As we pause and think about our many blessings through 49 years of ministry, we continually realize that we’ve been “way over our heads” the entire time! Two favorite verses of mine are Amos 7:14-15,” I am not a prophet nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman (ski instructor) and grower of sycamore figs (firefighter). But the Lord took me from following the flock and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’” Amos wasn’t “qualified”, neither are we. But the Lord has allowed us the privilege of being His ambassadors. Your prayers and support are a wonderful part of His provision to do that. Thank You!
September Happenings: The month started with me still recovering from the smoke on the California fire. Still, the Lord was gracious. I was privileged to perform a wedding, we sent out more New Testaments, and finished work on our new fire book, “God on the Fireline-a firefighter’s journal”. In addition, we visited folks in hospice care and the hospital, and held our Saturday night worship services.
The weekend of September 15th and 16th was somewhat typical. Friday night we attended the college Hall of Fame banquet where our friend Joe Packard, was being honored. Saturday morning, I led a chapel service for the Mesa Colorado University football team where I met coaches Russ and Ben Martin who love the Lord. Then we went to visit Joe Packard’s track athletes and their parents. Saturday night we led our Saturday night worship service and Sunday morning visited families who can’t attend church due to medical issues. After that, Melva and I drove to Colorado Springs for four days of rest and recuperation at Glen Eyrie. Upon returning, we continued to visit with hospital and hospice patients and had the privilege of leading a devotional for the local crisis pregnancy board.
“Alumni” News: Joe Packard participated in our FCA ministry in 2000 at the end of his senior year at Western. He was a track athlete and unbeliever. Jesus got ahold of Joe and he has been serving the Lord for the last 18 years. Starting in youth ministry, Joe is now as an associate pastor as well as track coach at a Christian high school in Fort Collins, CO. (His track teams have won 6 of the past 7 state championships in their division in CO.) Both parents and students tell us the Lord is using Joe in AWESOME ways! Another “alumni”, Kevin Richards and son Hunter dropped in from Virginia last week. Kevin works for the VA State Police and he and Mary Beth lead a Bible study in their home. October 1, we spoke at the Youth With A Mission base near Cimarron, CO. The directors of the base are David and Gaylynn Horn. Gaylynn was in our ministry in college and I had the privilege of performing their wedding 36 years ago!
“I married well above myself!” Every day I thank God for Melva. Not only is she a wonderful and godly wife, mother and grandmother, but she is my indispensable partner in ministry. She sings with me, sends out the newsletters and correspondence, and makes sure we have materials on hand for every program. In addition, she is a volunteer MOPs mentor. I am the most fortunate husband in the world!
Family: On September24th, our daughter-in-law Sara, (married to son Tim), was being monitored in the hospital because they’d had a miscarriage 21 months ago. While in the hospital, the baby’s heart stopped. The doctors immediately performed a c-section and resuscitated little baby Elizabeth. Mom and baby are recovering and we would appreciate your prayers for both! Our Scottish crew, Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are doing well with the girls excelling at school and in the Lord. Steve, Annie and Samuel are enjoying Annie being home more as she is job-sharing her teaching job!
Upcoming: Lord willing, October 7, we speak at Rocky Mountain Chapel in Cripple Creek, CO and then head to Estes Park, CO to help lead worship for a three-day Fellowship of Christian Athletes “Heroes” reunion. After that it’s off to Las Vegas for Melva’s Kauai High School reunion and then Los Angeles to be with Tim, Sara and Elizabeth. Upon returning from CA, we head to Branson, MO for two days and then start a series of services near Crescent, OK (November 4-7) at Capital Baptist Church.
*For the full recovery of our new granddaughter Elizabeth as well as Tim and Sara.
*For little Owen Pennington and family as he continues to recover from his near-death episode last June.
*For Norm and Karen Artas as Norm struggles with lung issues.
*For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share the gospel.
*For the Lord’s guidance for our ministry; I have many “dreams” and need wisdom as to which to pursue.
*For health and protection as we travel.
*For a location to house our Bible Institute and library and the right workers to help.
Thank you for your prayers! They really do keep us going forward!!
New Book: We received the first copies of “God on the Fireline”. It’s a collection of stories I wrote for a Christian Firefighter magazine, “The Encourager”. Each short story tells of a fire experience and the lesson the Lord taught me through it. Let us know if you’d like a copy!
Thank You So Much for your prayers and support! May the Lord Jesus hold you close to His heart!
Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires