About Tim Burt

Monday, April 29, 2019

Worrying is the Opposite of God's Plan! Do This!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

If I asked you, "What's something everyone does?" Would you say, eat or drink or maybe die? They'd all be true! Everyone does those things. If you said, worry you'd also be right. Everyone worries. It's just a part of life right?! Well Jesus says yes and no.

Matthew 6:27-28 & 30-33 (NLT) says, "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing... And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith... Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." 

Jesus is saying that for those that truly know Him, worrying is an absolutely fruitless exercise. Let me put it to you like this. Would you ever sit in a restaurant and try to eat a bowl of tomato soup with a fork? No, you wouldn't! It would be a fruitless exercise. Well, that is the value that Jesus puts on worrying. It accomplishes zip! Oops! Maybe I shouldn't say that. It does accomplish something. It creates stress. It can help birth health problems such as ulcers, insomnia, and countless other medical issues through stress. It can lead to emotional outbursts and dysfunctions. It can lead to mental health issues. It can affect and ruin relationships. I guess worrying does accomplish a lot but not the kinds of things we want to be part of our life! Especially, something that diminishes your faith in God! And so, God says that worrying is a product of little or no faith! Jesus then tells us that if we will seek to know Him, and by doing so discover that He wants us to make His purpose, our life’s purpose, then we have no cause to worry. All the things that people worry about will be added to our lives.

Throughout my Christian walk, I have strived to be sincere in my heart with God. You can't lie to or con God, though many try. To God, truth and sincerity matters. There are things in my life that I need such as meeting the needs of my family. There are also things I need in order to accomplish what I believe God wants me to do for Him.  We all have varying needs in relations to our families, our responsibilities, and the things we are called to do.  God's word calls those needs equipping. God Word says He will “equip us for every good work.” We see that in 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV) "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 

God knows that we have needs. He says that when we seek and put Him first-place in our life, all those things are added to our life. He will provide them as we ask. He cares about the details of our life. He simply doesn't want the focus of our life to be about stuff. He wants our focus on His purpose, His love, and having a daily influence upon this world, touching others in some way, with the love of Jesus. That could happen in countless ways! Use your imagination! He wants us to use our God-given gifting and equipping to help us touch people's live so they experience the love of God through you. When we do, then the promise of  2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT becomes ours! It says, “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need for every good work and plenty left over to share with others.”

I've asked God to equip me in all areas of my life since my life's entire purpose is not my job, but being the love of God to those around me. God knows that's true. That purpose has transformed my character, my work ethic, my moral compass, my dependency upon God, and the love of God within me and flowing out from me. It is what keeps the transforming power of God constant. And consequently, He has met all my needs. I mean that! All of them.

With that in mind, know that we've never held back from the Lord. We have always tithed and brought offerings to the Lord. We've done our best to put Him first place in our life in serving Him and others. And so, we've simply made lists of what we've needed and posted those lists in our kitchen pantry, (a place we are in daily.) We don't worry. We pray! We pray over them knowing and trusting that God would meet our needs. We exchange the list when the list has been fulfilled. The beautiful thing about those lists is that they are a testimony to the love and provision of God! God has met our every need beyond what we can ask or think.

Those that don’t know God, don’t know that He cares for them. And so they worry. Worry is the precursor to making unethical choices for fear that you won't get what you need any other way. Doing things unethically will erode and destroy your life.

It's time for you to come to know God and the extent of His love for you. He already gave you His best when He sent Jesus to die for your sins. Why would He withhold anything less from you. He is not a genie. He is a caring loving Heavenly Father. He instructs us that this glorious promise begins with "Seek first the Kingdom of God..." He wants you to have faith—not worry! Learn to be sincere with Him and examine your heart in asking. God isn't against you having good and excellent things that contribute to a good life of living for and serving Him. He is only against those things having you and leading you away from Him. Seek Him and be faithful to His purpose and you'll discover this to be true for you!

Psalms 84:11 (NLT) "For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right" 

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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Friday, April 26, 2019

Beautiful Scars! An Inspirational Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Beautiful Scars 
(Author Unknown)

Some years ago on a hot summer day in south Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went. He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother in the house was looking out the window saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could. Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a U-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late.

Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter, who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Mom wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you. The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

Psalms 121:8 "The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: 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. 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

God's Plan for Walking Out Your Destiny in Him

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I was one of ten children. I have five younger siblings and I have memories of my mom feeding my two youngest brothers as infants. I loved occasionally helping her. I remember her constantly preparing baby bottles of milk and then eventually feeding them Pablum—an infant cereal. In the beginning of life, breast milk, baby-formula milk and Pablum were what got a newborn off to a healthy start. God says that new Christians should start of the same way. 1 Peter 2:2 says, “Just like new-born babies, desire and crave for the milk of God’s Word so that you can grow up in the knowledge of your salvation.” 

In life and in Christianity, we all start off as infants. It is also our God-given destiny to grow up! Not just physically, but spiritually! But, just like an infant, we must start with the milk of God's word, and learn of God. You've seen the pictures of a baby being fed and gazing in the eyes of his mother or father. We must gaze and learn of God—of His love, His character, His will and purpose for mankind and our lives, a day at a time. And like it or not, we are going to start out as spiritual babies. That is what you are the day you pray and receive Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior.

The moment you repent of your sins and sincerely receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit miraculously comes to live within you. He instantly opens the eyes of your heart and understanding to the truth of God.  So let's think for a minute about infants and children growing up. Children were designed to be continuously fed. Our society is designed to instruct and teach children in order that they may intellectually grow up. But, when it comes to Christians and their spiritual growth, we've got starving babies—people that don’t go to church or read or study their Bibles. We've got Christians who don’t pursue an intimate relationship with God through prayer. Infants and toddlers continually transform before our eyes! They transform in size, behavior, in verbal expression, and in what they can physically do, and they do so consistently. That's what God intended for Christians but is too often not the case. Romans 12:2 (NLT2) says, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."  We are encouraged to grow up and let God's word instruct us, transform us, and mature us. Colossians 3:5 &10 (NIV) says, "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature... and put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

When that transformation doesn't happen, the Apostle Paul said that Christians stay like babies! “I fed you with milk and not with solid food because, like babies, you still can’t handle anything stronger.” (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Each of us has a God-given destiny. By that, I don’t mean something that's going to make headlines or put you in history books. What I do mean is that God has a great purpose for your life. He wants you to significantly influence and impact the lives of your family and others in the earth. But, infants don’t go from breast milk to steak and Christians don’t instantly mature and fulfill their destiny just because time passes. In God’s plan for our destiny we spiritually grow and mature. Even Jesus was born and matured into the fulfillment of His destiny. Destiny is a day-by-day, step-by-step, path of growing up in Christ. In that, we learn to live by God’s ways and values and over time, learn to influence and encourage others toward them.  It is God’s will that all men be saved from eternal damnation. He has paved the way and opened the entrance of Heaven for any and everyone through Jesus Christ. It’s a gift we know and understand. We hold knowledge of the greatest secret ever revealed to mankind. God does not want it to remain a secret. He wants us to be influencers of this truth!

God also wants every believer to spiritually grow up and become contributors to His plan to reach and influence others with His love. Getting dragged down into the sinful activity and degradation that permeates this earth is the opposite of His plan and yet many Christians have been sucked into it, abandoning their faith. When you don't focus on God and His will, you get sucked into the world's garbage! God speaks to that in Isaiah 65:11 (Message Bible) "...For when I invited you, you ignored me; when I spoke to you, you brushed me off. You did the very things I exposed as evil; you chose what I hate."

Destiny is realized through our growth and maturity and developed as we walk out God's values. That means God first wants us to have a vision for learning His word and ways, and with His help, figuring how to walk them out in our life. He then wants us to learn how to share them with others so that we can help others grow up in Him. He wants us to become disciples and then become disciple-makers. These are the first two core values that lead us in our God-given destiny. Our destiny will never be a blueprint that we've seen and known in advance. Our destiny is like a rose. It unfolds and gets more beautiful! It's an unfolding plan that God reveals little by little as He leads you there. And you can only be led there if you pursue these two core values of first becoming a disciple and becoming a disciple maker.

So, how to we grow up from being spiritual babies, to mature Christians that impact this world? How does this transformation and maturity happen in our lives? Simply put, it begins with finding a good Bible-teaching church that preaches and teaches the scriptures. Then it continues by becoming a part of that church community learning and serving one another together. It is in this place that you are impacted to another level by becoming a part of a serving team or small group. Making friends, growing and serving together, praying for one-another, and learning to love each other with the love of God puts you into transformation mode! God will be doing a work in you as you yield to these things. This has much the same impact as school does for children. This is God's plan for growth and maturity. The world cannot teach you the love of God. It is too busy hating, being in unforgiveness and strife, and being selfish. It doesn't know God's values and ways, nor can it teach you them. This has to happen in the community of the church! Those they say they don't need a church are those who will never fully mature in the knowledge, insight, and plan of God. No one gets a pass. No one! Seeking God to grow and working toward it in the community of His first love—the church, is His plan! Anything less is cop-out becoming a drop out!

And for those that have become an island of spiritual knowledge and wealth unto themselves—they will live in a level of immaturity and self-deception for the duration of their Christian walk, unless they humble themselves and grow up with others in the body of Christ together.

God's plan is for each of us to make the decision to receive Christ, and then to grow up in Him His way—from baby to adulthood—from spiritual infancy to a purpose-filled destiny in Christ!

Oh and for those that proclaim to have been hurt by the church and will have nothing to do with it, you've only proven your immaturity in Christ. Get over yourself! Offensive happens. You've created much of it yourself. We all have to forgive each other and move forward! We have to return to our knees and seek God, asking Him to lead us to move forward. Remaining offended is not an option. Loving others when it's difficult is God's high ground! It takes prayer, courage, and effort but the reward is growing up in Him and becoming a world influencer starting with the world around you!

You have a destiny in the big picture of God. He wants a life of significance and blessing—the life everyone dreams of for you! He want it for you more than you want it for yourself. But He can only lead you there. It's up to you to take hold of it, choose life, grow and mature, and walk it out!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: 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© 2019 All rights reserved

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TimBurt.org

Monday, April 22, 2019

Intimacy: God Reveals Truth and His Secrets to You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

What is truth? It is a question that has always plagued society because of its inability to answer that question. It wasn't hard for Jesus to answer. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life..." John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus also said, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 (NLT)

Jesus spoke so many things about life that He called “truth.” To the world, He was revealing God the Father, His own heart, and the plan of God—past, present, and future. Everything He said was truth. He knew that those that listened often struggled to understand some of the things He said, and that many things were beyond their human comprehension. This is why He said on different occasions, “But I tell you truly…” (Luke 4:25 NKJV)

God’s truth can’t be fully comprehended with just the mind. Understanding God and His word begins with the spirit. And in honesty without being offensive to anyone, only to those who are born again. God reveals Himself to those who are seeking to know Him, and to those who have receive Him as Savior through the Holy Spirit. God gives us His Holy Spirit to indwell within us when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior and commit our live to Him. That is where the understanding of all truth begins! First in the spirit from the Holy Spirit, and then our minds can begin to understand the truth of God.

We are to seek understanding from God concerning things He tells us in His Word. When we do, He grants revelation or divine insight. He opens the eyes of your understanding and lets you see what He calls truth—His perspective through from His heart. The difference is, His perspective is truth where ours is just a perspective of truth! That repeated experience is a divine and intimate exchange and exposure of God’s heart and perspective into your heart. We see this very thing in Matthew 16:13-17 NIV. “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”

Jesus told Peter that His insight was more than human understanding. Peter understood that Jesus was the Christ because God Himself revealed it to Him. Others were speculating, but for Peter, it was a settled issue. The Bible was never meant to be dissected and understood by the human mind alone because it’s not capable of understanding scripture on its own. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.

When I was a young Christian with a thousand questions about the Bible, I remember a Pastor preaching a message that helped me so much. He gave a simple piece of advice that helped me be more patient in my quest for understanding, and take it a day at a time. He said, When you read God’s Word, your mind is like that of a child. It can only comprehend a portion of what is being said to you. It is God that gives you greater insight into the meaning of His Word. He reveals and builds one truth upon another. That means your being able to comprehend all you read from God's word will take time. He continued, Did you understand literature before you learned how to read? Did you understand algebra before you learned how to add and subtract? Did you learn and comprehend what sex was when you were eight years old? God reveals truth progressively and so He will with you. Pray and ask God to reveal what you don’t understand, but then be patient. Ask God your questions, but then put them on a shelf. You will have moment after moment in your life when suddenly, God will answer one of those questions because it will be the time when you can comprehend it. One by one answers and understanding will come, and often when you aren’t even thinking about it.

That advice set me at such peace. The Lord confirmed that truth and principle from His Word to me in Isaiah 28:9-10 NKJV "Whom will He teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line. Here a little, there a little." What is this verse saying? It's saying that we learn a little at a time. This means that spiritual growth happens over time through patient and consistent seeking and learning.

I have said all this to amplify this truth: One of the greatest truths from the heart of God to us is that He,  Almighty God of all, is willing and desirous to speak and teach you about Himself. He desires and will teach you His ways. It will become an intimate experience between God and you. This is a mind-blowing but wonderful truth to meditate on!  Again, think about these words from Jesus! "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, FOR THIS WAS NOT REVEALED TO YOU BY MAN, BUT BY MY FATHER IN HEAVEN.”

Knowing and understanding this, how could we let our time with God be degraded to a lesser priority in our life? His love toward you and I is utterly amazing! He wants His secrets to become yours! He wants to bring you words to build your hope and faith as well as give you wisdom, instruction, encouragement, life-purpose, and a promise of a blessed future. Read God's Word daily, either from the Bible or some kind of devotion like this that helps you grow in Him! Let He and His Word speak to your heart today!

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV) But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: 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© 2019 All rights reserved

http://
TimBurt.org

Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter: I Was There!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Easter: I Was There!
Written by KD Sullivan

I remember the first time I gave a man a ride on my back. It was a lovely sunny afternoon, the day the stranger came and took me away. When my master’s servant called out, “What are you doing with my master’s donkey?” The man simply replied, “The Lord has need of him,” and kept walking. For some reason, that was enough for the servant.

When we got to where we were going, there was a Man waiting for us. He smiled at the stranger, put his hand on his shoulder as if He was going to say something and then changed His mind, stroking my neck. And His touch was like the warm sunshine, warm and soothing.

The stranger and his friends placed their coats on me so that the Man could ride on me. We began to ride through the streets and there were people assembled alongside the road as if they were expecting a parade. They were waving palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna! to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest.”

“Apparently, this man on my back is very important,” I thought, “I must be pretty important as well, to carry such a famous man.”

The people laid down the branches at my feet, making the road before me much more comfortable than the usual dry and dusty road. The longer we went, the more excited the people became, jumping and cheering, clapping and waving.

Finally, we came to the Temple, and He dismounted me. After stroking my nose, He went in. Another of my master’s servants came to me and said, “There you are. How did you get here?” He was further confused by the coats draped across my back. “Strange!” he said as he led me to the Temple stables for food and water.

“Who was that man, I had on my back?” I asked a mare who had been alongside the road and was now being groomed in the Temple stables.

“He is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”

“A prophet!” I thought. Why would a prophet want to ride a lowly donkey like me?

In the days that followed, I remembered what it was like to carry that Man on my back, His gentle smile and touch. I remembered the honor with which the people were greeting Him and felt warm inside that I should be chosen to give Him a ride.

About five days later, I was back home in my stable when I heard a commotion. I went to look out of the window in my stall. Once again, there were people lined up along the side of the road. “I wonder if the Prophet is having another parade?” I thought out loud. My ears perked up hoping He would choose me to ride on again. The oldest donkey in the stable, Old One, came alongside me.

This crowd was different, although I recognized many of the same faces. They were silent and suspicious. Many men had their arms crossed, or watched stroking their beards. Further down the road, I noticed a Man. He looked like the Prophet I had carried, but it couldn’t be Him. This man had been beaten, and had a crown of thorns on His head causing him to bleed. The drops of blood were dripping into His eyes, and He had gashes of open flesh on his back and legs. But the most obvious reason that I knew it must not be Him was that this Man carried a cross, and even I knew that crosses were reserved for criminals.

“Who is that Man?” I said to the Old One.

“That is the same man you gave a ride to five days ago,” he whinnied.

“That can not be! He was a good man. I know He was. I could tell by His touch. He couldn’t be deserving of such treatment! Especially by the same people who were honoring and praising Him just a few days ago.”

“Nevertheless, it is the same Man,” Old One responded.

“He must have done something wrong, for the people to allow this to happen!” I said. I was surprised at the feeling of shame I had for having carried this man. What would people think? I have transported a criminal, a prisoner?

“There are many reasons people will persecute another man. Often times, it has nothing to do with whether they have done something wrong or not. I only know that this Man comes from God.”

The road passed quite close to my stable, and the Prophet (or was He a criminal?) was almost even with my window now. He stumbled and fell under the weight of the heavy cross He carried. A soldier came and kicked Him, as He struggled to His feet. The Prophet looked up at us, and I could swear He gave a slight smile.

I turned my eyes downward, feeling guilty for my previous feeling of doubt.

I stirred up all of my courage and looked out the window again. With great effort, He lifted the cross from the road.

“But Old One, this isn’t fair! He is a good man. These people, how can they change their opinion of someone so quickly?”

Old One stayed silent, and I remembered how quickly I had gone from pride to embarrassment about my associations with Him.

Just then, a little further up the road, a weeping woman came into the Man’s path.

“I once gave this Man and woman a ride,” Old One reflected.

“You did?” I was amazed that he had never mentioned this before, especially in light of the fact, that I had repeated the story of my ride with the Prophet often in the past few days.

“Yes, I gave them a ride many years ago when I was about your age. This woman was great with child. There were no inns with available rooms that day, and she bore the baby, the Prophet, right there in the stable where I was resting from the long ride. This Man is from God. He is special. There were angels in the room and shepherds came to worship Him. He slept in the very manger I had eaten out of earlier that evening. The stars even sang and worshiped celebrating His arrival. This man is not merely a Prophet, but the Son of God.”

“Can’t we do something? Can’t He do something? Isn’t He known for His miracles?”

“I believe He could do something, but chooses not to.”

“Old One, what will happen if the people kill this Son of God? Will the world end?”

“I do not know,” Old One moved away from the window and laid down with a humph.

All morning, I wondered what was happening to this Son of God. Had the people come to their senses? Did they remember that just a few days before they had been worshiping this man? I also remembered how He smiled at me, even with the burden of His cross, even after I had be ashamed for a moment at having given Him a ride.

Later that day, my master decided to go to the Temple. “Let’s take you out for your first ride,” he said. I guess he didn’t know that the Son of God had already taken me out for a ride.

As we rode toward the Temple, the sky began to darken, and the wind began to blow. Just before we arrived at the Temple, the dust around my feet began to swirl, lightening began to flash. I thought back to my conversation with Old One. Was this the end? Did they kill the Prophet, the Son of God? The ground began to quake. The whole earth was shaking. I began to bray as I lost my balance. People everywhere were running and shouting, “This is the end! What is happening?” Priests ran out of the Temple shouting something about the curtain being torn and that we would all surely die. And then, just as quickly as it all started, it was finished. My master got up and dusted himself off. He checked to see if I was okay, petting my neck. He led me into the Temple stables where pandemonium still ruled the day, and went into the Temple to see if his help was needed.

The servants worked hard to calm the animals. They hadn’t had such a stir in quite some time. About a half an hour later, a strong military horse came into the stables. He began to speak about what he had seen that afternoon. He said that his master was a Roman soldier who had been at that afternoon’s crucifixion.

photo credit: bela_kiefer
“Jesus, the Prophet was on the center cross, and two thieves were on either side of Him,” he started.

“One of the thieves,” he continued, “cried out sarcastically, ‘Are you not the Christ? Rescue Yourself and us from death!’

But the other soldier answered him, ‘Do you not even fear God? We suffer justly receiving what we deserve, but this Man has done nothing out of the way.’

Then he turned to Jesus and said, ‘Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingly glory!’

And then Jesus answered, ‘Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.’

And then the sky began to darken and the wind began to blow. The men on the hill tried not to look nervous or frightened, but their scent betrayed them.

The ground began to shake when Jesus cried out, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!’ That is when my master recognized his part in what had happened. He fell to his knees weeping, and saying, ‘Indeed, without question, this Man was upright!’”

The horse paused here, as if for dramatic effect. “My master gently and tenderly helped take this Man off of the cross and draped him over me. He and another man took His body to a tomb. His blood remains on me this moment.”

Some of the Temple groomers had come into the stalls now. They paid special attention to the military horse, combing and brushing his coat, washing the blood from his sides.

“Some say, this Jesus was the Son of God,” one said.

“I fear He must have been, for Whose death causes heaven and earth to respond in such a way? I heard that it was this horse that carried His body to the tomb. It is His blood on our hands.”

“Did you hear that He forgave the very men who killed Him?”

The rest of the day the Temple stable was silent. My master came out later, quiet and questioning. When we got back to the stable, Old One was waiting for me. After I told him the horse’s story, I said, “Old One, those men didn’t deserve to be forgiven. Some of them were the very same ones who had given Jesus the parade a few days ago. They deserve no forgiveness.”

Old One chuckled a raspy old donkey chuckle, “Perhaps this is why He came. To give man (and your case, donkey) the ability to forgive.”

I remembered Jesus’ eyes when I looked through the window, ashamed at my association with Him. They were eyes of forgiveness. Earlier that day, I had wondered if it was the end of the world, but now I had a feeling it was the beginning of a new world. A world for which God cared enough to send His Son to forgive even the worst betrayal. A world in which man now had an example of forgiveness. It was then that I realized that forgiveness changes everything, because forgiveness had changed me.

Also titled "A Donkey's Journey Towards Epiphany" Posted by permission from KD Sullivan Easter 

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

An Easter Message: We Can Come To His Throne

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Dear Friends, Renee and I pray you have a wonderful Easter weekend reflecting on the magnitude of God's love demonstrated through Jesus, to us all! We pray His resurrection power work in your life every day! Happy Easter! 

One night Renee and I went to an event that we had been invited to. We had no idea how to dress for it. There was nothing in the invitation to give us direction in how to dress. And I was unable to get a hold of and ask the people who had invited us. We decided to dress nice casual. When we got there, what Renee had been wearing seemed to fit fine with what everyone else was wearing. For me it was a problem. Most every man had on a tie and jacket or suit coat and I had neither. I felt woefully under-dressed and felt self-conscience about it. I apologized repeatedly that night for my dress and never felt comfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is never good and especially when you feel that way toward God.

Prior to my receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and my Savior, I ignorantly believed that Almighty God—the God of the universe—the God over all mankind, was high in Heaven on His throne having to respond to billions of people and couldn't possibly think or care about all that I was concerned with in my life. Again, in my ignorant thinking, He was up there. I was down here. He was busy. I was insignificant. My thinking was, I'll bother Him only in extreme emergencies and even then, I won't get my hopes up too high. That was ignorant and blind thinking and has nothing to do with the reality of whom and how God is. That kind of ignorance can hurt us and keep us from God's love and help. It did me! Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."

The Bible teaches us about the Holy of Holies. It was an interior portion of the tabernacle. There was a huge veil—a type of heavy, think ornate curtain that hung down separating the Holy of Holies from the first tabernacle. No one was permitted to enter past that curtain except the high priest. When Jesus died upon the cross, an earthquake happened. Powerful spiritual forces were in operation. We read about them in Matthew 27:50-54 NKJV. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were split; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, truly this was the Son of God."

You read it... “...the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom..." The significance of this to us is powerful. Jesus had given His life as a sacrifice for our sins. That sacrifice destroyed the veil—that separation between us and God. Man previously had to go to a priest to ask and get forgiveness of sin. Now that was abolished through Jesus. Jesus became the priest who offered Himself—the perfect and final sacrifice for all. After He gave His life, the veil keeping us from God was torn in two. If we believed Jesus died for our sins received Him as our Lord and Savior, we would never be separated from God again. That is what makes the words of Hebrews 4:16 so powerful and such a grace to our life: "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."

When I come boldly before Him, I live by faith in the fact that Jesus has washed my sins away. That is what allows me to come boldly. The Bible says He has washed me and put His robe of righteousness on me and that is His doing. Yet, when I come before Him—in the presence of His Holiness, I can still feel woefully unclean and woefully inadequate. I feel this way because I know the thoughts that run through my head. I know the inappropriate conversations I enter into. I know actions that fall short in my life. I am humbled and could easily feel inadequate to stand in His presence. But because of His doing, I am not! I've been made righteous in His eyes. Knowing of the magnitude of His love only makes me want to live Him that much more. He loves me despite my shortcomings. He's cleansed me from all unrighteousness. My love for Him grows knowing that He desires to help me, love me, and allow me to partake of His grace—His supernatural supply of wisdom, resource, and ability, where I would otherwise be bankrupt and without hope.

We don't need an appointment with God. He is not too busy. He does not want us to be uncomfortable around Him. We won’t be under dressed or unacceptable. God is able to love, cherish, nurture and help countless billions of people—each one personally and with great affection and all at the same time. That is what makes Him God. Comfort, peace, and intimacy with God come from knowing this and standing strong in it by faith!

He has removed the veil—the force of sin that had previously separated us from God. Jesus' death accomplished that. He calls out to love and help us! That is the Easter message. Isaiah 55:1-7 says it wonderfully! "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you... Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” 

God bless you and have a blessed Easter!

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: 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. 

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Our Words, Our Calling, Our Influence


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

People want God to fix this world. Many think it's messed up and it's His fault! Why doesn't He do something about it? Oh I promise you, God is working in the earth, but He is working through the prayers of men and women who love Him and who are dedicated to helping others come to know Him. He has instructed us to manage this earth with His wisdom, direction, and through the touch of His love! Psalm 115:15-16 NLT says, "May you be blessed by the Lord, who make heaven and earth. The heavens belong to the Lord, but He has given the earth to all humanity." 

Having said that, one of the most important and practical ways we are to represent Him and influence others in this earth, is through our words—all words, even those we speak that seemingly have nothing to do with the Lord. All words matter in all things and always! And if you want the world to be a better place, let it start with your own words. Is that an easy task? Nope! It seems almost impossible. You will find very few that will join you in this call of God. So you must understand for yourself how true and critical it is. And you'll find out soon enough, that without the help of the Holy Spirit within you, this would be an impossible transformation in Christ to make!

James 3:8-11 NIV instructs us of a profound truth. "… no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

You know how it is. You've thought about it a million times. You know you shouldn't use your tongue to tear down others. If we have a conscience, then we will often find ourselves repentant over what this uncontrollable little creature has just released from our mouth. We will also find that despite the desire to speak right words and our repentance for failing to do so, victory in getting our tongue to cooperate comes slower than we'd like. We find ourselves blessing and saying kind things to some, only to later spew inappropriate things to others, much to the regret of our conscience. We find out that the Word of God is true. "...No man can tame the tongue."   
James 3:5-6 (NIV) says, “…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." "...No man can tame the tongue."

If this is true, then what do we do? Do we just concede and let our mouth vomit words we regret? Do we just give up before we even try to make this transformation? No, the first step is to recognize this truth and come to grips with it. You can't fix your tongue yourself. God is not lying when He says "...NO MAN can tame the tongue." That includes you and I. At the same time we have to realize that God is not setting us up to fail. The answer in taming the tongue is recognizing that only with the help of the Holy Spirit, can you restrain the tongue and your thought-life feeding that little creature.

Pray that God give you a revelation of the truth in Proverbs 18:21 NIV. "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." You will know when God has given you this revelation. A revelation of this verse will create the desire from within for the need to curb your words. By that I mean that you will understand that your tongue can be used by God. It can be used to be one of the greatest instruments of blessing to you and to others, and to benefit your life, or, it will be an instrument of poison that will hurt
even produce destruction in your life and the life of othersin some cases quickly and in other cases over a period of time.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the destructive phrases you say without thinking. Listen and you'll hear yourself say things such as, He is never going to change! Or, I'm stuck with this situation and there is nothing I can do about it. Or, Nothing ever goes my way. Or, I am never going to find the right person for me 
all the good ones are taken.  Make no mistake in understanding this. Your mouth is the barometer of what's in your heart! The words that spill out expose your heart and thinking and also reveal where your faith is at.

Don’t destroy your life and don’t destroy the lives of others with your words! Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand the power of Words. Connect that to your call and purpose in the earth—to help manage, bring blessing, and influence others with the touch of God's love through Jesus Christ. That is the high calling of every believer! Then listen to what you say. Become dependent upon the Lord's help for what it takes to change the words you speak. Let Him help you begin to speak words that bring life, encouragement, and healing. You can't control your tongue yourself. But you can begin to transform that area of your life with the continuous help of the Holy Spirit. And when you do, you’ll begin to succeed and experience an entire new area of the God-life that He has for you—a life that is blessed and produces blessing—for yourself and for the world around you!

Ephesians 4:29 NIV "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Friday, April 12, 2019

The Daffodil Principle

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am republishing this today by popular request! Great to read, reread, and share with others! Be blessed and know that Renee and I pray for you all daily! 

The Daffodil Principle (Author Unknown)


Isaiah 28:10 (NKJV) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, 'Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.' I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

'I will come next Tuesday', I promised a little reluctantly on her third call. Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

'Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!' My daughter smiled calmly and said, 'We drive in this all the time, Mother.' 'Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!' I assured her. 'But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks,' Carolyn said. 'I'll drive. I'm used to this.' 'Carolyn,' I said sternly, 'Please turn around.' 'It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.'

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, ' Daffodil Garden ' We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

'Who did this?' I asked Carolyn. 'Just one woman,' Carolyn answered. 'She lives on the property. That's her home.' Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. 'Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking', was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. '50,000 bulbs,' it read. The second answer was, 'One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.' The third answer was, 'Began in 1958.' For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world . 'It makes me sad in a way,' I admitted to Carolyn. 'What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!' My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. 'Start tomorrow,' she said.

Hebrews 6:12 (NIV) "We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." 

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Is Being Independent and Yet Needy A Conflict? No!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Over the course of life, I've often heard the phrase, I’m an independent thinker. I heard it so many times that I thought it was a goal of everyone as they grew up into adulthood and matured. I think when people say that, they somehow mean that they don’t just go with the flow but they create their own philosophies and beliefs and opinions themselves.

My goal in raising my children was to teach them to learn to think for themselves and yet teach them that God's Word is the foundation of where all their thinking should filter through, so that their thoughts are in harmony with what God thinks. I wanted them to learn to make decisions for themselves as they grew older, but tried to be a part of those decisions until they had enough knowledge, maturity, and experience to make them for themselves. As they became young adults, I released them and worked to stay out of their decision-making process because it was now their life, not mine. My goal from that point was to be the good friend whose ear they wanted to bend and ask my thoughts and opinions of.  When I do share thoughts with them, I try to tread lightly so I don’t accidentally try to dominate their thoughts or decisions and push them away. This has helped each of them become a responsible adult who can make quality decisions independently of me—but not independent of God.

My life’s role feels significant to me. As a Pastor, I've had the honor of influencing many lives for the Lord in a great diversity of ways. I’m fairly confident that I’m seen as a strong leader. I know how to and do think independently, but I also know how to flow in unity and cooperation with those I work with to reach mutually desired goals and objectives. Working together with others doesn't affect my independence. It creates a healthy interdependence. I work with many strong and capable leaders. We all desire to focus on what is best for the people we serve and influence, yet it's critical that we bring our thoughts into a larger big-picture plan understanding that not one of us has all the answers. We work to bring our thoughts into planning, effort and harmony in order to reach mutually desired goals of good for others.

It sounds so cool to be an independent thinker yet in touting it, it can easily become mired in pride and narcissism. That is what many independent thinkers get lost in—pride and narcissism—especially if they refuse to listen and learn and mutually work toward goals with others. The safe-guard for anyone is to realize how needy each of us are for help and cooperation and compromise in order to execute life successfully. Learning to think independently, yet recognize that you are also needy of the input of God and other mature fruit-bearing leaders is not a conflict. It's maturity at it's best!

I’m extremely needy! I am needy for God. I am needy for His love. I am needy for His assurance that He's with me and will help me. I am needy for His wisdom because my decisions affect many people and I want my decisions to help and bless, not hinder and hurt. I am needy for the wisdom of good people that have gone before me who will help me avoid unnecessary mistakes that have already been made and should be learned from. I was needy for God to help me know the best way to raise my children. I was needy for Him to help me figure out how to make an income that would pay for my children’s schooling, and braces, and a thousand pairs of shoes, and college, and weddings, and so much more. I was needy. I still am. I need His wisdom for the decisions I face today! I am also needy for good relationships in my life. I am needy for anointed words from the throne of God for those that need them today. My life doesn't work without the love and help of others. Yes I am independent but I am also needy—and that is God's plan and it works wonderfully!

All this causes me to realize my limitations and the need for Lordship of Jesus Christ in my life. He is God and I am His son and a son that needs His help. Jesus has made this all possible and I praise Him forever! Because of the repeated assurance of His love and desire to help me, though I know I am needy, I also know He’ll help me. That is what helps me be more independent in the right ways.

Finally, I am awed that the God of this universe has made Himself so intimate and available always desiring me to bring every need to Him with assurance of His caring and help. I am awed at these words. Philippians 4:6 (NIV) "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." He gives me the permission slip to be needy and have faith in Him and then strengthens my faith and confidence by these amazing words of assurance. 1 John 5:14-15 NIV "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. 

He said, “This is the confidence…” This is where the foundation of healthy independence comes from in my life. This is the reality of us all—that we can be independent and needy without being in conflict. It's God's desire for our life in Him through Jesus Christ!

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: 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. 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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