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WRITE: Cec Murphey Appreciation Month

Posted by on June 11, 2010 in 90 Minutes in Heaven, Cecil Murphey, Gifted Hands, Words of Comfort for Times of Loss, WRITE | 8 comments

Little decisions can make a big difference. In 2007, as I pressed through the challenges of ghostwriting a memoir, I whined to an editor friend that I needed a “Ghostwriters’ Support Group.”

“You should get in touch with Cec Murphey,” she responded. After she provided his contact information, I made a small decision and reached out to the man whose name is synonymous with ghostwriting. I sent an email and received a polite, personal response. I also subscribed to his newsletter so I could learn more about the man and his message.

Cec Murphey, as he once told me, is “used to being ignored.” God—and Cec’s tremendous talent—is changing that with the success of projects that include the best-selling 90 Minutes in Heaven, written for Don Piper, and Gifted Hands, written for Ben Carson. This week, I read and enjoyed Words of Comfort for Times of Loss by Cec Murphey and Liz Allison. And Cec takes particular pride in his most recent release, When a Man You Love Was Abused.

Today, Cec Murphey writes many books that bear his name as author, but as a ghost- and collaborative writer, he does what I do. To be more accurate, I do what Cec does—on a smaller, less-experienced scale.

My little decision led to a bigger one when in 2008, I had the opportunity to attend a One-Day Intensive Writers Workshop in Cec’s Atlanta-area home. Because of the rapid way God moved me from writing magazine articles to books, I hadn’t spent much time around other writers. Until that weekend, I’d never attended a writers’ conference or workshop. I went—and fell in love.

I fell in love first with the writing community. I’d never known others who cared as much about words and the way they are put together as I did. Here—at last—I found people who spoke my language. As Cec shared his wisdom with the five of us, I realized: I know what he means. I understand why he’s saying this. It all makes sense. That weekend, I began a connection with other writers that’s an integral part of my present-day life and ministry.

I also fell in love with the man I’m blessed today to honor today. I watched the gentle, direct way he interacted with our small group. I heard his passion for God as he spoke of his dual commitment to keep learning about the craft of writing and to do as much as he could to help other writers. And I felt a strong sense of empowerment as—after multiple revisions—he praised not only my writing but my willingness to improve.

I attended the workshop to learn more about the craft of writing. I came away with much more. I now had a spiritual and writing mentor in this man who willingly, consistently lays down his life in service of others; who doesn’t hesitate to speak the truth in love; who gives without thought of return; and who writes each book with a consistent commitment to excellence. I’m thankful for my little decision and for the big difference it made—in my writing and in me.

Thank you, Cec. Thank you for your example of excellence in your craft and selflessness in your service. Thank you for your prayers. And thank you for the millions of words you’ve poured out through the years. They’ve touched and changed many lives. Along with a multitude of others, this humble ghostwriter is blessed to call you my mentor and honored to call you my friend—


(Forgot to add here that Kathy Perrine’s name was chosen as the winner of Cynthia Ruchti’s new book, THEY ALMOST ALWAYS COME HOME. Kathy, I’ll be in touch!)


  1. This is a man I wish every writer had the privilege to know. He has brought so much talent and encouragement to the kingdom of God. And I’m so glad YOU got the chance to share your gift with him.

  2. Marti, Thank you for posting this well deserved salute to Cec Murphey. I had the privilege of meeting Cec (and YOU!) this past spring at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference…my first writer’s conference also. It was because of Cec that I was there as a recipient of a Cec Murphey Scholarship. Quite honestly, I had no clue who he was…or how profoundly his compassionate message would reach into my heart. Little did I know that God was preparing me for a walk through the valley of great fear and anxiety for my son, who was diagnosed with cancer shortly thereafter. I finally had the opportunity to read “90 Minutes in Heaven” on the plane trip home from visiting my son in Maine. God works in mysterious ways…always preparing the way before us. Isn’t God amazing?

  3. You are right, Ramona. And you were right when you told me, “You should get in touch with Cec Murphey,” too! Pam, no one this side of heaven will have any idea the lives Cec has touched. I’m blessed to know you are one of those, too. And yes, God is amazing!

  4. Marti, Thank you so much. Once again, I’m so envious of those who can say so beautifully what my own heart feels.

    You are truly a sister of my heart! I thank God for getting to know you.

    And now I want a picture of me and Cec, too!

  5. Marti, thank you so much for such a beautiful post. Once again I’m so envious of someone who can write so beautifully what my heart feels.

    I’m so grateful for meeting you at QCCWC. You are truly a sister of my heart.

    And now I’m wanting a picture of me with Cec, too!

  6. You’re welcome, Gail. I think “Cec Murphey Appreciation Month” is a wonderful idea and was blessed to contribute my small offering. As for the picture–I’d say you have the connections. And once in a while, even a curmudgeon will smile for the camera.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to Cec, Marti. Thanks for posting it. 🙂

  8. And of course you are welcome, too, Twila! Sorry I didn’t catch this comment until now.

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