Monday, February 28, 2011
by Pastor Tim Burt
I have spent most of my Christian life trying to comfort others with the word of God. Today I need that comfort. At 4:00 am this morning Renee and I brought my son-in-law, my daughter, and my two granddaughters to the airport. Today is the day they left, moving to Peru as missionaries. They worked with us in the ministry for over ten years and lived in the house next door to us for almost as long. We’ve lived side-by-side, played together, and spent countless hours with Madeline and Macy, watching them grow the last eight years. Danny and Stephanie planted a church in the last two years, and are now on to their next step of obedience to the Lord—missionaries. This has been a day we should be utterly proud of and we are. It is also one of the most painful days of my life. I can’t describe what I feel like, but I am hurting worse than anything I ever remember feeling.
So now I have to pull out all that counsel I have given to so many readers over the past eleven years and apply it in my life. I have to take the message Pastor Mac Hammond preached yesterday: the need to prosper in your mind and emotions and put it to work. 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
I know that in time, I will have acclimated to this new season of life and that things will be great. But I want it now. I have a lot to do. I have to have my head together. People around me need me in a good functioning capacity. And so I will use that to help me pull through the tremendous loss I currently feel.
I am going to remind myself that you raise your children to live for and follow after God. I am going to remember that they are walking that out the best way they know how. I am going to remind myself that their life does not revolve around me. I am going to remind myself that we have had them with us all these years, while Danny’s parents—pastors and missionaries in Peru—didn’t get to. Now it is our turn to pass this precious gift of our children and grandchildren down to them to enjoy. Danny’s parents have stayed and served in Peru because of the call of God on their life. They will now get this added blessing that they so richly deserve.
Renee and I are shedding our tears. We will re-adapt our lives. We still have three other incredibly wonderful sons, daughters-in-law, and a grandchild that are so very precious to us. We have the most incredible church family that surrounds our life with such a rich love of God. And we have the call of God on our lives and so much to do before the day when Jesus returns. Everything will be alright and life will go on and be rich in blessing.
Change is inevitable, and when God directs it, it’s meant to bring about good! I will think on these things and the things that are good until I can feel God’s peace and comfort prevail within me.
The Holy Spirit is our comforter. God’s Word gives us instructions for receiving peace and comfort. So, as I have encouraged others, I also am going to be obedient to it.
Philip. 4:8-9 (KJV) “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
I am so thankful to Jesus for His grace and making a way for us to move forward in joy!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
Friday, February 18, 2011
Sunday, February 06, 2011
by David Brog executive director of Christians United for Israel
For the past couple of days, Israel’s critics have been in full drama mode while reporting what they view as a significant new disclosure. Following closely on the heels of Wikileaks, the Al Jazeera network has received over 1,600 documents leaked by a source in the Palestinian Authority. These documents – already known as the “Palestine Papers” — purport to demonstrate the concessions the Palestinians were willing to make during peace negotiations with Israel in 2008. Many commentators have reacted to this disclosure by jumping to the irrational conclusion that if the Palestinians agreed to some concessions- no matter how few- then the Israelis must be to blame for the failure to reach a peace deal.
Yet the Palestine Papers contain nothing that is new or surprising. The only surprise is the rapidity with which the media has mischaracterized their significance, and the speed with which the Palestinians have denied their validity.
Here’s what we know. In 2008, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians an independent state in all of Gaza and over 93.5 percent of the West Bank. He offered them land swaps from Israel to make up for the less than 6.5 percent of the West Bank they would not receive. He also offered them half of Jerusalem. By some accounts, the Palestinians turned this offer down. By other accounts, they simply never responded to it.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left) with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2008. Nothing in the Palestine Papers contradicts this narrative. Instead, these documents make the rather underwhelming disclosure that the Palestinians were prepared to accept some of the compromises suggested by Israel while rejecting others. In particular, it appears that the Palestinians were willing to let Israel keep the parts of Jerusalem with a Jewish majority and to give up the claim that all Palestinians refugees must be free to return to Israel. That’s great. But no one ever claimed that the Palestinians rejected all of the compromises offered by Israel. And accepting some compromises while rejecting others does not a peace agreement make. What is significant – and hardly news – is that the Palestinians ultimately rejected the deal.
This does not mean that the Palestine Papers have failed to provide surprises. But the surprises have come not from their content, but from the Palestinian reaction to their public disclosure. It has indeed been surprising – and quite disappointing – to see these relatively moderate men deny that they were willing to accept these necessary compromises on Jerusalem and refugees. They must deny such compromises because – as they well know – their public is not yet ready to accept them. This ongoing rejectionism explains why Yassir Arafat ultimately turned down a peace deal in 2000, and why Mahmoud Abbas ultimately turned down a deal in 2008. All of the private concessions in the world will not amount to peace. These days, peace deals are made – and signed – in public.
Let’s be clear. Ceding almost all of the West Bank and half of Jerusalem – the biblical and strategic heartland of Israel — is quite controversial in Israel. Yet Israeli leaders have consistently offered to do exactly this, and they have made these offers openly. These Israeli leaders have understood that they must do the difficult work of preparing their public for the tough sacrifices that peace will necessitate. And such leadership often comes at a price. Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated for offering to make these concessions. Prime Minister Ehud Barak was voted out of office for doing likewise.
Ultimately, the Palestinian willingness to make concessions for peace is meaningful only if they can make such concessions publicly. No secret deals can be made here. So long as Palestinian leaders must fear the public disclosure of the difficult concessions that must be made for peace, they will not – and cannot – sign on the line that is dotted. So long as the Palestinians must hide the price of peace from their public, peace will remain a dream.
David Brog is the executive director of Christians United for Israel and author of a new book, In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity. You can follow David on Facebook by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here.
Read More by David Brog at www.CUFI.org
To learn more about how to support Israel go to www.cufi.org