Monday, March 18, 2013

Review - Chase by Jennie Allen

Thanks to Shelton Interactive, I was able to review a new DVD based bible study called Chase by Jennie Allen.  I was impressed with the box that the study was packaged in and the box itself contained the study dvd, a set of discussion cards and 2 books for leaders to guide a small group.

 The DVD has 8 segments (an introduction and 7 lessons), approximately 10 minutes long which covers the life of (King) David.  I've always had a special interest in David because he has written so many beautiful psalms (Psalm 23 etc) so this DVD had my attention from the start.  From the study book: "A man after God’s own heart… As David’s life weaves throughout the pages of Scripture, we see he was a man who spent his life chasing after God. Chase explores the events that defined David’s life and the Psalms that flowed out of those experiences. Through David’s example we’ll discover what God really wants from us."   While studying David's life, you will be reflecting on your own.  As I watched the segments, I could relate to David although his sins (adultery, murder, etc) were different than mine.  

The discussion cards are very thought provoking and perfect to start conversations in a small group.  Some of the questions are: What has God asked you to do but you feel afraid to do so? What things remind you that all of this - God, heaven, eternity - is real? In what ways do you try to control your life? How is it working? 

I enjoyed the DVD and especially the discussion cards.  I watched the DVD with my husband and we asked each other the questions on the cards and it was interesting and revealing for us to hear the other's responses to the questions.   I think Chase is perfect for a small study group and would highly recommend it to others.   Read below for a Q&A with the author Jennie Allen.

Q&A with Jennie Allen

Why is the story of David in Chase one that you feel women today need to hear?

Jennie: David is the wild, passionate, warrior king, but something about the way he related to God has wrecked me. His view of God was so big. David actually believed God and he lived like it. I think as a generation of women, we are longing for the same lives. We want to believe God is real and to live like it.
This is not a study for people wanting to play it safe. This study messes with you because we all are chasing things other than God, and when you look into the life of someone chasing God himself..God alone, you start craving that. I want a life like David's, brave and dependent and full of worship. He had a relationship with God unlike any other in Scripture; honestly, unlike any other I've even seen. I want to know God like he did and trust God like he did.

How can small group leaders, groups of friends and others use your studies, like Chase, to dig deeper into God's Word?

Jennie: Every study begins with Scripture, and the entire time you are going back to God's Word together, but this is a lot more than an intellectual examination of Scripture. My prayer is that this would be a place where truth and experience come together. I designed these studies to take women from the point of understanding the truth all the way to the point of living that truth. From the personal questions to the projects that make you face your doubts about feels a little scary but I love that these studies push us to places of faith. There aren't easy answers, and it makes us wrestle with God - not just check boxes and fill in blanks.

What do you hope that women discover most about themselves and about God after experiencing Chase?

Jennie: I think a lot of us are tired and we would like to please God, but it feels like it would take a lot of effort to do that. Chase seems to be an experiement in what it is God wants from us. The more I understand what God has done, the more I quit striving and rest in Him. David rested in the work of God - God's favor - in the plans God had written for him. Whether you are running from God or working your tail off to please Him, this man's journey will challenge your view of God.

As you continue to grow as a Bible study teacher and author, what are you learning?

Jennie: The theme seems to be clear in my life...this is not about me. My job will always be simply to push everyone up to the face of Jesus, because I believe He is actual, tangible hope. Not one other thing gives hope that lasts longer than a few minutes...Jesus offers hope for the biggest problems and He resolves them forever. Where else do we go but Him? That is my job and I pray I keep my head down and just play my small role in His plan.

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