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

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  707 ratings  ·  82 reviews

Bestselling author, pastor, and consummate storyteller John Ortberg tells us we can take pretty much only what we brought to the game. Everything else goes back in the box-the cash atop the corporate ladder, the vacation home at the lake, and the status vehicle in between.

All the tokens, game pieces, and prizes are left behind when we walk away from the table. The only rea

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Published August 3rd 2007 by Zondervan (first published July 30th 2007)
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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....more
Crina cordea
the last chapter it's a briliant one, shows a good perspective on how to lose or win or forgive in a elegance manner.
Jay Ehret
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...more
Chad B
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
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...more
Sam Oxby
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...more
Francis Gahren
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...more
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
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....more
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...more
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...more
Paul Dubuc
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
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
This book was quaint, quick, quirky, and quotable.
Kathy Goranson
This is one of the most useful books I have ever read, when looking for a way to put your faith into practice. I don't always agree with Ortberg but he sure has a way of explaining faith and Christian living. He is best at telling the reader how to live uprightly in today's ungodly world.
Jenn Raley
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.
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.
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.
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
Apr 26, 2008 Rheonna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Rheonna by: Manci
I just finished listening to this book, read by the author, on CD's. This is one of the best books I have read in years on living out a Christian walk. It is basic and not heavy, very real advise for today's world. It made me laugh and cry. Even my 15 year old son listened to it in the car with me, he too enjoyed the stories and examples. I have recommended it to all my friends.
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
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.
I really enjoyed it. I find it interesting to get different perspectives on dealing with life's choices and priorities. This book is insightful if you read it like you are talking with a good friend
Robert Mason
Aug 24, 2008 Robert Mason rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone thinking about living out their purpose
The single best book I have ever read on having a long view of life (eternal perspective). It is well written with great stories and contains incredible wisdom. I always thought if I were to write a book I would have written on this topic. Not sure I could have written this. Highly recommended.
John Ortberg is a great author and he said some really good things in this book. It just wasn't my favorite...doesn't mean it wasn't a good book. May be because I got the audio book this time and maybe it doesn't seem as good as reading it??? Still LOVE John Ortberg!
This was a good book - I really liked the Author's style of writing, the quotes, the stories, the scripture to back it and in general the whole concept of the book focusing on what is really important and truly what our purpose is and should be.
Matt read this in one of his classes and I always wanted to see what it was like. Picked it up last weekend and read it in just a few sittings. Definitely makes you think and I have a feeling I'll be going back to certain sections for a refresher.
Frans Karlsson
I like this book and the way he uses different aspects of playing a game to speak about spiritual truths. I enjoyed to read it and it spoke many times to me. I like the last part of the book where the king has still one move to play.
What a dose of reality - read this! We all die -
It is true and yet we live like we have another day coming to us. So we compete and compare and it leaves us empty. Ortberg wants to change all of that and more. He wants us to truly live.
Iain Hamill
One of the first "adult" books I properly read as a Christian and I loved it, very simple yet formative to such a degree that however many years later I still find myself returning to and applying it again and again.
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“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.” 32 likes
“sometimes we do not realize how much we have to be grateful for until it is threatened.” 9 likes
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