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Uploaded: May 27, 2010

Water Wings and Blessings!

What a wonderful God we serve! Melva and I just returned from five weeks of travelling and sharing in seven states. What a joy to see so many of you. The trip included stops in Colorado Springs, Dallas and Oklahoma City to visit supporters, a small concert for our friends in Amarillo, eight days of services at Abell Church in Guthrie, OK, sharing with a college-career group at South County Baptist in St. Louis, speaking for the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Annual Appreciation Dinner in Indianapolis, sharing with our friends at Lakewood Baptist in Louisville, an intimate worship service with “Noah” and the church family at Cragfont Baptist outside of Nashville. (We almost had to don water wings during the Nashville floods. A total of 12 of us made it through the flood waters that morning.), and meeting with professors to jump start my DMin project at Southern Seminary. Five thousand miles of driving and not one negative incident! Thank you Jesus! And thank you prayer partners for lifting us up.

During the trip the Lord allowed us to see folks commit and recommit their lives to the Savior. We pray the Lord allowed us to be an encouragement as well as being encouraged by many.

The week spent at Southern Seminary in Louisville was much needed. I’m afraid I had allowed a lot of “good” things to rob all my time and energy from pursuing some of the “best”. After finishing all the course work for my doctorate last fall, I have 18 months to develop and write a project to graduate. I hadn’t even started. By being on campus and meeting with my professors, I was able to begin. I’m excited that the finished project will be a beneficial tool for our work in training students for ministry and be reproducible for others. Please pray that Jesus will keep His hand and Spirit on me as I work.

Family: Joy, Stephen, Hannah and baby-on-the-way are doing well in Scotland. Please keep praying for the Lord’s direction for the right church for them to serve. We know He is preparing them and the upcoming church family. Bek is on her annual road trip and we appreciate your prayers for her. Steve is working in Los Angeles and praying for the right job in television production, Tim and Sarah are working away in Los Angeles.

Upcoming opportunities: We’ll continue teaching through the book of Luke on Saturday evenings, conduct a memorial service for our long-time friend Tom Liester in Grand Junction, preach in Pitkin, CO (May 30), teach two more fire classes, hold our annual rodeo church service in July, and fight forest fires as they arise. In between, I will be working on the doctoral project. Sometimes we wish the Lord would send extra finances so I could just finish the project, but we know He is using all this to His glory.

“Battlefield Blessings” A while back I mentioned that AMG Publishers was considering putting out a devotional book for firefighters and first responders, with the proceeds going to the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters. Lord willing, the book is coming out in August and they’ve decided to use several of my stories. Please pray the Lord will use it.

Finances: Thank You soooo much for your faithful prayers and support! We know that if the prayers are there, the finances will be taken care of. During these difficult times several have had to cut back on their support. We understand. Always support your local church first, then us as He leads you. The wonderful thing is that others of you have stepped up to fill in the gap. We are especially blessed when we see new folks who have been led to send a gift of any amount along with a prayer. Thank You!

Health: Just before we left on the tour I came down with a weak voice and a lingering cough. This has persisted. Please pray for the Lord’s healing.

Purpose and Vision: Sometimes when we get so busy we forget what our calling and ministry really are. The Purpose of our ministry can be boiled down into eight words. “To know Him and to make Him known”. To “Win one-Train one-Send one” is a further defining of our purpose. Specifically that involves our personal growth through private study as well as seminary work, sharing Him with others through Bible studies, forest fire and ski area outreach, and training workers through special meetings and classes.

What is our Vision? To finish the doctorate in order to be better equipped to train others; to continue our training programs for developing leaders, and to stay fresh in evangelism by continuing to serve in ski and forest fire ministry as long as I physically can.

Special prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to abide and increase in our lives. For Bek’s walk with the Lord, Stephen’s call to the church God has chosen for them, for Steve to have the right work in his field, for our daughter-in-love Sarah’s father Ken’s health, for Pastor Dan Curtis, missionary Cathy Gallagher and my banjo-pickin buddy Bob Moffat to be healed of cancer. For the ministry finances to increase and for my health to be restored. Thank You!

In His grace and to His glory! Rick and Melva

 

 

 

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