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Gary Chapman (Singer / Songwriter) Shares Moving Story of His Father Passing To Heaven

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 14, 2020 1:01 pm

Gary Chapman (Singer / Songwriter) Shares Moving Story of His Father Passing To Heaven

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 14, 2020 1:01 pm

Watching the decline of a figure who looms large in your life brings a pain, melancholy, and sorrow.  Gary Chapman understands those in deeply personal ways. Yet, he also understands faith, hope, and God's faithfulness.  As journeyed with his father all the way to the end of life on this earth, Gary relates a powerful message of that experience ...and the profound transformation that occurred in his own life. 

During that time, the great hymns of our faith grew in increasing importance to Gary.  Playing them at his father's bedside, Gary saw the emotional, spiritual, and physical comfort they brought to his father's pain.  He has committed to introducing ...and reintroducing these hymns to vast numbers. 

The hymns, Gary shared, were "...written out of great pain or great joy ...or a combination of both."

Follow along with Gary's hymn a week:



“How can you laugh through what you all live through!?”

Peter Rosenberger often hears that question when people learn of his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities(80 operations & the amputation of both legs).Yet, Peter and Gracie draw hope from their deep faith which strengthens their hearts—and the couple brings a contagious inspiration that lightens weary hearts struggling with challenges.

Peter’s weekly radio show, Hope for the Caregiver, is heard on more than 180 stations, and on Sirius XM’s Family Talk Channel (131).Through his show, books, commentaries, and speaking events, Peter addresses life’s caregiving challenges with candor, compassion, and even comedy.

Educating, entertaining, and empowering audiences across the country, Peter Rosenberger offers 

poignant insights into the life of a caregiver. Weaving his deep compassion for fellow caregivers with his outrageous humor, Peter assuringly points others to safety and helps them develop plans to live a calmer, healthier, and even more joyful life as caregivers.

Sponsored by: 

Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger
Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on the FamilyTalk Channel, Series XM 131. That is another recording of Gracie and Johnny. I was just so grateful that she and Ken called in.

Between Gracie and Johnny, they've got almost 90 years of disability. And that's extraordinary. And then they sing this song together. And so I was just grateful that she and Ken took the time today to call. I've got somebody else on the phone that I wanted to have back for Easter Sunday, particularly because it's a very poignant story for him. And I really want to share it. He shared it with me privately. I want you all to hear this too.

This is Gary Chapman, numerous awards, songs that are just part of our daily life now and that he's written and so forth. You guys have known him for years. But Gary, thank you for calling into the show and thank you for being with us.

Tell us about Easter some years back and what happened. And I'm just going to get out of your way and let you tell us because this is a powerful story and I want you to have all the time to share it that you need. Alright, brother. First of all, so good to hear your voice.

I'm glad Gracie's doing better. Thank you. And thanks for having me. So, yeah, Easter is always a special day, you know, if you believe in Jesus. But it got more special to me 11 years ago.

My dad lived with my wife, Cassie, and I had Parkinson's for eight years, then cancer last two, lost use of his legs during about the last year and a half or so. So we were always close, but just let it suffice to say we got much, much closer. I suspect the first year and a half of my life, he put me to bed and changed my diaper and I got a chance to return the paper. And he was a preacher his whole life, amazing guy, eighth grade education, but voracious reader and was just incredibly smart, really funny. Just an amazing human. I said my whole life, if I could wind up being half the man, my dad was I win and I'm still working on it.

I'm still working on it. He's amazing guy. So when he when he got toward the end of his life, the despite having access to all the great drugs that they give you as you're as you're heading out the door, he couldn't do any any of that. Unlike his idiot son, he'd never ingested anything that altered his consciousness. So he was just too awkward for him.

He couldn't he couldn't do it. So the thing that brought him comfort was me sitting on the edge of his bed and playing and singing the songs that he had taught me 50 years previous and and it was amazing. That was such an incredible time and those moments live in me forever.

On Good Friday, 11 years ago, that night, he went into a coma, for lack of a better word, and he didn't he did not wake up on this earth. From that, my sister's a nurse, my sister and brother live in town. And we're all very close. She came over to the house and she actually made a pallet next to his bed. And she was she was not leaving.

I didn't have a grenade so I couldn't get her out of the house. She's just she's there. And Easter Sunday morning, and let it just let it suffice to say this guy, small town preacher, his whole life, he could have done much more, but that's what he was called to do. And he knew it. And he was joyful in it. But he that's who he was his entire life. And he lived really, really well. And, and he died better.

He absolutely giggled all the way to the end. Just a quick back back up from from Good Friday, the last two weeks of his life. He he changed all of us or God changed all of us through to him in yet one more way.

And, you know, sometimes I start telling this people think I'm crazy and I'm just beyond caring. I was down there with him one day and he was just sitting there in his recliner. And and I looked over at him and he was he's just locked up and totally unresponsive. I kept calling his name. I went over, I kind of smacked him in the face. It was a bit a couple of times like dead.

And as much as we knew he was at the end of life, I thought, well, good grief, if that's it. That was pretty non non dramatic. He was completely non responsive. I couldn't find a pulse.

It didn't seem like he was breathing. And I was about to call my brother and sister and tell them, well, that it happened. And about three or four or five minutes, I don't know what it was. He came back. And when he came back, he was he was laughing. And he had a lot to say. He had been visiting with his mom and dad and his other brothers.

He was one of six boys and a girl and his brothers that had died. He had been visiting with all of them. He couldn't stop telling me about.

OK, he proceeded to do that. We've counted up the memories and it's I think it's eight times in that last two weeks of his life. One particular poignant time was my brother was in the room when it happened.

And every time there was something really specific and really telling that that nobody else knew. My brother's a pilot, has been his whole life, started out as a crop duster, just a just a wild child, wound up being a captain on Southwest Airlines for thirty five years. He's now heading up to aviation department for the Williamson County Sheriff's Department. He's a helicopter guy.

He totaled two planes the last year that he crop dusted. And he he decided that he had a guardian angel because he lived through it both. She both should have killed him. And he named him, but he didn't tell anybody. He didn't tell me where close his brothers can get. He didn't tell his wife. He didn't tell anybody that's between him and God and his angel.

And my dad. Took his little trip on my brother was in the room. He came back and he motioned him over. He leaned in. Got him to get real close to him in the park and kind of got his voice. He leaned in close. He said, I just met Ralph. He told me that he told me you've given him fits your whole life and you need to slow down a little bit. OK, my brother just hit his knees.

If you knew him, you'd know how funny it is that that is what he would name his angel. Those those moments are just incredibly precious. But then that Sunday morning. Back to Sunday morning, right at sunrise, Easter, eleven years ago today to the day. My sister heard his breathing change around five o'clock in the morning, and she kind of crawled up in bed with him just to check on him and her thoughts. She she heard voices in the room up above the master suite in the house.

It was up above his area. And she heard voices and she thought, well, Gary and Kathy are awake. If this is it, at least I won't have to wake him up. Only I was not awake. I was very, very much in the middle of the best dream I've had so far on this planet and in my dream, which played out almost to a T. Two hours later, my brother and sister and I were standing outside on the driveway watching the people from Harpethills Memorial Gardens wheel his body out to go to the funeral.

We're just sitting there watching it, standing there in the driveway. And just in an instant, he was there with us. Only he made me look like I just died of cancer. She was a beast. He was so gorgeous. He was so beautiful. I've never seen anything or anyone so perfect and beautiful in my life. I could not stop staring at him.

It was overwhelming. And he's talking. He's just going 90 to nothing. Just as happy as he can be. He looks to be about 35 just in the absolute peak of life.

Just muscled up and I can't tell you how perfect he looked. And I could not focus on what he was saying. I remember thinking I should really pay attention because I bet this is important stuff. And I couldn't do it because I was lost in how beautiful he was. And the one thing I remember him saying was, kids, as much as I tried my best to teach you about heaven, I was right, but I was wrong because there's so much more. And like in that moment, my phone rang in this plane and it was my sister telling me that he had just taken his last breath. And without question for me, God allowed him to stop by my dream and give me that gift. And it that that morning has become the fulcrum point of my life because I don't I don't just believe anymore. I walked the aisle in his church when I was six years old. And I have believed from the moment I've tried my best with varying degrees of success as my Wikipedia page, I'm sure will attest.

But I have I have been his from that moment. But there's a giant difference in believing and knowing. I know and I will always know that it's real. Heaven is real. And the time that we invest in each other, the time that we give to the hands be in the hands and feet of God in whatever form it takes is the only thing that matters.

Nothing else is going to have any value. And it just it just has changed me. It's changed me dramatically. And I'm grateful more than I can say. Well, I've got this is why I had you on, because that is such a profound story.

And I've got just a few minutes left. But one of the things that you alluded to is that you you sat there in his bed and you played and I know you played these great hymns that you do on your Facebook page, your website. You've been playing hymns now for some years. And I remember when Gracie's grandmother died and her sister was on one side and she only had two granddaughters, Gracie and her sister. And they sang hymns to her as she went on to glory. I mean, that's that's that's the way it should be. You know, it is. Tell me about these hymns and why there's why you've been resurrect, not resurrecting them, but you've been reintroducing them to people and introducing some people for the first time and why these are so important. We've only got just about a minute or two, but just talk about that for just a second. Why that's important. You got it. It's called it's called a hymn a week.

You can find it on Facebook and you'll be surrounded by about, I think, 60,000 people now that will feel just like you do. These songs don't live for hundreds of years because they're weak. They live because the very same Holy Spirit that inspired and still breeds in them today. If you'll just give them a minute, they all come out of one of two or a combination of two things, extreme pain or extreme joy. And most of the time the two are inseparable. And back when people were writing songs, not for money, but because they knew they had to because God said, write this, they were they were very, very pure, amazing songs. And it's been my joy to to in many cases actually resurrected because a lot of them are, you know, Fanny Crosby wrote 6,000 songs and most people know about 10 of them. So yeah, there's it's an amazing joy to do it. Gary, I want you to know how much it means to me personally just to hear this story. And and I know that our audience is finds this great meeting.

Our whole country is just, you know, flipped upside down right now and people very unsettled and into that unsettledness when we speak with that conviction that you have that knowing that you know what if he's Lord at all, he's Lord of all and this is something we hang on to. Thank you very much. I link all this on the on the page on the podcast when we put this out as well, because I want people to know these hymns and love them as much as I know you do and I do. So thank you for taking the time to call today. Just my pleasure. I love you, brother. You too. Thank you. Gary Chapman, this is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the show for you as a caregiver to help you stay strong and healthy. We'll see you in just a minute.

Don't go away. Think about all the legal documents you need, power of attorney, a will, living wills, and so many more. Then think about such things as disputes about medical bills. What if instead of shelling out hefty fees for a few days of legal help, you paid a monthly membership and got a law firm for life? Well, we're taking legal representation and making some revisions in the form of accessible, affordable, full-service coverage.

Finally, you can live life knowing you have a lawyer in your back pocket who, at the same time, isn't emptying it. It's called Legal Shield, and it's practical, affordable, and a must for the family caregiver. Visit That's Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you?, an independent associate. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I'm Gracie Rosenberger, and in 1983, I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me, but over time, my questions changed, and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs, led me to establish Standing with Hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people.

On a regular basis, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies, and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's I'm Gracie, and I am standing with hope. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on Family Talk Channel, Sirius XM 131. I am Peter Rosenberger.

I am your host, and I'm glad to have you with us today. Is the joy of the Lord your strength? There's a very specific reason I picked that song when I asked Gracie to consider singing that with Russ Taft. That's from her new record that's called Resilient, because that's how we do it. That's how we do it. That's how we anchor ourselves in this.

And as we were listening to Joni Eareckson Tada and Ken Tada in the first hour, talk about this. What an amazing sign it is to people around us and in our culture that we are not miserable as we are going through some of these things. One of the things I admire about Gracie the most is that she belly laughs like a drunk Viking, and she has this infectious laughter and zest for life. She really loves to live life. And even though right now she's still dealing with the tail end of the COVID virus, she's got it, but she's moving through it and she's going to be okay.

But she is not willing to be sidelined to do the best of her abilities. And I know a lot of people that are. A lot of people are willing to just kind of like, I don't want to be a part of this.

Why would God do this? But when you see the implications of the resurrection and what that means to us as believers, and as she and Joni saying on the same record, because he lives, we can face tomorrow because I know, I know, I know he holds the future. Do you know that? And it's really important for us to be able to articulate this to people around us.

This is something you know, can you say it to someone else? Because where are they going to look to for hope? What's out there? What's going to sustain you through what Joni lives with? What's going to sustain you through what Gracie lives with? Or us as caregivers, watching somebody suffer like this. I've watched Gracie suffer for 34 years. What sustains you in that? Sex, drugs, alcohol, what?

None of those things work. And as you heard from Gary, that he's anchored himself with Gary Chapman here just on the last segment, anchored himself in that knowledge. And that's why we do what we do now, because we have seen these things. And if we allow ourselves to get freaked out by these crises that come our way, and they will come our way, you can't sustain freak out for that long. You know, after a couple of decades, you have to figure out something else because you can't just stay freaked out all the time. And I look at, I want to read something to you from C.S. Lewis wrote a essay about living in the atomic age. And I put this on my blog at

You just go to slash blog. And it's one of the first ones out there. And I just replaced atomic age with the COVID-19 age. And people say, how do you live like this? And here's what he said. Excuse me, that's not the virus.

That's just hay fever. And people say, how are we to do this? He said, I am tempted to reply, why as you would have lived in the 16th century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from a Scandinavia country make land and cut your throat any night or indeed as you are already living in an age of cancer, syphilis, paralysis, air raids, age of railway accidents or motor accidents. In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death long before the COVID-19 and quite a high percentage of us are going to die in unpleasant ways.

We had indeed one great advantage over our ancestors and aesthetics, but we have that still. It's perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of a painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the first point to be made. And the first action is to be, is to pull ourselves together. Louis says, if we are going to be destroyed by this, then let it, when it comes, find us doing sensible and human things, praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts. I don't think we can do that right now with the government saying that, but not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about a virus.

My wife has this virus. It may break our bodies, but it doesn't have to dominate our minds. And this is from CS Lewis back in 1948. This is the message that I want us to hang on to as we deal with these challenging times that we're dealing with.

Okay. I just, just wanted you to hang on and I'm bringing these guests on the show because I want you to hear from lots of different voices from lots of different walks of life who, who have wrestled with these things with tough, tough circumstances and are anchored more and more in their faith. Standing with Hope is the presenting sponsor of the show. And when Gracie and I founded that organization Standing with Hope, we named it specifically for that reason that we are standing, literally standing.

She is literally standing on two prosthetic legs with hope, knowing that this is not, not wish, hope, that conviction. And part of that is, is we have this show and then we have the prosthetic limb outreach and you've heard her story. And we have inmates that work with us at a prison in Tennessee run by CoreCivic.

And it's one of their many faith-based programs because they know that faith-based programs also anchor people who are in a prison and point them to a place of safety where they can rebuild their lives. And they help us recycle prosthetic limbs, broken items from broken people. And we were working with broken people to do it. And then we're going to go help more broken people.

And we're all pointing to the one who was broken for us. Why don't you get a part, be a part of that? Anchor yourself in that, of knowing that, you know what, he who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.

If he's Lord at all, he's Lord of all. Do you believe that? If not, today is the great day to start doing that, to believe that. Just ask.

Let him hold your scared hand with his scarred hand. Go to for more. Our blog is free. Our podcast is free. All these things are out there for you. Take advantage of it.

Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. I'm Peter Rosenberg. We'll see you next week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-23 11:48:14 / 2024-01-23 11:57:10 / 9

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