Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
July 7, 2015
“Whom the Son Sets Free is Free Indeed” (John 8:36)
(This is our “quarterly or sometimes semi-annual edition of the newsletter. If you would like to be on our monthly mail or email list, please email, write or call us. We’d love to know you’re praying for us regularly!)
As we celebrate our independence from tyranny, and our wonderful religious freedom, many of us are burdened with the attempt by our own Supreme Court to redefine what God created marriage to be. Hiding behind a wrongful view of “civil rights” and “love”, the court by a thin majority of one vote shook its fist in defiance of God and Christians everywhere. Some believers seem to be in panic mode, others in defeat, but if anything, this is a time to rise up in the strength of the Lord. No court on earth can overrule our God! He still reigns. Now is the perfect time to stand up as followers of Almighty God and His Word. Yes, we may suffer persecution on this earth, so did our Savior. We may be marginalized, even jailed for opposing the stampede into sin, so was our Lord. Yet, even as He triumphed over sin and death, so will we!
No matter what man may do to us, we have been set free by the Son of God. Let’s pray with renewed vigor for our leaders, work for and vote in God fearing and following candidates (the next president we elect could very well appoint several new Supreme Court Justices), and lift high the standard of righteousness, forgiveness and hope through our Lord Jesus Christ!
June: This past weekend we had the opportunity to share Jesus at six meetings. At men’s breakfast we showed a DVD with “Unbroken” hero Louis Zamperini sharing his testimony of how he came to Jesus at a Billy Graham Crusade. The men were challenged and reminded that no matter what happens in your life, Jesus is still there and will bring us through. Following the breakfast I conducted 2 funeral services and a Saturday Evening Worship Service. The next morning we led two services at a wonderful church in Pitkin, CO. Last night I was asked to help a group of Law Enforcement Officers work through a “Critical Incident Stress Debriefing”. I sensed your prayers as I met with these committed public servants. Earlier in June I preached in Pitkin, shared the word each Saturday Night in Gunnison, taught a forest fire class where I was able to pass out some New Testaments and enjoyed the Spirit’s guidance in many “divine appointments”.
Humbling times: I had two Sundays in June without preaching engagements. The Lord prompted me to head to Tin Cup, CO to attend a church I had preached at many times in the past. On the way up the Lord began dealing with my pride as a preacher/teacher. By the time the service began I was in “learning” mode rather than “critic” mode. As a result I was blessed and humbled as I heard the 80 year old preacher wonderfully break forth the Word of Life. I have so much to learn. Please pray for me to develop and maintain a teachable spirit.
Forest Fires: I’ve had several calls offering assignments from Alaska to Arizona but have had to decline each one because of ministry commitments. But again, the Lord has shown me His sovereign hand. I’m learning to “trust and obey”. I hope to go out on an assignment for several reasons; the chance to hold chapel services and distribute firefighter New Testaments, maintaining my credibility to minister in the fire service, and the extra income I earn working 16 hour days for 2 weeks.
Firefighter New Testaments, the Lord has graciously opened the door for us to give out 3500 copies of the “Answering the Call” New Testaments since mid-February. Most have gone out in cases of 50 to Fire Department Chaplains all over the United States and Canada. The feedback has been wonderful with stories of fire and police vehicles actually going to Chaplain’s homes asking for copies! We were able to order a special printing of 12,000 copies after the publisher ceased publishing them. They were fully paid for by firefighters and others who want to see God’s word get out to these men and women who serve so selflessly, so we don’t charge for them. There are several folks like Kenny and Nancy Lowe and Don Biggs who carry several with them and every time they pass a fire station, stop and take one in to the Chief.
Finances: The Lord continues to graciously provide every need from His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Thank You for being His instruments of provision! As you may know, our Saturday Night Worship Service gives 60% of the weekly offering to missionaries who the Lord has sent forth from Gunnison. This summer we are committed to giving 100%! We have “alumni” from our ministry serving in Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Thailand/China, Africa, Mississippi and more. This summer we have several passing through to give an update on God’s wonderful work. Paul and Sarah Muirhead, our former interns, are now headed to a 9 month missionary training school. And then, Lord willing, overseas.
Doctor of Ministry: For those of you who haven’t heard, on May 13, 2015 I passed the “defense” of my DMin project and, Lord willing, will receive my diploma from Southern Seminary (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY) on December 11, 2015. Thank you for all your prayers!
Upcoming: This weekend we hold our 30+ annual rodeo church service and then a quick trip to Boston in mid-August for a wedding. In between I “may” go on fire assignments as well as our regular services.
Dream: For the past few years I’ve had a burden to obtain a building near the University campus for a Christian Center. I envision it hosting an already existing Christian Coffeehouse ministry in the front, our growing West Elk Bible Institute library in the middle and meeting space for our Bible Institute and various campus ministries in the back. I’m concerned that the day will come when the campus ministries can no longer meet on the campus itself. Please join me in pray about this “dream”.
A message from Rich and Shelba Townsend: “We have so enjoyed working with Rick Barton Ministries for the past four years and getting to meet and know many of you. Now, God has called us back to our home church in St. Louis to work in missions and discipleship. Little did we realize when we looked at our (RBM) motto “Win one-Train one-Send one” that we would be the ones being trained and sent out! We want to thank each of you and especially Rick & Melva for all the training and growing we have done under their loving and leadership. We will not be leaving RBM completely as we will remain on the Board. Thank each of you for your prayers and support and always know we have so appreciated them. Rich & Shelba
Prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to abide on us as we share the gospel of Jesus! That God would rise up co-workers to fill in behind Rich and Shelba. For safety as we travel and share, for the Lord to anoint each New Testament being given out and for God’s will and direction on the “dream” facility.
The following sheet includes a reaffirmation of our commitment to our vision and mission. Please read through it and prayerfully affirm it with us! Thank You!
Rick and Melva Barton
During this time of increasing attacks on biblical teaching and morality, we believe it’s important to reiterate our core beliefs.
The vision of Rick Barton Ministries is to “Know Him-(Jesus Christ) and make Him known”. This means that all involved in leadership in our ministry is to be certain of their own salvation (2 Cor.13:5), to be continually growing in our relationship with Jesus through consistent Bible study, fellowship in a Christ worshipping-Bible teaching church, a vibrant prayer life, and actively involved in disciple-making which involves evangelism, mentoring and teaching.
The mission statement of Rick Barton Ministries is “Win One-Train One-Send One.” This means that we see the fulfillment of our commission from our Lord Jesus Christ to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20). This encompasses sharing the biblical message of salvation as found in John 3:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, and Hebrews 6:1-2 and includes repentance from sin as identified by God’s word, the Bible, and placing one’s trust solely in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as having paid the price for our sin.
It also means training the new believer in the fundamental truths of God’s word and helping them apply those truths to their new lives as Christ followers.
It further means that we inculcate into those we work with the mission of our Savior who came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). We will attempt to do these both locally and worldwide. Locally, these outreaches will involve such activities as personal evangelism, church services, rodeo chapels and forest fire chapels. We will attempt to help local believers discover their gifts and callings and equip them to pursue them (Eph 4:11-2).
Worldwide missions will include the sending of those called to serve God outside of Gunnison, short-term and long-term, as well as supporting those who go out with prayer and finances. Each person involved in our ministry leadership must ascribe in good conscience to the doctrinal statement of the National Association of Evangelicals (2015).
Each person involved in leadership in Rick Barton Ministries must ascribe in good conscience to what is commonly referred to as the “5 Solas” of the protestant reformation: Sola Scriptura: The Bible alone is our rule of life and faith. Soli Deo Gloria: Glory belongs to God alone. Solus Christus: Christ alone brings salvation. Sola Gratia: Salvation is by the grace of God alone, not by merit. Sola Fide: Salvation is by faith alone, not by works.