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Friday, April 14, 2017

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

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the BoxWhen the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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 bag. ~Ancient Italian Proverb

Wherefore play the game of life warily, for your opponent is full of subtlety, and take abundant thought over your moves, for the stake is your soul! ~anonymous

This is our predicament. Over and over again, we lose sight of what is important and what isn’t. ~Epictetus

The biggest lesson life has to teach is the absolute necessity of arranging our life around what matters in light of our mortality and eternity. ~John Ortberg

When the game is over, it all goes back in the box. ~John Ortberg

To me, if life boils down to one significant thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving. Unfortunately, this means that for the rest of our lives we’re going to be looking for boxes.

When you’re moving, your whole world is boxes. That’s all you think about. “Boxes, where are the boxes?” You just wander down the street going in and out of stores, “Are there boxes here? Have you seen any boxes?” It’s all you think about.

You could be at a funeral, everyone around you is mourning, crying, and you’re looking at the casket. “That’s a nice box. Does anybody know where that guy got that box? When he’s done with it, you think I could get it? It’s got some nice handles on it. My stereo would fit right in there.”

I mean that’s what death is, really – the last big move of your life. The hearse is like the van, the pallbearers are your close friends, the only ones you could really ask to help you with a big move like that. And the casket is that great, perfect box you’ve been looking for your whole life. ~Comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Then one day it stops. For you, the game is over. Did you play wisely? ~John Ortberg

The Talmud teaches that every person should fully repent one day before death. When a visitor asked, “But how will I know when that day is?” He was told: “Treat every day as it were the day before your last.” Arrange your life around what matters most. Starting today. The box will wait. ~John Ortberg

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. ~Dave Toycen

“He looks so peaceful.” Rigor mortis will do that. Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down. They ask the same foolish question people ask when somebody rich dies: “I wonder how much he left.” He left it all. Everybody always leaves it all. ~John Ortberg

You can be rich toward God. Your life – with God’s help – can be a source of pleasure to the God of the universe. You can make God smile. ~John Ortberg

When the game is over, all that will matter will be God’s assessment of our lives. John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means growing a soul that is increasingly healthy and good. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means loving and enjoying the people around you. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means learning about your gifts and passions and doing good work to help improve the world. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means becoming generous with your stuff. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means making that which is temporary become the servant of that which is eternal. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God means savoring every roll of the dice and every trip around the board. ~John Ortberg

Being rich toward God begins with giving to God that which He desires most of all. And what He desires most from you is you – your heart and devotion. Just as God can give us many gifts but the best gift is Himself, so we can offer God our resources and acts of service, but the gift He desires most is us. ~John Ortberg

The reason God created people is so He could be with us. ~John Ortberg

Love is a by-product of knowing. ~John Ortberg

In the West, you measure a man’s wealth by his possessions. In this country, we measure his wealth by his friends. ~A man from Ethiopia

One of the main reasons we are tempted to get more invested in our work than in our relationships is that in our vocations it’s easier to keep score. ~John Ortberg

But how can we track the well-being of the part of us that will last? This may look a little different for everyone, but there are a few mirrors and scales that we all will probably need:
Self-examination and confession
Friends who love you enough to speak truth to you
Time to be alone and listen to God
Examination of your calendar and checkbook
Key questions, such as: How easy discouraged do I get these days? How easily irritated am I compared to six months ago?
Attention to your secret thought life. What is your mind drawn toward – really? Where do envy or blaming or judging or lusting rob your inner person of life and joy? ~John Ortberg

Spend as much time caring for the inner you as you send on the outer you. ~John Ortberg

Caesar thought his throne in Rome was secure. But the kingdom was lying in a manger in Bethlehem. ~John Ortberg

Surrender is not passivity or abdication. It is saying yes to God and life each day. It is accepting the gifts he has given me – my body, my mind, my biorhythms, my energy. It is letting go of my envy or desire for what He has given someone else. It is letting go of outcomes that in reality I cannot accept anyway. I surrender my ambitions, my dreams, my money, my relationships, my marital status, my time, and my desires to God. ~John Ortberg

When I try to control something too tightly based on my own little ideas, I miss all the creativity and serendipity of life. ~John Ortberg

If you think you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your purpose will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious, and faultfinding person. ~Epictetus

Jesus taught that we should speak truth without using words to manipulate, intimidate, deceive, or flatter. ~John Ortberg

Jesus taught many times about this strange truth that power comes to us not when we seek control but when we freely yield our little centers of control to God. He said that if a grain of wheat remains alone, it bears no fruit, but if it is placed in the ground and dies, then it lives. He said that if we deny ourselves, we are fulfilled. He said that if we seek to save our lives, we lose them, but when we lose them for His sake, we come alive. ~John Ortberg

We actually receive greater power by surrendering … There is only so much that willpower can accomplish. ~John Ortberg

Everyone must carry two pieces of paper with him and look at them every day. On one it is written: “You are as dust and ashes.” And on the other: “For you the universe was created.” ~Rabbinic Saying

A game is at its heart the creation of a challenge against which one tests oneself. What makes a good game, he argues, is that it embodies well-crafted problems. And it is in the owning and embracing of the problem that players are able to grow in what the Greek Olympians called arĂȘte: excellence of will and character. ~Bernard Suits

God has given to you a tiny measure of what he has without limit – the ability to choose. Psychologists use words like initiative or being proactive or taking responsibility. But these are not just psychological concepts. They are deeply connected to what it means to be made in the image of God. ~John Ortberg

In nursing homes, such trivial choices as getting to decide when to see a movie or how to arrange their rooms made seniors’ health and emotional well-being improve and the death rate drop. Daniel flourished because even in exile he refused to believe he was helpless. ~John Ortberg

Smart players are clear on what lasts and what doesn’t. It is wise to store up treasure in what’s eternal: God and people. ~John Ortberg

It’s not that such treasures are bad. It’s that they won’t last long. It’s all going back in the box. ~John Ortberg

When we give casually, we receive casual joy. When we effortfully, thoughtfully, creatively, we get immense joy. ~John Ortberg

Richness of having usually means getting more stuff; richness of being is generally associated with giving more stuff. Jesus’ goal of “richness toward God” always involves richness of being. ~John Ortberg

I’ll do it someday, I tell myself, when my life is not so full. And then the day is gone. ~John Ortberg

Creeping commitments are the crabgrass on the lawn of life. They multiply without our permission or even our awareness. ~John Ortberg

Our truth is certain: time will not slow down, and we will never be able to redo yesterday. ~John Ortberg

The journey to integrity requires the cultivation of a desire: I must want to be good more than I want to do well. It requires a decision: I will choose to play with integrity and lose rather than cheat and win. It requires a belief: I cannot succeed in what I do and fail in who I am. ~John Ortberg

Developing a reputation for integrity is not the same as having it. ~John Ortberg

In a strict sense, I cannot break the rules. They endure, for they reflect the way things are. I can only break myself against them. ~John Ortberg

Integrity is much bigger than simply avoiding breaking the rules. It is becoming the kind of person who does the right thing. Integrity does not mean I get really good at not doing the things I really want to do. It is not using lots of willpower to override my desires. It means I become the kind of person who actually wants to do what is right. ~John Ortberg

My problem is not just my lack of character; it is that I can’t even see how badly I lack it. ~John Ortberg

The way back home for rule breakers is the way of grace through repentance. ~John Ortberg

If you wait for days to get easier before you get around to what matters, you may wait a long time. ~John Ortberg

If the devil cannot make you bad, he will make you busy. Either way you miss out on the life God intended for you to lead. ~John Ortberg

Here’s the radical idea: take the jar that is your life, and empty out all the sand. Start your day with an empty jar. ~John Ortberg

God never gives anyone too much to do. ~John Ortberg

Boredom ought to be one of the seven deadly sins. ~Frederick Buechner

That little amoeba had no stress, no problems, no challenges. Know what happened to it? It died. Too much comfort is lethal. ~John Ortberg

Whether it’s a special assignment or just living in a fallen world, people all the time are given burdens they cannot handle. ~John Ortberg

When God calls people to do something, their initial response is almost always fear. If there is a challenge in front of you, a course of action that could cause you to grow and that would be helpful to people around you, but you find yourself scared about it, there’s a real good chance that God is in that challenge. Take it a step further. If you’re not facing any challenges too big for you, if it has been a while since you have felt scared, there’s a real good chance that you’ve been sitting in the chair too long. ~John Ortberg

What really matters when God calls you to do something is not whether or not you feel inadequate. Of course you will; you are inadequate. So am I. That’s why God promises to go with us. What matters is your decision. Only people who say yes to challenge, demand, and risk are ever fully alive. ~John Ortberg

Where proof is possible, faith is impossible. ~John Ortberg

We would all like to be people of faith, but we would prefer a guarantee up front. ~John Ortberg

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It opens us up to wonder, delight, and humility. It makes our hearts generous. It liberates from the prison of self-preoccupation. ~John Ortberg

Having too much can make a person ungrateful. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes we do not realize how much we have to be grateful for until it is threatened. ~John Ortberg

Our souls need to be fed, just as our bodies do. Bodies are fed by protein and carbs; souls are fed by words. What people need from us the most is not more information. They just need words that will feed their souls. Sometimes words as simple as “thank you” or “I hope you have a really good day” can feed a soul. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes we’re tempted to think that our current position/job/situation is a barrier to our mission, but in fact it is where it starts. ~John Ortberg

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”

Salt’s calling is to lose itself in something much bigger and more glorious; and then it fulfills its destiny. We were made to count. We were made to be salt. ~John Ortberg

If I do it by myself for myself, it’s death. If I do it with God for others, it’s life, because whatever I do with God for others does not go back in the box. ~John Ortberg

Sometimes people think they are robbed of any chance at having a significant mission in life because of their weaknesses. In fact, the opposite is true. God never wastes a hurt. Part of what makes a human life most powerful is the struggle. ~John Ortberg

If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Esther had no idea what the future would hold for her. Neither do you or I. ~John Ortberg

What is your position? Maybe it involves your job, your marriage, your tasks as a parent, or your friendships. Maybe your position includes going to school. Maybe it involves the neighborhood where you live, or volunteering, or your church. One thing is for sure: this is your time. Not some other situation. Not tomorrow or yesterday. We are often tempted to think that we are treading water right now, waiting for some other time, some more important position. You don’t get to choose your time; your time chooses you. You are what and who you are for a reason. ~John Ortberg

We play games to win. But merely winning doesn’t mean we have always achieved this inner excellence, and losing doesn’t mean we have neglected it. There is a score inside us, a measure of determination and heart and courage under pressure that matters more than the points on the board. Winning and losing apart from this inner score do not matter much. We play games to test ourselves. ~John Ortberg

Competitive greatness is a love for the battle, because it is in the struggle and the challenge that you are offered the opportunity to be your best when your best is required. ~John Ortberg

Men have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

That’s the world in which we live: we sell what nobody needs. But the problem of the human heart is: we need what nobody sells. ~John Ortberg

Contentment does not come when we acquire enough. It is a product of the way we think. ~John Ortberg

A pastor wants his church to change in ways that the people do not embrace. He wants it to look like his ideal of what a church should look like. Mostly this means he wants it to look big. But people sense that his desire has more to do with his ego than anything else. So they vote no in a hundred subtle ways. Still, he cannot bring himself to admit the truth. So he preaches angry sermons that chastise them for not following his leadership. He tries to pressure the elders. He threatens, he whines, he manipulates. Eventually the elders ask him to leave the church. Because he cannot lose and learn from his losses, he loses everything. ~John Ortberg

I recommend this book to everyone!


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