Beyond the Song by Jantina Baksteen
I came in touch with Michael Roberts last year at the Alabama Quartet Convention. Recently, he sent a brand new song put out to radio. Michael agreed to join us for this interview to share his ministry and how this song “Broken China” was created.
Jantina Baksteen: Can you introduce yourself to the readers of SGNScoops?
Michael Roberts: I live in Waynesboro, Mississippi, with my wife, Heather and our two children, Jonah, 19, and Laiklynn, 16. We attend Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
JB: How did your ministry start?
MR: I’ve really been singing most all my life. I started out singing as a child with my siblings at our local church and I just never stopped. I have always had a deep love and an inclination towards music for as long as I can remember. As I grew older, I started to write songs and it all just came together sort of naturally, and now I just follow the calling God had placed on my life to wherever He leads to the best of my ability.
JB: When I hear you sing, I notice your inspiration comes from the Hinsons?
MR: Yeah, Kenny Hinson is a really huge influence. I think I owned every single album The Hinsons ever released. He just had that smooth-as-butter quality in his voice that drew you in and commanded your attention. Love, love, love Kenny Hinson. As far as other influences, I really listened to lots of groups growing up, but most of my attention was pretty well focused on The Hinsons as long as they were singing.
JB: You’ve released a new song to radio that you wrote; can you share how this song came together?
MR: The song, “Broken China,” actually came to me a number of years ago. It was born out of Isaiah 64:8. It’s really just my rendition of what that verse speaks to my heart. I realize it’s a little different; maybe a tad unusual, but God just spoke to my heart of the message of His total redemptive work in our brokenness through this scripture. “Broken China,” was the result.
JB: What is the message in this song?
MR: The message of this song is simply a message of restoration. It’s not about a patch-up. It’s about the astounding restoration of an intended masterpiece, which has been destroyed and ultimately thrown away, finding itself in total shambles, and then being sought out and re-formed into its intended purpose and grandeur by the Master mender. Total restoration; that’s the message of this song.
This song speaks to me on such a personal level. The message is really an intense reminder that God loves the broken ones. We are all born into a broken world, and our broken, sinful condition isthe direct result of man’s broken relationship with God, our Creator. God gave me this song a while ago but, honestly, the true dimensions of it were just recently breathed into my spirit. It speaks to more than God just simply picking up a broken thing and glueing it back together, but rather, it speaks of the path of one’s destruction from the point of the fall, to the sweeping away and decimation of the pieces of that life, to its place of total hopelessness and helplessness in a dank, dark gutter of absolute despair. And it is in this place of utter futility with not even a flicker of hope that Christ bends to embrace the remnants of this broken life and is willing to do the hard work required to put it back together. And He doesn’t just patch us up and leave us with just what’s left of our failed lives, but He searches the dust, the winds, and the waters to recover every microscopic particle, and then He totally and unimaginably redeems and restores us to the flawless masterpiece He had originally intended us to be. His specialty is the pursuit of those whom He loves, even to the ends of the Earth, where He loves them back together. This song says to me that He loves me beyond my imagination and He cares enough to find me wherever I might have fallen to, and longs to make this broken thing beautiful and useable again by His grace, and for His honor.
As far as my testimony, this song pretty much sums it up. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve succumbed to a nature of sin. I’ve experienced God’s staggering grace and salvation. I’ve run from His call upon my life. I have been relentlessly pursued by His love as He sought to help me find my way. I am grossly flawed, but immeasurably loved and marvelously redeemed. I am that broken thing restored and made useable again. My testimony is His love and grace personified. The name of my upcoming CD is “Prodigal”. I am that broken thing restored. I am that weary wanderer come home to the safety and refuge of my Father’s arms.
God is fully in control of everything, including this time of crisis that the world is now experiencing. He is faithful and He is present in this and every situation we face. His promises are not compromised and His sovereignty is not threatened. He is our rock and our refuge in every circumstance.
JB: What’s your favorite Bible verse?
MR: Psalm 91:2 I will say of the Lord, “ He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, my God in whom I trust.”
JB: What’s a saying you use a lot?
MR: “Remember to keep the main thing, the main thing.” This is actually a saying I picked up years ago from a dear departed friend and an amazing bass singer, Kirk Hinton, who I had the privilege of ministering with.
JB: Where can we find you on the web?
MR: My website is presently under construction, but in the meantime, I can be found on Facebook @Michael Roberts @ Michael Roberts Music Ministries.
Thanks Michael for sharing your ministry with SGNScoops. May God use you to bring the folks you meet closer to Him who is the only way to salvation.