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Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You

4.3 7
by John Ortberg

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When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul?

The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.

In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries


When is the last time you thought about the state of your soul?

The health of your soul isn’t just a matter of saved or unsaved. It’s the hinge on which the rest of your life hangs. It’s the difference between deep, satisfied spirituality and a restless, dispassionate faith.

In an age of materialism and consumerism that tries to buy its way to happiness, many souls are starved and unhealthy, unsatisfied by false promises of status and wealth. We’ve neglected this eternal part of ourselves, focusing instead on the temporal concerns of the world—and not without consequence.

Bestselling author John Ortberg presents another classic that will help you discover your soul—the most important connection to God there is—and find your way out of the spiritual shallow-lands to true divine depth. With characteristic insight and an accessible story-filled approach, Ortberg brings practicality and relevance to one of Christianity’s most mysterious and neglected topics.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What is the soul? Author and pastor Ortberg (When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box) is the student to teacher Dallas Willard, the late philosophy professor, writer, and intellectual, regarding the answer to this age-old question. "You're a soul made by God, made for God, and made to need God," Willard tells him, "which means you were not made to be self-sufficient." Ortberg shares wisdom about the soul he learned from Willard, who died last year, throughout the book. He absorbs Willard's calm wisdom and explores the soul by the various things it needs: a keeper, a center, a future, life with God, rest, freedom, blessing, satisfaction, and gratitude. Ending with a section called "The Soul Restored," he explores the darkest part of the soul by explaining that "the soul is the place of greatest pain." As he reflects upon the life and passing of his friend and teacher, he ends with a cathartic realization of what a redeemed soul can be: "To share without thinking. To see without judging. To love God." This reflective study offers readers ways to nurture their souls—because that's ultimately the only thing that matters. Agency: Yates & Yates. (Apr.)

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5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
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18 Years

Meet the Author

John Ortberg is the senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC) in the San Francisco Bay Area. His bestselling books include Soul Keeping, Who Is This Man?, and If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get out of the Boat. John teaches around the world at conferences and churches, writes articles for Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, and is on the board of the Dallas Willard Center and Fuller Seminary. He has preached sermons on Abraham Lincoln, The LEGO Movie, and The Gospel According to Les Miserables. John and his wife Nancy enjoy spending time with their three adult children, dog Baxter, and surfing the Pacific. You can follow John on twitter @johnortberg or check out the latest news/blogs on his website at www.johnortberg.com.

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Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
VillaSyl More than 1 year ago
In Soul Keeping, John Ortberg explains why our souls matter, what they actually are, and how we can help keep them, and ourselves, healthy and whole. While the book is ostensibly about the soul, the friendship between Willard and Ortberg is what drives the book along and gives it its most touching moments. Ortberg explains the nature of the soul as the part of a person that coordinates and integrates the others: body, mind, and will. When the soul is whole, everything else runs smoothly. Each one experiences: peace in the midst of chaos, ease during challenges, and hope in living. When the soul is damaged, body, mind, and will are at odds, working against each other. When our souls are damaged, our minds believe an action is good, but our bodies do another; we eat the ice cream knowing the kale is better Essentially, this book is a study on how we care for the most important part of us our souls Once he establishes what the soul is, he moves on to reviewing what the soul needs and eventually how the soul is restored. Often in church we sing, "It is well with my soul." But how do you know if your soul is well? And what do you do if your soul is not so well? Ortberg helps the reader to discover what the soul is, what the soul needs, and what the soul restored becomes. Ortberg does this by sharing intimate glimpses of his own soul and life lessons learned from Dallas Willard about the soul. Some quotes from the book will start you thinking seriously about your soul: 1. "Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." 2. "If your soul is healthy, no external circumstances can destroy your life. If your soul is unhealthy, no external circumstances can redeem your life." 3. "What matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become." The lessons the author learns are instructive for the reader. It is a eulogy, where Ortberg tells of how he struggled, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, at living out the wisdom of Dallas Willard. He addresses anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness of people. Many times, not always, these are symptoms of a soul that has lost touch with its source of life. I love the way he uses stories to make a point and illustrate the truth. The three sections of this book are: What The Soul Is, What The Soul Needs, and The Soul Restored. Caring for our soul means cleaning out the things that have become more important to us than God and finding our center in Him, not in our stuff or our accomplishments. So many refreshing, encouraging, and challenging sections of this book. If you are looking for something to deepen your walk this is a good place to start. I received copy of eBook from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their BookLook program for Bloggers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Soul Keeping by John Ortberg. The book is about keeping your soul ‘up to date.’ It is about nurturing, feeding and pruning, when needed, your soul. It tells stories of how Ortberg has done this through his years. He started each chapter, and then peppered throughout the chapter, with personal stories. The author says that, “From birth to our final resting place, the soul is our earliest companion and our ultimate concern.” He also makes it very clear- we only get one. There are no do-overs or restarts. He goes on to write about how a soul can be lost or sold. He describes ways in which to keep our soul at peace. I will certainly say that this book caused me to look at my soul in a different way. It’s not something we just give to God and tell him to keep. Our soul is something that must be fed and tended to by us on a regular basis. This book is based in Biblical truths but I think one of the most important aspects is that it never felt as if Ortberg was being condescending. He was teaching. I was a student. I was learning from his experiences coupled with the Bible as a ‘backup’ or as a way to ‘go see for myself.’ He held my attention as I read this book. I found putting this book down very difficult. Would I recommend it? Yes, yes, yes. I would recommend this book for anyone from an atheist to the person who has been a Christian for 50 years and is sure of his/her salvation. I think people from all walks of life would benefit from John Ortberg’s experiences and teachings. **Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
JayneChaseLoseke More than 1 year ago
Soul Keeping (Zondervan 2014), 193 pages with 8 pages of source notes. Soul Keeping is a book that offers hope. Dr. Ortberg takes a look at the state of our souls. He intelligently discusses some common problems in our society: addiction, materialism, self-absorption and busyness. He offers a new way to look at these problems. Ortberg suggests we have lost our way because we have lost touch with our souls. He offers hope by suggesting we consider the state of our souls, with God’s help, to improve our lives and our society. He accomplishes this provision through an homage to Dallas Willard. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts from Soul Keeping. 1. “I recall Jesus’ memorable words about the soul: ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?’ I have always thought this verse meant that in the long run it won’t do you any good to acquire a lot of money and have a lot of sex and other sensual pleasures if you end up going to hell. When I mentioned that to Dallas, he gently corrected me. ‘That is not what Jesus is saying. Jesus is not talking here about people going to hell.’ He explained that Jesus is talking about a diagnosis, not a destination. If we think of hell as a torture chamber and heaven as a pleasure factory, we will never understand Jesus’ points. For the ruined soul—that is, where the will and the mind and the body are disintegrated, disconnected from God, and living at odds with the way God made life in the universe to run—acquiring the whole world could not even produce satisfaction, let alone meaning and goodness. To lose my soul means I no longer have a healthy center that organizes and guides my life—I am a car without a steering wheel. It doesn’t matter how fast I can go, because I am a crash waiting to happen.” Pp. 40-41. 2. “Our world has replaced the word soul with the word self and they are not the same thing. The more that we focus on our selves, the more we neglect our souls….because we have replaced church, faith, and community with a tiny little unit that cannot bear the weight of meaning. That’s the self. We’re all about the self. We revolve our lives around ourselves. Ironically, the more obsessed we are with ourselves, the more we neglect our souls.” P. 42
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Perhaps for me this is mistitled, I would have chosen "Soul Keeping; my life spent with Dallas Willard."  Mr. Willard died May 8, 2013 and the author of Soul Keeping, John Ortberg spent many years under his tutelage. And so for as much as this book is about nurturing your soul, it's also a memoir of much of what Willard taught the author. The first half of the book is an overview of what Dallas Willard taught the author and the second half of the book focuses on the need for a healthy soul. We have Christian terminology that would say that when you become a Christian your "soul" is "saved." But beyond that, I don't know that there is a section of Christianity that bears responsibility for "soul upkeep." But the health of our soul, is the health of our spirituality. It's the part of us that falls in love with God, it's the nurturing side of us that comes out of us through Christian service. A healthy soul knows when to be impartial and is humble and is slow to judge others.  I have read a few other Ortberg book that I have enjoyed a lot more. Undoubtedly he is on my favorite pastors and I certainly love Dallas Willard as well, I just don't know if I'd say this new book is a "classic" as of yet... I wasn't blown away by it, nor did it have earth shattering information that I didn't already know, I think it was just a nice read and a nice reminder. Thank you to Zondervan for an advanced copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the insights of John Ortberg. Was a bit difficult to follow at times as it jumped from quite serious to bits of humor. It did provide ideas on tending to the soul and ways to improve "the most important part of you". I must admit, I had never heard of Dallas Willard, but was introduced to him extensively in this book. Think that I would like to also read some of his writings!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago