I had already written my article for this month at the first of the month, and then June 17th changed everything. On that day, just 2 weeks ago, a 21-year-old gunman walked into a church in the beautiful city of Charleston, SC, in my home state, and after attending a Bible study, opened fire, killing 9 people. There are no words. And so for now, I simply have a song that keeps coming to my mind that I used to sing in the earlier years of my ministry:
"When answers aren't enough, there is Jesus. He is more than just an answer to your prayer. And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge. When answers aren't enough, He is there."
There are no answers for this. We will question why until Jesus comes and rescues us from this world filled with evil. As I watched our Governor Nikki Haley in a press conference, her voice broke as her tears openly flowed as she begged the question we cannot answer, that parents would have to find a way to tell their children how they can go to church and feel safe after this.
I don't know the answer to this. I don't have many answers still today. But I am looking to the One who says, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life." Because if I keep looking around me, I will surely fall into despair. Today I cry out to the Father Who loved those precious ones whose lives were brutally taken in a house of worship, in a place where we should be able to go for sanctuary and feel safe. But that same Father also gave His only Son for the one responsible. Does it make sense? No, but "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whomever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." WHOMEVER.
I remember thinking after receiving a letter from the man that killed my sister years ago, asking myself if I truly believed if that WHOMEVER even meant that man on death row. It's amazing grace, and none of us deserves it. This young man has a family...a mother, father, grandparents, a sister whose wedding had to be postponed because of her brother's choices that weekend...let's not forget them. Let's not forget him. The things I have seen people post on social media, the names they have called him, many claiming to be followers of Christ, says they obviously do not feel he is one of the whoevers. But my Bible says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." ALL. That is you and that is me. And we are ALL WHOEVERS. But for the grace of God, there go I. As we pray, may we open our hands and hearts to the Only One Who can begin to make any sense out of it all, and cry out, "Father, we don't understand, but help us to trust You as we look to You for strength, grace, peace, and healing."
As I have followed the media coverage of this horrific tragedy, I believe we are witnessing firsthand God taking what was meant for evil and turning it into something good and for His glory. CNN continues to carry the news going on in my beloved state.
On June 18th, the day after, this was the Scripture on my flip calendar by my kitchen sink: "Malachai 4:12, "But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteouness will rise with healing in its wings."
As I watched the bond hearing for the young man on television, who confessed for killing those 9 people, I was moved to tears as I watched one family member after another offer forgiveness. Forgiveness the very next day to the man who changed their world forever by his cruel, evil choices. And yet I heard a mother whose daughter was one of the ones he killed say to him, through brokenheartedness and tears, "I forgive you. May God have mercy on you." A husband whose wife was also taken, "I forgive you." I could not move for watching one after the other offer not only forgiveness, but tell this young man that God could forgive him, asking him to turn his life over to Jesus. And not only is this broken, sick young man hearing the Gospel, the world is.
Yes, I have forgiven a murderer. But it was not the very next day after my sister had been ripped from our lives at only 17 years old. My precious mother forgave him immediately as we sat face to face with this man in the Lexington County jail cell and she extended undeserved mercy. For me, it was years later.
But what we are witnessing is miraculous...and God is at work. My heart aches for those families whose loved ones were so cruelly ripped from them. I know that pain. I cannot stop thinking of and praying for them. But as much as I know that pain firsthand, I also know the One who will rise with healing in His wings, and I know that as much as He did it for me, He will also do it for them. And so let's lift up mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children, friends, families that are grieving. Let's continue to join hands as we seek God together in this. Let's not wake up tomorrow and get back to life as normal. Pray for Charleston. Pray for peace. Pray for revival in America, in this world. Only Jesus. When answers aren't enough...Jesus.
Ministry at a glance:
June was a slow month as far as having ministry dates, but the few I had were such a blessing. On June 14th I was privileged to be at Memorial Baptist Church in St. George, SC where their choir joined me that morning and we had a packed sanctuary that evening for a concert.
On June 28 I sang as a part of Easlan Baptist Church in Greenville SC's patriotic service that morning, joined by their choir and orchestra. What a treat. It was a special treat to have Robert, Elizabeth, and James Michael come join me as we celebrated God and America together and then had lunch afterward with the church family.
Then that evening I shared a concert back at Northside Baptist Church in Orangeburg, SC, also joined by their choir.
In July I am looking forward to singing in West Columbia, SC on the 12th, in Batesburg, SC on the 19th, in Chapin, SC on the 22nd, in Lexington, SC on the 25th, and Rock Hill, SC on the 26th. For specific details about these and other churches and times, please see the schedule listed at the end of this newsletter or feel free to visit my website. I still have some dates available in the month of July if your church is interested in having me come for a love offering basis only:
7/5 AM & PM open
7/12 AM open
7/19 PM open
7/26 PM open
June was a very challenging month financially for this ministry. July looks to be one, as well. Thankfully August is full of wonderful ministry opportunities. With only three churches on the concert calendar in June, I have trusted that God would meet our needs as He always has. Being in transition between Jennifer leaving and Kelly coming on board, that posed another challenge. I'm grateful to say that Kelly is up and running and we are working well together. With ministries such as mine, the fall, winter and spring are the busiest seasons, while the summer is always the slowest. Churches do not plan special events due to vacations, camps, VBS, etc. So in June and July, we operate on a much slower calendar and love offerings only. I continue to teach private voice and piano in the summer months, but my number of students is about half what it is during the school year. That being said, I have posted the last Sundays that I have available and I would love to come share a love offering concert at your church. I would also ask you to prayerfully consider if the Lord would have you to give a financial contribution to this ministry, as Jordan Ministries is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and all gifts are tax deductible. I am grateful and blessed by your friendship, love, support, and prayers. Make your check to:
Jordan Ministries P.O. Box 2846 Irmo, SC 29063 Here are the last Sundays I am available this summer on a love-offering basis. I'd love to have every single one of them filled:
July 5 AM & PM July 12 AM July 19 PM July 26 PM
August 30 PM
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:
June was a much slower month ministry wise, but slower was nice personally. I finally was able to get to see Jennifer in person and meet their newest addition, precious baby Caroline as we also celebrated each other's birthdays together.
I enjoyed getting to attend Ross's girlfriend, Brianna's high school graduation and family's party afterward which included some fun ping-pong!
I also got to attend one of my dearest friends, Sharon Cone's daughter's high school graduation and celebration dinner afterward.
My precious little buddy Raven Smith, who used to be my personal assistant in town before she went off to Erskine and I got together for lunch and it was so good to catch up with this sweet young woman of God.
Then I had the privilege of having Mary Catherine Keith, Anderson University student now, join me one day for painting in my house, my summer project, and she was so sweet to offer to do so. I love getting to reconnect with these precious young women who love Jesus.
I've enjoyed getting to have Ross and Brianna over several times this month to eat, enjoyed a day at the lake with my friend Sharon, and even went to North Carolina to visit Robert and Elizabeth, help work his auction and celebrate Father's Day with him. Of course that involved an ice cream date with my nephew James Michael, which is always a treat for us both. Having a slower travel ministry schedule allows me to do some things with family and friends that I may not normally get to do so it was an unexpected blessing.
Hannah completed her summer school session and is now busy working at Clemson's horse stables and planning her wedding. I've missed seeing her this month, but treasure the time spent with loved ones.
On June 25th, Shari celebrated her 48th birthday in heaven. Oh how I miss Mom and Shari, but how grateful I am to know I will see them again! July is always a special month in our family as both of my children have birthdays. On the 12th Ross will turn 19, and on the 19th Hannah will turn 22. Happy birthday to the 2 greatest blessings and joys of my life!
The last week of the month held the annual Miss South Carolina Pageant here in Columbia at the Township Auditorium and that is always fun, especially the opening night where Ross and Brianna joined me.
Congratulations to our new Miss South Carolina Daja Dial!
One of my favorite parts of returning to the pageant every year is getting to spend time with my wonderful former Miss South Carolina sisters.
Love and blessings,
Summer Clearance Sale!
This month we are offering Hannah's cd for only $5
There is a limited number available
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!
First Baptist Church West Columbia, SC
Westcreek Baptist, Batesburg/Leesville, SC
Chapin Baptist Legends Luncheon, Chapin, SC
Restoration Church, Lexington, SC
Woodhaven Baptist Rockhill, SC
Mount Pleasant UMC, Pomaria, SC
Kelleytown Baptist, Hartsville, SC
First Union African Church, Daufuskie Island, SC
Deepwoods Estate, Lexington, SC
Norway Baptist, Norway, SC
White Rock Baptist, White Rock SC
Blaise Baptist Church, Mocksville, SC
First Baptist Church, Wagener, SC
Pinopolis Methodist Church, Pinopolis, SC
Red Bank Baptist, Red Bank, SC
Ladies Night Out
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
There are times when it feels like God’s presence seems absent. I know in my heart this is not true. He is always with us, His word says so. Joshua 1:5 … “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So this morning while talking to God (ever present but feeling his absence), He revealed this. It’s not his absence that makes my heart feel sad and empty, it’s the presence of sin, the fallen nature. Life can be bad sometimes and horrible things can happen. It’s not God absence that you feel, it’s just that sadness is driving the emotional train right now. God replaces sadness with joy. Joy because of salvation, joy because of another sunrise, joy for the breath that is in your lungs. Joy because God loves you, joy because HE reigns over all the earth. Happiness is fleeting but joy; that comes straight from the heart of God to the fill the emptiness in your heart. This joy is everlasting. It may be in the shadows of your heart right now, but it is not gone.
When the darkness of sin tries to steal this from you remember this. God is your defender and your protector. He will not let the enemy take what is rightfully yours. He gave you peace and joy while this may be a time of mourning He will restore those things to you. …. weeping may remain for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.