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God Is Closer Than You Think: If God Is Always with Us, Why Is He So Hard to Find?
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God Is Closer Than You Think: If God Is Always with Us, Why Is He So Hard to Find?

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,459 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Somehow, intimacy with God eludes us. Caught up in the mainstream of life, we know we're missing something vital. But how do we attain it? This book shows how readers can enjoy a vibrant relationship with your heavenly Father.
Hardcover, Large Print, 307 pages
Published June 30th 2006 by Thorndike Press (first published March 4th 2005)
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Josh Miller
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ortberg has a way with words...I thank God for talented authors like Him who write books to strengthen Christians in their walk with Him.

I had to keep a pen nearby as I constantly came across nuggets of truth. The way which Ortberg weaves illustrations with Biblical truth makes a strong impact upon the reader.

Chapter seven, Spiritual Pathways, was probably my favorite. In matter of fact, I took an evening before bedtime this past week and read the chapter to my family. In my opinion, the truth w
May 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
A very encouraging, inspiring and also practical book for anyone wanting to know more of God's presence day by day. Ortberg writes in his usual friendly style, with amusing throwaway lines and family anecdotes here and there. He also covers a lot of very important issues, and debunks certain viewpoints (such as the idea that God is only interested in people doing 'spiritual' activities).

There's a useful chapter about different pathways to finding God: this was very reassuring to one who finds ch
Mar 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: pastorsshelf
I just finished this book yesterday. John Ortberg is one of the funniest, down to earth, insightful Christian writers that I admire. Some of it is fluff, but never without meaningful Truth. I love his analogy of finding God like finding Waldo. On the early pages, he's always there, and it's so exciting to find him. But as you turn the pages, he blends in a little bit more and it's frustrating to not be able to see him as clearly. But that does not mean that he's not there. God sometimes "hides" ...more
Jennifer Daniel
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I can't really complain about this being "too preachy", it is a Christian book. It was one referenced in The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible As Literally As Possible. Started off interestingly enough with the author's thoughts on Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel, then he tried to be hip and use slang. The problem is when your only street conection is Baptist teen church nerds you don't sound too krunck just really, really white. Like Kevin Costner white.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We used this book in Sunday school at church and I loved the dvd that accompanied the book. John Ortberg has such a great perspective on how we should be living our lives and drawing closer to God. Would highly recommend for bible study groups.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ortberg writes in an engaging voice as he walks through issues pertaining to intimacy with God. The book is graced with multiple quotes from great Christian thinkers that add a depth of reflection to the various topics discussed.

There is candor on the writer’s part as he discloses humbling learning moments and there are ample anecdotal details that paint a theological mosaic of God’s immanence for the reader. Essentially, Ortberg argues that God is discovered in every life situation — in pain an
T. Finley
When I bought this book, I was looking for a magic formula, something that would instantly improve my 'personal relationship' with God. The fact is, there is no magic formula, no 'quick fix'. The book is structured as more of a long-term plan, a plan that requires effort and dedication to implement. However having read the book, I believe the author was right in using this approach. When it comes to a person's spiritual well-being it's good to think long-term, because too often someone will star ...more
Josh Morgan
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most of his books, Ortberg takes topics that Dallas Willard has written about and communicates them in a way that doesn't take a mere mortal a year to process. To be clear, I love Willard and I love Ortberg. This book's backbone is based around developing a practice of the presence of God in your everyday life, but it also covers everything from hearing God to what the kingdom of Heaven is like. If you're looking for a portable, digestible encounter with these topics that you can start prac ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Ortberg offers practical adivce for how to gain a closer relationship to God. This proximital relationship is achieved by realizing that God is always with you and that he in facts chases you with his arms open in love. Through a blend of pop culture and Christian elements Ortberg perfectly creates an entertaining and applicable text that lifts the spirit and reminds us that our hope in life is God. Thank God, he is closer than we think.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful, gentle book. It actually only took me a few days to read it. I don’t know why I didn’t finish it when I started 6 months ago. Finally last week I decided to read a chapter a night.
The author has a wonderful sense of humor and a practical way of helping the reader see heaven here on earth and how we can cultivate awareness of its existence.
Mindy Evans
This author is great! He has a way of giving you good information without it being boring. He's like a spiritual comedian. I really enjoyed this book and can say I have gotten a lot out of it. I would definitely recommend.
Albert Graves
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life changing

The chapter on spiritual pathways changed the way I pursue God. I would recommend all of Ortberg's books, but loved this one.
Brooke Elyse
It's ok.
Wavey Cowpar
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Just wow!

This book is amazing. I read it alongside reading Brother Lawrence's "Practicing the Presence of God" which I would recommend doing as I believe that little book was the inspiration behind this bigger book.

Ortberg starts off by talking about the image often referred to as 'the creation of man' in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. He talks about the positioning of the figures, with God twisted awkwardly and reaching for Adam, stretching as far as is possible. Meanwhile, Adam leisure
Diana Barrick
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful book for me to read over and over because it's important enough that I really get it. Probably a modern take on Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God, but I haven't read that one yet! I highlighted all over this book. "God paints himself in the depths of our souls- Brother Lawrence." "The decision that makes us disciples is choosing to be always with Jesus so we can learn continually from Jesus how to be fully like him." Ortberg explores salvation, sanctification, the transfo ...more
Buddy Draper
Ortberg is a great author and I really enjoyed this book. God longs for a relationship with us 13 a deep, growing, intimate relationship and He makes Himself available. A metaphor I understood and enjoyed was thinking of God in terms of the Where 19s Waldo? books. When we first know God He is easy to find. We thoroughly love and thrill at being with Him. The longer we know Him the more He removes those props and we find it more difficult to see Him. After a while, if we aren 19t careful, we 19ll ...more
Feb 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book along with doing a DVD group study with friends from my church. It deals with learning to be able to see and hear God in everyday circumstances. I enjoyed Ortberg's sense of humor and thought that the Where's Waldo analogy was great. I didn't give it 5 stars because I feel that while the author did an interesting and complete job of making his points,he then tended to over-reiterate what he'd already said. It reminded me of trying to make term papers longer when I was in high sc ...more
Dan Curnutt
Apr 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for those wanting to learn about "practicing the presence of God". It's a quick and easy read, but if you stop to contemplate what he says you will need to read and re-read and maybe read again.

For me the biggest thing to learn was the fact that I have forgotten to look for God in the daily activities and events of my life. God is there, if I care to stop and look for Him.

Don't just read this book on your own, get a group together and go through the book together so that you
Sep 29, 2016 rated it liked it
This one is more like a 2.5 for me--too much fluff and too little substance.

Ortberg shares many, many little stories and insights--too many, in fact--and easily lost my interest. The teaching is Biblical but rather elementary. He seemed to be missing an opportunity to teach his readers a thing or two about the Bible.

I simply did not get anything out of this book at all. I had high(ish) expectations and am someone who struggles understanding why God is so hard to find but didn't manage to find
Opal Huang
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
John Ortberg has been my favourite writers for quite a while now. I have had read his other books and this one definitely lives up to the same standard. I like the way he writes, it's so personal, so real, he doesn't hide the fact that he himself is human too, and has many character flaws, he doesn't put himself as a holy, spotless spiritual leader who only asserts the triumphant stories of christians but neglect the inevitable human failures. This makes it real and convincing to his readers tha ...more
Don Paske
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another thoughtful book by John Ortberg.
Clare Khan
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
God IS Closer Than You Think!

Do you want to know why there is a small gap between you and God, and how it can be closed?

Do you want to know why God is sometimes hidden (but never absent) from you?

Do you want to learn how to have a healthy, positive thought life?

Do you like authors who are wise, godly, yet also possess a dry sense of humour?
if you answered YES to any of these questions, then this book is for you!
Lucy Bilik
This book has really touched me, it is just what I have needed at this point of my life. An amazing book that shows how God is everywhere around us and with us. We sometimes forget how close God is and how He cares what we do and what happens to us. Looking forward to reading more of john Ortbergs books. Hope it'll bring peace, understanding and strong relationship with God to anyone who reads it.
Feb 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Sue Hubbard
I am doing this with my church as a bible study. It can only be used as a bible study if you do daily work in the participants guide. If you were just reading the book it would be Book Club level. Easy, light hearted, good. Lots of meat no wasted pages. Makes you sharpen your senses, learn to be still and see God in our daily lives. Good current age read. He is an enjoyable author.
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy John Ortberg and found this to be a very good and helpful resource. God Is Closer Than You Think provides some thought and practical advice on God being with us in this world -- we don't have to die to find the Kingdom of God. Plan to make this the focus of an upcoming women's retreat. I think it is a phenomenal topic.
Jack Kooyman
Oct 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great book for me and anyone with a desire to grow closer to God but, for some reason, is not drawn to, familiar with or intimidated by what they know about spiritual practices or disciplines. Ortberg writes in such a clear "down to earth" style about the spiritual life that I understand, relate to, and can apply and practice in my daily life.
Sutana Monae
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I read this book. I love John Ortberg's voice as a writer, not only is he funny he really conversates with you in his writing. If you are looking to better understand God and how intimate he really is this is a great read... Ive gone through it twice and have found it refreshing both times!
Sherri Hayes
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Ortberg is one of my favorite authors. He always challenges me to go deeper in my relationship with God and others. I enjoy the humor that often makes me laugh out loud and his stories and insights always touch my heart.
Kelly Belvis
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent book, a quick read but also worth re-reading. I did much underlining in this book. John Ortberg has a way of making theological concepts completely accessible and also memorable. I appreciate his humor and joy along the way.
Claire Burlap
3.5. Very insightful and provides advice/strategies for seeing God in everyday life that are actually applicable. Not too challenging to read, but also makes you think. Also enjoyed the random bits of humor thrown in.
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“The greatest moment of your life is now.
Not because it's pleasant or happy or easy, but because this moment is the only moment you've got. Every past moment is irretrievably gone. It's never coming back. If you live there, you lose your life.
And the future is always out there somewhere. You can spend an eternity waiting for tomorrow, or worrying about tomorrow. If you live there, you likewise will lose your life.
This moment is God's irreplaceable gift to you.”
“ordinary becomes extraordinary when filled with” 1 likes
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