About Tim Burt

Monday, August 31, 2015

Take the High Road and Be Blessed!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was growing up and into my teenage years, it seemed like me and my buddies were always scheming of ways to do things we shouldn't have been doing. I remember at the age of 13 scheming to steal tobacco and a pipe from a local drug store to then take into a local gas station bathroom with a couple of buddies and smoke.


Have you ever been a schemer? The main reason people scheme is to get something they want in a way that is not legally or ethically right. The world is filled with people that secretly scheme and do things in secret to execute their plans. The world is filled with schemers. I would have probably still been scheming had I not given my life to Jesus. 

As I began to learn the Bible, I came to realize that scheming was bad. Schemer's schemed because they did not or would not ask for God’s help and even if they did, they weren’t patient enough or truly had the faith to believe that God would help them. Scheming will lead you far from God. Scheming will hurt or destroy your ability to be sensitive to God’s voice. It will also hinder from ever learning the character development of trusting God – something critical to ever receiving the fullness of blessing that God so desperately wants us to have in life. 

Proverbs helps us see the person that won’t trust or listen to God and ends up scheming. Proverbs 1:30-31 says, Since they would not accept My advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. Then Proverbs 24:8 says, He who plots evil will be known as a schemer. 

I know that when we want something, our flesh does not like to wait. But that is part of the work that God wants to do in us. God tells us to forget about those that do cheat or scheme to get their own way. Instead wait on Him. C

I know we live in an evil world and sometimes we are tempted to compromise our integrity to keep up with others that scheme. Don’t do it! God has a higher way! Matt 5:8 says, Blessed are the pure in heart (motive and purpose) for they shall see God (and understand His ways.) And Proverbs 22:11 says, Anyone who loves a pure heart and gracious speech is the king's friend. Be pure in heart and ask and trust God. Over time as you look back, you will see the high road was the only road to take!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt



If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Little Humor is Good for the Soul!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Kids think and say things that make us laugh! I thought a little humor might do you some good! Have a blessed weekend! 

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine…”

HONESTY
My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too, then 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago.

NUDITY
I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in a convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!"

OPINIONS
On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

KETCHUP
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the bottle. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

MORE NUDITY
A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

POLICE
It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. "Is that a dog you got back there?" he asked. "It sure is," I replied. Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, "What'd he do?"

ELDERLY
While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

DEATH
While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, then had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: "Glory be the Faaaather, and unto the Sonnnn..... and into the hole he goooes."

SCHOOL
A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they won't let me talk!"

BIBLE
A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible; he picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in-between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Our Blessing Within God's Master Plan

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I've been writing about God having a plan for our life. He knows what that plan is. It would be His desire that we walk in it. Why? Because it would result in our blessing and the fulfilling of His master plan.

These verses from Isaiah 46:9-11 (NLT) point out the fact that He indeed has a master plan. “And do not forget the things I have done throughout history. For I am God—I alone! I am God, and there is no one else like me. Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. I will call a swift bird of prey from the east—a leader from a distant land who will come and do my bidding. I have said I would do it, and I will.”


From the beginning, God only ever wanted blessing for every human being, yet His love carries freedom to make choices. God left us with that freedom and people make bad choices turning from God and His plan. Consequently, the entire earth and all mankind suffer from those that have walked outside His plan or that will not walk in God’s plan. And let me be clear so that no one sounds self-righteous; you and I have been part of that problem. We all have! The defilement of sin has touched everything on the planet and the curse of it reaches into our lives. Jesus warned us that we would always see two forces at work in the earthHis for good and Satan’s for the spoiling and destruction over everything God ever created. Jesus said “The thief (Satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV)

Before you can learn to walk in the plan that God has for your life, you have to realize that He has a master plan. His plan is to offer the gift of salvationthe forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life to whomever would receive Jesus as their savior. Despite what the enemy would try to steal from you or how he would try to hurt you, you have to know and believe that God has a plan for you and that plan is about good and blessing! He wants you to have life and have it more abundantly. That has to be a part of your foundational core belief. All truth concerning the Lord and His will for your life flows from understanding this truth.

You couldn’t possibly see the ‘behind the scenes’ of how God is moving throughout all the earth. In more ways that we could ever know, He reaches out to us. When we begin to pay attention, we hear Him crying out inviting us to become His ambassadorsvessels of His touch and love to others. 2 Cor. 5:19-20 NLT says, “…God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (sharing the good news with others.) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” This is His master plan at work and He implores you and I to be a part of it in anyway we can.

As I said, His plan continuously reaches out and into the lives of people throughout the earth. It is His will for that to be a part of our calling as Christians and a part of His master plan in the earth. And please, don’t think that His master plan is exclusive of the personal plan for you life. Every detail of your life plays into that master plan when you trust Him. And He wants to bring blessing to the details of your life. As you read through the Bible, you continuously see God reveal His desire to bless His saints. His master plan is to bless you as you walk in His plan. What you see God say in Psalm 115:13-16 is what you see Him say throughout the Bible. “He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great. May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; but the earth He has given to the children of men.”

How do we discover and enter into God’s master plan? You enter into the perfect will of God for your life by cooperating and helping to fulfill His master plan of bringing Jesus to all. When you seek to fulfill His plan, you enter into the perfect will for your own life. God is blessed by this, you are blessed by this, and the lives around you will be blessed by His presence touching their lives through you. He will lead you step by step. Your awareness and participation are especially enhanced by giving yourself over to spending time in His word and prayer.

The Bible reveals that David was a man after God’s own heart and Daniel was a man with great love for God. They and many others cared about what God cared about. Consequently, they walked in the Lord’s favor and experienced His grace which is His supernatural help and blessing. We constantly hear David seek God and the path he should walk as in Psalm 25:4 AMP “Show me the path where I should walk O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow.” And Psalm 119:33 NKJV “Direct my steps by Your Word…”

God will lead you but you will have to have faith that as you seek Him, He is always leading you. Psalm 119:105 NKJV says, "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” He will speak to you as you read His Word. He’ll also speak to you through others such as through your Pastor's preaching, or Bible Studies, or devotional studies such as this. God will speak to you through like-minded Christians that are on the same page as you. He guides you in many ways as revealed in Psalm 32:8. (NLT) “The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

People that really love God, seek God and care about His master plan as well as His perfect will for their life. They work together to fulfill it knowing that as they do, He cares about every detail of their life. Seek Him and align your life with His will and watch Him guide you into His perfect will for you.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you don't know if you would go to Heaven but want to, click here

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Your Life is not Random: God Has a Plan For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I meet so many people who think their life is some random existence without any kind of God-given plan for their life. That couldn't be more wrong!  God has a plan for your life that He would like to lead you in. It takes strong faith to believe that. Do you know why? Because when you talk about a plan for your life, you are talking about the future―things unseen and things unknown. And they are exactly that. If they are unseen and unknown, how can you trust that a plan exists or know what that plan is? You couldn’t without the Lord. Only the Lord knows the future and the plan He has for your life!

When you think of a plan, there is the kind of planning that is simple and not too overly complicated―like getting a plan for your day. You think of all the things you need to do; build a task list, prioritize it and pursue it step by step. That might be a part of your daily calendar and planner or it may be simply scribbled on a sheet of paper. Getting that kind of a plan has little risk and takes little faith. That kind of planning is perfect when it’s part of an ongoing bigger picture and plan. Then each day is a working part of a bigger picture. But, if you have that kind of planning just to get through each day and each week with little thought to where it’s leading you, then it’s random. The results and it’s impact on your life, and the chance that it will produce the kind of success and fruit that you’d like to see is about as random as a glass cube of bingo balls being pushed around by air while someone picks one out and calls it out the winning number.

Life planning can be fearful and intimidating. It can because it involves the assumption that there is a big picture plan that God has for you though you can’t see it―something that takes faith to believe―something that you are able to somehow discover it and follow.

So why should you believe what I’m proposing when many would consider it nonsense? You should because the very nature of God and what we know of Him through His word, help us understand that to believe anything less is nonsense. God’s plan and planning is throughout the entire Bible.

Consider Romans 8:14 (NLT) “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” This verse is a part of other verses that say God doesn’t want us led around by fleshly carnal desires. They reveal that by receiving Jesus, we received His Holy Spirit and that the Holy Spirit has set us free being a slave to sin and carnality. And because of that, we can be led in our hearts by the Holy Spirit in the will and plan of God. So… God is leading us. Where and how do you think He is leading us? Just simply through the hour or day? Do you really think God is that short-range? Is that His nature? Of course not!

Now let’s back up. Let’s back up all the way prior to God creating the world we live in. Imagine that before God ever created the world we live in, He knew every detail of every aspect of the creation and person He was about to create including every detail of every person’s life. And in that plan, His perfect will was putting Himself in your path where Jesus would be revealed to you with the hope you would make the choice to receive Him. From there, He would lead you by His Spirit into the plan He had for you. Does that sound wild or far-fetched or something that only God is capable of? He has had a plan from the beginning―before He ever created the world we live in!

Ephesians 1:3-5 (NLT) “How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure."

Can you see that God has always had a plan for you? Before He created the world He had a plan for you. Let’s read further:

Ephesians 1:9-14 (NLT) “God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. God's purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.”

This is a devotion and not a book so I can't write volumes about this. But I hope today I have helped you see that life isn't random. Jesus wants you as His. That has been the plan from the beginning and God has always been working to lead you to Himself. When you receive Jesus as your Savior, He gives you the Holy Spirit to live within you and lead you.

He does have a plan that will unfold as you draw close to God and follow His leading. He wants to lead you in it. It will take faith and trust. It won’t always be clear and easy to see. It will take faith every day. But you will have to have confidence in this truth through your faith. That is how you begin to discover it. Then you acknowledge it and ask the Lord to lead you in it. He wants to lead you away from ‘random’ and get you to begin to think big picture. It happens a step at a time. Let go of the fear and seek Him and thank Him that He has a plan. And then pay attention! Watch as the Lord begins to lead you by His Holy Spirit. You will see or experience evidence! More tomorrow…

Psalm 32:8 (NLT) “The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you don't know if you would go to Heaven but want to, click here

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, August 24, 2015

Let this Bless Your Thinking and Life Forever!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As Christians, we are given a life-long assignment which is described in 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT that says, “And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others."

God’s Word also teaches us that we should all use our God-given gifts and abilities—not only to help people to come to know Jesus, but to also serve others in His behalf. The Apostle Paul in speaking to people who have financial affluence wrote: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Paul teaches the affluent that when they are using their gift of financial affluence that God has given them to help promote the gospel and as a means to build the church, they are serving God and others and building a reward— “Laying up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

This exhortation isn’t just to financially affluent people. This truth and exhortation is for all Christians at all times. When we use whatever God has given us in gifts, talents, and abilities to serve others from a pure heart and motivation of love, will be building our future—“a firm foundation in the coming age.” We do have another life to live in the world to come. It sincerely will be the life God intended for us to have. It will be without the curse of sin and defilement that sin has brought to this world. When we help others know Jesus and when we serve them, we lay up rewards for the next life. We also help them come to really know what life on earth here is about—the love of Jesus to redeem mankind—“…that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

One last thing to think about. Our personal character runs deep (good or bad) and is rarely changed until someone makes a life-style change in their thinking and actions. That is most often motivated by God, or the threat of something such as health issues or financial problems. When someone does make that change and stick with it, it changes their character over time. This is how God helps us experience true life transformation. He motivates us through His Word and asks us to make it a core value we live daily. When you take up the attitude of serving others as a life-style because the Lord tells us to, it will bless your life in more ways than you could have ever imagined—and produce eternal rewards!

Never give up serving God and reaching others with His love. It is “…taking hold of the life that truly is life.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 21, 2015

You Must Make Your Emotions Work for You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I have been married for 37 years. We have a wonderful marriage by the grace of God. When we were first married, that was not the case because of our youth and immaturity. We were downright childish at times and it was reflected in the arguing, fighting, and anger that happened far too frequently. We survived because we knew we loved each other, and loved God even more. We were committed to learning how to love each other, and to communicating in all the right ways that would work. When we learned to listen to each other, put ourselves in the other’s shoes, stick to the issues we had to work through, and treat each other with respect at all times, we had the breakthrough that took our marriage to a wonderful place.


Hatred and anger are real emotions that are given by God, but He gave them to us to be used rightly. Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Hatred is not to be aimed toward one another. To the contrary, in many scriptures we are exhorted to “get along,” “to forgive one another,” “to work things out.” These are mandates with which Jesus said, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father (in Heaven) will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15)

The Apostle Paul also taught us that in general, we need to recognize that it’s not people that we are battling, but demonically wicked spiritual forces in the background that work to get people to fight and destroy each other. Eph 6:10-12 says, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

We are to oppose evil and wickedness and work to overcome it. Romans 12:21 instructs and exhorts us, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” When we are in a position of seeing evil that we should oppose, the emotions of hatred or anger can fuel us to do so, but we need to exercise that energy in a godly fashion.

Evil is opposed in many different ways and at many different levels. In war, evil is opposed militarily with strategies and weapons of warfare. At the level of street crime, evil is opposed by different forms of police and government law enforcement agencies. In our day-to-day lives we are to oppose evil or wrong, but never outside the boundaries of respect.

I recently received a letter from a friend of mine, a Christian who manages complaint letters within a large corporation that sells retail products. He was telling me that many of the letters he receives are written by those that have somehow identified themselves as Christians, and yet their letters and emails are completely outside the boundaries of respect and Christian representation. Their comments contained cursing, were mean-spirited, rude or sarcastic, and worse. You couldn’t find a trace of Christ-like attitude in them if you tried.

Voicing disapproval is one way we oppose evil, but respect is crucial to a Christian witness and attitude. 2 Tim. 2:24-26 says it like this: “The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. Then they will come to their senses…”

We are the representatives of Jesus in the earth. That is a huge responsibility and one we’ll make many mistakes in. But what helps me get this more right than wrong is remembering that anger can destroy in a minute, but ultimately, “love never fails.”

1 Cor. 13:8 (NIV) “Love never fails…”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

God's Evolving Plan Leading to Your Significant Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


It can sometimes be such a struggle for people to believe that they have something to offer others in life. On one hand we may notice how our ego or pride wants to make great boasts about who we are and what we can do—at least in our imagination. Those thoughts often conflict with opposite feelings of inadequacies in our ability and knowledge of how to make a real difference in life. Even if a person has great skills and abilities, to have a core value belief that God created them to make a difference at some level in this world and to be used of Him—that's difficult for many to grasp.

David, the King of Israel and one of the most favored men of God felt that way. As he was one day meditating on the awesomeness of God’s creation he said, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have set in place— what are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us?" (Psalm 8:3-4) Even David struggled with grasping God using him.

You and I are called many things because we've accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are called, "washed, we are called "saints," we are called "ambassadors," we are called "ministers of reconciliation." we are called "one with a gift." You may not feel like any of those things but none-the-less, you are what God says you are when you become a believer. It's up to you and I to meditate on what God calls us and then recognize that these giftings and callings are within us. As we yield to them by faith and let them be shaped within us, they will eventually spill forth from us.

I was talking to a young man at our church that greets people as they walk through our doors. He was saying that before he started serving in this capacity, he was a total introvert. He felt that if he joined our Ambassador Ministry—greeting people as they entered into church, it might help him grow into what God has called him to be. That is exactly what happened. He yielded to the Lord and transformation began. It’s hard now to picture him as an introvert. He appears very outgoing, very warm, and kind. People love to be greeted by him. This transformation has spilled over into his job. Instead of being a laborer, he was promoted to a management position because of his people skills. He credits this all to yielding to serve God by serving at church.

You and I have been endowed with gifts. They develop within us and through us as we purpose to serve the Lord by serving others. That may be through church or in some other way. I assure you that your Pastor needs your help somewhere. Ask the Lord to use you in any way He can. Observe how that opportunity takes shape. Let God work through you when it arrives and ask Him how to improve on it the next time. Do you know what you will see happen? You will see a gift drawn forth from you that begins to take shape. It may be through serving, it may be by lending a listening ear out of mercy and compassion. God may use you to pray for others. However God uses you; ask Him for grace—His supernatural help to assist you.

God resists pride so cast out egotistical thoughts and behaviors. Likewise, take authority over feelings of inadequacy and inability and defeat them by serving others in God’s behalf. It is God's design that He saved you, called you, and wants to use you to bless and influence others! Be smart and agree with Him. Then yield to what He says in His word about you and let Him transform you. God will use your His significant and evolving plan that leads to your significant life!

1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Yes Your Efforts Will Be Rewarded!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


What does it matter? What difference does my prayer and service to God matter? Do I ever do enough? Do they ever really produce any fruit? Am I even worthy to serve God?

People sometimes feel like this. The enemy of our soul works to create obstacles to our desired efforts. He works to create distractions that take our attention and focus away from what is important. He works to discourage us, screaming in our ear about the lack of success in our efforts. If we face obstacles, if we lose focus, if we get discouraged, then we will lose faith and slowly give up. Then he has won and we’ve lost out.

Jesus warned us this could happen. In a parable about being faithful He talked about the one who strayed off course saying, “But if the servant thinks, 'My master won't be back for a while,' and begins oppressing the other servants, partying, and getting drunk—well, the master will return unannounced and unexpected…” Luke 12:44-46 NLT) Lets just say things go south from there!

God has created each and every person with a destiny that is to interwoven with God's plan for mankind. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) says, "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."  Psalms 27:14 (NLT) says, "Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." 

As you seek God through His word and prayer, He will lead you to a good Bible teaching church. He will help you build relationships and get involved serving others. He will direct your steps, unfold gifts He has placed within you, and help you use them to serve others and fulfill His plan for your life. Much of what you do will be seen and appreciated by God only. If you look for the appreciation and glory of man, you will disappointed. Learning to do what you do for Him from a pure and right motivation will build the best of God in you and godly character will be formed within you.

If you look to others to appreciate everything you do, you'll burn out, quit, and get off course until you've strayed from God and become like the servant off course that we just read about.

Don't let anything knock you off course. The Lord is faithful to help you get right back on course. He does that by first finding a way to get to us and speak to us (LIKE RIGHT NOW, MAYBE???) Then He helps us understand that our efforts aren’t unnoticed and won’t go without being rewarded. And He helps us understand that it’s not about ourselves or our feelings. It’s not about whether we are being noticed or if things are going exactly how we think they should, or even the totality of our efforts. It’s about the Lord! It’s about His plan and His effort to touch and bless lives through our efforts. We do our part cooperatively with love and respect with co-laborers and He does His part—the part that delivers the power of God and changes things! And if we do so faithfully—in faith, and with a right heart attitude, then we can know that He owns the rest! And He has the pleasure of rewarding us. Some of those efforts will be rewarded in this life, as you know and have experienced, and others in the life to come.

Matthew 6:4 (NLT) Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Matthew 6:6 (NLT) But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Matthew 6:18 (NLT) Then no one will suspect you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in secret. And your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.


And so, let these words lift, encourage, and remind you that your efforts to pray and serve the Lord do count and are rewarded! And God bless you richly in all your doing!

1 Cor. 3:7-8 (NLT) “The ones who do the planting or watering aren't important, but God is important because He is the one who makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work as a team with the same purpose. Yet they will be rewarded individually, according to their own hard work.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, August 17, 2015

Starting Your Day Off Right

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This morning I woke up tired. It was an exhausting week with little time to recuperate. I wanted to sleep in for just 30 minutes more, but didn't. I have a big day ahead and wanted to get my morning exercise in because I will be busy tonight and won't have the chance to get it in later. As I began my workout, my brain still felt asleep. My body was moving slow. It was even difficult to pray. Ever have a day like that?

When you wake up feeling great, it’s the greatest thing! You feel upbeat. Your outlook on life is bliss. Your personality feels engaged. You feel like you can conquer life. But when you wake up sluggish and can't seem to get going, it can be a tough beginning to a long day with your mind screaming to quit before you've hardly started! It’s for that very reason that I’ve learned the importance of taking authority over how I feel—in the morning or otherwise. .

If you’ve ever worked with someone who is moody from day-to-day—like an emotional roller-coaster, you know it’s not fun and it takes its toll. They can add emotionally draining drama to your day that can wear you out and bring you down. So why would you want to be one of those people?

Yeah, but I don’t want to be fake and have a smile plastered on my face when I feel like a snail under a rock! You may not, but I do! And I don’t consider it fake. I may wake up feeling less than exuberant, but I don’t want how I really feel to negatively impact everyone around me. And I really don't want to give voice to it like a negative whiny baby! Who wants to hear it? Who wants to impacted by it? It does no good and only increases more negative feelings. There might be that opportunity on occasion to talk through real problems and feelings with a trusted friend as long as they don’t become your dumping ground every time you see them. But other than that, to be an walking expression of getting up on the wrong side of the bed? It's not going to happen! I’m not bottling up the start-to-a-bad-day feelings. I am leaving them at the feet of Jesus as often as I need to.

I am called to be a light. I want people to see Jesus in me. Most people want to avoid the drama king or queen in their daily routine. Most people want to avoid the person that when you say, “How are you today?” proceed to tell you every problem in their life. Most people have so many of their own issues they are dealing with, that they don’t have the capacity to take on all of yours. There are always those who will offer a hug, or a word of comfort and encouragement, or even a sincere prayer, but you don’t want to drown them in your woes. A few words and they’ll get the picture. If they are the kind of person that is geared to be compassionate, they’ll give you the some kind of caring response. If not, they didn't want to hear it to begin with.

Who can you share your feelings with and who will listen to you? The Lord will and he won’t disappoint you. He’ll listen to your every word. But then He’ll ask you to listen to His words. He will want to lead you away from all the drama and instead, have you cast your cares upon Him in faith. He’ll ask you to take His promises deep in your heart by faith. Why? Because He cares for you! He knows His promises are more than just words. They have the power to give instant hope and life! They have the ability to turn your feelings around on a dime when you receive them by faith. AND He is the only one that really can care for you! As 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” Just that statement should make you feel better.

In Isaiah 61:3, God says to “put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Take authority over your feelings if they’re negative. Put on that garment of praise instead and just begin to praise Him! Think of His love for you! If you start there, put a smile on your face, and let your light shine, AND if you’ll take things one step at a time, trusting the Lord to lead you and help you at every point, your feelings will improve and so will you and your day!

I recently observed a young man who received news that he was being laid off from his job. He has a wife and young children and they were expecting another. Through the process of his last weeks on the job, he kept his feelings in check, put a smile on his face, and expressed his gratitude to those that had employed him. He expressed to them, his confidence in God being there for him and helping him gain new employment. Now this young man is just like you or I. He had big challenges facing him. It could have been tormenting and he could have walked around mad and angry, or with a face like a sad-sack. He didn’t. He put his feelings in check, a smile on his face, and put his words of faith out there before others. He prayed through every fear that rose up—instead recasting those cares before the Lord. A funny thing happened. Before he was let go, they decided to keep his job and him. They rethought their laying him off and decided they couldn't let such a quality individual go!  He had passed this present test of life before man and God. I was so proud of him.

Let's take a lesson from him and forget about how we feel as we start our day! Why don't we declare how we are going to feel and lay our cares at the feet of the Lord! He cares for us!

Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn…He will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for His own glory.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Story of How we Perceive Things

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


PERCEPTION: Something To Think About

Mark 4:12 (NLT) ...They see what I do, but they don't perceive its meaning. They hear my words, but they don't understand. So they will not turn from their sins and be forgiven.

In a Washington, D.C. Metro station on a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin played six Bach pieces. During his performance approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes after the young man began playing a middle aged man slowed his pace and turned to look at the musician, but kept on walking.

Half a minutes later the violinist received his first dollar; a woman threw the money in the hat without stopping.

Not until six minutes into the performance did someone actually stand against a wall and listen.

A three-year old boy tried to stop and listen but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped and looked at the violinist again, but the mother pushed harder and the child continued to walk, turning his head to look at the musician as he walked away. This action was repeated by several other children; parents, without exception, forced their children to move on quickly.

In the forty-three minutes that the violinist played, seven people stopped what they were doing to take in the performance. Twenty-seven gave money – most of them on the run – for a total of $32 and change. The remaining 1,070 people hurried by, oblivious to the music, few even turning to look. As he finished playing, silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded. He received no recognition.

The violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played some of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days prior, Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and people’s priorities.

In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made, how many other things are we missing in life?

By Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2007

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Before You Hurt Someone's Reputation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Before You Hurt Someone's Reputation
Author Unknown

In Jewish folklore there is a story about a man who had a disagreement with his rabbi. Out of anger he spread lies and malicious gossip about him. However, one day while studying Torah he realized that God was not pleased with him and he decided that he needed to make amends to the rabbi.

He visited the rabbi and begged for his forgiveness. He said that he would do whatever was necessary to make amends for his behavior. The rabbi directed him to go home, take the feather pillows off of his bed, cut them open and scatter the feathers to the wind.

Though it seemed like an odd request, the man agreed to do so. He went home, took the pillows off his bed, cut them open and shook the contents out, allowing the wind to carry the feathers to and fro for miles and miles.

Later he returned to the rabbi’s home and reported that he had done as requested. The rabbi then said to him, “Now go and gather up all the feathers.” The man replied, “That would be impossible.” To which the rabbi answered, “You are correct. Even though you appear to be sincere in your desire to make amends for the damage you have done, it is as impossible as reclaiming all of the feathers. Once words are spoken, they scatter in the same way and no one can bring them back.”

Words are powerful. They can be used for good or for evil. A kind word spoken at the right time can comfort. A wise word spoken to a listening heart is able to save someone from making a serious mistake. An encouraging word spoken with a smile may turn someone’s bad day around. A word of warning can save a toddler from burning her hand on the stove. A harsh word can break a heart. A mean word can bring anger and doubt. A discouraging word may turn a life from success to failure. A foolish word wastes the time of both the speaker and the hearer. A word of gossip is able to ruin a reputation.

Jesus warns us about the power of words and their consequences in Matthew 12:36-37. "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

On the day that you stand before the God of heaven and earth you will answer for how you used the gift of words. Did you use them as tools to build and accomplish or as weapons to tear down and destroy? Did you use them to encourage or discourage? Did you use them wisely or foolishly? To inspire or to gossip?

Just like feathers scattered to the wind, you cannot recapture the words that have escaped from your lips to this day. But you can make sure that every word that comes off of your tongue from this day forward is spoken with care and wisdom.

Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Get Your Joy Back

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This morning, I feel impressed to retell a story I've told before. One Sunday morning after church, we had all the family over for a birthday party for our two granddaughters, Madeline and Macy. They were seven and eight years old at the time and like all children, they loved birthday parties. It was a great day of eating, having fun, and then presents and cake. When everyone except the girls had left, I asked them if they wanted to go for a walk with me. It’s a beautiful walk on a path along a mile stretch of wild flowers and a creek. We make a pit stop half way through the walk at a playground they loved to play at.

As we were leaving the house, they each wanted to bring their new dolls they had just received for their birthday. Generally I wouldn’t let the girls bring them on a walk but I made an exception. As we were walking, they were little chatterbugs. Macy piped in first, Papa, that was the best birthday ever! I love my doll so much. I was praying I would get a Tiana princess doll. I love her so much. Madeline received a different version of the same doll. She piped in also saying, Papa I love my doll too. Since Macy and me have the same one I am going to name my Ashley. I love my Ashley Tiana doll too papa. And on and on they both went out how much they loved the dolls and how it was their favorite present. Renee, my wife, had done well in her shopping and I was getting way too much credit but I was happy that they were happy.

We had a wonderful walk. They were balancing on ledges as they walked. They took off challenging me to a race. They showed me their climbing and high jump feats at the park. They fed some ducks. The sky was cloudless and deep blue and it was spectacularly beautiful out. We were having a blast, when suddenly Madeline noticed that one of the shoes of her doll was missing. We backtracked and looked but didn’t find it. A short time later, Macy cried out, “Papa, I lost Tiana’s tiara. It took me a minute to figure out that was her little crown. So again we backtracked while I was thinking, This is why I make my rules and don’t let them bring dolls on the walk. This is your bad, Tim. I stayed patient, we prayed, and we looked and looked, but, we didn’t find either. I was proud of the girls as they kept a good attitude through it.

As we were getting near home, I asked them, Did you girls have fun on the walk? Madeline immediately responded, No, I lost my dolly’s shoe. I didn’t have fun. Macy said nothing. I looked at them both and began to rattle off all the fun things we just did that we had so much fun doing. Macy looked up and said, You’re right, Papa. We had lots of fun. It’s okay if I lost one shoe. We still had fun, and Madeline agreed.

This little adventure came on the day that the Lord spoke to my heart during my morning devotional time about “Think on these things...” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—think and meditate on these things.”

The Lord had spoken simply to me about staying focused on thinking about good things and don’t let things that steal joy or distract or that take you off course, fill your thoughts.

This walk with the girls was a quick example of how a small setback almost stole the joy of the entire day. When I reminded the girls of all the fun things we did, they immediately lit back up and agreed and changed their mind.

The enemy of our soul is a thief and would like us to see the negatives so they overshadow all the good the Lord brings into our life. And so His solution to that is, “Think on THESE things…”

Philippians 4:8 (Message Bible) “Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, August 10, 2015

You're Imperfect But Beautiful to God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you want to be more like Jesus? That’s good! That’s called the desire to become Christ-like. Do you know you aren’t perfect and fall short in what you know God wants you to be? Congratulations! You are just like every other Christian that will admit it. As Christians, we have pressure from the world to be perfect or they will call us hypocrites. We also sometimes feel pressure (that we probably put on ourselves) to be more Christ-like than we are in relation to God’s holiness. We can feel ashamed and that leads people to fall into the cover-up ditch. What's that? I'll explain!

God desires us to be conformed to the image of His Son. The first thing He did was call you to be a part of His family and that was His plan before the beginning of our world. We see this in Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT) "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."

God wants everyone to be a part of His family but not everyone will make this choice. You made that choice and so you are a part of His family. And now that you are, He wants you to be absolutely blessed. That will happen to the greatest degree as you become conformed to the image of Jesus. He wants that for you. Romans 8:29 reveals this saying, "For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…"

Deep down, we want to be pure and pleasing to God because we know that's His will for us. That desire to be pleasing to God is a part of our spiritual DNA. We all want to be free from committing sin in our life. We learn in struggle that this is the process of transformation. As the Holy Spirit works in you, you will become more and more like Jesus. Maybe not as fast as you would like, but that is because you still have to learn to deal with temptation and the pull of and lusts of your flesh.

Becoming Christ-like in our thinking and behaviors is a battle ground and a place of victories and defeats for every Christian. Over time, we learn to receive the strength and help that God freely offers and as we do, we become more and more like Jesus, a step at a time. But, it can be hard to believe that God would be so patient with you when you sometimes feel like you fall so far short of conforming to the image of Christ.

God is patient. It is His character and where He wants us to draw patience from as we see in 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NLT) “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

Not only is He patient, but he has covered up your flaws with His own righteousness so that you can be patient with yourself as you allow God to transform you. In the story of the prodigal son, the son was disgusted with himself. He got prideful, left home, and squandered his life and resources. He felt like a fool. He wanted to go back to his father but didn’t believe he was worthy to come back as a son. He was willing to come back as a servant. His father was so patient and forgiving that when his son returned, the first thing he did was cover him up with the robe that Jesus wanted us to know represented His righteousness. We read about it in Luke 15:20-22 (RSV) "And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him..."

His father covered him up with the BEST robe so he would be seen as his son. God covers us with His robe of righteousness so that we can be covered up in His eyes while transformation happens in our life. He covers us up so we don’t have to be fake and cover ourselves with fake religious behavior in order to spiritually please others. We are flawed but God is working in us. If you put on a fake Christian image, you are hiding behind it and not dealing with the transformation you want to happen. You are because you are living a lie trying to be more than you are to please others. We do that because we feel judged by others and because the world calls Christians hypocrites when they don’t act perfect. We aren't hypocrites when we don't act perfect. We are hypocrites when WE DO act perfect! Forget the acting. We're supposed to be ourselves while trying to be Christ-like. We are also going to have to repent to God and others as we blow it. That is what progresses transformation in our lives. We don’t cover up. We let Jesus cover us up! And we work out our transformation a day at a time from there. Live a lie and you’ll be stalled in what God wants to do in you. Be sincere and transparent and work toward becoming Christ-like and you’ll find real Christianity. You are flawed, but not to Him. To Him you are beautiful!

Isaiah 61:10 “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/