Just when Steven Curtis Chapman thought the roller coaster of life couldn't take him on any new twists or turns, it did. "The last year or two of my life has had even higher hills and much lower drops

Just when Steven Curtis Chapman thought the roller coaster of life couldn't take him on any new twists or turns, it did.

"The last year or two of my life has had even higher hills and much lower drops," he says, indicating experiences that include adopting a daughter and the untimely death of a friend.

Like most songwriters, Chapman began funneling the emotion of these milestones through his music. The result is "Declaration," his 12th Sparrow album, due Oct. 2.

With 44 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards (including seven nods as best male vocalist and nine for songwriter of the year), four Grammys, five gold albums, and two platinum ones to his credit, Chapman has forged a hugely successful career by embracing life's ups and downs -- then channeling them into his music.

On "Declaration," Chapman paints from the most colorful emotional palette ever. The songs range from the tender ballad "When Love Takes You In," written for daughter Shaohannah, an infant the family adopted last year from China, to the effervescent profession of faith "Live Out Loud," the album's first single.

Co-produced by Chapman and Brown Bannister, "Declaration" features the artist's road band instead of studio players. It also offers collaborations with longtime songwriting pals Geoff Moore and James Isaac Elliott, as well as with Chapman's son, Caleb, who contributed to "See the Glory."

The album's release arrives as Chapman is recovering from a partially paralyzed vocal chord that resulted from a viral infection. "Since it wasn't nerve damage from surgery or an accident," Chapman explains, "the doctors feel sure that it will restore itself and heal."

Although Chapman's speaking voice was not affected, he is having trouble with the upper registers of his singing voice. Despite this, the artist still plans to embark on a promotional tour that will have him on the road for two weeks in conjunction with the album's retail release, says Greg Bays, Sparrow's VP of sales/market development. In order to spread the word about the new album, Chapman appeared at both the Celebrate Freedom festival in Dallas and Freedom Live in Tulsa, Okla., during the Independence Day holiday week.