1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14: 1-6)Glory be to God!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Posted by Loving Deb Smith at 4:57 PM
Monday, January 28, 2008
Charity and Nellie have extended the following invitation:
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008,
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Please email Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org for directions if you can come.
Nellie and Charity
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
On this first Christmas since our sister Deb is home with the Lord, please continue, as always, to pray for Tom and Charity, Nellie, Jordan, and their families. Many have offered words of encouragement and blessing. Your kindness in remembering them in this season of Joy is quite a Gift.
The Prince of Peace!
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle,
every cloak rolled in blood,
will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us;
upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero,
Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast
and forever peaceful,
from David’s throne, and over his kingdom,
which he confirms and sustains
by judgment and justice,
both now and forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!
Be Not Afraid!
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In the past few days, three of you have offered powerful evidence of Deb Smith's continuing ministry and witness to the Boundless Love of God. All Glory to God! Many Thanks, Deb, this Thanksgiving!
On the Seasoned Believers blog, Gary Sweeten offered the following (edited for space):
It seems to me that a very large percentage of the people who were touched deeply by the Lord back then have remained faithful to Him and have tried to follow His ways...
Quite a few of our friends have been in Helping Ministries of one kind or another. Some chose a pastoral or teaching ministry while others became missionaries and worship leaders. It seems that not a few heard the call into counseling and healing ministries. That was always a focus in the old days and it excited us.
This listing and conversations reveal that almost everyone of the Jesus Community caught a lot of compassion from direct contact with the Spirit or from His word. One man told me, "I blame Tom Smith for my lifelong commitment to love and mercy. He pounded that message into our heads at every service."
One who became a counselor and an ordained minister is Susan Rice, who writes from Paris, where she isserving at the American Church in Paris:
God is good, and I thank him for you all this Thanksgiving! May he continue to use our lives for his glory--blessed be his name.
Our beloved brother, Randy Moody recently shared the following note with some who were present at the Cincinnati Celebration of the Resurrection for Deb Smith. In away, this Thanksgiving, it is
In reminiscing about those days in the 70's when we were so much a part of each other's lives, I dug through boxes of old cassette tapes and ... discovered tapes of live music of those days of which I'm not sure anyone else has copies. I immediately set about converting them to digital form and "cleaning them up" to remove as much audio clutter as I could. The result is several collections from singers and groups of those days, which I'm happy to make available on separate CDs or as MP3s all on one CD to anyone who would want and listen to them. Maybe even a few "bonus cuts".
These tapes held up amazingly well, and the songs sound great.
I have assembled the following CDs of live music from around that time:
Mike Wilshire – Mike was in a whole different class than of the rest of us who were writing and playing at that time. An incredible song craftsman with an amazing understanding of the heart of God. Superior writing, both musically and lyrically – very mature. Great voice and amazing guitar talent (both acoustic and electric slide guitar). 19 of his best songs. Mike tells me he's recording a CD which will be available soon
Covenant (Karen Smith and Jenny Daniel). My very favorites at that time. Simple and elegant. 2 studio tracks and 8 live ones.
Prodigal – one of the most polished of all the Cincinnati Jesus bands of the day. Loyd, Dave, and Rick were way ahead of their time lyrically and musically. 8 live performance tracks.
Odor, Burns and Clark – Kent Odor, Wayne Burns and Bob Clark. Sung into a tape recorder. Wonderful stuff – original compositions, rich vocal harmonies. Homey and fun. 7 live cuts.
Dan Kelchak – played a one-night stand at the Jesus house and blew everybody away. Only two songs on his tape came through well, and I'm so glad they did. "Leonard Simpson" blew us all away, and I immediately stole it and sang it every chance I could after that. Ken Medema's "Sonshiny Day" is a classic and Dan does a great job with it. This CD also has a couple of "bonus cuts" from that era from a brother we all miss. One of them is called "The Lake Between the Hills".
Also, I have recorded two of my songs (lite studio productions). One is "The Kingdom" (One Big Time in the Kingdom) from the Jesus House days. The other is "Beautiful Lady", a song I wrote for my wife, Rosie, as a gift to her for our seventh wedding anniversary.
So, I'll be glad to send along any of these that would be a blessing to you. They deserve to be heard, and not just sit in a storage box. Just let me know. Please understand that it may take some time to assemble and ship them to you, so please be patient and don't expect them instantly. Let me know which you want, and if you want individual CDs or MP3s. Also, please feel free to forward this e-mail to other friends you have kept up with that may also be interested in the CDs. Again, they're not for sale. I simply want to pass them along to anyone who will be blessed to hear them.
Posted by Loving Deb Smith at 11:13 AM
Sunday, November 4, 2007
In time, today is Deb's 54th birthday. She is likely dancing and painting in worship before the Lord. To celebrate here, see the photo recollection of Deb's life which her family shared at the two Celebrations of the Resurrection in Mt Vernon, IL, (October 20, 2007) and Cincinnati, OH (October 21, 2007).
Monday, October 22, 2007
On Sunday, October 21, 2007, Deb Smith was remembered and honored in a joyful and deeply personal Celebration of the Resurrection, at New Hope Community Church, originally the home of Fellowship Christian Church, which Tom and Deb Smith pastored for many years. One of the sweetest moments, and most moving for many, was at the very end, when Randy Moody sang The Kingdom. The Celebration continued at Vineyard Community Church where at least 125-150 friends joined Tom and the Smith family for a meal and time of rich fellowship.
Praise be to God Who Loves us!
The following reflection on this profoundly gentle, Spirit-filled gathering of perhaps 250-300 Lovers of Deb Smith appeared this morning on Brave Heart, a blog hosted by Gary Sweeten, a long time friend and the coordinator of yesterday's Celebration:
It is difficult to know where to make this post. It is all about the joyfully poignant service we had this afternoon for Deb Smith. It was a real family reunion, not unlike many weddings and funerals, because these rituals provide valuable time for old but busy friends to get together. The hyper speed of life passes much too quickly so time is needed to remember the good times after too many years of love from a distance.During the celebration, George Lueking shared warmly about Deb's concern for others, even while she was very ill, once apologizing that she could spend only 20 minutes one weekend with friends who had traveled from Cincinnati just to see her. John Morelock fought back tears of sorrow and great joy recounting Deb's unique and creative life and well-known sense of humor.
We met at the old FCC Church building on the west side of Cincinnati ... now ... a congregation called, appropriately, "New Hope"... It was a matured version of the hippies we had loved so well and so fleetingly back in the sixties and seventies. Fewer beards and many more gray hairs in the ones that were there.
But a lot of people turned out to honor Deb and Tom Smith for their love, care and evangelistic fervor that brought many of them to a faith that still thrives among daunting marriages and rearing kids as well as fighting off various diseases and moving through the Mid Life Crises that seem to appear out of no where.
I wish I had taken a camera. I would love to show you all the photos of some of the most beautiful people I ever knew. But my task of the day, Master of Ceremonies and enforcer of the time constraints, would have prevented me from taking any pictures, but I still like to think about having pictures to remind me of our old friends.
We celebrated the short life of Deb Smith, a woman admired by all and sought for counsel by any who knew her. Tom was "The Official Pastor" of the Christian Student Fellowship but Deb, the very young Deb, provided so much love and concern for all those lonely students who came to U.C. for an education that they remembered her for decades for her listening, wisdom and acceptance.
Barb Hine also shared the following remembrance of Deb, which struck home for anyone who knew her:
When you met Deb, you may have thought of fine china as I did. Her fine features, fair skin, the beautiful things she created. But with Deb it wasn’t the china you fell in love with – it was the rock beneath. She was solid in her faith, strong in her friendships and unfailing in her love for her family.
It was said that Tom & Deb were co-pastors of two churches and yes they were…but Deb’s role was so different in the two. As I recall – she once said “I don’t want to be a “normal” pastor’s wife”. So with Deb’s creative flair she stayed on the side lines with Bible studies in her home, fancy lunches to bless us girls – on her fine china – and things I’m sure we were not even aware of. It came as such a surprise to hear Deb’s call to worship at Grace Community Church as many of us had not seen that part of her. What a joy to see Deb in that role. God is so good at showing us His path, in His timing.
I have had the honor, in the past few months to spend some precious time with Deb’s girls. In Nellie I was able to see Deb’s strength and in Charity, Deb’s love for family and in her grandchildren Deb’s incredible smile & laughter.
I thank God for the wonderful, memorable moments I was given with Deb Smith and her family.
From Philippians 4:8
And finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on these things…and the God of peace be with you.
If you have a reflection on this Celebration or the Celebration that took place in Mt Vernon, IL, on Saturday, October 20, 2007, please share it here as a comment.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My mom was born in Cincinnati and lived here until she was 41, when she and my dad moved back to the farm where he had grown up in southern Illinois.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, she graduated from Princeton High School. She attended Cincinnati Bible College, then took time off to raise two daughters and a son. As her daughter, I can say that she always gave the gift of her time and the gift of her self. She was a person who enjoyed "being," not simply doing.
All her life, my mom created art. She worked with paint, clay, fabrics, stained glass, pastels and all types of found objects.
Later in life, she took the role of a nontraditional student and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Miami University-Oxford with a degree in Fine Arts. She then earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Illinois University. After this, she taught painting, art appreciation, drawing and sculpture at Frontier Community College in Fairfield, Illinois. She was also a sought-after Judge of fine art for several Illinois art shows and competitions. My dad said that at art shows, she "always found something good about each contestant." He also called her a "woman of accomplishment."
My mom was wholly devoted to her faith. She and my dad co-pastored for 35 years at both Fellowship Christian Church in Monfort Heights and Grace Community Church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. She brought her artistic gifts to serve people in and out of the church her whole life.
As a team, my parents also operated Smith Family Farms, where they raised and sold beef cattle. My mom was active in all areas of the farm, from bottle-feeding orphaned calves to feeding the team of farmers to even naming some of the cows.
She was a woman who was loved by so many people in her short time on Earth.
Other online stories about Deb include:
Mt Vernon Register-News
Blessed Dear Ones!
Following the Celebration of the Resurrection for Deb Smith in Cincinnati on Sunday, October 21, 2007 (Details on the Celebration of the Resurrection) there will be a meal and fellowship for friends and family. All are welcome.
Here are the details:
Breaking Bread in Celebration of the Resurrection
Spaghetti dinner, with garlic bread and salad
(Prepared by brothers and sisters from the Vineyard Community Church)
Vineyard Community Church (Atrium)
11340 Century Circle E.
Cincinnati, OH 45246
October 21, 2007 from 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Please consider preparing a refrigeration free dessert to share
-- something that works on a napkin, like cookies, brownies, lemon squares, cupcakes, etc.
Suggested donation: $7.50 per person to help cover the cost of the dinner food.
It was very early in the morning on the first day of the week. The women took the spices they had prepared. Then they went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from it. When they entered the tomb, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They were wondering about this.
Suddenly two men in clothes as bright as lightning stood beside them. The women were terrified. They bowed down with their faces to the ground. Then the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here! He has risen! Remember how he told you he would rise. It was while he was still with you in Galilee. He said, 'The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people. He must be nailed to a cross. On the third day he will rise from the dead.' "
Then the women remembered Jesus' words.
They came back from the tomb. They told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them were the ones who told the apostles. But the apostles did not believe the women. Their words didn't make any sense to them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw the strips of linen lying by themselves. Then he went away, wondering what had happened.That same day two of Jesus' followers were going to a village called Emmaus. It was about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked about those things, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.
Jesus asked them, "What are you talking about as you walk along?"
They stood still, and their faces were sad. One of them was named Cleopas. He said to Jesus, "You must be a visitor to Jerusalem. If you lived there, you would know the things that have happened there in the last few days."
"What things?" Jesus asked.
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet. He was powerful in what he said and did in the eyes of God and all of the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed Jesus over to be sentenced to death. They nailed him to a cross. But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to set Israel free. Also, it is the third day since all this happened.
"Some of our women amazed us too. Early this morning they went to the tomb. But they didn't find his body. So they came and told us what they had seen. They saw angels, who said Jesus was alive. Then some of our friends went to the tomb. They saw it was empty, just as the women had said. They didn't see Jesus' body there."
Jesus said to them, "How foolish you are! How long it takes you to believe all that the prophets said! Didn't the Christ have to suffer these things and then receive his glory?"
Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures. He began with Moses and all the Prophets.
The two men approached the village where they were going. Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they tried hard to keep him from leaving. They said, "Stay with us. It is nearly evening. The day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
They said to each other, "He talked with us on the road. He opened the Scriptures to us. Weren't our hearts burning inside us during that time?"
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them. They were all gathered together. They were saying, "It's true! The Lord has risen! He has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two of them told what had happened to them on the way. They told how they had recognized Jesus when he broke the bread.
(Thank you to Elizabeth Patten for the photographs in this post)
We wanted to let you know of these updates in the Mt. Vernon area Services for Pastor Deb Smith. Visitation will be Saturday October the 20th from 10 am until 11 am at Grace Community Church. The memorial service, officiated by Pastor Monty Weatherall and Pastor Lynn Laughlin, will follow at 11 am.
Immediately after the service the family will have a private meal.
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
Monday, October 15, 2007
There will be two Memorial Services for Deb Smith this coming weekend. The family has provided the following details:
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Grace Community Church
14769 N Highway 37
Mt Vernon, IL 62864
Visitation @ 10:00 AM (at Grace Community Church)
Celebration @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, October 21, 2007
New Hope Community Church
3707 Edgewood Dr
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Visitation @ 2:00 PM (at the New Hope Community Church)
Celebration @ 3:00 PM
Please keep the entire Smith family in your prayers.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Dear friends in Christ,
Today my dear wife Deb went to be with Christ Jesus and the saints who have gone before us. Her healing is now complete. God's sovereign purposes are also complete. I often quoted Wimber in dealing with the tough times on Earth, "Earth aint heaven." But today I am finding comfort in being able to say "yes, but heaven is heaven." And Deb is healed, Deb is soaking in the beauty, Deb is singing with one of the awesome praise teams, Deb is telling the angels about her awesome five grandkids.
Our hearts ache. This big old farmhouse is silent but her legacy has just begun.
I do not have the words to tell all of you in the lovingdebsmith congregation what comfort we received from reading your blog entries. Our computer room is on the second floor in our home so I would have to print things out as Deb couldn't do stairs. Then Darla began bringing her laptop out and letting Deb see your letters with her own eyes. Yesterday the Holy Spirit prepared Deb for her homegoing by Darla playing a CD that brother Drew Grounds, worship leader at Central Christian Church, had made for Deb. But in the middle of it, Darla stopped and played Deb's 7 Calls To Worship, which magician Michael Cristiani reproduced on the blog. Deb could not speak the past three days. She made sounds that we tried to interpret but during one of the praise songs, she was able to sing along, by saying, "hallelu, hallelu." The hospice nurse could tell something was moving in the room and asked Deb, "What are you seeing?" Deb said, "angels." The nurse asked, "have they come for you?" She said, "not yet." At the end of that day, the nurses told us they believed she would go to be with the Lord in 24-48 hours.
At 3 am, Jordan and I decided to move her onto a pillow wedge in her bed to help relieve the coughing. In her broken language, she began to speak to Jordan and Jordan began to speak to his mother amidst the tears. He kissed and spoke of his love for his mother and began to pray for his mother. The Holy Spirit used this moment mightily for all three of us. I then gave Deb another round of meds in her IV port and then laid down with her and rubbed her head, arm and shoulders and she talked to me for quite a while also. Then she became silent but was still breathing and at about 4, I said, "If I'm going to work tomorrow, I've got to go to the couch to get a couple hours of sleep." For the past four months, I would be awakened by Deb's strange, unusual sounds. Today, the house was silent. I ran to her bed and her spirit was gone to be with Jesus.
We are sad but we are grateful because as Paul told the young church, "we are not like people of the world who die without hope."
We are going to honor Deb and her Savior in two Memorial Services, Lord willing. Next Saturday, October 20 at Grace Community Church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois at 11am and Sunday, October 21st at 3pm at New Hope Community Church , originally known by most of us at Fellowship Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I cannot close this love note to all of you without saying thank you for your generous gifts which have enabled us to combat the financial challenges of cancer medical care. You have kept our heads afloat, financially. We are still not out of the woods, in that our insurance company has not paid the first dollar because they are still looking in Deb's medical history to find a preexisting condition. They have renegotiated some of the prices with the hospitals and testing agencies. But they are still refusing to pay real money for the outstanding bills. Again, thank you.
Let me close by saying that Deb loved teaching art at a small college--Frontier Community College. Our family is establishing a "Deb Smith Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship" in her honor and to continue her ministry of helping discover students gifted to "do art." Deb's greatest joy was discovering the kids whom God had wired up to paint, do sculpture, do architecture. The administration originally told her they had to have a Fine Arts teacher to meet Humanities requirements for the State but not to expect any one to be very serious about Art and certainly no one to go on and major in Art at a 4-year University. She and her students surprised them as she has sent, the last time we counted, nine students on to major universities in Fine Arts, Graphic Arts, Art Education and Architecture. If you want to contribute to this scholarship fund, simply make your check out to "Frontier Community College" with Deb Smith on the Memo line and mail to our home address at 10517 North Panzier Lane, Ashley, IL 62808. Thank you.
Deb and I would read the blog and we would remember you and relive stories of our young life in Christ together. And our faith would be renewed in the midst of the most vicious battle of our lives. Surely friendship in Christ is eternal. God bless you all. Tom Smith.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Dear friends,Please bring Tom and the whole Smith family before the Throne of Grace.
It is with immeasurable sadness that we write. Our mom passed away early this morning. She passed in her sleep. Please keep us in your prayers as we plan for the future.
All our thanks, the Smith family."
Please watch Loving Deb Smith for details on memorials, etc., as they become available.
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous ones made perfect, to Jesus ...
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Nellie, Zach and I returned home from Ashley later last week. We spent several days at our mom's bedside, and were relieved to see her temperature go down.
She is still sleeping most of the day and night. She is getting great care from family and her nurses. Her situation still remains critical.
As of last Thursday, her main hospice nurse said that her life expectancy, based on the symptoms she sees, is a few days or a week.
God, indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Charity has provided the following update, this evening:
I'm writing from my parents' house. Nellie, Zach and I came over late last night.
To all friends who are reading today's entry, our family sends out a thank you and a genuine appreciation for all the manifestations of love you have shown us.
We have gathered at our parents' home because the hospice nurses say that our mom's situation has become extremely critical. They are concerned that she does not have much time left because she has had a 103 degree fever, low blood pressure and terminal dehydration. She sleeps 20 hours a day. The nurses have recommended that we all be here with her now.
Please pray for us as we spend this time with our mom.... And as we attempt to plan for the future. She has expressed that she wants to be buried in Cincinnati, so we anticipate a great reunion with all our friends at a memorial service there, in addition to a memorial service in Mt. Vernon. We will blog about plans as we learn what they are.
With love, Charity
Monday, October 1, 2007
Here, again, is a most hopeful and compassionate Call to Worship from our dear sister. Thank you, Deb. You are a holy servant of God, Who embraces you on the highway of your journey of Faith. He fills you with every Grace and Blessing!----------------
Call to Worship 5
"We're going to be talking about heaven today. And I have a scripture for you from Isaiah, and it kind of gives a description of heaven. It's from Isaiah 35.And a highway shall be there, ...,Let's pray.
and it shall be called the Holy Way.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
And fools shall not err therein.
No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come upon it;
they shall not be found there.
But the redeemed shall walk there,
and the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and come to Zion with singing,
with everlasting joy upon their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Thank You LORD. Thank you for this promise of heaven. We have that hope.
We all have lots of folks we're going to see when we get there; that we miss. Because they are not here anymore, and we now they are waiting. And we know that they get to see You, and they get to be with You, and someday we will too.
But right now we are happy for the rain and we are happy for the sunshine, and we are just going to make a decision, make a choice, to be joyful.
We love you, Jesus, and now we are going to come and try to give you praise, sacrifice of praise. Some of it will be happy and boisterous, and some of it will be quiet and introspective. But all of it is done for You, Lord Jesus.
We love You.
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit toa great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.
23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,
25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.
26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at Your altars,
O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house,
ever singing your praise!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Many of you have offered this service of Love already, for which all are exceedingly grateful. For example, to quote Nellie today,
"Meals are always welcomed ... Barb Hine brought casseroles for Charity and I. I can't tell you how much I appreciated it."
Nellie heads to the farm every weekend and can take any food that people can offer. She also takes a cooler with Graeter's vanilla ice cream and double chocolate chip, which Tom enjoys immensely.
I will rejoice in hope, persevere in affliction, and continue steadfastly in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Monday, September 24, 2007
What follows is a paraphrase of a comment left by Suzie Cain at Shared Notes to Deb & Tom and the Family on Loving Deb Smith. The sentiment and affection is a blessed memory and encouragement to pray for Deb and Tom and their whole family. Please do.
How fast time has flown. Many have known you as the wonderful couple who "put on Jesus" for all the rest of us as Fellowship was being birthed. We loved how you guys loved each other!
Deb, our hearts are breaking over your pain, but we rejoice in the love that surrounds you. Love and prayers are flowing like small streams from hundreds of people, forming a huge river that will bear you up to Jesus's throne in a huge swell of supplication and thanksgiving. We pray for relief from your pain, Deb. We pray for cool, sunlit days to enjoy this fall, and wish we could be there to give you a hug and thank you for the example you are to all women everywhere. Know that we pray for you every time you come to mind, and we pray for your family. Blessings to you with love and hugs.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, often known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, is one of Deb Smith's role models of the Christian life. In Deb Call to Worship 4, Deb reads a passage often attributed to Mother Teresa, commenting that when she reads it she often thinks, "Here's how you're supposed to look if you want to be like Jesus."
”People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people might be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see in the end, it was between you and God. It never was between you and them, anyway."
Sort of like 1 Cor 13:4-8a:
Love is patient, (Eph 4:2; 2 Peter 3:9)
love is kind. (Prov 14:21)
It does not envy, (Job 5:2)
it does not boast, (Eph 2:8-10)
it is not proud. (Ps 131:1 ; Rom 12:16)
It is not rude, (Gal 5:22)
it is not self-seeking, (Phil 2:1-11)
it is not easily angered, (Eph 4:26)
it keeps no record of wrongs. (Ps 103:11-13)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (Rom 12:9-21)
It always protects, (Ps 116:5-7)
always trusts, (Prov 3:5-6)
always hopes, (1Pet 1:21)
always perseveres. (Heb 10:36 ; Heb 11:27 ; James 1:12; James 5:11)
Love never fails. (1John 4:16)
(1 Cor 13:4-8a)
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Today God has drawn close to Deb through the Psalms of David. Darla notes that,
"It is truly wonderful to read scriptures to Deb and watch her drinking them in."
In the next few posts to Loving Deb Smith, Deb will share those Scripture passages that have ministered deeply to her today, in hopes that they will do the same for you. Please use these passages as you continue to pray for Deb and her family. Thank you! Here are the first few:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter,
you will restore my life again;
from the depths of the earth
you will again bring me up.
Psalm 62: 1-2
My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 94: 18-19
If I say , "My foot slips,"
Your mercy , O Lord, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul
Psalm 34: 18-19
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted,
saves those whose spirit is crushed.
Many are the troubles of the just, but the LORD delivers from them all.
God watches over all their bones; not a one shall be broken.
Darla reports that Deb has continued to draw close to Jesus in her suffering and weakness. She rests much, continues to have extreme nausea and, consequently, difficulty eating and keeping fluids down. Please pray for her comfort:
Your hands made me and fashioned me;
Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.
May those who fear You see me and be glad,
Because I wait for Your word.
O may Your Lovingkindness comfort me,
According to Your word to Your servant.
May Your compassion come to me that I may live..
My soul languishes for Your salvation;
I wait for Your word.
My eyes fail with longing for Your word,
While I say, "When will you comfort me?"
(Ps 119: 73-74, 76-77, 81-82, NASB)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here's a way to help Deb bless the socks off your family members, co-workers, fellow bus riders, folks at the grocery store, etc. Download the individual Deb Call to Worship .mp3 files contained with the Loving Deb Smith podcast, then set them as ring tones on your cell phone. To do so, you can:
- click on this link to subscribe to the Loving Deb Smith podcast as an RSS feed, or
- click on the "Get Podcast" button on the Loving Deb Smith podcast player in the left side bar, and follow the directions given, or
- use the links below to download the files directly to your computer.
Deb's Call to Worship 1 is an excellent choice. Imagine you and your peeps hearing:
"Alright, alright, alright, we're having too much fun here.and then Psalm 139 every time your cell phone rings. Many blessings all around!!
We just love each other too much, huh. That's right."
- Call to Worship 2
- Call to Worship 3
- Call to Worship 4
- Call to Worship 5
- Call to Worship 6
- Call to Worship 7
Please use the Comment link for this post if you do this, and share how Deb is using your cell phone ring tone to minister to you or others.
Peace and All Good!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Reports from those who have had the privilege to speak with Deb and serve her up close recently have reported some marvelous things.
Deb continues to be encouraged by the love and support folks are sharing, even to the point of breaking out in song/worship (singing the hymn Marla McNabb recalled in her recent comment.
Jordan has started a new fashion craze to support his mom by shaving his head (anyone want to join him?)
Tom and the kids and the grands encourage Deb tirelessly, and offer their service of Love and prayers without ceasing -- what a witness of the Love of God! Deb has often made it well known to friends lately how much she loves her family and how much Joy their times together bring her!
Tom's Aunt Vera, his mom, Louise, and his sister Darla have been taking turns with day time visits and helping Deb with here physical needs. Please lift them up in prayer.
Hal, the kids and I spent last weekend with mom. We had all been looking forward to it since the kids hadn't seen 'Grandma' since June. As you can see from the photos, they spent most of their time sitting on Grandma's lap, coloring with her, or watching TV with her (Spongebob is a favorite).
Mom's medicines have enabled her to move around the first floor of her house slowly for a few hours a day, although she still deals with nausea. Her Hospice nurses take care of medical details and Dad continues to take good care of her while working his farm and managing Farraway Farms.
She truly appreciates the love and support from her friends across the globe.
Thanks again, Charity
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Israel I would feed with the finest wheat, satisfy them with honey from the rock.A new med yesterday is helping with the nausea. Nellie fixed Deb cream of wheat for breakfast this morning, and it stayed down. First food to stay down in over a month.
Praise the Lord for the small things, especially cream of wheat.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
In a recent comment on Loving Deb Smith, Deb Patten offered the following for consideration:
Dear Deb, Tom, and beloved ones,
Don (Poody) and I pray with perseverance for you. Our heavy and prayerful hearts join all of the family of Christ for you. I thought of you in this verse:
..."Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear ; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say, Here am I."
(Isaiah 58:8)Dear Family of Believers,Much Love,
This scripture is preceded by instructions on fasting. In the freedom of the Holy Spirit ... those of you who would like to, fast for Deb ... many already have ... Feel free to fast as you wish since there are many ways it can be done. It will be a wonderful time of giving glory to the Father on behalf of our dear sister Deb, and for Tom, and their beloved family.
Poody and Deb
Monday, August 13, 2007
This post is from Tami Thurston, Deb's very close friend for 30 years. It is rich in Love and understanding, and will help many to focus their prayers and deep emotions about Deb and her family during this most difficult time.
To the friends and family of Deb,
Deb has been my best friend for the best part of 30 years now. There are no words to describe the depth of the pain I feel in my heart because of the suffering of my friend. I have stayed in close touch almost daily and have watched my dear friend's body deteriorate. However, I want to tell you all how I have seen her "heart" strengthening. When she is able to talk she always wants me to read her the notes on the blog. The words of love and encouragement have blessed her greatly. She has cried many times at the outpouring of love and amidst her pain has expressed how blessed she has been to have such wonderful friends. She has marveled at the fact that so many people are praying and care enough to talk to the Lord on her behalf.
I wish I had the faith to believe that her body will be healed here on earth, but I am finding my faith is not that strong right now. Lord, please forgive me. What I do know though, without a moment of doubt, is that Deb is anxious to some day dance with Jesus and be held in His arms. She longs to rest in the Father. I also know however that she doesn't want to leave her family. Her love for Tom and her kids and grandkids is deeper than any I have ever seen. The last year has been very difficult and yet all she has ever asked me to pray is for her family to be comforted and strengthened. My prayer right now is that Deb will find a peace deep inside and will feel the love of the Father in a way that she has never felt before. I pray for her family to feel the comfort that God can give in a way man can't. I also pray that they will know deep inside that God's plan is, and will be, the perfect one for them and for Deb. I also pray for a strengthening of their family. I know one of Deb's greatest desires is for the strength of her family to continue to grow no matter what the circumstances. Lord please touch each one of her children and Tom. Allow them to feel your hand guiding them through the days to come. Send them the Comforter. Give them strength beyond what they have ever known as they are called on to care for her physical needs. Lord I ask these things in the name of Jesus.
I'm not sure what our Lord has planned for Deb's body but I do know His plan for her soul. Deb and I have talked many times about heaven, and eternity. Let me assure you all that she is so excited and anxious for the day she will receive her new body and be in His presence. (We have always been sure that's a nice thin body with good hair!)
I pray right now for the pain to subside and peace to overwhelm her. I thank you, Jesus, that Deb knows You and has taught so many of us how to live with You deep in our hearts. I thank you that she has shown me what unconditional Love is and that she has been You to me so many times. I ask You, Lord, to help those of us who love her so very much to not be angry about what's happening to her and trust that Your plan is perfect. I ask You, Lord, to remind her spirit of that and to draw her close and help her to feel You. Heal her body Lord , if that is you will. If not here on earth, then thank You for the promise that she will be healed in heaven. Lord Jesus, come quickly! Thank you for the honor of having such a special friend.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
As of August 11, our mom is now at home under hospice care. Her oncologist has advised that the treatment is no longer working and he has recommended hospice of Southern Illiniois.
She is struggling with keeping any food or liquid down here at home. Please pray for her nourishment and digestive processes.
Right now, Hal and I are with her and Aunt Vera has come to help.
In the next few days, we are looking to find medical personnel who can consistently come be with our mom and take care of her IV's, meds and our questions during the day while Dad is at work. Hospice is not able to stay for the duration of a typical workday.
We thank you for your love and prayers, Charity.
Posted by Loving Deb Smith at 11:31 PM
Friday, August 10, 2007
Our mom is still at Mercy St. John's in St. Louis. Her nausea is not causing her as much discomfort since her doctor changed medicines. Still, her appetite is very weak and she is often disoriented.
She had a CAT scan on Monday, August 6th that showed no evidence of cancer in her brain. Thank God!
She is at great risk for falling, so she has been assigned her own nurse full-time. She wants to get up but she fell last Sunday night and cut her lip.
Please pray for peace.
Love and appreciation,
Posted by Michael W Cristiani at 11:30 AM
Monday, August 6, 2007
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
Your fervent and constant prayers are a continued blessing to Deb and Tom and their family. They are needed now most desperately; please take some time to go before the Lord right now. Deb is still hospitalized, and word comes tonight, from Nellie that,
My mom has gone downhill since Wednesday of this week ... By Saturday she could barely open her eyes and barely speak to Zach and me. She is unable to eat on her own and is unable to hold food down ... Charity drove over this afternoon. I just got back to Cincinnati to take care of some things here then I am headed back in the next few days. I've been there for a week and I am exhausted. My poor dad is exhausted. We are all very afraid. My mom needs prayer and so do we. Also the people caring for her in the hospital need prayer as well ...We need a renewed strength and hope desperately.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
The following is a transcription of a Call to Worship given by Deb Smith at Grace Community Church in Mt Vernon, IL, and featured on the podcast player that you can find in the left side bar.
Good morning, good morning, I am reading from Jeremiah.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Let's pray.
(Jeremiah 29:11-13, ESV)
Thank You, LORD. I thank You for the rain. And I thank You for the storms of life. And I thank You for the peace of life. And I thank You, LORD, that this is a sanctuary and that it is a safe place, and that You abide with us in this place. And I am so grateful for that, LORD, because sometimes the storms of life are real scary, and we are afraid. Thank You, LORD, that You walk with us during that time, and that You bring us to a safe place, and that simply abiding with You is a safe place. Thank you, Jesus, for the promise of a future, and the promise of hope to get there. We love you, Jesus, with all our heart, and now we come and worship You. Amen.