Phil Vischer Homecoming Chapel - Oct. 2012
Veggietales creator Phil Vischer speaks during JBU Homecoming
1st male- please welcome with me, Phil Vischer.
Phil Vischer- Good morning! Wow! I'm loud. It's fun to be loud, um.I was trying to figure how to follow "the silly song" it was uh.
Mimicking BoB- "Gee Larry, I don't think you should be a bubble they have somewhat short life expectancies even compared to vegetables"
Mimicking Larry- "Ya, okay bob your right"
Back in regular voice- I'm not actually Larry because people, people, Larry's the silly guy you know and Bob has to be the serious guy so little kids all love Larry and so they meet me and say
Mimicking a child- "Do Larry, Do Larry.
Back in regular voice- and I say that's my friend Mark he gets to be the silly guy and all the kids love him and I you know...when he wrote his first script the first video that he wrote that was Madam Blueberry, it was like um number 7 I think and, and he was so nervous about actually to teach anything that when he got to the part of the story where he knew the teaching should go he left it blank and said "teaching will go here" and handed me the script. Okay, Mike?
English voice- But you know we all do what we can and we make do what we got and...(normal voice) there you go. (high English voice)and now it's time for city songs with Larry the part of the show that he comes out and delivers a chapel address.
Back in normal voice- Um...I guess chapel is required attendance right? you have to come a certain number in a year and that's how I got kicked out of bible college which I think I told you that. I told you that story. Mike and I both failed chapel um and um at the school we went to it was St.Paul Bible college up in the Twin Cities and at that time if you failed chapel two semester in a row you were not invited back for a third semester you had to sit our a semester and that's when I came to Chicago and got into film making. Um they change the policy now they realized that it was a really good way to lose intuition dollars when you kick out people who actually want to keep paying you money I've also been chapel ed at Liberty University where attendance was also required but if you skipped there they fine you, see that is more affective then... you make money off lazy students instead of losing money off lazy students. So, you know if your rethinking your chapel strategy then, I suggest healthy fines are a good way. (laugh) you like that idea um. so last time I was here I talked about dreams and specifically my dreams and what I wanted to do for God and how I wanted to change the world and all that and how God let that fall apart and how I learned a really valuable lesson that I was making the work I was doing for Him more important then my relationship with Him and it made me miserable so I learned to let go and that's what I kind of what I talked about last time and how ended up and if your freshmen and you weren't here and sorry but if your freshmen who failed and your freshmen for the second time in a row and apparently the talk did you no good what so ever...try to work harder this year. Uh, but I had a lot people saying okay what if I give up and let go and give up that ambition I just walk with God then how do we live? and even more importantly how do we do work for God? and so they would come to me and say will Phil since you started this what are you doing now? How does this work for you? and intentionally I say I don't know I haven't gotten that fair give me a year or two and I will get there, but now I have had a few years and I actually have a point of view of how we shall live and do work for God without going back to clinging to dream until the make us miserable. Um, I've been speaking a lot lately and I've been speaking a lot to a lot of children pastors, children ministries workers and to a lot of Christian filmmakers, Christian film making conferences and I notice when I look out at them they all look kind of tired uh if your children ministry work, I mean think about it you're lock in a church basement with four year old's, no natural light, no one notice what you are doing unless it goes horribly wrong and then everyone notices what you are doing it's not really, I mean it's a thankless job. And children ministry worker can be a pretty stress out anxious bunch. Christian film makers a vase majority of Christian film maker have never actually been allowed to film. Okay, that can be a bit discouraging. They've tried to make film and shop around scripts, they've knocked on doors they've tried to raise money some of them for years while working at Starbucks maybe about 5% of Christian film makers have ever made a film, so that can discourage too. So I look out at these people and when I give these talks and they look tired, they look fatigue, the look a little stress, they look on the edge of burnout, in short they look the way I look ten to fifteen years ago living on the edge of burnout. Last time I was here I talked about dreams this time I want to talk about burdens. Which is related, different yet similar. So, fifteen years ago we launched um actually Madam Blueberry that's when it took off that's when Veggies Tales really exploded when Madam Blueberry came out in 1997 I believe and um our record labor was so excited that they flew up from Nashville and took us all out for dinner to celebrate that we turned over the nmaster for the VHS cassette and they were going to make a lot. Do you remember VHS cassettes? you know they were heavy cds/dvds. They took us out to dinner in Chicago and I was driving home from that dinner and I started to have chest pains and being a stoic Norwegian stock I just ignored it and went home and went to bed and about two in the morning I couldn't sleep I absolutely couldn't sleep because there was so much pain that I decided okay I have to do something so I got up and drove to the emergency room did not tell my mom wife where I was going which I wouldn't recommend that in general for those who aren't yet married if you ever feel the needs to drive yourself to emergency room in the middle of the night, let your wife know because she will wake up and wonder and if you in fact you don't make it to the emergency room it would be nice if someone knew that's where you were headed. So drove myself to the emergency room and within five minutes of getting there I find myself lying on my back on a gurney under a sign that says critical, and I thought that was kind of funny, why does that sign say critical? I asked the nurse who just came in and she put some kind of tablet under my tongue and she said "because you're critical" and she walked away...laugh...and I honestly was thinking is this how I'm going to go? I mean is this the end of the road? They thought I was having a heart attack once they finally got a cardiologist awake, to look at the EKG it was like three o'clock in the morning...he said "No I don't think he is having a heart attack but do this test and do this test and they discovered that I had pericarditist which is a viral infection in the lining of your heart and basically the area of your heart starts to fill up with fluid and eventually if you don't do anything about it, it will crush your heart so it can't beat and they tell me it's bad. But if they give you tons of antibiotics and stay in bed for two weeks it goes away and you recover, so I recovered but we went in to do a follow up appointment with the doctor with my wife and my wife asked the obvious question "how do you get pericarditis?" the Doctor looked at me and then looked at her and said "is he under much stress?" the next year I got strep throat the year after that I got shingles an infection of the nervous system which usually affects the very old and the very frail and I was 32, I was working myself to death um I finally realized I had to do something so I started to see a Christian counselor to talk it over one of the days I was meeting with the counselor happened to be the day of the columbine shootings so I was sitting in the parking lot listening to the latest report of how many kids that has been shot in the high school shooting in Colorado and I came in and sat down with the counselor and said "have you heard the latest you know how bad it is" he said "yeah Ive heard" but he could see how upset I was he finally said "what are you feeling?" and I thought about it and suddenly I realized exactly what I was feeling I said "I could of done something, I could of done more that these kids that did this was affected by the media that they were consuming that the media is so toxic the music they were listening to the video games they were playing so toxic that it just rotted from the inside out and that helped it happen and that is what I'm supposed to be combating and if I have worked harder or done more sooner, faster if I have done more maybe this wouldn't have happened". The counselor looked at me