Saturday, July 25, 2009
In May we were blessed to be in revival with Sister Pam and the United Methodist Church in Goodrich, Texas. It was a wonderful time of refreshment and reconnecting with the Lord. The spirit moved throughout the congregation each service and a young lady gave her life to Christ. Recommitments to the Lord were made and prayers for each other were lifted as we closed out the short revival. We know that what NEW DIRECTION brought to the service and anything we said or did will soon be forgotten but the presence of the Holy Spirit and the changes in our lives the Lord made will be remembered forever.
The priviledge we had of being in service with the congregation of Alana Lane Baptist Church and Bro. Rod Averitt was truly a blessing. We have never been treated more like family by a church in the Houston area than we have with this wonderful group of people. Bro. Rod did not let us down when he said we would be well received by this church family. We look forward to scheduling a revival and having a great time of fellowship with all of you.
Our time with Grace Baptist Church in White Oak, Texas is always entirely too short. There was a great crowd and we certainly enjoyed ourselves singing the glory down as the people opened up and showed their appreciation of New Direction. (Of course, I think Bro. Darren and Bro. Jim think the fellowship afterwards is the best part of the service!)
We want to thank Bro. Donny Pointe of Diana Church of God for allowing New Direction to join with them in the morning services. Teresa was ill that morning, so we quickly became a trio. That entailed us having to dip into the old memory bank for songs we sang prior to Teresa becoming a part of the group in 1998! However, the spirit of the Lord moved throughout the service. It was a pleasure being able to worship with this great group of East Texas folks.
The evening service of the day brought New Direction to Bro. Eitson's church in Tyler at Park Heights Assembly of God. There was a wonderful crowd and their church was celebrating missions. What better night for New Direction to be a part of celebrating?! It was a great privilege to be a part of this service lifting up the name of the Lord. Encouraging one another with scripture and in song. The Holy Spirit was moving on his people and we were all certainly blessed. We also had a time of fellowship with Bro. Harold and wife, Becky along with Bro. Harold's sister and other friends of Park Heights Assembly of God. Testimony shared at that time blessed our hearts to hear how God continues to hear his hurting children and answer their cry for help. Thank you Lord!
June took us back to be with Bro. Glenn and Ms. Joann Cooksey of Oakhurst Full Gospel in Oakhurst, Texas for their annual Homecoming celebration. It was a exciting to be back with our friends and family here at Oakhurst. Since leading this church in revival services last February, Bro. Glenn shared that the church had seen 19 salvations and added several families to their church. They have certainly remained in revival and the homecoming service was full of excitement. Music was shared by many of the current and former members as well as New Direction. The afternoon service ended with everyone looking forward to what the Lord will do next through this wonderful church fellowship.
Our next stop was with our good friends Bro. Ernie and Ms. Ernestine Breaux and New Journey Church of Baytown, Texas. The crowd was small, but we had a wonderful time of fellowship and praise with all of our friends and family that came to support us as New Direction shared songs from our latest project "OUR JOURNEY HOME". The Lord gave us the opportunity to share with friends what he is doing with and through New Direction. His spirit has been strong and has flowed through each of us as we share testimony and songs from our hearts. It is only Christ and not us. We give him all the praise for using us as open, willing vessels to reach out to those who need to hear the message that we all need to 'cross that line' that we ourselves set up. To step over into God's love, mercy and forgiveness, to trust and believe in God's love for us, one more time.
We were excited to be in concert at Central Baptist Church in Crockett, Texas with Bro. Herb Blackmon. We were so excited to see such a great crowd and be so very well received. We appreciate Bro. Blackmon for the invitation to be with this wonderful church congregation. We made new friends and inspite of it being 100 plus degrees, we had a great time. Praise God for air conditioning!
Our next destination was Yellville, Arkansas for a four day revival at First Assembly with Bro. Jackson and the wonderful folks there. We were well taken care of by Bro. Maurice and Ms. Kay Jordan. We can't say enough good things about this wonderful fellowship. The services were blessed and the spirit of the Lord among this fellowship was so very sweet. Prayer for each other was shared among this close group of people. Everyone emerged from this time of refreshment with a new joy and zeal to serve the Lord and share his message with their community. We look forward to hearing good reports from each of these churches in what the Lord is doing and how he is working in their people.
New Direction's last visit was at the Branson Gospel Music Convention in Branson, Missouri. We had a great time being able to catch up with old friends and meeting new ones. We were blessed to meet some of Southern Gospel's pioneers as well as some great up and coming artists. This was the first year of this convention and it proved to have a great potential for the future. The location was very central for many of the groups coming from surrounding states. The city of Branson was a great draw and had a lot to offer to families and the fans of the groups in attendance. New Direction was blessed to have several families that came in support of us. We were so excited and surprised!
We sang Tuesday afternoon at the convention and we were very well received by the audience. Thank you everyone for your great reception! An unexpected opportunity presented itself to New Direction through an invitation to sing at the Branson Mall Theatre with Bro. Denny Yeary and his family of the "Sweethearts of Branson Show". New Direction sang as special guest on their gospel segment and then helped close out the afternoon show singing with all of the staff, the closing song written by Lee Greenwood "I'm proud to be An American". It was a true blessing to meet and make friends with the Yeary family and Bro. Tucker, the bigger twin!
Another privilege we had was being interviewed by Ms. Mary Fay Jackson of Texas Country Gospel and our good friend, Ms. Lou Wills Hildreth, both of Gospel Music Television. We will let everyone know when that interview can be seen or the web address where that can be found when we get the information. It was an honor to have Ms. Lou tell Ms. Mary Fay that we were 'their kids'. She explained that Bro. Howard and Ms. Lou, herself taught us Sunday School (the young adult/couples class) at First Baptist Church in Cleveland, Texas more than...ok, a very long time ago! But they taught us a lot. One thing specifically was that no matter who you are or your status in life, you are to be an encouragement to others. We are called to lift one another up in love and to help develop their spirit gifts and callings. I can guarantee you that you will not find one person in my past (including family) that thought I would be singing in front of people, especially in a full time ministry.
God has always placed 'spiritual parents' in our path to help give us direction in our walk with the Lord. Bro. Howard and Ms. Lou are two of those very special people. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your love, friendship and support. To each of you who also are friends, family and supporters of New Direction, please know how very special you are to us. Our Lord and you are the reasons we sing, preach, testify and continue in this calling Christ has place on our lives. He has given us a love for his children and those he wants to be his children. We have come too far to turn back now because Canaanland is just in sight!
Until next time, hugs to all.
Donna Smith, NEW DIRECTION MINISTRIES
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
We traveled northwest to Roby, TX where we began a four day Bible Conference held at First Baptist Church. Bro. Jerry Vincent began the conference Sunday morning along with New Direction leading the worship and bringing some special music. It was a great blessing to be back with all of our friends at First Baptist. (It is not often that you find a group of people that you connect with as whole, but we certainly have found ‘family’ in everyone there at Roby, TX. We love you guys, very much.)
Each evening from Sunday through Wednesday was a blessing to be a part of. Our study of the book of Exodus was a journey with the children of Israel much like our journey we are on today. Each speaker brought a message that opened up God’s word in a fresh and understanding manor that pricked our hearts to repentance. Hopefully, everyone in attendance was inspired to respond to each message that encouraged us to take a look at where we are spiritually. We were encouraged to examine our hearts, confess our sins and make a new commitment to Christ. We were encouraged to begin afresh sharing a kind, loving, Lord and Savior with our family, friends and neighbors. This is our reasonable service to a God who gave his all to rescue us from our own sin which he gladly bore on our behalf. I cannot think of when New Direction has been so blessed to hear such a group of great speakers in one place. From the up and coming preaching of young, Wes Terry, on through to the seasoned, veteran pastors of Bro. Larry Archer and Bro. Jim Reid, each sermon was heartfelt and full of spiritual wisdom. From New Direction, we send our sincerest thank you with gratitude to have been blessed to be a part of such an extraordinary event.
Please keep checking New Direction’s calendar to see when we will be back in your area. If you would like to have NEW DIRECTION come to your church for your next revival, special service or a concert, please contact us as soon as possible. We make an effort to schedule dates in order to make our ministry available to any church regardless of size.
There are lots of people that are out there ministering these days, and it is difficult for your pastor to be familiar with all of them. You can help New Direction by introducing us to your pastor or church staff. Your recommendation of our ministry says more than any advertisement that we can send out. If we have been a blessing to you, please pass on that blessing by referring us to your church, your friend or family’s church or even your local opry house. Wherever we may be used of the Lord to spread the message of Christ, we will go. Our ministry has worked with the Baptist Mission Board in New York to evangelize the North Country, we have sung at the 101st Airborne Division Chapel in Tennessee to our servicemen. We have ministered to groups of five and we have ministered to hundreds. We have asked the Lord to use us as he sees fit, so where we go and how we get there is entirely up to the Lord!
God bless ‘ya real big, until next time, Donna / NDM
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
New Direction is gearing up to hit the road after a long and restful Christmas and New Year's holiday season. We certainly enjoyed our time off to spend with family and friends. It has been a while since I filled you in on our travels and I won't bore you by going back and trying to trace our steps. I will however, try to be better at getting our blog out to you this year. "Mr. I'mnotinternetsavvy" stayed on my case about being on the computer so much so I slacked off! So, if you missed me and my 'dialupconnection' blog, please tell the guys to stop fussing about us keeping you guys up to date. Let them know someone actually reads our 'newsletter' blog. Darren's friend Ronnie showed him a wireless connection in action, so I think he kinda gets the 'slowwww' picture why it takes me so long to 'do my thing' and get off of here.
Enough of that! Our first activity of the New Year was to go to Amazing Grace Church in Cleveland to be with our friends, The Telestials, from Nashville, TN. Moody Community Worship, our home church, had a fish fry fellowship that afternoon and we cleaned up just in time to go join Beth, Jim, Bethany, Caleb, Jerry and Scott as they sang in the New Year. It was a great evening which was closed out by praying in the New Year as we gathered together and each ask the Lord to bless our country, our leadership, our troops and each other.
Maybe not everyone has heard the news of our new additions to the family. Leslie and Miguel Nueves, Teresa and Jim's daughter and husband, were blessed with twin boys on November 9th. Isaac Antonio was born first and weighed 5 lbs. 12 ozs. and Caleb Todd came 21 minutes later and weighed in at 5 lbs. and 8 ozs. Everyone was fine, healthy and blessed of the Lord. If you would like to read the full, quite hilarious version of that story, just email me at email@example.com for the extended, uncut version of that ordeal! Only the Smiths!
Our first service of the New Year was to be with folks at Hardin Baptist Church last Sunday, November 4th. It was a difficult service because there was a tragic accident among their membership. We felt we still needed to proceed with the service and our prayers go out to that family and the church for their loss. I pray that in some way we were a blessing to those in attendance. The Lord's presence was felt and we know that hearts were touched by the Lord.
We are leaving Friday to make our way to Roby, TX out near Sweetwater, TX. We will be with Bro. Jerry Vincent and First Baptist Church leading the music and worship for their annual Bible Conference beginning Sunday, November 11th through Wednesday, November 14th. Please be in prayer regarding these services. We look forward to the spiritual refreshment and ask that the Lord will use New Direction to minister in a very special way as we follow God's leading throughout conference.
We would like to remind you to check your calendars now and schedule New Direction for your next revival, special service or concert early to assure your dates. The new project, OUR JOURNEY HOME, is still in the works. We have some final mixing to be done and at this point, I would hate to give another release/due date. So, please hand in there with us, we haven't forgotten you! Don't forget about the SGM Fanfair coming up March 16-21st, 2009. This is a full week of SGM music, Bible study and fellowship. Contact us now for your tickets. Visit us at http://www.NewDirectionministriesoftexas.com , sign our guest book, and yes, you do have to click on a separate link, but it comes up in a separate window, which is a good thing! We are looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon, so, contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit us by clicking on the NDM link above!
May the Lord send you His Biggest Blessings! 'Til next time, Donna
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Hello and welcome to the New Direction blog. We are excited about the opportunity to share some of our adventures and mis-adventures with all of you. Most of you know we are a family gospel music group and evangelism team. We travel nationwide to wherever the Lord opens the door for us to go sharing the message of Christ. Teresa is my sister-in-law, her husband, Jim and my husband, Darren are brothers, and I am Donna. Most people do not believe that Jim and Darren are brothers, but it is the truth. Jim took after their father's side of the family and Darren took after his mother's side.
This last weekend took us to Alvin, Texas, which is south of Houston, Texas. We had the privilege of singing and ministering in Bro. Scott Condiff's place at The Church of the Nazarene where he is pastor. It was a blessing to see everyone once again. It has been at least two or three years since we were there last. We were commenting on how everything looked so new and clean and found that there was a reason for that. They had a line break in the restrooms and it flooded the building. Bro. Steve said that plans were already in the making for remodeling, God just intervened and picked up the tab! It was a great service and time of worship. Bro. Steve and Sis. Kathy were great host in Bro. Scott's absense. We appreciate you sharing with us your favorite songs. So many people still enjoy Four Days Late, it's message is timely and encouraging. We thank you for having New Direction to come be a part of your worship.
It was a great pleasure to see our good friends, Bill and Dorothy Higgins and their daughter, Pam and husband, Tom Evans along with their grandson. Although they attend a different church in Alvin, they made it a special occasion to come be with us. We have known them for at least ten years now and this was the first opportunity they have ever had to hear New Direction sing. We certainly enjoyed the fellowship afterward. Thank you Ms. Dorothy and Pam for a wonderful meal.
From Alvin we traveled to Clute, Texas and the First Assembly of God to meet some of the nicest folks, Bro. John and his wife, Becky. Everyone that attended that evenings service was a pleasure to visit with. Bro. John shared his testimony of growing up a missionarie's son. It is well worth your time to visit with him and Ms. Becky. They are certainly sent by the Lord to be a light in Clute, Texas. We are so blessed that the Lord connected us together as He did. She grew up where there was always gospel music ministries coming to sing in their church, and had been praying that God would send some their way to Clute. We were praying that God would give us the opportunities which He desired for us to have to sing and minister to those that were hungry for more of the Lord. Well, God answered our prayers! We had a great time of worship and then a great time of fellowship. Food, of course, is always a good idea!
Of course when you are enjoying the blessings of the Lord, Satan always rears his ugly head to steal that joy and that blessing. As we pulled up in the parking lot of the church, Jim noticed fluid in a puddle on the ground. The power stearing hose on the bus had broken just as we pulled up at the church. Praise God, the Lord kept it from breaking sooner and we weren't out on the highway somewhere. So, as the Lord always does, He provided us a place to park, a person with the knowlege of what we needed to fix it and who to call to do so. Contacts were made and we were back on the road by 1:30 p.m. Monday. Thank you Mr. Brent for all your help.
As I close, we are getting ready to pull out for Tennessee. We will be ministering there in Columbia, Piney Flats, Tullahoma and a couple of other places while we are there. We will also be in the studio recording vocals on our new project "OUR JOURNEY HOME". We ask that you keep us in your prayers and this project. Our desire is for it to capture the anointing of the Lord in the songs and be a blessing to all those that hear them. We will be in studio on August 20th and 21st, so please be praying on those days that the spirit would be on us and with us as we dedicate this project to the Lord for his glory. We pray this will be our best work yet.
Thank you all, we love you like family.