Recently, a group of men met for our monthly breakfast. The topic, “What does freedom mean to you?” We showed a Barry Ward music video called “Welcome Home” (barrywardmusic.com). It dealt with our Vietnam veterans, the price they paid for defending freedom and the terrible reception they received upon their return.
That led us into discussing how our freedom isn’t free, it cost someone dearly. Of course, that in turn brought us to what it means to be “free” in Christ. All of us, veterans and non-veterans alike realized that our freedom from sin, its bondage and hell came at the cost of our Savior’s life. It also comes with a responsibility. As Christians we need to vote, pray for our leaders and live out our beliefs.
Someone asked, “How could the apostle Paul be ‘free’ when he was in prison. We realized that real freedom has nothing to do with our circumstances. It means being set free from sin, fear, and hopelessness. It means knowing that wherever we are, the Holy Spirit is with us, guiding us and desiring to use us for God’s glory. If Paul hadn’t been “free” in prison, we wouldn’t have much of our New Testament! Our responsibility also includes using our freedom to share the good news of salvation in Jesus and supporting those who are going around the globe sharing the freedom found in Him! Thank God, we are free indeed!
Firefighter and Police New Testaments: The miracle continues as we received requests for more cases of New Testaments this month. Chaplains contacted us from Canada, NC, NM and more! In addition, a fire engine manufacturer in AL wanted one for every fire truck they sell. Harper Collins Christian Publishing plans to start re-printing the “Answering the Call” fire New Testament in December 2017. They called offering us a bulk rate. As we prayed, a brother contacted us pledging over $8000 toward their cost. PTL!
Finances: Where do your donations go? As faithful prayer warriors you deserve to know how your investments in God’s kingdom are being used. Melva and I receive a salary every month from Rick Barton Ministries (RBM) which comes from your donations. All honorariums for speaking, weddings, funerals, etc. go directly back to RBM. Then, we give regular support to a local campus pastor who also serves as the volunteer fire department and football team chaplain. We give our Saturday night service offering to missionaries, primarily those from our ministry currently in the field (20+). We purchase Bibles, devotionals and study materials and give them away around the world. All monies are handled by an accountant and reviewed each year by a CPA. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Funerals and hospitals: On the way back from visiting our new grandson in Los Angeles, we were contacted by the Fellowship of Christian Cowboys with a request that we hold a funeral service for a young woman killed in a ranching accident. It was to be held in four days and was the same afternoon as a service we were conducting for another woman we had known and loved. The cowgirl had served in law enforcement as well as ranching and a gathering of several hundred ranchers and law enforcement officers attended. Both of these women knew the Lord and I was able to share the gospel message of hope and assurance from their own Bibles. What a privilege!
We received a call from a long-time friend that his wife was in the hospital in Grand Junction. We drove down the next day to pray with them. Just before we left we got word that another friend was also there so we were able to pray with him as well. As we rode the hospital elevator we noticed a woman in distress. We discovered she was from out of state and her husband had fallen and was paralyzed. She is a believer and we were able to pray with her and her husband. Your prayers and support allow us the freedom to do this!
Family: We had a wonderful week visiting and helping care for our new grandson Samuel in Los Angeles. His parents, Steve and Annie, are doing well and Steve was hired last week full-time with DreamWorks. He has been working as a “temp” and this is an answer to prayer! Stephen, Joy Hannah and Bethan in Scotland are doing well. Stephen is preaching almost every Sunday and Joy and the girls are on break from school. Nick and Bekah are in full swing at their restaurant near Vail, CO and Tim and Sara are going strong in Los Angeles. Melva and I continue to enjoy good health and all of us are very grateful for your prayers!
Upcoming: The Lord continues to open doors for conducting funerals and weddings here in the community. This is a privilege I am grateful for. I’ve been asked to fill the pulpit again in Tin Cup, CO due to the illness of their much beloved pastor Newt Cole (7/2). During Cattleman’s Days we will hold four services, three for the contestants before the rodeo and one for the public (7/13-16), the next weekend we return to Norwood, CO to hold a community service at the end of their rodeo (7/23, This is where I get to preach in the “Pig Palace”!). I’ve been asked to teach on evangelism for a Youth With A Mission Discipleship Training School at Cimarron, CO (10/22-28). Your prayers carry us through each of these ministry opportunities!
Prayer Requests: A huge Blessing to each of you who faithfully pray for us daily! We know that the key to any success in life and ministry is prayer. As Aaron and Hur lifted up Moses’ arms in battle (Exodus 17:11-12), your prayers carry us forward each day! This month please continue to pray for:
:The anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share with churches, funerals, and individuals.
:For the Lord to use each of the New Testaments we’ve sent out. (Fire-Police-Cowboy-Motorcycle)
:For our family to continue to grow close to Jesus and each other. We are so grateful for each one!
:For Vanessa Villasenor, her parents Cisco and Naomi, their family and each of the missionaries
who’ve gone forth. This month Cathy (Asia), Brad and Gina (Peru) and Diane (Jackson MS) are stopping by to share how God is working in their lives and ministries!
:Also, please pray for the Lord to provide a facility near the campus for ministry.
Thank you and may the Lord Jesus richly bless you.
Rick and Melva Barton
"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230