About Tim Burt

Monday, April 28, 2014

Building a Beautiful Marriage

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I have been married for 36 years. Our marriage started off extremely rocky because we were young, immature, and selfish. Today we have what I would consider the marriage of my dreams. Even though I say that, it's not perfect and we infrequently have our moments. But for the most part, we have the kind of marriage that we both hoped we would have when we first got married. We deeply love each other. We have great admiration for each other. We serve each other. And we work to serve the Lord together. What has helped us move from one end of the spectrum to the other is keeping God in the center of our lives and prioritizing our relationship with Him and each other.


Jesus meant it when He spoke the words, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) Taking this exhortation from the Lord seriously is the very thing that has helped our marriage become what it is.

Our life is disciplined. The word discipline can sound like such a rigid and legalistic word but it's really not. All it means is that we have prioritized what we know is important and what we know will help us succeed, over less important distractions that would otherwise work to distract us and nibble away at what is significant in our life.

We know we are limited in our own human flesh and wisdom. But we also know that the Holy Spirit and the grace of God indwell us—that is His ability, wisdom, and strength are available to help us go far beyond what we could do in ourselves. Because we know that, we work together to keep the Lord and His word first place in our life and in prayer. Instead of carrying all the burdens of life that cause a couple to be at each other's throats, we embrace God's instruction to leave our cares—the things that are really God’s assignment—not ours, at His feet. Psalms 55:22 (NIV) says, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." And 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

By spending time regularly reading & studying God's word, we've learned to know and pray in faith according to His will. We are to be smart enough to know our part, but then make sure we turn God’s part over to Him as He exhorts us to in Philippians 4:6 (NIV)  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

We have learned that we can’t do the things we are led to do without God's help. We believe Jesus when He said,  "... apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NIV) We've learned over the course of our marriage, that time and time again, God uses a Pastor preaching from a pulpit and Christian friends that we associate with in spiritual growth and fellowship, to speak into our lives. God has taught us that through each other, and through a community of believers that love Him, He'll always find ways to speak into our life and keep us on track growing in Him. It has resulted for us in a wonderful healthy marriage and a purpose-filled marriage of reaching out to others with the love of God. We could not ask for anything more.

He teaches us to prioritize our love for each other. We learned early on, sitting down and communicating about life and what is going on around us is a must. We take time to go on big and little dates. Sometimes just over coffee and a bagel and other times over a nice dinner. We go for walks. We play golf together. We prioritize downloading communication time and spending time with each to have some fun. We do so knowing that to not do so is to cause our communication and our marriage to erode.


Marriage is work. Marriage works when two people set down their pride and selfishness again and again. 
Marriage works when two people remember that they love each other and need God's help to sustain it. Marriage works when couples prioritize seeking God's help and let His word guide them through disputes and decisions. A God-built marriage is a beautiful thing that produces wonderful things for His Kingdom. Seek Him first. Put Him first. And prioritize your love for each other! It's a beautiful thing.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV) "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken"


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© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Someone Who Understands "Love the Neighbor"

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This man's touching act of love perfectly demonstrates what Jesus meant when He said, "Love they neighbor as thy self."

Luke 10:27  Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"




In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Tim here:





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

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Monday, April 14, 2014

God Has A Destiny For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have memories of my mom feeding my younger siblings as infants. I'd occasionally help her. I remember her constantly preparing baby bottles of milk and then eventually feeding them Pablum – an infant cereal. In the beginning of one’s new walk with Jesus, milk and Pablum is what is normal. We see that in 1 Peter 2:2. It says, “Just like new-born babies, desire and crave for the milk of God’s Word so that you can grow up in the knowledge of your salvation.” God lets us know that what He considers to be a normal part of the Christ-life, is to grow up. We aren't to remain like infants that need to be breastfed or fed Pablum all their life. We are to grow up in spiritual knowledge and understanding. Too often, Christians don't spiritually mature as they should.

Children were designed to be fed every day. Our society is designed to instruct and teach children in order that they may intellectually grow up. But, when it comes to Christians and their spiritual growth, we've got starving babies – people that don’t go to church or read or study their Bibles. We've got Christians who don’t pursue an intimate relationship with God through prayer or make the effort to live by His Word. That problem has existed throughout every generation. The Apostle Paul in addressing the Christians at the church of Corinth said, “I fed you with milk and not with solid food because, like babies, you still can’t handle anything stronger.” (1 Corinthians 3:2) He was telling them that had not spiritually grown enough for Him to speak at a level he needed to speak to them at. They were still like babies on Pablum.

Each of us has a God-given destiny. By that, I don’t mean something that's going to make headlines or put you in history books. What I do mean is that God has a great purpose for your life. He wants you to significantly influence and impact the lives of others in the earth. But, infants don’t go from breast milk to steak and Christians don’t instantly mature and fulfill their destiny. In God’s plan for our destiny we spiritually grow and mature. Even Jesus was born and matured into the fulfillment of His destiny. Destiny is a day-by-day and step-by-step path of growing up in Christ while learning first to learn and live by God’s values, and then influencing other toward them.  It is God’s will that all men be saved from eternal damnation. He has paved the way and opened the entrance of Heaven for any and everyone through Jesus Christ. It’s a gift we know and understand. We hold knowledge of the greatest secret ever revealed to mankind. God does not want it to remain a secret. He wants us to be influencers of this truth.

God also wants every believer to spiritually grow up and become contributors to His plan to reach and influence others with His love. Getting dragged down into the sinful activity and degradation that permeates this earth is the opposite of His plan and yet many Christians have been sucked into it, abandoning their faith. God speaks to that in Isaiah 65:11 (Message Bible) "But you who abandon me your God… who hold dinners for Lady Luck and throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate, Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be: your destiny, Death. For when I invited you, you ignored me; when I spoke to you, you brushed me off. You did the very things I exposed as evil; you chose what I hate."

Destiny is realized through our growth and maturity and developed as we walk out God's values. That means God first wants us to have a vision for learning His word and ways, and with His help, figuring how to walk them out in our life. He then wants us to learn how to share them with others so that we can help others grow up in Him. He wants us to become disciples and then become disciple makers. These are the first two core values that lead us in our God-given destiny. Our destiny will never be a blueprint that we've seen and known in advance. Our destiny is like a rose. It unfolds and gets more beautiful! It's an unfolding plan that God reveals little by little as He leads you there. And you can only be led there if you pursue these two core values of first becoming a disciple and becoming a disciple maker.

People often fantasize about living out some great destiny that significantly impacts the world. They think money, fame, power – all these things and more lead to destiny and a significant life. None of these things mean anything when they are void of the two core values of the Christ-life I just described to you. All fame, money, and power that God gives people are given by God for the purpose of helping people come to know Christ and grow up in Him.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJV) says, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." 

You have a destiny in the big picture of God. He wants a life of significance and blessing – the life everyone dreams of for you! He want it for you more than you want it for you. But He can only lead you there. It's up to you to take hold of it, choose life, grow and mature, and walk it out!

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

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was boy, the Lady Bug was the one bug I would always love to pick up. They were not something we saw often. To me they were almost like finding a four-leaf clover—they were such a novelty. I’d always pick them up and let them crawl on me. I didn't like bugs but Lady Bugs weren't like bugs. They were like cute little pets.
Then came along the Japanese Beetle. I thought they were lady bugs at first. I’d pick them up the same way. Then one day someone said to me, “See all those spots on that bug? There should be about 19 of them. That’s not a Lady Bug. That’s a Asian beetle. They are a nuisance bug and they smell if you crush them.” That was at least ten years ago and I haven’t held a Lady Bug since. His comments spoiled them for me. I’ve brushed off every one I’ve seen, concerned they might be a Japanese Beetle. Instead of learning to tell the difference between the two, I’ve treated both like a pest. That thought hit me the other day when I brushed away what I now know was a Lady Bug. Lady Bugs usually only have a few spots.
Asian Beetles are usually solid covered with spots. What I realized through this was that a lack of knowledge over this robbed me of the Lady Bug experience I would have shared with my granddaughters. I treated both bugs bad when only one was a nuisance.

The world does that with Christians. The media focuses on any Christian that has every been a poor example, whether it be someone ministering on television or someone who calls themselves a Christian but has done something wrong or crazy. The world and the media try to paint pictures of all Christians being weird, crazy, or hypocrites. Forget the fact that people in the world get drunk or high, swear, watch or participate in illicit sex, and will lie, cheat, or manipulate to get what they want. As a matter of fact, I've just described the average prime time television show. They don’t care if they do all that. They don’t profess to be Christians so they don’t have to restrain themselves from this behavior. They just want professing Christians to be perfect and if they catch one making a mistake or blowing it by sinning, they blast that person as the devil incarnate and mock Christianity because of a few. Most Christians are good people. Most Pastors are good Pastors. Most television evangelists are Godly men that are not out for money. They take donations so they can reach more people with Christ’s love. Television costs are outrageously high.

Being a Christian is a decision to give your life over to Jesus and to accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. From that moment it’s a life-long process of personal character transformation. People in the world don’t understand that. They just think, “You say you are a Christian so how can you be doing that?” “You’re a hypocrite!”

Christians can become a victim of the Lady Bug/Japanese Beetle syndrome. They are all lumped together as being too hard to distinguish good from bad. The world tries to make us all look bad. This causes many people who are interested in Christianity to think of it like the Japanese Beetle. They don’t understand the difference and they brush it away. That has been a strategy of the devil from the beginning.

When you believe something strongly—when something becomes a true conviction and an anchor of your heart—it will guide your life. That is why you better have your beliefs anchored in true knowledge and fact. You better not get seduced by the world’s perspective and criticism of Christianity or you’ll begin to be embarrassed that you are a Christian.

When someone ignorantly attacks Christianity because of a Christian that doesn't measure up, be bold and set them straight gently but with strength and moral fiber. Don’t you become offended. Be a person that is proud of your Savior Jesus Christ. Be a person that is proud to live morally and upright according to God’s Word. Remember: “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” ( Proverbs 28:1) Be the bold. Enlighten others that they misunderstand true Christianity. Tell them Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven! Tell them that most are like Lady Bugs even though there are some Japanese Beetles out there! And then you model what Christianity should look like so they can criticize you!

Philippians 2:15 (NLT) "... Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." 

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© 2014 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 07, 2014

Slay the Dragon of Worry

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In the Old Testament, there are different Hebrew words used for sin. One is chata’.  Chata’ means missing such as missing the mark. We see the word chata' used for the word sin in the verse Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” We might read it like this, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t miss it and sin.” This makes me think of the many times I've seen a guy say something his wife didn't like and I’d hear him utter, “Oh, oh. I've just blown it.”

 When we worry, we chata’ – we miss it. Worry is sin. For many people worry feels like compassion. “I've been worried about you!” Your upbringing may have taught you that to worry for someone is like an act of compassion. It’s not true. Its chata’ – it’s missing it. Worrying does nothing but bring momentum to unbelief which is the enemy of God. Unbelief strips faith from our lives. Worry strips faith from our lives. Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” When we read that “Jesus was amazed at the people’s unbelief” in Mark 6:6, it is not a compliment. It was actually the unbelief of the people who hindered His power from miracles and healing. Matthew 13:58 says, “And so Jesus did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.”

Have you ever had to unclog a clogged drain? What you pull out is disgustingly gross! Worry is just like one of those disgusting things that clogs. It hinders the power of God from operating in our life because of the inherent power of unbelief. Unbelief is really faith. It’s faith in what the devil can do rather than faith in what God can do. Think about it. You've probably heard someone speak these words. Oh, I just know they are going to downsize and I’ll lose my job, or Oh, I am so afraid I am going to get the flu this winter, or Well I know I’ll get a stupid cold. I always do!  Worry is the down payment on the very thing you dread coming. It’s the payment of unbelief which is faith in what the devil will bring against you. This is why God instructed us through His Word saying, “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Worrying is chata’ – it’s missing the mark. It’s sin. What is the solution? Get yourself a prescription – the promises of God. The promises of God are the prescriptions to take into your heart that will, over time, strengthen your mind, strengthen your heart, and transform you from a worrier to a prayer and proclaimer of your faith in Him. You will become one who learns to say with confidence, "God will never fail me or forsake me which is why I can say with confidence, the Lord is my Helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Instead of worrying about those you love, cast those cares on the Lord. Rise up in faith and prayer and say, Father, I will not miss the mark by worrying about my children. I will pray and put my trust in you. For as much as I love them, I know you love them more! They belong to you. I thank you today that you are raising up labors to talk with them and boldly share your love with them. I thank you that the eyes of their understanding is enlightened by your Holy Spirit. I thank you that your angels surround them today and I rebuke every demonic attack that the enemy has set against them. I ask that your assist them as your Holy Spirit leads them to you.

This is putting the promises of God to work which is hitting the mark. This is the exercise of faith that is pleasing to God! Do this and you won’t be guilty of worrying – of hindering God’s power through unbelief and missing the mark. No chata’ for you today. As 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Proclaim His goodness in your life. Sing His praises. Let faith and praise arise!

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him" 

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© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 04, 2014

Some Humor to Make You Smile

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


How about a little bit of humor this weekend. After all, Proverbs 17:22 (NIV) says, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."

An Awesome Relationship with God

Bob, an 85-year-old man goes for a physical. All of his tests come back with normal results.

The doctor says, Bob, everything looks great. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with God? 


 Bob replies, God and I have an absolutely awesome relationship! He knows I have poor eyesight, so he's fixed it so when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, poof!, the light goes on. When I'm done, poof! The light goes off. 

Wow, that's incredible, the doctor says.

A little later in the day, the doctor calls Bob's wife. Sandy. He says, Sandy, I just wanted to let you know that all of Bob's test results have come back and Bob is doing fine! While I've got you on the phone, I have to ask you about the awesome relationship Bob says he has with God. He says God has provided some supernatural help for him. Is it true that he gets up during the night and, poof! The light goes on in the bathroom and when he's done, poof! The light goes off?  That sounds so amazing. Is it just like Bob says?  

Oh my God! Sandy exclaims. He's peeing in the refrigerator again!

Call the Doctor

A Lutheran pastor was presenting a children's sermon. During the sermon, he asked the children if they knew what the resurrection was.

Now, asking questions during children's sermons is crucial, but at the same time, asking children questions in front of a congregation can also be very dangerous.

Having asked the children if they knew the meaning of the resurrection, a little boy raised his hand. The pastor called on him and the little boy said, "I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts more than four hours you are supposed to call the doctor."

It took over ten minutes for the congregation to settle down enough from their laughter for the worship service to be continued.

Three Nuns at a Met's Game

Three nuns were at Citi Field taking in a Mets game.

Three men were sitting directly behind the nuns and because their habits were partially blocking their view, the men decided to badger the nuns hoping they would get annoyed enough to move to another area of the park.

In a very loud voice the first guy said I think I'm gonna move to Utah, there are only 100 nuns living there.  Then the second guy spoke up and said  I wanna go to Montana, there are only 50 nuns there. Then the third guy said  I wanna go to Idaho, I hear there are only 25 nuns there.  

The Mother Superior turned around, looked at the men and in a very sweet and calm voice said, Why don't you all go to hell... there aren't any nuns there.

Proverbs 15:13 (MSG) "A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face..."

Smile and have a blessed weekend!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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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© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

God Wants to Use You! Are You Ready?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you believe God wants to use you? Do you believe the Holy Spirit would prompt you to help someone know Jesus? The following verses share a story of just how God will use a yielded vessel.

Acts 8:26-38 “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it." Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his justice was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch asked Philip, and said, I pray you, of whom speaks the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

This Ethiopian was a very influential man. He experienced this personal touch from God and it changed the entire course of his life. Because of this man's influence as treasurer under the queen, his life most likely then touched the lives of countless others. This story is the demonstration of the power and intimate effort on God’s part to use someone who knows Him (like you or I) to help another get to know Him. God loved this man so much that He spoke to Philip to go out to this desert place. Would God help you be used like this in some way? What a phenomenal and exciting thought and the answer is YES!

I was touched by God's love that way 37 years ago at the age of 24. As I was working on an airplane, I met a woman who seemed to shine. There was something different about her. She had a genuine kindness and peaceable way about her. I told her there was something different about her and asked her what that was. She shared her peace in a way that pierced my heart. I was one looking for answers to life and God. I had so many questions and along comes a gal who had the answers and was willing to share them with me. That was the beginning of an entire new life that has led me to where I am today. I was like than Ethiopian man.

Last Wednesday a man that was from India walked up to me. He had heard some things I had been saying about God in a conversation with someone else. He wanted to talk to me. As we began to talk and I could tell that he didn't know the Lord. I asked him if he knew of God’s love and assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ. He didn't. I shared the love of Jesus which he was hungry to learn about. He prayed right there to receive Jesus into his heart. You could almost see an immediate transformation in his countenance. I had a Bible and some little mini-books about living a new life in Christ in my car. I went and got them to help him get started. I always keep those important tools close by. I invited him to church. He came and over the next year, turned his entire life around. That day he told me was that our meeting had to be God’s doing because he named about three unusual things that happened that put himself in front of me. THAT IS GOD’S LOVE!

I think and pray often about God using me to help someone know Jesus. I pray that I'll be as faithful as Philip was. I pray that each of us that do know the Lord will be willing vessels to share His love. We are surrounded by people searching for the real truth in the midst of a world filled with confusion. I don't get stuck trying to help those that don't want to know. I move on to those that do! There is an entire harvest field of people looking to know the Lord. We might be the very vessel God desires to use to introduce Himself to someone else to begin to change their world. The Holy Spirit is ready to use you. Are you ready to be used? Pray, ask the Lord, and then pay attention. People hungry to know the Lord are looking for you!

“1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

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© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/