Greetings from Hotlumbia once again! I hope this finds you all well and hopefully not having to endure the triple digit temperatures we've had here lately. The temperatures may slow down some parts of life but thankfully they certainly haven't slowed down the ministry this summer. Starting July 11th, I really hit the road running again and will be on the go non-stop until the end of August. One of the highlights of my ministry schedule in the month of July was having the privilege of being the speaker/singer at Camp Tadmor in Lebanon, OR. Everything about this trip was refreshing...obviously the cooler weather, flying over snow-covered mountains in July(!), the gracious hospitality that was shown to me, the new friends I made while there, the wonderful all-woman band that led us in powerful worship during each session, and the amazing time I had with the 400 women who attended. I am so grateful to have been entrusted with this ministry opportunity, and fell in love with Oregon...the place and its people.
This past Sunday, August 1st, I had the privilege of sharing 2 concerts at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Florence, SC in the morning, and at Bethel United Methodist Church in Sumter, SC in the evening. In-between services some very dear friends hosted me for lunch and the afternoon in their home and the time spent with them was a breath of fresh air. This Sunday, August 8th, I again get to be closer to home for an evening concert at Clarendon Baptist Church in Alcolu, SC where I was a few years ago for their women's ministry. Next Friday Ross, a friend of his and I, will fly out to Houston, TX. Because I was able to go on the Miss SC Cruise with Hannah, this trip is one I decided to just take Ross and his buddy on so we could have a special trip together, as well. We will take in the Kemah Boardwalk and some sights near there before having the opportunity once more to share at a women's ministry event Saturday, the 14th, as well as during the morning and evening services at Memorial Baptist Church in Spring that Sunday, the 15th. The following Saturday, the 21st, I will hit the road again and share at a women's conference at Pathways Church in Sevierville, TN, and then head to Highland Baptist Church in Hickory NC on Sunday, the 22nd. The last Sunday in August, the 29th, I will be in Aiken, SC at Bethel Baptist during the morning service and at Millbrook Baptist for an evening concert. As always, if you are going to be in the area, please join me for these events. I would love to see you. After having one of the busiest summers we have had in quite a while, the fall is surprisingly slow as that is usually when things pick up for me. If your church is planning a women's ministry event or if the church would be interested in a concert, I would love to hear from you. I also have several dates open for the holidays and of course am booking events in the spring already as well.
Participants had the opportunity on my Facebook fan page this past month to win a Give-Away. Here's how to win - sign up to become a fan on my Facebook page and send me the name and contact information (mailing/email address) for a church/pastor/women's ministry director that you think might be interested in having me come for an event. My Facebook fan page is listed as DAWN SMITH JORDAN, fyi. August 12th (next Thursday) we will draw one name to receive a free copy of my book "Grace So Amazing" or my follow-up book "Thus Far." I look forward to hearing from you. The economy has done a number on so many churches and ministries across the country and here at Jordan Ministries we have also experienced the repercussions of a struggling economy as churches and women's ministry events are not hosting as many outside speakers as before. A direct referral is the most helpful as we make contact with churches and women's ministry directors. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I'm going to let Jennifer share some thoughts to finish out the newsletter.
Hello from Jennifer here at Jordan Ministries. I was thinking over our newsletters and realized that most of the time they are very heavy and serious. And there is a reason for that - we live in a broken, hurting world, and Dawn's story elicits a lot of responses from hurting people who can identify with her story in their own way. That is what makes God's work in her heart and life such a powerful tool in His hands. Truthfully, we've been through a lot of difficult times over the past few months - our own storms that we continue to enter into.
But one of the things that is characteristic about Dawn and about Jordan Ministries is Joy. And we really do laugh a lot. We laugh at each other and the things we do and since my kids are still young and working on expression and vocabulary we laugh at the funny things they say. Thankfully Dawn laughs at my mistakes as well. I recently sent out an introduction letter to a church and addressed the pastor (I can't remember his name, so I'll just make it up) with "Hello Joe." Except, I left the "o" off the "Hello." I didn't catch my mistake until AFTER I had sent the letter and had to apologize profusely because curse words are certainly not a part of our vocabulary here at JM! :) I laughed when I learned that a squirrel decided to join Dawn on stage at the women's ministry event in Oregon. We laughed when Jenna, my youngest, informed us that she kills aliens with her bare hands but doesn't eat them because they taste nasty (Jenna is very soft spoken and sweet, so this statement was completely out of character for her).
We just laugh. And we laugh because even though things are so hard and so difficult and even though there are many days that we long for heaven, God gives us (and Dawn particularly) a great sense of peace and an understanding that He is with us. Proverbs 31:25 (in the passage that describes the Proverbs 31 woman) says: "Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future." Other translations say: "She laughs at the days to come." That describes Dawn to me to a "T." That is what I want to become more like because my husband and my children need me to trust in the Lord in such a way that I can be truly joyful in the depths of my heart. My children need to remember a joyful Mama who laughed at the days to come. I know Hannah and Ross will always remember Dawn as a joyful Mama and I know that she works hard to be that kind of Mama to them. The truth is, we CAN be joyful because God has proven Himself faithful to us, over and over and over again. I am often reminded of what Nehemiah said to the people of Israel: "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). Sadness, depression and unbelief zaps us of strength to be sure. There are many mornings when I get up and ask God for His Joy to fill my heart. He reminds me that joy comes from knowing Him and there is only one way to know Him - to sit at His feet and to read His love-letter, His Word, the Bible, to fill my heart with Truth and to put that Truth into practice in my life by obedient steps of faith and trust in the Father-Heart of God.
That life of joy with God is available to you as well. Dawn is not on a "higher plain" because she is a speaker and Christian musician. So, here is a simple question for you today: are you joyful? Are you truly, inwardly, from the bottom of your heart filled with a joy that rises above your circumstances? Did you know that it is possible to grieve and be extremely sad and yet be at peace and joyful at the same time? The Bible describes that kind of life and I know it is true because I have experienced it and seen it in Dawn and the lives of those who have walked with Jesus for a long time. May you experience today how the Joy of the Lord can be YOUR strength as well! Now back to Dawn...
Thanks for hearing from us once again this month. Remember, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Prov. 17:22. I have heard it said that the people who learn to laugh in life are the people who last in life. Have a joyful day!
Dawn Smith Jordan
Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter/recording artist with Urgent Records
Professional Speaker, Author www.dawnsmithjordan.com
"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."
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