Item description for Walking With Arthur: Finding God on My Way to New York by James O'Donnell...
Overview O'Donnell didn't know what was missing in his life, but he sure didn't expect to find it on his daily commute to New York City. Readers can "listen in" on Jim's conversation with Arthur, as he contemplates the mysteries of life. (Motivation)
1984 was a big year for James (Jim) O'Donnell.
It was the year his delinquent father died. It was the year his salary was cut after achieving some heroic success for his firm. It was the year his 9-year-old son talked about killing himself. And it was the year that he decided to divorce his wife.
It was in 1984 that Jim discovered he believed in nothing. He held nothing sacred. He trusted no one. And no one he knew was worth trusting.
That was, until he met Arthur.
In this spiritual memoir, Jim recounts his daily commutes with Arthur. Commutes during which Arthur never preached to Jim or handed him a tract, but the two men just walked. And God worked.
Written in frank and inviting style, "Walking with Arthur" will make you feel as if you are taking this journey alongside Jim.
A Short Excerpt from the Prologue:
In meeting Arthur, in 1984, I awoke as if from a long sleep. From a lifetime of self-absorption, I awoke to want to learn about the purpose and meaning of life.
I'm writing this book to encourage men, especially, to seek good friends-not any friends. Men need to look for friends who will help them discover what's important in life. I hope men will talk to each other about the kinds of things my friend Arthur talked to me about.
What follows are some things that two friends talked about during five special years together. Our conversations appear in no particular order, though they are linked by the common hope that men might learn, grow, discover, and desire the good life-the "really" good life, that is.
This is a story about the great good that real friendship can do. It's a story about my friend Arthur, how we met, what we did, what we talked about, and the profound effect his friendship has had on my life. I hope you have-or one day will have-such a friend, because such a friend is priceless in the confusion and difficulty that life holds for us.
If hope you find a good friend with whom to share your won life and to grow wise, as good and wise a friend as Arthur was to me. May you find that someone, or may you come to "desire" to find such a friend-someone with whom you can share trivia as well as search out the deepest riches of wisdom. I hope you find a friend who not only watches "Monday Night Football" with you but who challenges your deepest convictions.
For me, that someone came into my life in 1984.
Citations And Professional Reviews Walking With Arthur: Finding God on My Way to New York by James O'Donnell has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 12/13/2004 page 63
Ingram Advance - 01/01/2005 page 88
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Studio: Northfield Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.56" Width: 4.98" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2005
Publisher MOODY PRESS BOOKS #13
ISBN 1881273679 ISBN13 9781881273677
Availability 2 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 03:34.
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More About James O'Donnell
JAMES O DONNELL spent many years as an executive in the financial services industry with such firms as Fidelity Investments and the Dreyfus Corporation. He is currently a professor of Business and Economics at Huntington University. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his MBA from Columbia University. He is the author of "Letters for Lizzie" and "Walking with Arthur," which chronicle his wife s battle with cancer and his spiritual journey as they walked through those trials together. O Donnell currently resides in Huntington, Indiana."
Reviews - What do customers think about Walking With Arthur: Finding God on My Way to New York?
ONE GOOD BOOK TO READ AND THEN SHARE WITH OTHERS. Jun 30, 2008
Others have already shared what the book is about. It is simply about the author, O'Donnell, and his friend Arthur who softly shared his belief in God and created the avenue for James O'Donnell to follow Christ in like manner. It is a true story of how simple witnessing through a lifestyle can change people's lives for the better. The book is a simple way, by buying and passing it along, to share one's own belief in Christ as Savior and Master of our life. A fine witnessing tool for anyone, especially men.
I met the author and found the book to be a true reflection of the man, the Christian, the professor and a truly caring person. The Lord did a magnificent work through both Arthur and Jim.
The book was written after O'Donnell's other book titled "Letters for Lizzie" which is an amazing story of Jim and his wife's fight for life. She won and yet lives on, although both are tested frequently. They have a strong faith, and an absolutely unbelievable story to read. Although the couple began on the east coast, we Hoosiers are proud and glad they gave so much up and give so much of themselves, now here in Indiana.
You will be blessed by reading both books by James O'Donnell. The good news: he is working on another.
Walking With Arthur is an inspirational read for any Christian or any person desiring to know what God can do for you. Perhaps all of us can learn to be "Arthur's", as Jim recommends to his students and friends alike.
Brave and Honest Oct 30, 2006
A book every business executive should read, this is brave and honest, a spiritual memoir that aches with truth.
What I learned from this book Apr 3, 2006
Sunday, April 2, 2006
Today is Enough
Who has time to read books anymore? Life is just too busy!! I can't remember the last time I sat down and read through a few chapters, let alone a whole book. Aside from the time I take to read the Bible, I never get a peaceful, quiet moment to read. My life is too chaotic! Any parent knows that when you have a three year old, and a little baby, you just don't get the luxury of "quiet" very often.
In addition to the absence of silence and private time, is the sleep deprivation. No matter what, I can never get enough! So was the case this morning. Now that daylight savings time has gone into effect, here in Indiana, we have now lost another precious hour of sleep, or so it seems. I wanted to just roll over and pretend it wasn't Sunday. However, I have come to realize that the times where you want to skip church the most are the times where you most need to go. In fact, every time I have resisted the temptation to stay home, I have never regretted what I could have missed!
This was the case today. We went to church and I was tired and couldn't wait to go home and take nap. I wasn't in the mood for much, but I waited for worship to be over and the service to start. Today, we had a speaker. This was a rare treat. Our church usually doesn't have speakers very often. So, you KNOW it's going to be good!
I must say, as tired as I was, I was glad that I was there. The speaker was James O'Donnell. He teaches as Huntington College. He spoke about how he used to be so caught up in his own life. He loved money, and no matter how much he had, or what he had, it was never enough. Yet, he never really considered God too much, until he met a special friend named Arthur. Arthur gently steered him in the right direction, towards God. Over time, he started becoming more curious about the Lord, and eventually, went with Arthur to a Men's group.
As his heart began to soften, he opened up his life more and more to God. It was because of Arthur's friendship that he came to Christ. Arthur's gentleness and patience in leading him was also a big part in drawing him to the Lord.
This man encouraged me that even when you think you aren't doing much for the Lord, you never know the influence you have on people. Just as Arthur led James to Jesus slowly, that is how we must be with others. I have been praying and trying for years to lead certain people to Christ. It hasn't happened yet, but I won't give up hope. It's just hard sometimes. But, this story has encouraged me to keep planting seeds.
Seeds may be small, but they don't stay that way. When they are watered and tended, they grow!! The seeds I plant are sure to grow! So, I must never underestimate the power of patience, kindness, and love. Those are the seeds that are sewn in deeply, and those seeds always have a way of sprouting!!
Of course, this man has written a wonderful book about his experiences called Walking with Arthur. Finding God on My Way to New York. As I mentioned earlier, I am not one for reading books much anymore. Even when I do get books, I start them and then never finish them. What good would it do if I bought a book and then it just sat around?
Nevertheless, I knew I had to take the chance. Most of all, I had a person in mind when I felt God urging me to buy this man's book. So, after the service, I approached his table and talked to Mr. O'Donnell about the person on my heart. I told him that this person is a lot like he used to be. He sees no need for God or for church and he just does things his own way. I told him that I didn't know if this person would read the book, or what it would take to reach him, but I had to try. He wrote inside the cover: "I met Melissa today. You know what? She loves you a bunch. God bless you. Jim O'Donnell"
I don't know if those words will compel the recipient to read or not, but I know that it just encouraged me all the more. I am still clinging to the hope that he, along with other friends and family of mine, will know Jesus before it is too late.
With that thought in mind, I thought that maybe I should read this book when I got home. To my delight, it was only about 150 pages, and looked like an easy, enjoyable read. I thought for sure I could read it in one day, and was determined to do so. That way, I could better refer people to the book, as well as the things that Mr. O'Donnell spoke about in his message this morning.
I can now say that I have actually read a book, other than the Bible, cover to cover for the first time in I don't know how long! Maybe that's not much of an accomplishment, but for me, I was happy that I could finally "finish" something and even more so, get something out of it as well.
I've got to say, this is the best read that I have had in a long time! I might even have to buy my own copy for myself, and even more for people for Christmas presents, and what not. This is a book that EVERYONE should read! It's smart, honest, and real. I also realized that some of the best books are never bestsellers. Until today, I had not heard of this book, but if word gets out, I'm sure others will find the wealth of wisdom in it.
While I was reading, I felt I just had to write down the things that grabbed me most. One of the first things was this nugget of wisdom that Arthur shared with James about technology: "Far beyond its power to make us more productive or, as some think, save humanity, it has tremendous power to distract or entertain us."
I don't know about you, but that speaks VOLUMES TO ME! How many of us can relate to the ever helpful computer at home or at work who breaks down. Still, we all claim that technology is wonderful and makes our lives easier. Yet, all we do is invest more time and money in repairs and maintenance to keep this helpful tool running. Such a helpful database is most useful, except when it crashes. Then, what do you have to fall back on? I hope we never totally abandon MANUAL RECORDS AND LABOR!!
Another thing that is pointed out is that technology entertains and distracts us. That's for sure! Look how many, myself included, get sucked into computer or video games. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to ease stress by playing a nice fun game on the computer, only to find myself more obsessed and stressed trying to earn points, rewards, and other ridiculous virtual prizes that you can't even get your hands on. "Oh boy! I beat the game! Now what? Is that all there is? I labored for hours on a game? Gosh, that was kind of stupid. What prize or fame did I really attain?"
That's what happens when success is wrongly defined. True success is in things that you don't often see or touch. It's just like this next bit of wisdom from the book: "those of us who find some success in life--whatever success means to us--it can become difficult to trust in anything other than whatever that success is."
Wow! Now there is something to think about! There is always a trust test. People may be shocked when they find out that the temporary things like looks, smarts, money, or even people, fail them. Our trust can't rely on those things. We need to trust in the things that last and won't fade away. Our faith needs to be put in the things that will withstand the test of time and the hardships in life. Our hope and trust needs to be in God, and in the fruit of the Spirit. Those things strengthen us and keep us going.
So many times, fear is mixed in with success. We are often afraid of success itself. I know that I am at times. But, one must realize that the more fear you have about something, the more urgent it is that you overcome it. At least, that's how I feel. The things you fear most should be the things you're most willing to fight for. In Mr. O'Donnell's book, he and Arthur talk about whether or not the thing you're afraid of is really important enough to be worth your fear. Well, when you put it that way, I guess there are a lot of silly fears that can be dropped like, "will I make it to here or there on time?" or "what if I can get this or that done?"
Overcoming fear can be difficult, but I love how Arthur's friend, Perry, puts it: "God often gives us a vision of what's ahead, but doesn't give us the means to get there...yet. He doesn't cut the string to where we are right away." Later, Perry also says: "There's no hurry to make things happen, to make your own success. First, and foremost, just show up. Then do the good that lies nearest. Let God set the pace."
These two quotes put everything in a new perspective for me. A lot of times, I feel "stuck." I feel like I am not doing much, if anything, for the Lord. But, when I read this, I think about what I'm doing now. Maybe, what I'm doing is "enough." Maybe today is "enough." There's nothing wrong with reaching above and beyond, but when you don't quite get there, maybe it's ok to be content with what you did "today," and just resolve to persevering each new day that you are given. God may give us a vision, but maybe it's not always clear how to get there. Maybe, we should just be content to wait and to take things slow. Who says that every step has to be a giant step? Baby steps are steps too, and no matter how big or little the steps are, as long as you're walking, you're moving toward your goal. We have to be content with "today" in order to be happy with what will come "tomorrow." Just wait. I always hear Dr. Phil say: "Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow hasn't happened yet. All you've got is today." Make today count, and don't worry about tomorrow.
Another thing that Mr. O'Donnell talks about in the book are goals and dreams. Everyone has things that they have always wanted to do. Some are realistic, and some are way out there. The bottom line is, are they fitting and worth pursuing? Are the things to which you aspire to do worth tireless time and pursuit, especially if they don't involve God in your plans? The best things worth pursuing are those that include God and answer the tough questions like: "Why am I here?" "What is my purpose in life?"
So often, we get distracted with the small stuff, and some of the vainer goals of ours, that we ignore the important questions. It's easier just to set our sights on the easier things that we can manage, conquer, and control. Thinking about the bigger picture is challenging and hard. So, we settle for completing the lesser tasks that take our minds off the greater priorities that can be an overwhelming task to ponder. We put off the things we know we should do for fear of failure and feelings of inadequacy. I've been there myself. There are things that I need and want to do, and those very fears sometimes keep me down as well.
I hope that from reading this book, I can learn to embrace challenge better. James O'Donnell placed a quote from Frederick Buechner in his book that I REALLY enjoyed: "The place God calls you to is the place where our deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." If that doesn't put things into perspective, I don't know what would!
I want to use my gifts to feed that "deep hunger" of the world. No gift is too big or too small. Everyone is important. James said that Arthur "urged me not to minimize any gift, even strange gifts like suffering and reversal. `Wounds are redeemable too,' he told me. `Whatever life inflicts on you can be useful to help others.' We can, if we are willing, help others by sharing the struggles that have challenged our own lives. They can help someone else make sense of their life. They can be used at work, at home, with neighbors, to befriend, encourage, challenge, or comfort too. It's part of God's work for us--comforting others with the comfort we have received from God."
Even just talking and comforting someone is "work" from the Lord. Anything we do, big or small, is a contribution to the work of the Lord. That helps me to remember that I should never feel invaluable to God, just because I am not a missionary, or a famous evangelist, or something like that. Everyone has a job to do, and no matter what it is, it's important to the Lord and he can't do without your contributions.
I am SO GLAD that I read this book today! I will ponder this wisdom in my heart and pray that I can continually develop into a greater servant of the Lord. I hope that whoever reads the things that I mentioned here will be blessed as I have been blessed. Maybe what I wrote here won't get very far. I know that I'm windy and that I always write in "book form" as my Grandmother calls it, but that's ok. Even if I'm the only one that ever reads this over and over again to remind myself of what I have learned, that's alright. It will always be that constant nudge from God that I have my own book to write. So, just like Arthur nudged James in the right direction, God keeps nudging me as well. I'll keep working for God, big or small, every day as I work towards the bigger picture. But no matter what I do or don't accomplish, I will remember to be patient with myself and remember each day that today is enough.
Charmed, I'm Sure. Dec 16, 2005
WALKING WITH ARTHUR is a short biography and spiritual memoir of James O'Donnell. The book isn't a detailed biography, but it does contain biographical elements. These elements of biography, found mostly in the beginning, but scattered throughout the book serve to give the reader an understanding of what O'Donnell was like before he met his friend Arthur.
However, the central focus of the book is an explanation of how the author became a Christian and how his friendship with Arthur helped change his life. Unlike many "conversion" tales that are hyped-up and propogated by the marketing forces of many churches, James O'Donnell's conversion was nothing spectacular. He wasn't a harden criminal whose behavior changed overnight. There were no angels singing in our realm when he made the choice. There was no lights in the sky. It was a simple matter brought about by a simple choice.
Arthur is a key person in the story because it is through O'Donnell's friendship with Arthur that he is able to first, consider his decision and then make it. Arthur becomes a kind of mentor to O'Donnell, despite feeling that he himself is really being mentored to by O'Donnell.
There aren't a whole lot of deep theological issues in the book. It is a rather simple tale full of warmth and charm. It's also a fairly short book that can be read in a few hours. It may not be a must read, but WALKING WITH ARTHUR isn't a waste of time, either.
From the Pages to the Heart Nov 30, 2005
I purchased this book in a curious sort of way, and found it to be be one of those rare and exceptional reads that transcend the pages and passes into the heart ... at least for me. I was struck by the candor O'Donnell offers in coming to faith without all the glamorizing that one sometimes reads in some of the pop-christian authors today. I was challenged in my faith and encouraged to believe in a God who wants to be a part of my everyday experiences, yes, even my failures and mistakes. I would encourage others to read and seek out an Arthur in their life and or become an Arthur to others. Like the vegetables on your plate, this book is good for you.