As I sit here at 11:00 p.m. on February 6th, just now starting to write this article, I am keenly aware that we are wayyyyy behind on getting this newsletter out to you. And so in honor of February being a short month with only 28 days in it, with 6 of them already behind us, how about if we also send you an abbreviated newsletter this time? Because quite honestly, with the way things are going, if we don't, it may not make it out until March!
As I started this year, I asked the Lord how He wanted me to live it. 2017. Did He have a specific word for me? Many came to mind, but none settled deep within my spirit. That is until I started a new book and Bible study by Ann Voskamp entitled The Broken Way. Give. That is the word. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Ephesians 5:1 goes on to say, "Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly beloved children, and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us." Just as He gave, so are we called to give.
As I have served in a full-time singing/speaking/writing/recording ministry for 30 years now, people have commented on how much I have "given" in this ministry by way of sharing the gifts the Lord entrusted me that ministered to them. I am truly humbled. And yes, there have also been things I have had to give up as a result of this...time with family and friends, leisure activities, weekends off much of the time, sleeping in on Saturdays, lazy or even productive weekends at home. But while this is a ministry, it has also been my job, my vocation. Those things are just a part of the life the Lord called me to. At 52 (closer to 53), this Bible study has caused me to stop and do some deep soul-searching as to how I am living this life God has entrusted to me, and how I will live the rest of it.
Here are few quotes of Ann's that are too good to not share with you as I continue to ponder them myself..."Real love is in the really small gestures."
"Pour out your life in small moments - because it's only these moments that add up to the monumental."
"The only way to live a truly remarkable life is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of His love everywhere you go."
"Live every day like you're terminal. Because you are. Live every day like your soul's eternal. Because it is."
"Learning the art of living is learning the art of giving."
Charles Spurgeon said, "Giving is true having."
In the fall I offered to begin teaching one of my dearest friends' daughter voice lessons. I had heard the great potential in her voice, having loved her and watched her grow from a little girl into the beautiful young woman she is, and felt led to invest in her life in this way. While my friend insisted that she pay me, I insisted she not rob me of the blessing I wanted to give to them. And so began the dance. Every week this darling girl brings some precious "blessing" from she and my friend as their way of gifting me for teaching her. I remember my dad always saying when we were growing up, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." I don't know who is having the most fun at this point...my friend, her daughter or me. But just last week one of the very gifts they gave me ended up being something the Lord clearly told me to "re-gift." (I am notorious for doing this, by the way...over the years churches that have hosted me have blessed me with gift cards, gifts, and I have ALWAYS immediately passed them on to my children mainly, or friends that I know would love them!) Anyway, my friend had brought over an entire chicken pot pie from Costco, a HUGE one. I baked it, had it for dinner, and then put it in freezer bags in individual servings to have at the end of my long teaching days, ending at 7:00 p.m. Oh what heaven they would be when it would be a cold, late night, I would be starving, and just stick one of those delicious pot pie servings in my microwave. Yet as I learned of a dear neighbor, a young mom whose children help pet sit for me when I travel in ministry, had just been diagnosed with breast cancer the day before, I immediately asked the Lord what I could do for her and her family. The first thing that came to my mind was those already-made chicken pot pie servings in my freezer. So I texted her and told her I would like to bring some dinner by for that night on my way out to run errands that morning. I had also bought a large pizza at Kroger to feed her son and my other pet sitter who were going to do some yard work for me. However, the rain changed those plans. So the Lord told me to also take them that pizza.
Leaving her home, I called my friend to tell her how her gift not only blessed me, but would be a blessing to that precious family of four when they really needed it. I told her that as I had dropped the food by, the neighbor said she had just told her husband she didn't know what they would do for dinner that night, as she had so many things to take care of before the doctor appointments and plans for treatment began. My precious sisterfriend and I had a God-moment sharing tears over cell phones as we saw firsthand how our great God can take a simple gift and multiply it. We were both doubly blessed to know how He had already seen all of that coming and allowed us to be a part of it.You can't outgive God. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)
Give. As my precious son-in-law had surgery this morning to repair his torn ACL, what a blessing it was to pull together a gift basket of simple things that I sent by way of his mom down to Charleston for them...nothing really special. Just their Valentines cards, a box of Dove chocolates, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, beanie weenies, a candle, a Papa Johh's giftcard, a Taco Bell giftcard, bones for the grand dogs. It's what I had picked up for their Valentines' surprises and simply what I had on hand, but I hoped it would be a blessing to my daughter as she cared for her husband for the first time in this way. The text message thanking me for something so simple was the icing on the cake for this mama. I am finding such joy in giving simply for the delight of it. Last week the Lord put it on my heart to make homemade butter cream icing sugar "Christmas" cookies for my dear friends for no reason other than I love them. Pure delight.
Friends, let's give. Because everything we have we have been given by a generous, gracious Father. May we touch those He has entrusted to us with His love as we walk in obedience, being imitators of God, who gave. Generously. Let's be like Him.
Ministry at a Glance:
After a busy Christmas season both in ministry and personally, I always welcome the slower start back up in January. It makes that transition back to “reality” and life a little smoother. While Allison and her family enjoyed a week of vacation at Disney World last week, I realized even more how grateful I am for her help and organization in managing this ministry as I was left holding down the fort on my own, while also teaching 35 music students, and having a cold all week. Welcome back, Allison!
My first event for 2017 was on January 22nd at West Columbia First Nazarene in West Columbia, SC. On Thursday, January 26th First Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, SC hosted me for their Ladies’ dinner.
On Sunday, January 29th I was in in Myrtle Beach, SC at First United Methodist Church where I was also privileged to get to hear Hunter Renfrow, Clemson’s wide receiver share his faith. I love hearing young people take a bold stand for Christ to this next generation. It was a wonderful treat to be able to drive down on Saturday and spend the afternoon and evening in a beach side hotel room. What a perfect way to prepare for ministry overlooking and listening to God’s beautiful ocean. It was an added blessing to be able to meet my friend Keri Connelly for dinner at an ocean-front restaurant. We had been neighbors when our children were little, then they moved to Michigan, and now are in Myrtle Beach.
After speaking on Sunday morning, I traveled to Latta, SC for an evening ministry concert at Latta Baptist Church. Although January only had me at 4 ministry events, it was still quite a busy month, especially with lots of events getting booked for the coming months.
The response from the “I, Witness” episode on the Investigation Discovery Channel has been overwhelming to say the least. While humbled and grateful at how the Lord continues to use the story He is writing into my life, I must also admit that the volume of emails, phone messages, letters, and social media private messages, posts and comments were quite daunting. About the time I would get caught up on attempting to respond to everyone, more would flood my in-boxes. And the stories of sadness, brokenness, heartache, tragedy literally broke my heart, leaving me crying out to the Lord to give me the right words with which to respond. They continue to come in, and I am learning how to juggle the many contacts from around the world. They all remind me of just how lost I would be were it not for Jesus and the hope only He can bring into our broken lives.
I kick off February on Saturday the 11th at Round Hill Baptist Church here in Lexington, SC for their Valentine’s banquet at 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, February 19th I will be in Lancaster, SC at 10:30 a.m. at Westside Baptist for Ladies’ day. That evening, at 5:30 p.m. I will be in Irmo, SC at Irmo Seventh Day Adventist for a Valentine’s banquet. The weekend of February 25th and 26th I am looking forward to being with Lakewood Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC on Saturday at their WMU Ladies’ meeting/brunch at 11:30 a.m. and then in concert Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. The evening of the 26th at 5:00 p.m. I will be in concert at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC.
*Looking toward March and the coming months, I have several Sundays available I am looking to fill, only asking for a love offering, no travel expenses needed. There are several weekends where I am ministering on a Saturday, and would love to stay over on Sunday morning and/or evening in an area church. Below are the open dates and cities/states where I will be, but for my full appearance schedule you can view it on my website here. http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/schedule.php
Sunday, March 5th morning/evening (Sumter, SC)
Sunday March, 19th morning/evening (Eastover, NC)
Sunday, March 26th evening (Monroe, NC)
Sunday, April 2nd evening (Bluffton, SC)
Sunday, April 9th morning/evening (Holly Ridge, NC)
Sunday, May 7th evening (Ridgecrest, NC)
Sunday, May 14th morning/evening (Sumter, SC)
Sunday, July 16th morning/evening (Saluda, SC)
On the Homefront:
Could I ask for your prayers for my precious daughter and her hubby today? My son-in-law tore his ACL last month playing soccer with other MUSC Dental School students and had surgery yesterday to repair it. Hannah is doing an excellent job taking care of him, and is very grateful to have his mom there helping with care for them and their 2 fur babies. Clayton is in a good bit of pain and suffering with nausea, and has a difficult recovery ahead.
My Miss SC sister Bree Boyce married her beloved Andrew Marsh last month, in her dream winter wedding, literally on the day we had snow! It was fun reconnecting with a few other Miss SC sisters as well, and Bree was such a beautiful bride.
It was a sweet evening sharing sushi, homemade cookies and the goodness of God when Mary Catherine Keith, former classmate of Ross's, came over while home for her Christmas break for us to celebrate her engagement! Oh how I love time spent with God's girls, and love her heart for Jesus so.
We have welcomed a new addition to our family! Ross and Brianna got their first baby, Malakai, so I now have 3 grand dogs! I can hardly wait to get out to Denver and love on this sweetheart.
Congratulations to Clayton for finishing his first full semester of dental school! Hannah continues to love singing as a part of the Newspring Church Charleston campus' worship team.
As always, thank you for the prayers lifted up on behalf of my family and me. Please drop me a line to update me on yours so I can, in turn, pray for you and yours.
Funnies From the Road:
As I recently attended a local preliminary pageant to the Miss SC/Miss SC Teen Pageant to see my voice student MaCayla Ratcliffe sing and give up her crown as Miss Columbia Teen 2016, I walked up on stage to congratulate the newly crowned Miss Columbia. She responded, "Now whose mom are you?" My response: "I was actually Miss SC YEARS ago." #itsanewgeneration
The entire story that was featured on
"I, Witness" is depicted in Dawn's first book, "Grace So Amazing" and is available
on her website here.
In it she writes of her journey from fear to faith, and ultimately extending forgiveness to her sister's murderer. It can also be seen on the CBS made-for-television movie now on Netflix, "Victim of Beauty."
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.
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest!
Sunday, February 11th
Round Hill Baptist
Sunday, February 19th
Ladies' Day 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 19th
Irmo Seventh Day Adventist Church
Saturday, February 25th
Lakewood Baptist Church
Rock Hill, SC
WMU Ladies' Meeting/Brunch
Sunday, February 26th
Lakewood Baptist Church
Rock Hill, SC
Sunday, February 26th
Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
A Note from Allison
I cannot believe we are already into the 2nd month of 2017, I guess 2 kids, 1 on the way and 2 part time jobs...on top of everyday life, make the days go too quickly. I so easily get caught up in the everyday life and tasks that I often (pretty much always actually) forget my ministry, my purpose. I am just trying to have everyone alive at the end of each day, that I am just living for the current moment and focusing on what I have to do next. And that's not how I want to live life! I am currently going through Beth Moore's study of 2 Timothy entitled "Entrusted." I'm only a couple weeks in, but I have already been challenged with what have I been "entrusted" with? My marriage and my children. God has given me these precious gifts and blessings, and I am questioning if I am doing all God has called me to do with what he has given me. Am I being a Godly example to my kids, not just keeping them alive, but truly molding them and shaping them into Godly people who seek His heart and try to be like Christ. Am I serving my husband in a Godly manner, or just trying to keep him happy and the house running. I want to serve God and honor what He has entrusted to me, and make sure that at then end of my life He can truly say, "Well done my good and faithful servant." I am seeking His heart and praying for His help, would you join me?