Yeah, so I haven't blogged in a while. Sorry about that, it's been a wild couple of weeks.
Three weeks ago I was in St. Louis for the big Christian booksellers convention. The convention isn't as big as it used to be, since, well, there aren't as many Christian retailers as there used to be, but it's still by far the best place to do a bunch of press interviews all in one spot. I think I did about 15 different radio, TV and print interviews in the span of about 36 hours. And boy were my arms tired. Okay, not my arms… but boy was I tired. It's fun to talk about What's in the Bible, and I get really energized when I'm describing the work God has us doing, but as an introvert, I'm totally wiped out afterward. Now we wait to see what impact all those interviews will have on the new series.
The week after that was the annual Vischer Family Reunion up at my grandpa's farm in southeast Michigan. All my uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews come in for a week of fun and fireworks at grandpa's lake. (I'm in charge of the fireworks show. Whee!) About 40 people stay in two houses spread across a 60 acre farm. It's a little bit nuts, but it's the highlight of the year for my kids.
And then last week – related to the prior week – my grandpa Vischer passed away at age 95. He'd been declining pretty rapidly for the last year or so, and I had speculated to a friend that I thought he'd probably hang on until the 4th of July when the whole family was there, and then as we all packed up and headed home, he would too. And sure enough, the week after the big family reunion, Grandpa went home for a reunion of his own. If you've read my book, this is the guy who bought me my first puppet and loaned me his Super8 home movie camera to make my first animated films. He was also the first person on Earth to buy a VeggieTales video – sending in a check and an order for two copies before the first video was even halfway produced. He ended up buying about two cases (literally) of that first video, passing them out to friends and family all over Michigan and Ohio. So he was a pretty significant guy in my life.
But he went peacefully in his sleep about four hours after we had all gathered around him in his room to sing some good old fashioned hymns. And now he is finally back together with my grandmother (his beloved "DeNell"), who has been waiting for him in heaven for more than 15 years. Let's hear it for a godly heritage.
So, anyway, that's why I haven't blogged in a bit. I'll be a little more reliable going forward…
Oh, by the way, if you work at Focus on the Family or have access to their chapel services, I'll be the chapel speaker this Friday morning. See you there.
Now… back to work!
Phil, you have my condolences and…congratulations, or something. God has blessed and continues to bless your family in such an amazing way through Grandpa Vischer. What a sad (for you) and amazing thing to send such a faithful occupier of this land “into the West.”
I’m sorry to hear of your loss. Thank you for sharing your story and thank God for such a great grandfather. God bless you and your family through this time.
I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sure your grandfather is with God now. As well as with your grandmother. I’ll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Will you be dedicating one or any of your DVDs in his memory?
Just a thought.
Glad to hear from you Phil. Keep the posts coming. 🙂
i’m sorry to hear about your grandpa phil, god bless
Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man and more than a puppet or video camera, he left a legacy of faith in your family! What a blessing and we all are grateful for the investment he made in your life and ministry. Thank you Grandpa Vischer!
Seriously, we should all be thanking Grandpa Vischer! Although it is still nice to hear your working hard at God’s work.
Phil, what a blessing it must have been to have a grandfather such as that; and we certainly understand taking a break to contemplate his life! My kids and I VERY MUCH enjoyed meeting you today at Focus on the Family, even if only for a brief moment (we were the 3rd ones in line–Everett, Emmett, and Elizabeth). Everett was just aghast that you haven’t gone down the big slide at Focus! I hope you remedied that before you left 🙂
apologeticsguy.comapologeticsguy.comBe encouraged, my brother. “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way” (2 Thess. 3:16).
Your work blesses us and our kids. In fact, our church is incorporating Jelly Telly into our Sunday School curriculumn right now!
I actually just mentioned you in a blog about the Cosmological Argument showing up in Buck Denver’s Mailbag:
Jelly Telly Apologetics. Hope the screen shot and the partial transcript is OK with you. Check it out!
Thanks for all you do, Phil!
Hi Phil. It was great to get to meet you at the CBA Convention in St. Louis. Most of all, I LOVED your Pacesetter speech! My family has been in Christian retail for 26 years, and your speech pegged the trends & history of it perfectly. Could you post that speech, so those who weren’t there to hear it can read it? Also, thank you for What’s in the Bible. This is valuable information for kids, but there is a lot that we adults can learn from it too. It’s great to see the Bible put together in the big picture, rather than taken in bits and stories. Keep ’em coming!
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Phil:-( It’s always hard when we lose someone so special who helped us chart through life.
I’m praying that you will feel His Holy Spirit in an especially vivid way right now. It must have been great to have a man like that cheering you on. My Dad’s father was a preacher, and when he died, the minister said it seemed more like he was just taken up into heaven directly, like Enoch. I get the same feeling about your grandfather.
I’m glad he put his Super8 movie camera on the line for you.
Del Tackett, one of your FOTF co-workers, had a great blog entry about his dad.
It is mixed emotions when a person of solid faith passes like that.
I too would love to see your speech from Pacestter posted, it was GREAT! Thank you for What’s in the Bible, it teaches so much in a unique way. I am also really enjoying the Bentley Brothers songs. 🙂
your family sounds like sucha blessing. I pray my family can get together like that one day, if not here-in Heaven. Condolences and God bless you! PS. I keep watching Junior’s “God loves me”, the Spirit speaks thru it a lot- i feel so energized, had to tell you.
You gave such an entertaining talk at the MOPS Convention this afternoon! I especially loved the history of the media portion on how Christians weren’t “on the boat” in the first place.
By chance, did you have a sister that was a cheerleading coach at Indiana Wesleyan University? I remember seeing a clip of Veggie Tales before it went public at her house many years ago. She said her brother was one of the creators.
Well if you’re ever in Pleasanton, California it’d be SO great to have you speak at for my MOPS group. 😀 My daughter’ s a HUGE fan of Veggie Tales and always wondering how she can meet Larry one day.
Thanks for sharing!
God blessed you with a wonderful grandfather Phil. I’m glad he had one last hoorah with the whole crew. Now he’s one of the cloud of witnesses cheering you on. God bless you and your family and your work.
I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I’ll be praying for you and your family.
Phil, our heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family for the loss of your Grandpa. He is now resting peacefully in the arms of our Lord and Savior.
I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa passing. I had the nagging feeling for the last few months that I should call or come visit. Uncle Harold will surely be missed by us. Blessings and prayers to you and your family.
Dear Phil, I was wondering if you need any long distance puppeteers in Spokane, Washington? If so please let me know what type of character you would like. I would love the opportunity to be a part of your world. It has been my dream for a number of years to be the Christian version of Jim Henson. I believe you are on your way with “What’s in the Bible” and Jelly Telly.
I am not a stalker, I am a children’s pastor with a dream and a fair ability with puppets.
Let me know.
Blessings to you and your ministry, no matter what.
Hi, I’ve just finished “Me, Myself, & Bob”. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Blessings to you!! I tried to follow up on the note inside the back cover, referring the reader to your website for ‘… an additional unpublished chapter of his book!’.
I can’t find it on your website.
i heard you today on the radio here in San Diego thank you. I’m encouraged to open a skating room with 100% church music or gospel music. It’s an idea, and i’m willing to let go if needs be, lord help me. Blessings to you sir and congrats to your grandpa he’s in heaven chill’n with the most high. I wonder if he has seen Elijah? i’ll like to ask him what was the look on Bahl Prophets face, when it hit them like a brick that they were serving a phony god. ok I’m done
Sorry to hear of your loss, Phil. Isn’t it wonderful, though, to know he is celebrating in our Saviour’s presence. Keep up the good work for the Kingdom, and thanks for sharing your story. It’s an encouragement and reminder to keep seeking God’s plan each step of the way. If you ever wander up to the “thumb” o’ Michigan… well, anyhow.