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July 4, 2003

Independence from Sin and Dependence on Jesus!

As I write you, I am barely awake. I returned today from 16 days of firefighting in AZ. The Lord was soooo gracious. I was able to hold Chapel services, give away a number of firefighter New Testaments, and pray and counsel. But sixteen days straight of 14-16 hour days can be a bit tiring. I leave tomorrow for a week of fire classes in Florida. Pray that I will be an alert witness.

Special Blessings: While on the fires, Ed and Arlene Eddy came by the fire camp. Ed and Arlene are "kind of" retired pastors, missionaries and Billy Graham staff. At 83, Ed and his "much younger" bride are still volunteering and serving Jesus. They read my name in a local newspaper and we had a wonderful few minutes together. We both were able to share Christ with one of the media they know.

Another special blessing: The International Bible Society contacted Melva while I was gone and asked permission to use an article I wrote in one of their magazines. In the article I tell of giving away the new firefighter New Testaments on the Texas Shuttle Recovery project this spring.

Missionary update: Hannah Kinseth, a world class runner from our college ministry and Travis Murray are both doing well in their Athletes In Action outreach in Spain. Please pray for them.

Prayer requests: For safety and doors of opportunity to witness on fire assignments. For Joy and Stephen in their marriage and ministry in England. For Rebekah, Steve and Tim as they work and grow in Christ. For Melva and I as we are apart at times during the summer. For the ministry finances to catch up and that we use them as wise stewards for Christ. For the Ogans, a wonderful OK family who lost their husband-father recently.

Here's a thought. Today, Larry Burkett went to heaven. After accepting Christ in the early 70's he began a ministry teaching folks God's way of handling money. What are you and I doing with the time and resources God has given us? One of our Board of Reference members and a friend of Larry's, Ron Blue, gives us some wise advice. Ron says that one of the main principles of dealing with money is to remember, "It all belongs to God." I am continually reminded that it's not how much money I have, but that I realize it belongs to God and use it for His glory.

Another thought: For the past year I've really been dwelling on the thought, "To know Christ, and to make Him known." That's really Melva and my mission statement!

We love you.

Rick and Melva

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