Monday, April 27, 2009

What Kind Of Sound Do You Make?

While visiting a local sporting good store recently, I found something I had never seen in the gun and ammunition aisle--a coyote caller. I picked up the box and read more about it. It is a machine that makes the sound of a wounded rabbit. The sound of the hurt rabbit attracts coyotes. In all my years of being around hunters, I had never heard of such a thing!

That coyote caller taught me something about faith. Many Christians are continually whining and speaking defeat and depression calling up the "coyote" of failure. Their "wounded rabbit" call attracts the devil and he comes to devour them for lunch! For him, its open season on the person who whines, complains and constantly speaks fear and failure. We have many "wounded rabbits" in the church and Satan loves to gets you and me to agree with doubt and fear.

Changing your sound will attract the blessings of God in a greater measure. So how do you change a lifelong habit of "wounded rabbit" language? Philemon 6 says, "That the communication of they faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."

Paul said that by acknowledging our identification with Christ, we make the sounds of victory, healthy, prosperity and blessing. We no longer speak the cry of defeat, fear and doubt.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hold Fast Your Faith

Lilly Faith isn't walking just yet. She stands on her own for a few seconds, holds onto things and walks around them and is learning how to balance. I'm sure it's a matter of time before she takes off. But why walk when momma does a better job at holding her?

I love this age because when I perch her on my hip, I can do anything and she still hangs on. I can be holding her on my hip, squat down to pick up something, bend to fold clothes, or reach high to get a pan out of the cabinet and this child stays locked in place! She's like a little koala bear. The strength she has in her chubby thighs would make you think she has a death grip on you. No matter what I do when she's on my hip, she's not moving! La-La knows how to hold on even when I move around like so.

Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." So many times, we let circumstances, incidents and bad news in our life chop away at our faith. We say we have alot of faith and that we walk by faith, but when the heat is on, our faith begins to slowly melt. We second guess who we believe God to be and what we believe He will do for us.

If you are in a faith fight right now, Satan is going to make sure it's not easy for you. He will put mountains, difficulties, and roadblocks everywhere he can and tell you that God is not faithful. But, there is a fight to faith. This good faith fight requires a good profession. You must say what you believe to lay hold or possess your victory. How easy it is to say how we feel or how things look instead of saying what you believe.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:13, "We having the same spirit of faith...believe and...speak." Notice he said 'believe' and 'speak'. If your faith is going to get something to your house, how would it make it there? You have to build a road or a street to your house. Our confession of faith should be strong enough for some Mack trucks and 18-wheelers to carry heaven's cargo to our address because confession always comes before possession. If you wonder why only a few things get to your house, perhaps you have built a narrow path with your words and you've never taken the time to build an adequate road without mud, potholes or trees along the way.

Our confession is born out of a rich fellowship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. This isn't a superficial relationship, but a heart relationship where our spirit is in fellowship with the Lord. Our confession is born out of that fellowship. Your words will either complete your faith or they will defeat your faith. So "hold fast" your faith!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm Glad I'm Not A Frog!

Saturday morning, I spoke to the ladies at Harmony Baptist Church in Crystal Springs. This group of ladies really put on a show! Everyone wore hats, most of which were homemade and whimsical. Here is their group picture:

One of the younger girls who was there with her mother let Lilly Faith wear her hat. La-La got a kick out of wearing a hat!

You can see more pictures of their event at . You should see some the things they put together around their "girlie" theme!

They asked me to come speak about juggling it all and still keeping Christ as the center of your world. We had a splendid time and I enjoyed sharing with them my own personal journey. On the way down, I noticed all sorts of wildlife in Copiah County. The cows were sitting down, waiting on the rain and the birds weren't doing much flying in the brisk wind. I even noticed a few frogs hopping around, wondering when the rain was coming. Speaking of, I'm glad I'm not a frog. Let me explain why.

Last week while buying groceries, I swallowed a gnat. Yes, I was standing there at the checkout counter, got ready to pull out my money, and a gnat flew in front of my face. At the worst possible time, I felt a cough coming on. I quickly breathed in, ready to cough, and the gnat had a little road trip down my throat. Yuk! And I was hoping nobody saw it...Couldn't you just imagine Ethel going back and telling Mary Ella, "Honey, it was the darnest thing! I saw Barbie Bassett eat a gnat right there in the Kroger check out line, for goodness sake! I thought she had more class than that!" After reflecting later on what happened, I realized if I was a frog, I'd probably starve to death. A gnat isn't big at all, much less fulfilling. What a waste of time it would be!

I shared with the ladies at Harmony how we can get so caught up in going, doing, and being everything to everyone else and totally neglect our own spiritual life. Some people feed their bodies 3 hot meals a day and give their soul one cold snack a week, and they wonder why their life is screwed up! When we make our spiritual life a priority and the souls of our family a priority by going to church, group Bible study, and reading books that help us grow closer to God's will, God will in turn be faithful to us.

Psalm 37:28 says, "For the Lord will not forsake his faithful ones." If a frog was to swallow a gnat once a week as his snack, there is no way he would have the energy to hop all day. So how can we expect God to guide us, keep His hand on us and our family, and protect us if we are feeding our soul a cold snack during the week?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's View Emails

I promised you some viewer emails today. It seems like once I "fix" one aspect of myself, some viewers find something else to critique.

This email is from a viewer complaining about my forecast on the WLBT WeatherLine (our phone line). There is a short period of time to give the forecast in detail. The time runs out in 45 seconds, similar to a voice mail. In trying to give all of the pertinent weather information before the recorder cuts me off, this viewer says I need to slow down and resign.

"I just wanted to let you know when you are on the weather line, you talk WAY too fast. Sometimes I have to call twice so that I can take everything in. When Eric and Paul are on there, they talk fast also but I can understand what they say very clear. However you talk extremely fast. Please slow it down because I've noticed that I will try to listen to the current day and the next day and if I miss a beat you will already be on the 2nd day away. I mean it in the nicest way possible, but yeah you've got to slow it down. I would much rather hear one of the guys on the weather line than you. They have you beat any way you look at it. They should be the chief meteorologist! You sound as bad as Miley Cyrus rambling on. And again I'm not being mean its just the truth. Have a nice day! Signed, Ashlee Bell"

Have you ever been told not to smile? This viewer suggested just that. No, I don't jump for joy when I mention the possibility of severe weather, but I'm a smiler and have always been. Why have a downtrodden face when there is already so much negativity in the world? My joy comes not from the weather, but from the One who controls the weather. But this viewer wants it to stop.

"I have been a WLBT fan. One thing I would suggest is that when the camera pans on you for a preview of the weather or to suggest the weather is next...while although a face with a smile is a nice thing...I would rather see a frown when the corresponding message about the weather will not be a nice one. In that it rains way too much in Miss. during the winter and spring and sometimes during the summer and in that it rains for days on end with a small break in between...I personally get soooo tired of the weather that I would rather see a frown with empathy on the face of the meteorologist. Thanks, Andre Buteau"

I've never heard of a "frown of empathy", have you?

Yes, I have alot of hair. But I've never had anyone think I was wearing anything else on my head other than my own hair. There was no way I could get my feelings hurt over this email. I actually thought it was funny.

"Hello, I see you more than anyone else on channel 3, and I was wondering, where do you get your wigs from? My girlfriend really likes your hair and wants to get one just like it, so could you tell me where you bought it and how much it cost? Thanks alot, Sam Shivers"

"Tuesday at my ladies prayer group meeting- you were the "center" of attention...we all were commenting on how lovely you always look & we CAN tell you are on a diet. Looks like it is working...keep up the good work. None of us really like the short hair cut you have- but we all think the longer hair makes you appear younger. Signed, Kay Creston"

If I ever decide to change careers and follow in my mother's footsteps and go into politics, I will be used to being accused of not being empathetic to my constituents, being talked about at prayer group meetings, and told I'm not doing a good enough job and need to resign!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend Fun

I went home over the weekend to help plan and attend my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We wrapped their anniversary celebration and Easter--all into one and had a wonderful time. So I thought I'd share with you some family photos.
(My parents cutting my dad's birthday cake at the reception. He turned 70 on their 50th wedding anniversary which is April 10.)
(One of those blooper shots because its hard to get 3 children to smile and look at the camera at the same time!)

(A photo you'll never see on WLBT--me in curlers! Gracie is all smiles.)

(Gracie & Will hunt eggs while Lilly Faith is excited about Easter morning.)

While I was gone, I received more viewer emails. I'll be sure to share those with you later this week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just Sit On It: A Different View of Easter

Have you ever felt hopeless? Easter is the holiday of hope.

Yesterday, I went to do my weekly weigh-in for the diet I've been on. I had one more pound to lose in order to be at my high school weight, which has been my goal since I first started the liquid diet from Baptist Health Systems. And just like an answered prayer, I lost that last pound. My goal has been reached--48 pounds lost in 9 months. The children and I drove back home and I began getting ready for work when Gracie asked me for a sheet of paper. She disappeared for a while, then I heard her sobbing in the living room: "I can't do it! I'll never be able to do this card!" I walked in the room and asked her why she was having a break down. "I was trying to make you a card to tell you how proud I am of you, mommy, but I can't spell the word I want and I can't draw a heart!" Huge alligator tears were streaming down her face. "I've lost my hope!" she wailed.

What a sweet gesture. Gracie wanted to write me a note of congratulations but she was growing increasingly frustrated because things weren't turning out the way she planned. I explained to her the importance of not giving up, to keep trying, and to ask God to help her get her "hope" back at writing her card. When I came home for dinner, she met me at the door. "I got my hope back, mommy, and I made a card for you!" She was excited.

In thinking about Easter and the resurrection of Christ, I believe I would've felt hopeless after witnessing what all had happened on Good Friday. Sure, I would've heard Jesus say he would "rise again", but in looking at his ghastly face on the cross, I'd truly wonder if it was really going to happen. How could it? How could he rise again? He was too broken and couldn't be put back together again.

The chief priests and the Pharisees became a little nervous after they had sentenced Jesus to death. They asked Pilate to allow them to go to the tomb to make sure the stone was strong, heavy and secure. They were afraid Jesus would do exactly what he said he would do on the third day. They wanted to make sure Jesus was NOT going to walk out of that tomb! What happens next is one of the best parts of the Easter account.

Matthew 28:2 says, "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it." Did you see that last part? The angel sat on it! Now of all things to do after you roll the stone away! I love it. It was like God said, "There! Take that!"

So the next time you feel hopelessness trying to creep up on you, just remember what happened on Easter morning. The angel sat down and God said, "Take that, hopelessness! Take that, depression! Take that, grief! Take that, worry! Take that, condemnation!"

Kind of makes you look at sitting down a little differently now, doesn't it?

Monday, April 6, 2009

When God Has To Tell You More Than Once...

Over the weekend, I traveled to Wesson Baptist Church to speak at their ladies retreat. They had to move the location of the retreat because so many women signed up to come. They were such a delight to be around! The women were all ages and from different backgrounds and were spiritually hungry, and those are the best groups to speak to. Several of the women came up to me and said, "I've felt like I needed to do something about a problem I have, but hearing you today affirms what I need to do!" That is a 'God thing' for sure because I have no idea what is going on in people's lives. But that doesn't mean that we don't look at what we're facing and get nervous about it.

Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." It is no great secret where faith comes from. Faith is the by-product of the Word of God (the Bible). Sometimes we don't understand it the first time around, so God will repeat it. Jonah was someone whom God had to repeat Himself to.

You know the story of Jonah. In Jonah 1:1 it says, "The word of the Lord came to Jonah." God wanted Jonah to go to Ninevah to preach to the people there (some would've called them 'heathens'!). But Jonah didn't want to go and got himself in a big mess--in the belly of a whale. The Bible says that seaweed was wrapped around his head while he was in the whale's belly! And after 3 days, he was spit out of the whale. If you look in chapter 3, notice what it says: "And the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time." In other words, if God doesn't get your attention the first time, He'll try again.

Has God ever told you anything more than once? He has told me some things many times. Sometimes He will say the same thing exactly, and sometimes He will use someone to say it a little differently so I can understand it.

So take note when God tells you to do something or opens up the scripture for you to understand it better. There is a reason behind it!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Birthday Girl

The weather turned rough yesterday as expected. We had 41 reports of large hail and one report of a possible tornado near McComb. The largest hail report I saw was hen egg size (thats 2 inches in diameter!). The storms picked up steam once they moved over Mississippi and rocked Alabama & Tennessee. We dodged the worst and I'm thankful.

Something else I'm thankful for: today is Lilly Faith's birthday. Just one year ago, the hospital ushered me through a back door before dawn and two hours later, she was here. One of my favorite pictures is this one of Will & Gracie getting their first look at who we've come to call "La-La".

This morning, she was sharing her fruit loops with Will on her birthday.

Her RSV is getting better with breathing treatments several times a day and some potent medicine. We'll celebrate tonight between newscasts with her own cake and ice cream. Happy Birthday, Lilly Faith!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday's Severe Weather

Severe weather is a definite possibility today. Last night on WLBT, I felt like I was predicting everything in the Old Testament except the plague of locusts because everything sounded so dire! As I said last night, my mission is not to scare anyone but to prepare everyone. Here is the NWS's graphical depiction of today's weather. Find your county and the weather expected for today:

As you can see, not the best of scenarios and to be honest, I haven't seen the weather service call for "golfball size hail and larger" in quite some time, much less damaging winds higher than 70 mph! We won't see a large squall line move through like we normally see this time of year. Today's event will involve strong supercells (cluster storms) that could produce this kind of weather.
I was interviewed last night on The Weather Channel. We talked about the severe weather potential for the area today and how everyone is already on the edge after last week's tornado in Magee. One thing to note: the NWS is having some transmitter issues so some weather radios may not pick up the warnings (not all weather radios). Please don't rely soley on your weather radio today, but also listen to WLBT, internet and the EAS alerts on your radio. The NWS will be trying to fix the problem after the weather calms down for a few days.
The worst of the weather should be gone by 6pm tonight. I'll be with you on WLBT later this afternoon and this evening!