Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas gifts....

This is from Chuck Swindoll's website....great devotional!!

It's not too late to give some things away this Christmas. Not just on Christmas Day, but during the days after December 25. We could call these daily gifts "our Christmas projects." Maybe one per day from now 'til the end of the year. Here are thirty-two suggestions. Take your choice.

• Mend a quarrel.

• Seek out a forgotten friend.

• Dismiss suspicion.

• Write a long-overdue love note.

• Hug someone tightly and whisper, "I love you so."

• Forgive an enemy.

• Be gentle and patient with an angry person.

• Express appreciation.

• Gladden the heart of a child.

• Find the time to keep a promise.

• Make or bake something for someone else. Anonymously.

• Release a grudge.

• Listen.

• Speak kindly to a stranger.

• Enter into another's sorrow.

• Smile. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.

• Take a walk with a friend.

• Kneel down and pat a dog.

• Read a poem or two to your mate or friend.

• Lessen your demands on others.

• Play some beautiful music during supper.

• Apologize if you were wrong.

• Talk together with the television off.

• Treat someone to an ice-cream cone.

• Do the dishes for the family.

• Pray for someone who helped you when you hurt.

• Fix breakfast for someone on Saturday morning.

• Give a soft answer even though you feel strong.

• Encourage an older person.

• Point out one thing you appreciate most about someone you work with or live near.

• Offer to baby-sit for a weary mother.

• Give your teacher a break—be especially cooperative.

Let's make Christmas one long, extended gift of ourselves to others. Unselfishly. Without announcement. Or obligation. Or reservation. Or hypocrisy.

That is Christianity, isn't it?

Excerpted from Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life. Copyright © 1983 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by arrangement with Zondervan Publishing House.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Believing in something....

A week ago I heard that the Rogers County Youth Services emergency shelter may close. My heart immediately sank. As I fought back tears, I asked why? The reply was "money". Well, lack of, that is. Let me give you a bit of background...

I came to know RCYS about 5 years ago when I was manning a booth at our local fair. New Life Baptist Church had a booth and we gave out drinks, Bibles, a handshake, prayer, or whatever we could do. A young man walked up and I struck up a conversation. As we talked, I found out that he was a resident of a local youth shelter. He said that he was concerned about where he would go if he were to die, and I had the awesome privilege of leading him to the Lord. I asked if he would like me to visit, and that was the beginning of my work with the shelter. I asked to be able to come up weekly, and was welcomed. I met so many kids that really needed a helping hand, and needed a touch from the Lord. I have prayed with countless kids up there, and had the honor of delivering groceries, supplies, and even a freezer that was donated by a person in our church! It is such a delight to see the look in these kids' eyes when they get Christmas gifts from perfect strangers! Michelle and I even took a young man in for Christmas a few years ago that had no family to spend it with. Much to his delight, he even had presents under the tree Christmas morning! I could write all night about the stories of kids that have been residents at the shelter but I need to tell you how we can stop this tragedy from happening.

You see, the recession that we have been in the past few years has taken its toll on state funding. RCYS is one of the last few shelters left in this part of the state and they are in imminent danger of closing down permanently. Most others haven't survived the budget cuts. Well, my friends, I say that the buck stops here! What if all the shelters were to close? Where would the kids go then? To the streets to do whatever they can to get by. Some examples would be selling dope, prostitution, and human trafficking. They would go down paths that would lead to sure failure and utter destruction. Are we going to stand by and let this happen? I say NO!! We cannot. I know that there are many people that have money that they can donate to the cause. All donations are tax-deductible. I gave a donation yesterday. Will you consider giving to this very worthy cause??

You can give a donation online HERE

We will be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 18th in Claremore. I will update with a location & time as I finalize plans. Come on out and support RCYS!!

I believe in RCYS. I believe in youth, they are tomorrow's city leaders, police chiefs, firemen, senators, mayors, business leaders, farmers, shelter workers, and even future Presidents. I believe in their future, will you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Storm Chasing....and a small Spotter Network rant

Went out for a chase Friday evening and I was rewarded with one of the most intense lightning shows that I have ever seen. I drove up US 169 into Coffeyville Ks, then over to Independence to Moline where I shot the tower that you see below. I then proceeded west toward Udall and Belle Plain. Bailed south just before the storm hit Belle Plain and damaged some buildings and uprooted many trees! I shot the "moon shot" below just north of the Wellington Airport. Then decided to roll south to a developing "tail end Charlie" that Lanny Dean and Chad Berryhill were on just south of the Oklahoma/Kansas border, near the town of Braman.

Got to Braman, and met up with Chad & Lanny while they were shooting lightning. I ran up to Lanny's van, set up the tripod, clicked the shutter on my Rebel XSI, and BOOM! Lanny and I captured the nice bolt that illuminated the Tahoe (below). We sat there shooting for all of 5 minutes and I started to feel raindrops. We decide to go back towards Braman and get off the dirt road when the rain started coming sideways at the truck. I was about 1/8 mile behind Lanny as the rain and wind became ferocious. I soon lost them in the mess and thought to myself "am I in a stinkin' tornado?" The wind buffeted the Tahoe and I wondered if I should stop or keep rolling trying to get south of the wind. The wind wasn't terrible, I estimated it about 60-65 MPH, but I kept wondering if that was it or was stronger winds coming? After about 5 minutes of white knuckle driving on a dirt road that was quickly turning to slime, the rain and wind let up, but not before turning directions. Was it a tornado? I don't think so. But it was a scary moment. I caught up with Lanny near Braman and we discussed what we just drove through, we were all a bit nervous as we started to hear sirens growing louder. A fire truck, ambulance, and no less that 6 Kay County sheriffs whizzed by and entered I-35 heading south. We wondered, what happened?

Lanny busied himself reporting our observance on Spotter Network(55-65MPH wind just NW of Braman), which was quickly flagged-probably by some kid wannabe chaser that has NO experience in the field. We later found out that the sirens were responding to a pickup truck that was blown off the interstate about 1 mile south of our location. There was a minor injury to a child, transported to a local hospital. Verified report? I think so....BTW, Spotter Network has become useless--people that may have a personal grudge or inexperienced "kids" can jump in and flag valid report that was verified by witnesses and law enforcement. This report did not make it into the official LSR probably because of two factors, the inappropriate flagging of Lanny's report and the fact that the Norman boys were asleep and didn't warn on the storm. We actually saw and photographed a persistent rotating wall cloud on the tail end of the storm. Rant

We found another county road just outside of town and pulled off to shoot more lightning. Boy were we in for a show!! This is where the top pic came from. Spectacular light show provided by ma nature! Sorry about the watermark, if you would like to purchase a picture, contact me but I will not give those away thank you. All in all, a great chase. 10 hours in the truck, storms initiated in my target area, did not see any tornadoes, but was treated to the coolest light show that I have ever seen! It was great to meet up with Lanny & Chad as well. Two of the best guys in storm chasing! BTW...check out Chad's new website-- .

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramblings...and a couple of pics....

Here's a couple of shots from one of this season's tours.

I just realized that I haven't blogged in a while. (Sorry mom & Heidi). It seems like Facebook has taken over in the "what's going on" area. Instead of searching blogs, I just log on and walla, all my friends are there. So is there use for a blog anymore? Dunno, but I like to ramble on more than 420 characters at a time sometimes...
Just want to give you an update on my tour company that I am proud to be co-owners of, Extreme Chase Tours. We are already booking tours for 2011 and I am excited about the upcoming season. We had such a successful 2010 season and Lanny and I am stoked about 2011! If you have been thinking about booking with us I would suggest stroll on over to and take a peek at our schedule.

In other news, stay tuned for a major announcement about a three day revival that I am excited to be able to preach in Fort Gibson next month!

....and the boat is running well! Have had it out many times at Oologah this year!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New blog...

Started a new blog today. It is purely a personal journey of mine. Check it out here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bittersweet day...

Well, I made it. I got through it..err...well the Lord got me through it. I preached at my Granny's memorial service today. I sense now more than ever that I was the one that was supposed to speak on this day. You see, my Granny is now in Heaven and I will see her again. As I said on Facebook it's not goodbye, but see ya soon, Granny. That's what I said also at the service. As long as we have Christ in our hearts, we can honestly say "See ya soon, Granny!"

I almost lost it more than once during the service but God took my shaky voice and made it strong again. Person after person came to me afterwards and told me how great of a job that I did but it wasn't me, it was He who dwells within me.

I am feeling called to preach now more than ever. My uncle and I had a good conversation afterwards and he said now all we gotta do is get you behind the pulpit more. I'm very insecure about my abilities to preach-I know that God will show me, teach me, and lead me--but I just, well, I don't know. Maybe I'm getting closer to answering His call but it would mean giving up a lot of things that I'm not sure I am ready to give up. Are things more important than God's call? No not never!! But don't judge me until you've walked in my shoes, k? Enough about me....

My Granny was a superwoman. She raised 4 kids in a small, 2 bedroom home that maybe measured 400 square feet. She never had a driver's license, car, cell phone, satellite TV, computer, or central air conditioning. What she did have was a big heart that cared for us all. She was concerned about our salvation, health, and our needs in that order. Notice I didn't say wants.

She also demanded us grand kids to "come here and hug my neck" when we arrived at her house. As a boy, I thought that was very uncool but now I long to get one of those hugs....

Granny taught me the kids' Bible song Jesus Loves Me. I still hear her voice...Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.....

I am so proud to have known Granny and I look forward to hugging her neck when my earthly journey is over...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What have I become?

If you are a storm chaser, or you have seen the stories on TV slamming chasers lately then you have a small glimpse into the chasing world. I have 2 statements about the recent drama and then I will comment below...

1. What the TIV did last Wednesday (passing in a no-passing zone going uphill) was irresponsible and could have ended up tragically. It was a risk that Sean took, and this time it paid off. Sean, what about next time when a single mom is cresting the hill and your TIV disintegrates her Honda and ends three lives?

2. Josh Wurman and his totally cocky remarks about how "his" Vortex2 research team didn't get precious data because us "peasant" storm chasers would not "bow" to him and let his armada pass by was uncalled for as well. Dr. Wurman, just who do you think you are? TWC interviewed Joshy and he was doing his typical crying because of his failure and the chase community is made out to be the bad guys. Phooey on you doc...

Ok, here goes. All of this garbage has resulted in mass chaos amongst the chaser community. I will admit, I am not as well known as others and in fact, some chasers may not know me at all. That's the way I like it--behind the scenes. So I'm sure that not many will mind my rant.

I simply will not and cannot participate in all the drama and garbage that has been ongoing for several weeks now in the chasing community. Not anyone in particular is at fault, save me. I have allowed myself to get suckered in to the bitterness and anger filled thoughts and attitude that is unbecoming of a Christian. It has caused me to lose focus in certain areas of my life and I simply will not let it get to me anymore. I am co-owner with Lanny Dean of the best tornado tour company in the world, Extreme Chase Tours. I will focus my energy on my relationship with God, my family, and my company. So to answer the big question "is Jeff quitting?" No, I am not quitting. I am simply gonna re-focus on what matters and let the other stuff fall off my back. I am giving serious thought about resigning from Stormtrack, a popular online forum for chasers that has snowballed into nothing more than a hate-filled forum where many new chasers have flocked to and try to act like they know everything. While the meteorological intelligence on ST is second to none, so are the childish games. Jury's still out on my leaving that forum. I know, I don't have to log in...

Also my Facebook page is going through some changes. I gotta get back to basics. When I opened my FB account, I had in mind my youth group On The Edge. I would quote Bible verses and encouraging posts for my friends but then something happened. I realized that I had more and more "friends" and the spiritual posts got fewer and farther between, and eventually my critical side started typing away and you probably have seen some pretty distasteful posts by me. Many of my friends have noticed this as well. For that, I ask your forgiveness. If I have offended you, I am truly sorry. And take heed, if you do not like Bible verses and positive, uplifting posts, then you can hide my status or "unfriend" me. All of us need a re-alignment now and then, and the Lord is dealing with me at this time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Here are a couple of maps. The first is courtesy of the National Weather Service in Tulsa and is a graphic of what is expected for Monday afternoon & evening. The second is courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center and shows what is called a moderate risk of severe weather for Kansas & Oklahoma tomorrow. Bottom line is there will be severe weather, and please make praparations now for tornadoes, large hail, and severe winds. Listen to local radio and TV for updates and keep your NOAA weather radio on. This could be pretty nasty but if everyone will stay calm, we will get through it.....

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Models continue to indicate another tornado outbreak for parts of Arkansas, Tennesee, and Mississippi today into tonight. Destructive long track tornadoes are a real threat in these areas. I ask all who read this to please maintain a heightened awareness today. Keep your weather radios and televisions on and be ready to take cover. Do not even try to chase this event--veteran chasers have described the Yazoo City tornado from last Saturday as a "black mass of clouds", and a "rolling black fog" not to mention that these tornadoes will likely be rain-wrapped so you may not know what is coming at you. Also radar data may fail as it did last Saturday so keep an eye on your radar data.

Prayers are going out for the folks affected by last nights tornadoes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Passion and compassion

Picher, Oklahoma, 2 years after the tornado

Picher, revisited

On a stormy spring day in 2010, we drove by a small town plagued by tragedy. A town that once was a thriving community, a town that was dealt a final blow on May 10, 2008. A massive EF-4 tornado tore through what was left of the town that terrible day. 6 people lost their lives in Picher Oklahoma that day, and dozens were injured. Hundreds of lives were changed forever.

I head up a disaster relief ministry called Mission of Compassion and the day after the tornado devastated the area, we jumped into action. We gathered up food, water, and cleaning supplies and drove the next Saturday to the areas that were hardest hit by the storms. You can visit my blog here and read about the trip. Little did we know that Picher would never rebuild. Still, we left water, food, and hugs with the victims and relief workers that day.

My son, his best friend, and I were on a storm chase that led us through Picher just the other day. On the way home, we decided to stop by and take a look at the town. Was I ever surprised! It was like a ghost town! Keep in mind, FEMA and all government relief money went to relocate the victims instead of rebuilding due to the fact that the area had been declared hazardous and is a Superfund buyout site, but the scene was still surreal. I have never seen a ghost town in real life until now. There was even an auction in the middle of town selling off someone’s belongings.

As we drove through what used to be a nice neighborhood, my heart sank. I could hardly bear to see all the destruction-most looked as if the tornado had just gone through. Trees were still laying on homes, windows blown out, roofs missing off of homes, etc. Some homes had been razed and replaced by empty lots and overgrown vegetation. Trees were torn off at about the 15 foot level and mangled. The streets had deteriorated and had grass growing up in the cracks. Power poles were missing and electric service meters were gone from the homes that were still intact. Nary a car or person in sight, save for the activity of the auction.

It was here, in the middle of “ground zero” that I began to weep and to question my passion, storm chasing. I thought to myself why do I chase something that is so destructive? I hate to see people suffer, why do I chase tornadoes? The answer came quickly for me. What if all the TV stations and the National Weather Service had no spotters or chasers to provide ground truth? What if there were no warning sirens activated in Picher that day? Would it have been six lives lost? Or sixty? God only knows, but I am determined to do my part by calling in severe weather my TV station or calling the local emergency manager to inform him about the situation. It’s my passion. It’s who I am.

I am a storm chaser.

Jeff Smith

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Facebook friends; to be? or not to be...

Friends, Romans, and Countrymen, lend me your ears!
Do you wanna be my Facebook friend? Well then, let me enlighten you on a few of my "rules"...
1. DON'T SEND ME FARMVILLE INVITES!!! Yes, that was all caps.
2. please don't bore me with posts like "I'm going to bed" or "I'm awake now".
3. Make sure the words supercell, tornado, storm chaser, lightning, or any other weather words are not part of your Facebook "name", please!
4. Please honor my Christian convictions by not posting exceptionally rude, nasty, or dirty posts in your status updates. I respect your choices in your lifestyle, please respect mine.
5. Keep in mind that while I welcome questions from new chasers, spotters, and the like but please PLEASE do not act like a veteran chaser when you're not. That will get you on the dreaded chaser blacklist fast!!

These new rules are a direct result of a "friend" that decided to get cute and post something really nasty in his status, sparking a whole host of other nasty remarks. Now please keep in mind that I am very tolerant up to a point, but when that point is breached, then I'm done. Now I don't mind occasional four-letter words now and then, but this dude's post was totally off the charts. Trust me, I am not Mr. Perfect either, and I don't want to come off like that. But knowing that I am a youth pastor, I cannot let my youth friends see that I in any way condone that sort of garbage (speaking of the nasty stuff).

Wow, that sounds kind of uppity, huh? Despite the way that it sounds, I do consider it a privilege to have so many friends on FB and I wish to keep it that way, but I cannot and will not tolerate junk posts like this fella posted yesterday.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sunrise in Verdigris 2-18

Been missing the ol' sun! Glad it came out to play today! Here are a couple of pics from rural America. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, let's post something!!!

Wow. Just looked at my last post and it was about the historic ice storm that couldn' Let's see, what have I been heater core in my truck, can't find my Ram laptop stand, bought a 2001 Tahoe 4X4 to chase in this year, recovering from bronchitis, been busy with Extreme Chase Tours, being a dad, husband, youth pastor, working, and whatever else I have forgot. Oh yeah, and been seriously trying to avoid all the chaser drama that is happening. Like every other year, chasers get a bad case of SDS and think they own the world, and get on each others' cases. You can always find good entertainment with the chasing community!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Graphic courtesy of NWS Tulsa. Models continue to show a slower, more northerly track. IF this verifies, that would put Tulsa under the gun for another historic ice storm!! Sperry-Piltx index of 4 to 5 through the Tulsa area. Please make preparations today...

Models are showing that temps at the surface will be below 32F while there will be a warm layer aloft that will in turn make rain instead of snow. That's the short version.

If you live in Oklahoma, be sure to stay tuned to media!!!
It's coming!!!



Ok, here is one of the factors of this impending winter storm that has us here at ECT alarmed. The possibility of a crippling ice storm is a real threat across NE Oklahoma Thursday into Friday. This chart is the Sperry-Piltz ice index forecast from the NWS Tulsa and is a forecast of the possible ice storm impacts. This could rival the ice storm of 2007 but before you mets climb all over me, just listen. The ice forecast might not be the 2.0-2.5" of ice that we recieved in 2007 but .75-1.00" of ice combined with post-frontal winds of 15-25 M.P.H. will provide the same results. Catastrophic damage is possible.

Props to Lanny Dean and David Moran for calling this ice storm several days ago!!

Further to the northwest of the ice storm, very heavy and possibly record-breaking snow is possible. I just looked at the 06z NAM and it shows a 24" swath in central to north-central Oklahoma with 12" plus likely into the Tulsa area!! Not sure if 24" will verify, but the possibility is note worthy. Now combine the heavy snow with 15-25 M.P.H. winds and you will have white-out conditions.

Area emergency management agencies are already on alert and have industrial generators pre-placed along with truckloads of water to equip shelters that likely will be needed during and after this storm.

Please check on your neighbors and the elderly regularly.

Please listen to local media and keep track of our blog for further updates.

Lanny and I will likely be out during the storm streaming on ChaserTV so you don't have to get out in it.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ok folks, here's the SCOOP!!!

Well, guess I can let the cat out of the bag now. I am proud to announce that I have partnered up with Lanny Dean, a well-known and repsected storm chaser. The result? What Lanny has begun with Extreme Chase Tours is now being taken to the next level. Our website is here. Click on over and check out the site where you can see previous video and pictures, team bios, and book a storm chasing tour! Trust me, it will be your ultimate vacation experience!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.... almost here---stay tuned!!!!