A Falling Leaf or an Evergreen?
Fall is one of my favorite seasons! In the Colorado high country, the aspen turn gold, orange, and even brilliant red, before they exit the trees. Visitors come from all over to view the splendor of God’s creation in full, living color. Soon, however, the leaves drop from the trees, and all that’s left are barren branches surrounded by dead leaves waiting to be blown by winter’s winds.
Sadly, the same thing happens to some who profess to be followers of Jesus. They burst onto the church scene with amazing talents and colorful programs, attracting crowds drawn by their “special anointing”and “newly revealed truths.” A closer look, however, reveals some of these to be leaves that will fade and blow away when the winter winds of testing come. Recently I read of a minister who says he needs a sixty-million-dollar jet to hear God more clearly, a high-profile youth speaker sentenced to 1000 years in prison for multiple sex offences against children and still another claiming a lack of donations was delaying the second coming of Jesus! “Falling leaves.”
Our heroes are those faithful pastors, teachers and evangelists who continue to “tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love” through the freshness of spring, the heat of summer and the winds of fall and winter. Those “evergreens” who don’t change with the weather. Melva and I encourage you to go to your faithful pastor or teacher, current or past, and tell them how much you appreciate them and their family. Thank them for their consistent, Christ-honoring service. Pray for a fresh anointing on their lives and ministry. Every month should be “Faithful Pastor/Teacher Appreciation Month,” don’t you think?
Home! After a full summer, we’ve been home for a few weeks. Time to work on the septic tank, water the lawn, and focus on local families. The Lord has allowed us to minister to folks nearby and as far away as the Netherlands (by phone). Today, I conducted a funeral for a rancher in our valley. We also had the privilege of sharing at the Christian Challenge College group and spoke at the college football team chapel. Your prayers sustain us.
We attended a homecoming event at Western Colorado University, the school where we met Jesus and each other. As we went around the room, the local newspaper editor approached me about writing an article about why Christianity is important to the community. We see it as an opportunity to share Jesus! Please pray the Holy Spirit will give me the words to describe the wonder of knowing and loving our Lord Jesus, and how that impacts how we live in our community.
Alumni: This weekend, we had the privilege of hosting Rich and Joy, former students from our “called to ministry” group. They live in MI with their four children sharing Jesus’ love through their business and church. Rick B, was here as well. Rick, a former ski racer and ski patrolman, and his wife are serving in Nepal. What a privilege to see and hear of God’s grace working through these faithful workers!
Family: Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) are staying busy working and ministering in Scotlandand England. Nick and Rebekah (Kailani) are busy in their excellent restaurant in Edwards, CO (“Zino”), Steve and Annie (Samuel and Abigail) stay busy in Los Angeles with Steve working in TV production and Annie teaching. Tim and Sara (Elizabeth and Sydney) in LA are enjoying being parents as well as their jobs in warehousing and accounting. We are so grateful for our family and for all those who pray for us regularly!
Upcoming: Lord willing, we hold services in Delta, CO October 24-31, then Guthrie, OK November 7-14. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to fall upon these meetings!
Meet the Board: Periodically we like to introduce some of our Board of Directors. Jerry and Suzanne Bugg have been part of the Board since its inception. Jerry has been a businessman in the Oklahoma City area for many years, played competitive tennis into his 80’s, and is an ardent OU fan. We met at the ski resort, became friends, and have ministered in their church in Edmond. We have learned so much from their wisdom and been blessed continually by their love and prayers. We thank God for Jerry and Suzanne!
Finances: Our God is truly Jehovah Jireh, “God who provides” (Genesis 22:14). Whenever the Lord leads us to give assistance or purchase Bibles and materials for outreach, He provides! This month we felt Him leading us to provide additional support to 24 of our “alumni” missionaries, pastors, widows, and students in Christian colleges and seminaries. For many, their support has dropped during Covid. A week after we made the decision, the funds we needed came in from an anonymous donor. A worship leader’s wife and young mother, who works with the Navigators ministry, has a brain tumor preventing her from working. Here, in Gunnison, a husband was taken to a Denver hospital with Covid. While therein a coma, his wife died of a heart attack leaving behind 3 teenage boys. You are God’s instrument in helping with their needs. May the Lord richly bless you!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be on Melva and me as we share. Please pray for the Mears and Kinseth families for God’s healing touch and strength through their trials.Please pray for a meeting place where we can house our meetings, give-away materials, and serve as an outreach/training center. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the man He has chosen to assist us full time.
Thank you! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!” (2 Corinthians 13:14 NASB)
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230