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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

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

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.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

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.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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/