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A story about trauma, healing, and creating beauty from brokeness

From drug dealer to pastor on a mission to bring “church to the wild,” Michael Beck’s raw and powerful story of recovery and healing will help you see faith through fresh eyes and discover how God can transform your weakness into your superpower.

 

“A can’t-put-down, gut-wrenching story that I couldn’t recommend more.” - Oneya Fennell Okuwobi

 

 

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Born addicted to drugs, to a mother who was on and off the streets, and to a father he never knew, from an early age, Michael Beck learned the importance of imagination. Imagination was a place to escape trauma, a place where the limitations and labels the world put on him didn’t matter.

 

His imagination carried him through years of addiction, dealing drugs, and living life in and out of prison until God met him on the floor of a solitary confinement cell and reminded him who he really was – transforming his path to one of redemption and healing.

 

In Painting with Ashes, Michael Beck tells his raw and powerful story of overcoming addiction and becoming a pastor on a mission to rethink church as a healing community that is safe, accessible, and real. Through his story and stories of others who transformed their weakness into their superpower, Painting with Ashes will inspire you to reimagine faith and remind you that the experiences you most want to hide or erase are the very experiences that God uses to bring healing to others. 

 

For anyone who has felt unworthy, who has hit rock bottom, who has been hurt by the church, or who has felt like an outcast, Painting with Ashes will invite you into a journey of healing where all are met with compassion, where transformation happens as we hold space for each other’s wounds, and where everyone has beauty to share.

 

 

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Painting with Ashes

“The purpose of this book is to help you experience a deeper level of healing. It’s my hope as the writer to experience healing as well. I’m not writing as some expert removed from the subject matter, but as someone on the journey alongside of you, learning how to paint with my own ashes.” – Michael Adam Beck

Michael Adam Beck is an anairetoi. In Ancient Rome, this was a child saved from the trash heap…“a picked-up one.” Abandoned by his biological mother, biological father unknown, his grandparents died when he was young. He became a street kid, ninth-grade drop-out, and repeat felon. He was “picked up” by the local Methodist church and nurtured in a community of love and forgiveness.

 

Today, Reverend Dr. Michael Beck is the Director of the Fresh Expressions House of Studies at United Theological Seminary, Director of Remissioning for Fresh Expressions US, and Cultivator of Fresh Expressions Florida UMC. Michael and his wife, Jill, are co-pastors of Wildwood/St Marks UMCs and a network for 13 fresh expressions gatherings in tattoo parlors, dog parks, burrito joints, and digital spaces.

Painting with Ashes Reviews

What people
are saying…

A can’t-put-down, gut-wrenching story that I couldn’t recommend more, Michael Beck’s Painting with Ashes shows how God brings beauty out of the most desperate places.  By weaving his story together with that of others who rose from difficult circumstances, Beck proves that each one of us is qualified to become a wounded healer. Beck also exposes what not just we, but also the church can be at our best. It is a necessary book for anyone looking to find their place in God’s story and teach others to do the same.

Oneya Fennell Okuwobi
Oneya Fennell Okuwobi
Teaching Pastor, 21st Century Church

Painting with Ashes is a powerfully-written life story that’s both heart-rending and awe-inspiring, filled to overflowing with both brokenness and redemptive healing through God’s miraculous grace. Stories from scripture woven throughout come to life with illuminating, soul-convicting relevance. Especially, the compelling instructive picture of all God’s Church is intended to be provides an urgent call to leaders everywhere.

Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey
Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey
Director, Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio

This was like reading a Henri Nouwen book – if Henri Nouwen was an alcoholic with a drug addiction and had a criminal record, that is. Despite a background of substance abuse and violence, Michael Beck has found the deep kind of healing Nouwen wrote about. In this comforting and inspiring book, Michael invites us to see how Jesus can make all things new, not by wiping away our past completely, but by reworking what we’ve been through and leading us in the direction of true human flourishing. This is beautiful work.

Michael Frost
Michael Frost
Morling College, Sydney

Painting With Ashes reads very much like a fiction thriller, except for one thing...it is no fiction. You hold in your hands a powerful description of God's redemption in the life of a man with first-hand experience of the healing power of Jesus Christ.

Joseph Okello
Joseph Okello
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary Dunnam Campus

Confessional, raw, and honest are the best words to describe Michael Beck's Painting With Ashes as he describes how the curveballs, mess-ups, and missed opportunities in life do not have to be the final word in one's story. They can become the starting point for healing and wholeness. Beck's journey will break your heart, make you reflect on your own life and encounters, and fill you with the dangerous hope that all things are possible.

Rev. Dr. Roz Picardo
Rev. Dr. Roz Picardo
church planter, professor, and author, Mosaic Church and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio

I was riveted to every page, deeply moved, exhilarated and spiritually revitalised. Michael Beck’s book is wonderful. 

Michael Moynagh
Michael Moynagh
author, Church for Every Context and Church in Life

How do we help each other share our own stories, come to terms with our woundedness, and find healing with others?

 

In a world fascinated with authenticity, how can we help each other share openly about our deepest struggles rather than concealing them?

 

Painting with Ashes will invite you into a journey of healing, where vulnerability is embraced and your greatest weakness can be transformed into your superpower – the path through which you can bring healing to others.

A story about trauma, healing, and creating beauty from brokeness

Discover what's possible for you

Be inspired by a message of hope and redemption through Michael’s raw, honest, compelling, and life-changing story.

A story about trauma, healing, and creating beauty from brokeness

Transform your weakness into your superpower

Gain a new perspective on your struggles and learn how to “paint with ashes” – bringing beauty out of your pain and using the most difficult moments of your life to bring healing to others

A story about trauma, healing, and creating beauty from brokeness

Change the world

Live with more compassion for yourself and others, embrace an imaginative and wonder-filled vision for humanity, and rethink church as a healing community that is accessible, safe, and real.

“This is not just one man’s story. It is our collective story. It is a story of healing and redemption that just might change your life.” - Jorge Acevedo

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We all have brokenness in our lives, but because of this we all have beauty to share.

Transform your weakness into your superpower through this honest story of trauma, healing, imperfection, and redemption. Get Painting with Ashes today.

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