Observations on Life, Faith, Media & Technology

He Was Only Visiting This Planet

Larry Norman, the grandfather of contemporary Christian music went to be with the Lord early yesterday morning.  He had been dealing with serious health issues for the last 15 years but continued to make music almost up to the time he went home to heaven.

Larrynorman Norman’s 1972 album, “Only Visiting This Planet” is considered by many to be the best Christian album ever recorded. His 1969 song “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” was repeatedly re-recorded over the years – by Randy Matthews, British rocker Cliff Richards, and DC Talk among others – introducing a whole new audience to Larry’s music.  Over the course of his 40 year career, Larry Norman recorded over 60 albums.

Over the last few weeks, his heart began to give out.  His brother Charles said they spent the last week laughing, singing and praying together.  Larry also had them taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue his ministry after he was gone.

Late Saturday afternoon, Larry dictated the following message to his friends and fans:

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God’s hand reaching down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I won’t be here much longer. I can’t do anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and finance and we will probably still need financial help.

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside. But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement, transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I’d like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell, we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we’ll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.


At 2:45 Sunday morning, Larry’s heart slowed to a stop and he stepped into heaven.  So many of his songs dealt with heaven, it is cool to realize he is there now and experiencing it firsthand.

For hundreds of thousands of people who came to know the Lord during the “Jesus Movement” of the 1970s, Larry Norman’s words and music had a profound impact on their walk with the Lord, their understanding of our role as pilgrims passing through on our way to our eternal home, and the fact that the devil did not have to have all of the good music.

Larry Norman was 61 years old.

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