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February 11, 2008


February 2008
“The Season of Love”

LOVE! Recently, we took a look at the “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) as part of a class I’m teaching. What a wonderful and convicting reminder of how full and rich God’s love is! Someone once told me to put my name in the place of “love” in the first few verses. “Rick is patient. Rick is kind.” Uugh. I’ve soooo far to go. But, what a blessing to “Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us! That we should be called the sons of God.” (1 John 3:1)

Current ministry blessings: A few weeks ago I was sharing about the Lord with one of my ski students. One of our lift operators overheard me and began to ask questions about the Lord. Please pray for “Cat”.

Another wonderful blessing is the college ministry. Because of your prayers and support we have been able to pour our lives into some deeply committed followers of Jesus. These young men and women are truly “world changers”. They are active in sharing their faith on the campus, in their workplaces and around the world.

Melva and I continue to have the privilege of sharing the grace of God with students at Western State College. Currently we have approximately 30 men and women in our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings and at least 10 in our 6:30 am “Called to Ministry” group. Recently I had the opportunity to share with the community AWANA youth ministry. Several of their key workers are former students of our ministry! Each week I continue to teach through the Book of Acts on Sundays and have been able to share the Lord with ski area employees and ski students from around the world. Please continue your prayers that the Lord will open up hearts.

Coming up: February 11 Melva and I will share music and testimony with our friends visiting from First Baptist Church of Ft. Smith, AR. In mid-month I will teach a fire refresher class for our volunteer fire department and help mentor community leaders in a “pandemic” exercise. At the end of the month I will help lead 130 men in worship at the annual High Ground retreat in Beaver Creek, CO. In March I will teach a fire refresher class for state and federal firefighters and after Easter Melva and I hope to travel to Scotland to visit our daughter Joy and husband Stephen. Of course, we will continue to conduct the college ministry, teach the Acts study and instruct skiing during this time. Your prayers give us the strength and opportunities to do these ministries.

When we return from Scotland in mid-April, we hope to be on the road sharing in churches around the country. In May, Lord willing I will teach for the Black Hills Biblical Institute in Rapid City, SD, as well as teach at churches in Denver and Pitkin, CO. In June we will be sharing at the Colorado Wildfire Academy and Livermore Community Church. Other opportunities may open up as well. Please pray that God will guide our schedules and anoint us with His Holy Spirit for these tasks.

Health: Melva’s blood pressure has returned to normal and her strength continues to improve! Thank you for your prayers. Please pray that her rash will go away as well as the blood clots in her lungs. My prostate cancer seems to be completely healed with a couple of lingering side effects. Recently, I had a bad muscle strain and missed a few days of work but it seems to be healing as well.

Family: Melva is back to a full load of substitute teaching as well as our ministry activities. Stephen and Joy are nearing the end of Stephen’s pastoral studies in Scotland and are seeking the Lord’s direction on where to serve. Bek is doing well in Vail. Steve is continuing to flourish in ministry here in Gunnison and Tim is working away in Los Angeles. My mom is going strong as the “designated driver” for her car-less friends.

Finances: The Lord continues to graciously meet every need! Thank you for being instruments of His provision. Your consistent prayers and gifts are touching many lives. Hardly a week goes by without us hearing of former students who are now serving productively in ministry around the world. Your investments continue to pay dividends in His kingdom!

Prayer requests: For His anointing to continue and increase in our lives. For the Lord to make His direction clear to Stephen and Joy. For Melva and my complete healing. For Stephen and Levi, our ministry interns who are doing a great work on the campus. For the right opportunities to share this spring and summer.

You are Loved and Appreciated! Thank you soooo much for your love and prayers!

Rick and Melv

 

 

Rick Barton Ministries • 401 Ute Lane Gunnison, CO 81230 • barton@gunnison.com • (970) 641-3583