Friday 20 October 2017

Ordering Your Private World Revised and Updated 2017 Edition - Gordon MacDonald

Ordering Your Private World
Revised and Updated Edition (2017)
Gordon MacDonald
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9780718088002
eISBN 9780718088088

A number of years ago I was involved with student leadership development while staff with the Navigators. My boss at the time was a huge fan of Gordon’s and we used sections of a few of his books as part of our yearlong development program. So when I had the opportunity to get and review this book I was very excited. As soon as I started reading the book I became curious. For this book was originally published in 1983, republished in 1985, revisions in 2003 and now a major revised and updated version that includes a study guide. The book has 221 reviews currently on Amazon, and 2891 ratings on Goodreads and 181 reviews. The majority of the reviews on Amazon are 5/5 stars, 75% in fact. And the overall rating on Goodreads is 4.1. So my giving it an even 3 stars is about par. But realistically I could wish I could have given it 2.5. I have been able to track down information on 30 different editions of this book, 7 are foreign language, and 4 are various audio formats. So over 20 different editions of this book over the last 34 years. Even the second reprint in 1985 was called a revised edition.

The chapters in this book are:

Author’s Note
Preface: The Day I Hit the Wall
1. The Sinkhole Syndrome
2. A View from the Bridge
3. Caught in a Golden Cage
4. The Tragic Tale of a Successful Loser
5. Living as a Called Person
6. Has Anyone Seen My Time? I’ve Misplaced It!
7. Recapturing My Time
8. The Better Man Lost
9. The Sadness of a Book Never Read
10. Order in the Garden
11. No Outer Props Necessary
12. Everything Has to Be Entered
13. Seeing Through Heaven’s Eyes
14. Friends
15. Rest Beyond Leisure (Sabbathing)
Epilogue: Courage, Appreciation, Depth
Study Guide
About the Author

I really really wanted to enjoy this book. But I found it hard to get into, and even harder to keep reading. It was so easy to pick up something else. I was able to get through it. But only after a few attempts and false starts. There are numerous authors in this genre, some Christian, some just self-help guru’s. In the former category we have authors like John Maxwell, Chuck Swindoll, Max Lucado, and Tony Campolo and the list goes on. On the latter category there are authors like Dan Millman, Robin S. Sharma, Deepak Chopra, and Carlos Castañeda. Over the last nearly 50 years I have read books by all of the above named authors.

What I found with this book is it is good, but really seems dated. It is good but not great. And to have a new version come out almost every year and a half seems a bit excessive to me. It is a good read, and people in mainline evangelical Christianity will gravitate towards the author. But it just doesn’t do it for me any more. It is older and out of print but I would highly recommend Managing Yourself  (Out of print but worth tracking down) by Stephen B. Douglass or How to Achieve Your Potential and Enjoy Life (currently available as both print and ebook) by Douglass and Al Janssen. Or go give something by Matthew Kelly a read all of his books are amazing.

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