Sunday, October 16, 2016

Go to the Master

This song and it's music was written by one of my all time favorite songwriters Rev Carroll McGruder. and recorded in 1991 by Zion Music.  I was there the very first time they sung it in public they recorded live called Come Fly with the McGruders.  It was my first experience with a gospel concert as I had just recently started going to church.  It was exciting!!!  Sis Priscilla McGruder had to be one of the most powerful anointed singers I have every heard.  I absolutely loved the way she worshiped while she sang her heart out.  There was just something unique and different that made her stand out from all other singers.  God knew exactly what he was doing when he put this songwriter and vocal singer together.  What a great pair these two became in God's ministry.

Carroll McGruder (December 25, 1946 - September 14, 2015) and Priscilla McGruder ( October 25, 1948 - April 29, 2010) pastored the United Pentecostal Church in Kennett, MO for twenty-five years.  The first time I visited their church was also the first time I heard Bro Larry Carter play and sing Sunday School Girl.  They were made Bishop  on February 25, 2006 and Rev. Don Sheerin became pastor.

Carroll Lester McGruder was born in Holcomb, MO to Lester Hendrix and Fannie Beatrice (McCool).  He married Priscilla Elaine McDonald on June 1, 1976.  They had three children: Eric, Shawnee, and Holly.

2013 Bro McGruder won songwriter of the year.

Photo from the actual concert at the Forum in Jonesboro, Ar.  
Happened to be my very first gospel concert.

In Watching a video of another song actually found myself 
when camera zoomed by bottom right corner.
What a wonderful memory this picture brings back to me.  

(Verse 1)
When there's no place to go, you think no one knows, what you're going through.
When you've done all you can, you're exhausted my friend, and there's nothing else left you
can do.
When life overwhelms you, or someone betrays you, you feel like nobody cares,
There's still one place I know, when there's no place to go, I can go to the Master in

I can go to the Master, He always listens, He welcomes my pleas because He cares about
me, He won't overlook my petition.
He's standing above, and He's watching in love, He's waiting my burdens to bear,
He's got time for you, and a place for me too, I can go to the Master in prayer.
(Verse 2)
When the world turns on me, I'm so blind I can't see, doubts are everywhere.
When friends turn me down, and my spirit is bound, I can't rise above all my fears.
When pain won't release me, there's no peace within me, I'm feeling like life isn't fair,
When my night's sleep is lost, and I've turned and I've tossed, I can go to the Master in

(Chorus)... (End)If you're life's a dead end, I can still recommend, you can go to the Master in prayer. The McGruders have so many wonderful songs here are a few of them: Heaven's Point of View Stand on the Word Most of All I'm Going Home with Jesus   

I was not able to find Sis McGruder video singing this song herself, but I am working on it. Until then this is a recording by Karen Wheaton.

Other Favorites by the McGruders
Just have to say there are way too many to list them all :)

Heaven's Point of View

Stand on His Word

Saved by Grace

Warming Up


Here is a site for soundtracks:

Please feel free to contact me if you happen to have Sis McGruder singing this song or would like to add to the information provided.  There is a lot of information on the two wonderful people in many places.
Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.

When God Unfolds the Rose

This song was written by Frank O'Brien after hearing a sermon titled "Just Let It Unfold" by Rev Vaughn Morton while at the Pentecostals of Alexandria Church in Louisiana. This sermon link is listed below that you may hear it for yourself.  Rev. Morton states in his sermon that he read this story in a booklet that went like this: 
A little girl eager and curious picked several rose buds from her mother's garden and tore them open to make them bloom, but her eagerness turned to disappointment when the flower failed to respond to her efforts.  Her mother explained that God has a time for the roses to bloom and they would have bloomed perfectly had she left them alone.  He stopped with this part to explain that we should wait on God that in God's time he will add what we have need of.  God will take care of it.  We need to learn to Just Let It Unfold.  The essence of his sermon was that problems are a part of our daily life.  It's just life this life is just a tiny rosebud.  A poem was quoted near the end of Rev. Vaughn Morton's sermon which he said softly, "

A little girl eager and curious picked several rose buds from her mother's garden and tore them open to make them bloom, but her eagerness turned to disappointment when the flower failed to respond to her efforts.  Her mother explained that God has a time for the roses to bloom and they would have bloomed perfectly had she left them alone.  He stopped with this part to explain that we should wait on God that in God's time he will add what we have need of.  God will take care of it.  We need to learn to Just Let It Unfold.  The essence of his sermon was that problems are a part of our daily life.  It's just life this life is just a tiny rosebud.  A poem was quoted near the end of Rev. Vaughn Morton's sermon which he said softly, " 
It is only a tiny rosebud, 
This flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold its petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
This flower God opens so sweetly, 
Would in my hands fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
How can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for his leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

The pathway that lies before me, 
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.


Verse 1:
There been times when I thought my prayers
Didn’t even reach the ceiling of the room
Where I knelt to pray
And a voice inside kept asking me
Did I think God was really listening
To anything that I had to say
But I just kept on a praying
And holding on by faith
Knowing God is always in control
And I waited like a rose bud in the garden
For only God can unfold the rose

When God unfolds the rose
He always gets it right
When the petals are in place
Oh, it’s such a beautiful sight
God knows when to hold on
And the perfect time to let go
So let God have his way
And watch God unfold the rose

Verse 2:
There are trials and tribulations
We must all go through
When it comes to heartaches
We’ve all had our share
Oh, but when times are the hardest
We need to hold God to the promise
He said He’d never give us more than we could bear
So, I’ll just keep on a praying
And holding on by faith
Knowing God is working all things for my good
And I’ll wait just like that rose bud in the garden
For only God can unfold the rose

God knows when to hold on

And the perfect time to let go
So let God have his way
And watch God unfold the rose

Other songs written by Frank O'Brien:

Nothing Like Being Able to Touch the Lord

Music Chords:
Timothy Spell Soundtrack:

Just Let It Unfold - Bro Vaughn Morton: listen to the sermon that inspired this beautiful song.
August 24, 1964 The Progress-Index from Petersburg, Virginia.Page 6

Any information that could add to this post would be appreciated and even a photo if possible. Thanks and God Bless.

Didn't I Walk on the Water

This song was written by Sister Linda Gibson Johnson.  She is a singer / songwriter and is a retired elementary educator from the Hollers of South-Eastern Kentucky.  She was born in 1971 and is married to Bro Scott Johnson and they have four children.  
I will be updating this blog hopefully soon with more information.  

My reason for adding this song to my blog is I have found myself in a struggle.  I feel I am in limbo just waiting and don't know what I am waiting for, but I do know the one who does know all and see's all.  So I found myself shouting out, "I don't understand what is going on and I can't do this Lord, I just can't do this and fell on my bed crying, just being honest here.  I then grabbed my phone and remembered a couple of songs I heard sung by the Dunaways.  As I begin to listen I then decided to go back to my computer and look up the words to practice to sing at church myself.  I found the lyrics and even a soundtrack if I needed one that is when I came across who actually wrote this song.  Then I knew God was letting me know that this is the next song for this blog.  If I needed it so desperately tonight then there are going to be others searching who He will lead to it as well. I actually prefer to hear the songs sung by the original singer and was happy to find Sister Johnson on YouTube doing just that.  Then I got really excited to find a recent post on YouTube where she gave her testimony about how this song began.  Sister Johnson was a guest singer at Dallas, North Carolina Church of God in Gastonia County on June 19, 2016.  The post was published almost a month later by Jack Paylor.  Before she started to sing this song she told the congregation that this song comes with two testimonies within it:

The first one she herself had just finished going through a really hard trial at least that's what she thought but, there was a whole lot more to come in her future.  She was still living in a little blue house that was once her papa's house in the hollers of South - Eastern Kentucky. She was crying and almost panicking to God. She said "Now Lord I see something else coming and I can't handle this. I can't bare it, I cannot do this your gonna have to Lord. (Insert: remember how I was just feeling a couple hours before posting this, so this really gave me God bumps.) She said she told Him, "Please help me!"  She said if she didn't already have her paper and pen at that time she would have missed this song as it came that quick cause He wanted her to know it that fast.  She said it's not about us, it's not about her strength.  She could not keep it herself.  We cannot do it on our own.

The second testimony of this song was the third verse.  It was about her oldest sister.  Thirty years ago her sister was going through a separation which later the Lord put them back together, but in this moment her sister had no income, two small children and a big house payment due in six days.  She was cleaning her bathroom mirror praying to the Lord.  I have six days to make my house payment or they are going to take it.  She said God spoke audibly to her and said, "I created the world in six days." The day her payment was due it was paid.  Through the years the one property after another came up for sale and her sister was able to purchase three other properties with houses beside that one just years before thought she was going to lose.

Thank you Sis for letting God use you in such a power way.  God bless.  

Lyrics to Sister Johnson's Original Version:

As I kneel in the darkness in the middle of the night.
I'm praying for assurance everything's going to be alright.
Lord, I see another battle out in front of me.
I'm afraid I won't be able and I'll go down in defeat.

He said, didn't I walk on the water and I calmed the raging sea.
I spoke to the wind, it hushed and I gave you peace.
Didn't I run to your rescue, Didn't I hear you when you called?
I walked right beside you, just so you wouldn't fall.
Didn't I leave all of heaven, just to die for your sins?
I searched until I found you, and I'd do it all again.

He said, Do you remember where I brought your from?
Just take a look behind you at how far you have come, and 
every time you asked me didn't I deliver you?
So, why would you be thinking that I wouldn't see you through.

Well, she's talking to her father in a house that was once a home.  
She said my bills are coming due Lord, and six days is not that long.  
She hears a voice so still and low
He says, I've moved like that before.
I'll do this little thing and I'll give you so much more. 

Didn't I leave all of heaven just to die for your sins?
I searched until I found you and I'd do it all again.

Original Version

Other songs written by Sister Johnson

Funeral Plans
Sis Johnson's very first song she wrote.

Tear Off the Roof

The Drinking Song

I Call Him My Everything

I'm One of Them

I've Got It

Let Me Hold on to You

Right now my only source has been a couple of YouTube testimonies from Sis Johnson's own words posted by Bro Jack Paylor.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

I Surrender All

This song is one of three most widely used alter service songs.  It was written by Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter.  By Van DeVenter's account he attended a revival being held at the First Methodist Church of which he was a member. It was during these meetings that he felt the Spirit of God was urging him to give up the one thing he wanted most in life, to be an outstanding and famous artist. He felt God wanted him to join the evangelistic field in which he would fight for five years.  Then at last he could hold out no longer and he surrendered his all.  His time and his talents. It was just a few days later while he was at East Palestine, Ohio the words of this song ushered into his life. He was in the home of George Sebring, who was the founder of Sebring Campmeeting-Bible Conference.  Van DeVenter's friend Winfield S. Weeden put the music to this song.  It was published in many hymnals and several throughout the years.  This song was first published in 1896.

Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter was born December 5, 1855 to the parents of John Van DeVenter and Eliza Ann Wheeler. He was one of their four children, three boys and a girl.  Jusdson was next to the oldest.  They lived on a farm near Dundee, Michigan. He attended public schools there in Dundee, Michigan.  DeVenter's family were christians and attended the Episcopal-Methodist Church where he gave his heart to the Lord at the age of 17.  After school he went to Hillsdale College where he studied Art and became interested in music.  Upon his graduation from college he was able to study drawing and painting by a well-known German teacher. He began teaching Art in 1878 at Rankin School to help himself financially and taught in public schools for the next 15 years.  He also served as Supervisor of Drawing in Sharon, Pennsylvania.

Judson meet and married Malissa Miller a 21 year old farmers daughter.  He moved in with her family in Summerfield, Michigan and was employed as a painter.  The next year they had a daughter they named Cleo Iva sadly in 1902 Cleo died at only twenty years old.  They had a son, Paul Dorel born in 1888 while they were still living in Michigan.  Dore later married and had a son and was listed as a photographer in Florida.   In 1924 Judson and Malissa had been married over 30 years when she passed away.

Judson was a layman in the church he attended growing up and became very active in the evangelistic meetings. Many of his friends urged him to become an evangelist and quit his teaching job.  It took him another five years to surrender his dream of being an artist to turn his life fully over to the will of God and become an evangelist full time.  It was during this time that God gave him the words to his most well known hymn, "I Surrender All."  His travels as an evangelist took him all throughout the United States, England, and Scotland assisted by the singer, Winfield S. Weeden.

Judson meet Carolyn J. Jackson who was a pianist and music teacher, they married on August 4, 1925 in Wayne, Michigan.  They had a radio program called, "The Gospel in Song and Story." He visited the Florida Bible Institute where he was stated to be a professor of hymnology for four years.

Judson Van DeVenter died on July 17, 1939 while living in Tampa, Florida where he attended and taught at Gospel Tabernacle.  A few days later he was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Dundee, Michigan his birth place.  During his lifetime it is said that Van DeVenter wrote about 100 hymnals.

This video of Carman is the version I used in children's church during our altar service.  I have many children receive the Holy Ghost during this song as we are to surrender to him our all.  Those children would just raise their hands in surrender and start speaking the heavenly language. Oh, what sweet moments.

Find A Grave:
Stories Behind 50 Southern Gospel Favorites, Volume 1

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cover Me

Mark Condon, a worship leader, recording artist, songwriter, and pastor originally from Groveport, Ohio.  He wrote this song back in 2012, one Monday morning in February.  He performed it for the first time that next Sunday with Kevin Thompson and the Princeton Pike Choir, Band, and Praise Team as stated in the video below.

Mark and his wife Carol are parents to Miquel, Jared, Bryce, and Chase; who work side-by-side with them in their ministry.  Mark and Carol have served in full-time ministry for the past 28 years.  Mark attended Kent Christian College and Sinclair Community College.  He served as Worship Pastor and is the founder of the Worship iClub.  He and his wife are currently lead pastor at the Infinite Church located in Gahanna, Ohio.

I approached Bro. Mark recently during a Power Worship Conference held at our church a few weeks ago about writing this blog about one of his songs in which he said that Cover Me would be the best one to write about.  At that time I had no idea how this song was going to work in my own families lives.  Just a week ago, this song impacted my life in a way no other song has before.  I have a little 3 year old grandson and his brother who were placed in my care.  His little heart is breaking for his dad and mom.    He first heard this song one night while I was on the computer listening to music.  Now, he tells me each night before bed that he wants to listen to cover me.  He will raise his hands high in the air and tell Jesus he loves him and then asks him to help his dad and mom be happy.  There are times during the day that something will trigger his thoughts of his parents and it overwhelms him and he begins to cry.  I will hold him and play this song which always makes his little heart feel better.  No matter what you are facing and no matter how old you are the peace of God will cover you upon asking.

I have not had time to correspond with Bro Mark to get all the background story behind this song, but I will update soon.

Thank you Bro Mark for letting the Lord use you in such a way that even blesses the little ones.

Peace of God...Cover me
Cover me... Cover me...
Peace of God. Cover me...
Through the Storm... Cover me...

Only in You I am safe
Only in You I'm secure
Only in You I find peace
So Cover me... Cover me..

Cover me when I'm not strong
Cover me when I am going through the storm...
Cover me when all seems hopeless
Cover me when my faith is gone
Let the Peace that passes all I understand
Cover Me.....  Cover Me....

Other Songs:

Feel the Joy 

Rain Lord

Worshiping You

There are so many others.  Go to this sight for more song lists:

Mark Condon's Official Website:
Sheet music and audio track:

Bro Mark even has a book called, "Song Writing Made Easy Guide to Writing, Testing and Marketing Your Music."

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