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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,244 ratings  ·  127 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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4.20  · 
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 ·  1,244 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Tim Chavel
Feb 10, 2017 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 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.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very powerful book for such a short and easy read. My only beef with it is I thought he was a little bit too dismissive of the concerns we have here on earth. He does say we should help others, but to totally deny ourselves to do so is setting us up for burnout. Not all of us are Mother Theresa. And I do think taking care of your body is important. It’s the tool we use to do God’s work. I know it’s a somewhat shallow concern, but feeling good allows us to do more for others. Neverthele ...more
Feb 23, 2016 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 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 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.
Kirk Weikart
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
As always, Ortberg produces a witty and colorful gem, complete with cogent spiritual advice. Although he carefully plots an organized course, I was never able to discern any thread that strung through the whole book. The title suggests a theme that will be returned to throughout the book, but it seemed more like a parable that served only a single point.
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: inspirational
This is a book that uses a game as a metaphor for life. This is written from a Christian viewpoint so the prize is eternal life in heaven. The author reminds people to focus on what is important, God and each other, rather than material things. I found the book to be a good reminder of things I already know.
Carole Key
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that you can pickup and put down between reads. It really made me think about the way that I view things and my own mortality. In a world that seems to be caught up in mindfulness, this book hits the spot. Wether you have faith or not, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box, helps one to get things into perspective, and live life to the full.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best religious book I have read this year. The author tells the story of playing board games (mainly Monopoly) with his grandmother. Then the entire book breaks down the various parts of playing games and relates it to our spiritual lives. The book is filled with stories that relate to what is being discussed. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
Jean Schram
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It's kind of a Christian version of Suze Orman's, "People first, then money, then things," but with the placement of God before all of the other things. Lots of anecdotes to stretch that into book length.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good. Is this new material? Not for someone that reads Christian literature regularly. But I like to be reminded to pause and think of what's really important. And I think there is value in getting this message from different points if view.
Greg Busch
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy John Ortberg and as I said in another review I am reading his material in anticipation of his visit to Spokane in early Fall. The book has a very relaxed style and can be read in a short time. Try it, I think most would find it to their liking.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great analogy of life to play the game. Full of spiritual insight.
Puru Nanda
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Excellent read. Loved it till the very end . This book is a fake changer in terms of learning more about life
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
John Ortberg always has wise words to share. I especially liked his story about Johnny the bagger and what a difference he made for the people around him.
Ben Palm
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read to give you a proper perspective on life and to challenge you to live differently. And it’s funny, too!
Jason Stanley
Overall, a great book. Ortberg does a great job of drawing spiritual lessons from board games, and his writing is entertaining and practical like always. This book is a very worthwhile read.
Joe Oaster
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love John O book';s but this was not my favorite. I am not calling it bad, just not my favorite of his
Mar 27, 2010 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 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
Shaun Lee
Feb 01, 2016 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
Jay Ehret
Mar 29, 2014 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
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 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 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 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 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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.
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