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...
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 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.