'The Dash' -- songwriter's story
By: Kirk & Deby Dearman

“48Days” came into our life just in the nick of time. Like a life preserver hurled to a drowning man, Dan's book and e-mail newsletters helped keep our heads above water as we hung on for dear life! And today - thanks to Dan’s words of wisdom - we are on the threshold of an exciting new career opportunity. Here’s our story:

Just before leaving for the airport one morning, I ran to my office and printed a copy of the latest “48Days” newsletter to read on the plane. On the way to the airport, my husband Kirk and I stopped for lunch. As we were seated, I realized that Dan Miller and his wife, Joanne, were at the table behind us. I reached into my purse and pulled out the “48Days” newsletter and waved it in their direction.
“This is my lifeline,” I told them, and shared what an encouragement the weekly articles had been. They invited us to join them for lunch.

We overflowed with how much Dan's e-mail had helped us and we poured out our frustrations, questions and fears concerning the future. We were facing the fact that even though we had made our living writing worship songs and singing in churches, times were changing and we needed new vision for the next season of work and life. We were in a shaky place, faced uncharted territory in our 50's, and realized that the old way of doing things was not going to sustain us anymore.

Dan and Joanne graciously listened and told us we were not alone and that thousands of baby boomers were in our shoes. And here we were, fortunate enough to share lunch with these two incredible encouragers! They urged us to dream again and to remember the passions of our early years; to look deeper, think differently, be willing to work hard and not be afraid of the new thing. They assured us that God was not finished with our lives or our music.

We left that lunch very encouraged as we knew that this had been a divine appointment. God had smiled on us that day.

I flew to Seattle and the next day my husband, Kirk, drove to Memphis to attend the funeral of a friend’s mother. During the service, the preacher read a poem called "The Dash". Kirk immediately knew that this would make an incredible "country" song and after the service asked for a copy of the poem.

Even though he had never written "country", Kirk had been encouraged to think differently and try new things. So the minute he walked into the house, he sat down at the piano and put "The Dash" to music. Then he sang it to me over the phone. I knew it had hit potential!

The copy of the poem from the service said "author unknown", but after doing some research we learned that there is a known author:
Linda Ellis, who lived in Marietta, GA. We e-mailed her and told her that Kirk had set "The Dash" to music. She e-mailed back, informing us that we were TOO LATE!!! A gift book was in the process of being printed, the poem had already been set to music and they were searching for an artist in Nashville to record it.

Our hearts sank. But remembering Dan & Joanne's words, we were persistent! We e-mailed Linda again and asked if we could send the song anyway just so she could hear it. After she listened to Kirk's version she wanted to let the publisher of "The Dash" gift book hear it. Not long afterward, Kirk received a call from Mac Anderson, Linda's book publisher, who loved the song and wanted to pursue the possibility of using Kirk's version in the gift book!

Since that lunch with Dan and Joanne 18 months ago, we've been in the studio, hired world-class musicians and recorded "The Dash." The version with Kirk singing the lead vocal is now in the gift book!
Best of all, we know it is a song that has the power to change lives!

We stand amazed at all of this and look back to that 'divine appointment' as the beginning of our new life. We are now pursuing writing contemporary- country music and having the time of our lives!

Dan Miller and the 48days weekly newsletters have continued to be a lifeline. We are so thankful that our dashes crossed that day.

Here's the entire inspiring package:
The Dash


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