Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
Behold, I am making all things new! - Rev. 21:5
“Making all things new”: One of the wonderful things about our lives in Christ is that they are continually being made “new”. The Holy Spirit Who now indwells us is constantly changing us into the image of Jesus (Romans 12:1-2). My old life has passed away and I am now a new creation. This is one of those “now and not yet” parts of the Christian life. As soon as I was born-again into the Kingdom of God I became a new creation. But, I’m also being continually transformed into all that new person should become. I begin to experience new thoughts, new priorities, new language and a new love for my Savior and others.
One of the things I love about the New Year is that it provides a chance for us to “renew” things in our lives as well. Early in the year, Melva and I sit down to review, evaluate and prioritize. We look at personal spiritual goals, family goals and ministry goals. Then we commit each of these to the Lord.
Graduation: On December 11, 2015, I was able to complete a quest that started in 1979. That summer I was attending Denver Seminary as a “special student”. “Special” because I had dropped out of college as our ministry and family grew. While in Denver I sensed a calling to commit myself to training workers for our Lord’s service. I returned to college here in Gunnison and through the generosity of many gracious supporters was able to complete my Bachelor’s degree 16 years after I started. Nine years later the Lord opened the door to obtain a Masters degree at Wheaton College, followed by earning a Master of Divinity equivalency at Denver Seminary and now the Doctor of Ministry at Southern (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). In the meantime, Jesus has allowed us to help train several hundred workers for short and long-term ministry and missions! Praise Him!
Family: A week before graduation our “Scottish Connection” (daughter Joy, husband Stephen, granddaughters Hannah and Bethan) arrived and we visited the Billy Graham Training Center near Ashville, NC and the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte. (While in Charlotte we met with friends Tom Phillips and Wayne Acheson as well as Don and Josie Biggs who distribute hundreds of firefighter New Testaments along the east coast. What special friends the Lord has given us! The rest of our family flew in to Louisville for the graduation. What a wonderful time we had!
Rich and Shelba Townsend, our former associates, drove down from St. Louis and our friend Dr. Robert Coleman joined us from Wilmore, KY. Up until the last moment I wondered if somehow my name would be pulled. I think I graduated “Summa Magna Grace of God”.
Melva’s back is doing well with her taking care in lifting and doing stretches. My leg injuries are recovering, albeit slowly. We’re very grateful for your prayers for our health!
Lakewood Baptist: Two days before graduation we were privileged to share at Lakewood Baptist Church in Louisville. According to the church members we’ve been coming there over 15 years. What a blessing to meet with these wonderful folks and break open the Word of God together!
Ski Area Ministry: The day after we returned I began teaching skiing. I’ve had the opportunity to pray and share with several instructors already. On New Year’s Eve I prayed with 100 ski/snowboard instructors and staff before we skied down Crested Butte Mountain in a torchlight parade. This has been my privilege for 40 winters! Please keep this part of our ministry in prayer that we may have a larger impact. Less than 5 instructors on our staff profess Christ to our knowledge.
More Opportunities: Melva and I sang at the Celebration of Life for a good friend and I conducted the graveside service following. The next day I overheard two ladies in McDonalds talking about the service. That opened the door for me to share the gospel with them. We also sang at a Christmas service and have had wonderful Saturday Evening services where I’ve begun teaching through the Gospel of Mark.
Fire and Police New Testaments: While at the Cove in North Carolina we met a military chaplain who has asked us to send him New Testaments for military police and fire personnel. While at the Billy Graham Library we met a County Sheriff who we’ll be sending fire and police New Testaments to as well. Praise the Lord! This will make almost 5,000 New Testaments and daily devotional books we’ve sent out to chaplains and churches since February of 2015!
Upcoming: Lord willing, on January 9th I’ll speak at a men’s breakfast in Westcliff, CO. January 14th we fly to Dallas to pick up a vehicle donated to the ministry and January 29-30 I speak at a men’s retreat near Montrose, CO. Of course we’ll be doing our Saturday Evening Worship services and teaching skiing as well.
Daniel and Krista Pennington: Daniel and Krista celebrate their third anniversary this month! They’ve been busy reaching out to college students, a small group ministry and running the Brush Fire Coffee House. Daniel teaches for me when we’re on the road and does a great job!
Finances: By God’s wonderful grace, working through your faithful prayers and support, we once again finish the year with every expense covered. With your help we have been able to continue to minister here as well as send out thousands of Fire and Police New Testaments and daily devotionals free of charge around the world. Thank You!
Prayer Requests: Please continue to pray for the Lord’s anointing to continue and increase as we share His Word! Please pray for Melva’s back and my leg injuries to heal. Please pray for me to have a greater impact for Jesus at the ski area. God has given me favor but I want to see lives changed by the gospel! Please pray for a location near the college for our Bible Institute and Study Center.
Thank You! May the Lord Jesus grant you a blessed and “wonder-filled” New Year!
Rick and Melva BartonDaniel and Krista (Gabriella) Pennington
*This is our quarterly update. If you would like to be on our monthly update please let us know!
2015 In Review
“Bless the Lord, O My Soul, and All That is Within Me, Bless His Holy Name!”
I had the opportunity to pray with 100 ski instructors and staff before our torchlight parade.
Speaking at 1st Baptist Church Delta, CO.
The first shipment of our special firefighter New Testaments arrive!
Revival Services at 1st Baptist Church Delta, CO, a service at the state prison in Delta, CO.
Leading worship and speaking at High Ground Men’s Retreat-Beaver Creek, CO.
Speaking at Grace Fellowship, Lake City, CO.
Holding a dinner for Evangelical Pastors and wives from Gunnison, Lake City, and Crested Butte, CO.
Speaking at Grace Fellowship, Lake City, CO.
Revival services at Abell Community Church in Guthrie, OK
Board Meeting and dinners with supporters in Oklahoma City-Dallas-Colorado Springs.
Singing at Park Towers Senior Complex in Amarillo, TX.
Speaking at Pitkin Community Church, Pitkin, CO., Doctoral defense, Revival services in Eubank KY.
Rich and Shelba Townsend “recalled” by their home church in St. Louis.
Speaking twice more at the Pitkin Community Church in Pitkin, CO.
Conducting two Funerals
Annual Rodeo Service in Gunnison, CO.
Forest Fire Assignment in Washington State.
Daniel and Krista Pennington join our team.
Forest Fire Assignment in WA
Hunter’s chapel on the Cochetopa
Speaking at Esterbrook Community Church, Esterbrook, WY
Speaking at Rock Solid High School in Littleton, CO.
Speaking at Trinity Baptist Church in Gunnison, CO.
Revival Services at Abell Community Church, Guthrie, OK.
Singing at Park Towers Senior Complex, Amarillo, TX.
Spoke at Lakewood Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.
Graduation from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.
**Thank you for your prayers and PLEASE keep praying! Our weekly activities include a Saturday Evening Worship service. During the summer we hosted some of our missionaries on furlough from Peru, Thailand, Kenya and the Middle East.