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Ordering Your Private World

by Gordon MacDonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,201116,020 (4.03)7
Has anyone seen my time? I've misplaced it. We have schedule planners, computerized calendars, smart phones, and sticky notes to help us organize our business and social lives every day. But what about organizing the other side of our lives'the spiritual side? One of the great battlegrounds is within the private world of the individual. The values of our Western culture would have us believe the busy, publicly active person in ministry is also the most spiritual. Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in many good people on the verge of collapse. In this updated classic Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald equips a new generation to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness. "With much enthusiasm I recommend this book to all of you who, like me, need order in your private world." ?Charles Swindoll, Chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary    … (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
I was drawn to this book because it promised “practical advice on how to bring order to your every day.” Not the kind of order that Marie Kondo preaches, but for your inner world, to equip you to live life from the inside out, giving balance to your private world – the central point of a life in touch with God.

MacDonald asks questions we’ve all asked related to the importance of maintaining our inner world: “Is there a private world beneath the noise and action at the surface? A world that needs to be explored and maintained? Can strength and resilience be developed that will bear up under the growing pressure at the surface?”

MacDonald answers these questions with thoughtfulness and honesty, using his personal experiences and describing his spiritual growth and maturity. The book was first written in 1984 and has been updated in 1985, 2003 and 2017, so the references are current.

But this is more than a book about MacDonald’s spiritual growth. It’s a well-written how-to for the reader – how to maintain a balance between the chaos of our daily lives and the necessary peace of a spiritual relationship with God. This book contains many examples for readers to connect with, solid advice to consider and put into practice, and support in developing a strong spiritual life.

MacDonald encourages the use of a daily journal, including actually writing out prayers. He finds this technique to be a practical way to learn to listen to God speaking to him. The book concludes with a study guide that can be used alone or with a small group. Again, it’s another tool to remove ourselves from the commotion of outer life and move toward inner-directed living.

My favorite part of the book, which was full of encouragement and support, was the importance of cultivating real friends – “Capital-F Friends.” These are the people who know you best, who you can be totally honest with, those who know your heart, and you know theirs. Having these friends is part of what makes an ordered private world. I appreciated the prompting to cultivate real friends. I’m going to work on that one now!

This is a book I could read more than once, and continue to learn from with each reading. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Sep 13, 2022 |
This is one of those books that will change you if you give heed and listen. The voice of culture tells us to grow and build exponentially. It occurs in our Christian culture as well. We are impressed by the one who has amassed the most followers. The problem with this mentality is that it completely denies the descending way of Christ. He drew people in to serve them and renew their hearts.

Right out of the gate, Gordon takes us into addressing the sin of his own drivenness as a pastor. What a refreshing thing to see a man in a high profile position allow his heart to be taken to task by the Holy Spirit. God convicted him of the many ways that he had been moving in his own power and agenda. He was doing it at the great neglect of those closest to him.

Gordon lays out some simple ideas that can change how you relate to God and others. We can do quite a lot by being teachable and learning to truly listen to others. There is even a section about how to listen to your critics and pray through what they tell you. Wouldn't it be great to be able to receive from the Lord even when people don't say things well? He tells us to ask God to show us truths in the hurtful ways people tell us things. What a freeing response to discuss things with Jesus over carrying unnecessary pain from their words.

I highly recommend this book. ( )
  StephCherry | Sep 22, 2018 |
A helpful resource on how to recognize an undisciplined life and then how to structure it. A good reminder for procrastinators such as myself. His chapters are short and organized like class notes. The study guide is an excellent to lift homework examples from. ( )
  rcalbright | Sep 5, 2017 |
A life changing book ( )
  oel_3 | Jan 17, 2016 |
A great book on how to get your world in order. If your inner spiritual world is not in order than your outer public world will not be either. Mr. MacDonald shows you different areas (sectors) in your life that need to be balanced in order to achieve order in your outer world. Those areas are Motivation, Use of Time, Restoration, Wisdom and Knowledge, and Spiritual Strength. He shows you how to regain control of these areas and deepen your relationship with God to be the example the public world needs. ( )
  PaDutchTravel | Aug 30, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gordon MacDonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Swindoll, ChuckForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Has anyone seen my time? I've misplaced it. We have schedule planners, computerized calendars, smart phones, and sticky notes to help us organize our business and social lives every day. But what about organizing the other side of our lives'the spiritual side? One of the great battlegrounds is within the private world of the individual. The values of our Western culture would have us believe the busy, publicly active person in ministry is also the most spiritual. Tempted to give imbalanced attention to the public world at the expense of the private, we become involved in more programs, more meetings. Our massive responsibilities at home, work, and church have resulted in many good people on the verge of collapse. In this updated classic Ordering Your Private World, Gordon MacDonald equips a new generation to live life from the inside out, cultivating the inner victory necessary for public effectiveness. "With much enthusiasm I recommend this book to all of you who, like me, need order in your private world." ?Charles Swindoll, Chancellor, Dallas Theological Seminary    

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