"Through the Open Door" - Michael Milton CD Review
(by Tina Leonard)
Michael Milton is an ordained Presbyterian Minister in the Church of America. He also hosts "Faith for Living" which broadcasts on NRB Television Network. You can find that on Direct TV, Channel 378. A seminary leader, preacher, pastor, Army Reserve chaplain, singer-songwriter and author, he refers to himself as "a blasphemer and shameful prodigal saved by grace and called to preach the un-searchable riches I once blasphemed. I have but one identity and that is it." (http://mikemilton.org/about/)
The life of Mr. Milton is one that carries a vast amount of tools used by our Father in Heaven to reach the masses, not only for teaching the saints but reconciling the sinner. Michael has written multiple books, as well as being on a multitude of television programs to share in ministry.
For a man of such integrity and wisdom to create a musical platform of knowledge it seems imperative that we as the body should include this collection of songs in our reach. I also should mention that two thirds of the profit from the sales of this album go to support scholarships for seminarians at the reformed theological seminary. So not only will you be blessed by it, but you will be blessing others also. So it is a win-win situation!
"Through the Open Door" brings the sound that immediately reminded me of Ricky Skaggs. If you like the sound of a mandolin you will never stop listening to this CD. Personally, my palette has a tendency to grab the fork and reach for more of a contemporary sound. However I am a very lyrically moved person, which set this CD apart from other bluegrass sounds.
The introductory song, "Mississippi Louisiana Line" resonates off many of our lives that once were lost in sin, but thanks for the praying vessels in our families we have come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Many of us face difficult times and choices in our lives, "The mountain the desert and the sea" is relatively spanned out across those situations. Sometimes we have a tendency to think, "we can" solve our issues and circumstance. When in reality we can do nothing except through prayer and submission to the Will of God.
"Down, Down" happens to be my favorite song on the CD. The melody is quite catchy and tends to veer more toward the contemporary sound. However, my favorite part of the song is the lyrical dimension. When man is overcome with pride, unbelief and excuse he will fall. Since it appears today that many professors of the Faith have turned toward their abilities and quality potential, this song simply expresses what happens when we forget our submission is what God seeks first.
As you continue to listen to the CD, each song paints the picture in different situations to encourage and teach a vast group of listeners. "Miracle of Marriage" is self-explanatory as it encourages couples to stay together in the midst of adversity and look past themselves at the big picture. "God is calling Faithful Men" speaks to the ministers today to stay faithful to the truth of the Gospel and grounded in the Word.
"Dark Night", is a cry out knowing that God is there even in our darkest hour. This is where "Through the Open Door" begins to take a deeper, lowly turn. The "Gadarene" is one I had mixed emotions about. The story is about the man known as "legion" that Jesus set free. It is on the verge of melancholy, yet I assume that is the picture Milton wanted to paint based on how that man must have felt. "Beneath the Deep" wraps up this mid-CD trio with a classic, relaxing melody that creates the imagination of Christ being the seed, beneath the deep that will one day bloom as a soldier in the sky. If you want a tune that makes you feel happy and light-heart surf down to number nine, "Let the children come" You will find a testament of unconditional love in "Now and Forever More". It would make a great wedding song, or even a song played at a funeral. That may sound kind of warped, but unconditional love is one that stays with us even after that person is gone.
As Milton cries out to the nations in "Claim this Land", he stirs the spirit to be about our Father’s business. Vocally, "Through the Open Door" is the most pleasantly delivered song. It also creates the vision of walking through that open door in Heaven to meet our Lord and Savoir. Sealing this vision is the last musical piece of the pie, "Eclogue for the Church" revisiting the promises of no more pain, no more crying and the pure peace of our Eternal promises granted to each and every one of us through the Grace and Mercy of the Cross.
I have an inkling that if you do not have an ear for this type of musical composition, you know someone that would be truly blessed by it. Don’t hesitate to "Open that Door" and bless someone else with the inspiring and provoking words accompanied by the sounds of a spirit stirring mandolin.
"I seek to be a witness to my Lord Jesus Christ, humbly, as one who has lived in darkness, been hurt as he has groped for a glimpse of some light, and grabbed at the illusive glimmer of hope through religious works alone. But human religion, whether Easter paganism or legalistic Western religions, have proven to be, for me, broken lanterns with short wicks. I am not the only one to testify that such ‘wicks’ burn out at the very time when the darkness descends. Out of that descending darkness in my young life, then, I was drawn, through pure grace and undeserved divine love, to the glorious eternal flame of the Light of Jesus Christ who alone has brought assurance to my heart, clarity to my mind, and a joy in my soul that has never gone away. I want to offer that light of Christ to others. I want to do that through casting this vision I have seen in His grace, and to do this, I pray, with utter humility and dependence upon God, through preaching and teaching, composing, singing and recording, and giving my life away as an offering, both to God and Man, as I am given open doors by God to do so. I pray, ‘God keep me from pride, that most vile and prominent sin, and keep me broken at the Foot of the Cross, pleading for others to join me there. For there at the Cross is our healing and hope, our love and life, both here and forevermore." - Michael Milton