Staff Picks: Between Heaven and the Real World

August 18, 2017
Note: Throughout this series one of our staff members will be giving you a recommendation and/or a brief review from the world of music, movies, TV or literature. Hopefully this will serve as a way to see inside the head of our staff members and direct you towards some listening, viewing or reading material for your own personal growth and enjoyment. Today’s post is from our administrative assistant, Emily DiLorenzo.

Confession: Steven Curtis Chapman’s albums from the 90s are still a guilty pleasure of mine. And don’t get me started on his Christmas album… I cry every year. Growing up, I can remember countless car rides with my mom listening to “The Great Adventure” and singing along at the top of my lungs. I’ve sang multiple SCC songs at churches, weddings, and I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t a musical influence in my life.

So it’s no surprise that I couldn’t wait to read “Between Heaven and The Real World.” (A book I actually got for my mom, but soon borrowed as soon as she finished!) I took the book down to the pool, thinking the 400 pages would get me through the summer, but quickly discovered that this memoir was actually quite the page turner. In fact, I ended up finishing the book in one sitting! Not only was I surprised how much MORE than just a “biography” this book turned out to be, but I was even more blown away by how relevant and relate-able SCC’s life story was.

In fact, even if you’ve never heard one song by SCC, I’m willing to bet there is at least one theme in his story that you will be able to connect with as a fellow Christian. That’s why I’m recommending “Between Heaven and The Real World” be your next summer read. (Warning: I ended up sobbing through multiple parts of this book – you may want to make sure you have a towel to cover your face with if you’re in a public place!)

Yes, it will be an interesting account of musical guy who went from being a nobody and struggled to get to the top, only to become one of the most top-awarded Christian artists in history. But at the heart, it’s a story of a brother-in-Christ, who faced marital struggles, battled with pride and found true humility, and suffered the tragic loss of a child. Half-way through the book you’ll realize that you’ve completely forgotten you’re even reading about someone “famous” and you’ll find that you are simply connecting with the journey of another Christ follower. I was incredibly moved and encouraged to see that someone like SCC – who has access to all the best things and people in the industry – still struggled relentlessly with the same type of things I struggle with in my walk! But what’s more encouraging is that he persevered through these things the same way you and I would and came out better for it.

If you’re struggling in your marriage, if you feel inadequate in your abilities, if you can’t figure out how to build the Kingdom without building your ego, if you are walking through an intense journey of grief, this book is for you. God will speak to you, encourage you, and show you that He can work in your life just like he did in Steven Curtis Chapman’s. We may not be Grammy award winning musicians, but we are all living “between heaven and the real world.” Let this book be an encouragement to you in that space.