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The Life You've Always Wanted

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  6,794 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
The reader is presented with what it means to live as Jesus would on a day-to-day basis. John Ortberg presents readers with life on the edge -- one filled with new meaning, hope, change, and a joyous, growing closeness to Christ.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published 1997)
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May 05, 2010 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
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
Dec 17, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 06, 2007 Africableu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 12, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best dicipleship book out there!
Sep 19, 2016 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give five-star reviews that often, but this book is an excellent read! Every Christian should seek this book out and read it cover to cover; it has a message all people of the Way need to hear! If, for some reason, you can't/won't read it, listen to it on audio or attend a Bible class based on it; seriously, it's that good!
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
Frans Karlsson
Oct 10, 2016 Frans Karlsson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A good book from Ortberg about many down to earth topics in a christian life. Encouraging and challenging at the same time.
May 14, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I gave this book 5 stars for the lasting impact it had in my life. I had seen John Ortberg preach some years ago and bought several of his books. I had read some of the others, but did not read this until I found I was struggling with some of the issues he highlights so well here. I was debating making a major life change, one that would allow more time for God and others in my life, and this book was a perfect thing to read slowly and thoughtfully during that process. John's writing seems very ...more
Brent Hudson
Jun 27, 2012 Brent Hudson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2013 Jkanz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is a great first book on spiritual disciplines. It's practical and relatable.
Apr 25, 2009 Ro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful book. I learned a lot from reading this.
Mar 17, 2017 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Kessia Reyne
May 24, 2009 Kessia Reyne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
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
Flora Or
"Divine Conspiracy for Dummies"
Eric Moote
Jul 24, 2013 Eric Moote rated it it was ok  ·  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
Jonathan Franzone
Jan 05, 2016 Jonathan Franzone rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical
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 discussi ...more
Nov 06, 2008 Fidi rated it liked it  ·  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
Oct 23, 2015 Sipho rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been hesitant to dole out five star reviews lately (not like my ratings actually mean anything), but "The Life You've Always Wanted" by John Ortberg fully justifies the rating!

Ortberg has, here, written a practical and deeply relatable guide on spiritual disciplines for ordinary people. His style is extremely easy to read and humorous, but conveys the gravity of the material about which he writes. I appreciated the anecdotes and real life stories as a way of adding "personality" to the bo
Jan 03, 2012 Taylor rated it really liked it

"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
Nov 04, 2007 Alvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tom Bazan
Feb 19, 2014 Tom Bazan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
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
Mar 06, 2016 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Life You’ve Always Wanted walks through some spiritual disciplines that we as Christians should pursue to become more like Christ. We can become who we want to be by training ourselves in new habits the same way that people train to run a marathon or learn an instrument. The spiritual disciplines include being full of joy, being unhurried, being a person of prayer, recognizing who I am in God’s eyes and also seeing others through God’s eyes. I need to be a person who speaks truth and takes r ...more
Buddy Draper
I really enjoyed this book. The subtitle is, 1CSpiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People. 1D Whenever I 19ve read about spiritual disciplines before I have always felt guilty: that I wasn 19t doing enough. Ortberg 19s premise is that our goal should be all about transformation. Our desire is to become more like Jesus. Obeying Him because we love Him and because we want to. Then we need to understand that the disciplines are tools to help us achieve our goal. His thought of training vs trying was ...more
Michelle Barker
Dec 16, 2016 Michelle Barker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith, 2016-reads
This is the second time I've read this book. The first time I blasted through it, but this time I took my time—which might be the better way to read a book about spiritual disciplines. I love Ortberg's writing. He is honest, funny, and completely disarming—and he's also very wise. In case anyone thinks spiritual disciplines might be dreary and awful and very very hard, consider: one of Ortberg's disciplines is celebration. Being present enough to enjoy where you are and to celebrate it. Another ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition really is.

From the first sentence, I identified personally with Ortberg. I felt as though he wrote from personal experience of my own life and struggles with spiritual disciplines, especially the last six months.

So, I don't have a single negative thing to say about this book. I'm biased, I admit it. But, I'd recommend this to any person who feels burdened by the guilt of 'failing' at spiritual discipline or who feels lost looking for ways to grow. This refreshing book is a map leading to p
Grace Chen
Apr 05, 2009 Grace Chen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2010 Doug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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.” 12 likes
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