Have you heard the saying, "No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will change."? Two weeks ago my dear friends who also serve on my ministry board, Brad and Melissa Bird, had their world turned upside down while Brad was on the phone with his mother. She and his dad live in Florence, SC, and in the matter of an instant, they were carrying on a conversation, and then she simply said to her husband, "I'm going to faint." He was able to catch her as she did. Betsy Bird is a well-loved and well-known and respected Bible teacher in Florence, SC. She was fine one moment, and the next she had a ruptured brain aneurysm that would result in brain surgery, being moved from McLeod Hospital in Florence to MUSC in Charleston, SC, where she remains in ICU. She has yet to regain full consciousness, is in critical condition but stable condition and still on a ventilator. This morning I was able to speak with Melissa over the phone and she told me that Betsy will have 2 procedures today, the first one being at 1:00. She will receive a feeding tube and a tracheotomy. The doctors are positive about a potential recovery, and their family would appreciate your prayers.
Having gone through this exact same thing with my own mother years ago, I know how difficult these days are for them. After a brain aneurysm, a 1-inch blood clot behind her right eye, brain surgery, and months in the hospital and rehab, my mother was declared a miracle the day she went home. In the midst of such uncertainly, we can know, as followers of Jesus, that our lives rest in His very capable, sovereign hands, and we can trust Him with the outcome.
Melissa, being one of my dear friends for years, whom I have taught 3 of their 4 daughter’s piano, had offered to host my piano recital #2 this past Thursday, May 28th, graciously also providing a beautiful reception as a gift to me in their beautiful home. Because I have more students than I have had in past years, I decided to hold 2 recital opportunities this year, giving every student the opportunity to perform. The first one was held at Agape Senior Center on May 21st, and we had a wonderful evening as my students not only performed for their family and friends, but they also gave back to the community and blessed the precious residents there. When the Birds let me know of their situation, it became necessary to come up with Plan B in the midst of such uncertainty surrounding Betsy's health. Plan B ended up being here in my home, and a sweet friend brought over chairs so that we could accommodate 40 people for a delightful evening celebrating music, while also being able to pray together for Brad's mother, father, and their family with them here.
It is in these times that we come together and do what must be done, carrying one another's burdens. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."
Would you please join me in praying for the Bird family? We will be sure to update you in next month's newsletter. Thank you for lifting them to our faithful Father.
Ministry at a Glance:
May was a joy. The 1st had me spending that Friday evening with the Single Mom's Mother's Day Event at Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Taylors, SC. In all of these years of ministry, this was the first time I have ever had the opportunity to share specifically with single moms, and it was so very special. The church provides a beautiful dinner and speaker/singer to the women of the church and community absolutely free. That evening I drove home, and was awakened at 4:00 AM with my dog Cookie barking, hearing someone banging on my doors, screaming and cursing at me to open the door. To make a long, frightening story short, the police came, and it appeared alcohol, drugs, and possible car theft were a part of the situation. While the banging continued until they arrived, I got a severe case of food poisoning, and was up the rest of the night/morning very sick. I was scheduled to sing that night at a Community-Wide Youth Event at Lewisville High School Stadium in Richburg, SC. All morning I was praying, asking the Lord to show me what to do. I texted my closest friends and family, asking them to pray for me, feeling that if I could physically make it, I needed to go, but very seriously considering having to cancel. That night, suffering with severe stomach pains and nausea, with precious friends texting me encouraging words of Truth, love and prayers, God moved. I had been called upon to be the speaker for that night, and share my story. At the altar call, 9 young teenaged men came forward to receive Christ! What a vivid picture of how when we are weak, He is strong. He will enable us to do the very things we are certain we cannot. On May 17th I was blessed to sing for Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Easley, SC's Homecoming where I have been a few times over the years, and then that evening share a concert at Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Piedmont, SC. In talking with the Minister of Media who was my sound man that night, the world became an even smaller place as he told me he had run sound formerly in a church in Easley, SC, which just happened to be the very church my friend Julie used to sing in. When I asked him if he knew her, he told me that she had called him her most favorite sound man in the world. At that, we just had to take a selfie and text it to Julie, to which she responded, "Tony Lynch, my favorite sound man in the world!" I'm so grateful for wonderful sound and media technicians that I serve alongside in each and every church. On May 24th, it was such a joy to sing in concert at Green Pond Baptist Church in Jackson, SC, where their first-time pastor, 61-year-old Al Branson, told me they usually run about 25-30 people on a Sunday morning. We must have had 75 that morning! I have found that the size of the church never matters, and that sometimes the greatest blessings come in the most unexpected places. That night I was delighted to return to Sweetwater Baptist Church in N. Augusta, SC, where I have been several times over the years. Their wonderful choir joined me on a few songs that night, and the church was packed as we not only celebrated freedom in Christ, but Memorial Day and those who gave their lives for our freedom as Americans. Then on May 31st, the 30-year-anniversary of my sister Shari's home-going, I closed out the month singing at Pelion Church of the Nazarene in Pelion, SC that morning, and then at Spears Creek Baptist Church in Elgin, SC that night where my new Schedule Coordinator, Kelly Congel and her sweet daughter Kaitlyn came, and then we enjoyed a fun dinner together at McAlisters. I am enjoying working with Kelly and getting to know her better, although there are days where we both feel the stress of being women in ministry. She is a precious sister and I am grateful the Lord brought her my way. What a great month! To God be the glory.
June is a bit slower, and I will be singing at on June 14th AM & PM at Memorial Baptist Church in St. George, SC, and the 28th at Eastlan Baptist Church in Greenville, SC that morning, and Northside Baptist Church in Orangeburg, SC that night joined by their choir. I still have Sunday AM & PM open on the 21st and would love to find a place to sing if your church is interested. Would you pray for me this month
that I would, as my wonderfully wacky, precious praying friend Yvonne Howard says, hardly be seen as I am hidden behind the cross? I love that.
Can it be that it has been 30 years? May 31, 1985, 30 years ago Sunday, mine and Robert's wonderful, beautiful, talented, funny sister Shari was taken from us, and our lives would never be the same again. But we rejoice in knowing we will see her again in heaven, and that God's grace has enabled us to go on in life. Blessed we had her for 17 years here, and that we will have her forever there. I stopped by her grave to check hers and Mom's flowers on my way home from the church I sang at in Pelion on Sunday, the anniversary of her "home-going" and realized when I got home that didn't shed a tear. You know why? Because she is not there. Hallelujah for the promise of heaven, and the sufficiency of God's grace here on earth!
*Summer Love-Offering Concert Opportunity*
Because the summer months are always slower and more challenging for a ministry like this one, I am available to come to your church simply asking for a love-offering and my mileage to be reimbursed. The Sundays at I have left in June, July and August are:
June 21 (AM & PM)
July 5 (AM & PM) July 12 (AM)
July 26 (PM)
August 2 (AM)
I love sharing my summer concert that has something for the entire family...a mixture of traditional hymns, worship songs, my original songs & testimony, even a song for the children to join me up on stage (everyone's favorite), a beautiful powerpoint presentation which enables everyone to worship corporately together, and myself on the piano as well as singing. Some hosting churches enjoy having their choir join me, which is always an added treat! Interested? You can email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kelly at email@example.com.
On the Home Front:
May was a wonderful month in many ways. I was so grateful to be blessed with a week of family vacation at Myrtle Beach, SC with Hannah, Clayton, Ross and Brianna. The beach is my favorite place on earth, and the Lord has blessed my family with a very generous, complimentary week that is above and beyond anything we could ask for. After not being able to have a family vacation last summer together, with Ross possibly moving away this fall, and Hannah getting married next May, this time with my children and their sweethearts was even more precious to this mama. We enjoyed beautiful weather the majority of the week (until Tropical Storm Ana hit.) I read 2 entire books, sat on the beach for hours, we laughed, enjoyed the jacuzzi, seafood, putt-putt, ice cream, and most of all, time together. Then that Sunday was Mother's Day and I treasured getting to go to church here at home with Hannah and lunch afterward.
Hannah returned to Clemson where she is doing summer school online for first session, working at Clemson's Horse Farm, and singing on the worship team at Seacoast Church, Greenville. I'm thankful the Lord has allowed her to be involved in the things she loves most, while Clayton is also living in Clemson this summer, working on his dental school applications, tutoring Chemistry students, and working at the free dental clinic there.
I enjoyed getting to visit/spend the night with my college roommate/precious friend Julie Caldwell and her family one Saturday night before singing in Easley (where they live) that Sunday. Staying with dear friends is such a treat and a nice break from hotels. It was an added treat that Hannah and Clayton came over to join us for pizza that night. I loved getting to meet Ross and Brianna a few times for dinner, as well over the month.
June will have me continuing to teach private music lessons (piano & voice) with some of my regular students continuing, and welcoming 5 new students for Summer Session. Robert and his family will be coming through Columbia on their way to their family's mini-vacation. I am looking forward to cooking a big breakfast to have for them. Ross's girlfriend Brianna will graduate from Chapin High School and I will be attending. I will be coaching several Miss South Carolina Organization contestants who are singing for talent competition. Then the last week of the month the Miss South Carolina Pageant will be at the Township Auditorium here in Columbia, and I always enjoy going back to watch and reconnect with so many of my friends/former Miss South Carolinas.
Love and blessings,
This month I'd love to offer a gift to everyone who orders anything off of my website in the month of June in honor of my sister Shari's life and home-going. I would like to include a complimentary testimony CD, which includes me sharing my story live, as well as 3 songs, "Sister," "How Far," and "Amazing Grace." Visit my online bookstore here atwww.dawnsmithjordan.com
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. Tax-Deductible Gifts
If you would prayerfully consider giving a special gift during this very slow summer season for my ministry, all gifts are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, Jordan Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Make your donation to Jordan Ministries, and mail them to P.O. Box 2846, Irmo, SC 29063. Thank you for partnering with us through your financial gifts and prayers.
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!
Sunday, June 14
Memorial Baptist Church, St. George, SC
11:00am and 6:00pm Service
Eastlan Baptist Church, Greenville, SC
Northside Baptist Church, Orangeburg, SC
First Baptist Church West Columbia, SC
Westcreek Baptist, Batesburg/Leesville, SC
Chapin Baptist Legends Luncheon, Chapin, SC
Red Oak Baptist Baxley, GA
WMU Ladies meeting
Woodhaven Baptist Rockhill, SC
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Do you ever just sit and listen to the world that is happening around you? Today my world is surrounded by the sounds of an early summer shower. I can hear the water hitting the roof, pinging every now and then against the attic fan in the hallway. The sounds of traffic are minimal, morning rush hour is over but there are a few brave souls making their way through the tiny ponds that have formed on the road. I am sitting in the doorway so I can stay dry and watch as God waters the garden I planted and washes the away the yellow dust that has settled on us once again. This is my favorite place to be, not this location but rather this time. My family has already left for the day, the pets are happy sleeping in their warm beds. Work is done for today, the dishes and laundry will just have to wait. Right now at this moment I am choosing to sit, to listen and to wait. You see we all have so many responsibilities. Our incredibly rude schedules pull us from one thing to another without the consideration of a request. Things just have to get done, deadlines to meet, kids to get off to school, meals to prepare, laundry , dishes, homework, grocery shopping. If I don’t clean this house soon it may just become a science project (well, that would take care of part of the homework). But wait. Stop. Take a deep breath. Relax. Take a moment to look around and see what the Lord is doing for you. Not the big giant leaps of faith. The simply amazing things he gives you everyday because He loves you. You see this morning my brain was so full of the details of every little thing that needed to be done, I was a stress case. There is not enough time or resources to do the things I thought needed to be done. I was on overload, before 9:00am! I had worked myself up into such a tizzy that I was ready to call it a day right then and there. Outside my window God was doing what he does best, taking care of His creation. He is providing the rain to water the earth, the water will make the plants grow and quench the thirst of millions of people and animals. The plants will feed these people and animals. The animals will, well, sorry those of you who are vegetarians. This rain has also slowed things down. The birds, will sit in their nest covering their young until the rain lets up. The people who work outdoors are forced to wait. We reconsider the errands that need to be run because we don’t want to slosh through the mud, we wait. Some people have no choice, don’t worry God will provide a wait time for you. For those of us that are waiting, take a moment to thank God for this time. He created it just for you. God created, this amazing planet. God created waiting, it’s a time of rest for us when there is nothing else we can do. We wait 9 months for the arrival of a child, some wait longer. We wait in the appropriately named waiting room for our loved one in surgery. We wait for our kids to come home on curfew. Humanity waited for 3 days, thinking their Savior was gone. All the while outside their window God was doing what He does best, taking care of His creation. He knows where you are in life. He has not forgotten you in the waiting. He is working things out for you. All you have to do is wait.