book response: Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer (2007)

When my kids were little, I loved watching Veggietales videos with them. Phil Vischer created them. His company, Big Idea, produced great stories with great visuals about Jesus, God and the Bible, told through the lives of armless, legless vegetables with big eyes, crazy voices, and silly songs. This book is the story of how this extremely popular show and quickly growing business collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving Phil with his God, his family, and his broken dreams. Yet it is a story with hope and redemption and restoration with the same God, same family, and a bigger dream.

The Veggietales videos promised and delivered a half hour of entertaining morality tales. This book delivered in one sitting of about four hours a story that had me laughing out loud, angry at the bad guys, shaking my head at the stupid things, misting over in the hard parts, and choking up at the end. Vischer starts with his childhood, showing how God prepared him for movie making and story telling and new technology adopting despite the wounds of his childhood and his abnormal fit into his evangelical culture. His role model, even idol, was Walt Disney. He wanted to build a children's entertainment empire like Disney, but with an emphasis on Jesus and God.

After it all fell apart, and he only had Jesus, he realized that Jesus didn't need him to do anything. Vischer learned that God let that dream and business fail so that he could know God's love for him. It sounds so weird. But in the Christian life, many of us fall into a trap of wanting to honor God with something we do, but we get so obsessed with the project that it becomes more important than God. It becomes an idol.

It's not how Vischer tells his story, but it's how I received the story. The denouement of Phil's story is encountering God in a fresh way after everything crumbles down around him and why he named his new company JellyFish Labs. He also shares what he has learned from his business mistakes. So there's something for everyone. I highly recommend Me, Myself and Bob.

FWIW, the Kindle edition is on sale now for three bucks.

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