“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.” (Mark 6:31-32) Throughout the New Testament, our Lord withdrew from the crowds and spent time with the Father. Sometimes, He took his disciples with Him, I believe to set a pattern for their lives.
As Melva and I begin our month long mini-Sabbatical, we are aware of a progression our friends in the Navigators ministry suggest:
1. Release and Relinquish 2. Rest and Recovery 3. Reflect and Refocus 4. Realignment and or/Reassignment 5. Re-entry and Re-engagement.
After a week at the Billy Graham Training Center-“The Cove” near Ashville NC, we have mostly worked our way through the first stage and are slowly entering stage two. By the end of our ten days here, we should be relaxing and enjoying more time alone with our Lord.
August 4th, Lord willing, we share an evening service at Lakewood Baptist in Louisville, then visit friends at Southern Seminary, and tour the Ark and Creation Museum. August 10th, we return to Colorado for 12 days of refocusing and realignment at Glen Eyrie Christian Conference Center. Then home on August 22.
Cowboy up! In mid-July we were privileged to minister at our Cattlemen’s Day Rodeo. A few days before the first event, the committee asked me to serve as the chaplain for the professional rodeo events. This was in addition to our annual Sunday Rodeo service. Every night, I was able to pray with the cowboys before they entered the chutes as well as give the opening prayer for every performance. What a blessing! Good friends, western recording artist Barry Ward (barrywardmusic.com) and former world champion saddle bronc rider Jason Brown shared the gospel in testimony and song! Afterwards the committee informed me that I was now the “official” chaplain. Please pray the Lord uses this to bringmany to Jesus.
“Alumni” and friends: just before we left Gunnison, we received a note from “alumni” Kyle Caudle. Kyle was involved in our ministry as a college student, went on to teach at the Naval Academy and is now involved with the Intervarsity ministry in South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a professor. While we were in North Carolina we got to visit with friends Tom Phillips and Wayne Atcheson from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. They “just happened” to be at the Cove the day we arrived! In addition, one of the servers at the Cove turned out to be our friend Betty Kitt. Don and Betty were ski students of mine many years ago. “Icing on the cake” was being able to sit in on a staff devotional.
Missionary Update: “Alumni” missionaries Brad and Gina Shaw (20 years with SIM in Peru) and Cathy (many years in Asia) came through and gave a report on God’s work in their ministries. Julie P sends her thanks to all of you for your help in supporting her long-term work in a very difficult situation in Africa.
Upcoming: We hit the ground running when we return. We conduct a celebration of life for our friend Norm Artas August 24, preach in Lake City, CO the 25th, Tin Cup CO September 1st, Delta CO September 29-October 2, and Crescent OK November 3-6th, and of course our Saturday evening services.
Family: Everyone is doing well and blessed with good health. Steve and Annie are preparing for their second child to be born in November. Thank you for praying for all our family!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us and that we are able to quiet our hearts and minds before the Lord during this Sabbatical time. Please pray for His anointing as we meet with others, some of whom are seeking God’s direction and wisdom as well. Please pray for several Christian families that are struggling in their marriages, that they don’t give up and are willing to work toward God’s reconciliation. Please pray for us to know His will, follow His leading, and that He gets the glory!
Finances: in July, you helped send 200 firefighter and police New Testaments as well as 40 devotionals to two chaplains in Texas. These brothers serve 40 small fire and police departments! You helped a Christian widow whose husband died after several years of major medical problems and didn’t have life insurance. You helped give out cowboy New Testaments and tracts at the oldest professional rodeo in Colorado. You’ve helped students attend Christian colleges and seminaries. Will Graham told me today that the $1000 you helped us donate to train Australian pastors in evangelism would make a major difference at this specific time. Your investments in the Lord’s work are making a difference, THANK YOU!
(*Your receipts will run late while we’re on the road, please be patient😊)
What a year so far! In the past 12 months we’ve shared the gospel in more places, given away more New Testaments, helped more missionaries, and experienced more of the anointing of the Holy Spirit than ever. You are each a huge part of that, your prayers and financial investment undergird all we do!
May the Lord Jesus richly bless you from His riches in glory! Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires