December. A month of reflection. As I sit here in the warmth of a fire, pjs on, Sammy at my feet, Zoey on the hearth, I pause long enough to look up at the Christmas decorations and take a deep breath. December is the one month of the year that allows me the opportunity to do just that, as ironic as it sounds. Of course I have the shopping that is nowhere near done just 3 weeks away from Christmas, and have yet to even begin to put my Christmas cards together. What I am speaking of is not a physical breath, but an emotional, and in some ways spiritual deep breath.
You see, when you have a story like the one I have lived and am called upon to share in ministry, the Christmas season is such a welcome reprieve. I relish singing my favorite Christmas carols and songs, and focusing on the Good News of the Savior that came to this world to give even those walking seemingly hopeless circumstances hope. He is our hope, our joy, and I love singing about Him in the seasonal songs like no others. This time of year is celebratory as we gather together, whether it be Christmas parties, performances or worship services. I love the bright lights, decorations, smiles, warm hugs, and expressions of love that we experience like no other time.
While I am truly humbled each and every time I am called upon to share the story God not only entrusted me to live but also tell, the few weeks of sharing December concerts allows me to simply enjoy singing, celebrating, and rejoicing in my beloved Savior. Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
As we turn on the news these days, so much of it is bad. Shootings, murders, kidnappings, tragedies, disasters...they are everyday occurrences in our world today. However, there was a time that I remember, a time in which I grew up, when those types of things shocked us, caused us to stop right where we were and pray for those affected. My family was one ofthose families that others stopped and prayed for, and I am deeply grateful. And yet if we are all honest, there are so many sad, heartbreaking stories, we cannot possibly keep up with every single one of them. I find myself heavy-hearted over all the sadness that comes across my TV screen.
While my children make fun of their mama watching Hallmark movies, I find them so much more uplifting. I am certain that the reason I love them more than any other movies is simple. They are positive, never inappropriate, feel good stories that we know will all work out in the end. Everyone gets their happy ending. And to top it all off, it ALWAYS snows on the Hallmark Countdown to Christmas! I get my white Christmas right here in South Carolina.
The angel said in Luke 2:10-11, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah the Lord." That is the best news in all of history, and I will continue to sing about and celebrate it when the Christmas season has come and gone once again.
Friend, as you are busily going about your daily tasks and seasonal celebrations and preparations, I invite you sit here for just a few minutes and breathe deeply. In the midst of horrific turmoil in our world on the outside, and even in our own lives, there is still His peace within. Praying you rest in Him today, friend. Take a breath. Exhale. Breathe in deeply the peace and presence of God. Emmanuel.
Christmas blessings to you and yours,
As we close out the year with our final installment of the Jordan Ministries Newsletter, may we take this chance to thank each of you for your support over 2018. Whether that came through hosting me in your church, attending an event, praying for me, my family, and ministry, or giving financially, we are grateful to and for you. I pray God's blessings over each of you this Christmas season.
As you are prayerfully considering year-end gifts, sending a one time gift to Jordan Ministries, or becoming a monthly partner, remember all gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. Jordan Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Please make your donation to Jordan Ministries, and mail to P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063. Thank you for partnering with us through your financial gifts and prayers. (To receive tax credit for 2018, please note that donations must be postmarked by December 31st.)
Ministry at a Glance
While I technically had only 3 events on the calendar last month, it sure did feel busy. I want to thank the wonderful ladies of the NC Baptist Secretaries Conference who hosted me in Sophia, NC. I spoke/ministered several times over the 3 days, but I was also able to enjoy a little downtime with them in the beautiful NC mountains. I also want to extend a thank you to First Baptist of Lexington in Lexington, SC's O.W.L.S and Tabernacle Baptist Church in Union, SC, which kicked off my Christmas concert series at their beautiful Ladies' Christmas Night Out. This past Sunday I was in Hartsville, SC to sing for the Sonoco Old Timers Club's Christmas party and then in concert at West Hartsville Baptist Church. What a joy it was to begin celebrating the wonderful season of our Savior's birth with such sweet friends.
*Please note: Jordan Ministries’ offices will be closed
December 20 - January 2 for the Christmas holidays.*
Funnies from the Road
Funnies From the Road (and sometimes right here at home):
When your not yet 3-year-old niece calls you "Miss Aunt Dawn," you know you live in the south. (And your heart melts.)
When your yard is covered in acorns, leaves AND your azaleas are blooming in November, you know you live in SC!
On the Homefront
November was filled with sweet blessings shared with family and friends. Sweetest of all was having Hannah and Clayton here to celebrate Thanksgiving with me. Though we missed Ross and Brianna, Sammy especially loved getting to spend time with his sister and new favorite buddy, his brother-in-law. Zoey is once again happiest now that her Christmas tree is back.
I completed my 6th race in the last year as I joined dear friends in our new annual tradition of taking in the lights at Saluda Shoals Park on foot in the 4-mile Sleigh Bell Trot.
My music students will be presenting our annual Christmas recital at The Heritage at Lowman Home, and then I will enjoy a few weeks off from teaching and traveling/ministering. While I will be staying home this Christmas instead of making my way back to Denver as I have the last two years, I am looking forward to getting some rest, enjoying time with family and friends, being in my home church, and watching Hallmark movies to my hearts' content.
*Christmas Gift Ideas*
We invite you to visit our online bookstore as you are Christmas shopping for friends, families, co-workers, pastors, or children's teachers. Books and CD's always make great gifts that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Click on the link provided to shop HERE
Dawn’s two books, Christmas CD, Live Testimony, or other music and speaking CDs would make special, encouraging, uplifting gifts. She is happy to sign them for you, as well. We thank you for your business and support.
On the Road Again
Sonoco Old Timers Club
West Hartsville Baptist Church
Ninety Six First Baptist
Ninety Six, SC
Gateway Assembly of God
First Baptist Church of Manning
New Spring Eastlan Church
Special Music 10:30 a.m.
Christmas Musical 6:00 p.m.
Hodge-Podge Allison Hodge, Administrative Assistant
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries Randy and Allison Hodge Abby (7), Hannah (4), Ryan (1.5)