The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 1— We shall morph indeed—The Hope of Transformation1. John Ortberg said(page 18) that the possibility of spiritual transformation canhappen when we “turn aside”— to interrupt the daily routine to payattention to the presence of God. What were the circumstances and theresult of Moses “turning aside”?2. Describe a time when you slowed down to “turn aside” to see what God wasdoing. What were the circumstances and what impact did that have onyour life?3. Romans 12:2 says that we should “be transformed by the renewing of ourminds.” Colossians 3:5 says we are to “put to death whatever belongs tothe earthly nature.” Colossians 3:12 says we should clothe ourselves withcertain things What is one area of your life you want to see God transformthis year(take off/negative or put on/positive)?4. John gives us a story about Mable (pages 22-26), an elderly woman who wasbedridden for almost 25 years. Though blind and nearly deaf, she was a staggeringexample of the power of Jesus to transform. Tell about a person in your life whoexemplifies the power of Jesus to bring beautiful and lasting change?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 2— Surprised by Change—The Goal of Spiritual Life1. What does John Ortberg mean by “pseudo-transformation” and“boundary-marker spirituality” (pages 30 & 31)?2. Describe a time in your life when you, someone you knew, or a churchyou knew exhibited this “pseudo-transformation” and “boundary-markerspiritually. What were its damaging effects?3. According to pages 30 and 32, what are the true marks of a person that hasgenuine transformation? How can we tell if a person has experienced spiritualtransformation?4. Pages 35 to 39 gives us five questions to help us know if we are settlingfor pseudo-transformation or not. Read over carefully the followingwarning signs Jesus gave us. Is there any one area that you feelyou really need to work on?a.b.c.d.e.Am I spiritually “inauthentic”?Am I becoming judgmental or exclusive or proud?Am I becoming more approachable or less?Am I growing weary of pursuing spiritual growth?Am I measuring my spiritual life in superficial ways?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 3—Training vs. Trying—The Truth about Spiritual Disciplines1. What makes something a discipline? What makes something a spiritual discipline?Pages 47, 482. What are the five signs of wise spiritual training? pages 50-57Fill in the sentences and explain what you understand each one means.a. Wise training respectsb. Wise training respectsc. Wise training will taked. Wise training respectse. Wise training begins3. Of all the spiritual disciplines, give one that you feel is very important to you, butyet find it difficult to do? Explain please. The spiritual disciplines are: meditation,prayer, fasting, study, Scripture memory, simplicity, solitude, silence, submission,service, confession, worship, and celebration.4. Of all you have read in Chapter Three, what words, ideas, or paragraph especiallyspoke to you? Explain
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 4— A “Dee Dah Day”—The Practice of Celebration1. Read the paragraph by Dallas Willard on page 66. The sentence following says,“We must arrange life so that sin no longer looks good.” On 1/22/1999 at aWillow Creek coach’s retreat Dallas Willard said “We need to get a place in ourlives where we not only don’t miss sin and don’t find it attractive, but also finda joyful and attractive life style we would never trade for the old life. When wethink “Sin looks good”, we are looking through the world’s perverted view.What are some actions we can take to find a joyful and attractive life styleand at the same time loosen ourselves from sin’s seduction and power?2. What is the most joyful event you have ever witnessed or which you have everparticipated? What made it meaningful to you?3. Philippians 4:4 says “Always be full of joy in the Lord.” NLT I Thessalonians5:16 says, “Be joyful always.” Where would your closest friends say you arein terms of your joy-quotient? On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you feel you are onthe joy spectrum, a joy-killer being 1 and a joy-carrier being 10? If you need togrow in your joy, what do you think you can do to be a better joy-carrier?4. Of all you have read in Chapter 4, what words, ideas, or paragraph especiallyspoke to you? Explain
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 5—An Unhurried Life—The Practice of Slowing.1. John Ortberg writes, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in ourday. Hurry can destroy our souls. Hurry can keep us from living well.”How have you experienced the destructive power of hurry in your life?Please describe.2. List and describe some symptoms of hurry sickness. Pages 79-833. What are two practices we can do to cure hurry sickness? pages 83-904. Read Luke 10:38-42 about Jesus visiting Mary and Martha in Bethany.Who had hurry sickness in this passage? Describe Martha’s actionsincluding both the good and bad. Talk about what Mary did andJesus commendation of her.5. If you were to take this exhortation with all seriousness, “to be spirituallyhealthy, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life,” what is onething you would need to change in your life so you could slow down?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 6—Interrupting Heaven: The Practice of Prayer1. Describe a time you prayed and saw clear and definite results. How did thisanswered prayer spur you on to pray more passionately?2.Do you have a daily prayer time? Regular time & place?What pattern do you follow in your prayer time?Do you have a list of names and requests written down that youcan refer to as you pray?What are one or two changes you should make to your prayer timeto make it better?3. James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful andeffective.” Look at two examples of intercessory prayers and notewhat made them powerful and effective.1. Nehemiah 1:4-112. Acts 12:5-174.Read the following verses about prayer. List the element mentionedin the verse that would make your prayers more powerful and effective.1. Matthew 7:7, 82. Matthew 21:223. I John 5:14, 154. John 15:7
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 7—Appropriate Smallness, The Practice of Servanthood1. What are three ways pride can show up in our lives?Pages 109-1102. What is humility according to pages 112 and Romans 12:3?3. In pages 118-126, John mentions five ministries to help us tolive a life of servanthood. Please list and explain. Of thefive ministries mentioned, which one do you find mostChallenging? Why?4. Why does Paul say in I Corinthians 4:7 we should notboast about our differing characteristics and abilities?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 8—Life Beyond Regret: The Practice of Confession1. What are two things that happen when we practice confession? Page 1302. How have you experienced the liberating power of confession?Describe a time when you hurt someone through a sinful choice,humbly confessed, and saw God bring healing and restoration.3. James 5:16 say, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each otherso that you may be healed.” Has there been a time in your life when you haveconfessed a sin to another person(not the person you sinned against) and hadthem to pray for you? If so, describe the experience without giving the detailsabout the sin.4. If there a particular sin in your life that you have privately confessed to Godbut are still unable to feel forgiveness from God or unable to forget the sinyou have committed? If so, are you willing to go to a trusted friend and put intopractice what James 5:16 instructs?5. Psalms 139:23, 24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me andknow my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive say in me, and leadme in the way everlasting. Do you make self-examination and confession adaily part of your Daily Connection Time?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 9—The Guided Life: Receiving Guidance from the Holy Spirit1. How can we discern whether God is speaking to us or whetherwhat you are hearing is coming from a source other than God?What are ways that God speaks to us today? Psalm 119:1052. Tell about a time when God was speaking to you and trying to getyour attention, but it took a long time for you to tune in andrealize God was seeking to move you.What finally got your attention and helped you recognize thatGod was speaking to you?3. On pages 153-155 John Ortberg tells the story of how God spoketo him on a number of occasions through a dear woman namedLorraine. Tell about a time you heard God speak to you throughthe words of another person. How did you respond to this leadingor prompting?4. What are some of the things that get in the way of you beingattentive to God? What practices, habits, or disciplines could youlearn or practice to be more able to hear God?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 10—A life of Freedom: The Practice of Secrecy1. True spiritual maturity sets us free from the bondage of approval addiction. It sets us free fromthe need to congratulate ourselves when we’ve gotten something right.Approval addiction means we are motivated to impress others, to seek theirapplause and approval. It is the opposite of living as Jesus would live in our place. Acts done toimpress others are a form of pride and have no value as spiritual training. But by practicing thediscipline of secrecy—doing good things for people but not saying anything about it—we can bereleased from bondage to approval addiction.Think about the people by whose judgment you measure your success or failure:parents, teachers, neighbors, coworkers, boss, fellow church members, membersof your peer group, etc. How much influence do they really wield over you?What are some “secret” things you could do for them?2. John writes about our human tendency to “confuse our performance in someaspect of life with our worth as a person.” What are some of the mostcommon areas of life that people tend to use as a measure of their personalworth? What areas of performance are you most tempted to use as a measureof your worth and what are you doing to fight the tendency?3. Jesus actually recommended what John Ortberg calls the practice of secrecy,which helps us gain freedom from approval addiction. Read Matthew 6:1-6,16-18 and write down the examples Jesus used. Also compare the reward hesaid will come when we follow or reject his instruction.4. We often think we’re pretty clever about disguising our pride. What are someof the ways we try to impress people without letting on that we’re tryingto impress them?
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 11— The Undivided Life—The Practice of Reflection on Scripture1. James 1:8 says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” John Ortbergsaid that double-mindedness is to regard a life of divided loyalties. Jesus said,“You cannot serve two masters(Matthew 6:24).” Again he said, “Seek first hiskingdom and righteousness(Matthew 6:33).”Christ and his kingdom must have our supreme loyalty. What area(s) of yourlife do you find (have you found) competing with your desire to be fullydevoted to Christ?2. According to the quote by Clifford Williams on page 177, give the characteristicsof a person who has simplicity of heart. What did John Ortberg say we needto do to have simplicity of heart(page 178)?3. What is one passage in the Bible that has sunk deep into your heart andhow has this portion of Scripture brought transformation in your life?4. Of all you have read in Chapter 11, what words, ideas, or paragraph especiallyspoke to you? Explain
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 12— Life with a Well-ordered Heart: Developing your ownRule of Life.1. “In the Bible, names often reflect a person’s character. So to do something inin Jesus’ name means to do it in a way consistent with his character—to do itin a way Jesus himself would.”Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in thename of Jesus.” We need to ask the Lord to use this verse to change the waywe live. If we lived our lives doing everything in his name how would thatchange our lives? Please complete the following sentences.a. To wake up in Jesus’ name I would.b. To greet the closest members of my family in the morning in Jesus’ name II wouldc. To drive my car in Jesus’ name I wouldd. To watch TV in Jesus’ name I woulde. To work in Jesus’ name I wouldf. To spend money in Jesus’ name I wouldg. To use the internet in Jesus’ name I would2 Of all the activities listed above, which one do you find the most difficult to doin Jesus’ name? What practical steps can you take to more reflect the heartof Christ?3. John Ortberg(on page 201) gives examples of five questions we can ask ourselvesas we begin to establish a “rule of life. Choose one of these questions and describehow you are presently developing in this area of your spiritual growth.
The Life You’ve Always WantedJohn OrtbergChapter 13—Life of Endurance: The Experience of Suffering1. John Ortberg uses the analogy of the marathon with the Christian life.He talks about how that after running a good portion of the marathonrunners speak of the experience of “hitting the wall”. He says, “To runat this stage—to hit the wall and keep going—is the ultimate test ofof a runner. Races are won or lost, completed or abandoned, at ‘thewall’.” Has there been a time in your life when you “hit the wall”?Did you stop or keep going? Please think and write out carefully whatyour strategy should be the next time you “hit the wall”.2. We all face times of struggle and pain. In James 1:2-4, What counsel does theApostle James give us that will help us through these rough times? What doeshe say are the spiritual benefits of such trials? Have you ever had a trialin your life where you experienced joy while you were in the midst of thetrial? Explain3. A large part of Chapter