I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Ours was more akin to a Griswold Family Christmas Vacation than a Happy Thanksgiving. My brother Robert, his girlfriend, her 4-year-old son, and Robert's 18-year-old stepdaughter came and stayed 2 nights with us. Upon arrival, the little one was clearly not feeling well. At all. So while Robert and his girlfriend ran out and I was here with the other two, I checked the little guy's temperature to find he was running a fever of 103.3. Then, he began vomiting. From then on, it was the priority of us all to keep him quarantined in the downstairs portion of the house, and keep everything disinfected with Lysol on the main floor! Hannah spent most of the holiday camping with her Dad and his side of the family, and she and Ross joined the Jordans at their grandparents' house for Thanksgiving Day dinner. I had planned our family meal to be on Friday, but sadly found out that Ross would be working a double shift that day at the movie theater. Though our original family meal was to include 8 of us, Ross was working, the little one was not up to eating, so it was whittled down to just 6 of us, but gratefully Hannah and her boyfriend Clayton could join us. By the time Saturday came and it was just back to the 3 of us. Instead of decorating for Christmas together as is our tradition, Hannah had to leave early Saturday to head back to Clemson for the big football game, and Ross had to work all day on Saturday. So I was left to the task on my own. It was one of those times where it just seemed that nothing went according to plans. However...
As I sat down Monday morning after getting our home re-cleaned, disinfected, then beautifully decorated for Christmas, I opened This Christmas Night, Reflections from Our Hearts to Your Home by Billy and Ruth Graham. I read about Mary, Jesus' mother. "I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants. May everything you said come true," Luke 1:38 was her response to the angel's news that she was carrying the Son of God. Mary was a young girl, a virgin, engaged to a godly man named Joseph, and was made to be pregnant supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. Can you even imagine? You and I know how people would talk, shame could be attached to this, Joseph might even reject her, and even worse, she could be stoned to death. Yet she showed one of the greatest demonstrations of faith in all the Bible by her simple answer in accepting God's will for her life, no matter the cost. That day I posted as my facebook status, "That we would respond to our Father as Mary did..."I am the Lord's servant, and I am willing to do whatever He wants."
Life is not going to go according to our plans. It never has, it never will. As I just began last night reading a book a sweet friend shared with me based on the truth of Romans 8:28 entitled The Promise, God Works All Things Together For Your Good by Robert J. Morgan, I thought: Mary certainly didn't plan to be an unwed teenage mother, and yet God's greatest purpose in all of history was accomplished through her willingness to submit to His perfect will for her, and for all mankind.
On the Home Front:
I am thankful to say that so far, so good on my family not getting sick after the holiday, though my brother didn't fare so well. As we head into December and Christmas, this month is full of excitement. Hannah and Ross's Aunt Caroline and hubby Casey are scheduled to have their first baby on December 17th, and we can hardly wait to see this much-awaited, prayed-for little one. Then on Dec.18-20, Hannah, Ross and I will take in New York City at Christmastime! I am so thankful to be able to do this with them, as these types of trips that used to take place annually have come few and far between since Hannah started college.
Hannah and Ross will have final exams the week of Dec. 10-14, so your prayers for them would be greatly appreciated.
I am grateful that my minister of music has excused me from First Baptist Church's Christmas Pageant dress rehearsal on Wed., Dec. 5th so I can drive to Clemson to see Hannah's Women's Glee Christmas concert dress rehearsal that night. Of course I am sad to have to miss the actual performance on the 6th, as well as her music recital on the 7th, but my previous commitment to the 25th annual Christmas pageant wouldn't allow me to make it. So I will choose to be grateful to see her sing in a private concert on Wednesday night!
Ross and I filmed at WIS-TV this week for their holiday musical program "Sounds of the Season" which will air in the month of December. This was Ross's 2nd appearance on the show, though we greatly missed Hannah as she was at Clemson. The air-date for our recording on WIS will be Tuesday, December 4th at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 7:00pm.
I am looking most forward to having the last 2 weeks of December off, simply enjoying being home, having both children out of school and home, and just cherishing some much-needed down time together at the end of a very busy year.
Ministry at a Glance:
This November was extremely busy once again. I had the privilege of sharing at a few concerts here in town - Congaree Baptist in West Columbia and Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church in Lexington. In addition I traveled to North Carolina twice for multiple events at Gate City Baptist Church in Greensboro, Gospel Baptist Church in Archdale, Catawba Heights Baptist in Belmont, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Statesville, and Blaise Baptist Church in Mocksville. I always love welcoming the Christmas season with the music and message of the gift of Christ this time of year! It's my favorite time of year in ministry.The month of December is going to be a whirlwind of activity. My piano/voice students will be presenting a Christmas recital at a local nursing home for the first time this year on Dec. 13th and I am looking so forward to introducing them to this very thing I did as a young budding musician. I pray it will be an evening that will bless these dear folks in a very special way, as I know it will be a blessing to us to serve them.
As I mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to heading to New York City for an interview with Paula Zahn, Dec. 18-20. My family's story of forgiveness will be featured in an upcoming episode of "On the Case with Paula Zahn" on the Discovery Channel to air sometime in March. (We will let you know of the air date once we are told.) I am excited to get to spend a few days in New York with Hannah and Ross, as the producer of the show was so gracious to work with me on using my Delta Frequent Flyer miles to book their tickets with mine, to make it work. The only other time I have been to NYC was also in December, when years ago I was on the Maury Povich Show (yes, it was a MUCH different show back then) to promote the movie on my family's story, "Nightmare in Columbia County." What a treat this will be for us! Between now and then, I will need to re-read my book Grace So Amazing as I truly do not remember the details of my own story anymore, and will need to be prepared for the interview.As I go into this interview with Paula Zahn, I do not take this opportunity lightly. God has opened a very unexpected door to share the story He has written into my life over these years, and my heart's desire is to honor Him, praying that each word that comes out of my mouth will truly do just that. It will not be easy to have to re-read the story, as the Lord has been so gracious to seemingly erase those memories in the healing process, and yet now it seems He is calling me to revisit them, for His kingdom purposes. I would so appreciate you lifting me to Him on Tuesday, Dec. 18th during that time, as the opportunity to share Christ in a secular setting that can reach millions with the Hope only found in Christ is huge. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in His sight as I walk this out.
This month starts out like a whirlwind: three Christmas concerts this weekend, Saturday evening and Sunday morning, December 1st & 2nd at Milford Baptist Church in Marietta, GA and Sunday evening at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Easley, SC as well as the annual Christmas Pageant at First Baptist Church, ColumbiaDecember 6th through the 9th. On December 13th my piano students and I will be at the Heritage at Lowman House in Chapin where my students will be giving their Christmas recital and then Hannah, Ross and I will fly to New York. After that I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home as the ministry offices will be closed Tuesday December 18th and we will be back on Wednesday, January 2nd.
As this year comes to a close Jennifer is already booking events for Christmas in 2013. If your church or Women's Ministry is interested in having me share some fresh thoughts and new songs in this coming year, I would be delighted to hear from you and find a time for me to head your way for a concert, a Ladies Luncheon, Night Out or Women's Retreat!
Also, at this time of year many folks are looking for a ministry or charity to which to contribute. If you are prayerfully considering a year-end donation, please remember that all gifts to Jordan Ministries are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated as we continue to share the good news of the Gospel. Jordan Ministries is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. The Mailing Address is: Dawn Smith Jordan Ministries, 736-D St. Andrews Rd. #179, Columbia, SC 29210.
My prayer for you and yours is that you would take some time to sit quietly before the Father this holiday season, thank Him for the gift of the Christ of Christmas, and experience the Prince of Peace ruling and reigning in your hearts and homes this beautiful, holy time of year.
Spotlight of the Month
Dawn Smith Jordan's upcoming project, "Timeless Hymns" is set for a December 3rd release. Here is a sneak preview of "Softly and Tenderly." She is even more excited to share this project with you because for the first time her son, Ross Jordan, played electric guitar on 2 of the tracks: Power in the Blood and There is a Fountain/Jesus Paid it All. This is also the first time Dawn has ever played piano on any of her projects.
The song list includes:
1. Grace Flows Down/Grace Greater Than Our Sin 2. Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee 3. Nothing But the Blood/Power in the Blood 4. Softly and Tenderly 5. Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus/Open Our Eyes, Lord 6. I Need Thee Every Hour/My Jesus, I Love Thee 7. There is a Fountain/Jesus Paid it All 8. Jesus, I am Resting 9. His Eye is on the Sparrow 10. I Surrender All 11. Amazing Grace. Order your pre-release copy TODAY at (the link above) just
in time for Christmas!
Dawn also has two Christmas Albums that you can purchase separately or as a package. Either way they would make great gifts for loved ones this year!
Milford Baptist Church
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Heritage at Lowman Home, Christmas recital
On the Case with Paula Zahn Show Filming Trip
New York, NY
Follow Dawn on Facebook and Twitter where we post regular updates and prayer requests.
Little Dale Tales (Stories from the home of my schedule coordinator, Jennifer Dale)
A few weeks ago my youngest, Jenna, was staying at my friend Sarah's house while I had some errands to run in Denver. Sarah was getting ready to pack a sack lunch for Jenna so they could head out for a while. She asked: "Jenna, is it ok if you drink water?" Jenna's reply was: "Oh yes - I'll drink ANYTHING.......except alcohol!"