Archive for April, 2012

God Uses Prayer

One of the core values for our team is to be people of prayer. We recognize that we are dependent on God. We depend on the Lord and His grace to see fruit in our lives and ministry (John 15:5). It’s equally true that we need a team of people committed to prayer standing with us.

The church marches forward on her knees.

Prayer is of transcendent importance. Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work. Praying hearts and hands only can do God’s work. Prayer succeeds when all else fails.  — E.M. Bounds

Join us in prayer for the following requests:

  1. David Jr. is in the middle with the blue shirt

    This Sunday, April 29th Cuco Moya will make an announcement to the Spanish-speaking congregation at Harbor Mid-City about the plans to launch of a new Spanish church in the next year.

    • This is a big step for the church. The mother church is still growing itself, so although it’s exciting on the one hand, there are also some huge challenges in getting this work off the ground.
    • Pray that those in the congregation understand, and get behind the new work.
    • Pray for wisdom for the leadership of the mother church as well as the new outreach.
    • This is a very ambitious advance, so we definitely need God to be at the center of it.
  2. Continue to pray for the sale of our house.
    • We are having an open house this weekend.
    • We trust the Lord for His timing with our move.
    • Pray for our family in this move. We are excited, but there are some big changes ahead for all of us.
  3. Pray for our college interns that will be working with us over the next few months.
    • Zach Lutz will be with us from May 23 – August 18.
    • Emily Gryder will be working with us from July 7 – November 30.
    • David Diaso Jr. will also be working with us; his dates are partly dependent on our move.
    • We are praying that our internship ministry will grow, and that it gets off to a great start.
  4. We are getting very close to being fully funded. Pray that the Lord will provide and direct us to the individuals and churches that He is calling to join our team. You can give to our work here…
  5. I am recruiting new people to join our BEAMM ministry team. Pray with us that the Lord draws godly and gifted people to join us.
  6. God’s healing touch:
    • Ray Call has kidney stones and Colitis.
    • Mario & Silva’s baby boy, Daniel has some health concerns they are having tested.
    • David Diaso Jr. has a torn meniscus.
  7. The Diaso Family

    Family needs:

    • Hannah is graduating from high school on May 12th.
    • David and Jonathan are in finals this week.
    • David will be driving back to Colorado from San Diego in about a week.
  8. I will be in San Diego for our work from May 2 – 8, and then from the 19th – 25th.
  9. I will be in El Paso and Juarez from May 14 – 17 for BEAMM leadership meetings.
  10. It is an exciting time. It’s a busy time. We need wisdom, direction, and strength from the Lord.

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

The Mexican Fiesta - Rejoicing for What God is Doing on the Border!

The Mexican Fiesta - Rejoicing for What God is Doing on the Border!

I am thankful for the many wonderful things that the Lord has done and is doing in my life. After I returned from one of my recent trips, where I was able to share with new friends about our ministry, I came back stoked! I felt the joy of the Lord, and God showed me in a new way what a privilege it is to serve Him.

God has given me some marvelous experiences in my years of ministry with my wife and family. I’ve met some outstanding people, and I’ve seen God move in wonderful ways. I realize I would most likely be wealthier if I would have chosen another profession, but I don’t think I would have been richer.

I don’t want to paint too rosy of a picture here. I do have my down days, and Dawn and I have gone through some deep valleys in our life. We’ve lived through some stressful days. When I get down it’s largely because I’m getting my eyes off of Christ, and I’m focusing on the circumstance. I’m putting my value and significance in my “success” rather than who I am in Christ, and what Christ is doing in and through us.

Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Yolanda and Daniel Nuñez in Rosarito - south of TJ

Hannah, Dawn and Dave with Yolanda and Daniel Nuñez in Rosarito - south of TJ

This is huge, because if we are in Christ we are a royal priesthood! We are privileged people. Yes, maybe it should be privileged sinners, but sinners who are loved and redeemed. We are a new creation. Paul says we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us, and that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ in Romans 8.

I feel honored and it gives me great joy that the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve Him in ministry. I’m so enthused about what God is doing now, and hopeful for He will do in the future as we serve Him on the San Diego – Tijuana Border.

Mario & Silvia, Dave and Dawn with the Phelans

He has given us such great partners and friends to work with. Dawn and I love those that he has introduced us to over the last year or so that we are working with. Friends, partners and co-workers like, Ray and Michele Call, Jim DeWitt, Mario and Silvia Silva, Stephen and Bradford Phelan, Edgardo and Elizabeth Avila, Dick Kaufmann, Daniel and Yolanda Nuñez, Juan and Marta Arjona, Tom and Debbie Stellar, Russ and Diane Kapusinski and the list goes on. There are others we are getting to know that I think will also become great partners and special friends. Thank you Jesus!

I don’t feel worthy in many ways to receive the blessings God has given me. I still struggle on some days with feeling like I’m inferior to my many gifted friends. God has given them amazing gifts! Apart from Christ, I’m not worthy. I must continually preach the gospel to myself and remind myself that God is there, and He is faithful. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). It’s not about me, and it’s not dependent on me.

What is my focus on? Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me and my family. Rejoice with me!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Ray Call has done a great job with our ESL!

Ray Call has done a great job with our ESL!

We launched our ESL (English as a Second Language) class on April 13th. The first day of class there was a huge rainstorm, so that ended up not being the best day to start. We have a small, but good group.

There are some very encouraging things that give us hope that this outreach will be a success. Ray Call has done a wonderful job of coordinating our ESL. He arranged for all our teachers to be trained ahead of time. We have a great group of committed teachers. The Lord has really blessed as the foundation for this outreach is established. As we see God working it inspires us. I’m thrilled with the work Ray has done, and the team he has recruited minister to the community in this way!

Hannah and Ray practicing teaching with other participants

Hannah and Ray practicing teaching with other participants during ESL training

One area that I’d like to ask you to continue to pray with us about is that the Lord would bring more students. Often when a new ministry is launched it can take time for word to get out. I think that we will see our attendance grow as more people in the community hear about the opportunity to learn English.

I’ve prayed that the Lord will use this time to help the teachers become more comfortable and confident with the material that they are teaching. Also that the Lord will help us to build a solid foundation for the ministry to grow.

We are planning to continue the ESL classes until the end of May. Then take a break over the summer and start up again in the fall.

Thanks for standing with us through prayer, and your loving support.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Blue Like Jazz

Blue Like Jazz

My wife and I just went and saw the movie, Blue Like Jazz. It peaked our interest, since we both read the book.

I agree with some of the other reviews that I’ve read. It’s hard to capture Don Miller’s stream of consciousness that he uses in the book, and then translate that into a movie. I liked the movie, although I would warn that this isn’t an overtly “Christian” movie.

It does tell the story of Miller’s life. It focuses on some of the dysfunction in his family, and some of the elements that are unhealthy in the church. This possibly leads to some stereotyping of Christians, but it is Don’s story. I felt like that was key for me to keep in mind when I was reading the book, and watching the movie.

Kathryn Frazier shares a helpful summary,

Steve Taylor’s trademark satirical humor shined in his screenplay through snappy dialogue and clever imagery, with an over-arching feel that –as the character Penny put it–“We all have our crap.” We sure do.

I loved the resolution. I suppose in part, because there was a positive ending. There was transformation in Miller’s life. After being very bitter, and frustrated with the church and God, he repented. He might not describe it that way, but he recognized his own shortcomings. He realized and confessed that he was ashamed of Jesus, and of being associated with him. He recognized that there are unhealthy elements in churches, and that he was part of the problem. Then he began to confess his sins, his shortcomings to the other students. In doing so he was professing the gospel.

I liked the way he confessed to being afraid to admit that he loved Jesus. He thought of Jesus as the nerd that you know, but don’t want to associate with, because it makes you look bad. I think this is something many Christians struggle with. We are ashamed of Jesus, because we live in a culture that is increasingly hostile towards Christ and Christianity.

Obviously, this is my take, and I’m in no way a professional movie critic. I do like the message of recognizing our sins, even the sins of the church and then asking forgiveness. This is a better option than getting defensive. The world needs to see the difference that the gospel and grace makes in our lives. A good place to begin is with repentance. As Luther states, “all of life is repentance.”

Here are some other reviews that you might want to check out:

Blue Like Jazz the Movie FTW

Blue Like Jazz: A Movie Review

Blue Like Jazz: Thoughts of a Christian Viewer

I’m curious to hear other’s views. If you’ve read the book or saw the movie, what do you think? Did you like it? Did you have concerns about the way they portrayed Christianity and the church?

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

U.S. - Mexico Border

U.S. - Mexico Border

One of my co-workers sent me this article about the growth of the Latino population along the 4 border States. Joseph P. A. Villescas, PH.D. writes:

For the first time since the 1850s, the borderlands have again become a predominantly Latino region of the United States. Over half of border county residents are of Latino ancestry.

At the close of the U.S.-Mexico War, the southwest region of the newly configured continental U.S. contained the majority of the country’s Latinos, and over 80% of this population resided in New Mexico. Although several border cities would eventually establish Latino majority populations in the late 20th century, the borderlands as a whole are now 54.3% Latino and contain 8% of the total Latino population.

Over half of the U.S. Latino population resides in the four states that border Mexico: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

The article is written in News Taco. I’m serious! Read the rest of the article here…

The assertions made in this article bring home once again the strategic nature of where we are situated to serve the many Hispanics who are living on the U.S. Mexico border. San Diego ranks first in Latino population of the cities that are on the border with almost one million Latinos living in the San Diego metro.

SANTACO - currently only flying in Mexico, but they are hoping to expand their service to San Diego and Los Angeles later this year

SANTACO - only flying in Mexico, they are hoping to expand their services to San Diego and Los Angeles later this year

I’m including a picture of the new cut-rate airlines that flies in Mexico, called SanTaco. Unfortunately, they are currently only flying in Mexico, but the good news is they would like to expand their services soon. I’m taking a little risk here, I hope I don’t offend anyone! This is probably funnier to those who’ve spent some time in Mexico. 🙂

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

The Lord rules over all creation

The Lord rules over all creation

I’ve been pondering this question lately. Do I really believe God is sovereign? A simple definition of sovereignty is that God rules over all.

If God is sovereign. If He does rule over all things and I (we) truly believe that then why do we worry so much?

If our Heavenly Father is a good God, and He controls all things for His glory, what do we have to be anxious about?

Yet we all worry to some degree or another. Many suffer ill-health due to stress and how that stress is handled. I’m not saying that I don’t think we should be concerned or that we should be apathetic about what’s going on in our life, rather that we should lean hard on our loving Father.

As I read many other blog posts on the web it is apparent that a number of people struggle with believing God is good, because of the difficulties they experience in life. These are valid concerns. I cannot hope to fully address all that is involved with these questions here. There are volumes of books that have been written on these topics. I hope rather to bring some light and to uplift those who may feel squashed.

I believe life is full of mysteries that are not fully understood this side of heaven. Still there are some promises that can and should keep us grounded. They should give us courage to live in this broken and fallen world.

Here’s some of the promises that I keep going back to when I start to worry, and get my eyes off of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul lists some very powerful and comforting promises:

“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:17)

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39)

These three passages I include in my prayers almost daily. And these are only a small sampling of all the marvelous promises that are found in the Bible.

Dave praying with Juan Arjona

Dave praying with Juan Arjona

When I start feeling overwhelmed with the demands of life. When I begin to lose sight of the fact that God is in control I remember these passages and pray them out loud.

My prayer: “O, Lord, you have not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and self-control. I receive the peace of Christ that passes all understanding and guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. I thank you, Lord that you are victorious, you have defeated sin, death and Satan on the cross. We are more than conquerors in Christ, and nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ. Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation shall separate me from the love of Christ. Amen.”

If you are you in Christ you have much to be thankful for. Christ does say that in this world we will encounter trials, but we are to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. I hope that this might lift you up!

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Please pray for our ESL outreach which starts today at 4:30 PM (PT).

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

One of our summer interns, Zach Lutz just posted a short video interview to help us to get to know him better. It also gives us a better idea of how to pray for him, and who we are praying for. We are enthusiastic about Zach joining us in a little over a month.

Here’s some of the ways you can pray for Zach’s experience. Zach mentions on the video that you can find more prayer requests and updates on his blog site: zalutz@blogspot.com. You can also pray for our other interns, Emily Gryder and David Diaso Jr. in the same way.

  1. Pray for Ray and Dave as we plan out Zach’s schedule.
  2. We are still working on finding the best housing situation for our interns.
  3. That they will raise up all their funds before they arrive on the field.
  4. That the Lord would help us to work together and be unified.
  5. That God would use us and the experience to build into the life of our interns.
  6. That the Lord will touch the lives of many through the ministry of our interns.

I’d like to ask prayer for some other needs we have that aren’t necessarily related to the interns.

  1. Ray and Dave at Border Crossing

    Ray and Dave at Border Crossing

    Ray Call had to go to the hospital in Mississippi Wednesday morning, because of the pain he was experiencing. They found out that he has kidney stones. He’s been having stomach problems for a couple of months, this is part of the reason. It maybe the main reason. Pray for his healing.

  2. The Call family has had nonstop problems with their van and car since October of 2011. I think this is an attack from the enemy, seeking to discourage them as they serve the Lord, and help us open a new ministry on the border.
  3. We’d appreciate continued prayer for our ESL classes. We began registration last week, but with all the rain the turn out was lower than we had hoped. It may take some time to build the attendance. Pray that more show up this week, and that the Lord uses this outreach for His glory.

Thanks for your faithful prayers!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org