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A Father's Heart

  • 2000 1 Jan
A Father's Heart
"To know me is to understand that I am a man captured by the Grace of God." --Bob Carlisle

by Renee Mullen

The name, {{Bob Carlisle}}, certainly brings fond memories to many people! And on June 16, 1999, many admirers were captivated and drawn to for a chat event in the cyber auditorium. He has become a beloved annual Fathers' Day blessing through his inspired lyrics and music.

Actually, Bob Carlisle and "fatherhood" have become nearly synonymous since his song, "Butterfly Kisses" was first released to Christian radio followed by mainstream audiences and rapidly captured within the hearts of many. In the chat, Bob provided the warm and tender history behind the song. He shared, "'Butterfly Kisses' is a song that was written for my daughter just prior to her 16th birthday. Like many fathers, I had neglected to realize that this child was growing up and wouldn't be under my roof much longer. And so... when I was feeling a bit vulnerable, the song just poured out along with a lot of tears. A butterfly kiss is something that I grew up with and that I passed down to my children... it was the "batting" of one's eyelashes against the cheek of another; a sign of affection that we would show while tucking the children in... I wasn't sure if anyone else knew what a butterfly kiss was. I got on the phone and polled many of my acquaintances... more people than not knew what a butterfly kiss was."

Bob's palpable passion for family radiates throughout his life, his career, his calling. "I have two wonderful children, my daughter, the butterfly girl, Brooke and my son, Evan." One chatter queried, "Is your daughter married yet?" Bob showed his sense of humor by responding, "No, she is not! She'll get married when she's eighty and out of the convent! The third verse of "Butterfly Kisses," where she gets married, is an artistic projection on my behalf."

He fondly explained the magnitude of his own role as father. "I love to be with my family and do things with them, whether it be to fishor just hang around and be dad. I get more joy from that than anything else." He demonstrates this affection in his music with "My Desire", a song written for and about his wife, and "Man of His Word", a song written exclusively with his own father in mind.

There is a genuine fondness for music in Bob Carlisle that stems from his childhood. He explained, "When I was seven years old, my father sensed that I had musical ability. He took me to a department store and invited me to pick out anything I wanted for my birthday. I picked out a guitar. I began taking lessons at a very young age. During the process of becoming a musician, it was the passion in music that I fell in love with. So when I met Jesus at age 16, there was no longer any question as to what was the most passionate subject to sing about." He added, "I came from a 'pseudo' Christian home, my parents, though not church goers, loved God, and I knew that. My father modeled his faith to me in practical terms... 'doing' the Word without boasting it. He was an incredible man, and although he passed away several years ago, he was the greatest spiritual influence I've ever known. "

Bob has an obvious fervidity for "family" beyond those within his household evidenced by his involvement in Food for the Hungry, an organization that "exists to feed people - feed them by way of food, by way of knowledge, and most importantly, to feed them spiritually. It is an incredible relief organization that serves one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to bring Jesus to the world!" Bob shared, "I have been involved with them for nearly two years now. After seeing what they do, I felt it was my duty to fall in love with their mission and I wound up falling in love with the missionaries. These are people who have dedicated their lives and their hearts to the less fortunate of the world, for one reason and one reason only; to bring Jesus to them!"

Bob also understands the value of teaching more fortunate children about such ministries. He related, "It was a wonderful thing to be able to take my children to the Dominican. Republic and teach them first hand what Food for the Hungry is doing in this and many other third world countries. It was also a great opportunity for my children to experience life outside the parameters of the U.S. They were able to see that we are so blessed with so many things."

Bob Carlisle gives God the honor and glory for his success. He stated, "No one can deny what happened with 'Butterfly Kisses. It was an amazing waving of God's hand."

Bob willingly shared some of his beliefs. He stated, "I am most drawn to Simon Peter because he was one to act before he thought. And Jesus loved him passionately." He continued, "recently my favorite Bible verse is Titus 3:9; it refers to the Body of Christ arguing with one another instead of loving one another as they should."

And for suggestions for personal prayer and devotion, Bob said, "We are very blessed in this country to have so many vehicles for devotional life. What we need to concentrate more on, taking the time, making the time to spend that time with God. I am as guilty as any of neglecting that time with God."

He also shared his ideas for witnessing to an atheist. "I think the best way to witness to an atheist or anyone else in this world who God loves dearly is with our lives. There is no greater testimony to the existence of our God than that of a life that has been changed."

Bob's most recent work, ==Stories from the Heart==, is a portrayal of heartfelt stories giving meaning to many real life situations. For instance, he reveals that "the song, 'Somewhere', is a song about middle age and yearning for true love in life, the romantic kind. It's a song for those starting over in middle age." He is currently in the process of recording another album and hopes to release it by March of 2000.

Carlisle keeps a very busy schedule which is always posted at his website. He welcomes his fans to come there for information and to share any comments or questions in his forum. Many of the responses on the forum are from Bob personally. It truly provides an opportunity to know ==Stories from the Heart== of {{Bob Carlisle}}.

As the chat drew to a close, Bob shared his heartfelt calling that has transpired into music. "I want my life to minister to people and my music is hopefully a reflection of that life... good, bad, imperfect, passionate... a life redeemed by the life of Jesus." It is evident to anyone who has ever listened to Bob Carlisle's music that he epitomizes the Biblical standard of a father and this role, his life, his passions have reached and ministered to multitudes. A day will come when Bob will hear, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in." (Matthew 25:34-35)

Click here to read a letter from Bob!