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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations

All things new

With 47 Dove Awards, four Grammys, an American Music Award and 41 No. 1 radio hits, you might think Steven Curtis Chapman has done it all. But God is making all things new for Chapman and his wife of 20 years, Mary Beth. At press time, the Chapmans were headed to China to bring home their third adopted daughter in five years. Baby Maria joins Emily (18), Caleb (14), Will Franklin (13), Shaohannah (5) and Stevey Joy (2) to make the Chapmans a family of eight.

Chapman is preparing for the September release of All Things New, his 14th album, and the All Things New tour starting in October. The project follows All About Love, a collection of love songs dedicated to Mary Beth. Chapman spoke recently with Assistant Editor Ashli O’Connell about the greatest loves of his life — his growing family, his career as a Christian musician, and the God who makes all things new.

PE: What does All Things New mean to you?

CHAPMAN: This is a new season in our lives. Our oldest daughter, Emily, is leaving the nest for college and starting a new life, and we’ve begun a new chapter with three adopted daughters. The excitement of that combined with what God has been teaching me about renewal began to stir my soul. I recently lost my voice for about three months and this was the first regular project for me since God gave me my voice back. I want to encourage people that no matter what you’re going through right now, God is making all things new for you.

PE: All About Love paints a beautiful picture of your relationship with Mary Beth. It seems like you have the ideal Christian marriage. Was there ever a crisis point?

CHAPMAN: Absolutely. We had a fire that destroyed our apartment when Emily was about 5 weeks old. We had her very early in our marriage. I was 22 and Mary Beth was 21. The fire rocked us big time. We were so young. We were new parents and we didn’t even understand how to love each other. With the fire, all our glaring differences came screaming to the surface.

That was a devastating time for us. But, even then, we decided we were going to cling to each other even though we didn’t understand each other. We intentionally ran to each other instead of to our parents. A few years later we were shaken when my parents divorced.

PE: What impact did that have on your marriage?

CHAPMAN: It devastated me and, in some ways, even my faith. They seemed to have it together and we were convinced that if we just followed their example, we would be great. I really had to wrestle with that. The song “I Will Be Here” came from that time. It was steely determination to say, “Tomorrow morning even if we don’t feel anything for each other, I am going to be here. Till death separates us, we are going to be together.”

At that point we got some counseling. We were radically different people. We were very young. We were both control freaks. It was a really hard time. There were issues that both of us brought into the marriage that started to come out. All of that was part of the process for us and continues to be. I could go through every album, every tour, because there is a point when literally hell sounds the trumpet and Satan releases his demons to come and attack the Chapman family. We pray and we get a lot of others praying, and we seek God and we seek counsel and by the grace of God we’ve journeyed through many crisis times. God has been faithful. We’ve found that in our weakness, His strength is perfect.

PE: As a family of eight with all the work you do on the road, how do you and Mary Beth maintain a sense of family?

CHAPMAN: I’m very blessed. My wife is an incredible woman. She’s determined to keep us connected. And I’m determined and passionate about that as well. I think the great danger about what I do is that I can get so consumed that the family begins to suffer. Mary Beth is good about saying, “Hey, the family is starting to get the leftovers.” She’s very supportive about my career, but she’ll be the squeaky wheel if I start to get too caught up in it.

PE: What are the keys to keeping a Christian family together?

CHAPMAN: The Christian family is in a war. No question about it. While it’s true that the family that prays together stays together, that has a lot of implications. It’s not enough to just pray; you must respond when God’s answer to your prayer is that you need to take time with your family and invest yourself in things that don’t always come easily to you.

We’re not fighting this war alone, but we’ve got to be willing to show up for the battle. You’re not the enemy and your spouse is not the enemy, but there is an enemy who is very real.

Mary Beth and I have survived by staying accountable to each other and to godly friends and by being super-painfully honest. I think that’s the reason my love album is full of songs that say, “God, I’m a clueless man. I don’t know how to love a woman well.” But that is my greatest ministry. It’s more important than being a good Christian artist, being a good communicator, being a good songwriter, being a good musician. I want to be a lover of my wife, a lover of my family, most of all a lover of God. I’m honest enough to say I don’t always know how to do that very well. If we really did have the perfect marriage that my songs might sometimes falsely imply, I wouldn’t need Jesus. I’m just a desperate man.

PE: Tell me about your journey to adopt three little girls.

CHAPMAN: It began when Emily started praying for a little sister. We had good friends who had adopted, and we believed we are all called according to James 1 to care for orphans and widows. We just thought our job was to support those who are called to the front lines, but Emily felt otherwise. She began to pray and even write letters to us and leave them on our pillows at night. She felt God was telling her this was what we were supposed to do. And she was right.

We were terrified of the idea of going back to the world of cribs, highchairs and car seats. We had everybody in school and we were through that stage of life. With all the struggles in our marriage and with what I do, it just felt like having another baby would be the straw to break the camel’s back. But it proved to be one of the greatest healing instruments in our marriage and in our home.

PE: Why did you choose China?

CHAPMAN: Several people explained to us the great need in China — there are 15 to 17 million orphans there — and asked us to consider China. Eventually we felt that God was saying, “You have a daughter and she’s in China. You need to go get her.” We thought we had one daughter in China — but we found out we had not one, but three, daughters in China.

PE: Tell me about the foundation, Shaohannah’s Hope, that you started in honor of your oldest adopted daughter.

CHAPMAN: The miracle of adoption is something we’ve come to see is absolutely at the center of God’s heart. It is one of the greatest invitations God has ever given us to know His heart because He is an adoptive Father. It’s one of the ways He defines himself in Psalms — as a Father to the fatherless. It’s become our passion.

When we started the foundation we hoped to engage the church and reduce the financial burden for Christian families that wanted to adopt. So we give grants at an average of $4,000 to families that qualify. We’ve helped about 120 families to date and we have another 1,000 waiting in line. I’m completely blown away by what God has done.

You can learn more about Shaohannah’s Hope at

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