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Veggie Tales creator speaks at convocation

October 3, 2011 : Bethany Pico/Liberty University News Service

Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales, spoke in Monday’s convocation on how God worked in his life and career through his experiences of success, fame, and failure.

Vischer opened his speech with popular voices from Veggie Tales, including Bob the Tomato and Archibald Asparagus, and singing a “Silly Song” with Larry. Students erupted with laughter and cheers as they reminisced their childhood.

“I realized when I think about Bible stories, I picture vegetables in my head,” freshman Olivia Miorelli said.

Vischer signed copies of his book "Me, Myself, and Bob" after convocation on Monday.

The success of Veggie Tales is unmatched in the Christian circle. Currently about 50 million Veggie Tales videos are sold to date. A CNN poll found that Veggie Tales was among the top 10 watched videos on college campuses and that Veggie Tales videos can be found in one-third of all American households.

Vischer told how his dream was to make the world a better place by spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through television, DVDs, and movies. He had a God-given ability to tell stories and pursued the dream. Big Idea Productions began with humble beginnings in 1991and released its first 30-minute program, “Where’s God When I’m Scared?,” in 1993.

Vischer said his dreams became reality and Big Idea went from three to 200 employees; many people called him the next Walt Disney and he contemplated theme parks like Disney World.

On Monday, he challenged students with the Bible stories of the Shunammite’s son and Abraham offering Isaac on the altar. He asked students when a dream dies, what is more important: God or the dream, and “What happens when, without warning, your dream is taken away from you?”

That’s what Vischer dealt with in 2003 when Big Idea Productions went into bankruptcy after a lawsuit and was sold at a public auction.

“He who has God and an amazing ministry reaching millions people around the world, has nothing more than he who has God alone,” Vischer said.

He said he learned three lessons through his success and failures: God loves you; when it is time to do something for God do not worry about the outcome; and beware your dreams for dreams make dangerous friends.

He wanted students to know God is enough.

“The impact that God has planned for us does not occur when we are pursuing impact. It occurs when we are pursuing God. In the words of the Psalmist, as the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for the millions of videos I want to sell. No, my soul pants for you, O God,” Vischer said.

Since 2003, Vischer has worked on other projects including Jelly Telly, an online network for children, as well as authoring the book “Me, Myself, and Bob,” which he signed after convocation for students.