About Tim Burt

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.