Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230
"HOW GREAT OUR JOY!"
"Praise Ye the Lord in Heaven on High!" With all the wars and rumors of wars surrounding us, with all the economic uncertainty, with all of society seeming to race toward embracing every conceivable and even inconceivable sin, what an assurance we have as followers of Jesus that God has everything under control! For just as things seem so difficult now, so it was on that remarkable night 2000 years ago. Yet God's Word tells us that at just the right time, God the Son Himself left His heavenly throne and descended to earth to intervene on our behalf. As one Christian leader said, "Once you grasp the miracle of the incarnation (God becoming flesh), then His raising people from the dead is easy!"
2011 has been a year of amazing blessings, sending out workers and seeing new folks come to know the Savior. We've had the privilege of sharing the gospel in eleven states both in churches and on forest fires. (We've spent over 16 weeks on the road since March!) The Lord has allowed us to spread the good news through music, the spoken word and in magazines and books. All in all, it has been a busy but banner year!
He has answered many prayers including the healing of a missionary with cancer, and brought to us the co-workers we prayed for, Rich and Shelba Townsend and Paul Muirhead; as well as many others who help out. Recently we heard of two more "alumni" who are serving as pastors! How Great Our Joy!
Upcoming: We're currently busy with our Tuesday night, Thursday morning and evening and Saturday evening services. We will hold a Christmas Eve service and I share a prayer for 100 or so instructors on top of the mountain on New Year s Eve. In February, I help lead worship for a men's retreat in Beaver Creek and in March speak on "Faith in the Fire Service" for a conference in West Virginia. Please keep us in prayer.
Family: Lord willing, our family will gather soon from around the world and celebrate both Jesus' incarnation and my mom's (85th) birthday. How grateful we are for the blessings of salvation, family and friends like you!
Health: A big "thank-you" to all of you who pray for our health and safety. Melva is going strong but my mom is fighting off a nasty cough. I've had a foot issue for a number of years which has caused considerable pain at times. Just before Thanksgiving the surgeon removed a bone spur which should relieve things for a while. He thinks I can be skiing soon. Thanks again for your prayers.
Finances: For the first time this year the ministry finances are running behind. There are several reasons for this including my seminary studies, the increased ministry travel and the surgery. Please pray that the Lord will help us finish the year strong! Thank you!
May the One True God, who came to earth to save us, be very close to you and yours this Christmas!
Rick and Melva, Rich and Shelba, and Paul