Rick Barton Ministries, P.O. Box 1155, Gunnison, CO 81230, 970-209-8006 (C) 970-641-3583 (H)
Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the sons of God! - 1 John 3:1
True Love: Can you grasp the wonder and awe in the above statement? That God loved us so much that Jesus left His heavenly throne to become a man; to be tempted as we are, yet without sin, to die on a cruel cross in our place, and rise again victoriously. He did all this so we might be forgiven of our sin and be brought back into relationship with God as His children. Wow! During a month when we get excited over chocolate hearts and romantic dinners, shouldn’t we pull aside and spend time in quiet adoration for such wonderful love? Thank you Lord for loving us so deeply!
January Grace: I asked you to pray that I might be a stronger witness for Jesus at the ski area. It’s working! Recently, I got on the lift with three ski instructors. One said, “Well, you’ve got a 12 minute lift ride to tell me how to find faith.” He was raised in a church but “lost his faith” in high school. He’s a successful lawyer from the east coast but realizes his life is incomplete without God. I was able to share the gospel message as we rode the lift; not only with him but his wife and another instructor! Please pray for Kip, Britt and Mike. I sometimes wonder when my time as a ski instructor will come to an end, but the Lord keeps opening doors. I pray I may finish strong for Jesus!
On January 9th I was asked to share at a men’s breakfast in Westcliffe, CO. The Lord answered all our prayers. A few days later I received a phone call telling me that one man’s life was deeply touched during the meeting. In addition, a sixteen year old boy came whose mom had committed suicide only weeks before. His dad is in prison. This young man was listening as I shared my testimony and the hope and peace Jesus can bring. Please pray for Josh. I’ve been invited to go back April 1-2 to conduct a men’s retreat.
In mid-January I led a Bible study and sharing time for a group of local firefighters and sheriff’s officers. Please pray for first responders; they undergo a lot of pressure and difficult times to serve us.
At the end of the month I was given the opportunity to speak to men from several churches at a two day retreat near Montrose, CO. What a privilege to share our Lord’s word with such receptive men.
In between, I was able to teach skiing, conduct our Saturday evening worship services and restart our “called to ministry” breakfast for folks sensing God’s call to service. There are six of us attending so far.
Family: Son-in-love Stephen just finished five weeks of preaching for a pastor-less church in Scotland. He loved it! He really appreciated your prayers as he was able to begin establishing relationships and be more of a pastor than just a guest speaker. Joy stays busy with Hannah and Bethan and is looking to substitute teach now that the girls are in school.
Rebekah and Nick recently shared how the Lord answered prayer during a difficult situation at their restaurant. Steve and Annie had a wonderful trip to New Zealand and Steve is looking for a new TV show to work with while Annie has resumed her teaching. Tim and Sara are doing well and working hard in LA. Melva has basically “retired” from substitute teaching and it really seems to have helped her back. She stays busy handling our ministry needs and encouraging ladies. My knee and hamstring are recovering and I’m starting to work out in anticipation of fire season.
Upcoming: Lord willing, February 20, Melva and I will be part of a documentary of the establishing of O-Be-Joyful Church in Crested Butte. February 24-26, I help lead worship at the High Ground Men’s retreat in Beaver Creek. March 3rd and 9th, I teach forest fire classes in Crested Butte and Gunnison (and distribute firefighter New Testaments) and April 1-2, I share at a men’s retreat in Westcliffe, CO. In between, I’ll be teaching skiing and preaching locally. Thank you for praying for us as we share God’s great news!
Fire and Police New Testaments and Devotionals: On February 2nd 2015, we received the first of our special printing of 12,000 “Answering the Call” firefighter New Testaments. Since then we have given out over 5,000 copies as well as purchased and distributed hundreds of copies of daily devotionals for first responders free of charge to chaplains and churches. I had the privilege of being a contributor to both of these books. Unfortunately, the International Bible Society (Biblica) ceased publishing the Firefighter New Testaments and as far as I know, we are the only place they are available in the world!
About half-way through the year we began receiving requests for Police New Testaments and devotionals. Many of these chaplains are volunteers and don’t have the resources to purchase them in quantity. Your support allowed us to purchase and distribute over 500 copies so far!
Daniel and Krista Pennington are busy assisting us and reaching out to students on the campus!
Finances: Because of the Lord working through your faithful prayers and support, we are still meeting every need. Thank you! A special blessing came last month from a couple who donated a wonderful vehicle for our ministry travels. That allowed us to pass on the vehicle we were using to Todd and Cheryl Laws who travel western Colorado establishing Young Life groups in small towns. They, in turn, are selling their vehicles and plan to give the proceeds to help Brad and Gina Shaw, “alumni” serving with SIM in Peru, replace their missionary vehicle which is failing. We invite you to join us in the “Shaw vehicle fund”.
Prayer requests: Please pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing as we share in new venues almost every month. Please pray for strength and health as I seek to be His ambassador on the ski slopes. Please pray for our family; that the Lord will direct and draw each one close to Him and lead them in His paths.
Thank You! May the Lord Jesus shower you with His love!
Rick and Melva Barton