Rest. The word for the months of June and July for me was rest. On a rare weekend at home, "off" from ministry, I sat down on a Friday morning, the first weekend of the month of June, and opened my devotional book and read this Scripture. "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken." Psalm 62:5-6. The Lord is clearly speaking His message to me that sometimes His "no" is because of His greater "yes" (to trust Him as provider and get some much-needed rest.). Sometimes we push for what we think we need (concerts booked every single Sunday morning and evening in the slower summer months due to lower finances) when His plan is always for our good and His glory. Without rest and replenishment we can't keep going and pouring out, or we will give out. Literally.
That weekend my aunt and I were supposed to go to Isle of Palms, SC for a long weekend. A free oceanfront condo. But the rain forecast caused us to change our plans. We both love the beach, but we both decided we would much rather stay home if we had to be indoors at the beach, as our idea of a perfect beach trip is sitting in a chair, all day long, only going up for lunch, then right back, with a good book, nothing else. But that was obviously not the kind of "rest" the Lord was calling me to that weekend.
You see, although contrary to what many think, people that do what I do, sing in full-time ministry, are not mysteriously independently wealthy! I have actually heard comments from others that I "do not work" and that I "am rich." Oh my goodness the misconceptions! Although I was blessed to share over 100 concerts/ministry events last year, I do not, nor have I ever had, a set fee that I charge churches to have me come. In the summer months, I simply operate on love offerings. Sometimes there is a lot of love but little offering, and vice versa. I can have such a tendency to look at ALL of my responsibilities all at the same time and become completely overwhelmed, and not rest at all. And yet, instead of giving in to worry, the Father has called me to worship Him. To trust Him. To rest in Him, in His faithful provision.
And so that weekend, I began a project I have been wanting to get to for years, but never having the time. We have lived in our home for 10 years, and I have never painted the inside except for a few rooms. Then my precious music students' families blessed me with a very generous AMEX gift card specifically designated to go toward the purchase of the paint for my house! You see, God was providing for a project that I had a heart to do, during the slower months of summer, without it being a financial burden to me at all. Another voice student's mom emailed me saying in the heading, "You know I'm crazy!" When I read her email, she said she had been feeling the Lord prompt her to let me know that they own a pressure washer, and that she was to offer it to me. She could not have had any way of knowing that my 2 projects for the summer that I hoped to accomplish were to paint inside AND pressure wash the outside of my house! Praise God for His specific provision! All of this may not sound "restful" to you, but to me, it has been so refreshing and fun to be creative and see the rewards from a little hard work, while resting in God's timing in allowing me a "break" to be able to do so.
I am learning. Slowly. That His ways are so much higher than mine, and He does care for me, and He has never left us without what we need. I always joke with the children and say how faithful God has been, in that we are not nor have we ever been starving, homeless or naked! Indeed, we are richly blessed. And so far, I have been able to pressure wash my patio and carport, and paint my foyer, living room, dining room, stairwell, hall, bathroom cabinets, and office! 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom & the basement game room are left. I've included a picture of my office, so you can have a picture in your mind of where I am writing to you each month.
It's a bright and cheery place to work, and I am grateful for the blessings of working from home.
Ministry at a glance:
As I was doing my Bible study this morning, the Lord quickened my heart to one of the verses Beth Moore was sharing in her "Children of the Day." 1 Thessalonians 2:8, "Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us." I love sharing the Gospel, and I love people. And to think that God has allowed me to spend my life sharing His Word and my life with you all is humbling and a privilege. On July 12th I was so blessed to share a concert at First Baptist Church of West Columbia, SC, joined by both the choirs from First Baptist and Broad Acres Baptist Church, led by my friend Charlton Bozard and Jasmine Lee.
What a fun evening of worship we shared together!
On July 19th I shared a concert at West Creek Baptist Church in Batesburg, SC that morning, and that evening at Cedar Grove Lutheran Church in Lexington, that scheduled me only 2 weeks before.
What a joy it was for my high school friend Lorraine Sandifer Thompson and her husband to come, as well as one of my Facebook friends Phyllis Derrick.
It's always fun to reconnect with old friends, and meet new ones from social media in "real life."
What a joy it was to share a concert for the Chapin Legends at Chapin Baptist Church in Chapin, SC, on the 22nd, where I went to be a blessing and encouragement to them, and left with my cup overflowing.
On July 25th, I shared a concert at Restoration Church in Lexington, SC, joined by a delightful 18-year-old singer named Adara Steinmetz, who actually asked if she could sing with me while I was getting a sound check! She joined me on a few songs after singing a mini-concert before mine, and was a blessing to all.
Sunday, July 26th closed out the month of ministry at Wood Haven Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC that morning where their precious pastor, Tom Patterson, has been there 32 years. A former Carowinds employee/friend from my days there as a singer/dancer during my college summers and her husband came, and it was so good to see Lori Richardson Hodge again.
That night I sang in concert at Rocky Grove Baptist Church in Salley, SC, where they had a house full of worshippers. At the conclusion of the concert, Pastor John O'Cain extended an invitation and people flooded the altar. What a wonderful way to end the evening.
Several of the churches had covered-dish dinners afterward, so when you put worship, people AND food together, it is always a blessing. Good thing I take Zumba to try and work off all those wonderful recipes shared!
August will have me in concert/speaking in Pomaria, SC, Hartsville, SC, Daufuskie Island, SC, White Rock, SC, Mocksville, NC, Lexington, SC, Norway, SC, Pinopolis, SC, Wagener, SC and Red Bank, SC. I hope to see you at one of them! Check out the full details on when and where on my schedule listed at the end of this newsletter, or here: http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/schedule.php
Funnies From the Road:
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, and a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22
At my concerts in July, here are a few true stories that I thought you would enjoy!
*As I was singing my operatic aria from my Miss America days, a little boy on the 2nd row put his hands on his ears and said, "Stop that!"
*At a senior citizens event, while standing at my product table, one of the attendees flipped my book over to see the photo on the back cover and said, "Look how young she looked!" To which I said, "I'm standing right here."
*After my concert, while at my product table, a woman said, "So tell me about your ministry, what do you do, what is your focus?" I thought to myself, "You just saw it," and tried my best to explain that to her.
*And last but not least, after sharing in my concert that I am blessed to share 75 concerts annually and teach 25 private piano/voice lessons weekly, an attendee asked, "So what do you do, do you work?"
Enjoy a good laugh with me, friends!
On the Home Front:
July was the birthday month in our family. Ross turned 19, and Hannah 22, a week apart. How I love these 2 that the Father has allowed me to be their mom.
Elizabeth and James Michael came and spent 2 nights, 3 days with me at the first of the month, and we had a ball. There was Edventure, Saluda Shoals Splash Pad, legos, board games, movies, Star Wars macaroni and cheese for James Michael, and lots of sushi for Elizabeth and me.
And of course cookie dough for all! An entire batch of cookie dough was what both Hannah and Ross wanted and got for their birthday "cakes."
On the 17th & 18th I was in Clemson where we moved Hannah from her furnished apartment into her unfurnished apartment where she will live until she graduates (December) and gets married (May 15th.) We had such a great time together.
Blue also had his 3rd birthday, who happens to be here with me for the week as Hannah is on vacation at the beach with her dad and his family. Cookie always enjoys having his buddy, and Zoey is learning to accept him slowly but surely.
Lunch with my Aunt Sue, who is also one of my best friends, is always so refreshing as we caught up with each other at the delicious Di Prato's in downtown Columbia.
I was able to attend South Carolina's Distinguished Young Woman Pageant to cheer on my delightful and very talented voice student, Rachel Barber who did a beautiful job.
August will be busy with 10 churches hosting me, and my Summer Session Music Students' Recital at an assisted living facility. Robert, Elizabeth and James Michael will be joining me the weekend of August 7-9 in Daufuskie Island, SC, a place we have never been and are very much looking forward to visiting. I will also be singing that Sunday morning on one of the island churches. The church has offered us a home to enjoy for the weekend, and we are so grateful. You have to catch a ferry to get there, and there are no cars. So we will have our own golf cart to get around. I am looking so forward to a few days on the beach, my favorite place on the planet! I have missed it since going in May, and can't wait. Hannah starts her final semester at Clemson as a Veterinary Science/Equine Business major this month, and I will be attending Clemson's Horse Show on the 29th where she will be working. So, it will be a month full of family, fun, fellowship, and friends. Looking forward to all that God has in store!
Both of my books for only $25
you will receive a complimentary testimony CD with your purchase
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!
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
Springmaid Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
Women's Missionary Union
Juniper Bay Baptist, Conway, SC
Riverhill Church, Moore, SC
Circle of Women
September 26 & 27
Women's Conference Saturday and
11:00 AM Service Sunday
Faith Baptist Church, Belle Valley, OH
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
I sit here today with a grateful and thankful heart. Everyday should be this way really but let’s face the truth some days we just don’t feel it! Why is this day different? I still have the same possessions I had yesterday. I didn’t receive an inheritance check in the mail from a long forgotten relative. The world is still as uncertain as it was yesterday. Basically today is the same as yesterday. The sun came up, just like yesterday. The coffee maker brewed my coffee, just like yesterday. My house is still a mess, just like yesterday. So what makes this day special, what makes my heart thankful today? Choice, that’s the difference. Today I made the choice to be thankful. I heard a saying once “fake it until you make it.” I do not encourage lying but I do endorse freedom of thought. You see I cannot control the things that happen around me, well ok, maybe the coffee I can control a little. What I do have control over, most of the time, is my response to occurrences in life. I can choose to mope around downcast over the circumstances or, I can view them as a part of life. Sometimes life will hand you a silver platter full of all your favorite flavors of cheesecake, the slices are lovely, covered in chocolate and caramel. You carefully take the platter in your hands and immediately trip over a snag in the carpet. Your treats take to flight like a frightened sparrow. They scatter on the floor only to be enjoyed by your over anxious four legged friend. A squished mess on the floor, a burden for you to clean up, not a sweet treat. Oh the despair. Life can change that quickly. But… for a few moments, you did have the pleasure of seeing the beautiful display on the platter. For a short time you were able to breathe in the sweet aroma of the warm chocolate and melted caramel. And now, you see the happy face of you k9 companion, covered in a gooey mess. From her view point this is the best thing that could have happened. For you this is a burden, for her a blessing. It’s difficult to see the joy when we are disappointed in the outcome. However, our lives are intertwined with each other. Someone found pleasure in making the cheesecake, another found pleasure in purchasing the yummy gift for a friend. Pleasure was found in receiving the gift. Gratefulness and thankfulness are always out there, we just have to open our eyes to see and then receive them into our heart.