Immeasurably More than We Can Imagine

This past Sunday we had a guest speaker at our church since our Pastor and his family were out of town. It was not the first time that Pastor David Ralph has stepped up to the pulpit of our church when invited and just as before I found inspiration and a message worthy of meditation in his words on Sunday morning.

The scripture for his message was:

Paul’s Prayer for the Ephesians

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The gist of the sermon was an exhortation for us to remember not to put limits on God’s influence in our lives but to allow Him to exceed our expectations and imaginations as He works in our hearts and lives.

I’d venture to guess that most of us get so caught up in our daily lives with all of its details, deadlines, and demands that if we happen think of God at all it is usually with a quick prayer thanking Him for something or asking for help with something else. We pray with an expectation of what we think He might be willing to do on our behalf.

Paul says that God is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than we can ask or imagine. If we could think of the biggest, most dramatic answer to prayer, God can do so much more than that. SO much more, we can’t even imagine it.

So why limit God with our own expectation or lack of imagination?

I thought of a story told by Steve Vinton to a group of us who had traveled to Tanzania, Africa last summer to visit Village Schools International. Steve and his wife Susan are a remarkable couple and meeting them and spending time with them in their home and village of Madisi was an experience I’ll remember always.

Steve told us the story about how the AIDS Clinic in the village came to pass. I’ll recount the story here, but let me add my disclaimer that all of the details may not be exactly accurate….however this is the way I remember the story:

After settling in this village in Tanzania it soon became clear that AIDS was a prevalent issue in the area. Susan began dreaming about building an AIDS clinic in the village to serve those affected by the terrible disease. There was a small corner of land not being used by the school so Susan claimed it for the location of the dreamed-for clinic until such time when there were funds to proceed. In true Vinton/Village School fashion, they did not launch a big fund-raising campaign, but just began to pray that God would please supply whatever was needed.

In the meantime there was a woman who had come as a short-term volunteer to teach an intensive English course to the students. At the end of her time in Tanzania she confessed that volunteering in this way may not be her calling. However she asked if she could help by raising funds for the AIDS clinic after she arrived back home. Of course, the Vintons agreed.

I don’t remember how much time it took for the funds to be raised. (I wish I did, because it would probably strongly emphasize the point of God working beyond our wildest imaginations!) But it turned out that the amount of money raised for the clinic was many times more than what Susan & Steve had estimated they needed to build the clinic on the small piece of land designated for that purpose!

Steve simply said: “Well, I guess God wants a much larger clinic that we planned!”

The village donated more land so a larger clinic could be built. It is now a beautiful, working clinic in the middle of this village that before had no resources to battle this terrible epidemic. Imagine!

To top it all off, the “Doctor” who treats the patients that come to the clinic is M’Safari, a young man who, growing up in a poor village, had no future beyond the government primary school. But because Village Schools International built a school in his area he was able to go through secondary school and then went on to earn his Nursing degree.

Now he serves the people of his community, caring and healing and loving them one by one.

Who could have imagined such an outcome???

God!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The AIDS clinic in Madisi 4

The AIDS clinic in Madisi

The AIDS clinic in Madisi

Patients await the attention of the “Doctor” and Susan

The AIDS clinic in Madisi 3

M’Safari describes the protocol of the AIDS treatment given at the Clinic (with Susan and Lynn)

 

Read Steve’s blog

Read Susan’s blog

 

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Denver First Church of the Nazarene (Englewood, CO)

Aug 11, 2013 – Denver First Church of the Nazarene

Denver First Church of the Nazarene is located at 3800 E. Hampden Ave in Englewood Colorado, 80113 one block west of Colorado Blvd. The church’s mission is to LOVE God with our whole heart and life, to GROW in personal faith and understanding of God’s Word, then GO to serve in Christ’s name at home, work and our community.

There are two opportunities for worship on Sunday mornings:

  • 9 am – Music is contemporary & led by a guitar driven band. The atmosphere for this service is casual. The Lead Pastor delivers a relevant Bible-based message.
  • 10:30 am – This service blends music preferences with a variety of praise choruses, hymns, and special music from the Celebration Choir and Orchestra. The Lead Pastor delivers the same Bible-based message that he shared during the earlier service. The atmosphere for this service is casual or semi-formal (with the emphasis on the comfort of the person attending.)

There is Youth & Children’s programming provided at the same times as the services. A nursery is available for babies through toddlers.

Ft. Collins, CO

Aug 10, 2013 – Ft. Collins/Lincoln Center

Ft. Collins is a great midsize college town located along the Colorado Front Range 65 miles north of Denver and is home to Colorado State University. The elevation of Ft. Collins is 5003 feet above sea level.

Ft. Collins has a local music circuit influenced by its college town atmosphere. There are a number of well known microbreweries. The city hosts a number of large Festivals each year in the historic downtown district.

The Lincoln Center (where we saw the Brian Regan concert) is the principal venue for the performing arts in Ft. Collins. It is located at 417 W. Magnolia St.

(Credit given to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Collins,_Colorado#Culture .)

Coors Field (Denver, CO)

Aug 9, 2013 – Coors Field

Coors Field

Coors Field (the home of the Colorado Rockies Ball Club) is located at 20th & Blake Streets in Denver’s “lower downtown” (or “LoDo”). The first official game held at Coors Field was played on April 26, 1995 (Colorado 11, New York Mets 9). Coors Field covers 76 acres of prime downtown real estate.

Getting to Coors Field is pretty easy…You can drive & park in one of the nearby lots paying anywhere from $7 on game day (Arapahoe Lot) to $13 on game day (Lot B). If you plan ahead you can purchase a ticket for Lot B for $12 at the Coors Field Ticket Office, Colorado Rockies Dugout Store, by phone at 303-ROCKIES (762-5437) or online at http://www.Rockies.com when purchasing tickets. There are also some offsite parking lots available along the 16th Street Mall or the Broadway/Lincoln Center. If you park in one of these you can take a shuttle to the ball park.

Public Transportation (RTD) is another option for getting to Coors Field. Use RockiesRide, Light Rail, the Broadway Shuttle or other regional or local routes. Call (303) 299-6000, or visit http://www.rtd-denver.com. Coors Field is located two blocks from Union Station.

Coors Field has 63 luxury suites and 4,526 club seats. The center field bleacher section is called “The Rockpile”. Rockpile seating area consists of 2300 bleacher seats added after the construction of the stadium as a way to increase capacity for popular games. Because these seats are the furthest in the stadium from home plate, they are the least expensive tickets available. Originally seats in the Rockpile cost $1 each….the current price is $4 each.