In 1995 a multi-artist Contemporary Christian Music album was released entitled MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST (Word/Epic). Now for some background on this album produced by Brown Bannister and with Loren Balman as executive producer. Oswald Chambers was born on July 24, 1874 in Aberdeen, Scotland. The album’s liner notes tell us: “Chambers, a Scottish preacher, died at the age of 43 in 1917 while serving as a British chaplain in the Suez during the Great War”. They go on to tell us: “A collection of his sermons was compiled and edited by his widow, published posthumously in 1927”. By the time this album came out, this devotional of devotionals, ‘My Utmost for His Highest’, had been updated and released in modern language.
4 Him starts things off with an inspirational praise and worship ballad called ‘You Are Holy’. The London Session Orchestra is used and the following are some of the words: “You are holy (2X)/You’re wonderful in all Your ways/Holy, You are holy, Lord/Unto the One Who sits on the throne/And unto the Lamb/Be all blessing and honor/Glory and power and praise”. Amy Grant gives a great vocal performance on the adult contemporary song ‘Lover of My Soul’ that speaks of intimacy with the Father: “And maybe my eyes can’t see/But You are surrounding me/Here in the wind and the rain/The things that I know/Tender and sweet, and strong as my need/I know the voice, I know the touch/Lover of my soul”. Next up is Gary Chapman with ‘Man After Your Own Heart’, a ballad that is prayerful: “Deep in my soul there’s a craving/To please the One who has saved me/O God, though I have fallen so far/You know that I’m still/A man after Your own heart.../Lead me by the still waters again/Use me in spite of the prodigal child that You know I am”.
Cindy Morgan wrote and performs ‘You’ll Be There’, an easy listening number addressed to Christ: “Oh shadow the lightning/When we are frightened/Oh heavenly light keep shining on me/Shining on me, oh everywhere/Sweetest Savior who cares/Angels dance in the air/And tell us You’ll be there”. Steven Curtis Chapman sings the adult contemporary ballad ‘Sometimes He Comes In the Clouds’. We could all learn from these words : “I’ve looked in the pages and I’ve looked down on my knees/I’ve lifted my eyes in expectation/To see the sun still refusing to shine/But sometimes He comes in the clouds/Sometimes His face cannot be found/Sometimes the sky is dark and grey.../And sometimes our faith can only grow/When we can’t see/So sometimes He comes in the clouds”.
Sandi Patty performs ‘God of All of Me’, written by Michael W. Smith and Bob Farrell. This inspirational gem is one of spiritual surrender: “Father take my heart/Hold it in Your hand/Be the God of all of me/Father take my life/Everything I am/Keeper of my soul/God of all of me”. Michael W. Smith follows with ‘Move In Me’ a beautiful adult contemporary testimonial: “When You move in me, it’s like a symphony/A timeless melody that soothes my soul/Though silent I can tell that You’re alive and well/Cause I can feel You move in me”.
Point of Grace sings ‘Hold On To Me’, a song of deep gratitude to the Father: “I could never offer You the praise that You deserve/The thanks for all You’ve given me/And with nothing in return/But I will give my life to You/My moments and my days/If only for the peace I find/Every time I hear You say/’I love you so, won’t let you go/Hold on to Me’”. Bryan Duncan lends his soulful vocals to ‘A Heart Like Mine’ which speaks of our redemption: “You stopped the world to recover me/Oh Lamb of God, the price You’ve paid for a heart like mine/How could it be worthy that You’d find a way to redeem this hardened clay/Twisted and broken?/Oh Father God above/The wonder that You’d love a heart like mine”.
Twila Paris wrote and sings ‘Where He Leads Me’. Michael Mellett sings background vocals on this gentle song about following Christ: “There is a great, broad road to nowhere/And so many travel there/But I have a gentle Shepherd I would follow anywhere/Though the journey take me far away/From the place I call my home/To be ever in His presence/Where He leads me I will go”. Last up is a song penned by Michael W. Smith and his wife Debbie. Phillips, Craig & Dean perform ‘Shine on Us’, a moving ballad that is a prayer: “Lord, let Your light/Light of Your face/Shine on us/Lord, let Your light/Light of Your face/Shine on us/That we may be saved/That we may have life/To find our way in the darkest night/Let Your light shine on us”.
MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST is on the mellow side musically. It’s made up of inspirational, easy listening, and adult contemporary ballads. It has a calming lullaby-like effect. Despite featuring eleven different artists, the songs flow nicely together to make a complete whole. The album’s main themes are: inviting and celebrating God’s presence in our lives, and declaring the love God has for us. This album will inspire in you holiness and a desire to be more Christ-like. The album won a Dove Award for ‘Recorded Music Packaging of the Year’. The CD booklet is lovely and contains many thought provoking quotes. I’m rating this multi-artist album 100%. For more information connect with the artists on Facebook.