In Autumn of 1693 the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts invited their Indian friends to join them in a “Harvest Festival” to celebrate their survival (over one-half of the original 102 Mayflower’s settlers died the first year.) Two years later the Pilgrims had a day of prayer in Thanks-giving to thank God for sending a drought-ending rain they had prayed and fasted for. After that there were numerous days set aside to give God thanks. George Washington in 1789 called for a day in gratitude to God for the successful conclusion of the Revolutionary War. John Adams and James Madison appointed days of Thanksgiving as well as Abraham Lincoln who set the November date.
Sadly, like many holidays set aside to honor our Lord Jesus, Thanksgiving, in some places, has become a day of gluttony, “Black Friday Sales” and football, with little thanks-given to our God who has blessed us with every blessing. As we read through the rest of Psalm 103 we find an abundance of reasons to give God thanks! We can thank Him for all our benefits; He has forgiven our sins, given us health, redeemed us from the power of sin, given us loving kindness and compassion, and sooooo much more! Please join Melva and I in pausing for a time of gratitude and praise to God!
October happenings: It seems I’ve been away from home more than I’ve been home this month. At the beginning of October I took Melva to Denver so she could fly to Los Angeles to help care for our grandson Samuel (5 months old). A few days later I flew to Dallas to visit our friend Gene Daniels. Gene is a retired pastor/administrator for the Southern Baptists of Texas. In his “retirement” Gene would spend his summers in Pitkin, CO preaching in Pitkin and Tin Cup. We all loved how Gene would break forth the Word of God in wonderful ways. Due to advanced cancer, Gene was unable to come to Colorado this year so I took a “care package” from the two churches to him. As I was returning, we received word that Vanessa, infant daughter of our “alumni missionaries”, Cisco and Naomi Villasenor, had passed into the arms of Jesus. I flew to San Diego for the service and joined the Villasenors as well as Aaron Taylor (alumni missionary to Haiti) and friends from the Horizon School of Evangelism.
The day I returned from San Diego, I had the privilege of heading into the mountains west of Gunnison to teach for a week at the Youth With A Mission base. What a joy to be able to share with these 18-26 year old men and women who are investing their lives in training and service overseas. A special treat is that we performed the wedding for the base directors, David and Gaylynn Horn, 35 years ago!
Upcoming: Melva, Steve and Annie and Samuel, Tim and Sara and I hope to join up with Nick and Rebekah in Edwards for a Thanksgiving time. Then, Lord willing, I start teaching skiing in December.
Family: Melva is in LA till mid-December helping care for Samuel. She’s having a wonderful time although the heat takes some adjusting to, but Steve and Annie enjoy having her there. Tim and Sara’s job situations seem to be stabilizing which is an answer to prayer. Stephen and Joy (Hannah and Bethan) are doing well, experiencing God’s grace in wonderful ways. Stephen is enjoying all the opportunities he’s receiving to preach in Scotland and England. Nick and Rebekah are in Spain right now taking a break before their winter season starts, please pray for them.
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share in Gunnison and wherever He sends us. We depend on your prayers and His power each day! Please pray for the Villasenor family in the passing of Vanessa, for Gene Daniels and his family, and for Melva and me as we seek to determine God’s direction for our ministry. Things are going really well but we want to be sure we’re doing exactly what He wants, nothing less and nothing more. Please pray as well for my health. I’m rehabbing a strained Achilles tendon and sometimes find myself more fatigued than I should be. Thank You!
Finances: When the apostle Paul was in a Roman jail for preaching the gospel, he received a financial love offering from the church at Philippi. In his letter back to the Philippians he thanks them for standing with him. We’d like to echo his thanksgiving to you. “Not that I seek the gift itself, but for the profit it increases to your account. I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received what you have sent…a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” (Philippians 4:17-18) A few weeks ago our accountant told us that we were running behind for the year. We committed the amount to the Lord. Over the next few weeks that amount and more came in! Thank you for being His instruments of blessing for us and so many more!
And now may the Lord Jesus grant you grace, mercy and peace; and may all our hearts overflow with Thanksgiving to our God! Rick and Melva
PS. Krista Pennington is helping us with receipts, so you will see a “KP” on many receipts. She and Daniel are wonderful Christian workers serving here in Gunnison!
We send out monthly newsletters. If you would like to be on our mailing list, enter your email address and click the "Subscribe to Newsletter" button at the very bottom of this page.
Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230