I was using "Celebration of Discipline" by Richard J. Foster in a discipling situation. Ortberg holds it up as a high standard he found discouraging when he first read it. Reading the two books so close together gives me counterpoint. I have high regard for Foster's book, but learned much from this one too.
It will have special impact on those who can't imagine themselves transformed into the image of Christ. Ortberg explains colorfully how, "we shall morph (from metamorphosis) indeed."
In a readable, swinging-along style, using stories from his family life, Ortberg shows us that our spiritual life is a training, not a trying or struggle to be holy. Like daughter Mallory, we are to celebrate our joys with gladness.
Two thoughts will especially linger. One, that God is the most joyful being in the universe, and that He watches over us as tenderly as a loving spouse or parent gazes at a sleeping beloved.
Another, from Philippians 2, is that Christ took on the form of a servant - not in spite of being very God, as often taught - but because He is very God, and God is the most humble servant in the universe.
I appreciated his thoughts on confession, secrecy and guidance from the Holy Spirit, and also the role of suffering or endurance in our spiritual maturity. The book is fairly well balanced, though not a heavy text. In fact, it is just the book to give to a new believer, or an ordinary Christian who desires a more intimate, more honest walk with God.