Monday, May 2, 2011

Message from Jim Koan, Superintendent

“La, la, la, la Live out loud.” This was the Steven Curtis Chapman song ringing in our ears Saturday night as we left the concert in Peoria. “There’s a life we’ve been given, meant to be lived out, so la-la-la-la live out loud.”

These words and this song would be so trite – if not for the fact they were penned and sung by Steven, who lost his young adopted daughter three short years ago in a tragic family accident in Tennessee. This multiple Dove Award winner and best selling Christian musician has inspired me, and my family, for more than 20 years: Great Adventure, Dive, Speechless, to name a few. We went to the concert anticipating great music, little realizing how great a testimony of God’s grace awaited us.

His music, indeed his very faith, has been tested by the fire of unfathomable pain…and his faith and the lyrics he’s penned for 20+ years have stood firm. We heard from Steven’s own lips that were it up to him or his wife Mary Beth, they would turn back the hands of time to the day before the accident of May 2008 and once again hold their daughter Maria Sue in their arms. That said, they learned, and we can learn and know, that God’s greatness and His all-sufficient grace is proved in the fire of adversity and to-the-bone pain and sorrow. His grace endures no matter the circumstance; “His mercy endures forever.´(Psalm 136)

I pray that you and I never know the kind of loss the Chapman family has absorbed, but I know we are in the hands of the very same God who gave hope and confidence and healing to Steven, to Mary Beth and to the Chapman family, such that night after night with unshakable conviction Steven testifies in song about heaven and a loving heavenly Father and all the things God intends for us to experience here on this earth. He knows they are true because God is faithful in our time of greatest need…we know that is true too.

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You! Psalm 84:10-12

1 comment:

  1. Jim,

    God is indeed faithful--during our most difficult times. Thanks for sharing the story of Steven Curtis Chapman.


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