MORE DIARY ENTRIES
ABOUT THE DIARY
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When my life slowed down long enough for me to think, I found a disturbing lack of peace, a spiritual restlessness that alarmed me. Assuming I was suffering from one of those yet-to-be-identified, environment-related syndromes, I stubbornly ignored the uneasiness, thinking it would go away. It was a "man thing"--don't think about it or talk about it, and it will go away. There were plenty of things to distract me, and as long as I stayed busy, I was fine. I packed my schedule full of amusements and did whatever it took to avoid periods of silence.
Then in the unbearable quiet of a sleepless night, God reached inside and touched my soul. His invisible presence invaded my world. I couldn't explain it, nor did I understand it. Somehow my distinct, detached, and distant God overwhelmed my senses. The invitation was undeniable. I encountered the presence of the God of creation, and he knew my name. In spite of my busyness, my stubbornness, and my denial, God found a way to break through to my soul, whether I liked it or not.
For as long as this planet has been populated, God has found ways to encounter his people. The Bible is the epic record of his incredible encounters with his people. This holy book was never meant to be merely a textbook or a proof text. It's more like a diary, filled with stories and insights about God and his people. Within its pages, God reveals himself in the lives of ordinary people. But it's not a private diary, locked up and hidden away in a secret place. It's available and familiar. He wants us to open it, to read it, and to get to know him.
What a tragedy it would be to spend a lifetime bumping into God, brushing up against him, but never making face-to-face contact- never getting to know the person behind the name. Possessing a head full of facts about God doesn't mean we know him or that we're close to him. We can quote him in any version from the King 3ames to The Living Bible without knowing the God who gave the quote. We can study his Word like a rule book and become careful rule keepers without even expecting to know the rule giver. We can even retell the glorious biblical story and stand at a distance, unaffected and uninvolved. We can even rely on his promises and worship him weekly and still not know him.
But God's encounters always invade the soul. They lift our spirits, open our eyes, transform our hearts, and claim our allegiance. God seems to enjoy shattering our limited understanding of him. 3ust when we think we have him figured out, just when he begins to fit within the borders of our imagination, he expands the borders. Nothing we can dream up will ever confine him. Getting to know the giver of life is an eternal project. There will always be more to know--more truths to hear, more experiences to share, more wisdom to learn, and more mysteries to probe.
The Diary of God recounts only a few of the stories of God's incredible encounters with his people recorded in his Word. Each story reveals a God intimately involved in life on this earth. Combined, they chronicle God's desire to personally connect with ordinary, struggling, stubborn, self-reliant people like you and me. You may recognize the stories, the people, and the places, but my prayer is that you may hear, as I have, God inviting you to a relationship, a closer, more personal relationship than ever before.
God took the first step in this relationship before the clocks were wound, before order conquered chaos, before Eden had sod--and he hasn't stopped. Our God still...
and, most of all, invites.
He invites us into relationship with him.
In this diary we join our ancestors in the quest to know our creator-the ever-present God who already knows us. We focus not on facts but on holy moments and experiences to be shared--on God's encounters with us.
Your place in the diary is still being written. As he did with the generations before us, God calls us to be his people and then fills our lives with spiritual power to see beyond ourselves, drawing us close to him. And like those who have come before us, we will find spiritual intimacy with our Creator God in both the most familiar and unexpected places.
Begin with me in the imagination of God and prepare for a divine encounter. God already knows your name, your secrets, your frustrations, your strengths, your hopes, your dreams.
Now he wants you to come to know him.
HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Text copyright © 1997, Multnomah Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Design copyright © 1998, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
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