I surprised Michael for Christmas and bought him SCC’s new CD and tickets to his concert in Austin. I think the last time I saw him in concert was ’92 at Baylor’s Welcome Week. I remember his telling stories about his young kids knocking each other over the head and other crazy, silly things that they did.
Fast forward 15 years later…and those “young kids” are now teenagers playing in his band!
It was such a fun evening. We got to Austin around 4:00 and checked into our hotel – sidenote here: we did Priceline again and ended up with a room at the Holiday Inn. The last time we stayed in a Holiday Inn was about 12 years ago, and there is good reason we have not stayed there since. So I was a little worried. You know how squeemish I am about hotel rooms. But I was pleasantly surprised! The room was clean and quiet and GLORY! there were white linens on the bed!!
So we took a quick nap (Michael has been battling the flu all week and was feeling well enough to make the trip, but still got really tired), grabbed Subway for dinner, and got to the church right before 6:00. The doors didn’t open until 6:30, but someone was nice enough to let us in from the cold so we could sit in the coffee bar area. Long story short, we were one of the first in line at the door and ended up in the center on the FOURTH ROW!
I must help you understand how very exciting this evening was for us. Steven Curtis Chapman is probably one of four Christian icons who has had huge spiritual influence on me (Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, and Max Lucado being the other three). I first heard his music in 1990 when I bought More to This Life, and I think I practically wore out that cassette tape over the course of one summer! We have every one of his albums, and he’s been doing this for 21 years. A few words come to mind:
So when he took the stage and began the concert by leading a worship time, I really really tried to engage my heart and focus. I really did. But I just kept thinking, “That’s STEVEN FREAKIN’ CURTIS CHAPMAN right in front of me!!!” I was totally star-struck. (I know he would be completely dismayed to hear of that – his heart is so humble and worship-focused.)
But my star-struckedness was not the only distraction. In the row in front of us stood a Tony Robbins-looking man who was quite vocal. Lots of “AMEN!”s and “THAT’S RIGHT!” and “YES LORD!” Kind sir, while I appreciate your enthusiasm, please take it down a notch. Seriously.
And then there was 7 year old Christian sitting behind me. Little Christian was making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Very loudly. And very off-key. God bless his little heart. Little dude, I paid to hear SCC’s inspired musical talents, not yours. Tone it down a bit.
Distractions aside, it was an AMAZING concert. SCC started at 7:30 and wrapped it up about 10:45, and he included so many of his old songs. We loved it. It’s so cool how Michael and I grew up listening to his music, and we still appreciate all of it, and now our kids sit strapped in their carseats singing along to these same songs.
But here’s what impressed me the most: Caleb and Will Franklin. There they were, all “grown up” and playing with their dad, but worshiping along with him with an obvious joy and faith that was all their own. Caleb actually has his own CD now and led a worship time as a sort of “opening act.” And I started thinking, how do you get kids like that? What was it that they saw and experienced that drew them to the faith of their mom and dad? I think it goes back to my list. Authenticity. Passion. Transparency.
My heart’s desire is for our three kids to grow up to claim their own faith in God, for them to worship passionately in truth and delight, to experience His life in them, to be used by Him. I hope I can model the kind of authenticity that leads Meghan, Griffin, and Nathan to a belief that is their own.
Oh, and little Christian? Turns out his family was chosen to receive the offering for Show Hope, an organization SCC and his wife started to help Christian families with the expense of adoption. Christian’s family went up on stage at the end of the concert to be introduced – they are in the process of adopting a little girl from China, whom they have named Hannah, and who has a cleft lip and palate. I will bet that Christian will grow up with a heart for God and be used of God for great things because of the obedience and faith of his parents. I would even venture to say that, based on all the joyful noise, he’s well on his way.
This was awesome: in the middle of the concert, he stopped and played requests (from his website) of old, old songs and tracks that weren’t necessarily ever released. Will Franklin is on his right playing the percussion box thing. (We were hoping he would play “This Could Be Love, Or It Could Be the Flu” but he didn’t.)
What a great weekend!!!