About Tim Burt

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Disappointments Turned to Blessing Through Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Some time ago the daughter of some friends of ours—a young woman we love and consider precious, lost her first baby to miscarriage. This was cause for great disappointment for all. We felt their pain and prayed for their faith and peace as this couple tried again for a child.

Disappointments are a part of life that happen because of the evil, pain, and hurt that Satan has sown into this earth. When we face them, it is so critical that we keep from making a harmful mistake—a mistake that unfortunately, take far too many down a road of deception. The mistake that needs to be guarded against in a time of disappointment, is to think that God let you down or didn't answer your prayer.

God does hear and answer our prayers if they are according to His Will. 1 John 5:14-15 says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him." This is why it's so important to spend time in the Word of God and come to learn, understand, and know what the will of God is.

Some people go through life and treat God as a genie. God do this and God do that. Other than asking for something whenever they are in need or trouble, they don't spend much time with God. The majority of prayers are lifted not in faith but in at best, in hope, and often shrouded in worry! God says this: Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) "And 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." Our prayers our heard when they are according to His will. Our prayers are answered when they are prayed in faith—a belief and trust in what the Lord said is true!" God is not playing a game with us. Sincere heart faith is what destroys the work of the devil. Nothing else does!

God cares about every detail of our life—even more than we do!  He wants us to let Him know of every need. That does not offend him. Philippians 4:6 reveals this powerful benefit to us saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Having said all this, when disappointment comes to your life, the first thing to make sure you don't do is let your mind go down the wrong path thinking God didn't answer my prayer. If you have a relationship with Him and you've asked in faith, then you need to trust God. As the old saying goes, It's not over till it's over. Even when it looks like everything has gone wrong, God has a plan to turn every evil of Satan to the benefit of His children when we hold on in faith. The story of Joseph's life illustrates that maybe better than any other. (Genesis chapters 37-45)

In Matthew 1:19-20 we read the story of Joseph and Mary. Joseph was greatly disappointedprobably crushed by Mary's revelation that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. He just couldn’t wrap his understanding around that. He couldn’t believe her. In his mind he had figured out a plan. He would quietly divorce her. That was the best his mind could come up with. But he didn’t blame God or shut God out in anger. He kept his heart open and God gave Him a better plan—His will! We read in, Matthew 1:19-20 NIV “Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." 

God took Joseph past his disappointment into His will for their lives. Joseph would not have heard this if he had let his disappointment become anger at God. He kept his heart right toward God and God turned his disappointment into blessing. God will do that for us if we stay close to Him, keep our situations before Him, and in faith trust Him! Learn to conquer your disappointments with faith and know that if you stay in that place, God will take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good!

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV  “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

What Christian Friends Do For Each Other!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was remembering back to a weekend that my son Peter called me. He wanted to go golfing. The course he wanted to play at would be close to the last choice on my list. I disliked the course because when I was a young and very poor golfer, this course humiliated me. I probably hadn’t played there in 15 years and I certainly wasn’t excited about giving it another chance, even if my golf game had improved since then. Even so, Peter used his persuasive efforts and I caved and said yes.

The first hole went poorly and I couldn't help but think, "Here we go again." As Peter and I were going to the second hole, I said, Petey, I want to pray over our golf game. Maybe you don't need help but I do! We prayed together as we drove up to the next hole. I felt better although my golf game wasn't reflecting it. Things stayed shaky for the next two holes. As I got in the golf cart after the third hole, I shook my head, looked at Peter and said, I hate this course. He looked back at me and laughed. Okay Dad, he said, I am going to remind you what you've taught me all these years. Do you remember these words? What you say is important! So, repeat after me. I love this course. It made me laugh. I forced out the words, I love this course. He said, Come on Dad, say it again and put some passion into it. I ramped it up and said, I really love this course. We both laughed. (He was enjoying this far too much!) Now, he said, I want you to keep saying it. This is what you’ve taught me all my life. It’s fair that I get to help you to speak right. I laughed again and said, You are absolutely right and I appreciate it! I continued Peter, I just taught this to a group of 300 men at my Manhood breakfast the past weekend. I had shared with them the verse Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” I went on to explain to Peter what I had taught the men regarding this verse. We all get the part of “iron sharpens iron.” The verse continues with extremely significant wisdom. “So a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.”


 If you meditate on these words, you begin to see that God has called you first to have friends - Christian friends that are Christ-minded and like-minded that you grow in the word with. Christians too often, don't get the significance of being in Christian community, learning, sharing, and praying together. In God's plan, it is critical to Christian growth and stability in the Lord. It's the reason I've always been discipleship groups of about 6 to 8 guys for the last 35 years. In my view, it has been the backbone to my continuous spiritual growth. I've been a blessing to the guys in my group and they've been the same to me. The world is dark and getting darker. These guys being Iron Sharpening Iron has helped each of us to be a light to each other and the world around us. In this atmosphere, friends get honest and transparent and that is where we help sharpen each other.

Again, God gives us a calling in friendship and that is “to sharpen the countenance of a friend.” What that really means is to bring hope – godly hope, to their situation. It’s not when one says, The economy is really bad and my business is tanking, and the other says, It’s bound to get better at some point. That in all likelihood will not change their countenance or encourage them in any way. It’s when you bring a promise of God to their situation and pray it over them that the anointing in you, pierces their heart, stirs their hope and lifts their countenance. That is God working through you to be Iron Sharpening Iron, something only God's word through you can achieve.

This weekend a woman came up to me after our church service. I have known her for years. She was suicidal. She said, "Pastor, I can't take life any more, I just want to go home to be with Jesus." This woman has battled depression on and off for years. But there is something about her that is so special. She is the most beautiful letter-writer you could ever imagine, and she can't write without encouraging you. It's powerful and exhorting. She has written me letters of thanks and encouragement for years.

For one second when she told me she was suicidal, I wasn't sure what to say, but then suddenly, God showed me. I told her, There are so many people in this world that are hurting and discouraged. They need someone to encourage them. Someone who sees the good in them and points it out in an edifying way. You are that person. It is a gift in you. You are one of the greatest exhorters I've ever known. If you'd see that as a calling on your life and put it to work full-time, you would see God use you and it would change your life. Then I prayed with her. I immediately watched her countenance change. She went from looking suicidal to radiant with a huge smile. God had touched her in a miraculous way. She left with a smile on a mission to encourage others.

What we speak matters! Words aren't trivial. They are containers that release power- good or bad. Words are what God created this world with. What we speak can be gas to a fire, or it can put out a fire and supernaturally bring hope and refreshing.  Friends have a calling and part of that calling is to be iron sharpening iron... sharpening the countenance of a friend.  Are you that friend? Do you understand that it's part of your Christian calling? Are you imparting words of faith and promise from God's word to your friends who need encouragement? It’s what you are called to do!

Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life..."

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






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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, November 27, 2017

When Your Feeling Under-Appreciated, Remember This!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Has anyone ever said love would be easy? If they did, they were lying or ignorantly mistaken. Why do I say that? Because the giver of love is people and people are imperfect vessels that love to receive love, but aren't always the greatest at showing love and appreciation or giving it.

If you have a spouse, a teenager, a friend, or someone who you love, but that is definitely not being, (in your opinion) as loving back as they could or should be when you extend love to them, then trying to maintain great feelings of love toward them is at least sometimes, a challenge. Some teenagers and young adults work too hard at becoming independent and almost become narcissistic in the process. Their life becomes all about them and what they want. It can almost seem like they've lost their sense of empathy, compassion, and appreciation for others. Reciprocating expressions of thanks and love seem to have been erased from their memory banks. As far as having or showing real affection or appreciation for the sacrifices parents make—that seems eons away from the big hugs and kisses that they showered mom and dad with when they were little.

This is the reason why it’s so critical to understand that though the good feelings of love can feel wonderful, love is much deeper than feelings. Jesus did not leave Heaven, come to the earth, be rejected by mankind-His very own creation, and die for our sins to give us eternal life because of feelings. His actions were born from love—pure love. It's a good thing that His love was deeper than feelings because He actually loved us while we were rejecting Him. Isaiah 53:3 NIV says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” God's Word says we did not esteem Jesus while He was loving us—we despised Him. And sometimes others don't esteem us while we are showing them love. There are no good feelings in rejection. Jesus demonstrated that love runs deeper than feelings and that’s why we can’t let our life and relationships and outflow of love, be ruined or stopped by feelings.

Every one of us falls short daily in what we owe God. In actuality, we don't owe God anything because He doesn't see it that way. What He did for us was a gift of His love and it came without cost meaning we don't owe Him for it. But we certainly should be filled with a lifetime of love and appreciation for it! 

Jesus taught that acts of love and kindness should lead to thanksgiving and appreciation. We all know the story of the ten lepers! Jesus healed them all but only one came back and thanked Him. Jesus questioned that because he wanted to teach us that love should be returned. But, looking too hard—expecting too hard for the kind of love and appreciation that should come as a response to your kind thoughts and actions, may only leave you disappointed and discouraged. Instead of looking for the loving responses from those that may be missing their mark of appreciation toward you, instead focus on giving that appreciation toward Jesus—the one who has continued to show you His love despite your thanklessness and disobedience at times. It will be easier for you to give love that isn't appreciated because that is what He did for you! That is what love does! Good feelings are feel good when everyone does what they should, but feelings should not control your attitude or the flow of your love!

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by what God has done for me. I was so messed up when I came to the Lord 39 years ago. He forgave my sins and has been incomprehensibly patient with me as He helped me turn my life around. He has taught me how to think, how to forgive, how to love, and much about godly character. He has given great purpose to my life and filled it with every good thing. He has taken me from debt to abundance, from sickness to wholeness, from discouragement to joy unspeakable, from wandering through life to a purpose-filled life. When I think on these things, I am overwhelmingly thankful. It produces greater feeling of love from me toward Him. It also creates more patience from me toward others that have forgotten how to say thank you. They did not esteem Jesus and likewise, people who should, might not show their appreciation toward me. And I am sure I also miss the mark on showing appreciation toward everyone that I should!

Being in the place of ministry that I am, I am constantly in the place where people cry out for help. It's normal and helping people is a part of what God has given me to do. It's what He's called us all to do! Ministering to the many needs of people is a never-ending task. Sometimes when people get what they need, they are happy, move on and forget you even helped them. It happened to Jesus.

We may or may not receive the thanks and appreciation we feel we deserve, but know that our love and kind actions toward others never escapes God's sight. And know this: "Love never fails..."(1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV) When our motivation for loving is pure and we've kept on loving despite how others respond to it, we have pleased God. He is our ultimate rewarder and promises to do so. Remembering that we too have had times of unthankfulness to Him will help us follow the example of Jesus—loving others just because it’s right; not because of how we feel or because they are succeeding and reciprocating your love. Love gives, so keep busy giving love! It's the highest road! 

John 13:35 (NLT) "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Starfish Story: One Step Towards Changing the World

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Starfish Story: One Step Towards Changing the World

You may have heard this one, but I find that it doesn't hurt to be reminded of it every once in a while.  First let me tell you the story, and then we can talk about it.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, ”Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

We all have the opportunity to help create positive change, but if you’re like me, you sometimes find yourself thinking, “I’m already really busy, and how much of a difference can I really make?”  I think this is especially true when we’re talking about addressing massive social problems like tackling world hunger or finding a cure for cancer, but it pops up all of the time in our everyday lives, as well. So when I catch myself thinking that way, it helps to remember this story.  You might not be able to change the entire world, but at least you can change a small part of it, for someone.

They say that one of the most common reasons we procrastinate is because we see the challenge before us as overwhelming, and that a good way to counter that is to break the big challenge down into smaller pieces and then take those one at a time–like one starfish at a time.  And to that one starfish, it can make a world of difference.

adapted from The Star Throwerby Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

"A single, ordinary person still can make a difference - and single, ordinary people are doing precisely that every day." Chris Bohjalian, Vermont-based author and speaker

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





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 


Donate now! 

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Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Abraham Lincoln's Message

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


May God’s richest blessings fill your heart and lives through the love of Jesus!  Happy Thanksgiving to All!  We are thankful for you! 

1 Chronicles 16:8 "Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people"


It seems as though there has been a great effort made over the last decade to hinder anyone from a child on up from freely talking about Almighty God whom we are thankful to for every good thing in our life.

A poem on Thanksgiving from a child in school today might read like this:

Thanks You Know Who…
The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what.
When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where.


May we please on this Thanksgiving, remember one of our past great leaders who had no reservations about speaking of the thanks and prayer due to Almighty God who has blessed our nation.

These are the words of President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863


"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

With this attitude, may we plan something with those we love, to give bold repentance and thanksgiving to our God who has blessed our great nation and is the only one who can put it back on track!" - President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863 




Psalm 94:17 (NLT) "Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave"

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






If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Have Faith! God's Got Your Back!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever had someone unexpectedly have your back when you really needed it. I was doing some fall leaf clean-up yesterday. I was just finishing up when I noticed my neighbor hadn't gotten to his leaves yet. At that moment, I felt impressed by God to go do it for him so I continued on and went to work on his yard. While I was working, he came outside walking slowly with his cane. He'd had some serious back issues and was sincerely appreciative of this unexpected blessing. He was thankful I had his back! It was really God that had his back!

Have you ever had anyone surprise you and do something extraordinarily nice for you something that was unexpected and beyond what you would have ever imagined? I have a few times over the course of my life and to this day, they are blessed memories that make me so thankful. With people, those occasions are not very frequent but with God, they can be.

The Lord has done things in my life continuously that can only be described by the verse in Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) that says, “Now to Him (God) who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

God by His nature, seldom does or works things out in a conventional way. He most often answers prayers in a way greater than we could ask or think. The more you get bogged down in your expectation of how God should answer your prayers, the more you miss seeing how He really does answer it! Your part is to trust and believe in His promises knowing that He delights in helping and blessing you. Faith in promises like this verse becomes His power working in us.  “...according to His power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)

People continuously get anxious over what they need or over what they don’t have. Far too many people don't know that God wants to help them with what they need and what they don’t have. They really don’t know God that way and consequently, have no real sincere faith that He would care to help them with the details and needs in their life. Many have been taught not to bother God. To many, praying is like breaking a turkey wishbone and making a wish. They know little or nothing about real Bible faith or trust in God's promises. The fact is, God desires to help you. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." This peace and the guarding of your heart and mind come because of your engaged believing—your faith!

Not only does God desire to help us, but as we read earlier, “He is able to do …immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” But, He also reveals that this is a result of “…His power that is at work within us…” And get this point—it isn’t enough to know that God is able. You much believe that He is willing and desirous to help you! You must have faith in that. It is the key to “…His power at work within us…”

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says, "And 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."

This is the kind of faith Abraham pleased God with. God called him the Father of our faith because of his faith in God's promises. Let’s read about it.

Romans 4:16-22 (NLT) “So that's why faith is the key! God's promise is given to us as a free gift. And we are certain to receive it…if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures meant when God told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." This happened because Abraham believed - the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed him. God had also said, "Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars," even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife, had never been able to have children. Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything He promised...” Over time God fulfilled every promise to Abraham.

It is our faith in God’s promises that honors God. It is the power of God working in us. God is not a genie in a bottle. God blesses from a heart of love, those that love Him and have faith in Him. If you truly love Him and live for Him, then let that kind of faith become His power working in you. Get rid of being anxious over what you cannot do yourself. Quit determining how God is going to answer your prayer. Just have faith that it will be beyond what you can ask or think. And lean on the Lord at all times! Then the peace of God that guards your heart and mind will be yours. His love is amazing and He absolutely does cares about the details and needs within your life! Just keep moving forward in faith. He's got your back!

 Hebrews 6:12 (NIV) "...imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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





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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Let Your Moral Compass Be Set by God's Word

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Note from Pastor Tim: I was told the donate link in yesterdays letter from us was broken. It has been fixed below. Thank you!

Have you ever noticed that the weather report comes to you from your media source without bias?  Weather reporters are not interested in giving their emotional input or political bias about how they feel about the weather. They just give you the facts that are available to them.

With most of the news and media sources around the world today, that is not the case. Most media sources and outlets are stewed in bias because news is no longer the primary agenda. Political bias is. If a newspaper does not like a particular political party or candidate that reflects their views, their bias will reveal it. Someone at the top will make sure that happens. They may follow legal guidelines to skate the edge of what's legal, but they've lost their moral and ethical compass altogether. That is true for the newspaper industry, network news and television, Hollywood and music industry, education, and now even the sports industry has been infected.  The concept of remaining neutral and letting politics remain in the political field is gone.

We live in a country with a legal system that is built on the foundation of innocent until proven guilty, yet media sources are allowed to publicly pre-judge and become the jury, destroying someones reputation before any court of law has come into play. A person may eventually be proven innocent, yet already bankrupted and reputationally destroyed because of these agenda-laden forces.

Famous figures are photographed and made the object of public display over where they ate lunch and who they ate it with. That can lead to world-wide broadcasting of their lunch with biased speculation as to whether they are having an affair with the person they had lunch with—regardless of gender.

People who constantly subject themselves to taking in this kind of information will find themselves thinking and talking about things they really shouldn't care about. Do you really care about who Katy Perry or Justin Beiber were out partying with last night? (If you do, you have some serious praying and Bible reading to do.) Does what these people do daily, really add anything to your life? Is it truly any of your business? Can you believe you are even thinking about it? Maybe even talking about it? Do you really care?

Here is a better question. Do the sources of information that are trying to sway you to a particular belief or view hold your moral values and love for God? Does their opinion on behavioral boundaries and lifestyle match those that Jesus and the Bible teach us? If not, why let them influence or even touch your thinking? Why let them have any input into your life?

In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul teaches that God’s goal for those that mentor Christians in ministry, is to help Christians grow up and mature becoming productive members of the body of Christ. Christians are to learn how to reach, teach, and touch others with the love of God. God has given us His Word that we should grow up in spiritual maturity and become productive members of the body of Christ reflecting His love.

Verses 14-15 say, “Then we will no longer be like children, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ who is the head of his body, the church. “

Media will teach us that sex before marriage is okay. That making fun of the President or those in authority are okay.—and now even the right thing to do! They'll teach that homosexuality is just an alternative lifestyle. That abortion isn’t the taking of a life. That defending your country against terrorists is an act of aggression. The media will desensitize us to crime and murder and senseless violence. It will make even the most profane words a normal part of communication. Does God agree with all this? When the world of opinions fly, people get discouraged and think, There is no truthit’s all a matter of perspective and opinion. When someone comes to that conclusion, Satan has won and that person has become deceived! The the stark difference of right from wrong and good from evil becomes blurred. There are no more absolutes. That leads to this conclusion. People can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else. The problem with that thinking is that's wrong! Whether you realize it or not, everything we do, in some way affects others—always and eventually!

So what do you think? Do we let the worldly media sources lead our lives or do we let God become the anchor of our thoughts and lives so we aren’t tossed to and fro like children. God wants to be the anchor of our soul and the primary input of counsel and discernment for what we think about and how we make decisions.

Ephesians 4:17-31 NLT says, “With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They don't care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. But that isn't what you were taught when you learned about Christ. Since you have heard all about Him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true…”

World views, morals, and beliefs shift with the wind. Stop being a part of ignorant conversation that has nothing to do with real life and that distracts you from becoming that mature Christian purposing to be a touch of God in the lives around you! Don’t you be tossed to and fro. The degrading moral values of culture are not supposed to change Christianity. Christianity is to restrain culture from ideals contrary to God's ways! Make God’s Word the anchor for all you think and believe, and for how you communicate and live. It's your calling in Christ! He never changes, nor should you!

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Special Letter from Pastor Tim & Renee Burt

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Fresh Manna Readers,

I wanted to write a note to you from our heart, updating you about our lives, our work, desires, and vision. I pray you’ll keep reading and allow me the time to share a few things with you.

This year, Renee and I entered a new season of life. On May 31, 2017, we resigned from our jobs at church, after serving and pastoring there for 33 years. We watched the church grow from about 600 people when we first came there in 1984, to about 10,000 people when we stepped down. In my role as an Associate Pastor, and Renee’s role as a Pastor, we poured everything we were and had to give into the congregation. We loved our church family and always will. But about four years ago, the Lord began to speak to my heart about the importance of preparing for transition. I obeyed the Lord and began working on a five-year plan to raise up leadership to take over everything I was doing. Although five years was the plan, everyone was truly ready in four years.

About that time, our desire to reach out on the mission field also began to grow. When I started writing Fresh Manna 17 years ago, it was simply an act of obedience. I had been running marathons at that time and often ran two hours each day as a part of my daily routine. One morning, the Lord spoke to my heart on one of those runs about spending time writing down insights He was ministering to me, so I wouldn’t forget them. That soon turned into trading my 2 hours of running for 2 hours of writing. Fast forward: that turned into my Fresh Manna website, which after 17 years has now been read in 216 countries (195 official countries and 21 unofficial countries.) God also used my son-in-law, Daniel, who is a pastor and missionary in Peru, to exhort me to learn how to use Twitter. He fully believed it would one day help me reach people all around the world. Today that is a reality.

Almost every day, through Twitter and Fresh Manna, I’m reaching between 3 to 6 million people. Seeing the fruit of these efforts continually grow, played into Renee’s and my decision to transition out of our jobs at church, and to redirect our efforts full-time into Tim & Renee Burt ministries. We’re confident it was God’s perfect timing. We’ve been speaking at conferences, churches, on the mission field, and online through Fresh Manna ever since. And it’s also allowed to catch up with our children and grandchildren who live in Minnesota, Texas, California, and Peru.

For the first 16 years that I wrote Fresh Manna, I never asked for one penny from our readers for anything I did. It was my way of reaching outside of the four walls of the church to be a blessing. Every year, there were always some who asked if they could send money, and I would try to discourage it. Finally in 2016, I felt peace to put a donate button on our website, but to say very little about it. I didn’t want to discourage one person from reading, for fear I was after their money. Renee and I funded most of everything ourselves (with the exception of one graciously kind person, Wayne, who sent money despite our discouragement to do so).

Since June 1, we no longer receive a paycheck, and yet, we’re expanding our efforts in all that we do. Our mission field reach has extended from Peru, to small beginnings in India and Africa. We’re trying to follow the Lord’s leading the best we know how. And that brings me to the point of this letter beyond the update. If Fresh Manna has been a blessing to you, would you consider sending a one-time gift of $5, or consider us in your end-of-the-year giving. If you’ve had days when Fresh Manna has taught, encouraged, inspired, and blessed you, then you might consider sowing into our work, so that it can continue to reach and help other also. Our donate button leads to Paypal. The reason we like and use Paypal is because they discount their rates for non-profits and have excellent recordkeeping which greatly helps us minimize administrate work. Paypal allows you to use credit cards and is very easy to use, even giving you a continuing monthly giving option. Enough said…whether you give or not, please know that we’ll be here to minister to you each week, to pray for you daily, and to ask you to pray for us as we can continue to reach the world with the gospel and the touch of the love of Jesus in all we put our hand to.

Mark 16:15 Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim and Renee Burt

Would you like to DONATE  helping Pastor Tim reach the world for Christ? 

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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/

Friday, November 17, 2017

When a Miracle Is About to Happen

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I want you to read these verses and imagine you are the person in this story that Jesus is talking to and has asked to take center stage.

Mark 3:1 NLT,  1. Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”But they wouldn’t answer him.

5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.


Did you notice that Jesus was aware of the many attitudes in the room? Did you notice that were overwhelmed with reasons why Jesus shouldn't heal this man? Do you notice that few cared or had compassion about this man's health and the life it created because of it. Truly, the watcher's minds were simply filled with a lot of selfish and hardened attitudes that blinded them from seeing that God was in their midst and about to do a miracle out of His love and compassion for him. Because Jesus knew their thoughts and attitudes and the hardness of their hearts, He also knew they were blinded from knowing that the miraculous presence of God was in their midst.

There are so many people who need miracles today. They are available. The intensity and magnitude of God's love has never changed. God wants to be intimately involved in our life and free us from Satan's touch upon this earth. But, these demonic, blinding attitudes are as abundant today as they were in that room with Jesus. They rage accusing anyone who would believe such nonsense as a lunatic. And the fear that produces stops people from seeing the loving God they could otherwise intimately know and experience. Their fears speak saying, If I give my life wholeheartedly to Jesus, will people think I'm a flake? A Jesus freak? If I read my Bible and it changes me, will people love me anymore or think I'm weird? If I believe in miracles and pray asking Jesus to answer my prayers and help me, will people think I'm ready for the loony-bin? If I stand in one of those Bible-thumping churches with my hands raised praising God, will I be marked and discarded as one of those lunatics? The answer is: By some people, you absolutely will! There are people who will reject you and write you off. Nothing has changed since Jesus was in the room with that man.

If you look around or watch the media, you can see the hostility for Christianity that exists today. The thoughts and reasoning behind this hostility is as confused, blinded and angry as it was in this room with Jesus amongst these hardened and blinded religious leaders and this man who so desperately needed a touch of God's love. Despite it all, Jesus healed this man! And some wanted to plot to kill Jesus for it? Why? Why did they?
There are many reasons why and all of them wrong and evil. But, the force and influence of such a hostile attitude by those around us that still think this way, influence people to stay away from Jesus.

Can you set all your fears and confusion aside and simply embrace Jesus for the loving, compassionate God He is? Can you forget everyone else? Will you ask Him to be the Lord of your life? Will you elevate who you know He is and put your faith and trust in Him? If you will, you'll begin to experience the intimate relationship He has always wanted to have with you. And I promise... miracles in your life—big and small will happen!

John 20:29 (NIV) "Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."


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/

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Whose Voice Am I Hearing? God's or the devil's?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One night I woke up in the middle of the night from having to go to the bathroom. I had just awakened from a crazy dream I'm sure was caused by eating pizza before going to bed. (Sorry, I do know better!) As I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard this thought that almost sounded like an audible voice in my head. Tomorrow, you are going to be a basket-case from a lack of good sleep. You'll be wiped out all day long!  I rebuked that thought immediately! Years ago as a younger Christian, I might have repeated those words out loud and expected to have that lousy day. I learned that the words we speak, give life to the thoughts Satan tempts us to believe. I knew the thought wasn't from God because He never speaks to me about having a lousy day. He leads me to trust in His grace whenever I have a short night sleep.

It's as important to know Satan's voice as it is God's. If you don't, you'll confuse the two! How could that be? It can be because it's not the sound of the voice, it's the content of what the voice speaks. First of all, in case you haven't thought about it, voices within our head sound like our own. The voices in your head sound like you! The devil does not have a body. The devil doesn’t have a voice. He can’t read my mind. He can only watch what I do, what I say, and how I respond and act to situations and circumstances. From what he learns, he works to plant thoughts and temptations. This is why the Bibles says that we shouldn't be ignorant of the devil's devices (strategies.) He can quote scripture and try to pervert it's meaning. That is what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He doesn’t have a voice. The only voice he has is what we hear in our mind and repeat out our mouths. He brings lies, temptations, and evil imaginations to our minds to confuse, discourage and accuse us. If we believe and repeat them, then he has succeeded. Speaking them gives them life. We shouldn't speak or repeat his lies. It's perfectly right to agree with the encouragement, exhortation, and direction God gives us. That is what we should speak!

The Holy Spirit will help you in times like this. God gives you authority and power over Satan’s lies and you need to use it! We must learn to cast down thoughts and imaginations that are contrary to His Word. That is what 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 teaches us saying, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  God is telling us that our mind is not the devil's playground. It's a gift from God that belongs to you. Satan has no right to tempt us and  has no dominion over our minds. If he starts spewing his nonsense, cast it down and out of your life in Jesus name! How do you do that you ask? Let me ask you; if you had just put in a beautiful new white kitchen floor and accidentally left the back door open and a muddy pig walked into your kitchen, how would you respond? Seriously, how would you respond? You'd grab a broom or something and be yelling and chasing that pig out the door. Now you know how to chase out the devil! 

As I was coming back from the bathroom, I realized that Renee wasn't in bed. She was in the kitchen with her laptop studying her Bible.. I was surprised to see her up. I looked at her and she knew what I was thinking. She said, I fell asleep but had a restless sleep. I kept waking up from a repeating nightmare. I dreamed that I as I was about to get up and teach my women's group, I wasn’t prepared. I didn't have anything to say. And then I dreamed that as I spoke, I sounded stupid and the day was a disaster.” She laughed as she told me. I could see she was tired.

At that moment I put my hands gently on her face and began to pray the peace of God that passes understanding over her. I prayed for abundant grace, for clarity of her thoughts and teaching, and supernatural strength to make the day not only a joy, but the best day ever!”

Renee and I have learned to laugh in the devil’s face when he tries to get in our head. Everyone experiences times like this. Sadly, not everyone knows how to discern the voice of the enemy and rebuke it. They think they are the victim of whatever travels through their mind and that they just have to put up with those kinds of thoughts. Then the devil comes along and says they are true.

As a believer in Jesus, you have the promise of His love and His voice (the Holy Spirit) to guide your thoughts and heart. Psalms 37:4 (NLT) says, "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires." We also can partake of God's mind.  “...But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

God is the ultimate Father and He is not like a natural father. He won’t lose His temper and throw accusations at you. Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd. God promises to help you and lead you. Don't get hung up over the voice. Pay attention to the content of the voice. Then you can discern who is speaking. Even if God were to correct you from disobedience, He is tender and not out to condemn you which may make you run from Him. He is trying to show you the magnitude of His love by sending Jesus to die for your sins, and the right way to live and the blessing that comes from living right through the instruction of His Word.

The next time Satan brings weird thoughts to your mind, presenting them as truth, stop and discern them. Whose voice is behind them? Are they encouraging words of God or are they the accusing, discouraging, accusing words of the enemy tempting you to expect the worst. Praise God and agree with what is from God and cast down what comes from the devil! Learning to discern God's voice is key to learning to see the depth of His love working in your everyday life!

John 10:3-4 & 11 “… He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…His sheep follow Him because they know His voice...I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

In 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/