October. Did September fly by in your world like it did mine? Time just flies, doesn't it? The older we get, the faster it seems to...this past weekend I spent some time reminiscing on the past. I had the joy of singing in my former home church, Lexington Baptist Church, Lexington, SC, joined by their wonderful choir and musicians Sunday morning. I realized that the song we did together, "Keep Believing," I had sung the last time there for my mother's funeral in that dear church 9 years ago this coming December. Bittersweet memories. After the services, a few tears and many hugs shared, I went by the cemetery where my mother and sister are buried, just to check on the flowers, the gravesites, and to take a moment to honor the lives of two of the most precious women I ever had the privilege of knowing and loving. Bittersweet. The night before I had gone to my 30th high school reunion, and saw people I had literally not seen in 30 years since we graduated from Lexington High School in 1982. As we caught up on each other's lives, there were stories of loss, deaths of classmates and family members, divorce, difficulties, while also fond memories shared of days gone by...bittersweet. Sunday morning the sermon was on "Moving Forward." How perfectly timed that message was. As I sat with the Lord this morning on this overcast, rainy, cool Monday morning of October 1, I opened the devotional I read off and on, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and read these words as I revisited September 30th's entry before turning the page..."You need not fear the future, for I am already there. Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. Each day is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow's worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not living it to the full." In John 10:10b, Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and might live it abundantly." When we look back, we need not wish for what was lost, never was or will never be, but instead, thank God that "through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come, tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home!" Yes, there are times when we look back and the feelings are bittersweet, but today is a gift, and tomorrow is certain when we have trusted Christ with our whole lives. As I stood at the gravesites of my precious mama and little sister, I didn't cry, for I have learned that as Proverbs 31:25b says, the woman who walks with God "smiles at the future." Spend some time today looking back at the years gone by, thank God for His faithfulness in them, and turn around and move forward, "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith." Hebrews 12:2.
On the Home Front:
September has been a month filled with many blessings. On September 14th-15th, I got to go see my precious Hannah for Clemson's Family weekend. She took me all over the beautiful Clemson campus, being the best tour guide, then we enjoyed dinner at the Mellow Mushroom that night, joined by her sweet boyfriend, Clayton Little. I got to spend the night with one of my dearest friends and college roommate, Julie Caldwell, who lives in Easley. Then Saturday morning Hannah treated me to brunch at the Clemson House before I made my way to Winston-Salem, NC that night for a women's event. Sunday morning I was scheduled to sing in that same church's worship services, but the pastor was most gracious to excuse me to get on home for something very significant in Ross's life. Just 2 weeks earlier, Ross made a decision for Christ that he wanted to make public by being baptized again. He accepted Christ when he was 5 years old, and was baptized when he was 7, but he said that as a 16-year-old young man, he was choosing to be completely sold out for God, and wanted to get re-baptized as an outward testimony to all of his friends and family about the commitment he has made. I was so thankful to drive back home that Saturday night to be here for that day of celebration. This past week Hannah was asked to lead worship for Clemson's CSF (Christian Student Fellowship) and then sing for First Baptist Church of Clemson's morning worship service. Can I just say how grateful and proud I am of these young people the Lord has allowed me to mama? Oh how I love them.
I am looking so forward to having Hannah home for the first time since she left for Clemson in August this month for her fall break October 12-16. She came home weekend before last, but I was ministering in Florida and Georgia, so her dad enjoyed having her come and stay with him, his wife and Ross. Ross will continue to play lacrosse on the Riverland Hills Baptist Church league through the end of October, and I am thoroughly enjoying being his cheerleader at the games. He will be adding some electric guitar parts on my upcoming new Hymns project that is set to be released this November, something he has not done before. I can't wait for you to hear the project even moreso now. I'm also looking forward to a trip to the NC mountains to ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway with my brother Robert and enjoy my favorite time of year when the leaves are in their magnificent array in a few weeks. So October looks to be a month filled with family, and I am grateful.
October in Ministry:
The Jordan Ministries Board of Directors annual meeting will be held here on October 4th, and I must say how grateful I am to Dr. Mike McKenzie, Sharon Cone, Rev. Brad and Melissa Bird, and Bob Debenport for their continued support as they serve on my ministry board and have for many years. There are many exciting opportunities in the works for this ministry, and I am thankful for their godly counsel, input, and investment in helping me make decisions regarding the future of what the Lord has called me to do. My ministry schedule is always posted and up-to-date on my website at www.dawnsmithjordan.com, and will also be listed at the end of this newsletter. I will be spending the entire month within my home state of South Carolina, not having to pack an overnight bag once, which is a rare treat for this traveling woman!
I still have a few dates available for holiday/Christmas events, and would love to hear from you if your church might be interested in hosting me. Sunday night November 4th, and Sunday morning/evening November 18th are open. Sunday morning/evening December 16th is open, as well. Here is a clip from my Christmas CD "Remember Christmas" of the song "Your Presence for Christmas" that I include in my Christmas concert. Also, here is a sneak preview of one of the songs on my new and upcoming Hymns CD, "Softly and Tenderly" to be released late November...this is a rough mix of just piano and vocal, but enjoy! Can hardly wait for you to hear the rest!
September at a Glance:
New Friendship Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC blessed me as I was their speaker/singer for the women's banquet September 15th. September 21st-22nd I spoke/sang for Fruit Cove Baptist Church's Women's Conference in Jacksonville, FL where the theme was "The Road to Forgiveness...How Far Must Forgiveness Go?" Oh what a work God did that weekend, bringing one precious woman to salvation, and many being set free on their own road to forgiveness. September 23rd I was in concert at Satilla Baptist Church in Wray, GA and shared lunch with the sweet pastor and his wife and their family (it was their family reunion and I was invited to the amazing "spread" they had) as this past November they had lost their precious son, a twin, to a tragic car accident. Closing out the month I was back "home" at Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington, SC on September 30th, and in concert at Dentsville Baptist Church in Columbia, SC. Each place is both a privilege and a blessing as I share the music and ministry the Lord has entrusted to me. Each person I meet is a story in the making, and I am forever changed by them.
There are several folks very dear to me that I would ask you to join me in praying for:
- Pastor William Pope and his wife Loye and their son as they continue to walk through the days of grief over the loss of their other son, with the upcoming 1-year anniversary this November.
- Barbara Maffett as she continues to recover from surgery for stage 3 ovarian cancer, and as she faces the 2-year anniversary of her sweet husband's passing/home-going this month.
- My sweet Texas friend/pastor's wife, Georgianna Mayton and her husband Cliff as she has just been diagnosed with stomach cancer and is facing a possible surgery/ removal of her stomach.
- Jennifer Dale and her family as they have recently had to move into an apartment temporarily among many other changes/adjustments in their family's life.
As I close this month's newsletter, remember that Jesus is the source of your and my abundant life today. If we walk with Him today we will find that He is more than sufficient for everything we need tomorrow as well!
Spotlight of the Month
In anticipation of my upcoming Hymns CD release next month, I wanted to share a clip from the 1987 Billy Graham Crusade on which I was privileged to share my testimony and sing "Amazing Grace" (click here for You Tube video) I have to admit it makes me feel a bit old now that the crusade is airing on Saturday nights on the Billy Graham Classics! My live testimony CD (available here) features a live recording of that arrangement, and will also be included on the new CD next month.
New Prospect Baptist Church
Hampton Arts Council Theater
Christ Community Church
West Columbia 1st Church of the Nazarene
West Columbia, SC
Northside Baptist Church
Christ Community 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)
Jenna was trying to tell me that she was doing a good and thorough job at brushing her hair and said: "Look Mom, I'm circumnavigating my head!"