Happy April 1st! Proverbs 17:22 says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." There will be no April Fools jokes in this newsletter, though I am CERTAIN my brother will be pulling at least a few on me today, as he is always so faithful to do, and to do well, I might add. I do recall one April Fools joke that my mom and dad pulled on my grandmother years ago now when they called her to tell her that Mom was expecting! And she was probably about my age! I am laughing even now as I recall Mom retelling me Nana's reaction over the phone before they yelled, "April Fool's!" Priceless. I love a good laugh, and my children, brother, friends and attendees at my ministry events tell me often that they love my laugh, and it is contagious. I love that compliment! Laughter does the soul good, so be sure and do something today to make yourself and someone else have a good dose.
As we are now down for the count with Jennifer literally only having 8 more working days here at Jordan Ministries and my new Schedule Coordinator being trained this week and waiting in the wings should Dale baby #5 decide to show up before her due-date of April 13th, I am grateful for the Lord's provision and blessing in bringing Jennifer into my life and ministry seven years ago now. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor." Oh how true the Word of God is. There is far too much for me to be able to manage on my own, and Jennifer has served so well with me in taking up the slack in so many areas of management. As my former ministry Schedule Coordinator had decided she would be leaving, the Lord brought Jennifer clearly out of the blue, and it has been a blessed seven years of serving together in this ministry to which the Lord called me as a junior in high school. Jennifer has been with me the longest, and she will be greatly missed not only by me, but by all those who have had the privilege of working with her over these years. But the good news is, they will be moving back to Columbia, SC in May from CO, and we will actually be able to see each other in person!
And just as the Lord in His sovereignty brought Jennifer into my life and ministry, I am certain He has done the same thing again as only He can. I am delighted to introduce to you my new Schedule Coordinator, Kelly Congel, whose first official day will be Monday, April 13th. Kelly worked for the last ten years as the local Christian radio station WMHK's Office Manager, and found herself without her beloved job in December, along with the rest of the staff there, when the station was sold. Yet God always has a plan, and Kelly began praying for God to direct her to what was next. Having a heart to write, she began praying for a part-time job, and through a friend of Jennifer's, Kelly and I met. I invited her over for coffee and a job interview, and 3 hours later after sharing our stories of our faith journeys so far, I knew that if she wanted the job, she was the person. I'm delighted that she accepted! Here is a word from her (and a picture of Kelly with her son and daughter):
God has always been a part of my life, even when I didn't acknowledge him, he was taking care of me. He has showered my life with more blessing that I can count. I enjoy spending time with the family and friends he has given me. I attempt gardening every spring and am pretty sure one day I will have a bounty, currently its a buffet for the squirrels and birds. I believe the best place to relax and enjoy the day is with your feet in the sand, the sun on your face and a little salt air in your lungs. I hope that when people look at my life they see my imperfections as a work in progress and my successes as a blessings from God. I am excited to take this next journey hand in hand with my Father and see what he has planned.
Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Change is never easy, but it is a constant part of life. And as I wholeheartedly welcome Kelly, I am grateful the Lord brought our lives together as we seek to honor Him in this new chapter that He is writing into our lives. So, welcome, Kelly! And Jennifer, we will anxiously be awaiting the news of your new little lady's birth, and all that God has in store for you and your precious family.
Ministry at a Glance:
March had me traveling to TN, NC & SC, and what a blessed month it was. What a joy it was to be with the Central Church of God Primetimers in Charlotte, NC as we had over 450 of them gather for dinner and my program. They were sheer joy, though the evening was also a revelation to me as my sweet friend Pam was introducing me, announcing that I was one of them! (I didn't know 50 put you into the Primetimers Group! I thought I had at LEAST five more years!) But what a precious group of which to be a part. Here is their April Primetime Post shared with me by their sweet pastor's wife,
Laura Baker, about our time together, written by her and my hostess Pam Malacuso:
What a joy it was to be in the beautiful Newport, TN mountains with Colonial Heights Christian Church from Kingsport for their "Seek Faith" Women's Retreat where I had the privilege of leading worship. Here we all are in our retreat t-shirts. I was thrilled that there was still a little snow left on the ground just for me.
I was privileged to serve as speaker for Ebenezer Pentecostal Church in West Columbia, SC's Women's Service, and my good friend Joyce Glenn Wagster came over to join us that morning. It is always such a blessing to have the support of a precious "old" friend when I spend so much of my time with new friends. The pastor's wife Gina and Sophia were such sweet hostesses to me, and we had such a great time of
worship together and then delicious seafood out with their families after church.
The Spring Women's Conference at Edgewood Baptist Church in
Mebane, NC hosted me as their speaker and it was a wonderful weekend together. Their theme was B.F.F. which stood for Believe - Forgive - Freedom. The most moving moment of our time together
that day was when every woman in attendance came to the altar at the conclusion of the conference, placing their rocks given them in their gift bags, as a sign that they were laying down their burdens of heartache, unforgiveness, and on and on the list goes...and they were set free in Christ that very day! One precious sister told me that she had come to the place of finally forgiving herself after many, many years. To God be the glory!
I was asked to share a concert on Palm Sunday at Cambridge United Methodist Church in Ninety-Six, SC, and was especially delighted to be reunited with one of my newer friends Gail Wilson, who had hosted me last year for their Women's Celebration. This time I got to meet several of her family members, and then we all enjoyed a covered-dish dinner, which is one of my favorite things about singing on a Sunday morning!
On March 31st, I had the privilege of sharing my music and story on live radio for an hour-long interview with Blog Talk Radio. http://christiandevotionsspeakup.com/ and here is the link for the actual interview. It is always a privilege to share the story God has entrusted me to tell.
In April, I will be traveling to GA, NC, SC & FL. (See my full schedule listed at the end of this newsletter.)
Summer Love-Offering Concert Series Opportunity
In the slow summer months, when church attendance is down, as is giving due to family vacations, camps, etc., my ministry schedule is down, as a result. Spring and fall are always busy with women's events/retreats, church concerts, but the summer is always the most challenging for a ministry like mine. A few years ago the Lord gave me an idea...offer to share a family concert simply asking for a love offering and my mileage to be reimbursed. Nothing more. That way it will not be an additional burden on the church budget during an already-challenging time, and will help us stay above water until the fall.
For my summer concert series, it is a worship service planned for the entire family. I include some of my original songs, traditional hymns, worship choruses, a song just for the children that they can come up on stage for, along with some testimony and sharing from my life and Scripture. I invite the hosting church's choir to join me in the concert, which is always an added blessing for me as well as those in attendance. I sing with tracks and accompany myself on the piano, and I have a beautiful Power Point presentation to go along with the evening that invites the congregation to join me in corporate worship throughout the service.
Maybe I have been to your church for a women's event, but have not had the privilege of sharing a concert with your entire church family. Would you prayerfully consider hosting me for the months of June and July? It would be a tremendous help and blessing to me, and I pray it would also be a special blessing for your church in the summer. Email me personally at email@example.com.
On the Home Front:
I was a happy mama getting to see so much of my family in March. I went to Clemson for Hannah's, her fiance Clayton's, and her best friend Kelly's Ring Ceremony. I must admit it was a proud moment to see them walk across the stage in Littlejohn Coliseum and receive their rings after almost 4 years of hard work in earning over 90 hours of college credit!
Hannah and Kelly flew to Houston, TX for the Annual Collegiate Horseman's Association's National Convention held at Texas A & M in College Station. Here they are, President and Vice-President of CCHA (Clemson's Collegiate Horseman's Association) and the rest of the Clemson team members. Then Hannah came home for the rest of her spring break, and we enjoyed a few days of shopping, dog park visits with Blue and Cookie, dinner with Clayton's family, and a special evening at Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse where Ross had just started working as a server. I must say he was the best waiter we have ever had, and he was tipped quite well by his proud mom. And I have to admit I am very much enjoying Ross working just a few minutes from home, which means he gets off work very hungry, and has been making it a habit of stopping by to get some of Mama's food, which is fine by me. Here he is cutting up with us while taking our orders, always the jokester. On my way home from TN I stopped by Robert and Elizabeth's home in NC and got to meet Robert's step-daughter's new little blessing. I told Robert that though that makes me a great-aunt, he is the one that is now a grandpa!
Hannah, Clayton and Kelly went to the Carolina Cup in Camden, SC with CCHA, and I was delighted to have them stop by to pick up some homemade goodies I had made for their tailgate.
As we look ahead to Easter, I am most grateful for the blessing of salvation, because Jesus is alive! I will host our family here for lunch at home with Hannah, Kelly (both will be home for the Easter weekend), Ross, and Brianna. As we gather around the table together, I will be thankful to have my precious children with me on the day that we celebrate a risen Savior!
As you gather with your family and friends to celebrate Jesus, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!" The same power that brought Jesus from death to life is why we can have hope. A hope that this world desperately needs to know can be theirs too.
Blessed Easter to you and yours.
He is risen!
Dawn's Concert Calendar
I have a few dates this year where I will be on the road and have an open Sunday AM or PM, and would love to stay over and share my ministry in an area church. No travel expenses will be needed. Would yours be interested? Here they are:
- 4/25 & 26 Ormond Beach, FL (Sat. & Sun. AM & PM Open)
- 9/13 Myrtle Beach, SC (PM Open)
- 11/15 Odessa, TX (PM open - Sun. pm hotel needed)
Do you know someone who needs to be reminded of the Lord's faithfulness even in our darkest hours? Maybe my testimony would be an encouragement to them or to you. It is available here on my website and includes some of my most requested songs - "Sister," "How Far," and "Amazing Grace."
Dawn's Blog Amazing Grace Notes
My new blog is entitled "Amazing Grace Notes," and I would love to invite you to join me at http://dawnsmithjordan.blogspot.com/ for regular updates.
If you are considering a ministry you would like to support at the beginning of this New Year, would you prayerfully consider supporting Jordan Ministries? All gifts to Jordan Ministries are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated as we continue to share the good news of the Gospel. Jordan Ministries is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
The Mailing Address is:
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, PO Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Solid Rock Baptist Church
Women's Retreat at Pinnacle Retreat Center in Clayton, GA
Folkstone Free Will Baptist Church
Holly Ridge, NC
Mizpah Baptist Church
11:00am and 6:30pm Services
Tomoka Christian Church
Ormond Beach, FL
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales
Reid and I have often reflected on the Lord's timing and provision for our family. A little over seven years ago we were considering that I would have to go back to work full time when, out-of-the-blue, Carrie Ballentine, Dawn's schedule coordinator, asked me if I had ever heard of Dawn Smith Jordan and if I would be interested in working for her. The Lord was so gracious to provide for our family for all these years through Dawn and Jordan Ministries and we are deeply, deeply thankful! I have been praying that the transition between Kelly and myself would be a blessing to Dawn and to Jordan Ministries. Kelly brings with her giftings and experience that will be a huge benefit to this ministry and I'm very thankful to pass on the baton, so-to-say, to someone who the Lord has prepared for such a time as this! A friend recently reminded me that in every season of change the Lord has gifts for His children if we will keep our eyes open and look for them! I pray you, too, see His gifts of grace during the seasons of transition you may be going through right now! I am thankful to have had the opportunity to share small glimpses of our family's journey in this space over the last few years. May the Lord bless each of you!