About the Author

Ashley Lande is an artist, writer, wife, mama, and second generation poultry enthusiast. She believes in vulnerability and telling the whole truth because that is precisely what allows the whole of God's redemption in Jesus Christ to emerge, full-bodied and dimensional, dazzling in kaleidoscopic patterns of love and grace.

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  1. Ashley I’m sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. It is true that as I watched my grandfather taje his last breath over 20 years ago I read him that passage ‘As I walk through the valley in the sahafow of death I…

    It is the most simple basic and homely verses and songs that it appears are most important. God simply loved us to send his son and Jesus loves us so much so that he made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

    Thanks for sharing

    • Oh, so true, Jas. A friend told me once that when the theologian Karl Barth was asked to summarize his theology, he said “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

  2. Ashley,
    What a beautiful piece. I think your dad is smiling in heaven over what you’ve written here. Yes, facing death brings us back to basics. When my dad passed away and my mom and I had the surreal task of going “casket shopping” at the mortuary, my mom and I broke out in tear-stained laughter as we looked at one casket. I shook my head “no” to that one and flippantly said, “That looks like a casket for Elvis, but not for Daddy.” All the while I was rubbing the cross around my neck with my thumb and index finger. I remember saying over and over again, in my head, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When the rubber meets the road…what DO we believe? Do we truly believe we’ll see Jesus and our loved ones in Christ again? Do we really believe that the Lord’s grace will be sufficient when life becomes too big to handle? The fact that you wrote this beautiful piece about your dad says that you believe, deep down, in your salvation and Jesus’ sacrificial love for you. Your dad’s song request was further confirmation of Jesus’ love. What a beautiful gift your dad left you as he parted this world. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Oh Bev, thank you for all this. I love the story about casket shopping. What a gift indeed that because of Jesus we can find laughter in the midst of deep grief. The song I listened to over and over the week my dad was dying (while driving back and forth for various errands from the hospital and then the hospice) was “This So Sweet To Trust in Jesus”. Facing death definitely brings us back to the basics, as you say, and what a sweet foundation we have.

  3. Thank you for sharing such a sweet memory of your father n his need for a simple but powerful song . My son became a quadriplegic 6 months ago n I need plain n simple messages to remind me of His love in all circumstances. God bless you

    • Maggie, I’m so sorry to read this. It must be so hard to see God in such an awful time. But He is there – let Him carry you. Even if you just say His name every so often throughout the day…..Jesus. You don’t have to be praying great big prayers and praising to get you through this. Just know that He is upholding you and I am sending up a prayer for you and your son right now ♥️

    • Maggie, I am so very sorry. Such pain I cannot imagine… But I know Jesus walks with you. As our sister Maggie says, He will carry you, and He savors all our prayers, perhaps especially the simplest ones. I will pray for you, for abundant peace and that He will make the promise of restoration in eternity even clearer to you while also giving you eyes to see His kingdom breaking in here and now. Bless you.

  4. Ashley, I am so sorry for your loss. . .keep singing “Jesus Loves Me”. My brother and I sang it as we removed my dad’s life support 15 years ago and at his home-going service. Best reminder ever for His children.

    • Cathy, that is so beautiful. What sweet sounds to carry your dad into the fullness of God’s kingdom. I’ll bet your dad savored every moment of those tender words sung with his beloved children’s voices.

  5. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so is one of my favourite Bible songs. It is one I want sang at my Furneral when I die. I am only 49 on Monday. As no one knows the hour or day they will leave this earth. Age now a days means nothing. You don’t know from the minute you get up until you go to bed if you will see the end of the day. You have to be thank full on God for giving you another beautiful day to enjoy his beautiful world. I also want at my furneral this song played. By Dave Billbrough. It is called I belive there is a God in Heaven. It very hard to get it on Youtube. To listen too. I want I have it on cd. Is my Salvation Army Officer to play it. At my furneral all the people there to listen to it. As some of the words go I believe there is a God in Heaven who died for my sins. It was finished was his cry. Etc is another line in the words of the song. It not that long a song. But the words in the song have true meaning about salvation and why Jesus went to the cross and how much God love us to send Jesus to the cross. Then the Salvation Army Officer too say. This what Dawn believed. That is why Dawn is in Heaven today. If you want too see her again. If not saved you can see her again. By asking Jesus into your life. Dawn would love to see you in Heaven with Jesus. The cd by Dave BIllbrough is called All Hail the Lamb. My furneral will be different. Especially if by then my family are not saved. As today none of them are saved. I pray for their Salvation. As I am along with my Husband the only one saved. They will get a shock at my furneral as it will be different to the type of furnerals they go to. Plus I want this song sang at it as well. Are You Washed In The Blood? I do believe and I Dare to believe to be different. Different by living my life for JESUS. I am glad I am not of the world. I am glad JESUS is my Saviour. When I see the way my family lives. I can’t tell them they need Jesus. Or to get saved. Or they say stop preaching too me. Then a row go up. They tell me to keep my religion to myself. So all I can do is pray for them. Live my life as Christian in front of them. Hope they see Jesus shining out of me. Want what I have. That Jesus for themselves. I read one day in Our Daily Bread a Mother prayed for her son for over 20 years. She never once let Satan whisper in her ear he not coming to know Jesus. So your prayers are not being answered. So you might as well give up. No this Mother kept on praying. One day after 20 years. The front cover of the Our Daily Bread the words. Of it convicted him. That day that Mother’s son got saved. So that gives me hope to never give up praying for my family. Should it take over 20 years like that Mother’s son. In that Our Daily Bread Reading. To nnt let Satan whisper in my ear there not going to get saved. As I know in my heart and I Believe and I Dare to Believe like today’s title of the ready and God they are coming they will one day in Gods perfect timing get Saved. My prayers will be answerd. Love todays reading. About your Dad. Glad you sang Jesus love me this I know with him like he wanted before he passed away. You know you will see him again in Glory what day that will be. Yes you miss him on earth but you have not lost all. You see him again in Glory with Jesus. You can look at photographs and talk about good days and times spents together. Which I know he want you to do and not be sad. But think of that day you all will see him again. Oh what a day that will be for you all Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

    • Dawn, yes, what a day that will be!!! I am so sorry, I know the anguish of so desperately wanting beloved family members to know the love of Jesus and be saved. What a gift you are to them to be so perseverant in prayer! I could learn a lot from you! And yes, do NOT listen to Satan’s taunts. He is nothing but a liar, thief and murderer, as we know!

      I also want a Jesus-glorifying funeral!!! I will have to try and find that Dave Billbrough song – I haven’t heard it!

  6. Thank you Ashley. I am sorry for your father’s passing. This message comes to me at a difficult time. But definitely God’s time. I am still struggling with rejection from my husband. He is planning on marrying the woman he left me for. My kids are upset about it, naturally I am. However, I need to get to a place where I believe God’s live is all I need!

    Thank you for the wonderful vision of your family around your dad singing a beloved children’s song!! Yes, Jesus loves me, even if my ex does not.

    • Oh Dawn, I am so terribly sorry. I can’t imagine the heartbreak you are experiencing right now. I wish I could give you a hug and listening ear. Jesus is wild about you!

      A verse I have been clinging to lately is “for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.” (Philippians 1:19‭-‬20)

      I just have to trust that God will make everything turn out for our deliverance. EVERYTHING. Even the deepest grief and heartache. I will be praying for you, Dawn!

  7. Crying here! Praise God for that foundational truth of Jesus’ love, holding us firm to the end, through our last breaths! Thank you so much for sharing this poignant story, Ashley. And may the words he sang at your father’s bedside, continually ring in your brother’s heart until they become his testimony too.

    • YES! Thank you, Nancy. For my brother to know the great love of Jesus is one of my most frequent prayers. I know it is what my dad desperately desired, too, and labored for. May it be so. Praise God indeed for His beautiful, life-transforming, mind-blowing love for us in Christ Jesus!

  8. Ashley,

    What a tribute to the faith of your beloved father. Losing a loved one can be hard. If we are Christians with a good solid faith then we can face death a bit easier. We have the hope in the true love of Christ. We know our loved one is going to Heaven to spend eternity with Jesus. We will get to see them one day. When my parents passed I felt a sense of peace. I will miss them, but their suffering down here is over. I kind of rejoiced knowing they were in Heaven walking around clear minded with Jesus. (They both had severe dementia.) No more pain or sorrow for them. Major illnesses & death can bring out our faith questions. Do we really believe what we say? Is there a Haven awaiting us? The blessing in the desert you described was displayed by your dad. He would be proud to see your writing here.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, thank you so much. I am so sorry for the loss of your parents – I’m sure the course of their illnesses was not an easy road – but I praise God for the comfort we have in Him. What a glorious reunion you have to anticipate, and how sweet to know your parents are fully restored, body and mind!

  9. My Dad just died, too- the day before his 63rd birthday. The only comfort I have is from deep-seated knowledge that he’s with Jesus. Even though I don’t feel comforted, even though I don’t feel like I can trust God. But I CAN trust my Dad, & he trusted God. So for now, that’s enough.