Wednesday, January 21, 2015


The Memoir is transparent, captivating, tender, and profoundly human. 


A story of first faith and first love and how the two became almost fatally intertwined. The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking with God is Sean’s inspirational, coming-of-age tale of first faith and first love and how the two became almost fatally intertwined in his life. It is a poignant and insightful meditation on surviving in the gray area between God’s sovereignty and our individual free will.


THE PROMISE, OR THE PROS AND CONS OF TALKING WITH GOD by Sean Paul Murphy takes a candid stroll through the very heart and soul of this widely acclaimed screenplay writer and author’s life.  The memoir is transparent, captivating, tender and profoundly human.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  The fact that the author, Sean Paul Murphy is a product of the 1960’s was just one of the alluring features.  The narration is so descriptive that I found myself drifting back into those youthful days gone by.  The drive-in movies, stretched phone cords in an unsuccessful attempt at privacy, and warm summer nights swinging on the porch under the stars conjured up all sorts of wonderful memories for me. 

However, the most endearing quality of this book is simply the author’s voice.  Murphy’s attention to detail and humorous delivery are exceptional.  He exposes a depth of emotion and permeability that is unique.  As the author unveils years of life experiences, some glorious and others tragic, the reader is forced to ponder their own life in a way that requires a studious look at the issue of mortality.  Further still, the relationship between God and man is brought to the forefront of our minds as we read of the author’s interactions with the Lord throughout the pages of the book.  Sean Paul Murphy’s description of his time with God and his interpretations of those meetings are priceless.  Murphy manages to integrate Biblical truths throughout the course of the reading and seamlessly maintains a reverent posture towards the Son of God and the reality of our “spiritual immortality.”

Like a large ball of yarn that has been unraveled and shuffled from one end of the room to the other, so to this book: The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking With God by Sean Paul Murphy.  The winding words twist and turn through the years of Murphy’s life and lead the reader down a gentle path towards self actualization.  This book is a catalyst into some serious soul searching. 

One of my favorite conclusions drawn by the author is that there is no value of enduring and surviving pain and heartache if we are not willing to share our experiences to help others.  This concept is just one of several empowering and equipping revelations that Murphy shares.  Imagine the change in our world on a global scale if we all had this perspective on life and love. 

This book touched me in the 1970's.
Throughout the reading of this book, Sean Paul Murphy's communication of a persistent love and hope reminded me of the writings of  Leo Buscaglia.  Dr. Buscaglia was a world renown author and speaker who delivered a strong message of gracious love that profoundly impacted my own life after reading his work in the 1970's.  In this same way, Murphy's intention to live his life on a “love note" and to clearly communicate the source of that love in a nonthreatening manner is infectious.  It is an interesting side note, that the two have an uncanny similar physical appearance as well.  Perhaps in the long lineage of Italian heritage there lies some genetic connection between the two, but without a shadow of a doubt, their passion for reaching out to a hurting world is very similar.    

I appreciated, especially after learning of his normally guarded personality, Murphy’s candor throughout this work.  Not only is The Promise, The Pros and Cons of Talking with God, entertaining and insightful, but it more importantly provides fuel for a great deal of thoughtful reflection and, if you dare, conversations with God.   

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Growing Older & Deeper

Psalm 119:86-88(MSG)
Everything You command is a sure thing, but they harass me with lies.  Help!!  They've pushed and pushed--they never let up-
but I haven't relaxed my grip on Your counsel.  In Your great love revive me so I can alertly obey Your every Word.

Deep roots have allowed this tree to remain standing.
(We came across this on one of our kayaking trips this past summer.)
I have been blessed the past thirteen years to live next door to an incredibly beautiful woman who has shared her strength and love for the Lord with me through her quiet and consistent life.  She had grown deep roots into the Word of God.  She has recently passed through this world and moved on to the kingdom of heaven, but she left her wisdom, courage, and generous spirit behind.  On the day after her passing, I was thumbing through her cherished and tattered Bible, and out fell a worn piece of paper with a prayer on it.  The title:  "Seventeenth Century Nun's Prayer" immediately piqued my interest, especially sense I knew she was indeed not a Nun nor did she practice Catholicism.  The author is Anonymous.  I have provided a copy for you below. 

This is my sister and I on one of our many kayaking
expeditions.  She, too is a woman with a contagious faith
  and an overflowing will to live the full life God has
designed for her.  
The prayer is simple yet deep; it is humorous without disrespect and undeniably human.  As I researched it's authenticity to the Seventeenth Century, what I found is that there is no proof that it was truly written in this era, but due to the shear simplicity and uncluttered focus of the wording, in my opinion, it certainly could have been.  Either way, whether authentic or not, I was deeply moved by it, because I feel like my sweet friend lived out these very words on a daily basis.  Despite her suffering from a very debilitating neurological disease and deteriorating health, I never once heard her complain.  She was a mother and grandmother and had years of experience to draw from and yet she never gave me unsolicited advice; she was very open in sharing her life knowledge, but only after my questioning her and even then she was a humble soul that always pointed to a glorious God and His son for any successes brought her way.  

This 21st Century Matriarch certainly was a walking testimony to the revival of "God's great love".  I had the privilege to witness His grace and mercy through her.  Yes....I am blessed to have had the privilege of sharing a portion of her life.  I look forward to the day when we will meet again, but until then, she will live on in my heart and a copy of the "17th Century Nun's Prayer" will be neatly tucked away inside of my own Bible as a reminder to me of a life that was truly lived by faith. 

17th Century Nun’s Prayer

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing
older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of
thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With
my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou
knowest Lord that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me
wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They
are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as
the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of
others' pains, but help me to endure them with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility
and a lessing cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with
the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally
I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a Saint - some of
them are so hard to live with - but a sour old person is one of the
crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things
in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And, give
me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.

-Anonymous Author