Steven Curtis Chapman was born on November 21, 1962 in Paducah, Kentucky. He has won 5 Grammy awards and 58 Dove awards. His hit songs have included: ‘Weak Days’, ‘His Eyes’, ‘The Great Adventure’, ‘Let Us Pray’, and ‘His Strength is Perfect’. Artists who have recorded his songs include: Sandi Patty, Glen Campbell, and the Cathedral Quartet. In 2007 Chapman released his 14th non-holiday album, THIS MOMENT (Sparrow). On April 20, 2008 he received a star on Nashville’s ‘Walk of Fame’. Just over a month later, on May 21, 2008, his family would go through a very dark and difficult ordeal. Steven’s son Will Franklin accidentally ran over and killed one of the family’s three adopted children from China, Maria Sue Chunxi Chapman in the family driveway. As had been planned before Maria’s death, Steven’s record label released THIS MOMENT: CINDERELLA VERSION a few days later on May 27, 2008. It includes four bonus tracks and is the version I’ll be reviewing here. It was produced by Matt Bronleewe and Steven Curtis Chapman.
‘Miracle of the Moment’ was a Top Ten hit for Steven. He co-wrote it with Matt Bronleewe. This adult pop song gives us a proper perspective when it comes to time: “There’s only One who knows/What’s really out there waiting/In all the moments yet to be/And all we need to know is He’s out there waiting/To Him the future’s history/And He has given us a treasure called right now/And this is the only moment that we can do anything about”. ‘Broken’ is a great rock song of confession: “We’re all broken (2X)/And we all need a Savior/Broken, we’re all broken/And we all need a Savior/’Cause we’re all broken/This is a fool’s parade/The way we masquerade/Trying to make everybody think it’s all okay/When the truth is we’re all living a story”.
Steven wrote the beautiful and moving ‘Cinderella’. It peaked at #4 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart and was nominated for two Dove Awards. It was inspired by his daughters: “So I will dance with Cinderella/While she is here in my arms/’Cause I know something the prince never knew/Oh, I will dance with Cinderella/I don’t want to miss even one song/’Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight/And she’ll be gone...” Steven co-wrote the #1 hit ‘Yours’ with Jonas Myrin. It is an adult contemporary anthem that reminds us Who holds the world in His loving, more than capable hands: “I walk the dirt roads of Uganda/I see the scars that war has left behind/Hope like the sun is fading/And they’re waiting for a cure no one can find/And I hear children’s voices singing/Of a God who heals and rescues and restores/And I’m reminded that every child in Africa is Yours/And it’s all Yours God, Yours God/Everything is Yours/From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor”. A later 2008 radio version of the song included a fourth verse written after Maria’s death.
‘Something Crazy’ is a catchy Christian pop song that includes these words about a street preacher: “He’s got a Bible and a megaphone/Standing on the corner/And everybody’s saying he’s crazy.../He’s not screaming at anybody/In fact, he says it’s a love story that he’s trying to tell them/And he knows he may look a little strange/But he just smiles and says that’s okay/’Cause you know sometimes love makes you act that way”. ‘Children of God’ features Steven’s son Caleb Chapman and is an energetic pop/rock self-esteem booster: “We are the children of God (2X)/We are the sons and the daughters/Almighty God is our Father/We are the children of God (2X)/How can we keep from singing?/We are the children of God.../How great the love the Father has shown us/That He would call us His own”.
‘One Heartbeat at a Time’ is a lovely adult contemporary song of encouragement for young mothers: “You’re up all night with a screaming baby/You run all day at the speed of life/And every day you feel a little bit less like the beautiful woman you are.../You, you are changing the world/One little heartbeat at a time/Making history with every touch and every smile/Oh, you, you may not see it now/But I believe that time will tell/How you, you are changing the world/One little heartbeat at a time”. ‘My Surrender’ is a song of humility: “And what song can I sing/But the songs that You give/I have nothing to bring that did not come from Your hand/So here I am with all I have/And I’m giving it all back to You/All back to You/I surrender”.
‘You are Being Loved’ is a fast-paced pop/rock number that reminds us just how God feels towards us: “You ought to see the smile you’re bringing to your Father’s face/You ought to hear Him sing His version of ‘Amazing Grace’/’Cause that’s the song being sung over you/By the God who breathes life into you/You are being loved (2X)/Right now at this very moment/You are being loved (2X)/Right now you are being loved, loved, loved”. ‘Definition of Me’ is a bouncy pop song that debunks works righteousness: “It is Your love that defines me/And Your love that reminds me/It’s not what I do/This life I live You have given/And in You I am hidden/This is what I know is true/That the definition of me is You”.
Steven co-wrote ‘With One Voice’ with Matt Redman. These words rejoice in the brotherhood and sisterhood of believers: “With one voice we will sing/Every tribe and every tongue brings a harmony/With one voice we will bring/Heaven’s beautiful melody down to this earth/As we sing to our King with one voice/Oceans divide us, but we sing together/Now what defines us is our love of You/From every nation and across all borders/Gathered to bring the song to the world/For Your glory”. This CINDERELLA EDITION of THIS MOMENT includes four bonus songs, starting with a nice acoustic rendition of ‘Cinderella’. ‘Proud’ is a tender song many parents will relate to: “Proud, I’m just so proud/I don’t know how to say it any better/Proud, you made me proud/Win or lose, well it doesn’t really matter/’Cause you step up to the plate swinging for the fence/And you’re going to change the world around you, I’m convinced/Just look how you’re changing me”.
‘What I’m Fighting For’ is a heart-tugger told from the perspective of a soldier: “There’s a little girl in Georgia lying in her bed tonight/While her mother holds her close and whispers/’It’s gonna be alright’/And they’ll pray themselves to sleep/And dream about the day when I’ll come walking back through the door/’Cause this is what I’m fighting for”. Steven co-wrote the closer, ‘Beautiful Scars’, with his good friend Geoff Moore. It includes these poetic thoughts: “I love who you are and your beautiful scars, your beautiful scars/Reminders of the wounded love that has carried us this far/Beautiful scars/Turning the marks of our pain into beautiful scars”.
THIS MOMENT: CINDERELLA EDITION is a perfect album. It clearly stresses God’s unconditional love for us. I actually listened to it for the first time after coming home from a church I was checking out, where the sermon had left me depressed. The pastor said things like: “God only uses clean people”, “What would Jesus think of what you’re watching on television?”, and “If you’re really a believer, you’ll be witnessing”. The sermon only re-enforced my dislike for works righteousness. So, listening to this Steven Curtis Chapman album was a real uplifting treat for me. It encouraged my spirit and re-enforced my belief that God loves us, period. We can’t earn or lose His love. I’m rating this great pop/rock album 100%. For more info visit: www.stevencurtischapman.com.