As you are receiving this, I am singing for the funeral of one of the dearest, kindest men I have ever known. My Aunt Sue's husband of 19 years, Ike McLeese, passed away this week after spending 8 long weeks in the hospital. He had a massive heart attack, open heart surgery, and many complications. I spent several afternoons/evenings sitting in the waiting room with my aunt over the last few weeks, and watching her go through this only made me love and admire her even more.
Life is short, and how we live does make a difference. Ike came into our family when I was a young married mom, and I could see how much he and Aunt Sue loved each other. He was the President/CEO of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce for the past 20 years. So many people loved and admired him. He made such a difference in the many lives he touched, as well as a lasting impact on the city of Columbia, SC. Personally, it is obvious how much Aunt Sue's four children loved him, as well.
Aunt Sue has made me feel like "one of her own" since my own mother's death almost 10 years ago now. She is not only my aunt, but one of my dearest friends, a confidante, and a great cheerleader/encourager. She just flat out cares and makes sure everyone she loves knows it. There was not a day in those 8 weeks that she did not literally live at that hospital with her beloved husband. Time spent at Aunt Sue's house...Thanksgiving, Christmas Day that she has so graciously included me in, is always a time filled with obvious love lavished on everyone, laughter, and warmth. I have grown to love my cousins as if they are my other siblings. Love has a way of bringing us closer than we ever thought would be possible.
Do the ones we love know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we love them? Wholeheartedly? And that we will never change our mind? The Father says in Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness." Everlasting. He means for the long haul. And because "Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe."
My ministry Scripture is Hebrews 12:28, "Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." First and foremost, I want to love God wholeheartedly by the l way I live this life He has entrusted to me.
On the Home Front:
On October 11th, my brother Robert and his now wife Elizabeth were married in a beautiful ceremony outdoors on top of a mountain overlooking a lake in Tryon, NC. The day was picture perfect, and it was a wonderful celebration. Hannah was the maid of honor, and James Michael, Elizabeth's 5-year-old son, the ring-bearer. I am so happy for them both, and look forward to having them here to celebrate Thanksgiving with us for the first time as a family.
Hannah was home that weekend for fall break, and it was so good to have her home, along with Blue, of course. The night of the wedding I drove straight to Dutch Fork High School just in time to see Ross walk onto the football field at half-time as the Lacrosse Homecoming Representative. It was a full, wonderful day.
Ross is busy taking the ACT and the SAT as he begins looking at and applying to colleges. It is hard to believe I will have two in college next year!
Ministry at a Glance:
In October, I was so blessed to spend a wonderful weekend in Mullins, SC at First Baptist Church for both their ladies' ministry and Sunday morning service, joined by their precious choir, and then Mullins Presbyterian Church that Sunday night. While I was there, I felt the Lord prompting me to accept a last-minute invitation to share at the Mullins High School FCA - what a blessing our time together was!!! I enjoyed running over to West Columbia, SC for a revival service back at Congaree Baptist Church. To close out the month, I was so excited to head back to one of my most favorite churches, Miles Rd. Baptist Church in Summerville, SC for their women's conference, Sunday morning services and a full concert Sunday night. What an INCREDIBLE time we had, every second of the 3 days I was there...from getting to lead worship, hearing Ellen Stamps speak, the former personal assistant to one of my heroes in the faith, Corrie ten Boom (here is a picture of me with Corrie's very own journal!), to having sushi and Japanese in my pj's with one of my best friends Debbi Dunlap and 3 of her girls in her home Saturday night. Sitting over lunch visiting with Ellen Stamps has to be an all-time highlight of my life! Her messages spoke to the depths of my soul, spurring me on in this "Legacy of Faith" to continue running my own race. At 73, she has quite a lot of spunk to go with her genuine love for Christ and people. I will never forget her. As I had recently finished reading Corrie's second book, Tramp for the Lord, I had to pinch myself as I sat listening to the very woman I had just read about months earlier. Corey's legacy of faith was being passed on long after her life had come and gone. But what a difference her life continues to make. That is a true legacy to leave behind.
Sunday morning I was joined by the incredible Celebration Choir on a few songs, and then Sunday night both the choir and their band joined me for my first-ever full "Timeless Hymns" concert. Oh how God did above and beyond more than I could have ever asked or imagined! I closed out the weekend sitting at Applebee's Sunday night with Debbi and her sweet youngest daughter Abi til I finally had to hit the road, getting home after midnight. I'd say I definitely milked that weekend for ALL it was worth!
This month in ministry I will be going back and forth over SC and NC, heading to N. Charleston, SC, getting to have dinner with Robert, Elizabeth and James Michael while up in NC, and then heading back to Summerville to share my first Christmas concert back with my sweet sisters at Miles Rd. Baptist for their Ladies' Holiday Event. I can hardly believe it is November and time for me to be practicing Christmas music already! Check out my full schedule listed at the end of this newsletter, and come join me if I am in your area.
I want to say a special welcome to two new staff members here at Jordan Ministries. Amy Rostance from Summerville is our official Powerpoint Designer, and she has added a whole new dimension to my ministry by sharing her giftedness in this area. I also enjoyed having Amy join me on beautiful harmonies on a few songs a Miles Rd. Baptist. Raven Smith is an answer to prayer for me as she is my new personal assistant here in town. She is a senior at Dutch Fork High School, a precious young woman that loves the Lord, and a joy to know. She will be helping in my home office with filling orders, making copies, counting product, and just whatever I need a little help with a few hours a week. Welcome, Amy and Raven!
In closing, thank you for always letting me come into your day with these monthly newsletters. To update you on Lizzie Bird, as I shared with you her health issues in last month's newsletter, she is home, and working hard to get well, hoping to start back with her voice lessons with me next month, praise God. Remember, you are loved with an everlasting love. Lavish the ones you hold most dear out of that extravagant love. Their lives will never be same. And neither will yours.
Love and Blessings,
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 Christmas Season calendar available if your church would be interested in booking a Christmas Concert, a ladies holiday event, or a family/staff banquet. She currently has November 24th and December 1st available as well as December 8th in the evening at a church in the Brunswick or Savannah, GA area. 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.
Dawn's Books and CD's
Christmas is just around the corner and Dawn has a large selection of books and CD's available on her website at www.dawnsmithjordan.com/store.php. These items would make great stocking stuffers or an encouraging gift to a friend who is struggling and needs to know that Jesus is with them in the hard times.
Follow me on my DAWN SMITH JORDAN Musician/Band Facebook page to be eligible for the monthly prize give-away trivia contest! Congratulations to the month of September's winner, Annette Sturkie Bartlett. Should your name be chosen at the end of October, you will receive a complimentary CD, book or DVD of your choice, so be sure and play!
North Charleston, SC
Deer Park Baptist Church
Mt. Tabor Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Southeastern Regional Council Conference for Epsilon Sigma Alpha
Antioch Baptist Church
Miles Road Baptist Church
First Baptist Church Jedburg
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)
We're enjoying life with a little 4 month old in the house so very much. The kids love keeping her occupied and making her smile. With a teenager and almost-teenager in the house you can hear all sorts of music at any given time, ranging from Christian Contemporary, to Rap, to pop, to anything 80's (Reid's favorite! :), to Instrumental and even Classical music (Bach and Handel being my choice of music during our homeschool hours! :), so Lillian is being exposed to all kinds of sounds. Her personal music of choice? Frank Sinatra! :) Reid enjoys taking her to work with him while I work for Jordan Ministries in the morning (since most of our contacts are on the East Coast, it works well for me to be at the computer early in the morning as I am two hours behind). Reid says that when she gets fussy while he is in the office he covers her with a warm blanket in her car seat and puts his Pandora station on Frank Sinatra - and that puts her to sleep every time!! :)