About Tim Burt

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Supernatural Wisdom - What is it?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


It is a good thing to desire to grow in wisdom. It is wisdom that helps us consistently make good decisions and live our life out prudently and reverently before the Lord. Wisdom ultimately comes from God. Because people want to grow in wisdom and make wise decisions, they seek advice. Seeking advice is advisable but especially from the right persons. Advice is abundant and cheap. Proverbs 29:11 says, "A fool utters his entire mind: but a wise man keeps it in till afterwards." And Proverbs 26:12 says "See a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope of a fool than of him."

It seems like you can always find someone to tell you what to do. That is not the purpose of advice. As I said yesterday, advice is to help you gather facts, information, insights, and the wisdom of others so that you can weigh them before the Lord and let Him lead you into good and wise decisions.

God has people to give you advice. That advice will come in various formats. It could be through your Pastor message in church, through a book you read, through a trusted friend over coffee, or through someone or somebody you least expect, suddenly! We need to really think about who we take advice from.
Godly counsel and advice that imparts wisdom from God’s word is the backbone of wisdom building. Wisdom is the product of the following: the getting of knowledge, the getting of understanding of that knowledge, the experiential understanding that comes from putting what you’ve learned to work, and the continued growth of knowledge and experience over that seasons of your life. This is the primary way wisdom is gained. But, there is another way wisdom can be gained. It is supernatural and comes from the heart of God as a gift – suddenly! What I mean by that is that there are times where we need wisdom in an area where we’ve not grown in knowledge, understanding, and experience. If that is the case, how can we suddenly have wisdom? Again – supernaturally from God! There are times where God will show you something you could not know in any other way – something where there was no progression of wisdom building for a particular experience. This is the operation of the gift of the Spirit called the word of wisdom. 1 Corinthians 12:8 reveals this saying, "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom..."

Solomon was the recipient of this kind of wisdom at the beginning of his kingly reign. He was a young man and new king when two women were brought before him both claiming to be mother of the same child. One was obviously lying. What wisdom and experience could this new and young king have to discern how to get to the truth? The answer is none. Solomon leaned completely on the Lord for his wisdom and because of it, we see God give him the word of wisdom. 1 Ki 3:23-28 we read, "Solomon said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.'" Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other." The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!" Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother." When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice."

This was wisdom outside of the natural progression of getting wisdom. It was supernatural and a gift of God's grace to accomplish the task God had given Solomon. We can always believe for God's grace for wisdom when we are doing His will. There are times when we will need exactly this kind of wisdom – supernaturally – void of experience. Most of the time, God will have us grow in wisdom so that it becomes deeply rooted in us.

As a Christian, God wants you to be wise with your wisdom built upon the foundation I’ve talked about the past two writings. He promises you to help you have wisdom and now you know that even when you’ve not had time to gain wisdom in an area, He is still there to supernaturally help you have wisdom!

James 1:5 (NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

The Four Pillars of Good Decision Making

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The decisions you have to make daily may not be at the same level as those working in national security in the pentagon but, you do face decisions that you have to make most every day! It’s good to develop a godly foundation for your decision making processes that will guide you no matter how big or insignificant your decisions may seem.

The first pillar of your decision-making process is this: put God in the center of your decisions doing things His way. This is the example that Joshua set for all those under his leadership. He made things clear. If you are going to follow me, expect to serve God's choices. To Joshua, anything short of looking to God in his decisions was out of the question as we see in Joshua 24:15. "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

The second pillar is this: know that the place God will ultimately lead you to is a place of blessing. You have to know and have faith that God will lead you to blessing and trust that. It's as simple as the reason a good parent guides a young child into a right decision. The parent guides that child as and act of nurturing and love desiring the best for him or her. God will develop our character, our trust in Him – ultimately developing our faith. And best of all, that will bring us to destination blessing. His Word bares this truth out and you need to settle in your heart. God's first desire in the decisions He wants to help us make is our ultimate blessing. Isaiah 1:19 is one of many promises of God that should convince us of this truth. It says, "If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land." This was meant to be a motivating truth.

The third and fourth pillar of a good decision-making process is being willing or rightly motivated and obedient. Again this is in Isaiah 1:19. It says “If you are willing and obedient.” Neither of these words can stand alone. In the gospels we read when Jesus was asking Peter to pray with Him. He told Peter to pray because “Satan desires to sift you like wheat." Peter was very willing to do what was right. He couldn’t believe that He would ever betray or disobey the Lord. He was willing. He said to Jesus, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." (Mat 26:33) Peter was willing but not obedient. He did not pray. Why? We can only surmise? To tired, to busy, didn't really see the value, "that's good for Jesus - He's into that kind of thing but it's not for me." Who knows? All we know is that he was willing but not obedient. He slept instead of praying and ended up betraying Jesus.

You can also be obedient but not necessarily be willing or rightly motivated. People do all sorts of things - things that look like obedient actions yet their heart is not rightly motivated in their action. Cain obeyed and offered a sacrifice to God but his heart was not right. God wouldn’t accept it. It led to Cain’s rebellion and the murder of his brother. The Apostle Paul said, "If I give my body to be burned but have not love, it profits me nothing." That could appear as an obedient action but what is unseen is the wrongly motivated heart. The Apostle Paul also said that when men preach, some do so for right motivation and some for wrong. Phil 1:15 says, "It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill." They may have been obedient to preach but not all were rightly motivated or willing.

The four foundational pillars of good decision-making are: center your decision-making in the integrity of God’s Word and direction. Know He’ll ultimately lead you to places of blessing. Be willing which means be motivated from a pure heart with a great attitude. And be obedient – actually doing what God is asking and leading you to do.
When you learn to develop the instincts of consistently building your decisions upon theses pillars, you will exalt your decision-making processes to the highest and most fruitful level possible and you will “eat from the best of the land.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wisdom for Decision-Making

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I remember when I met and fell in love with Renee. She seemed perfect for me and I wanted to marry her but I had this nagging thought; “What if she isn’t the right one? How do you know for sure?"

In life, each of us comes to places where wisdom is needed to make choices and decisions. Some of them will be easy for us to make. Others will be difficult and agonizing.
What can make decision-making difficult is the fear that you are making a wrong decision. It is critical for you to never make a decision in fear. You want to make decisions in faith trusting that God has helped you so that you don’t keep looking back and second-guessing yourself. James 1:6-8 says, “The man that asks God for wisdom must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

Whenever hard decisions need to be made, put your greatest effort in getting the answer and wisdom you need in seeking God. Seek Him in prayer, expecting Him to speak to and lead you through the scriptures. Scriptures never come more alive than when you desperately need to hear from God through them. While you are praying and seeking God, you should also seek counsel from those who know you well and from those who have wisdom pertaining to the decision you have to make. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Without counsel plans go wrong: but in the multitude of counselors they are established."

Getting counsel is important but this is also where many people get confused. What is the purpose of seeking counsel? Let me first say this: if you have a difficult and hard decision to make and the answer on one side is much easier and pleasing to hear and live with than the other side, then you will be tempted to desire counsel and seek wisdom from good intentioned people that love you and don't want you to go through hard things. They will often persuade you to go with the easiest decision that causes the least pain and seems the most logical – because of their care and concern for you.

When Jesus' time came to die for us, Peter offered counsel that Jesus didn’t ask for. Peter spoke words that Jesus' flesh would have loved to hear but were contrary to God's will. Jesus rebuked Peter. Mark 8:31-33 says, "Jesus began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And He spoke that saying openly. And Peter took Jesus, and began to rebuke Him. But when Jesus had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get you behind me, Satan: for you consider not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men."

Jesus loved Peter and Peter loved Jesus. But, when it comes to fulfilling the will of God, it's not simply about what's easy. Peter's intentions were good but he simply didn't understand the commission God had given Jesus. Therefore he tried to talk Jesus out of it. When getting counsel, people will often do what Peter did. They will try to logically think through your situation, not knowing or understanding the impression you've had of God to begin with. Getting counsel isn't for the purpose of having people tell you what to do. It isn't for getting everyone's agreement about what to do. Counsel is for the purpose of gaining understanding and insight that will contribute to your decision. But God’s insight and the leading of His Spirit is the greatest of all insight and the one that will lead you to the decision you need to make. Once you believe you've heard from the Lord, you can follow a plan based on facts, information, and His leading. This will help you become confident and remain in faith as you follow the Lord and His steps for you.

God wants you to have wisdom. James 1:5-8 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

We all need wisdom to make God-led decisions and we want to make them as confidently as possible. For that reason, whenever possible, take quality time to seek the Lord and let Him lead you. Once you’ve done your best, commit that decision to the Lord, pull the trigger and don’t look back. You aren’t infallible. You might make a mistake. But, if you follow the Lord’s leading the best you can, most of your decisions will bear fruit and prove right and you won’t live in the unstable land of double-mindedness and torment!

Proverbs 8:14-17 (NKJV) “Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth. I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Speak Words That Give Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


If you have ever had a leak in your roof, one thing you've learned through the process is that water and gravity work together to find openings where that water can leak through. If there is a crack, water will find its way. This is also true with words.
They just find a way to come out. We’ve all experienced times where words that should never have been spoken managed to somehow find their way to our tongue and slip out - usually to our regret! It may have taken the form of complaining or whining, or anger or yelling, or gossip or backbiting, but whatever, like a water leak, it found its way out. That is why James 3:8-11 instructs us with a profound truth, "… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

The tongue, or the words that come from our mouth, are simply the outward expression of what is in our heart. We all know that not everything in our heart is good. Jer. 17:9 describes the heart without Jesus. It says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" This is even truer before we became born again and gave our lives to Jesus. Once we gave our life to Him, then the Holy Spirit took residence with us and began the process of purifying our heart. We need the Lord to purify our heart but that is a life-long process and the words we speak are the proof of it. They expose too often the negatives that have not been purged that are still embarrassingly in our hearts.

Rain is the primary source of roof leaks. A dissatisfied heart from selfish desires is the primary source of the negative words that leak from our mouth. The Bible teaches us that evil behavior primarily comes from selfish desire, ambition, and jealousy over what others have, and the ongoing fear of not being able to obtain what we want in life. James 3:13-16 says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find strife in your relationships along with confusion and every imaginable evil that Satan can stir up through the open door of your wrong attitude and actions.”

Look at a teen that is trying to break out into his or her own selfish life; they often let themselves be influenced by people that don't know God's ways. They want to figure things out for themselves. They become self-focused and begin to debate and fight for their own way. They stop taking counsel and often begin to indulge in wrong thinking, speaking, and behavior. This is why it is important for families to be in strong churches that impart godly influence and instruction not just for teens, but at every age level.

Adults do that same thing. They become too busy to read and mediate upon the Word of God and pray. They also do life their way. They don't like it in their teen but don't see the same patterns in their own life. God’s touch, presence, and influence becomes lacking and over time, words become loose and sloppy, unimportant, unguarded, and become tools of destruction. God warns us of this saying,  "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)

Our hearts need the constant touch and presence of God in many forms. Church, Bible study, reading and meditation, prayer, and fellowship with others that love God are a few. They are absolutely critical to a successful Christian walk. These atmospheres exhort and strengthen our perspective and help us stay focused on God’s sincere love and His promises to tangibly help us through life. And we need to pray and ask God in faith for help in every stressful and frustrating moment. Faith isn't a wish. It's faith that believes despite what it sees! Faith says, “God is with me and will help me. I just need to ask and believe.” It’s amazing how quickly this attitude can calm your heart and get you back on track. When you do that then this verse will become you and you will restrain words that destroy and instead speak words that give life! “A man that has God's understanding uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…” (Prov 17:27, Prov 15:4 )

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God's Great and Mighty Things Through You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Listen to these words describing God’s greatness and mighty power.

Jeremiah 32:18-20 “…You are the great and powerful God, the Lord Almighty. You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You are very aware of the conduct of all people, and you reward them according to their deeds. You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name very great, as it is today.”

God is great and mighty! In Jeremiah 33:3 it says: “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.” When you read these words, it should stir you up to seek and pursue the great and mighty things God wants to show you. You are made in the image of God and you have it in your DNA to do great and mighty things. But, if you don’t get God’s insight to what ‘great and mighty’ is, you’ll confuse it with worldly accomplishment and never know the blessing behind what He really meant.

God alone is God. He alone raises up and brings down Kings and those in authority. He alone made the Heavens and the earth and all within it. He alone could create something as complex as the human body or the galaxies we can now gaze into through the Hubble telescope. Man’s efforts are crude in comparison.
God has His great and mighty—that which He desires us to do, and we have ours. The great and mighty He has for us isn’t about satisfying our pride or ego or attaining personal glory. It’s not about accomplishments motivated by the desire of man’s praise. Doing great and mighty things has to do with obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit that brings the touch of God to those around us. Jesus demonstrated that for us.

Jesus came not only to reconcile us to God, but also to demonstrate 'great and mighty things' touching others with God’s love. His motivation was born from pure love which He demonstrated through personal sacrifice and selflessness. He demonstrated great mercy and compassion that led to the touch of God that constantly changed lives. He showed us what “great and mighty” means and how to walk it out in our day-to-day life. We may not be raising someone from the dead or seeing someone healed every time we pray for them, but we can pray in faith and we will see God move through our prayers.

An unbeliever can serve in a homeless shelter and do other good works just like a believer can. But an unbeliever can’t do good works accompanied by prayer, power, and God's anointing through faith in the promises of God. Good works are good and a blessing to all by all, but prayer, power, and God's anointing is the touch from God that only you as a believer can give. It's what Jesus brought upon this earth and left with us to give. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."  John 14:12 (NIV)  


I watch the great and mighty in action all the time through people in our church. While a young woman was going through cancer treatment, I watched people bring her family meals, cards of encouragement and support, and stand with her in prayer. She is doing great now.

During a cold Minnesota winter I watched a man that did heating and air conditioning fix the furnace of a family who’d been without heat—not for money, but out of the love of God within his heart. I watched a family motivated purely by the love of God make a decision to set aside a significant amount of money each month so that at year’s end they could give to families in need at Christmas. I watched hundreds of people deliver wonderful Thanksgiving baskets of food to people in need in the community along with a message of God’s love. I worked with people serving meals to the homeless this weekend. I had someone tell me Sunday that I had prayed for their arm and shoulders a few weeks back and a few days later they were completely healed, This was after months of pain.

These are all touches of God's love and considered great and mighty by God.  They won’t make headlines in the newspaper, but they will make headlines in the hearts of those they touch. They are the great and mighty thing that God puts in our heart when we pay attention. They are what make our heart and life rich in blessing. Life's richness and greatest meaning and blessing comes not from getting, but from giving the touch of Jesus' love in all the ways we can day in and day out!

Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)   “Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 18, 2013

Just for Fun: Two of History’s Best Comeback Responses

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Two of History’s Best Comeback Responses

Proverbs 26:5 (NLT) "Be sure to answer the foolish arguments of fools, or they will become wise in their own estimation."

RESPONSE ONE:

If you ever testify in court, you might wish you could have been as sharp  as this policeman. He was being cross-examined by a defense attorney  during a felony trial. The lawyer was trying to undermine the police officer's credibility ..... 

Q: 'Officer --- did you see my client fleeing the scene?' 

A: 'No sir. But I subsequently observed a person matching the description of the offender, running several blocks away.' 

Q: 'Officer, who provided this description?' 

A: 'The officer who responded to the scene.' 

Q: 'A fellow officer provided the description of this so-called offender. Do you trust your fellow officers?' 

A: 'Yes, sir. With my life.' 

Q: 'With your life? Let me ask you this then officer. Do you have a room 
where you change your clothes in preparation for your daily duties?' 

A: 'Yes sir, we do!' 

Q: 'And do you have a locker in the room?' 

A: 'Yes, sir, I do.' 

Q: 'And do you have a lock on your locker?'

A: 'Yes, sir.' 

Q: 'Now, why is it, officer, if you trust your fellow officers with your 
life, you find it necessary to lock your locker in a room you share 
with these same officers?' 

A: 'You see, sir, we share the building with the court complex, and 
sometimes lawyers have been known to walk through that room.'

The courtroom EXPLODED with laughter, and a prompt recess was called. 

 RESPONSE TWO: 
In an interview, General Norman Schwarzkopf was asked if he thought there was room for forgiveness toward the people who have harbored and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks on America.

His answer was classic Schwarzkopf.

The General said, "I believe that forgiving them is God's function... OUR job is to arrange the meeting." 
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

“It’s Not Over Till It’s Over”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


If you watched the recent elections, you watched countless commentators trying to predict it's outcome. We face many situations in our lives where those around us are discussing and trying to predict the outcome of the situations we face. Sometimes the circumstances look bleak and everyone including the devil wants to predict the outcome. They’re predicting “Your toast! You’ve lost this one.”

Sometimes it looks like it is over and that we have lost. When hard circumstances look me in the face and the fear of failure tries to come upon me, I get into God’s word and meditate on the promises of His Word. I come away again and again renewed and saying – “Don’t count on it devil – It’s not over till it’s over!”
Abraham and Sara were written off. Many must have thought or said to them, “It’s over – there won’t be any children for you two.” Abraham was old yet God told Abraham He would give him a flesh and blood son. When God tells you something, it’s not like when others tell you something. God does not and can not lie. Romans 3:3-4 (NLT) says it like this: “…just because some people their promises, does that mean God will break His promises? Of course not! Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true.” Numbers 23:19 (NLT) further tells us, “God is not a man, that He should lie. He is not a human, that He should change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?"

We need to learn that nothing that God promises is over until He has said it is. We need to remember that God does His part and we do ours. It's our part to believe and trust in His promises! That is why we have to become one who says, “It’s not over till it’s over.” For Abraham, God made Him a promise but frankly the thought of it coming true seemed insane. Every natural circumstance had said it was over, but to Abraham what was impossible, was God’s ability to lie. He couldn’t and Abraham knew it. Therefore he had faith in His only God - the true God of the impossible.

Romans 4:18-19 reminds us, ”When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed Him. God had also said, "Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars," even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife never had children and her womb was dead.“

Circumstances to rob our faith don’t get worse than what Abraham faced yet he knew that because of the promise of God, “It wasn’t over till it was over.” He may not have understood how, but He knew that God was true to His Word.

Romans 4:20-22 continues saying,  “Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything He promised. And because of Abraham's faith, God declared him to be righteous.“
What is it that the devil has tried or is trying to steal from you? Even if the circumstances look like the devil has succeeded, has God spoken a promise to you? Are you letting God’s Word be so intimate, alive, and personal to you that it has made you grit your teeth, shake your fist at the devil and say, “Devil, you obviously don’t know my God. You future is laid before you and it’s less than bleak while mine is blessed of God, and, It’s not over till it’s over! God will decide and determine when that is and I know this - I will be on the victory side!”

Learn and know the promises of God! Declare them. Sing them. Pray them. Rejoice in them. Turn off the nightly news that robs your faith and open up the Word of God. Let your eyes feast on His promises and they will lift you up.

Psalm 9:9 says, “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." And, Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble." And, Psalms 37:39 "But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble."

I thank God that the devil is defeated and the Lord is exalted and His Word prevails in our lives – by faith!  Learn to say, “It’s not over till it’s over.” Let your faith grow strong like Abraham’s and let God be true and every man (and circumstance) be a liar. As you meditate on today’s Fresh Manna verse - “Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God” Romans 4:20 (NLT)  Let it be your testimony!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Want Maturity? Then Get Temperance!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever gotten hit by a Doctor's hammer when having your reflexes checked? They hit you around the knee with that little hammer and your leg jerks. That's what a reflex will do. It will respond without any thought.

Do you ever react to things? A reaction is very much the same as a reflex. Something happens and you react without thinking. Once I was by a pool when a mother quickly jump into a pool with her clothes on because her toddler had fallen in. That was a good reaction. She pulled her child up immediately and the child was fine. Sometimes reactions are good. Sometimes they aren't.
Psa 37:7 says, "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret... refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil.” It's so important to keep from 'fretting.' The dictionary defines fretting as becoming vexed or troubled; worry. To be worn or eaten away; become corroded. Fretting is worrying which leads to overreaction in emotions which leads to inappropriate or evil behavior. We don't want to become worn or eaten away.

There are times we react to situations rather than respond to them. We react too quickly without thinking and do or say the wrong thing. That was an area that I needed to learn to get under control quickly when my children were young. If they were disobedient after I had given them warnings, the temptation to react in anger instead of responding appropriately was my temptation. At that point in my life I had not matured in the management of my emotions. That could have opened the door for trouble. Of course I never wanted to deal with my children in anger. That's where regrettable yelling or screaming, wrongful spanking, or any kind of inappropriate behavior out of anger can happen. Renee and I developed strategies to avoid the temptation of intemperance in challenging moments.
We worked toward developing strategies for disciplining our children so we would respond instead of reacting to wrong behavior.  I love the show “SuperNanny” because she shows with such great demonstration, how to bring your children under control in an appropriate manner.  When we were upset with the kids, it was critical that we had a strategy for a quick cool down period – even if just for a minute. We needed the time to think about what was the best way to respond appropriately.

When Renee and I were upset with each other, we also needed cool down periods. The best time to try to talk through misunderstanding was not at the time anger and emotions were rising. We learned over time to say, "Why don't we discuss this calmly latter." When we did that, we have much better results.

In the workplace, I've worked hard to force myself to not react to a negative situation, but instead, prayerfully think it through and deal with it later when I was calm and my thinking clear. Now I rarely stumble in this area. Mercy and grace in your heart toward others becomes much more abundantly when you pause and pray and let the Lord lead you in the best way to handle a situation.

Renee and I help each other to think through responding and not reacting to situations. Learning to keep your emotions under control and responding in an appropriate temperate way, is as critical to successful communication and more fruitful results as anything I can think of. By pausing and assessing a situation, you find that some situations should not be responded to at all. They are small, a mistake, and great mercy should be shown. Other situations that really bother you need to be assessed. Why did it happen? What can be done about it? What is the proper response? The Holy Spirit in you will lead you. God’s Word has the wisdom to teach you how to be temperate in your responses. You will never truly mature to the degree that God intends you to until you learn to respond instead of react to situations in an appropriate way.

It's critical that we look to the Lord and draw patience from Him on purpose. 1 Cor 9:25 says, "And every man that strives to succeed is temperate in all things." Striving for temperance is a huge key to success. Refuse to fret. Don't let fret creep into your temperament. Instead seeks Gods help and trust Him for it. Develop strategies that protect you from reacting. With the help of God, stay in control!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, January 14, 2013

Trust God to Make Things Fair!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I talk to Christian people doing business daily in the workplace, I hear of problems they often face because of their Christianity. Because of their faith in God and the compelling by the Word of God to live honestly and uprightly, they often feel that they are competing on an uneven playing field. The world doesn't deal with honesty and fairness, yet they are expected to! Christians work hard and trust in God for their promotion and advancement while other people play "politics" and play up to the boss. Job estimators will bid on jobs that they want to win for their companies giving the best price they can give, while other companies pay money under the table to get the work. The list of ways worldly people compete unfairly is never-ending.


Too often we try to find "fair" out there but the truth is "fair" isn't out there. Fair isn't available because we live in a world run by the god of this world—Satan. He is the corrupter of anything and all that would be fair. Most of the world lies and cheats because they feel it's the norm and the standard it takes to get by. Christians have to work harder at remaining pure while the world “parties” not paying attention to or caring about God's standard for moral relationships or ethical thinking and behavior. Then what can really seem unfair is, it looks like they get away with it! Trust me no one gets away with anything! God is watching!

There are many ways people play unfair in their lives, manipulation being one of them. Manipulation is something that people in the world get caught up in more than they realize. So do Christians. What is manipulation? It's the influencing of or managing shrewdly or deviously to get a desired outcome. When people manipulate they are dishonest, even if ever so slightly, for personal gain or to get their desired result. Many people manipulate through lying only they don't call it that. It's rationalized as just “a slight exaggeration.”

When people have a situation that they want to go a specific way, but the honest facts don’t feel like they will have enough impact to draw their desired response, they exaggerate to persuade others toward their desired response. A conversation might go like this. "Boss, no one likes the new office arrangement." "Oh really? Tell me who said they don't like the new office arrangement. Give me their names." "Well, I don't know exactly who but a whole bunch of people said they don't!" "Give me the names of three of these people." "Oh, never mind, I can see you aren't even open to any feedback!"

Manipulators exaggerate or give false information to win their way. It's not honest and it's not right but it can get results. The method may be dishonest but results are what manipulators are after. They don't care about what is right and just. For Christians, we can't play that way. We have to abide by God's Word and do what's right.

The Apostle Paul set the example for us. He says in 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4,  "For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted.... We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts."

God wants us to be trustworthy with the truth - trusting Him for the results. He will ultimately work things out in a just and fair way in accordance with His plan and purpose. He will make things fair. Proverbs 2:7-9 says, "The Lord holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones. Then you will understand what is RIGHT AND JUST AND FAIRevery good path.” If you are looking for “fair” in life, remember that in this world, fairness is only available from God. He alone has the knowledge of absolutes, right and wrong, and all necessary details. For us, much of fairness is a matter of perspective. We all simply do the best we can with the information we have. 

There are some perceived injustices that God alone understands - usually having to do with reasons of His mercy to reach others. Some justice may be delayed until the final Day of Judgment. Then all injustices will be made right.

As Christians, it can seem like we are going to end up on the short end of the stick. Don't let the devil talk you into that lie. That's not faith and we can not allow ourselves to think like that. Always act honestly and no matter what anyone else does, just do what's right. Petition the Lord and He will help make things work for you. The fact is, WE have what some could call, an unfair advantage. We are God's children and we have His love, power, authority, help, and many precious promises to help us in our time of need. That more than balances the scales!

Psalms 103:6 (NLT) "The Lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 11, 2013

Showing love "One Way Everyday" by Diana Hagee

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Pastor John and Diana Hagee are a precious part of my life and two people I love dearly. I thank God for their influence on this world and my life.

I wanted to introduce you to her new blog "One Way Everyday" showing practical exercises of godly love! I hope you enjoy it!











January 10, 2013
Showing love One Way Everyday to…

Your husband: When you go to a restaurant that has paper on the tabletops; write “I love you” on it. It’s the smallest things that make a difference.
 
Your child: Help clean their room with them…yes I know you have screamed at them for the tenth time to do it! Tell them you love them as you do it! Do it with joy. Make a game of it. Try not to scream when you find a dead frog or two week old pizza under the bed! This is supposed to be a lesson of love!
 
Your grandchild: Show them how to set the table; the right way! Go on line or look in a cookbook that shows proper table settings. I know this sounds unusual but you are doing something with them one on one and you are showing them something that they can show their children one day.
 
Your friend: Give them something personal that you own which they have admired. It shows them that you love them more than things.
 
To God: Show a special kindness to someone else. Tell them it was from the Lord.
 
Remember this truth: God knows everything you do and why you do it!

You can find Diana's blog here:  Showing Love One Way Everyday

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Little Boy Dedicates a Sweet Song to His Sister With Special Needs

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This is sweet and really touching!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Thankfulness, a Must Character Quality

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever had a pity party for yourself? Has anyone ever not had one? Have you ever felt under-appreciated? Okay, true confessions – although rarely, once in a while, I used to catch this spirit trying to creep up on me. I guess feeling unappreciated hurts the most when we’ve really put our heart into what we’ve given or done for someone and their response ranges from underwhelming to nothing. We live in such a rich society that people take way too much for granted!
A long time ago, this couple told Renee and I a horribly sad story of financial devastation in their life. They said they didn’t have any money to pay their mortgage or bills, they didn’t have money for groceries, and they didn’t know what they were going to do to feed their children. At that time, Renee and I were a young couple with four very small children. Our own finances were so squeaky tight that we could hardly afford what we needed for groceries. But, we took one hundred dollars - almost our entire food budget for the month (at that time) and gave it to them. We'd gave sacrificially and trusted God by faith for our groceries that month. When we gave it to them, they hardly said thanks. The following week we ran into them and they shared that they took their children out to a restaurant to celebrate and it cost almost the entire amount we gave them. They didn’t appreciate what we had done. They didn’t use it wisely. We felt sad and used. Live and learn. God still met our needs supernaturally that month.

When Renee and I moved into our first house, I asked the Lord to help me afford to get a new snow blower and a lawnmower. He helped me obtain both. He then moved on my heart and told me to take care of neighbors that couldn’t take care of themselves. I have done that ever since – for almost 35 years. It’s not uncommon to never hear a word of thanks when I’ve cleaned up someone’s driveway of snow or done their fall cleanup of leaves. But, I’ve always done it unto the Lord. This is how Renee and I live out our life. Sometimes people appreciate your efforts to help them and sometimes they don’t. Sound familiar?

Luke 17:11-19 “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As He entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God, I'm healed!" He fell face down on the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking Him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well."

I couldn’t help but think this morning about the multitude of things Jesus had done for me in my life. In some cases I was the one who came back to Him with great thanksgiving and at other times, I'm sure I hardly noticed or acknowledged His goodness and kindness in my life.

Over time, I’ve become convinced of one thing; every day God has touched my life with something I can and should be thankful for. Pity parties are stupid because I do what I do unto the Lord and to look for appreciation will always leave me disappointed. I am better off focusing my heart toward the one who leads me to do what I do for people, and toward Him who does so much for me each and every day. Instead of looking for thanks, I focus my heart on giving it! It helps me keep my heart right, builds the character quality of being a thankful person, and allows God to reward me for what I have done.

Proverbs 19:17 "He who is kind to one in need, joins himself in partnership with the LORD, and the Lord will reward him for what he has done."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A LIFE LIVED TO THE FULLEST

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Today's posting is about a man of God who like the Apostle Paul, walked out his life in Jesus until his last breath. People like this are so rare and such and example to us about walking out our course in Jesus here on earth. I pray that just reading about him blesses you! Pastor Tim

A LIFE LIVED TO THE FULLEST
By Monica Osnes Amstutz

My father-in-law, Rev. Blanchard E. Amstutz, my husband Tim's dad, went to heaven on Tuesday morning, January 1, 2013. This summer we brought Blanchard and Tim's mom, Verna (93 and 92 years old) to Minneapolis from Ashland, Kentucky to live. I thought you'd appreciate hearing about this dedicated minister of the gospel.


Rev. Blanchard Amstutz had been in full time ministry for over 75 years. Blanchard never fully retired from ministry. He and his brothers started in evangelistic ministry while students at Asbury College in Lexington, Kentucky. Blanchard was 19 years old when he began in ministry. Blanchard and Verna were married in their mid to late twenties and their little family spent their early years traveling the nation as evangelists ministering the gospel in word and music. Blanchard later became a crusade director for Billy Graham Ministries and the family relocated to Minneapolis where the four children were raised for the most part. Later, Blanchard pastored in the Missionary Alliance and Methodist churches. In each church he pastored, Blanchard was known to LEAVE IT BETTER than when he came-both in its spiritual and physical condition. Blanchard told me at Thanksgiving 2012 that the pinnacle of their ministry took place during these past 8-9 years. During this time, Blanchard and Verna ministered weekly in the Kentucky Federal Prison as a part of The Blanchard and Verna Amstutz Ministry. The inmates loved them dearly and so many came to know the Lord through their unconditional love and ministry.

Blanchard and Verna celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past June. They were both pastors, preachers, and musicians. Blanchard's primary ministry gift was as an evangelist. He never went anywhere without sharing Jesus with those around him. He genuinely loved people and made friends wherever he went. He was also a sportsman who raised his sons with a basketball, football, or baseball in hand. He was also a Senior Olympics multiple gold medal winner for the state of Kentucky.

Last week Tim's brother David from Texas came for a few days before Christmas to see Grandpa Blanchard and be together as a family. Grandpa sang with us, laid hands on and prayed a blessing over each of us and our sons. Precious moments! Grandpa was determined to go to our son's basketball tournaments last Saturday and sure enough...he mustered his strength to be there. When they moved here this summer, he anticipated getting to as many of his grandson's sports events as possible. He was one tenacious man! Tim and Butch enjoyed watching their last Vikings game with their dad this past Sunday afternoon. :)

On New Year's Eve, Blanchard wanted to go to the New year's Eve service to listen to Tim's brother Butch play the trumpet and sing. Tim, Gabe and I took Blanchard and Verna and we all enjoyed our last church service together. We then took them on a tour of the Christmas lights on Summit Ave in St Paul, MN in our van. It was a glorious night together. Gabe sang out every hymn and worship song he knew and Grandpa joined in along with him. We bought Caribou hot chocolate and shared the closing of 2012 together. Tim, Butch, and Verna tucked Tim's dad into bed that night. Blanchard said, "Thank you" and "I love you", and they kissed him good night. The next morning, grandpa was dressed in his new sweater and was getting ready to go to a New Year's party. SHORTLY BEFORE LEAVING, HE SAT DOWN, CLOSED HIS EYES, BOWED HIS HEAD AS IF PRAYING, AND THEN MOVED RIGHT TO HEAVEN.

In the days shortly before Blanchard moved to heaven, he would wake up singing songs about heaven. Two nights before he died, he said he had a dream that he was together with his mother and brothers that had preceded him to heaven.

GRANDPA BLANCHARD LOVED LIFE AND LIVED IT TO THE FULLEST. HE WAS A MOVER AND A SHAKER. HE LOVED TO LAUGH....KNEW ALL THE 'SICK PREACHER JOKES'...AND WAS THE MASTER OF 'PUNS'. HE WAS EXTREMELY SHARP AND FULLY AWARE...HE DIDN'T MISS A BEAT AND NOTICED EVEN THE SMALLEST DETAILS. MOST OF ALL, HE WAS LOVING...KIND...AND GRACIOUS TO THE VERY END. WHAT A TESTIMONY!

What a special time this has been! GOD IS GOOD!
(Note: Blanchard "Dad" was my father-in-law for the past 30 years. He never had a negative or critical word for me but instead he was always encouraging, positive, and appreciative towards me. I was and am truly honored and blessed to have had this amazing man as my "Dad-in-law"!

I am sure the Lord is saying, "BLANCHARD,
WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!!!

Monica Osnes Amstutz
Living Word Christian Center www.lwcc.org
Creative Productions Director/Dept. Head
 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Trouble Tree

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Trouble Tree
(author unknown)

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job: (a flat tire made him lose an hour of work & his electric drill quit) his ancient one ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them.

Then in the morning I pick them up again." Funny thing is," he smiled", when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Psalm 55:22 “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Fulfilling Good Intentions for 2013

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am in pretty good physical shape for a guy almost 60. I work out doing core exercises about five days a week. That and eating healthy has kept me in decent shape. That is until about five months ago while in some very strenuous exercise, I strained both of my arms. Within a couple of days, they were in throbbing pain and I lost most of the strength in my arms. It hurt just to shake someone's hand.  I did what I always do when any form of sickness and or injury comes against me. I prayed and asked Renee to pray for me according to Mark 16:17-18  "These signs should follow those who believe...They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.” I knew that I needed to let them rest and heal so I had to back off of my exercise routine for most of four months.

About two weeks ago my arms started feeling stronger. My good intention was to jump back into my exercise routine and eat minimally to lose weight. Thinking about getting all this back together is not the same as doing it. I had good intentions. I had pre-planned that I would not touch sweets over the holidays. I had done that in years past and felt I could do it again. But, something happens when you fall out of your disciplines. Your will-power and personal resolve to live in your goals also lose strength. Over the past few months, I gained ten pounds and my weight shifted. I had a gut that had previously not been there. My eating disciplines had also become a little lax and over the holidays and I ate sweets I haven't eaten in years. This was almost worse to me than the injury.

In my prayer time, the Lord begin to speak to me about all this. It is about that time that I always return to an anchor scripture to mediate on from 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT) "I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified."

Being disciplined does not happen out of good intentions alone. For me, the power and strength to remember who I am and how important this part of my life is comes from seeking God's grace. I don't want to have started and lived strong only to finish disqualified after preaching to others. Becoming slothful in one area always leads to slothfulness in another. Good intentions alone never get you to your goals. Each of us need the grace of God - His supernatural strength and equipping to strengthen our personal resolve. The inward strength we need at times like this, which is a product of God's grace to push us beyond good intentions, is fueled by God's Word speaking directly to your heart. When you know God is speaking to you, a sense of purpose and strength comes. You need to seek Him and pray for that to happen.

We are all important to the plan of God. We all want to live strong and finish strong. I am not any different. I was going to wait until after the holidays to begin my workout program until the Lord dealt with me to start immediately. God lives in the now! Although New Years is a great time and offers great motivation to start fresh and anew, it's not about good intentions at New Years. It's about God reminding you how important it is that you thrive and thrive now and whatever He has given you to put your hand to. It's that or slowly let slothfulness creep in, undermine good intentions, and watch yourself back off and walk away from things you know God wants you to do.

So, although my flesh probably would have loved to with another week to move forward, the desire and grace of God was dealing with me now. I began my weigh down and work out and althought it's almost always a struggle to get moving forward again, it feels good. It's funny how immediately great it feels to do the right thing and obey God. My prayer for each of you for 2013 is that your good intentions become the fulfilled will of God for your life!

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/