About Tim Burt

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Overwhelmed by God's Love at Christmas


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

"Overwhelmed by God's Love at Christmas"

Romans 1:5 (LB) "And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey Him.


It happened to me twice in two days. I became literally overwhelmed with what I think is the heart of the Christmas spirit. The first time was in church on Christmas Eve. It was toward the end of the service. We had just taken communion and were now standing and singing. Each person had a lit votive candle they were holding up. The lights in the church had come down except for the lights that decorated the sanctuary and the votive candles. We were all singing Silent Night. The presence of God was strong and it was such a beautiful moment. In my heart I could hear those words the multitudes of angels spoke to the shepherds in perfect harmony, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14) At that moment, a feeling of "good will” – this overwhelming love for everyone around me welled up within my heart. It was an experience – that’s all I can say in trying to describe it. It was like something God dropped in my heart that was greater than words could describe.

In a moment's time, I could see God's goodness touching every area of my life. I was such a mess when I first opened my heart to God at the age of 24. "How could God love me - I have failed Him so badly - I have failed living for Him so badly - How could God love me?" It was good people that knew God that took the chance of telling and convincing me of this truth till my heart was open enough to see it and know this love for myself.

The angels were saying together in harmony, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" We imagine them singing to the shepherds that night and maybe they were. The scriptures say the angels were saying it. They wanted all mankind to know - God has peace and goodwill toward us. He hates what the devil has done to this earth and to mankind but because He's given man the ability to choose his course and life, God can only tell us of His love and good will. He has been in a variety of ways throughout time. It’s up to us as to whether we will believe it. I could feel it in church that night.

The next day, Christmas day, Renee's family came over. The house was decorated and looked beautiful. The food was cooking in the kitchen. Christmas was in the air. The doorbell rang and her parents entered. As I was helping them come in and take their coats off, suddenly, just like it did the night before at church, it hit me again - that feeling of the Christmas spirit. It again was this overwhelming feeling of thanks – thanks to God for my family, thanks that I had a wonderful extended family, and thanks they I had a home they could come to, to celebrate this occasion with. For a flash, I was covered with thoughts of the mercy of God. As they were entering into my home, in an instant I thought "Lord, if it wasn't for you, I'd be dead. I wouldn't have a life, a family, a home. Christmas would have still been a holiday that never measured up - that empty feeling I felt all my childhood. I would have killed myself on drugs or alcohol or something stupid. Instead here I am in your love surrounded by your goodness and all this love.” It was momentary, it was powerful, and it was almost overwhelming, but it was so real.

We went up into the kitchen and the first words out of Renee's mom's mouth were, "where would we be without Jesus." She then quoted Psa 27:13 "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." I looked at her astonished and laughed and shared with her those same thoughts I had just had as they were entering the house. We stayed in the kitchen for some time eating Christmas treats while praising God for His goodness in our lives.

That brings me today's Fresh Manna verse. It describes this Christmas for me. "And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey Him.” I can't not talk about the goodness of God. God's goodness is so powerful to those who believe. He hasn't wanted us to hoard it up for ourselves. He’s wanted us to give it away - to share it. Even when people think that we are trying to condemn them or shove something down their throats.

To me the best packaging of this good news is sharing God's desire for peace - peace between Him and mankind - His good will toward them! His goodness has transformed my life and yours. I can’t not tell others about it!


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do You "Feel" Like You Love God?


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 145:2-3 “Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”


If you have ever have, (and I know many or most of you have,) - Do you remember what it was like when you fell madly in love? Remember how your head slipped into a fog? Do you remember that your heart and mind no longer had the capacity to think about a multitude of things but only one thing – your new love? Do you remember your new-found ability to write romantic words and poetry that seemed to flow like a river from you? Do you remember that time, distance, and inconvenience to see your new love didn't and couldn't exist? Do you remember the freedom to spend every penny you had on the one you loved? Do you remember that you could talk forever and never run out of things to say? Do you remember the absolute confidence that you could overcome any obstacle with your new love? Oh the joy of falling in love! If only the exuberance never faded.

Falling in love is one of the most powerful forces of “feeling” that mankind will ever experience. It can certainly seem the MOST pleasurable. That's why there is a never-ending creation of songs, stories, and movies over the subject of love. Love is a huge business generating billions of dollars ever year!

People's manner and ability to feel and express love is different depending on the atmospheres of love or lack of it in which they grew up. One’s personality traits and giftings that God placed within our human makeup also affect how each person expresses love. Hollywood holds us hostage to the fabrication of a man and woman that have been married for 8 years passionately kissing as they come home from work, the way they first did when they got married. Hollywood paints love as mostly sexually. Their portrayal is far from the truth. They are simply trying to appeal to the lower nature of the fleshly sexual or lustful desires with a man.

Friends of Renee and I had us laughingly while telling the story of how they kissed for three hours straight in their "falling in love" courting season prior to getting married. They have probably never had a repeat of that session since the first year of their marriage even though they love each other with great passion. It's not that it couldn't happen but is for the most part unlikely because of how the expression of love changes as love matures. We all understand that our expressions of love changes and mature, right?

The same is true with our expressions of love to God. They change and mature over time. I continuously talk to Christians that tell me they go through periods where they feel guilty because they don't feel like they have the “feelings” of love for God in the way they should. They hear others talk about loving God but describe their relationship feeling somewhat dry or withdrawn. Well that could also be true for millions of husbands and wives. Not could be, it is! It is in the respect that they don't feel the sensual flaming passion that they might have experienced when they first fell in love.

One thing that I have found that always stirs my love and affection for the Lord is the having a spirit of thanksgiving. Whenever I have been out on a run or just in a quiet place of prayer and I start thinking about where I would be without the Lord, it gives me a cold shiver. The thought is scary to me. When I think about all the things the Lord has done for me; how has saved my soul from eternal damnation and helped me to know and value the right things in life - I am so thankful. He has given me wisdom to raise my children that I would never have had any other way. He has blessed me with awesome friendships. He has provided for me over and over at critical times when I didn't know what I would do. By teaching me His ways, He has helped me develop godly character and has raised my entire standard of living helping me to live a productive life. He has straightened out my thought life, healed my body, and given my life of great purpose. As I meditate on how many times He has supernaturally helped or blessed me, I feel overwhelmed with His love and feel passionately in love with Him. When I do, my words of Praise to Him such as from today’s Fresh Manna verse take on much greater meaning - “Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” They powerfully stir my feeling of intimacy toward Him.

All relationships go through seasons of change, maturing and development. Our expressions of love do take on some changes through different seasons of life. Our love always needs stirring. Meditating on the love you have for the Lord will greatly stir you! Expressing that love sincerely to Him in your prayer life whether in sincere heart-felt words, or in song, or perhaps in sacrificial giving as a form of your thanks - however you are led, it will stir you to new levels. And PS, apply this same things toward your spouse and children or friendships and you’ll get similar results. Love is awesome and worthy of the attention we give in stirring it up.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Create Godly Atmospheres


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Matthew 18:20 (KJV) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did in our home. I had wanted to take our Thanksgiving to a higher level this year and I was so thankful to the Lord when we were able to do it. I’ll explain.

We all know that we go through many seasons of life – no children to babies, then toddlers, then kids running around, teenagers, young adults, empty nests, and grandchildren. (I’ll stop there for now.) Each of these seasons bring a different feel to how Holiday Celebrations happen. When our children were young, we wanted them to have a real spirit of Thanksgiving to God for every good thing in our lives. We would do what I’m sure many of you have done at some point. We’d have them make lists of thing they were thankful for and then at a particular time of the day, we’d sit around and let everyone share their thoughts from their list. It can become very insightful hearing what comes out their mouth. We’d thank God at our thanksgiving meal for all our blessings and then eat till we were as stuffed as the turkey.

As our children got older – in their teens and older, it got harder to peel them from the football games and get everyone to participate in the same way – at least willingly and gladly. They saw themselves as too old to write lists and weren’t always ready to express themselves with any meaningful level of sincerity. We would still do our best but it was becoming more work and starting to feel a little forced. Regardless, we never stopped making the effort. We just didn’t force anyone that didn’t want to verbally participate.

I wanted this year to be different. Our children are all adults with the youngest being 21. They are all in a good place in their lives and heart and Renee and I really wanted to take the time to express our thanks to God in a meaningful way. After dinner we all got around the kitchen table where we had communion all set up for everyone. I didn’t ask anyone to share what they were thankful for. I shared two verses from God’s Word and then just talked to them all about how blessed we were. I then asked each of them to pray letting God know what they were thankful for. What came from each of there mouths was moving to say the least. Everyone, Renee, the kids, Renee’s parents, we all prayed. No one prayed long. Maybe just a minute or two each but the spirit of Thanksgiving to God was there in the most wonderful way. I then reminded them what communion was symbolic of – our Covenant of eternal life and of God’s promised blessings because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. We then all partook of communion together. What happens before God and in the hearts of a family at a time like that can be immeasurable. I know in my heart it will bear fruit in my children’s lives forever.

It brought the entire day into what it was meant to be and it was so wonderful. It made me glad that I have never given up trying to honor God out of frustration just because it didn’t always work out as I had pictured it or hoped it would come out. With kids, it can be a moving target.

If you are a perfectionist, nothing you try to achieve will every measure up to what you want. Perfection isn’t what pleases God. God is blessed by hearts of faith that want to honor Him for who He is. With different age groups and different levels of spiritual maturity involved in these kinds of activities, there are going to be many types of expression of love to God. With the cultural diversity of families now a days, that means there can even be cultural richness brought to those times.

What I want you to take away most from this today is this: godly atmospheres don’t just happen. You have to create them in your life. This isn’t just about Holidays. This is about any time and any place in your life. You might feel that you work at a place that is close to the devil’s pit in atmosphere. Maybe there is swearing and lewd pictures, and dirty jokes going on all the time. Your choices are pray about another job asking God to lead you or create your own atmospheres in your life.

Daniel was taken captive to Babylon. He was surrounded by paganism - pagan people, pagan attitudes, and pagan gods. Yet he would create his own atmosphere. He would kneel before his window and pray to God three times a day. He would get together with his like minded friends to discuss God’s way and pray together. They may have been outnumbered on every side by people that were not like them but they created their own atmospheres where they could keep God alive in their heart and invite Him into their midst. This is what sustained Daniel with spiritual strength in the lions den. It sustained Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego with spiritual strength in the face of being thrown in a fiery furnace.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When we will work to create atmospheres from a sincere heart where Jesus will be exalted in conversation, in prayer, or in praise, He will be there. His presence will come and when it does, you will be lifted up, strengthened and even miracles never imagined will manifest. You can create and enter into these kinds of atmospheres even in the midst of turmoil and ungodliness happening all around you. Remember, God isn’t looking for the perfect setting or everything happening perfectly in this kind of setting. He comes where our hearts sincerely are to be with Him. It makes for more frequent moments that make your life rich!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim & Renee Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why Are You Thankful?


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

2 Cor 4: 16 (Message Bible) “…not a day goes by without His unfolding grace.”


This morning, I sat down to spend time with the Lord and Thanksgiving was on my mind. I said, “Lord, I want to look into the Word regarding thankfulness. I don’t want to try to fabricate feelings of thankfulness. I want you to lead me in thoughts of thankfulness.” Immediately the Lord took me back in my mind to shortly before I was saved.

I lived in a little rented house in the inner city. I lived in a neighborhood of inner city people that smoked a lot of pot, grew a lot of flowers, and that wanted to “give peace a chance.” They were “free spirits” doing their own thing as was I. Drugs and alcohol were becoming my addition and slowly derailing my life. What I never knew or could see was that God was calling to me. God was watching over me. God was reaching out to guide my extremely misguided life.

I was young man raised right in a good family that had gone astray – not out of rebellion, just off the straighter path of life looking for meaning and more fun. I grew up with a work ethic taught to me by my parents that as I look at in hind sight – was far stronger than most I knew. It was deteriorating from the use of pot and being aimless. I had given Greyhound five years of my life and loved the people I worked with but I started to feel an unrest and knew I needed to make a change. I was clueless as what to do. One day while getting a hair cut, the stylist mentioned that he had applied to be a flight attendant for the airline in town. While driving away from that hair cut I thought, “I need to go apply there.” Little did I know that his mentioning this job was God’s grace speaking to and directing me.

When I applied there, they apologized. I was told they have gotten over one million applications for the flight attendant positions nation wide and couldn’t accept any more. I was disappointed. The next day, while visiting my parents, I waved to and got into a conversation with their next door neighbor, a very pleasant woman we grew up next to. She had been a widow but had recently gotten married. She had asked me how I was doing. I mentioned that I was ready for a change of jobs and had tried to apply at the airlines but couldn’t get my application in. She smiled and said, “Give it to me. My new husband is a vice-president of that airline.” God’s grace was working unbeknownst to me.

When the interview came, it was a group interview with about a dozen people. This may sound funny, but they were beautiful people – both guys and gals. She had each person tell of their family, school, and work experience to date and why they wanted the job. I was the last to talk. Each person came from great families, had college educations, and incredible travel experience. I thought, “I have about as much chance as a snowball in …… “ When it came to me, the interviewer had this glow and smile that put me at such incredible ease. I told about my family and being one of ten children. I told them that my college education was on hold. I told them about my work experiences. She hired me. I was floored! A year later she told me it was because “the Lord had spoken to her and said, you need to hire him.” “I have a plan for him.” God’s grace was working unbeknownst to me.

After working there for about a year, I worked with a flight attendant who was this glowing person. She was special and I wanted to know why. She ended up sharing Jesus and the gospel with me. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. Although it took about three months for me to figure out what this really meant and to find a church would teach me the Bible, my life was radically changing. God’s grace was working mightily in my life even though I had no idea what grace was.

Shortly the drugs were gone, the alcohol was gone, the profanity was gone – my desire for anything offense to Jesus and His Word fell out of my life. My friends thought I flipped out. It was just a short time later that I met this breathtakingly beautiful Christian woman named Renee. I had fallen radically in love with Jesus. Now I was radically falling in love with her. I was often overwhelmed with thanksgiving to God. I remember a six month period where I would stand in church worshipping the Lord thanking Him for plucking me out off of a path leading to destruction and Hell and filling my life with Him and all these new good things. I would cry with thanks during worship almost every Sunday. I was almost embarrassed for feeling so emotional. It was not typically me, but every time I would think about what God did for me, I’d be fighting tears of thanks.

As the story goes, His grace led me, taught me, equipped me, and filled my life with His love and goodness. The airlines, two companies, and then finally into my call and service to God as a Pastor.

One of my sons Peter was up two weekends ago at our annual Men’s Advance with a couple hundred men. He and his girlfriend were over for dinner on Sunday. He told me, “Dad, I am happy in my job but this past weekend, I saw the influence and the good you bring to all those men’s lives. I want my life to have that kind of significance.” I just smiled but didn’t say much. I knew in my heart that God’s grace was calling and leading Him.

Our life has had the same challenges that anyone has. God’s love and grace is greater when our eyes our open to see it! 2 Cor. 4:13-18 from the Message Bible helps us put them in perspective. “We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.“

God did lead me this morning to that place of sincere heart thanksgiving. He had taken me through His holding my hand down my path of life. I am so thankful for His grace that keeps us walking in love, in faith, and in trust of His grace. I am so thankful for each of you and for God’s grace working mightily in your life to redeem every situation and bring you to His will for your life – His blessing. It’s my prayer that you will take time over this Thanksgiving to recognize and give God to praise for His unfolding grace in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim & Renee Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Believe the Best - Not the Worst! Don't Slander


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

1 Cor. 13:6-7 (NIV) “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”


We live in an amazing day of technology. What technology can do as far as organizing information and media and the distribution of it is amazing and increasing exponentially. I believe this is happening because God is behind any and every good thing. Proverbs 8:12 reveals, “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” God gives man good things in the earth to help mankind. One reason He does is for the purpose of furthering His plans in the earth. Technology was given first and foremost to further the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. It will be used for countless other reasons once it exists including Satan perverting the use of it such as with pornography. Even so, God still gives man what is created for good despite those who will wrongfully use it. He knows that if we get into our hearts, we can find and discern right from wrong and make the proper choices. He is there to help us in that. Deut. 30:19 says it like this, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! “

I also believe God gives “witty inventions” to mankind out of His mercy, love, and compassion to help people – even those that don’t believe in Him or live for Him. Advances in the medical field and medicine are all gifts from God.

Another advancement that has come at the hand of technology is incredible statistic keeping. If you are a computer user, some company is almost assuredly keeping statistics on your computer usage and habits. It’s one of the emerging technologies today.

I think if we were able to find out the stats on the most committed sin in the earth, it might surprise us. I believe it would be the sin of slander. Do you know why I think that? Because of how often people get offended and what they do when they get offended. When people get offended, their mouth goes in high gear chewing up and spitting out the person or source of their offense. They talk about the offense over and over which only causes them to re-live it over and over. This then causes their negative emotions about the offense to be refreshed over and over again.

People don’t just slander when they are offended. They slander when they pick up someone else’s offense. They have a friend who has told them the story of the person or thing that’s hurt them and it becomes as if they themselves got hurt. Years ago I had this man in the church who was a womanizer. I saw little evidence of his faith but I saw great evidence of seducing new or vulnerable young Christian women. He got two different ones pregnant. It was obvious that he only saw church as a preying ground. I asked him to leave the church. Another man whom I had known for years and had a good relationship with had become a friend of this man whom I asked to leave the church. He found out and was furious. He wanted to know why. He began to slander me to others making assumptions about why I did what I did. I told him that I wouldn’t discuss why I asked his friend to leave. It wasn’t his business and I would not gossip or share information like that. He eventually left because of picking put his friend’s offense (who was very guilty) and slandering me on the way out.

What is slander? It’s mostly understood as defaming and or spreading false evil reports. Defaming is the destroying of one’s reputation. It’s the giving false and accusing information and spreading negative words against another – ultimately deteriorating one’s reputation.

Leviticus 19:16 says, “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the Lord.”

Titus 3:1-2 says, “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”

I think slander is close to being the sin of the day. The Internet is filled with countless blogs that have no name attached to them. Anonymous people write blogs making accusation after accusation about anyone who disagrees with their view on anything. Some are part of an agenda to destroy people - much like the religious leaders of the day tried to do with Jesus. They have no courage. They will not put their name on the blog. They’ll just spew slander. Unfortunately the world is filled with people who will believe anything they read, especially if it supports their personal view. They are instantly empowered to become continuing carriers of that slander.

The media is the greatest manipulator of slander. They create and spread false evil reports about people before they have ever been convicted of anything. If the people are proven innocent, their reputation is already irreparable. People – Christians and non - jump on the bandwagon of picking up every little evil report that’s put out there, talking about it like it’s absolute truth and letting it become their talking point of the day. Whether it’s Brittney Spears, a national figure, or a televangelist, just because someone makes an accusation is no reason to think about it or repeat it or believe it. What if it was your name and life? Slander destroys character turning the slanderer into unloyal, fickle, shallow, judgmental people. Slander never reflects the love of Jesus Christ.

As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Make a conscience decision to look for, to think, and to believe the best in people. It will bring out the best in you!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Monday, November 05, 2007

God Wants To Speak To You


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

John 1:1-2 & 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning….So the Word (Jesus) became human and lived here on earth among us.


I was a flight attendant before I knew the Lord. One day on one of my flights, I met a flight attendant who was so different from anyone I had ever known. She seemed so genuine, kind, and really fun. She also seemed pure. I never heard her swear. She didn’t get caught up in the gossip the way others did. She had such a sincere kindness toward the passengers on the airplane. That was the way I thought of myself yet I wasn’t anything like her. I asked her what made her so happy and she told me. It turned out to be a long and fascinating discussion that ended up with her leading me in a prayer asking Jesus to come into my heart to be my Lord and Savior.

The next day something seemed different that I couldn’t explain. Things seemed the same yet they seemed different. My day-to-day activity was much the same but my thought-life was different. I felt this questioning and self-examination going on about everything I was doing. That was so odd. I seldom every questioned what I did in regards to a moral standard. I had cast away off those guilt-laden boundaries a long time ago. So why was I suddenly examining everything I was thinking, saying, and doing?

What I didn’t know was that the second I sincerely asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, a miracle happened inside of me – a miracle I wouldn’t fully understand for a season. God had placed His Holy Spirit within me. How did that happen? Jesus explains it in His Word saying that in just the same way we come into this world through our mother’s womb in childbirth – our first birth, so we are brought into God’s family through a spiritual birth – our second birth. Jesus said “we must be born again.” How does that happen? Jesus said it’s like the wind - we can feel it and we can hear it but we can’t tell where it originates or the path it took to where we are. That was Jesus’ analogy. John 3:5-8 “Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

That perfectly described me because I didn’t feel the same. I didn’t’ understand what was going on within me. What I would eventually learn through God’s Word was that I was no longer dominated by Satan and his powers of darkness, but I was brought in an instants time into the Kingdom of God. Though I didn’t realize it or understand it, my commitment and prayer to making Jesus my Lord initiated my new life in God. Col. 1:13 puts it like this, “God has delivered us from the power of darkness (Satan’s power) and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son Jesus.” He instantly plucks the sincere heart that asks forgiveness of sins and asks Jesus to be Lord and Savior out of Satan’s grip and translates him/her into God’s Kingdom and care giving the gift of His Holy Spirit.

This had all happened in an instant’s time and now it felt like the walls of my heart and mind and been ripped out and were being prepared for an entire remodeling. Things I never questioned as being wrong, now felt and seemed wrong. How could that be?

Now I understand. It was the Holy Spirit speaking to me and helping me examine my life. The Holy Spirit can only teach and confirm what we read in the scriptures. He does not teach or confirm without them. He can’t hold up the standard of what God wants in relation to what you are doing UNTIL you start reading the Word of God. Unbeknown to me, that was what was causing the self examination within.

God helps us as we give our life to Him. Suddenly I’d have Christians cross my path. Prior to this I never really understood what a Christian was. One gave me a Bible and told me where to start reading it. That would be a first for me. Another suggested a church where they taught the Bible. That was the beginning of putting the Word of God within me so that the Holy Spirit could take God’s Word and begin to instruct and teach me. Major change had absolutely begun.

God’s Word – scripture - is God’s voice when we realize it’s how God speaks to us. His Holy Spirit takes scripture and begins to shed light on it and help us understand it. We often find ourselves asking God questions only to see Him some how speak back to us through His Word.

As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “So the Word (Jesus) became human and lived here on earth among us.” Jesus and His Word are the same – alive and powerful then and now. He speaks to us through it if we will open our heart and ask Him to speak to us. When and as it happens to you, you will hear and sense the voice of God. When you do, pay attention because, “His word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NLT) Do you need direction, insight, and wisdom from God. Do you need encouragement and the promise of His Word to renew your hope? Then read God’s Word in faith with expectation He’ll speak to you! He will! He loves you! More later…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Produce Fruit for God in Your Older Age


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Proverbs 13:4 “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied”


What is God’s plan for the aging – you know – those that have lost or are losing their hair, those whose hair is turning grey or white, and those who are only so many years away from retirement? I can tell you what it’s not! It’s not getting ready to slow down, sit around, and do nothing. I realize that for some, the body tries to dictate what you can and cannot do. I also realize that far too many people started letting their bodies dictate to them far too early and by yielding to it, have become somewhat lazy, far too inactive, and have blamed too much on age! (Say "I still love you Pastor Tim.")

I see the fruit of it in the workforce. Older people can become the target of younger bosses that want to replace them. They do if they become one who does far less than what they used to. A person starts out in a job. He works in that job for twenty to thirty years or more. He is promoted and his salary has increased consistently over all that time. He/she is at the top of their pay range, getting maximum vacation benefits, and yet are doing half the work they used to do. They may be smart enough not to say it but they think it - "I paid my dues." What they think spills into their deteriorating work ethic. The boss sees young potential people he/she wants to hire. They have new and updated skills that meet the technology needs of the day, and a young and trainable spirit. They might not have the wisdom but the boss figures he can handle that for the financial savings he’ll save with the new young salary. This boss thinks, I can hire this person for a third of the money and they will probably do double the work. I hear and read about this going on in the workforce every day. I've had friends become a victim of it.

Those in the workplace that slow down and walk in their attitude of entitlement will be replaced.

I see something similar happening in the church. There are aging people in the church that years ago, when they were much younger, had less time on their hands, much more responsibility with children and workload in their lives, yet they took on responsible roles of serving and leadership at great sacrifice. They did so because they knew and believed in the importance of it. Then their kids grow up and they become empty nesters. They have more money because their kids aren’t draining it. They have more time to be a blessing because much of their life has slowed down, and yet they do less good than they have in past years. This is backwards! It will lead to a deteriorating life and precious lost time to make a difference for Jesus and in the lives of many before they cross over to Heaven.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied.” This verse is ageless and timeless. Unless you become physically impaired, getting older doesn’t necessarily entitle you to do less. It entitles you to work smarter and be fruitful. It entitles you to have more wisdom and a better attitude because you have had time to mature.

Psalm 92:14 says, “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.” In order for you to stay vital and green you have to think vital and green. You have to act vital and green. You have to reject the whining of your body where you can and work it to be your slave keeping in the best shape you can for the age you are. The Apostle Paul said it like this: “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1 Cor. 9:27

King David’s heart was aligned with God’s will when he wrote Psalm 71:18. “Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.”

We live in an entitlement generation and we expect someone to always take care of us - especially our employer or our government. If our hope, trust, and faith are in anyone outside of God we are living in modern day idolatry. God alone can provide and take care of us and our faith in the fact based upon the promise of His Word is the vehicle that will bring that blessing into our life.

If we get slothful blaming it on age, we will alienate those that we have to work along side of. They may love us as a person but be glad to see us gone as a co-worker. If we slow down prematurely because we’ve used the excuse of age to cause our bodies to atrophy, we can become a burden on many. If we don’t pay attention to how we eat and wear out our organs unnecessarily through lack of exercise and poor nutrition, we could get bitter over a poor finish to our lives. If we isolate ourselves in the name of older age so we can sit around and spend endless meaningless hours in isolation or playing cards, squandering money in casinos, and talking over the good old days, we will miss the very people that God has for us to bless and that will bring blessing to our lives.

The Apostle Paul knew that this life was short, fleeting, and not the life God intended for us. We will live again with Jesus without the defilement that we’ve experienced in this earth. We will be rewarded for how we lived for the Lord in this life. All of our days count – all of them! Knowing that provides great momentum to the words Paul spoke that I pray we can all echo one day.

2 Tim. 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bless My Mess Lord!


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Psalms 18:50 “Great deliverance gives He to his king; and shows mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his descendants forevermore”


Have you ever made a mess of things? Are you laughing at the question thinking, “Only about a zillion times.” I think we all have. What do we do in times where we’ve blown it and made a mess? I can tell you what I do. I ask God to “bless my mess.”

I am confident of many things. One is of my deep imperfection because of the sin that has touched my life and the world around me. Oh I am fully aware, thankful, and confident in the precious blood of Jesus that has washed my sins away. I am also fully aware that God has given me His Holy Spirit which empowers me to say no to the devil and temptation. I instead think about the Lord’s love and work to bring it to others. His Holy Spirit helps me understand God’s will and draw strength for every area of my life from the promises of God that His Word says are my inheritance through Christ Jesus.

Ephes. 1:11-14 (NLT) says it best like this: “Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as He decided long ago. God's purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.”

So, on one hand I live in a world corrupted and defiled by sin. On the other hand I have been forgiven and washed clean and empowered by God’s Holy Spirit and the promises of Him that are my inheritance. This means I am ready each day to go out and be a light and a winner for Him.

Now as I go out in the world, I have to deal with people that can be mean and cold and that even do evil things. I have to deal with people that lie and cheat and steal to better their own position. I have to work with and try and trust that people are going to do what they say they are as I employ their services. I have to drive along side of angry people filled with rage on the road. Because I do, even though I am washed, forgiven, and filled with God’s Spirit; they sometimes affect my behavior. I act like them. I sometimes say things I regret. I am saying that I occasionally blow it. Sometimes just by making a stupid mistake. Do I like to admit this? Of course not, but it’s true.

Each time I try to pick myself back up, apologize to the Lord and anyone else I should apologize to, and move forward. This is something I hope we all do.

I can honestly say that in the places that I blow it, they are never out of malicious or sinful intent. I have changed my life in that way. I don’t purposely or casually sin. It’s more by mistake or getting caught up in the moment. In times like that, any of us we can make a mess.

I told you of the things I am confident in God. Another thing I am confident in is that God knows my humanity. He knows my weaknesses, my ignorance, and how I think though things. He knows me! He knows I will make mistakes. What child doesn’t? What person doesn’t? I am confident in God’s mercy. Why? Because that is my Heavenly Father’s character. He is a good Father and He is merciful to those that are trying to live for Him. He is merciful to everyone even when they aren’t living for Him and Jesus is the proof of that statement.

Psalm 103:17-18 says, “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear (reverence) Him, and His righteousness unto children's children; to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them.”

Because I know of His mercy and because I know of His promises – today’s Fresh Manna verse being one of them - “Great deliverance gives He to His king; and shows mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his descendants forevermore." Because of this promise, I know that delivering us from our messes is something He will help us with. If you are a parent, you know you would try to help your children out of any mess they got themselves into if you could. Well God can. This verse says His deliverance is great and it’s to “His anointed” (that’s every believer of Christ) - “to his descendants forevermore” - again that’s me. On that basis, I ask God to “bless my mess.” In other words, I ask Him to get me out of trouble. I do my part. I repent to Him where necessary. I repent and apologize to others where necessary. I make amends where they are needed. Then I trust God to work in the hearts of those that need help forgiving me.

Messes are never fun. But I praise God that I know of His love and His willingness to “bless my mess.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Don't Be A Wet Blanket!


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Jeremiah 23:28 (NLT) “Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between chaff and wheat!”


When our children were between the ages of one and two, there was a game Renee and I would play with them. We’d play “face.” We’d coach them to put on different facial expressions. We’d have them do a happy face, a sad face, a shy face, scared face, a surprised face, and many more. (We made up some unique faces!) The kids were so cute as they learned to do their different faces and it actually helped us later on. We’d instruct them to take off their “pouting face” and instead put on their “happy face” when they had a bad attitude. It worked. It helped them change their face which then helped them to change their attitude. Overall it was fun, instructive, and practical in training them in behavioral attitudes.

Young children are so wonderfully pliable and teachable at this young age that it’s truly a joy to teach and instruct them. I’ve often wished I could play this game with different adults around me in various settings. “Hey, you might not like my decision but take off that pouting face and put on a happy face.” It may be a fun thought but it wouldn’t be too practical in working with adults.

Facial expressions and body language are a huge part of how we communicate in life. I wish I could have seen the faces in the crowds of those that sat and listened to Jesus in His day. I’m sure I would have seen the Pharisees and Sadducees mostly scowling in anger with jealously over the fact that the people loved to listen to this carpenter more than them. I am sure some would have been sitting on the edge of their rock clinging to every word He spoke with their mouth open in literal awe of the wisdom with which He spoke. Others with tender hearts would have had and sad faces feeling conviction for the truths they had been violating as He spoke – “Love your enemies. Do good to those that hate you.” Others would have had every facial expression in between.

Facial expressions are usually the outward expression of what we are thinking in our mind or feeling in our heart. We are often in situations – husband and wife times, one on one friendship times, employee meetings, small groups, etc. where we have to listen to people express their heart and ideas. In any of these places, your facial expressions and body language will either read, bored, interested, excited, humorous, disagreement, disgust, or something you feel. Many of those negative facial expressions need to be held in check. They have the power to shut people down. When a negative facial expression comes prematurely because you think you know what they are going to say before they have even had the opportunity to express themselves, you can anger them and shut them down. This is a common complaint in marital counseling. “You never listen to what I’m going to say. You sneer and role your eyes. You show no respect for my ideas!”

Most people have no clue as to what their facial expressions and body language look like or how they play out in their communication. You should become more aware. Your facial expressions will affect conversations, either negatively or positively. They will actually draw people out or shut people down.

One really good reason for understanding this is because we are all made to communicate ourselves. We are all made to have ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and dreams and express them. Expressing them is a part of what helps keep us healthy. You want to give others the same freedom to share as you yourself need. Your facial expression and verbal’s might make you the proverbial wet blanket – the one that shuts down everyone’s dreams.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word. There is a difference between chaff and wheat!” God says that we should let even people that don’t communicate right or truthful things speak. He trusts that we will seek truth and learn and come to know the difference between the wheat and chaff – between what has value and what should be thrown out. He doesn’t say be a wet blanket and shut people’s thoughts or comments down because you don’t like them.

Having respect for people’s ideas and opinions is a key part of good communication. God gives people thoughts and ideas that could make good suggestions. People that are prideful or wet blankets immediately express their opinions before those ideas are even fully expressed and shut the person down. This creates great resentment and breaks down good and honest and open communication. It stifles creativity and imagination. It hinders answers to things God is trying to bring forth – all because of someone’s quickly formed negative and expressed response or facial expression.

People like to dream. Dreaming is good. Most people don’t take their dreams too far because as they think them through, they realize at some point the negatives themselves. They don’t need someone to shut them down. They shut down the majority of their own dreams through procrastination, through analysis and discovered flaws in their idea, or because it was something just thought of in a whim that only carried temporary motivation. Most dreams fall to the ground. Don’t you be guilty of contributing to that. Be guilty of listening, being open, and when it feels right giving encouragement toward ideas and dreams. Otherwise, simply be respectful and accepting of their right to express themselves.

Ask someone to watch your facial expression in a meeting some time. Ask someone close to you if you are a wet blanket that stifles someone else’s thoughts or if you are respectful and encourage ideas and creativity. Then you will walk in the wisdom of Proverbs 8:12 “I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.” You will be able to respectfully listen and draw the good from people. You will grow in discernment, learning to distinguish between the wheat and the chaff – the good and the bad. Smile and listen.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Worrying is chata' - It's Sin!


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”


In the Old Testament, there are different Hebrew words used for sin. One is chata’. Another is chatta’ ah. And another is chet. Chet carries the meaning of a crime or penalty. Chatta’ah carries the meaning offense more implying that of being a habitual offender. Chata’ carries the meaning of missing such as missing the mark. We see the word chata used for sin in the verse Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” We might read it like this, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t miss it and sin.” It makes me think of the many times I’ve seen a guy say something his wife didn’t like and I’d hear him utter, “Oh, oh. I’ve just blown it.”

If we are honest, we find ourselves in all these meanings of sin. There are some things we’ve missed it in. We didn’t consciously intend to miss it or sin but did something wrong without thinking and listening to our heart and “missed it.” It’s still a sin.

Then we are all guilty of doing some wrong at some point in our life that would have counted as a crime – something we could have actually been arrested for or at the very least, gotten a ticket for.

And then I believe if we are really honest, there are things that we have done that are contrary to God’s word that we have habitually committed - things we’ve cried out to God to help us get power over and purge from our lives.

Each of us praises God that “God showed His great love for us by sending Jesus Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8) God has made provision for our sins. Not so that we could continue to sin but so that we can be delivered from the power of it. Jesus reunited us to God from the cleansing of our sins. God’s love and gift of Jesus to us, frees us from the power of sin controlling our lives and instead empowers us with His supernatural strength to overcome sin and live for Him. Hebrews 9:14 says, “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.” Now because we realize this good news, we can talk about sin without condemnation.

When we worry, we chata’ – we miss it. Worry is sin. For many people worry feels like compassion. “I’ve been worried about you!” Your upbringing may have taught you by example that to worry for someone is like an act of compassion. It’s not true. Its chata’ – it’s missing it. Worrying does nothing but bring momentum to unbelief which is the enemy of God. Unbelief strips faith from our lives. Worry strips faith from our lives. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” When we read that “Jesus was amazed at the people’s unbelief” in Mark 6:6, it is not a compliment. It was actually the unbelief of the people that hindered the power from miracles and healing. Matthew 13:58 says, “And so Jesus did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.”

Over the course of my life I’ve seen many things clog a drain – almost all of those things being somewhat disgusting. Worry is just like one of those disgusting things that clogs. It hinders the power of God from operating in our life because of the inherent power of unbelief. Unbelief is really faith. It’s faith in what the devil can do rather than faith in what God can do. “Oh, I just know they are going to downsize and I’ll lose my job.” “Oh, I am so afraid I am going to get the flu this winter.” “Well I know I’ll get a stupid cold. I always do.” Worry is the down payment on the very thing you dread coming. It’s the payment of unbelief which is faith in what the devil will bring against you. This is why God instructed us through His Word saying, “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Worrying is chata’ – it’s missing the mark. It’s sin. What is the solution? Get yourself a prescription – the promises of God. The promises of God are the prescriptions to take into your heart that will, over time, strengthen your mind, strengthen your heart, and transform you from a worrier to a prayer and proclaimer of your faith in Him. You will become one who learns to say with confidence, God will never fail me or forsake me which is why I can say with confidence, the Lord is my Helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Instead of worrying about those you love, cast those cares on the Lord. Rise up in faith and prayer and say, “Father, I will not miss the mark by worrying about my children. I will pray and put my trust in you. For as much as I love them, I know you love them more! They belong to you. I thank you today that you are raising up labors to talk with them and boldly share your love with them. I thank you that the “eyes of their understanding is enlightened by your Holy Spirit.” I thank you that your angels surround them today and I rebuke every demonic attack that the enemy has set against them. I ask that your assist them as your Holy Spirit leads them to you.”

This is putting the promises of God to work which is hitting the mark. Do this and you won’t be guilty of worrying – of hindering God’s power through unbelief and missing the mark. No chata’ for you today. “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Proclaim His goodness in your life. Sing His praises. Let faith and praise arise!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Develop Overcoming Faith


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

1 John 5:4 (NIV) “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”


If there was ever a perfect weather night here where I live, Sunday night was it. We were at a large picnic grounds on a lake having our annual church picnic. We have over 6,000 people attend throughout the day. The little children had a great time in the petting zoo and riding the ponies. We had numerous inflatables for the kids of all ages to play in and a huge and tall climbing wall. The roasted sweet corn that was given out free all day was a great hit as was the free cotton candy for the children. The water in the lake was like bath water and the food and fellowship and games were absolutely fun. We were especially blessed with a nice breeze and no mosquitoes throughout the day.

We finished off the evening with a praise and worship and water baptism service in the lake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun was beginning to go down and the lake was picturesque – reflecting the tree line around the lake off the still water. The water was the temperature of bath water. It was the perfect evening.

We baptized over 250 people. One of those people was the highlight of the day for me. If you have ever seen anyone accomplish a great feat and then wear a smile that was so big that it almost made their face crack, that is how I would describe one of those whom I water baptized.

There were four Pastors in the water conducting the water baptism. I was out in the water where those in my line waded out to me one after another. I had just finished water baptizing a young lady when I looked up and saw a young man escorting a middle-aged gal very slowly out to me. She looked like she had trouble walking because she was holding on to his arm so tightly and walking so slowly. I called out to her to take her time as there was no hurry.

When she finally got out to me, she explained that she could not bend her knees and wondered if I’d just throw some water over her. She was terrified of me bringing her backward into and under the water and lifting her right back out. She was afraid I’d not be able to hold her and she’d sink like a rock. I assured her she had nothing to be afraid of because not only could I do it but the young man that helped her out to me was also going to help me. He and I comforted her, encouraged her, and reassured her over and over. She at last told us she was ready.

As I was speaking the words prior to baptizing her, she suddenly spoke “I can’t do this. I’m too afraid.” We comforted her further and assured her she would not be under the water for more than one second and that it would be easy and painless – actually it would be exciting as the Lord would touch her in a special way. I reminded her of a verse I taught and spoke to my children a thousand times as they grew up; “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7) I patiently talked to her about overcoming her fears thorugh the strength of the Lord. She was encouraged and ready to try again. Again I was speaking the words prior to baptizing her when she again suddenly cried out, “I just can’t do this, I’m too afraid!” I would never pressure anyone to do anything they don’t want to do but deep down I sensed a strong desire within her to really want to be baptized this way. She just couldn’t get past this fear.

I encouraged her again telling her that she was about to defeat the enemy of her soul – the author of fear that had held her back from many things God wanted her to experience and be blessed with. “We will have you out of that water in one second’s time,” I assured her, “and you are about to experience the first of a series of victories in your life by overcoming your fears with your faith.” As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”

She again said she was ready. I did not hesitate a moment. “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We brought her down and then right back up. That is when I witnessed one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. We were rejoicing and cheering and high-fiving her as those on the beach cheered her on. Some were crying they were so happy for her. This was her first of her many victories with her overcoming faith.

Victory is sweet. I am not talking about sports competitions or anything like that. I am talking about overcoming the fears that the enemy of your soul terrorizes with to keep you from experiencing God’s best. It does take an effort in faith to experience them. For some one trying to shed a few pounds it takes the first, and second, and third, “no” to temptation. Each of those “no’s” become victories that add up and build momentum leading to larger victories.

To someone trying to stop something in their life or to someone trying to take on something in their life that God has been dealing with them about, the first and second “no” or “yes” are critical. But, each victory can lead to another when you lean on God in faith for His help. Then before long, you are the one that has overcome the world by your faith. You are the one that has a smile that is so big; it almost cracks your face

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Covenant of Healing Part Four


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Our Covenant of Healing Part Four

1 John 5:4-5 “… This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”


When it comes to healing, the Word of God is firmly established that it’s God’s will to heal and His will for us to be healed. Until that is a completely settled issue in your heart – faith on this matter cannot exist and it is only be faith that we please God! We have the witness of scripture from Isaiah, Matthew, and First Peter that Jesus died not only to save and deliver us from Hell instead giving us eternal life, but also so that we could experience the blessing of God including healing in this life – now!

Isaiah 54 paints a picture of the coming Messiah. He would come and be punished in our place taking our sins upon Himself. He would pay the price for our sins and our sicknesses and diseases. These verses also indicated that though the Messiah would do this, many would not recognize that what He was doing was His assignment of mercy and grace from God. Many would think that what Jesus went through was punishment from God brought on by His own lunacy. Isaiah 53:4-5 says of Him, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

The Hebrew words for griefs means sickness and disease. Jesus was beaten and punished for our sins to deliver us from the curse of sin including sickness and disease. This is why “with His stripes we were healed.” Can that really mean physically healing for today? Let’s look at the second witness from Matthew concerning these verses and see.

In Matthew chapter 8 we read about Jesus healing a man with leprosy and the centurion’s servant. We then see Jesus coming to Peter’s mother-in-law’s house. She was physically sick. What did Jesus do for her? Was this about physical healing? We read: Matthew 8:14-17 “And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the evening was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” This is where we will see the witness of Matthew agree with the witness of Isaiah 53:4-5. Isaiah was prophesying of the Messiah to come and what He would do. Now we see Jesus actually doing it as the Messiah just as Isaiah foretold. What Jesus was doing, it says, was fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah saying, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” This is physical healing. This is what Jesus did. This is what the prophet Isaiah said hundreds of years before that He would do. He did it because it was the will of God.

We then see this verse from Isaiah quoted one more time in 1 Peter 2:24. Speaking of Jesus, Peter wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds (beatings or stripes) you have been healed.”

Jesus has provided us with a covenant of healing. Jesus bore not only our sins but our sicknesses and diseases. He never intended this to end or to be a secret. It was part of the great commission to all His disciples and to any who would believe. Mark 16:15-18 “And Jesus said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

In America, we may not deal with poison water or even snakes invading our space that we need to be delivered from, but in many parts of the world where I have Fresh Manna Readers, they do need those promises. Regardless, we are all surrounded by those that need healing. You will not lay hands on the sick if you do not believe it is God’s will to heal them. You will not believe for healing if you aren’t absolutely convinced that it’s God’s will. As long as there is a doubt, there is not faith. Healing has got to become a settled issue for you. You cannot impose healing on someone else. Everyone has to believe themselves and trust me – you do not know what is in the mind or heart of someone else. Quit measuring the reality of healing by others and let the Word of God alone set the standard for what you believe and your faith.

Go through the gospels and highlight every single instance of Jesus healing and look for God’s will in the matter. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He also said that ”a house divided against itself cannot stand.” If God was making people sick and Jesus was healing them, then they would be divided. They were not. Sin through Adams’s fall has infected all of humanity. The effects of sin – sickness and disease, poverty and lack, and calamity and destruction along with Satan’s attack has touched all our lives – all of humanity whether we did anything to bring it on or not.

Jesus knew our human frailty and out of compassion gave us “gifts of His Holy Spirit” including healing to help us until He completely destroys every last work of Satan. This is how “…everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” More tomorrow…


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Powerful Truth of Easter


Fresh Manna for Easter Weekend 2007 by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Heb 12:3-4 “If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him. After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood”


If you are like most people, you don't like to read or view things about tragedy and suffering. Today I am passing on something that one of my readers passed on to me. It is an account of what happens to the human body during a crucifixion. As hard as it is to read this, you should. It's Easter and we need to put ourselves in remembrance of what our Lord did for us. I would like to make this comment though. The scripture reminds us of how wimpy we get in resisting the ungodly things that the Lord would like us to separate ourselves from. In this day of self-indulgence - the thought of holding ourselves back from sin and ungodly pleasure seems like a ludicrous idea. Jesus' entire life and death was standing against sin and keeping Himself pure so that He could be used of God. His choices of standing pure out of a love for others cost Him a rejected life and a gruesome death.

As gruesome as the death that Jesus went through is, it's not the worst death that anyone has ever suffered. That very fact used to be a stumbling block to me. You see I had a friend and neighbor who jumped on a hand grenade in the Viet Nam war to save those in his company. To me that seemed pretty gruesome. I saw Jesus' death and compared it to my friends. I was only comparing deaths. It's not just about death. Jesus suffered far more than that. He left Heaven to come and live as a man in this earth. This earth was His creation – which became fully corrupted by the sin of man. The very man He created did not even recognize Him. The very man He created, rejected Him, tortured Him, lied about Him and put Him to this terrible death – because of Satan’s deception. Upon death, Jesus went into the belly of Hell as the falsely accused so that He might suffer the punishment that every single human being deserved for their sin. Hell found that it could not hold an innocent man and had to release Him as His Father then rose Him from the dead. Suddenly, the punishment that you and I deserve had been paid. The Savior had arisen and to those who would believe in what He did for them, they would be saved. This isn't just about a gruesome death. It is about the greatest act of love ever committed and that by Almighty God Himself. He could save His own creation from the wrong decision of sin. Praise God for His love toward all mankind.

What is crucifixion?

A medical doctor provides this physical description:
The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought iron nail through the wrist deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain- the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet. As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them with deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath.

Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided. Spasmodically, he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-renting cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost over-the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level- the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues the tortured lungs are making frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues... Finally, he can allow his body to die... All this the Bible records with the simple words, "and they crucified Him" (Mark 15:24).

What wondrous love is this? Many people don't know that pain and suffering our Lord, Jesus Christ went through for us. Because of the brutality, crucifixion was given a sentence to only its worst offenders of the law. Thieves, murderers, and rapists would be the types of creeps who got crucified. Yet, here Jesus is being crucified between two hardened criminals... What did Jesus do? Did he murder anyone? Did he steal anything? The answer, as we all know, is NO! Jesus did nothing to deserve this type of death, yet he went willing to die, in between two thieves, so that we might be saved. And there, in between the sinners, was our slain savior for our sins. God's love was with a specific purpose - to rescue all men (who would believe) from the grips of the great liar and deceiver - Satan! 1 Tim 2:3-4 says, "... God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." This verse turns the key that opens the prison door of sin and Hell and releases man with then transferring him into the Kingdom of God, the family of God and a life of truth and power in God. Romans 10:9 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

What can I do to be saved? Making this a prayer, sincerely repenting of your sins and asking Jesus to be your personal Savior is all you have to do. If you do lift this simple prayer sincerely before the Lord, and upon doing so, simply tell someone that you did - then the promise to you is the forgiveness of all your sins and the cleansing from all wrong doing. God also promises a miracle to happen within you. He promises to put His Holy Spirit within you. He does this so that as His new child, He can begin to speak to you, teach you of Himself and lead you in a life with Him. If you pray this prayer for the first time, be assured this will be the most special Easter you will ever live. Pick up your Bible and read the gospel of Luke and John. It will have new meaning to you. God bless you richly and have a wonderful Easter celebrating His glorious love toward all.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007
All rights reserved.

Would you

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Call to Duty


Fresh Manna2007© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org


Today’s Fresh Manna was written by one of my dear friends and fellow Pastors who is also a military Chaplin and about to be deployed to Iraq. I hope it will bless you!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim

The Call to Duty by CH (CPT) Buddy Winn / Battalion Chaplain

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1


Paradox: A seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true.

Here's my current paradox as it pertains to our pending deployment: I can't stand the thought of leaving, and at the same time, I can't wait to leave.

I sometimes guilty for thinking that way, because in my mind it may be interpreted that I might actually want to be away from those most important to me. Nothing could be further from the truth! Duty calls, and the motive for leaving is to complete the mission and get back home! I'm pulled between the two concepts - wanting to stay vs. needing to go - and have trouble finding middle ground or a happy medium.

No one wants to leave certainty and comfort for danger and a hardscrabble existence, but we also can't stand idly by when our comrades have served with honor and need to be spelled. Recently I was talking with a friend about the war in Iraq. We concluded that most people are anti-war. The difference is that soldiers have to have a jump off point where they understand that after all options have been exhausted, when evil will not relent, armed force must be implemented. War is ugly, and among the least desirable of all possible options. But capitulating to or not confronting evil is even less desirable. Soldiers do the job that others can't or won't, and pray every day for war to end. It doesn't mean we like it, but we do it. And because we're doing it, we want to do it well, with honor, and while looking out for each other.

I know that in all things, God's promises are with me. He promised to never leave me or forsake me. He promised a plan to prosper and not to harm me. He promised to meet my needs according to His riches. In spite of the challenges or combat, because I live IN HIM, and BY FAITH, I walk free from any condemnation that tries to say that I'm abandoning my family or forsaking my responsibilities. In fact, not only am I standing up for the cause of freedom, I'm walking out the great commission - taking the good news of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. As I do, I stand confident in God's promise to watch over me, and my family, no matter where I am.

Prayer of the day:

Today I pray for the Platoon Sergeants of 2/147 AHB. I pray that they would be rooted and grounded in God's love. As they lead their platoon and manage their mission, soldiers, and equipment, may they be given over to His wisdom and guidance. I pray that no one under their influence would go astray in manner or behavior, knowing they can turn to their competent and willing leaders for help, assistance, and assurance. I pray that they would seek God's protection and rest confidently in His ability, because He will not turn His face from those who return to Him.

In His service,
CH (CPT) Buddy Winn
Battalion Chaplain

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007
All rights reserved.

Friday, March 16, 2007

JESUS: DEAD OR ALIVE?


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Rev. 22:18-19 (NLT) And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. [19] And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.


The Devil has a strategy and part of that strategy is to rewrite history and the truth of Jesus. This article pertains to one facet of that present movement in the earth.

JESUS: DEAD OR ALIVE?
By David Dolan http://www.tjci.org/

Media circuses are hardly rare occurrences here in Jerusalem.

In fact, as I write this column, workers with CNN International are setting up a big blue tent (I kid you not) just across the street from my apartment building, preparing to broadcast a report by correspondent Ben Weideman from underneath the protective canopy on a stormy March afternoon.

I should mention that the view from my central Jerusalem street is usually worth filming whatever the weather, especially facing north toward Mount Zion and the biblical Temple Mount.

That was not the case with my former home in the East Talpiot neighborhood. While the view from my top floor flat was not all that bad, it was hardly noteworthy. I mainly looked out at dozens of other tall apartment buildings that dominate the southeast Jerusalem suburb.

But something allegedly quite historic was lurking in the shadows of the stone-faced apartment building located just next to mine: The burial tomb of Jesus, his wife Mary Magdalene and their son Judah, not to mention his Jewish mother and other family members!

Ben Weideman was among hundreds of Israeli and international journalists that recently filmed stirring reports near an innocuous cement slab located in East Talpiot. The unpretentious slab lies in the corner of a small fenced in rose patch planted along a narrow foot path just below the apartment building that I lived next to for 15 years.

The media was reporting on the “historic discovery,” announced in New York by Titanic film producer James Cameroon and Israeli born-Canadian documentary maker Simcha Jacobovici, that the slab probably covered the entrance to the Jesus Family Tomb! The stunning late February proclamation was intentionally timed to promote their television program on that riveting theme, broadcast one week later on the US Discovery Channel, and also in Great Britain and here in Israel.

I first got wind of the contention that the bones of Jesus and family were unearthed in my humble neighborhood when the BBC broadcast that momentous claim in a1996 television documentary. As I walked past the site in the months and years after the screening, usually on my way to the nearby East Talpiot supermarket and post office, I often recalled the relatively short controversy that the British documentary sparked off.

But this time, the dustup seems destined to linger much longer in the air, coming as it does in the titanic wake of Dan Brown’s best selling Da Vinci Code and producer Ron Howard’s subsequent blockbuster film.

There is just one tiny problem with the super-hyped Jesus Tomb claim: Nearly all archeological experts dismiss it out of hand, or at least note it is both highly improbable and entirely unprovable, and therefore hardly worth mentioning.

By now, most everyone has heard the main reason why. The Hebrew names Yeshua (Jesus), Miriam (Mary), Judah, and Yoseph—all found inscribed on stone burial ossuaries situated inside the ancient tomb when it was discovered by Israeli construction workers in 1980—were extremely common monikers in the time of Jesus. To allege that they point to the family tomb of Christianity’s revered redeemer is a giant stretch, to say the least.

But Cameroon and Jacobovici claim another name was found inside the tomb that nearly seals their case—Mary Magdalene! It is almost statistically impossible that her unique second name would be found with the others if we were not talking about the tomb of the world renowned Jesus of Nazareth and his relatives, they maintain.

American scholar Stephen Pfann, who serves as a locally trained textual scholar and paleographer at Jerusalem’s Holy Land University, has just conducted an intensive examination of the ossuary that supposedly held the bones of the Messiah’s alleged bride. He insists that the burial box is inscribed with two apparently unrelated names, the second of them Mara, the Greek version of Martha, not Magdalene. He discerned that the two names were etched in distinctive styles on the stone ossuary by clearly different hands. Scholars have long known that such burial receptacles often housed the bones of more than one person, mainly for economic reasons.

Professor Pfann, who I’ve known for many years, along with his scholarly wife Claire, noted that neither Cameroon nor Jacobovici are even remotely qualified to put forth such gargantuan contentions, especially given the far reaching implications for the historic Christian faith. The Israeli filmmaker, who starred in the ratings-rich TV program, shot back that scholars and archeologists are simply upset that he and other modern journalists and documentary makers are “breaking their monopoly” on deciphering ancient artifacts.

Although a professional journalist myself, I am quite happy to have trained electricians fix my broken power lines in my stead, experienced plumbers determine what is wrong with my kitchen pipes, skilled physicians operate on my body, certified dentists fill cavities in my teeth, knowledgeable mechanics work on my car, etc.

As for my personal spiritual beliefs, I don’t expect them to be determined by colorful filmmakers working out of Hollywood or Toronto, no matter how much mammon they procure from their sensational claims.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DAVID DOLAN is a Jerusalem-based author and journalist who has lived and worked in Israel since 1980.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What others are saying about Fresh Manna


What others are saying about Fresh Manna

Dear Fresh Manna Readers,
I just wanted to send out comments of readers to encourage you to pass Fresh Manna along. The reason I do so is to encourage you with what I myself have been amazed over. That some how, Fresh Manna is speaking into the lives of people and helping them. I had no idea when I started this would happen, But as long as it is, I encourage you to pass it along to someone who is hurting or searching or just likes to learn or be lifted up. The list grows every day. There aren't many things that are free and a real benefit that people can draw from in life. Well, I hope Fresh Manna can be one of those few free things. Bless you and thank you for sharing it with others. Please know that there is no tangible gain of any kind in this for me. It is a sacrifice of time from myself and my family. What I gain is one more opportunity to touch lives for Jesus outside the walls of our church. God bless you richly.
Pastor Tim


Dear Pastor Tim,
Your writing is so anointed by God. The truths here are deep and its so good to get beyond the spiritual milk to the steak and potatoes. I appreciate the deliberate effort to get out a powerful message of God to each of us each day. It is truly a gift from God to do this daily. Thank you for seeking the Lord and deciding to continue with these valuable lessons.
I praise God for your ministry.


Dear Pastor Tim,
I just started getting your fresh manna last week and thought I would let you know how much I am getting from it. I look forward to it every day. Thanks for your work in passing the WORD.


Dear Pastor Tim,
Thank you for calming my soul and to help me have a closer walk with God.


Dear Pastor Tim, I just wanted to send you a note of thanks for this fresh manna that I receive every morning when I come to my place of employment. It is always such a blessing to see your name on my list of emails when I open my mailbox and then read your words from Heaven. It gives me a new and positive outlook for the day, and I always know that God is watching over
me, even here, they speak to me as a note God Himself. Thank you again for this great gift and may God continue to bless you and your family


Dear Pastor Tim,
Thank you for continuing to write. I and several I know are in battles right now. These words that you write are blessings and a word spoken in due season. I realize that this may seem small to you, but remember those of us in a battle. A small word from God can do wonders. Thanks again for listening to God. It is bearing great fruit.


Dear Pastor Tim,
Thanks for being so faithful with these words of encouragement. They have continued to reach far and wide, and have an impact on this world for Christ. I KNOW that this type of thing, daily, requires so much time and effort. There must be days when you feel you simply don't have an ounce of energy left, or simply don't feel close to the Lord, when you sit down and begin to write. Yet, you write anyway. You have been faithful. Thank you.


God Bless you Pastor Tim for the ministry of Fresh Manna.
I have received much encouragement from your messages over the past several months that I've been on your email list. I've often forwarded your messages to friends and family members who are going through particularly difficult times.You'll never know while on this earth how many lives you have impacted.


Dear Pastor Tim,
I wanted to express how grateful I am for you and your service for the Lord. Your fresh manna has opened many doors for me to share with others. It seems that I daily speak to someone God has placed on my path that needs to hear what you shared on that day. Opportunities to speak of God and His love are everywhere! I praise the Lord that I am able to share not just
mine but your manna continually.


Dear Pastor Tim,
As one of the "fortunate ones" who is not only blessed to receive Fresh Manna, but to know the love and concern both you and Renee have, I want to thank you for the fertile seed you are planting into the lives of so many. I am certain that there will be fruit you will not find out about until we get to heaven. Fresh Manna is so awesome because it is so understandable to most anyone who will take the time to read it and open their heart to what you say. I don't know how other members of your family feel about the life stories you tell, but it ministers to people "where they are." Thank you for sharing the Word, your heart and your family with your
readers everyday.



Dear Pastor Tim,
I bless God that you have lead me in the knowledge of truth. I truly thank God for you, I really, sincerely do. I appreciate your service and obedience, your ministry in my life.


Pastor Tim, It's so wonderful to read all the thoughts of your Fresh Manna. I too, thank you so much for what you have brought into my life and to all the others I have told and are on your fresh Manna list. Praise the Lord for your fantastic faith in the Lord,because you have passed it on to us and made our faith stronger because of your teachings... HE is making it all possible for all of us........Love in Christ,