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Uploaded: August 4, 2008

August 2008
August Already??

Where has the summer gone: Wow! It seems like yesterday I finished the ski season and now college is about to start.

But, what a summer it’s been. The day after I put my skis away we were on a plane to Scotland to visit our daughter and son-in-love. While there, we were able to minister in a castle, church and college. When we returned, we held services in OK, WY, CO, KY and TN! I had a wonderful week of Doctor of Ministry study at Southern Seminary in Louisville and then more services in CO.

Of Cowboys and Firefighters: After returning from Southern Seminary we prepared to hold our 27th (or so) annual Rodeo Service. I knew that every day I waited was a day of turning down fire calls, yet I sensed He wanted me to stay for the service. Although rain was forecast, the day was beautiful. 50 or so folks showed up and for the first time the service was broadcast throughout the entire arena. I felt the Lord’s presence as we sang and shared the word of God. We continue to hear how the Lord used that service in special ways. One man who has terminal cancer heard how Jesus would walk with him through the “valley of the shadow of death”. Your prayers worked again!

The next morning we had the privilege of sharing at a Calvary Chapel retreat. Then I boarded a plane for fires in Northern California. The Lord provided me with several opportunities to share Jesus and give away firefighter Bibles. I worked 186 hours in 13 days. One disappointment, the Incident Commander on our fire changed his mind and wouldn’t let me hold a chapel service off the clock on Sunday eve. Please pray that God will help us show these leaders that it is legal and the right thing to do. I’ve been home a week and will probably go out again after I conduct a funeral this weekend.

Today we attended the homecoming service for the father of a student who was in our ministry over 30 years ago. She was able to lead her dad to Christ a month before his death! Diane has been in ministry for many years and is serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jackson, MS. She told me today that she looks back on her time here as foundational. Your prayers have impacted many lives!

Family: Melva has joined a group of ladies in the community in starting a new ministry providing meals and transportation for the needy in our area. She’s holding off on fires since she has blood tests almost every week. Her results are continuing to improve so please keep up your prayers. Joy and Stephen’s pregnancy is going well. They’ve decided to stay where they are in Scotland at least until the baby is born next January. In the meantime, Stephen will continue to supply preach and has been offered a full-ride scholarship for his Master’s degree. *A special note about the pregnancy. While in Scotland the Lord prompted me to pray that they would have a child before we returned. A few weeks later Stephen called and told me that after years of trying, our prayers were answered. God is soooo good!

Bek is doing well in every area but her walk with the Lord; please continue to lift her up. Steve returned safely from his European tour and is back to work with the Community Church. Tim felt the earthquake this week in LA but no harm done.

Coming Up: In addition to fires, we have a busy ministry schedule this fall. In a few weeks the college reopens and our FCA ministry will gear up. For the third season we’ll be arranging chapels for the football team and sharing with the players. I’ll be teaching at Horizon Christian Fellowship in Denver, October 24-25, as well as working on my next doctoral class. OCTOBER 31 is the date for our 40th anniversary of ministry gathering in Oklahoma City. We’d love to have you join us! Please contact us for details. Dates are pending for other cities.

Finances: Thanks to your prayers and God’s faithfulness through you, we’re back in the black and moving forward into the fall.

Special Prayer requests: (1) Please pray for Bob and Robin Schaff, long-time workers with Youth With A Mission, who lost all their belongings in a house fire. (2) Also, please lift up Kurt and Cindy Van Gordon with Utah Gospel Mission who have spent over 30 years in ministry to the cults. Kurt has an abdominal hernia, needs surgery and has no insurance as well. If you would like to help these folks you can do so through us (just attach a note) or call for their mailing addresses. (3) Please pray for Josh and Dan and they head to CA to serve and witness, and for Allie, Monica, Eric and Levi as they serve this summer around the world. (4) I’m still asking the Lord for direction about opening the Christian Ministry Training Center. Please pray with me for His will. (5) And, especially pray that Melva and I will be filled continually with His Holy Spirit and walk in His anointing!

Newsletters: We continue to hear how many of you are praying for us in response to our newsletters. Thank You! If you are encouraged by our newsletter and are only getting it quarterly, we would be glad to put you on our monthly mailing. Just let us know if you want them by regular mail or email. Write, phone (970-641-3583) or email ( HYPERLINK "mailto:barton@gunnison.com" barton@gunnison.com) and we’ll be glad to update you monthly.

Thank You for your love, prayers and support! We’re doing very well. As our old friend Dr. Bill Bennett says, “I am too anointed to be disappointed, too blessed to be depressed, too chosen to be frozen, too elected to be rejected, have more to shout about than pout about and have more to sing about than complain about!”

 

In His Grace, Rick and Melva

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