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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.

  • To 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 to teach 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.

Upcoming Events:

  • 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 26)

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

Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • • (970) 641-3583