his Christmas present and it was nice to be back in his church again. That is a beautiful church and was decked out in greenery and poinsettias. I especially enjoyed their congretational hymns in singing the traditional Christmas songs: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Hark The Herald Angels Sing. Thank you for letting me be a part of your service!

Today in the Bassett house, we are celebrating Will's 4th birthday. We tell him he almost got to share a birthday with baby Jesus as he was due Christmas Day. When my water broke at the tv station, the joke is that Bert Case almost had to deliver him before I insisted on driving myself to the hospital!

Over the last year, Will has finally mastered the art of potty training. He insists he will marry La-La one day and is still magically drawn to mud puddles and John Deere tractors hundreds of miles away. Will may get more spankings than any of my other children, but he is 100% boy and has a tender heart.

Happy Birthday, Will!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Misfits

This time of the year, Christmas specials are a dime-a-dozen on television. We caught one last night, "Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys". If you've seen it, you know the story. 'The Island of Misfit Toys' is the home of toys that no little boy or girl wants. Yukon, Hermey and Rudolph accidentally land on the island and ask King Moonraiser if they can stay since they're misfits, too. Unfortunately, the island is for toys alone, so he lets them stay the night, when Rudolph sneaks out on his own. They encounter toys that have something wrong with them. They find a boomerang that doesn't come back, a man that pops out of a musical box named Charlie (not Jack) and a piggy bank that doesn't have a coin slot. Each toy desperately wants to be what they were created to do.

How many Christians do you know of who act like they are a misfit? They had a broken marriage and can't seem to forgive their spouse? They were mistreated by someone and have come to believe they will never be accepted by anyone again? The dreams they once had for their life just dried up and haven't come to be? In some respects, we are all misfits. Because we feel broken in some sense, we can't seem to move on. We can't push forward with what God created us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (NLV). Another version puts it like this, "Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do." (The Message).

God made us with a purpose, bruises as all. God still has a plan for your life and my life, although we may feel like He forgot about us quite some time ago. My favorite part in The Message version of this verse is, "All we do is trust him enough to let him do it." Scars should remind you of your past, not your future.

And at the end of the cartoon, Santa returns to the island to pick up the misfit toys to find them homes for Christmas. Isn't that what God does for us? God wants to put us in that special place of ministry--ministry to a family member, to a co-worker, or to a person who made different choices in their life than we did--God is just waiting on you and me to stop acting like a misfit toy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I hope you had a chance to enjoy the snow Friday night and Saturday morning! I began forecasting our snow possibilities last Tuesday. I had my fair share of "snowfall predicting" when I lived in Chattanooga, but I was happy the good Lord made me look good-- :-)

I want to share with you my book can now be pre-ordered. Initially, there will be 2,000 hardback copies made. With a slew of book signings already scheduled, the publisher expects the book to sell quickly. That's why he is making the pre-ordering option available. You can see more at http://www.dogwoodpress.com/ and read more of what the book is about.


I will begin book signings in late March. If you're interested in having me come to your town, you can also book a possibly signing through the Dogwood Press website.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Barbie will return next Monday!

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Thanksgiving Lesson

I'm always trying to teach my children how God has truly blessed us. But sometimes, it's an easier lesson to teach when they see it for themselves.

Wednesday morning I told the kids we were going to do something different. We were going to buy food for the homeless and take it to a local shelter. I called Stewpot Community Services and asked what food they were needing for their Thanksgiving meal. "We could really use turkeys and canned vegetables," the lady said on the other line. We drove to Kroger and all piled out of the car. As Will and La-La rode in the shopping cart, Gracie and I picked the cans of food and put them one by one in the cart. We moved La-La over and placed several turkeys in the buggy beside her and bought the food.

As we drove to downtown Jackson, I asked the kids what did God give them that they were thankful for? Will piped up with, "My Lighting McQueen car, my clothes, you and daddy." Gracie chimed in with her list, "My shoes, my toys, my bed and my family." I explained what being homeless means and why some people don't have places to live. "You mean some people won't be eating with their families on Thanksgiving?" Gracie asked. "Why not?" I gave her various reasons: maybe they are embarrassed for their families to know they are homeless, maybe they don't have a family anymore or they don't know where they family lives, or maybe their family doesn't want them anymore. There were probably other reasons even I couldn't explain.

We pulled up to Stewpot and parked the car. A man with no legs rode by our car in a wheelchair. "Is he homeless, mama?" Will asked. I didn't know. Gracie noticed men and women sitting outside the center. "Are they waiting to eat?" Gracie asked. Yes, they were and I told the children the homeless in this area only eat one meal a day, if that much.

Some men came out to get the food out of the trunk and took it inside. As we drove off, Gracie became more aware of the people standing on the sidewalks. "If you're homeless, I guess the only friend you have at night are the bugs outside," she said.

As Christians, Jesus commanded us all to go and make disciples of others. But I'm always struck by what He didn't say. For example, Jesus didn't command, "Go when you're ready" or, "Go if you're in professional ministry," or, "Go, if it's convenient and if you've been given the money to help others."

Proverbs 3:27 says, "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."

Here's the amazing truth: what Jesus commands you and me to do is nothing less than what God created us to do and will empower us to accomplish. When you and I make a priority of multiplying in the lives of others what God has given us, we will find personal fulfillment and fruitfulness that we can't experience any other way!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I did something this weekend I haven't done in a long time--I competed in a pageant. I had made a personal pact with myself a year ago when I started losing the baby weight: if I lost the weight, I would enter a Mrs. pageant. Keep in mind, the last title I won was Mrs. Mississippi International 2000 (almost 10 years ago, before I had children).

The last couple of weeks leading up to the pageant, the Lord keep telling me to pray for my competition. Pray for my competition? I thought. This goes against everything that is expected in a pageant. The purpose is to beat your competition, not pray for them! When the Holy Spirit wouldn't let me be at peace, I relented and began praying for the other women I would be competing against. I bought each contestant a small gift, wrapped it, and wrote "You are being prayed for" on the tag.

The competition began early in the weekend and I made new friends. As the day wore on, I learned more about each of the Mrs. contestants. One woman had colon surgery ten days ago and still had a line of stitches to prove it on her belly; one contestant was dealing with opening a new business and was stressed to the max; another had just lost a family member. Yes, my competition was fierce but there was a definite reason why I had been prompted to pray for them.

Much to my surprise at the end of the night, I was named Mrs. Magnolia. There were a total of 80 contestants vying for the Jr. Miss, Teen, Miss & Mrs. titles. As I returned home, pulled off the pantyhose and fake eyelashes, I was reminded of Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
When God prompts us to pray for someone, could it be that He has a blessing for us on the other side of that prayer? Perhaps..

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Man Named Robert

Last week, I received a call from a viewer who said her brother is a big fan. "He suffered a stroke earlier this year and he would love to meet you," she told me. I listened closely to her rave about her brother and how much loved him. "It would just make his day if you could come by the rehab hospital and see him." I explained that I don't normally make house calls as I have several stalkers. I find myself trying to be sensible about where I go and my surroundings. She seemed to understand and said, "If you could drop by at 2pm, I'll make sure he's in the lobby with his nurses." The Holy Spirit gave me an assurance that I would be safe at this visit.

But, my day started off a busy one. Homeschooling, gym workout, trip to the grocery store, and fixing lunch for the kids. As I hopped into the car that afternoon to drive to the rehab hospital and then on to WLBT, I noticed my car was on "E". My day had already been busy, only to be topped off by my empty car and fighting tears. I had been emotional all day long as I had looked at the calendar and realized it was the fourth anniversary of me losing our second child in late 2004. I was stressed, emotionally unstable, and worn out.

I pulled into what I thought was the rehab place. When I walked in, a lady at the front desk told me I was at the wrong place. I had missed my turn and walked back to my car. I just need to go back home and start all over again, I thought. It really won't matter if I don't show up to see this guy. I'm not in the mood. But the Holy Spirit said 'Go'. I found myself back in the car and pulling into the driveway of the rehab hospital.

I road the elevator up to the third floor. The doors opened and standing in the doorway was the lady who had called and asked me to come see her brother. "We are so glad you are here!" she said. "We didn't tell him you were coming, just in case you didn't show up. Follow me!" she said with excitement. As I walked past the nurses station and rows of chairs in the waiting room, I saw the back of a man in a wheelchair sitting in front of a large bay window.

"Robert, look a here!" she said as I turned and faced him. "It's Barbie Bassett, from WLBT! She came to see you!" Robert had suffered a stroke and is on a breathing tube, feeding tube and is completely paralyzed. The only movement I could see was his eyes. I noticed his index finger lift slightly. "He's trying to shake your hand," his sister leaned over and explained. So I picked up his hand and put my hand inside his. There, in front of the window, I had a one-sided conversation with 45 year old Robert. I told him about the weather outside, I told him about my children, and my co-workers at WLBT. "Robert just lights up when you come on tv every night," his sister said quietly. "His wife left him after he had the stroke and is with another man now. All he has is his daughter and a few of us family members who come to see him." When it was time for me to leave, I patted his hands one more time and noticed large tears streaming down his cheeks. Robert knew who I was and I could tell he was happy I came to visit.

Isaiah 49:16 says, "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." How easy it is to forget the Roberts of this world--to get so caught up in our own life, our hectic schedules, our obligations and our own sorrows. We may forget the hurts others have, but God doesn't. We are a constant reminder to Him, inside His hands.

I didn't know why the Holy Spirit was nudging me to go forward on this day and why Satan was trying his hardest to make my life too full and my emotions get the best of me. When I left the rehab hospital, I knew why. God wanted to show me a world outside of myself and how He works to make little miracles like Robert happen every day.

Monday, November 16, 2009

You Are The Body

Having been raised in the church, I had always heard how we are the body of Christ. Even after numerous explanations, I still couldn't fully grasp what that meant...until this weekend. I had one of those 'wisdom and revelation' moments. As I had shared with you before, I've been praying Ephesians 1:18-23 for myself and the Holy Spirit continues to show me things I'd never seen before. It is unfolding and opening up.

Ephesians 1:20-22 says, "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet." Most churches will talk to you about Jesus, but some make it sound as if Jesus is way up there and you are here on earth, just struggling to get along.

Ephesians 1:22-23 says, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all." Paul is saying here, "Christ is the head; we are His body." Your head and your body go together, right? Jesus is not decapitated! His head and His body go together, too. So if He is seated, you and I are seated. If He is blessed, then you and I are blessed!

Your head and your body go by the same name. You do not have one name for your head and a different name for your body. When you go into a bank, you do not open up different accounts for your head and your body. No, you are one. So whatever belongs to the head belongs to the body.

Ephesians 2:1 says, "And you hath he quickened..." The word quicken means He made us alive together with Christ.

The devil is afraid of you whenever you find out that you have the same things in you that Jesus had in Him and has in Him right now. The Gospel is not the good news that God wants to help you. The Gospel is the good news that God has already helped you. He has already done something for you and it has already been accomplished.

You can't be defeated in life when if you have the same identity in Christ.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ah...The Things That People Say!

Perhaps it was the full moon earlier in the week, but viewers have been on a roll with their comments...funny, although they may be. Here are some of the comments I've gotten this week.

"Forget the camera adding 10 pounds. The camera adds 45 pounds to you!" Gosh, thanks.

A viewer called our front desk receptionist and wanted to speak to a meteorologist. The receptionist told the man that I was at the television station and he was more than welcome to speak to me. "No, she has 2 children fathered by Paul Williams!" The receptionist explained I had 3 children fathered by my husband, not by Paul Williams.

"Is all of that YOUR hair?" Yes, last time I checked.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Whom Do You Serve, Really?

Our pastor preached on the reality of hell yesterday. It seems as if we don't hear much about hell these days as churches are so afraid of offending. To keep the people in their seats and to draw more in, preachers talk about God's love, His blessings and forgiveness. Our pastor had us envision someone we knew who most likely didn't have their eternal life nailed down. As he explained what all hell would encompass, you couldn't help but keep that person's picture in your mind. It was a powerful sermon in how each of us are called to share God's love with others, yes. But we are also to state the cold, hard facts about eternity, as there are only two choices.

So I've been reading more about Jonah lately and saw some things I've never noticed before. You probably know the story pretty well yourself.

Jonah was a prophet in Israel, so we know he was already telling others about God. God asked him to go to Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) with an important message: repent or God will destroy you. The Assyrians were a rowdy bunch. They worshipped idols and were old enemies of Israel. I'm sure Jonah thought the world would be a better place if God made good on His promise and destroyed them anyway! So when God asked Jonah, he said no and ran in the opposite direction.

Jonah climbs aboard a ship and a huge storm stirs on the water. After throwing cargo off the ship, the crew finally throws Jonah overboard. The seas calm and three days later, a big fish deposits Jonah onto dry land. Although Jonah didn't do what God asked him to do, God did a miracle for Jonah anyway. Think he got the message? Nope. So God tried again.

"The Word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.' So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord."--Jonah 3:1-3

Jonah obeys this time around and preaches to Nineveh. All 120,000 people in the city repent and God spared them from destruction. Everyone was happy, except Jonah. You would think Jonah would see the importance of doing God's will and telling others about Him. You would think Jonah would be motivated to continue serving whenever asked, but Jonah wasn't. It says in, Jonah 4:1, "It displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry."

Right down the end of the chapter, Jonah argues with God about His plans and motives for Jonah. He's sure God has made a big mistake in his life. It boils down to this: Jonah cannot accept God's mission for him is to show God's compassion to people he doesn't like.

Do you see the horrible sadness in this story? I've never seen it before until now. Jonah knew he was born to serve God. He knew he had been sent by God, but he didn't let the reality of hell get to him. Jonah refused to love others the way God loved him. If you are running from the mission God has given you, God will patiently pursue, right up to your last self-absorbed complaint.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Is Your Past Haunting You?

Just before Halloween, my co-workers and I were talking about the pranks some people pull. Some of them admitted to their antics and one friend said, "I just hope the crazy things I did as a kid to people's yards don't come back to haunt me!"

When we are made righteous in the eyes of the Father, old things are passed away. God brings our old identity and old influences to an end. Isaiah 26:12-14 says it best, "Lord, You will ordain peace for us, for You have also wrought in us and for us all our works. O Lord, our God, other masters besides you have ruled over us, but we will acknowledge and mention Your name only. They are dead, they shall not live and reappear; they are powerless ghosts, they shall not rise and come back. Therefore, You have visited and made an end of them and caused every memory of them to perish."

Have you ever had your past come back to haunt you? Satan is a master of deception. When you think your old ways and habits are gone, he will make you think they're still there. But Isaiah said the tyrants of your past are "powerless ghosts; they shall not rise and come back." There is no vacancy in you for them to live.

God can bring those things to an end, even if they have been there for years. We need to challenge every attitude, every kind of thought that comes against our mind that contradicts who we are in Christ.

And even better the next verse, Isaiah 26:15 says, "Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation; thou art glorified." Do you see what God did? He brought increase!

Sometimes before God can bring increase to you, you have to allow Him through the Word and the Holy Spirit to deal with things that keep coming in your soul and in your life.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Are You Ordinary?

Isn't it disappointing to order something you've seen in a magazine or on television, only to find it arrive at your house not looking the way you remembered? I do a fair amount of ordering clothes from magazines because it isn't always convenient for me to clothes shop for myself with three little ones underfoot. It is frustrating to see a beautiful suit in the magazine, order it, receive it, only for the material to look thin, cheap or haphazardly made. I wonder how many of us as Christians are the same way?

In Gracie's home school lessons, she's been learning about antonyms. Remember those? An antonym is a "word of opposite meaning". The Holy Spirit convicted me on the importance of not being an ordinary Christian. The world is full of 'em--people who go to church on Sundays and agree with what the Bible teaches. On Mondays, they blend in to the world around them. You would never know they were any different. When politicians say something contrary to their spiritual beliefs, they keep their mouth shut as not to offend; when a co-worker is gossiping on another, they quietly listen without pointing it out; when the weekend comes, they're partying with the rest. But on Sunday morning, you'll find them walking through the church doors. They are ordinary Christians.

The antonym for ordinary is extraordinary. Extraordinary is defined as "going beyond what is usual, regular or customary; sent on a special function or service". What would happen if ordinary Christians turned into extraordinary Christians? What would happen if we made a conscience choice to keep the same convictions, beliefs and attitudes all throughout the week instead of Sundays? I believe our marriages would be transformed, our relationships would be fulfilling, our children would grow in the Lord and our spiritual lives would be phenomenal!

Paul said to the Sanhedrin in Acts 23:1, "I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day."

So, I am making the choice to be an extraordinary Christian--'to fulfil my duty to God with a clear conscience'. I want to be 'sent on a special function or service' for the Lord. Because when I cease to do so, I become ordinary.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Strong Storms Possible

Thursday was a long, but fulfilling day. It was the annual Halloween blood drive that Marshall Ramsey and myself do together. I met people who donated for the first time and were a bit nervous; I met those who give faithfully every few months; and I met people who actually knew someone who needed blood. When I walked around the room, signed t-shirts and visited with everyone, I was reminded why I do this. No, I'm not required to "head up" this day, nor am I forced to spend most of the day at Mississippi Blood Services. But giving voice to a cause to keep our Mississippi hospitals stocked with the 'gift of life' is utterly important.

I'm told it takes 200 units of blood..every day...to service the needs of the hospitals. All it takes is one bus crash, one train crash, or some other tragedy to wipe out the hospital supply. So our goal was to reach 200 units yesterday and we had 208 people donate! Thanks to you, our viewers, and to Marshall for making it such an important day for those who will need blood in the next few days!


It is expected to be wet today with the slight possibility of severe weather. Please take a look at this graphic from the National Weather Service and pick out your county.


I'll be at WLBT this afternoon and through the night, so keep us tuned. Plus, have your weather radio on throughout the duration as this cold front moves east.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thursday Halloween Blood Drive

This Thursday, I'll be hosting the annual Halloween Blood Drive at Mississippi Blood Services on Lakeland Drive along with my good friend, Clarion Ledger editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey. We always make it a point to have a good time when we get together and this blood drive won't be any different. Each blood donor receives Marshall's signature design made especially for this blood drive.

This year, Mississippi Blood Services is celebrating its 30th anniversary. They've been keeping Mississippi hospitals supplied with blood, plasma and platelets since 1979. So, we decided to go back to the 70s for this commercial. Might I add...since the movie "Saturday Night Fever" was a bit before my time, I had to be coached by the production crew on how to do all of this jive stuff!



Here is the t-shirt design for this year's donors from Marshall. Leave it to him to be creative!

If you're in the Jackson area this Thursday, please drop by and "do the hustle" with me!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Winks From God

I was on the coast earlier this week speaking at a conference. I enjoyed getting away for a few days, but even more so, I had a chance to see God at work.

Before my speech Wednesday morning, I found my spot at the head table and spoke to people who stopped by on their way to sit down. One lady approached the table and introduced herself. I smiled, greeted her and asked how the conference had been for her. "It's been okay," she said with an unsure look on her face. "Okay?" I shot back. "You've been on the beautiful gulf coast for the last few days with fabulous weather and you said your time here has been just 'okay'?" She nodded yes. "What's going on?" I pressed her for more. She proceeded to tell me that her 16 year old daughter was killed in a car accident almost one year ago. "Knowing the one year anniversary is coming up has gotten me down," she told me. "To add to that, my son was killed two years ago, before my daughter. And now I'm raising his daughter." Boy, talk about someone who has been hit hard! My heart went out to her. I stood there and talked with her a few more minutes and listened as she told me more. She said she had a wonderful church and pastor who have supported her over these last few months, but it was still hard trying to explain to her granddaughter that not only was her father not coming back, but neither was her aunt. I promised to for pray for her, but the Holy Spirit nudged me that something else was going to happen for her. I hesitated before I opened my mouth and then told her, "I have a feeling God is going to wink at you today." She looked puzzled so I went further. "I just think God is going to show you today that He is thinking of you." She smiled and walked to her table to eat breakfast.

After I spoke to the group, a series of door prizes were given out. I was asked to draw for each winner, so I made sure I mixed the tickets up real good (nothing like a little pressure). The grand prize of the conference was a big screen, top-of-the-line television set. You could almost see every man in the ball room frothing at the mouth for that prize. I put my hand in the box to pull out a name and handed it to the lady at the microphone. "And the winner is....."

The lady I had just spoken to an hour earlier stood up with tears in her eyes and her hand over her mouth. She couldn't believe it! She had just won that big screen television. Out of all the conference attendees, I had somehow picked her name.

When the conference dismissed, I took pictures with those who asked and looked over to see her waiting in line. When she got to me, I simply said, "Honey, if that wasn't a sign that the Lord has not forgotten you, I don't know what is!"

Coincidence maybe? I don't think so. If you didn't know her story, you would probably pass her off as being lucky Wednesday.

Psalm 34:8 says, "O taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him." Proverbs 10:22 says, "The blessing of the Lord makes me rich and He adds no sorrow with it."

A big, flat screen tv wouldn't bring back the pain and hurt of losing not just one child, but both of her children. But no matter what we are going through, we sometimes subscribe to the belief that God has somehow forgotten us. When in all reality, He hasn't forgotten us at all and He uses little "winks" along the way to make sure we know that. I bet if you and I opened up our eyes today, we would see some of those!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Faith Includes Some Fear!

I'll be away for the next few days in Biloxi speaking at a conference. I'm looking forward to seeing the Gulf from my hotel room. I love to scan the waters for dolphins playing close to shore and seeing the lights of the shrimp boats at night.

Every time I go to the coast, I think about Peter's walk on the water. You know that story pretty well, I'm sure and it's one of my favorites because it includes a weather event. But it's not just a picture of one of Jesus' miracles, but is a perfect example of belief in action and risky faith.

One blustery night the disciples were sailing the Sea of Galilee through a storm. Suddenly a strange figure appeared walking on the waves and the men were sure it was a ghost! But Jesus told them in Matthew 14:27, "It is I; do not be afraid." At that point, Peter gets an idea. He said to Jesus in verse 28-29, "Lord, it if is You, command me to come to You on the water. So Jesus said, 'Come'. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus."

What a risky step, literally! Interesting, isn't it, that everyone else in the boat stayed put? They had all spent months and years with Jesus, seen the same miracles and they even listened to the same teachings. But only Peter took a risk of faith, and only Peter experienced a miracle. In spite of Peter's heart-pounding fear, Peter stepped out in proactive dependence upon God alone, believing that his faith would bridge the gap between the boat and Jesus. And when Jesus bridged that gap with a miracle, everyone else in the boat "worshipped Jesus saying, 'Truly You are the Son of God".

I don't doubt that Peter was probably walking on water with a little bit of fear inside. Who in their right mind would try such a thing? Many times, our usage of faith does include a certain amount of fear. We are human and I suspect our fear doesn't catch God by surprise!

But if you and I want a life where God works through us in supernatural ways whenever He chooses, we must take action. We must exercise our faith. Why? Because there is a direct connection between what we initiate with faith and how God responds with His supernatural power.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm Back!

I've been away for a few days, but I've been busy! Last Saturday, I spoke to the ladies at Parkway Baptist Church in Natchez at their womens conference. Over 250 women were there from various churches across the area and they were fired up to hear from the Lord! I thoroughly enjoyed my three hours with each and every one of them. Thanks, ladies!

Earlier this week, I traveled to Dothan, Alabama for a photo shoot with Clay Spann. We were shooting the front cover for my book which will be released in April 2010 by Dogwood Press. Clay is multi-talented--not only is he a hair and makeup artist, but he is also the photographer. Here are a few of the behind the scenes look at our photo shoot:







Monday, October 12, 2009

Barbie is away for a few days but will return this Friday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday's Stormy Weather

This afternoon is expected to be wet and possibly stormy. With gusty winds already across the area, some storms could contain small hail, damaging winds, heavy rain and an isolated tornado. Please have your NOAA weather radio on if you will be away from the television. Otherwise, I'll be on WLBT throughout the afternoon and evening covering it for you.

Here is the NWS' latest graphic depiction of today's forecast.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Being Obedient

Over the weekend, two of my children and I were in a friend's wedding. I sang and Gracie & Will were the flower girl and ring bearer. While on the way to the rehearsal Friday night, I discussed with the children what they would be doing and how we were going to practice it all. "Well, daddy told me I was to be a decoration at the wedding," Gracie chimed in from the back seat. I asked her to explain. "Daddy said I wasn't the star of the wedding," she said. "That I was a decoration instead." I agreed with dad's assessment of the situation and told her their parts were already pre-determined. "You'll have a certain place to stand with Will. But the star of the day is the one getting married," I told her. Then I told Gracie all she had to do was to follow the directions of the wedding coordinator and do what she tells her to do. "So when do I get to be the star of the wedding?" she asked. "When you get married!" I told her.

Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." It is so hard to wait on God sometimes. We get frustrated and want to "fix" things ourselves when it seems like He is asleep. But some things have been pre-arranged for you and me. God is able to make plans ahead of time and have things in the right place at the right time. He knows what year you will get there, and He knows exactly what you'll need when you get there. Whatever your need is, God will have it waiting for you.

Once you obey God, then you will see His provision in whatever trial or circumstance you are facing. And once you obey God and follow the path He has for you, you will find He has pre-arranged things for you just like He did for Abraham when he obeyed God in heading to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac. Genesis 22:13 says, "And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son."

When Abraham made the choice to obey God, failure was not an option. Failure is man-made not God-made. If we will have patience to follow His direction, He will provide.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Reason God Made Us

Gracie asked me last week, "Why did God make us needing to be saved?" Good question. Gracie's question was rather deep for a six-year-old and my career speciality isn't theology. So I thought about that one before I answered it.

Over the summer, I read a book entitled "Same Kind of Different As Me". Last weekend, I read the sequel to that book called "What Difference Do It Make?" (That isn't a typo--it's the actual title and once you read the books, you'll understand). Both of these opened my eyes to a world I've never known. Between those books and the portions I took away from "The Shack", I was able to come up with an answer for Gracie.

I think God saved us so heaven could get on the inside of us and change the world around us. God saved us so we could bring change to our children, our neighborhood, and our towns. God saved us so He could move on the inside of you and me. He saved us so we wouldn't be a victim of sin, bad habits and deception. God saved us for Christ to be formed in you and me. He set us free from sin's dominion so when we die, we won't wonder why we lived.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Rear View

As a cautious driver, I try to keep a constant watch on what's ahead of me, what's around me, and what is behind me. The rear view mirror shows me not only what is coming up behind me, but it shows what I've already passed.

I have a couple of sweet ladies in my life who I get to see several days a week when they keep my children at the gym. I know they work hard for what they have and they even have second jobs they do after they leave the gym. Last week, I felt compelled to give them both a monetary gift, but something was trying to talk me out of giving them money on that day. You see, it was raining as we had drove into the gym parking lot. The thought of grabbing my three children, my iPOD, the umbrella, my keys and the money I was going to give them just seemed like too much for me to carry in. "I'll give them the money tomorrow, maybe it won't be raining then," I told myself. But the Holy Spirit kept telling me, take the money. Finally, after going back and forth in my heart, I pushed the money down in my sports bra (real lady-like, right?). But I had no more free hands.

We all made it inside and I handed the children off to them. "The Lord told me to give you this today," I told them as I handed each of them the money. "I know it's not much, but it's what I have at the moment." They stood there with their mouths wide open. Then one of them started jumping up and down, crying, like she had been offered a contestant's spot on "The Price Is Right". One told me, "I had a bill due today I knew I couldn't pay. This will take care of it!" she said. The other looked at me and said, "I can't believe this. I drove here today on empty. No gas in my tank," she said. "I figured after work, I would just pray myself home and hope I made it without running out of gas on the road. The Lord knew that!" she said with excitement. "This is gonna fill my tank!"

When I walked out of the room, I realized God had just done a miracle for those two ladies. But in order for that to happen, I had to get out of the way.

Sometimes, you can't see what God has done until you look in the rear view mirror of your life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are You Grafted?

If you've ever had a favorite plant that was diseased and you wanted to save it, you've probably grafted it with another plant of the same kind. One form of grafting is called bridge grafting. Bridge grafting is used to "bridge" a diseased or damaged area of a plant, usually at or near the base of the trunk. A portion of the plant is sliced, then inserted into the healthy plant. Over time, the two grow together and form one healthy plant. The disease is gone because the once former sick plant now takes on the characteristics of the better plant.

Someone mentioned this week to me they didn't understand what I meant by "identifying with Christ" or knowing who you are "in Christ". You and I better know who we are in Christ because I can assure you, Satan knows if you know your identity! Here's an example....

Acts 19 tells the story of the seven sons of Sceva. The Apostle Paul was preaching hard at Ephesus. The Bible says God was doing many miracles using Paul's hands. The people were amazed at what they were seeing and this group of men decided they could perform just as fancy miracles as Paul could. Verse 19 says, "Then a certain group of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 'We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.' And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?' And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded."

These men didn't have a relationship with Jesus (which would have given them authority to use His name) and they tried to use the name of Jesus to cast out evil spirits. One of the evil spirits thought it was rather comical: "Jesus I know and Paul I know; but who are you?" Because they didn't know their identity in Christ, "they fled out of that house naked and wounded." Paul knew who he was in Christ and so did the evil spirit ("and Paul I know" verse 15). Because the men weren't "grafted" in Christ, the evil spirits knew it and had a field day with them!

When we become one in Christ, He will totally change the way you see yourself and the way you see your life. And even better, Satan will know who he can pick on and who he can't.

My hope is that evening morning when my feet hit the ground, the devil screams, "Oh no, she's awake!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Revelation Knowledge

When we truly understand our identification with Christ in his death and resurrection, then we "get" the heart of the Gospel. Many churches aren't focusing on this because they are trying so hard to deal with everbody's personal problems. Our churches today are busy trying to keep people from having nervous breakdowns, teaching people how to love their husband or wife, how to manage their finances, how to discipline their kids and how to get their needs met. If you preach on your identity with Christ in some churches, they will look at you like a dog looks at a new bowl! They say, "You don't understand! I'm trying to make ends meet, I've got pain in my hip, I'm dealing with emotional problems, a broken relationship and you are talking about identification with Christ? That's not what I need!" Oh, but an understanding of our identity with Christ is EXACTLY what we need.

Christ living in us is based on our revelation knowledge of the Word and our mixing faith with it. It is based upon our willingness to yield to the Holy Spirit because the Spirit reveals Christ to us. The greater our Word intake, the more Christ will be manifested through you and me.

In February of this year, I shared how I had been challenged to pray Ephesians 1:18-23 for six months for myself, every day. I finished that challenge in July and I can tell you, I gained revelation knowledge. As humans, we are taught to go with our sensory knowledge in using our five senses. Revelation knowledge comes when the eyes of your spirit are opened up; when God's truths are revealed through your spirit. You see something that no one else in the natural realm sees. You see God has done something that is not natural.

Identifying oneself with Christ makes no sense for those relying on the senses. But for those who are searching for revelation knowledge, identifying with Christ is all they'll ever need. Revelation knowledge opens up the Word to you and me!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Change Of Heart

I wrote Monday about the importance of knowing who we are in Christ and the identity change that happens when we do. Up until the last few weeks, I'd never thought about this.

Simon's name was changed to Peter, which means "a piece of the rock," which is a revelation of who Jesus is. When Peter had his light bulb moment, he looked at Jesus and said in Matthew 16:16-19, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus turned and looked at Peter and said, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you. My Father revealed this to you." After Peter identified Jesus, Jesus told Peter in verse 18, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Jesus changed Peter's name, his character, his destiny and his possibilities in life. Everything changed for Peter.

The moment we see who Jesus is, He tells us who we are. And being a Christian is not about having a behavioral change every day, but having a heart change.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's In A Name?

Ever known someone who had an identity crisis? I've known people who believe they are what they do. If they lose their job, they suddenly lose who they are because they were so wrapped up in what they did. I've told my husband and close friends that if I ever think I'm more important than I am because of what I do, it's time for me to quit my job!

Just because something has happened to you doesn't mean that is who you are. Ever known someone to say about themselves "I'm divorced"? Your identity if different than your behavior. That is the point in which it becomes important for us to realize who God says we are. God identified us with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. So the strongest revelation in the Bible is who we are in Christ Jesus.

It's no wonder why people have an identity crisis when so many voices are trying to tell us who we are and what we are from the time we were born. But God is the Creator, so He deserves the right to tell us who we are and what we are like, right?

All through the Bible, God changed people's identities. Sometimes even they did not recognize who God said they were! It is the same with us. We have heard so many things about ourselves that when God tells us who we are, we are surprised.

God called Gideon "a mighty man of valor" when was hiding from the enemy. God changed Abram to Abraham which means "father of many" when he had no children. Jacob means "deceiver" and God changed his name to Israel, "prince of God". See a pattern here? They had to have an identity change to carry the spiritual inheritance God wanted them to carry. We all must have a change in identity to fulfill the destiny and dream God has for us.

God often calls us something even though there is no physical evidence to support it, but He is God. He reserves the right to reveal to us how He sees us and what He sees in us.

I'll discuss more about this on Friday's blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Desire Isn't Faith

I've learned something else this week about prayer. There is a common thread in some scripture I've found.

Mark 9:23 says, "All things are possible to him that believeth." Matthew 21:22 says, "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." And Mark 11:24 says, "Therefore I say unto you, all things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Did you catch the word that ties all of these prayer verses together? Believe!

Many times when we pray, we are wanting something so bad: a new job, better finances, the healing of a broken relationship. But desire and want are not faith. Desire may at some point lead you to faith, but wanting something bad enough is not faith.

To believe that God can answer, that He is able, that He does possess the power to do it, is not faith. It is to believe 100% that He will, that He is on the edge of doing it and that even now, the answer is on the way.

Remember, faith is not believing God can, faith is believing God will!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Barbie is taking the day off from the blog today due to Labor Day. She will return this Friday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Believing God Will

Since the last couple of blog entries regarding prayer and faith, some have posted their comments here. Others have sent me personal emails. I'm not hear to preach to anyone but myself. This blog has always been personal in nature--a place for me to type what I'm discovering in the Word and in my prayer time. If I'm learning something and, thus, writing it here helps you, that is the Holy Spirit speaking to you; not Barbie Bassett.

It's been said before, faith is not believing God can. Faith is believing God will. But the reason why so little is accomplished in our prayer life is because we expect so little. We believe God can, but we don't believe that God will. There is a big difference.

Matthew 9 talks of Jesus' healing of the blind and the mute men. Two blind men were calling out to Jesus for mercy. They wanted to see! Jesus asked them one question in verse 28, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" And they both said yes. Jesus told them, "According to your faith, will it be done to you."

But as Christians, we sometimes subscribe to the belief, "According to how much you want it, so be it." That's not what Jesus said. Notice it is according to how much we believe God will give it to us--that is faith. We cannot tell God what we want and then try to fit Him into our plans.

You never see miracles performed for people in the Bible who didn't have faith before they asked for healing. The faith they had in Jesus came before their miracle. The miracle was just a by-product of their faith.

Our prayers are the same way. Faith comes first, the answer comes second.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Prayers Not Being Answered?

Last Friday, I wrote about Daniel's answer to prayer. My mother reminded me of another instance of Daniel needing the answer to prayer alittle further down.

In Daniel 10, Daniel was having another burdensome dream. This dream was so disturbing, he didn't eat or drink for three weeks! On the 24th day, he was standing on the banks of the Tigris River when he was met by the angel (the scripture doesn't name the angel, but one gets the indication it was Gabriel again). Seeing the angel before him was apparently a frightening sight because the other two friends with Daniel were terrorized and they ran away.

The angel tells Daniel in verse 12, "...your words were heard and I came in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."

Gabriel was being hindered by a stubborn Persian ruler who was either demonic or human. Remember, angels aren't all-powerful, like God, but they were fighting this battle for Daniel. It was so bad, the angel Michael came to help fight it. Personally, I believe this was a spiritual fight in which a demon assigned to Persia was trying to keep Gabriel from getting his message (or answer to his vision) to Daniel. It took Gabriel 21 days (or 3 weeks) to get to Daniel!

It took me a long time to realize the battles I encounter on this earth are spiritual in nature. Some of the simplest things (battle to lose weight, battle to think positive about someone, battle to forgive, battle to say 'no' when my plate is already full of obligations, the battle to respond kindly when viewers make ugly comments about me), are battles in the spiritual realm. And sometimes our prayers aren't answered because they are being held back by demonic forces. But oh, friend, that's when God steps in deals the final blow to those things that are holding our answers back. Ephesians 6:12 puts it like this, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." What are the 'spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms'? Satan and his co-horts of demons.

I don't think this is the reason why all prayers are not answered, but I do believe it is a reason why some aren't. So if there is an answer to prayer you've been looking for, pray that God would not allow it to be hindered any longer

Friday, August 28, 2009

Answers To Prayer

I had a fabulous time speaking to the women at First Baptist Church of Brandon's women's ministry dinner Monday night---all 350 of them! I talked about finding your place in ministry, among other things. Those women were on fire and ready. And....they laughed at my jokes so thanks, girls!

Just this week, I overheard someone say "I've been praying about it and now I'm just waiting on God to answer my prayer." That comment got me thinking, in particular about Daniel's story.

You remember the story of Daniel in the lions den. What we tend to focus on is Daniel's courage in the face of death and God shutting the mouths of the lions. But if you go further into the story of Daniel, you'll see more.

In Daniel 9, he began to get deeper into the scripture and prophecy of Jeremiah and began to pray. The 70 years of the Babylonian captivity Jeremiah had talked about was coming to a close and Daniel was praying to God, confessing his sins. He was prone to visions and had another one which he didn't understand. So Daniel prayed to God for an answer, for clarity. The angel Gabriel came to Daniel 'in swift flight' (verse 21). In verse 23, Gabriel tells Daniel "As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given..."

Did you see that? "As soon as you began to pray"! When we are asking God for wisdom over an issue, asking Him for a solution to our problem or praying for something dear to our heart, He has given you the answer! Does it sometimes take alittle while, even years, before we get the answer? Sure, but God has already answered your prayer!

I don't know about you, but for the requests I've been lifting to God today, I know He has already given His answer, "as soon as" I began to pray. That, my friends, will set you free!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Legal Jail Break

Gracie has been asking questions lately about the purpose for jail. I've explained to her why people go to jail and how each one stays for a certain period of time. And when someone is in jail, they are referred to as a 'prisoner'. This reminded me of Jesus' first sermon.

In Luke 4:18, Jesus said He would "preach deliverance to the captives". Jesus isn't talking about his jail ministry here. But there are alot of people who are prisoners who are not in the county jail. There are many people held captive who are not behind bars of steel but they are still behind real bars.

And only Jesus can bring deliverance from negative thoughts, gossip, a toxic relationship, insecurity, mental illness, financial issues and anything else we may feel we are being held captive by. And our release from prison has already been accomplished through a price that Jesus paid on our behalf. In other words, this is not an illegal jail break because your redemption from all of these things was legally purchased through the blood of Jesus. This means the prison doors that Satan uses to trap people have been blown open and the prisoner doesn't have to sneak out! He can walk out in the daylight because of this legal release to freedom. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says it best, "You were not redeemed with silver and gold..but with the precious blood of Christ."

Jesus said in John 8:32 "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." But the truth won't get you out of a spiritual stronghold if you don't know it.

I'll share more in depth on spiritual strongholds in my book.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friday Fun Videos

If you watch WLBT, you will notice some new commercials running as most people have geared up for the new school year.

One issue close to my heart is organ donation. I've been a registered organ donor for 13 years now and have friends who have received life-saving organ transplants from people they will never know. So, I recruited some of my WLBT co-workers to help promote this worthy cause with the Mississippi Organ & Recovery Agency (MORA). Here is the commercial we created which is now running on WLBT.

And with football season upon us, it's time for me to go 'on the field' with my forecasts on Friday nights. Here is our new First Alert Football Forecast commercial. Oh, and I had ALOT of fun making this one, as you can probably tell!

Have a "sunny" weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ever Seen The Glory?

Last Friday, I shared with you what I discovered in the meaning of the old hymn, Rock of Ages, and the reason behind the words.

If you look in Exodus 33:18, Moses expressed his prayer, "Now show me your glory." God responded with this in verse 19, "I will cause all of my glory to pass in front of you." What is the glory of God? It is His goodness.

What would happen if all of God's goodness passed in front of you? But that is exactly what happened for Moses. The glory of God overwhelmed Moses and he had an experience with the glory of God. From that day forward, Moses was changed. Even Paul says in Romans 2:4 that God's goodness leads us to repentance.

But the only limit to the goodness of God is our capacity to receive it. God told Moses, "I will show you my glory....there is a place by me." When we take our place in Christ, we are properly positioned to see God's glory. But just like Moses did, we must ask God to see His glory!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finding Your Place

Growing up in the church, we were always singing hymns. For goodness sake, all three of my children were named after old hymns, so that lets you in on a little of my past!

The other day, "Rock of Ages" was going through my head and I couldn't get that song off my mind. Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee. So I went back in the Bible and looked at the story which prompted that song. It was the story of Moses and his desire to see God and to know His will.

Exodus 33:20-23 says, "And God said, 'Thou canst see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: by my face shall not be seen.'"

Moses was getting in on the secret of God's plan of redemption--that man belongs at the right hand of God, meaning in His presence. Ephesians 2:5-6 says it best, "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

But Moses wasn't just going to stand on a rock. God carved out a niche for him in the rock and put Moses inside of the rock. That way, Moses could see God's glory, His goodness and understand who God is. Who is that rock? Jesus.

Think deeper about this story. God had a specific plan for Moses and loads of blessings and victory ahead for him. God has the same for you and me. God has a place reserved for us in His Kingdom. Find that place and get in it! There is deliverance, healing, prosperity, victory and blessing in that place. He's already carved it out for you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

On A Trip To No Where?

Growing up in the country, there were many roads that led to no where. If you lived down one of those roads, that road obviously went somewhere! But for those who had not traveled down it before, it wasn't a place you needed to be traveling down late at night.

I was reading in Genesis 22 about the test God gave to Abraham in sacrificing Abraham's son, Isaac. God told Abraham in verse 2 to "go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Notice, God didn't tell Abraham which mountain to go to; He only told him the region. Abraham got ready for the journey and in verse 4 it says, "On the third day..." Abraham had been traveling for three, long days! Ever felt like you were on a road to no where? You know God is prompting you to make a change. You feel in your spirit God has something else better for you. You have no doubt God is wanting you to put your trust in Him, but you feel like you're traveling in a dense fog.

The Bible clearly states Abraham's journey and the command to sacrifice his son was a test by God. So does God have to test us to find out what's in our heart?

No, but tests of faith are not to enlighten God. Tests of faith are to teach us. When God tests me, it helps to uncover my real motive for doing something. Tests help to clarify my loyalty and to nurture genuine faith.

And because Abraham set out on the journey in faith, God showed him the mountain Abraham had been searching for. You know the rest of the story of Abraham and Isaac and how God doesn't require human sacrifices. God does require a heart sacrifice. An obedient heart is willing to do what He asks, even if it seems like we are on a road to no where.

(I will be sharing more about Abraham's trip of faith and the influence it had in my life in my book, which will be released in April 2010.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Fair Report

I was away all last week enjoying time at the Neshoba County Fair in our cabin. The Fair Times newspaper did articles on former townspeople coming back home to the fair. They highlighted my husband as one of those former citizens of Philadelphia.

On a side note, I give the forecast every morning on the front steps of our cabin. I call it the "faircast". Without television and radios there, we are often left to wonder what the forecast is for the day, but that is no longer the case. So behind us, you'll see a portion of the "faircast". I thought I'd share the article with you along with the family snapshot they took of us.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Since 3 months of age, William Bassett has attended 42 consecutive Fairs and has shared the tradition of going to the Fair with his own children.

"My oldest child Gracie was just 3 weeks old, Will was 7 months and Lilly Faith was 3 months old when they first went to the Fair," William said. "I guess we have sort of a family tradition of breaking the new ones in early. I will always treasure the memories of my mom watching Will and Gracie taking in their first Fairs."

The Bassetts have enjoyed the Fair over the years at Cabin 220 in Happy Hollow. It was built in 1956 by William's grandparents, while his father was in high school.

"It's a wonderful location, because it's close to the square, midway and racetrack, but far enough away that it's a little quieter," he said.

According to Bassett, working with his father on the cabin each year has provided a wealth of memories and knowledge. "I think I learned everything I know about carpentry, painting, plumbing, and wiring from weekends spent working with my dad on the Fair cabin."

One of the more memorable Fair moments for Bassett was when his grandmother and mother cooked tons of wonderful food, cakes and snacks to take to the Fair. "Come July, their houses always smelled so good because there was some serious Fair cooking going on," he said. "I have tried to keep a few of their cooking traditions alive but I've got a long way to go before I reach their level of culinary expertise."

These are also the 2 women that William misses the most during Fair week. His grandmother died in 2001, and his mother, in 2007.

"I miss getting to spend time with them the most," he said. "Granny would sit on the porch for hours visiting with people and watching the people pass by, never hesitating to reprimand a youngster for an errant throw of a ball or Frisbee or water balloon that passed too close to her head. Mom would sit for hours discussing politics and the philosophies of life with various friends until the wee hours of the morning."

Since leaving Philadelphia, William has married who he describes as "the most amazing and beautiful woman," Barbie Bassett, originally from Marks.

This year at the Fair, Bassett plans to slow down and unplug from the rest of the world. He also plans to spend time visiting with family and friends and enjoy lots of good food.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Being A Spiritual Pioneer

I've been ordering the curriculum for Gracie's homeschool. In looking at the different subjects she will take, I noticed the history portion. It brought back memories of learning about the pioneers and settlers when I was in school. A pioneer is someone who ventures into unclaimed or unknown territory; they prepare the way for others.

Before the Civil War, there was alot of pioneering going on. People were told to "go west" with stories of gold in the hills and unclaimed land. These stories kept people moving forward. But they had to load their families in wagons with everything they owned to do it. Their horses and mules pulled the covered wagons. But they had to know what to take with them and what to leave behind. Only necessary things were allowed. Many times the trails were littered with things people had to leave behind in order to make it across the deserts or over the mountains. They had to keep moving. The pioneers had an expectation about what was ahead.

I believe God is looking for pioneers--people who won't settle for less than God's best. When you have a spirit of faith, you aren't afraid to leave things behind. We hold on to things that weigh us down and hold us back from making it over the next mountain. Its hard to put away some treasured item or some way of thinking, but the rewards of obeying God keep us moving.

Hebrews 11:27 says, "By faith, Moses forsook Egypt." But Moses did it by faith. In Genesis 11:31, we read how Abraham overcame Ur of the Chaldees when he was 75 years old! It takes faith to follow and faith to forget the past.

It takes faith to forsake the ways of this world and walk in the ways of God. It takes faith to walk away from the pleasures and temptations of this world. If you keep looking back, you can't go forward.

Think of yourself as a spiritual pioneer. Have great expetations for what God has in store for you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Barbie is away this week, but will return on Monday. Feel free to read past blog posts on her journey of faith.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Faith Radar Screen

Much was made about the "big switch" that occurred in television in June. Stations went from broadcasting on an analog channel to doing it on a digital channel. Millions of dollars was spent on educating the public as to how television reception would change forever. In order to receive television broadcasts now if you aren't already on cable or satellite, you must have a converter box. If the box isn't hooked up properly or isn't turned on, you can't watch tv anymore.

The story of the crippled man in Acts 14 is a classic example of faith. Paul was busy preaching the gospel and a man who had been crippled since birth was listening closely. Paul was able to see this man had faith in Acts 14:8, "Paul perceived that he had faith to be healed and said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on thy feet'. And he leaped and walked." That man could have thought, "Well, Mr. Know-It-All, if I could stand up on my feet, I wouldn't be sitting here right now!" Reasoning and unbelief will keep you out of God's best blessings.

Unbelief can be disguised as wisdom. Your intelligent mind may see no mighty work. Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, the intelligent thing to do is..." or "Have you lost your mind?"

Some people are afraid to "lose their minds" and let go of their own thinking and opinions. They are afraid to let go and let God have His way.

I imagine God has a faith radar screen. He's looking for people to get in faith by believing what He says in His Word, walking by faith, praising Him, thanking Him and holding fast to their faith confession. But faith has to land before it gets results. Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." At times, people who appear on God's "faith radar screen" come in for a landing. Then all of a sudden, something happens. Doubt comes in, feelings well up, we begin to think intelligently about the situation and fear sets in. When this happens, you get out of the spirit and into your thinking, reasoning and into your sight mode. You go off the radar screen. Some people stay on the radar screen for several days at a time, but they drop off as soon as Satan attacks them. God wants you to stay on the screen.

You get on God's faith radar screen by speaking your faith. Simply by speaking your faith, you get back on the radar screen. He is still looking for faith today, but not yesterday's faith. God is asking you and me, "What do you believe today? What are you declaring today? What are you acting on today?"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sink Or Swim

I wrote last Friday about my lack of patience--something I'm trying to work on. When it comes to trusting God's hand, impatience can often be a sign of your lack of faith. When we get impatient because we don't see God working or moving in our circumstances, we quickly forget how He has brought us out of prior situations.

You remember the story of Peter's walk on the water. Matthew 14:25-33 says, "During the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them, 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' 'Lord, if it's you,' Peter said, 'tell me to come to you.' 'Come,' he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?' And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him saying, 'Truly you are the Son of God,'"

Could Jesus have picked a worse time to walk on the water? For goodness sake, it was 3 o'clock in the morning and the winds were blowing and waves were lapping! When Peter asked in verse "Lord, is that You? I want to come to you." Jesus just gave Peter one word: "Come". He didn't encourage Peter like you have to do a puppy and say, "Come on, Peter, you can do it!" Some may criticize Peter for sinking because of his lack of faith, but they quickly forget that he was the only one who got out of the boat!

It seems to me that God always picks a time when it looks like you're at your weakest and you can't do it. Peter could have negotiated, "God, can we try this again tomorrow? At least when the storm is over?"

We always have suggestions for God when His work doesn't fit into our time frame. But God picks that particular time to show how faith in Him will work anytime, anywhere and for anyone who will believe Him.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Being Impatient

I know I'm not alone when I say this, but I'm a busy person. I operate daily by the clock. Even my job has a director in my ear counting me down to the second. I've got 3 minutes every night to tell the public everything they need to know about the weather for the next 7 days. The show goes on with or without me, so being tardy isn't an option. I can fit 10,000 things in my day and wonder why everybody else can't do the same thing. After all, if I can do it with my commitments, surely everyone else can, right? My schedule is packed and I don't have time to waste. I have a problem.

One night this week as my husband and I were giving the children their baths, I was rushing around the house bathing Will with one hand and folding towels with the other. One down, one to go. Quick, let's get him out of the tub and throw Gracie in. Time's a wasting! While Gracie was bathing, I unloaded dishes from the dishwasher and walked into my bathroom only find my husband on the floor with his head leaning on the side of the tub, watching Lilly Faith play in the bath water, both of them giggling. In my mind I was thinking, "Why are you just sitting there? Grab that kid out of the water! I'm sure she's clean now!" I looked at him and asked what he was doing. "Oh, just watching her have fun in the tub. You never know how much fun bath water can be til you watch a little one," he said with a smile. Immediately, the Holy Spirit convicted me. "You have a problem with patience. You're too busy trying to set a world's record at bathing your kids and you're missing some sweet moments."

It seems as if you and I are always waiting on God to answer, waiting on Him to move on our behalf or to work something out. Psalm 70:1 says, "Haste, O God, to save me. O Lord, come quickly to help me." As you can see, even David had a problem with patience. So, is it okay to ask God to hurry?

God wants us to be patient and accept His timing, but he understands and is pleased when we call to Him for help. Our need for God to help us and to help us right now demonstrates our vulnerability and God's strength. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness."

And when it comes to my life, God doesn't operate on "Barbie Central Time". For the One who created time knows how to operate it. And that's time no man-made watch can understand.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Fasting Journey

I had the brief chance to go home over the weekend for a family reunion. Here is a picture of me, my older sister Rhonda, my mother and her 91 year-old mother (my grandmother).My fasting journey continues. I've committed to prayer and fasting a couple of days a week and am seeing spiritual results. I've kept up with my fasting journal in writing the things I want God to reveal to me through this--answers I need in knowing what to do in certain situations I'm facing. In testing God, I am most certainly hearing Him speak and getting answers in ways I never thought possible. Some have asked why this means to seeking God's will?

Fasting denies me what is common, normal and necessary--food--for a period of time so that my mind will become sharp, my heart tender and my spirit receptive to what God is telling me to do. God promises to fill the void that the absence of food creates and He will pour out His blessings in a way food never will. This take humbling myself in God's presence and taking direction from His heart. In doing so, I will have the strength, the desire, courage and confidence to face the future boldly, without being afraid and without compromise.

I don't want God to be a silent God in my life, nor do a I want to snore through the most exciting time in my life. Would you?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Viewer Comments

I know..its been a while since I've shared viewer emails and comments. Someone asked me the other day if I still got mean emails from viewers. I chuckled and told them how it had really quietened down and I believed my critics were away on summer vacation, although the "when you are going to lose the baby weight?" and the "are you pregnant AGAIN?" emails have totally ceased. Now that I've lost 50+ pounds, they have to find something else to pick me apart on.

Barbie, I love your newscast, so please don't take this the wrong way, but, I would highly suggest you get a new hair-do. Yours looks like its from the 1950's. It is very big hair. People at my office make jokes about it. Just a suggestion. Signed, Charles Jackson

I can't help that not everyone is a 'child of the 80s' and doesn't appreciate 'big hair', but I will admit that even I have toned it down a bit lately. My hair is getting longer and when it get longer, it gets heavier, so it's not as BIG as it was before. But how sad that his co-workers make jokes about my hair and don't have anything else to do (like work) at work!

And I had this anonymous viewer comment on my voice mail last night:

"That yellow blouse you're wearing tonight has the same crease in the same place as it did last Wednesday night when you wore it. The only thing thats different is your buttons are alittle lower on the sleeve this time around. But it just doesn't look professional!"

I had to wonder who this lady was watching last Wednesday wearing a yellow blouse because it wasn't me. I was at home with the swine flu.

You know the weather is boring to listen to when viewers are discussing your big hair in the workplace and counting the creases in your blouse!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Land of the Living

A friend and I were talking the other day about how some people think Christians are to live piously--that we should live as poor as church mice, be somber and serious, and never have fun. Then I ran across Psalm 27:13 which David wrote, "I am still confident in this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

David certainly had his share of ups and downs; good and bad decisions. Throughout it all, though, he knew he was dearly loved by God. But he knew there were blessings in this life for him, on earth, and he wouldn't have to wait and receive everything in eternity.

I don't necessarily believe blessings come in the form of monetary things and it is unfortunate that many people think that. But I believe God has plenty for us here IF we choose to do the second part of the verse and "wait for the Lord."

Friday, July 3, 2009

Oh, What A Week!

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, although I felt like I had earlier in the week!

Last Sunday was a big day for us as Gracie was baptized. She was so excited. I was afraid if she were given the opportunity, she was going to testify to the congregation once she got in the baptistry! You can see her excitement here just before she made her way into the water.

She participated in her first Lord's Supper that night and even kept her communion cup as a memoir.

By midday on Monday, I couldn't move. When I say I couldn't move, I literally couldn't move. I didn't know what had come over me, but my legs wouldn't work, my head was splitting in two, and every muscle and fiber in my body was screaming. Even my hair was hurting. A trip to the doctor revealed a temperature of 102.9 and I was immediately quarantined in the clinic. Yes, I've been one of "those" cases this week--swine flu. I can honestly tell you this flu strain is worse than the typical flu you may have had in the past. When the doctor started discussing the fatality rate with this flu, I knew it was serious.

I've been on several medications including tamiflu, which has been wonderful. The doctors also started all three children and my husband on tamiflu, just in case. Since I already have it, the chances are higher than everyone in our house has already been infected, so they wanted to go ahead and get everyone on the regimen.

Meantime, Gracie turned 6 years old on Wednesday. I wasn't able to attend her party and stayed isolated as best as I could with three little ones. My nanny and husband swapped off childcare duties. And since I couldn't go to the store and get Gracie a cake, my nanny stepped up to the plate and made a delicious ice cream cake for the celebration. Through it all, Gracie has been understanding but the kids certainly don't appreciate taking their medicinal doses every day!

So when the swine flu vaccine comes out, you can bet I'll be first in line to get mine. And I highly suggest you do the same!



Friday, June 26, 2009

Sticks & Stones

Yesterday while exercising at the gym, my name was called over the intercom to come to the childcare room. I assumed La-La was fussy due to cutting teeth and was quite surprised to walk in and see Gracie in the arms of Miss Mable, one of the sitters. She was sobbing uncontrollably. Miss Mable couldn't get anything out of her and I was having trouble understanding what she was saying in between her cries. All she would say was "She called me a quitter!" It became obvious I wasn't going to be able to get back to the treadmill, so we packed up our things and left. When we got home and got the kids settled, I sat Gracie down and asked what happened. "I was playing with this older girl and I told her I didn't want to play anymore and that I was finished. And she called me a quitter," Gracie told me and tears began rolling down her face again. I asked her why this upset her and she said, "Because it hurt my feelings! She called me a name!" So we had a long talk about how some people just don't understand how words can hurt other people. I told Gracie, "People call me names every day and it hurts my feelings, too, so I know how you feel." I think she was a bit surprised to hear that some adults still act like kids! I gave her suggestions for how she should handle those kind of things in the future, how she can walk away, and how she can show other people the love of Jesus. "The devil was telling me I should call that girl a name back, but I said no to the devil," she said. I finished my motherly counseling session and asked her if she felt any better. "My mind feels better, but my heart is still sad. Its just going to take me alittle while to get over my sadness," she said. How true that can be.

Whoever said "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" lied through their two front teeth.

When Joshua went to battle the Amelikites along with Moses, there is one particular verse that I take a special liking to. Exodus 17:14 says, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.'"

I believe when we've been hurt by someone, whether by something they've said or done, if we ask God to help us forget the hurt after we've truly forgiven them, He will help us forget. I can honestly tell you in many cases I've prayed for God to help me forget the hurt someone caused, He's taken away that broken spirit. I've tried to remember why I was mad at someone before, only to realize I couldn't remember the situation or what was said.

The old phrase "forgive and forget" doesn't describe our nature, it describes the nature of God. Scripture says He throws our sins "as far as the east is from the west". However, when we choose to forgive and ask God to help us get over the pain, we're able to move on.