Mercy Me Bart, Just Get a “Real” Job!

Dan and Bart Millard

As I was writing today a song from the incredible new Mercy Me album, All That is Within Me, was playing on the iTunes radio station.  It reminded me of Bart Millard’s explanation for the name of their group.  We were on a John Tesh cruise together last year and Bart told how he and two friends formed their little group and started signing at church camps.  They would receive a “love offering” and with those contributions of $20 and $30 would attempt to buy hotdogs for the week and put gas in their car.

One evening he was describing their then current situation to his Grandma.  In exasperation Grandma said, “Mercy me Bart, why don’t you just get a real job?”  And thus the name, Mercy Me, was birthed.  And eight million albums and seven Dove awards later, Bart can laugh about Granny’s frustration. 

How many of you had a Grandma, or a Mom or Dad, or Uncle Harry or respected teacher who told you to forget your dreams and just get a real job?  My own Dad understands milking cows or picking corn to create income and encouraged me to do the same.  He still doesn’t fully comprehend why people pay me for just talking and writing.  I’m not sure I do either — it’s just that I love what I’m doing — and I sure don’t miss those cows!

Yeah, that’s Bart and me in the photo. 

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8 Responses to “Mercy Me Bart, Just Get a “Real” Job!”

  1. davidbmc Says:

    Fantastic story!

  2. Joe Says:

    Hi Dan,

    How ironic that I read this posting today. I won’t say it’s coincidence as I don’t believe in them, but maybe ironic.

    Just last night I was telling my wife how when I was a pre-teen, our church was having their annual fiesta/carnival. They always had musical entertainment and one year, after I had learned guitar and could play and sing fairly well, I decided to sign up to perform. I don’t recall if it was the moment I got the phone call from the coordinator or just before it, but I was talked out of it by my parents. I told the coordinator that I had changed my mind.

    So, now that I’m approaching 40, I can still vividly recall that whole event. I ask myself: did my parents save me from embarrassment or did they completely alter my entire life’s path? I know it’s so easy to blame our parents for how we turn out (good/bad), but now that I have a two months old son, I can sort of feel what they must have felt. However, I’m emboldened and already telling them that MY son will do and become whatever God is telling him to do and become.

    My struggle right now that I’ve been engaged in is–now that’s “Halftime,” a la Bob Buford–who am I and what does God want me to do with my life? I still play guitar but I fear that my misguided belief that I’m “only” adequate or that I don’t quite measure up is still too loudly playing inside my head. With the help of your books as well as a number of the other great books from your suggested reading list, I feel the times, “they are a’changin.'”

    Thank you Dad for this blog. I know it’s helping many others just like myself.

  3. HotRod Says:

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    If you change the setting to only display part of the post, I get a few lines as a “teaser” and have to click the link to come to this page for the rest of the story. This will increase your hits quite a bit.

    Since you like cars also, you may enjoy my blog also:

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