HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Dear Co-Worker in Christ,
FUN, FUN, FUN? Tonight I participated in our annual New Years
Torchlight Parade on Crested Butte Mountain. Each year around
50 or so ski instructors slide down an advanced slope after dark,
through moguls, over occasional rocks and patches of ice, with
highway flares burning in each hand! Now if that isn’t
fun I don’t know what is!
But the exciting thing is that each year before we come down,
the rest of the instructors ask me to give a New Year’s
prayer. This is especially exciting since only a handful of my
fellow instructors would profess to be practicing Christians.
And each year, after the prayer, at least one instructor comes
up to me and either asks about the Lord, a local church, or identifies
themselves as a Christian looking for fellowship. This year was
no exception. Two instructors asked about my weekly Bible study
on the mountain. It’s definitely worth the “thrill
of a lifetime” run.
I LOVE NEW YEARS!! I personally use the beginning of the New
Year to re-evaluate and re-prioritize my goals. To me that’s
a very valuable exercise. This year’s goals are starting
to fall into place. Let me share some of them with you.
be a godly husband, father, and worker!
- To finish my MDiv equivalency
so that I can start my Doctor of Ministry.
- I have 3 classes
to take to complete this 10-year project.
Class # 1 is offered Jan. 5-16 in Denver and I am enrolled.
Class # 2 in early June and Class 3 in October.
- The purpose
of getting the DMin is to follow through on what I felt the
Lord leading me to do since 1979, to prepare
more in Bible schools and seminaries. (I know, I’m
slow but I keep plugging away.)
- To continue work on my re-write of Charles Spurgeon’s “Lectures
to My Students”. I’ve had some very positive
response to the work so far.
- To continue to try and help
Steve and Tim get through their Christian colleges debt-free.To
be FAT. Faithful, Available and Teachable.
Ongoing Events: Our weekly work with the Fellowship of Christian
Athletes, our weekly training sessions for those who feel called
to the ministry, our weekly Bible studies at the ski area,
our weekly Sunday evening studies at our home.
- Preaching in Denver (Jeffco Christian Fellowship) during
my seminary course (Jan. 11).
- Preaching at Trinity Baptist in
Gunnison (Jan. 18).
- Preaching in Lake City, CO (Jan. 25)
- Men’s Bible/ski
retreat in Beaver Creek, CO (February 25-27)
- Revivals in Protection,
KS (April 11-14), and Guthrie OK (April 18-24)
- Teaching in
the Horizon School of Evangelism in San Diego (week of April
Financial Blessings: Throughout most of the summer we have been
running up to 2 months behind in our ministry finances. There
are several reasons for this. We made some major one-time purchases
of audiovisual equipment. We supported 2 ministry interns to
help with our college ministry and purchased a number of study
books for our ministry training students. Also, some of our supporters
had to cease supporting us due to financial hardships.
The great news is that by the end of the year we (once again)
were completely caught up! This is because a number of you, individually
and as churches, felt led to send “surprise” gifts
over and above your normal support. Thank you for being obedient
to the Lord! Your faithful prayers and support allow us to do
what we do. You truly “hold our arms up” as we minister.
Prayer Requests: Rebekah, our daughter in Vail has asked for
prayer for some of her friends who don’t know the Savior
yet. And, she asked me for several Bibles to give away! Joy’s
husband Stephen is continuing to prepare for pastoral ministry
through their home church in England and would appreciate prayer.
Please pray for me as I preach and teach. Also, please pray as
I share with my ski students and fellow workers. Today, two of
my students, one from Brazil and one from New York, asked me
about my faith! And of course, for my studies, our families health,
and protection from the enemies attacks.
Thank you sooooo much for your faithful love, prayers and support.
We love to hear from you!
May you have a blessed New Year!
Rick and Melva Barton