Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here Comes Goodbye

In 2003, I was introduced to a guy by my best friend from high school.  His name is Clint Lagerberg.

My friend sent me Clint's song demos.  He had this song called “For All You’ve Done” that he had recorded. My wife and I loved it.  

I was working at Word Entertainment at the time heading up the International Division there.  It was a Christian song, so I thought I might be able to help him.  So, I decided to reach out to him.  Little did I know what that call would produce...

I called Clint and eventually spent lots more time talking with him about his career.  He became a friend over the phone.  I'll never forget those talks we had.  He was working what seemed like a dead end job in the Northeast and wanted to come to Nashville.  After a while, I invited him to come visit us.  My wife had a gig that weekend at a showcase and there was a slot open for Clint to perform.  I thought we could do some networking while he was here too and see what happens from there.  We spent several days dreaming about his music and songwriting potential together and introduced him to some people in the industry.  He did a killer job at the showcase too.  As a result of that week, Point of Grace ended up cutting the song “For All You’ve Done” on their record.. Lagerberg
Clint ended up coming to town one or two more times before he made the leap to move here.  He was offered a staff writing position at Word - thanks to Cindy Wilt Colville.  

I left Word in 2004 and Clint and I eventually lost touch a bit.  I started my own company and he kept on writing and producing and playing for Nicole Nordeman a bit.  He ended up getting a publishing deal with one of the biggest country music publishers in town.  He and Chris Sligh (American Idol) co-wrote a song called "Here Comes Goodbye", which eventually became the first radio single from Rascal Flatts new album – a huge deal.  Other than getting a cut on a Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood record, there is no bigger deal than getting a cut - let alone the first radio single - on a Rascal Flatts album.    

Tonight, I watched the single on YouTube for the first time.  Here it is (watch it in HD):

I think it’s so amazing to think that this video wouldn’t have existed without me taking the Rascal-flatts-unstoppable
risk of bringing this guy to Nashville, spending hours with him, loving on him and his wife and daughter and helping him get his first break.  I say that with humility - it wasn't because of me, God had it already planned.  I invested in this guy because I was called to and I knew he was super talented.  He's one of those guys that you just know is supposed to be writing, producing and doing creative things.   Of course, I just helped - he did most of the work from there and deserves all the credit he gets.  

What's cool is that, if I hadn't have helped him, the whole chain events wouldn't have happened the way it had.  He wouldn't have written the song with Chris Sligh, Rascal Flatts wouldn't have recorded this song and this video wouldn't even exist.  Who knows how many hundreds thousands of lives would never have been impacted.  

Clint and I keep in touch these days on Facebook and we're both super busy now, so we hardly see each other.  However, when we do, I just feel a love and kinship with him.  He's just a great guy. 

I write this story to hopefully inspire you.  Maybe there is someone you're supposed to help right now or in the future.  What if you unselfishly invested time in them and helped them along the way.  Even if you don't benefit directly from it, if you know you can help someone, do it!!  It's so much more rewarding to think of the chain events that the one unselfish act might spark.  Clint is going to benefit tremendously from this song.  He will get writing opportunities that he may not have had before.  His reputation as a writer and producer have just gone up to a whole 'nother level.  But even greater than that: hundreds of thousands of people are going to benefit as well – financially (publishing company, touring companies, record label executives, companies), emotionally and spiritually (by the message of the song).  That’s amazing to me!  What if I hadn’t done anything and said “I don’t have time for this right now” and only thought of myself and my own time?  It would have been a shame.  

Seeing this video put it all together for me.   

God's Kingdom economy works so much differently than our worldly economy.  Now, looking back, His plans were so much greater than I can even imagine.  I could never have written this script.  Only He could have.  He's rewarded me with a beautiful family, nice home based business, He's protected me from pitfalls and my own mistakes by His grace.  It's actually not because I've done anything to deserve these benefits - I've not.  It's only because of His grace and because of His son, Jesus, loving me so much that He died for me that I can even stand on this earth - let alone have the blessings that I do.

Whew - I hadn't intended to go there with this blog...

The point is...

Is He putting it in your heart to help someone?  If so, do it!  Just watch God do something with that that you could not have imagined.  It took me 6 years to see more completely the impact some unselfish acts have made.  It was so worth it for this feeling I have right now.

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