Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
November 1, 2014
Bless the Lord O My Soul!
"Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name! Bless the Lord O my soul and forget none of His benefits!" (Psalm 103:1-2) The psalmist goes on to list some of those benefits; He pardons our sins, heals our diseases, redeems our life from the pit, crowns us with loving-kindness and compassion, satisfies our years with good things, and so much more!
Sometimes I get caught up in the "tyranny of the urgent", discouraged with world events, saddened over the loss of loved ones, and I forget the big picture. Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth, He has forgiven my sins, healed my body, redeemed my soul, and truly "morning by morning new mercies I see" (Lamentations 3:22-23). I pray for our country and its leaders, and regardless of what happens, I know Who is ultimately in control and I bless Him with all that is within me! What a joy we find as we praise Him!
October was a wonderful reminder of how gracious and active our Savior is. Your faithful prayers were answered as our healing and strength increased daily and we were able to share in four states in 3 weeks! Our time at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes conference was a wonderful blessing as we met with and sang for many of our fellow "old timers" who worked with FCA in its early days. One special highlight was spending time with Ray Hildebrand, recording artist and my first real mentor in leading worship. Last year over 85,000 young men and women attended FCA camps and over 49,000 made decisions for Jesus! Yea Lord!
Upon returning to Gunnison we led a Saturday evening service, a Bible Institute class and a hunter's chapel. Then we headed to Amarillo, TX where we held a mini-concert at an assisted living complex. We have shared at this facility many times and love the residents and workers. That night we held a service in Guthrie, OK with our friends at Abell Church. The next morning it was on to Springfield, MO to visit long-time friend and prayer warrior Mary Jane Bever on our way to Waynesville, MO where we held four Spirit-filled days of services. Thanks to your prayers, each meeting was anointed and Jesus changed lives as we shared God's word!
After returning, we held our monthly men and women's breakfasts with attendees from several churches coming together for fellowship and the word. This was followed by a wonderful Saturday evening worship service with one of our Mexico missionaries and her co-workers sharing.
Upcoming: This week we start another West Elk Bible Institute class, this one covering Charles Spurgeon's Lectures to My Students. It will serve as part of my Doctor of Ministries studies. Pastors and leaders from several churches are attending! We hold another hunter's chapel and then head to Tucson, AZ (Nov. 14-16) to share at Vistoso Community Church. After that we should settle into our regular schedule of teaching and preaching locally until February.
Rich and Shelba Townsend: After returning from ministry in St. Louis, our faithful co-workers have covered all the bases here while Melva and I were on the road. Rich is not only preaching and teaching, but they are also conducting hospital visitation and other pastoral opportunities. Thank you for lifting them up each day!
Saturday Evening Worship presents Rick with a PHD! ? After returning from one of our recent ministry trips, our Saturday Evening Worship service presented me with a PHD! They felt I had earned it over the last four years of study. It is approximately five feet tall with two handles and digs really neat post-holes. (For those of you who aren't around farms or ranches, it's a post-hole-digger!) And, they all signed it.
Praises: This summer we met a pastor and his wife from West Virginia. They asked for copies of our firefighter New Testaments and Firefighter/EMS devotionals to distribute to volunteer firefighters in their community. We could only give them one New Testament since we only have a handful left; but did send them a case of the devotionals. They reported back that they held a special service to honor their fire/EMS folks and give them each a copy. The service turned into a time of testimonies and many were touched for Jesus! While speaking in Waynesville, MO we were asked for more devotionals to distribute in their community!
Speaking of the Answering the Call New Testaments, we have passed the half-way point of the $40,000 we need to reprint them! Praise God for His provision and please keep praying, firefighters are waiting.
Family: Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) report that the Lord continues to surprise them with His blessings in ministry opportunities and finances. Nick and Bek are on their way to New York and Borneo and would appreciate your prayers. Steve and Annie in LA ask prayer for Steve as the TV show he's working on ends and that he is led to the new one the Lord has for him. Tim and Sara appreciate your prayers that they will be effective witnesses for Jesus in LA as well! Melva and I continue to grow stronger after our bouts with sickness. Thank you for all your prayers!!
Finances: As you probably know, we never charge for any ministries we conduct or materials we give away; we never have. And, many of the places we share can't cover our expenses or give toward the ministry. The exciting thing is that the Lord always provides everything we need, in abundance! It seems the more we give away, the more He supplies! Once again, every bill is paid and we are able to continue to share freely! Thank you for being a vital part of His provision!
Prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to remain and increase as we share the great news of Jesus in these troubled times. Please pray for our country to have revival; in the churches, in communities, and in our government. Please pray for Bruce who was flown to the hospital in Grand Junction with double pneumonia. Please pray for the families of wonderful saints who have recently been "promoted to glory"; Lee Dlug and Minnie Rose Tellero.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. May this Thanksgiving be your most thankful and blessed one yet! We love and appreciate each of you!
Rick and Melva Barton Rich and Shelba Townsend