Friday, December 31, 2010

Severe Weather Possible

Happy New Year! I was scheduled to remain on vacation for the remainder of this week. However, with severe weather forecasted for the state, I am coming off my vacation early and will be on WLBT tonight. Here's the reason why.

A significant severe weather event is shaping up to affect central Mississippi this afternoon and overnight. A strong cold front will invade an unstable airmass and combine with intense winds in the upper atmosphere to create the development of severe weather.

As the cold front moves closer to the Mississippi River, it will slow down. Several rounds of heavy rain will form ahead of the front. Should this occur, widespread severe weather will be possible in the overnight hours.

Tornadoes, some which could be strong, damaging straight-line winds up to 80 mph, large hail and heavy rain will be possible. Areas along and east of the Natchez Trace Parkway could see 2-4 inches of rain. The weather will begin to deteriorate after 2pm and continue until 4am for areas east of I-55. Here is today's graphical depiction from the NWS:

No matter your New Year's Eve plans, please be weather aware. There could be a need to break into your evening programming. I'll have more for you beginning on the WLBT 4pm report. You can also follow my weather updates on Twitter @BarbieBassett or become a fan of the "WLBT First Alert Weather" Facebook or "Like" my page on Facebook, "Barbie Bassett WLBT".

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Lesson in Rudolph

Last night, we drove the kids to Canton to see the lights in the downtown square. I admit, it's one of my favorite things to do and it doesn't take much effort. All you have to do is just soak in the colored lights and figurines!

You may disagree, but I believe this is Satan's favorite time of the year, too. Think about it, people are stressed about money, attitudes get the best of us and some families get even more divided than they already are. I spoke to a lady the other day who had just started reading my book. She was having trouble with one of the "keys" I write about. "My mother-in-law just says the meanest things to me and my daughter," she said. "Every time I'm around her, she hurts me with the things she says and does. And it's putting strain on my marriage." She asked for prayer right there and we did.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was stressed to the max, too. In watching this beloved show the other night, it hit me. His red nose made him different and often brought ridicule. His father tried to cover up Rudolph's nose in a few ways, but it was plain to see. Rudolph was faced with a choice. His choice was to either let his light shine or to continue hiding it. The story concludes with Santa needing Rudolph to guide his sleigh in the thick fog. Other reindeer could've done it, but Santa needed someone with a light. In steps Rudolph!

Zechariah sang this song when he heard of John the Baptist's coming birth in Luke 1:77-78, "..for you will give people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God." As Christians, we all have that challenge before us.

The people you and I encounter this time of the year need a light. We can snap back with attitudes, snippy comments or hateful looks. Or, perhaps we can shine the light of Jesus. The light you have may be the only one your family member, your co-worker, or the person in the check out line sees all year long. And if you're a Christian, shining your light isn't an option; it is a command.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and enjoy all that God has blessed you with!

(Mississippi stores have SOLD OUT of Barbie's book! If you are wanting one as a gift for someone before Christmas, order today at www.barbiebassett.com and it can arrive before Saturday!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let's Roll!

When you get to the point of feeling there is nothing else you can do, that's is God's opportunity to work.

I've been a Christian since I was seven years old when I accepted Christ as my Saviour. In all of those years with each storm that came my way, I can't remember God ever telling me, "Just relax." However, I've heard Him many times says, "Trust me." I may writhe my hands wondering what could be coming next, but when I sense God saying, "Trust me," I begin to rest in His presence and His care. When I let go of my need to fix my own problems, He handles all of the details of my circumstances perfectly.

David placed his hope in God and not in his own ability as ruler and king. Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." The word cast here literally means to "roll over to God". David is urging you and me to roll the burdens of our hearts onto the Lord. He alone has the power and ability to handle it.

When the skies seem to darken and sin and hopelessness gather around you, ask God to reveal Himself to you; and start rolling!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Warped View

In recent days, I've heard of several people who are going through difficult situations. Some are facing death in the eye, some are dealing with financial hardships, and some have mountains that need to be moved in their life.

There is a warped religious view in the world today that is totally opposite of what the Bible teaches. It tells us that if we have enough faith, believe and trust in God, we will never see hard times in our life. In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth. Hard times will come and some will be easier to survive than others.

When adversity comes, ask God to help you understand what His will and purpose are in the difficulty. He may not tell you everything, but over time, you'll find that He gives you exactly what you need to know at the right time. We can experience God's hope by reading His Word because His unconditional love and restoration are mingled all throughout the Bible. You'll learn you are not alone as even the strongest saints faced tremendous trial and discouragement. They had the same fear and feelings of defeat as we do, but they were convinced God would deliver them from sorrow and heartache; and He did.

I Corinthians 1:3-4 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." The awesome truth is that He is willing to do the same for you today!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Beacon

The Mississippi College alumni magazine called the Beacon was recently released. I was honored, and frankly shocked, to be their cover story. If you're not an MC alum and want to read the full story, click here: http://www.mc.edu/beacon/feature-stories/barbie-bassettThere are 4 "web exclusives" which are video interviews. You'll get to see some footage of the behind-the-scenes at the family photo shoot and some of my co-workers at WLBT. When you click on this link, you'll see the 4 on the right hand side of the page:
http://www.mc.edu/beacon/fall-2010/web-exclusives/barbie-bassett/a-port-in-someone-elses-storm

I hold many fond memories of my years at MC and still hold those friendships dear, even to this day.

(Barbie will be signing books today at the Mendenhall G&G from 10am-Noon.)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The God of Restoration

If you live long enough, you're bound to be disappointed. It's what you do with the disappointment that propels you forward.

God promises restoration. Joel 2:25 says, "I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust." Have you ever felt like problems were swarming around you, creeping, eating or gnawing away at you or even stripping away at you or your dreams? In this verse, the Lord was speaking of Israel, but there is an eternal principle involved that you and I can apply to our lives. When you trust God with your circumstances, He will not only solve whatever problem you're facing but He will restore all that you've lost in the process.

We face difficulties that are sometimes beyond our ability to handle. God promises hope and restoration when our faith is in Him alone. Deuteronomy 30:1-3 says, "So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind...and you return to the Lord your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul...then the Lord your God will restore you."

In our difficult times, God develops character and strengthens us spiritually, all while helping us to grow deeper in our faith in Him. His restoration of what you've lost will come, perhaps in a way you had not even thought of! Nevertheless, it will come and you will be able to sense God's goodness in the process.

(Barbie will be speaking tonight at Calvary Baptist Church's ladies dinner. She will be the guest speaker at Monticello Baptist Church's ladies dinner Tuesday night, and speaking at the Rankin County Baptist Association's Secretaries luncheon Thursday.)

Friday, December 3, 2010

When Critics Come

Have you ever wondered if what you're doing is really worth it? You work hard, you sacrifice for the benefit of others, you spread yourself thin and you stay true to what you feel God has called you to do. And then, you are pummeled with negativism! Immediately, you begin second guessing what you're doing. I've had one of those weeks. With criticism all around, including right here on my blog (you can read the comment below this post, "A Look Back At The Severe Weather"), you're willing to throw in the towel.

When you give up, you limit God's use of your life. There will be times when it seems the battle you are facing is too much to handle. You may not know how you'll come out of it, but God does. He knows exactly what you need and when you need it. If you give up now, no telling what you'll miss!

The children of Israel allowed negativism to get the best of them. They were told by spies to turn away and not pursue the plan God had for them. An entire generation passed away before Israel had another chance to go into the land God had given them. Only Joshua, Caleb and Moses survived. The next time they checked out the land, they came back and said in Joshua 2:24, "The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." The first time around, Israel missed it. The second time around, they learned a lesson in obedience and entered into God's promised blessing.

That's not to say God doesn't allow adversity to prepare us for an even greater blessing and mission. God has a purpose for the pain and hurt we encounter. Are you ready to step over into the promised blessing God has prepared for you? Or are you being tempted to cut and run at the thought of having to endure for a while longer?

(Today Barbie will be speaking at the MAIS Educational Conference, MEC's Leadership Mississippi Graduation luncheon and is the guest speaker for Fannin Baptist Church's ladies dinner this evening.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Look At The Severe Weather

Monday night and early Tuesday morning was quite the severe weather event. A total of 7 tornadoes were confirmed with 21 people injured. I have been amazed at seeing much of the video we received from our videographers and reporters who spent Monday night on the scene at many of these locations! Mobile homes looked to have exploded. Some rolled with occupants inside. Well built brick homes were damaged and 18 wheelers were tossed around like toy trucks.

Although I received my share of negative comments from those who thought I did too much coverage and those who thought I didn't do enough, the fact remains how blessed much of Mississippi was. (Some viewers could care less whether or not their neighbors are going to get blown away, as long as it doesn't affect their tv viewing habits.) This map shows why this event was a serious one. The red boxes show just how many tornado warnings I covered--47 tornado warnings!

We will finally get to enjoy some drier this week as others put their lives and property back together.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Severe Weather Monday Night

This is the time of the year when Mississippians are leery of big drops in temperatures. You know what that means--the possibility of severe weather exists.

A strong cold front is barreling through the Midwest and will be parallel to the Mississippi River later today. Thunderstorms will march across the river and winds will increase. This has the potential to be a fairly widespread severe weather event with the possibility for numerous locations to receive damaging winds of 60-70 mph, therefore I cannot pinpoint exactly where the severe weather will occur. Tornadoes will be possible throughout the duration of the evening and into early Tuesday morning with a sizeable temperature drop to follow. Heavy rainfall of 2-3 inches could produce some flash flooding as well as ponding on the roadways.

Areas west of the I-55 corridor are likely to experience the severe weather in the late afternoon through the midnight hour. Areas east of the I-55 corridor will see our fair weather erode after 10pm and possibly linger closer to dawn. Here is NWS' graphical depiction of the event as it describes the event best to non-meteorological types. Find your county and see what is expected for your area.

Please have your weather radio on throughout the afternoon and overnight. This system is a classic late November severe weather event set up, of which Mississippi is known for.

You can also follow my weather updates via Twitter @BarbieBassett or become a fan of the "WLBT First Alert Weather" Facebook page. I'll be with you throughout the night on WLBT and will keep you updated should the weather deteriorate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Barbie is away from the blog this week and will return Monday. Feel free to read previous blog posts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are You Leaning Or Standing?

Gracie has been enjoying studying about the medieval time period in her homeschooling. She's become intrigued with the leaning Tower of Pisa, so we've done quite a bit of discovering new things regarding this architectural wonder.

Unfortunately, the tower was built on weak, unstable topsoil which began to shift shortly after they constructed the third level. Instead of trying to shore up the lean, the builders continued to add more floors to the tower over a one hundred year time span. In this case, the foundation was faulty which has impacted the tower structure.

Ephesians 2:20-22 says we are "...build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." The Message translation puts it this way, "God is building a home. He's using us all--irrespective of how we got here--in what he is building."

But you and I can't do what God created us to do if we have a foundation that isn't rooted in God's Word and continually growing in Him. The Tower of Pisa wasn't built to lean; it was built to stand!

The tower is actually a bell tower, built behind a cathedral. Bell towers are built to proclaim news to the townspeople. Get in the Word so you can get the Word out!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Servicing Yourself Or Serving Others

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! A few words we tend to hear around this time of the year is 'giving' or 'serving others'.

Servants know who they are in Christ. They know they are loved and accepted through grace and don't have a need to prove their worth to anyone. They eagerly accept tasks that insecure people would dub as being 'beneath' them. When Jesus washed the disciples' feet, he was doing a job we would associate as something a shoeshine boy would do. Have you ever looked at how nasty some people's feet can be? But Jesus knew doing so didn't threaten his self-image. John 13:3-4 says, "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God. So he got up from the meal took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist."

Insecure people are always worried about how they appear to others. They're afraid their weaknesses will be exposed. The more insecure you are, the more you will want to be served and the more you will look for the approval of others.

The closer you walk is with the Lord, the less you will need to promote yourself through this season of giving.

(Barbie will be speaking at the Richland Libary today at Noon. This evening, she will be the guest speaker at the First Baptist Church of Richland's ladies dinner. Sold out! Wednesday morning, Barbie will be speaking at the retired law enforcement's breakfast.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

God Uses Rebellion

God can take advantage of our rebellion for His glory and His purpose.

Jonah was a man who fought God's will for his life tooth and nail. The Bible makes it clear just how rebellious Jonah was toward his calling in Jonah 1:3, "Jonah ran away from the Lord."

The Ninevites were a raucous group of people. They worshipped several gods, including one that was named 'Dagon', which had the head of a fish. They weren't going to believe anything Jonah said unless the fish god sent them a prophet. But nothing is too difficult for God, so just imagine how shocked they were when they realized Jonah was spit out on dry land by a fish! After hearing about Jonah's adventures inside the belly of a fish, they believed God and were saved. God spared their city from utter destruction.

Jonah's story of stubbornness only goes to show God's will for our life will not be undermined by what the devil tries to do.

(Barbie will be signing at the Busy Womens Expo in Memphis tomorrow. She will also be the guest speaker at First Baptist Richland's ladies dinner Monday night.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Closet Cleaning

My closet is full of things I need to get rid of. It is bursting at the seams with clothes that are too big. Tailoring all of them would cost more than I'm willing to pay. In rummaging through many of them last week, I realized that only about 20% of them fit me now. I don't know why I've been hanging on to them. A part of me is almost afraid of taking them out because I may gain weight one day and need something to wear! But if I leave them in my closet, they are taking up space; space that could be put to good use with new clothes that fit.

There is something God wants to do in your life but He can't because you're not willing to get rid of it. You're so afraid of letting go of what you know and press into the unknown for fear of being left, well, naked!

Job lost everything he had. His cattle, his property, his health, he even lost his children. What an emotional, physical and spiritual roller coaster he had been on until God was ready to pour more blessing into his life. God allowed Job to be purged beyond what you and I would have probably crumbled under. But look at Job 42:12-13 and how God was able to restore blessings to Job: "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters." Job was so prosperous that he was able to leave a large inheritance to his children. He lived another 140 years and got to see not only his children grow, but his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren and his great-great grandchildren. Now that's a full life!

Are you missing out on new ventures, challenges and opportunities because you're scared of a good closet cleaning? Whether you're hanging on to resentment, bitterness, lack of time for God, or some other stronghold, God can't bring more to you until you take the old out. It's time to make room for Him.

(Barbie will be signing books at the Tylertown Library, Tuesday from 11am-12:00. She will also travel to Memphis this Saturday and Sunday to speak and sign books at the Busy Womens Expo.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Way To Look At Your Enemies

Do you have someone who seems to make your life miserable? Chances are, you do. Someone recently shared with me how someone in their life constantly hurts their feelings. She likened them to an enemy in her life. When she felt like she was taking one step forward, her "enemy" would press the right buttons and push her two steps back.

David had an enemy named Goliath. But have you ever realized that Goliath catapulted David from a shepherd boy to a king? Too often, we see our enemies as trying to bring us down and break our spirit when in fact, our enemies may be a door to our next season.

Paul called his enemy a thorn in the flesh. For years, I thought Paul was referring to some sort of temptation he couldn't shake or perhaps a physical ailment. The older I've gotten, I'm beginning to believe Paul was actually referring to a person. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9 says, "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'" Notice Paul referred to his thorn as a "messenger of Satan". A messenger is defined as a 'person who carries a message'.

You and I will have to endure some enemies. Some of them will keep us grounded as Paul said. God won't remove them for reasons only known to Him. But it's time to look at your enemies as an announcement from God that a new season is coming in your life!

Monday, November 1, 2010

An Election Conviction

In a few short hours, we will be selecting men and women to either stay in their current elected offices or be replaced. I don't always talk politics as I prefer to talk leadership. That's what these positions we are voting for should entail in my opinion.

My mother holds a public office and has done so for than half of my life. It's even been rumored and reported in the media that I was going to run for an elected position!

I've been more convicted than ever before of voting the scriptures. If a person says they are a Christian, everything they do in their personal life and career should bear witness to that. If they aren't willing to boldly speak about Christ and be led by Him in their decision making, I'm not interested in them representing me. Why? Because I want my representative in public office to be a reflection of righteousness.

Proverbs 11:11 says, "Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed." Integrity begins with the mouth. If a person doesn't exercise integrity with their mouth, they will lead their followers down a tunnel which eventually leads to a train wreck.

Paul said it best when he wrote to the Romans as to the importance of being true to the gospel. Romans 1:28-31 says, "Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful, they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents, they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." Does this describe our political make up these days? Verse 32 says, "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Have you and I turned a blind eye to those we have elected in the past? Are we approving "of those of practice" the actions above?

For those who know better, I believe God will hold us accountable for the votes we cast.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Blood Drive

Today is the annual Halloween blood drive which I host with editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey. It's a project we teamed up together on three years ago, hoping to bring more awareness to the constant need for blood donations in the state of Mississippi.

It began early this morning at 6am and will conclude at 6pm so you'll have plenty of time to give blood and get back home before the Friday night football games! Every donor receives Marshall's t-shirt designed especially for this event as well as free Ag Museum passes to their trick-or-treating event. Those arriving around lunch time will get free lunch provided by The Pizza Shack. Plus, Social Agenda and The Bulldog is giving away a his and her's fall makeover, valued at $300 for the guy and gal!

So take time today to come and donate blood at Mississippi Blood Services on Lakeland Drive. When you give, people live!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Is Your Fruit Harvestable?

My children have been learning the fruits of the spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22). Last year, they learned a short song in their Sunday school classes which helps them remember what they are. If you are in Christ, you are to exhibit those fruit in every day life. The fruit of the Spirit isn't negotiable and it isn't ala carte' where we can pick the ones we want and leave the rest. Fruit is meant to be harvested. When you harvest something, you pick it and share it with others. Fruit has a harvest value.

Those fruit, or gifts, are with us until the day we die. But the devil will try to draw you to the wrong mate, the wrong church, the wrong job and anything else, if you listen, because he knows you have a harvest value in God's Kingdom. If the devil can get you off the mark, he can spoil your fruit.

Romans 11:29 says, "for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable." The gifts God gave you and the call He has upon your life cannot be altered. The harvest value you have can and will affect those around you.

Satan won't bother you if he knows you have no harvest value to him.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What Is Your Destination?

(Let me go ahead and warn you, this is deep. God has been dealing with me on something in particular so I'm sharing what the Holy Spirit has been telling me this week. Maybe you find yourself in the same position!)

Do you believe God has a destination for you? Think about it for a second. Do you have a sense that God has something greater in mind for you for do or for you to be? Perhaps it's a new career or a better relationship with someone. In your spirit, you know He has something else better for you but it's difficult to see right now because of what you're currently facing. All through the Bible, God showed people their destination without showing them what they were going to have to go through first to get there. Often times we run up against a wall and think that must be our destination, but it isn't.

God told Abram (later to be called Abraham) what He had planned for him in the form of an heir. God told Abram in Genesis 15:5, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them. So shall your offspring be." Before Abram went through trying to create his heir through his maid servant Hagar, God showed him stars. Ishmael was just a trick of the devil. But God showed Abram his son Isaac!

God showed Moses and the children of Israel their Promised Land of Canaan in great details and what He was going to bring them to. In Exodus 3:17 God said to Moses, "I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt...and land flowing with milk and honey." If you do as the children of Israel did and begin focusing on the giants in your life and the wilderness, you begin to think that is your destination, but it isn't. God never promised them the wilderness. He promised them Canaan!

What God has brought you to, He will bring your through. The storm is not the issue in your life. The storm is just an interruption. The other side of the storm is your destination! In order to reach that destination God has planned for you, He's got to bring you through something first. The trial you are currently going through in your life is not the end. It is temporary, so don't camp out there. Be ready to move to the other side!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's In The Fridge?

The Clarion Ledger newspaper did an article in last Sunday's "Food" section on what's in the refrigerators of some local people. They asked to do an interview and come take a peek inside the Bassett frig. Here is a link to the full article:


Several people sent me emails and noticed the bandaids on Will's legs. What is it with little boys and their scrapes and falls?

Monday, October 18, 2010

The 3 Kinds Of People

There are yesterday people, today people and tomorrow people.

In John 8, we read about the woman who was caught in adultery. The Pharisees brought her to Jesus. Verse 3 says, "They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” After Jesus made His point to the Pharisees and they left, he told her in verse 11, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

The Pharisees saw her past, but Jesus saw her future. Do you have anyone in your life who resemble them? The enemy would rather discuss your past than your future. But God said in Isaiah 42:19, "Behold, I am doing a new thing." God didn't say he was doing a renewed thing or an old thing, but a new thing.

God is getting ready to do something powerful in your life. Don't let yesterday people hold you into tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Leaving A Legacy

I was riveted to the television Tuesday night after returning from speaking in Belzoni. After happening upon the first Chilean miner rescue, I couldn't turn off the set. I had to watch the second miner ascend to the surface, the third, and so on. To see the utter joy on each miner's face and to imagine what their family members were going through made me emotional. Each miner is sure to have a story to tell and each will leave a legacy based on their harrowing experience and how they made it through.

Job 5:7 says, "Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." Your life and my life will be marked by suffering. None of us are immune. Some of our crisis will be small; some of them will go on for years. Some may even be permanent. But how will those rough patches, challenges, heart breaks and failures define your legacy?

After crossing the Jordan River, God told Joshua that they needed to remember how far He had brought them. God even did a miracle before them by stopping the flow up the river and having the waters pile up. Joshua told twelve men in Joshua 4:4, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

The Bible calls us to be intentional with our life, obedient, putting our faith in the Lord, consulting His will before every decision, seeking His heart and knowing Him more.

Think about the life you're living now. What will your legacy be to your children, your grandchildren, and so on? Through every victory and defeat you've encountered over the years and the years to come, will they be able to see the hand print of God on you?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Need To Be Free

I traveled to Natchez last weekend to speak to the ladies at Parkway Baptist Church. We had so much fun that I almost wished I didn't have to leave. Even more, I was honored they asked me back as their conference speaker for the second year in a row. Thank you, Parkway!

Driving back, my mind began to wander as I thought about the topic of forgiveness. Total forgiveness is a miracle in itself in what Christ accomplished for us on the cross. But when someone speaks untruths about me or hurts my feelings, do I totally forgive them? It's so easy to say, "I forgive," but when their name comes up in a conversation, those old feelings begin to fester like a deep-rooted cyst that's reappeared.

When Jesus told us to forgive, His ultimate goal was our freedom. You can't be free from something if it has a hold on you and that's exactly what unforgiveness does. There is no such thing as 50% or 80% forgiveness. It has either happened or it hasn't.

So how do you know you've truly forgiven someone? When you come in contact with them, you don't have any negative feelings toward them. It's almost as if you have completely forgotten what happened. Secondly, you won't let them feel intimidated by you. God doesn't do that to us, so why should be make someone feel uncomfortable for their past actions? Third, you'll have compassion on them and not the need to get even.

Colossians 3:12 says, "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." I don't read any room for negotiations in these verses, do you?

I look back now at some of the greatest hurts in my life with a grateful heart. I have learned more about myself through the pain others caused me than at any other time. And with each prick at my spirit, God seemed to elevate me to a higher level with Him and multiplied the blessings. Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love.

When you get free from unforgiveness, someone else gets free.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Being An Heir

In Galatians 4:1-7, Paul was trying to explain to the people of Galatia that as Christians, we are all heirs, or children, of God. "What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba,Father'. So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."

An heir may have the desire to inherit his millions before it's time, (remember the prodigal son?) but he isn't mature enough until his father notices his maturity. Until the son is ready for his inheritance, he is put under tutors, guardians and trustees so he can learn more of how to live the Christ life and mature in various ways.

Everything God has allowed you to go through, God has been tutoring you for a later time.

It all boils down to obedience during the half-time, while we are learning more from the Lord. When you do something you want to do, that is called obliging. When you do something you don't want to do, that is obedience. Most people never get qualified to do more in this world for God's Kingdom because they want to oblige the Lord, but they don't want to obey the Lord.

What is your greatest desire right now? Could it be God hasn't allowed it to come because you aren't ready for your inheritance from Him just yet?

Barbie will be speaking at Parkway Baptist Church in Natchez Saturday, October 9 and First Presbyterian Church of Belzoni Tuesday, October 12. Barbie will also be signing her book at the Canton Flea Market (Sulm's tent on the Square) on Thursday, October 14 from 9:30am-Noon, and at the Mississippi College Homecoming Festivities on Friday, October 15 from Noon-1:30pm.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just When You Think You're Ready, You Might Not Be

When I was a teenager, I wanted to drive a stick shift. I had a friend who drove a five speed and I thought it was neat watching her push the clutch in, switch gears, let off the clutch and still maintain speed. I begged her to let me drive it one day. I jerked the car into first gear, didn't do the pedals right and the car went dead on the road. Even though I had watched her drive it numerous times, I wasn't as ready to drive a stick shift as I thought I was!

Simon, would later be given the name Peter, could relate. After eating supper with Jesus and the disciples, Jesus told them he would be betrayed. Peter responded in Matthew 26:35, "'Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.' And all the other disciples said the same."

Peter was genuine about what he said! He was basically saying, "Jesus, I'm ready to do whatever you want me to do. I am on board with whatever that is!" And notice the rest of the disciples chimed in saying, "Me, too!" But Peter wasn't ready to move on to what God had for him next, even though he thought he could handle it.

Simon meant "to hear". Peter meant "rock". The distance between Simon and Peter was spiritual growth. That growth pattern included quite a bit of hearing or listening to God. You can read 1 & 2 Peter and see the growth that Peter had between his two names. He wasn't the same person whom Jesus initially met as a fisherman. After much growth in wisdom, faith, and some hardships, Peter became the rock Jesus said he would be and was ultimately the leader of the early Christian church in Jerusalem.

Spiritual growth happened all through the Bible. There was spiritual growth between Abram and Abraham; Sarai and Sarah; Jacob and Israel; Saul and Paul. They weren't the same people they started out being. Their testimony was different when they came into their maturity.

Although you and I may feel like telling God, "I can handle this. I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm ready for the next step," be patient in letting the Holy Spirit develop in you before you get ahead of God's will for your life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome, Fall!

Welcome, Fall! It's good to be back on the blog after taking off two weeks. Some of you have sent me emails, messages on Facebook and Twitter, and it's always nice to hear from you.

I had the pleasure of being a part of WLBT's Power of Pink event yesterday at Highland Village. I signed books there for a few people and visit with my friend, Miss Mississippi Sara Beth James.
Have you felt the change in the weather? I always enjoy the change in seasons. This transitional time doesn't last long here in Mississippi so enjoy the next few weeks.
Have you felt a change in your spiritual walk with the Lord? If you've gotten behind or too busy, start the seasonal change with your own personal change. This Monday, I'll share what the Lord has been teaching me lately.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Barbie is away from the blog and will return on Friday, October 1.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Willing To Walk Away?

If you're like me, sometimes you find yourself at war with what makes logical sense and stepping out on faith. The two are totally different because having faith often doesn't make logical sense!

What you're willing to walk away from will determine what God is going to bring to you. There are several examples in the Bible of people who refused to walk away. Samson refused to walk away from Delilah. Judas couldn't walk away from 30 pieces of silver. Because these men refused to walk away, it cost them dearly.

Hebrews 11 is what I like to call the "Hall of Faith" chapter. It lists people in the Bible who had great faith in what God had called them to do. In many cases, they had to walk away from what seemed reasonable and secure and obey God's calling. Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." You can't be rewarded if you're not willing to walk away and "earnestly seek him". Moses walked away from Pharaoh. Joseph turned his back on his master's wife and ran.

Having faith in God means abandoning all trust in our own resources, abilities and reasoning--all of the things we see. For faith to be present, action is required.

If you can't turn your back on the world, you'll never be successful when it comes to a move of God and the work of God in your life. So how do you know when you're qualified to do what God has called you to do? When you can walk away!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cracked Up

I pulled into the inspection station and handed the attendant my license to get my inspection sticker. The attendant gave me the news I didn't want to hear. "Ms. Barbie, that crack all along your windshield prevents me from giving you a new sticker," he said. "You're going to have to get your windshield replaced before I can pass you."

I've been driving around with a crack that goes from the passenger side to the driver side for a whole year and it hasn't bothered me in the least! I've learned how to look above or below the crack to see properly out the windshield. I've grown so accustomed to the crack, I just don't see it like other people do.

There are Christians who tolerate cracks in their spiritual life. They're so familiar with living a 'barely there' relationship with Christ, they don't know any different. A person who walks in the flesh tolerates sin, excuses, rationalizes their decisions and justifies sin. They may be saved, but they aren't walking in obedience to Christ. Therefore, they are not living a Christian life.

We must intentionally live a life that represents Christ and that's not always easy to do. To live as a genuine Christian, however, is a choice.

Don't let the cracks in your spiritual walk become so comfortable that you don't notice them anymore. Because chances are, others around you see them and they are being distracted by them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Barbie is away on this Labor Day. Enjoy the day with your family!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Movement Is Everything

In trying to keep my focus on what God is calling me to do, I'm learning what I do first determines what God does second. That's the meaning of faith and it is shown all through scripture.

When 5,000 people needed food (Matthew 14), a young boy stepped forward with five loaves and two fish. What he did first determined what God did second. When the bleeding woman touched the hem of Jesus' garment, she was healed (Luke 8). The first step she took determined what God would do. When Hezekiah was King of Judah, he was told he would die early if he didn't repent. What Hezekiah did first determined what God would do next (Isaiah 28) and God spared his life.

Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Just as in a good game of chess, movement is everything. What you do first will determine what God does second.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Staying Focused

Last Friday, I wrote about God's ability to qualify you when He calls you. But with that calling comes quite a bit of change. Sometimes God calls us to be ruthless in severing any ties that could hinder you from qualifying as He wants you and I to get caught up in the things of Him. Many times we get caught up in the little things when we need to get focused on what God is focused on.

Someone who understood what spiritual tenacity is all about was Nehemiah. The Bible says God put in Nehemiah's heart to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah examined the walls one night, which had been burned previously in 568 B.C. by the Babylonians. The city of Jerusalem was in ruins and was no longer protected, but God pricked Nehemiah's heart to change that. When Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem all heard about Nehemiah's plans, they mocked him and ridiculed him. Nehemiah 2:19 quotes them as saying, "What is this you are doing?" These men were trying to get Nehemiah's focus off what God wanted him to do. In verse 20, Nehemiah responded, "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding."

Your enemy is anyone or anything that causes you to break your focus on what God has called you to do; those who the devil has planted in your life to insult your vision. Anything or anything that has the ability to keep your attention off what God has for you has mastered you. Conversely, a friend is anyone who helps keep you focused on what God has called you to do. Remember, Satan hates a loud voice for God.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Classifieds of Life

In breezing through the newspaper, I noticed the classified section. Just for kicks, I read over a few job listings. Most of the available jobs had qualifications you could read to determine if you were qualified to apply for an open position.

In Matthew 16, Jesus predicted his death to his disciples and told them all of the sufferings he would have to endure. Jesus knew what God was calling him to do and he knew where God was leading him. But Peter became angry when he heard Jesus talking about his death. Matthew 16:22 says, "Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said. 'This shall not happen to you!' Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'" Jesus told Peter he would not be deflected in what he needed to do.

Do you see how the devil will use people to get you from your post of duty? Just like a snake shedding its old skin, we need to shed anything and anyone who tries to prohibit us from doing what God is telling us to do.

Unlike the job listings in the newspaper, God does not always call the qualified, but He does qualify the called. And when God calls you to do something specific, it is imperative that you not lose your focus on what God has set before you. The devil dreads the day when you begin to see yourself becoming qualified to do what God is qualifying you to do!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Divine Appoinments

I traveled to Summit over the weekend to speak at the WINGS banquet, a fundraiser for a battered women's shelter. It was a wonderful occasion and everyone was so kind and cordial in gathering for a needy cause in southwest Mississippi.

To those in attendance, I talked about the importance of them being a divine appointment for the women at the WINGS shelter. Sure, we think of divine appointments as opportunities for US to benefit from someone's encouragement, their hope, their finances, friendship, talents, you name it. I'd like for us to focus on how God can use you and I as someone's heavenly connection.

Although we don't know the name of the woman at the well, we know she had a divine appointment. John 4 talks about her meeting with Jesus. This meeting was substantial because the Jews of that time treated Samaritans like outcasts. They were thought to be nasty, good-for-nothing people. For Jesus to talk to a woman alone was considered improper in itself and because she was a Samaritan only doubled the offense.

Jesus and the disciples were going from Judea back to Galilee and had to pass through Samaria. When they came to Jacob's well, Jesus was tired and sat down while the disciples went into the city to get food. When Jesus asked her for a drink of water, she argued at first that he was a Jew and shouldn't have anything to do with her. In John 4:10 Jesus told her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." Jesus reveals to the woman that he knows about the life she's been living. She told Jesus she had heard the Messiah would come and know all things. It's at that time Jesus admits to her that he is the Messiah. But the story doesn't stop there. In John 4:28, the woman left her water jar, went back into town and told the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

Did you notice after the woman at the well had her encounter, she went and told others about the love of Jesus? Isn't that what divine appointments are all about anyway? We can call them coincidences or happen stance, but when you have one yourself, you know who orchestrated it as it can only be described as God inspired.

The Holy Spirit is constantly scheduling people and things to come your way. It's time for you and I to be used by the hand of God to be someone else's divine appointment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Rid of the Dead Pieces

I enjoy working in my flower beds. My merigolds have been thriving in this Mississippi heat! They are as big as bushes and add so much color to the landscape. A trick I learned a few years ago in growing healthy merigolds is to snap off the dead flower heads. Now, I'm no horticulturalist, but apparently when dead flowers remain on the plant, it expends some of it's energy and growth on trying to sustain those dead flowers. But when the dead flowers are removed from the plant, the plant can then use it's energy to produce more buds which will then become beautiful orange and yellow merigolds. Every few days, I walk around my flower beds and look for those dead flowers to snip off and throw them away. Having dead flowers mixed in with bountiful flowers just doesn't look pretty anyway!

Our life is like that. Over time, you and I have parts of our lives that become dead and unfruitful. Someone may have broken your spirit with an unkind comment or discouraged you or spoken untruths about you. Maybe those dead parts of your life are an attitude toward someone else or unforgiveness. Those dead parts of our life begin to suck out the hope and growth we once had and the love of Christ can't be shown because it is all being wasted on the parts of you that aren't producing fruit.

Jesus admonished the religions leaders at the time who were so consumed with how things looked in their lives. These men were caught up in appearances, yet had no clue they had parts of their lives that weren't showing Jesus. Matthew 23:27 says, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." It is obvious to me what Christ thinks when we say one thing about our life but act another way.

It's time to snip off the dead flower heads so the rest of you can bloom!
Will and Lilly Faith watch as I pull off the dead flowers in the merigolds.

Monday, August 16, 2010

God Has Your Back!

If your family is like mine, this past week has ushered in change. I've managed to survive the first week of homeschooling two children. I was a bit apprehensive about adding Will into the mix of learning a K4 curriculum plus trying to teach Gracie in the second grade. Just knowing how Will is more interested in playing cars and tractors, I was afraid of how he would react to a structured learning environment. I prepared for how I was going to discipline him and get his focus back because I just knew he was going to give me fits. Much to my surprise, Will has been eager to learn something new every day!

Yesterday was advancement day at church which meant Will had his first Sunday to sit in '"big church". I prepared as best as I could. I put a coloring book in his backpack, his juice cup and anything else that would entertain him and keep him quiet during the preaching. I was on pins and needles the whole time, saying prayers of Lord, please keep Will still so he won't embarrass us! each time I thought about it. Once again, my worries never materialized. Will was quiet up until the invitation and the service was almost over then he said out loud, "I'm hungry!"

Have you ever found that Satan will get you all worked up, worrying about something that might or could happen? You plan and prepare for the worst, just in case God doesn't come through, and then you seem surprised when He provides and everything falls into place! Worry and faith cannot co-exist; they cancel either other out. Isaiah 41:10 should be our answer to worry and fear, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

When I was in school, one thing we would say to a friend who we were supporting was, "I've got your back!" When we said that, it meant we were behind our friend 100% and wouldn't let them down. They could trust us, no matter what.

Isn't it good to know that God has already prepared for and figured out all of "mights, coulds, and what ifs" in our life? So go forward today with what God has given you to do. God's got your back!

Friday, August 13, 2010

God's Will Often Unfolds

Have you ever had your world coming tumbling down on you? Maybe something happened you didn't expect or see coming, then....boom! You find yourself in a tizzy and wonder how things are going to get better? I've been in that spot just this week.

In reading in I Samuel 9, Saul had one of those 'out of the blue' moments. When a teenager, Saul's father sent him to look for the family's donkeys. Saul thought it would be an easy trip. After all, donkeys aren't known for being intelligent so this couldn't take long, right? Wrong. Saul was gone long enough that he was worried his father may start looking for him. Saul never dreamed his long trip looking for the family livestock was orchestrated by the Lord to lead him to the prophet Samuel. When the two finally met, Samuel anointed Saul king over Israel, then proceeded to tell Saul other opportunities that would be coming his way. In in verse 7, Samuel tells him "And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you."

I love to plant flowers. Although I would enjoy having a yard full of immediately blooming tiger lillies, tulips and jonquils, I must plant the bulbs first and wait for the rest to happen. Through seasonal changes, rain, wind, harsh Mississippi summers and dramatic cold spells, the bulbs finally burst open and the stems shoot forth to produce a beautiful display in my flower beds.

We can't doubt God in the darkness what God has obviously done for us in the light. We can't collapse in fear when faced with adversity. God's will for you isn't always a quick unveiling, but more like an unfolding. He knows the future and will reveal His will for you and me and the choices we need to make, one step at a time.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Knowledge of God vs Experience with God

Knowledge and experience are two different things. If you've ever been told not to do something for a specific reason, that's knowledge. If you've gone and done it anyway, that's experience. Last year, my son was sitting on the counter at my parents house watching my mother cook. Although we've told him countless times, "Don't touch the stove because it will burn you", he learned how right we were when he wasn't thinking and accidentally placed his hand on the eye of the stove to prop himself up. Will's knowledge turned to experience in a split second.

Jesus was trying to get this into the heads of the disciples in Mark 8. He had just healed a mute man and a deaf man, not to mention having just fed 4,000 people. Jesus and his disciples had climbed into the boat when in verse 14, we pick up the story. "The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them. 'Be careful,' Jesus warned them. 'Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.'" The disciples were confused and thought Jesus was chastising them for not bringing the extra bread leftover from feeding the masses. Verse 17 says, "Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: 'Why are you talking about having no bread?: Do you still not see or understand? Are you hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?'" The disciples said twelve. Verse 20, "'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' They answered, 'Seven'. Jesus said to them, 'Do you still not understand?'"

Why was Jesus referring to the Pharisees and Herod as yeast? If you've ever made bread before, you know a little bit of yeast can work its way through a whole batch of dough. Sin operates in the same way and it could be a variety of sins like faithlessness, haughty attitude, fear, hate...you name it. Sin keeps us from an intimate relationship with God.

I can just imagine Jesus was about ready to pull his hair out. Allow me to give a Barbie translation to this: "You mean you've seen me (Jesus) provide so many times before and deal with whatever is going wrong and you still don't get it? What's wrong with you people?"

God has provided for you countless times before, even when you didn't think you could handle another minute of it. Just as he did miracles for the deaf, mute and hungry, Jesus has enough because He IS enough! Stop relying on your knowledge and remember your past experience with Him!

Friday, August 6, 2010

When Life Isn't Normal

It's good to be home! We spent a hot week at the Neshoba County Fair, but had such fun visiting with friends and family. After washing some five loads of clothes, I was ready to sleep in my own bed. When I woke the children up Sunday morning for church, the first thing Gracie said was "I'm so glad to have my life back to normal!"

Have you ever felt that way? Troublesome times come and you find yourself begging God for mercy. While we were away, one of the children I teach in my two year old Sunday School class went to be with Jesus. I was heartbroken and it certainly doesn't make sense and nor is it fair. Perhaps bad news seems to roost over your head and you you wonder why God isn't coming through?

I know this may sound a bit harsh, but God didn't come through for the majority of the disciples. All of them suffered horrendous deaths except John, who died peacefully. What do you do when God doesn't come through on your time frame and you have to go through it?

First, we must remember the times He DID come through and proved the dependability of His love. We must remember that God is not accountable to you and me. My husband enjoys making cakes from scratch. But in order to do that, he must add some bitter ingredients in order to make his cake taste sweet. Our life experiences are like that as well. God uses tough times to make us mature in Him.

When God doesn't come through on your time frame, remember the suffering of the grave that His Son took for you and me. I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way of escape so that you can stand up under it." God's 'way of escape' out of the trial may not be a way out like you think, but it will be victory in the middle of it! And the amount of grace God gives is individualized for us because everyone's spiritual threshold is different.

Remember to delight in Him and remember the promise of His tomorrow. He is faithful and He will answer, whether we're alive to see the results of it or not. Just think of Moses and how he was looking for the Promised Land, but never got to see it although the children of Israel did.

Finally, we must remember His purpose. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." What is God's purpose then? His purpose is to make us into the image of Christ just like a sculpture works with his hands to make a piece of clay into the image of something. What is the most un-Christlike characteristic in your life? God will keep working on you and me until that characteristic goes away whether it is faithlessness, racism, prejudice, a bad attitude or anything else.

So while you and I may be longing for relief in a certain area of our life and longing for some normalcy, pray and focus on who God is in the midst of it all. He never changes nor does His love for us. Our spiritual thermometer may go up and down based on what God is doing in our life, but Jesus Christ never changes.

Jesus said it best in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." This means he has overcome whatever trouble I may have. Focus on Him and not the circumstance you're facing.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Barbie is away from the blog for the next two weeks. She will return on Friday, August 6.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bonnie Update--Saturday

Tropical Storm Bonnie became Tropical Depression Bonnie Friday afternoon. Although the storm has lost its compact features from when it first hit Florida yesterday, it is still a rain and wind maker. It is still possible for Bonnie to be upgraded to a tropical storm later today as she gains a bit more momentum over the open waters of the Gulf. Keep it tuned to WLBT for the latest information.

Mississippi will begin to see Bonnie's effects today in the form of scattered cloud cover and scattered showers. Our winds will pick up Sunday and so will our rain chances as Bonnie will be coming ashore later tonight. Here is the NHC's official forecast track.



Although this track takes it through the oil spill and up the river delta, I'm reminded of that old gospel song: "Somebody's Praying"! This storm had a much bigger punch Friday and isn't very organized today. Here is the WLBT track of Bonnie:

This track has shifted just a bit farther south than the NHC's and may make landfall near the Grand Isle, Louisiana area.

Don't leave anything outside Sunday that you don't want blown into your neighbor's yard as winds will be sustained near 20 mph with higher gusts. Ares west of I-55 could see 1-3 inches of much needed rain.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie Update-Friday

I've not had much of a need to discuss the weather here because we've been stuck in a typical summer pattern: hot, hotter, and hottest! The Atlantic hurricane season has been fairly quite as well. The gulf coast was spared Hurricane Alex which made landfall along the Texas/Mexico border along with tropical depression #2. We all breathed a sigh of relief with both of those storms. Now we have Tropical Storm Bonnie which formed just off the Bahamian coast last night.
Bonnie will move over the Straits of Florida today brushing the Florida Keys. The fortunate part about Bonnie is she is a fairly compact storm. Bonnie will continue a westerly/northwesterly track and emerge in the Gulf of Mexico late tonight and Saturday. All computer model tracks have Bonnie staying along the southern end of the massive oil spill. The worst case scenario would be for Bonnie to strengthen to a hurricane, which doesn't look likely, and for the storm to move directly over the oil spill and move in the delta of the Mississippi River. Again, this doesn't look like it will be the case.

However, Bonnie will possibly make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana sometime Saturday afternoon and evening. Even with this proposed landfall, high waves could wash over the oil booms. The oil could be pushed into the marshes, channels and estuaries and would remain there for quite a while, affecting wildlife and vegetation. The oil would also be pushed further onshore on to beaches.

On the flip side, some oceanographers believe wind gusts as high as 30 miles an hour could actually evaporate the oil slick faster and high waves could help break up the patches of scattered oil.

Here is the NHC's projected track. Keep in mind these can often fluctuate 90 miles or so east and west. What does this track mean for central Mississippi? High pressure over the southeast has prevented frontal systems from moving in and has kept us dry. This high pressure dome begins to relax over the weekend, which will allow for greater rain chances. Areas west of I-55 could receive 2-3 inches of rain Sunday-Monday. The remnants of Bonnie will continue northward into Louisiana and Arkansas, so the Mississippi Delta will get in on high rain chances into early next week.

I'll update this forecast on here Saturday.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Blood Drive

Summer vacation is almost gone and it's time for the yearly summer blood drive! Many of you have seen the commercial for WLBT's Great Lengths hair event which shows my friend Stella and me. Stella is fighting leukemia and has already had to have several blood transfusions. Giving blood has been more dear to my heart this year than it ever has, just because of what Stella is going through.

For this summer blood drive, I wanted to do something related to the military. We are asking for blood donations in honor of those who currently serve in the military or have served in the past. We're also asking people to drop off a shoebox filled with sample hygiene items which we are shipping to our military men and women serving in the Middle East. After going public with this effort last week, a shoe company called and offered to donate all of the shoe boxes for the items to be packed in should someone not have one!

If you're in town this Thursday anytime, July 22, please stop by Mississippi Blood Services and donate blood for "MASH Bash".

video

Friday, July 16, 2010

How Satan Plays On Our Need

I admit it--I have a fetish for chocolate. If it's covered in chocolate, chances are I'll eat it. I don't know where this obsession came from, but it is real. When I went on the liquid diet last year to lose 55 pounds, my need for chocolate multiplied itself by 100. I literally heard chocolate call my name. Now some of you know exactly where I'm coming from and I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

Did you know that the devil will send thoughts that are tailor-made to whatever we need? He knows our weak spot and he crafts his message specifically for it.

You need a better job. People at this place don't treat you with enough respect!

It's perfectly permissable for you to flirt with him. After all, your husband isn't giving you the attention you need!

Your family just doesn't understand you. So you need to give them a piece of your mind!

You've given so much of yourself and time to this company. It won't hurt if you use some of the company's money for your own needs.

The devil always points out what is missing, lacking or negative in our life. He will deceive us, manipulate us and do whatever he can to get us to yield to that weak area. He is going to come back again and again because the more times he can successfully tempt us in that area, the weaker that area becomes for the next punch. What happens next? That area becomes a spiritual stronghold for him! What is a weak area for you and I becomes a feeding trough for him and a place he can control.

2 Corinthians says,"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into capitivity to the obedience of Christ." Think about it...the longer we entertain a negative thought about our neediness, the harder it may be for us to change the way we think. Eve's first mistake? She listened to the devil!

God's Word challenges us to take control of our thoughts and subject them to obedience and bring them in line with what God teaches us and what Jesus has already done for us.

Monday, July 12, 2010

There She Is...

I feel like a proud friend!
Since her Junior Miss days, I have had a pleasure of working with Sarah Beth James. With each competition, she would come and we would work on her interview for months at a time. We've spent countless hours honing her presentation skills and keeping her up to date on the latest current events. She is one of the most sincere, intelligent, all around, beautiful girls I've met in my years of interview coaching. Saturday night she was crowned Miss Mississippi 2010. Sarah Beth now begins her journey to the Miss American pageant in January in Las Vegas.
We sat in my living room the week before she left to compete in Vicksburg as I prayed for her. Sarah Beth is not only a wonderful representative for the state of Mississippi, but she's an ambassador for the Lord.

Congratulations, Sarah Beth!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Are You Doubting?

Over the last few months, I've acquired quite a few "friends" on Facebook. I noticed one of my "friends" had posted how confused he was about the Bible--in particular, how God populated the earth through Adam and Eve. He also questioned whether or not Ezekiel saw aliens in one of his visions (chapters 1-10) and so forth. Just reading his status updates, I could tell he had quite a bit of doubt about the Bible. Doubt is one of Satan's tools in spiritual warfare.

The devil likes for us to question God's Word and whether or not it is true. After all, it was written by imperfect humans. Have you ever noticed how some people can read a verse and have a different interpretation of it than you? It's usually an interpretation that allows them to believe what they want so they can live the way they want to live. It's usually a way that holds the least amount of work, effort, pain and discomfort! If you find yourself having to manipulate a very clear cut commandment of God in order to justify your own opinion, you are on a slippery slope.

Satan also likes to get us to question our relationship with God. The devil used the same tactic on Jesus. After Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened and God said in Luke 3:21-22, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased." Jesus went into the wilderness for prayer and fasting and the devil followed him with questions hoping to get him to doubt who he was. Why? Because if the devil could get Jesus to question who He was, he might get Jesus to question everything else He believed and was called to do. The devil tried it with me when I found myself up against a lawsuit and was barred from working in the television media which I shared in my book, "Forecasts and Faith: 5 Keys To Weathering The Storms of Life."

Satan will also cause you to doubt your Christian walk. He tries to get you to doubt the importance of going to church, reading and studying the Bible, prayer, praise, tithing, witnessing to others and using your spiritual gifts to bless others. Why would he target these things? Because he knows if he can get you to fail in one are of your Christian life, you will be a weak witness for Christ. You won't have joy and inner peace. You won't rely on your faith in God in the hard times. When you do that, you become less effective for Christ and the devil has you right where he wants you! If he can't keep you from being saved, he'll at least try to keep you from being a persuasive witness.

So you see, doubt is aimed at pulling you away from God, keeping you from fulfilling your purpose, and destroying your witness for Jesus.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sacrifice Of Praise

Sometimes, you just need to change. You've probably noticed by now the new look to my blog. Several of you have been sweet to comment or send me emails on it. I've had the same blog background since 2006 when I first started my "Forecasts and Faith" ramblings. The old look would have sufficed, but it was getting stale. It wasn't as easy a decision as you might have thought because it involved change and I like consistency. I like routine and I like tradition. Isn't that how our worship can be sometimes?

Being the born and bred Baptist gal I am, I like tradition. But over the last year, the Holy Spirit has convicted me that tradition isn't where He's moving anymore. Pick a church that sings the same songs, keeps the order of worship the same, and prays the same---chances are, you won't find the lost getting saved or lives being rededicated. Why? Because the church has become stale. Oh, you probably won't notice it, especially if you like the way it is. It's often harder to see the forest when you're standing in the middle of the trees.

I was so locked up in tradition and the spirit of religion until it was smothering out my ability to worship in church and privately. Satan is fully behind this spirit of religion--the same old same old, because that's the way it's always been and being judgemental of others who worship a different way. Knowing we are supposed to learn from history, this religious spirit will try to get us locked into old traditions. Satan is satisfied with whatever he can do to quench the Holy Spirit and keep the Spirit from advancing. After all, if Satan can't keep us from salvation, he'll at least try to stop us there.

I've had those white knuckle experiences before. You feel the Lord wants you to worship Him and you want to, deep down, but you resist raising your hands in total surrender to worship because someone sitting next to you may think you're a chandelier-swingin' momma. Or, you really feel the urge to shout "Amen" or "Hallelujah" but you bite your tongue because someone next to you may think you've started speaking in tongues. (I know I'm being a little facetious, but you get the point).

Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise." When you sacrifice something you give it up. You put someone other than yourself first. I believe God wants us to put away our inhibitions, our concerns, and our fears about worship and give Him the praise. If you and I aren't giving it all up in worship at church or wherever we may be, we haven't sacrificed a thing.

The Holy Spirit wants to produce passionate lovers of God, but we can't when we aren't willing to get out of our comfort zone, whether that's through music, prayer, or praise. It's hard to be passionate about a God who no longer talks, heals, delivers or manifests in some way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gracie's Birthday

Yesterday was a special day in the Bassett house. Gracie turned 7! Last year, her birthday was overshadowed by me having the swine flu, so we weren't able to celebrate the way we wanted to on her birthday and had to reschedule some of it. Here are a few of my personal favorites of our cake eating fun last night:


Have a Happy 4th of July weekend!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Obstacles Along The Way

I have vivid dreams, but not everyone does. My husband is one of those who can't remember his dreams although I'm sure he probably has them. Over the weekend, I dreamed I was driving down the road with a friend as my passenger. All along the road, there were things set up to cause problems. Some were barricades, some were lunatics beating on my car window and trying to jump inside with us, some were huge potholes and cliffs. I grabbed my friend's hand and told her this was a spiritual battle and we were going to fight these obstacles in the spirit and with prayer. I told her we had to press on, keep driving and not get our eyes off where we were going. Then my dream was over. I have no idea why I had that dream, but I imagine I will soon find out. It seems most of my dreams are prophetic in nature so I will await that revealing.

Satan can't steal our salvation, but he has the power to do several other things. He can destroy the quality of our lives. He will send anything our way that can affect our physical, emotional, mental or financial health and in our relationships. Satan can attack our peace and our joy. He likes to stir up trouble and keep us in a state of unrest. Satan loves to use unbelievers or weak believers to harm us in the things they say and do that make people question our reputation. Satan brings confusion, frustration and anger into relationships and situations, for no apparent reason. He wrote the book on how to cause misunderstandings. And, Satan will decrease your witness for Christ here on earth in order to diminish your heavenly reward.

So how should we respond when Satan attacks in this way? The way we respond will determine whether our faith will be strengthened or weakened. Our response will determine whether God's power in our lives will be real and whether or not He receives the glory and praise for it. And, our response to Satan's attacks will determine whether our unsaved family members, co-workers and friends are more inclined to trust in Jesus.

No, we cannot defeat the devil in our own strength. That would not bring glory to God. Paul put it perfectly in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Fun & Great Lengths

I took a few days off last week to travel to Orange Beach, Alabama. Who knew getting sand in your swimsuit bottoms could be so much fun? Here is a snapshot of Will, Lilly Faith and Gracie getting MORE sand in their bottoms!

When I returned to work Monday, I mentioned I would make a "big" announcement on Tuesday. I was referring to WLBT's Great Lengths event. When Tuesday came and made the announcement, at least one viewer was happy I didn't announce something in particular:

"Enjoy watching you everyday and it is good to hear that you are NOT pregnant. I would say enough is enough. You were pregnant for years.---Harold"

As I shared with you a few weeks ago, I'm growing my hair in honor of my friend Stella McNeer. Stella has a heart for the Lord and is battling cancer. Here is the commercial now running on WLBT. She's in the hospital now receiving her third round of chemotherapy.

video

I would love to have you join me in growing, cutting and sharing our hair with Mississippi women who have lost their hair due to cancer. You can sign up at www.wlbt.com and click on the "Great Lengths" logo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barbie is away for a few days. She will return to the blog on Friday, June 25.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Is The Devil

A good friend of mine walked in a half marathon Saturday morning in Ridgeland. Saturday afternoon, I made her a batch of double-dark chocolate brownies. I admit, when they cooled off, I gave them a taste test (who wouldn't?). When I walked them to her house and handed them off, I told her "These brownies are the devil!" That was my way of saying they were so delicious, they were utterly evil.

Satan doesn't look like some terrible monster. In fact, he does what he can to disguise himself and make himself invisible so he won't be blamed or fought as the enemy. He will manipulate circumstances and situations against you. He will use people to come against you--people who will abuse you, misuse you and confuse you! Ephesians 6:12 says we are battling against "principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3, "I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." Did you see those three words that describe the devil? Deceived, craftiness and corrupted.

Satan deceives us by convincing us that right is wrong and wrong is right. When you are deceived, you believe a lie. His craftiness means he is a master of manipulation. He finds a back door, a missing link, or a point of weakness and capitalizes on it. He preys upon what you believe has already been dealt with.

For instance, last week I received an anonymous email from a viewer:

"Is that a baby bump you're sporting?"

I think the answer to that is obvious if you have seen me in person, but Satan knows how sensitive I've always been about weight issues. If you've read my book, then you know how far back that story goes! After reading the email, I immediately went to the girls dressing room at WLBT and began looking at myself in the mirror. Do I really look like I'm pregnant? Maybe I need to add another 30 minutes of cardio to my exercise regiment. Then, I realized from whom that email originated.

And, the devil is corrupted. He leads people to follow their passions and desires of their own self rather than the will of God.

When you see deceit, craftiness and corruption coming your way, look at who's behind it and there you'll find the culprit. Deal with HIM!

Friday, June 11, 2010

What's Your Plan?

A couple of weeks ago, I shared what the Lord is teaching me in regards to spiritual warfare.

If you don't believe in the existence of spiritual warfare, you are in denial. It doesn't matter whether or not you want to be in a spiritual battle--you are in one. This battle is between good and evil and you are the prize. God wants to have a personal, intimate, transparent relationship with you and me, to bless us and to live with us forever. Satan wants to keep us from all that God wants for us. Satan is the enemy of all of us, whether we are Christ followers or not. Ephesians 6:12 says, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.."

As a Christian, I know my spirit already belongs to God and the devil cannot keep me from my eternal home in heaven. But, he can have a field day in other areas of my life. He can drag me down into the depths of depression and a kind of bondage that will take away my joy for living. If the devil can get me in some sort of bondage, whether it be depression, oppression or addiction, then I won't have peace. He will do anything he can to destroy anything essential to having a God-filled life.

When I was growing up and living at home, my daddy would talk about the importance of getting an education. He would say, "People can take away your car, your house, your clothes. But they can't take away what you've learned and the education you have." So true.

Satan will do what he can to work against you and me, to keep us from having a positive witness for Christ. He'll do what he can to steal resources we might use to further the gospel in this world, destroy your reputation so that others question your faith walk, and kill relationships with people so that you and I believe we cannot have influence on others for Christ.

Jesus said it best in John 8:44, "He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." Jesus went on to say in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy."

Satan is real. He never gives up his pursuit of destroying us and his demonic forces have a plan of attack. What is yours?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Preparing Your Nets

In studying more of Isaiah 54:2, it says, “Enlarge your house; build an addition. Spread out your home, and spare no expense!" In Friday's blog, I shared the points given in verse 1 of that same chapter. God is telling us to rejoice in our barren times (when nothing is happening in our life and we are desperate for answers). When God hears our joyful praise, He will give us so much increase in the areas we need that we will actually produce more fruit than those who had been fruitful all along!

Now in verse 2, He tells us to get ready for the harvest by "enlarging" and "spare no expense". When God says He is going to bring spiritual increase into your life, you've got to make room for it. So many times, we don't take Him at His Word so we give Him a few feet and then act amazed when He starts providing! We are almost shocked that He answered our prayers! I think about the story of Simon Peter and his fishing excursion in the Bible.

Simon Peter told Jesus he had been fishing all night and didn't catch a thing in Luke 5:1-6. Jesus told Simon Peter to let down his nets (with an "s", plural form). Jesus was about to send increase Simon Peter's way and he would need to fish with nets. The increase in fish was so much, they had to have their partners from the other boats come help them pull the nets in. Sometimes I wonder if God is saying to Himself: Is that all you can do? I'm about to increase your life and that's all you can believe me for?

Keep praying, keep praising, and keep preparing for the spiritual increase God is going to send your way. When God tells you to "spare no expense" and "enlarge your house", He's not kidding. You're gonna need it!