Fall is just around the corner and I cannot wait. I love the season of autumn most of all...the brilliant colors, the crisp, cooler air, and everything about it. I do not like to sweat, and here in SC, we do that a LOT.
What a busy, wonderful month August has been.
My brother Robert, his wife Elizabeth and my nephew James Michael joined me on a unique trip to Daufuskie Island, SC where I was to sing on Sunday morning at the First African Union Methodist Church there.
To get to the island, you have to take a ferry boat from Hilton Head, as there are no bridges or any other means of transportation.
There are no cars there except for a few service cars, so we were given our very own golf cart. So we did a good bit of sweating, but it was such an amazing trip.
When we arrived on the island, we soon learned our luggage did not make it over with us. ALL of our clothes, even our food (there are no grocery stores there) did not come over on the boat with us. We were staying Friday through Sunday, and we had breakfast that morning at 7:00 and it was now 3:00. We were HANGRY, as I have heard it said before...hungry and angry put together! (Especially Robert.)
The dining room at the resort on the island was gracious to fix us some boxed lunches to get us by, and no sooner than we began to eat, our luggage arrived! Isn't that the way it is? The trip had one memorable experience after another...and MUCH laughter. Robert at one point got stuck in the mud on the beach almost up to his knees, with his crocs buried on his feet. A lady at the ferry office asked me if Elizabeth was my daughter, but to make matters worse (or better!), a lady on the beach asked Robert if Elizabeth was HIS daughter! MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE TRIP! (Elizabeth is 11 years younger than Robert.) We saw dolphins, sharks, beautiful wildlife, beautiful scenery, gorgeous beaches.
Sunday morning I had the privilege of being the first guest artist in the church EVER.
They informed us that they had an electric keyboard, but no sound system, but would get a CD player for me to be able to sing with my tracks as well as the keyboard. As I always do, my song list was planned, typed, printed and prepared. They had received it ahead of time via email, as well. When I arrived an hour early for my "sound check" there was no CD player. So one of the members went home (in his golf cart) and got his daughter's laptop, which had to have her fingerprint to unlock. So by the time he had arrived, it had gone back to sleep. So he called and asked her to come, and she rushed and made it to the church before service time. However, after a half hour of trying, the gentleman looked at me right at 10:00, when the service was supposed to start, and said, "We are not going to be able to make this work today." Then it was service time! The church was full of people.
So I breathed a prayer, a pretty desperate prayer that in my mind sounded something like, "WHAT?" Lord, you see that I have to start a concert NOW, and my entire plan is out the window, and all I have is this keyboard. Help." I sat down at the piano and began to play and sing "Heart of Worship" Which I had not planned on singing, which begins with...
"When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come
Longing just to bring something that's of worth, that will bless your heart.
I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required."
The Lord directed me to songs I knew on the piano, that I had not practiced or played in a while, and we had a precious time of corporate worship as I simply followed as the Lord led.
At the end of the service, a woman who had just recently lost her mother and father (the mother of the girl whose laptop we were trying to use) came over to me with tears in her eyes saying, "Every single song and word that you sang and said were for me today, thank you. I believe the service was just as the Lord intended it to be, even without the sound equipment."
How humbling to realize God let me be a part of His ministry that day, regardless of what "my" plans had been for that church, on that specific day. I have never done a concert like that before, literally flying by the seat of my pants on a wing and a prayer, but as we went to the fellowship time after the service, others said the same thing she did. Friends, we can make our plans, but God's are always best. And sometimes He clearly requies that we drop ours and bend to His.
"The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:19.
So the lesson for me that day was that sometimes God says "no" to even the simplest of things such as microphones and sound systems because He has a greater plan in mind.
May we bend to Him,
Ministry at a glance:
I was blessed to have been in Hartsville, SC, Pomaria, SC, Daufuskie Island, SC, Lexington, SC, Norway, SC, White Rock, SC, Mocksville, NC, Wagener, SC, Pinopolis, SC, Red Bank, SC and Pelzer, SC this month. What a privilege each and every place is to serve.
In Norway, SC I met a 102 year precious lady who is in church every Sunday. Here we are together.
I told her I want to grow up to be just like her, realizing I am already halfway there!
I traveled "internationally" in a day making it to Norway (SC!) to share a concert to a packed church house that day.
It was a special treat returning to Pinopolis Methodist Church where "Mema" attended when she was alive, my precious grandmother-in-law, where Brian Shepherd is Minister of Music.
In September, I am looking forward to being the speaker for the Southern Methodist Women's Missionary Retreat in Myrtle Beach the 11th-13th, then that night on the 13th in concert at Juniper Bay Baptist Church in Conway, SC. The 19th will find me in Moore, SC at River Hills Baptist Church for their Circle of Women. The last weekend of the month I will be the speaker for Faith Baptist Church in Belle Valley, OH, and their morning worship service the 26th-27th, that night sharing for a ladies event at Rolling Plains United Methodist Church in Zainesville, OH. For more information and specific details, please visit my website calender at http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/schedule.php and also see my listed schedule for future events at the end of this newsletter and online. Come join me if I am in your area!
Funnies From the Road:
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, and a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22
This month at the conclusion of a concert a gentleman asked, "So do you still do this?" I replied, "Do what?" He said, "Concerts."
In Mocksville, NC I was met by my friend Adam, as I walked into the church, whom I had met a few years earlier when there (pictured here). First he told me I would need to sing a song just for him entitled "Til There Was You." I told him I did know that song or have the music, so he said he would write it down for me and go to his house and get the CD.
Then the same Adam asked me if I was married, to which I told him I was no longer married and had not been for 18 years. He said, "Well, you can have me then, I don't mind."
On the Home Front: I am very much looking forward to a long holiday weekend, and have plans to stay put. People often comment to me that I do sure have a lot of energy. I do, but I am ready to have a weekend off at home with no real plans. Hannah went on a cruise with her fiance's family in August, and I had the joy of keeping Blue my granddog while she was gone. Always fun!
She is finishing up her last semester at Clemson, hard to believe. My wonderful Summer Session students performed a beautiful piano & vocal recital for the residents and their families at Agape Senior Center in Irmo, and I was so proud of them.
This school year I am teaching 24 private music students on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. That is more than I have ever taught, and I feel privileged to be their teacher as I love each one and love teaching them music.
It's always a treat to get to spend time with family and friends, and I loved getting to have a date with my nephew Birkes while his mommy and daddy went on a date of their own.
Hannah, her step-mom Susan, Clayton's mom Carolyn, maid of honor Kelly, and bridesmaid Claire and I all met in Greenville to shop for her wedding dress. The first shop (of 3), and the first dress she tried on (out of at LEAST 25) was the one she ended up going back and getting.
Oh, how this mama cried looking at my beautiful daughter as a bride-to-be. Precious day it was. I was able to attend the Clemson Horse Show the last Saturday of August at which Hannah worked.
Friday night was bitter sweet, in every sense of the word, as Ross's girlfriend's family and I threw Ross and Brianna a going away party. On August 31st I saw Ross and Brianna off on their move to Denver, Colorado with tear filled eyes and a heart full of prayer. I cannot imagine my son being so far away, but this is something he has planned on doing for a while, so his adventure will begin.
I can rest in knowing that even though I am not going to be right down the road from him, my Father will be hearing this mama's prayers and keeping watch over him. As I sat in the bridal shop last Saturday and then the going-away party, I fully understand the contrasting feelings of the word bittersweet. Your prayers for their safety and move are greatly appreciated.
For this season of my life, I am sharing a song I wrote a few years ago that expresses where this empty-nester mama of grown children is:
I'm watching my heart walk around this room.
I see it leaving way too soon.
Wanting our time to never end.
But I'll trust You each day,
As they grow away.... Lord, it's a blessing to me, but it's hard Watching my heart.
Dawn's featured product of the month is her 2011 compilation CD "This Far." It features 17 of her beloved original songs, including the song she wrote for her now adult children, "Watching My Heart." $15 plus S&H.
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!
Springmaid Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, SC
Women's Missionary Union
Juniper Bay Baptist, Conway, SC
Riverhill Baptist 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
Rolling Plains United Methodist Church
Festival of Tables Ladies Event
Pleasant Garden Baptist Church
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
Ridge Spring, SC
Holiday Hospitality Dinner
Cross Roads Baptist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
This past week end required something of me I did not know I possessed. As a single mom responsibility takes on many forms, every form actually. You see, we have a window that was shattered a little while back by a wreck less tree limb. The need to repair this didn’t seem that important, it was just the storm window and it’s in the back of the house where only we could see the damage. The temporary fix was clear, heavy duty plastic. While not the most attractive repair, this would work until I had time to take care of it. Over time this incident fell to the bottom of the priority list because quite honestly I forgot about it. I forgot until this past weekend. The weather was lovely, fall is waiting on the edge of summer. There was a slight breeze floating through the air and the temperature, thanks the tropical storm Erika churning in the sea, was a refreshing 82*. What a wonderful day to open the windows and allow this fresh relief to clear out the cobwebs of my house and my over cluttered mind. In preparation for this blessing I had to move a few things to allow myself access to the (oh yes, I forgot) broken window. Imagine my surprise and despair to discover that while my temporary repair did indeed keep rain and other undesirable creatures out of my house, I had failed to realize that because the storm window was missing so was the protection to the wood between the storm window and regular window. Sometimes the priorities on your to do list require an immediate reorganization. I could see the dark rain filled clouds heading toward our house, I had about an hour (my best guess) to fix this situation or allow how many ever gallons of rain fall during a tropical storm to land on this exposed conduit of blessings. I have never replaced a piece of glass from a window, not just a small pane, a piece of glass that is about 3ft square. Right now my funds and my knowledge are stretched thin but this is something that needs my attention. After a quick assessment of what I need and a run to my local home improvement store. I get to work removing the remaining shards a glass. One by one tiny pieces of pain inflicting, prisms of beauty fall to the ground. I reminded God in this moment that I am not truly qualified to do this. I don’t have a contractor’s license, nor have I ever been to window repair school. What makes me qualified or for that matter responsible for this? I was feeling a little bitter, can you relate? I didn’t break this window, it just got broken. I don’t have a license to repair it, and don’t plan on getting a contractor’s license to repair my own home.
God, in his infinite grace reminded me that he has given me knowledge and a brain to figure things out how to fix it. By the world standards I don’t have what it takes. But by Gods standards I am more than qualified and it’s my responsibility. Licensed or not this is my home and it will always be my place, my right to take care of it. God takes those of us with limited abilities and qualifies us for things we never imagined possible. That morning when I woke up I did not know that God would have a lesson in window repair set for me but his plan and his timing are always perfect. When the outskirts of Erika’s rage finally made it the threshold of our home, I am blessed to say not one drop of rain came in that window.
There are times that I feel overwhelmed and under qualified by the task put before me but I serve God and He makes sure that in my weakness he is strong. Trust in Him today friends, He is always looking out for your best interest. But he said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9