“Wars and Rumors of Wars-But Hope!”
Like you, we have been praying that God would intervene in the Ukraine. We know there are many followers of Jesus there and that the enemy is trying to use Mr. Putin to destroy them. As a result of world events, more and more people are asking if we are living in the end times.
“Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Mark 13:7)
Might this be the end? Maybe. There have been very few times in recent history when there have not been “wars and rumors of war”. And the Bible tells us that we have been in the “End Times” ever since Pentecost (Acts 2:15-21). Jesus said He would return at exactly the right time, and that it would be when we weren’t expecting Him (Matthew 24:44).
So, what are we to do? Jesus told us to “Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit.” (Luke 12:35 NASB). The apostle John admonishes us, “28 Now, little children, remain in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not draw back from Him in shame at His coming" (1 John 2:28). And Peter tells us that Jesus has delayed His return so that souls might turn to Him for salvation before its too late (2 Peter 3:9). As my old coffee drinking buddy Martin Luther said, "Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree today." In other words, we are to be about fulfilling our Lord’s commission to “Make Disciples” until the very minute Jesus returns! Not to be afraid or distracted and withdraw ourselves because of the circumstances around us.
February Happenings: February was a month of many blessings. Our ski area chapel services have grown to over 30 at times, our weekly ski school Bible study is small but meaningful, we sent out more firefighter New Testaments, and more.
February 15, we held our 10th annual Evangelical Pastors and Wives dinner. 27 pastors, missionaries, Christian workers, and their wives attended for a night of prayer, fellowship and BBQ dinner. One pastor remarked that this year’s was the best of all 10. What a blessing to look around the room and see men and women from a wide spectrum of evangelical ministries praying together and encouraging one another. Our Saturday Night Worship service has experienced a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit and we have seen God’s hand moving in the lives of new believers as well as “seasoned” ones. We really sense your prayers!
Firefighter Witness: This month, I taught a wildland fire class. On the 45-minute drive back, a fellow firefighter began to ask questions about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus and I was able to share the gospel message. Not only does my firefighting open many doors to share Jesus but I still love it!
Video Messages: We are still sending out an email-link for our studies. All you have to do is ask and give us your email address. Melva and I sing a few songs and then I teach a Bible study. Let us know!
Free Stuff! We send out free copies of fire and police New Testaments and devotionals, my book “God on the Fireline”, a book of short vignettes of our first 50 years of ministry called “The Freight Train Chronicles”, my book for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (“Beggar to Beggar”-a basic handbook for beginning itinerant evangelists), and any of 3 CDs of Melva and I singing. Just let us know if you would like any of these.
Family: Lord willing we will be able to get all of our family together at the end of July! Because of Covid concerns and travel restrictions our Scottish clan haven’t been able to join us for several years. We plan to meet at Glen Eyrie, the Christian conference center near Colorado Springs for a week. Please pray that the Lord will allow everyone to come and have a time of renewing and refreshing.
Upcoming: Lord willing we will hold services in Pitkin CO May 29 and Tin Cup CO June 5th. Not sure about Oklahoma yet. We were contacted this morning about possibly holding services in Mississippi.
In Memorial: Our good friend and faithful co-worker Harvey Johnson went to be with Jesus this month. Harvey was a great help with our Fellowship of Christian Athletes and ski area ministry. Please pray for Patrice and their family. I’ve been asked to help with his service in Salem OR.
Prayer Requests: Please pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing on us as we share. Please pray for Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan as they prepare to begin Stephen’s first pastorate in London this summer. They need the Lord’s guidance for housing, schools, etc. as well as the Lord’s grace and wisdom. Please pray for my knees as 50+ years of skiing and firefighting have taken their toll. Please pray for the right 4-wheel drive vehicle to replace our 2007 Chevy Trailblazer with 190,000 miles. Please pray for the Lord’s choice for the right folks to assist and eventually fill in behind Melva and I. Your prayers are the “Wind Beneath Our Wings”!
Finances: The Lord is using your faithful support to allow us to not only reach out locally but around the world through New Testaments, supporting missionaries, and church meetings. May He richly bless you!
“9 How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. 10 Night and day we pray earnestly for you…” (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10a)
By His Grace and to His glory, Rick and Melva Barton
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Rick Barton Ministires
PO Box 1155
Gunnison, CO 81230