Blooming azaleas, dogwoods and snow, all at the same time. Only in SC in March. And as excited as this SC girl gets about snow, you know I loved every flake that graced our city last month. I happened to be home that weekend, the only one off sandwiched in-between 8 weekends of ministry in a row. Oh how I soaked in all the glorious winter wonderfulness and thanked God for the reprieve it brought with it.
However, just as the azaleas had bloomed early this year in all of their glorious pale pink, hot pink, fuchsia, and white in my yard, as the unseasonable snow and frozen temps came and went, so did the beautiful blossoms. Dead. All of them. Or so I thought.
However...as I looked out over my backyard one morning last week, I saw this unexpected treasure. New blooms. And then today, I noticed these had appeared in my front yard while I was away in ministry this past weekend. This thought came to mind...I love how there are times when, though things appear to be dead, they actually can surprise us and come back to life. These azalea plants remind me of Easter, and why we celebrate our risen Savior. Though the plants appeared to be dead, lo and behold, up from the grave they arose, they literally sprang back to life, because you see, not all of them had bloomed just yet. What a lovely surprise they are, absolutely glorious as I look out the front window from my desk right now. A beautiful reminder of the resurrection.
On Friday, all hope seemed lost. Jesus had been crucified, and His body was in a borrowed tomb. The prophesied Savior of the world dead. And yet, just as He had promised, on the third day, He arose from the grave, conquering death and hell. He was alive, offering new life for all mankind who would accept the gift of His saving, redeeming, sustaining, all-sufficient, death-to-life grace.
Jesus is still in the business today of raising dead things back to life...dashed hopes, marriages, dreams, prodigals, broken hearts...all of it. And maybe, just maybe, these azaleas serve as our simple, tangible, visible reminder that even though things may look dead, there is always new life just waiting to blossom in us, through Christ, just waiting to be re-born. He makes ALL things new.
As one of my favorite worship songs says...I'm alive and well, Your Spirit lives within me, because You died and rose again! He is alive, Risen indeed, my friend. Celebrate! And He came that we might have life, and have it to the full! Abundant life in Christ! Revelation 1:18, "I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." He makes all things new.
Blessed Easter to you and yours,
We realize that everyone is busy and have so many things on their plate, and while we all have good intentions and the right heart, sometimes things just don't happen like we plan. So, in an effort to help simplify your time as well as ours, we are going to revamp and minimize the newsletter. We are also asking that any of you who no longer wish to receive the newsletter or don't read it to please unsubscribe as this will help with our newsletter account. Thank you everyone for your help with this and support of Jordan Ministries.
Ministry at a Glance:
Thank you to all the wonderful churches that hosted me this past month. It was a pleasure to serve in ministry at Crosswell Baptist Church- Sumter, SC, Lebanon Baptist Church- Eastover, NC, First Baptist Church of Elon- Elon, NC, Bethlehem Presbyterian Church- Monroe, NC and Calvary Baptist Church- Jefferson, SC.
Won't you pray for my precious Administrative Assistant/Schedule Coordinator Allison, her husband, Randy, and their two little girls Abby and Hannah as they are preparing to welcome their new addition, baby boy Ryan to their family this Friday morning, April 7th by C-section? Allison and I enjoyed our "last supper" together last week before she takes a few much-needed, well-deserved weeks off for maternity leave. In the meantime, you can email me at email@example.com in her absence. We will look forward to celebrating his birth in just 5 days!
Look for my upcoming article in April's She Magazine of the Midlands "Celebrate Your Age" issue as I talk about going from being a former "beauty queen" to learning to age gracefully in a world that only sees skin deep. www.midlands.shemagazine.com
On the Road Again:
Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2
Church of the Cross
Ladies' Events, Sunday morning service
Friday, April 7-Saturday, April 8
Folkstone Freewill Baptist Church
Holly Ridge, NC
Friday, May 5 - Sunday, May 7
Ridgecrest Conference Center
Smokey Mountain Women's Retreat
Thursday, May 11
Midland Park United Methodist Church
North Charleston, SC
Mother-Daughter Banquet 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 13
Crosspoint Baptist Church
Ladies' Brunch 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, May 14
Fellowship Baptist Church
Mother's Day Service
Available Piggy-back dates:
*I will be in Lynchburg, VA April 28-29. I'm available anywhere between there and home Sunday, April 30th.
*I will be in the upstate on Saturday, June 3rd. I'm available that Sunday, June 4th, upstate friends.
*On August 26-27 I will be in Suwanee, GA, and have that Sunday night, August 27th open.
**For all 3 of these, there would be no travel expenses, simply a love offering and a place to lay my head. Message me if this would be a blessing for your church.
*Summer Love-Offering Concert Series now being scheduled*
Friends, pastors, worship pastors, and women's ministry leaders, as you are looking at planning your church's special events, I would love to come to your church. In the slower summer months, I offer my Summer Love-Offering Concert Series, a worship service for the whole family. All I ask is for travel (mileage) and a love-offering. Every Sunday in June, July and August are available on this basis, so contact me today before they all get spoken for, as the calendar has already started filling up! I always look forward to the summer concert series, sharing my story, original music, hymns, worship songs, even something special for the children. It's a great way to reach out to your community with the love of Jesus.
I still have some available Sundays in April and May so if you would like to host me in your church on one of these dates, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your event.
On the Homefront:
With another birthday tomorrow, I'm grateful to have now celebrated new life in Christ for 44 years. I was a 9-year-old little girl when I made the decision to follow Jesus as we sang in the Baptist church in which I grew up that Sunday night, "I have decided to follow Jesus." I have never been the same since.
What a special treat it was for Hannah and Clayton, along with my grand dogs Blue and Shadow, to come to town last weekend for a bridal shower early to treat me to an early birthday dinner out. With my love language being quality time, they blessed me with just that. Next week Cookie and I will be going to Charleston for a few days as the Little love birds (Hannah and Clayton) move into their first home to help them unpack and settle in. I had anticipated going to Denver to visit Ross and Brianna and get a little skiing in, but the Lord has redirected my plans. I sent them a care package with a note to huge each other for me. And I loved getting this picture from my Denver beloveds as a thank you. Your continued prayers on their behalf are greatly appreciated, precious friends. It is not easy having my son and his sweetheart on the other side of the country.
I thank God for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family. May the Lord bless you and yours this holy season as we celebrate our Risen Savior...the reason we are never without hope.
Funnies from the Road:
After working indoors all day, Cookie and I enjoy getting outside now that it is still light at 7:00 p.m. for a little walk, to take a breather and get some fresh air. A few minutes into our walk last week I heard a car coming up on my right, slowing down, and in my peripheral view I could see a woman rolling down her window. "Are you Dawn Smith Jordan?!?!" she exclaims. I answer that I am and she continues, "You mean we drove all the way to hear you in a church in Winnsboro,SC and you live right here in our same neighborhood? What street do you live on?" At this point, she had pulled her car over to the side of the road up ahead of me, her children had gotten out, began petting Cookie, and one said, "Long time, no see!" (And this is not the first time this has happened as I walked in my neighborhood.) NEVER a dull moment in this life God has called me to live.
A Note from Allison
So, the only thing on my mind this month is how I am having a baby on Friday! Our family is so excited to welcome our newest gift from God, a baby boy, Ryan Harrison Hodge. I am so looking forward to meeting him and watching him become a mighty man of God. I thank you in advance for your prayers on Friday morning and I can't wait to post all the details and pictures in next month's newsletter! And if you can't wait until then, I am sure there will be a few on the Facebook page.