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.

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

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.