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June 9, 2009

June 2009

Wow, it’s raining again. We’re not used to that in “Sunny Gunny”, CO. But, we’re grateful for the moisture (That’s what we always say when it rains or snows!) and it reminds us of God’s promise that His word is like the rain which will cause fruit to grow to His glory! (Is. 55:10-11)

May brought wonderful blessings in ministry as Melva and I travelled to Guthrie, OK for a week of services at Abell Church. Pastor Van, Charles “I’ll fly away” Gooch, Minnie Rose and a host of wonderful friends welcomed us back for the 26th or so year. Bob played the banjo and mandolin, Wayne brought his guitar, and special friends Jonathan and Chriselda Dirrim rejoined us after several years. We met Jonathan when he was a high school student. One night someone suggested he come and play the piano for us. When he sat down at the old piano in that small sanctuary I didn’t know what to expect, but as he began to play the Holy Spirit filled the room and the rest is history. Jonathan went on to Bible College and seminary and is now worship leader in a church in Bartlesville, OK. If you need someone special to “Pray the piano” for you, give Jonathan a call.

During the week we sang at a local nursing home, preached ten times and saw some wonderful things happen. We know the Lord is going to continue to work in the church and look forward to returning next April. While shopping, the Lord brought me to a man named Rich. As we began to talk, he shared that his folks were Christians but he himself wasn’t so sure about Jesus. I told him that if he were serious, he could ask the Lord to reveal Himself, to show Rich that He was God and wanted to save him. He said he was serious. At that point, I realized why I “just happened to be” in that aisle at Best Buy hundreds of miles from home. It was because Jesus wanted me to talk with Rich. When I told him that, you could see God at work.

I also celebrated a birthday during the week, 39 again!

On the way back we stopped and held a mini-concert for the residents of a senior’s complex in Amarillo, TX. There we saw old friends Charles Barrett, and Bob and Charlene Lawrence. At the end of the program a young lady came up and asked me to repeat the definition of grace I had given during the singing. When I told her that grace was “God’s undeserved love to us as shown through Jesus”, she was visibly touched. She said she’d never heard that before. Please pray for her, and that we’ll always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have.

Currently: We’re trying to catch up at home, prepare for upcoming meetings, work on my Doctor of Ministry reading (2500+ pages) as well as teach a Bible study and lead our Missions and Ministry group. With all the rain across the country I haven’t been called out on fires yet.

Upcoming: Melva and I celebrate our 38th anniversary (June 6), I teach a forest fire class (June 11), we speak at the Horizon School of Evangelism in San Diego (June 22-23), conduct a wedding (June 27th), hold a rodeo service in Gunnison (July 19th), head out to work on my DMin and preach in KY and TN (July 30-Aug 15). There are some exciting possibilities later in the fall as well as a few opportunities to share already booked in 2010.

Family: Tim is engaged to be married in November! He’s been dating Sara, a wonderful Christian girl in LA for over a year and they sense God’s leading to a life of service together. Please pray for them as they prepare for this wonderful event. Stephen, Joy and Hannah are awaiting the Lord’s direction on the Associate Pastor’s role in England, Bek is recovering from her knee surgery in Vail, and Steve just returned from helping lead a youth worship trip and is preparing to spend a month studying with Christian producers in Hollywood.

Finances: One of the names God uses in the Bible to describe Himself is Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. Each time we think the needs might begin to exceed the supply; we find fresh provision from Him through each of you. Thank You! Every need is being met according to His riches in Christ Jesus. With the wet summer, my firefighting has been non-existent and yet the finances are holding up. God is using your investment in many wonderful ways!

Special prayer requests: Please pray for Levi, one of our interns who has graduated and is now headed to ministry in AR for the summer before student teaching, for Linda who needs a healing in her back, for Stephen and Dan (more graduating interns) as they serve in CA and GA, for Paul and Austin as they head up college outreaches here, and the rest of our students who have gone into the Master’s harvest. Please pray for the Lord’s direction as I try to start the “West Elk Bible Institute” this fall, and for our upcoming speaking trips. Most of all, please pray that the Holy Spirit will fill us daily and use us to His glory!

Thank You for all your love, prayers and support! You are soooo loved and appreciated

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