Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Chasing WHALES by Michael Chanley - Put at the top of your "must read" list.

Are you looking for a book to read which will encourage and challenge you? If so, Chasing WHALES by Michael Chanley is one to put at the top of your "must read" list.

Some of you who have been serving in Children's Ministry for awhile may recognize Michael Chanley and the ministry CM Connect. If so you know Michael is someone who has an absolute heart for Children's Ministry. He is the founder of CM Connect and has traveled around the world to help people serve the children and families in their ministries as effectively as possible. I have had the honor of meeting Michael in person and he is someone with a true servant's heart who clearly loves God with his all. (I spoke at one of his Children's Ministry conferences a few years ago. When I arrived it was pouring rain - by the bucketful's. Michael met me at our car with an umbrella so I would not be soaked - he got soaked by the rain instead. He did not have to do this. Just one example of many of how this author lives what he writes.)

Happily, whether you are familiar with Michael and his ministry or not, you are able to read his new book - Chasing WHALES: a spiritual dive with Jonah -

"Jonah's persistence in running away is why he is often called the stubborn prophet. His anger at change, coupled with his prejudice against outsiders, make his story incredibly relevant today. In Jonah, we see a believer rebelling against God’s commands. We see anger and defiance in the prophet's words and actions. Ultimately, we see ourselves.

Yet, from Jonah's example, we learn deep truths about God's timeless character. His mercy and love shine even during our times of deepest anguish. As you explore the depths of God's truth, found in Jonah's story, may you be changed and may you be challenged to share the love of Christ with others. We see in Jonah a believer pursuing his thoughts in rebellion against God. This is why Jonah is often called the stubborn or wayward prophet. We want to avoid making the same mistake by learning to discern God’s Truth at the start of each journey.  As you explore God's truth, the W.H.A.L.E.S. devotionals will prompt you in the following ways:

  • Word - Each devotional begins with a challenge to open your Bible and read from the scriptures.
  • Hook - The hook questions invite you to look for something in the reading which stands out to you. It asks for your first impression of the passage. What part of the text stuck to you, or got its hooks into you?
  • Anchor - This section is for application. When we take time to apply scripture to our lives and ask how to live it out, it anchors the message to our souls in a uniquely personal manner. As you look at each anchor question, you’ll be prompted to think of ways this passage can apply to your life.
  • Learn - The learn segment of the study is far from comprehensive. Yet, it invites you to examine what we can learn from others with a summarized study using various sources and commentaries.
  • Explore - In the “Explore” section, we are invited to focus on evaluating or examining what you’ve learned from the previous sections. The prompts in this part remind us to pause, reflect and grow.
  • Sail - During “Sail” you are simply talking to God about what you’ve just experienced. It’s about prayer. It’s about movement. It’s your challenge to go and see what God will do in you and through you!"

“Michael Chanley offers us a challenging method for actually living the message of Jonah in a world on the run from God. It's time to come home to His summons on your life, and Chanley, sympathetic tutor that he is, will help you navigate these treacherous waters with thoughtful commentary and penetrating questions."
- Neal Windham, Professor Emeritus, Lincoln Christian University

“Michael understands the pulse of society, and he combines that knowledge with a deep understanding of scripture. The result is a powerful book that is easily applicable to our lives today. While many people are aware of the Biblical account of Jonah and the big fish, few are able to see it as more than just a cool story that inspired a scene in Pinocchio. Michael does a fantastic job really bringing this text to life and helping us to process it and apply its wisdom and truths to our 21st-century lives. The Brilliance of this book is, that by reading it, you will not only help your understanding of the book of Jonah, you will also become better equipped to study the Bible as a whole."
- Brad Tate, Pastor, Agape City Church

“Michael Chanley offers a practical dive into biblical literature as he invites the reader on a journey through the book of Jonah. He provides an incredibly thorough exegetical study alongside personal devotions to encourage spiritual growth among believers." - Caleb Brown, Young Adult Pastor, Northside Christian Church"

Chasing WHALES absolutely makes a fantastic book for you to get and work through with the volunteers in your ministry. Get Chasing WHALESread it, and use it in your ministry. You will be so glad you did!

#chasingwhales #christian #devotional #biblestudy #biblestudymoments #bible #church #groups #smallgroup #communitygroup #forgiveness #jonah

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