July Happenings: As I mentioned last month, the Lord turned my “disappointment” about being too booked to go on a forest fire assignment into “His appointment”. I told the requesting officer that I only had a five-day window to serve instead of the normal fourteen. He replied that he’d take it! It was a good assignment. I worked with old and new friends and was able to give away firefighter New Testaments and devotionals. A surprise blessing occurred on July 4th. I volunteered to lead the firefighters gathered for the 6am briefing in singing the National Anthem. Someone videoed it and it went on face-book and two Colorado Springs TV stations picked it up. Later in the week it rained for two days and they didn’t need me past my available time! Thanks for your prayers as I serve on these assignments, I sense them!
Leaving the fire, Melva and I headed to Denver to pick up our daughter Joy and granddaughters Hannah and Bethan from Scotland. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of activities. Ministry during this time has included funerals, visiting a family in Denver’s Children’s Hospital and ministering to a rancher and his wife in hospice care. Melva and I have been going to their ranch and singing, praying and sharing the word with them. What a privilege. Two Christian ranchers have been visiting them as well. Praise the Lord!
Upcoming: Lord willing, this weekend, (July 29), we share at a Cowboy Service in Norwood, CO. This is our third time to sing and preach at this gathering sponsored by 4 churches in this small western Colorado community. Following that, we head to Colorado Springs where we’ll spend two nights at Glen Eyrie Christian conference center and then take a plane to Los Angeles. Our four children and their families will gather for some family time and of course take the grandchildren to Disneyland, etc.
Melva and I return August 9 and resume our ministry activities locally. We’re tentatively invited to sing at a Gospel Music Festival in Waynesville, MO in early September.
October 9-11 we’ve been invited to participate in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes reunion in Estes Park, CO. My first involvement with FCA was in 1969, shortly after I received Jesus as my Savior and Lord. While serving that summer on the “College Staff”, I was offered the privilege of helping lead worship at FCA conferences. That began over 30 years of service with FCA.
New Book: Every few months I have the privilege of writing an article for The Encourager, a magazine published by the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters. The stories cover some of my fire experiences, mess-ups and occasional successes as well as the spiritual lesson I learned from them. We’re compiling one hundred of these into a book to be called God on the Fireline, a Firefighter’s Journal. Please pray that it glorifies Christ and encourages the readers.
Finances: Every time we give away forest-fire, cowboy and police New Testaments the funds come in to replenish them. Every time we help our “alumni” and other missionaries, the funds are replaced. And, every time we help those in need, you guessed it, the funds come in. Thank you for being the Lord’s co-laborers with us in this work.
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to remain and increase upon us as we share Jesus locally and around the country. We are woefully inadequate for what He has given us to do and must have His grace and power! Please pray for the family of Gary and Rose Marie Auten. We joined together to hold services in various towns in Kansas for several years. Gary went to be with Jesus in July.
Please pray for our former associates Rich and Shelba Townsend and family as Rich’s brother passed away a few days ago. Please pray for little Owen Pennington and his parents Daniel and Krista as well as their families. Owen has been at Denver’s Children Hospital for almost 2 months with an undiagnosed life-threatening illness. The good news is that even when his parents were told to prepare for his passing, many were praying and he is slowly recovering! He still has some paralysis in his left leg and needs oxygen. And please pray for Norman and Karen Artas. They have been our friends for many years. Norm has pulmonary fibrosis and the diagnosis, humanly speaking, is grim. But we know that our God can do anything! Thank you for being intercessors for us and all these!
May the Lord Jesus richly bless each of you!
By His grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva Barton Romans 15:13
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Rick Barton Ministires