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The Life You've Always Wanted

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  5,609 ratings  ·  197 reviews
This ECPA best-seller focuses on three primary questions: what does true spiritual life really look like?; what hinders me from living such a life?; and what practices can help me pursue such a life?
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published 1997)
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I think I could read this book every 6 months and learn something new from it. It is completely filled with all kinds of GREAT information on how to improve the joy-factor in your life. I have successfully weeded out several things from my calendar that were stealing the joy from the things that matter the most to me. I have also introduced several things into my daily habits that have improved the relationships that matter the most to me. I just finished this a couple weeks ago and I am already ...more
I loved John Ortberg's book "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat", so I am really looking forward to this text on spiritual disciplines. I enjoy the insights he has as well as the way he relates a story, and so look forward to learning from this book.

Adding on to my previous thoughts now that I have finished reading this book - I do love John Ortberg. It took me longer than I would have liked to get through this book, but all in all it was a really good, thought-provo
I had read this book before but enjoyed it even better the second time around. Ortberg is so good at outlining specific steps for a better Christian walk. His methods are simple yet Biblical, and his examples are pleasing and recognizable.
Best dicipleship book out there!
Alastair Mccollum
Another reviewer summed this book up beautifully by saying 'This book has the highest good content to bad title ratio I've ever experienced.' It's true - the title seems to suggest a dreadful, publisher chosen,self-help offering - but it isn't. This is a book about the ancient spiritual disciplines of the Christian tradition. It offers an examination of various spiritual practices that Christians have used to enhance their spiritual life and discipleship over many centuries. That said, many of t ...more
Brent Hudson
I read Dallas Willard's "Spirit of the Disciplines" which Ortberg notes inspired this volume (I think he called it "Willard for Dummies"). What I love about Ortberg is that he comes across as somewhat vulnerable and always entertaining in his story-telling. Of course, his ideas are also very helpful. . .more helpful, practically speaking, than Willard. His concept of 'slowing' of stepping out of the constant sense of rushing to what is next and never enjoying the present. I'm glad I read Willard ...more
I had stayed away from this book for a long time because I had misjudged the title and assumed that this was a prosperity gospel book! Sorry, Ortberg, for getting you confused with Osteen, because I was totally wrong -- this is a book about spiritual disciplines written in a way that is very accessible, down-to-earth and practical. A lot of the principles overlap with those presented in Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline but in a style that may be less intimidating, with everyday example ...more
Gregory Smith
Jul 27, 2014 Gregory Smith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gregory by: Daryl Brautigam
I thought it was great insight into the practice of spiritual disciplines. If your goal is to be more like Christ, then these disciplines will open your eyes to see how Christ might live your life. They aren't really pious activities and they are more than mundane training exercises. John, imo, is a clear writer. Each chapter is bite-size, making the book ideal for either a set-weekly study with friends, or digging back in when you are ready to move to the next discipline. I like John Ortberg, h ...more
Powerful book. I learned a lot from reading this.
Tom Bazan
Some chapters were better than others. I agree with Ortberg's description of this book (in the introduction) as Dallas for Dummies, as it is a different touch of spiritual disciplines. Ortberg's take on some of the disciplines makes them a bit more accessible--a bit more understandable--than other, more scholarly authors do. But his take is no less accurate, or helpful, than others'.

I especially liked his take on trying versus training (see ch. 3); slowing down (see ch. 76)--I keep telling mysel
Tim Chavel
What a wonderful book, John Orteberg has written. He has many godly principles included in this book.As he states in the preface, "How go I grow? What does a spiritual mature person even look like? Why does it seem so hard, and go so slowly? Will I ever really be any different?" These are the questions that are answered in this book. I trust you will be challenged by the quotes blow:

If we do not become changed from the inside-out – if we don’t morph – we will be tempted to find external methods

"IF Jesus held unhindered sway when the alarm clock goes off, what kind of thoughts would pass through the mind? Would our heads be filled with anxieties about today and regrets about yesterday? Or would our first thoughts be the assurance as to who holds the day and who holds us?"

"Moreover, while knowledge is vital and should be prized, it also poses some dangers. It often demolishes humility."

"When Jesus spoke he was free from the need to create an impression. He was free to speak the tr
Kessia Reyne
John Ortberg wrote The Life You’ve Always Wanted with a mind toward, as the subtitle tells, “ordinary people.” I suppose this means that he was not writing for the holy—or, perhaps more accurately, that he wrote for those that know they’re not holy. If this is you, The Life You’ve Always Wanted could the book you’ve always looked for. But a word of caution is in order.
Ortberg writes with a friendly voice, casual and familiar. And when he’s not reflecting on the words of some spiritual giant or
Eric Moote
Jul 24, 2013 Eric Moote rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mainstream American Christians looking to go a little deeper in your relationship with God
Recommended to Eric by: Dan Snyder
Shelves: christian
Overall: a typical Christian motivational book with good insights peppered with funny stories and wishy washy theology.

In the end, Ortberg delivers good messages with funny and applicable stories that apply directly to the ideas he is communicating. It is well written, clear in its intention and challenging in a lot of ways. The book, I imagine, is intended for people who are fairly new in their walk with God, who are looking for keys to growth and a little more depth.

Disclaimer: I am not the a
Michael Culbertson
Written in Ortberg's conversational style, this is a very approachable introduction to the practice of spiritual discipline. Ortberg takes the first few chapters to motivate and introduce the practice of discipline in the spiritual life. He starts with the universal feeling that we are not as good as we ought (or want) to be, but extends the magnificent hope that through God's mercy, we can become ("morph") something better. This transformation occurs through the work of the Holy Spirit, but Ort ...more
My first John Ortberg book, and it's all about spiritual disciplines. Loved the first five chapters.

John uses examples and stories that are modern and really do make his points. I got many new insights, the most important one being the goal of spiritual disciplines is living LIFE not mastering the discipline itself.

here's a paragraph i love:

As we have seen, the true indicator of spiritual well-being is growth in the ability to love God and people. If we can do this without the practice of any
Nov 11, 2008 Fidi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians and Non-Christians looking for a different way to approach disciplines
Recommended to Fidi by: A Allan Martin PhD
The cover of this book is enticing. Exactly how does John Ortberg know which life I want? At first glance, one might think this book is about finances or health. Well, not really, or at all. This book is about spiritual disciplines. Yeah, I said disciplines. Do people still do those? To be honest I never really knew much about spiritual disciplines growing up, and didn't pay attention until recently. I knew I was supposed to be reading my Bible, and supposed to be praying, and supposed to be do ...more
Melanie Griffin
Surprisingly good for this type of book. I'm not usually a fan of the "pop spirituality" genre, but this one nailed some of characteristics I'd like to change in myself and gave me practical tips. Things like "approval addiction" - caring too much what others think. Plus, it says that celebration is a spiritual discipline, and I'm all about that!

I wouldn't buy it, but it's worth checking out from the library. The new version has a study guide in the back.
Neil Steinwand
Good distillation of Dallas Willard's The Spirit of the Disciplines : Understanding How God Changes Lives for less technical readers. John studied under Dallas and understands his thinking but presents the subject matter with more illustrations.
This is the book that my current Bible study is based on. I didn't get the book until I was half-way through with the study. I think it would have helped out a lot of I had started both at the same time. Doing the study with the accompanying DVD will greatly enhance your understanding and appreciation for this book if you decide to read it.
Grace Chen
Read this book for a class at church.

After getting past the initial cheesiness (Ortberg references the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, and repeats phrases like "It's morphin' time!"), I found this book to be a refreshing and insightful take on the practice of spiritual disciplines.

Ortberg incorporates many personal experiences and stories to illustrate his points, and it was pretty humorous to see myself in those examples. One of the highlights for me is how he explains the purpose of spiritual d
Very accessible book on practicing spiritual disciplines. In reference to writer, Dallas Willard and his classics on spiritual disciplines, Ortberg refers to his book as "Dallas light". Even though it may be lighter than Willard, there were some profound ideas and some great illustrations.
Amy Schmalbach
I read this for my small group (Bible study/house church) and felt that it was very good for stimulating discussions and introducing new topics. It's easy to read - Ortberg has a very down-to-earth writing style. This is no lofty theological work, but instead a practical guide with which it is easy to analyze one's own life and behaviors. I liked the fact that Ortberg didn't hold himself apart from those he was writing the book to, but instead gave abundant examples of instances when he fell sho ...more
Fiinished, today. Not sure about this book. At the start, it seemed like I might be part of Ortberg's target audience. Early on, he uses Popeye (yes, the "sailor man") in an illustration. One of Popeye's well-worn lines was, "I yam what I yam." Ortberg described this as sad — the sad cry of the human race. It caught my interest.

Well, I would have to say tthat I still "am what I am." Perhaps I need to re-read this book, but I don't think the author accomplished what he intended — at least with m
A book on spiritual disciplines for anyone who has tried them and found that they like the idea, but never really went anywhere with it. The first half is better than the second, giving a simpler approach to basic ideas.

Very thought-provoking and inspiring book about spiritual growth.

"Joy is, as Karl Barth put it, a 'defiant nevertheless' set at a full stop against bitterness and resentment."

" 'We take every thought captive to obey Christ.' This means, in part, refusing to allow other people's approval or disapproval to dominate our lives."

"...the purpose of knowing for us to become equipped for good works."

"The goal is not for us to get through the Scriptures. The goal is to get the Scri
Craig Burns

From laugh out loud to silent reflection, the author produced varying and positive reactions. THIS is a great book to experience biblical transformation.
John Ortberg has a very down to earth manner of writing, and I think the book gave a very refreshing take on spiritual disciplines. I would recommend this book.
I read this book with a group of women. Reading it in community definitely expanded the application to my own life. Seeing and hearing how God works the same truths differently in each woman's life was eye opening for me. Ironically, I gained a deeper appreciation for the individual spiritual journey. I appreciated the simple explanations of what a spiritual discipline is and there were many in this book that were practical and easy to incorporate into my daily life. I felt it wasn't a set of sp ...more
Paul Knowles
This book was a refresher to a lot of materials I have read before - but enjoyed it's challenge and marked it up like crazy!
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  • Ordering Your Private World
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines : Understanding How God Changes Lives
  • Courageous Leadership
  • Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud
  • Loving God
  • Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith
  • A Gentle Thunder: Hearing God Through the Storm
  • So You Want to Be Like Christ?: Eight Essentials to Get You There
  • Sacred Pathways
  • The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving
  • Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation
  • Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
  • The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God's Eyes
If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat The Me I Want to Be: Becoming God's Best Version of You Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them God Is Closer Than You Think: If God Is Always with Us, Why Is He So Hard to Find? When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

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“I am disappointed with myself. I am disappointed not so much with the particular things I have done as with the aspects of who I have become. I have a nagging sense that all is not as it should be.” 14 likes
“Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible. Love always takes time, and time is the one thing hurried people don't have.” 10 likes
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