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The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) Hardcover – September 29, 2002
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'John Ortberg takes Jesus' call to abundant living seriously, joyfully, and realistically. He believes human transformation is genuinely possible, and he describes its process in sane and practical ways.' -- Richard J. Foster, , Author
'A readable, helpful study of things that Christians have practiced for centuries that modern people need to apply today.' -- D. Stewart Briscoe, , Elmbrook Church
'John, in his winsome 'let's sit down and talk about this' style, has crafted a powerfully convicting book on the process of spiritual transformation.' -- Dr. Joseph Stowell, , Moody Bible Institute
'John Ortberg opens to us the age-old wisdom of the spiritual disciplines. In a practical, witty, and deeply insightful way, he not only creates in us a hunger for transformation, but paints a brilliantly attractive picture of the life that God can live through us.' -- Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., , Professor
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Instead of telling us to work harder, pray more, get up earlier, etc, he shows us how to view the daily activities in our own lives as spiritual disciplines. He explains that the phase of one's life is no excuse for not growing spiritually. For example, a mother of small children might not be able to schedule large amounts of solitude and quiet time, but rather can learn to see her daily tasks as the "discipline of the mundane". The most ordinary situations of our lives contain spiritual activities.
Reading this book made me feel more hopeful, because it did not equate spiritual growth with the ability to spend countless hours in solitary prayer, rather it describes how to train ourselves to use our own life circumstances as a path to maturity. The measure of a spiritual discipline is not how many chapters of the Bible you read, or how many hours you kneeled, but how much you grew in love.
Perhaps the best way to describe this book is to parallel it to Dallas Willard's classic work on spiritual formation. Willard's writing is profound and powerful, yet is often difficult for an average layperson to follow. Ortberg comments in his preface, "...one of my private working titles for this book was 'Dallas for Dummies'."
The author here introduces the concept of spiritual disciplines. He then describes several disciples in easy-to-understand, entertaining language. Ortberg includes the practices of celebration, slowing, prayer, servanthood, confession, guidance from the Holy Spirit, secrecy, and reflection on Scripture. He concludes with comments on a well-ordered heart and the importance of Christian endurance.
This book is simply excellent. I recommend it wholeheartedly to all Christians, leaders and laity alike. Don't pass on this one!
Raised as a Christian, I've read the Bible a few times. I went to Sunday school throughout childhood. And then, as an adult, I slipped away to my own lukewarm relationship with Christ. This book made me see Jesus and the Father as I've never seen before. It made me see that the transformation I needed but couldn't put my finger on, awaits me - and always has. For me, it clearly painted the picture of my own disappointment with myself. And, more importantly, it made clear the path to satisfaction and true happiness. By the time the book got to discussing spiritual disciplines, I was ready to soak them up and put them into action in my life. For me, really, there is no looking back.
This was an easy read. The pages practically turned themselves. And by the time I was done, I thanked God for the gift. It's morphing time, indeed!
Among the principles Ortberg mentions are:
1. Do not let certain people and gadgets rob you of God's joy!
2. Pride is an ancient problem.
3. Characteristics of a well-ordered heart.
4. God wants to speak to us but we must first listen to Him!
5. Excellent thoughts about pleasing God instead of others.
6. Principles for meditating on Scripture.
7. We are not Superman!
8. Excellent notes on the importance of solitude.
Read the book and be encouraged to change for the better!
In his letter to the church in Colossae, the apostle Paul outlines the objectives of his Church ministry in celebratory yet nonetheless sacrificial terms. He writes: 'He [Jesus] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me' (Colossians 1:28-29 NIV). Paul's labour and cautionary tone challenge us today. Do we, as professed Christians (followers of Christ) strive for maturity (in Greek, teleios which means fully grown or having reached a goal or end) in Christ using all the strength God provides? Or are we merely rambling, perhaps disappointingly, along a path that hinders spiritual progress? I think most of us would wish--optimistically--for growth. But what if our discipleship journey is devastatingly distorted and off track?
Senior Pastor John Ortberg's, The life you've always wanted: Spiritual disciplines for ordinary people [expanded edition] describes, illustrates and explains Christian discipleship in contemporary, total-life encompassing terms. This is a crucial, urgent issue because if we cannot or do not know and experience transformation at the core, the risk is we will settle for being just informed or conformed (pp. 30-31).
* The transformation of the human personality through the Gospel is really is possible. It's never easy or frequently quick but we can see it happening in people sometimes (p. 9).
* Spiritual growth means wanting to live increasingly as Jesus would if he were in our unique place (p. 14).
* Adopting spiritual disciplines requires focused, purposeful training.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book! It truly enriched my relationship with God. Do yourself a favor and gift yourself this book! Awesome!Published 11 days ago by annette828
This is a very helpful book for people interested making more consistency in their Christian lives without a specific schedule of disciplines. Read morePublished 25 days ago by GKB
The book describes spiritual disciplines. John Ortberg says everyone has to work on being a disciple or Christian follower where you are and not where you might hope or want to be. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Fil Spangler