Beautiful Life Ahead

1 04 2013

I haven’t been on here for a while and I think it’s a shame.  I have so much to be excited about and soo much to be thankful for.  I have a lot of posts on here previous to a beautiful turning point in my life which was meeting the love of my life Rachel.  I guess I haven’t had much to say on here because I’m “too busy” but really it’s because I’ve just been “too lazy” and I’m starting to change my ways.

ImageAlot of things are changing in our lives right now.  Rachel is pregnant, 36 weeks or so, and I’m about to have my dream come true.  As long as I can remember I’ve wanted a family.  I’ve never really been a big “kid” person but yet I’ve always wanted a child of my own.  For me, I think that I don’t look forward to “having a baby” but yet I look forward to raising a child up right.  When I say “right” I don’t mean a kid who behaves or is obedient, but a child that loves God, and seeks after Him.  That’s what I’ve always looked forward to.  The challenge of raising a child up the right way, in the midst of this wicked and twisted world we live in.  I look forward to my baby girl seeking to care for the less fortunate, taking care of widows, finding a man who treasures her as God’s daughter and treats her as such.  I look forward to looking at my girl and having a little more understanding of God’s love for me.  I’m nervous because it’s not going to be easy, and I’m going to be growing in a lot of area’s in the process.  I’m also overjoyed because I believe that I can do it…with God’s help.  Which leads me to my next point.

ImageI’m at a point where I’m looking to God more and more and seeking out His will.  He’s given me more than I deserve for sure.  I’m married to the woman of my dreams (cheesy but words can’t explain how happy I am to have met her) and together we are serving Him and learning more and more about God’s purpose for us.  Something I’ve never had before.  A woman who challenges me to be a better man on a daily basis.  Not just a better man, but a more Godly man.  She humbles me often (I don’t tell her that, but I guess I just did) because she’s got an amazing grasp of life.  Rachel’s so grateful for everything she has and everything that God has done for her.  How many of us can truly examine our lives and say that we are grateful for the things we have and not always focused on what we don’t?  I find myself trying to read more often and pray more often because I want to try to keep up with her.  The motivation behind this probably isn’t the best motivation, but it keeps me striving to be a better man.  I’m so encouraged that my dreams of raising a child right might actually come true with her by my side.  Yes we have two other boys which is my next blessing I’m going to write about…whether you want to hear it or not.

Gabe and Finn are our 2 boys.  Gabe is 11 and Finn is 5.  They are both unique kids and wonderful in their own ways.  Gabe is the most sweet natured 11 year old boy I know.  He really is always trying to help us out and do the right thing.  I can ask him anything, and I know without a doubt that he’ll tell me the truth.  How many kids can you say that about?  Sure he plays a ton of video games, watches alot of YouTube, and plays constantly on his phone, but if those are his vices, I count my blessings.  Finn on the other hand is a very cute kid, but he’s rambunctious.  He’s always playing with other kids and he likes to do things his way and if not, he’ll let you know about it.  He gets very grouchy at times, but then again he can also be a very loving and sweet kid who has the most infectious smile.  He says the most random and hilarious things that even though you might be mad at him, you can’t help but forget about it and just laugh.  They are both wonderful kids and I love them to death.  I was talking to them tonight about Easter and what it means and they both can give me great answers which shows me that they are learning about and loving God.  Rachel has done an amazing job with them!

Now for me!  I’m at a point now where my family is most important to me.  I love Rachel and the boys, and elated that I’m going to be blessed with a baby girl, and I want to do everything right by her.  So I’ve decided that I’m going to quit chewing tobacco and quit tobacco all together.  This isn’t a new concept, I’ve quit before and quit a few times in between…so I guess I’ve never really quit…but I done now.  I had my last one tonight and with God’s help the last one ever.  I want to be around a long time for my family.  I’m really praying, literally, that God will help me with this and He’ll keep me from the stuff.  Also, I’m going to find the determination to start getting in shape.  I’m actually in pretty good shape, for me at least, but I still wouldn’t consider myself “healthy”. 

The last thing I have to be thankful about, my family and God.  I know your thinking, “that’s 2 things” but it’s not to me.  God is the reason I’m here and God is the reason I have the most amazing family around me.  My parents are still together, despite lots of hard times and obstacles, they are together, they love each other desperately, and they love us!  My brother and I have grown up in a wonderful household with wonderful parents who have shown us what “God’s Love” looks like and it’s apparent in our lives.  My brother is a youth pastor at Mission Church in Gilbert with a beautiful family.  His wife, Liz, loves the Lord and together they are raising 2 beautiful boys Ethan and Micah.  They are constantly serving the church and people in need, and God is evident in them.  My wife’s side of the family is also a family after God’s heart.  Lloyd and Lynn are currently leading our small group where we are going through the bible learning each and every step of the way.  Dave is a youth pastor as well who is very knowledgeable about the bible and God’s word.  If only someday I could be as well acquainted with God’s word as he is I’ll be impressed.  Rebekah shares Rachel’s view of gratefulness for her family and her relationship with God. 

So you see, God is in my family and my family is in God.  How blessed am I?  How much do I have to be thankful for?  EVERYTHING! 


Day 1 in Tijuana

12 08 2012

I’m writing this blog so that I never forget my trip to Tijuana.  It’s my first mission trip and it was a doozy for me.  It hit me hard as I’m sure everyone that’s been on a mission trip before has experienced.  I chose this trip first of all because it was good timing for me, but also, I can somewhat speak spanish.  It’s not fluent or is it proper but I can communicate enough with people that I can get around.  So here it is, Day 1!

Day 1 was mostly traveling for us. We rode up in 2 vehicles.  There was 8 of us total including pastor Steve Doerksen (sorry about the spelling).  McKenzie is our missions leader so he was the front man for our trip.  His wife, Michelle, also went along with Dwanye and Danielle Lidster, Scott and Marita Lowe and of course myself.  We loaded up for our 6 day adventure and met at the church, Mountain Vista Community Church, and headed out to San Diego from there.  It’s supposedly a 6 hour trip or so, but I think we did it in 8 with all the stops and lunch and mexican insurance.

We had McKenzie and Michelle driving the van (later named “White Lightning”) with Scott, Marita, Danielle and Dwayne.  Pastor Steve and I were in his car.  We had 2 walkie talkies to stay connected apparently we didn’t have enough “bars” because we couldn’t get them to communicate once we crossed the borders.  Of course, that could be due to the fact that Steve immediately took a wrong turn and started heading the wrong direction.  He was in the process of telling me how he took the wrong turn the last time he went there, and apparently he found that same wrong turn again.  So we had a little detour and tried to connect with the other car to no avail.  So we started back the right direction and after a few minutes of trying to find our way we decided to try to ask someone for directions which I thought I would be able to do no problem considering my vast knowledge of the spanish language.  Didn’t work so well.  Steve on the other hand used his vast knowledge of the English language and immediately received directions from the first person he tried.  So we finally met up with the rest of the team at Costco where we were buying supplies for the week.  We met up with our guide as well.  His name was Lucas.  He met us at Costco around 5 p.m., an hour later than we were supposed to meet him, after we packed up all our goods we headed out to the dorm.  The dorm was the place where we stayed the entire trip.  It was a 2 story complex, complete with a restaurant style kitchen, tiled downstairs, and bunk beds upstairs made of crude 2×4 and plywood.  We found out quickly, from our other live in host Josh, that a big no-no was to flush the toilet paper down the toilet.  So there was a trash can in between the stalls that we had to put our used toilet paper.  I was pretty uneasy about that so I tried to hold it as much as I could.  After giving a quick synopsis of what our trip was going to look like from Josh, we all went upstairs to settle in.  Another thing we did every night was a bible study that 2 people went over while having breakfast and I chose to do the first one.

I chose to do a different verse than the suggested one because a certain story was sticking out to me.  It was the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30

14″Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another on talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also the one with two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19″After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought another five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

21″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

22″The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

23″his master replied, ”Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”

24″Then the man who had received the one talent came, ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.’

26″His master replied, ‘You wiked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28″ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This verse stuck out to me and hit me hard.  I concluded that we as Americans have been entrusted with much and we need to be good stewards of our masters wealth and multiply it for HIM and HIS purpose, not our own.

Here is my Journal entry for Day 1

“Day 1-July 22nd – 6:10 p.m.

     We have arrived at the spectrum household.  We are currently getting some stuff situated.  Tijuana is kind of like I expected but the feeling of insecurity and not feeling safe comes and goes depending on the neighborhood.

Steve and I were lost for a bit, I tried using my spanish to ask for directions but 2 people blew me off immediately.  After getting up the nerve to ask, twice, unsure if I was going to say something completely wrong.  Then Steve asked a taxi driver and the guy getting out spoke very clear english.  I think Steve’s expecting to get help attitude worked for him.  It reminds me of Gods word saying “Ask Boldly” came to mind.  I was timid and unsure and Steve was not.  Lesson number 1-LEARNED!

9:30 p.m.

We just got done listening to Pastor Von who is an 80 yr old man who has been doing missions for 40 years.  Most of it in tijuana, and he says that this place’s barrios are up there with the worst of them.

We are going to be visiting “The Dump” which apparently is a dump with compost and waste.  We are visiting there to bring food to the people who live and work there.  I guess people live in tents or cardboard boxes and seperate scrap metal, cardboard, cans etc. to sell it to companies.

Tomorrow around 8 we are supposed to be going to the orphanage and washing the feet and hair of the kids and feeding them at the park.”

I realize that some of this sounds broken or not very smooth.  I’m writing it down just as I wrote it while I was there.  I want to keep the authenticity of it.  I didn’t exactly have a desk to be writing at so it was uncomfortable and needed to just jot down my thoughts.  Thanks for reading and Day 2 should be coming up quickly I hope.

Fathers and Dads

19 06 2012

It is the 18th of June, and I just celebrated my very first fathers day, as a father.  Unfortunately our boys are in Nebraska right now with their Nana and Grampy.  They are having a blast I’m sure, but I do miss them.  This fathers day has brought some things into perspective though.  Let me explain.

The new Branch of the Barton Family

I always thought I would be the most amazing father.  I have so much love to give and can’t wait to share it with my children.  Looking back now on the time that I’ve had with Gabe and Finn, I feel that I haven’t been the father that I want to be.  I’ve been good about discipline and teaching them right and wrong, but I don’t think that I’ve been cherishing them like I should.  I’ve been thinking about what a “Dad” is opposed to what a “Father” is.  A Father is someone that has given life to a child.  You have fathered a child and have given them life, but a “Dad” is different.  A Dad is someone who has taught their kids right from wrong.  Someone who has shown their kids that they will love them no matter what they do.  No matter how many times they’ve screwed up or upset me, I will love them and they know that will never change.  A dad is the man in your life that you learn everything from.  How to throw a baseball, how to act at the dinner table, the man who teaches you how to play board games and card games.  The man that’s going to talk to you when your upset, and get advice from.

These are all things that my dad has taught me.  He’s always been a friend to me, but I know not to cross him.  I have a healthy fear of my father just as we should our heavenly father.  You know if you screw up your dad’s going to set you straight, but afterwards, he’s going to make sure you’re ok.  My father is now my best friend and my confidant.  I know I can go to him with ANYTHING.  He has taught me everything he knows, shown me how to play sports, cards, games, how to be a good worker, how to fix things around the house, and the 3 most important things he’s taught me…what it looks like to love GOD, how to love my wife, and how to be an amazing father.  Can you ask for anything more in a father?

So as this fathers day has come and gone, it’s now made me realize what being a father really means, with the 2 most amazing examples…God, and my Father/Dad/Friend, Rusty Barton.  I love you pops and I can now start to build my legacy as you have made yours live on through me and Josh.


19 03 2012

I’ve noticed that my priorities have changed drastically in the last year.  I’ve met my bride, Rachel Barton, and my whole world has changed…for the better.

Rachel and I were driving home from my parents house the other day and I noticed that I hadn’t recieved a phone call for 3 days.  It made me sad.  Nobody wanted to know what’s going on, or even wanted to hang out or chat.  It was a rude awakening.  Does anybody want to hang out with me or keep up with what’s going on with me anymore?  I used to get phone calls all the time.  I got 5 phone calls a night wondering what’s going on and if I was hanging out that night.  WHAT HAPPENED?

As Rachel and I talked, she was asking me what changed that I didn’t get phone calls.  The conclusion we came to was priorities.  My priorities have changed.

My weeks consist of this.  Go to work, work on the house, spend time with the kids, and spend time with Rachel.  Once a week we go to church and that’s about it.  Sounds depressing at first glance.

I’m a social person.  I need to interact with people.  It’s in my blood.  So why haven’t I noticed that my social interaction is at a minimum right now?  I realized something.  I’m completely happy with my life as it is.  Yes, I would like to see my friends a little bit more.  I’d like to grab a beer with some of my old buddies.  I’d like to catch up with some of my friends from my previous jobs.  The reality is, my priorities have changed.  I’ve got a career to focus on.  It’s on the other side of the valley for me, so when I go to work, it’s not like I can just go have a beer afterwards, because I have an hour drive home.  I can’t just go drive to their house and hang out, it’ll be a $20 gas bill to hang out.  Also, I have a family now.  I have kids that I WANT to spend time with.  I don’t just want to drop them off at grandma and grandpa’s house so I can go hang out with a buddy.  I want to play games with them, watch movies with them and wrestle with them.  I want to be a great dad.  I’ve lost a few years on that so I value every time that I get with them.  Most importantly, I’ve got a beautiful wife that I’m enamored with.  Rachel really is an amazing woman.  Every day is something new, and honestly, I find something I like more and more about her every week.  I’m with a woman that will put up with me, love me, admire and respect me.  I know that she can’t be my everything all the time, but so far, she’s done an amazing job of it.  I do miss my friends, but not enough to really make a plan to go hang out, or sacrifice time with my family to spend with friends.

ImageIt’s really weird how priorities change.  I used to be all about going out and grabbing some drinks with friends and partying, and now, it’s about my family, my house, and my dog…sometimes about my dog, he’s kind of a pain in the butt though.  I’m sure alot of my friends see it as abandonment.  I’ve abandoned my life that I used to have.  To some point that’s true, because that’s not what I wanted.  I wanted a family, I just didn’t have it then, and now I do and I’m loving it.  So if you’re one of those that thinks that I’ve abandoned you, just realize, I’ve got different priorities that have taken up a substantial part of my life.  I personally would love to fit in my family, work, and all my friends, but unfortunately, somethings have to make room for more important things in my life.

I love my life!  I’m perfectly happy.  My life is so full of blessings and all the trouble that I went through to get to this point, is soo worth it.  Thanks Rachel, Gabe, and Finn for giving me the family that I could’ve only dreamed of.

I’m getting MARRIED!

31 12 2011

I’m soo unbelievably happy right now.  Two days from now I’m going to be the happiest man on the planet.  I haven’t blogged too much lately.  I’ve told you about my mom and how amazing she is, I’ve told you about my granny and what an unbelievably incredible woman she is and now this.  I have alot of very special women in my life.

Rachel Sisneros (soon to be Barton) and I are getting married in San Diego and I couldnt be happier.  She is the most amazing person I’ve met.  She is the most up front and honest person I know.  From the first time she messaged me on I’ve realized this.  Her first message to me was, “if I’m not too old, have too many kids, or live to far away, message me back”  Very odd first impression but I loved it.  She put it right out there.

Apparently the first things that caught her attention about me was the fact that I was Christian and 6’2″.  Why is this important?  Rachel is 5’10” and Gorgeous but for her it was hard to find a guy tall enough to where she could wear high heels and he would still be taller than her.  She loves to wear high heels and I love it too because she has long legs that are absolutely stunning.  She really is an incredible catch and I’m glad she found me.  Even to this day she lets me know that “She found me” and I’m so thankful for that.

Some other amazing things about her: She is a very solid Christian woman who has a heart of gold.  She cares deeply for others and will always be looking out for everyone and can see the good in anyone.  Constantly she’s sharing her heart for the poor and less fortunate.  She kicks herself because she wishes she had just asked for people to donate money to people who don’t have running water for christmas.  She is always saying how she feels greedy because she has soo much compared to most people and sometimes it makes her sad.  I’m pretty sure she has Christ’s heart for people and I can see us donating lots of money and sponsoring kids all over the world in our time together.  She is soo focused on God that most of our serious discussions are about Christ and our role here on earth.  She just has a heart that I don’t think fits in her chest!  I love it.  She is making me a stronger man in my faith and that is why I’m so excited for our future.  That is the point of marriage right?

She is the mother of two great boys.  Gabe and Finn.  They are both great kids.  Rachel has always put them first in her life and it shows.  Gabe has a huge heart and is the sweetest kid, which obviously he gets from his mother.  Finn is a little different.  He’s also a sweetheart but he’s also a little bugger sometimes.  He has this way though of


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Chris and Rachel

31 12 2011

Chris and Rachel

I love my soon to be wifey

My Beloved Granny

17 12 2011

As many of you may know, I lost my “Papa” in October.  It was a hard time for my family.  Granny and Papa are the glue to this family.  We Bartons/Vogans/Howarths are a strong group. We have been a family that has shared every bit of life together.

As far back as I can remember, all of our families have shared the holidays together.  I remember being a small kid living back on Union Hills and I was woke up by my mom the night of Christmas saying, “Boys come here, I heard something downstairs.”  We woke up and went with my mom and slowly we realized that Santa was putting presents under the Christmas tree.  We both got soo excited and could barely hold our excitement.  Later of course we realized that it was Papa.  The old guy had pulled one over on us.  I never did ask, but I’m pretty sure he visited a few houses that year.  What a guy.  Then of course we have Thanksgiving.  Even to this day, I look forward to sharing Thanksgiving with all my family.  Of course the highlight, besides the plethora of food, is the “tossing of the dinner rolls”.  We all know the routine of course.  The Ladies cook, and the men clean.  I’ve never really liked that rule but that brings me to my next point.  The values instilled in this family.

As we all knew, the Bartons have grown up as a farming family.  I’ve realized now as an adult, what this has translated to.  We Bartons are a hardworking family and very down to earth.  Jerry, Brenda, Sheila, Rick and of course my pop, are the most down to earth and solid people I’ve met.  I absolutely love my family and wouldn’t trade them for the world.  I’m not forgetting the spouses either, I love EVERYONE of you.  Now, when talking about an entire family being down to earth and amazing, you have to look at the parents.

Granny and Papa are the 2 single most amazing people in the world.  As far as I know, Papa was a “No Non-sense” kind of guy, which I’m sure is the reason why Jerry was their first son.  Jerry had all the non-sense in the family so having 4 more kids was no problem.  Papa reminds me of Jerry.  He didn’t take guff from anyone.  Now Papa also had a storytelling side of him.  I remember Papa telling story after story of all his golf experiences and his times on the farm and when I was a kid and I took everyone of them as fact.  Now I’m not so sure.  I think he stretched the truth a bit, but regardless, I tried to egg him on to tell more stories.  Papa and I had a bond.  We were golfing buddies.  I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to going golfing with the old man.  I learned so much from him.  Putting from the bunker, “rabbit must have taken my ball, I’ll just drop here”, and of course the infamous  the “sun city” lie.  I learned alot from the old guy.  I miss him dearly but I know I’ll see him again.

That leaves Granny, the reason I’m writing this.  This is the model woman.  As far as I know, “Oh Sugar” is her choice of cuss words.  I’m pretty sure that’s the worst thing she’s ever said.  When we all heard about someone stealing $40 out of her wallet, I’m pretty sure most of our family was ready to march down to that hospital and start interrogating most of the people there.  You might as well have stolen from the Pope.  There isn’t a more innocent and sweet person in the world than my Granny.  She’s a gem.  I know our whole family is heart-broken over the loss of Papa, but I think we all can forget about our grief, because Granny, Papa’s wife of more than 60 years, is standing strong.  She is the rock of this family.  She is a God loving, community serving, hostess with the mostest, potato salad mastering, angel on this earth.  She has set the bar high, and I think that she is what most women should strive for.  My Granny will forever be remembered in the highest respects.  I’m ecstatic to see her again, and I’m going to get a great big hug from her.  I have so much love and respect for the women, i’m pretty sure she could go rob a bank, and our entire family would take the fall for her. 

Granny, we all love you and you are the rock in which we lean on, and our model to mold our lives around.  You can do no wrong in my eyes, and I look forward to spending an eternity with you.  You will have an entire palace of jewels awaiting you in heaven when you pass 50 years from now…NO SOONER!  I praise God for the family that you have blessed us with Granny.