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Uploaded: November 11, 2008


Autumn Gratitude!

September brought another forest fire, homecoming for a friend, and doors of opportunity! As we ended our September newsletter, I had just been called to a third fire assignment in Northern California. I served as a line Safety Officer on the Deerhorn Fire. I ran into friends from the past and had the opportunity to share the Lord with several. Upon my return from CA, I attended Jim Swartz’s funeral. His wife Flo shared how they had accepted Jesus 25 years ago at a cowboy camp-meeting Melva and I sang at.

Just change one letter! Most of us who travel to forest fires prefer to drive rather than fly. Overall, it’s less hassle. We can carry all our gear, have a vehicle when we arrive, and because of cancelled flights, generally arrive about the same time. However, on this last dispatch they insisted that I fly. Sure enough, the flight was delayed causing me to miss my connecting flights and arrive in Eureka, CA after midnight. I booked the last room available and had no way to reach the motel. You might say I was “disappointed”. However, God’s word instructs us to give thanks “in” and “for” all things, (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20). So I gave it a valiant try.

First, the Lord arranged for a shuttle van to unexpectedly be at the airport and it had room for me. Second, since I didn’t have a vehicle, the fire sent a driver to pick me up. He turned out to be a backslidden brother and for an hour I was able to encourage him to come back to Jesus.

On the fireline, I had the opportunity to share with a Division Supervisor. As I waited in the airport to return home, the flights once again were cancelled. As a result I was able to meet a wonderful couple who serve the Lord in Texas despite the husband losing both hands. What was the lesson? I would have missed a lot of blessings if I had gotten stuck in my “disappointment”. Instead, as I trusted the Lord to direct my steps, He changed the first letter of disappointment, “d” into an “H”. All these delays had really been “His-appointments”!

College Ministry: The Lord has raised up a small but wonderful group of students for us to work with this year. The numbers are small, but as you join us in prayer we believe the Lord will do a mighty work. Our “called to the ministry” group on Thursday mornings is going well with 6-10 men and women who sense God’s call to missions and various ministries.

Family: Melva continues to show signs that her health is improving. Please pray that her tests in November will show her lungs clear of blood clots. Joy, Stephen and baby (due in January) are doing well in Scotland. Stephen has started his new job and enjoys it. Bek visited them for two weeks. We continue to trust that Bek will return to the Lord soon. She is a wonderful daughter with so many gifts. Our son Steve and I played golf this weekend. It was the first time for me in several years. We had a great time! He’s still doing a wonderful job at the Community Church. Tim is doing well in Los Angeles and we look forward to seeing him in December. My mom continues to serve as “designated driver” for her friends, taking them to the doctor’s office and shopping. My dad is in an Alzheimer’s unit in Denver and doing well. Thank you for your faithful prayers for our family!

Current/Upcoming: On October 10th I fought a fire near the town of Hotchkiss, CO; on the 11th held a chapel for the Western State Football team; on the 12th we taught an adult Bible study and then held a chapel for hunters. On October 24th we will have a dinner for all of you in Colorado Springs, the 25th - 26th we speak at Horizon Christian Fellowship in Littleton, CO; the 28th we have a dinner in Dallas and the 31st a dinner in Oklahoma City. December 11-12th we will teach in the Horizon School of Evangelism in San Diego, January 23rd I teach at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY, February 1-4th services in Delta, CO and then back to Southern for a Doctor of Ministries seminar February 9-13th . In between I’ll be teaching skiing and working with our college students. Please pray for us as we desire to share Jesus in each setting.

Prayer requests: Thank you again for your faithful prayers for us and our student workers Stephen and Levi! We are truly blessed! This month we would ask you to pray: for the Holy Spirit’s anointing as we share, for Melva’s tests to come back clear, for Joy and Stephen’s pregnancy to continue to be normal, for direction on Stephen’s Master’s degree work and the right church to serve, for Bek to fall in love with Jesus, for Steve and Tim to continue to grow in their love for the Lord and their ministries. Please pray for Edith Thresher as she recovers from a bad fall, for Jan Wren as she recovers from a brain aneurism and Joe Bugg as he fights cancer. And, please pray that God will receive all the glory for these 40 years of ministry!

Finances: As our country goes through financial woes, we are very grateful that every need is being provided. The income from fighting forest fires and your faithful support has allowed us to meet every expense as well as help other believers in need. Thank You!

Please join us as we celebrate 40 years of God’s faithfulness! We look forward to sharing an evening of fellowship, dinner and praise with you. We will be in Colorado Springs (Oct. 24), Dallas (Oct. 28), and Oklahoma City (Oct. 31). Please call or email us for directions and times., 970-641-3583 home, 970-209-8006 cell)

May the Lord Jesus richly bless each of you and your families! We love and appreciate you.

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