Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
"That You May Know"
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19 NASB)
While holding services in Oklahoma a week ago, I looked a woman in the eyes and asked if she knew how much God loved her? She was struggling with a lot of issues and wasn’t even sure she wanted to live. At the end of the meetings I asked her again. This time her face gleamed, her eyes were clear and she said “Yes!” The Lord Jesus had “opened the eyes of her heart”. A man who had just been released from prison turned to me after a service and said, “I’ve given my life to Jesus today!” A long-time friend approached us and said, “I’m not sure I ever realized how much I need the Holy Spirit to fill and permeate my life daily. Tonight it began to make sense!” The eyes of our hearts were being opened!
What a great month! We sensed your prayers each moment! Just before leaving for OK we had the privilege of sharing again in Lake City, CO. Grace Fellowship started out as a Bible study we began in the 1970s. Lyn Lampert, one of our co-workers, moved there to lead the study and is now celebrating over 25 years as its pastor!
After Lake City we headed to Guthrie, OK. On the way we stopped and sang at Park Towers, a Christian senior’s community in Amarillo; then met with members of our Board and prayer partners in Edmond, OK. We began eight days of services the following day at Abell Community Church north of Guthrie. We’ve had the privilege of ministering with this faithful church for 30 years and love it! A special treat was seeing Pastor Van Hudson walk using only a cane after being paralyzed a year ago. At that time the doctors told him he would never walk again! He asked me to thank you for your prayers! Our God is an awesome God!
Upon leaving Guthrie we headed to Dallas to meet with more prayer partners. On the way we had lunch with Russell Vickers. At one time Russ ran a Christian lodge in Crested Butte and recently retired after 50 years as a music minister. Now, in his “retirement”, he pastors a church in Seminole OK! Before lunch we asked our waiter if there was anything we could pray about. Turns out he’s a Christian and beginning a study on prayer. He said this was the first time a customer had ever offered to pray for him. Hmmm!
We had a wonderful evening in Dallas and then headed to Colorado Springs to meet with another team of prayer partners. There we had a blessed time of worship and fellowship. Jerry and Jane Bridges, our long-time friends from the Navigators ministry joined us. Jerry is in his eighties and still speaks around the world at least 50 times a year! Just another “retired” Christian! We pray that we too may “finish well”.
Doctor of Ministries: On the way home from Colorado Springs we stopped at the Denver Seminary library. By God’s grace I was able to finish my project! Lord willing, I will defend it May 13th at 9am (Eastern) in Louisville, KY and if everything goes well, receive the degree from Southern Seminary (SBTS) in December.
Upcoming: We’re home for 9 days, travel to Louisville, KY and then on to Eubank, KY to hold services May 17-20 at Eubank Baptist Church. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will move in powerful ways! After that we return home and I preach in Pitkin, CO May 31st and June 7. We conduct several memorial services in June as well. I hope the Lord allows me to accept some forest fire assignments and hold chapels this summer as well. Rich and Shelba have been working with the rancher’s Bible study, young wives’ study and our Saturday eve services!
Family: The Scottish clan, Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan, are being blessed with Stephen receiving an invitation to preach in their home church in Inverness as well as sharing in various churches throughout Scotland. By all accounts he’s becoming a more anointed preacher each week! Joy is happy volunteering at the girl’s school as a teacher’s aide. Nick and Bek are taking time off after a busy winter and are currently visiting Japan. Steve and Annie are a bit stressed as Steve is working on a new TV show and learning new skills. Tim and Sara are going strong in LA. Thank you for praying for each of our family!
Ministry Finances continue strong! As some faithful saints are “promoted to glory”, others of you join our team of committed prayer and financial supporters! You have a part in every Bible, devotional, tract and book we give away! Your prayers are God’s tools in allowing us to continue to minister and in His “opening the eyes” of many hearts. May the Lord Jesus bless you for standing with us!
Firefighter New Testaments: Speaking of Bibles, so far we have sent out almost 3000 firefighter Bibles since mid-February! In April we sent 100 copies to a fire chaplain in Canada. He just notified us that he had given away all but 15 and asked for 100 more! Chaplains and firefighters from all over the United States and Canada are asking for more. We are the only place this special firefighter New Testament is available, and we don’t charge for them. We received a last minute call from a firefighter in Idaho asking for copies to present to each new member of his department. The chaplain who had been doing this retired and this fireman stepped up to fill the gap! He just texted us that the Bibles arrived 1 hour before the ceremony!
Someone asked me today, what was the biggest thing I had been learning this past year. After mulling it over I said, “How much I need to depend on the Holy Spirit’s power, teaching, and leading.” Jesus told the disciples that He wasn’t leaving them as orphans but would send the Holy Spirit to fill, empower, convict, and teach them; and so much more (John 14-16). He said that we needed to be filled by the Spirit to be effective (Acts 1:4-8), and we are commanded to be filled continually (Ephesians 5:18). The eyes of my heart are being opened! Wow!
Thank You for praying daily for us! We are so grateful!
Rick and Melva Barton, Rich and Shelba Townsend