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LaJuana Murphy-Brann: Today's NEWS Flash!

The Weatherford Adventure continues .. - May 2, 2015

I have been honored to join the Weatherfords on several tours over the past year. It is somewhat of a “rerun” of the time I was with the quartet in 1969 — when Steve was the same age as his young son who tours with us now.

 The travels have taken me from California to Florida, to Pennsylvania and many states in between. I have “reconnected” with numerous friends from my past. What a joy!

 When home in Branson, I am blessed to still be a part of the music ministry at Faith and Wisdom Church where Gary McSpadden is pastor.

 God is good to this old gal.

 For a current tour schedule, check the Weatherford Tour page.



California November Weatherford Tour - November 17, 2014

Having a grand time on tour with the Weatherfords in California this month of November.

A couple of the highlights:  An outdoor concert at the Range Riders Ranch, where I played a rockin' duet with Jesse Hanna :)




Then had the great honor of meeting Gordon Jensen — one of gospel music's most prolific song writers —who attended one of our concerts last week. Standalee Weatherford took this photo of Jensen, Steve and me after the concert.

Our own Murphy Family had recorded Jensen's song, "Redemption Draweth Nigh," on an album in the '70s.



It's Official … I'm a Grandma! - July 28, 2014

The newest member of the Brann family arrived this past Saturday, July 26th, at 11:49 p.m. Aiden Christopher Brann made his debut in New York City, born to my son, Tyler, and his wife, Sarah. 

What excitement! I have yet to meet this first grandchild of mine — hopefully will do that in a few weeks. 




Independence Day - July 4, 2014

I spent this past Independence Day celebrating with “The Mom’s” friends at Maranatha in Springfield. I did find it sobering that many of her closest ones have moved upward — now reunited with her in a better world. 

I confess I do not visit her earthly resting place often. When I do, I just have this overwhelming awareness that she is not there! 

I did however, this past holiday, make the journey to the little corner of the earth where her old “cabin” lies beneath a beautiful tree in Greenlawn Cemetery. I had a conversation with Mom — but of course it was one-way. She didn’t answer back. 
Then again, “her tree” rustled in the wind. But there was no wind!

Miss you so much, Mom. How I would love to see the lights on again inside that aging old house you inhabited until you took flight! But I realize that for you, that October day in 2012 was your Independence Day. I will celebrate that. 

We’ll talk again, Mom. Soon. 

Very soon!


Mom's Tree



Mom's Stone - over the place where her old "cabin" was put to rest



Mom in her 20s




Missing You, Dad, This Father's Day - June 15, 2014

Someone once said of a father that had passed on: “Dad, remembering you is easy, I do it every day. Missing you is the heartache that never goes away.” How true this is for me … missing my dad, Bill Murphy, so much this Father’s Day.

However, a cousin sent me a treasure this day that brought a smile to my broken heart. I must share this with you … especially those of you who knew my father and his ministry.

First, a quick background story is in order.

In 1944, Bill met Canadian evangelist, Willard Cantelon, at a Texas crusade in my dad’s hometown. Bill ministered in music at that meeting, and Cantelon was impressed! Willard’s brother, Paul, was just starting out in ministry in Canada, and Willard felt that God was directing him to bring the two together to form a ministry team.

Long story (and it is) short, Willard took Bill and had a photo made of him in his cowboy hat … and billed him as “the singing cowboy.”  Then he put the nineteen-year-old singing cowboy on a train to Canada to meet up with Paul. And the rest is history.

Of course, in a matter of about 3 years, Bill met Ila Cantelon – their cousin ­– and the two married in Florida on New Year’s Day, 1947. A year and 16 days later, I was born to this incredible couple. Five years later, my bro, Robert, arrived on the scene.

But, today I was gifted with a piece of history that had just been discovered in the possession of one of the family – a letter, typed and sent in ’44 from Willard to his own father, Elmer Cantelon.  In it, he describes our dad and his ministry, and how Paul and Bill were brought together.

I share the exact paragraph with you today, from that incredible treasure!





The Singing Cowboy, Bill Murphy


Bill Murphy and Paul Cantelon … Ministry duo in 1944


Merry CHRISTmas! …. - December 24, 2013

This Christmas is the first ever that I have not been with my loved ones. Feels somewhat strange … but circumstances made it impractical this year. New York City, Fort Worth … you will miss me!

I will celebrate this day of Jesus’ birth with some of my church family. I am blessed to have great friends here in Branson Land; and we will make new memories this special day.

However, I will relate one of my most cherished holiday memories of all time. It was many Christmases past… when the Murphy Family was touring in California.

We were alone that year — just the 4 of us. We were making a decision as to where we would eat Christmas dinner. It was between a traditional holiday meal at a buffet, or Mexican food. Unable to come to a consensus, we voted.

3 to 1 — in favor of a traditional feast. Traditional Mexican, that is. Mom was the lone hold-out for turkey. Ah. Such great memories! 

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours as you celebrate the Birth of our Lord.





On The Racing Circuit? O' Why Not! - October 31, 2013




1 Year Ago -- "The Mom" Left Us - October 16, 2013


“Well, Mama … this day is almost over. 

It’s been one of mixed and untamed emotions for me. Hard to believe it was 1 year ago today that you moved out … Left your earthly house – in its weakened condition and needing repairs – and got a brand new one in Heaven’s land.

You had told me that it was time to move on … and how you longed to see Dad and your folks again. I think you knew that the little family you were leaving behind would be okay, and not far behind you. We’re doin’ alright – but we sure do miss you!

In conversation with Pastor McSpadden this evening, we recalled your home-going celebration service – where he so graciously joined our family in song. We had sung, 
“Soon And Very Soon, We are Going to See the King.” 

And in tonight’s service, we sang it again. Wow! What a reminder of the hope we have of being together again, some day not too distant.

So, I will say. ‘Good night for now, Mom.’ 

Oh, and I’ve been wondering if they have a Hammond B-3 organ up there? If they do, and you’re playing it, Heaven is probably rockin’ tonight!” 






"WHEN YOU ASK WHY" - May 16, 2013

Because we know that in all things God is at work for our good, we are confident that storms are not forever … the sky will clear again.” Daniel E. Johnson

 During the past months since “The Mom’s” going Home, I have gone through the gamut of emotions that come with personal grief. At a time when I needed words of comfort and hope, I found them in the pages of an extraordinary little book titled, “When You Ask Why.”

 First printed in 2002 and now in its eighth edition, the author/pastor uses his extensive knowledge of Biblical scripture and personal experience to speak to the troubled and questioning heart.

 He spoke to mine.

 If you are going through a time of doubt and questioning in your own walk with God — if you wonder why He has allowed your suffering — you will find a gentle reminder of His ultimate caring, love and purpose for you through the words penned in this book.  I cannot recommend it more highly!  



"When You Ask Why" can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or from New Leaf Press. Call 1-800-643-9535 and ask for a sales rep.


Mom - Home For Easter - March 30, 2013

A close friend of the family, Greg Asimakoupoulos, wrote this beautiful poem about a mom celebrating her first Easter in Heaven. It so touched my heart, I 
want to share it with you this day. "Happy Easter, Mom."


            HOME FOR EASTER! 


Your mom went home for Easter.
Someone took her by the hand
and said “Ma'am, you are invited 
to have supper with the Lamb.

“Your name’s written in this volume,”
he said pointing to a book.
“It’s the Lamb’s list of the faithful.
Step in closer. Take a look!

“Jesus died to pay your ransom
and then rose in victory
so that you could be at home here.
Don’t you love this crystal sea?”

Then a hand reached out with nail prints
beckoning your mom to come
as the Savior said, “My precious,
since your time on earth is done

won’t you sit here right beside me?
For this moment I have longed.
This is why I died to save you
and forgive you of your wrong.

“When I rose from death that Sunday,
I imagined you with me
feasting with the saints and angels
and for all eternity.”

And just then a trumpet sounded
and the Lamb approached the throne
while your mother and the others
worshiped Christ and Him alone.

That’s what Easter’s like in Heaven.
He who died now reigns in love
in a place of utmost grandeur
that your mother long dreamed of.

by Greg A.


Winter in the Ozarks - February 21, 2013

I am amazed at how some people let nothing stand in the way of something they love to do … like fishing, no matter what the weather!  We have had 24 hours of thunder, lightening, snow, ice and freezing drizzle. But … right in the middle of it all … these folks are "doin' their thing."

Taken from my window above Lake Taneycomo, Branson, MO.


In Memory ... - December 13, 2012




In Loving Memory of "The Mom" … 



In the afternoon hours of Tuesday, October 16th, Heaven opened its gates to another of God’s choicest … our beloved mom and grandmother, Ila Cantelon Murphy.  I’m sure she was met by Dad Bill, and is being escorted by angels on a tour of that celestial home as we speak.

 Our hearts are broken as we deal with our loss; but we can rejoice in the knowledge that Mom is where she has wanted to be for some time. She lived an incredible life, most all of her 89 years in service to the Lord she loved.

 Mom’s “Celebration of Life,” held on Friday, Oct. 19, was just what she would have wanted … a “Sunday evening” kind of service, complete with church orchestra, congregational singing and the family joining in song. Even Mom herself participated, via a video that was recorded of her singing, “The Old Account Was Settled,” at a Maranatha Village concert just 10 weeks before her passing.  (The link to that video is given below.)

 Our strength is in the hope that we will be with Mom and Dad again … and, in the words of the song with which we closed her service, we expect that will be “Soon And Very Soon!”

 Thanks for the many words and expressions of love and sympathy that so many have sent our way. Two of the original “Murphy Family” are now left to walk this road … May we do so in a way worthy of the parents that taught us well.



Getting my Bearings ... - December 6, 2012


It has been several weeks, now … since "The Mom"  left this earthly home and went to be with the Lord she loved. It has been a time of mixed emotions for our family left behind, especially with the Christmas holidays approaching.
I have taken some time off, and am in Fort Worth with my brother and his wife.  A few days ago, my sister-in-law took me to the Botanical Gardens nearby.  The weather was delightful, the trails peaceful and the scenery restful. 



Obituary for Mom Ila - November 7, 2012

Obituary for Ila Murphy

 Ila Cantelon Murphy made her entrance into this world at Rainy River, Ontario, Canada on February 11, 1923. Her parents were Todd and Rena Cantelon. Ila passed from this life on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 in Springfield, MO.  She had resided at Maranatha Village, the Assemblies of God retirement community in Springfield, since April of 2007. Until that time, Ila had made her home in Pocatello, Idaho.

 Ila is survived by one brother, Garth (Lucille) Cantelon; a son, Robert (Delena) Murphy; a daughter, LaJuana Brann; 3 grandsons, Tyler, Taylor, Brandon, and 1 granddaughter, Jeri; 1 niece, Gayle and 1 nephew, Gordon.  Her husband, Rev. Bill Murphy, preceded her in death 9 years ago.

 Music and ministry were Ila’s passion. Born into a clan of ministers, she got an early start in that direction for her life.  Ila learned to play the piano at age 4, and good enough to begin using her talents in church at such an early age. Both her parents and brother Garth were talented musicians who used those gifts in radio ministry in the early years of dad Cantelon’s pastoral assignments.

 In 1946, Ila met the love of her life, Bill Murphy.  Ila was traveling in evangelistic ministry with her family. Bill was working in evangelism as a team partner with Paul Cantelon. Both attended a Bible camp in Manitoba that summer of ’46;  the sparks flew, and love blossomed. They were married January 1st of 1947, in Tampa, Fla. 

 The years that followed saw two children join the team, and the Murphy Family became road warriors for the Lord. Intertwined within those years of evangelism, Bill and Ila pastored 6 Assemblies of God churches, including what is now “River of Life Church” in Pocatello from 1981 to 1989. Many lives were impacted by their seasons of ministry, as evidenced by the outpouring of love and support at their departures from this life.

 A celebration of Ila’s life was held Friday, Oct. 19, at Maranatha Village Chapel, under the direction of Greenlawn Funeral Home. Rev. David Flower, along with Maranatha Chaplains Darrel Paddock and Steve Anoa’I, participated in the service. The Maranatha orchestra provided music along with members of the Murphy family. Ila herself participated, via a video that was recorded just 10 weeks before at a Maranatha concert. It can be viewed at this Internet address:

 This amazing wife, mom and grandmother will be greatly missed! Our loss is only Heaven’s gain.



"The Mom" Is Still a Rock Star! - October 5, 2012

Mom Ila … at 89-years-old … is still doing her thing! This video was recorded on the evening of July 29th at Maranatha Village Chapel in Springfield, Missouri.


Mom's House Guest - May 31, 2012

I have become "up close & personal" with the wildlife of the Ozarks! This little fellow … a white dove … dines on Mom's deck daily. Today he allowed me a closer encounter. He and his mate have an about-to-hatch egg that they tend to on the deck next door :)







One Nation, Under God - May 26, 2012

" … One Nation, Under God "



Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Pictures, Images and Photos




The Truth of Easter - April 1, 2012

So much commercialism around this time of year.  Easter eggs and baskets, stuffed bunnies, rows and rows of pastel candies and other seasonal merchandise in my local Walmart … 

Let's get it right, this time. Easter IS the message of our risen Lord!


25 Years ago … My life changed forever! - March 12, 2012


25 years ago this Monday the 12th of March, this little guy changed my world forever. Happy Birthday, Tyler Brann!



Branson's "Leap Day" Tornado - March 4, 2012

1:25 a.m. … Wednesday, the 29th day of February … we were awakened by that eerie sound of sirens declaring an approaching tornado. I have been in Branson since this past October and have heard the drill in midday a time or two. This time, it was not in the afternoon ... nor a drill. Welcome to the Ozarks in the spring!

The major damage took place about a mile from the home I am staying in. Not until the break of day did we realize the extent of the catastrophe that had transpired. The following is an aerial view of "The Strip" on highway 76 through the center of Branson.  The link provided will take you to a series of photos, courtesy of many news outlets in our area.  


Additional photos:

Video feed:

I have also posted additional updates on my Facebook profile page:

Dad's Stetson - February 4, 2012

Nine years ago this day of February 4th, Dad Bill Murphy packed away his Gibson guitar, bid farewell to all of us and returned to his Heavenly home … leaving his Stetson behind. He wears a crown, now. 

Man, do we ever miss "The Leader of the Band!"



Moe, the "Granddog" - February 1, 2012

Yep. Finally a grandparent!  Of a dog, that is. Tyler and Sarah have recently had an addition ... rescued the little guy from an animal shelter. By all reports, "Moe" is spoiled rotten! I hope to someday soon have the chance to further the cause.




MERRY CHRISTMAS! - December 9, 2011


Oh my … it's been awhile since I updated this page! 

I am now living in the amazing community of Branson, Missouri.  Well, somewhat … still have much of my life in a Tulsa storage facility.  

I am so honored to be part of the "greatest band in Branson" … the worship band at Faith and Wisdom CenterGospel music's great, Gary McSpadden, and his lovely wife Carol are the pastors. What incredible musicians I work with! 

God has also opened the doors for me to provide some technical services for two more of His best musical artists who are headquartered here in Branson, Gary S. Paxton and Gloria Elliott. Gary and his beautiful wife, Vicki Sue, have opened their hearts and their home to me. ( Yeah … this is a view from the  "Paxton office" :) ) And Gloria has provided my "alternate homeless shelter" … how much more blessed can I get! 




Eventually, I will get settled … where God wants me … and in His timing. In the meantime, I am within 35 - 40 minutes driving distance of Mom Ila, who will turn 89 this coming February. She still resides at Maranatha Village … the Assemblies of God retirement complex in Springfield.

My brother Bob and his wife Delena will be joining us for Christmas. I will miss being with my son Tyler and his wife Sarah … they are in the other world of New York City! God willing, and funds providing, I will get to visit them in January.

Have a very blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Joplin Tornado and Tulsa Summer - July 17, 2011

It has been awhile since I posted an update. So much to do … so little time.

The summer heat has been/is incredible! Temperature records are being broken consistently in our vicinity. 100 degrees-plus daily … made most unbearable by the added humidity.  No rain. Texas and West Oklahoma are in extreme drought.

 In the midst of these climate conditions comes the devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Interstate I-44, that I frequently take from Tulsa to Springfield, passes through the southern section of Joplin. A couple of weeks ago I took the opportunity to detour into the part of that city that was hit the hardest.  I can honestly say, I will never be the same.

I was warned by some who had been there that I would not be prepared for what I would see. How right they were! It was 5 weeks and 5 days after the EF5 storm struck … and the landscape still resembled a nuked war zone. I wept. The photo below was one of many that I took that day. This was one of only a few homes that still resembled what it used to be. 

Please pray for Joplin. I am in contact with friends who are lending physical help in restoring some order among the devastation. It will take months. Probably years.


TORNADO OUTBREAK! - May 29, 2011



 For those of you who have been following our Oklahoma and Missouri storms over the past few days, this link pretty well tells it all!  Our families are safe, but our prayers go out to those who have suffered the effects of this week of tragedy. 



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