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

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!


Paula Clouse said...

Hi Deb, Tom and Fam,
The transcription of Deb's Call to Worship from Isaiah 35 reminded me of the scripture that says,

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2.

I can't help but think that this suffering, the wretchedness of your current affliction(s) is your "enduring the cross"...for the ultimate joy (heaven) set before you. Jesus did his suffering KNOWING what was to come...when you are given a diagnosis of cancer, you certainly MUST (in some way) mentally "brace yourself" for what is to come.

While I am not so trite as to think you can (in your pain) "count it all joy", still, at some level, can there be SOME semblance of joy knowing that the ultimate end to your suffering (and ours) is heaven and FINALLY getting to be with the One who made all this (life) possible?

I am praying for you ALL, upholding you in my prayers and in my heart...daily...hourly...moment by moment.

Love and many MANY prayers,
Paula Clouse

Tresea Loveless said...

Dear Deb: The message you posted yesterday made me feel like I was sitting in the congregation listening to you give the Call to Worship on any Sunday Morning. My, how things change!!! Remember when you spoke about being a thread and the Lord weaving what seems to be a tatter into a beautiful tapestry? I have held to that, a word from my Father, given through you, my sister. I love you.

I would love to get together and catch up on things, but I understand that your time is not your own for the most part. I know you are being well cared for and I know that Jesus has you in his hands. Don't you know that you, going through the refiners fire, are pure as gold by now!