Friday, October 31, 2014

The Master's Hands

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

The Master's Hands  (Author Unknown)

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running oligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.

A Little Humor – The Pentecostal Dog

A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.

The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. "Fetch the Bible," he commanded. The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner. "Now find Psalm 23," he commanded. The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw. The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed! . One man asked, "Can he do regular dog tricks, too?" "I haven't tried yet," the pastor replied. He pointed his finger at the dog. "HEEL!" the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor's forehead and began to howl. The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, "Good Lord! He's Pentecostal!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Converted by Geese: A Beautiful Story!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Converted by Geese: A Beautiful Story / Author unknown

There was once a man who didn't believe the story of Christ and was skeptical about God. He and his family lived in a farming community. His wife was a devout believer and diligently raised her children in her faith.

He sometimes gave her a hard time about her faith and mocked her religious observance of Christian holidays. "It's all nonsense! Why would God lower himself and become a human like us?! It's such a ridiculous story!" he said.

One snowy day, she and the children left for church. As always, he stayed home. After they had left, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blinding snowstorm.

As he was putting wood on the fire, he suddenly heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window. He soon heard another thump. He looked outside but couldn't see so he ventured outside to discover what the noise was that he heard. In the field near his house he saw the the strangest thing; a flock of geese! They were apparently flying south toward a warmer area but had been caught in the snow storm. The storm had become too blinding and violent for the geese to fly. They were stranded on his land with no food or shelter and unable to do more than flutter their wings and fly in aimless circles. He had compassion for them and wanted to help them.

He thought to himself,  "The barn would be a great place for them to stay! It's warm and safe and they could spend the night and wait out the storm." He opened the barn doors for them. He waited, watching them, hoping they would notice the open barn and come inside. It didn't happen. They didn't notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention, but they just moved away from him out of fear.

He went into the house and came back out with some bread. He broke it up and made a bread trail to the barn. They still didn't catch on. Starting to get frustrated, he went over and tried to shoo them toward the barn. They panicked and scattered into every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where there was warmth, safety and shelter.

Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed, "Why don't they follow me? Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm? How can I possibly get them into the one place that would save them?" He though for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. He said to himself, "How can I possibly save them? The only way would be for me to become like those geese. If only I could become like one of them! Then I could save them! They would follow me and I could lead them to safety."

At that moment, he stopped and considered what he had said. Suddenly past conversations of him ridiculing his wife while she explained why Jesus came to save us ran flashed through his mind. His own words, "If only I could become like one of them-then I could save them"  reverberated in his mind. And then, at last, he understood God's heart towards mankind. He dropped to his knees right there in the snow, bent his head and his heart, and said, "Jesus, I am so sorry. Thank you for saving me!" He continued to kneel and worship His Savior.

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's Critical! Guard Your Relationships!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I don't know of more harmful weakness overall in the body of Christ than the unwillingness to work through relational conflict. I would’t be surprised if most of us have had a close friend take offense by something we have said or done, (or not done) at some point in life. The majority of all personal daily conflict is born out of miscommunication and misunderstanding. I thought you said...   I thought you meant... That's not what you said...   Yes it was! 

Life is very fast paced and the majority of people are not good listeners! If you are congratulations! But, you may want to verify that with your spouse or good friend. I think most women think their husbands are not great listeners but, that could easily go both ways. Any of us, at times, can be like that child who is laser-focused on something and is tuned out to his surroundings. Anyone can get distracted. There are a thousand reasons why people don't pay attention or listen as well as they should, but the bottom line is, those moments happen too frequently and they lead to hearing something wrong that leads to misunderstanding. When misunderstanding happens and people are arguing because they are needlessly on the wrong page, the walk away from each other, stew, and the relationship grows colder.

You know this happens too often and if you aren't thinking of one of those incidents right now, don't worry, one will most likely show up in your life soon.

When misunderstanding happens and it's not worked out, the temptation for offense that then leads to words of gossip in the name of justification begin to spill. Rather than reconciliation happening, the chasm between two people grows farther apart, bitterness begins to set in, and friendships are injured or even destroyed. That’s what Psalms 41:9 (NLT) implies, "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me." 

Two people verbally duking it out, especially husbands and wives, will eventually say hurtful things and even trash part of their character and reputation. This is such a sad thing and especially when it's over a misunderstanding.  Things could be resolved between two Christians if they humbled themselves and took the high road to work it out—especially friends! A person that isn't loyal to a friendship doesn't know what friendship is and doesn't know how to be a true friend. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” The roots of Christian love and loyalty of a good friendship should run deep, yet some Christians act petty and reckless, willing to discard a good friendship over a misunderstanding which then begs the question; Was that person ever a good friend to begin with?  

Every Christian's personal development and efforts toward maturity must have a foundation of forgiveness and overlooking offense. We forgive others when they don't deserve it because Jesus forgave us when we did not deserve it. We overlook offense when others do wrong because we desire the mercy of God to overlook our short comings daily!  If this is not the foundation of your maturity then you simply aren't mature. Ouch! Sorry about that!

As Christians maturing in our faith, we should work toward the purging of being easily offended as one of our top pursuits—working to remove it completely from our character. This is what the Apostle Paul exhorted us to do in Acts 24:16. “… I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”  Paul understood how often petty offences could happen and how important it was to overlook them and cast them out of his life, never giving them a chance to foster.

We need to value our friendships and relationships enough to do our best to work through conflict. That happens best when you stop a conflict before it begins. You do that by pausing, calming yourself down, and instinctively thinking, this might be a misunderstanding. Take the time to be sure you are hearing what they said correctly.  Staying humble and willing to quickly apologize when there is a misunderstanding is learning to put a dagger in the majority of all conflicts you'll have. Including the ones you have on your own with someone in your imagination when you've actually not even engaged them!

And when you do get into a conflict, do your best to value the relationship enough to be the calming agent and desire to work through it with the goal of forgiveness and reconciliation. You may even want to do that when you feel in the right and the other person is being stubborn or reckless. If that happens, then at least you've done what's right, regardless of what they do. You can live with yourself much easier knowing you sincerely tried.

Yesterday, I received a call from someone who was upset with me. They misunderstood a situation and thought I made a poor decision. When I listened to what his complaint was, I could hear that he had wrong information. I let him say what he had to say and then I calmly explained that the information he had been given was wrong and began to give him the correct information. He continued to talk over me believing he was right. I didn't argue. I had tried to explain,
He wasn't listening. So I let him believe what he wanted and cordially finished the phone call. It appeared he wasn't listening and I couldn't change that.  When the phone call was over, I simply prayed asking the Lord to intervene. A short time later this person called me back to apologize as he learned he had the wrong information. Things worked out great. What I love about this person is the strength of character to call back and talk it out. I didn't let offense happen because I value the relationship to begin with. But I was glad he called to resolve it. It only strengthened the friendship.

The question for you today is, do you know the true value of a good relationship and have you done your best to guard it? Do you get fickle and trash someone ruining their reputation because you are in unresolved conflict? Do you realize how God feels about this? Today is the day to grow up in the Lord and guard relationships, not destroy them. As Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comacst.net 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Place Better Than Any Other!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is something that makes you smile, that those without Jesus will never understand. There is something that brings more than ordinary comfort to your heart—that brings supernatural comfort that the godless will never comprehend. There is something that when meditated upon, brings you peace, hope and strength, yet seems foolish to the world.

One day David was spending time with the Lord meditating on these very things—the things that bring this supernatural comfort, peace and joy. I can only imagine that in the midst of meditating upon these things, he broke out into singing and dancing. What is it David was meditating on? The Secret Place of the Most High! The place that pulled him from the pit to the mountain top in one swoop!

Want to eavesdrop and listen to his thoughts? Make sure to catch every word!

Psalms 84:1-11 "How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord… When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings… O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield and protector! Show favor to the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right."

If you have never heard of the secret place of the most high, this is it! This is a place where intimacy between you and God happens in your heart. It’s a place of faith that takes hold of the reality of our God—of His goodness, of His eternal plan, and of His love, desire, and willingness in our life to make Valleys of Weeping, places of refreshing springs. He turns our sorrows into gladness! When David says, "even the sparrows can build their nest and raise their young near His altar," he is saying that no one—not you nor me are too insignificant to huddle up next to the Lord and receive His peace, strength and help. He is not put off. He is delighted. He helps us see the bigger picture. He reminds us of His love. He shows us new perspectives full of comfort and joy. He reminds us that this earthly place is temporary and will be exchanged for an eternal place of glory with Him!

What made David such a strong warrior and king? Spending time in this secret place reminding himself that God had called him to walk with confidence and authority knowing the Lord would help him in all he was called to do! The people looked at David as their king and protector but inside his heart, David knew that God was His shield, helper, and protector. You could see that in his prayers! Psalms 119:114 (NIV) "You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word." All these thoughts and promises made David sing and shout and dance. Psalms 95:1 (NLT) "Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation." 

This problems that surface in life are not the end of anyone's story! God is there to help His children! It is in these secret places with God that great comfort and peace come to sustain us day by day. David knew this! Do you?

No wonder David said, "A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.  For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right." Psalms 84:10-11 (NLT) 

God wants you to cling tightly to the gift Jesus provided for you and the promises God has made to you! He wants you to visit Him in the secret place where you can be refreshed in His love and where the cares of this world fade! Then you too will sing and dance over the joy the Lord brings you!

The world and the godless—those without Jesus don’t get this, but you do! When life is getting to you, and even when it's not, it’s time to park in the sunshine of this revelation and promise from Him to us! He will withhold NO good thing from you! When you can believe that truth, the manifestation of it will begin to move into your life! Enjoy your special secret place God has created for you!

1 John 2:24-25 (NIV) "See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what He promised us--even eternal life."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/