Thursday, August 4, 2016

Closer to Jesus (CD Review)

I was blessed to be able to review Abigail Miller's CD Closer to Jesus. Her music is adevertised as conservative christian music and I can attest that it indeed is.  The music itself has a classical style to it; think Beethoven and Mozart. It's not deceptively lurking behind a christian label while in actuality being blatant rock music; think Christian Contemporary Music. Abigail's music is biblical and safe. There's perfect balance with melody, harmony, and rhythm. Beautiful music.

The lyrics are moving and powerful. They're biblical. I found my emotions ranging as I listened. At times I was in awe and just wanted to fall down and bow to the Lord Jesus. He is worthy!!! At other times I felt like taking on the world as a soldier in the Lord's army. Yes Sir!  And a couple of times I wanted to run and embrace all my little chicks God has gracuously given this mother hen. No matter which song was playing I was definitely feeling Closer to Jesus. Y'all, I've said it before and I'll say it again, music is power. Thats why David played his harp to soothe the tortured King Saul. We have to carefully choose what we listen to. To quote a sunday school song, "Oh be careful little ears what you hear for the Father up above is looking down in love so be careful little ears what you hear."

 To sum it up Abigail Miller's CD, Closer to Jesus, is beautifully orchestrated with classical music and worship  inspiring lyrics. It's safe and biblical. This particular CD has four songs that are related to mothers. So mommas if you need some uplifting in your day this is the music for you! They are encouraging and will help you put everything into the right perspective. I have permission from the Miller's to share one, yes only one, song with you. I'll share one off youtube that happens to be my favorite "mommy picker upper."

My kids adore this video!

You can purchase your own copy of Closer to Jesus by going to Abigail's site, click here. Rememeber when you purchase from fellow christians you are not only helping yourself by buying edifying products but you are helping a fellow brother and sister in Christ.

I was able to communicate with both Abigail and her husband. They are a sweet family. Abigail graciously agreed to an interview which I'll share with you my dear readers. Reading Abigail's answers were refrshing and encouraging. She is just a woman, like you and me, using her talent for the Lord. So without further ado, here is Abigail's interview.

What made you decide to sing and produce a CD? 
Abigail: "We did our first cd fifteen years ago. I had been writing songs which I would sing at our own church, a small fellowship that we had joined just after getting married in 1995. A few people had commented that we should make a recording, and I would nod and smile, thinking, "Sure, yeah, someday..." Then my visionary husband realized that there was no time like the present, and recognized that "someday" often means "never," so rather than let that happen, he decided we should go right ahead and jump in with both feet. He contacted a recording studio we had heard about through friends, and then informed me that in two weeks we would be starting! I did not feel at all prepared, as my only previous experience with recording had been in college, where I was just a singer in a group, not responsible for the whole project. But the Lord placed us with a great recording engineer who not only loved the Lord and loved our music, but also was very kind and patient with us as we learned about the process. Our first cd was released just after the birth of our son, Jonathan. (It's been a running joke at the studio that I only record when I am pregnant, which, so far, has been true!) We received good encouragement and a good response to the music, with very little promotion, as we self-produced. This encouraged us to continue, and as the Lord would give songs, we would then record more cds. At this time we have recorded seven different CDs, and hope to do another later this year."

How long have you been singing? 
Abigial: "I have always loved singing. I have memories of being a very little girl and trying to imitate the ladies I heard singing in church, until my mother had to ask me to please be quiet! Because I grew up in a Christian home, we had a home where good music was a big priority. My mom would sing with me and my sisters sometimes when we were driving around town, and she also sang in the church choir. I was a part of many singing groups and children's choirs from a very young age. But even at home, when I was alone (or thought I was alone!) I loved to sing. Sometimes I would make up music for poems I liked. I never really wrote songs of my own then, but I often wrote poetry. After I was saved, at the age of 17, my poetry turned to an expression of my new relationship with Jesus. When we were married, my husband encouraged me to continue writing, and somehow, gradually, it turned into song writing."

Where was your first public performance?  
Abigial: "I performed many times as a child and a teen in various groups, even in plays at school. To me, the first really significant performance came after I was saved. Although I had always loved singing, I was very shy of being heard. I sang my parts quietly as part of a group, but never wanted to sing a solo or stand out in any way. After my salvation, the Lord began working on my heart, showing me that it was not right to hide a talent that He had given me. I began to step it up a little in the singing group I belonged to, accepting solo parts, even though it was not comfortable. I wanted to use my voice to please the Lord. Because of this, the Lord began opening other doors for me to sing. One day, at 18, in my time with the Lord, I was feeling strongly impressed that He wanted me to use my singing even more for Him. I knelt down and prayed that if He wanted me to do more with my voice, that He would open the doors. A day or two later, a man in our church called to ask me to be a part of a children's program he was putting together. He needed some older girls to sing some of the parts. Two of my friends were to be included in the performance, but on the night we were to sing, they were not there! I had to really fight with my nerves as I realized I would be singing a solo for the entire song! I prayed, "Lord, sing through me..." and went up to sing. We were at the church I grew up in, in front of a crowd of 600 to 800 people. The song went beautifully, and drew attention to my voice which I had not had previously. After this, I was put on the regular rotation for church specials, and also asked to sing solo parts with the church choir. This was only the beginning. I later sang in college with a traveling group, and then, of course, continued in the ministry we now have."
Do you play any instruments? 
Abigial: "I play the piano and guitar, by ear. I never received any lessons in either. I don't recommend this, but the way for lessons not being open to me, the Lord allowed me to learn on my own." 
Do you battle stage fright or fear of others? How do you handle it?
Abigail: "I am a naturally shy person. When I was very little, my mother used to have my sister hold me by the hand and lead me to our pastor to say hello and give him a hug. I would never have gone by myself. I was even very shy of my husband when we first began to get to know each other. I had terrible stage fright, back then, especially for singing. I can remember trying to play the piano and sing, with my hands visibly trembling and my heart pounding in my chest. But as the Lord opened more and more opportunities, and I chose to do it for Him, disregarding my feelings, gradually, with time, I began to be less nervous. I still get butterflies in many situations, and I'm still shy at heart, but the Lord has a way of stretching our boundaries, and I am not burdened with the great hindrance that it once was to be extremely shy."
Being a mother of 10 what is your advice to younger mothers as far as day to day activities, managing a household, etc? 
Abigial: "Advice? First, I'll share some of the best advice I have received from other moms I look up to. Number one, remember that the Lord is concerned with everything that concerns us. No care or trouble is too small to bring to Him. If you are having trouble with a child's behavior, or trouble keeping organized, or trouble with schooling....whatever it may be, the first thing to always do is take it to the Lord in prayer. He has all the answers we need, and He can lead us to the best resources to help us. He has promised to supply all our need, and that means much more than just our groceries! Secondly, every day counts. I tell this to many young moms I meet: enjoy each day. Before you know it, your little ones around your feet will be taller than you. I am a true testimony to this. My fifteen year old son is 6'3", and my twenty year old son is 6'10"! I have never regretted time spent playing with my children, singing with them, reading to them, talking with them, but I have had some sad times when I looked back over a week or a day and realized I had been setting my children aside to do projects or to allow "the house" to be more important than them. Time is perishable, so use it wisely. Invest in your little ones, teaching them and training them and loving them, and you will reap many rewards as they grow along with you. Lastly, my own advice is related to that comment. Your children are growing along with you. I sometimes shake my head to think of my viewpoint as a twenty-one year old mom, and how things have changed since then. Be honest with yourself and with them about who you are, admit mistakes, and let them see your heart as you learn and grow in your relationship with the Lord. This is the most important thing I think we can give them." 
I do hope you have been as blessed by her interview answers as I have. And I do hope her music will encourage you as it has me.

I'll end this post with a picture of her beautiful family.

Disclaimer: I recieved a copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

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