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
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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