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O+Brien publishes stories to warm the heart

Sept. 18, 1996

O'Brien publishes stories to warm the heart

O'Brien

By Michelle VanRysselberge Lariat Reporter

'May those who love us love us,

and for those who do not love us,

May God change their hearts.

If not, may He turn their ankles,

So that we may know them by their limping.'

This light-hearted poem called 'An Irish Prayer' is published in University religion professor Dr. Randall O'Brien's new book, 'I Feel Better All Over Than I Do Anywhere Else...and Other Stories to Tickle Your Soul.'

This new book is a delightful collection of 78 original short stories and thought-provoking ideas that will tickle your funny bone, leave you with warm fuzzies and keep you from putting the book down. These stories just may be further evidence that laughter is the best medicine, as the saying goes.

O'Brien's stories are '...heartwarming, many are hilarious, all seem to find their way from his heart to our soul,' said President Robert B. Sloan Jr.

This collection of stories has been stewed over O'Brien's lifetime. Each new experience in his life is a new ingredient in the pot. Spices of life have brewed a delectable southern flavor that is sure to tempt your tummy.

'From a fishin' hole in McComb, Miss., to his mother's homespun theology, O'Brien reminds us that God's love is woven into the fabric of our life's experience,' said U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards.

Many of the stories have been collected over the past 10 years, but some go back to O'Brien's childhood.

'They seek to find the spiritual in the ordinary,' O'Brien said. 'People are naturally drawn to stories whether they're six in pigtails or 66 on social security because they scratch people where they itch.'

O'Brien said he has learned a thing or two from his children.

'My kids have never said 'preach at me', but they have always said 'tell me a story',' said O'Brien.

So O'Brien has told humorous stories, including ones involving his children Alyson, Shannon and Christopher, over the years. In his book, O'Brien recounts a conversation the family had one evening after dinner. Alyson, age six, asked her parents how God made Adam and Eve since 'there were no mommies at that time.' Younger sister Shannon replied, 'Adam and Eve came from God's tummy.' Alyson insisted that this was impossible because God is a man. When her parents asked Alyson how she knew God was a man, she reasoned, ''Cause of His name. Did

O'Brien has authored countless articles, essays and books, as well as lectures and research papers. He has entertained and moved audiences over the years through speeches given at conferences, national and state conventions, retreats, churches and college campuses as well as in his own classroom.

O'Brien served in the Vietnam War, pastored three churches, served as interim pastor of seven churches, was appointed as a missionary by the Home Missionary Board and has taught religion in five universities and seminaries. O'Brien is currently interim pastor at Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Robinson.

In his five years of teaching at the University, O'Brien has been recognized numerous times as an outstanding faculty member by students and organizations. In fact, the 1996 graduating class chose O'Brien for the Carl P. Collins Outstanding Faculty Member award.

I Feel Better All Over Than I Do Anywhere Else...and Other Stories to Tickle Your Soul is on sale for $9.95 at B. Dalton Bookseller, Family Bookstores, Barnes and Noble and the Baylor Bookstore. O'Brien will be available to sign copies of his new book from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday at the Baylor Book Store.

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