David B. Smith
David B. Smith grew up in a missionary family, the second of four sons. HIs childhood homes were in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand; he attended elementary school there and then went to a boarding high school in Singapore. HIs father, Pastor Ken Smith, was the former child film star Darwood Kaye, who acted with Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and Darla Hood in the Our Gang comedy series. HIs 2009 book, Finding Waldo, tells the fascinating story of how a budding actor instead became a missionary hospital chaplain in Asia. His mom is Jean Venden, cousin to well-known college pastors Lou and Morris Venden. HIs three brothers are all active as pastors in southern California.
After finishing college with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics, Smith taught at the junior high school level for several years before moving on to become a writer and editor for a publisher of religious and health-oriented seminar materials. His work on two monthly kids’ newsletters, Planet Earth and Bodywise, helped him discover a knack for creative, sometimes zany approaches to finding reader hooks for students. He spent more time concocting puns and jokes than actually writing the features.
Eventually Smith moved into public relations and authoring TV and radio scripts for an evangelical Christian audience, putting in nearly two decades as a scriptwriter for the It Is Written and Voice of Prophecy ministries. In his role of creating daily radio sermonettes, he co-authored such volumes as Your Most Radical Decision; Popcorn, the Pearly Gates, and Salvation; Rising Above Anger; Time of Terror, Time of Healing; To Be or Not to Be Perfect; The Music Wars; and Rock-Solid Living in a Run-Amok World.
Smith's two most popular books turned out to be Watching the War and Heaven, both of which went into third printings and sold close to 30,000 copies. He also had a great time authoring the multi-book teen sports series, Bucky Stone Adventures, with cumulative sales of 60,000.
For just a brief three-year stint, Smith joined his three brothers in the field of ministry, pastoring a small English-speaking Korean congregation in Temple City, California. He still has fond memories of his time at Upper Room Fellowship – a church group that finds itself in the narrative of Vol. 1 of my Thailand trilogy of love stories: Love in a Distant Land. He then returned to his chosen field of mathematics, spending two years at a Christian school in Redlands, and now as a full-time member of the totally awesome mathematics department at San Bernardino Valley College.
Lisa and David have two grown daughters, Kami and Karli, who are both schoolteachers, and four grandkids: Kira and Katrina and the newly arrived twins, Audrey and Miles! 2011 was an expensive year for Grandma and Grandpa! Smith enjoys dabbling in music, and occasionally is invited to play the bass guitar or keyboards along with his nephews, who are musicians on praise teams. He otherwise spends his leisure time creating new Powerpoint files for his math lectures, looking for cheap Dodger tickets on StubHub, and discussing politics during his daily two-mile walks every morning.
Where to find David B. Smith online
When Kindness Comes to Church
by David B. Smith
Life can get ugly in the streets, in the marketplace, and even in our homes. Without the oil of kindness and civility to keep relationships in tune, things can quickly get out of wack. People call each other names, racial slurs are exchanged, and before we know it everyone is at each other's throat. Unfortunately churches are not immune to bigotry and hate. How can this be changed?
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