Mountain Chapel: Two weeks ago, I was sharing God’s Word at the outdoor chapel on top of Crested Butte Mountain. As everyone introduced themselves, I realized that we had two VIPS in our midst. Noah and Jonah were both in attendance! Thoughts came to mind of when Jesus, Moses and Elijah met on the Mount of Transfiguration! In this case, Noah and Jonah were wonderful boys from Dallas who paid careful attention to the message. In fact, they took my notes and went over them later with their parents.
The message was, “It’s a New Year-We Are New Creations-We Have Been Given New Power!” You see, I’m one of those who really likes the New Year. It gives me a chance to “reset” my priorities, my schedule, and most of all, my devotion to our Savior. It’s a chance to remember that I’m a New Creation. I have been forgiven of my sin, been made righteous in God’s eyes, and have been given a mission by my Savior (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). In addition, I have been given New Power; the person-work-gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, in order to live my new life in His power (Acts 1:8).
December Happenings: Of course, December was a busy and blessed month for all of us. December 1st, we had the privilege of sharing at First Baptist Church of Josephine, TX (Josephine is a small but growing community NE of Dallas-we’ll be returning there February 2-5). Then our focus became more local with Saturday Night Worship Services, weekly discipleship training, a myriad of ski school meetings and teaching skiing. Melva and I had the privilege of conducting two “Celebrations of Life” for local families. In mid-December we started our weekly Bible study for ski area employees and the Sunday afternoon mountain chapel services. I recorded several Christmas devotionals for the local radio station as well.
On December 31st, I led a prayer for over 75 ski instructors before we skied down the mountain in our annual torchlight parade. This prayer is a tradition I’ve been able to lead for over 40 winters. It started one New Years Eve when the ski school director turned to me and called out, “Rick, pray for us!” and has continued through five directors. Invariably, one or more instructors talk to me later about the prayer. By the way, I really appreciate your prayers for our safety as we ski down a black diamond run, in the dark, holding highway flares!
“Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His godly ones” (Psalm 116:15): Several wonderful friends went to be with our Savior during the past month. Glenn Miller, a college roommate, ministry co-worker, and best man at our wedding left us suddenly. John Dennison, longtime friend, ministry supporter and godly example passed in San Antonio. Ski buddy and ministry friend Monty Goodwyn was “promoted to glory” January 2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 reminds us that even though we grieve, we don’t grieve as those who have no hope. As born-again followers of Jesus, we know where they are right now, in His presence, and that we will join them soon to enjoy heaven’s joys forever!
Fire and Police New Testaments: This week we received word from a Canadian Chaplain that he was able to minister to the family and co-workers of a young firefighter who died. He used the New Testaments and devotionals we had sent him to share God’s love. The Lord has been pleased to use these pocket-sized Testaments and daily devotionals in wonderful ways. Inserted in the pages are pictures and testimonies by a number of us along with the plan of salvation. So far, we’ve sent out over 21,000 fire and police New Testaments around the world with requests this month coming from British Columbia and Washington DC, as well as North and South Carolina! Your prayers and support make this possible, Thank You!
Missionaries: Several years ago, we felt a burden to help our “alumni” missionaries and pastors in the field prepare financially for the day they retire from their posts. Sadly, we often see faithful workers facing major financial hurdles upon their return. So, as the Lord allowed, we started sending a year-end gift from RBM to help them start or build up their retirement fund. This year, because of your faithful support, we are sending out support to 18 “alumni” and co-worker families. Several have shared how they had little or no retirement savings and what a difference this makes. One missionary family decided to only take part of what we sent and asked us to give the rest to another missionary! The great reformer Martin Luther once said, “Even if I felt the Lord was returning tomorrow, I would plant a tree today.” Even though we hope and pray that Jesus is returning soon, we want to help these faithful servants prepare for tomorrow.
Finances: “The generous man will be prosperous, And, he who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25). We continue to see God’s faithfulness through each of you! This year we were able to help many families in Jesus’ name. We’ve been able to share with “alumni” missionaries around the country and around the world! Our benevolence fund was down to fifty dollars with more families in need over Christmas, and the needed monies came just in time! The Lord has used your prayers and support to enable us to continue to minister in many ways!
Family: What a joy to see our children and grandchildren grow in the Lord! Part of our New Year’s “refocusing” is that Melva and I are committed to spending time with each of our children and grandchildren this year. Please pray this will happen.
More Testimonies and Prayer Requests: Testimonies include the Lord sparing Glenda Schammerhorn’s life after a heart attack; Glenda and Jimmy direct the chapel services in Tin Cup. We’ve experienced the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon us as we share in town and on the mountain. Please continue to pray for CRU staff Rick and Soozie Schneider as Rick fights a major battle against disease, and for little Owen Pennington to be healed. Please continue to pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing as we share in Josephine, Texas February 2-5, on the mountain each Sunday and Wednesday, and our Saturday night services. Thank You!
Upcoming: Please see below in highlights 😊
By His grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva Barton
Rick Barton Ministries 2019 Ministry Highlights
As we celebrate over 50 years of God’s faithfulness to our ministry, we give thanks to Him and to each of you who faithfully pray for and support us! We have sensed a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit as we share and have seen several decisions for Jesus and recommitments this year!
On Crested Butte Mountain:
On Forest Fires:
Local Worship Services:
New Testaments and Devotionals:
Upcoming events: Lord willing!
December 31 Prayer with 75+ ski instructors before torchlight parade.
February 2-5 Revival services @ 1st Baptist Church of Josephine TX outside of Dallas.
February 18 9th annual Evangelical pastors and wives dinner.
February 26-28 Rick helps lead worship at High Ground men’s Bible/ski retreat at Beaver Creek.
March 27-28 Rick speaks at a men’s retreat in Westcliff CO.
April 16 Rick speaks at Texas A&M University.
April 26-May 3 Revival services at Abell Church outside of Guthrie OK.
June 7 & Sept 6 Tin Cup Chapel CO
These are just some of the “highlights”. Your prayers and support have done wonderful things for Jesus!
Thank You, Rick and Melva!
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Rick Barton Ministires