Friday, March 30, 2007
Fresh Manna2007© by Pastor Tim Burt
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,
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
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
All rights reserved.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
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.  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
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
All rights reserved.