To help financially during this time of great need, please forward your offering to Tom's sister:
Darla Wexttsen, 16738 N. Tolle Lane, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
checks may be made payable to "Grace Community Church"

There is also a deposit account set up at US Bank to help defray Deb's uncovered medical expenses.
Visit any US Bank branch office to make a deposit in cash or by check for "Deborah A. Smith Memorial Fund".
Please be sure to mention Charity Paddock or Nellie Haverkos to be sure the gift is properly deposited.

If you use this link to join, then go shopping there, as much as 26% of your purchases will help the family.

RECENT COMMENTS (Add one by clicking on a post"s Comments link)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Call to Worship: Sing to His name, for he is gracious!

The following is a transcript of one of Deb's Calls to Worship featured on the podcast player that you can find in the left side bar:

Gonna read from Psalm 135.

Praise the LORD.
Praise the name of the LORD,
give praise, O servants of the LORD,
you that stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
sing to his name, for he is gracious!
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his own possession.

For I know that the LORD is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases he does,
in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.

Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good!
(Psalm 135:1:7 RSV)
Let's pray,
Yes, LORD, we do say that you are good.
We know that you are the one in control; we give you that permission.
Thank you, LORD, for thinking about us as your chicks under your wings and that you care for us that way.
You shield us and you shelter us and care for us and provide for us, LORD.
We love you, Jesus!
Now help us come, LORD, and give you praise that is pleasing to you, for that is our desire.
It is in your name the we pray.

A Call to Worship: O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.

The following is a transcript of one of Deb's Calls to Worship featured on the podcast player that you can find in the left side bar:

Alright, alright, alright, we're having to much fun here.
We just love each other too much, huh. That's right.
I am going to read to you from Psalm 139.
I've been meditating on this this week,
and it has really had a lot meaning for me,
and I thought I would share it with you.

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
(Ps 139:1-10 NIV)
Let's pray.
Thank You, LORD, that you do hem us in,
in the front and in the back, You take care of us.
Thank You, LORD, that You know us so well;
You made us, You are our creator.
LORD, help us to bring Glory to You as we worship.
It is in Your Son's Name that we pray.

Dear Ones,

When you listen to this Call to Worship on the podcast in the left side bar, you realize that Deb is so in Love with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Glory to God! Alleluia!

They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away

The following is a transcript of one of Deb's Calls to Worship featured on the podcast player that you can find in the left side bar:

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, ...,
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.
(Isaiah 35:8-10)
Let's pray.

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.

Dear Ones,

This passage from Isaiah 35 reminds that there is Joy in the journey, no matter the trials and suffering. The anointed encouragement ministry of Deb's friends Nancy and Greg Eckel at the Optical Joy web site, born out of their own cancer journey and suffering, has encouraged Deb and Tom during this tremendously painful time. Please visit Optical Joy if you need encouragement and a reminder of the Joy of the redeemed and the Boundless Love of God regardless of any circumstance.

May God Always be Praised and Glorified!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Deb is still at Mercy St. John's with bodily pain

Charity sent the following update on Deb this afternoon. Her note about Tom was in response to a question whether Tom has heard from anyone about helping on the farm(s) in the next couple of weeks.

Mom is still at Mercy St. John's as I write this. I talked with my dad last night and he said that her left eye is still really bothering her and her left leg is giving her pain. She's had breakthrough pain as well all over her body.

He didn't mention any offers about farm help but we didn't talk about that.


So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Online merchants @ now support Deb Smith.

Now you can help Deb and Tom with the overwhelming cost of uncovered medical and ancillary services by signing up to do some online shopping at There are over 680 well-known online stores ready to donate up to 26% of the purchase price to Loving Deb Smith. And you will receive free deals and coupons just by being an member. Also, if you join using this link and make a purchase within 45 days from one of the participating stores, itself will donate $5 FREE to Loving Deb Smith!

Here is how it works:
1. Join to Support Loving Deb Smith. It's FREE, private, & easy.

2. Shop the Mall at You'll see familiar stores like Lands' End, Office Depot, JCPenney, Expedia, Barnes & Noble, and eBay, etc.

3. Up to 26% of each purchase gets donated to Loving Deb Smith!

Remember, shop within 45 days of joining, and get an extra $5 donation, FREE.

If you use this link to join for FREE, Loving Deb Smith will be selected as the cause you'll support.

Please forgive the sales pitchy tone of this post. This opportunity has been a while in coming, and now that the details are worked out, it is worth a bit of a promotion if it helps Deb & Tom. You will note that there are many specialty merchants involved, including ones you may have dealt with in the past. Using makes the shopping experience more meaningful.

P.S. would like you to know that all the causes at have been listed by members for their own and others' benefit. They don't endorse the causes, and the causes don't endorse them.

Happy Birthday to Charity!

Hello, again, Friends of Deb!

I hope this post finds you all well, and enjoying a pleasant reprieve from the summer heat.

Here's a simple way you can shed a little sunlight into the life of a woman who's had way too much on her plate, lately. :)

Charity, Deb's oldest daughter, is having a Birthday, tomorrow, Thursday, July 26. Please drop her an email or whatever you feel is appropriate. I just know this would make her feel good, and she certainly deserves to feel good during this difficult time, don't you think? :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shared intercessory prayers for Deb and her family from around the world

Many of you have engaged your online communities as intercessors for Deb. As this happens, search engine results continue to grow, providing a visible witness of God's Love and the unity of the Body of Christ.

Some intercessors also have kindly shared their prayers with Loving Deb Smith. Comments to this post include the text of these intercessions, and may serve to help you as you pray with your small groups, online fellowships, or quiet times.

Please add your own if you would like to share them with the Loving Deb Smith community.

Thank you for your continued prayers, gifts and service for Deb and her family.

Peace and All Good!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Deb is back in the hospital again as of early on July 23, 2007

Charity reported at about 10:00 PM that

"Early this morning, my dad took my mom back to St. John's. Her nausea and pain level were unbearable. She asks for prayer for her left eye again. And now there is new pain in her left leg. She'll be seeing her oncologist, Dr. Needles at 6AM tomorrow."

Your fervent and unceasing prayers for our sister are much appreciated. And for her family.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy (Ps 34:6)

Nellie reported on Friday, July 20, 2007, that Deb will receive radiation treatment for the cancer that is effecting her eye sight, in hope that this will retard the deterioration she presently suffers.

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. (Rom 12:12)

Can you drive a tractor?

The next few weeks will be hectic around the Smith family farm, and Tom could use some help, if you can drive a tractor. This is especially so since Tom is also managing another farm under contract. So ... if you can drive a tractor and are itching to be a farmer-in-the-dell, as God so leads, please give Tom a call at 618-735-2966. He is very busy with the farms, so you may have to leave a message. This would be a major blessing to both Tom and Deb, as it may give them some time to be together, which is hard to come by right now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Deb is home

Nellie reported today that our dear sister Deb is home from the hospital. But it seems the morphine drip line came out or got pinched sometime Tuesday night. A visiting nurse had to stop by today to get things straightened out.

Thank you to all who are offering advice and information on nausea relief during cancer treatments.

Nellie has been trying to help Charity with the kids. With the 4 kids and Charity running back & forth to the hospital they could use some meals and other assistance. If live in the Cincinnati area and you are able to help with meals, please e-mail Loving Deb Smith, or let Charity or Nellie know directly (see the left side bar for their contact information).

In fact, if you like to do the meal thing and you would like to help Deb and Tom in this way, surely that would be great as well. Their contact information is also in the left side bar.

Please continue to keep them all in your prayers, expecting God to Love.

Audio Loving Deb Smith

Dear Ones,

A number of you have asked about offering your comments as audio clips instead of comments. One example of this is available at Audio Hugs from Barb Hine. Another very loving example is the podcast recorded by Paula Clouse from Grace Community Church. If you have an audio greeting for Deb or her family, please forward it to Loving Deb Smith, or include a link to it in a comment to this post.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.

1 O LORD, you have probed me, you know me:
2 you know when I sit and stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.
3 my travels and my rest you mark; with all my ways you are familiar.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, you know it all.
5 Behind and before you encircle me and rest your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is beyond me, far too lofty for me to reach.
7 Where can I hide from your spirit? From your presence, where can I flee?
8 If I ascend to the heavens, you are there; if I lie down in Sheol, you are there too.
9 If I fly with the wings of dawn and alight beyond the sea,
10 Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light" --
12 Darkness is not dark for you, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one.
13 You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew;
15 my bones were not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.
17 How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them!
18 Were I to count, they would outnumber the sands; to finish, I would need eternity.
(Psalm 139:1b:18, NAB)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Deb Smith Calls You to Worship

The podcast player in the left side bar of this blog now features Deb ministering in seven inspiring recorded Calls to Worship from Grace Community Church in Mt Vernon, IL, (thanks to Jeff Crow, Mindy McWilliams, and Dave Fields). They will bring you into God's presence and make you weep in awe of Deb's deep love for Jesus. They will also challenge you to go deeper, worship more fervently, and Live in the Truth of His Great Love. Find one and click to listen.

In an early comment on Loving Deb Smith, Gary Sweeten noted the following:

"I hope you all have a photo of Deb leading worship at Grace Church in Mt. Vernon. She would take the big, cumbersome Altar Bible that weighed at least 20 pounds and hold it in both hands as she led a meditation and call to worship. The picture of her standing there on the dais with that big Bible, smiling and weaving an incredible story around God's love and grace will remain with me for ages. Her words were always penetrating and creative just like Deb's mind and heart. She set the stage for us to worship God in Spirit and truth for her childlike heart overflowed into praise and thanksgiving and inspired us as well with her faith.
If anyone has a picture of Deb like the one Gary described, please pass it on to Loving Deb Smith. The music on the podcast player is designed to encourage Deb and you, strengthen your faith and hope, build you up in love, and reach out to those who are seeking the Truth, the Way, and the Life.
All Praise and Honor to the Lamb!

Recent news -- Deb has asked for specific prayer

I just spoke with my mom and she asked me (for the first time!) to blog about her recent situation.

On Saturday, she was readmitted to Mercy St. John's Hospital in St. Louis. Her nausea was completely out of control. She asks for prayer for her vision again. She doesn't want to go blind. She's not sure when she will be back home again.

Thanks, Charity

Dear Ones,

Deb's nearly constant nausea at this time appears to be related to a change (increase) in the morphine dosage she is receiving through the morphine pump. Please pray without ceasing (1Thess 5:16) that God will relieve her discomfort and draw Deb very close to Him, assuring her of His Boundless Love and Mercy.

If any readers of Loving Deb Smith are able to offer practical help on the morphine related nausea, please e-mail a note to Loving Deb Smith. Thank you.

As noted elsewhere in Loving Deb Smith, Deb's vision is under attack by cancer effecting her retina. Your fervent prayers that God will restore her vision are most needed at this time.

Be Thou my Vision
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words: At­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry (Rob tu mo bhoile, a Com­di cri­de );
trans­lat­ed from an­cient Ir­ish to Eng­lish by Ma­ry E. Byrne, in
"Eriú," Jour­nal of the School of Ir­ish Learn­ing, 1905, and versed by El­ea­nor H. Hull, 1912, alt.

Friday, July 13, 2007

US Bank deposit account to benefit Deb Smith

Dear Ones,

Elsewhere on this blog there has been significant mention of the by no means trivial financial dimension of Deb's illness. There also has been mention of several opportunities for brothers and sisters to gift Deb and Tom directly or with help like food, gas cards, purchases, etc. For those who feel led to make a direct monetary gift, please note that there is now a deposit account set up at US Bank to help defray Deb's uncovered medical expenses . Visit any US Bank branch office to make a deposit in cash or by check for "Deborah Smith", and they will deposit it into Deb's account. Nellie and Charity are the custodians of the account and will be sure that the funds are used solely for Deb's care.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Blogs Reaching Out in Prayer for Deb

In these times it seems God uses the blogosphere to bring the Body of Christ together, to provide the opportunities for believers to bind themselves to one another in Love such that the world can see the Truth of the Gospel. You already know about several from recent posts here. Some more recent examples:

Please pray for an old friend's mother
When I was little, in the 70's, my parents were in The Jesus Movement in Cincinnati, OH. Probably my first close playmate was a girl named Charity. Her mom and dad were the pastors at the Church my parents belonged to. Her mom is named Deb Smith. It's thirty years later, and she is in a desperate struggle with cancer. Please pray for her healing, her financial well-being, and, most importantly, the peace of the Holy Spirit to permeate every fiber of her and her family's hearts. Thanks!
  • on the new blog CONVERSATIONS Paula Clouse has put up a slide show dedicated to Deb and her artistic gifts. The show features photos taken recently in the Colorado Rockies.
  • Angie Shope notes, "I also have linked to lovingdebsmith on my blog at I have also posted a request for deb along with the link to many groups that I belong to as well.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Update from Charity as of Sunday, July 8th, 2007: "Saving money on hair dye!"

Great news! When I spent this weekend with my mom, she was able to walk upstairs with her medicines attached to the pole and sit down at the computer to read the blog created for her. She was so happy, amazed at the outpouring of love for her. She had not yet looked at the site as a whole, so she was thrilled to see all the photos, comments and posts her friends had made in her honor. She asked me to write this to all of you--that she is "overwhelmed" by the generous love of her friends.

She wanted me to also write that she's "saving money on hair dye" with her newly-shaved head. In these photos, she's holding granddaughter Violet, saying, "here we are, the two baldies."

Included is also a photo of her newest wig, given to her by her friend Nida on Saturday.

This past week, Mom spent several days with her longtime friend Tami, who drove from Colorado Springs. Then on Friday morning, she underwent chemo. After chemo, she was tired but up and around in the first floor of her house. She enjoyed the delicious meals prepared by Nellie's friend Teresa's family from Cincinnati. The homemade Skyline was delicious.

Lyrics of serenity from The Innocence Mission

Jill Klinehamer, Charity's first year college roommate and long-time friend posted this note on Sunday, July, 8, 2007.

Hello, All...

I recently received Innocence Mission's new CD, We Walked in Song (thanks to my cousin, Michele, in Seattle) as well as an earlier record of theirs called Christ Is My Hope. For those of you not familiar with Innocence Mission, they are a husband-wife Christian folk-rock duo. I have liked them since high school (oh way back when) and I am so pleased they're still making great music. I found the hymns and songs on Christ Is My Hope especially beautiful, and I wanted to share some lyrics with you, in honor of Deb.

Many of you probably know the hymn It Is Well With My Soul, which is one of my all-time favorites. If I knew Karen Peris, the singer for The Innocence Mission personally, I would beg her to play an acoustic set for Deb and her friends and family. For now, instead, here are some lyrics from three songs: It Is Well With My Soul, Beautiful Saviour and Morning Star. I have found them very comforting and lovely, and I hope you will too.

jill :)

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast tought me to say:
It is well, it is well with my soul...
Lyrics by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873)
Beautiful Saviour
Beautiful Saviour, King of Creation;
Son of God, and Son of Man,
You will we cherish,
You will we honor
Light of our souls, their joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows,

Fair are the woodlands,
Robed in the flowers of blooming spring;

Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer,
He makes our sorrowing spirit sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fair is the moonlight,
Bright the sparkling stars on high;

Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels in the sky.
(Unknown author, back in 1677)
Morning Star
Morning star so radiant and holy
Shine on me in my great hour of need.
Jesus Christ so beautiful and lovely,
Shine over me...
(Don Peris, ca 2000)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Moejo from the Fender Forum

Marc (the Compassionate) O'Hara sent the following via e-mail to Loving Deb Smith. Thanks, gentle brother.

I belong to a discussion group of guitar players that enjoy playing instruments made by the Fender Musical Instrument Company. The community discussion takes place in a section called "Moe's Tavern" that takes it's name from The Simpsons cartoon. It's not a Christian discussion group although a lot of folks are Christians from all walks of life. When we share our troubles or ask for someone to be remember we ask for "Moejo" and usually members will offer prayers.
If you belong to online affinity groups who might have an interest in lifting up Deb and her family in prayer, please encourage them to do so and let them know about Loving Deb Smith.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Doctor's visits and fashion plates!

Thank you all so much for all you have done and continue to do for Deb and Tom and the family. I took Deb to Dr. Fisher today. We both looked at the scans of her bones. Attempting to find an area to radiate to alleviate some of her pain. One can tell that this Dr. really "gets" Deb and likes her, and she him. Tom and Deb go to St Louis tomorrow for chemo. Hopefully this will assist her vision. She looks so cool with her head shaved. I mean it...if anyone can pull off that look, it is Deb. Very artsy! She and Tami (her life long friend) have had a wonderful visit.


Please pray that Deb will experience some pain relief and that God will use the chemo treatment to help her vision.

May God Always be Praised and Glorified!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Blogosphere = Loving Deb Smithosphere

Who'd have thunk it? As you know by now, Googling "Loving Deb Smith" is gratifying in itself. You see many links back to this site or parts of it. Loving Deb Smith is also getting some recognition from other search sites, including Technorati, Ice Rocket, and Google's Blog Search.

Now, in addition to fostering blog entries about Deb's illness and the family's incredible needs at this time on blogs like Brave Heart and Community, the Loving Deb Smith blog has encouraged Randy Moody to write at length on his family's web site: Randy and Rosie Moody and Family. Here is an excerpt:

It was 1971. I was living back at home, for the time being. I got a call from someone named "Tom Smith" who claimed to be a "campus minister" at the University of Cincinnati. He claimed to be a friend of Gary Sweeten. Said he had a "campus house" near the university and wanted to find a core of committed college-age brothers to live there and minister. At first I thought he was joking. "Tom Smith"? Come on. You can do better than that. Who is this really?

But I called my friend (since 5th grade) Poody (Don Patten) and told him about it. We prayed about it, and decided to move in together. For both of us, the effects of that decision were life-changing. Tom baptized me in a swimming pool in French Lick, Indiana. Under Tom's mentoring and influence, I came to have a ministry. And Poody came to have a wife. It doesn't get more life-changing than that!

Tom met and married a sweet sister named Deb, and their ministry has effected the lives of countless people, young and old, throughout the US and the world. They both have impacted me deeply.


I am praying that the Spirit of Life, the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, will give life to Deb's mortal body through his Spirit who lives in her (Romans 8:11). I am praying that that dark and evil cancer will wither and fade away in the blazing light of the presence of His Spirit in her. I am praying for total freedom from pain and discomfort for her, and complete restoration of health. There is nothing too hard for Him!

As I pray for Deb, I am also praying the same thing for two other friends, both of whom are also battling cancer — Mary Lafleur and Dave Perkins. Please join me in praying for these precious folks.

If you have a blog or web site on which is would be appropriate to mention Loving Deb Smith, and God leads, would you kindly do so and let us know at ?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Kingdom

Check out the podcast player in the left side bar for the newly added performance of The Kingdom by good friend Randy Moody. Deb has always enjoyed Randy's heartfelt singing and playing that brings you into God presence. Here it is a present for Deb.

If others wish to share .mp3 files of their own music which they know would lift Deb up, please contact Loving Deb Smith. Thanks.

The pain of insurance woes

Also, yesterday was quite a drain on Deb. After traveling all the way to Creve Coeur, MO, for a chemo treatment, Deb and Tom learned that their health insurance would now not cover the administration of the treatment in an outpatient setting. Imagine the round trip in pain, and now having to repeat the trip on July 6 at an alternative location nearby which should be covered by their insurance.

On the plus side, through very hard work on the part of Darla and her team, a very expensive nausea medication will now be available (if it can be found in rural Illinois) for 70 times less than it was costing last week. This is one example of the heroic stewardship Deb and her family are following with regard to the financial gifts they have received from all of you very special friends.

Praise be to God Who does not forsake us!


That's how Tom describes Deb and her new "do", courtesy of Nellie. Over the weekend Nellie lovingly shaved Deb's head. Scarves and a fine wig courtesy of the American Cancer Society now adorn her. Hoping for some pix.

Prayer and Praise for Deb from the Colorado Rockies

At an annual praise workshop event in Estes Park, Colorado, Paula Clouse from Grace Community Church asked for prayer for Deb. She reports:

There were people from all over the United States as well as Canada, Australia and Kenya who together lifted their voices in a chorus of petition and praise for Deb Smith. It was an amazing, powerful witness to the unifying power of prayer ... it was something akin to the awesomeness and power of being hit by a tidal wave. I was overcome with gratitude and joy, knowing that people from so many places were calling out Deb's name and "storming the gates of heaven" on her behalf. The power of the Spirit was absolutely electric.
Thank you, Paula.

Monday, July 2, 2007

It is He whom we proclaim ... For this I labor and struggle ...

Deb and Tom's ministry over the years is lovingly recounted by Gary Sweeten on his Brave Heart blog like this:
Tom Smith came to the University of Cincinati as Campus Minister for the Christian Church and hit the ground running. I was Associate Dean of Students responsible for the Student Groups at UC so Dale Adams, adviser to the Church, brought Tom to meet me at a lunch. Before long Tom had recruited a bunch of students who were excited about the Gospel. Tom was and is a gifted evangelist. He also met a beautiful young woman named Deb who soon became his bride.

Tom and Deb lived among the students at The Carpenter's Houses. There was one for girls and one for guys. God really moved among the students as they learned the Word of God and did His works of love and grace. God used Deb and Tom to spark a revival.

Deb, although about the same age as the students, was a house mother, friend, counselor, worship leader, Bible teacher and nurse maid. She led many a home sick kid through the pain of growing up apart from their moms.

That started about 1970 and developed into a church plant, a national church movement and an international association of Spirit empowered congregations. Deb and Tom were partners who parented three of their own children as well as hundreds of children they "adopted" from around the world.
Their proclamation of the Gospel and hardships over the decades and of late, especially for Deb, bring to mind the following verses of Scripture for consideration:
Colossians 1:24-29

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the church,
25 of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God,
26 the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to His holy ones,
27 to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
28 It is He whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
29 For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of His power working within me.
(New American Bible)
May God always be Glorified in the proclamation of the Gospel, even if words are necessary.

Thanks be to God for the privilege of bringing our sister and brother before the Throne of Grace, as they have done countlessly for so many. At Tom's urging, the need of the hour is a miracle, and we still believe in miracles!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Abundant Thanks and Update from tom and deb

Dear Friends in Christ,

Charity told us about the blog, and said "you've got to get ready to be loved". Wow, what an understatement. I logged on last weekend while Deb was in the hospital. But since our computer is on the second floor, and Deb can't do steps now, we had to wait until last Thursday when Darla brought her lap top out. You gave us not only an immense agape hug, but also fresh faith.

And faith is what we need. The last three months have been the most vicious warfare we have ever been in. The Enemy blindsided us. The first two Drs. we went to, and the first three MRIs, CAT scans and other tests couldn't discern what was really going on. It wasn't until a Physician's Assistant recommended a bone scan that we discovered the tragic truth that Deb had at least a dozen tumors on all her long bones.

Dr. Needles of the Pratt Cancer Institute in St. Louis did another round of tests including a biopsy and concluded Deb's cancer began as lung cancer and quickly spread to her lymph nodes and bones. Once the cancer gets to the bones it becomes very aggressive.

Need of the hour? A miracle. We still believe in miracles.

Thanks for continuing to pray alongside us.

tom and deb

p.s. Your cards, gifts, and emails have brought us to our knees. Someone on the blog said the costs are staggering. This is true. In the past seven weeks we have spent just over $6000 at the pharmacy. Our health insurance has included several surprises. The big one being our pharmacy card is only a "discount card" which means they don't really pay anything, just negotiates a little off the price of the pills. Like 5 to 15 %. If you dear friends had not responded to the Spirit's prompting, I don't know where we would be. Thank you so much. Ephesians 2:10

My soul stays close to you. Your right hand holds me up.

Psalm 63:1-8

1 God, you are my God. I will earnestly seek you. My soul thirsts for you, My flesh longs for you, In a dry and weary land, where there is no water.
2 So I have seen you in the sanctuary, Watching your power and your glory.
3 Because your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise you.
4 So I will bless you while I live. I will lift up my hands in your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with the richest food. My mouth shall praise you with joyful lips,
6 When I remember you on my bed, And think about you in the night watches.
7 For you have been my help. I will rejoice in the shadow of your wings.
8 My soul stays close to you. Your right hand holds me up.
(World English Bible)
God, you indeed are our hope and we long for you. Together we thirst for you with our sister, Deb. Together with her we lift up our hands to praise you with our lips. You have been Deb's help, and your right hand holds her up. Glory to You!

From our meeting in 1974 to today you have been such a special part of my life


From our meeting in 1974 to today you have been such a special part of my life. We've shared raising our kids, pottery classes in Clifton, women's bible studies, dinners with our families, church, a very interesting art class at the Art Academy, and so much more that has woven its way through our lives.

The picture below (scary as it is!) pulls me back to a time of great fun. Camping in Gatlinburg with the "girls" was a hoot! Did I read somewhere in the blog of a whoopee cushion? Tell me it's not the same one from 25 years ago…

Barb Hine, Deb Smith, Connie Lueking,
and Ruth Wallbrech

Lots of great times shared over many years, has blessed me. Thanks for being such a kindred spirit.

Love you, Barb Hine