As I write to you today on January 30th, it is currently 81 degrees with crazy wind and damaging thunderstorms on the way. By the time you receive this newsletter on Friday, February 1st, the forecast calls for a high of 48! I do believe this weather is bi-polar, don't you? As I am tweeting/face-booking back and forth with my gal pals in other parts of the country, Renee Sandifer in Overland Park, KS just told me their high today is a 14 degree wind chill with snow on the ground, after having a sunny, 71 degree day 2 days ago, while my friend Yvette Eastham in KY had frightening tornadoes 2 nights ago, 80 MPH winds, and today their high is 29 in her neck of the woods! Well, of course we know that Jennifer has snow in CO, and oh how I would like to trade with her. Yesterday morning she rubbed it in sending me this picture of the view from her computer. I sent one back that nowhere near compared!
Because I do love winter so, Hannah, Ross and several of their friends and I took a day trip to ski up in NC this month. Below are a few pictures of what I believe winter should look AND feel like from our day there.
As I sat with coffee and my morning time with my Father this week, I was so reminded of how we are to live our lives, no matter the various seasons, storms, or changing weather forecast. Life changes on a dime just like the weather at times. Yet Oswald Chambers reminded me, "Thou hast a difficult road before thee; see, O traveler to heaven, that thou go not without thy guide." Major Ian Thomas said, "All there is of God is available to the person who is available to all there is of God." The Scripture that the Lord has had me meditating on is John 15:4, "Abide in me." Chambers wrote, "Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is a matter of secondary importance whether thou livest on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation."
As the last few months have been "stormy" in my personal world for varying reasons, I have found myself purposefully seeking to draw nearer to Jesus, as I know this is the only way we can survive these storms when they come unexpectedly. I am sensing His peace in the midst of them, and am at rest. Psalm 112:7 reminds us, "His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord."
Ministry This Month:
February will have me on the road half of the month, so thankfully Ross will be staying with his dad and stepmom to keep him from ping-ponging back and forth like his mom will be! Feb. 7th I will be with the ladies of Jonesville Baptist Church in Jonesville, SC. Saturday, the 9th, I will fly to Nashville, TN, then drive over to stay with my dear friends the Eastham family and share a concert in their church on Sunday morning, the 10th at First Baptist Church of Hopkinsville, KY. Yvette and I will head back over to Nashville where I will be speaking and singing on the 11th & 12th for Lifeway's annual Trustee Wives' Meeting. I fly home on the 13th, then fly back out on the 16th to head to Gulf Shores, AL for Sunday, the 17th for First Baptist Church, Gulf Shores' 2 morning services and a full concert that evening. Monday - Wednesday I rejoin my friend/pianist Frank Jones, Dennis Swanberg and several others for Seniors by the Sea also at First Baptist Church. On Saturday & Sunday, the 23rd & 24th, I will be at First Baptist Church of Chula, GA for their women's ministry and morning services, and then head home.
***The air date for "On the Case With Paula Zahn" on the Discovery Network is set for Feb. 24th at 10:00 p.m. EST.*** Be sure and tune in as the story of my sister's kidnapping, murder, and then ultimately my family's story of faith and forgiveness is featured. My younger brother, Robert Smith, will also be on the program, this being the first time he has spoken in public on this part of our lives. Would you join me in praying even now as the finishing touches of production are being done, that this program would be used greatly by our Father to reach our country with the hope found only in Jesus Christ?
On the Home Front:
January kept me closer to home as I traveled to The Cove in Asheville, NC, Hudson, NC and Winnsboro, SC for ministry events. Ross tried out for the Varsity team for Dutch Fork High School's Lacrosse team and made it! I am so proud of him, and looking forward to being a fan/cheerleader for the next few months as games begin in just a few weeks. Hannah will be competing in her 2nd equestrian show this Saturday on Clemson University's Equestrian Team (CUET) at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, and since this will be my last weekend "off" for a while, I will be making the trip to cheer her on. We did enjoy getting to see the little bit of snow we got to experience in NC skiing for a day, and still hope for some here in SC before this "winter" is over that, in my opinion, has not even begun yet! Hannah did have a little winter excitement at Clemson last week as classes were canceled for the snow that never was, though they did have some ice. Being her mother's daughter, she was delighted just the same! Here? We saw nothing.
It was an interesting turn of events as one of Ross' friends that joined us on the ski trip came to me that night, telling me his Criminal Justice class at their high school was currently studying my family's case. He was so kind in asking me if he could interview me for the paper he had to write. The teacher had given the students the assignment of seeing if they could find someone that had been alive during that time and interview them. He said he had been sitting in class watching the FBI Profiles program featuring our story, and all of a sudden he saw "Ross's mom" on the screen. Another young man, son of one of my friends and brother to one of my piano students, is in the same class, and his mom shared with me how he was so moved by the story, doing the same thing...all of sudden seeing "Ross's mom" on the TV screen. Because our story remains the largest manhunt in SC history, it is studied in classes all across our state. I had to sit and cry after he finished interviewing me over the phone Tuesday night, so humbled that God would still use our story after so many years, especially in the lives of these young people seeking to potentially pursue a career in this field where so many officers and authorities did so much for my family in those days. I do hope he gets an A!
As my ministry schedule is very full, with many events at which to speak and prepare for, would you please pray for me and my family during this time? I am so grateful for the Lord's blessing, and take every opportunity very seriously. It is also during these times that I can feel like the juggling act in a 3-ring circus, and strive to do all the Lord has entrusted to me as best I can, equipped and enabled by Him, and for His glory alone. Also, would you pray for Hannah and Ross as they continue to work hard in school? Thanks so much!
A Special Prayer Request:
Would you please pray for my dear friend Debbi Dunlap and her family? Her granddaughter Belle was born last week with a host of health challenges, and remains in the hospital. You too can follow them on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PrayerForBabyBelle?ref=stream Baby Belle was born on 1/23/13 and has been fighting a battle ever since. Currently, Baby Belle has fluid on her brain, problems with her right eye, is missing part of her cerebellum, and is having difficulty eating on her own. If she can get stronger she could come home, which is our greatest prayer. Daddy (Caleb) and mommy (Laurel) are keeping vigil at the hospital rotating shifts so that she isn't left alone. Prayers and encouragement are welcome and coveted.
Texas Filler Date Available:
Hey TX friends, I am going to be in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on May 4-5, and would love to have a place to be in concert that Sunday night, May 5th. Would your church like to host a love offering concert? Let me know ASAP as we have to book my airline ticket. Thanks!
I hope that no matter what life circumstances this newsletter finds you in that you are able to take to heart Jesus' loving reminder to Abide in Him. It's the only way we are going to joyfully make it through this life friends! He has all we need for this moment, right now.... and for all that lies ahead!
Abiding in Him,
Spotlight of the Month
This month, the featured project is none other than my daughter Hannah's CD, 'Shine," featuring 5 original songs. I jokingly tell Hannah that I want her job...I travel all across the country, sell her CD, and send her the money! And it is my absolute delight to do just that, as I am so very proud of her. She is currently leading worship on Thursday nights for Clemson's CSF (Christian Student Fellowship.) Won't you help support this precious college student of mine by purchasing your own copy today? It is especially a hit for the teenagers, as Hannah's songs are fresh, positive, and her style has flavors of Taylor Swift, though quite her own. http://www.dawnsmithjordan.com/show_store.php?myid=15
Jonesville Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Lifeway Christian Resources
Annual Trustee Wives Meeting
First Baptist Church
Gulf Shores, AL
Seniors By the Sea/Frank Jones Ministries
First Baptist Church
Gulf Shores, AL
First 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 coordinator, Jennifer Dale)
This month, instead of sharing something the kids said, I am excited to tell you that the Lord is adding to our family as we are expecting a little one, due June 28th! We are excited to find out if it is a boy or girl in just a few days and are thankful for a healthy pregnancy so far! The kids are having fun discussing names and Reid and I are thankful for the wonderful older siblings that this little one will get to grow up with!