Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Michael Card was born in Madison, Tennessee on April 11, 1957. His first two albums were FIRST LIGHT (1981) and LEGACY (1983). These were followed by a trilogy of albums from 1984-1987 about the historical Jesus. They were later compiled on two cds and released as THE LIFE in 1988. That same year Card released a new album PRESENT REALITY (Sparrow) on which he wrote all the songs. In the liner notes Michael writes: "This recording is based on the writings of Paul and focuses on the present reality of Jesus...For too many in the church today, Jesus is merely an historical echo, a voice that speaks only for the pages of the past. We must come to see the present reality of Jesus all around and within us".
1. First up is 'Know You in the Now', a marvelous adult pop song on which Jim Horn plays the flute and Alan Moore arranges and conducts strings. The song desires intimacy with Christ: "Lord, deliver me/Break my heart so I can see/All the ways You dwell in us/That You're alive in me/Lord, I long to see/Your presence in reality/But I don't know how/Let me know You in the now".
2. Next up is 'Maranatha' which is an Aramaic expression meaning 'Our Lord Come!' Carl Marsh plays the Fairlight Series III synthesizer on this song that longs for Christ's return to earth: "Maranatha, how many more moments must this waiting last?/Maranatha, we long for the time when all time is past/A commotion, a call, then that will be all/Though it's not yet the hour, the minutes are ticking away.../For no eye has seen and no ear has yet heard/And no mind has ever conceived/The joy of the moment when He will appear/To the wonder of all who believe".
3. 'Could it Be' is a light adult pop song of spiritual reflection on which Michael plays piano and Cindy Reynolds plays the harp: "Could it be You make Your presence known so often by Your absence?/Could it be that questions tell us more than answers ever do?/Could it be that You would really rather die than live without us?/Could it be the only answer that means anything is You?.../You'll never solve the mystery of this magnetic man/For you must believe to understand".
4. The shorter easy listening ballad 'That's What Faith Must Be' follows. It lays out God's Master Plan: "When the universe fell from His fingertips/He decided He wanted some fellowship/But the man and the woman would not submit/So He made a better way/When the moment was right He sent His own Son/And He opened the way so that everyone/Could have hope and believe that when time was done/He'd be able to make us one".
5. Phil Naish plays keyboards on 'Distressing Disguise' a song that speaks of the importance of having compassion: "Every time a faithful servant serves a brother that's in need/What happens at that moment is a miracle indeed/As they look to one another in an instant that is clear/Only Jesus is visible for they've both disappeared/He is in the hand that reaches out to give/He is in the touch that causes men to live/So speak with your life now as well as your tongue/Shelter the homeless, take care of the young".
6. 'Live this Mystery' is an adult contemporary song on which Gary Lunn plays bass and Jon Goin plays classical guitar. It is decidedly focused on Christ: "In Him we live, in Him we move/In Him all things are new/The mystery of life in Christ is Christ can live in you/I hear the silence, it's clamoring/There is only Christ, He is everything/In the language of the soul/It's burning like a coal/There's a Voice that is saying 'You can be whole'/A life where all is new/Of timeless moments waits for you/With the heart alone you see/You must live this mystery".
7. 'The Word' is a quiet, moving ballad that begins with words of testimony: "The Word is living/The Word is light/The Word delights my soul/Preserves my life/Holy and hidden/Forever new/The perfect sacrifice/Our Lord...Jesus Christ/The Word is wisdom/The Word is true/The Word takes all that's old and makes it new". John Catchings plays cello and Michael Card plays piano.
8. 'Meditation #2, The Eucharist' is a lovely instrumental that incorporates sounds of nature (birds and water).
9. John Catchings is responsible for the cello quartet on 'In Stillness and Simplicity'. The lyrics are poetic: "In stillness and simplicity/In the silence of the heart I see/The mystery of eternity/Who lives inside of me/In stillness and simplicity/I hear the Spirit's silent plea/That You, oh Lord, are close to me/In stillness and simplicity.../In stillness and simplicity/I lose myself in finding Thee/Oh Lord, You mean so much to me/In stillness and simplicity".
10. Last up is 'Flesh of His Flesh'. Michael Card plays banjo on this tender song about the sisterhood and brotherhood of believers: "We are the blessed receivers of His inexhaustible love/And so it is out of believers/The body of Christ is made of.../Forever we'll have one another/Because we belong to each other/And that is our greatest reward".
Norbert Putnam did a great job producing PRESENT REALITY. The album is short, clocking in at 34 minutes and 43 seconds, but it is oh, so good! This album is really all about Jesus. He is pointed to as the Ultimate Answer to everything and as the One who will come and live in our hearts and have an intimate relationship with Him if we will only invite Him in. He is worthy of putting our faith and trust in. It is Christ who heals us, binds us together as brothers and sisters, and inspires us to reach out and help the poor and needy. We now eagerly await His Second Coming. Card`s voice is gentle and musically the album is comprised of folk, adult contemporary, and easy listening sounds. I'm rating PRESENT REALITY a perfect 100%. For more info visit: www.michaelcard.com.