“Joy to the World!”
I’ve just finished bringing in several loads of firewood. Winter is settling into the Colorado High Country. The crisp air and early arrival of darkness, punctuated by a myriad of stars, tell of how wonderful our Creator God is. Thoughts flood my mind of how it must have been for the shepherds that cold winter’s night, as they kindled their fire on a hillside watching over their sheep. Suddenly, an angelic host surrounded them and brought “good news of a great joy, which shall be for all the people!”. I marvel that the same good news of God’s salvation came to Melva and I over 2000 years later, and has brought us new life. Our Lord Jesus, has definitely brought Joy to the World!
I spent a few hours last week reminding my legs and skis how to work together this season, and then was called home to comfort a family whose mother passed away. As I prayed for the family, I received a text from the Schammerhorn family in OK that God was sparing Glenda’s life. The Lord had received one of His children into their heavenly home, while allowing another to remain here a little longer. In bothcases, the Lord showed His love and grace; one went to her heavenly home, and the other stayed to share His love with others.
November Happenings: The month started with the privilege of returning to Central Baptist Church near Crescent OK. We were blessed to share God’s word to wonderful, receptive hearts. Highlights included several young men who faithfully attended each night and actively participated. Several members of two nearby church families joined us and we had the blessing of sharing in a nursing home and seeing a man yield his life to the Savior! Some faithful Gideon brothers had shared the gospel with him and I had the privilege of helping him in his final decision!
Returning to Gunnison I conducted the celebration of life for a neighbor, a retired sheriff’s deputy. Roy had given his life to the Savior and I was able to share the assurance we have in Jesus. (His wife entered into glory a few weeks later and I will hold services for her at the end of the month.) “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” (Psalm 116:15). Following his “homecoming service” I had the privilege of participating in the ordination of the missionary son of a local pastor.
Just before Thanksgiving, we headed to Edwards CO to spend time with our daughter Rebekah, son-in-law Nick and baby Kailani. It is a joy to see how the Lord has blessed them.
The weekend after Thanksgiving we flew to Dallas where we shared at 1st Baptist Church of Josephine, Texas. What a great group of folks being led by our good friend Dr. Richard Wells. At the end of the service, a young man gave his life to the Savior and a couple recommitted their lives to Jesus.
Upcoming: Lord willing, I will record a few more radio devotions for our local station this week. I was asked to start these over a year ago and they have been well received by Christians and non-believers alike. This weekend, our Saturday Evening Worship group will sing carols for the local nursing home, assisted living facility and hospital. Then, I begin teaching skiing and a Bible study at Crested Butte Ski Area.
Lord willing, these are our upcoming events as of December 15, 2019:
December 31 Pray with ski instructors before skiing down in a torchlight parade.
February 2-5Revival services @ 1st Baptist Church of Josephine TX outside of Dallas.
February 18 Evangelical pastors and wives dinner in Gunnison.
February 26-28 Lead worship at High Ground men’s Bible/ski retreat at Beaver Creek CO.
March 27-28 Speak at men’s retreat in Westcliff CO.
April 16 Speak at Texas A&M University in College Station TX.
April 26-May 3Revival services at Abell Church outside of Guthrie OK.
June 7and Sept 6Tin Cup Chapel CO
Family: Melva and I often reflect how fortunate we are to have a family that loves each other and even us! Stephen, Joy, Hannah (11) and Bethan (9) in Inverness Scotland; Nick, Rebekah and Kailani (9 months) in Edwards CO; Steve, Annie, Samuel (2) and Abigail (2 months) in Los Angeles; and Tim, Sara and Elizabeth (15 months) in Los Angeles. Thank you for praying for each of us!
Finances: As some of our faithful supporters pass on to glory, others of you, individuals and churches, have stepped up to fill the gap. Thank You! This year we have been able to give away several thousand firefighter, police and cowboy New Testaments and devotionals, help numerous families in need, share the gospel in five states, support our “alumni” missionaries more than ever, and make an impact locally.
By the grace of God and your faithful prayers and support, every need is being met, “…a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:18b-19)
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon Melva and me as we share the “good news of a great joy”. Please pray for Jimmy and Glenda Schammerhorn who direct the Tin Cup Church. They were returning to OK from Jimmy’s back surgery in TX when Glenda had a massive heart attack. The doctors doubted she would live, but each day she is proving that our God is greater than we can imagine! She is in Mercy Heart Hospital in OKC. Please continue to pray for little Owen Pennington, son of Daniel and Krista, local Christian workers, who is still having medical issues. Please pray for our hearts to be fully His, and that we will be FAT Christians; Faithful-Available-Teachable.
We are soooooo grateful for each of you! May the love, joy and peace of our Savior be with each of you! Merry Christmas
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230