About Tim Burt

Monday, December 29, 2008

Undermine Poopieness with Goodness!


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

“Do you think you will go to Heaven when you die?” That is a question that most people think about at some point of their life. The most common answer given in various forms is, “Yes I think I’ll get into Heaven because I’ve tried to be a good person.” And then the list of good things and qualifications they have done spills like words on a glowing resume’.

What qualifies someone to be called a "good person?" After all Jesus said to someone who had called Him good - "Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17) What was Jesus saying? Was He calling himself bad - that even He didn't qualify as good? No, not at all. He was qualifying that He was God come in the flesh. He was also leading this man to truth - that all mankind has failed in their ability to be good. Romans 3:23 says,”For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.”

He was also showing this man how to resolve this problem - "but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments." Jesus was saying that the way to resolve this issue of "there is none good" - was to receive Jesus personally as Savior. When that happened, he would be washed from sin and covered in Jesus’ righteousness – that which makes us “white as snow” in God’s eyes. And he’d then have the Holy Spirit to teach him within his heart, all of God’s ways and strengthen him in spirit to "keep the commandments" - or keep God's ways. The bottom line – God wants us to make the effort to “be good” by obeying His ways, but in our shortfall, His gift of righteousness makes up for our shortfall and failures in our efforts.

When we understand this and take these steps and yield ourselves to God - then goodness can grow within us like a nurtured plant grows and produces fruit. This is the foundation of and the beginning of the road to goodness.

God wants us to be energetic in our pursuit of goodness because it is one of God’s ingredients that make this world a richer place to live. But don’t worry; like I did yesterday, you will blow it. Instead of goodness – poopieness will surface on occasion. Don’t let it discourage you. Ask God to forgive you. Realize that true goodness comes only through the help of God. Be energetic to make things right, to get things right, and to let people be touched by the goodness of God working through you!

Titus 2:11 (Message Bible) God's readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation's available for everyone! We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don't Think!

By Renee Burt

Have you ever lain awake at night, wondering about what the future holds? That can be a wonderful way to spend some sleepless hours if what you’re wondering about what looks hopeful, exciting and promising. But what about those times when that wondering could be more accurately described as worrying. It could be for any number of reasons. Maybe the doctor has given you a questionable report about your health…or maybe your company is downsizing and your job (or your spouse’s or child’s) seems less than secure…or maybe you’re in a relationship that has been rocky lately…or maybe you’ve got a difficult decision to make that will potentially alter your life for the good or bad, depending on what you decide. And so your thoughts have been swirling around in your mind, leaving you angst-ridden and worn out. Well, here’s a simple piece of advice for you this morning if that’s you…don’t think! It’s a two word sentence I’ve repeated to myself countless times over the past few years, since the Lord led me to teach a message on it one time. Don’t think! Does that mean you walk around in a mindless stupor? No, it means to get out of your head and slip on over into your heart, where you know that despite what it looks like, God has a plan for your life…so quit thinking so much, and start trusting Him to work it all out! He knows what He’s doing…and you don’t ever have to wonder or worry about that!

Jeremiah 29:11 MSG ~ I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Monday, December 22, 2008

I Was Stuck But I’m Not Now!

Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

I Was Stuck But I’m Not Now! By Pastor Tim Burt


There was this funny Christmas movie I’ve watched a few times over the years. I think it’s called “The Christmas Story.” It always made me laugh but especially the scene where the boy puts his tongue on a steel pole and it freezes to it. It is so funny to me because I did that exact thing at that age. I was outside on the playground with my buddies just before the bell rang for recess to be over. My buddies were double daring me to put my tongue on the pole. I did and it stuck instantly. The bell rang and they left me there. It was freezing cold and I was afraid if I pulled my tongue from the pole, all the skin would come off. I finally did and only a little skin came off.

While I was standing there stuck to the pole I felt so stuck, so helpless, and so panicky. I know its how a lot of people feel right now with the economic woes that are going on. I’ve talked to people who feel paralyzed. Their circumstances scream trouble and they don’t know what to do. It seems no matter what move they make there is going to be pain.

I just want to remind us all that it’s Christmas. God has done a wonderful thing which we take the time to reflect on each year. The world was in a mess at the time Jesus came. The salvation of the world and mankind’s souls were fractured and lost. Yet God hadn’t abandoned His creation. God sent Jesus into this world to bring us eternal life and to give us a new life in Him. He also said He’d continue to be intimately involved in our lives if only we would trust and believe. The greatest miracle this world would ever receive was Jesus and it is the door to all others. Let all of Christmas steer your thinking in this direction. No matter how impossible your situation is, it is a situation that God cares about because God cares about you! He loves you. Jesus paved the way for your relationship to be reconciled and He paved the way for your miracle and His intimate help in your life. Only believe. You are not stuck – to a pole or to your situation! Only believe.

Mark 9:23 (The Message) “Jesus said, "If? There are no 'ifs' among believers. Anything can happen."

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Merry Christmas From Pastor Tim & the Burt Family



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Friday, December 19, 2008

At a Loss for Words?

By Renee Burt

Recently, I’ve been in a number of conversations with people…difficult conversations…where they’re asking questions, and hoping for some kind of counsel or answer to help guide them through the difficult situation they’re in. At times like those, I can feel the angst rising up in me, because I really don’t know what to say. Because oftentimes, I haven’t lived through those circumstances, so I can only imagine what they’re facing…and there’s no answer in my bag of life’s experiences to draw from. Thankfully, at those times, I’ve learned to quiet my mind down and ask the Lord to give me His words to help this person. Sometimes He’ll remind me of a verse from His Word to share with them. Other times, He’ll help me direct them to someone else who I know can give them practical answers and counsel. Other times, He’ll simply give me words of encouragement for them and just the right words to pray with them. I’m always amazed what comes out of my mouth when I trust HIM to help me at those times! Thankfully, no matter how difficult the conversation, He is never at a loss for words…and if we’ll trust Him, He’ll make sure we aren’t either!

Jeremiah 1:9 MSG ~ God reached out, touched my mouth, and said, “Look! I’ve just put my words in your mouth – hand delivered!”

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Working Out Your Inside World!

By Renee Burt

When I began working out regularly about a year and a half ago, I was surprised to find out just what a significant difference it made in the way I felt physically. I still didn’t love to exercise, and to be frank, I’m not sure if I ever will. But what I do love is the strength and stamina it’s given me. But I’m not just a body…and neither are you. And I’ve found that the very same principle of exercise that works for my body works for my mind and heart. Because there are times just about every day when my mind wants to “do its own thing!” It takes discipline to think nice thoughts about someone who has hurt my feelings, or to not let my thoughts become fearful over difficult situations, or to not let my thoughts get sad over disappointments. And then there’s my heart! It doesn’t always want to do what’s right, even though I desperately love God! Come on, you know what I mean without my having to lay it out for you! So what do I do? I’ve learned to apply the same principles to my mind and heart that I do with my body, because I know what a difference it will make. I discipline them both and tell them what they ARE going to do. God can’t do that for me or for you. You’ve got to get tough with yourself…and when you do? You’ll have the strength and stamina it takes to deal with the difficult circumstances of life we all face…and instead of those troubles clouding your vision and robbing you of your peace and joy…your vision will be filled up with our big God who makes a way when there is no way, who takes the impossible and makes it possible, who has more than enough to supply our EVERY need! And when we get it right with our inside world – our mind and heart? We’ll see Him taking care of our outside world!

Matthew 5:8 MSG ~ You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Embraced by Him...


By Renee Burt

Personally, I wish there were never, ever times when I felt at the end of my rope…but in reality, there have more than enough of those times in my life. I also wish there had never been those times when I’ve felt like I lost what is most dear to me. I’m sure if you stop for a minute to reflect on your life, either past or present, you could probably identify more of those times than you care to remember. Those times are painful, and if we’re not careful, they are prime opportunities to feel discouraged, thinking that God has forgotten about us…or to feel anger at Him, feeling like He has let us down. Certainly, the last thing you’d probably say is that you’re blessed! So how could Jesus say that to His followers then…and to us, His followers today? Because it’s not that the blessing is being at the end of the rope or in the losing of what is most dear to you. The blessing that is that in those times when we might feel utterly abandoned and alone, we have Someone who is right there ready to embrace us and to help turn our situation around. And it’s not just anyone…it’s the God of the universe, who is love Himself, and who is more than able and willing to show us out of any dead-end situation. He wants to be more in our lives…to show us how much He loves us…to embrace us…to help us…to be the One most dear to us. So if you’re at the end of your rope, just let go and let yourself free-fall into the wonderful arms of our God!

Matthew 5:3-4 MSG ~ You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

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Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Need a Washcloth?

By Renee Burt

Have you ever passionately believed something? Maybe you think you’re right, and no one is going to convince you otherwise. Well, passion is good…and settling on what you believe is also good. That is, unless that passion becomes so all consuming and your personal convictions become so strong, they cause you to become critical of those who don’t share your same passion or convictions. The truth is that we’re not all going to see eye-to-eye on everything concerning our faith or our life…whether it be our interpretation of a verse, or our opinions of what our pastor or boss or supervisor should or shouldn’t be doing, or our take on how to conduct our marriage or raise our children, or our passion about what things should matter most in life. And that’s okay! IF you let those things drive YOU towards God’s will for your own life…and you don’t let them drive a wedge between you and other people, who may not share your same passion or convictions. Jesus talked about a “critical spirit” in His first recorded sermon…the Sermon on the Mount. It was hugely important to Him that we not fall into the trap of becoming critical with one another. And He didn’t just preach about it…He lived it out in His own life, even though His teachings were flying in the face of the religion scholars of His day. The Bible says that “he was living everything he was saying.” So what are you saying…and more importantly, what are you living? He’s offering us a washcloth this morning to clean ourselves if we’ve been critical. I’ve already been doing some scrubbing with mine…want to join me, after you first look in the mirror of God’s Word for yourself?

Matthew 7:1-5, 28-29 MSG ~ Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor…When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Start Counting

By Renee Burt

There are times in your life when it feels really difficult to be sincerely thankful. I felt that way as a little girl. My dad had abandoned our family, which had made me really sad…I was embarrassed to be the only girl in my class with parents who were divorced (hard to believe in this day and age, huh?)…I was disappointed that we barely had enough money to pay the bills, let alone pay for the things I wanted (like Mousetrap, the coolest game ever in the 60’s)…and to top it off, I was mortified to have a major set of buck teeth! So like any other little girl, I put on the pout and whined to my mom. Now, that was a huge mistake! Because although my mom (who was and still is the most amazing woman I know) was sad about the direction her life had taken, she refused to focus on what she didn’t have…but instead on what she did have. And she purposed to teach me and my siblings that same thing. So she taught us a song entitled, “Count Your Many Blessings,” and whenever I was pouting or whining, she would instruct me to start singing the words. My sister and I had to sing it so often, we could sing it in perfect harmony…but more importantly, it got down into our hearts over the course of time that there was always MUCH to be thankful for. Are you feeling less than thankful lately? You don’t have to know the words to the song in order to start “counting your many blessings”…and if you do? As the words of the song go, “and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!”

I Samuel 12:7 NLT ~ Now stand here quietly before the Lord as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you and your ancestors.

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Sweetest Treat of All!

By Renee Burt

When Renee and I thank God for all the blessing in our life, you are part of whom we thank God for! Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

About a year ago, I felt very strongly that the Lord wanted me to finally change some things in my life that He had been speaking to my heart about…for a long time. They had to do with some areas of discipline and self-control in my life. One of them being about eating too much sugar and candy…namely chocolate. So I cut out chocolate entirely, but I still ate other sweets and desserts…in moderation, of course. Well, not really. So about six months ago, I cut myself back to one sweet treat a week. And it’s gone great. But today I began to think about all the sweets and desserts I love to eat over the holidays…pumpkin pie, popcorn balls, spritz cookies…just to name a few. And I felt my resolve wavering a little about this “one treat a week” deal, until I read today’s verse. Now, I didn’t go looking for this verse, but it found me. And when I read it, I laughed out loud because here it is, just a few days away from Thanksgiving, and the verse actually talks about “gobbling” and “stuffing!” What a fun and gentle nudge to stay on track…from God Himself, the most influential person I’ll be sitting down to dinner with over the holidays. How awesome to once again realize that He’ll help us with positively everything in life, if we let Him…and if you ask me, that’s the sweetest treat of all!

Proverbs 23:1-3 MSG ~ When you go out to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners: Don't gobble your food, don't talk with your mouth full. And don't stuff yourself; bridle your appetite.

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“Get Pity or Give Thanks – You Decide!”

Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Rev 3:11 "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."


Have you ever had a pity party for yourself? Has anyone ever not had one? Have you ever felt underappreciated? Okay, true confessions – although rarely, once in a while, I notice this spirit creeping up in me. I’m sure we’ve all done nice things for people that have gone almost unnoticed or unappreciated. I guess it hurts the most when we’ve really put our heart into what we’ve given or done for someone.

I remember a time as a young family where Renee and I gave one hundred dollars to a couple who were telling us this horrible story of financial devastation in their life. They didn’t have money for the bills, they didn’t have money for groceries, and they didn’t know what they were going to do to feed their children. At that time, Renee and I were so squeaky tight in our finances that we could hardly afford what we needed for groceries. But, we took one hundred dollars - almost our entire food budget for the month (at that time) and gave it to them. We decided we’d trust God by faith for our groceries that month. When we gave it to them, they hardly said thanks. They told us the following week that they took their children out to a restaurant to celebrate and it cost almost the entire amount we gave them. They didn’t appreciate what we had done. They didn’t use it wisely. We felt sad and used. Live and learn. God still met our needs supernaturally that month.

When Renee and I moved into our first house, I asked the Lord to help me afford to get a new snow blower and a lawnmower. He helped me obtain both. He then moved on my heart and told me to take care of neighbors that couldn’t take care of themselves. I have done that ever since – for almost 30 years. It’s not uncommon to never hear a word of thanks when I’ve cleaned up someone’s driveway of snow or done their fall cleanup of leaves. But, I’ve always done it unto the Lord. This is how Renee and I live out our life. Sometimes people appreciate your efforts to help them and sometimes they don’t. Sound familiar?

Luke 17:11-19 “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As He entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God, I'm healed!" He fell face down on the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking Him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well."

I couldn’t help but think this morning about the multitude of things Jesus had done for me in my life. In some cases I was the one who came back to Him with great thanksgiving. I am sure there are others times I hardly noticed or acknowledged His goodness and kindness in my life.

I’ve am convinced of one thing over the years. Every day God has touched my life with something I can and should be thankful for. Pity parties are stupid because I do what I do unto the Lord and to look for appreciation will always leave me disappointed. I am better off focusing my heart toward the one and truly deserves all praise. I hate it when I let myself get focused on me.

One of the most beautiful pictures painted in the Bible is of a time to come that says it all. It is the picture of Jesus on His throne surrounded by the 24 Old and New Testament saints that led in God’s plan. They have received crowns as their reward but they cast them before Jesus because He was and is the enabler of all our good actions.

Rev. 4:3-4 & 9-11 “The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads… Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one who lives forever and ever. And they cast their crowns before the throne and say, "You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."

This is a week that helps stir up attitudes of thankfulness that should preside within us daily. There is no self pity when thanks is directed to whom we should always be thankful to – Jesus our Lord! We can cast our crowns of good works at His feet and instead thank Him.

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Simply Be You!

By Renee Burt

I want my life to count for something. I’m sure you feel the same way. Well, according to all the secular books on success, that would mean we should aspire to some level of greatness by climbing the corporate ladder…or we should come up with some ingenious idea that results in some new product or service that benefits humanity. In other words, we should do something that makes us stand out from all the others…and maybe receive some recognition or some award in the process. Now that’s all good…and kudos to you if you’re at the top of the ladder, or if you’ve done some great service for humanity. But for the vast majority of us, we may never even get our foot ONTO the ladder…and about the best idea we’ve come up with is making a change to a recipe that turned out really lip-smacking good! So does that make our life a failure? God doesn’t think so…if you do what He says makes you a true success in life. And that’s to step DOWN and be a servant to others…to put aside your pride and let others get the credit, and let others go first, and let others be the ones to do the talking, and let others be the ones who are nurtured…by you. So do you want your life to count for something that’s eternal? All it takes is a willingness to serve…and to simply be you!

Matthew 23:11 MSG ~ "Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.


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Friday, November 14, 2008

Words That Help!

By Renee Burt

I left everyone yesterday with this question: So what SHOULD we do when someone has a complaint against someone else, and they say they need to talk to someone about it? Do we politely brush them off and tell them we can't talk to them? No! The point isn't to deprive people of someone to talk to. The point IS to help point the conversation in the right direction. So it's not just a venting session...or a commiserating session...or a gossip session...which it can easily become. Instead, when that kind of conversation presents itself to me, what I pray is that God will help me to bring encouragement to that person, and some godly perspective...whether it be that they need to go to that other person to work things out, or to help them see that they just need to move past it, or possibly even to be daring enough to help them see that their current perspective or perception is skewed. Now, you might think, "But HOW would I know what to say? And what if I say the wrong thing?" That's where you need to learn to apply today's scripture to your life each and every day. I do, and I'm amazed continually by the things God helps direct me to say to people who need to talk to someone. I'm thankful that I don't have to rely on my own wisdom or know-how...and I don't have to have experienced what they're experiencing. All I need to know is that if I'm faithful to open up my ears to the Lord each morning, asking Him to help me say what HE wants me to say that day to encourage someone...well, let me just say, He has never failed once to give me the right kinds of words to help that person in that situation. I'm awake and ready to "take orders." Want to join me?

Isaiah 50:4 MSG ~ The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, So I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.


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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Talk is Cheap!

By Renee Burt

Have you read the book of James lately? I was reading through it this morning, and I was reminded all over again that talk is cheap. It’s easy to say I’m a Christian, that I’m loved, that I’m forgiven, that I have the mind of Christ, that I’m the righteousness of God…but what’s NOT so easy is to live a life that doesn’t just say those things, but shows it. It boils down to things like this. Unless I told someone I was a Christian, would they know it because I easily forgive others? Or because I don’t say negative things about people, but I say things that build others up and point out their good qualities? Or because the words that come out of my mouth aren’t “a piece of my mind,” but they’re wisdom from the mind of God (found in His Word)? Or because my actions show the fruits of the spirit...love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faith, self-control…instead of anger, impatience, meanness, stinginess, pessimism, or a lack of self control? Thankfully, we don’t have to get all of this right FIRST, before we can dare to call ourselves a Christian. It’s a process…and a painful one at times! But He’s there to help us every step along the way, and to applaud each successful step we take…just like any good Father would do. So enough talk…and let’s let the world SEE just who we are as a result of knowing Him!

James 2:14-17 MSG ~ Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?... Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?


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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Election is Over – Now What?

Fresh Manna for Thursday, November 6, 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Proverbs 14:26, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.”


For many Americans today, this is a day of great rejoicing! That happens to be a majority of Americans. They have voted in the President of the United States that they believe will lead this country into a better place of peace, prosperity, security, and love toward one another and the rest of the world.

For many Americans today, they are disappointed and even hurting over the results of yesterday’s election. Those whom they felt would help lead this country in better place. They saw someone else rise to political power.

So where do we go from here? It appears that those that govern how politics and elections should happen in this dispensation of time only know how to do so by causing great division, disrespect, polarization, and leaving a wake of hurtful words that are suddenly supposed to disappear and we all go on.

Being a Pastor in a church that is diverse in culture and opinion, we have the political aftermath that we now have to deal with. The facebooks, the blogs, the twitters, the expressed opinions are all still there – some quieted, some venting, some gloating, and more – like evidence from a crime seen. What has been said doesn’t just go away and be forgotten. So how can and how does unity come?

Unity comes for Christians from remembering that God is God and there is none else. 1 Tim. 6:15 reminds us, “Which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” And 1 Chronicles 29:12 “Both riches and honor come from you, and you reign over all; and in your hand is power and might; and in your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”

If we as Christians have put our confidence in a man or persons to lead us, then our confidence was sorely misplaced. Proverbs 14:26 instructs us, “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.” We remember that all men have sinned and fallen short. The governments of men succeed or fail not by their great wisdom and ability or lack of it, but the ultimate plan of God and much because God’s people pray and live for Him. Confidence in a man is misplaced. Confidence in God helps the man God has raised up!

If as Christians, if we are a people that truly trust in and lean upon God, then we trust that He is working in and through our prayers for those in authority in this nation and whom He allows to come to power. We can and should prayerfully rejoice and pray for those that God will now use to bring about His will. “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Romans 13:1

If out of the good intention of helping those we wanted to see get elected, have allowed ourselves to be less than civil in our thoughts and words toward those we disagreed with or with those who were the other choice of office, it’s time for prayer, it’s time for national rejoicing, it’s time for forgiveness, it’s time to pray and be excited about the changes that we should pray in faith over for that which we desire to see come through our newly elected officials. It’s a time to unify. We say we believe in our democracy and we have just let it work. Now let’s spend time bringing words of reconciliation and congratulations and draw together in unity to work for greatness in our country.

As Christians, let’s reunite and refocus in the purpose that we were put on this earth for – for the election that is above all elections. “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:10-11) Let’s do so in the spirit of love and unity that we’ve been called to walk in. For our election is the gospel of Jesus Christ – to be His light on a shining hill and draw others into His kingdom and government forever.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Monday, November 03, 2008

“The Most Important Day”


Fresh Manna Monday/Tuesday, November 3/4, 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

Proverbs 14:34 “Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”


It’s been said repeatedly that this election will be the most important election that’s ever been held. I believe that to be true now but also true the many times it’s been said in the past. Each upcoming election holds ever increasing significance. Why is that true? It is true because there has always been a spiritual war that we cannot see with our physical eyes, but that every human being senses and every Bible reading Christian has learned of and is aware of – a spiritual war for the souls of mankind. That war has been fought through the ages and continues today as we approach the one-day-to-come return of Jesus Christ to the earth to establish His rule and reign. Prior to that day, spiritual wars resulting in natural wars between man and nations will arise and be fought.

Christians will understand what is transpiring, the world will not. It will only notice that in a multitude of ways, evil increases in the earth. As the Apostle Paul taught us; 2 Tim. 3:1-5 (NLT) "You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.”

The only cure for any person’s heart from becoming swept up in the turmoil and evil that will eventually cause mankind to care most about one thing – “to look out for their own self,” is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. When a person does this, the Holy Spirit soon begins to reveal that they have become a child of God. John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.” This is a supernatural event resulting from a simple but sincere heart-felt choice and decision to receive Jesus that leads to God’s help and protection through the days that lie ahead.

Throughout history Satan has tried to destroy mankind. It’s his nature. As Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” Satan has always opposed the future of mankind because it would ultimately lead to his destiny. Rev. 20:10 “Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Satan knows this is his destiny. You’ve heard the saying “Misery loves company.” That began with Satan and it’s his desire to destroy all of God’s creation and so he works toward that goal to destroy everything good and beautiful that has come from God – you and I included.

Satan was told in the Garden of Eden that there would be one who would come to crush him. Since that day, he has been afraid of every child born into the earth – always fearful that one may be raised up of God as the Messiah that would destroy him. Consequently, he deceived pharaoh into destroying all the Israelite babies, (but Moses was not destroyed.) He tried to get pagan nations to destroy children by offering them as sacrifices – something common in their day. He tried to destroy Jesus by deceiving Herod into killing every baby in Jesus’ day in his attempt to kill Jesus. And today, still unaware of how God will work his final plan, he has seduced society in to terminating the lives of babies within their mothers so that she could have her selfish rights. We think of past societies offering the children as sacrifices to gods barbaric, and it is; yet we offer our babies at the altar of self rights and excuses.

Satan and his demons know they have a date with destiny – an appointed time. They were terrified when they saw Jesus in the earth afraid of that time. Matthew 8:29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?" the demons shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" Satan knows that his time is short and he is getting closer to his destiny. Rev. 12:12 says, “Rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea. For the Devil has come down to you in great anger, and he knows that he has little time."

And so, we live in a day that sin abounds, that Satan is angry and wants to destroy all of God’s creations and mankind, and he does it through deception. He is highly capable of that as he has always operated this way. 2 Cor. 11:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” He will also use men giving fair speeches to be those false angels of light. Romans 16:18 “Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.” Jesus said the only way you would know the good from the bad is the fruit of their life. Matthew 7:17-19 “Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit…; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit…”

God never judged a nation because of economic policies. God never judged a nation because of war. He at times led his people into war. He judged his people and their nation when they sacrificed their babies on false altars. He judged his people and their nation when sexual immorality, homosexuality and perversion became the norm. This is where Satan works to take our nation and our courts and our laws. This election is about those who will oppose such lifestyles and work to turn them vs. those who would allow and even promote them. This is the good tree and good fruit vs. the bad tree and bad fruit. This is the most important election of the day and God is watching. God will help you with your finances. Are we repenting, praying, and voting for what God cares about? “Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Pray first and then I’ll see you at the polls!

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Finish What You Start!

Fresh Manna for 2008© by By Renee Burt

I don’t think I know anyone who finishes everything they start all the time, and that includes myself. So true confessions…right now, I have a few dishes in the sink that need to be washed, I have two loads of laundry to finish, I have a pile of bills that I’ve begun on (but not finished)…and that doesn’t include the pile of “to-do’s” on my kitchen and bedroom counters..and on my desk at work. I don’t know why, but it seems to be a human tendency to stop short of finishing what we’ve started. We take a “break” and sometimes that “break” can turn into days or even weeks…or as in today’s verses, even an entire year! So what’s the deal? Is it that we run out of energy or time? No, most times, it’s a problem with getting worn out mentally. But instead of checking out at those times, check your mind back in by remembering what today’s verses say! We have what it takes to finish up. So today I’m doing what I can to finish up all those things I’ve begun…hope to see you too at the finish line!

II Corinthians 8:10-12 MSG ~ So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Small Acts of Kindness Are Big!

By Renee Burt

Earlier this year, I spent a day at our annual church picnic. It was a beautiful Minnesota day...but more importantly, once again, I was reminded of the beauty God brings into our lives through one another. And not always in the big ways that we would imagine, but in small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness. Sometimes it happens when you simply wave and acknowledge that you notice someone. Think about it...have you ever been in a crowded room where you didn't see anyone you knew, but suddenly you see a smile, a silently mouthed "hi," and a wave from someone across the room? It can be the best feeling in the world, and not even one audible word has passed between the two of you. Or maybe it's just a few small words like, "I'm so glad you're here! It's great to see you," that can brighten someone's day. I loved hearing those words said to me yesterday, so I made sure I passed them along to other people too. And just those simple kinds of words can put a smile on someone else's face and bring beauty into their life that day. So be generous with not just the big things...be generous with the small acts and words of kindness that bring beauty and joy into the lives of the people around you...and watch...your life will become more beautiful and joyful in the process!

Proverbs 16:24 NLT ~ Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 20, 2008

“God’s Protection For You!”

Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 5:11 “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You cover them with your protection; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.”


The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Our Minnesota winter is coming and brrrr; it’s time to start covering up. In Minnesota winters, if you have any intelligence at all, you learn to buy very warm clothes for our below-zero temperatures. That warm down coat is a barrier - a covering between you and the cold. It’s a source of blessing, comfort and protection.

When I was a young adult, I rented a house that didn't have a garage. Because there was no covering over my car, my car deteriorated much more quickly than when I finally had a garage. Coverings like a garage, like warm clothes, and most importantly like the promises of God’s divine covering and protection bring us so much more peace in our life.

People have recently found out from the financial crisis, that nothing and no one can protect them except God. Is that were you’ve invested your trust for protection? God at a time when He was upset with His people Israel, spoke words to them about His covering of protection. They neglected His supernatural covering and instead devised their own attempts to protect or shield or cover themselves from the same kinds of things people fear today. You can either trust in God's protection, your own ability to protect yourself or in someone else's, BUT, only in trusting in God do we have real protection. We are to be prudent in every way we know how. Insurance is not bad nor is a savings account. What is bad is when we trust in things to protect us and leave God by the wayside. That's considered rebellion to God. In Isa 30:1 we read, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”

There is a covering, a protection of God's Spirit - a barrier of his protection that we by faith can access for our lives. For a pregnant woman, there is a precious promise of covering - of protection to take hold of in faith. It says in Psa 139:13, “For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.” We stood on this scripture with all our hearts when the enemy was trying to take our future granddaughter’s life. We held this and other promises up before the Lord with thanksgiving every day thanking Him for protection despite the negative reports my daughter was getting.

Jesus knows this defiled world we live in. He gave His life to redeem us from it. He left us with promises to put our faith in. He wanted us to anchor our trust in Him. He gave us words of comfort to help us see the reality that He is the only absolutely point of trust in our lives. Jesus said, “For life consists of far more than food and clothing. Look at the ravens. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things? "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! And don't worry about food—what to eat and drink. Don't worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Luke 12:23-31 (NLT)

Jesus said God’s purpose for this covering is to be a barrier of protection, comfort and blessing. The promises of covering and protection begin first in our hearts. When we come to that place of faith and trust in His love and protection toward us in our hearts, we’ll soon see it manifest in every other part of our life. Then the words of today’s Fresh Manna will become your words to sincerely own. “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You cover them with your protection; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.”

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Friday, October 17, 2008

What's to Panic About?


By Renee Burt

Have you ever gotten news that made you feel like panicking? You know you're in a panic, because either your heart begins to race a little faster, or you feel like all the blood has just drained from your face, or you feel like screaming, or you suddenly feel down and out. At times like those, it's so important to catch yourself from reacting...in other words, from letting your thoughts run wild like a runaway train, or irrationally saying or doing something as a knee-jerk reaction. Because if you do, the panic you feel will intensify and it'll produce more hysterical or irrational behavior. And it will ultimately rob you of the peace God wants you to experience in and through every situation we face in life. The truth is that we'll all find ourselves in situations that may cause us to initially feel panic. I did yesterday! But instead of that situation overtaking me, I took it to God. And He reminded me once again that He's always taken care of every difficult situation I've faced in the past, so what would make me ever think He would stop now. God is right here with me today...He's right there with you today...so what could there possibly be to panic about?

Proverbs 3:25-26 MSG ~ No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 10, 2008

Words of Wisdom...

Fresh Manna By Renee Burt

Recently, a difficult situation came up, that in the natural, baffled my mind...I knew I would need to say something. But no words came to mind...thankfully! Because, normally I would have jumped into the situation and said something...anything...because after all, I would have thought, "How can I just sit by and say nothing?" But the words I would have spoken would have surely voiced my frustration, and may have even been unkind, cutting remarks. So I was glad I felt speechless...and that the Lord had quieted my heart. And in that quietness, I knew He wanted me to just sit tight and wait for His words to come to me vs. spewing out my own thoughts. Hours went by, and I still felt His calming presence telling me to wait...to trust Him...to not say anything until He gave me the words to say. The day was slipping by, but the Lord seemed to be in no hurry! So I kept waiting...and then He spoke to my heart and gave me what I knew were the very words to speak into the situation. I was amazed, because I knew I hadn't thought this up on my own. But then I thought, when am I supposed to say this? And how will they respond? Again...He quieted my heart, and assured me my heart would know when that door of opportunity was open. And not an hour later, I was able to say what He wanted me to say, without making any cutting remarks or bringing accusation...and it miraculously brought peace and healing to that situation and the people involved...the kind of peace that only He can give. What a gift to the situation that was...what a gift to me that He would give me the right words to say...ultimately, what a gift our God is! Selah...as the Psalmist David often said, which means "pause, and calmly think of that!"

Proverbs 12:18 NLT ~ Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

“My Story of Tongues”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor. 14:2,4,5 “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself… I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”


I was sitting in my hotel room after a long day of working on the airplane. As a flight attendant, I spent two or three nights a week in a hotel room after working flights to different cities all day. For me it was a great place to have absolute quiet time studying the Word of God. I was a young believer having accepted the Lord less than a year earlier. At 24 years old and now just finally discovering the Bible after hungering to know the Lord all my life, I felt like a man that hadn't eaten in days and was afraid I might not get my next meal. I devoured the Word of God. I wanted to know God. I felt like I had been robbed not knowing Him all my life. If people asked me what I did the year I was 24 years old I would say, "I read the Bible." It seemed like that was all I could or wanted to do.

This night I was desiring to learn more about something I had recently heard about - the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was mentioned at church and I had heard some people occasionally talk in what they called “tongues.” It intrigued me but it never bothered me. Someone had given me a book about this subject and it just felt so awesome to learn about another expression of God's love. God out of His love giving supernatural gifts to men? Wow!

I read all the scriptures in the books of Acts about how His disciples and different followers spoke in tongues. It was exciting and fascinating. Then I read 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 over and over and over again. I asked the Lord repeatedly; please help me to understand what I am reading. I finally parked on a couple of verses that made me hungry for this gift of tongues. In Acts 1:5 & 8 Jesus said, "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." ...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

I knew I needed God's power in my life. I wanted to be bolder about sharing my new found love of Jesus. I remember sitting in an airport break room where there was about 20 flight attendants relaxing and waiting for their next flight. I was sitting amongst them reading the newspaper when this Christian flight attendant walked in. She saw me and knew I had become a Christian. As she walked into the room she said in a loud voice, "Tim, praise God, it's so good to see you. Isn't Jesus good! I was praying that I would run into you and God has answered my prayer! Praise the Lord!"

Everyone looked up at her and then eyed me. I felt cowardly and almost ashamed at how vocal she was. The truth was, this woman was one of the kindest, finest woman I had ever met and to her talking about the Lord and letting praise to God come from her mouth was as natural as swearing or cursing is to others. I was so mad at myself that I could feel ashamed, even for a minute. I prayed to the Lord, “Please help me to change!” Suddenly I remembered that I had been hearing about that help - the gifts of the Spirit - one of those being tongues.

Anyway, as I was in my room that night, and had spent time reading through all the scriptures, I prayed, “Lord I want this gift and I know you want me to have it. Please baptize me with your Holy Spirit.” I had just read, Luke 11:11-13. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I knew I now needed to exercise my faith. I purposed to lift my voice to Him but not in English. Suddenly I remembered I had to open my mouth and pray a prayer of faith when I accepted the Lord into my heart. I wasn't sure of all that meant at the time then and I wasn't sure of all that this meant now. I just knew I was going to take another step of faith. I had the thought. "God gave Adam a language as a man, He gave languages at the tower of Babel when their heart wasn't even right, I know He can and will give me one now!" I chose to began to speak something and make some kind of utterance. Sounds and unfamiliar words started to come. It seemed unusual. My brain was like a curious cat. "What are those words?" It's just that the words seemed to becoming up from my belly instead of down from my head. As I purposed to speak out, a language began to flow.

I stopped for a bit. I was trembling. I thought, "That was just me doing that." I tried again and this language flowed from my mouth. I must have prayed speaking words or sounds that were unfamiliar to me for an hour. It seemed powerful. But, just like it says in Mark 4:15, "... Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." I let my head talk me out of this and didn't pray in this language again.

Then a couple of months later, I was at this conference where they asked anyone who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to come forward. I ran up there so fast I must have looked like I was trying to win a race. As this minister laid his hand on my head and prayed for me, this language just flowed from my lips. Then it dawned on me. It was the same language I heard myself speak in the hotel room. I realized then that the devil had talked me out of what God had given me then. I was speaking in tongues!

That was the new beginning for me. The Apostle Paul was one of the most powerful ministers of the gospel to ever live on this earth and he said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." (1 Cor 14:18.) It was my desire to be used of God to help others. You see, I was the person that had been forgiven more than most and have so much to be thankful for. I don't know how else to better please God than to help others be freed from Satan’s grip and come to know of God's awesome love and promise toward them.

All the gifts are important and I know I have only been focusing on one of them. To many this is a "scary subject" wrapped in controversy. Yet is just seems so unfair to me when people are cheated from something so precious from God that He paid such a great price to give. Jesus never spoke in tongues. He didn't need to. He never sinned. He said,"...I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. John 8:28.

Jesus' communication and obedience to the Father was perfect. Ours is not. He gave us a language to help us communicate and that would allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us for those things that we don't know how to pray for. Words that couldn't be touched by the unbelief that attacks our minds when we know what we are praying. I need this help and I praise the Lord He has made it available to me. I pray in tongues all the time!

Don’t wait for God to hit you on the head so that this language flows from you. Pray and ask for this gift. Begin to speak by faith. Let the words given by Him come. Of course it will feel unusual. You’ve not done it before and it comes from Heaven. Just do it and thank God for it. It will change your life! “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself… I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”

This is the last writing on this subject for now…

If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: info@lwcc.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Monday, October 06, 2008

“Don’t Let Anyone Talk You Out Of it!”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"


Maybe you feel this way. Maybe you don’t understand the need to speak/pray in tongues. Maybe you don’t know how to receive it. Maybe you don’t even know if you want to. Why would you unless you really understood the purpose of this gift?

First, can we agree with this? Although people waste their time and energy, God does not. It’s contrary to His character. He has a plan for everything. Until a person asks and receives Jesus Christ into his or her life to be Lord and Savior, they will have no capacity to understand the heart of God. Only the Holy Spirit reveals God’s heart. No one has the Holy Spirit until they receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. From that point, we are to know God’s ways through prayer and through reading God’s Word asking God to give us revelation and insight. You can see this truth revealed in Eph. 1:9-14. “God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to His good pleasure. And this is His plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us from the beginning... 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…’’

The last part of what we just read says, “…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...”

When we became God’s own, we become a part of His plan to touch others with the Love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit not only teaches us how to love others but through the gift of tongues emboldens and empowers us to do so. God gives the Holy Spirit to help us. We see this in today’s Fresh Manna verses. “Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

What is Jesus teaching us? That He will give us His Holy Spirit simply by asking. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit for their source of power to do His will. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Do you remember Peter and how he told Jesus he’d be by his side, defend Him, even die with Him if necessary. Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to sift him like wheat. Peter did become afraid and denied Jesus. Peter was devastated in his failure. Then Peter waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Jesus told them to. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. They began speaking in tongues and then Peter is suddenly and miraculously changed from a coward to courageous. He boldly proclaims Jesus Christ and three thousand people give their life to the Lord. Read Act chapter two for yourself and see.

We belong to God. His love is revealed to us. It’s supposed to impact our love for Him. It’s supposed to impact our desire to help others know and love Him. God offers the gift of tongues to help that happen in your heart.

In Acts 19:1-6 we read about the Apostle Paul encountering Christians in Ephesus. They were not unbelievers – they were Christians. Christians have the Holy Spirit they moment the give their life to Jesus, yet look at what Paul asked them. “There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.“

This is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is for believers who already have the Holy Spirit. Tongues are the outward sign of receiving this gift which opens the door to all the spiritual gifts.

The original disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for it because it had never been given up to that point in time. It first came at Pentecost after Jesus arose into Heaven. Today it is a gift to be received by faith by asking - “Lord baptize me with your Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.” Remember how you received Jesus? Didn’t you simply ask? Did He hold Himself back from you? Was it hard at first to believe that He would so easily forgive your sins and give you a new life? This holds true with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – of anything we ask by faith. We ask in faith. We thank Him. We act on our faith. After you ask Him to fill you, speak out or pray but not in language you know. He will fill your mouth with a heavenly language. Your head will doubt it just like it doubted Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life. But, He will give you a language you do not understand – tongues. You will never be the same. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it. It’s not just for you. It’s for your boldness to live the Christian life the way God wanted you to. More tomorrow…

If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: info@lwcc.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Friday, October 03, 2008

One Amazing Weekend at the Movies!


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

One Amazing Weekend at the Movies!
You did it!

You made FIREPROOF the No. 4 overall movie in America this past weekend! In fact, if you look at per-screen average (and Hollywood does), you made FIREPROOF the second-leading per-screen film this weekend.

You puzzled Hollywood pundits and prognosticators. You boggled movie-based bloggers. You showed the movie industry that there not only is interest in good, wholesome films, but there is also an audience for them.

You made an impact. And in case you're wondering, people noticed. This is what USA Today said:

“The surprise of the weekend, though, was the Christian-themed Fireproof. Made for $500,000 and released on 839 screens, the Kirk Cameron drama did $6.5 million and took fourth place.

“Most analysts did not expect the film to crack the top 10, yet it enjoyed the second-largest debut this year for a film opening on fewer than 1,000 screens; the biggest was Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which debuted to $31 million on 683 screens.”

After winning the championship game in Facing the Giants, Coach Grant Taylor asks the members of his football team, “What is impossible with God?” To a player, they all answered: “Nothing.”

Thank you for your overwhelming support FIREPROOF on opening weekend!

If you haven’t seen FIREPROOF please don’t wait to go see it. We all want to see more Christian movies produced and your seeing it will help that happen!

Now here is today's Manna...

AS CONTENT AS A BABY... By Renee Burt

Have you ever sat and watched a baby lying in its mother's arms, looking as though it didn't have a care in the world? That's because babies DON'T have a care! It doesn't take long for them to understand that when they're hungry, their mother will feed them more than enough. And when they make a mess in their pants, their mother will change their pants. And when they need to get some rest, their mother will lay them down to rest. So they don't worry, they don't get stressed out, they don't feel condemned because they spit up on their mother or made a mistake they think their mother might get mad at. The only problem they have is that one day they'll grow up and forget the lessons they learned in their mother's arms. And that's this...to be content, knowing that God, our heavenly daddy, will take care of all our needs with MORE than enough. And He's not too big of a God that He won't reach down to help us out of all of our "messes." And He knows just how to give us the "rest" we need. And He is never condemning us for our mistakes, so He doesn't want us to EVER be worried, stressed out and condemning ourselves. Because He loves us through thick and thin, and He won't stop caring for us NO MATTER WHAT...anymore than you would stop caring for your baby when it made a mess or made a mistake. So uproot those weeds of wrong thinking...do some cultivating, like it says in today's verse...and learn to be content in the knowledge that He loves you always and forever. Rest in His arms...and let Him quiet your heart as you snuggle close to the heart of God!

Psalm 131:2 MSG ~ I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother's arms, my soul is a baby content.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

“I Need God’s Power”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor. 14:5 (NIV) “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”


When you were a child, did you ever experience that anticipation to open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve? Do you remember your children feeling that way? The people in the church of Corinth were almost like that concerning the gifts of God. They were a church of young believers. They were excited and wanted everything God had for them. In their excitement and spiritual immaturity, they made many mistakes. But isn't it a good thing when people crave for more of God? I think so. Their immaturity caused problems but my personal motto is this, "They'll grow up. Just hang in their and work hard to train them in the process." Honest people will admit they make many mistakes in what they think, what they do, and in the presumptions they make along the path of life. But, in time, those things get corrected.

The Apostle Paul had his work cut out for him with the church of Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 14, he is specifically talking to them about how the gifts of the Spirit - specifically the gift of tongues, prophecy and interpretation of tongues and how they are to operate in the corporate church setting. He was teaching them AND helping them to learn to avoid confusion. What is key to understand is that He was not giving instructions for these gifts in other settings such as our day-to-day walk. He was teaching them the order when the church came together. Where most people make mistakes is trying to apply PRAYING in tongues, with SPEAKING in tongues for the edification of the church. PRAYING in tongues is something that is done in one's personal life and prayer closet or as the church when they are together for purposes of prayer. Paul was laying out instructions for SPEAKING in tongues for the church so that it was done decently and in order and for the edification of all there.

Let me walk you through so you can understand. First Paul said that love, not pride - not wanting to look spiritual, but love should be their motive for the gifts of the Spirit. Then he said, “eagerly desire spiritual gifts," "especially the gift of prophecy." This is not because the gift of prophecy is better than the rest of the gifts as a rule. This was the better gift in general when the entire church came together. It was a gift that could be understood and would speak into the hearts of all that were gathered together.

If Jane Doe showed up and had just received a report that she had cancer, the better gift for her could have been the gift of healing. That wouldn't have benefited everyone but for her it would have been the better gift. Paul was trying to teach them how to act as a group. He wasn't trying to put the gifts in some order of importance. Go try to peel a carrot with a spoon. You will see a carrot peeler is a better tool for that job. Each gift has its place and time of importance.

Paul then went on in verse 3 to explain something about tongues. He said that when people pray in tongues, they aren't speaking to men but to God and that the Holy Spirit is praying mysteries (or you could say things that are unknown to the person praying.) In the church setting, someone speaking (as a person speaking to everyone there) in tongues is not going to benefit those around them. That is why he went on to say that the person who prophesies will be speaking things that strengthen, encourage and bring comfort to those who can hear. He said that when a person speaks in tongues, there is a personal edification but that it is not going to benefit those around them. At this time, prophecy is the better gift for everyone's edification because they can understand what is being said.

What Paul DID NOT say, is that the gift of tongues is therefore not that big of a deal or not important. He did not say it is not as good a gift as prophecy or other gifts. He did say, that in the church setting, it is not a gift that will be as helpful and edifying for all as prophecy is. Why? Because they can all understand and be blessed by the gift of prophecy!

Paul then went on in verse 5 to say,”I WOULD LIKE EVERY ONE OF YOU TO SPEAK IN TONGUES." Now let me say this and it's important. It would have been wrong for Paul to say this if it couldn't happen. It would have been a tease. It would have been misleading. That isn't the case. Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say and write these words. The big question everyone brings up is this. Doesn't it say that tongues or these gifts aren't for everyone? No, it doesn't say that.

Earlier on the Apostle Paul asks this question. “Will all speak in tongues?” He put it like that because he knew that not all would. Not all people will give their life to Jesus either. But both are the will of God. It's just that God does not make us do anything and so instead He offers us things and calls what He offers us "gifts." A gift means it's free. A gift implies it has value. A gift has to be freely and personally received. This is why Paul said. "Will all speak in tongues?" He also went on to reveal his heart. He said, “I WOULD LIKE EVERY ONE OF YOU TO SPEAK IN TONGUES."

He didn't stop there; he was midway through a statement. He went on to say; I would rather have you prophesy. Again, what HE DIDN’T SAY is this, "forget tongues, prophecy is better." He was saying that in the church setting, I would rather have you all prophesy because in that setting prophecy is what they can understand and be benefited by. He was teaching them order and the greatest benefit to the order of things when they all came together.

God knows we need power from above to be strengthened to live for Him and carry out His will in this earth. Tongues is a gift creating that help and power. He furnishes and equips us so that we can be vessels of His love to others. He gives us supernatural gifts of His spirit to aid us. I need the help of the Holy Spirit and His gifts to succeed as a Christian in life. How about you? More next time…

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Gift From God to You!

Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor. 14:18 “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.”


Have you ever experienced what are seemingly impossible circumstances to overcome while at the same time feeling that God through His word was trying to comfort you and encourage you to trust in Him through faith? Then you are in company with Abraham. God made promises to he and Sarah that were naturally impossible.

Romans 4:18-19 tells us, “When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed him. God had also said, "Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars," even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife, had never been able to have children.”

What did Abraham do when God spoke this promise to him? It says “Abraham believed Him.” It says, “Abraham’s faith did not weaken” despite impossible circumstances. That is why Abraham is considered the father of faith.

Great and unwavering faith is pleasing to God and what God responds to. Hebrews 11:6 says, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

We continue to see the importance of faith and the curse of doubt in James 1:6-8. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

So now, let’s get real. I want you to think for a moment. How many times have you been in an adverse situation and you have prayed asking God for a miracle only to spill the hopelessness of your situation and unbelief in a later conversation? We so badly want to believe the promise of God’s Word and pray and be in faith, but our head seems to immediately get in the way.

In Mark chapter 9 we read the story of a man whose son has been possessed with evil spirits and is tormented. He begs Jesus to help his son. This man has lived with this situation for many years. Jesus does to him what He tries to do with us – give us hope.

We read: “The evil spirit often makes him fall into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us. Do something if you can." What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes." The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!" Mark 9:22-24

Haven’t we all been in the role of that man to some degree? We know God can do anything. We want to believe He wants to. But in our prayer for help, like the father we cry "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!"

This is one of the reasons the gift of tongues is such a precious gift. As I began to say yesterday, the gift of tongues is a gift from God. When I pray in tongues, I do not know what I am praying. I am praying in a language I do not understand. But, God understands! It is a mystery to me but not to Him. They become prayers unhindered with unbelief – prayers of faith that God can respond to. 1 Cor. 14:2 says, “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.”

When we know what we pray, it becomes the battle ground of spiritual warfare. The mind is where Satan wages war. He tries to move us into unbelief and doubt. When Jesus was in the desert being tempted by Satan, Jesus resisted Satan by the Word and promise of God. He is our model. We do try to do that but, sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes more than others and usually in the mind.

If we don’t know what we are praying but simply become a yielded vessel of the Holy Spirit to pray in tongues, we are told here that we don’t know what we are praying but we are praying mysteries. The Greek word for “mysteries” means secrets. They are secrets to us but not to God. That means God knows what we are praying. We simply don’t. What’s the benefit of that? Satan can’t bring doubt to it because he does not know what we are praying.

Satan doesn’t know but the Holy Spirit does. He is the one that knows our heart and helps us pray in tongues. Romans 8:26 says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” The Greek word for groanings, means to literally speak unintelligible words – or words that we don’t understand. That is another language or tongues.

The Apostle Paul who wrote three-fourths of the New Testament prayed in tongues more than anyone. 1 Cor. 14:18 says, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” In 1 Cor. 14:39 he said, “… and don't forbid speaking in tongues.” What language is tongues? Paul said, in 1 Cor 13: 1 that they are the language of “men or angels.” Tongues is a supernatural gift given to anyone that seeks God for the gift. But, like we started out today examining – you don’t receive anything from God unless it’s in faith and that includes tongues.

The man without pride will admit that his life is filled with circumstances and situations that are beyond his reach and control. God wants us to lean on Him but understands the mental warfare we face. The gift of tongues was a gift given to Christians to help strengthen our faith and prayers overcoming the attacks of unbelief. It is a gift to you! More next time…

If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: info@lwcc.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved