As I sit here on the floor of the Philadelphia Airport because my iPhone needs charging, on which I am attempting to write this newsletter, I have a heart overflowing. I have a 3-hour layover from Columbus, Ohio on my way home after an amazing weekend, and I am overwhelmed. In a good way.
How grateful I am to have served alongside some dear friends, Larry and Laurie Copley, pastor and pastor's wife/women's ministry director of Faith Baptist Church in Belle Valley, Ohio. Saturday night I shared a message on "Facing the Storms" of life with their ladies, then Sunday morning on "How Far Must Forgiveness Go?" Then Sunday evening they had helped secure an additional ladies event at Rolling Plains United Methodist Church in Zanesville, Ohio about 45 minutes away.
I was up at 5:00 a.m.on Saturday morning, but due to flight delays, I arrived at my connecting flight's gate to find that the 10 minutes I had between flights met me with a closed gate door. Miraculously, the gate agent opened the door! I made it to Columbus on time, however, my luggage did not. Larry and Laurie picked me up and drove me straight to their mall, treating me to an entirely new outfit for the evening from the top, to the pants, shoes and jewelry! And it was MUCH cuter than my originally-planned attire for the evening. My luggage did arrive later that evening, but they were so gracious to tell me to enjoy the new clothes. How blessed I was because of their generosity.
God poured Himself out on us in incredible ways and I will never forget my time there. Their town is 1 1/2 hours from the airport so we had lots of time to visit and catch up, laugh and cry, after having been in their previous church in GA years earlier. It was especially fun to get to also visit with their sweet daughter Nicole, who is getting married this weekend. Getting to brag on God together and all He is doing in the various ministries in which I am privileged to serve is one of my favorite parts of what I get to do. I get the feeling it is a little glimpse of heaven.
The same was true a few weekends earlier when I was the speaker for the Southern United Methodist Women's Retreat in Myrtle Beach, SC. None of my family or friends could go with me, which I soon realized was the Lord's plan all along. I was able to spend the time between sessions simply visiting, sharing, dining, and laughing with the sweet ladies there. I was reminded as they shared their lives and struggles with me just how much we each have our own difficulties in this journey of faith, and how much we need to be encouraged and reminded of the Truth.
The people I meet are always such a joy, like sweet Mary Donald in Moore, SC, the women's ministry director.
Meeting this beautiful former Miss Black South Carolina was a treat as we both talked about how glad we are that we now have a reigning African-American Miss South Carolina. How grateful we are to be living in a time where there is no differentiation between black and white, where we are simply brothers and sisters.
It's always fun to meet Facebook friends in person. I had the privilege of meeting Allison Cox in Ohio who had seen my family's movie on TV 10 years ago. She drove 45 minutes to attend the women's ministry event there.
The stories I hear are countless, and each one priceless and precious. On this past Sunday morning I met a precious 17-year-old young lady who shared with me a story of heartbreak, involving her purity being taken by a man who was only after fulfilling his own evil desires. And yet she came to me, tears flowing down her beautiful face, saying she wanted to forgive but did not know how she ever could. How humbled I was that the Lord had used my own story of forgiveness, though the circumstances were different, to bring this girl to the place of seeking what only God could do in and through her. I am humbled that the Father allows me to be a part of these beloved sisters' and brothers' lives. It is all for His purposes and we are each simply called to live out the lives we have been entrusted to live, telling the stores, our testimonies, He has given to us.
As Corrie Ten Boom said,
"My life is but a weaving between God and me.
I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not til the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reasons why
The dark threads are as needful in the Skillful Weaver's hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned." (Author unknown)
My life Scriptures keeps me pressing on, and I pray it will you, as well..."Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I thank God that He has allowed you and me to share this journey together,
On the Home Front:
I have not gotten to see either of my children this month, and I sure do miss them. As I shared in my last newsletter, Ross moved to Denver, Colorado on August 31st. He and his girlfriend Brianna both got jobs and are enjoying living there. Ross is working at Pizza Republica, a fine Italian restaurant in downtown Denver. Here he is looking quite handsome on his first day of work.
On the night that they left, after spending much of that day in tears, our former neighbor from 10 years ago messaged me on facebook, asking me what brought Ross to Denver. We had not been in touch much other than being facebook friends over the last decade. Come to find out, they literally live 2.9 miles from Ross, and their son, Ross's childhood best friend, is a student at Colorado Christian University.
How grateful I am for their family, who has reached out to them, welcomed them into their home, fed them, provided transportation when they have needed it, showed them around Denver, and offered any help they may need. What an answer to prayer that such precious Christian friends are so closeby when my boy is so far away.
Hannah began a new part-time job at the Village Cafe in Pendleton, SC. She is also doing her senior internship at Clemson University's Horse Farm, working toward graduating in December. She is also working hard on planning her wedding, having just sent out her "save-the-date" announcements this week. She and Clayton got their
beautiful engagement pictures done, and I have shared a few with you. If you are my facebook friend, I have posted the entire album, and would love for you to see them there. Clayton has had 3 interviews for dental school...University of Florida, University of Georgia and MUSC in Charleston, SC. Now they wait and pray to see where the Lord will have them go once he graduates in May and they are married. Exciting days.
I loved keeping my nephew Birkes a few times this month to give Caroline a little breather, as she and Casey are expecting baby #2 in December. Then it was fun, as it always is, to get together with some of my cousins to celebrate my Aunt Sue McLeese's birthday.
The Lord clearly protected my home and beloved fur babies while I was in Ohio this past weekend. Every time I pull out of my driveway to be away on a ministry trip, I ask the Lord to protect my pets and my home, specifically from harm, theft and fire. On Sunday afternoon I got a text from my 15-year-old pet-sitter saying that Zoey had obviously knocked over a lamp, it had fallen onto the sofa, and when he walked in my house for the last visit of Saturday night, there was a flame on the couch. The lamp shade and sofa were burned through, but nothing else was touched. How grateful I am for God's perfect timing, answered prayer and protection.
Ministry at a Glance:
September was been such a blessing to me. From the Southern Methodist Women's Missionary Retreat in Myrtle Beach, SC, to a concert in an awesome church Juniper Bay Baptist Church in Conway, SC, to a lovely Circle of Women at River at Hills Baptist Church of Moore, SC to this past weekend in Ohio at Faith Baptist Church and Rolling Plains United Methodist Church. The stories I hear, the tears I share as precious sisters (and brothers) tell me of their own journeys of faith, heartache, and on and on the stories go bring me to my knees. I know I could never continue to do what the Lord has called me to do apart from His enabling power. I am looking forward to being back at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church's Ladies' Festival of Tables in Pleasant Garden, NC on 10/3, and at Gospel Baptist Church in Archdale, NC on Sunday morning, 10/4. On 10/18 I will be at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Ridge Spring, SC, on 10/23 at Cross Roads Baptist Church's Ladies' Holiday Hospitality Dinner in Easley, SC, and on 10/25 at Greater Heights Baptist Church in Hartsville, SC. For specific times and details, see my full schedule at the end of this newsletter, and also visit my website calendar. http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/schedule.php
This month brought about change. Kelly Congel, who has served as my Schedule Coordinator since April, will no longer be working with me. She is a single mom in need of more employment than this part-time position provides, and would appreciate your prayers. I have decided that I will take a stab at being my own "Schedule Coordinator." But after a month of trying to do it all on my own, in addition to running a music studio of 22 students, that I simply cannot. 75+ ministry events annually require a lot of preparation, communications between hosts, traveling, time, and energy. So I am so grateful to welcome Allison Hodge as she comes on as my new Administrative Assistant. She will be handling many of the responsibilities I do not have time for, nor do I enjoy! While she loves them! She will be handling contracts, promotional materials, updating the website calendar, posting on my ministry facebook page all upcoming dates, billing, and the monthly newsletter. What an answer to prayer she is. Welcome her for me, and read a little more about her in her article at the end of this newsletter.
Funnies From the Road:
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)
A concert attendee on the 2nd row, after I performed a short version of my Miss America Talent Competition presentation in honor of the Miss America Pageant being on TV that night, literally said out loud, "You sounded like you were in pain!" I guess she agreed with my dad, who always said that he sent me to college for four years and paid hard-earned money so I could learn to scream on pitch. Guess her appreciation for opera was not so great. But obviously the judges appreciated it, as I was 2nd-runner-up!
A precious 17-year-old young lady at a recent women's retreat told me that she would love to adopt me. I asked her what she would like to adopt me as, and she replied that I could be her adoptive grandmother! Little did she realize my own children are only 19 and 22. I came to the quick realization that I am obviously getting old!
Concert Calendar Update:
I still have a few Sundays open in October, if your church would like to plan a last-minute concert, or have me come share special music, a mini-concert or lead worship. I would love to come on a love-offering basis.The available dates are:
October 11- am
October 18- am (in Ridge Spring, SC pm)
October 25- am (in Hartsville, SC pm)
I am currently finishing up my Christmas concert calendar/speaking engagements and would love to come to your church to sing during the most wonderful time of the year!
I have released two Christmas CD's, and they are available for off-season sale prices for a very short time before the Christmas season gets here. Why not purchase them both now for only $15? http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/show_store.php@myid=16.htm
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!
Festival of Tables Ladies Event
Pleasant Garden Baptist Church
Gospel Baptist Church
Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church
Ridge Spring, SC
Holiday Hospitality Dinner
Cross Roads Baptist Church
Greater Heights Baptist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
A Note from Allison
A commonly quoted and very familiar scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 is on repeat in my mind these days. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Never did I imagine 4 months ago that I would today be offered a position with Dawn and Jordan Ministries. But the Lord, in His infinite wisdom knew what He was doing. I am very excited about this new opportunity, and hope I can bring gifts and talents to the table that will support and help the ministry God is doing. After graduating Lee University in Cleveland, TN, I met Randy and we were married on February 29th (yes, leap day) 2008. In September 2009 we moved to Columbia, SC. We now have 2 daughters, who have their daddy's eyes (which I love about him) and they keep us laughing. Abigail (Abby) will be 4 at the end of the month, and Hannah will be 2 in December. I have been a full time stay at home mom since Abby was born, and I feel abundantly blessed to be able to do that. I am so grateful God has fulfilled the desire of my heart to be home with my babies. This new position with Dawn Smith Jordan is an answer to prayers prayed for 4 years, since I had Abby. I have sought the Lord for the perfect, and I mean very detailed and perfect, job to be able to help our family financially; but still be wife and mommy 1st and most importantly. I know God cares for all our needs and wants, and sometimes He just surprises us with the cherry on top. I don't think I could have written, requested, created a more perfect fit than what I will have in this job. It will allow me to continue in all the things I need to be and do, while still meeting all my wants and desires. I covet your prayers as Dawn and I make this new transition separately and together, and thank you in advance for your open heart and welcome to this ministry.