“Love just doesn’t happen. It’s not like a weed. It doesn’t grow by itself with no tending…” – Bill Murphy

It took a lot of cajoling. But the spotlight was finally turned on The Only Love Project’s founder as he was asked the same set of questions he routinely puts to others. What follows is the phone conversation Bill Murphy had with Saij MW (Ambassador of Unconditional Love, Tennessee) on September 3, 2014. Thank you, Saij, for your time and fleet-fingered transcribing talent!

SMW: Briefly tell us your background. What would you like others to know about you?

IMG_8408BM: Oh, I like how you put so much inflection into that question. It makes it sound like it’s a really good question [laughs].

Factually speaking, you can say I am a husband, a brother, a friend, a cat owner (or maybe the cat owns me…I don’t know). But, really, the most important thing I would like others to know about me is that I am somebody who cares and that I’d be by their side if they needed me. The factual things I began with (husband, brother, friend, etc.) are really pretty much in common with a lot of people. Such descriptors don’t set me apart from anybody. And, in fact, I am not really anybody special. But what I do strive to do is to be available to people who need help. So that’s what I’d like others to know about me: that I am there and that I care.

SMW: Well, that always comes across from my experience.

BM: Thank you.

SMW: Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?

LarrySelfPortrait2-copy copyBM: Absolutely, for a number of reasons. Some of it would be related to how I was brought up. Back when I was maybe 10 – 9, 10, 11, something like that – my mother thought it would be good for us to have some sort of religion in the house, and she wanted to pick a really old one to make sure it was authentic. [laughs]

So it was a toss-up between Judaism and Catholicism. She figured those were the two oldest Biblical sort-of religions. And for whatever reason she picked Catholicism. I don’t know what would have happened if she would have picked Judaism. I don’t even know if you can swing that. Well, Sammy Davis, Jr. did, I guess.

So for awhile I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic Sunday school. I may have even done the Confirmation thing. I don’t remember. It was a long time ago. After that I was done. (And I don’t even know if my brothers went through that.) I was nothing for quite awhile, sort of agnostic or atheist. Probably in my mid- to late-twenties I discovered Protestant Christianity (especially the writings of the late Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, Josh McDowell, John W. Whitehead, and Cal Thomas) and studied that for a few years. It answered a lot of questions, especially Continue reading

“How Do I Know God Exists? Try And Build An Ant.” – Kevin Matthews

KevinAIn May, 2013, The Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy (BM) spent an hour over coffee in the home of legendary radio personality Kevin Matthews (KM) experiencing a conversation that Kevin later called “a ceremony, a prayer.” You’re welcome to eavesdrop. Enjoy!

BM: Briefly tell us your background. What would you want others to know about you?

KM: Oh, that’s a long question. I’m alive, living on earth, you know. I just have been blessed with a lot of good things – good family, two kids, a granddaughter, a wife…so good things.

BM: What has been your background, professionally?

KM: Entertainment. Radio entertainment. But that’s the past. What’s going on in the future, and what’s going on now, is what’s important.

BM: Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?

KM: Well, you know it’s almost, like, Why are you here? Are you a spiritual person?

BM: Yes.

KM: How’s your health?

BM: Good. [laughs]

KM: You want to write a book, do you?

BM: Yeah. [laughs]

KM: I love to talk to you. You’re here for a reason. Why did you come here? Do you pray? If you do, I think a lot of your prayers are being answered, and you gotta realize what’s in front of you, with all of the things you’re doing right now. I mean, you’re taking pictures, you’re recording this, you’re changing a lot of dynamic in your life. You’re changing a lot of things. My Native grandma once told me that if you turn a stone, you change the universe. So think of what you’re here, taking pictures, recording, you’re changing things. And I think there’s no such thing as coincidence. You were supposed to be here, I was supposed to be here. And I just kept thinking this morning, “Why are you coming here?” You’re meeting people who you’re supposed to meet. We talked about Tim [Cusack], and Tim calls [he actually did during the interview with Kevin]. I think a lot of times people pray for things, and it comes right to them, and they don’t even see that the prayer’s being answered.

BM: Most religious traditions speak of the power and value of love. For example, the Dhammapada, from the Buddhist tradition, tells us “only love dispels hate.” The Bible tells us, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, Continue reading

Droopy

My wife has a green thumb. No. I take that back. Her entire body is green. She can magically transform any space — like our balcony — into a haven of wondrous sights and smells.

I don’t know much about flowers. But I know she does. So I watched her care for them, and I took mental notes. Eventually, when I realized that I wasn’t likely to break anything, I joined in. Mostly, I just water the flowers and plants. I let her pluck off the dead flower heads, rid the plants of Japanese Beetles and aphids, and add food to the water from time to time.

My job is to give the flowers a drink.

If I do say so myself, I’ve gotten good at it. I can tell at a glance that the flowers are thirsty.

They look droopy.

Like in the picture, above.

I know what healthy, satisfied pansies look like. And the flowers in the picture ain’t it.

But I wouldn’t have known that unless I paid attention to the flowers, both when they’re vibrant and when they’re lacking something.

People are the same way.

Example: One Saturday, late afternoon, we were in a local grocery store (one of Michigan’s major chains of grocery/clothing/pharmacy/sporting goods/audio & video stores) buying our food for the upcoming week. As we approached an empty check-out lane, I noticed the cashier Continue reading