connie barrett – faith undiluted

FRANK by connie barrett

Overview: ‘Frank’ consists of 50 devotions, which have been tailored to suit group studies as well as individual use.  This tool for quiet times will challenge you to be real with yourself, get real with your God, and make a change to your lifestyle.

Focus-points: these are used throughout the devotions, providing Bible passages, prayers, thoughts for the day and questions to get your brain in gear.

Message: this book goes by the name of ‘Frank’ as its central theme centres around the fact that in order for you to be open and honest with God you have to be honest with yourself first.  This book speaks of honesty and integrity, understanding that they both must go hand in hand in order to add weight to your Christian walk.

Vision: I would love to see honesty.  We’ve lost sight of this, as Christians we try and mask ourselves and pretend to be some someone we’re not.  We try and hide from our weaknesses when we should realise that our failures are key to our faith.  When we’re honest with where God has brought us from and where we’re at it’s then that we can clearly see where we’re going.

Content: I’ve briefly summarised some of the devotions below to give you a flavour of what ‘Frank’ consists of…

1. Tuning in- homing in on 1 Kings 19 this devotion spells out how to listen out for God and not drown out the ‘gentle whisper’.

2. Stone-cold Christians- encourages the readers to put themselves under the microscope and put themselves through a ‘spiritual MOT’ to see if they’re in danger of becoming stone-cold.

3. Defining the Divinity- reminds us that we can’t put God in a box.  As the readers work through Psalm 145 their eyes will be opened to the fact that God’s character is indefinite, we can’t squeeze Him into a mould.

4. Fat-heads- this rather strange title reminds us that our heads should never outsize our hearts, knowing is not enough.  We shouldn’t keep the Message to ourselves, we should share the Good News of the Gospel.

5. Wait until God says go- Habakkuk 2:2-3 makes it clear that we’re to wait on God.  For as long as it takes.  After turning to the story of Abraham we can see that if we don’t wait for God to give the go-ahead there’s a danger of running on ahead of Him, out of His will.

6. Modern-day Martha- how can we be less like Martha and more like Mary?  This devotion stresses that we shouldn’t become so wrapped up in the service that we forget Who we’re serving.

7. Driven by doubt- what do you do when your prayers are rebounding?  This devotion provides a real boost when your struggling in your faith, turning to the Psalms and showing that King David shared in the same struggles.

8. One-man-band- talking from personal experience I encourage the readers to learn from my mistakes.  After studying the story of Jonah going the opposite way you can see that running from God gets you nowhere.

9. Nightmare- painting a picture of Jesus’ return I encourage the readers to try and imagine what it will be like when Jesus comes to bring His people home.  Will He find us sleeping on the job?  Or will He find us awake, and active, in our faith?

10. Materialism matters? Are we all that different from the people of Israel? The story of the golden calf encourages us to take a long hard look in the Mirror and see if there’s any idols in our lives.  God sees idolatry as betrayal, we should give up our idol-worship once and for all.

11. Perseverance pays off- taking you through ‘the school of prayer’ I talk about how we should be steadfast and stubborn in prayer!  Through sharing a personal story about having to be persistent in prayer I show that God rewards those who wait long enough to hear the answer.

12. Watching and waiting- this devotion tells the story of the prodigal’s rebellion, the Father’s love, and the restoration of their relationship.  When we parallel the prodigal’s life with our own we can see that our Father comes running when we too repent.

faith undiluted by connie barrett

This youth devotional is made up of 50 in-depth devotions.  It can be used in either one-on-one quiet times or in group studies.  This study-tool includes tonnes of exercises to get your teeth stuck into. Bible passages, prayers, hard-hitting questions, and thoughts for the day feature.
title: God doesn’t want us to water down our faith until it’s so weak it’s no use to anyone.
vision: There’s an ever-growing need for the youth to be well fed and watered with the Word.  I’ve made the devotions as easy to digest as possible as I know how hard it is for young people to get to grips with the Word.
content: I tackle some issues which most people would rather forget about, including pride, modern-day idolatry, materialism, Christian cliques, confession and living the life of a hypocrite.  I’ve balanced this with character studies and encouragements such as “God of the impossible” and “superheroes are human”.  I also talk a fair bit about prayer, service, simple faith and peace.
Here’s a brief outline of a handful of the studies:
1. God’s plan prevails – We should stop putting up a fight, just like Jonah did.
2. Back to basics? – Having an uncomplicated, clear-cut childlike faith.
3. Dream or reality? -Being a doer rather than a dreamer.
4. For the glory of God – Studying some unlikely “heroes of faith” and how they sought to glorify God in the mundane.
5. Miracle-worker – From personal experience I believe that God still has the healing touch to this day.
6. Are we limiting the Lord? – Taking time to examine Christian bubbles and comfort zones.
7. Garbage gift-wrapped – Our “jewels” are junk compared to what’s in store.  Reminding us that whatever we’re holding onto is holding us back.
8. Hide and seek – Finding your God-given gift.
9. Scatterbrains and scaredy-cats – God loves to use losers.  Just think of Peter at Pentecost, he allowed God a free-reign in his life.
10. Juke-box Jesus? – Prayer is so much more than God giving and you getting, Jesus does not serve as a juke-box.
11. Modern-day hermit – Hard-hitting message based on Romans 10:14, how are they going to meet Jesus if we don‘t preach or reach out?
12. The counterfeit Christ uncovered – Discovering the real Jesus.
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