Imagine this?I get a phone call from Regis He says, “Do you want to be a millionaire?”
They put me on the show and I win with two lifelines to spare
Now picture this?I act like nothing ever happened
And bury all the money in a coffee can
Well, I've been given more than Regis ever gave away
I was a dead man who was called to come out of my grave
And I think it's time for makin' some noise Wake the neighbors, get the word out
Come on?crank up the music?climb a mountain and shout
This is life we've been given made to be lived out
So la la la la live out loud
Live out loud, yeah
—Steven Curtis Chapman, Live Out Loud
Okay, so I promised to give a blurb about the SCC Live Out Loud concert yesterday. Unfortunately, my allergies had different intentions, and I really didn't feel up to writing anything “just for fun.” But, never fear, I'm feeling much more like myself today, and so I'm just a day late on this.
Probably most folks reading this are going to know who Steven Curtis Chapman is, but just in case you don't… He's one of the most popular CCM/Christian Rock artists out there, up in the ranks with Michael W. Smith (Smitty is probably better known since he has done some stuff outside of the Christian genre as well). Anyway, SCC is apparently also the award winningist (is that a word?) Christian artist, nabbing 40+ Dove awards and numerous Grammy's as well.
The concert started out with Nichole Nordman, who I had never heard of before I got the ticket for the event. I'm certainly glad I heard her though - she is extremely talented in both singing and songwriting. This was someone who truly fit well opening an SCC concert. I really liked her songs “Holy” (from the new CD “Woven & Spun”) and “Seasons,” in fact, I now have her newly released CD sitting on my desk waiting to be played.
Things just keep getting better. After about 30 minutes of music from Nordeman, Chapman came literally bouncing out onto the stage singing “Live Out Loud” from his Declaration cd. He went on for about 45 minutes or so, going through “Speechless” (one of my favorite songs of his), Fingerprints of God (which the band “helped” him sing), The Change, and some other great songs. Then he took a small break in the music and talked for a bit. He talked about God, and his family, and adoption - all kinds of stuff, all seasoned with a light touch of humor. SCC is an extremely good showman, and all of the pauses in the music were almost as enjoyable as the music itself.
He did a few more songs, and then there was an intermission half way through the concert. After the intermission, Chapman did some more songs from his new CD, and then did something really different. As part of a tie-in with the new movie Beyond the Gates of Splendor, he told the true story that movie is based on, with music from his new CD.
In short, the spectacular story is that of five young missionaries who venture down to the Amazon to try to make contact with the fierce Auca tribe in the 1950's. No one had ever made friendly contact with the tribe, but after dropping off gifts for a number of days, the band of missionaries successfully established contact. Unfortunately, it was short lived, and a day later radio messages stopped being broadcast by the team. A few days later a U.S. Air Force rescue team dispatched to locate them confirmed all of the missionaries dead - implailed with spears, their bodies tossed in the river or left on the beach. Amazingly, the story doesn't end there - one missionary's sister came down and started to learn the fierce tribe's language. Three years after the original slaughter, the tribe invited her to come talk to them about her message.
The result is nothing short of spectacular: the tribe that has a 60% homicide rate rejected “their bad path” and converted to Christianity or the “good path” as they call it. They renamed themselves “the people,” renounced their former ways, and set out to follow God's carvings (the Bible). And the missionary then remained there, living with the people until her death in 1994. In the mean time, her nephew (Steve Saint) was “adopted” by one of the tribesmen that killed his father, and he too became good friends with the tribe. Fast forward to 2002: Mincaye, the Indian, and Steve Saint (whose father Mincaye murdered) are on the road together with Chapman. After Chapman finished telling the story in song, Steve Saint comes out and talks for a little while, and then Mincaye himself comes out and gives his testimony (which Saint translates to English). Very powerful, and all wrapped up by a moving duet with Chapman singing in English and Mincaye in his native tongue.
Anyway, after that SCC sang a few more songs (including his older Great Adventure and the one he wrote a few weeks ago for the 9/11 rememberance service in NY) and wrapped up the concert with a reprise of Live Out Loud. Then, for the encore, Chapman did three or four more songs, including my favorite - “Dive.” What an amazing scene - thousands of Christians in an arena singing with Chapman about diving into river (God's Holy Spirit). Finally, after a quite ending, Chapman closed the concert with a prayer.In all, it was WONDERFUL. Barring the fact that my ears rang from the loud music until the next morning, it was fantastic. SCC was great, and both him and Nordeman did a great job of keeping the focus on God. The added testimony of Mincaye added something amazing to the evening. To use the words Chapman said “[the presentation will] make you leave this place different.” It certainly did - seeing the amazing power of God in such a visable way. Certainly Saint had to overcome the fact that he couldn't see the big picture that God could, or as one of the songs put it:
God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He's painting
God is God and I am man
So I'll never understand it all
For only God is God
UPDATE (21 April 2012): I happened to stumble upon this set list for the concert I wrote about just under 10 years ago. Interesting.