Ghostwriting: The Murphey Method (Christian Writers Institute, 2017)

Cecil Murphey gives the new writer an easy-to-read book about ghostwriting know-how. His years as a book writer-ghostwriter along with his wisdom and integrity contribute to expert insights for the growing writer. An incredible range of information is packed into this book. Murphey shows pitfalls a ghostwriter can avoid through knowing what to expect and what to do in a variety of situations.

I appreciate Mr. Murphey’s advice as he instructs using personal experiences and lessons learned from his own writing journey. He was the collaborator for books like Gifted Hands and Think Big by Ben Carson, and 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper. Cecil Murphey’s faith is a thread that ties his personal beliefs to his work endeavors, which makes his book a double-win for me.

Cecil Murphey was a minister, a professor, and he is an overcomer.  In addition, he is well-respected in the writing community as an author, ghostwriter, and presenter. He blogs at cecilmurphey.com and has a blog for male victims of sexual abuse at Shattering the Silence.

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World (Crossroad Publishing Company, 1992)

The words written by Henri Nouwen in this thoughtful book, Life of the Beloved, helped a friend of mine through a trying time in her life. She later shared Nouwen’s book with me. “Beloved” is a warm term to describe the relationship of God with His children. Henri Nouwen wrote this book for a friend at his friend’s request. His friend wanted something for himself and his secular friends that would describe what Nouwen had found in his religion, written specifically for those whom do not understand the relationship component of “God with Us.” This is a warmly written book, almost fatherly in its calm treatment of the spiritual, much like a teacher will do with a skeptical student when the teacher goes in through the back door to approach a difficult-to-grasp concept. It reads like a personal communicant on God and how God fits into real life in a personal dimension. Spiritual in tone, this book is not about religious practices or the deep yearning, and it is not about doctrine or an intellectual pursuit. It is about what it means to be a beloved child of God, someone who finds their value in God, and not through doing or in prideful acts.

WALK TO BEAUTIFUL: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way (Thomas Nelson, 2014)

Do you like true life stories? Buy this book.

Do you like tragedy to triumph accounts? Buy this book.

Do you like people who make a difference? Buy this book.

Walk to Beautiful is Jimmy Wayne’s story . . . and it’s quite a story. He was mistreated, abandoned, in and out of foster homes, and lived a life where few cared. One teacher did, and he gives her a lot of deserved credit. This is also the story of Bea Costner, to whom this book is dedicated. She put a lot into Jimmy’s life even though he kept his story to himself when she and her husband took him in as a homeless sixteen year. Plain and simple, she lived out her Christianity through loving and giving.  There are four sections to his story. First we learn about Jimmy’s life in childhood. It was much worse than your average dysfunction. He suffered major traumatic events. Next, Bea and her husband save Jimmy’s life by rescuing Jimmy and giving him a hope and a future. Their business is making wooden butter churns. Then we learn that Jimmy has a dream of becoming a singer-songwriter, which eventually comes true. But it takes tons of effort and a few good breaks. The last section is Jimmy’s walk  Meet Me Halfway, to raise awareness for kids in the foster care system and to bring notice to the plight of 18 year olds aging out of the system before they’re ready. Walk to Beautiful is a story of hope, love, God, and new beginnings. I first heard about this book on a radio interview with Jimmy Wayne.

Book Preview: Silent . Sacred . Space

A quote from Silent.Sacred.Space:

05/24/03

Friday night I had a revelation. I was tired and wanting solitude so I did what I often do and went and sat under a walnut tree. After sitting there awhile and enjoying the beauty and listening to the birds and the leaves rustling, I thought, this feels different. Something is different—an emptiness, a blankness—and then I realized what it was. It was a sense of no pain, no sorrowing, no hurt. For all of my married life and last year, I sought solitude to have a place where I could cry out to God (and I did!), and unload the sadness in my heart. I would cry and cry, the pain was always so unbearable—even now tears are in my eyes as I write this and remember the deep, deep well of emotions. Sitting there, free from the pain, was so different. I can’t say that I was feeling peace and joy—it was more of an absence of feeling. It was a point of realization that God truly has healed me in many respects. I am so thankful.

Private Journal 3 – Norma L. Brumbaugh

In those days.