“Please Leave Me a Well-Used Bible!”
September and Well-Used Bibles: The Lord opened many doors to share His love this month! September began with me conducting two funerals and a wedding in four days. The first funeral was for a wonderful lady, but I could find no indication that she knew our Lord. Those funerals are difficult because I can’t offer assurance of heaven. All I can do is strive to comfort the family and share the gospel with those still living. After the service, a college-age nephew of the deceased began asking questions about reincarnation and other religions. That opened the door to share the great news of salvation by grace!
The second service was for a member of one of the early ranching families in our valley. I had heard that she knew the Lord but imagine my joy when I opened her Bible and found it filled with notes, underlined passages, and so much more! What a wonderful opportunity to share the assurance of an eternal home and heavenly reunion. As you may know, when someone asks if I will do their funeral when they pass, I smile and ask for a “two-week notice”. Now, I’m going to add, “and a well-used Bible I can preach from”!
In between funerals I had the privilege of performing a wedding for a local couple. They had been living together and had a two-year old son. They came to Christ recently, began attending a good local church and realized they needed to be married. Their pastor was not able to do the wedding. I was able to line up counseling for them with couples from their church so they have a support group already established.
After the last funeral, Melva and I headed to Loveland, CO where we hosted a “Thank You Dinner” for our Northern Colorado prayer partners. Even with short notice, nineteen friends gathered to praise the Lord for His mighty works. What a wonderful time of fellowship with these saints, some of whom we’ve known for over 40 years. A huge thanks to all of you for your prayers!
Another opening to give out God’s word! The morning after the dinner we felt the Lord prompting us to visit the new owners of The Supply Cache, a supplier of firefighting gear based in Fort Collins. In the past, this company had offered complimentary copies of the “Answering The Call” firefighter New Testament to customers who requested them. However, that had ceased as ownership had undergone several changes. I asked to meet the new owner, gave him a sample copy and asked if he would once again offer them. I explained we would provide them at no cost. I also gave him a copy of the daily devotional book we distribute to fire and EMS personnel. He promised he would run the idea by their leadership group. He contacted us within the hour and said “Yes”. A few days later he requested several more devotionals for their staff! Your prayers and support allow us to provide these at no cost.
Leaving Ft. Collins, we drove to Denver where we visited a dear friend in hospice and then proceeded to Colorado Springs and the Navigator Conference Center, Glen Eyrie. We spent two days trying to recoup after several weeks of non-stop ministry. The Glen is one of our favorite places to “hide” and rest! Even there, we were able to minister to a staff member and meet with several friends. Then on to Missouri!
Waynesville, MO. The services at Faith Baptist Church in Waynesville went very well. The church has many new faces since our last visit and their new pastor, Danny Graves, is doing a great job. They had 25 hours of non-stop prayer before the services began! The church has a beautiful new facility and set aside a “War Room” just for prayer! Needless to say, the prayer bore wonderful fruit.
It wasn’t long into the meetings that we began to hear stories of “Revival” taking place in people’s lives. All of us realized this was the result of their prayers. A special blessing was music by southern gospel artist Becky Lercher. We’ve known Becky for several years and she graciously worked our meetings into her schedule. What a blessing!
Home again! After over 2000 miles of driving, with at least two close calls, we arrived safely home in time to conduct a funeral for Linda, the woman we were able to lead to Jesus right before she died. I had sung at Linda’s wedding over 40 years ago and taught skiing with her for a time. Several former ski school friends were there and during the service I was able to share how Linda had received Jesus.
Hurricanes and earthquakes miss our missionaries! As you know, several hurricanes passed through Haiti recently. Aaron and Andrea Taylor, “alumni missionaries”, report they have been spared so far. At the same time, a major earthquake hit the Oaxaca region of Mexico where alumni missionary Cisco and Naomi Villasenor minister. They too escaped with no injuries. Our Saturday night service sent offerings to help assist the ones affected around them. Thank you for praying for all those who’ve gone out to serve!
Family: We are truly blessed with our family. They love each other and us! Stephen, Joy, Hannah (8) and Bethan (just turned 7) are back into school activities. Joy is teaching again and Stephen continues to preach almost every weekend and receiving great reviews! Nick and Rebekah are gearing up for another busy restaurant season in Edwards CO. Steve, Annie and Samuel are doing well in Los Angeles and preparing for Melva’s 2 ½ month visit to help with Samuel while Annie finishes the year’s teaching commitment. Tim and Sara are busy in LA as well and praying about Sara’s job as the firm’s ownership has changed.
Finances: Thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support! The Lord is using you to allow us to continue to serve and reach out in so many areas! Your prayers and investments are bearing much fruit!
Upcoming: I’ve been asked to teach for Youth With A Mission for a week Oct. 23-27 on evangelism. Please undergird me with prayer for this opportunity!
Prayer requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us as we share God’s glorious gospel! Please pray for our family to continue to draw close to Jesus and each other. Please pray for all our “alumni” missionaries, especially the Villasenors and Taylors. Please pray that we will have the wisdom to equip those coming to our Saturday Night services to become fruitful workers for our Lord.
Thank You for standing with us!! God bless you, Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230