About Me

What I’ve been doing, generally                                                                                          

For 22 years, my husband, Sam, and I pastored Christ Tabernacle in Santa Rosa, CA. I have directed vocal ensembles, arranged music, led worship, and spent countless hours at the piano. During these years, I have also led many inductive Bible studies, most of which I researched and created.

We raised 3 children. Quite successfully, may I say.

On August 19, 2012, our oldest son, Nicolas, was installed as Lead Pastor of Christ Tabernacle. My husband assumed the position of Elder Pastor. We are thrilled to see two years of planning and preparation result in a seamless transition. Our roles in the church are now that of mentoring, counseling, and supporting the vibrant young leadership God is raising up.


My husband is from the former Yugoslavia. We met in West Germany in the 1970s. You’ll find our family in Serbia, Australia, and coast to coast in the U.S.

Nicolas and his lovely wife, Dana, presented us with our first grandchild, Natalia, in 2010. Grandson Isaac arrived in 2012. We now know that grandchildren are the big payoff for having kids.

Our son, Aaron, married his Jennifer in September 2012. He was a little slow on this assignment and we thought we were going to have to ask her ourselves. The loss of their firstborn daughter in a stillbirth on February 16th, 2014 has been one of the great sorrows of our family. I chronicle our story in my post Silent BirthThey are expecting again. We are anticipating, joyfully, the arrival of their baby in late January 2015.

Our daughter, Jessica, besides being beautiful inside and out, is generally adored by everyone who knows her. She has worked in the past with troubled teen girls. Now, she brings her training and her heart for young women into service at CT as a friend and mentor.

The influence of books

Books have profoundly informed my life, no pun intended. There was no television in our home growing up and I read voraciously.  Horse books dominated for years, then I moved added mysteries: The Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Nancy Drew. Later, I enjoyed writers such as Robert Ludlum (yes, I had read all of his Bourne books long before the movies came out), J.R.R. Tolkien (yes, I had read The Hobbit and the Trilogy long before the movies came out), to name a few. Christian writers such as Catherine Marshall and Evelyn Christensen were a strong influence.  C.S. Lewis is a favorite, as are A.W. Tozer and G.K. Chesterton.  I have always read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, secular and Christian.

The writing life, later in life

I began writing as a teenager and never stopped. Now, in the 21st century, the universe of new media has opened up possibilities for everyone. It’s great fun joining the worldwide conversation.

My articles are now being published in Christian outlets.  What a pleasure to see things I’ve been thinking about appear in print.

In case you didn’t know ->

I took piano lessons from age 7 to 16, classically trained. I have spent a significant portion of my life at the piano, an instrument I love.

Having had a lifelong love of water, I was scuba certified at age 40.  Sam joined me several years later and we have dived in Hawaii, Australia, and the Adriatic. The north coast is too dang cold.

I do not like curry, of any sort, ever.

I rarely buy anything that is not on sale.

Although in my heart I want to support local businesses, I usually shop for books online.

Taco Bell is my fast food of choice. However, as time goes by, I visit less often. I will not explain this.

I am a cleanie and a neatnik.

I hope you will enjoy thinking with me!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Erin Smith on March 28, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Oh Debra, I am smiling as I read this! What a joy to know you<3


  2. And what a privilege to be part of your journey.


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