The Conservative Christian community has seen the loss of two of it's beloved members this week - Carman Licciardello and Rush Limbaugh.
The Heart of a Champion
Carman was an amazing musician, showman and storyteller. That talent combined with his passion for Jesus and drive to share the gospel across the globe, made a man unlike any I'd ever seen. If you would like to know more about his life and death click here, I want to concentrate on how he touched our lives, personally..
Both Jon and I grew up listening to Carman's music. When I was a little girl, I remember the youth group at the Church we attended did a drama to the song "The Champion". Through all the ups and downs and wanderings of my life, that song stayed with me, it impacted me. Fast forward to when I became a Christian at the age of 18, right when his album "Heart of a Champion" came out. I re-discovered my childhood love for Carman and his music. As a matter of fact, the following Halloween saw this new, bold Christian sporting a t-shirt with the Carman lyrics (spelled out in BIG fiery letters on the back) "Yes I am that Christian that Hell Warned You About!". I loved it!
Finally, early the following year I got to see Carman in concert for the first time. It was spectacular! The stadium was packed. To date, I've never been to any concert that even compared. And what was even more awesome? It was free. That's right, he wasn't about the money. He was about the gospel.
In 1995 , Jon was visiting Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (near Tulsa) and had the honor of appearing in one of Carman's videos, "Amen", his 10 second claim to fame. See if you can spot Jon in the below video at 36 seconds.
A Humble and Brilliant Man
Rush was a true pioneer in Conservative Talk Radio. I grew up with the Rush Limbaugh Show. I knew him as a trusted source for news and a voice of sanity in an ever increasingly crazy world. I was proud when I watched him receive the presidential medal of freedom. He knew what it meant to "Fight the good fight with all your might!"
Jon was in Memphis, Tennessee in 1993 when he first heard the Rush Limbaugh Show. He sat in his friend Stephen's, Chevy Cavalier Z24, when Stephen said, "I don't really think you are Conservative. You need to listen to this guy. This is a Conservative!" Rush was talking about guns and why gun ownership was a good thing, not the root of all evil as often portrayed in Britain. Rush made very valid points that made Jon see that even people who think they're Conservatives are, actually, often Socialists! Jon has been a hard-core conservative ever since!
Like so many people around the world, I feel like a friend has died. I never had the privilege of meeting him personally, but I feel like I knew him and had a great deal of respect for him. In one of his final shows, Rush said, “I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is of immense value, strength, confidence and that's why I'm able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it's meant to.”
To Carman and Rush, both childhood heroes and adult mentors, we will miss you and look forward to the day when we shall "meet again on that glorious shore."