About Tim Burt

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Behind the Scenes Help to Overcome

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you thought about and do you have faith that God and His angelic forces are working behind the scenes in your life to help you experience victory? If not, you want to. Deut. 28:7 reveals God’s promised blessing, "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

When we read in our Bible about David, we realize that he was a man that had his seasons of hardship, but also had a life filled with many great victories. Some of his hardships were a product of his flawed humanity in the same way some of ours are from our flawed humanity. Others were attacks of the enemy against his life. Although David had some difficult seasons of life, he had a life filled with many victories that came at the hand of God by the grace of God. Understand that David’s victories were a part of God's covenant promises to him and that God was there over the process of David's life helping him win these victories. God and His angelic forces were involved in the unseen realms of David’s life and battles.

God is with usDavid’s success was primarily the result paying attention to and having faith in God's leading and being obedient to the Lord. David loved God and did his best to live out each day expecting God to bless him and help him defeat the enemies of his life. The Bible says, "IN THE COURSE OF TIME, David defeated the Philistines" and dominated his enemies. David was involved in many battles, but his confidence was not in himself. His confidence and faith were in God’s promise to help him. He always believed God would help him. Consequently, his enemies either disappeared, were defeated, or actually turned to follow, appreciate, and love him and his leadership. Some of David’s enemies ended up becoming his friends AND ended up bringing him tribute. David’s victories always brought him increase. This was the manifestation of promises made to David and his seed. Through faith we are his seed. These are promises to us also. (Galatians 3:29)

promises of GodOur lives are intertwined with God. We are doing our part and God is faithful to His part. As a matter of fact, I can tell you what your testimony will be one day when you experience your victories and look back. You will say, “There were so many times where I wasn't as faithful as I should have been, but God was always faithful—Always!” That’s the point! You can trust God because He is faithful to you even when you miss it with Him.

Not everyone seeks God for the things that would cause them to inherit these promised blessings of victory and tribute. God wants to be with us and He wants His promises to become ours. Jesus paid the highest price possible just so we could succeed for His glory, but we do have a part. First we have to believe. We have to believe that He is with us, that He is for us, and that He has given these promises to us as a source of supernatural provision and help in this earthly life. We have to be confident that He is working in and through us and in the behind-the-scenes of our life. Bumps in the road and setbacks cannot be allowed to become disqualifiers of our faith. Hopelessness has to be cast out. Our declaration of God being faithful and true to His promises in our life needs to spill from our mouth in prayer and daily conversation—and DESPITE any bleak picture the enemy works to paint through negative circumstances. Believe me, David had plenty of them.

God qualifies I remember many times where I felt that I had a personally failed God by making some fleshly choices. How could I think of God blessing me? Look at how I had been acting. Look what I had been doing. God couldn't possibly bless me. He is probably letting my enemies defeat me! Of course the devil was right there to affirm my failure and accuse me saying that God saw me as hard-hearted and a hopeless case. That was a lie. I may have failed God in the moment but I loved Him and was determined to do better. In times like that, you have to believe that God is bigger than your momentary mistake or bad choice. He is. I just made sure I was quick to sincerely repent and work harder to do better. But it’s only Jesus that could live and walk out perfect obedience to the Father. For me it’s going to be far more imperfect. But the shed blood of Jesus Christ had made me righteous and qualified me for God’s love and blessing despite my shortcomings.

As we try to walk out our walk with God the best we can, we have to believe that He can and will accomplish greater and greater things through us. We have to believe He will help defeat the demonic forces that come against us. Declare it! “I bind you Satan and every demonic attack you have launched against me, against my family, and against our finances. I take authority over you and command you to flee.” When this is our position in Him—when you will be committed to it and you will not be wavering in it—then you will begin to experience the covenant promise of victories over negative circumstances because of your faith in God working on your behalf. Believe that what the devil meant for evil, God will turn for good. Believe the promise that says “though your enemies (the devil) comes against you one way, he must flee seven ways.” Believe that the things he has stolen from you will come back with blessing and increase. David always got tribute: what He took back from the enemy when his battles were won.

Remember that God and His angelic hosts are responding to your faith in His promises and are working behind the scenes toward your victories. You may have setbacks in your life, but as God’s child, victories and tribute belongs to you!

1 Chr 18:6 “David put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and BROUGHT TRIBUTE. The Lord gave David VICTORY everywhere he went."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Words and a Chanukah Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


May God’s richest blessings reach your heart through the love of Jesus in the days ahead! Happy Thanksgiving to All!   

1 Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people"

The Words of President Abraham Lincoln
It seems as though there has been a great effort made over the last decade to hinder anyone from a child on up from freely talking about Almighty God whom we are thankful to for every good thing in our life.

A poem on Thanksgiving from a child in school today might read like this:

Thanks You Know Who…
The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what.
When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where.


May we please on this Thanksgiving remember one of our past great leaders who had no reservations about speaking of the thanks and prayer due to Almighty God who has blessed our nation.

These are the words of President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863


"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self- sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

With this attitude, may we plan something with those we love, to give bold repentance and thanksgiving to our God who has blessed our great nation and is the only one who can put it back on track!" - President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863 

Psalm 94:17 (NLT) "Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave"


Happy Chanukah to our Jewish friends from the Burt family to each and every one of you! God bless you richly!


A tiny Jewish force, led by Mattathias and his five sons Yohanan, Shimon, Judah, Eleazar, and Yonaton take on the Greek army. The oldest son Judah is nicknamed Maccabee, which is an acronym for mi komocho ba'alim Hashem, "who is like you among the powers O God," – the battle cry of the Jewish people.

After three years of a twenty-five year battle, the Jews re-conquer Jerusalem and the Holy Temple, but they find the sanctuary defiled and desecrated. They purify the Temple and rededicate it and when they ready to light a makeshift menorah, there is only one vial of holy oil, enough for a single day. Miraculously the light stays lit for eight days, the time it takes to press and deliver new oil.

On Chanukah, which begins on the 25th of Kislev (this year Thanksgiving), we celebrate two miracles: 1) the heroic victory against a vastly superior army; and 2) the rededication of our spiritual center, the Temple in Jerusalem. Although the military victory may be more impressive for history texts, for the Jewish people the light of the menorah, the eternal flame that is our inner strength is the greater celebration.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Daily Renovation That Feels So Good!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Renee and I learned a very valuable lesson when we sold our first home. It was our first house – a wonderful but small house that we lived in for 14 years. When our family grew to six and size and the children’s bodies grew bigger, we ran out of room. We put our house up for sale and began the quest of looking for a new one.

Before we could sell our old one, the procedure in the community which we lived was, the housing inspector came out to inspect it and he would make a list of everything that had to be fixed before it could be sold. The list had about ten items that had to be fixed or brought up to code. We had to spend some money and knock off each task on the fix list. Then we were advised by the realtor to spruce up some areas of the house to make it more sellable. It didn’t carry the price of a full scale renovation but it definitely took some sweat equity. When we were done, we thought “Wow, this place looks and feels a lot better.” Well the house sold quickly and so we only got to live in it for one more month. We left that house thinking, “We put money and a whole lot of sweat into that house – all for someone else. We could have done that years ago and enjoyed it for ourselves. We’ll never do that again.” It was amazing all the little inconveniences we put up with for so long.

When we moved into our new home, we remembered that lesson and tried to take on at least one project in our new home each year so that we could enjoy the improvements we made. Our last fix was redoing two of our bathrooms. Because of the cost, it took fourteen years to get to them. We are presently doing our master bedroom. It hasn't been redone in 20 years. We'll be done in two weeks. Each renovation feels so good!

God knows how much we need spiritual renovation. It can’t wait fourteen to 20 years. The truth is, it can’t wait a week. God wants us to experience spiritual renovation day-by-day. That is what 2 Cor. 4:16 (NIV) says! “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

This is a verse to meditate on. The Holy Spirit will bring deeper insight if you do. It’s important to notice that the cost of not experiencing a daily renovation in your heart – “being renewed day by day,” is that you will lose heart. You will get discouraged. Between personal health, relationships, the workplace, the bad news of the world, and the persecution that comes from being a vibrant Christian, discouragement finds its way into our lives. That's why we need to be “inwardly renewed day by day.”

The fact that you can be inwardly renewed day by day is just one of the countless ways God is willing and desirous to bless our lives. He actually can and will renovate us inwardly – daily. God’s word has that kind of power!

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) says, “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires…” The Word of God sorts through all the tangled mess of our minds and gets down to the nitty gritty. It exposes wrong thoughts and attitudes and brings right thinking and promise to us. Psalms 19:7 says, “Gods Word and precepts are perfect, reviving – bring new life to the soul.”

There have always been countless opinions that bombard mankind, but in this Internet age, they seem to come at us with an unparalleled fervency. Who says any of them are right? Do they have the power to encourage your heart and determine the truth from a lie and lift you out of the pit? Isaiah 40:8 (NLT) says, “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever."

When we are going through hard times and this world has little to offer to encourage us, God’s Word always has the power to renovate and renew us from the inside out. Psalm 19:8 (NIV) says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. “


Although we made improvements to our first house, we made most of them in the first few years we lived there. Then we stopped. We did nothing for years until we were forced to in order to sell it. In our present home, we renovate little by little ongoing. It creates a great feeling that's ongoing!

To renew yourself inwardly is a choice. God promises to meet us and lift us up day by day IF we will feed our spirit the Word of God. If we do, then no matter what happens around us, we will have God’s Word encouraging and renewing us in His truth, His love, and His promises. He promises us much and it is a renovating power that renews us day by day, and that feels so good!

Jeremiah 31:3-4 (NIV) “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt...”

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 25, 2013

God Has a Guilt Destroying Weapon For You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In Israel, all young men and women have to become part of the army after school and before college. It is a part of how they have survived as a nation that is surrounded by people that hate them. They are thoroughly trained in warfare because they have to be. Their enemies are always plotting to destroy them. In the Wall Street Journal, an article was written that said, “Last June, Palestinian television broadcast a sermon in a Gaza mosque in which the imam, Ibrahim Madi made the following statement: "God willing, this unjust state Israel will be erased…” It is for this very reason the Israelis have to be trained in warfare and constantly on alert. These are not empty threats.

Israel seems to know it's natural enemies better than Christians know their spiritual enemies. As Christians, we should be aware of a very serious enemy in our lives. Like Israel, we are surrounded by enemies. Not enemies that we can see with our natural eyes, but demonic influences that affect people every day and that then ultimately touch and affect our lives. The Apostle Paul wanted to teach us about how to face spiritual warfare and wrote this: Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Demonic influences are real. They operate in the earth. That is what the Apostle Paul was saying when he said, “We don’t fight flesh and blood” meaning don’t make people your enemies. He said, “…but principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness” – those are Satanic and demonic influences.

The devil isn’t something we have to be afraid of when we know God's word and are living for the Lord. That is the point of Paul’s teaching. We are to learn to discern and identify the devil’s attacks on our lives so... “…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

I want to focus on one piece of that warfare today because it's an area that most Christians are attacked in and wrestle with – the area of guilt and condemnation. Paul taught in Eph 6:14-17 “... having put on the breastplate of righteousness…”

We are taught to “put on the breastplate of righteousness.” This is a spiritual truth that is imperative to take hold of. You will never be good enough to do everything right and pleasing to God in your own efforts. God cares that we make every effort to live by the standard of His word. At the same time, He knows that without the power and help of the Holy Spirit, and without being freed from the condemnation and guilt we deserve, we would feel condemned and give up trying. Jesus did for us what we cannot do in ourselves. Jesus made our righteousness a gift. We are to wear it as a breastplate so that when the devil looks for our cracks and finds us falling short and tries to condemn us, we can stand tall on the promise of God's Word. Our righteousness – our right standing with God is a gift to us through Jesus. 2 Cor 5:21 instructs us, “God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  

Satan uses our failures and imperfection as a weapon to make us feel condemned and to undermine our faith. He wants us to feel worthless and unworthy of God’s love. So let’s settle that now. You and I are unworthy of God’s love in our own efforts. But, it’s not about our righteousness. It’s about His righteousness within us. That is the meaning behind “putting on the breastplate of righteousness.” That spiritual truth is the basis for the spiritual weapons that defeats the condemning voice of Satan. Righteousness is a gift from the Lord! That should greatly enhance our love and appreciation of God’s love and what Jesus did for us. It protects our heart from the condemnation of our failures and Satan’s accusations. As 1 John 3:20 says, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.”  He knows we are His righteousness because of His son Jesus. The question is, do we know it?

How do we answer Satan’s accusations? We respond, “Yes Satan you are right. I could have said that better. I could have acted kinder. I shouldn’t have done that but I repent before God right now. Thank you Heavenly Father for forgiving me and helping me to handle that better next time. I receive and thank you for your forgiveness. In Jesus name. Now Satan, shut up and flee. I am made right before God. I am the righteousness of God. You will never be right before God. I will spend eternity with Jesus. You are condemned to the lake of fire. I rebuke you in Jesus name. I praise the name of Jesus.”

Like Israel, we should know our enemy and his schemes to discourage and undermine who we are in Christ. We should wear the armor God has provided and defeat the enemy of our soul at every turn. When you do, you will continue to be a force for God and influence others for him, despite your shortcomings!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) "Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 23, 2013

If My People Will Pray

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Today I am sharing a poem I stumbled upon that was written by a friend of my twelve years ago. It seems to speak louder today than when I first wrote it.  

If My People Pray by Sue Ellen Elliot

 


In the midst of the ashes
A woman stood tall
Never believing these buildings could fall
could fall
 
Tears silently coursed
down her face
Feeling the sadness
of her country's disgrace

As she looked up to heaven
And asked her God why
She received many answers
As she felt Him reply 

I founded this country
on dignity and grace
In the hearts of your leaders
I still had a place 

Not a decision decided
Without thoughtful prayer
Not a meeting attended
Without inviting Me there

 Humbled before Me
On bended knee
Your leaders sought answers
For their liberty 

Empowered by the prayers
Of the saints in those days
There were many incredible
And miraculous displays 

But somewhere so subtly
Along the line
People decided I was not right
For this time

They stopped praying for directions
On what to do next
And decided to print
What would look good on text 

I was told I was unwelcome
By word and by deed
As for God in the meetings
There was simply no need 

So you see my dear child
I was watching that day
Although I am God
I was told go away 

I have given free will
To the hearts of all men
And if uninvited
Cannot force my way in 

The questions what now?
Will continue to come
I cannot give all the answers
But I will give you one

The tragedies and sadness
You have seen on this day
Can be avoided in the future
If My people will pray

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


 
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Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Powerful Life-changing Word of God Part Three

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Years ago, I had to minister to a woman who was convinced that her husband was having an affair and involved in some pretty carnal activity. She was telling others about it. She was bad mouthing him to many people. She repeatedly tried to contact me to talk about it. It was absolutely confusing to me. It was because I knew her husband. I knew people that worked with him in the workplace and knew him well. He had a great reputation. He has a great reputation at church. He had a great reputation everywhere! I would have described him as a loving husband, a wonderful father, a top notch employee, and a strong mature Christian man and leader. I never heard him criticize or belittle his wife. I heard him speak of the love for his children. He had a high level job and was repeatedly promoted. I saw him faithfully and selflessly serve people and was a great leader. He was gentle and kind with everyone and a very humble man. I absolutely loved this guy in the Lord.

Was this man having an affair? No. Were any of the awful things his wife thought about him true? No. As it turns out, she was having some mental health issues. She believed what she thought about him to be true and consequently spent great deals of time verbally tearing him down. What gave me an even higher esteem for this man was that he knew it was going on yet refused to stop praying for or loving his wife. He knew she was visiting people and working to destroy his reputation yet he would not stop doing every thing he knew and could to try and make things work.

What she believed about him drove her life! What we believe affects our life! When you wholeheartedly believe something, it affects what you think, what you say, and how you act. This woman believed these things without any verifiable truth and it drove what she thought, what she spoke, and how she acted. Whether you are right or wrong, this is what “faith” or belief in something does. It affects all parts of your life.

That is one reason why apathy is so bad. Apathy is defined as an absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement; a lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. Apathy doesn’t give a rip about what happens. Consequently it works to undermine or destroy faith or sincere heart belief – the passion or state of heart that pleases God. Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Many people become apathetic because they hate conflict and would rather avoid having any strong belief or value because they can’t stand the forms of persecution that comes from others who disagree with them. It’s easier to utter the catch words of the day, “I don’t care” or “whatever.” Apathetic people are never leaders and often lousy followers. They just try to get through life without conflict.

When you believe something strongly – when something becomes a deeply rooted conviction, it will anchor your heart. The sum of all your collective convictions produce core values which in turn will guide your life. Those convictions and values will affect how and what you think, what you say, and how you act. That is why you better have your beliefs anchored in true knowledge and fact. Many people anchor their beliefs in what they consider to be the true knowledge and fact of science. The problem with that is that science is always changing. The world was flat. The world is round. The world is one galaxy. The world is endless galaxies that are still forming to this day. Science is really only the progressive revelation by discovery of what exists. It is always changing, never stationary, and never entirely agreed upon. Yet people anchor their beliefs on what science reveals thereby affecting what they think, what they say, and how they act.

They often say, “I only believe what I can see or scientifically prove.” That statement is basis for of self-deception. There is not a person on this planet that doesn’t exercise faith in something or someone – without verifiable evidence. Everyone exercises faith. You do every time you drive over a bridge or an airplane. You exercise faith that the bridge won’t collapse or the airplane won't fall out of the sky but will get you to your destination. You tell someone you will be at your destination at a certain time on a certain flight. That is faith. There is no verifiable evidence of that statement. It is speaking concretely about something in the future. “I will be in San Diego on flight 891 at 10:30 am. See you then.” It leads you to buy a ticket and it leads you to tell people you will be traveling. It leads you to board an airplane. You have exercised faith numerous times. Everyone is a person of faith and it does affect their daily thinking, saying, and doing.

This is why it’s so important to establish your faith in the truth of God’s Word. Let it shape what you think, what you say, and what you do. Unlike science, God never changes. People may create gods. People may mischaracterize and misunderstand God but that is not His doing or fault. God Himself never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not…”

God’s Word tells us that what we have tomorrow comes from what believe, say, and act on today. God modeled it for us from the beginning. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Of all things to put your faith in, it's the Word of God, His love toward you, and His instruction and promises that build conviction, core values, and anchor our heart.

Have faith in God’s promises! As 2 Cor. 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ…” Speak them by faith as God spoke. Let your faith – what you believe, become what you think, say, and act on.

Let what God promises you affect your thoughts, your words, and your actions. Believe in His promises. Believe in this promise to you today.

Psalm 54:4 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Powerful Life-changing Word of God Part Two

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was a boy, I was curious as are most boys are. I stuck my sister’s bobby pin into an electrical socket to see what would happen. By the grace of God, it only knocked my on my butt. I learned how powerful electricity was.

When I was a young man, I was body surfing in the ocean and got caught and pulled in an undertow that almost drowned me. By the grace of God I remembered something someone told me to do if that situation ever happened. I did it and got out of the undertow and barely made it back to shore. I learned how powerful the waves of the ocean were.

When I was 24 years old, I learned how powerful God's word was! I was heading down a path of destruction. I had become an alcoholic and drug addict. I had only had one dry day (where I wasn’t drunk or high) in four years. Someone showed me from the Word of God that Jesus saved me from my sins and I could experience that forgiveness if I would receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior. I did. My sins were forgiven. The Holy Spirit came to indwell in me and my life began to change immediately. A very short time later I heard a Pastor preaching from God’s Word how we were the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and that we were not to pollute it. 1 Cor. 3:16-17 says, “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” Prior to that I had never read a Bible and didn’t know what God wanted me to do. When I saw these words, they went off in me like a siren. I went home, dumped my drugs and booze in the toilet and never used either again. That was 35 years ago. God had completely removed the desire from me. From that day on, I only wanted to love and please God. It was that day I learned just how powerful the Word of God was. It could change the entire direction of my life and did. 

The Word of God is powerful. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick (meaning alive), and powerful (meaning active and effective,) and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (This meaning that God’s Word cuts through our self deceits, our rationalizing, and through the myths and lies we grew up believing. It gets us to God’s truth!)

His powerful Word tells us that He knew and loved and planned to redeem us from this fallen world before He even made the world we know. He wouldn’t control us but He would work to reach us with His love and lead us in paths of blessing. If you look back in your life, you can see the places where God has saved your life and protected you. He wants us to know His will – that He wants you as His child. Eph. 1:4-5 (NLT) says,  “Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.”

His powerful Word also reveals that from the beginning, He wanted to show us how to live our lives so that we would be blessed and protected from the corruption that is in this world. He would be our Father. He would give us His Word to live by. And He would bless us. That would make us stand out to the rest of the world and cause them to pay attention and desire our blessing. Does that seem too good to be true? It’s not! You see it here in Deut. 28:10 (NLT) ”Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.”  That started with Abraham and his seed – the Jews. And then through Jesus Christ, became His will for us as seen here in Galatians 3:29 (NLT) "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you." That’s powerful.

This verse is saying that the blessing God promised Abraham reaches all the way into our life through Jesus Christ today! As you read the following verses, you can see God's desire to bless and empower us. Most people don't think in terms of flocks and sheep today but that is not the point. These blessing have to do with our livelihood. They apply to our livelihood today.

Deut. 28:1-10 (NLT) “If you fully obey the Lord your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in your towns and in the country. You will be blessed with many children and productive fields. You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks. You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread. 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! "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. "If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in His ways, the Lord will establish you as His Holy people as He solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.”

Can you see how powerful these words are IF YOU BELIEVE THEM!? First, Jesus must become your personal Lord and Savior. You simply and sincerely ask Jesus from your heart to be your Lord and Savior and to forgive all your sins. The second you do, forgiveness comes, your sins are washed away, and the Holy Spirit comes to live within you. You will begin to see life through God's eyes. Then engage in a life of learning to obey and put God’s Word first in your life. That is a process. God’s Holy Spirit is the power to help you. As you read God's Word it will powerfully speak to and transform who you are. Everything about God is good, powerful, and full of blessing and He will lead you through His Word. And that is why He wants us to base our lives on His Powerful Life-changing Word! More tomorrow….

Psalms 119:89  "Your Word is eternal O Lord. It stands firm in heaven"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Powerful Life-changing Word of God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Many people have grown up in a church whose service was for the most part, the experience of religious repetition. Let me explain that. The majority of the elements of the service were the same and repeated at each service. Much of what was said was ritual – not necessarily understood nor did it do much if anything to engage one’s thought processes. Verbal responses were known by heart and repeated whether mentally engaged or not.  Few if any understood what the hymns they sang over and over meant. Few understood what the words meant to the author when written and should mean to them as they sang them – resulting in more mindless participation and ritual. For those that loved to sing them, it was more about the joy of singing than a passion for the meaning of the words of worship to God. So, when I say that many people grew up in the framework of a religious repetition, I mean something you did that was about God but seldom engaged your heart and mind. I know that many good people were brought up in this kind of religious framework.

Can you imagine going out on a date with someone that spoke another language but did not speak yours? It might be cute and fun for a short time but the novelty of it would fade fast. Engaging in thought, word, and in deed is critical to any good and intimate relationship.

Can you imagine going out on a date when you really didn’t want to and did so repeatedly? How engaged would you and could you be? Again maybe in the beginning you could be polite and talk about a few things, but after a short time, because you being there was out of duty and obligation, you’d burn out.

God never meant for our times of coming together to worship Him in church to be religious repetition that led to us mentally checking out. He never meant for us to say, sing, or do things that we did not understand in our worship of Him. To the contrary, coming together to worship God was to be a time to learn of Him, of His immeasurable love toward us, to learn of His life-changing Word that represents His will for us, and to pray prayers of sincere faith with confidence that He would hear them and answer them. Jesus wanted to correct that kind of thinking and mindless action and prayer. We see Him in Matthew 6:7 say, “But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” The Greek word for “repetitions” is a word that means to prate tediously. “Prate” means to talk excessively and pointlessly implying without thought or from the heart – it means to babble or speak empty words – words without thought and heart behind them.

Jesus taught His listeners to get away from mindless and repetitious prayer with God. He wants our minds to be renewed to His Word knowing what He is like or what He wants. Romans 12:2 (NIV) says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

God's Word is to be the basis for knowing Him. God isn't pleased with religious actions and words disengaged from God's will and heart.  If you are doing, saying, or singing things that you don't understand and that you can't see in the Bible, it might be good to instead read your Bible and let God's Word direct you. Be a part of a church that teaches the Bible and how to live according to the scriptures. Listen to sermons that are Biblical, relevant to life's experience, and that help you lean on God's grace and the help of the Holy Spirit for the strength to live for Him. Sit under teaching that helps you understand the immeasurable love of Jesus Christ and the salvation and blessing He's promised to you!

Jesus taught His followers God's heart in the scriptures. He wasn't interested in religious mindless activity. He came to help them know and see the Father through His life so that they could love and worship God in Spirit and truth. Jesus wanted their time with God to be a time of intimacy and instruction while being infused with life and power. He did not want His Words to be dead, mysterious, irrelevant outdated words on a page, but words of life and power that were relevant for today.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

When God says His Word is “quick” that word literal means alive. It means that His word that will speak to you. It also says it’s “powerful” literally meaning that it’s active and effective. That means that the Word of God is alive, effective, powerful and has the ability to speak to our hearts. No wonder the devil wants God’s Word shrouded in religious talk and not understood. He does not want it to change our life.

The last part of this verse talks about it being “sharper than any two edged sword…” The literal Greek is painting the picture of something so sharp that it slices to the core with one cut vs. a knife that is dull and you have to hack away to make a cut. It reminds me of a expressions I heard many times growing up. “Cut the crap.” “Quit beating around the bush." “Get to the point!” The Word of God cuts through the lies our heart has been infected by and brings the illumination and truth of life we all seek for.

When spend time reading your Bible, ask the Lord to have His Holy Spirit to teach you and speak to you through His Word. You'll learn quickly that He will! He will bring words of life and hope. He will also bring correction and instruction. His motive is love and to lead you into a life filled with His peace and blessing. Let God's powerful word speak to your heart today!

Luke 4:4 (NKJV) But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' "

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Part Three: The Power of Devoting Yourself to God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Isa 54:13 “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.”

"Lord, I don't know how to teach Stephanie to know and love you. I need your help. Please show me the way." That was the cry of my heart to the Lord. I really wanted her and my future children to know the Lord. When you pray a prayer like that, you really don't know how the Lord is going to answer it. Often times you forget you prayed a prayer like that and don't even know and realize it when your answer finally manifests before you. Hindsight almost always helps you see things more clearly.

Back when Stephanie was just eight months old, I was sitting in our family room one evening watching a little television. I had her sitting on a blanket next to me surrounded by baby paraphernalia – all the things she could stick in her mouth and bite on and play with to be happy. She was sitting there adorable and content. I was watching the TV. When a commercial would come on, I would lean over and play with her for a couple of minutes until the show I was watching came back on. Some time later, another series of commercials would come on and I would give Stephanie a few more minutes of my attention.

As this was going on, I suddenly heard the Lord speak to my heart. "Is this the way you are going to raise your daughter – between commercials?" I was stunned when I heard this. I just sat there for a minute. I turned off the TV and continued to sit still. The presence of the Lord was there with me. Stephanie continued to sit quietly and content.

The thought suddenly brought me back in my mind to the Sunday morning of Stephanie's baby dedication. The Pastor was teaching from Gen 18:18-19. "Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, because he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what He has promised him." That day I had pledged in my heart to do what made God so pleased with Abraham. I promised to purposefully raise my children to know and follow the Lord.

I instantly was convicted that playing with Stephanie between the commercials wasn't it. I went upstairs to talk with Renee about my experience with the Lord. She agreed completely and that night we made a pledge to the Lord. We would not turn on the television until after she was in bed. Instead from the time dinner was over, we would play with her (and eventually all four children,) and then spend a good hour each night just finding fun little ways to teach her about the Lord.

About that time, we felt impressed to get involved helping with children's ministry at church. We served under a great children's Pastor. We learned many things about effective ministry to children and eventually taught the children ourselves at church two Sunday night services a month for eight years. We had great fun in doing so. It wasn't long before we were taking what we learned at church to minister to our children at home.

We used puppets at church to minister to the kids and it was one of their favorite parts of the Sunday School class. We ended up buying some animal puppets that we named and developed personalities for. Renee and I would do humorous little puppet shows with a moral and biblical truth – often reflecting something that was going on in their lives or in our home. Our kids loved it and eventually wanted to create puppet shows of their own.

We'd also memorize scripture together – another thing we learned at church, rewarding the children when they had learned a new verse by heart. We always read from different kinds of Bible books that were age appropriate. We often played music about the Lord and occasionally watched Bible videos. We did many fun little things along the way. And then we would always pray together as a family. Each one of the kids would pray from their heart unto the Lord out loud.

As I look back, this was the beginning of how God answered my prayer. I prayed "Lord please teach me how teach my children to know and love you" and He did. Since I didn't know how to do this the Lord showed me without me realizing it by leading Renee and I to help serve in children’s ministry. That is what helps make today's Fresh Manna promise true. "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children." The Lord would give us fun ideas that the kids loved and could learn from and they really began to know and love the Lord!

Each child is unique in how they learn but the promise is – “All your children shall be taught by the Lord…” You’ll be involved in the process and He’ll show you how as you seek Him.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Part Two: The Power of Devoting Yourself to God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I gave my life to the Lord, receiving Jesus as my Savior at the age of 24. Early on in my young walk with God, I was seeking God for three things that were very important to me. I felt this great desire to become more intimate with God. I had an intense desire to help my young children to know the Lord. And finally I wanted to know and understand more about this call of God I thought I felt upon my life. I had read about Abraham and why God had chosen Him as the one to establish a covenant with. We see it in  Gen 18:18-19. "Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him."

These verses are so powerful in so many ways. First of all, Abraham had to have been a seeker of God that was unparalleled at that time. It wasn't like He had a written Bible at that point.  At some point, like all human beings, he began to seek to know the God whom he knew in his heart existed. Abraham was a seeker and it pleased God! Proverbs 8:17 (NIV) says, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV) says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  God did what He does with anyone that truly and sincerely seeks Him – God revealed Himself to Abraham.
We don't know all that God revealed to Him but we do know that Abraham developed a heart devoted to seeking God. These verses spoke to each of the things I was seeking God for. It showed me that when you are willing to worship and seek God, He will reveal Himself to you more and more. Jesus confirmed that in Mat 5:6 saying, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Then it showed me that God chose Abraham because he would teach and direct His children and household to know Him and His ways. That desire was intense within me. Finally these verses talked about the plan of God for Abraham's life. The three things I was seeking God for were addressed regarding Abraham. I knew God would address them for me.

I made the decision to begin to get up at 5:00 am and go into my living room and read the Word, worship the Lord, and pray – daily. As I did, some interesting thing began to happen. First let me say that prior to this time, Renee and I had been reading to each of our children daily from the time they were six months old. We had bought some children's Bibles that were specifically for young children. I'd put Stephanie on my lap at night and read the same book to her over and over each night. When I first started doing this, she was six months old and more interested in eating the book (sometimes she tried) than listening to it. But it didn't take long for her to begin to enjoy our reading the same stories to her over and over again.  I'm sure being that young, she didn't understand anything at first but, the repetition was impacting her. When she was just shy of two years old I had an experience that astounded me.

One night I was reading to her. It had been a long day and I was so tired I could hardly keep from passing out. As I started the second story I thought, “I'm just going to read the first and last sentence of each story to her. She won't know the difference.” She had gotten used to me reading her the whole book and I knew I wouldn't be able to stay awake that long. As I begin to read skipping quite a bit of the story, she stopped me. She was quite articulate for not being two yet. She said, "Dad, that's not it!" I said, "What do you mean honey?" She said, "That's not how the story goes." I said, "Well then, how does the story go?" She began to recite the entire story word for word from the pages. My mouth almost dropped to the floor. We had been reading her this book almost daily for over a year but I had no idea a child was capable of this. I turned to the next story and said, "What does this say?" She recited the entire story word for word. There were about 12 stories in the book and she knew each one word for word.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I screamed to Renee, "Renee, did you know that Stephanie can quote every word in this book by heart?" She said, "Oh yea, I've known it for a little while. I forgot to tell you." At that point, Renee and I realized the power of reading and consequently read to each of the kids every night from then on. We made the Library our home away from home.

I told you this story to help you see that I didn't know that what I was doing was ministering to my children to the degree it was. Because my heart was desirous to teach them about the Lord, He was leading me even though I didn’t realize it. In beginning to understand what a child was capable of learning, it only increased my desire to put more of God in them. I knew the Lord would continue to lead me in how I would do that.

Tomorrow I will share more of what happened when I began to get up early, seek God, and pray. Today just know that when your heart's desire is to draw close to the Lord – to know Him and to share Him with your children or with anyone else, God is there to help you. Of all things He wants you to succeed at, its this! More about devoting yourself to God tomorrow...

Deu 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Part One: The Power of Devoting Yourself to God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In my walk with God, I have learned many life-changing truths. One of those times happened early in my Christian walk. My children were quite young at the time and I was desiring the wisdom to help them know the Lord in ways I never did. I grew up in a church but really only knew religious activities and prayers I'd learned to say with no thought behind them. I had never read the Bible and didn't really feel that I knew the Lord personally. When I gave my life to Jesus, I became so hungry to read the Bible and learn of Him that I was like a person at a buffet wanting to heap my plate as high as I could.

There were multiple things I really desired of the Lord. As much as I was developing an intimate relationship with the Lord, I wanted to know Him even more. I also greatly hungered for my children to grow up knowing Him intimately – not religiously. I didn't know how to make that happen. And then I wanted to know the direction God had for my life. I felt like I had a call of God on my life and yet I wasn’t sure what that was or how to know for sure.

I decided I was going to get up early each morning – around 5:00am and go out to our living room and read and pray and worship the Lord. I knew that if I sought the Lord, He would help me with what I was seeking Him for. I had that promise in John 14:26 which promised, "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." I decided I was going to devote this early morning time to the Lord.

In the Old Testament, we begin to learn what devotion means. First let me give you a dictionary view. "Devotion: ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle. The state of being devoted; addiction; eager inclination; strong attachment love or affection; zeal; especially, feelings toward God appropriately expressed by acts of worship; devoutness."

This isn't far off from the Biblical meaning. In Lev 27:28 we can get more insight to what God considered devotion to Him to be. We read, "But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the LORD--whether man or animal or family land--may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD." This was part of the Levitical law and instruction to the Israelites in how to live before the Lord. This instruction was telling them that when they decided to devote something to the Lord, there was no taking it back. It no longer belonged to them but to the Lord. Even if it was something that was still in their possession (such as a field or an animal), if they devoted it to the Lord, it belonged to Him and they couldn't take it back. This was true also of a vow. When someone made a vow in their heart to the Lord, they were supposed to keep it. God would bless this kind of dedication.

In 2 Chr 31:21 we read, "In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered." This verse is speaking of King Hezekiah. He established his kingdom on this kind of devotion to the Lord and God supernaturally blessed Hezekiah and the people of kingdom and delivered him from all the powerful enemies that surrounded him! Again it says, "He sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered."

I wanted to devote this time in the morning to the Lord to get up and read and pray and worship Him wholeheartedly. As I walked this out, wonderful things began to happen which I will continue to share with you in subsequent writings.

In the meantime, for today, hold onto this truth. When we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to God, it sets us free from wrong motives. We draw back from doing things simply for appearance sake or to please others. Instead we do the things we do out of a pure love for God and others. And God blesses us greatly for devoting our heart and time to Him! Tomorrow I'll share that experience I started telling you about at the beginning....

Eph 6:5-7 “Be servants in obedience to those in authority over you with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like servants of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Blessing of Always Giving Respect

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I believe that most everyone would agree that the giving of and showing of respect to your spouse, your children, your friends, to your boss, and co-workers - to those in authority and basically to all people is critical to the human and Christian experience. As Christians we should give and show respect without prejudice. People are to receive and give respect to one another even when they disagree with their opinion, choices, or lifestyles. No one respects an outright evil person. But, putting that aside, people do not have to agree or condone wrong behaviors of people, but they should respect to every human being as someone created by God.

1 Thess 5:12 (NIV) says, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.” The word “respect” in this verse means “to know or have a right perception of another.”  Going deeper it means to come to know and understand someone so that you don’t prejudge or mischaracterize who people are and why they do what they do. It implies getting to know and understand the good in those around you. In this verse it especially implies getting to know what those in spiritual authority over you do while appreciating the hard work and pressure it takes to walk as a leader.  The verse continues, 1 Thessalonians 5:13 (NIV) "Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other."


I apply this counsel to my marriage. Any good husband realizes that a good wife probably has more to do with leading the home than he does. She often spends more time there and with the children. She is often their primary nurturer. And a good man understands that the role of a wife and mother is immense. A good man will take the time to understand and respect this leadership role his wife plays in the home and be a support to her as he does his best to provide.

The Apostle Paul writes to men in Ephes. 5:33 (NIV)  “...each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself…” In applying this command to give respect to my wife, I think a great deal about Renee. Respecting her is knowing her. I have always tried not to take her for granted but see and appreciate the multitude of things she does for me and the family. It seems as though there is endless tasks that she is always working on for the kids and myself. She has chosen to do them out of love for us and she does them with an awesome attitude. Through our seasons of life together, Renee has continually adapted to doing new things for me, the children, the house, and in serving others. She had done so with an incredible attitude. I have taken the time to notice and appreciate what she does which only elevates the great respect I have for her. She hugely appreciates the respect and honor I show her and that only motivates her more.

Taking the time to know people for the good they do takes effort but elevates the respect you feel for them. Showing respect only fuels their fire and motivates them to achieve higher.

This verse continues saying, “…and the wife must respect her husband.” Again in this verse the word respect is used meaning to revere him. I know for many that sounds over the top, but this is counsel from God for wives to have this kind of attitude toward their husband.  You might think, "He doesn't deserve it. He's lazy or he's a jerk." What you don't realize is that as you ask the Holy Spirit to help you put on this kind of attitude, it will affect your man.  Women, you know how to make a man feel honored. You practiced it in winning your husband in the first place.

Husbands and wives should come to know and understand and appreciate the roles and responsibilities each other has and help each other succeed in them. That is the point of this respect.

I know at this point, this is tough for many to listen to. They feel they don’t and can’t respect their spouse for many reasons. The question comes “What came first the chicken or the egg?"  What comes first, my spouse earning respect or me giving it?” My answer is give respect first. You should simply give respect because God instructs us to. God knows better than us all! The fact is, if you married each other, you saw things in each other that were real and worthy of respect. If other things became clear to you that were not worthy of respect that diminished the respect that you give, that should not have happened. You have every right to appropriately communicate what is not respectable, but you are also to show and treat each other with that respect that God commands to give. If this is done sincerely and in love with kindness and with encouragement instead of disrespect and fighting, your respect of each other will help each of you step up in the roles God has given you. You hold that power to help each other. The Holy Spirit will help you understand and respect each other despite obvious shortcomings. As you walk this out by faith, your emotions and feelings will always follow right actions from a right heart attitude.

Everywhere I go I treat people who serve me with great respect whether that be the server in a restaurant, a receptionist, a cashier - whoever serves me.  I especially do that with my wife and children.  It is always appropriate do give kind respect.  It has nothing to do with what I think they deserve or how they are presently acting. It is simply the right thing to do and what God wants me to do. But, don't miss this - when executed consistently, it will influence those that serve and help you in your life. You will help them and overall, you will see that it will come back to bless you!

Too often we think we should give honor and respect only when we feel that someone deserves it. No, that is shallow and would be dependent in our knowing someone well enough and making judgments about what they deserve.  Respect comes first. We give kind respect to all. When we do, consistently and always, to all, then we will see God’s power operating through it and coming back to us in our lives.

Romans 12:10 (NLT) "Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring (respecting) each other."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/