Glen Murphy Story

My name is Glen Murphy and I am in the process of retiring from a very successful 40+ year career in the plastic packaging industry. I was born and raised in Northern Illinois into a Catholic family.

We were expected to go to church. I was a good little boy, went through Catechism class and got my First Communion and Confirmation.As soon as I was old enough to leave the house, I married Martha in 1966. We had our first child Sherry in 1967 and bought a station wagon in 1968 with a wood grain on the sides. We decided we didn’t need to go to church anymore because nobody was making us go.

We were now the American family, and when Sherry turned four we decided to return to going to church. I told Martha that we should make Sherry go to church like I had to go to church. It wouldn’t be fair if she didn’t have to go to church. So we started going to church because it was the thing to do, not because we really wanted to unfortunately. We moved to Naperville, Illinois and got involved in a church. Naperville had two Catholic churches, a north church and a south church. One church had the Mass in Latin, and the younger generation church had a priest that was hip.

A salesman at work went on a Marriage Encounter Weekend and he convinced me to attend. The Catholic Church sponsored this event and promised it would help make good marriages better and stronger. I was skeptical, but our salesman said, “Glen, you got to do this.” “Well, what did you do there?” He wouldn’t tell. It was a big secret. You had to go there. So I finally convinced Martha that we should sign up for one of these Marriage Encounters. Martha was not raised in the church, and so she was coming along for the ride. During the Marriage Encounter Weekend, I saw God in action for the first time. It was a weekend put on by one priest, Father Bates, and several lay couples, and they taught us to communicate with our spouses. I noticed that these people had a relationship with God. They talked like they knew Him and I wanted what they had.

On Monday morning I wanted to talk to the priest, Father Joel, and he knew we had been on a Marriage Encounter. He said, “How was your weekend?” I went, “Well, it was okay, but I need more.” He said, “Well, what do you mean?” I said, “I saw this relationship. I saw these people that had a relationship with God, the triangular deal.” Father Joel said, "Well, can I pray with you?” I went, “Well, absolutely. That’s why I came here. I mean this is why I think I am here, Father,” and he said, “Well, let me ask you a couple of questions.” Go for it. He asked, “Do you believe in God?” I said, “Well, yes, of course, I am a Catholic. I believe in God. We all believe in God,” all right? He said, “How about Jesus Christ, Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, became man, suffered, died for your sins, rose again, seated at the right hand of the Father?” I said, “Yes, that’s what we are taught. I guess I believe that. I also believe Christopher Columbus discovered America,” and it was in the same realm that I connected that way. He said, “Well, how about the Holy Spirit?” I went, “Yes, in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit,” and that the Holy Spirit was from my right to my left shoulder. He said, “Oh, no. The Holy Spirit was Jesus ascended to heaven. The day of Pentecost he sent the spirit that we would not be orphaned here, that he would send the comforter.” “Okay. I kind of remember in Confirmation getting, receiving the spirit so they said,” and he said, “Well, let me pray for you,” and I went “fine.”

Father Joel sat me down in his Lazy Boy chair, and walked behind me, and put his hand on my head. The first thing that goes through my head is that he is messing up my hair; what is he doing? He started praying, and I figured Our Father, Hail Mary, you know, all these structured prayers that we grew up with, and he just started talking to God. I went okay. He is a priest. He has got this direct line, and he can do that, but I can’t. So he starts talking to God, and I am sitting there wanting this relationship that I had seen over the weekend. So as he is praying for me as I am sitting there thinking Lord, I want to know You and by the way, my middle name is Thomas, and I need proof. Lord, if You are real show me. I wasn’t there on the seashore when Christopher Columbus sailed up and discovered America. I wasn’t there when they crucified You. I want to know you are real. I remember hearing about people having visions. I never had a vision, but I am asking the Lord for vision. I am being prayed for by a priest who is messing up my hair.

I said you know what, Lord, my eyes were bowed, and I said I am going to look up in this corner, and if you are real, Lord, I am going to see something. I am going to see you in a cloud or whatever, and I peaked and saw nothing. I put my head back down. I went, “Lord, maybe this other corner and nothing.” I put my head back down, and at that point I heard Father Joel. I started listening. I stopped talking to God myself and listened to Father Joel’s prayer, and he was praying, ‘Father, Glen wants to know if You are real.” He said, “Just fill him with your spirit and flow throughout his inner being.” When he said that I felt the presence of almighty God come into my body from the feet up through my head and my bones were hot. As soon as it went up to the top of my head into his hand through my messed up hair, Father Joel stopped instantly praying, and he came around and he looked at me, and he said, “You felt something, didn’t you?” He was crying. He felt it too. You know God took time to do that for me because I needed that.

Then he said, “Glen, you have just been baptized in the Holy Spirit,” a Catholic priest telling me this in 1974, and then he said, “I have got a Bible for you. You have now met the author.” By the way, as a child the Bible was on the coffee table. It was way too big to even pick up and turn the pages, we never opened it, but this is the Bible Father Bates gave me (holding it over his head), that I got out from the top shelf of the closet tonight so I could bring it here tonight to show you. It is held together with rubber bands, but Father Joel said, “Glen, you know the author. Go home and read it.” So I went home and told Martha what happened. She said, “Sure. I am glad that this happened to you, yeah, okay, good” as I am sitting there thinking who can I call and tell? I didn’t know a Doug Raine, or a Terry Miller or a Tom Walton back then. Who can I call? Well, there was one man at work, Virgil Barnes, who asked me three years earlier if I was saved?” He said, “Well, you are not saved, because if you were saved, you would know you are saved,” and he said, “I will pray for you,” and my first thought was, “Well, I don’t think I want you to pray for me.” Was Virgil Catholic? No, no, but when I had this experience I called Virgil at work.

I was home sick that day supposedly, and so I called Virgil, and I said, “Virgil, I know what you are talking about.” Now Virgil is one of these guys that sat in the corner of the lunchroom with his little pocket Bible when everybody else was reading their horoscopes and the sports pages. He is the only guy in the world that I knew that would understand. Father Joel told me that they have a prayer group that meets on a weeknight, and I went, “People come when they don’t have to go to church? I mean do Catholics go on weeknights? You know, it is not an obligation.” He says, “Oh, yes. Come Tuesday night, and we are starting what is called the Life in the Spirit Seminar, and we are on week two. They already had one, but you are already at week seven.” I went to this prayer group, and it was like the Marriage Encounter Weekend. The spirit was there. It was working, and I felt like very, very comfortable. It was weird. If you weren’t where I was, you would have said it was weird. Martha and I got involved and started going to the prayer group. Martha came one night and said, “You guys are weird” and backed off, and then when she started seeing the change in me, then she decided to start coming and about five months later got involved herself, and I will let her share her testimony someday. But, after getting involved with the Life in the Spirit Seminar and finding out about the gift of tongues, I wanted the gift of tongues because when I was prayed for with the priest I didn’t get that gift. I wanted so much to get tongues, and I did. I can give you two examples of speaking in tongues. I was in a prayer room ministry, and people would come in and want prayer, but they wouldn’t want to tell you what they wanted prayer for. Well, I don’t care. I mean God knows. So we lay hands on them and pray in tongues. We don’t need to be part of the conversation. The second thing was praising the Lord. You know we are limited in this language to twenty-six letters? I am glad there aren’t more letters because you would have to type more, learn more, but you know with a heavenly prayer language you can voice beautifully praises to the Lord without being limited to twenty-six letters of the alphabet.

My career in sales started as a child going door to door to sell seeds. Everybody had gardens back in the fifties, and I would ring doorbells and sell little packets of seeds. But my future as an adult started in the packaging business. I was a service technician, and I wanted to get into sales because monetarily they make a lot more money than the service techs. The Lord was putting on our heart the principle of tithing. We never tithed before. We put a little money in a basket here and there, but the sales position was 100% commission. I was thinking of tithing 10%. Lord, you made a deal with us. You said in your word if we give to You, You will give to us in return. Lord, I am making zero because I am a salesman on commission, and I haven’t sold anything yet, and I want to take you up on Your promise. You let me make a dollar, I am going to give you a dime right off the top, and at the end of the first year we made as much money as we did the last year as a service tech. On my fourth month of sales people started buying from me, and that was a great feeling. Buyers said, “Hey Glen, we will give you an order.” They didn’t have to buy from me. I know my price wasn’t the best, but they bought it from me anyways.

The Lord was helping me. At the end of that first year we made as much money as we did the last year as a service tech. But Martha said, “We gave 10% to the Lord and we actually lived on 10% less.” Guess what? We did our income tax and got 12% back. This works.” We never looked back from then on. We have been in sales for forty-one years. This tithing works. I don’t care what percentage you use. Start doing it and you will be blessed. Then about seven years ago we had only been giving 10%. We were spending 90%. Was that Biblical? God will hold us accountable for what we do with the part that we keep. I started memorizing a couple of passages of scripture, and one was 1st Chronicles 29:11-12. “Everything in the heaven and the earth is yours, oh Lord, and this is your Kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength.”

The other one was Phillipians 4:11-13 when Paul says, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am in. I know how to get along with humble means. I also know how to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering and need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Okay, just memorizing those things. I memorized those scriptures by putting them on postcards and placing them on the control wheel of my airplane. I felt closer to God while flying and when I put my plane on autopilot there was nothing to do for hours, and that’s a great time to learn scripture. It worked for me. I started to learn that I am going to be held accountable for how I spend the 90%, and before we make a purchase, especially a major purchase, we pray over it. Sometimes I don’t get what I am hoping for because it is not in His will. I started flying for the Lord. I was blessed to get a pilot’s license in 1971, and I thought, jeepers, you know what? Sherry is going to be out of the house by the time I am thirty-five years old, and we are going to buy this airplane and go be a missionary. We moved to Texas in 1982 and had two more children. We drank the water in Greenville, Texas. It works, believe me. While our children were growing up, I never thought of going away and being a missionary.

But I still wanted to serve the Lord and ended up being what I call a weekend warrior. It is kind of like being in the Army Reserves, and you go just a few weekends out of the year. I would fly mostly dentists to Mexico on mission trips and made over sixty trips in twenty years. I have been really blessed doing that, but we have also been blessed with two children, additional children and grandchildren. Life is good. If you have never been around a group of happy people, please read Demos Shakarian’s book, The Happiest People on Earth, and you will find the answer on how to be the happiest person on earth.

I love being around Spirit-filled Christians. I am going to close with this; the first passage of Scripture that I read from the Bible given to me by Father Bates at the Marriage Encounter Weekend that meant something to me on how to love my wife more deeply like Christ loved the church. So I am sure a lot of people might be familiar with Ephesians 5: 25-29. It says, “In the same way husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies. For man to love his wife is for him to love himself. A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it,” and that is the way Christ treats the church because it is his body, and we are his living parts, and, Men, you have to love your wives. If you hit your finger with a hammer, you go take care of it. You love yourself, okay? I had to get over that because I was taught if you like yourself, you were conceited. Please take time, if you are not in a fellowship or in a church, to go and seek out folks that have a real personal relationship with Jesus, and you will be blessed. Thank you very much.

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