#STORY2012 :: Phil Vischer – Identity in Christ


The year was 1991, and Phil was a newly married 25 year-old with no financial backing and no idea how his vegetables would ever see the light of day.

Today, almost 50 million VeggieTales videos have been purchased and Phil’s faith-filled stories can be found in one-third of all American homes with young children. Although Phil’s original company, Big Idea Productions, collapsed in bankruptcy in 2003, Phil continues his creative involvement with VeggieTales through its current owner. 

Phil also is actively developing new ways to integrate faith and storytelling through his new creative shop, Jellyfish Labs (JellyfishLabs.com). Phil captured the breathtaking rise—and heartbreaking fall—of Big Idea Productions in the book Me, Myself & Bob, which was published by Thomas Nelson. He is also the author of the popular children’s books Sidney and Norman and 47 Beavers on the Big Blue Sea. 

Identity in Christ

  • Today I want to talk to you about one big thing.
  • It’s the thing that we’re supposed to do with our lives.
  • When I was 9 I made my first film, and by 14 I knew I was going to make movies.
  • I decided I was going to be the next Walt Disney.
  • That was my one big thing.
  • In 1993 there were 3 of us that animated the first episode of Veggietales.
  • We got the first one done, and it was a massive labor.
  • We sold like 5 copies of that first episode.
  • Some of the christian bookstores heard about it, and picked it up.
  • A few people saw and like it and told people, and it spread.
  • This one big thing I wanted to do for God just exploded.
  • We went from 3 people in 1993 to 210 in the year 2000.
  • Everything was working.
  • You would think that I would’ve been absolutely ecstatic. But I was miserable.
  • One day I started to get chest pains. So I drove myself to the emergency room, and I was in critical condition.
  • I had contracted pericarditis.
  • I was under so much stress that it was killing me.
  • Then I ended up in a lawsuit with our distributor.
  • I thought I could still keep it going. But we lost the case. I knew it was over.
  • God started whispering to me and showing me what I had done.
  • What he showed me after the company fell apart, was that I was miserable.
  • God let everything fall apart so that I could find the time with him.
  • I had made the work I was doing for him, more important than my relationship with him.
  • I had two things working against me. One of them was bad theology.
  • I grew up in a culture that praised achievements.
  • Noah was 500 years old when God told him to build the ark.
  • What did Noah do for the first 500 years? 
  • Noah spent 500 years walking with God. 
  • God’s not calling us to work for him, but to walk with him.
  • God doesn’t have one big thing for you to do. He has many things for you to do.
  • Where does Christianity happen? Is it when I am thinking big grand ideas? Or is it when I’m loving the people around me?
  • You have to unpack your desires, and say “What am I really longing for?”
  • What your heart is made for is relationship with God.
  • He who has God + many things has nothing more than he who has God alone. – C.S. Lewis
  • I started a new company, it’s called Jellyfish labs.
  • Where I went off track is when I envisioned my life 20 years down the road.
  • If I am a Christian and given God lordship over my life, then where I am in 20 years is none of my business.
  • I need to let go of what I want to do. I need to let go of my goals, plans, and ambitions.
  • I need to trust God to carry me where I need to be.
  • When we focus on outcomes we get stressed.
  • God does not call us to outcomes, he calls us to obedience.
  • The impact God has for us does not happen when we pursue impact, it happens when we pursue God.
  • If I want a living relationship with the creator of the universe, it’s a part of everyday.
  • Before I start with my projects, I start with time with God.
  • It has to be a lifestyle.
  • The invitation to a life with Christ is a invitation to a life with super powers.
  • When you let go of your plans for what you want your life to look like, you find God.
  • There are no great things, there are only small things done with great love. – Mother Theresa

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