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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, but lifechanging
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...
Published on November 28, 2003 by A. Jennerjahn

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars it was a good read.
Not sure about this one. Been awhile but if memory serves... it was a good read.
Published 1 month ago by Wayne Mullis


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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, but lifechanging, November 28, 2003
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This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (Hardcover)
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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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ortberg Hits Another Home Run!, January 18, 2003
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This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (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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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to Change? Then Let God Transform Your Life!, May 10, 2003
This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (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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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!...gripped me in the first few pages and never let go., October 12, 2004
By 
Transformed (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Stuff That Will Make You Laugh and Change, November 29, 2003
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This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of how remarkable the Christian life can be..., October 28, 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Cranberry, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (Hardcover)
I always enjoy listening to or reading John Ortberg, but this book I feel is his best. While the intended audience is spiritual seekers, this book has much to offer experienced believers too. It makes an excellent small group study. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid work by Ortberg..., February 2, 2007
By 
Chad Oberholtzer (State College, PA, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (Hardcover)
Having now read several of John Ortberg's books, I'm starting to get a feel for his style. His ability to tell an engaging story is unparalleled, and his books are always engaging and easy to read. "The Life You've Always Wanted" fits neatly into that pattern.

Because the topic of "The Life You've Always Wanted" is some of the traditional Christian spiritual disciplines, it draws natural comparisons to Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline." On some level, it might be fair to consider Ortberg's book to be "An Idiot's Guide to Richard Foster," and I'm not sure that Ortberg would necessarily mind that classification. Of course, the spiritual disciplines aren't for idiots, and I don't want to imply that Ortberg writes on a superficial level. However, he has obviously made the decision to write a book that is, quite frankly, more accessible if somewhat less exhaustive than Foster's classic. As such, Ortberg has added a nice addition to the spiritual disciplines library.

I would happily recommend this book to anyone interested in getting a taste for spiritual disciplines. Though it's easy to suggest that Ortberg omitted some essential disciplines, it seems as if comprehensiveness was never his intention. Instead, he appears to have wanted to write something that anyone could read and understand and apply, and he has accomplished that goal. Though I'd recommend Foster as a next step, this is a great place for any would-be Christ-follower to start!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book You Always Wanted, April 10, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (Hardcover)
Wow. What a perferct book for the Every Day Person wanting to become closer to God. Great for people just beginning their spirital journey as well as for those who need a fresh reminder of the purpose of their journey.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical view of how to let Christ transform your life, November 21, 2003
Ortberg has a way to state some of the deeper teachings of the Christian life in simple, down-to-earth manner that anyone can read and understand. This is one example of this.
Many people are looking for the guru or grand pilgrimage that will transform their lives. If you want that, don't look here. But if you want simple yet effective tips for allowing Christ to transfor your life, you're in luck.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritually Restoring Book!, November 22, 2004
By 
Chris Kraft (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (Hardcover)
I related 100% to the first chapter discussing the state of many people's spiritual walk. Specifically, how our lives are lived incongruent with our faith. This book goes on to describe how our culture and behavioral norms impede a deep walk with Christ. The book goes on to describe a very easy and practical set of disciplines that can help to live a more fulfilling life. This book has certainly had a pronounced impact on my life. Highly recommended!
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