Normal? Who’s Normal? Not you, that’s for sure! No one you’ve ever met, either. None of us are normal according to God’s definition, and the closer we get to each other, the plainer that becomes. Yet for all our quirks, sins, and jagged edges, we need each other. Community is more than just a word—it is one of our most fundamental requirements. So how do flawed, abnormal people such as ourselves master the forces that can drive us apart and come together in the life-changing relationships God designed us for? In Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, teacher and best-selling author John Ortberg zooms in on the things that make community tick. You’ll get a thought-provoking look at God’s heart, at others, and at yourself. Even better, you’ll gain wisdom and tools for drawing closer to others in powerful, impactful ways. With humor, insight, and a gift for storytelling, Ortberg shows how community pays tremendous dividends in happiness, health, support, and growth. It’s where all of us weird, unwieldy people encounter God’s love in tangible ways and discover the transforming power of being loved, accepted, and valued just the way we are. The need for community is woven into the very fabric of our being. Nothing else can substitute for the life-giving benefits of connecting with others—not even God. He won’t preempt the way he himself has designed us to reflect his own intensely relational nature. But there’s a hitch in our experience of community, says John Ortberg: We’re all weird. Folks around us may seem normal enough, but just wait till we get to know them—and they get to know us. The unhealthy, sinful ways we respond to life in a fallen world are hardly God’s idea of “normal,” and they can make us as unhuggable as porcupines. We face the “porcupine dilemma,” says Ortberg: We need each other, but how do we get close without getting hurt? How do we get past all those quills and grow together in Christ? In Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them, Ortberg once again reveals his gift for sharing profound insights using a lighten-up approach. With winsome humor and a fondness for well-spun stories, he pops the myth of normalcy and hands us the keys to creating and sustaining relationships. “God’s dream for community encompasses the redemption of all spheres of life,” he says. Who doesn’t want like to be liked, to be wanted, to have solid, satisfying friendships! Ortberg shows what such relationships are made of. He reveals the benefits of authenticity—what it means to live with an “unveiled face,” as the Bible puts it. He encourages us to trade the stones it’s so easy to cast at others for acceptance. He opens our eyes and heart to empathy, the art of reading people. And he takes us through the ins and outs of conflict, forgiveness, confrontation, inclusion, and gratitude. The principles and discussion questions in this book are down-to-earth. They’re for real people living in a real world, and are intended to help us count the practical cost of relationship and then pay it—because in all the rewards and struggles of community, we’re investing in something beyond our comprehension. You could call it heaven. You could call it home. It’s the place where all of us are headed, all of us belong, and all of us will be normal at last.
The rewards of winning at life's game can be thrilling. But eventually everything goes back into the box, and what ultimately matters is whether a person has played according to God's rules. Ortberg uses popular games and his trademark gift of storytelling to help people identify the things that really count.
I'd Like You More If You Were More like Me takes on one of life's most important questions: How can I get closer to God and other people? We were created for deep connections. When people have deep connections, says John Ortberg, they win in life. When they don't have deep connections, they cannot win in life. I'd Like You More if You Were More like Me offers help in overcoming one of the biggest obstacles to making deep connections: the fact that we're so different. Different from God and different from each other. The good news is that connectedness is not based on similarity, but on shared experiences. When one person invites another to share an experience, they're connected. It can be sharing a beautiful sunset or a meal, having a great conversation over cup of coffee, going for walk, or even teasing somebody. And when we share those same experiences with God, we get closer to him, too. God wants to connect with us--so much that he sent his son to live as a human being. God took on flesh and shared every human experience. So we don't have to wonder what a close relationship with God looks like anymore. An intimate relationship with God and other people doesn't have to be a cliché, it can be a daily way of life.
Author: John Ortberg
How do you explain a love that has no explanation? What will happen if you let it touch your heart? God loves you not because you are flawless, not because you are a perfect person, but just because you are you. In Life-Changing Love, John Ortberg reveals the God you’ve longed to encounter: a Father head-over-heels in love with you, his child, and intensely committed to your highest joy. Ortberg takes you to the very focus of who God is to discover a burning, passionate love that gives, and gives, and gives. He explores the life-changing ways this love has expressed itself through Jesus. And he shows how you can love your mate, your family, your friends, and the world around you with the same practical, transforming love. Dispelling your fears and misconceptions of God, Life-Changing Love brings you face-to-face with the Love that frees and empowers you to love.
Winner of the 2002 Christianity Today Book Award! You’re One Step Away from the Adventure of Your Life. Deep within you lies the same faith and longing that sent Peter walking across the wind-swept Sea of Galilee toward Jesus. In what ways is the Lord telling you, as he did Peter, "Come"? John Ortberg invites you to consider the incredible potential that awaits you outside your comfort zone. Out on the risky waters of faith, Jesus is waiting to meet you in ways that will change you forever, deepening your character and your trust in God. The experience is terrifying. It’s thrilling beyond belief. It’s everything you’d expect of someone worthy to be called Lord. The choice is yours to know him as only a water-walker can, aligning yourself with God’s purpose for your life in the process. There’s just one requirement: If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.
The Me I Want to Be
Author: John Ortberg
If God has a perfect vision for your life, why does spiritual growth seem so difficult? Pastor and bestselling author John Ortberg has some intriguing answers to that question, and he has organized his thoughts and God's words into a straightforward and timely guide for living your best life in The Me I Want to Be. This participant's guide is part of a DVD group study that will show how God's perfect vision for you starts with a powerful promise. All those who trust in God 'will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit' (Jeremiah 17:7-8). Ortberg urges you to recognize your brokenness, understand that God is the project manager, and follow His directions. He also helps gauge your spiritual health and measure the gap between where you are now and where God intends you to be. The Me I Want To Be Participant's Guide is a guidebook to the great task and joy of your life ... becoming God's best version of you. Learn to be a thriving and flourishing Christ-follower as you study these five sessions. The Me I Want to Be sessions include: 1.Discovering The Spirit 2. Renewing My Mind 3. Redeeming My Time 4. Deepening My Relationships 5. Transforming My Experience Designed for use with The Me I Want to Be DVD.
Let’s face it: making decisions is hard—especially when it comes to the big stuff like, Should I marry this person? Am I in the wrong job? What should I do with my life? We know that God has a plan for us, but how are we supposed to know what that plan is? In What Is God’s Will for My Life?, bestselling author John Ortberg helps us understand: If God’s will for my life is so important, why doesn’t he just tell me what it is? How can I learn to recognize God’s voice? If I miss God’s guidance on an important decision, am I stuck with “plan B” for the rest of my life? God does have a plan for your life! It’s time to discover what it is.
Falling for God
Author: Gary W. Moon
Falling in love is one of life’s greatest joys. So imagine the endless joy of falling head over heels for God. Falling in love is one of the most magnificent experiences of human life. Remember what it feels like? How it happens? You spend time with that special someone, get to know each other, and then one day find yourselves so intimately connected it is as though your souls have become intertwined. Compare that experience with your current relationship with God. Why doesn’t it feel just as passionate, just as wonderful? Gary Moon believes it can. If you’re not head over heels in love with God, you’re missing out on an incredible experience–but you’re not without hope. Falling for God will inspire you to pursue a passionate, intimate relationship with a God who–even though he doesn’t need anything from you–wants more than anything to be united with you. Through Bible study, personal meditation, and classic spiritual exercises, you’ll discover how to experience this loving connection with the lover of your soul. The journey will take you through honest conversation and active communion to a deeper experience of intimate union with God. Falling for God will move you to embrace an all-out passion for joyful and abundant living. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, Judson Poling
Gifted--that’s you! Uniquely equipped to help build up the body of Christ. As a follower of Jesus, serving others is an integral part of your identity and an important key to your personal growth. But how do you cultivate a servant’s heart and your spiritual gifts in ways that build up your church, your family, your friends, and your world--without wiping you out in the process? Gifts guides you to the answers. Through personal study and small group interaction, this study will help you develop a passion to be used by God. You’ll find out about your unique place in the body of Christ and how to surmount the obstacles that keep you from thriving. You’ll discover the joy of serving with others--doing together what you cannot do alone. And you’ll learn how to abide in Christ, experiencing a freshness and vitality that grow as you give!Leader’s guide included!Gifts group sessions are:Use Me!Use My Gifts!Walking into WeaknessComparison: The Killjoy of ServanthoodThe Ministry of the MundaneServanthood’s Bell-Shaped CurveAbide in Him
If you’ve ever. . . ·wondered what’s in the Bible Jesus studied ·promised yourself, “One of these days, I’m going to get serious about reading the whole Old Testament” ·wanted a personal “guide” to lead you through unfamiliar territory in the Old Testament . . . then this book is for you! Discover the Life-Changing Relevance of the Old Testament Taking the Old Testament Challenge is an integral part of Old Testament Challenge, a dynamic program for churches. This individual reading guide brings the Old Testament up close and personal as each participant takes a life-transforming journey through the first two-thirds of the Bible. The truths of Scripture will enter deep into hearts and lives—with applications that turn lessons into lifestyles and principles into practice.
Coping with Depression
Author: Siang-Yang Tan, John Carl Jr. Ortberg
Publisher: Baker Books
Nineteen million Americans suffer from depression each year It can strike anyone, and being a Christian does not exempt you. But help is here. Understanding the ABCs of emotional life-Affect, Behavior, and Cognition-can shed light on the causes of depression. In this revised and updated edition of Coping with Depression, the authors look carefully at the ABCs, showing how your thoughts affect the way you feel and describing how each dimension is linked with depression. They balance the spiritual dimension of approaching depression with the most recent scientific research and offer highly practical and proven strategies for coping. If you suffer from depression or know someone who does, you will find encouragement and help in this reassuring book. "Tan and Ortberg educate and edify. They build on state-of-the-science understanding, state-of-the-treatment tips from therapy, and state-of-the-spirit nurture of the whole person. The result: an educational and uplifting book to guide people out of depression."-Everett L. Worthington Jr., Ph.D., chair of psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University "Coping with Depression is a spiritually sensitive, scientifically informed, and highly practical resource for people struggling with depression and those who would seek to understand and help them."-Stanton L. Jones, Ph.D., provost, Wheaton College Siang-Yang Tan (Ph.D., McGill University) is a graduate professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He also serves as senior pastor of First Evangelical Church of Glendale. John Ortberg (M.Div., Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is a pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat and Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them.
We Are His Workmanship
Author: Joseph Johnsick
Publisher: Joseph Johnsick
Whether or not you understand the book of Ephesians could be the difference between living a life of chronic defeat or consistent victory and adventure in God. The Ephesian letter was scripted by a man so cognizant of how the grace and power of God is accessed, that by the time he left that city, even those entrenched in the satanic practices of the occult, came to Christ as their powers were dwarfed and made of no consequence! (see Acts 19) What is so astounding is the Apostle Paul made clear throughout the letter that his job was not just to demonstrate God's mighty powers, but to make sure we understood these things too! This book is for everyone that at one time or another has been frustrated, even heartbroken, as they compared their personal experiences in God to those otherworldly exploits the Scriptures continually report and declare to be the standard of Christian conduct and demonstration! My friends, we don't have to remain frustrated, powerless, or defeated! This is the second edition to the original written nine years ago. These principles have been undeniably proven and experienced by ministers and laypersons around the world! To God be the Glory! God has no favorites. Whether you are called to be an apostle to the nations, or the finest mother and housewife the earth has ever been graced with...He has a plan for your life that is brimming with blessings, success, and victory. You have a high calling that is beyond your wildest imaginations. The journey leading you to that call begins right here - in your understanding of the "mystery of Christ" - as revealed in the matchless book of Ephesians!
It's easy to recognize God in a church service or while attending a wedding or a funeral. But it's easy to forget about Him in the busyness of our daily lives. This gift book encourages the reader to notice God in the everyday happenings around us. Whether it's a smile from a co-worker, the love of a spouse, the sound of the ocean, or a look at the stars, it all speaks God's name if we just take the time to see and listen. Content is excerpted from God Is Closer Than You Think by John Ortberg.
God Is Closer Than You Think Curriculum Kit Six Sessions on Experiencing the Presence of God The story of the Bible is the story of God's desire to be with people. God is extending himself, stretching out to reach us, to fill our lives with his presence. Every moment of your life is like a page in a Where's Waldo? book. God is there, the Scriptures tell us - on every one of them. But the ease with which he may be found varies from one page to the next. In this six-session Zondervan GroupwareTMvideo curriculum, award-winning author John Ortberg serves as guide and interpretive leader for experiencing the presence of God in everyday life. With his engaging and humorous style, Ortberg transforms our view of God's presence from one that may seem hidden or distant to one that is closer than you think. The curriculum kit is designed for churches to use as a spiritual growth campaign. It includes a six-session small group participant's guide, a six-session DVD (with a thirty-two - page leader's guide) featuring John Ortberg teaching, a CD-ROM (with sermon resources and promotional materials), and one copy of the hardcover book. The participant's guide, Small Group Edition DVD, and book are also sold separately.
Author: John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, Judson Poling
Many Christians have an easier time being saved by grace than they do living in grace every day. But grace is at the center of the life God calls us to--and reflects the heart of the One who calls.These studies in Grace will help you make the connection between grace as a remote biblical concept and grace as a lifestyle--a reality you experience day in, day out. Through an unfolding study of Psalm 23, you’ll learn how God--our Good Shepherd--is for you, how he longs to walk with you through temptation, sorrow, and even deep regret. You’ll discover God’s desire to make his joy your joy. Throughout, you’ll learn how enduring, powerful, and life-affirming God’s work in your life can be—and rediscover why it’s called amazing grace.Leader’s guide included!Grace group sessions are:Living in GraceGrace for RegretsSustaining GraceDelighting in GraceA Legacy of GraceGrace ForeverGrace to Share