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When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  1,052 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
Remember the thrill of winning at checkers or Parcheesi? You become the Master of the Board the victor over everyone else. But what happens after that, asks bestselling author John Ortberg. You know the answer: It all goes back in the box. You don t get to keep one token, one chip, one game card. In the end, the spoils of the game add up to nothing. Using popular games as ...more
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Zondervan Publishing Company (first published July 30th 2007)
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Tim Chavel
Feb 10, 2017 Tim Chavel rated it really liked it
John Ortberg is becoming one of my favorite authors. A friend, Butch Hicks, recommended this wonderful book. John relates the Christian life to playing a game. When he was small John used to play board games with his grandmother. He learned a lot more than just how to play a board game, he also learned how to live life. As you will learn through his quotes below his grandmother had lots of wisdom. I trust you will enjoy reading quotes from his book!

Pawn and king alike, they all go back in the ba
Aug 06, 2016 Jerry rated it really liked it
Entertaining, humorous, and informative, John Ortberg delivers another winner with this book. He'll have you laughing...but he'll also challenge your thinking. This one is definitely worth reading for all Christians.
Feb 23, 2016 Dkovlak rated it really liked it
This is a good book. It has a lot of funny stories in it. The author does a good job of getting the point across. The idea is that when the game of life is over we can take nothing with us. Therefore, we should spend our time, talents, and possessions on things that have eternal consequences not temporary consequences. (Invest in people not STUFF.)

Life is short, so we should make the best of the time we have on earth. Be generous. Don't hold grudges. Love your neighbor. Play fair. Be a gracious
Feb 06, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Ortberg is always a treat. He isn't extremely deep theologically, but he does give some great ideas for sermon illustrations. He is also very entertaining while being a super devotional writer. This title appealed to me because of my daughter-in-law Amy, who loves to play board games. I listened to the Audible version and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The author emphasizes a Divine perspective on life, stressing the value of eternal things rather than temporal things. He does it in a unique, upbeat way.
Crina cordea
Jan 17, 2013 Crina cordea rated it really liked it
the last chapter it's a briliant one, shows a good perspective on how to lose or win or forgive in a elegance manner.
Mar 27, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it
Like one reviewer said, this is classic John Ortberg. Successfully weaving bits and pieces of humor, stories, and personal antecedents into a book about meaningful life stuff, Ortberg does a great job of carrying his theme, "Games as life metaphor" throughout the entire book. There were some parts that seemed abrupt or I didn't quite get the placement or use of a particular story or the particular story just didn't transition well into the next part. But all in all it was a good book. I have to ...more
Jun 26, 2016 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Excellent work for Ortberg. This is the first one of his I've read and I was not disappointed.

This is an evaluation of chasing money and promotions while sacrificing relationships in the process. This is an evaluation of a symptom of many a poor soul who cries out on his death bed after all is said and done. Relationships are sacrificed for career gain far too often in an empirical world. If you haven't experienced this in yourself or those you love or once loved, then you are a rarity. This is
Jay Ehret
Mar 29, 2014 Jay Ehret rated it really liked it
Not every spiritual book needs to change your life. And while I know of someone who's life has been profoundly affected by this particular one, it did not have that effect on me, and that's okay.

Sometimes books just need to nudge you forward on your path, sometimes they need to bring you back to the path, and sometimes just reaffirm what you feel in your heart. For me it was getting me back on the path.

Ortberg is a masterful storyteller and here he uses his stories to bring you face-to-face wi
Shaun Lee
Feb 01, 2016 Shaun Lee rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. I read it in a day, though not in a single sitting. As a bible school student, I gravitate toward more theologically "deep" and "scholarly" titles. This I have to admit was a pleasant surprise (partially because I've read his "The Life You've Always Wanted" and found it to be so-so.

I am so thankful to Ortberg for reminding me what on earth should I be doing with my life, even as I am embarking on a new journey in life that would kickoff the start of a career (and involve financing
Dottie Parish

It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg, pastor and best selling author, is a clever and wise book about the fact that life is short and often our priorities are flawed and driven by plans for worldly success. Playing Monopoly with his grandmother taught Ortberg that when the game is over it all goes back in the box. This game metaphor for life continues throughout the book pointing out that the object in life is not to win houses, hotels, fame or fortune. The object for a Christian is to “b
Chad B
Oct 13, 2008 Chad B rated it really liked it
It's Ortberg need I say more. Anyone who has read John Ortberg knows what I mean. For those of you who haven't... Ortberg is the Pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California. His writing is very down to earth, humorous and insightful. In this book Ortberg looks at life from the perspective of the monopoly board. Reminding us that when the "Game" of life is over we can't take anything with us. Or can we? We can accumulate great things in life, but the question is what really matters? We ...more
Francis Gahren
Apr 18, 2013 Francis Gahren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Pastor and bestselling author Ortberg (God Is Closer Than You Think; Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them) offers a thoughtfully written instruction manual for Christian game players of all ages. Using games as a metaphor, Ortberg presents carefully considered tactics for succeeding in life from God's vantage point.

Each chapter weaves the rules of gaming with the Christian journey: understanding the object of the game (being spiritually rich toward God); the setup (keeping score, taking
Sam Oxby
Oct 03, 2012 Sam Oxby rated it it was ok
There were a couple of gems in this book, which reiterated basic principles of my walk with Jesus that I'd not put enough emphasis on, or which had slipped over the years.

I now try and note at least one thing which I am grateful for per day, as a means of remembering that everything is God given and undeserved. And I'm also more aware of allowing myself to settle for second best, to focus on things which I have prioritised, rather than God's priorities for me, on a day to day, month to month bas
Phil Whittall
Dec 06, 2014 Phil Whittall rated it really liked it
When The Game Is Over It All Goes Back In The Box is the latest book by John Ortberg and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Here are my reasons why:

It was on a subject close to my heart at the moment, being rich towards God.

It included down to earth teaching on the importance of not focusing on stuff and instead focusing on people.

It talked about loving God and loving people.

It was easy to read

It made me laugh

It made me cry – the Johnny the bagger story

It was encouraging and uplifting and it di
Dec 24, 2008 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, read-2009
John Ortberg takes the image of a game, such as Monopoloy. He recounts anecdotes with his grandmother, who taught him a great deal about sportsmanship and games in general, and he relates it to daily life.

The overall theme is to make live worth living, since it will eventually come to an end, just like a board game. The book is divided into sections - setup, hazards, how to play, and so on - with parts of games used as analogies for different aspects of living life.

I don't suppose there was an
May 02, 2013 Albert rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
After having read My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word, I decided to give it a go, and I happened to pick ETERNITY as my word. As a part of that, I've been thinking about what the eternal perspective does to our concern for what is important and what is trivial. This book, which I started reading around the time I picked the word, addresses that topic exactly.

Pastor John has a great way of being humorous, painfully honest, and poignant in his messages. This book does not disappoint.
Jun 08, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
Excellent to the point message, easy to read, applicable to all...The king and pawn all go back in the box when the game is over. But "The KING has one move more."

One commentary on the cultural change moving away from truth:

"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."

The author suggests the recitations of this prayer have declined significantly over the last fifty years. Today we deny heaven and hell (Every one is go
Nov 14, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I think it was John Bunyan who said, "If a man would live well, let him fetch his last day to him and make it always his company keeper." This book is one to help you do just that. I read it book during Lent this year to help me with examen. It's a book every Christian should read reflectively. Ortberg mixes his words of wisdom with humor to make the medicine go down, but the book deals with a serious subject: How to live a life that really matters (to God, you and others you care for) and be th ...more
Arun Thamizhvanan
Nov 06, 2016 Arun Thamizhvanan rated it really liked it
Beautiful Book. It is so easy to read but also so thoughtful and incisive in observations. When our game is over ( die) - all goes back in the box. What to do in the dash between our birth date and our end date, I loved the way John Ortberg used stories and illustrations, personal examples to drive point after point. I would love to read it once every year. I love the quotes he suitably places over every chapter start paragraph. I have become a fan of John Ortberg. This is my second book, find h ...more
Derek Winterburn
Jan 14, 2017 Derek Winterburn rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
This book is a series of chapters (at least some were sermons first) united by the idea that the life that we see is like a 'game' - that is not life from an eternal perspective. All of this is readable and there are some very good chapters, but some of it is familiar Ortberg stuff. Ortberg is a great storyteller, and can tell stories well against himself. However he has a habit of telling an anecdote (as if it were true) then undermining it with flip punchline. In a talk that would just be a th ...more
Dec 15, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read that Ortberg has written, and I loved it just as much as the first (The Life You've Always Wanted). In this book, he uses the Monopoly board as an analogy for the game of life, and the focus is on having an eternal perspective. His quotes and stories make me nod and laugh out loud. There is just so much common sense and truth within his books, and I really enjoy his writing style. It is so honest, personal and easy to read. I would definitely recommend this book ...more
Apr 01, 2009 Maria rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author certainly gave me a great deal to think about. I highly recommend it if you feel you may be living a life of "wanting more" or "not having enough". The book and its message prompt me to always be grateful daily for all my blessings--big and small. And to remember what truly matters in life--God and people. Those are the only things that don't go back in the box when the game is over.
Jenn Raley
Feb 28, 2011 Jenn Raley rated it liked it
Shelves: faith
This would be a really good book for teens, or for new Christians. For mature believers, it's full of good reminders, and good examples of things we should already be practicing in our walk with Christ. But don't expect it to be life-changing, or even challenging in terms of giving specific "next steps" to implement changes in your life.

There are a lot of great metaphors and stories - great fodder for sermon illustrations for all you pastors out there.
Jul 30, 2009 Christi rated it it was amazing
This is a great book to bring us back to what and who really matters in life. To remind us what success really is. It encourages the reader to live passionately and boldly seeking the richness of BEING instead of the richness of having! John Ortberg is a great storyteller who is able to articulate concepts into visual pictures that leave you in awe. I absolutely love his insight and illustrations. I have enjoyed all his books and this one is no exception.
Sep 11, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it
One day it's all going back in the box. The purpose of life is to make God smile. Trophies bring temporary pleasure that can be addicting but the pleasure always wears off. Stuff and titles and what passes for good fortune this time around the game board don't really amount to all that much. You may have thought in this life that you were Master of the Board. You're not. But don't despair. Live wisely. The KING still has one more move.
Brent MacDonald
Feb 17, 2016 Brent MacDonald rated it really liked it
The title might make it look lightweight, and I suppose in some respects it is, but intentionally so. John Ortberg is a solid, learned Bible teacher however, who chooses to communicate truth through the lens of ordinary life. In this particular book, his gentle (and often humorous) reminder to concern ourselves with things of eternal consequence is much valued. Highly recommended.
David 'Wavey' Cowpar
At first this book is very good. The comparison of life to a game works quite well in places, though falls short in others.

However, half way through the book you realise that (the usually wonderful) John Ortberg hasn't actually got enough material for an entire book based on this metaphor, or analogy, and simply repeats himself.

My least favourite of Ortberg's books, sadly.
Mrunal Nargunde
Apr 04, 2013 Mrunal Nargunde rated it it was ok
This is a good book on Christianity and the thoughts echoed are nice. The narration dint appeal me much personally. There were times when I felt the author has made the point, established it and needs to move forward but chapter continues. I recommend this to people from Catholic background and anyone who is interested in understanding teaching of Jesus Christ.
Dec 20, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
John Ortberg does not mince time on debatable finer points of doctrine, but focuses all his energies on the plain, main essentials. And it's awesome. His story-telling and illustrating provides fresh angles to reflect upon and breathes new life to old knowledge. Ortberg is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.
Jan 18, 2011 Christy rated it liked it
We know we’re not getting out of this life alive, but what are we living for? Ortberg asks that we review our calendar and our checkbook for examples of our priorities. Are we living for God or for ourselves? God has given us all gifts and strengths to help us reach our mission (even our weaknesses can be used to further our mission). What will we do with the game of life?

Lent 2011
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“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” 45 likes
“sometimes we do not realize how much we have to be grateful for until it is threatened.” 10 likes
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