Walking with Arthur: Finding God on My Way to New York
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Moody Publishers / 2005 / Paperback

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Walking with Arthur: Finding God on My Way to New York

Moody Publishers / 2005 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW73677

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Product Description

In 1984, O'Donnell's delinquent father died, his 9-year-old son was contemplating suicide, and he'd decided to divorce his wife. He was soul-searching, but didn't know what was missing from his life until he unexpectedly found it on his daily commute to New York City talking with Arthur! A candid, hopeful memoir. 151 pages, softcover from Northfield.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 151
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 7.25 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 1881273679
ISBN-13: 9781881273677

Publisher's Description

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 inthe 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.

Author Bio

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.


With a troubled childhood behind him and an overweening urge to succeed driving him forward, James O’Donnell forged a seemingly successful marriage and career and enjoyed flaunting all the good things he’d planned for himself, only to find that it was all hay, straw and stubble. Then, along came Arthur: erudite, successful, and following his Lord no matter where He might lead. And where it led was to brash, spiritually-hungry-without-knowing-it James. Arthur talked, James listened, argued, got interested and strode forward into a new, vastly different life.
Professor, former business man, writer James O’Donnell’s motivational autobiography presents an intriguing, teaching portrait of a humble Christian mentor (Arthur) seeking to live out a purposeful life, a man who said ‘Jesus’ without even cursing. Breezy, straight-from-the-shoulder, O’Donnell relates his journey from a self-centered winner to a man who met God, found out He was love, and set out on a journey to become a more loving, forgiving human being. O’Donnell doesn’t wow with theology, or overwhelm with Christian language, but he does include Bible passages and Christian experience. The epilogue, ‘A Word From Arthur,’ provides just the right finish. A small book, easily read, Walking With Arthur entertains, encourages and challenges. – Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com

Author/Artist Review

Author: James O'Donnell
Submitted: May 23, 2005

    Tell us a little about yourself.   "I began my career helping rich people invest for the future. Today, I invest in my students’ futures," even if I happen to have a resume that reads like an excerpt from Who's Who on Wall Street. I teach a small Christian college today, Huntington University, and try to share with my students the savvy I earned as a senior executive at some of the nation's largest financial services companies. From 1981 to 1985, I served as vice president and national sales manager for the Dreyfus Corporation, in New York. One year at Dreyfus, I personally sold $1.5 billion in new investments. From 1985 to 1989, I led the sales and marketing division of the Portfolio Group, Inc., (now part of J. P. Morgan Chase) increasing assets under the firm's management from $800 million to $2.5 billion. I was then recruited to Fidelity Investments, in Boston, first as senior vice president, then as executive vice-president and founding director of the firm’s marketing arm serving wealthy individuals. Though in a worldly sense, highly successful, I always cut against the grain in the dog-eat-dog world of money. I tried to be a man of deep conviction and thoughtfulness. I strove to inject principles of his Christian faith into an industry often characterized by cut-throat competition. I try to be a thought- provoking writer, and have had my opinions on ethics and finance appear in Barron's, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, The New York Times, Woman's Day, Christianity Today, America, and other publications. However, soon after I left the business world in 1994, my wife, Lizzie, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Letters for Lizzie, my first book, is my tribute to Lizzie, as well as a raw look at a family struggling to make their way across the terrifying landscape of advanced illness.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Walking with Arthur is my memoir of a friendship and my own personal transformation as I came to faith in the mid-80’s through a friendship with a man named Arthur. Today, I still serve as Executive-in-Residence at Huntington University, and still seek to integrate Christian faith, ethics, and redemptive values into the teaching of business and economics. I'm fortunate to have become a popular speaker off-campus, a winner of “Professor of the Year” honors, and a teacher whose students have nominated him for Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. I try to bring high standards to the classroom as well as raise challenging ethical questions that bear on real workplace issues.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I would like my readers to think about the immense importance friendship plays in our lives, for good and for bad. Women seem, almost instinctively, to value their women friends, sharing the joys and struggles life offers, gaining wisdom and strength from a sort of shared vulnerability. Men, on the other hand, often just "hang out" watching a ball game or taking about work. They do projects together but talk about important stuff much less often, or so I sense. I hope that Walking with Arthur challenges all of our ideas about the value and and meaning of friendship.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  I've been influenced in my own life and my journey of faith by Jesus and by Scripture. But I've also been affected immensely by my friendship with Arthur, the namesake of my book that tells how a friendhip began a transformation of my life. Writers who have influenced me include C. S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Here are some recent reviews of Walking with Arthur: From The New York Times, April 10, 2005: Walking with Arthur – the story of a life changed by the vulnerability of a male friend. From Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004: Gentle wisdom and hope to exhausted strivers. From Christianity Today, May 13, 2005: Touching story—these principles apply in the colorful rooms of the daycare center and in the cubicle next to yours. From the Ft. Wayne (IN) Journal Gazette, February 26, 2005: A spiritual awakening through a series of conversations with a wise older man.

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