Uploaded: Jan 3, 2011
"Greater Love Has No Man"
Celebrating Love! "How great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God." 1 John 3:1
A jam-packed January: As you may know, for the past 30 or so winters I've done a New Year's Eve prayer with our Crested Butte Ski and Snowboard instructors before we come down the mountain in a torchlight parade. This year over 100 instructors prayed with me. I heard reports of some weeping and others standing aside in thought after the prayer. Please pray that God will use this moment in many lives.
This month we started a new semester of our West Elk Bible Institute (WEBI) with 15 students, some in person and others joining over the computer by SKYPE from Mexico as well as a ranch. We're going through the Book of Acts. On Thursday mornings our "Ministry Breakfast" group is running over a dozen, and our Saturday Evening Worship had its record turnout this week with 60. We're taking this group through the Book of Luke, verse by verse. WEBI also sponsored a weekend seminar utilizing the first 5 chapters of Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon which I've rewritten in easier to read language and format.
Of course Melva has been busy helping with all the ministry needs as well as substitute teaching several days a week and I've been teaching skiing 5 days a week. Your prayers sustain us, spiritually, emotionally and physically! Thank you!
Rich and Shelba Townsend: Even though Rich and Sheba don't join us full-time until May, they continue to be lifesavers in helping us with WEBI and other services in addition to their ministry at Trinity Baptist Church. Please continue your prayers for them as they fulfill such vital roles in the Master's work. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary January 29th! The Lord Jesus is already opening doors for Rich to speak this spring and summer.
Coming up: We continue to receive invitations to share God's glorious gospel in wonderful places. So far I will be helping with the High Ground Men's Retreat February 23-25, and then we will be in Tucson AZ- April 10-12, Guthrie OK-April 17-24, and are praying about dates in Cripple Creek CO, Houston, Ft. Smith, and Waynesville MO. Please pray that we will know His will and timing for each door He has opened. And especially pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to fall on us and those listening!
Family: Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are going strong in Scotland. Stephen has some preaching opportunities coming up and would appreciate your prayers. Bek is still assistant manager of a restaurant in Vail and we ask prayer for her to grow closer to the Lord each day. The Lord has opened some TV production job possibilities for Steve in Hollywood but nothing solid as of this date. He really enjoyed his last assignment. Tim and Sarah are doing well in Los Angeles.
Finances: 2007 was the last year we finished in the black financially. Each year since then we have continued to cut back on expenses and the Lord has brought in unexpected gifts just when we needed them. As 2010 was ending it looked as if we would come up short again. Then, in a wonderful show of God's grace, December gifts were wonderful and we ended the year with a small surplus! This will allow us to restock materials to give away and continue to provide our Bible Institute classes at little or no cost. Thank you for your prayers and giving. Please pray that we will always use that which God has entrusted to us wisely and according to His plans.
Good News from the Jail: A few weeks ago we purchased a Christian book for Corrections Workers and gave it to a sergeant who attends our Saturday Evening Worship service. This weekend she reported that the other jailers had seen it and each wanted one. We ordered 15 more and even sent some to the Guthrie OK jailers as well. (Pastor Van Hudson of the Abell Church in Guthrie works in the jail and has a wonderful ministry there.) One of our new brothers is in jail for 60 days; please pray for Art's continued growth in Christ.
Good News from the firefighter ministry: Even though it's winter, our firefighter ministry continues through giving away Answering the Call New Testaments and the new devotional book for Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services workers. Every time we give one away, others ask for copies. The only problem we're having is folks aren't reading just one "daily" devotional a day. Several report they've almost finished the entire year. Your prayers and support makes this possible.
A special "Welcome" and "Thank You" to those who have recently begun investing in this ministry. It is amazing how the Lord Jesus draws new folks into our team and continues to expand our "family". Please understand, as important as your financial gifts are, we desire your consistent prayers even more! Today a businessman from OK told me that he and his wife had added us to their daily prayer list! Prayer means everything to us.
Also, thanks to those former students who are now supporting the work so we can help train the next generation; as well as to all of you who send even the smallest gifts or a note of encouragement or a prayer request. You are very important to the Lord's work. We love and appreciate each of you!
May the Lord Jesus richly bless each of you!
Rick and Melva Barton
"To Know Him and to Make Him Known!" "Win One-Train One-Send One"