I've been studying more in depth about spiritual warfare. I hope to share some of what I'm learning and what the Lord is dealing with me on in some upcoming blogs. One thing I've discovered is Satan is a stealer of the truth and primarily works in the mind.
I've shared a few weeks ago how it seems that the barbs have been coming my way ever since I set out on the book tour. I am enjoying seeing God's hand at work in the lives of others and in my own life. But just as I have been getting a fair number of nice letters and emails from those who have read the book or heard me speak somewhere recently (which I appreciate so much), the spiritual warfare has increased.
A viewer sent this to me last week:
"The town isn't pronounced as 'Green-VULLE'. It's pronounced 'Green-VILLE'." Signed, Anonymous
The email below was sent to my boss Friday. It makes some hurtful comments and accusations, but is something I'm having to deal with on a daily basis from some viewers. (How would you like to go to work every day and have to listen to what other people outside your work place think about you and how you're doing your job? :-)
Many of you have asked if I respond to the letters and emails I receive. I do. If there is a return address, I always respond in the same way I do to those who email. I know how I respond speaks more of the God I serve than anything I will ever say on television.
Barbie Bassett's practice of reminding viewers that she predicted the weather correctly the day before is childish and a lot of people I have talked to are tired of hearing it. I switch to David Hartman when the weather comes on. I also understand that she has alienated viewers in Byram by trying to charge a fee to speak to school children. They retained a different speaker at no charge. I live at the Reservoir and heard about this so I guess news travels fast. I think Barbie's self perceived fame has gone to her head. In my opinion, Eric Law would make a better Chief. He reports the weather without making it sound like he is talking to an audience of children. Signed, Anonymous
(My email response)
Thanks so much for your email. I am more than willing to address the concerns you raised in the email below.
I don't remind viewers that I correctly forecasted the weather the night before. What I have been known to say is something like, "As we talked about last night, the clouds came in today..." or "If you were watching last night, you knew to take your umbrella to work this afternoon..." or "Hopefully, you weren't caught off guard by today's rain if you were watching last night..." In the same way, I am quick to admit when I get the forecast wrong, as you've probably noticed if you've watched me over the years. Why not admit my faults and mistakes? For the last few months, Bert Case has been pointing out my forecasting accuracy. Every time he does so, I try my best to deflect his comments and give credit to the WLBT Weather Team or smile and say, "God sometimes makes me look smart, Bert." If my doing so offends you, I apologize and will cease making these comments.
As to your concerns about me "trying to charge a fee to speak to school children", I have no earthly idea where this came from. You may not be aware that I have 3 small children. I do not send my younger children to daycare; I keep them in our home. You may not know that I homeschool, too. I am being a mother to my children, which is my primary responsibility, until I go to work at WLBT in the afternoons. I cannot afford to accept every speaking engagement that comes across my desk. Who will keep my children? When I am asked by a school and/or teacher to speak, I explain my at-home responsibilities and schedule (many of them don't know that I homeschool and stay at home with them), and every time, the schools and/or teachers are very understanding. For those who have offered for me to bring my children to their school while I talk, I always take them up on the offer. My children enjoy it and so do I, but I never ask the school and/or teacher if I can bring my own children. I consider that to be rude. Anyone who tells you that I charge to speak to schools has not asked me to speak to their group. Otherwise, they would know the answer to that question.
I do charge a fee for a certain genre of speaking engagements. I do quite a few speaking events for churches, seminars, conferences, banquets and the like--all of which are charged a fee. With all of these speeches, I am asked to come share my faith and how others can be encouraged in the Lord. I am NOT asked to talk about the weather at these kind of events, nor am I asked to talk about WLBT.
At the end of this month, I would have spoken to 45 different groups. More than HALF of those are at no cost to the school, club or organization. I could give you a list of schools/teachers and clubs who would gladly tell you that I did not charge them one dime for coming and talking to their children about the weather and my job responsibilities at WLBT. I know this explanation isn't a salacious piece of talk as your email implied, so I challenge you to tell the person(s) who told you this bit of news that it is not true. You heard it straight from me and perhaps they should ask me if they want the truth. Saying anything else is gossip. And by the way, I have not even received an invitation to speak to a Byram school this year, although I have spoken to schools in Brookhaven, Madison, Jackson, Clinton and Brandon in the last 2 months.
I apologize that you believe I give the weather as if I am "talking to an audience of children". This is the first I've ever heard of any sort of complaint in my delivery. If anything, viewers tell me I am easy to understand, conversational, don't talk over their head and make them feel like they are a part of the forecast.
I welcome any comments you have regarding me, my forecast delivery or my extracurricular activities. As you can tell, I am easy to reach and will always be willing to respond. Hopefully now after hearing the truth, you will see that I'm not the arrogant and greedy person that your email has made me out to be.
Thanks again for sharing a part of your day with me and WLBT!
Although this person is anonymous, I ask you to pray for him/her. And in doing so, pray that the Lord will help me to respond to critics in a way that glorifies Him, and not me.
And if you haven't been attacked by Satan lately, get deeper into the Word. I promise, it won't take long.