Friday, July 07, 2006


#34: Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them

I really enjoyed reading this book by John Ortberg about community. It was an interesting book that challenges the reader to look past the weirdness in others and engage in authentic community. As I was reading this book I was reminded of a time a few years ago when I told my mom that I thought everyone was weird. And she said she was so proud of me for figuring that truth out at such a young age. Now a few years ago, my attitude was that yes everyone is weird but some are weirder than others and maybe I should just ignore those people. Hopefully, by the power of the Spirit, I have grown, if only a little, in this area. I know that deep down I want to love everyone including the "weirdest" people, but the reality is I have a hard time doing it. What I appreciated about this book though was the practical advice on how to do this and the key elements Ortberg identifies in a healthy, supportive and growing community. His chapters highlight authenticity, acceptance, empathy, conflict, forgiveness, confrontation, inclusion, and gratitude.

My favorite part of the whole book was the chapter on conflict. Ortberg introduced an excellent rule called the "Last 10 Percent Rule." The premise behind it is that after going through the hard work of setting up a difficult conversation we often fail to clearly say the last 10 percent. When clarity is need most vagueness often prevails. His challenge is to say the last 10 percent. He doesn't mean we should just rail on everybody that bothers us but in loving confrontation we must be careful not to get fuzzy when truth is most important. What a challenging but vitally important concept for any type of community.

This book sounds very good... it's going on my list! I don't know if you're looking for some good books, but I love Maeve Binchy. Her book The Scarlet Feather is my favorite.
-Steph Rawlins
A couple of years ago I read something by her before and I've been wanting to read another one. I'll definitely check that one out.
oh my. anne, do you remember that book in german i tried to read? it was the scarlet feather. i never finished, but i do think i read the first 500 pages, auf deutsch. oh, and i think you're weird.
i'm not weird
Best regards from NY! » »
Keep up the good work »
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