About Tim Burt

Friday, April 29, 2016

Bono Interview: Grace Over Karma

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


(Excerpt from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas)

Because this interview with Bono was highly read and appreciated, I am reprinting it for you to be blessed by! Pastor Tim

Bono: My understanding of the Scriptures has been made simple by the person of Christ. Christ teaches that God is love. What does that mean? What it means for me: a study of the life of Christ. Love here describes itself as a child born in straw poverty, the most vulnerable situation of all, without honor. I don't let my religious world get too complicated. I just kind of go: Well, I think I know what God is. God is love, and as much as I respond [sighs] in allowing myself to be transformed by that love and acting in that love, that's my religion. Where things get complicated for me, is when I try to live this love. Now that's not so easy.

Assayas: What about the God of the Old Testament? He wasn't so "peace and love"?

Bono: There's nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is. I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that's why they're so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you're a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.

Assayas: Speaking of bloody action movies, we were talking about South and Central America last time. The Jesuit priests arrived there with the gospel in one hand and a rifle in the other.

Bono: I know, I know. Religion can be the enemy of God. It's often what happens when God, like Elvis, has left the building. [laughs] A list of instructions where there was once conviction; dogma where once people just did it; a congregation led by a man where once they were led by the Holy Spirit. Discipline replacing discipleship. Why are you chuckling?

Assayas: I was wondering if you said all of that to the Pope the day you met him.

Bono: Let's not get too hard on the Holy Roman Church here. The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. The physical experience of being in a crowd of largely humble people, heads bowed, murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows

Assayas: So you won't be critical.

Bono: No, I can be critical, especially on the topic of contraception. But when I meet someone like Sister Benedicta and see her work with AIDS orphans in Addis Ababa, or Sister Ann doing the same in Malawi, or Father Jack Fenukan and his group Concern all over Africa, when I meet priests and nuns tending to the sick and the poor and giving up much easier lives to do so, I surrender a little easier.

Assayas: But you met the man himself. Was it a great experience?

Bono: [W]e all knew why we were there. The Pontiff was about to make an important statement about the inhumanity and injustice of poor countries spending so much of their national income paying back old loans to rich countries. Serious business. He was fighting hard against his Parkinson's. It was clearly an act of will for him to be there. I was oddly moved by his humility, and then by the incredible speech he made, even if it was in whispers. During the preamble, he seemed to be staring at me. I wondered. Was it the fact that I was wearing my blue fly-shades? So I took them off in case I was causing some offense. When I was introduced to him, he was still staring at them. He kept looking at them in my hand, so I offered them to him as a gift in return for the rosary he had just given me.

Assayas: Didn't he put them on?

Bono: Not only did he put them on, he smiled the wickedest grin you could ever imagine. He was a comedian. His sense of humor was completely intact. Flashbulbs popped, and I thought: "Wow! The Drop the Debt campaign will have the Pope in my glasses on the front page of every newspaper."

Assayas: I don't remember seeing that photograph anywhere, though.

Bono: Nor did we. It seems his courtiers did not have the same sense of humor. Fair enough. I guess they could see the T-shirts.

Later in the conversation:
Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that's normal. It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven't heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we've moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn't make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I'd be interested to hear that.

Bono: That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

Assayas: That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has his rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?

Bono: No, it's not farfetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says: No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: "I'm the Messiah." I'm saying: "I am God incarnate." And people say: No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet, we can take. You're a bit eccentric. We've had John the Baptist eating locusts and wild honey, we can handle that. But don't mention the "M" word! Because, you know, we're gonna have to crucify you. And he goes: No, no. I know you're expecting me to come back with an army, and set you free from these creeps, but actually I am the Messiah. At this point, everyone starts staring at their shoes, and says: Oh, my God, he's gonna keep saying this. So what you're left with is: either Christ was who He said He was the Messiah or a complete nutcase. I mean, we're talking nutcase on the level of Charles Manson. This man was like some of the people we've been talking about earlier. This man was strapping himself to a bomb, and had "King of the Jews" on his head, and, as they were putting him up on the Cross, was going: OK, martyrdom, here we go. Bring on the pain! I can take it. I'm not joking here. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me, that's farfetched

Bono later says it all comes down to how we regard Jesus:

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my s--- and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.

See the full article in it's original form here: book excerpt : Copyright Christianity Today International

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

God's Desire: The Exciting New You!


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One year for my birthday Renee gave me a great health and exercise book called Fit for Life. In this book, they have an entire picture section of people who have been through the program this book offers. You see all the before and after pictures of these people. I love looking at before and after pictures of people who have purposed to change their life for the better.

They are so inspiring! In three to six months these people look completely different and so much better.

I have been thinking about the newness of life that God offers us. He empowers us by His Holy Spirit to live it out. His Word says we are to be transformed. Romans 12:2 (NKJV) says, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

As I was looking at these powerful images of people who had transformed their looks, I had this thought. Every one of us is working toward one of those two pictures. We are either presently creating a before-picture or an after-picture of our current life. Have you ever thought which picture you are presently creating?

In Acts chapter 26, the Apostle Paul. while on trial, is giving his testimony of the transformation of his life from being one who persecuted believers, to one whom believed himself. It became his testimony. He said Jesus appeared and spoke to him saying,  "But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you... to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:16 & 18 NKJV)  

Everyone that changes from a before to and after picture, has a testimony. How powerful it is when our testimony is about what the Lord has done in us and our life!

I am living in my after-picture. If anyone saw me now compared to 39 years ago before I knew the Lord, they'd tell you I am a completely different person. I praise God for that! At the same time, internally I feel like I am in a before picture compared to what I believe the Lord still wants to do within me and through my life. That's a good thing! Godly transformation is good! If I didn't feel that way, I would be sitting in pride of how great I think I am and I would probably look and act like a Pharisee.

The after-picture is our ongoing goal is the picture God paints in our heart. It is the image of who He is transforming us into. It is the shaping of our thoughts and desires to conform to His Word, His will, and His purpose for our lives. It's a path and a process in which we will continue to be changed as we pray and seek Him and purpose to live according to what He speaks to us through His Word.

The Apostle Paul's testimony is a part of the picture that God paints in our heart as we walk out what God wants for our lives. Like the Apostle Paul, as God's word works in us, we also become the Lord's witness of what Jesus has done and will do in our lives. Our personal story will be used to help others experience God's life-changing and transforming power - "to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus."

Your life is not to be random. God has a plan for you. An aimless and purposeless life outside of the Lord will always result in a before picture. Pressing toward God's will for your life will help create after-pictures. An after-picture is not the end of all. It is actually only a step to the next after-picture. What does your next after picture look like?

Romans 12:2 (MSG) Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2016 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Discovering the Plan of God For Your Life


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


God has a master plan for life and a perfect will for your life. Remember that His plan for you unfolds slowly. As you purpose to walk closely to God and according to His Word, and as you pray and trust God love and that He is leading you, hindsight will reveal His hand and leading upon your life. Over time, His master plan will become better understood to you. But never forget this one important truth! It is a walk of faith and as Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says, "It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." 

God’s Word will be the primary tool for leading you in that direction and seeking God through prayer is what will enable you to be able to walk it out and one day look back and see how God got you there. But, as we all know, there is much in-between living going on and we still have to understand how God leads us in the perfect will for our lives. Today I want to help you better understand one of those ways that He leads us by sharing a verse and telling you a true story.

Psalm 37:4 RSV says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires.” This verse affirms what I’ve been writing all along. It is saying to take delight in God’s master plan, in the instruction of His word, and in seeking God’s perfect plan and will for your life! When and because you do, He will give you’re your heart’s desires.

There is two ways to look at this verse. One is looking at it as though He was saying, I’ll make your dreams (desires) come true. The other way of looking at it is as though God were saying, My Word will shape good and godly desires in your heart. I put those desires there to help draw you in particular directions that lead you in your path of life. Both ways of looking at this are true. God is saying both. He does put desires in you and they are His God-given desires. Desires lead you because people like to pursue their desires. Now I am not talking about carnal desires and I am not talking about your lust for chocolate, or donuts, or sex. These kinds of desires are carnal desires of the flesh. To those kinds of desires God Hebrews 12:1 NLT says, “…let us strip off every sin and weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” God wants you to master your carnal desires with the help of the Holy Spirit, and instead focus on His God-plan for your life. The kind of desires God is talking about again are desires that draw you down a good path. I hope this story will help give greater insight and make this more clear.

Some friends of ours from church have a son who is about the same age as our daughter. One Sunday morning he was sitting in the sanctuary listening to our Pastor preach. In his sermon, the Pastor talked about his love for flying. He had been a pilot in the military and served flying missions in the Viet Nam war. After the military he started an air freight business flying freight around the country. As he talked about his love for flying, something went off in that teenage boy’s heart. He also had always loved airplanes and the thought of flying, but on that day, something became was sparked and became clear to him―he was sure he wanted to become a pilot. He told his parents and they just listened and did not discourage him. They let him dream. This young man wanted to talk with our Pastor to ask him questions about flying and so he did. From that day forward, in his love for Jesus, his primary desire and goal was to become a pilot. He would use that path to influence others for Jesus.

He went to a college that had flying as a part of the education. He learned to fly. Today he is a commercial airline pilot, loving God and walking in the desire of His heart. He loves God and uses His gifting to glorify God in any way he can.

Now another story about another young man from our church. In the early days of ministry, Renee and I taught children’s church. We had the help of a young woman and her teenage brother. He really wanted to help in some way and we let him because he was really a nice boy. We would teach a Bible lesson and then we’d do a skit about some practical life situation that we knew the children had experienced and could relate to. The young gal that helped us really loved to dress up and play the part. She was fabulous and funny. The kids loved her! Her brother was the son of one of our church employees. This may sound funny, but he liked to decorate.

So, when we put a skit together, He’d go borrow furniture from around the building to create a little set for us. It was amazing! We’d laugh in awe at what he’d create for us. I don’t know if this young man every totally loved school, but wow could he decorate. This desire and skill only grew within him. He had a love for it from the desire God had put in his heart. He used those talents around the church and it was as though he was becoming a professional before our eyes. Pretty soon other people and other churches were requesting his help. It became a business he thrived in. Today this young man is a truly amazing and gifted designer/decorator running his own business and serving in our church using this talent. He is in charge of our church decor and if you saw our building, you’d be in awe―seriously!

This desire became noticeable from a young age. It was always in him. God placed this desire within him to lead him into the perfect will of God for his life. He uses it to glorify God as well as provide his livelihood.

I have always told people, “Find ways to serve God and be willing to do anything. He will shape good and godly desires within you and through them, direct your steps. As you serve Him, He will reveal gifts and talents beyond what you are aware of. They will help direct you into God’s perfect will for you life.” Pay attention to how God uses you. That is important so I’ll say it again. Pay attention to how God uses you! Pat attention to that and to the desires that really make you tick. Then pray about them and ask God to use them to lead you in His plan for your life. God will lead you. It is His will and promise to you! You have to put God’s plan first place in your life or your tendency will be to let your desires lead you for your own selfish satisfaction. That won’t get you to His will. That will only help you do life your way. Pray, stay in God's Word. Follow the desires it shapes within you. Your God-given skills and abilities will lead you in the plan He has for you!

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

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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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Learning God's Perfect Will: Coloring Between the Lines


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When our children were very young, there were times where we would sit around the kitchen table, pull out the coloring books, and teach them to color. In doing so, we first taught them to outline the object they were going to color. Then we taught them to color within the lines. Of course neither was done well in the beginning, yet we’d praise them and shower them with encouragement. Now in reality, they'd initially try to outline for about ten seconds before resorting back to scribbling.

When we sat down to teach them, we knew this would be a process, but that over time, they'd become proficient at it. We also knew that our constant encouragement and reminding them to color in the lines was important to the process of their improvement. There would be times when we took them out to a restaurant and they were given coloring sheets and crayons. We’d see improvement come, little by little.

A good parent has enough instincts―even with their first child, to know that patience is required in learning. You give them a plan. You teach them how to execute that plan. And then you are patient as they learn and grow in that plan. That is what the entire education program is built upon.

God has a plan for our life. God revealed in Jeremiah 29:11 that it is a good plan. “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.“

God has a perfect will for your life. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--His good, acceptable, and perfect will.”

In this verse, “good” means something that is beneficial. “Acceptable” means it's agreeable to all and well pleasing. “Perfect” refers to producing growth and moral character helping one to become mature and complete. Everyone does things on occasion and hopefully with frequency that are good. But a person can do good things while still having much of their life out of the will of God. For example, many young Christian couples live together and have a sexual life thinking its okay. Are these people capable of doing good things or acceptable things? Of course they are and most likely do. But are they in the acceptable and perfect will of God? No they are not. A a sex-life before marriage is fornication and is not acceptable nor the perfect will of God. Waiting until they were married is what would produce growth and moral character learning to walk in God's will.

God wants us to learn how to live a godly life and pursue it the best we can. As a new reader of the Bible begins to study the New Testament and see the patterns for godly living that are given, their first attempts might be like the child learning to outline and color between the lines. They may have brief moments similar to a child tantrum―I can’t do this! But they can and they will get it if they keep it up. And God is no more condemning them in their efforts than you would yell at a child learning to color between the lines. The Holy Spirit has the character of the perfect parent―full of mercy, compassion, grace, and patience to help and encourage. The Holy Spirit knows that if, out of your love for Jesus, you work to pursue the perfect will of God, that your life will align with God’s and from there He can guide you into God’s perfect will and plan for your life.

Coloring within the lines doesn’t mean that as you learn to obey God and His word, that everything in your life will be perfect, seamless, or without problems. The great godly Bible characters that we often study still experienced plenty of hardship. The perfect will of God is not measured by a lack of hardship or by the accumulation of resources. It is measured only by you judging yourself with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to learn to walk in the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. It is measured by a self-evaluation and ongoing discussion between you and the Holy Spirit as to whether your life is following the direction that God has and continues to give you. And you should know this: in your self evaluation, the Holy Spirit NEVER condemns you. He will chastise or correct you through God’s Word, but in a loving way that encourages you to try again and again. Any voice you hear that is condemning is the voice of the enemy.

So, God has a plan for your life. You begin to discover that plan by aligning your life with the perfect will of God. You continually seek Him for how He wants you to live your life and as you do, you’ll learn to color between the lines and enjoy God leading you to His unfolding promises manifesting in your life!

Psalm 143:10 (NKJV) "Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More... 

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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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Honor Instead of Provoking Each Other

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
Whenever I have had a married couple in my office for counseling, there is always a scenario that takes place. Both the husband and the wife list a series of grievances that they say they have been requesting their spouse to change in for years. The husband lists the three or four things that he has pleaded with his wife to hear and change in. Likewise, she has her list.I always have to ask the questions? "Did you know this bothered him?" "Did you know this bothered her?" "Do you still do it?" "Why if you know it bothers him/her so much?" It's about this time that they attempt to go off on a rabbit trail of blame in order to avoid dealing with the question, “Why do you continue to do these things that so bother and provoke your spouse?“ Excuses erupt and blame arrows fly but few ever get down to answering the question.
I'd say the average couple has less than five reoccurring grievances each. They often seem quite petty and ridiculous on the surface. You would imagine that couples would adapt and make the adjustments out of love for each other. In Song of Solomon 2:15 we are told that it is “…the little foxes that spoil the vine.” This is so true. That’s what bothers the husband and wife so badly. Their cry of desperation groans, "I just don't understand why they can't understand what I'm asking, and just do it? It bothers and provokes me!"
There were many little things I did that provoked Renee earlier on in our marriage. If I was going to be late for dinner she'd request, "If you are going to be late for dinner, please just give me the courtesy of a call. At least then I'll know and not be wondering and waiting." That was not unreasonable. It was more than reasonable yet it took far too long for me to accommodate that request. It was only after me watching her cry about the issue that I finally made the change. That was stupid on my part!
There have been other little requests over the years. “Please don't leave your shoes in the entryway by the door - put them in the closet.” “Please don't splash the mirror by shaking your hands after you wash them.” There were a couple of others. None of these were earth-shaking but they were for whatever reason, important to her and bothered her when I ignored them. If I love her and she is important to me, why didn't I make the effort to do them? There could be many reasons: indifference, laziness, selfishness, or just not listening and understanding that these things were important to her.
I've also had my 'little foxes' that she did that spoiled my vine and provoked me. Renee agrees that they just seem stupid when you understand that they cause ongoing martial conflict. It comes back to listening to the request of each other and honoring them by making the adjustment. Prov 1:5 “A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” The requests of our spouse is wise counsel! I realize a few of the foxes are harder than others to make changes in but at the cost of eroding the love in your marriage over something that can be dealt with, they are worth working on!
The Lord reveals that not listening and making adjustments for the one you love, only harms you. This includes not listening to Him. Jer 25:7 “But you did not listen to me," declares the LORD, "and you have provoked me... and you have brought harm to yourselves." He wanted them to put their faith and trust in Him but they didn't listen. They provoked Him instead. Be clear on this. Provoking someone is sinful. It is setting someone up to stumble. It is helping to create the spark that leads to anger and strife. Love does not operate like this.
Want a quick change in a contentious relationship? Find out immediately what two or three things you can change or do differently that will bless the one you are having trouble with. This wisdom is true for any relationship. Ask them if you can do an exchange - two changes for two changes. Then do them until the changes become the new norm. (Be patient because changes take root by repetition and at first, it's easy to forget the change you want to make. Purpose to help each other remember in a kind way. You'll be amazed at how much of a difference it can make. When you've knocked off two, don't stop there! This is one good way to turn a struggling or fractured relationship around and instead, take it to a higher level.
Changes that someone asks you to make might seem silly to you, but if it's not to them and you can do it - then by all means do it! Honor them and demonstrate your love by fulfilling their request. You'll find you've moved from the land of provoking to a greater place of love and much more peace!
Romans 12:10 (NLT) "Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More... 


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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The $50 Lesson: A Story of Conservative Values


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The $50 Lesson: A Story of Conservative Values
Author Unknown

Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day.

Both of her parents, liberals, were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?” She replied… “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.” Her parents beamed with pride!

“Wow…what a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that!” I told her. “What do you mean?” she replied.

So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out and give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”


She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?” I said, “Brilliant my dear, you now understand conservative values.”

Her parents aren’t speaking to me anymore.

Matthew 25:29 (NLT) To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Your Destiny and Purpose are Important to God!


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Last week I ran into a person that was really discouraged. After listening to him, I encouraged him in the promise from God’s Word that the Lord encouraged me with that very morning. I watched his countenance lift and a smile come to his face as I shared with him and then prayed for him.


We are daily surrounded by people who are wandering through life, trying to figure it out. They may work to figure out an answer they can live with, but the truth is, it won’t last. They’ll get confused again. They’ll never really understand what life is about nor their God-given destiny until they have committed their life to Jesus. It is at that time and only at that time that His Holy Spirit begins to unfold and reveal to us the plans and purposes of God.

This is what is meant by the verses in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 TLB which say that "no mere man has ever seen, heard, or even imagined what wonderful things God has ready for those who love the Lord. But we (Christians – those who have committed their life to Christ) know about these things because God has sent His Spirit to tell us, and His Spirit searches out and shows us all of God's deepest secrets."

Part of God's phenomenal plan and one of His great secrets that He reveals to us is that He takes ordinary people like you and me and calls us kings and priests in the earth. Revelation 5:10 says, “You have made them to be kings and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." “Reign on earth.” Doesn’t that sounded powerful? But what does it mean?

Look around you. Is it difficult to see the demonic forces of Satan working in the earth? Can’t you see the greed, destruction, corruption, and evil that has invaded this earth? There will be a time where God will deal with these demonic forces once for all. But at this time, as a king you take authority in prayer over these invading forces. You cast down evil imaginations. You cast out fear. You know who you are in Christ. You pray in faith knowing that God is working on your behalf. As a priest, you are able to learn, know, and discern God’s will and be the priest of encouragement to your family and the world around you. That has everything to do with your destiny.

It is easy for you to look in the mirror, see your own shortcoming, be aware of your sins and failings, and think, “How could I ever be used of God?” The truth is, every person God ever used had major shortcomings and failings, all while they were being used by God.

Your life is and will be a process of learning and practicing to become more Christ-like. But God has already received you and washed your sins away and made you righteous in His eyes. It can be so difficult to put your arms around the magnitude of that kind of love. Nonetheless, it’s true! Despite your shortcomings—it’s one of the secret truths of God—He’ll use you, even though you feel unworthy and inadequate. And if you will spend the time with Him, He’ll speak to you through His Word each and every day. He will give you a word of encouragement for yourself, and one that will also encourage someone who needs it in the course of your day. You need to be aware of that. Why? Because you are presently a king and a priest reigning on this earth until He returns. Be aware of that and you are walking in your destiny!

Isaiah 50:4 (NLT) “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are You Distracted or Focused? Blessings Lie With Focused!


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you ever get distracted? Of course you do! We all do. And because we do, we have to learn to get focused. People who easily get distracted are also people that listen poorly. They are people who have a difficult time learning. They are people who struggle to work from the beginning to the end of a project or task in a reasonable time frame. Getting distracted and not paying attention is also the provoker and igniter of many relational schisms.

There was a time when God needed Moses attention and he did not want him to be distracted. We read about it in Exodus 24:12 (NKJV). "Then the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them."

Moses is a new leader. Not young in age but young in leading God's people. I'm sure his mind was often spinning concerning the things God asked him to do. God wanted to give Moses the Ten Commandments and asked him to come up to the mountain. In speaking to Moses, God said, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them." Look at those words and you will notice something funny. God said, "Come up to the mountain... and then continues by saying, "and be there..."

Why did the Lord say "Come up... and be there...?" Just go back to the last time you sat down to read and mediate on God's Word or when you went to spend time in prayer. Did you find your mind drifting to other places? When you were in church, did you find your mind drifting to other places? When you’re talking to other people or better yet when they are talking to you, do you find your mind drifting to other places? That's probably why the Lord said, "Come up... and be there." 

When it comes to God, being frequently distracted turns a personal relationship with God to religion. You all know what religion is. It's going through the motions of religious obligation and almost wanting to be distracted because it's so boring. That is what religion is—mindless religious experiences.  Most people I know who grew up in a religious church know exactly what I am talking about.

Having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, is anything but mindless or religious. When you receive Jesus into your heart, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you and He opens your eyes to see the world through God's eyes. He opens your heart to help you learn and understand the scriptures. He helps you pray anywhere and at anytime to truly engage with God. This isn't religion—it's relationship!  And like any relationship, you have to keep from being distracted. With God it's even more important to do so, so that it doesn't become mindless religion but maintains that personal intimacy.

God doesn't want us going through religious motions which is exactly what we are doing when we come to Him but aren't with Him. It's about the same as when your wife is talking to you but you have your mind on the television or business or the football game or whatever. She knows she doesn't have your attention and there is no real communion going on. But then the husband wants her full attention in bed later that night.

Being distracted can get us into trouble with our boss, with our spouse, and in a multitude of ways. Becoming focused and keeping our mind on what is set before us actually builds character over time. Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT) "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil." In this case, evil isn't just sin. It's the distraction that causes you to wander.

Whether it's with God or with those we are supposedly with—are we really there? Are we listening and paying attention? Are we there to make the moment work? Let's learn from God! "Come... and be there!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Monday, April 18, 2016

I'm Imperfect But Still Used of God!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


You are a work in progress. You know that don’t you? If you don't know and understand that, you need to. What you should be confident about is that if you lean upon the Lord, He is the one that is going to help you follow out and succeed in the plan He has for your life. The Apostle Paul said it like this in Philippians 1:4-6. "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

God can and will carry out His plan in your life, IF you will do your part. What is your part? I'll tell you what's not your part. It's not to be perfect! That isn't going to happen. But your part is to stay close to the Lord by reading and meditate on His Word. It's also to be in church (not because it's a sin if you don't!) but to meet and fellowship with other believers. They are going to help you grow! Your part is to pray and invite God into every part of your life so the Holy Spirit can work in you! This isn't something hard! It's actually pleasurable, exciting, and capable of turning your life around, leading you to God's abounding blessings! it's the beginning of glorious adventures in God!

Developing godly relationships with people is critical because one of the primary ways God speaks to you is through His people. That will be your Pastor. It will also be other Christians you've developed a relationship with in church. God will also use people (like me writing to you today) to speak into your life. He'll also use people to pray for you. Their prayers will be for God to help you, and to be a covering of protection against the devices of Satan against you. From there, if you will just listen to the Spirit of God as He speaks through His Word and through people He has brought into your life, you'll be a work in progress that makes it to completion.

God is working in you! He wants you to have strong faith that He is working in the midst of the circumstances in your life. He wants you to have strong faith that His supernatural power is working in you and through you to touch, bless, and influence the lives of others for the Lord. God isn't waiting for you to be perfect. Read the gospels. You will see that the Lord used His disciples at all stages of their spiritual growth and maturity. Did they make mistakes in the process? Absolutely! Did that stop the Jesus from having them touch others with His love and power? No! Mark 16:20 NLT says, "And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs."  

Despite their imperfection, they went out to represent Jesus and God did miracles through them! Wow! That's what He will do through you and me—despite our imperfection! Galatians 3:5 (NLT) says, "I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ."  You will make mistakes. You will have times of doubt and fear. But in those times, you need to stand in your faith, and say Thank you Lord for your love and mercy and always being with me and working through me!  There will be many times where you need to get back up, brush yourself off, and ask God to forgive you when necessary, and ask Him to use you again and again.

One of the most vivid memories of my daughter Stephanie's childhood is the day I taught her to ride her bike. She was nervous and afraid. She did not want me to let go of the bike as I ran along side of her down the sidewalk. After a while she started to get the hang of it and I let her go. She didn't even realize it until she was at the end of the block and I was far behind. It was just a short time later she wanted to ride to my parents’ house. They lived a few blocks away. As we were riding over there, she turned a corner, slipped in some sand and went down. Her cry seemed as loud as one of those air-raid sirens that go off each month. It took me a while to comfort her and calm her down. Then I had to get her back on that bike. It was hard for her but she did get back on—cautiously. And then we continued to my parents house without falling. And, as you would expect, she went on to enjoy riding her bike.

God is a supernatural God and wants to work in and through our lives. You will make mistakes as you learn to let God use you. You’ll fall off your bike, but when you do, don’t quit. Have faith and try again. Believing is the key! Faith in what God promises is the key to receiving from God and being used of God. Faith isn't just hoping God will do something. Faith is a place you come—knowing that God will do what He says He'll do! Faith comes by hearing the Word of God in your heart through all the ways I shared with you, through praying, through reading, and staying close to Him!

Ask Him to use you and touch someones life with His love today! You may be their first step toward someone coming to the Lord or back to the Lord. Be used today!

Philippians 1:6 (NLT) "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Precious Irena Sendler: A Heroine and Inspiration!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



Precious Irena Sendler: A Hero and Inspiration! 
(Author Unknown)

On 12 May 2008, Irena Sendler died of pneumonia at the age of 98 in Warsaw. This amazing woman was truly a heroine and an inspiration beyond words! 

During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive' ... 

She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German.) Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..) She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize ... She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
Isaiah 62:1 (NLT) "Because I love Zion, 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

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More...


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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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/