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.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Many Thanks, Deb!

Dear Ones,

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):

I often think about our friends from the Jesus Movement and wonder what happened to them. Then, when Deb Smith, one of the midwives of the Movement , died, dozens of them contacted the blog set up to pray for her and many returned to honor her and Tom at the Celebration of the Resurrection.

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:

Just writing this email is an overwhelming experience as I look at the list of names of people who are part of a very special era in my life, and who share those precious memories. I don't think that I will ever have as many joyful memories ... as I have from the times at FCC or the Jesus House, or ever meet as talented or inspiring a group of people.  Just amazing!

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

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Deb Smith's Resurrection Celebration a few weeks ago.  What an incredible thing to be able to reconnect after all this time.  The occasion made it all the more poignant.  My heart was a whirlpool of emotions – deep sadness at the absence of our dear sister and at the pain of her absence suffered by her dear family, gladness for her relief from pain and sadness – and for her presence with Jesus, and overflowing blessing at seeing so many people I love so dearly and have missed so much.  I only regret that I couldn't have at least had an evening together with each of you just to catch up and hear your stories.  I intend to send a generic "catch-up" e-mail soon, and maybe some of you would be inclined to do the same.

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.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Deb!

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).

Celebration of the Resurrection