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Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them [Hardcover]

John Ortberg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Feb 2003
This is not a book for normal people to learn how to handle difficult people—there is no such thing. This is a book about how imperfect people can pursue community with other imperfect people.

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Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them + If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat + God Is Closer Than You Think: This Can Be the Greatest Moment of Your Life Because This Moment Is the Place Where You Can Meet God
Price For All Three: 33.03

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (11 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310228646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310228646
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
If you've ever felt that you were probably the only person in the world who felt so messed up, or thought that people only liked you because they didn't realise how horrible you are inside, this is the book for you.
John Ortberg writes challenging books that also provide comfort for those who struggle along the way, and "Everybody's Normal..." is no exception. Starting from the theological concept of "depravity", Ortberg explains in an easy-to-grasp way that all human beings are like the goods in the "slight seconds" part of the store; we all carry an "as is" tag that means we have a fault somewhere. We can try to hide our faults by becoming high achievers and feeling superior to everyone else, often putting others down in the process, or we can withdraw into superficial relationships, never revealing ourselves for fear of how others will react.
However, this book suggests, there is another way, and so introduces the main theme of living in community. Much of the book is taken up with exploring what it means to live in community with others, and the attitudes and behaviour that genuinely make community a spiritually nourishing place. Again there is a clear theological base for this, with a discussion on the relational nature of the Trinity that presents an extremely complex idea in a way that fits in with the reader-friendly tone of the rest of the book.
While possibly not a book for those who have no knowledge of the christian faith - Ortberg refers to concepts and stories which he explains in simple terms, but still assumes his readers will be aware of them - this could easily be read by someone new to christianity who wants to make a difference in his or her life, as well as by a person who knows the in and outs of the faith and wants to be challenged afresh.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change your perspective 23 Nov 2003
This is a book that will keep you reading it until the last page. It's easy to understand and reflect much of our lives (common people). The author focuses on the human desire to build friendship and community. You will be able to determine to whom should you tell all about yourself. There are a lot of humor in this book, so you won't get bored. The illustrations are very live, I bet you haven't heard in any sermon. If you're looking for a book that will change your perspective, I just recommend this book.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's Normal Till You Get To Know Them 2 Jan 2006
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time - it challenges us about what is means to live in God's community, transforming the way we look at people and our relationships with others. It uncovers struggles as well as providing new ways to tackle difficulties and attempts to restore God's heart for community to the centre of ours. This is a great read, and addictive. Rarely does one find such a 'Christian' page-turner as this. Easy to read and understand, this is a fun and also challenging book! Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been truly gripped by this book.

The effortless and engaging way in which it is written more than compensates for the fact that it is not really about normality. The title is a route into moralistic religious writing of the highest, non-dogmatic standard. That I am an atheist and thoroughly enjoy his many words of wisdom probably says it all. He has had the sense to back up his ideas with appropriate research findings, and these really adds weight to his carefully constructed stories. Parables almost. A fine, enlightening read for all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book for those struggling to live in a Christian fashion in relationship with other people. Thoughtful exploration of nature of community.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very encouraging 9 May 2014
By Sue
An excellent book! It looks at the way we’re all flawed, and makes suggestions for true acceptance of others, and building real community. Scriptural background, interesting anecdotes – some at the expense of the author – and clear, thought-provoking commentary. Highly recommended.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John Ortberg's words just flow across the page and there's such insight into the human person. I first read "If you Want to Walk on Water, you Need to get out of the Boat" and felt I needed to learn more of what the author had to offer. I believe that non Christians would also benefit from reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyday Christianity in action 4 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book. Very realistic. Highly recommend. Arrived quickly and in very good condition. Author has obviously wide experience of the subject matter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I rightly judged this book by its magnetic title.
You'll never see your friends, relatives and acquaintances the same again, after reading this
It is an amazing diagnostic tool..
Published 14 months ago by gordon parsons
4.0 out of 5 stars a must read
the philosophy and understanding of human nature makes it a book for everyone who needs to develop relationships
Highly recommended
Published 18 months ago by WJ Houlihan
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them
An Easy Read & Very thought provoking. The author gives amusing account while getting serious messages across. Can be used for group discussion which is very profitable. Read more
Published on 19 Jun 2012 by ginger m
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's normal till you get to know them
This is a very good book.It is about Flawed People and how we still need each other and need to get on with each other despite our Differences.To be a Community.
Published on 14 Mar 2012 by maz
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book
A very interesting book about community and how we all fit into it. As you would expect it contains a lot of reference to God / Christianity, which to start with is fine, but as... Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2011 by J. Millington
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody's normal till yoou get to know them
If you are a house church or house group, this is a very good tool to measure what sort of relationships you have. Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2010 by Normal
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing a big something...
Ortberg writes in a very readable style, tackling head on many issues on relationships/community which people wish to avoid. Read more
Published on 11 April 2008 by Amazon Customer
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