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Three Times I Pleaded: God's Transforming Power Through Pain and Disappointment
Available on Kindle, paperback, and audiobook

We live in a culture and a time when we're less willing than ever to accept that losses can lead to blessings and that God uses adversity to change us in ways that are essential for his work. As a consequence, we see very little of God's power in our lives or in the church. But each of us has the potential to let the Spirit work in and through the difficulties we face to change us and reflect his power in ways we can scarcely dream of, and produce an outworking of joy and peace that will carry us through the greatest of difficulties without fear. This book is intended to unravel God's plan and your potential to have that kind of life. 

Three Times I Pleaded includes study questions for each chapter that can be used for personal study or group discussion.

Coming Soon: 7-Week Studies

Coming soon — a video series to challenge your faith and encourage you in today's world! To participate, create an account at the website and indicate which series you're interested in. You can invite others to join in the study with you. Each week, you receive special access to a short video of Michael teaching on the topic, along with a list of discussion questions. You'll also receive an email every day with things to pray and journal about. There is no cost for joining! (Join the mailing list and you'll be alerted when the first series is ready.)

Vote for which series you want to see first! Click here!

 

This series will focus on the foundations of Christian faith from a current and practical perspective. What does it mean to be a Christian in today's world?

  1. Worldview: Why having a big picture helps make sense of your life.
  2. Culture: The dominant perspective and its influence.
  3. Christianity: What Christianity is, at its core, and why it offers more than any competing worldview or religion.
  4. Objections: Why aren't more people interested in Christianity?
  5. Morality: Reassessing sin and freedom.
  6. Guidance: We don't have rules and regulations for behavior, but rather a Guide, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Purpose: Who we are and why we are here.

This series will cover the process of growing to be more like Jesus, in order to realize the life he promised.

  1. Self-Evaluation: Why be like him? The starting point. Taking stock of our lives.
  2. Patterns of Failure: Identifying recurring tendencies to fail. Understanding that they block us, that God still loves us when we fail.
  3. Habits and Holiness: Cleaning house of bad habits.
  4. The Past That Controls You: Forgiving others, letting the past go.
  5. Active Obedience: Learning to trust God with everything.
  6. The Practice of Love: Showing love to the people around us.
  7. Discipleship in Simple Terms: How to live your life, day-to-day, and fulfill the purpose he places before you.

This series focuses on practical, biblical living. God's plan for our lives in today's world necessarily puts us into a culture that has many mistaken priorities. I cover some practical strategies for managing these.

  1. Spending your free time wisely: How to make the most of your days.
  2. Valuing yourself correctly: Rejecting culture's view of who you are.
  3. Understanding God's will: Obedience, decisions, wisdom, and signs.
  4. The Pursuit of Wealth: How much is enough?
  5. How we use our words: What comes out when we open our mouths? Is it helping us?
  6. Pursuing healthy relationships: How to find a true friend.
  7. Evangelize without cringing: Sharing Christ in a world that doesn't seem to care very much.

This is a series for men, or for women who want some insight into men's struggles. It's difficult to be a man of God in today's world.

  1. Rejecting cultural stereotypes: The world's view of manhood, and why many in the church have bought into it.
  2. Who or what defines you? Putting failure and disappointment in their place.
  3. A man after God's own heart: Developing compassion, integrity, and humility.
  4. “I love you, man”: Loving like Jesus did in a world of Hollywood superficiality.
  5. Servant leadership: Being a leader in God's eyes.
  6. Work, wealth, and wanting more: The proper place of work, money, and everything else that eats up your time.
  7. Sexuality and self-control: Simple steps to keep things under control and break addictive patterns.

This series deals with the trends in techno-culture and how they relate to us as followers of Jesus Christ. Is technology okay? How does it impact our Christian walk? (I'll also discuss the danger to our kids in each segment.)

  1. The internet and the compression of space: We are both closer to and further from everything that matters.
  2. Virtual reality: It's a poor substitute for what we really need but becoming the reality we want the most.
  3. Screens and the future of love: What screens do to our lives and the gospel.
  4. Personal choice as the greatest good: The dead-end of consumer culture.
  5. Gaming and the need for distraction: How the world sets us up to be addicts.
  6. Internet porn: It's a global epidemic with no limit in sight.
  7. Hollywood and the good life: Why the media has a bigger effect on you than God does.

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