“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Jesus, Luke 21:28)
Horrible mass shootings of innocent children, criminals blatantly smashing store windows, random acts of violence. Floods, tornados, forest fires; natural and man-made disasters. What is happening? Does it seem like God has left us?
I believe we have been dismantling the wall of God’s grace and protection over our country brick-by-brick over the last few years. We have tried to ban Him from our government, our schools, and even our health care. We, as a people, have tried to call things that are wrong, like putting innocent babies to death and homosexual behavior, “right” (Isaiah 5:20-21).
But fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. None of this has caught God off guard. He has allowed us to fall into the pit we ourselves have made. But He is still a God of grace and mercy. He has told us of two solutions for those who are Jesus’ followers. First, He offers to forgive us and heal our land if we will humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14), and second, He has told us He will return and gather His faithful followers to Himself in the rapture (Matthew 24:31). Is this the time? No one knows. Our job is to remain faithful workers for our Master, to lift up our heads, and know that our redemption draws nearer and nearer!
May happenings: What an amazing month of ministry! May 1st, we had a wonderful time sharing at Rocky Mountain Chapel outside of Cripple Creek CO. May 2nd, we met with long-time friends and supporters in Colorado Springs. May 8-12, we held services with our friends at Abell Community Church near Guthrie OK. May 21st, we led a Celebration of Life and May 22 travelled to Delta CO to hold a baptism. May 23, we took a friend to Grand Junction and Montrose for doctor’s appointments and met with Greg and Christy Meier who formerly pastored in Gunnison, and May 24 I took and passed the Forest Service firefighting “Pack Test” (I received a request to go on a fire assignment the next day but had to decline). In the meantime, I was asked to serve as Hospice Pastor for a firefighter friend’s wife. This week I was able to share with a university employee while on a training hike, an American Legion worker, and a firefighter. We are sooo thankful for your prayers and those who help us locally.
1st Responder New Testaments and Devotionals: We received requests for more New Testaments and Devotionals this month and were able to send them at no charge thanks to you!
Upcoming: Lord willing:
Finances: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38) It seems the more we allow the Lord to use us as a channel of His blessing, the more He replenishes. This month you helped us assist more families and a pastor in need. Thank You!
Family: We all seem to be recovered from our various ailments. Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) continue to prepare to move to London where Stephen will become a pastor. The transition is difficult for the girls so please pray for them.
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon Melva and me as we share and that hearts will be receptive to the good news of Jesus. For a vehicle (preferably 7 seats) for Corey and Tiffany Carey, “Alumni Missionaries” returning from Kenya to serve at John Brown University with Africa Inland Mission. For God to reveal those He has chosen to work with Melva and me.
Thank You for your faithful prayers and support! May our wonderful God richly bless you! He is using you to make a difference for eternity! Rick and Melva Colossians 4:3
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Rick Barton Ministires