Flexibility: In Acts 16, the Apostle Paul faced a quandary. Jesus had commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations, yet twice he had been prevented from going. What should he do, give up? No! He kept praying and the Lord sent him to a very fruitful ministry in Macedonia. He was flexible.
This year has been one of our busiest years of ministry ever, with constant “interruptions” which actually turned out to be “Divine Appointments”. Are we flexible and willing to let Jesus direct us?
A Forest Fire: On July 26, a forest fire broke out 14 miles north of Gunnison. I wasn’t on the “available” list since I had to leave in a week for knee surgery, and forest fire assignments require a 14-day commitment. Within a few hours the fire had spread, and a national Incident Management Team was ordered to assume operations on the fire. I received a call from Missoula asking if I would be available to join the Team. I told them I only had a week available, but they said “come”. That began one of the most ministry-filled fire assignments I’ve had!
As soon as I attended the “in-briefing” for the fire, I obtained clearance to hold a chapel service after shift the coming Sunday. I held the chapel at the “spike camp” and the first firefighter who arrived told me he had recently been released from prison and was turning his life around with the Lord’s help! Another, a seasoned fire veteran, said this was the only chapel he had ever seen on a fire and how much it meant to him. All through the week firefighters would pull me aside and ask for prayer and counsel. Thank you for your daily prayers, they mean soooo much!
July Happenings: July was an interesting month for Melva and me. I had the privilege of helping with a funeral for a well-loved 1st Responder, conducting 2 more “Celebrations of Life”, baptize a young husband, preach in Tin Cup, Sargents, and Lake City, officiate a wedding, serve as chaplain of our Cattlemen’s Days Rodeo, hold our annual Rodeo Church Service, and of course our regular Saturday Night Worship Services and systematic theology classes. As the apostle Paul said, “Not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10b)
Shout out to Melva! When God said it was “not good for man to be alone”, that he needed a helpmate, He was thinking of me! You may not realize it, but Melva does all the behind-the-scenes work; materials for meetings, ministry paperwork, proof reading, visiting our senior saints and shut ins, and much more. She is in God’s word daily, studying and applying it! Next to salvation, marrying Melva is the best thing to ever happen to me! (Proverbs 31:28-30)
Upcoming: Lord willing, Melva and I are taking most of August off. Our former associates, Rich and Shelba Townsend are coming in to cover. A local pastor/worship leader will lead worship.
1. August 8: I have the first of two knee surgeries, a relatively minor “buff and polish”.
2. August 28-29: We have our RBM annual Board Meeting in Colorado Springs.
3. September 3: Service in Tin Cup Community Church
4. September 6th: I have the other knee replaced.
5. September 24: Services at Pitkin Community Church.
6. Because of the surgeries, we’ve had to cancel our trip to Hebron Baptist in MS. ☹
First Responder New Testaments and Devotionals: We are receiving requests almost every week from chaplains around the country for New Testaments and Devotionals! This week we sent more to FL. Several years ago, Chaplain Bill James from Odessa FL called us about receiving a case of New Testaments and Devotionals for his dept. When they arrived, he said firemen were driving up to his house asking for more copies. Since then, he has spread the news to chaplains in several states and God’s word is going into wonderful places.
Finances: As we give away more New Testaments and devotionals, support to missionaries, and
share the gospel, the more our Lord provides. Thank you for being His channel of blessing!
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share the good news of our Wonderful Savior! For the firefighters I shared with to be protected and strengthened in their walk with Jesus. For Melva’s blood clots to be completely dissolved, and my knee surgeries to go well. For our family to all draw close to our Lord. Thank You!
May the Lord bless and keep you in His grace-filled hands,
Rick and Melva
*Because of being out of town, receipts will run behind this month! Thank you for being “flexible”!
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Rick Barton Ministires