I hope you have had a wonderful summer, and a relaxing Labor Day weekend, as I have had at home after a very busy summer travel ministry schedule. As I sat down this morning to have my time with the Lord after seeing Ross off to school, I opened 2 books a precious friend had mailed to me. First is The Red Sea Rules by Robert J. Morgan. I recalled the quote on the front of the book that another friend had shared a few years ago, and never could recall what book it came from. It says: "The same God who led you in will lead you out." Charles Spurgeon wrote, "That which, like a sea, threatens to drown you, shall be a highway for your escape." Don't you LOVE that?! Morgan continued, "The reality of the Red Sea, in a word, is this: God will always make a way for His tired, yet trusting, children, even if He must split the sea to do it." Then I opened Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon, and read, "If God cares for you, why need you care, too?" The song came to my mind..."God will make a way, when there seems to be no way..." My devotional concluded with this, "So take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you IN will lead you OUT."
I am so excited to share with you that I was in Kansas last week recording my upcoming Hymns project (the pictures above are the front and back covers for the new album). This is first time I have ever played piano on any of my projects, and I had a blast. The Lord graciously multiplied the time we had, as Phillip Sandifer, producer, and I only had 3 days to record all piano and/or guitar basic tracks, my lead vocals, and any harmonies I wanted to add. We got it done I had the last afternoon for his wife, Rene, and I to just visit, chatter, laugh and share God's goodness together. What a blessing. The song selection was a very difficult process, as I originally could choose only 10 hymns total. Can you even imagine? There are SO many wonderful foundational truths found in these hymns of the faith, and so I spent the 3 weeks leading up to the recording seeking God's direction in the choosing. I already feel certain there will most definitely have to be a Hymns II project, as there are so many more that I have on my heart to record one day. For now, I am at peace with the ones I believe the Father led me to sing, and they are:
1. Softly and Tenderly
2. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus/Open Our Eyes, Lord
3. His Eye is on the Sparrow
4. I Surrender All
5. Grace Flows Down/Grace Greater Than Our Sin
6. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
7. Amazing Grace
8. I Need Thee Every Hour/My Jesus, I Love Thee
9. Nothing But the Blood/Power in the Blood
10. There is a Fountain/Jesus Paid it All
11. Jesus, I am Resting
12. What a Friend We Have in Jesus/Sweet Hour of Prayer
As you can see, we actually were able to include 17 hymns when all was said and done! Now Phillip will be finishing up the project by adding the rest of the instruments, as well as additional background vocals, and even a duet part on one song with me. Singing these hymns made me so grateful for the heritage of faith I was blessed with growing up. The project is slated for a November release, just in time for Christmas.
On the Home Front:
We moved Hannah into her apartment on campus at Clemson University on August 18th, and she is absolutely loving it there. She is a sophomore in the Performing Arts Major, with a focus on voice/music. She is singing in the Women's Glee group, and is getting involved in Christian Student Fellowship there. I am also so proud and excited for Hannah, as she made the Clemson University Equestrian U Team, which in essence is like being on the JV team!
Ross began his junior year at Dutch Fork High School on the 21st, and is enjoying driving himself to school this year. He got his first job 2 weeks ago, and is working at Columbiana Grande 14 Cinemas as an usher and in concessions. He has recently recommitted his life to live for God wholeheartedly, and is seeking to read the Bible daily and become purposeful in sharing Christ with his friends. What a thrill it is for this mama's heart to see her children seeking the Lord in their lives.
I will begin teaching the 21 piano/voice students here in our home this Tuesday and Wednesday for the schoolyear, after teaching half that many during the summer, and continue to be so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to work from home in my ministry office.
Ross and I hope to drive up to Clemson to catch a football game or two with Hannah this fall, even though we were Carolina fans. With Hannah's Dad and grandfather being Carolina graduates/fans, this has taken some adjusting, but we are delighted that she is loving where she is, even if the color changed from garnet to orange!
I have a special prayer request for a very dear lady and friend to me. Last week one of my mother's dearest friends had surgery to have several ovarian and kidney masses removed. Tuesday she found that the results revealed that she has stage 3 ovarian cancer. She lost her precious husband to pancreatic cancer almost 2 years ago, and this is very difficult for her to face. Would you please pray for Barbara in these days?
I will have my 30th high school reunion at the end of this month. 30 years is hard to believe, and this is the first reunion I have ever been able to attend, as my ministry has always had me elsewhere. It will be fun to see people I literally have not seen in 30 years! Oh friends, treasure each moment you have with the ones you love, as the days surely are fleeting!
As this summer draws to a close and we head into a new school year and fall, I look back at the Lord's provision and am once again so deeply thankful for the many ministry opportunities He allowed this summer, the many people I was so privileged to meet, and the ways He continues to use the ministry to which He has entrusted me. I had the joy of being in the beautifult upstate of New York once again as I returned to East Aurora Wesleyan Church for their Church in the Park (one of my favorites events to be a part of) as well as Marilla First Baptist Church. It is always so good to catch up with friends that I have been blessed to meet over the years. I had the joy of sharing at the Women's Fall Fling for the Columbia District of the South Carolina Conference for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and also gave church concerts at Eureka First Baptist Church in Trenton, SC, Reedy Creek Baptist Church in Marion, SC and Clarendon Baptist Church in Alcolu, SC. This past week I flew to Kansas City, MO to record with my record company, Urgent Records, now based in Overland Park, Kansas, just outside of Kansas City for 3 days and we had the best time. I stayed with my friends Phillip and Rene Sandifer, Phillip being Urgent Records' president, as well as my producer. The Lord so blessed our time there, and I felt like I had gone away on a retreat to create music and have my batteries recharged as a result of the sweet fellowship and laughter, and even a few tears, we all enjoyed together. Now I'm enjoying a 2 1/2 week break to be home on the weekends as I continue to record names for the personalized lullaby CD for KidMusic (having sung 2,500 names, with @ 350 left to go), teach piano/voice lessons, and get caught up on Jordan Ministries work in the office - not to mention the work that is involved simply in running a home and being a Mom (my favorite job of all).
September 15th kicks off my fall concert schedule as I head to New Friendship Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC for a Saturday ladies event and two Sunday morning mini-concerts on the 16th. The following weekend (21st-22nd) finds me in Jacksonville, FL for a women's conference on Friday night and Saturday at Fruit Cove Baptist Church, and then a full Sunday morning concert (23rd) at Satilla Baptist Church in Wray, GA. I will finish out the month with two events close to home on Sunday, September 30th with some special music during the morning service at Lexington BaptisI amt Church (my former home church during high school) where I will be joined by their wonderful musicians and choir on the song "Keep Believing", and an evening concert at Dentsville Baptist Church here in Columbia. As always, if you are in any of these areas, I would love to have you join me for any of these events. The easiest way to find out more is to look up the contact information on my website (www.dawnsmithjordan.com) and contact the churches directly for more information about the event.
At this time my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale, and I are still trying to fill two dates while I am traveling out of state - November 11th I will be in the High Point, NC area and December 2nd I will be in Marietta, GA. If your church is located nearby or on my route home to Columbia, SC and would be interested in having me, I would love to hear from you and see if it would be possible to share the music and ministry that God has given me at your church!
Though I know this fall is going to be exciting I know there will be plenty of challenges ahead. My hope continues to be that He is the one leading me in and through everything - and He will lead me out as well. As you look ahead into this new season what thoughts and feelings are running through your mind? Be assured that no matter what difficulties lie ahead, He will make a way if you but rest in His promises and walk ahead with Him.
We are putting this month's spotlight on my 2nd book "Thus Far." It is a follow-up to my book "Grace So Amazing" and tells about the things that have happened since the years immediatly following the loss of my sister. As a songwriter, this book focuses on the stories behind my songs that have become favorites to those who have attended my concerts and purchased my CD's over the years. Some of the chapter titles include "Sister," "How Far,""A Mother's Prayer,""Ride the Wind," and many more of my most popular songs.
New Friendship Baptist Church,
Fruit Cove Baptist Church
Satilla Baptist Church
Lexington Baptist Church
Dentsville Baptist Church
Follow Dawn on Facebook and Twitter where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordiantor, Jennifer Dale)
A couple of weeks ago our family was on a staff retreat with the bibleschool staff at Timberline Lodge where we work. Our assistant cook Kayla saw our youngest daughter Jenna and her friend Niah running somewhere just as fast as they could. Kayla called out: "Where are you guys going in such a hurry?" and Jenna yelled back: "We don't want to kill time!"