On Super Bowl Sunday night I found myself facing a handful of college students at Emory and Henry College in Virginia, where I had been invited to come share my story for a chapel service. While I am not a big football fan (sorry, you guys), I had a feeling college students would certainly choose watching that football game over coming to hear some woman from SC who was old enough to be their mother (or even worse, possibly their grandmother!) The sweet young man running my sound that night was so kind, saying he didn't mind missing the game, just that he hoped to make it late to his girlfriends' parents' house for all the good food. I felt him! While the sound set-up made it difficult for me to hear, the volume was at its max, the crowd was small, and I honestly was struggling with feeling a bit awkward. I enjoyed visiting with their chaplain before the concert, as we laughed at "who in the world planned a chapel service Super Bowl Sunday?!" Yet we verbalized that we trusted the Lord would be faithful to meet with however many of us that were there.
As I sat in my hotel room that night, I was reminded by the kindness of the Holy Spirit that it's not about how many people come or the job we do, good or bad. It's about what Jesus did. The story I was called to tell that night involved my own faith journey. But bottom line, the true story that gives any of us a testimony is the message of the Gospel. God so loved the world, and that included that handful of students, that He gave His Son for them, for us. And as we wrapped up our hour together that night, I was humbled and grateful for the ones who chose to come, and I was able to visit with them individually to tell them so. I met some pretty remarkable young people that night.
It reminded me of another time last fall where I was asked to sing at a church here in town, where the wonderful church hosts had done everything they could to try and remedy continual sound issues during my time of ministry to no avail. And yet, as His Word says, "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Let him who boasts boast in the Lord. When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. " (1 Corinthians 1:26-2:2)
As I stood in January to sing in my first concert of the year after a few weeks of Christmas break, this thought came over me: how odd what I do is when you really think about it. I am invited into churches as a guest to sing for people I have never met, songs most of them have never heard, and by the end, we are friends and family. The family of God. Because that is what the Gospel does. Makes us "blood relatives." The Gospel doesn't need us, our "wisdom," elaborate speeches or dramatic stories. It certainly doesn't need fancy sound systems or big crowds. But still, the Father allows us to be His hands, His feet, His mouth to anyone who will listen. Jesus loves me. So simple, yet so profound, That is the message this world needs to hear.
Ministry at a Glance A special thanks to Laura McCall and Darrell Fletcher of Green Valley Baptist Church, Lebanon, VA, Mary K. Briggs of Emory and Henry College, Emory, VA, Meredith Dark, Nikki Peake, Lisa Livingston and Andy Thompson of The Oaks, Orangeburg, SC, Angela Pauline of Sand Hill Baptist Church, Kershaw, SC, Jerry and Kathy Wells of Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church, Lexington, SC, Melodie Griffin, and all of the dear family friends who joined me there that day, and Morgan and Naomi Holley of Carolinas Hospital System's Healthy Woman Event, Florence, SC and everyone that purchased a ticket and came from all over for this beautiful sold-out evening.
Funnies from the Road The glamorous life is the life I lead. Recently I stayed in the beautiful Martha Washington Inn in Abington, VA and was welcomed so warmly with a lovely flower heart wreath and a box of chocolates. I was feeling a bit fancy, I will admit it, and basking in my gorgeous accommodations for the weekend there. As I went to unpack my suitcase, one of my Amazon super-glued-on nails popped off. So much for feeling fancy. I looked in my purse to get my super glue, to find the one I had brought with me was completely dried up. So this fancy lady had to stop by the Dollar General on the way to the hosting church to buy herself a new tube of super glue! Yes, it is indeed the glamorous life.
Same weekend, unpacking my shoes only to find Zoey had up-chuked in one of them. Guess the Lord just wanted to keep me humble. #truestory #cantmakethisstuffup
Same weekend, the 2nd service of the revival, one of the sweet ladies in the church asked me if I had any country music, to which I answered that I did not. "You need to learn some then," she sweetly said. While I do have a southern accent, I do not have any country music in my repertoire.
Still the same weekend, as the dear pastor introduced me, I learned that I had not only been with the Billy Graham Crusade (true), but I had also sung with the Gaithers (not exactly true.)
And yet one more story, same weekend...some of the church folk, and my son and his sweetheart, had told me a few "haunted" stories about my accommodations. I was NOT scared. The "ghost" stories involved guests hearing a violin and a woman crying. As I was washing my face, I heard violin music coming from the other room, having forgotten the TV was on! I had a brief moment of uncertainty, I will admit it. Then, I had fallen asleep with the TV on, and in a half awake/half asleep state, I heard a woman crying, realizing once again it was the TV!
I love people, I treasure the precious people the Lord allows me to meet and serve, and I love to laugh! I hope you do too.
On the Homefront
As you can see, mama was gone for one weekend to Virginia, and Sammy and Zoey collectively took over my bed! But it was so good to be home the rest of the month just traveling and ministering locally. As I am gearing up to fly to Memphis, to then drive over to Kennett, Missouri where I will be ministering this weekend, I can only imagine the shenanigans they will get into.
I felt loved and pampered on Valentine's Day with a professional manicure by my friend my Sharona along with her daughter Lauren.
A special treat for me was when not only did my neighbor Martha accompany me to Mt. Horeb UMC for their senior adult luncheon, in addition, one of my favorite friends, Melodie Griffin joined me on the piano and vocals on a spur-of-the-moment Jesus Loves Me medley. She serves as their Director of Traditional Worship and has the gift of playing by ear, which is amazing. I am going to be able to play the piano like her when I get to heaven! I only wish someone had recorded us, because our voices blended like only family does. But why wouldn't it? We ARE family. Highlight of my ministry month!
Sharon, Yvonne and I were back at Mt. Horeb UMC last Friday night to hear Steven Curtis Chapman in his SOLO tour, and it was a precious night spent visiting, singing, worshiping and laughing together. What I most appreciated about his concert was his genuineness, humility and steadfast joy in the face of unthinkable tragedy. He truly ministered to my soul. It was a night I will not forget, as I listened to him sing the words he penned, "My Redeemer is faithful and true." Yes, He is.
**NOW BOOKING** Summer Concert Series
During the summer months, Dawn offers a family friendly FREE concert, simply asking for a love offering and travel. Right now almost every Sunday in June, July and August are open. These dates will start filling up fast, so if you are interested in hosting Dawn please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your date today!
Open dates in May!!!I currently have open Sunday, May 5th (morning and evening), as well as Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th (morning and evening). If you are interested in having me come share my ministry at your church on one of these dates, please email email@example.com to get on the schedule.
“A Mother’s Prayer” is a song I wrote for my mom long before I was blessed with children of my own. So grateful to have been raised by a mother on her knees. I’d love to share it in person as a part of your mother/daughter/friend celebrations. Praying it will be a blessing to you. You may listen to the song on YouTube here.
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On the Road Again
Friday-Saturday, March 8th-9th
Kennett First Baptist Church
Sunday, March 10th
Kennett First Baptist Church
Sunday morning music
Saturday, March 16th
Swansea First Baptist
Thursday, March 28th
St. Johns UMC
(hosted by Trinity on Laurens)
Sunday, March 31st
Harmony United Methodist
(hosted by Bethlehem UMC)
Hodge-Podge Allison Hodge, Administrative Assistant
Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries Randy and Allison Hodge Abby (6), Hannah (4), Ryan (1)