God is a God Who speaks to us personally. For me, He did it just last week in a way that was undeniable. It seems I am regularly getting messages on facebook, emails, letters, tweets, with people asking me things like, "What Scriptures did God use in your life when you faced...?". As I sat before my computer praying about how to answer these, the thought came to me that the same verses that God used to speak to me might not be the same ones that He would use to speak to someone else. His Word is alive and active, and very personal. And so in response, I simply must say that you have to get into the Word of God for yourself. There are far too many Scriptures for me to list individually, and besides, no one listed them for me. I found them by sitting alone with my Father, asking Him to speak to me. And He did. He does. Dig in for yourself. He is the Only One that can bring His Word to life in your own life and in your own set of circumstances.
Just last week I had come to a place of knowing I had to put action to something I had been feeling the Lord leading me to do, and it had to do with letting someone go for the time being. A friend and I had a very honest phone conversation about this very thing, she strongly encouraged me that it was definitely time as the process had taken place and my heart had finally caught up with my head. The very next morning I sat with my coffee and my devotional materials...my Bible, my journal, and a few devotional books I choose from sporadically. As I felt drawn to a certain one I don't do very often anymore, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, the first words I read literally took my breath for a second. "Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them. My presence will go with them wherever they go. This same presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do." The Scripture was Exodus 33:14 that day, "My presence shall go with you and I will give you rest." The Lord was SO SPECIFIC to me that very day. I am weary, it has been a long, hard road in a certain area of my life in recent months, and I have needed a rest, a breather, a break. Of all the things I could have picked up to read that very morning for my time alone with my Father, He directed me to pick up that very book which led me to that very Word from Him.
Oh friends, don't ask someone else to spoon-feed you what God has fed them. It's great to encourage one another and share what God is teaching us together. But seek Him on your own, because He has promised that when we seek Him with our whole hearts, He WILL be found. Jeremiah 29:12 says, "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, 'declares the Lord."
On the Home Front:
August was a month of some special family time as we were blessed to be given a few days at Myrtle Beach, SC. Hannah, Ross, my brother Robert, his FIANCE (YES, his fiance, they got engaged at the beach!) Elizabeth, and her son James Michael, all enjoyed a few days of vacation before everyone headed back to the routines of school, work, college life. We had two beautiful, perfectly sunny days on the beach, and 3 nights of seafood, walking on the pier, and just getting away. Congratulations to Robert and Elizabeth on their upcoming marriage! I am so excited, as we all love Elizabeth and James Michael, and are looking forward to officially welcoming them into the family!
Ross started back to school on August 20th, his senior year at Dutch Fork High School. We moved Hannah into her first apartment on the 16th, and she started back to classes at Clemson on the 21st, her junior year there. As an empty-nester a bit earlier than expected (Ross is living with his father and stepmother currently, in town), it has been a bit quiet here without teenage boys coming in and out, Hannah and Clayton, and Hannah's dog Blue here. But Cookie, Skunk and I are adjusting well. On the very first night of empty nesting following leaving Hannah at Clemson the night before, my sister-in-law's hubby called to say a certain little fellow just really wanted to come see his Aunt Dawn, so they brought my little nephew over, along with ice cream brownies.
I made a day trip over to N. Augusta, SC to meet my college roommate Julie Caldwell to hear Sandi Patty, Larnelle Harris and Wayne Watson in concert. What an incredible evening of worship and fun we shared! I am enjoying having lunch with friends, and I even went to my first Zumba class this week! I began teaching piano/voice again on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so life is very busy here on the homefront. Hannah is loving being a part of the worship team at Newspring Anderson, and I am looking forward to going up this Sunday morning (my first Sunday off since the first of June), to see her sing live. Those team members have to be at the church at 6:30 a.m., and it is a long day for them as they lead others in worship. I can't wait to go Sunday!
Ministry at a Glance:
The summer concert schedule was the busiest ever, and I was so grateful to have health and a wonderful time traveling to 20 different churches/venues, sharing 23 concerts in SC, NC, GA, VA, NY & TX. I am looking forward to being "off the road" this weekend to enjoy a long Labor Day to rest from my labors! But oh how God has blessed me this summer, as each and every place was a literal delight to get to serve. I was so happy to get to reconnect with two of my favorite Barbaras both in Florence, SC just last Sunday as my friend Barbara Maffett and my Aunt Barbara Lawrimore both came to join me at Ebenezer Baptist, one of my favorite churches on the planet, my 3rd visit there. It's always extra sweet to have family/friends come join me when I am out on the road. Sunday night I was so blessed to be at North Greenville University in the upstate of SC as hundreds of high school girls, college students and ladies came out for a Ladies' Event there, the first of its kind on campus. Oh how God poured out His Spirit that night, and I am enjoying hearing from the girls as they write me on facebook about what God did in their own lives. That is what it is all about!
What a pleasant surprise it was to meet face to face Jean Thompson, a dear lady who encourages me through cards and letters, saying how she receives my newsletter each month and prays for me, Jennifer, and our families. She came to Hebron Baptist Church in Statesville, NC, nearby her home town of Mooresville. It is always such a treat to hear from those that follow what we do here at Jordan Ministries.
As we head into the fall, September will be a bit slower, and I will be ministering in SC, NC and GA. I welcome this little respite before the busy fall and then Christmas season kicks in. Your prayers are so appreciated as I seek to bring the Good News of Christ for His glory alone in each place He allows me.
As the devotional I shared above with you closed, I close my newsletter..."Now to Him Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20)
Resting in Him,
Dawn's Concert Calendar
Hi everyone - this is Jennifer updating you on Dawn's current concert calendar. Dawn is getting bookings well into 2014, 2015 and even into 2016! It's time to get your event on the calendar as well! We still have a few openings for Dawn's December calendar available if your church would be interested in booking a Christmas Concert, a ladies holiday event, or a family/staff banquet. You can learn more about Dawn's Christmas concert entitled "Your Presence for Christmas" on her website here and listen to some excerpts from her two Christmas albums here as well.
Spotlight of the Month
Dawn has written two books - Grace So Amazing and Thus Far. Maybe you or someone you love is struggling along this walk of life and could use some encouraging words from someone who understands those struggles. In Grace So Amazing Dawn shares her story of the loss of her sister and how the Lord called her into ministry. Thus Far continues where the first book left off and shares how the songs Dawn has written were inspired by her walk with the Lord and this journey He has her on with Him. You can purchase both books together and save $5 that way.
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)
Our home continues to swell with sweet little baby sounds in these days. Our oldest, Ian, got to spend 7 weeks with our extended family in SC, NC and TN. He just returned last week after also celebrating his 13th birthday while he was there....so now we have a newborn and a teenager in the house! Tonight will be the first night since Lillian was born that our family will be alone together as we've enjoyed family visiting us over the past few weeks. These are special days and will pass all too quickly as Lillian is already beginning to outgrow some of her 0-3 month clothes. One quick funny story - Ian was wearing a t-shirt with a big shark and the word "Jawsome" across the front. He very seriously looked at his aunt and informed her that he was actually not jawsome but needed braces and had some of the worst jaws in all of Colorado! :)