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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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The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) + Who Needs Theology?: An Invitation to the Study of God + Created for Community: Connecting Christian Belief with Christian Living (Bridgepoint Books)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'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

From the Back Cover

You Can Live a Deeper, More Spiritual Life Right Where You Are

An expanded edition with a new chapter on prayer and discussion questions

The heart of Christianity is transformation—a relationship with God that impacts not just our "spiritual lives," but every aspect of living. John Ortberg calls readers back to the dynamic heartbeat of Christianity—God’s power to bring change and growth—and reveals both the how and why of transformation.

With a new chapter on prayer and added discussion questions, this expanded edition of The Life You’ve Always Wanted offers modern perspectives on the ancient path of the spiritual disciplines. But this is more than just a book about things to do to be a good Christian. It’s a road map toward true transformation that starts not with the individual but with the object of the journey—Jesus Christ.

As with a marathon runner, the secret to winning the race lies not in trying harder, but in training consistently—training with the spiritual disciplines. The disciplines are neither taskmasters nor an end in themselves. Rather they are exercises that build strength and endurance for the road of growth. The fruit of the Spirit—joy, peace, kindness, etc.—are the signposts along the way.

Paved with humor and sparkling anecdotes, The Life You’ve Always Wanted is an encouraging and challenging approach to a Christian life that’s worth living—a life on the edge that fills an ordinary world with new meaning, hope, change, and joy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310246954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310246954
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who Is This Man?; The Me I Want to Be; Know Doubt; When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box; God Is Closer Than You Think; The Life You've Always Wanted; Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them; If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; Love Beyond Reason; and (with Kevin Harney) the multimedia curriculum Old Testament Challenge. Now that their children are grown, he and his wife, Nancy enjoy surfing the Pacific to care for their souls.

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Customer Reviews

This is one book you will want to read multiple times!
christfollower
It will help you grow in your relationship with God as me you practice different spiritual disciplines.
CricketteA
Ortberg's language is very readable and understandable.
William A. Moses

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A. Jennerjahn on November 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Usually, I find that books or sermons on 'Spiritual Disciplines' cause a short-term spurt of motivation, followed by longer-term disillusionment. Eventually I feel guilty for not measuring up, and finally I ignore the issues. Ortberg has a totally different approach, which had a very different impact on my life.
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.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on January 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This work is the second title I have read by John Ortberg. The first title, "If You Want to Walk on the Water..." was impressive, and this second one certainly was not disappointing. I am eager to his latest release, "Love Beyond Reason."
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!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ortberg has written a gem on how God can transform our lives so we may live a life more pleasing to Him and also more fulfilling for us.
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!
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Transformed on October 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Use Amazon's "Search Inside" and see for yourself if this book has the same effect on you. John Ortberg's first few pages beautifully put to words feelings I've had for some time, but could not articulate. As I finished the first few pages I reflected on how uncharacteristically I was affected as I wiped tears from my eyes. This was it. I was hooked. And the book never let go from there.

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!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "sean_c2" on November 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is enjoyable reading with challenging content. Ortberg writes with the down-to-earth humor and wit he is known for, and yet at the same time penetrates into the real motivation behind our spiritual activities and presents the true goal of our relationship with God and others. It is like no other book on the Christian disciplines that I have ever read. At face value it appears light and entertaining and then as you continue reading, you feel all of your outward righteousness being stripped away and come to realize you're not nearly so holy as you thought you were, because you were focused on the wrong goal and were motivated by the wrong reasons.
This book is simple enough for those young in the faith and challenging enough for the most seasoned saint, though definitely written for the 30 and up crowd. Ortberg uses numerous examples from everyday life and the writings of authors from a wide spectrum of viewpoints, but he fortifies every chapter with sound biblical teaching. I would have liked him to supply more scripture references, however. Though the book is designed to be one that you interact with, rather than study.
If you've been a Christian for a while and are looking for a book to refresh your faith, this is it.
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The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups)
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