Everybody's Normal 'Til You Get to Know Them   -     By: John Ortberg
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Everybody's Normal 'Til You Get to Know Them

Zondervan / 2003 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Since Christians often talk about community as one of their highest ideals it is shocking when they realize that, as Henri Nouwen insightfully noted, "Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives." Fortunately, John Ortberg shares our passion for community and is able to teach us how to live with and love one another. With the insight of a counselor and the heart of a pastor, Ortberg has written one of the best contemporary considerations of community.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 8.75 X 5.75 (inches)
ISBN: 0310228646
ISBN-13: 9780310228646
UPC: 025986228644
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

John Ortberg is senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the bestselling author of Who is this Man, The Life You've Always Wanted and If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. John and his wife, Nancy, have three grown children.  

Publisher's Weekly

There are no normal people, asserts prolific author and pastor Ortberg (If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat; The Life You've Always Wanted), and the sooner Christians accept this disquieting truth, the healthier they and their churches will be. In this mediocre treatise on Christian community, Ortberg implicates Christians who are constantly on the run and on the most superficial terms with their fellows. Citing numerous biblical stories where Jesus turned the tables on foes and drew in unlovable and undesirable people, Ortberg nicely communicates his passion for seeing past external appearances and delving deeply into people's hearts and souls. Christians, he says, must learn to communicate on Jesus' terms; they should practice unconditional love, strive for authenticity and build mutual trust. While Ortberg warns readers to be circumspect with personal disclosure, he contends that the modern Christian church has failed miserably in biblical communication, especially in loving confrontation. Still, the overall message of this book is upbeat, as Ortberg reminds readers of the positive aspects found in solid relationships, which he names as genuine forgiveness, deliberate inclusion and heartfelt gratitude. While this message is ageless, it is certainly not new; "Christian living" bookshelves are crowded with volumes on spiritual formation, congregational life, group prayer and communication. Among these, Ortberg's offering loses its impact quickly because of poor organization, various tangents and over-long chapters. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. ronald
    Dallas, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent for Team Reading and Discussion
    December 23, 2010
    ronald
    Dallas, TX
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I have used this with a large Team and it works very well. We have tied into the Fellowship of the Mat as a prayer tool for concerns and celebrations. Team members really liked this book, and we continue to use it in discussions, training and mentoring. I highly recommend using this book. And, Ortberg's humor keeps it interesting all the way through.
  2. Cherie Lane
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 29, 2008
    Cherie Lane
    I have been a fan of John Ortberg's writing since reading, "If You Want to Walk on Water, Get Out of the Boat." He has a unique way of combining humor with applying God's word to our everyday lives. I recommend this book and others by this great author. C. Lane
  3. Marina
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 22, 2008
    Marina
    This is a very good book. This book helps to understand people and yourself. Thank you to the author!
  4. Annette Vaughan
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    November 1, 2007
    Annette Vaughan
    Easy to read, entertaining, and a wealth of information. After reading this book, I was excited to share it with others. My small group is reading this now as a framework to help us build community. I can't wait to see the results!
  5. Ruth S.
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    April 19, 2005
    Ruth S.
    If you want to improve your relationships, read this book! This is an interesting book that gives us God's view on how to overcome conflict, accept & forgive others, and empathize with them. If you want to understand God's desire for our relationships and how we can honor God by the way that we relate to others, read this book. Ortberg uses humorous stories and biblical anecdotes to open our eyes to Jesus' way of relating to others. A definite must-read!
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