New Year, New Season

A move is coming for the Bassett family. We are slowly looking at what is needed and what is no longer needed.

I had just returned from an errand and had our youngest, Lilly Faith, with me. As we pulled into the driveway, we both noticed a couple of car seats at the curb. She wanted to know why her car seat was being thrown out. "Well, you can't fit into your car seat anymore," I said. "You're in a booster seat now and we don't need car seats." Lilly Faith was not happy. "So we're just going to throw them away?" she asked. We got out of the car and I began to unload the car. I turned around to find Lilly Faith with her baby doll in her arms at the curb next to the car seats. She had put her baby doll in one of the car seats and she had commenced to sitting in the next one behind her doll. She was having a conversation with her baby doll the whole time. It was obvious Lilly Faith was not thrilled with the idea of putting out the old and moving on with the new!

We just recently ushered in a new season of Winter. Seasons change. They don't last forever. And just as seasons change with the weather, seasons change in our life as well. But letting go of things, people, habits, hurt and circumstances isn't easy. Although we may be miserable with them, it always seems harder to do away with them. The way the Lord knows whether we move into our new season with faith in Him or in unbelief, because of our worry of a change, often happens with our mouth.

Zechariah was a priest and a man of God. When the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him his wife Elizabeth would be having a son, Zechariah couldn't believe it. He asked in Luke 1:18, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." It's almost like Zechariah was saying, "I hear what you're saying, but I can't see it happening." Even after Gabriel explained how it would happen, Zechariah seemed doubtful. God was ready to move Zechariah into a new season, but doubt was clouding the picture. The angel was trying to tell Zechariah, "This is going to be bigger than you are!"

When God brings a new season into your life, you can't talk the language of the old season. You've got to learn to speak a word in the season you're in. That comes by faith. That comes by cooperating with the Holy Spirit. Because of Zechariah's doubt, the angel had to put his mouth on hold until he could speak a word in due season (verse 20). Zechariah began to speak a word in due season in Luke 1:68. This time around, Zechariah didn't question God, he didn't scrutinize the word, but he praised God!

Sometimes you may wonder why the flow of the Holy Spirit may have stopped for you. It could be because your mouth isn't cooperating with the Holy Spirit and what God is wanting to bring you. Many times, God will give you hints or tokens of what He is wanting to do for you next before He even does it. It's like God is saying, "I'm so anxious, I just can't wait any longer! I've got to show them what's coming!"

God is getting ready to move you into a new season. Curb your tongue, your emotions, and your personality and know angels are listening to you. Seize the moment so that you can become resourceful for God and so He can use you to accomplish His plan. God will show you things that haven't even been conceived yet as He gets ready to move you to a new season with Him!

Is He Trying To Stop You?

It's "the most wonderful time of the year"...or so the song says? But even through the pageantry, lights, gift giving and Christmas carols, the devil's devices are alive and well. In many cases, they are multiplied. The more time people spend together, the more words can be spoken and more hearts can be broken. The devils of discouragement are at work even at the most glorious time.

Being in the public eye I'm always receiving emails, voice mails and anonymous letters from viewers who have an opinion about me they need to share. Over the last few weeks, viewers have told me I'm "fat", criticized my growing out my hair to donate it, and have even accused me of "tempting godly men who are trying to stay pure" (whatever that means).

What good is a spirit-filled Christian if they aren't going through adversity?

Before the devil can quiet your voice for God, he will try to stop you through other people. Most often times, the devil uses professing Christians to do his dirty work. When the opposition comes, you often feel like you're running through quick sand---you are having such adversarial conditions that your forward movement is slowing down. The winds of opposition blow and you gradually shut down and stop. The devil doesn't necessarily want you to go backward in your Christian growth, but he does want to stop you from going forward. God is about progress. Satan is about sitting still, caving into the pressures and doing nothing.

The Galatians were a people who used to be on fire for the Lord. But the devices of Satan came in and began to infiltrate their minds and their emotions and eventually slowed them down in their spiritual growth and influence. Paul told them in Galatians 1:6, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion..." The devil will have other people to misuse you, confuse you, and abuse you.

When the comments, critiques, trials, and accusations increase, don't stop moving forward. Just pause. Ask the Holy Spirit to touch you with a fresh word. Psalm 46:10 gives great advice: "Be still and know that I am God."

Occupying the blessings of God isn't going to come in a day. It's a process. Spiritual warfare is necessary.

(Barbie is the guest speaker tonight at Oakland Baptist Church's ladies night out in Corinth. She will be speaking and signing her books this coming Tuesday, December 11 at the Walthall County Library in Tylertown at 11am.)

December Update

This has been my first week off the 10pm news. Someone asked "How does it feel?" I feel like I've been given back a portion of my life! I've enjoyed not having to rush through dinner, bath time with the kids and story time just so I could trot back to the tv station. It's a more leisure approach and it's been a welcome one. Thank you for all of your comments and posts on the "Barbie Bassett WLBT" Facebook page as well.

Books are in stores now ready for Christmas shoppers! You can currently find them in Jackson at Lifeway Christian Store and Lemuria Books in Jackson, the Indianola Pecan House in Indianola, and Expectations in Brookhaven. If your location doesn't suit any of these, you can purchase them at www.barbiebassett.com with a special pricing discount. Be sure you signify how you want your book to be signed if you are giving it as a gift.

Orders received before December 18 will arrive before Christmas and they can be shipped anywhere. Please note: There are 64 copies left of "Forecasts and Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life" and there will not be a 4th printing of this popular book. My devotional, "Carry An Umbrella When There's No Rain in the Forecast: 365 Days of Living by Faith," has been a stocking stuffer for many.

(Barbie will be emceeing the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation's Ag Ambassador event this Saturday. She will also be the guest narrator at First Baptist Church of Madison's Christmas Spectacular this Sunday with performance times at 3pm and 6pm.)

Dealing With Family Conflict At The Holidays

Everyone has someone they wish wasn’t in their family. And every generation blames the one before. When my children act in a way contrary to how I’d prefer, I often tell my husband “He takes after your side of the family!”

What better time to find faults in our families than at holiday time. All gathered in close quarters, we almost dare our relative not to act the way they did the last time we were together. In the past, we may have tried to make a mends but for some reason, there is no break-through in the personality differences. Therefore, we walk away hurt after another holiday has come and gone vowing to give the offending relative a piece of our mind!

Moses found himself telling God he just couldn’t take it anymore. The children of Israel were whining, complaining and unwilling to work on their spiritual deficiencies. They began to murmur against Moses and the Lord. God was not pleased at their actions or words. God had not only provided their freedom from slavery, but they wanted even more. Even worse, they really did not want anyone to tell them what they could or could not do.

Moses was so depressed at trying that he actually told the Lord in Numbers 11:15, “If this is how you’re going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.” Moses wanted to die because the conflict was so bad.
There will be times in each one of our lives when God gives us a task to do that appears to be far too great for us to handle. At first, prideful thoughts can tempt us to think we can handle the conflict no matter how great the challenge may seem. However, God did not create us to work independently of Him.

If you want to reach your full potential, allow God to have the relationships causing you such worry. Many people believe they have given their problems to God, but they haven’t. They lay them down at His feet only to turn around and pick them up again.
How do you know when you’re still carrying the burden of a strained relationship with a family member?  You know it by the weight of that burden. If it is heavy to the point of being destructive, stop and ask God to show you if He wants you to bear this load on your own. Jesus instructed His followers in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus wanted the people to give their burdens--including their strained family relationships--to Him. A yoke was used to couple animals together so they could work more effectively. When we share our burdens with Him and show a gentle and humble attitude to our offenders, Jesus comes alongside us and lifts the yoke up so it is not weighing us down. But if we insist on shouldering the weight alone, we will fall and not get up.
It boils down to a matter of trust. Do you trust God with your strained family relationships?

Ch-Ch-Changes!

It's been said change is inevitable. Change isn't always bad. In fact, change can be a blessing in disguise.

About 2 years ago, I felt a strong urge from the Holy Spirit to do more, be more, share more, live more, give more, and love more. I knew God was calling me to do something else, but I wasn't quite sure what this "more" urging would look like or the form it would take. Not to mention, I was feeling an even stronger pull to spend more time and put more effort into my marriage and the leading of our children.

It was about that same time I started my own business. I had zero experience in the business world and was at a loss for how this business would change my life. I only knew what God was telling me to do: don't let your fear get in the way of your faith.

Tonight I will join the Fox 40 newscast as their 5:30pm meteorologist. In addition, I will still be the meteorologist for WLBT's 4pm, 5pm and 6pm newscasts. Therefore, the Fox 40 5:30pm will be an addition to my duties.

Since starting my own business less than 2 years ago, my pay check has increased over 12,500% in a down economy. In an economy when lay offs are happening, my business has added over 1,200 business partners in 40 states.

Following the pull that the Lord gave me 2 years ago, Thanksgiving night will be my last appearance on the WLBT 10pm news. This means I will have more time with my husband and children and be able to give them more attention and enjoy them even more.

Elated, thrilled, excited and grateful don't begin to describe how I feel about it all! I'm sure there's  probably a few more changes to come down the road and that's even more inspiring.

I don't know what changes God is tapping on your heart to do, but I'll tell you what He told me: don't let your fear get in the way of your faith.

(Barbie will be a guest performer and will give a mini-concert at the Thanksgiving Gospel Signing with the Chuck Wagon Gang this Saturday at Pearl High School at 6pm.)

The Reaction in Distraction

Some days I meet myself coming and going. Here lately, I've had a hard time remembering to eat lunch. I get so busy home schooling the children, answering emails, returning phone calls and by the time 3pm rolls around, the rumbling in my stomach lets me know I've neglected it.

Everyone is busy. There are spirit-filled, busy Christians, too. Just look at the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42. Jesus and his disciples were invited to have a meal in Martha's home who was apparently the typical "hostess with the most'ess". She wasn't happy that her sister Mary wasn't helping in the effort of serving, cleaning and assisting when Jesus told her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Martha was distracted by the very Person she was serving. She allowed her service to Jesus to distract her from his presence. Sometimes our hard work can cause us to lose the very goal for which we're working. A friend of mine is the type of person who cooks all day before Thanksgiving and stays up all night to make sure every meal is homemade. By the time Thanksgiving Day rolls around, she's so tired and frustrated she can't enjoy the meal or the family! Distraction can turn something wonderful into a burden. Martha's distraction led her to worry, which made her upset about "many things". Jesus was in her home, but Martha was bothered not blessed. That's what distraction does.

Distraction makes us oblivious to the presence of the Lord. And when we try to serve God without his presence we become angry and bitter with him and others who are serving him. Mary was not distracted. She was enjoying Jesus' presence. It's almost like you can imagine her saying, "I am SO glad you're here, Jesus. It means so much to me to be here with you."

How many Christians do you know who would rather do nothing in life than sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to him? When Jesus finds someone like Mary, you can be sure he'll share the intimate details of his heart with that person.

Friendship with God is the result of a conscious choice. And once we choose it, his friendship will determine the other courses we choose.

Going to church, working with other Christians in service and all other activity can be done outside of God's presence by good people who aren't really friends with Jesus. Just ask Martha.

(Barbie will be signing her books at Peoples Drug Store in Lexington on Monday, November 5 from Noon-1pm.)

Pre-Halloween Blood Drive

I've been amazed at the number of people I encounter on a weekly basis who mention how much they appreciate the "Barbie & Marshall" bi-annual blood drives. They share stories of how they personally were in desperate need of blood or had a loved one who had a surgery or accident and were in need. You never know who may be the next to need a life-saving blood transfusion or platelet donors because they're fighting cancer.

Come join Clarion Ledger Editorial Cartoonist Marshall Ramsey and me Tuesday, October 30 for our Halloween Blood Drive at Mississippi Blood Services on Tree Tops Boulevard in Flowood. Doors will open bright and early at 6am and closes when the last person leaves. We'll provide lunch for FREE from the Pizza Shack as well as you'll be entered to win a 47 inch 3D television and blue ray DVD player.

Marshall and I will be on hand during the lunch hour to sign your t-shirt (design above) and throughout the afternoon.

I look forward to seeing you there as we give the gift of life!

Two Kinds of Unbelief

In speaking at First Baptist Church of Long Beach last week, I shared how unbelief is the thief of God's best blessings.

Have you ever struggled with unbelief? There are two kinds of unbelief: unbelief because you just don't know and disobedient unbelief.

When Jesus went to do miracles in his own hometown of Nazareth, he couldn't be productive because of their unbelief. Mark 6:5-6 says, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief." Jesus seemed to be astounded because they had no clue! They were ignorant of who he was and that he was the Son of God. Just as ignorance is curable, so is unbelief. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

The other kind of unbelief is just being disobedient and stubborn. That would be the category that most of us fall into today and it's the exact reason why the children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, going around and around in circles. How do we know that for sure? Hebrews 3:19 says, "So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief." The cure for this kind of unbelief is to obey and act on God's Word. Faith must have corresponding action. James 2:17 says, "Faith without works is dead."

God is still looking for great faith today. But your faith can't go beyond your knowledge of God's Word. Get into the Word and come out in greater faith in Him.

(Barbie will be speaking at the Mississippi Library Association's Convention in Natchez this Thursday.)

How to Hear God: Part 3

In my opinion, humility is a divine virtue. When my son asked what humility meant the only definition I could muster on my spur-of-the-moment-parenting was not being proud. Having humility doesn't necessarily mean you feel worthless, but it does mean you don't trust your own abilities or goodness.

Moses was a prime example. When God told him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, Moses asked, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Moses was expressing distrust in his own ability to accomplish this task.

Humble people don't believe luck, intelligence or physical strength determines an outcome, but it is the Lord who determines the outcome. Humility is extreme confidence in God's mercy rather than our best intentions or efforts. Romans 9:16 says, "It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." A truly humble person knows they can do nothing apart from God and they are willing to associate and serve with those who may be considered of lower position.

Psalm 138:6 says, "Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar." In other words, God is closer and more intimate with the humble, but He keeps his distance from the arrogant and the proud.

Humility is the pathway to intimacy with God. Arrogance leads to a spiritual wasteland.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at Georgetown Baptist Church this Saturday night.)

How To Hear God: Part 2

I always got check marks in the "Talks Too Much" category on my school report card. For someone who may talk too much, listening can often be a challenge. In order to listen to someone, you have to be willing.

So in order to hear God speak, you must be willing to what He prompts you to do. God speaks to those who are willing to do whatever He says to them. When God sees that we are truly willing to do whatever He says, He will speak. Why should He speak to us if He knows we won't do what He asks? Perhaps one of the reasons why He doesn't speak to us is because of His mercy; He knows we would not be obedient and thus bring judgement on ourselves.

When Philip was in the middle of a tremendous revival in Samaria, the Lord spoke to him in Acts 8:26 saying, "Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza." This probably made no sense to Philip. Why leave an incredible revival to go somewhere else? But the Bible says Philip was willing and obeyed. Eventually, God's request made sense to Philip. But Philip would have never heard God's voice unless he had been willing to do what God had spoken to him.

Sometimes the Lord doesn't speak to us because we aren't listening or because we are rebelling. And sometimes what hinders our hearing from God is our immaturity. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we become more willing to do His will and He will then speak to you about larger areas in your life.

How To Hear God: Part 1

In talking with my son Will about listening to God, he wanted to know if God has a voice. "Does he sound like Daddy or like another man?" Will asked me. I explained God speaks audibly and He also speaks quietly to our heart. "You've got to have 3 things in order to hear God," I said. "You've got to be available, be willing and not be too proud to do what He says. Some people call that humility."

Jesus was always seeking solitude with God. While I began to think of this as a "quiet time", Jesus never had to find time to be with God. Jesus was never in a hurry and he never needed more time. That's because he looked at his time as being God's time and he was always available for whatever God had him to do or say. Jesus was always in the right place at the right time in order to fulfill what God laid on his heart.

It is possible to have a "quiet time" every morning and never be available to God! People who are truly available to God always see God as owning their day and are perfectly comfortable when He reorders it anytime He chooses. Those same people have an incredible satisfaction from experiencing God's presence throughout the day and knowing they are pleasing Him.

There are very few people I'm truly available to at any time of the day and vice versa. Those people know they can call on me at any time and I will be there for them. And likewise, I know of very few people who would drop everything for me. The deeper the friendship, the greater the availability. Isn't that what God wants with us: a friendship outlined in John 15:15, "..I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." Therefore, God is most available to those who are most available to Him. God doesn't throw His pearls before swine. The ones who find Him are those who seek Him with all of their heart as described in Deuteronomy 4:29, "But if you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." If we make ourselves available to God, He will make Himself available to us. James 4:8 says, "Come near to God and he will come near to you."

In order to hear God speak, you have to be available.

Blessing Through Your Failures

Have you ever failed at something? There have been a few things over the years that I just didn't get quite right, especially on the first try. Whether it was trying to bake a cake from scratch, trying to complete several miles of running or learning how to sew, failure can really take the wind out of your sail. You feel like a loser, defeated and discouraged by the thought that whatever it was, it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to.

Failure will make you feel like you're stuck. You can't get traction, you can't get any forward movement and it makes you feel ignorant.

There are people who feel like they've failed in their spiritual walk with God. They may have had a "mountain top experience" at one time and tried hard to turn their life around, but then after a few weeks they went back to their old self. Or, life just seemed to get so busy that it got harder and harder to find time alone with God to study His Word and pray. Instead of putting their faults behind them, they can't move forward. People who feel like they've failed are sad and sad people end up being mad people. God didn't wire you for sadness. He wired you for joy! Nehemiah 8:10 says, "..the joy of the Lord is your strength."

Samuel felt like he had failed. Samuel had anointed Saul to be king over Israel only to have Saul make bad choices. God removed Saul's anointing and Samuel probably felt devastated at the turn of events. But God asked Samuel in I Samuel 16:1, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." God basically asked Samuel, "How long are you going to mourn over something that didn't work out? I've got a new plan!"

Nothing is ever wasted to God, even our failures. Why? Because God gathers what is left, which is more than what you started with, and God makes miracles out of it. God is good!

I once read Thomas Edison had 2,000 failed experiments before he discovered electricity. Would you have given up on the 1,999th try? You're not a failure until you stop trying. You can fail your way to success.

God is looking for somebody to bless, even through their failures.

Ask "What" Instead of "Why"

Do you find yourself wrestling with a decision? Whatever you're facing, it seems so gigantic that you know there's quite a bit at stake based on the move you make. If you're like me, you're not one to take chances. Chances mortify you. You want to know that you know, that you know, the decision you're making is 100% correct. In your mind, there is no room for error. How do I know this about you? Because I'm wrestling with the same decision.

King David knew what was at stake in 2 Samuel 7. His reputation as king, his leadership, and his country were all riding on the decisions he faced. I've noticed the choices we have to make do not catch God off guard. God always gives a promise first before action is to be taken.

In 2 Samuel 7, David's friend Nathan received a word from God which Nathan shared with David, "I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you....And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed...I will also give you rest from all your enemies." (verses 9-11) God goes further in promising David that He will establish David's son to be king and Solomon will be the one to build a temple. Verse 16 says, "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever."

After pouring out his heart to God, David understands better that his son will be the builder of the temple years later and David is to obey God and stay the course. David says to the Lord, "O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant....with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever." (verse 29-29)

Instead of questioning why he would not get to build the temple or "pitching a holy fit", David listened to God's promise that was given in knowing God was with him from his shepherd days and through this fight with Goliath. God was not going to abandon him as King. Sure enough, David didn't ask "why" but instead asked "what's next".

When we are faced with adversity or a difficult decision, we often ask "Why Lord?" Instead of asking why, we should ask "What Lord?"

God will always give you a promise of what's to come. You just have to be ready to act when He reveals the next step.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker  and signing books at Clear Branch Baptist Church's ladies dinner in Wesson Saturday.)

Barbie is away for the next week on business. Feel free to browse her blog of past entries!

Monday Morning Isaac Update

What a difference a few days make! Isaac has turned out to be one of the most UNpredictable tropical systems in years. Last Friday, it looked like Isaac could hit the popular beaches of Alabama and Florida. Now it seems he's headed straight for Louisiana and Mississippi.

Isaac is still a ragged storm. We are so accustomed to looking at tropical systems on satellite and we marvel at their beautiful structure and the "swirling" pattern they're noted for. Isaac isn't considered to be one of those. It's structure looks mangled due to dry air being pulled in the south end, but don't count him out with his strength!

The storm should be intensifying today as moves into the open waters of the Gulf. Aircraft reconnaissance flights will continue to get the most accurate reading on it's cycles of growth. Here is the latest track for Isaac.
At this point, Isaac looks to make landfall along Grand Isle, Louisiana late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning (before sunrise). This will dramatically slow the storm's forward speed. Early Thursday morning (before sunrise), the storm will move over Wilkinson County (Woodville area) and continue to move over Natchez and just west of Vicksburg before the remnants move into southern Arkansas and east central Missouri this weekend.
 
Everyone keeps asking, "What can my area expect?" So let me break it down a bit.
 
If you live south of I-20 and west of I-55 (that's the southwestern quadrant of Mississippi), you can expect tropical storm force winds, with higher gusts, for 36 hours. This will also come with heavy rain bands and the threat of tornadoes. Power outages can be expected due to the expansive winds and the power outages may last for a few days.
 
If you live north of I-20 and east of I-55, expect gusty winds, heavy rain, and quick spin up tornadoes. Power outages can be expected although may be more scattered, especially in rural areas.
 
If you live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, expect hurricane force winds, beach erosion, heavy rain, a storm surge of 10-15 feet and tornadoes late Tuesday and early Wednesday as the storm makes landfall. Evacuate now!
 
Rainfall amounts from Isaac for Mississippi could top 5"-10". If you live in a low lying area prone to flooding, you need to head for higher ground.
 
This map shows the winds expected.
 
 
 
As always, I suggest you have your gas tank full, generators fueled up, your cell phones fully charged, cash money on hand that can last for at least 3-5 days, and plenty of water for your family and non-perishable foods to last for 3-5 days. It may be that long for the areas hardest hit to begin to have power restored. Make sure you have a NOAA Weather Radio with the battery backup so you can get immediate weather information should you lose electricity. And by all means, you common sense and civility!
 
No, Isaac will not be as strong as Katrina, but we've learned quite a bit about preparation since then and it's been 7 years since our state was hit with a hurricane. We'll get through this one together, too.
 
I will be on WLBT for the duration of Isaac, so we'll keep you updated.
 
 
 
 
 

Isaac Update--Friday Morning

Tropical Storm Isaac is on everyone's mind so I thought I'd talk a little meteorology today on my blog.

The latest update from the reconnaissance flight shows Isaac is a bit disorganized. The storm isn't expected to strengthen much over the next 24 hours as it will be interacting with the land mass of Hispaniola and Cuba and it's mountainous terrain. Isaac will have an opportunity to strengthen as it moves off the coast of Cuba and into the Florida Straits and eventually into the Gulf. That being said, it is difficult to determine a storm's intensity 3 to 5 days out. Therefore, the storm could be stronger or weaker than what the models are projecting once it reaches the US.

It should continue to jog, or wobble, to the west-northwest over the next few days. It will interact with a trough moving through the Mississippi River Valley which should turn it more north and northeastward. With that track, it could make landfall to the east of Mobile Bay, Alabama. However, it is important to note that areas all along the Gulf Coast from New Orleans to Biloxi and east to Panama City should be on high alert. High seas, sustained high winds, bands of heavy rain and the threat of tornadoes can be expected.

Here is the latest NHC track:

An Aggressive Spirit

Two years ago, I shared on this blog how I had started praying Ephesians 1:17-22 for myself. I literally took out specific words to make it a personal prayer of mine:

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you (me) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you (I) may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your (my) heart may be enlightened in order that you (I) may know the hope to which he has called you (me), the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us (me) who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."

As I see people going about their day bogged down in hopelessness, despair, negativity and insecurity, I've found myself being more aggressive in my spirit. Why should I be gloomy, down trodden, beaten down, and feel like there is no reason to carry on despite what is going on around me?

Although Isaiah is talking about himself, I've now started praying Isaiah 61:1-3:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."

That's what being aggressive in your spirit is all about--living with an expectation that God is all around you, working on your behalf, and trusting God is wonderful and I don't have to figure everything out that I don't understand! David wrote in Psalm 27:13-14, "I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."


The devil wants to confuse you, abuse you and misuse you. But it's time to get comfortable with not knowing everything there is to know about your future. Be aggressive in your spirit and expect God to move in your life. Walk in the anointing He has given you and know you're not just here on earth to take up space!

(Lemuria Books & Lifeway Christian Store in Jackson have just received a new shipment of Barbie's books. Check them out or click on the links on this page to get yours!)

Time To Grow!

Viewers are always commenting on my hair---it's too long, it's too short, it's too "big", it's too fill-in-the-blank. While my hair, and other superficial things, tend to be a topic of disdain for some viewers, I had idea five years ago: Why not use something people complain about as a way to minister to others? Thus, WLBT's Great Lengths program was birthed.

We've set a Guinness Book of World Records in the past and teamed up with the American Cancer Society to provide human hair wigs for Mississippi women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment. Today at St. Dominic Cancer Services, there is a wig room outfitted with various human hair wigs in many colors for women to choose. While most human hair wigs cost over $1000, the gift of hair is free but takes quite a commitment from those who are growing their hair to donate.

This year, my two daughters--Gracie and Lilly Faith--are growing their hair with me. We will have our hair cut on March 4, 2013 on LIVE television along with hundreds of other men, women and children of all ages and hair types and colors from across the state of Mississippi. Our hair will then be sent to Pantene where it will be put with other hair of like color and texture and made into a beautiful head of hair, then shipped to Mississippi for the wig room to stay stocked.

Would you like to join us? Go to this link  and sign up to donate. If you'd like to tell us why you're donating, we may share that with our WLBT viewers. All details are listed on that page.

Let's grow, cut and share with our friends!

Here is the wig room at St.Dominic Cancer Services.

What Do You Do When You Don't Feel Like It?

Have you ever had one of those days when you "just don't feel like" doing whatever it is that you have to do? Maybe you just don't FEEL like cleaning house. You don't FEEL like going to work. You don't FEEL like having to deal with crabby people. You don't FEEL like going to church. Or, you just don't FEEL like smiling and being nice to people.

I was having one of those moments recently when I just wasn't FEELING like anything. Nothing was going may way and I dared someone to press my emotional buttons. But then I encountered someone who I could tell was having the same kind of day, except his was much worse.

In passing him in the hallway, there was a heaviness that permeated through him. I stopped and asked how everything was going to try to start a conversation. He shared how his daughter was set to go through her last round of chemotherapy and while the prognosis was looking good, he had to get a loan to pay for the treatment. As he explained the red tape that was involved in getting her treatment, he shared how his 401-K wouldn't allow him to borrow more money until he paid back a sizeable amount from his daughter's previous chemotherapy treatment. When he shared the amount, a lump settled in my throat. God has blessed me immensely through my business venture and I knew what I needed to do. But I had been preoccupied by having an "I don't FEEL like it" kind of day. That didn't bother God.

2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

If we want to be a victorious Christian, we don't get to do what we FEEL like anymore. Victory is not letting your emotions control you. Why do we let our mind and our feelings control our life so much? Romans 12:11 says, "Never be lacking in zeal (enthusiastic diligence, desire), but keep your spiritual fervor (earnestness of feeling), serving the Lord." In other words, stay filled with wonder and astounded by what God is doing in your life.

If you want to increase the power of God on your life, see how many times a day you can give. God is not looking for ability, but for availability.

(Barbie will be away for a while and will return August 10).

Move On

We've all been faced with a seemingly large decision at some point in our life. You know what you need to do. You know the road you're supposed to take. The choice is clear. But your fear is much bigger than your faith. "What if something happens? What if it doesn't work? What if I'm not thinking this through thoroughly? What if I'm just going on a whim? What if I lose everything I have?"

For me personally, I've had those decisions in the past. Now I find myself face to face with "it" again.

While I've read the account of God's deliverance of Moses and the children of Israel out of Egypt numerous times, I discovered a Word spoke by God that I've never noticed before.

As the Israelites saw their backs were to the mountains and the Red Sea churning before them, they realized they were physically trapped. God had told them what they needed to do: trust. But that's so much easier said than done for Christians. It's even harder when you over-think what's before you. I can only imagine what the children of Israel were thinking, "We can't climb those mountains behind us. Pharaoh's army is too strong. And we can't wade across the Red Sea either. We'll all drown!" But God would not have brought them to a point of trust if He wasn't serious about His plan for them. His plan was freedom. His plan was more than they could've imagined for themselves. His plan was to have a kingdom impact on the land of Canaan.

Moses told them in Exodus 14:13, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still." Do not fear. Stand firm. Have peace that God is in control.

But notice what God said in verse 15, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on."

Often times, we cry out to God "Please tell me what I'm supposed to do! Please make this decision easier for me. Just make your will known to me!" All the while, God is saying to you, "Move on."

You may be leaving a secure place behind with this decision you're faced with. God has already paved your path. He's already ahead of you. Although it may be difficult for you to trust Him, God is telling you right now "Move on" with the next step of faith He's wanting you to take.

Your Dream

If your dream is only as big as your surroundings, that dream isn't from God.

In Genesis 37:7, Joseph shared his dream with his brothers: "We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." Joseph had another dream in verse 9: "This time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."

We all have dreams for our life and what we would like to have one day or perhaps where we would like to go. But notice Joseph's dream had nothing to do with fancy cars, a mansion, lots of friends and social circles or money growing on trees. God was showing Joseph there was a higher purpose for him and it was to include leading others to God's saving grace.

How do you know if your dream was given to you by God? If your dream is linked to the harvest, then that dream is from God. If your dream is linked to the flesh and the lusts of this world, it is deception; not a dream. God doesn't give flesh-focused dreams. Those types of dreams come from the devil because the devil wants you to abort your destiny. Only you can stop what God's ordained for your life.

After Joseph's dreams, he was thrown into a pit by his brothers. Have you ever felt like your dream has been thrown into the pit? Things just aren't coming together the way you thought they would? Pits are often allowed by God for Him to test your character to see if it matches up with His standards.

Joseph received his dream in a field. His dream was about the harvest and how God would use him for a kingdom impact. God gave Joseph power when he was elevated in Pharaoh's government. Power will only come from God for His purpose; not for our own purposes.

Each stage, obstacle, or "pit" is intended not to block your dream, but to help you break through to the fulfillment God promises. The only way you and I can find true fulfillment and become all that God created us to be is to go through some pits along the way and have a kingdom impact through your dream.

Viewer Emails

It's now time for another edition of..... "Viewer Emails".
 
I've decided to leave all misspellings/grammar as they appear in the emails.
 
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I am appalled at the fact that you do not understand the image that you portray to upcoming young women who are affected every night concerning how you look. These same Young Women might want to be a broadcaster. Trust me; I am not the only one with this opinion.
I spoke with you last week and I started the conversation with “I am not trying to hurt your feelings.”  Well hear I go again. You are the only Weather Newscaster that represents your station in a very disappointing and negative manner. I have been watching channel 16 and 12. I just turned on the news and here you are again with those white pants and the tan pants. Depending on your size I would like to offer some beauty suites for free to clean up your image. As a replacement for you looking at my comments in a negative way, you should have taken it as a concerned viewer. I have work in many leadership positions over the years, and I would not clean my house with the clothing that you were. I’m of the opinion that just because you have been in Mississippi most of your life, it is not an excuse for the poor image that you portray when you represent the Weather Broadcast for WLBT. When you are bringing the news (Weather) in our homes every night it is difficult to over look what you are wearing. YOU LOOK TERRIBLE, and I am truly sorry if this email gives you a negative view of me, but I had to let you know that I am not someone that means you harm, however, from one professional to another, I do mean you well. You indicated to me that you were a Christian, if you are, LOOK; don’t take my word, if you want to be technical about it look in the book of Leviticus 6:10Is it wrong for a woman to wear pants." It is also in Deuteronomy 22:5. You do this publicly. “A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does." Read your Bible Barbie!
There are more references in the Bible that speak to this matter. I am a worrier of a praise team that one person can share with another to help represent your image in Christ. Don’t take this Negatively, just look at how a so called Christian is suppose to represent themselves not only as a child of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but upcoming young leaders who might want to be a Chief Weather Meteorologist.
You appear to be a sweet person, but you are not a cheer leader, I cannot let my personal opinion go back to your old ways of thinking knowing that you can do better, and help WLBT News get back to number one news station in Mississippi.

Christine Bowden
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Barbie,

You are such a bright spot in a lot of people’s days; beautiful eyes too. Never, ever wear those glasses again that you wore the other day. I debated about writing and I’m very happily married, so I’m not trying to hit on you. You just look so much better without them.

Raymond Dougherty
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Barbie,

My two grown daughters and I were watching the news tonight when you came on with the weather. All three of us made the same comment about the blouse you wore tonight, you really do not ever need to wear that blouse again. You should actually throw it away asap. I truly am trying to be honest and sincere when I say this. I am not trying to hurt you in anyway, but the blouse is in no way flattering to you. Please take this as constructive criticism.

Sincerely,
Patty McDaniel

Prayer of Jabez: Does God Answer It?

A few years ago, I was challenged to pray 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 for myself: "...Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory. Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." It is better known as the Prayer of Jabez. I was not prepared for what would happen next. Perhaps I didn't really believe God would act on His Word.
That's when I was approached by a stranger in Memphis, Tennessee and told about Rodan + Fields, the Doctors who created ProActiv (the acne remedy). The Holy Spirit wouldn't let me get the opportunity off my mind and I knew God was about to "enlarge my territory"; I just didn't know how or why.

Just over one year later, I've surpassed my television income and earned a Lexus of my choice paid for by Rodan + Fields. More importantly, my husband and I have been able to give like we've never given before to our church, our missionary friends and to those who need a financial increase in ways that only God can provide.

Whatever our gifts, education or career may be, our calling is to do God's work here on earth. We often call it living out our faith or ministry to others. Whatever you call it, God is looking for people who want to do more of it. For most of us, we're reluctant because we think WE know the territory God has in mind for us. Unfortunately, we don't realize what God can do through us. God told the Jews when they returned from capitivity to their bleak homeland in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit.."

God specializes in working through normal people, like me, who believe God will do His work through them. What He's waiting is the invitation from you.

When you begin asking, in earnest (or begging) for more influence and responsibility with which to honor Him, God will bring opportunities and people into your path. You can trust that He will never send someone to you whom you cannot help by His leading and strength. Yes, you'll feel fear when you begin to take new territory for Him, but you'll also experience a tremendous thrill of God carrying you along as you're doing it.

To pray for larger borders is to ask for a miracle. A miracle is an intervention by God to make something happen that wouldn't normally happen.



Someone took a look at my car tag and said, "You're missing a letter." No, that was intentional. When "I" take myself out of the equation, God can do His work. Basically, I must trust and get out of His way.

That last sentence in 1 Chronicles 4:10 says, "And God granted his request." God has granted mine, too.

How Can I Win?

I shared last week how living under God's grace can help us wage battle against spiritual warfare.  Over the weekend, the Holy Spirit gave me another component to winning the war.

When God tested Abraham in asking him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac near the region called Moriah, if Abraham was human, I'm sure he wondered "God, are you serious? I will do what you tell me to do, but did I hear correctly?" Abraham took his two servants and Isaac, enough wood for the burnt offering and set out for the area God told him to sacrifice his son. In Genesis 22:5 Abraham said to his servants, "'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.'"

While I've always believed Abraham was speaking his faith out loud which I discuss in my first book, Forecasts & Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life, I'm now seeing a new key to winning spiritual battles. Here it is: Worship.

While worshipping the Lord may be the most difficult thing to do when we're going through a difficult season, I believe it is the most important stance we can take. How do I know? Look at what Abraham said after God provided a ram in the thicket and stopped him from sacrificing Issac in verse 14: "So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, 'On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.'" Abraham's worship of God was such a turning point at the most heart wrenching time in his life, God provided the victory!

If you're finding yourself going through a difficult time of questioning, wondering what decision to make, or if you'll ever receive the discernment you've been asking God for in solving your problem, start worshipping the Lord. God will provide the victory over the battle.

Under Grace

I recently shared how God has been convicting me of the importance of humility with several "God things" going on in my life. But I'm also noticing that spiritual warfare also increases at the same time when God is working on a certain area of your life.

So how do you win at spiritual warfare?

Ephesians 6:10 says, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes." James 4:6-7 says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

God cannot give power to win over spiritual warfare to a proud person. A proud person has already decided how to fight their battles. Someone under grace realizes they can do nothing apart from God. Grace causes you to win in spiritual warfare when you submit to God.

Every battle that arises in your life is a chance for God's manifestation of glory. When you're like me and you would much rather "do it myself", Satan gets the victory in your battle.

Living under grace is God's will for your life.

(Barbie will be away the rest of this week to celebrate the ultimate healing God granted her grandmother, Sadie Atkinson, 1918-2012. She now has her hearing fully restored and she's worshipping with her husband, her daughter and others who have gone before her. Psalm 116:15 says, "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.")

The Path to Humility

I shared last week about my trip to prison a few weeks ago. While I was nervous at stepping into a realm that was uncomfortable for me, I was more afraid of being disobedient to the Lord's calling. After all, two-thirds of the word "God" is "Go".

The Lord has impressed upon me the importance of being humble. Being on television and having a growing business are worldly things that could easily make one think "God's favor is on me and not on anyone else. Therefore, I don't need to associate with people who are different than I." Or at least that's what Satan would try to make you believe. Psalm 25:9 says, "He (the Lord) guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way." Proverbs 11:2 says, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."

A window lets the sunshine in, along with pollen and lots of bugs, not to mention the dust and the sounds of birds chirping. But if you want fresh air, you have to be willing to live with a few flies.

When we are walking on the path to humility with the Lord, we will be open to the possibility that we may be wrong about someone or something. On that path, it is easier for God to correct us. Humility is the pathway to intimacy with God because he dwells with the humble. God is the only one who truly knows our heart as Jeremiah 17:10 says, "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve."

When we embrace humility in associating with those who come from a difference place than us, economically, socially, mentally and spiritually, we will be able to hear the voice of God.

The Prison of Loneliness

I was recently presented with an invitation to speak at the womens correctional facitity in Rankin County. While I was a bit intimiated (and fearful) of speaking to prisoners, I could not turn the invitation down.

After going through the security measures to walk to the "other side" of the razor wire fence, I found myself walking into a large room with empty chairs. I walked by each chair, placed my hand on them and prayed over the chair for the souls who would be sitting in them.

When the ladies walked in, I felt a heaviness I'd not felt in a long time. I immediately knew there those living in darkness with deceitful lifestyles, physical threats on some and others who blatantly didn't want to be in the same room with me. One common thread stuck out in my heart: loneliness. Each women in the room was dealing with extreme loneliness. No one had to tell me; it was spiritually obvious.

After listening to them sing a few hymns and an old Gospel favorite, "I Can't Even Walk Without You Holding My Hand", I got up to share. I felt the stares, I saw the nods of agreement and the tears of those who were broken. The loneliness there was unbearable.

One inmate told me, "When I get out here, I literally have nobody. I don't have any family, no parents, no brothers and sisters. Nobody. It's just me. And I can't handle it." The Lord gave me a vision which I shared with her and she was relieved. Story after story was similar.

John 14:18 says, "I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you." John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

When you're lonely, it's hard not to lose hope. Loneliness is the prison bars; hope being able to walk through the other side of the razor wire fence in Jesus' name!

Do You Feel Rejected?

Rejection comes in all forms. Whether it's from family members who don't understand you or friends who talk about you because you take a stand, rejection hurts.

Christ followers are susceptible to rejection. It can lead to bitterness, negativism and self-pity--all things that make Christians useless in ministering to others. The greater the calling God has put on your life, the greater the rejection that can attack you.

Elijah hid in a cave and was ready to give up his ministry (or his prophetic calling) when the LORD spoke to him. In 1 Kings 19:9, the LORD asked "What you are doing here, Elijah?" Elijah responded in verse 10, "I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me, too." Notice the bitterness and self-pity in Elijah's reply.

But Elijah was wrong as the Lord had told him there were 7,000 more people in Israel who had NOT bowed down to Baal, even though Elijah felt like he was the only one. (Remember giving your parents the old line as a teenager: "But everyone else is going!" or "Everyone else is wearing it!" Turns out, that wasn't the case after all.)

The bottom line is often good, spirit-filled Christians will be rejected while stagnant, luke warm, worldly Christians will be accepted.

We must learn to deal with rejection whether it comes from friends or those we don't know very well. And remember, hurting people hurt other people.

(Barbie's books are now available in local stores and on www.barbiebassett.com.)

Breaking News!

My devotional "Carry An Umbrella When There's No Rain in the Forecast: 365 Days of Living by Faith" ($14.02) 2nd edition has arrived! The 1st edition of 3,000 copies sold out fast and now the orders for those of you who haven't gotten it yet can be fulfilled.

You can also find it at Lifeway Christian Store and Lemuria Books (both in Jackson) as well as Expectations in Brookhaven.

I received this note from a reader this week:

"My daughter gave me a copy of your devotional book Christmas. I am thoroughly enjoying it every day. I lost my husband 3 weeks ago to cancer and these devotionals have helped me get through some tough days. Thank you for this book and the strength and encouragement I get from it's words."-- J.Davidson

My first book, "Forecasts and Faith: 5 Keys to Weathering the Storms of Life" ($22.56) has less than 200 copies left. All that remains is it's 3rd and FINAL edition.

Should you not be close to Jackson or Brookhaven for these books, you can also order at www.barbiebassett.com and receive a discount on both books.

I continue to be amazed at what the Holy Spirit is doing through these books and enjoy hearing from all of my readers!

Big Things & Little Things

This past week has been a big one for me.
Mothers Day is always a big deal as my husband and children give me cards and do thoughtful things for me. And, I also celebrated a "big" birthday last week, too!

Frequently, we see incidents in life as “little things” and later we learn to our regret that God sees these same incidents as “big things.” And conversely, we often put our priorities on what we see as the “big things” only to find out we were wrong when God reveals to us that He sees the same as “little things.”

Being a loving mother to my children and my husband is a "big thing" and working hard to provide for them would probably be considered by myself as a "big thing." But nobody ever said on his deathbed, “I wish I’d spent more time on the job."

We know that God is interested in “small things”  because it's found throughout the Bible.

Zerubbabel rebuilt the foundation of the temple in Jerusalem after the Jews returned from Babylonian captivity. But then he was stopped for 17 years by the Samaritans who opposed the rebuilding of the temple. It seemed his small step forward would amount to nothing. But God didn’t forget. The Lord sent encouraging words to two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, for Zerubbabel to finish the work. Zechariah 4:8-10 says, “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things?’”


Rebuilding the foundation was despised and called a “small thing” by those who opposed rebuilding the temple. But God didn't see the rebuilding as a small thing. Being obedient to God is always a "big thing", even if it’s only a small beginning, like rebuilding a foundation.

Want To vs Willingness

There is a vast difference between wanting to and willingness.

I believe Moses wanted to do as God requested and speak to Pharaoh in releasing the children of Israel. However, he had the "paralysis of analysis" and the fear in himself talked him out of his anointing. He told God in Exodus 4:13, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." Have you ever found yourself pulling a Moses on God? In your heart, you WANT to do what He's telling you to do, but you've found enough excuses that you're not WILLING to do what He's telling you to do. Meantime, Aaron's willingness was stronger than his want to.

Exodus 4:30 gives another glimpse into this. Moses and Aaron gathered all of the elders of the Israelites together: "...and Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses." Notice who was willing to speak.

Because Aaron was willing, he threw his staff down on the ground before Pharaoh and God turned it into a snake which swallowed up the staffs of the wise men and sorcerers in Pharaoh's court. God saw how Aaron was willing while Moses only gave excuses. So in Exodus 7:19, God says to Moses "Tell Aaron.." Exodus 8:5, God says to Moses "Tell Aaron..." In Exodus 8:16, God says to Moses "Tell Aaron.." Are you getting my point? God knew who would join Him in His work and who would only want to do it.

But something begins to happen to Moses in all of this. He begins to see how God doesn't call the qualified but qualifies the called. Because Moses if'ed and but'ed his way out of his anointing at the time God needed him the most, Moses saw how God used Aaron to perform miracles that were initially meant for Moses!

Moses' "want to" had turned to him being willing to act. In watching all that God had done through Aaron, his faith in God had grown. While the children of Israel were at a dead end with the Red Sea facing them and the mountains of Egypt to their backs, Moses came face to face with the spirit of intimidation that had paralyzed him long enough. God asked Moses in Exodus 14:15-16, "'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.'" Moses could either grab Aaron and say, "Here! You've done this before. God turned your staff into a snake in front of Pharaoh! Do SOMETHING!" But he didn't.

God never intended for Aaron to lift up his staff at the Red Sea. God wanted Moses. Moses had been encouraged by what he had seen Aaron do. Moses had learned to let God encourage his heart.

God's promises are contingent upon your obedience to what He's called you to do.

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at the Univeristy of Mississippi Medical Center's Hospital Week forum Tuesday, May 8.)

Do You Have a Slave Mentality

In studying more of the life of Moses, I had questioned why he seemed afraid and intimidated by Pharaoh. After all, he was raised among royalty after being found by Pharaoh's daughter floating in the Nile.

God told Moses in Exodus 6:11, "Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country." But Moses said to the Lord in verse 12, "If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me..?"

I believe the reason why Moses felt like he could speak to Israel, and not to Pharaoh, was because they all were slaves together. Slavery was comfortable to Moses; it was his arena and something he could handle.

Moses had a slave mentality. The Israelites were on the same level as he. But when the children of Israel didn't agree with him in Exodus 6:9, it brought back the spirit of intimidation to him. Rejection is always linked or connected to intimidation. The reason why Moses couldn't do the big things for God was because in his mind, he was little. Having a spirit of intimidation creates positions God never ordained. God had ordained Moses to tell Pharaoh to let Israel go, but Aaron had to do it. Moses' destiny was to be a deliverer, but he was so fearful in himself.

Whatever God puts in your heart to do, you have to be completely dependent upon Him. If not, YOU are confident in yourself and not God.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Has God ever told you to do something and you let intimidation get in the way?

In Exodus 3:10, God told Moses "So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out Egypt." Moses replied in verse 11, "Who am I, that I should go..?" Moses had the spirit of intimidation. When you feel worthless, you feel valueless and sometimes despicable. Moses told God again in Exodus 4:10-13 how useless he felt.

Fear and intimidation will hinder your walk with God.

When God imparts upon your heart to do something, He will be patient up to a point with you. After that, His patience runs thin. If you're not willing to do what God asks, He will find someone else to do it. Moses wasn't willing so God tapped Aaron to do it and replaced Moses.

What Moses wasn't willing to accept was that God would do the talking for him (I hear you God, but I'm not listening to you!).  God does not use people who know how to minister and preach because that is the ministry of man. Those who have the ministry of the spirit, God uses.

The devil has done his homework on you. Although you may not turn your back on God, he will still try to immobilize you to where you feel powerless. If you are fearful or intimidated by what God is calling you to do, you'll never move in faith. It's time to move forward in victory in Jesus name!

(Barbie will be the guest speaker at First Assembly of God in Pelahatchie womens luncheon Saturday. She will also present Rodan + Fields in Carthage at 2pm.)
Barbie is away for a while and will return on Friday, April 27.

Feel free to browse the blog and read her previous entries.

Theological or Genuine Faith?

Monday I blogged about the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter who was ill in Mark 7. We've read the story many times, but have you ever noticed her faith?

Matthew 15:21 tells the same story. Except this time, we learn how persistent she really was. Verse 22 says the lady cried out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Even the disciples noticed her tenacity and told Jesus, "she keeps crying out" (verse 23). Then she came and knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord, help me!" (verse 25). And a third time, she shares her heart and why she needs a miracle (verse 27).

There are 2 kinds of faith in this world: theological and genuine.

Theological faith wants a quick fix. When faith isn't working, theological faith gives up, quits and eventually dries up.

Genuine faith doesn't care what others say about the situation. It doesn't care what others think or what others do. Genuine faith keeps praying, keeps believing, keeps asking. Genuine faith won't quit!

Sometimes we must go through a test of faith to determine which one we have. This test of faith can often shine the light on what's wrong with us and reveal which faith we honestly have.

Could it be that Jesus was testing this mother's faith? She came back 3 times and even then, she had no intention of leaving. She cried out to Jesus, she humbled herself, asked for mercy, and knelt before him. Jesus saw the outward display of her faith and also saw her inner spirit. Jesus commented, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed immediately (verse 28).

Which faith to you find yourself having when you're in your darkest hour: theological faith or genuine faith? Only one gets Jesus' attention.

When God Hasn't Answered Your Prayer

Have you ever wondered why God doesn't answer your prayers right away?

Mark 7:24 tells the story of a mother who's daughter was possessed by an evil spirit. The mother was upset, as any parent would be in watching their child suffer. The Bible says "She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter" in verse 26. She obviously had faith in Jesus; otherwise she wouldn't have come to him and asked for healing. Jesus told her in verse 27, "First let the children eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." But the mother showed her faith and replied in verse 28, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Her persistence in asking for the Lord's help indicates much more than her tenacity, but her faith in him.

Sometimes faith will take you down a hard road leaving you there for a long time.

Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (One version says "those who diligently seek him").

So what does He reward the believer with? Not money. Not success. Those who diligently seek Him are rewarded with the very thing they are seeking---God Himself. He is the a Rewarder. Persistence in faith and prayer will bring God's grace and mercy. That's enough of a reward.

God has a reason and an answer for your need.

Giving In, Giving Up or Given Out

I overheard a conversation this week between my 3 year old daughter and my 6 year old son:

Lilly Faith: "You ALWAYS win! You cheat!"
Will: "No, I don't cheat. I just keep playing and finish. You quit too soon."

So many times when the criticism and hard times come, we give in. Oh, we say we're in it for the long haul and our faith is strong. But what we actually do is contradictory to what we say. Why? Because it's so much easier and less stressful to give in. We don't like pain; we don't like hard work; and we're not known for receiving an "A" on our spiritual report card in the subject of patience.

Romans 12:11-12 says, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." James 5:11 says, "We count as blessed, those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy."

When you break it down further, those who have hope, patience and faith in God's provision will be blessed; not cheated.

So the next time you feel like giving in, giving up or given out, be reminded that the finish line never moves. It's in the same place it was yesterday. You just can't quit too soon!

Are You Root Bound?

A couple of weeks ago, I planted close to 150 marigolds and periwinkles. But in my calculations, I realized I had bought too many and quickly ran out of ground to put them in. So, I put them aside, keeping them in their small flat until I had time to transplant them into larger pots. Time has slipped away...

Yesterday while sitting on the back patio, I noticed my leftover plants and how they were beginning to droop. They are wanting to grow, eager to develop deeper roots but they're root bound. The only thing that will allow them to do what they were created to do is to plant them where they can thrive.

2 Peter 3:18 encourages us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ". Growth is pivotal in not becoming root bound.

However, we must have a desire to grow as a Christian and to maintain that growth. Growth is always needed and learning how to deal with life's circumstances through God's Word is a great place to start. It is our spiritual food. But exercise and practice is crucial to flourishing in a deeper relationship with Christ. 1 Timothy 4:7 says, "Exercise yourself towards godliness." That means if you aren't living it, you aren't moving forward. You're stagnant. But growing into a deeper communion with God doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and patience. Children don't grow taller over night and neither do we.

The story of the little boy who fell out of bed reminds me so much of our Christian growth. When asked what happened he said, "I guess I stayed too close to the gettin'-in place." How true that is for many Christians; we stay too close to the gettin' in place and never persevere in allowing our roots to develop deeper in Christ.

A Stranger in the Dark

It had already been a long day and it wasn't over. Between newcasts Monday, I had an event to speak at and knew my dinner break would be taken. Driving back to the tv station at 9pm, I decided to swing in the drive-thru and pick up something quick and eat in the break room before the 10pm newscast. With food in the car, I pulled into the WLBT parking lot. BING! Someone sent me a text. With the parked car still running, I type out my response and gathered my belongings to head inside. Then someone tapped on my window and startled me. There standing before me was a stranger in the dark.

"Please don't shoot me, please don't shoot me, ma'am. I'm sorry I startled you. Please don't shoot me!" he said apologetically. "Can I help you?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me how the downtown Jackson soup kitchen was closed for the night and how he was trying to get to Meridian. "But I'm hungry," he said. "Well, how do you plan to get to Meridian?" I asked as I was convinced all he wanted was money. "I'm walking down here to the truck stop and gonna hitch a ride, but I'm hungry," he explained.

Well, I am, too, I thought. I looked at the unopened food I had just purchased, grabbed it and gave it to him through the window. "Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! God bless you!" he said. And he walked away.

Before you give me "kuddos", I don't deserve them. I came very close to pulling out a couple of dollars and telling him to move on. And when that thought came in my head, I realized it was after 9pm, he had obviously walked a ways to get to Jefferson Street and there were no restaurants nearby. But I knew the Holy Spirit was watching me. What I did first determined what God would do second.

I've found myself lately praying Jeremiah 17:7-8: "Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. And it has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." I tell the Lord every day: I devote my day to you. It's no longer mine but Yours. I will deliver your blessings whenever and wherever and to whomever You choose.

We're just God's delivery agents if you think about it. God is the ultimate giver. He arranged the encounter and the fast-food. I was just carrying it around! God deserves the credit for lovingly bringing me and a stranger together as the person God had in mind. The stranger was immediately swept up in a natural outpouring of profound gratitude to God for His mysterious and wonderful provision in remedying his hunger.

Each time you give to others, all of Heaven cheers you on as yet another downtrodden heart is filled to overflowing with God's care.

The Smile of Protection

A viewer said the other day, "You just always seem so happy. You're always smiling. It used to get on my nerves to watch you on tv because I thought there's no way someone can be that nice all of the time. I just KNEW you were faking it!"

I'm not immune to flat tires, unexpected changes in my schedule, frustrations with my family and even anonymous letters of criticism. No one is exempt from trials and stress. How we handle those real life plops says more about our faith than anything else I believe.

Psalm 89:15 is one of my favorite scriptures: "Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord." The word acclaim means "to welcome or salute with shouts or sounds of joy and approval". To be blessed is to happy! The people who know the joyful sound are the ones who get into the presence of God and walk in the smile of His protection. This joy comes from heaven and isn't dependent upon what people say or what circumstances life throws your way.

Where there is joy, the presence and glory of God will come in and run Satan off.

Go about your day walking in the smile of God's protection!

Be Ready To Give

Last weekend, I attended the Rodan + Fields Leadership Summit in Nashville, TN. I had a wonderful time visiting with all of my business partners from all over the country!
To think 13 months ago, it was just me. Today, I have business partners in 9 other states including Puerto Rico. God is blessing in ways I cannot fully describe with allowing me to surpass my television income and help others do the same.
While in Nashville, I had many discussions with my team about the calling God has for each of us. Many have let their past affect their life and haven't been able to move forward. I saw each one encourage the other, lift each other up in prayer, and hug in admiration and pure concern for their friend.
Countless times every day, our God deeply desires to meet the needs of people all around us, but something or someone gets in the way. By in large, our giving time, encouragement or even resources reflects our decisions based on our understandings and our priorities. But what would happen if we became more purposeful about living in active, daily dependence on God to direct us in who to share with? Whether it's a kind word, a show of affection, or money, we would serve as God's delivery agents.
In I Timothy 6:18, Paul gives the young preacher Timothy a glimpse of how Christians can have God direct their giving, "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share." Ready and willing suggests that all obstacles and things that stand in the way have been removed beforehand. In other words, you've already made a decision, prepared and are commited so that you can act in kindness to someone else. That way, when God signals someone needs love shown to them, we can respond immediately.
When you come across someone who needs encouragement, a listening ear, or perhaps a financial blessing, respond without hesitation whenever and wherever God leads.
Barbie will be away from the blog until Friday, March 16. Feel free to browse her blog!

A Fresh Anointing

We were talking about the coming of Spring and the longer days when our children began lamenting why they didn't like Winter: the days are shorter, it's cold and not as much time to play outside. While I agree with their sentiments, the conversation almost became a "bash Winter" contest while I said, "How about we say the things we like about Winter instead of saying the things we don't like?" Things like Christmas and seeing family more were brought into the conversation. Isn't it interesting how things we think are curses can turn into blessings?

In Mark 8:22, Jesus and his disciples were traveling then they came to Bethsaida. Verse 22 says, "And some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, 'Do you see anything?' He looked up and said, 'I see people; they look like trees walking around.' Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly."

The word "anoint" is a verb and verbs show action. Anoint means to "smear or rub with oil".

Jesus anointed the man's eyes and then he saw. Before that time, he couldn't see. He was blinded by the negativity he was living in. He had lost the ability to see the blessings in his life and could only recognize curses. But Jesus gave him fresh eyesight.

The devil sees the anointing on your life! Calvary cancels out the curses the devil is trying to get you to focus on. It's time for a fresh anointing. But just with the blind man, the anointing comes first and then you see!