Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday's Update

My apologies once again for being tardy at posting this morning. If I've not posted by 9am on Mondays, some of you become concerned and I appreciate your faithfulness to tune in!

What wild weather we had last week! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a break. Unfortunately, the old wives tale about "March going out like a lion" seems to be ringing true. Last Friday night was a doozie with tornado warnings breaking out all across our viewing area. We had numerous reports of trees down, flash flooding, and large hail. Areas south of I-20 seemed to get the worst of the storms and there was a possible tornado touchdown near Natchez. Today we'll get a break, but more storms will be possible Tuesday. Here is the NWS's graphic for Tuesday:

Although the tornado threat looks minimal for Tuesday, more heavy rain, gusty winds and hail will be possible. We'll have another system to roll through on Thursday as well.

Things on the home front have been alittle tedious. Lilly Faith was sick last week with the fever virus and the stomach virus (which is where I got my bout of it last week). Over the weekend, she got worse. I took her to the doctor Sunday morning and she was diagnosed with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which can be fatal for some infants. It causes difficulty breathing and isn't fun at all for the little one.

I spent Saturday morning speaking to the fine ladies at Main Street Baptist Church in Goodman at their brunch. I met the sweetest people there, young and old. We laughed, we talked and we had a good time.

I'm ready to get back to sharing with you some of the things the Lord has been showing me and dealing with me on. Hopefully the weather will make a turn for the better and I can do some of that in the coming weeks and we can put the bad weather to rest!

Friday, March 27, 2009

More Severe Weather Expected

(I apologize for the late update. I got home overnight and had a few hours of sleep before Lilly Faith woke me up this morning jabbering. Work may cease for a few hours but motherhood never does.)

The town of Magee is a mess. You've seen the video and pictures on WLBT and heard some of their stories. Other towns were affected by Thursday morning's tornadoes. Most had structural damage, power lines and trees down. Most of the severe weather stayed to our south last night although we had our fair share of tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings. We knew last night's weather would stay south of I-20 and it did. Now to tonight's forecast.

It doesn't look any better. Most locations will top out into the upper 70s/lower 80s this afternoon which will help destabilize the atmosphere. Combine that with a strong jet stream and cold front nearly parallel to each other and we have all modes of severe weather possible this evening and overnight. Whereas last night's weather was confined farther south, tonight's episode will include all of the WLBT viewing area. Here is the NWS graphical depiction of tonight's weather:

With last night's tornado warnings, I had to break into programming and commercials a few times. It is WLBT's policy to keep the public safe no matter what. When I broke in, I made sure to keep the updates quick and precise. But some viewers weren't too happy with me, including this one.

Look, you could have waited 30 seconds for your interruption with the tornado. Some of us actually watch The Office. Tonight was a new interrupted just before the ending, which we had waited for the entire show. I also watch the weather, but how insensitive of you to knock out the last 30 seconds of The Office! We're pretty much inundated with weather, anyway. Next time please have more consideration for your audience. Signed, Pat Welch

Please quit cutting in during the main part of a TV show just to tell everyone in Jackson that it is raining in Osyka, MS. I'm sure both people in Osyka were watching WLBT at that particular moment. You never cut in during a commercial only the show. You cut in right at the end of the season finale of The Office. Now I have to wait until tomorrow to watch it on line. Next time just put a little map in the corner and a crawl across the bottom of the screen. We don't need to be bombarded with Barbie all night about rain in Pike County, MS. The probably watch the NBC affiliate out of New Orleans any way. Signed, Michael Long

Just between you and me, I didn't even think about what I was interrupting. I was more concerned with getting the information out about the possible tornado in Amite & Pike Counties. I know viewers may think I sit around perched like a mountain lion when severe weather is occurring and that I carefully and stealthfully wait until the end of a program and then BAM! I jump in and ruin the show for everyone with a weather update. No, I'm not that intentional and having seen and heard about the lives changed in Simpson County, that was my concern last night. Waiting until the show was over may have been too late for one family. As one of my co-workers put it: some viewers think it's their world and you're just living in it. I would hope that isn't really the case.

I do hope we are ALL prepared for what *could* happen overnight. I'll be with you throughout the evening and into Saturday morning. Have your weather radio on and we'll welcome the sunshine this weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday's Severe Weather

I've been gone for the last day or so. Seems I've been having severe abdominal pains since Tuesday which has left me doubled over. I was able to "fake it" through the pain Tuesday night on WLBT, but couldn't yesterday so I went to the doctor. After ruling out my gall bladder, the doctor said I have a horrible gastrointestinal bug. He sent me home with some medicine to hopefully keep the cramping at bay. Needless to say, I missed doing the severe weather coverage last night and this morning.

By now, you've heard about the damage in Simpson County and other portions of the state due to this morning's severe weather. My heart aches for those people because I've been there myself. Worse yet, we have two more rounds of severe weather to go tonight and another one Friday night. Night times are the toughest to spot tornadoes due to the dark skies; we have to rely on tornado vortex signatures on the radar. Tonight's episode should be more confined to the areas along and south of I-20. Here is the NWS's graphic for today:

All modes of severe weather will be possible with both of these rounds so please take this system seriously.
Felisha Simmons sent me this picture from her home in Madison. She said one of the shutters came off her house and the wind threw it into her son's bedroom window. All the more reason NOT to be near windows during this type of weather.
Have your weather radio on and keep tuned to WLBT. I'll be there with you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet Potato Queen Day

Stephanie Bell Flynt and I had a blast being transformed into Sweet Potato Queens last Friday on the WLBT 4pm newscast. Being a "fire engine red head" was definitely an experience! If you didn't see the show, you can view it in parts on the WLBT website. Here are a few pictures from the afternoon.

I had the opportunity to speak at Lakeshore Church in Byram Saturday night at their ladies dinner. The men did a superb job serving everyone dinner and the ladies were such fun to be around and talk to. I spoke about the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and the things that we are missing out on if we aren't allowing the Spirit to guide us every day. I even shared with them some of the emails I get from viewers which had them cackling. I received an email from a viewer named James just this week:

"For some reason, you appear white as snow. I thought it was my tv, but I looked at more sets and it is the same. You seem even brighter when you're at the desk."
This evening was for the ladies, but when I got home, I received an email from one of the servers who was at Lakeshore that night.

"You know, most of us take you “personalities” for granted. You’re in the entertainment world – not the “real” world. You don’t have feelings to get hurt like we do. You are incredibly wealthy. You live in gated mansions and are waited on by a staff of uniformed servants who attend to your every wish. Now we have the luxury of impersonal e-mail to communicate with an impersonal personality. It doesn’t occur to us that you are a loving wife and mother who, like us, has a house note, a car note, who has to wash, cook, clean, pay bills, and take the garbage out in between the hundreds of other little tasks that make up your job description under the title, “Wife, Mom, Professional.” Like most others, I also tend to communicate my complaints and dislikes on a ratio of probably 10 to 1 to the “attaboys” and “attagirls.” Human nature? Laziness? Regardless, we are guilty.

It was 1957. Dad had “Bud” and “Jim” - the two best English Setters who ever hunted for quail. My brother and I were old enough to recognize that most of our schoolmates had television and we didn’t. Money was scarce at best, but a friend of Dad’s had some to spare and he wanted Bud and Jim badly – bad enough to pay enough to buy a nice new black & white TV. We were near Tylertown – almost exactly half-way between Jackson and New Orleans. We could get excellent reception on WLBT and poor reception on a couple of New Orleans stations, so we sort of “grew up” with WLBT.

“Woody” (Assaf) was a household name. We depended on Woody to know when to plant, when to cut hay, when to paint, kill hogs, etc. It was a daily necessity to hear Woody complete the sentence, “The Weatherman says…………” Frankly, I really never thought there’d be another “Woody.” I was wrong.

There are a lot of good “meteorologists” out there. But you know, I’ve noticed over the past few years that I never hear anyone say, “David says it’s gonna rain,” or “Eric says we may get hail.” But “Barbie says…..” has become as common as “Woody says…..” once was. Are you THAT much better? I really don’t know, but tonight I think I realized WHY. The guy who said you “looked white” makes perfect sense to me now. When I see you, you have a “glow” about you. No, you don’t look “white,” but you come across the screen with a radiance that can only come from a true follower of Jesus Christ.

I pray that God will richly bless you and your family in ways you cannot imagine! THANK YOU for a wonderful, inspiring and enlightening evening. Signed, L.H.

What a sweet group of people! Thank you, Lakeshore!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome Spring!

Today is the first official day of spring. Spring came in at 6:44am. After a cold, wet weekend last week, we will all be able to enjoy this weekend. The bumble bees are out, the jonquils are blooming and the grass/weeds are growing. If you find yourself dealing with a bad case of spring fever, you are not alone!

Today on our 4pm news, my co-worker Stephanie Bell-Flynt and I will be made into Sweet Potato Queens by the boss queen herself, Jill Connor Browne. They are calling it an "ambush makeover" and by 5pm, Steph and I will be gussied up and scary as ever. I'm hoping the popoatizzi won't be there, but I'm sure a few pictures will make their way onto this blog!

A few of you have asked that I post a recent picture of Lilly Faith. It is hard to believe that in a few weeks she will be one year old! Here is a recent photo done by our photographer, Allison Muirhead. If you look closely, you'll see some of her pearly whites trying to poke through the gums.
Have a sunny weekend!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Has Your Hearing Been Checked?

I have a bionic ear. Some say every mother acquires one at some point. Just recently at church while teaching Sunday School, I heard Lilly Faith crying in her room all the way down the hall. She's been teething and every now and then, gets a little fussy. So I walked all the way down the hall from where my room is and peeked into her nursery room. "Is she ok?" I asked. The teacher looked at me surprised, "How did you know she was crying?" she asked. "You're room is on the other end!" There is just something about the pitch and tone of a child's voice. A mother can pick out her child's voice over all others!

If you think about it, faith begins with hearing a certain sound that other people can't hear. Romans 10:17-18 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world." Mark 4:23-25 says, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you; and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath."

Some say there are two groups of people: the haves and the have nots. But Jesus went a step further and said there were two groups of people: the hearers and the hear nots. Faith comes by hearing a certain sound---the Word of God. The Word opens our ears to His supernatural plan and His provision. It is safe to say that our hearing has alot to do with our having!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Rain Is Here!

The sky has been so gloomy over the last couple of days. At times, it looks as if it will rain but it doesn't. Some areas received light sprinkles yesterday...finally...after several days of saying on the nightly newscast "Rain is coming". We've been dealing with a dry pocket of air situated over the western half of the state. The rain has looked impressive over Arkansas and Louisiana, but once it hits that dry air, the moisture is zapped. It all changes today. Here is the NWS's depiction of the heavy rain expected through Saturday night. Note where your county is and the amount of rain expected.
A viewer named Sara sent me an interesting picture this week. It is of her cat, Dora. Sara claims that Dora intently watches my weather forecast every night. She said when the forecast is over, Dora gets up and leaves, but for the 3 minutes I'm on, Dora is "tuned in". Guess it goes to show that animals want to be prepared for the weather, too.
I hope Dora doesn't get her fur wet today!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Go Around Or Straight Through?

My children love playing a game of "daddy dodge" at night before they go to bed. My husband acts like he's coming after them and they run in all directions trying to get away from him. While they squeal and have a big time, they are learning to just run as fast as they can right past him. Sometimes, the quickest and easiest way to win is to go straight through the middle!

Do you ever feel like the devil is putting pressure all around you? James 1:2 says, "Consider it maximum joy, my brothers, when you get involved in all sorts of trials." The reason Satan is putting pressure on you is because God has got a blessing coming for you! When pressure comes from every side, face it and get joyful right in the middle of it. Satan tries to convince us to go around the pressure, or try to outrun it. Habakkuk 3:19 says, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

During one of Paul's most difficult times in his life, he began to sing praises to God. Acts 16:25 says, "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God."

Satan can put pressure on you and get us into a pickle at times, but as long as he can't keep our mouth shut, we have the victory. I read a quote that said, "Everyday there's a miracle coming to you or passing you by." That means if you allow pressure to push you out of the position and out of what you believe God for, you'll miss the miracle that He has coming for you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Faith Is Motion Activated

Growing up in a small town, we didn't see many technological advancements--we had to go to the "big cities" to do that. I remember when I took my first drive through a touchless car wash. All I had to do was sit in my car, park it, and watch the water and brushes do the rest. No more getting out of the car, putting quarters in the machine and getting sprayed with water and being cold while you washed your car! I remember the first time I went to a fancy hotel in town and noticed there was no soap dispenser, no knobs on the faucets and no turn-and-crank hand towels. After using the restroom, I wondered "Now, how am I supposed to wash my hands? This place has no soap, no towels and no way to turn the water on!" It wasn't until I watched someone else until I realized it was motion activated. Not to be outdone by my trip to the bank with my roommate while at Mississippi College. She pulled up to the bank, slipped in a credit card, and money came out! When I got back to my dorm, I called my mother and told her about this wonderful invention. "She put a card in, pressed a few buttons and money came right out! It was the coolest thing!" Needless to say, we didn't have ATMs in Marks.

When you and I have faith, we believe God for whatever He said He's going to do for us. 'Believe' is a verb and verbs always show action. Effective faith, or faith that gets action, must be translated into action. James 2:17 says, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone."

Faith is an act. By faith, we have access to the grace of God. And just alittle bit of faith can access a whole lot of grace!

Many churches these days are filled with nouns, pronouns and prepositions but God is looking for verbs. He is looking for people who will believe and will act in faith because faith moves God. Faith will not move anything until it moves you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

True Joy

The severe weather rolled through the state Friday night, but the northern half of the state got the brunt of it. I was wearing shorts Friday morning to the gym but pulled out the sweat pants on Saturday. What a temperature change! My mom called me while we were out to dinner and said it was snowing in my hometown, so I knew the changeover was coming. By 9:30pm, it was snowing outside and we all watched the big flakes come down. Before getting ready for church Sunday morning, we let the kids play a bit outside in it. Talk about being full of joy! Even Gracie said, "Mom! You were right! It DID snow!" (Glad to know my daughter thinks I know everything about the weather.)

I've had some memorable weeks here lately. I'm having a "personal revival" as our pastor termed it yesterday and I've never been so at peace and so joyful in all my days. And just when you think nothing could ruin it, viewer comments and emails rear their ugly heads. Thought I'd share the latest installment with you:

"Barbie, I am so proud of you for losing all of your weight. You've done it so fast and you look great! I thought surely you were going to stay fat forever. We're proud of you!" Signed, Anonymous

"You need a haircut and a tan. Bad!" Signed, Anonymous

"Please stop cutting your hair! You look so much prettier with longer hair. If other people want to donate their hair to cancer, let them. You need to let your hair grow out and stay longer. Don't donate your hair ever again!" Signed, Rose in Madison

(Isn't it funny how one says I need a haircut and the other is begging me not to cut my hair?)

These comments, if you let them, will steal a person's joy.....mainly mine! Psalm 89:15 says, "Happy is the people that know well the shout of praise, that lives, Lord, in the smile of thy protection!" I'm learning that the people who know the joyful sound are the ones who get into the presence of God and walk in the light of His countenance. This joy isn't dependent on how much money you have in the bank, what the economy is doing right now or by how many people like my hair; it is supernatural. It comes from heaven, it comes from God. God already has this joy in Him and as believers, that same joy is in us.

How do you demonstrate supernatural joy when others are trying to take it away? You demonstrate it by smiling, rejoicing and laughing. Joy irritates Satan. He likes to hang out in places of depression, grief, condemnation, and gossip. But where there is joy, the presence and glory of God will come in and run Satan off!