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Friday, June 30, 2017

A Penny for your Thoughts

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A Penny for your Thoughts (Author Unknown)  

I'll never again pick up a penny without thinking of this.


Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.

The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts.


Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been valuable. A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before. What was the point of this?

"Look at it," he said. "Read what it says." She read the words "United States of America." "No, not that; read further." "One cent?" "No, keep reading." "In God we Trust?" "Yes!" "And?" "And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription.

It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it. God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him. Who am I to pass it by?

When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful." When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh.

Yes, God, I get the message. It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful.
And God is patient.


Psalms 9:10 "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Is the Gut Feeling That's Prompting You From God?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A better word for a gut feeling is Premonition. I think most people are familiar with that word. The dictionary defines it like this: a sense that something of the future is about to occur; a sense of impending evil or misfortune; a warning in advance.

Is there such a thing as premonitions? Absolutely! Do most people understand them? Absolutely not! The world's view and understanding of them is mostly born out of man-made theories, religious cults, and wrong spiritual ideas originating from the imaginations of men—not from the truth of God's Word, the Bible. Listen to what I am going to say closely.

Anyone or anything that teaches about the future outside of what God has revealed to us from the scriptures is cultish, demonic, and opens the door for Satan to manipulate your thinking and eventually your behaviors. Satan thrives on lies, confusion, and fear. They are the empowering forces that mislead people in their beliefs about the future and the dead.

There are those who for reasons of curiosity or entertainment, read horoscopes, visit fortune tellers, listen to psychics, or to those who say they can speak to the dead. People that have lost a loved one and so earnestly desire to speak with them are ripe for this deception and are often those that most gravitate toward it. There is a whole new wave of television shows about people seeing into the past and future and talking to the dead. Hollywood producers are ignorant of God’s Word and have no idea that they are pawns in Satan’s hand to push demonic influence. It may be just entertainment, but this becomes the seed planted in people's minds that there might be something to this stuff. People can unknowingly be used of Satan to help facilitate deception or false powers that appear to be supernatural. Have you ever played with a Ouija board? People come to believe in those things. Belief is faith, whether it be in the things of God or the things of Satan. Those that write horoscopes, tell fortunes through Tera cards, read palms or crystal balls—those that call themselves psychics, and those that communicate with the dead ARE being used of Satan. They can influence your belief system and naively lead you into demonic activity. Renounce them and run from them!

God instructed His people through Moses saying, "When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you … who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritists or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD… But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so." Deuteronomy 18:9-14 NIV

Satan's deception will increase in the earth as we get closer to Jesus' second coming. That way, people will attribute miracles to false sources other than from Almighty God through Jesus Christ. Satan has always had this plan and God's final condemnation of it is coming! Revelation 19:20 NIV says, "But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur."

I started out saying that there are real premonitions but people don't understand them. They are often leadings or warnings of the Holy Spirit. John 16:13 says that the Holy Spirit will “guide us into all truth… and He will show or tell you things to come.” God makes His supernatural help, practical in our life. He wants the inward prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a normal part of a Christian’s walk. This was never meant to be spooky or overly mystical. It takes time and maturing in the Word of God to sort out your own imaginations from God’s promptings. What we think God is telling us, has to be measured and in line with God’s Word and character. In learning His voice and promptings, you will make mistakes. Prideful spiritual people want to convince you they always know what God is telling them. It’s not true! Discernment concerning God’s voice and how He guides you and speaks to you comes with time and experience. Sometimes you will have listened accurately. Sometimes not. God is pleased when you try to listen to and be led by His Spirit and His Word. He is able to correct your mistakes when you've thought you heard from Him but it was just your imagination. There is no condemnation in saying, I thought this might be God leading me, but I think it was just my imagination. In time, as you learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit within you, you will become more accurate in discerning Him.

Sometimes God has led me to take a class. Sometimes to help a neighbor. Sometimes to develop a discipline in my life. Sometimes to call or bless someone and encourage them. Sometimes to share Jesus with someone. He speaks to me daily through His word to encourage and direct my thinking. He will lead you like this most every day if you will pay attention. The goal of Bible reading isn't to read for a specific amount of time. It's to read until His Word speaks to your heart. When that happens, stop and mediate on it what He is speaking to you!

The very verses he leads you to read and meditate on in the morning may be the verses that He uses to warn you from blowing it in a coming temptation that day. Or your verses may be the exact ones you need to encourage the heart of someone who is pouring out their heart to you later in the day. Sometimes that prompting is to pray. Maybe you know what to pray for. Maybe you don’t.

One morning I woke up early, immediately feeling impressed to get out of bed and pray. I asked the Lord, Who and what am I praying for? Not that I’d always get and answer but this time I did. He said, For yourself. That struck me as unusual but I did obey and pray. I prayed until that urge to pray left me. That day I was taking a flight to Washington DC. Our airplane was in a near miss. We missed crashing into a 747 by the distance of 900 yards. It later made the news. That day God saved my life. He warned me so I could pray and change the evil that Satan intended.

God’s voice is the only voice to listen to. He is so very precious. He is God but also called us His friend. Friends listen to each other and help each other. Will you listen to Him?

Psalms 25:5 (NLT) "Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Your Calling as God's Treasured Possession

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


To this day, one of the most mind-boggling thoughts of my life is to think that I knew about Jesus, but didn't understand His love or what He really did for me! I went to church the first 18 years of my life, participated in serving, heard the stories of the birth and death of Jesus Christ, and at the age of 24 still didn’t understand why Jesus died or how it personally affected me. I had a friend who served in Viet Nam. He jumped on a hand grenade that was thrown in his tent, so he could save his friends. I thought that was as bad as Jesus dying on a cross. I could not make the distinction. And again, I couldn't because I didn't understand what Jesus had accomplished at the cross for you and me!

Radio, television, cable, and all forms of media, broadcast a variety of mediums about the truth of Jesus Christ daily. I realized that people can be surrounded by God's efforts to get the truth of Jesus and what He did for us, to them, yet not know it. People sing along with songs, watch the movies, and celebrate national holidays about Jesus' birth and resurrection and still do not understand the truth of what God wants us to know about Jesus. 

In the Old Testament, Israel was first a name that God gave Jacob.  Then the name Israel was used to describe the sons of Jacob and their families. Then God began to call all of the descendants of Jacob, Israel. When God delivered His people from Pharaoh in Egypt and addressed them as Israel, through Moses, He revealed another name He had for them—“His treasured possession.” He would continue to reveal who He was to them. He would instruct them how to live so that they could learn, imitate, and emulate His ways. Through these descendants of Jacob called Israel, He would reveal Himself and teach the world who He was as God to them. This was the calling of the Jewish people—becoming a particular nation of people, God's chosen people—through whom He would reveal, His love, His character, His ways, and His instruction for moral, upright behavior and attitudes for the world to learn. They would be responsible to be a light to the world and to share God and all His ways with the world. It says in Exodus 19:5-6 (NIV)“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…” They would all be in a sense, influencers to impart God's ways to the world.

Through Jesus Christ, God extended that privilege and responsibility to His Church—to those who would believe in Jesus and what He did for us. We would become His body in the earth. It says in 1 Corinthians 12:27 (NIV), "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." Through Christ, we would become a light to this world—a light to shine before all men. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

The church is the body of Christ. As His body in the earth, we've all been given the commission to help share the love of Jesus Christ—who He was, and is, and what He has done for us. We are to share how He died for our sins and that through His mercy and forgiveness of our sins, He has offered us the gift of eternal life.  No one, including me, was EVER meant to be in a church all their life without learning that Jesus paid the debt for our sins so that we could have eternal life as a GIFT. I was led to believe that I had to earn my way into Heaven by becoming good enough. I couldn't ever seem to accomplish that. Until knowing this truth, I wanted to run from God because I was sure I'd go to Hell. And I believed this while going to a church every Sunday! Can you believe it? You can if you've experienced the same thing I did!

A friend of mine shared his experience with me after he started attending our church, “Pastor Tim, I have attended church with my wife for over 30 years. It seemed like the right thing to do for myself and my family. It was a religious experience in ceremony more than anything else. My mind frequently drifted during the service. There were readings from the Bible in church, but they were never talked about as God's Word to us. They were just like a religious saying or quote. I was truly bored to tears but felt obligated to go. Then someone invited me here. Since I have started coming here, I feel like I have been in school learning the most basic things about God from the Bible, that I should have learned and known all my life. I had never read the Bible until coming here, and I was in a church all my life. Now I can’t stop reading it. And I can feel God speaking to me through it! For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a real and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I never knew church could be like this."

Churches are not all created equal. Many exist but leave people not knowing or understanding who Jesus is. They've made him a religious figure instead of the Savior or our souls. They leave us ignorant of knowing His love and the sacrifice made so we could have eternal life—as a gift, not something we can be good enough to earn!

God called those who knew Him, "His treasured possession." We can't be that if we don’t first know Him personally ourselves. It is so important to get into a church that teaches the truths of God from the Bible so that you can learn of Him and understand how to be that "treasure possession" of God to this world. When that happens, you'll overflow with His love and it will spill in words, kindness, and other ways to the world around us. Your life will begin to fulfill 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV): "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have...gentleness and respect..." This was the reason God raised up Israel and the Jews. And, it has become our inheritance and calling also through Jesus Christ. Know this, and let your life and love for God fill your heart and overflow to the world around you. You are called as His "treasured possession."

If you don't think you know Jesus to the degree you should, please read this to help you! "The Road to God's Forgiveness and Salvation, and the Gift of Eternal Life." 


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 26, 2017

Words Matter: They Impart Life or Death

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I recently noticed a brownish water spot in the corner of our office ceiling. Then we noticed a little wallpaper peeling away. That wasn't good. Years ago we noticed a missing shingle on our roof and didn't know if it had caused any damage or not. We had it fixed, but now years later, we found where it leaked to. Thank God it was small and the leak was already fixed so we had a minimal amount of work to do to fix the ceiling.

Words are like water. Water and gravity work together to find openings where that water can leak through. If there is a crack, water will find its way. This is also true with words.
They find a way to come out. We’ve all experienced times where words that should have never been spoken, managed to somehow find their way to our tongue and slip (or blast) out—usually to our regret!They may have taken the form of complaining or whining. They may have manifested as anger or yelling or rage. Or they may have come in a way that too often seems acceptable—in the insidious form of gossip or backbiting. Whatever form they take, words, like water, leak, and oh do they cause regret! That's why James 3:8-11 NIV instructs us with a profound truth, "… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

The tongue, or the words that come from our mouth, are simply the outward expression of what is in our heart. Do you wonder how developed your Christian character is? Just listen to your words! We all know that not everything in our heart is good. Jeremiah 17:9 NIV describes the heart without Jesus. It says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can understand it?" The moment we gave our life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took residence with us and began the process of purifying our heart. We need the Lord to purify our heart but that is a life-long process and the words we speak are the proof of it. They too often expose the negative or wrong thinking that has not been purged, and that still embarrassingly lives in our heart.

Rain is the primary source of roof leaks. A dissatisfied heart, insecurities, and selfish desires are the primary source of the negative words that leak from our mouth. The Bible teaches us that evil behavior primarily comes from selfish desire, ambition, and jealousy over what others have, and the ongoing fear of not being able to obtain what we want in life. James 3:13-16 NIV says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find strife in your relationships along with confusion and every imaginable evil that Satan can stir up through the open door of your wrong attitude and actions.”

Look at a teen who is trying to break out into his or her own selfish life; they often let themselves be influenced by people that don't know God's ways. They want to figure things out for themselves. They become self-focused and begin to debate and fight for their own way. They stop taking counsel and often begin to indulge in wrong thinking, speaking, and behavior. This is why it is important for families to be in strong churches that impart godly influence and instruction not just for teens, but at every age level.

Adults do that same thing. They allows themselves to become too busy to read and mediate upon the Word of God and pray. That weakens them, leaving them to their own selfish resolve—doing life to accommodate their way. Before long, like a leak, it shows up in your thinking and words. Words become loose and sloppy, unimportant, unguarded, and slowly become tools of destruction. God warns us of this saying,  "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)

Our hearts need the constant touch and presence of God in many forms. Church, Bible study and reading and meditating on God's Word daily, prayer, and fellowship with others that love God are just a few. They are absolutely critical to renewing your mind and consequently your words and behaviors! They are critical to a successful Christian walk. Godly atmospheres are how the body of Christ is strengthened to grow and mature! Godly atmospheres strengthen our perspective and help us stay focused on God’s love and promises to tangibly help us through life.

We need to pray and ask God in faith for help in every stressful and frustrating moment. Faith isn't a wish. It's faith that believes despite what it sees! Faith says, “God is with me and will help me. I just need to ask and believe.” It’s amazing how quickly this attitude can calm your heart and get you back on track. When you do that then this verse will become you. You will find strength to restrain words that destroy and instead, speak words that give life! “A man that has God's understanding uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered." “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life…” (Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 15:4 )

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Chicken Poop Blessing!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The following is a true story sent to me by one of my Fresh Manna readers. I am reprinting it by request. I thought it would bless you.

My younger sister Nancy who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago (followed by a lumpectomy and radiation). At 52 years of age, she found out a month ago that the cancer had returned and she had a double mastectomy almost two weeks ago. Nancy and I have a lovely, amazing cousin named Donna who is in her middle 60s. She is one of the very finest, wisest and most loving people we've ever known. She and her husband Wesley have an orphanage in the jungles of Ecuador, raising abandoned boys from the streets of Quito. When she heard about my sister Nancy's condition, she sent her this note.

Hi Nancy,

I was thinking of you and feeling deeply for you this a.m. and I decided to tell you a story.

Upon returning to Ecuador from the States early this month, as we approached our residence, we found 32 bags of chicken poop that was placed by the gate. Believe it or not...it was a gift. It was some of the nicest chicken poop I have found since living here. It was well aged so it didn't have that terrible stink and didn't attract many flies. How nice.

Why in the world would this be a nice gift? Well, we have lots of mandarin orange trees. Our trees were not doing very well, and some were even dying. The oranges were small and not very tasty. Wesley was talking to some friends about this, and they said chicken poop was the 'answer'. These bags don't usually come for free...not sure how much they cost, but probably over a dollar a bag...so what a nice gift that these thoughtful people had for us when we returned!

Wesley placed the chicken poop around all the orange trees, but I thought we would not see any changes until next crop. Well, not true! Even though the oranges were already on the trees ripening, they suddenly became bigger and better in just three weeks. The branches are now heavy with fruit.

Why was I thinking about this and you at the same time? Please don't take it personally except for the following:

When I think about what has happened to one of my most favorite people in the world...I feel like you were dealt some chicken poop. As the outcome of the oranges became something beautiful, I pray the outcome of your trial becomes something better and greater than you could ever imagine. Trials are so difficult to endure, but God our Savior, Creator, and never failing Friend truly does make all things come out for good. Not only for us, but He also demonstrates His faithfulness to the many around us who may observe our trials. I pray the Lord will continue to heal you, keep you pain free, and help you adjust to these changes. Your family is also in my prayers and close to my heart.

Isn't that just great??? I just laughed my head off, thinking of the Lord needing to spread chicken poop around my feet to make me more fruitful! But I think Donna has it exactly right. Our loving Father never allows difficulties to come, unless he uses them for our good.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

I could sure use more of this kind of fruit, couldn't you? So bring on the chicken poop!!!

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Power to Conquer Your Lame Excuses

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Most of us look at ourselves in a mirror daily. We see what we see. You see yourself through your eyes and from your perspective. Have you ever thought about how God sees you? Actually that thought scares too many people because they feel that in God's eyes, they don't measure up or they are in big trouble. They don't want to think about how God sees them.

As a Christian, it's important to learn not to look at yourself through your own eyes, but instead see yourself as God sees you. Do you know that this is the true key to supernatural change and what ignites the power to conquer your lame excuses for not obeying God in your life?

If you know the story of Moses, you know that the beginning years of his life were anything but normal. He was raised in the cross hairs of two cultures—Hebrew and Egyptian. They were two distinctly different religious and social cultures. It was easy for him to become confused over who he was in life and how he was supposed to walk his life out. He had to come to the place of discovery—deciding for himself what he believed and how he wanted to walk out his life.

The time came when his heart led him to choose the side of his Hebrew heritage. Once that decision was made, it grew in him until he was compelled to do something for God’s people—his people who were brutally oppressed. He failed in the worst way. He committed murder. Not on purpose. He was trying to protect a Hebrew slave from being beaten, but through his efforts, he accidentally killed the Egyptian taskmaster. He panicked and fled giving up all his hopes and dreams for a great many years. That is until one day God called upon Moses to remind him of why He put him on this earth and to guide him toward his destiny. God asked Moses to step out in faith and do something for Him. Let’s read about it and as we do, begin to see the battle of Moses excuses over his inadequacies, warring with the voice of God telling Moses who he was and who he could be with God working in and through him.

Exodus 3:10 NKJV “Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

We see Moses’ first excuse—those words that the devil teaches us all to parrot and build into our thinking—Who am I?

Verse 11 – “But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?"

Moses struggled with his identity. He didn’t feel worthy or prepared and was sure there were others beside himself who were more qualified. He was probably thinking—God you’ve got to be kidding! I am absolutely incompetent to do this!  Moses was seeing himself through his own eyes and in his own ability rather than listening to God’s voice. God was telling Moses that He would be with him to help him at every step. Moses, not unlike many of us, was afraid of failure. Most fears of failure in life are tied to the fear of the unknown, the scars of past failures, and the fear of public opinion and gossip. What is everyone going to think if I fail at this again? God answered Moses giving him a rod and the promise of signs and wonders to validate God was with him—the promise of a miraculous commissioning. Moses was still weak kneed.  

Look at God’s response. V12, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain." What could inspire more confidence in anyone than a commission and promise from God that He will back you and be with you!”

Then Moses offered his second excuse. Verse 13 Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, "What is His name? What shall I say to them?" God told him what to say.

Then Moses had his third excuse. Exodus 4:1 “Then Moses answered and said, But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, "The LORD has not appeared to you."'

God was so patient with Moses. He listened to his excuses and worked through each one with him. If you’re a dad and your child is telling you his excuses for being afraid to step out and try something, are you as patient to help him? Are you as willing to help him? Part of who he becomes is connected to your support and encouragement—you being his helper, his friend, and his supporter.

God desired to use Moses in spite of his extensive flaws and contradictions. God addressed his excuses and objections with great detail, assurance and power. What did Moses do? Offer more excuses.

Number Four Excuse: "I’ve never been eloquentI’m just not a good speaker." God helped him through that.

Then Excuse Five: I just can't do it—the one most people pull out of the bag before they walk away from God. Exodus 4:13 “But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send someone else."

All of the great leaders in the Bible outside of Jesus Christ were flawed, fearful of doing what God asked them to do, and tempted to decline with excuses. It’s easier to make excuses about our inadequacies than it is to take on a challenge at God’s request. We’re plagued by self-doubt. We say we don’t have the right skills for the job, and like Moses we may worry that people, even our families, won’t buy into our leadership—after all, Jesus’ own brothers and sisters didn't! 

God knew what Moses had in him, regardless of any shortcomings.  God ended up bringing Moses' brother Aaron in to help with the job assignment. That was God's second best. Time and again He supported and reassured Moses by addressing his fears and objections and by promising to be with him, giving him the tools he needed to succeed. God choose to cultivate and develop leadership in Moses which would eventually inspire the future leaders of Israel. He would become one who modeled  trusting God more than himself. This is where excuses are defeated—when one knows who He is in God, not in himself. This is where men become godly men and women become godly women. This is where families become a powerful light. This is where churches become centers of influence changing cities, states, and nations.

When God is leading you to do even small things that you are afraid to do, remember Moses being paralyzed with fear and how God helped him and taught him the answer to the question, Who am I? God is no respecter of persons and is waiting to help answer that question for you! The fulfillment of your destiny begins with one step of obedience to God at a time.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What is God's Will For You: Lack and Despair or Provision and Abundance?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever been in a tough place financially? I have written many times to you telling you of Renee and my early days of marriage. When we first got married, we were both individually making a good income. We had bought a house and still had decent discretionary income left over after our expenses. We had both always tithed and brought offerings to church, to God, in obedience to His Word and as thanksgiving, acknowledging His Lordship, love, blessings, and provision for us.  

Financially we were at best, okay stewards of God’s money. Frankly we blew a lot of money eating out, on entertainment, and more. We didn’t save much and we avoided the topic of budgeting. We hated the thought of financial restraint.  We had travel benefits from our jobs at the airline and so we spent extra money traveling whenever we could.  

When we began to have children, that all changed. Renee wanted to quit her job which I agreed to. Our income was cut by more than half since Renee made more money than me at that time. We were soon financially strapped and on the edge of financial woes. As we prayed, God led me to starting a commercial painting company to bring in additional income. It added a lot of work to my life but I wasn’t afraid of hard work. I wanted to be a good provider and this greatly helped with our finances.  

We were young and inexperienced at life. We had so much to learn in every area. We wanted to learn. We wanted to learn to become wiser in managing our finances and learning all that it meant to be a good steward for God. It seemed as though we were continually hearing from the pulpit about the importance of building our foundation for our Christian walk, not only on the gospel and living according to God's word, but also on having faith in the promises of provision God. People wiser than us warned us that financial stress ruined marriages. We had begun to see marriages around us blow up over a lack of finances. We did not want that to happen to us. We wanted to learn to lean on God in this area just like every other area we trusted Him for.  

Renee and I began study the Word of God learning what God promised us concerning supernatural provision. What we learned was amazing. God had always promised His children that He would bless them greatly if they would walk in His ways. No one can do that perfectly but God isn’t looking for perfection. Our righteousness or right standing with God is based on what Jesus did for us, not in our perfection. God is looking for pure hearts and diligent effort. 

God’s will is to bring us into a place where we are lacking nothing. As you read these verses you will see God’s heart of love and provision for His people. Deuteronomy 8:6-10 NLT "So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with springs that gush forth in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, olives, and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

God hasn’t changed. He wants to bring each of us into His place of His provision where there is no lack in our lives. This won’t happen like magic, nor will it happen over-night. It is a process that happens over time as we live by faith. It's a time of God developing our character in trusting Him at every fiery trial. God told Moses and then Joshua He would be bringing them into a land inhabited by enemies. Through faith, they would have to face them and defeat them. By faith, God would drive out those that opposed them before their very eyes! Deuteronomy 7:1-2 NIV says, “When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-- and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy (don’t compromise with sin.”)

The Apostle Paul taught us that we no longer fight flesh and blood in our day-to-day experience as they did then. Today we fight principalities and powers—demonic attacks of Satan. The lust of our own flesh, the greed and corruption that is in this world, and the devices of Satan to discourage us from our faith are the modern-day tactics of the enemy that we all face. These are the enemies we must face in faith. If we do, God will help us defeat them daily. As we live as good stewards—managing our money and bringing our tithes and offering to Him, we open ourselves to the blessing God wants for any of His children that put their faith in His promises.

Over time, as we live this out before God in faith, we will be blessed and experience His supernatural increase in our lives. You will notice it more in hindsight than at the moment! When we experience this blessing, God says that the greatest challenge we will face is our own pride—thinking that we had something to do with our blessing of increase instead of Him.

Deuteronomy 6:10-13 NIV “When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

And again in Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NIV “You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me. But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so establish His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.”

Does this sound like God wants you poor and lacking? God wants to bless you and wants you to remember that its His doing when it does happen! I strongly encourage you to go through the scriptures in Deuteronomy chapter 6 and Chapter 8 for yourself and be convinced of what God wants for you—abundance without forgetting where it came from!

3 John 1:2 (NKJV) "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Only Source of Strength, Comfort, and Peace

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


People need help and comfort in hard places. People need to find peace in their life.  It’s difficult to live in constant turmoil or seasons of trouble and pain without being able to find some kind of peace and strength.  

If people don’t know God, they are either going to medicate their way into a better place through any variety of alcohols, drugs, and pleasure fixes, or, they will fabricate or contrive imaginary things they can draw strength and peace from, or both! This isn’t anything new. This is something mankind has done since its been contaminated and hurt by sin and lost it's way from God.

In latter days, people made idols, imagined spiritual beings, worshipped and prayed to animals or the dead, and much more. Somehow people feel safer today. Every nation, tribe, and people have created gods and fixes for though woes that come from living outside of God. It's a result of a more contemporary wrong thinking when they go to fortune tellers or read horoscopes or rely on some “saint” in Heaven to be bringing them help. Not only are these things scripturally unfounded, they are an abomination to the Lord. It is the creation of people or things replacing and doing the work of God. God alone can bring us real and lasting help, peace and strength. The rest is simply modern-day idol worship.  


Ecclesiastes says "There is nothing new under the sun." False promise of peace and comfort from people or things that cannot bring peace has been offered through the ages. We read in Habakkuk 2:18-19 and Isaiah 8:19-20: "What have you gained by worshiping all your man-made idols? How foolish to trust in something made by your own hands (or mind!) What fools you are to believe such lies! How terrible it will be for you who beg lifeless wooden idols to save you. You ask speechless stone images to tell you what to do. Can an idol speak for God? They may be overlaid with gold and silver, but they are lifeless inside. But the Lord is in his holy Temple."  “So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics? Do not listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God? Check their predictions against my testimony, says the Lord. If their predictions are different from mine, it is because there is no light or truth in them.”  

If  your source(s) of supernatural help, comfort, or peace comes from anyone other than God, it’s not a real source  but a form of idolatry. They won’t bring peace. They'll steal it.

You might ask, Why would God want to help us?  The answer is simple. He wants to help us because of the depth of His love for us. We know deep down we don’t deserve, but that did not deter the Lord or Jesus' work at the cross to save us from our sins! Titus 3: 4-5 NIV describes it saying, “…  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy...”  

Meditate on words from God such as these, and begin to thank God for this kind of love, and you will feel His peace & comfort come. We can draw peace and strength from His promises of love and help such as in Psalm 91:4-7 NLT.  “…His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you…” His Word is filled with promises of His love and help! As we stand in faith for His promised help, strength, and peace, trusting that He is true to His word, we will being to see it manifest in our lives! That’s not imaginary! That is real! Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

I remember when I was a younger man with four small children and many needs. I had plenty of opportunity to worry. Renee and I made the decision to reject worrying and instead pray and proclaim God’s promises continuously over our lives. We weren’t expecting magic. We were expecting God to lead us in peace through our tough situations, helping us in each step along the way. And He did! Little blessings  - touches of His love and assurance and help that could be missed by unthankful people, happened in our lives again and again. Some thought we were just lucky! We weren't. Jesus died to pay the price for our blessings and we simply and wholeheartedly believed! We could see the touch of His love and answer to our prayers. He was always with us! o us, Romans 3:4 was a core belief! It says, “Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true...” And 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ…” 

His promises have continually manifested over time and our lives are filled with evidence of His goodness and promises fulfilled today!

God is our source – our only source of comfort, strength and peace. Philippians 4:7 TLB, says it best! “If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”   

Don't let your thinking, hope or life be contaminated by the artificial and temporary comforts that alcohol, drugs, vices, and the ra-ra of false systems of peace and success. There is only one source and that is our Living God, and we have access to Him and His promises through Jesus' Christ alone. Receive Him today: The Road to God’s Forgiveness and Salvation, and the Gift of Heaven

Isaiah 41:10  “Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Strive to be a Great Dad and Grandpa!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Happy Father's Day

Job 39:13-18 says, "The ostrich flaps her wings grandly, but they are no match for the feathers of the stork. She lays her eggs on top of the earth, letting them be warmed in the dust. She doesn't worry that a foot might crush them or that wild animals might destroy them. She is harsh toward her young, as if they were not her own. She is unconcerned though they die, for God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding. But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.” 

The Ostrich loves to be known for it's great speed. That’s the ostrich’s claim to fame. That’s where it gets its kudos. That’s what feeds it's pride. But the ostrich doesn’t value what God deems important – looking out for her children. She doesn’t care about the protection of her children from the evils that work to destroy them. She is harsh with them as though they were an inconvenience and interference in her life. She has no emotional concern for them as her heart has become so hardened toward them because of her own selfishness. It says God has deprived her of wisdom. In the big picture, God liberally gives wisdom to those that ask but, Jesus also said “don’t cast your pearls before swine.” In other words, He doesn’t give wisdom to people what they would only mock, trample underfoot, or waste it.

Proverbs 17:6 says, “Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” I have grandchildren. They are a crown to me. They are precious. They help me relive and see the beauty of things I’ve forgotten about because I get to see life through their eyes all over again. They bring fresh love and they refresh life itself.

The verse continues “and the glory of children are their fathers.” Fathers, are you the glory of your children? Do you love them? Do you think about the big picture and because of it raise them to know God and His Word? You won’t unless you personally put God first! Do you help them experience God through a local church that teaches God's Word and ways? You won’t unless it's your personal priority! Do you lovingly bring correction when they disobey you or your wife? You won’t unless you understand that correction, instruction, and training is the outworking of God's love! Do you encourage them to look to God for help and experience His grace? You won’t unless you are one to continuously seek His help in your own life. Do you model and teach them discernment and restraint? Do your help them to discern good from evil in their decision making? You won’t unless you yourself have learned to use restraint from fleshly desires. Do you sacrifice your own time to spend time with them? Did you know that the leading answer from children, to the question, What would like more of in life? was, Quality time with my dad!

Children want their dad’s love and approval. Children want a protector. Children want boundaries that you will enforce—even if their flesh screams for fleshly desires just like yours does. You may see tantrums but at the end of the day, what they really want is good and right. They want a dad that is wise enough to know this and courageous enough to enforce right attitudes and behaviors.

I have found that in this season of life, my adult children want no less love from their dad. As adults, they want it in the new format of friendship. They want a rich friendship from me. They still want love and approval. They want to make me proud. They want the space to make the same mistakes I did, and when given that space, they want to occasionally ask for my wisdom.

Children, when raised right, will never outgrow their need for their father’s love just was we will never outgrow our need for God’s love. They want the option to be able to sit down and talk heart to heart with dad when needed, and to be listened to without the interjection of our solutions and fixes. They still want to occasionally play together. They want to have a great relationship and love for their father because they know deep down, “the glory of children is their father.” 

It’s never too late to be a good dad! Their may be cases when bridges have been burned and they seem irreparable. They aren’t with God. All things are possible, and love never fails! So, get out there and be a great dad and grandpa! With God at the center, it's what makes the world rich!

Isaiah 38:19 “The living, the living--they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 16, 2017

Humor: My Guide To Understanding Women

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My first book "Understanding Women" has finally arrived in book stores: Just kidding ladies, hope you still love me! You are all a gift to us men!

Renee and I are on a short vacation this weekend and I will be back to writing next week. In  the meantime, read something from the archives. I pray that they are all timeless as far as God's presence and speaking to your heart! Bless you, Pastor Tim 



Proverbs 17:22 (NLT) "A cheerful heart is good medicine..." 




His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? 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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/