About Tim Burt

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overcome Discouragement!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I have run five marathons (26.3 mile races) in two different locations. I have run the Twin City Marathon in Minneapolis/St.Paul and I have run Grandma's Marathon up in Duluth. The courses for both are quite different. They are both beautiful in their own way and great to run. But there is something about the Twin Cities Marathon I love more. I love the crowds. There are crowds of people lined the entire 26 miles that cheer you on like you were family. They clap and shout encouragement to you and are the most incredible support you could ever imagine - especially when you have to run the distance of 26 miles. Their voices of encouragement help shut out some of the demons that try to speak into your ear and tell you "you can't make it - quit now" throughout the race. When I run up at Grandma's Marathon, there are long stretches with few or no people and those stretches without the cheering and encouragement are the hardest to run.

There are times in life when we feel God speaking to us. We sense God’s leading and direction to do something in life. He may want us to take on an assignment or task. He speaks to us through His Word or through someone preaching the Word. He may speak to us through a friend or in our quiet time of prayer. But for those that listen, He speaks. Sometimes assignments come. Sometimes they are personal assignments like, "clean up this area of your life," or "get involved at church and do this," or "lose 20 pounds." Whatever it is, He gives us assignments of all different scopes and for all different reasons - some personal and some serving or helping other people.

When He speaks them to us they can sound so exciting. The thinking and meditating and planning to execute what He says can be exhilarating, but to continue all the way to the finish can feel impossible.  It can be challenging but exciting at the same time. Discouragement or fatigue and weariness working to get us to quit can too easily come–especially if you don't have someone on the sidelines cheering you on. When I ran my marathons amongst all those wonderful people cheering and encouraging – I still had to contend with Satan’s voice of discouragement. The exhortation of others is what helped me overcome weariness and finish. When we are doing what God asks us to do, we may not always be surrounded by those cheerleaders but we will face the enemy – always! And it won't be to encourage you. And, he’ll often use people to discourage you. Satan's ultimate goal is to get anyone to quit through discouragement and disobey what God asks them to do. When Moses was given the assignment to lead God's people from Egypt, the entire mission was a challenge.

When Moses and the people of Israel started out together, there was great cooperation. Things when smoothly like they usually do in the beginning. Exodus 13:18 "So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt." You can see that the people started out fine and left orderly. They were great until the first sign of trouble. Then those voices – not of cheer leading but of discouragement started to speak.

Exo 14:11-12 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" Anytime you pursue what God leads you to do, you will come up against the adversity of the devil to get you to quit. At some point, you’ll hear yourself whining, "This is hard and nothing seems to be going right. I must have missed God."

At times like this when deep down you believe you were following God yet your faced with adversity, know that you will again hear His voice and He will say something like today's Fresh Manna verse, Exodus 14:13-14.  And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today...The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. "

At times like this, let Galatians 6:9 cheer and encourage you from the sidelines. It says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." What's the modern day translation of this? "If you don't quit, you'll win!" Beyond that - measure your own attitude toward others. Are you the voice of exhortation and support or are you being used as the voice of discouragement? I know I’d never complete much of anything if it wasn't for the encouragement of God and others! We all need it! And we all need to hear, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today...The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Mothers Day Gift - Good Intentions!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Happy Mothers Day to all of those precious moms out there that make our life so complete! Thank you for selflessly serving and raising us all those years. Thank you for the love you continually gave while we most likely took it for granted! God bless you all! Moms are amazing!

Proverbs 31:10. 27-29 (NIV) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies....She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

This video represents your amazing calmness when your children mean to get it right but don't.



In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Being Blessed is Your Destiny!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Last year I purchased a new bicycle that I had been looking at for some time. I have wanted it for cross-training in my exercise program. I went to purchase it on Labor Day and when I got there, they had just sold the last one. They told me that they had the bike I wanted at one of their other stores and so I went there. This store was in one of the most affluent suburbs of our city. The store itself was much larger and I immediately noticed a difference being at the store. First, the cars were much nicer and newer in the parking lot. The people in the store were dressed very nice and in expensive fashions. Even the children seemed to have more—they were better groomed, had nicer clothes, and parents that looked equally as nice. Simply put, they looked like they did not lack a thing in life.

At this point, it would be easy for people that don’t have as much to look at them and think “Ugh, rich people!” and then be critical. I thought, “I’m happy for these people. If they have good and prosperous lives, that’s a blessing.” There is plenty in life that goes wrong, but when you have your needs met and more, it takes some of the stress out of life. I thought, “I only hope they know the Lord and where there blessing comes from, and they help others.” I was not jealous. I thought, “If I had affluence, I would use it and share it.” I know that I would because Renee and I have always shared what we have no matter how little or much we had. We see everything as a gift from God and we love to bless others!

I am saying this because God wants to bless our lives, including material things. He simply does not want material things to own us and draw us from Him. Many Christian theologians, ministers, pastors, etc., struggle with this concept because they see so much poverty and lack in the world. They think it’s somehow part of God’s plan, and yet scripture tells another story! What they don’t get is that the source of lack is not from God but from the enemy of God. Satan is miserable and it is true that misery loves company. Jesus said, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, I have come to give life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

God’s covenant of promised blessing to Abraham and His future seed reaches all the way into our lives today – THROUGH FAITH! Galatians 3:14 says, "God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

The promises of blessing to God’s children abound throughout the Bible. One promise I meditate on and thank God daily for is Deut 28:3-8. "The Lord will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land He is giving you."

You may not be farming, but you are working to produce a livelihood, and that is what God is speaking to when He says He will bless you. He goes beyond that to say, “and will fill your storehouses with grain.” He is still speaking this to you today! Are you blessed and are your savings blessed?

People want God’s blessings like rubbing a genie’s lamp. If it doesn’t happen immediately, they think its hooey! The Christian walk is not like that. It is living for Him, loving others through Him, and building a lifestyle of faith and trust that God will bless you and help you in everything you put your hand to – not because you deserve it but because of His love toward you. That kind of heart is formed in you over years of honestly living for Him. It’s then, over time and years, that His blessings manifest in your life in a diversity of ways. Galatians 3:14 says "God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, SO THAT BY FAITH, WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT." That promise starts with Jesus and works though every part of our lives as we seek Him, trust Him, and have faith that what He promises will manifest, despite your present circumstances. It did for Abraham. It did for Joshua and Caleb. It did for David. It will for you!

Psalm 138:2 (NLT) “I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Unroot Fear From Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I’m a gardener. I love to garden. My mom loved to garden. When I was a boy and she would often have me split and move plants for her. I never realized at the time how much it would impact my life.  

I can see a lot of my mom’s qualities in my life. Having ten children, she had a very nurturing side to her. I’ve noticed that I have that in me. I love to watch things grow. I love to help and watch Christians grow in their faith. That is probably why I have created and head up a very large Small Group system of hundreds of groups at our church. I love to watch and help people grow in walking out their leadership abilities. That is probably why I love to teach our Leadership Development Classes and minister to the men at our monthly Manhood Breakfast. I love to watch my garden grow. That is probably why I have a very large flower garden.  When I am working in the garden, I am continually reminded of Bible principles that strengthen my faith.   

You’ll find that in every garden, weeds that you never planted spring from the ground. Your heart and your garden are the same. Weeds – fears, worries, and evil imaginations invade your heart and mind that seem to come from nowhere. Jesus in trying to teach His disciples about how our heart and mind works used gardening and farming illustrations. Matthew 13:24-28, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' " 'An enemy did this,' he replied.” 

Satan is always trying to plant seeds of fear in our heart. Its by design. He would rather have you have faith in fearful thoughts than have faith in God’s promises. Why? Because your faith is what brings forth its crop. When you allow weed-seeds of fear to grow in your mind and heart, then fear, discouragement, and hopelessness are the crops you will reap. Then it will take work to dig and cast out these weeds. What does a heart with weed seeds planted in it look like? Jeremiah 17:5-6 reveals this saying,  “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.”  

When you plant good seeds in good soil (a heart that loves and trusts God and puts faith and expectation in His promises) then you will reap a good crop. Hosea 10:12 (NLT) says, “I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” 

What does a good crop from your heart look like? Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) describes it like this: ‘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.”

My gardening reminds me what I should meditate on. I should meditate on and grow faith in God’s promises. What I should not allow in my heart – the negative circumstances that pop up daily that are weeds of fear that try to undermine my faith.  I dig them out and cast them into a pile to be burned or discarded. If I keep my heart good soil, and profess and pray God’s promises over my life and others, I will see my harvest and I will become like that tree planted by the river that stays green and is not bothered by heat or long months of drought. 

God’s Word is the seed to be planted in the soil of the riverbank of our heart. Prayer that develops trust and faith become the roots to grow down deep. Remember today that the promise He promised you is this: Deut. 28:6-7 (NLT) “You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.”The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “How is that for sinking your roots into?

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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