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The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  82 reviews
"Unique and powerful, The Story of With will take readers deep into the discovery of their own identity. Bravo! This fascinating blend of storytelling and teaching will shift the thinking of all who take this journey."
New York Times Bestselling Author, TED DEKKER

"Through allegory and invitation, Allen Arnold ushers us into a journey of imagination, insight, wonder, and
Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Published August 20th 2016
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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 ·  210 ratings  ·  82 reviews

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Nadine Brandes
A brilliant blend of story-telling and application. So much shalom in this.
Totally changed my perspective on the life of a Christian writer. Would highly recommend to anyone pursuing a dream and feeling overwhelmed.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm pretty sure this book just changed my life.

Every creative being should read this. It swept me away with just...all of it. I'm having a hard time putting it into words.

The allegory this book showed was so powerful and deep. I discovered things about myself and God that I didn't fully realize. I'm making changes in my life as a creative daughter of the King. I want to live my life WITH God, instead of stumbling on without Him.

This book goes deep into these four things...

Brandon Miller
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I honestly have no idea how to review a book like that.
It was good.
Go read it.
Tracey Dyck
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life-changing book. I listened to the author in person at Realm Makers 2018 and walked away incredibly refreshed, with my heart awakened to a new perspective.

This book, an allegory or extended metaphor paired with nonfiction snippets, served to cement that perspective in place and remind me of what I learned in the light. I’ll be rereading it in the future!

(The only downside was some typos/formatting issues.)
Heather Gilbert
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
This was definitely a very different book from what I expected, which wasn't a bad thing. Instead of a non-fiction book, it was more of an allegory like Pilgrim's Progress, only modern-day. I appreciated the new take on how to view my writing career and how to use my talents for God. Very unique.
Amber Schamel
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
My favorite point in this book is when he lays out the difference between expectations and being expectant.
This should be mandatory reading for everyone who attends a Christian college. Using allegory Arnold demonstrates how the God of universe desires intimacy with us in all that we do. This isn't just a book for creative types but everyone as Arnold reveals the Lord's heart for walking with us in all that we do.

The allegory is easy to read and Arnold provides some explanation at the end of each chapter that adds clarity. It all comes together beautifully at the end when Arnold outlines the 4 Vials
Janis Cox
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading this analogy reaffirmed exactly what God has been teaching me. After reading AW Tozer's The Pursuit of God and JI Packer's Knowing God, this book took me into the personal experience of being "With Him". I loved the story but also the breaks in between the chapters to help me take stock of what was happening.
Knowing that I can't create apart from Him it fuelled my resolve to make sure I spend time each day with God reading His Word, praying and listening. The energy God gives me, the
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Story of With opened my eyes to so many things about myself. I related so well to being an orphan. I have clung to control and doing it all myself because of my own loss. Yet my longing has always been to do it all with God. This book was freeing and has given me so much to dwell on. I feel a whole new excitement and release.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like creating. Specifically I like creating stories with words, and pictures with colors. I create on the computer. And I wish I could sell what I’ve created. But why?

I believe with Allen Arnold, author of The Story Of With, that creativity is a God-given gift, and that God wants me to create. I agree with the author that my best creativity is achieved when I work “with” God. And I agree that God’s purpose was not to make me successful, but to draw me closer to Him. But I would so love to be
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
4 stars purely for the message.
It is so true and beautiful and honestly refreshing. I needed to hear it, and I think every person and creative needs to too. It just points us to those obvious truths that we just seem to miss.

But the story was just... not great, and I was really hoping it would use story as it was meant to teach a message! I was so excited! But it let me down story-wise.

But it is incredibly worth it to read the book. Highly recommend.
Kristen Stieffel
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-walk
An excellent parable with insightful spiritual lessons. The author is Christian, but this book is not about Jesus. It’s about the Creator and our relationship with the Creator. So I believe it will be accessible to anyone who has faith in a Higher Power, regardless of how their own tradition views the Creator.
M. R.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Whenever you start to focus more on your talents and gifts then on Him, you miss the main invitation. Which is to pursue them together. With Him."

Fantastic story. I was so encouraged by it!
Raelee Carpenter
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best possible book for those who want to live an adventure.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, owned, allegory
Wow. I wish I could give this more than five stars. This is easily one of the best books I have ever read, and I don't say that lightly. The message within this book - which is part fictional allegory, part non-fiction Christian spirituality, part workbook - spoke to me so deeply at so many different points. I am a musician, and I would consider my creative journey only just beginning; though I have mastered my craft (playing the violin), creating and composing is relatively new to me. I had ...more
R. G. Nairam
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Once I approached the story aspects as an extended illustration more than something that could actually stand on its own, I liked this a bit more.
Kev Willoughby
"You don't need more answers before you begin. You just need to be ready to ride."

There is a weekend retreat within the pages of this book... Sure, you may be sitting in a recliner or a rocking chair while your eyes scan the words on the pages of this book, but rest assured that you are getting away... you are going somewhere for a few days, and you are going to feel refreshed and ready for tomorrow by the time you reach the last page of this Story.

This is a modern-day allegory in the style of
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Through allegory and teaching, Allen Arnold invites us on a journey to discover our own stories so that we can learn to create with our Creator. The Story of With is an exercise in intrinsic thinking, self-discovery, and dependence on our Father. It reminds us that God is bigger than any problem we may face and bigger than any dream we may have.

If you create—on any level—this book is for you. If you are heart-sick, lost, or discontent—this book is for you. If you want to live a life WITH God,
A.C. Williams
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the most amazing book I've read on following God's call in your life since Bruce Wilkinson's The Dream Giver. I cried most of the way through it and took a notebook full of notes in between. If you're struggling with knowing where you're going in life or business, if you need help as you navigate the pitfalls and struggles of following God's path, you NEED this book. The concept of doing life TOGETHER WITH God isn't new, but it's revolutionary, and if every creative Jesus-follower ...more
Candee Fick
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Deep calls to deep as this book delivers a drink of cool water to a weary creative parched from trying to journey alone. Through a mixture of allegory and teaching, each traveler is invited into Story and can't help but be transformed by the process. My copy is already tear-stained, highlighted, and even dog-eared...and will be read again very soon.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love how this book fell into my life at just the right time. Part allegory, part application the book invites its reader into a fantastical adventure with the Creator.
Courtney Kleefeld
Reason why I wanted to read this book: Nadine Brandes highly recommended it to writers at a convention and another published author also highly recommended it to me in a small group of writers. Also, I was added to a small fb group that talks about the messages in the book to remind me to read it at some point. My library didn't have it so I bought it on amazon. It was worth the buy and worth the read.

From a Christian standpoint: this is a cross between a modern allegory/parable and an inspiring
Sydney Avey
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirational
The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love & CreateAllen Arnold's simple little book, appeared on my radar at a good time. I have two manuscripts with two different publishers, and a WIP is vying for my attention. The challenge in the foreward, to separate from the ocean of busy and needs of everyone-- including the folks who need you to know what they have to say--is a breath of fresh air.

The book's subject, keeping our creative passions fresh, new,and spiritually focused, is not
Kitty Kolb
In The Story of With, Allen Arnold uses allegory to help those of us who are feeling that something is "off" in our lives, those of us who feel alone, whom he calls Orphans. The book uses allegory in the form of the quest of a young woman named Mia, whose trip home from a colossally bad day turns into an even more high-stakes quest to find her long-lost father. In between the scenes of Mia's story, Arnold explains to us the meanings of the pieces of her quest, which involves filling four vials ...more
Back Cover Blurb:

You are not alone.

“Whether you’re a free spirit, an office exec, a writer, musician, college student, or tired parent–your soul, like mine, knows life is meant to go beyond rat races and rare applause. This book speaks to that belief. And if you’re not careful, you may find tears warming your eyes as you read because finally someone is naming your weariness, your striving, your questions of why you just can’t quite make it, or the emptiness that hit because maybe you did. It is
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Story of With—part fiction, part self-help (or should I say, God-help)—is a wonderful resource for any Christian creative who feels they've come to the end of themselves. It's perfect for those who've run their figurative truck into a ditch and now find themselves stuck, mired—frustrated.

When we get to that point at which we're done trying to control the path and outcome of our creativity, we're moldable clay in God's hands. For anyone needing God's strength for their creative journey… for
C.O. Bonham
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-met-the-author
The story of With by Allen Arnold, is a satisfying blend of fiction and non-fiction. It is allegory with application.

One of the most frustrating things about the genre of allegory is the disconnect between the imagery and the way your life actually looks to you. To take an example from The Pilgrims Progress, if despair actually looked like a horrible giant, it would be far easier to avoid.

The allegory of Mia's search for her father is complimented by reflections after every chapter, taking the
John Bergquist
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At 49 I feel as if all these years I’ve experienced and lived have been preparation to hear these words, so well penned by Arnold in The Story of With.

The book is an allegorical story interwoven with lessons learned by Arnold as a creative. Part Alchemist part Pilgrims Progress, the author captures us with story but also invites us to live out our creativity, identity and life as sons and daughters instead of orphans set on making life work on our own.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you
Debbie Carmichael
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of Lessons

This is my 2nd time reading this book and it seems for me to be all about timing. First time was a couple years ago but the impact on me then wasn’t as profound as I am reading it today. Depression and anxiety has been the thorn in my flesh for as long as I can remember. This past week has been one of my worst weeks ever. This book has helped me see the things I need in my life’s journey to move forward and look positively at what God has for me. Even though we are Christians
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