“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.” One of the most difficult things for Melva and I to do is to “Cease striving”, or “Be still”. You may have heard the expression, “I’d rather burn out than rust out”. I used to live by that slogan. But neither of those options is biblical! The Lord certainly doesn’t want us to sit around and not use our spiritual gifts to build His kingdom, in fact He calls those who don’t do their part, “wicked and lazy” (Matthew 25:26). On the other hand, Jesus would often pull aside to pray and rest, and instructed the disciples to as well. From the beginning of time God Himself set the pattern of a Sabbath rest, a regular break time in the midst of our hurrying about. And, as He says in Psalm 46:10, He will take care of things while we rest, His purposes will be fulfilled. I have a cartoon someone sent me about a man who, according to his obituary, was a husband-ski instructor-teacher-cab driver and more. Cause of death, overwork.
For Melva and I to take a day off, we literally have to leave town. Not just because of ministry responsibilities, but because we tend to fill any slack time with projects. Please pray with us that we will learn to “cease striving” and “come away” with Jesus regularly.
February happenings: As we mentioned in our last update, we had wonderful services in Josephine TX. The Lord blessed with visitors each night and at least one family coming to the Savior. Pastor Richard Wells told us that the pre-revival outreach they did in the area resulted in several families visiting after we left! Our evangelical pastors and wife’s dinner was a great blessing with almost 40 in attendance from 4 communities. It was a Spirit-filled time of prayer, fellowship and a great meal. Our former Associate Pastor Rich Townsend and his lovely wife Shelba came back for the week and we enjoyed good fellowship.
I taught a forest-fire safety class for the Crested Butte Fire Department and was able to distribute New Testaments. The month ended with the privilege of helping lead worship for 60 men from around the country in the High Ground Bible/ski retreat at Beaver Creek resort. What a time of renewal-encouragement and great teaching. In between, we had great mountaintop chapels, employee Bible studies and Saturday night services.
Bibles: This month we’ve received requests for 1st Responder and military New Testaments and devotionals from South Carolina, Michigan and Texas! Your prayers and support enable to provide these without cost. A Sunday School class at Lakewood Baptist in Louisville, KY took firefighter New Testaments and devotionals to a local fire station and they were very well received! Would your church do that? Just ask us for copies.
Family: Nick and Rebekah’s little girl Kailani celebrated her first birthday last week in Edwards CO and Melva and I were able to be there. What a cutie! Tim, Sara and Elizabeth (17 months) are doing well in Los Angeles as are Steve, Annie, Samuel (22 months) and Abigail (5 months). Stephen, Joy, Hannah (11) and Bethan (9) are doing well in Inverness Scotland. Stephen had a wreck on his bicycle going to work but seems to be recovering. (He rides up to 40 miles a day.) Thank you for your prayers for our family!
Last night we attended a “seniority banquet” where I was recognized for 45 seasons of service, the longest of anyone at our ski area. But, in some ways, the highlight of the evening occurred before the dinner. One of the workers in a different department reminded us of something that happened over 35 years ago. He had fallen in a race course and a piece of bamboo had lodged in his eye. As a young man without insurance or money, he couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Somehow the Lord let us know and Melva and I were able to help him get treatment. It’s amazing how the Lord will let even little acts of kindness let others see His love.
Finances: The Lord has used each of you who pray and support us to help many around the world. Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers who had sent offerings. “10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all…”, (2 Corinthians 9:10-13 emphasis mine) Missionaries, pastors, chaplains and families in need, as well as Melva and I, thank God for you!
Prayer Requests: For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share each week. For the Lord to heal Rick Schneider (and encourage his wife Soozie), CRU workers at Yale. For all of our family to love the Lord. And for the right couple to come alongside and assist in our ministry. Thank You!!
Upcoming: Lord willing, here are some of our upcoming events:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires