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The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People (Expanded and Adapted for Small Groups) (1997)

por John Ortberg

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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.… (mais)
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John Ortberg calls readers back to the dynamic heartbeat of Christianity--God's power to bring change and growth--and reveals how and why transformation takes place.

The Life You've Always Wanted offers modern perspectives on the ancient path of the spiritual disciplines. But it 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 person at the journey's end--Jesus Christ.

As with a marathon runner, the secret to finishing a race lies not in trying harder, but in training consistently--training with the spiritual disciplines. The disciplines are neither taskmasters nor ends 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.

Summary from Zondervan.
  FUMC-RR | Jun 24, 2024 |
I really did not like this book much at all. There were a couple of redeeming chapters, particularly the one about the discipline of celebration, taking time to celebrate God's blessings in our lives. Aside from those couple of bright spots, though, I found it to be extremely "seeker-sensitive" (whatever that means) and self-help oriented. When I think about spiritual disciplines, the first thing that comes to my mind is a proper intake of the Word of God, but Ortberg spends little time discussing this and only about halfway through the book.

Theologically, I had several problems with the book. Ortberg seems to operate under the assumption that God is just begging and waiting for people to respond to him. He even uses Moses and the burning bush to illustrate that, his point being that, just as Moses could have walked by and ignored God, we too can ignore God and just keep going about our lives our own way. I believe in a sovereign God and that it was always God's plan to uses Moses. He sprinkles this type of thinking throughout.

Finally, my biggest concern was the chapter on hearing from God. He seems to hold to the charismatic belief that we should try to train ourselves to hear the "still small voice" from God. I won't go into an argument against that. If you are charismatic, then you'll probably love the book. Regardless, he mentions at the very end of that particular chapter that there are dangers in attempting to hear God in this way... but then he just walks off and leaves the door wide open.

If you are truly looking for a book on spiritual disciplines, then I would highly recommend Donald S. Whitney's book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. I would liken Whitney's work to a fine cut gem, in the same way that Ortberg's would be a dirt clod. ( )
  jfranzone | Feb 14, 2024 |
The heart of Christianity is about transformation--about a God who isn't just concerned with our spiritual lives, but who wants to impact every aspect of living. It's realizing that God meets us not in a monastery but on Main Street, and that all of ordinary, daily life has the potential to be lived as if Jesus himself were the one living it.

Offering modern perspectives on the ancient path of the spiritual disciplines, The Life You've Always Wanted guides us on a journey beyond performance and externalism to a life marked by joy, peace, kindness, and all the signs of a faith that's vital and growing. Now with an added chapter on prayer, this expanded edition of the ECPA best-seller offers an encouraging and challenging approach to a Christian life that's worth living--life on the edge that fills our ordinary world with meaning, hope, change, and growing closeness with Christ. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
  OCMCCP | Jan 9, 2018 |
An inspiring and encouraging book about spiritual disciplines in the sense of good habits, work we need to do, and ways we can become closer to God. Biblical teaching is clearly explained.

Ortberg includes anecdotes about himself and his family, with some where he gets things entirely wrong. He writes with a self-deprecating style that’s heart-warming and very encouraging. If a pastor who’s also a popular writer can make this many mistakes, and struggle with so much of the Christian life, then perhaps there’s hope for the rest of us.

Thought-provoking, and well worth reading more than once. Highly recommended. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Ortberg’s (2002) text is a book that reminds 21st century Christians of the spiritual disciplines that will help us morph our lives into something worthy of our calling. This text is very entertaining with his since of humor and masterful story telling. The first chapter resonated with this writer and the journey I have been on the last few years. It begins with a quote, “Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself” (Ortberg, 2002, p. 11). That is such an encouragement that I am not going to have to find myself. I so appreciated his reminder to us that Spiritual disciplines are not about an entrance test or a behavior modification chart to get into heaven, but they are about the glorious redemption of my own individual moments.
Ortberg’s (2002) challenge is to continue to train in these disciplines for the rest of our lives in a God-honoring attitude. This writer appreciated his delivering of these disciplines, not as a checklist, but as a chance for every moment of our life to learn from Jesus how to live in our current circumstances. Ortberg (2002) describes several disciplines including: celebrating, scripture, slowing down, prayer, servant hood, confession, receiving the Holy Spirit, secrecy, reflection, developing a rule of life, and experiencing suffering. Each of these disciplines can draw us nigh unto the Savior and teach us to depend on him.
If this writer had to describe the purpose of the book, it would be to equip Christians to pursue God authentically and with passion. It has given a revitalized perspective on discipleship as a method of growing in our faith as opposed to a list of to-dos. This writer has spent the last year studying spiritual disciplines during my quiet times and study time and some of it has fallen flat with me. Some of the books I read provided me with a quick burst of motivation that was followed by disillusionment and feelings of failure and guilt. I love Ortberg’s totally different approach, which had a deep impact on my spirit. This book made me more hopeful and gave some practical steps toward maturing in Christ. Ortberg (2004) explained that it is not how many chapters you read or how many verses you memorize, it is how much you grew in love that is the mark of a true spiritual disciple. It was a wonderful read; the pages practically turned themselves. By the time I was done, I thanked God for the gift. It’s morphing time, indeed! ( )
  tgarnsey | Oct 2, 2009 |
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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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