An Animal That Could Rule The World

This was a writing assignment for my Little Egypt Writer’s Society. Enjoy. Crown

AN ANIMAL THAT COULD RULE THE WORLD

by Bill Murphy ©2017

I’ll go one farther – how about an animal that no doubt WILL rule the world?

Actually, I don’t believe this, for the simple reason that I’m one of those ‘Bible Thumpers’ who believe – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10 (KJV) Maybe my choice for ruler will be ruling before that event!

My choice for World Ruler has been around for (non-creationists scientists say) 320 million years – before the dinosaurs. That’s got to count for something – like EXPERIENCE. And, my Ruler-choice is hardy, hardy, hardy – capable of living in MINUS 188 degrees Fahrenheit. He makes his own anti-freeze! (Industrious) Furthermore his resistance to nuclear radiation is up to 15 times greater than yours and mine. So, he’ll be long around after ‘The Big One.’

My choice would make a good President also, with an inbred talent for crossing, no – merging – Democratic and Republican lines – with his group-based decision making abilities. Unlike us, his concept of cooperation and competition are in complete BALANCE! We need him in Washington now!

Did I mention that he can still breathe with his head removed?

My Ruler’s reproductive abilities far exceed even that of my dear wife and our 4 daughters. How about an astounding 300 to 400 kiddies a year? That’s what I call being fruitful and multiplying!

Considering that this Ruler could do better at the polls than one of late… my queen (at least some of her distant cousins) are said to produce milk that is the most nutritious on earth!

She has a famous ancestor named ‘NADEZHDA,’ who flew in space with the Russian Foton-M tests, and became the very first terrestrial (earthling) to give birth in space!

So – who or what is this most amazing animal? I believe that Madonna (the singer) summed it up perfectly. She said, “I am a survivor. I am a cockroach,  you just can’t get rid of me.”

 

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All This And No Money Either

Elvis Wolfe copy.jpg

FPC, JCM, NMMC © 2017 Bill Murphy

When you have a large family, lived a long life, visited so many exotic places and done so many amazing things, you don’t have an excuse for not writing. Your problem is – writing about ‘WHAT?’ Sadly, things fall through the cracks. This morning, an unexpected Facebook post shook a basket of nuts from the tree.

Bishop Wallace, from my days with Jitney Jungle, was fond of saying, “All this and money too.” But FPC, JCM, and NMMC didn’t pay. They did however, claim that the retirement was out of this world.

All of my adult life I’ve worked with my eyes, hands, and imagination. I’m an artist, and paid for my keep through working as a commercial artist. I joking call that prostituting my talent. Basically – I sold pork chops for Jitney Jungle.

FPC, JCM, and NMMC didn’t sell anything, they offered a pathway to salvation.

FPC stands for First Pentecostal Church. Our family was faithful ‘dues paying’ members for 25 years + or – 1 or 2. Naturally, I volunteered my ‘gifting and abilities’ to the work of God. Shortly after our union with FPC, the church took over a struggling Bible School from Tupelo, bringing it to Jackson and renaming it JCM – Jackson College of Ministries. Only last week I ran across a proof copy of the very first JCM Catalog, which I helped layout and typeset. Soon came the monthly newspaper, conference displays, etc., etc., etc.

And then, FPC/JCM acquired a new Music Minister and Dean of Music – Lanny Wolfe. FPC and JCM were famous for their joint effort in the creation of the NMMC, The Nation Music Ministry Conference – a week long yearly event designed to educate, inspire, and showcase musicians from across the national United Pentecostal fellowship.

That was when the fun really began!

The annual NMMC was a big deal. It brought in hundreds of musicians and guests from across the nation. It was claimed that FPC would sit 1,000 – but this proved to be an exaggeration by a couple of hundred. The architects lied. Chairs in the aisles did little to help. The venue was moved to the Municipal Auditorium. The NMMC made no small economic impact on the city of Jackson either.

The NMMC was never a simple dog and pony show. No way. The days were filled with seminars from everything from fiddling to copyrights. And the night events were marathons of choirs, soloists, and dramas. My ears still ring.

And everything had it’s advertising, paperwork, forms, signage, banners, brochures, etc., etc., etc. Bill was a busy boy – for several months prior and until after the home stretch. At the time, I was probably singing to myself – If this is the days my friend, when will they ever end?

I still have a couple of old notebooks with ‘to do’ lists. I’m amazed at the length of those lists! But, I was younger then.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved what I was doing. I felt honored to be a part of such a huge undertaking. But I also loved to grip and complain. Don’t we all?

All those fun-filled and heady days of FPC, JCM, and NMMC came roaring back this morning in the form of the drawing above of Elvis Wolfe, which Lanny posted on Facebook. I guess he must have recently run across it. The original Lanny Wolfe drawing was done for an NMMC project, and in a spare moment of madness, I took the time I couldn’t spare to create that little tension-releaser.

Thanks Lanny for sharing it with me – after all these years. As before, it brought a big smile to my face.

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Just Lights In The Sky

Moon copy

The Moon and Me In 1950  ©2017 Bill Murphy

I feel a special attachment to the moon, one that goes way back into childhood, and continues to this day.

Although my parents kept my sister and I well supplied with age-appropriate reading materials – I was especially excited by the discovery of the Viola E. Lake Memorial Library in George Elementary School. At first I struggled in learning to read, because all those ‘th’ words looked alike to me. By 3rd grade, I’d mastered that wonderful ability, and reading became the doorway leading me to places far from Evergreen Street in south Jackson.

I was especially drawn to books on astronomy and space travel. In 1950, Pluto was still a planet, and Mars was firmly believed to be laced by canals, just a Percival Lowell had drawn them in 1906. In the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, the US military was firing off Werner von Braun’s V-2 rockets right, left, and ever higher, reaching up toward space. And Chesley Bonestall, that great painter of all things space, was in his prime, churning out vividly colorful images of men working on the moon, space ships on their way to Mars and beyond, and gigantic wheel-like space stations circling the earth. It was a most exciting time for youngsters like myself.

I’ve written much about my dear maternal grandmother who lived next door, but I need now to reveal a sad fact about her life. She was raised in a ‘dirt-poor’ family with few opportunities. She never learned to read. Therefore, her ‘world view’ was limited to not much farther than her arms could reach. But – what filled her heart more than made up for what was between her ears.

I can remember that pivotal night as if it were only yesterday.

This was the days before TV. Instead of sitting inside before an electronic device, we were outside, the adults sitting on the porch, the kids playing in the yard. I remember standing there in Mamaw’s front yard, gazing up at the moon overhead, and wishing and hoping that I would live long enough to see mankind even make an attempt to go there.

I can’t remember the exact words I spoke in relaying that deep and longing desire to my family that night, there in Mamaw’s front yard, but Mamaw quickly respond with,

“Child, there’s nothing up there to go to! The stars and – the moon up there – are just lights in the sky!”

To Mamaw, the sky overhead was just a gigantic domed roof overhead, and the moon and stars only ‘lights in the ceiling.’ Mamaw didn’t live long enough to learn otherwise.

But I did live long enough to see men not only try – but go to the moon – and walk on its dusty surface. And that’s another reason the moon is special to me. It was the very day that Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon that I first learned of Carol Ringer, now my dear wife. I wrote about that in January of this year, “The Year That Changed It All.”

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DISAPPOINTED WITH HEAVEN

clipart-of-ornate-gold-front-gates-of-heaven-z6GY3U-clipart

© 2017 Bill Murphy

This is NOT some great revelation, hardly. And I’m not attempting to rock your doctrine. I’m just relaying the thought which bounced around in my brain/spirit this morning.

It all began as I was mulling over the idea of a story of someone who suddenly ‘wakes up’ to find themselves in Heaven. Then my spirit immediately went in this direction:

We think of Heaven as a destination, a place somewhere (above) in a location that God alone knows. We also think, at least most of us, of Heaven as being a place like – well – HEAVEN! We think of it as place which brings us untold joy and happiness and pleasure. I remember that as a young boy, thinking of it as a place where I could build amazing model airplane for all of eternity, each would be perfect, and all would fly like angels – WITH the angels! You get my point.

Now my ‘big boy’ understanding is that Heaven is where God dwells. “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9

I also understand that Jesus has prepared a place for us in Heaven, where we are to dwell with Him forever. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3

But – has the average/general understanding of Heaven become so carnal that we think Heaven is to be ‘OUR’ home? Do we think of Heaven as some fantastic Eternal Resort where our ‘eternal reward’ is to be pampered forever? Hollywood certainly would have us believe this!

Those who believe Hollywood’s vision of Heaven are in for a huge shock!

Remember, Heaven is ‘God’s Place,’ His home, His Kingdom, where He lives.

Yes, Jesus has prepared a place for us there – a place there in God’s place of abode.

Heaven belongs to God. He wants us there with Him – but it’s still His Place.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

So what does this mean for you and for me?

I hardly think I’ll be building model airplanes in Heaven! And I hardly think that I’ll be the center of attention. Yes, I know I will be oh so thankful, thrilled, over-joyed, etc. to be there – but I also understand that Heaven will not be ‘about me.’

I can’t believe that Heaven will be about self. Self must be left at the gate, like a pair of muddy boots left at the back door.

Heaven will be about HIM – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We won’t be bringing anything to the table – except for praise and thanksgiving to and for Him – and – our will.  He will present the feast – just as He has always been the giver of all things good and wonderful.

Heaven is reserved for those who have humbled themselves and freely given their hope, heart, and lives to Him. Heaven is for those who have willingly sold out to Him – lock, stock and barrel. We sing, ‘I surrender all.’ But we must also mean it, and do it!

This is possible.

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. Luke 23:43

 

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BC, AD, and BAC

Fanning copy

©2017 Bill Murphy

We’re familiar with the terms BC and AD. From the Julian calendar: BC (Before Christ) and AD, (anno Domini, in the year of our Lord.) For the purpose of this post, I suggest a 3rd – BAC. BEFORE AIR CONDITIONING.

The past is nothing more than HISTORY, and because I lived it, I believe I can speak FOR it. Heaven knows my grandchildren are baffled by it! In spinning these yarns about the good ole days, I consider myself simply ADDING to their education!

That said, I well remember BAC. The first A/C school that I attended was COLLEGE! Our old home on Evergreen had no A/C. And we really didn’t think we needed it.

The windows in our house were made in two sections, upper and lower. The lower section was RAISED 12” to 18” upward, and the upper section LOWERED by this same amount. Because warm RISES, warm air near the ceiling was allowed to flow OUT of the upper opened section and cooler (outside) air could flow INSIDE through the opened lower section to replace the hot air. On days when it was not HOT, we didn’t need the attic fan. Adjusting the windows to the above configuration sufficed. The windows in George Elementary School, Enochs Jr, Hi and Central Hi all worked this way. But on days when the house got HOT inside, we had our large attic fan.

This 36″ fan was located in the attic over the small hallway in the front of the house. It lay HORIZONTALLY, blowing UPWARD into the attic. When turned on, all the INSIDE hot air was sucked up into the attic and expelled through vents to the outside. Outside air was sucked INTO the house, to replace the air expelled OUTSIDE. Hey, it WORKED! Or at least we thought it did. (It also sucked in dust and pollen!) But honestly, I can’t remember being miserable.

Yes I do. I remember that 2 or 3 times, CHS was dismissed around Noon or 1 PM because of excessive heat. But we survived. My great-grand-kids cannot relate to living through that.

A/C came to merchants long before it came to Evergreen. And those businesses who ‘bit the bullet’ and paid for that huge ‘extra’ expense was duly proud of their outlay – and flaunted it! Plastered across the front entrances they proudly proclaimed, “We Have Air Conditioning,” written in blue lettering with snow on top of each letter and icicles hanging below! Dad’s old store, Jitney No. 2 on Gallatin didn’t have A/C, but when Jitney No. 19 was built in Mart 51, it did.

We never had central air on Evergreen. Later we had window units.

And my first personal window unit (during college) was not a true A/C. It had no compressor, and no coils, and of course, no REFRIGERANT. It was basically a metal rectangular box, with a deep ‘pan‘ at the bottom. It had a fan which pulled air through a thick screen of something resembling MOSS. A garden hose was attached at the top (outside) and water was allowed to ‘trickle‘ through this moss as air was sucked through it and blown into the room. A pump brought water up from the pan and back down through the moss. The garden hose was to re-supply water that evaporated. Yes, it did cool – slightly. But the air it expelled was also very HUMID!

Our last vehicle without A/C was a ’55 Chrysler, which we took across country to Vancouver and San Francisco. Dad purchased a new-fangled automobile ‘window unit’ just for that trip. It was nothing more than a 9″ metal cylinder about 18″ long, with a trap door on top. It attached to the window, and held in place when the window was raised. When filled with ICE, air entered the front air scoop, over the ice, and out through a vent that opened to the inside the car. It was rendered useless by the deserts out west.

I believe it was ’67 before I lived in a house with CENTRAL A/C. And yes, I really do appreciate the BLESSING of A/C. When you’ve lived WITHOUT something of value like A/C, you don’t take it for granted.

I suppose that’s my ‘lesson‘ in the post.

 

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Ole Bill Writes A Country Song

Guitar

OUR SECOND TIME AROUND ©2017 Bill Murphy

 

She got herself a lawyer, And I got me one too.

We divided up the furniture, And a memory or two.

Then she gathered up our children, And hit the dusty trail.

Her final words in parting was… “Sweetheart, You can go to-

Well – she actually was leaving, Oh the bitter fruits of sin,

Oh how could a love so wonderful, Come to such a shameful end?

Now God looked down from heaven, And it grieved Him to the bone,

To see the mess that we had made, Of our once, happy home.

Those precious little children, Need a mommy and a dad,

So I think I’ll work a miracle, And give ‘em back the love they had.

He knew our love still lived somewhere, For can love really die?

Only fools will lose a treasure, But the fools can’t tell you why.

God found our star of love still bright, Out in the Milky Way.

That one star in the billions… Was the love we’d thrown away.

Our story is a miracle, Our lost love has been found,

With God’s help we’ll do better, This second time around.

 

Hee Haw!  

 

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IF I COULD GO BACK TO ANY AGE

Bill Plane

© 2017 Bill Murphy

This was the subject/topic of a writing assignment for my Little Egypt Writer’s Society.

 

That’s easy for me. I choose any time from early 1944 thru the end of August of 1947. Why those dates? Because I’d be old enough to appreciate what was going on in early ’44. And August of 47 was my last month as a pre-schooler. I realize that times were hellish in the Pacific and in Europe, but for me, on the blissful safety of Evergreen Street in South Jackson, those were wonderful times!

At first I considered that June 10, 1960 would be a good date in which to return. It would give me the opportunity to say “I don’t” instead of “I do.” That first marriage should not have happened anyway. Or should it?

You see, our relationships with others, no matter how subtle of insignificant, how good or how bad, how fleeting or lengthy, are quite meaningful in the grand scheme of things. And, even if we could, we really don’t want to change the past. We’d mess up the world if we did. Changing history would throw EVERYTHING off – off for good in some cases, off for bad in others.

Imaging this – Monday morning and you’re rushing off to work, and discover that you’ve misplaced your car keys. That 3 minute search throws you even later, so you drive just a tad faster that unusual. Across town, a woman is also late, due to a slow driver ahead. She cuts onto an unfamiliar side street, doesn’t notice a stop sign, and barrels through – right in front of you. It’s her fault, yet still she’s killed in the crash. Now she’ll not produce the child, who would someday become a research scientist, who would make that long sought breakthrough which eradicates cancer forever.

Maybe.

So instead, 30 years from the date you misplaced your car keys, we would still have cancer killing folks who would not have died if you hadn’t misplaced your car keys! Chilling thought!

But, you’re saying, if I could go back and avoid that accident – it would be a huge benefit to mankind! Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps the other child this woman was not to have – would have been instrumental in starting WWIII!

If I had said, “I don’t” and walked away in 1960, I would have had 10 YEARS of some other life, giving me ample opportunity to miss meeting Helen Carol Ringer and saying, “I do” to her in 1970.

So you see, that street in June 1960 eventually crossed the one in May of 1970.

That said, I’d still enjoy returning to 1944-47 – but NOT ‘knowing what I know now.’ I wouldn’t want to return as a ‘visitor.’ No. I’d want to return and live it all over again as if I were living it for the first time, blissfully unaware of what was to happen next. If I did know then what I know now, I’d probably mess things up royally for the years ahead, both for me, and maybe for you also!

I certainly don’t want to mess up the world.

 

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