Monday, January 31, 2011

Severe Weather Tuesday?

I traveled to Crowder Baptist Church, my home church, yesterday to attend the 93rd birthday party luncheon for my grandmother. Her Sunday school class was among many of the people in attendance in addition to 6 of her 8 children, grand children, great-grand children and a few great-great grandchildren! My grandmother has been completely deaf since the age of 11, but that didn't stop her from enjoying her big day!If you've been watching the weather over the last few days, you know we're expecting severe weather Tuesday. This storm will affect almost 48 states before it's over with! Many will get snow, ice, rain and severe storms. In central Mississippi, we are looking for the possibility of heavy rain, tornadoes, hail with damaging winds being the primary risk. Temperatures will drop 25 degrees immediately behind the front late Tuesday and early Wednesday. I wouldn't be surprised to hear of a few snow flurries early Wednesday morning north of Highway 82. Here is a graphical depiction from the NWS:Keep in mind these times are approximate and could easily change as we get closer to the event. Nevertheless, have your weather radio on and keep it tuned to WLBT as I'll be covering the weather for you. Remember, you can always follow me on Twitter @BarbieBassett and become a "fan" of the WLBT First Alert Weather Facebook page. I also have a page on Facebook called "Barbie Bassett WLBT" that you are more than welcome to join.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Why Does Adversity Come--Part 3

I ran into a cancer survivor at the gym this week who told me she received one of the Beautiful Lengths human hair wigs last year. She gushed about how it made her feel to know that she "looked" normal to everyone else although she was completely bald underneath her wig.

As of today, the WLBT Great Lengths event is one month away. If you have not signed up yet to donate 8 inches of your hair with me on February 28, there is still time. Click HERE to do so and grow, cut and share!

I'm still quietly listening to the Holy Spirit as to why God allows adversity to come our way. When David was sixteen, he was anointed king of Israel but he didn't take the thrown immediately. He had a giant to fight and even spent years hiding in caves with a group of party poopers. David spent years waiting on God to place him in the position God had given him. Why did it seem as though God was dragging His heels then? It could be that we learn our greatest lessons in the toughest times.

Even the strongest athlete must spend hours in training. The same is true for the most gifted singer, pianist and artist. But because this training takes commitment and effort, many give up before they see their goals achieved. They don't see how the difficultly and hardship are preparing them for the blessings that will eventually come their way.

During the long days when we feel hung out to dry, we must remember God could be sifting us for an even bigger opportunity down the road and for the work He wants us to do.

Monday, January 24, 2011

When You Need Favor

When I began speaking at conventions, banquets, seminars and other gathering years ago, I assumed my invitations would stay regional--invitations would come only from groups who received the WLBT signal and who knew who I was. Boy, was I wrong. The speaking requests I've been receiving over the last few months have taken me out of central Mississippi to places who can't watch me give the weather each night, even out of state. Just when you think you have God all figured out, He proves He can expand your mission field if you're willing to go.

After Saul had a close encounter with God on the road to Damascus, he began preaching in the synagogues. The Jews thought Saul was a traitor. Just a short time before, Saul was persecuting Christians and now he was telling others about Jesus and they weren't happy about it. The Jews conspired to kill Saul, but he was tipped off to it. Acts 9:25 says, "But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall." Saul was able to escape being killed by an angry mob and keep preaching.

Saul didn't let the fact that he was being hunted get in the way of his faith. Whatever God is urging you to do, He has already provided for it to happen. Your worry need not take over; your faith does. When God calls you for a purpose, rest assured He will provide favor for the task at hand.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker tonight for the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce Banquet near Meridian.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Do You Love Him?

There is a show on television we enjoy watching as a family that reveals the secrets of some of the most famous magicians. A masked "magician" shows how the tricksters use mirrors, slight of hand, and beautiful girls as props to pull off their most mind-boggling tricks. It's actually quite interesting.

I would venture to say we all want to be healthy, happy and prosperous. No one wants hurt or failure in our life. Unfortunately, we often want God in our life only for what He can do for us. We want a heavenly magician. I've been convicted recently of loving Him sometimes for the wrong reasons.

In Acts 8, we find the story of Simon the Sorcerer. Simon was known as the Houdini of Samaria. People came from all around just to see what Simon was going to do. He was a one man show and made good money with his magic.

One day, Jesus' disciples were preaching the Gospel and baptizing many in Samaria. Simon watched as the Holy Spirit came upon the people and he wanted that kind of power. Simon was willing to pay for it. He said to the disciples in Acts 8:19, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter saw through Simon the Sorcerer and rebuked him. Simon didn't care as to the Source of the Holy Spirit (God); he wanted the power for business reasons only. He wanted to add this power to his arsenal of tricks.

Some want God to be their life's magician. They find themselves not loving God for who He is, but for what He can do for them. If I love my husband only for the gifts he can give me, then my relationship with him is superficial and not genuine because there will be holidays, birthdays and anniversaries that pass when he may not give me the present I desire. When the presents don't come, my love for him won't diminish because I love him regardless of what he can do for me.

Have you failed in your reasons for following God? Love Him for the unexplainable, unconditional, everlasting love He has for you, not for what you want Him to do for you.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Does Adversity Come--Part 2

One of the toughest part in being a parent is....being the parent and having to discipline your child! But how sweet it is when your child realizes why you disciplined them and they crawl up in your lap to love on you anyway.

The second reason why God may allow adversity in our life is so that we will turn to Him. Nothing gets your attention any more than an expected storm in life. Some Christians start their spiritual walk on fire for the Lord, but then they begin to think they can handle life on their own. They get distracted in believing the devil's lies that they really don't have to seek God in trivial matters. Their devotion wanes and problems grow. Their problems multiply and they become tired and confused. The distance between God and the once on-fire Christian may seem like miles apart. But the reality is, God is standing by waiting to be called out to. When you do, He will answer.

Just like any loving parent, perhaps God allows adversity to come in order to draw us back to Him. He loves you and knows that if you keep going down the same road, you will experience even greater heartache and hurt. In drawing us back to Him, we become aware of His love. Then He is able to build a personal relationship with us as we crawl in His lap.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Why Does Adversity Come?

When I listen to Maggie and Howard as they are reading their news copy in the studio, I'm reminded we are living in a world that doesn't operate according to God's principles. With crazed shootings, economic down turns, and war on the streets and in the family, I'm even more encouraged to "put on my armor" as outlined in Ephesians 6 because with the emails, phone calls and comments I get, people are always wanting to spar with me.

Satan will try to convince you he's the one in control, but God has the final control. Nothing catches Him off guard and there is no task too great or too small for Him to handle. The very fact that the check you thought would come Monday has not arrived concerns Him, but there are times when He allows us to wait for His answer a little longer than we'd prefer. In my own life I'm learning God allows problems and difficulties for several reasons which I'll be sharing with you over the coming blogs.

One reason is our priorities get out of whack and God could be allowing adversity to show us how to readjust them. Jesus told his disciples in Luke 12:22, "Do not worry about your life." That was easy for him to say! The people in Jesus' day were living under the strict rule of the Roman government. It was hard for the average person to make a living because of high taxes and political oppression (sound familiar?). The people didn't realize Jesus was the Messiah. They were looking for hope and change, but in their government, not for their life.

Many people are living lives today far from what God had in mind for them. They are so deep in situational ethics, trapped in sin and spend most of their time trying to justify their lifestyle. We can try to make the broken pieces fit, but they never will until our hearts are fully His.

Allow the adversity you're going through to make you focus on putting God back in the driver's seat of your life. God is never out of control no matter how dark or stormy your life may seem.

(Barbie will be speaking to the singles tonight at First Baptist Church, Jackson.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weather Recap

What a weekend!

As the regular readers know, I post on this blog on Mondays and Fridays. When there is the possibility of significant weather in the forecast, I post updates in between like I did this weekend. I hope you've been able to follow my thoughts during this process and know a bit more about what to expect for your area.

When it was apparent I would be working Sunday and our church services were cancelled, the children and I had "church" at home (William had already traveled north to assist his fellow employees). I told Gracie she could pick any story from the Bible and I would give a children's' sermon on it. Big mistake! Gracie picked the ten plagues as the sermon topic. Imagine giving a short talk on the importance of the ten plagues? Before we sang our songs, I asked Will what could we learn from all of those plagues. He said, "To listen to God." Short, sweet and to the point, I guess. It was fun to watch all of them listen, give their comments on the plagues, pray and to sing their children's' songs before I had to leave for WLBT.

As thought before, the snowfall came down hard across north Mississippi. I've seen some beautiful pictures of 4"+ of snow! Across central Mississippi, we had snowflakes mixed with freezing rain and sleet. We have approximately 0.10"-0.50" of ice on power lines, trees and surfaces. Therefore, many schools cancelled classes today. South of Highway 84, there was plenty of rain mixed with freezing rain and sleet. Those locations have 0.10"-0.25" of ice accumulated. Power outages are scattered across the viewing area with 1400 Entergy customers without power.

I slid back home (literally) after 1am this morning. The bridges and overpasses were horrible last night and early this morning. The glaze on the trees, mailboxes and grass has a see-through shine to it and would make some pretty pictures. With temperatures not making it out of the 30s, it will be a raw day. Jason Case in Lincoln County sent me this picture of one of his pine trees covered in ice.
Now to change subjects, I'd like to ask you to vote for my sweet friend Sarah Beth James. Sarah Beth is the reigning Miss Mississippi. She is in Las Vegas now competing for the title of Miss America. I began working with Sarah Beth on interview when she entered the local Junior Miss competition in high school. She went on to compete in Miss Mississippi and won the title on her third try. She is as genuine as they come and has a heart for the Lord. Please go to this link to see her video on her platform, or critical issue, and press the "Like" button. Your vote will go to Sarah Beth. Then you can watch her this Saturday on television as she competes for Miss America.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Weather Update-Sunday

The precipitation has moved into the state and is already causing travel problems. Accidents are being reported across central Mississippi and in the WLBT viewing area as ice is accumulating on surfaces, roads and bridges.

Measurable snowfall is expected along areas closer to the Highway 82 corridor. Snow could be mixed with sleet at times. Areas as far south as Yazoo County could still see snow. Along I-20 down to Highway 84, looks to be more of an icing situation with freezing rain as a possibility. Snow cannot be ruled out completely, but temperatures could be too warm to see measurable snowfall. Counties along and south of Highway 84 will see mostly a rain event, however sleet and freezing rain could mix in at times.

This type of weather will increase throughout the afternoon, evening and overnight and should end by Noon Monday. Here is the latest graphic depiction from the NWS. As you can see, it changed just a bit from yesterday. Whatever falls today will re-freeze overnight making travel even more difficult Monday morning. You will need to watch WLBT and keep checking for details on business, school and road closures.

You are being asked to PLEASE stay off the roads as power crews will need to access areas and emergency vehicles need to the roads.

This system is still evolving so stay weather aware. Even the slightest change can affect your weather for the good or bad.

I'll be working at WLBT today and will keep you upated there!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Weather Update-Saturday

To say I've been watching the weather closely over the last few days is an understatement! As the day is coming to a close, I continue to believe we could be in for some impressive winter weather across the state.

In the business world, you've heard what matters is "location, location, location". And that's exactly what this event will be about--your location! Your house may see rain and sleet while a few miles down the road, your neighbor could see icing. Most of the state has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning meaning significant icing accumulations are expected.

There is plenty of moisture coming in with this low pressure area. That's a given. It now looks as if the rain will begin in the early hours of Sunday morning as rain across southwest Mississippi (near Natchez). As the temperature drops, the rain will make a change over to sleet. As the ground surface and surrounding objects cool, freezing rain is expected. Snow will fall in central and north Mississippi. I really like the way the NWS had explained the accumulations with their graphic. It is easy to understand once you find your county. PLEASE note, this is a forecasted accumulation and variations are still possible!

As you can see, areas north of I-20 could see plenty of snow. Some computer models estimate upwards of 9 inches north of the Highway 82 corridor (yes, mom and hometown friends, that includes you). Central Mississippi, or areas between I-20 and Highway 84, could experience icing accumulations up to 0.50". Those locations would have the best opportunity to see the ice, sleet, snow mix. Areas south of Highway 84 could also have icing accumulations, although it would be less. Any icing that happens WILL hamper travel. If you don't have to travel Sunday, please stay home so the roads stay clear for emergency vehicles and road crews. The weather may be benign to start the morning off and in a matter of an hour or so, could deteriorate considerably.

I would not be surprised to hear of power outages either. Winds will be gusting upwards of 20 miles an hour throughout the day. Combine the winds with heavy snow and icing on power lines and you know what happens. Again, this would be the worst possible that could happen in this winter event, but living in Mississippi should have prepared you for the dramatic.

I'll be working at WLBT Sunday and hope to have an update on this blog, my Facebook pages and on Twitter. If you get to stay home with your family, enjoy it!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This & That

This first week of 2011 has been a full one!

I had the pleasure of traveling to Loyd Start School yesterday outside Brookhaven.
Thanks to the motivation of little 6 year old Olivia Kimble, the students are donating their hair to WLBT's Great Lengths. Between now and February 27, if you live near Brookhaven and would like to donate your hair, you can do so by dropping it off at Loyd Star School or by contacting Melinda Kimble at Nina's Cut-n-Up Salon. On February 28, the hair from this area will be presented to me at the Great Lengths event. If you're interested in donating, click here as we have less than two months left with just over 600 people signed up so far. Think of the wigs we'll be making for women who have lost their hair due to cancer!

The buzz over the last few days is the possibility of wintry precipitation this weekend. The kids are excited and the adults are worried!

With a low pressure area forming in the Gulf and Arctic air blasting in from the north, we will have the perfect set up. Areas north of I-20 will have the best opportunity to see snow early Sunday morning and Sunday night. Areas between the I-20 and Highway 84 corridor will most likely see a mixed bag of wintry precipitation. This would include periods of rain changing to freezing rain, changing to sleet and possibly snow. Areas south of Highway 84 will experience mostly rain. At times, the snow could be heavy for those areas expecting snow with accumulations of 3"+. Heavy bands of snow could fall and thus produce higher localized amounts. Areas looking to see a wintry mix could accumulate 1"+ of the mix. The rain occurring across south Mississippi could be several inches. With Sunday services and activities planned, you can tune into WLBT, the WLBT Facebook page and Twitter for the latest on possible closings. As Monday comes into view, snow could still be on the ground and could cause travel problems for areas that have not been cleared or treated. I'll have the latest on WLBT today beginning at 4pm. Meantime, take a look at this graphic from the NWS:

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year

It's a new year! For many, this is an opportunity to renew old resolutions gone by the wayside or start fresh and anew. I'm excited about 2011 personally. Isaiah 43:19 says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing." Even God likes a new year!

Today I've started on a fast. I have several decisions I need to make in the upcoming months and other areas where I really need to hear God's voice and direction. For me, the best way to do that is to do a fast.

These are my prayers for 2011:

1) Search me: I have a tendency to be judgemental at times. I really try not to be, but when I see people around me make decisions that I deem as crazy, foolish or nonspiritual, the judge in me comes out. Why can't they see right where this will lead them? I'll think to myself. David felt like this in Psalm 139 but he immediately asked God to examine his own heart. In that same way, I cannot forget to ask God to point out the rebelliousness in my own spirit.

2) Break me: Regardless of how spiritually mature I think I am, there will always be areas in my life in which God needs to work. Maybe its my need to be everything to everybody, my belief that if something is going to get done, I have to do it myself, or maybe its my strong will. But I cannot grow as a Christian until I learn to ask for brokenness.

3) Stretch me: Do you know someone who has a humbling love for others, who has inspiring perseverance, or who has spiritual strength like none you've ever seen before? Chances are, that person has probably asked God to stretch them through life's challenges. This is the kind of prayer you pray when you want to grow.

4) Lead me: Asking God to take my life and do whatever He wants to do with it is risky, to say the least. I'm comfortable with my family, my house, my job and its scary to let God take control, but that's what faith is all about. I've got to believe His plans for me are better than my own.

5) Use me: This is an adventurous prayer because you never know where it will lead. It's exciting to make ourselves available to God so that He can touch someone else through us.

I recently saw an interview Billy Graham did in late December with Fox News. When asked what his biggest regret he answered, "If I had it to do over again, I'd spend more time in meditation and prayer and just telling the Lord how much I love Him and adore Him and [am] looking forward the time we're going to spend together for eternity." If Billy Graham wishes he would've spent more time with the Lord, then I have a long way to go.

I look forward to it, don't you?