Rick Barton Ministries, PO Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230 | 970-641-3583 | email@example.com
March 11, 2013
Easter! A former Muslim who had come to Jesus once told me that "Muslims believe that Mohammed died, left them the Koran and said 'good luck'. Sadly, many Christians seem to believe that Jesus died, left us the Bible and said 'good luck'. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus died on the cross for our sin, was buried, and rose triumphantly from the dead on the third day! He is alive! He returned to heaven after appearing alive to over 500 people for over forty days. He ate with them, told them to touch His body, He was physically risen from the dead. The celebration of Easter is a great time for each of us to re-evaluate our attitudes and life. Are we living our lives in the reality that Jesus lives? Are we yielding our lives daily to His Holy Spirit to fill, direct, control and use us?
Recently my friend, evangelist Bill Fay, told me of some meetings he held where there was a very special anointing of the Holy Spirit! I told Bill I longed for that to happen more and more. We've seen God's hand at work for our 44 years of ministry but still desire a greater anointing. We saw our prayers answered in some wonderful ways over the past few weeks. I pray that it's only a "foretaste of glory divine!"
First, we conducted another funeral for an adult son of a family I have known for many years. He had drifted in his faith but several family and friends had recently helped him return to Jesus. Over 200 folks listened as I shared the story of the Great Shepherd who seeks out His one lost sheep.
Then I was privileged to lead worship for the High Ground Men's Bible/ski retreat. Sixty-five of us spent 3 days in worship and love for our Lord Jesus. A special blessing was being able to share with several employees and guests at Beaver Creek ski area. One woman told me that she attended the "Self-Realization Fellowship" and that they "honored" all gods and religions. I reminded her that Jesus said He was the only way to the one true God (John 14:6) and that the Bible says that the other "gods" are in fact demons! (1 Corinthians 10:20) We parted amicably and I trust God's word will pierce the deception.
The morning after the men's conference ended, Melva and I drove to Ft. Collins, CO where we had dinner with 16 dear friends who we've ministered with over the years. Then it was on to Livermore, CO, a small community 40 miles north of Ft. Collins to begin four days of revival services. From the first service we knew the Lord was doing something wonderful. Two adults and one high school student gave their lives to the Savior! That night the congregation grew and continued to grow throughout the week. People were calling and texting their friends to urge them to come. On the last night the husband of one who had accepted Jesus came. "I've always just dipped my toe into the pool", he said, "never daring to jump in." "Are you ready to jump all the way in?" I asked. "Yes", he answered and gave his life to Jesus.
Upcoming: The day after returning from Livermore, I started teaching skiing for our spring break rush. The Lord has brought me great students and I been able to share and pray with several of them. On March 20th I've been asked to speak for the Catholic Lenten Soup Supper and I teach a Forest Service fire class March 28. I have a minor "clean out" surgery on my knee April 11 and then Melva and I hope to spend a week resting and writing at a friend's home out of town. The first week of May we travel to Waynesville, MO to hold meetings followed by meetings in Guthrie, OK. Thank you for your prayers! They undergird us through what at times is a very busy schedule.
Family: Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) need to move next month because their landlord is retiring from the mission field and moving back. Stephen has several preaching engagements coming up and would appreciate your prayers. Bek and Nick are busy with their restaurant; Steve and Annie are doing well in Los Angeles as are Tim and Sara. My mom is holding up well with her chemo and really appreciates your prayers. Melva and I are going strong but really looking forward to some time off.
Doctor of Ministry: Apparently there is a bottleneck at the seminary and my proposal is caught in the midst of it. This throws my schedule off and I have to trust that it's the Lord's intervention.
Finances: As you know, the Lord graciously helped us finish 2012 strong. Each month we see His faithfulness through your faithful giving and prayers. This allows us to continue to provide Bibles, study materials and provide the Bible Institute classes at no charge. It also allows us to stay here and minister. Thank you!
Rich and Shelba: Rich and Shelba have been "holding down the fort" here while we do ministry on the road. In addition, Rich preached recently at Grace Fellowship in Lake City. Grace is the church that formed out of the Bible study we did in the 70's. It's a great church which our former associate Lyn Lampert has pastored for over 27 years!
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to fall on us in ever increasing measure! For my mom as she fights her cancer. For Stephen and Joy as they seek the church God has for them to serve in and the right accommodations. For Bek and Nick to see the Lord's love and grace and turn completely to Him. For those who received Jesus during our recent meetings. Thank You!
May the Risen Lord Jesus richly bless you!