Friday, May 29, 2009

Unbelief Doesn't Get Results

I've been reading more about faith this week and have come across some new thoughts I'm pondering on.

I had heard before an acrostic for grace is: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. An acrostic for faith is: Forsaking All others I Trust Him.

We all know God is able to do all things and nothing is impossible with God. But in reading in Mark 6 this week, I've learned where Jesus can't do miracles for us if we have a faith problem.

If you read this chapter, you'll see where Jesus was in his hometown of Nazareth and was wanting do miracles for the people there. Mark 6:5-6 says, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages teaching." It sounded as though Jesus was frustrated. What is a 'might work'? I believe that is a demonstration of God's power and His glory. Jesus wanted to do something great, but He couldn't, although He did lay hands on a few sick people.

So why couldn't Jesus do His 'mighty work'? He couldn't because of the people's unbelief. When you don't believe, you don't have faith. Perhaps they didn't know how to have faith. If that was the case, Jesus was there to teach them in their cities and villages. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." When Jesus taught the Word, He was helping to cure this kind of unbelief.

Without faith, you don't get the grace you need. Grace is God's ability, but faith is man's responsibility.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


For some time now, Gracie has been asking me some deep spiritual questions like: did God create Satan, when is God going to do something about him, and how do you know if God is talking to you or if Satan is? I've answered them as best as I possibly could. Last Sunday, she told me she was ready to ask Jesus into her heart. We discussed what all that meant, what sin is and how Jesus died for our sins. And as genuinely as she could, she asked Jesus to come into her heart to save her. It was a sweet moment; one that I'm sure I will never forget.

I began questioning whether or not Gracie knew what kind of choice she made. After all, she's 5 years old. But all last week, she told me "Jesus has been talking to my heart alot today," she would say. Gracie told me that she likes to talk back to Jesus. "We have conversations," she said.

Several weeks ago, I shared with you how I'm learning more about the Holy Spirit's role in my own personal life. In Genesis 1:1, the Bible says the Spirit of God "hovered over the earth". When you read about Pentecost, you learn how the Holy Spirit "hovered over the people". The Holy Spirit will hover over you if you ask it to. It will be with you all of the time, if you allow it to. I had said before if the Holy Spirit hasn't landed on you in a while, you need to check your landing strip because It won't land where It isn't welcome.

Is it possible Gracie has conversations with Jesus? I've been reading a book called "The Practice of the Presence of God". It is the story of a man named Brother Lawrence who lived in a monastery in the 1600s and he shared how he was able to have a continual conversation with God. He wrote, "We should establish ourselves in a sense of God's presence by continually conversing with Him. I began to live as if there was none but He and I in the world."

I'm learning to keep in continual contact and conversation with the Lord as I go about my day. As I drive to and from work, I thank God for His provisions. While playing with the children, we sing songs together. And when I'm cleaning house, I tell God all about the things on my mind.

So I'm busy cleaning off my landing strip so the Holy Spirit has a clear runway to land on me and my life to provide the increase I need on a daily basis.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Trophies Of War

I have a little curio cabinet in our home which displays some of the crowns I've won over the years. Those sparkly things don't mean a hoot to anybody else but me. Go to my brother's house and you'll find various heads of deer he has killed. What is the difference between my crown display and my brother's mounted deer display? Absolutely nothing. For me, my crowns aren't a sign of vanity, but they remind me of something I conquered (I competed for Mrs. Mississippi International three times before winning). For my brother, the deer heads aren't really trophies, but they are a sign of victory for him.

Some people have scars of past tussles. My husband has a small patch of grey hair to the top right corner of his head from when he fell out of his high chair onto the floor as a baby. He had a little wound on that spot from the fall and ever since that day, grey hair has grown out of that spot. You may have a physical scar somewhere on you which you can point to and tell a story about.

David told Goliath in I Samuel 17:46, "This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth and the whole world will know that there is a God is Israel." If you go down a bit further in that chapter, you'll see where David cut off Goliath's head, brought it into Jerusalem, and placed it in his own tent. That sounds pretty gross to me, but in reading more about this, a head was considered a trophy of war and reminder of how God can help His people to overcome overwhelming odds.

All of us have giants or things that seem bigger than we are. That's why everyone needs at least one Goliath head hanging in his tent! Now some people may think that sounds crazy, but if you've ever fought a Goliath, you'll want to keep the head in your trophy room, too. Sure, I'm figuratively speaking here, but in keeping a reminder of the things the Lord has helped me conquer, it reminds me of the other situation I may find myself in and gives me faith to fight it.

David activated the covenant with his confession and actions. Faith declares the outcome in the middle of the fight. In other words, the battle is won on the inside before you ever win it on the outside.

I've known people who have gone through tough times and talked negatively about it the whole time. Then when God comes through for them, they say afterwards, "I just knew everything was going to turn out all right." Well, why didn't they say that in the middle of the struggle?

I love what Paul said in the middle of the storm at sea in Acts 27:25, "I believe God. It shall be as He said."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get It On The Inside First

When you study the book of Acts, you'll find the people were full of faith and the Holy Spirit. If you are expecting miracles in your life, you must learn how to walk by faith and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Matthew 13:12 says, "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." Once you get faith on the inside, you'll get it on the outside.

I traveled to Bethlehem Baptist Church last Saturday to speak at their county-wide WMU ladies luncheon. Thankfully, I have a GPS in my car. If you've ever been to this church, you'd know why---it's in the middle of the thriving metropolis of Forkville, a suburb of Morton. If it weren't for the GPS, I may not have made it because I don't like being lost. One of the hardest things for me to do is to turn off my GPS because I have faith it knows where I am, even though I may not have a clue!

When we have faith, we know we can step off the map into uncertainty with God and He will see us through, no matter what that uncertainty may be. We can step off a circumstantial cliff and have nothing under our feet but the Word of God.

I think because God is a faith God, everything is created by faith. Imagine all of the things that "could've been" in your life and my life if we would have had faith. And think of all the things that have happened in your life BECAUSE you had faith in God. Think about the people in the Bible who would not have gotten healed, raised from the dead, seen the Promised Land, bore children, or even lived if they didn't have faith. What a sad commentary the Bible would be if that were the case! It wouldn't be called the "good news", now would it?

Satan will do everything he can to get you and me in the sense realm or the feeling realm. If the devil can get you into the arena of sight, feelings and circumstances, he'll whip you every time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

In The Center

I was asked to speak last night to the ladies at Pinelake Church and wow, what a night! Those girls were on fire for the Lord! The praising and worshipping started well before I got there and we all had a grand time!

This week I was listening to a political commentary about the increase in the number of independent voters. He said the democratic party has gone far to the left; the republican party has gone left of center; and the independent party has gone right of center taking up nearly 33% of registered voters. All of his talk of which party is centered and which one is not got me thinking.

In Exodus 25-28, God told Moses exactly how to build the ark of the covenant. In those instructions, God makes is plain where He wanted to be. The Holy of Holies was to be built in the center of the tabernacle. In the middle of the Holy of Holies was to sit the ark of the covenant. And in the middle or inside of the ark of the covenant was to be God's presence. Anywhere the ark went, God's presence was to be right there, in the middle. Do you see a pattern here? God wants to be the center of your world and my world. If God can't be center of your life, He doesn't want to be at all. God doesn't fit in the 'left of center' corner or the 'right of center' corner. And when He is the center, all else must move around Him.

There are some days when God is the center of my life. Other days, I admit, I shift Him over....just a wee bit. But He can't be off-center. He's either in the center or He's not at all.

I have shared with some of you my recent encounter with a homeless man near WLBT's studios. After the 10pm news last night, I hung around my office getting some last minute things done and was a bit later than normal leaving to go home. As I pulled out of the parking lot and pulled up to the traffic light in front of the Jackson Ice Company, I noticed somebody digging through the trash. The Lord immediately impressed upon me what I needed to do. When the light turned green, I made a U turn and drove into the parking lot of the store. To be honest, I didn't know if I had any money in my wallet, but I went on faith anyway. After all, why would God tell me to give the man money if I had no money to give? I peered in my wallet and guess what I found? Two dollars! (Those of you who have heard my story know how significant two dollars are to this story.) I rolled down the window, asked him if he needed money, and when he came over to get it, I noticed it was a different man than the one I had given to twice before. Why did God send a totally different homeless man to the same location at the same time I would be driving by? God works in mysterious ways and when the Holy Spirit speaks, listen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Now Faith Is

God is looking for faith. The Bible says "now faith is.." and that is one of the great secrets of faith. God can see when someone gets in the 'now'. Recall everything you've read about Jesus in the Bible. Jesus never told anyone to come back the next day for their miracle or in 30 days. The question was not God's ability. The question is, can you bring your faith into the now? Can you get faith on the inside of you in the now, like today?

Faith can be heard and faith can be seen. If you had passed by the woman with the issue of blood that I wrote about a few weeks ago, you would have heard her faith. She confessed in Mark 5:28, "If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole." You would have also seen her faith because you would have noticed her moving the best way she could in her weakened condition. Her faith caused her to be moving! She could have just stood there and said, "If Jesus wants me to be healed, He'll just have to come to my house." But the scripture says that when she heard of Jesus, she started moving and talking (or confessing).

You've got to start moving and talking, too. There is something going on in your life that seems impossible and you've got to start declaring something that seems impossible--something no one but God could do for you.

God pays attention to faith. He likes it when we get faith in the now. 'Now' faith moves God.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Birthdays & Mothers Day

Today is my birthday. As my children began singing 'Happy Birthday', I honestly wanted to grab the covers and roll over. Then I quickly a few years, my kids will care less about my birthdays and will be out of the house celebrating their own personal joys.

My birthday always comes just a few days before Mothers Day. Mothers Day didn't mean anything to me before I had kids. But my, how quickly your perspective can change when you find yourself in the middle of it! And I have a much greater admiration for my own mother than I did before I had children. Not every woman finds herself a mother, but I believe God had a special purpose in mind of those who are.

I Timothy 2:15 says, "Notwithstanding she (the woman) shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety." Before this verse, Paul was giving instructions to various people. Some may disagree with my reasoning here, but I believe Paul was saying that in being a mother, God makes the woman a better person.

Because of Jesus, we are justified. When we die, we move into glorification as we will be in eternity with the Father. But what happens between our justification here on earth and glorification in heaven? Sanctification. Sanctification makes you more into the person God wants you to be. God uses events, friends, trials, tribulations, enemies and circumstances to mold us into that person He had in mind for us to be.

So in thinking of some ways God uses my own children to help sanctify me, I came up with several:

First of all, I see my own depravity through my children. A year or so ago, I had made the mistake of telling Gracie, "you're getting on my nerves!" It wasn't too long after that I had obviously done something to frustrate her. Gracie blurted out to me, "Momma, you are getting on my nervous!" Although it was a funny moment, I quickly learned the mother is the teacher. The child is the student. And as the mother/teacher, you realize the things you say to your children and how they hear your words and repeat them.

Secondly, being a mother brings about humility. A mother will do things for her children she wouldn't even dream of doing for anyone else! Jesus came to serve "the least of these" and motherhood has taught me how to serve others.

Motherhood has taught me endurance. Being a mother isn't a job you can just quit. You make mistakes, you learn and you press on.

And lastly, motherhood has taught me patience. Each one of my three children are different. I'm learning each and every day what those differences are. This year, I've learned Gracie is a fast learner, Will is all boy, and Lilly Faith is my sensitive child. Even with each of their differences, I have to work with how they are bent.

Most would agree that mothers shape their children. More importantly, but now I'm beginning to believe God uses the children to shape the mother.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Frank Melton

So many things have been said about Frank Melton today. Our hearts have been heavy ever since we learned of his passing early this morning. We knew the day would come, all because his health was failing.

Frank hated rules. He loathed being told what to do and he despised bureaucracy. This never worked for him in television ownership or politically and it certainly didn't work for him when it came to his heart problems and other issues.

I remember when Frank used to come to the television station. When he walked through the door, it was like the air was sucked right out of the room. He had a 'larger than life' presence. He was always kind, asked about your family and would yell "How ya doing!" down the hall to someone.

I have been at WLBT since 1999, but was on the morning show when I was initially hired. Frank didn't make the hiring and firing decisions at that time; management did. So when I was named chief meteorologist at WLBT in 2003, he caught me in the hallway and wanted to find out all about me. It was almost like I was going on a first date with his son. The typical questions: where are you from, where did you go to school, etc. When I finished giving him my life story in less than 45 seconds (only because he had a short attention span), he said "I'm glad to see a woman in this position. Better yet, I'm glad to see an educated woman in this position!" He turned and walked away quickly to the next thing on his mind.

People will second guess whether Frank was really cut out to be in politics for weeks to come. But one thing you couldn't fault Frank for: that was giving a piece of himself away in order to gain his heart's desire. That desire was to serve others.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Storms for Wednesday

If you watched WLBT last night, you know we could see another round of strong storms for today. Here is today's graphic from the NWS. Find your county and see what is predicted for your area:
Please have your weather radio on throughout the day and be prepared for another round for Thursday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Champion & The Challenger

One of my favorite things to do as a child was to play with those capsules that you put in water and watch the capsules grow into a sponge. I don't know why that always fascinated me, but I always thought it was the coolest thing! In the same way that a touch of water would grow a sponge, our faith can grow exceedingly.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 it says, "when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God.." That means God speaking personally and directly to you. Ever felt like God was telling you something? And in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 he said, "your faith groweth exceedingly.."

Once you believe God is talking to you, you will begin to rejoice like you have what you need NOW!

In the middle of Job's problems, he said in Job 23:14, "For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with him." And when you read the end of the book of Job, you see that the Lord gave him twice as much as he had before.

We are not exempt from the challenges of this world, but once you know who you are in Christ and that Christ lives in you, you always overcome. John 16:33 says, "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Every now and then on our sportcast Rob Jay does, he has an interview with two guys who plan on boxing each other. They each talk mean to each other and tell each other how the other one is "going down". But I've noticed the champion enters the ring with a different attitude than the challenger. The challenger is trying to get something. The champion, on the other hand, says "I've GOT something."

Which one are you?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Believing Is A Choice

Wednesday started off as a normal day in the Bassett house until fear struck. While I was getting ready for the day, I heard a faint chewing sound somewhere in my bathroom, but couldn't put my finger on it and figure out where the sound was coming from. Then while Will was having what we refer to as "private time" on the potty, he noticed something poking it's head out of the wall. "What's that?" Will asked. Oh, nothing.....just a mouse. Wait...a mouse?! "Quick, everybody get out of the bathroom!" I told the kids. "We've got to contain this mouse and catch him!" What started off as a quiet day turned chaotic as fear swept through the house. My nanny is deathly afraid of the half ounce varmint and we had to get rid of that mouse before she was going to stay. The fear of knowing there was a mouse in the house was causing too much confusion and way too much fear!

In Mark 5, when the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus, she got healed. Jesus told her, "Daughter, your faith has made you whole." When all of this happened, Jesus was on his way to the house of Jairus to pray for his daughter who was dying. When Jesus told the woman that her "faith has made you whole", Jairus' servants came from his house telling Jairus not to bother Jesus anymore because his daughter was already dead. But when Jesus heard the servants tell Jairus the news, Jesus told Jairus in verse 36, "Fear not, only believe". At that moment, Jairus could've believed the bad report, gotten caught up in fear and given up on his miracle, but he didn't. Jairus believed Jesus and had faith.

One of the best parts of this chapter involves Jesus' demeanor about the whole incident. The beginning of verse 36 says, "Ignoring what they said..." Jesus totally ignored the fear that the people were trying to give to Jairus. Jesus believed the Father and refused to let fear take a hold of Him and spread to his friend Jairus.

Fear has several relatives: doubt, anxiety, stress & worry. All of these stem from fear. Did you know it is impossible to have faith and fear at the same time? You either have one or the other. When you have a spirit of faith, you don't have a spirit of fear.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul wrote, "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." So if God didn't give you a spirit of fear, then where did you get it?

Believing is a choice. And if believing is a choice, then succumbing to fear is a choice.