About Tim Burt

Monday, April 25, 2011

Faith for Something Beautiful

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This past Saturday started out as a typical cool Spring rainy morning. Earlier in the week, I had raked and cleaned up last year’s dead plant foliage from my flower garden. I was now seeing the early Spring perennials begin to break the ground surface, racing to grow and become the first beauties that would adorn this year’s garden.

Things were looking pretty bare but I knew that in less than three weeks, more and more perennials would spring up and this years garden would be thriving and underway. This day I wanted to get seeds and bulbs in the ground while the soil was wet. Moisture is a key component to germination and growth. After a couple of hours of strategically laying down the seed and planting the bulbs, I looked out over my work. It seemed as though I had done nothing. You couldn’t see anything I had just planted as it was all put under the ground. Everything looked just like it did before I started planting.

It takes me a lot of time to plant my garden. Since part of it is seeding varieties of flowers that can take months before I see them flower, it takes faith that I am going to get the result I hope for. This is why I love gardening. Gardening is all about the exercise of your faith. It reminds me of my life’s work. So much of what I do is like planting seeds and having faith that they will grow into something beautiful. I write these devotions trusting and having faith that God will speak through what is written and help people. I work with people teaching them God’s Word hoping in faith that it will bring reassurance of His love toward them and transform their lives into something meaningful. I am continually creating small groups of people at church or planning events. I do all these things in faith that they will produce a diversity of blessings for many people.

I believe we all do things that require faith because we can’t always instantly see the results of our work. Faith is an every day, on-going part of life. God is to be the center of our faith. We lean on Him asking for His help and having faith that He cares for and will help us. AND HE WILL! First of all, our faith pleases God and secondly, it releases us from what we have no control over once we’ve done our part.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” Too often, people put their faith in themselves, their ability, and what they think they can accomplish. People of great achievement that are honest will tell you that many of the things that contributed to their success were things that worked out well but that they had no control over. That is supposed to bring them a sense of humility because they know that their success wasn’t all about what they did. For those that know and have faith in God, they can be honest and give God the glory and thanks. For those that don’t, they soak up the praise for what they know they don’t totally deserve. That will one day work against them.

I take a small seed that God has created and provided, and plant it in the ground. It turns into something beautiful. I really only had a small part. God made the seed and God created the process for its growth. I simply plant it and water it. God created the beauty with which it will be appreciated. My part is so small. His part is everything! Because of this, I have faith that what He tells me to do will produce a truly good result. When He instructs me in His Word, I pay attention. He is really the true gardener of our lives. I put my faith that the incorruptible seed of His Word that He plants in me will produce something beautiful! As a matter of fact, I know it will because it already has. And I’m sure it has in you too! So… have faith and let God the gardener plant His seed in you and you just water it in prayer! It will produce something beautiful.

Hebrews 11:6 “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”

(Click on picture to enlarge)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jesus speaks Spanish too.

Today's Fresh Manna was written by my son-in-law, Daniel Gutierrez. He is a Pastor and missionary in Peru with his wife and my daughter Stephanie and granddaughters Madeline and Macy! Enjoy!

This past holiday weekend my parents took the girls to the zoo here in Lima for the first time. I’m still not sure who was more excited – my parents or my two daughters. While on this excursion we were certain our girls would see some pretty cool animals, but what we weren’t expecting was for them to see Jesus.

On Holy Thursday, Jesus was at the Peruvian zoo. I have my eldest daughter’s word on it.

Apparantly, they had some type of performance of the Passion of Christ on the main lawn area. It was a harrowing moment for my daughters, not because they haven’t seen this performance or because they don’t know the story…but because Jesus spoke Spanish.

Wide-eyed and exhilarated, my daughter greeted me that evening with, “Daddy, GUESS WHAT?! Jesus speaks Spanish!”

I know, it was really cute.

But I’m not sharing this because it’s cute, but because it hit me like a brick. I’m sharing this because I personally need to have that same innocent light bulb go off in me as well. I need to be amazed at what amazed her about hearing Jesus speak another language. Because there is a mind-blowing truth about grace and how amazing it is at the center of this very realization.

See, my girls are still getting adjusted to their new home. This world called Peru is still brand new for them. They still feel like outsiders. They’re still discovering new tastes and words and meeting new people…all the time. They still filter things through “us” and “them.” For them, Jesus comes from “back there,” from that place called Minnesota, where everything is familiar to them and where Jesus speaks in their native tongue. Up until Thursday, the thought that Jesus spoke anything but English had not even crossed their mind. He was like them, because he always spoke their language.

Yes. Jesus does speak Spanish. He does speak English.

And German.

And Hindi.

And Bora.

And Hebrew.

And Tagalog.

And drunk.

And prostitute.

And drug-pusher.

And wife-beater.

And cheat.

He’s fluent in extortionist and arsonist, and even knows how to speak murderer.

Because he became all of that on Good Friday when he carried the sins of the world – yours and mine and “theirs”- on his shoulders. He became sin, so that we could become righteous. And he knows exactly how to speak to the hearts of the broken today. Those people that I may not like, people who drive me crazy and honk incessantly at me in traffic, and who smear my good name, and those who have wronged me.

Jesus spoke my language so that I would know how much he loves me. He used people that understood grace and who could look past the odious parts of my personality, pride, and deep error to share that message with me. They shared grace in such a way that a Christian-know-it-all like me would understand.

May we be open to speak in the native tongue of others, not by mimicking their actions, but through compassion, so they can understand the only message that heals the broken, reconciles the exiled, and welcomes home the lost. May we come to realize that Jesus speaks everybody’s language.


That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. Phillipians 2:10-11

by Daniel Gutierrez on April 22nd, 2011
Blog: Stir the Pot by Daniel Gutierrez

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jesus is Coming Back!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever felt like you blinked and ten years just went by? On most holidays, Renee’s parents come over and join our family for dinner and to celebrate the day. Although Renee sees her parents quite often, I usually see them on the holidays. It always strikes me when I have seen them that they’ve aged a little more. Then I go and look in the mirror. So have I. Then I look at my children and grandchildren, so have they. Time absolutely flies by! Psalm 102:11 says it like this: “My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering like grass.”

Have you come to the place in life yet where you’ve discovered that many of the things that you thought were so important and chased so hard after, aren’t? One day, hopefully we will come to the realization that the only thing we can take with us at death is the peace of knowing we lived for Jesus and will be going to Him.

This world is changing rapidly. Sin is abounding in this earth. God’s grace is crying out to those who will receive Jesus and live for Him. The clock is ticking and we are approaching the last days. Jesus will soon be coming back to the earth. The Bible talks about it. It will be His time to come and put a final close to all of the sin, destruction, death and the havoc that Satan has sown in his effort to undermine God and His plan in the earth. For the Christian, Jesus' return is not a scary thing - it is an exciting thing! It is a day and time that we have read about, learned about, and will finally see happening. For the one that walks with God and knows God's promises, he can walk in the "the peace that passes understanding" and not be confused by all the darkness that is happening in the earth.

My four children are adults now, but If I was young again and just getting married and knew the Lord like I do, I would not hesitate to have children in this day and age. Even with all the darkness around us. Why? Because we also live in a day where there is more knowledge of the Lord and more opportunities to worship Him than ever before. There are many good strong churches that teach God's Word and teach us how to live our life before the Lord. There are more children's books, children's Bibles, cds and dvds to help our children know the Lord than ever before. When I look at the ministry to the children at our church and how awesome it is, I think, "Wow, I would have loved to grow up in the Lord being able to have what these kids have."

Even so, the truth is, we are heading into the last of the last days. The apostle Paul wrote about them so that we could understand ahead of time what they would look like. In 2 Tim 3:1-5 he said, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

This is just one of many foretellings of what would be upon this earth in the days before Jesus’ return and finally destroy the works of Satan. For many, even to talk about this sort of thing feels highly uncomfortable. That's not my desire in addressing this subject. My desire is to say that when you know the Lord Jesus as your personal savior and you have the Holy Spirit within you, you can know about and live through these last days without fear of what they will bring. You can stay focused on what God has given you to do. You can raise your family with great purpose and focus to know God's love and ways. You can be a daily light, a source of comfort, and an answer to those that are searching for answers. It will make your life full.

The world – those without Jesus will never figure this out. Those that live without Jesus are lost trying to maximize their fun, increase their stuff, and live pleasing their every desire. The Apostle Paul was instructing us to think soberly and differently saying, “…understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in drunkenness, not in sexual immorality or indulgence in sensual pleasures, not in arguing and strife and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Rom 13:11-14

Days go by quickly, and some don’t understand where the world is headed. But for the person that knows Jesus and understands what’s up, they have their life focused on what is important and live by faith in God’s promise and rest!

Psalm 112:4 “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright…”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved