Joy to the World-The Lord is Come! This familiar carol is sung around the world as we celebrate our Lord’s coming to earth. Interestingly, the carol was a compilation of Isaac Watts’ poetic reflections on Psalm 96, Psalm 98 and Genesis 3:17.
About the time Watts was writing his reflections, George Handel, after hours in prayer, began 23 days of writing his masterpiece, the Messiah. Approximately 100 years later, a choir director in Boston MA named Lowell Mason took parts of Handel’s Messiah and joined them to Watts’ reflections and the result was “Joy to the World”!
The Scriptures referred to in the song can refer to our Lord’s second coming as much as His first. Jesus will literally “rule the world”, sin and sorrow will no longer grow, and the nations will “prove the glories of His righteousness”.
Sometimes, I get so caught up in the affairs of this world, that I lose sight of the fact that Jesus is coming again! The second time won’t be in a humble stable, it will be in unimaginable glory! Our joy at His appearing will be overwhelming! This Christmas, will you join Melva and me in celebrating both our Savior’s first advent, and living in joyful anticipation of His second?
November happenings: The day Melva and I returned from our ministry swing through the mid-west, we met with a ranching family to prepare for a funeral the next day. It’s such a blessing to be called upon to share these difficult times with our local residents. The ranching community around Gunnison is very supportive of one another and the church building was full. I was able to share the hope we have of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will use my words and the scriptures I shared, to draw many to the Savior. The “Lord’s Roundtable” radio show for truckers went well, thank you for praying. Melva has been busy serving as a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) mentor and ourministry work.
November 17th, “Alumni Missionaries” from the 1990s, Corey and Tiffany Carey as well as Adam and Lorraine Randlett joined our Saturday night worship service. The Careys serve in Kenya at the Rift Valley Academy while Adam and Lorraine are in Cedaredge CO serving in their church as well as MOPS and homeschooling ministry. What a privilege to see the answers to your prayers!
Family: Melva and I travelled to Edwards CO to spend an early Thanksgiving with Nick and Rebekah. Rebekah is expecting in early March and I’m sure she and Nick would appreciate your prayers. Steve, Annie and Samuel (18 months old) were able to fly in from Los Angeles to join us. Tim and Sara stayed home in LA with 3-month-old Elizabeth. Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan decided not to try to drive from Scotland😊. We were able to skype with everyone over the internet. Thank you for your prayers for our family!
Bibles: This month we were able to send 1,000 copies of Answering the Call firefighter New Testaments tothe Salvation Army Emergency Services in Canada. What a privilege! Initially, they didn’t know if they could afford all they needed. When we told them that you had pitched in to provide them at no charge, they gratefully received them. Another Canadian fire chaplain reported that he was able to use the fire and police Testaments and devotionals we sent to put together Chaplain’s kits for several fire stations!Your investments are making a difference in the lives of many first responders!
Finances: In 2 Corinthians chapter 8, the apostle Paul tells of a group of believers in Macedonia that had “begged” for the “favor” of helping out needy Christians in Jerusalem. Paul was amazed because these saints were suffering serious hardships themselves! We too are blessed and amazed at the generosity of each of you, first in your prayers for us and second in your gifts. Every need is being met! We are able to send out Bibles, help families in need, share the gospel without cost, and support “alumni” missionaries around the world because of the Lord providing through you!
Upcoming: Lord willing, we’ll be in Gunnison most of December; holding church services, Bible studies, singing carols at the assisted living and nursing home, and teaching skiing. New Year’s Eve I hope to lead in prayer again for our ski school staff in top of Crested Butte Mountain. In January, we’ll make an eight-day trip to Branson, MO where we’ll meet with our former associates Rich and Shelba Townsend, as well as other wonderful friends. We may possibly preach and sing at an assisted living facility there as well. In February, I teach fire classes for the Gunnison and Crested Butte Fire Departments and we host a dinner for all the evangelical pastors and their wives from Gunnison, Crested Butte, Lake City and a few other western slope communities (Feb 12). And finally, I help lead worship for the High Ground Men’s Bible/ski Retreat in Beaver Creek CO (Feb 27-Mar 1). Your prayers sustain us as we seek to represent Jesus in these places.
Prayer Requests: Please pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint us as we share His glorious gospel! Please pray for our “alumni missionaries” Rick and Colleen who have to change countries due to governmentissues. Please pray for a 6-passenger vehicle for “alumni missionaries”, the Taylors. Please pray for healing for my rotator cuff which has some damage. Thank you!
Mark the Date! On Thursday, June 20, 2019 we plan to celebrate 50 years of God’s faithfulness to our ministry with a gospel bluegrass concert and evening of praise and testimony. Please plan to join us!
May the Joy of our Savior Jesus Christ, who left His heavenly throne to come to earth to seek and save us, enfold you and yours this blessed season! JOY TO THE WORLD-THE LORD IS COME!!
Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires