I’m looking at a Peanuts cartoon in front of me. Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patti are sitting beneath a tree and Patti asks, “What is love, Chuck?” Charlie Brown, with a smile on his face, looking up into the sky answers, “A man named Jesus.” A beautiful song in the musical Oliver asks, “Where is love, does it fall from skies above…?”.
Fifty-one years ago, Melva and I discovered the answer to that question. And yes, in a sense, it did fall from the sky above. God’s word tells us, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Last Sunday, I commemorated the “Homecoming” of Billy Graham by preaching from John 3:16 at our mountain top chapel service. Yes, God loves you and I so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place, to pay the price for our sin, so that we might be reconciled to Him! Now, that’s love!
A popular Country song a few years ago talked about “Looking for love in all the wrong places”. Sadly, all of us have friends and family doing just that. They’re trying to find real love in immorality, alcohol, drugs, monetary success, but finding only temporary pleasure which melts in the morning sun. Jesus has given each of us the privilege and responsibility of sharing true love with them. Isn’t it wonderful to know the giver of true love!
January happenings: As some of you know, Melva and I made four trips during December and January. Three were to the Dallas area where I preached on two occasions as well as attended a wonderful friend’s “Homecoming Service”. We also made a quick trip to Los Angeles to visit our newest granddaughter Abigail. In between, I taught skiing and held services in Gunnison and Crested Butte.
Our two trips to 1st Baptist of Josephine TX (outside of Dallas) were wonderful. During our first trip, a young man gave his life to the Savior. He was baptized during our second trip! In addition, we had wonderful services, made many new friends and a young family met with the pastor and gave their lives to Jesus! I often question whether I was listening to the Holy Spirit closely enough as I share, but it seems the Lord was glorified and they’ve already asked us to come back next fall and spring.
Our ski area Bible study for employees is going well with 5-7 each week, and the mountain top chapel has had up to 20.
Our Saturday Night Worship services have been blessed with a wonderful anointing of the Spirit as we open God’s word each week. This past Saturday was very special, especially during the worship time and closing prayer session. There was confession, encouragement and blessings.
Bibles: During January we sent out several hundred fire and police New Testaments and devotionals around the country. Please pray the Lord uses each one!
Family: We had a great time in Los Angeles with son Steve, daughter-in-law Annie, Samuel (2) and new granddaughter Abigail. It was too short a trip but at least we were able to go. They are involved in a good church and growing as a Christ-centered family. We visit daughter Rebekah, son-in-law Nick and granddaughter Kailani next week in Edwards CO to celebrate Kai’s 1st birthday. Lord willing, we will see son Tim, daughter-in-law Sara, and granddaughter Elizabeth in June and daughter Joy, son-in-law Stephen and granddaughters Hannah and Bethan in Scotland sometime this fall. As we mentioned last month, we are trying to visit each of our family this year!
Pastor’s and Wives Dinner: Tonight, we host evangelical pastors and their wives from Gunnison, Crested Butte, Lake City, Delta and more. Up to 40 will attend! For some, this is a 200-mile round trip. This is our ninth year and each year is a greater blessing. The entire agenda is for the pastors and their wives to meet each other, pray with and for each other, and then enjoy a wonderful meal in a nice restaurant. Out of these dinners a monthly pastor’s lunch has started and we’re praying a wife’s fellowship will develop. Your prayers and support undergird all these! Thank you!
Later this week I teach a forest fire safety class for the Crested Butte fire department where I will distribute New Testaments and devotionals. Next weekend I help lead worship for the High Ground men’s Bible/ski retreat at the Beaver Creek ski area. At the end of March, I have the privilege of speaking at a men’s retreat near Westcliff CO.
Finances: “Not that I seek for the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account” (Philippians 4:17). As we mentioned last month, you have helped us send out support to 18 “alumni” missionary families around the world, send out thousands of New Testaments and devotionals to first responders, preach and teach without charge, and even provide scholarships to help local students attend Christian colleges.
Missionaries from Mississippi, Kenya, Peru, Indonesia, the Philippines and more have asked us to say “Thank You” for your support of RBM which has in turn blessed them! Any and all blessings that result are credited to your “account” with the Father. You are participating with us in every outreach! We praise Him for sending you.
Prayer requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit as we share both locally and around the country. For our family to love and follow Jesus each day. For the man/couple that God is preparing to join us in His harvest. For Rick and Soozie Schneider (Yale CRU staff) for healing. Thank you! We not only believe in the power of prayer; we depend on it!
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus be with each of you! Rick and Melva
Upcoming events as of February 15, 2020: Lord willing!
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Rick Barton Ministires