“Brothers and Sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet, (perfection in Christ); but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
As I was praying about entering the New Year, this passage kept recurring in my mind. It seemed every time I opened a devotional or email, the same thoughts came forth. I must realize that I haven’t reached full maturity, I’m still in progress. First, I cannot live in past failures or successes. I can and must learn from them, but I cannot allow myself to live in them. Second, I must press on in my present relationship with Jesus. I must seek Him more than ever before! There may be variations in how I serve Him, due to age, financial or physical limitations, but serve Him I will, using the abilities He gives me until He calls me home. And third, I have an ongoing goal of being transformed into the image of Jesus, preparing for my “homecoming,” the upward call! What a wonderful time to refocus and realign our lives and priorities.
First Responder New Testaments/ Devotionals: This fall we received word that we have given out over 40,000 fire and police New Testaments as well as thousands of Fire/EMS and Police daily devotionals over the past 9 years, with hundreds more on order! Your prayers and support have allowed this to happen!
Benevolence: As you may know, a few years ago we set up a Philippians 4:19 fund to assist families in need. In November that fund was down to less than $100 dollars. Several families, although not knowing this, felt the Lord impressing them to donate toward the fund and within a brief time it was completely replenished!
Ski Area Ministry: This year, by God’s grace, I started my 53rd year of teaching skiing on a knee that doctors said I was never going to ski on (after a near fatal accident in High School)! I just finished 14 of 16 days teaching. Our mountain top chapel services have started strong, and we have begun our employee Bible study as well. Thanks to your prayers, we can “Go tell it on the Mountain”!
Family: Because of work schedules and travel restrictions we were unable to gather at Christmas. Lord willing, we hope to corral everyone this summer.
Finances: “Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” (2 Cor. 9:6-8 NASB) Once again, the Lord working through each of you, has abundantly blessed not only us but many through us. Please pray we always use His resources wisely and to His glory!
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be on us as we share His word; for health for our family; for the right workers to assist and fill in behind us; and for the families of those who have passed.
We are soooo grateful for each of you, may you have a Blessed New Year!
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires