About Tim Burt

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Funny 4th of July Parable

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Parable For The 4th of July (author unknown)

Once, in the 1820's, a little boy called Sam was playing in the yard behind his house. During his pretend fighting game, he knocked over the outhouse.

Now Sam was upset and worried that he would get into trouble so he ran into the woods and didn't come out until after got dark. When he arrived back home, his pappy was waiting for him. He asked suspiciously, "Son, did you knock over the outhouse this afternoon?"

"No, pappy," Sam lied.

"Well, let me tell you a story," said the father. "Once, not that long ago, Mr Washington received a shiny new axe from his father.
Excited, he tried it out on a tree, swiftly cutting it down. But as he looked at the tree, with dismay he realized it was his mother's favorite cherry tree," his pappy paused." just like you, he ran into the woods. When he returned, his pappy asked, 'George, did you cut down the cherry tree?' George answered with, 'Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did indeed chop down the tree.' Then his father said, 'Well, since you were honest with me, you are spared from punishment. I hope you have learned your lesson, though.' So," the Sam's father asked again," did you knock down the outhouse?"

"Pappy, I cannot tell a lie any more." said the little boy. "I did indeed knock down the outhouse."

Then his pappy father spanked Sam boy red, white, and blue. The boy whimpered, "Pappy, I told you the truth! Why did you spank me?"

Pappy answered, "That's because George Washington's father wasn't in the tree when he chopped it down!"
John Adams
2nd U.S. President and Signer of the Declaration of Independence


"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."

Psalm 33:12 "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Hunger to Live the God-Purposed Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Sometimes, even on a beautiful sunny day with no blaring problems or issues staring you in the face, you can still feel like your life is off track and changes need to be made.

Before I received Jesus as my Savior, I felt like that most every day. It wasn't about the circumstances of the day. It was just that I didn't like the path of life I was on. I wasn't happy with how I was living. I knew I needed to make serious changes but didn't have a clue how to make that happen. Even when I attempted to make some changes, they didn't last.
 That reminds me of Moses. He was raised to be a ruler that would follow in Pharaoh's footsteps but learned of his heritage as a Hebrew. He knew his life was supposed to be different course. He had learned of his Jewish roots and knew from deep within that what was going on around him – the suffering of God’s people, was not right nor God’s best for his or their lives. He decided to make a change but didn't consult the Lord as how to do that. He leaped into a life change and ended up killing an Egyptian forcing him to flee from Pharaoh to Midian to save his life. He had to start over where no one would know him. He felt like a failure running from a life he knew was waiting for him. Now he was plagued daily with thinking his life needed to be on a different course. How could he help God's people much less change his own life and circumstances? How and what could he possibly change? He had tried and failed and now he was hiding.

The world is filled with people that know they need to change in their life's course, yet not knowing how to accomplish it. They know their life is off course, that there is something more, yet don't know what to do. What they don't know is that God is right there and ready to help them make the life changes they know they need to make. He is ready to reveal Himself through Jesus Christ and transform their life as well as fill it with meaning and purpose.

God had a plan for Moses as He does for each of us. God’s plan for Moses was more than just about him. It was about a transformation of his life that would then lead to the transformation of all those God would give him to lead. Moses may have been thinking about his failures and inadequacies but God was thinking about the plan and purpose He had for Moses, and the people he'd help through Moses. 
This may be mind-blowing to you, but that's also what God wants for each of us. Our life’s purpose has never been and never will be just about us. But, it starts with us! It starts with letting God transform each one of us. From there, God knows that when our life’s purpose becomes greater than our own life, we will become fired up at living life.

God has got an exciting life filled with adventure and purpose. There are devils to conquer and victories to experience as we play a role in the plan and purpose of God. It's a life of faith and blessing! It's a life of constantly relying on the Lord moment by moment and day by day. When you come to the revelation that your life can positively be used of God to bring hope, blessing, and life transformation to others, then you will dare to lean on God to help you discover all that this means. Your life will never be the same.

In practical application God doesn’t want us to jump into something drastic and without Him leading us. That's what Moses initially did and he crashed and burned. Moses should have cried out to God. “God what do I do with my life and how do you want me to help change this situation?” “What steps do I take right now?” God could have spoken to him through a burning bush right there. He didn’t have to figure out things for himself or take steps without God’s leading. Moses made mistakes but God would have us learn from them so we don’t start with a leap of failure but instead start with a sincere pray, “God show me how to change by learning to be a blessing to others each and every day.” God wants to speak to and lead you in the transformation of your own life as you learn to help others. He’d love it if His word was so alive that it burned within you like a burning bush. This is the heritage and God given right we have through Jesus Christ – to hear from and be taught by God’s Spirit.

1 Cor 2:9-10 shouts to us, “However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"-- but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit…”

The beginning of transformation starts with a sincere cry to God from the heart. More next time…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Grace and Strength Create Power for Real Change

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Every human being was created with the desire to experience change. People desire it and are afraid of it at the same time. One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the inability to successfully make changes. The universal change that the spirit of all men yearn and cry out for even though all do not recognize it, is to be reconciled to God by receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

From there, the ongoing desire for change every Christian experiences is to become Christ-like. The pursuit of becoming like Jesusto conform our character, our heart and our purpose to Hisis a lifelong quest but one that always stirs continuing desire for good and godly change. This is good and it is from God.
The other ongoing inward desire for change that every person yearns for is to participate in the supernatural. I'm not kidding. Why do you think people love to read and watch about "superheroes' so much?  We are made in the image of God and God IS supernatural! This desire is within every human being whether it's understood or not. You can see this truth as clear as day in 2 Peter 1:3-4, "God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may PARTICIPATE IN THE DIVINE NATURE and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

Escaping the evil desires that are in this world is only possible by participating in the divine naturein the supernaturalthrough faith. Why do the people in this world spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with weight loss, chemical addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction and on an on? Because they are unable to control themselves in these areas. Satan has power over those in this world that have not surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ.

I heard a report that said that 98 percent of all overweight people that lose weight, gain it back. Another report said that 80 - 90 percent of all criminals released from jail offend again. Studies show that most people with addictions are tormented by them all their life. Why is that? Because without God, the power to completely change doesn't happen. With God 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) becomes true! "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, ALL things have become new."  In Christ, you become a new person with the grace and power of God to help you become Christ-like!

Outside of Christ a person remains in Satan's grip and power. God wants to rescue them from Satan's power - from the grip that keeps them in his clutches and that keeps them powerless to make lasting change. Col 1:13 addresses this saying; "For God has RESCUED US FROM SATAN'S POWER of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of His Son Jesus whom He loves."

When someone just can't stop doing what they know is wrong or that they should change, the Bible says they are caught in Satan's power in what's called a "stronghold." That could best understood as a wrong desire that we just can’t seem to get control over or break free from. There are negative desires that have power over people. These negative desires or strongholds are broken only with God's power.

You may say, "But Pastor Tim, I know people that have gone to groups and overcome these addictions." They may have gotten some control over their flesh but almost always the desire and the battle over the desires remains within them. They often feel like they are living with a tormenting demon. This is why alcoholics always consider themselves alcoholics. This why alcoholics, sex offenders, criminals, liars, and law-breakers repeat their offences over and over again. This is why those outside of God repeat their sins over and over again.

 Through Christ, that isn't true. We have the power to change! This is why 2 Cor 3:18 says,  “And we... are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  Only through the supernatural help of God can wrong desires be removed and replaced with good desires. That is a continuing change that everyone desires. No wonder our spirit yearns for the supernatural help of God.

Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)That must become your conscience daily reality. Because it is, you then continuously lean upon the Lord for help in everything. Because you do, you will immediately begin to draw His supernatural strength and grace (help.)

How do we begin to lean on God and draw that strength? By learning to know what God says about you and making it a part of your new foundation in Christ. Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”   God wouldn't tell us to be something we couldn't! If God instructs us to be moderate, then with the help of His grace, we can! If you’ve shown behavior other than moderation it’s time to say, “I am not addictive or a slave to anything. God says I am to show moderationthat means I can! I am moderate in Jesus name.” Think that in your heart and speak that out your mouth in every situation until you see change begin to take root in you.

 That verse finishes “The Lord is at hand.” What does that mean? The picture it paints in its original Greek form is that there is a hand to grasp your hand as one giving aid and strength. That is the supernatural power of God. If you apply your faith and walk it out, you will see God there to help you.
Apply this to any scripture that speaks of what you should change toward. Then receive God's grace and “…walk in God’s divine nature and escape the corruption in this world caused by evil desires!” As you do, your light for Jesus will become ever increasingly evident to all! Change is good! Go for it!

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) "And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/
Change AheadChange is PossibleMan lifting an elephant

Monday, June 24, 2013

Follow God's Destiny for You!


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One of the great controversial questions in the body of Christ is this: Does God make us walk out the plan that He wants for our lives or do we get to choose our own destiny? The truth is, we get to choose our own destiny. The love of God gives us the freedom to love and obey Him or reject and disobey Him even though that is contrary to His will for our life. We aren’t robots. We were created in His image and God created us with a built-in inward desire to know Him.  That is what causes every human being to desire to seek, discover, and learn about their Creator. When a person seeks God with the sincere desire and open heart to know God, then God will lead them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and what Jesus did for us.

It is important to know that God, from before the foundation of the world, has had a destiny that He wants you to walk in. It is a destiny that He will try to lead you in, but it is not a destiny that He will make you live. That will be up to you. Before the foundation of the world, He knew every choice you would make. Whether you would obey Him or disobey Him. He used the choices of every human being that would ever live, to lay out His divine plan. Only God could do that and it's beyond our human comprehension though it is true. He also knew He would send His only Son Jesus to be the anchor of His plan and Savior and redeemer of our life. And again, the Lord knew and decided that before He created this world we live in.  Look closely and you'll see what His desire and will has been for you and I from the beginning.

Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT) "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

Now, this is what He wanted for us and what He will lead anyone to, who sincerely looks for the truth. God will work to draw a person to the knowledge of Jesus Christ with the intent and desire for that person to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. But, God draws that person out of love, not threat, fear, or intimidation. He doesn't make anyone do anything.

One of the places in scripture where we can clearly see this is in the book of Exodus. God desires to raise up Moses as the sole leader of the children of Israel. Moses is suffering from self-doubt over the issue. The Lord tries to assure Moses that He can do it and the Lord will help him as we see in Exodus 3:10-11.  “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" God ultimately gives Moses the freedom to turn Him down although it wasn’t God’s perfect will for Moses. He wanted Moses as the sole leader! He tried to convince God He that he was inadequately articulate for this role. God became tired of Moses excuses and let him have his way. We see this in Exodus 4:14. “Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and He said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.”

God finally accepted Moses’ choice (excuses) and went to plan B. He brought in Aaron. In this verse you can see that God says that Aaron is already on his way to become involved in this plan. God already had Aaron coming BEFORE Moses had given God his choice. How could that happen? God already knew the choice Moses would make, but He still gave Moses the opportunity to make the choice to obey or not obey Him.

God gives the opportunity to all of us to make right choices multiple times every day. Some times they aren't hard but other times they are very difficult and come with sacrifice and great effort. When temptation lurks to talk you out of right choices for your life, pause and ask God for the grace for the strength to make the right choice. It's important to make the right choices. Even when your choice is as small as forgiving someone for an offense, they are important to our destiny. I believe our spirit man almost always knows the right choice to make. It's just that sometimes the choice can feel torturous on our flesh, are pride or our ego.
To stay on the right road of your destiny means that you will have to pause and involve God consistently in your life. It means you will have to learn to be strong by His grace and make those right choices again and again. When we do this, true Christian character is built and our lives will stay on the right track. We will ultimately glorify the Lord and keep the door open to His blessing overtaking every area of our life. Some blessings from God are as obvious as a birthday present on your lap. But many of them are more clearly seen in hindsight! So trust God and don't doubt yourself as you strive to follow His will. He has a joyful and rich destiny for you! Be blessed walking out the right choices that feel so good after you make them!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)  "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/
http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/follow-gods-destiny-for-you/DestinyYour DestinydestinyYour DestinyDestinyYour Destiny

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Imparting Grace: Learning to Speak Words of Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One day I committed a pointless act. Renee and I have a home office. In it we each have our computers, desks, and chairs. Years ago, we had a cat and I don't know why but our cat loved my chair. Although there are two chairs in the office, she loved and always sat in mine. I wouldn't have cared except that I often wore a dark suit to work. As I walked into our office one day, there was our cat Cuddles sitting in my chair. I picked her up nicely and put her on the floor. I then sat down in my chair only to realize a short time later, that my suit was covered with cat hair. Feeling upset, I looked at the cat and firmly said, "Cuddles, I don't want you sitting in my chair." I lectured her for about 30 seconds and a short time later I began to laugh thinking, "You are lecturing a cat." I pictured myself in one of those printed cartoons when someone is talking to their cat and all the cat hears is "blah, blah, blah..." My talk with my cat was pointless. It made me feel better for a moment but it was still pointless. It reminds me of people trying to communicate in ineffective ways that turn out to be pointless such as yelling and screaming at each other. They may as well be saying, "blah, blah, blah..."

Too often we participate in various kinds of pointless communication.  That would happen much less if we would consider our tongue to be one of the greatest God-given tools we have. He has given us our tongue as a tool to skillfully learn how to use. We are to learn how to communicate blessing to others which will at the same time contribute to our success. Even correction can be spoken skillfully and in a way that can bless if we let the Holy Spirit teach us how. Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) says, "Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!"

As we learned yesterday, the Bible tells us that ",,,no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." We in ourselves cannot tame our tongue. It only comes under control with the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth and revelation of Prov 18:21 is this, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." We love life and blessing but knowing it can impart death and destruction should help instill a reverential fear of God on how important the words we speak are and how powerfully they affect our lives good or bad!  They can be used skillfully to contribute to the wellbeing of others, or they can tear down the lives of others and ourselves.

We have to realize that our tongue spills over with whatever is in our hearts. We are all too unaware of all that is in our hearts. How do we find out what's in there? We pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us hear our words. Then we just listen to what spills from our mouthespecially under pressure or in anger. The tongue is an extension of our thought life. In Mat 12:34 Jesus said, "...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Out of discipline, the tongue can be forced or made to say proper things at the proper time, but when you are by yourself or around those you feel most comfortable with and let our guard down, that is when your tongue simply reflects what's in your heart and thought life. Prov 12:6 "The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them."

God wants us to succeed in how we communicate. For this reason, He instructs in Eph 4:29 saying, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen." Eph 5:4 says, "Dirty stories, profane conversation, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God's goodness, and be thankful."

What does it mean, "...that it may impart grace to those who listen?"  Grace is the supernatural help we get from God in all areas of life. It's the combination of God's mercy, His compassion, instruction from His Word, and His direct help in our life. When you do something wrong, the devil will try to accuse and condemn you in your thoughts. God will correct you showing you what is wrong, but God is interested in helping you change to become more like Him. He is not condemning you. Therefore, He'll show you what is wrong through His Word, but He'll also offer mercy, forgiveness, and help through His Holy Spirit so that you can get things right. Simply put, He is out to help you.  When someone wrongs you, is that your attitude? Are you ready to rip into them or can you focus on the solution and how to avoid the problem and conflict going forward? Are you as patient with others as God is with you? Have you asked God for forgiveness a dozen times but are furious with someone after they make the same mistake twice?  God imparts grace to you and He wants you to use words to impart grace to others "...that it may impart grace to those who listen."

The imparting of grace is a supernatural thing. If we are to impart grace, then that means that God is going to be involved in it. He is the one that is going to help us put away the fleshly impulses that come with being offended. It means He is going to help us see things from a different perspective - His perspective. That is where the grace will come from - His perspective in us! Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

Imagine that you feel like blasting a person that has offended you in some way. Instead God speaks to your heart and says, "Put your thoughts and words on pause. Don't slam dunk them because that's how the devil does business. Instead think for a minute. I have forgiven you. I have had mercy on you. You've blown it just like this person you're mad at. I've looked past your sins and continued to love you. Can you do it for them? Can you settle down and let me help you? Can you find kind words to speak truth, kindness, mercy, and help to them? Will you impart grace to them?"
Can you do this on your own? Usually not. In yourself you might want to lash out. The thoughts are in your mind fighting to make their way out your mouth. But, that isn't God's way. He wants you to be a vessel of His grace. It isn't about suppressing feelings of anger, or hurt, or disappointment. It's about God helping you see things in such a way, that you can have mercy knowing He's had mercy on you, forgive knowing He's forgiven you, and then manifesting compassion and kindness as God's grace is imparted through you!

God's grace is available to you whenever you need it! He says it's available. It's received by faith. 2 Cor 9:8 says, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." God wants it to abound in your life and through you! You have to pause, exercise your faith, and pull on His grace in difficult times. Then, over time, you will become supernaturally skillful drawing on Him for words that impart life and grace, blessing others and yourself. As today's Fresh Manna verse says, "...but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Prov 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 17, 2013

Learning to Speak Words of Life: The First Step

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One day my four young children were waiting for me to come home from work. They all greeted me at the door with hugs and just a spark more excitement than was usual. I thought it was about me until the children's spokesperson – their mother, entered into the room. They had a group request. "Honey, one of the kids in Jeffrey's class brought a kitten to show-and-tell today. It's really cute! They are wondering if we could have a kitten.” I must have really been tired because I did something I don't usually do. I caved in immediately and said “Yes.”

I had never had a cat before. I grew up in a dog family. I knew nothing about cats. What a shock it was to learn how unusual cats are. Although I'm sure there are a few exceptions in the world, I quickly learned that cats, for the most part, don’t train easily if at all – at least compared to a dog. Cats seem to have a mind of their own. They do what they want, when they want. In that regard, cats remind me of the tongue – you know, that waggling little creature in your mouth that wants to say what it wants to say when it wants to say it!

James 3:8-11 reveals 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?"

You know how it is. You've probably thought about it many times times. You know you shouldn't use your tongue – your words to tear down or speak against others. We find ourselves blessing others – saying kind things to someone’s face only to later say inappropriate things to others. People with a conscience hate that they do that. We find out that the Word of God is true. "...No man can tame the tongue."
James 3:3-6 tells us more about this untamable thing. It says, "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." "...No man can tame the tongue."

If this is true, then what do we do? The first step is to recognize this truth and come to grips with it. You can't fix your tongue yourself. God is not lying when He says "...no man can tame the tongue." That includes you and me. At the same time we have to realize that God is not setting us up to fail. The answer in taming the tongue is recognizing that only with the help of the Holy Spirit can you tame the tongue. The Holy Spirit will help you tame your tongue through a number of ways. I'll only go into the two today.

First, pray that God through His Holy Spirit give you a revelation of the truth of this verse. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." You will know when you’ve received the revelation of this verse from God. That revelation will put a reverential fear of the Lord in you. By that I mean that you will understand that your tongue can be used by God to be one of the greatest instruments of blessing in your life, or, a poison that will hurt your character, hinder your promotion and success, and will destroy the favor that God has given you to enjoy with people. Your tongue will advance you and others or it will tear down others, ultimately tearing down you. This word from God says that “we will eat” from the fruit of our Words. You will get what you are saying. Your mind can't take a hold of that but your spirit can. Let the Holy Spirit reveal this truth to you.

The second step in letting the Holy Spirit help you tame your tongue is asking Him to help you hear what you are saying. Once you can truly hear yourself, you'll be shocked by the number of negative things that come out of our mouth!

You’ll hear yourself say things like; "He is never going to change! I'm stuck with this situation and there is nothing I can do about it." “Nothing goes my way.” “I am never going to get into a good relationship there just isn't any good men out there.” "Nothing good ever happens to me."  Your tongue speaks more doubt and unbelief than you can imagine. Words like this reveal that this is your thinking. This is what is in your heart. What is in your heart not only influences others and situations, but also influences the health of your body! We need to guard our hearts by speaking right words. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Again, that is true whether you believe it or not. Your mouth is the barometer of your heart. And an indicator of what your body is going to experience.

God is trying to teach you to have faith in Him and speak words of faith and life. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the power of Words. Then listen to what you say. You will become dependent upon the Lord for what it takes to change your words. That is the beginning! It is also the start of a powerful new life! More to come....

Eph 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 14, 2013

"On Being Found" A Beautiful Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My daughter Stephanie, her husband Daniel, and their childrenmy grandchildren Madeline and Macy are Pastors and missionaries in the country of Peru. Today's story, "On Being Found" is a beautifully touching story written by them and recently published on their blog"The Gringa."  I am confident that this true story will touch your heart and bless you greatly!

In life we experience surreal moments. Sometimes they’re our own surreal moments, like holding your newborn in your arms for the first time and realizing, “This is my child,” or standing at the altar, hearing, as if in a fog, the pronouncement that you and your love are now man and wife.
They are surreal, because we recognize that in these moments, something profound is happening – something that will forever change life from the way it was to the way it now will be.
And one of the greatest joys in life is getting to witness those moments in the lives of those we love. To catch a glimpse into these magical moments in life is so sweet.
Jesus & abuelita 2Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of witnessing one of these moments.
Several months ago, a darling little one-year-old boy was abandoned at the hospital by his mother. The little boy had Down’s Syndrome and other physical disabilities, and perhaps the mother felt overwhelmed by what it would take to care for him. Whatever it was, he was left. Alone.
The children’s home where we serve at, Padre Martinho’s Casa Hogar, received a call asking if they would be able to take him in for “just a week or so.” When he heard what had happened, the director, Brother Juan, immediately said yes, even though he knew it would certainly be more than a week and possibly permanent.
Jesús, a few weeks after arriving at the orphanage
Jesús, a few weeks after arriving at the orphanage
We met “Jesús” (they gave him a name since he didn’t have one) shortly after when we went to volunteer with our church family. The entire team fell in love with Jesús; his mischievous, twinkly eyes and quick smile made him an instant favorite. Under the care of the staff, he grew healthy and strong. As the youngest child at the orphanage, he was everyone’s baby.
Two weeks ago, we went to visit “our kids” and as usual, our daughters Madeline and Macy came with us, and the first child they ran to look for was Jesús. We were told that he was at the clinic for a doctor’s visit and would be back soon.
A few minutes later, a middle-aged woman and a teenager knocked on the door. When Brother Juan let them in, Danny and I had just happened to walk into the room at the same time, so we got to hear their story.
They held up a picture of Jesús and asked if we had seen him. In tears, the woman told us how her granddaughter in Iquitos (the teenager with her) had received a call asking if she knew where the abandoned child’s family could be found. The granddaughter then reached out to her grandmother, who had been worried sick for the last few months because her daughter and grand baby had disappeared. Together, the grandmother and granddaughter had come to the children’s home when they had heard there was a chance the lost child had been found.
And just as they finished telling us their story, the doorbell rang. The nurse had just arrived home with Jesús. Everyone in the room looked at each other, took a deep breath, and then walked to the door.
Danny and I hung back as we allowed the grandmother and granddaughter to be the first to the door, our eyes fixed on the woman’s face as she choked back sobs at the sight of her lost grandchild. I pulled out my camera and was able to capture this moment of lost turned to found, anxiety turned to relief, sorrow turned to joy.
Our sweet Jesús had found his home.
Grandmother and grandchild, reunited
Grandmother and grandchild, reunited
That day, we witnessed an unforgettable moment of unfiltered love and thankfulness. We were reminded that nothing on earth is sweeter than being found by the one who loves you.
We were lost. Now we are found. And the heavens rejoice.
If you enjoyed this story, visit and enjoy "The Gringa" and enjoy more...
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 10, 2013

Double-Minded Decision Making Will Torment You - Trust Him!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you ever have to make a decision? Obviously, yes! Are some of those important? Again, of course! Do you ever have to make life-changing decisions, such as who you're going to marry, or where you're going to live, or if you should take this new job? Decision-making is a part of our everyday life.

The majority of our decisions fall in the category of things like what am I going to wear, or what should I make for dinner, or what should I order off the menu? Most inconsequential decisions aren't going to cause a dilemma or a crisis so we shouldn't lose any sleep over them. But other decisions are life-changing, and it is sometimes so very difficult to know what to do.
I remember a number of critical decisions that came up along my life's path. One of my first as a Christian was at the age of 24. I was a baby Christian and every thing about God and the Bible were new to me. I had met Renee three months after I became a Christian and we fell in love. Renee was the girl of my dreams. She was such a wonderful person in so many ways and she captivated my heart. I believed we were a perfect match that God had brought together. We got engaged and set our wedding date about a year away. We were so excited.

A short time later, my old girl friend found out I was engaged. I had broken up with her before I was a Christian and while I still loved her. I broke up with her because we were incompatible. We had completely different upbringings and I knew in my heart they were going to be a major obstacle. So, I broke off the relationship. It was painful and took some time to move forward.
Anyway, after Renee and I got engaged, she contacted me and wanted to meet. She wanted me to break off the engagement and marry her instead. All this did was stir up old emotions and create trauma for me. Because I gave the thought consideration, I got confused and it ate at me for a season. I had to put it before the Lord in prayer. The Lord made it very simple for me. He said, "If you stay with Renee, you will continue to follow me and serve me all your life. If you go with your old girlfriend, you'll leave me and destroy your life."

When I heard that, I knew exactly what to do. I told my old girlfriend to go on with her life, but it would be without me. I knew that was the right decision beyond the shadow of a doubt, but, I still let myself be double-minded over it for a short while. That short while was tormenting. Why? James 1:8 says, "...a double-minded man is unstable in all he does."

One day the Lord spoke to me and said, "It's up to you to stop this double-minded thinking. "Rest in the decision you made and cast down any other thoughts regarding it and you'll be happy and move forward again."  Then He reminded me of 2 Corinthians 10:5 that says, "Cast down imaginations and every contrary thing that tries to exalt itself over the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..." I knew I had to do this and be committed to the right decision. When I did, peace came quickly, my joy and excitement returned, and I was no longer distracted.  

Decision making is a part of life so let me bring you a wonderful thought to think about. God is never surprised. He knows every decision you will ever make. He wants to help you make the right ones that will keep you in His perfect will for your life. Before the foundation of the earth, He declared that He wanted you to receive Jesus as your Savior and live for Him. 2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV) says, "...who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF TIME." God had a plan to lead you before He began creating the world! Wow! Knowing that, you can trust that He'll lead you in every step!
He wants to lead you in a life of purpose, significance, and influence for Him. Those are all choices you have to make, but He will help you make them if you look to Him. James 1:5 (NLT) says, "If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."  

Being double-minded will torment you. Asking God to help lead you to make right and godly decisions is something He delights in doing and wants you to seek Him for. When He shows you, be committed to it. Second guessing yourself will torment you but trusting Him will lead you to the right place. Come to the place in your life where you want God's ways more than your own. Know that He wants and knows what is best for you. He will make your life significant and blessed, and happy and full of joy! Don't be double minded. Ask and trust Him as He leads you!

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/


Friday, June 07, 2013

The Duck Story: A Story of Wisdom and Grace

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am so thankful to the Lord for His intimate caring and involvement in my life. I am thankful daily for His grace and wisdom to help me in the myriad of things I need help with. Some people don't like to admit they need help. I am not one of them. I see the Lord's influence in my thought-life, in my decision making, and look for His wisdom in all things - big and small. He promises to give us wisdom and I rely on that promise like a fish relies on water. 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."

The other day, I came home from work to eat lunch. As I was getting out of my car, I saw a duck by our curb that was acting frantic. It kept walking in circles and quacking. Then it would fly in a small circle and land and walk again in a circle making a frantic quacking sound the entire time. I watched for a couple of minutes but couldn't figure out what the duck was doing. As I started to walk into the house, I said, "Lord, what is the problem with that duck?" Suddenly, the answer came to me. "It's babies fell through the street grate into the sewer."  I stopped in my tracks, went and got a spotlight from my garage, and went over to the sewer grate a couple of feet from where the duck was standing. I shined it down, and saw and heard six little baby ducklings.

They didn't know what to do nor did mother duck. Nor did I. I thought, "Lord you showed me that they were here.You didn't show me that so that I could do nothing. What should I do?"  Suddenly I saw another picture in my mind. This sewer went to the creek in my back yard. The end of the sewer that goes into the creek has a grate over it. I ran to the creek where the sewer extended into it. I got down by the grate and began making duck calls. I probably sounded like a fool but what the heck, I was on a rescue mission. I thought the ducklings could hear me because it seemed like I could hear them moving toward me as I quacked. (No jokes about being a quack please!)

I went back to the mother duck and tried to coax her to the back yard. It wasn't working. I went back to the creek sewer entrance and quacked some more. The babies were coming toward me. The mother came back to see what I was doing. I lifted the grate figuring she might hear her babies and go get them. She did. She got them out and they were all fine.

Then I got some bird seed that I had in a garage and put in on a plate for them to eat. They came and dove in it. (I hope it was alright for the babies to eat. The mother let them.)


Later the Lord used all this to speak to me. He said, "Today you experienced what I do daily. People get in a crisis. They cry out to me. I try to lead them to their solution but they are so  absent of faith and blinded by their crisis that they can't see past it (like when you were trying to lead her to the creek.") The Lord said, "Just as you had the ducks best interests at heart the entire time, so do I. But, because people are paralyzed by fear instead of being at peace while leaning on me in faith, they too often miss their help."

Jesus reminds us of His care for us always saying,  “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7 NLT)

I thank God that He does care for us intimately and on every level of our life - from the most important things down to helping a distressed duck. His wisdom and grace to help are available to us for every situation. Praise His Holy Name!

Luke 2:40 (NIV) says concerning Jesus, "And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." That wisdom and grace has been extended to us also!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Finding Strength to Overcome Sin

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was a young Christian just learning the Bible and trying to understand this new world of God that my eyes had been opened to, I had a goal. It was a naive goal. It was an unrealistic goal. It was in truth, an impossible goal. I thought that it was an impossible goal yet I wanted to pursue it. My goal was to live perfectly for God. I would learn all His ways and never sin. I was going to conquer every sinful area of my life and get rid of them. It was the least I could do. I was motivated. I so loved Jesus and felt so thankful to Him for giving His live for me. I wanted to do this for Him. I somehow wanted to pay Him back for what He had done for me. I loved Him and I wanted to prove it.  

I immediately got into trouble. I sinned. I watched an inappropriate R-rated movie that contained profanity and some sexual scenes. Prior to Jesus I loved almost any kind of movie including the inappropriate ones. Now my heart convicted me yet I’d still occasionally watch one and feel horrible and repent after. After one of these occasions I was on my knees praying and asking God to forgive me. God spoke to my heart and said, “Tim, you can’t turn me on and off like a light switch. We can’t have fellowship that way. You are pushing me away whether you realize it or not. And, if you continue this way, it will harden you heart over time. You’ll become callous to this sin.”  

I could have cried when I heard the Lord say this. I’d think about the pain and suffering Jesus went through out of His love for me and yet I couldn’t turn off a movie? No, I was using my freedom in Christ, to serve my sinful nature. I’d sin knowing it was wrong and then ask for forgiveness. That was using my freedom in Christ to serve my sinful nature. Something had to change. I’d think about my goal to live perfectly for God–learning all His ways and never sinning. What happened to that goal? That dream was quickly falling by the wayside. 

I later learned and worked to draw strength from what I read in Galatians 5:16-18 (NLT) “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law."  

This was telling me that as long as I lived on the edge of playing with and doing what I knew was wrong, my life would be “sin conscience”–full of do’s and don’ts – “the law.” I would never defeat the feeling of the law nor win overcoming my fleshly sinful desires. I discovered that God’s freeing strength from the desire of sin came to me when I thought about the purpose and love of God for my life–Jesus. Strength would come when I would think about having an influence for Jesus upon my family, friends, and co-workers. When focused on that, I’d soon want to pray about and for them. From there my life and thoughts increasingly focused toward good things. Inward strength and godly desires replaced the fleshly desires and temptations. I would start using my time wisely and it would fulfill today’s Fresh Manna verse: “For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.” I got involved in a men’s Bible study. The richness of the atmosphere of studying together with other men that loved God was strengthening and rewarding. Renee and I started working in children’s ministry to teach four and five year olds God’s Word. Working with those children became eight of the most precious years of my life. I loved those kids and they helped my life be strengthened in the Lord.  

Every time I purposed to serve others I gained strength and areas of sin which previously held me in bondage, dropped off. I wasn’t just giving time and love. I was getting it! The freedom to serve one another with set me free from the freedom (which was really the bondage) to satisfy my sinful nature. 

I realized how futile my goal of living a perfectly sinless life by working it out in my own strength was. I couldn’t just will myself to not sin. The strength to stop sinning came out of a sincere love for Jesus and by experiencing the “freedom to serve one another in love.” It came from the Holy Spirit as I followed His direction and let my love for Jesus permeate my every thought and action. It was and still is the source and activator of my strength over sin!

Psalms 37:17 (MSG)  "For the wicked are moral weaklings but the righteous are God-strong."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Are You One to Jump to Conclusions?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When my four children were teenagers and younger, Renee and I bought them a trampoline. (This is not an endorsement. It worked for us but we had strict rules.) The kids loved it. They played on it all the time and had a blast on it. And, I praise God that none of them every got hurt. But, I did. I had put it together and watched them jump over and over and over again. One day they begged me again and again. “Come on dad, get up here. You can do this.” I caved in and got on it. In a very short time I went flying over the side of the trampoline crashing to the ground. I lay there groaning as the kids put their hands on me to pray. “Dad, are you alright?” I had cracked my rib. It was painful. I never got on it again. I shouldn’t have jumped to begin with and I knew it.

There are another jumps that have caused me great pain – the "jumping to conclusions" too fast. It seems that most of my business past put me in the place of having to make decisions quickly. When I ran my own companies, I had to frequently make decisions. When I was hired as a Pastor of a growing church, that didn’t change. I had learned over the years to become a decisive person. I seemed to have developed the ability to grasp the big picture, take many things into consideration, and make decisive decisions.

One mistake that I had occasionally made early on was thinking I had all the facts to make a quality decision only to find out that I didn’t have all the facts. That’s called “jumping to conclusions” and when you do that, it can hurt like falling off a trampoline. You can embarrass yourself because you think you have all the information you need and have formed a judgment only to find out you didn’t have all the information and you have formed the wrong judgment. “Ouch,” that hurts. It can embarrass you and hurt others.

I think every parent has been guilty of jumping to conclusions when strife has developed between children and punishing the wrong child.
People jump to conclusions too frequently. They hear only one side of a couple's marriage problems and they jump to conclusions. They hear an alleged accusation against someone in a news story and jump to conclusions. They hear a rumor of a decision the boss has made and jump to conclusions. They do so because they are impulsive and impatient in many areas of their life. This bleeds over into jumping to conclusions. Proverbs 25:8 (MSG) says, "Don't jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw."

Being a man, (men like to fix things,) and being a decisive person in general has taught me that I have to be all the more cautious to make sure I have the facts I need to truly assess a conflict or situation accurately. Otherwise I might “jump” and end up where I don’t want to be – embarrassed by my mouth and actions.

Impatience is causes us to make this mistake. Impatience leads to horrible listening skills, impulsiveness, speaking words later regretted, jumping to conclusions and making wrong decisions.

Col. 3:12-15 (NLT) brings the instruction that we need so that the Holy Spirit can work the supernatural character transformation of patience within us. It says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, AND PATIENCE. You must make allowance for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

Getting the whole story, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, listening with compassion and mercy, and clothing yourself with love by desiring resolution and good decisions will help force and develop patience within you. The development of patience within your character will help you to assess and respond rather than react and blurt. It’s better than lying on the ground with a cracked rib or feeling ashamed and stupid for jumping when and where you shouldn’t have!
1 Corinthians 4:5 (MSG) "So don't get ahead of the Master and jump to conclusions with your judgments before all the evidence is in. When He comes, He will bring out in the open and place in evidence all kinds of things we never even dreamed of—inner motives and purposes and prayers. Only then will any one of us get to hear the "Well done!" of God."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/