“Showers of Blessing”
Do you ever have times when your plans don’t necessarily line up with God’s plans? Yet, we know that the Lord is working behind the scenes to bring about results which will bring Him the most glory. And that’s what we want isn’t it? “Not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
So, rather than waste tears on our “dis-appointments”, we must realize that they are “His-appointments”. Instead of Him “raining on our parade”, these are “showers of blessings”! I think that’s why the apostle Paul exhorted us to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4). Even though he was in jail, Paul trusted that God would use him. He witnessed to the Roman soldiers, encouraged the believers to be bold in their faith (Philippians 1:12-14), and wrote much of the New Testament while in jail!
August happenings: August began with the privilege of conducting another “homecoming” service for a departed saint. The same weekend we had a wonderful reunion time with brothers who served here in the Lord’s work in the early 1970s. Glenn (and Patti) Miller went to Campus Crusade for Christ staff, Gary (and Mary) Teague became a long-time football coach and Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor and now pastor, and Pastor Bill and Patti Dodder went on to plant successful churches as well as serve with Campus Crusade.
On August 21st Melva and I were invited to the Tin Cup Community Chapel to sing and share God’s word. Tin Cup, CO is a summer resort town and one of the first places I ever preached. What a joy to reconnect with these wonderful saints! Like the Pitkin Church, they give most of their offerings to missions!
Saturday Night Worship Service: On August 6 we called and prayed with Paul and Sarah Muirhead, our former interns who are now preparing to head to the Middle East. Then we called and prayed with Cisco and Naomi Villasenor,. Cisco is an “alumni” church planter in Mexico whose 6 month old daughter Vanessa is in critical care in San Diego. We featured the ministry of the Gideons one night as well as Michael who is returning to Indonesia. What a joy to see the growth and Great Commission awareness in our Saturday Night group as we go verse by verse through God’s word! In the past month two of our twenty led someone to Christ! Thank you for your continued prayers for our missionaries and attendees.
Upcoming: September 11th is the 15 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. You may remember I spent a week in Ground Zero serving meals and counseling recovery workers. This year we are helping sponsor a “First Responders Appreciation Ceremony” which will honor fire-police-EMS as well as search and rescue from Gunnison, Crested Butte, and surrounding communities. After the ceremony we’ll serve the responders and their families a nice luncheon. During the ceremony we will pray over these men and women as well as make police and fire New Testaments and devotionals available. Please pray that we can encourage these who give so much to others, as well as plant seeds of the gospel.
I’ve been asked to preach again at New Song (Sept 10), a church we “accidentally” started in 1969. Then, Lord willing, after the First Responder Ceremony, I will be available for a 16 day forest fire assignment. I’ve not been out this summer due to ministry “His-appointments”, but still feel it’s an important part of our ministry to witness, hold chapels and distribute New Testaments.
Speaking of fires, we continue to receive requests for firefighter and police New Testaments from churches and chaplains around the country. Last month we sent 150 to Texas and Indiana. Please pray that the Lord will use these copies of His word to change lives!
Finances: The Lord continues to provide every need and allow us to help other ministries in need. Your prayers and gifts are not only a blessing to us, but to many others. God’s word says that “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered” (Proverbs 11:25). We see this constantly!
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to continue and increase as we share the gospel locally and each place He sends us; for the First Responders Appreciation Ceremony, for Vanessa Villasenor and her family; for “alumni” Paul and Sarah and Rick and Colleen as they prepare to return to the Middle East, for Diane Johnson serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Jackson MS, Corey and Tiffany Carey serving in Kenya, Lyn Lampert pastoring in Lake City, CO, for Aaron Taylor and family in Haiti, and all our alumni who are in God’s harvest! Also, please pray for Heidi Smith, a mother of 4, formerly in our ministry who is in hospice care in Amarillo, TX. Your prayers really do matter! Thank you!
Family: Thank you for your prayers for our family. The Lord is giving grace and mercy to each of us.
Answered prayer in progress? Several months ago we asked you to pray for a location near the college for our West Elk Bible Institute as well as other Christian ministries to meet and conduct outreach. A week ago we received word that a building on the edge of the campus was going to be available for purchase! I contacted the people selling the building and they said they’re in the early stages but will let me know as things progress. Please pray that the Lord will show us His will concerning this. Several years ago I set aside some gifts I received into a savings account for just this purpose. It’s a small amount ($2000) but I felt the Lord was leading me to start planning ahead for such a time as this.
By His grace and to His glory! Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230