I hope you all had a joyful 4th of July celebration with your family and friends! While this time of year is generally slow for me as far as the ministry is concerned, it has been an extremely busy time in other ways. Columbia hosted the 75th anniversary of the Miss South Carolina Pageant last week here in Columbia, and I was there all week singing & participating with @ 30 other former Miss South Carolinas that were able to come. We got to walk the runway on Saturday night which was so much fun as it has been years for many of us - 25 for me! We had a special luncheon in our honor at the Capital City Club for former Miss SC's only, and the capital city of Columbia hosted the pageant for the 1st time at the newly renovated Township Auditorium. For those of you on Facebook, I invite you to visit my 75th anniversary photo album. I so enjoyed having Hannah and Ross join me as well as we were at the preliminary competition nights Tues.-Thurs., Fri. at the Former Miss SC Gala, & then Saturday night for the final competition. We were thrilled to see our precious family friend Bree Boyce be crowned Miss South Carolina 2011. She is such an inspiration, not only as a beautiful & talented young woman, but someone who has an amazing story as her faith & determination enabled her to lose 110 lbs in her quest to live a healthier and more God-honoring life-style. Watch for her this Friday (tomorrow) on Inside Edition and The Today Show and Good Morning America on Tuesday. To learn more about her story, platform, and journey to Miss America this coming January, follow Bree Boyce on her Facebook page "Eating Healthy and Fighting Obesity". Bree has asked me to sing "Amazing Grace" for her Miss South Carolina homecoming on July 31st and I'm excited to do that for my precious friend.
I was blessed in the month of June with a few weeks off from traveling, and it was a much-needed time of rest and simply enjoying being home with my children. Hannah & Ross led worship together at Camp Longridge at First Baptist Church of Columbia's Student Ministries/Family camp, and I was blessed to be in concert at Ebenezer Baptist in Florence, sing as a part of my home church's 24th annual Carolina Celebration of Liberty (I also enjoyed giving an additional concert there last month), Fellowship Bible Church in Irmo, & Lexington Baptist Church's Celebration of Freedom. It has been a great month of both rest and ministry, while also sticking close to home for all of the ministry events.
This month I am grateful to be singing in concert every Sunday
- July 9th at New Hope Baptist in Statesville, NC
- July 10th at Mount Zion Baptist in Hudson, NC (a.m. & p.m.)
- July 17th at First Baptist Wagener, SC (a.m.)
- and Pine Bluff Baptist in Columbia, SC (p.m.)
- July 24th at Beulah Baptist in Loris, SC (a.m.)
- and Cane Branch Baptist in Loris, SC (p.m.)
- July 31st at New Hope United Methodist Church in Pomaria, SC
For me personally, July is always a special month as Ross will turn 15 on the 12th, and Hannah will turn 18 on the 19th. The greatest calling and joy of my life is being their mom, and I am so grateful for the precious children the Lord has entrusted into my care. They are enjoying serving together on the Student Ministries' worship team each Sunday, and this mama is so thankful to see them using their God-given abilities for His glory.
A Note from Jennifer:
Hello from sunny Colorado!!! Summer has finally come to Winter Park and the wildflowers are exploding all over the place. We're seeing lupines, daisies, Indian and yellow paint brushes and my personal favorites - the mountain roses and columbines, along with a number of flowers I can't even name yet. The girls enjoy spending their afternoons walking through the meadows around our house, picking flowers for the most extraordinary bouquets. The color combinations always take my breath away and the smell of wild columbines reminds me of honey-suckle from "home." To think that most of these flowers will probably never be individually seen by the human eye - but are there, just because our God delights to grow them. I think God makes up for our long winters up here by giving us a most amazing three months of summer. We had our last snowfall up here on June 20th I believe - I had a group of middleschool students from Wooddale Church in Minnesota visiting Timberline Lodge for a retreat, volunteer to come and help me at the house that morning. So to welcome them, I put on Christmas music and had tea and candles and Christmas cookies! :) Personally I thought it was kind of funny! Not sure what they thought though! :)
The past few months have been challenging for our family as we're needing to continue raising support, waiting more and more anxiously for our house in SC to sell or rent and unsure about the status of the house we're currently renting up here. Some days get to me more than others. I'm sure it's no surprise that I've been reminded several times in recent weeks of the passage in Matthew 6 - here's how The Message paraphrases it: - "Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers - most of which are never even seen - don't you think He'll attend to you...? ... People who don't know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give you entire attention to what God is doing right now and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." Our wildflowers up here are a daily visual reminder to me of the truth of God’s care and faithfulness - and that none of His children will ever be forgotten by Him. What a joy to serve a God who is not far off, but right here with us, loving us, caring for us, a God we as His children cry out to as "Abba Father!" Now back to Dawn! J
I’m so thankful for how God has continued to provide for my family and ministry during this economically difficult time. As I mentioned above, the summer has me incredibly busy. The fall however is a little less booked and I would love to hear from you if your church would be interested in having me for a fall retreat or Christmas event. I am already booking women’s retreats and conferences for the spring and fall of 2012 as well. Like Jennifer shared, the Lord has not forgotten us, He sees the need before we do, and I am grateful that for today we have everything we need, and He has tomorrow taken care of. Enjoy the rest of your summer!