Articles

A Simple Theology

A Simple Theology

I believe God is always saying one thing: “I love you.” And He always follows up with a question, “do you believe me?” What would our lives look like if we could answer this one question that God is always asking?

Loving God Doesn't Make You Right - Put Your Sword Away!

Put Your Sword Away! "I don’t understand" races through Peters mind over and over and over.

Shaking and disoriented, Peter breaths heavy. There’s blood on the ground, it’s spattered across Jesus robe. Peter can taste the iron saltiness of it on his lips. He stands, frantic with desperation, over a mutilated piece of flesh. Angry tears blur his vision, he grits his teeth as he moves to strike the man again.

“Put your sword away!” Jesus demands.

Peter barely recognizes his lord and friends voice. Everything is falling apart. The night is full with panic and horror.

Jesus speaks again.

“Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

It felt like a slap across the face; everything Peter believed, being sifted like wheat.

Peter watched as Jesus leaned over the man he'd just struck with his sword. The man had fallen to his knees and now clutched the right side of his head; blood running between his fingers and down his arm.

Jesus “touched the mans ear and healed him.”

Peter had seen this so many times, Jesus kindness, His goodness, His healing, His sovereign love.

“I don’t understand” races through Peter's mind again as Jesus, the man he loved, the man he followed with all his strength, the man he had just given his life for, reprimanded him, “All who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

“I don’t understand,” tormented Peter as he followed the prisoner Jesus is into the temple grounds.

“I don’t understand” ravaged his heart as he denied that he knew the man he loved, once, twice, three times.

“I don’t understand” dismantled him, as he caught Jesus eye from across the courtyard.

“I don’t understand” sifted him like wheat as he fled the temple.

“And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Just hour’s earlier Peter thought he understood. “Lord I’m ready to go with you to prison or death.”

Just hours earlier Peter believed that Jesus kingdom on earth would need swords and men willing to use them. It would require sacrifice, the wiliness to die for Jesus, and also, the willingness to kill for Jesus.

The sovereign control narrative perverts everything, even our passionate love of God! It manipulates love into a desperate defense of our broken ideology.

We see it evidenced throughout history, well meaning Christians committed to murder in order to defend their idea of God.

The mindset is alive today. Open up Facebook and you’ll see it, well meaning Christians attacking others to defend their idea of God.

It’s everywhere, well meaning Christians preaching from church pulpits, political platforms, across the web, across the airwaves, attacking a person or organization in order to defend their idea of God.

Well meaning Christians destroying families and friendships and derailing great moves of God; well meaning Christians manipulating scripture to develop cult like devotion to the desperate defense of ideologies absolutely contrary to the revelation of Jesus.

Please get this, Peter didn’t defend Jesus, he defended his belief about Jesus. Peter believed that, if the kingdom was to be established on earth as it is in heaven, at some point Jesus must assume control. Except, Jesus never once modeled this.

If your understanding leads to anxiety, you don’t understand. Put your sword away!

If your love of God leads you to act out of fear, you need a greater revelation of His love. Put your sword away!

If you feel you must attack someone in order to defend your thoughts about God, it’s a good sign your thoughts about God are wrong. Put your sword away!

If you find yourself desperate and insecure on Gods behalf, you don’t have the whole story. Put your sword away!

Desperation is not a sign of spiritual maturity, it’s a sign we’re still journeying into His goodness, our minds still being renewed; it’s a sign we are still growing sure in sovereign love.

After the resurrection, Jesus met Peter on a beach and three times restored him with the question, “Do you love?”

“Lord you know” Peter answered.

Lord you know. That’s the answer God trusts.

This interaction wasn’t about whether Peter loved Jesus; that was never in question. This interaction was about where Peter would put His faith. Would it be in his understanding, in his love for God, or would it be in Gods sovereign love for him.

In the garden, Peter attempted murder because of his zealous love for Jesus. It nearly killed him. Our faith can never be in our love for God.

In the garden, Peter attempted murder in defense of what he knew. It nearly destroyed him. Our faith can never be in what we know.

In the garden, Peter attempted murder to help Jesus assume control. It led to bitter sorrow. Our faith can never be in sovereign control.

Our faith must be in the sovereignty of His love.

And when it is, we can be trusted with a sword.

"Feed my sheep…"

This is excerpted from Jason's forthcoming book, The Whole Story.

Jason Clark is an author, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new books, Prone To Love Untamed, are available where books are sold.

The Whole Story - Jesus, Control and a Unicorn

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The Hidden Things Were Being Made Plain “I see it! It’s a dolphin!” My college roommate Doug was acting like he had just discovered a cure for Ebola.

“Sure, I see it too. I said sarcastically. “It’s riding a motorcycle while eating a hotdog”

“No, serious!” he said. “It’s a dolphin in the ocean. Can’t you see it?”

Then another of my college friends erupted, “I see a pirate on a ship!” He was standing just a few feet away looking at one of the other computer-generated pieces of “art.” There were twenty or so pieces on display in the room.

“This one is the Terminator!” a third friend exclaimed with what seemed to be sincere wonder.

I thought they were playing a joke on me, making it up. All I could see was a repetitive digital mess of shapes and colors. Every poster size presentation looked like Max Headroom had attempted Jackson Pollock.

And much like a Jackson Pollock, each piece in this public art gallery, was obscurely titled. One tiled jumble of dots and triangles was labeled, The Dolphin, another, A Pirate on a Ship, and then of course, Terminator. The image I was looking at was apparently a, Unicorn and a Rainbow.

I played along, “This unicorn is clearly representing humanities internal obsession with the illusion that is our external reality,”

Doug joined me. “You seriously can’t see it?” He asked incredulously.

“Whatever,” I scoffed, but I was starting to think the fellas actually saw something I couldn’t see.

Then Doug, ever the helpful friend, patiently began to describe how there was a 3D image hidden in the repetitive design of neon squiggles and squares. He began to coach me.

“If you unfocus your eyes, the image will suddenly appear.”

I tried to unfocus, which isn’t even a word. It didn’t work.

Doug kept encouraging me while the other guys threw out random instructions between their outbursts of amazement. They seemed to see each new 3D image with greater ease.

“Squint your eyes… wow, it’s a space ship flying over the moon.”

“Spin around, it helps if you’re dizzy... cool, Darth Vader!”

“Just stare at your nose while keeping the picture in front of you… that doesn’t look like Pocahontas!”

I stood in front of that stupid picture of a unicorn and a rainbow for thirty minutes. Doug stuck with me for at least ten until he lost patience, “Just unfocus!”

“Unfocus? How does one do that?!” I thought, and also, “How do you know what Pocahontas looks like?”

The guys eventually moved on to whatever else that art gallery offered. But I stood there, a stubborn, dizzy, cross-eyed idiot trying to will a mythical creature to magically appear.

Eventually the fellas got bored and let me know they were going to leave without me if I didn’t join them at the car. I left dejected.

Over the next few years, 3D hidden art became an American experience. I couldn’t go into a bookstore without one of those picture books mocking me with my absurd inability to see 3D images hidden in a sea of monotonous digital striations.

Stupid unicorn.

Then one day at a Barnes and Nobles, while my new bride Karen stood beside me obnoxiously exclaiming every 3 seconds, “I see it, A Bird on a Wire”, or “oh, that one is fun, it’s Daffy Duck…” I saw it! That blessed beast, the legendary unicorn!

The image was titled Lady Liberty, and suddenly she exploded off the page in all her glorious wonder. Then, just as quick, she was gone. Just dots and shapes again.

I didn’t move. I willed myself calm, I waited, “come on out” I coaxed. I didn’t want to spook her. Something began to shift; I could feel my eyes adjusting, seeing in a way they never had before. “Easy now, careful” I encouraged.

And then, there she was again. Clear and indisputable and brilliant!

I didn’t take my eyes off the page. I didn’t move. I wouldn’t risk it lest my eyes revert to their old way of seeing. I wasn’t going to give her opportunity to hide again. I stood in awe.

After some time, with a small measure of confidence and excitement building, I cautiously flipped to the next page. New neurons and synapsis’ started firing; it was all there, The Dolphin, The Pirate, Darth Vader…

“He’s right, that looks nothing like Pocahontas!”

I devoured picture after picture, then book after book, hidden 3D images realizing before my eyes, each quicker than the last. I couldn’t see enough of them!

I had broken the code, I had shifted my lens, I had entered a new paradigm, I was living in a new narrative, the mysteries were being revealed, the hidden things were being made plain…

The Whole Story

Years ago I stopped reading the whole Bible. You read correctly. For about a two-year period, I only read the gospels. Well, that’s not fully true, occasionally I would brave my way into Psalms and Proverbs, but otherwise, I strictly and stubbornly stayed away from every book of the Bible except Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I had discovered the unicorn and I wasn’t going to take my eyes off it.

I had caught a glimpse of something hidden in plain sight. I could feel the eyes of my heart adjusting, seeing in a way they never had before. I couldn’t afford to look away, not even for a moment. I wouldn’t risk it lest my eyes revert to their old way of seeing and I lose sight of this glorious revelation – Jesus. I was seeing Him in such powerful ways.

I cautiously flipped the pages; excitement building, new neurons and synapsis’ firing…

I remember my first picture bible; I was 5 and so proud to have my very own. My dad read the whole book to me over the following months.

I still have my One Year Bible; I read the whole of it when I was 13.

When I was 18 I went to Bible College where I studied the whole bible.

I love the whole bible, every page. I will continue to grow in my knowledge and love of it. But when I intentionally stopped reading the whole bible for those two years, I did so for a reason. I had some unlearning to do.

Unlearning is a lot like unfocusing, except unlearning is actually a word.

During those two years, I was not denying the whole bible; I was resetting my lens. I had seen the unicorn. I had discovered my core conviction, my whole theology - God is love, and His love is always good and He looked like Jesus!

Jesus is the clearest way to know what Love looks like, acts like, sounds like, dreams like, teaches like, interacts with Father like, walks in the Holy Spirit like…

Jesus is perfect theology - the clearest and truest way to know what God is like.

You see, most of my life I developed whole thoughts about who God was by reading my whole Bible. By that I mean, for too long I had allowed Job’s to carry as much weight as Jesus’. I don't do that anymore.

I am not suggesting God can’t be discovered in Job, but Job is the question, Jesus is the answer.

And Jesus is the whole answer. Jesus is the whole truth. Jesus is the whole perfect revelation of God. Jesus is what the whole Bible is about. Jesus is what everything before points to and what everything after is built upon. Jesus is the beginning, the end, everything in between and everything after. Jesus is the whole story – His, yours and mine.

During those two years in the gospels, I saw Jesus. And I couldn’t look away. Not for a second. He is wholly beautiful, wholly kind, wholly loving. During those two years when I wouldn’t read the whole bible, Jesus was making me whole.

I began seeing in a way I never had before. My old eyes, old thought patterns, old understanding of God, were being renewed. I began seeing life in a new way. I discovered a better language, a truer paradigm. The mysteries were being revealed; the hidden things were being made plain. God is love and His love is always good!

And He looks like Jesus. And I fixed my eyes on Him and only Him as the Author and Perfecter of my faith, the whole story.

The revelation of Jesus as the whole story began shifting my narrative, my foundational approach to our relationship, to every relationship, to every circumstance and to how I would eventually read the whole bible.

Jesus is my lens, my true narrative. His perfect love is my conviction. His goodness is my faith. Every question I have, every relationship or circumstance, every scripture, including the tension Job represents, is measured against the measureless revelation of Jesus.

I have discovered the unicorn. Jesus is the whole gospel, the whole story.

And just so, I have discovered the lens by which to know the sovereignty of God...

Jason Clark is an author, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Untamed is available now.

I Don't Know... But God Is Good

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Shortly after my book Prone To Love released I came across a review. The reviewer was an earnest believer who graciously but systematically challenged many of my core thoughts regarding the perfection of Gods always-good love. The review was thorough, the disagreement thoughtful, surgical and, because of the reviewers sincerity and the fact that scripture supported each challenge, convincing. As I read it I felt anxious. Not because the reviewer disagreed, I don’t need agreement. It was how the reviewer used scripture to methodically undermine the truths I had written. I felt a heavy obligation to systematically respond to each question raised. There was one problem, I wasn’t sure I had the answers.

The next time I sat down to write, instead of further developing the book I was working on, a book about sovereign love, a book that releases later this year, I began to develop a rebuttal.

I opened a new Word Doc on my MacBook. But after only ten minutes of writing I was uneasy. If I responded to each scripture reference, I would be at it for days, maybe even weeks; and after all that, I wasn’t sure I would be able to deliver convincing answers.

Then I heard God laughing.

“What are you doing?” He asked.

“I’m trying to get answers to the scriptures used in that review.” I responded.

“Any luck?” He asked.

“Not yet, and it’s a little overwhelming.” I responded.

“Well, whatever you do, don’t make them up.”

I smiled. “Father, You are so good. I love You.”

“I love you.” He replied.

Then I slid my little MacBook navigation arrow up to the left corner of my new Word Doc. I clicked the dark grey dot, which triggered the on screen prompt, “Do you want to save the changes you made to this document?”

“Don’t Save,” I clicked, smiling again, all anxiety gone. Then I went back to writing what I had been invited to write, I leaned into His pleasure.

My Fathers gracious interruption had done two things. First, He identified the source of my anxiety. I had started defending instead of revealing. Many years earlier I had come to the freeing realization that God doesn’t want, nor need, to be defended, but He loves to be revealed.

And I love to reveal Him. It’s my great joy to seek after and reveal His perfect love nature; to discover wisdom that I might have answers to the questions. Thats why I love Proverbs 4:7

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” 

Wisdom, it’s both a gift and mandate. And we have been both invited and instructed to seek after it until we have understanding. And this world needs men and women who have wisdom and understanding - who have the answers. This world needs leaders confident in His always-good love nature.

As believers, it’s not just our joy to discover the answers, it’s our honor to reveal them. And as Christians, we have all felt the cultural pressure, the expectation to provide the answers - all of them, even when we don’t yet know.

That’s why I believe this next phrase is so important.

I don’t know…

As I mentioned, my Fathers gracious interruption of my brief attempt to write a rebuttal had done two things. The second, He empowered me to live in the tension of not knowing. He removed from me the anxious striving to have all the answers and in so doing, He invited me into the process of wisdom and understanding.

I don’t know… is the humble gift we offer to the One who wants nothing more than to reveal Himself more fully to us. I don't know frees and then empowers us to discover.

You can't fill a glass that's already full. My point, greater revelation is only available to those who don't have it. The willingness to not have an answer is what positions us for THE answer.  A humble "I don't know" will lead us into wisdom and understanding quicker than knowing ever will.

I don't know is the invitation to discover His goodness in greater measure. Because, while there is plenty I don't know, there is one thing I am absolutely positive about, God is good.

I don’t know but God is good. That phrase has been one of our family and ministry motto’s for years. It’s a faith statement that has served us well.

The first half of that statement is extremely powerful only because we believe the second half with absolute conviction. We have made it our position on everything.

Why did we experience a miscarriage, I don’t know, but God is good.

Why did we lose our business, I don’t know, but God is good.

Why are we not experiencing breakthrough? I don’t know but God is good.

Why are we being persecuted for loving the lost, choosing honor, seeking His presence, revealing family, hoping where there is no hope, giving beyond comfortable, choosing life, living wildly faithful...

I don’t know, but God is good is the grace that empowers us to live between the tension of not knowing and His invitation to know, to get wisdom and understanding.

Wisdom is the gift given to those who are willing to embrace both mystery and revelation. Understanding is discovered by those willing to live in the tension of not knowing while believing He is good. The answers are imparted to those who have made intimacy the answer.

“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)

The good news is, He really wants to tell us the answers! He really wants to give us wisdom and understanding.

I recently stumbled across that contrary review - the one that had briefly caused such anxiety. You know what’s funny; I can answer the questions now. In fact, I was surprised to realize I had unknowingly answered many of them in my forthcoming book.

I am convinced the gospel is easy, He loves us, and we grow sure. Just so, I am convinced ministry is easy, we are loved, we believe it, and we reveal His love.

I don’t know... but God is good and that’s more than enough.

May you grow sure in His pleasure!

Jason Clark is an author, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Untamed is available now.

The Promise

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This is an excerpt from my new book Untamed, A Fools Guide to Surrendered Faith. 

The PromisePeter is one of my favorite fellas from the Bible. I can often find my story in his. He was a favorite of Jesus as well. Peter often gets a bad rap for his impulsive, headstrong, and occasional disastrous conclusions, but I love him for his ardent and fierce trust. I love him because he wasn’t afraid to risk, to try, even if he got it wrong.

I imagine him as that confident kid in high school you wanted to hang out with, at least until the cops came. He was the cool kid who drove the muscle car way too fast; it was awesome until he crashed it into a tree stump while doing donuts in the Johnson’s field. He was the fearless kid who jumped off the sixty-foot cliff edge into the reservoir while all the girls watched. It was exhilarating until he hit the rocks on the way down, broke his leg, and spent the rest of the summer on crutches.

Peter was a pioneer, a revolutionary, and wasn’t afraid to go first. He let everyone else know it could be done, albeit, better and with more style. Peter encouraged and empowered following generations into believing.

There is this one story where Peter shows us the way into our future through his own radical discovery of his. He found his promise in the discovery of the Promise Giver, and in so doing showed us the keys to discover ours.

Jesus, walking one day with His disciples, asked a question, “Who do you say I am?” And Peter rushed in, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus responded to Peter, “You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God Himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am” (Matt. 16:17 MSG).

Now here’s the deal: everywhere Jesus went, every breath He ever took, every smile and tear, everything He did, every word He spoke, was meant to do one thing—reveal God as Father. Jesus told the disciples continually that He came to show us the Father. He said, “If you really know Me, you will know My Father as well” (John 14:7), and “I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:11). So I imagine Jesus was thrilled with Peter’s statement as it was directly from Father God.

Peter looked at Jesus and met the Father. He got it!

After Jesus let Peter know where his revelation came from, He continued with a personal enlightening message from the Father: “And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together My church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out” (Matt. 16:18-19 MSG).

Can you imagine this scene? Peter, while describing Jesus, meets Father God and is then given his promise. Peter discovered his promise through the discovery of the Promise Giver. But Jesus wasn’t finished:

"And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven" (Matthew 16:19 MSG).

These verses absolutely astound me. Not only is Peter given his promise in the form of his identity, but he is then given his promise in the form of his inheritance as a son of God. It was as if Jesus were saying, “Peter, as you keep your eyes on Me, you will discover there are no barriers, no measureable limits to My promises—all impossibilities become possibilities. When you keep your eyes on Me, you won’t live chasing an ever elusive promise, you will live smack in the middle it. When you see Me, you can see your true self, and all the promises I have given you. And these promises will powerfully transform you, the lives around you, and the lives to come.”

This story tells us that if we want to know who we are, if we want to know what we are called to do, if we want to know what we have access to, if we want to know and live smack in the middle of our promise, then we must keep our eyes on the Promise Giver. One revelation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit brings more clarity regarding call, promise, identity, destiny, power, and authority than a lifetime of anything else, including Bible study and good messages—“You didn’t get this from a book or teachers…”

I’m not suggesting Bible study and good messages aren’t valuable, I’m simply noting they should always lead to Jesus and reveal the Father. It’s an encounter with God that reveals our promise and releases the keys to personal and then worldwide transformation.

Peter had many more bumbling adventures after he received his promise from the Father. He continued to display what getting it wrong looked like. However, he also continued to believe and trust, and he kept his eyes on Jesus and a yes in his heart. Along the way his vision of Jesus became clearer and he continued to be transformed.

Many years after Jesus had risen and ascended, “people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by” (Acts 5:15). Peter’s shadow had authority to heal. The same Peter who got it wrong so many times before discovered a believing that led to a personal transformation that ended up changing the world.

I haven’t always fully known what my promise looks like, I haven’t always been able to describe it, but I am learning, and I think it’s a little like “God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven” (Matt. 16:19 MSG).

I am discovering that if I’m willing to surrender—my heart for His—I get to engage and experience all His heart offers. I think that’s what untamed living is all about—coalescing my promise with His purpose, His love.

I believe we all have a one-of-a-kind promise from God: His Kingdom of heaven birthed within us. This promise is unique to every individual, is discovered in a revelation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and lives in our hearts. And His promises are greater than anything we could ask for or even imagine. His promises are invitations to believe, step out, risk, trust, and fail; to discover Jesus, be transformed, and walk in the authority of heaven.

“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus is still asking us this question today. It’s an extended hand to take an untamed adventure, to live a world-changing faith. And it sounds different for all of us. For me it came in the question, “Do you trust Me?” or “Well…are you coming?”...

This is an excerpt from my new book Untamed, A Fools Guide to Surrendered Faith.

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Untamed is available now.

A Warning and an Invitation

For months I prayed, and wondered, and talked with Karen about who I should ask to write the forward to my new book, Untamed, A Fools Guide to Surrendered Faith. Even though we have yet to meet face to face, Allen Arnold was the person I kept coming back to. I was thrilled when he said yes. Years ago, Allen, a complete stranger at the time, tracked me down just to encourage me. "It's a really good book," he said over the phone. You see, my new book, Untamed, is a revised edition of my first book, Surrendered & Untamed. Allen had found my first book in a church bookstore. Then he did something rarely done at the time, he bought it.

In our first brief conversation I knew Allen and I were chasing after the same thing - the wild God stories. The ones filled with adventure, and faith, and risk, and trust, and miracles and... We want to capture the story, we want to share the journey. We want to partner with the Storyteller in a way that encourages and empowers sons and daughters to live the greater works life Jesus promised.

Allen is an amazing storyteller, a good writer and a catalyst for many other storytellers who wish to be good writers. Over the last few years Allen and I have developed a friendship. I have grown to trust his insights and am thankful for his gifting and grace. He has been so encouraging to me and I am incredibly honored in how he has helped to introduce my new book.

I'm looking forward to the day we share stories, face to face, over strong coffee...

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Forward by Allen Arnold A Warning and an Invitation

I know this may look like an ordinary book...but it really should come with a warning label in bold letters that says: Untamed will disrupt your world in the best of ways.

My friend Jason Clark is your warrior poet storyteller for this not-safe yet good journey. Though I’ve not yet met him, I feel a deep bond. Primarily because his life and words have drawn me exponentially closer to God’s heart. Okay, that and the fact that we share a love of strong coffee, spicy food and 80’s television shows.

My copy of Untamed is dog-eared, tear-stained, and almost completely highlighted in neon orange. The first time I finished the book, I felt I’d been simultaneously struck by lightning, embraced in a lover’s touch, and feasted at God’s banquet table. The stories stretched my faith, quickened my pulse, and increased my hunger to live a far more untamed and reckless life for God.

Perhaps most, Jason helped me grow in my understanding of what it means to live as a son of God. The thought that my Father has rescued me not just for service and productivity but for presence and intimacy...well, that changes everything. As Jason says, “It’s personal friendship with our Creator that satisfies our souls and makes us whole.”

This book is also an intimate invitation that should come signed with these handwritten words: Untamedwill disrupt your world in the best of ways.

God first led me to this book when I wasn’t looking for it. He somehow did the same for you. I think it’s because God knows once we experience untamed intimacy with Him, we’ll never be satisfied with small dreams, safe faith, and simple prayers. That is the invitation.

The world may call this approach to living reckless and foolish. But really now, is there any better kind of fool to be?

Allen Arnold, Ransomed Heart Ministries

Untamed, A Fools Guide to Surrendered Faith, released this week! You can check it out on my website and buy it where books are sold. It captures some of my wild God stories and I pray it encourages and empowers you in yours.

Allen Arnold
Allen Arnold

God Bless

—Jason Clark

Allen Arnold loves the epic adventure God has set before him. From the mountains of Colorado, he leads Content & Resources for Ransomed Heart Ministries (led by John Eldredge). Before that, he spent 20 years in Christian Publishing - overseeing  the development of more than 500 novels as founder and Publisher of Thomas Nelson Fiction. He was awarded the ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. But that doesn't really describe the man. Allen savors time with his family, craves the beach, drinks salsa by the glass, is hooked on the TV series "Once Upon a Time" and is passionate about helping storytellers tell better stories from an awakened heart.

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s latest book Untamed is available now.

Bathtubs or Oceans - Keeping Our Eyes On His Promise

"I stood on the edge to see what I could see Told my heart to never forget Your Spirit birthed in me"

When Eva was two, we went on a beach vacation. Weeks before the trip, the whole family told her about the ocean. “It’s the biggest swimming pool ever!” Maddy informed her. “The waves are awesome!” Ethan explained. The entire drive to the coast, we regaled her with tales of the sea. She was primed for big water.

After checking into the twenty-five-story beachfront condo, we immediately went out onto our balcony eighteen stories up to finally show Eva the unending body of water. Her eyes took it in and she finally understood. The ocean is big.

If you have been on a beach vacation with small children, then you know it can easily take an hour from the moment you decide to go swimming to the moment you actually leave the condo. Especially if you have Anglo-Saxon skin. The process seems endless: putting on bathing suits, gathering boogie boards, collecting towels, selecting beach toys, packing the cooler, and lathering sunscreen on in generous amounts upon every surface that could even possibly see a moment of sun and few spots that shouldn’t, just in case.

Along the way, the kids become almost unbearable. Their understanding of “be patient” is waiting three minutes between asking, “When are we going to the beach?”

While we prepared, Eva got caught up in her older brother and sister’s euphoric expectation. The kids would run to the balcony and look at the “osen,” as Eva called it, and laugh. Then Ethan would exclaim he was going to ride the biggest wave on his boogie board which he carried everywhere. Then they would come find us to ask, “Aren’t we ready yet?” and “Can we go now?”

Waiting is so hard.

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Finally, everyone lathered in sunscreen, towels accounted for, flip-flops on, we headed for the door. I did a head count and found that Eva was not among us. I called for her. “Eva, let’s go swim in the osen! Eva?” There was no response. I walked through the condo and finally found her naked in the master bathroom trying to get into the tub.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Mmm, take a baff, Daddy,” she said.

“What about the ocean?”

My daughter, tired of waiting, and upon seeing the bathtub, forgot about the ocean. She was more than willing to trade the ocean she had not experienced for the familiarity of the tub.

Suddenly my Father spoke to my heart and said, “Jason, the promises I have for you are the size of the ocean. Don’t get distracted by bathtubs.”

The moral of this story? Not all water is created equal. Don’t let the bathtub distract you. Gods promises are as big as the ocean. His promises are astounding; a greater works adventure, a one of a kind expression of His love revealed to and through us.

I pray grace and hope as you lean into your ocean promises. And may the world be forever changed because of your faith.

This is an excerpt from my forthcoming book "Untamed". It releases October 20. Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s latest book Prone To Love is available now.

The Presence - Breakthrough

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Just before Christmas I was invited to join a team to help produce and co-host a TV show called, The Presence. It has been an incredible experience in every way – from working with the executive producers, John and Heidi White, to the whole production team, to creating with my brother, Joel Clark, who co-produced and directed, to co-hosting with Sallie Mosely. Add to that an opportunity to sit with my revelatory hero friends the Helsers and to be a part of capturing some powerful wisdom from Father Richard Frechette, another hero of mine, it’s been such a joy and honor.I would like to introduce you to the pilot episode of The Presence entitled BreakthroughI pray it blesses!

The Presence "Breakthrough"

THE PRESENCE: Episode One – “Breakthrough”

“The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.” ― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

Can you imagine a life spent hosting the goodness of God? What would happen to our lives and the lives around us if we were more aware of His Presence?

The Presence is an organic television series that highlights men and women from all walks of life who are daily experiencing the wonder and friendship of the Holy Spirit.

The pilot episode of the 12-part series, hosted by Jason Clark and Sallie Mosely, features Father Richard Frechette, a medical doctor, priest and hostage negotiator in Port Au Prince Haiti. Jonathan and Melissa Helser, international worship leaders who are part of Bethel Music, are also featured in the pilot episode.

To keep up on the show or to order DVD Curriculum or music from the first episode you can go to www.freshwaterworship.com

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

Our New TV Show - The Presence

Dear friends, I want to introduce you to a project I have been working on with some amazing people over these last months; a TV show called, The Presence. The Presence is an organic television series that highlights men and women from all walks of life who are experiencing the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

We are so excited about this show! It’s our heart that it will be a catalyst for the viewer to discover Gods good love - the revelation of His presence! It’s a passionate call to action meant to encourage the viewer to step boldly into his or her own story and develop a faith that leads to a life marked by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My friend Sallie Mosely and I host the show and have the amazing opportunity to meet men and women throughout the world who are living a daily life in God’s Presence while experiencing heaven to earth life encounters.

Episode one is finished! It features worship leaders, Jonathan & Melissa Helser and Port Au Prince Haiti based doctor and priest Father Richard Frechette. It is slotted to release in late July on God TV, TBS, Daystar and several other faith networks. I will post dates as soon as we have them.

Enjoy the title sequence and pray for continued favor as we move forward.

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.

What If...

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What if God is Love and Love is measureless, infinite. And what if this measureless Love came to earth as a man and lived in our finite world, a world controlled by measurements. And what if He met every controlling measurement He encountered. What if He answered every need, healed every affliction, and in Him every broken heart could be made whole?

And then what if He experienced the ultimate control, death. And then what if He revealed that perfect Love is more powerful than death by rising from the grave? What if He had all authority over the finality of control?

What if Love was the most powerful force on the planet, what if all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Love?

And what if the power and authority of love is the true narrative by which we are to live our story; the true language we are born to speak, the true lens by which we are meant to perceive our every experience? What if Love is the truth that sets us free from every insecurity of control?

And what if we made the discovery of this perfect Love the pursuit of our faith?

Love, an infinitely beautiful revelation.

Love, it holds the stars in the sky and is the breath in our lungs. It's the force of gravity weighing our feet to earth, and what lifts the sparrow to flight.

Love, it sets free, and it redeems, and it restores, and it transforms, sinners to saints and slaves to sons.

Love, it redeems the worst of tragedy and heals the ravaged heart.

Love, it restores sight to the blind, cleanses disease, feeds the hungry, clothes the poor, raises the dead!

Love, it looks like heaven, measureless in scope, and here, now.

Love, it knows no end, no boundaries, no lack. And it trumps every controlling need.

Love, it has hands and feet, you and me; we are becoming like Him!

What if we began to discover God as a measureless Love that has all authority and is the most powerful revelation on the planet but never controls.

What if we live, move and have our being to grow sure in Love and to become love?

Wouldn't that be awesome?

Jason Clark is an author, singer/songwriter, speaker and director of A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Jason’s new book Prone To Love is available now.