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A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
“It makes little difference how fast you can run the 100 meters when the race is400 meters long. Life is not a sprint; it is a distance run, and it demands the kind ofconditioning that enables people to go the distance.”
—Gordon MacDonald

Running Strong

Whose heart doesn’t leap at the sight of a beautifully
conditioned runner, effortlessly gliding along, stride-bystride,mile-b
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2006 by Thomas Nelson (first published February 29th 2000)
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David Meldrum
Sep 18, 2012 David Meldrum rated it it was amazing
Parts of me want to dismiss a book like this.

The parts of me that are inclined to legalism rather than grace see a potential point of confusion here, as the author tells us the practices, the qualities, the relationships, the heart-attitudes that build a life-time of Christian resilience. It would be easy to mistake this, then as a list of what I must do in my own strength. Best avoided, then. Out of sight, out of mind. Safer for all of us.

The parts of me that exude a snobbish disregard for se
Chantelle Erickson
Jan 10, 2013 Chantelle Erickson rated it really liked it
I picked up this book during a season of feeling defeated and aimless. I believe this book helped me get back on track after my husband and I resigned from a ministry position. It just so happened that I read it before I learned of a miscarriage and this book helped me to see that difficult time as a season to gain wisdom from, etc. I am a runner, so I really connected to the author because of his memoir entangled in the story of being a competitive runner in his college years. I particularly li ...more
Mary Lou
Feb 18, 2016 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing
Gordon MacDonald is a gifted writer. In this book, in which he celebrates the gift of a coach in his own life, he becomes a coach for all his readers who want their life to count for God. He says: “In the great race of life, there are some Christ-followers who stand out from all the rest…They seem to possess these spiritual qualities –
They are committed to finishing strong.
They are inspired by a big-picture view of life.
They run free of the weight of the past.
They run confidently, trained to
May 11, 2014 Wallace rated it really liked it
This is my third Gordon MacDonald book, and perhaps the one that I 'enjoyed' the most, as I read it in a matter of 8 days!

MacDonald's theme is living the resilient life, based on Hebrews 12:1-3, with the themes and ideas, both biblical, personal and practical, woven around his youthful experiences with his running coach, Marvin Goldberg.

It was a thoughtful and creative thinking read for me, and overall I really liked it. He groups his shortish chapters around a principle idea, such as, Part I:
Danny Daley
Apr 12, 2015 Danny Daley rated it liked it
Although I love sports, I think Christian devotional and popular level material abuses the sports metaphor far too much. That, and some really terrible exegesis, are my reasons for leaving two stars off my score. However, despite these things, I really enjoyed this book.

I read it at a time when I had gone through the toughest ministry experience of my life. MacDonald admits, in this book, to failures and difficulties he went through as well, and discusses the principles that helped him to move f
Apr 07, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-growth
The book A Resilient Life by Gordon Macdonald is about possessing and maintaining spiritual qualities that will help individuals persevere in adversity. I just want to say that this book was a fantastic read! The author highlights the value of having been coached in his life, and therefore writes in the perspective of coaching everyone who will read his book. He says, “In the great race of life, there are some Christ-followers who stand out from all the rest…They seem to possess these spiritual ...more
Oct 15, 2012 Harvey added it
“It makes little difference how fast you can run the 100 meters when the race is 400 meters long. Life is not a sprint; it is a distance run, and it demands the kind of conditioning that enables people to go the distance.” — Gordon MacDonald

"Gordon MacDonald, a sixty-something pastor, offers a lifetime of wisdom in "A Resilient Life." Freely admitting that he was born with a "quitters gene," he credits the influence of his high school cross-country and track coach with helping him onto the road
Will Pareja
Aug 24, 2015 Will Pareja rated it really liked it
Shelves: discipleship, 2015
I've been reading this book off and on for the last 8 months. I'm glad I took it so slowly.
The basic tenet of the book is that the last 30-40 years of life are better (or matter more) than the first 40. Having just crested "the hill," I hope he is right.
This is a wisdom book, and should be read as such. It is saturated unapologetically with a biblical worldview from beginning to end, but you won't find any profound expositions of Scripture. That is not the purpose. It is full of challenging an
James Hansee
Dec 27, 2014 James Hansee rated it really liked it
An outstanding book to read no matter what stage of life you are at. He has some characteristics of people at various ages and they are spot on. His advice throughout the book is excellent. I read this on a personal spiritual retreat and I'm still impacted by his words.
Michael d'Offay
Apr 05, 2016 Michael d'Offay rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Solid read. Gordon MacDonald has some wonderful insights (as usual) into how to develop ongoing christian character, which he has learnt the painful way- is there any other way?
Well worth reading- especially for older Christians.
Joshua Jones
Aug 14, 2014 Joshua Jones rated it really liked it
Chapter 7 alone was worth the price of the book. So many who were zealous for God in their youth, loose it by the age of 40. This book addresses that issue.
Apr 30, 2015 Karissa rated it liked it
Lots of good evaluative questions and suggestions for the long haul.
Feb 06, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I've found a new spiritual father in Gordon MacDonald. After spending a few days under his teaching at a pastor's retreat, I picked up this book to continue to marinate in MacDonald's wisdom. He's done what nobody else has: gotten me to value discipline and resilience. Don't get me wrong, I've found discipline necessary and have practiced discipline(s), but I've not VALUED discipline. This work has helped shape me, and will continue to shape the way I order my life over the coming years.
Sep 05, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it
I found this somewhat of a disappointment after the very inspiring Ordering Your Private World. Almost a list of character traits and disciplines needed for a resilient life. I found the constant analogy of athletics gave it a somewhat driven feel, could be taken as strive in your own strength. It was definitely aimed at an older audience and made me feel old reading it! Nevertheless it contained much in the way of wisdom, honesty and integrity.
Dec 21, 2007 Brent rated it it was ok
This book read like many leadership-style books, containing a laundry list of traits that we should adopt for our lives. And I struggled to find the connection between many of these core traits and Resiliency. Plus, I have a predisposition against MacDonald's overuse of athlete metaphors. However, I still treasure the author's original classic, 'Ordering Your Private World'.
Carol Willison
Aug 15, 2014 Carol Willison rated it it was amazing
This book was a gift given during a time when my husband and I were having some really tough challenges. The book helped me to keep my eyes on the big picture. Felt like a life preserver thrown when I was tempted to give up and "go negative." It helped me to reflect and act rather than react. I'm very thankful that Gordon MacDonald wrote this!
Thomas Kinsfather
Jul 21, 2010 Thomas Kinsfather rated it really liked it
Reading A Resilient Life feels like a sagely grandfather sitting across from you and sharing his treasure of wisdom. As a young man, I appreciated the chapter on the questions you ask at different stages of life. The running metaphor didn't add much to the book for me. MacDonald's thoughts and reflections were worth their wait in gold.
Gary B
Oct 30, 2011 Gary B rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Not a bad book, but not so much about developing or creating resilience as characteristics of people who Gordon believes are resilient. Some of the material was helpful, and there are a number of quotable quotes. Despite never having been an 'athlete', I found his analogies to running easy to follow.
Feb 22, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing
I read this book at a time when I felt like giving up. It inspired me to endure and be resilient and helped me through.
It's a good book for individuals who were involved in sports as the author uses a lot of analogies with his high school track career.
Jun 26, 2008 Patti rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Gordon MacDonald is one of my favorite Christian authors. He is not on the popular list now. While a Protestant, he has read the Catholic classics and incorporates them into his books. This book is really good. I would recommend all of his books.
Sep 02, 2008 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of course, I totally identified with the running metaphors. I read this as a devotional and it was a good set of reminders of how your life should be shaped. I started this book when my life motivation seemed low.
John Williams
Aug 15, 2007 John Williams rated it it was amazing
great book. he basically goes thru the book and says what it takes to persevere in our walks with jesus. the chapters are short but what he says is impactful. this is not max lucado fluff. a lot of runner analogies.
Oct 02, 2008 TJ rated it liked it
a very solid book that has a lot of good points. but the most compelling aspect of the book is the fact that it instills in you the desire to live a resilient life to the very end.
Derek Brent
Mar 18, 2012 Derek Brent rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It challenged me in many different areas of my Spiritual life. This is a book I will be reading multiple times for years to come.
Sep 03, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
This ministered to me greatly when I was ready to give up on my Master's Degree. It helped that he talked of being a runner in high school and I could relate.
Jan 15, 2011 Kathie rated it really liked it
I found this book inspiring at a time when I really needed perspective. It has really helped me to get motivated and to see my life more positively.
Richard Edwards
Oct 09, 2010 Richard Edwards rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith
It is a good book to realize how to progress past disappointments in life. I would not consider it a self-help book for some one who is depressed.
Nov 08, 2008 Graham rated it really liked it
I wrote a page of notes - each chapter is devoted to some part of life. A book well worth digesting.
Dec 04, 2007 Becky rated it it was ok
appreciated the sport analogies. loved his heart and how he loves people.
Sep 26, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
Great book! Almost makes me wish I ran track for the life lessons.
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Gordon MacDonald has been a pastor and author for over forty years. For many years he pastored Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massacusetts and continues to serve as Pastor Emertius. He has also provided leadership to influential ministries such as Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, which he served as President for three years, and World Relief, which he currently serves as Chairman. Gordon’s best-sell ...more
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