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All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door. What Will You Do?

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2016 Christian Book Award finalist (Nonfiction category) Very rarely in the Bible does God command someone to “Stay.” He opens a door, and then he invites us to walk through it—into the unknown. And how we choose to respond will ultimately determine the life we will lead and the person we will become. In fact, to fail to embrace the open door is to miss the work God has mad 2016 Christian Book Award finalist (Nonfiction category) Very rarely in the Bible does God command someone to “Stay.” He opens a door, and then he invites us to walk through it—into the unknown. And how we choose to respond will ultimately determine the life we will lead and the person we will become. In fact, to fail to embrace the open door is to miss the work God has made for us to do. In All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?, bestselling author John Ortberg opens our eyes to the countless doors God places before us every day, teaches us how to recognize them, and gives us the encouragement to step out in faith and embrace all of the extraordinary opportunities that await. So go ahead—walk through that door. You just might do something that lasts for eternity.


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2016 Christian Book Award finalist (Nonfiction category) Very rarely in the Bible does God command someone to “Stay.” He opens a door, and then he invites us to walk through it—into the unknown. And how we choose to respond will ultimately determine the life we will lead and the person we will become. In fact, to fail to embrace the open door is to miss the work God has mad 2016 Christian Book Award finalist (Nonfiction category) Very rarely in the Bible does God command someone to “Stay.” He opens a door, and then he invites us to walk through it—into the unknown. And how we choose to respond will ultimately determine the life we will lead and the person we will become. In fact, to fail to embrace the open door is to miss the work God has made for us to do. In All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?, bestselling author John Ortberg opens our eyes to the countless doors God places before us every day, teaches us how to recognize them, and gives us the encouragement to step out in faith and embrace all of the extraordinary opportunities that await. So go ahead—walk through that door. You just might do something that lasts for eternity.

30 review for All the Places to Go . . . How Will You Know?: God Has Placed before You an Open Door. What Will You Do?

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Barnes

    All the places to go by John Ortberg is mostly a fun read. Ortberg is seriously challenging people to take more risks and be open to new opportunities but he does it with such humour and light-heartedness that you almost don't realise the significance of his message. Ortberg uses the metaphor of the open door from Revelation 3:8 "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut" to write about stepping into new ventures and new ministries for God. He spends time on why we are reluc All the places to go by John Ortberg is mostly a fun read. Ortberg is seriously challenging people to take more risks and be open to new opportunities but he does it with such humour and light-heartedness that you almost don't realise the significance of his message. Ortberg uses the metaphor of the open door from Revelation 3:8 "See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut" to write about stepping into new ventures and new ministries for God. He spends time on why we are reluctant to move into new things and encourages people by discussing what they might be missing out on as well as some of the hurdles involved in taking a new direction. He also spends time discussing our indecision and why we don't always get a clear message from God in our decision making. God wants us to mature and make wise decisions without always being told what to do. Ortberg uses self-deprecating humour to great effect. As well as using his own stories, he also includes other family, friends and congregation members to illustrate his points. Towards the end I was beginning to feel the "open door" metaphor was being slightly overdone but Ortberg makes it such fun, it's hard to criticise. An enjoyable, yet challenging read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Roman Krsko

    Great book for searching the god's ways. Open the door and step out. Great book for searching the god's ways. Open the door and step out.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anndrea

    I actually don't know when I read this, but I did read it this year! I really enjoyed it, and I think I learned a lot. I appreciated Ortberg's easy-going writing style. It was easy to read, but in many ways left you rethinking your worldview. I recommend this to anyone who fears making decisions/makes them on a regular basis. I actually don't know when I read this, but I did read it this year! I really enjoyed it, and I think I learned a lot. I appreciated Ortberg's easy-going writing style. It was easy to read, but in many ways left you rethinking your worldview. I recommend this to anyone who fears making decisions/makes them on a regular basis.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chadel Mathurin

    I'm not done with this book; I'm currently a little past the halfway mark; but the revelation and fresh perspective this book has presented me with is unmatched. The book is easy to read but profound ; it has a nice mixture of seriousness and humour; and touches on a subject that often goes unspoken about in church circles - How to navigate decision making as a christian. I absolutely love it and would recommend it to young adults who are trying to figure out the next step! I'm not done with this book; I'm currently a little past the halfway mark; but the revelation and fresh perspective this book has presented me with is unmatched. The book is easy to read but profound ; it has a nice mixture of seriousness and humour; and touches on a subject that often goes unspoken about in church circles - How to navigate decision making as a christian. I absolutely love it and would recommend it to young adults who are trying to figure out the next step!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Boyd

    All my small group studies are coming to a close at the same time. Wahoo! I tended to disagree with Mr. Ortberg's basic philosophy on decision making, which seemed an awful lot like Obi Wan's "Trust your feelings!" I found Decision Making and the Will of God to be a book that took a more serious approach to the issue and that grounded the issue far more in scripture. I was also put off by several of the anecdotes used in the book. The scene where he and his wife tried to make their daughter cry b All my small group studies are coming to a close at the same time. Wahoo! I tended to disagree with Mr. Ortberg's basic philosophy on decision making, which seemed an awful lot like Obi Wan's "Trust your feelings!" I found Decision Making and the Will of God to be a book that took a more serious approach to the issue and that grounded the issue far more in scripture. I was also put off by several of the anecdotes used in the book. The scene where he and his wife tried to make their daughter cry by asking her questions certainly illustrated how frustrated parents can get with children but I didn't find it funny and I sure didn't think it fit the context it was used in. Another "cute" story where the man waited behind his over weight friend to see if his blind date was pretty and thus deserving of him or ugly and thus deserving of the friend was rather horrifying. Does that in any way sound like something Jesus would do? There are so many wonderful theological books out there, I just didn't find this to be one of them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Carlberg

    Practical, written in Ortberg's normal style. Good read. Practical, written in Ortberg's normal style. Good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justine Hail

    If you're confused about which opportunities to go for, this is the book for you. Solid advice. If you're confused about which opportunities to go for, this is the book for you. Solid advice.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tim Chavel

    John Ortberg was become one of my favorite authors. What he writes encourages me, challenges me, and makes me think. This book is about “Doors,” both open doors and closed doors. He describes and teaches what we should do when we encounter these doors. He uses many personal examples to show both the right way and wrong way to respond to open or closed doors. This is a great book for all believers to read. You may not agree with everything he says but you will be blessed. I trust the quotes below John Ortberg was become one of my favorite authors. What he writes encourages me, challenges me, and makes me think. This book is about “Doors,” both open doors and closed doors. He describes and teaches what we should do when we encounter these doors. He uses many personal examples to show both the right way and wrong way to respond to open or closed doors. This is a great book for all believers to read. You may not agree with everything he says but you will be blessed. I trust the quotes below will give you a little taste of what he has to say on this topic. Funny and ironic quotes (six-word memoirs) from the book, Not Quite What I Was Planning • “One tooth, one cavity, life’s cruel.” • “Savior complex makes for many disappointments.” • “Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.” (This one was written not by a wise, old grandmother, but by a nine-year-old boy with thyroid cancer.) • “The psychic said I’d be richer.” (Actually, this author might be richer if she stopped blowing money on psychics.) • “Tombstone won’t say: ‘Had health insurance.’” • “Not a good Christian, but trying.” • “Thought I would have more impact.” … characters of Scripture might write their six-word memoirs • Abraham: “Left Ur. Had baby. Still laughing.” • Jonah: “No. Storm. Overboard. Whale. Regurgitated. Yes.” • Moses: Burning bush. Stone tablets. Charlton Heston.” • Adam: “Eyes opened, but can’t find home.” • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: “King was hot. Furnace was not.” • Noah: “Hated the rain, loved the rainbow.” • Esau: “At least the stew was good.” • Esther: “Eye candy. Mordecai handy. Israel dandy.” • Mary: “Manger. Pain. Joy. Cross. Pain. Joy.” • Prodigal Son: “Bad. Sad. Dad glad. Brother mad.” • Rich Young Ruler: “Jesus called. Left sad. Still rich.” • Zacchaeus: “Climbed sycamore tree. Short, poorer, happier.” • Woman caught in adultery: “Picked up man, put down stones.” • Good Samaritan: “I cam, I saw, I stopped.” • Paul: “Damascus. “Blind. Suffer. Write. Change world.” In Revelation 3:7-8 an open door is symbolic of “boundless opportunities. Of unlimited chances to do something worthwhile; of grand openings into new and unknown adventures of significant living; of heretofore unimagined chances to do good, to make our lives count for eternity. An open door is the great adventure of life because it means the possibility of being useful to God. Often an open door to another room begins with a sense of discontent about the room you’re already in. If proof is possible, faith is impossible. … you must abandon your old life, believe God’s promises are trustworthy, and commit to a new journey. (ABC’s of faith) “I know that your strength is small,” God says to the church at Philadelphia. People in the church may not have been hugely flattered when they read that line. But what a gift to know that open doors are not reserved for the specially talented or the extraordinarily strong. God can open a door for anyone. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. ~Viktor Frankl Frankl discovered that doors are not just physical. A door is a choice. Life is a sum of all of your choices. Sometimes the opportunity doesn’t involve going to a new place; it means finding a new and previously unrecognized opportunity in the old place. Open doors in the Bible never exist just for the sake of the people offered them. They involve opportunity, but it’s the opportunity to bless someone else. An open door may be thrilling to me, but it doesn’t exist solely for my benefit. An open door is not just a picture of something good. It involves a good that we do not yet fully know. An open door does not offer a complete view of the future. An open door means opportunity, mystery, possibility – but not a guarantee. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. … Oh, the places you’ll go! … Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t. ~Dr. Seuss The staggering truth is that this very moment is alive with opportunity. What could you be doing right this moment that you aren’t? You could be learning Chinese. You could be training for a marathon. Etc. An open door is an opportunity provided by God, to act with God and for God. God Can Use a “Wrong Door” to Shape a Right Heart God’s primary will for your life is not the achievements you accrue; it’s the person you become. God’s primary will for your life is that you become a magnificent person in His image, somebody with the character of Jesus. God is primarily in the character-forming business, not the circumstance-shaping business. God can use even what looks like the “wrong door” if I go through it with the right heart. Those with an open mind-set believe that what matters is not raw ability; what matters is growth. Growth is always possible. A commitment to growth means they embrace challenge, so the goal is not trying to look smarter or more competent than other people. The goal is to grow beyond where they are today. Therefore, failure is indispensable and something to be learned from. Ultimately, faith provides the greatest foundation for an open mind-set. The reason I don’t have to prove my worth is that I am loved by God no matter what. The reason I can be open to tomorrow is that God is already there. Closed-door thinking looks safe, but it’s the most dangerous thinking of all because it leaves God on the other side of the door. To be an open-door person means to embrace an open mind-set – along with a set of disciplines and practices to help us regularly embrace and walk through open doors. Open-Door People Are Ready, “Ready or Not” … a lot of times if we knew what we were getting into, we wouldn’t get into it in the first place. The truth about being ready is you’ll never be ready. Faith grows when God says to somebody, “Go,” and that person says yes. Jesus chooses to change the world. He doesn’t say, “First, let’s get enough numbers” or “First, let’s get enough faith.” He just says, “You go. We’ll work on the faith thing and the numbers thing while you’re doing the obedience thing. I’m sending you out. Ready or not …” In the Bible, when God calls someone to do something, no one responds by saying, “I’m ready”: • Moses: “I have never been eloquent. … I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10. • Gideon: “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15). • Abraham: “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?” (Genesis 17:17). • Jeremiah: “Alas, Sovereign Lord, … I am too young” (Jeremiah 1:6). • Isaiah: “Woe to me … for I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). • Esther: “For any man or woman who approaches the king … without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death” (Esther 4:11). • Rich Young Ruler: “He went away sad, because he had great wealth” (Matthew 19:22). • Ruth: “There was a famine in the land” (Ruth 1:1). • Saul: (Samuel was going to anoint Saul king; the people couldn’t find him and asked if he was present.) “The LORD said, ‘See, he has hidden himself among the baggage’” (1 Samuel 10:22 NRSV). The truth is you don’t know what you can do until you actually do it. “Ready” comes faster if you’re already moving. Jesus takes his friends up a mountain. Not enough of them. Not enough faith. Doesn’t matter. What matters isn’t whether they’re ready. What matters is that He’s ready. And you and I never know when He’s ready. He’s in charge of that. Open-Door People Are Unhindered by Uncertainty As a general rule, with God, information is given on a need-to-know basis, and God decides who needs to know what, when. Open-door people are comfortable with ambiguity and risk. Or, if not comfortable with it, at least they decide not to allow it to paralyze them. Going through open doors means I will have to be able to trust God with my future when the path I’m called to take does not look like the obvious one. The God of the open door invites His friends to give up on the project of making their name great, because worth can only be given, never earned. Open-Door People Are Blessed to Bless Blessing, for Abram, was an opportunity to know and experience God, and that included being used by God to enhance others. Abram is called to build his life on this offer: that he can receive a gift from God, but only if he allows his life to become a gift to others. Going through an open door always requires a spirit of generosity. And generosity flows out of an attitude of abundance, not an attitude of scarcity. The connection between abundance and blessing rests in God, who combines them both. mission Dei, the mission of God. God’s mission, God’s project, is to bless. Open doors are an invitation to be part of the mission Dei. … it is impossible to be blessed in the highest sense apart from becoming a blessing. One of the deepest needs of the human soul is that others should be blessed through our lives. Open-Door People Resist and Persist Open-door people resist discouragement in the face of obstacles and persist in faithfulness and despite long periods of waiting. You never know where you’re going if you’re going by faith. If you’re going by faith, you’re always a stranger in this world, because your home is God. When you get the divine “go,” you resist and persist. If you’re not dead, you’re not done. ~Craig Groeschel In the Bible, age is never a reason for someone to say no when God says go. Moses is eighty years old when God calls him to go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. The Exodus starts when he’s eighty. Caleb is eighty when he asks God to give him one more mountain to take in the Promised Land. Timothy tried to say no because he was too young. Esther tried to say no because she was the wrong gender. Moses tried to say no because he had the wrong gifts. Gideon tried to say no because he was from the wrong tribe. Elijah tried to say no because he had the wrong enemy. Jonah tried to say no because he was sent to the wrong city. Paul tried to say no because he had the wrong background. God kept saying, “Go, go. You go.” Sometimes it takes a while for God’s promises to be fulfilled. But if you’re not dead, that’s the clue you’re not done. Open-Door People Have Fewer Regrets The divine “go” comes into every life, but we must be willing to leave before we’re willing to go. Into your life will come a divine “go,” but you live in Ur of the Chaldeans, and you’ll have to decide between comfort and calling. God is doing something magnificent in this world. When a door is opened, count the costs, weigh the pros and cons, get wise counsel, look as far down the road as you can. But in your deepest heart, in its most secret place, have a tiny bias in the direction of yes. Cultivate a willingness to charge through open doors even if it’s not this particular door. Open-Door People Learn about Themselves When I go through open doors, I will often discover that my faith is really weaker than I thought it was before I went through. If I am to go through open doors, I will have to be humble enough to accept failure. Open-Door People Are Not Paralyzed by Their Imperfection Perhaps God will keep the door of opportunity open for us as we keep the door of our heart open to Him. The hero of this story [baby born to Abraham & Sarah in old age] isn’t Abraham. It’s God. It’s not the quality of our faith that saves us. It’s the object of our faith. Perfectionism is the great enemy of spiritual growth. ~Ernest Kurtz If all we did was make progress, we would become conceited, and conceit is the ultimate downfall of Christians. ~Macarius God is able to do what we ask. God is able to do what we ask and what we imagine. God is able to do all we ask and imagine. God is able to do more than all we ask and imagine. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. That’s God. (Ephesians 3:20-21) Biblically speaking, open doors are divine invitations to make our lives count, with God’s help, for the sake of others. To journey for the sake of saving our own lives is little by little to cease to live in any sense that really matters, even to ourselves, because it is only by journeying for the world’s sake – even when the world bores and sickens and scares you half to death – that little by little we start to come alive. ~Frederick Buechner Love Finds Doors That Ambition Never Could We were made for “more”; not to have more out of love for self, but to do more out of love for God. Actually Noticing People Leads to Doors Doors open when I actually notice and care about people I might otherwise overlook. When I look for God’s open doors, I begin to see even the mundane circumstances of my life as an opportunity to serve others. Open Doors Lead to Relational Intimacy Love opens doors. Anytime you step through the open door, your story and Jesus’ story begin to get mixed together, and you become part of the work of God in this world. The whole idea of God closing a door runs along the lines of “Don’t go there.” … closed doors can be just as much a gift as open doors. The doors God opens are like this: “unlimited chances to do something worthwhile; grand openings into new and unknown adventures of significant living; heretofore unimagined chances to do good, to make our lives count for eternity.” God’s primary will for me is the person I become and not the circumstances I inhabit. Do not despise the day of small things. For we do not know what is small in God’s eyes. Spiritual size is not measured in the same way that physical size is. What unit shall we use to measure love? And yet love is real, more real than anything else. When Jesus said that the widow gave more, it wasn’t just a pretty saying; it was a spiritually accurate measurement. We just don’t have that yardstick yet. No project is so great it doesn’t need God. No project is so small that it doesn’t interest God. Don’t try to do great things for God. Do small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa I will never go through a “big” door if I do not humble myself to the task of discerning and entering all the small ones. The apostle Paul says that God “chose us in [Christ] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Ephesians 1:4). In other words, God’s basic will for your life is not what you do or where you live or whether you marry or how much you make; it’s who you become. God’s primary will for your life is that you become a person of excellent character, wholesome liveliness, and divine love. That’s what words like godly and holy (which too often become religious clichés) point to. God knew I would grow more from having to make a decision than I would if I got a memo from heaven that would prevent me from growing. When God calls people to go through open doors, what generally happens is life gets much harder. Abraham leaves home and faces uncertainty and danger. Moses has to confront Pharaoh and endure endless whining from his own people. Elijah runs away from a power-crazed queen. Esther has to risk her life to prevent genocide. The entire book of Nehemiah is arranged around resistance to Nehemiah’s work that is both external and internal. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth “a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9 NRSV). Not just a door – a wide door. Spiritual maturity is being able to face troubles without being troubled. He [Jesus] did not say, “I’ll give you an easy life.” He said, “I’ll give you an easy yoke.” Taking on a rabbi’s yoke was a metaphor for taking on his way of life. Jesus said that taking his yoke – arranging our lives to be constantly receiving power and transforming grace from the Father – would lead to a new internal experience of peace and well-being with God. In other words, easy doesn’t come from outside. It comes from the inside. “Easy” doesn’t describe my problems. It describes the strength from beyond myself with which I can carry my problems. Open doors are mostly small, quiet invitations to do something humble for God and with God in a surprising moment. Open doors to serve. Open doors to give. Open doors to repent. Open doors to be honest. If you ever think your life is too small or your work too unglamorous to warrant door-opening attention from God, you might want to read about the Rechabites. It’s not the task we do that makes us great in God’s eyes; it’s the attitude in which we do it. Often an open door is as simple as a second thought: Do the right thing, no matter how small. Do what any decent human being would do in this situation. Honor a commitment when it would be easier to let it slide. Sometimes going through an open door means just not being a jerk. If the door is not marked “glamorous” just settle for “obedient.” He says there s a “godly sorrow [that] brings repentance” and a “worldly sorrow [that] brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). The right kind of sorrow over a wrong decision always creates energy rather than despair. It enables us to learn from past mistakes and grow into great wisdom. Godly sorrow is filled with hope. Worldly sorrow is energy depleting. In worldly sorrow we look at our wrong choices as though the world – rather than God – is our only hope. We live in self-pity and regret. We obsess over how much better our lives might have been had we chosen Door #1. God has given to every human being the door to their own heart, and God Himself will not force His way in (Revelation 3:20). That means no human being has ever faced the pain of rejection as much as God has. God is not just the one who opens doors; He is the one who stands knocking at closed doors. The biggest difference between people who flourish in life and those who don’t is not money, health, talent, connections, or looks. It’s wisdom – the ability to make good decisions. Don’t wait for passion to lead you somewhere you’re not. Start by bringing passion to the place where you are. It turns out that choosing drains us. It takes energy. This is why wise people never make important decisions in a wrong emotional state. … decide on the basis of your faith and not on your fear. Wisdom may well have you wait to make a big decision until you’re rested. An anxious mind and an exhausted body will lead to a terrible decision nine times out of ten. The standard word for the condition of being truly problem-free is dead. … His guidance was not so much about what He wanted to do through me as what He wanted to do in me. In other words, often what matters most is not the decision I make but how I throw myself into executing it well. It’s better to go through the wrong door with your best self than the best door with your wrong self. Sometimes the way in which I go through the door matters more than which door I actually go through. Having second thoughts about going through a door is not unusual. It’s not an automatic sign that I’ve made the wrong choice. It’s not even a good predictor of the future. For more quotes see my blog!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paige Gordon

    I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting some fresh perspective and insight about what it looks like to follow God in your daily life. John shares some incredible insights that rocked my understanding of God’s will for my life and made this book one I know for sure I’ll be reading again. Favorite Quotes: “Very rarely in the Bible does God come to someone and say “Stay.” Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting some fresh perspective and insight about what it looks like to follow God in your daily life. John shares some incredible insights that rocked my understanding of God’s will for my life and made this book one I know for sure I’ll be reading again. Favorite Quotes: “Very rarely in the Bible does God come to someone and say “Stay.” Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door, and calls them to come through it.” “Does God ever have guidance for a particular decision? Of course. Does He have guidance for every decision? Of course not. I should be open to guidance. I should seek it and listen for it. But I shouldn’t try to force it. And I’m not to take it as failure if I don’t sense or receive it.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thelma Fountain

    I found this book to be a worthwhile read. I did learn from reading it. I just felt that other books I have read on the subject were a little more inspiring. I am not sure if it was the writing style or Ortbergs take on the subject of choice and obedience.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Wiens

    I found this book to be both grounding and beautiful. Ortberg’s emphasis on the endless doors God places before us each day filled me with excitement and wonder. His focus on the one true, never closing door to everlasting life reminded me of why I love Jesus the way that I do.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dkbbookgirl

    Listened on Audible Love all John Ortberg books This one is a fabulous listen- my all time favorite remains Faith and Doubt

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sean Murphy

    Loved it. Liked his humor, simple but important message. Encouraging. Stimulated my thinking in a few areas.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Jungco

    The door can say Go! Otherwise choose Grow. If the door closes then make use of the time to Grow. 😊

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.] With its Dr. Seuss-inspired cover and its frequent silly rhymes, I at first thought this might be a children’s book, as I am known to read and review from time to time. Yet despite its youthfulness, which in part I approve of, this particular book is a serious examination into God’s will, a subject of great personal interest. At times the seriousness of this book is at odds with its lighthe [Note: This book was provided free of charge by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.] With its Dr. Seuss-inspired cover and its frequent silly rhymes, I at first thought this might be a children’s book, as I am known to read and review from time to time. Yet despite its youthfulness, which in part I approve of, this particular book is a serious examination into God’s will, a subject of great personal interest. At times the seriousness of this book is at odds with its lighthearted and flippant tone. It is almost as if the author expects that readers would be bored by a deep discussion of theology and philosophy, over wrestling with the weightier matters of divine providence, and so the author views it necessary to translate scripture with a certain casual and slangy air, and to recast biblical dialogue into rhymes that are almost worthy of being sued by the estate of Dr. Seuss. And yet despite the breezy approach, there is material of substance to be found, if one is willing to dig. At its heart, this book takes the approach that God is more concerned about who we become than about what specific choices we make. We need not rack our brains over worrying about what job or what girl, specifically, is God’s will, only to be committed to being open to the adventure that comes with following God, being open and honest and vulnerable one’s weaknesses and imperfections with the goal of overcoming and growing in grace and wisdom and knowledge, building faith as one practices God’s ways. The book is full of revealing personal stories, and also is well-organized in its efforts at showing various responses to God’s will, which combine humor and at times deep insight. Among the insights, and one that is often forgotten, is that it is far more important that we live with principles and virtue than that we be given the knowledge that will still our anxious hearts, as much as we might want that anxiety to be somehow lessened. That is not to say that this book is perfect. It is difficult to determine exactly who this book is meant to appeal to. It would seem to be a promising book about God’s will for a teen reader or college student whose knowledge of theology and philosophy is limited, who does not mind the rather casual way the author discusses biblical stories and a wide variety of cultural and historical trivia, but who is willing to commit to a life of adventuresome service to God and who has love and career on the mind. Admittedly, it has been some time since I was at the place where the author’s approach would appeal to me. More seriously, the author neglects the fact that God has often told people to stand still and see the salvation of God. By leaning too much into going and not enough into persistence and the character development of perseverance, the author at least implies that the solution to much of life’s drama is to go somewhere dramatic, when it may be to stay and develop character where one happens to be. Sometimes the most important adventures are the ones where the growth comes within over the gradual course of time and overcoming.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Viola

    We all live life hoping we fulfill God’s plan for our lives. It would be wonderful to hear a voice from heaven telling us what we were to do with our lives. And when. But such is not the case. Every day we face so many opportunities and choices: which career should I pursue? who should I marry? where should I live? which church should I attend? where should I give my time? 9781496406118_972894In his book, All the Places to Go, John Ortberg explores the topic of choosing wisely each day. He defines We all live life hoping we fulfill God’s plan for our lives. It would be wonderful to hear a voice from heaven telling us what we were to do with our lives. And when. But such is not the case. Every day we face so many opportunities and choices: which career should I pursue? who should I marry? where should I live? which church should I attend? where should I give my time? 9781496406118_972894In his book, All the Places to Go, John Ortberg explores the topic of choosing wisely each day. He defines an open door as “an opportunity provided by God to act with God and for God”. In the midst of all the opportunities He places before us, God’s primary goal is to change us as people so that we reflect the character of Jesus in all we do. The book addresses the following: How Will You Know? Open-Door People and Closed-Door People Overcoming the Fear of Missing Out Common Myths About Doors Door #1 or Door #2? How to Cross a Threshold What Open Doors Will Teach You – About You The Jonah Complex Thank God for Closed Doors The Door in the Wall We truly never know where the doors we walk through will lead us. The one truth we can count on is that the door will be a gift in our life, for God has prepared every opened door specifically for us. Open doors lead to adventure and purpose in our lives because we join God in His journey. This book was an encouragement and inspiration to me. I felt myself infused with hope that as I looked for opportunity, my eyes would become trained, in a sense, to see what God was placing before me, an ordinary person. This is a wonderful book for any person desiring more for their life – more opportunity, more experiences, more of God. But what a gift to know that open doors are not reserved for the specially talented or the extraordinarily strong. God can open a door for anyone. (page 7) God can open a door for anyone – for me and for you. And if we walk through it, we just might find ourselves doing things which will count for all eternity. ****Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am disclosing this as required by Federal Trade Commission.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I think the book can be summed up by something the author says in his introduction: "Very rarely in the Bible does God come to someone and say, 'Stay.' Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door and calls them to come through it." Some of my favorite thoughts from the book are... "God says, 'I have set before you an open door,' not 'I have set before you a finished script.' An open door is a beginning, an opportunity, but it I think the book can be summed up by something the author says in his introduction: "Very rarely in the Bible does God come to someone and say, 'Stay.' Almost never does God interrupt someone and ask them to remain in comfort, safety, and familiarity. He opens a door and calls them to come through it." Some of my favorite thoughts from the book are... "God says, 'I have set before you an open door,' not 'I have set before you a finished script.' An open door is a beginning, an opportunity, but it has no guaranteed ending. It's not a sneak peek at the finish. If it is to be entered, it can be entered only by faith." "Feeling ready' is highly overrated. God is looking for obedience." "Jesus doesn't say, 'Go; you're ready.' He says, 'Go; I'll go with you." "One of the big problems with open doors is that they're not always well marked. When God does call, the call may not always be clear. As a general rule, with God, information is given on a need-to-know basis, and God decides who needs to know what, when." "The open door is often more about where my insides are going that where my outsides are going." "You never know where you're going if you're going by faith." "Sometimes people become so obsessed with vocational open doors that they become blind to relational open doors." "God is a door opener, but he is not a celestial enabler." "...when God calls people to go through open doors, what generally happens is life gets much harder." "Don't wait for passion to lead you somewhere you're not. Start by bringing passion to the place where you are." "Never try to choose the right course of action in the wrong frame of mind." "Sometimes it's what you do after the door opens that makes all the difference."

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    Ortberg is one of my favorite Christian authors, probably because he appeals to my Midwest values and sense of humor as well as being solidly grounded in psychology as well as scripture. Ortberg, like Jesus, understands people, their potential as well as their sins. He writes in a style that at first appears light but actually deals with important Christian concerns. This book explains the biblical references to doors and begins by saying that almost always, God calls us to "go" not "stay". In d Ortberg is one of my favorite Christian authors, probably because he appeals to my Midwest values and sense of humor as well as being solidly grounded in psychology as well as scripture. Ortberg, like Jesus, understands people, their potential as well as their sins. He writes in a style that at first appears light but actually deals with important Christian concerns. This book explains the biblical references to doors and begins by saying that almost always, God calls us to "go" not "stay". In doing so, God rarely lays out the entire plan so that we can see the path. Instead, God calls us to assignments for which we may feel inadequate or unequipped to handle. Nevertheless, He asks us to take a leap of faith and allow Him to supply our needs. I found this book to be both encouraging and challenging. I stopped to review the doors that God has opened in my life as well as those He has closed. I was reminded to continue to be attuned to open doors throughout my life as God is always leading and providing opportunities for us to move towards realizing our full potential.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Wyatt

    I read this book in exchange for honest review. God never wanted people to be stagnant and be content where they are. God wanted people to go and grow. He opens doors and windows and wants us to open them. Move forward. Progress. The book starts out with a question: If you had to summarize your life in six words ,what would they be? On page 3, Ortberg presents six word stories about famous people in the bible. For example, Abraham: Left Ur. Had baby. Still Laughing. Our lives never go as we plan I read this book in exchange for honest review. God never wanted people to be stagnant and be content where they are. God wanted people to go and grow. He opens doors and windows and wants us to open them. Move forward. Progress. The book starts out with a question: If you had to summarize your life in six words ,what would they be? On page 3, Ortberg presents six word stories about famous people in the bible. For example, Abraham: Left Ur. Had baby. Still Laughing. Our lives never go as we plan. I never wanted any kids, but I got two. I never thought I would finish two degrees. I never thought I be living in Texas again. I never thought about blogging until I was at home alone with a newborn baby. Our lives can change at any time, at any age. The book says we do need the ability to recognize when a door is open or we can miss out on God's opportunities. Open doors also require an act of faith and obedience. You do have to move instead of being content, where you are.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    The image on the front has almost Seuss-like feel to it, and that’s reflected in the book where the author mentions being inspired by one of Dr Seuss’s books. The theme pops up a few times in this book, giving a little light relief. It’s a book about opportunities. Ortberg examines what the Bible says about ‘call’ and ‘God’s will’, and mentions misunderstandings that are popular amongst Christian circles. Early in the book he explains why some people are inclined to take risks and go through ‘doo The image on the front has almost Seuss-like feel to it, and that’s reflected in the book where the author mentions being inspired by one of Dr Seuss’s books. The theme pops up a few times in this book, giving a little light relief. It’s a book about opportunities. Ortberg examines what the Bible says about ‘call’ and ‘God’s will’, and mentions misunderstandings that are popular amongst Christian circles. Early in the book he explains why some people are inclined to take risks and go through ‘doors’ - a metaphor for any opportunity - and why some are more likely to stick with the status quo. I very much appreciated this clear and thought-provoking book. I love Ortberg’s writing style, and would recommend this book highly to Christian believers of any background. The author is not dogmatic, but asks questions, makes comments, and most of all shows God as a loving father who calls us into a greater relationship.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom Burkholder

    In the book All the Places To Go: How Will You Know, author John Ortberg examines how we make decisions in life. Using Dr. Seuss quotes (as in the title) and writing his own Dr. Seuss style verses (Dr. Seuss Ortberg is not), All the Places To Go helps us make sense of the decision making process as a Christian. Ortberg writes: "God’s will for my life is centered mainly in the person he wants me to become. He and I have all eternity to work on that, so I have never missed it—unless I reject it. Al In the book All the Places To Go: How Will You Know, author John Ortberg examines how we make decisions in life. Using Dr. Seuss quotes (as in the title) and writing his own Dr. Seuss style verses (Dr. Seuss Ortberg is not), All the Places To Go helps us make sense of the decision making process as a Christian. Ortberg writes: "God’s will for my life is centered mainly in the person he wants me to become. He and I have all eternity to work on that, so I have never missed it—unless I reject it. All roads may not lead to God, but they all belong to him. God can use even the wrong road to bring us to the right place." I enjoyed reading this book and found All the Places To Go to be very practical and engaging. At times the Dr. Seuss premise got a bit much, but I would recommend this book. I always find John Ortberg practical and engaging to read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darcy Leech

    Introduced to me by a women's Bible study, this book builds well off of Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset and applies the concept of believing you can grow actually enhancing your ability to do so to spiritual pursuits. The book is a great way to start opening up to your faith, or a good reminder in a group setting to help you refocus on your spiritual growth. I found open doors while reading it! You may not necessarily find new sparkling information you've never heard applied to God or f Introduced to me by a women's Bible study, this book builds well off of Carol Dweck's research on growth mindset and applies the concept of believing you can grow actually enhancing your ability to do so to spiritual pursuits. The book is a great way to start opening up to your faith, or a good reminder in a group setting to help you refocus on your spiritual growth. I found open doors while reading it! You may not necessarily find new sparkling information you've never heard applied to God or faith before, but it is a good read to soak yourself in the Word and to remind you to look for opportunity to Serve and Growth. I'd recommend this book to those looking to grow or renew their faith who believe free will exists and that our perceptions of our selves and God matter to how well we can fulfill our purpose in life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I was prepared not to enjoy this book. The cover and the title being Seussical, it just didn't appeal to me but once I got to Chapter 2, I was hooked. Read this in our Bible study group so we had a short video to go along with each chapter and I have to tell you, I'd love to go to John Ortberg's church. He's an entertaining as well as informative speaker and writer. I found myself reading and rereading his chapters. I love that he puts a common Bible story into everyday language (example Jonah, I was prepared not to enjoy this book. The cover and the title being Seussical, it just didn't appeal to me but once I got to Chapter 2, I was hooked. Read this in our Bible study group so we had a short video to go along with each chapter and I have to tell you, I'd love to go to John Ortberg's church. He's an entertaining as well as informative speaker and writer. I found myself reading and rereading his chapters. I love that he puts a common Bible story into everyday language (example Jonah, or Ruth and Naomi) and gives you the background as to what was going on during that time. He's very relatable and I really enjoyed the book. A heads-up if you're doing the book as a Bible study with the companion workbook---the chapters covered each week skip around. You won't follow the book from beginning to end but will skip around the book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Rickert

    This is the second of Ortberg's books that I've read, and I found it very inspiring. I love his approach. He's very non-denominational - I would find it hard to believe that any Christian would find fault with what he writes- and his approach is very simple: Bible stories used to teach valuable lessons. In this case it's all about the times we find ourselves unsettled in life, perhaps with an open door before us that we are unwilling to acknowledge because it wasn't our first choice or the choic This is the second of Ortberg's books that I've read, and I found it very inspiring. I love his approach. He's very non-denominational - I would find it hard to believe that any Christian would find fault with what he writes- and his approach is very simple: Bible stories used to teach valuable lessons. In this case it's all about the times we find ourselves unsettled in life, perhaps with an open door before us that we are unwilling to acknowledge because it wasn't our first choice or the choice might be too difficult. Sometimes we pray for an open door but we don't get it. Ortberg is definitely one of the best Christian writers out there today.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin- SeRiAL Book Reader Whittenberger

    I LOVED this book! This is by far the best book I have read this year! It is life changing! Really enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read and grasp but filled with wisdom. Enjoyed his humor along with Biblical knowledge. I liked the contrast of having ‘peace about it’. So often we think we are suppose to always feel peace, but we are really called to be obedient. Moses certainly didn’t feel peace about his decision to lead the people, but he finally did choose to obey. Also appreciated his writi I LOVED this book! This is by far the best book I have read this year! It is life changing! Really enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read and grasp but filled with wisdom. Enjoyed his humor along with Biblical knowledge. I liked the contrast of having ‘peace about it’. So often we think we are suppose to always feel peace, but we are really called to be obedient. Moses certainly didn’t feel peace about his decision to lead the people, but he finally did choose to obey. Also appreciated his writing on not second guessing. “And ‘with all your heart’ means sacrifice is involved-choosing one thing means not choosing the other.” Highly recommended!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Teri-K

    Do you ever worry that you've missed God's will for your life and don't know how to get back on track? Do you have trouble making decisions because you're afraid you'll miss His will? How many times have you wished God would just write it on the wall so you could follow it? In this book Ortberg looks at knowing and doing the will of God in ways that might surprise you, but they're well backed up with scripture, and could help free people from the paralysis they feel about "missing God's best". Re Do you ever worry that you've missed God's will for your life and don't know how to get back on track? Do you have trouble making decisions because you're afraid you'll miss His will? How many times have you wished God would just write it on the wall so you could follow it? In this book Ortberg looks at knowing and doing the will of God in ways that might surprise you, but they're well backed up with scripture, and could help free people from the paralysis they feel about "missing God's best". Recommended for all ages who struggle with this issue. And also for those who think they have it all figured out. They might be surprised. :)

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Quirk

    Really enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read and grasp but filled with wisdom. Enjoyed his humor along with his Biblical knowledge. Liked his contrast of having 'peace about it'. So often we think we are suppose to always feel peace, but we are really called to be obedient. Moses certainly didn't feel peace about his decision to lead the people, but he finally did choose to obey. Also appreciated his writing on not second guessing. "And 'with all your heart' means sacrifice is involved-choosin Really enjoyed reading this book. Easy to read and grasp but filled with wisdom. Enjoyed his humor along with his Biblical knowledge. Liked his contrast of having 'peace about it'. So often we think we are suppose to always feel peace, but we are really called to be obedient. Moses certainly didn't feel peace about his decision to lead the people, but he finally did choose to obey. Also appreciated his writing on not second guessing. "And 'with all your heart' means sacrifice is involved-choosing one thing means not choosing the other."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    This is about open doors and whether to go through them or not, about guidance and about fears that may stop us from going through open doors. Some challenging stuff. I felt particularly challenged by the question 'What's' your problem?' Do I have small problems, like an irritating neighbour or not being fully satisfied with my job, or do I have large problems, like what to do about world poverty or child trafficking? This is about open doors and whether to go through them or not, about guidance and about fears that may stop us from going through open doors. Some challenging stuff. I felt particularly challenged by the question 'What's' your problem?' Do I have small problems, like an irritating neighbour or not being fully satisfied with my job, or do I have large problems, like what to do about world poverty or child trafficking?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    After receiving this book when I graduated with my Master's, I anticipated an inspirational, lighthearted book. While the language was rather lighthearted (and, I'll admit it, a bit corny at times), this book was packed with so many hard truths and grounded in Scripture. I highly, highly recommend this for anyone going through a transition, at a crossroads, or simply feeling "stuck" in life--and it makes a great gift, too! After receiving this book when I graduated with my Master's, I anticipated an inspirational, lighthearted book. While the language was rather lighthearted (and, I'll admit it, a bit corny at times), this book was packed with so many hard truths and grounded in Scripture. I highly, highly recommend this for anyone going through a transition, at a crossroads, or simply feeling "stuck" in life--and it makes a great gift, too!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Ortberg's book is a twist on the classic Dr. Seuss graduation book, Oh the Places You'll Go. It explores the concept of opening doors, facing decisions, and trusting God's sovereignty in your life. I needed to read this book! It helped me during a time of life with so many decisions to make and open paths before me. Ortberg writes in a very readable, funny, and profound style that I enjoyed. I would recommend it to anyone who is graduating or needs to make a big decision. Ortberg's book is a twist on the classic Dr. Seuss graduation book, Oh the Places You'll Go. It explores the concept of opening doors, facing decisions, and trusting God's sovereignty in your life. I needed to read this book! It helped me during a time of life with so many decisions to make and open paths before me. Ortberg writes in a very readable, funny, and profound style that I enjoyed. I would recommend it to anyone who is graduating or needs to make a big decision.

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