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".

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!