Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
February 15, 2015
"Do You Know How Much You're Loved?"
Apologies: I know this month's newsletter is late, but, there's a good reason! Melva and I just returned from 9 days of Spirit-filled services in Delta, CO.
Do you know how loved you are? Recently I was sharing Jesus with a man who asked, "What has God ever done for me?" I was able to share with him Romans 5:8, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Or, as one man shared, "God loves us this much"; and held out his arms as if he were on a cross. Sadly, many people I work with or meet don't know how loved they are. When I ask them, they respond, "I guess" or even "no". Even our brothers or sisters in Christ!
Just in case you don't know, "God loves you!" In fact He loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the death penalty for your sins. Not only that, but God loves you so much that He has sent the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you a truly abundant life. He wants to give you a life with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Just ask Him. He loves you!
January started with the privilege of praying with 100 of our ski school staff before a torchlight parade. Then came the privilege of teaching at our Saturday night services. I travelled to OK to conduct a funeral service for a rancher friend and then returned to preach a "pre-revival" service in Delta, CO. Two weeks later we returned to Delta where I shared at a men's breakfast and began eight days of services.
Delta Services: Wow! What a mighty God we serve! The real revival in Delta had already begun before I even spoke. The church, as well as many of you, had been praying, inviting friends, and trusting the Holy Spirit to move. He did! We had a night to honor 1st Responders (fire, EMS, police) where two firefighters shared their testimonies. The county Sheriff, also a Christian man, joined us. Wednesday was "cowboy night" with ranchers sharing how Jesus had changed their lives. During the week we recognized folks from Celebrate Recovery, AWANA, the Christian Motorcycle Association, the Gideons and Young Life. Six local pastors came to show their support. A wonderful highlight was special music by a Burmese Christian choir. Melva and I sang at an assisted living home and I preached at a state prison as well. Lives were changed with commitments to Jesus and reconciliation among brothers.
Rich and Shelba: Aloha! Rich and Shelba returned from celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary in HI with many stories of God's wonderful blessings. They rested, swam with sea turtles, and heard a paddle board instructor give his testimony as part of his lesson. They returned and continued their Rancher's Bible study, discipled some new believers, Rich preached in Lake City, spoke for our local MOPS group and Shelba led her young wives classes. Thank you for your prayers for both of them!
The Bibles have come! As of February 13, we are the proud possessors of 5000 firefighter New Testaments. The first half of our special order has arrived. We have already sent out almost 1000 copies to fire departments, chaplains, and a fire engine manufacturer who places a copy in the glove compartment of each unit they sell. It's our policy not to charge for Bibles; yet the Lord continues to provide for each copy. Yesterday Rich sent cases all over the United States and we have received requests from Uganda and Canada as well. Each of you who pray for us and invest in us, have a huge part in this! Thank You.
In Memoriam: It is a bittersweet moment as we celebrate the "homecoming" of another of our original Board of Directors, Archer Stotts. Archer and Marilyn have served with us as supporters and advisors since our first gathering around a table at Queen Anne's Cafeteria in Oklahoma City many years ago. Archer was a wonderful man of God. One who left a powerful legacy of faith and love. Please lift up Marilyn, Tom and all the family.
Upcoming: As I write this I'm beginning a week and a half of a reduced schedule. (I'm afraid I overdid things a little and my cold hasn't quite gone away?). On Feb. 25th we travel to Beaver Creek, CO where I help lead the worship for the High Ground Men's Conference. This year I have the additional privilege of being one of the speakers. It's a wonderful gathering of men from around the country and we are privileged to have speakers such as Dr. Gene Getz-Dallas Seminary, Dr. Walter Bradley-Baylor University, Gen. Charlie Duke (Charlie walked on the moon!), John Maisel-East West Ministries, and more. Please pray for the Holy Spirit's anointing as I share with this wonderful group of men. Other opportunities include holding services in KY, May 17-20. We'll let you know as things firm up.
Finances: Our gracious Father continues to provide every need. Thank you for being His instruments in helping us. This month you have helped us distribute cases of firefighter and Cowboy Bibles, help a pastor in Kenya with medicine, and speak into many lives the wonderful good news of Jesus!
Prayer Requests: For the Holy Spirit's anointing on us as we share locally and out-of-town. For our son Steve as he recovers from achielles tendon surgery, for son-in-love Stephen in Scotland as he preaches, and for my voice to recover from recent illnesses. Pray that each Bible we give out will bear wonderful fruit.
Thank you!!! Rick and Melva Barton, Rich and Shelba Townsend