I hope you are all having a fabulous summer and encountering God's grace and mercy mightily along the way! Before I share a devotional thought, I wanted to ask my newsletter friends for some help. There are three dates that my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale, and I have been trying to fill for several months now. We have had an unusually challenging time trying to get churches to respond and book these filler dates, so I was wondering if you all might be able to help me. I am looking to fill the following dates:
- Sunday evening September 16th (I will be in Winston-Salem, NC that weekend, so anywhere between there and my way home to Columbia, SC would be great),
- Sunday (morning & evening), September 23rd (I will be in Jacksonville, FL and again would love to find a church on my way home that Sunday),
- Sunday evening, November 11th (I will be returning from the Greensboro/High Point, NC area that day).
Would your church possibly be interested in having me, or would you have a direct referral that either Jennifer or I could contact? I would love to give a full concert or a mini-concert or share some special music during your service. Thank you so much for your help!!
July was a blur! It was a month full of activity, probably much like yours. I went to see my brother in Columbus, NC for July 4th, and we had a great visit, tubed the Green River, and enjoyed some delicious barbeque. Hannah, Ross and I once again took in the Miss South Carolina Pageant, joined by their sweet significant others, as we do every July. Ross turned 16, and his dad and I were able to get him his very own new (used) car, and Hannah turned 19 the next week. They both enjoyed their annual week at Folly Beach for the Jordan family vacation, a highlight of their summer each year. To top it off, Ross and I made our way through SC, NC, TN and all the way into Hopkinsville, KY to visit our dear friends, the Eastham family. Ross drove the entire 8-hour trip (while I prayed, especially through those NC mountainous roads!), as we took his car on this very special mother/son road trip to spend a few days with our friends. Little did we know when we put the dates on our calendars that the Lord had already gone before us and knew how perfect His timing would be.
July was a month of goodbyes...we lost one of our beloved Columbia College professors in the Music Department, Guthrie Darr, as well as one of Lexington Baptist Church's family friends, Ken Tabor. Ken suffered from multiple tumors and illnesses over the years. One of my best friends, Yvette Eastham, lost her precious mother, Betty Yonce, after a long, difficult battle with Parkinson's Disease. Ross and I had already scheduled our trip to see her and her family in KY and I am so thankful for how God worked out the timing on our visit. Just today I learned of a precious member of our First Baptist Church family, Vicki Powell's passing. Vicki had suffered from Spina Bifida and was not supposed to live past the age of 4, but lived to be 43. She was one of our favorite people to see each week at church with her radiant smile and embracing hugs from her wheelchair. These precious souls were ushered into the very presence of God, while another friend received bad news from her Dr. just this week, and I am fighting yet another upper respiratory infection...this Scripture out of the book HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn flooded my heart with deep joy in the midst of sickness and death, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." Rev. 21:4. That is God's promise to us. Sickness and death are as much a part of life as living. They are certain. Yet we can also be certain that these things will be gone forever one day. I love that Rev. 21:4 says, "All these things are gone forever." Mr. Darr, Ken, Betty and Vicki know this full well, and I am sure they have heard the words I am living my life to one day hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
How are we living the lives God has entrusted to us? I watched my friend Yvette faithfully, sacrificially care for her mother for years as her mother's declining health seemed to be unending, while also working full-time, and caring for her own family. Daily. Week after week, year after year. Her mother lived a life of faithfulness to her God and her family. As I sat in Ken Tabor's memorial service, I was moved as I heard the testimony of his faithful life...to his God, and his family. We are here to make a difference, my friends, in the world the Father has entrusted us in which to live. These four lived their lives to the fullest, and made an impact that will not be forgotten by those who knew and loved them. Live your life well, so that you too may hear, "Well done."
The month of July had me all over my home state of South Carolina: at my home church (FBC Columbia) for our 25th annual Carolina Celebration of Liberty, at Lake Wateree Baptist Church in Ridgeway, Fellowship Baptist Church in Lexington, Siloam Baptist Church in Easley, 1st Church of God in Sumter, and 2nd Baptist Church in Bennettsville. I was very disappointed to have to cancel being back at my former home church, Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington. I came down with a terrible upper respiratory infection and literally couldn't sing. In 25 years of ministry, that was only the 2nd time I had to cancel due to illness, so I was very grateful for their kind understanding. We are looking forward to rescheduling a Sunday morning for me to be there and sing "Keep Believing" with their wonderful choir in the fall. I reconnected with some wonderful friends and met some new ones along the way. What a joy it is to serve our God in this way!
August has me traveling out of state a little further. This coming weekend (8/5) I head to New York and am excited to return to East Aurora Wesleyan Church once again where I will be giving a concert during their morning service for their Church in the Park. That evening I will be returning to Marilla First Baptist Church where I was ten years ago, and am excited to reconnect with their church body after all these years. Then on August 10th I have the privilege of sharing at the Women's Fall Fling for the IPHC (International Pentecostal Holiness Church) Columbia, SC District which will take place at East Columbia Pentecostal Holiness Church. Sunday August 12th I will be at Eureka First Baptist Church in Trenton, SC; and August 19th I will return to Clarendon Baptist Church in Alcolu, SC and Reedy Creek Baptist Church in Marion, SC. After that I have a few weeks break from my busy summer schedule before things pick back up in September.
August will also be a month of saying goodbye once again...as Hannah moves to Clemson on the 18th, and then Ross drives out of the driveway on the 21st to start his junior year at Dutch Fork High School. Gone are the days of carpooling. The last week of August I am scheduled to travel to Kansas again to record a new project with Urgent Records, one I am very excited about. We are putting together a favorite hymns project and would welcome any favorites you might like to request be included on this CD. As a singer/songwriter, some of my most-loved songs will always be the hymns of the faith.
August is usually the time of year when we jump into new stages in life, whether it be kids going off to college and entering new phases in school, or a new season in our jobs and personal lives etc. With all the changes around the corner in your life and mine, may we continue to see God's all-sufficient grace for each stage, embrace the changes and new seasons we are entering into, and live life to its fullest!
This month's spotlight is on my live testimony package deal - four live recordings for $25.00. Topics include my Live Testimony, Keep Believing (Trusting in the
Lord When You Don't Understand), How Far Must Forgiveness Go?, and Out of the Mire and Into the Choir. These are a great encouragement for you or a loved one who is going through a challenging time and may need to hear about God's all-sufficient grace and mercy for us during the challenging seasons of our lives.
East Aurora, NY
First Baptist Church
Columbia, SC District IPHC Women's Fall Fling
West Columbia, SC
Reedy Creek Baptist Church
Clarendon Baptist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordiantor, Jennifer Dale)
We are constantly enjoying the beautiful wild-life from our living room picture window that overlooks a large meadow. The other day we looked out in time to see a deer hopping through the grass when I heard Jenna (our youngest) say thoughtfully: "Look at that deer frolicking in the meadow!" I love to hear the kids applying the new vocabulary words they've learned!