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Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them

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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,156 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Normal? Who s Normal? Not you, that s for sure! No one you ve ever met, either. None of us are normal according to God s definition, and the closer we get to each other, the plainer that becomes. Yet for all our quirks, sins, and jagged edges, we need each other. Community is more than just a word it is one of our most fundamental requirements. So how do flawed, abnormal p ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 4th 2003 by Zondervan (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,961)
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Melissa M
Aug 22, 2009 Melissa M rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in genuine community/ relationship
Recommended to Melissa by: UCC book club
This is my first Ortberg read. Honestly I read through the book faster than I would have liked due to a deadline for a book club (that I found out about without much notice). I think the book would in fact be ideal for small group to go through together as the issues brought up could lead to a lot of great discussion. There are a set of questions at the end of each chapter & I'm anticipating that tonight I may come away a bit frustrated from a one hour discussion that attempts to cram in the ...more
Barry
This is an easy to read book, entertaining, and contains some thought provoking parts, but Mr. Ortberg's liberal license with Scripture is a tad disconcerting. Additionally, he often overwrites his point which instead of adding clarity or wisdom merely adds verbosity and murkiness. Still, this book is a quick read that highlights the importance of living together in community.
Jkanz
Aug 23, 2014 Jkanz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
In the past, I have read a couple of engaging books by John Ortberg, so when I saw Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them (Zondervan, 2003) on the shelf at the thrift store, I thought I would give it a go. To not delay your suspense, I told a friend of mine that this book was gold. In fact, when I was half-way through the book, I purchased two other copies to give to people. I've already given one away.

Ortberg has an engaging writing style that shows a wide breadth of knowledge and a capac
...more
Homeschoolmama
Nov 20, 2013 Homeschoolmama marked it as to-read
Read a wonderful excerpt from this book... truths ring out in every sentence.. I've never read John Ortberg, but I think I might look at his other books..

Here's a bit of what I read:

"We are tempted to live under the illusion that somewhere out there are people who are normal...When we enter relationships with the illusion that people are normal, we resist the truth that they are not. We enter an endless attempt to fix them, control them, or pretend that they are what they’re not.
..Everybody’s We
...more
Lisa
I absolutely LOVE John Ortberg. I know probably the most mainstream Christian writer is Max Lucado, (and I like Max too!) but John Ortberg is the best! He has a way of writing that makes this stuff so accessible. This book is about community -- how to deal with conflict, exclusion, forgiveness, etc. in a Christian framework. I love his sense of humor and how he makes each subject so darn relevant. I wish he'd write 1,000 more books!
Karen
This is a great book. I love John Ortberg. He is a gifted writer that keeps your interest. This book reminded me about the importance of community and accepting people for who they are.
Amanda
This is the second book I've read by John Ortberg, and I look forward to reading more. He writes with wit and charm and boils down what could be a complicated message into a passage that is accessible to anyone. This book in particular seems to strike a nerve with many people, because due to our over-exposure to TV, movies, and other media, we have a preconceived notion of what "normal" is, and beat ourselves (or others) up if we (or they) don't fit that idea of "normal." We have an idea of what ...more
Rich
I have to admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It really made me think about my own faith and life in ways that I haven't done in a while. I enjoyed the stories that he shared and the personal way he did so. On some level I feel as though I know John Ortberg now. Of course, I have no idea if the guy who comes across in the book is the real deal, but I like the guy who I got to know in the book!

I have decided to do a sermon series based on this book. I believe there is enough g
...more
Aaron Smith
A good book to remind us that we all have our flaws, we all try to hide them from each other, and it wasn't intended for us to live "normally." This book provided a humorous look at how we interact with one another individually and collectively, and the benefits and sometimes harms we cause. Definitely a good book for a group to go through and answer the questions at the end of the chapters. Gets great discussion going about instances we may not even be aware of where we are judging others witho ...more
Brad Aldrich
Great book on developing deeper relationships in community
Shannon
The first two or three chapters were promising -- it seemed this book would give practical ideas on how to build stronger relationships. But the later chapters seemed less useful; they contained too much pop psychology (reading body language, for example), clichéd sermon illustrations, and marginally relevant attempts at humor.
Joyce
Nov 26, 2007 Joyce rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Ortberg starts with the premise that God made people for community, but the fallen nature of humanity makes connecting with others difficult. Ortberg focuses on the need for solid relationships and the character values required for creating and maintaining strong bonds.

I like this book because it challenges the notion that we should just avoid anyone who drains us or makes us uncomfortable. Ortberg urges his readers to step out of isolation and grow in their ability to relate to one another.
Brian Eshleman
This book packs an entirely unexpected wallop. The title and tone are folksy, but the author holds the highest view of the sovereignty of God and the authority of Scripture. He shows a rare ability to exposit Scripture and clarify its meaning with both relevant pop culture references and timeless deep thinkers like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dallas Willard. He is humble, yet he gives the reader the benefit of what he has learned about relationships from a Biblical perspective.
Kittybchelle
While this book is said to be good by many other people, what I don't like about it is that it DOESN"T quote or reference where he gets his bible verses from. I would stay away from books/writers like these just for that reason...that although it sounds good or accurate, but things can be taken out of context. John Ortberg should include where he gets his bible verses from not just piecing things together to make it sound good from the exterior. I would NOT recommend.
Ricardo
Willow Creek's Pastor John Ortberg gives us a plain and simple class all along this merry book. Delivering advises on "how to build "normal" relationships" he leads us into a journey of creating prevailing friendships and relations. Although i don't consider it a masterpiece, i do appreciate his writing style and his objective view on human interaction. The seven steps towards resolving conflicts chapter is very pleasant and enlightening.
Ralu
John Ortberg's perspective it's really practical,and it can help you a lot with his way of fighting. It can give you a different point of view and expand your horizons.
It's a great book!!!
Emily
Great book on community in the church: why it's important, why it breaks down, and how to foster healthy relationships within it. The chapter on conflict left me a bit disappointed...it was the run-of-the-mill Matt. 18 schpeal. I expected something with a bit more depth because the other chapters had such a fresh, non-typical approach. But overall, it was definitely worth my time.
Allan
Some good nuggets in here- particularly on how we can best help each other cope with life, given that none of us is really normal when it comes down to it. I liked his thoughts on accountability between one another, empathy, and forgiveness. John Ortberg has a gentle self deprecating sense of humour and a knack of finding illustrations and quotes that are just on the nail.
Mark Cotterell
Basically this is a book for those in the counselling ministry, and covers such subjects as authenticity in relationships, acceptance, conflict, self image and other personal dilemmas that people face. It is written with a warm pastoral manner, plenty of illustration and humour, and the touch of someone who has obviously helped many people in their social and spiritual lives.
Erica Senecal
i give this book only 2 stars b/c i read it at a time in my life where i was really struggling with past hurts. the book brought alot to light. the book itself is good and i would recommend it to others to read. your experiences might be very different than mine and the book may benefit you more. i wasn't in the right frame of mind to accept alot of what the author said.
E
Oct 15, 2007 E rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: small groups/clubs as a book for discussion
I love this book! The point is that everyone comes with an "as-is" tag and we have to love people as they are, where they are. If you're trying to change someone, or wishing they would change, you're not loving and accepting them for who they really are...who God made them to be, at least for now. Our Bible study has done this book twice. It's wonderful!
Tracy
John's books are always a good read. He hits the nail on the head with this one. We all seem to think our lives are so much harder or our relations are so much more dysfunctional than the rest of the world's. But we all come off the "slightly irregular" shelf and learning to love that and grow through it means life will be less stressful.
Helene
This is a good book to examine one's own life and look how closely it resembles the way Christ dealt with relationships. He quotes all my favorite authors - Cloud, Nouwen, M. Scott Peck, Putnam, Bonhoeffer, Volf and even one I didn't care for - Anne Dillard. Guess I will give her books another try. Well-rounded treatment of an important subject.
Letitia
This is one of the most delightful non-fiction books I've ever read. A really open-hearted and open-minded analysis of how we act in community, and of how we are being perceived, in spite of our judgmental tendencies. A great shift in paradigm on how to treat people, and how to be patient with the ones you'd rather not invest time in.
Casey
Read and discussed this for our Community Group over 12 weeks. Some chapters were somewhat basic, but I felt like it got better as the book progressed. Overall, a good book to work through as a group. It has stimulated good discussion and encouraged members to open up, I think.
Lynne
I loved this book. Ortberg's titles caught my eye first (in addition to this one, I have If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat). His humor adds to a great message in the book. I found myself highlighting and making notes in the margins very often.
Alison
This guy is great! He has a real gift for taking an everyday event and bringing a great spiritual point out of it - and for looking at bible passages and applying them to our lives. I feel really challenged about some of my relationships and attitudes to other people.
Melanie
The title drew me in. I thought "normal" was just a setting on a dryer. Ortberg graciously gives us the dysfunctional families in the Bible to help us feel better, to show us how God can work. Also, the messy marriages. Makes me feel much better....stay tuned...
Winston
Excellent book, a good read! His take on heaven or the new heaven and earth is helpful and makes you realize that is what we really want rather than continuing on here with the same old. Last chapter very effective at making the next life something to want now!
Anissa Voss
Despite the silly title this book was very introspective. The author encourages community the way God created it and love the way Jesus showed it. I would like to read it again in a book study setting, taking more time to ponder the contents.
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