Monday, March 29, 2010

Brookhaven Signing

What a beautiful Saturday! I was thrilled to travel to Brookhaven for a book signing at Expectations. Owner Angie Warren and her assistants made the day go so well as there was a large turnout of folks. At last weekend's book signing in my hometown, I knew everyone who came through the door. That wasn't the case this time around, so I met many new faces throughout the day. Here is a picture of one of my Facebook friends, Tammy McCardle, and me.Each person who bought a book and brought it to the table for me to sign had something different to say. Some told me how they watch me do the weather every day. Others said they had heard me speak somewhere in the past and wanted a book. And while I talked to each one, held a few babies and took many pictures, one lady stood out.

She brought two of her daughters and a grandchild. After signing her book, I handed it back with a smile. "I'm really hoping your book will help me," she said. "I've been going through some storms myself. My husband was murdered two weeks ago." Her eyes filled up with tears. "I promised myself I wasn't going to cry today," she said as I listened to her tell me what happened. The Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and I knew what I had to do. "Can I pray for you?" I asked her. We stood there in the middle of the store and I prayed for the Lord to heal her broken heart, for grace through her personal storm, and for the forgiveness she's going to be required to give the man who killed her husband.

As I left that afternoon, I realized what I Corinthians 13:1-2, 13 means. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing..And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these in love." These verses are saying that we may know all there is to know in life and we may be spiritually mature and able to quote every scripture there is, but if we don't truly love others, we are just "a clanging symbol". In other words, we are making a lot of noise and noise gets on people's nerves!

Love involves listening to a sound that others may turn a deaf ear to. How easy it would have been to had told her I was 'sorry, thanks for buying my book and hope things get better for you'. But this sweet woman needed someone to love her right where she was and she needed prayerful intervention.

I'm sure as I continue on the road for the next 2 months, there will be more stories like hers. People are hurting and they are looking for any sign of hope they can find. Pray that God gives you ears to hear so that your eyes can see the needs in the lives of others!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Viewer Comments

Someone asked the other day if I had gotten any mean comments or emails lately. I proudly told them no. It seemed as if the critics had quietened down. That is, until this week.

How many times have I been out in public and someone say, "Thanks for the sunshine!" or "Can you get it to stop snowing?" or "Bring us good weather this weekend!" Sure, they know I don't control the weather and I know it, too. But, it's a little tongue-in-cheek when people act as if I control the weather and I reciprocate. Well, apparently I had said that one too many times this week for this viewer.

"I have just watched the WLBT weather for the last time. I tolerated your thinking you were some kind of pageant queen, but now that you think you are God, I can't watch any more. This week, you have made comments indicating that you believe you control the weather. Examples: You "promise" the weather will get better and be sunny tomorrow; we are going to "love" your forecast later in the week when the weather is sunny. There are many other such references but these are just in the last few days. It is shocking to me that you think you control the weather, since your family was on the cover of Jackson Metro Christian Living magazine years ago. Surely you know that God controls the weather. And, by the way, you have become ineffective as a weather reporter because you can't stay focused; you are too busy trying to convince yourself that you are some kind of celebrity. We have had enough! Goodbye WLBT, hello WJTV!" Signed, Anonymous

I have no idea how this viewer knows about my pageant experiences as this is something I don't talk about on television. And yes, I know I don't control the weather. Trust me, if anybody understands that, I do. And if this viewer saw what I did on a day-to-day basis, knew the places I frequent or the people I associate with, he/she would know I don't act like I'm a celebrity.

That email was not to be outdone by the lady in the Chic-fil-A restaurant who was smitten with my hair. She said, "My friends and I talk on the phone every night when you come on and are just 100% convinced that you are wearing wigs!" So right there in the middle of the restaurant, we yanked, pulled and tugged on my hair. She got to test and see that my hair is really attached to my head and there is no wig involved. She didn't comment at all on my weathercasts. She just wanted to touch my hair and said, "Well now, I can call my friends and tell them I met you and got to see for myself that you don't wear wigs."


I'll be traveling to Brookhaven for a book signing at Expectations on Saturday from 11am-2pm. I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends and making some new ones!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Bark of Satan

I traveled north to my hometown of Marks over the weekend to officially kick off my book tour. It was neat to reconnect with my old babysitter, visit with a former English teacher and I got to see others I had known when I was growing up there. That's one of the neatest parts about doing a book signing in your old stomping grounds!

Sunday afternoon I traveled to the Strayhorn community which is outside the town of Sarah. While driving up Highway 3 through Falcon, Sledge and Crenshaw, it reminded me of the summer I campaigned for my mother. It was the first time she ran for the current office she holds. We went door to door every single day in the blazing hot sun, asking people for their vote. But walking through neighborhoods, you often come across barking dogs. I remember one house in Sledge had a fenced in yard with a dog. This dog looked like it was a German Shepherd. Being the animal lover that I am, I tried to be friendly with the dog only to have him try to jump through the fence as he lunged at me. It scared me to death! I kept one eye on the dog and one eye on the door as I knocked and waited for someone to come to the door so I could hand them a leaflet. That dog can't get me, I thought. He's behind a fence. He can cause a ruckus all he wants, but he can't get out. I decided from that moment on, I would not speak to dogs behind fences!

Over and over in the Bible, you can read accounts of how Satan tries to "bark" at Christians. When Paul noticed Gentiles worshiping idols in I Corinthians 10:20, he knew Satan was behind it. When Paul wasn't able to visit the church in Thessalonia, he said in I Thessalonians 2:18, "We wanted to come to you...but Satan hindered us." When Paul encountered troublemakers in the church, he said Satan had a direct hand in it in Romans 16:17-20. When Paul saw Christians who were unwilling to forgive, he said Satan was helping. He told them in Ephesians 4:26, "Never go to bed angry. Don't give the devil that sort of foothold."

Pharaoh could "bark" all he wanted at the children of Israel. But he was powerless to actually harm them. Why? Because they remained under the protective cloud of God's glory and grace.

Satan can growl and bark, lunge and threaten. But when we are in the grace of the Lord, he can do us no real or lasting harm. So where do we make our mistake? We acknowledge the Lord and keep our eyes on Satan when we should acknowledge Satan while keeping our eyes on Christ.

Draw near to Christ and stay under his protective grace. When you are feeling trapped and when you're under the gun, acknowledge the devil, but keep your eyes on Christ.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Different Question To Ask

In talking to a friend this week who is going through some trying circumstances, the questions came up--how did I get into this situation, why is this happening to me and how quickly can I solve these problems? I've asked them before myself on quite a few occasions. But let's turn the tables a bit and see a totally different perspective with spiritual eyes. Instead of asking "How can I get out of this mess?", ask this question, "How can God be glorified in this situation?"

Bear with me on this because I've found something new in the Word that I've never seen before. I'm about to share several examples of why we should be asking the latter question instead of the first.

In reading more about the children of Israel and their march to the Red Sea, notice Exodus 14:3-4, "Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.' Then I will harden Pharaoh's heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord." God deliberately orchestrated these events as a chance to demonstrate His authority over His enemies and the natural. God basically said, "I'm going to allow this to happen so that I will get the glory. No one will be able to take credit for this one!"

But this isn't the only example. In John 9, we read the story of the blind man. The disciples asked Jesus what the man had done to have been born blind. Did his parents sin? Why was he born this way? Jesus told the disciples the man was born blind so that the power of God could be displayed in his life. Then, he place mud over the man's eyes, had him wash in the pool of Siloam, and the man could see again.

In John 11, Mary and Martha were upset their brother Lazarus was on his death bed and asked for Jesus to come quickly, but he didn't. Lazarus died and the sisters weren't happy that Jesus wasn't moving fast enough and even chastised the Lord. But Jesus told them that Lazarus passed away so God could be glorified. Then, He raised Lazarus from the dead.

As you can see, God doesn't waste our suffering. If He has lead you into an impossible spot, He will deliver you in His own time, in His own way and for His name's sake. What should be our response? Dear God, get the glory through my heart ache! Psalm 115:1 says, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory." Perhaps the children of Israel should have stopped asking, "How did we get into this mess?" and should have instead asked, "How will God gain glory through this situation?"

We can view our problem as an opportunity for God to work His marvelous wonders as others watch.

Monday, March 15, 2010

When You Feel Trapped

Over the weekend, I was asked to speak to a cancer support group. The women were in different stages of cancer--some were bald, some were about to start treatment and others had checked cancer off their list. You could see varying levels of worry on their faces and for good reason.

How can you not worry when you're facing a diagnosis like cancer? How can you not worry when creditors are calling you every day? How can you not worry when you lost your job and you have a family to provide for? How can you not worry about a family member who has made choices that has put them in precarious positions?

Just take a moment and think about the children of Israel as they were headed for the Red Sea. There it is...a vast body of water before you, the desert is all around you, and the Egyptian solders are barreling down on you with their swords drawn. Doesn't look very promising, does it?
The Israelites had just followed the pillar of cloud and fire, excited about their upcoming freedom. Just as they had been following the hand of God, God deliberately led them into a dead end, to the edge of a sea that was too wide and too deep to cross. Exodus 14:1-2 says it all, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.'"

When you read that verse, you see where God had taken responsibility for putting them in 'a rock in a hard place'. He occasionally does the same thing with us, testing our faith, allowing hardships to come, teaching us wisdom and showing us His ways. Our first reaction is fear and worry.

It's been said before that worry is putting a question marks where God has put periods. So the next time you feel like you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons known only to Himself at the time. And if He leads you to the Red Sea, He will lead you out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Does God Have A Dream For You?

In our homeschool lessons the other day, Gracie had to write sentences on what she would like to be when she grows up. So as any good mother would do, I was trying to get her thinking. I posed the question, "What is your dream?" Gracie looked at me rather puzzled. She didn't understand what I was asking. She shrugged her shoulders. "All I want to do is to be a cab driver," she said."Is that a big enough dream, mommy?"

For some reason, we don't seem to think of God as having a dream for each of us. But if you look at the story of the children of Israel, you may find that He does. According to Exodus 13:5, God had already promised to provide: "And when the Lord brings you into the land....which He promised and swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey..."

Moses was 80 years old when God reminded him of his purpose through, of all things, a flaming bush. God told him in Exodus 3:7-10, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and oppressors; for I know their sorrows and sufferings and trials." Right there, God admitted to being fully aware of what a tough time His children were having. He was not oblivious to what was going on here on earth. "And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand and power of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a land good and large, a land flowing with milk and honey. Now behold, the cry of the Israelites has come to Me, and I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My people, the Israelites, out of Egypt."

But Moses gave God every kind of excuse as to why he couldn't fulfill God's dream. Moses was caught up in the whys and the buts of life. Moses was thinking this dream to death. But God's dream for His children was much greater than Moses' excuses.

God's plan is not for you and I to sit idly by and trudge in our personal desert. He is wanting to prepare us for His dream on the other side of our trials. When we say 'woe is me, my life is falling apart and nothing seems to be going right', His dream can't be fulfilled because we become focused on ourself, our misery and pain and not on Him.

Paul had it right when he said in Philippians 3:12, "I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."

God has a purpose, yes...a dream, in seeing you come out the other side of this desert you've been wondering in. The last thing He plans to do is leave His own child to fend for himself in a lonely land. What parent would do such a thing? This personal desert is one of preparation for what's ahead so you can live the dream God created you to live once you come out of it.

I don't know about you, but I think I can see my desert a bit differently now as a dream instead of desolation!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stormy Weather Possible

I was jarred awake several times overnight by the rumbles of thunder, so you know what we have ahead of us today!

With a strong cold front to our west and a warm front draped just to our north, we remain in the warm sector of the cold front. This is the area that could see strong or severe storms. Shear doesn't look to be as significant with the latest computer model run, so tornadoes could become less of a possibility. However, I won't discount the chance of a tornado warning or two. These storms could form a strong squall line later this evening with gusty winds and large hail being produced. Here is the NWS' graphical depiction of today and tonight's weather.

I do expect the worst of the storms to move in somewhere between 6pm-1am. I'll be on duty throughout this afternoon and overnight and will keep you updated on WLBT, Twitter and the WLBT Weather Facebook page.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Why God Picked You

I had a whirlwind of a weekend. After speaking at a Disaster Preparedness seminar at the Natchez Mall Saturday, I drove to Jayess and spoke at the ladies' night out at Divide Methodist Church. What an uplifting evening! Because my books came in earlier than expected, I had my first book signing there. Over 100 books were sold in a matter of minutes and boy, was I shocked! I had quite a bit of fun visiting with the ladies there and hearing their stories of what God is teaching them.

One lady came up to me afterwards with tears in her eyes. She told me how so many things were going wrong in her life, that she had decided to give God 'one more chance' that evening. If she didn't hear anything from Him that would help her, she had resolved to go home afterwards and kill herself. She was that broken. With a smile on her face, she said "God spoke to me tonight through you and now I have a reason to give Him one more chance. I'm going home tonight and I'm going to live like I never have before!" Praise the Lord is all I can say!

I know she is not alone. There are many "good" Christians who feel defeated, torn apart and deserted by God. So I went back to the story of the children of Israel and read Deuteronomy 7:7-8. "The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you..."

Think about it. God Almighty could have picked anybody to go through what you may be facing. But He didn't. He picked you. Why? Because He has "set his affection on you".

Have you ever witnessed someone who had it all? It seems they never have dark clouds to loom over their head like you do. You sit back and wonder, why me? Why does it seem like nothing bad ever happens to them, but I can't seem to catch a break?

When I see a child being disrespectful in public, I don't commence to correcting them, although I may want to! I correct my own children because they are mine. I correct them because I gave birth to them, I love them and I want them to have the absolute best that I can offer. I don't have that affinity for someone else's child. Although someone else's child may be just as precious, they aren't mine and I'm not responsible for how they turn out and I'm certainly not responsible for providing for them.

No, I'm not suggesting that God allows us to go through trials because He is correcting us, but instead because He loves us. We are His.

So the next time you find yourself all alone, facing numerous obstacles ahead, realize that God will take care of His own. He choose you to go through this trial because He loves YOU and He knows how you'll come through it. He knows what's on the other side and He's going to love and provide for you the whole way.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Here It Is!

I feel like a new mother again! My book was delivered to my publisher, Joe Lee of Dogwood Press, this week. I had the chance to see them for the first time yesterday.

Seeing the boxes of 2,000 copies lining the wall was a sight I had never seen,, but seeing your book for the first time was something else! After chatting for a bit with Joe and my publicist, Nancy Baker, we prayed over the books and for the souls of the people who will be reading it. No doubt there will be a certain group who will read the book, simply because I'm a familiar face and they will be curious. For those, I know the book will infiltrate into their inner-most being and will change their lives forever. For the mature Christian, you'll probably see yourself inside the pages. You'll find encouragement as God speaks to you through His Word and how to weather your own personal storm. My picture may be on the front cover, but this is God's book.
Here are some pictures from yesterday:

Seeing it for the first time! Joe and I in front of the books
I'm so appreciative to Joe for taking a chance on this project. He publishes novels, so this has been a new venture for him. I also signed 150 copies for stores that have agreed to stock the book. In mid March, I will set out on a frenzy of a book tour. The book has pre-sold well on Amazon and the Dogwood Press website. I hope to see you at one of these locations so I can thank you personally for supporting me over the years!
March 20, Book Signing, Marks Public Library, Marks, 10am-Noon
March 24, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, Madison-Ridgeland Rotary Club, Ridgeland
March 27, Book Signing, Expectations Maternity & Nursery Boutique, Brookhaven, 11am-2pm
March 30, Guest Speaker, ASU’s Women in Business Conference, Jackson
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 9, Book Signing, Kosciusko Library, 11am
April 10, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, First Baptist Church Womens Brunch, Bude
April 10, Book Signing, Turning Pages Books, Natchez, 1pm-3pm
April 12, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, Mother-Daughter Banquet for Clinton High School
April 14, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, St.Dominic Senior Adults Meeting, Jackson
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
May 11, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, Lakeside Presbyterian Women's Spring Dinner, Jxn
May 12, Book Signing, The Waterford, Ridgeland, 10:30am
May 15, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, College Hill M.B. Church Brunch, Jackson
May 18, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, Professional Women's Assn. Luncheon, Jackson
June 5, Guest Speaker & Book Signing, Providence Baptist Church Women's Dinner, Jayess

Monday, March 1, 2010

We're Talking Snow Again

Hard to believe, but I've forecasted more snow in the last 3 months than I have in the last 15 years of being a meteorologist!

We have another opportunity overnight and early Tuesday to see another round of rain mixed with snow. Just like last Tuesday night, the temperatures are dropping and plenty of moisture is on the way. Although it looks as if the temperatures will be too warm for the snow to stick and most will evaporate before reaching the ground, we could see periods of rain changing to snow or mixed with snow overnight. Areas north of I-20 will have the best chance to see this and could also have some light accumulations of snow, especially on the elevated surfaces and grassy areas. Here is the NWS's graphical depiction of it all. You'll see it isn't very dramatic.

Bert Case gave me a hard time last Wednesday afternoon because he "didn't see any snow". Just as I said last Tuesday night, I'll say tonight--don't wait up for this one. Some will see snow and others won't. Those south of I-20 saw the most snow last Tuesday night/Wednesday as Chris Maddox sent me this picture taken outside Macedonia Baptist Church in Brookhaven. He said it looked like a blizzard when the snow came down early Wednesday morning. Look at those huge flakes!

The low pressure area responsible for tonight's rain/snow will be gone by Tuesday afternoon. I'll have an update on WLBT tonight, beginning at 4pm. If you are on Twitter, you can follow me there.