Monday, July 27, 2015

Alabaster Box

This song was written by Dr. Janice Lyn Sjostrand, copyright  in 1997.  The story told behind the inspiration for this song was one night while Sis Sjostrand was in a church service at the UPC church in Southern California the preacher was preaching a sermon about the woman who came to Jesus and anointed his feet with oil.  Sis Sjostrand was to sing during the altar service afterwards and when she began playing and singing the words to this song just flowed out of her.

On October 19, 1999 CeCe Winans released her new album Alabaster Box, which featured this amazing song.  It won the 2001 Dove Awards.

Sis Janice and her husband Rev. G. Keith Sjostrand have been married for thirty-seven years.  They currently pastor Christian Apostolic Church in Newark, Ohio.  She is an alumnus of the University of Arkansas.  She has taught as a Spanish and English high school teacher and is a licensed administrator with the State of Ohio. 

She is a very talented musician as well as a singer.  I have found that she has opened for artist, Ray Charles.  Not only has she performed for the Arkansas Legislature, but also the National Prayer Breakfast, and two presidential inaugural prayer services.  She has worked in the ministry and counseling with her husband for over 30 years in individual counseling and family life seminars. 

She also speaks at Women's Conference's nationally and internationally.  This is how I am familiar with Sis Sjostrand.  I first heard her at the AR UPC Ladies Camp Meeting at Redfield, Ar in 2000.  The theme was Hope for 2000.  For most of us ladies it is one of the highlights of the year.  Every April for just a few days we get to lay down all of our everyday jobs and come together to be uplifted and to uplift one another.  There are no words to describe what it is like being in a place filled with thousands of other ladies who know and love God in the same way as you do.  The praise that is lifted up throughout these services are power-packed and anointed.   We arrive with great expectations that are never let down.  Sisters in Christ like Sis Sjostrand may never hear every story from every lady that have encouraged to keep traveling this long and narrow path, but just maybe this will be something we could do while we are all setting around the marriage supper of the Lamb on that Glorious Day!!!  In the meantime ladies, Sis Sjostrand please know that you are a precious jewel in the Kingdom of God, thank you for your many years of service. 

This song has a special place in my heart as I can certainly related to the woman in this story.  Outcaste to all except for the Master himself who knew her heart.  I remember the very first time I heard this song was in 2002 we had Ladies Conference in Hot Springs, AR that year.  It is a conference I will never forget.  Sis McGruder was one of the guest speakers, while she was either ministering or singing a lady in the audience died.  Seriously, she had no life in her.  We all began to pray and some of the ladies there were nurses.  As the power of God came into that place life came back into this woman.  It was during this conference that I first saw the drama to the Alabaster Box song.  A woman dressed in a robe and head dress made her way to the platform.  The power of God covered that whole banquet room and there was not one dry eye in the whole place. 


The room grew still as she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper, "There's no place here for her kind"
Still on she came through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words, everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the master from her box of alabaster

And I've come to pour my praise on Him like oil
From Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I was his feet with my tears and I dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night he found me
You did not feel what I felt when he wrapped his loving arms around me
And you don't know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box

I can't forget the way life used to be
I was a prisoner to the sins that had me bound
I spent all my day pouring life without measure
Into a little treasure box I thought I found
Until the day when Jesus came to me
And filled my soul with the wonder of his touch
So now I'm giving back to him all the praise he's worthy of
I've been forgiven and that's why I love him so much
Very sad that I could not find a video of Sis Sjostrand singing her own version of this song. 

Ar District 2002 Mother's Memorial Print

In 2013 a singer named Lillie McCloud walked out on stage of the X-Factor show. She was asked by one of the judges what she was going to be singing, she surprisingly replied the Alabaster Box.  At this point not many people in the audience knew this gospel song made popular by CeCe Winans in 1999 on her album Alabaster Box.  However, just in a few moment after Lillie McClouds performance not only the audience would be in tears, but also two judges.  Then hours after her performance was posted to the internet millions of people became familiar with the words to this beautiful song.  A new generation who otherwise may never would have heard it.  Even Simon admits he had never heard this song before.
 Other Songs:
Heal Me
 Where Jesus Passes By
I'll Do Anything
I Just Came to See Jesus
Apostolic Forum







Saturday, July 4, 2015

If You Had Known Me (Before I Knew Him)

This song was written by Sis. Joan Clark Ewing in 1978.  She is a God gifted songwriter who many times took sermons preached by her husband Rev. Murrell Ewing and turned them into songs.  This song was in fact first recorded the same year on her husbands,  A Portrait of Love Album.  She penned the words to this song, but Rev Murrell Ewing made it his own with his baritone voice.

Joan Clark met Murrell Lavonne Ewing who was a much sought after minister and very gifted musician and singer.  He was born January 9, 1941 to the parents of Tom Ed and Marie Ewing.  At that time his family lived in Jonesville, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana in a community known as Boggy Bayou.  Tom Ed Ewing worked there with the State Highway Department until trusting in the Lord and accepting a full time Pastor's position at a church in Lake Charles, Louisiana known at that time as the English Bayou Pentecostal Church when Rev. Murrell Ewing was just nine years old.  As a talented musician he played in the Lake Charles Symphony while in high school.  He became a full time evangelist after graduating high school at the age of 17 in 1958.

Rev. Murrell Ewing married Joan Clark on November 24, 1959.  Within the next year this new couple accepted an assistant pastors position in Jackson, Mississippi to Rev. Earl Gamblin.  Where they remained until 1965 when they left Alexandria to return to the evangelistic field.  In 1966, Rev. Murrell Ewing's father had suffered a stroke so the two of them remained in Lake Charles, Louisiana to assist his father and the congregation of Eastwood Pentecostal Church.  He became the senior pastor at his father's passing in 1981 from heart failure. 

The church grew and flourished under the leadership of Rev. Murrell Ewing who completed a building project his dad started.  He was also highly involved in the work of the Louisiana District of the United Pentecostal Church where he held several positions throughout the years and was a member on their board.  Nationally he served on the music committee and participated in the development of the Sing Unto the Lord Hymnal.  Rev. Murrell and Joan Ewing served many years as consultants and participants in national programming for both home foreign missions.

The anointing this couple had in their life had to be God ordained.  With Joan by his side he recorded many singing projects and their talents together blessed people throughout the world. They were married for over 50 years and had two children.  Rev. Murrell L Ewing left this world on December 31, 2010.  Sis Ewing is still speaking at conferences in Louisiana.  One can only hope that she is still composing songs. 

I love many of their songs, but this song has touched my life the most.  Most often people are pre-judged before you actually have a chance to hear their life stories.  I did not really know what love felt like before I knew the Lord.  It seemed like one bad thing happened after another, and have found myself thrown away like in this first verse.  I didn't have anything to offer Him except all of me and I am so glad I did.  The person I am today is only by His mercy and grace and that is something I don't take for granted. Thank you both for letting God use your lives to touch so many. 


Just an old rejected relic on the auction block
They decided to throw me away
The auctioneer asked, "Who'll take her?"
The room was quiet and still,
And Jesus stepped forward, and He said, "I will". 

If you had known me before I knew Him,
You would understand why I love Him.
If you had known me before I knew Him,
You would understand my love.

I had not much to offer, just heartache and pain,
and a life that was filled with despair.
For my rags, He gave me riches,
For my fears, He traded peace.
For my whole life, He gave me a blessed release.

The Rex Nelon Singers, One Step Closer 8-Track
 What a Tribute to Sis Joan Ewing made personally by her husband in this video featuring Sis Ewing reciting, Now I Know
Other Songs Written by Sis Ewing:
What's that I Hear written , published 1978
Your Gonna Make It was written in 1985 and published March 12, 1986
Beyond the Sounds of Battle written 1985 and published March 12, 1986.
Where Did the Wind Go written 1993 and published June 10, 1993
and so many more!
Find A Grave:
F A Grave
Pentecostal Herald January 2014, This is my Story
Copyright Encyclopedia
My Hope
Song Search
All Music

I See A Crimson Stream of Blood

This song was written by African-American pastor and songwriter, Bishop G. T. Haywood in the 1920's.  He composed many gospel songs like "Jesus, the Son of God," "Do All in Jesus Name," which are known for their Oneness Pentecostal themes.  This song as well as many others were published by Christ Temple in an hymnal book called The Bridegroom Songs.

Garfield Thomas Haywood was born on July 15, 1880 in Greencastle, Indiana to Bennett and Pennyann Haywood.  His family moved to a neighborhood in Indianapolis known as Haughville when Haywood was just three years old.  He attended School 52 as a child and went to Shortridge High School.  After high school he was employed by a couple of news papers, the Indianapolis Freeman and Indianapolis Recorder as a cartoonist.  He married Ida Howard on February 11, 1902.    They had one daughter they named Fannie. 

He got involved with the ministry and founded Christ Temple Church in 1908.  At this time he was affiliated with the General Assemblies of God.  Haywood became affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) in 1911.  By 1913 the Christ Temple Church had grew between 400 to 500 bi-racial members.  In 1915 Haywood received a copy of Frank Ewart's paper Meat in Due Season which revealed the biblical accounts of the Apostles baptizing people in Jesus' Name instead of the traditional Trinitarian's doctrine of baptizing in the  titles following Matthew 28:19.  Haywood responded to this by inviting the evangelist Glenn A. Cook to preach at his church, Christ Temple.  A baptism revival was soon the result of this meeting where Haywood and his congregation converted to Oneness Pentecostalism and were all baptized in Jesus' Name.  This facilitating the spread of Oneness Pentecostalism all throughout Indiana.

When the third general council of the Assemblies of God convened that October 1915 the debate was on the merits of the new Jesus' Name doctrine vs. the traditional Trinitarian doctrine.  E. N. Bell and Haywood spoke on behalf of the Jesus' Name doctrine while others spoke against it.  It ended in a draw and was agreed to readdress the topic later at the fourth general council the following year.  The following year the general council rejected the Jesus' Name doctrine causing over one fourth of the ministers to leave the Assemblies of God, Haywood included. 

Several of the former ministers that left in 1916 formed the General Assembly of the Apostolic Assemblies which merged with the PAW's at the start of WWI in order for its ministers to obtain noncombatant statues.  Haywood was appointed as it's general chairman. Having outgrown their old church, Haywood found a new location at Fall Creek and Paris Avenue in December of 1923 to rebuild.  At this time this new location was the city dump.  Haywood designed and engineered the construction.  He taught the importance of evangelizing to the world.  Through his profession as a printer he used his own print shop to publish tracts, booklets, outlines, and charts as additional means of spreading the Gospel which became in demand throughout the U.S. and internationally.  In 1924 Haywood was appointed Bishop of the newly reorganized PAW.  He served as Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World from 1925 to 1931.  Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly was and remained the only genuinely interracial church in the city. 
Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood left this world on April 12, 1931.  He is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery. 

Bishop Garfield T. Haywood baptizing Elder Timothy Urshan in Jesus Name Jordan River


On Cal'vry's hill of sorrow
Where sin's demands were paid,
And rays of hope for tomorrow
Across our path were laid

I see a crimson stream of blood,
It flows from Calvary.
It's waves which reach the throne of God,
Are sweeping over me.

Today no condemnation
Abides to turn away
My soul from His salvation,
He's in my heart to stay.

When gloom and sadness whisper,
"You've sinned no use to pray,"
I look away to Jesus,
And he tells me to say:

And when we reach the portal
Where life forever reigns,
The ransomed host' grand final
Will be this glad refrain.  

Psalms & Hymns of Devotion & Inspiration Nila & Hugh Rose With Harvestime Singers & Musicians.  Hugh Rose was the Associate Pastor of Calvary Tabernacle.  Nathaniel A. Urshan was the Pastor at the time.  1949-1979
Tribute to Bishop Garfield T. Haywood
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Mass Choir, 2012
Other Songs:
Thank God for the Blood 
P.A.W. Album '60's Recording, Thank God for the Blood
Newer Style
TETREC Reunion, Ill November 5, 2011
Jesus, the Son of God
WV & East Tennessee District Choir (P.A.W.)
The Water Way (original)
The Water Way Lyrics
Verse 1
Long ago the maids drew water
In the evening time they say
One day Isaac sent his servant
to stop Rebecca on her way
My master sent me here to tell thee
see these jewels rich and rare
Would'st thou not his lovely bride be
in that country over there
It shall be light in the evening time
The path to glor you will surely find
Through the water way it is the light today
Buried in His precious name
Young and old repent of all your sins
And the Holy Ghost will enter in
The evening time has come
Tis a fact that God and Christ are ONE
Verse 2
Have you look'd and often wondered
why the power is slack today
Will you stay in that back number
and gon on in the man-made way
O'saints who never have been buried
in the blessed name of Jesus
Let truth now sanctify you
Tis the way Apostles trod 
And many many more!! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I Still Trust You Lord

This song was written by Rev. James McFall.  This song was inspired by a friend of Rev. McFall's who also happened to be a pastor.  It was during a very trying time in his friend's life.  First he had been badly mistreated by some people in church. Then shortly after that he lost a child.  He's friend came to visit him and it was during this visit while they were fishing that Rev McFall asked him how he was coping with his sorrow.  It was his friend's next comment that inspired the words to this song.  He told him "I Still Trust Him." Rev. McFall called his son J.R. as soon as they got back to a phone and told him to get a pen and paper to write this song down and that is how this song came to be. 

Rev. James McFall was a Pentecostal Preacher from Philadelphia, Mississippi. He was born November 14, 1935.   He and his wife Brenda have seven children together. Anyone who knew him would tell you what a great man of God Rev. McFall was and that he helped change many lives not only as a gifted songwriter, but mostly by preaching the Word of God.  He wrote over 300 songs that has been sung by singers like Bill Gaither, Karen Peck, The Happy Goodmans, The Hemphills, J.D. Sumner and many others who sang his songs across the world. It has been stated that it was his love for his children, grandchildren, and Bethlehem Church would always be the source of his greatest pride.  Rev. James L. McFall left this world heading for a greater place on April 28, 2008.  He's funeral was held on May 2, 2008 at the First United Pentecostal Church in Philadelphia, Mississippi.  He is buried at Bethlehem Pentecostal Cemetery in Philadelphia, Mississippi. 

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to add any additional information or even if you know of any corrections needed to be made. 


I've seen the righteous man suffer pain
When it looked like the wicked would go free
And in my frustrations it just didn't seem right to me
I prayed for sunshine but You sent rain
I cried for healing but only got pain
But I know Your love will see me through
Oh Lord I still trust You

I still trust you, Lord
I still trust you, Lord
That you're able to guide me through
This old dry barren land
And when I don't know
which way to turn or go
I still trust you Lord
So let me hold to your hand

I trust You because you’ve been so faithful to me
And You said in Your word Child I’ll never leave nor forsake you
“lo, I’ll go with you, until the end”
Your blood it has cleansed me from all guilt and sin
Your promise I’ll hold on to
Oh Lord I love trusting You

I Still Trust You
From The Isaac's "Why Can't We" project.
From the Dunaway's  "Beautiful Day" project.

Other songs by Rev. James McFall:
Thank God I Am Free (1969)
Prayer Warriors Heart

This song was written about a dear lady named Nona Freeman.  She was on a ship sailing to Africa with her children three of them got deathly sick. She prayed, Lord, lay me on a prayer warriors heart,' and at that same time her friends felt the urgency to pray for her. She was told later and discovered it was at that very time.  
I found this story in the comments on YouTube posted by Sue Crocker in 2014.
Find A Grave

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If I Have To

This song was written by Rev. Darwin Hawkins in 2005 for a graduation service at a church he was attending while involved in their music ministry.  Even though he didn’t have kids of his own, he thought, what if he did have a child graduating, what would he say?  He thought back to his own childhood and statements his own mother made to him.  He has mentored three children throughout the years.  Two now are married with their own families, and one is currently still with him.   He loves them like his very own. 
Rev. Darwin Hawkins was born on December 30, 1956, and grew up in Port Neches, Texas. Graduated from Port Neches-Groves High in 1975 and attended college at Lamar University.  At the age of two he began playing the piano and is a self-taught pianist.  He began writing songs by the age of seven, and has now written around two hundred songs or more.  One of his songs titled I Just Can’t Imagine sung by Safely Anchored made it to the top ten charts.   Several of his songs has hit the top forty of the Singing News charts and the Gospel News charts.  He has songs that has been recorded by 52 different artist.  He Chose This Valley for Me won the Texas District Music Conference song writing first place award.  In his own words he stated, “I love my music ministry, but my heart and soul is in my church.  It is all in vain if you are not preaching truth and reaching people who need God.” 

He currently pastors a church in Port Arthur, Texas which is mostly made up of people coming out of drug addictions, prostitution, and the homeless.  People who are broken and unloved by society.  Rev. Hawkins knows God has a bigger and better plan for their lives. 

He is currently looking into creating a new album project to lead the way for his congregation’s new building fund.  More details to come about this project.  



I brought you into the world
I sheltered you from harm
When you were a baby girl
I'd rock you in my arms
I walked with you on your first day of school
Cause you were so afraid
And now this world is reaching for you
To lead you astray


But I'll stay on my knees if I have to
I'd fight to the bitter end
I will no be defeated
Cause I put all my trust in Him
So say what you please
I'll stay on my knees
Praying for you
If I have to


Now as the years have gone by
I've loved to watch you grow
Sometimes you'd make me cry
And I'm sure you didn't know
That I only wanted what's best for you
Although you couldn't see
Now satan's trying his very best
To steal you away from me

(from child's perspective)

Stay on your knees
Cause you have to
Fight to the bitter end
Please don't be defeated
And put all your trust in Him
I know I say what I please
But stay on your knees
Praying for me

If I Have To
Sis Madonna Massey's new project Sing
Two other songs written by Bro. Hawkins is also on her Sing CD.
Other songs by Rev. Darwin Hawkins:
These Hands
Following Jesus
I Remember Mama
He Chose This Valley
Called Out Quartet (2007 Can't Make It By Myself; 2009 Live in Nashville)

I Just Can't Imagine
 Safely Anchored Quartet Just Can't Imagine  cd 
I came across an article written by Deon Unthank back on March 31, 2004 about this song as well as the whole cd itself.  In his review he stated, "The title cut of the album, Just Can't Imagine is a nice ballad sang with lots of feeling.  Listening to this song will no doubt give you a slight glimpse of just what heaven may be like."
Quote taken from the Absolute Gospel Music website:
Bro. Hawkins has a video of this song and other like one listed below on his 
Darwin Hawkins Music Facebook page. 
See link below.
It Looks Like The King
The Bethels I Still Believe cd 
It has been a privilege to put this together with Bro. Darwin Hawkins personally.  When I first started this blog I never even imagined of getting to personally converse with the actual writers.  What an honor.    
If you are interested in more of his songs and music look him up on Facebook:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Only God Know's

This song was written by Kevin Wright in 1995.  Bro. Wright was born February 1 1964, and is an awesome singer/songwriter still to this day. He first lost his dad only six months after being diagnosed with Lymphoma, and two children from church were killed in a car accident all in the early part of 1995.  He wrote and sung this song
at the children's funeral.  Bro Kevin said that this song was intended not only to comfort the family of the children, but also to remind himself that God was still on his throne no matter
the situation.  He made this statement, "I am very thankful
how God has used this song to comfort so many who
needed to be reminded that "Only God Knows....and that's
good enough for me."

I have chosen to add this song to my list, because even though I have heard Bro Kevin's songs for the past twenty years I had never heard this song.  In these recent years I have come up against many things and even though I know God is with me I just couldn't understand why I was going through so much.  It seemed like one thing right after another which caused me not to doubt God but man.  One night as I was praying I came across this song while looking for another.  It was just meant to be.  It was just what I needed to hear.  So if you have stumbled across this blog looking for answers as well than you have stopped at the right place.  Some things we are just not meant to know.  God reveals some things while others things we just have to leave to him.  I hope this song blesses you in your time of need no matter what it might be. 


Sometimes it's easy, to ask yourself why.
When the hurting you feel cuts so deep inside.
And seems like you lost your reason for life.
Oh, but hear what I say and take my advice.
Don't give up your not walking alone.
For there's one who's beside you.
He's been there all along.
And he knows every tear you've cried.
Oh and he has the answer to why.

Only God knows how your broken heart
It fits in his master plan.
Just when you think your world is falling apart
Finding he's holding your world in his hand.
Why must a sparrow fall to the ground.
I don't know, but I know God see's.
It's beyond my mind
Only God knows why that's good enough for me.

Now why must I watch someone I love so
Wither  and die for growing old
And why must a mother lose her pride and joy,
And a daddy say good-bye to his little boy.
I don't know I only know that it's so.
And I don't mean to question God with things
I'm not meant to know.
For my trust is still in him alone,
Knowing God is still on his throne.


                                   Other written and sung by Kevin Wright and Living Proof:

                                                                One Drop of Blood

                                                                 The Potter's House
                                                                   Dust on the Altar
                                                                       Just Like Fire
and so many more wonderful songs.  Look him up on YouTube.  I heard it is in the making for a brand new CD of new songs to come in the near future. 


Friday, March 7, 2014

"Price that He Paid"

Ok, every since I started this blog about the origins of songs this song has been the most difficult for me.  I have not been able to find any information on it at all.  I only know these lyrics from memory as well as the tune from my childhood.  I sing this song and would love anyone's help on who wrote it, sung it, or any information at all would be helpful in this search. 

Song Lyrics:
Verse I
As you go through lowest valley
and it seems you just can't stand
let my dear Savior take you by the hand.
Let him take you to Calvary's Hill
Where His precious blood was spilled.
And for the precious Price that He Paid.

Oh the price that He paid.
The sacrifice that He made.
He died so you and I could go free.
And He'll never ever change his love will always be the same
And I thank him for the Price that He Paid.

Verse II:
And someday when life is over
and I rest at heaven shore
I want to see the one who died for me.
I want to see him face to face and thank Him for His saving grace
And for the precious Price that He Paid.