About Tim Burt

Friday, May 27, 2011

She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain (because she sure can’t make it over)

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This post was written by my daughter Stephanie who lives on the mission field in Lima Peru with her husband Daniel and my two granddaughters Madeline and Macy. Until last fall, they lived next door to us. They are now on the mission field living in adventures with God. She recently wrote this humorous post.


So, yesterday we became a one car family. No big deal, right? There are lots of people who are one car families. Except that we’re a one car, nine person family.

Our car is very, very special. This is a story-making car. This is the kind of car that when we drive it makes me think, “Why yes, I am a missionary.” If I ever forget, driving over a speed bump in The Red Wonder reminds me very quickly where I am. (And there are many, many speed bumps here. They use them in place of stop signs, I suppose, because they force you to stop. Or not, in my mother-in-law’s case.)

The Red Wonder is a red, giant van with all the middle seats taken out, all the side windows completely covered, manual transmission (except for in fourth gear, which doesn’t work), a broken odometer (my guess is that the odometer just got tired of counting at one point), a broken gas gauge (so we fill up often, just in case) and a horn that honks over and over again on its own every time we make a left turn. (The other drivers really like us. And so do the startled pedestrians.)

And yet my children love this van. They adore it. They beg to drive in it. They love to sit in the back seat (with no seat belts, because those are also broken) and whoop and holler every time we hit a speed bump and it throws them up into the air. They love to wave at people out the back window unashamedly. When there are lots of us in the van – too many to fit on the seats – they volunteer to sit on the wheel bumps. C’mon, who else do you know who has wheel bumps in their car? We are the coolest!! And the kids know it.

When there are just a few of us, they can sit up front with us on the broken seat and have an up high view of the whole jammed up Peruvian road. They love watching Danny struggle to drive our non-power steering giant through the six lines of traffic that are crammed into three lanes. “Whoopee!”

And when we arrive at our destination, they don’t mind waiting with me as we sit, locked in the van, unable to get out until Danny comes over to the passenger’s side and flicks the door handle three times – the magic formula for freeing the lock, and us, from our red cage.

I love my kids’ sense of adventure. I love seeing things through their eyes. On days when we’re driving in that thing and I’m thinking how badly I need to find a chiropractor here because of all the whiplash, I look over and see Macy’s sparkling eyes. I see her ability to find fun and pure joy in an uncomfortable circumstance. And that’s the best part – it’s not uncomfortable to her. She’s having so much fun that she no longer sees the same van that I see.

She sees an adventure waiting to happen. She sees a ride that rivals one at the fair. She sees something beautiful.

Did I mention that we live on the other side of a small mountain? To get into the rest of the city, we have to drive either over the mountain (the short way) or around it (the long way). The Red Wonder just can’t make it up anymore. That’s us, coming round the mountain. But it’s all good, because that’s the scenic route. And my eyes are wide open, ready to see something beautiful. Because as my girls constantly show me, there are a lot of amazing things in life to see. It all depends on how you look at it.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Ppublished by Pastor Tim Burt
Ccopyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Ultimate Freedom

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Remember when you were a teenager and you couldn’t wait to get out on your own so you could make your own decisions and have freedom from anyone telling you what to do? I sure do. I didn’t know the Lord back then and my life was all about one thing – making me happy. I remember the day I moved into my first apartment. My emotions were filled with thoughts of freedom from anyone telling me what I had to do coupled with this strange apprehension of what do I do now? I was on my own and my parents were the type to never interfere with my life and decisions. They let me figure things out. I remember this euphoric joy because I could finally do whatever I wanted. It didn’t take all that long to realize that this new found independence was way over rated!

As I said, back then, life was all about me. I simply wanted to follow my fleshly impulses. If I wanted to eat, I ate. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. When I think back to what I used to eat, the memory is scary! I’d also stayed up as long as I wanted. I did want I wanted, kind of! As everyone learns in this phase of life, you still have responsibilities – especially ones you never previously thought about because dad and mom took care of them. You still had a job, you still had to pay bills, you still had obligations. You really weren’t all that free. As a matter of fact, you begin to realize all that your parents provided for you that provided more freedom than you realize.

If there was ever a destroyer of life, it’s following after fleshly impulses. Of course when you’re young, you’re going to make plenty of mistakes. But hopefully you learn and learn quickly that constantly caving to impulses will take you down a road to disaster. People that struggle with weight, anger issues, sexual addiction, shopping addiction, overspending and debt, or compulsion to anything, are dealing with caving in to fleshly impulses. They do what their flesh wants when it wants. The devil and the world support this lifestyle and preach it through advertising and every other communication medium. “If it feels good, do it now.” It’s beyond belief that a television show will show two office people haven a sexual urge, jump in an office closet, and have quick sex.” To be blatantly honest, this kind of carnality being taught to society is a sign of the last days – but that is not where I am going today.

In our desire for freedom, we often cast off restraint. As a Christian living in a carnal world where we strive to please God, restraint is a gift from God. God offers a freedom that is different from the freedom worldly people desire. The freedom that is from God, values restraint. Godly freedom desires the Lord to be its guiding force - NOT wanting to come out from under His guidance and restraint. When you walk in this kind of freedom, you crave for His wisdom in what to give your self to and hold yourself back from. Freedom comes from knowing what God declares is good or bad for you and then using the inner strength of restraint that comes from God’s grace. This kind of freedom will help you navigate and avoid a world filled with mine fields.

God teaches us to use restraint in every part of our life. Proverbs 17:27 says, “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.” Proverbs 25:28 says, “A person without restraint and self-control, is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls.” Proverbs 29:18 says, “People who won't accept God's guidance and cast off restraint become exposed to danger, but whoever obeys God's precepts is happy.”

Parents that are wise will teach their children the benefits of restraint and guide them early on in making good decisions practicing restraint. They will also learn it for themselves and model it for their children. Parents that have no restraint raise children that hate it also. Parents that practice restraint can’t use it like hammer on their children. They have to show and help children see the benefits for themselves. Renee and I practiced this continually with our kids growing up. Whenever they had their own money, they wanted to put it in vending machines. We’d show them the price they’d pay in the vending machines and then the cheaper price they could pay in the store for the same thing. They learned restraint. They had to wait patiently but then they had more to spend elsewhere.

We practiced this with them in all areas of life. When they became independent adults, they may have tested their newly found freedom, but they quickly realized that restraint had served them well and kept them from things that would hurt them.

God is not trying to curtail life’s liberty. He is trying to help you have the kind of freedom that blesses you and does not hurt anyone else in the process. Restraint is truly your friend and the power of God is within you to master it! It produces the Ultimate Freedom!

John 8:34-35 (The Message Bible) “Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can't come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 13, 2011

Saturday, May 07, 2011

How We View the World

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

How We View the World (Author Unknown)
This is a reprint of an article someone had sent me. The author is unknown. I did not write this but it is beautiful and I hope you are blessed by it.

Titus 1:15 “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure…”

Sometimes, life is all about perspective. Half-full, half-empty. Dreary rain or needed moisture. Heavy burden or chance to grow in God. Then there are our personal perceptions. We're too big, too short, too tall, too loud; introvert, extrovert, gloomy, bubbly. We focus on what we see as faults instead of allowing God using those perceived faults to His glory.

Recently our daughter showed us how she perceives herself. She has cerebral palsy on the left side of her body. Some things are hard for her, but she tries harder than anyone I know to see how much she can do. She learned to ski this winter and this spring has mastered driving a 4-wheeler. She's learned to walk on her tip-toes in class and recently celebrated her to ability jump rope in a class essay. She is my hero. (I even tried to learn to ski, but it was not mean to be!)

Last Sunday night, we were watching our favorite show - Extreme Home Makeover. My husband and I will watch this with our two children and rejoice with their good fortune. We often point out how God brought them through great trials and then gave them even greater blessings.

This past week, a little boy, adopted from China, was a member of a deserving family. Part-way through the show, my husband noted that you don't see many boys adopted out of China. "Maybe he has a disability," I answered. "What's a disability?" Ashley quizzed. "Well, like a handicap," I replied. "What's a handicap?" she asked. "Well, when someone's body or brain doesn't work like others think it should," I offered, realizing she was not applying either term to herself. "Oh, that poor boy," she said with great sympathy.

We do not know if the little boy has a handicap or disability. He was a precious child with big eyes and a loving sister. We do know he has a great family. And we know that our daughter does not see herself as disabled or handicapped or even different. Her perspective of herself is that she is just Ashley. She can do anything. And we believe we can! Someday, you may see herself on the roles with leaders such as our President and Condileeza Rice. She may be a great singer and impact the world for God. She may be a wonderful mom, teaching her own children about Jesus around the dinner table. But where ever life leads her, she will never be a victim.

She is our overcomer. A child of God. Brought through great waters and heading for great blessings. That is how she sees herself. How do you see yourself?

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/