“Christ the Savior Has Come…”
What wonderful words! To a world torn by sin and strife, a world full of religions, some so barbaric that they demanded the burning of new born babies, He came. He didn’t come as a conquering king, although that day will come. He came as a tiny infant, welcomed by poor parents, a choir of angels and a few off key shepherds.
He came with one purpose, “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray”. He came to poor, uneducated shepherds and carpenters. He came to wealthy, educated wise men. He came “for poor ornery people like you and like I”.
As the shepherds wondered, Simeon and Anna marveled. God had fulfilled His promise. He had come to “ransom captive Israel” as well as the rest of us, from our slavery to sin.
The question then remains, is there room in the inn of our hearts, or will we turn Him away? The Savior only stays where He is welcomed. Please join me in opening the door to your heart, and preparing the throne room of your life for Him, not only today but for eternity.
November happenings: November was a Joseph’s coat of many colors. Melva and I were privileged to travel to the “Billy Graham Training Center-The Cove” in Ashville, NC for a pastor’s conference. Following the conference we drove to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte where we spent some wonderful time with our friend Tom Phillips, vice-president of BGEA. If you’ve never visited the Cove or the Library we urge you to go! Upon returning, I taught our Saturday night worship service, continued our West Elk Bible Institute training for leaders and more.
Thanksgiving was another blessing. We took a quick trip to Edwards CO to give early thanks with our daughter Rebekah and husband Nick as well as son Steve and daughter-in-law Annie who flew in from LA. On Thanksgiving Day I went to my downtown office (McDonalds) to read my Bible and have a cup of coffee. While sitting there I overheard a couple behind me on the phone. Their truck had broken down 14 miles out of town and they had spent a cold (9 degree) night in it. They had no money to eat or place to stay. Because of your generosity we were able to have their truck towed in, feed them, provide a place to stay, and when the truck was determined to be unfixable, obtain a bus ticket to take them back home.
John and Jessie professed to know the Savior, but like Jonah, they were running from Him. Gunnison was the place the Lord stopped them. We were able to share about a living relationship with Jesus as Lord and not just Savior, as well as pray with them. They attended our Saturday night service where they sensed the Lord’s love in a special way. The bus ticket we provided took them back to the man’s uncle who is a pastor and runs a Christian rehab center. By the way, the phone call I overheard, it was a Christian relative who was praying with them over the phone! Each of you had a part in that Thanksgiving miracle!
After a couple weeks at home Melva and I returned to Abell Community Church in Guthrie, OK. This time it was to teach their annual Bible Conference. We had a wonderful five days of unpacking the book of Philippians. What a wonderful, faithful group of folks who love the Lord and His word! During the day we met with brothers and sisters throughout the Oklahoma City area as well as sang at a local nursing home.
Finances: To quote the apostle Paul, “Not that I seek for the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. I have received everything in full, and have abundance; I am amply supplied, having received….what you sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4:17-19). Each of you are so faithful in supporting us in prayer and financially. We are truly grateful! Because of you we are able to do ministry ourselves and help others who are faithfully sharing the gospel but don’t have the wonderful support team we do!
Today I talked with the wife of one of our “alumni” missionaries, Levi Gill. She and Levi have been ministering and teaching school in Jackson MS. They have become friends with another “alumni”, Diane (Vader) Johnson who works with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Diane, she told me, is not only a faithful worker sharing Jesus with children and parents, but goes into some of the most dangerous areas of Jackson where others often won’t go! Every Christmas we try to send a special gift to many of our alumni missionaries in the US and around the world. Your support allows us to do that. We all say Thank You!
Ethan James Barton has entered into heaven. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Just two weeks before his due date, little Ethan’s heart stopped for no apparent reason. We know the Lord’s love for children and are comforted that Ethan is with our Savior and that we will be reunited with him soon. Please pray for Tim and Sara as well as both families.
Prayer requests: Please pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint us as we lead a Christmas service here as well as share with ski students. Please pray that I will be His light as I pray with the ski school staff on New Year’s Eve before skiing down in our torchlight parade. Melva’s health is doing very well, she is back to a normal workout routine along with all her work for the ministry. Thank you for your prayers! Please pray for me as I have had some nagging muscle and nerve pain.
May you have a blessed Christmas! You are special gifts to us and so many more!
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230