About Tim Burt

Friday, April 20, 2018

Developing The Spirit of Excellence in Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I don't know how you feel about the subject of excellence, but God loves excellence because He, Himself, is excellent. Why do I think that? Because the Word of God says so! We read in Psalm 8:1, "O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!" We are told that God's name is excellent. Do you know what that means? The Hebrew word implies powerful, magnificent, glorious, great, honorable, and more… There is no other name like it.

God's love is excellent. Psalms 36:7 says, "How excellent is Your loving kindness, O God!" God’s words are excellent. God tells us that His Word - the things that He says - are excellent. Proverbs 8:6-7 says, "Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, And from the opening of my lips will come right things; For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips." God is saying that you can count on His excellent words! Wouldn't it be great for people to count your words excellent!

Many times in the Christian world we see a spirit of leftovers—not excellence. Some people sparingly give a little time to serve others in the church...when it’s convenient and doesn't take from their personal enjoyment. A commitment to serving others consistently in church is far more rare in most than it should be. When it comes to giving, for most, and I do mean most, it’s about getting rid of junk—outdated stuff and things that have little or no value. People give leftover older clothes that they don't want any more—clothes that are closer to out-of-style and shabby than excellent. We see run down churches in disrepair with old, beaten up furniture for its furnishings. We see churches with people at their doorstep needing benevolence and help, but the churches are without the resources, manpower, or finances to do much or anything about it. Does that sound like excellence to you?

Did you know that God always taught His people to give firstfruits and tithes? The tithe was the first ten percent of all income that was to be given to the storehouse or temple, or what today we would call the local church. The tithe was, and still is, an acknowledgement that the Lord is Lord and owner of all we have in our lives. It is an acknowledgement that all that we have is from God and belongs to God. It is the witness that we are yielded to His Lordship—not the Lordship of money. It's our agreement that we are to be excellent stewards or managers of the 90 percent He allows us to steward or manage.

Let me take this to an even higher level. The firstfruits were not just the first ten percent. It was the very best or most excellent offering of their crop or cattle, or whatever their source of livelihood was. It was not leftovers! You could not bring a blemished offering to the Lord. It was the giving of excellence to the most excellent God. Do you know what the result of that was? The people were blessed, the priests were taken care of so they could focus on service to God, and there was plenty in the temple to minister to those needing benevolence. It affected the hearts of the people in an excellent way. It really affected their hearts in that it transformed them into cheerful givers. They became loosed from thinking everything they had was theirs. It caused them to be loosed from covetousness and the love of money. It resulted in their freedom of heart, their dependency upon God, and their increased faith knowing they had been obedient to God. It resulted in God's blessing raining down on His people. When God’s people were focused in this way, what was available wasn't scraps and leftovers. It was about excellence in their heart attitude regarding the giving of their resources.

1 Chronicles 22:5 says this about the house of the Lord: “And David said...'the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory throughout all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it.' So David prepared abundantly before his death.” So many religious people find “religious” reasons to attack building a great church. Solomon’s temple was God’s doing and the greatest built to God by man in history. It was excellent and take note; during this time, it was the greatest time of peace and prosperity in history for God’s people. It became the center of their community, increased the people’s love for God, and everyone was taken care of.

James 1:18 says, "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created." God is saying we are His firstfruits which means we are the best or most excellent of all He's ever made.

It's important to know that. If we are His best or His excellence in this earth (and we are), then wouldn't it be good to have that attitude and model it for the world to see? Christianity is not some barely get along and share your leftovers and scraps with those around you mentality. If that is your mentality, then that's how you'll become!
Look around you. Look up. See all that God has created. It is excellent! Does God want the spirit of excellence developed in you? Daniel 5:14 (NKJV) says, "I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you."

Like Daniel, we are to stand for excellence in every way we possibly can. Look in the mirror before you start your day. Do you look like you just got out of bed and pulled a shirt out of the hamper or do you look excellent? Did you prepare yourself in the Word of God and prayer to carry love, hope and faith into this world to represent the Lord , or are you grouchy and the whole world is about to find that out? Are you ready to stand for excellence in your manner of conduct, in your attitude of giving, in the giving of your love and service to others, and in how you represent your excellent Heavenly Father and your Lord Jesus Christ in this earth? Will your work habits be excellent? Will your words be uplifting and excellent? Will you hold up that standard so that when God calls us His firstfruits, those around us can see it! You are His firstfruits and you were meant to be excellent like Him. Put it on. Keep it on. And give it out! And as you do, watch over time how it develops God's excellence in you!

Daniel 6:3 (NKJV) "Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm."

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!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





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© 2018 All rights reserved

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Courageous Hero: Irena Sendler - an Inspirational Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

On the eve of Israel's celebration of their 70 year of Independence, I thought it would be fitting to repost this wonderfully inspiring story! 

A Courageous Hero:
Irena Sendler
Feb 15, 1910 to
May 12, 2008
Warsaw, Poland


Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

Irenea Sendler was 98 years old when she died in 2008. She was a woman of magnificent courage, she saved the lives of more than 2,500 Jews, most of them children. She has been called the female Oskar Schindler, but she saved twice as many lives as Schindler, the German industrialist who sheltered 1,200 of his Jewish workers. Schindler, received international attention in the 1993 movie "Schindler's List."  Sendler was hardly known to the world until four Kansas schoolgirls wrote a play about her about a dozen years ago.

She studied at Warsaw University and was a social worker in Warsaw when the German occupation of Poland began in 1939. In 1940, after the Nazis herded Jews into the ghetto and built a wall separating it from the rest of the city, disease, especially typhoid, ran rampant. She was especially influenced by her father, a doctor who defied anti-Semites by treating sick Jews during outbreaks of typhoid fever. He died of the disease when Sendler was 9.

She believed that one person can make a difference and lived out what she believed. "I was taught that if you see a person drowning," she said, "you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not."
Although she was less than 5 feet tall, she walked into the Warsaw ghetto daily facing death if she was caught.  Social workers were not allowed inside the ghetto, but Sendler, imagining "the horror of life behind the walls," obtained fake identification and passed herself off as a nurse, allowed to bring in food, clothes and medicine.

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing & Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive. Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids. Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi’s broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out in a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming. Later, another politician, Barack Obama, won for his work as a community organizer for ACORN.

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@gmail.com





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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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

When You Are Kind to Unappreciative People

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are some people—some friends in your life, that you treat nicer than they treat you? Does that bother you? Does that make you want to complain or abandon the relationship? Sometimes people get so focused and bent on fairness, that they throw away or destroy good friendships or relationships just because the love and kindness they had shown, wasn't being reciprocated back to them to the degree they wanted.

To be perfectly honest, my life has been filled with the effort of trying to do good and help people. My mother was that way and it seemed to be a part of my DNA—especially after I gave my life to Jesus! Jesus teaches to move from being selfish to selfless but like everyone else, I am a work in progress.

Yet, I find myself doing things for people all the time and literally, every day. And though I do, the reality is, seldom do I get back from people what I've done for them. I have learned experientially that only a small percentage of people are good at giving or showing appreciation. Of course there are some people who are very good at giving thanks or taking the time to write a thank you note or send off an email of thanks or show some form of appreciation. It’s wonderful when people do take note of what you've done for them and thank you in some form. But, the percentage of people who do is very small, and yet, most people think they fall into that small group of being good thankers.

But, what about those close relationships—your spouse, good friendships, co-workers, or people who are the recipients of your acts of kindness where it seems like you are doing most of the giving and it’s very one-sided? Well, first of all, that just might be your perspective and it might not be true. They might be adding things to your life in ways you don’t notice. Or, maybe it is true. Maybe they are great at receiving from you but don’t give much back. Then what? Does that mean you should dump the relationship?

Our lives could be and I hope are filled with a diversity of good relationships. In them, you will find great disparity on the amount of appreciation and sincere thanks that people return back to you. But if you’ll do a self-examination, you might find some relationships that you receive more from and give less to. Or you may just realize that God’s has graced you with more of a giving personality than most, and that the imbalance of you giving more than others return back to you, is always going to be a part of your experience.
There are plenty of takers in this world. Some who are narcissistic and only think of themselves. They seem to feel entitled and are seldom thankful for anything. Unless God has directed you to and given you the grace to, you shouldn't stay in close relationships where someone takes and takes and drains you without giving back. I've had a few of those over the course of my life and they are toxic. Takers take advantage of the kindness of others. Though there are few of these people out there, when they do show up and I come to realize they are toxic, I keep them at arm's length so I'm not used or abused by them. I'll still be kind. I'll still show them the love of Jesus. But, I'll not let toxic people share my everyday space. Some people are easier to love at a distance. Romans 12:18 (NIV) says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  You will just know who those people are in time.

And again, this does not include special assignments from God that He has given you grace for. There are people in the earth who cannot take care of themselves but God gives us the grace to help them with joy. That is our honor!

Though it's a living reality that many of your kindnesses will be unappreciated, it's still important to hold onto good people and good relationships. There are some non-appreciators in your life that are still maturing and growing in this area but probably add to your life in other ways. Maybe they add other things to your life that make you value the relationship such as bringing you joy, or making you laugh, or fun to hang with, or being someone you can talk to or count on in trouble. Don’t blow off the relationship because it’s not perfectly fair in the reciprocation of appreciation. Most relationships aren't perfect or perfectly reciprocal in love and appreciation. But, they do bring value to your life and they are worth having.

For me, I apply the same principle in my relationships that I was taught by the Lord to bring into the workplace. I apply Colossians 3:23 TLB, which says, "Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." I have cast aside the mentality and attitude of doing things for others expecting thanks or reciprocation back. I have put aside looking for perfect friends who always reciprocate love and kindness. Instead I purpose to do what has been my God-given motto for most of my Christian walk. No matter what anyone else does, just do what’s right. I try to love others “as unto the Lord.” If I don’t get some of that back, it’s okay because I know that I also have failed giving it to others at times myself. And I know I've also failed at giving it back to the Lord like I should. I also try to remember the good I value and receive from my imperfect friends and pray they see and value things from me.

And here is what really levels the playing field. When we weren't even thinking about God, He still sent Jesus to be punished and die for our sins. Romans 5:8 (NLT) says, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." We never return the kind of thanks that this deserves. So, keep on loving others with His love! He sees it. He knows. And there is great blessing from the Lord that comes from this kind of heart!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) "...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

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@gmail.com





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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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 16, 2018

Part Four: Getting God's Plan to Succeed - Diligence and Equipping


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

If you have not read the previous three parts on Getting God's Plan to Succeed, you can read them by clicking here: Part One, and Part Two, and Part Three.

This is the fourth and final part in the these series on Getting God's Plan to Succeed.

I have been writing about how often most people fail in their attempt to make changes in their life—changes that they think about all the time. It's been my desire to help others understand that they would attain a much higher level of success if they would take a few steps of preparation prior to launching an attempt to make a change in their life. So far we've talked about preparing your heart for change, creating an execution plan, and partnering with others that would encourage you toward your goals. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of God's part versus your part, in relation to diligence and equipping in leading you to success in your goals.

In almost ever difficult endeavor and goal you attempt in your life, you will be confronted with the pressures that would lead you to give up and quit. Unless the goal is quite simple, it will come with challenges. Those challenges are not from God. They are from the enemy of your soul. Jesus faced the enemy's harassment constantly attempting to get Him to quit in His 40 day fast. That is what the enemy of your soul does when you are pressing on in the things God leads you to do. And so, we have to learn to be diligent.

I could write a book on what diligence is, but lets keep it simple. Lets just talk about it today in terms of not quitting. There is more to diligence than not quitting, but you may not initially know that. Diligence is a character quality and heart character is built over time. To be diligent you must learn to be committed. The combination of diligence and commitment is faithfulness.  Faithfulness is a rarely developed character quality and the evidence of that is the local church. The workload of most local churches is done by roughly 20 to 30 percent of the committed, diligent, faithful people in that church. That's about the average percentage of people who truly learn faithfulness in most good churches. They are the ones that allow God to develop this character in them. The rest of the church body fails in developing these qualities and consequently, fail in their goals.

Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV) says, "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?"  Do you know what this verse is saying? Its saying that most Christians would proclaim to be faithful but are in truth, delusional in thinking so.  It's saying that there aren't many faithful to be found.  Jesus taught on the importance of learning to be faithful (committed + diligent). Luke 12:42-44 (NKJV) And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household...? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has."

There is much more I could write about this but for now, understand that diligence takes time to develop so let's relate to it at it's starting point—not quitting. Do the preparation we talked about in the previous writings but then, once you do begin, don't quit! Taking that attitude will be the beginning of diligence being formed in you.

And then Equipping. I've said repeatedly, God has a part and you have a part. Your part is to take hold of this important spiritual component. You must have faith in God doing His part (behind the scenes and naked to your human eyes.) You'll have to see God doing His part in your heart through the eyes of faith. It shouldn't be that hard. God has always been doing His part. Jesus loved you when you weren't thinking about Him. He is diligent, committed, and faithful. And because He is, you'll have to trust that He will equip you with His grace (His supernatural help in everything) to help you get the job done. That includes strength of spirit, good attitude, encouragement, miracles big and small—everything you need to get the job done. The devil will challenge you, but that's where character is built. When you hold on in faith, trust in God's grace, and be diligent, then you'll experience success in your goals.

Here is your equipping promise! Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV) "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, EQUIP you with EVERYTHING GOOD for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 

The reason this verse talks about the blood of the eternal covenant is because God is in covenant with you and Jesus shed His blood to seal it. And it says He will "...equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him..." This means His grace will be available to help you succeed in every situation. (Even when it doesn't look like it!)

All these things together, preparing your heart for change, creating an execution plan, partnering with others, and being diligent knowing that God has equipped you with the grace of God, will lead you to success repeatedly throughout your life. I know because I've experienced them again and again. And so will you! So let's begin...

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

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@gmail.com





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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, April 13, 2018

Part Three - Getting God's Plan to Succeed: Partnership and Accountability

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

If you have not read the previous two parts on Getting God's Plan to Succeed, you can read them by clicking here: Part One, and Part Two

Every person has desires in their heart. These desires usually have something to do with improving who you are as a person. They may pertain to your discipline, temperament, physical condition, mental state of being, or goals and achievements just to suggest a few. Because we have these inward desires, we take an occasional stab at achieving them, and more often than not fail. We don't just fail. We fail again and again. There are literally millions (if not billions) of people who have tried to stop a bad habit or behavior, or have tried to develop or pursue a good behavior or desired goal in their life. And the result has been repeated failure. As I said yesterday, God did not create us to fail. He created us to succeed by following His lead in life.

Today I want to talk more about how to follow God's plan of achieving ongoing success, by talking about planning for partnership and accountability in the laying out of your plan, prior to your attempt to execute it.

When we look to role models to be inspired, we sometimes see great achievers who reach their goals with other people by their side. They are often part of a team such as in sports or group, etc. But then you sometimes see people who appear to be a solo achiever such as a professional golfer or a solo singer, etc. What I want you to understand is that absolutely no one achieves great goals alone. Everyone has had mentors, helpers, and partners on the path to their success. And most importantly, let's not forget God as the main partner of their success.

When I made the decision to run my first marathon, the first thing I did was grab two to three forms of support beyond praying and asking God to help and lead me. I began to read good books on running marathons. I found a running partner to run with three days a week. And I became a part of a group of 5 guys who were all training to run their first marathon, running a weekly run together. I can assure you I would not have made it if it hadn't been for these people in my life.

You might think of accountability as reporting in to someone and showing them everything you've done. The first part of accountability is just showing up. You'd be amazed at how many goals you'd achieve if you'd just show up for the process. When there is no accountability, no showing up, and no sharing with a friend and partner, the difficulty in pursuing the same goals, then you just quit and you're never challenged or encouraged by someone who has the same desire and interest as you. That is what most people do. They take on their desires solo, and quit when it gets tough. (And that usually happens in the first day.)

One of my closest friends Ray, was invited to run the same marathon I was. We had run together many times in the past, although not this level of long-distance running.  We both accepted the challenge because we both felt God wanted us to. And so we partnered up together to run. We'd run three times a week, very early in the morning. There were mornings I'd wake up so tired, I did not want to get out of bed. He had the same experience. Because I knew he was going to be there, I forced myself to get up and show up. And he did the same. He had his days where he would have rather stayed in bed but, because of the mutual accountability, we just showed and developed our routine. And we both showed up at 5:00 a.m. on our weekly long run with our running group. And in that group, we stretched our mileage longer every other run. There were so many times my mind would scream, I can't do this! But because of the presence and encouragement of the guys in the group, I pressed through.

This is what accountability and partnership does. It creates conversations, transparency regarding self-doubt, empathy, prayer, and encouragement. As I said, many people never tell anyone they are starting a challenge because they don't really think they are going to make it, and don't want anyone to know in order to protect themselves from embarrassment when they quit. That is the definition of #failure!

Jesus sent his disciples out in two's. When Jesus would go to minister, there were certain places He could do no miracles because there was no faith. Only unbelief. He knew this spirit of unbelief and doubt could jump on his disciples. And so He sent them out to preach, heal, and cast out devils in His name in two's so they could encourage each other as they took on this huge role for the Lord.  We see this in Mark 6:5-7 (NKJV) "Now Jesus could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits."

After that, Jesus sent even more out in His name and again He sent them out in two's as we see in Luke 10:1 (NKJV).  "After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go." 

First and foremost, these were individuals. Each one of them had a desire and a goal that God had placed in their heart. They wanted to be used of the Lord. But they were also a part of a larger group mentored by the Lord. And then the Lord sent them out in two's to get the job done. This is a wonderful pattern contributing to success for us to learn from.  Partnership and group participation expands our knowledge and understanding, our perspective, our vision, and our efforts to success. It brings empathy and encouragement in the face of unbelief in yourself or your goals at times of obstacles and difficulty. It also brings a strength from the Lord and others you partner with that helps you pursue and succeed in your goals!

Part Four of Getting God's plan to Succeed coming Monday... 

2 Corinthians 8:23 (TLB) "If anyone asks who Titus is, say that he is my partner, my helper in helping you, and you can also say that the other two brothers represent the assemblies here and are splendid examples of those who belong to the Lord." 

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@gmail.com





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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Part Two - Getting God's Plan to Succeed: Planning and Execution

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Many, if not most people, have areas in their life where they feel like they are a failure. Nothing contributes more to that feeling than having repeatedly failed at efforts to make changes in your life that you deem important—changes you think about regularly—changes that you've half-heartedly taken a stab at making.

God didn't create us to fail. He created us to learn from our mistakes, correct them and move forward, continually making progress, while experiencing transformation in who we are and how we live out our lives. That's God's will for us. It's what parents desire and hope for, for their children. Yet here we are as adults, making excuses and experiencing repeated failures. Why do we fail so much? As I started saying yesterday, I believe most Christians could experience greater success in their attempts to make change, if they would make some simple changes in their approach to how they execute their attempt to make these changes.

Yesterday I talked about posturing yourself for success by praying and reading your Bible and a good resource book regarding the change you desire to make. Do so daily for at least two weeks prior to attempting to make the change. You can read yesterday's writing here. 

Today I want to talk about the second thing you must do before you begin your efforts to  successfully make changes. You must plan! You must create a strategy and plan of execution. Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) says, "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." 

When God moved on my heart to create the world's first public infant changing table, I took three years to read, research, conceive, plan out, and take steps toward what God had put on my heart. I believe its one of the reasons I succeeded and that you see them in every public bathroom in American and other places around the world today. When God moved on my heart to run my first marathon, 26.2 miles, I knew I wasn't in the physical shape to do it. I wasn't prepared. And so I set out a one year goal of preparation and training to prepare for the effort of finishing my first marathon.  Whether desires are big or small, they are important if God is giving them to you. And planning and execution are critical. As this verse says, "Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity..."  

Desire is critical to success but, all the desire in the world won't help you succeed if you don't have a plan of execution. This verse speaks to this also saying "but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty." If you approach the changes you desire to make hastily, without a plan of execution, it leads to failure and poverty!

Let's stick with the example of weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you need to have a plan. You are going to have to eat differently. Not just less, but differently. That is what the reading is for. To help you learn why and what to eat that will help you succeed. But, if you begin your efforts with the same food in the refrigerator and cupboards you will not succeed. You have to get rid of the bad food. If you don't, in a moment of weakness, you'd be like a squirrel hunting through every nook and cranny for a snack or treat. You have to remove the temptations. (If we were talking about pornography, you'd have to get rid of every thing you can think of that might be around at a time of weakness that would contribute to failure.)

Then you have to bring in the good foods. I have been saying that in all changes, God has a part and you have a part.  Planning (with the help of the Holy Spirit) and execution of this plan is your part. You not only have to get healthy food, you need to learn how to eat appropriate portions (that a good book would tell you how to do.) And you have to plan AHEAD OF TIME what you are going to eat for the next day and bring that food with you. To not do so is to greatly increase your chance of failure. When you get hungry and don't have the right foods, you succumb to the wrong ones. You'll grab all the vending machine crap that undermines your effort.  Build your plan BEFORE you start to execute it and your level of success will increase.

I am not trying to teach on the subject of eating and nutrition here or it would be much more comprehensive. I am only using it as an example. No matter what area of change you make, you have to plan to get rid of the obstacles of failure to the best degree you can, and have a strategy you execute to make the right changes that lead to success.  And don't worry, you may make mistakes but God will help you think through them if you lean on Him. All plans are adaptive as God shows you how to better implement them. Proverbs 16:1 (NLT) says, "We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer."  And Proverbs 16:9 (TLB) says "We should make plans—counting on God to direct us."  Build your plan and God will help you adapt and improve it as you go.

Remember, we are talking about succeeding at changes you've thought about that you know will literally change your life. Planning and execution is critical. Next time, I'll share with you what increases your efforts of success exponentially!

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@gmail.com






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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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Part One: Getting God's Plan to Succeed, His Part and Your Part

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Okay, get ready. I am about to make a big statement. Here it is. There are hundreds of millions of people, if not more, that have dreamed about accomplishing something that is doable and so important to them that they think about it all the time, but haven't been able to get it done. They've tried again and again and failed. Hundreds of millions? YES! How do I know this? I'll tell you.

Alcoholism cost Americans over 270 billion dollars a year and that isn't touching the rest of the world's 7+ billion people. The cost of recovery from cigarettes, drugs, overeating, and gambling—the costs of efforts to stop these destructive habits ranges from 600 to 700 billion dollars a year. And this is just money spent on the effort to try and stop. It doesn't represent or translate into successful efforts. To the contrary, multitudes fail. And at one point, it was projected that there are over 20 million people in America struggling with problems or addictions in these areas who aren't even getting help or treatment.

Sorry, I didn't mean to start your day on such a dreary note. It is my belief that through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in one's life, the results could be astoundingly more successful, and at a much lesser cost. And yet, even many Christians are failing at not just these addictions, but other areas of desired change that are so important to them. They think about them all the time, occasionally trying to make some changes, yet failing and quitting again and again. Can you relate to this in any area of your life you've desired change in? It shouldn't be like this.

I believe most Christians could experience greater success in their attempts to make change if they would make some simple changes in their approach to how they execute their attempt to make these changes.

In James 2:20 we read that "...faith without works is dead." As you become a student of the Bible and develop in intimacy in your relationship with the Lord, you'll come to understand that in most everything in life, you have a part to play and God has a part to play. God tells us repeatedly, to follow the instruction of His Word. Psalm 32:8 (NIV) says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." His part—He leads us by His Word and the Holy Spirit. Our part—we respond in obedience, and God helps successful results come in time if we don't quit. This is a critical key to understanding how God works and helps you in your life—His part, your part! 

Beyond that and for the next few writings, I want to give you the rest of the equation that I believe will help you experience greater ongoing success. So for today...

First, when you want to make a change—for the sake of conversation, lets say, changing your eating habits and losing weight; you must start with two sources of reading—the Bible and a good subject resource book. The Bible will establish that moderation and health is important to you for numerous reasons, and that God will help you accomplish what is His will for you. And the resource book will teach you on the subject of nutrition and how it works and helps your health. If you didn't know this, I'll tell you now. Your mind LOVES to learn.  It's true. God created you that way. If you were a poor student in school, don't let it rob you of a truth you may not have discovered. Your mind loves to learn. Now you can learn on your terms and in a way that works for you. But, your mind will love it just as your spirit loves learning about God. And so, before you begin, you must read about the subject in your Bible, and from a good book on the subject that brings great knowledge and instruction. Take at least two weeks to pray and ask God to speak to you about your desired change.

Don't try executing the effort to lose the weight or make the change until you've read and prayed for at least a couple of weeks. Why? Because one of the ways God works within you is to it to build godly desires and passions that help fuel your effort once you begin. Your prayer and reading will begin to affect your mind and heart. Psalm 51:10 (NKJV) says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me."  When you pray day after day asking the Lord to prepare your heart for this upcoming effort, He will. (Keep thinking... His part, my part.) Pray before you read and trust that the Lord will blow on the embers of your heart and create a charged passion to succeed.

Also in your prayer and reading time, meditate on this verse and pray it. Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) "Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart."  God will give you this desire to succeed, but think about why you want to lose weight (or whatever change you want to make) and for what purpose. It it for vain-glory? Not a great reason. Of course you want to look better, but don't make that your purpose. Succeeding at weight loss is inspiring. It inspires others. Your example and success can influence others and I promise you it will. Make being a light and an influence for the Lord your purpose. That will take your eyes off yourself and give your efforts a higher purpose. It will carry you far beyond the success of your goals. Being an influence for the Lord is the highest purpose in life. God will open many doors for you. 

I know we aren't just talking about losing weight. That was just an example. Whatever it is you desire to do, Reading and praying prior to starting has to be a first step.  I'll share more with you tomorrow.

Be patience and let me give you all the steps to take before you begin any of this. I am writing this because so many people—hundreds of millions fail regularly. Let's change that by understanding your part versus God's part in working toward success! Part two tomorrow...

Psalm 20:4 (NIV) "May he give you the desire of your heart and make ALL your plans succeed."

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@gmail.com





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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 09, 2018

Guarding the Gates of Your Mind and Heart

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I live on a creek inhabited by ducks. I love to feed them, especially with the grandchildren. I have this big bucket filled with bird seed in the garage. The ducks love it and come running when they see me walk in the back yard carrying it.

One day I opened the bucket to get some seed. It has a secure lid on it but I must not have had it snapped on all the way. Amazingly, when I opened it, there was a dead mouse in it. I would assume he over-ate to his death. (He looked pudgy in his gut and it almost seemed as though he was smiling!) How he got in there was close to an impossible feat. The lid opening was almost non-existent and the bucket is tall. I don’t think the mouse couldn't have scaled it, but he did find some way to get in and it had to be through the tiniest crack.

Negative thoughts and bad worldly input seems to find its way into our mind and heart through any crack we leave open. That is why Proverbs 4:23 NLT says that we need to "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." When I think of this I most often get the visual of soldiers at their post watching for enemies day and night.

One morning a while back I woke up with an old worldly song on my mind—one that I consider having negative words and attitudes. I know I haven't thought of this song for over 20 years and I am almost positive that I have not heard it in at least that long. Where did it come from? How did it get on my mind? I don't know. Possibly through a dream or just an old memory that was triggered by something? That is what I call a small crack. I chased this song out replacing it with a song worshiping the Lord.

Our brain stores up and remembers incomprehensible amounts of information. It shouldn't surprise us when somewhere down the line and not always when you expect it, some of the unwanted information and thoughts rise to the surface of your memory.

I recently talked with a man who was struggling with inappropriate sexual thoughts. He hated it and only wanted his thoughts and mind to be pure. He said he struggled with his mind drifting to past sexual thoughts and memories that were a part of his life prior to making Jesus His Savior. He knew Jesus has forgiven him and washed his past sins away, but hated when these kinds of thoughts seemed to randomly surface at the most awkward times, and he was feeling condemned because of it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) instructs us what to do with thoughts that are in appropriate and contrary to God's Word.  It says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." If you read through this chapter you'd see that God has given us power to rule our thought-life and keep it pure. When I learned this truth and began to exercise this in my life, it was as if for the first time in my life, my mind became mine to rule and use for God's glory. It would no longer allow it to be ruled by random and unwanted thoughts producing embarrassment and condemnation.

What we let pass through the gates of our mind and heart that is not good, will try to come back to haunt us. We have to exercise casting down inappropriate thoughts in the authority of Jesus name and refocus on godly things. It takes effort, but in time we have fewer and fewer flashbacks and instead develop the "strong mind" mentioned in 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."

God isn't condemning us as we work through this. He is the one helping us renew our minds to His Word with the help of the Holy Spirit. He is the one that told us, "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Today's Fresh Manna says "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." What you hear and see will affect the choices that you make good or bad. This is why we need to be on guard as to what we let through our sense gates. Hurtful information and images, like the mouse I mentioned earlier, will slip through the slightest crack if we aren't on guard.

Praise God today and do what the Apostle Paul taught us to do to guard our hearts. Philippians 4:8-9 NKJV says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do..." What will be the result? The issues of life will be conducted with clear and godly thinking and choices and, as the Apostle Paul goes on to say, “the God of peace will be with you." 

Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he..." 

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@gmail.com






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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, April 06, 2018

Be Steadfast in Faith for Miracles in Your Life!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One evening,I was hosting a special church service. We had a guest minister from Australia who ministered a powerful message. When he had finished speaking, he turned the service back over to me to pray and close.  I asked people who wanted to give their life to Jesus, to come forward and receive Him into their heart. I also asked anyone who had wandered away from God to come up and rededicate their life to Him. Many came to the altar and I led them all in a prayer of salvation and re-dedication. Suddenly I could see this young women who was quite excited. I thought she was just excited about giving her life to Jesus but she came up to me and said, I have received a miracle! She was holding her glasses in her hand and said, My eyes have been healed! I can see everything perfectly clear. I wasn't able to see without my glasses and now I see everything perfectly clear.  She was crying tears of joy and rejoicing over this miracle.

Thomas one of the 12 disciples that lived with Jesus for three years. He learned that when it comes to believing the scriptures and Jesus, faith takes precedence over what we can physically see. Jesus had died but had risen again. Many were talking about it. Thomas, to his own embarrassment, confessed that unless he saw the risen Jesus with his own eyes, he would not believe what others had reported—that Jesus had risen from the dead. Jesus wasn't there when Thomas spoke those words, but when Jesus appeared to Thomas, he was very much corrected and schooled in the subject of faith.

In John 20:29 (NIV) we read the words of Jesus spoken to doubting Thomas.  "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me and believe anyway."

Many of the Jewish leaders of Jesus day actually DID see the miracles of Jesus before their very own eyes but still chose not to believe them. As a matter of fact, they even declared that the miracles He did were demonically influenced. For them, seeing was not believing. They were blinded by their jealousies and insecurities of Jesus taking His rightful place of leadership. They also hated that He was exposing them for the frauds they were. The gospels reveal that many people saw Jesus heal others, yet failed for numerous reasons to believe for themselves. Hebrews 4:2 (NIV) says, “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

You do not have the benefit of seeing Jesus physically healing others with your own eyes today. He is not walking the earth in the flesh. If it was a struggle for some of them then, how much more might it be for you to believe today? We are all surrounded by sick people. We are all surrounded by those who would mock you for believing something that sounds so crazy as believing that Jesus heals today! Yet, our belief must be empowered by knowing the nature of God and His will as revealed in His Word. It is belief in what God's word says and promises that will give you the faith and strength to stand against the attacks of unbelief that work to undermine your heart’s faith.

To the skeptic, creation, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the whale, the miracles of Jesus, and all things true that God has given us to build and inspire our faith, are nothing more than words—fairy tales and stories to be explained away or written off.

When it comes to spiritual truths, God’s Word says that there is a higher form of seeing—the ability to see through the eyes of your heart through your faith in the Word of God. Ephesians 1:18 (NIV) says, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints..." In Revelation, chapter 19 one of the names given Jesus is “The Word of God.” We can trust Jesus and we can trust the Word of God to be true.

Isaiah chapter 53 paints a picture of the Messiah (Jesus) that would come and be punished for us. He would pay the price not only for our sins, but for our sicknesses and diseases. Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV) says of Him, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His stripes we are healed.”

The Hebrew words for griefs means sickness and disease—“by His stripes we were healed.”
Jesus was beaten and punished for our sins to deliver us not just from sin, but from the curse of sin—sickness, poverty and lack, despair, and all that sin has permeated the earth with. Jesus came to destroy Satan's attacks. 1 John 3:8 (NKJV) "... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

No matter what you need help with from God, His promises of love speak loudly to them. Belief in His word and promises is what creates faith in your heart for healing, help, and peace from God when you are facing your impossible situations. Isaiah knew he was speaking to a world of mockers and doubters so by the inspiration of God, he spoke,  “Who has believed our message or report? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?” (Isaiah 53:1) The answer to that question is, to those who believe!

If you are convinced of God’s love and desire to help you on any level, let the promises of God and the works of Jesus encourage your faith so that you can remain strong in faith, despite any impossible circumstances you may face. Let the Word and promises of God encourage your heart today! Pray and believe and don't waiver despite circumstances. In doing so, you'll experience a lifetime of miracles great and small as the touch of Jesus' love in your life!

Mark 9:23 (NKJV) "Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

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@gmail.com





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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/