About Tim Burt

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.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

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.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

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.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

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?


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

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.