HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
WOW, is it really 2003? It is, and it promises to be one of the
most important years yet for sharing Jesus!
Ski Area: On New Years Eve I was
able to pray for 70 or so ski professionals from Crested Butte
before we skied down in a torchlight parade. Imagine us skiing
down black diamond slopes (most difficult), in the dark, with
highway flares burning in each hand! The highlight for me, besides
making it down each year in one piece, is my prayer time. Each
year the staff asks me to pray for them, our guests, and the ski
area. What a privilege and opportunity to lift up our wonderful
This afternoon we held our first Bible study of
the season for employees and guests at the ski area. 5 employees
and 2 guests attended. We had a great time.
Music-Music: I just received word
that production on our two new albums has been completed and we
should have the finished product by mid-February. A lot of the
songs you've requested over the years are going to be available
on CD. Please let us know if you want us to send you copies. We
never charge for the albums although you may send a donation if
you like. They have a mix of old hymns, contemporary songs, acappella
and even some gospel blue grass and country gospel. In addition
to the 2 albums, Melva and I recorded 3 songs for a compilation
album of Gunnison Country Praise and worship. Singers from several
Recent and upcoming ministry: Over
Christmas I conducted a Christmas Eve service in Gunnison and
preached twice in Crested Butte South. Please pray for the Crested
Butte South Church as they seek God's man for their new pastor.
In late February I will help lead worship at an
annual men's Bible-ski retreat in Vail and in mid-April, Melva
and I will travel to Troy MT to hold services. There's also a
chance that I will hold a chapel for the Dallas Mavericks basketball
Our college Fellowship of Christian Athletes group
collected over 600# of canned goods for the local food bank. Speaking
of FCA, we shared testimonies at two churches just before Christmas
and the Lord was lifted up! I have several student leaders who
will serve our ministry as interns this spring. Please pray for
Family: Everyone made it home for
Christmas and several brought friends. Joy's fiancée flew
over from England and we had a wonderful time. What a privilege
that we can all still join together to celebrate our Savior's
birth. Joy is doing youth ministry and preparing for her June
wedding, Bekah is working in Vail, Steve is half-way through his
first year at Indiana Wesleyan and is helping with a high school
ministry, and Tim is half-way through his first year at Biola
University near Los Angeles. Melva is substitute teaching and
working as my "official" administrative assistant.
Finances: Thanks to your prayers
and support we finished the year with every bill paid and were
able to purchase more Bibles for free distribution and study tools
for our student leaders. Thank You!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for God's anointing
to be fresh and alive as we serve and share. Please pray for Joy
and Stephen as they prepare for marriage. Please pray that we,
and each of our family, will seek the Lord daily and walk in close
relationship with Him. Please pray for our college interns. Please
pray for my physical safety and old injuries that tend to flare
up painfully at times. Please pray for our long-time friend John
Wiley as he fights off another round of cancer (John is only in
his 40's). Thank You sooooo much for your prayers and support,
God uses them to sustain us and allow us to minister with great
Devotional thought: In 2 Timothy
4, the last recorded words we have from the apostle Paul, we hear,
"Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove,
rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time
will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting
to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves
teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away
their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."
J.I. Packer, theologian and author of "Knowing
God", states that there are two schools of thought concerning
the Bible in our churches today. Those who believe that the Bible
has to 'catch up' to society's whims and 'adapt' to the culture,
he calls "subjectivists". Those who believe that the
Bible is God's living, active word; and that society must adapt
itself and bring itself into line with God's word, he calls objectivists.
We must be objectivists and submit to God's word!
I am increasingly concerned that many churches,
even once great evangelical churches, have begun to be "pressed
into the world's mold" and are trying to appease society's
driftings into sin and compromise.
Let us pray that God will give us grace, and grant
repentance that we may once again be salt and light in a sin darkened
New easier web page address: visit us on www.rickbartonministries.org
God Bless You, We Love You!!