Monday Melody – Great Expectations

We bid a fond farewell to April today, friends.  Is it me or is the year zipping by?

I spent some time this weekend indulging my latest weakness, Pinterest!  I love pinning!  Check out my boards, guys!

Song/Album: “Great Expectations” by Steven Curtis Chapman on the album Speechless.

Why it made the cut:   This Monday Melody was the hardest one for me to choose, but it’s probably one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve ever written.  Speechless is one of those few albums, by any artist, on which I genuinely like all of the tracks; hence, my dilemma.

“Great Expectations” is essentially a call to step up our prayer game.  Steven Curtis Chapman (SCC) encourages us to recognize the routine we can get into as people of prayer and to not simply pray more, but to recognize who you are (a child of God), who you are in relationship with (God Himself), and how vast is His supply and magnitude of answers to our prayers.

SCC sums up the focus of the song and gives a great acoustic performance of it here.

From the first notes that meld piano and percussion, evoking our sense of expectation as we approach God, to the lush orchestration at the bridge and the crescendo at the end, SCC takes us on a journey into the wonder of the premise upon which our prayer lives are built.  As children of God, we are invited into His presence; let’s be eager and faith-filled as we enter the throne room!  We limit God with our small expectations; let’s pray big prayers and expect bigger answers!

Artist: Steven Curtis Chapman is probably one of the most prolific Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) singer/songwriters of the 20th century.  This native of Paducah, Kentucky, has won a record 56 Dove awards, as well as five Grammys, and has released 20 albums and sold more than 10 million units.

SCC, as he is affectionately known, is an outstanding vocalist who plays numerous instruments, including guitar, piano, drums, mandolin, and dobro. Blessed with a facility for turning words and images in life-changing songs, Chapman is deeply admired for not just his music, but for his faith, which has been tested by loss and adversity; his philanthropy; and his advocacy for adoption.

Almost four years ago, Chapman and his wife Mary Beth lost their youngest adopted daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident on their property.  Last year, his wife published “Choosing to SEE:  A Journey of Struggle and Hope,” a heart-wrenching memoir of the Chapman family’s life and of losing Maria.  In Maria’s honor, in 2009 they opened Maria’s Big House, a medical care center in China that provides holistic care to orphans with special needs.

Chapman’s 17th album, “Re: creation” was released last summer and features five new songs, along with reworkings of eight of his most loved tunes.  He describes the album as “a chance for me to say:  ‘Friends, you’ve prayed for us and loved us so much.  I want you to know it’s okay to laugh with us.  We’re still going to cry, but know that we feel like we’re coming into a new season and the sun is coming up.'”

Favorite lyrics:

So wake the hope that slumbers in my soul
Stir the fire inside and make it glow
I’m trusting in a love that has no end 
The Savior of this world has called me friend!

Sweet spots:  I love the opening and closing of the song, but in between, there’s that precious fusion of guitar, strings, and piano at 2:15 that leads to the bridge at 2:36.  

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