Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
October 1, 2014
"My Grace is Sufficient for You"
What a blessed and interesting month! Getting from the car feeling as if I couldn't stand up, then experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit and sharing the gospel with wonderful power, and then returning to bed for another week.
The first two weeks of September started with Melva returning safely from the funeral in HI and a great ten days of studies for me at the seminary library. Even though we both had picked up colds, we felt good. Then, the bottom fell out! I had a persistent soreness in my abdomen and had it checked out. Turns out it was diverticulitis, something like "potholes in your colon which food sometimes falls into". For the next two weeks I was unable to leave the house except for two short ministry commitments. This weekend, I was finally able to stand and move about all day.
Let me tell you how the Lord moved! I had committed to conduct a chapel for the Colorado State University-Pueblo football team. Since I was flat on my back I tried to find a replacement speaker on short notice. No one was available. So, Melva drove me to the chapel location, I walked in, and then the power of the Holy Spirit came upon me! I sang and shared the gospel with over 20 young men and coaches for a half-hour. I was given wonderful strength and the anointing of the Spirit was there. Melva then loaded me up and took me back to bed where I stayed for the next week.
I know many of you have experienced His grace like this before, but isn't it a great reminder that He is strong even when we are weak. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God uses your prayers to strengthen us!
This weekend, as I was slowly regaining my strength, we were able to travel to LaPorte and Livermore, CO where I conducted a wedding and had the privilege of preaching. Once again, the Lord blessed and at least one adult gave their life to our Savior during the meeting. A special treat was spending time with Ralph and Jean Bell, long-time Associate Evangelist for Billy Graham.
Rich and Shelba made a quick trip to St. Louis, MO where they met with a couple needing encouragement in their marriage. Upon their return, Rich made another attempt on a 14,000 peak. Apparently it had grown higher again this year?. Now they are busy organizing our West Elk Bible Institute classes which will start in mid-October. Everywhere I go I hear how you are praying for them, thank you sooooo much!
The Firefighter Bible Fund continues to grow and we're almost half-way to our $40,000 need to reprint 10,000 copies. A huge "thanks" to all of you individuals and churches who have given! Of course, our first prayer is that Biblica reconsiders and republishes it themselves. Then, they would store the Bibles and send them out. We could use the "Bible fund" to order copies to distribute free to firefighters as well as fire department chaplains. Please keep up the great prayers!
Upcoming: Lord willing, this weekend I conduct a wedding in Pitkin, CO as well as our Saturday Evening Service; then it's on to Estes Park to help with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes 60th anniversary gathering (10/7-9), a hunter's chapel on Cochetopa Pass (10/12), then off to Waynesville, MO for revival services (10/19-22). We hold another hunter's chapel (11/2), and then head to Tucson, AZ (11/15-16) to share. So far, in 2015 we will be in Delta, CO (2/1-8) and Beaver Creek, CO (2/25-27). In between, we'll be teaching our Bible Institute classes and Saturday Evening Worship. These will include the class I'll teach for Christian workers as part of my Doctor of Ministries program. We count on your faithful prayers as we go forth, they make all the difference!
Finances: By God's grace and your faithful investments, every need continues to be met. The "Bible Fund" gifts have come from unexpected sources and haven't taken away from the normal gifts. Of course, we always encourage you to give first to your local church and then as the Lord leads, to us. Our prayer is that we will use each gift as He would direct, and that they would bring glory to Him!
Family: Nick and Bek report snow in Vail/Beaver Creek as they prepare for a busy winter season at the restaurant; Steve and Annie were able to find a replacement vehicle in LA; Tim and Sara are loving Jesus and each other in LA, and Stephen, Joy, Hannah (6 in Dec) and Bethan (4 last week) are sharing the gospel in Scotland and excited to see what vehicle the Lord is providing for them. Thank you for your prayers for our family. Melva is back to substitute teaching and I hope to teach skiing again on a limited basis.
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we share around the country and here in town. For continued healing for both Melva and I. Please pray that our family will continue to draw close to Jesus and each other; and for our West Elk Bible Institute classes to be Spirit-filled. And, of course, that the Firefighter Bibles will become available soon. The following folks are also in need of healing, please lift them up; Tad-cancer, Dean-shoulder and arm healing, Frank-cancer, Linda-Alzheimer's. We truly believe we have been given the privilege of moving the hand of God in prayer!
Every time you attach a prayer request to your notes to us we do pray over them. In addition we pray for each of you that the Lord may richly bless you and yours. We love you!
Rick and Melva Barton Rich and Shelba Townsend