Monday, March 28, 2011

Walking Through Your Valley

I've been increasing Gracie's memory work in these last 5 weeks of home school. This last week she's been memorizing Psalm 23 which is a passage I'm sure you know well: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no even, for You are with me." (verses 1-4) Notice David didn't say, "If I ever get through the valley." He said, "Though I walk through." When you walk through something, sometimes your pace is faster and sometimes your pace slows down. But, you don't stop. You keep walking. David was focused on God, not on the shadows that bring fear nor on the trouble, but only on the Lord. Are you walking through a difficult time and wondering if you'll get through it or not? The devil will try to convince you that you won't make it, but you will. Trust God, obey Him and then watch to see what He will do on your behalf! (Barbie will be speaking and signing books at First Baptist Batesville Tuesday night and also speaking at the Marks Rotary Club. This Friday, she will be speaking at the Mississippi Hospital Association. Saturday she will be the guest speaker at Flowood Baptist Church's ladies luncheon.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

When Others Attack

Have you found yourself licking your wounds when others attack you, speak maliciously against you or mistreat you with their comments? I live with this every day and while you may think it begins to slack off, it doesn't. We immediately feel the need to defend ourself and give the other person a piece of our mind. But Peter said that's quite the opposite of what we should do.

I Peter 2:19-21 says, "For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

Peter was urging slaves to be submissive to their masters in this chapter. When someone hurts your deeply, you almost become a slave (so to speak) to their words and actions. How? Because you think it to death, can't get past it and disdain toward that person grows in your heart. When you make the choice not to retaliate, you are conscience of God. Even more so, the offending person is made mindful of God because you are not waging a similar war against them. Instead, you are waging a spiritual war in not letting your flesh get in the way.

Leave room for God to have the final word. Leave room for Him to do battle.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker tonight at the Pocahontas Baptist Church ladies dinner. She will be speaking Tuesday night at First Baptist Church Batesville.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Don't Stop Swimming!

I was in college when I saw my first Olympic size swimming pool. My eyes couldn't even begin to take it all in! I was accustomed to kiddie pools, above ground pools and smaller in-ground pools and to see a pool so enormous was a treat. To swim it in was something different though. It was old hat for my friends. They dove right in and could make it to the other side in a matter of seconds. I was just hoping my arms and legs could survive! When you're in the middle of a pool that size, you can't just stop swimming. You've got to look ahead to the other side.

In Mark 4, Jesus had just spoken to the crowd using various parables. Night had come and He was ready to get in the boat and leave. Jesus told his disciples in Mark 4:35, "Let us go over to the other side." While out on the lake, a storm came and a large wave washed over the boat. All the while Jesus was sleeping. His disciples woke him up and asked for help and you know the rest of the story.

When Jesus told the disciples, "Let us go over to the other side", he said nothing about stopping midway and drowning. Although He didn't promise an easy boat ride, He certainly said nothing about dying, drowning, or giving up. When He said, "Let us go to the other side", He meant they would indeed make it and He would be with them, but no one in the group thought about the choice of Jesus' words.

How many of us stop along the way and become frightened by the storms and circumstances around us?

Jesus was the one who told the disciples to leave the area where they were and to row to the opposite side of the lake. In other words, there will be times in your life when God leads you out onto a stormy sea. The sky gets dark, the lightening crashes all around you, and the waves get higher and higher. You have no idea how you'll make it through, but God knows. He is the One who led you to this point and no matter how rough the waters become, He will carry you to safety.

Whatever you're facing today, God is urging you to keep rowing to the other side.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Are You Strange to Others?

Have you ever felt singled out for no apparent reason? If you're a reader of my blog, you know the criticism I face on a daily basis. The negativity multiplied last year when my book was released.

The things viewers have complained about the most, I changed. For instance, they complained about my pregnancies, I'm no longer pregnant. They complained about my weight, I've lost 60 pounds. They complained about my clothes, I bought new ones. They even complained about my long hair, I've donated it 3 times. Just last week, a lady called to inform me that the hair on the right side of my head was longer than the left side!

I once looked up the meaning of my name. Barbie is derived from Barbara which means in the Greek "stranger, an alien in the land". How fitting that someone once told me people are not criticizing you; they're criticizing the Jesus in you because you're different.

2 Timothy 3:12 says, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." Another way to put it: the anointing will not keep the criticism from coming, but the anointing will make you not care about the criticism.

If you find yourself being criticized by mean-spirited people, press on. You're a stranger in the land you are just passing through!

Here is a video I did with the Beacon staff on this subject. If your computer won't let you watch it, you can click here to see it:

Responding in the Spirit from Mississippi College on Vimeo.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

We all have decisions we're facing. They never seem to go away, do they? Some seem more urgent than others, but every decision you are facing is important to God. He wants to give you direction and guide you through the choices ahead so you won't make a mistake. If you're like me, you'd like to have a crystal ball so you could see 5, 10 or 15 years down the road BEFORE you made your decision.

In Acts 16:6-10, Paul was headed to preach in Asia Minor but the Holy Spirit spoke to him and stopped him. "They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithunia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them."

Did God not care about those other cities? Sure He did; He just had a different plan in mind. He knew the direction He wanted Paul to go and redirected Paul and his friends. Paul would later travel though Asia Minor and many would be saved, but this wasn't the time for it to happen.

Timing is everything to God. He knows exactly when to hold us back and when to motivate us forward. However, to hear His guidance, we must surrender our plans and be willing to wait, perhaps indefinitely, until He leads us to the next step. Waiting is an active step of faith and obedience.

(Barbie will be speaking at the Mississippi Student Council Convention this weekend in Starkville.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

An Earthly Mind vs An Eternal Mind

I've been so surprised lately at the number of people, including some Christians, who are not living with an eternal mind-set. They are more concerned with living for the day and are not considering what God wants them to do. They haven't seen God's glory and goodness being poured out for them because of their earthly mind-set.

God cares for you or He would not allow disappointments to come your way. Ask any athlete and they will tell you victory comes with some pain. In a similar way, we are being trained to serve God and honor Him with our lives. He wants to teach us to be compassionate, to love and pray for those who have hurt us. Although when you hurt, He hurts, He will use whatever problem or adversity we face to draw us closer to Him.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, "humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." When God gives you strength to go through whatever it is, it is not a self-induced strength. Is is a God inspired strength that comes when we humble ourselves before God. This means we submit our lives to Christ, trusting Him to take care of every problem and trial we have.

God will always listen. He is committed to answer your cries for help. He see your prayers as faith in Him and He will move on your behalf! Go through your day with this in mind!

(Spring Break Special from Rodan & Fields: Do you have brown spots and dullness from years of sun damage on your face? Reverse it and get your skin into shape for spring with the Reverse regimen, Anti-Age night serum, and the Enhancements mineral peptides powder with brush. This is over $300 in value, but Preferred Customers get it for $225. Email for details. This offer ends April 30!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

March Comes In Like A Lion

It seems like I've talked more about weather lately than anything else! The old saying how March comes in like a lion seems to hold true as we could see strong thunderstorms today through Saturday.

A strong cold front will move closer to Mississippi later this evening spawning thunderstorms. These storms could contain hail and damaging winds. Here is a graphical depiction from the NWS (click the picture in order to make it larger):

Heavy rain is possible Saturday. Considering we ended February with a 2.60" deficit, rain will be welcome for most of the state. Storms could intensify again producing severe thunderstorms, hail and damaging wind gusts. At this time, the risk for tornadoes is small, which is good news. Here is the graphic depiction from the NWS for Saturday:

Temperatures will drop behind the cold front Sunday so don't go to church unprepared! Meantime, another cold front bringing storms to the area is expected next Wednesday, so this is shaping up to be a busy start to March!

As always, you can follow my weather updates on Twitter @BarbieBassett and "Like" my Facebook page called "Barbie Bassett WLBT". Please be sure to stay tuned to WLBT for the latest weather information and have your NOAA weather radio on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Great Day for Great Lengths

There are no words to describe how inspiring Great Lengths day was for me personally. Every hair donor had a reason for enduring months, even years, of growing their hair out for this cause. The women who will receive the human hair wigs will probably never meet her donor this side of eternity, but it didn't seem to bother the men, women and children who cut their hair.

I want to thank St.Dominic Cancer Services for sponsoring Great Lengths and for housing the wigs in their 'wig room'. And a great big thank you goes to the Mississippi Institute of Aesthetics, Nails & Cosmetology in Clinton for hosting the event.

I spoke with several cancer survivors who had lost their hair through cancer treatment and were able to receive a wig through the Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. They all had one things in common: a grateful heart for those who donated hair for their wig. One cancer survivor even decided to give back for the gift she was given 3 years ago and had her own hair cut yesterday for someone else.
One 7 year old girl donated in honor of her classmate who has leukemia. Her classmate was supposed to cut her hair for her, but her friend was put back into the hospital yesterday morning. I watched as the stylist cut her hair for her instead, but you could see her friend weighed heavy on her heart. Here is kind-hearted Lauryn Jones after her cut:
I witnessed husbands cut their wives hair, children cut their mom's hair, and sibling get their hair cut in memory of another sibling who had passed away. Just when you think you've had a bad day, you see bald cancer survivors walk in and cut their friend's hair who are donating in their honor. Here are just some of the many pictures taken throughout the day:

Kendall Johnson donated his hair....
Teresa Allred from Brookhaven let me cut her hair (and she was all smiles
after I butchered it!):

Friends Stacy Seago grew her hair in honor of her friend Brandy Boyd who is battling a brain tumor removed. Brandy has already lost most of her hair, but she was gorgeous!
My hair tends to be highly criticized among our viewers (along with many other aspects). Several years ago, I decided to turn what is often talked about into something positive that could be used for others. It was also a teachable moment for me to my oldest daughter, Gracie, in how you're never too young to have a tender heart in giving when there is a need. Here are our before & after pictures:

My friend and cancer survivor Stella McNeer from Raleigh cut my hair. Stella lost her hair during her cancer treatments and received a Pantene's Beautiful Lengths wig. Her "chemo curls", as she puts it, have grown back and so has her hair. It was a humbling moment for her to have been a wig recipient and see the throngs of donors stream through the doors. Here we are after the final cut:
There were so many people who made this day such a success and it began with the hair donors. I honestly tried to take pictures with anyone who asked, tried to thank everyone personally and tried to listen to every story told to me. While I was being pulled in many different directions at once, I was still grateful to every single person who selfishly gave of their time. If I didn't get to speak to you, I sincerely apologize. Although my husband may totally disagree, I wish that I could've been cloned just so I could have had 15 minutes with every person, but that wasn't an option.

Although the poundage of hair is being weighed, at the end of the day we had 1,010 people donate their hair for Great Lengths. As far as we know, this is the largest number of hair donations in 24 hours to a charity. Thank you, Mississippi, for growing, cutting and sharing for your friends.