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Friday, August 22, 2014

The Powerful Force of Encouragement

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ministers of the gospel, motivational speakers, and countless communicators from different fields, all and often communicate an important truth: everyone’s life has significance. That is true because we were all ultimately created by God to experience a meaningful and significant life with a destiny to fulfill. I know that the plan for every individual has been tainted by the sin and evil that exists in this earth but, that is what creates even greater opportunity for us to walk out a significant life. We are needed and can be “salt.” We can bring flavor to this earth. One of those ways we can be salt is to constantly keep our eyes open and see and catch the good that people do and openly acknowledge and encourage them in the continuation of it. What a paradigm shift that would be! Most people catch and comment on the bad people do.

We all desire to be noticed. We all desire to be appreciated for our efforts. We all desire to be encouraged in the job we do. This is true whether we clean toilets, educate children, or run a corporation. Those that are best at giving encouragement and recognition are those that are helping people learn to step up and develop as leaders.

Moses was truly one of the greatest leaders of all time. It could be said that it was discouragement that actually contributed to cutting his destiny short and kept him from finishing one of his greatest dreams. Discouragement is as powerful in the negative as encouragement is in the positive.

In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses, who was close to the end of his life, began to give his final words to those that would step up and lead the people into the Promised Land that God had promised them. He started out by telling them that what was only an eleven day journey ended up taking them over 40 years. Kind of a mind-blowing thought isn't it? That’s what happens when you don’t obey God. You become the rat in the maze and run the rat race that goes on and on and on.

Moses told them that this was itit was now time to actually go into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 1:8 he says, "I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants."  Moses went on to tell them the history of the past 40 years, of God’s promises, and of their failures to obey God’s leading. Deuteronomy 1:26-27 says, "But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You murmured and complained in your tents…"

Now this was a new generation commanded to go in. There were going to be serious challengesthe greatest of all, overcoming their personal fears and instead trusting God in the face of adversity. Moses encouraged them, "But I said to you, 'Don't be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place." Deuteronomy. 1:29-31.

The previous generation didn't trust God and were always discouraged. Their discouragement eventually jumped on Moses. What finally happened was that their lack of trust in God and in Moses ultimately had an effect on him. At one point Moses failed in trusting God and ended up disobeying Him. The result? Deuteronomy 1:37-38 "And the Lord was also angry with me (Moses) because of you. He said to me, 'You will never enter the Promised Land! Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land.”

Why am I telling you all this? Because discouragement was like a contagious disease amongst these people. It jumped from one to another and repeatedly took the wind out of their sails. It turned an eleven day journey into a 40 year walk. Discouragement is powerfully bad. It even affected one of the greatest leaders of all history.

Moses was a great leader. He did have a short lapsesomething great leaders cannot afford because of all the lives they affect. But even so, he came back to his greatness and came back to driving home a message to the people regarding the leader that would take over! He said, “Encourage Joshua.” He said, …Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him as he prepares to enter it." (Deuteronomy 1:38) As the story continues, Moses repeatedly encouraged Joshua and encouraged the people to encourage Joshua!

If the spirit of encouragement—encouraging each other and praying for and encouraging their leader Moses if that would have been the attitude of the people from the beginning, everything would have been different. It would have literally changed the atmosphere and it would have changed each of them. Encouragement does that.

Encouragement isn't about empty ra-ra's. No, encouragement is based on a strong foundation of faith in the promises of God. God said the land was theirs and that they could take it. That was His promise. Their encouragement was to be reminding each other of God's promises and that their strength and ability is not in themselves but in Him.

Let me tell you something I hope you never forget. There is always a way to encourage people and when you become one that does, those that you encourage will never forget it. You will help them and they will remember it. If not immediately, then eventually! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,  "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." It is a powerful force and one you do want to be known for! It’s within you so ask God to help you develop in it and be that encourager of God’s promises to those God puts in your life. Become that salt and light and encouragement of Jesus. By doing so, you will help nudge people to fulfill their significant life and destiny. And being an encourager is a part of your significant destiny!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


No one loves the feeling of guilt. I think it would be accurate to say that most people hate it. We push guilt aside, we bury guilt, and we will try to do any and everything we can to get rid of guilt. People just plain hate guilt. The problem is, if a person doesn't know the Lord, they can never get rid of guilt. Oh they may try. They may suppress their feelings about guilt. They may bury them. They may try to drown them in alcohol or drugs or some other way. But the spirit of a man knows when it is not clean before the Lord. When the spirit of a man is not free from sin, guilt is present. Guilt feelings can create defensive attitudes leading to dysfunctional thinking and behaviors. That's why it is so imperative to be free from it.

God wants to free us all from that guilt and pain. The following two verses reveal this truth in the most powerful way! First we see that God is not out to get us, but to save us. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, purely out of His love for us! John 3:17 (NIV) says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." He isn't out to get us or bring condemnation which means found guilty. To the contrary, He wants to wash our sins away!

Secondly God has proven His love for us while we were still in a sinful state. That's how great His love is for us! Romans 5:8-9 (NIV) says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by the sacrifice of His death and blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Jesus Christ!"

You see God isn't looking to point the finger. He isn't looking for condemnation and guilt. He says we have been justified, or you could say, declared not guilty. And that is His gift from Himself to us. We are saved from wrath! We are not guilty. When a person repents from their sin and receives Jesus as their Savior, God immediately removes sin and guilt and makes them blameless. This is a gift and miracle that no human being is worthy of.

Now, having said that, let me get to today's point. God didn't send Jesus to get rid of guilt so that we could put each other back under it. He wants us to help people get free from guilt. Receiving Jesus is a miraculous step with instant results—the promise and gift of eternal life. Learning to live the Christian walk is a process. Everyone is in a different place in that process. We don't want to put guilt trips on people because they don't live up to our expectations. We don't want to look for whom to blame in every situation where something goes wrong. We don't want to focus on blame at all. Some people are blamers. Something goes wrong and the first thing they do, is try to figure out whom they can blame for whats wrong. Is the economy bad? Is our national problems the President's fault? Our teenage is going astray. Is it dad's fault or is it moms, or is it the schools or maybe the friend they are hanging out with?

When our lives weren't right and we were covered in our own sins, Jesus wasn't out to condemn or find blame. He was solution oriented and He led the way. He took our punishment upon Himself. Then He showed love and pointed out the right path—be merciful, forgiving, and solution-oriented. Imagine if we were like that. A husband and wife get into a fight and instead of looking to blame each other the husband just sucks it up and says, Honey, you're probably right. I'm sorry. What do you think we can do to fix this? Imagine he does this even though he could be right. He has taken the lead. His heart is saying, Look honey; it's not important that I'm right and you are wrong. It's important that I protect my love for you and we just find a solution to this situation. He doesn't blame. He doesn't pin guilt. He washes her like Jesus washed us.

Many marriages are ruined because they focus on faults and lay guilt for what each other is doing wrong, or is not doing right! It's much more profitable and God's way of doing something when we show mercy and grace when something's gone wrong. It's more profitable when through that mercy and grace, a couple kindly embraces each other and says, What can I do to better to avoid this next time?  And if someone does repeat it? Show more mercy and grace because the truth is, most people do accidentally repeat offenses. Always remember that you as an individual repeat mistakes yet rely daily on God's mercy and grace for yourself. So follow His example. Show more mercy and more grace while again, focusing on not casting blame but working toward an amicable solution. Its better when we wash each other's feet. It's better when we overlook offenses and cleanse each other from sin and guilt. It's better when our motivation is to protect the love between each other. Blaming doesn't solve anything. Being solution oriented, leading with the mercy and grace of God helps accomplish that and put a stake in guilt and condemnation.

The same goes with children. Don't lay guilt on them. Free them up. Help them understand what works better. Wash them with your love and point them in the right direction. Guilt only causes bad feelings leading to avoidance and eventually attitude and behavioral problems. Love, instruction, correction mixed with mercy and grace that washes and continually forgives, is powerful in it's working where holding on to offense and placing blame and fault is the path to destroying all that's good. Ephesians 1:4 says  that God, through what Jesus did, made us "holy and without blame before Him in love."

Prov 17:9 says, “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends." Can you bring this principle of removing guilt and covering an offense into your marriage, into your parenting, and into your workplace? The Holy Spirit can teach you how. When you lead with mercy and grace and wash their guilt away instead of looking for solutions, you become a powerful vessel of God. You becomes like 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, August 18, 2014

Are You Afraid to Ask God When You Have Needs?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I grew up as a boy, I thought my parents were poor because there were ten children in our family. I seldom ever asked mom or dad for anything because I didn't want the family deprived. My sister closest in age to me had the same thoughts. Neither of us wanted to inconvenience our parents by asking them for things we did not think they could afford. So, seldom did either of us ever ask for anything. And you know what we got? Hardly anything!  Now, our next youngest brother did not think like us. He asked our dad for everything and constantly! It bugged us but didn't seem to bug dad. We were a little jealous because we saw that dad gave our asking brother much of what he asked for.

As a Christian learning these truths, I look back at my brother now and realize, he was the smart one. He asked—not because he was more selfish, but because he had more childlike faith in my parents ability to supply his needs.

Many religious people have this sense of guilt toward asking God to help supply their needs. Many have been taught or led to believe that God is too distant to care about their needs. Some have been taught that God has too many things going on—to many people to take care of to care about the details of their life. Others suffer from false condemnation and guilt that they are somehow greedy or covetous to talk to God about their needs.

When you have needs and you don't know where to get help, to NOT seek God for His supernatural help is wrong. This is exactly when people try to fix their own problems in a wrong or unethical way. They end up lying, cheating, stealing, breaking laws, scheming and more. They don't know how else to get what they need so they cross moral and legal boundaries and get things their own way which is the wrong way!

James 4:2-3 says, “You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Their is a difference between needs and lusts and it takes time to learn which is which but you can learn. Isn't the Holy Spirit powerful enough within you to teach you and help you develop discernment? Phil 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT IN EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. "

Your view of what God is willing to help you with might be way too small! Many can’t imagine God caring about the detailed needs of their life but He does! You just read it. It says, "BUT IN EVERYTHING...present your requests." God cares about souls being saved and about people being helped in this defiled world. He cares about each and every one of us. He is a Father and His love toward you is personal!

I have asked the Lord for so many things over the years. I have done so because when I ask in faith, it is pleasing and honoring to the Lord. He wants us dependent upon Him for everything. It's when we find we are leaning on ourselves that we can know we are in trouble.  It's easy to go buy on credit and rack up debt. Anyone can do that without God. There are far too many things that we are incapable in ourselves of getting, doing, or accomplishing. Asking God for help out of a pure heart is a product of discernment that comes with time. God is not upset as you navigate learning to ask through the learning process.  Don't kids ask for a snack right before dinner? You know they'll learn over time. You don't get mad at them for that! You might not get them the pony they ask for but you'll not hold back on what you know you could do that would bless them. Asking is a process of learning but you need to ask! The thing we should feel guilty about is NOT asking for fear He won't hear or that He doesn't care. You can't believe how many people there are that just don't ask God in sincere faith for anything. He says, "WE HAVE NOT BECAUSE WE ASK NOT!

Psalm 84:11
tells us "For the LORD God is our light and protector; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." When you ask and you don’t see things happen right away, please keep this in mind. It isn’t because HE is not working on it. Most of what God brings us in life comes through other people. God does not usurp people’s will. He has to lead them in their heart to reach out just like He tries to encourage you to reach out and help others. Hopefully they will respond. If they don’t, He looks for someone else. Yes He could do a miracle and sometimes does, but He primarily chooses to bring His blessings to us through people. Remember also that He wants to teach you to be a giver as well as a receiver. In truth, it all starts with you learning to find ways to give to others. Luke 6:38 says, "If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you."


Do you have a need? Ask in faith believing. Let the Lord teach you. Be patient and be confident that no good thing will he withhold from you. Say it and believe it! And if you can find something to give or sow into another's life, plant that seed and know that God cares about your need!

Philippians 4:19 (NLT) "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us 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/

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Great Skill and Ability Starts in the Heart

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Can you think of a highly skilled person? Ever think about where great skill comes from? I believe it starts with a purity of heart in wanting to give one's best effort and caring more about the quality of work than the money. This is probably why most artists and craftsman aren’t rich. They take such great pride in their work that it’s difficult for them to get the value the level of their work deserves. Some people don’t pay attention to details and don’t know good work from okay work. That drives a skilled craftsman or artist crazy. They can see the difference in a second.

I had a finish carpenter working in a room of my house some time ago. I had been told he was the best. They were not exaggerating. This gentleman could do amazing things with finish carpentry work and would take what might have been an ordinary room turning it into an elegant room with his finish work. He wanted his work to be excellent. I know he often takes more time that the cost of the job would pay him yet that never seems to hinder him from hitting his high standard of excellent craftsmanship.

People operating in this level of skill and craftsmanship are way too few. For many people in business, it’s just get in there, get the job done, and get the money. The quality and work may easily be substandard and they don’t really care.

As Christians, I believe that God has called us to have a high standard for our work no matter what it is we do! Careful and diligent work will always bring reward in the long run. Proverbs 10:4 says, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent will make one rich.“ Do we have it within us to be skilled at what we do? If you tell me you are a Christian then the answer is yes! Why do I say that? Exodus 31:1-5 reveals that God helps us develop the skills He gives us. “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship."

God, by His Spirit, gives us the wisdom to comprehend what it takes to do our best work and the ability to develop our skills. The Lord will help us with witty and creative ideas. If we will yield to Him, He will develop us as men and women with highly developed skills and ability. His integrity formed in us will keep us from letting money delude our work ethic and standard of excellence. You can see that excellence starts with yielding to God and letting His Holy Spirit work in you.

God given desires are deposited within us to help lead us toward things we truly enjoy doing. As we patiently but diligently develop those skills and abilities, they will eventually bring reward and blessing to us and glory to God as we rightly represent Him. Some people will forfeit the very thing God has put in them because of their drive for money or laziness in perfecting them. I think most people inwardly know that doing something you love and enjoy brings a satisfaction and pleasure from doing it that is worth more than any fleeting pleasure money can bring.

Don’t get me wrong. People do need to make an income and I am all for people doing their best and making a good income. Sometimes skills are practiced and developed on the job and they get paid while they are developing them. That’s great. Others will have to develop them outside of their job. The effort made will be worth the result in the long run. When one works to perfect his/her skills and abilities diligently, then good things will follow. As we read, ”... the hand of the diligent will make one rich.“

In everything we do, our motive for a diligent and high standard should be the love for people and God that He places within us. We are to use our skills and abilities to glorify God. Does God see and know our diligent efforts? Absolutely! He is your source of perfecting the very gifts and abilities He has placed within you. They will lead to personal increase and a life you enjoy living! Hebrews 6:10-12 says, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

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
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http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Avoid This Wrecking Ball Slamming Into Your Life!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you ever get discouraged? Who doesn't? Does discouragement ever result in anything good? Does it ever please God?

Discouragement is the beginning symptom of hopelessnessa place you don't want to come to. Discouragement is a warning sign. It's like the symptoms you feel before sickness hits. They warn you that your body is under attack and that you need to resist it. When discouragement comes, it's time to encourage your heart in the Lord. If not it could grow to hopelessness—Satan's greatest tool designed to get you to give up your faith and hope in God's love and involvement in your life. That is displeasing to God and a wrecking ball slamming your life. Hebrews 10:38 (NIV) "But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." 


In Jeremiah 18:12, the Lord is not pleased with His people. He is not pleased because they have quit trusting Him. That doesn't happen quickly. It comes from experiencing a disappointmentan unmet expectation here and another there. Little by little they drifted from Him. Some stopped paying attention to His ways and drifted over to other gods because He was not moving fast enough or answering prayers in the way they wanted. Others stopped thinking about any god whatsoever. They ended up leaning on themselves for their own wisdom in everything. That will lead to a wrecking ball crumbling your life!

In Jeremiah 18:12 (TLB) we can listen in on what the Lord says to them. He is repeating their own words echoing what is coming from their hearts and mouths. "Don't waste your breath. This is hopeless. We have no intention whatever of doing what God says. We will continue to live as we want to, free from any restraint, full of stubbornness and wickedness!"

All of us come up against tough situations at some time or another. Many of us have been in tough situations for a long time. It's easy to get discouraged at times like that. But hopelessness has to be resisted. We have to believe God to show us a wayto make a way. No one that has faith in God's Word and truly seeks Him becomes hopeless. He reveals himself to the one who lives by faith and who is a seeker of God. To a person who lives by faith and truly seeks God, God does not live in the shadows. He is not hidden. He is not far away. God reveals Himself to a seeker. He reveals Himself through His Word, through a Pastor, through prayer, through answer to prayer, and through other seekers of God.

Draw near to God today. Cry to Him from your heart, but not out of hopelessness or desperation, but from faith knowing He loves you, cares for you, and desires to help and lead you! Ask Him to lead you through His Word and speak to your heart. James 4:8 says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." He is our blessed hope in all things! As Psalms 9:10 (NKJV) says, "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." Hopelessness leads to deception and displeases God. Faith pleases God! It is your choice. Make the right one!
Ask Him to send those that know Him to speak into your life. Don't forsake the process of seeking Him. It's not something you can delegate. As

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) "...God has said, "NEVER will I leave you; NEVER will I forsake you." 

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, August 12, 2014

Do You Ever Change Your Stripes?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever heard the old saying, A tiger doesn't change his stripes? That is usually a reference to the fact that a person rarely changes his nature. He is what he is and there is little change that happens. As Christians, that should not be true. God calls for us to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Rom 12:2) and “transformed into ministers of Christ.” (2 Cor 11:15) Romans 12:2 says we aren't “to be conformed to this world” but Romans 8:29 says we are to “be conformed to the image of Christ.” So, although the stripes of a tiger and worldly people don’t change, Christians should be in a life-long process of becoming more Christ-like. Our stripes are to change.

Recently in a private time of praying and worshiping God, I heard the Lord speak to me. He said, People that do not worship Me will also often fail to see the good in others or edify a person with words of encouragement. The Lord was teaching me something so I waited on Him and listened. When you sincerely praise and worship me, you take the time to think about who I am and what I mean to your life. You reverence Me and you love Me. You express that. That is why you are worshiping Me. Because you've learned to “see” Me in your heart for who and what I really am, and express it back to me in praise and worship, you've opened yourself up to something more. You've also trained yourself to look beyond the surface of and see and express the good you see in others edifying and exhorting them. Someone who never takes the time to truly reflect and mediated on who I am and what I am to them in their life, rarely praises or worships Me and consequently struggles to see the good in others and share it with them. The Lord continued to speak. People that praise Me as a form of religious duty or obligation simply mouth words they have learned to speak before others. But, it’s not in their heart. They don’t edify others because they don’t truly worship Me. They have not changed their stripes. They are not a true worshiper. But, as I have taught you from my word, “the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24

These words exploded in me and really gave me insight. There are always a few people in life that take the time to see the good in others and find ways to express it. They aren't complimenters or people that just say something nice, but they are true edifiers. They look for and notice the good in others and tell them. This is their stripe! These kinds of people help make life so much sweeter! They are probably worshipers of God also. Because they see God for who He is and worship and thank Him, they can see the good in others and edify them.

And then there are those that struggle to even say thank you for something someone has done for them much less edify someone for anything good they see. That is their stripe and they don’t change. And probably won’t because they don’t do the one thing that could change their stripes—they don’t become a true worshiper of God.

When I read in Rev. 5:13-14 of those worshiping the Lord, I see that this is not lip service or obligation going. Their worship is heartfelt and coming from the core of their being, like it should from us. “And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They also sang: "Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever." And the four living beings said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped God and the Lamb.”


Spend time thinking about God's love toward you and all He had Jesus do for you out of that love! Think about His magnificence and the glory of everything He has created. There is no shortage of things to praise Him over. And this will most always help you see some good in others to encourage them with. Worship is a sincere expression and reaction from a heart of love to Almighty God. It changes you! It opens the eyes of your heart and changes your stripes as a person. Worship of God and edification of others are the stripes we are and want to to wear!

Psalm 95:6-7 Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for He is our God. We are the people he watches over, the sheep under His care. Oh, that you would listen to His voice today!

1 Thess. 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.


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, August 11, 2014

True Christianity! It's Not About Me!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


How glorious it is to discover Jesus Christ and all He has done for us. How even more glorious to be able to receive Him personally as Lord and Savior. For most that choose this experience a radical inward inspectiona cry to God to change to be more like Him and a new perspective on life as the Holy Spirit begins to help them see life through God's eyes.  It is a supernatural experience leading to a new life in Christ. That is exactly what God intended and means in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" 

I have seen people radically changed like this weekly for the last 31 years. It has always been amazing to see the power of God transform people. This work of God in them is not without their effort, yet happens by the grace of God as a gift. As a new believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit leading them, the Word of God speaking into their life radically changes their thoughts and perspectives and consequently the result is that their life changes. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says it like this;  "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."  

I've radically changed since I received Jesus as my Savior in 1977.  I don’t swear any more. I don’t let my mind be filled with garbage. I try to treat people respectfully and kind most of the time. I could go on and on… but that's what people say who don’t know Jesus, that try to justify why they hope they’ll make it into Heaven. So, I won’t say that to you. My personal righteousness is still filthy compared to the Lord’s. I still struggle at times to walk the walk of love that I should. I still sometimes hold back the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ with others because I am too busy going about my day. I’m not always engaged in my heart about what is most important to the Lord. My righteousnessGod seeing me washed from sin is a gift. It opens the door to all blessing in my life. God wants my efforts to be godly in obedience to His will, but I am so thankful for His grace when I get caught up in doing my own thing. My Christianity is not about my wonderful efforts but about His amazing love and grace working in my despite myself.

The Christian life is not about my efforts even though they are important; but about living by faiththe moment-by-moment thinking of Him and crying out to and desperately needing His help and wisdom that He has called us to live by. Galatians 3:11 (NIV) says, "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law (by obeying God's Word perfectly) because, "The righteous will live by faith." 

It is by faiththanking Him continually for rescuing usrescuing me from the pit I was in before knowing Himthis all done out of His love and sacrifice of JesusHis life for mine, that He has called us to live. It is by faithembracing His never ending love and help and involvement in our lives and sharing His willingness to help others, that He has called us to love. This is real Christianity and nothing else is! It's not about how good we are although living for the Lord is very important. It's not about our own self-righteousnessan oxymoron in God's world! What Jesus didnot what we do in our own efforts to be good is what true Christianity is! So... Forgive me Lord when I go through the motions of Christianity which becomes dead religion, instead of leaning on and embracing you by faith each day. It is the only acceptable sacrifice you are looking for and the living sacrifice I want to offer to you each day! 

Let's get this right. Let's lean on Jesus everyday. Let's cry out for and ask Him again and again to help us find ways to touch others with His love and share the story of God's transforming power at work in all those who truly live by faith!

Romans 12:1-2 (Message Bible) So here is what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, your eating, your going-to-work, and walking-around-life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you live in it without thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Saturday, August 09, 2014

The Manslater - A Gadget Every Man Would Want

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Sometimes men need help translating what women are really saying.  Here is the solution! It's the Woman Language Translator called: 


The Manslater - A Gadget Every Man Would Want

Have a good laugh! 





In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 



Published by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 08, 2014

The Time to Support Israel

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have written about Israel at different times in the past and the need for every Christian to support Israel and the people as a nation. We recently returned from the 9th Annual CUFI Washington Summit. It was an amazing conference and the timing never ceases to amaze me. We were there just as the Israel/Gaza war broke out. We visited with every Senator and Congressperson's office on Capital to share the need for our nation to support America's greatest ally in the world - Israel. Today's post we written by a friend of mine who came out to Washington. I hope it will enlighten and bless you.

Thoughts on the Christians United for Israel 2014 Annual Washington Summit by Liat Browne

The 2014 Christians United for Israel (CUFI) annual Washington summit was encountered with expectation and excitement as five thousand advocates for Israel gathered from all over the United States, as well as countries around the world. Crowds flocked to the Washington D.C. convention center to listen, learn, and ultimately, lobby for Israel.

This year marks the ninth annual CUFI summit, and yet again—the crowd was not disappointed. The quality and eloquence of each speaker was both remarkable and riveting. Names such as Dennis Prager, Pastor John Hagee, Erick Stackelback, James Woolsey, and Dr. Charles Krauthammer took the stage. Also, despite not being able to address the crowd live this year (due to the situation in Israel), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recorded a message of gratitude to summit attendees, which aired during the first night of the conference. In addition, several US senators and congressman appeared and wowed the crowd with pro-Israel exhortations and exclamations.
Considering the current circumstances in Israel, the conference couldn't have occurred at a more important time. It was apparent that attendees who felt strongly about their support of Israel upon arrival at the convention center were, indeed, fired up by the time they left. Malcolm Hoenlein, a Jewish guest and speaker at the summit, said it this way: "Even if I wasn’t invited, I would come. I come to get recharged and when I look back to this, I know that we will be okay.”

Upon reading the above, one may ask: “Why should we get recharged for Israel? Why travel across the nation for Israel’s sake? Why should we care? We have our own problems, right?”

Answers to the above questions can come in the form of one simple statement: western civilization is being threatened, and therefore, the liberty and equality we so freely enjoy is at great risk. “Isn't that going a bit far?” one may respond. Without a deeper understanding of the relationship and similarities between America and her greatest ally, Israel, it would seem so. However, in the words of Bill Kristol, summit speaker and editor of the Weekly Standard: “When we fight for Israel, we stand for our own best principles.” In addition to this declaration and to echo its truth, Gary Bauer, President of American Values, reiterated: “The state of Israel is not just an ally to the United States; Israel and America are the two pillars of western civilization.” From these declarations, we begin to understand that the very values our nation was founded upon are being attacked. Though Israel’s battle is not fought on American soil, it is, indeed, an American issue worth fighting for.

To put it simply, America and Israel share a common foundation; they are both instituted upon the Judeo-Christian ethic. Because of this, they fight a shared battle against an enemy who is driven by a different ideology—one of “Holy War” fueled by fanaticism. The common occurrence of our enemies chanting “death to America,” whilst they burn American and Israeli flags in public places proves it to be painfully apparent by their actions and consistently convincing by their own admission, that our enemy sees us (America) as the big Satan and Israel as the little Satan. For this reason, we owe gratitude to Israel for fighting America’s battle on the forefront. They do so with their own soldiers—the prime of their population—making the ultimate sacrifice to protect their citizens and to perpetuate the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, keynote speaker at the summit’s Night to Honor Israel, noted: “Israel deserves more than the support of the international community; Israel deserves the admiration of the international community.”

Reality warns us not to accept the pseudo notion that says in siding with our enemies, we will be spared. Although the truth can sometimes be dismissed due to the distractions of life and the misinformation of the media, we cannot allow ourselves to be fooled. Our enemies are honest in their threat to wipe Israel off the map, and they are serious about their plan to come after the greater of the two evils afterwards. Undoubtedly, we are as much their enemy as Israel is. To encapsulate the wise words of the brilliant Dennis Prager: “Good is good and evil is evil. Good must not and cannot be confused with evil, neither the converse.” In a world where good and evil seem to be a matter of opinion and easily interchangeable, the light still shines brightest during the deepest darkness. Therefore, we are encouraged to stand for Israel during what seems to be the depths of her despair, because in so doing—we stand for our own values, and yes, for our very selves. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann said it this way, when she exclaimed on the final day of the conference: “Let your light shine! Let your light shine! Let your light shine!”

The culmination of the convention came as every constituent met with their congressional and senatorial representatives. Thousands of advocates filled the offices of Capitol Hill with one clear message: Stop Iran. Stop Hamas. Stop Hezbollah. Gratefully, the group was received well and after a long day of lobbying on the Hill, CUFI executive director, David Brog, announced that the bill calling for an end to Hezbollah’s use of the international banking system (one that the group had appealed for during the day), had passed with a unanimous 404 – 0 vote. This victory, although small, gave the group hope as the conference came to a close.

As thousands of Christians from different denominations made their way home, the highlight of the summit was clearly captured by Pastor Mac Hammond’s remark earlier during the convention: “The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism is indeed awake.” This pronouncement speaks to unity amongst Christians standing together and supporting each other for Zion’s sake—but also to the solidarity expressed with and for the Jews, of which we know is somewhat lacking in history. Dr. Dror Eydar, leading columnist for Israel Today (a popular Israeli newspaper) and speaker at the summit, gave heartfelt notice and consideration to this fact when he explained that Sabras (those born in Israel) have come to realize that evangelical Christians are true friends. If CUFI has
accomplished anything thus far (and it has), this testimony fro m an Israeli Jew is something to be proud of.

Would you like to take your first step in supporting Israel beyond prayer? Simply join CUFI. It's free, quick, and yet gives you the opportunity to have a meaningful impact quickly! Click here: 

Isaiah 62:1 (NLT) "Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Reducing Relational Conflict in Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


For many people, too much of life can feel like a daily battlefield of relational conflict. We can't always control the situations that come at us but we can learn to control how we respond to them.

When a person doesn't learn how to manage the conflicts that come at them, the mental warfare increases and intensifies beyond what is reality - beyond the real point of conflict. What do I mean by this? I mean that not only are they experiencing the real problems, but as they walk away from the unresolved conflict, they also create artificial or exaggerated ones in their mind. In a sense, they've doubled the battle that already existed. Eventually people imagine battles that have never happened because they've become accustomed to them with those they have frequent conflict with. They may begin to imagine problems that might happen before they ever really do. As they are driving home in the car from work, they create and play out an entire battle in their mind that has never really happened. Does that sound unusual - fighting imaginary expected battles because of past experiences? Well it not and it happens often in marriages.

I've know many husbands and wives who because of repeated relational conflict, are in the habit of forming negative expectations about how their spouse is going to respond to a situation. For example, a husband has been guilty of coming home late from work without giving his wife warning. He has done it over and over again. He gets home late, the meal she cooked is cold, and his wife feels like once again she has been treated without love and respect for the role she plays. It’s bad enough that he’s late, but on top of that he never calls to let her know. It’s led to multiple fights between them. Instead of correcting this inconsiderate habit, he instead often mentally walks out the fight he is expecting on his way home late from work. He begins to play out an entire imaginary battle that prepares him to be even more defensive and combative rather than rational and apologetic. He is now fighting two battles instead of one; one in his mind and one with his wife (heightened by the one he had in his mind.)

Both need to be stopped. Whether this is a marriage or a personal relationship with another person, this is what leads to the relationship eventually blowing up beyond repair. If others perceive you of being defensive, or if you know that you are, then that means you are probably easily offended, experience too much relational conflict, and you probably struggle with mind-battles. How can you slow them down and eventually eliminate them?

First know this. If you violate someone, own up and apologize. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." You are a prideful person if you can't admit that your wrong when you are! Learning to be soft, apologetic, and then taking it as a necessary cue to make a change is healthy and leads to greater maturity. It’s a great habit to develop that is much easier than you would imagine.

Then understand the need to defeat being offended. Quit thinking everyone is out to get you. Listen and quit being defensive. Sometimes paranoia is a mental health issue but most often it’s self-inflicted. You've learned to yield to your own pity parties and mind battles. As a child of God you have the promise from God of supernatural favor. God promises you favor - people liking you without you even understanding why. Psa 5:12 says, "For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield." Favor is a covenant promise and of course, being Christ-like help facilitates that promise. But having faith for favor is the opposite of having negative expectation. You have to put your faith in this promise for it to become real in your life.

How do you begin to walk in it? First you commit this promise to memory. Then pray it over your life. Then look in the mirror and say, Thank you Lord that people like and love me today. I expect it because it is your promise of favor to me. I have favor as though it were a shield. Then combine the expectation of favor with a directive from the Lord concerning love.

Begin to combine your expectation of having favor with others - people liking and loving you because God's favor is upon you, with you treating others in love - you believing the best in them and their motives, not the worst. Purpose to believe they are for you, not against you. Own up to your mistakes, softly apologize and correct them. Don't look to get back at them or find their faults to get even! This will bring you right back to the pit you are trying to climb out of.

Do these things and you'll develop Holy Spirit led mindsets and experience more of a peaceable thought-life having eliminated the extra imaginary battles. Over time, as this takes root and becomes how you truly think, it will change how people respond to you. It will help unwind your defensive nature. Just like a dog gets nervous around a person that is afraid of it, so do people who think you are angry or defensive with them. They will avoid you. Instead think and act like people love you because of your faith in the favor of God being upon you. Likewise, force yourself to love and believe the best about them.1 Cor 13:7 says, “Love always protects, always trusts, always believes the best in others, always perseveres.”  Over time, this will begin to reduce conflicts and schisms in your life and the mind battles will become almost non-existent! Your life and relationships will be more peaceful and productive and you'll personally grow in learning to manage conflict!

Your mind and your imagination belongs to you! Never let it become the devil's playground to stir you up!

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) "...Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Friday, August 01, 2014

A Very Special Place

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is something that makes you smile that those without Jesus will never understand. There is something that brings more than ordinary comfort to your heart – supernatural comfort that the godless will never comprehend. There is something that when meditated upon, brings great excitement and anticipation that only confuses the world and that the world dismisses as foolish.

One day David was spending time with the Lord meditating on the very things – the things that bring this supernatural comfort, this smile, this excitement and anticipation. I can only imagine that in the midst of meditating upon these things, he broke out into singing and dancing.

Want to eavesdrop and listen to his thoughts? Make sure to catch every word!

Psalms 84:1-11 How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord… When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings… O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Jacob. O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield and protector! Show favor to the one you have anointed. A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

If you have ever heard of the secret place of the most high – this is it. This is a place in our hearts. It’s a place of faith that takes hold of reality of our God, of His goodness, of His eternal plan, and of His love, desire, and willingness in our life to make Valleys of Weeping places of refreshing springs. He turns our sorrows into gladness! When David says, even the sparrows can build their nest and raise their young near His altar, he is saying that no one – not you nor me are too insignificant to huddle up next to the Lord and receive His strength and help. He is not put off. He is delighted. He helps us see the bigger picture. He reminds us of His love. He shows us new perspectives full of comfort and joy. He reminds us that this earthly place is temporary and will be exchanged for an eternal place of glory with Him.

You and I like David are anointed. 1 John 2 says we have “been given an anointing.” 1 John 2:20 & 24-25 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth… See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what He promised us--even eternal life.”

All these thoughts and promises made David sing and shout and dance. Our day-to-day circumstances that we presently face are never the end of the story. God was there to comfort and help David and He is here to comfort and help you and I. His promises can bring great comfort to us now today if we, like David, would enter into this very special place - the secret place of the most High.

No wonder David said, “A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” (Psalms 84:10-11)

The world and godless – those without Jesus don’t get this, but you do! It’s time to pause from things trying to drag you down and instead park in the sunshine of this revelation God's love and promises from Him to us!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/