Monday, June 12, 2017

Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman

Between Heaven and the Real World by Steven Curtis Chapman

Today I'm thrilled to share my review for Steven Curtis Chapman's autobiography. Have you read it? Check out the info below:

Let’s begin with the description:

For decades, Steven Curtis Chapman's music and message have brought hope and inspiration to millions around the world. Now, for the first time, Steven openly shares the experiences that have shaped him, his faith, and his music in a life that has included incredible highs and faith-shaking lows.

Readers will be captivated by this exclusive look into Steven's childhood and challenging family dynamic growing up, how that led to music and early days on the road, his wild ride to the top of the charts, his relationship with wife Mary Beth, and the growth of their family through births and adoptions. In addition to inside stories from his days of youth to his notable career, including the background to some of his best-loved songs, readers will walk with Steven down the devastating road of loss after the tragic death of five-year-old daughter Maria. And they'll experience his return to the stage after doubting he could ever sing again.

Poignant, gut-wrenchingly honest, yet always hopeful, Steven offers no sugary solutions to life's toughest questions. Yet out of the brokenness, he continues to trust God to one day fix what is unfixable in this life. This backstage look at the down-to-earth superstar they've come to love will touch fans' lives and fill their hearts with hope. Includes black-and-white photos throughout.

And now, my review:

My fiancé and I began hearing about SCC around the time we got engaged, perhaps just before. His song I Will Be Here inspired us so much we chose to use it in our wedding twenty-six years ago. (I’m sure many couples did the same—great commitment lyrics.) Later we were attending a young married couples’ home group with folks from our church and the leader played the intro of The Great Adventure to us because it inspired him as a musician. As singer-songwriters ourselves, my husband and I were inspired by his music, especially in those early years.

Fast-forward to spring, 2008. I was driving home from running errands when the Christian music radio station DJ shared the heart-breaking news about the Chapman’s dear daughter, Maria, and their son, Will. My heart broke! As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the anguish for everyone in their family. I prayed for them a lot after the death by accident of their daughter/sister. I’ve prayed for them over the years, especially as late May rolled around, because the timing stuck with me; their pain and journey stuck with me.

When I learned this book had come out earlier this year (Revell, March, 2017), I was curious about Steven’s perspective—about his life story and his account of that horrific day.

The book reads like a first-hand account, though author Ken Abraham did the actual writing. Humility and honesty take center stage throughout. You find yourself relating and moved. If you’re a musician, you can relate with some of his story. (He’s won something like 60 Dove Awards, so at some point the relatability becomes an exercise in imagination for the rest of us. 😉 Well done, SCC!) If you're a parent, you'll relate in other heartfelt ways. Readers get to know his precious family, and learn about their journey to adoption. (They adopted three daughters from China and now help others adopt children as well.)

I learned that SCC is a wordy type of guy, which makes sense of the book’s tiny font and the expansive page count, but I was still hooked throughout. Though it’s an emotional read, at times, it’s also a hopeful one. Anyone who has suffered a tragedy will see ribbons of truth in the fight to hold on to faith, the battle to keep one’s head above water when every force seems determined to drown you and those who’ve also been affected. I so appreciated Steven’s honesty. He and his family absolutely honor Maria and her life by sharing their story and portraying an overcoming attitude which leans on God, hope, and the love of family.

I hadn’t yet read his wife’s book, (Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman, also Revell, 2010), so I picked up a copy of her story too.  

If you’re looking for real-life accounts that bring honesty, with hope, add these books to your TBR pile.  

Highly recommended!

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