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 that I can remember 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. 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