About Tim Burt

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Being Successful in Making Changes!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

As a Christian, change is something that I have always felt was to be a constant in my life. In the early stages of my Christian walk, the need for change was more than obvious to me. I had filled my thoughts with the world's way of thinking and my actions reflected it. Prior to receiving Jesus into my life, I knew nothing about the Bible and so in a way I was my own god. By that I mean that I based my standard and ways for living on my philosophy of life - the philosophy that I had shaped mostly to fit what pleased me. I started reading the Bible and realized that God had much higher standards than I did. Over time I could see the wisdom in them and wanted them as my standards. If I was serious, then that meant change! Saying it was easy. Doing it wasn’t.

When you accept Jesus into your heart, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you. As you begin to read and learn God's Word, He begins to reveal God's ways to you. That was happening to me. I didn't want to change just one thing. I wanted to change multiple areas of my life. I wanted to treat people kinder. I wanted to be more truthful. I wanted to stop doing things that were unprofitable and contrary to God's word. I wanted to do things that were profitable for my life. I wanted to serve God in practical ways. I wanted to quit using profanity and stop being cynical or sarcastic. There was so much I wanted to change! Over time I yearned to be pleasing to God. I wanted to be an example of His love – not the hypocrite I too often felt like.

I'm somewhat of a multi-tasker so I thought, “Why not make all these changes at once?” That is where I learned the reality of something I probably knew deep down inside but seemed to continuously forget. I remembered that just because you want to do something that is right and good, doesn't mean it comes easy. If you have ever gone on a diet or tried to change your eating habits or start an exercise program, you know what I mean.

As I started to make changes, there were some changes that were so supernatural in their working that they could only be attributed to God. For example, having been and alcoholic for years and then to one day, never touch alcohol again was a touch from God that can only be described as miraculous. The desire was gone and out of my life forever. There were a few things like that. But, the majority of things that needed change did not come easy. It often felt like they were chained to me. It was in this place that I learned the meaning of commitment.

I deal with Christians that know they are engaged in thought and behavioral patterns that are harmful or destructive but can't seem to find there way out of them. I don't think people realize that commitment - true commitment is a spiritual thing. What Jesus did for us was born out of pure and perfect commitment to His Father. No other man or women that lived upon the earth could do what He did. That is why He came for us. What did Jesus know about commitment that caused Him to succeed where we so often fail?

The first secret Jesus knew was that He did not live His earthly life for Himself. He lived His life for others. That flies in complete contradiction to the gurus of today that tell you to get the most out of every day for yourself! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reveals our life isn’t our own! It says, "What? Don’t you understand that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who resides within you, whom you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

Skeptics call this a cop-out but Jesus knew this life was but a vapor. He knew that because of sin manifesting through all mankind, this life would not be the life that God wanted for us. There would be another to come. This life's purpose changed in the plan of God from His original intent. Sin would create havoc and confusion for mankind. God would craft a plan of trust, peace, and promise for us to share. We would instead help people know of God's love so they could enter into the life He would prepare for us – forgiven and His children. Jesus is preparing that place right now for each and every person who will receive Him. He said this in John 14:2-3. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also."

Prov 16:3 says, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do and your plans will succeed.”The ability to keep a commitment is understanding that the strength to do so is rooted in your life’s purpose being committed to something greater than yourself. It has to be rooted in you being a contributor the plan of God and the blessings of those around you. When you realize that the lives of others can be changed eternally because of your commitment to change and serve God, your resolve and commitments will be strengthened and YOU WILL change. AND, your rewards will be eternal. This is the first secret that when understood, has the potential to bring great change in your life. Succeed not for yourself, but for others! More later…

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wonderfully Overwhelmed

God Bless You & Merry Christmas from the Burt Family!

Fresh Manna 2010© by Pastor Tim Burt

It was Christmas day 2009. Renee's parents were knocking at the door. The house was decorated and looked beautiful. The food was cooking in the kitchen. Christmas was in the air. The doorbell rang and her parents entered.

As I was helping them come in and take their coats off, suddenly, just like it did the night before at church, it hit me again - that feeling of Christmas spirit. It was this overwhelming feeling of thanks. I was thankful to God for my family - immediate and extended. I was thankful I had a home they could come to to celebrate Christmas in. And for a flash, I was covered with thoughts of the mercy of God. As they were entering into my home, in an instant I thought "Lord, if it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have a life, a family, or a home. Christmas would have still been a holiday that never measured up to the expectation I had every year of my childhood. Lord if it hadn’t been for your mercy and love, I would have killed myself on drugs or alcohol or something stupid. I'd be dead. Instead here I am surrounded by your goodness and all this love.” It was momentary, it was powerful, it was so real, and it was almost overwhelming.

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

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

2000 years ago when the evening sky illuminated with the angelic host of Heaven and the angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people,” little did we know how intimately that good news would affect our lives. I surely did not know growing up when I heard Linus quoting them watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. But I do now and I am filled with thanks! Merry Christmas to each of you from Renee and I. We pray you’ll be intimately touched by His love this Christmas!

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Legend of the Cherokee Indian Youth's Rite of Passage

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of themorning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.



Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.


He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come
into manhood on his own.


The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm.

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!


Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.



It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him.


He had been at watch
the entire night, protecting his son from harm.



We, too, are never
alone.


Even when we
don't know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us.


When trouble comes,
all we have to do is reach out to Him.



Moral of the story:


Just because you can't see God,


Doesn't mean He is not there.


"For we walk by faith, not by sight."



In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Is This Economy Hurting You?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever heard the phrase, if you want something done, do it yourself? Many people live that way. They want things done precisely their way and in their timeframe. I understand that feeling. I am a manager of many people. I create, manage, and oversee many projects and people groups. When you are delegating and having people help you, they aren’t always going to perfectly get what you want, just the way you want it. Some leaders are patient in working with those they mentor and delegate to helping them to get things right. Others are less patient and throw up their hands saying “Forget it, if I want it done right, I have to do it myself.” That attitude leads to flawed character development spiritually and in how we live life. Let me explain.

If you study the history of Israel, it would be so easy to look at God’s people and say, “Man, they were as up and down in their relationship with God as a rollercoaster.” You would view that for a while they are obeying and serving God and because of it they are conquering their enemies and being blessed at all they put their hand to. But before long they get self-reliant, increasingly disobedient, creeping toward ignoring God, and eventually backslidden – living without needing Him. If they did not repent, it always led to God taking His hand of blessing and protection off of them. They created their own mess and got buried in it until they woke up years and year later and cried out to Him for His help once again. As you spend time reading about them in the Bible, it’s so easy to become critical and think, “How could they have been so blind?”

If you are a Christian today, let me say that we are no different from them. Christians do the same thing today. Why do people backslide from God? Part of that attitude is born from what I mentioned in the beginning – the “do it myself attitude!”

The sincere Christian life is a life dependent upon God and His grace to live life right - grace being the mercy and supernatural help from God through Jesus Christ that is needed to walk out your life in Him. Only an honest and humble heart will fully grasp that.

There could be something that people dislike about this dependence upon God. People want to become independent. People don’t love interdependence. It slows them down. But as a Christian, that isn’t possible. You are dependent upon God. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” That means you have to patiently live your life seeking His direction and help. You will find that God doesn’t always do things the way you like or want or in your desired timeframe. So, you could become like the person that throws up his hands and says, “Forget it, if I want it done right, I’ll do it myself.” This is one big reason people pull back from God. Few would acknowledge it but if their life was examined closely, evidence would indicate they don’t’ need God. They don’t’ read His Word. They don’t pray. They don’t seek Him except when they want something or when they are in trouble. They aren’t going to church or helping build His church – something as precious to Him as a wife. And why? Because they’ve fallen into the pattern of doing life themselves – their way!

Even when people get like this God loves them. But He won’t usurp their free choice to live life without His help.

We are in a difficult economy. Unemployment is at crisis. People are hurting. This will cause some to curse God and pull away into total despair. This will awaken others to their dependence upon God and draw them back to Him.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NLT) This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives. "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving – A Miraculous Day in it’s Making


Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you noticed the flood of software and tools that are available to help us remember things? I take advantage of many of them because they help me remember birthdays, anniversaries, important events, and even my day-to-day schedule. Can we all admit we need help remembering things?

The Apostle Peter knew we forgot things — even things we’ve known or done over and over. Sometimes reminding wasn’t just about putting back in mind something we forgot. Sometimes reminding was about stirring up something important in the same way you stir up hot coals of a campfire to get the flames re-ignited. Peter wrote, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” 2 Peter 1:12 The Lord gave us rainbows so that we’d remember the covenant He established with Noah; that He would never flood the entire Earth again. When you see a rainbow, does it remind you of the grace of God and His covenant with you?

God also gave His people special days and events to remind them of His love, His mercy, and His hand of deliverance from dire circumstances and enemies. We see this in Deut. 16:1-3 “In honor of the Lord your God, always celebrate the Passover at the proper time in early spring, for that was when the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night… Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days eat only bread made without yeast, as you did when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread—the bread of suffering—so that you will remember the day you departed from Egypt as long as you live.”

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is not a day of celebration that God created or asked man to set aside to thank Him. It was a day that the leaders of our nation established. Do you have any idea how miraculous that this actually happened is? Can you imagine a day being set aside today by the leaders of our nation to thank the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the freedom we have and to worship Him freely? Today it would not happen. The fact that we can still celebrate Thanksgiving despite the attacks upon Christianity is nothing short of miraculous. It also helps us understand how deeply the people of that day loved and honored God. Even though I presented these words yesterday, read them again today!

“…It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively...”

So how can we make Thanksgiving more special unto God? Can you plan a time within your Thanksgiving Day — even if just for a couple of minutes if there are those present who don’t think like you — to read a verse and maybe something from history; to remind those with you how miraculous the creation of this day was. And to acknowledge that it couldn’t have happened without the hand of God moving upon the hearts of men? Can you take a minute to pray — giving God sincere thanks; asking Him to help us return to Him? Pray about it. Prepare for it. You can keep it short. But make it sincere. It counts and will reach the heart of God and affect the hearts of those you are with.

1 Chron. 16:35 (NLT) “Cry out, "Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you."

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving – “We the People…”

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Do you remember that in our nation — the United States of America — that we are “We the people…” That‘s what’s written in the United States Constitution. “We the people of the United States…” That’s you and me. That means we have a voice. This government was established by the people and for the people.

Our forefathers had the intellectual honesty and wisdom to know and acknowledge that it was the hand of God that helped our nation become what it was at that time and would become in the future. They had the courage to set a day aside for families across the nation to give thanksgiving to Almighty God and our Savior Jesus Christ and to celebrate His blessings upon our nation.

We are the people and not only can we continue this tradition, but we can do it with great sincerity and prayer by asking God to forgive us of all our sins, personally and as a nation. We can thank Him for what He established and ask Him to lead us and our nation back to Him. We all know too well that without His help, it could never happen.

We must first ask God to revive each of us individually knowing that we need help to return to a place that we don’t seem to have strength to get to on our own. Then we must pray for revival of our nation — a manifestation where God will work in the hearts of Christians across this nation through the power of the Holy Spirit. The result would be that believers would experience a deeper, refreshed love and intimacy with God transforming thinking and changed lifestyles — a supernatural transformation. From there, the result would be a spilling of that change to unbelievers who in turn would flood the altar of Heaven giving their lives to Jesus Christ. And finally the result would be a changed nation.

We are the people of this nation. We are the people of God. Can we show the honesty, wisdom and courage our forefathers did and make this the most meaningful Thanksgiving Day ever? Let us follow their example! How can we practically do that? More tomorrow…

The following are portions of the text of the Continental Congress November 1, 1777 national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation; as printed in the Journals of Congress.

...It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart Thursday, the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise; that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor; and that together with their sincere acknowledgments and offerings, they may join the penitent confession of their manifold sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor, and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance; that it may please him graciously to afford his blessings on the governments of these states respectively, and prosper the public council of the whole; to inspire our commanders both by land and sea, and all under them, with that wisdom and fortitude which may render them fit instruments, under the providence of Almighty God, to secure for these United States the greatest of all blessings, independence and peace; that it may please him to prosper the trade and manufactures of the people and the labor of the husbandman, that our land may yield its increase; to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost….

Psalm 33:12 (NIV) Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for His inheritance.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Freedom – The Valiant Fight For It

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

A lesson that should be taught in all schools . . And colleges

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock , did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom.

When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were no desks.

'Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?'

She replied, 'You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk.'

They thought, 'Well, maybe it's our grades.'

'No,' she said.

'Maybe it's our behavior.'

She told them, 'No, it's not even your behavior.'

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, 'Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.'

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned..

Martha said, 'You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it.'

By the way, this is a true story.
Please consider passing this along so others won't forget that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by U. S. Veterans.

1 Chronicles 19:13 Be of good courage, and let us fight valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making Prudent Decisions

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Making a decision with your best interests in mind is what most people do most of the time. That is natural. Making a decision for the purpose of making yourself happy is something that people also do. That may seem natural, but a decision made to make you happy may not always be in your best interest. You might think, “Aren’t decisions made with my best interests in mind and to make me happy something that go hand in hand?” The answer is: not always! They can often be in conflict with each other.

Our country is in a financial mess. I think almost every American citizen believes that to be true to some extent. How did we get there? Isn’t that the question of the decade? Well, at least one way we got there is through people making decisions that made them happy, but were not necessarily in their best interests.

In the last decade, multitudes of people have become homeowners; many for the first time. Many others stepped up to a home of greater value. I am sure that every one of these people was excited and happy, but a huge percentage of them did not make good financial decisions. They bought something that caused them to live on the financial edge — owing more than they could afford — especially if they were to experience a financial interruption or the economy soured.

Buying a home is a good thing. It will initially make the buyer happy. Buying what you can afford will not only bring initial happiness, but also long-term happiness. That is a person making a decision in their best interest and to make themselves happy. But for the one who did not do due diligence — figuring out what they could honestly and reasonably afford even with a setback — that person made an emotional decision that would only bring short-term joy. It was not truly in their best interests.

This country has become a nation of people looking for artificial and short-term joy born from emotional decisions at the expense of their own and others best interests. Spending what you do not have brings very short-term joy. It is not in your best interests; living within your means is.

For me, that all begins with honoring God with my firstfruits — the tithe of my income. From there, it means planning and prudence in spending; thinking through my expenses and what I can and cannot afford. Like most of us, I have learned the hard way that spending to get joy does not work and it eventually brings misery.

People spend for emotional release — to feel better when they’re down, or because “they deserve it” — not because they can afford it. People make emotional decisions that lead them to buy what they can’t afford, to eat what produces fat and poor health, to enter into relationships or sex outside of God’s word and in reckless ways — to do stupid things — in order to make themselves happier; not because they are choosing what is in their best interests. People that live this way are always working to recover from the collateral damage of their emotional decisions.

1 Tim. 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” Money is simply a means of exchange. It’s not good or evil and God does not call it evil. He says the “love of money” is the root of all evil. If money is simply a medium of exchange, you could say, “The love of exchange is the root of all evil.” In other words, it’s the LOVE of exchange or getting things — money, things, people, sex, porn; whatever people are trying to get — without processing getting it with God and their best interests at heart. It first has to prudently fit within God’s boundaries that are there to protect you.

You then have to ask, “If I do this what will it really cost? What will be the long-term fruit? Can I honestly say I am sure that God is fine with this?” When you’ve examined those kinds of thoughts rather than have a lust or “love of exchange” born from an emotional desire to get happier, you’ll make prudent decisions that bring long-term happiness.

John 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Trouble Tree

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

The Trouble Tree (author unknown)

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.

Then in the morning I pick them up again." Funny thing is," he smiled", when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Psalm 55:22 “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Godly Wisdom Will Reveal the Way!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Godly Wisdom Will Reveal the Way!
(author unknown)

A long, long time ago in a small Italian town, a merchant had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a moneylender. The moneylender — who was old and ugly —fancied the merchant's beautiful daughter so he proposed a bargain. He said he would forgo the merchant's debt if he could marry his daughter. Both the merchant and his daughter were horrified by the proposal. The cunning money lender suggested that they let providence decide the matter.

The moneylender told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would then have to pick one pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble, she would become the moneylender's wife and her father's debt would be forgiven. If she picked the white pebble she need not marry him and her father's debt would still be forgiven. But if she refused to pick a pebble, her father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble strewn path in the merchant's garden. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As he picked them up, the sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. He then asked the girl to pick her pebble from the bag.

Now, imagine you were standing in the merchant's garden. What would you have done if you were the girl? If you had to advise her, what would you have told her?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

1. The girl should refuse to take a pebble.

2. The girl should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a cheat.

3. The girl should pick a black pebble and sacrifice herself in order to save her father from his debt and imprisonment.

The girl put her hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, she fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," she said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left, you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that she had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit his dishonesty, the girl changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

Proverbs 14:33 (NLT) Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do You Know Your Benefits?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

This past year we were presented with a new health care plan at work. I went home and studied all the benefits, so we'd be sure to know what was available to us through the plan. Everyone else I talked to had done the same thing. It made good sense to do that. But how much better sense does is make to spend MORE time, and GREATER attention to knowing all of our "benefits" listed in our Bible? It's the greatest heath care plan (for our spirit, soul, and body) available...and there's no monthly fee, co-pays or deductibles. It's a 100% plan that covers everything in life...if you know your benefits! That's what it says in:

Psalm 103:1-5 NIV ~ Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 09, 2009

We've Got a Job to Do!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

It's so easy to get caught up with all the "jobs" we have as a spouse, as a parent, as an employee, as a volunteer, as a friend...trying to be the best we can be, and do the best that we can. And that's good. But so often we're so busy in the job of "doing" we don't focus enough attention on the job of "being." Being what? Today's scripture tells us that as far as God is concerned, our most basic job is "being a blessing." And when we take that job seriously that He's given us, we'll BE blessed in the process. Now that's a job that pays incredible dividends, wouldn't you say? So let's get to work - we've got a job to do!

I Peter 3:8 MSG ~ Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 05, 2009

Let’s Return to our Knees

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Are you an honest person? Can you admit your transgressions? I can admit most, but there are probably a few I still have trouble acknowledging. I can easily admit this: up until the time I gave my life to Jesus, I was one to try to make my own way. I’d figure things out and make my path. Frankly, my path and accomplishments were pathetic. That’s what pride will do for you; keep you blinded and stupid. When I gave my life to Jesus, it was like the lights came on. What I saw in my life wasn’t pretty and I could actually admit it. I needed help. I read the verse Psalm 127:1 that says, “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” Wow! Did that scripture speak to me. What I had built up to that point in my life was pathetic and even the little that I had I couldn’t protect.

Another scripture spoke loudly to me. Matthew 7:26-27 “But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash." It wasn’t that I was ignoring the Lord’s teaching. It was just that I hadn’t heard them nor did I know them at that point in my life. But somehow I knew at that moment that my life was built on sand and it kept getting washed away. I wanted what I saw in Matthew 7:24-25 "Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock.” I wanted to build my house upon a rock. I wanted the Lord to build my house. Jesus gave the key to that. He said to hear and not ignore His teaching.

Today my house is built upon a rock, but do I ever slip into my old ways? Do I ever try to do things my way without seeking the Lord? Do I ever ignore truths from God’s word and do things my own way? I know I am guilty of sometimes doing this. It is my heart’s desire never to, but it happens when I let idolatry happen. You might think, “Wow, that’s a word I don’t hear much in this day and age.” Idolatry has always and only ever been about one thing: leaning on other things—systems, people, or whatever—for your needs and direction for your life, instead of complete reliance upon God. The world is full of gimmicks, tricks, systems, sure-fire things that supposedly will make everything in your life great and provide security for the future. Problem is, they offer false direction and a false sense of security. They are built on sand; what you shouldn’t build your house on. And when they do ultimately collapse, many people then somehow get mad at God. They say, “God where are you in all this?” Problem is, they weren’t looking to God in all they were doing. They were looking at the idols—the systems, guarantees, and promises of the day—that were leading their choices and that they were building their house upon.

The Lord spoke to Israel when they as a nation had come to this backslidden state as a people. He said to them, “Has any nation ever exchanged its gods for another god, even though its gods are nothing? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!” Jeremiah 2:11 Then he said what summed up their state of heart. "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13 He told them they really weren’t looking to or relying on God and that they were relying on systems that had cracks and wouldn’t work.

We live in a crazy world getting crazier. I can tell you right now that unless you turn your life over to the Lord and learn to seek, pray, and rely on Him, you’ll look back with regret. If you and I one by one, turn or return to the Lord and seek Him like Daniel did, then something powerful will begin to happen. You’ll become that one green tree in a dry place. (See picture below) Enough of us, and we’ll become a forest— the cedars of Lebanon. Let’s return to our knees and seek the Lord with all our heart and repent of the two evils the Lord named!



In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 25, 2009

Having a Turtle Day?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

Some days I feel like a turtle…meaning, I’m feeling sort of shy, not very confident, and unsure of the steps I need to take that day. Now, if I didn’t have to leave my house, it would be just fine to pull my head back into my “shell” and have some turtle time! But my life and my work are all about people, which I really do love. I love interacting with people, and I love to ask questions that help me discover all kinds of interesting things about them. What spells trouble on a “turtle day” is that, in those conversations with these poor unsuspecting people who have NO idea of my turtle feelings, it feels like there’s a synapse between my brain and my mouth…and the words just don’t come as easily. At those times, frankly, sometimes even I wonder, “WHAT is she talking about?”

So what do I do on those “turtle days”… that oftentimes happen on the days when I most need to be able to make intelligible conversation? I’ve learned to realize that I can’t always say everything perfectly, it’s okay to be quieter once in awhile, and I don’t have to feel responsible to make sure every conversation is a “10!” I can just be me, even on a turtle day…and trust God that He’ll help me to live my best that day, despite my temporary turtle persona. Trouble isn’t always about the big things we face in life…it’s whatever we face that tries to steal our joy and cause us to feel out of sorts with our day. So if you’re having one of those troubling “turtle days,” let Him help you come on out of your shell,,, and be comfortable just being your best YOU today!

Psalm 34:17 NLT ~ The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 04, 2009

Got Some Jungle Fears?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

When I was a little girl, I had an inordinate fear of quicksand. Why? Was I born in a place where there was quicksand that I passed on my walk to school every day? Did I know someone who had suffered a slow demise in quicksand…which we only knew about, because we later found their hat resting atop the quicksand? No! There isn’t any quicksand where I grew up. And I didn’t know anyone who had perished in quicksand! So where did that fear come from? I had watched too many Tarzan movies! And if I want to be really transparent with you, I had a number of other “jungle fears.” It sounds funny to write about…in fact, I laughed when I wrote this. But at the time, those fears were real…they were terrifying…and they literally caused me to lose sleep.

Sound like something you’re experiencing now? I’m not talking about “jungle fears,” but the kind that are close to home. Maybe you’ve had sleep-stealing fears about your finances, health, or relationship problems with your spouse or kids. Or maybe you feel fear rise up in you every time you listen to the news. Fear is no laughing matter. So what can you do about it? Realize that fears will attack your mind, but you have a heavenly force to combat them…it’s called faith! Faith that God is will never leave you or forsake you…Faith that He’s at work in the difficult situations of your life…Faith that He has a good plan for your life…Faith that He is your protector, provider, healer, comforter, and friend! But you’ll only have that force of faith if you go after it and grab hold of it. Because the thing that got people free from being sucked down into quicksand in those Tarzan movies was when they grabbed hold of something strong and pulled themselves out! And it’s no different with the fears that try to suck you down. So grab hold of the thing that will help you get free of your fears…faith in His strong and sure promises!

Hebrews 10:23 AMP ~ So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Your Mouth Moving Too Fast?

Fresh Manna by Renee Burt

This past week, I accidentally broke a glass when I was unloading the dishwasher. I was moving too fast, and I knocked it just right to cause it to not only break…but to jam the jagged edge down deeply into my thumb. Thankfully, none of the glass got imbedded, but the cut was so deep, I really should have had it stitched up. Instead, I wrapped it up tightly in so much gauze, it looked like the missing finger of some mummy…which was bothersome, to say the least! But even more bothersome was the fact that it became the focus of my attention…it was all about how to do things without anything bumping into the wound and reopening it. I quickly found out it was a wound that was hard to heal.

And that’s really how it can be with our words. We might intentionally or accidentally say something to someone that cuts them deeply when we’re moving our mouths too fast! And the danger of that? Those words can create a wound in that other person’s heart that can become hard to heal. They can become the focus of their thoughts as they replay them over and over again in their mind, making it hard for their heart to heal…because those words have wounded their self-esteem, or their confidence, or their trust, or their security, or their assurance that they’re loved and accepted. So, although I wasn’t happy about my mummified thumb this week, I was happy to be reminded of this verse…and the need to slow down not just in the kitchen, so I don’t wound myself…but to slow down when I speak, so my words don’t wound someone else!

Proverbs 15:4 MSG ~ Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let’s Behave!

Fresh Manna 2009© by By Renee Burt

I’ll never forget when my kids were little, and I would take them all to the grocery store. I would discuss beforehand how they should behave while we were in the store. But after just a few minutes, someone would forget what we’d talk about and do something that would embarrass me. I would find Stephanie sucking the salt off of the bulk peanuts, or I’d find Jeff hiding in the crack between the produce shelves, or Peter would push his childsize cart repeatedly into someone’s heels, or Matt would throw a tantrum. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but someone would always shoot me a dirty look that without words said, “What kind of mom are you anyway?” Well, I knew I was a good mom…but my kids’ behavior certainly made a few people question that from time to time. Hmmm…that made me think, does MY behavior ever make people question the character and integrity of my heavenly Father? I would certainly hope not…but just in case, I think I’ll mediate on today’s verse a little bit more! Want to join me?

Ephesians 4:1 AMP ~ I THEREFORE…appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hope You Aren’t A Vain Jangler

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Tim. 1:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

Today’s Fresh Manna verse has a phrase that is not used in our day to day conversations and that sounds unusual and funny - “vain jangling.” Have you used that phrase lately? It may sound funny but it’s actually an indicator of a sad event – the backsliding of a Christian.

One of the most important lessons that every Christian should learn as they grow in their walk with the Lord is how backsliding happens. I am sure that the majority of people have heard the frog in the kettle illustration at least once if not numerous times. It goes like this. If you put a frog in a boiling kettle of water, it will try to jump out. It knows it’s in danger. If you put a frog into a kettle of room water at room temperature and then turn the water up slowly till it boils, it will stay in the kettle unaware of what is happening to it until it has slowly boiled to death.

That is a good illustration of what happens to Christians. If a Christian is tempted with blatant sin that is contrary to what they know God’s Word says, it’s easily recognizable and they would most likely resist it. But that isn’t how it usually happens.

The first mistake Christians make is that they think they are strong enough in will power and intelligence to manage temptation and sin. What they don’t realize is that sin is more than the sin itself. Sin is accompanied by spiritual power often compared to in the Word of God as “darkness.” We see this in Eph. 5:8-9 “For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” This verse is saying that before a person comes to Jesus, their heart if filled with darkness. That darkness is the power of Satan to blind one’s heart to the truth. You see this in 2 Cor. 4:4 “Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them.”

When a Christian participates in what they know according to the Bible is sin, then they are opening the door to darkness in their life. It is more than just looking at pornography. It’s more than just having sex outside of marriage. It’s more than just a little gossip, or lie, or unforgiveness. It’s opening the door to the god of this world to begin to blind and darken the heart. Christians will NEVER have the power to manage or accommodate sin. Sin produces a darkness in your heart. God gives you the “light”—the ability to recognize sin and avoid it and recognize what is of God and draw near to it. God gives you the grace and mercy to resist temptation or to ask forgiveness if you blow it. His love always wants to draw you back to Him, but sin played with is the power of darkness at work that turns you into the frog in the kettle. It’s the dimmer switch that turns the lights out so slowly you don’t notice it until you have lost your ability to see clearly.

It’s at this point that a Christian can no longer see God’s Word clearly and begins to muddle it with worldly and self philosophies that become “vain jangling” meaning random babble. It turns a Christian from a person that knew the greatest truth in the world; that Jesus Christ is the Son of God—who died for each and every person’s sins, offering eternal life and a life of purpose and blessing on earth—and instead becomes the person that is full of nothing more than random babble; a fool filled with foolish thoughts that is on a path to destruction.

None—not one of us—is able to manage sin. If you know you have been engaged in sinful activity but you don’t feel guilty about it, it means your heart has become hard. If you do feel the guilt, God does not want to condemn you. In either case, you have to get on your knees, talk to the Lord about it, ask Him to forgive you, receive that forgiveness, resist that sin going forward, and don’t be the frog in the kettle. Don’t be a vain jangler. Don’t be deceived. Instead, follow the instruction of Eph. 5:7-8, 15-18 “Don't participate in the sinful things these people do. For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it…So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you."

Don’t slide back from God. Move toward Him and His love! You were created to speak the wisdom of God, not vain jangling. So do it!

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Powerful Poem

"Execution of the innocent"© by Jeff Burt

This is a poem my son wrote about abortion. To me it is powerful. It is not meant to condemn anyone. It is meant to open eyes and awareness of the life within.

Can you feel my shallow breathing as another life begins?
Can you sense the wondrous miracle that's taken place within?
Can you feel the perfect love within my just-created soul?
Can you sense my utter helplessness, my life in your control?

Can you feel my lost confusion as my world is opened up?
Can you tell me what I've done deserving such a bitter cup?
Can you feel the tortured panic in the beating of my heart?
Can you feel my horrid anguish as my body's torn apart?

Can you hear my silent screaming as they scrape me from your womb?
Can you feel me writhe in pain as you become my living tomb?
Can you feel my body spasm as I take my final breath?
Can you justify my murder? Can you justify my death?

Copyright ©2001 Jeff Burt

I published this poem to bring the perspective of the unborn child. I hope it spoke to your heart.

After recieving some beautiful feedback from this today, I decided I need to edit and add these thoughts.

For anyone who has ever had an abortion, it may have been one of the hardest moments you've ever had work through in your life. This wasn't meant to condemn you. If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you know He forgives you for what did. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you have a place to bring this guilt and condemnation. You can lay it at His feet and ask forgiveness. He will forgive you and receieve you as His own. If you don't know how, click here: Learn About Jesus You can also click here: Additional Help After An Abortion for support.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

This comment was send to me by Julie Larson

The poem is very powerful. I cried. The harsh realities of abortion are too often sugar-coated, so I appreciate and thank you for sharing it. Having made this choice myself and experienced this before my life with the Lord, reading it does bring painful memories back to the surface, but I didn’t feel condemned. I know I've been forgiven by God—and I know I'll be reunited with that baby in heaven. For those of us that have to live with the repercussions of choosing abortion, there is no better place than to know that God forgives. Whether abortion or anything else, we all have to deal with guilt from our past or it will eat us up. When I'm reminded of things in my past (…which is pretty regularly), I deliberately and purposefully focus on God's love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness instead of what I’ve done. I can’t undo it anyway, so it’s fruitless to dwell on that. HE'S the one who told me that I’m a new person when I decided to live my life for Him, so that ALWAYS gives me hope and draws me closer to Him. To KNOW that you're forgiven of the terrible things you've done is not an easy place to get to for many of us, and I DO realize that many women live with guilt, pain, and regrets for a lifetime because of abortion. It does not have to be that way and we have the right as a child of the living God to be free from our past TODAY! God’s love is powerful and life-changing!

From another reader:
Greetings Pastor Burt,
While I have been privileged to read your many Manna writings in the past, this one truly came home.

My wife and I have 3 adopted children and she voluntaries at 1st Choice in Las Vegas -a very busy anti abortion setup while a friend and myself help support some of the programs.

It is interesting when we mess with what God has created how we are affected in ways we did not think of, some are:
1. 45million more people in the United States alone lost to abortion.
2. If those people were alive we would:
1. Have a need for 15million more homes ( the same quantity now empty)
2. There would be no deflation in home values as the homes would all are in demand.
3. The factories would be busy as the 45million people means about 13% more production needed.
4. There would be no need for the government to assist (with our money) as the economy would be good.
5. There would be more income for the government due to more people therefore no need for a tax increase.
6. I am sure a lot of other areas would be positively affected, like more people in our churches.

Blessing, and thanks again for sharing you sons poem. Wayne

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Life Well-Lived

Fresh Manna 2009© by By Renee Burt

This past weekend, I wrote a sympathy card to my uncle. You see, my aunt recently moved to heaven, after a life well-lived. She had loved my uncle and their children dearly, and she had loved the Lord with her whole heart. She will be sorely missed by those she loved well. And I couldn’t help but reflect on that and pause to think…how well am I loving the people God has placed in my life? Because the truth is that life seems to move along all too quickly, and unless we make a determined purpose to love well, our time can be eaten up each day with things that exclude our well-meant intentions to make that call, or to write that note, or to go see that person.

So this weekend, I set aside my to-do list long enough to visit a friend in the hospital, and to attend a birthday party, and to spend time with my granddaughters, and to call some of the people in my family who I haven’t talked to in awhile. It was a weekend well-lived. But it wouldn’t have happened without recognition that this “well-lived life” business takes effort and a determined purpose. So as today’s verse says, I pray that both you and I will pause and calmly think about that…and someday have it said of us, “Theirs was a life well-lived!”

Psalm 39:4-5 AMP ~ Lord, make me to know my end and [to appreciate] the measure of my days–what it is; let me know and realize how frail I am [how transient is my stay here]. Behold, You have made my days as [short as] handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing in Your sight. Truly every man at his best is merely a breath! Selah [pause, and think calmly of that]!

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

“The Spirit and Gift of Liberty”

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

2 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I was in a taxi this morning in Washington DC. I struck up a conversation with the taxi driver of ethnic descent as I usually do when taking a taxi. I love talking with people that come from other countries to learn from and about them. My conversation with Abeba today melted my heart and almost brought me to tears.

I had asked Abeba how he liked our country. He responded saying, “I tell everyone who ever complains about American that they should visit and live in three other countries besides American. Then they would never complain again.” Abeba continued to tell me his story which would explain that statement. He told me that he was originally from Ethiopia. He was 41 years old (but looked much younger) and had a wife and three children all born here in America. He had the opportunity to come to America as a young man.

He had asked me if I remembered the time of the great Ethiopian famine back in 1984/85. I told him I remembered it very clearly. When that famine happened, countries from around the world reached out to with financial support and aid to the people of Ethiopia. When the famine had ended, there was a singing and dance troupe formed. This troupe traveled to 41 countries as ambassadors of thanks to the countries who provided support, to express their great appreciation for the help they had received. Abeba was a part of that troupe.

Abeba told me that there was no country like America. “There is no country that even comes close to America in the way of freedom, liberty, and opportunity that America offers.” He told me that when living in other countries, where he was from and his background had always led to prejudices that affected and hindered his quality of life and opportunity. He said, “Being an immigrant stopped or greatly hindered any chance to live freely or to get ahead or develop some type of path to success -but not in America!“ I love this country and am so thankful to now be a citizen of it!” “Too many people – maybe most, do not know what they have in living in America.”

My taxi ride was to the airport. As we were pulling into the airport, a van with a family and a driver who very much looked like he was of American decent pulled out into our lane and almost ran into us. Abeba honked briefly simply to let him know we were there. The driver of the van looked back, gave him “the finger” and pulled out anyway. Abeba and I looked at each other and laughed. I told him, “Well, America isn’t perfect, but I love our country and today you’ve helped me love it even more!

When you are in Washington, you are reminded most everywhere, that God-fearing men and women sacrificed most everything to establish this great country whom they recognized was created under that sovereign hand of God. The love for God and our Savior Jesus Christ amongst our forefathers and founders helped bring the spirit of liberty that became embedded in our constitution. As 2 Cor. 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” It is the spirit of God that has caused this nation to be called “Sweet Land of Liberty.” It is this light and liberty that causes people all around the world to hear of America - creating the dream in their heart to come and live here. We heard that time and time again when talking to the immigrants we talked to this week. If we only all understood and could see it like Abeba shared it today!

Our forefathers did their part. Let us pray for the leaders of our nation and love our country doing ours!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feeling Sapped Lately?

Fresh Manna 2009© by By Renee Burt

Some mornings when I wake up, one of my first coherent thoughts is that I wish I had absolutely zero, nada, nothing that needed to be done that day. Ever feel that way too? Then you know how utterly frustrating it can feel, especially when you have a boatload of work and responsibilities staring you in the face…and the sun is barely up! I REALLY felt that way one morning recently, when I had been up literally half the night counseling someone who had needed to talk…which should have been okay, since the next day was Saturday. I could sleep in, right? But I had happened to let my two granddaughters stay overnight, and of all times, they woke up at the crack of dawn! I had only had a couple of hours of sleep when one of them was at my bedside…staring me in the face, almost nose to nose…asking me what there was to eat. Eat? Food? What was that? I felt confused…barely able to even think or know where I was…definitely sapped of any energy to do anything!

So I did the only rational thing a person SHOULD do when you feel a primal instinct to scream, “I’m exhausted! I can’t function! Leave me alone!” I decided that a good laugh and some fun would help, so I told the girls we would be going to Perkins…in our pajamas…which was fun, in and of itself. But then while we were eating, we also made up a funny little dance that could only be danced while sitting in your chair. What did people think? I don’t know! We were too busy having fun, and it was just what I needed. It gave me more of a boost than a whole pot of coffee would have! So are you weighted down and more than a little worn out? Break out and have some fun…laugh, even if it’s just at yourself! It might be just the kind of medicine you need…and it’s the kind that tastes really good!

Proverbs 17:22 NLT ~ A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength!

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Keep Your Life in “Shape!”

Fresh Manna 2009© by By Renee Burt

Sometimes life (and the people in your life) will pull on you in so many directions, you begin to feel like one of those cartoon characters whose arms and legs can be stretched to the outer limits (and beyond)! And at those times, it can take just one extra pull to cause your emotions to snap…which usually takes the shape of saying words you never meant to say, never intended to say, and never should have said. Now, don’t go acting like you don’t know what I mean! We all have times like this, hopefully few and far between, but we have them, nevertheless. I’ve had a few of them myself lately!

So how do you avoid making those missteps with your mouth that only add more stress, pressure and drama to your situation? You TRAIN yourself to walk away, calm down, and refuse to say even one word until you can say what will help, rather than hurt, the situation at hand. This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn in life…but it’s also been one of the best things I’ve learned in life. Who did I learn it from? The One who cares about me, Who loves me, Who knows what I’m going through, and Who wants to help me make it through and come out on the other side…without having had to first walk through a quagmire of the consequences that always follow when I let my mouth get the better of me. So next time you feel those stretched out emotions ready to snap, train yourself to keep your tongue from saying a word until you’ve pulled yourself back together. Trust me…better yet, trust Him…it’ll keep your life in much better “shape!”

Proverbs 21:23 NLT ~ Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 10, 2009

Today You Can Shine!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

I woke up this morning at 4 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep. Now, I thought about getting out of bed, but it was just so dark out I couldn’t seem to force myself to get up. It was a fruitless waste of time, in the end. Because all I did for two and a half hours was lie there thinking and rethinking about a certain situation…but never arriving at a conclusion of how to best handle it…probably because I was in a semi-stupor (I think it’s called a stupor, because that’s when your thoughts are stup-id!) Finally, the sun began to rise, and I got out of bed. I was amazed at how differently that situation looked in the light of day, and it wasn’t but a few minutes, and the Lord helped me have the clarity of mind to think it through to what I believe is a good solution. And then today’s verse came to mind. I thought about how so many people are in dark situations in their lives right now. And the enemy of our soul would love nothing more than to keep us in that dark place…lethargic, feeling unable to get up…with our thoughts in a stupor, unable to see our way out. That’s when we need to crack open the Word and let it shine into our life…because it will give us direction, hope, and peace for that day…knowing that HE will show us the way, even if there seems to be no way! So get up! Arise! And let His wonderful light shine into your life today!

Isaiah 60:1 AMP ~ ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Is America No Longer a Christian Nation?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Is President Obama Correct: Is America No Longer a Christian Nation?

by David Barton


Over the past several years, President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that America is not a Christian nation. He asserted that while a U. S. Senator, 1 repeated it as a presidential candidate, 2 and on a recent presidential trip to Turkey announced to the world that Americans “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” 3 (He made that announcement in Turkey because he said it was “a location he said he chose to send a clear message.” 4 ) Then preceding a subsequent trip to Egypt, he declared that America was “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world” 5 (even though the federal government’s own statistics show that less than one-percent of Americans are Muslims. 6

The President’s statements were publicized across the world but received little attention in the American media. Had they been carried here, the President might have been surprised to learn that nearly two-thirds of Americans currently consider America to be a Christian nation 7 and therefore certainly might have taken exception with his remarks. But regardless of what today’s Americans might think, it is unquestionable that four previous centuries of American leaders would definitely take umbrage with the President’s statements.... continued: click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Sunday, July 05, 2009

America - A Judeo-Christian Nation

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt






God bless Congressman J. Randy Forbes for expressing what so many of us as Americans and Christians feel!


Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.



There is only one God. All other gods are nothing more than the figment of men's imaginations as seen in Isaiah 41:17-24 (NLT)
"When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst, then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never forsake them. [18] I will open up rivers for them on high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. In the deserts they will find pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the dry, parched ground. [19] I will plant trees—cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine—on barren land. [20] Everyone will see this miracle and understand that it is the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, who did it.
[21] "Can your idols make such claims as these? Let them come and show what they can do!" says the Lord, the King of Israel. [22] "Let them try to tell us what happened long ago or what the future holds. [23] Yes, that's it! If you are gods, tell what will occur in the days ahead. Or perform a mighty miracle that will fill us with amazement and fear. Do something, whether good or bad! [24] But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all...




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Need to Be Saved From Yourself?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Renee Burt

This morning I had a funny thing happen. Well, it really wasn’t so funny at the time…but looking back in retrospect, it has its humorous elements. What happened was someone had said something to me that got under my skin…it begged for a response. But the problem was, I didn’t have anything very good to say back. Just so you know, I wasn’t thinking of saying anything mean or vindictive or retaliatory. Let’s just say, I wanted to speak the truth…but not necessarily in love, like we’re commanded to in the Bible. I felt a little angry, if you want to know the truth. So I decided to pen a note. That way I could cut, paste, delete, and rewrite until I could say what I wanted to say succinctly and to the point. But lo and behold, I was on a writing roll, and the words were coming far easier than I thought they would. Awesome! But the downside was that I noticed that the more I wrote, the angrier I felt. And rather than helping me unload my frustration, it was fueling it. I ignored the feeling and kept on writing.

I was just about done, when my finger must have hit some wrong key, and poof…the note was irretrievably deleted. I couldn’t believe it! I had written a perfect note…or had I? Was it going to produce anything good in the end? I paused, prayed, and the Lord basically told me that He had saved me from myself…and from making a bad situation worse. At first, I was bugged…but then I laughed…at how the Lord “works in mysterious ways,” as it says in Isaiah 45:15 NLT. And I’m so glad He does! Because our anger will never improve a relational schism, it will never really make a situation better, and angry words won’t bring about any of the goodness of God in your life or in the life of that other person. So don’t fight it when He’s trying to save YOU from yourself…and let’s slow down and allow Him to shape our words instead into something beautiful.

James 1:19-21 MSG ~ Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God's righteousness doesn't grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna


Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Take Time to Notice!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

Do you ever have days or weeks when you feel like God seems distant or far away? Why is that? Is it because He’s busy taking care of the needs of people in third world countries…and He just needs you to get by without His help for awhile? Or is it because He’s upset with you about your recent behavior and is giving you the proverbial “cold shoulder?” Or is it because He needs you to grow up and stop depending on Him so much? I don’t think so...in fact, that couldn’t be further from the Truth! So why do we have those times when He seems galaxies away, and our relationship with Him feels about as warm as an iceberg?

I know that in my life, I’ve noticed that those times aren’t because God isn’t paying attention to me. It’s because I’m not paying attention to Him, and noticing all the myriad of ways He is daily attempting to demonstrate His love and nearness to me…like last week. I had to take a flight alone to another city. I was feeling anxious about the trip, tired, and emotional that morning. Well, the flight began to fill up…but no one came to sit in the seat next to me. And it was as if I heard the Lord say, “I’ll sit next to you…I’ll be with you during this entire trip…and I’ll even hold your hand.” Now, I’m rather pragmatic by nature, so I don’t usually do what I did next. But I leaned in towards the seat next to me, put my hand over into the seat, imagined I took His hand…and I felt the tenderness and nearness of Him in that moment. I was reaching out to be close to Him, and He was there for me in the sweetest way that reminded me He is always close, always near. He’s near to you too…He’s never far away…you’ll discover He’s as close as the space next to you, if you’ll just take the time to notice.

James 4:8 NLT ~ Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.

Psalm 63:8 NLT ~ I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 15, 2009

God Is Not Out To Get You!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Job 42:5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Many people that have read the Bible, have lost their confidence in God's love when they read the story of Job. If you are a reader of the Bible, you may have read Job and have had these questions. "I have read Job and know that he was doing the will of God, and yet God let Satan take everything away from him. It looks to me like God allowed Satan to strip Job of every blessing. Am I seeing this wrongly? It seems the closer you get to God, the more attacks God lets you experience.”

If you read the story of Job, you see that he was a man that did his best to follow God's will. Job 1:1 says, "There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil." It is not saying that Job was sinless. No man has lived sinless before God. What it is saying is that Job loved God and did his best from a pure heart to live upright before God. As you read you see that Job was greatly blessed. You will also see that he only knew what he had heard about God. He didn’t know God well. You can also see a flawed side of Job's life if you look closely. You can see that Job had a great fear. He had many children that didn't hold the same values that Job did. Job's life represented hard work and a deep affection for God. You get the impression that his children thought more about partying than anything else. They may have been the spoiled rich kids. Job 1:4 says, "And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them."

This had become a fear to Job. How do I know? Because Job out of his fear and concern (something in his imagination but not known for fact) was concerned that they were sinning against God and so he pulled them together to offer up sacrifices for their sins each day. Job 1:5 says, ”So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly.”

How would you like it if your mom or dad pulled you in each morning and said, "Come here. I need to offer up a sacrifice for you because I’m afraid that somehow you sinned against God last night." What would that do to your self-esteem? Do you think it would draw you closer to God or might you finally say, "Alright, if Dad thinks this is what I'm always doing, I might as well do it!”?

Job lived in fear of his children displeasing God. He personally lived his life upright before God but he also lived with great fear that because of the way his children lived, great destruction was going to come upon their lives. Guess what? It did. Why? Because the force of fear empowers Satan. God had to release Satan's hand because Job's faith - which was really his fear, had belief that something bad was going to happen. How do I know that? Because after all Job's calamity came upon him, Job made the statement that revealed what was in his heart all along. Job 3:25 reveals his heart saying, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job literally had faith in this fear!

The story continues with Job and his friends making statements about God that they imagined but were not all true. God was patient to listen but finally corrected them all. He had Job pray for His friends who erred in their perception of Himself and Job, and then He corrected Job Himself. After God's correction of how Job perceived him, Job made this statement to God in Job 42:3. To God he said, "You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job now understood his perception of God was faulty and he humbled himself and repented. He continued to say, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6)

Job lived for and had faith in God. But, it was a blind faith. He knew there was a God because he had heard of Him. He knew to live upright before Him but He didn't really know Him or His character. Consequently, his fears that God might destroy his children and take away his blessings opened the door for Satan to come in and work destruction in his life.

God is good. He never changes. We always see that. That's why we see God restore Job's blessing to him at an even greater level. By this point in Job’s life, Satan could no longer steal them again because Job had now learned some things about God. Job came to that reckoning that so many Christians need to. We cannot figure God out with our imagination and decide what He is like. God reveals who He is to us by His Spirit and through His Word. What He reveals is the foundation of our faith and what we are to believe. As today's Fresh Manna says, Job could finally say, My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

If you fear that God is going to come against you because of your mistakes and sins, slam that door. But also, don’t give place to Satan attacking you through sin. Live your best for God, resist Satan’s lies and fears that God is going to get you, and praise God who loves you so much. He gave you His most valuable and precious love - Jesus! He’s out to love you, help you, and build you up!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/