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I Am Not But I Know I Am: Welcome to the Story of God Paperback – December 18, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books; Revised edition (December 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601424280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601424280
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LOUIE GIGLIO is the pastor of Passion City Church and founder of The Passion Movement, a ministry with a global reach that has inspired this generation of college-aged young people to live for God’s fame. Louie is the author of I Am Not But I Know I Am, Indescribable, The Air I Breathe and Wired: For a Life of Worship. With his wife, Shelley, he leads the music label, sixstepsrecords. The Giglios live in Atlanta.
 

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Start Here

Life is the tale of two stories—one finite and frail, the other eternal and enduring. The tiny one—the story of us—is as brief as the blink of an eye. Yet somehow our infatuation with our own little story—and our determination to make it as big as we possibly can—blinds us to the massive God Story that surrounds us on every side.

It’s a little like me being shocked a few weeks ago by the reaction of two of New York City’s finest as they motioned
me over to their squad cars in the middle of my midmorning run. The first officer’s opening line (the exact wording of which, I’m sad to say, cannot be repeated here) led to the inexcusable reply,

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

I quickly realized I had said the wrong thing, especially to a New York cop. In a heartbeat my hands were on the hood of his car and threats of arrest were flying all over the place. I was startled and unnerved, and though it was now too late, my mouth was shut. Unless asked, I wasn’t saying another word, especially a sarcastic one.

To make matters worse, all I could produce in the way of identification was a hotel key card—one of those fancy new ones that looks cool but doesn’t even contain the name and address of the hotel. The whole scene was going downhill
fast…

Things had started off innocently enough that morning as I headed out the door of our midtown-Manhattan hotel and began plodding down the sidewalk toward the East River about eight blocks away. But before I was two or three blocks
away it started to rain. First it was just annoying—an intermittent spitting kind of rain. Then the wind picked up and
a steady, chilling downpour started making things miserable. Assessing the situation, I determined I was too far from the hotel to make turning back a sensible option, so I kept running north along the river, pressing on in the driving rain.

I don’t know what kind of shape you’re in, but when I run I think more about survival than scenery. And when I’m running in a cold downpour, I barely think at all. I certainly don’t look around to read a lot of the signs. Thus, I wasn’t paying much attention when suddenly my path was blocked by a chain-link fence. It stretched from the riverbank on my right to a concrete lane divider that had been following me on my left. Once again I considered my options. Retracing my steps still didn’t make sense. What made sense was getting out of the rain. So without thinking I hopped over the lane divider and headed for the shelter of an overpass I now noticed across the way.

Quickly the overpass turned into an elevated roadway, so I could keep running under cover. I continued north, not really noticing that the lane to my right at some point became two lanes of traffic, and then three. After another mile or so, all three lanes of traffic were moving slower than I was and a driver in one of the cars shouted something in my direction. But in the rain and traffic, I couldn’t quite make out her words and was trying to ignore her anyway. Then the overpass drifted away to the left and I was once again exposed to the rain.

Soon I noticed the lower levels of the United Nations buildings on my far left, and nearer and just ahead two police cars parked on a wide concrete median. A single officer sat in each car, their eyes meeting mine as each step I ran drew us closer. Everything seemed to be fine, until my forward progress was interrupted by the piercing “blurp” of one of the officer’s sirens and the intense motion of his hand directing me to approach his car.

It was at that moment I realized for the first time I was running down the middle of the FDR, a six-lane expressway
that snakes along the eastside shoreline of Manhattan. No wonder the officer’s first question when I finally splashed to a stop in front of his car was incredulous and unprintable.

How can you run down the middle of a New York freeway and not know it? I think the same way you can live your entire life completely oblivious to the grand story of the Creator of the universe that is unfolding all around you. The same way you can spend your days making so much of someone as small and transient as you or me, and so little of someone as glorious and eternal as God.

That’s why this book is not about you and making your story better, but about waking up to the infinitely bigger God Story happening all around you, and God’s invitation to you to join Him in it. It’s about looking up to see that there’s a story that has been going on long before you arrived on the planet and one that will go on long after you’re gone. God is the central character of this story and of this book. He commands center stage in existence, Creation, time, life, history, redemption, and eternity.

I’m not trying to put you down or imply that you don’t matter. Nor am I saying that you are absent from the grand Story of God. In fact, just the opposite. Amazingly, you appear on every page, existing in God’s thoughts long before
this world was made. I’m simply stating the obvious—that THE STORY ALREADY HAS A STAR, AND THE STAR IS NOT YOU OR ME.

And here’s why it matters—if we don’t get the two stories straight, everything else in our lives will be out of sync. We’ll spend our days trying to hijack the Story of God, turning it into the story of us. Inverting reality, we’ll live every day as though life is all about you and me. We’ll live as though life is our one-act play and history our story—as though Creation is our habitation alone, existence our playground, and God our servant (that is, if we decide we need Him at all). We will throw every ounce of our energy into the fragmented and fleeting story of us. Calling the shots ourselves, me-centered thinking will dictate every move we make and how we feel.

And in the end—when the last clap is clapped for our tiny tale—our story will fade to black, a pitiful return on
our one-shot chance called “life on earth.”

About thirty minutes into my ordeal with the officers, the situation lightened a bit as I realized the worst that was going to happen to me was a ticket for jaywalking, something I certainly deserved. As we were waiting for my life’s history to appear on the squad car’s computer, the nicer of the two cops asked within earshot of the other, “So what do you do for a living, anyway?”

Hmmm.

Opting for the short answer, I said, “I’m a pastor.” Two sets of eyebrows rose.

“A pastor! What kind of pastor are you?”

I think he was looking for the name of a denomination, but I replied, “I’m a Christian.”

“Oh, yeah? Well what are you doing in New York?”

“I’m here to speak to a group of college students tonight out in Queens.”

“So, what are you going to tell them?”

For a split second time stood still. And then I told him, “I’m going to remind them that life is short and our time on earth is really brief,” I said. “That’s why we have to make sure our lives count for the stuff that lasts forever.” That’s what I want to do in these pages, too. Lead you to a fresh awareness of the six-lane-wide-freeway-sized God Story that you and I are running down the middle of every day.

It’s a place that requires a constant choice. We can choose to cling to starring roles in the little-bitty stories of us, or we can exchange our fleeting moment in the spotlight for a supporting role in the eternally beautiful epic that is the Story of God.

Think of it as trading up. Abandoning the former and embracing the latter will allow our little lives to be filled with the wonder of God as we live for His fame and the unending applause of His name. And joining our small stories to His will give us what we all want most in life anyway: the assurance that our brief moments on earth count for something in a story that never ends.

More About the Author

Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences--a global movement of college-aged people living for the fame of Jesus Christ. Louie's popular books include recently released Passion: The Bright Light of Glory, The Air I Breathe; I Am Not, But I Know I Am; and Indescribable, which he co-authored with Grammy Award-winning recording artist Matt Redman.

A dynamic and effective communicator, Louie is known for his Passion Talk Series DVD messages that include How Great is Our God and Indescribable, with sales over 1.3 million copies worldwide. He also founded sixsteprecords, a label partner with Capitol CMG, which is home to artists Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels, and Passion.

Louie holds the Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Shelley reside in Atlanta. For more information about Passion City Church visit passioncitychurch.com, and for more about Passion Conferences visit www.268generation.com.

Customer Reviews

It's a good book, and a fairly quick read; it'll only take a couple hours to finish.
OneThing
First of all, I really enjoy listening to Louie Giglio, so when I heard that he wrote a new book I was very eager at the opportunity that I had to read it.
Pat Willis
Louie uses Scripture and personal stories to really get the point of this book across to anyone who reads it.
Todd Lynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By OneThing on December 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louie is an excellent communicator, and this book was no exception. It's easy to read and makes its point clearly. He also draws on Scripture without making the reader be too weighed down by Scripture references and theology.

The message Louie brings in this book is one that most churches (at least the ones I've been to) gloss over. Here's a basic summary of what he's trying to say:

- Everything in this universe is all about God (whose name is I AM, from the verb "to be").

- The story of God is an eternal story of everlasting significance.

- The story of you is a brief story like a wisp of vaper that disappears.

- So, if you want your life to count, you should join your story with His story.

It's a good book, and a fairly quick read; it'll only take a couple hours to finish. However, it's an excellent reminder that this universe is not about me; creation is all about God.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on July 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The writing is easy to follow and full of personal anecdotes. Overall, the book does a good job of showing that:

1) God is amazingly large. (There are a lot of numbers about the universe here.)

2) This is all really God's story, and that he chose for us to be in it.

3) Trying to make our names great leads to death.

I also really enjoyed the re-telling of John the Baptist's story in the context of those points.

However, the book is very short. I finished it in the same day that the UPS truck delivered it. The actual text of the book is about 140 pages, and it's 1.5-spaced. It almost seems like part of another book.

Also, don't expect to get too much "deep" theology. The book uses Biblical support for its points, but it doesn't feel like a book that really makes you stop and think.

In conclusion, the book is well-written and makes good points, but it feels like it only skims the surface of the material. It could certainly have been longer. That's why I gave it 4 stars.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alonzo Key on July 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louie Giglio invites you to embrace the bigness of God from cover to cover. I completely loved this book for the many simple truths that it provides, namely to live a life that makes much of Jesus. The message the book communicates was revolutionary to me and to my friends. It was an easy read and fun to read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Morgan L. Myers on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I heard Louie speak at a Passion conference and decided to check out his books, and this one was excellent. I liked it better than The Air I Breathe, but they are definitely on different topics.

This book focuses on humility in the truest sense, coming to know who we are in relation to God. Louie does an excellent job of going through examples of how we try to make our story the center of the universe, turning God into a bit player instead of the star. He is a very relatable guy, and I think it helps to hear someone who could very easily think they are a big deal to seriously discuss how we have to conciously overcome that mentality to be servants of Christ.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
In a world of self-improvement and self-help books it's great to find one that reminds us all that the real answer is to take our focus off ourselves and onto something bigger: GOD. Playing on the "I AM" name of God, Giglio helps us to restore the direction of our focus onto God. Giglio has a great perspective of how small we really are in this universe, but reminds us that even though we are infintely small, we can know the One who is infinitely bigger than the sum of who we are, our problems, and the world around us.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nick Bradley on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louie brings theology to the table in a very edible format. I am a HUGE fan of this book. God has blessed Louie with a firm foundation and a teachable smarts that extends past what should be expected of a normal man. His heart for the colleg generation exudes itself on these pages. His personal stories he shares tie into an unprecidented look at how small we really are. And how GREAT God is. Thanks Louie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By GDaddio on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Humility and confidence are natural by-products from realizing how big God is and how small we are. Great book written in "plain-speak" with a refreshing approach. I love Louie's transparency and authenticity. Simple yet profound. Fresh perspective on God's timeless truth.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Randall M. Wong on July 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Louie has done it again. I've seen this guy preach about 20 times in my lifetime, and the way that is he able to communicate God's word is just amazing. Louie (the author) breaks down the concept of God in a way that we can understand things easily. We are to be part of God's big story, and to let go our our own dreams and our "tiny dreams".

We must decrease, He must increase!
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