About Tim Burt

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/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Choices!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

Choices…we make dozens of them everyday. It starts most basically in the morning when we have a choice of whether or not to get out of bed when the alarm clock rings! And then if we DO get out of bed, then we’re usually quickly faced with a series of choices about what to wear, what to eat, where to go, what to say, how to respond…it can even include what to think about! And although all of these choices may seem small and insignificant when they stand alone, collectively they steer your life in a certain direction that day.

I’ve been thinking about that this morning, because I know I have many choices to make today…and I’m purposing to not be casual about them. Because I’m not interested in having a day where my choices lead the direction I take…I want a day that’s led in the direction God wants to take me! But He isn’t going to drag me down His path for me today, kicking and screaming. The choice is mine, and that choice is hinged on the many, small choices I make along the way. So my first choice this morning? To pray today’s verse for me…and for you…that He’ll lead us in all the many choices we have to make today. I’m so glad you made a choice to read this far down the page. Now we have a choice to not just read today’s verse…but to believe it!

Psalm 143:8, 10 MSG ~ Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you. Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

Saturday, June 13, 2009

You're a Good News Magnet!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Renee Burt

Have you ever been in a period of you life when it seems like a lot of the news you hear is bad news? It can be disheartening after awhile…especially if the news starts to hit too close to home. That’s what happened to me recently. I got some bad news that felt like a kick in the stomach…or should I say, a kick in the heart. I was so bothered by it, I could barely sleep that night…and when I did fall asleep, I had bad dreams related to this piece of bad news. So I woke up tired, and my sleep-deprived mind began to say things like, “You’ve become like a bad-news magnet. And just when you thought it couldn’t be worse…see? It can get worse! It’s like you’re on some kind of bad-news roll, so you better not say nothing could be worse than this news, or maybe the next news you get will be even worse!”

I could feel fear and discouragement trying to seize my emotions. It was time for some action, or I knew I would melt into tears. So I took a deep breath and replaced those wearisome thoughts with thoughts that said, “God is going to work everything out! And it doesn’t matter WHAT bad news comes along, He’s more than able to turn it around and make it into good news!” Because the truth is that God didn’t create us to be bad-news magnets, but to be good-news magnets! And not because of anything we do, but because He loves us and has a plan for our life that is GOOD…and that includes so much good news, we’ll even wind up getting a reputation for being good-news people! And how’s that for some good news?

Zechariah 8:12-13 MSG ~ “You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people….but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing."

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 08, 2009

Imperfect Relationships Work!

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

Col. 3:23 (NLT) Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are some people – some friends in your life that you treat nicer than they do you? Does that bother you? Does that make you want to complain or abandon the relationship? Sometimes people get so focused and bent on fairness, that they throw away or destroy good relationships though they may have not been perfect or fair in reciprocated love.

To be perfectly honest, my life is filled with the effort of trying to do good and help people. My mother was that way and it somehow got in my blood because it’s how I’m bent. But, it does not mean I am completely selfless. I would love to be but know that I’m far from it. I have my selfish hot spots I need to work on.

I find myself doing things for people all the time. In all reality, seldom do I seem to get back from people what I’ve put out for and done for them. Maybe that’s because I work more with men and men aren’t like women in finding ways to show appreciation. Of course there are always some people that are very good at taking the time to write a thank you note or send off an email of thanks or show some form of appreciation. It’s wonderful when people do take note of what you’ve done for them and thank you in some form.

But, what about those close relationships you have where it seems like you are doing most of the giving and it’s very one-sided? Well, first of all, that might just be your perspective and it might not be true. They might be adding things to your life in ways you don’t notice. Or, maybe it is true. Maybe they are great at receiving from you but don’t give much back. Then what? Does that mean you should dump the relationship?

Our lives could be and I hope are filled with a diversity of good relationships. In them, you will find great disparity on the amount of kindness, niceness, and love that people return back to you. But if you’ll do a self-examination, you might find some that you receive more from and give less to. Or you may just realize that God’s has graced you with more of a giving personality than most and that the imbalance of you giving more than others return back to you is always going to be a part of your life.

People shouldn’t stay in relationships where someone takes and takes and takes without giving back until they're completely drained. That is unless it’s a special assignment from God that He has given you grace for. Special needs people are a good example of that.

But, for the rest, it’s a living reality that many people will not give as much back to you in acts of kindness or thanks. But, maybe they add to your life in other ways. Maybe they add other things to your life that make you value the relationship like making you laugh. Don’t blow off the relationship because it’s not perfectly fair in the reciprocation of love. Most relationships seldom are perfect or perfectly fair. But they do bring value to your life and they are worth having.

For me, I apply the same principle in my relationships that I was taught by the Lord to bring into the workplace. I apply Col. 3:23 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. I have cast aside the mentality and attitudes of doing things for others expecting thanks or reciprocation back. I have put aside looking for perfect friends who reciprocate love and kindness perfectly. Instead I purpose to do what has been my God-given motto for most of my Christian walk. “No matter what anyone else does, just do what’s right.” I try to love others “as unto the Lord.” If I don’t get some of that back, it’s okay because I know that I also have failed giving it to others equally and have failed giving it back to the Lord like I should. I also try to remember the good I value and receive from my imperfect friends and pray they see and value things from this very imperfect guy.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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

Friday, June 05, 2009

He'll NEVER Ignore You!

By Renee Burt

Recently, I knew I was going to spend time with a relative who has always been very difficult for me to talk to. So I had decided to think of some interesting questions to ask them, so we surely would be able to finally have a great conversation. I was hopeful…I was prepared…I was determined. But initially, the conversation went anywhere but where I had hoped it would. So in a lull during the “going-nowhere-in-a hurry” conversation we were having, I asked one of my best questions…one sure to open the door to some meaningful sharing of their memories, which I was excited to listen to. But instead of giving me an answer, they asked the question, “What’s that person saying in the other room?” And they abruptly stood up, and wandered into the next room to see what conversation they were missing in there.

I basically felt ignored, but I wasn’t ready to give up. So later, I waited for a primo opportunity and asked another question…believing that it was just a distraction that had got in the way the first time. Only this time the response was worse, because they gave me a one sentence answer, looked away, and turned on the television…full blast! Now that was being ignored with a capital “I!” So I left the room, walked into the bathroom, and quietly shed some tears. Why? Because I felt rejected and ignored by this person, who I was sincerely trying to connect with.

Maybe you can relate, because lately you’ve experienced something similar. Then take to heart this same verse that helped me dry my tears. Because although it’s true people may ignore or reject you, God will never reject you…and He will never stop loving you with an unfailing love…and He will never ignore you when you’re trying to talk to Him! In fact, go on ahead and shoot your best questions at Him…because even if the whole world ignores you, He’s just waiting to have some “going-somewhere-in-a-hurry” conversations with you!

Psalm 66:20 NLT ~ Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer and did not withdraw his unfailing love from me.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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