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Friday, January 30, 2009

Energized with JOY!

By Renee Burt

If you read the economic news this morning, it was sobering. More layoffs, jobless benefits hit a new record, and stocks are down. After I read those headlines and got my joy thoroughly zapped, I got dressed and then was going to put on my makeup and do my hair. But first, I went to grab my CD player, so I could listen to music while I finished getting ready. Well, the CD in my player happened to be one of Coffey Anderson’s. He’s a Christian artist, whose music and lyrics to “All Ye” and “Never Turn Back” are simply infectious! They infect my heart in a way that gets my feet dancing and my heart singing. Now, I was all cleaned up…I didn’t want to start dancing and get sweaty, but I couldn’t help myself. Twenty minutes later (after replaying those two songs, three times each), I was slightly disheveled on the outside, but on the inside? I was thoroughly reenergized with the joy that only He can give, even when things around us look like they’re in chaos. So is your week or your life, in general, rather chaotic lately? Maybe Coffey Anderson’s music isn’t your “cup of tea,” but find some music that sets your feet to real, genuine, “like David danced” kind of music…with lyrics that remind you that God is bigger than your circumstances. And dance…try it, you’ll like it (and you’ll even get your heart rate up in the process)! It doesn’t matter if you’re a good dancer…what matters is that He’s a good God…and He wants to give us a fresh start, a fresh outlook on life, and a huge dose of His joy…today!

Psalm 51:8, 10 MSG ~ Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. God, make a fresh start in me shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Power in Your Singing?

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

2 Chr 20:29-30 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.


Rest and peace is a supernatural gift. Wouldn’t you like to have rest and peace in every area of your life? Wouldn’t we all! God actually gives us a weapon that the enemy of our soul fears and that helps bring rest and peace. What is it? Singing unto the Lord. For real! I’ll tell you more.

There was a season for many years in my life when my children were young, where I didn't listen to my choice of music or tapes in my car for over ten years. My kids loved to listen to children's tapes that had stories or music about God's Word. They'd listen and sing along over and over and over again. Then they moved on to contemporary Christian artists.

There was this one clever and cute song that named all 66 books of the Bible. Because we sang this song so often, it taught us the 66 books without really trying to learn them. What was funny was if someone ever asked if any of us could recite the books of the Bible, we could but we’d always find ourselves saying them to the melody of that song. That's what helped bring it to our remembrance. To this day, if I needed to quote all 66 books I would probably instinctively draw on that tune while thinking through them. That is the power of music. Music has many benefits besides entertainment. It can and does teach us. It glues to memories. Some music gets our heart pumping when we exercise. And many of our old favorite songs feel like a memory jogger through our personal history. What was God’s intent for music? It was for all I just mentioned but, it was first and foremost created to lift us up into supernatural places of His presence and peace when used to worship God. If you’ve never had that experience through music, I can understand. I never did till my late 20’s. But once you do experience it, you come to realize the power available within it. Worshiping God has this power to help you step back from the worries and cares that consume your thoughts and steal your joy. A secret that some have discovered is that music - worshipping God sincerely and intimately from the heart can lift up tour soul and help bring you into the presence of God.

I began walking down this road by just buying some worship tapes (now CD’s) and singing along. Then I stumbled upon something powerful. Something I learned to do to help lift me above the cares of the day was to go into the Psalms and focus on a verse about God’s greatness. Then I just begin to create a melody for it. Today I am singing my own melody to the words from today’s Fresh Manna verse. "Oh it is God alone who gives me rest - rest on every side - Oh yes its God alone that gives me rest - rest on every side!" It's simple but it powerfully reminds me that rest and peace are supernatural and come in supernatural ways by His hand.

Read this story. It is one of the most remembered battles in all of history because of the way it was won!

2 Chr 20:12-30 O our God, won't you stop them? We have no way to protect ourselves against this mighty army. We don't know what to do, but we are looking to you." As the people from every part of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children, the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there... "Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, and you, O king Jehoshaphat!" he exclaimed. "The Lord says, 'Don't be afraid! Don't be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours,but God's! Tomorrow, go down and attack them… But you will not need to fight! Take your places; stand quietly and see the incredible rescue operation God will perform for you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem! Don't be afraid or discouraged! Go out there tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!'" Then King Jehoshaphat fell to the ground with his face to the earth, and all the people of Judah and the people of Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. Then the Levites of the Kohath clan and the Korah clan stood to praise the Lord God of Israel with songs of praise that rang out strong and clear. Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and called them to attention. "Listen to me, O people of Judah and Jerusalem," he said. "Believe in the Lord your God and you shall have success! Believe his prophets and everything will be all right!" After consultation with the leaders of the people, he determined that there should be a choir leading the march, clothed in sanctified garments and singing the song "His Loving-kindness Is Forever" as they walked along praising and thanking the Lord! And at the moment they began to sing and to praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to begin fighting among themselves, and they destroyed each other… And as had happened before, when the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God fell upon them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was quiet, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Rest and peace is supernatural and God brings it. Psalm 8 teaches that songs of praise help stop the enemies in our life. You’ve just read that this is true. Find ways to worship the Lord and watch the work that it does in your life!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Climbing with Him!

By Renee Burt

There are so many things that go into living our lives well…things that have to do with our relationships, with our lifestyle, with our faith, with our finances, with our health. I could go on and on. And sometimes getting it all right can seem like climbing Mount Everest. You want to climb to its peak, but it’s just so incredibly difficult. So what’s the answer? Just hang out with a hang-dog face at the bottom of the mountain, and look up with a longing that you don’t think will ever be satisfied? Or do you just start climbing? Well, I’ve tried it both ways, and I’m convinced the climb is where it’s at. Because when you take steps forward, even if they’re shaky steps, to do something you know you should do in a relationship, or in your lifestyle, or in your faith, or in your finances, or even in your diet and exercise…that’s when your trust is more in Him and less in your own ability. And guess what? He won’t let you fall…instead His word says He’ll show us what to do and where to go…which isn’t down the mountain, but ever upward to the place He’s calling each one of us in this life! So forgive me for making this fast…I’ve got some climbing to do today…with Him leading the way!

Isaiah 48:17-18 MSG ~ "I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. If you had listened all along to what I told you, your life would have flowed full like a river, blessings rolling in like waves from the sea.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eliminate Misplaced Trust

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Timothy 2:1-3 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”


Wednesday was the first day of office of our newly elected President Barak Obama. Tuesday was a great day of celebration. Wednesday is the first day of this new reality.

The inauguration and celebration was historical in so many ways. The first African American President took his oath as the 44th President of the United States. What a great day for the black community. To begin to overcome years of historical hardship, injustice, and tragedy and begin to see what Martin Luther King envisioned come to pass is truly great for America and for all. His inauguration speech was outstanding and he truly already is a great communicator. The entire country is now hoping for healing, restoration, and greatness to be restored to America. But, this feeling will soon give way to the realties of the issues that lie before the President and leaders of our nation. When years have gone by and we look back in hindsight, will we have seen what we hoped for come to pass? One thing is for sure. To put this kind of burden and expectation upon any man or any group of leaders would be foolish. The leadership of our nation has always been intended by God to be lifted to the throne of Heaven in prayer and laid at His feet. That is God’s expectation for us!

First, God calls us to not look to or put trust in man for provision and peaceable lives but to absolutely trust in Him. Jeremiah 17: 5-8 instructs, 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.

Our knowledge in, our trust in, our faith in God alone as the one who establishes this nation in what it should be has got to be foundational. If we do put all our trust in God, this shouldn't cause us to be indifferent, apathetic, or careless and negligent toward our President and the running of our nation even though it has for many Christians. Because we do trust in God and not in a man, does not mean forget about our leaders and just go on with our own selfish lives? It is God that has established offices of authority that He instructs us to pray for, not mock and or become indifferent to. He deals with the hearts of leaders as we our faithful to do our parts. Our first responsibility is this: Place your trust in God but don’t become indifferent toward praying for the leadership of our nation.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 instructs us, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” Just as the President and leadership of our nation have enormous roles that affect every American and beyond - we also have a role. That is to support them in prayer that we may live in godliness and peace. We are called to pray – to hold in heart, the leadership of our nation and to pray – not become indifferent and go about our own lives. To not pray is indifference. Indifference is to not care. God calls indifference being lukewarm – neither hot or cold. God shares exactly how He feels about the lukewarm saying, “I know your actions, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! But, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)

We didn’t elect superman to office. We didn’t elect God to office. We elected President Barak Obama – God’s clear choice for us now in this day and time, and those he has raised up as his administration. We elected them and they cannot and will not succeed without the prayers of Christians everywhere. They have their roles. We have ours. We’ve seen the decline these past years and the need for the prayers has never been more clear. President Obama has been elected President. We have been elected to pray. Let us all execute our God given responsibilities with thanksgiving and with diligence.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Special Letter From A Special Reader


This is unusual but for me to print as Fresh Manna, I got this email as an encouragement from a reader to me. I thought it would actually touch your heart and minister to you. I hope it does!

Good Evening Pastor Tim,

I want to thank you for all of your Fresh Manna letters. They are so encouraging to me. I used to get so many emails and had to cut down many of them. I kept yours because they are filled with the Word and never stray from it. I am an amputee and have had open heart surgery and this past Monday had knee surgery on my good left leg. It seems that another surgery might be needed. In fact replacement is next and soon. I am a diabetic and have many issues because of that. I am married and we have 2 children that we home school and they are 10 and 12 years old. They love the Lord Jesus and we make it a point to read the Word together and pray for each other. I have had to retire on SS disability because of my health and have only 26% of my heart left after 4 heart attacks. I have been a believer since 1972 and still love the Lord with all of my heart. We go to a Foursquare Church called Hope Chapel in Apex, N.C. We have a pastor that preaches the Word and it is a Spirit Filled Church. You probably know who Jack Hayford is and he is the president now I believe. My family is involved with a feed the homeless program every month and being able to share the Word and I hold the trash bag at the end and tell them to enjoy the meal and that we freely give back to them what was freely given to us - salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They see my artificial leg and the zipper scar on my chest and they see that I am still a believer. I have been able to share the Word while I have been in the hospital and led another person to the Lord. We struggle and sometimes go day by day and the Lord provides. Thank you again for being faithful to His call!

Serving My Lord,
Kevin Mackin

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Get This One Thing Right!


By Renee Burt

Maybe you’ve always been “good.” You’ve never made a whole lot of mistakes, you don’t struggle with guilt over the poor choices you’ve made along the way, and you’ve never felt like God was far away. That would be great…but the reality is that most of us have gone through periods of time when things just don’t feel right between us and God. I mean we know the Bible says He loves us…but we feel like we just aren’t doing enough to earn or deserve His love. What we’ve forgotten is that we never did do anything to earn or deserve His love in the first place…it was a gift to us! I still remember in my 20’s, when I recommitted my life to the Lord, how amazing it was to realize that He loved me despite my past…what a gift to me! But it didn’t take long for me to forget that His love was a gift…and that I didn’t have to “perform” or do everything just right to hold onto His love. I had forgotten that His love was there to hold ME…every day…despite my mistakes, and despite my feeble attempts to “get it right.” So if you don’t get anything else right, get this one thing right…you don’t have to earn His love. It was a gift the day you got saved…and it continues to be a gift every day of your life!

Galatians 3:2-4 MSG ~ Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God's Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

Friday, January 09, 2009

Runaway Emotions?

by By Renee Burt

It’s amazing to me that so many of the principles of healthy living we read about today really have their foundation in the Bible. They may not acknowledge it, and they may present it as “new discoveries,” but their basic premise isn’t new at all! And one of those principles of healthy living is about the huge effect our thoughts and emotions have on our physical body. Medical science has written article after article about the fact that holding onto thoughts of fear, anxiety, anger or discouragement can cause all kinds of physical disorders and diseases. But without God, all they can do is try to suppress those disease-causing, sleep-robbing, joy-diluting thoughts with medication or by sheer willpower, which always has its human limits. But thankfully, one of the gifts God gives us when we invite Him into our lives is a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). And what makes it sound (calm, untroubled, and disciplined)…and then keeps it sound? Trusting fully that God is big enough to handle all of our todays and our tomorrows…no matter what challenges they may hold. So grab hold of your runaway thoughts and emotions, thank God that you have a sound mind, exercise it to trust Him…and not only will your mind be healthier, but your body will be looking and feeling better too!

Proverbs 14:30 MSG ~ A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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