Friday, February 26, 2010

A Personal Reflection

Ever have those moments when you wonder if anybody understands what you're talking about? In speaking to groups at womens retreats, banquets and conferences all over, I sometimes wonder if I'm talking to myself. Sure, I get quite a number of people who tell me afterwards or email me later saying, "I needed to hear that. God has been working on me on what you just talked about. I think God brought you here to speak to me specifically." But even after all of that, is sharing my heart worth it? Or do I sound like the teacher on the Peanuts cartoons..."wah, wah, wah, wah, wah..." to most people?

I've got a busy schedule which is about to get busier in another two weeks with the start of the book tour. I'm gone almost every weekend, away from my family, doing what I believe God has called me to do. Some nights during the week, I don't get to come home to spend dinner with my family between newscasts because I'm speaking at a church banquet or conference. My supportive husband is always gracious in picking up the pieces.

So this week, forgive me, but I was feeling a bit down. Overwhelmed, thankful, but yet feeling alone. I know I'm doing what God has called me to do in ministering to others. I shared my concerns with a dear friend of mine who "gets" me. I told her of the urgency I have felt over the last few months to do more speaking, more sharing of what the Lord is giving me to share, and encouraging others along the way. She understood exactly where I was coming from. "Following God in doing what He has called you to do can sometimes be a lonely place," she told me. "When you feel like you're alone in doing His work, He has your undivided attention. So listen and follow His instructions closely."

Then yesterday, a letter was delivered to my office at WLBT. It was the kind of letter I cringe at receiving. No return address. Must be one of those constructive criticism letters, I thought. (I've quickly discovered if a letter doesn't have a return address, it usually includes choice words and matter-of-fact opinions about my hair, my clothes, and anything else they see fit to complain about.) I opened it cautiously, readying for the zinger.

"Dear Barbie,
I overheard a friend sharing an experience she had as part of a group of women you spoke to at Shiloh Church. You cannot know the impact you had on her. Her heart was touched deeply and you fed her spirit. You gave her insight into herself and the gift you gave will reach further than any of us will be aware. It excites my imagination to wonder how many people she will help, and how much what you said will be a part of that help. We are all a part of something greater than we know and all fit together in God's plan. Continue to lead with your heart. The ripples you create are far reaching. Thank you for being there. Signed, Touched my your spirit"

Just when I was beginning to question whether or not my extra-curricular speaking was worth my time away, it was confirmed.

Feeling a bit down today? Ask God to confirm you're on the right track.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


An upper level disturbance and cold front will enter Mississippi from the west tonight and increase our chances for light snow to fall. The moisture is increasing over Texas and Louisiana now with rain falling. Later tonight as colder air moves in, the rain could be mixed with a wet snow. At times, only snow may fall as the rain/snow change over could flip-flop throughout the night.

Areas that could see the rain/snow mix are areas south of Highway 82 and north of Highway 84, or central Mississippi. Here is the NWS' graphical depiction of the snowfall possibilities.This doesn't look to be a significant snowfall event like what we experienced on February 12. Accumulation amounts will be less than one inch and will gather mostly on elevated or metal surfaces and grassy areas. Therefore, no travel delays are expected.

I'll join you with an updated forecast beginning at 4pm on WLBT or you can follow my updates on Twitter @BarbieBassett.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Why Giants Exist

Last night during the thunderstorms, my children became concerned about the frequent lightning and booming thunder. "I don't like thunder!" Will said. "It sounds scary!" Gracie shared what someone had told her, "Thunder is God moving His furniture in heaven." Then she thought about it further. "But that doesn't make sense because it still sounds loud and mean." I didn't figure they were ready for the meteorological explanation of what causes thunder and the expansion of heat, so I told them something a bit different. "The thunder is praising God," I told them. "The Bible says that even the rocks will cry out and praise the Lord. That's what is happening with thunder. It's just saying 'thank you God for making me!'" Gracie and Will have now changed their perspective on thunder. It's not so mean and scary anymore.

So perhaps there is a pattern as to why our giants exist (see last Friday's blog entry).

Exodus 6:7 says, "Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out."
Exodus 9:14 says, "That you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth."
Exodus 9:15 says, "That may name may be declared in all the earth."
Exodus 10:2 says, "That you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt..that you may know that I am the Lord."
Exodus 14:17-18 says, "I will gain honor over Pharaoh. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord."
Joshua 4:24 says, "That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty."

Do you see it? It practically slapped me up side the head! God wants to be known and honored for who He is and giants in our life are the primary opportunity to make His power and goodness known to a doubting world. When God chooses to defeat a giant through us, we say, "God did that!". He receives all of the glory.

So, I'm going to seek out my biggest giants and come against them as a warrior for God's glory. It's time to run toward every Giant that stands in my way and God is ready for you to do the same!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Does God Want You To Do Something Crazy?

I was thinking more about the children of Israel's journey through their desert experience--the Sinai Peninsula (regarding my previous blog entries on January 29 & February 5). I've shared with you how I'm learning God uses desert experiences to prepare us for something greater down the road.

If you remember the story, you know Moses picked 12 spies to send to Canaan (the Promised Land) to scope it out. Moses wanted to know who was there, what the place looked like and was it worth charging forward and taking over. Those spies saw the walled cities of Jericho, the vast army and the giants who lived there. Ten of the twelve spies gave Moses a sensible report: The enemy is strong. We look small in comparison to them. So let's hold off on attacking them. They weren't lying to Moses, but their faith had most definitely failed them. Meantime, Joshua and Caleb (the other 2 spies) wanted to push forward, but the other 10 spies feared the giants more than they trusted God. The spies' fear got the best of them and the children of Israel turned back into the desert to wander again.

But guess what? When the children of Israel decided to try again 40 years later, the same giants still blocked their progress into the Promised Land. Although nothing had changed in the land, something had changed inside their hearts--they rejected fear and trusted God. This time around, they believed God when he told them in Joshua 1:3,5 "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you. I will not leave you nor forsake you." They took God at His Word now.

And of all things, God's plan for the children to conquer Jericho wasn't ordinary. By this point, Moses had died and Joshua was now the leader. God told Joshua to attack the city by walking around it. At the right time, they were to blow their trumpets and shout. If they did it just as God said, Jericho's walls would crumble and fall.

Just imagine the courage it took for Joshua to explain to his followers that all they had to do was to walk around the city! "I've got a plan, y'all. Get need to fight. We're just going to march around the city and the walls will crumble at our feet! Doesn't that sound awesome?!" That makes absolutely no sense. Joshua risked embarrassment, humiliation and rejection from the children of Israel. Israel could face total defeat. But since you know the story, you know what happened.

Giant exist in your life and in my life because God is up to something much bigger than you and I can understand. It doesn't make sense to you and me, but God's plan is even bigger than a victory.

Monday I'll reveal why I believe God allows giants to exist.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Facing Your Giants

One of my favorite movies is "Facing The Giants". I know, kind of a romantic, yet Christian movie. Probably not what you expected me to pick, but I like the storyline and the ending. It's about a high school football coach and his team who are facing the Giants team across town for the championship and how the coach gets them ready to fight. Meantime, the coach is facing his own set of giants in his marriage and his struggle to keep his job.

Do you think David ever realized when he was shepherding sheep that one day he would take on a giant? He had killed the lion and the bear and was anointed by the prophet Samuel to grow up and be king. But did he ever think this anointing would pit him face to face with a literal giant?

While two armies stood there with their mouths wide open in amazement, David told his giant in I Samuel 17:45, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty." Then he put one small stone in his sling and ran straight toward Goliath and took down a giant. David flat out called his giant a spiritual enemy and knew it wasn't by his own might that he would fight, but that God would fight for him.

Notice David ran straight for his giant. He didn't tuck and run in the other direction. Why? Because David saw his giant from God's perspective and not from his own!

When we are facing giants, whether they be financial, emotional, spiritual or physical giants, we make a crucial mistake by looking at them from our own perspective. We look at giants from the bottom up. That's why they look so big! God has the ability to look down on our giant and see it for what it is.

Next time you're facing a giant, stop and take a different look. Look at it from God's perspective and see that He is in control. He can defeat it for you, if you would just let Him. Face it head on in the 'name of the Lord Almighty'!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Welcome Snow!

Welcome snow! It's been a long 24 hours for me, but watching the snow fall throughout the night and early Friday has been worth it.

As predicted, central Mississippi has come in with 2-4 inches, with some higher spots of 5 inches. Areas south of I-20 have had upwards of 6 inches of snow. The low pressure area responsible for the beauty is beginning to slide east. However, snowfall could continue into the afternoon for eastern Mississippi.

At this point, this becomes less of a weather story and more of a news story. With roads slick in spots and power outages being reported, please use extreme caution should you have to travel. Snow left on the ground tonight will re-freeze and could cause slick travel early Saturday morning.

After getting a couple of hours sleep early this morning, I've been outside playing with my children. I'm enjoying watching them eat the snow, make snow angels and just be amazed by it all. And to make it even better, Gracie said, "You were right, mom!" I chimed back with, "No, God just makes your mama look smart sometimes."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Weather Update

I've been talking about the snow chances since Monday of this week and my gut feeling still has not changed. The low pressure disturbance coming off the Texas coastline is right on track to produce a significant snowfall event for portions of Mississippi. Snow has been falling across eastern Texas and western Louisiana since early this morning as the temperatures have been hovering in the lower 30s. Snow will begin to fall later this afternoon across southwest Mississippi, then overspread central Mississippi overnight.

Due to the nature of the snowfall, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service. This warning will begin at 6pm tonight and continue until 2pm Friday.

Areas north of I-20 could see 1-3 inches of snow. Areas along the I-20 corridor could see 2-5 inches of snow. Counties south of I-20, mainly along the Highway 84 & 98 corridors, could have the highest amounts where 6+ inches of snow could accumulate in localized spots and low lying areas. With these snow totals, traveling could be treacherous early Friday and snow could accumulate on trees and powerlines causing outages. H

Here is the NWS's latest graphic depiction of what is expected:

There are several ways to prepare for this possibility:
1) Have a battery operated NOAA Weather Radio
2) Charge cellphones throughout today and tonight
3) Have flashlights and two days' worth of non-perishable foods on hand
4) Report any power outages to your local power company

I'll be on WLBT beginning this afternoon at 4pm and I'll have the most up to date forecast around. You may also follow me on Twitter @BarbieBassett.

Meantime, the Valentines Blood Drive at Mississippi Blood Services continues today. I was there bright and early at 6am with Marshall Ramsey this morning as people were filing in to donate. With the travel conditions expected to worsen and accidents expected, I think it's fitting that we be ahead of the game and get the blood donations back up before the inclement weather sets in overnight. If you are in the area, please drop by and donate blood today before 7pm!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Weather Update

It's the question I've been asked almost every hour by viewers: "Is it really going to snow?" The answer is, it is likely.

The weather set up we have coming our way spells out a classic snow pattern for the state of Mississippi. A low pressure system will come of the Gulf of Mexico and follow along the coastline. Cold air already in place will change the rain over to sleet first, then to snow as the night progresses. It looks as if late Thursday afternoon, rain could be mixed with some sleet pellets across southwest Mississippi. As the moisture overspreads the state, it changes over to flakes Thursday night and Friday.

The exact track of the low pressure area has everything to do with this snow possibility and how much snow you could receive. Should the low shift farther south, most of north and central Mississippi would miss out on the snow chances. Keep the low right on it's current track and north Mississippi could get a light dusting to an inch; central and south Mississippi could see it's first measureable snowfall since early December. Right now, this track seems more similar to the track we had on December 4, 2009 (remember that one?).
Please understand this whole forecast could change completely should the low track farther south. That's why it is important to keep it tuned to WLBT for the latest.

We'll run another set of computer models later this afternoon and I'll have any changes and updates on WLBT today at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm & 10pm. For now, here is the latest graphical depiction from the NWS:

By the way, the Valentines Blood Drive at Mississippi Blood Service on Lakeland Drive in Jackson will still happen Thursday. So come give blood before the weather changes late Thursday night!

Monday, February 8, 2010

This & That

I was informed last week I am up for "Jackson's Hottest TV Reporter" on an internet blog poll. I had to laugh because I'm not a reporter, I'm the only one on this poll who is married with several children and the poll even spells my name wrong. After reading the comments posters can make anonymously, it reminded me of the superficiality of my job. You can read the comments if you would like, but let me warn you, it is not for the faint of heart. One had written I have 80 pounds of hair; another said the pictures of me on this site weren't really me (which someone had gotten them off Facebook and yes, they are really me); and another said I had 10 kids! Some admit to multiple voting, which is allowed--you can vote once a day from as many different computers as you would like. The poll is on the right hand side. You can see it for yourself by clicking:

Valentines is less than a week away and it's time for the annual Valentines Blood Drive. My friend and editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey and I will be at Mississippi Blood Services this Thursday, February 11 beginning at 6am asking people to drop by and donate blood. MBS would like to have 300 donors Thursday. This would provide enough blood to supply Mississippi hospitals for a day and a half (200 units of blood are used every day). Carter Jewelers has given us an arm load of their fine jewelry, the Pizza Shack will feed donors lunch, and the Viking Range Cooking School will give away a cooking class for one donor and 5 of their friends!

Here is the Valentines t-shirt Marshall has designed for donors. This is a black and white rendition, but the shirt is very colorful. And who doesn't love those candied hearts?

I hope to see you Thursday at Mississippi Blood Services on Lakeland Drive in Jackson!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Desert Travel Prepares You For Blessings To Come

Over the weekend while one of the children and I were nursing the stomach virus (yuck), I thought more about the desert experiences I wrote on last Friday.

If you think of the wanderings of the children of Israel, you can imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for them. They were taken out of their homeland, out of their comfort zone, only to be relocated to the Sinai Peninsula and set to walk around in circles in the desert. How many times did they curse Moses for leading them into this desolate place and how many more times did they curse God for not coming through for them, or so they thought.

Have you noticed that the bigger the challenge God has ahead of you, the longer you stay in your desert? It takes a long time to prepare for what God has for you on the other side. There was no way the children of Israel could have handled the Promised Land before they were ready. They may have thought they were ready and knew what to do with it, but God knew they were no where close to being ready. This became evident when they began to complain to Moses. Exodus 10:11, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?"

Have you ever felt God leading you in a direction, followed Him, only to feel abandoned by Him in the middle of it? I've lifted my fist quite a few times over the years, shaken it at God and thrown a southern belle fit in my best Scarlett O'Hara "never again" way!

Think of the others in the Bible who spent quite some time in their own personal desert. Joseph spent years in prison sharpening his leadership skills before he was elevated to rule Egypt. David had his years of hiding in caves with men who were in debt, unhappy and stressed before David was named king. All of these men had their moments of feeling alone, confused, and questioning why God had left them and wasn't acting on their behalf.

But God wanted to grow their faith enough so they could handle the blessings He was about to bring their way.

The more uncomfortable God allows you and I to get, the more demanding the challenges, the more pressure and risk we face, the more dynamic we'll be when God opens up the windows of heaven for us and brings us through to the other side.

The bigger question remains: when it seems as if God has left us in the desert to fend for ourself, will we still trust that He has a reason? That He could be preparing us for something greater? Will you and I give God permission to do His work, for as long as He wants, in the ways that He wants, to change us as deeply as He wants, to prepare us for the blessing ahead?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Barbie is away today. She has the stomach virus along with one of her children. She will return to the blog this Friday.

As you know, her book will be released in mid-March. Due to high demand, you can pre-order signed copies of her book, "Forecasts and Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering The Storms of Life" on . Pre-orders will be shipped out first. Barbie will also begin a book signing tour. You can join her at any of these locations or go to to see her schedule. New locations are being added weekly.

March 20, Book Signing, Marks Public Library, Marks, 10am-Noon
March 24, Book Signing, Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club, Ridgeland, Noon
March 27, Book Signing, Expectations Maternity & Nursery Boutique, Brookhaven, 11am-2pm
April 3, Book Signing, Essco/Shooz Too, Yazoo City, 10am-Noon
April 3, Book Signing, Turnrow Bookstore, Greenwood, 2pm-4pm
April 5, Book Signing, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, 5pm
April 10, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, First Baptist Church Womens Brunch, Bude, 10am
April 10, Book Signing, Turning Pages Books, Natchez, 1pm-3pm
April 14, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, St.Dominic Senior Adults Meeting, Jackson, 10am
April 16, Book Signing, Raleigh Public Library, 11am-12:30pm
April 17, Book Signing, Borders, Dogwood Festival Market, Flowood, Noon-until
April 24, Book Signing, Mississippi State Veterans Home Chapel, Kosciusko, 9:30am-11am
April 24, Book Signing, McCormick Book Inn, Greenville, 2pm
May 1, Book Signing, Ballyhoo Gifts, Mendenhall, 11am-1pm
May 8, Book Signing, Lifeway Christian Store-Ridgewood Court, Jackson, Noon-2pm