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Monday, June 30, 2014

A Special Hero of America

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Kosher Fireworks

How a Jewish man Saved America and the Fourth of July by Dr. Richard Booker


In 1975 the United States Postal Department issued a stamp honoring a man named Haym Salomon for his contribution to the cause of the American Revolution. This stamp was uniquely printed on the front and the back. On the glue side of the stamp, the following words were printed in pale, green ink.

“Financial Hero - Businessman and broker Haym Salomon was responsible for raising most of the money needed to finance the American Revolution and later to save the new nation from collapse.” I personally have one of these stamps. Historians who have studied the story of Haym Salomon all agree that without his “contribution to the cause” there would be no America today.

Haym Salomon bought and sold financial papers to raise money for Robert Morris who was the Superintendent of Finance for the Continental Congress. He believed that America would be a safe haven for the Jews. But this son of a rabbi, also believed that one day in the future, Jerusalem would rise from the dust, the Jews would return to their ancient homeland, and Israel and Jerusalem would once again be the home of the wandering Jew. Salomon determined to do all that he could to finance the Revolution so that America could survive until that future time when his people would once again fill the streets of Jerusalem.

From one crisis to the next, Robert Morris went to Haym Salomon for help, and Salomon always responded. Haym Salomon gave his entire personal fortune of over $800,000 to the cause of the Revolution. This debt was never repaid. He died sick and penniless at the age of 45, January 6, 1785, leaving behind a young widow, Rachel, and four children all under the age of seven.

Rachel tried for months after Haym’s death to collect on personal loans that he had made to Robert Morris, to the Congress and others. She was requested to turn all her securities and certificates over to the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania for evaluation. After several months she made further inquiries and was informed that all of the papers relating to her inheritance had been lost.

Haym Salomon was buried in Mikveh Israel Cemetery in Philadelphia in a grave which is now unmarked. Since we don’t know which his grave is, we cannot even pay our respects at his graveside nor erect a marker.

But the story of Haym Salomon doesn’t end with an unmarked grave. There is a plaque on a brick wall bordering the cemetery that was placed by Haym’s great-grandson, William Salomon in 1917. It says, “To the Memory of Haym Salomon … interred in this Cemetery the location of the grave being now unknown ….”

Was it just a coincidence that the year this plaque was erected was the same year of the Balfour Declaration issued by the British which begins, “His majesty’s Government views with favor the establishing in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”?

Was it just a coincidence that in 1975 when the U.S. Postal Department issued the stamp honoring Haym Salomon, that same year the Israeli government issued a stamp honoring Harry Truman, the American president who was the first head of state to recognize Israel?

As Haym Salomon believed, America has been that safe haven for the Jewish people and Israel has been reborn. As we celebrate America, may we remember the great debt we owe to Haym Salomon. While we may not be able to repay him personally, we can honor him by standing firm in our support and prayers for a strong and secure Israel and a united Jerusalem under the rule of Haym’s Salomon’s spiritual descendants, the Jewish people. Happy Fourth of July!

Dr. Richard Booker is President of Sounds of the Trumpet, Inc., and the Founder/Director of the Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies in Woodlands, TX. He may be contacted at, shofarprb@aol.com

John 15:13 (NIV) “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 27, 2014

Returning to God's Will for You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever get lost when you’re driving somewhere? There is something so “dark” about the feeling that comes when you are lost. That’s one reason GPS has become such a part of our lives. People will pay to avoid getting lost. There is getting lost naturally—like when you are in your car. But there’s also getting lost spiritually—like you feel when you've wandered from God.

When I've spiritually wandered off course, it’s accompanied by an uncomfortable inner feeling. It may not initially be that “dark” feeling of being totally lost, but it’s like you know you are headed more in the wrong direction than toward God’s will and what He wants for you. When this happens I only know I don’t like it and want to get back to that right place with Him. Ever feel that way? My guess would be yes!

What have I done in times like this? I've started out doing what David often did. I've been honest with God about it. Psalm 119:176 (NLT) says, “I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.” I then cry out to God, Help me Father, I feel like I am astray from where you want me to be. Because I know Him and know that He loves me, I know He doesn't want me to remain a lost sheep. I know that He, by His Holy Spirit, will lead me back to where I need to be if I am sincere about wanting to be in the right place with Him.

Some simply want to get out of the consequences of the mess they have been caught up in. If their only regret is the consequences they are experiencing and not the sincere desire to repent for their wrong actions, God knows that and their prayers probably won't go higher than the ceiling. The Bibles says that "God resists the prideful but gives grace (His help) to the humble." He is listening to those who know and want to return to walking in His ways and His will.  An insincere heart will not lead them out of their troubles and from the state of being lost. A repentant heart will bring God's direction, grace, and strength to make changes that lead one back to the right place with Him.

When I've been in that place and prayed, I have, by faith, received God’s forgiveness and again, in faith, believed He was infusing me with spiritual strength to make needed changes. I've written them down. I've talked about them. I've confessed to others that God was helping me and I've followed through with a plan to get back to where I needed to be. The troubles created by wandering from God may not instantly be gone, but the sense of being on the right path with God will come. The troubled waters of the mess created will eventually calm.

That is such a glorious feeling! I've not only felt it, I've counseled others and watched them come out of a lost place. I've seen them begin to read their Bible again. I've seen them renew their prayer life. I've seen them join a discipleship group or some kind of small group to help them gain a sense of accountability. I've seen them start attending church regularly again. I've seen them commit to helping others. I've seen them treat their spouse and children better. I've seen them back on the path of God’s will again.

I've heard it said, "Prideful men will wander around lost to the point of ridiculous." I say, godly men (and women) will stop and ask for help and directions (from God) quickly and get back on the right path! It's His will and He is lovingly waiting to help you do so!

Psalm 119:105 (Message Translation) “By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I've committed myself and I'll never turn back from living by your righteous order. Everything's falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. Festoon me with your finest sayings, God; teach me your holy rules…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

God’s Good Plans For You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


For the first 23 years of my life, my knowledge of God consisted of what people—many people from many backgrounds—told me about Him. It resulted in a very confused perspective on my part of who God was. And everything I believed about Him was really just made up from the minds and imaginations of men. Until one day, I met this woman who shared Jesus with me, helped me pray and receive Him as my Savior, and then encouraged me to start reading the Bible. She promised me that the Holy Spirit who now lived in me would begin to help me understand the Bible. It was mind-boggling to come to understand that God reveals Himself to us. It was from that place that my questions of God were answered one by one.

Do you have questions about Him? Do you know and believe that God positively wants good for you? Because if He does and He is God, then that would affect your view of Him, your love for Him and your expectation or faith in Him. Faith is expectation—what you believe or expect something is or will be.

God has made promises to those who become His and they are expressed throughout the Bible. If you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them to you as you read, you will see them often. As you do you need to remember that the promises of God become ours through our faith in Him and that He will manifest them in our lives as we have faith in what He promises us. That is why Hebrews 11:6 says to us, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Hebrews 11:1 gives us a review of what faith is supposed to accomplish saying, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” 

Noah was mocked for over 100 years while building an Ark in obedience to God. God had told, warned, and promised Noah that there was going to be a rain that would destroy the world. He then gave Noah instruction on how to save his and his family’s life. He was allowed to tell others but no one else believed. Believing what God says is what faith is all about. You have the choice to believe or not believe. Noah believed what the Lord promised despite the fact that it had never rained in the earth yet. That's faith! People thought He was crazy but Noah knew and believed God’s promise. Consequently, because of his faith, he and his family alone were saved.

Moses believed what God promised again and again. He was used to lead and save the lives of all the Israelites who had faith and followed him out of Egypt. In their flight from Egypt, they came to the edge of the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army pursuing them close behind. Moses’ faith in obeying God led to the Red Sea splitting and saving them all. Faith brings the impossible promises of God into our lives. Faith matters, brings the presence of God, and changes everything.

Jesus told Peter to go fishing to get tax money from the fish of a month. Only weird faith people put themselves in this position because THEY DO believe God. He fished and got the money!

Noah saw the rain come. Moses saw the Red Sea part. Peter got the money from the mouth of a fish.

As each of us read through the Bible, we read with different challenges and obstacles at work in our lives. We have a diversity of needs and requests for help from God. Therefore God is going to speak His promise to your heart that builds your faith and expectation. As you grow in your faith, you will learn that His promises become more real than any circumstance you face and you learn to stand strong in faith in His promise to you in the face of circumstances. It is important to know that God wants good for you. He wants you to believe that He will make a way to help you no matter what your situation is. We are not talking about God being a genie. We are talking about a loving God who knows the beginning and the end—who answers every prayer in it's time to those who walk in faith! If you see the promise, you have the opportunity to learn to walk by faith. You have the chance to walk on water like Peter did. Some will mock you. Fear will attack you. But God’s promise will sustain you and see you through. God wants good for you!

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

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wisdom You Need Downloaded to You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I recently observed a person at his place of work on the day before he started his vacation. He was scrambling somewhat to make sure he had everything done that needed to be done for the next ten days. He then spoke with a number of people making sure he had downloaded all the information they would need to know in case anything came up while he was gone. As he finished this process, I could see the relief on his face that he was ready to leave. Downloading was complete!

I want to write this today to anyone who considers them self younger than being old. I want to talk to you about something going on in the inside of your parents or elders around you that you respect and perceive as bearing good fruit in their life. Something that comes with aging is the desire to download what you know before you leave this earth. For anyone who is older, and if they have acquired knowledge and wisdom, and if they love people, then they also desire to download the knowledge and wisdom they have to those around them—especially their family and those they love. This is a fact that you very likely don't know or realize!

Younger people sometimes think of their parents as interfering—and sometimes they are! But more than not, parents haven't learned how to transition from the parent/child relationship to the parent/friend relationship with their child. Parents have no right to meddle in their adult children's lives. They can speak into their adult children's lives if they've built the kind of friendship with their children that makes their children want to keep listening to their parents. But this kind of relationship is built by letting go and letting your children figure out their life. Where parents rightfully had control over their children as they were growing up, they lost that control as they become adults. It then becomes their world to figure out. Whether a parent has any say in their adult children's lives or not depends on how respectful they are to their children when that door is open. Parents that do not tread respectfully will have very little influence upon their adult children.

To those of you reading that are younger, I would say this: You want wisdom! Proverbs 4:7 (NIV) says, "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding." Wisdom is all around you. Measure the lives and fruit of the elders around you beginning with your parents and those God has placed in your life. If they have great fruit, then you can know that there are things you can learn from them. And you can know that the older they get, the more they desire to impart their knowledge and wisdom to you. Remember that experience is a great part of wisdom and their years past have provided that for them.

I've heard some say, If I talk with older people they begin to reminisce and never stop talking. That may be partially true. The way to conquer that is to know what questions and wisdom you desire to ask and be specific in your questions. You would be amazed at the wealth of wisdom there is around you from those you see fruit in. And they desire to share it with you! They want to download it to you before they leave this earth! You don't want them to talk forever and they may or may not want you to capitalize their time. You can go with a plan and adapt as you go.

People are always looking for answers. What they don't know is that they are surrounded by people with answers. When we cry out to God for answers He does provide them. Sometimes and most often He will speak to you through His Word. That is why Bible reading is so critical to a Christians life. Sometimes He will speak through His Word but that might come through the mouth of a Pastor or spiritual leader. Sometimes it will come when you are praying—God will speak to you through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. You have to be listening and paying attention. Other times God will speak to you through people in your life. Because you are searching for knowledge and wisdom and praying to the Lord about it, He will put the right people in your path. And when He does speak to you through one of these ways, are you going to listen? Are you going to take it in? That was the biggest problem God had to deal with regarding His people. This is why Jesus said repeatedly, Luke 8:8 (NLT) “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Hearing and learning from what you hear is a choice. You have to choose to open your heart and listen to those that bear good fruit and then apply it in your own. Hearing God's wisdom is to protect you from what you should avoid and to help you learn those things that will help usher blessing to your life. Proverbs 20:12 (NLT) says, "Ears to hear and eyes to seeboth are gifts from the Lord." God wants you to see life through His eyes and hear His ways!

So, my point today is, that the knowledge and wisdom you need is more readily available that you know. Although the Internet provides more information that anyone could have ever thought possible, the knowledge and wisdom—the stories and feelings that come from experience are within this older generation around you. Their desire to download it is greater than you might imagine. There are those around you that you can trust that will be used of God to give you direction and guidance you need. It begins by seeking God and praying, and then observing and honoring those who bear fruit around youincluding your parents!  They have things that are valuable that they desire to download to you!

Proverbs 16:16 (NLT) "How much better to get wisdom than gold, and good judgment than silver!" 




In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 23, 2014

Driven by God's Love

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This past week, we were privileged to have the greatest living Evangelist - Reinhard Bonnke at our church for five days. In my 31 years of ministry, never have I been more moved and stirred by the Spirit of God. He has preached to crowds of over 3 million people and had over 75 million recorded salvation throughout his ministry. He has now been called to preach to America and turn America's heart to the Lord.

We have a sanctuary that seats almost 3,000 people and our altar was flooded each service with people that either gave their life to the Lord or recommitted their life to the Lord. If someone did not know Jesus when they came in the door, they certainly did know Him when they left.

There is something so very special about those that live their life so utterly dedicated to the saving of souls. They, maybe better than anyone else, see how much God loves every human being. They see how everyone's lives have been touched and tainted by sin and hurtful circumstances. They don't see the sinner or unbeliever as someone to be disgusted with or having a disdain for.  They think in their hearts Except for the grace of God, that would be me. They think about how their own life lacked direction, purpose, and significance. They think about how God lifted them from the power of darkness, confusion, and wandering aimlessly through life and lifted them into His love, forgiveness, and a purpose-filled, blessed life. They want that for others. They are driven by it. And they inspire other Christians, reminding us of the gift and good news of Jesus that God has allowed and commissioned us to share with others.

To think that we can be used to introduce others to the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and then watch their life become new in Him is the greatest miracle of all. I was one of those people in 1977. That sounds like a long time ago but to me it was like yesterday. That person that shared Jesus with me—Sharon—sharing Jesus with me changed my entire life. In more ways than you could believe.

I am posting you a link to watch to see who Reinhard Bonnke is. You have to watch it. Please, I beg you to!  It is the most amazing video you will have ever seen. No where in history will you ever see more people assembled to come and hear the gospel. When you see this sea of people it might make you cry. Your tears will be from the glory of God manifesting before your very eyes and touching your heart.

I am also giving you the link to these services where you can watch them. When you go there, click on "GUESTS" and you will see the videos there. Nothing matches being physically at these services where you also experience the presence of God. To be there is another experience entirely. But you will be moved by his messages and I pray that you will watch them and be stirred in your hearts from them. You will be hearing and seeing more of Reinhard Bonnke. His presence in America will not go unnoticed. I thank God for this man's ministry and for stirring me even more about reaching people with the love of Jesus. I have been writing Fresh Manna for this past 14 years driven by that very thing. And my fire for reaching others is brighter today than when I started. You are a light and I pray that you will allow God to stir you so that you also will be a vessel to touch others with the love of Jesus! God bless you!

2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (NIV) "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

Click here to see who Reinhard Bonnke is: 

Click Here to listen to Reinhard Bonnke preach

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sincere Listening Equals Caring!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I remember in my first month of marriage 32 years ago. I was a very young Christian and a new husband. I wasn't very good at either. The second week into our new marriage, Renee and I had a quarrel. I was raising my voice at her and she started to cry. She ran off into the bathroom. I could hear her lock the door. I felt bad and asked her to come out. She wouldn't unlock the door. I started to get mad again and told her to come out. She said "No!" Again I said, "Renee, come out right now!" Then she said, "No, you don't love me, and you don't care about me – you don’t listen to me." It was there I began to learn that she interpreted listening as caring.

I went into the bedroom, got on my knees along side the bed and prayed. “Lord, I don’t know how to be a good husband and I don’t know what to do right now.” I kept reviewing the event in my mind but the Lord wanted me to stop doing that and instead be quiet and listen to Him. It didn't come easy but as I let the Lord deal with and teach me, He showed me how important it was to quit trying to try to be right but instead, focus on and listening with a caring heart. If I did that, swallowed my pride, and let honesty prevail, things would most always turn out alright.

He impressed me to turn to the verses 2 Tim 2:24 -25. “The Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.” This teaches us that arguing and fighting keeps their heart closed and in battle position. Wisdom comes from trying to understand their perspective - not trying to win the argument. It doesn’t mean that your right attitude and correct and kind attempt to work things out is always going to resolve every conflict. It won’t. You will always deal with a portion of people who respond more from their pride and ego than a right heart.

People don't care how important you think you are or how right you think you are. They care about how much you care for them. Listening is one of the most important signs of caring. Another sign is showing the appropriate and honest action to accompany what you've heard. That may be an apology. It might be a change of mind. IT WILL BE understanding their perspective and where they are coming from and working toward a win-win solution.

I have been trying to walk out this truth in my life from that day 32 years ago. It won’t always work but not because it’s not a godly and right principle. Sometimes I still stumble at walking this out. Sometimes it's them. You can’t control people’s attitudes and egos and unskilled behaviors. You will at least feel better as you rehash things in your head knowing you sincerely cared and tried to do the best by them.

Show people you care by listening. Most will know you care and most will be blessed that you are a good listener that is kind and that does care. For the ones that won’t, keep praying for them from a sincere heart of love! Hopefully either you’ll change or they will till things are worked out!

James 1:19 (NLT) My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This is What Happens When We Worship the Lord

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One morning while I was praying and worshiping the Lord, the Lord spoke to me. It was very clear and what He said was a fresh word to my heart. By that I mean that I had never had the thought He was communicating to me. As I was worshiping Him He spoke to my heart and said, Tim, worship isn't for my benefit. When the Lord speaks to me He usually doesn't say a lot. He'll make a statement and then as I think and pray about what He has said, His words—the thoughts He wants me to understand, just seem to follow. Sometimes scriptures or stories from the Word will instantly come to mind and I know the Lord is teaching me and revealing more of Himself to me.

As I began to think about what the Lord said, I heard more. I heard Him say, I am not ego deprived. That was all I heard. I just began to meditate further and think about what the Lord had spoken. Suddenly, it was as if the lights came on.

I am a worshiper of God and always have been since I gave my life to Jesus. I was so thankful for Him saving me that I always wanted to find ways to express my thanks and love to Him. Besides that, the Word of God instructs us to worship the Lord. The Lord alone is worthy of and deserves our worship and I've never questioned it. Yet now I could see worship in a new light. The Lord said, Tim, worship isn't for my benefit. The Lord was showing me that worshiping Him was for my benefit, not His. It was so easy to see. And so true!

Sometimes life seems like more than a plateful. As a man, a husband, a father, a Pastor, a son, a brother, a friend, and a Christian, it can sometimes seem like there are so many responsibilities—so many things I should do and do well. I want to be good at every one of these things. I want to be diligent and do what's right and show the proper respect and love and friendship while being responsible to each of these areas of my life. Because I do, it brings me to this simple truth; outside of God, I can't do it. Jesus warned us of that in John 15:5 (NIV).  "He said, 'I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.'"

It's only when I've ever thought I could do all this and attempted to do it in my own strength that I've fallen flat on my face feeling overwhelmed or like a failure. God never created us to live outside His grace, strength, and help. The grace of God is His supernatural help given to us to do all the things He has given us to do well. He knew we'd feel overwhelmed without Him. He wanted us to lean on and count on Him—on His grace. When we learn to really focus on the greatness of our God and upon the covenant of blessing He established with us and for our benefit, when we meditate on His love that surpasses human understanding that He has for us, when we truly believe He desires and is willing to help us, then and only then will we lean on Him, ask, and have faith in His grace to help us. We would gain the strength to look anything in the eye and know He'd help us handle it. When we did, then we'd feel like the writer of Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV) who wrote,  "God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

You have to admit, if you were anywhere near mountains falling or caught in roaring seas, you’d be shaking in our boots. These are the kinds of things that cause instant panic. But the revelation being shared in these verses is that when God is worshiped and magnified for who He is and His love toward us, His presence grows within us. A revelation of His love grows within us. He becomes almighty God and our problems and feelings of being overwhelmed shrink in the light of His faithfulness, His promise and His love. Then we are strengthened to take on the day and the challenges before us a step at a time knowing His grace is there to help us!

That is why the Lord said to me, Tim, worship isn't for my benefit. Worshiping the Lord is for us—for our benefit. Psalm 95:6-7 9 (NIV) says, "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care." Psalm 34:3 (NIV) says, "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together."

God is not egotistical. He does not tell us to worship Him for Himself. He tells us to worship Him so that when we look at the magnificence of the Heavens or of the creation around us—reflecting that He created it all, then we will also reflect that this great and magnificent God loves us and has adopted us as His children through Jesus Christ. Worshipping God strengthens us. That is why it is for us! Worship elevates the Lord in our hearts to His rightful place. When we worship the awesomeness of God, He is magnified in our spirit and the cares, worries and lies of the devil shrink. When we worship the Lord our faith grows in our heart and the supernatural help of God flows into our lives. When we worship the Lord, He becomes Almighty God and we become His children. Praise His Holy Name!

Psalms 89:15 (NLT) "Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord." 

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, June 16, 2014

Are You Becoming Like Noah?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was recently reading about the story of Noah. It's one of those stories that most everyone has been exposed to—even if they aren't Bible readers. It's a story that by God's design, is supposed to create a sense of soberness and caution in our hearts. It's also supposed to create a sense of urgency in our calling to help others know the Lord! Every time I read this to my children, and now to my grandchildren, that warning and urgency refills my heart!

In the story, God had told Noah that a great flood was coming that would destroy mankind—with the exception of Noah and his family. What was mankind like at that time that was so bad that God would bring this kind of judgment? It’s important to know because Jesus said that when He would return for us, that the spirit and attitude of men would be like that again—as it was in Noah's day. 

In Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT) Jesus said, "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.” 

On the surface it doesn't seem like this world is that bad. All its saying is that “...people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat.” But, what it’s really implying is the people had no time for God or for His ways. The culture of that day didn't concern themselves with living morally upright and ethical. As we dig deeper into the days of Noah in Genesis, we get greater insight into what the people were like then and before Jesus returns. Genesis 6:5 (NIV) reveals, “The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”  Other verses indicate there were champions of evil that people saw as heroes. In other words, in the culture of the day, evil was perceived as good or normal, and good was perceived as evil or fanatical and stupid. We've entered into that culture again. Older people are frustrated because they know how much more moral life used to be in their younger years and they see that the younger generation of today is blind to caring about morality or a deep love for and service to God. The younger generation simply sees those who are older as out of touch.

God was patient and warned the people of the day. While Noah was building the ark, He was also “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Peter 2:5) He preached God’s warning for 120 years before the flood came showing God’s patience for mankind's repentance and change. Noah had many relatives just because of the sheer fact that man was living up to and over the age of 700 years at that time. They all heard his story yet none of them were saved in the ark—only Noah and his family.

Genesis 6:8-9 (NLT) tells us, Noah “...found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”  “Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God's will and enjoyed a close relationship with Him.”

If you are living for the Lord today because of your love for Him, the world’s ways of life will try to make you look odd, out of touch with the times, delusional or even fanatical because of your faith and diligent effort to live wholeheartedly for God. The world, including some relatives, will see you as someone that interferes with their fun and ungodly choices. They will hate that just your presence makes them feel guilty. They will hate or despise you or anyone who calls their lifestyle sinful or evil. What you have probably noticed is that the days of Noah are already upon us.

You may feel like Noah in some ways but, I encourage you, keep close to God and don’t get sucked into their moral depravity. Don’t let this world wear you down so that you develop a What’s the use attitude. Don't be drawn away from God and into their lifestyle! Be the lover of God and the preacher of righteousness  in your sphere of influence. It doesn't mean you’ll look like a fanatic condemning everyone. It means you will be a living example of what it means to live passionately for God. It means that as opportunities arise, you will share the love of Jesus with those God brings to you. It means you'll keep yourself in a good Bible-teaching church and atmospheres where you are with like-minded believers that stand and pray with you! And because you do and because of your revelation of what Jesus did at the cross for you, you'll be guided by God's Holy Spirit. Like Noah, you will have found “grace in God's eyes.”

Luke 21:28 (NKJV) "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Special Story: Keep Your Fork...

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Keep Your Fork... Author Unknown

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things in order, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,"said the pastor.

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story. Ever since that day, I always try to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

She told me that... In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, she said, "I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them, "Keep your fork ... the best is yet to come."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that "The best is yet to come."

1 Cor 2:9 "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love 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/

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

God Connects the Dots!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


On day while in Washington D.C., I jumped into a transportation van that was taking a group of us to a restaurant along the Potomac River. Three got in the back and I got into the front seat across from the driver. He was a middle-aged man, meticulously groomed and dressed in a sharp suit and tie. I engaged him in conversation about his life. He revealed that he was the owner of the transportation company and that when you saw him driving you knew his company was busy.

I love learning about people and so without trying to sound like I was interrogating him, I asked him to tell me more about his life. He also asked me questions about mine. At one point I told him I was the fifth child of a family of ten children. He chuckled immediately sharing that he was the oldest of ten children. That opened the door for interesting stories on the joys and humorous dysfunctions of a large family. We both had plenty of stories and it led to many laughs. He sounded like a kind brother that had done well in life and worked to help some of his less-fortunate siblings that needed help.

Suddenly he changed subjects to ask a question. I am guessing that you were raised Catholic right? I told him he was right. We discovered we had both grown up with a Catholic education. So then, he continued, If you grew up Catholic, how is it that you are a Pastor in a non-Catholic church and what kind of a church do you belong to?  I explained to him that at the age of 24, through a friend’s encouragement, I began to read the Bible, something I had never opened much-less read before. I had told him that she helped me understand Jesus’ real mission on earth—to pay the price for my sins and wash them all away so that I could have eternal life.

This led into a great conversation. He grew up Catholic believing in Heaven but felt more like he was a prime candidate for Hell. Of course he tried to say it jokingly but I could hear the concern in his humorous way of saying it. He continued to tell me that he, like he assumed most people would say, tried to live life with enough kindness and kind actions to earn his way in. But, he really didn't think he was going to make it. He told me he was hoping for plan B: Purgatory (which he wasn't too excited about) and if not, he didn't like the final door.

I shared with him that this was the missing link in my life concerning Jesus. I told him that I had never been able to connect the dots between Jesus' death and resurrection and me getting into Heaven. I told him that I also felt like I was at door number three and didn't like it. I told him that to relieve the guilt and fear of Hell, I went through a period of saying I didn't believe in God. That really didn't work. I knew I was lying to myself. I did believe in God. That was where he was at. I had enough time in our drive to explain what Jesus did for him. I said that out of love for each one of us, He took the punishment we deserved upon Himself—literally taking our place at death—and that having faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for us caused our sins to be washed away. We didn't deserve it. We couldn't earn it. It was a gift to whoever would believe. I told him, I know it sounds too good to be true, but the extent of God's love for us is so great, it will always feel to good to be true.  If you read the Bible you will see for yourself.  By the time we were arrived at the restaurant, I knew he was connecting the dots.

I told him that this gift was a gift that had to be received in his own heart personally as I had done many years ago. I could have asked him to pray right there in the car and wasn't afraid to, but was concerned he’d be embarrassed with the others in the back seat. I suddenly remembered something. Isn’t there a driver that works for you named Charlie that goes to a church in the area? I had remembered him from the previous year. Yes, he said. He works for me and has for over 15 years. I knew at that point that Charlie had to have talked to him before about the Lord. Charlie was very outgoing about his faith and church. I said, Charlie is a great resource to you with questions about the Bible. I know the church he goes to and it’s a good one. He can help you get to know more about what we talked about today.

We had arrived at the restaurant and as he opened the doors for those in the back, I noticed he had a big smile on his face. Without exaggerating, he looked different. I think the transformation had already started. I knew I wasn't the first person to share Jesus with him. I’m sure I was one of many that had a hand. As 1 Cor. 3:7-9 says, "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” 

There are many things that are wonderful about life, but NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compares to the joy of sharing the love and gospel of Jesus Christ. It is God who makes things grow in a person’s heart and who brings the increase of understanding and insight so that a person can see and receive. It's God who connects the dots in their heart. But they need to hear the gospel and that's our part!

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/

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let Heaven Fill Your Thoughts

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever seen a person with business idea that they think will be a success and make millions? One day my son Peter calls me with his latest and greatest idea. He gets so excited when he comes up with a clever idea that every thought in his head is fixated on it. He can think about nothing else! I can relate because he gets that from me!


Have you watched a person that's fallen in love? I remember when each of my children met their future spouse and experienced that moment. It seemed as though that was all they could think about. It was like they had forgotten about anything else in life. (And it was the same for me when I met Renee!)

I remember when my children were toddlers and they would get fixated on a toy they wanted for their birthday or Christmas. It was all they would think about!

When something exciting gets our attention, it’s easy for most of our thoughts to be drawn there. This is also true on the negative side. If you are experiencing something negative such as sickness or disease in your body, a relational schism or breakup or divorce, a job layoff, or some kind of personal tragedy or calamity, it’s easy to let your thought-life become fixated upon it and consume you.

Then there is just the plain old business of being busy; busy at work, busy at home, and busy at seemingly everything. Busy without any light at the end of the tunnel. Your thoughts may not be consumed with just one area but with many. At times like this, praying can feel like trying to find God with a flashlight in thick fog. If your thoughts are consumed with negative issues or your feeling overwhelmed, it's hard to breakaway from those thoughts in prayer. They can be a total distraction or even a wall that seems to make prayer impossible. It can be hard to focus on anything before the Lord. It's at times like this that clear thinking and heart-felt prayers of faith are most desperately needed yet can feel difficult to come by.

Whenever I've come before the Lord at times feeling like this, it’s felt like I was running in place or reading the same paragraph in a book over and over again. When that happened, the Lord showed me what to do. I would go back to the Psalms and read about God's awesomeness—about His love toward us as His children, and about all the proclamations of the great things God has done and is willing to do for those that love Him. I would just read slowly and out loud if possible. I would take in every word of those promises and say out loud, He is talking to me—the Lord inspired David to say these for me right now! I would then turn those words into prayers proclaiming what David was saying bout God over himself, and say them over myself. I would do that because that is exactly what God intended to happen. Those words were written to bring hope, comfort,and promise, not just to David, but to all who would believe.

We see another example of this in 1 John 5:13 (NLT) saying, "I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life."  These words written by John were written to move someone in their heart from a place of hope to a place of knowing. Knowing is what changes hope to faith. You don't hope your name, you know it! Knowing is knowing. That is what God's promises were written for—to bring us to a place of knowing and faith. They are words that are powerful and cut through negative circumstances and lift our mind and heart back on the Lord instead of being consumed in thoughts that would take us to a wrong place.


This helps me move beyond my mind funk. It’s a supernatural time because cares begin to melt like ice on a hot day. I begin to remember His greatness and love toward me. I am reminded of the great things He has done for me. Along with the psalmist, I begin to praise Him for all His mighty works, love, and acts of kindness. It’s at that time that something greater begins to consume my thoughts and Col 3:2-3 (LB) becomes my new reality. "Let heaven fill your thoughts; don't spend your time worrying about things down here. You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in Heaven with Christ and God." It’s then and only then that I can pray in faith and with intimacy to the One who cares and loves me and the only One who can truly help me!

Philippians 4:7 (NLT) "Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" 

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, June 09, 2014

An Amazing Source of Blessing!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Many years ago, Renee and I were invited to participate in an anniversary celebration by the daughter of great friends whom we love dearly. It was happening in an expensive restaurant and were responsible for covering our own costs. The problem was, at that time, we had four small children and no discretionary income. We simply could not afford to go. But we felt we had to, to honor these people.These were wonderful friends. We asked God to help us. We ordered the cheapest things on the menu and water to drink. Even then, it was more than we could afford. We were torn between wanting to be there for our friends and the financially tight spot we were in.

At that time, I had started a company pioneering a product the world had never seen before. It was taxing on our lives and taking every penny we had and then some to get it done. We really needed an investor to help us to the next level. That night at dinner—the one we could not afford—we sat with a lovely couple who in the middle of a conversation, seemed to randomly tell us about her brother who was looking to invest significant money into something with significant potential. At that moment, we knew that was a word from God. Just a short time later we met him and he became a partner in my company. Just months later, our product was massed produced and the world was introduced to the first commercial infant changing table you now see in public bathrooms around the world. Parents now change babies daily on our fold-down tables in public restrooms everywhere. Who would have known God would work in our lives through a dinner we could not afford.

Did you know that the primary way God brings blessing into your life is through people? We knew that. Renee and I had seen it over and over again. And we saw it that night!  It's the truth. God uses people as messengers of blessing. That means, if you want to receive the blessings that God has for you, you better enjoy people. If you don't, you will isolate yourself or chase off those that God may be bringing to you to bless you. Oh, and by the way, He’ll use people you would have never expected to bless you—probably even more than the ones that you did expect. God even occasionally sends angels that look like people to bring blessing to you. Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

How do people bring blessing? They may bring flowers, a gift, a meal or a helping hand. They may lend or give you resources that you were in need of. They may bring words of encouragement or edification. They may bring godly advice or counsel or even a supernatural word of wisdom that comes from the heart of God through their mouth—maybe providing just the answer or direction you were looking for. They may bring love and comfort when you are hurting or great joy and laughter when you really need a fun distraction. As I look back at every juncture of blessing in my life, God has used people to bring what I needed.

Most people today are moving at such a fast pace! Meaningful relationships take a back seat to busy agendas. I have a suggestion to help you get refreshed in loving people. Take time out to have "people moments." Come to work 15 minutes early with the sole purpose of having time to bump into someone and catching up on life together. Make little pockets of time to stop and talk with people just to be interested in and to listen to what is going on in their life. You would be surprised how awesome it can be and how refreshed you can become in loving people. When you slow things down just a bit with the purpose of spending non-agenda time talking with and caring for people, it will be easier to walk out John 15:12 "This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you." It makes it so much easier to love people when you actually have time to love them! Profound huh?

And somewhere along those encounters, you will see the hand of God bring blessing into your life—through people. Why not let your life be rich with godly relationships and see for yourself?

John 6:9 (NKJV) "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?"

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/